Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Eye Candy

April 27, 2012

It was brought to my attention that I have never shown a picture of all the rocks so here goes. There they are I took the picture a week ago and life has been so busy I am just able to get it up now. I hope you enjoy them and may even consider making them in clay or just writing on them to give you inspiration. I know they help me out when I grab a handful.


Matchbox Swap Giveaway

March 25, 2012

My family god bless them are so helpful with my art journey. They have put up with me roaming the isles at stores and finding something that usually is made for something else that I am going to use with my clay pieces. They have put up with me throwing clay under their bum to warm it up while they are lazing on the couch. They have helped me with design and color schemes and are always there to give me their honest opinion on my creations.

I was not ready however for the reaction to my latest creation from my son.

‘Whadda ya think Fouad?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes I want to know what do you think of this it is part of my new spring collection.”

“Mom do not take this the wrong way but in all of the years with all the things you have brought to me this is the worst thing ever.”


“I am telling you that it is the worst thing ever!”

“Let me go change my shirt” ……… running, changing, and coming back to ask again……”So whadda ya think?”

“What part of that is the worst thing ever do you not understand? You can change your shirt all you want that will not help it is the design that is wrong. Colors are good but the whole design is wrong. What is this sticking out? Mom you need to go back and try again.”

“Where is my phone I am going to text dad and ask him?”

“Go right ahead text him he will tell you the same thing I did.”

“I know I will wear it to work tomorrow and ask them they will tell me.”

“Mom if they are your real friends they will tell you it is ugly……if not then they will say they like it and be lying.”

Flash to the next work day when I wore it to work and got the honest opinions. Thumbs down 100%.


I know I told you there would be a giveaway this week and there is YEA.

To enter for MY matchbox swap giveaway just leave a comment about one of your experiences when you asked someone for advice on your art and they gave it to you no holes barred. This piece will be unveiled next week when the winner is announced as I am still waiting for an overseas participant to get their swap box. We want it to be a surprise. You do not have to have a negative experience to win any memory will be fine.

With our designs we struggle sometimes creating what we think is wearable art. I still like what I made and think it looks great with my hot pink shirt but ya just never know.

Life Stinks (sometimes)

January 18, 2012

Did you ever have one of those phases in life when you just got punched in the tummy or kicked in the butt?

It happens to the best of us heck this is life. What I want to know is how do you survive artistically while in the middle of it all?

I have no answers for you here I am seeking advice from you my art friends.

I mean when life throws something at you that you for a while see no good way out of how in the heck do you even feel like you want to be in the studio? How do you bring yourself to create? I can not even make it to the table as clean as it is now (yes it is still clean YEA!).

I got some new toys in the mail today and am hoping that is what I NEED to get going. They are the die sets for the book Relief Beyond Belief which I think will be a new interesting thing to try. Also looming are two swaps I am in and boy those puppies are due quick well quick for someone who has not even been at the table for a few weeks.

Dang I better get cracken! There is some inspiration for you deadlines :).

The Year in Review

January 1, 2012

This last year was one full of growth for me both personally and professionally. It started with me still being on cloud 9 from the December Polymer Cafe article.

There were three swaps this year.

Rock Purse

Colorful Ocean Creatures

Mini Food

pics up in a week or so

The swaps are such a wonderful learning experience and I am so proud of all the participants and blessed to have found this group. I am not sure exactly why I am so blessed to be the proud Swap Ma Ma but I am loving every minute of it. Next swap just opened you should check it out.

This year I made the switch to Kato. It took forever for me to commit to the change and wouldn’t you know it as soon as I do it they change their formula and it is much softer now. The jury is still out on this one but I hope to continue with my commitment to use 100% Kato. I like the way it holds the details while making canes which is my first love. I also like the way it feels ONCE conditioned.

This year I focused on learning new techniques. I had a flower phase…..

and a wonderful opportunity to take a Carol Simmons class. The Carol Simmons class was defiantly my most favorite part of the year clay wise.

I am so blessed to have had the year I did. I learned new techniques, made new friends, and am finding it easier to call myself an artist.

This new year I hope to continue to count my blessings and focus more on my art. Good health is the most important blessing because without that nothing is possible. I hope to lose a few pounds this year (don’t we all?). I also hope to be able to retire from my 9-5 and focus on my art   24-7. No date set yet but I am hoping for sometime this summer.

Finally in the new year I hope to have our summer home finished or very near completion. My studio will be located on the top floor with mountaintop views. This year will be about gathering the necessary supplies to open the new studio.

My first project is already in mind. It will be a housewarming gift to myself and it is a OOAK chess set for the upstairs sitting room and should take a loooonnnnnnggggg time to complete but once done will be a masterpiece I am sure.

With this new year  upon us I wish all of you nothing but the best with your art and life. Remember you are your worst enemy and road block. When you get in your own way with self-doubt it hinders you as an artist. Whatever you want to do………….


Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts

October 18, 2011

I am not sure where to start about the wonderful week, as it was every clay girl’s dream. Maureen has created  a wonderful place where everyone can feel free to let their muse out to play and get inspired.

Jordan is a small town with wonderful charm that was like a little piece of heaven on earth. I was surprised to find that the largest candy store in Minnesota is located not far from the school and that was one of our field trips. Here  one could find every childhood candy and some that were not favorites. I was surprised to find that my son liked Abazabas (sp) which was the candy Carol requested that I bring back for her. I of course brought a weird candy for hubby Sour Cream flavored crickets.

The workroom is where all the action is and there is ample space for creativity and classes of any kind. Here is my workspace on the first day before I got to mess it all up.

There are rooms and beds for sleeping upstairs with two kitchens as well. There is a wonderful little river behind the school and on my many smoke breaks  I went to the water and felt such a peach come over me it was usually just what I needed to give me the power to go back to the work room and finish my task for the day.

I was blessed to be with a great group of ladies and we shared so much of our lives with each other. I can only hope to meet up with them again someday somehow in the future. Maureen has created an environment where everyone can feel that they are safe which as an artist is sometimes hard to do. We create our art and put it out there for the world to judge and sometimes that can be such a feared experience we never even do it.

I was amazed at how we helped each other willingly with our colors and blends and what we loved or did not like about each others work. Even if someone did not like something about what I had created I knew they were speaking to me with love and I took their opinion seriously and it really helped me to see my creation with eyes that were not my own.

We were allowed to work as early or late as we wanted to usually crawling into bed after a 12 hour day tired physically but not mentally. Maureen did not take the class but she was able to go with us on several outings and checked in on us regularly throughout the process. She would give us such positive feedback on what we were creating we just wanted to go on and on and on.

My only regret was that I put blinders on the first few days and would not let myself look at her store as I walked through it to go to bed. By day 3 it was cane focus 100% and I still would not allow myself to get distracted by her store and wonderful creations. The last day was so crazy trying to finish and then pack I did not have time to get a picture of her work table which is one the things I love to do. Looking at others work tables and creative spaces is a love of mine that I will make sure I do NEXT TIME I am able to go back to her center. How I missed this opportunity I will never understand or forgive myself for as I want to show my support to other artists and I only bought three packs of clay from her. Again next time I will make sure I spend some time in her store!

There was so much laughter, deep thought and artistic motivation at Maureen Carlson’s Center For Creative Arts I really hope that you are able to be a part of that special place once in your lifetime. Even more I hope that I am blessed enough to be able to visit again one day.

I took this rock (I have a rock collection with rocks from all over the world) and to me it symbolizes the week at Maureen’s. It is nice and smooth and almost round like we were as a group. It is almost perfect and I think that is our group. Very tight, giving, loving, and almost perfect in our creations.

Helping Hands

September 18, 2011

Funny I never looked at hands the way I have this week ever in my life. That is because I am sculpting them. Not very good mind you but I am trying which is something I never planned on doing. Bleeping hands.

My decision was to have them holding something to disguise how bad they really look. Still I would find myself pretend holding stuff up so I could make sure the thumbs were the right way. This  lead to looks from family while walking by and looking at me with my hands up or laughing at myself while hands were pretend holding something.

When was the last time you laughed at yourself while creating art?

Try it you may like it.


Studio Ideas

September 7, 2011

It is with the hopes of a new studio looking out over the mountaintops that I came across Libby Mills’ website with a section devoted to artists and their creative spaces.

I can only hope you may find some inspiration in them. What I really liked is there were some really small spaces so that gives us all the confidence we can create our own space that works well with our needs.

The best tips I came up with are to make sure everything has a place and you put whatever it is you are using back in it. Label, label, and label some more!



Slow Clay Week

August 29, 2011

This week for us in the Northeast it has all been about hurricane preparedness. Everyone went crazy at the stores buying what they thought they would need and got ready to batten down the hatches for a monumental storm. In our house that meant bringing in the Gardenias. I walk by them every day and I never really notices how large the leaves were on this one.

It was almost dead last year and somehow this guy brought it back to better than perfect health.

How often do you feel almost dead with your creations? You feel like nothing new can come from your hands or what does is not good enough. What is it that inspires you as an artist to create things or go places you have never gone before? What makes you grow?

For me one of the great motivating things I have participated in the last couple of years are the swaps at City O Clay. This time it is Colorful Ocean Creatures and for a while I was stumped at what to make. Last week I finally got some inspiration and am running with it!

Of course it is all top-secret until the swap is over but I think my entry if I can perfect it will be a great contribution.

What have you done that has challenged your art?

Or even better what will you do to let your art grow off the charts the way hubby’s gardenia has.


Tin Swap Pics

August 14, 2011

I am finally able to share with you the participants for the tin swap 2011. We have such a group of talented artists who really made this swap fun. I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you would like to join in on the fun the next swap has already started it is colorful ocean creatures.


Again I want to thank all the participants. Without you I would have nothing to sort and send. Thank you for all the hard work, time and determination you have proven to complete this task. Great job!


Creativity Project

August 9, 2011

Facebook brought to me this week a wonderful opportunity and I had to play along and pass this one on to you guys who may have not seen this yet. She asks you to participate in her creativity project.

Ronna Sarvas Weltman!/ronnasarvasweltman

Ronna was inspired by Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way and she highly recommends reading it.

She asks of you let her know how it worked. I am letting her know and I want you to consider committing and responding to her as well. She wants details? Okay details it is. This is going to be a long one I can feel it. You may want to go get a beverage and a snack if you plan on reading the whole thing lol. Please do enjoy some of her designs throughout the article.

I want you to stop reading if you think you want to commit to this exercise. I do not want my opinions to make you treat this exercise differently because of my views. My blog will still be here next week when you complete your journey and then we can share together.


So I went to the beginning of the creativity project after my five days of exercises and extra credit and began reading to try to answer any questions that she may have for me the guinea pig. I also gave a brief summary of the day’s exercise and what I felt that day I had accomplished.

I know that she is doing this to help us move the cobwebs and get at creativity. It can and will show on the pages if I am committed to this project.

If you take journaling seriously this is a great tool to get creativity flowing. I think that is why I have grown so much in the last year focusing and committing to this blog almost every week. I did my journaling at night because there is no way it was happening at my house in the morning. I have to be at work by 8:30 and I have a son who is 15 and does not want to go to camp. He fights me each and every morning all morning until we get to the bus stop. To top it off I am not, have never been or probably ever will  be a morning person. So every day after work either right before or right after dinner I sat to do my journaling. There was one day I missed (life stepped in the way) but was able to make it up the next day leaving me one day behind in the project. In my eyes it is okay I completed the task and had an okay time doing it.

One of the things I truly loved was that she shared from her journal the day before. She showed me and others that it did not have to be about my art it could be life, dinner, dirty dishes whatever was on my mind at the moment. I wonder how long she has been journaling for and how committed she finds herself with the task? I also wonder how she feels when she misses a day and how she gets herself back on the journaling wagon? Sometimes no matter how we plan things happen and we just can not keep to our daily routine.

Here are the daily journaling recaps.

Day 1 Here is what I want….

I really do not want much I found. I want my son to be a healthy, happily married, adult and father. I want world peace ( I know I know it will never happen). I also want hubby home because I miss him. He can leave the clothes on the floor and for a few weeks I will be happy he is home to do it. Then I will get over it and it will start annoying me that he can never pick up after himself. Most of the other writing is me getting off track for art but not that way for this exercise. I learned I am my worst enemy and my biggest obstacle is me but hey I already knew that from the Art & Fear focus.

Day 2 Today I need to…..

I need to clean more, cook more, be calmer and I feel I need to make sacrifices to get where I want to be with my art. I am not sure what they are but I know I need to do it to be successful. The really funny one I wrote was one telling myself I need to stop being so excited. I had some wonderful news that day so I was on cloud nine and very very positive. I also noted I need to devote time every day to art or creating even if it was just touching clay to condition it.

Day 3 Aug 3 2011

I swear there was a prompt for day 3 but for the life of me I could not find it. The only thing on the top of my page was the date (which I sure hope was the right date) so I gave up looking I am sure it was right there but I could not see it. So I settled on this

Short Line Or Long One??

I have a super short line to hubby coming home (gone since June 26th)he will be here next week. I have a short line to the clay swap mailing that will be Friday morning. And then I started focusing on the project from Ronnas side and what she could gain from this. As I see it she has a lot to gain. Just the satisfaction from helping one person gives you the juice you need to go for a long time. Positive feedback just makes you want to create more and go further.

As the writee if I do not commit to this daily journaling I will get nothing from this exercise. Well I will get something but the reward will be greater if I journal daily. Focus! Final sentence for the day is “See I am focusing this is cool”.

Day 4 You can not create if you are afraid of making mistakes

I thought it very funny that I kept to clay this day guess I did not feel like having a life moment. Many many mistakes but I also listed some of my favorite pieces and one of my favorite quotes “Your style comes from your mistakes”. As artists to learn a particular technique we must try to replicate other artists in some way but our style comes from us making mistakes along the journey. Made a lot of mistakes and had some wonderful stylish moments with them as well.

Day 5 My constraints/freedoms/new path

Day five went the way I guess it was supposto that day in my life. I thought I knew what the answers were. I had it all planned out retiring next year at 44 giving me time to focus on my art and craft. One phone call from hubby before I left to work changed everything. Now I face working from two studios in two different countries. What time I thought I would have to focus has now just turned into something else as life often does. I am not sure what exactly the new obstacles are that are standing in my way but I got to tell you I am just going to knock em all down!

The more risk you take the more satisfaction you will get in the end. This experiment is a risk. Was I disappointed? Not really. I did question how the exercises would be able to help the average Joe. In preparing for the post I re read carefully what she is doing and realized that this would be like a warm up for a day focused creativity. I think this is a great way to start the day.

Too rigid? Not enough structure? If you look at how this will be used with day long focus on creativity I think this part is a great way to focus on the craft, life, loosing weight etc. Either way if it is life they are writing about they are moving the clutter so they can focus on art. If focused on art then you gain by knowing what your next steps are, ideas, what you want to do and where you want to go. You just kind of work through it while journaling. Or for that day maybe you focus on that 10 pounds you want to lose.

I now realize that is why she wanted this done first thing in the morning. She wants to make sure the average Joe can think like this in the morning, and I can just imagine the effect it can have on the rest of your day. She wants us to write. Some people write some do not. For me this was an easy task I love to write. I can not imagine if I had a writing fear how hard this exercise could have been for me. How blocked would I have been by the fear to write? In order for this to be successful you need people who are positive, motivated, and not unwilling to change. This is not to say that someone can not be motivated to change by your exercises but they have to be willing to go there in the first place. I did not really have any expectations going into this. I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to learn something that may help me next year when I retire. Something that would help me to better focus on my art. I really think that daily journaling can be nothing but positive and wish that is something I could commit to. Honestly right now in my life it is all I can do to make sure I continue to update my blog weekly.

She asks us what have we learned? I think she already knows how this works on teens and as long as she has willing adults she will get feedback from those she has helped. She will be able to change someones life. It may come in the form of an e-mail months down the road from a sender who she does not remember personally because it was a large group, but she will change someones life if she continues down this path I can feel it in my bones!

I think the hardest part of being creative is finding and committing to the time you need each and every day. Whether it is journaling or time in the studio each and every day.

She says that “It is a comfort because there is nothing more reassuring to me than realizing my own wisdom” she also says “Living your life that is your act of creativity”.