Friday, July 27, 2012

My Creative Space

My Place to Create

I have 2 rooms in my house that I can call my own:  my bedroom and my "Creative Room."

My bedroom is nothing more than what you'd expect.  However, my creative room houses my fabrics, paints, sewing machine and supplies, ironing board.  Some of it is organized on shelves...

Shelves to organize my fabrics and sewing books

I have a means for packaging my goods, once they're made...

I am reusing zipper bags that formerly held new draperies and other linens

Organized Chaos!

My sewing machine

Ironing board - as essiantial as the sewing machine for any sewing project!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Nanna's Nook

Every year in late January, the women of the Work of Christ Community and friends celebrate a Festival of Tables.  Approximately 20 women "Hostesses" each decorate a round table to the theme of her choice.  This year, I chose the theme "Nanna's Nook," pulling items that I have that were owned by my maternal grandmother, mom and myself.  My maternal grandmother went by the title "Nanna" by myself and my siblings.  I have chosen to take on the same title for my grandchildren since my 1st granddaughter was born in 2007.  I currently have 2 granddaughters, ages 5 and 3 1/2, and am looking forward to my 3rd grandchild this December.
My mom and dad, when they were married

This towel was made by my Nanna

This pitcher and 3 cups were my Nanna's.  She also crocheted the green and white doily.  

This picture was taken of me (Nanna) and my 1st grand daughter, Susanna

Susanna with her Nanna (me)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Painting a Table of Sunflowers

Painting a Table of Sunflowers

One of the things I do on a regular basis, is volunteer in the Hunter Park Garden House (green house) here in Lansing, Michigan.

There are 3 of these long tables that are used for a variety of tasks.  Two of them were painted a couple of years ago, but this one was still black.

One day this past December, another volunteer, the shift manager, and I were talking about this table, and I stated that I was interested in painting it.  The other volunteer then offered to buy a Michaels gift card so that I could buy paint and supplies.

The table with white background

Practice flowers in my sketch book

I outlined the flowers with pencil

The table in progress

Working on the blue "sky" background

My first attempt at doing the "seeds" of the sunflowers

I changes to doing "dots" of paint

Signing my work

The finished table
When I was satisfied with the table, I finished it off with a few coats of clear polyurethane.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Creating Bibs

So, I thought I'd post the creative process of making my bibs.  I began by laying out potential fabrics with the washcloths.
Auditioning fabrics

The first cut was the hardest, but once I began, I wanted to continue...
Cut off the bottom edge
A friend suggested making pockets at the bottom edge of the bibs
Stack waiting for pockets to be sewn

Once I stitched two washcloths together, I made final decisions for fabric.

Testing the fabric across the seam

Fabric strip ready for sewing

After sewing the fabric strip

Ready to have the neck hole cut

Stitching the neck 
I purchased bias binding for the necks from In Grandma's Attic at 
The only thing left is to add the Velcro!
 Unfortunately, my sewing machine quit on me at this crucial point!!!!  I need to take it to be serviced... More to come!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"The insidious demon of perfectionism can frustrate the artist at any and all stages of the creative process. Perfectionism can delay the beginning of any creative project or stop us in our tracks halfway through. As the harsh voice of criticism within, it says, Don't even bother, you won't get it right." - Creativity and Divine Surprise by Karla M. Kincannon

We, as artists, need to embrace imperfections. For me, sometimes it's the mistakes that lead to something NEW!! I am only just beginning to realize this, however.

The first cut is often the hardest for me.

An example of this is a tablecloth I just recently finished. I bought a number of Christmas-themed bandanas on impulse from an after-Christmas sale. Later, I ran across tablectloth instructions online. I then sat on the idea for several months.

Finally, at the beginning of August, I decided to take the plunge and make the 1st cut, starting with a layout.

I tried a number of layouts on the bed - coming up with one that pleased me.

I then proceeded to sew them together row by row. One of the first imperfections I had to deal with and eventually let go was that the corners of the "square" bandanas did not come together! In fact, the final intersection of corners was WAY off!

My finished large square was composed of 16 squares, 4 x 4.

Because I was not home at the time, I was not able to figure on an exact size for a particular table, so when I returned home, I tried it on some of my tables. I have 2 glass-topped circular tables on our screened porch that are the perfect size for the cloth. However, that wouldn't be a solution because of the Christmas/winter theme. We simply don't use that porch n the winter.

I then tried a card table. The tablecloth was almost to the floor, which I call too long!

Another consideration was the weight of the cloth - too light.

I came up with the idea of turning under the sides and sewing points. This added weight to the edges and added some interest to the sides, besides making the tablecloth shorter.

However, the corner bandanas ended up on the floor! My perfectionism said that I wasted those bandanas, but the artist in me had to let that go.

I am becoming more comfortable with the imperfect in me and embracing the possibilities.

Go for the first cut!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Creating Tedious?

A couple of weeks ago, when I described to a friend my latest projects - beadwork using small seed beads, she commented that it seemed "tedious." My gut reaction was NO, but I started thinking further, as I was beading.

Mirriam Webster defines "tedious" as tiresome because of length or dullness : boring.

Bead work involves taking several hundred beads and organizing them in some kind of pattern. I can see how that can fall under the above definition of tedious, very repetitious and long. However I enjoy it, partly because it gives me a chance to think as I'm working. There is also the satisfaction of the act of creation. I am organizing a mass of beads (2 pictures below) into something that looks nice, creating order out of chaos (top and last pictures). I am participating with the Lord, my creator!

This is also true of other crafts, such as counted cross stitch.

In fact, when I'm away from a project, I feel compelled to go back to it. I can't wait!
It can be looked at as being tedious, but there's a satisfaction in the end, akin to scratching that bothersome itch!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I read 2 books last year that changed my perspective and helped me to learn more about me and my own creativity.

First, about 2 years ago, I came across the book The Creative Call - An Artist's Response to the Way of the Spirit by Janice Elsheimer. I bought the book, looked it over and put it on the shelf!!

Last year, I pulled it off the shelf and invited a friend of mine to work through the book together. I live in Michigan, and she in Texas, but we read and worked through each chapter and then had loooooooong conversations at the end of the week (sometimes 2 or 3 weeks).

As promised by the author (having spent time working through), I now have put these into practice:"...- learn to call on the Holy Spirit as your source of inspiration, your muse.- exercise your artistic gift regularly and begin to think of yourself as an artist.- develop the habit of journaling as a way to recognize the things that have kept your blocked.- have a richer deeper prayer life and a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ."

The second book that had an impact on me last year was Ladies Who Launch by Victoria Colligan, Beth Schoenfeldt, and Amy Swift This book isn't specifically Christian, but encouraged me to look at my life differently.

I pulled out the sewing machine and started creating things. I also have the vision to start a craft business.

Initially, I am making bags to sell. Ultimately, this will expand to include other sewn items and other crafts. I also want to expand to have a brick and mortor building where I can invite others to come hang out while doing and learning crafts.

What's your area of creativity?