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.
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.)”
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.
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.
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:
- Carving time for your Muse
- Artist dates & blog inspiration, part 1
- Artist dates & blog inspiration, part 2