the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog
Wednesday, September 29 2010
I have a confession which if you read Fowl Friday posts with Fran & Freda is no surprise! I do love Fall and decorate for our Canadian Thanksgiving in early October but Halloween is not my favourite Holiday to decorate for. I usually go for pretty and elegant, so other holidays are much higher on my list. I always decorated and dressed up for my girls and now I have a special person in my life who loves Halloween so that is very fun. Costumes are in the planning stages already!
I was asked to create a Halloween design for Creative Homearts using STYROFOAM brand foam. I decided every ghost has to start somewhere and that would be as a baby! I am big on the cuteness factor and what is cuter than a baby with a blankie. I used Fairfield's bamboo batt over the foam egg to create this Baby Boo! Full instructions on the Creative Homearts website. (photo courtesy of Homearts)
Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Monday, September 27 2010
I like Mondays! Sunday evenings I like to get organized and do my schedule for the week ahead. I am feeling more and more at home in my new place. Entertained friends on the weekend which was fun. I even provided some excitement by almost setting the oven mitts on fire, one of them has a very cool burn mark design now, a very distressed look!
This week I am getting to design with some great fabrics from the Art of Possibility Studio. The fabrics are dynamic in design with vibrant color. Ketra Oberlander the founder is an artist who is blind. All of the artists she works with are very talented and have a physical disability. The name reflects Ketra's belief in anything is possible when you do what you love and follow the passion. I have had the pleasure of spending time with her at several shows. She is so inspiring and funny, I come away with a feeling everytime that anything is indeed possible!
I have a big project on the go, a new book proposal which at times seems daunting but I have found breaking it down into steps is very helpful. I have to set my own deadlines so this month it is to be finished and off to my publisher. It is a fashion book so the drawing class I just took at the Saint John Arts Centre was very helpful for my sketching. I am also volunteering there and look forward to an interesting Fall!
Wishing a you a great week ahead one that is rewarding, fulfilling and always take time for some creativity & fun! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Friday, September 24 2010
IT IS FOWL FRIDAY & IT IS FALL PEOPLE!!!
Fran & Freda here! Well with all the excitement around here this week you would think there was six feet of snow in the yard! It is still September and the leaves are just turning however Debra has a thing about snowy creatures. She was in 7th heaven when FloraCraft asked her to create an entire snowy Cottage Scene which is now splashed all over the website home page! (OK a slight exaggeration but there is a photo and video) Pointing out our page is STILL not finished! Our fans are so disappointed!
In support of Fall and the festivities still to come, (we are hoping Debra does become a Halloween fan at some point, she does have a Halloween devotee in her life now!) So here we are creating our own Fall fun! Did we also mention there is a Dollar Store within walking distance, two aisles of Halloween delights, glitz and ghouls, skulls and swashbuckles. We whipped up a nest, Freda's toes are still glued together but hey we got the job done. We will be relaxing in Scary Style from now till the big night! Then the treats will fill our nest! (Hmm not sure if that is hygenic, a little cleaner and rinse we will be good to go! Follow the Fowl! Fran & Freda!
Wednesday, September 22 2010
Life has been in major change mode this past summer with moving to a new city and becoming an empty nester after twenty seven years of kids, pets, a house and all that goes with it. I love my new life, wish my girls were right around the corner but it was such a good decision to move and they are both so very happy in their new lives.
With change comes reflection and more time to read. :) I picked up a beautiful book the other day STYLE STATEMENT Live by your own design by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte. It is a wonderful workbook, a guide or in their words "a compass for creating a life that reflects what's true to you in every way. From your wisdom to your wardrobe, from your longing to your livingroom--your Style Statement is where your essence meets your expression." There are lovely vignettes of "stylish" strong personalities and their style philosophy. The photography is sophisticated and gorgeous. The questions posed "I express my reverence for nature, animals and ecology by..." are varied and wide ranging.
I think we all have a very strong sense of our own style but sometimes it does not always come together like we want it in all aspects of our lives. I am finding the book useful in defining those areas and the changes I want to make. I do know everytime I pick up this beautful book it gives me a feeling of a quiet joy, an appreciation of my serene surroundings and all the love which fills my life. Each day dawns with beauty and grace for each one of us to STYLE in our own unique way! Always Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Tuesday, September 21 2010
The fall issue of Crafts n' Things is on the newstands now! The cover features the cutest owl and right up by the S is my wee button snowman! It is a great issue and wonderful magazine filled with all kinds of holiday projects to inspire you to create! The editor is a sweetheart Abby Foster. It has been a pleasure being part of the magazine for the past ten years and now to be part of the official design team! The button even matches my site perfectly! Over those years several of my designs have been featured on the cover and I am so very grateful. Read more about this fall extravaganza issue below! Follow the JOY! Get crafting! Debra CEO!
Glorious autumn hues touch everything from cards to gifts to home décor and more in the October issue of Crafts 'n things. You're sure to fall in love with the more than 200 creative do-it-yourself looks and techniques packed into this harvest-season spectacular! Cast your own unique spell over Halloween festivities with charming owls, pumpkins, witches and ghosts. No tricks here, just lots of crafty treats! Speaking of treats, treat a teacher to a handmade card or quick gift, like the Teacher's School Survival Tin. It's sure to bring smiles! Upcycle household odds-and-ends into artsy, affordable wearables and accessories. Learn how to get your favorite designer jewelry looks - for less! Explore the best vintage-inspired paper crafting products with contributing writer Roberta Wax. You can even get a jump-start on your Christmas crafting with more than a dozen fun gifts and decorating ideas! And don't miss "Crafting for a Cause," a new annual feature where Crafts 'n things contributors share inspiring projects and ideas that can help each of us make a difference using our creativity.
Friday, September 17 2010
Fowl Friday! Fran & Freda here, still without our page YET! but been a busy week in the loft! Debra made her first video, we are hanging out in the background. Thought she was going to introduce us but no she forgot that important step! I guess if we were needle felted like the two little pastel peeps in the video we would have been at least mentioned.
It turned into a very long day as Debra had to make several attempts making the video. Apparently cue cards would have been very helpful as hard as it is to believe she forgot what to say several times. We tried not to laugh and remain professional at all times although Freda did lose her balance once or twice. Not a big deal although one fall caused her to kick Debra's hand and she almost punctured her finger with the needle tool.
More videos will be made and perhaps we will be mentioned. We are going to be on our best behaviour to make that happen. Youtube here we come! Lights, Action, Camera for this feathery fowl! We will sign autographs! Follow the Fowl!
Wednesday, September 15 2010
I replaced my laptop this week for several reasons, it needs a new battery, my daughter's ragdoll kittens decided to pry off a few keys a while back, slightly annoying missing the o, l and the period. I decided to try an HP after being a Dell gal for many years. So far I like it! I wanted to make some videos so today I made my first one.
Today also was the day I had no hot water for the entire day and there was ongoing work in the house. My curls got a splash of cold water. I spent yesterday making the stepouts and checking out the best location for light. The sunroom foyer worked best so I set up there. After getting over the shock of how I looked and how many times I say "and, um and so I was ready. Six takes later beginning with fourteen minutes and ending up with nine I was finished.
Along the way I dropped the bunny twice, his ear stuck to my shirt and I forgot what step I was doing three times. I learned not to wear dangly earrings as I came off looking slightly like a demented bobble head doll and that I do indeed have a round chin. Now I can really appreciate professional make up and lighting, someone holding up cuecards would have been nice. Instead a clipboard balanced against the wall was my only reference.
I learned ALOT!!! I did it and got it loaded on my site. I am not quite ready for YouTube yet but plan to make more videos. Follow the JOY! Try something new! Debra, CEO!
Monday, September 13 2010
Continuing the Celebrating of National Sewing Month! Fall is in the air literally since last week found me by the pool and this week wearing a long sleeve sweater by the fire. With the change in weather comes the anticipation of fall leaves to enjoy, Thanksgiving and family, holidays ahead. New designs, a book proposal to finish, Halloween costumes to create, (I have a Halloween enthusiast in my life now), gifts to make and a Holiday show to prepare for. My sewing machine will be so very busy! The cool air is invigorating and inspiring!
If you want to be inspired to sew or craft, Creative Homearts has pages of free projects to choose from. The photos and instructions are given for each one. I have several there along with many from other talented designers.
Since Fran & Freda were upset about missing Fowl Friday I am reposting their fall version of themselves. "You too can have your very own pair of cute chicks to decorate with this fall" (Fran dictates, I just type!) Instructions and photo courtesy of Homearts. Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Saturday, September 11 2010
Today we pause to remember, September 11th. A day each of us remembers exactly where we were during the unreality of what happened. I remember being in a department store at the age of twelve when it came across the speaker that President Kennedy had been assisinated.
On September 10th I was travelling home from an international design conference. I did not arrive home until early on the 11th, just a few hours before the terror began. I remember my oldest daughter calling so concerned knowing I was travelling home and scared something might have happened to me. Many friends were stranded. Some were from New York and one dear friend had her husband a New York fire fighter with her. They lost many friends and colleagues. Our discussion group was filled with frantic messages, is everyone okay, how can we help?
What I remember most beyond the terror, the loss is the remarkable courage that people everywhere responded with. So many planes were diverted to this part of Canada, people were put up in every available space including many private homes. Friendships formed, even many romances and people return each year since that terrible time to reunite with those they met here in Atlantic Canada.
I remember those lost with honor & love. May each of us hold a prayer in our heart for peace, for understanding, for love to prevail. Debra
Tuesday, September 07 2010
September is National Sewing Month! I have been sewing since I was five so every month is a sewing month, if I added them all up that would be a very scary number! I can't imagine my life without sewing, all the doll clothes, the high school fashion statements (yikes), baby clothes (sniff), Halloween costumes, toys, home decor and published designs. My daughters would probably say how much they would miss the matching mother daughter dresses or the infamous "little Bo-Peep" costume with the voluminous bloomers and stuffed sheep!
Today everyone is sewing which is wonderful! Paper artist and scrapbookers are adding all kinds of fabric and stitch embellishments. Sites like Burda Style showcase easy wearable patterns and the sewers of all ages who create fashion statements with their own unique take on a pattern. At Spoonflower you can have your very own fabric design made into yardage to sew with. If I didn't sew I would not have any excuse for buying fabric or having a stash to lovingly peruse for inspiration! That would be very sad for me and my favorite fabric store too. This month I get to play with fabrics designed by some very talented artist friends and share the projects with you!
For an easy fast sewing project, prefinished items like a tea towel can be whipped into all sorts of things very quickly. These tea towel baskets I designed for Creative Homearts Club are pretty and simple to sew. Instructions for these baskets and many other projects are found here.
(photo courtesy of Homearts Club)
The therapeutic benefits of sewing and crafting are well documented. For inspiring stories visit Kathy & Barb's site Crafting for Health, it is their 1st Anniversary! Congratulations! I have been honored to have been featured twice this past year.
Have a creative week, sew something! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!
Friday, September 03 2010
Fran here for Fowl Friday! Well it is about time! Debra has been promising us our own page forever and now it looks like it is going to be a reality! She has been updating the website and we got a sneak peek at the link boxes. There we were "Fran & Freda" although since she is making the frames square my feet are cut off! Why she couldn't have cut off Freda's head instead I don't know. Freda as we know doesn't always use her head anyway. She never reads this so no worries...So by the next Fowl Friday our page, lots of pics and our incredible story will be revealed!
We were getting a little concerned as Debra has another cutesy type bird hanging around way too much! Apparently another whole blog is coming for that bird called "the empty nest chronicles". Anyway we are of the opinion cute is way overrated. I would much rather be "interesting looking & highly intelligent" and guess what, I am! Freda has half of it although she sees herself as the cute type. Anyone looks cute after a bottle of wine especially to a rooster! There is a long weekend ahead, enjoy all, barbecue (just not c-h-i-c-k-e-n), swim, hang out with your peeps! Follow the Fowl, Fran & Freda!
Wednesday, September 01 2010
One of my favorite products to work with is Fairfield's Nature-Fil TM bamboo batt. It is so soft plus strong and a delicious creamy color. It is wonderful used as a batt but great as the main fabric. This month I am Fairfield's featured designer and have created a special project along with instructions available on their site.
The Feathery Friends Stocking combines Nature-Fil with a recycled wool sweater, reclaimed buttons and needle felted birds. I wanted to create a soft vintage feel with a touch of whimsy. I definitely have a thing about birds lately! For step by step photo instructions for needle felting check out my How To page. What you don't see is how I managed oh so very awkwardly to hold the tools and the camera at the same time! Another thing about now living alone is I do not have a model anymore for my wearables or someone to hold the camera.
This leads me to my next addition to the site, a second blog "the empty nest chronicles". The "ceo blog" will be for the creative, crafty happenings and "the empty nest" for a light hearted look at this new stage in my life. as always Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!