Monday, July 7, 2014

We represent the lollipop kids...

I've been combing Pinterest for "pun" gifts. Stuff like an Owl image and the words "Owl always love you" or chocolate bars with a card that says, "you're the best, bar none." Supposedly these were for business promotions and gifts, but then the OBESSION kicked into the mix.
The obsession is candy bouquets. There is nothing new about candy bouquets. I made them in coffee mugs as gifts in the 80's and taught them several times as workshops.
My first venture into Candy Bouquets 2014 was a miserable failure. I should have taken pictures, but I was rushed. Bottom line: I had the wrong candy, the wrong Styrofoam, and I was rushed.
I was ready to give up. I promise I was totally ready to give up. I put the supplies away and put the candy in an area approved for in-home consumption. However, the sugary bright arrangements of confection would not release me.

I kept pinning ideas and pondering designs. I found myself  in stores picking up containers that would work well as a base for a candy bouquet. Then the containers jumped into my cart and followed me home.

Last week when I was out running errands and getting ready for our trip to California--it happened. I drove past a candy warehouse. It was right on my way home. I'd never noticed it before. This miraculous reveal right in front of my eyes was a sign from somewhere (probably not from the heavens) that I must move forward with the candy project.

A quick U-turn and I was there. An hour later I was leaving the store with brightly colored lollipops and a receipt (no refunds allowed) for $26.92.


Apparently the time was right for Candy Bouquets 2014. After only a couple hours I had four candy bouquets and 3 pieces of leftover candy (not counting the lollipop I taste tested for purely scientific reasons).

They are now all posted on my Pinterest Page under gifts.

Total supply cost including containers, ribbons, and better Styrofoam was $8.79 per bouquet. Not a bad cost for a gift and about the same as a bouquet of grocery store flowers. With good fortune and no similar OBSESSIONS on the horizon--I should be finished with my Candy Bouquets 2014 adventure. You never know though, I've always been a "sucker" for lollipop bouquets.

We'd like to welcome you to Munchkin Land.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I am wordy even when I doodle :) I used watercolor
pens to highlight this quote.

Much of my art time in the last week or so has been spent with a sketch pad in front of the TV. I’m doodling and enjoying the process. I am posting some pictures of how my original doodle art pieces get started.

Elevate your doodles, feel the ink on the paper and let it swirl.
I usually use a permanent black ink so I can
color later if I choose. I work small and then
cut the images out.

I start with a sketch pad most
often. I also like book pages
kid's art, and notebook paper
as a base.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

You, yes you, are creative

My motto in life and in business is "live safe, live well, and live creatively." I have never encountered anyone who said they could not or did not want to live safe or live well.

The creative part though--that stumps a few. The most common response is, "I've never been creative, I just can't do that, or I don't know how to be creative."

Doodling is a craft, doodling as hair on a face
is creative. copyright 2014
I read a blog post this week that beautifully and succinctly expresses living creativity in terms that are easy to understand.

Creativity isn't about whether or not you can draw or write or sing or scrapbook--those are crafts that require skills. You can develop skills. Creativity, however, is about the approach to your skills.

"That’s when I understood that anything you might consider ‘art’ is made up of two parts; creativity and craft. The craft is the artistic skill to make the art, while creativity is the spark of life or the ingenuity behind it.
That also made me understand that when someone says they aren’t creative, they are mistaking creativity for craft."

Here's a direct link to the entire post:

Creativity is within us and all around us. If you've ever had an idea, you're creative.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Should I adopt another new year?

I might just need a summer new year. As I journaled and mediated and worshiped and prayed this weekend I realize that I currently celebrate three new starts during the year.
There’s January when the calendar year changes. There’s Easter when I celebrate the renewal of life with the resurrection, and there is September, which I’ve written about before—the back to school new year (something about those school supplies gives me a call to set goals, organize and start projects).
Chart from David Allen's GTD web site

For my spring new year I have been studying and practicing the methods David Allen promotes in his book, “Getting Things Done.” One of the most appealing aspects of his system is to release the lists that are spinning in your head and get more done by trusting your list.
I’m a big fan of emptying my head. That is one of the reasons I am devoted to journaling and journaling in the 80% written format. It empties my head. Now I’ve found a method that promotes me emptying my head. Is this the answer to my unquiet mind?

One of my recent journal pages- I write
more than I create designs. Artful lettering
and written work with ink/paint background.
So far, it’s working when I work it. My lists feel too long and jumbled. I want to go back and review how he explains making choices based on my priorities. He uses the analogy of a plane on the runway and increasing miles above the ground to explain this theory.

I have not been playing in my studio nearly as much as I desire. It’s a state of chaos in there which may be my biggest deterrent and not this new system.
Today I am home unexpectedly. I am going to empty my wandering brain and clear my inbox. Wishing you a joyful and abundant Spring.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Protect and Retain

 Today’s Slipper Camp Workout #12

Practice Self-Protection and Retention

 Memorize the appearance of one stranger and describe them later in the day so that someone else would recognize them. Consider height, weight, hair, skin, clothing, and age. Practice using your pepper spray for maximum effectiveness.
The hardcore pepper spray from
Damsel in Defense--$10.00 can
get you a long way from trouble.

Tip: (Thanks to Michelle Guercio at a recent Damsel in Defense event) On the way out of many fast-food restaurants and other stores there is a height chart to increase the ability of judging height for a “Creeper.” Find the chart in a place you frequent and use it for your workout.

Even if you have to use the pepper spray, do what
you can to remember what the creeper looks like.

Review my Pepper Spray You Tube Video Here:


Slipper Camp: A kinder, gentler boot camp designed to assist you in living well.

Camp Motto: Being kind to yourself makes you strong.

Checkout my personal progress and all the tasks on

Follow along with the  Slipper camp tasks on the Live Safe, Live Well Facebook Page:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Gratitude Practice

Walking outside in Florida mean "critters." I appreciated
this snail one day--especially the fact that he was
on our mail box. SNAIL MAIL ROCKS.
Today’s Slipper Camp Workout #11

Gratitude Workout:
Go outside, look around and be thankful for one thing you normally take for granted in nature. Marvel at the beauty of one plant that provides oxygen to the world, at the sky overhead whether sunny or cloudy and how changes in climate create the cycles of nature. Appreciate one bare tree that means you can see the beautiful shape of branches without distraction. Remind yourself that being thankful lifts your spirit.

Bonus challenge: Try this every time you step outside for one week or longer.



Slipper Camp: A kinder, gentler boot camp designed to assist you in living well.

Camp Motto: Being kind to yourself makes you strong.

Checkout my personal progress and all the tasks on

Follow along with the  Slipper camp tasks on the Live Safe, Live Well Facebook Page:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The ATC (artist trading card) vs the ACEO (artist card editions and originals)


In 2003 I wrote an article for "RubberStampMadness" magazine about artists' trading cards. Here is the introduction:

ATC by Norma Anne Chattin 2003 uses
a stamp from the Claudine Helmuth collection
with Stampington.
The Artist Trading Card, known as ATC, is a 2.5” by 3.5” miniature work of art usually created to trade with other artists. Eager traders love these small art forms because they offer the opportunity to try out new techniques, learn from other artists, and can be used to make larger projects. The original concept and size requirements comes from baseball and other trading cards.
Everyone from fine artists to the youngest beginner have jumped on the ATC band wagon.  The appeal includes:
  • Easy to create in multiples
  • Great way to try new techniques/tools
  • Perfect for swaps with other artists
  • A social art form
  • Collectible

The original guidelines for ATC are 2.5" by 3.5", handmade art, and never sold only traded.
The photos published with the article were ATCs created by some of my friends in Richmond, Virginia as well as participants in a mail-in swap.  

ACEO by Norma Anne Chattin 2014, collage.
Photo from
A newer phenomenon has developed with the introduction of the artist card editions and originals, known as ACEO, which are original artwork or a print of original artwork.

Like ATCs, ACEOs may be made with any media, material, or method as long as they measure 2-1/2" x 3-1/2".   ACEOs are made with the intention to sell. .