Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas
      the ground’s covered with snow
Too late to create
     another package and bow

So much work this season
     creating and such
Step back, take a breath
     give thanks for so much!

Take time to appreciate
     all that’s been done
Look forward, not back
     If just for one moment remember - HAVE FUN!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Extreme Makeover

(It felt magical)

At some point, we’ve all viewed a makeover witnessed magical results. Admit it, you’ve envied the chosen. “Pick me! Pick me!” screamed your inner perceived plain self. I want to be transformed!

Here is a transformation of another sort. Wool to felt. Nature’s way, presumably, of consolidating, providing additional protection, another layer of warmth. A simple process, really, no special tools or skill required. The natural scales and kinks found on wool fibers twist, dance and ultimately marry to form the strongest of bonds when combined with water and friction.

(from this)

If only our own transformation could be so easily accomplished! A good scrubbing, a well-placed snip…


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Intentions

Oh my.

You know what they say about the road to hell…paved with good intentions.

When I embarked on this humbling experience of blogging, it was my intention to publish something that might possibly possess a smidgeon of value or interest or insight or inspiration - on a somewhat regular basis. I thought perhaps, just maybe, that by journaling creative missives I could somehow channel words into action. Brimming with enthusiasm and ideas I began. My zeal waned with how difficult the process quickly became. I felt (and feel) self-conscious. I gratefully allowed the business of life to supersede the commitment to write.

So I begin again. The creative process continues – of that I have no choice. Perhaps a change in the approach to writing about it should be considered. No pressure, no promises, less seriousness, less sticking to the script.

There. That wasn’t so hard.

Again – wish me luck…

Sunday, April 19, 2009


dune dog

T. S. Elliot “…April is the cruelest month…”

But not yesterday.

A rather spur-the-moment decision to take a break from the routine took us to a hike through the dunes along Lake Michigan’s northeast shore. The Siren’s call of Spring’s first glorious day proved too great to resist. (Those of you who live in climates that are tropically-challenged understand the effect of the first 60 degree day. Mix sunshine with a morsel of warmth and, like chocolate, it’s practically irresistible.)

What’s that have to do with creativity? Well, I’m getting to that.

A rare Saturday off from the paycheck-providing job provided an opportunity to catch up, get ahead or explore that latest creative whim that’s been swirling about. I was positively giddy with anticipation. However, when the day dawned spectacular, the creative agenda was ditched. I suddenly felt compelled, as if commanded to revel in the breeze and address a winter’s-worth of vitamin D deficiency.

After a day of wonderfully fresh air, exhilarating exercise and a simple change of scenery, the human spirit, the creative spirit is somehow refreshed, recharged and ready for action.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


While approaching the end of a project recently, I found myself lapsing into a bit of a creative funk. What required mere hours to wrap up was turning into a succession of days. How could such initial passion turn to drudgery? A common occurrence, I think, with creative types.

What now? The owner of the creative gene is rarely allowed to rest, and heaven forbid, relax! So how do you kick-start the quest for inspiration? Try remembering that the world is not flat. Creatively-speaking, a flat world can be comfortable, at times cathartic, even necessary. However, the real rush (think; energy renewal) begins when you venture over that foreboding edge.

I recently faced my own fear of Death-by-Power-Tool and/or Fire by creating something I didn’t imagine remotely possible (by me). Ok, I enlisted an SFS (Skilled, Fearless Someone) to assist with the basics. (An SFS is an important component when you’re dealing with your own perceived mortality.) The result of the fear-facing serves as a dermabrasion for the creative spirit. Your newly awakened creative nerve-endings are tingling again. And that’s the point! Not necessarily finding a new passion but taking that positive, courageous step toward the preservation of your creative soul.

comfortable, cathartic, necessary...

power tools and fire...

Thursday, April 2, 2009


(Daffodils - just because...)

Someone posed the query recently “where do you create?” Being a literal thinker, I responded, “In my head, while I run”. Likely, that was not the anticipated response but I began thinking about the various places and methods we employ to get the creative juices flowing.

Where do we create?

Some of us have dedicated rooms, studios. Others carve out a small space at the kitchen table, sharing the real estate equally with a child’s homework and the salt and pepper shakers. A multitude of creating is accomplished cerebrally, virtually, with little concern for physical space.

Some creative types jump feet first into the bluest end with no conscious plan for swimming, others stand calmly near the diving board and think about it.

It matters not which type you are. Whether you’re a thinker or a jumper- just create the space. That space, be it virtual, physical or both is a most necessary ingredient in the creative roux.

What I created today...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


...contrivances used to shape, form and finish a task...

I confess.

I’m prone to surrendering to the premise that, if it weren’t for lack of a particular tool, I could surely create that true masterpiece. “If only I had a…”

As if the real reason for abandoning the pièce de résistance was if but for a tool!

Truly creative people do not forsake the venture when the perfect apparatus is not readily at hand. They push forward like a marathoner at mile 21. Figure. It. Out. Do it! Write this statement fifty times on the blackboard.

The purest form of creativity often arrives as a result of NOT possessing the perfect tool, but of an improvisation, a manipulation of what’s available at that moment.

Did DaVinci just reach for a tube a cerulean blue? Do you suppose today’s surgical instruments were present at the first heart transplant? I think not. Yet somehow, the artist of the canvas and the artist in the operating room developed a solution on the spot. We must remember…

We always have tools.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Button Jar

The Button Jar

We’ve all seen them.

Perhaps, like me, your Grandmother kept one stashed away, making regular contributions as religiously she did to her savings account.

I look at this magical jar now, filled with bits of shell, bone and plastic that once faithfully served countless articles of clothing and wonder. Why were you rescued? Many are beguiling little numbers, easy to understand why they were granted reprieve. Others, well, no-nonsense guys whose job could only have been to provide security. The stories they could tell! I imagine the petite pearlies attending weddings of long lost relatives, dancing the night away. The clunky wooden gadgets enduring frigid temperatures while securing a thick woolen coat, covered in snow.

Every one of these has something to say. I should like to think that they would be happy venturing out into the world again after all those years in captivity. Now they find their way to various artsy things, hopefully creating rich new histories in a world a century removed from whence they came.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed

Clò Mór (in Gaelic) is a hand-woven, handspun, hand dyed luxury cloth produced for centuries in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

A knitting savant from ages past miraculously interpreted this Scottish tweel into a pattern suitable for needlecraft. I should like to think that this genius admired the humble “crofters and cottars” of these islands toiling together, familial, in unimaginably harsh conditions toward the common goal of creating their twill. History-rich, Harris Tweed (the cloth) has survived the whims of fashion and the realities of business. This tweed has graced Nike shoes, the fictional detective Miss Marple and more recently, the hero of the Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, Robert Langdon, a.k.a., Tom Hanks.

The product produced by this knit pattern pays respect to the hand crafted nature and work ethic of the Scottish islanders from whom the pattern’s inspiration was drawn.

I’m still naively fascinated how clicking two needles together with a bit of yarn actually produces something so magical yet so functional. The Harris Tweed pattern has a raised, compact texture. Deceivingly simple yet with a complex-looking, underlying character. I think I can identify with that…

How to?

The Harris Tweed pattern is comprised of eight rows. (Eight rows must be completed in order for the pattern to be visible.)

The number of stitches cast-on must be in multiples of four, plus two. (i.e. 18, 22, 26, etc.)

Row 1: k2, *p2, k2; repeat from * to end of row
Row 2: p2, *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of row
Row 3: k
Row 4: p
Row 5: repeat Row 1
Row 6: repeat Row 2
Row 7: p
Row 8: k

This versatile stitch is “reversible”, i.e., pattern appears on right side as well as wrong side.

Monday, March 2, 2009



bittersweet;pleasure alloyed with pain

There’s something about completing a project or achieving a goal that can evoke an unexpected bittersweet response.

A goal to which time, energy and enthusiasm has been devoted, selfishly, now nears it’s finish. That seems to be when the thing creeps in, fog- like. It obscures the light of the accomplishment and shrouds the moment of celebration in chilly dampness. Now what?

A common malady of the creative type. It must be met head on, full force with the next most compelling project in the world. Just GO...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

around and around...

Have you ever witnessed an animal marching methodically in circles until, as if in response to some whispered command, he decidedly plants himself?

That’s a fitting analogy for knitting in the round– except for the planting decidedly part. There’s something soothing, something primal in the rhythmic completion of the circle – over and over and over. Just one more round…

Pictured here is what is currently keeping me marching methodically in circles.

This is the second half of a pair of sassy fingerless gloves. Only a few more circles remain, around and around…

(Store update – YES, the doors have been flung open!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

let's start somewhere...

Another adventure. Well, sort of.

I'm on the cusp of opening another online store, this one over at For those of you that don't live, breathe and create obsessively, Etsy is a community of talented artists dedicated to preserving the integrity of human-being created art.

I've been lurking in their hallowed halls for a couple of years now in humble admiration of the talented, imaginative artists who market their wares from the Etsy community. Heaps of insipration at every turn.

Am I worthy?

Wish me luck...