You never know what you might enjoy or be good at until you try it. I try to do something creative everyday. Some days I can spend hours in the evening in my studio space; other times I may only have time to make an envelope. This habit is good for my soul and peace of mind. For at least a few minutes I get to escape everything and let go. No work. No family. No woulda’s, shoulda’s or coulda’s.
On the other hand I think I have a bit of attention deficit in that I don’t have a desire to make the same thing twice. I have never made exactly the same quilt twice, nor have I done the same card twice. There are no two pages in any of my journals that are the same. There is always something different.
In order to fuel this need to create, but also explore something different I participate in challenges. When I was teaching quilting, which takes lots of personal energy I did lots of challenges and mystery quilts to fuel this need I had. Now my time seems shorter and I spend more time with mixed media and paper, which seems to require shorter time commitments. Most of this is much lower risk than quilting both time and money wise, but it is something I am less sure of. Doing challenges is very freeing I find I am constantly trying new things. Some things I wonder who thought that this might work or be a good idea. Other things are a twist on a tried and true idea. I have been asked to using things that I have not used that way before. All of this has expanded my boundaries and made me loosen up a lot. I have more stuff I look at and go hmmmm, boy it isn’t very professional, or maybe it is better defined as looking awfully crude or amateurish. Yet each time I do one I enjoy the moment and let myself explore and the results are what they are. I have gotten to the point that I don’t throw the cards I make when exploring techniques away, instead I use them in my once a month friends and family mailing. Once I put it in an envelope for some reason my personal judgments are gone, but I still had the experience of expanding my boundaries and I am never quite the same again.
The challenge I picked up this week was one put out by Simon Says Stamp, Monday Challenge. This time it was J is for…. and you filled in the blank, but some of the suggestions were: July, journey, jump rings, jewel tones, and journaling. I choose to look at my card journal ( there was my first J)l. Not my cards, but the cards others send me. I keep the best in an altered book. I had recently watch a Youtube by Kristina Werner and her use of Distress Inks and then sprayed it with water on a stamp. That technique would not work as shown but used her out the box thinking to make my own take on it. One of my favorite stamps that I have used many times for a background is diamonds (a Jewel, the second t J for the challenge). My ink was a ruby color (another Jewel for the J challenge ). I did some painting with Twinkling h20’s water color for the shimmer that there is only a hint of when I was done. I did some stamping of words and played with letter shading with less than stellar results. Over all I thrilled that I colored outside my normal lines. It isn’t going to get me any awards or invitations to be in an exhibits, but it was fun. A card I had been saving for awhile is now in my book on its very own page.