Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Observation - A Month of LOOKING

There are some books that are very special to us.
They have worn pages from being pulled off the shelf and read over & over.

For me, one of these favored books is Learning By Heart --
for it contains the words,
teaching and general wisdom sharing from Corita Kent
- nun, and famed 60's art teach at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles.

She taught many, and shared through her many works the art of living. This book begins with a chapter on LOOKING, and talking about this seemed a great thing to share as we wind down our month of observation.

The LOOKING chapter begins with words from Corita --
"We don't understand the fullness of everything, of anything. Things constantly change and we may have seen and object only five minutes ago and thought we knew it-but now it is very different."

The chapter continues to give assignments to 'develop our seeing muscles' --
to capture what we see, when we see it --
in a 'sense diary'.

Stopping this month to pay attention -- 

to engage and see things anew has been powerful for me, and I plan to continue this process.

How 'bout you?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Observation - Through a different lens

Last week during #quiltmarket I saw sooooo many amazing things, but I have to admit that I was really excited about seeing many friends that I had not seen for a while.

So, on one of the days there I took my portrait lens along and had fun taking pictures of the people rather than the 'stuff' ---

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Observation -- My favs from #QUILTMARKET

The talk has been about Quilt Market, and I've promised some pictures. So today I am sharing some of my product finds -- though tomorrow I'll be sharing some other faves!

Market can definitely be overwhelming - all the new FABRIC....
and loads of amazing quilts along with their patterns. Sometimes its hard to see the other stuff.

I love, love, love stitching threads, and new products that make my life easier and fun --
hope you enjoy my finds--

the to over-dyed wonders of Weeks
the amazing new magazine Generation Q
products to help us make or instruct us on making these fun take aways
Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts new book- always well written and illustrated!
this is Coats & Clark's double sided bonding sheets for fabric
and that funky thing is a bracelet I made with the product -- fun, fun, fun!
this game from Stitchin Tree Quilts was easy and so much fun
you just followed the sound of laughter to find their booth!
and then my friends at Bo Nash - it was an iron challenged show for them
but the products never missed a beat - love the PEN!
Did these get you thinkin?
Which one you going to try and find first!?

Another look (but different) at market tomorrow.
'til then...

Stitch On!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Observation - What the heart sees.

This quote seemed perfect example of continuing ideas on observing.

I have been off on the west coast for the past week enjoying the company of friends and

colleagues at the spring #quiltmarket. It is a place of wonder where the world of fabrics, fibers & stitching all meet up to prance about a bit.

It was a blast and I hope to share some photos later this week of some of my own finds --

But, being there was the perfect place to note how many practice how to:
Observe ordinary, everyday things &
Elevate them to the special

The things we select,
how we see them &  how our hearts make those things special to our eyes...
this is where creativity may spark.

Give it a try!
and, please share a thing or two that became special for you.

Happiest of Thursdays,
Filler' Up & Elevate!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Observing Change

I have been lucky enough to head for the coast for a bit of quilt world work/fun at #quiltmarket in Portland Oregon this week. But even better is the opportunity it gave me to stop by and hang out with my sister on the way.

Master-gardener that she is, a bit of time is always spent wandering the meditation path.

This is what she calls the several levels of garden that lead down from her home on Vashon Island towards the water.

Gardens are these wonderful things that constantly change and require new observations daily. So many changes, caused by factors both in our control and not.

Something to remember -- change is always gonna happen,
and a bit of observation helps us see the miracles.

So, as I heading off to the first day of walking the floors at #quiltmarket I can hardly wait to see the changes.

But, I leave you with a few pics of the garden --- walking the path.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Observation - Leading to collection!

Hi All - Happiest of Monday's to each of you.
This past week has been a crazy one, filled with taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of spring and getting help with some of the major jobs around our new yard in Paducah. The builder of the garden in our new home did a bang up job - springtime has been filled with flowers - daffodils peeking through the snow and blooming dogwoods and azaelas, now roses and huge double irises.  For all these and the MANY more we are very grateful, and we would have loved to just (as we should) let it all be for a year until we could see everything, BUT for the ivy.

Someone along the way had planted invasive ivy that wandered up into my magnolia tree, wrapped around one of the dogwoods,  through basement windows and threatened to just completely take over.

It had to go -- 12 hours of pulling ivy, and 8 bags of the stuff did little more. We needed help! 

And, help we got! After Nam and his crew came in - 5 truckloads of ivy gone - and a new bed of mulch we are ready for some kick-back time.

I kicked-back by taking an on-line workshop
- Venture Lab-A Crash Course on Creativity via Stanford University. This free, worldwide learning opportunity is great, and this past week was about Observation -

Our assignment (similar to my suggestion to you last week) was to take a 30 minute walk and just take it all in and then to create a mind-map that told all about all the things we had 'observed'.

Mind-mapping is quite fun, and valuable - a great way to collect and organize anything. Since my own did not seem to upload for class I'm sharing it here.

This week I encourage you to also start collecting your observations, via journals, or photographs.

For sounds heard recently on my trip through the Caribbean I  used a recording app on my iPad to record the wonderful songs being sung from several of the churches and once just the sounds of the open market places.

How are you going to start -
or continue collecting your observations?
I would love to hear about them all!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Become a better observer

Observation is more; oh, so much more than merely looking at something, and
it important lesson for a artist one to learn and practice. By paying attention to what is going on, one gains invaluable informaiton and inspiration that may be used creatively.

Observation enables the artist to recreate the world -
or the scientist to 'see' how natures works; and uses it to create a miraculous cure
the business person to develop the perfect product at just the right time
.... you can see where this is going.

BUT, becoming a better observer one has to give yourself permission to linger -
even if only a moment or two.

For a first step in improving our powers of observation -
start simply.

In that extra moment,,,,
notice as much as you are able, from the commonplace to the unusualdriving or walking, absorb as much detail as possible, noting road signs, grass, birds and anything else that you happen uponwhen talking with someone, try to remember their appearance, the way they speak and details of their dress of behavior.

Just take it all in.
Enjoy 'seeing' something new.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Observation & Art: the better to see you

May is that special month that ushers in springtime
(hopefully in full swing…though snow is falling in places today as I write this).
It was named for its patron, the Greek goddess of spring, Maia.

It is a month where everyone comes out of sleepy-time and holidays,
outdoor venturing, and celebrations abound.
May is THE perfect month to work on our powers of seeing and observation.

It does not matter how we create in the world. Seeing and noting what you see is key to being a creative person.

To get you rolling, I would suggest a walk... carry a notebook or a camera
and take note of what's going on around you.

Almost any book on designing or drawing has exercises and enticements to help us see.
Some books in my own library include:
DESIGN! (Steven Aimone); ASPIRE (Valerie Colston);
Learning By Heart (Corita Kent); Creative Artist (Nita Leland).

I'm off too -- off to explore, see and be inspired.
Hope you join in!