Friday, November 26, 2010

Inspiration Avenue: Ingenuity

Today is Friday and time for my Inspiration Avenue Challenge entry. I struggled with this theme, possibly because I didn't have much time to make art this week. Originally, I thought about making my first ever Steampunk entry, because that style showed a lot of ingenuity. Additionally, the definitions Judy Goddard, this week's challenge host, provided lent themselves to the Steampunk style as well.

After all, I had already played with this image in a swap and knew the digital file was still on my computer. However, after I read Judy's interpretation of the word, I started going around to the early IA challenge entries, and realized they were interpreting this challenge basically the same way I was: with sort of a Rube Goldberg device, if you will.

That got me thinking while I was busy trying to get a swap ready for mailing. I came from a small family: an only child raised by Grandparents. So big celebrations were simply unheard of when I was growing up. When I was barely 19, both my Grandparents had died, and I was alone, with no living relatives. That has never stopped me from making friends and enjoying their lasting friendships. For years and years, I invited people to my home for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday). Many were friends I worked or went to school with who also had no extended family. Even though I worked full time and went to school, I would spend every waking minute for up to a week in advance, planning, prepping, and preparing the meal.

However, there was one thing I never seemed to get right. And that was how to make everything come together at the same time. Seems something was still cooking when we sat down to eat, or something was left in the fridge, or the olives were still in the jar, or the ice had already melted in the water goblets, or . . . (you get the picture).

So when it comes to ingenuity, I raise my glass of eggnog to any host who can prepare a large meal and have it all ready and hot at the same time! Now that, dear friends, is my definition of ingenuity.

Talk about ingeuity! Today I'm featuring a web site of an artist who "paints" using her sewing machine. It's hard to believe all these lovely and detailed pieces were made using nothing but cloth and thread! But that is all Miyuki Sakai uses to make her masterpieces. Born, raised, and educated in Japan, Miyuki now lives in San Francisco, CA in the US. Some of my favorites are in the Office or on the Street. Be sure to click on each of the thumbnails to get the full picture. I think you'll like Miyuki Sakai's site as much as I did!

Now I'm off to see what I missed yesterday when I was totally unplugged from the universe web.

19 thoughtful remarks:

see you there! said...

Great Steampunk image. Interesting to read about a bit of your history too. I didn't enter the IA challenge this week. I just couldn't connect with the word in a creative way. Evidently I lack ingenuity, LOL!


voodoo vixen said...

I knew we were twins parted at birth.... I love to do a good dinner party and I have to admit, I am pretty good at getting it all to the table cooked at the same time.... but I always forget something... the Christmas I forgot to serve the starters... the time the carrots were left in the saucepan... you get it, yes? I think its because I want to spend time with the guests so the little things slip through the net (not that starters not being served count as 'little')!!
I've lowered my pinkie and hoping that does the trick with the Chinook headache... I am not complaining, its lovely to be positive numbers on the thermometer again!!

Halle said...

Cool image. I'm pretty good with timing for meals..even the big ones. I have been know to forget a sidedish..usually the veggie on the stove or something in the microwave.
Have a great and hopefully productive weekend of art! :)

La Dolce Vita said...

oh I figured that out several years ago, my secrets, make sure the sides are covered in tin foil to keep in the heat, leave the turkey in the oven til the last minute, make mashed potatoes ahead and put them in the crock pot on low to keep warm. make gravy and keep on low then carve turkey and put on platter and THEN put gravy and potatoes in bowls and serve all at once! love that crock pot!!! xo now off to check your link!!

Plumrose Lane said...

I absolutely LOVE your take on this week's theme and agree with you completely!! I also love how you turned an extremely difficult aspect of your life into a way to help others feel welcome and wanted ~ and angel's gift if ever I saw one.
What an extreme treasure you found in Miyuki Sakai too, wow!

priti.lisa said...

I hear ya, sistah! I find it impossible to be Martha Stewart...even when I can see the perfection in my never happens that way.
The nice thing is, I think I am the only one who notices (or maybe they just have good manners)
Great enty, Elizabeth, your blog is always so fun to read!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I LOVE your entry for this weeks challenge- I'm a fool for steampunk and sepia! I'm also with you on dinner thing, it seems no matter how well I plan, we NEVER eat at the time I'd scheduled!
Happy Thanksgiving (a day late....:)

Julia Dunnit said...

Ingenious take on the theme! Love your description- I'm skilled at this too - last time it was leving the Aloo Saag in the fridge when we had an Indian banquet. Quite often I think it's because I get in host panic mode and think there isn't enough and so make/buy extra and then forget it!! Looks like a fab and busy table full there - love that glass plate.

~*~Patty S said...

touching to read about your younger days E! when I think of you...I certainly think of a people person always doing for others...your grandparents got you off to a very nice start in life...sorry you lost them at such a young age

your steampunk image is super

hope you had a great feast yesterday!

Dianne said...

you are so right about the "everything completed at the same time" challenge! don't know how they do it, but I use foil on top of things a lot too...Hope you had a lovely day yesterday!

Carola Bartz said...

I love your take of the challenge and also to learn a little bit more about you. I was completely lost on the challenge this week and didn't do it - hope to return next week.
Oh, and dinners - always a surprise! Especially when things actually fall together - which doesn't happen too often over here.

Marilyn Rock said...

Lovely image Elizabeth and your dinner table! Awesome! I'm afraid my creativity ends for entertaining and cooking. We went out to dinner on Thanksgiving and they set a lovely table :) Wishing you a happy weekend! xxoo

Healing Woman said...

I was from a small family too. My parents did as you-they had a lot of friends they invited to holiday celebrations. Now, I have a very large family of my own and the clatter, bustle, noise of all kinds add so much to the festivities. Noone cares if dinner is a bit hodge podge because all are having so much fun. I'm sure it is that way with you and your guests as well.

How you ever had time to work on challenges is beyond me. I'm playing catch up now on all my favorite blogs.

Have a restful weekend!


Sue said...

Hi ya hun
i use to luv doing dinner parties, keeping things hot n geting it already at the same time was always a prob cause me cooker was to small!! thas my excuse n im stickin to it! lol.
great piccie, left you a little something on me blog hun. have lovely weekend sue,x

Judy Goddard said...

Well, I'm glad to say you were wrong! This is absolutely splendid! First of all, I'm so glad you brought up Rube Goldberg! I'd hoped someone would!
(A steanpunk mechanical bull! I'm dyin' here!)

And being able to gather your own traditons and create your own special holiday memories is certainly ingenious!


Amanda said...

This is a great piece for the challenge. I have been so amazed by all you do and what you do for so many others. It was very nice of you to share your story too, just from blogland I have been touched by your sharing kindness that I would imagine all that are near to you are much blessed and thankful for such a wonderful friend. Again learning too I have been hearing about steampunk.. very cool! Oh a little late but also glad to hear that Bluebeard is doing better.

Yvonne said...

Love this piece, Elizabeth!

ps you hit the nail on the head with your comment on my entry :) I really needed to put on the thinking cap!

Kat W said...

"raise my glass of eggnog to any host who can prepare a large meal and have it all ready and hot at the same time! Now that, dear friends, is my definition of ingenuity." Definitely!! I raise my glass to that definition too.

Kat :-)

peggy aplSEEDS said...

Miyuki's works are amazing! thanks for posting the link.