Saturday, November 14, 2015

Why You Should Create...and Continue Creating, Despite Everything

Photo Courtesy of Unknown, 
I thought this was mine taken at Sandy Hook, NJ years ago
but am unsure. It looks identical to mine. It might be.

"I have a right to my own voice and a right to my own vision. 
I have a right to collaborate with creativity, 
because I myself am a product and a consequence of Creation."
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear

WOW! When I read those words, they were powerful. Imagine that. The realization that YOU of all people have every right to create because you yourself are a creation. You were made from Creation. That is amazing. It’s in our DNA, passed on from generation to generation for thousands of years. Bet you never thought of it that way. You can't stop creating. It’s who you are. How can you cut yourself off from your own heart? You would eventually die a very slow death. Maybe that's why you feel numb and empty. desensitized to what's happening around you. Lost. But all you need to do is reclaim your rightful place. No one can tell you otherwise. Get back on that path to who you are. Every step you take will bring you closer home. Create through the mess, create through the pain, create through the mundane, create through the work, create when it rains, create when it shines, create when you're happy, create when you're sad....point is, just Create.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Round Umpteempth: You vs. Art vs. Inspiration - Know When to Let Go and Stop Fighting

Free clipart from Clipart Heaven

"It is through our mistakes that we grow and learn."
- Jessica Peill-Meininghaus, The Gnome Project

How many times have you been banging against the same door only for it to never open? Or, you don’t want to accept that, then try to force your way onto things. You grab whatever “crowbar” you’re working with and try to pry that creative door open so you can make it work just to get inside. 

(Exasperated sigh…) 

This is how I feel sometimes when working on something over and over and over again and it’s just not coming together, no matter what I do. Where do you go from there? Can you take a deep breath, step back and let go? Sometimes I find that hard to do and continue bulldozing through.  Do you even know when to let go and walk away? Or, when you need to put distance between you and what you’re working on and return sometime later? I don’t always know and keep running that lap to nowhere with end results of shaky legs and pure exhaustion. No benefits.

I try to experiment on top of the mistakes. Sometimes that work. Sometimes it doesn’t and becomes a monumental disaster. I read somewhere we never fail. We only discover new ways how NOT to do something. I like that. I give space for these words to roam around in my mind, freely fromping around in their robe and slippers, kicking back, just “being”, relaxing, no care in the world, completely centered in itself. It seems to ease the frustration that is pressure cooker-ing (yes, I know it’s not a word but one of my many that I make up) inside me anytime those disaster gremlins are hanging around. Or, as Elizabeth Gilbert shares in her book, Big Magic, Inspiration is an actual identity, not much different from you or me, and says Inspiration just didn’t come to visit you on that day. When Inspiration does visit, magic happens. You can see it and feel it. It’s partnering with you.

Free clipart from Clipart Heaven

Well, I didn’t have any visitors today which is evident in my work…this is basically my work minus the smile. I am currently sporting a completely defeated attire.

Free clipart from Clipart Heaven

Wouldn’t it be great if Inspiration permanently moved in? I’ll begin to clear out the guest room…

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book Review: The Gnome Project by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus

Photo Courtesy of The Moon Goat

The Gnome Project is about one woman’s journey in creating a daily practice to get unstuck from the habit of not finishing what she starts, only to discover the many gifts it brings along the way and how it anchors your life. It’s that golden thread that weaves your days together. It becomes a comforter and a cathartic channel to purge your emotions. It is your challenger and holds you to task. In the end, it’s what you turn to and say, despite everything that happened, I accomplished this one thing today.

This book was very interesting and held my attention so much so, I finished it in a day. It made me think about my own daily practices and the comforts they bring. It also inspired me to try creating my own journey for a year and see what yields from my harvest. Regardless of what daily practice you choose, her choice to make a gnome a day for a year was intriguing. There is something about gnomes that bring mystery and fun to the forefront. Definitely made the book a lot more interesting because it wasn’t filled with scientific data and jargon and blah blah blah stuff that bores you to death. Fun read. I do plan on reading it again. Hope she releases another book similar to this style.

FTC Regulations Compliance
I purchased this book through Amazon and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 25, 2015

Completing UFOs

Let all the doings of the day float by….Stop doing…just for right now.
- Quote by SARK

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest by Planet Sark

I have a bag of UFOs sitting at the bottom of my closet with all the intentions on finishing them. This was a rather large series with some side projects in between that was abandoned for a variety of reasons. This month, I decided to begin pulling them out, one by one, and completing each of them within a 30 day period.

This month’s project is called "The Resting Angel". She was originally abandoned a long time ago because it didn’t feel right with how she was turning out, despite the many attempts at trying different techniques. Nothing seemed to be working.

My exercise for this month was:
  • to finish her
  • choose supplies that inspired me at that given point in time with no thinking involved, even if it seemed like they didn't fit with each other
  • and getting lost in the process, without regard for the finished project
My end result was to have 1 completed UFO from that bag of "Yet-To-Beings".

Can I tell you how enjoyable that was to just let go? I need to do this more often and stop over-thinking it…stop wanting it to be perfect…good….satisfied...getting frustrated…not happy with how its turning out…forgo how I really want it to come out. To just be surprised in the end. I think that's what its all about. Enjoying the journey. Stop putting so much pressure on ourselves with the SHOULDs in life.

Who really cares? That is not the purpose of this piece or of any piece and really is not even why I create these things. It’s all an exercise of getting lost, letting go and seeing where you end up. 

"The Resting Angel"\
Front View
9" x 6"
Artist: aka Mrs. Art Doll Maker

Some doll makers create beautiful dolls. They inspire me. I would like to create like them. I can create like them. But find, I don’t want to create like them. I let my hands move and my heart dictate what sings to it. Channel. Channel. Channel. That’s it. It’s okay if it’s not good. (Okay, I want it to be good but it’s more important to just create. Everything we make cannot be good. We all must make crap. It’s part of experimenting, evolving, learning, purging and growing. I think some pieces I do turn out well while others are Oh My God. Ouch. I wince to look at it.)

That brings me back to this piece...A lot of people at work have been talking about how crazy busy everything has gotten lately, how much they have to do and how tense and rude people have been. That is what inspired me in this piece and to attach SARK’s quote to the back of it. It’s a reminder to anyone who reads it. At the top of the quote, SARK lists an example of a typical running to-do list: (make more money, laundry, hurry up, bills, lose weight)

Then, the quote continues to remind us to let go of everything and let it all float by, stop doing, just for now. This is why I call this piece “The Resting Angel”. Take a step back and breathe. Let it all go.

"The Resting Angel"
Back View
9" x 6"
Artist: aka Mrs. Art Doll Maker

Materials: colored pencils, fur trim, feathers, clay face, butterfly, ribbon, and a SARK quote.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Doll Is a Piece of a Soul

Photo Courtesy of A Fanciful Twist
Discover what this doll's afternoon adventure is @ 

"When a piece of art from an artist is bought, it is not just an object. 
It contains hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation, 
years of frustration and moments of joy. 
It is not just a thing but a piece of a heart; 
a piece of a soul; 
a small piece of the artist's life."
-by Rebekah Joy Plett 
as published in A for Artistic: Where Artistic Minds Meet Quarterly eMagazine 
Issue Winter 2015

As I'm making my dolls, I don't know where they come from but sometimes, I step back and see reflections of myself. Although that was never my intention, I recognize a memory, an experience, a personality trait, a physical pain, an emotion that gets translated into this being made from cloth, clay, paints, beads and trim. How it all comes together is a mystery because I'm lost in the process and stop when I hear that inner voice tells me, "Stop". 

Seeds planted from the past that I may not even have ever known were sowed but discover them pushing forward as heads of flowers through deep, rich black soil that feels so alive in my hands when I garden. It smells fresh and rich, ALIVE! I love seeing the brightly colored, new growth peeking through the darkness, growing tall and strong. 

Even though there looks like there was nothing there and now there is, what lies beneath the fertile soil and depths of our soul? Even the crap in our lives acts as fertilizer, making for some fantastic grounds to reap a harvest. But who wants hardship? Pain? I don't. But I do recognize the gifts that can come from them if we allow ourselves to receive. 

Something where there was once nothing. New growth...they are always surprises for me and if I'm expecting my seeds to sprout, I always hurry with anticipation to see the first signs of bright green life peeking through that blackness. It still amazes me how our experiences transform themselves into these things, these objects, what we create from them. 

This one quote generated all these thoughts.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Set Your Dollmaking Goals and Get a Free Creative Planner!

Photo Courtesy from A For Artistic

Well, this is an update since I last posted it several days ago. I stumbled across A For Artistic recently and fell in love with this site. I am now subscribed to their eMag for 2014 and 2015 and am impressed with what they offer. In their latest issue, Spring 2015, there is an article by Adele Sciortino called, "Setting Your Creative Goals". It works perfectly with their free Creative Planner, which I have been using daily, by the way. If you haven't checked it out, please do and download it today. Its not a regular planner. It ignites that creative spark in us and gets us on a regular creative practice, which I so desperately needed. Don't want anymore UFOs around before my next brainstorm of ideas bursts forth!

Oh, and did I mention, its not a big bulky planner to use with lots and lots of pages which can be overwhelming, the layout is very eye pleasing, and the cover is so bright and colorful, too, with more creative inspiration to make your sparks fly inside! You can download right from home. See below for the link and let me know what you think...if it works for you.

I've been working on making my own creative planner and just happened to stumble upon this one from A For Artistic and thought I'd give it a try. Very colorful. Haven't gone through it yet but wanted to let you know its out there.

Get your copy for free at: Free Creative Planner at A For Artistic

They also offer online classes and an ezine on great doll making articles. Take a look and let them know I sent you over there to check them out. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Blessing Doll"
Doll and Photo by Mrs. Art Doll Maker
About 12" length

My "Blessing Dolls" are based on spirit dolls. They contain secret messages and special symbols tucked inside that bring the owner of the dolls blessings. 

This one was specially made for someone. She is a love goddess. The picture is of Quan Yin who is most notably known as the goddess of compassion but she also helps with receiving and accepting love. The message and totems placed inside build on this and act as a beacon to radiate its meaning. Quan Yin can be seen with a red mist or red sparkles surrounding her. This is represented in the fabric. Although it is not apparent in the photos, the fabric is a deep red with red sparkly shimmer to it. Additional spiritual symbols are adorned on her bodice.

"Blessing Doll"
Doll and Photo by Mrs. Art Doll Maker
About 12" length