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Christmas Floral Designs in 2015

The beginning of the Holiday season was rather busy. I was offered an opportunity to flex my floral design wings this year and I took it. A chance to make multiple Christmas floral design pieces and decorate a Christmas tree for a house on a charity house tour. I was asked to do it so I couldn’t say no. Starting in November. I designed and shopped for every room specifically according to the dimensions of the space. I designed with silk florals, feathers, twigs, and ribbons, as well as respruced a few things my client had. front hall piece on Shalavee.com

I took two tours of the house to see what my friend needed. And there was something to be designed for almost every room. 15 pieces plus a tree. I was extraordinarily nervous. Could I design the right stuff to fit each space and would it be funky/uptown enough for my client?

front doorh wreath on Shalavee.com

mantel on Shalavee.com

Her house is very beautiful and neutral and although technically I was doing Christmas floral design, she really wanted more of a winter inspired theme than Christmas.

bedroom wreath on Shalavee.com

bathroom tall cotton piece on Shalavee.com

bedroom piece on Shalavee.com

bathroon cotton piece on Shalavee.com

The tree was a collaborative effort when the client sent me a picture of what she’d seen and wanted. A very Southern sumptuous tree inspired by birds, feathers, sparkling balls, magnolia blooms, and cotton ball sprigs. The ribbon technique was also new for me and I loved it so much I used it on my tree.Southern style tree on Shalavee.com

Southern style tree closeup on Shalavee.com

Southern style tree topper on Shalavee.com

Other than the tree, my favorites pieces were the front door wreath and these little trees.

bedroom Christmas tree on Shalavee.com

bathroom Christmas tree on Shalavee.com

These were the little angels she’d already placed in the bathroom when I showed up with this little tree which worked really well with them.

bookshelf pieces on Shalavee.comAlthough the homeowner ended up not using these pieces on either side of the mantle, I was mostly pleased with their scale and design. She felt the red in them felt too Christmassy. And maybe red flocked manzilla branches are too funky for anyone but me.

bookshelf pieces on Shalavee.com

reindeer on a tray on Shalavee.com

The tour was a smashing success. The tree was a collaborative effort and was the fave of the tour. People begged to have their picture taken next to the tree. I was finally able to grab some pictures of my work today and wanted to finally show everything off “in situ”. All the designs are silks except the fresh garland door wreath and the magnolia leaves used here and there.bannister swag on Shalavee.com

Gladly, now that this is complete, I can move on to finishing my house which has been decorated in fits and spurts due to child-free time and the flu. It will all happen eventually I’m sure. Five days and counting.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Creative Process

It was Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative, in one her many wise creativity business coaching type emails, who suggested I didn’t have to be nervous about every creative job I took on. I already had a creative process but may just be unaware of. Stopped me dead.

Because knowing and believing in this process I’ve been obliviously using each time I design an event space or a decorative element, is what will lead me to self-efficacy and the feeling that I can do this again and again. And I want that more than anything right now.

So I’ve attempted to describe what I consider to be my creative process. And this is what I settled on.

  1. Cull the Concept– Comprehend the limits, scale, purpose, scope, colors, theme, mechanics, time line/schedule needs and limits.

  2. Go vision shopping – Surf Pinterest for images that feel like where I’m headed and/or go shopping to see what’s available or on trend.

  3. Download and print out pictures – Create an inspiration file or Pinterest page.

  4. Create a rough design – Based around price and availability of supplies, color, simplicity, scale, and impact, describe and claim the design parameters.

  5. Collect supplies needed. Create a mock-up or prototype if necessary.

  6. Write a timeline – Consider how much time the project will take and count back your time from installation. Write out a schedule/timeline for the work.

  7. Get to work !

    Here’s a perfect example of Inspirational pictures and their actual interpretation.  This was a jazz club themed fundraiser . That post is here .

    This inspiration picture from Pinterest…

    became this.

Red curtain and purple ceiling with stars on Shalavee.com

And this

lampshade cloche from Pinterest on Shalavee.cominspired this

lampshade centerpiece for the UU review on Shalavee.com

Since my discovery of Pinterest, my events are mostly done with this method. My 15 foot Christmas tree redesign a couple of years ago was a result of trolling for ideas online and then recreating all the bits with stuff I had at home. That post is here.

Visual people are visual. Once we see something that excites us, it’s almost as if we want to own it somehow. Whether taking a picture of it or recreating it somehow in our own materials, the artistic world is like the rolling waves of the ocean. We are racing and tagging, tripping and tumbling over visions and concepts we’ve been inspired by  from other places and sources to create our own version of the vision. So if Pinterest helps, I say yes. I also say set a timer of like 30 minutes. There’s only so much you need and then you need to get out before you start feeling overstimulated and in need of moving on with our day. Am I right?

Curious to know how you work and what your process looks like. Similarities? And this may really work for visual and not for writing. Unless a beautiful image sets you to writing madly.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Creative Exchange

Who knows how and when I fell upon Samantha Dunne’s blog Dunne With Style. I followed a paper trail most likely because she, like myself, plays with paper which she parlayed into a business offering gift wrapping packages for sale called “wrap it up”. And what blossomed from that was an opportunity Samantha saw to spread the happy contagion of gifting people via Instagram and snail mail with the Creative Exchange. Find the details here.

About her community making project created in 2014, she says,”From those that have already joined The Creative Exchange journey there have been new friendships formed, connections far greater than could have been imagined through social media, inspiration to learn and make snail mail and thank you cards, handmade gifts…. the thoughtfulness of the creative community that have connected is beyond my wildest dreams. This is what The Creative Exchange is all about.” Enough said. This is her about page picture for the project.

Samantha Dunne's Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

Let me also add that I love her thoughtful self-aware blog posts about cheering yourself on and discovering what you are besides your self-doubt. This is the same speak that I share to my readership and I think that the connections with other creatives has improved my self-opinion and awareness and consequently my self-esteem. So I truly enjoy the wisdom she shares as she forges a path before me and my fellow online hang abouts and bloggers trying to figure out what’s next. Leaders that lead us back to ourselves are priceless.

Samantha Dunne's Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

So this past Creative Exchange round I raised my hand to take part and I was chosen. I was given a random name of a person in the US (Ms. Dunne is based in Australia) and mine was given to someone, and we commenced the online stalking for inspiration. All I could discern from my gift recipient was that they loved snail mail and gift exchanges so I settled on mostly supplies to play with. I hoped that my Secret Santa would be able to tell enough about me by searching my feed. And everything needed to be in the mail by November 30th. Which in the US meant I was scrambling to pull it all together during the Thanksgiving holiday. Whew.The Creative Exchange on Shalavee.com

But I did have a bit of fun when I set my mind to the shopping and the wrapping. I picked pink and kraft as my theme and away I went just grabbing for whatever was in my bins of my craft room. What fun! I have really enjoyed giving random cards and presie packages to my Instagram tribe and I hope that this exchange will connect me with more like-minded paper lovers. I sent the package off on Black Friday so it should reach them by Monday. And I’ll be watching my post box for my goody box too.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Creativity Bootcamp Week Two

Before the Creativity Bootcamp started, I laid out an outline of what I might like to try to do during each week. Creative practices that I usually have a hard time giving myself permission to do could have an excuse now to be explored.Watercolor chair card Oct 1

The first week of the challenge, I continued on the collage theme left from my One Creative Week Challenge. Now I’m into the second week which I deemed to be my week of using pastels otherwise known as colored chalk. And I have to say that once I allowed myself to use them, I proved once again that I have talent enough to use them.I began with a half-hearted attempt to draw Fiona. And when she moved on from sitting near me, I felt the piece was incomplete. Fire fish collage and pastel on Shalavee.com

The next time I picked them up, I drew what right in front of me. Which happened to be an old collage I’d done more than 20 years ago. And I enjoyed the vibrancy of the fish on the dark paper. Took me maybe ten minutes. This one was met with such great enthusiasm in my creativity challenge group that I made two pieces today. The flowers are what is left of my week old anniversary arrangement. Gerber in purple jar pastels on Shalavee.com

owly pastel drawing on Shalavee.com

And the little owl is a statue I picked up at the thrift store that amused me. He turned out very well because of the black and white highlights. When I showed him to my husband, he asked if I’d done it freehand. I said as opposed to what. He said taking a picture and tracing it maybe. What I learned again, as I did with my collaging, is that I can put small effort into my creative endeavor and come up with something lovely and good enough in a short time. Which has me wondering what I could produce if I endeavored bigger projects.bootcamp participant badge on Shalavee.com

I think I’m making great progress on considering myself an artist. And that was the whole idea of taking on this challenge. Every challenge puts me further along in whatever skill or feeling I’m trying to master. You challenge yourself with others watching so that you will follow through. That is called accountability and that is a great thing.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Create or Die Trying

Today I gave my collaging a break. Wanted to artfully describe the frustration, the real feelings I feel when I go to create and I can’t. I wrote posts instead. And I also wanted to share the other art that’s happened so far. Let the catharsis continue. Create or die trying.Watercolor encyclopedia Butterfly on kraft card on Shalavee.com

Hands poised over the keyboard, a hovering potential of something to come in the space between. Then…The horrible screeching of toddler joined by an unskilled clarinet honk.

My nerves already frazzly. “Why is she crying” I scream.

“Put it away, it’s not a toy.”

No nap is inevitable. I’m foretelling the same tired future. More raw nerves.

Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Twitch twitch twitch.

Seems so easy to do the laundry, clean, and sometimes even cook. These can be accomplished, or interrupted, without a broken heart. No worries, the dirt doesn’t care. A mostly clean house most of the time means I’m winning. No need for inspiration and a muse, vacuum on.

But the art cares.

Tragedy is being so close to the escape of your heart, you will soon soar and disappear and then…”Mommy, I poopy!” I’m afraid my brain will seize up from the grief of stopping. I’m afraid my dashed expectations will paralyze me. Make me more angry, the fury at the helplessness. I am bloated with my fear and my potential.

I’ll just try tomorrow…when there’s time…when there’s space…when I can think…when I’m not afraid.

The creativity challenge continues as does thirty-one days straight of posts. To be continued.

travel bug collage by Shalagh Hogan on Shalavee.com

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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