So, it has been a couple of weeks since I last wrote to you about what was happening in my life and in my studio. I dropped out of sight, leaving dust to accumulate in the studio and my beloved books, art supplies, and paper to sit in the storage closet. I knew something was wrong, I just was not feeling the drive I would normally feel when contemplating new projects. Feeling down, I just let life move on whilst I tried to catch up on sleep which never seemed to come.
Well, this past week, I found out what was brewing in my body when I woke up one morning to find my right eye running fluid with the white area a nasty shade of pink leaning to red. Oh yeah, pink eye in all its glory. Just to make the day even better, my sinuses decided to add to the symptoms and by late day, my left eye had joined the right one and I had a matched pair of running red eyes and I looked somewhat like the zombie from the other world. Pretty, not so much!
I am looking much better today! My eyes are returning to normal, but I am on high alert and ensuring that all hard surfaces are sterilized and that I keep my hands away from my eyes at all times. I use paper toweling to wash my eyes, put a fresh towel on my pillow each night and just in general try to observe every rule of staying healthy. I am sharing this with you for a reason. When it became clear to me what was happening, I e-mailed friends advising them to be on the alert for pink eye. The next day, one friend e-mailed back saying that he had woken up with one eye swollen shut and oozing clear fluids. Well, on the bright side, he knew what had happened to him in his sleeping hours and was able to pick up the required meds on his way into work. I am just saying, it is always good to be aware of what "bugs" are out there and ready to strike during any particular season.
The good news is that not only are my eyes looking and feeling better, I seem to have gotten a fresh look at how I need to proceed artistically - slowly, but with determination. Quinn Mcdonald has written a wonderful book, Raw Art Journaling, which helps by giving you ideas on creating prompts to help you get your thoughts, dreams and such into a journal by using creative prompts and the use of art. You do not need to be an artist to start journaling! You just need to have a desire to put your ideas down on paper in some form, whether it be using paints, coloured pencils, cutting out words from books, magazines or other publications you have handy.
Quinn also writes a wonderful blog and somehow manages to put up a post every few days. I am so impressed! I struggle to write something that I hope gives you ideas of what I am trying to accomplish once a week. To get a post up more often would have me struggling to find the words. And maybe, that is where my problem comes from. Maybe I need to focus on just putting marks on paper and let my inner artist out to play. A few words to prompt a thought or idea would be the icing on the cake! So, I need to set my sights on smaller pieces for the moment until I get my feet wet in the artistic waters again. By the way, you really should sign up and read Quinn's words of encouragement. Read up and sign up for her blog at: http://quinncreative.wordpress.com/.
In a blog this past week, Quinn met up with Tammy Garcia, another creative soul at the Great American Scrapbook Convention that was being held at Arlington, Texas. Tammy told Quinn about something she called the ICAD Project --> Index Card a Day Project. In this project, you use index cards to build up pages to put together for a journal. Take one small card a day and decorate the border. Tammy's idea is that a blank card even as small as an index card can be as much of a block to someone as a 16" x 20" inch canvas or a standard 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. What do you draw on the paper or index card? Tammy's idea of starting by decorating the border and corners of the cards and maybe come up with a colour theme for a series of cards. Once you have the borders decorated, it will make it easier to come up with ideas on what to put in the center of each card. This makes so much sense! Quinn suggests putting your scrapbook ideas in place, use your coloured pencils, pens, markers, add some other paper accents and grab your paper punches. Get your series of cards together and see where they take you artistically. That is so what I need right now and I am eager to give this a try today! Seriously, read Quinn's post, take a good look at her examples and ready, get set, get rocking a new look for a small journal of manageable proportions. No intimidation! No stressing! Just simple doodling, making interesting marks and add some embellishments. Then, you are so ready to write something interesting or provocative on your pages. Whether you share your journals with others is up to you, but half the fun of journaling is sharing ideas with others working with the same medium.
One of my nagging fears with journalingDonley and DeAnn Singh. In this book, the authors encourage us to use anything to make marks on paper, try forming your letters in different ways. Not to worry! There are a lot of samples to give you some ideas and the letters are formed on grids so that you can duplicate these and learn how to work on each pen/marker stroke. At last, I just might be able to come up with a style of lettering that means something and is personal to me. I feel empowered at this point and think that making a small journal is doable over the next week. I will not pressure myself to decide on a topic at this point, I plan to enjoy putting coloured strokes together to make interesting borders and perhaps even work a few stamps into the designs. Once I get a supply of the index cards decorated, then I can progress into what words I want to add to the pages. Hopefully, by next week, I will have a journal or two to share with you. I am so hoping that this is what happens!
Meanwhile, yes, I am still deep into the kumihimo braiding and it appears this is going to be an all consuming form of art for me to work on and learn to work the braids into pieces of jewelry, bookmarks, lanyards and so on. I am so hoping to be able to work on a bracelet with beads worked into the braids. I know I need to be patient, but this is consuming me and even when my eyes were at their watery worst over the past few days, I still managed to braid for a few hours each day. I am determined to make an amazing bracelet, but I will be patient and get my speed up on the braiding and then start working on the beading aspect.
I hope you are finding some time to be creative and pursue ideas that have been percolating in the back of your mind. Take a chance! Try something that you have always wanted to work on and go for it! Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do this, just go for broke, put your supply kit together and find a quiet spot to work on your dream. You just might surprise yourself. I hope you take a look at Quinn's book "Raw Art Journaling" to get some amazing ideas and then let your creative juices get flowing with Marci's and DeAnn's book, "Hand Lettering." I think you will forget your fears and be able to ignore that nagging voice in the back of your head that tells you that you cannot be creative. Drown out the voice with some wonderful music and start making your marks, letters, your own creative way. Just start with the borders and work your way inward when you feel ready. It really is that easy!
Have a wonderful week! Let me know what you are working on, I would so love to hear. But, at the very least, make a start, even if it is a small one, but it will lead you forward.