Inspiration in Poetry

October 15th is National Poetry Day.   In honor of National Poetry Day, I share with you 3 beautiful poems, and although they are not mine, I hope they inspire you and stir your creativity.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow–
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

If’ you’ve written any poetry I invite you to share it below.  If you’ve never tried poetry, October 15th is a perfect opportunity to try it.

FF: Ginalimosaics

Today’s special guest is Gina of Ginalimosaics.  She creates beautiful works of art from sea glass and beach pottery.

Why are you passionate about jewelry, mosaics and being creative?

The passion behind my art mosaics and sea glass jewelry comes from living in the Aegean Sea area, namely  on the island of Rhodes in Greece. The colors of the sea and sky and the beautiful hues in the abundance of wildflowers in Greece. Also the architecture of ancient Greece and the neoclassical era gives me inspiration.

What got you started with jewelry, mosaics and creativity as a hobby and business?

I lived on the island for over 20 years. While there I was an entertainer in music and upon my return to the USA, in 2005, I really needed a creative outlet but no longer had the desire of late night stage life. I have always loved mosaics and the different techniques by various artists. So after doing hours of research, on the internet, I decided to attempt a mosaic table. From there I got the bug in me and made mirrors, wall hangings and art. While on my yearly trips back to Rhodes I started collecting sea glass, from the local beaches, to add to my  mosaics and then started a line of sea glass jewelry after that.

I actually didn’t start selling my art until 2008 because I had a good friend that pushed me in that direction. I never thought I could have my own business in art or that people would actually want to pay for something I made. I was wrong, and I’m very happy my dear friend was right! I have featured in many art leagues and art shows and since January 2010 I decided to sell on Etsy. It’s been a wonderful learning process, and slow at times but I am happy that I have a good following of return clients and a special few customers have become adored cyber friends of mine. That is a wonderful feeling. Thankfully I don’t have to depend on my creations to survive but I have a wonderful husband who admires, supports and encourages my creativity.

Do you have any favorite pieces you’ve designed?

Here are some of my favorite creations to date, you will recognize the color of the Aegean sea, that I love so much, in these:  Mosaic Mermaid, dolphins tropical fish in stained glass; Bib Necklace, blue, sea glass, floral, beaded; Embellished Picture Frame blue and white vintage beaded flowers.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work?

I would love someday to be financially independent because of my art and in the beginning of the new year of 2012 I will concentrate on what works and what doesn’t for my Etsy shop. Because I love creativity of all kinds I tend to go off in several different directions, as is apparent in my shop listings. So I will try to compose the shop a bit better and perfect 2 or 3 techniques and stick with them. I also just opened a new Etsy shop to share some of my beautiful sea glass and beach pottery supplies for other jewelry and mosaic artists.

Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?

The best tip or advice I would share is to trust your instinct in your art, if you love it many others will too. Also, networking with good cyber karma, meaning, don’t just promote yourself but stop once in a while and help out a newbie in that area too.

You can connect with Gina on her blog, GinaLimosaics Etsy shop, Agapiglass Etsy shop, website, Facebook, and on Twitter.

Of course I love Gina’s work because it’s all beach inspired!  Thank you for sharing Gina!

Craft Party

I love crafting, and the US has stepped up to make a holiday for all of us crafters!  This week is American Craft Week!  To celebrate, I thought we should talk about getting together and crafting with our friends, so here are some ideas to make your next crafting event with your friends a success!

The Event:

-make sure you pick a location with lots of light, lots of space and lots of tables or comfy chairs depending on your crafting activity.  Also consider looking for a place with electrical outlets for glue guns and other creative tools.

The Craft Time:

-have everyone bring some supplies with them, either paper, string, beads, glue, special scissors, or other creative materials of choice to share the cost as well as bring different supplies to the fun.  After all, you’ll each shop in different stores and have different creative items you’ve gathered over the years that are different than what someone else would have found.
-do have some basics like a hole punch, paper trimmer, regular scissors, plain white paper, pens and pencils available.
-have internet access as well as books and resources available to get creatively inspired or check on details.

The Food Time:

For those who want to get creative:
-home made pizza where everyone can add their own toppings
-a taco bar with lots of toppings and options
-fondue options for appetizers, dinner and desserts
-a brownie bar or ice cream sundae bar

If you want to keep it simple:
-provide easy to eat foods like soups, sandwiches and veggies and chips with dip.
-dessert can include cookies, mini banana beignets, and cookie dough truffles.
-you could even order from a place like Panera Bread or a deli who will provide some easy to enjoy foods, no cooking required.

What would your craft party celebrate?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Creative Organizing

One of my passions is organizing, and this being “Get Organized” week in the USA has inspired me to encourage you to get your creative space organized.  Here are a couple of suggestions that you could use to free up your creativity, and have an easier time finding things.

Label:

If you do nothing else, take the time to use removable labels on your boxes and storage containers.  You can either use plain white mailing labels that you can either remove or cover over or you can use a labeling machine to make pretty labels. This will help you find your supplies quicker and get creating sooner!

Storage:

There are tons of options for storage.  One is to turn a closet into your creative storage space.  If the closet is super big, like a walk-in, you can install a desk and make it your personal craft space.  If it’s not a big closet, you can install shelving to store all your boxes.  Another option is to turn your work table into an organized storage space.  You can build shelves on rollers or buy a couple of carts to store all of your supplies in (and label!).

Other tips & tricks:

-try a pegboard.  This is a great way to keep all your crafting scissors, tape, even stencils organized and easily accessible.
-if you do create your storage space under your work table, you can wrap the table in a fabric curtain to hide the boxes.
-if you’re not finding the right containers, get creative and try some kitchen organizers.  If you still are stuck, get creative and customize your containers with duct tape, cardboard or other items that will help you create what you want from what you have.

What about you?  What challenges do you have in your creative space?  Share them in the comments and I’ll share a tip or thought to get you started.