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Set Adrift on Creative Bliss… And the Zing of Jamming with Deadlines

As the time to launch the Kickstarter Capital Campaign draws closer, I find myself in a hermited, focused frenzy of creative bliss: writing, filming, and post production.  There is NOTHING like publicly NAME-ing your goal and bringing people you respect on board to realize it — it completely short-circuits your bullshit launcher and makes you instantly accountable and driven.  Today’s Cosmic Lesson is deceptively simple: Find & Seduce your own personal Creativity Accountant. Someone who can 1. drive you to be your BEST self (& recognize your vision enough to KNOW when you’re straying or stalling… and CALL you on it).  2. Someone who can mark your progress & help you stay focused on the priorities rather than the distractions or pitfalls  3. Someone who can pick you up when you fall or are overwhelmed with doubt… AND who can celebrate every win in high raucous style.

If you can just nail these three imperatives, YOU CAN manifest whatever it is you’re dreaming.  I’ve said it before, but the fact that I’ve survived everything from poison ivy to kidney cancer is a true testament to the amazing possibilities locked within YOU if you’ll just give them voice. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the last months walking… thinking…  planning…  sketching…  and more walking…  We went down the the Nature Sanctuary by our house and captured some GREAT footage to open the title sequence for the Sinister Stitch Chronicles. I also had a chance to just sit and look at the branches, the late spring greenery, and I was just amazed by the color. There are SO many shades of green… it’s absolutely intoxicating!

What I took away from these little nature excursions is that in order to do your best work, to BE your best self, you must surround yourself with things that inspire you!  Certainly for me its nature. Every time I clip and bring in something from the garden, it’s a whole new opportunity to begin anew with color, form, and composition.


In the last few days, I’ve been carefully working out the logistics of the Monkshood/Wolfsbane piece. Had I thought about the “how to” of it in ANY serious detail, I would NEVER have committed to working mirror images on opposite sides of the same fabric…….  Oh Hell, who am I kidding?  I’d SO sign up for it again (because the challenge is, like, the best drug) but it really IS the ultimate love/hate endeavor.  Trying to think and work simultaneously on opposite images is a kind of exquisite Hell…  I feel I nailed down the Monkshood when, two days ago, I mastered creating leaves by using a wet brush to remove paint from the leaf area (THANK YOU Anne Blockley – my fave watercolor artist – for her books and tutorials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)












This guy has haunted me for YEARS, but to finally see him come into being is just (for lack of a better word) delicious.  I’ve scraped Lyra watercolor crayon into wet fabric to get the flecks and started hand stamping leaf shapes into the negative space to get leaves… and also am NOT afraid to admit I’ve ripped out the stitching for the SECOND time (grrrr) in order to get the leaves to look like they do in my head. Monkshood purple has a VERY distinct look in my mind’s eye that is governed by the veiny grooved texture of the petals (my synesthesia demands that I be absolutely true to representing the way the  way I experience the texture of the petals) — it must have the smell of lace (more often than not, my textures have a set component of smell…) SO… Monkshood is finally living up to the sensory carnival that it is experienced in my head. In addition, today, I began creating the mirror image on the other side of the fabric or Wolfsbane:












Knowing that the flowers of Wolfsbane are often yellow, I just reversed the colors, but kept the under painting. I’ll get back to it Saturday & do the brush lifting out paint trick to reveal the leaf shapes to match the Monkshood on the other side THEN THE FUN BEGINS!!!!!!!!!!!!   I’m going out on the ledge and I’m setting up a 2 camera rig to record from both the top & bottom simultaneously so I can capture stitching from back through to front to create identical foliages on both sides !!!!!!!!!!!  I DO hope it sounds as cool as it feels!

I’m still working out how to make it happen, but my sense of how textures “sound” is totally leading me so my hands just, KNOW, what to do.  I’ll be addressing the camera as I work the stitches to describe exactly how it’s happening…  suffice it to say it’s quite an adventure.

In other news… The luscious Womandrake is finally getting some love:











Without a doubt, as the anchor, the Womandrake is ready to hold the spotlight.  With all the fruits & flowers of the mature Mandrake plant, I’m really looking forward to unleashing my mixed media mad scientist (with the help of my tribe at Florilegium who have used everything from Dissolve-able papers to embedding stones in crochet) and finding ways of making leaves dimensional and encrusting the borders.

Dear readers,  let me just take a moment out from the madness to say: if this adventure has taught me anything, it is this:  LOVE what you do (whether it is a hobby, an experiment or a career),  COMMIT to see it through ( no matter the doubt, the uncertainty, the voice of reason who says you aren’t good enough), and finally and most important:  TRUST that your vision will guide you. Job done.  If you can just LOVE, COMMIT, and TRUST… you can move mountains, build civilizations, and die happy.

For the next few days, I’m up to my needles in editing video, working the Pepsi Refresh campaign (which incidentally, we are trying to get a grant to fund the establishment of a Kansas City community center for arts & crafts so follow the link and just click to VOTE every day (you can even sign in with Facebook) until June 30 to help us into the top 10 — that’s all we need to get funded: top 10. Woo and Hoo) Visit Pepsi Campaign and please vote for our project everyday — it would provide resources for so many people to learn to love crafts! Also, if you are a Pepsi drinker, the yellow Pepsi refresh caps have a several digit code that will count for Power votes of up to 100 if you enter the code. As of today, we’re in 44th place but WE NEED TOP 10!!

Our fearless leader Teresa and the awesome chicks at the KC Crafter’s Society have put together a great campaign…  AND… if you’re dreaming of some project-y thing, consider the Pepsi Refresh resource. It’s available to anyone to launch a project…

In the last few days I’ve been working hard, I’ve started the under painting for one of the other poisons: black soft bodied acrylic + white to get a grey of night, and a big beautiful moon stamped in white: At first, I thought I’d make it Moonseed… But then I started painting and got a WAY better idea (see below)

I can’t decide if I like it the moon treatment, but it’s got potential!

For Moonseed, I’ve decided to let it represent the Autumn season:

I have, so far, made most of my Sinister Stitch palette “spring-y” so for this one, I want Moonseed (which has great big red berries) to be autumn toned.

Today I ripped out the purples (I totally miscalculated the colors for that) and will replace them with reds before I decide whether to do the berries in beading or stitch.

Either way, I’m really enjoying sharing this adventure —

speaking of sharing, If you haven’t checked out the bliss of sharing what gets your artistic juice flowing, visit The Divine Mojo and get moving!

Aaand, speaking of moving, as of today, I’ve worked up to walking 3.5miles a day. I knew when I was feeling like walking again that I’d feel more like my old self. Well, the hills are kicking my behind, but it’s a great tired!

Today I got EXtra walking as I went down to Crown Center and had a meeting with my KC Crafters Society divas regarding our upcoming gallery show: On Thursday June 23rd, we’ll be out in force to celebrate our numbers, intro arts & crafts to the community, and I’ll be debuting the work on the Womandrake in public!! I’m working on building some sort of… contraption… to guard her against traveling so she doesn’t get snagged or poked. Any suggestions would be welcome… In her frame, she’s 4.5X5.5feet and HEAVY, so I can use the frame to attach something like a case or cover. I’m thinking, like, a refrigerator box made into a clamshell… or maybe some plyboard fashioned into a slip cover…  Either way, I have to protect her for a highway drive in the back of a truck and the transport to the stitching site…

Next, I’m sequencing the stills for the Kickstarter video plea for support so as I’m speaking, you can see some of my world & what I do. I think I’ve officially reached the point where I’m permanently vibrating from panic & stress, but I do my best work when I’m thrilled and excited and scared so the next few months should be quite a ride!!!

Come with me, capture some of my momentum, and whatever you do, LET’S MOVE!


2 comments to Set Adrift on Creative Bliss… And the Zing of Jamming with Deadlines

  • Rock on Victoria! I love the advice and need to have it tattooed on me where i can see it to remind me!

    LOVE what you do (whether it is a hobby, an experiment or a career), COMMIT to see it through ( no matter the doubt, the uncertainty, the voice of reason who says you aren’t good enough), and finally and most important: TRUST that your vision will guide you. Job done. If you can just LOVE, COMMIT, and TRUST… you can move mountains, build civilizations, and die happy.

  • Mel

    I stumbled on you website while looking for inspiration for a mandrake sculpture .I love your work and your mandrake, woman drake paintings are beautiful.
    Your words and honesty have enthused and inspired me to get the sculpture out of the bag and start again.
    Many thanks for sharing

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