Filmmaker, Jen Lee, got together ten artists to work on a project of creative collaberation. They discuss the joys and challenges and how this project worked out.
Here is the trailer. The full movie can be rented also for $5.
I love watching other artists and seeing how their creative expression pours onto the canvas for them. This video is not only inspiring, but also peaceful and amazing. Watch how Isabelle Zacher-Finet, from Germany, transforms this large canvas into beautiful poppies.
A new year. New beginnings. New goals. Or not. It's always nice to feel like we have a fresh start. Another chance. They're always there, really. But it's nice to arrive at Jan and think about getting up, dusting off the unnecessary, and venturing down another trail.
I'm taking my time with my goals and one little word. For now, soaking in new thoughts, discovering new perspectives, and doing several home improvement projects. I also began a new book club for creative people. More on that later, but I'm loving it.
Happy new year.
I'll be on my way within the next hour to my favorite retreat, Serendipity. I'm driving to the beach (Outer Banks of NC) and will stay in a row of beach houses with several other ladies. I can hardly wait!
Thurs evening, we get to hear Jonatha Brooke perform a song for us. She recently got an opportunity to co-write a song with Katy Perry. Amazing.
Friday evening, the lovely Jen Lee will be there to show us Indie Kindred - a movie about the collaboration of several artist. See the trailer on the site.
Oceanfront rooms, the sound of the waves, friendships, laughter, sharing, compassion, fun, love.
Yes. I think it's time to go.
I'll be back with an update next week.
a tear dropped
a rare flower.
We've all "heard" of positive affirmations.
Maybe even taped some on your bathroom mirror.
But do we use them? Do they work?
Numberous articles share just how powerful our thoughts are and how they can help set the tone for our day and restore our balance when we feel a little off. One of my favorites in this one from Huffington Post.
"Research tells us that every thought and emotion creates a chemcial reaction because it immediately changes our neurochemcicals that affect our mental, physical and spiritual health," Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., stress expert and CEO and founder of both The Stress Instituteand the Mindful Living Network, told The Huffington Post in an interview. When a stressful thought fires up, you have the power to cancel it out with a positive one.
This idea became very clear to me during the Soul Restoration eCourse, when Melody shared her idea of making "Truth Cards". I won't go into her details because you'll want to take the class to get the full picture, but I learned enough to say that this method makes sense for me.
The key is making the affirmations personalized. Creating my cards in my own style and putting the words on them that spoke to me made them MY truth cards. I knew I would love and use them.
There are many ways to make truth cards - index cards, repurposed flash cards, cardstock squares, deck of cards, etc. In the class, we cut out pre-printed strips and also printed some of our own to use. We were to use the ones that spoke to us . . . sometimes cancelling out the negative phrases we often say to ourselves.
I chose a carefree, quick and easy method to make my cards. I made a stack of cards in about an hour and I adhere the word phrases every few days.
I started with a large sheet of white poster board and painted shapes, patterns, drips, puddles, etc.
After that layer dried, I repeated the same method, adding more paint.
Then I used an old foam stamp I've had for years and stamped white hibiscus flowers all over it for one uniform pattern.
I added a think white-wash look in some areas to tone down the whole piece.
I used an Xacto knife and ruler to cut the poster sheet into 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" cards. I got lucky and ended up with no waste.
These all go into a large ziplock bag (someday I'll get a "pretty" bag for them) and receive positive words or "truths" periodically. On a challenging day, or just a day when I need a good reminder, I pull these out and read through a few of them.
What do you need to remind yourself of today?
Last time, in Part 1, we were getting the stairs and walls prepped!
1. Remove carpet runner, 2. Pull out all staples, 3. Remove glass beads, 4. Have walls repainted
Now comes the part where we actually reach the goal: Stenciled Stairs! So here we go!
1. Paint wall trim & riser edges, 2. Sand & stain hardwood, 3. cut plywood for each riser, 4. prime & paint each riser, 5. stencil & seal risers, 6. attach risers to stairs
The white trim on the wall was getting dingy, so that needed a fresh coat of white. I decided to paint around each riser edge, just in case any part of it showed behind the plywood piece I would attach later. Not sure if it was necessary, but since the colors were so dark, I opted to be on the safe side.
I also knew I was tired of the honey yellow stain color, so wanted to spice things up with a darker, richer stain. My hubby often describes my creative projects as "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie", and it's true. I couldn't just stencil the stair risers, I had to paint the walls and stain the wood too! : )
Staining Tip: I used a stain & sealer all-in-one and would do that again. The directions said it could take 12 hrs. to dry. It took more like 48 hrs. We do live in a very humid climate and I did this in the summertime, but it was indoors in air-conditioning. Still, I was a little surprised with how long it took. We had to quickly tip-toe with socks on. Just keep that in mind.
I shared in Part 1 that I opted to cut out plywood pieces, instead of stenciling directly onto the stair risers. This made it easier to stencil on a flat surface and means I can detach and change the pattern when I'm ready for a change.
Tip: I had the guy at the hardware store cut the plywood sheet into long (pre-measured) strips for me. This saved me a lot of cutting time at home.
The hard part was that not each riser was an exact rectangular size. One side usually got a little skinnier by 1/16 - 1/8 of an inch. Frustrating, but still worth it. I cut, sanded, primed, and painted two coats of white paint in a satin finish.
Tip: Be sure to number the backs of each piece of wood, along with the risers themselves.
This was my original plan for my alternating stencil patterns. I ordered both stencils from Royal Design Studio (they have amazing stencils, tutorials, and blog). While I love these stencils, they just weren't the right look for my stairs, so I made a last minute run to Michael's and picked up a Marth Stewart Moroccan stencil. Royal Design Studio has similar ones here
I will admit this was a slow, tedious process. I did it for a couple hours at a time, often while watching a movie in my studio so I didn't realize how long it was taking. The key is to use thin coats of paint. It's tempting to want to make it thicker to speed up the process, but it bleeds under and then you have to touch up.
Tip: use spray adhesive on the back of the stencil. There are mixed opinions on this, but I found it helpful. I did have to wash the stencil often and get some of the adhesive off the back too, but I was doing so many patterns, it was necessary.
Tip: Next time, I will find a larger stencil that covers more area so I don't have to keep moving it so often.
After a while . . . okay, a few weeks . . . I soon had all 14 pieces finished. I rolled a coat of clear sealer over each one and was ready to attach them.
While a nail gun would have been quick and easy . . . I knew I wanted to be able to get these off easily someday when I decided to change the pattern (and we've moved a lot, so I'm always thinking resale). I opted to screw the backs on. I predrilled the holes, sinking them so the screw head was flat against the wood. A dab of paint on each screw head covers them pretty well.
A couple before and after photos.