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Posts tagged ‘weekly contest’

5/6 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Flowers abound in our lovely entries this week!  The favorite is a gorgeous painting from Karen Winters, which blends so beautifully with our new header!  Karen writes:

Descanso Gardens, a renowned botanical garden in my home town of La Canada Flintridge, California, is beautiful in every season. In late spring, when the bulbs and roses are in bloom, it is at its most spectacular. As one of the featured artists at the Descanso gallery, I enjoy painting in the gardens whenever I get the opportunity.

karen-1
The Descanso Rosarium includes roses from around the world – from the earliest wild roses to the latest hybridized AARS shrubs. Some are fragrant, some treasured just for their color or form. I would have a hard time picking a favorite among them. This impressionist landscape focuses on a crepe myrtle bush surrounded by roses and represents late afternoon in the gardens.


From Nina Newton:  Here are a couple of things I’ve been working on this week with May Flowers in mind – actually I’ve been working on the kids for quite some time now, ;o) but love getting pix of them in all kinds of settings. So, when they came in with a bouquet of dandelions for Mama, I just had to take a picture of them!  The other little project is an embellished camisole that I worked on for my Etsy shop, but as I was working on the flowers, I thought I’d share it with you all.  It may not stay this way, as I like to change things up a bit before I’m completely satisfied with the results (maybe flowers all the same color instead of the gold and ivory . . . . . and maybe ivory lace instead of black) I was just thinking about my options.  Here it is for now with my rendition of May Flowers on a little summer top.  Thanks for all the fun, Nina @ Gossamer Wings Studio by mamas*little*treasures.

nina-annie

nina-cami


From Cathy Coley: Just got back from New Orleans and picked the iris, rose and peony from my gardens, thinking of the challenge and taking a photo.  When I put them in the vase together, up popped the idea of three lovely girls so close; what would they say to each other?  Then America’s Next Top Model popped into my head, and here is the result:

Peony, Iris and Rose

Peony, Iris and Rose woke up one morning,
shocked they were in such close proximity. 
Iris piped up first, “Sheesh, you two stink!”
Peony, offended, shrieks,
“Oh, yeah, well, you sure are calling attention
to yourself – wearing purple and yellow together!”
Rose huffs in agreement, “Not a bit of subtlety in taste.”
Peony, throws in “Oh, and shocking pink is so subtle?”
Iris interjects, “Well, at least, I’m not fat.”

cathy-1


From me (Kelly): These flowers grow in the marsh grasses by the water in our area.  I took these just outside our neighborhood seafood dive, Chowder Ted’s (the Cheers of Heckscher Drive), but they also grow all along our back fence line by the river.  The flowers are actually yellow (maybe a saltwater version of dandelions?), but I had fun playing around with them in Photoshop, turning them into an orange watercolor.  We are only five miles from where the river meets the ocean, so our little stretch of paradise is pretty much salt water. 

may-flowers

This week’s prompt: “Memories of Mom”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by midnight eastern time on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.  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 challenge, 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 48 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.

4/29 Weekly Creativity Challenge and New Prompt

Only two entries for our April Showers prompt, and with them comes a welcome back and a congrats to this week’s winner Dale Meister for her lovely necklace, pictured below.  Dale writes: “I have created a necklace inspired by the ‘april showers’ prompt.  I know this isn’t exactly the usual media you get at your blog. I hope this is okay. This is my second time participating, after following the ‘little black dress’ prompt a while back.”  And we’re happy to have any media Dale! 

dale


From me (Kelly): a photo entitled “Marion County Roadside”.  I took this shot last year about this time on the way home from a meeting in Tampa.  I’ve always wavered back and forth between wanting to live my life on the river and wanting to live my life on a horse farm in Ocala.  Some of the most beautiful property in all of Florida is along U.S. 301/441 in Marion County horse country.  I loved how this view captured the rain on the left and the sun on the right at the same time. 

 marion-co-roadside-blog


This week’s prompt: “May flowers” (did you see that one coming?)
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, May 5, 2009.  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 challenge, 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.

4/15 Weekly Creativity Challenge Winner and New Prompt

Can you smell the fresh air and green grass of the farm? Three submissions this week, with the winner being Cathy Coley for her poem that I think all mothers can easily relate to.   Congrats Cathy!


I farm out tasks,
unsuccessfully.
The kids ignore,
the husband groans.

Would it be different
if we lived on a farm?
Would the chores be done
Simply because
The cow will moan
The rooster crow
The hens cluck
And the fields
Grow wild, inedible.

If they had to get it themselves,
Would they eat besides sugar
Would they pick the sun hot
Tomatoes, carrots, wash them
And eat?

Or would they wither
Away to bones
Naked
no laundry done
Because I’ve mastermind
my escape?


From Karen Winters, a beautiful painting titled “Peacefull Valley Farm”: California’s rich farmland is disappearing as open spaces once filled by family farms are bought up and developed. In places fruit groves are seen dying, unattended, and signs are posted announcing that new homes are coming. The burst of the real estate bubble will probably change that, but the farms won’t likely return. Still, in California’s great central valley there are fields as far as the eye can see. It’s no wonder that California has often been called the Salad Bowl of America.

california-farm-painting-b


From Kelly Warren, a photo titled “Family Reunion”: On my late February jaunt to photograph my Harvey Collection series, I also came across a field of very friendly cows. When I pulled over to the side of the road near their pasture, they all immediately headed straight over to check me out, hoping for a nibble, I’m sure. But when I started photographing them, their true model side came out and they all garnered for front and center camera space. They were quite fun to talk to!

family-reunion


This week’s prompt: “Breathless”
Use the prompt however you like – literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.  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 challenge, 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.

Weekly Creativity Challenge Back in Action!

Though I don’t participate every week, I didn’t want to see this go, so I volunteered to take it over for Miranda with a couple changes.  Since I can’t commit to the $10 weekly gift certificate (Miranda, you rock!), let’s change it from “contest” to “challenge.”  Everything else will work basically the same. Sound like a plan?

This week’s theme is “reach.”  Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, April 7, 2009.  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.  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.

3/18 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Musical intro for this week’s contest post: “Get out the map, get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down. We’ll leave the figuring to those we pass on the way out of town.” (Lyrics from one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs.)

Several lovely entries for this week’s creativity contest. The winner is Brittany Vandeputte, who is clearly entering the freakishly creative phase. Brittany, we all want to know where your creative mojo is coming from!

Brittany writes: “I had fun with this one Miranda! This week’s entry is a paper doll. My best friend (who’s Australian) and her family are coming to the US next month. I haven’t seen her since 1994 and have never met her three-year-old daughter, Mackenzie. They are planning a coast-to-coast, two-month whirlwind tour of the country and the prompt made me think of them immediately. I wondered if there would be any way to help Mackenzie orient herself, and teach her a little bit about what she was seeing in the process. I was struck with this idea to commemorate each of the stops on their trip.”

Here is Brittany’s description of the images she sent in:

  • The doll’s body is made from an Apian Compass Rose (with the face of a porcelain doll I found online).
  • Her first dress is made from a map of North America. With it, as well as the others, I let natural boundaries shape the design.
  • The second dress is a topographical map of Mt. Ranier.
  • The third is a geologic map of SC.
  • The fourth is the park map of Disney World.
  • The fifth is a satellite map of California.
  • And the sixth commemorates the ports we’ll visit on the cruise we’ll meet on — and is a world atlas map of the Caribbean Sea.”

bv_dolls

 

From Jen Johnson: “I have to say, as I pondered this week’s prompt, I kept coming back to Elizabeth Bishop’s take on ‘The Map,’ which I’ve always admired immensely.  With that in the forefront of my mind, I found myself quite unable to come up with something new.  I especially admire her gentle query: ‘Are they assigned, or can the countries pick their colors?’ (Here’s a copy of the poem, if you’re not familiar with it.) So I’d all but given up on having a submission, but then I remembered a VERY old poem, written in a light-yet-serious mood in the early years of my marriage. So I’m sending it in, just for fun. Looking forward to what others have this week!”

Poem, as I Try to Put Pieces Together

“She likes to stretch from England to Brazil,”
you say, while fingering a cardboard piece
of ocean, land, or sky. I hold it still
between our fingers, as I match the crease
that curves from blue to green along the edge
with several jagged gaps here in the map.

Because the cat refused to move, I wedge
the piece we hold into an empty gap
beneath her grey and furry tail. “It’s land.
It fits. Now Britain is complete,” I say.
Of course I realize the notion’s grand,
misleading, silly. For there is no way
this puzzle will complete a single thing.

Much less the world. In fact, I feel like Greek
Penelope–by day the pieces cling
together, but by night I let them seek
destruction of the pattern. Them? The cats.

I swear they’re planning feline schemes to tear
the world apart–two fuzzy democrats
demanding equal rights, each her own chair,
our full attention. Yes, when we are through
with playing god, with this our paper world,
I’m sure our world will have a hole or two;
these cats will sit with tails all tucked and curled
into a satisfied I told you so,
and they will never tell where pieces hide.

So we will forget missing Morocco,
holes in Antarctica, each gap we tried
to remember to fill. Perhaps someday
we will find dusty pieces in corners.
For now we will tear up the bluish-grey
oceans to pieces of paper waters,
break England apart, put bits of Brazil
in a cracked, cardboard box in a closet,
and we will map out each other, until
we find room for cats, chaos, and secret
blank holes in the puzzle. Oh, yes. We will.

 

From Cathy Coley: “i think it’s done. thanks for the inspiration. honestly, this could be a whole memoir full of adventures!”

Maps
I grew up on what seems like one long road trip. Summers spent boiling in the back of a station wagon throughout the Seventies and beyond in both directions in time, back into the Sixties and up into the Eighties. Mom’s Parliaments’ and later those long brown Mores’ smoke blown into the back seat by the cracked window, rather than out it, as her theory dissolved in practice. She never listened to us when we said we couldn’t breathe or were getting carsick from the lack of viable oxygen. She would pop the still burning butt out the window before vacuum sealing the tiny wing window which made our ears constrict and burst from the pressure, especially when we took a mountain route. Hands over my ears, I watched the fiery butt fly by, sending off sparks at seventy-five miles per hour or more, and imagined the kids in the back of the pickup behind us, or the couple in the convertible, or the cut-away hood of a suped-up hot-rod, or the dry roadside grasses and trash bursting into flames, ignited by my mother’s careless discard. But it was the Seventies, and even with the crying native public service announcements and ‘give a hoot, don’t pollute’ campaigns on television, the roadways were littered from car windows far more than my mother’s butts, and I believe everyone’s mother smoked. There’s a certain smell I still smell in certain roadside stops in Virginia, of old cigarettes, linoleum and sealed in broken down air-conditioning, barbeque, hot dog, melting chocolate, Cheetos, Coppertone, pork rinds, potato chips, Coca-cola, Mr. Pibb, birch beer, bologna, egg salad, and old sweat that brings me right back to my childhood. It’s not a great aroma, but it is the perfume of my youth, travelling southward, circa 1976.

My extended family lived in Georgia and Florida, and a few in North Carolina on my father’s side. My parents were traitors who had crossed the Mason-Dixon Line to raise their family. We were the first generation in at least three hundred years, on both sides, and cousins of Robert E. Lee. My younger brother, born in Connecticut was ‘that damn Yankee’ as dubbed by my maternal grandfather and uncles. So we travelled every summer to visit the rest of us Down South. We did so for some Christmases, too. Preparations for the trip included long consultations with Rand-McNally on our kitchen counter, flipping the pages from state to state to determine the best route this time. Would we take a more coastal route and stop over in Virginia Beach or other resort beach zone? Or is the mountain route through the Blue Ridge on Skyline drive our preference this time? Maybe an altered western route across the Smokeys instead, so we can stop over at my father’s old Georgia Tech fraternity brother’s place in North Carolina, rather than with Great Aunt Alma and Uncle Jack, who had a 1922 Model A Ford with an A-Ooga! horn to squeeze and a houseful of antiques.

First we rode in our old Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser with the windows on top, I would lay down in the ‘way back’ or in the back seat and stare up at the passing clouds and stars and wave to the truckers high up in their perches at the front of their megatons of steel and whatever they hauled inside, so they’d blow their horns as they passed. We had these windows in the car ceiling way before the concept of a sunroof came into fashion. After that car’s engine blew, with my mother, younger brother and me in the car, downtown, hometown, Connecticut with real estate agents chasing after us yelling “Fire!” the day before one of our journeys, the dealership lent us a green station wagon that stopped running smack-dab in the middle of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. My father coasted in neutral from hovering over a river past New Jersey, and drifted us onto the roadside with minimal embankment in Delaware. I remember lunching on boiled eggs and hot Peter Pan peanut butter and Welch’s Grape Jelly sandwiches, chased by Coca-cola, and Wise potato chips, for what seemed like hours, as I already needed to go to the bathroom before the bridge, as we waited for the Triple A guy to tow us somewhere for repair. The whir-whizz constant of traffic so much louder and the wind from each vehicle’s pass nearly knocked me over. I was always a puny kid. My mother often said she was sure I would blow away in a strong wind one of these days.

After that trip, my parent’s purchased a Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon with a 455 V-8 and plenty of walnut-grained vinyl veneer. This station wagon lasted us through many more trips, and my high school driving years, when I’d pile all my friends and then some into it to party-hop all over town at whoever’s parents were out of town for the weekend, and have everyone back before my curfew, drunk as skunks, but home safe at a decent hour. Their mothers all loved me. I, however, was straight and in by midnight, mom waiting up, cigarette burning next to her, while she dozed by the light of the television, waiting for me to check in, check my breath, with a ‘goodnight, mom’ kiss on her cheek before heading upstairs.

But that Pontiac Grand Safari with the 455 V-8 lead us to Georgia and Florida and back, mountain routes, coastal routes, down to Orlando where my paternal grandmother lived, Ft Lauderdale and Daytona Beach for fun in the sun, and even gulf-side to Panama City Beach. It carried us on trips to Maine and Vermont for skiing and all the way down the East Coast, hot as blazes, crayons melting in the floorboard with the chocolate. I remember stopping in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Myrtle Beach, you name it, if it was in Eastern Standard Time, we saw it as kids. My father was never too keen on stopping anywhere for too long, and if we wanted a side trip, one of us navigated from the atlas in our lap, flipping pages from state to state, squeezed in the middle of that front bench seat between Mom and Dad. The other two, listening to The Eagles in the way back, on the Panasonic handheld pushbutton tape recorder, with nothing to do but pretend to be Bonnie and Clyde on the lam from the coppers, read, doodle or watch the trees, cows, hills, cars and sky go by for hours and days on end at a steady 75 miles per hour.

 

From me (Miranda): I recently listened to this old podcast interview with Keri Smith, which got me thinking about the creative inheritance of childhood. Lately I’ve been thinking about work that links to my past. The piece I created for the map prompt is about documenting my creative birthright; my origins (the map is of a town in England that was one of my early homes) and what I was given by my mother, who is what I could call reflexively creative. The past can been seen as a map from which we navigate the future. The sunflower is a personal icon of sorts, and in this instance echoes the compass icon used on many maps. This piece isn’t quite what I set out to do, but it is what it is. (Kind of like me.)

creative_birthright_lo_res

 

This week’s prompt: “Spring Equinox”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.


2/25 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Ah, the eyes have it! Lovely submissions for this week’s creativity contest. Our winner is Elizabeth Beck, for this beautiful collage. Elizabeth writes: “i just finished this collage this week …. and intentionally left out the eyes …. to leave it all more ambiguous and mysterious ….. so … for my eyes entry, i give you no eyes!” (I just love your work, Elizabeth, and I’m anxious to try my hand at collage with the SIX BOXES of potential collage materials I gathered up while packing for my move.) Congratulations, Elizabeth — your $10 amazon.com gift certificate has been issued.

100_79311

 

From Karen Winters, a watercolor painting. Karen writes: “I have always admired the way Egyptian women were portrayed in sculpture and painting, so I decided to do a closeup watercolor just featuring the eyes of an exotic beauty. Unlike the ancient paintings that were very stylized and graphic-looking, I chose to represent the eyes in a more realistic manner. The kohl that Egyptian women and men used for distinctive outlining served more than a decorative purpose. Originally made from the soot derived from burning sandalwood paste, kohl served as a medicinal aid and protection against strong sun. Modern preparations may contain lead, so caveat emptor.”

eyes-3x5

 

From Jen Johnson, a poem. Jen writes: “My submission is a quick little poem dashed off during naptime (because that’s all the time I had this week!) based on something I seem to remember reading somewhere a long time ago. Your prompt reminded me of it — not sure if it’s scientific fact or not (and a quick google search with the kids in my lap can’t confirm it) but I like the idea anyway.”

Moongaze

They say that the dark side of the moon,
The side blind to human eyes,
Has a gigantic crater, so big it could be seen
With ease from our own Earth —

If ever we could see what can’t be seen.
It would look like an enormous lunar eye,
Peering down at us each night.
The huge hole a dark iris, pale moondust sclera.

What myths would have been made,
What stories spun, what gods imagined,
If each night we looked up to see
A changeable gaze staring down from the sky?

 

From Rebecca Coll, a painting that she created this week as a gift to her husband on their anniversary. Rebecca writes: “I stretched the theme of ‘eye’ to include how we use it and experimented with the whole optical illusion thing. I figured after 19 years a marriage is about so much more than you can see on the surface. It’s about who we are and the love we have shared. To show this I painted a tree (growth, stability, branches for our independent passions, etc.) using both of our profiles to create the trunk. Then, up in the tree I added 19 hearts for the 19 years… Can you see them all?”

annivtree1

 

From Kelly Warren: “Pure goofiness…the eyes are two of my evil eye pendants.  I’d say this is me after one too many margaritas.” Love it, Kelly!

goofy-eyes

 

From Cathy Coley, a poem:

Eyes

My eldest son’s mossy deep forest green
glow in the sun and mute to wood.
They are the unusual eyes
of my grandfathers,
both of Carolina Cherokee blood.
I wander lost in those eyes
when they look at me.

At a powwow when he was three
a young Mohegan boy of eight
smiled and said,
‘He has the eyes of my tribe,
the eyes of the wolf.’

From boy to boy passed more
than a stick of rock candy.
This is his second early memory
after the red and licorice
ladybug birthday cake.
He has the eyes of a wolf.

My second son’s eyes kaleidoscope
from bright blue to green to slate.
My mostly Irish father’s eyes are aqua green,
Turn to crystal blue, even lavender.
My boys’ father’s Irish eyes switch, too —
Sky eyes clear blue to thunderclouds.
My young son’s eyes are big as the sky.
I can fall into them, and rarely swim back out.

My daughter’s eyes are deep,
clear, warm bullets,
black brown depths of her father and me.
My mother, my grandmother,
his father and generations
back into the hills and across the ocean.
The deep history of continents
collide in our daughter’s eyes —
founders, natives, immigrants,
brown as earth’s rich soil.

Histories upon peoples read
in our children’s eyes.

 

From me (Miranda): A header image that I several months ago — it’s one of my favorites. Naturally, I am enchanted by the eyes of all of my children, but I have to say that Liam (the youngest) has extra depth to his baby blues.

babyeye

 

This week’s prompt: “Light”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

All eyes on you!

Don’t forget to send in a submission for our weekly creativity contest. The prompt is “eyes.” Deadline is tonight, 10:00 p.m. eastern time. Come on, “see” what you can do!

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 amazon.com gift certificate has been issued.

cupid221509
 

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.

dsc05048

 

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

springcleaningsquares
 

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.”

cathy_boxes
 

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!)

box1
 

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

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….

dsc_0048

 

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 creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

2/11 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Two delicious entries for this week’s creativity contest on the prompt “cookies.” Rebecca Coll wins for a fabulous, extremely creative submission! Rebecca writes: Here it is — a silly little idea I had when nothing else was coming to me. I was having a hard time getting creatively motivated by ‘cookies,’ when all I really wanted to do was eat them… Attached are three images of a paper doll I made who also seems to have an issue with cookies.”  We love it, Rebecca! (Anyone who has ever personally related to the term “muffin top” will be especially appreciative, LOL.) Your $10 amazon.com gift certificate is on its way.

dress11

dress2

dress3

 

From Cathy Coley, a recipe you’re going to want to make RIGHT NOW. Cathy writes: “I haven’t made these in a long time, as I can’t find sucanat or decent molasses (with sulphur, not unsulphured) around here, but these are good for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert, smell unbelievable, will guarantee a good romance that night (and the kids love them, too). They are magically chewy and crispy and crunchy all at once! Yes, the magician is letting you in on the secret!”

Cathy’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup or 2 sticks of butter, softened
1½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
OR ½ cup sucanat + 1/2 cup molasses +
½ cup dark brown sugar (this is the better option)

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oats, even better if Irish
1 cup raisins
Throw in a big handful of nuts or 2: walnuts or pecans

Preheat to 350 degree oven

2 big bowls
In first, beat together butter and sugars until creamy
Add eggs and vanilla, beat well
In second, combine dry ingredients: flour baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, mix well

Add dry ingredients to sugars bowl, mix
Stir in oats raisins and nuts
Drop rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets
Bake 10-12 or until deeply goldenish brown
Cool one min on sheets, transfer to racks to cool more

Kinda hard not to eat straight out of oven, but they will burn, have milk handy and blow to cool before you chomp one! I tend to be generous with spilling in extra of many of the ingredients as I go, so they’re not perfectly the same every time, but the variety makes them good, too — little surprises in yummy. Now I have to go make them! I should be writing, but grandma’s home, baby won’t nap, and my mouth is watering thinking about these cookies!

 

This week’s prompt: “Box”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

2/04 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

A quiet week on the creativity contest front. Perhaps the prompt “clock” didn’t set off many bells among Creative Construction readers — or perhaps some of you were hard at work in the February Finish-a-thon. Our winner is Kelly Warren, who sent in a stunning photo, with a lovely explanatory bit. Congratulations, Kelly! Your $10 amazon.com gift certificate is on its way.

Clock’s Tickin’

ford-ttv

Heading south out of Tallahassee on US 319/98 towards the coast, there’s a gathering of old trucks just off the side of the road. Being the intrepid traveler around Tallahassee and its environs, I’ve wondered about this “gathering” for years. They sit there as if on the starting line of some long ago race, all lined up waiting for some invisible spandex-clad starlet to throw down her scarf as the signal to go.

After some recent research, I found finally their origins. They’re are owned by Mr. Homer R. Harvey. He and his father Riley A. Harvey were in the timber, crosstie and turpentine business. They also farmed and raised some cattle and hogs, and the trucks were used in their business operations over the years. Riley died in 1957, and Homer carried the business on into the 1970s. The home on the curve near the trucks is where Homer raised his family. He and his wife Yvonne McLaughlin had four children: Pat, Mike, Dennis and Ouida. Pat now lives in the home on “Homer Harvey Curve.” A few years back Pat and Homer decided to move the old trucks out of the woods and place them closer to the road where they are now. Homer is now 92 and lives with his daughter Ouida just a few miles from the curve. Mike and Dennis both live close by.

The woman at the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce who helped me with the research, Petra Shuff, told me that there’s a ’54 Ford amongst the gathering that was the first car she remembers steering, sitting in an uncle’s lap. Like Petra’s dream to drive, these old trucks are also a photographer’s dream. I took a series of pictures there recently and played around with a few to great effect, including that ’54 Ford. Clock’s tickin’, Ms. Petra. Been drivin’ lately?

 

From Jen Johnson, a photograph. Jen writes: “A very impromptu submission this week: a photo of our mantle, titled ‘Time and the River’ (yes that is the Wolfe title in the background).”

time-and-the-river

 

From Cathy Coley, a poem and photo pairing. Cathy says, “very silly, i was coming up empty.” Hey, your consistency is always impressive, Cathy!

Clocks

Always ticking
Never sticking
Slowly creeping
Suddenly speeding
Morning in
Evening out
What the heck
Is that all about?

clocks-006

 

From me (Miranda), a haiku:

Clock

The metronome of
life and all I know, music
of our nothingness

 

This week’s prompt: “Cookies”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, February 10, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

1/28 Weekly creativity contest winner & new prompt

Hope is a beautiful thing. And so is the collection of entries for this week’s creativity contest.

Our winner is book artist Rebecca Coll, who crafted a highly creative piece. Rebecca writes: “I pretty much decided to fall in love with Emily Dickinson’s poetry when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade and learned we had the same birthday… Although I’m not sure I’m as smitten as I used to be, the poem on the attached piece is one I have always liked. It describes hope in such a powerful way — as opposed to the desperate hopes you hear so much about. SO I decided to use that poem as inspiration for a paper cutout pop-up ‘book.’ It’s not really a book, more like a card with a hardback cover…. The outside cover is the Dickinson poem and inside is a gold papercut ‘tree of life’ with a red bird perched on a branch. The tree of life is the symbolic image I used for the ‘soul’ where Dickinson says our hope sits perched. Gold is for the precious nature of our souls and the red of the bird is for the fire and strength of our hopes.”

hope11

hope21

hope3

 

From Terri Fischer, a series of photographs. Terri writes: “The collage entitled ‘hope’ [below] is a collection of photos that I took of a few of my friends while we watched the inauguration. My good friend Sarah is from England, and has been obsessed with the campaign, election, and inauguration of President Obama (I still love saying that!). She hosted an little Inauguration Day party for a group of local moms that were home that day. Sarah is on the right, hand to mouth, likely stifling a sob.”

hope2

“‘Obama2’ [below] is, of course, from the same day. I love this photo because it signifies generations to me–mother, daughter, and baby doll, engaged in this historic moment. I feel that the role mothers play in shaping the future of this country is highly underrated! This photo speaks to me of both hope and responsibility.”

obama2

“‘Broo,’ [below] is a photo of my fourth child. OK, so really, she’s only watching Kung Fu Panda, but doesn’t that sweet little face make you think ‘hope’?”

broo

 

From Brittany Vandeputte, a poem with photographs: Brittany writes, “Again, a silly poem inspired by recent events.”

AN ODE TO A TODDLER BY THE DOG SITTING HOPEFUL BESIDE THE HIGH CHAIR

Please just a nibble.
Please just one bite.
Just a morsel of chicken.
Iʼll catch it mid-flight.
No one will notice.
No one will see.
Theyʼll think you ate your dinner,
When it was actually me!
brittany

 

From Jennifer Johnson, a poem:

Hope (The Thing With Feathers)

Some screams are ones you never will forget.
That day, the cries of raw distress
reminded me of blood on black macadam,
an elbow scraped, a shredded dress,
the gravel ground too hard on naked knees.
The common childhood playground casualties.

I went outside, prepared to cluck and shush
assurance — anything to halt
that run of ragged noise, too full of pain,
too flavored by the angry salt
of tears, too close to language to ignore.

I looked around the park but saw no child.
My ears found her — a wounded crow
was dragging one dark wing and hurling sound
at cats who crouched a pebble’s throw
away from her, tails twitching, inching closer.

I broke the clowder’s circle, scared them off,
but terrified the trembling bird.
She hopped away, still shrieking. I stood still
and willed her quiet. She preferred
to flap her one good wing and curse us all.

What could I do? She was no condor, tern,
or albatross; was neither rare
nor lovely. She was common. Did she know
this? Were her cries akin to prayer?
Her voice alone was keeping her alive:
her almost-human hope that she’d survive.

 

From Marsanne Petty, two entries (again! Go Marsanne); a photograph and a prose piece:

a) “We go to Savannah, Georgia, every year for vacation. We’ve been to the Pirate’s House Restaurant a couple of times. It’s a pretty good restaurant. Anyway, this lantern hangs by the front door, and according to each of the pirates that have taken us on various tours, it was there as a beacon of hope to those on the Savannah River. It may have worked; it may not have. Regardless of the truth of the story or the usefulness of the lantern, it makes for a nice photo.”

hope-lantern

b) Hope

Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a happy ending. She had heard it her whole life, especially from her mother. After three failed marriages and one husband who died, she could agree with her mother that there wasn’t much hope. But that didn’t stop her from trying to believe.

Her first hope was that she would get out of this town. That hadn’t happened, what with the abusive boyfriend and lack of schooling. She supposed, really, that her first hope had been to finish high school and go to college in another town. There. That was a much better clarification of her hope. The school thing hadn’t worked out too well – she ended up spending all of her time with the boyfriend, which in turn, led to a failed relationship and failing out of school. And yet she was still in the same small town, alone.

Her second hope was to give her mother a sense of happiness. The poor woman had been through so much, the husbands, the divorces, the death…. What’s a girl to do to help her mother cope with something like that? That had failed too. Her mother had fallen into a deep depression and was reduced to taking medication to get through the day.

Her third hope was to be an artist. She tried, really, she did. She attempted lovely landscapes on napkins, spare newspapers, bits of paper she could find anywhere. A severe lack of money didn’t exactly lend itself to art. When the landscapes didn’t work, she tried people, buildings, individual flowers. All failures.

So she moved on. Her fourth hope was to learn the history of her family. Where did they come from? What did their odd sounding names mean? Could she find more ancestors of her own – other family members, other than her battered, depressed mother? She questioned her mother, who knew nothing. Her own mother had abandoned her to a nearby family when she was four. She could no longer even recall her own mother’s name. The name of the family? Her mother didn’t remember them either, she was gone from their home by the age of twelve, on the street to fend for herself. Any other relatives, then? No, none that she knew of. What of her father? A vicious snort from her mother. Look at your birth certificate, child. I have no idea who he was. No maternal relatives, no paternal name to trace. Hope number four was dashed.

She hoped to take the money her mother had given her and make it stretch far enough to buy food for the two of them. Enough to last the week, at least. So she took the money and walked to the grocery store, closely tallying what she added to her basket. Like every other week, she came up short, even purchasing the cheapest brands of foods, the most cost efficient packages. She went to the register to pay for her meager collection, another hope ruined. They would be hungry at the end of the week.

Walking back home, it began to sprinkle and she thought of her mother’s words – no happy ending. Hope after hope…all failed. She looked up at the sky to see if the rain was going to get harder before she made it home. A rainbow gleamed down at her, reminding her that there was always hope, and it never hurt to stop hoping for something better.

 

From Cathy Coley, an illustrated prose piece:

Hope’s name is Lucy

epsn0039I love dogs, I grew up with generations of them. For many years living in condos or apartments, I promised my boys, especially K that we would get a dog as soon as we could afford a house. As soon as we moved in, I took them to the local SPCA on a Friday afternoon, near closing to ‘just look.’ The smell of urine and dog and cat fear was everywhere, as it is in these places, even when they are doing their best to find homes for the lost, the lonely, the neglected and the abused. As soon as we walked through the door to the kennels, the first thing we saw adopted us. She was a nervous mangy little cutie we couldn’t get out of our hearts as soon as we saw her. I had envisioned a fluffier, prettier and bigger dog than this tiny bald terrier mix, and we really tried to consider all the others, including puppies we saw, but my heart started racing. I called my husband at work, frantic that we would lose her if he didn’t come immediately with us first thing in the morning. Others stopped at her cage with the “aw” that only the most pathetic can evoke. I really didn’t want to lose her. Neither did K or S. I told the kennel tech we would be back with my husband first thing tomorrow, don’t give her away til we get here! I didn’t sleep at all that night. Of course, my husband was reluctant, but couldn’t turn away from her, either, once he saw her.

I also didn’t want to think I was making a hasty decision. I hoped she really was the best dog for our family. So gave myself a little more than twelve hours to consider bringing a dog with full fledged mange into the house, especially with my beautiful old cat. I didn’t want her to start losing her fur. I had no idea what it would take to get rid of it once we had her home. I learned after taking her to the vet that there are two kinds of mange: a highly treatable and a terrible version that the best thing to do is euthanize the poor creature.

1-21-2008lucy-006When I brought her to the vet, the vet tech looked at her and kept saying how lucky she was and what a wonderful family we must be, etc, but it looked like she probably had the latter version of mange. They sent us home with the treatment for the treatable kind after running tests. We all, the vet tech, the whole staff there, and family crossed our fingers, prayed and hoped. Well, two years, a lot of chewed shoes and otherwise, a lot of escapee chases around the neighborhood later, Lucy is a healthy, slightly spazzy, loveable, beautiful part of our family. After fearing she wouldn’t take well to the baby when she arrived, no one in this house seems to love each other more than Lucy and Baby C. Every time I take her into the vet’s office for a check up, they can’t believe she was adopted, she is healthy, and she’s one of their favorite patients, having come back from nearly completely bald mange to this beautiful shiny coat. Look at the hope in her eyes in the before of her before and after pictures. I know there is a lot of a grander kind of hope in the air these days, but we were hers, she was ours, and with her, hope came to great fruition.

 

From Kelly Warren, a photograph entitled “Hope for a New Day”:

hope

 

From me (Miranda): A poem written as I waited in the car with a sleeping baby while my mother ran into a few stores to take care of errands. A few moments are better than none!

Hope is
an iridescent spider’s web
spun fresh each morning,
delicate,
persistent;
strong enough to catch
the sustenance that flutters by.

Hope hangs in the alcove
silver in early sunlight
waiting

 

This week’s prompt: “Clock”
Use the prompt however you like — literally, or a tangential theme. All media are welcome. Please e-mail your entries to creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, February 3, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

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 amazon.com gift certificate is en route.

wool-kelly018

wool-livvie017

wool-sarah016

 

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.”

yarn

 

From Cathy Coley, a poem:

Wool

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.”

winters_wool

 

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.

 

scarf

 

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 creativereality@live.com by 10:00 p.m. eastern time (GMT -5) on Tuesday, January 27, 2009. The winning entry receives a $10 gift certificate to amazon.com. 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.

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