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I'm very excited about this week's experiment. It's something I've been wanting to jump in on for several month's, but I keep putting it off. But I know now is the perfect time for this.

This week, I'm going to participate in Jamie Ridler's Full Moon Dreamboard project. I have to!  This month is Full Pink Moon. And I love pink. So clearly it's meant to be.

This month we're supposed to be focusing on what we want to have bloom in our lives--sort of a spring garden theme, but for dreams.

I'm going to start my dreamboard tomorrow, on the full moon, but I will probably take a couple of days to finish it.  I want to get it done fairly close to the full moon, though, so I'll probably have a results post earlier than usual this week.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go gather my materials so I'll be ready to create when I get home tomorrow night.  See you in a few days!

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This week turned really hectic and stressful and lacking in time.  It really brought home what I discovered while checking in on my year's goals--I need to do more work on thriving.

That's okay.  At least when you're aware of a problem you have a chance to fix it, right?

Meanwhile, I created postcards for each of my focus words for the year. Here's a shot of all three of them together:

As you can see, the fronts are completed.   Here are the individual views:

The backs are going to have notes to myself about how to keep each of my areas moving forward and in focus.

The cards are going to hang on my bulletin board in my studio where they'll be pretty to look at and will, I hope, keep me on track.

I hope the fact that I got off track this week but still managed to make some art is helpful to you.  I hope it helps you see that you can still create even when your schedule goes crazy and things just refuse to go the way you meant for them to.  The important thing is to grab some time for yourself to do your creating.  You'll feel better and calmer after--I certainly do.  You deserve to have that time to catch your breath and get your feet back under you.  Give yourself that gift, and enjoy!

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Toward the end of last week, I realized that we're already finished with the first quarter of this calendar year.  How did that happen?!  I've decided now is a good time to check in with myself and my goals for the year and see how things are going.

I picked three focus words for myself for this year: Create, Explore, Thrive. (See more about that in this blog post on my personal creativity blog.)  This week, I am going to do written and visual journal entries exploring those topics and taking a look at how they're manifesting in my life.  I'd like to invite you to join me in this--and you can do this even if you come to this blog post some other time.  It's always a good time to check in and see if your priorities are actually getting enough attention.

See you this weekend for the results!

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This experiment was so much fun!  I've been wanting to try this for quite a while and kept putting it off because I was a little unsure of whether or not I could get a good result from it. Why did I wait?!  So silly.  This was quite enjoyable.  I had a great time picking out some magazine photos to use, and plopping glue and paint down on things is always a good time.

I did make a couple of changes after posting the kick-off for this experiment. I picked up some muslin because I decided the cheesecloth really wouldn't make a sturdy enough backing.  I also swapped some pink tissue paper for the blue because I signed up for an embroidered artist trading card swap at Hand Embroidery Network.  The theme is spring, and I'm doing a color palette with lots of bright pinks and greens.

So, here's layer one of my fabric paper:

I think it's a nice garden theme going on--I want a backing for my above mentioned spring ATC, so I did the whole bit of fabric paper to match that theme.

Here's layer two with the tissue paper added in:

The pink bird in the bottom right corner is a rubber stamped image on tissue paper.  I think that bit of the fabric paper is going to be the backing for my ATC.

And finally, here's the third layer.  I added some sparkly pink paint and a nice, springy green:

You can't really see any of the magazine images through the tissue and paint here, although you can see them a bit in person.  This isn't completely dry yet, so they may be more visible later. Still, I think this was a satisfactory experiment.  I'd really love to try it with some more stamped images.

Let me know if you make some of this or if you have ideas of more fun things to include in fabric paper.

Don't forget to check back Tuesday for the next adventure!

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I am very excited and a bit intimidated by this week's project.  I've been wanting to do this for quite a while, but I keep procrastinating because I'm just really  not sure how it's going to come out.  What is it?  Fabric paper! Fabric, a variety of papers, some glue and ink, and you have paper you can stitch on.  I'm pretty sure that's some sort of heaven!

I'm taking the instructions from this article by Beryl Taylor over at the Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine website.  The article calls for muslin as the backing material, but another article I read called for cheesecloth.  I may try it with both (the photo is showing a piece of cheesecloth I may use).

So, from what I understand, this pile of stuff

is going to turn into something fun and beautiful.  This is just the cloth and a variety of tissue papers.  I'm going to fiddle around with magazine images and some other things to see what I can come up with, but I haven't picked any of those out yet.  You'll just have to wait until the weekend to see what I add in!

Until then, grab some glue and some random bits and join me in the adventure!

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I decided to go with a poem this week since, as I mentioned, April is National Poetry Month.  I used all six of the song titles (mentioned in my earlier post) to make a poem, and then I did an art journal page to frame it with.

I've left some space all around to do some journaling on later if I want to, although I think it looks fine as is, so I don't know if I'll go back to fill it in.

The poem reads:

I’m Looking for My Mind
Somewhere Between Swinging Doors
If I can just find it
Then I’ll know just what to do

I see my fluttering thoughts
Glide by on Silver Wings
Gossamer strands of feeling
Holding Things Together
Waiting for the leap
That will land me In My Next Life

That's it for this experiment.  See you Tuesday to get the next one started--it's going to be really fun!  See you then!

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This year, I got a copy of Jill Badonsky's The Awe-Manac.  It really is awesome! (Couldn't resist that one.)

One of the activities in this magnificent, joyful, whimsical book is called "Title Wave."  She lists titles from a particular artist--songs, paintings, poems, etc.--and then you take the list and run with it (obviously, there's more info in the book on things to do with the activity--you'll just have to read it to find out).  You can pick one title to do a piece from or combine them.  The possibilities are vast!

Today's chosen artist is Merle Haggard, because it's his birthday.  Here's the list of titles from the book:

  • I'm Looking for My Mind
  • Swinging Doors
  • Somewhere Between
  • Silver Wings
  • Holding Things Together
  • In My Next Life

This is not at all the project I had planned to announce this week.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with these titles.  But I read today's Awe-Manac page and knew I had to do *something* with this.  Maybe a poem?  April is National Poetry Month.  Maybe a collage.  Maybe an art journal spread.  It will definitely be something fun--I'm pretty sure anything that takes hold of my imagination and runs with it this way is going to be a great ride.

I hope you'll join in the adventure.  If you don't care for the Merle Haggard titles, go grab your favorite CD and use those titles instead.  I'm pretty sure whatever you use, it's going to be a fun adventure.  Enjoy!

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At the beginning of the week, I thought my visual piece and my written piece for the Toasted Cheese prompt I picked ("an antique ring around a tree root") were not related.  I toyed around with the visual idea I had all week, starting to put together the various bits.  I wrote a few notes for story ideas from the prompt. Then today I sat down to finish the visual piece and write up a page of story, and lo and behold--they are actually part of the same story.  I kind of like it when my muse does things like that.

First, here's a close-up of the visual piece:

I think I'm going to turn this into a beaded embroidery sometime soon.  I think it would be great in that format.

Here are two versions of the full art journal page I did:

You probably can't read any of the words on the page.  The text says:

Marcie stood looking at the ancient ring wrapped around the root of the oak.  The metal gleamed dully, the soft gold stretched and misshapen from the root growing through it.  The ring was worn thin in spots, and small cracks were showing where the tree was pushing harder in its stretch to reach the sky.

"It's cracking," Stephen said as he stepped up beside her.  "It's cracking, and the magic is failing with it."

"I know," Marcie said.  She knelt and brushed a fingertip across the surface of the ring. "I can feel it failing all around us.  But it isn't too late.  Not yet.  If we can find Cassandra, we still have time to save the tree."

Of course this is just a first draft, a freewrite about the prompt.  I am already thinking of things I would do differently in this opening if I decide to turn it into a story.  Still, I'm rather pleased with the idea of a tree that grows magical jewels because it was planted with a magical ring that its roots are growing through.  It could become a story.  We'll see.  Meanwhile, it's at least made a nice page in my art journal.

See you Tuesday with the next experiment!

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Sometimes I get into a groove, and I focus almost obsessively on one of my art types to the exclusion of nearly everything else.  Right now I'm doing a little bit of that, although I don't at all regret the wonderful little spool I just made or any of my other experiments from the past few weeks. Still, I haven't been getting in any writing time outside of blog and newsletter articles.

This made me start thinking about ways to combine my writing and my visual art, and thus this week's experiment was born!

We know that no two artists or writers will produce identical works even using the same starting point--theme, prompt, color scheme, what have you.  But what would the same creative do with one jumping off point and two completely different forms?

I decided to head over to my favorite site for writing prompts, Toasted Cheese, and check out March's offerings.  I picked out my favorite from the month, March 9 ("An antique ring around a tree root").  This week, I'm going to do a written piece and a visual piece from this prompt to see what happens.

A picture of a toasted cheese sandwich, just to hold you over until the experiment results are in.

So, who's going to join me in this?  You can jump in with the same prompt I'm using or choose another.  It doesn't even have to be from Toasted Cheese.  You just have to use the same prompt to create a piece of writing and a piece of visual art.  I'd love to see what you come up with , so drop me a note with your results.  Have fun!

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After a hectic week, I finally got to sit down just this evening and finish my first poetry spool!  I did get my fabric and a few spools painted earlier in the week at least:

And I found these absolutely perfect springy buttons at a bead store I visited yesterday:

Then finally tonight I sat down with a couple of magazines (I didn't happen to have an old book on hand for cutting up) and clipped out words that I liked.  I glued them to my fabric strip and tried to photograph it, but I couldn't get the whole found poem in--I guess I'm a little on the wordy side!  Here's a snippet:

The full poem reads: "Spring blossoms bright and wild a meditation in color and flowers--nature's story in bloom."

So, as you may have noticed, I changed a couple of things.  I painted my fabric rather than using inks to color it; this actually worked out great, and even the fabric I painted with regular acrylic paint came out flexible enough to wrap around the spool.  I also used text from magazines; I had some on hand, and I really liked the varying fonts and colors I was able to find.  And finally, I didn't do any embroidery on the piece, but that was a matter of running short on time rather than not wanting to do it.

So here's the final product, my first spool all wrapped up:

I really enjoyed this project and can see so many types of spools to make.  Christmas ornaments, anyone?  I hope you'll try this one out; it's great fun and very gratifying to have the finished little gem in your hand.  If you do try it, send a picture.  I'd love to see more of these!

I'll be back on Tuesday this week to get started with the next experiment.  See you then!

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