28 February 2014

15 Minutes of Creativity a Day

I have a desk with lots of cool creative stuff on it. I had purchased some luggage tags for a project but I couldn't get the results I wanted so they just found a spot on my desk to lay. On the Quilt Show, a pay by the year program I purchase, was a woman who daily made "cloth" from scraps as an exercise in creativity. Well, I do stuff too, not necessarily daily but a few times a week. It may or  may not involve fabric or sewing but I find it fun and creative. I thought it might be nice to share with you and maybe you'd like to do a short, maybe 15 minute bit of creativity too.

Here is my desk. This was a dining room table that I bought when I graduated from college ('71). I just replaced it about 10 years ago and only because I put a candle on it and burned the teak veneer.

There are LOTS of things to spark creativity

Ink, glue, pens (mostly fountain) mat medium, a water bowl for brushes and watercolors.

and stamp pads, luggage tags, white out, metallic threads a felt crow and a Christmas card from Kit Lang!!

Needles, thread. scissors, tape, tweezers,  PVA (both full strength and half watered), more water colors and three containers of brushes - all kinds.

A stamps made from rope. A piece I love that needs "more work", rocks (I love rocks), sea glass from the beach and my sweet grass in braids which I grow every year. There is even a bin of thread balls. I like thread balls and use the in my work.

One of the things I have been doing lately is working with these luggage tags. I bought them for a project but didn't get the results I wanted. I ended up taking 10 and covering both sides with mat medium. The first two I did were with oil pastels and watercolors.

I love the way the oil pastes shed the water colors but leaves small droplets of color on the pastels. Also any voids where the pastels didn't cover the tag are colored by the watercolors. You can really see that on the hot pink circle in the center above.

Next I made Brian a heart out of 2 layers of corrugated cardboard covered in white tissue paper. Then I did a collage of various colored tissue paper I had on hand.

Next time I sat down at the desk I decided to use some of the left over pieces of triangular cut tissue from this project to cover a luggage tag.

In the cup on the right is half PVA and half water which I keep mixed in a bottle. I have had it mixed and in the bottle for years. I painted glue on the tag, laid down about 6 pieces of tissue and painted more glue over it. I wrapped the edges too.

My "drying" apparatus 

I like the way the tissues from the various layers show through altering the values and hues!

I knew about water soluble colored pencils. I have had mine for years but I didn't know about water soluble graphite sketching pencils.

The colored pencils are Cretacolor

but the graphite pencils are Derwent.  These are dark, medium and light.

You can really see how the mat medium which was brushed on altered the application of the graphite pencils. Most of the time I love seeing the effects of the brush marks on the work but in this case the mat medium kept the wet graphite from working WITH the paper. It pooled and I did a lot of re-wetting to try and pick up excess wet graphite. This is what this is all about - learning!

Both colored and graphite water soluble pencils.

The last thing I am working on, I made a three day project to keep it short and not so much like work. A friend of mine saved her nylon dog food bags and I am making shopping bags out of them. Long time readers of my blog will certainly remember these on my blog from about 4  years ago.

Bags grouped in fours, turned inside out and scrubbed in the shower. Dog food smells BAD! I have serged the bottoms and they are waiting for bottom corners and handles.

Handles for 4 bags

Finished bag all folded up and ready to go

Open bag with nice stitched bottoms to standing easily


  1. Great post, Beth, full of inspiration! One question: what is PVA? Have fun creating!

  2. great post! love the dog food bags...I was tempted to use mine too but tossed them because of the smell. But I can try your idea.

  3. Love the luggage tags--like mini prayer flags!


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