Thursday, January 19, 2017

Paper Owl Artists - 2017 Part 1 - Word(s) for the Year

2016 was not a good year for blogging.  I was busy with work and family.  Creatively, both Jeff and I were quite productive, making cards and paper collages, and participaing in local bi-monthly Maker Meets.  We did quite well with our cards and are starting to build a small following of event attendees.

2017 is looking to be a better year for blogging and productivity.  Why?  Mostly because I hope to have more time to write and be creative.  I retired from the traditional workforce in December and am now watching my infant grandson throughout 2017.  He's 4 months old right now, young enough to nap a couple of times during the day during which I get some writing done.  First though, I needed to get clear on my desires and goals for the year. 

Jeff is good at focusing, practicing new skills, and giving himself permission to be pleased with the cards and journals he creates and to put aside the ones he's not pleased with.  I'm what can be referred to as  dilettante, someone who has an interest in many things but is a master at none.  I love to write.  I also love to make handmade greeting cards and paper collages.  And, I love to penpal with people around the world.  But I have a hard time making decisions, staying focused on a goal.

I have an even more difficult time with being a perfectionist and believing that even when I am learnig something new, I should be able to do perfectly the first time out the gate.  So the word I chose as my word for 2017 is PRACTICE, the idea being to allow myself to practice at what I want to excel at.  These days it's learning to master a particular watercoloring cardmaking technique.

And, I need to let go of my need to be perfect and the anxiety, frustration, and negative self-talk that so often accompanies my failed outcomes.  I need to stay calm and remember I'm in learning and practice mode.

I remember about 15 years ago, I was cleaning out my craft area and came across a box of holiday cards.  I remtember saying to myself the cards were beautiful, all beautifully stamped, colored, and embossed with glittery snowflake embossing powder.  Imagin my surprise when I realized these were cards I had made the year prior.  I was shocked!  So what happened to that artist?  Where has she gone?  If I could create back then, then certainly I can create now.

Yes, practice will make perfect in 2017, with calm and allowance for imperfection to lead the way.  I have no excuses other than laziness and fear. 

Why do I tell you this?  Because I wonder if you've set a word for yourself for 2017.  If so, what is it?  How do you remember it?  How are you living it?  And if you don't have a word for 2017, perhaps this is something you'd like to create.  I had many I could choose from - practice, connect, imperfection, acceptance, to name a few.  I'll probably talk about these in future blog postings because they all connect in the bigger picture.  For now though, Practice is a good place for me to start.

Collaborative Collage - All Hands On Deck!

I paper collage, alot.  I like creating collages and  I like looking at them.  One method of collaging is "collaborative collage".   In this method of collage, two collagists or more work on one shared piece, each individual adding his/her elements to the piece when they receive it.

Recently, I did a collaborative collage with Bryan David Campbell.  It was quite alot of fun.  He started the collage, made on a small piece of wood:

and I finished it:

It was great fun.  This one went to him.  I'm starting a new one for us to do which he will finish and return to me.  Anyone up to the challenge?  If so, contact me at