Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If I Only Had the Time

I've had to learn recently to just say "no". To invitations, to things I want to buy, to responsibilities I want to volunteer for and participate in. I always want to be a part of EVERYTHING, and the problem with that is, I wear myself too thin. I get tired, I get cranky, but more than that, with so much on my plate, I can't give any one thing my all - there simply are not enough hours in the day. And when I do things, I like to do them right, and all the way.

In the past few months I have parted with a lot of craft supplies. Piles and piles of fabric (which went to good, creative homes), beads I'll never use. I have some of those colored sheets of foam and about 5,000 stray crayons all set to donate to my church's youth group/religious ed room. I've stepped down from some administrative duties.

For the most part, I have decided to focus on and only on my photography, photo restoration, house restorating/decorating, and my polymer clay. Oh, and crochet, but that's something I do when I'm not really doing anything, like when watching a movie, so that doesn't really count, IMO. I need to learn to leave all those other fun projects to others. I need to remember that it's not only ok but REALLY good to buy handmade from others instead of looking at something and saying, "cool - I could make that!"

In the spirit of buying handmade, and/or letting others have the fun, I present to you a few cute projects, links, and general things I have fallen in love with lately. Maybe you'll find a project here you can make for someone for a holiday gift, or buy for someone knowing that it was handmade from the heart.

How About Orange: Tiny pincushion tutorial

(made from plastic bottlecaps, which aren't recyclable - but they ARE reusable!)

I'm also in love with lots of the fabrics and products in this blogger's shop:

While we're at it, here's an awesome idea for making a wreath from those same bottlecaps, courtesy of monkeydogstudio.etsy.com,

These earrings are made of wire and thread - big, but not heavy!
Treehouse Earrings by FunkyLobez

Wild Aqua Mushroom Plini by magicbeanbuyer.etsy.com

Hand-felted pea pod brooch by vaivanat.etsy.com

A fellow member of the PCAGOE and an amazing artist, OrganicOdysseys.etsy.com uses textures found in nature - leaves, seeds, etc. - to texture her polymer clay pieces - AMAZING!

Bok Choy Switch Plate by OrganicOdysseys.etsy.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been? Good question! I've been around, but obviously not blogging. Sincere apologies to my five readers. ;p

First order of business: Time to vote for the PCAGOE Challenge! This month's theme is, of course, "Winter," and there are MAD PRIZES to be won this month, so don't miss your chance to vote and be entered to win!

Visit www.pcagoe.com between now and midnight (EST) on Thursday, December 4, 2008 to vote, and be automatically entered to win one of SEVEN prizes!

Next up, a small request - instead of buying the same old stuff this year from your local big-box retailer, consider buying handmade, or buying local, or visiting your own town's mom'n'pop-owned stores. Or... DIY!

And third, something funny I received in my email this morning. I'm on Lee Silber's mailing list (an author who everyone should check out - he writes about organization, management, etc. for the creative person and he's GREAT!) and his newsletter included a link to this list:

The 10 Dimensions of Creative Complexity (or, "10 Reasons that Creative People Drive Us Crazy")

1. Creative individuals have great physical energy, but they become extremely quiet when they are at rest. This restful period can lead others to think that they are not feeling well or that they are unhappy, when the truth is they are fine.

2. Creative folks tend to be both highly intelligent and naive at the same time.

3. Creative people are disciplined and playful simultaneously. In some creative people, this can mean that they are responsible and irresponsible at the same time as well.

4. Creative minds move between a spectrum of fantasy and imagination and a firm grounding in reality. They understand the present and need to keep in touch with the past.

5. Creative individuals seem to be both introverted and extroverted, expressing both traits at once. An image to explain this might be that they are shy showoffs, if you can picture that.

6. Creative people are sincerely humble and extremely proud in a childlike way. It requires ego to have a risky, fresh idea. It takes self-doubt to hammer it out to a workable form.

7. Creative folks don’t feel as tied to gender roles. They feel distinctly individual. They don’t feel the barriers of authority or the rules of what they are “supposed to do.”

8. Creative individuals are thought to be rebellious. Yet, in order to be creative one has to understand and have internalized the traditional culture. Therefore creativity comes from deep roots in tradition. Creative people are traditional and cutting edge.

9. Creative people are deeply passionate about their work, yet can be extremely detached and objective when discussing it.

10. Creative people are highly open and sensitive, which exposes them to pain and suffering, but also allows them to feel higher values of joy and happiness.