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Archive for the ‘doing something creative’ Category

back to work

I don’t usually mess with wet mediums – fabric and paper are my preferred materials for creative processing.  But I got this little paper sample book and I do have a bottle of gesso and I have been browsing this magazine all summer so I thought, maybe this is the thing I need to do now.  I am heading back to work today – just a few hours for the first few days, but I need something to pull me back to the “not at work” state of mind.  So far I have prepped about half the pages inside and will do the rest tonight.  Not sure what will go into this little art journal but I am inspired by so many things, especially the work of this fellow teacher.

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Some time ago, I saw an idea that has stuck with me and last weekend I saw a picture that would be perfect for photo journaling.  Now I want to grab my camera and look for more picture opportunities that create this space for words.

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I have two places to write it down.  The first is my book of lists.  I have been using this for about a month and it is saving me from the end of the school year brain fade.  I found four of these little moleskine notebooks in a drawer so I am planning to make use of them for my listmaking.  The second notebook is my moleskine monthly planner.  I love the format – a two page calendar and then two pages of ruled paper.  This year I have added a bit of color.  I have been using colored pencils to designate special days or events.  Last month I even used a grey pencil to color in a few really crummy days.  It only takes a quick glance to see how I was feeling.  I use the ruled pages for journaling.  Not too much, just enough.  Just a few more weeks and summer begins.  I  hope I get to use some sunny colors soon.

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What a fun week!  I got much more comfortable with pulling my camera out in odd places and even used my self timer to get some shots.  I used a small moleskine for daily reflections and To-Do lists so I have notes.  Now I will need to find some time to print photos and make my pages.  Can’t wait to see how Ali’s book comes together.

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Ali has begun posting her preparations for the Week in a Life project that begins on April 19.  I dug through my scrapbooking supplies and found a 6×6 journal with a bunch of page protectors.  One set of page protectors was a bit shorter so I decided they would be good for the journal pages.  I used my machine to stitch them down to a 4×6 size.  This way I can journal right on index cards.  I also found a bunch of supplies about play and time so I pulled them out.  If you are thinking about doing this project, be sure to visit Ali and sew how she is getting ready.

If you want to read more Slice of Life stories or learn about telling your own story, visit TwoWriting Teachers.

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I have been reading Ali Edwards’ blog for a long time and I have always wanted to take a class from her.  One of the things she does so well is to record the ordinary moments in life.  And soon she will be creating a new album based on an ordinary week.  This isn’t an online class but she will be going through all of the steps as she takes pictures and records her week.  And the timing is just screaming out to me, right on the heels of the Slice of Life challenge.  So, I am planning to take the challenge.  Today I am going to sort through my supplies – I know I must have an album in my collection that will be perfect for this project.  Visit Ali’s blog for more information.

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I am continually disappointed when I go out to look for greeting cards.  The messages are sappy or silly.  The prices are crazy.  The quality is declining.  So I end up making my own cards.  I am on the deacon board at church and have a group of people that I check in with, offering help and support and bit of cheer.  I decided that I would make my own Easter cards this year.  I found this wonderful box of blank cards and used my printer to create a message on the inside.  I have a Happy Easter stamp for the front and a small flower stamp for the envelope.  Today I just need to get the addresses on and drop them at the post office.  I am so happy with the way they turned out that I am going to look for another box of cards and print up a few different messages inside so I won’t need to go through the time-consuming, frustrating process of card hunting for a few months.

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I had forgotten about this yarn.  I am sure I bought it when we first talked about starting the prayer shawl group but it somehow ended up in a cupboard downstairs.  I found it a few weeks ago and remembered thinking that the colors would be perfect for a shawl so I cast on the 57 stitches and began to knit.  Then I had to un-knit when I messed up the pattern.  I started again.  And this time I got about 12 inches done but it just wasn’t speaking to me.  So I put it aside and knit a few baby hats.  Last night I was leafing through  this book and I read a story from one prayer shawl knitter about starting over three times on a shawl.  She had some beautiful yarn but the first two patterns she chose just didn’t fit.  That is what I needed to do.  Start over.  But there was still the question of pattern.  I turned the page and saw this lattice shawl and knew it was the right pattern.  So I un-knit one more time and cast on the 60 stitches listed in the pattern.  Just 6 inches into this shawl and I know it is the right one.  Simple enough to start and stop as I have time to knit.  And enough of a pattern to really make this yarn sing.  I don’t know who will receive this shawl but I do know that it will go with prayers for hope, persistence, and trust.

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As soon as I saw the challenge pattern, I began to think of the Parable of the mustard seed.  It was a simple tree shape with some leaves – any additions were up to the quiltmaker.  I began stitching and before I knew it, the tree was filled with leaves and birds coming and going.  The flowers sprang up below the tree, the perfect place for a rest along the journey. 

The Parable of the Mustard Seed – Mark 4:30-34

 30Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”

 33With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

***tree and leaf pattern by Sue Spargo***

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Isn’t it funny what brings us together? The simple act of knitting, a craft that has been handed down, passed on, and shared.  Some of us are experienced, others just beginning.  We watch one another and comment on the variety of methods we have all learned.  There are moments of great chatter followed by quiet as the needles click.  We might think this is the one thing we hold in common.  But we gather in a circle, we offer prayers for our work, prayers for those who will receive these scarves, hats, and shawls.  And whether we know it or not, what brings us together is bigger than we can imagine.

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