Monday, April 30, 2018

Zig Ziglar's Motivational Empire #AtoZChallenge

  Motivation, inspiration, get past the inertia.  
That's what this month long blog challenge is all about.

 A quote from Zig Ziglar appeared in my 5 Minute Journal recently. 
I'd heard the name but knew little about him. Quite an empire he created based on motivation. 
 We humans need so much help in that area. Why is that?

The last day of the A to Z Challenge. I made it!  How about you?  I'm tired.
I wonder what comes next?

It's been a fun month with lots of comments, looks at other blogs,
 new connections made. I'll be back next year for a fourth round.

I'm gonna go make some stencils & paint fabric now. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Just Say Yes #AtoZChallenge

Just say yes...well maybe not. I find reasons on both sides of the fence.
 I embrace the idea to say yes rather than no in most cases.

It's a tricky balance. If we want to be creative we need to have time to ourselves, which involves the  use of No to set our boundaries. If we want people to see us & notice what we do, we need to say Yes. That eats into our time. What is the trade off needs to be figured out in each situation.

 The cost of saying yes.   Interesting article. In depth thoughts about
 saying no to keep your time protected.

 Ran across the idea of Yes...if. A good exercise to use 
in our own heads to determine which way to go?  

 Maybe "yes and" is the best idea.

Negotiation is an art form. Why it's OK to say no. 

The A to Z challenge is about saying yes to a big commitment. The lessons learned along the way are well worth the effort. That might be the key, to weigh the benefit.

 How do you decide whether to say yes or no to a request?

Friday, April 27, 2018

Her Name Begins with X #AtoZChallenge

Meet Xanthe Berkley.  I ran across this gal, who lives in London, on Instagram
Her videos of everyday events are stunning. Her stop motion films are fun.
The feel is calm overall. We could all use more of that.

Instagram is a great place to hang out. I like it better than Facebook.
Her Instagram feed here.

  I have 2 trips to London planned since my older son & his wife are living there for 2 years.
I would love to meet Xanthe in person. This was meant to be!

My Instagram here. Lots of shots of my process, completed projects,
travel, things that catch my eye.

Latest shot I posted. Spring in Northern Michigan has been rough this year!
Had to get that in so everyone could feel sorry for me.

Do you use Instagram? Do you like it? 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

'Writing Down the Bones" #AtoZChallenge

Published in 1986 it continues to offer great advice   I decided to go through the book make notes in margins, dog ear pages, & put it to use. Gasp. I am a firm believer that you should make a book your own. That means it's OK to mark it  up. There is so much good stuff for life as well as how to write.

I printed a copy of this short list of advise from Josh Spector.  
I use it every time I do a blog post. To get rid of "ing" is tough.

Delete the word “that.”

At least 90% of the times you use the word “that” can be removed from your writing and it will instantly make your sentence stronger.
Example: “You believe that I’m lying, but I’m not.” becomes “You believe I’m lying, but I’m not.”

Delete the words “I think.”

It adds nothing. Remove it to strengthen your point.
Example: “I think this is a good sentence.” becomes “This is a good sentence.”

Avoid words that end in “-ing.”

In most cases, the “-ing” softens your word and adds no value. Your writing will read better if you avoid it.
Example: “The experiences we’re seeking end up being underwhelming and even disappointing.” becomes “The experiences we seek often underwhelm and disappoint.”

Short sentences. Short paragraphs.

Most sentences can be cut in half. Don’t be afraid to have a two or three word sentence.
Keep paragraphs to less than three sentences.
White space is your reader’s friend.

Shrink your opening sentence.

Make it compelling, but keep it short and conversational.

Short post today. Getting tuckered out. Only three letters left.  I'm gonna make it.

What advise do you turn to for your blog posts? Or life in general?  Would love to hear.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Vignettes #AtoZChallenge

  A small, pleasing picture formed by grouping several objects. 
One definition of Vignette.

 HOUZZ  has a tutorial on how to create them.

One of many vignettes in my home. 
Dominoes in a jar is an idea from a furniture catalog. 
The coin changer is random relic from teen age boy days.  I could never part with it.
Look for odd things you've collected that have different textures, colors, uses.

1. a decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end   of a chapter.
2. an engraving, drawing, photograph, or the like that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border.
3. a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes, or the like, as in a manuscript.
4. any small, pleasing picture or view.
5. a small, graceful literary sketch.
verb (used with object), vignetted, vignetting.
6. Photography. to finish (a picture, photograph, etc.) in the manner of a vignette.

Origin of vignette 1745-55; < French: literally, little vine (see vine, -ette ); so called from vinelike decorations in early books


When I Googled vignette this came up. Creepy. Looks like a fun Halloween party.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Uppercase Magazine #AtoZChallenge

I subscribe to Uppercase magazine. 
Loaded with images & stories from all sorts of artists. 

 They encourage you to post a picture of where you read issues. 
This on Instagram of my copy while on my deck last summer.

Janine Vangool, editor & designer of Uppercase, is prolific in her creation of publications.
 On her blog you get a sense of her ambition.
Her photographs inspire.

To what publications do you subscribe that inspire your creativity?

Monday, April 23, 2018

T is for Tarnish #AtoZChallenge


1. to lose or cause to lose the shine, esp by exposure to air or moisture 
resulting in surface oxidation; discolour: silver tarnishes quickly
2. to stain or become stained; taint or spoil: a fraud that tarnished his reputation
3. a tarnished condition, surface, or film

 I prefer an aged look to a polished one. More interesting to my eye.

I have a collection of old family pieces displayed in my home that I leave to tarnish.

This should have been in my background stories post. 
I often use it for small things I want to photograph.

Do you prefer polished or tarnished?  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Shoe Lasts #AtoZChallenge

 Shoe Lasts
 The word “last” comes from the Old English “laest,” meaning footprint.
I have two sets of these beauties. They were made in Detroit.


They come in handy as a photo prop. The wood's patina is gorgeous.

You can learn how to make your own wooden last.
Growing up we had a cobblers bench in our home. No we did not make shoes.

Did a little watercolor sketch of the lasts that was turned into an Artist Trading Card.

Any old family items you have on display in your home?

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rubber Boots #AtoZChallenge

When one is a paper maker one needs some stylish rubber boots. These are mine.

When I saw these on a neighbor I had rubber boot envy!

Notice the rubber boots & aprons. It's a messy business. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Quilting #AtoZChallenge

I am not a quilter. But an admirer of those who create art quilts.

A local quilting celebrity is Ann Loveless
Grand Rapids, MI has a huge art event every summer. Art Prize. Ann won the big jury prize one year. then the peoples choice award the next. Her quilts for Art Prize were a blend of large scale photography & quilting. She collaborates with her husband, the photographer.  Above is a smaller quilt by Anne using her technique of netting stitched over the tiny fabric pieces 
she uses to create an image.

While visiting younger son in Bend, OR a few years ago I discovered the 
Sisters Annual Quilt Show  was being held.  What a spectacular quilting event. 
The entire town is covered indoors & out with quilts. 

The key note speaker that year happened to be a quilter from Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.  
Gwen Marston. Serendipity. 

The stitching detail here blows me away. 

This was my favorite of the entire show.

The back of the Hippos.

 Close up of the faces.

Another example of a free stitching extravaganza. So impressive. 

Do you admire the expertise of others in their chosen art form?  
Do you want to know how it's done?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pop Up Books #AtoZChallenge

Pop up books have been around a very long time. Some history here.

 Carol Barton taught a class in the construction of pop up components at PBI a few years back.
She brought the old Pinocchio book you see in the 2 pictures above. 

 We learned the intricacies of many of the ways you can make paper
  move & come up off the page. The flower is a students creation.

I have a copy of one of Carol's books with lots of great examples & instructions.

Pop up books are made by "paper engineers".
The link takes you to info about a woman with an amazing collection.

Bruce Foster had an exhibition in our local Dennos Museum.
He has done work for several movies and main stream publications. The castle was in "Enchanted".

  Kevin Steele's creation The Deep, his masters thesis, is spectacular. 
You can watch a video of the book being unfolded through the link.
He was featured in my F post. 

 I went to a link in the Wikipedia History for the Moveable Book Society
Kevin's book was the cover image. 

Do you find the idea of moveable books intriguing?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O is for Ovals #AtoZChallenge

Geometric shapes are one of my things. Ovals especially appeal to me.
 The above image is the cut outs from a two part stencil shown below.
I use them as a resist in mono printing. 
With layers of paint on them they are sturdy & look great on their own.

  I frequently use ovals as one of the elements on my hand painted fabric.

I had to learn how to make a perfect oval for my cloth creations. Here is the formula.
 I'm a visual person & YouTube is my friend. I now have a pile of ovals in different sizes.

 To pin & sew the ovals as a base is tricky. I've done enough they are easier now.

As the base for a bag I prefer an oval over a circle. 
Makes them more organic in form. 

What's your preference, organic or geometric shapes?