I do believe you guys like words and text and letters just as much as I do, and boy do I have a fun book for you. Every once in a while I have a cool opportunity from a publisher to review a book and/or do a giveaway. You know–feed the buzzmill. Sometimes the books are absolutely awesome like this one: The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharpe. I liked it so much when I saw it that I asked for an additional copy to give away to my readers.
My cool friend, Jake Finch of Generation Q Magazine, called and asked me to be a part of her book about swaps. To be honest, I had never been part of a swap (that’s when a sewing guild hosts an event for people to exchange sewn gifts). So I just made what I was into in that moment: EYE PILLOWS! I embroidered “i am enough” right onto one and voila! Instant awesomeness–a calming and grounding lavender eye pillow that also reminds us of the truth: that we are enough just as we are.
So, I got a call about two months ago. It was Vivika De Negre from Interweave. I have always liked her when we’ve met at Market. She is lovely, warm and genuine. She said they’d like to produce a DVD of me doing some of my fabric collage and teaching design basics. She said they’d also film three segments for Quilting Arts TV on PBS on the same day. She said it would be filmed the week of March 24th…in a production studio…in Ohio. Solon, Ohio…just outside of Cleveland.
|Photo from amazing Brené Brown’s website here.|
Here we are. Today is the tenth and final day of my Creativity Challenge. I hope you enjoyed it. I did wonder if anyone was really even reading all of this stuff I wrote during this 10 day challenge–if I was connecting and inspiring. But then I would get an email, text, Instagram post, FB message, tweet or call from a friend or stranger sharing their incredible creations and I felt so awed.
Day 9 of my Creativity Challenge! I hope you have been enjoying it and finding some freedom and space in yourself for creative expression.
Today, in honor of all you snowed-in people, you will find and make meaning right inside your own kitchen! Look in your junk drawer and pull out 8-10 items–most should have some form of writing although they don’t all need to. Use the writing or images as seeds for your creativity. Grow them by shining the light of your awareness on them. This is really quick and fun. The point is not to write a good poem (although you just might). The point is to exercise your mind and find meaning and magic in the ordinary. Let yourself fall into your poem. Be present with the objects you choose. See what you find. Make meaning from junk.
I have a thing for Rumi. He was a 12th century Sufi Mystic poet. His words ring so true today that it is almost shocking they are 800 years old. (Look for translations of his poems by Coleman Barks.) Here are a few Rumi quotes to inspire you:
“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
Day 5 of my creativity challenge! I’m going to jump ten thousand steps ahead and tell you the real truth about creativity. Some of you will find it whacky or “out there” and others will resonate deeply with it. But either way, it is my truth. And I do believe it is the truth:
So, it’s day 4 of my creativity challenge! Today you’ll do a simple exercise to see the color around you by using an online color palette generating tool. Breaking color down into fundamental blocks this way is really interesting because it gets you beyond your expectations. For example, in the image of my daughter’s ballet class (below), I knew I’d get a palette of greys and blacks because I know the floor of the dance studio is almost black. But not so! My mind knows the color of the floor, but the camera captured shades of browns because of the reflected light. So it is with our eyes…we learn to see color more clearly when we remove our ingrained patterns of seeing our “ideas” of color and actually looking at what is there. I used PaletteGenerator.com. It takes just a few seconds! Simply upload an image and drag across it to select the area of the picture you want to match. Click “submit the selection” at the bottom. You can take screen shots to save your palettes. (On a mac, use command + shift + 4 … then use the cursor to select your image).
Today’s creativity challenge: Make a self-portrait or a picture of a loved one using nothing but coffee or wine (or any staining juice like beet or blueberry) and the eraser end of a pencil. Follow along–share your creations on instagram and hashtag #yourcreativitychallenge to share. You can even post them on my Facebook page. Remember to play, have fun and be a kid. Art supplies, schmart supplies! You can make art anywhere you are with whatever you have. Go beyond your own ideas and limitations of what creating means. Go beyond your ideas of perfection and what “looks good.”
Phew. I’m back! Happy belated new year. It seems I took a break from blogging for a while–what with all the celebrating and enjoying my family and winter break (my favorite) and…oh, yeah….finishing my book in December. Woohoo! The editors and designers over at Stash Books are busy bees now. They are working on it and I will be able to share much more this summer. But I can say that I love what I created and I know you will too. It will be out in November 2014!
In honor of so much bounty and general creative goodness, join me in my 10 day creativity challenge over on instagram. Every day I’ll give you a simple challenge to help loosen you up, inspire, remove perfectionism, promote your unique creativity and express yourself. Use hashtag #yourcreativitychallenge and share what you create. It will be fun. You don’t need to be an artist to do this…you just need to be willing, open-hearted and ready to be inspired.
All too often we begin to think inside of our own boxes…these simple exercises will get your juices flowing. Share, tag, invite your friends and join me! Here is the first exercise: go outside on a short walk or hike…take a bag with you…collect stuff as you walk… make something simple on the ground with what you gathered. Make it as a love gift to life and the earth! Use trash, flowers, rocks…anything you find. I used quartz and creosote flowers. It doesn’t need to be perfect…or even good…or even art!
You can make art everywhere, with anything you find. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Lately, I am in love with the flower petal art Kathy Klein creates over at Danmala. (You can buy her beautiful hexagonal calendar–see below.)