New Year, New You

Today on this very first day of the new year I thought I’d share a few thoughts about making this your best year yet.  If you feel like you’ve been stuck for a while or just aren’t moving in the direction you want to go, I hope these ideas can give you a jump start into something fresh and new.

~move around the furniture in your home and office

~move to a new house, apartment, city or state

~get a hair cut

~try a new creative medium

~book a session with a personal stylist

~throw out what you don’t use anymore

~choose a new paint color for rooms that you spend a lot of time in

~make a new friend

~do something nice for someone else every day

~take a walk every day

~try a new technique, or revisit an old one

~buy a new tool or unearth an old one

~build a website to show off your creativity

~work with a partner to create something together

~get a pet or volunteer at a shelter

What will you do with this new year to get your creativity flowing?

A Little Paper Folding Fun

Today for a little something simple I thought I’d share a few paper crafting (also known as origami) ideas that can keep you or the kids busy for a while.

Folded star ring

Paper containers

Flower girl paper basket

Paper heart place cards

Simple place cards

Finger puppet animals and flowers

Nesting boxes

Snowflakes

Paper bow

Origami spinner

And you can visit with my friend Leyla over at Origami Spirit and get even more fun ideas.

What fun origami work have you created?

Feature Friday: Arty Vicky

Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve got a new friend joining us for Feature Friday (if you want to be featured you can comment below Vicky’s post). Vicky is passionate about many things creative, which is really an important lesson to us creative people: we have to be open to wherever creativity may find and inspire us!  Let’s hear what Vicky has to say about being creative and her creative passions.

Why are you passionate about being creative?:
As a child I remember making a little house for my Easter chick, inside the box my Easter egg came in. It even had curtains, a bed, shelves and little cardboard plates. I still see the potential in everyday materials, like empty containers, that I get really excited by modern craft supplies.

I love trying new activities or putting my own creative slant on an old activity, but once I feel I have mastered a craft to a level I am happy with, I flit on to the next one.

I’m always asking questions too. If someone tells me, you must use a particularly expensive tool or product, then I’ll become determined to find a cheaper, easier way. This is because I believe arts and crafts should be accessible to everyone’s abilities and budgets.

 

What have you learned from being creative and pursuing creative hobbies and passions?

When I was younger I suffered a bout of severe depression. Eventually I reached a stage where I forced myself to sew some soft toys. Slowly I realized that the more creative I became, the more my mental health improved. With time I discovered my greatest joy is to teach other people how to create with art or craft.

I’m not a trained teacher, but over the years I have voluntarily taught my daughter and her friends and other home school children, intellectually disabled people, elderly people, other artists and I’m now teaching art at a drop in centre for people with mental health distress.

As a teacher I have learned that creativity can not only lift a person’s mood, but it can also boost their self esteem. Creating on my own, for myself or as gifts, is relaxing and self affirming, but my greatest passion lies in lighting someone else’s creative fire, especially people who are unsure of their creative abilities.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work and creativity?

For the past year I have been teaching myself about the Internet, especially Facebook, YouTube, and WordPress, and I’ve taught myself how to record and edit videos. My dream is to share my skills and knowledge with people from all over the world.

I will be presenting all sorts of art and craft activities, many of them will be easy and inexpensive, but some will be more advanced. I will be putting up a couple more videos on drawing zentangles and then I have a series planned on using a cuttlebug.

I’ve made a start, I’m bursting with ideas for more activities and I’m open to requests. I want to share my ideas and skills freely with anyone who is interested in arts and crafts, but I would particularly love to inspire the people who teach people. I’d love to reach out to other people who facilitate activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

I believe the world is full of beautiful people and the Internet is like a huge well of positive energy that we can all draw from. I am excited to be part of a community which even stretches down here to New Zealand.

You can connect with Vicky at her blog, and on Facebook and YouTube.

Thank you Vicky!  Keep sharing creativity with the world!  I look forward to seeing what you create.

Creative June Birthdays II

On Monday we took a look at 4 creative individuals who were born in June and made an amazing impact on the creative world.  Today we look at 4 more individuals.

Scott Adams:
Creator of the cartoon Dilbert, this man born on June 4th, has forever impacted the worlds of creativity and business.  He gave many people an outlet for their frustrations, and most importantly a voice to the masses.  His simple characters have brought a smile to our faces knowing we’re not alone.  Get lots more Dilbert humor here.

Maurice Sendak:
Born June 10, Sendak spoke not only to our creative senses with his stories, but also our secrets with “Where the Wild Things Are”. This designer and illustrator brought life to our dreams and fantasies.  He is also known for the character of Little Bear and designed sets for many famous theater productions.

Vera Wang:
This creative designer was born June 27th, and has made a huge impact on the fashion industry.   Uninspired by what she saw, Wang let her creativity loose to inspire the fashion and wedding industry.  Thanks to her creativity, the fashion and wedding industries will forever be changed.  You can check out her blog here.

Frank Lloyd Wright:
Born June 8th, this man has totally captured my heart and attention for years.  His simple lines, intricate designs and attention to detail fascinates me.  His work spanned the globe and although we’ve lost some of the structures he designed, there are still many that remain to inspire the next generation of architects.  You can learn more at the Taliesin website.

Taking time to recognize the people who have made an impact on the creative world is important.  If you’ve got a birthday in June, I’d love to celebrate you too! Share your birthday and creative passion below.

Creative June Birthdays I

Today we’re starting a two-part post on some of the fabulous creative (and some historical) folk who have been born in June.  Today we’re looking at 4 men who have made an incredible difference.

M. C. Escher:
Born on June 17th, Escher is most famous for his mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints which explore infinity, architecture, and tessellations.  He’s the one who did the “crazy house” with all the staircases and different perspectives and movement.  He taught the world a wonderful lesson about creativity and artistic license.  You can learn more at this website.

Eric Carle:
Born on June 25th, Carle has created some amazing children’s books including the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Growing up seeing the love and attention he brought to each of his books and the characters in his books always has inspired me.  Author and illustrator, Carle has brought light and love to many homes.  Visit his website and see all his wonderful creations.

Richard Scarry:
Born June 5th, this creative man is most well known for his Busytown creations with Lowly, Huckle and the rest of the gang.  Scarry not only brought animals to life, he always include little details in the buildings, cars and story that makes it exciting for even parents to read along.

Allen Ginsberg:
This poet from the beat generation was born on June 3 and has made a significant contribution to the world of poetry as well as the rebirth of American culture.  His most famous poems are “Howl” and “Kaddish”, both written not for sake of prose, but to touch the masses.  Find his poetry, doodles and more at this website.

If you’ve got a June Birthday, I’d love to recognize you!  Share your birthday and what you do below!

FF: Jenni Lovette Jewelry

Happy Friday!  This week Feature Friday is back with jewelry designer Jenni Lovette.

Why are you passionate about jewelry and being creative?
I love working with my hands, creating something out of nothing. It’s a wonderful feeling to create something that makes others happy. I like being able to express myself without ever saying a word.

What got you started with jewelry and creativity as a hobby/business?
I’m a mom and I’ve always wanted to work from home to spend more time with my children. I began toying with the idea of starting my business while still working my job in 2007-2008. I made a few earrings for some of my co-workers and they loved them. Shortly after I quit, I started making jewelry full time.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve designed? 
Yes, my favorite piece has and will always be my “Love & Peace” denim earrings. They were the first earrings that I made while pregnant with my daughter. The response that I received from them is the reason why I’m making jewelry today. A more recent favorite are my “Full Lipped” earrings. You can see them on my website.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work?
My men’s collection is going to be getting a lot more attention this year. I’m also working on getting my jewelry into a few more boutiques around the globe. Last, but not least, I’m putting the finishing touches on another business venture I have called “The Beautiful Boss.”   My focus right now is on an exclusive line for that too.

Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?
Believe in yourself like never before. Ignore negativity and only keep positive people near. Pray before making ANY decisions. Social networking is KING. I love it and it’s a great way to promo your goods/services. Stay consistent. Take your time, be patient, and don’t measure your success according to someone else’s. What God has for you, is for you 🙂

You can connect with Jenni at her boutique, blog, Sew Funky jewelry Facebook page, Jenni Lovette page, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you Jenni!  Your work is one of a kind!

If you would like your creative work to be featured, leave a comment below!

Flower Friends

May is National Flower Month.  To celebrate, I’ve gathered some of my Feature Friday friend’s beautiful flower creations here for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Kreative Notions, Be you card

Finding Charm, Wood sapphire and gold flower earrings

Michelle Lisa Mosaics, Mosaic stained glass lamp

Color Bakery, Flower jewelry boxes

Tonia Tyler, Decoupaged butterflies and flowers picture frame

Artistic Designs by Laurie, Flower cards

Faery Moon Godess, Rose Red flower bracelet

Honey Bee Affairs, Summer sunflower crochet coasters

BluKat Designs, Vintage flower turquoise earrings

Juergen Roth, Flower photo collection

More Than Colors, Orange stained glass daisy

Garden Vibe, Reach for the sun earrings

Jewelry by Debby, Silver flower pendant

Dale Anne Potter, Lily

GinaLi Mosaics, Embellished blue and white picture frame

Thank you for your beautiful and inspiring flower designs! If you’ve got a flower work of art, I invite you to share it below.

FF: Piper Stone

Happy Friday!  Today for Feature Friday we have a very special guest, a dog!  Our guest, Piper Stone is an adorable English bulldog who has been painting for charity.

What do you enjoy besides painting?
I enjoy eating, snoring, grunting, licking, high fives, and wagon and car rides.  My wagon and car rides give me great inspiration!  I like to watch Mother Nature’s beauties go by, like birds and leaves blowing in the wind.  Sometimes, I even stop to smell the roses.

What got you started with painting?
I  was fascinated by Mom painting.  I ran into the studio and watched with excitement every time she painted.  All Mom had to do was shake up a can of paint and I’d instantly appear to study her techniques.  Keep in mind I limp and have bad hips, so the only thing I usually run (wobble) for is food!  After expressing my interest in painting for about six weeks, Mom finally got the hint and stuck a paintbrush in my mouth.  Mom was so impressed with my first painting that she realized I might be able to raise money for San Antonio Bulldog Rescue and other rescue organizations through my natural talent.

Do you have a favorite piece you’ve designed?
The three pieces I created with Bob from the TV show Texas Country Reporter!  Hearts Beat Faster, In The Limelight and Lights Camera Action.  Bob and the film crew were amazing and wonderful to work with!  My Texas friends will be able to see me paint these pieces with Bob on April 28th and 29th.  For my out-of-state  friends, there will be an international YouTube video too!.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work?
Well, I don’t mean to brag, but I have some really great things happening this year!  Not only will Texas Country Reporter air a segment about my artwork and my Mom’s artwork, but a talented dog portrait painter named Peggy Box is painting a portrait of me for the show!  I have paintings in The Arthouse at the Jones Center’s 5×7 exhibit with a bunch of talented human artist.  I’m the only dog painter in the show!  Niza Knoll Gallery in Denver will feature my work in the August Gone to the Dogs exhibit! And the new issue of The American Dog Magazine included a photo of me in their famous dogs on Facebook section!

Do you have any tips/inspiration to share?
Dream impossible dreams and explore all of your talents!

You can connect with Piper on Facebook, the website, Etsy and the official Piper blog.

Thank you Piper (and Mom, Jessica)!  I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Friends with Love

Today for Feature Friday I’m featuring some of my favorite Feature Friday friend’s valentine designs.

Michelle Lisa Mosaics: light switch cover, lamp.

Finding Charm: earrings, necklace, bracelet, earring set, anklet.

Color Bakery: Hearts of art pin

Kreative Notions: I found love journal, be mine valentine’s

SwtTsCrafts: friend love, wood storage box.

Faerymoongoddess: love flies free earrings

Debra’s Designs: mother of pearl bracelet, love pendant.

Origami Spirit: keep the romance alive

Yesterday’s Trash Art: loving cookies with icing

BluKatDesign: earrings, statement necklace.

More Than Colors: love stained glass sign, I fancy you stained glass heart.

HoneyBeeAffairs: patriotic crocheted coasters, crocheted washcloths.

HockmanGirl: gunmetal locket, diamond heart earrings.

Bent & Twisted Creations: heart bookmark

GaelicForge: stone pendant

GardenVibe: blossoming love earrings, warming to you earrings.

Juergen Roth: love me tender photo, pink orchid photo.

S S Soap: lavender, strawberry banana, bath bombs.

Jewelry by Debby Designs: silver heart cabachon, red and white love earrings, smooth white earrings.

Ginalimosaics: valentine’s sea glass decoration, stained glass heart necklace, heart locket.

Thank you to my creative friends for their beautiful work!  If you’d like to be featured on Feature Friday, contact me here or let me know below.

 

FF: LilGuy Stationary

Feature Friday is back after a short break with the winter holidays.  Today we’re talking with Kim of LilGuy Stationary!  She creates beautiful stationary and invites for weddings and more.

Why are you passionate about stationary and being creative, and what made you start a business?

My maternal grandfather was a self-taught artist so I guess I take after him on the creativity side, although regrettably I can’t draw! I started my business after making my own wedding invitations in 2008 when people were asking me where I’d got them as they thought they’d been made professionally. I started building up the business whilst I was still working as a credit controller for a holiday company and knew that I preferred the creative work to working with finance. When it became an option to leave the day job in 2010 I jumped at the chance, with encouragement from my husband, so that I could concentrate on my own business full time.

What is some of your inspiration and do you have any favorite stationary you’ve made?

My inspiration comes from a lot of different things, from architecture to mehndi patterns, sometimes I sit with a variety of ribbons, flowers and embellishments in front of me and find a combination that I find works. I’m also inspired by my dogs, you can read the story behind the LilGuy name here, as well as seeing examples of the bespoke stationery.  My current favorite is this Peacock Invitation, made with a 15cm Kings Blue square wallet decorated with a wide ivory ribbon, silver diamante flower embellishment and a real peacock eye feather.  I also love this crystal rose stationary box.

What are some of your future plans and hopes?

In the last year I have consistently had work published in national and regional wedding magazines in the UK, which I still get a thrill from each time I see one of my photos printed! I try to source different embellishments direct from the manufacturers to make my work stand apart from others as I think brides want something to make their wedding unique. We can cater for all budgets, from luxurious silk or velvet covered padded invitation boxes and folios to bespoke stationery to suit your style and theme, as well as having some budget price invitations which still give great quality.

You can connect with Kim and the Lil’ Guys on Facebook, Twitter, the website, and the blog.

Thanks Kim!  I love your work and can’t wait to see what new things you come up with!