Easy Dreams (new artwork, Etsy update, poem, & soul-words)

Over the years, I have learned to grab tidbits of time. The tidbits add up. It is an “easy does it” approach to creativity. Small tidbits add up to a larger whole.

Julia Cameron


I’ve been snatching little bits of time this week. 

Stops here and there between reading and movies and connection

Photos taken.

Studio cleaned.

Space cleansed.

I managed to sketch an eye and do a little bit of computer work.

(I am collecting followers’ blogs on my Google Reader.)


I have also shared the first piece of my new work.

I was very scared to do this.

When you go outside your comfort zone and create from the heart, there is much of your soul tied up in each stroke of the brush, each word scrawled in the spaces. 

This new stuff is so much more me.

So much more of my heart.

My true voice.

I can’t explain where it comes from, or how it is made.

It’s still so new, so fresh, so wonderful. 

But I reopened my Etsy shop and put prints up in it.

And before I went to bed, it sold. (But you can buy your copy of this art here)

In 15 minutes (Thanks, Lisa!).

I went to sleep wrapped in comfort. 


I have a couple journal-making kits left over from last weekend. They’re up in my Etsy shop


I’ll be on Google Hangout today at 5pm PST/8pm EST. If you’d like to come by and chat on video or mic, go to this post and let me know. Here's a recording of our chat! We talk about fear of sharing, the elements of joyful creating, and share our pets. ;) I'll be making a group @ The Studio for weekly challenges and chats!



Last, a poem I wrote for this post’s artwork:


*It's only when we go with the flow

and find the river of our life

that our dreams come easy


sleep is restful.*


I’m on the mend. Thank you for all your wonderful messages, emails, and tweets. 

{start somewhere easy (reverb10 - 6)}

log cabin pencil case

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

How fortuitous that this is today’s prompt! And here I was, thinking I’d have to do two posts today or tomorrow so I could show my pretty new quilted pencil case!

I have to admit, I pushed against the tide of quilting for a long time. I thought it was all bland colors and squares or pinwheels or other boring things. While I’ve been sewing since I was about thirteen, eventually learning how to create my own patterns (read: made costumes for Anime conventions; yes, I am that nerd!), quilting felt like a hobby for moms and grandmothers, not me!

Yes, I’ve attempted it over the years. When I first started making pieces of mixed-media, I quilted together some cute fabrics I found to be the front of a messenger bag I made, and the experience wasn’t...easy.

Okay, everything came out kinda crooked. How was I to know there’s a trick to doing all this? And that it’s actually simpler than I was making it?

So, I left quilting for others and went on making the art I liked making. And then, when I finally figured out how to freestyle stitch with my sewing machine (which is so easy, guys - get a darning foot, drop those feed dogs, and start doodling!), I decided I wanted to maybe do a little more with the awesome fabric I was compelled to buy.

I expressed this to the new shop owner of my favorite local quilting store, and she laughed. Not in a bad way - in a, “Oh, sweetie, how wrong you are!” kind of way. I can’t remember the name of the book she pulled from a shelf for me to page through, but I have to admit - it completely changed the way I look at quilting.

I can make up patterns? Ignore the rules? Make them small? Who knew!

log cabin pencil case (detail)

(Everyone else, apparently!)

I immediately came home and started incorporating my art into art quilts, using the fabric as a frame for the pieces I’d started creating on loose canvas.

And then, at the library a few weeks ago, I picked up a book on cute projects to be done with smaller squares.

Yesterday, I thought, “Hey, why not try something?”

Start small, I told myself. Start somewhere easy. I began piecing together a Log Cabin square by cutting fabric into strips of varying widths. I then started going around in a square, side by side, adding in bits of salvage here and there, until I had a rectangle!

And then, I stitched all over it. Just wild doodles and those lines going all over the place I’ve admired on so many pieces I’ve seen in the art community online. Got my bobbin all gucked up because, while I didn’t add any bias tape around the edges, I forgot to put some muslin on the other side of the thin batting I was using. Changed thread colors halfway through for the bobbin. Broke all those rules I thought I had to follow.

But when I held that finished pencil case in my hand, I was amazed. Did I really make this? Had I figured things out, sewn, ironed, and fought with thread to come out the other side with something I actually liked?

Short answer: Yes.

log cabin pencil case

I’m a pretty lucky woman. I get to fill my days with art and creativity, crafting ideas in my head into a tangible reality. And I love it. In fact, I love it so much, I often feel guilty when I’m still in my pajamas on a Tuesday afternoon when most people are at work. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The issue, then, of finding time to make something in the future isn’t really a problem.

I would, however, like to be able to stretch my own canvas. Yes. While I’m pretty good at picking things up easily, that is one area where I’ve always dreamed but never done. Mostly because I’m afraid of it.

Then again, quilting was pretty scary up until about this morning, so who knows what the future really holds!


PS. I'm going to work on answering comments tomorrow morning instead of tonight, as my pup is giving me a death glare and keeps sighing...yeah, he wants to go to bed!

{snuggled in a cocoon of art}

Oct/Nov Journal - detail 1

I feel as though I’m snuggled in a cocoon.

In our new apartment, I can only access the internet in the living room (as I forgot the wireless router back in Illinois), so my time online has been cut down drastically. On my magically fixed netbook, sitting in the double chair, purse and supplies next to me, painting in the dim light from a stained glass lamp.

We’re still sharing a bed. Two dogs, two women, one full-size bed. My bedroom holds what supplies I managed to fit in the trailer dragged 1,800 miles behind our car: a table, paints, stamps, large paintings for the walls. The closet here is huge and more than enough room for a creative gal!

I’ve been writing a lot. Long, thoughtful entries in a written journal deepened from reading Journal of a Solitude while crossing the country. In the morning, I sit at my desk, open my journal, and write. I love it -- I am back to the place I started from, where addresses and notes share the same space as doodles, art, and thought spun into sentences.

Oct/Nov Journal - front view

And then I got an idea: what if I made my own soft-covered journal, but with a quilted, painted cover? What if I added a bit of batting over thin cardstock and kept it all closed with a button? What, then?

Of everything put on the driveway to be packed, only my sewing machine remained. And remains, back in Chicago, along with my iron and waxed linen thread.

How do you create such a journal without these things?

My fingers are pricked, sore. My measurements off, adjusted near the end. My pages sewn in with orange sewing thread from the bottom of my sewing box. But I love it.

Oct/Nov Journal - inside the front cover

I love the abstract way I painted on the front cover and can’t wait to explore that more on this journal’s pages.

Oct/Nov Journal - back view

I love the upside down flowers on the back, the original front of the journal.

Oct/Nov Journal - spine view

I love the uneven stitches along the final edge, sewn together last.

Oct/Nov Journal - Detail 3

I love the pages, a paper I’ve never used before.

Oct/Nov Journal - Detail 2

I love the spark of inspiration, of raw possibility in the air.

morning sunlight

I was suddenly inspired to work on another large canvas. This one is 30”x40”. I worked on it and love how the watercolors react with this Yes! canvas. I don’t know where it’s going. So it will say hello to me every morning, and one day, I’ll say hi back with the swish of a brush.