Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Intentional Blogging 3 Voice

I hate to admit it but I'm loud.  I didn't start out loud, although my Dad was loud and so was my sister.  My nature is more introverted so how can loud be happening!

I think it is the Rooster's fault.  He is certifiably deaf.  He has hearing aids.  Sheesh, just to make myself heard I had to get loud.  Mind you, even he tells me not to shout!  This happens a lot on the phone.  My dfil liked to talk to me on the phone as he could hear me.  Now we suspected that he couldn't hear either. vbsigh
I answered the phone from a friend I hadn't heard from and I started yapping away and she broke in (loudly) to tell me not to shout.  It kinda stumbled me for the whole day that the Rooster might be right about some things!

So I totally got it that capital letters on the computer meant SHOUTING.  I don't want to shout. I want to speak with a quiet voice.  Here's hoping!

This lesson is all about voice.  A blog should have a recognizable voice and be unique to the blog writer.

So I need to need describe myself in 3 adjectives and I don't want to use loud.
~ excitable, enthusiastic, and encouraging

Is this how I talk?  I think so. I'm pretty optimistic.
Hmm, I'm also told to slow down, speech wise, I think.

Who would I be talking to?
Hopefully someone who is easily motivated and just needs some encouraging that a project is doable and fun.  It should be about fun!  Interested.  A little back and forth with questions, suggestions and praise reports makes for great conversations.

5 things I read and why:

only 5?  I start out my day with inspirational writings. That could be 5 in itself but I need to start out from a right perspective and with some motivation to do/live/be better.   For sheer pleasure I like young people's fantasy for good overcoming evil and the hero squeezing the heroine's hand!  I was so excited, maybe loud, in my discovery of The Chronicles of Narnia.  I like biographies.  For blogs I prefer to learn things so I'm prone to blogs that share process.  I'm rather eclectic in my likes so my blog list tends to be heavy on mixed media but I will include a variety of interesting, informative, enlightening, inspiring blogs.  I'm all about upbeat, happy, and probably lean to the more conservative/traditional without being too stuffy.

I don't watch tv but do enjoy a good movie.  Usually the house is quiet, but if I want music I like LOUD. :(

Now we are supposed to ask others; what's my voice? and what do I sound like.

Writing should never be a chore, a job.  I do enjoy writing my blog.  I hope it sounds like me!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Half way there

Neither excruciating heat, nor thunderstorm, nor company can keep us from our appointed task!  lol
Sore muscles?  Well, we do have to sleep sometime.    The grand kiddies arrived in time to help throw down the last of the sand before the thunderstorm hit.  Then one tripped up the new step that completes the walk through the flowerbed.  I'm very happy with things so far.  

That fierce prairie wind played havoc with the string that was the guide for the walks edge.  It also took 3 shingles off the newly repaired barn. :(   But only one branch off the tree.  :)

The Rooster is a rough or at best framer type carpenter who has cabinet maker tendencies.  oye!  I'd have just slapped something up the edge of the bookcases to hold back fabric but he spent the morning disassembling the old IKEA media cabinet, which had past its prime, and making it into two nice boxes to hold my fabric.  They are lovely, but really, 1/16th of an inch and the galloping horse test.  Good enough already!  lol  I need to buy 2 more of those wonderful rolling plastic shelving units and figure my options for my work counter wall.  We cut the counter to fit but I'm not unhappy because the longer surface still only yielded the minimum 2 square feet of work space that remained uncluttered.  sheesh

The Rooster is thinking saw horse legs with a nice melamine top for behind Nina.  I gained space because I can have storage space on my right as well as a larger flat surface to the left and behind.  I'm thrilled with this area.

I'd like the computer to move to the hallway and my idea for threading an extension cord over, around, and through is meeting with a frown so an electrician may be on the to-do list which means I can also have a designated plug for the iron.  The two main work areas will work well. I need to decide if I want a sit down area at the end of the worktable or not.  Surprisingly the room feels less cramped that before.  This probably because my walkways are wider.

These are carefully posed pictures to eliminate the stacks of stuff that need to be pruned and set in place. :O

My Creativity 101 student is with me again today so we are back into the barn for another round of cleaning.

Some things are on the short half of done and some are on the longer half with lots to go. Goodness, it is already almost lunch time.  The day is almost done, tomorrow has a full list, What's on the Work table Wednesday needs thinking about, the week is half gone and nothing is yet done.  ;^)  That's what my Dad used to say.  But I think I'll have my second cup of coffee before I lace up my running shoes!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A beginning and an end

I bought a sketchbook with 70 white pages.  On reading the fine print I see it is for pen and pencil.  I don't care.  I luv the clean white 2 page spread and splashed, smeared and scraped.  I also duct taped the spine which split.  ???  I don't care.  It is already messy and the duct tape is cool!

My supplies for my workshop with Joanne Sharpe arrived and the box was huge.  :)

It was mostly the paper stuffing around things.  lol  I am no comparison shopper nor am I very experienced in buying art supplies.  (see above sketchbook )  So I just copied recommendations off the supply list and pressed send.  I did see the gesso was on sale and I had already bought some for much more so I thought since I was in for a penny, I might as well be in for a pound.  I think that saying has British roots!

I am ready to begin!

But  they won't ship animal bristle brushes across the border so when I did an errand in the city I used 2 coupons at Michaels.  That has to end!  oye!

I am so very excited about my set up for doing some mixed media journaling every day.  I like it.  There is no end in sight and they are so easy to begin and end in a short amount of time.  No plan. Just fun.

While MQing the veranda quilt I realized how much I like doing it but my set up is not great.  I need an L shaped work space.  I spent a goodly amount of time tossing and turning over ideas the other night and I'd have leaped up to go get a tape measure except for the fact that I knew the Rooster would have thumped me good.  He was assuming the heat was making me restless.  HA!

Last time I did the room I figured it was as good as it gets.  So I really needed that 'what if...'  to happen.  It has so I have forewarned the Rooster I need some help tonight. I only have Friday night because he'll have me back and focused on the walk and fence for Saturday.  Friday's are date nights, right!  I shall remind him of the times I helped stack square hay bales when we were first dating!    But I almost killed myself hefting that 6 foot counter last time and we need to take down that cupboard that we shortened and brought back from storage from the last time I reorganized. The good news is that each time I part with more stuff I feel I can't live without. Meanwhile, the Rooster'll be sitting on the stool pulling daisy petals while I think!  I love her, I love her not, I  LOVE  her!  (I shall arrange for an odd arrangement of petals)

He is sceptical I can do it but while I'm not so hot on a tape measure, I do think I have a viable plan with some built in fiddle room. ;^)

So I hope to end the changes for my playroom/studio with this super creative plan. (again)

I am beginning a whole new exciting season of creativity.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How's your pulse?

There are lots of things that cause us to give a quick gasp, that speed up the pulse, make the heart beat that little bit faster.

Finding The Altered Page was such a time.

Seth Apter has introduced me to the larger world of Mixed Media.  Sometimes it takes my breath away.

I've been following Seth's blog for a couple of years now and there is always something to inspire.  I am often speechless but will sometimes comment.  I commented on the 500000 thank yous post and I won the give away.

I was delighted to get my package in the mail very quickly.

The book is not about techniques but about artists and how they think and feel and how they work.  Lots to read but no surprise, they are just regular people!

I did have the DVDs playing as I was trying to MQ.  :)  I did have to stop and have a better look.    Seth has such a calm, quiet style that is immensely inspiring.  He doesn't work in my favourite colours but I learned lots as he really likes texture and leans to simplicity.  One DVD is on making backgrounds with a grid format and a few ways to use them.  The second focuses on the various ways to make journal pages and putting a simple journal together.

Because I have felt the heart beat, the pulse of mixed media,  I will now  be cutting out and saving words.  Why didn't I think of that???  I will keep an open mind about 'low tech' tools like post it notes!  I don't particularly like borders on my quilts but there are all kinds of neat ways to frame pages.  Splatters!  Distressing!   And I definitely have a new appreciation for the coloured base and then all the layers that make the complexity, well,  simple.  Luv it!

I do want to encourage the seeking and searching out of all the different options that influence how we see, how we make, and why we should appreciate the variables that are found in mixed media art and its community.  It speaks.  It makes the heart beat that little bit faster!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wow 2, wrapping it up

I am wrapping things up.

I did this in a bit of a rush but I needed to just do it.

I also need to stop doing the 'in the ditch' stitching for each section as I can baste it well enough without adding those extra lines which end up with double stitching.  I just fee motioned back and forth down each row of blocks.

I can't remember if I had chosen the binding fabric  but I don't know where it is if I did! lol  So I'm  auditioning this green.

The back looks pretty cool!

It is a lap sized quilt.  I would like it bound by next Wednesday.  I'm linking up to my fellow Canadians at The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Intentional Blogging 2 Focus

Lesson 2 of Intentional Blogging is really all about the reason behind my blog.

I really began as a kind of diary.  I have fine tuned it somewhat as I realize the Internet is very public and some things are just plain private.

So this has become my journey into all things creative.  My subject is creativity.

The theme is about several areas in which I want to develop my creativity. This encompasses my home.  Home is what I make it, where I can be me, where I am safe to express myself.  There are creative opportunities in home decorating, cooking ( which is kinda low on the list but should be on the list), landscaping, garment construction and accessorizing, quilting and my new luv, mixed media fibre arts.  Of course, creative writing kinda under girds the whole blog.

The objective?  Hmm. I am not so keen on being accountable so this is harder to define.

But what do I want to accomplish with my blog?  ???  I guess I am expecting a record of my growth as a creative person, an artist. 

What impression do I want to leave?  ???  I think we are all creative and I want readers to realize that
creativity is something anyone can develop. But like piano playing, it requires practice.  I am practicing and I want it to be known that it is a lot of fun and definitely a journey; a progressive past time with serendipities and hilarious happenings.

My goal?  How do I measure it?  ???  Good question.  I do feel that I have grown creatively by leaps and bounds since I've begun blogging.  I have certainly been pursuing knowledge about things that interest me. I have had an interest in home decorating since my teens and what I've learned has come from experimenting and reading LOTS of decorating magazines and library books.  Home decorating led to home made quilts and that led to wall hangings and fibre art which lead to dyeing fabric, stamping, stencils and inevitably to paper and canvas.  So now I want to improve my techniques and define my style.

I believe blogging is a unique opportunity because putting ones work up for viewing and critiquing is only a part of the growth cycle.  The interaction with like minded people, the commitment to blogging and making art contributes hugely to the making of the artist as much as the actual art.  Life influences art and vice versa.

My goal therefore is to define my own style, perfect it, and inspire others to pursue their own creativy.
How to measure it I'm not so sure.  I'm not very analytical so stats and graphs isn't going to work.  I'm not planning an etsy shop nor will I be pursuing sales.  I guess the occasional happy face in the comments will have to suffice.  lol  But I suspect I'll know when I can pretty consistently produce good work and have my heart smile when I've completed projects. We can be our own worse critic but I, myself,  need to feel that I am actually improving and having my own voice heard.

Next week is about discovering my voice and how to use it so it is unique to me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Working on Wonderland

The time has come. 

The roof on the barn has been fixed.

New windows were ordered for the upstairs of the house and I'm hoping to make use of  the square glass sections from the old ones for my workroom.

The siding on the barn needs replacing but not this year.

The fence is down and ready for remodeling.  The walk has been scraped and is ready for sand and the cement pavers.

I hate to think how many times we've handled these pavers but I'm pleased to see that the long discussions on where to lay them have ended and we are committed to this line.  The decision wasn't so straightforward as originally they were to curve a bit to follow the curve in the flower bed border surrounding the front lawn.  But that  worked better with a full cement sidewalk than with the pavers.  Another consideration is that the house is parallel to the road but the barn is skewed somewhat.  And then the new beams under the veranda from last year's work project stick out about 12 inches which means the walk can't be centred on the front step.  So we get creative. 

Now that the excitement is all over the grand kiddies will be returned to their life in the city this morning and I will pick up Jenn.

My creativity 101 student is available for some extra work these next two weeks.

Today we will make some room for maneuvering in the barn.  In the front are the boards for the fence and the bag of wool.  They'll leave soon. But we can certainly shuffle some of the stuff around. We will take a tape and some graph paper and do a bit of figuring once some of the dust settles. 

Just maybe all the excitement isn't quite over!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Color Love 101

I have seen a lot of on-line classes offered and I've thought about a few but I've not felt to really leap right in.

Until this month.

I got my feet wet with a digital scrap booking class, 1 week, 5 lessons of which I did four.  I had no clue and I actually rather enjoyed it and learned lots.  I don't think I want to actually do digital scrapbooking but I learned a thing or two about my Photoshop Elements program. 

Now I'm going to learn how do better blogging.  I can add pictures and some links.  I can cut and paste.  With good notes and diagrams I may be able to do one or two other things.  That all means I know enough to be dangerous!  lol 

But what I really want to learn is how to make my own art.  And that means I need to learn how to use materials, identify the medium that fits my sensibilities best, and create art unique to me.  I think Joanne Sharpe at Whimspirations might help me.

I like the wide variety of materials I'll be trying.  I like the way she uses colour. I like the stylized flowers and organic shapes, the swirls and doodles.  I like the fine black line.  I like how she uses lettering, in fact, that is an whole nother class.  I like hand made journals.  I like that she includes fabric.  I like her style. 

I've signed up for Color Love 101.
I've ordered my supplies.
I'd like to think I'm ready!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Intentional Blogging 1

I'm always amazed at the difference blogging has made in my life.  I began as an on-line record of my creative journey.  It has become that and an whole lot more. 

I'm probably one of those perpetual students. I didn't complete high school but I'm always wanting to learn about the things that interest me and my interests are pretty eclectic.  I'm also an encourager with strong teaching tendencies.  If I can do it, by golly, most anybody can do it.  But reading one book or walking through one door usually leads to to another and another.

Well, one link led to another link which led to ...  Jeff Goins.

Jeff is offering an e-course, a free series on Intentional Blogging.  I'm interested in the part about creating good content, networking with blogging friends, and developing the disciplines to do it better.  I am not interested in a self-hosted blog and getting my numbers up.  But I am making a commitment to this series and trying a few things. 

Lesson 1 is saying,  "I am in!".

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WOW 1, WOW 2

In a creative burst  (spending spree) I have loaded up the work table considerably.  As the euphoria fades the realization of yet more projects slightly cools the ardour.  lol

So, once again I am thinking about how to do things better, the black and the white of it.  First I need to firm up my boundaries.  NO MORE NEW PROJECTS!  vbsigh  Indeed, this is hard.  Creativity is all about those bright ideas.

Then I need to check over all the projects I do have.  I have culled heavy in the past so now I'm just left with- finish them! 

So What's on my Worktable Wednesdays will alternate with Wrap Up Wednesdays.

This week I want to get my veranda quilt quilted.  It is lap size and I'll be using my walking foot and quilting straight lines.  Nina is revving her motors as I type!   It will be an excellent start.  WOW 1

See you for WOW 2 next week!

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The black and white of it

It is reckoning time. 

The flock is scattered.

Time get the border collie out for a regrouping.

Time to circle the flock, bunch them up and do the tally.

Let's have a look at you girls.

Then perhaps the guard dog can see that the fence lines aren't breached.

I wish it was that simple to bring my own projects from the four corners that they have all scattered into.  But...

I must.

Even a black and white picture of my white veranda garden can't quite conceal the weeds that have elbowed their way in.

It is time to restore some order. I need to get a wider perspective, the panoramic view. My eyes should travel over the full effect of my landscape and enjoy the full colour spectrum as the colour wheel works its way around my fences.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Altered Book

I somehow have gotten out of sync with my AB posts.  

 It might be the distractions!

Somehow I was thinking Elizabeth at The Altered Book Lover had us on pockets.  I had a wax paper envelope that I put leaves into.  I sprayed some of the coloured cardboard leaves various colours and put them into the envelope. 

I particularly like the idea of sewing the pockets on.  I also want to put more pockets in my calendar journal to hold ephemera and tags that will have info and events. This is a stamped coffee filter, used but dry! 

So my Leaf book has a pocket on the inside cover.  I tried to make it with some room and not just flat to the page.  I am realizing I am needing to start to pull this book together;  hence the circles.

 Then I made a tip in for the summer section and made a pocket from a paper doily that  had been used as a stencil.  The background is scrapbook paper with a decoupaged image and I added a bit of cotton lace, a flower sticker and some stamping to the doily pocket. I'll put tags in which will probably hold flowers with leaves in their stems.

I then got busy on a folded page.  This needed 3 pages which I don't have in the leaf book so I made this in another altered book which is 'Just Me'.

The right and left pages were painted and then stamped with circles to coordinate with the centre which has scrap booking paper on it and is folded and glued down.  I punched 2 small holes for buttons which hold a clear circle from a cd package.  I used a paint pen to add something to the clear circle.

This 2 page spread will detail my non existent exercise program!  ha!

I have post it notes throughout the leaf book.  We do have an over view of the lessons so that must explain why I had been making a window.  ???

That is for an upcoming class so now I am really confused! lol

But I am learning lots and certainly enjoying this Altered Book tutorial.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Never too hot for coffee!

It has been hot, humid and hectic.

With a few surprises!  I've signed up for an on-line class on colour journaling and one on blogging/writing.  I won a great give away.  I'm gathering in some cool supplies and a couple of new books.  And with every reorganization of the playroom/studio I'm getting closer to understanding how I work and what I like to work with.  This helps me identify my style which is like coffee. There are some specifics related to flavour, favourite cup, and definitely ambiance.  I don't mean to tease but it has also been hectic.  I've been short on coffee breaks but perhaps I can update with a Saturday post.

I'm hoping for a coffee break in the midst of a busy errand day.  It won't be iced coffee, but straight up.  Bold, black and hot!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some like it hot. Some like it cold.

I like it went it is not sticky!  The temperature is pretty much the same inside as outside.  Hot!  High 90's.  The degrees above or below room temperature don't matter much when one is uncomfortable. 

Creativity 101 had us working in Jenn's favorite pinks.  Hot pink!  I'm learning how to scrapbook.  Paper could be as addictive as fabric!  I shall try and remember the lessons learned from fabric collecting.  vbsigh  Life is a journey and with grad behind her, life's lessons begin.  But it might be good to take note of  from whence she came and then get her dreaming in another art form,  mixed media.

I have a  new stencil from Stencil Girl.  I'm not really into nostalgia but there something familiar about this girl.  I'll be using her in my journey book. 

Now Jenn is a modern girl, in a hurry to grow up.  I found this stencil from Crafter'sWorkshop here in town much to my surprise.

You can see we are quite different.  She's for hot pink margaritas and I'm for cool pink lemonade.  We are good for each other and I'm not sure who learns more!

 She likes scrapbook kits and maybe some bling.  I like making a magazine into a personal journal with the shine coming from the glazes.  But we are both willing to learn and try new things!   And that is cool!