Wednesday, January 26, 2011

visiting creative friends

There is something so good about being able to visit creative friends.
Yesterday I went to visit my friend, Ruth. She is a rubber stamper, a knitter, a reader and a person that also does paper embroidery. I never know what I will find her doing next. I hadn't seen her since before the holiday because she was ill the first of the year. So there was so much to talk about and so much to share.
There is nothing like a creative friend to bring out a person's creative muse. Ideas fluttered back and forth like butterflies around summer flowers. When I got home I could hardly wait to set my creations together. The card with the flowers was my first attempt of adding color to Paper Embroidery. I am not sure how I feel about it. I think I will have to play with the idea some more before I make a final decision.
I have something on my scanner it seems so there is a blemish on the picture of the second card. I will have to correct that before I scan again. This one is the first of 7 sympathy cards that I need to make.
We both agreed that we had not done any coloring of stamped images lately even though it is something we both really enjoy. So..... I stamped some images last night and hopefully in a few days I will have something more to share with you and my friend Ruth too when I see her next.

Hope you have a great day filled with memories of flowers and friends.

Monday, January 24, 2011

When your up your up....

When my children were little and in preschool they used to stand in a circle and sing a song with animation. It went: "Oh when your up, your up, and when your down, your down, and when your only half way up, your neither, up or down." It was a great song for the children to sing on a winter day when they could not go out into the play yard to play. Their lithe young bodies would stretch up to the ceiling and then stoop clear to the floor and then come only part way up before making a quick stretch to the top and quick drop almost to the floor. Each time the song was sang the music tempo was increased until the children ultimately could not keep up the motion and would fall to the ground in a giggling heap.
Life gets like that sometimes. We rise one day to sunshine and good work and good friends and then almost instantly something happens that brings us crashing down to almost the bottom. Then our lives take another turn and we seem to be teetering somewhere between being up and down.
The problem is, as we get older and the tempo of ups and downs come faster and faster, it gets harder for us to find the "halfway up" and when we come tumbling down into a heap we find we have forgotten how to giggle, knowing it is all a part of life.

As I have grown older the "downs" of life have been the loss of friends and loved ones to death. We all know we are not going to get out of this world alive, yet when death comes to those we love it seems so wrong. Not now! my heart cries, Not yet! But I know it is now for that loved one and that I will feel pressed low for a while. In time I find myself rising out of the sadness and I see there are others who are celebrating yet another year of life and I find myself being lifted out of my sadness to celebrate their lives and I feel half way up. And then a baby is born and I feel the newness of life and I find myself stretching to the fullness of "Up", knowing that life does go on and there is newness to rejoice in.
January brought me more "down" moments and fewer "up" moments as there were no new births in my small circle. So I find I am living in a "halfway up" condition, struggling just a bit to find newness of life in other ways.
My card making list has 3 birthdays and 7 sympathy cards and 3 thinking of you cards. If I take the right attitude that seems to balance things out pretty well. I chose to begin with the birthday cards and have two to share with you this week. One should always rejoice in celebration to have another year with a friend. I hope you enjoy this weeks work and wish you the ability to fall into a heap of giggles when life comes at you faster than you can make the transition. S

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snowy Michigan Days

On snowy days when everything seems so cold and frozen, I like to think of some things that bring me pleasure in other seasons. The butterfly is one of those. So I found myself stitching flourishes and a tiny silver butterfly and thinking of warmer days. It is not that I don't like winter, because I really do. It is just that I miss the flowers, butterflies and the leaves on the trees. I know they will all return in their time but it is still much fun to create them on winter days and send them off to friends hoping that they will warm their hearts too. I love the paper that I worked up the oval with the tiny Martha Stewart flowers in the center. The paper has a weave that makes it look like finely woven linen. It has a bit of a sheen to it also. I find it at my local Joann's. It is not the strongest of papers (much lighter than cardstock) but with a little TLC it works up quite nicely.
I have gobs of ribbon and I am trying to use it as well as some of the beads, pearls and embellishments that think they have found permanent homes in my storage units. I tell myself less is more and so am trying to lessen somewhat, what I have in my art room. I have kept so many things saying I want to use them for something special. Well the truth is, everyone I make and send cards to is special to me. So..... out come the ribbons, and embellishments in 2011 and I am sure 2012, 2013........

I did venture out today. I went shopping for a new chair. I spend so much time in my recliner and it certainly takes a beating. The one I have is showing the wear and tear and has been shampooed and brushed clean more times than I can remember. So it was time to say goodbye to it and replace it with one that is almost identical except in a different covering. I am waiting now for them to deliver it.
But of course, a new piece of furniture means I had a bit of cleaning to do in order to make the transition. I don't know about you, but the area around my chair looks like a busy board room.
So I have cleared the clutter and wait with excitement for the coming of the new and the going of the old.

I hope all of you are finding "treasures" to create with and are pushing out the old things and refreshing your life with something new that will bring you comfort and pleasure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reaching out to others with artistic Cards

I made some of these calendar cards and mailed them off to friends. I try to make some each year and find the hardest part is choosing a design that I wouldn't be bored with after a couple of months.
This year I used threads and beads. In previous years I have put magnets on the back. This year I decided to put small easels on the back too so it could be used as a desk calendar.
So even as these were sent out my mind began whirling on something new and different for next year.

The little card is one I am sending to welcome a new member on and online group I belong to,
She is concerned that her work is not as good as she would like it to be to share with others.
So this little creation of mine is a simple tag with a verse on it. I made the pocket to hold the tag by cutting the corner off an old envelope and layering a pretty scrap on top. It was fun poking around in the fiber drawer to pull out some different fibers to make a tassel. If she doesn't have kitties this tag could become a bookmark. At my house, tassels and fibers are an open invitation to the kitties. Or at least that's what they tell me.

I have two more cards almost finished that I will share with you soon.

Hope all of you are finding creative ways to brighten your day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

winter storms and stitching cards

We have twenty inches of snow from the storm over the weekend. I took advantage of needing to stay in and off the roads by doing some more paper embroidery while watching movies.
I am not sure what it is about watching the movies. I guess I always think of reading a book on stormy days but I really did want to accomplish something this time too. So the movies were second best. Besides I really needed some sympathy cards.
You will see a bit of golden yellow around them because the base card stock is white and the edges did not show up on the scan. It was the manila folder that I lay behind it to make the edges of the card show.

I think I am embracing paper embroidery right now because it makes me feel closer to my mother. I know how much she enjoyed embroidery work over the years. She embroidered pillow cases, luncheon cloths, dresser scarves ( remember when we really did use them?) and dozen and dozens of dish towels. I never did enjoy doing the work on cloth because the back of my work was so messy. At least with paper embroidery I can hide the back with another layer. I don't think mother ever quite understood why I preferred working on the paper. Still she admired the work.
I have missed mother even more as time goes on. Coming to the realization that I will never hear her laughter or pick up the phone and hear her voice, leaves a hollow hole in my heart.

Just today I heard a funny joke and as I laughed I thought how mother would love this one. I could almost see her smile.

It is hard to make sympathy cards when I am still grieving myself. But then I think, what better time? I know some of the feelings they are having and I know I am comforted by the cards sent to me. With that thought in mind, I think I will make a couple extra to have on hand.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year -New creativity

2010 was a sad year for me with the death of both of my parents just a few months apart from each other. I can be sad for myself but at their advanced ages ( in their 90's) and their poor health I know it is a blessing that they are at peace and rest and reunited.
I still feel the emotional turmoil of it all but also know that my mother would not want to sit in my sadness. I can almost hear her say: "Sallyann, life is for the living, so get off your duff and get busy with something."
So I have returned to my card making for the time.
I had 3 birthday cards to make for friends on one of my lists. So I just finished those and will post them here. I hope to be posting here on a regular basis in the coming year.