Saturday, January 31, 2009

Filming in Anaheim

This is a shot taken just before my filming session at CHA. I was creating a short segment for Quayside Publishing to promote my books Altered Paper Jewelry and The Cardmaker's Workbook. It was really fun to get all "made-up" and sit in front of the cameras. We managed to do the whole craft in one take which was a good thing since we were running a little behind schedule and I had a line forming downstairs at the main booth for my book signing. A special thanks to those who stopped by my demos, signings, and make and takes. It was truly lovely to meet each and everyone of you. I hope you all had safe trips home with family and friends anxious to see you again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Charlie's Storm Trooper Angels

The Storm troopers continue their presence at the Creative Imaginations Booth.  With a little bit of art Direction from my art director Sonia, things were kept under control.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Security is tight!

Many companies have special parties for their best customers to get a sneak preview of the new products.  Creative Imaginations is no different.  In connection with a new Star Wars license, Storm troopers, Darth Vader, Luke, x-wing pilots and others were on hand to keep the crowd under control.  

You just never know what you'll encounter here at CHA!

What was your most creatively themed party??

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sweet succulants!

Today I'm in southern California on my way to CHA. Had the chance to stop at a great store in Encinitas called Gardenology. I hope to make a wondeful arrangement they had in the store with some dried beans and faux succulants.

How are you inspired by store displays?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obamicon Me is the new Burger Me

Burger Me was a quote from one of my old favorite tv shows, Ed. www.Obamicon.Me is the site you can go to to create one of these very cool Obamesque pictures! Now that is creativity!
I'd love to see what you come up with if you hit this site. You can even easily post it to your facebook page from the site.

Politics and Creativity? Who Knew!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Moving On...

No matter what your political inclination.  I hope you were tuned in to the inaugaration.  My 3rd grader got to go to town hall with her class to witness history in the making.  I sat in the packed living room of a nearby friend with other nearby friends.  

In trying to keep a "creative" twist to this blog let me tell you what I was impressed by...

Michelle Obama brought a gift to Mrs. Bush
Obama chose to speak humbly rather than poetically
The music by John Williams made me whistle and hum (in a good way)
Yo-Yo Ma couldn't surpress his smile
I wish I could pull off that hat like Aretha
I need to make a trip to D.C. with my girls
I loved the convocation of the Black man, the Brown man, and the yellow mellow man.  (I think he is a brave man for introducing laughter into the service but I so appreciated it)
I am humbled by the means in which we, as Americans, participate in a change of power--with awe and dignity.

How were you inspired?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thinking outside the book

CHA is just days away and I'm all packed and ready to go.  I shipped off this demo with Fedex today.  I needed to devise an interesting demo for the Creative Imaginations booth and this is one of the three demos I'll be doing.  This project is so easy I can't wait to share it with the people who stop by while I'm working the demo table.  I really have enjoyed the response I've been getting for the Parts and Parcel line.  

This particular project uses three square Pocket Accordion Folios, a full sheet of cardstock and a couple scraps of cardstock.  It makes a great gift and it can be expanded to fit even more folios.  I loved the challenge of staring at the products on my desk and coming up with a fabulous project that could capture the imagination of the CHA attendees.    

What can you come up with when faced with a challenge?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Rational Idea

Every morning I start with a rational idea. Get the girls off to school. Write a to-do list and start checking things off. Every day this doesn't happen. Don't know why. By noon I'm wishing I'd written that to-do list so that I could see what I've accomplished. This is when I cheat.
This is when I start writing the to-do list that I should have written in the morning. This is when I start writing more things on the list than I would have if I had written it in the morning. Because, in the morning that list would have looked so long that I wouldn't have gotten dressed and would have crawled back into bed.
But no, now that it's noon, I add things like. Take a Shower to the list. And Put Away the Cereal Boxes the Kids Left Out. Put The Soda Cans in the Recycling Bin. Put the Checks I need to Cash in My Purse. Fold the Towels that I've been Ignoring. Drink Water.
This way I can check things off and my long list looks impressive. Especially now that it's half done. Which is good. Even though everything that is still unchecked makes up the entire list that would have existed had I just written the list in the morning, I still feel secure.
Just incase the To-Do List Police do a drop by inspection--I can show progress. Perhaps I'll get off with just a warning.
Do you write a to-do list? Do you do anything creative with it?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here's what I would do...

NPR would go on the radio. If it was cd player or an MP3 I would listen to something sing-along-to-able. I would sit at the chair and I would start sketching. Trying to decide what I want to draw. I would use the colors first that weren't that important so that I wouldn't dull the others. (I didn't say there was a pencil sharpener so I have to hoard the sharpness.)

I would probably practice lettering as much as I would drawing. In college we had to "render" type. Not a very useful skill since computers were all the rage at the time but we weren't allowed to use them. Not a great time to be studying Graphic Design. Anyway, rendering type essentially means to draw your letters. You would do this to sketch a layout. I do still like to sketch layouts but for the most part I do it on the computer. The problem with this is that when you show it to someone they assume you're done--looking at something printed on a printer is so deceiving. But I'm getting side-tracked.
I would probably start sketching Hannah, the girl from the children's book I'm supposed to be illustrating but haven't looked at for about two months. That would make me feel better. It would also make me want to invite Libby (the author of said children's book) now that she is living 3 streets away and not 3 time zones.

I would be very content to color--now I just have to find that room.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Freshly Sharpened Colored Pencils

I just love this picture. I wonder what that says about me. Imagine this. You, empty white room with just a chair and a desk as furniture. Simple design, no extra frills. The sun is streaming in through the windows.
On the desk is a large pencil cup filled with these sharpened pencils and a pad of paper. You don't know it yet but that pad of paper is the most wonderful pad with just the right texture for using colored pencils (yes it does matter!). There is a radio too. (So much for the empty white room eh?) and you can change the station if you want.
What do you do? Tell me. Tomorrow I'll tell you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rebel with out Approval OR Clown Witness Protection Program?

So, I know this doesn't even ship until after March, but I just had to share this page that I completed for CHA.  This is made with my new paper line licensed to Creative Imaginations.  The main line is called Brushstrokes and this sub-line is called Piece of Cake.  I'm supposed to wait to show you until the paper is released so that you don't get all upset that you can't run right out and get it.  But, I am a rebel. 

Now, contrary to popular belief, I don't do a lot of scrapbooking.  But I am an artist.  Give me some creative tools and supplies and I'm going to make something with them.  I try to never "DO" boring.  I have absolutely nothing against scrapbooking, some of my books even covered the topic.  I even worked for one of the best scrapbook designers out there, Anna Griffin.  I just don't have time to do it.  Thankfully, everyonce in a while, I HAVE to do it.  This ensures that my girls will have some record of their childhood.  And, what the heck, it's fun too.  Like taking a big stress relief pill.  Ahhhhhhhhh!

Once I finished this page I realized that the noses and the hats make the party-goers look like they are in disguise--perhaps in the Clown Witness Protection Program.  Do you think they witnessed a Pie-in-the-face and Run?

How do you creatively keep your pictoral memories, are you one of the millions who scrapbook?  Or do you choose digital albums?  Memory art pictures? 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Think Big!

I suppose my need for grandness came from my short stint in the great country of Texas. Yes, it is a country, not a state--I'm sure of it. What you see here is my giant version of my Part & Parcel Six folio album. To get a better sense of scale, the originally sized P&P is there in the middle of the picture and that is just over 12" tall. The big P&P album is a hair over 24" square when closed. This is the project I worked on yesterday to send out to California for CHA. In a room where you could fit, um, a LOT of football fields, having something big enough to see from far away helps.

I have a feeling that when we get this up on the wall it will still look teeny--we shall see. It was fun to engineer. Not only did I have some good math exercises doubling all the measurements, but also some physical exercises trying to put together an album over 4 ft wide when open.
Oh, sure, it was fun but I'm also glad it's done, packed and shipped off. I missed the Fed Ex guy when he picked it up. Would have loved to see his face. The box was 36" x 36"! So if you happen to be going to CHA, make sure you stop by the Creative Imaginations booth and have your picture taken with the 8th wonder of the world!

When was the last time you found yourself in a creative conundrum? Did you try "thinking big"?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Endpapers and Warm hands

So tonight I think I'm going to get my Christmas pressie from my dear friend Karin whom I mention in about 50%+ of my posts. Karin made me a fingerless glove for Christmas. Just one. But let me take you back a moment.

Imagine four good friends tasting homemade cookies (and Turkish Delights from Karin!) and exchanging Christmas presents. We had eeked out just enough time to exchange in our busy holiday schedules. As we handed them out it seemed we all had to "explain" or appologize for something we didn't get just quite right. It was pretty pathetic. Even though every gift was received with statements like..." WOW, no one can top this gift this year!" and "My husband doesn't stand a chance at getting me a gift as wonderful as this!", we still found it necessary to explain. The funniest explanation was my gift from Karin. As I opened it she said, "You will see immediately what is wrong with your gift of fingerless gloves...there is only one!"

Karin, dear, dear Karin, had taken the handmade pledge this year and was stressing me out. I couldn't compete. I saw her knitting all summer and all fall. I felt lowly and humble--until I opened my one glove.

She has now finished my other glove, I know because there is a picture of it on her blog. I wore the lone glove for about a week before giving it back to Karin for a short while. It is an endpaper pattern (see the end papers in the background). And while Karin thinks its fitting for me because she knows I am a paper artist, I find it dear because of the fleur di lis on it which can't help but remind me of Karin, the New Orleans transplant (but original New Englander). I can't help but think of her (and Oppossums) every time I wear them.

Bindi finds the Opposum yarn intriguing and I can't wait to wear them. Just today I was trying to think of what outfit I wanted to pair them with at the Craft and Hobby Association Convention (CHA) at the end of the month.

How Lucky am I!?

How Lucky were you? Did you received any handmade gifts this year. I hope so!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Holiday From the Masons

Well, we managed to get our Holiday Card/Video out early this year. I know, I know, Christmas was weeks ago. But last year we didn't post the card until St. Patricks day! This video is created on Sony Vegas Software which I'm also using for my new website. This made multitasking sense because Matt could show me how easy the software is AND we could finish the card/video. These days its all about being creative with time!

Have you tried creating digital home movies?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My baby's Baby

My little protege is done! Finally. She has been working on this scarf for weeks. She mastered granny squares but begged me over and over again to teach her how to crochet. The problem was figuring out the perfect way to teach her. I'm no crochet pro but I knew I could teach her enough of the basics to get her hooked. Get it? Hooked?
If you've ever done crochet before you already know that the first row, workinginto the starting chain is the most difficult. This is why I had started teaching her granny squares after a failed first attempt at crochet lessons. Granny squares go right from the first chain row to the fun stuff. But Becky was bored, she wanted to MAKE something. I have to say, the first time I showed her how to do a single and double crochet and watched her try it I could tell she would be good at it. She has that hand-eye coordination thing that isn't necessary to crochet but definitely makes it easier.
This scarf was three different rows that are repeated for the entire piece. No, it's not perfect but it is a masterpiece just the same. I'm totally jealous that her wonderful Big Sister received it as a gift. Thankfully she's worth it! I hope Bec considers making me one some day. I should be so lucky.
What creative pastime have you shared with the next generation lately. Pass it on.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Year of the Ox is a perfect year

I received an email from a wonderful local arts and crafts-a-palooza called Whimsy. I was most inspired by a little blurb at the bottom about this year being the year of the ox.

"The Ox year is a conservative year, one of traditions and values. This is not a year to be outrageous. A slow but steady year. This OX year will bring stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off. Take care of business this year, do not let things slide. Famous OX people - Barack Obama, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher. "

I think in these financial times this is just the right year for us. I think its a year to finish what we've started and learn new things. Dream big dreams so that we can be ready when our year of stability is over.

I intend on being more creative than I ever have been this year--not letting things slide.

What are you going to do this year that's both creative and patient?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Life is a game...and so is my jewelry

Does THIS look familiar to you?  If so that means you must have a copy of my latest book, Altered Paper Jewelry.  This is ALSO the project I'll be making at the Quayside (Quarry Books) booth #2552 at CHA.  I'll be there from 10 - 11 on Tuesday, January 27.

The one we'll be making will be a slight variation on this one.  We'll be using a small ivory colored domino and will be mixing Christine Adolph's Felicity line and some of Marah Johnson's Rock star rub-ons, sort of a "love ROCKS!" themed piece.  I also couldn't pass up a necklace component at the big box craft store the other day.  I'm going to dismantel it into many funky shapped jump rings.  You'll get a chance to drill your own domino and decorate it to your hearts content...heart, get it?  Hee hee... I'm so over worked I'm getting slap happy here.  

When is the last time you creatively re-worked something that you've been doing the same way?
Tell me about it?  was it a recipe?  A new way of organizing your closet?  Driving a new route to your favorite theater (My husband has been doing that with the GPS--I think he likes her voice)?  Do tell!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You Make My Heart Sing!

Does this card look familiar?  If so then you must already have a copy of my book The Cardmakers Workbook. This is the card I'll be demoing at my Make and Take at the Quayside (Quarry Books) booth (2552) on Monday, January 26th from 10-11.

We'll be using some of Christine Adolph's fabulous Felicity Line of papers which are made of lovely blossoms and hearts and music.

Stop by for any of my make and takes or the BIG Cha class I'm teaching and make sure you pick up one of my eco friendly bags to lug all your convention goodies.  This year my SWAG is green! (well, really its blue--you know what I mean!)

I'm making this heart shaped card so that the participants who make it are all ready for Valentines Day which happens just a couple weeks after.  
How are you going to creatively plan for Valentines day?
(remind me to tell you about our heart shaped pizza one day!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Question....

Where do you go on line when you want to know how to do something creative (like knitting, crochet, cooking, paper craft, painting, photography, collage, other??)????
Enlighten'll see why in just a few more days?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Love is a...

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Or so says Voltaire.

This is the Make and Take that I've designed for 3M for CHA.  I'll be there teaching this lovely card (booth 2775) on Sunday, January 25th from 9:30-Noon.

This project features 3M's Post-it Craft Papers.  They are super easy to feed through your ink jet printer and stick just like a giant Post-it note.  This means you can use it for envelope seals too.  The blue paper is just the right shade to coordinate with Paper Source's Chocolate Pinking Edged Flat cards.  Yummy, chocolate.  

If you are in the Brookline, MA area on the 25th, stop by the Main Library to see the Big Show, an art show of works from Brookline Artist Open Studios Members.  The party is from 2-4.

How are you planning on creatively spending your January 25th?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Trying something new--just do it!

This year for the holiday season I invited my daughters and their friends to play secret santa.  We ended the week of secret notes, doorbell ringing and running and little trinkets with a dinner at Fire and Ice Grill.  In all the craziness of 6 kids and two adults picking out their food and such Becky was asked to help cook.  Sure, Becky enjoyed the honor of being asked but it also raised the enjoyment factor for the rest of our table as well.  It took me quite a while to pick out the right place to celebrate.  I knew it had to be creative and kid friendly.  I'm so glad I took the time--memories, creatively made.

How do you make time to do the creatively extraordinary?  

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Years Resolve

I resolve to:
Blog more
yell less
use my brushes more
cuddle with the dog more
eat less
find more quality time for the girls
complain less
walk more
get a physical
teach the girls something
cook more
try something new more
Enjoy 2009!

So far so good!

What are you going to do this year?  Be Creative!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I'll SO have what she's having!  This pic is from the movie Yes Man starring Jim Carrey with romantic lead Zooey Deschanel.
The movie was funny, light-hearted, etc.  It was no MILK or Slumdog Millionare but it made for a nice outing.  

But, what I want to really comment on is the character of Renee Allison, played by Ms. Channel.  She has been haunting me for a few days now.  Carrey plays the uptight banker who finds himself happy again after a 3 year old divorce by saying YES to everything and opening himself up to possibilities.  Creative, yes?  One yes leads to another which leads him to meeting Renee and a crazy scooter ride.  They don't exchange numbers but coincidentally meet again later in the story when Carrey embraces the full YES transformation.  Renee is singing in a band (Munchausen by Proxy) which is definitely more performance art than rock band.  We also find out that she teaches a Jogging photography class.  Carrey asks her what else she does..."anything, (pause) that makes me happy.  
Zooey's character definitely mirrors the person that Carrey is becoming, as seen in their wild dates including a trip to wherever the next plane is going which just so happens to be Lincoln Nebraska.  

As I watched the film, I felt inspired to be a little more crazy, to try something new.  Sure, I tell myself I'm always doing this but that is so rarely true.  Hampered by society? Maybe.  More often stuck in a rut.  Perhaps today I will start small and eat dessert first.

How will you challenge the norm today in an effort to find creative happiness?  Pass the cake!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rockin' the Design Scene with Jen

For all you reality TV junkies, you probably already know that Jennifer Bertrand is the winner of HGTV's Design Star Season 3.
For those of you who don't know, Design Star is a wonderful show all about creative challenges. Yes it has a lot of the Reality TV Drama but I love to watch it to see how people work creatively. By becoming the season winner, Jennifer also gets her own TV show on HGTV. It aired today and I just couldn't wait to mention it to you all.

Jen's new show, Paint Over! is for all of you reading this. Jen does a fantastic job explaining things in easy to understand terminology that anyone can understand and her projects are outstanding. I promise that you'll walk away from the first episode with at least one project you'll want to implement in your own home.

While all the designers that participated could have done a wonderful job with their own show (the final three especially!), I'm so thrilled to know that Jennifer is able to share what she knows with the viewing public. This world will definitely be a more beautiful place thanks to her wonderful ideas, happy disposition and over-the-top skills. Bravo Jen!
To learn more about Jen, visit her site.

How are you going to be inspired by someone else today?