Sunday, April 25, 2010

15 Minutes and Counting!!

15 minutes to write! Quick! Grab a pen and start! Now....breathe....begin again. Intro is down. Here we go.

Are everyone's schedules so hectic? I suspect they are. And it's no use wishing for the "olden days" because they were just as busy, or more so, and they were really working - for their very existence! Cooking, ironing, mending, feeding, plowing, gardening, washing......who had time to write?! So I take the opportunities of this life and go with them, and am very thankful for all I have.

It's so beautiful outside. Spring time. Birds chirping, a light breeze, shadowy clouds floating by. I lay down yesterday afternoon in my studio, just drifting in and out of daydreams, watching the sky through lacy curtains. It was so peaceful; I think I must have drifted off to sleep because when I looked through the curtains again, it was - dare I say it? - twilight!

We have so many blessings in this life, none of which I think we can ever truly, truly appreciate. The best we can do is try to capture each special fleeting moment, hold it closely to our hearts, breathe deeply of its scent, then set it free. Leaving ourselves free to search for yet another similar moment. And in the quietness we occasionally find, there interrupts this urge, this very real need to create. To bring something - often we don't know what - but something - into existence. We see it in our mind's eye, but that isn't enough. We aren't satisfied until we bring it into this life. This world we live in. So we leave our quiet moments and go in search of what we must have to ease this urge, this heady need of ours. An ache it seems at times, and nothing will ease it other than creation itself.

And so we begin again. And again. And again. To create. To put breath into. To bring life to. I thank God He has given me this ability, this sometimes cursed gift, for He has given me a part of Himself. A most Holy and precious gift.

Jan Fursdon
Fursdon House

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Creative Spaces

Hello Blogland!

I still feel a bit strange about writing a blog; afterall, everyone can see it!  Yes, I suppose that is the overall idea.  But still......everyone can see it!

Oh well, here goes anyway.  I'm getting wild in my "older" age (having just turned 50 and LOVING it!!)

I wanted to share my creative spaces with you.  I'm extremely fortunate that I have such a space; many make do with much, much less.  My space is a bedroom once belonging to my youngest daughter, after my oldest daughter swapped with her.  It then became my "hobby room" (this was before I realized my dream of starting my own company).  It was rather plain at that time, white walls, white furniture, blah, blah, blah.  Then my granddaughter arrived on the scene and it became her bedroom; definitely gaining some character at that point (mostly with PINK accessories!). At some point after that, we later decided to paint all interior rooms of the house and my husband transformed everything from great to greater! (No, I don't share! Sorry ladies!)

As you can now see, his efforts resulted in my haven taking on the warm green of mountain ferns!  It's so peaceful, so calming.  I remember being very hesitant to go with this color, but the end result was certainly worth it!  As you can also see, I LOVE STUFF!!  Part of the family gene I believe!  The top picture is one of my inspiration boards, where I display ideas, trinkets, anything that inspires me.  It's made from a large cork bulletin board I bought at Wal-Mart, which Nigel then framed and I painted.

The second photo is where I create and store my handmade greeting cards.  It's a small desk that originally belonged to one of my girls.  The chair came from my grandfather.  He had this inate ability to find broken pieces of furniture on curbs where people had tossed them out.  With a few repairs and his particular genius, he would either return them to their former state or completely transform them into something else.  If I remember correctly, he said this chair was actually made from two broken chairs.  Regardless, I loved it and jumped at the chance when he offerred it to me. 

The third photo shows a very small portion of my books and my LOVE of tiered stands.  I have at least 6 now and have no intent to curb my appetite for them in the least!  They're great to store and, more importantly, display items.  This particular one holds part of my collection of antique, vintage and new laces - bits and pieces I've gathered over the years.

Then comes my collection of beads, buttons, trims, jewelry findings, crystals, and other assorted goodies.  I finally found a fantastic use for my collection of vintage glassware, a trait inherited from my mother.

Ever practical (in my more sane moments), I use candle containers, thoroughly cleaned out, to help store items also.  Now I only buy scented candles if they come in a container with a lid that I happen to like!  No worries though; there's still plenty of choices out there.  I even find myself buying an item just because I like the container its in! You can imagine where that container will end up!

The next photo shows the inspiration board from another angle.  On top of it, you can see my collection of antique and vintage glass bottles.  One piece in particular holds my attention; it's a little glass EvenFlo brand baby bottle, intended for a babydoll!  I believe it's from the 1950's or 1960's.  I spent way too much for it, but simply could not pass it by.  When we were babies, Mom used EvenFlo glass bottles so its only natural I'm drawn to them! Nostalgia 101!!

Also, notice the hand prints to the sides of the board.  They're of my granddaughter Isabel.  I started making them when she was only 6 weeks old!  Talk about fear!  I was terrified I was going to hurt her little fingers, trying to press them into the clay!  But she was very accommodating, sitting quietly and still - amazing but true.  Finally I managed a decent imprint.  I'm sure it cost me a lot more than it cost her!  After that first attempt, I discovered a soft clay, made by the same folks who manufacture Crayola Crayons that I've used successfully ever since.  We've continued this tradition every Christmas.  Initially I used them for ornaments, but wanting to be able to look at them year round, I stuck a bit of "sticky putty" on the back and pressed them onto the walls.  They're easy to remove, which is helpful since I usually rearrange them to accommodate a new imprint!

For those of you who might be wondering (if I haven't already put you to sleep).....yes, the room is also still my granddaughter's bedroom.  We share the room between us and Isabel LOVES all the bits and bobs I've collected.  I like to think that surrounding her with so much beauty and color continulusly inspires her inner muse and helps develop her creativity.

To her amazing credit, aged all of 7 1/2 years, she NEVER gets into anything without asking!  She spends two nights a week with us while my daughter Laura takes nighttime college courses, so she has plenty of opportunity but I've never had to worry about it.  On the flip side, I've always told her that if she wants to see something, or touch something and hold it, she's more than welcome.  She just has to ask first.  Not sure why this works, because it doesn't work with much else, but there it is! 

The photo above shows her headboard and a very small portion of her stuffed animals, flanked by two crocheted dolls, inherited from her mother and aunt.  They were created by my girls' great aunt, Doreen Abraham, who lives in a Bristol, England suburb known as Henleaze.  Amazingly talented, she's knitted and crocheted more than 20 different dolls and animal figures for Laura and Elizabeth during their "growing up" years!

Across the headboard, you'll notice my first endeavor in creating a paper pennant banner!  For some reason, banners inspire me also and I LOVE to make these with paper because they're so versatile and so easy to work with.  The second banner I created was one of blue jean pockets stitched together and embellished (shown in my last post).  Not nearly so easy to work with, so perhaps I'll stick with paper from now on?  I never know though until the notion strikes.

Here are close-ups of some of the pennants I created.  I'm a lousy photographer though. Sorry!

This ends this session; I hope you've found something of interest it in. 

Take care and have a blessed day!

Jan Fursdon
Fursdon House