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09 May 2012

Creative Spark

As an artist, one of the hardest things to combat is a creative block.  Like the more commonly understood writers' block, it sneaks in and stifles all ability to feel inspired.  It whispers that no matter what you make it's not good enough, not even worth the time you'll spend creating it.  What's worse is that you eventually begin to believe its lies, and stop trying.  So many talented artists fall prey to this phenomenon, believing that their muse or inspiration has dried up and left them - and they are nothing without it.  Some days I don't feel like creating anything more interesting than a good glass of iced tea and a well worn butt-shaped dent in my couch.  Some days I have absolutely no inspiration or motivation at all.  If I learned anything while working towards my BA in Painting, it is that even when you don't feel like creating anything - sit your butt down and do it anyway.  It's amazing to me how inspiration can come from the smallest things.  The way the wet paint moves under your brush, the way natural light picks normal things out of your mundane world to transform into flights of fancy, the way pattern emerges when none was intended.  By forcing myself to create something, anything, I have come up with some of my best ideas. 

Lately I've been struggling with painting.  I don't believe I've painting anything worth sharing in well over a year.  However, I've been exploring and playing with other media, other modes of thinking.  Overall, I think this is a healthier way of expressing my creativity than forcing myself to work in a medium that's just not speaking to me.  My mother's forays into paper arts and altered art have inspired many a fun project.  My friends in the SCA have shared their works in progress and helping brain storm solutions to problems has led me down an entirely different road to the creation of something new and different (maybe for the SCA, maybe not).  Pinterest is dangerous for me, because I can borrow others' inspiration and wind up reproducing instead of recreating ideas I find fascinating.  You get the difference?  When I take something someone else has done and copy that, even when it doesn't look exactly the same, I'm reproducing.  When I take something someone else has done and use it as a jumping platform for my own expression and inspiration, I'm recreating.  Re-imagining,  Reshaping and Recycling.

No images to share today... just the thought.  :)

13 January 2012

Warning! Disaster Area!

**Warning:  If you are offended or bothered by pictures of extreme clutter, please don't scroll down!**

I promised pictures of my studio, and I'm ashamed to say that this is the state the room is in as of this afternoon.  I really am lucky to have this space, and even luckier that my hubby is willing to cede it all to me and my business... I just have to unbury it to make use of it!  The room is big and has lovely natural light. I painted it a beautiful and restful blue-green two years ago and still love the color, so that's not on the agenda.  I already have a lot of the organizing stuff I'll need, so the expense of getting things up and going is mostly in the coin of time and elbow grease.  Once I get in there and start clearing out things that I no longer want to keep or won't use, the amount of mess will be reduced significantly. 

That being said, my project for the next week will be to create a working space where I can create and run my business out of.  The "office" is done, now to make the "studio" a reality.   Not sure if I'm going to do any progress pics - I might leave it as a surprise and save all the after pictures for the very end, when it's totally complete.

The hallway leading to the craft room has gotten a bit full of overflow from the room.  To be fair tho', some of it is organization stuff that needs to get INTO the room to help with the mess inside.
Looking back toward the door, seeing the pile of painting and sculpture supplies along with the Christmas crafting stuff that needs to be sorted and put into the holiday storage closet.  That chest in the corner holds my jewelry supplies - I can't even get to it right now.
Standing at the door looking toward my desk and the closet.  Most of the stuff on this side of the room is already sorted into piles of paper crafting stuff.  I need to cull the stuff that I no longer want and can donate, which will clear quite a bit of space.  I'm definitely going to change the orientation of the desk, just not 100% sure where it's going to wind up.
The closet!  Eek!!  To the left is the paper crafting stuff and to the right is the organizer for my fabric and yarn crafting tools.  I really hate this organizer because the drawers are constantly falling off the tracks.  Not sure how to fix it, but I have the feeling it's going to need to be replaced.

The right side of the closet.  Mostly full of art supplies that I won't be using in the future, so the metal shelves will be used to store other supplies as soon as I can get in there and clear it out.  The hanging sweater organizer on the door currently holds my wool for spinning.
The left side of the closet.  Another big metal wire shelving unit holds all of my fabric and sewing machines.  There is space here, but I can't use it currently because of the pile of stuff in the middle of the closet that needs to find its way to a more convenient (and organized!) location.

This is currently Michael's corner of my studio/craft room.  He's volunteered to take all of the electronics stuff and computing books out and find another home for them so I can set this area up as storage for inventory and packaging for the business.  Unfortunately I need to clear enough space that we can walk through here to get stuff out - and take down the desk. 

Scary, isn't it?  Anybody want to come help me clean this up and organize it?

Have a great weekend, all!  

12 January 2012


Today I worked on getting the business side of my world a little more organized and ready for the new year coming up.  My computer area was an absolute disaster - projects half-completed, new supplies purchased and just set nearby, paperwork piled...   I didn't take a before picture to share with you, but trust me when I say that you would have understood my inability to do ANYTHING remotely productive in the space.  I dreaded having to do paperwork or even check email.  

The filing cabinet on the far left has a drawer for personal stuff and a drawer for business stuff now.  On top, the turquoise bins hold my pens and office supplies.  The magazine files are for organizing Orders to Fill on the left and Completed Orders on the right (labels were applied after the photo, silly me).  On my desk there are separate files for Things to Do, Things to File, Incoming Mail, and Outgoing Mail (also sans labels in the pic).  Don't mind that giant stack of magazines and catalogs... they're for inspiration and ordering supplies, and after I've had a chance to look through them they will be filed in the appropriate spots.  The print hanging above my desk was a wedding gift, and off the screen to the left on the wall beside the filing cabinet, I have a white board for keeping my To-Do list straight.

I'm excited to have a space where I feel I can get stuff done!  It took most of the day today to finish with reorganizing and cleaning, but with all the open desk space, I just had to doodle a bit.  Nothing spectacular, but this is the first time I've been inclined to sketch anything at all in months!  It's not done, but here's a peek...

Tomorrow and the next few days after, I tackle the studio space.  Now THAT'S a daunting task.  But it will be even more worth it in the end... or so I keep telling myself. 

10 January 2012

Weight Loss Layout

If you're anything like me, even in this digital age it's just nice to have written, visible documentation of your progress in anything.  This is even more true with something like a New Year's Resolution to lose weight!  I like the concrete feeling of writing down my information in tables and seeing progress from week to week.  On a momentous undertaking like this, most scrapbookers would do pretty much exactly what I've done... I made a layout to help me keep track! 

Both Pages Together
Before Page / Weight Log
After Page / Measurements

I made it sunny yellow and pretty so I actually enjoy looking at it as I record my info!  It has tables for recording my weight as it changes on one sheet, and measurements on the other.  I just made up the tables in Excel and printed them out on plain white paper.  I got an absolutely adorable House Mouse Happy Hoppers stamp called Light as a Feather, that I colored in with colored pencils and plunked down on the Before page, and an absolutely beautiful black rhinestone swirly to put above the After picture space... kinda as a celebration.  I still need to print out a copy of my Before picture and put in it - but I think I'll save sharing that until I have an After pic to go with it!

I hope you enjoyed my little layout!  Check back Wednesday for something new - maybe even some pics of my studio space!

06 January 2012

Welcome to Wayward Gypsy!

Starting next Monday, January 9, 2012, I will be posting a minimum of one crafted object a week on this blog.  There will likely be some talk and pictures over the next month or two about the business I'm trying to start, and the reorganization and purging of unnecessary craft stuff from my studio space, but there will be at LEAST one object created by my hands to share.

I am currently reading a book by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle.  I don't know if you know who Steven Pressfield is, but he's a HIGHLY successful author of fiction books - some of which have been turned into popular movies "The Legend of Bagger Vance," anyone?  Anyway, in his book, he talks about his theory of Resistance, where any person striving to be creative, start a business, or move to a higher moral station is constantly fighting against themselves to actually begin these ventures.  "The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success."  I'm not done with the book, but I can see myself so clearly in the words he's speaking that I know that it will help me.

I hope that you'll come back next week to see what I've created.  I'm off to begin my birthday celebratory weekend!  :)