Monday, March 11, 2013

Treasure Box

I don’t know about you, but I am sorely missing an hour of time.  Where does that hour go each Spring?  If I dislike the first Sunday of Daylight Savings Time, then I ABHOR the first Monday.  The alarm sounds and darkness still filters through the curtains.  On Monday I am suffering from Sunday’s  whiplash of checking conflicting clocks.  One says I am an hour early, “thank goodness,” then the other says I am an hour late, “oh snap!”  Which one? Which one?!  I feel a little like Alice and the white rabbit must have felt down the rabbit hole.  The kids drag their feet a little more, even the dogs are content to sleep awhile longer.

But I have had my morning cup, the kids are off to school, the hubby is off to the office, the dogs have had breakfast, and the second load of laundry churns away.  That’s a perfect start!  This morning I have been sifting through cards that I have made through the years and never used.  Do you have that problem?  Either I liked them too much to let go, or I didn’t like them well enough, or I made them too late, or way too early.  Whatever the reason, I have a photo box of these cards.  So this morning I am sorting through them.  I have decided to donate some to Operation Write Home.  Are you familiar with this organization?  This will be my first donation to them, but it sounds like a great organization.  They provide servicemen and women with handmade cards to send home to loved ones.  

The bulk of that photo box of cards will arrive in a desert somewhere, others will never make it past my recycle bin, and then there are those cards that I plan to keep -  and I am so excited about their new home! Last month I discovered treasure at an office furniture store, a used file box.  You remember the card catalog at the library and those nifty little drawers.  (The store had some of those by the way, but I couldn’t come up with anything to store in them.)  Well this card file holds 6x8 note cards.  That single purchase has eliminated several shoe boxes and photo boxes from my shelves!  I was truly giddy when I brought my black box home.  If you have a store in your town that specializes in used office furniture, you should visit.  You never know what you will find.  
I have filed envelopes and pre-folded card stock in one side and am filing completed cards in the other.  My file dividers are not fancy, just some comic backer boards cut to size and another piece of backer board die-cut and glued on to form a tab. Some days I believe that organizing my supplies is more of a hobby than actually creating things!  Anybody else in that boat?

Have a great week! Renee

Friday, March 1, 2013

Guardian of Imagination

 I recently lost Crafty Mojo.  I went through all the usual channels- I stood on street corners calling to Mojo.  I mass-produced generic fliers.  I called the local shelter which, like me, had not seen my Mojo.  And so I began looking in the dusty corners of my internet.  I knew Crafty Mojo was lurking somewhere, but where?

Occasionally I saw a blur at the edge of my vision or heard a scuffle just out of sight, and as insubstantial as these experiences were, they sustained my hope that I would find Crafty Mojo again.  Last week I sighted the pitiful beast.  He appeared thin, timid, and unwilling to approach.  So, I have been luring him ever closer with the promise of sweet treats and a warm home.

While frequentling his usual haunts and only-once-in-a-blue-moon venues I stumbled across a gargoyle/guardian challenge.  It presented itself as the perfect invitation to Crafty Mojo.  I had  purchased some digital gargoyle stamps last year and even printed them for a coloring afternoon.  But the thought of coloring gargoyles intimidated me and I had no specific use for them.  (I am pretty sure that purchase qualifies the title of "hoarder".) This challenge gave me the push I needed to bring at least one gargoyle to life, work on some of those shading skills presented at my last Copics workshop (see my new button?), and convince Mr. Crafty Mojo to come home to Mama.

I began by coloring my Gargoyle- but the results only disappointed me.  Crafty Mojo tucked his tail and dipped his head with a whimper.   I tucked the gargoyle away for a couple days in order to contemplate the next maneuver.  Crafty Mojo watched from the corner, ready to dart at the slightest provocation.  A couple days went by before I realized that the answer had been sitting open on my desk all along in the guise of my art journal.  I would finish the gargoyle, no matter what, then use him in an art journal page.  The informality of the journal format excuses all mistakes.  It actually turns ugly art into an excusable and passable form of pretty- at least in my estimation.  After all, a journal is for me- no one else. 

In the end the page satisfied me enough to submit it to the Gruesome Guardian Challenge.  And Crafty Mojo? Well, he is still in his corner gnawing away on my bone folder. 

Check out the other great (and definitely more gruesome) entries at  You may decide to play along.  But you will have to hurry as the challenge ends Sunday.  So here is my entry…

Guardian of Imagination-

While I am aware this entry falls into the “tolerable category” rather than gruesome, I am willing to live with that.  While creating this page I began as a lament and then segued into a supplication that my children retain their active imaginations.  And as I completed it I realized that I had come full circle in a desperate attempt to revive and preserve my own imagination.  There is a duality in the tower of books as well; as I see the move to a digital age as another attack on the already crumbling 
 pages of art and literature.  But let’s stick to the basics today.  I included some of my children’s favorite books in the tower and put a comic book in my son’s hand.  Litte C. Mojo sits in front of the tower, and I hope that my gargoyle keeps him safe also.

Stamp credits:  gargoyle is from Saturated Canary

 Guard your imagination well!