Valarie's Blog

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I'm Baaaack! LOL

It's been a really long time since I've posted in this blog. Personal and professional issues intruded into my creative life, and I'm feeling happily creative once again. As long as stress doesn't overwhelm me, I'll be creatin' up a storm!

I've found some really interesting inspiration pieces, and I feel that they will influence my creative process for the better. Now, if the publishing company hadn't waited nearly 6 weeks to ship my paid-for order to me, I'd have been working long before now. It figures that they don't care about people who order from their website. I wonder how they treat their actual subscribers? If I'd been able to buy this stuff locally, I would rather have done that, but my local Wal-Mart and other stores seem determined to squish the creative impulse out of everyone who comes in to shop.

They don't feed my need for creating art. I've realized my locality is a creative black hole. Yikes.

Anyway, I still love working with bold designs and bright colors, but I realized a few years back that my buying all sorts of craft supplies and never using them was foolish. I guess I've been more of a hoarder than a worker, in that respect. However, at the end of the school year I started giving myself permission to use my supplies for other than their strictly named uses. For example, I used some scrapbook paper I was just dying for (and knew I'd never use on an actual scrapbook page) to wrap some Hershey bars and give to people who... seemed like they could use a good dose of chocolate. LOL

Now, that's not a comment on anybody's attitude. Honestly, I think everyone can use a little chocolate every day. "Into each day a little chocolate should fall" - that's how I choose to think of it. When someone just seems to need a little boost, I like to sneak some pretty chocolate their way. The recipients have responded that the best time to get one of these treats is when you really aren't expecting anything to happen at all.

I've toyed with the idea today of offering my help on our school's hospitality committee, but it's one of those things that I fear may overcommit me timewise. I hate that feeling of "I have to..." because it makes me feel as if I exist simply to do someone else's undesirable tasks. But I rationalized that I should start using some of my favorite papers to create cards, and what harm would there be in having a stash of handmade cards already prepared "just in case I might need them." One of the other teachers asked me on more than one occasion if I had any cards there at the school, because she needed one for hospitality FAST (my emphasis only - she was very sweet about the whole thing) and she didn't have an opportunity to leave the school and purchase one unless she skipped lunch. Unfortunately, I couldn't help her out because I hadn't thought ahead.

I probably will keep a stash of cards handy there. I hand made a Father's Day card and two boys' birthday cards this summer and the boys' cards were received pretty well. Two out of three ain't bad, I suppose. LOL 2 cards enjoyed, one tossed aside without further mention. (Okay, it hurt my feelings a little, but I have to have a thicker skin, right?) The point is that I proved to myself that I could make snazzy looking cards that satisfied ME.

Granted, every one took me several hours to create because I agonized over every detail and each sentiment, and actually inset eyelets on them, using a hand punch which bruised my fingers and kept them sore for days. But they were preeeettty when I finished. That made it worth it. Digital brads and eyelets are so much easier on the hands!! LOL

And the tiny scrapbook section at our Wal-Mart only had one box of eyelets to choose from - we don't have ANY other local craft suppliers either. *sigh* I just don't want to drive nearly an hour to Hobby Lobby and come home empty handed, with gas prices the way they are. Too expensive to risk a fruitless trip so far away.

I seem to believe that my crafting had better serve a practical purpose, or people won't see the need to hang onto the finished items. I do myself because I'm a pack rat, but I think I really prefer creating useful things the most.

So the projects I've been working on will be attractive AND useful, rather than simply decorative. I'm also keeping in mind that sometimes someone needs to wrap a gift at work and their color options are limited to a black and white laser printer. Several of my upcoming projects will address that issue, and hopefully they will be useful for even those self-professed non-crafters. I want my designs to be utterly useful!!

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