Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh, Bag It!

Okay, we are almost at the end of March and I haven't acknowledge that March is National Craft Month.  (a little yay! goes out here).  I've doing my fair share of celebrating this most fabulous of months.  Crafting like a crazed fool. Mostly making bags.  Like the one in the photo.  It's a Martha Stewart pattern and I made it Re-Marthable by putting a bird on it, because I live in Portland (Portlandia) and we put birds on things.  This bag is for holding all a person's card making supplies.  Oh, really?  I keep mine in an very large stuffed to brim blue box.  This bag is going to a friend of mine, who is much more controlled with her craft supplies
In this "celebrating" all that is crafty, I've had to do some preparation for a costume project, that is quickly coming on my heels.  This week culminated in a cranky fest for me.  I was dragging myself to do this work.  All I could see was the end of this project I was considering a waste of time, but a bit of income.  I was bored doing the renderings. I was impatient reading the play and studying it.  I was nervous about the time line for putting this all together.  I was resentful of this project as a whole.  Great energy to bring to something, right?
I was asked, "Where is the fun here?"  Wow! A question I ask people all the time.  A question I like to think I live by was now being tossed back at me at the speed of sound and light.  "Where was the fun here?"  I realized in all this big ball of crap and negativity I had created around this project, I forgot to find the fun! I forgot to create and bring the fun to this project.  Dang.  The moment I shifted from cranky to fun... the creative flood gates opened wide.  Gifts of all sorts flew into my arms.  Really they did!  I'm now moving with ease through this huge project.  All the elements of fun are right inside me and it starts with mind set, once again.  I also realized that as much as I love costuming and making costumes, I can only count on maybe one hand the number of times I can say, "I really had fun doing that show."  Most of the past times, I've approached it with the mind set of this is serious and very hard work and so not fun.  Odd because I am after all working on a "play."
I'm bagging all the negative, dragy and not fun energy into a huge old garbage bag and kicking it to the curb.  I keep thinking that with all this cleaning out of negativity I've been engaged in the last two or so years, that all the corners would be clean and lessons wrung out.  It's not working that way for me.  As with each new time I put myself out there, the lessons appear and some other corner needs to be swept clean.  It's life.  It's where the fun is.
Where is the fun?  Are you bringing it to everything you do with your life?
Until next week...create to feel great!
23 projects complete! 29 to go!
And a very happy National Crafting Month to everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nothng Ventured. Nothing Gained.

I have this crazy goal of wanting to be on the Martha Stewart Show and craft with Martha herself.  So, when she offered up a contest for just that chance, I knew I wanted to enter.  The idea was to come up with a 100% original never been published anywhere craft idea, send Martha and her staff a photo and write 250 words about the craft idea and also tell them why you feel you are Re-Marthable.  Five finalist are to appear on her show with their craft and one person will win a car.  Cool, right?  For over a month I rack my brain, I searched through craft books, I doubted myself and questioned if I truly am Re-Marthable.  A week before the deadline, I was struck with what I thought was a unique idea.  A cat sewing organizer with mouse wrist pincushion.  I designed and tweaked and simplified. The design was heart shapes and modified heart shapes combined to make this cool cat.  I was very proud of this idea.  I wrote my description and essay.  My heart was pounding with excitement as I hit that submit button. I got an confirmation that they received my submission.  It was now to be judged.
Yesterday, I got an email that they had chosen the five finalist.  I wasn't one of them.  Okay, they got over 5, 000 entries.  And yet, I couldn't help but say, "What the hell is wrong with you Martha and your people?" When I looked at the five finalists, I was disappointed. Not so much that I wasn't chosen, but who was chosen.  I got beat out by a person who put a seagull on a beige cake, someone who paints stripes in glitter on canvas using M.S.'s glitter, a woman who grows carrots (she owns a farm), and someone who does needle felted copies of ideas that Martha had in her magazine years ago.  I was fuming, because these ideas aren't 100% original, and they aren't even inspiring.  If I was going to be beated out, I at least wanted to be inspired. The last of the five was a slipper pattern made to look like fortune cookies.  That, I thought, was worthy of saying it was Re-Marthable.  That one didn't disappoint me.
I went through all the stages of grief in about an hour.  I could hear the legions of Martha haters beckoning me over to their side, maybe even crowning me their leader! I wanted to write an angry letter to the old girl herself. I felt a little numb and thought that the email just had to be a joke.  A very good friend of mine reminded me that I work holistically.  Meaning, I craft from my soul and heart.  She reminded me that Martha is a business woman, really not a crafter. I just might have a bit too much heart and soul for old Martha Stewart.  My friend calmed me down and pulled me back to my center.
Later that day on a walk, I was talking to Broadside about this.  His first response was, "Her loss."  He's right, it sort of is her loss.  Although, she gets to use my craft idea.  As I was processing all this, it occurred to me that, this contest stretched me in ways I have never worked before.  It connected me to my crafty self.  I designed an idea, not riffed off of something else.  That lead me to have the confidence to design my cupcake coin purse from last week, and it is helping me design my current costume project.  I really don't need validation or a free trip to NYC or even an appearance on the Martha Stewart show to prove to myself that I'm a Re-Markable person (better than being Re-Marthable).  I have my own power. My own creative life force that is being used for what I have to do in this life.  That's cool. With all the lessons I'm taking away from this, I'm feeling like I won here.
I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't say I'm bummed about not being chosen. Yet I'm not willing to let it hold me down or back.  I got a ton of lessons out of this experience.  And who knows...there will come a day when I'm on the Martha show, by myself and not with four other finalists.
I do want to congratulate the five finalist.  I'm really hoping that there is more to the crafts and creating you do than what was shown and told about.  I'm cheering on the person who makes the fortune cookie slippers.
So, I just have to ask...where do you go when you hit disappointment?  Do you wallow and not move forward? Or do you look at the lessons and use them to move you forward?
Until next week...create to feel great!
22 projects complete! 30 to go!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Cupcake Challenge

Okay, my new favorite Internet site is  I've mentioned it in past posts.  I'm having a great time swapping creativity with people all over the world.  I love the fact that I can send my crafts out to someone and I also get to receive some amazing crafts and supplies from folks as well.  It is proving to me that 1) there are a lot of you creative folks out there.  2) folks connected to their creativity have a more positive outlook (even the vampire/gothic/dark sided folk on swap-bot have this positive outlook on
I've been asked to join a some groups within the swap-bot land.  One group I'm a part of is Granting Wishes.  There are 40 of us and each month we put out our wish lists.  Craft items, do a good deed, etc.  One of my group members loves her some cup cakes...cupcake art, stickers, papers, any thing cupcake...she loves it.  On her wish list this month, she listed a new zipper coin purse.  In my mind, I thought...what would be cooler for her than a zipper cupcake coin purse?   I looked around the Internet for a luck.  Sigh...this means I have to design my own.  Okay.  That's what I did, and sent it off to her.  I think it is cute and useful.

Meanwhile, Mickeygirl hasn't been feeling very well.  She is off her routine and just sluggish.  She's eating okay, but not acting like the girl cat I know and love.  A trip to the vet was in order.  Now, I have the best vet in the world.  He took blood and other samples.  The tests came back that my girl is aging.  Her kidneys are starting weaken a bit, not a real cause for alarm, but a food change was in order.  After a couple of days of watching her, something didn't seem right with her.  I'll say I was sad and emotional, as I called her vet again.
This vet is one of smartest and most patient people I have ever encountered, as well as being compassionate and really up on his game.  He looked over her tests again and discovered that her thyroid is now low.  This could be the source of Mickeygirl's trouble.  Meds were prescribed, and Mrs Mickey is starting to slowly show signs of recovery.
I was so grateful for this vet clinic and all they do, that I made a batch of mini cupcakes to thank them.  Yes they were doing their job and yes I pay them to do their job.  So, what?  Does that mean they don't get to receive appreciation?  Yeah, I didn't think so either.  The biggest thing, is I felt great creating and presenting that show of appreciation.  Honestly, I think did it more for me than them.  I firmly believe we have to give as good as we get, and if there is something we want in our life we are not getting, it is time to look at how much of what I want I'm giving out to the world.   I know I'm appreciated by the people in my life, so I have some to give.

So, here's my challenge to any one who is reading.  Show appreciation to someone.  Make a batch of cupcakes or cookies (or even buy some)...take them to that someone and thank them- even write a nice card.   Come back over here and tell us how that felt for you.  For every one who does this, I will send them a cupcake coin purse.  Yes I will, because I appreciate you and your efforts.  So, how about it?  I can not wait to hear from you!

Until next week...create to feel great!
21 projects complete 31 to go!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spread The Luck And Love and Magic

I consider myself to be one lucky gal. It has taken me years and years to appreciate my life and all I have created.  In those years and years, I would spend my time comparing my life to others, complaining about the things I didn't have, getting frustrated at my life on the whole.  I didn't like myself very much, I didn't like life very much.  In that place it was difficult for me to understand why I had the life I had.  About the time I started this Campaign, I came to an intense realization that life is really what I make it.  I can create what ever I what.  Empowering thought, hell to the yes it is.  I'm sort like a reformed sinner, in that I talk about this topic a lot.  More for me than really anyone else I talk to.   I'm so grateful of my life.  My talent and skill, the flow of my days. All the talented and skillful and intelligent people I know, who really bless my life, I'm grateful for you all, you brighten my days.  Of course, my lovely kitties and my dear Broadside.
So, with all this gratitude, I love spreading the joy.  I'm in a place to do that.  I love that I've included in my life the question, "How can I bring the magic?"  I'm finding in the answer that my creativity is skyrocketing.
This week the answer to that question came in the form of a small crocheted Cat.  A Good Luck Cat.
Like the ones seen in Asian Markets.  The ones with the paw up in the air to sign Good Luck or Fortune.
An Internet friend of mine, has been in need of a reminder that there is Good Fortune in the world.  She loves cats.  I love to crotchet and making little animals.  So, I'm sending her a little magic, along with wishes for  Good Fortune.  I think if anything it will make her smile.  I know I smile everything I look at him (her).
I'm going to make a couple more of these in red and black.
This idea came from me wanted to share my thoughts of Good Fortune with someone in my life.
Do you think you are a lucky person? Do you have Good Fortune in your life?  Are you willing to share?
Until next week...Create to feel great!
20 projects complete.  32 to go!