Where Does Creativity Come From…?

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!

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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!

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(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.)

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THE COLORS, AMIRITE!?!?

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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!

Posted under Classes, Creative Sighting, Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Norine on April 18, 2018

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The final installment…

Hi, hello!  I’m back again today with….you guessed it…more TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK MINI ALBUUUUUUMMMMM!!  The last few pages, plus the binding of said album!  Lets dive right in!

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This might be my favorite page in the book, with it’s December-Happy Holidays stamped page.  It’s times like this when I’m digging in the very back of the stamp drawer and find a rarely used Months-of-the-Year stamp set that I’m profoundly pleased that it has survived all my previous purges!  The Happy Holidays stamp came from one of my current seasonal stamp sets.  I will mention, that the trick to getting the stamping to line up straight is to lightly pencil in some lines before hand, and erase them when the ink is dry.

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This is another page that started off as plain, cream colored card stock.  I used the Echo Park Fairy Dust background stamp with a light brown ink to stamp the whole lower part of the page, and a striped background stamp along the top.  And again, used up a BUNCH of word and phrase stickers to help tell the story.

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This layout as well includes some stamping - this time it’s a random assortment of leaves, branches and boughs.  For this page I used black ink, but stamped 1st on a piece of scrap paper, and then on this page to achieve that faded grey color.

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You’ve seen this page already, in my first post.  But the editing of the photos in the first version bothered me, because they were so dark.  So I re-edited and re-printed them and I’m much happier with them now!

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Here is the cover, front and back.  I added a few more word stickers on the front, making sure to adhere them with a strong liquid glue to make sure they don’t come loose and fall off down the road someday.

Now for the binding.

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Basically, the method I used is what you would do if you were joining several signatures together into a larger book.  (A signature is what most printed books are made up of, a few pages folded and sewn together, then added to many more groups of a few pages folded and sewn). In essence, what I have here is a booklet made up of 9 signature covers that have no additional pages inside them. I began by poking holes in the fold of each page 1 1/2″ apart, and 1″ from the top and the bottom.  I used heavy-duty top-stitching thread and doubled it for the sewing.  I could write out the instructions for how I joined each page, but you would soon be either, lost or snoring.  The video that taught me is a much better way for you to understand the process than my telling you.  You can learn how here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9O4kFTOEh6k

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Once the pages were all stitched together, I measured the width of the spine, and cut a piece of wood-grain patterned paper to that measurement plus a generous half inch.  I scored 1/4″ from either side, machine stitched down each edge and then glued that strip to cover the back spine of the book.  I used narrow strips of strong double-sided tape for the edge flaps and Aleene’s tacky glue for the center portion of the spine itself.  The white glue dries flexible and holds very well, and the double sided tape holds everything in place until the tacky glue dries.

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And there we have it!  That was a bit of a haul, huh!?  I’m really pleased with my mini-album of memories and it feels sturdy enough to handle many hands leafing through it for a long time!  It’s got me all fired up to start on my grandson’s Baby album next, which I hope to start on in a few weeks, once things quiet down around here!  It won’t be a Traveler’s Notebook style though, but rather a vintage book of poetry re-purposed into a mini-album.  I hope you’ll follow along with me for that project!

Thanks for hanging in there with me these last few weeks, and I promise to have something altogether different for you next week!

Posted under Design Team Inspiration

This post was written by Norine on March 21, 2018

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