Monthly Archives: March 2012

Spring Giveaway

Happy Friday! It’s a beautiful warm hot day today and I feel like doing a giveaway to celebrate the warmth and sunshine! Up for grabs is a boxed set of notecards from Artistry Cards – made on 100% recycled paper in adorable Owl, Swan, Hummingbird and Crested bird designs. You will also receive these peachy perfect cabochon earrings from EMarieCreations.

Just leave a comment with a favorite memory from or most loved attribute of the Spring season. A winner will be randomly picked and announced one week from today! Good luck. :)

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Update: Congratulations to our winner, Amy (comment #21), chosen randomly by random.org – I will be in touch to get you your winnings!

Rubber Band Jewelry

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I love making things from everyday items. (Like my all time most popular post, earrings from paperclips.) Slightly more mundane than the paperclip, in my opinion, would be the rubber band. Surprisingly even this can be turned into something beautiful.

It’s really simple. Using #84 rubber bands (which are the widest variety I could find), you can make simple and awesome pieces of jewelry that no one would ever think were formerly a mere office supply. You can get them at Staples – a bag of 45 bands for 3 bucks. Unfortunately they only come in beige, but I found that you can paint them with acrylic craft paint to get more interesting color. For the pieces above, just snip rubber bands into squares and thread them on your necklace cord or wire for the earrings.

You can bunch them together in a lot of ways to get a variety of different shapes.

For these, all you do is arrange the rubber band formation the way you want and pierce it with a large sewing needle through all layers. Then take a piece of jewelry wire and thread it through the holes. All these above could be strung on a chain or cord to create a necklace.

If you try this project, please let me know! I would love to see how yours turn out. Have fun!

 

Happy Spring – Out of the Slump

Happy Spring everyone! Sorry for the scarceness on posts. I caught the dreadful flu bug late February and as a result of some pretty horrendous coughing, managed to crack a rib. Extreme! But mostly I’ve just been in a slump, creatively, emotionally, spiritually, pretty much everything-ly. I’ve been in those before, where I just don’t find joy in doing hardly ANYTHING, and it doesn’t take too long to get out of it. But this time, it just stuck with me for weeks, and weeks. Ugh. Motherhood was beyond hard, and I’m just being honest here, I did not even feel like getting out of bed on most days. I felt like I was trudging through waist deep sludge.

I prayed, I read, I waited, I tried doing my most favorite things, but nothing seemed to “fix” it. But then warm weather hit, flowers started to bloom, and everything was suddenly green again.

Then he gives the command and it all melts; he breathes on winter-suddenly it’s SpringPsalm 147:18 (MSG)

And again, as He so faithfully does, God pulled me out of my miserable pit and I got my life back – my joy back. I can’t explain it, and I don’t know why it happens, I just know that plenty of Psalms have some pretty rough spots in it, where the Psalmists wonder where God is and why they feel so downcast and alone. So I know I’m not the only one.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

Anyway, I’m glad to be “back” and I hope to be posting more regularly again.

I love Spring every year. It’s the newness, the power of life, that just gets me every time. It’s such a miracle. I’ve been photographing our blooming daffodils and tulips – and we have lilies & daisies on the way. It’s amazing how quickly they unfold – I took the above photos in the area of a couple hours. I also did a some sketching of a floral motif, and I’m offering it here as a free download if you like it.

As always, I don’t care what you do with it, you could even use it on your website as a background. Hope you enjoy it.

What do you appreciate most about Spring? Does anyone else have slumps?

Tiny Sculptures from Willard Wigan

It takes alot to wow me these days. When my husband and I stumbled on the work of Willard Wigan, I was completely doubtful that this self-taught artist could create work that fits in the eye of a needle. But after further investigation, that’s exactly what this artist does, create the tiniest sculptures in the world that are sometimes as small as the period that you see on this page – cut in half. Not even visible to the naked eye. So I knew I had to share it with you all.

If you are a skeptic like I was, you might be interested in watching his TED talk, in which he goes into his homemade tools (like a hair off a fly for a paintbrush), and methods (like slowing down his breathing so he can work in between heartbeats).

While his work is incredible, his story is equally as impacting. He struggled in school with dyslexia and is still barely able to read and write. His teachers made him feel worthless and a failure. In fact, one of his teachers told him that the word “failure” was invented just for him. At age 5, he started creating tiny apartments and furniture for ants, as a way of escape from his troubles. His mother encouraged him in his God given ability, and when he was very little told him, “The smaller your work, the bigger your name will become.” He didn’t fully understand this as a boy, but certainly gets it now that he’s grown, where recently his life’s work recently sold for 20 million dollars.

Little things can be the biggest things. The teachers at my school made me feel small. Like nothing. I’m trying to prove that nothing doesn’t exist. – Willard Wigan

Wigan explained that, while working on a grain of sand, he would sometimes use the tremor caused by his own heartbeat as a jack hammer to chisel the tiny particle. When asked if he enjoys his work, he answers, “I enjoy it when I finish it. Not working on it, no. It’s misery. It’s painstaking.” Fashioned from gold, specs of dust, precious gems, droplets of glue and paint along with numerous other materials including eyelashes and spiders webbing, each artwork is living proof of the power of belief.

I work between my heartbeat. I have one-and-a-half seconds to actually move. And at the same time I have to watch I don’t inhale my own work.

The personal sacrifices involved in creating such wondrous, yet scarcely believable pieces are inconceivable to most. He’s not married, and he’s not into the glitzy life. What motivates him I guess is his own internal drive to prove his critics wrong, and to use the gift he says God gave him.

People haven’t seen the best of me yet. I’m going to take it even smaller.