Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Joan B Is Wise and Wonderful

Many of you know I'm a long-time fan of Joan B at Dear Paperlicious. Joan is wise and wonderful and so very talented, not to mention laugh-out-loud funny and ever so kind.

If you haven't read THIS POST on Dear Paperlicious, I encourage you to do so now. It's not long, and you get to see a cool picture of the lovely Joan posing amidst a really fabulous work of art.

Are you back? Oh, good!

Joan's words resonate with me so very much. I heard an interview on NPR several years ago during which an artist pointed out that children make art for the joy of making, not the joy of using. As an adult, I've been conditioned to believe that things must be practical and useful to be worthwhile. I want some justification for the effort and expense and time spent.

But how practical, really, are things like Zentangles? Or cards with weird sayings I'll never send to anyone? Or little handmade books that sit in a box in my basement? Or tags and paper trinkets?

Thinking of it another way, how practical was my sister's career as a ballerina? Sure, there are some videos of her performances, but isn't the point of performing arts that, well, you perform them? I saw the American Ballet Theater perform Swan Lake in Chicago many years ago, and I consider that art. But I have nothing to show for it other than the memory. Does that make it less--or more--meaningful?

And can I, a paper crafter, apply anything learned from the performing arts?

Methinks it's possible.

I'm willing to give it a try. I'm going to focus on playing, on creating and making and growing and experimenting, with a lot less thought for the utilitarian nature of the end product.

I'm going "to art."

Art for art's sake.

My own little wonderful, as Joan put it.

Let's see what happens. Care to join me?

(Note: Please don't panic. I'm not going to start doing collage/mixed media art journaling or crocheting doilies. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, actually, but I get that you don't come to a paper-crafting blog called Simplicity for collage or quilling. No. I want to stick to my minimalist style but play with new expressions of it that are, perhaps, less strictly practical. Let's see where it goes!)

Today's card is made with a fun set from Concord and 9th (awesome stamps!) called Love You. Mean It. This simple, hand-drawn wreath is fabulously simple!

In the spirit of simplicity, I created a very simple visual triangle of the small blooms (outlines stamped in Hero Arts stone wash and filled in with soft sky) accented with a tiny branch (in Hero Arts green). The wreath is Hero Arts lime, and the sentiment is Memento Luxe black. I love how the dense flowers contrast with the openness of the wreath!

A note on the sentiment. "Smile" is part of a larger sentiment in the set, but I suspected I would never use the larger one (not my favorite word choice/arrangement), so I actually cut the word Smile out of the sentiment. I'll use it a lot by itself. Thanks to Jennifer McGuire for getting me over my anxiety about cutting stamps apart.

stamps: Concord and 9th
ink: Hero Arts, Memento Luxe
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder


  1. oh my goodness, you are such a treasure. I was so surprised to see the title of this post. And your card is delightful. So fresh and fun. ps. I could see you quilling though!

  2. So glad you are going to create more, and maybe branch out a bit!! Love your work!

  3. I'm with you!
    "Art for art's sake."
    "My own little wonderful."

  4. You and Joan B are my favorite bloggers. I go to both of your pages for card inspiration AND the joy of reading your missives. Without fail they make me laugh,or think, or gasp, or all of the above. And I personally would love to see your take on a simplistic collage. I bet it would be exquisite.
    Lu C

  5. I think you're courageous. My craft time always tends to be very purpose driven (e.g., I need to make 10 birthday cards this year), and I rarely create something that can't be "used." Thank you for the gentle reminder that it's OK to make a card you'll never send, but will perhaps cherish for different reasons.

  6. I enjoyed all of your post today and have now added Joan's blog to my email feed. I was especially delighted to see the wreath stamp from Concord and 9th; Stampin' Up! has a similar set and I'm going to get it out and use it today. Soft Sky is one of our colors, too, and my favorite light blue. I'd love to quote Joan in our closed room for demos on Facebook, especially the phrase "my own little wonderful." If I credit her, is that permissible?

  7. What a great idea—do art just for the fun of it! I have held myself back for so long, thinking I had to have a USE for art. Or needed to have a PLACE to put it. Thank you for suggesting making art just to make art.

    Your mention of Operation Write Home no longer being a place to send cards you make gave me the idea of something that would help me part with my art when I run out of places to hang/display/exhibit them: Rather than store them in the garage, donate them to charities, silent auctions, or nonprofits! That way, everyone wins. I can't throw it in the trash, but I CAN give it away.

  8. Beautiful card. I also enjoy Joan B's blog.

  9. This is gorgeous! I think we all do our best work when we are creating for the pure pleasure of it, rather than with a function in mind.
    Like bluejeannes, I donate the cards I make to small charities, to sell in order to boost their funds. I can't afford to give money to all the charities I would like to support, but I can give them my time and creativity in order to help them raise that money


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!