I’ve kept a journal—more or less, okay more than less—for thirty years. I’ve played around with umpteen-gazillion journaling techniques, from drawing with my eyes closed to dialoging with inanimate objects.
About three months ago I was trying to journal, yet again, about my love-hate relationship with housework. Make no mistake, I love a tidy house, with washed windows, vacuumed carpets, and everything put away in it’s own special place. At least, I think I’d love it if I could ever get there once. Just once.
There are too many interesting things to do. Write another scene vs vacuum? Research a new character vs wash windows? Play with cloth vs file papers? Guess which one I’ll choose every time. This is the result, what a corner of my office/workshop/atelier looks like. It doesn’t always look like this. Some weeks it looks worse.
As I struggled to put my love and loathing of housework into words yet again, I realized that words failed me. No amount of journal angst was going to do it this time. I wanted something substantial, that would show my ambivalence about hating mess and loving creativity at the same time. So instead of writing, I made a personal shrine. It’s called “Blue Over Housework.”
I think if you click on the photos you might get a bigger version. It works here in the preview screen, but I'm not sure what will happen once this thing gets posted.
For the techno-paper geeks out there: the base is 3/16" foam core board, covered with mulberry paper. The words were computer generated and printed on more mulberry paper, which was layered on the base. The blue-and-white dish pan, dishes and dishcloth are DECO air-drying clay from Japan. The dragonflies are made of wire, Japanese paper, and craft pearls. The thing that looks like an egg shell is . . . an egg shell. Embellishments include stamps, buttons, printed words, a air-drying clay disc stamped with the Chinese symbol for peace, a kitchen sponge, and an old house key. The whole thing is covered with multiple layers of Golden acrylic gel, tinted with Golden acrylic liquid paint.
I recommend a little shrine-building for everyone, particularly if you’re struggling with a conundrum that words don’t seem to cover. You might want to check out the multi-media artist, Carol Owen, http://www.carolowenart.com/ and her book, Crafting Personal Shrines, Lark Books, 2004, ISBN:1-57990-453X. http://www.larkbooks.com/catalog?isbn=157990811X That book has all the directions, patterns, tips, and list of materials you’ll need to build a shrine.
After that, just go for it. Play. Create. Build. Have a great time.
I'm off to the World Fantasy Convention, here in Calgary this coming weekend. 3 1/2 days of writing workshops and schmoozing with other writers. Best of all, I can take the C-train there and back, and sleep in my own bed each night.
Creative quote for the week:
Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L’Engle, writer