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Creative Casey's Blog

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crockpot Cooking, Races, Sweaty Bands, and Dresses

Okay, so last week was a really rough week for me all the way around. However, I've spent this weekend being somewhat productive, creating and rejuvenating and I'm ready to begin this week with a fresh start.  Below are some of things that did bring me enjoyment this weekend.

1. I registered for another race. This is called the Color Run 5k. I've been helping the Community Service floor students at the college create this race. Proceeds go to the Hickock Center for Brain Injury.  I'm slightly worried about how cold it will be since the race is March 22nd, but I'm going to hype myself up for it. It's going to be awesome!

Here are the upcoming races I'm registered for:
Feb. 6th- Puppy Love 10k (I still want to pick up a cheesy puppy shirt to run in.)
March 22nd- Color Run 5k
April 12th- Mess the Dress 5-6 miler. (It's also my nephew's birthday so it will be a great day!)

2.  The Sweaty Band company held a special MLK day grab bag sale. You could purchase sweaty bands for $4 each!!! I rarely stick to brand names but when I find a product that last and actually works I stick with it. This is one of those products. They are originally 15-20 dollars each. I ordered 2 during the sale since I just got 2 at regular price for Christmas.  It was pretty fun not knowing which ones you would get. I was pleased with both of mine. One is very colorful and will be perfect for the Color Run.

3.  I picked the dress for the Mess a Dress race.  The vote was in 4:1 for the pink dress. I'm totally feeling like Molly Ringwald in Pretty In Pink. I started altering the dress this weekend. I literally think I had to cut off about 2 feet of fabric and tulle. Some of the tulle I'm going to recycle and put another layer back on the dress. I've basically got it ready to hem and take in. I think I'm going to by some satin thick ribbon to create the straps of the dress. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

4.  I actually read all of the books for my 3 February book clubs! This was a huge feat since two of the books were very long and intense books.  Below are the books and my ratings for them.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides ***.5
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ****
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes *****  (This one made me cry or rather sob uncontrollably for the last 100 pages.)

5.  So anyone who knows me knows I'm not a good. Hence my Pinterest account which has mostly food pins because I would love wonderful food like I see on there but I don't want to have to cook it.  Well last night I got an idea and craving for a crockpot meal and it was still there this morning so I decided to give it a whirl. was sooooo good!
1 can of cream of chicken soup/1 can of water
1 chicken breast (reg. size) or I tend to have one that is cut in half
1/2 a cup of sour cream
Put in crockpot and leave all day on low.

I then have a rice maker which makes thy most amazing rice ever! I made a cup of rice in it and put the crockpot dish over rice. Yummy!!!!  Even better is that I have enough left over for a second meal tomorrow night.

6. I also worked on my sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. I must admit I'm getting increasingly frustrated with the thin paper and trying to do work on both sides. Everything seeps through so I have a page I finish and really like and then no matter what I do to try and protect it when I'm working on the opposite side something always seeps through. Even using pencil when you close the book will rub off on the opposite side. Oh well... I will not be defeated and will continue to create!

Splash monsters! Very fun and easy to create.

Recycled piece from a different project.

Poor picture. Water and varies pencils, and sequins.

Fabric, wool and embroidery piece.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Night Out at Geva

My co-worker was able to score free tickets to Geva Theatre Center to a play called Last Gas.  The writer is John Cariani and it was directed by Skip Greer.  Since I have only been to a couple of the night time amateur shows there I jumped on the chance to check out a professional production. Wayyyy different and 100% better. The set, sound and lighting effects and acting were very well done and I was impressed with the entire quality of the show. The theatre itself is architecturally beautiful on the eyes.  A positive is that the theatre isn't that large so you can't go wrong no matter what seats you get.  Of course it was pretty awesome to get row C center seating (3rd row back from the stage) and did I mention FREE tickets.

Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard in Rochester, NY.  It's the most attended professional theatre in this region of NY State and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country.  Check out more information at;

Here's the official description of the play:
Somewhere on a woodsy road - not far from Almost, Maine - sits Nat Paradis’ “Last Gas, First Fun Convenience Store.” As Nat sorts through life as a single parent, his teenage son and fun-loving father give him constant grief…and time seems to slip through his fingers. When an old flame returns to town, Nat gets a rare second chance, only to discover that in between love lost and love found, life throws us a lot of curve balls. A bittersweet, romantic comedy full of heart, humor and baseball.

I will say there was a huge surprise twist at the end and my co-worker and I left there thinking "Jeez can't we ever get away from work issues!"  This was a great way to spend a Sunday evening.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My New Position with WNYATA and upcoming event

In June of 2014, Western NY finally successfully started an Art Therapy Association chapter thanks to the hard work of a few dedicated art therapists. (No I wasn't one of them.)  I did right away become a member though and in December a Members Only meeting was held.  A position had opened up on the Board and I decided that I should become more active in the art therapy community so I applied for the position.  I found out right before Christmas that I was chosen and I accepted the position. My reservations were and still are the amount of work it will be on top of all of the other full plates I have spinning at the moment but I really want to give it a go.

We met in January and though an event for February was rudimentary in the planning stages we began pinpointing everything that needed to be done and who was going to do it.  I took on the event day pamphlet making and helping to spread the world about the event.  Our first event is a collaborative effort with The Little Theater and is an afternoon of focusing on Veterans issues and what everyone can do to help Veterans readjust when they re-enter their communities. You can check out the advertisement below or take a look at the following link for further information;  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be a successful event.  It definitely has the makings of a wonderful community event.

I need your HELP! Which dress should I mess?

Okay below are pics of the two dresses I have to choose from. Both will have to be altered to fit me and make it so I can run in them. I'll be doing the altering so it will be a frankenstein experience for sure.  I'm looking for input on which dress I should use. Please comment with you choice and stay tuned for the winner.  At the moment I'm going for the pink (though straps will have to be added).

Sketchbook Project Creation Updates

Below are pics of the pages I've worked on creating this week for the sketchbook project.  I registered my sketchbook today and titled it "Happy Little Accidents".  One of the neat things that is forming out of my sketchbook is that it is becoming an interactive sketchbook.  I've incorporated a couple of pages that the viewer can take part in.  The one problem I foresee is that I have 14 pages left to fill in the sketchbook and I'm probably already getting close to hitting the 1" thickness just because I have
3-D materials in the book.

This image is created with mostly dashing and dots.

I printed this wood block press at an open gallery night at Genessee Pottery and Books.

I used an old brittle children's book to cut out the hearts from.

Picture this image as 8.5x11 and then I cut it up, added purple paper, bound it and created a mini interactive book.

The title of my sketchbook.

I'm the cupcake!

I used a sturdy decorative paper and created an envelop that I glued the edges and hand sewed to make sure it would stay together. Then I sewed it into onto a page in the sketchbook.  I created the blue flower out of a self hardening epoxy clay.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Trampoline Fitness, Races, Potluck Dinners and Art: What a combo

My friends and I checked out Ariel Arts of Rochester trampoline fitness class this week as a new adventure.  It was a full body workout and a hilariously good time.  I like that you can just do drop in classes that fit whatever your schedule is that given week. This workout was way different from running and I enjoyed that it worked different muscles. I was less excited about being sore for the next couple of days.  All of us are going back this week!  We took a couple of group photos but unfortunately I forgot to have them take one of just me so I could post.  In order to respect my friends privacy I won't post the group photo. However; since this exercise class just started being offered they asked us if they could video tape a small portion of it for advertising. The class said yes, but little did we know we would be a main advertisement on the Ariel Arts site now!  So, if you want/need a laugh for the day check out our exercise class video at **Note there were others in the class that were regulars and been taking the class.

Other news; I registered for the Mess a Dress run and so far have about 4 friends also running with me in the race.  I have two dresses to pick from as a co-worker and my intern both donated dresses to me. Both have to be altered to fit me and make it so I can run in the dress, but I'm excited to kind of make my own dress. One is shades of pink so if I choose that one I'll be Molly Ringwald from Pretty in Pink and if I choose the red lace dress I'll be Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman. Stay tuned to see which dress I end up choosing. I'll take a before and after pic with the alterations and of course before and after pics at the race.

I'm excited to report that my friend found a Night Glow run for us to possibly travel to this summer. There is one in Baltimore and my friend has a friend we can stay with in D.C.. I believe the date for that run is July 9th. This was a run I had on my list of races to participate in and is one of the top 20 fun runs to partake in.

Oh, the faculty/staff Arts and Crafts Exhibit at work was just announced. It will take place through the month of March. I already submitted by piece. Aren't you surprised. :)

I started back to work and classes full time this week. It's been an adventure in and of itself. Adjusting has been a bit difficult but by the end of this coming week things should settle out.  One of things I was excited about with the semester starting was that it meant Candlelight Yoga would restart.  My institution is awesome in that it offers 5 different yoga classes each week (2 during lunch breaks and 3 at night) for free to all faculty, students, staff and alumni.  I was able to talk one of my classmates into trying out the candlelight yoga which I did last semester and loved.  I go on Thursday nights because I especially love the instructor Laura.  I feel she incorporates what yoga should be instead of what the western world has turned it into.  At the end of class I leave there feeling very much at peace with myself and the world.  As an added bonus I sleep like a rock those nights. It felt good to back in the class. I also found yoga makes me a stronger and faster runner.

A positive end to my week was a get together with my friends for a potluck dinner and game night. The food was amazing (chicken and dumplings, homemade mac and cheese, apple and walnut salad, desserts, risotto and more). In addition there was great beverages to choose from.  After dinner our games were Cranium and some wager game that we've played before. Last game night included Humanity and Pictionary.  Now if only I wasn't the only single person with 6 couples! ;)

Stay tuned for more art, races and other adventures...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Sketchbook Project

In my search for more global art exchange projects I came across the Sketchbook Project based out of Brooklyn. Love love love the concept of this project and what's even cooler is that they have quite a few other global art exchange initiatives.

Here's a link to the main site: And here's a short description of the project taken from the site.
"The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books. Our mission is to allow anyone to be able to participate in art and to create a collection of work that represents the current state of artists worldwide."

There is a main library of over 26,000 sketchbooks in Brooklyn. Would love to actually go to the library someday. An online library of sketchbooks and there is a traveling exhibit around the US.  I would love to have this project exhibited in Rochester! hint hint!

I waited impatiently for my sketchbook to arrive (which didn't take long at all) and then excitedly got started on it this week. So the sketchbooks are fairly small by sketchbook standards and paper is moderately thick (made from recycled paper). There is about 16 pages or 32 if you use both sides. A person has a year I believe to fill their sketchbook and then you return it in the mail. It has a barcode on the back which identifies you.

The hardest part for me when creating is taking the time to pull out all of my art supplies. A long time ago I use to primarily work in pencil and color pencil which is easy and portable to use. However; over the years I've progressed to using more mixed media materials which makes it more difficult and time consuming when I want to create. This is mostly because I'm a bit OCD and my office/studio has to be tidy and neat which means every time I want to create I have to pull everything out and then put everything back when I'm done.  So, I've made an executive decision to give myself permission to leave my supplies out and ready for when I'm in the mood and want to work on my sketchbook. My thought is that this will help me to actually create instead of being deterred from the prospect of having to pull everything out and return it all each time.

I put on some celtic tunes and went to town this week creating in my sketchbook. It felt intimidating to make those first marks but once started I just wanted to keep creating. Below are some pics from my sketchbook.  The one challenge I'm finding is that it's difficult to work in mixed media material and try to work on both sides of the paper. Not just because of drying time but because the mediums I'm using (watercolor, paint, permanent marker) are seeping through to the other side. This is frustrating when I finish a piece, work on the other side, and then go back and see that something seeped through. I've just been working through it so far having to adapt and rework the images sometimes and yet other times it's the perfect in the imperfect in that I like what effect the seeping through had. As always I'm finding this project a work in progress but like myself...

Part of my studio with supplies left out.

Recognize the cover?

If you want to be a part of this project go to the site listed above and purchase a sketchbook. I found a promo code at Maker Mama Blog; The code was supposedly out of date but it worked.

**Happy Creating!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Alcohol Ink Adventure

I've been wanting to experiment with Adirondack Alcohol Ink paints. Well, I guess you would call them paints. Their a bit like watercolor but very vibrant.  My friend had some and very generously let me borrow them to have fun and play with.

I first tried making a small image with an ink pen then used the Alcohol Ink like paint. That wasn't quite working how I wanted so then I tried using them like watercolor adding water to them. That sort of gave me an interesting effect and allowed the colors to bleed more.  Below is the imagine from that experimentation.

Next I took another small piece of glossy semi-thick paper and proceeded to put droplets directing on the paper. I then quickly used a straw to blow around the ink. This was pretty neat but the alcohol ink dries very quickly.  I then took an ink pen and looked for images within the paints.  I created funky flowers and a rhinoceros head. Can you see it?

Then I used a large piece of the glossy paper and experimented using the alcohol ink like paints again. This worked out mediocre but was fun playing around.

My final piece was attempting to use the alcohol ink on a canvas. I had picked up a 12x24 piece of canvas at Michaels on sale with the intention of using it for the Global Art Peace project. However; when I looked into the cost of shipping a piece of art that size internationally I quickly decided that I would need to think of something different for that project.  I then decided to try and create something to put in the staff/faculty art show typically held in February/March each year at my place of work.

I started out by taking regular rubbing alcohol and pouring it all over the canvas. Then I quickly squirted the alcohol ink all over, followed  by tilting the canvas in different directions. This was very messy so I would advise a lot of newspaper be put underneath. This created more of a watercolor effect and decreased the brilliancy of the paint colors. (*Hint- Be aware alcohol ink stains so be careful where it hits.)  I waited for the canvas to dry and then poured some alcohol ink drops directly on the canvas.  Once that dried I used the alcohol ink by putting drops on and using a straw to blow the ink all over the canvas.  These two techniques created more vibrant colors on the canvas.

I then used a permanent marker to create a wacky fun city landscape across the canvas. I added some flowers and some other fun designs. Included were some positive words.  I modeled this piece after artist Jodi Ohl. You can check out her blog and link to her esty shop at the following address: I've been a fan of her whimsical style for a while now. Another artist I like to follow (and who've I've attend a workshop of) is Lani "Puppetmaker"at

Overall this piece came out okay. I think I feel comfortable enough to put it in the upcoming art show. It's a fun piece and I had a good time using new materials and trying a new artistic style. In the future I think I would have perhaps spent some time researching the medium and other ways people have used them to try for different effects.


I've registered for one race this year so far. It's the Puppy Love Virtual 10k. It benefits the Humane Society. Here's the information:  You get sent a bib and then you can run outside or inside as long as it's on February 8th.  I'm all set to sign up for the Mess a Dress race on Jan. 15th. Here's the information: I'm still up in the air about registering for the half marathon. I'm still training and up to 8 miles. I have until around the 15th I believe to register at the lower rate. We'll see what I decide. :)

Below is a clipping from a new group that has been creating dresses and dolls for the Dress A Girl Around the World Rochester site.  I just happen to drop off about 40 dolls that the institution I work for made. I taught some of the Occupational Therapy students and clients how to create the dolls and then later the OT club made a bunch to donate.

Other news is that I was asked to be the Art Therapy Club Advisor for a group of students at the institution I work for. We spent fall semester jumping through all of the hoops to become an official club.  We go before the Senate of the UA at the end of January and I have full confidence that we will get accepted and become an official club on campus at that point. I'm very excited to be a part of this new adventure.

In addition, I applied for an open Board position for the Western New York Art Therapy Association (WNYATA). It is the Delegate position and is for two years. I found out just prior to Christmas that I was accepted and will attend my first meeting as a Board member tomorrow evening. Again, I'm excited to be a part of this initiative but feeling a little anxious as to the amount of work it may add to my already overflowing plate.

Global Art Project for Peace

Around Christmas time and during the New Year I decided after participating in the Sock Monkey exchange project that I wanted to participate in other larger national and global art exchanges. I searched for a while and came across a few projects that I decided to sign up for. I will share one now as my part of the project is completed and share the others as I participate in them.

The first one is called Global Art Project for Peace and information can be found at;  I joined as an individual but was thinking that it would be a really great experience to be a part of a group doing this too.

Here is the project mission and description as sited from their website:
Project Mission

The mission of the Global Art Project is to joyously create a culture of peace through art. The Project celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism while expressing the idea: We Are All One.

Project Description
Anyone can participate!

The Global Art Project is an International Art Exchange for Peace. Here's how it works: Participants create a work of art in any medium, expressing their vision of global peace and goodwill. The art is displayed locally in each participant’s community. Global Art Project then organizes an international exchange by matching participants—group-to-group and individual-to-individual. The exchange occurs April 23-30 biennially, resulting in thousands of people sending messages of Peace around the world at one time—visions of unity simultaneously encircle the Earth. The art is sent as a gift of global friendship and exhibited in the receiving community.

Participants may send documentation of the art created and of the people who came together to create the art to the GAP Art Bank. Global Art Project exhibitions, books, slide presentations, and this website give people an opportunity to experience visions of peace and unity created by individuals from diverse cultures around the world.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had originally thought to make a painting on canvas until I realized the cost of shipping internationally. Ouch! I took a walk New Year's day with a friend and was talking about my dilemma and trying to figure what else I could make that would represent my view on peace and would be a bit lighter and more economical to ship.  I mentioned some of the other projects I'd seen on the website like peace boxes and peace bracelets. My wonderful friend Cindi mentioned a bag of some sort and my idea grew from there.  Thanks for your brain Cindi!

At first I wanted to sign up for a block printing class being held next weekend at Rochester Makerspace so I could create an image to print onto a canvas bag that I would purchase. But then I started looking at the cost and realizing that I had a conflict in events and couldn't attend the workshop and it made me think about the mixed media fiber arts class I just took in November and the new skills I developed and how I could use those skills to create a bag.

I decided to pull out some wool sweater scraps and set off creating my own bag from scratch.  I chose two complimentary colors, one for the front and one for the back.  I then designed the mandala like image for the front using a permanent marker, printed it out onto iron on transfer paper and ironed it onto a beige piece of fabric.  I cut around the circle and hand sewed onto the front of the bag using the blanket stitch. Then I embroidered a saying about how I feel about peace around the circle. It states "Do not walk behind me or in front of me but beside me and bring peace."  I then sewed the front and back of the bag together. Found a beige canvas belt that had been in my closet for 10 years (always thinking I might use it but never did) and cut off the ends and then sewed it onto the inside of the bag to create the handle.  I created a liner out of the beige fabric and sewed it to the inside of the purse (this covered the handle and the stitching from the front).  The final step was rather to put on a button or not. I prefer buttons so that I worry less about losing something out of my bags. However; I really didn't want to deal with creating a button hole and messing up the bag.  I put a poll out to family and friends and of course the button won out 3:2.  It turned out okay (not perfect but I didn't ruin the bag). :)

Overall I really liked creating this project. It's a one of the kind bag and I like that it's a functional piece of art that still allowed me to express my thoughts around global peace.  Now all I have to do is wait until the end of March to find out who I send it to. Stay tuned...