Monday, February 23, 2009

Thoughts on Creativity

The ever delightful Ricë has been running a new series of artist’s answers to the basic questions:

1. What is creativity?
2. Where does it come from?
3. What can people do to access it and make the most of it in their lives?

Since I have a little time before I have to return to the madness that is work during Mardi Gras, I thought I’d give answering those questions a shot.

1. What is creativity?
An innate desire to change our surroundings, to put our own stamp on things, to tell our stories. From our ancestors painting on cave walls to painting our walls something other than white, from fashioning rudimentary clothing from animal hides to dressing like Cyndi Lauper, from the first person to say "Hey, this weed smells pretty good, I think I'll throw some in the stewpot" to making smiley faces in pancakes, it's our desire to make our world our own.

2. Where does it come from?
It's a force inside of us, something we are born with. The desire, the force to create is stronger in some than others. Some just like to have small touches of creativity in their lives while others like to have it pour out as if a dam burst.

3. What can people do to access it and make the most of it in their lives? You just need to let go of perfection and fear of screwing up. Don't be afraid of the white page, the blank canvas, or to cut the fabric. It's not that special and if you screw it up, they'll make more. I promise. Even if that piece of fabric was woven with hairs from sacred goats by isolated monks in Tibet, honestly - it's just fabric. Experiment. Go outside your comfort zone. Try something safe and easy to build skills and confidence. Then try something you think you can't do. You'll be amazed. Sure, we all want our creative pursuits to turn out great but sometimes they don't. If you never mess up, you miss invaluable opportunities to learn. Think of how many wonderful discoveries have happened because of mistakes.
People also need to realize that creativity comes in many forms. It's not just the ability to make pretty marks on paper or canvas, sewing or stitching, making a form in clay, etc. Planning a garden, cooking, arranging your living space - creativity exists in all aspects of everyday life. A key to being happy with your creative pursuits and continue to grow creatively is to know yourself. What do YOU like? A you drawn to small and dainty or big and bold? What screams "This is ME!"? If you are trying things just because everyone else is doing it but it's not "you", change it until it is YOU.

Just my two cents worth.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just shoot me

Only three more days. Only three more days. That's my new mantra. If I can just survive three more days of Mardi Hell, I'll be okay! My tolerance for the intoxicated is limited at best. Give me large groups of the snockered and I'm struggling with my homicidal urges.

The drunken college girls really amuse me. Not in a good way. I'm no militant feminist but these twits are undoing everything their foremother's worked hard for and suffered to get. No hon, batting your eyelashes and switching to one hip will not open doors for you, especially to the door with the sign "Restroom Out of Order." One of them even pushed her bottom lip out in a faux pout. Seriously, does that generally work on other females? Suck it up Barbie, I'm not even slightly gay. You're not cute, you're annoying.

I have to go back to bed now. Rest for the insanity that will be later today.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Parade of Idiots

I just love it when people come in the store during the parades and ask me if I’m enjoying my Mardi Gras. Sure, I love drunken morons and working 14 hour days. Doesn’t everyone?

Not everything was bad though, there were a some good or amusing moments. And some bad stuff too. First the good or funny things.

I pull up to work with the stereo on kinda loud. A regular customer says, “What are you listening to, fucking opera?” I smile sweetly and reply, “No. It’s just regular opera.” It wasn’t opera at all. I was listening to Ungrateful Girl by Mors Syphilitica. I go inside and a couple of minutes later, he comes in to tell me I was being sarcastic. Really? Kinda slow on the uptake there Buddy!

One of my favorite couples came in, Del and Beth. They are so fun. I wish I had more time – a normal life – so I could actually hang out with them some time. Del is looking for a seamstress to make pirate stuff. He met someone who does that sort of thing but she likes to do things authentically, very detailed. I like to “Frankenstein” my garments, mixing parts together for the look.

Teresa stopped by for a few minutes today. I never get to see her anymore and I miss her! I talked to her briefly about bleaching the tips of my hair and dying it purple. My boss is convinced I’ve lost my mind. Partially purple hair is nothing. At one point in my life I had a  blue Mohawk and wore safety pins in my ears.

My boss was wandering around outside and asked me who the grey car belonged to. I said it belonged to Denis. He asked, “Who’s Denis?” I point at the concession wagon in the parking lot. He still looks at me like he doesn’t know who I’m talking about. I say, “The Russian.” The light bulb flickered to life. We’ve both known Denis for five years – the last five Mardi Gras’. Crazy. And he tells me I can’t remember anything because I’m old!

And speaking of my boss, as the crowds gathered outside on Friday, he asked me if I wanted the 45 or the 9mm. For a moment I had one of those Ally McBeal fantasy moments and wanted a Gatlin gun. That was replaced with the thought, “I have a really rocking case of PMS – give me both.” I got my silly smirk and just said, “I’ll take the 9.” He handed me the pistol and told me not to let anyone mess with it. 

And now for the bad. I saw Keel and asked how Mike, my tattoo artist was doing. I’d spoken to Mike’s girlfriend Melissa and she said he was going to be okay, just sore. Keel said the hospital called him many days later to tell him he had a broken pelvis and leg. What??? I swear if I ever get injured or gravely ill –someone is driving me back to Florida so I can get some decent health care. This place is ridiculous! During the parades tonight, Mike’s friend Kevin and his wife came in. I can’t remember her name! Ugh! And I KNOW I know it! Damn old age sucks. Anyway, Kevin said the doctors are telling Mike he needs pins in his pelvis/hip. Horrible! Poor Mike. Damn.

My friend Pam back in Florida called me Friday night while the parade was rolling. She said she was heading to Orlando to visit her daughter and babysit her grandson. She sent me a Happy Valentine’s Day text message and I messaged her back. She called a few minutes later telling saying that her house burned to the ground. And she had a gorgeous house! She has been through so much in the last year. This truly sucks.

I have to leave for work even earlier in the morning so I better totter off to bed now.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Things around home and work have been busy. Today the first of the Mardi Gras parades roll down St. Charles Avenue. Fun, fun. And it’s apronFriday the 13th too.

I made this darling little apron last Monday. I’ve been telling myself for ages that I need some aprons to wear around the house, not because I’m messy, but because I need pockets! Most of the floppy dresses I like to wear at home have no pockets. But I can’t have an ordinary apron, that just wouldn’t be me.

I found some wild rubber gloves at Wal-Mart. I got the black ones with the zebra top. I can wear my black apron and goofy gloves and look like a twisted version of Dexter’s mother. Works for me.


My granddaughter Caitlin has amused me greatly this last week. They bought her a drum set when she was two and she took to it like a duck to water. Now she has a guitar. I showed pictures of her playing to a ton of people. I’m amused that only 2 people noticed immediately that she’s left- handed. One of them was my co-worker Mo, and the other was my friend Levi. Both of them play guitar themselves.

Caitlin drew the anarchy symbol on her sister Aleena’s face with a marker. She said it was because she wanted a tattoo. Her mother, my daughter, was not amused. I thought it was hilarious! I asked if she took a picture and she said “Uh NO!” Ah c’mon! That’s a scrapbook page Nanna would love to make!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Goodies in the Mail

Yay! The darling little journal Ricë sent me came in the mail today! And it came wrapped in lime green paper! I’ll have a giant smile on my face all day now! I had to open it immediately and let all my senses have their turns. I love the texture of the paper, I don’t know yet how it will work with my favorite pens but I think it’s going to work well with the watercolor pencils I love to use. Thank you Ricë!! Thank you, thank you!!!!

When I walked down to the mailbox, two Hispanic men were loading junk out of the crappy little house on the corner on a truck. Since the woman who had lived there was Hispanic, I wasn’t sure if they were sent by her or if the landlord had hired them to clean the place out. That crappy little house and the people the landlord rents to is a whole other rant. Anyway, I saw some chairs sitting near the truck that struck my fancy so I asked them who they were working for. They just stared at me. I kept talking. They kept staring. Finally one of them asked, “Are you Honduran?” No, I’m French. But I’ve been to Honduras. Once they got over the initial shock of the pasty white woman with unruly dreadlocks speaking fluent Spanish, they allowed me to inspect the stuff headed for the dump. On closer inspection, the chairs weren’t worth dragging home. Oh well. C’est la vie!


My Beloved stumbled on to a site with gorgeous photography. The models, the settings, the clothing, and the colors are amazing. Take a stroll through the galleries and be wowed. I like this picture because the model reminds me of my niece. Click the pic! viona_artI’ve used altered books as journals before, nothing new there. I saw these little gems tonight and dang, they are so cute! I’ve been lusting for a Zutter Bind-it-All but can’t justify the purchase (even with a 40% off coupon) when what I really need is a camera. If I had one and found books with intriguing titles at yard sales and thrift store – ahh, more custom books of my own.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Music, Muses, and Motorcycles

Last night at work, Renee came in wearing the Medusa necklace I gave her. It looks stunning on her (probably better than it did on me!), she’s such a lovely girl! She said she wears it all the time and gets loads of comments on it. While we were chatting, she said to check out her boyfriend Jason’s videos on YouTube. I love them! It’s so funny watching people you know in “real life” on YouTube, don’t know why – it just is. But anyway, yay for Jason! Check him out.

pj_coverI grabbed a couple more of the large sketchbooks from Borders since I had a 40% off coupon – and they were cheap to begin with. I grabbed a darling little journal too. I couldn’t help myself. It was PURPLE! Purple suede! I like that it has lines on one side and the left side is blank, leaving lots of room for drawings and what not. I think I’m going to like this little journal a lot. For the large sketchbooks, I decided that I wanted to paint Medusa on the front of the one I’m using. Then I thought it would be cool to paint a different woman from mythology on each of them. But then I thought I should try to keep some sort of uniformity in the room to keep it from looking like a riotous melee. Okay, how about painting the spines to make the theme of the room for a unified look and have the covers different. Hmm . . . that could work!

I’d been trying to call Mike but all I got was voicemail – and the mike1 mailbox was full so I couldn’t leave a message. I finally got through and spoke to Melissa. She told me Mike got hit by a car! He’s okay, just shaking off the bumps and bruises but not back into the full swing of things yet. He was riding along Louisiana Ave on his scooter and a car nailed him. People here seriously CANNOT drive. Turn signals? Who needs them! Rules of the road that apply to every other state in the Union? Not here! When I told my Beloved about Mike, he said “Mike who?” I started to be a smartass and say, “The only other guy who touches my skin.” But he quickly followed with, “The tattoo guy Mike?” Yes, and I forbid him to die – he’s not finished!

I’ve just started to get over my severe aversion to motorcycles, even remembering what it was like to have the wind in my hair as I sailed along astride rolling thunder. If I ever do decide to get back on the horse that threw me, it will not be in New Orleans!