Mindful Wednesday and Sticks and Stones.

Mindful Wednesday and Sticks and Stones.

Hi there!
Thank you so much for popping in.
Wednesday is our Mindful Blog, right?


On Monday, we looked at some lovely artwork created 
using peas, rice, lentils and beans.
It occurred to me that it would be a great creative exercise 
to make something arty out of nothing.
What I found, as I was searching outside, was that I was 100% focussed on the activity of searching.

In other words, my mind was totally on the task,
not back home at Clarity Towers!

Now be warned.
What I have made is not what you are expecting, 
but here’s the thing:
I spent a very happy, peaceful afternoon here in New Mexico,
trying to make a piece of art which reflected what I see around me. 

And what I experienced first hand, 
is that staying with your hands,
keeping them busy and in tune with your creative head 
is very, very rewarding.
Made all the more apparent by using pretty much nothing to be creative, and yet experiencing the same sense of accomplishment as I do when I make a cool piece of stamped art.

All I used were:
a load of dead branches and twigs I had gathered in the yard,
some string,
and some fragments of old pottery I also found in the yard.
I saw a lamp in a gallery in Santa Fé, made just with twigs.
It was very beautiful, but it cost thousands!
Perfectly crafted of course, but I decided to run with the twig idea.
So how to tie them together…
thinking, thinking…
I made a base like an old fort, 
tying the twigs at four points with the string.
I held it all together with a piece of ribbon 
while I was knotting and weaving.
It was really wobbly, because the branches were very tall!

In fact the whole construction was a bit unstable,
but I didn’t want to use anything other than twine.
Thought a cross base might work, but nope.
Mmm….thinking some more….
BUT only about what I was actually doing.
How to make this very wobbly construction more stable….

Then I carefully gathered the four tall branches
and tied them together at the top,
and as soon as the four parts were joined,
it became stable.
Very symbolic…

Next came the old pottery fragments.
No Dremmel drill at the ready, and again, 
I wanted to keep it as authentic as possible.
Much to my delight, the tips of the scissors were sharp enough and strong enough to pierce the stone – after much boring!
Probably didn’t do the scissors much good,
(scissors, paper, stone springs to mind!)
but hey! 
This is true art, man!! 
And I was on a mindful mission…

My brother settled in to help me boring holes too…
We spend an hour together, just boring away.
It was anything but boring!
I kept telling him it was fun,

but he wasn’t convinced!

Mission accomplished. 
Wasn’t sure where I was going with this now,
but I wanted to hang the pottery fragments in the branches.
It was very simple.
The large piece was the pendulum in the middle,
and the smaller fragments were tied in rows.
I didn’t even want to attach too much symbolism to it;
just wanted to make it look good.
Can you see the large one and the two rows?

The cross twigs I had rejected earlier now came back into the frame – literally.
I found an old postcard I had picked up 
in the Georgia O’Keefe Gallery in Santa Fé years ago,
and tucked it into the base.

Nobody sees a flower – really
It is so small
We haven’t time – and
To see takes time.
Like to have a friend
Takes time.

Georgia O’Keefe

Then, in my mind’s eye, the piece was complete.
Stands about 4ft tall.
The structure is strong and stable enough;
I mean you wouldn’t employ me as a house builder 
or even a Tee Pee erector!
But I like it!
The large fragment in the middle swings like a pendulum.

I have the perfect place for it in the living room.
Branches, twine and broken pottery.
What shall I call it?

“Sticks and Stones”
The point of this?
A perfect example of how staying with your hands,
keeping busy
and doing something which requires a little focus
can keep you completely lodged in the HERE and NOW.
Just like making art 
as we Claritystampers and cardmakers and artists do, 
but with next to nowt.
Many of you have sent in photos of your 
Made with Nothing creations.
Please get inspired and please send me more! 
I have a plan…
lots of love,

36 thoughts on “Mindful Wednesday and Sticks and Stones.

  1. I think it's strangely lovely! I haven't done something out of nothing today but I've painted a box to make it more pretty! I refused to pay for a decorated one! haha!
    Hope you are still having a good holiday! DaDave's photos of dramatic skies are superb! love and hugs! Xxxx

  2. I think it's strangely lovely! I haven't done something out of nothing today but I've painted a box to make it more pretty! I refused to pay for a decorated one! haha!
    Hope you are still having a good holiday! DaDave's photos of dramatic skies are superb! love and hugs! Xxxx

  3. This is brilliant Barb, I can imagine you working on this, really focused!
    I keep walking past bits and bobs laying on the ground when I'm walking little Tilly dog, maybe I should pick some up and do something with it instead of dismissing the idea instantly because I don't have time….
    Maria xxx

  4. Well I have not got round to making something out of nothing yet good that you had an enjoyable time making your structure. You managed to keep Steve busy as well. Good job you were not using those rather expensive scissors you bought recently.xx

  5. Just a thought Barbara, you do mean your living room over there don't you?. I have this mental picture of you carrying your sculpture onto the plane. Sorry just a silly thought. xx

  6. I didn't get around to doing this exercise barbara – but I have made some greek pillars out of cardboard and polystyrene – my attempt at scenery creation for a play our kids are going to be in! I do love your make!!! Very satisfying I should think xx

  7. I haven't got around to making something out of nothing but what a way to spend time keeping your mind focussed. I quite like it but please tell me you didn't use your new expensive scissors!!!

  8. My arty scene using bits from around the garden was fun yesterday. I was totally focused on my gathering as you said. Looking for different colours and textures. Great way to spend some time. Your sculpture looks great, wouldn't look out of place in a gallery with a hefty price tag attached. XX

  9. Hi Barbara, you always put a smile on my face,and youve given me an idea to,my sweet peas are in a pot waiting to be panted,they are my favourite flowers and I've never grown them before,I'm waiting for a trellis to be put up,but wouldn't they look amazing growing threw a piece like this,off to find twigs when the rain stops 🙂 xx

  10. Someone said it would catch a hefty price . I agree . I rejoice when I'm able to make a card that looks halfway decent . Oh dear the artistically challenged , I call myself .. Joy now jan

  11. Hi Barbara Dave and Steve a master peice indeed you never cease to amaze me love it I would like it to have tiny lights on it but that would not do would it. Thank you hun stay safe love always June horrocks xxxxx

  12. Hi Barbara it seems symbolic and the pictures of Dave certainly made me smile the stones remind me when we use to do mosaic I haven't had time I seem to have just slept the days away since coming home to the bungalow but always make time to read your blog thank you for making me smile crafting hugs xxx

    1. You are so artistic. Looks great Barbara, could very well be in a gallery. Haven't had a go at making anything out of nothing today but I did have a go at one of yesterday's utubes the one with clingfilm. Didn't look like yours at all I'm afraid, one looks more like branches than sky and clouds, the next one didn't look like anything. More practise needed.xx

  13. i'd call it the pendulum in honour of the central pottery piece. i wonder if i could rustle up anything considering i'm away on hols with nothing crafty to hand…… hugs xx

  14. Can't help laughing at Steve's face it's like… really Barbara !! and no thats nothing like what I thought you would come up with but its brilliant…mines still a work in progress still going with the tin of beans and some string and bits bet you can't wait for this one xx take care..Dot

  15. It looks so rusticy chic, will probably (if you wanted to sell it, although it's part of the house), sell for loads! I like it. Mine is still a thought in process, like the idea but no thoughts.

  16. Hi Barbara
    Reminds me of some of the structures we used to build in girl guides to go camping with – I'm sure yours will last longer! This does look lovely and the pottery is a great find and some great bonding time with Steve. Yep I'm sure you could charge thousands for it!
    Take care, hope the bad weather isn't effecting you where you are.
    Love Diane xxx

  17. This is lovely Barbara. I don't know if I have the imagination to make something from nothing, but my dad is always doing it – maybe it's a post war thing? He picked up some perspex shelves the other week, and told me he's made a mobile/windchime from them over the weekend. In fact, I sent him your tutorial on using alcohol inks on plastic as he want to colour them! He's an amazing man, always trying something new … and he's 85 this year – who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks! x

  18. Lovely piece Barbara you're so clever. Great photos of Steve too, I'm sure he enjoyed spending crafty time with you. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has come up with. I'll keep thinking about making something from nothing! Hugs xx

  19. Hi Barb,
    Well done, I do like this. You are really clever to have even thought about this. If I had collected those twigs etc I think I would have ended up making a fire! Cruelly, it did remind me of when I was in the Guides and we went camping. We had to make furniture for our tents out of twigs and string, such as shelves, wash stands, little tables etc. I remember we weren't allowed to have anything on the ground so the shelves actually had to be really quite strong. We were always quite proud of ourselves when things worked out properly. Love Alison xxx

  20. Hello Barb, how very artistic and inspiring, great pics of Steve. There is always magic in doing something different, and especially so when a loved one joins in. Bx

  21. I'm really impressed, it's a lovely piece of art. Have you ever tried your hand at willow weaving? It's very enjoyable, I think you'd really like it xx P.s. great photos of your brother Steve, what a hoot 😉

  22. Great piece of artwork Barbara. I like the title too as it also serves of a reminder of the saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but nothing you say can hurt me." I sometimes find that hard to follow but I'm trying!
    Gayle x

  23. A very clever piece of art Barbara and I complement you on your staying power! I think that I would probably have given up before getting this far and I can see it with a few twinkly bulbs as a pretty light sculpture. My Dad was very good at making things himself and I do remember he made me a doll's pram when I was very young because bought ones were so expensive, and later he made a wardrobe for my doll's clothes, but unfortunately I don't think I have that kind of creative brain. Enjoy your last day on holiday. x

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