Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taking Stock

I guess Avelox makes a person introspective, or maybe it is the fact that the doctor told me that if it weren't for the pill version of Avelox she would have had to hospitalize me. Avelox is a really scary black box warning antibiotic, with side effects that have even scared Hubby! Whatever is causing my current state of mind, I'm siting here wondering what kind of person I want to be, tomorrow, next year and thirty years from now. That's not such an easy question to answer.

My dad died when he was just a couple of years older than I am now. My son's dad died new year's eve 2007, he was only a couple of months older than I am; and a 26 year old man in my little town here in Kentucky, who apparently had no health issues, died of swine flu last week in a matter of days. We often hear, and I have been know to say "live today as if it were your last". OK that kind of works for me, but then what about the fact that I may have another 30 or more years of living ahead of me? Is the way I lived today something that I can look back on in 30 years and be proud of?

Finally how do you live everyday like it were your last and also live it as if it were the first day of the rest of your life? Are the two even compatible? Am I living my life in a way that both fulfills me and is sustainable day to day? What are the things that fulfill me? I think the one thing that makes me the happiest is when I can engage a person, be they a stranger, friend or family member and make them smile and and let them know that I think that they are special. What is interesting about that is that it doesn't matter what I am doing to put that smile on someone's face, just that they are smilling and for a moment, however fleeting, I've made their life better.

I firmly believe that we are born with one real goal; to leave the world a better place than the one that we were born into. Some people do it in a big way, Edison, Einstein, Bethoven, Mother Teresa, most of us only touch the lives of a few, but that doesn't change our goal or should I say life responsibility. For me, for today, puting a smile on your face, would mean that today I justified my creator's decision to give me life.

What is your life philosophy?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Oven Mitt that became a Star

As I previously mentionned, I recently got to work on the pre-production part of a series of commercials made for the Ohio Lottery Commisssion. Copies of the commercial are now on YouTube and the production company gave me permission to share them on this blog. BTW, if you want to see the commercial and are reading this on Facebook, you'll have to come on over to the blog.

The whole escapade started with my joining the Artisans of Cincinnati Meetup group a few weeks ago. Just days later, as I checked my inbox, I saw an email from that group saying that they had received a request from local production company looking to make a commercial. They needed crafters. There was a number included in the email to call a lady named Claire. If you know a little about my past, you know that my life is filled with things I've gotten to do that were, to say the least, cool, unusual and definitely unexpected. Because I thought this might be one of those weird things that have crossed my path, I decided to pick up the phone and call. Claire was very kind and basically took my information and asked that I send in an email with my info and links to some of my work. I sent her a link to both my blog and my gallery and told her that I was going out of town to St. Louis, but would be back on Sunday. She called me twice while I was out of town and I started on the project of making crafts for the coomercial that following Monday.

As you all know, I mainly do paper crafts, but I also knit, crochet, sew and paint a little. Usually my sewing is reserved for things like making teddy bears. During our first meeting, it turned out that they had only asked one other crafter to join the team, a lovely young lady named Jessica. Jessica is the person that made the wreath in the commercial as well as the pop-up holiday Deer card and the showflake banner that is part of another commercial that I'll post later on. I'm responsible foradding fabric and a matching pocket to a big stocking that is featured briefly in another commercial.

As we were brainstorming that first day, it turned out that they needed a lot of craft items to "dress the set" and I offered them their pick of the items in my craft room. So 99% of the props (shelves, paper, wool, crafts like the decorated tin box, cards strung from the window) you see behind and sometimes on the shelves in front of Maggie's table all came from my craft room. The crafts on the table were made at the Ligt-Borne studios in Cincinnati.

As the only one that sewed, making a gingerbread oven mitt became my main focus. I had to come up with a design, build two prototypes and then create two near identical mitts, one a star and the other an understudy in case there was a mishap or something. I didn't have any patterns or anything, but then making a pattern for an oven mitt isn't particularly difficult. My only direction, "they want an oven mitt that looks like a gingerbread man." I did incorporate Rob's idea of giving Mr Gingerbread mitt a second arm, which on an oven mitt isn't all that easy to do. Frankly, I didn't expect Mr Mitt, to look quite as cute as it does in the actual commercial, and, Mr Mitt even has a speaking role!

The 4 commercials were shot in a private home in Cincinnati. The production company, Light-Borne, took care of packing, transporting and returning everything they borrowed from my craft room to use in the shoot.

Now grab the popcorn, sit back and enjoy Maggie's fun antics! Follow this link to the Ohio Lottery's special pages for the "Fun with Maggie" commercials!