Windy days and wittle owls


Today was one of those classic, spooky autumn days. Amid brief glints of sunlight, the endless wind blew the leaves off trees like colorful confetti and whipped gray clouds across the sky in turbulent waves. It was the perfect type of day to stay warm inside and aside from taking Jazzmin on a short walk, that’s exactly what I did.

Wednesdays are the days I usually turn my complete focus to college and freelance work because it’s custody transition day and the girls go to their father’s house after school. I have final papers due in both of my current college courses, but aside from that, the course work has slowed down a bit. I finished all of my reading and assignments by early afternoon and decided it was time for my favorite hobby of beading.

Today’s beading was inspired by hearing the owl a couple of nights ago. You see, at the end of the last school year I made a beaded owl pendant for my youngest daughter’s teacher. The teacher loved owls so I created a pattern and went to work. It took me a few tries to get the pattern and finished result right, but I was proud of the little owl pendant I made. Well, actually it’s a cute wittle owl because I find it so precious I switch into my sweet, cartoonish voice. It’s a voice I first used when I was a child playing with toys, then used on my girls when they were babies, and now use on the dog when she’s being adorably pathetic. Oh and I still use it to annoy the girls sometimes too. 😉

After creating that first owl pendant as a gift, I tucked the pattern away for safekeeping until I wanted it again. Hearing the owls outside reminded me of the pendant, so I pulled it back out and made a few fall-inspired modifications. The modified pattern I made today has a little jack-o-lantern on the chest instead of the heart from the original owl pattern. Much to my surprise, I created the newest owl pendant in a single afternoon and it came out quite cute!

Working on that beading project as the wind howled outside of the house, filled me with contentment, happiness, and a feeling of accomplishment. The adorable wittle owl I beaded today is just the first of many I’m sure and I’m looking forward to once again sharing my unique creations with the world.


An Artist’s Emotions (re-post)

It’s been a long, busy day and I’m too tired to properly utilize my creative writing abilities, so it’s time for another re-post from my Writer & Artists blog on Corbin Creations. I wasn’t sure which one I was going to re-post so I read through a few until one struck my fancy. It’s about how my emotions affect my creativity or lack thereof. This one seems relevant because in rearranging my living room today, I had to move my huge plastic tote filled with my overflow of artwork.

I recently changed out some artwork that was hanging over my desk because it reminded me of emotions and feelings that no longer serve a purpose in my life. I should know by now not to create paintings based on feelings for another person, but I’m a hopelessly optimistic romantic so I continue to do so. One of the paintings is entitled Morning Path and it’s some of my best work. I was amazed with myself when it was finished. I based it off a photo and for once was able to do justice to the beauty of an amazing post-storm sky. I imagine someday I’ll be able to look at it again, but for now it’s best if I leave it tucked away and move forward with my life.

I haven’t painted anything new in a while and it’s probably past time. I just have to summon the right emotions, find the proper colors, and let my brushstrokes tell the story.

Morning Path Painting

Morning Path painting


An Artist’s Emotions – 2/4/2012

My work, whether it be painting or writing, has always been driven by my emotions. I have to feel passionately about something, or even someone, in order to find my creative muse. Alas there have been far too many times in my life when my experiences have left me so numb and empty that I couldn’t put brush to canvas or fingers to keyboard. I have done some paintings when I was angry and it was therapeutic because anger is a passionate emotion, full of fire and easy to feed off of. The blah of discontent and depression holds no fire, only cold emptiness and I am not someone who can create anything from that.

My friend has told me that I’m someone who loves too hard, and she knows because she is one too. I believe all my female friends are like this and that’s why we understand each other so well. We put so much of ourselves out there, whether it be through painting, writing, speaking or just living and we think everyone who knows us and cares about us should understand that part of us and not abandon us because of it. It’s hard for us to accept that there really are people out there who don’t need other people, who are content alone and who don’t want to share the deepest parts of themselves, including their hearts, with anyone else. I will never be that kind of person. How I love makes me vulnerable and gets me hurt but it can also create beautiful pieces of artwork and writing that capture the most important essence of myself.

When the time is right

snhu acceptance

This past trip to New England with my daughters was the best trip I’ve had so far! Being with my girls for an entire week was great and they got to meet most of my friends in Amesbury, MA. There was even a miracle that proved to me that anything really is possible when you’re determined enough! It also showed me that when the time is right, everything has a way of falling into place in ways even better than you imagined.

I’m always sad to leave New England at the end of my trips but each visit convinces me even more that my future lies out that way. To further my pursuit of that future, I’ve decided to pursue an online degree from Southern New Hampshire University. My current endeavor is a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English but that might change as I figure out the best degree to accomplish my goals.

I had the opportunity to go to college right out of high school but I chose not to because I was tired of school and wanted to continue earning money in the workforce. Almost twenty years later, I’m a single mom who is making a living as a freelance ghost writer and I’m proud of my accomplishments. I know I can go so much further though and I feel that college will open up new avenues for my development as a writer and a person.

I chose SNHU because I already love New England, want to make my life out there and because they keep showing their commercials on my TV stations in NY. Everyone I’ve dealt with at SNHU has been very helpful and supportive and I’m excited about this new chapter in my life! I’ve enrolled in two courses for the first semester and while I’m certain adding that into my already busy life will be a challenge, I’m certain that I can do it. I’ve already done so many things I never imagined I could, what’s one more?

Bookmark, not bracelet!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie's bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

1/4 of the way into Jaycie’s bookmark, Om Nom appeared!

For the last week I’ve been working on my youngest daughter Jaycie’s beaded bracelet…er I mean, bookmark! Every time I’d say I was working on Jaycie’s “bracelet” she’d quickly correct me with “bookmark!” Neither of my girls are fond of wearing jewelry so the two beaded loom projects I designed and made for them turned into bookmarks, not bracelets.

My oldest daughter Jordan requested a Yin Yang based bookmark with flowers and mountains. She sketched up her idea and I used my PatternMaker program to translate into something I could make on one of my two looms. She loved the end result and uses it for a bookmark in one of the three books she’s reading at the same time.

Jordan's fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

Jordan’s fringed Yin Yang bookmark.

My youngest daughter Jaycie didn’t specifically request a bookmark/bracelet but she does love Om Nom from the Cut the Rope app so I started working on a design of him in my PatternMaker program. It took a few tries to get him, the candy, his pal Roto and the cupcake looking recognizable in the pattern but with some input from both my daughters, I finally got it right! Jaycie loved it and asked if I’d make it for her. I promised her I would do just that.

I created the pattern months ago and got busy with other things but I never forgot my promise and neither did Jaycie. She’s been asking me for the past month when I was going to make her bookmark so I finally made the time and started working on it late last week. It’s the widest bracelet/bookmark I’ve ever made on the loom so warping the threads took some time. Weaving on such a wide strip of beads was also tricky to get the hang of but eventually I got with the flow.

I worked on the bookmark as often as I could because I wanted to complete it before our upcoming vacation to New England. Finally, yesterday afternoon I completed the bookmark!

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

The finished Cut the Rope bookmark.

After some off loom finishing touches I presented it to Jaycie and she thanked me with a smile before promptly disappearing with it into her bedroom. I later found her playing with it among her stuffed animals. While she may never use it as a bookmark, I know she loves it and that’s enough to fill my heart with joy sweeter than any Cut the Rope candy!

Beading bliss

Just a small sample of my beads and thread.

Just a small sample of my beads and thread.

My favorite thing to do for the last couple months has been beading. I began exploring beading amid making earrings and once I discovered all the different stitches and techniques, I was hooked! I’ve learned peyote, brick stitch, ladder stitch, square stitch and daisy chain so far and have several books containing a variety of other stitches I still need to learn. I use a loom for bigger projects like bracelets but for smaller things, I hand stitch.

Still one of my favorite creations, a peyote owl pendant

Still one of my favorite creations, a peyote owl pendant.

Once I’ve figured a stitch out, I can just sit there and do it without reading directions. It’s a very peaceful and enjoyable thing to work with beads, needle and thread creating a unique new piece. I create my own patterns using PatternMaker for Cross Stitch and bringing them to life with beads is always a fun process. I’ve actually surprised myself with my own creativity despite how much it expanded by making dangle and ball drop earrings with larger glass and stone beads.

As any beader will tell you, it’s addictive! And it involves finding beads all over the house, sometimes in strange locations like the bottom of my coffee mug and between my toes. I examine the carpet carefully before I vacuum and tend to find some seed beads hidden under the couch. I take my beading supplies with me when I visit my mom for a day and on my trips to New England. I can’t be without my beads and thread!

At the pow wows I attend there’s always beads for sale and I can’t seem to get away without buying a package or two. Never know when I’ll need a particular color I don’t already have! At the last pow wow I went to, one of the vendors was giving away a whole bunch of beading trays and storage containers and I happily took as much as I could carry in my arms 🙂 I admire all the beaded wares for sale at pow wows and know just how much work is involved now that I bead myself.

I’ve learned that it’s possible to translate all sorts of images into beading, from flowers to birds to a stormy sky, all it takes is a little creativity, patience and a lot of beads!

Loom bracelet I designed and made for a friend.

Loom bracelet I designed and made for a friend.

The creativity of this Corbin girl


Geometric sapphire and copper hued earrings I created tonight

I’m not the most organized person in the world but as the little sign my mom gave me many moons ago says “Creative minds are seldom tidy.” I think most crafters would agree with me that sometimes daily tidying falls by the wayside when there’s a new idea in the head that must be brought to life!

One of my very first earring designs.

One of my very first earring designs.

For the past month or so I’ve been creating original beaded earrings and pendants for my own personal use. I’ve posted pictures on social media sites sharing my creations and received lovely, positive feedback. I’ve gifted a few pairs of earrings to my mother and more pairs to a friend and they’ve appreciated my creations. A couple of days ago I decided to finally start listing my earring creations on my Etsy store called CorbinGirl in the hopes that I could share the jewelry in more than just pictures.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Blue and white ginger jar style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Glass pearl chandelier style earrings.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Red and white glass pearls with leaf medallions.

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

Turquoise, purple and orange beaded dangles

I create jewelry because if I don’t, I’ll go insane trying to keep all these new ideas in my head. I opened a shop to share what I make with the world and while it may someday be profitable, that’s not my main goal right now. I’ve listed all my earrings at extremely low prices, just enough to cover shipping costs, because all I really want is for people to wear and enjoy my beaded creations. So far I’ve sold one pair and that makes me blissfully happy!

Writing my earring listings on Etsy is a learning process and I’m tweaking things as I strive to achieve a polished online storefront. Eventually I’ll have it all figured out and the process will go smoother but until then, I’ll just keep working happily away in my creative laboratory/craft room expressing new aspects of the multifaceted Corbin girl that I am!

Do one thing

A little bit of everything on my craft table

Do one thing and do it well. That’s one way to live but what fun is that?? I’ve never been able to focus on just one thing and find enjoyment in that. I worked in retail and as a secretary for 20 years, doing the same tasks every day. I did my jobs exceptionally well and was loved by my bosses but I wasn’t happy. Everything I did outside of my paid jobs is what made me happy.

Now that I’m a paid writer, I love my job and feel fortunate and blessed. My life was already very fulfilling with my family and friends and being able to work at a task that makes me happy is wonderful! At the end of a day of freelance work though my writing abilities are tapped out and the only writing for pleasure I can muster is this blog and some emails.

As I usually can’t face my keyboard after working all day, for the past few weeks I’ve sat down at my craft table to begin fiddling with beads and wire. Quite often before I fall asleep at night, I close my eyes and see flashes of jewelry pieces created randomly by my mind. I’ve started jotting them down in my phone and the next day I set about transforming vision into reality.

Some of my first jewelry creations

I love these turtle earrings I made!

I love these turtle earrings I made!

When I wrote in my fantasy books, I used my words to create characters and scenes. When I’m crafting, I use my fingers and my imagination to bring together wire and beads in colorful and unique creations. When I create beautiful things to share, I feel beautiful myself. I don’t mean physical beauty, I mean that inner glow that is sensed, not seen. Jewelry work brings a new form of peace and bliss I didn’t know existed.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

From my mind last night to reality this morning.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

Simple but lovely glass bead earrings I made for my mom.

While I’ll never be able to do just one thing and feel fulfilled, I believe I’m quite good at doing a lot of things. Everything I do that expresses my creativity generates positive energy, a sense of harmony with the universe and deeper feelings of love for myself and the world around me.