Where Does Creativity Come From…?

     Posted by Norine on April 18, 2018

Hello and happy Wednesday friends!

I’m back from a recent vacation and I want to talk to you about something.  Mr B and I flew off to Florida 10 days ago (because the beaches in AZ aren’t as nice as the ones in FL) and after we’d sunned and swam and read and lazed, we got ourselves off to Tampa to meet our friends at the airport where the fun really started.  The Misters went off to the 2nd largest Air Show in the US (we felt badly for them; we knew our fun was so much funner than their fun) and the Misses hauled themselves and their paint brushes to an art retreat (of sorts).  That might not be what the event was billed as, but that’s what it was to the two of us.  Our teacher, Joanne Sharpe, publisher of several books, ambassador for Bernina sewing machines, holder of a Master’s degree in Art Education and Artist Extraordinaire, came from Rochester, NY to teach 4 completely different classes to groups of 15-30 students over 2 days.

So, where does creativity come from?  You might say it’s a talent some people are born with.  I don’t entirely agree.  I think the average person has a lot more creativity inside them than they ever realize.  And with exercise and practice it becomes stronger and more useful.  Like a muscle.  I don’t have anywhere close to the creativity that Joanne Sharpe does; I haven’t spent the years in the practice and pursuit of creativity that she has, but I do have a very strong “copying” skill and enough of my own creativity to “jump off” the idea platform she provides, to create something different, unique and beautiful.

For the last year or more, I’ve been really “working” one side of my creativity muscle (card making) and because it’s been exercised frequently, it’s grown stronger.  But that’s not the case for other sides of my creativity.  And some days that’s been stressful and not very fun.  Not to mention lopsided.  There are many, many ideas for ways to jumpstart your creative mojo, from browsing Pinterest (my personal fave), to cleaning your craft table, to sorting and purging supplies, to shopping for more supplies, to reading a book or going for a walk.  But last weekend I discovered and re-ignited a passion for creating that had been missing for a long time by attending 4 art classes! On vacation.  With a friend.  In FLORIDA forcryingoutloud!!  If my mojo couldn’t show up for that party, there was no hope!


Here is a glimpse of what I came away with after two days.  I have a pretty watercolor painting where I learned how to see negativity and paint it.  And a small (not very good) landscape painting.  I have a fabric/quilted and decoratively sewn journal cover.  And the start of a wildly painted quote book.  Not everything is finished, or display worthy, but every one of these projects helped to re-ignite a passion (for color, just for starters) and fuel a fresh excitement and burst of creativity that I welcomed with open arms!




(These are our Creativity is a Serious Business faces, not our Just Learned Our Cats Need Dental Surgery faces.  You wouldn’t be faulted for mistaking the two.)






So what does all this have to do with you??  Well, I learned so many cool things and came home so hopped up with creative energy, that I want to share it with you beyond just a blog post!  Which is my way of announcing some upcoming classes!!!  If you think you too could use a creativity jump-start, then mark your calendars and Save The Date for Friday afternoon and evening, July 6 and all day Saturday, July 7, when I’ll be visiting Winkler with my paintbrushes and wild-eyed fervor!  We’re working out all the details still, but there will be a more informative announcement very soon and registration will open on May 15th!

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Butterfly Garden

     Posted by Lisa on April 15, 2018

Happy Sunday and Welcome!

Not many of you know but a few years ago I was dealing with major back issues which basically rendered me unable to walk and months on end full of excruciating pain.   It was a very difficult journey for myself and my family, the road to recovery was long and a lot of work.  Certainly gave me a new appreciation for the everyday little things.

“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”

It seems that spring is hiding from many of us and we’re all itching for blue skies & green grass.  While we all wait I hope this project will raise your spirits a bit!


The base of my project is a Tim Holtz Etcetera Tag, which I first covered with paper, a bunch of tags and labels.  Then a layer of clear gesso to seal it and make my colors flow better.


To add some extra texture (in case you didn’t see my last post, I am obsessed with texture) I used Finnabair White Sand Texture paste with some Tim Holtz stencils.  I didn’t want the past to be white so I added some Vintage Ivory Prima Artisan Powder to the paste before spreading over the stencils.


I really wanted the center of the tag to be the focus so I applied green mists only in the center like a T,  keeping the corners of the tag lighter.

It’s hard to see but I painted some paper straws and added to the background as a bit of a base.  Then came the die cuts…wow as I went through my dies looking for greenery type dies I realized I have LOTS!!!  Yeah I know I shouldn’t be surprised, and if you saw my collection of dies you wouldn’t be either!


Of course the main focus is the butterfly, with all the green in the background I love how the orange just pops!!  For the body I used a vintage clothes pin and this fancy key hole which I made using one of the Prima IOD molds.  To finish the keyhole and make all the pretty details stand out I used some Finnabair wax.

I hope this project inspires you to find fun ways to use your dies, create texture and maybe even use something you wouldn’t expect (like the clothes pin)!

Thank you for joining me, happy creating!

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