the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog
Friday, October 29 2010
It's Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda!!! and it is almost Halloween! Around here Halloween is definitely for the birds and our peeps are definitely getting excited! A stray feline did sneak in but... apparently as it is only the head it doesn't seem to dangerous. Freda & I put last minute touches on the table, of course due to Debra's tra la la nature the pumpkin is smiling and the mini quilt piece says "inspire"!
A new baby has joined the peeps so everything has to be explained, like why is this pumpkin white and not orange. Why do the leaves sparkle? Well the real answer is that is what you get when you reside with a designer, nothing is ever the color it is supposed to be and glitter is a fact of life!
Happy Halloween Everyone! Have a safe & spooktacular weekend! Follow the Fowl, Fran & Freda!
Wednesday, October 27 2010
Even though Halloween is right around the corner I am surrounded by piles of sparkly holiday fabrics and snowy characters! I am taking time out to paint cheetah spots on some fleece for a costume but mainly I am working on new design ideas and preparing for two upcoming shows. One of my favourite snowman projects was designed for Homearts, a needle felted snowman with reindeer and trees using the easy technique with STYROFOAM TM brand foam as the base. Other foam products do not work as well as they crumble and the wool will not adhere.
I like to decorate more seasonally that way I can keep decor changes in harmony with the natural world outside and enjoy them longer. My snow characters and winter greenery hung with snowflakes remain in place until the end of February. It is also a great time saver and spring cleaning coincides with removing all the winter garb! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Monday, October 25 2010
I was born in the same decade as the Barbie doll although she has definitely aged better and kept that impossible to achieve figure! I remember having my first Barbie doll at age eleven along with a wonderful wardrobe of dresses, shoes and sportwear many handmade by my mother and great aunt. I kept many of the outfits and dolls passing them on to my daughters. They are almost ten years apart in age so Barbies were a big part of the household for many years.
Now I am very blessed to have two adorable little girls become part of my life and they love their Barbies just as much as my own darling daughters did. This weekend I designed Barbie witch outfits from KUNIN glitter felt so their Barbies could go trick or treating. The tiny treat bags hold those miniature foil wrapped chocolate pumpkins, not that the pumpkins lasted very long!
What is most wonderful about the longevity of Barbie and her popularity still with girls is that no matter what changes with each generation there is so much that remains the same. Even with all the sophistication of technology little girls everywhere still want to get down on the floor and "play" Barbies. Life changes but much remains the same. So from this former girl who played Barbies so long ago to my girls and now the "little" girls, thank you Barbie! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Friday, October 22 2010
It's Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda! Fran here, Freda is not up yet, she is apparently reading a new book and was "reading" late. It has a lot of pictures so not sure how much reading she has to do but it is a book and she has it open turning pages. She fell asleep with the book on top of her and it wrinkled her feathers so a long steamy shower for her when she gets up!
So Halloween is coming up and Debra is planning her costume for a party, I think she has forgotten about our costumes. We sneaked into the fabric stash the other night along with Oliver. We found a bin of fabric to choose from with bright colors especially an orange piece for Freda. I want to be a witch and Freda wants to be a pumpkin. Oliver wants to be a lion but may have to settle with the cheetah print we found, maybe a Tarzan look? We wait for date night while Debra is out. Then the scissors and fabric will be in action, add a little fabri-tac glue, glitter and the costumes will ready for party time!
Have a fun fowlicious weekend! Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda
Wednesday, October 20 2010
Today I am off to the Saint John Art Centre for a Life Drawing Class and volunteer with the Seniors Computer Class. On Monday evening I am taking a Creativity Coaching Class to become a Muse leader. These are all new adventures for me and I am stretching myself in my new life. I am also doing my first craft show in years, a holiday show in November at Harbour Station with a good friend and artist Carole Forbes.
I have decided now that cleaning my place takes only an hour opposed to my old life where just removing the cat hair off the curtains took an hour and more to use that extra time to explore new avenues.
What I have noticed is creative people are often caught in overwhelm as we want to do so many things, have so many ideas and often we come to a screeching halt. We are DaVinci's, Renaissance artists who wish to try it all! That is a wonderful way to be, sometimes it just takes editing to begin. In the group Monday night it was suggested to write all your ideas on index cards then prioritize them by which three were the most inviting and choose those to begin.
I wish to do more coaching creative people so the class is working towards that but it is also helping me in navigating this new creative life. The drawing class will assist with the book proposal I am working on. I am enjoying it immensely, the two hours disappears! The craft show is giving me a place to meet people interested in creativity, test out some new ideas, designs and display and introduce myself to my new community.
What I am learning these days is to be mindful and present in my pursuits, to enjoy the journey and explore new avenues of creativity always Following the JOY!
Find time to explore what you have always wanted to try, even if it is only for a few minutes a day or a week. It will fill your creative spirit ten fold. Debra
Tuesday, October 19 2010
I like Halloween but I am not a big Halloween crafter. I admit to winter and spring designs being my favourite seasons to create for. Halloween is growing on me as I plan costumes for a party and enjoy all the decorating going on around me! A group of very talented designers are serving up some great treats with Terrorific Tuesdays!
A local hotel holds a pumpkin carving contest. This entry just made me smile! EnJOY! Debra, CEO!
Monday, October 18 2010
Even though fabric is my first love to work with, I also enjoy beautiful papers and mixed media projects. I find when I am working with paper I think of it in fabric terms and my designs reflect that. I had the opportunity to "play" with the Xyron Creatopia TM System recently and enjoyed trying out several of the components. The adhesive is great and I designed this cute clutch using some fun papers and two pieces of 12" cardstock. I used the Patternz emboss circle design and Cutz to cut the pieces. There are several different cutting edges which are fun to layer! Some colorful buttons finish the design.
This is a full week with several projects, events upcoming. It is hard sometimes not to feel overwhelmed at times and multi-task sometimes with disastrous results! While thinking ahead to the next project I put the iron in the fridge instead of the yogurt. It did fit neatly next to the water pitcher but....not where it usually goes! I read an article about being more mindful and giving full attention to one project at a time. That is my goal this week to give whatever I turn my attention to a full hour at a time before switching to something else. Now if I could just find where I put my favourite scissors...ideas anyone! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Friday, October 15 2010
It is a special edition of Fowl Friday! Fran & Freda here, well actually Fran here as Freda is off trying out the latest new dance "the blog hop", apparently her thinking it is like the bunny hop! There is a lot of "blog hopping" going on around here. Coming soon the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop and today the Favecrafts Halloween Blog Hop! Debra is busy with an "art show" today so we were left to post all the blog hop details. Luckily a very cute penguin came to our rescue, he lives with a very talented artist Jen Goode and does he know his html (how to make links) We are linked up and ready to go, before he left I saw him slip Freda his number. They are going to text each other, good luck, her spelling is atrocious! I will keep an eye on her as we all know what happened with a certain rooster from Cape Breton. At least she didn't have to go to Hatch.com for this date!
Now for the Halloween project, this Baby Boo ghost is too cute to resist, so easy to make using a foam egg covered with so soft bamboo quilt batt. For full instructions. To visit more blogs for all kinds of Halloween creatures & creeepy creations just click on the button! Happy FAll & Fowl crafting! Fran & Freda!
Thursday, October 14 2010
What has been the greatest gifts of my work are the amazing women I have met and have become friends with. There are several that inspire me on a daily basis. It is not only their creativity but their generous and brave spirits that are so remarkable. Margot Potter is one of those women who tells it like it is and speaks for so many of us. She "colors outside the lines on a daily basis" navigating a life of creativity along with all the other roles women have. She challenges herself and in turn all those she reaches to strive to be the best you can be celebrating individuality and uniqueness. This week she is guest curator over at Crescendoh, this is Jen Doh's site, "Creative Passion, Authentic Community, Focused Compassion".
The other amazing woman and dear friend I am celebrating this week is Carole Forbes, artist who lives in Fredericton, NB, Canada. She has lived all over Canada and has in the last two years returned home to her roots. She is having a one woman art show at the Fredericton Inn tomorrow, Friday 3-9 and Saturday 9-5. The show is a combination of her art and writing, a personal introspective. I am honored to call both these extraordinary women my friends and to thank them from the bottom of my heart for all they have brought to my life. Follow the JOY Always! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, October 12 2010
Creating snowy characters is one of my favorite things to do! The latest issue of Creative Homearts magazine features my Jack in the Box Baby Snowman on the cover. I designed the project using STYROFOAM brand foam. Using fleece and felt it is a quick and fun project. I enjoy seasonal decorating especially since the winter season is a long one. Snowmen in cozy outfits and snowflakes hung in evergreen garlands with twinkle lights brighten any frosty winter day. Another one of my snowmen is in the Holiday issue of Crafts 'n Things on the newstands this weekend.
I recently received the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts issue, there are some cute and clever snowmen. The snowmen made from stacking balls of twine and adding features just so fun!
Creativity is like the snowflake, each creation unique in its originality and beauty all coming together in an exuberant blizzard of craftiness! That is an apt description of many studios when hard core crafting is taking place! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Fill my Heart
The Magical Part"
Saturday, October 09 2010
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Gratitude is the bounty to celebrate, the gift found in the swirling crimson leaves and crisp autumn sunsets. I have always believed that "life is simply a love story" and to live a life filled with love I wake up grateful for each day.
When you surround yourself with people you love, work and activities you are passionate about, live in a place that so resonates with who you are and welcomes you each time you return. These are life's blessings.
With this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for the gifts that fill my life, my special someone, my darling daughters, my dear brother, caring family, wonderful talented friends, life in this lovely loft among the treetops and the creativity that fills my life. How blessed I am.
We do not know what the future holds but we do know today is the gift before us. Cherish this day with gratitude, live it fully, love & laugh create moments to remember. It is all about the journey and may you travel it well! Follow the JOY! Debra Quartermain, CEO!
Friday, October 08 2010
Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda! Fall is here & Freda is getting frisky! Those who follow us may remember the incident with rooster from Cape Breton last summer, the one that Freda met on Hatch.com. Well all I can say it ended with Debra returning to empty wine bottles rolling around on the deck and Freda dancing and singing "Oh what a night!"
Well last night Freda got into the wine and embarrassed herself by making a pass at the metal rooster that sits on the counter. What was she thinking!? apparently not much. I couldn't bear to look, she commented after he seemed a little cold. First clue might be because he is made of metal! Anyway locking the wine away after this latest incident! (At least he can't get her in the family way like the rooster from Cape Breton did) Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends & to our feathery turkey cousins good luck on the Thanksgiving vegetarian movement. Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda!
Thursday, October 07 2010
As I prepare for our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend I am reminded of how much I have to be grateful for. I bring out my Mom's spode dishes which mirror the vibrant colors of the season and think how happy she would be knowing I am using her special dishes. She would also be so very pleased to see how well the girls are doing and how happy and loved I am in my new life.
I like to sprinkle colorful leaves along the table when decorating for Thanksgiving. A very striking way to create fall leaves and recycle at the same time is to cut leaves from aluminum beverage cans. Begin by cutting the top and bottom off each can flattening the center section. Sponge paint with metallic paints. Cut out leaves. Use a stylus to create veins in the leaves. For full instructions for creating this striking centerpiece it is under projects at Creative Homearts.
There are two huge chestnut trees in the yard and I have managed to collect some that the squirrels have missed. The nuts create a stunning accent in a bowl with their rich deep shine. I finished my decor with some mini gourds in a variety of autumnal shades and indian corn. Decorating should be easy, using items you have and natural pieces from the yard or someone elses (preferably someone you know!) My Mom's dishes for example do not go with my everyday decor but they are perfect for fall, the ones with the pink roses will be ideal for springtime. Setting a beautiful table adds to the celebration of special times! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Wednesday, October 06 2010
Today I am off to the Saint John Art Centre! I am diving into art, have never seriously given drawing any time. Now I have no excuse, I loved the beginning art class I took a couple weeks ago. Three years ago I went with artist friends to a life drawing class with the only words of advice "just draw the shadows". At first I was almost frozen but then as the evening went by in the sage scented pueblo in Taos, New Mexico I just drew the shadows. I loved it but have not opened the sketch book since until a couple weeks ago.
Now the opportunity to take life drawing classes, work on my art has landed in my lap as the class is just before my volunteering with the senior's class at the center. So I am off to do something else new again! I am nervous or maybe excited I should reclassify my feelings, I am stepping in to so many new areas in my new life!
A friend reminded me lately of not letting fear hold you back from doing something you want to do. Fear of failure, of not being any good at something should never hold us back. We encourage others to try and so should we encourage ourselves!
With that thought I am sharpening my charcoal pencil and packing my sketch book! Have a delightful day all! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, October 05 2010
This coming weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving, a time for giving thanks, for gratitude. Life is a gift and filled with gratitude from the moment we open our eyes to a new day. Yesterday I walked to my bank, the local Credit Union, after only two months I feel like it has been my bank forever, the staff are so friendly, service superb. In fact last time I didn't sign something needed the teller hopped in her car, knew I was walking home and parked along the way to meet me. I signed on the hood of her car, that is more than service.
I am grateful for the amazing group of creative women I connected with last night in my continuing creativity coach training. Thank you to Jill (the Muse is In) and Janet for the Renegade Muses!
Thank you to Meredith Diatchum for sending the photo of the sledding penguins she made from a design I created for Homearts in 2006. She won Runner Up with her version in the Holiday Decor Contest.
I am thankful that a new specialty craft store has just opened up down the hill. Beautiful yarns and scrapbooking supplies, a Mom and her daughter, their first day! Maybe I will conquer my awkward lefty knitting pieces of the past and take a class!
I am most grateful for all the love in my life. My two darling daughters are both following their dreams. I miss them not being around every day but they are off making their own lives as they should be. I am creating a new life for myself and enjoying the lovely adventure of it all! So much to be grateful for, may your life be filled with JOy & Gratitude! Debra, CEO!
Monday, October 04 2010
While at Spring Quilt Market I met a delightful young woman Cynthia Mann, the founder and CEO of Birch Fabrics with delightful fresh organic cotton fabric lines. The design and colors are clean, bright with fun fresh designs. In the latest issue of Homearts Magazine I feature Birch fabrics. I combine her organic cottons with National Nonwovens bamboo Xotic Felt and Fairfield's bamboo batt Nature-fil to create a fun "12 days of" advent calendar. The ornaments just button on and can hang from the bottom when not used. Two birds adorn the top inspired by the birds in the fabric. (photo courtesy of Homeart)
Follow the JOY! Debra Quartermain, CEO!
Friday, October 01 2010
It's our favourite day! Fowl Friday with Fran & Freda! Next week is our Thanksgiving and today Debra finally got out some fall decor sprinkling silk leaves everywhere. Last Thanksgiving at the house filled with daughters, the dreaded felines and of course us, we had some fun with the decor. Debra bought these blocks which spelled out "Give Thanks" which true it is always good to be grateful for what we have. However we thought "Gave Thinks" sounded good. Who wouldn't be grateful for some extra thought?! (We know Freda is looking for some) So then the fun really began between us and the girls. Everytime Debra was out we would switch the letters and spell something else, "vegan shtink" was frowned upon although our turkey peeps would be thankful for that one we are sure! Now that the blocks are out once again we have a whole week to have fun with them! Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda