Looking Back, Looking Ahead, and Looking Around

It’s hard to believe that our Art in the Parks Series is halfway through (!) We have had SO much fun meeting and making with our Creative Explorers. We thought that you might like a little look at what you have missed, so far…

There is plenty more discovery in store, as we prepare to welcome more folks to the March and April events. This series was designed to make including creative exploration a little easier, for new explorers and seasoned hands. Virtually all of our offerings can be carried along and applied to your other artistic endeavors. Make plans now to join in the fun! You can register for the March and April happenings on the Our Events page, here on the web-site.

Art in the Parks in March will feature Michelle’s magnificent mark-making mastery — you won’t want to miss it!

Art in the Parks in March will feature Michelle’s magnificent mark-making mastery — you won’t want to miss it!

In seeking ways to encourage community building, we have established a virtual gathering place on Facebook — we call it The Virtual Circle, and it’s a great way to take part in the creative discussion (even if you are too far away to join us for our monthly events)! Join us! We are stoking the creative fires there with regular weekly content, such as: Wondering Wednesday, Thinking Thursday, and Seven for Saturday. This weeks Wondering Wednesday included a poll wherein we wondered what folks considered the biggest road block to creativity in their day-to-day. This conversation is ongoing, so come visit us in The Virtual Circle — take a look around, and visit with your fellow Creative Explorers. We’ll see you there!

virtual circle.jpg

Until next time,
~PLA



ButterBullet_R.png

And the Winner Is...

*Drum roll, please…* We are happy to announce that Amy Roswick is the WINNER of our 1st Anniversary/Cornucopia of Creative Goodness Giveaway! Congratulations, Amy! Thanks to everyone who played along: subscribing, liking, sharing, and following our offerings on social media. Stay tuned, we have more creative goodness in the works — 2019 promises to be quite colorful, indeed!

It’s not too late to join in the creative exploration of our Art in the Parks event series! Our 1st gathering is Sunday, December 9th at Millbrook Exchange Park in Raleigh. For all of the details, click on the Our Events tab above. Should you have any questions, please reach out. We are always happy to help.

See you soon, and congratulations again, Amy!
~ PLA

ButterBullet_R.png

More Loot to Love!

In this weeks installment, we are sure to have something for you to be thankful for.  As mentioned in the announcement for this venture, we said we would be including original work from each of us.  I am here to give you the low-down on those inclusions *w00t!*  In addition to these bits of eye-candy, be sure to read to the end for extra opportunities to add some creative mojo to your holiday preparations!

First off, from the wildly talented Michelle Davis Petelinz of Kindred Spirit Studios, we have a gorgeous alcohol ink pendant on a black, cotton cord with an adjustable chain.  These pieces are absolute stunners – photos do not do them justice (as with most shiny things).  It will be just as at home with your favorite jeans and denim shirt as with your fancier duds for a night on the town.  No two are alike, so you can rest assured that you are getting a true, one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.

Then, from Penny L. Arrowood of Art Paper Love, we have a trio of marbled magnets mimicking the mineral Lapis Lazuli.  *wow – try saying that 3 times, real fast!?*  Created on Ampersand Stampboard substrates with multiple layers of Marabu EasyMarble and backed with a super powerful neodynum magnet, these lovelies will dress up any notes that they hold.  Their glass-like finish is the result of a layer of resin that gives them additional depth of color.  Whether they reside on your fridge or your filing cabinet, they will bring beauty to your day and add a little art to your day to day surroundings.

Just a reminder:  it’s not too late to play along!  You have until tomorrow (11/30) at Midnight EST to take part in our 1st Anniversary Giveaway of The Cornucopia of Creative Goodness.  Please see the announcement blog post for all of the details on how you can earn entries into the drawing for this amazing bag of plenty!  Take a look at our Instagram feed to see each weeks additions, and don’t forget to join us on Instagram and Facebook tomorrow for the final inclusion.  The winner will be announced on Monday, December 3rd.  Will it be YOU?  It could very well be – but you can’t win if you don’t play! 

Seats are filling for our very first Art in the Parks series event – don’t miss out on a surefire way to add your own signature style to your gift-giving this holiday season!  Join us on Sunday afternoon, December 9th at the Millbrook Exchange Park to explore Monoprint Magic:  Gorgeous Cards, Wraps, and Tags.  You will leave loaded with inspiration to add pizzazz to your gift presentation this year, and take home tips, tricks, and techniques that you will use year-round next year.  Cost of $50.00 includes workshop, all materials, light refreshments, and Your Creative Connection surprises throughout!

Finally: this week marks the close of our weekly Thankful Thursday postings. After a year and a month, we are turning our attentions toward other ways to provide regular content here on the blog. We fully intend to continue this practice, and it is our sincere hope that we have inspired you to regularly reflect on those things for which you are thankful – on Thursdays and every other day!

Until next time,
~ PLA

ButterBullet_R.png

Thankful Thursday - The Arrival of Autumn

Perhaps it seems a silly thing to be thankful for, but you should see the things that swirl around inside this noggin!?  As much as I enjoy(ed) all of the fun that comes with Summer, it is hard not to yearn for shorter days, cooler weather, and the chance to layer on the comfy clothes of Fall and Winter.  I certainly will not miss the large and aggressive mosquitos that we have seen since hurricane Florence rolled through here, last month (!)

The arrival of Autumn also signals the beginning of the holiday season, and affords us the opportunity to anticipate seeing friends and family from far and near as we gather to eat, drink, and be merry!  We have some merry-making in store for YOU, in the coming months!  If you are not a subscriber to our Newsletter, there is no time like the present – we would hate for you to miss out on all of the fun we have in store.  Subscribe today, and stay in the loop – we have MUCH in the way of creative adventures on the horizon!

Until next time,
~ PLA

ButterBullet_R.png

Thankful Thursday - Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Watching the 2nd hurricane in as many months roll through our area is not at all what I thought I would be doing today.  We are far from delighted to report that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Haw River State Park event has been cancelled.  While we may be disappointed, we are not defeated.  Thanks to wonderful feedback from our registered, would-be attendees we now know how best to proceed as we move forward.

And forward we shall go!  Michelle and I will sit down next week and regroup.  Plans will be re-worked, and before you know it we will have new and exciting options to share with you.  Now would be an excellent time to subscribe to our Newsletter.  Doing so will ensure that you are the first to know of new opportunities (the aforementioned silver lining) for creative adventuring with us!

Until next time, we remain,
~ Your Creative Connection

ButterBullet_R.png

Thankful Thursday - Portents and Signs

I am not a particularly superstitious person.  In these turbulent times, however, it is often pleasant to see something(s) as a sign of good things to come…  My last travel for teaching was littered with such signs – at least I choose to see it that way – and I thought it might be nice to share them with you.

0823-dragonfly.jpg

On the morning that we headed out, and after a summer loaded with more dragonflies than I recall ever seeing, I looked up to see a very large and rather impressive specimen shimmering on the aerial of the truck.  Dragonflies symbolize transformation, new beginnings, and lightness of being.  What better reminder to be grateful for the journey than to have such a harbinger hitching a ride for the next phase of my own?  This seemed a rather fortuitous sign indeed, as this was to be my first offering at a new venue (The Yadkin Valley Fiber Center) – and both the host and myself have great hopes that my efforts will result in the regular programming of book arts on their course schedule.

0823-rainbow.jpg

Upon arriving at our camping location, and following a brief visit to Slightly Askew Winery (that may well have been a sign of its own for this wine lover), we were greeted with skies that looked like rain was imminent.  In spite of rolling thunder and a brief sprinkling, we were fortunate that we did not have to set up the camper in the rain (!)  Instead, we were gifted with a most lovely rainbow arcing over the distant hills and disappearing into the clouds.  Rainbows serve as symbols of peace and serenity, as well as being stunning visual reminders to confront and embrace our own potential for growth, beauty, and wisdom.

While the rose is a timeless symbol of love, beauty, and balance this last image is not so much a sign as a reminder to me.  While strolling down the Main Street thoroughfare on Sunday afternoon, upon seeing this perfect rose bud I was immediately reminded of the quotation from Anais Nin:  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  In other words:  nothing ventured, nothing gained -- OR:  You’ll never know ‘til you try!  If I have learned anything in the past three and half years it is that you’ll never get ANYwhere standing still.

So…  What are YOU waiting for?  Signs are favorable that if you make the leap, join us in October, and become part of our creative community you will have a whole new view of what it means to follow your muse.  Stop standing still!  Step into the circle.  You’ve nothing to lose, and worlds of insight, fellowship, and creativity to gain.  It’s not too late – register today!  We’ll be waiting for you beneath the trees…

Until next time,
 - PLA

ButterBullet_R.png

Thankful Thursday -- The Power of Community

One of my favorite things about living a creative life is the incredible people that I encounter along the way.  The creative community at large is rife with interesting folks, and in the subsets of individual disciplines we are afforded the opportunity to learn from one another on an entirely different level.  Whether in the role of teacher or student, new knowledge and connections (just can't seem to escape that notion, can we?) are ours for the asking...

community.jpg

In my most recent workshop, I had the pleasure of teaching a few folks that I had never worked with before.  This added an additional layer of discovery to the day, as we shared our passions (two of my students were fellow devotees of the fountain pen) both shared and uniquely our own.  So, in tandem with my gratitude for the power of community, I am also immensely thankful for the ongoing sense of discovery that comes with it.  Whether that means the discovery of something altogether new to me, or learning more about something that I already love -- there are gifts to be had from the coming together that we never encounter when we are on our own.

From the name of this endeavor to the logo that represents us, Your Creative Connection is dedicated to the expansion of creativity in community.  As our behind the scenes preparations build in intensity, we are likewise feeling the building excitement as we cruise on toward October.  It's not too late to join us!  What are you waiting for?  Register today, and join our circle of creative women!  New discoveries, adventures, and friendships await.  We'll see you soon!

Thankful Thursday – Cell Phones, Flexibility, and Simple Pleasures

Greetings!  Have you ever stopped to consider that the technology that we walk around with everyday is more powerful than the 1st (or 2nd or 3rd) computer that many of us ever owned?  It really boggles the mind – my mind, anyway!  It is so much more than a phone, and yet it is not quite a replacement for sitting down in front of the computer…  I learned the hard way this week that mobility isn’t always everything that it is cracked up to be, but with a few quick work-arounds the job is quite easily dispatched.

That takes me to my second thankfulness for this week:  flexibility.  Not unlike the studies that highlight the myriad benefits of autonomy in the work place, a good partnership allows for a fair amount of wiggle room in the face of all that Life can bring our way.  As the astute reader might have gathered with this post being a tad late, I was in need of that bit of kindness this week.  Not all of Life’s surprises are unpleasant, and it is nice to be able to “roll with it” when the more pleasant ones come our way.  If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of surprise reservations for a long-anticipated dining experience, lean in – accept and be amazed – be thankful – be gracious – be flexible.

I have enjoyed some of my most favorite things, recently:  time outside, *in spite of the heat!* kayaking, star-gazing, and (a new favorite thing?) camping (!) *in spite of vicious, biting bugs!*  While most of these I do every chance I get, the camping thing is pretty new to me (since it has easily been 30+ years since I last did it with any regularity).  No, we don’t have ALL the comforts of home but we have enough to make the lacking livable…  There is something magical about watching the moon rise over a lake, seeing the bejeweled night sky reflected on its glass-smooth surface, and hearing the chorus of hundreds of tree frogs after the heat of the day has faded.  Moments to treasure and anticipate enjoying again – simple pleasures, awaiting our notice, there for the taking…  Lucky are we!

0707-camper in the woods.jpg

Until next time,
 - PLA

ButterBullet_R.png

Friday Feature: Spotlight on Penny L. Arrowood

Wrapping up our month of Friday Features, I am here to share some sneak peeks at my Studio Session as well as some additional information on a couple of the more unique features we have built in to the Your Creative Connection experience.  As Michelle so beautifully stated yesterday, the guiding principle behind all that we do at Your Creative Connection is to offer like-minded women a safe and nurturing space to “learn, discover, experiment, and create beautiful things.  What could be better than that?”  What could be better than that, indeed?  One of the many ways that we are providing such an experience is by offering creative opportunities that are just as accessible and illuminating to new-comers to mixed media art as to long-time denizens of the mixed media community.

My Studio Session will open with some colorful, creative exploration.  We will take a look at surface design by way of Seven Surefire Ways to Banish the Blank Page.  Often the most daunting part of new project is the getting started!  Facing a blank surface (be it journal, canvas, paper, or fabric) can intimidate even the most seasoned artist.  Regardless your primary approach to mixed media art, the morning session will provide multiple ways to loosen up and establish a direction for future creative endeavors.  Additionally, these techniques will work in tandem with the knowledge that our Creative Explorers have gleaned in their two previous Studio Sessions; the resulting papers will provide more material for inventive compositions as we move into the remainder of the day.

After a brief review of the work that has been produced in the past three days.  We will select work from each of the earlier Studio Sessions to include in the exhibit on Monday morning.  With the papers that remain, we will construct what I like to call The Vessel of Containment – Bespoke Bookbinding  to house your very own Your Creative Connection experience.  We will create a perfectly personalized record of all that you have learned throughout the event.  There will be room for personal reflection, notes, thoughts from your new creative cohorts, and more – however you choose to populate its pages it will be exquisitely your own:  chronicling your creative exploration and discovery during our time together.  I designed this project specifically for Your Creative Connection, and this is the only venue at which I will teach it this year.  I’m SO excited to share it.  Michelle, Jeanne, and I have already created one, and we've added to its pages as we developed the content for this exceptional event!  Each of our vessels will be on hand at our Opening Night Creative Social to entice and inspire as we begin our artful adventures.

We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing more about what we have in store for the Creative Explorers who join us in October (11-15, 2018) for the experience that is  Your Creative Connection.  If possible, we are now even more excited for all that the event holds -- for ourselves as well as each of the women who will join us.  We have worked hard to create an event unlike any other – from the structure of our Studio Sessions, to the inclusion of a show to highlight the work of our guests and Artist Instructors – we are each looking forward to sharing 3 Artists, 3 Days, 1 Surface, and a Show  (and all that comes with it) with YOU!  Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Register today by making your deposit, and we look forward to welcoming you into the circle.

Thankful Thursday - Pets, Poetry, and Human Kindness

For as long as I can recall, there has been a dog in my life…  As a child, we often had more than one.  During my late teens and early 20s, I was often the “god mother” of a friend or family member’s dog(s) when I was not able to have my own.  There has been the odd cat (or three), a handful of gold fish/betas, and the errant rodent (hamster, gerbil, etc.) over the years; my heart has always gravitated toward the canine, though…  Last week was a particularly difficult one, as I said good by to my latest canine campanion – the lovely Wito left this world on 6/12/18.  She adopted us over 11 years ago, and it seems a great deal more still in this place since she took her leave.

RIP Lady Wito Marie Arrowood -- You were dearly loved and will be sorely missed

RIP Lady Wito Marie Arrowood -- You were dearly loved and will be sorely missed

Grief has an inimitable way of staunching the flow of creativity.  It mutes the stimulation of the larger world – blocking things, as though in a cocoon – sounds are muffled, colors dimmed, and joys diminished.  I find that turning to the creative works of others is both comforting and inspiring at such times.  A long-time admirer of the poet Mary Oliver, I immediately recalled this gem in the days that followed Wito’s last.

As grateful as I am for the privilege of having had this dearest of dogs in my life for over a decade, and for the means with which I have found solace in her absence, I am fully amazed and so mightily thankful for the kindness of my various circles of humans.  My spirits have been repeatedly lifted in the past week by words of comfort from friends far and near.  I have said often that I am so, so very lucky.

A sentiment to treasure from a precious friend (the art and words of  Brian Andreas ):  comfort and inspiration, hand in hand.

A sentiment to treasure from a precious friend (the art and words of Brian Andreas):  comfort and inspiration, hand in hand.

It seems that Life holds no shortage of reminders of this fact.

…and that only gives me all the more for which to be thankful!

Until next time,
 ~ PLA

ButterBullet_R.png