G is for: Grateful

 

Close-Up Bead Soup Challenge 2014The Bead Soup Challenge is underway for me at Club Creative Studio. I have received my beads and I am grateful that I can finally start my creative journey.

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The bead soup challenge allows those paired up to exchange a stash of beads that are challenging and inspire creativity, then they share their final creations online, in their blogs, and on Pinterest to name a few platforms.

This year, I assigned myself on the list as a “seed bead” artist, which was a new category.  I also was granted by special permission, a second “Bead Angel” whom shared a variety of great beads. I got both boxes in the mail recently.

Bead Batch from: Robin Reed Artistry Hand Crafted Bead Designs.

My Cup Reith Over!

Here is a generous and inspirational portion of beads shared by Robin.
Here is a generous and inspirational portion of beads shared by Robin.

This bead soup mixture contained focal beads, seed beads, crystals, glass beads, clasps and even buttons! There is NO QUESTION that I am inspired and eager to start creating from this creative bead batch. I follow Robin Kae Reed’s blog at http://www.willowdragon.blogspot.com at Artistry Handcrafted Bead Designs

I love this color palette.
I love this color palette.

Robin also included several bags of green tea- that is a wonderful surprise!

This year I am certainly experiencing a challenge with this bead soup event. I have found a way that works for me to use mismatched beads and elements and I hope that the projects I have in mind show my creative side, and growth as well as an artist.

I have certainly grown to appreciate my strengths to create with what is in front of me at any given point in time. I am grateful that I can create from shared elements.

Bead Batch From: Tami Norris

This is a mixed media bead soup.
This is a mixed media bead soup.

Tami shared wooden hair sticks (which I have never made before), plastic beads, faux pastel pearl beads, some hand-made resin dome cabochons, cream satin ribbon, seed beads, miscellaneous and irregular glass beads, metal florals, and a clasp.

I have chosen select elements from this batch and I am pleasantly surprised at what has evolved! This challenge has given me added confidence in my skills to develop art that is truly unique stemming from resources that are uncommon to me in normal use.

Stop by the additional blogs which will follow this blog post, highlighting the progress made in these two specific bead challenges. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tools- Celebrate the Letter T

Are you a creative that values your tools and supplies? Of course you are!

One of the comments made to this post sparked me to edit this story with an illustration of how important tools are to artists. Growing up, my mother was a seamstress. She valued/guarded those scissors of hers like I do my chocolate. She had a note attached to a long elastic string tied onto them that attached to the side of her sewing machine that warned us not to take or use them. She was serious. NO ONE MESSED WITH HER TOOLS.

I’ll be teaching an introductory earring making class soon and basic tools in good working order are “must-have” items.  Today, I celebrate the letter “T” which stands for tools.002

I care for my tools because I have invested money in them and use them everyday. I replace tools when I need to from wear and tear use because a dull or broken tool is not useful or productive. I found that out the hard way. When a tool is no longer sharp for cutting for example, it takes longer to stress it to do so, and that is a waste of time, effort and energy. It’s better to have a tool that is doing what it is meant to do: work with ease.

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Comfort is also a factor in deciding if my tools are too worn to keep or not. If the handle cushions are worn, it is more than likely going to be a tool that can hurt me. Padding it with tape is not the answer because the feel of the tool in your hand changes at that point.

Loose or broken springs make your tools ineffective, and the quality of your work lessens when a tool mars the surface. Sometimes my tools rust. There may be several reasons why that happens but, it is far more inexpensive to take proper storage precautions than to constantly replace a discolored tool from lack of care.

As a note about Club Creative Studio tools: some are traditional tools that are made for a specific task. Some items I utilize as helpful tools are to be considered non-traditional.  It is the out-of-the-ordinary, household items that make the best working aids.  In the above photograph, can you identify the tool located on the far left?

That item is from the board game Scrabble®. The wooden tray (as pictured) that holds the individual letters is a perfect measuring tool.  The length of that tray/shelf is the average length to create a bracelet. So, without measuring with a ruler, a set length can be determined and the beads can align on the shelf lip from tip to tip before the stringing and construction is started. It’s a great lay-out place and can be left easily in a start or stop point.

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I have been told that nothing is safe around here and I could potentially turn almost any household item into an effective tool for the art studio. With that being said, SHHHHH don’t tell anyone that I have our bread cutting board, cookie cutters, spice shaker containers, pasta machine, toaster oven, mini food processor and much, more dedicated to clay now. I say: a tool is valuable if it is useful, no matter where it’s origins.

If you are a craft/art person do you have any strange non-traditional tools that make your creative job easier? Let us know about your creative art tool box content. You may spark others to use the same ideas.

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Ruber Band Art- Celebrate the Letter R

Low cost art ideas are always a welcomed project to try for may reasons. Forget about it not being a huge investment in funds to produce.  The real thrill comes from making something out of the unusual and unexpected, creating something recycled or up-cycled. Excitement comes from using materials that are ordinary and easily found around the home as well.

As we celebrate the letter “R” I recall a Rubber Band project that is close to my heart.

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My daughter and I used our small crochet hooks to connect mini rubber bands and colored hair ties to form bracelets. It was a great bonding project and we spent hours upon hours creating piles and piles of bracelets which she shared with her high school friends.  Now, from time to time she makes them for her college pals too.

I guess there is something endearing about an item that is recycled, up-cycled or made from an inexpensive supply.  Low cost supplies are a favorite to explore and stretch creativity in any limits especially when saving money is al

Do you have a favorite art project that is made from a common household item and is low-cost at the same time? Let us know what you like to create while saving money.

Please visit this blog again for great ideas that fit into this category.

 

 

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Pretty Please, Pick Me- Celebrate the Letter P

Image source from Facebook
Image source from Facebook

Let’s celebrate the letter “P” in this post today as we muddle through the tongue twister title: Pretty Please Pick Me.

Let’s face it, there are many times during the day that we raise our hand in service to others. Pretty please, pick me…I’ll do that task, project, volunteer job, etc. It’s all good…sometimes…

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In all my days of creating custom jewelry, I have rarely declined a challenge to create an item. I can probably count the times that I have willingly passed on a custom request on one hand. One request that came across my path and comes to mind to share from a few years ago was a request for a glass project.

A person wanted to know if I would create a glass visor for them. You know, the kind that you wear on your head to protect you from the sun.  It also had the need to be shipped across the country.

Item: Agusta Sportswear visor
Item: Agusta Sportswear visor

Using my best judgment, I declined the job and passed on that challenge. I did not even have a suggestion to this person as to where they might inquire next for their service needs. For several reasons, the project was a huge risk in my mind and simply put, it sounded really stressful to attempt, let alone accomplish, no matter who the professional artist was.

My Red Light Warnings: 

1. I was not even sure it could be a functional item since it was going to be very fragile and heavy.

2. The technique to even consider creating a visor would be something that I am not equipped to do. Using a large ceramic kiln or even a glass blower’s fire kiln came to mind as a source for consideration to even heat, smelt or configure such an item. I had no idea how much time this project would have demanded.

3. It was going to be such a risk to mail an object like that. The insurance alone would be horrific in cost. I would be on edge from the minute it was created to the second it was to be delivered.

When sharing your creativity professionally, it is so important not to get over your head in tasks.  It is so helpful to know your own work ethic, so that you can manage time.  When fulfilling your delivery promises, it is important to be consistent and make sure you are satisfying the needs you are obligated to. And lastly, it only makes sense that you tackle the projects that will be worthy of your talents.

As Club Creative Studio strives to always place their best work forward, I humbly bow down when a project is not appealing for me to create a wonderful end product. Are you an artist that may have taken on such a challenge as my glass visor request? If so, I wish I would have saved the name of the person commissioning the visor art. 🙂 AND, I would have loved to see your final results.

Do you have a story to share about a custom request that an artist denied or are you a creative person that had to say “no” to a task too difficult, strange, or too costly in time or materials to make? Please feel free to share your experience.

 

 

 

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Feature Friday-Inspired by Wood

Club Creative Studio: Petrovich-Cheney art

Club Creative Studio’s Feature Friday blog post: Inspired by wood.

Club Creative Studio Feature Friday: LPetrovich-CheneyWelcome to Club Creative Studio’s Feature Friday post.  This week, I was inspired by wood. The Asbury Park, New Jersey Artist: Laura Petrovich-Cheney creates in mixed media and her work is part of a solo series at the Abington Art Center.

I can appreciate her love of texture and creations from found wood items. Gathering her art supplies from her daily walks and traveling adventures, Laura uses reclaimed wood pieces in a creative quilt-like way.  Making small alterations to the wood she adds depth.  You may find wood intentionally burned, impressed, sawed, pierced, or hacked not to mention processes such as casting or cleaving.

I immediately thought of the “crazy quilt” pattern when I first laid eyes on the irregular grid organized wood scraps.  Her raised surfaces put dimension to that same material quality of a hand-made quilt. The recent tragic weather activity on the east coast has washed up interesting wood scrap treasures for Laura to consider in her art creations.  So, if you are venturing out along the coastline for a walk, you may find this MFA holder in Studio Art, MS in Fashion Art, and BA in Fine Arts artist walking along side you.  She will be the one gathering interesting scraps of found wood.

It seems upon looking closely to her art, she combines wood pieces from random finds and original objects. I was inspired to create future beads with similar random patterns and color combinations. Do you see the square with brown, sky blue and pumpkin orange colors in the first photo for example?  I’d love to replicate that feeling in a few beads.  Stay tuned as I attempt to incorporate the pattern or color choice into hand-rolled clay beads soon. You know that I will post pictures of my finished project here on the blog and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/clubcreativestudio.  Thanks for stopping by and admiring this found art.  Your comments are always welcome, especially if this technique strikes interest.

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Creativity: Where Is It?

Thomas Merton quote.
Thomas Merton quote.

Club Creative Studio has a few questions for you to ponder today.  Concerning CREATIVITY…do you know where it can take you?  Hopefully you do not have to look long or hard to find it. Creativity can be found within yourself or within others.  So knowing that; where is it? Do you know where to look or who to look at? Do you know what it can do for you? Where it will lead you?

Discovering creativity levels within yourself or others is a growing and learning process.  As the quote from Thomas Merton suggests, art  (or creativity in general) enables or allows us to find ourselves. We can discover what is deep within us or at the top of the surface.  Merton also goes on to say in the quote that we can also lose ourselves at the same time, meaning that we can set ourselves free and experience creativity at its fullest, not paying much mind of other things going on around us. Creativity never grows old or goes out of style. Creativity may grow stale but we can always revive it and relive it and improve.

Creativity Never Goes Out  of Style

One place to start looking is quite obvious. Merely look ALL AROUND! Yes! Creativity is all around us, I have always said this many times. Open your eyes to discover the unique qualities of life around you. How can you get lost in creativity and where will it lead you?

While I was a classroom art teacher, everyday I would strive to stress in my students the importance of seeing creativity around us. Expressing it and experiencing creative venues gave our students the chance to see where creativity could take them.  Maybe they were introduced to a new concept. Maybe they found a new talent or practiced a new skill. Perhaps during our lessons, they grew appreciative of other’s creative efforts or served as inspiration to another as they expressed their own creative thoughts.  Taking extra steps to recognize where creativity is affords us the opportunity to search it out when we need it.

Where will creativity take you? The creative journey can be as long and as exciting as you make it out to be. It can be shared and appreciated.  A creative journey does in fact allow you to find yourself, express yourself and understand yourself. Creativity also lends the opportunity to get lost in the process, lose track of time and lose our inhibitions and fears about art or any other creative thought process or expression. Dance, prose, visual arts, theatrical arts etc., they all are expressions of creativity that take us to places we have never seen before. Relish in the creative process. Look around to gain it and foster it to grow it.

The aspect I love the most about being an artist is the fact that what I create can be shared and appreciated. While creating, as I continuously find myself and lose myself in art, I also get the thrill of giving and sharing art.  To view results of  my creativity, please take time to view creations on the website. The inventory is updated and evolving often.  The creative spirit is there to inspire, appreciate and best of all, purchase! Enjoy! http://www.clubcreativestudio.com

 

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Look at the Calender Today

Today’s Club Creative Studio Two-Cent Tuesday post is about how you can use creativity and entertain yourself at the same time…for FREE.

This idea has the potential for unique expression and a very creative day just by looking at your cat.   Today is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day! No, I did not make this up!

If you are a cat-lover like we are in our home, you may believe that your cat is indeed communicating with you on some level.  The antics of cats are fascinating to watch and enjoy.  If you notice that your pet is doing something to gain attention, have you also considered that they may be asking a question in their own way?

If in fact your cat has questions on its mind and had the means to express it in a way that you could actually understand and give feedback to them… what would you interpret that your cat would ask of you?   Below, you will meet Nimbus, our Butterscotch cat.  I think that our two cats rule the roost here so it is not unfair to think that if they asked me why I bother them and take photos of them, the answer I would have for them would be: “Because you are so cute!”

Meet Nimbus. our Butterscotch  cat.
Meet Nimbus. our Butterscotch cat.

What type of communication connection do you have with your cat?  Nimbus did not start out as a social kitten, but, he has evolved into a very loving cat claiming my daughter as his favorite human being.  If Nimbus asked the question “When is that college student coming back home?” My answer would be: “At the next school break, be patient as you wait for your best friend to return, she will.” If you have pets of your own, take time today to recognize the special calendar day and embrace in wonderment the curious nature of them.  Think about what they may be asking of you in human question form. Use your imagination today to be CREATIVE in a different way!  Happy National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day!

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Creativity As Stress Buster

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Believe it or not, being more creative can allow you to also be less stressed.

Having a creative outlet opens your mind and eyes to new and exciting ways to distress.

What’s your creative stress buster?

I use the opportunity to be creative with art on a daily basis. In this TNT (This-N-That) Club Creative Studio post I’d like share ideas why creativity can come to the rescue in times of stress. My personal and business mantra is Be Creative Everyday!  Having this frame of mind has allowed me to use the arts as a means to be expressive and less stressed in my day.

Focus your mind and hands creatively and you are in for an escape (of sorts) of reality. Being creative takes my thought process to a different out-of-the-box, critical thinking stage.   It helps me forget about the other things that are stressors in my life.  When I am creative, my focus changes to thinking in nonconventional means and I allow myself to grant freedoms of imagination and growth from routine.

Being creative sets my mind free from rules and places me in a state of experimentation.  Gifting the opportunity to ask and act upon questions like “what if”. Recently, I had the misfortune of having technical difficulties.  Within two days of each other , I discovered that I laundered my cell phone and the motherboard of my computer was fried. Talk about some bad luck. My technical difficulties were woes that I had to solved quickly so I could get back on track to where I needed to be personally and in my business. Those are stressful times, when you have to worry about a cost associated with a solution, as well as the time you are going to sacrifice to get back to your normal life when there is a challenge in your mist.

Creativity gave me comfort. Creativity was the sweet diversion from my problems.  Creativity gave me something else to concentrate on while I waited for the outsourced help. In this instance, I had gained time to be more creative because I was not directly involved with my main concerns. You can use creativity as a crutch to help you become stronger in critical thinking skills and thinking differently in general. I think that stress become less prominent if you inject some level of creativity into each situation. Creative thoughts sure take the routine out of the day,  allow your personality to shine, and gift others with alternative points of views. We were all meant to be indivuals and I can think of no better way to express uniqueness than to show your creative side. Give the gift of creativity to yourself or others today and find out if it will serve as a stress buster technique for you in the future.

What will you do to inc0rporate creativity into your life by thought and action? You may start by taking on a simple challenge as this: ask the question: “what if…”

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What Time is It?

What time is it?

Please don’t tell me that the clock last night was right when I finally went to sleep at 4:00 A.M.

Sleep deprivation is no joke.

Take time for the things you need- like sleep. But know when you can afford to work instead of sleep.
Take time for the things you need like sleep. But know when you can afford to work instead of sleep.

The clock was right, as it turned out, that I stayed up until 4:00 A.M. doing what I love to do… bead.  This is another curse of a creative mind. There are seemingly constant visual images, brain-storm ideas, “aha” thoughts just waiting to be tapped into. When the creative thoughts pile up, what do you do?

If you are like me, you act on the impulses and the mood.  While it is true that you can feel more creative at different times of the day, for me I can’t pass up the opportunity to act on the urge to be creative. The situation doesn’t seem to pass.  To suppress my creative urges end up rendering me just plain crabby.

No matter what the clock says, I have the luxury of making and maintaining my own work hours. So, if I happen to have a creative streak in the wee hours of the night, I just go with it. I have learned to just go with the flow.  Sometimes, if I pay heed to the clock and live by the tick-tick, I find myself stressed in other ways. I become tied to the feeling that I have to work in a specified time frame and I can’t explore at a relaxed pace.

 I have noticed for me that if I am working on something new or challenging, those are the times that I automatically and naturally lose track of time. When you are on a roll, you are on a roll! The time dedicated to art that I create in the middle of the night takes on a special meaning. My occasional late night or early morning work efforts are very intense and focused. I know that I could be (and maybe should be) asleep, so I am aware that what I am working on is worth my time away from getting my needed ZZ’s.

My rationalization for  giving into a work streak at odd hours is simple.  I can always take a power nap the following day if I need it.  That is my plan “A”. With that solution in my mind, I use the time that I feel the most creative to work, work , work.  Most times these bursts are very productive. It is a quiet time in my work space. No phone interruptions, no television, background noise, no radio, no foot traffic, no hunger or thirst issues, and working in the comfort of pajamas is a perk.

Whatever the underlying cause for sleeplessness, when I turn my time into productive creative time, I get a feeling of accomplishment at the start of the following day. How do you use your energy when you have a creative spurt in the wee hours? Is it worth it to you to lose valuable sleep in order to satisfy a creative urge? If you can’t sleep and can’t use your sleeplessness to a work advantage do you have a “plan B”?

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Today, I woke up to eight completed bracelet projects and four pin projects. I’d call that worth the lack of sleep I may have sacrificed. Feed your creative spirit. I fed mine a heaping  bowl of  “sleep” and I am still in a great mood and alert, ready to create again.

Learn how to manage your time so you can enjoy the occasional all-niter because you may never know when it will produce great things.  Wish me sweet dreams, because I will be ready to hibernate later tonight.

My words of advice: Pace your creativity, not the floors with sleeplessness.

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Peculiar People

Believe it or not it is National Peculiar People Day. You know someone who fits into that category right? Strange, odd, and different people certainly make our world an interesting place I am happy that we have a day that recognises uniqueness.  In order to avoid name-calling and labeling, this TNT (This-N-That) blog post will highlight the peculiar Art that is created by interesting people.

I decided to feature the celebration and recognition of quirkiness in this blog today by sharing the visual posts that I have pinned via Pinterest.  You will find this link below. I have a virtual bulletin board where I attach images with links to websites depicting the theme: Odd Creativity. This is also the title of my board.  Perhaps by viewing my board(s)  I may inspire you to appreciate the unique qualities of art as well as the people behind the art who are the artists.

Look for my photo to make sure you are on the Club Creative Studio Pinterest board.
Look for my photo to make sure you are on the Club Creative Studio Pinterest board.

Below you will find the link to Club Creative Studio’s inspiring boards on Pinterest.  You will find that the account called: Club Creative Art has several interesting boards. Please consider signing in or signing up and begin to follow any or all of the boards by clicking on the “follow” tab(s) you can then continue your Pinterest inspirations sparked by posts of Club Creative Studio. Have a great time pinning. Just be sure to set your timer so you can monitor your time on the computer.  It is an addicting activity!

Let me know if a board or a specific image gained your attention or appealed to you? Happy National Peculiar People Day, especially if you think you are one of them!

http://www.pinterest.com/clubcreativeart

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