Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Your inner artist

While thinking about retirement, I imagined a little studio on the 2nd floor of a refurbished barn on our property where I would spend hours in front of sun washed windows painting and welding amazing sculptures.   And then my free time would be photography and fulfilling a life long dream-writing a novel.

So 16 months into retirement are things as I imagined?   Yes, though on a much smaller scale.  But isn't that how reality differs from dreams...

My studio

First of all, absent a barn on our property, I improvised by setting up a small studio in a seldom-used room adjacent to my study.  A fresh coat of yellow paint, new honeycomb blinds over an arched window, a 1960's Formica table that my parents gave me long ago and some storage units from the Container Store provide a great place for art and crafts.

And this is an example of what I like to do.  Re-purpose. Use ordinary objects for art. Whether it be antique glass creamers, old register grates, antique beads, old bar stools, prisms from chandeliers, old jeans or pennies, I enjoy these being the starting point for art.  Here are a few examples over these retirement months:

I created a small vase by painting an antique glass milk creamer with acrylic paint and added beads around the neck.

I purchased an old register grate at an antique store which became a great garden sculpture

I love making sun catchers. This one is from  old and new beads, a prism from an old light fixture and an old bus token.

Since the seat was falling out of this old chair that Mike picked up on trash day, I used it for a pot of geraniums.

I create purses using old jeans, handles from old purses and scarves.

Mom and I created a sign for the kitchen using pennies.

With my mom and sister Pam, we created felt Christmas trees and added bead ornaments.  (The EAT sign and the felt trees ideas came from the CraftedSparrow.com blog).

I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas season.  I created tree toppers using old jewelry and beads.  Other tree toppers were made of felt and fabric paint.  Of course, there was that slight failure making a "Noel" sign...

One of my latest venture is painting on glass with fabric paint. 
And I continue to make jewelry from old and new beads...

As far as writing goes,  I am enjoying writing this blog.  Although I expected it to be about retirement,  I guess it's really about my life and what I'm up to. Sometimes writing takes twists and turns you don't expect.  And though I haven't written that novel yet,  I am working on a few other things.  Here are a couple of children's books that I wrote a few years ago and recently revised.
And photography lives strong through this blog.  I am always taking pictures of every event, much to the chagrin of friends and family.  

So it's not exactly what I imagined for retirement, but it's pretty darn close.  I love creating, whether with words, beads or paint!  I find myself looking at things and imagining what it could be.  And the time just races by when I'm working away in my studio...

I hope you are making time for your own creative outlet.  Your inner artist needs to come out!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Going stir crazy

Birds don't mind gray
Is anyone else going stir crazy this winter?  It's only the first of February, and it seems winter has lasted for years.  Cold, snow, gray skies, warmer weather.  Cold, snow, gray skies, warmer weather.  I mean really, who needs this?

So how do you pass the time when you are retired, and the winter is very long?  Good question, and one I've been asking myself a lot lately.

Normally I would be working on the house, but I'm at a bit of a standstill right now.  I have ideas for the family and dining rooms, but both require Mike's time, and he has been occupied with other stuff.  This week he's attending a machine automation conference where he is enjoying the automation classes and re-connecting with colleagues.

I think this will lead to consulting work for Mike, and I know it's on his mind as he is regularly coming up with company names for "our" consulting business.  Of course this implies that I will be consulting as well.  Program Management is the logical choice but I keep thinking about other possibilities.  I mean if you can't select a new path in retirement when can you? More to come on this subject, I'm sure...

Who is watching this game anyway?

The annual Super Bowl party at our friend Brian's was great.  It was fun to catch up with everyone though I may have been one of the people talking so much that others missed the commercials!  Oops!

Words escape me

And then the roller derby...
We ventured to the State Fairgrounds on a very cold and snowy Saturday night, and the place was packed! The Naptown Roller Girls were hosting the Bleeding Heartland team, and it was Star Wars night to boot.  Or as described in the program "Looking for Love in Alderaan Places".  Seriously, I couldn't make this up!

 I don't understand the nuances of the derby, but I finally got the fact that there is no ball or puck.  Instead the Lead Jammer (skater with star on their helmet) tries to complete a circle around the rink to score a point.  And then there's lots of confusion as other players try to hit, slam and block each other, trying to help or impede the Lead Jammer.  Ok, sports reporter is not one of my new careers (and I hope I didn't just offend any die hard roller derby fans)...

With Chuck and Melanie at roller derby

And Mike and I spent a couple of days with family in Southern Indiana.  We had a great family meal the first night we were in town.  Mom prepared wild boar (which is an interesting story in its' own right), and much to my surprise it was great!

Mike helped out with a few chores in the bone-chilling cold, and I worked on some painting techniques from my recent class, using fabric paint on glass.  The heart shaped bowl cost only $1 at the local dollar store, and the ink bottle is from an antique store.

And I have been using my new studio to make some stretch bead bracelets.  I love having a space to work!

And I find myself day dreaming about a Caribbean cruise, warm sunny days and umbrella drinks...

Have a great weekend!