Medicine Bags in the Studio

Here’s an idea I’ve been working on since January. These things take time and this one had to simmer awhile.

I’m creating a line of Medicine Bags. The size is about 4″ x 6″.  They’re good for little things like toiletries, essential oil collections, handmade soaps… This idea is going to let me work with some interesting variations, using different fabrics and different surface designs. So here’s the first one.  This design came up when I bought a new deck of Tarot cards that needed a home. They’re made from collage blocks. I layered small pieces of really cool fabrics like silk, chiffon, gauze and panne velvet and sewed them all together with something sheer on top. It’s a nice analogue for Tarot where there are layers of meaning to consider. Then I bordered and lined the bags with a fabric that blends silk and cotton. And Voilá, the best of silks and cottons to surround and protect my cards. The pictures show the same bags, but the two sides are different. 

 

I’m already working on two more designs, one with eco-dyed muslin and another with a different selection of hand dyed fabrics. Each group is going to be really different. I’ll keep you posted.

New Starts and an Open Heart

Each day is a new start
To embrace my world,
To open my heart.

Life is throwing some very tough things at me right now and I refuse to let it get me down. Focusing on the negative drains my energy and leaves me with no resources to deal with the obstacles life presents.

Positive affirmations and cognitive behavioral therapy are two ends of the spectrum of names to call what I’m doing. Mostly it’s a matter of turning things around, of seeing the world in a positive way. Or of letting go if there’s nothing I can do.

Turning obstacles into challenges is one of my biggest hurdles. I’m pretty techie but there are “challenges” in having three internet shops and a new blog that keep trying to overwhelm me. Instead of being reduced to tears, which is the easiest way out for me, I do what small things I can and don’t even look at the really big things. One of my small things is lerning “SEO”.  Six months ago I didn’t even know what it is. (I’m sure someone who knows more will object to my definition, but basically it’s a matter of describing what I put on the internet, the art in my shops and the subjects in this blog, in the terms that other people will use to search for them.) But by learning a little bit every week I’ve gotten pretty good, I hope. It’s all about taking baby steps and the big job gets done.

Positive affirmations are my mainstay. But they have a secret. While it’s great to repeat some wonderful and inspiring phrase, it has no power unless I feel it. It’s all about changing the feelings inside me so that I can really believe these cute little phrases I repeat. I’m programming my own mind to think about myself and my world differently by putting positive feeling and emotion into these thoughts. Simple repetition serves a purpose when I’m trying to block out something horrible, real or imagined, that’s running around in my brain. But when I really listen to what I’m saying, I start to feel the truth of it. I may not believe it yet but with focus and repetition it becomes real. It’s just as easy to dwell on what a wonderful person I am as to focus on what a slug I am.

Bottom line is that it’s more fun and there’s more energy in life by focusing on positive things. Things like, okay this is really tough but I’m doing my best and that’s pretty darn good. It may not be done at the end of the day but I know I did my best. And when I know I’m doing my best, I have more energy to keep trying. If I stop trying, if I just lay down and quit and say I can’t do this, then I’ll have nothing left. I might as well crawl into a hole and pull it in after me. If I keep working to convince myself that I’m a really good and talented person then I have a chance someone will agree with me. If I keep reaching out and offering my best to the world then just maybe, somehow, someday, the world will return the favor.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t… You’re right”  …Henry Ford 

So that’s what helps me get through the day. If this works for you or you have other constructive ideas, let me know. The more we share the more we grow!

Balancing the Threads of Life

 Life is made of threads,

They weave and sew,

And sometimes they unravel…

But in the end, each life is a piece of work. 

That’s how I’m starting.  Like my first footsteps on the moon.  It’s what I want to talk about and share with you; all the things that weave into a life, all the threads and knots and beautiful ribbons and bows.

I’m so excited to finally have this blog up and running. 

full spectrum votives

new for my first blog post

 Its genesis arrives in the middle of a decoupage project in the studio. And I have some new and beautiful things to share. 

I delayed starting this project, like I always do with tasty things, so I could focus on just the work and the colors and designs.  So far I’m pleased.

I'm working on promotional ites...free gifts

the first test run of Qpins

Qpins…”they” say I need something for distinctive packaging and free promotional gifts.  Altered clothespins with my shop names and address decoupaged on one side, fabric on the other side.  Maybe fabric on both sides.  I’m thinking they’re a little ridiculous and just might work.

I’m always a little uncertain tho’ whether I’ll really like it all in the end.