Archive for September, 2010

September 28, 2010

Idea or Process

by heatherkp

For some, it’s all about the ideas and for others, well it’s all about the process.  I definitely fall into the later category of creative type.  When I get stuck and I have a vague idea of something if I start playing with materials, researching, experimenting and writing or sketching out my ideas then they become more concrete and really take form.  When I am creating something, weather it is a garden design, a photograph, a textile design or a craft it really comes down to process.  Take the photo above, I remember assembling all the flowers, all the teal vases, arranging them in just the way I wanted them to be, down to the fallen petals  It might not be a perfect technical or compositional photo but it speaks to me and may inspire something more later.  It is the process that I enjoy, it’s the process that keeps me doing/making, it’s the process that keeps me interested and marks the time I have spent in a way that feels satisfying to me.

Often I am not sure where I am headed with a project but I don’t have to visualize the end piece to begin working.  This in itself can be scary for me and I’ve often been stuck for fear that I would never be able to finish something when I don’t know what “it” will end up being.  This is when I need to remember that I am a process person, not necessarily an idea person (or I should say that my ideas aren’t always as strong as my process).

When I graduated from college I had to put together a portfolio of work but before the portfolio could be assembled I had to decide what my portfolio was going to represent.  I choose to skirt the edge of two types of portfolio’s with part being geared towards “industry” and pattern/woven design and the other part was geared towards studio design which encompasses creating the design AND the product.  What I really wanted to do was to focus on the Studio portfolio but what I ended up doing was creating a portfolio that would get me a job in the real world.  In doing so I did have to sacrifice part of the process stage of creation.  Now I have the luxury of going back and deciding to take a journey down the more process oriented road of Studio design.  What this means is that I can have great ideas or so-so ideas but it’s my follow through that will bring these ideas into reality.  I have to work out the design problems and follow through to completion of a product (not just a 2-D design on paper).  This is exactly the process that’s been missing for me.  I have been separate from the process of creating a product for the past 10 years as I have designed on the computer and rarely got to see these designs implemented into products.   What I did enjoy about the work I did in the Hospitality industry is that there was a process that I created that made the projects more fun for me.  I loved collaborating in the idea stage with the designers I got to work with (and I think many of them are idea people) and I took ideas and made them work in real life spaces with size and technical constraints to work with.  These limitations were a part of the process that in the end was quite satisfying.

As for those flowers in the photo above; as a matter of fact they have inspired me in a current project I’m working on and will show you here soon!

Are you an Idea or Process person?

September 23, 2010

Welcome Autumn~Goodbye Summer

by heatherkp


Happy~ I love fall and with the extremely high temps this summer I have already been enjoying the cool evenings and lower humidity.  As I post this though summer is not letting go with temps in the 90’s and high humidity.

There are so many great events in the fall.  I have a lot of personal reasons to love fall such as our wedding anniversary in October and my birthday and Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) in November.

I LOVE the changing leaves and colors of fall, the fall veggie harvests (winter squash, greens, apples, pumpkins etc), Halloween costumes and decorations and warm days and cool nights perfect for campfires.

The practice of nesting inevitably rolls around for me as well at this time of  the year.  It makes me want to cook soup and bake and fill the house with the smells of apples and cinnamon.  I also love to get cozy with a good book or a new knitting project, which for some reason I never am motivated to do in the summer (knit that is).

Sad~Oh how I will miss the long warm relaxing days of summer with the sounds of crickets and birds chirping and the flicker of firefly’s.  I will miss the beach and the pool and fireworks and days that last forever.

I’ll miss the bounty of summer veggies and especially fruits such as peaches, nectarines, melons, plums and berries.  I’ve done a good bit of food preservation this summer to extend the season into the fall and winter.  I just love to pull out some roasted peppers, canned peaches or frozen cherry tomatoes in the dead of winter and taste the sunshine of summer again.

I’ll miss gardens and flowers and being able to sit outside on the deck as I journal each morning or dine al fresco with friends.  Summer is a time of celebrating friendships, relaxation and fun.  It’s a time to recharge your batteries and store up reserves for the long cold months ahead.  As a last hurrah to summer and a great way to welcome in the Autumn we are going  camping this weekend at the beach.  I’m wishing for a weekend that brings the best of both seasons together.

September 22, 2010

4 Simple Goals

by heatherkp

I want to accomplish by the end of 2010.   This comes to you by way of the A Beautiful Mess blog and there are lots of participants.  The idea here is to pick goals that are not results oriented and that are simple and will bring you more joy by doing them.

1.   Update my software skill set (increase my Photoshop knowledge and start to learn Illustrator).

2.   Start sewing and knitting again.  I haven’t really done either over the past few months.

3.  Organize and start a new collaborative project with artist and designer friends.

4.  Finish organizing and setting up a new office space (to share with hubby) and storage space.

Bonus:  Continue to increase my physical strength.  I recently started lifting weights again and it feels great so I want to continue this.

September 20, 2010

Great things coming this way!

by heatherkp

Literally!  If you live in the DC Metro area there are some exciting events related to craft coming our way soon.

First, on October 2nd is the 7th year of Crafty Bastards in Adams Morgan.  I am not sure I will be able to attend this year but I’ve enjoyed all the vendors in the past several years.  Here are a few shots from some of my favorite vendors over the  last couple of years. 
The Small Object

Carlybird Weaves

Biggs and Featherbelle

In addition to great vendors there are always some fun DIY craft projects to get your hands on as well as music, b-boy battles and other great entertainment.

The second event coming to DC in October is the “Crafting A Nation” conference at the Smithsonian American Art museum.  This event is FREE and it’s in conjunction with American Craft Week 2010.  There is a great lineup of speakers and discussion panels and this event will be going on over 2 days so you can attend one or both days.  If you can’t make it to the conference check the website out for events in your state.  This event runs October 1-10 and there seems to be something going on in practically every state.

The last event I’m going to mention is the Sugarloaf Craft Festival at the MD State Fairgrounds on October 1st-2nd and the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on October 8th-9th.  This festival is always fun for me to attend (even though I won’t be going this year) because I grew up in the area and have attending this event many times and I have fond memories of dreaming of becoming a crafter one day.  Dreams can come true!

September 16, 2010

Passion and Purpose

by heatherkp

Without it life can be so hum drum!  I am a very passionate person but I’ve learned over the years to channel my passion in creative ways rather than let it be overwhelming.  I feel passion in the seat of my belly and sometimes it is a physically overwhelming feeling.  I think that in order to do something really well you have to have passion and purpose about what you are doing.

When I am not feeling passionate about a project, a design, a piece of artwork etc…I try and take the time to find that passion again by looking at it differently or by stepping away for awhile.  Sometimes it takes looking to another area of my life I feel passionate about, like cooking and eating good food, spending time with friend, dancing or taking a walk outdoors with my camera.  When I allow myself this time to redirect and find that spark then I can return with a purposeful intent to complete what I have started.

Finding passion in something or about something isn’t always the same as feeling you are doing something purposeful.   Having a purpose in life, in your career choices, in your relationships, through giving or volunteering with others, that’s what drives us to keep doing something even when we have lost that moment of passion.  Passion is fleeting, purpose is permanent.  I strive to live a life doing things I am passionate about while feeling they are contributing to a deeper purpose.

How do you find your passionate drive and do you know your purpose?

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September 13, 2010

Thinking about joining…The Sketchbook Project

by heatherkp

I am contemplating entering the sketchbook project, it looks like fun.  The deadline to enter is October 31st.  I will let you know what I decide and please let me know if you join too.

September 13, 2010

The Blog Guidebook

by heatherkp

I have the day to myself today and am catching up on some online friends, blogs and just stumbled across this great website called The Blog Guidebook…do check it out!

September 9, 2010

The sheer joy of color!

by heatherkp

Yesterday I was cleaning up a bit in the kitchen and prepping some veggies and as I cut off the top of the yellow bell pepper and set it down I was captured by its beautiful color and form.

I went to get my camera and came back to the kitchen and noticed the yellow sunflowers that I’d been meaning to take some photo’s of and then they were in a lovely teal vase (I collect teal pottery and ceramics) and then there were those yellow cherry tomatoes sitting inside the berry bowl by Bridgman Pottery!

All this yellow and teal together, a favorite color combination of mine (especially if you throw in a little red also).  

For the next 30 or so minutes I just let myself be caught up in the beauty of the moment of sheer joyful color!

I loved the total spontaneity of this photo shoot, not planned just joyful.  How can you not think joyful thoughts when looking at the warm golden tones of sunflowers and the golden veggies of late summer harvests.!

September 7, 2010

Letting go of the old~Inviting in the new

by heatherkp

Perhaps because it is almost fall and this summer has gone by so incredibly fast, my mind is on de-cluttering, purging and making space for new things in life.  My husband and I spent the last week going from room to room gathering things that we no longer needed, loved or wanted.  On Saturday morning we headed out very early in order to go to a flea market and sell a bunch of junk that’s taking up too much space in our lives.  We had made a decision that whatever didn’t sell wasn’t coming back into the house either.  So at the end I was left with only a few boxes of items to donate.   The weather was so beautiful and this was our first time participating in a community flea market, in the past we would have just had a yard sale but I really enjoyed this alternative.  I’d say about the only drawback (if you want to call it that) is that you may be tempted, as I was, to bring something new (to you) home.  I got the two antique games below because I just love the charming images on them!  I also found a couple small hand stitched textiles (which I will share in another post).

Making room for “new” can mean a lot of different things but in my case I am not trying so much to make room for physical things as much as new ideas and inspiration.  Another area of my life that I am doing this is in the exploration of old design sketches and concepts I’ve completed to some degree over the last 10 years.  I am really enjoying bringing these designs beyond concepts and sketches and into fully rendered ideas.

I am hoping that moving through these past designs will help me to release them and move forward.  This is a concept I’ve heard from several different artists throughout my career and I truly do agree that you can not “hoard” your own ideas, they must be released in order for the new creative ideas to move through you.

September 3, 2010

Something for nothing?

by heatherkp

Have you ever been asked to do something for a client only to find out that they can’t actually pay you?    Well, if not be prepared to be in that situation sooner or later in your creative career.  As I have started this journey of self employment I have encountered quite a few opportunities to do something for someone where I was not necessarily “paid” in monetary terms.  Depending on your situation you have to ask yourself a few questions to determine if this project is a good idea or not.

1.  Is this project something I would enjoy or love doing?

2.  Is the client offering me something I can truly use in return for my time and services (say hosting a website or use of software etc)?

3.  Can this client lead me (or refer me) to other clients who can pay me?

4.  Are the project and the expectations of you and your client clearly defined?

5.  Are you being offered the opportunity to expand in a new direction that you have been wanting to gain experience in?

If you answered yes to at least 2 of the questions above then you may want to consider this sort of arrangement.  I am finding that I am being asked to participate in various types of projects by other entrepreneurs and when someone else is just starting out as well I am more inclined to help them out if they are serious, professional and can offer me something equally valuable (relative to the time I would spend for them).    I have also been approached by mid sized/large companies asking me to work a barter deal with them.  Frankly this is not as appealing to me unless they really have something valuable to offer me in return.  We all have to earn a wage at some point, here in the US it would be virtually impossible to survive on a barter system alone.

The whole subject of “Free” is one that is being discussed all over the place these days.  I’ve participated in a few online discussions over at the former website “Make and Meaning”.   You can find an archive of these discussions on the subject of free over at Crafty Pod.  This subject really gets people worked up, they either love or hate the idea of sharing their ideas and services for free or for the exchange of publicity, referral or some other less monetary exchange.  Either way be prepared to explore the possible advantages and disadvantages of doing something for “free”.