A Daily Reminder to Find Joy

I came home from the Makerie exhausted, but full of inspiration and the desire to bring some of the magic of the Makerie into my everyday life. I realized that all that magic came from joy.

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I wanted to capture all of the lessons I had learned at the Makerie in a a physical form. Something I could look at daily and remind myself that even if I can’t permanently be on a creative retreat, I could at least make creativity apart of my daily life.20130418-213055.jpg

I had rescued this green shadow box from a friend’s donation pile, unable to resist something filled with so many cubbies. But it sat in my studio unused almost a year. When I saw it sitting in my studio on Tuesday, I knew it was the right place to start for my Makerie project. I used materials accquired and gathered while at the Makerie, in addition, I used other special pieces I had sitting in my studio to fill this box with reminders of how I wanted to live my daily life.20130418-213155.jpg

I knew right away when I started this project that I would use scrabble letters for the words “FIND JOY DAILY.” That phrase is the main focus of this box. The three wood pieces were cut off our christmas three in 2011, I had intentions of making ornaments but I wasn’t liking how they were going and I was a couple years late. This felt like a better fit.

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I also knew that I wanted to include the sweet pinecone that we all received upon check in at the Makerie. I just loved the way all the pinecones looked sitting on the table waiting to be taken to a new home. And the little note attached is completely true.

Makerie boxI included several items from the natural world as a reminder of my love for the outdoors. And because I have a habit of collecting things and not doing anything with them! I noticed this cluster of red leaves on the ground at Chautauqua while walking to my cabin. I actually resisted the urge to pick them up, but when they caught my eye the next day, I knew I needed to swoop them up!

The wood comes from some trip to the beach, possibly San Diego several years ago. The text is from a song one of my yoga teachers played during class. I typed the text up awhile ago and I found it sitting on my work table while I put this box together. The scalloped lace is cut from a set of Christmas cards I used years ago.20130418-213202.jpg

Years ago, a friend gave me a pack of prayer cards. This one has been hanging in my studio for while and had the perfect sentiment for this project. I’m not sure from where the rock came. I collect rocks on my journeys and have them stacked around my studio.20130418-213214.jpg

Another important word for this box is the word PLAY. I used cardboard letters that I received for Christmas from my mom in college. I’ve forgotten what it means to create art in a playful way. Most of the time, I create art with the intention of it becoming a final piece and then selling it. I’ll write more about this later, but while taking my Doodle Draw class, I had so much fun just playing with drawing.

The feather was sitting in my studio, picked up along the way. And the pressed greenery comes all the way from England, 6 years ago.20130418-213103.jpg

The little card “Wind to your wings, light to your path, dreams to your heart,” is another little piece from our Makerie welcome bags. The textured paper behind it was something I couldn’t resist bringing home from my Creating Content class.20130418-213112.jpg

Above, I included a photo from our 6:45am morning hike at Chautauqua our last morning. I put the words “practice” over the photo to remind me that art is a practice. Just like yoga and making time to go to my mat, I must make time for my studio and creating. It’s called yoga practice, not yoga perfect. The word is also a reminder of something Molly Hatch said, “Being successful in the arts isn’t about money, it’s about sustaining a practice over a life time.”20130418-213118.jpg

In the squares above, I included another photo from that same morning hike, just because I always feel so proud of myself when I take a good photo (even if it is with the help of Instagram.) I used a strip of fabric that I bought in California last fall and used my typewriter to create the text “I want to live a simple life,” lyrics from The Weepies, a song playing while I worked.

And finally, for the first time, I used a vintage measuring tape from my collection. This is a reminder to stop saving things for a special occasion because today can be special, too.20130418-213129.jpg

I’ve saved several of the tags from my Yogi Tea and picked two that were perfect reminders for this box.20130418-213147.jpg

I didn’t set out to chose a certain color scheme, I just let myself pick the colors and textures that delighted my eyes. Some of the paper were collected in Crafting Content class, some papers came from our goodie bag when we checked in at the Makerie. Like the “What will you make today?” which came from the CreativeBug’s promotional brochure. Still other papers came from my collection. The teal and green pattern above is a recent acquisition, it’s a vintage wrapping paper sample!

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I chose to hang my Makerie box next to my bed so I would see it everyday. It was nice to finally make a nice wall composition in this space, too. I had recently framed some artwork by Cori Dantini, but hadn’t hung them up yet. These three pieces complimented the stretched canvas photo from our wedding, a picture of a tree with our initials carved into it.

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