Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fickle Pickle.

First - sorry I have not posted.  I requested a new project at work and got it.  When I am enjoying my work, I am as obsessive about it as I am about anything else, so I have been busy!  And now, back to our previously scheduled pondering....

SO!  3 weeks or so ago I was cleaning out my studio.  I was running out of room and had a bunch of stuff I probably will never get around to using, so I had to thin the herd so-to-speak.  I came across my wool tub.  It is a 40 gallon plastic box full of roving for needle felting.  What makes it more impressive is that I have vacuum sealed each color into thin bags - that is A LOT of wool.  I looked at it and thought "I should probably get rid of most of this.  I doubt I will ever pick it up again."  I even remember wondering what I found interesting about doing it....

Fast forward a mere 7 days and VOILA!  It is all I can think about.  The bears in my head must have panicked, as they all started shoving their way to the front.  Since then I have made 4.  Plus one none bear is in the works... 

How does this happen?  Anyone??

Don't get me wrong - I am really enjoying it.  I just find it odd. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

I am itching...

Itching to do stuff!  I am sitting here, where I have to be for the next 4 hours, and just below the surface, my body is crawling with the need to get up and go!  Ever have that happen?  There are days I feel like I am 5.  That perfect age where the world is still this amazing, vast place.  Where the smoky wisps of adventure curl like vines around me and tap on my shoulder, only to disappear behind the nearest tree when I turn around.  Creativity hangs in this place, fills the air and my head with ideas, with people (human and not) that are waiting  until I am capable of channeling their likeness into some sort of media.

 I have had that feeling since I was a child, like things are eagerly babbling amongst themselves inside my head, though I am just starting to realize that.  They watch for the day when I am 'good enough' to give them a life outside of my mind.  Sometimes they are pushier - like now - and I physically feel them jostling inside me, jockeying to see where we are, where we are going, what we are doing.  (Why I am not honing...Like I said - pushy.)

The above was somewhat difficult, yet freeing, to put out into the world.  I put faces on emotions, opinions and mischievous thoughts that turn them into something I can recognize and observe and maybe even hope to understand.  And I am willing to bet that some would call that crazy, but I am also willing to bet that I am not alone.  I like that this world is opening to me more and more as I embrace and nurture it.

The urge to explain keeps burbling to the surface.  Say here that I am not crazy and this is just my artistic voicing of the processes in my head.  I would say I do not care what people think, but that is not entirely accurate.  Truthfully, it thrills me when people say I am weird.  What a wonderful, wonderful compliment!  I am not what one of my dearest friends would call 'sheeple'.  My definitions fall outside of the grayier gray of normal.  I see things differently. 
Does that sound like a bad thing?

And exploring art has sort of given me this.  What beautiful, wonderful therapy!

Have a really great day and get out there and explore your world!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back to work!

Well, I would appear the extended weekend is over.  It seems like there is always so much to do!  I bought a new computer and my photo editing software no longer works (I now have Windows 7.)  This makes taking semi-decent pictures difficult, must find an affordable solution to that problem! 

Projects long deserted on my work table are being completed.  I am starting to think I have a problem with purple.  Of the 10 unfinished projects, 3 are dark purple...  Or were.  I completed one yesterday!  I don't generally like unfinished projects, but am trying new methods in order to keep my muse more constant by making sure he is entertained...

My faerie folk are still in the same condition - no further progress so far!  Not to worry.  Just talking about them gave me an idea about how to proceed.  I love those light bulb moments! Wish they were a LOT more frequent!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lightbulb moments...

I has them!  Last night I was sculpting hands - really I have been doing that for a couple of days - but I was getting frustrated.  My hands didn't look like (insert any number of artist's names here)'s.  Duh.  Not that they didn't look like hands or even look like decent hands.  Because they did, and they were - until all the moonies showed up in the bake! 

Then it dawns on me:  Isn't that the point?  My own style??  Shouldn't that be more what I am striving for than anything else?? 


It should be. 

It is

So!  I think the rest of the week will be hands.  I do enjoy making the fingers and the exercise is designed to work on the presentation and anatomy of hands in general...  Whee!  More spooky disembodies hands....

Monday, May 24, 2010


usually find me exhausted and unfocused.  Well, maybe that is not entirely true.  They find me divided.  The back-to-work-writing-computer-code-when-my-head-is-still-working-through-sculpts keeps my left and right brains dueling.

This weekend was my mother's birthday so I spent most of my time shopping, cleaning or cooking.  I did manage a trip to Michaels to acquire some acrylics while I had a '40% off Artist Paints' coupon, only sitting down in my studio at 6:45 on Sunday evening.  Not a lot of sculpting time, but some goals were accomplished.

1)  My current heads will be finished as busts.  I know one I will attach to a candlestick I have.  My thought at this point is that it will be the female....

2) I took pictures of the before and after paint heads.  They are from my iPhone, but I did take them.

The fae before paint:

and after:

The imp sculpt before paint:

and after:

 Sorry for the rotten quality.  Will get better ones when not so crunched for time!

3) Fear didn't hold me back.  Time commitments did...

4)  I didn't even get started with the armature wire, but did sculpt some hands trying out Wendy Froud's Sculpting a Fairy video method. I will stick to individual fingers like in her second for now though when it is time to sculpt some more delicate fingers I could see this working out!  

So, 50% success in the goal realm. Enough to set some new (and much needed) ones.

This week I have to gt my photo area set up more permanently.  That requires some extension cords, but is entirely within reach.  That is my goal for this evening.... That way when it is time to take pictures, I don't have to offend our eyes with these blurry quickies!I also have a couple of doodles without heads and some heads without bodies that should be finished up to get them out of my sculpting space....

No sage advice or insight today other than to say try taking one thing from your list each day and do it, try it, whatever.  It is not so much about doing something as it is about keeping that promise to yourself.  There is a sense of victory in keeping your word to yourself each day and a distinct lack of self-admonishment. Admonishment lends itself to a sense of failure and to more unkept promises.  And that cycle is a hamster wheel best avoided!

Friday, May 21, 2010

With Good Intentions....

I sit and write this post.  Intention that I intend to act upon, despite the universe's best attempts to usurp me.  Here are my goals for this weekend:

Acquire items to build a decent armature  (this is already a bit of a cheat as I think I have most...)

Determine how to finish busts of fae creature heads I have already created (there are 2).

Complete at least one of the two aforementioned busts.

Take pictures as they are now and of the finished products.

Refuse to let fear (of what I am not exactly sure) stop me from any of the above...

I will report on all my successes Monday, which is to say, if I do not blog, then I had none!  Hahaha.....  Er, ahem.  Let's talk about something else....

If you are not signed up to receive Michaels ads/coupons in your email I suggest you do it.  This week there is a coupon for 40% all Artist Paints, Pencils and Markers beginning Sunday.   Liquitex and I are becoming friends and Michaels has begun carrying Golden Acrylics.  I will surely be spending money I do not have....  Did I mention that through Saturday, clay is on sale for $1.25/2 oz brick at my store?  Time to stock up on translucents and whites  and  maybe a fleshy or two! So they have me on both Saturday and Sunday.  That is seriously evil....

And on a serious and somewhat exploratory note:

I am overcoming my fear/dislike for  painting.  It is not cured by any means, but I am no longer fleeing my studio at the thought of  it.  And I am not holding stubbornly to the idea that my hands were only given the ability to 'paint' with chalks.  Seriously - I have held fast to that for a long time... So much so, in fact, that  I have colorized entire sculpts with it.  Archipelago (below) was sculpted from Prosculpt and colorized entirely with chalk.  I like doing it, but it is seriously difficult to find an extensive color palette....  So I will learn....

My next photo will be of something I have worked acrylics on....  HEY LOOK!  ANOTHER GOAL! 

Okay!  I hope something here has you thinking about taking on something a little outside your comfort range, because I am starting to think that maybe, just maybe, that is something I am meant to do.  It somehow feels right to say.  Have a creative and productive weekend and hopefully I will have successes to share on Monday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Productivity At Last!

Last week I spent most of my energy pulling out old landscape and putting in some new, more interesting stuff, so I was pleased last night to get up to my studio.  Okay - it is almost unbearable messy, but I can live with that for just a few days more! 

To prove that I am not just a philosophizing whiner, I created a goblin (I think) head.  He has all sorts of faults - the main one being that I blew the facial plane when I didn't make it even across the front, setting one eye farther back in his head than the other - but I did do it!  I will probably bake him, take pics and use him to practice painting.  I will also use him to gage the progress of my skill.

I have become more interested in the idea of costuming and building body armatures.  Which shows progress in my artistic curiosity since as little as a month ago I would have cringed and said "blech!" at the tediousness of that entire process.  In fact, I detest armatures.  I believe they are necessary, but they change the way I do things and I find that irritating.  I shall get over it.  And as far as costuming goes, it seems as though I should not be so scared of sewing, etc., as my mother and grandmother both are good seamstresses. Who knows!  Maybe I have a natural ability I have left untapped.  Not likely, but for now I can draw on that hope.

I told my daughter the other day that often the most successful people are not necessarily the best ones at what they do, but they consistently work harder to grow, learn, and expand their abilities.  Sort of makes it sound like it boils down to attrition, but really it is persistence and determination, eh?

I will post pics when I take them with something other than my iPhone...  Which addresses my other lack of talent - photography.  All successful artists stage their goods, the photography really setting the stage and completing the story.  So I will have to become better at taking pictures of things other than my thumb... :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May WHAT!?!

Well I have done it again.  Let another month or so slip by.  I did finish up the project that had been sitting around for the better portion of a year.  Geez Louise!

My birthday came and went.  I received two Froud sculpting dvds.  So far I am looking forward to the painting techniques.  Eventually I might get to that part, but so far my attention span has been in the 20-30 minute range...

I think I will spend some time this week going through my studio to clean out some supplies.  I know there are things I with which I will never bother, so I ought to thin them before the excess becomes so overwhelming I seal off the door.  (I have been watching too much of the TLC Hoarders show, me thinks.)

On a different but semi-related topic...

Ever know you could be really good at something if you just continuously applied yourself? If you just committed yourself to seriously studying and honing your skill, only to self sabotage and thwart your own efforts during of spurts of unbridled fear or feelings of inadequacy?  I am not sure what that is, but it is irritating.  I refer to it as ADD.  My brain hopping from one style to the next, wanting to do it all, knowing slow and steady wins the race.  Great if my brain would just run in one constant direction, instead of bouncing around from place to place, much like a highly sugar-fueled kid in the world's largest candy store!  Other times it goes numb, like a blob of unmolded, wet potter's clay.  Just an inaccessible lump of nothingness.

Why am I telling the world this?  Mostly just to purge it from my body.  To take it out and examine it, learn about it, learn from it.  Learn how to fight it, redirect it, channel it and make it work for, not against, me.  I envision this process as a room where I am constantly pressing the walls, expanding its dimensions. Secondarily, I know there are others out there that must suffer from something similar, but sit in silence, afraid of sounding, well, not normal.  To you, I say that there is no such thing as normal.  Actually, I would say that if there is such a thing as normal, it is skewed way left of where most people think it is!

Okay.  I am done throwing stuff at the proverbial wall so I can study it for the day!  I hope you are feeling happy, healthy, and creative!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Now how did this happen?  It is Friday and to be honest, it is closer to the end of Friday than the beginning.  Time is flying!  We are almost halfway through this year.  Seems like every time I look up, I have traveled a week further into the future...

Okay, this weekend will be the weekend I get that project from last weekend done.  Yep.  This is the weekend.  I hope. 

Hoppy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Retrospect On Mondays

So why is it Mondays always manage to feel like a lion trying to chew my legs off?  Like an epic life or death battle?  Not that this one was not successful!  I set goals on Friday:
1. Complete project and post pics here.
2. Work out at least twice.
3.  Not wreck workouts with bad eating.

Okay.  Now I sort of feel like maybe it was not so successful.  I DID work out twice AND we took the dogs for a 2.5 mile walk on the day I didn't.  YAY!

I did complete a few projects though not specifically the one I referenced on Friday.  Does it count that I sculpted something to help my daughter complete a school project ? (She had to create a hedgehog habitat so I sculpted 3 hedgehogs for her to use.)  I also helped her with some design ideas, though she did all the work and decided what went where, etc.  I created a collage for my husband for his St. Patrick's Day Triathlon and framed that so he could hang it in his accomplishment display.  I made an Easter sculpt and put that and another critter in my Etsy store. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/aleciaedwards)  And I finished another critter, but forgot the pics so he did not get listed.  Overall I feel like I wrapped up two things that were dangling out there 95% complete, and created (or helped create) at least two more.  Even though the original goal was not completed, I still feel like it was a victory!

Which leaves the eating. Ugh.  Was doing well Friday.  Chik-fil-a for Saturday breakfast was probably not too great on the 'best-things-to-put-in-your-piehole' list.  Got home from the grocery store to find husband had slipped Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs in the basket.  My arch nemesis, those things are.  It was ugly.  Let's just say that with help from my family - more specifically my son and husband - that bag was gone by nightfall.  Fine.  That blew it for Saturday, Sunday would be better, right?  Uh-huh.  No.  We went out to eat with my mother-in-law and had burgers and steak fries. FAIL.

I will say that I feel like I sort of managed 2 of 3.  AND I hired a trainer.  The idea is to have this person design my workouts for the month, then I carry them out.  The first week of the next month, we meet and make any necessary adjustments.  This way I maintain some sense of responsibility.  The haha of the whole thing was that we did an analysis and decided my biggest obstacle to success was my lack of accountability.  Not that I couldn't or hadn't.  That I simply need someone to admonish me for not doing it that I had no emotional connection to.  (Someone I could dislike strongly enough to prove wrong is more like it!) :P

I give myself a B for this weekend.  It feels like a B anyway!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Keeping a promise.

Okay so I really made it to myself, but that should still count.  In fact, maybe it should count more...  I don't have anything incredulous planned for the weekend.  A glimmer of hope that the sun this weekend will not be accompanied by that awful north wind we have had lately.  No sun can warm you when that mess is blowing!  I find myself wanting to finish up a sculpture I started and left off from over 6 months ago.  Funny because about 2 weeks ago I found myself wondering if I would ever want to do that sort of project again.  I suppose that is my answer.  I absolutely must hit the gym before I am allowed to start, though.  (Yet another promise I have made to myself I must keep.)

I can't be the only one that is constantly promising myself to do better, only to figure out a way to break it and blame something outside of me.  Truth is, it is my choice, my decision, my consequence.  I have to be better about not wrecking myself.  Being my own worst enemy, of sorts.

So I will work out then sculpt.  (A little voice inside my head just said - unless your friend calls and suggests you go sit on the patio and sip fruity ANYTHING.  Then we will workout later!  And smiles coyly.)  Evil.  Truly.

  1.  Pictures of finally finished project on this blog come Monday.  Deal.
  2. Work out today and and least one other day this weekend. Fine.
  3.  Afterthought goal:  Don't wreck all the working out with eating bad stuff. Ugh....

Shall we see how I do?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pardon Our Dust

I started to say pardon my dust, but really, sometimes there are more 'me's than even I care to admit.  So!  When I started out I wanted a place that I could share all of the things my cats do to make my life 'easier'.  Uh-huh.  Thing is - days go by and nothing worth noting happens.  Course there are those days when minutes can't go by without something happening....

With the encouragement of a couple of friends, I decided to actually participate in this blog and to thoroughly do that, I am widening its scope to include my ramblings on the things that generally interest, amuse or aggravate me.  We will cover the constant journey that is not only weight loss, but healthier living.  Books are a big part of my life and I have a lot to say about them apparently.... :P  Life's little mishaps and observations will undoubtedly make an appearance and you will certainly end up seeing my creations - from sculpting to decorating.  Of course I will have something to say about my zoo which includes 2 cats, 2.5 dogs, 2 kids and a spouse.  Don't tell him when I write about him.  Unless I say something nice. :P 

Come to think of it, I should have used a pseudonym....