the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog
Tuesday, March 30 2010
My Mom reunited with my Dad a year ago today. His birthday was yesterday. I like to think of it being the greatest gift he received, both of them to be together again after thirty years. Theirs was a true love story. This week I am visiting a dear friend in the palliative care unit, another beautiful love story. Life is simply a love story, who we love, how we love and live. May you walk today in love, each and every day always. Debra
Monday, March 29 2010
Crafty Spring roundup for this week! One of my very favorite crafting techniques is needle felting. In this week's Creative Buzz is a cute little chick in gardening gloves. The chick is half a STYROFOAM TM egg shape and needle felted with yellow Wool Wisps from National Nonwovens. Super easy and quick! A cute Easter gift.
(photo courtesy of Creative Homearts)
This week a new episode from WCK, When Creativity Knocks, a chat with crafting icon Carol Duvall. I saw Carol at the winter CHA show, she is still going strong!
Have a great week! Follow the JOY! Debra
Friday, March 26 2010
Fowl Friday! Fran here without Freda today. She is nursing a twisted neck, nothing too serious but requiring an ice pack. She is not a good patient, quite demanding in fact! Bring me juice, fluff my feathers, scratch my foot, no the left one. Luckily I could escape with the excuse I had to write today's blog post. It is going to take me soooo much time to peck it out today! Then of course I have to clean the keyboard. Debra complains I spit or drool when posting. She is kind of a neat freak anyway although while she was finishing her book proposal this week things got a little on the messy side. The dust bunnies were getting scary, even the cats looked afraid! There was so much fabric piled up in her studio I couldn't see out the window! Yes I know I am not the tallest chick but still I usually have no trouble enjoying the view. There is a cute red cardinal who visits the old apple tree everyday.
However I digress...back to Freda and her neck. How did it happen, I am sure you all want to know and I can't wait to tell you! Last evening as we got ready for bed Freda decided to try something. I am not sure what she sees when she looks in the mirror but her body image is apparently not accurate. Beside the bed is a bird cage filled with dried hydrangea from the garden and roses which keep arriving regularly for Debra. (Another story for when she is away!) Well Freda decided to "stop and smell the flowers" and proceeded to do so by cramming herself through the bars. Apparently she thought she could fit easily but apparently she couldn't as she is slightly wider than the bars! Her neck was wedged and we had to pry her out. A little olive oil helped ease her out. The dove assisted and managed to be very sympathetic with only a small grin on her pretty pink face. Sigh I would give a million for those cheek bones! Anyway Freda's neck is slightly swollen but very soft from the oil. A weekend of resting will help, no Saturday night disco for her! Till next Fowl Friday! Fran
Thursday, March 25 2010
My heart this week turns to remembering my Mom and this week last year spent with her as she left this world. Now a very best friend who has battled long has entered the palliative care. It is a place where there is no room for anything else but the heart. She is a wonderful woman with a most loving family. She has been in my life for thirty five years and for that I am truly blessed. We shared our lives, there for each other on life's journey. All I know is Life is simply a Love story. Debra
Tuesday, March 23 2010
Each season evokes a certain feeling and with spring comes hope, a promise of life, growth, renewal, a freshness to be felt deeply. I missed last spring, this same day last year I flew home early to be with my Mom and spend her last week gently and lovingly guiding her from this life into the next. All that followed filled my life and I do not remember spring's arrival. This year I have found spring again, I am arriving into this spring with a new love to share my heart. My lovely daughters are finding their way into their own lives and futures. Life is one of constant change, movement, journey and with spring's arrival there is a youthful carefree sense of impatience. I am embracing the heady exuberance of spring, of possibilities and promise, of new paths to follow.
With this delightful season comes the opportunity to freshen the house with feathery chicks, soft hued eggs, delicate ribbons and nature's accents. The tablescape pieces I created for Homearts magazine make a lovely seasonal table setting. In this "Make it Green" column any kind of reclaimed bottle or container can be used as it is hidden in a cardstock embellished surround. The table pieces use Mrs. Grossman's very sophisticated laser stickers. They are just beautiful! Create some springtime! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
(with Andrea Grossman at Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Company)
Monday, March 22 2010
Spring has officially arrived and here in the Maritimes we like to celebrate with a little dusting of the white stuff once again! A light snowfall adds glitter to the colorful crocus! The latest issue of Homearts magazine just arrived in my mailbox, this bunny I loved making. I have to admit needle felting whimsical characters is my favorite craft! It is an easy portable craft, I have step by step instructions on my How To page!
STYROFOAM TM brand foam is so easy to needle felt with. Paper craft brads are ideal for eyes and noses. If you stick an eye in the wrong place you can always move it!
I am busy finishing up a couple big projects, the outcome you never know! I am doing my best work I can and the rest will be decided. All I know is to "Follow the JOY!" Debra
Friday, March 19 2010
It is FOWL FRIDAY! Fran here with Freda as we all know by now the dancing fool! She has been trying some new moves which have resulted in her putting something out of joint! We have been immersed this week in a heated debate with a couple of apparently adorable "chicks" that Debra has out for her so called spring decor. Just what we need more birds and eggs around here. Freda & I seem to be lacking apparently in the too cute factor. We think cute is vastly over rated. Sassy and smart is in, that's us well that's me anyway, Freda is a little iffy at times but does surprise me often with her in depth analysis of the agricultural news. She keeps me current on how many roosters are within a 100 mile radius.
Back to these chicks who are barely dry out of some very strange looking eggs and yet feel they know everything! The big debate has been of course "what came first, the chicken or the egg?" They hold the position of the egg coming first or there wouldn't be any chickens. Freda and I maintain the chicken came first or how could there be any eggs to begin with. It isn't like a reptile one day long ago laid its usual eggs and surprise, a chick popped out of one. What ever anyone believes we all came from some where to start this whole planet and so did a chicken! We are working on tracing our ancestry to settle this debate with these chicks who definitely need a feather cut!
The only break we have had lately is when one of the in house felines decided to "entertain" the chicks. They disappeared and were found later under the couch a little dusty and damp but fine. Now they are back perched on the sideboard waiting for more chicks to join them. Personally I think the chances of those "eggs" hatching anything else would be a miracle! So the debate will continue while Debra is busy finishing a book proposal and several deadlines. Her studio is, what did she call it earlier this week "creative frolic", we are thinking it looks like a fabric explosion! Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda!
Thursday, March 18 2010
Earlier today brought a lovely surprise! I was nominated by the talented artist Jen Goode for the Kreativ Blogger award. Jen draws the most delightful whimsical penguins! The info on the award comes courtesy of Jen which came from the also very talented artist Tara Reed who nominated Jen!
Apparently the "Kreativ Blogger originated in May 2, 08 in a post by Huldas Verden as noted by Clay Garden author in this April 2009 post: Finally I found that it was started in Norway by a blogger named Huldas Verden." (courtesy Tara Reed) It definitely is a small world one that reminds us how close we are to each other, there are no barriers of distance and language.
For this lovely award I am to:
1. Thank the person who has given me the award.
Thank you Jen Goode, both very sweet & talented artist!
2. Copy the Kreativ Blogger logo and place it on your blog.
The pretty logo is in my sidebar.
3. Link back to the person who has nominated you for the award.
1st line of post
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
1. Bunnies, birds & snowmen are my favourite characters to create. (big surprise!)
2. I eat the same breakfast every single day. (boring I know!)
3. My studio is either very neat or a creative chaos. (sometimes the door is open)
4. I choose not to drive, preferring to walk or fly. (I hide my wings well)
5. I have to work facing a window, sunshine is very inspiring.
6. I dance around the house almost everyday to very loud music. (the cats scatter everyday too at the same time!)
7. I love to play Scrabble. (my girls humor me & play with me on my birthday)
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
My choices are wonderful warm generous talented artists, designers & most important of all to me, my friends who continually inspire me!
Margot Potter-Amazing & inspiring!
Eileen Hull-Delightfully creative!
Candie Cooper-Charming & very cool design!
Tiffany Windsor-Spreading the love of Crafting!
Brenda Pinnick-A color genius!
Sarah Hodsdon-Inspired sweetness & cool creator!
Phyllis Dobbs-Fanciful, fun & generous artist!
This has been a lovely surprise to be nominated and to be able to nominate some of the incredibly talented artists that I am so grateful to know! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Wednesday, March 17 2010
Inspiration is defined as a "stimulation of the mind or emotions to a higher level of feeling or activity." We see it happen all around us, the generosity or character of someone like Mother Teresa inspired millions to be more caring and selfless. Music inspires emotion often expressed through the joy of movement, dancing. Loving inspires lives to connect, to change, to make a difference.
Inspiration & Creativity. The artist captures feeling, the message on canvas and the audience is continually inspired to feel deeply when they experience the piece. It is all about the emotion, the quieting of the thoughts and the falling into the feeling. The ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary. Those are the moments that infuse life with excitement. "Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."
With my work, what exactly is that feeling, I would describe it as a mix of imagination and excitement. Something I see inspires an idea for a new design, a kind of "aha" moment and an impatience to try it out immediately! Sometimes just doing nothing, letting the mind wander brings all kinds of ideas. In the mornings the view outside my window in the dappled sunlight is always inspiring, a tiny lively world lives in the branches of the apple tree. With each season the colors, the shapes change and it is constant source of inspired delight. It is barely spring here so the branches are stark in the sunlight, silhouettes are striking. The early morning finds many small birds flitting in the branches. Their energy is catching and the scene is one to be captured perhaps in a pillow design. Always Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, March 16 2010
March is International Craft Month and there is all kinds of crafty goodiness happening. Over at When Creativity Knocks a new webisode, Linda Crofton shows Ana & Megan a fun way to embellish wooden bangles, DIY Bangles from Indus Trading Company. Tiffany Windsor hosts Cool2Craft , live interactive web TV. On yesterday's episode her sister Heidi showed how to emboss with glue. Her projects were beautiful and resembled lovely watercolor pieces. She used chalks to achieve the effect. Tiffany also hosts another show Favecrafts, a blog talk radio show, link on my page sidebar. There is also a very cool group on Facebook, Craft it Forward where crafty people are signing up to send and share a handmade project to the first five people who comment on their post. Hundreds are signing up!
Crafting is huge, it is hip and cool. Making stuff is rewarding and relaxing. The web allows huge connections between crafty and creative individuals. We come together to celebrate our common interest, our passion, the love of creativity! On the weekend I had the best time crafting with two sweet little girls five and seven. Their delight in using scissors, markers and glue to make a variety of colorful projects made it a very fun experience. I came home with a friendship bracelet liberally sprinkled with rhinestones and the promise to never take it off. They advised me to shower with my arm sticking out of water.
Last spring I taught needle felting at the BC Sewing & Craft Show. One little girl came also everyday for the demo time. Here she is with a very proud smile and a very cute chick! Follow the JOY! Debra
Saturday, March 13 2010
Spring seems to come slowly in Atlantic Canada, the snow often continues into May. This winter was a gentle one overall and the snow has almost disappeared. This weekend the sun is warm and strong, in the garden tender green shoots emerge. I have springtime in my heart these days and spent the afternoon strolling hand in hand with my love around the yard. We raked, cleared the garden and I learned about what is planted in his gardens. Springtime is about renewal, about new life and hope, about baby everything and love. There is a wonder in each year, it is the wonder of springtime, each one glorious in its freshness, new beginnings each and every time. We are blessed by the perennial gift of each new springtime, it is a time for lifting the face to the sky, to feel the warmth of the sunshine against a cheek caressing with a touch so soft. Springtime is delicious full of delightful possibilities and abundant life. Embrace this time of year, let your heart sing song of Spring!!! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Thursday, March 11 2010
It's Fowl Friday! Fran here and as usual Freda is doing her own thing, dancing to Mama Mia this morning! Way too early for Abba personally but Freda is a big fan! Speaking of being fans we are the biggest fans of the most marvellous Ms. Margot Potter! At CHA summer show we got a chance to meet her in person wearing of course one of her gorgeous tiaras. She is stylishly cool, writes awesome books on beading and crafting, is a fabulous Mom, talented performer, writer and all around one of the smartest, generous, honest and wonderful young women these two chicks have ever met.
Travelling with Debra does have its perks even if she doesn't let us order room service, we do get to meet some very cool creative people! Margot is on the top of our list. (ps. Freda hasn't washed her beak since Margot held it in this picture. Of course you can guess why she really was holding it, Freda is one chatty chick!) Follow the Fowl Fran & Freda!
Thursday, March 11 2010
This week with several International Women's Day events happening locally I have been out exhibiting my Design & Creativity business. I have been asked many times so exactly what do you do. My short answer is I am a Professional International Author, Licensed Designer, Consultant & Creativity Coach in the Craft & Sewing Industries. I have also been following discussions this week around the topic of defining who we are and what we do. "Designer" is a very broad term which has to be narrowed and tailored with explanation. My experience and knowledge allows me to be flexible and adaptable, creative in working with my clients to give them the best support and results. I enjoy my work very much and the people in these industries are wonderful, it is a creative community but I also am a professional who earns a living in this field. The dilemma that is arising more and more is we are asked to do more work on spec, give more work away for free and if we don't there is a creative enthusiast who for the thrill of being published will. I do believe in sharing the love of creativity but I, we also need to be valued for our expertise and time. I am very fortunate to work with amazing editors and manufacturers, it is challenging times for everyone but working together and being a Creative Eternal Optimist! I believe we are moving in very interesting directions. The world needs more creativity, meaningful playtime! This discussion also brings up the question, How do you define yourself? Take some time to consider and be amazed at who you are. Always Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Wednesday, March 10 2010
One of the most colorful and interesting people I know is an artist from BC, Canada who goes just by Violette. She lives in a magical house that is a rainbow collage of creativity both inside and outside! She has a new book Journal Bliss which is filled with ideas and techniques to creating your own delightful, color filled personal journal. Her book reaffirms that we are all artists and writers with our own individual style. It is just about picking up the colored markers, pencils, crayons and just start! Her book will get you inspired to "journal your own Bliss". What happens through journalling is you find your true self and your bliss even if you thought you might be blissless! We all have moments of true joy, putting it down brings more awareness and more moments. It is all about the play! Always follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Photo courtesy of Amazon
Tuesday, March 09 2010
March is International Craft Month. Crafting or indulging in any creative pursuit is beneficial to our well being. The act of creation is inherent in our nature whether it is in the kitchen or garden or sitting knitting, sewing or making a handmade card. The mind and hands, body are engaged in the process focussed and relaxed. We are all born artists, for most of us our beginning artwork was proudly showcased on the gallery known as the refrigerator. Remember how proud you were of your artwork and how quickly you created more. It was the sheer joy of the act of crayon to paper and just making big swirls, swoops circles. It isn't about coloring within someone elses lines it is about just going for it and coloring, painting, sculpting, sewing or whatever medium you choose for the freedom of spontaneous creativity. Everyone should have a creativity container as essential as a first aid kit I believe. In the box put essentials like crayons, markers, scissors, glues, tapes, colored papers and a journal. Walk the aisles of a local craft, dollar, thrift, hardware or department store, find some inspired fun things to add like feathers, glitter, beads. Make a date with yourself each week to bring out the creativity container and just play. Love to make paper dolls when you were little, make some now. Cut the heads off of photocopied family or girlfriend pictures and use them to make fun paper dolls. There does not have to be a purpose just enjoy the creative play, it will relax and recharge you. This month I will be sharing some ideas on getting started with a Creative Collage Journal, a way to keep creativity in your life. The links in the sidebar to Favecrafts and When Creativity Knocks are both great sites to visit for creative, crafty inspiration! Inspiring the JOY of Creativity! Debra, CEO!
Sunday, March 07 2010
I am preparing today for an event tomorrow for International Women's Day. It is also International Craft Month. It is also a month with my Mom's birthday, yesterday March 6th and a year since she passed peacefully March 30th. All of these events have been swirling around in my mind and heart. I also have been coaching several people lately and have had conversations about creativity that confirm the importance of creative outlets for our health and well being. I have also realized often I am busy writing articles, instructions, designing specific projects that I do not make time for creative play for myself.
I have been inspired lately by my very talented designer friends Rebekah Meier and Marie Browning. I am having fun trying new techniques and putting together a workshop on Creative Collage Journalling. I began with a journal of my own, much of our past explains our present and so I begin a journal with the strong women in my childhood. This journal's cover is distressed, layered with stenciling and stamping. I used fabric transfer sheets to apply the images. The young woman on the cover my great aunt Anna, she never married as she carried the haemophilia gene and did not want to pass it on. She worked fifty years as a book keeper at Ganong's candy factory and always had a beautiful candy dish filled on her table. It is with her I began my journal.
This second journal is totally different. I used Rebekah's technique of embossing and painting fun foam. I used a stencil brush to apply glitter stickles. As women we often put ourselves last, this journal "it is all about ME, ME, ME!!!"
This month I celebrate the creative, strong, amazing women I know past and present who have impacted, shaped and delighted my life! Follow the JOY! Debra
Friday, March 05 2010
It is Fowl Friday! Fran here & Freda who as usual is dancing around while I do the writing! Yesterday Debra revealed her addiction to making Bunnies but we know for a fact that is not the only "B" fondness shall we say in her creative life! In the latest issue of Crafts 'n Things magazine she has two Bird projects, she has designed Bird fabric. Just because we are not soft and fluffy with long ears and have ticklish feathers and scrawny legs instead is no reason to ignore a whole fine flock of feathery friends!
Designed for Dow featured in Crafts 'n Things
Here I am early morning, no makeup, no topknot consoling Oliver as his twin sister Olive left to seek fame and fortune in the latest issue of Crafts 'n Things!
So there you have it, the unvarnished truth, there are more "B" in Debra's life than she care to admit to! Lucky she has us around, her friendly fowl to keep her on the feathery straight and narrow! Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda!
Thursday, March 04 2010
I confess to an addiction which has now become very public and since it has been a trying week in some ways even for me a proclaimed CEO! I am confessing all and indulging in some silliness. I love making bunnies, their sweet little faces, floppy ears, fluffy tails and giving them personalities with accessories and varying expressions. My belief is there can never be enough of something that makes you smile and touches your heart. One of my favourite bunnies "Cute as Button" is in the current issue of Creative Homearts magazine. She is easily created with wool, bamboo Xotic felt from National Nonwovens and STYROFOAM TM brand foam by Dow (another bunny "itsy bitsy bunny" pops up there on the home page!)
In the current issue of Crafts 'n Things is another needle felted duo of bunnies. I especially like their swirl design.
Online at Creative Homearts is the pattern and instructions for the Jester Spring Bunny
just in case anyone is in a bunny mood! I think bunny fever is in the air especially with the release of Alice in Wonderland. Hmm the silliness continues I am off to make a White Rabbit...my goodness what is the time?! Follow the rabbit, Always follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, March 02 2010
In November I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Company and Paragon Label in picturesque Petaluma, California. The company is featured in my latest "Make it Green' column for Creative Homearts magazine. I met both Andrea Grossman the founder and her son Jason, President. They could not have been more welcoming. In fact the moment you enter the building for a tour you are greeted by friendly employees and their dogs, life sized fun sticker characters on display and an atmosphere that is very special and inspiring. When I asked Andrea for a quote for my article she replied as she has for more than thirty years and her favorite quote will always be ???I love my job.??? I will be showing projects made with their gorgeous classy silhouette stickers later this week. The stickers were released at the CHA show in January.
The company that began with a single red heart sticker continues its tradition of always operating from the heart with care for the environment, its employees and its loyal customers. If you are in the area of the company make sure to go for a tour. They are the only sticker company in the country that offers a tour of their manufacturing facility plus they have a sticker museum and shop on site.
With Andrea Grossman & the Heart Sticker that began it all!
Decisions, decisions! Choosing stickers to design with.
Part of the busy design center at Mrs. Grossman's!
I am so very fortunate to work in an industry of incredibly wonderful creative and generous people. It is a true joy! Follow the JOY! Debra
Monday, March 01 2010
I have had fun working with the most adorable line of appliques, BaZooples by licensed artist Vicki Schreiner and manufactured by Expo International. I designed three booklets of projects for them earlier this year and am designing more projects for an upcoming magazine layout. The baby animals are darling. While at winter CHA (Craft & Hobby Show) in Anaheim When Creativity Knocks filmed a new episode featuring the BaZooples applique line. Cindi Bisson created a cute diaper cupcake using the monkey appliques. See how easy this baby gift is to make in their new Diaper Cupcake webisode! More news from WCK! Winner of WCK Great Crafter???s Tool Hunt 2 -Craftwell eCraft. Winners of tool packages are being confirmed and will be announced shortly. The focus this week is All About Color ??" Check out WCK's new improved home page for the latest product review, techniques and Ana's blog article.
Baby times, the softness, the scent of snuggled wee ones. Creating baby things brings back many special memories! Follow the JOY! Debra