Posts tagged ‘Creativity’

November 4, 2012

The Yellow House

Back in 1997 when I took my first college art class, my professor told me my drawing marks reminded her of Vincent Van Gogh.  I didn’t know the artist that well except for his painting of Starry Night.  I got a book of the letters he wrote to his brother Theo and read the whole thing for an art history class.  In 2001 I was able to see the painting at the MoMA on a trip to NYC with Di.  Many years have passed and my painting and drawing style have changed but Van Gogh’s yellow house in Arles was always on my mind.

After many years of saving, I was finally able to build my own little yellow house.  It’s out in the back yard, next the the prayer garden.  When I sit in my rocking chair, I can see the sun setting behind the gandures bushes in the evenings.  It’s such a relaxing place.

Of course if you like to create, don’t wait until you can have a studio.  Many times I have had to improvise and use a corner of a bedroom or the garage.  But do create a space of your own.  Decorate it with things that make you smile.  Make sure you take time to sit and relax in it everyday.  Make time to daydream…

January 25, 2012

Time Travel

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to travel back in time thanks to the Alafia River Rendezvous in Homeland, Florida.  The event is a pre 1840 representation of how fur trappers would gather once a year to trade.  This event is hosted annually by the Florida Frontiersmen.
Break time

For those of us who like period costumes, handmade crafts and the simplicity of days past, this is an event not to miss.  Be prepared to dress for the weather.  Closed shoes are a must.  The ground doesn’t have a lot of grass this time of the year and it can get pretty dirty.  I suggest sneakers as the camp is large and you will do a lot of walking.  I spent 2 hours at the site and didn’t even see half of the exhibit.  This year the weather was perfect and the skies provided a beautiful backdrop for pictures.
Trade area

When you first arrive, you are greated with folk music and then you realize you have just stepped into the 19th century.

Horse patrol

There is a market where you can eat buffalo burgers, elk chili and brunswick stew.  Artisans show their work and some even give demonstrations.


Here is the camp’s seamstress.  She’s known as the go to person for “time period” fashion advice.  Her shop has something for everyone.


Seamstress Shop

This is Laura Sylvester, a retired teacher from Kentucky who turned her love of history and textiles into lovely hand printed fabric.

Textile Artist

The fiber shop offered many yarns, threads and free weaving demonstrations.


I can’t wait for next year’s rendezvous. Now I know better to get there early so I have enough time to see all the sites. Who knows, maybe I’ll have my own period costume and can fit in with the crowd :)


December 14, 2011

Painted Glass Ornaments

OrnamentsAfter having a wonderful birthday filled with warm wishes from friends and family; it’s now time to put up Christmas decorations.  This year I’ve seen lots of pictures of friends homes and their lovely trees.  Not to mention the trees in the stores and especially our town bank.  So perfectly designed from the garland to the bows on the gifts under the tree.

My tree is not the most modern or coordinated in the world.  It’s a mix up of ornaments that DH and I feel brings back memories of our childhood.  There are also some homemade ornaments made in the past by me or Di.  So when we pull them out of their box and play music in the background, for a couple of hours we are transported to good times in the past and at the same time we create more good memories in the present time for the future.  It’s good to have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

For this project you will need:

* Clear glass ornaments with removable tops

* Paper cups

* Rubbing alcohol

* Pearl or glitter acrylic paint (I used Plaid Folk Art paints)

* Enamel acrylic paint (I used Plaid Folk Art enamel paints)

* Paint brushes


1. Remove cap and pour about a tablespoon of pearl or glitter paint inside of the ornament.  Slowly swirl the ornament until all of the inside surface is covered with paint.  Turn the ornament upside down into the paper cup and let the excess drip (I usually leave it for a week just to be sure).

2. Rub the outside of the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove oils and residue from handling.  Paint your chosen design with the enamel paint on the outside of the ornament. I’m sure stencils would work well also.  Let the ornament air dry for a couple of days.  It takes 21 days for it to dry to a permanent finish but if you’re sure no one will touch the ornaments while hanging on the tree, you should be able to display them 1 week after painting the outside.

So here is my question for you: With all the sights and sounds of the holiday season at home and in the community; which ones bring back memories of your childhood?

Linking to Transformation ThursdayEverybody’s Creative Endeavor and Inspiration Friday.

October 30, 2011


Confessions… you hear them all the time on talk shows.  People are interviewed while sitting on a couch, spilling out their guts and shaking out their dirty laundry.  And we love to watch. Why?  Why do we stare and can’t keep our eyes from looking?  Maybe it’s because we are curious, nosy, or judgmental?

Washed CottonI think we watch because we can relate, even if it’s a character trait that is secretly held close to our chest like a royal flush at a high stakes poker game.  The reality is that we are all flawed.  Regardless of how famous you are, how much money you make or where you come from; we are all imperfect.

With that said, this week I couldn’t stop reading the posts from Marianne at the Songbird blog.  She bravely flung out her procrastination for all to see and in the process she dealt with her long list of forgotten tasks with abandon. I watched (and continue to watch) in awe of her sudden bursts of energy.  But something awesome happened to me also.  I got a boost of energy and started to go down my list of unfinished projects: completing the transfer of my blog from blogger to wordpress, creating a new logo for the new blog, completing the blog makeover, making a new avatar for the blog Facebook fan page, making a new background for the Twitter page.  The list goes on and on.  When DH saw that all my tasks were getting  done, he got a burst of energy and started working on his Honey Do List.

The confessor speaks to unload their burden.  There is relief in sharing hidden truths and a sense of accomplishment after taming an unwanted flaw.  But unaware to the confessor there is a byproduct of this action. People’s success is contagious and we use their positive energy to feed our own batteries to move forward.   Knowing that we are not alone makes it easier to deal with ourselves.

Don’t worry.  I’m not going to ask you to confess for this post.  I do want to know who are the bloggers you relate to?  Who makes you feel like you’re not alone?

Linking to Songbird”s Saturday Linky Party.

November 28, 2010

The Season of Thanks

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Just like every year, I’m concentrating my thoughts and time towards my family and home during the holidays. So blogging just has to go to the back burner. It doesn’t make any sense to blog about things you can do for your home if you’re not participating in the moment with your family. Being present when they need you the most is necessary to maintain a family. Pretty crafts and tasty dishes do not mean a thing without them.

This week I received a lovely package from my co-workers up in Massachusetts. It was a cute soup bowl with a snow theme and filled with little chocolates. Simple you might think… but you don’t know the story behind it. Every year during this busy holiday time, we would type and assemble literature for Open Enrollment for the employees. After that we would pack and hit the road for a couple of days. This workload was on top of our regular workload making it a very stressful time. Our solution was simple…have a little piece of chocolate, smile and drive on.

Why is this present so important this year? I won’t be able to help the HR team this year. I have to take time off to help my sister who is ill. I’m sure they can hear my concern over the phone even though the words never pass thru my lips. So the package is a great reminder to have a chocolate and drive on. Things will always work out in the end.

Small gestures always move me and in response I made the team a small gift for each of them.

  • Folk Art Paint – Baby Pink & Light Peony
  • Follk Art Glitter Paint – Silver
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • 6” x8” canvas panel
  • Gel Medium
  • Folk Art Floating Medium
  • Spray adhesive
  • Silver wire ribbon
  • Words or phrases printed with a laser printer
  • Hot Glue gun

1. Cover the canvas with 2 coats of Baby Pink. Let it dry.

2. Double load a flat brush with Light Peony paint and Floating Medium. Paint around all the edges with the floating medium towards the inside of the painting surface. Let it dry.

3. Cut a 3” square of scrapbook paper. Cut another piece ¾” x 3 1/4” rectangle from another piece of scrapbook paper. Attach to the canvas with gel medium and let it dry.

4. Tap the top portion of the canvas randomly with silver glitter paint. Let dry.

5. Cover the entire canvas with a very thin coat of floating medium. Let dry.

6. Cut the silver ribbon and make a small bow. Attach with the hot glue gun.

7. Cut the words to be used. Spray the backside with spray adhesive and place on the canvas. Let dry.

Tips: Other color combos I used: Jamaican Sea/Calypso Sky and Lime Yellow/Yellow Citron. Play with the size of the words and the fonts. Make sure you use laser printed text so it doesn’t smear with the moist adhesive.  If you’re bow challenged like me, wire ribbon is a must