Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Great Clothespin Makeover and The Potted Plant

(Click on a photo to see a larger image.)

In my last post I mentioned how I squeezed in a teensy bit of time for crafting by decorating some wooden clothespins I'd bought. I like the way they turned out so much I've decided to continue decorating them as well as take them up a little notch. This time I painted them and added some patterned ribbons. Can't wait to see them on my line.

Some time ago I had picked up a load of nail art decals from a fellow Freecycler who needed to get rid of them. I had used them in a crafts project with the senior members of the Dorchester Senior Citizen's Center last year to create tiny refrigerator magnets. They all came out great but I was still left with a big load of nail decals. In a desperate attempt to help use up some of these things, I painted an old, chipped planter pot white and decorated it all around with nail art decals. It didn't come out half bad. Now all I've got to do is stick a plant in it.

My husband has a habit of asking me to give him a young plant for his office whenever he gets a new job. He's been at his current job for a few months but has only now decided to ask for a plant. I decided that I would place a young snake plant in the pot I decorated with paint and decals. I always give him a snake plant because they are so hardy, slow growing and tolerant of many adverse conditions that would kill other plants, particularly that of infrequent watering. He likes the no-fuss nature of the plant. It's a perfect fit for his personality. He also asked for a little sign to keep the sticky fingers in his office at bay so I reached into my RTU (Ready-To-Use) stash and found the blue oval with the white scalloped trim, a leftover from another project. I added text with some press-on letters I had from waaaay back in the day, glued it on to a couple of coffee stirrer sticks and VOILA! -- a cute little sign to keep people at arm's length in a cute and funny wayAfter all, we don't want to upset the ladies in the office (especially the ones with the sticky fingers).

Ooops, did I just say that out loud?

Ballo ergo sum 
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just To Pass The Time

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

There are those occasions when I seriously can't spare the time to sit down and meander over a project as I am wont to do. Lately those occasions have been coming more frequently and weeks can go by without me ever laying eyes on my crafting table (gasp!). I admit it. I'm a junkie. I'm addicted to creativity in almost any way shape or form and like any real junkie, I've gotta have my 'fix' or I get the shakes. 

My most recent quick and dirty fix came from an unexpected source -- my laundry line. I bought a pack of new wooden clothespins and I could not resist the siren song of those little areas of clean, undecorated wood. Out came the solvent inks, the itty bitty rubber stamps, the permanent markers and  *presto - change-o*, where there was once blank wood now there was color and pattern and lots of cute decorated clothespins. I've always liked hanging my clothes out on a line in warm weather. Now I've got another pretty reason to do so.

NOTE: Solvent inks and permanent markers were used to prevent the colors from bleeding off the pins onto the laundry in the event of rain. A thin layer of clear nail polish or polyurethane further protects the designs from the hazard of a surprise downpour.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shifting Directions

I have three blogs. I started with one and it just grew from there. I dunno...seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, it has become apparent to me that I spend most of my blogging time posting on one of the three blogs, The Creative Diva. The other two, Nature's Conversation,  dedicated to my gardening and Gitana's Corner, which contained musings and anecdotes of my everyday life, have fallen by the wayside. They have become embarrassing reminders that I just can't keep up the pace necessary to maintain all three. So I had a brilliant idea -- why not roll everything into one? After all, life is a creative process so everything I do in my life is creative in one way or another, isn't it? Of course it is! Otherwise how else could I call myself The Creative Diva? So it's settled. As of today I will no longer be posting in three different blogs and compartmentalizing my life. Today I unify all the various aspects of my wonderful, interesting and above all creative life in one blog -- The Creative Diva. This should help me simplify my life, stay on track and provide relevant content in a more timely manner. At least that's the plan.

A big thank you to my readers who have stuck with me through all my ramblings and lapses in posting. I'll try to do better from now on. Stay tuned.

Ballo ergo sum,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summer Decorating Begins

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)  

I had promised the director at the Dorchester Senior Citizen Center that I would come back every few months to do the seasonal decorating. I was past due on decorating for summer because the month of June was incredibly busy for me but I finally went to the center to start livening up the space for the hot summer months.

Fortunately I had done a pretty good job of decorating for spring because summer's decorations were added to the already festive look of the room. The walls were already decked out with dozens of butterflies and flowers. To that, I added some kites, colorful flip-flop sandals and two large and very colorful pennants (first photo) that the center director had purchased, all familiar symbols of summer. Coincidentally I had created my own Summertime pennant (second photo) to replace the Spring sign that I had created and hung in the center several months ago. Even though I had no prior knowledge of the pennants the center director had bought, the colors and the motif of my pennant were a perfect match for it and the rest of the room. I couldn't have planned it better. The kites were pinned to several large decorative fabric panels that I had scored for the center last year through a Freecycle donation. You can see some of these panels in the last two photos. In the last photo you can also see those colorful flip-flops strung from a heating pipe, looking for all the world like those sneakers you see hanging from utility lines all over the city. The sandals hang about 8 feet above the floor, low enough for everyone to easily see them but high enough to prevent any of the light-fingered members from making off with them. (Oh yes, those seniors will steal anything that isn't nailed down.) What you don't see in these photos is the Summer Goddess that I showcased in my last post. She was safely on view in a locked glass display case.

I'll go back to the center to finish the summer decorating and then I'll disappear again until September when it will be time to take down all the spring/summer decorations and switch over to fall. On the heels of fall decorating comes winter holiday decorating and that is a huge job. Until then I'll be in my garden, watering and weeding, planting and picking.

Ballo ergo sum
 - Gitana, the Creative Diva

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Goddess of Summer

Life has been charging at me full tilt and I haven't had the opportunity to do much creative playing since I participated in my last OSA Card Layout Challenge so I haven't really had much to post. When I'm not invested in some family-oriented event, I'm in the garden for hours at a time watering, weeding, moving, planting, watering some more. By the time I make it down to my crafts workshop, it's all I can do to check my email and crawl into bed.

If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll know that I left my volunteer teaching position at the Dorchester Senior Citizens Center some months ago but I promised them that I would return to do the seasonal decorating that the members love so much. I had hoped to make it over there in June but the events of my life did not permit it so I'm heading over there later today to start decorating for summer. Yeah, I know, summer's been here for a month but better late than never, I say. I had taken a foam wig head from the senior center with the intention of decorating it for a seasonal display and after months of stops and starts I have finally finished  it.

Close up of flower, butterfly and hummingbird details.
I am pleased to introduce you to The Goddess of Summer. Her grass green hair is fashionably crimped and layered, covered in silky flowers and ornamented with large butterflies and tiny hummingbirds hovering over the blooms. She sports a cascade of leaves down one side of her face accented with a spray of delicate little blooms and wears a matching floral necklace. Glittery arabesque flourishes tattoo both sides of her face and she wears eye shadow with a subtle shimmer. Goddess took quite a bit of work but I am pleased with the way she turned out. She will spend the next few months on display in the showcase at the senior center until I return to decorate for the fall season.

One a slightly different note, I did manage to squeeze in a small project to commemorate my son Alex's graduation in June. His cap and gown were silver and his tassel was black so I created a box that looked like the mortarboard he wore at graduation. On the top I wrote out a message with stick-on letters and on the front of the cap I placed his school initials and class year. For the gift inside the box I folded a series of bills origami style to resemble hearts.This marks the last of my children's graduations for a while and I couldn't be happier.

Okay, enough of this. I've got to get back to my garden.

Ballo ergo sum

- Gitana, the Creative Diva