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.