Monday, July 31, 2006

Home again, home again

My weeks worth of vacation has all too quickly passed!

It's great getting away, visiting family, relaxing and stepping out of your routine for awhile but there is nothing at the end of the journey that beats slipping into the cool, clean sheets of your own bed - ahhhhh....

Despite having made up a few background pages ahead of time, I only managed to journal one page while away.

Driving along the lakeshore home I thought that one should make this journey at least once a year to remember why we choose to live in this neck of the woods. It is so breathtakingly beautiful. I know that I definitely felt its pull on my heart the moment we crossed the border and were once again on home "ground".

There's definitely "no place like home"! * o

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cool Glue Background

This is a neat technique that was passed along in the art journaling group I'm in.

On a piece of plastic coated freezer paper paint whatever design you want. You can mix colors, rubber stamp designs, finger paint. In this background I painted two colors and then cut out the shell from a napkin and pressed it into the paint. Let the paint dry completely, then cover it all with a thick layer of Elmer's glue. The instructions said to water down the glue, but I found the first time I tried that I didn't have a thick enough layer so for this background I just put it on full strength.

Leave it to dry. I left this one for a day. Then peel the glue off the freezer paper - carefully!!! (requires patience...) The paint will come up with the glue. The whole thing has a kind of rubbery texture. You can then glue it down onto your journal paper and voila - you have your background. I covered this one with a watered down layer of gesso, just enough to give it a little more durability for writing on.

The one good thing about working on a bunch of backgrounds is that if you don't feel like writing, or don't exactly know what you want to do with the page, you can still make the background and feel that creative energy. * o

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Is it hot in here? and some announcements

"I'm melting! I'm melting........"

Much as I love summer, I don't do heatwaves very well. Spent most of the day hiding inside today since it was well over 100F on our back deck. Stuck my body out for about five minutes and quickly retreated back inside again. Not that it's all that much cooler in here but it is slightly bearable.

I did up some background pages in my art journal this evening. I wanted to get a few done ahead of time so I could take my journal on vacation with me and I'd have ready made pages if the urge to write something strikes me. I plan on throwing my favorite pens, gluestick, scissors and some watercolor pencils into a zippered bag so I'll have a few supplies with me when the muse prods. I'll post some pics when I return.

And now we interrupt this blog, for a few announcements.....

Announcement #1 - I have a new website!!
I've started a new website for my creativity workshops and eventually for the creative coaching I hope to get into. Check out Maedel Creativity Coaching for information on workshops, and occasional articles on creativity. Like myself, it is still a work in progress - so keep checking it for updates.

Announcement #2 - Get a free book!
Suzanne Falter-Barns has recently released her "How Much Joy Can You Stand?" book as a free e-book. This is the book the "How Much Joy" workshops are based on, helping you live your dreams. Click on the banner ad for more info and be sure to pick up your free copy of the book while it is available!

Dare to Live Your Dream

* o

Monday, July 10, 2006

Baby Got Da Blues

We spent yesterday afternoon in the city at the Blues Festival, a birthday combined with anniversary gift that the whole family enjoyed.

I thought David Knopfler was awesome, but our overall favorite of the performances we saw was "Lil Ed and the Blues Imperials". Lil' Ed rocks and really got the crowd up on their feet when he jumped off the stage and started jamming up and down the rows.

A lady sitting next to me asked how old my boys were, and after telling her she commented on how wonderful it was that they would come with us and how nice to see them having such a good time. And I thought, ya they are pretty fabulous kids and we are lucky to have things we enjoy doing together. The stuff memories are made of.

Unfortunately, I underestimated the power of the sun through the intermittent clouds that blew over marina park and I ended up with a wicked sunburn and now am itching and aching through my own kind of blues... * o

Monday, July 03, 2006

Esmeralda Monkeyface

I've been wanting to make one of these puppets since reading about them at Lani Puppetmaker, the website for artist Lani Gerity. The instructions seemed easy enough and it looked like a fun project.

And so I created my "puppet muse", Esmeralda Monkeyface. I was surprised to find that the hardest part of the project was making her body, although why that surprised me when my sewing skills are less than legendary I don't know.

Esmeralda is teaching me about expectations - since she didn't turn out exactly as I "expected" her to. How often do we begin a creative project with some sort of expectation of the outcome, and become frustrated during the process when things don't seem to go as we envisioned them? Do we carry on and see where the creative muse leads us? Or do we give up and tell ourselves "I can't do this" or "I'm not good enough"? What happens when I let go of the outcome?

Esmeralda is also teaching me about "acceptance". Her body is not perfect - her hands are too big, her arms too skinny and she's lumpy in places - but then neither is my body perfect. Esmeralda just tosses back her multi-colored yarn hair and laughs. She knows she's vibrant and creative and fun, who needs a perfect body? (Even if the boys did think she had a monkey face and it freaked them out).

The heart on her dress bears the word "courage". She is not afraid to create or take chances. A friend shared this motto with me, "faith + action = courage". Esmeralda Monkeyface is courage in action.

(On an amusing side note, when I created her my dear family wanted to know if they were not being supportive enough lately that I needed to create a puppet to talk to!) * o

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Unexpected Surprise

Good friends, K and R, made this table for me and surprised me with it last night as an early birthday gift.

The top is made of broken pieces of granite countertop inlaid into cement (it is very heavy!).

Sturdy and functional, a beautiful gift of creativity. * o

Fog - Jessie Lake

The guys were fishing Friday morning and got fogged in a pea soup thick fog for about an hour. * o

Saturday, July 01, 2006

O, Canada


Woke up this morning to thunderstorms and pouring rain, so I'm not sure if our fireworks celebration will be a little damp this evening...

In the meantime, it was a good morning to lay in bed and listen to the rain. A good morning to putter around the house, to work on some creative projects, to dream, and maybe to read.

Happy long weekend! * o