Tag Archive | creating

Creating Your World

A few days ago my daughter called and said she found an outlet for some of my jewelry. Lately, painting has taken the place of my jewelry designing because I have a dresser drawer full of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets just lying dormant. So I was excited a tanning salon wanted to take my creations and sell them. Christmas is coming, after all. The store I had my jewelry displayed downtown closed over a year ago, so I pretty much abandoned my jewelry efforts.That is not to say my paintings are flying off the wall. I’ve found one idea leads to another, then another, and another. Before long, my creative endeavors almost move me out of my house!

I may never sell a painting, but I challenge myself by trying new techniques and practice things like perspective, which I really haven’t mastered yet. The best part is when my artist friend Marie critiques my creations and makes suggestions to improve what I’ve done. Constructive criticism is part of the creative process, so grow a thick skin and ask for it.

I’ve always enjoyed crafting but like everything I seem to take on, I am prolific. I’ve written eight novels and many short stories. I’m working on two more books, too. This is my 482nd blog — and I took a year off.

But I have to do these things. Creating is the reason we are all put here. Really. Maybe you don’t create “art” or “literature” but most people pick something to enrich their soul. My creating keeps me thinking. I hate foggy days (not the weather). When I feel sluggish, I pick up one of my creative outlets and just do it. Nobody has to push me to move into the creative side of me, and before I know it, the fog has lifted and I can go on to tackle more mundane activities like cleaning, paying bills, or cooking the evening meal.

If you don’t indulge your creative side, you’re missing the boat. Pick something you might enjoy. Try it. And if you don’t like the activity, try something else. Creating is in human DNA. You need to express this part to make you whole. Tell me about your creative outlets. I’d love to hear about them.

 

When You See Progress

I’ve posted that I’ve been dabbling in painting for the past two years. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because Ken bought me some paints, a desk easel, and a couple of canvases for my birthday many years ago. I wanted to begin then, but my time was absorbed by a corporate job that sucked all the life out of me.

I had never taken a painting class or even a drawing class. My closest thing to painting on a canvas was in kindergarten when I was a finger painter extraordinaire. I still remember the wonderful feeling of the squishy paint in between my fingers. I remember the exhilarating feeling of being free.

Facing a blank canvas is almost as threatening as a blank computer screen. The first time I attempted to paint I sat in front of canvas afraid. I knew my first attempt would probably be awful. And I was right. Here’s a photo of one of my first attempts.

Early Painting

Early Painting

At the time I thought it was pretty good, so I kept painting. Then my artist friend Marie came home and with her coaching, things got better. Now I think this first painting was butt ugly.

When I look at my early work, I can see I’ve come a long way; that is not to say I don’t have a longer way to go. The same is true about my writing; that’s why I rewrote my first novel and will soon publish the second edition. Nobody commented on the posted rewritten pages, so I only have my own gut feeling to go on.

The important thing is I’m creating and when the bad days come along, I find painting soothing. It doesn’t make a bit of difference to me that my art may never bring in a check.

And the writing? Well, even though that craft is more serious for me, I so enjoy when an idea comes along and burrows into my heart and head so I can tell a good story.

I hope all of you have a craft you love to do and are excited when you get a little bit better everyday. Create! Enjoy! Live!

What Brings Hobbies Into Your Life?

I read a post this morning that sparked something in me. The author talked about his hobby of collecting bus transfers, which led to me wonder why we have hobbies and what do our interests say about us?

I’ve never had a life-long hobby like stamp collecting or coin collecting. I wouldn’t know a rare coin from an acorn. But, I have always enjoyed doing crafts of some kind.

A lot of my “hobbies” first began out of some need. When I was eleven years old, I learned to knit–in fact, I made a sweater that I wore to school that year. I never enjoyed knitting, so I tried crocheting. My Grandma used to make crocheted lace to edge her embroidered pillow cases, but that kind of crocheting was too tedious for me. A girlfriends showed me how to make a “granny square” out of odds and ends of yarn which tickled my interest. We made crocheted vests with our little fingers and wore our vests of many colors over our drab navy blue school uniforms to jazz up the look. Crocheting was right up my alley. It was fast and I could produce my project in no time at all.

Element number one for me to enjoy a hobby: 
I need to produce something FAST!

As time went on, I discovered sewing because I had to, but I didn’t enjoy it until I learned how to sew with knits in the 1970’s. I made t-shirts for myself and my little girls that overflowed our drawers. Because I could get their shirts from the leftovers of my own, we usually were color coordinated, which they loved. Best of all, I could start and finish a project like this in a couple of hours.

When my daughter got a special doll for Christmas in 1983, I designed and sewed doll clothes for her Cabbage Patch doll. Little did I know, this “hobby” would turn into a pretty lucrative business because I was making clothes when patterns didn’t exist and the dolls were scarce on store shelves. A doll that special needed a special wardrobe, and “Coleslaw Creations” offered such.

Element number two for me to enjoy a hobby: 
I like the challenge of INNOVATION.

When I lost my job three years ago, I learned how to make jewelry. My beads of choice were glass pearls, interesting glass beads, and semi-precious stones like hematite, onyx, lapis, carnelian, crystals, jasper and many others. I even built an e-commerce website to sell my necklace and earring creations, which turned out to be a good learning experience, but a total bust monetarily. I didn’t sell a thing–disproving the old adage “build it and they will come!” However, I did get the necklaces and earrings placed in a local store, and my friends loved them, so I made a bit of money on the endeavor.

Element number three for me to enjoy a hobby: 
I prefer to make MONEY with my creations.

So there it is.

The top three elements that make me get interested in a hobby are: It must be Fast, Innovative and have the ability to make Money. 

THE REAL REASON I create is because it is who I am. Creating is like breathing—I have to do it.

So what hobby lights your fire?

P. S, Writing is not a hobby for me. It is my profession and art. Through words you will know my thoughts. My books tell stories that are in my head. I will fill my bookshelves with my stories and if others read them, that is icing on my chocolate cake. If a large publishing house discovers me and makes me famous, my dream will come true. Until then, I write because it is work I love.