A Creative Mess…

May 5, 2011

“A creative mess is better than idle tidiness.”      ~ Michael J. Fox

No idle tidiness on my beading table…I am and always will be a creative mess!



A Flood of Creativity…

April 26, 2011


For a long time I was really struggling with creativity – it was like pulling teeth trying to come up with new ideas.  The stream was dried to a trickle.  Between working full-time in a job that utitilized every brain cell I possessed, being a single mom to two busy teens, bills, laundry, cooking, groceries…well, the well had run dry.

Now, however, it is like a flood and I can’t get one thing done without a hundred other ideas crashing over me like waves! It’s awesome and overwhelming and I just love it…I just have to figure out a way to live without sleep, because my mind will not shut down at night. 

I think being laid off has been similar to a dam breaking for me.  I didn’t have time to pursue the creative side of me, so it got dammed up and now I’m experiencing the flooding of all that backed up inspiration.  Contrary to the damage when a flood occurs in nature, this flood  is re-creating me as an artist.  I am rejuvenated and filled with optimism I haven’t felt in a long time.

Although my studio does look like a natural disaster, that much I must admit.  It’s even messy by MY standards, and I like to work messy!

But I am enjoying the awesome force of my creative nature, and I am sure there will be times in the future when the well runs dry again.  So it is as an artist.  For now I will ride the force of the creativity flood while it roars – there will be time to sleep another day.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;

establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

   Psalm 90:17

Photo via http://www.geology.ar.gov/geohazards/othergeohaz_floods.htm

My friend Kari and I came up with this fun and easy project for an Art Camp we were leading at the local UW Campus for their Summer Program.  We purchased a number of empty paint cans from our local paint store. (about .50 cents each for the smaller size, approx. $1 for the large, which are loads of fun, too!)  We punched holes with an awl and hammer in each side near the top, directly across from each other. The rough edges are under the brim of the paint can and didn’t pose too many issues.

 We spent quite a bit of time letting the students cut pieces out of magazines, catalogs and wallpaper books, which we then applied with mod podge and/or hot glue to the outside. Some people chose more substantial things like buttons, beads, etc. that needed to be glued with hot glue first.  Then the entire surface is covered with a layer or mod podge.  The matching lids can be decorated or discarded.

 Then we cut a length of wire approximately 2 feet long.  On mine I started a loose and uneven abstract coil and put large beads along its length.  String each wire end through one of the holes in the paint can and twist to join on the inside near the rim.  Voila!  It’s an easy container that you can use in multiple ways.  My friend Karen and I have since used this idea during the YAM (Youth Art Ministry) program that we facilitate at our church and it was just as popular. 

I have one of these collaged containers holding all of my paintbrushes and another holds all of our multicolor sharpie pens.  These could be used to present small personalized gifts or customized for holidays…the only limits are in your imagination!

It’s a fun and easy way to store things and to express your creativity at the same time!

Kandinsky for Today…

December 2, 2010

Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting,

and…stop thinking! 

Just ask yourself whether the work has enable you

to “walk about” into a hitherto unknown world. 

 If the answer is yes, what more do you want?

Kandinsky, 1910




Sometimes I am blown away by other people’s creativity.  I am amazed when someone elevates a certain art to levels I never thought could be reached.  I feel that way about my fellow artist Laurie Ceesay.  She’s from my town, and we’ve gotten to know each other from The Old Church Gallery, where we both have our artwork.  I have a wall piece of hers I have previously written about that I absolutely love.  Laurie has taken the genre of art quilting to the most amazing level I could imagine.  Every time I see a new quilt of hers, I am in awe of her talent!  The quilt pictured above is entitled “Hera and Aphrodite” and won 2nd Place in the Marquette MI “Autumn Comforts” Quilt Show held in October of this year. You can read all about her inspiration for this piece and how she created it on her blog.

She has a new website I encourage you to visit.  It will inspire you!  Laurie’s website can be seen at http://www.laurieceesay.com/

I think I need to go make some jewelry now!

The Woman I Want To Be…

August 22, 2009


Ever since I first saw this piece of fabric art collage by Laurie Ceesay at The Old Church Gallery, I have been drawn to it.  Laurie’s artwork is fantastic and I love her vibrant use of color.  She has recently started her own blog called Artsy Chick Quilts….check it out!

Laurie is an artist from Menominee, Michigan (where I live)  but she has submitted pieces nationally and gained recognition for her work.  One of her pieces was published in Quilting Arts Magazine in the April/May 2009 issue as a winner of their Rock On! Reader Challenge.  Her quilt featured Tina Turner and it really impressed the judges…and me!

Laurie began doing her art quilts several years ago after growing bored doing traditional quilting.  She likes to feature women in her work, specializing in faces.  This fits right in with Laurie’s other passion – she is a hairdresser and loves hairstyles, makeup and fashion!

The woman Laurie depicts in this piece is no doormat – she’s vibrant and she’s fantastic.  She is who I want to be!

“Fresh Picked Flowers” is coming home with me.  I just know we’ll be very happy together!


We got a new Youth Pastor nearly 5 years ago at our church – Faith Baptist Church in Peshtigo, WI.  I was trying to find a way to be a part of the youth ministry, but I wasn’t sure how I could fit in.  I’d tried being a Sunday School teacher, but I didn’t think that was one of my “gifts.” I met with Pastor Tim Harwell to talk about it.  He had some suggestions, but I wasn’t sure where God was leading me.  I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

As I left the church parking lot, a full-blown idea hit me – a Youth Art Ministry!  THIS I could do.  THIS was in my comfort zone and something I would be passionate about.  I immediately called my good friend (and art buddy) Karen and ran it by her.  She was as excited as I was, and we were so happy that Tim was excited by the idea, too.

Karen and I try to stress the fun side of art – the non-tradional, non-judgmental side of creating.  We stress that there are no mistakes, and we really encourage kids taking the projects off on entirely different tangents.  Pastor Tim usually shows up and does his best to attempt one of the projects.  He has glued gummy worms to acrylic paintings and other somewhat questionable projects, but recently we melted record albums and decorated them, and Tim’s was awesome!  He used Duct Tape and made a great bowl – see the above photo and judge for yourself!

I am grateful for his willingness to let us indulge our crazy art urges by creating this ministry.  When we have a YAM Jam, we play music and have snacks, and urge kids to use their creative side as a way to express themselves.  I feel priveledged that I might be part of facilitating a new generation of crazy creators!


Karen and I haven’t gotten together in awhile because I was so swamped with finishing school.  We had planned to do art together tonight, but I didn’t feel so good all day today, and I thought about cancelling.  A text from Karen told me how excited she was about tonight, so I thought I would just watch her or do something easy…

Karen showed up with some little accordion book kits she bought from Dick Blick Art Supplies (www.dickblick.com)  I put it together in a snap, and decided to do a glued/collage booklet.  Cutting out and sticking down seemed low effort enough for me!  I read about an idea recently where you make visual expressions about things you want in your life.  I loved the idea since I’m a very visual person.  Tonight I started with my first couple of goals, and the accordion book is perfect – I’m going to put it on the bookcase in my bedroom to remind me of my top dreams at this point in time.

I’m so glad Karen came over and was willing to have a laid back GNA tonight.  Even if it wasn’t our normal crazy evening, we still got to use that part of our brain that doesn’ t come out to play often enough.

Visual Inspiration

April 14, 2009


While browsing around at Etsy recently, I was blown away by the photograph above.  I loved the poppy pods, and I LOVED the “shabby chic” or vintage look to the photo.

After clicking over to ScarletBeautiful’s Etsy store, I learned that this photo is part of her “Through the Viewfinder” series.  Basically, these photos are taken though the viewfinder of any camera with another camera.  Who would have thunk it?  Not me!  I can’t look at this enough. 

But was this the only thing I loved?  Not by a long shot.  There were many other beautiful shots using this technique, and tons of others that were such visual inspiration for me.  I just had to write ScarletBeautiful and ask permission to share this with my readers.

While Etsy is a great place to find cool stuff to buy, it is also like a virtual gallery, where every page brings more creativity right to your computer screen.  I encourage you to visit today and get inspired!

My Etsy site  is there, also, if you’re interested in taking a look…!



Karen and I got together to do art again tonight.  Actually I made jewelry and she strung the beading on her daughter’s bridal veil.  We had to laugh and preserve for posterity the picture of us in our “cheaters”…did we ever laugh!  We’ve been making art together since we were teenagers, and when we get together we still act like them! 

Even if our eyes aren’t what they used to be…!

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