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Cultivating Your Creative Life - Book Review

I received a review copy of Cultivating Your Creative Life: Exercises, Activities & Inspiration for Finding Balance, Beauty and Success as an Artist by Alena Hennessy, from the publisher, at no cost to me. Now that the required disclaimer is out of the way, let me tell you about this book.

The book is written mainly for visual artists, such as painters or photographers, because that is what Ms Hennessy is. But there is much of value in this book for artists of all passions and persuasions; and after all, we doll makers are also artists!

First of all, the book is filled with the authors original art, and it is beautiful. I don't think there is a single page that does not have some example of her work; well not many. There are photos, line drawings and water color paintings everywhere you look. Now, stay with me here for a minute, if you're wondering what this has to do with doll making, think: inspiration. I am always motivated to be creative when I am inspired by beauty. Along with the eye candy there are a lot of other ways to be inspired by this book.

The title concept of cultivation is followed through in the chapter titles: Planting Seeds, Into the Woods, Roots and Branches and Herbal Lore. The title of Planting Seeds refers to getting started stirring your creative juices with all you see around you. Into the Woods is both literal encouragement to walk in the woods and to dig a little deeper into yourself. Each page has tips in parentheses to set them apart, inspiring quotes that relate to the topic and, of course, beautiful art. Herbal lore is a great chapter on using herbs to increase your own energy, both creatively and healthfully. There are also excellent ideas for getting your work out there and networking with other creative people.

Each chapter ends with a series of exercises that include meditation, journaling, drawing and "tips of the trade" to work on and stir you to work on your art. There is space to write, draw and collage in the book, but I am working with my own art journal on the exercises so I can be inspired by my own ideas as I work through the book.

I love this book and I think it has value for all creative people, no matter what your chosen art form is.



Make Clothes for 18 Inch Dolls The most popular dress on the Doll Making Site, The Spring Dress for 18 Inch Dolls, is included as well as 5 other outfits, underwear, and accessories such as jewelry, a bag, a knitted hat and scarf, and the new scrub suit. There are also patterns for slender Magic Attic type dolls as well as full-bodied American Girl dolls and an antique Saucy Walker doll from the 1950's.
If you love 18 inch dolls, and want a collection of patterns for a wardrobe, all in one handy Ebook, this is for you! All these patterns are available on the Doll Making site, but I have brought them all together in one book for ease of finding and using them.

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