April

We all can use a little inspiration now and then. All those creative ideas ricocheting around in our heads can make it difficult to just choose one. Sometimes, we can’t overcome the entropy that has temporarily taken over our thought process. Occasionally, deliberating for even a few minutes, about whether or not to put some beauty in the world, feels like a herculean task. April was a project taken on to encourage daily handwork and creativity in my routine and to bring a little unexpected delight to the people I care about.

Each day for the month of April 2016, I made a small piece of art measuring 2 x 3 inches. They varied in complexity and included drawings, a stencil, a stamp, sayings, handmade paper, a recipe, dried flowers, miniature books and paintings. Materials included wax, paper, watercolor, drawing fluid, ink, colored pencil, crayon, hand dyed fabric, paste cloth, polymer clay, seeds and photographs. I made three versions; each individualized for it’s intended recipient (all creative people with limited time and so much going on in their lives).

I put all the cards, willy nilly, in an altered cigar box. I thought about maintaining more order with the pieces, but in the end, the joy of discovery, and sorting through unknown treasures, exceeded my need for structure.

It is my hope that when my people are in want of creative stimulation, they can pull this box off the shelf, sift through its contents, and kick-start a brainstorm of their own.

It so happens that one friend has re purposed the project to entertain her almost two year old. Most of the cards now live in a wallet that travels with them. When he get impatient, the wallet comes out and he plays with the cards. How’s that for creative reuse?

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Barbara did it better

As usual, I’m lagging a bit (you know, a month, or two behind) on my projects and posts.

I completed Space Paste/Spring Leaf  project #5 for May. There was only one stipulation for the month: ephemera.

I have a small collecting problem when it comes to natural objects. Feathers, stones, twigs… they all end up in my pocket. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to reduce the piles of snail shells and seed pods cluttering my living space. With the help of a friend, I turned a warped job case into two curiosity cabinets. I placed a transient treasure in each compartment. Except one- in that compartment sits a small book filled with abstracted watercolor and ink drawings.

I was pleased with my creation. Until I visited the Lilly Library in July and got my hands on (thanks, Jim!) Wunder Cabinet by Barbara Hodgeson and Rollin Milroy. And may I just say, squeal! Inspired by the wunderkammern of Germany, these two constructed a beautifully crafted two-layered box containing an assortment of flora, fauna and oddities. Each piece is cataloged with curatorial diligence and corresponds with one of three books (paper made by Reg Lissel) included in the package. It was a delight to sort through each compartment and discover the keepsakes waiting for me.

Thanks, Barbara, for showing me how it’s done.