Seven Waves of Cascading Creativity

Today marks my completion of Week 3 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. When I first began the book, the end of twelve weeks seemed as distant as the top of Cannon Mountain from the base of the Flume Gorge.

Yet, with a hop, skip, and a slowly flowing pen, three weeks briskly washed over me and then buoyed me forward with multiple waves of creativity.

Wave 1

Sprang forth from my decision to blog every day so that I could get in the habit of writing daily. On most days, I discovered that I had at least one interesting story I wanted to share, typically about something I learned, or my writing goals.

Wave 2

Bubbled up  a renewed urge to create cards. I have made home-made greeting cards in the past, but not in a long time. I used Gimp to create images with photographs and phrases that I invented and then made the products available through Zazzle. I made a card and a mousepad. I ordered both and the production was excellent.

For my Artist Date this week, I visited a Paper Source store and bought card making supplies. I completed a birthday card for a friend’s birthday.

Wave 3

Sparkled a desire to make unique jewelry. Before we moved to NY, I purchased a lot of supplies from a bead store where I used to work part-time. After the move, I was low on energy and preoccupied with my father’s failing health.

Since January, I have made two pairs of threaded, beaded earrings, a pendant, a necklace with the pendant, and a matching pair of earrings.

Wave 4

Rapidly heaved up a memory of an old love: reading and writing poetry. I borrowed and read some poems by Audre Lorde that inspired me to write a poem that I shared on my blog. I returned the book, but I plan to read some of the poetry I have in my possession and to get more.

Wave 5

Floated up a desire to add the timed, sense-focused writing exercises from the Pat Pattison book called Songwriting Without Boundaries. A few days ago, I rescued the book from my bookcase and have included it in my writing warmups for the day immediately after my morning pages. The segue works well, and I am enjoyed the feel of mastering the artful pull of quickly recalling numerous descriptive, sense-bound qualities within a set period of time.

Wave 6

Cracked open a new idea rivulet: a Pinspiration board. Yesterday, I purchased a large cork board to replace the tempered glass shelf above the creativity area of my L-shaped desk. I plan to hang up my 2014 Life Goals list, a list of bodily senses to remind myself to stay focused when I am writing, pictures of family and friends, cards I have received, beloved poems, and uniquely outlined or framed (made by me) inspirational quotes.

Wave 7

Overcame by a wave of realization that, when I look back to all the ways creativity has sprang up in my life since January 5, 2014, I feel inspired and happy from the crest of my own accomplishments.

Having the perspective of (at least) three weeks helped me identify all the creative grooves that have been reawakened in me simply by going with the flow of what I desire, i.e. writing and making art, and a determination to make that happen.

Plays with Jewelry, Too

There is a lesson to be learned: Do not trust Google Maps on your Android Phone to know whether a business is functioning. Double-check with an Internet search to see if the place is still open. Better yet, pick up the phone and call to confirm they are still in business.

A side jaunt to find the Funky Bead Bar in Port Washington, NY after food shopping at Whole Foods in Manhasset, NY, home to the strip mall for rich people (aka Americana Manhasset), turned out to be a dead end. Another bead store in Nassau County shuttered its doors, which leaves me with the only choice of having to go into Manhattan to bask in the glory of proper bead stores.

I have a double-edged knife problem: I love to explore, but I get disappointed when my exploring repeatedly turns out to dead ends. What is the dead end? Nassau County on Long Island. Why? Because it has no bead stores. Oh, you can find beads in a store, such as Michaels or AC Moore. But that is not the same thing as a bead store who mainly has beads, beading supplies, and classes to teach you new techniques and designs. Working at Boston Bead Company in Cambridge, MA spoiled me.

As an artist, I love to go into bead stores and see jewelry designs. I love to dig my hands into the bead bins and get a feel for the beads that will be laying against my skin. The small pleasure of touching beads is enough to have me smiling. When I spend time in bead stores or stores with local art, I became inspired to run home, dig out all my tools and supplies, and create something new.

Since moving to NY in late September, I have barely worked on my jewelry projects. After reading Chapter 2 (Week 2) in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron today, I decided it was time to finish up last week’s project, Comet Tail Earrings using a variety of seed beads.

Comet Tail Earrings

Comet Tail Earrings

Then I decided to make another pair of earrings. I picked up the blue-green beads shown below in Flights of Fancy along with a Buddha bead that I intended to make as a set when I bought those beads. I started with the blue-green beads, added silver flying honeypots, and topped it with a faceted green bead. I slipped them onto the ear wire.

Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy Earrings

Buddha Dreams in Jade and Blues

Then I decided to make my Buddha pendant with flat-ended 20g ear wire pin. Once I had that, I pulled out my bead board, jade beads, my vial of square vintage tan-green-blue square beads, and blue and green spacer beads. I finished it with a silver S-clasp.

Buddha Dreams

The Buddha and the Lotus

I put the set on and modeled it for my husband, Mark. I was wearing a black shirt and went in the bedroom to see what the necklace looked like against my skin. I gasped at the image of Buddha floating above my blue lotus flower tattoo. I asked my husband to take a picture, and I decided to share it here with you. I hope you like the imagery, the tattoo, and the jewelry as much as I do.

Buddha + Lotus


Sometimes Cats Are Jerks

Know what the thing I miss most about the home I am renting out? A separate office with a door I can close to get away from my cats, especially since my office and my living room are now the same place.

I was peacefully listening to the Trentemoller radio station on Pandora, weaving myself a comet tail inspired earring, when my small cat Gwendolyn came prowling on my desk.

Okay. I can hear it now. Yes, I know I should have placed her back on the floor, but she sat down so I figured it would be fine.


When you weave, you should give yourself extra to make sure that you do not run out before your project is finished. This means that sometimes you pull the needle above you head and back to be able to work the thread taut against the beads.

Apparently, this motion was enough to terrify Gwendolyn into panic mode. Since she was laying on a piece of paper I left on my desk, her feet slipped as the paper slid out from under her. Her back feet tossed a pile of bagged beads and ear wires against the wall and down through the one-inch clearance between my desk and the wall.

The beads I had poured out in five, neat piles on the fleece surface I used to lay the beads were an instant sparkly jumble of blues, whites, and golds.

Moments like these make me want to become a hermit with no cats. Or at least a room with a door that I could close and keep the cats out. A room without their litter boxes. That would make me very happy.  Swapping my living room/office for my bedroom might solve the problem except that it would require a lot of piece-by-piece furniture swapping in an apartment less than 650 sq. ft.

Just thinking about it makes me cringe.