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Monday, May 20, 2013

How To Use My Dolls

People seeing my dolls at art fairs often ask "What are they for?"

I guess I thought it was "so obvious" that I never spelled it out for myself, and I assumed the someone asking this wasn't sympathetic enough with the dolls or me to be a genuine buyer. I would laugh off the question with a glib answer - "Oh they're just pretties".

However increasingly I believe that I am selling myself short, and diminishing the importance and impact these "pretties" have for my true customers - the people that love my dolls - or my potential true customers. I need to be able to elucidate the answer.

So what are they for?

Well they ARE pretties, but not "just" pretties. They are decorative objects to beautify your environment and inspire loving thoughts. 
Living with beauty, living with things that give you the pleasant tingle of aesthetic appreciation, enhances your whole life.

Does food taste better from a nice plate? I know top chefs believe that to be true. Does the heft of a beautifully balanced knife make chopping easier? Does the fragrance of a lovely candle in a pretty jar add charm to your day? Will the pleasant musk or lavender of one of my Wish Doll pillows will remind you of the wish or dream that the doll itself inspired?

Aesthetic appreciation starts with the senses but then moves on to the imagination. My dolls are beautiful in different ways to each person. I have noticed that people will be drawn to one doll in particular. It reminds them of someone, or of themselves. They like the colors, or the charms.

These people, my customers, find a special meaning in the doll that starts with seeing the pretty, and then takes them into their imagination.

Some people have called their doll their "totem". Since these are not living beings, then the meaning must be "a distinctive, often venerated, emblem or symbol." (Dictionary. com).

Wow. These folks are seeing the doll as an emblem or symbol of something beautiful and good in themselves. Perhaps they are aspirational. I imbue my dolls with positive intentions, often expressed in the charms - Live, love, laugh; Friendship; Hope; Presence. I see them as representing mindfulness.

So how to use them, how to display them?

Recently I have responded to a sense that people wanted help with that, and I've been custom embellishing doll stands to match each doll. These make it easier to place the doll in a free standing situation, instead of having to lean her on the wall by the mantle, or the window frame, or - as many people report - the side of their computer by their workstation.

I encourage you to go further than simply having them in your background but to use them intentionally. Periodically consider, or even meditate on the thoughts and reasons you have for liking her, what drew you to her in the first place. The dolls don't so much have lessons for you, but hold a key to unlock you inner knowledge. So your doll can be a facilitator for your own wisdom.

Perhaps she reminds you of a family member who has a lovely saying that inspires you. Perhaps the color combinations help you spring into a delightful memory. Perhaps her motto is a goal for your life - a motivator. Perhaps she will inspire you to forgive someone, perhaps yourself.

Another way to use your doll is to inspire conversations. Your friends might see the pretty, or they might be such a kindred soul that they see the meaning in the totem.

I hope your doll brings more love, more pleasure, more mindfulness into your life.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Senses of Gratitude

Today's Creativity Blast follow along.

Sight - I see the glorious beauty of my daughter, and the colors of the roses my husband brought me for mother's day.

Hearing - I get to hear her laughter, enjoy her stories, and by the way I love listening to pod casts.

Touch - My daughter is a teenage, but she still loves hugs. How wonderful the sea breeze feels, cooling us here in this hot weather.

Smell - Oh yes those lovely roses. And I do appreciate the smell of fine food and strong coffee.

Taste - Speaking of coffee, and caramel, and sour jelly beans.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Writing Prompt - Gratitude

Creativity Blast Writing Wednesday Prompt - Opposite Day.

I keep thinking of the character in "Pollyanna", the crotchety invalid who refused to play the Glad Game. Eventually Pollyanna wore her down, by bringing her all three special treats when she usually had only one, and always complained that she would have preferred another.

Other kinds of  "opposite day" stories - Robert Downey Jr gave quite a darling, deeply ironic, acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards a couple of years ago, when he didn't have anyone to thank.

"What am I gonna do? Thank Joel Silver, the guy that's only restarted my career about 12 times since I began it 25 years ago?"

 So anyway, here's a short, short story.

Mitzi refuses to be grateful.

It was a luscious morning. But Mitzi just blinked slowly at the clear, blue sky and sniffed. She wasn't grateful.

She didn't have to make her own breakfast. She never had to prepare any of her own meals. But she wasn't grateful. She didn't offer thanks. She ate and left to go about her day, leaving her smeared plate behind.

Mitzi could choose what ever she wanted to do, but she preferred idleness. She embraced her ennui. Sometimes it was all she do to sit and stare out the window. People went by, she yawned. Birds zipped in and out of the shrubs by the driveway. Pesky little things. Annoying. But outside, on the other side of the glass. Someone walked a dog. Mitzi watched with deep suspicion. Dogs left messes.

Mitzi's energetic roommate wants attention. It's a one way conversation. Mitzi feels imposed upon, so of course she isn't grateful, and soon the roommate gives up.

But when Mitzi wants entertainment, she can be quite insistent. Other people have to stop whatever trivial activity they are doing, and attend to the princess.

Time for another meal now, since it's dark. Another soft bed. Mitzi believes it's entirely her due, so why be grateful?

Mitzi, of course, is a cat.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Creativty Blast Follow Along

This week the theme is "Gratitude". I'm going to follow along with the exercises that I include in my twitter stream. #creativityblast.

Today is #TryItTuesday

 "Print a gratitude list in multiple fonts/colors to create your own poster"

I used my Serif Page Plus program to make these - fast and fun. Same words. Different colors.

Please Retweet, please Pin, and please let me know if you are following along.

Book plates collage sheet

Hope you have all started following my Creativity Blast Blog and Twitter. Meanwhile here is another collage sheet - of bookplates made from some of my collage images.


Have you ever been to a used bookstore and found a book with an old bookplate in the front? I always feel like they are more interesting, and somehow must have been more beloved. Any time you share bookcases, like when you have a roommate, it's helpful to label your books. These are just more fun than writing your name in pen. Click on the Buy Now button to use PayPal at my secure site.

Please Pin!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Collage Sheet Tags

Here are some gift tags, made so easily and quickly from the Serenity From Asia Collage Sheet. I made some with ordinary manilla mailing tags, and the other two from some chipboard tags I had leftover from another project.

All I did was combine the trimmed images with some origami rice papers, a few assorted embellishments, sentiment stickers, and a stamped journal tag on cream colored paper for the "who to" message on the back. Then I added some colored twine and buttons. Oh and inking the sanded edges, like always.

I don't know who will get these pretties, but using similar twines and the origami papers unifies them very nicely. I love making tags that are sturdy enough to become holiday decor after the gifts are opened.

As usual I used my ScraPerfect products throughout - Best Glue Ever for all the adhering, Perfect Crafting Pouch (to dry inks fast) and the Embellie Gellie tool to place those Dew Drops.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Skull and Bones Vintage Black and White Images collage sheet

This collage sheet may be my favorite. I can hardly wait to use these images on my Halloween related stuff, like tags for goodie bags and a decorative banner. Remember my dd, Jayn, has her birthday around the same time.

Click on the Buy Now button to go to a secure site and buy via PayPal for your download of the letter size sheet, without the water mark of course. 

Stay tuned for projects and ideas using the collage sheet soon.

Please Pin! 

Nerves and Cells Vintage Images Collage Sheet in Black and White.


I almost called this sheet "I'd hate to have your nerve in a tooth" but since the nerves are from the ear, that seemed wrong somehow. Have a fun time making mixed media collages, decoupaged items, or cards and tags with these vintage images from a very old anatomical dictionary. 

Click on the Buy Now button to download the letter sized sheet, paying via PayPal at my secure site. The watermark will not be there, naturally.

Stay tuned for project ideas coming soon.

Please Pin!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lend a Hand Vintage Images in B&W Collage Sheet

Thus sheet of very old black and white pen and ink anatomical illustrations from a medical dictionary are waiting to be used in your collages, decoupage, mixed media and paper crafting. The text makes a great textural background. 

Click on the Buy Now button to download from a secure site with PayPal. Your letter size image won't have the water mark of course.

Stay tuned for ideas and projects using the collage sheets.

Please Pin!

Have a Heart Vintage Images Collage Sheet in Black and White

I love these amazing pen and ink images of hearts from a very old medical dictionary. Click on the Buy Now button to go to a secure site and buy with PayPal. Of course your download will not include the watermark, and you can print as you like, and use the images for paper crafting, decoupage, cards, and mixed media. 

Stay tuned for some project ideas.

Please Pin!

Game is Afoot Vintage Image collage sheet in Black and White


I love these ink illustrations, with the ghost of text from the following page to add texture and interest. Stay tuned for some crafty projects using these collage sheets for inspiration.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Serenity from Asia collage sheet


Here is the last collage sheet for the time being, featuring men and deities with sweet faces. You can use them for collages, art cards, greeting cards, home decor, mixed media and decoupage. 

Click on Buy Now to pay via PayPal and download the letter size sheet to print as you wish. Stay tuned for ideas and projects using the collage sheets.

Please Pin!

Images of Japan collage sheet


Here are some more very interesting images from antique Japanese prints. Some of these are from old illustrations of Japanese fairy tales. The calligraphy is gorgeous too.

Click the Buy Now button to buy from a secure site via Pay Pal. You will receive a letter sized download, free of the watermark, to print for your paper crafting, collage, ACEOs, decoupage, tags or cards. What fun these are!
Stay tuned for project ideas and images very soon.

Please Pin!

Dreams of Asia Collage Sheet includes calligraphy.


I love these elegant images, details of Asian antiques. They can be used for collage, mixed media, scrapbooking, paper craft, or even transferred on to fabric for home decor items.

Click on the Buy Now button to go to the secure site and buy with PayPal. You will receive a letter sized sheet, without the watermark to print as you need. Stay tuned for ideas and projects using my collage sheets.

Please Pin!

Clouds and Butterflies gorgeous collage sheet


I love these characters and images from antique Japanese prints, and other Asian fine art. They are ready to be used in collage, decoupage, and card making. 
Click on the button to buy from a secure site with PayPal, and receive a letter sized sheet for download, without the watermark of course. Stay tuned for project ideas and inspiration.

Please Pin!

Bookshelf Mix Collage Sheet for your paper crafting pleasure


Click on the Buy Now button to purchase with PayPal and download from a secure site. Only $1.99 to download a letter sized sheet without the watermark, then print as many as you need for collages, bookplates, cards, decoupage, mixed media art. Stay tuned for some inspirational artworks using the collage sheet!

Please Pin!