Monday, March 26, 2012

Why Do You Create?

So the question is fairly simple, what is the driving force behind your creations? Are you seeking approval, joy, accolades, or do you love what you do?

I'm sure that is something we have all grappled with a time or two, and I was reminded of this today over at "Beyond Layers" when Kim Klassen our guide recounted some awesome feedback she received on some of her work featured on Flickr. That's a good thing right? Well of course it is, that is until you begin to base your work on accolades, positive feedback and how you can outdo the last piece in order to receive more praise.

Now I don't believe praise is wrong, and neither does Klassen, but the key to your creative spirit should be what makes you as an artist happy. It may not always be the best or receive the most praise but at its core it is a piece of you - your creation!

I'm paraphrasing, but Kim questioned if we (artists) found ourselves constantly checking for new comments on our work, and basing our creations on the thoughts of others? Well I didn't have to think about it because I know the sense of elation I have each time I receive comments on my photos. I feel validated in some way, but also I feel inspired. The support and camaraderie I have found on the internet really helps to fuel my creative spirit, but I haven't always had this platform - nor have many of us.

The one area I continue to struggle with is with my writing. It is always difficult to start a new piece and see it through to the end, because I have demons or little minions telling me it is not good enough. This is a battle I fight regularly, but I also seek out support in the form of writing groups. Here I am seeking more guidance and constructive criticism over praise. I don't want to hear all praise without a suggestion for improvement, but ultimately I think that's what we are all looking for when we open our souls and share our creations with the world.

So here's to less obsession over positive comments and a shout out seeking constructive criticism that can guide us to higher levels of creativity.

So why do you create???

 Now, I'll share some of my latest creations - Enjoy!
Continuing Color Week at Beyond Layers

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Loving My IPhone

I recently made the decision to upgrade my phone to the highly popular IPhone, and I must say I'm very pleased.

As I think about the positives, the biggest is the battery life. In comparison to my old phone this is an LED bulb versus a cheap incandescent!

However, I am driven to write this post because of the "Goodreads" app! It is awesome !!! I immediately started scanning books, and thinking about how I can now get an accurate account of my library!

Don't you just love it when little things bring you joy?!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Color Week @ Beyond Layers

As most of the U.S. basks in an early and unseasonably warm spring, the group over at Beyond Layers is celebrating the season by seeking out color! It is truly amazing what you see when you really look! While I didn't find a lot of today's color in unusual places, I did know exactly where to go - Rockefeller Greenhouse. The many flowers and plants housed at this inner city treasure are too many to begin to name. My visit today was an exhilarating break in the monotony of the work day!

Enjoy the colors with me!

Monday - Green
Eclectic Green Grass
Tuesday - Yellow
Happy Spring using Kim Klassen's 'and then some' texture.
Wednesday - Pink
Thanks to Kim Klassen and all the wonderful ladies at Beyond Layers...they are all Beyond Awesome - to paraphrase Kim!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!

There is Spring Cleaning and then there is Sprrring Cleaning! I have taken part in the latter over the last couple of days and it has nothing to do with my home - although it needs a healthy dose too!

I have found myself playing catch-up as it relates to my photo projects and online classes and in an effort to be a better student I have been going through the hundreds of photos and sharing on Flickr as well as here.

Here is the latest batch of photos to surface from my Spring Cleaning.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patick's Day 2012

Just a few highlights from St. Patrick's Day!

Beyond Layers - Catching Up

It seems I'm playing catch-up on a number of fronts, one being my Beyond Layers course work. A few weeks ago the subject was Storyboards and today I finally got around to making one. The title gives you location, but here is a little back-story.

The West Side Market is a landmark in Cleveland and this year marks its 100th  Anniversary. As one of the oldest outdoor public markets, the West Side Market is a staple to many Clevelanders and has been featured on many national cooking shows.

I decided to take some shots there this week thanks to Katrina Kennedy's "365 +1 Prompt" - a daily email I receive to offer ideas for the 365 Project. You can check out her site here, for prompts. So this past week the theme was food, and while I don't find my meals that photographically interesting and was lacking in that category I sought out fresh foods.

Enjoy, and as always if you see something you like or just want to acknowledge your visit, please leave a comment!

One Stitch at a Time ~ I Will Not Be Defeated!

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” ― T.F. Hodge
Utilizing my OLW to aid me with a dilemma today, so I sought out my list of focus quotes and the above fits today perfectly.

So I'm dealing with a little frustration today, and for the last couple of weeks but I am going to keep moving because the outcome - a pair of comfortable and fashionable socks is on the horizon.

Right now I'm trying to work through picking up a dropped stitch. All kind thoughts and prayers welcome!

I will not be defeated!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 67 of the 2012 365/66 Photo Challenge

I am so behind on my Photo Challenge postings, note I said postings! I have kept up with the challenge for the most part, missing a day or two of shooting as life got in the way, and more importantly I got in the way! The posting on the other hand has been dismal.

This photo entitled "Sock Drama" is my entry for Day 67!

Sock Euphoria turns to Drama

My early week euphoria has been replaced by drama! My last post proved to be premature and  I believe I jinxed myself because not long after that posting I realized I had dropped a couple of stitches!

If you  recall,  part of my motivation for working on this project is my OLW - FOCUS, so instead of being defeated I  stepped away from the project for the day which turned into several. Feeling confident that I had enough time to FOCUS I picked up the socks again last night. After a few hours of knitting and feeling satisfied with my progress, another error was located!

Just as I was about to complete the shaping of the toes and move on to the heel, I realized I had once again goofed and needed to figure out how to correct my mistake! I tried to use my "phone a friend" to help me out of the dilemma, but she was no help.

Choosing not to be deflated or defeated I took a shot of what I had created and resigned myself to the fact that I would have to start over again! A more seasoned knitter would probably be able to determine where the mistake was made and just back track to that spot - that does not describe me, so it's back to the drawing board!

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and my light came in the form of another outlet for my creative energies. One is taking the time to create this post and the second is to edit some photos, and hopefully create some art that I'll share here.

For now I ask that you take a look at my progress and send messages of good will my way as I again start the journey of creating these socks - two at a time!
An almost complete toe! Back to the drawing board!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

I'm Ecstatic ~ So Beyond!

I am jumping with joy right now and I hope you can just feel the sense of FOCUS and ACCOMPLISHMENT racing through my body right now! Yippee!! Yay! Go Shelley, go Shelley!

I am my own personal cheering squad right now because I have reached a milestone in a project that has beaten me up over the last several days! What project you ask - Knitting Two Socks at a Time! Yeah, it's nothing major in the grand scheme of things, I have not invented some new cure, or solved the world's problems, but right now at this moment I have solved one of my problems!

Two socks! One needle! Success!
In comparison, the shot below is what this project looked like a week ago, and a couple of times after that but I chose not to document those near-misses!
ERROR - Conjoined Socks
If you have followed this space at all you have read about my OLW - Focus and my plans to work on doing just that this year. Well last month I thought a lot about my word and in many ways I accomplished my task, but there is still a lot of work left in order to unequivocally say that this is the year of FOCUS.

Our prompt for the month of March is to take little actions to give life to our words and today I am working on knitting these socks as my action - and more importantly getting beyond the toes! I'll post my progress tomorrow, because I plan to have these babies with me all day!