Monday, August 3, 2015

How I Got Sidetracked by a Sharpie Marker

(.....and is it really wasting time if you're creating something?)

It's easy to fiddle away a lot of time on social media and other internet temptations, right?
Being aware of that, I try to check my e-mail in the morning and maybe spend a few minutes
checking FaceBook.  (Hah!  An hour lost without even trying!)

One morning recently, I was determined to get into creating art (that's a very wide open field for me), and my mind was on painting on silk.  To get myself "primed" for this session, I decided to check out a couple of tutorials on YouTube, especially with regard to the *shibori technique, as I am soooo out of practice.

I came across a crafty person using "Sharpie" markers and alcohol on silk scarves.
"Okay, I'll bite", I thought.  Two hours later, and I have yet another obsession! This was fun!
This was easy!  This looks like "Shibori" !

And, I never left the comfort of my office/sofa for the studio to do it, a great perk when I'm in
"couch potato" mode!
I adapted what I saw on the video to my own supplies and techniques, and I LOVED the instant gratification of this simple process.

Here are some sections of the 2 scarves I worked on.  With just a little more added detail, heat setting to fix the "paint", and they're ready for market.!  How cool is that?

*Shibori:  Japanese term which means to wring, press, or squeeze.  It also encompasses shaping,
folding, clamping, binding, wrapping, pleating, stitching or otherwise manipulating the fabric
prior to applying color to achieve intricate patterns.

I welcome your comments.  Until next time, live creatively!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Support Your Local Artists???

I recently attended NYNow (Formerly known as the International Gift Fair). While walking the aisles in an area called “Artisan Resource” I had some thoughts that I wanted to share.

This section of the show was created specifically for “overseas enterprises, to showcase their products.  It was brimming with wonderful handmade creations; weavings, jewelry, baskets, hand dyed scarves and other textiles, wood carvings, ornaments and pottery. They came from all over the world; Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Peru, Palestine, El Salvador, Colombia, India, Ghana, Brazil, Afghanistan....and on and on.

The story is told in posters and photos displayed in each booth: Women in small villages; their only way of making a living is by producing their specialty; the skills to make their products are passed down through generations, etc.

The story is fairly consistent for each of these locales and we are encouraged to support these small communities. They are remote, poverty-stricken, needy.  Our support gives them hope, encouragement, a road to a better life.

What a great idea! After all, Americans are voracious consumers of goods. Why not purchase for a worthy cause?

Here's where these thoughts entered my mind: What about AMERICA? American Artists, American Craftsmen, American Artisans.  Soooo many talented people living in communities all across our nation, from the big metropolis to the rural locale off the beaten path. From the left coast to the right coast, and in the “flyover” country in between, this country is blessed with incredible, gifted individuals who derive their living from their chosen medium/craft.

It is an understatement to say it is a struggle, a challenge, a real fight to stay afloat financially for most American “Creatives”. There is no enterprise that specifically encourages us to support our “local” talent.

So, I say, begin your “good-cause consuming” at home. Sustain lives, families, communities in your own neighborhoods FIRST! Get out there and find unbelievably creative and original treasures made by AMERICANS. Find them at local and regional shows, exhibits and fairs. Find them online. (ETSY is a good place to begin)

Purchase! Share your finds with others. Spread the word. Support those in the USA doing what they love; creating with love; hoping to just get by and maybe build a tiny nest egg. Most have no retirement plan, no health care, no guaranteed paycheck.

Yes, it is a chosen profession, but shouldn't we all be doing what we love as our chosen profession? And shouldn't we be compensated for the blood, sweat and tears it takes to create our “products”?

I say, emphatically, YES! YES, to America First! YES, to helping someone realize their hopes and dreams! YES, to showing every single, talented “Creative” that they live in the greatest country in the world, where a vision and hard work can transform our lives. Where we can use our God-given abilities to create something wonderful, share it with the world, and earn a decent living doing it.


Creatively Yours

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Routines or Ruts (Part 2)

In my last post I asked myself whether my daily morning routine was, in fact, a rut in which I was deeply embedded.  I also said I would come up with some alternatives to my rather robotic AM procedure.

 So, here's my first one:
 Continue with the first few steps, which are necessary (like feeding my cat).Make my mug of tea,
 but take it with me as I hop into the car and take a little trip.

 My first morning trip will be to Long Beach Island, a little over an hour's drive.
The drive should be fairly free of traffic, the route will wind through the pinelands of southern New Jersey, where the commercial buildings (like McDonalds, 7-Eleven Stores, and Walmarts) will be left behind. It won't be long before I'll be crossing the bridge over the bay.
Beautiful Photography by Alexander Gurtchedd

 I will open the windows a bit (it will still be pretty chilly if I do this soon) so that I can breathe in the salty air, and hear more clearly the call of the seagulls as they hover and swoop for their breakfast in the the briny waves.  Maybe I'll see a few small sailing craft braving the early morning temperatures. In minutes I will be on the island.

 I could drive the length of it, seeing what businesses are open or boarded up, still showing the ravages of the terrible Sandy Storm. (Was that 2 years ago already?). There are a lot of year round residents on the islands, but it's typically pretty quiet in the late winter/early spring, especially if
I go on a weekday.

But what I really want to do is park near the ocean, walk along the beach and watch the waves roll in, take a few pictures.

Think....pray....dream.... maybe have a little lunch somewhere before I head back home.....AND CREATE SOMETHING AWESOME!!

Well, now that I've written about it, I can't wait to do it. Thursday is the first day of spring....hmmm...this could be my way to celebrate it. I'm excited!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Get out of bed. Swallow prescribed pills. Raise window shades. Feed cat. Put on tea kettle.

Fix large mug of tea. Put on television for morning news and weather. Sip tea. Read daily devotional.

Sip tea. Check e-mails. Sip tea. Check Facebook. Sip tea..........EVERY SINGLE DAY.

“Comforting, Predictable, grounds me” I say.

“…..or grinds me into the ground????” I ask myself.

“I NEED this routine!”

I need to STOP this routine!”

The argument continues.....

“I need to SAVOR this routine!”

I need to UPSET this routine!”

So which is it? There is something about our daily routines that assure us in some way, that our lives are okay, that all is well, that there are things that we can always rely upon to be constant, when the other parts of our lives are not.

But do our routines sometimes keep us away from something that is.....refreshing..

                          ... inspiring.



 necessary to our personal growth and perspective on life?

How about you? Do you need to shake things up a bit in your daily habits? What things? Why?

Are some routines “sacred”? If so, why?

I would love to have your thoughts.

For me, I'm going to try some alternatives to the ho-hum start that is currently my routine.

In the next post I'll let you know my ideas for “shaking it up” that I'm going to try.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hi again, It's been a great experience  being a part of the BLOG LOVIN' TOUR with  Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift and over 100 other creative bloggers!  

I feel like I've met some  kindred spirits through the other participants; it is an honor to be part of this creative community.

Looks like book sales are moving right along....I'm sure you can still order a copy of
The Declaration of You.  Go here:

We have arrived at the final week of the tour, and the subject is 

 A few more thoughts....


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Tour is almost over!  It's been so much fun posting about the various themes, (which are derived from actual chapters in the new book, "DECLARATION OF YOU"  by Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift.

Learn more about the book and order your signed copy here:   

I hope you have taken the opportunity to view the blogs of the many other participating creative bloggers.  It has been an enlightening  and  helpful experience for me.

This week's subject is

Here are some good ways to celebrate your life:

Monday, July 8, 2013

THIS WEEK'S SUBJECT: SUCCESS (The Blog Lovin' Tour continues)


What does success mean to you?  How do you get it?  How do you measure it?
I found some great quotes by successful people that say it all. I especially like the last one! 

BTW, I'm still on the road to success.  I hope to let you know soon that I've arrived!