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Category: This Week in the Oodlearium

This week in The Oodlearium

Only a three-day work week…no complaining here! I had lots of time in The Oodlearium this week for sure. I was off on Monday for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. I spent most of the day working on the Oodle Doodles section of my website. It was quite a feat getting the artwork on the landing page to be somewhat uniformly sized. 

I took a personal day on Wednesday to watch all of the festivities surrounding the celebration of our democracy and the smooth transition of power to the Biden Administration. I won’t lie! I had a huge amount of anxiety leading up to Wednesday. I was so worried that something terrible was going to happen that I could hardly concentrate on anything else these last two weeks.  On the 20th, I slept in and enjoyed making us a leisurely breakfast. I settled into The Oodlearium with CNN streaming the ceremonies and a smattering of projects on the oodle surface in front of me. 

A new-to me surface for pour painting.

On Monday, I picked up a heart made out of wooden slats and decided I was going to do a Valentine’s Day pour painting on it. I had never poured on wood and I had never done a pour on such a large surface. I put down a base of silver paint on all the slats and all the edges. I decided I would do a pour on each individual slat instead of trying to figure out how to get the paint to “jump” the gap between the slats. I mixed up large containers of white, red, pink and silver. One cup at a time, I created a layer of paints so that each slat would be slightly different. I really like how it turned out. Now I just need to wait for the weather to warm up just a bit, so that I can take it outside and spray with a clear coat finish.

Celebrating Democracy Pour Painting.

All week I was thinking about how I wanted to do a red, white and blue pour with small splashes of silver and gold. As is always the case, I never know what these paintings are going to look like when they are done. I layered the red, white, blue, gold and silver in a mini strainer and let the magic happen. I love how this one turned out and plan to hang it every year in celebration of the 4th of July! It actually got me thinking that I might create pours for different holidays going forward. I have a spot outside my office downstairs where I could hang a different painting every couple of months. 

52Frames

Last week’s challenge was shoot low. I spent a lot of time rolling around on the floor with the lego robots we built early in the pandemic before I finally decided to shoot my VW bus. It’s such a fun memory. The bus.

The current week’s theme water. I was sure that I had my submission made on Wednesday. I spent a better part of the afternoon trying to shoot flags through bubbles made out of dish soap and oil in a glass dish. I was positive that my camera was actually screwed up from when it tumbled off my tripod twice during my self-portrait shoot a few weeks ago. It turns out that the dang water bubbles just never stayed still enough to get a good focus. This morning, I woke up and stumbled into our bathroom only to find the most incredible coating of ice coating our window. I made a few shots and realized if I waited for the sun to rise, I would have something special. I shot and shot and shot and shot and with the help of a fellow framer selected my shot for the week. I’m SO excited! For Amanda. I dedicated my image to Amanda Gorman, the poet laureate who recited a profoundly moving piece during the Inauguration. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here. My image won’t be visible until the album goes live Tuesday morning.

Oodle Doodles

I have been doing a lot of brainstorming for the stories, but my words have been stuck inside my heart this week. However, I keep at my practice of sitting here and writing— knowing that the practice is more important than the product. The words will come when they are ready to do so.

Until next week, keep oodling!

This week in The Oodlearium

Creativity Hour.
When I embarked on my creative journey with The Oodlearium, one of the pillars of creativity I wrote about was meeting regularly with other creatives. That was my primary reason for wanting to start a podcast. I have put that idea on the back burner for right now. I have too much going on to put the time into it that it deserves. I will revisit that idea as summer approaches. In the meantime, I am trying to set up a virtual creative hour with other creatives. The idea would be to set aside an hour once a week to chat with other creatives. Talk about the projects you are working on…questions you have…ask for advice…or just get ideas for your next creative adventure. If this is something you would be interested in being part of, drop me a PM and I’ll add you to the list. 

52 Frames.
Last week’s theme was leading lines. After an amazing ice storm that left every tree looking like it had been flocked, I pulled over on the side of the tollway to snag my picture with my phone (something I never do!). 

This week’s theme was to shoot from below. I spent a lot of time rolling around on the floor trying different shots of some Lego robots I built last summer before I eventually decided on a shot of the Lego VW bus I built. This is the next installment in the “This is how I roll” series. Yep, I’m 45 and I built a VW bus out of Lego blocks. And, yep, a part of my brain is trying to figure out how I can actually have a real VW bus.

Pour painting.
The Oodlearium has canvases sitting all over the place. There is a set of four that I have waiting for summer when I can build a custom frame for them. There are others just sitting on the shelves behind me.  I love each one more than the previous…which makes it hard for me to just give them away. Long story short, it has been a few weeks since I last painted. Today I was struggling with the writing I was doing, so I pushed my notebook aside and did a quick pour. It is such an incredible release— no matter how it turns out, I always feel a bit brighter afterward.

I have taken a personal day to watch the Inauguration festivities and am planning a red/white/blue themed pour in honor of this important day in our nation’s history.

Pilot Pens and Ink.
Last week I mentioned that I was geeking out on ink for my Pilot pen. The inks finally arrived this week and I was over the moon excited. I learned so much about inks and pens. Tom bought me a Pilot Metropolitan from The Goulet Pen Company, which is a mom and pop shop in Virginia. I ordered a whole mess of inks not knowing that inks are proprietary to the pens…buy a Pilot pen and you have to buy Pilot inks. Who knew! Anyhow, I have a new stash of all different colored inks for the upcoming card season. I cannot say enough wonderful things about The Goulet Pen Company. They have amazing customer service! They responded quickly to my question about my order and offered various options for my situation. I look forward to purchasing from them again. 

The Oodle Doodles.
I am still working on the Oodle Doodle back stories. They are pushing me and challenging me in ways I never imagined. I am planning to set up individual pages for each Oodle on www.theoodlearium.com. Look for a separate announcement telling you when you can start following their launch! 

In the meantime, the Oodle Doodles have been printed and have already started making their way onto cards for random occasions. Today my sister-in-law sent me a text with a picture of all my oodles from my Christmas cards from the last five or so years. I was so tickled to see that she had kept all the cards and that they brought such happiness to her. Mission accomplished!

George Berlin
I have been following an artist, who traveled from the US to Taiwan to collaborate with a local artist on a major art installation. It has been amazing to follow his journey. Check him out on Facebook and Instagram. You won’t be disappointed!

The Practice by Seth Godin
Tom and I are reading a new book by Seth Godin called The Practice. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone seeking sage advice and encouragement to pursue your true creative self. I find myself bookmarking or highlighting every single passage. Check it out!

Until next time.

This week in The Oodlearium

This past Monday I returned to my classroom for the first time since early November. I won’t lie and say that I was filled with anxiety and depression. A friend is doing her PhD research on the effects of COVID19 on teachers and students. I could go on and on about how challenging it has been. HOWEVER and that is a really big HOWEVER, I did spend a lot of time engaging in creative shenanigans to help me get through the week.

52 Frames- The first week of every new year is always a self-portrait. I mentioned it last week. Here is a link to my image. I was super excited about this image for what what it represents– the start of a long story! I have decided to take my entire 52 Frames journey this year and call it: This is how I roll. Each image will be example of how I have chosen to live my life. We get judged a lot about our choices–whether it is my funky colored hair or not having kids or how we spend our money. I am very much looking forward to a creative reflection on how I live my life. I spent a lot of time commenting on photos from the album this week, too. It is always fun to see the faces of fellow framers. If you read through the descriptions so many people (myself included) say how much they hate pictures of themselves. Were it not for this challenge, in some cases I would never know what someone looked like! And holy moly– there are some incredibly creative portraits. Take a looksy. You will not be disappointed. The theme for this week is leading lines and I am super happy with the image that I captured with my phone. Stay tuned for next week when I share it.

Axel

The biggest news of the week is that I have plunged head first into my newest long-term project and I am over the moon excited! Tom mentioned in passing that it would be fun if I wrote the back stories about my Oodle Doodles. I was not sure that I had enough of them to make it worthwhile. Well…I spent a good chunk of time during my last week of break drawing a clean version, scanning and coloring them as a I mentioned last week. Well this week, I have given them all names and professions. I am working through assigning characteristics and hobbies/interests to them. While digging through a cabinet at school, I found an old book of journal prompts that sparked another idea. Instead of writing about them in the third person, I am going to write about them in the first person. For example, Axel tells the story of how he went blind when he was 12. Another Oodle tells the story of how the love of her life gave her a Figa charm when she set off to hike the El Camino de Santiago in Spain. I am going to add a page to this site that houses all of the stories as I finish them. Stay tuned! I am 100% consumed by this project, so I’m hoping there will be a story up sooner rather than later!

What’s happening in the Oodlearium

It’s New Year’s Day and I have been off for just shy of two weeks. I return to my classroom on Monday for the first time since early November. To say that I am anxious would be a gross understatement. However, I decided to dedicate my entire Christmas break to ME. So here is what has been happening in the Oodleariium while I have been off:

Pour Painting with new mini strainers. If you ever needed proof that your phone or device is listening to you then these strainers are that proof. I made some offhand comment about how it would be fun to have different strainers with different hole patterns to play around with. The next time I was on Pinterest the exact set I was looking for showed up in my feed. They were cheap and I ordered them. I have since done two paintings with them and I LOVE THEM! 

International Pour Painting Party. I have a fellow Framer friend from Israel who also enjoys pour painting. We got together last week for the second time to do a painting together. She was curious to see my technique. We talked a lot about supplies and the differences in what is available here vs what she can easily find in Israel. For example, she had never heard of pour-ready paint, which is all that I use. We talked about cameras and of course our worries about the continued danger of the raging pandemic. I cherish these experiences, because they remind me how small the world is. 

Oodle Doodle Book Idea. One day I was sitting here in the Oodlearium going through my sketch books and looking at my different doodles. I started marking the pages with post-it notes and before I knew it, there were close to FORTY different doodles. I smiled at each one and remembered the various circumstances that brought them to be. That is when it struck me that I really wanted to create a book with all of my doodles. Tom (at least I think it was his idea) suggested that I write the backstory for each of the characters and have that text accompany each image. I was sold immediately! What a fun idea. I spent a whole day last week drawing a clean version of each of the doodles and then scanning them. I have a whole process for digitally coloring my drawings that Tom introduced me to when I was first zentangling. If you are interested in that process let me know and I can detail it for you. As of today, I have ALL of the drawings scanned and colored and I am just starting to think about stories. 

Welcome to The Oodlearium sign. A few months ago I was cleaning off a shelf in the basement and I was ready to pitch a stack of rusted and warped cookie sheets that I had from my mother-in-law. I was having a really hard time with the idea of getting rid of them because she was the queen baker of the family— she is the reason that I bake gazillions of Christmas cookies every year. It occured to me that I might be able to use the sheet as a backdrop for a sign. I bought a stack of wooden letters at the craft store and spray painted them a nice teal color (unfortunately did not match my bench perfectly, but it is what we had on hand and is close enough). The letters sat in a jumble on the cookie sheet until this morning when I finally said ENOUGH. I am going to finish this damned project! I grabbed my E6000 adhesive even though it says to use it in a well-ventilated area and I proceeded to finish the sign. I’m not sure exactly where (or if) I will hang it. For now, its sitting next to my bench and I love it!

Crochet Madness. I normally wear a really nice wind resistant ski cap when I am running in the winter. However, lately I have found that it is often too warm. I scoured the world of Pinterest for an earwarmer pattern and found a few that had potential. The day I decided to try them out, I was super stressed out, so I was making mistakes left and right.  I had purchased some beautiful purple merino wool yarn from a local knit shop and was super excited to try it out. However, I did not want to ruin or waste the expensive yarn. I tore apart what I did no less than seven times before deciding to walk away. The next day I decided to try my own pattern, but again I kept making silly mistakes. I have since gotten a decent start on one, but I think there is still an issue with the first few rows. I’m tabling that project for now! Other things to worry about. I’ll pick it up soon enough again.

Azul. Tom and I decided not to get each other Christmas presents this year, but I did pick up a new board game for us called Azul. It has been around for a few years and has gotten awesome reviews on BoardGameGeek.com. We have been having loads of fun playing what is a very simple to learn, but deep game. 

A creative Christmas. As I mentioned we decided not to do presents for each other this year. In a world where we really have enough money to buy what we need, it just puts us in the position to acquire more stuff that we don’t need. So we decided to dedicate our break to our creative pursuits. For me that meant spending a bunch of time in the kitchen. I made spinach/artichoke ravioli with a vodka cream sauce for our Christmas Eve dinner. We had naan bread pizzas with homemade Italian sausage for Christmas Day dinner. One morning I made breakfast pizzas. New Year’s Eve we had an almost entirely sous vide dinner (prime steaks, lobster tails, honey glazed carrots, chocolate mousse all in the sous vide) and then garlic mash and homemade French bread. YUMMO! Tom keeps telling me that I need to write about my fearlessness in the kitchen, because it is a bit of a mystery to me. I’ll save that for another day!

52 Frames- 3X Warrior

My 52 Frames picture for last week completed my 3x Warrior Status, which means that I submitted a picture 156 straight weeks. The theme was to capture 2020 in an image. I woke up on Christmas morning to find the window in the Oodlearium covered in ice and the sun shining on it. 2020 was just like a snowflake— unique and temporary. I was extremely proud of this image!

That means the image for this week is the same as it is every year— a self-portrait. Four years in to this project, I am no longer mortified by this challenge. I still don’t like it, but it doesn’t bring me to tears like it did the first year (no joke). At one point over the break one of us said “That’s how we roll.” The comment was made in reference to the non-traditional way we go through our life. The idea resonated with me and I decided to dedicate my entire year of 52 Frames images to capturing the different ways that I roll. It will be an opportunity to marry self-reflection and creativity. Challenge accepted! The album has not been posted yet, but you can check out my image after it posts next week.

This week in the Oodlearium Part 2

In the meantime, here is what has been happening in the Oodlearium.

  • A thanksgiving haiku. Something that has fallen to the back burner since I returned to school has been my daily haikus. They are like the sprint of creativity for me. I never took more than a few minutes to write one and I always focused on something positive. Here is my Gratitude haiku in celebration of Thanksgiving.
Image may contain: text that says 'GRATITUDE TOM TIME ART HEALTH YOU SCHOOL RUNNING HOME FOOD FRIENDS TECH GRATEFUL FOR IT ALL Sp Adobe AdobeSpark'
  • 52frames. This week’s theme was circles. My photo this week embodies everything that being a framer means to me. A few weeks ago we had an opportunity to take some self-care time at school. My creative pal Lindsay offered to teach me the basics of cutting glass for mosaics. I was super excited to give it a try, so I put out an all-call for bowling balls. I hoped to get one and ended up with four. I gave two to Lindsay and decided one would be for a mosaic and I would do the other one with washers. That project has to wait for spring because I cannot use the adhesive inside. That means I have a huge bag of washers sitting around waiting for a theme like circles! 
  • Crates. I am intrigued by the idea of subscription crates. Afterall i was a child of the BMG CD subscription era. I spent my college career eagerly awaiting a new delivery of music. There are a lot of crates out there, but I have yet to find one that seems worth the money. For now I have decided to be my own subscription service. After all, Pinterest is free and I live between two different craft store.  Crafting Pinterest Board
  • Sewing. Every time I do a pour painting I am scrambling to find a paper town to wipe paint off my hands. Or I am halfway through mixing my paints when I realize I am still in my work clothes and god forbid I get paint on a dry clean only shirt! I need an apron! I so easily could have just bought one, but this was against everything that the Oodlearium stands for. So I picked up a yard of denim at the fabric store and decided to give it a shot. I traced an apron we had in the kitchen and adjusted it a bit. This is an Oodleapron, so I wanted it to be fun. It has been YEARS since I have had my sewing machine out and it was quite the rude awakening. I did not remember how hard it was to sew a straight line. I’m thankful that my husband convinced me to walk away for a few minutes and come back to it with fresh eyes. I have the basic seam done, but I am going to “quilt” a space bird on to it and that will involve another trip to the store and a bit of planning. Stay tuned for the rest of the story 🙂
  • Drawing. I had two special cards to make this week. A friend is going through some health issues and I wanted to send her a bit of extra love. And I had a thank you card for someone who did something kind for me. I had found some fun superhero comic drawing tutorials on Pinterest which had piqued my interest. I was laying in bed when it hit me that my newest character Gertie would be perfect if I added a cape to her and put her in the superhero pose. 
No photo description available.
  • Pointillism. I have read a lot about the meditative properties of pointillism. Of course Seurat’s painting Sunday in the Park is the best example of pointillism, but I had to start somewhere.  So I created a Thanksgiving turkey, but I had more ideas brewing in my brain. It really is meditative!
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  • Cooking. Life got busy on Sunday and I didn’t make it to the grocery store. So I took a gander in our freezer and saw that we had a package of chicken andouille sausage. Perfect for a cajun pasta recipe. Pinterest to the rescue! My husband loves when I tell him that I am going to make a recipe, but that we don’t have half the ingredients. This was definitely one of those times! It’s hard to make cajun pasta without cajun seasonings…unless you make your own! I didn’t have cream, but I did have whole milk (which in reality was all this recipe needed!). And of course I had a healthier version of the sausage. This recipe is a keeper! One pot cajun pasta. And over Christmas break…I am going to learn how to make homemade cheese! 
  • Oodle doodle family portrait.  A lot of people have been posting family portraits as they get ready to make their Christmas cards. That got me thinking that I need to update the Oodle Doodle family portrait header for Facebook. Stay tuned! 
This is the current family portrait. SpaceBird is not in here and neither is Gertie. Definitely needs to be updated!
  • Pour paintings. I wanted to thank someone for doing something kind for me. While it would have been easy to buy a bag of chocolate or a Starbucks gift card, I wanted to do something more meaningful. He is a big Koby Bryant fan and I know how devastated he was after Koby’s tragic helicopter crash earlier this year. So I decided to create a painting inspired by the Lakers colors. I had hoped for it to be more yellow/gold, but it turned out fun regardless and he loved it. Mission accomplished. 
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  • Crocheting. I found a new fall coat that I am absolutely in love with. It was cheap, fun and simple…which meant that I could make a fun scarf to go with it in my all time favorite color. I had a great pattern from a few years ago that I used when I was making sets for the Elgin homeless population. I had forgotten how easy and fun the pattern was. Way back in January or so, I had reached out to Phyllis from The Liam Foundation to tell her that I was going to donate two homemade hats in PRIDE colors to her to auction off in order to help her raise funds for her new non-profit organization (insert link). Then of course we got locked down and any chance of a traditional fundraiser was not in the cards. I showed the hats to our gay-straight alliance sponsor at school and he loved them. I promised him I would make him one for his birthday. The next week he returned from a long weekend to say that his fiancé was jealous that he did not have one. I finally had a free minute to sit down and make another one. Now they have matching hats and it’s ridiculously sweet!
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This week in the Oodlearium Part #1

This is what happens when you want to add a picture of SpaceBird clicking its heals, but you have no idea how to make that happen. The process was too fun not to share!

It’s day one of a five day weekend and my brain decided that 4:45 AM was the time it wanted to activate. So I was sitting in bed poking around on Pinterest when it hit me like a ton of bricks…I have been pinning hundreds of ideas to my Creativity board, but I am not doing anything with them. What the heck! My board is filled with awesome content–inspirational quotes, challenges and exercises and much more, but unless you follow me there, no one is getting anything out of those resources. Heck I am not even looking back at them. That eye-opening realization ripped me out of bed and brought me into The Oodlearium. When I decided to start this blog I had so many ideas of regular features and articles and content that I was going to have perfectly organized into this beautiful and simple package. Then I had to return to work…to my actual classroom…in the middle of a pandemic and well that put a small kink in my plan. 

Cases of Corona have been out of control in our area the last few weeks, which means I have been working from home (insert grateful happy dance). This week I had to drive in to school to drop something off, which meant I was going to spend two hours in my car…perfect opportunity to check out a new podcast. Beautiful Anonymous showed up on a list of recommended podcasts a few weeks ago and I downloaded an episode on new year’s resolutions. Chris’ conversations with the callers got me thinking about The Oodlearium and my blog and where I wanted THIS to go. And a few things came out of that rabbit hole.

  1. I am going to do a weekly recap of ‘What’s happening in the Oodlearium?’ I am finding that I am terrible at social media and making all the different pieces fit together into a cohesive package of content. I am going to take my different posts from different platforms and put them into a weekly recap of sorts. Format to be determined!
  2. With all of my heart and soul I want to do a podcast. There I put it in writing! I have a million different thoughts about this and I feel like I keep using COVID19 as an excuse not to start. Enough! Between now and January 1st I will have a plan to move forward. I am SO excited! Stay tuned for more information.

There is something empowering about taking ideas out of your brain and putting them into written words. I am overwhelmed with excitement about the future and cannot wait to see what it brings. I am sure it will be vastly different from what is in my head, but I am confident it will be beautiful. Tune in tomorrow for what has been happening in the Oodlearium this week.

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