Misty Mawn's Open Studio Workshop doesn't officially open until January 9, but she gave us a few preliminary things to do to get acquainted. One was to write a poem, of sorts, titled "I Am Here". This is my effort. The lines are not in any particular order, but in the order they came to me.
I'm a little nervous about sharing it, because some of it I've never shared with anyone, plus the fact that I'm not a poet. But for some reason, I want to share it. I hope you can make sense out of it. :)
I AM HERE
By SP Pope
I AM HERE
Still By some miracle By the grace of God
Despite childhood illnesses and accidents Despite polio’s paralyzing attack Despite being an only child Despite the mistakes of my youth Despite close calls with divorce Despite being childless Despite the pain of an adoption falling through Despite suffering many losses Despite being paralyzed by grief, trauma, and fear sometimes Despite menopause Despite many disappointments, heartbreaks, and heartaches Despite life lessons learned the hard way Despite bouts of anger and depression with suicidal thoughts Despite not getting to spread my wings beyond my home town Despite the guilt that my parents had no grandchildren Despite a job I was unhappy doing Despite all of my weaknesses Despite rejections Despite loneliness at times Despite being made fun of in school for walking with a limp and having a weak bladder Despite feelings of being totally overwhelmed at times Despite the adjustments of retirement and hubby and I learning to live together 24/7 Despite the aches and pains of aging Despite waning eyesight and memory lapses I am here
Because of loving and caring parents Because I survived polio to walk, run, and dance Because of amazing friends and family Because of wonderful grandparents Because of having loved and been loved Because of rejection Because of the encouragement of teachers Because of bosses who believed in me Because of three best friends, who, since childhood, have stood by me through thick, thin, and weirdness Because of all the wonderful pets I’ve been privileged to have in my life, who loved me unconditionally Because of all the happy times Because of a mother who loved me enough to encourage, and sometimes push, me to live life Because of my strengths Because of being an only child Because of my imaginary friends Because there are many sides to me Because of accepting God as my personal savior long ago Because of my husband of almost forty-two years Because of the love of learning Because I enjoy solitude Because of my passion for art, writing, music, and reading Because of finally finding peace within Because I’m learning to live in the present Because of life’s lessons learned through the people and experiences I’ve crossed paths with I am here
Today I am loving retirement Today I am enjoying my husband, despite the occasional disagreement Today I am battling type 2 diabetes Today I am ecstatic with my creative endeavors Today I am still learning new things daily Today I feel vibrant and alive
Today I don't have to be busy every second Today I love my own company Today I have gray in my hair and I am overweight Today my body is all soft and mushy, the way grandchildren would have loved it Today I am more concerned with inner beauty than makeup and fashion Today I let things go that “should be” done, in order to enjoy the things and people I love Today I am still making mistakes and learning from them Today I am living one minute at a time Today I still grieve and feel overwhelmed sometimes Today I still live in the small town where I was born Today I love and am loved Today I still have my mom and my husband Today I am still an only child, but with many “adopted” siblings in the form of friends and cousins Today I still have a home and I am able to live in it Today I can still take care of myself Today I still have my old friends, and I continue to make new ones Today I’m having adventures and looking for the everyday miracles and magic Today I am on my computer discovering all the wonderful things that the web has to offer Today I am older, wiser... and a little more forgetful Today I am content on my little patch of earth Today I am learning how better to cope with life and all its ups and downs, now that its winding down, but I am here
I am who I am
I AM HERE Still By some miracle By the mercy and grace of God And I am grateful
I've been really busy for a few days, as most everyone else has, and haven't worked on a project in a couple of days, but thought I'd share another duck tape journal that I made out of the cardboard from a box I recived in the mail the other day.
I used turquoise duck tape, added a little washi tape, and a couple of stenciled animals, then added some old book pages that I had played with acrylic inks on, plus a little tissue paper, then held them in place with a beaded raffia bookmark tied around the middle. FUN! :)
And look! I found pink zebra duck tape at JoAnn's Fabrics/Crafts! I couldn't wait to use it, so I cut the covers from a piece of heavy textured scrapbooking paper, applied it to the covers, and stenciled two crows on the front. This one is still a work in progress.
LOVE the pink zebra tape! The only thing is, it's on a tape dispenser and is not as heavy as regular duck tape. It's more like packing tape, more transparent, so I used a double layer for the spine. I'm just wishing I had splurged for the blue tie-dyed roll as well. Oh well, next time! :)
Would love to show you the progress on the large painted canvas headboard I'm working on, but the pics are on my camera, and I don't have time to upload them right now. I'm hoping to work on it a lot more today. I'm really liking it so far.
If I don't have time to post again before CHRISTmas, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and New Year. Thanks for visiting! :)
Another duck tape journal. I used half a sheet of watercolor paper that I had used up excess paint on, put it together with cheetah duck tape, stamped all over it, folded parchment paper in the center, punched three holes through the center of the signature and tape binding, and hand stitched it together with hemp cord. Then I attached a piece of raffia with a bead on it to the binding top...because it was laying handy and I liked it. ;)
Claire used several signatures of paper and some kind of string to hold hers in place, instead of a rubber band. I think she also used a laundry detergent box to cut the cover from.
I used the covers off an old paperback dream dictionary and zebra duck tape for my covers. I used gel medium to stick the cat rubbings on to the covers to cover up price stickers and the front graphics, and also because they were laying within arms reach and I like them. Once they were dry, I brushed gel glass medium over the page part. The scanner didn't pick it up good, but it looks shiny and sparkly and dreamy in reality.
I used pastel parchment paper for my three signatures. Each signature consists of four sheets folded in half, so it has twenty-four pages in all. I cut three lengths of chenille yarn over twice as long as the book, and I used this because, you guessed it, it was within arm's length. lol It's a little too stretchy, but it works for now. Each length wraps around the center of each signature and the outer spine, and I tied a knot at the top. When I was finished I had six strings knotted at the top and hanging down the spine. I thought about leaving them that way, or adding beads, or making a tassel, but opted to follow Claire's example and plait them together. I like it! :)
The back cover...
You only learn by actually doing the thing you want to learn, and I'm having so much fun learning and doing all these great projects. I'm thankful and grateful to all the wonderful creative people who so generously share their knowledge, so that I can learn, and that includes Diana and Claire!
Now I'm off to see what I can do about those painted angel wings on my headboard. This is the second largest of three large paintings that I've ever done and my first in acrylics. The first and largest to date is a door, and the other is a window mural in a tiny bathroom with no real window, both in oils. This one is on unstretched canvas almost the width of a king sized bed, and it's almost ready to actually try over the bed. Right now, it's attached to a large piece of cardboard on an easel in my tiny dining room, making the traffic area a bit precarious. :/
I'll show you soon. In the meantime, I'm also working on smaller projects that I'll share as I finish them. Keep smiling! :)
I had a few minutes to kill before I left for a Dr.'s appointment yesterday, so I made a quick little Duck Tape journal that I had seen earlier in a video by Diana Trout here http://sketchbookchallenge.blogspot.com/.
I wanted to make a sample, so I tore the covers (4 1/2 x 5 1/2") from a sheet of cardstock that I had been using up excess paint on. I happened to have turquoise duct tape, which I tore off too much of and wound up having a double layer on the outside, but that's ok. It just made the binding a little stiffer. I added a piece of washi tape, just for fun, and this is the front.
The back and you can see the black rubber band holding the folded signature inside the book. I just folded some old bills and scrap paper for the inside pages. Diana's is much prettier, but mine is just a sample. Besides, I can always change the papers if I want. I'm thinking I could also use fabric. All sorts of possibilities are possible! Thanks, Diana, for sharing this! Love it! :)
This little fellow is a baby penguin that I sketched from a colored photo on Pinterest. He was so adorable that I couldn't resist. :) He's in my Moleskine journal, and the original is much better, but I like him and he was fun to sketch.
Haven't had time to paint on my large fearless painting for a couple of days. When I set it up, I intended to start it and finish it in one day, but that didn't happen. Too many interruptions. Maybe today...
My dad was taken from us in Nov 2004, and I still miss him every day, so the first prayer flag I finished is for him. At least, it's finished if I don't decide to add something else to it.
Daddy loved blue and purple, so I cut the flag out of the sleeve of a blue oxford shirt (5x11"), and since my sewing machine happend to have purple thread already on it, I practiced some of the machine stitches on the edges. Then I basically used what was within reach on my work table to finish it. The butterfly was cut from a piece of fabric and I found a strip of purple velveteen fabric and a purple placket with buttons on a knit blouse to add. The yellow stitching is with crochet thread and the word Daddy is purple hemp cord. Three inches was folded over at the top and stitched down to run a cord or something through to hang the flag with. I just didn't have time to find something this morning.
I haven't done any hand stitching in years, so I'm very rusty, but it's ok if these look a little messy and hand made. They're made to hang outside so the breeze can take the prayers contained on the flag wherever it goes. Final size, with top folded over, is 5x8". I like the way this one looks, crooked stitches and all. :)
Now, on to the next one! These are so much fun to make!
I have so many projects going that I've lost track. There are so many things on the web that I want to learn and there's so little time! I just started a very large, for me, fearless painting in acrylics. If I like it when it's finished it will become the headboard for my king size bed, after eleven years of not having one. I'm also planning to take the five week Misty Mawn Workshop in January. It sounds awesome!
Now I understand how peoples' homes get so cluttered and overwhelming to them. I'm getting old, and I don't feel like cleaning anymore. I just want to make things! I'm a baaaaaaaad girl, I am! :)