Making a Mess!

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My favorite part of summer vacation is my morning walks.  Every morning I grab a cup of joe and a couple canvas bags and head out.  It is complete isolation.  An introvert’s paradise.  Not another soul for miles and miles.

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It’s a driftwood paradise.  Too rocky for most people’s taste. To me it’s a playground.

This year I took home 12 bags of driftwood of every shape and size.

Ohh… my poor husband who so cleverly tetris-ed all of it into our car :)

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I had absolutely no intent on searching for sea glass which is the only reason I found the amount I did!  I came home with a gallon-sized Ziploc!

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Now home, the chaos persists :)

It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t occupy that poor husband of mine’s parking space in the driveway.

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But I have slowly begun to tame the chaos.  Small shapes, fin shapes, fish heads, tails… into organized chaos.

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Ideas coming to fruition…


Some final pieces…

I have 8 more giant driftwood fish to complete.

Hee Hee Hee….they’re still in the driveway, but rest assured husband – I am working on it!

Getting Limber with Timber


I live by the beach.

That means I beachcomb!

But beachcombing can add up if you don’t find ways to use it.


After Hurricane Sandy I made myself a 5 foot mirror. But let me tell you, that wasn’t even half of what I collected!

So it’s time to put all this driftwood to good use.



Strewn all over the floor, I can begin to look for shapes in the abyss.


More to construct…nailing, painting and assembling to do…

I shall record the progress… not getting much done today though! :)




Happy Thanksgiving!

The Holiday season has officially begun!

I have to say I am feeling incredibly unorganized. I feel like I should have created a token piece of turkey art today, but that would have required at least three days of planning.  Three days ago I was trying to figure out what I was going to make three days ago, so if you catch the trend, you’d know I’m barely hanging on!

I decided to keep going with what I’ve been working on this week.  Today was one of my favorites, a really twisted couple pieces of driftwood I found.

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I just marvel at mother nature.  Can you believe I found a piece of wood with such a perfect bird face?  The wings are separate, yet they seem like they could have come from the same tree.  Not so. I found the wood at two different beaches.

I nailed the pieces together the other day and today I decided to paint it as well as create a pedestal with a dowel to suspend my bird in the air.

I had to be at my family’s house for noon which meant in order to create something for today I needed to be an “early bird”.  Get it? That’s how I came up with my name for today.


I had to pack my kids luggage for the next few days, prep some appetizers for Turkey Day and then pack up some art supplies to travel with for the next few days.


This was the other bummer.  All the appetizers came out and I was stuck on the floor in the naughty corner working on my art for today. It’s really hard to stuff your face and paint ya know.  Don’t you worry though, some how I managed!

I have to thank my family for this year.  They are such troopers.  I’m always off in the corner doing my own thing and they step up.  They help with whatever I would have been doing if I wasn’t making art and cheer me on at the same time.  I can’t tell you how many family members sternly looked at me at 8pm tonight and asked if I had gotten my blog done yet!  This 365 challenge has not only impacted my life thus far, but also EVERYONE around me.  Especially my husband.  Man I don’t even know where to start.  When they say 99% of your life’s happiness depends on who you marry, I constantly pinch myself that I could have been so lucky.  Thank you husband.  Then there’s those kiddos of mine.  I don’t think they even remember mom before this year.  Mom didn’t volunteer at school as much this year, she missed a lot of field trips,  her afternoons were generally spent finishing up some crazy project, she wound up on the computer every evening and I’m sure she has come off just a little bit crazy, tired and unorganized.

The truth is, I can’t do it all.  If you are 100% committed to one area of your life, then the other areas of your life take a hit. However, I did stay home with my little cherubs for the past eight years and all my creative juices went directly to them.  So, we’ll say by the end of this year -we’re even!  I do need to thank them.  They go with the flow, they roll with the punches and still show nothing but love.

The upcoming year will be spent trying to find a true balance.  I need to find an outlet for creativity, yet honor my family and other areas of my life just as equally.  I’m pretty sure this is a struggle for most of humanity.  I know I’m not alone. It’s so very important though.


I leave you this evening hoping you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving, family and friends.  Today is a great day to take stock of your life, figure out who needs to be thanked and what there is to be thankful for.

I hope you feel as blessed as I do.  I really do!

Join me on Facebook: Be Creative Mary




I finished my “Wild Goose” sculpture made from driftwood found at the beaches here in Rhode Island.

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This is how the raw pieces of driftwood looked.  When I found that top piece of driftwood on the beach and I saw the natural eyes that could be created from the wood knots, I instantly thought bird head.  I just love creating things out of what you find.  It reminds me of looking for images in the clouds.  If you stare long enough, things begin to emerge.

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This is as far as I got the other day.  Today I decided to add a back fin or a hump.  I also added color to the head and details to the feather patterns. I also began to paint four lengths of driftwood in black and white stripes.  I was going to make legs for my creature.  It then occurred to me that geese have two legs not four.  Two would not balance this heavy wood structure, so I abandoned the idea.  It has been good and windy the past two days.  I am going to try again to head down to the beach and see if I can find suitable legs.  I think black and white striped legs would be a fun addition.


For now my silly goose is hanging with some of my black and white decor in the living room.  It’s cool painting your own sculptures.  Magically they tie in to my personal style.  Fancy that!

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving.  I will be hanging with my family and playing with my niece, nephew and our kids.  We usually have a game of capture the flag and assassin (you murder people throughout the day with a wink or handshake, if you’re killed you need to drop to the ground and act out a dramatic death, then everyone has to figure out who is the assassin). I know. I know. It doesn’t sound all that festive and Thanksgiving-y, but the kids love it, so thus it shall be our family tradition!

I have a bit of traveling to do over the Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas holiday.  I only have 36 days left to my creativity challenge, but the upcoming month may be the most difficult yet!  It’s a super busy time of year.  The only way I have figured out how to make it through the past 331 days is not to worry about tomorrow.  So that’s my plan.  36 days of not worrying about it.  On days I have time I will push myself as far as I can go.  On days where I spend 5 hours in the car with whining children, I shall go easy on myself.  Either way, creative opportunities always seem to present themselves.  The unexpected always seems to go better than the over-planned. 

It shall work itself out.

After this I have a whole new something to worry about…what do I do when I’m done?

The answer is I have no idea.  I’m hoping my near future will unfold in some perfect design.  I hope this, because I really don’t know what comes next.  It’s been nice knowing my objective for a year now.  I’ve always felt like I don’t know what I’m doing.  It’s never very concrete. This challenge was a great way to put a label on my life.  To have some way to answer when people ask what I’m up to. I’m done though.  It’s served its purpose and run its course.  It’s time for me to reassess and pick another direction or simply rest.

Rest. Now that sounds very good :)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


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I thought for sure I’d finish this goose in one day, but it wasn’t to be.

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I started bright and early 8am.

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I created a feather template from my recycle bin. I assure you, when I am through, they will look a lot more like a feather motif!

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By 3pm I had mostly only completed the under-painting.  I’m not sure if this is due to my driftwood goose’s size, which is around 2 ft high or the fact that the dried out wood sucked up so much paint I had to go over every area 2-3 times.

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Whatever the reason, I’m only half way there on this creature.

I still haven’t figured out what I want to do for designs on the head.

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I also plan on adding some of these corks too.

Either way, I love having these brightly colored 3-D objects around the house!

Tomorrow is my favorite day of the week, pottery day.  Maybe I will try to be disciplined enough to leave the pottery studio when I’m supposed to.  I generally stay an extra two hours.  I will try to leave early and finish this goose. I better. I still have five other driftwood sculptures waiting to be transformed!

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After hunting and dragging half of South County’s driftwood back to my patio, I am getting to the fun part.  Painting the driftwood to bring my creations to life.

Weekends are always a different can of worms.  If you have a patio full of wood, power tools, saws, hammers and nails, the children will come and like a moth to a flame, they did.#327- somethings fishy (5)b

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My son decided he wanted to make a giant catapult.  He’s painting it red.


Any guesses on this one?  My daughter’s favorite animal, the platypus.IMG_8072

Here’s another little detail.  I used a bottle cap and gun shell casing  I found on the beach.

I plan on heading back to the beach to find a few more pieces of driftwood.  Now that I’ve started this project, I know what I need. I’m looking for some head shaped pieces of driftwood and stumps if I can find any.  I hate to say I’m disappointed we didn’t have any hurricanes this autumn, but there’s slim pickings on the beach!

My dining room is beginning to look like a wooden zoo.  What on earth will I do with all of these sculptures when I’m finished?

Join Me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


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Yesterday’s post was all about the hunt for driftwood, today is all about figuring out what to do with it now that I found it!

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Of course because I needed to sit down and inspect every single piece of driftwood, it rained.  Murphy’s Law.  I manned up, grabbed a hat and scarf and sat out in the rain trying to find figures amongst the debris. This added an extra step to my day since I now had to bring my desired pieces of wood inside and place them by the fire to dry out, but hey, got it done!

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While the wood was drying, I got out all the tools I’d need to assemble wooden sculptures.

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A little hammering, a little drilling, a little sanding and from the wood came life.

There are a few pieces where the knots in the wood lined up perfectly to create eyes and other poignant details.

I’m going to add color of course.

You didn’t think I could possibly leave them natural did you?

First things first. Tomorrow I will create pedestals and posts for some of these pieces. I may even hit up another beach.  I need some better “head” shapes.

…we’ll see where the day takes me!

Join Me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


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I had the most peaceful & glorious day.

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I went to a favorite old hunting ground looking for driftwood.  I plan on making some sculptures in the next few days.#325 - THE SCAVENGER (8)

I spent 4 hours today hunting, scavenging, hauling logs, filling my car with at least 300 pieces of wood, shells and beach debris.

And then I went home and organized it all.

These were my categories( The top photo going clockwise).  Human trash, tree bark, squiggly roots, shimmer shells, stumps, small and medium driftwood, sea glass and an awesome brick I couldn’t pass up.

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It’s too bad I don’t live in NYC.  This found-object industrial wire sculpture is straight out of MOMA.

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I title this work of art “Sea Legs”.

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And this one, “The Serpent of Green Hill”.

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This one “Nesting”.

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And this one “Peak-a-boo”.

I had these beaches all to myself today.  In four hours I only saw one other human being.  A fellow artist I enjoyed speaking to.

Every day I am more certain than ever, just how much I enjoy being a hermit.  I LOVE being alone.  It is the most quiet and focused part of my day.

Of course it’s great to have friends and family to reunite with at the end of my day, but I’ve really learned a lot about myself this year.  I don’t want to work in an office, classroom or storefront.  I want to work alone.  I love it.

My husband is going to be just thrilled with what I’ve done with the patio.  There’s about a 20 foot long pile of beach debris for him to navigate through.  I’ll have to keep the neighbors dogs away too!

OK.  I’ve collected my materials, now let’s see what I can create with them… stay tuned.

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary