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Category Archives: Creative Projects

My Favorite Art/Journal/Craft Supplies

We have been discussing our favorite supplies and products for the Decorated Page project.

Here’s part of my list:

Carbon Desk Fountain Pen

Carbon Ink Cartridges (Waterproof ink)

TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen (Clear) with Fine Nib

Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen Fine Nib

Grace Watercolor Brush Set

Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener

Karetake 36 watercolor set

Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink (with free Noodler’s Fountain Pen)

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen Set

The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn

Sakura Watercolor Field Sketch Set with (aqua)brush

Derwent Inktense/Watercolor 12 ct pencil tin

Saunders Uhu Glue Stick

Uniball Signo Broad Point White pens

Pentel water/aqua brush set

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 24 ct

Ebay: I look for used books. I also got the Yarka St. Petersburg watercolor pans from there, as well as Jinhao fountain pens.

Goulet Pens: I’ve ordered notebooks like Rhodia Webnotebook, as well as the Leuchtturm1917 softcover,  and nibs for my fountain pens.

And the SevenSeas Crossfield, Standard, and Writer.

**** This post contains  some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love! (Learn more here)

 

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Week 2 Discussion Questions

Now that we’ve all read chapter 1…

Do you blame Roland for the deaths in Tull? Was there another way or were the events predestined? “Why would I feel bad?” he told Brown. Does his lack of compassion over the killing change anything? Or do you think he’s void of compassion?

Chapter 2 Questions:

  1. What do you think about the High Speech? What do you think it means to Roland–Past and Present?
  2. What do you think about the flashbacks Roland has of his world before it moved on?
  3. Discuss Roland’s boyhood teacher and mentor Cort–What kind of man was Cort? How does Roland feel about Cort now?
  4. Why do you think Roland clings to the traditions from Mid-World, from before the world moved on?
  5. “While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul?” What do you think about the prophecy? Roland is given this prophecy repeatedly, even though he believe it he brings Jake along. Do you think it’s Roland’s singular vision, or that he believe the prophecy to be predestined made the prophecy come true?
 

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Week 1 of Finding Water

Working on Finding Water

Working on Finding Water

Uncovering a Sense of Optimism

Julia Cameron starts this week off with the mantra that “you’re never to old to be young at heart, never to old to be a beginner.” I agree wholeheartedly with that, as a matter of fact, in the past few years I’ve began several new things (creating art again, writing a novel, making YT videos, my own website, created a group on FB with three other women, and am now working on three major creative projects). 😀

Cameron goes on to say, “To begin, resign from competition, stop comparing yourself to your idols,” and to that I also add to your old self and to your future self. In the Divining Rod section of this portion she asks you write about your deferred dream(s). Here are a few of mine:

  • Take a watercolor class
  • Finish my novel (completely)
  • Publish my novel
  • Take a photography course/class
  • Go to a writer’s workshop and a writer’s retreat
  • Take a cruise with my husband

When I thought about what I’d have to do to make some of those things happen I knew the answer immediately…Money. Some of that isn’t feasible right now, but there are other things I can do that are. I can research free watercolor classes, free photography classes. I can write every day and work on my novel… (I’m working on that currently).

She also asks write down a list of people you can go to for encouragement:

Friends, husband, DM group, family… I’m not naming names here… 😀

Now we’re to the focusing portion, and the big thing here is to “take time to see,” which means to take the time to really look at the world around you. Taking time to smell and see the roses. 😀 She says, “I must work to husband my own optimism. I must cling to the small and positive.” The Divining Rod for this section says to make a list of 5 beautiful things you’ve recently spotted.

  1. My grandson’s smile.
  2. The sight of my husband taking the time to make me coffee before he went to work.
  3. The sunrise after the storm
  4. The blush roses in my rose garden blooming with dew still on their leaves.
  5. A bird on my clothesline singing.

Grounding: “What I am doing still matters in the scheme of things…Optimism is partially the happy accident…” and my favorite part of this section: “The doing of something productive regardless of outcome is an act of faith…just do the next right thing.” Believe you can and you will mentality. The Divining Rod section here made me realize just how often I turn to simples tasks to ground myself:

  1. doing dishes
  2. making coffee
  3. taking a shower
  4. taking walk
  5. folding laundry

Possibilities: She says, “Learn to try…learn to act affirmatively.” and that “wherever creativity is afoot, so is blossoming.” But my favorite part is this: In order to make art we must be willing to labor…to reach inside and draw forth what we find there…it begins with possibilities.”

It’s is possible to do things.. You say… “Oh… It is possible that I can write a novel.” And then the notion of well “I can” becomes “I think I’ll try.”

  • I could try writing poems again.
  • I could try (again) to learn the new video editing software.
  • I could try to put the flooring in the kitchen down myself.
  • I could try writing short stories again.
  • I could try creating my own Tn folder/pocket dashboard things.
  • I could try making my own facial scrub…

The CHECK-IN

  1. I did Morning Pages 6 out of 7 days. I wasn’t feeling well on one of those days and went to bed really early. It helps clear my head when I do them, and the only repeating issue is that I noticed I need to slow down… I need to take a little time for me and make sure that I use the time for my Morning Pages as a more of a meditation thing as well.
  2. I did my artist date. I actually did more than one. I took two nature walks just to enjoy the outdoors, and I went on a coffee/hot chocolate date with my grandson and we created art. 😀 I felt much better after all of those things.
  3. I walked multiple times during the week. I took a longer walk one day, but the other days I walked for 20 minutes. So 4 walking days out of 7. It felt good, and I enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. I also spent 10 minutes walking around in the rain–for fun, before the storm here got bad.
  4. I need to remember that it’s okay to ask for help.

 

 

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Week one Discussion Question Answers for the Gunslinger

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. :D

The Edition I have of the Gunslinger. 😀

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.” That first line!  Who is the man in black? Why is he in the desert? Why is the gunslinger following the man in black? Who is the gunslinger? Talk about a first line that hooks the reader… my favorite first line ever, well, except for maybe  these two:

  • A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
  • You better not never tell nobody but God.—Alice Walker, The Color Purple

The first line of the Gunslinger grabbed me the first time I read it back in the late 80’s, and then the second time I read it in the early to mid 2000’s, and again now. I want to know what happens next. Who they are. Why they’re in the desert. And why the gunslinger (who we don’t know is Roland until about 100 pages in) is following the man in black.

I love the Gunslinger, on a whole, and the actual character of the gunslinger–Roland of Gilead.  In the beginning of the novel Roland is weary, isolated, suspicious, serious, and has a keen eye for detail. Roland is a bit of an anti-hero.

Roland’s quest: Roland is the last gunslinger, like a knight but Roland’s grail is the Dark Tower. In order to save his world, as well other worlds, he believes that he needs to reach the Dark Tower and climb to the very top of it in order to talk to the god or demon that resides there. Mid-World, Roland’s world, is unraveling and the beams are breaking, the fabric of reality is changing because of this, and Roland has to find a way to save all worlds. Roland doesn’t know where the Dark Tower is, he just knows he has to complete his task.

King’s writing style compared to his other works is quite a bit different. The Dark Tower series is more fantasy, western, and a bit of sci-fi, with a little horror. Much of King’s other works are more horror/thriller, though some of his books I find more along the line of thriller. King is a natural storyteller, and that comes out no matter which book of his you’re reading. It’s one of my favorite things about King’s writing–I always get sucked in to the world of the book.

Walter O’Dim. The man in black is the antagonist, the “bad guy.” I won’t say much else at this point because of spoilers… except the black clothes are symbolic of the good versus evil element of the story… is the gunslinger, symbolic of good… protect and serve, and the man in black is bad, wearing all black, we don’t know who he is, or what he really looks like…he’s the man in black, hiding behind his robes.

 

My favorite part so far are the descriptions, and details like “Hey Jude” playing, and as hard as Roland tried to hide it, to bury it, he’s a romantic at heart. My least favorite part so far is that I am having a hard time not spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t read it.

 

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The Decorated Page Project

decorated pageLast year, sometime, I stumbled across a review of the book called “The Decorated Page,” by Gwen Diehn. At the time I was looking for other books like Danny Gregory’s books or Dan Price’s book “How to Make a Journal,” and Gwen’s book looked a little older but the reviewer said great things about the book. So off to Amazon I went searching for the book. I found it  and purchased it.

When the book initially came in I skimmed through it, but I’d just gotten Gina Rossi Armfield’s “The No Excuses Art Journaling,” book and was reading it so I put “The Decorated Page” on the book shelf with my other art/journaling books. I got busy, didn’t use either of the two books, though I did use Armfield’s “No Excuses Watercoloring” book to help me learn some techniques and improve my watercoloring ability.

After I got the new bookcase from my parents for my birthday in July I had to rearrange books… “The Decorated Page” book spoke to me…

Burgess, when are you going to get around to doing this… You know that you want to leaf through my pages and read me… Use the information and create your own decorated pages… Come on…What are you waiting for???”

I leafed through the pages and got an idea for using a technique Gwen talked about in the book to create the cover for my Omni Journal.. I mentioned the “Decorated Page” on one of my YT videos… I wanted to delve further into the book. Make the book a project. And then the Destination Me group happened and I had even more of a reason to make the book a project…

After making the book a project I began reading it again. I started over and read it. Then panic set it. How to make the book an actual project for more than just me was daunting to say the least… I didn’t (and don’t) have all the supplies and I can’t afford to buy all the supplies I don’t have right now. I’ve never created a workshop like this… I need to go to a workshop like this…how do I set up an outline for the project when 1. Not everyone has the book, 2. sharing pictures from the book here or there when you put where they came from is okay, but I can’t infringe on copyright laws… and how to set it up without revealing too much of what is in the book…so people actually read the important parts of the book… (HEY! aren’t you a writer? A reader? You can do this…)

Then Jo Ann, from the group offered to help. And her suggestions were simple. I’d overanalyzed things. I’d made a mountain out of a molehill because I was in a panic because I didn’t want to screw it up…

One of Jo Ann’s suggestions was to read pp 27-29 and make a list of our favorite products, and be ready to discuss it at the end of the week…

I thought about it after going back to those pages and reading, and then realized…I could share the first supply list with the group and then we could make a list of our favorite supplies/products over the weekend, and then at the beginning of the week share our favorites and be ready to discuss supplies/products throughout the week… Jo Ann and I decided to do this to give everyone whose book hadn’t come in quite yet a chance to get their books in… We start officially on Monday, though we are taking this weekend to think about our favorite supplies/products and make a list, and then on Monday/Tuesday to share them  so we can talk about supplies and products.  *That’s this coming week, as in September 5/6.*

For week 2 Jo Ann and I are working on something else, as well as a few other things so that we have a tentative outline for the first few weeks of the project.

(more instructions to follow in continuing blog posts)

 

ON  a side note… One of my favorite parts from the book so far is this part:

” In this kind of journal (she’s referring to what is called a “visual journal,” or a “marriage of form and content, of text or writing and visual expression”), the way a page looks is determined by the thoughts and reflections expressed on the page. A certain idea or image will seem to need a certain kind of layout or design, and particular materials will allow you to express yourself more profoundly. Each element, visual and verbal, informs the other, and turn informs your own understanding of the events, ideas, and reflections you record.”

 

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Dark Tower Reading Order List

The Dark Tower Series

The Dark Tower Series

Good morning people in blogosphere. Destination Me. YouTube. And anyone else who might be reading this blog post… Today is the official start of my creative projects.

Working on Creative Projects

Working on Creative Projects

I have read over multiple lists of how to read The Dark Tower series and connected novels. I’ve read all but one book that is on the lists. Everyone has a different opinion about the order in which to read these books.

Stephen King Bookshelf

Stephen King Bookshelf

The connected books list is long, but some books are vaguely connected, others are directly connected. I’ve chosen the books that I feel are directly connected. I’ve put all but 6 in the order in which to read, the last six or connected and I’m going to read, but I am just not sure of the order… So I’m going to go by publication date for those.

  1. The Gunslinger (DT #1)
  2. The Drawing of the Three (DT #2)
  3. The Eyes of the Dragon
  4. The Stand (uncut version)
  5. The Talisman
  6. The Wastelands (DT #3)
  7. Wizard and Glass (DT #4)
  8. Salem’s Lot
  9. The Mist (Short Story (SS) found in the Skeleton Crew)
  10. IT
  11. Insomnia
  12. Rose Madder
  13. The Regulators
  14. Desperation
  15. Everything’s Eventual: LIttle Sister’s of Eluria, Autopsy Room 4, Dinky Earnshaw, Mr. Sharpton, Skipper Brannigan, and The Road Virus) SS: these are Short Stories
  16. Bag of Bones
  17. Hearts in Atlantis
  18. Black House
  19. From a Buick 8
  20. The Wind Through the Keyhole (DT #4.5)
  21. Wolves of the Calla (DT #5)
  22. Rita Hayworth & Shawshank (SS from Different Seasons)
  23. Lisey’s Story
  24. Song of Susannah (DT #6)
  25. The Dark Tower (DT #7)

Here’s where it gets tricky: To me these are connected directly, but I am not sure of where they fall… so I’ve put them down by publication date…

The Shining 1977

Cell 2006

N (SS in Just After Sunset) 2008

Under the Dome 2009

UR (on Kindle) 2009

Sleep Doctor 2013

And… If you have the un-revised version or the revised version of the Gunslinger then once we’ve finished these I’d suggest you read the other version. I can’t find my non-revised version… Hopefully, I’ll find that version before the end of the project. 😀

***NOTE: If you find that after the first chapter you’re not so sure about the Gunslinger, hang in there… It’s a series worth reading… I’ve been hooked on Roland, the last Gunslinger, since the late 80s… I’ve read it multiple times. 😀 The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three are, by some, considered to be more of a Prologue to the rest of the books. Though you can see the progression of King’s writing style, he started The Gunslinger when he was nineteen and over thirty years passed between when the first sentence and the last sentence of the series was written.

 

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Finding Water Introduction and Schedule

working on creative projectsIn preparation for tomorrow,  I’ve been working on the schedule for Finding Water. It is a 12 week self guided course. We’re going to cover the basics this week since it’s only half of a week… and then starting on Monday our official week begins.
Week 1: September 5-11 Uncovering a Sense of Optimism
Week 2: September 12-18 Uncovering a Sense of Reality
Week 3: September 19-25 Uncovering a Sense of Support
Week 4: September 26-October 2 Uncovering a Sense of Balance
Week 5: October 3-9 Uncovering a Sense of Autonomy
Week 6: October 10-16 Uncovering a Sense of Resolve
Week 7: October 17-23 Uncovering a Sense of Resilience
Week 8: October 24-30 Uncovering a Sense of Truth
Week 9: October 31-November 6 Uncovering a Sense of Perspective
Week 10: November 7-13 Uncovering a Sense of Safety
Week 11: November 14-20 Uncovering a Sense of Discipline
Week 12: November 21-27 Uncovering a Sense of Perseverance

September Projects planningI realize that for those of us who will be participating in NaNoWriMo this might seem a bit daunting, but the Morning Pages and Artist Dates really do help increase creativity. 😀

A more detailed post will be coming soon. 😀

 

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