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Creative Casey's Blog

Monday, December 23, 2013

Captain Underpants and My Future Husband

I'm waiting at the airport for my flight to take me back home after a wonderfully fun holiday visit with my sister, nephew and brother-in-law. While we had many adventures during my 10 day visit I thought I'd share a project or two. My nephew has always loved reading and I found six Captain Underpants books for him at Savers brand new for 5 dollars. I carted them down to SC and we spent each day reading through this off beat comic book chapter series.

We purchased a white t-shirt from Walmart and used Crayola Fabric markers to recreate an image from one of the front book covers. I drew the image and my nephew colored it in. We made quite the team and he wore the t-shirt proudly today. The only downfall was there was no skin tone marker to color in Captain Underpants so that was a slight bummer.

We did some other drawing and coloring while I was there and I noticed that my nephew has become quite the artist. He continues to crack me up with his random thoughts and now I can add random drawings to that. I'm not quite sure what prompted this latest drawing but he all the sudden gave me an image he had drawn and stated, "Aunt CiCi this is what the man you marry should like."

In case you couldn't tell my future husband should have a beard (though it looks a bit like a goatee), curly mustache, earring in one ear and a Mohawk.  What a hoot!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Crafting With Friends

I had been looking forward to this get together with my friends for a while. I wanted to connect with them before things get crazy with the holidays.  My friend Marcy invited a few us over for a card making party. We listened and sang (or rather I got laughed at for my singing inabilities) to holiday music, ate some delicious treats Marcy put together for us, and created cards. My friends all focused on holiday cards but since I had that done I focused on creating thank you and birthday cards which I desperately needed.

A wonderful thing about this get together is that Marcy is a Stampin Up card making guru! She has oodles and oodles of supplies, inks, stamps, embellishments, and so on.  She is also very knowledgeable about how to make any design you are looking for. I felt intimidated at the beginning because my friends are all talented and sometimes it's difficult for me to start something cold turkey with no frame of reference, but soon I was a card making fool. I really like all of the cards I completed and have used several already. :)  I can't say enough about what a great time this interaction with my friends was and it was very much needed in my life at this time.

Get in the holiday spirit with the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell 5K's

My counterpart at another college won first in her age group too!

Well I completed my final two runs for 2013! I participated in the YMCA Turkey Trot for my hometown area. This was at 9:30am on Thanksgiving morning. My dad refused to come because he had to go hunting, but my mom was willing to be dragged as long as there was Dunkin Donuts Coffee involved.  The cool thing about this race is that they had the YMCA gym open so all participants could wait inside prior to the race starting. Considering a winter storm had just passed through the day before and the premature was a balmy 16 degrees I was so thankful to be able to wait inside.  I actually waited inside until 5 minutes before the race started and I still couldn't feel my ankles or feet for almost the entire race. Apparently I needed the motivation of the cold to make me run the fastest 5K I've ever run.  My final race time was 23min. 40sec. and I won first place in my age group which was depressing in itself as the group was 30-39.  I won a Butterball Turkey and a jar of organic natural peanut butter. Both of which I quickly gave to my parents. We will now have a turkey for Christmas Day. :)

My final run was the Jingle Bell 5K this past weekend. I decked myself out with bells on my shoes, bracelets that were all bells and a green and red tutu with bells.This was a festive fun run, but also cold. It was at MCC and due to hockey games and basketball games there was no indoor waiting place before the run started. I hoped in and out of the car to keep warm. Again I walked to the starting line about 5 minutes before the race started and couldn't feel my hands this time for half of the race.  Apparently what made me improve on my race time this time was the fact that my ipod failed me. Someone it didn't get charged properly so I had no music (which is my saving grace when I run). So I had to listen to people dogging me the entire way and hear my own horrible asthmatic elephant breathing. My final time was 23min.27sec.. Hooray!  I won 3rd in my age group but at least the group this time was 30-34. I received a nice bronze Jingle Bell medal.

My friend won 3rd female overall. 

So what's in my running future. Well, I DO NOT run outside during the winter (except for the upcoming 2 weeks when I'm down south where it is warmer). Yes, I'm the loser on the treadmill for about 3 months before spring get's here.  I've started to train for a half marathon. Yes, again I realize in a prior post when I first started running races that I said I would never run a half marathon but I guess I have the bug. Not the full marathon bug though.

Here's some other runs that I'd like to participate in in 2014:
The Spartan
Tough Mudder
Flower City 1/2 Marathon
Night Glow 5k
All Star Shenanigan's
It's a Wonderful Life
Reindeer 5k (possibly)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sock Monkey Exchange

I've been wanting to participate in more art based larger community projects that come full circle. My inspiration for this was seeing my friend Joyce's collection of art journals that came from online art groups she has joined over the years. She starts her art journal then it get's sent around the world to other people that agreed to be a part of this project. At the same time they are also sending their journals around to everyone. Eventually you get your backs and have an amazing art journal from around the world.  One evening I surfed the internet for a community project like this but instead spent hours sucked into the online world checking out different art based blogs. I ended up following a few and one of those that I now follow is called "6 Degrees of Creativity".

A couple of weeks ago the facilitator put out a call for a sock monkey exchange ( and I jumped in on being a part of this project. Partially because as a kid sock monkeys scared me because they looked like this:

Which reminded me for some reason of the bad monkeys from Wizard of Oz.  I've seen cuter ones these days and wanted to challenge myself in trying to make one. I also liked the idea of sending it to someone and not having any idea of the one that you will receive in return.  I searched online and found a good sock monkey tutorial blog that I used for most of it but the decorating portion was all me. Do you recognize where the tutu tule came from?

Here's pics of my sock monkey. It's being sent to a woman in NJ.  I will update with pics of the monkey I receive.

Update:  Below are some pictures of the sock monkey I received in the global trade. Mine came from Natalie Coriell from Maplewood, MO.  Thank you Natalie!

Mixed Media Fiber Arts Class

Due to taking more night classes this fall as I work towards my second Masters degree I've worked 
hard to try to keep a balance in my life of work, school, fun, relaxing and creating.  It's worked out 
fairly well and I've remained relatively sane this fall.  In order to help me stay balanced in all of these areas I count on things like my book clubs, running races and art classes to hold me accountable.  In November I registered for a Mixed Media Fiber Arts Class through the Memorial Art Gallery's Creative Workshop ( It was a 3 hour 3 session class 1x a week. The  instructor was Nancy Topolski and her work can be found at

The class wasn't 100% what I envisioned it to be but as in most things in life it proved to be exactly what I needed at this time in my life.  I didn't know it until I went to the first class but I've met Nancy before when she exhibited and sold her artwork at the Clothesline Festival a couple of years ago. I admired her creative creatures and the neat ideas she came up with in how to recycle felt and wool sweaters.  I also saw this stuffed fish that I wanted for my nephew but couldn't afford it at the time.

The cool thing is that Nancy taught us all about different fibers, materials and felting techniques.  A friend of mine Leslie had shown me some basic felting with roving before so I had some idea of what to do, but I actually got to try new techniques during this class. Mostly this class gave me the space and time to around creative people and just relax and create.  

The one big problem was that once I started creating I didn't want to stop. I would come home from the class and want to keep creating every night instead of doing my big research papers and reading for classes. Arrrr..... However, I did force myself to buckle down do my work on time and managed to create quite a few felted creations which will end up being Christmas gifts for family and friends. Including the stuffed fish I made for my nephew. :)  Enjoy the pics and as always feel free to share your creations, inspiration or techniques.

Little purses or something like that.

These are pins but you can also make them into magnets.

This creature is about 3" tall and called "sprout".

The fish for my nephew.

More Good Reads

Here's an updated list of some books I've been reading. My pace has been a little slower since being back in grad school, but being in 2 book clubs kept me busy. I had the opportunity to join another book club but turned it down for now. Not enough time.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt  *****
Never Let Me Go by  Kazuo Ishiguro  **
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn ***
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver   ***
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh's ****
Secret Keeper by Kate Morton ****
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ****.5
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler ***