Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sometimes you just have to give in...

I'm not sure I was actually, truly, sick. I think it was more of a case of "I just feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers up over my head." Maybe it was 'pre-sick', because I'd been feeling bla for a couple of days. Most times, when I feel like this, I rally. I give myself little pep talks, I drink another cup of coffee, pop a vitamin C, or I get busy on a project and the feeling passes. (When all else fails, I eat chocolate!)

This time, I really, really wanted to go to bed. Not make art, or plushies, or write, read manuscripts, cook dinner for the kids, or feed the fur kids, or any of the other stuff I am supposed to do. I got into bed, pulled the covers up and thought about things. It was warm under my down comforter. I can see the sky from my upstairs bedroom window. I watched the clouds and the trees. I snoozed a little. But when I woke up, I stayed in bed.It was as if a switch had been thrown. I went down for the count. I told myself I did not have to get out of bed. It could all wait. All of it.

It was lovely. It didn't last the whole day, just a few hours, but it was enough to get over whatever it was.I enjoyed having time to think without any distractions. I wrote a chapter in my book (in my head). I came up with a couple of collages (I watched a little slideshow of possible future works float by). It was nice.

On a much less sleepy subject (I can see you! You are all heading for your beds and your cozy down comforters!) - have you all been entering the One World, One Heart giveaway? I hope so. There are fantastic blogs to visit, wonderful new people to meet, and lovely prizes to win! So hop out of bed! Get busy! Next year I am going to join the giveaway for sure.

Now to grab a cuppa coffee and catch up with all of you lovely people! And I am hoping to get some new work actually posted to Etsy today. Nothing short of a miracle, if I pull it off. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Paper and scissors and glue...

These are three of my favorite things (I am envisioning Julie Andrews, and I just might burst into song!). I've been thinking a lot about my early childhood while I have been drawing and cutting and gluing. These are three skills that I have had since I was, what, maybe two? I remember watching my mom doodle while she talked on the phone. She would draw one of two things: a bunch of grapes, or a pretty woman's face.

I didn't care much for the bunch of grapes, but I adored those faces. They had long eyelashes, curly hair, and full, sultry lips. I would wait for my mom to get off the phone, and like a little art thief, I would nab her doodle and keep it. Back in my room, I would try to color her drawings. I liked to take her 'heads' and glue them on to paper and make dolls. I wish I still had one of her drawings, but they vanished in a long-ago room cleaning.

Fast forward. I draw faces onto scraps of Bristol board and color them with pencils and markers.
I glue fabric scraps to other pieces of board and cut out bodies. I make legs from old Christmas cards (sorry if you see your card here as skelly fairy legs!).

Finally, I glue the whole thing to a canvas or cardboard.

I've just realized that I am still making paper dolls. :) Gotta love that.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Creativity and Compassion

My friend Maria sent this list to me a couple of days ago. I thought that you (my fellow creative types!) might need a chuckle.

Five Ways to Extinguish the Creative Spark:

Know exactly what you are doing before you get started
Be careful not to offend

Get permission
Run it by everyone first
Criticize yourself at every step

My favorite is the last one. I should have that on a t-shirt. :)

And now, a small rant alert:

About compassion. It doesn't cost a thing. Not a dime. A little compassion makes the world a better place for us all. When a neighbor is having trouble, you put yourself in their shoes, and you try to help them out somehow. Even if it is just with a kind word or two. Could someone please tell Pat Robertson this? His stupidity would be laughable if the events unfolding in Haiti were not so tragic.

On a more optimistic and less-devil-driven note, I am very proud of the human race for stepping up and donating to Haiti. The American Red Cross is being inundated with text donations (what a great idea!), and their on-line donation site is jumping. This makes my heart sing!

As my dear ma has told me on many occasions, "Pam, there are more good people in the world than bad." Moms do come up with some pearls, don't they?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Valentines and skellys and monsters...

What? Those things don't go together? Who knew?

I've mentioned before that I start several things at once. I have no idea why, but I am guessing I have a short attention span. :) I suppose a doctor could prescribe something for me to keep me 'on task', but I've decided I don't like to be on task. I work on something until I lose steam, and then I put it away. I write the same way, which explains my blog posts - haha.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because one thing that happens when you work this way is that nothing gets done for a very, very long time, because all you do is inch forward on several projects instead of completely finishing one thing. But the good news is that eventually, you finish several things at once! And so, here are some things I just finished. I have Valentine's Day on my mind. Love, love, love. And monsters. And skellys. :)

Stanley, The Love Devil

Keebler, the Hug Monster

Bellona, a skelly girl

Little Alvis, a small gnome

Big Lars, a big gnome

Chet, the Love Monster

Skelly Frida

Some of the little Valentine collages are headed to Spooky Time Jingles, some to my etsy. The plushies and Frida are headed to the Holiday Hootenanny on STJ this month (January 13th!).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to Alex!

Yesterday my oldest turned 21. So of course, we went out to dinner so he could order a drink for the first time (legally - haha). I know everyone always says this, but the time really has gone by quickly.

This is a pic of him when he was 4, and we were at San Diego Zoo and it was hot.
I won't go on and on about what a good kid he is, because he wouldn't like that, but he is a very good kid, and now he is a very good card-carrying adult! :)

Here he is opening a gift from family members who shall remain nameless (YOU know who you are!). It's a gigantic wine glass. OMG. Pat seems a little too interested, if you ask me.

Alex and his sweetie Kelly, and all the Christmas decorations I haven't put away. I'm working on it, I swear!

Kelly, Caity, Alex, Patrick and Lucas. Pat's shirt is not x-rated, it just means he's a skater (as in skate tricks). I didn't want anyone worrying.

Happy 21st, Alex! Much love from all of us!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Skelly and Heart WIPS

I think the entire country is freezing its behind off right now. Okay, maybe Florida and Hawaii get a pass, but I'm pretty sure the rest of us are. I have been sewing in front of a little heater, and every now and then I have to hold my hands in front of it to defrost! SOB! :)

Here are some heart doodles, a skelly collage, some skelly dolls I have started, and a little devil peeking out from behind them. My mind is all about hearts and skellys right now. Which brings up an interesting conversation I had with a JoAnne's employee the other day. I had a little jingle in my jeans (very little) and went in to buy some good skelly material, and luckily they had all their holiday prints on sale! So I grab about four bolts of material covered in skulls and Day of the Dead images and put it on the cutting counter.

The young woman who cut the material proceeded to lecture me about how the downfall of civilization is directly linked to "things like this" (she was pointing at the material). I assured her I was making cute little skelly dolls, but that didn't slow her down. She then launched into every horrible headline she could recall that involved someone under the age of 21. I suggested that perhaps neglect and out and out BAD PARENTING might be the real culprits, and not material printed with skellies. She would not be deterred.

In the end, however, she admitted to having a ball cap with some skull bling that she loved, and we parted friends.

I thought about it a lot on my way home. Why do I love those images so much? I guess I've always loved symbols. In my mind, hearts and skellys are linked. To me, it is all about what survives us. It's not about anything other than the one gift we leave behind: love. Skellys are of the Earth, hearts are forever.