Monday, April 7, 2008

A Creative Fugue State--A Holiday for My Brain

Blame it on Camille Minichino (aka Margaret Grace).

I was on my way to Florida for Spring Break when I emailed her if she’d like some sea shells for her miniatures. She wrote back, “Oooh, yes, I have a little beach scene on my bookcase, and it's seriously lacking shells!”

But somehow I read that as “ Oooh, yes, I have a little sea shell shop on my bookcase, and it’s seriously lacking shells!”

Funny how my mind works. I went to South Carolina and picked up tiny sea shells from the beach. But the whole time, I was thinking about a sea shell shop, which was something I’d intended to create for myself in miniature for years. In fact, I couldn’t get this project out of my brain. One night while I was listening to the ocean, I went online and found I entered a fugue state, which is defined as an altered state of consciousness in which a person may move about purposely and even speak but is not fully aware. My mind was buzzing with ideas. When we got home from South Carolina, I went to Michaels, coupon in hand, and bought a paper mache “hat box” plus a wooden hutch and several bottles of acrylic paint.

On Friday, my husband left town for a business trip. Since then, I’ve done nothing but work on my sea shell shop, ruining a perfectly good manicure but having a ball.

It’s not entirely done…I want to add a few more things and then I’ll close it up and cover the outside and the lid. I made everything but the mermaid (I painted a statue of Ariel), the hutch, the paintings. I created the rug, the lights, the shell trimmed mirror, the table, the chair (except for the painted shells), the postcard stand, the plant, the shelving unit, all the shell displays and so on. In the "ceiling," I put tiny lights. Then, I draped the sparkling net over it to catch the 20 miniature "fireflies."

I’m curious. Do you enjoy more than one hobby? Do you ever get a creative impulse that’s so strong you can barely control it? Have you ever spent two days in your jammies working on a project and forgetting to eat? I feel so refreshed. I've been working on my writing for so long...I'm about 1/3 of the way through Book #3 of my scrapbooking mystery series...that this feels like a restful vacation. A holiday for my mind and my creative juices.

How do you like my sea shell shop?


Kathryn Lilley said...

I love the sea shell shop! Maybe your mind went that way because of that old tongue-twister, "Sally sells sea shells down by the sea shore."
I've been feeling an urge to take up cooking as a hobby recently (mostly because it's too expensive to eat out), but as my recent blog attests, I've had discouraging results!

Camille Minichino said...

Where to start? First, with a demand! You must send more pictures! I need a long shot, a close up of that wonderful chair ...

And in case anyone thinks it's all my fault, you should know that Joanna has had a wonderful dollhouse of her own, long before she met me! Make her show you.

This is such an amazing little shop.

And (except for housecleaning) I do have the urge to take up every hobby I come across. A trip to a super crafts store especially can add one or two per visit.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Ah, ladies, you do my heart good. This was such fun. I came down to my office this morning and just stared at it!

Kathryn, don't give up! It's in the doing that we learn.

Camille, I'll get my husband to take some better photos. The chair was pretty simple. I had three painted wooden shell shapes. I'll try to draw the assembly up for you.

And I have shells for you!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Your little seashell shop is simply adorable.
My 13 year old daughter wants to make one this summer.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Hmmm. I wonder if I should "write up" what I did, and give the plans?

Any interest?

Camille Minichino said...

DO write up the chair!

Cozy Crime said...

I started doing cross-stitching years ago and have enjoyed it ever since. My husband says we're going to need to get a bigger house to have more walls to hang my "projects" on!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Makes sense to me! After all, what is life without creativity?

Chris Verstraete said...

Joanna, super seashell shop. I didn't know you had a dollhouse hidden away too! I just picked up some more scrapbook paper today as I wanted something green to contrast the spooky black paper for the witch's greenhouse I'm working on. I love using the papers as so many choices!
Chris Verstraete

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Yes, Chris, and I found my scrapbooking tools to be extremely useful when working on this. I have this terrific ruler with zero in the center and the numbers extending on both sides. It's perfect for centering a project. And my glue? I have a great glue. So scrapbooking and miniature making goes very well together.

AmyS said...

Hi Joanna! I followed a link to this blog from the website of a Monica Ferris fan and here you are! I have a good friend and neighbor who is very much into minatures, and is just getting started trying her hand at scrapbooking. As for me, I haven't scrapped for a few years and it weighs heavily on my conscience. Meanwhile, I do keep up with an ever-growing variety of hobbies: knitting, cross stitching, rubber stamping, ATCs, crafting with recycled and found objects, and most recently crazy quilting, with ribbon embroidery soon to follow.

LOVE your sea shell shop!