Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jump In - It's a Stash Swap!

Okay!  Are you ready?  You're going to enjoy participating in this!  I organized my first swap last March via my Creative ARTitude Facebook page and it was a huge success.  Now that I have a blog, I thought it would be even more fun to organize the swap here.

I had a blast going through my personal stash of art supplies and using intuition to put together a surprise for someone else, and receiving a package in the mail was exciting too - almost like Christmas!  Everyone participating felt the same. With a swap, you never know what inspirations might arrive in that little package...or how the items that you send will inspire someone else.

What can you swap?  It could be ephemera, graphics, collage sheets, cabinet cards, stickers, stencils, scrapbooking paper, fibers, beads, buttons, charms, small kits, brads, chipboard, small rubber stamps, miniatures - just about any supply from your stash that can fit into a USPS flat rate envelope. This is a large, sturdy cardboard envelope or mailer that measures 12.5 inches by 9.5 inches and the cost to mail it is only $4.95.

You'll be sending only to the person following you on the list. Once I have all of the names for participants, I'll be getting in touch with each of you with contact information for only the person following you on the list. Your contact information will only be shared with one person and won't be used for any other purpose.

When you receive the name of the person you'll be sending to, please connect with them online via email to get/give snail mail info (and maybe learn a little bit about your swap partner!) and be sure to put "Stash Swap" in the subject line so that they know your message isn't spam.  Be sure to check your junk mail folder, just in case.

To participate in the swap, simply leave your name and email (use the format kalikokitty at gmail dot com instead of kalikokitty@gmail.com) in the comments.  If you're not comfortable doing that, then send me an email (my email addie is below).  If you live outside the US, or are willing to mail outside the US or your own country, please state so in your comment.  No guarantees, but I'll do my best to find partners for any of you who are outside the US.  I'll be taking names until September 15 and will get in touch with each of you after that.

There is no specific date to mail packages, but there is a deadline - and that is September 24th.

To recap:
  • Leave your name and email in the comment section by midnight Pacific time on September 15th
  • Are you outside the US?  Please let me know!
  • Are you willing to swap with someone outside of your own country?  Let me know that as well.
  • I will contact you between September 16th and 18th to let you know who your swap partner is
  • Contact your swap partner to get their snail mail information
  • Put together your swap package
  • Mail your package no later than September 24th
  • Enjoy the anticipation of receiving and opening the package winging it's way to you!
  • As a courtesy, and to help me ensure that the swap runs smoothly, please send me an email  at CreativeARTitude at hotmail dot com when you've mailed your package, and again when you receive a package.   Hearing from each of you will help me to make sure that no one is left out or overlooked and that we've all been able to share in the positive energy and fun.
  • Practice courtesy and gratitude by letting the person who has sent a package to you know that it's been received.
If you create something using the contents of your stash swap package, I'd love to know about it so please feel free to share!  Who knows, maybe I'll be able to do a blog post sharing your creations!

If you'd like to follow my blog (I'd be thrilled!) there are several options in the left hand column, so be sure to check them out.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Element of Water

Week four of the Elements of Art Journaling workshop!  I am so far behind, between health and life issues, but glad to have finished my art journal spread.  I've been dealing with a major flare for the past week.  This one included major pain in both arms, making it almost impossible to move or lift them.  I'm so happy that the pain levels are ebbing and allowing me to do so many things that are usually taken for granted!

Being a water baby, I thought that this portion of the workshop would be a breeze but instead found it one of the most challenging.  The writing portion was easy, but processing what came up during the writing - well, not so much!

Still, I had fun experimenting with background techniques for the spread and used my white gelly roll pen for the first time.  I also used some sequin waste for the first time - gifted to me by a wonderful Wild.Precious friend.

The images that kept on coming up for me were rivers, mermaids and sea horses.  I played with drawing a mermaid, but then moved to simply drawing a face.  I hopped on over to Willowing's first lesson from her free Art, Heart and Healing workshop for a refresher.

The message "Be Gentle With Yourself" flowed out from the writing exercise.  Perhaps because of the intensity of my health and pain issues lately, I had a lot of self-judgement and frustration pop into my writing and my awareness.  Issues related to living with chronic disease and pain; with the changes and need for adaptation; with the grieving that they bring. 

Working through all of those emotions, I realized that this will be an on-going process.  It's not a one time, fix all kind of thing.  That judgment and frustration will visit me again, yet I have new tools with which to process them.  And, as I always told my kids, practice makes perfect - or as close to it as we can get.  

Oh, and part of the meaning of Seahorse as a totem?  
"When seahorses come to visit it means consider all the possibilities! Don't limit your perceptions based on preconceived notions because things are not always as they seem. Seahorses can also bring a message to not overdo or work yourself to the point of exhaustion. You should be sure that you are meeting all of your own needs before taking on too many other responsibilities."  (found at totemwisdom.com).

How perfect is that??