Friday, September 28, 2012

Artist Trading Card

I made my first artist trading card ever. It was fun and took me a couple of hours. Only because of drying time. I may or may not do more. Painting again felt great. Maybe I'll start doing more of that.






It's 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. I used acrylic paint and color pencils. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Distractions and Discoveries

Distractions come in all shapes and sizes. In various degrees of discomfort and despair. A little more than a week ago my truck gave me the blues. This week I had a plumber in my kitchen taking care of a leak. He said he fixed it. I'm not so sure. We'll see if there's any more water appearing later under the sink. Not only did I have to take everything out of the cabinet but after waiting two hours for him to show up, an hour for him to bang around, I then had to put everything back.

Another distraction. Going through everything I'd taken out of the cabinet. I was able to get rid of a few things, wiped down the shelves, rearranged what was left, sprayed for buggies, and put everything back nice and neat. Believe it or not, I've got more room down there.

By the time all was said and done (thank goodness the plumber was a decent young man), it was mid-afternoon. I hadn't planned on cleaning but the cabinet was empty. Makes sense, right? But then the creative juices disappeared. I did get the doll hair I ordered last week but it didn't spark me to do anything worthwhile. I was beat!

There's a week left of this month. This one went by faster than August but it doesn't seem like I got anything done. Things seem to have fallen flat. I did get things done but there were distractions. What I have to work on, is what to do when there are 'distractions'. There were also minor distractions this month and I was able to pick one thing and do it. But for the bigger distractions, I seemed to have forgotten that fact and allowed my emotions to run amok. I know pushing through these barriers can be done. I will continue to work at it so I can get better working alongside the distractions. After all, it's up to me now.

One thing I let drop by the side of the road were my lists. This was the first month I didn't really have any lists written down. Some people don't bother with lists. They just pick something to do and go with the flow. Good for them. I have learned that I do better in a more structured environment and that includes lists. I'm still flexible with what I do, but I need to have in front of me:
  • what I want to do
  • what needs to be done soon
  • what needs to be done next week
  • what needs to be done NOW
  • what is up in the future
I will admit it. I forget stuff. I like plotting things out for the future. Things may or may not come to be but I know it's written down. Besides, I like crossing things off the list. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and great satisfaction.

Another thing I had stopped doing was writing down, documenting what I had accomplished. Why? Because there will be times when I get into a snit and start to put myself down because I don't think I'm doing enough. I can then go back and look at that list of accomplishments, finished projects, progress on big projects and remind myself that I've been doing what I want to do. Sometimes when I'm in a mood of self bashing, Maya will ask me what I've finished. I'd say, 'nothing' but then ramble off a list to her. Then she'd give me this look like I'm such a bucket head. A creative one, but most definitely a bucket head. Good thing we're friends. Then I'd say, "Oh yeah, I did do something." I need to be proud of what I've done and not hide it.

I have to continue to look for my positives and I will get back to writing down my accomplishments and successes. Even steps of progress. I'm doing this for me. I will also get back to my lists. It works for me. You have to be brave enough to try different things that will make you better in order to get things done, to get the things you want in your life. If lists don't work for you... it's okay. It has to work for you. Not me. Not your parents. Not your spouse (although you do want a balance). Not your kids (if they see you working on your passion, they'll pick up on it).

I've also discovered that I don't have a particular time of day when I'm the most productive. I've read lots saying that you should find when you're most productive to write, work on something new, be creative. Yeah right. When I had a job, I was forced to have productive times of day. I thought that maybe it was the morning, then it was early afternoon, and at another time it was early evening. After the job, I was making myself crazy because I wasn't consistent with a schedule. Yet somehow, I was getting things done.

Sooooo... my most productive time of day is whenever I'm doing something. It could be 9 on the AM or 2 on the AM when most of the world is sleeping. As long as I'm getting something done is what matters to me. I'm still learning about me and how I want to work. My canvas is not complete. I like that.

I would like to welcome D Lane to the party at www.symphonicsoliloquy.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bat Heart Ornaments

Something new for Olde Mill Eclective. I will put them in the shop this week for the Black Walnut Festival and will make more for the month of October. Need some things with a lower price point that won't take a lot of time to put together. They were fun to do.


Here are more ornaments in progress. Right now I'm calling them Cauldron Critters because they will be displayed in a cauldron. Makes sense to me. They are another version of a voodoo/zombie/undead thingy.
I have some fancy yarn for some of the guts.


I designed, cut out, sewed and stuffed these little guys yesterday. Got tired around 11 on the PM. I was going to stop around 9 last night but something, probably Good Wendy said to keep going. I really like how I can make my own schedule. I'm getting a late start today but I feel good creatively because I'm finally getting things done. I do have the rest of the day and night. Tomorrow will be different because I have to have a plumber look at my kitchen sink and who knows how long he'll be making noise. It's all good. Gotta have a functioning sink and I'm getting better at creating when things interrupt me or go wrong. That's a good thing.

Bless This House

Block 7 of my block-of-the-month quilt for this year is done. Ahead of schedule. Now I have no excuses to work like the doggies after a bone until the end of October. I am bond and determined to get this quilt top done on time.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Autumn!

It is the first day of Fall! Whoopee! I've been waiting for this day all summer. Ha, ha! I went to my local farmer's market and brought back some cool things.


Strings beans, spaghetti squash, okra, some hot peppers, mild peppers, radishes, handmade crackers with rosemary and dill, bitter melon, summer squash, tomatoes, and lamb sausage. For 31 bucks. Oh, I also got a lemon buttermilk doughnut. Would've cost more at the super market and I want to support my local farmers. I love the Old Salem Cobblestone Market.

Now that I have grub for awhile, it's time to get going on some projects and finish others. If you can, go out and enjoy your day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

No Pictures

I was supposed to do this yesterday but I didn't. So here it is today. Just when I think I'm getting back on my creative track, I get derailed again. Seriously. The life tests continue. I don't think they'll ever go away, they'll just be waiting around a corner, ready to pounce at any time. To keep me on my toes I guess. I think I've got enough character, maybe I don't. I'm still waiting on that big break though and my angels, guardian faeries, and muses are still at the pub.

Monday night is my applique workshop and we had a wonderful storm. Got to my truck and it would not start. It was a good thing my instructor was still in the shop. She was so sweet to wait for road service with me. She was calm and appliqued. I was a wreck because I didn't need this. Yes, my truck is old, being held together with Michigan rust, dirt, dried leaves and cobwebs. It was doing the same thing it did last year when I had to get a new battery. My instructor, bless her heart, said not to worry that it's probably something simple. She doesn't know how old my vehicle is and she does have a husband who can get her to her next destination if need be. It's difficult not to panic when you have to be somewhere the next day and you have no one to call. The road service guy came and gave me a jump. At least I got home and knew I would have to take the truck into the shop the next morning. Whether it started or not.

Not. It did not start. It was pouring and I called road service again. I think it was the same guy from the night before. He got it started and I got it to the car shop. Told the guy that something other than the battery was the problem. I was praying it wasn't the starter. I sat in the waiting area, soaked, and freezing from the AC. It was the connector thingies from the part of the car that goes around parts of the battery to get juice. Yes, there is a technical name for those parts and I forgot what is was. They showed me the parts that were very corroded and I wasn't charged because they put the battery in last year. Whoever put the battery in probably should have changed the defective parts too. But he didn't and that was good for me. While I was there, I did pay for an oil change which I've needed for some time now. Maxwell is now purring like a kitty that's been smoking for awhile but he's working. Yay!

I had to go back home and change clothes. I was chilled to the bone and was an hour late to Olde Mill Eclective. It was my turn to man the shop. I told myself that I was going to have a good day regardless of the vehicle snafu. I was able to work on voodoo doll pins, sketch the monster veggies for the zombie bunners, worked on answers to questions for being Featured Artist-of-the-Month in October, and I started knitting a throw. You can never have enough throws or blankets and I believe we're going to get it this winter.

Maya brought be a Wicked Mocha from one of our local coffee places, Krankie's. Oh my goodness! Friends are great when you're working hard not to fall into a mental hole. It's got three types of chili peppers and local chocolate from Contempo Chocolates. It was so good, I really wanted to lick the inside of the cup. It will be one of those special coffee drinks because it is a bit expensive. But to get one and go walking when the temps really dip would be awesome. I love supporting a local business that supports another local business.

I am back on my creative track, a little more secure right now. Lots of Halloween stuff to finish and more to make. I'm very excited about that. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching Up

It's been a rough summer and I'm glad it's ending this week. I'm so ready for fall. I don't do well with hot and humid temperatures and it makes me sluggish. Creativity was at an all time low. Now it's getting cooler and I am ready for that to be a bit more consistent too. I am working on projects that are almost done and finishing up others before starting new ones. It's like keeping my studio and apartment straightened to keep creative energy flowing properly.


My latest Bless This House block, #6. Done on time. Here's my quilt/applique list for the rest of the year.
  • complete all Bless This House  blocks
  • finish the last block of Hop To It from last year's quilt and put all blocks together
  • buy fabric and finish my flannel Trip Around the World throw
 I'm also working on my latest batch of voodoo doll pins and I will show a pic of them in the next couple of days. I had started two zombie bunnies and they will get done by the end of the week.


I am going to be featured Artist of the Month at Olde Mill Eclective next month. I am the go-to person for Halloween. I am working on pieces for that too. Not a lot of little pieces but nicer one-of-a-kind pieces. Something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I have been sketching and now it's time to have those sketches become something 3D. And I'm almost done with my short stay. Eegads! I have a skellie pirate vest I want to make too. October 1, I pull out the Halloween stuff. Well... I have some of it out already but it will be time to bring it all out. Have a great week all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sorry!

Yes, I'm still battling some wicked anti-creative demons. They will not win. A friend suggested I do an 'Elephant Day' when things get really bad and the fear and procrastination set in. An elephant day, she said to get an elephant. Not a real one. But any kind of stuffed, or clay, or I could even draw one. Put him in the center of my living room and visualize taking a bite out of him. With each bite, I do something creative. Of course Bad Wendy stepped up to the plate and said we couldn't try it because we don't have an elephant. Good Wendy gave her the side eye. She also said that once I got back on track, to put the elephant away until next time I get a block or the battle seems dire.

Here are a few things I've finished and have been working on.


Finally got my mini plush monsters done. They will be for the Krankie's Holiday Craft Fair.


And I got another zombie head done. She could be a ghoul. I guess she'll tell me later. I have been writing too. Got another chapter to my mid-grade book edited. My goal is to finish this last edit and start looking for an agent. I have also been sketching and will try and get some pics up this week. It's also getting to be a busy time for me with Halloween coming up and then Christmas but I will try to do a lot better. I still owe you a list for the month.

I'd like to welcome Machelle Benson to the party.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 Days In

Wow! Five days into the new month. Still a little behind but that's okay. Life is good. The seasons are changing and I'm so looking forward to cooler temps. Olde Mill Eclective had their opening on September 1 and it went well. We were blessed with having four media types out that day. One local blog, the Winston-Salem Journal (local paper), a new art magazine/blog, and North Carolina Weekend TV show. Woo hoo!


Me by my kids. I will be getting a table to go underneath the cabinet for more display space. I've got more Halloween pieces coming.




The space is a great size for us and we have more room to add more art. It's nice that it isn't so packed.


You can barely see the items in the baskets but they are belts, bracelets, and key rings made of old bicycle tires. Way cool. By artist Andrea Brill.


There's Andi with the scarf and Vera in the blue dress in the background. She is amazing and has wonderful jewelry and a cookbook that's on my Christmas list. The center table will be used for special setups like holidays. Or Halloween. The cookies were donated by Muddy Creek Cafe for our opening. The owner has a white chocolate cherry cookie that is to die for. I really don't need any cookies, but those are some good cookies. They also have great sandwiches too.


Vera's cookbooks, her husband Jack's wood boxes with doors from the old Winston-Salem post office, and music CDs by our wonderful leader Andi Reese.




I will have more pics later and everyone's full name. Duh! There's Suzanne who makes really cool pajamas, pillow cases, and pillows. Denise is a painter in pastels, oil, and acrylic. Diane is our clay artist. Jack is our wood guy. Pat makes the purses. The whole community is always promoting local businesses and artists. Please support them this holiday season.
Olde Mill Eclective
in Bethania Mill
Tuesday thru Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM
5455 Bethania Road
Winston-Salem, NC
www.facebook.com/oldemilleclective

Still working on my lists.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Silly, Sassy, Sweet, Swamped September

Silly because I feel silly in a fun sort of way. Halloween and fall are coming and I'm so excited. I will decorate my apartment this year for that wonderful time of year, even if I have to make my decorations using drawing paper and crayons.

Sassy because I've been losing weight and toning up quite well and I'm starting to like the way I look in the mirror. I'm almost ready to get some new clothes. I will also continue making period and fantasy costumes.

Sweet because I'm being a little bit nicer to myself. I have just about everything that I need and I'm saving to get other things that I want.

Swamped because... well you guessed it, I've got a lot to do. I have a month to get more Halloween items done and then Christmas is coming up too. They kind of go hand-in-hand. There's a Regency Ball coming up I want to go to and I need to get a gown done. I have one quilt block left to do and I'll have a quilt top done. That was on my list for the year. Planning shows and more product for next year. Next year! Four months away! Yikes! And the book. Map Hunter. I've got to get that final edit done. It's time for that. I know there are a lot of little girls who would love to read this, and big girls and boys of all ages. As soon as I upload pics of the opening of Olde Mill Eclective, I will post them. When I got home yesterday from the opening, which was a success, I almost fell asleep eating. I was about to crawl into bed a little after 6:30 PM and everyone decided to call me. Seriously? It was all good.

That's the skinny of it for right now. I've got to get busy today and work on my lists and I will report back directly so you can see the list. Massive, simple massive it will be. Have a wonderful holiday, stay safe and make your September a Stellar one.

Day 2- Creative Challenge

Okay then, it snowed all day. I did get out in the afternoon to move snow out of the way but started to come down hard and within an hour or...