Monday, June 11, 2012

If only there were a virtural fist bump...

Although a friend to hyperbole, what follows contains none.  No really, I'm serious.

Jeanne Oliver's course, Creatively Made, was honestly one of the most inspiring things I've done in a long, long time.  This online art journey, which I had the opportunity to take part in this past winter, gave me access to amazing teachers, new skill sets, and a virtual community of everyday folks around the country who, just like me, have an interest in crafting, but not necessarily the tools, knowledge, or motivation to complete projects. Jeanne, the incredibly talented, yet humbly endearing, designer I've mentioned in past posts, is one of the many photographers, vintage collectors, folk artists, and crafters featured in the course videos (which can be opened and reopened at any point) that explain the artists' respective career and personal paths as well as step-by-step project "how-to"s.

Trust me, though, these are not videos that will intimidate you, make you feel foolish, or frustrate you with a level of roll-your-eyes-"I'd-never-be-able-to-do-that" expertise.  No. You'll want to have a cup of coffee with these artists.  You'll feel supported. You'll ultimately have no qualms about sharing pictures of your own work.  You'll join the Facebook group page and smile at and comment on the photos your classmates share.   You'll spend an hour of so some evenings watching videos, working on projects like art journals and leather cuffs (that ultimately come out so much better than you ever dream they will) instead of watching T.V. or piddling with something of little consequence. You'll be excited about the neat project waiting on your kitchen table when you get home from work. You'll simply feel inspired.

So, in essence, the course seeks to "reawaken" skills and talents that we all have the tendency to push to the back burner.  The course necessitates the type of introspection that is healthy, but typically ignored.  The course reminds you that you're not just a mom, or a daughter, or a spouse.  The course gives credence to the creativity we too often allow to lay dormant. 

And, the course is now available to all of you.

Jeanne and friends have decided to offer Creatively Made one more time, starting June 18.  Check out this video that provides an overview much clearer than my description above.

(Sorry, having trouble getting this to embed).
We did a modified version of one of the Creatively Made projects at the library.  It inspired this. 

I really do think you'll love this experience. If you're interested, you can Register here
Big thanks to fellow FOLK writer, Michael Wurm, for tagging this on his Pinterest board.  I love pistachios. I love cake.  I love really vibrantly-hued foods.  This recipe is a winner.

Pistacio Cake (via
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
7 drops green food coloring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. In a large bowl mix together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, water, oil, almond extract and green food coloring. Blend ingredients, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour into prepared 10 inch tube pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

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