Copy And Share Everything

If you have been on the Splitcoaststampers site, you have likely seen the term CASE on several posts. In case you were wondering what that means, it stands for Copy And Share/Steal Everything. Basically,¬†Splitcoaststampers is a huge community of people stealing like artists.ūüôā

This is one of the many reasons I love this site. It is a great place for inspiration and everyone wants to inspire everyone else. You can practically feel the love when you look through the posts. (Ok, that might be overstating it, but it is nice looking through the beautiful work people want to share.)

A few months ago, I found a card posted on Splitcoaststampers by sistersandie in the gallery for the Gorgeous Grunge set (one of my favorite sets). I liked how she used the stamps to make a stripe of splats. It seemed like a perfect Father’s Day card, so I decided to CASE it. Continue reading

Bites of Creativity

We recently had a cookout at work and everyone needed to sign up to bring something. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I’m usually the one to bring the paper goods or drinks. But by the time I went to sign up, those were all taken.

Crap. I was going to need to make something.

Figuring I could at least make a simple dessert, I headed over to my Pinterest board where I have been electronically hoarding dessert ideas and recipes that look easy to make. I found one for S’Mores Pops, which looked simple enough.

“But, Rhonda, this is a blog about creativity and not about your attempts to make recipes from Pinterest. What’s up?”IMG_2030

Agreed. The same thought crossed my mind.

There is a tie to creativity here, so please bear with me.

The S’Mores Pops looked nice and had lovely proper pop sticks on them. I didn’t want to spend that kind of money on something to take to a lunch where I knew there would be a ton of other desserts to choose from (and there were tons including a fabulous carrot cake) and I didn’t want to feel obligated to make them look pretty (my available time to make these was short and I didn’t want to stress out over it).

So I went with toothpicks and found a way to make them work. They weren’t perfect and pretty, but they still looked appetizing. Then it didn’t seem right to call them “S’Mores Pops” so I went with “S’Mores Bites” instead.

As I was making these adjustments (toothpicks, less pretty, different name), it occurred to me that these adjustments were actually a little bit of creativity. Continue reading

Rings and Things

In my last metal clay class, we focused on kinetic rings. In the past we have only worked with Art Clay, but this time we also used FYI Silver Metal Clay by Val Lewis.

FYI Silver Metal Clay BitsWe started with the FYI clay because it needs to be fired in a kiln and we needed the pieces to be ready for the next steps for making the rings. I hadn’t worked with this clay before, but it was quite nice. ¬†We used 10 grams of the FYI clay, and I was able to make the 4 pieces you see here. For reference, the round pieces ended up about the size of a penny.¬†(Note that it is tough to take nice pictures during class with your phone with silver all over your hands. :))

One thing to note about the FYI clay is it¬†has a higher shrinkage rate than the Art Clay. The picture on the right shows pencil lines that were drawn before firing. You can see the pieces shrank about a 20-25%. The advantage to this is you could create very small designs more easily because you’d have more clay to work with before it shrinks.

I had some extra clay after making the 2 pieces for the spinner ring. I used it to make a small butterfly pendant for 1 of my nieces and another squiggle piece that I plan to use as part of a necklace. Of these 4 pieces, the squiggle is my favorite. I want to make more pieces like this simply because they are more my style. Continue reading

Better Late than Never

Inspiration can show up at any time – on a walk in a park, talking with a friend, searching for ideas online. Sometimes we act on ideas from the inspiration immediately. Other times the ideas get set aside for one reason or another.

When I was coming up with an idea for a Mother’s Day card a few weeks ago, I remembered an inspiration challenge I had seen on SplitCoastStampers.com and the design idea I had for it. I went to look up the challenge and found it had been posted 9 years ago.Mothers' Day Card

This idea had been rolling around in my head for 9 years and I hadn’t acted on it yet!

I felt like such a slacker.

Then I remembered the saying of “better late than never” and decided to get over it and move forward with finally using the design.

The inspiration challenge image was one of the simple line drawings from Pablo Picasso. He is one of my favorite artists and I love these drawings. I immediately thought of the Heartfelt Thanks set by Stampin’ Up! because it had the line art of a flower. I wanted to use the line stamp in black ink with the partner stamp of the whole flower in clear heat embossed powder over it. But I never thought of a layout I liked for it, never found the time to sit and play with it, excuses, excuses, excuses.

Then a few weeks ago, I was back on SplitCoastStampers.com and saw a card posted by Penny627 that she made for a Try a New Technique challenge. I really liked the layout and it felt perfect for the line art idea. Continue reading

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Cards from Gelli Plate Prints

A couple of months ago, I made my first Gelli Plate prints and had a blast. I decided to try making some cards using inspiration from a site I found through Pinterest.

Card using Gelli Plate print circles

I enjoy the abstract look of this card. The circles look like flowers to me, but I also think they look like balloons. Either way, it is fun and the colors are happy.

The other thing I really like about this card is each card turned out to be a bit¬†unique. (Quick side note… I usually pick a design each year and everyone gets the same card. Lazy? Perhaps. I think of it as practical, because time to sit and make cards can be scarce.) All five of the cards I made have the same design, but the¬†flowers have their own colors and patterns¬†and are in slightly different arrangements.

These cards were easy to make, but a little time-consuming because of all of the circle punching. I used three different sizes of circle punches on the prints I had made. The punches were made in different areas of the prints to try and get a variety in colors and patterns. Then the circles were put together with roll-tape adhesive. Continue reading

Antioch Writers’ Workshop – Spring 2016 Seminar

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Antioch Writers’ Workshop Spring 2016 Seminar.

The theme was “The Writing Life” and featured a talk called “The Inner Writing Life” with Margaret Wrinkle, author of Wash. Hearing her talk about the process of writing Wash was incredibly interesting. She also had some very good advice and reminders for all writers. A couple of things that I took away from her talk are:

  • Fear is part of the process, but don’t let it stop you. Decide to be scared later.
  • Be present in the experiences you are having. (I tend to be off in my own world sometimes, and need to work on this.)

Ms. Wrinkle¬†said many other things that I found helpful, but I’m not going to type out my page of notes here.¬†If you get a chance to hear her speak, my guess is you will also have a page or two of helpful notes on writing.

The afternoon featured three breakout sessions that were all quite good. Five topics were offered, but we could only choose three of them. I chose the following:

I would like to say thanks to all three speakers because their talks were excellent and provided helpful information. Continue reading

Writing – Bird by Bird

After participating in and winning NaNoWriMo, I wanted to learn more about the writing process and how to become better at it. One of the books that kept popping up as a recommendation was Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Let me start by saying that I rarely read books that are not fiction. So it was a big deal for me to voluntarily read a book that wasn’t about a dystopian future with vampires or witches dealing with demons in the ever-after or some sort of manga. (I added links to these series¬†are below, because I love them and feel they are good examples of well-written stories.)

Back to reading about writing and Bird by Bird…

When I was in high school and college, I had romantic notions of being a writer sitting on a beach typing away as the words would flow with beautiful fluidity from my brain to the page while I sat in peaceful bliss writing the great American novel that would be published and sell millions of copies allowing me to make a living doing something I love. Then I tried writing some poetry that was really bad, got annoyed, and gave up on it.

Ms. Lamott’s writing¬†felt like a friend talking to you honestly about writing and the life of a writer. It’s not always romantic. It’s not always easy to get the words from your brain to the paper. It’s not always peaceful bliss. It’s not easy to write the great American novel. It doesn’t always allow you to make a living.

But the reward of dealing with the crappy parts of it and working at it is worth it.

Finding your voice is worth it. Being able to say what you feel like you need to say and tell the stories you need to tell are worth it. Helping others by telling your stories is worth it. Stepping back and looking at life differently as a writer is worth it. Continue reading

First Gelli Prints - Finished

Gelli Plate Printing

First Gelli Prints - Supplies UsedI made prints using my Gelli Arts Printing Plate for the first time, and I now understand why other posts about it say it is so addictive. I could make prints with this for hours, if not days or until my paint and ink resources run out.

Seriously.

This was a blast.

Why? Because it is absolutely fascinating to see how the prints turn out.

For my first attempt at this, I grabbed out the Gelli plate, of course, and placed it on an old cookie sheet. I tend to get a little carried away and make a mess when I try new things, and the cookie sheet helped to protect my work surface. It also made moving the plate around easier which allowed me to work with and view it from different angles. (If you don’t have a cookie sheet to devote to this, I think wax or parchment paper would work fine.)

Then I grabbed some of the items that I have been saving like a little packrat to use for texture. In this case, it was bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, some crinkled paper that had been used as packing material, and some heavier brown paper with an interesting pattern cut into it, which had also been used as packing material. Lesson learned here Рhang on to that packing material because it has some cool texture to it. I also grabbed a brayer and a sponge for spreading the paint on the Gelli plate. Continue reading

Robot Valentines Day Box

Valentine’s Day Card Box

My son had his Valentine’s Day party at school this week and he wanted to make a robot box for collecting the cards. We gathered¬†the boxes that we had available (which weren’t many because we get a little obsessive about recycling them at times) and he figured out which ones would work for his design.
Boxes used for Valentine's Day box
He came up with the design on his own, but I did help a bit with the execution of the design. When we were beginning to work on it, he looked up at me and said, “Hey, you could put this on your blog!” He was right! This was a very creative endeavor, and I had never made such an ambitious plan for a Valentine’s Day box when I was a kid. I mostly stuck to either a brown paper bag or a shoe box with hearts on it. I love seeing so much creativity and excitement in my son.

We started with the selected boxes and cut out the holes for the cards to be dropped in. Parts that were cut out from the shoe box were glued onto the front of the box used for the body to give it some visual interest. Continue reading

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Sister Necklace Pendants

I wanted to make matching necklaces for me and my sisters. So in my last metal clay jewelry class, I did just that.

Silver Sister Pendants

My hope was to have pendants that all matched, but were all just a little different, like me and my sisters. So I made a mold using polymer clay by pressing a rounded end of a tool in it to make a bit of a wavy texture then pressing a small heart charm into it three times – one for me and each of my sisters.

After the polymer clay was baked, I took it to class and used it as a mold for the silver clay. The circle was cut slightly different for each one, creating the slight variation on each pendant. The photo shows the results, and I was super excited about how they turned out. Continue reading