Saturday, October 29, 2011

Creative Withdrawal Pangs

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I have been so busy doing so many things for others that I really haven't taken the time to indulge in doing those crafty and creative things that I love to do for myself. This week, after I completed my weekly project for my ladies at the senior center (seen in the smaller photo below), I found myself longing to do something that allowed me to do exactly what I wanted without simplifying the process for the benefit of others. The sensation was a physical pang in the center of my chest that would not go away. It was urging me, compelling me to create something in that very moment.

It was already in the wee hours of the morning when this internal conversation was going on so whatever I did, it had to be quick, easy and satisfying. I decided to use stamps I had never used before, inks I haven't used in quite a while and create in a format I haven't used since the beginning of the year. The result was the simple ATC you see in the top photo. The small size (2-1/2 X 3-1/2 inches) made it a quick project and the duochromatic pallete meant I didn't have to think too much about color.

Although this is not one of my best pieces, I found it immensely satisfying on a number of fronts. It fulfilled my urge to create just for me, allowed me to experiment with new images and came together quickly. Most of all, I didn't think about it. I just let it flow. The knowledge that the result was for no one other than myself gave me the freedom to just let go and allow my hands to wander around my table, picking up this stamp, that ink pad, sponging this and edging that, covering the paper without a lot of effort. It felt good, very good, and it made me smile.

 Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Autumn's Approach

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The dog days of summer are at an end and Autumn tosses her pretty head. At the Dorchester Senior Citizens Center we welcome the cooler days of autumn by crafting some beautiful all-occasion cards and a pretty hanging picture frame.

In a departure from our usual side opening cards, I designed a gatefold card that opens out to either side from the center. The Asian inspired designs are simplified versions of actual Asian motifs and rest on a background of handmade Asian papers. The inside of the card is watermark stamped in a bamboo pattern.

Pattern play was the order of the day with our black, white and one color card. In this case the contrasting color was a bright, peppery red that just popped off the page. The overall design, while simple, is given visual punch by the repetitive patterns.

The glory of autumn's colorful display is the inspiration for the Falling Autumn Leaves card. Tiny individual leaves punched in a variety of colors and patterns are arranged to look like the leaves of an autumn tree. You can see in the detail photo how the different colors and patterns work together to replicate the colorful trees of this season.

Less is more as evidenced in this very simple yet chic hanging picture frame. Visual interest is achieved with patterned paper, a gold beaded applique and a glossy black feather. Here is a simple frame that allows the photo to do all the talking while it quietly whispers in the background.

All of our crafts are on permanent display at the senior center, located at 1419 Dorchester Road in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn. For further information you can call them at 718-941-6700 or email the director, JoAnne Biswakarma, at

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva