Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scrapjournaling & Creative Bookmaking - A New Class

A page from one of my Scrapjournals - a letter from a man I'll never forget

When I am interviewing creative people, one of the questions I often ask is,"What was the first project you remember doing that ignited that spark in you and made you think . . . I want more of this?"  Mine was using wrapping paper scraps that I found in a closet to cover a box I was creating for a babysitter that I had not met.  I was sure, positive, certain that when she saw it, she would have dizzying disbelief at its magnificence.

An agenda of sorts that I made using brown paper bags

But that sort of ended my creativity for a long time.  You see, I am the youngest of 6, and every single one of my siblings is MAD, WICKED creatively blessed.  They were the artists, not me, so I stuck to writing.  Thank the Lord.

Using a photo and more scraps to capture a moment in time

I tried daily journaling, only to fail over and over again at the daily part while I was growing up.  When I tried to scrapbook, it was hard for me to organize my creativity around a systematic, chronological order.  For example, doing the Baby's 1st Year album stumped my creativity, since it was more about putting everything in sequence, then about being creative.  I would spend more time trying to get the sequence perfect then working on the book itself. 

I wrote pages, added half pages and added strange things I could not let go of.

I started to make my own books that were completely free-form. Some were awful.  But I kept going.  I experimented with types of bookmaking, even using the sides of beer cartons as my book covers or some old UPS box. I bought nothing.  I used whatever was in the house and anything in my pile of scraps was fair game - the bookmark my mom gave me attached to a birthday card, an old button of my grandmother's, a feather that Lucy and I found in Colorado.  I started to look at my book as an artist's sketchbook that could include journaling, a photo, a painted page that was going to be the inspiration for the kids new bathroom.  It became my idea book, record of my life and journal all rolled into one.  I want to bring the JOY back to recording your life.

Join me next year for my class, Scrapjournaling & Creative Bookmaking,  Saturday, February 7th and Saturday, April 4th.

The only tool you'll need is your imagination & your random collected bits.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Fashion Blogger Who Knows History & Not Just Trends

Are there a few people in your life that you know or are known by many that have influenced your style?  That cool girl at school who showed up wearing her sweat pants with her cowboy boots because she saw it on the cover of Seventeen?  Or was it that actress who was always dressed in white that made you want to throw out all your color and pattern (i.e. the great Olivia Pope)? Whoever it was, let me say now, they better move over for Michelle Braverman

michelle (on the left) modeling for one of the anthro fashion shows

I met Michelle when I was applying to Anthropologie and she was my first interviewer.  I'll never forget the pants she had on either. Peach lace cropped pants with flats, styled just like Laura Petrie from "The Dick Van Dyke Show."  I knew right then, I had to work there and get to know her.

Starting her career as an Art Director in New York City working for CBS, Michelle lived in Brooklyn.  Although school prepared her to be an Art Director, she says it didn't quite tell her how to be an Art Director.  Working for magazines such as Glamour and Women's Day, she learned all the parts of putting a magazine together (before computers, when it was laid-out by hand).  She had the artistic freedom to not only plan articles & create sets, but to try out ideas of her own for articles.  This is what makes her blog discernible from others.

Living now in Houston, she writes one of the most clever and historically correct fashion blogs on the web, at least on my web, known as AllWays in Fashion. Rather than displaying mood boards of fashion items you should buy now that you can pin to your Pinterest board later, she focuses on the literary discussion of fashion, where she might see a trend and help you figure out what to wear with it or highlight the designers someone like Michelle Obama has worn after she wears her first Oscar (as in de la Renta).  A review of a new book or play about fashion might be the subject, or it could be about a current death in the fashion world and an ode to their work. Even if you don't like fashion (and I will be frank and tell you that's a pity), you would like her clever writing.....

I know reality TV is as real as, well, imitation crab. Not to be crabby about it, but how gullible do they think we are? 

She started her blog after foot surgery three years ago, and had the goal of writing a post every day (until that darn foot healed). She loves to research the photos and see how much we are influenced by our past.   Like many of the most successful bloggers, she wrote for herself.  On her list of wants would be a copy-editor, since she has to be her own, but other than that, there isn't much.  Getting to sit down and write, where time sits still, and make observations, when your instinct is correct and on-point is why she does this.  It's like your own free magazine delivered to your inbox with only one woman producing it, so go ahead and subscribe.

a pin that michelle just whipped up one day - damn her