Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's almost May!!??!

Where does the time go and must it get there so quickly?
I have been doing my challenges, finishing projects and staying creative. I started a very cool online workshop, 21 Secrets, and it is a blast. I am in my journals more and looking at things in a more creative inspiring way already. I believe this is a testament about how easy it is to get too comfortable in my surroundings. Once I have another photo editing program I will start sharing more. I know there are free programs out in the world but I am used to and comfortable with Photoshop Elements. And I like having something that is easy for me to understand without second guessing myself or screwing things up (a very blatant knock at my teenager). I have company this weekend so I am going to cut this short and enjoy the moments we have before she goes home.

Happy crafting

Friday, February 17, 2012

life, lemons and lemonade

 I have had a lot to say and no place to get my thoughts out for over a week. I had a virus and had to let my laptop go in for a fix and check up. After shelling out $$$ I didn't plan to spend and  having to comb my apartment for discs I "put away" long ago to reload to my computer I am almost ready to share again. I say almost because I still haven't found my Photoshop Elements 8 disk and I can't afford 10 right now. In the words of Cathy the cartoon - "Aaaaarrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!"

 Below is the post I planned to share on the 8th. There is more to share but I will catch up after my PC starts to feel like mine again instead of a stranger.

I spent years thinking I had a handle on my issues and was pretty sure commitment was not on the list. Seriously, I am a mom above and beyond everything else and there is no bigger commitment. Considering all that my “angel” (and I use that term loosely) puts me through daily I can’t imagine being any more committed. When I set my mind to learning something I go in 100%. Every job I have had is proof of that. Hell I spent weeks studying shoes and watching sports just to be a Footlocker manager (and make crazy commission). I wanted to scrapbook and jumped in with both feet and taught myself stamping and various other crafty things. So why is it when I spend too much on idea books I devour them in the door then they sit and are slowly shifted to the back as more ‘cool’ books come in. Rarely reviewed twice or referred to at all after they are read I watch my art library out-growing very limited space. Why have I not been as committed to using, seizing the inspiration from these resources as I have been with purchasing it? One of my big weaknesses is the weekly/monthly challenge dare technique guide idea book. I love them and buy them fully intending to use them for the on-going inspiration they can provide but it hasn’t happened. At first I figured if I was doing the challenges with someone that would keep me on task but I have had a few friends agree to begin until life steps in and well, here I am – the proud owner of unused inspiration. So I pulled 3 of my scrapbooking challenge books, made a little baggie with numbers to pull from and I am off and fully committed to completing a year of challenges. The first week, ending on the 11th, is a little challenge heavy but I had to include the first 5 weeks of the year. Would it be more fun to do this within a group or with a friend? Absolutely! But since I am not as social as I used to be I can/will ‘make do’ with just me. If anyone cares to join me - jump in. I didn’t burden the idea down with a lot of rules, as I can sometimes do, but kept it easy. After all it’s all about being inspired so all I have to do is create something, anything and I can use as many or as few challenges a project as long as they are all used by week end. For 2012 I selected 52 Scrapbooking Challenges by Elsie Flannigan, 52 more Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth Kartchner and We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges about Real Life by Kristina Contes, Meghan Dymock, Nisa Fiin and Genevieve Simmonds. There are only 39 challenges in We Dare You so there will be some weeks of 2 challenges instead of 3. As I grow more confident in my mixed media skills and artistic talents I will tackle the Mixed Media Art Journaling books in 2013.

Happy Black History  Month
I'll always love you, Whitney

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Ideas

What happens to all the ideas and future projects that are swimming around my head if I die tomorrow? My calendar is finally finished and dropped into my bag and the layout that sat to the side of my desk for a while (months) has all the pieces glued down and I am looking at fresh pictures while mini book ideas invade my process along with things I can do to the many configurations stacked beneath my table. The reality is I always have ideas of things I want to try and papers I want to play with but time and circumstances often pull me away from creative fun time. Couple that with loads of self-doubt and it is very possible that I can leave this world without a trace of my creative chaos being left behind. There are times when I can't see a clear place to start and will pass the hours organizing and cleaning. I don't know if the thought of art undone scares anyone else the way it does me but I am looking to conquer that fear!

I think old age is making me neurotic I don't remember being this crazy when I was younger. There is something to be said about the fearlessness of youth. I wasn't as scared to try  new things as I was not to experience something/anything. I am going to start checking things off my mental list. One of the first things I am going to do is reach out to artistic people I admire and try to collaborate or challenge/inspire one another. Every time I flip through True Colors I am overwhelmed by the beauty and creativity and it makes me want to MAKE something.  So now I am off to do something, make something get an idea or two out of my head just in case I don't make it until tomorrow 
Here's a few of the finished layouts. I  really need to take a few pics of my pretty pretty calendar

Friday, January 6, 2012


I know life isn't all about how many things you do, places you go, or people you meet but about the enjoyment you get from the little things. So why do I still beat myself up over how incredibly slow I am when I am making things. I am trying to finish my purse calendar for 2012 and I swore to myself I would keep it simple, quick and dirty and then on to the next project and it was all lies. My table is covered in 'must need' items and I am only 6 months in. Tonight I will hopefully finish and then my rant about stickers and rub-ons not having enough 1s and 2s to finish a calendar will be over and I can go back to the never enough Es.

It's time for me to embrace my slowness, celebrate the fact that a layout takes more than 3 hours for me, start to finish. I don't see how anyone does it faster when you factor in coloring and misting with drying and flattening time. Choosing fonts from stamps or Cricut and  having to hand cut when you can't die cut. Picking out papers and ribbons are the easy part! My sewing time is just as slow. Choosing a project, fabrics, the perfect coordinating fabrics and embellishments and the right play-list project. I find old school rap works better for purses and R&B with light pop when working without a pattern. You get the picture. I am just slow and way more high maintenance than I ever imagined myself to be. The up-side is my high expectations only apply to me.

I hate to be rushed, I like taking my time. I truly enjoy the process and since I am being honest with myself the chance of me speeding up just to clear my project checklist is as likely as me giving up Prince (never ever gonna happen). The clutter in my world stays it represents "the next thing". My hands work slower than my  brain, I pray my hands don't speed up and my brain never slows down.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

HAPPY 2012

Happy New Years!!! Every year I make a list of things I want to do and plan to do then watch them be ignored, derailed or simply forgotten because life comes in and takes over. Not this year, all I want to do in 2012 is not repeat the mistakes and unhappiness of the years before. I want this year to be different and the only ways to make that happen is to avoid old patterns, go left where I usually go right. Here’s my 1st left…

  Why Taylor Made? In all honesty it’s my back-up and because this blog will not be typical Gwen-isms on life, relationships (not including my daughter), past pains, family or love I needed a name that would encompass every topic that might come up under the umbrella of creating, motherhood, and W.i.P. Gwen.  If the other blog ever comes to fruition it will be called Pen-Gwen Droppings, which is very fitting, LOL. Taylor Made, however, will be different, I am Gwendolyn Taylor and I love making things, scrapbooks, journals, cards, collages, ATCs, canvases. I am trying to learn how to sew so I am making purses, aprons, hats, skirts, etc. I have a knitting kit sitting waiting on me to start making stuff or at least wasting lots of yarn. And then there’s the most amazing, beautiful, frustrating, uncontrollable creation I have made-to-date, my Renee. I would be lying if I said she would never be a topic when she is the inspiration for a lot of what I do and the reason I often seek peace at my little table. Through all of my crafting and creating and raising Renee I am working on me. I realize I am the most important flawed piece of canvas I have ever attempted to work on, I can’t wait to see how I turn out :)  What I am even more excited about is becoming a part of the “scrap world” again and sharing my layouts, tips and techniques (the failures and success stories). I realized that I have spent the past 8 years slowly withdrawing from the outside world and I really want and need to step out of the door again.  Welcome to my world