Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Let me introduce myself...

Intro page 2, originally uploaded by jennhv.
So I apologize for my absence over the past week but I am have really been enjoying having Grand Master B around 24/7 and, I'll admit, it has taken some transitioning to become a fully functioning mama again. But so worth it. We had a really lovely barbecue in honor of his return home and to celebrate his accomplishments last weekend. More on this later...

I thought I'd share the introductory page from my art journal. I have been really attracted to this concept for while but just hadn't taken any steps to start. Then I discovered Tell Your Story, a guided class on just this subject. The teachers, Elsie and Rachel, share tips, techniques and journaling prompts every day for 6 weeks. I am feeling so energized in just what we've done in the past 3 days. This class is just the thing I needed, plus I feel developing a daily habit of journaling every day is both helpful in my creative journey AND necessary for my ongoing mental health.

I used this first page as a means to explore the many roles I play, issues and fears I am dealing with right now, trivia and tidbits about me and celebrating all that is wonderful in my life, this very minute. I painted the background with my absolute favorite aqua acrylic which gives it just the light and breezy feel I was trying to portray. Aqua just makes me happy. Then I taped down a piece of my personalized stationary for the journaling card. I used colored mists, chipboard, letters and a paperclip to build on the theme. I really love this.

I will be sharing some of the pages from my art journal over the next few weeks, as well as other items of crafty goodness. And I will share photos and stories of B's welcome home BBQ later tonight or tomorrow. Til then... Happy Wednesday, America.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Missing In Action

Just a quick check in to let you know we are alive and well. Having Grand Master B home is filling my heart to overflowing. I am so happy. I am also exhausted. This week has been full of meetings, appointments, more meetings, organizing, cleaning, worrying, rejoicing, gratitude and exhaustion. And we have a boat load of painting to look forward to on Saturday.

Anyway, you can all look forward to a return to regular blogging next week. This week I am documenting my Week in the Life project along with Ali Edwards and hundreds of other crafty ladies. Next week I'll share some of the words + pictures from this week in my life.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

He's Home

The day has finally arrived! Grand Master B is home. This is what I think every single time I see his smile.

We are working like mad to clean, organize and repaint his bedroom, and this has sparked a frenzy of activity to organize the rest of the house, too. Believe me, Jim & I both have so many things that need to find another home. So it's Project Organization around here. I'll be back Monday night with an update...and maybe even a picture or two.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Scrapbook Pages

I'll bet you thought I had forgotten my earlier promise to share the rest of my pages from Sketchbook, the online class that I took with Kelly Purkey. Well, I surely did not. In case you missed the earlier pages, you can find them here and here. This post will cover the pages that I created based on sketches 8 through 12. Enjoy!

Sketch 8
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Sketch 9 (personal information x'd out for privacy)
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Sketch 10
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Sketch 11
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Sketch 12 
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Here's to putting creativity in action! I hope all of you are experimenting with adding a little creativity in your loves, too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So Proud of This Guy

Grand Master B has completed the residential portion of his treatment program and is coming home to stay this weekend! We are so excited and proud and happy and anxious and completely overjoyed... You get the picture. All of the sadness, all of the distance, all of the separation was worth it. I am convinced more than ever that hope is truly my little word for this year... Looking at him, knowing how hard he's worked, seeing all that he's accomplished just restores my belief in the power of hope.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Fun Day

I had a wonderful night out with some of my girlfriends seeing the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra at the Holland Center. Learned some cool stuff at the lecture prior to the show & then totally grooved to the smooth sounds of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Good times. back tomorrow with news about an upcoming crafty project!

"Goodnight John Boy..."
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Embracing Your Own Creativity

I have been musing a lot over the past few weeks on the concept of creativity, more specifically embracing personal creativity. I got started considering this idea after a friend of mine said to me, "I wish I could be as creative as you. I just know I could never do any of that stuff." My immediate response, "Of course you could. But there is a learning curve. Like with anything new, it does take time and practice." And then she responded sadly, "No. I'm just not creative."

This really bothered me. Because I just don't believe that. I refuse. I believe that we are all born with a sense of the creative. Creativity is akin to imagination. Everybody has it but not everybody knows how to use it.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of creativity is artistic or intellectual inventiveness. Creativity is marked by the ability or power to create or bring into existence, to invest with a new form, to produce through imaginative skill, to make or bring into existence something new.

 At its most basic form, creativity is birth, bringing something into existence. And we all have the power to do that.

Too often, creativity becomes synonymous with artistry or talent or genius. This does a disservice to all. Some of the world's most creative individuals, such as Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling or Marie Curie, had very little to do with art and very much to do with changing the world. It is less about talent and more about openness and a willingness to explore new things. It means continually looking at the world around us with fresh eyes and a new perspective. It is both vast and yet intimately personal. How creativity manifests in my life may be very different from how creativity is present in your lives.

I think that is why there so much resistance to creativity. It is powerful. It can be overwhelming. And it very often produces fear.

Fear is a natural enemy of creativity. So are self-doubt, insecurity, perfectionism, self-criticism, inflexibility and comparing one's self to others.

Conversely, there are many emotions available to you that will foster creativity: courage, acceptance, confidence, letting go, embracing imperfection, flexibility and focus.

I guess it is just a matter of choice. I have actively chosen to live my life creatively. And while I may not produce the kind of changes in the world as Albert Einstein, I certainly produce changes in my world that make me and those around me happy.
I wish you the same. Because you are creative, too.
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Mea Culpa

Yesterday's planned post got derailed by a lovely but impromptu dinner with friends. See you later tonight...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Whole Lotta Eye Candy

Today, as promised, I have lots of crafty goodness to share. I have made some amazing new scrapbook pages over the past eleven days. They are all the result of daily inspiration from Kelly Purkey's Sketchbook class. In case you missed it, I already shared my first two pages in this post. Below, are the pages based on the next five sketches. Later this weekend, I'll wrap up with pages based on the remaining five sketches.

Sketch 3

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Sketch 4 - Shared in yesterday's post. : )

Sketch 5

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Sketch 6

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Sketch 7
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I am really pleased with the spurt of creativity brought on by Kelly's sketches. I haven't used sketches very much in the past with my crafting. I worried that I would feel confined by the sketch or limited in my own artistic expression. But after consistently using sketches as a starting point for the past 11 days, I actually found the opposite to be true. The sketch sparked ideas, some were product based and others were more story based. But once I began printing photos and pulling papers out from my stash, the sketch was forgotten and the page became wholly my own. It was amazing to see the variety of pages among members of the class. You would never guess that we all began with the same sketch.
So, I'm off to watch Project Runway...thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any questions about products or techniques on any of the pages. Just leave me a comment.

Messages From the Universe...and the Fabulous Mrs. Baker

I am trying to blog more regularly but I haven't quite got into a rhythm yet. So when I was planning out the next couple of days, a new blog post was on my list...but it wasn't at the top of the list. I completed a medico legal report for a court case that I'm consulting on; I did a little spring cleaning and laundry; I enjoyed a lovely lunch with Mr. Jimmy; I finished a couple of scrapbook pages for my class; and I've been thinking deep thoughts about creativity.


So, somewhere in there were thoughts about my blog post, more specifically a post on personal creativity. But those moodlings are still in an infant stage and not yet ready for publication. And then one of the first things I read this morning was this post by Gretchen Rubin outlining tips to help you tackle your "to-do" list. One thing that really struck home with me was this: It's actually easier to blog every day than it is to blog two or three times per week. Daily blogging instills consistency, provides opportunity for creative expression and develops a sense of commitment. These are good things, right? I think so, too and I am already on board with the concept. And, then, my good friend Mrs. Baker sends me an email broadly hinting that my blog is in need of a new post...which is not only true but also very sweet. It's good to know that someone out there enjoys my meandering.

Sometimes you just have to accept that the universe in sending you a message.

I am in for daily blogging.

Tonight I leave you with a recent page I created for my wedding album. I got married nearly two years ago and the book is probably two-thirds complete. Let's not even get into that level of procrastination, shall we? Tomorrow, I'll be sharing another crafty project. And Friday, look for some high falutin' thoughts on creativity. Let me know if there's a topic you'd like to see in the future.

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PS Grand Master B is just doing amazing! He came home for Easter last weekend and will be back again this weekend. And we're in the midst of finalizing his transition to return home for good. So many wonderful things in our family's future!
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Told Ya I'd Be Back...

Oh my has been a beautiful day here today in the heartland. I had a full schedule of patients at work; all of them showed up which is a bonus. I had a lovely dinner with my hubby. And I even found a little time to myself for some crafting.

I am taking Kelly Purkey's amazing new class called Sketchbook. Everyday for 12 days KP provides an awesome sketch for a scrapbook page. The handout is chock full of design tidbits, tips & tricks and amazing examples. She has teamed up with the Studio Calico Design Team to bring a wide variety of styles and amazing creativity to the example layouts. I am absolutely loving this class. I'm so inspired. I've been making a page a day (so far)  and have tons of ideas for more pages. I was even able to participate in the the class's first live chat tonight...I know - I, too, am shocked at my productivity.

So, I thought I'd let you reap the benefits as well by sharing some of my pages. I am not going to share the sketches or any of the example LOs because those are just for members of the class. But you CAN bask in the glory of my creative endeavors...if you try really hard.

This is my LO based on the sketch 1. I have been wanting to put together some pics of Princess Izzy taken over the past 6 months. She has most definitely knows her own mind and she isn't afraid to let you know it either. I just love this girl, sass and all.
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For the sketch 2, I wanted to highlight some of the many things I love about my best friend. Deana turned 40 recently and we spent several days celebrating this milestone. I wanted to put into words some of her accomplishments right now, at age 40...and I wanted to show off the killer photo that I took of her.

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Here's hoping everyone has a lovely Easter weekend. I have tomorrow off and plan on doing more creating. I'll share some more colorful goodness with you this weekend.

PS I just want to take this opportunity to let you know that I won't be 40 until December 2012. Yes, thank you, I am the younger and prettier sister...
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