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2/18 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

It probably wasn’t too difficult to figure out where the “box” prompt came from in this week’s creativity contest. (For anyone not in the know, I just moved!) This week’s winner is Brittany Vandeputte. Brittany writes: “I was inspired for this week’s contest when my brother-in-law finally proposed to his girlfriend yesterday (it wasn’t soon enough for our taste). I thought to myself ‘Cupid must’ve finally knocked some sense into him…’ Then ‘Hmmmm… isn’t our prompt for the week “box”?’ Cupid is approx. 4 inches tall, adapted from Laurie S. Wagner’s Mini Baby Mannequin pattern. He is entirely hand sewn (I hate using a sewing machine) and made from hand tea-dyed flannel, black vinyl, polyester fiberfill, and craft feathers. I embroidered his hair, face, and tattoo and used white embroidery thread for his boxing glove laces. His diaper is made from a scrap of interfacing and a spare safety pin.” Very creative, Brittany — love your pugilist take. Your $10 gift certificate has been issued.


From Jen Johnson: “My submission this week is a little poem, one of those ‘came to me in the shower’ creations. It was also inspired by the deteriorating ‘playhouse’ that has become a fixture in our dining room over the last few weeks.”

Boxes (Thinking Outside)

Crayon, canyon,
match, mail, window,
gear, strong, jury,
car, kite, music,
ballot, chatter,
soap, Pandora.

Black, juke, sentry,
signal, compass,
sound, snuff, witness,
office, coffin.
Jack’s in, cat’s out.
Cardboard spaceship.



From Cathy Jennings, an image created in Adobe Illustrator. Cathy writes: This was fun. ‘Box’ got me thinking about spring cleaning and emotional baggage.”


From Cathy Coley, a pair of photographs. Cathy writes: “No better entertainment exists for a baby than a box! S was about the same age Baby C is now in this photo from ten years ago. Look how he adored his big brother! So, yes, I went for the obvious once again. It was nice to break out the old photos! Baby C was too active to get a good shot of her sitting in the box to mimic the old one. I liked this one of her heading in.”


From Rebecca Coll, a piece just for me! (In the interest of full disclosure, Rebecca is my BFF.) Rebecca writes: “So I wasn’t able to finish (as you can clearly see!), but I figured I’d send it in anyway. The piece is actually going to be your housewarming gift once it’s done — hence my comment earlier about not being in the running to win this week 🙂 . It’s a shadowbox, loosely depicting your family and your new house. I glued the frame and started to place some of the elements (people, your front columns, windows) but I didn’t have a chance to finish and I also need to paint it. It obviously looks very underdone in the raw colors of the board I am using. Trust me, it will look VERY different when it’s done.” (Editor’s note: Look’s like I’M the big winner this week, ladies!)


From me (Miranda), a prose piece and photograph:

All of my wordly possessions, my life in the most mundane terms, wrapped in sheets of gray paper and boxed by strange hands. Hands that had no interest in my bird’s nest diorama, my reams of manuscript pages, my hundreds of books, the many ceramic treasures that my children have created over the years, the quilt that my mother made for me, my prized sugar bowl. Three Guatemalan men packed my house in silence — except for when one of them accidentally pushed a button on a small key-chain found in the kitchen desk: “Dr. Fart.” From the next room, we heard the eruption of laughter.

The hands packed without interest, and perhaps without judgment, although I wonder what the inventory of my household looks like through someone else’s eyes. I catch a glimpse, I think, as I unfurl each carefully wrapped item. I open a thousand presents, sometimes with a smile as I discover a favorite object; sometimes with a sigh as I unwrap yet one more thing that I’m not sure I really want to keep. In the light of a new home and shifting priorities, I wonder why I paid to have it packed and moved. Out it goes.

The mover’s boxes are my appreciated friends, but our friendship is fleeting. As soon as a box is empty, I am anxious to remove it — immediately — from my living space. Each emptied box feels like a significant accomplishment. Box by box, my life comes back to shape, as much as I wish my life weren’t so thoroughly defined by my material goods.

Two days ago, a couple came by and took masses of boxes from the collection in our driveway — mostly flattened, but many bulging full of crumpled newsprint. I was relieved to see most of the boxes go, and glad to know that they would be serving another family rather than heading to the recycling center.

Ten days after moving, there are just a handful of boxes left in my living space. By the end of the coming weekend, those will be gone too. Back to “real” life, out of the box.

Maybe I’ll save a few in the basement, just in case I’m not quite ready….



This week’s prompt: “Eyes”
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, February 24, 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 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.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sorry so late getting this up! A morning visitor and a cranky baby kept my laptop at bay. Thanks for all the great entries 🙂

    February 18, 2009
  2. cathy #

    adorable doll, brittany! it looks teeenie-tiny! skilled fine motors you’ve got there!

    i like jen’s unlikely list and that play house!

    cathy j’s graphic remind’s me of frank lloyd wright windows.

    and i would really like to see rebecca’s finished!

    i was trying to think of a way to convey s’s use of every box in the house and garage to make the cities he wrecks and films in the garage as godzilla… here’s the youtube link instead for early examples of his near daily work as an actor, director, writer, dp, film editor,etc…

    in the end, i decided on the photos thinking i was usurping s’s creativity…

    February 18, 2009
  3. Thanks guys! Would you believe Cupid is the first doll I’ve started and finished in eight years?

    Looks like I’ve rediscovered my old hobby…

    February 18, 2009
  4. cathy #

    oops! i really enjoyed miranda’s wondering about what the movers may have been thinking or not thinking in their silent packaging of her life, too. esp the fart joke, obviously a cross-cultural humor reference. what is it about farts that is so funny?

    February 18, 2009
  5. great entries, everyone! congrats brittany! i love the boxing gloves!

    cathy c, i enjoyed c’s box pics on FB so seeing the boys in the same situation was an added bonus. 🙂

    jen, i have a similar looking “playhouse” in our playroom downstairs. who needs toys!?

    cathy j, i need to take some online classes from you. you do the funnest (is that a word?) stuff with illustrator.

    can’t wait to see rebecca’s finishing piece!

    miranda, i really liked yours best this week. 🙂

    February 18, 2009
  6. Jen #

    Wonderful wonderful entries! Such fun to see the diverse responses. Thanks everybody!

    February 20, 2009

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  1. Brittany: A New Focus « Creative Construction: Life & Art

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