Take Your

Take Your “Artist Date” In A New Direction

Have you been looking for some other ways to play with your creativity?
Julia Cameron, in her book The Artists Way, talks about taking herself on “Artist dates.” The artist date is a weekly date that you make with yourself to experience something creative outside of your normal creative work. Many people take time out to write, journal, visit museums or galleries. Some may take time to paint or draw on their own time. Maybe they might play an instrument in the privacy of their own home. Let’s change it up a bit! Let’s get out and invest some time with creative activities that might involve other creative people. Spend some time getting our creative souls deep into play in our community. Here are FIVE cool ways to get your creative date on in a more social forum. It also gives you a chance to try something new, or something just for the fun of it. Dare to try something out of your ordinary creative expression.

  1. Go to a “paint your own pottery” shop. We have one in town called “Color me Mine.” I love it. So far I have painted two bowls and a mug. I have taken a friends and done with my old girl scout troop. You’ll learn some techniques of painting on pottery but al creating overlays, and other design work. And you have a lot of fun. NOW, I am not proclaiming this is cheap. There is usually about a $10 studio fee PLUS the cost of the item you pick to paint. So the usually trip averages about $35. But this especially fun to do with girlfriends and just hang out.
  2. In town we have a place called Pinot’s Pallet. They offer wine while you paint a picture they show you haw to paint. Yes, almost everyone ends up with the same painting but you’ll have learned and picked up some techniques along the way. It is also a great way to get to know new people or hangout with friends or other couples. I, personally, have not tried it yet, but have a friend that goes almost every month and she is filling her house  with paintings she loves. P.S. The Wine is optional. You don’t have to drink.
  3. Look into a class at the local arts and crafts stores. In my town we have Michaels and Joann’s and they both offer classes, from sewing to cake decorating and beading. Other places to look is Learning Exchange or the local Parks and Recreation.
  4. Look for local Art walks or in Sacramento we have a Second Saturday, where the galleries are open, and outside artist vendors have a chance to show and sell their artistic products. It runs from April to October. Many cities and towns have something similar. Google is great for finding this kind of information.
  5. You could step into a different zone and look at local music stores or places that offer music lessons. This will be more costly and sometimes, you can just enroll at the local community college as well. Is there an instrument you have wanted to learn or maybe just gain a better appreciation for music through a basic piano class? Music taps into many different parts of our brain that help us with thinking: mathematics, science, linguistics. There is something magical in understanding music.
Manifesto to aHappy Life

Manifesto to a Happy Life

My Manifesto to Living a Happy Life
It's

Photo Wednesday: It’s the Small Things

It’s the small things that catch our eye, bring us joy and wonder. Yes, Grand things are spectacular and awe-inspiring. However, I see the small things as those that touch my heart. Collections of pieces of friends and loved ones who have given me something that symbolizes our relationship in some way. Other small things, like the simple rose with rain drops or the yellow rose shining in the sun, bring delight, beauty and joy to me. As for the little red berries, there is just something about the red against the bark and green that catches my eye in delight and perspective. I can’t really put my finger on it. And sometimes, with pictures we aren’t meant to put a name to the exact feeling of the image. We simply allow what arises within us to be with us.
The images below are small tokens given or collected over the years from those I love with the exception of a few. The little dragon was a gift from santa in my stocking this year, the little angels were from my old job and kept me company in the little office I used. They all hold a special significance to me. SO…show me. What are the small things that delight you? What small things do you treasure?

Ten Minute tuesday

Ten Minute Tuesday: Creating Your PlayDates!

It’s a late post today and the first in a while. I have been having some health issues that have interfered with posting. As the new year as arrived, I thought about what kind new creative experiences  I would like for this year. It isn’t so much about resolutions but rather inviting in opportunities for creative adventuring.

Creative adventuring allows us to make a playdate with ourselves to do something just for our creativity. However you express your creativity, you can always grow your appreciation and skill by inviting new experiences. This is creating your on Creative PlayDate with yourself.
PlayDates can be anything from discovering a new place to hike in solitude to a trip to a museum (whatever kind you find intriguing). Or maybe it’s a long walk along the beach or a class in fused glass just because. When we open ourselves up to new experiences we allow the creative part of our brain to add new information to what we already creative perception. This GROWS our creative spirit. It expands our creative soul!

For your planning guide and your commitment to expanding the scope of your creative self, just click below. I made a commitment too. I made out my list and have committed to try at least something once a month. When the list is complete, you will have enough new things to try for at least every other week for a year. You can always challenge your self and add five more items to each list and have enough for once a week PlayDates. So go ahead, take ten minutes and commit to new experiences in the new year.

The Creative PlayDate-2

 

five and five list

Ten Minute Tuesday: The Five and Five List

The new year is coming upon us and goal setting for it seems to be on a lot of people’s minds. There are A LOT of really good planning guides out there. I have used some of them. However, I want to show another way to think about your new year. The planners often require more time and a lot of thought for the things you want to accomplish for the new year. People agonize over completing their goals and lists. I am not saying it’s not important to think about these things but what if you could get the basics on paper quickly. This is the Five and Five list.

There are Five categories to it: Dreams, Goals, New Things, Things to Change, and Self- Care. In each section you list only five goals. The reason for doing it quickly is to follow your intuition. Allow your gut instincts to guide your goals to get at what you really want and not what you think you “should” do. Often, when we spend to much time in our head about something, we start thinking of the “should’s” and not the true desires. I am not saying that the list can’t be modified but I suggest letting it sit for a few days before looking back over it and revising. You will find that most of what you put down is right on target with those things you truly want in your life.

Just click to download your template for your list: New Year Five &Five List

You can check out what I put on mine. I only revised two items on the list since I originally wrote it and that was because I wanted to change out one goal. Now, when I sit down and plan out my goals for the year, look at what I want to accomplish, and plan my baby steps, I have an idea where I am going. And the ideas all came from following my intuition, my gut instincts rather than from a list of what I think I should be doing. So go ahead, challenge yourself. Download the free template and make your list today.

Happy

Happy Holidays To All

I don’t know what holidays you celebrate. Or maybe you don’t celebrate at all.

I don’t know what traditions you have or where you will be going or staying.

I don’t know if you are happy this time of year or maybe sad.

I do know that I wish for you a time of good health. I wish for you a time of joy in whatever form you need.

I wish for you to be with the people you love, if you can.

If you are sad, I wish that I could curl up beside you in a blanket fort until the sadness passes by.

I will be celebrating Yule in my way, and Christmas with my family.
I will be wrapping presents until 2 am Christmas Eve because I can never get them done early, while watching White Christmas.

I will make dutch babies for breakfast Christmas morning.
I will watch has the children tear through their presents one by one.

This year has been one of the longest I have had in a long time. There were a lot of changes and I spent time on the winter solstice thinking and reflecting about the last year. I created three lists in reflection. The first one was all the things I felt accomplished about in the last year. There was a second list of things that didn’t work out. This is important to acknowledge. How can I improve or let go if I don’t look at the things that went wrong? And finally, the last list of what I hope to have in the new year. This list isn’t finished. As it had been about two a.m. and I was falling asleep. I sat and did these lists with a youTube video of a yule log burning in the background to add to the ambience of the task, since I could not do a real one. This ritual allows me to really search through the last twelve months and experience what is all right and what needs to change. I am at peace with what I have done so far.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Solstice, I wish you the best of your Holidays. May you find some peace and joy during the next few days or week. Much love to you all.

yule reflection

Ten Minute Tuesday: A Yule Reflection

 

Tonight is the shortest day longest night of the year. Welcome to winter solstice what I consider the beginning of the Yule season and will continue for 12 days. Yule is the whole season, and winter solstice is usually considered the start of the season. The ideologies and rituals are steeped in history from mostly Germanic but also some Celtic culture. Many traditions for celebrating the solstice are prayers, candle ceremonies, and other rituals. There have also been some that have been modernized and adapted to surrounding culture and family needs. It is one of the beautiful aspects of many pagan beliefs is it’s ability to continue through change.
There are many traditions for celebrating winter solstice but my favorite one so far as been to stay up late, candles lit, lights turned down and to contemplate what the last year has brought me. It is simple ritual done to reflect upon the ups and down of the year that has passed in order to prepare the year to come.

Sometimes, I make a list of all the things that I’m ready to let go of so that I might make room for the new things I want in my life. I say goodbye to each one of these things in my own way, and either burn the list or tear it apart and toss it away. In doing so separating myself from what has become part of the past and opening myself to the future. Sometimes this means letting go of not just the negative things that have happened but also being grateful letting go of any good things that have happened. Why? In order to make room for more good and to make room for more growth, we must clear out that which is behind us.

So for today, as we enter into the eve of the winter solstice, I encourage you to write out that list of things that you are ready to let go off and turn it into a ritual. Light candles. Sit alone and listen to the silence. 
In the morning, after that long night, welcome the new year. For now the days only get longer and the nights shorter. Be thankful for the rising Sun. And I encourage you that instead of waiting for New Year’s day to make resolutions, that you instead use this first day of light to reflect on and write down what it is you want to invite into your life for the next year. Not resolutions, invitation.
Have a lovely winter solstice and welcome to the Yule season.

 

All I Want

All I Want for Christmas… A Gift for Loves Ones

I could say there are many things that I want. I wants new photography equipment( like a lightbox), a Lane Bryant gift card, some new art supplies, maybe some new jewelry pieces, warm slippers, and new business cards (but thanks to mom those are on their way). But those are just things. What I want for Christmas is to be able to give certain things to the people I love. So this year what I want for Christmas is to be able to give.

For my mom, I wish that I could give her the funds to do the repairs on her house, to send her on a cross-country trip on the train, just because, and finally I wish nothing more than for the pain of the arthritis to stop at her hands and her hips. I know she doesn’t like the medication she takes for it, and I know she gets frustrated by how her movement is affected.

My 19-year-old daughter, I wish nothing more than the give her the courage to keep following her dreams is an artist. I wish to ease her depression and make it easier for her to go to school and to find a job that she will enjoy. I wish to see her smile just because. I love that she feels things so deeply but I wish it didn’t hurt her so much.

For my 14-year-old, I wish for her to find an outlet for her humor. She is incredibly funny, does amazing voices and wants nothing more than to be an actor and do voice-overs. I can not afford acting classes, or head shots, or any of the other things needed to go along with that career choice. But I want her to keep working towards that because it makes her happy.

For my eight-year-old, I wish for him all the answers to all of the questions he asks daily. I hope he remains forever curious and wonders about the world around him. (I wish there was a giant book of answers I could give him).

For my sister, who is taking a leap of faith, and quitting her job to follow her heart, I wish for success in her endeavor. I wish I could give to her instant clients and followers for her blog and her business.

For my friend, J.R., I would give her the gift of time. The time to do the schoolwork and her job, and her tutoring, and still have time left for hiking, writing, ceramics, beach trips and her loving boyfriend.

For my friend LB, I I would give to her some quiet. I would gift her with time alone. Time for writing and reading. Then, I would wish for her to be surrounded by family and love during the holidays.

For my friend RB, I would give to her a small house in Oregon, where she can finally settle into her own space and find peace. I would give her faith in herself and remind her that she is worth someone who loves all of her.

These are the gifts I would love to give this year. Some money could buy, if I had it to give. And there are some that money cannot buy and only with encouragement, patience, and love can they be delivered. What I want more than anything for Christmas is for those I love to find their happiness; I want them to find their peace and comfort. Those are things that cannot come wrapped under the Christmas tree, though I wish for them none the less.
Tell me,

What would you wish for Christmas this year?

five-affirmations

Five Affirmations: Take Your Creativity to the Next Level

Recently I posted five creative affirmations for you.  Little did you know, they were just to get you started.  Here are five more written to help you affirm your creative soul and take your work to a new level. In creating, we have to remember three important facts:

  • Creativity is YOUR birthright. No one has the right to take it from you. If you feel someone has, at some point in your life, taken your creativity away from you, then now is the time to TAKE IT BACK!
  • It is about the Process not the product. We have a habit of judging the final product without acknowledging the process that it took to get as far as we did. This is a mistake. The process is the only way to improve product. Accept the product as it is, then evaluate the process.
  • Unused creativity is dangerous. One of my fave quotes from Brene’ Brown is “Unused creativity is not benign.” She then goes on to list some of the side affects of unused creativity such as depression, anxiety, overwork, loss of spirituality, etc. Treating it in a negative manner with negative comments is also just as deadly to creativity. We end up talking ourselves out of being creative.

The affirmations below are meant to help you focus your creativity energy into more productive and in depth use of your creativity. Affirmations work only if you believe in them and if they are practiced on a regular basis. Without practice and belief, repeating affirmations may do nothing for us at all or even backfire. Be ready to take your creativity up a level, and dig into it. Just remember to practice what you are saying. There is no change without the work required to make it happen. Let’s go! 

 

 

It is YOURS! Own It. Don't let anyone take it from you.
It is YOURS! Own It. Use it! Don’t let anyone take it from you.

 

However you use it, no manner the form you choose, you get to enjoy it. Love it. Play with it. It deserves your expression of it even if no one else in the whole world sees what you create, it needs to be expressed.
However you use it, no manner the form you choose, you get to enjoy it. Love it. Play with it. It deserves your expression of it even if no one else in the whole world sees what you create, it needs to be expressed.

 

Acceptance. It simply means we can look and accept our work as it is without passing "good" or "bad" judgement on it. You owe it yourself and your creative soul.
Acceptance. It simply means we can look and accept our work as it is without passing “good” or “bad” judgement on it. You owe it yourself and your creative soul.

 

 

Your process and how you express your creativity is more important than the final product. It is only in evaluating the process that you can improve the product.
Your process and how you express your creativity is more important than the final product. It is only in evaluating the process that you can improve the product.

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to say what we did was horrible, bad, not worthy. We have developed these habits from years of schooling telling us that we should evaluate our work this way. Instead, change come when we think in constructive and objective ways. Look at what went right and what didn't work. Don't label good or bad. Be kind to yourself. You just put your creative soul out there, give it a break. If you need to, take it to someone you can trust with it and ask them to help you look at it in an objective manner.
It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to say what we did was horrible, bad, not worthy. We have developed these habits from years of schooling telling us that we should evaluate our work this way. Instead, change come when we think in constructive and objective ways. Look at what went right and what didn’t work. Don’t label good or bad. Be kind to yourself. You just put your creative soul out there, give it a break. If you need to, take it to someone you can trust with it and ask them to help you look at it in an objective manner.

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a callto failure

Photo Wednesday: Fall

I know Wednesdays are for photos but this is a collage a put together a while back about how much I LOVE fall. It is one my favorite times of year. fall-collage-story-marked