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1/21 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

A fun assortment for this week’s creativity contest prompt: “wool.” And not a baa-d entry among them. (Sorry!) Our winner is Kelly Warren, for a creative project she and her daughters sent in. Kelly writes: “I was stumped on this one until I started going through a pile of sweaters I was taking to Goodwill, and then the perfect little mom and daughters art day idea hit me. The girls and I were home for the MLK Jr holiday and created these pieces. The ‘wool’ came from the purple wool sweater I felted and then cut flower petals from. The girls followed my steps as I created my piece, each putting their own little spin on it. They actually added the rhinestones to theirs before I added any on mine! I love the freedom of their pieces! Makes mine look a little boring! We had paper and glue everywhere and had a great art day together. This morning, the girls wanted to take their pieces to school to show their art teacher, Ms. Haddon. When we showed her and I told her about our process, she literally had tears in her eyes. She said it meant so much to her to know that at least some parents were making art at home with their children and asked me to please bring in any other pieces we make together for them to share. Very sweet.” Nice work, Kelly, Livvie, and Sarah! (Shown in that order.) Your $10 gift certificate is en route.





From Bec Thomas: A photo of her sumptuous collection of handspun yarn. Don’t you want to curl up in that pile, face down? Although if you closed your eyes, you’d miss the spectacular colors. Bec writes: “There is a lot of different fibers in that lot, wool, mohair, alpaca, camel, silk, yak, and feathers. Many of my yarns are a blend of various fibers and are usually one of a kind.”



From Cathy Coley, a poem:


I used to live in wool
the smell of it damp against my face
scarf breathed warm
a shield against New England winter wind

hat scratchy pulled low on my forehead
sweater over turtle neck under coat
I even had a wool poncho, hooded
great for fat flaked snowy days
and gloves
all of it wool

wooly knickers or tights under my jeans, too
one last pair of socks with a hole in one heal
all that remains of my wooly days
before Virginia

no fat flakes hover suspended
upon my shoulders or top of my hat
no shoveling the heavy plump,
heart pumping big
breath of wool warm and damp
against my raw cheekbones
no comfort in this unusual cold.


From Karen Winters, a painting entitled “Yorkshire Pals.” Karen writes: “I painted this in watercolor a few years ago using two different copyright-free reference photos. I liked the picture of the sheep but the background was poor. So I found a background landscape from the same region that I preferred. When I am painting, whether en plein air or in studio, I don’t let reality get in the way of my creative vision. Just because a tree is growing THERE doesn’t mean we have to paint it. And if the sheep are lovely but on an uninspiring background … well … we can make it different. Creativity is the process of inspiration plus innovation. The late Milford Zornes, watercolorist, once said ‘Don’t paint it how it is … paint it how it could be.’ So these Yorkshire pals are how they could be.”



From me (Miranda): A scarf. A mohair scarf. A very long mohair scarf — considerably longer than it needed to be, largely due to the fact that I don’t know how to cast off and I needed my mother to assist me. So I just kept on knitting while I waited. I think I waited, and knitted, for a few months before she finished it off. Last year I thought the thing looked a little loose-knit and I decided to wash it for that boiled-wool look. Uhm, didn’t really work out like I’d intended. Still, I’m proud of my poor straggly scarf, because it’s the first thing I ever knitted, and it’s actually a finished project.




This week’s prompt: “Hope”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, January 27, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to Writers should include their submission directly in the body text of their e-mail. Visual artists and photographers should attach an image of their work as a jpeg. Enter as often as you like; multiple submissions for a single prompt are welcome. There is no limit to how many times you can win the weekly contest, either. (You do not have to be a contributor to this blog in order to enter. All are invited to participate.) All submissions are acknowledged when received; if you do not receive e-mail confirmation of receipt within 24 hours, please post a comment here. Remember, the point here is to stimulate your output, not to create a masterpiece. Keep the bar low and see what happens. Dusting off work you created previously is OK too. For more info, read the original contest blog post.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. cathy #

    kelly, you do the best crafty stuff with your girls! makes me want to break out the crafts for baby c, hmm, she’d probably only eat the glue at this point. my boys have long outgrown doing things like this with me, though our old condo kitchen was wallpapered wit their little kid paintings, incl the cabinet doors.

    i love olivia’s signature and quilt effect! sarah’s has tons of freedom and texture!

    i want to roll around in bec’s yarn pile!

    karen’s sheep and rolling hills makes me wistful for the berkshire cows by my old campus!

    miranda, there is nothing better than a homey looooong scarf!

    my poem is really eh by comparison. couldn’t seem to get something off the ground this week, but i threw it out there anyway.

    January 21, 2009
  2. I disagree, Cathy. I could completely relate to your wool poem. I used to love my beautiful wool sweaters, mostly Nordic in design. And then out of nowhere developed a horrible sneezy allergy to wool. I like real things – wood and metal and clothes made out of identifiable materials. But now its acrylic sweaters all the way. Very depressing.

    Beautiful entries this week, everyone.

    January 21, 2009
  3. cathy #

    thanks, brittany! i kinda felt like i was just talking to myself, so i appreciate that you can relate to it. so sorry about your allergy! i can relate to that in different ways having developed a bevy of them in my mid-30s. thankfully not wool, but acrylic is on my list!

    January 21, 2009
  4. first i’ve been able to get over here today! busy day! but yeah! the girls will be thrilled. and i agree with brittany, cathy; i love your poem. all the entries are lovely; we are in great company.

    January 21, 2009
  5. All very crafty! I’m not crafty at all 😦 I absolutely could not think of a thing to submit this week, so I guess that means I’m the slacker, huh? I can already think of plenty for this week’s topic, though, so…..

    You all did a great job on your crafts, and Miranda – at least you tried to make a scarf. I don’t think I would ever need one here in Florida!

    January 21, 2009
  6. cathy #

    thanks, kelly….and i already submitted for hope! great procrastination device on manuscript!

    January 21, 2009
  7. Kelly those are wonderfully creative pictures! Miranda mohair can be tricky yarn to work with but it’s almost waterproof qualities make it worth it, just wrap is around you a few extra times! Great job everyone.

    January 21, 2009
  8. Jen #

    Such lovely entries! From scarves and yarns to paintings and poems… it’s always fun to see what folks come up with! As a former northeast-coaster moved to California, I could definitely relate to your poem, Cathy — I miss all those sweaters!

    Congrats Kelly! your project is just wonderful! and such great pics of the end results, too…. very rich in detail and color. Looking at them felt like I could practically feel the textures. I love the story about the art teacher’s reaction. Very touching!

    January 21, 2009

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