Week 1: “Breathe”

Breathing has been a process today. Three meetings, staying off social to stay focused to get things done on current projects. Today was video editing, mostly as part of the last workaround I’ll need to do for Patreon, though not mine this time.

Having had breathing issues in the past – a misdiagnosed pulmonary embolism for a year and a half – I am grateful and humbled by every breath I’m gifted. When I’m stressed, I actually find myself holding my breath, so I try to be mindful of the simple in and out.

Between now and next Thursday, post your interpretation of the word “Breathe” in whatever manner or medium you are inspired to use. I’ll be posting mine tomorrow. Hashtag it #positivityplague so we can connect and others can join in.

Thank you for being here, looking forward to seeing the power of Breathe through your eyes!

Guidelines for #ThePowerofaWord project can be found here:
http://www.renmeleon.com/projects/the-power-of-a-word/

The Power of a Word

Welcome to 2019! This is the first year that I’ve not had a problem remembering to write the new year vs the old. I’m not completely shocked, though, as 2018 was such an “interesting” year.

Last September, I launched my Patreon. I dove in headfirst. Womaned-up and filmed a quick video outside Third Street Cafe in Lexington, traffic noise and all, and have been so blessed. One of my first endeavors was Coffee & Journal, a series letting my followers in behind the scenes of my morning journaling routine.

Hit a few hurdles, but kept moving forward. I learned to compose music on the Launchpad app, eventually acquired new tech with the help of my patrons, and streamlined my mornings. There are 24 videos currently, that I will eventually add to, but I’m shifting things back to my personal process for now till I’ve got the editing software for my desktop PC. I’ll continue to post photos on my Instagram.

Starting today, I will be posting a word of positivity here every Friday. I’m doing it here so anyone can participate without having to signup on Patreon. Playing along is a very simple way to express your own style of creativity. 

On Patreon, every Saturday, I will post my own exploration of the weekly word. It could be photos or a video, a journal page, a zine, whatever I’m inspired to do.

Am I shooting myself in the foot by not running it on Patreon? But you could bring more people to your Patreon, maybe they’ll donate…that’s not why I’m doing this. 

I’m doing this for her.

The world my daughter is growing up in, about to turn 18 in, scares the crap out of me. It’s my job and legacy to help add more beauty to her world, spread love like a plague, and teach her kindness and compassion by supportping and encouraging the good people who are lost in it.

There’s only two rules:

1. Whatever you create has to include that week’s word. It can be any medium. Sculpt, dad, sew, carve, paint, draw, arrange, animate, scribble, journal, cook, bake…

2. Whatever you create has to be put out into the world for someone else to find and pass on or keep, whether it is the creation itself or an image of it.

To my followers:

I hope that you will lead the charge in spreading a little more positive energy in your part of the world. It might not seem like much, but to someone else it might be a well-timed miracle. It means there’s one more person in the world that actually cares.

For example…Write the word on a leaf or a bunch of leaves and scatter them around. Write the word on a post-it note and leave it in a public place. Make art cards or tiny canvases with little notes saying “Find Me Keep Me” and that week’s word. Write it in the sand, paint it on a rock, make it out of leaves and twigs in the middle of the woods. Write it, carve it, or paint it and leave it in a Geocache. Bake cookies or a cake and write it on top. Whatever it takes (legally) to leave your mark.

When you post photos, please tag it with #positivityplague (without the year as I want this to be ongoing). Share photos in the comments, share the link when I post it, tag me so I can show her we are powerful and can change the world with one little ripple at a time.

Thank you, as always, for being here and joining me on this path of creative joy.

2011 Diary Project

I have been so preoccupied with work and the Colorado trip that I’ve not been very creative for the last couple of weeks. The first book for Dragonfly Press Publishing is going up tomorrow, a client site is going live this week, and I start on two other client sites before the weekend. Getting in under the wire, I found out about the 2011 Diary Project.

Run by Lucy, I have reserved a “positive message” page. The page will be in three languages – English, French, and Spanish – and I am lettering it by hand. At only 3 inches wide by 8 inches tall it should be fun and I already have a few ideas running around in my head. The rest of the house is asleep so I am going to sit up in bed for a few minutes tonight and sketch where it is quiet.

As of right now, there is one page left up for grabs if you are an artist and would like to reserve it. Click the image below for more information.

Diary 2011/></a></center><a href=

The grayscale above is the one that will appear in the Diary, the color version is below…



Messy love

During the course of my daughter’s art lessons I have had the opportunity to paint again. Though only for an hour, it was nice to have the paint under my nails and up to my knuckles; a lovely, creative mess.

I have been so busy between work, finding work, homeschooling and life (college and everything else) that I haven’t had any urge to do anything creative. I sit up in bed at night and write a couple pages on my novel (read 2am) before finally turning off the light, but I’ve not really been able to dig in and get messy in a while.

A dear friend of mine in India is sending me the text I need to complete this one, as well as an assemblage I am entering into a competition (more later on that).

This one consists of lots of glue, a vintage map of India (since he is an Indian ellie), tissue paper for wonderfully wrinkly skin, and acrylic paint as well as pen and ink. Sharpies work well at times, but my tool of choice is my black Pentel Energel .5mm gel pen.

As soon as the package arrives from India I will complete it and post an update with more photos. I plan to look into making prints of her as well as greeting cards though that will depend on funding. The original may go up on eBay, not sure yet as we are all kind of attached to her.

For now she stands silent on her easel in the corner, waiting, Unrecumbent.

Art Book Fundraiser for Sophia Tavolacci

UPDATE 1117.09: After some consideration, I am extending the deadline to November 30th for submissions. I got an email from Sophia’s mother earlier today and she said that she had gotten a positive response for the project.

Sophia isn’t giving up. Neither am I.

We did not get the number of submissions I had hoped for, too few for a large book. Many thanks to those creatives who have sent in work so far. Please help me spread the word. We need more creatives!

– – –

My girlfriend Julee forwarded information to me about this precious little girl because I run Art for Cures. As a mother, my own little girl is 8, I cannot imagine what Sophia’s mother is going through. Please help in any way that you can…sophia

YOU KEEP THE RIGHTS TO YOUR WORK. ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE CREDITED. 90% OF THE PROCEEDS GO TO SOPHIA’S FAMILY. 10% GOES TO THE APLASTIC ANEMIA & MDS FOUNDATION. THIS IS FOR AN ART BOOK FUNDRAISER ON BLURB. NO MONEY REQUIRED, JUST DONATE ONE HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE, ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY (specs below). THANK YOU!

Sophia Tavolacci is 2 ½ yrs old and was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/photos

This is a rare life threatening disease. Her mother is leading fundraising efforts toward the only option to save her life. Her mother would have to have a special procedure to have an HLA identical sibling so that Sophia can get a bone marrow transplant from her sibling. This procedure will save her life. Insurance covers a little but not everything, so they need a LOT of help. See comment below for links to more information on Aplastic Anemia and the procedure.

Please support this family and come out to her fundraiser this Sunday the 8th if you are local to them in Woodside, NY; details on their site. You can read her story and find more information here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/mystory

Every little bit helps! If you cannot donate financially, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you can donate the proceeds of an original piece of artwork or something in your Etsy shop, etc that you could sell on her behalf it would help. They really need this! I know times are tough, they are for all of us, but imagine if this were someone you loved. How important would it be to you to help?

THE ART BOOK

One image is all it takes.
DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30th

I am using the 10″x8″ standard landscape template on Blurb, here are the specs if you need them…

@ 300dpi = optimal image size is 2888px x 2475px

I will make your images work but minimum 300dpi is requested for them to look good and work well.

I have the Blurb software which is plug-in-and-go easy so we can do this fast and help them raise money. Please please please email me directly at renmeleon@gmail.com and include one high resolution image (no need to crop, I will) with your name as you would like it to appear and one link or your email for credit. By submitting your artwork you are giving me permission as Art for Cures to use the image in all promotional aspects for fundraising for this family and to help sell the book.

If the image is not appropriate for the book I will contact you to find a replacement. I am reserving the right to decline submissions if they are inappropriate.

All proceeds will go directly to Sophia’s family via Art for Cures and you will get credit for your work, mentions in the book and on the site(s), etc. You retain all rights to your work. Please help.

Any positive images that represent love, hope, compassion, caring, mother and female child, angels…keep it light, happy, hopeful. If you would like to send loving thoughts to them directly please check out Sophia’s mother’s journal on the site above.

ADDENDUM: I am looking for someone that would be willing to purchase a copy of the final book for Sophia’s mother. I am not getting anything out of this monetarily, and probably won’t even be able to buy my own copy, so I need someone willing to step up and help with a copy for Sophia’s mother. If you would like to help, please email me. I will include you in the thank yous on my site(s).

Thank you!

UPDATE 1105.09: Spoke to a representative of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation today. As a “personal fundraiser” they are not allowed to help publicize things BUT I suggested we could make a donation and their rep said donating 10% to AAMDS would get the project on their site. WOOT The other 90% goes to Sophia’s family; I spoke to Sophia’s mom and they are excited at the possibilities…

Now we just have to fill the book up so COME DONATE IMAGES!

And the official name of the project is now “Hope: The Sophia Project”.

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

Catch up, breathe deeply

After what seems like forever, I am finally getting caught up. Most of last year was spent with one or all of us bed or house ridden, one passing it on to the other as is the way of things in homes with children. There have been a lot of people disappointed in me, a lot of people who knew me and understood, and still more who have been supportive beyond the call of friendship. I think all of us have dealt with snowballs at least once in our lives and but this one created an avalanche. I’ve not given up though and things are getting better each day. I am moving forward.

LITTLE BITS OF WISDOM
A few of the many things I have picked up along the way, that I try to instill in my daughter, have been active in my life lately…

  • You should always be “straight up” with people. Be honest. Whether they will understand or not, your conscience is clear and you’ve done the right thing.
  • Pick your battles. Do what you can to the best of your ability and honor others as well as yourself. Help as much as you can but know when to say no.
  • If it is worthwhile dream, don’t give up.
  • When everything is a priority remember that family comes first. When it is hard to label what is the top priority in a pile of pressing deadlines, always pick the one that will give you the most trouble.
  • Breathe. There is always time to take a moment, close your eyes, and just breathe.

COMPLETELY ENTHRALLED

I own an HP laptop and frequently receives updates from HP including their Personal Again campaign that features some incredibly well-done and creatively inspiring videos. Recently I found Paulo Coehlo’s The Experimental Witch competition that led me, breadcrumbs in hand, to his Alchemist site on HP.

The guitar music that plays on the site has me completely in thrall. I am hooked on it, sometimes leaving the browser window up in the background to listen to it while I write or work. I don’t know that he will actually see it, but I sent him an email on his MySpace requesting the name of the piece or the guitarist and thanking him for his contributions to the creative community. Admittedly I do not own personal copies of his books yet but hope to soon. His stories are wonderfully rich and I look forward to reading more.

PUBLISHED RECENTLY

I have been so busy on this end that I’ve not had the chance to tell you all about some wonderful things that happened recently!

100 Days of Monsters. My family and I found Daily Monster, Stefan Bucher’s absolutely addictive video blog, and have been glued to it ever since. We crank the volume up so we can enjoy the sounds of his pens as they glide quickly across the paper. It is fascinating to watch what each seed of ink will become, even he doesn’t know till he does it which makes for a wonderful mystery. Stefan asked people to post little stories about his monsters, what we thought they were doing, who they were, and the madness began. Everyone got involved and the stories rolled in. Incredibly funny stories, emotional stories, off the wall weirdness, and all of them great fun to read. Well, he made a book with a DVD. All of his videos for the first 100 monsters and then some are included. And two of my stories made it into the book. So pick up a copy and read about “Reggie” and “Herman”, monsters 91 and 95. They will be very happy that you did. And if you do, please post a reply here and tell me what you think. I hope you like them both.

Thank you Stefan for your inspiration and your kindness!

Never Forgotten. I am a member of the ZNE network and was able to contribute to a book project for one of its members who recently lost her mother. I encourage everyone to take a look at the book and purchase one for yourself or for a loved one who may need some support or encouragement. I do not received any kind of compensation and am even purchasing my own copy so this is not a sales pitch. My piece is Essence & Longing and is included under the “Healing: The Beauty of the Soul” section in the book. If you do buy a copy, remember to post here and tell me what you think.

BACK IN SCHOOL

Started back to college week before last, totally online, and love it. Wish I could have done it sooner. They have the same accreditation as the local university but without worrying about scheduling, gas prices, or the wear and tear on my vehicle. Val has been in since August, he’s on the Dean’s list, (WOOT You go baby!) and I should be there soon as well. I am working on my BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Digital Design which, mostly, is the degree for what I have already been doing for the last 22 years. I have been wanting to finish school though, needed the piece of paper, and wanted to get all of the new software so here I am. I really enjoy the interface, the structure, the whole layout of AIU. And, yes, it takes a lot of discipline. But I will have my degree in 13 months, not four years, and there is something incredibly motivating about that. When I graduate in July of next year, if not sooner, I will be working on my Masters in Education there or finding a school where I can complete my Architectural Design degree. Yup, there is the secret to my handwriting, I was an Architectural Design major previously.

TED TALKS

“Who is this Ted person anyway…” you say? Don’t worry, I said that too. During my Visual Literacy class I was linked to a TED Talk by John Maeda. An incredibly brilliant, very funny man. Maeda spoke of simplicity, applying it to design and everyday life which is something I think we all need to look at. If you get a chance to watch the video, do, it is well worth the time. I have also found the TED Talks to be a fantastic resource. I think one of my favorites so far though has to be J.J.Abrams talking about the “mystery box” and writing.

A NEW SITE FOR ART FOR CURES

Art for Cures has been in need of a site for a while and, though I had started building one, my life and health conspired to keep me from it. After seeing a few site on the Ning network, seeing the resources available and the network’s framework, I decided to build us a home there. Art for Cures is now part of the Ning network and we already have several members there. Looking forward to posting the auctions in the next week and moving forward!

SCRIBBLES, DOODLES, AND SQUIBBLES

We like to hang out in the local bookstores on occasion (read we live there) and I am always on the lookout for new things fir Ysa and I to play with. Not seeing anything I could afford to get this week, or that we didn’t already have, I picked up another Kumon book for Ysa’s homeschool. Ysa and I rummaged around the children’s section a bit and a book accosted me on the way out. Well, it didn’t actually accost me per se, but I am very visual and certain things tend to jump out at me on shelves. In fact when I worked for the bookstores (both BAM and the Noble Barn), I was the one people always came to when they couldn’t remember the name of something. Nine time out of ten I would know it by what the spine or cover looked like and sometimes the “look” of the author’s name.

This time, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was coming home with us.

Scribbles by Taro Gomi is part of a three book series (might be a series, should be) and all three seriously ROCK. The books are almost two inches thick and full of half drawn doodles that you have to finish. It is total creative license, total interpretation, total fun.

…and yes, for those who recognized the name, Taro Gomi also wrote Everyone Poops. hehe

BEING ANACHRONISTIC AGAIN

I’ve rejoined the SCA after a long hiatus and have brought my family with me this time. Val is going Art/Sci, Logan is going heavy weapons, and even my girl is considering it as well since they start youth combat at age seven. She already makes a great shield wall, ran over the last guy. Val has been working on his own medieval chant notation, Logan is making chaine maille again and I have been pouring through patterns and buying fabric in preparation for garb making. It has been way too long since I have been camping so I am really looking forward to it.

Oh, I was also given the honor of being the Shire’s new Web Minister (or Mistress in this case).

My new tagline?

Ana Maria Seaton
ska Ginuivive Alysabaeth Rosewood (Dragonfly or Alysa)
Shire of Amurgorod, Kingdom of Trimaris
“The Dragonfly caught in the Spidered Web.”

Web site for the Shire coming very soon. VIVAT TRIMARIS!

SCRIPTFRENZY

ScriptFrenzy is this month, brought to you by the makers of NaNoWriMo. I toyed with the idea of working on a script I have had in my head for a while now but my time will not allow it. Also, anytime I even consider working on another writing project, my two novels – Moonlight & Shadow and Odonatia – beat me over the head and throw tantrums on the floor begging for attention. My children’s book, Clementine’s Garden, can get away with it though. They don’t beat her up because she is too cute.

WAIT, YOU SAID…ODONATIA!?

Yes I did, you heard me right. Odonatia is fast becoming a novel. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Odonatia is a fiction project I have been working on for about 10 years now. Started as a simple postal issuing authority for artistamps (faux postage), it quickly snowballed (read avalanched) into an epic piece of fiction with real passports, a winery and other goodies coming. Turning very steampunkish. Plans include a daily blog form the island, downloads and other goodies. Looking at a couple of other creative associates that might get involved as well in the future.

ON THE HUSH HUSH

Two major projects going on, one involving my rubber stamp line that is forthcoming, are building up speed and about to take off. Sadly though, and yes I know I am a tease, both are on the “hush hush” right now till I get the okay. I know, stop pouting, I’ll post here as soon as I get the green light. Needless to say both are of incredible proportion and I cannot wait to tell you all.

…well, that is all I can think of for now. (aren’t you glad? hehe) I will be posting scans, photos and a few updates today and over the next couple of days. This week has been a busy one so I have been trying to stay focused and push forward. Hoping this finds you all well and in good creative spirits!

Brightest blessings!

Making a French Corkboard

One of my projects for Christmas was to give my daughter’s room a pink makeover into a more mature room for her. She is six and a half going on 40 and has long since outgrown her makeshift toddler room. I scoured all the local places for a French-style corkboard for months prior to Christmas without any luck. Most people looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to describe it, so I set out to make my own! Sadly, I wasn’t able to carve out any time to make it until this past Wednesday when she spent the night at my mother’s. She’s seen it and we cannot wait to put it up on her wall.

I made this before New Year’s and, up till I had to stop for the buttons, it took me roughly two hours to do. It would have been done in an hour if I’d had a power stapler and the buttons. LOL

You can find all of the photos for this project in order here.

DSC00001

DSC00015

MATERIALS

  • corkboard – the size of this will determine the rest
  • fabric – single layer, enough to cover the corkboard plus three inches to the width and length, thin cotton works best but you can use any thin, tight weave fabric
  • quilt batting – the inexpensive kind if fine, low loft is easiest to work with
  • grosgrain ribbon in two sizes – 1/4 inch for across the board, 3/4 inch to cover the sides or you can use a feather boa for a more stylish, girly look; you will need to measure your board
  • upholstery tacks OR lots of big buttons if the corkboard is thin – use thick plastic buttons or metal ones if you can find them for contrast
  • staple gun – I suggest a battery powered one to spare your hands
  • large needle and thread – waxed thread is great, but make sure the needles and the thread will go through your button holes
  • Elmer’s glue or PVA and a paint brush
  • brown kraft paper or decorative paper for cover the entire back of your corkboard
  • fuse-able web (thermal bond) and an iron

THE BATTING

Staple the batting to the corkboard on the sides making sure to pull it tight across the board. Do not worry about the look of the staples all over your board, you will cover the staples later. Corner the batting so that you can wrap the corners only, like you would wrap a package, and staple it around back.

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Trim the batting so that it does not wrap to the back except where you have stapled it at the corners.

THE FABRIC

Repeat the process with the fabric. Make sure the quilt batting is flat underneath your edges; smooth the batting as you go. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight.

This is where it is important to use a tight weave fabric. If your weave is loose it will pull free form the staples and you will also be able to see the batting underneath.

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Again, wrap the corners like you would a package making sure to cover the batting.

THE RIBBONS

Lay one layer of ribbons in one direction then repeat the process in the other direction. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight. Staple one end then pull it gently across to the other side. The fabric might buckle a little so loosen up slightly before stapling the other end in place.

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Ribbon done

UPHOLSTERY TACKS OR HOW-TO GET AROUND A DILEMMA

Ok, the corkboard I found was inexpensive so it had a thin cardboard backing on it. The dilemma was the fact that I couldn’t bend over the upholstery tacks without ripping through it. I picked Logan’s brain for a solution and he came up with a fabulous one: Buttons!

[The following is in theory as I won’t be doing this till this weekend. ]

Large metal or, in this case, pink plastic ones. A large needle, a thimble and some gloves to protect your hands.

Poke a hole through your board with either the upholstery tack (like I did), an awl or your needle. Poke your holes first. Thread your needle and run it through one button on the front, through the corkboard, and through ANOTHER button on the back. Sew the buttons on through each other and pull them down tight enough to poof the fabric and batting on the front. Tie off on the back leaving about four inches of thread. Wrap the loose thread around the button then stitch it through a hole or another thread on the button before trimming to secure it. Repeat the process through all the places where the ribbon crosses itself on the front.

The button ribbon anchors will make more sense once I have posted the visual. I will add the rest of this after I’m able to get the buttons and finish it! More very soon.

COVERING THE BACK

Once the buttons are in place you can work on making it pretty by covering all those staples up!

Using double-sided adhesive for bookbinding, regular double stick tape, or upholstery tape, tack down the fabric edges. You have already trimmed the batting by this point so it won’t be in your way. Make sure to smooth your fabric out as you go so you don’t have ripples under the paper.

Take a paint brush and some Elmer’s glue, or PVA if you have it, and glue the kraft paper down over the back of your board. This hides all your unsightly staples and the fabric edges.

COVERING THE SIDES

Cut a length of fuse-able web (thermal bond) the length of one side; you can do this one side at a time or all in one length of ribbon. If you do this in . Take the wider ribbon and iron it into place on the side of the board using the fuse-able web in between the ribbon and the board. Repeat for each side.

Making a French Corkboard

One of my projects for Christmas was to give my daughter’s room a pink makeover into a more mature room for her. She is six and a half going on 40 and has long since outgrown her makeshift toddler room. I scoured all the local places for a French-style corkboard for months prior to Christmas without any luck. Most people looked at me like I was crazy when I tried to describe it, so I set out to make my own! Sadly, I wasn’t able to carve out any time to make it until this past Wednesday when she spent the night at my mother’s. She’s seen it and we cannot wait to put it up on her wall.

I made this before New Year’s and, up till I had to stop for the buttons, it took me roughly two hours to do. It would have been done in an hour if I’d had a power stapler and the buttons. LOL

You can find all of the photos for this project in order here.

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MATERIALS

  • corkboard – the size of this will determine the rest
  • fabric – single layer, enough to cover the corkboard plus three inches to the width and length, thin cotton works best but you can use any thin, tight weave fabric
  • quilt batting – the inexpensive kind if fine, low loft is easiest to work with
  • grosgrain ribbon in two sizes – 1/4 inch for across the board, 3/4 inch to cover the sides or you can use a feather boa for a more stylish, girly look; you will need to measure your board
  • upholstery tacks OR lots of big buttons if the corkboard is thin – use thick plastic buttons or metal ones if you can find them for contrast
  • staple gun – I suggest a battery powered one to spare your hands
  • large needle and thread – waxed thread is great, but make sure the needles and the thread will go through your button holes
  • Elmer’s glue or PVA and a paint brush
  • brown kraft paper or decorative paper for cover the entire back of your corkboard
  • fuse-able web (thermal bond) and an iron

THE BATTING

Staple the batting to the corkboard on the sides making sure to pull it tight across the board. Do not worry about the look of the staples all over your board, you will cover the staples later. Corner the batting so that you can wrap the corners only, like you would wrap a package, and staple it around back.

DSC00005

DSC00007

Trim the batting so that it does not wrap to the back except where you have stapled it at the corners.

THE FABRIC

Repeat the process with the fabric. Make sure the quilt batting is flat underneath your edges; smooth the batting as you go. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight.

This is where it is important to use a tight weave fabric. If your weave is loose it will pull free form the staples and you will also be able to see the batting underneath.

DSC00018

DSC00023

Again, wrap the corners like you would a package making sure to cover the batting.

THE RIBBONS

Lay one layer of ribbons in one direction then repeat the process in the other direction. Staple on the sides and the back to keep it tight. Staple one end then pull it gently across to the other side. The fabric might buckle a little so loosen up slightly before stapling the other end in place.

DSC00033

DSC00032

Ribbon done

UPHOLSTERY TACKS OR HOW-TO GET AROUND A DILEMMA

Ok, the corkboard I found was inexpensive so it had a thin cardboard backing on it. The dilemma was the fact that I couldn’t bend over the upholstery tacks without ripping through it. I picked Logan’s brain for a solution and he came up with a fabulous one: Buttons!

[The following is in theory as I won’t be doing this till this weekend. ]

Large metal or, in this case, pink plastic ones. A large needle, a thimble and some gloves to protect your hands.

Poke a hole through your board with either the upholstery tack (like I did), an awl or your needle. Poke your holes first. Thread your needle and run it through one button on the front, through the corkboard, and through ANOTHER button on the back. Sew the buttons on through each other and pull them down tight enough to poof the fabric and batting on the front. Tie off on the back leaving about four inches of thread. Wrap the loose thread around the button then stitch it through a hole or another thread on the button before trimming to secure it. Repeat the process through all the places where the ribbon crosses itself on the front.

The button ribbon anchors will make more sense once I have posted the visual. I will add the rest of this after I’m able to get the buttons and finish it! More very soon.

COVERING THE BACK

Once the buttons are in place you can work on making it pretty by covering all those staples up!

Using double-sided adhesive for bookbinding, regular double stick tape, or upholstery tape, tack down the fabric edges. You have already trimmed the batting by this point so it won’t be in your way. Make sure to smooth your fabric out as you go so you don’t have ripples under the paper.

Take a paint brush and some Elmer’s glue, or PVA if you have it, and glue the kraft paper down over the back of your board. This hides all your unsightly staples and the fabric edges.

COVERING THE SIDES

Cut a length of fuse-able web (thermal bond) the length of one side; you can do this one side at a time or all in one length of ribbon. If you do this in . Take the wider ribbon and iron it into place on the side of the board using the fuse-able web in between the ribbon and the board. Repeat for each side.