Monday, August 4, 2014

The Blogland Tour!

Leann at The Old Parsonage recently invited me to participate in a blog tour where you answer several questions and encourage other bloggers to do the same.(Check out her replies HERE) I was delighted to join, partly because I so enjoy Leann's blog! She's a gifted stamping artist and often shows her cards and I love it when she shares her delicious recipes! She's a creative homemaker who loves her "Fireman and his Flame," "Flyboy" and Mr. OP. But she's also a busy public relations professional. I loved it when she was working on an exhibit related to Grace Kelly.

But one of the things that most delights me about Leann is her passion for Christmas. She starts her Christmas prep in July and recently wrote about starting to design her cards. She'll keep us on track every month from now on -- and while I don't always do as she is, I find later that I wish I had kept to her schedule!

Thanks for including me!

These are the questions Leann asked me to answer:

What am I working on: Creatively, I am currently I'm working on several mixed media projects, including some small canvases and cards to add to my inventory.

I sell some at a local shop and others at year-end shows, so I'm trying to get a head start. I'm also working on some gelli-printing and painted deli-pages to use in my work, along with some paper-clay embellishments. And, work has started on things for swaps with Karla at Karla's Cottage and Joanne Huffman at adlibitum. When this post goes live, I will be visiting friends in Ohio and working with the wonderful sixth-grade granddaughter on some fun creativity projects.

Outside of my art projects, I am trying to read as many books as I can this year (not surprisingly, many are mysteries or have a Paris or London focus to them!). I've been participating in the Paris In July blog event -- it's one of my favorite cities! And I'm trying bit by bit to get my house (namely the basement and all the purging required!) in order. That, and teaching my cat Lizzie how to walk on a leash, should occupy me for the better part of my life!

How does my work differ from others of this genre: Good question. The art first -- I tend to use lots of elements that others use when making cards or canvases -- vintage images and embellishments. But I try to put my own spin on them, often using ribbon or trims on the cards. I'm also using more of my own hand-created papers.


I collect vintage postcards and often use the art in my work. When it comes to painting I am a rank beginner and still trying to find my style. I think I will be trying for a very long time!

When it comes to writing my blog -- well, I just sit down and do it! My blog is a little bit of everything -- art, travel, wine tasting, family, musings. Sometimes the ideas are falling out of my head (I have about eight posts in draft form right now) and sometimes life gets in the way! Key events -- family occasions, like Kevin's June wedding or celebrations tend to find a spot on the Gypsy.

But so do vacations. It's been a good road trip year, with visits to Massachusetts, Niagara Falls, Indiana and the lake with more to come!

And of course you'll find periodic cooking and wine tasting posts on the Gypsy!

I tend to use a lot of photos in my posts with fewer words, but sometimes I get carried away by the topic and I do know how to go on a bit! I have a second book blog, Chopsticks and String, but it has been neglected for so long, I'm rethinking whether it should be there at all!

How do I write or create what I do? I'm a bit of all over the map. My mixed media preferences mirror themselves in my mixed media life -- a little bit of everything. With the gelli prints and handpainted papers, I tend to use deli paper, ever since Kari McKnight Holbrook and Jacqueline Sullivan introduced me to their methods. While I'll still use scrapbooking papers and others I salvage, I really enjoy incorporating more of my own into my work. 

I don't tend to work on a regular schedule. My life is too mixed media for that! I work best at my cottage in Northern Michigan when I can be on the porch -- a good spot for being messy! (Although this summer it has been a little too cold and/or windy to work well on the porch with small bits of cut paper!) At home I do the messy things in the kitchen; the rest is a bit more portable. 

As for writing, I tend to do that now at the computer, though I might make written notes, especially for the poetry. I write one poetry book a year for my partner Rick -- it's sort of a year book with poems focusing on key events we've experienced over the past 12 months.

I've recently started blogging on the Habitation e-zine site, several times a year. It's fun to share ideas and experience there, too -- like a living wreath-making adventure at a nearby farm/garden.

How does my writing/creating process work: Well, that's all over the map, too! Sometimes I just have to put the stuff in  front of me and off I go. Other times, there is a lot of thinking and "auditioning" materials with each other to see how they'll work. In an online Claudine Hellmuth class, she advised to leave your work set up and return to it later to see if you really liked where you placed things. Sometimes I'm certain enough I don't need to do that but other times, that's really saved my work from being OK to being "Wow!"

And I love taking classes -- I learn a lot and have such fun creating in community.

I tend to gather the things I think I'll need -- the right adhesives, papers, embellishments, canvas -- often working in a color scheme of some sort. Then I just start painting or cutting, moving things about. Sometimes the thinking takes the most time. I've tried to time certain processes -- how long does it take to do a card or a piece. I can get some reliable work-time estimates, but the thinking time is a little more difficult to nail. 

I tend to work best under pressure. I suspect this comes from more than 30 years in a deadline-driven publis relations and writing career. When I know I have to turn out a dozen Easter cards, they're there. If I'm not on a deadline, I can tend to overthink it!

Part of the Blogland Tour is to introduce you to several bloggers I enjoy, I would really love to do that and asked a number of people to join in and -- being summer, being busy, being on vacation -- well, I didn't get any takers and finally I gave up!

But I would love to extend the invitation to those who read The Marmelade Gypsy. And I would encourage you to check out the links to blogs on my sidebar. I was going to list who wrote fabulous travel or photography, inspiration or history -- or just plain great writing. But the fact is, I love all these blogs and a few I haven't added yet! So I hope you'll look into them for me.

Meanwhile, if you decide to do the questions (and I hope you do!) let me know!


Tracy said...

VERY FUN, Jeanie! LOVE your mini mixed media pieces! WOW--you're leashing Lizzie for walks! That is a great idea. But see that would be a challenge. Good luck with that. ;o) I love your all over the map approach to most things, and that you share all of it here with us. ((HUGS))

littleRamstudio said...

What a lovely insight into more of your world.
Think the poetry book for your other half is a wonderful idea, I wrote a life poem for Gary for one of his memorable birthdays and illustrated it around the edges of the paper.

Have already checked out some of your blog finds and have started to follow the Paris in July one.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It's a rich life, this life of self-expressions that we lead, isn't it Jeanie! So fun to find our more about you! I will be doing a similar interview at the end of the month too...happy day!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This was fun to read. I always enjoy seeing the projects that you are working on! You definitely have lots of talent and I am glad I own a couple of your canvases. Seeing them always makes me smile!

I hope you are having fun with your friend's granddaughter!

Paulita said...

I love your little books, especially the one that says "Paris"

Mae Travels said...

Your creative energy is a marvel! I love your summary of what you do and how you do it. I'll check out some of the blogs on your list, as I could use some new reading matter besides books.


Vagabonde said...

You are very creative and a busy person – paper, painting, poetry! But now, training your cat to walk on a leash – that will take a lot of patience.

The French Hutch said...

Your posts always are creative and offer so much inspiration. One thing we have in common Jeanie is our love of travel and photography. I always enjoy your photographs!

Cheryl said...

I'm motivated by your thoughts of building up some finished pieces to have to sell. I have been dragging in that department.

I had a cat years ago that would walk on a leash. I think the biggest tip would be to carry the cat until you get it somewhere where it wants to walk around. A fun place *wink* After doing that for awhile, the cat will want to walk on the leash without any fuss. We would walk our cat around the outskirts of our zoo. She loved it :-)

Maggie said...

Loved getting the extra little peek into your world, Jeanie. Your artwork is beautiful and I treasure the card and tags that you sent to encourage my crafting mojo.
I was just tagged in the Blogland tour yesterday and will be answering these very same questions myself next week. Such a great way to get to each other better.

Joanne Huffman said...

I really enjoyed this post - it's nice to see an overview of one of my favorite blogs. Your range and creativity are always a pleasure to see. Don't give up on Chopsticks yet.

Bella Rum said...

I love those small canvases. I can't believe you have eight post in drafts. Amazing. I love the variety in your blog. You give us little bits of everything and it's such an uplifting, fun place to visit.

Marilyn said...

Love this post. It is always so fun to see you create because I never know where you are headed and it always is beautiful. Yes, travel, writing, good meals with your wine group too. I have enjoyed it all. Now curious to see how the leash training goes. I once tried it on Joey and almost lost him. He was so scared he somehow slipped out of the leash and flew away under a neighbors car. I think we were both so scared I haven't wanted to try again.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I loved seeing your projects in progress, Jeanie! You do such beautiful creative work -- whether art, poetry, photos or simply experiences in living! I so enjoy the mix of the Marmalade Gypsy!

Esme said...

I do like your projects. I really like the mixed media pieces.

The Old Parsonage said...

Hello My Friend

Thanks so much for your kind comments and for playing along. I know that it has been a busy summer so understand why people had to beg off.

It's cool here this am, so I'm just back from the market and enjoying a cup of coffee.

I'm off to check out some of your blog list.


~*~Patty S said...

Fun to learn a bit more about you dear Jeanie...thank you for sharing.
You do such a fine job writing and sharing photos that do indeed have stories to tell!
It is always fun and interesting to stop by for a visit ...
the seasons and indeed years seem to just whiz by...
OK I just checked over at my Magpie's Nest Comments and see that you and I 'met'in blogland back in 2008 = Fun!
Here's to many more years of creativity and sharing.
Happy August to you and yours

Janet said...

Wonderful post! I like getting an extra little peek inside your life. You always seem to have so much going on and yet you manage to keep up with it all. Sadly I don't seem to be able to do that. Maybe I need lessons from the pro!!

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