Friday, December 27, 2013

Providing Space For Possibility

(this is a simultaneous post on the "8 That Create" blog)

I've been thinking a lot about that lately, providing space for possibility.

Carol here, opening a discussion on how we can open up a space for possibility.

I am smack dab in the middle of a huge purge and reorganization of my home.

It started out innocently enough with me wanting to clean out my studio.
It was cluttered, packed with useless ("I might need that one day") items that are easily accessible.

Why keep all of these things in my studio when I can pick them up locally for a few coins when I need them?
I understand that I need some of them  in front of me for inspiration but I was/am sick to death of a packed, cluttered work space!
When I am in the middle of a project (or two), my work table is always cluttered - but with purpose.
And that type of clutter is easily dealt with after a project is completed.

It's the ever present clutter that haunts me.

I truly believe that it inhibits creativity and restricts inner vision.

In short, it cripples my ability to bring concrete form to my creative voice.

With all of that in mind, I began the arduous task of picking through decades of "precious" items.
Some of them were easy enough to part with. They no longer fit my idea of suitable art supplies (to me anyway), my color preferences changed or I was no longer interested in completing that particular project.

But what I did notice was that the longer I worked at cleaning out my space, the easier it got to toss the items to the "throw away" or "donate" pile.
And, when that happened, I felt that a weight had been lifted off of me. I could really feel my spirits lifting.

I believe that I was opening up space for something new, something fresh in my life.

I didn't want to allow the past, in the form of clutter, to hamper future possibilities.

The action of purging the studio fueled a passion to do the same thing throughout my home.

At the end of the day, the pain that I feel is an odd comfort.
It tells me that I am doing a good thing, that I am putting in the important work it takes to create not only a physical space that invites creativity and inspiration but I am also creating that same space within myself.

I did not plan on this being a New Year's resolution. It just happened to be this time of the year.

If I was one to make resolutions, I'd resolve to continue to simplify my life, my home and attitude.
For they have become much too cluttered.

I hope that you all continue to invite inspiration into your life.
A good place to start is to create a space for it - open yourself up to possibility.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays to you all!

A card from my friend Denise.
I love this hand painted card.
Thank you again Denise.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer

Cancer is a devastating disease that touches all of our lives – there is probably no one out there who hasn't been affected by it in one way or another, either suffering it in one’s own body or having it touch the life of a loved one. My own family has been touched several times by the damned thing.
My oldest sister died from renal cell carcinoma.
My grandmother had breast cancer.
My husband's mother died from breast cancer as well as his grandmother from the same disease.
I have several friends that have waged a ferocious war with cancer. And not all of them won.
Fiber5Kroute400As a fiber artist one of the causes I feel most called to support is Fiberart for a Cause, an initiative founded by fiber artist Virginia Spiegel. So today I would like to invite you all to mark your calendars for January 15, 2014 and join me as I run the Fiber 5K to Fight Cancer. OK, I won’t actually be jogging around a race course. But I will be joining the fun as Fiberart For A Cause’s virtual race kicks off with a goal of donating $5000 directly to the American Cancer Society.
Generous Prize Sponsors for drawings means there will be many winners at the 1K ($1000) mark, 2K ($2000) mark, etc., plus a Grand Prize drawing when we cross the Finish Line.
According to Race Director, Virginia Spiegel, “Fiberart For A Cause likes to have fun while raising money to fight cancer, so, of course, there are going to be more “race” details revealed as January 15 draws closer. 100% of donations are given directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. Fiberart For A Cause has already donated more than $230,000 to the American Cancer Society thanks to the generosity of fiber artists and patrons.”
More information right here.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I've had a bit of a hiatus from the blog, from a busy life and from most anything else.

It all started with a studio/house cleanup/clean out.
I tend to pull everything out, go through it and put back what I am keeping (which was 50% of what I took out).
I also have piles (bags) for donating, boxes for selling and bags of trash.
Lots of paper trash...what in the hell was I going to do with all the paper I was hoarding I mean storing?

Anyway, right in the middle of the project, I got sick.
Sinus infection, bronchitis, fever, aches, blah, blah, blah.
Snot a funny thing, I'll tell you.

I am managing to get a little done everyday, little by little.
And I am so excited by the results!
Simplify, simplify - that is what I looking to do.

In looking back over this year, I've been able to see what I've been doing.
It wasn't too obvious while I was doing it but now that I am looking back on it, I can see what was really going on.
Isn't life just that way?
The power of hindsight.

I have spent a lot of this year resting.
And trying to figure out what I want to do.

What do I mean by "what I want to do"?

I spent years at home, making things, creating art.
I didn't really read a lot of blogs or magazines.

I just did what called to me.

The past 2 or 3 years I've read blogs, magazines and took a couple of online workshops.
As I was cleaning out my studio, I could see that I had created several pieces of other peoples art.
Not mine.
Oh, my hand was in it but some of the images were not mine at all.
(in my own defense, I did not claim that it was my "original" art but inspired by someone else)

But that distressed me.
I do not want to lose my own voice and I feel that the past few months have been very good for me.

The resting, thinking and looking inward.
I think that I will be better equipped to raise my voice this coming year.

Now on to something that I'd like to share.

 I feel so blessed to have a piece of art in Lesley Riley's newest book "Quotes Illustrated"!

This is such a cool book, especially if you love quotes (and art work).
It's full of one of a kind art work that was created just for the quote that it illustrates.

My quote was by Karl Barth.

"Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace."

I used plaster embedded gauze, joint compound, acrylic paint and glazes to create a canvas with a niche. In the niche is a piece of driftwood shaped like a wing.

Seriously, it looks just like a wing. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of driftwood that I have ever found.

I'll explain why I created what I did in response to the above quote.

I felt that the layers of plaster and joint compound were representing the layers that our lives have- the many relationships, the heartaches, the trials that are required for grace to develop in our life.
I scratched marks into the plaster much as living our lives leaves marks on us.
The beauty (or horror) of each mark shows the layer below it.

The wing shaped driftwood could represent that promise of freedom that grace would offer us.

Grab a copy for yourself so you can see all of the creative artwork inside.
Maybe you will also find a quote that sparks your creativity as it did mine.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting To Work

It's no secret that I love rusting fabric, fibers, threads, paper, clothing and most anything that I can get my hands on.
I love the color, the texture and the serendipitous possibility of it all.

I've been selling rusted fabrics and fibers in my Etsy shop for several years now.
I have a stack of beautiful rusted papers that I need to add to the shop...just gotta do it.

I've had an idea for a book for a couple or three years now that involves a series of rusted elements that appear to flow through the pages.

(my friends will roll their eyes because they have heard this over and over)

I have all of the pages completed and in a nice little stack.
The cover materials are in the very same stack, waiting for the creation of a collage.

Just sitting there waiting on me,
the creator,
to create.

Staring at me, taunting me (in a challenging way) every time that I walk into my studio.

Why have I waited to start (or finish) this project that I (so obviously) want to create?

I think (part of) it could be that I fear my romanticized idea of the book will not match the book that I actually create.

The book is so beautiful in my mind but I may not be able to match it in reality.

Do you ever feel that way?

I think that a lot of artists do.

And I feel that the answer to that fear is to get into the studio and create.
And keep creating and making until I am satisfied with the end result.


With that in mind, I did begin the cover this past week.

Of course it is taking on a life of its own...
A lot of "what if I do this?" "Or what about that?"
or "Hey, wouldn't this be great!?"

Most importantly, I have started.

What do you have in your studio or your life that you want to create (or do) (or see)?

If there a project that pulls at you, then you need to focus your attention on it, allow it to come to fruition.

And I think that right now is a great time to do just that.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Inspiration is all around us.
This is a tiny slice of what I found outside of my home - on the patio railing.

Some of these look kind of like snowflakes!