5 Minute Christmas Decoration

What can I make with a box of sewing notions I got for a dollar (at an estate sale I visited today)?

Let’s see…

Here’s the box of notions

Hmmm…this spool is interesting.  Reminds me of a Christmas tree.

And I’ve got some vintage jewelry around here somewhere


A 5 Minute Christmas Decoration for a tabletop!



(everything looks better under glass!)

Get your Shrine On

A shrine is a place or piece of furniture used to remind us of meaningful intangibles through the display of meaningful tangibles.  It’s also a place or piece of furniture that can be an on-going art project in three or more dimensions.  How about creating such a shrine and spending a minute (or several) with it every day?  Could a shrine improve your outlook on life (as well as your home decor)?

How about some incense and a candle or two to go with your items of inspiration?

A shrine doesn’t need to take up a lot of space.  How about putting a few reminders of your creative self and the vast unknown in a cup or tray?  What about a portable shrine?  A key-chain shrine?

A shrine could be placed on a shelf, on the floor or in a cabinet.  A used piece of furniture could be converted to hold meaningful books, beads, letters, candles, artwork, etc.  A shrine could be simple or ornate and it should evolve over time and always remain fresh and relevant to you.  As an artist, this is your chance to create a piece of meaning and beauty relevant to you and you alone.

How often do you get to do that?

-taken from the book, Creative Sparks: An index of 150+ concepts, images and exercises to ignite your design ingenuity by Jim Krause

Kitty Realized…

I actually got out into the studio and created something!  And before the weekend was over! I’m surprising even myself these days!

So…I bought the book “Taking Flight” (as mentioned in last night’s post) and bought a few supplies (’cause I’m so sure I didn’t have something just like it or very similar to it in my studio already) …yeah right.

I’m (kinda) following along with the project in the back of the book…the encaustic one – because ENCAUSTIC ROCKS! – and because I knew I had most of the supplies I needed already and well, because, ENCAUSTIC ROCKS!

Oh, and let me mention I cleaned my studio this morning so it was all pretty and organized and stuff.  I love working in a clean studio!

Ok, back to the project..

Here is the art board with a bit of paint on it and some markmaking attempts…I quickly realized I didn’t have any heavy bodied acrylics in the studio (how could that be?? I have every thing else you could buy in the studio).  I know you can make heavy bodied acrylics but pretty sure I didn’t have any medium (that, I’m pretty sure of).

I realized my stamping wasn’t working too well due to the lack of a more textural background – i.e. no heavy bodied paint.

And as I was sitting there staring at the board (with no heavy bodied paint on it) I decided it didn’t need any more stamps anyway.

Cause I’m a minimalist.  If I haven’t mentioned it before. (A minimalist who collects stuff).

This can be a problem.

Ok, so now I’m at the point where you’re supposed to ‘paint your subject in’.  That part always gets me.  I considered the fact that since I’m a minimalist – I should be able to just put the pen down and call it a day – but decided against it (a good example of the ‘problem’ part).

So… I’m looking at the pile of catalogs on the table (I can’t throw them away – there’s so much good stuff in ’em and I don’t mean stuff to buy – I mean good inspiration stuff, all the colors and patterns, etc.) – I start flipping through them…

and I find this (kitty) and decide that there is no rule that says I have to paint my subject in…

So here it is – my subject – adhered to the board.

I write a few meaningful words…then head out to the encaustic studio to do the fun stuff

And here it is…

‘Kitty realized it was time to start living her life’

Creative Weekend update

Ok, I know I said that I felt a creative weekend coming on…(that was on Wednesday) and here it is Saturday (what’s left of it) so I thought I’d share an ‘update’ on how the weekend is going.

Well, it’s going.

Quickly (!)

But even though I haven’t created anything yet – I do plan on being creative tomorrow.  And tomorrow is still the weekend even though technically it is the first day of the week.  (isn’t that funny?)

But, regardless – before my weekend is over – I WILL BE CREATIVE!!

I did spend the day browsing at a couple of art supply stores and the bookstore – looking for inspiration.

And here is what I found…




And you should be happy to know I’ve already started.



Eating the gummy bears!

And if you STILL can’t find inspiration…

That’s right.  Look inside your coffeemaker.

Its right there in front of you!  SEE!!

Even your coffee maker is trying to communicate with you.

“Look here!”  “Look at me!”  “I’m pretty!!”

“I’m a flower!”


Mother Knows Best

Ya know, we have no business complaining about lack of inspiration.

Inspiration is everywhere.  Literally.  We just have to open our eyes and see it.

Just look around.

Nature is constantly creating art just for us to see.  She obviously wants us to create.

Why else would she go to all that trouble?

Life’s missing white space

‘Space is the breath of art’ – Frank Lloyd Wright

This taken from a post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.

…I’m not a designer, but I’ve always been in love with the design concept of white space.

It’s the space in a design that isn’t filled with things.

But white space can be used in the design of our lives as well, not just the design of magazines and websites and ads.  By using white space in our lives, we create space, balance, emphasis on what’s important, and a feeling of peace that we cannot achieve with a more cramped life.

The principles of white space

Some of the things white space accomplishes in design:

  • greater legibility
  • feeling of luxury
  • breathing room & balance
  • more emphasis

These same concepts can translate to our lives:

Clarity.  Instead of legibility, white space can give clarity to the things in our lives – whether they’re possessions, projects, tasks, or just things that occupy our time and attention.  A nice piece of furniture is more beautiful when it’s not surrounded by clutter.  A well-prepared piece of food is more tasty when it’s not smothered in sauces and piled with fries and cheese.  A presentation is more effective when we don’t use Powerpoint and have only a few points to make.

Peace.  When our lives are cramped, and our homes and work spaces are cluttered, we feel stressed.  When we have fewer things on our schedule and fewer things around us, we feel peaceful.

Breathing room & balance.  Many people talk about finding ‘work-life-balance’, but this is very hard to do if you have no white space.  Leave space between things to find the breathing room you need, and more easily achieve balance.

Emphasis on the important. When our days are non-stop busy, everything is important and nothing is important.  But put white space between things, and those things acquire more weight, and we place more importance on each individual thing.

Moth on storm door – natural light.