Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Artist dates & blog inspiration, part 3

In this third and final post about revving your creativity engine (see original post here) by reading inspirational blogs, you’ll note that all three of the BBEST blogs that are highlighted today serve the function of an Artist Date. These blogs are certainly about the artistic journey, but also about how art and the blogger's personal life are intertwined. Featured today are Judi of Vintage Legacy Studio, Rose of Big Island Rose Designs, and Marion of artmixter. Let’s get started!

Judi, whose blog, Vintage Legacy Studio, is the counterpart to her Etsy shop of the same name, is one of the newer members of the BBEST team. As a life and leadership coach, Judi says part of her mission is to design space to grow, and to empower herself and others to be creative. She does so not only with her Victorian era-inspired creations, but also through writing and performance. You can visit eHow, for example, and read some of Judi’s articles by entering her user name, CoachJudiB, in the search bar.

In one of her other blogs, The Heirloom Gazette, Judi reveals that for seven years she wrote as Abigail Bradshaw, a Victorian character whose historic detail is “gleaned from antique magazines and books, and is authentic in its content.” She performed vignettes of this character, incorporating vintage songs into her performances. One of them was “The Bird on Nellie’s Hat,” a song about a bird who knew more about Nellie than Nellie would have guessed. Among Judi’s family photos is one of her Great Aunt Millie, who wore a hat with a bird like Nellie perched on it; this is Judi’s current Etsy avatar.


Recently Judi has been decluttering her sewing space to make room for new projects, and in the process she discovered some vintage handkerchiefs that were originally intended to be part of a quilt top. Instead, Judi is re-purposing the handkerchiefs into unique necklaces incorporating vintage lace, loops of beads, glass beads, and vintage buttons.

Another recent project is what Judi describes as a bib necklace, fashioned from vintage lace and trims. In her blog, she describes how challenging it was to photograph this item.




In The Rose Journal, Rose of Big Island Rose Designs writes delightfully meandering posts that will surprise you with their ultimate destinations. In Blessings in Disguise, for example, Rose tells us a story about how her husband pruned her precious kukui tree beyond recognition, but then—a few days later—she looked at the tree and realized her husband had cut the tree in the shape of a heart. “It won’t last forever,” Rose writes, “but I’m enjoying it for the moment and it got me thinking. I stressed and fussed each time he cut that tree not knowing that someday I would be blessed by a heart. (God sometimes gets out His pruning shears and gives us a good topping too! He’s trying to bring out His heart in us.)”


Kukui tree in Blessings in Disguise, described by birose

Rose’s tendency to reflect about blessings instead of missteps is evident in her collage and mixed media work, which has been evolving since, as a little girl, she collected stamps and broken egg shells. “Collage has always been my constant companion,” she says, “whether I’m working with paper, fabric, found items, or fibers. Even when I think about working with people it’s always with the idea of showing them how to take simple things and make them into something beautiful. Isn’t that what our Creator does with us? He takes the broken pieces of our lives, mixes in those of others, adds some color, spices, or laughter and makes beautiful stories, beautiful lives.” In her secondary Etsy shop, SaRoMaSa, Rose is beginning to sell her collage work.


Although many of us are most familiar with the colorful fabric yoyo flowers in Rose’s main shop, Big Island Rose Designs, Rose reveals she can also do wonders with the absence of color. Applying herself to the challenge of the Creative Every Day blog, she produced a work of collage, mostly in white.

Almost White” collage work, by birose

Scottish artist Marion of artmixter, whose blog tag line explains that “artmixter” is a mixture of art and thought—with a bit of everyday life on the side—has a busy life. Activities such as writing, teaching workshops, creating art, attending the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (United Kingdom), and—oh, yeah—working at a paid job produce a schedule in which every day is an exercise in avoiding procrastination. “Procrastination is fine,” Marion writes, “if you've got the time for it. I don't. So I have focused on the essentials, my commitments in the short term, and I've decided how to tackle them.” She writes, in fact, about the topic of procrastination in her new book, Finding Your Creative Focus, available on her blog and in her Etsy shop.


When she’s not writing, Marion is often teaching textile workshops or demonstrating the use of lutradur and Evolon, two unique synthetic fibers. In a recent workshop, participants produced transparent bowls with words trapped inside them. Marion’s philosphy about teaching is to provide examples of what is possible, rather than a specific set of instructions. “I make suggestions,” she explains, “show what is possible, or at least, what I think is possible at this point; you might find there's yet more you can do with what I'm showing you. And that's the joy of teaching workshops in this way; if you provide six people with the same materials and the same instruction, they can produce six completely different pieces of art. Of course, if you want to copy what I've made, you can . . . but I'm pretty sure that yours will turn out with a different 'feel' to mine. Why not try it?” She has written a book about lutradur, and is working toward completion of a book on Evolon.


With all that she does, it is amazing that Marion finds time for her own art. As the saying goes (or something close to it), people make time for the things that are important to them. Recently, Marion has been producing a great deal of collage work, especially with transfer dyes and lutradur.


Sample collage for workshop taught at The Gallery
Dereham (United Kingdom), by artmixter


Her artistic efforts have caught the eye of The Storque, the official blog of Etsy. If you haven’t already read it, you’ll want to read about Marion in The Storque’s post, High End Etsy: Fiber Arts.

Hopefully these BBEST bloggers have aroused your curiosity, and possibly have inspired you to explore some new areas you have not previously considered. That’s the purpose of an Artist Date. As author Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way reminds us, “Doing your artist date, you are receiving—opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance.” If you missed the earlier posts in this series, you may wish to read the following:
© 2009 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artists and may not be used without permission. Simultaneously published at http://sparklines.blogspot.com.

16 comments:

On a Whimsey said...

A truly wonderful post Judy! Great examples from such talented artists.

Thank you!

joon said...

Thanks, again, Judy and Rose, Judi and Marion. Blogs are just such fun. I love them.

Linda said...

Wonderful post. Such talent!

Sixsisters said...

Lovely items. Thanks for a great post Judy.

blazingneedles said...

Wonderful post Judy. I love learning more about our BBEST friends.

Beth said...

I enjoyed reading this. Wonderful feature.

ZudaGay said...

Thank you Judy, these posts about our blogs are wonderful!! I am enjoying this series very much.

jstinson said...

Wonderful blog post and beautiful features! I enjoyed it immensely!

Melanie said...

I LOVE this group! Thanks for such great posts!

The Filigree Garden said...

Interesting looks into the creative lives of different artisans.

Yankeegirl said...

So well written and informative!! Great job, Judy!

marion said...

Thank you for including me and my work in such great company, Judy!

Rose said...

Thank you Judy for a wonderful write up! And Judi your necklaces are scrumptious! Marion I think I need to save up my money and get your book on "Finding Your Creative Focus". I think I need it!

Splendid Little Stars said...

great post!

storybeader said...

so much going on! I really love to look at artmixer's work... And that collar is beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more of you, Judy, on the etsybloggers. Now is it Judy or Judi? {:-Deb

MagdaleneJewels said...

Great blog on more of our talented Bbest. I love some of the items in Vintage's shop. Since our next play takes place in 1913, she has been keeping an eye open for some items I might be able to use.
You are one of the Bbest and soon to be a Blogger also!