What we see

Cardboard base mixed media using vintage elements

One of the lessons in Creative Jumpstart 2022 was to use pieces from cardboard boxes and create a book. It ended up telling its own story as I chose photos and additional images. When I see old photos of people I don’t know I can’t help but try to discern the stories of their lives. Most photos are of joyful occasions, the subjects completely unaware of what is hurtling through time towards them. Sometimes there are ones that are sad, the story on display.

3 page spread of mixed media book project

Photographs allow us to step into another time, into someone’s life and consider what it might have been like for them. And how it would’ve been for us, the struggles we would encounter were we to travel back in time and try to fit in. We can look at the elegant clothes without the burden of actually wearing them. Ride in the conveyances without the bone shaking, partake in the meals without the slaughter and day long cooking. It is a fascinating flight of imagination.

Backside of the pages of mixed media book.

I doubt that online albums will hold the same appeal of sorting through photo boxes and albums. Much as emails lack the emotion of old letters and postcards.

Believe in the Garden

Mixed media piece of butterfly on a rose and heavily detailed background

Though it is winter, and the garden is covered in snow, I know things are happening at the root level of all my plants. They are dreaming of spring and bursting forth into the sun. yet even during the winter months the exposed branches give structure to the garden, highlighted by snow and occasional bird. For many January can be a hard month. It is cold, dark, the weather can be unpredictable, the celebrations past, and resolutions sounding hollow already. Plus this year, still, we have the pandemic continuing to throw monkey wrenches into daily life. Both sides of that issue are feeling irritated about that, though some won’t dial it back which only adds to the general annoyances we are all experiencing.

I decided to start my year off with regular trips to the gym to keep both my physical and mental strength up. To get outside in the fresh air when I can. And I decided to take part in Creative Jumpstart 2022 to keep my creativity flowing. I have just finished the first week of lessons and it is a blast. It is providing me with the same sort of benefits as the gym and nature. It’s a trifecta of goodness to ward off any January blahs that might come my way.

Strength

Mixed media with butterfly , bright circles, jewels and “strength” chop mark

As part of the Creative Jumpstart 2022 course I am taking through Nathalie Kalbach’s site there are daily creative videos from wide variety of artists. Each one is designed to encourage exploring new materials and techniques. It is proving a great way for me to get into the studio every day and dig into my supplies. I am determined to expand creatively in every direction I possibly can this year, and this course came across my screen at the perfect time. It is fun to stretch myself in this way and see what I can do.

Rise & Shine

Bold colors and book pages with rise and shine text

The first day of a new year always feels a bit odd to me, a day suspended at the starting line and gathering the energy to leap into the race. Everything about the upcoming year is as yet open and unsullied. Like a blank sketchbook or journal, anything is possible and available. May your year start off with meaning and joy and grow from there!

Fill your life

Fill your life with sunshine and your heart with love quote on bright paint and layered paper background

Here we are, at the very final hours of the year. 2021 will soon be behind us. We will enter the new year with 365 days of unknowns to be dealt with. Throughout the year there will be all the usual ups and downs, plus delights and sorrows which will catch us off guard. I wish all of you a year filled with more ups and delights, and lots of laughter and success to offset the downs and sorrows. Happy New Year!

White or green

Let it snow text on patterned background

I can only recall a couple of green Christmases when I was a child. A sled was generally considered a safe gift to give. Now a bike is as good a bet for immediate use. Even as the weather changes the idea of “let it snow” lingers on. We like the Currier and Ives idea of snowy settings for Christmas, it feels comforting and right for the season. Even movies set in traditionally snow free areas seem to work in a scene with a nod to snow. Perhaps it is the hush snow brings, the covering of freshness that greets our eyes. Or maybe it is just the idea of what is known and regular being transformed. Whichever your holiday is, white or green, I hope it is a good one filled with laughter, good food, and those simple things we always enjoy.