Archives: August 2014

How I move past my creative block (and a freebie!)

Often people ask me, “So when did you start painting and writing?”
And usually, I tell them that I have always been creative. I have been writing since I was just a child, and have been drawing and painting since 2010. I had decided that I wanted to get out all the angst, all the emotions and all the things out in a different way, where I did not have to use words as my medium. I wanted to show on paper, what it is I was going through.
Thankfully, that is what art does for me. It is my way of venting, of expressing my emotions, and getting out in a visual way, what it is that I am going through at the moment. Sometimes though, I go through a block. A block being this time when I feel absolutely no motivation to create, to paint or write. For some artists, this block can last years. There is a blogger I was reading about who mentioned that she hadn’t painted in close to ten years.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
-Pablo Picasso
This quote, is the core of my life as an artist. Yes, there are times when you are blocked. Yes, you may not feel like doing anything. But if your art is the way you express your emotions and show what you’re going through, do you really want to block your emotions from revealing themselves? Do you really want to stop expressing yourself? No, of course not. So, I have found ways of making this inspiration come, even when I do not feel it whatsoever.
You may be asking yourself, “How do you just make art, when you don’t really feel motivated?”
Well, in my opinion, it is my duty to the Universe to paint, write and create daily or as often as possible. I also know that it makes me feel good to paint and create. I know that it calms me, helps me release whatever “junk” I’m feeling, and brings back my positive vibrations.

So, knowing this, here’s a few tips to help you keep creating, even when you’re not feeling it:

1. Ask yourself why
When I am feeling like I don’t really want to create, the one thing I do is ask myself why. This may seem mundane, but do it. Don’t just stop at the surface questions, really dig deep. This is when you’re going to get your journal. Get out your journal and write the answers. If you don’t have one, just buy a cheapie composition notebook at the dollar store. Start to really think about the last time you painted, or created. What situation where you in? What is the difference in your life now? Is there a connection? Write these things down.

2. Visualize 
Now that you know why, visualize the things that are really blocking them. Get some key words that you’ve written in your journal and highlight them. Doing this will help you in the next steps. For now though, visualize what these things are like.
For example, maybe your biggest block is your new baby, and juggling motherhood with being an artist. I’d visualize a clock and an easel.
So start visualizing what your hindrances are in your creative path, as you’ve written them down.

3. Produce 
Now reproduce the images you’ve visualized. You can use your medium of choice: that can be anything from jewelry design, sketching, painting, or collage work. If you’re really feeling blocked, I recomend collage work. This is because all you really have to focus on is cutting out images from magazines or print outs that remind you of what’s blocking you. You cut, you paste, and create to your heart’s content.

4. Try something new
When all else fails, move out of your comfort zone and on to a different medium. If you are a scrapbooker, try mixed media. If you’re a painter, try collage work. Just try something different. Getting out of your zone often helps. You can also go to Youtube and check out some fun art instruction videos from Milliande or JennieBelle.

So these are some tips that I use to move beyond my creative block. If you feel like you really want to work at this in depth, I am offering a one on one online class where you’ll work with me personally on what’s really going on with your creative block.
I’m offering this e-course at a special introductory price! Check out the etsy listing HERE for details.

Oh, and here’s a fun freebie for you. I dug up a fun vintage sun for you to print out and use in your collage work!
This is a copyright free, public domain image. Enjoy! 

The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

Fun with DecoArt paints and Stencils!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might know that I used to do a lot of mail art swaps. I haven’t done them in a while, but recently entered a new swap, to make greeting cards. The thing is, I had to make 16 cards. How could I do this?

Enter in the Americana acrylic paints and stencils by DecoArt. The people of DecoArt were kind enough to send me some samples, so I thought I’d show you some fun cards I made using their paints and stencils.
Here’s what I made:
I used their line of mixed media stencils and Americana paints, to make this lovely set of notecards for my swapping buddy.
Here’s another look:
I used the Americana “Mixed Media” stencils by Deco art, which have lots of fun designs and easy to work with. To apply the paint, I just used a palate knife.
Oh, and I made the envelopes out of magazine paper:
I had so much fun making these!
And these are easy to make yourself. Just use their stencils and paints on blank notecard paper! You can make a whole bunch as thank you cards for baby shower gifts, or even as invitations!
The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

Giveaway: Costco Card For Huggies Plus Diapers & Wipes

*The following is a sponsored post on behalf of Mamiverse for Huggies Brand*

I’m really thrilled and excited to be able to offer you an awesome giveaway for the Huggies Brand!

The Huggies® Snug & Dry Plus Diapers and Huggies Natural Care® Plus Wipes are only available at Cosco. 
The Huggies Snug & Dry Plus Diapers are extra absorbent for day and night protection (great for protecting against night time leaks), and the Huggies Natural Care Plus are thicker and more durable for any sort of mess. Plus, they use a simple formula, making them great for sensitive skin, like my daughters have. 

To enter, simply go to my FACEBOOK like page HERE and like my page. I will have this image pinned on my facebook timeline:


Once you’ve liked my page, simply share the image, and you’ll be entered to win! I’ll pick a winner by August 30.


Happy trails and good luck!



The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

 

On Robin Williams, and Facebook Rantings

The thing is, it isn’t that he died that affects me. It is how he died. It is that depression claimed another soul. That is what gets to me. And I think that often those people who do not understand, or have never felt such sadness, these people make judgement without fully understanding what depression is.
I am sad about Robin Williams’ passing. I am sad because I know all too well what it is like to not feel hope, to feel that there is nothing left in you to give. These feelings are all too real for most of us.
I wonder what sort of world we live in when people go on rants on Facebook, accusing and passing judgement over someone who ended their life over depression and pain. While I do not claim to be a saintly woman, I was raised Pentecostal. I know enough about the bible to out-argue most online. I do not believe that it is anyone’s place to pass judgement and say that this man is going to hell if he committed suicide. What sort of a world do we live in when even the Christians lack love? Growing up, Christians were always the ones that to me, displayed love and compassion. When I was in my darkest storms as a teen and young adult, they were always the ones who gave me the love that I so desperately needed.
I’m not a religious woman. My religion is love. My daughters teach me this. My daughters teach me about love, about stopping and smelling the metaphoric flowers, and seeing the beauty in life, no matter what the struggle.
Suicide and depression are real things. It is the sinking, deep dark feeling that claimed the life of my heroine, Sylvia Plath. It is the darkness that claimed the life of Ernest Hemingway. These are real things that real people struggle with, and make no mistake: having weakness does not make a person weak. Suicide isn’t about a person being a coward. It is about bravely entering the next phase of life, without fearing to live with pain anymore. It is not a cowardly act at all. Until you have felt these feelings, do not cast your assinine judgement in the name of the religion you think you follow.
Of all the people I have known in my life, few people stand out as acting in true love, despite our political affiliations.
First is my friend Liz. Liz and I have been pen pals for over 20 years. I have been her friend for these twenty years. We have grown up together, exchanging letters and mix tapes, and now updating each other on Facebook.
When the war began years and years back, she and I held opposite views. Still through it all, she spoke the truth, HER truth, in love. She spoke to me with a soft voice, telling me she held her views because her past personal experiences.
I do not call many my friend. Being the typical Sagittarius, I know many many people from many walks of life. But it takes years for me to get up within myself and call you my friend. Liz is to me, a dear friend of mine. I love her, and I know that she loves me.
The next person is Greg Battista. I actually know Greg from my church going days. HA! He knows that other side of me. But in all the years I’ve known him, he kept his stance, never getting nasty or accusatory. Instead, he is one of the few people who I can look at and call a real true christian.
Look, the way I see it, we all have different ways of seeing life, different approaches to how emotions should be handled. But I think that if we LOVE first and STOP JUDGING, perhaps we will have peace. Perhaps it is this, that can help a person. Posting your lunatic and judgmental bullshit on Facebook will only turn people away. It is wrong and not what your Jesus called you to do.
Suicide is about ending the pain. And that’s all. Love first. Before the words come flying out on Facebook, choose love. Perfect love. Real love. Then re-evaluate what you’re going to say.
For me, I choose love. I choose to wake up every morning no matter what the battles I am facing, and choose to love.
Robin Williams’ suicide touched me because I know what he felt. I understand those feelings. I know what it is like to be in pain. But I also know what it is like to feel love.

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

On fighting change

New art:

I’m just being swallowed
up
gigantic mouth
huge gnawing teeth
I’m being swallowed up by nothingness
by the
way that things fluctuate
and change
I hate change
I like sameness
I like when you’re stable mable
just there when I need you
don’t change
but the only thing
that does not change
is that everything changes
and I hate change
did I mention that?
I do.
Too much change,
do much happening, I
miss my old apartment
I miss the things that were regular
normal
everyday things
So I am swallowed
by all the things that fluctuate
and change
every
single
day.
I suppose
I shall instead, just stand up tall
and grow my roots
and be firm where I am
and be like the tree
or perhaps grow wings
and be as the birds, and
not mind that life changes
all that much
just go with the flow
just flitter and fly whilst collecting my shiny tiny objects
to scatter around my nest
Yes, I think I’ll do that: be the bird
I’ll grow beautiful black raven wings
and embrace this blasted change.

—————————-

My dear daughters,
I miss you. I miss you sorely, and feel lost without you. I know you’ll be back tonite to sleep in your own bed, to snore lightly and call for me in your sleep, but today, I miss you. I have grown accustomed to not having to share you, and this week, I had to share you. And so, I miss you both.
Making art or jewelry without you both being there to fight over the leftover beads and paint almost seems like I’m betraying you. I know you’ll be back soon. I’ll save you my leftover bits of yarn. I promise.
Meanwhile, I want to say that I realize I hate change. I think the issue with change, how much we get used to the same things. There was a time in my life when everything was always changing so much. Finally things began to stay the same. I enjoyed this. I enjoyed the sameness. I reveled and prided myself in keeping things the same for so long. But change is inevitable. Not just change as far as people around you, that is what it is. I dealt with that a long time ago. I mean change as far as moving. I cannot stand moving. I really do not enjoy it. Finding a new normal is the most frustrating thing for me.

Just listed this in m shop today:

Purchase these lovely hoops HERE

*Sigh*
I miss my kids.

Currently listening to:

The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

Teach your parents well

*The below is a sponsored post for Huggies Snug & Dry Plus. The opinions are solely my own. Mama needs a paycheck, m’kay?*

I wonder if my daughters know how much they teach me, or how incredible it is to be their mother. To me, being a mother is the most incredible gift.

Everyday I learn more and more about life, and how to deal with it. I learn about the importance of routines and schedules and the joys of going for a walk. To a child, a smile and a hug goes a long way. 
My children, they teach me. They teach me to stop and smell flowers, quite literally. They teach me things about noticing spider webs and showing compassion to bees, even if they sting.
My daughter Dakota painted this. Do you want to know how I started painting? I shall tell you. Years ago, I used to make (and sell) handmade hot process soap. When I had Dakota I had to put it on the backburner. I had my first child, and didn’t feel comfortable working with lye and cooking up soap. So I decided to work on visual art. I start with crafts and bookbinding, which is how I ended up with my tag name, “The Craftaholic”. At any rate, my daughter would stand next to me at my desk, and I’d give her my scrap papers, that she in turn would make collage art with. And that is how I started working on art. One day my daughter said, mommy, what’s all that paint in your closet? So I decided to paint. And I did. And I do.
My daughter Dharma is a different sort of girl. She is an artist, but for some reason, I thought surely both girls would be similar in actions. 
Boy was I wrong. 
Anyway, she is potty training. With my eldest, it was never a big deal. I trained her in two weeks. Dharma I have found, is a bit more stubborn. So, we still used diapers now and again when going on day trips and at night and all that. 
I love to use Huggies Snug and Dry Plus for several reasons:
I can pick them up at Cosco, when I do my grocery shopping (BTW I’m totally addicted to their dried mango slices, OMG)
Their diapers protect better than Pampers Baby Dry
And I love the Huggies Natural Care wipes, because my daughters both have really sensitive skin, and their wipes have the purest formula out there. So great for sensitive skin, and since it is that pure, I can use them to wipe off my makeup without fear that they will make my skin break out.
I also love that the wipes come with a refillable dispenser kit. Those are perfect for when you’re out on a day trip and little messes happen here and there as they are bound to when you have small children. 

I wouldn’t trade being a mother for anything in the world. Being a mother is what taught me how to love and how to live with passion, AND routine. Children teach you that there can be a balance between these two. There can be, and there is.

My daughter and I learned to make friendship bracelets.

Currently listening to:

The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy

On defining Sancofa

Finally made some new art:

On Defining Sacofa

One two three
one two three

one two three
one two three

YES!
I
am the queen of right now
I already bid farewell to the dogs of yesterday
today
I greet the morning with a kiss
I greet the day knowing
that tomorow could very well be
my last

one two three
one two three

one two three
one two three

counting down the days until I
finally see the moon
again
until I finally fall in love
again

one two three
one two three

yes

five six seven eight
five six seven eight

I’m like a cat
I have nine lives
nine lives
nine chances to make my wishes come true
nine times to create the peace
create the dream
I’m on life number two
life
or god
or the universe
or whatever the fuck you want to call it
gave me a new chance to become myself and
come back
back back back
to coda
back to the beginning, it’s
like that word, that
african word: Sancofa
sometimes you have to look back
to move forward
that
is life
that is me
that is where I’m at
right now

Currently listening to:

The Craftaholic
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 

-Jack Kerouac
Etsy