Making Do and Making Art

What are your barriers to creativity? What keeps you from making or doing on a regular basis? A lack of:

  • time?

  • space?

  • money?

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On Dreaming Big

When I first started writing a blog and named it My Giant Strawberry one of the things that appealed to me about that name was how it spoke of my big dreams. Back then I had a lot of dreams, but I never imagined I would begin painting or that painting would become a main focus for me.

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The Answer to Slowing Down? Gratitude

How is possible that Thanksgiving has already come and gone? If you celebrated it, I hope it was peaceful, joyful and filled with love.

It seems I’m always pondering how fast time is flying by and how I’m not able to keep up with it. Am I the only one? Do you feel this way, too?

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Any Step Will Do -- How to Move Forward with Your Creative Journey

For a while now I’ve been in a weird place in my art journey. Knowing that I need to change, or am on the cusp of change, but not knowing how to do it or what that change is supposed to look like. I know I mentioned it last month.

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Successes, Failures and Celebrating Where We Are

This morning there is a blanket of snow over everything. When I checked the thermometer it said 23. And yet I have more energy and feel more inspired today than I have for a long time because the SUN is shining.

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Being in the Middle

When I sit down to write to you it’s usually with a plan that I’ve been thinking about for a while. I usually start writing about a week before I’m planning on posting. I have lists of topics. I have a schedule. But sometimes things don’t go as planned.

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The End of the Season in the Garden -- Reviewing and Planning for Next Year

We’ve been having cold nights for a while now. We’ve even had snow. Except for a few hardy growers, my garden is finished for the year.

At the end of the season (and in truth, even during the season) I’m looking forward to next year’s garden.

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Learning to Slow Down

Lately I feel as if I’m always in a hurry. As if the days are hurtling by and I can barely keep up. I’ve been feeling like this for a while and I don’t like it. One of the reasons we moved out of the city was to live a slower life, but here I am rushing, again.

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Allowing The Change (And New Calendars)

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. In part with the changing of the seasons as I wrote last week, but also because change seems to be all around.

Isn’t it always?

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Honoring Seasons, Transitions and Change

Last week the weather shifted dramatically from summer to full-on autumn. Suddenly the days were cold. Dark. Wet. I layered on sweaters and hats and scarves. We turned on the furnace and brewed pot after pot of hot tea.

I felt lethargic, melancholy. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning. I made soup and baked bread. I wrote Joy Lists. But nothing seemed to help. I was uninspired and discouraged in my art, too. All I wanted to do was snuggle beneath my quilts and crocheted blankets to wait for the sun to come out again.

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Giving Ourselves Permission for Rest and Play

Do you (regularly) schedule time for doing nothing or for projects that don’t have a specific end result? Do you put “play” or “rest” on your to-do list?

If you’re anything like me, probably not.

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2019 Tea Towel Calendars and Coordinating Fabric

I want to thank everyone who voted for my Tea Towel Calendar design. Although this year’s tea towel didn’t place as high as in the past, my Blue Roses is one of the Community Favorites on Spoonflower.

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Joy List Monday

It's been ages since I've done a Joy List Monday post  (I've never done one in this space), but this morning I am overflowing with joy and wanted to share it with you (and encourage you to discover some joy at the start of a week, too).

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Why trying new things and even making mistakes is good for your creativity

When you're learning how to do something or if you're building up a business, it's important to focus your energy in one direction.

When I first started teaching myself to paint I didn't do that.

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Summer Love Songs and Savoring Each Day

It's the last day of August. I can't quite believe it. Throughout the month I've been noticing the beginnings of fall. It seems early this year.

Summer's my season and although autumn can be beautiful its arrival always makes me a bit melancholy.

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Magic in the Garden, Part 2: Black Swallowtails

Back in July I spotted some black swallowtail caterpillars on the parsley in my garden. I was thrilled to see them. I think butterflies are some of the most magical creatures in the garden.

These caterpillars were pretty small and I didn't recognize them at first. Their early phase doesn't look at all like their later ones*. 

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Magic in the Garden, Part 1

I am constantly amazed by the magic that occurs just outside my back door. I step into the garden with a sense of childlike wonder. There's no need to conjure giant strawberries. We just need to look

A tiny seed that grows into a plant that will feed you all summer long. The way a flower unfurls to reveal a spiral of petals. The intricate weaving of a spider's web.

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Where are They Now? Catching Up with Some of the Artists I Interviewed

You may have noticed that I'm posting on a Tuesday instead of my usual Friday. I'm working on sharing some shorter posts between my regular posts. I'm not sure how often I'll do this, but it's fun to experiment and try some new things in this new space.

And speaking of trying new things, I've been contemplating starting up another interview series. What do you think? Do you enjoy reading interviews with creative women who are living their dreams?

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Watercolor Sunflowers from Start to Finish

Sunflowers embody the spirit of summertime. Of buzzing bees and hazy days. Shrill cicadas and fluffy white clouds floating in blue skies. They're some of my favorite plants to grow in my garden. I love the flowers, so many shapes and colors and sizes, but what I like even more is that they feed the bees and the birds.

My garden is filled with flowers calling me to paint them, but right now it's the sunflowers I couldn't resist.

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