“I was thinking . . .”-- evidently, these are three of the most frightening words in the English language. After their utterance, I’ve seen family and fellow staff discreetly bolt for the nearest exit, and witnessed my husband, shiver and shrink, as if a window had suddenly blown open, emitting a chilling breeze.

So, I have a lot of ideas . . . and I like to share them.

Recently, in an effort to organize some of my more random thoughts, as well as the mound of paper and cardboard scraps that had accumulated in my studio, I decided to make a few small notepads. The thought came to me after I saw some simple memo pads on a retail site. An idea--see what I mean?

But seriously, I knew this idea had merit, for goodness knows, I’m always looking for a piece of paper to jot down one of my mental meanderings.  Quite often, I tear off corners from napkins, paper, and envelopes, but I thought a little pad might be more convenient and attractive- plus it would give me an excuse to stop cleaning and play for a bit.  In theory, a pad would help me organize my thoughts before I shared them, and any idea found lacking would be simply removed from the ringed pad, and another recycled piece of paper added to take its place. In the end, my little pads would offer me a method for honoring my muse, without burdening my “more than tolerant” husband.

So, this week, instead of crafting lace tags from a shoebox, I made some mini notepads. Originally, I had planned to make them like those I’d seen online, which featured plain cardboard covers and slips of white paper bound with a binder ring--that was, of course, before I saw a piece of stenciled paper I had saved from an Alabama Chanin fabric order. Again, another idea . . ..

While the notepads would have been lovely without any embellishment other than the stenciled paper I applied to their recycled cardboard covers, I decided to embellish them further with an assortment of circles I hole-punched from additional paper scraps, which allowed me to recycle even more paper. I rather liked how they turned out, so much so, I plan to make more when time allows.

I’m beginning to wonder if the cleaning and organizing of my studio will ever end, but honestly, I’m not particularly dismayed, because the process has produced multiple opportunities for creative exploration. I can’t help but wonder, what’s next. Right now, I have no idea; but if I get one, I’ll write it down . . ..

Postscript:  If you aren’t familiar with the work of Alabama Chanin, you should visit their site at  http://www.alabamachanin.com. I have purchased their three design books, taken one of their workshops, and sewn clothing from their patterns.  Each experience has been both delightful and fascinating. 


lace work

While in the midst of cleaning and organizing my studio, I decided to take some time to do a bit of “lace work” with the various items I was preparing to store.


in the green

I was delighted to be included in the Autumn 2014 issue of GreenCraft magazine and truly surprised when my son pointed out the cover caption, which referred to one of my articles.  Actually, I greeted his observation with a peal of laughter, because the project it referenced described my simple, yet somewhat humorous, attempt to find a lovely solution to a not so lovely problem-- a creative experiment that, at times, amused both family and friends.

In my GreenCraft articles, it’s easy to see how one can be inspired by the business of everyday life. Even the most ordinary activities like grocery shopping, buying stamps, or dealing with pesky pests can provide opportunities for creative exploration.  


Maybe that is why I enjoy so many of the Stampington and Company publications. They offer both readers and contributors an occasion to consider life from a unique perspective, one that unites simple beauty with experimentation and play. Within these publications, I am reminded again and again of the youthful inventiveness that exists within us all. 

Images:  GreenCraft Autumn 2014 Copyright © 2013 Stampington & Company, LLC