I mentioned earlier today that I’ve had mandala patterns on the brain again. When I say again it’s because I was very into them back in 1999-2000. I purchased every mandala book I could at that time because I saw them everywhere and had to know more. I even purchased coloring books with mandala patterns for kids (yes, kids!) just so I could use the outlines to fill in with my own paint colors, found paper, etc. I really enjoyed experimenting with them in this way, but never had I thought to sit down and make my own from scratch without a general outline until recently. In fact I hadn’t thought much of mandalas in quite a few years. This is what made me think of them again…
One of my favorite bloggers is Kat from Secrets of a Butterfly and she recently inspired me in one of her October posts because she was touched by the work of California artist Anahata Katkin (the designer for PaPaYa!), a lady I’ve known about via the web, but Kat’s words about her touched me and it was only then did I really feel like exploring Anahata’s work myself. Do you know about her? She is an artist with work that is quite amazing and now I’m wishing I could somehow meet her and take one of her classes because the art fest she taught earlier this year seemed pretty great (images here).
Kat has never met Anahata to learn her technique so I’m quite impressed that by using her paintings as a guide she created this very lovely mandala mixed media painting using vintage wallpaper and old sheet music. You can see Kat’s painting above shown in her craft room in England. So pretty and well, REAL. I’m more and more attracted to such work, art from the heart and that is handmade at home because something the person saw motivated them to use their own hands to create something similar. So many times we consume, consume, consume without thinking, “Hey I could make that myself!” and I don’t mean COPYING work because a one-to-one version isn’t using your own creativity and it’s not fair to the artist. But if something you saw moved you and you just cannot afford it to buy it (or you rather do it yourself), then there is no reason NOT to try to do something for your own personal use.
This makes me think of cooking. In America we have nearly every meal you can imagine in the frozen food aisle. Here in Germany it’s much different, the selection is smaller. You are forced here to cook many things from scratch because you cannot conveniently buy them already made by someone (or something) else. I think it’s easy to get a bit lazy and not make your own recipes because it’s often easier and faster to buy it frozen or to order take-out. I think we sometimes forget the joy of making things for ourselves, you know? Add to this art, things around the house, etc. So much can be made by our own hands without buying it from someone else. Not everything of course, but a good amount.
Maybe we don’t have the time, or confidence in what we can do, but what about making time this month to make a few things handmade? I think it’s good for our self esteem, our wallet, and we can be a good example to others because often our children, friends, and family members (even e-friends) can be so inspired by something we’ve made and it may motivate them to create as well. When it comes to self esteem, the more you practice something you do not consider yourself very good at, you will improve and those improvements build your self confidence.
It’s not about quantity either. You don’t have to be some kind of energizer rabbit super crafter.
It can just be ONE painting, one apron, one really good batch of muffins… Just make something and how you feel afterwards. Imagine the fantastic circle of joy in that — you inspire others, yourself, and you have things around you made by your very own hands and heart. Nice!
Lots of us pledge to buy handmade and I’m all for that, but let’s pledge to also make handmade and do some things for ourselves this winter season. It’s such a good idea in this economy too. Take out those old copies of Martha Stewart Living and those PILES of arts and crafts book, pick a SINGLE project, and just do it. Want to make a pledge to make something handmade? You can leave your pledge in the comments section below and then when your item is finished, photograph it, place it in your Flickr account, and link it here once it’s finished. Or if you’ve already made your own things recently, comment with a link below because it’s fun to share.
You can see a roll of gift wrap and decide to go home and create your own like Ez did (and displayed a tutorial for) over on her blog Creature Comforts recently. I’m absolutely amazed by what some of my fellow bloggers are doing with their own hands lately and so impressed by their creativity.
Have you made anything with your own hands lately? Just ONE thing. Anything that you are proud to share? If so, please link to it in the comments section below, please show & tell!
(images from kat and the secrets of a butterfly)
I have a surprise for all 400+ of you who entered the decor8 giveaway for a free copy of the just released book: The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real by Lisa Sonora Beam (founder of The Creative Entrepreneur blog/website). Remember how I told you that I’d select 5 winners? After the huge response, it took me nearly 2 days to read all of your inspiring comments, I decided to write to the publisher and request that 10 books be given away and they’ve agreed though they never go above 5 so I’m thrilled to say we now have TEN WINNERS. Yay!
If you name is shown below please contact me via this form and in the body of the message send me your complete name and address. I will forward all ten names to the publisher and they’ll ship out your copy of the book sometime next week. Sound good?
Drum roll please… And the winners are:
#2 Shanon, #63 kristen k., #75 Anne Julie, #87 Art of Dealing, #99 Kayte, #113 Brandy Milne, #173 Vica Flying Umbrellas, #220 Maury, #314 Morgan, #371 Artemis.
Congratulations! A special thanks to ALL who entered… and to further thank you next week I’m going to talk to all of you about some of the fears you have expressed in these comments along with other uncomfortable feelings you’ve shared. My hope is to come together once again for a lively discussion to provide some support and encouragement and who knows… inspire you to take action. We all need it so why not use this blog as a special place to share some encouragement. More on this next week…
(image from holly becker for decor8)
Update: CONTEST CLOSED NOVEMBER 2008.
I’m so excited to share The Creative Entrepreneur book today because I spoke with my contact at Quayside Publishing Group and she has agreed to do a giveaway here on decor8 – 5 books for 5 very lucky readers (1 book per winner in other words)! I’ll tell you how to enter below, but for now here’s a little show and tell a little as this book is very, very special. I think it will appeal to MANY of you which is precisely why I wanted to approach the publisher about hosting a giveaway.
The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real by Lisa Sonora Beam (founder of The Creative Entrepreneur blog/website) takes creative types on a visual journey into their soul to dig deep, find the right path, and then once on it, how to get from point A to Z. This book just may help you to figure out “What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do”, remember that series of posts here on decor8? If not, read them all here, they are VERY inspiring. If you found those helpful I think that you’ll just love The Creative Entrepreneur because Lisa’s words as an artist, teacher, business woman…and the journal that you’ll need to create in order to successfully ‘complete’ this book will help you get on your feet heading in the right direction.
“The Creative Entrepreneur takes readers on an inner journey of creative exploration to discover how to make their dreams of creative livelihood real… it is a visual, project-oriented, step-by-step approach to business development especially for creatives.”
Psst: If you live in the Bay area, Lisa is giving a workshop for $70 next month that you may like to attend, more information on it here. She’ll also be giving another workshop in LA this March.
Want to win a copy of this book? I thought so. I will select 5 of you who comment on this post between now and Wednesday, the winners will be posted on Wednesday afternoon at 3pm EST and each will receive one brand new copy of this book from the publisher. The book is in English.
To enter: It’s easy! Simply comment below (only one entry per household) with your thoughts on this subject: What are some constructive AND destructive aspects of your personality that are directly influencing your creative process currently? Discuss at as much length as you’d like but remember, enter only one time please.
UPDATE: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED, WINNERS WERE ALREADY SELECTED AND NOTIFIED. THANK YOU.
(images: quayside publishing, lisa sonora beam, holly becker for decor8)
I’m always fascinated with end of November through New Year’s here in Germany… the winter activities are non-stop and most are outdoors which I think enhances the mood so much more than indoor festivals. Who wants to congregate indoors for a winter fest when you can stroll outside in the crisp winter air, twinkle lights and candles all around, hot mulled wine in hand (drinking alcohol on the streets is a-okay here, totally legal), bundled in your chunky knit scarf, shopping handmade crafts and toys from the locals. No one does it like the Europeans this time of year, especially here in Germany.
The Weihnachtsm?rkte begins on November 27th and lasts until mid December and it’s beauuuutiful. Imagine old villages, cobblestone streets lined with food and artisan carts, the smell of candied nuts, gingerbread, and nutella crepes in the air, indulging on fresh crispy pomme frites with mayonnaise. It’s heaven and definitely something I enjoy when I’m here. I’ve been watching the city set up everything for the past few days, anticipation is growing! I’ll try to take some photos for you and show them on decor8 in a few weeks if you’d like to see the winter fests. Tomorrow we are expecting snow – goody! Snow makes it all so much prettier and romantic. Thinking of snow, I always envision lace snowflakes (I have some that I like to hang in my windows all winter long) and white lacey doilies because they’re so delicate and magical. When I hear the word doily two words come to mind: Winter and Weddings. I see doilies as items you pull out to celebrate something. They line boxes filled with baked goods, they sit beneath some of the most gorgeous cakes, one cannot think of them without imagining a party of some kind. Most people do not like winter so I think that is why it’s so important to go all out and have beautiful wintery things in your home during the colder months so that you don’t start feeling too sorry for yourself. I get a little blue around February and that is when I usually entertain more and break out the tea and cake for girl’s day at home because seriously it gets me through. And of course where there is tea, there are doilies. :) See what I mean. They are so festive!
I was so happy when one of my contacts at MSLO sent me the December ’08 issue of Martha Stewart Living today. I’m not that fond of the cover but I really all of the fun projects inside… especially the gumdrop people (I want to make the mushrooms shown here and place them in cupcakes) and all of the beautiful doily projects on pages 150-157. The magazine is worth the $5 for those 7 pages alone, SWOON. It definitely put me over the edge as far as inspiration is concerned. Here are a few images to whet your appetite but I don’t want to give away all the good eye candy on my blog so you’ll need to buy the magazine for the full effect (and for the project instructions) or visit the MS Living website since some of them are posted there.
Other noteworthy clippings from the December 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living include a spread on beautiful pink amaryllis (in case you’re not a poinsettia fan, I prefer the look of amaryllis myself), ways to use left over wrapping paper (on clothespins for instance), and adorable gumdrop characters (I’ll take the mushrooms, please).
Look for this issue on newsstands now, it’s a beauty despite the red and green cover which I really dislike because it reminds me of a 1980’s Woman’s Day or something… Sorry Martha (like she cares what I think, he he), I can’t love everything you do. The magazine just doesn’t look pretty on my coffee table and that’s how I measure whether or not I like a cover. Are you as fussy over magazines coordinating with your decor? I would have loved to see this issue with a lavender and white cover with touches of gold and a dash of red for instance… Less traditional and more fresh. Remember that December issue of Blueprint in pink? I really loved that.
MUST. HAVE. MORE. DOILIES. Interested in MORE doily products and projects? Don’t miss Doily Love! It’s a HUGE post featuring doilies galore that I wrote this time last year but it’s still totally current. You may also like this DIY project, a Wintery Snowflake Mobile.
(images taken by holly becker of a personal copy of martha stewart living magazine, december 2008)