Check out the 2021 Fiddlerman “White Christmas” Group Project.
The famous chef, Emeril Lagasse used to always say "kick it up a notch"! And why not? This gets a little deep sharing my beliefs about creativity, so I may not leave this post up very long.
I wrapped birthday gifts for 2 of my Grandkids (the Twins) on Friday, quite a task in itself (I'm pretty much immobile right now w/chronic pain, limited walker & wheel chair). I signed the musical cards with LED lights I had ordered online, took pause to reflect on why I wasn't making my own cards, then drew a few animals/nature stuff on the outside of each envelope (they loved it).
I miss making a big mess when I'm creating things - on a big table and I need the freedom to jump up & go find whatever new tool or material I might decide on in the spur of the moment! Drives me a little crazy I can't do it right now (trying not to be more of a burden), but that doesn't stop me from creating in my head and since cid brought up the subject of making cards with me, I'm re-evaluating what I am able to do in the mean time (thanks, cid)!
cid mentioned she has a die cut machine (which I think can be a great help), but since I'm pretty wicked w/ an X-Acto knife & #16 blades, the machines may be limiting for me. I have a friend who creates cards completely on her PC, but I thrive on the use of my hands.
Here's the deep part - "my" general philosophy on creativity (for everything I make or even playing the Fiddle) has to do with "Craft" vs "Art". I believe "Craft" can always be taken to the next level of "Art" - this includes MUSIC!
"Craft" - inherent knowledge of materials/tools & the skills to wield/manipulate them. I like to "cross-over" knowledge/skills from 1 craft to another whenever possible. Always keep in mind safety/durability. I've learned the biggest secret of a "Pro" is to "finish" your project well. For cards, usually hide any inner workings with another piece of paper. Want your work to last generations? Use good materials (acid-free in this case) and keep from direct sunlight (unless meant for outdoors). For my 5-string "Mortimer", it means continually perfect my intonation, vibrato and double stops!
"Art" is a form of communication that begins with an "Inspiration", an idea. It's easy to be inspired by observing what & who you love or hate - what's unique is HOW you choose to present your idea. With "Craft(s)" under your belt, ask this simple question - "What are ALL my options to kick this up a notch?". Make a list, then experiment with some combinations of your options. If you're lucky & encounter "Happy Accidents" in the process - embrace them!
I believe "Art" can be utilitarian, even food. Use the knowledge of how your Violin produces sound, along with the bow & skills you've learned - maybe get crazy with unusual strings or EV adjustments to interpret and create music! ...or turn your next "VSO" into a work of "Art"!
Now for cid - here's just a few suggestions to help spark creativity & fun in making your cards.
Plain card stock? Try cutting out a design in linoleum to hand print. Maybe cover all or part of the card surface w/ornate washi paper - or a few large brush strokes of watercolor & while wet, sprinkled with coarse salt (remove after dry) - back cut out openings w/colored tissue paper (or colored plastic film) for a "stained glass" effect or sew on fine silk. Try "Scented" ink or set card in a bag w/a sachet! Maybe crimp the edge of your die cut shapes, or glue on dried herbs. Wet paper & emboss or press into a soap or candy mold to dry before adhering to card - use a spring for motion, or fastener so it can "spin" - even a silhouette (w/window cut out) can be fastened to the surface so it turns to reveal a surprise photo. How about a simple "pop-up" version, "accordion" style or have flaps that open to reveal a msg. A different shape of card and envelope, maybe 3-D like a pyramid! Okay, you may have to mail some of these in a box. Whew! Then... there's even micro motors, recordable modules for music and msg's & LED lights you can add!
Grandkids/family/friends always treasure everything you create for them (including MUSIC!) because it comes from your heart, so I hope everyone "kicks something up a notch", today!
Care to share any thoughts on "Creativity"?
bocaholly - you can kick anything up a notch!
cid - I really like your suggestion of recycling old cards - I have quite a few saved just for that purpose, only I'm thinking of letting the Grandkids cut them up to make their own cards this year. about your Sister!
Too bad there aren't any "I kicked it up a notch" badges for playing the fiddle!
cid - thanks for my "Laugh a Day"!
Forgot to ask (ref to scent) does that mean you don't like to "smell the roses"? (lol)
Also, wanted to mention I like your creative use of fabric. I've used the "printer ready" sheets of silk and cotton - printed sheet music on fabric is wonderful in projects (or copyright free, string related humor).
Off subject, I spent time learning the traditional techniques Japanese use to make their magnificent dyed and woven fabrics. I've also been able to procure a huge collection of these silks and cottons - most are works of Art in themselves & others only after pieces are aligned in clothing. It's been hard deciding how to best utilize/showcase these masterpieces. I'm a bit biased - think all traditional Japanese craft is "Art" and so glad information on how to learn them is more readily available, nowadays.
I need to learn more about traditional Japanese music...
Thanks @ABitRusty -
A little over 18 years... remarkable when you think that's about the length of time we spend living with our parents or have our children live with us.
"Winny" wasn't vocal like our other 2, he was a "toucher" and master of the "Big-eyed Stare", i.e. Puss N' Boots. I'm sure you've seen funny cat YouTube videos or GIFs of the like (lol).
He was an entertaining companion, a living anti-depressant, never ruined a single thing in the the house, had the kind of amazingly plush fur most women only dream they can afford in a coat and loved every minute of torture by the Grandkids.
Been preparing myself since we've given him a fair bit of supportive care this last year - think he enjoyed his life with us.
A visit from new #7 Grandbaby "Ender" today helped to change the mood.