Craft Worthy Redux and Creative Challenges

This evening as we walked into the deserted streets of a quaint Seattle neighborhood, the sky lit up with fireworks and exploded with cheers from every bright highrise, home, and bar.  I imagined for a moment that they were all celebrating my entry into a new decade, and it made for a rousing end to a lovely day.  Of course, in reality, the swell of voices and flashes of fire followed the final moments of a Superbowl that seemed to rally an entire city, even the least likely of fans.

While it was frustrating to find store after store closed or closing early, and a favorite restaurant where we’d planned to have my birthday dinner shuttered for the game, it was hard not to get just a little caught up in the momentary excitement.  Perhaps it was the  energy of the 12th man (and woman and child) that emboldened the Seahawks.  It certainly seemed the Broncos never had a chance.  So the sun smiled on Seattle today, a good omen for the game, and more importantly, a good omen for my new year, I hope!

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On Alki Beach
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Low tide facing west; the kind of blue you want to dive into!

So in my previous post about the creative journey, I discussed the concept of letting a piece “get cold”. I really need to do this more with my work.  There is an urgency in the virtual world, or more so an urgency prompted in one’s self by the virtual world, that can get in the way of the creative process.

After I created this card, I kept looking at it and thinking something was missing…

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I decided the embroidery hoop was just too empty; it didn’t look or feel right.  So I took a deep breath and filled the circle!

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Better?  I think so.  And while I am being a bit hyperbolic about taking a deep breath (it’s not like I couldn’t distress ink another panel and re-stamp!), this is one aspect of working with visual media that has always scared me–the lack of control one has over a piece.  Painting, creating mixed media, there is always that possibility of going one step too far, setting down the ink or paint, or adding some element to a nearly finished product that could “ruin” the whole thing.  When I think back to art classes in my youth, I felt the same way–unsure about the next step, over-thinking or under-trusting my decisions.  And certainly there are those opposite moments where the happy accident occurs.

But it’s not the same with writing.  There is so much more control.  Put down a word, delete, leave it, write on, come back–no matter.  The written work is malleable.  And it is certainly much more comfortable if not necessarily easier for me to execute.  I will likely be back to tinker with this entry at some point…

So the discomfort and moments of wonderment (Oh, I could have done it that way?!) will continue to accompany me on this journey as a paper crafter.  And in all honesty, I am enjoying the challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I finalized one more card for the Purple challenge over at CASology.  I used the window screen technique a la Make-it-Monday for this card as well.  It is my homage to the month of May, lilacs, and Mother’s Day!

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The cover plate is from Lil’ Inkers.  I love this die.  The vine flourish is Spellbinders.  Lilacs and sentiment are from WPlus9 Fresh Florals, stamped with pigment inks.  The banner is from a great Spellbinders set of 4 ribbon banners.

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The back was finished off with some washi– it looks more yellowed in the photograph, but it is closer in color to the green paper on the card’s front.

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And speaking of florals, I dropped into the exquisite Drygoods Design in Ballard today.  I adore this store; they have a wonderful selection of fabrics, cards, notions and the owner is just as nice as can be.  Look at these Liberty of London fabrics–I am still drooling over the red in the floral pattern on the right.

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The store is attached to Anchored Ship Coffee, a darling bright spot to sip in the western sun and think about fabric…

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Photo by Leona Lane
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Storefront. Photo by Yelp.
Facing upstairs to Drygood Designs.
Facing upstairs to Drygood Designs. Photo by Leona Lane

I couldn’t leave empty handed, of course!  So I bought this delightful fabric:

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It’s called “Cat’s Dream” by Andover Fabrics–notice the balloons?  Purrfect birthday fabric for a crazy cat lady, no?

Oh, and Andover Fabrics is the company responsible for the new line of Downton Abbey fabrics inspired by Lady Mary, Edith, Sybil, and the Dowager Countess!  Read all about it here!

Speaking of Downton, I am off to see if the latest episode is ready to watch online.

Keep calm and craft on you crazy cats…

6 thoughts on “Craft Worthy Redux and Creative Challenges

  1. Lots to comment on! Firstly- your coat is a seriously gorgeous colour. Second- you have a fabric issue too 😉?! I love those fabrics- even though I’m not a million miles from Liberty of London I’ve never been there! And I agree- leaving projects and coming back to them is a great discipline – it often results in
    better designs- and I think your card is a perfect case in point. Hope you enjoyed your Birthday xx

    1. Thanks, Keren! I HAD to have that coat because of the color. Talk about therapeutic! It makes me happy indeed, and warm. The softness and saturation of those LoL fabrics– oh my! But 40$/yd is a bit out of my range currently. Great eye candy though! xo

  2. happy belated birthday! love the pics of you on alki! We sometimes go to the husky deli for birthday icecream cones:)

    You are a brave soul to stamp on that hoop and what fantastic results! It makes quite a bit of difference, it’s lovely!

    Your purple/green card is wonderful…I’m not much of a purple girl but green is my fav color (love your coat!)….

    I’ll have to try out that Anchored Ship coffee shop! Love your fabric purchases!

    1. Thanks, Amy! Congrats on your CASE Top 3 today!!! And if you are coming over for cones, at any point, let me know! Not a day for ice cream today, though!! I felt like ice myself! xo

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