Monthly Archives: December 2013

Holiday grab bag

Christmas Elf with Curly Toes

Christmas Elf with curly toes

Last week I gave you an elf figure – here’s another for you to use in your collages or card making.

If you want some holiday inspiration, there is a ton on Pinterest. Here is my Holiday Decor and Crafts board with links to 174 different projects, printables or ideas. A search of Pinterest will give you endless hours of surfing for creative inspiration.

A year ago I was writing for Natural Life Magazine. My column was Crafting for a Greener World, and I had a few columns related to the holidays. Last year I published this tutorial for a tree topper angel or caroling figure. You can also find a bunch of ideas for eco-friendly gift wrap in another article, and some crafty gift ideas of DIY craft kits.

Here’s my tutorial for one of my favorite holiday projects. This is how I use up all of last year’s received cards, and make evermore ornaments for my holiday tree. Now that we have a house, I see more than one tree in our future, so more ornaments will help.

Over on the ScraPerfect blog you will find many beautiful ideas for holiday cards, scrapbook layouts and crafting. One of my favorite tutorials ever is for my vintage-image transferred Family Tree Ornaments. I won’t be making more this year (thanks to moving) but I absolutely intend to go hog wild next year with my stash of vintage images for ornaments.

Vintage Image Ornament

Vintage Image Ornament

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. We’ll be back in the new year with The Principles of Design, how to find your gateway art form, and more ideas for igniting and expressing your creativity. Much love to you and your family.

Here’s an elf for you

zentangle elf

Please feel free to copy and use this little Elf with a collage of zentangles that I drew a couple of years ago. Print, color and fussy cut – she’s great for holiday cards or tags.

I love doodling over text, in this case an outdated copy of the Writers’ Market – so no worries about wrecking a real book.

Meanwhile I’m still unpacking, unpacking, unpacking – and finding all kinds of little things that need fixing or tweaking in the new house. But nothing can dampen my spirits. I’ll be back with the real creativity blasts soon.

Working Environments

Here's my Racedeck by Snaplock flooring in my studio - soon to be painted.

Here’s my Racedeck by Snaplock flooring in my studio – soon to be painted.

Still moving house

The busy time continues, as we are moving in to our new house. So far I have laid a fantastic new floor in my workshop, and started painting the walls. It will be wonderful to have all my tools, stash and books around me.

It got me thinking about geography and space planning. The environment where I set out to do creative  work matters to me. It either helps or hinders. Trying to write or sketch, trying to design or research, even just playing with scraps are made tougher for me when I’m surrounded by visual noise, clutter or present reminders of housework not done.

Then there’s ergonomics – spaces, tools and furniture made to enhance usability. For me that means being able to get at stuff without having to move other stuff aside first. It means not having to thread my way around furniture, boxes or stacks of anything. It means being able to roll my chair from one station to another, and having enough flat space to lay out a project without losing elements under other materials.

I’ll post more of my organization methods as I finish our big move.

Ways of Working

Being in the midst of hustle and bustle and construction got me thinking about different  working environments.

When I was young the powers that be would recommend turning off all “distractions” from homework. I get that, and I like silence and a sense of cocooning for heavy thinking work, like mind storming or serious research.

But I notice that some people prefer something that is effectively white noise. Some want music. When I am sewing or other crafty work I feel energized by the perception of presence near me, so I put on a talk radio station. When I’m screenwriting I often play music that I imagine could be in the soundtrack.

That’s the heart of it – what energizes you for work? Classic rock, or familiar tunes? Silence or the sounds of nature? Books on tape?

What helps you think or explore ideas? Silence, headphones, classical music, wave sounds.


Optimism! It’s wonderful. And soon it will be my favorite time of the year. I hope everyone enjoys preparing for the holidays.