Pikes Place Market Experience

We took a few hours off today and to visit the famous Pike Place Market. We had a great time. I have seen it in pictures and in movies but you really need to see it in person to get the full experience. The smells are wonderful!

We had lunch at Beecher's - the best macoroni & cheese on the planet!! Made with fresh cheese they make on the premises.

We followed that with shopping and investigating all the shops. We found a kitchen shop that was filled with Fiesta Ware (both of us collect it). They had many pieces we had never seen before. We also had to stop at Starbucks #1 opened in 1971. Could they have ever known!

The fresh produce market was picture perfect. It was wonderful to see such beautiful fresh fruit in December!

Ummm, my entire post has been mostly about food. What can I say - it is a market! We had a great time and I am so glad I got to see it!

My plans changed and I am staying on until Saturday. There is a Psych-K training that I just found out about and I signed up this morning. Very spontaneous of me don't you think? I bet you're asking yourself "what's Psych-K?". I'll tell you more after I take the training!

And, staying 2 extra days means more time with Jen and seeing her lovely apartment really come together!

--Posted on the go from my iPhone.

Unpacking & Recycling Cardboard

Here is Jen's new apartment building - new and very modern. Her apt is perfect with fantastic views out the floor to ceiling windows.

Seattle is an amazing city. We have been seeing lots of it as we zoom around doing all the errands necessary during a big move.

Out biggest issue is getting rid of all the boxes. City life gives trash issues a new meaning.

Tomorrow we are going sight seeing!

--Posted on the go from my iPhone.

Blizzard, Sub-Zero Temps- Fun?

Onalaska, Winconsin
Yesterday we drove through a blizzard! We stopped in Madison to give Charlie a walk and they had 17" of snow in less than 12 hours! We got stuck- the side roads had not been plowed much. But we were heartened by the generosity of the people of Madison. During the hour we were stuck at least 8-10 people stopped to help us. Finally a guy came by with some salt, and another with a shovel and with a bunch of people pushing we go out.

We headed back to the freeway and westward. We drove on a few hours but it was dark and icey so we stopped in Onalaska. We pulled into the hotel and got stuck again! There was a wind chill advisory with temps -20 to -30. So we went to our warm hotel room and decided to deal with the truck in the morning.

This morning we called a tow service and they arrived in less than an hour and had us out and on our way again! Del and Chris, two more of our Wisconsin heros!

-- Posted on the go from my iPhone. Luzzard

Road Trip to Seattle

Jen and I are off on our cross country road trip. Akron to Seattle in 5 days! The truck is loaded, the car is on a trailer following behind. It's 3 pm. A late start, but we want to put Ohio behind us today! Chicago here we come!!

Posted on the go from my iPhone.

Celestial Challenge - Winter Solstice Sun

Celestial Challenge - Winter Solstice Sun

Another Spoonflower fabric challenge! This time the theme is "celestial". Since it is December and Winter Solstice is right around the corner, I decided to use a sun as my inspiration. However, the unique part about this challenge is that the design has to be one that is made by the artist in some medium other than digital. The art can be scanned into the computer, but not digitally developed.

I started by sketching my idea with paper and pencil. Once I created the design that I liked I started again on heavy paper, sketched the final design, outlined it with ink and then used watercolors to get the vibrant colors. Once it was dry I scanned it into Photoshop, added a black background and it was complete. I think it came out pretty good!

Now the voting is on! To see all the entries and vote click here.

This is so much fun! But I still haven't had my first fabric printed. Don't understand why I am procrastinating! It is one of those things! I just better go for it!! Maybe it will be my Christmas present to myself.

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

Thanksgiving Bloom

Happy Thanksgiving! I awoke this morning to see that my Christmas cactus was starting to bloom. It is glorious! There are so many buds it is crazy - when they all bloom it will be sight!

Seeing these beautiful abundance of blooms reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for this holiday. I am particularly thankful for my life and the freedom I have to choose how I live. That is huge. I am filled with love for my family and my friends. My daughter and granddaughters called today and Zoe serenaded me with a Thanksgiving song from her school pageant - it was so sweet! I particularly grateful for them and the love, joy, innocent wonder and curiosity their share so openly with me.

Having people over for dinner today was wonderful. We had a lovely dinner! Everyone participated in creating a great variety of yummy dishes. So good! I had fun setting the table and realized how much like my mother I am. She loves a beautifully set table and having all the right dishes! I appreciate this more now than ever and realize how it is an expression of her creativity. She is really good at it too! I learn more from her every visit! Now I need to be on the look out for some new serving dishes, a gravy boat and drinking glasses. Some things to look for on my flea market adventures!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Hope you had a wonderful day. Let the holiday season begin!

And the Winner Is . . . .

Fish fabric contest results. The voting is complete and the winner is . . . . .

It is called "Weird Fish". It is really cool, and a beautiful use of the color palette. Really nice! It has winner written all over it!

Now for the exciting news. There were 72 entries and my design came in 5th place! Fifth out of 72!! Amazing! I am so excited and proud that my first try at designing was such a success! I couldn't be more happy!! To see the final results click here.

I am already designing more fabrics and getting ready to have my first fabric printed. Very exciting! Also working on a design for the next challenge - Celestial. Fun, fun, fun!

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

It's the Flu Season - RX Dog Therapy

Cough,cough, hack, hack . . . two weeks of struggling with the "coughing" flu. I am so tried of coughing. It takes the fun out of most everything. Sleeping is the most difficult. Today I surrendered to it and just stayed on the couch all day, drinking fluids, taking my meds and giving my body a rest. Let's hope a little nurturing helps!

One thing that is helping is a little dog therapy. We are dog sitting for my niece. Her new little guy is named Charlie. He is a rescue dog and is still a bit skittish so he likes to be close. He has been sleeping at my side all day. He is so sweet, which makes up for less then good looks. Charlie is very lovable and a having him as a buddy today has helped!

A face only a mother could love! :)

I'm off to bed and hope to sleep through the night. If anyone knows any good home remedies for calming a cough - let me know!

Fish Fabric Contest Update - Voting Begins

Fish Fabric Challenge Update. A week or so ago I wrote about the fabric design challenge I was entering. The design I submitted was "Aqua School". You all liked it the best. (So did I). Now the voting begins. The winner is chosen by people voting at the Spoonflower website. There were 72 designs entered and the design with the most votes wins. If you would like to check out the other entries and vote for the ones you like (like mine!), you can do so at the Spoonflower Blog. You must vote by 6pm (est) Tuesday, November 17. It is so interesting to see all the designs - lots of creative people out there! Remember my design is listed as Aqua School by gottacre8! I would love your vote!

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

Party Planning Time - 90th Birthday

This year my Mom is turning 90! It is so hard to believe she is that old. She is so active and full of life. At the left is her picture in 1920. She is an inspiration to me. (Sure hope I have lots of her genes!) My step Dad and I were trying to plan a surprise party for her - but it turned out to be pretty difficult. So now she is in on the planning! Which is a good thing!

My creative fun the last couple of weeks has been planning the invitations. Last week I went to Wooster to a wonderful shop called the Pink Tomato. They make the coolest invitations. And I met with Christy, one of the owners. I told her what I wanted and even brought along some of my Mom's hand made beautiful and colorful polymer clay jewelry so she would have an idea who we were dealing with - not your ordinary 90 year old! Christy then brought out all kinds of papers and sample invitations from other parties. She had so many great ideas. After much contemplation and idea swapping we came up with a perfect invitation design! Next they order all the paper and parts and then make each invitation by hand. So they are truly custom made.

The colors for the party are purple and pink. So Christy and I looked at tons of papers and finally settled on a bright pink, deep purple and a cute floral print. Here is a sample.

The colors are not exact, but you get the overall idea. The exact plan for the invitation is hush-hush. I can't tell you any more because my Mom reads my blog and there has to be something that is a surprise! (Sorry Mom) It is amazing to me the creativity and imaginative ideas that go into invitations today. As I looked around the shop at some of the samples from other parties I was amazed - they are little individual works of art. What a fun time I am having! I can't wait to see the finished product.

This has been a good project to help me stay focused on my Art Every Day challenge for November! Next on my agenda - sewing a mini-iPhone purse. Off to the design board.

Create Art Every Day Month

Create Art Every Day Month. November is the month! Leah Piken Kolidas of Art Every Day started the project seven years ago. The challenge - to create art everyday for the month of November. It doesn't have to be a completed project everyday, just the process of making art. Since making art and looking at life as a creative process is my goal and the topic of my blog, I thought it would be fun to participate.

Leah also started a Flickr group for people to post photos of their art. It's only Day 4 and there is tons of great art posted. Check it out!

My art for a few days has been working on my blog. I added some content to my links, a couple of new widgets on the side bar and activated all my links. Doesn't sound so creative to you? But it is! It is design and play at the same time. Art is an experience not always a product!

If you have been looking for a way to stay focused on being creative, check out Art Every Day and join in! It's free, easy and fun!

And the winner is . . .#1 Aqua School

Thanks every one for all the feedback on my fish fabric designs. The overwhelming winner was the first fabric - the aqua fish. The runner up was the black and white. My favorite was the also the aqua fish and I just sent it off as my entry into the challenge, so wish me luck. It was great fun designing the fabric and really helped with the computer learning curve.

Friday night I was having a hard time sleeping so I got up and decided to distract myself by playing around with my Wacom pen tablet on my computer. One thing let to another and I was making more repeating fabric designs. This time just free hand with my Wacom. It was so much fun, I forgot about all the things that were keeping me from sleeping and I played until after 3 am! (It wasn't so much fun the next day when I was running out of steam about 2 in the afternoon!)

Here are the designs I created. I filed them in a folder called "Wild Distraction".

It looks like I was having a Matisse inspired experience on Friday. What ever it was I had fun and I learned more about Photoshop, my Wacom pen and the wonders of the computer age. Free form drawing reminded me of my childhood, when creativity was as natural as breathing, easy and free. I think I will try it more often! (But, at a more reasonable hour.)

In the spirit of creative freedom,

Something Fishy - Learning to Design Fabric


Ever since I heard about Spoonflower (the fabric printing service) I have been excited about designing my own fabric. I have sketched several ideas, but the thing holding me up was learning how to make a repeating image in Photoshop. Yesterday I finally decided to go for it! With the help of Google I found a terrific tutorial and by 1:00 am I finally figured it out! It has opened a whole new world to me.

Spoonflower holds weekly fabric challenges and I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to put my new skills to the test and practice what I had just learned. This week they picked a theme and a palette of colors. This week's challenge:

Theme - FISH
Colors - The palette below plus white and black

Now, I am not crazy about fish or the palette, but I want to experiment and use my new skills, so I figured this would be a good challenge for me. I drew a few fish designs, scanned them, and got started. After a few hours of playing I came up with the following four designs. (Click to enlarge.)

The context ends on Sunday night and I have to make a decision on which one to enter. The winner gets $100 credit to spend at Spoonflower and have the fabric spotlighted on their website. (Not that I plan on winning, but thought you would want to know.) For me, just entering is huge step.

So this is how I need your help. Please let me know which of the four you think I should enter. Just post a comment or send me an email with the number. I appreciate your input!

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

Waking up to Creative Cooking

It occurred to be today that I could wake up my creativity in another way - cooking. I just got the new Clean Eating Magazine and I was reading it in the bathtub last night (soaking my aching muscles from working out at the gym) and some of the recipes just looked and sounded so good I thought I should give them a try. Since I was inspired by the autumn colors yesterday I thought I would make something with fall colors. In the magazine was a recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Mousse that looked so yummy and was especially colorful.

It was fun to make and very simple. I took creative license with the recipe and added a few of my own touches and it came out quite tasty! I even put some of the mousse in popsicle molds to turn them into a frozen treat. Yummy. Here is the recipe.

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse

2 15 oz cans 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1-lb pkg silken tofu, drained well
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used agave nectar)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain nonfat (use as topping)

In a food processor combine pumpkin, and tofu. Process until combined, about 30 seconds. Add maple syrup, spice, and salt. Process until blended. Transfer mousse to a resealable container, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Before serving drain in water that has accumulated. Scoop 1\2 cup into small glasses or ramekins. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of agave. (The magazine recipe called for Greek yogurt and shards of dark chocolate.) Serves 10.

Try it, you'll like it! It's healthier than pumpkin pie, low in fat and yummy.

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

Where's my creative focus

Since returning from vacation I have been experiencing a creative drought. It seems like I jumped back into the old distractions that keep me too busy for art. Yikes that has to stop! Just writting it makes me cringe.

So, I have the power to change that any time. It is a matter of priorities and a change of focus. It will require tweaking my vision a bit and being more deliberate in my days. I have a beautiful clean and organized new studio that needs to be broken it. (Let's hope that clean and organized isn't a creative block!) No way!!

Walking today with Jen I was inspired by the beautiful fall day - bright with colors of autumn and a perfect blue sky. It made me want to sketch, and I remembered it has been days since I have picked up a pencil or brush. I think tomorrow I will.

In the spirit of renewed creative focus, Cindy

-- Posted on the go from my iPhone.

Cincinnati Jewel - St. Theresa Textile Trove

After a wonderful three week vacation I am home at last. Coming home to Ohio was a beautiful drive. As we headed north the trees began to to turn into bright colors of fall. It was like watching the season change in fast forward.

As usual, on our way home I had to find some new place to investigate along the way. This time it was in Cincinnati at a fabric/bead/button store called St. Theresa Textile Trove. The name is quite unique, and so is the shop. Definitely a one-of-a-kind. The place was filled with so many unique things it is hard to just pick a few. First off, the colors of the store were vibrant, and everywhere you look there is something interesting and unusual to look at. There are great beads from all over the world, an entire wall of buttons being looked over by St. Theresa herself, plus bolts and bolts of the most diverse fabric I have ever seen in a fabric store. I could have gone wild. But being it was the last day of vacation I was already over my spending budget! But I did buy two half yards cuts of my fav - Amy Butler, and a very odd, but cute charm for my jewelry supply stash.

Visiting this store made the end of vacation a little less painful! If you are ever in Cincinnati you HAVE to stop, it is worth it. Make sure you have your GPS because it would be really hard to find without it. (And don't go during rush hour drive time.)

Now I am home, doing laundry, paying bills and catching up. It is so much fun to travel and spend time with my family but it so great to be home! Nothing can beat sleeping in your own bed.

Here are some more pics of St. Theresa's.

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

My Latest Art Work - a New Medium

(Double click the photo to get a closer look)
FACE PAINTING! At granddaughter Zoe's birthday slumber party I was given the job of face painting. It was so much fun! Each of the girls had very clear ideas of what they wanted and a couple actually sketched it out for me. So funny! They all looked so cute. After getting painted up they headed for the dress-up clothes. What a great time they had!

Even Zoe's Dad got into the spirit. He rented Kung Fu Panda for them to watch and then decided to get his face painted like one. The girls loved that! The party was a great success!

The most fun I have had painting in a long time!

In the spirit of unencumbered creativity, Cindy

Time flies when you're flitting around

Boy have I missed blogging. Seems like it is the place where I can focus on the creative aspects of my days and keep me in the space I enjoy most. Not that I haven't been having fun! I have. Spending time in California with my parents, and now in Nashville celebrating my granddaughter's 6th birthday (how is that possible???) is wonderful! I just haven't found the time to report on my creative activities!

As I sit here typing I am looking at the beautiful bracelet I just bought at an art fair yesterday in Nashville - it is engraved with the word "potential" and has a crystal bead tangling from the side. I bought it to remind me that anything is possible when I tap into the creative potential that exists in the universal flow. I just have to allow it! Believing in that potential brings about the power to create my life anyway I choose. Abundance in all aspects. When I saw the bracelet I knew I had to buy it. I need that reminder everyday!

I promise that I will be reporting more soon! Now I am off to paint some bookshelves with my daughter for the girls playroom.

In the spirit of creative potential,

Stitching up a Bag

It seems I am on a sewing kick! Since I love fabric, it's a good thing I also enjoy sewing. There is something calming about the hum of the motor and the up and down action of the needle.

This past week I have been making purses. The pretty rose bag above was especially designed for my Mom. She wanted a shoulder bag, with pockets for a variety of items. The pockets were made to fit everything perfectly. It came out so cute. I know she will love it and enjoy using it on her gambling trips to Palm Springs!

This bag is similar to one I made for the Autumn Bag-o-holic Swap. There are 20 women from around the world who make purses and swap with each other. My swap buddy is from Ohio - small world. I'll write more about this in a few days, once the swap is offically over. I can't wait to get mine in the mail!

Meanwhile, I'll finish a dress I started for Zoe...

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

-- Posted on the go from my iPhone.

The Present

On my iPhone I have an App from Caroline Myss called Wisdom of Healing. It is a deck of cards that you shuffle with the flick of a finger and tap to pick one. Very cool. I pick a card a day. On one side is beautiful artwork and on the other the lesson for the day. You never know what wisdom you are going to get!

Today I picked "Live in the Moment". A lesson that is always a challenge for me. My mind is always busy, usually thinking ahead. I have learned to let the past go (thank god!) But the future, that is another story. So today, in my waking hours I will practice being present and give my busy mind a rest and experience the wisdom of healing.

Try it! It is an amazing place to be! (really, I have been there a few times!)

In the spirit of healing, Cindy

Creative Beading Transformation

Just a couple of weeks ago this was my jewelry studio . . .

It was dark, disorganized and messy! I knew it had to be cleaned but I just couldn't face it. Then one day I just dived in and went for it. It took hours (days) of cleaning, sorting, moving furniture and then painting (walls and floor)and organizing. Putting it all together was fun! I found a great piece of mid-century modern furniture that turned out to be perfect. Once the paint dried and things were moved in it looks like a different space! It is clean, bright and inviting. I can't wait to get started creating!

The cabinet is the heart of the studio now. I found it on the way home from Hartville Flea Market ( at a garage sale for $10!!) It was amazing when I started putting it together, everything fit perfectly. I bought a variety of storage containers and organized like I was channeling some invisible amazing organizing power - it was surreal. Things just "fit". It was awesome. I covered the sliding glass doors with fabric to hide all the containers. Here are some close-ups of the cabinet.

Now I am ready to start creating! It is going to be a pleasure. You'll be sure to see it here when I start. Meanwhile, I also cleaned the other half of the studio and I will show that in my next post.
In the spirit of creativity, Cindy

Putting my Heads Together

Another day working in my jewelry workshop. Wish I was making jewelry but instead I have been painting. I am officially finished tonight, yippee! Two coats of primer on the old paneling, then two coats of paint. Two coats of cement paint on the floor and two coats of top coat. It is a bit smelly but looks great! The fans are on airing out the place and drying the final coats.

In between coats, I have been going through my "stuff" sorting out what to toss and what to keep, putting like things together, and moving things to other parts of the house. I realized that I had several heads and gathered them together. I heard one time that if you have three of something it can be a collection. So I put all my heads together with a displaced painting, then moved them all into my office on the top of the filing cabinet and now I have a "head collection"! I am sitting here now enjoying the view. Can't wait to see what other collections come together over the next few days of cleaning!

Here is a pic of the workshop in process. It is so bright and cheery - so different than just a few days ago.

In the spirit of creativity, Cindy