Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

I started a few new knitting projects while on vacation in Taos last month.  I usually don’t like to work on more than one project at a time, but I needed something challenging, as well as something easy for airplane/airport knitting.  And, I of course, had to do some sampling at some of the great yarn shops in New Mexico.  So I now find myself with 5 active knitting projects–two of which are socks that have been on the needles for months.  We won’t go there right now.

While visiting Village Wools in Albuquerque on our last day I found a great book called Knitting Goes Large.  There are some wonderful patterns in this book, so I just had to get it along with the yarn to make one.  This week I’ve been swatching for the Twisted Rib Cardigan by Wendy Baker.  The yarn is Jo Sharp Luxury 8 ply DK Pure Wool, color Fleur 353.  It’s worked up quite nicely in the twisted rib with size 6 needles.


I’ll post the other projects in coming days.

In the meantime, along with everything else, I’m reading an outstanding book on creativity titled, Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go, by Shaun McNiff.  There is so much great stuff in this book.  I’ll be using it to spark my own creativity for a long time, and am also finding some great ideas to use in planning for my doctoral dissertation project.


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I haven’t had a chance to blog much lately, but when I looked at my stats page this morning I found that I’ve been getting lots of traffic on my site, anyway.  It seems someone linked my tutorial on the Bow Tucks Tote Bag and I got something like 135 hits in one day on that one page alone. That’s pretty cool.

Speaking of tutorials Two Creative Studios has a great tutorial on getting started with soy wax batik.  I did some batik many, many years ago and really enjoyed it; and have often thought of trying it again.  Sue’s technique looks great, so I’ll have to add it to my summer project list.  Yes, I know, summer is already about half over and I haven’t gotten to any of those projects, yet.  But I am inspired anyway.  I need a bigger studio, though, for all the equipment and supplies I’m accumulating.  

Two Creative Studios is hosted by Sue and Terri, both great fiber artists, and they put some really interesting stuff on their site, as well as offering some wonderful classes.  I’ve taken some of Sue’s but haven’t had time to do any of Terri’s yet.  Anyway, if you sign up for their newsletter, you get up to date info on all this stuff and access to those great tutorials.  

In addition, they’re having a great giveaway this month, so if you sign up for the newsletter, you’re automatically entered.  

A little shameless promotion, I know, but Sue and Terri are doing a great job.  If you don’t already know them, you’ll find their work fascinating.  

I bought some gouache (opaque watercolor; rhymes with wash) paints yesterday, and drew up a small mandala last night that I’m going to try to get to this afternoon for some painting.  If I get anywhere on it, I’ll post something tomorrow.

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Watch This Video

My friend Anne sent me a link to a video today that should be watched by everyone who is creative, wishes she were creative, or thinks she isn’t creative.  I don’t know how to insert a video, but here’s the link.  The end of the video is definitely in sync with the purpose of my blog.  Even though I’ve not been taking the time lately to blog, I have been taking time to create and to stretch my creativity.  Enjoy the video!

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Here’s the last of the mandala drawings I dredged up from 2001.  I won’t be able to post any pictures for the next couple of weeks as my husband has taken the digital camera with him on a trip to Hungary, but I’ll try to find some other things that I can post instead.  Hmmm…what will that be?  I don’t know, but I ought to be able to come up with something. 

This mandala is indicative of, you guessed it, the four seasons.  I’m having fun thinking about ways to execute these designs with mixed media, but do have to wait until after May and whatever assignments I’ll have after my two weeks in DC.


Two more books to read, three more papers to write, plus one presentation to prepare to go before the next session of D.Min. classes.  I’m beginning to think I might get finished. Smile.

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The operative word for me right now is “reading” as I work to finish three more books and papers for my May D.Min. classes.  This is some of the most difficult reading I have ever done, so it’s taking a lot of time getting through it.  It helps to have downloaded a dictionary onto my I-Pod.

Here’s another of my old mandala drawings from 2001. I really like this one.  It has a whimsical bent to it and I think it would be fun to do in fiber and/or mixed media.  I am getting all kinds of ideas of what to do with these mandalas, but I have to focus on READING.


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Here’s another of my mandala drawings from 2001.  Even though it doesn’t look at all like a traditional mandala, it still feels as compelling for me as when I first drew it.  I have usually written a little something about each of the mandalas after drawing them, and it was interesting to see where I was when I drew this one and the meaning I saw in it. 

While I’ll not share that here — it’s too long — it’s interesting to note that Carl Jung used mandalas in his psychological theory.



Incidentally, we have a bird (a starling) in our chimney/fireplace and are having trouble getting it out.  Any ideas?  Our dog thinks it’s pretty interesting, but that’s of no help at all.

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For many years I have played off and on with mandala drawings.  I first began doing them after taking a quilt design class in Seattle based on Katie Pasquini’s technique using the concept of mandala.  I then began to explore the concept of mandala further and have often used them when leading retreats and in my own journaling.  

I don’t usually follow the standard concepts of mandala with regard to a depiction of the cosmos, but use the limitation of a circle and, in most cases, repetition around the center.  Although I don’t always do that, either.   

After completing my Way of the Cross series I decided to pull out some of my old mandala drawings and think about how I might begin to use them to create some acrylic and/or mixed media pieces.  I have to do some searching in old journals and files to find most of them, but I did easily find a few that I early in 2001 that I’m looking at for possibilities right now.  

I can’t do much until after I finish the current round of D.Min. reading and writing, but I thought pulling some out and posting them might get me inspired to work with some earlier mandalas and perhaps create some new ones.

This one is from February 2001.  While I often color my mandala drawing with colored pencils, or in a few cases with watercolor.  The 2001 drawings are all in black and white.


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