Excuses, eXcuses, Xcuses- Celebrate the Letter X

Club Creative Studio-Creative Excuses quoteWhat is the one word that gets in your way of being creative? Is it FEAR, having no TIME, or some other EXCUSE (e”X”cuse).

I’d like to explore the reasons why we have road blocks in creativity. Celebrate the letter “E” today with the word excuse.  Do you know what your halt words are that keep you from being creative?

Try to remember: Creativity Takes No Excuses!

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Expanding on these points we can get a clear vision of what to do to overcome the creative stumbling blocks we may encounter in creative times.

1.   Set aside time for what matters Once we realize that creativity is important to us and makes us more complete, we will carve out time to do what we have a desire and need to do.

2.   Start at the beginning  The beginning is always the hardest step. Divide the unknown task at hand into small steps that do not overwhelm you.  If your initial ideas and supplies are close at hand, your process will begin and progress much smoother.

3.  Realize creativity flow rate Your creative juices have different height levels. Discover your best time to dedicate to your creative project. If you get frustrated or lack the skills needed, seek the answers that you need to complete your creative task the best you can at that point in time.

4.   Revisit  Step away from the project from time to time to gain a fresh perspective. Review and reassess your creative efforts for improvements.

5.   Avoid the excuse of ignorance The most common excuse for us to maintain our stumbling blocks of creativity are the voices in our heads that tell us that we simply can not do a task because we do not know how. If we add the simple affirmative word: “YET” to the end of any sentence, we gain the confidence to know that the task at hand can be attempted. Try, try, and try again.

6.  Stomp Self-doubt Belief in ourselves overcomes all the excuses we form that tell us NO. We should want to always drown out the visions and voices that make us believe that we can not do something creatively. It’s alright to do something that is not perfect.  Be open to  learn in creativity.

I wish you continued success in your creative endeavors.  Thank you for stopping by the blog. If you think these tips were helpful, let us know in a comment. we’d love to hear your feedback.

 

 

 

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When It Goes Wrong- Celebrate the Letter W

I thought that I could use this blog post to celebrate the letter “W” and explain a few solutions to common problems I encounter when working with the materials that I use most often. When something goes wrong, there is always an opportunity to learn.

When working with glass rods, as I do when I create torched glass beads, there are many factors to consider for the glass to do what it needs to do correctly and safely. Prevention of glass breakage is just one concern. No one wants glass to pop up and land in an eye when working with it.

Veronica With Club Creative Studio glass rods

One of the main reasons glass rods break is because the glass rod was not introduced to the flame slowly enough. When it gets a shock, it can crack and break. I have had rods pop out glass into the air because of being impatient with it. Lessons learned. This is why you wear protective eyewear.

Club Creative Studio Flame-working

Sometimes storing glass rods ineffectively leaves me with bits and pieces of broken end glass that are too tiny to hold to the flame to melt into a bead, even with tweezers. But, have no fear when that happens because like a thrifty artists does best- we can recycle that broken glass and make FRIT.

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Frit is like confetti. It’s actually broken glass that can be ground in many consistencies from chunks to powders and then used with bead-making to create little colorful dots from the tiny glass particles. When my glass breaks, I just save the pieces in a baggie and then crush when I have a variety so that I can use that frit for beads. I don’t waste my broken glass pieces. There are even tools that enable glass artists to ground glass into a fine powder and use that for beads and other flame-work.

Club Creative Studio Glass Bead
Club Creative Studio Glass Bead with Frit Glass used for specks of color.

So, when things go wrong, there may be considerations to substitute success, just look at all of your options creatively.  Have you had a challenging project that many things went wrong but had a happy ending? Feel free to share your story with us in the comment section below. We’d love to hear it!

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Veronica’s Fun Facts- Celebrate the letter V

You can gain a tidbit of background information about me from the “About Us” page on this website. I just wanted to share a few more fun facts that are not included there.  Here are a few of my favorite things:

Bead Artist Jewelry Designer Creative Specialist
Bead Artist
Jewelry Designer/Creative Specialist

1. I LOVE CHOCOLATE.  I have a cute wood plaque in my kitchen that reads: “Give me chocolate and nobody will get hurt.” Yeah…that’s about how it is.

2. I’ll wear fake finger nails.  If an occasion calls for me to look extra fancy and elegant, I have no shame, I’ll press on the fake fingernails.  There is NO WAY that I can maintain great looking natural nails in my line of work, so I feel that I have no choice. There…secret out!

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3. I run to wear the cool shoes. I can run pretty far when I put my mind to it. I’ve completed a half marathon and I run for the love of colorful shoes. I am pretty sure that is the only reason to run.

4. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is my boyfriend. My husband surprised me with concert tickets and I could not stop sobbing for the first seven songs. I was just so overwhelmed with emotion of hearing and seeing my favorite musical talent live and in the flesh. He is adored.

5. My favorite color is black. You wouldn’t guess that by looking at all of the colorful glass and clay beads I create. Black has always been my favorite color. I guess it is because I like the contrast against white and that it combines well with any other color in a wardrobe.  It’s a great accent color.

6. I’m a published illustrator.  While living in Japan, I was commissioned to illustrate two children’s Japanese language books. Each book has over 200 drawings included. I have great memories from the time our family resided there, this is one of my highlighted creative accomplishments.

7. Favorite Sandwich: BLT with cheese.

8. Favorite Beverages: Sweet tea, chi tea, licorice tea, amaretto sour

9. Favorite Clay Artist: Donna Kato

10. Favorite Furry Friend: Cat.

Please visit “About Us” and “F.Y.I.” sections of this site to learn more about Club Creative Studio Art.

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Understanding Clay-Celebrate the Letter U

Club Creative Studio is my workplace where wonderful things happen in clay. It is why I work with it almost everyday. I am in constant learning mode because there are no limitations as to what can be created with polymer clay. Understanding a few important nuances makes it easier to work with it. Today, I celebrate the letter “U” by sharing tips which lead to understanding clay and some of its unique qualities.

Club Creative Studio Hand-Made Beads
Club Creative Studio hand-made polymer clay beads.

You may not realize that clay must to be “conditioned” before use. That means that it needs to be made into a soft, more pliable state. Sometimes that initial step takes more time than designing. Here are some of the ways I soften clay.

1. I placing my clay portion in a zip-locked baggie and sit on it while working on something else or place in a pocket to warm for a bit.

2. With my clay in a zip-locked secured baggie, I sometimes also place in a bowl of warm water.

Club Creative Studio clay
I use every scrap of clay, even what can be called the unconditioned crumbs.

3. I use a pasta machine. I am not Italian but, I use the pasta machine almost daily.  This is the best piece of equipment for conditioning polymer clay. You may not realize that I need to “pass” the clay through the pasta machine at least 20 times in order to condition my clay properly.

Club Creative Studio asta machine

4. I combine kneading with use of the pasta machine to condition and mix my clay colors. By kneading and hand-rolling my clay, I am able to mix my own personal colors by blending several combinations of clay together. Good thing I paid attention in color theory courses because I use color concepts everyday I create.

Club Creative Studio handmade beads

I hope in this post you have gained an understanding of what I do with clay before the “real fun” of designing takes place. I welcome your comments below, especially if you learned a thing or two.

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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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Style- Celebrate the Letter S

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To celebrate the letter “S” today, I write a bit about style.

In May, I will address a group and speak about style and jewelry accessory length choices. Personal style is hard to argue with. Self expression is so important in making a stylish statement.

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With an awareness on the basics, knowing when to express the best style becomes a much easier choice. While there are specific lengths of necklaces and looks that are popular, some just lend themselves well to particular necklines and transfer the best fashion statements. This is the focus on my speaking engagement.

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Many have been quoted on the topic of style.  I’d like to share what I have found to be inspirational.  Heed the words that resonate. Understand what style means to others.

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Do you have a favorite quote about style? Feel free to share it and let us know who it came from.

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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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Q-tip Art Celebrate the letter Q

Art can be found in many places. I have stressed this in many Club Creative Studio blog posts before.  Today is no different as we celebrate the letter “Q”, I have a focus on Q-tips as an art supply.

Recently while walking down the hallway of my daughter’s dorm, I noticed a piece of art on one of the doors. It was apparently created by a young child as the signature indicated crude penmanship.  Come to think of it…given the fact that I was at a university, I would certainly HOPE that the art was created from someone much younger being it’s elementary style.

Q tip art sampleThis art was created by dipping the ends of Q-tips into various paint colors.  This theme was apparently autumn, however, I can see the use of different colors used to highlight other seasons, painting dots to represent for example flowers or buds.

The style of Pointillism which is a technique that places small, distinct dots of pure color usually paint are applied in patterns to form an image. Georges Seurat and Paul Signac developed the technique in 1886, branching from Impressionism but, this effect can be accomplished in a wide variety of mediums including markers.  It can be replicated easily by painting on the ends of Q-tips.

I recall creating a Pointillism project in art class in the 6th grade where we used Q-tips for this technique. Each dot represented a section of an object and when we stood back to appreciate each dot, our eyes focused on blending the colors naturally. The technique relies on the ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to blend the color spots into a fuller range of tones, thus completing the picture from dots to larger images. The same goes for this tree sample when you squint your eyes, individual dots become a whole area.

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I found a blog that highlighted an interesting project that also used Q-tips.  This project was inspired by nature.  It is also a sculptural work of art.  This simple yet creative piece was completed by an elementary student in an art class as posted by a teacher at: Splish Splash Splatter.  I can see an adult using these for table setting decorations, a festive wreath, hanging in a window pane area or even just displayed on a large platter, as well as in a pot as a potted plant, or created in several different sizes placed in a container like a topiary display, just to suggest a few.

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Image:splishsplashsplatter.blogspot

What so you say, are you going to look at the use of Q-tips more creatively from now on? These are just a few of the interesting art projects you can try using Q-tips. Are you ready to help someone get started?

Be sure to check back on this blog or better yet, sign up for the easy sign-in to get notices when a new post is shared. Creativity has no limits and it is Club Creative Studio’s pleasure to share tidbits of creative information. Enjoy your future Q-tip Art projects.

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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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Orange Outlook- Celebrate the Letter O

Hand-rolled clay bead bracelet
Club Creative Studio Art

To celebrate the letter “O”, let’s have a fun focus on the color orange.

DO YOU AGREE:

Orange is very blatant and vulgar.  It makes you immediately start having feelings.–Wolf Kahn

Your mood and preference may have an effect on how you view the color orange.  Orange can be a very energetic color.

Club Creative Studio Orange/yellow glass bead
Club Creative Studio hand-torched Italian Glass Bead.

The psychology of the color orange is telling us that the color orange reminds us of warmth, like in a sunset. Feelings of excitement and enthusiasm are also words that are brought to mind when we see or think of the color orange. In my mind, orange brings about the word “festive”.

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Hand-torched glass bead- Club Creative Studio

You may have noticed that the color orange is often used to draw attention, such as in hunting attire, construction vests, traffic signs and advertising.  The same could be associated in fashion. Orange is a bold forward-stepping color that takes bravery to pull off. Small accents of orange are great for a “pop” of color.  I challenge you to welcome a dash of orange into your life in large or small ways.

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Club Creative Studio orange hand-made clay bead Artisan Bottle Stopper.

Spring color schemes including orange can be muted down a bit to a salmon or coral shade that is less abrupt. Summer orange tones are typically more vivid in stripes and bright solids. The neon trend continues and you will certainly notice more orange items around you as the season changes.

Be sure to note that Club Creative Studio creates custom art.  If your favorite color is orange and you’d like to express your style with one-of-a-kind art, let us know and we’ll create with you in mind, above and beyond your expectations. You can also check the online storefront often to see if something orange has been created by chance.

 

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