March 21

The Artist’s Way…Week 8 (Strength)

This week we look at recovering a sense of strength; the strength required for artistic survival.

Artistic risk-taking means gains and losses.  The reading “Survival” talks about surviving and healing those losses.  “The Ivory Power” considers the scholarly appreciation of art and how teachers, mentors and our own intellectual selves can often be deadly to our creative spirit.  “Gain Disguised as Loss” presents a tool for dealing with loss.  What if we were to ask the questions, “How can this loss serve me?” and “Where does it point my work?”  It encourages us to look at the work differently and be willing to walk through another door.  “Age and Time: Product and Process” was the next section and deals with issues we use as blocks such as age (I’m too old or too young) and time (I work full-time or I don’t have any time to spare).  Here’s my favorite quote from this section, “We like to focus on having learned a skill or on having made an artwork.  This attention to final form ignores the fact that creativity lies not in the done but in doing. ”  The final section,  “Filling the Form,” reminds us to take the next small step instead of skipping ahead to a large step that we may not yet be prepared for.  It encourages us to ask, “What can I do, right now, in my life as it is currently constituted?” then, do that thing.

My favorite exercises were:  1.  Goals Search.  Writing out goals is nothing new, but I appreciated the process I had to go through in this exercise.  Instead of coming up with a list of outcomes, the exercise exposed the “true north” or emotional center of my goals.  2.  Color Schemes.  Here I picked a color and wrote a few quick sentences describing myself in first-person as that color…fun!  3.  List five things you are not allowed to do.  Now do those things on paper.  This wasn’t an exercise I was comfortable with and that’s why I did it.  It’s interesting to me that I still resist something like this, even though the writing is private.  After I’m done, I find that it is a great stress-reliever, is often silly and fun, and sometimes even reveals an unnamed  hurt or feeling…and there’s why I resist.  Unnamed hurts and feelings have incredible power.  They don’t like to be called out because then they start to lose that power.

This was one of my favorite weeks.  The reason?  As I move forward, I do find myself becoming anxious about where my creative journey will lead.  When I’m not worrying about it, it feels so good to just do and experience the journey.  It was wonderful to be reminded that that is always the important part.  How true this is in all aspects of our lives.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 2 Comments

March 20

Creative Space – After (Part 2)

The Dream

I would post a picture of my future creative space.  I would set out the goals.  I would accomplish the goals (perfectly and in their entirety).  I would post a picture of the miraculously transformed room (calls from HGTV would soon follow).  My readers would be awed by my incredible powers and would be inspired to create their own creative spaces (because it was so easy, right?).  I must also mention that apparently in the dream, I was someone other than myself because NO WAY would I be able to accomplish this unless I was some other person (I guess I thought writing a blog had miraculous, transformative powers).

The Reality (Part 1)

I painted the room (white…how original) and planned to re-purpose a piece of furniture, but was completely stalled after that.  I posted an apologetic post promising the miraculous transformation NEXT month.

The Reality (Part 2)

Writing a blog doesn’t transform you into a superhuman (drats!).  So, in the spirit of making lemonade from lemons, I’ve decided to make this a year-long journey (that’s what this year’s all about anyway).  Here’s where I stand this month:

Goal 1 – A pretty, fun and inspiring place to create work

It’s getting there.  I love color, and I always paint my walls with a color.  I painted this room white because I wanted to have the freedom to play with color in another way.  Right now, I’m kind of stumped on how to do that.  The plan is to used the colors of my inspiration files.

Something I love…see that picture of the sweet, little girl.  That’s me!  This picture hung over my family’s piano the entire time I was growing up.  When my mother gave it to me I was grateful, but I put it in the closet because I couldn’t imagine where I would hang a large picture of myself as a little girl.  As I’ve been going through The Artist’s Way, I have written about myself as a little girl…before the world convinced me of who it thinks I am.  I’ve kind of fallen in love with this little girl who was so adventurous, creative and open.  I think she’s very inspiring.

Goal 2 – Storage for my supplies

Not much progress has been made here.  I was so confused about how to arrange the furniture, that I didn’t do much work in this area.  I’ve started to move things into the room but there’s a lot more to come.  Stay tuned.

Goal 3 – Work spaces

I set up a folding table to create an L-shape with the desk.  I’m going to work with this for a bit and if I like it, my husband said he would make a table for me that looks nice in the room (he’s a sweetie!).

Goal 4 – An inspiration board and files

I hung up a cork board and a magnetic board…nothing on them yet.

Goal 5 – Move the houndies’ crates into the room

They’re moved in.  Now what!  They look horrible.

I love to hear your ideas for my creative space or things that work for you in your creative space.  Check back and see the next installment, “Creative Space – After (Part 3)” on April 17.



Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 9 Comments

March 19


A rich, gothic romance, Rebecca is not the name of the young, current wife of Maxim de Winter, it’s the name of the late Mrs. de Winter.  Although dead at the start of the novel, the memory of Rebecca reaches beyond the grave and holds sway over the living.  This is a wonderful book with characters you won’t forget.

The movie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine won the Academy Award in 1940 for Best Picture and Best Cinematography, Black and White.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 2 Comments

March 18

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind is based on the life of John Forbes Nash, Jr. a Nobel Laureate in Economics.  It is the story of Nash’s adult life and his battle with paranoid schizophrenia.  Not only is this the story of a remarkable man and his wife, but the telling is imaginative and touching.  A Beautiful Mind won the Academy Award in 2001 for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | No Comments

March 17

Tie = Coin Purse



My friend, Christa.  She came by my desk and said, “What about this?”  I said, “Can I use that?”  She said, “Yes,” and here it is.




Fabric Glue



Sewing Machine (I used a serger)

1.  Remove the tack stitches from the back of the tie.

2.  Cut the tie to accommodate whatever item you’re making the pouch for.

3.  Open up the tie, apply fabric glue along the edge and fold back into shape.  Allow to dry.

4.  Turn inside out.

5.  Stitch along the bottom.  Turn right side out.

Note:  To finish a serged seam, apply fabric glue to the ends, allow to dry, then trim the threads or thread a tapestry need and feed the thread ends back through the seam.

6.   I finished by purse smaller than I originally planned, so I couldn’t use the decorative hook and eye I intended to use.  I decided to use Velcro dots instead.

7.  Imagine the possibilities.  You could make a case for scissors, glasses, anything that will fit.

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 9 Comments

March 16

General George A. Custer

Did you know that General George Custer was a greyhound owner?  He and his wife, Libby, loved dogs.

If you’d like to read more about General George Custer and his dogs, check out the article General George A Custer’s Dogs on the Western Frontier of America by Jasmine West.  This is not warm and cuddly “pet-lovers” information, but it is a fascinating article about the Custers and their dogs.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 2 Comments

March 15

4 Faves – Version 11.0

Pet Food Containers

I like the large container because it holds up to a 50 lb. bag of dog food, it looks neat in the pantry, its lid stays attached and it has wheels so I can roll it out and then roll it back.  I liked the large one so much, I purchased a smaller one for Twinkie’s food (the kitty).

Cute USB Flash Drives

Why plain, when you could have these?

amazing grace Fragrance

This was the first “grace” fragrance I fell in love with from philosophy.  You’ll be seeing more on future lists.

Pampered Chef Carafe

This is beautiful and a wonderful item to have when you have guests.  What makes it my favorite…the dripless spout is actually dripless.

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 2 Comments

March 14

The Artist’s Way…Week 7 (Connection)

Week 7 asks us to look at recovering our sense of connection…referring to our connection to the source of our creativity; and then, our ability to produce something tangible.

The first reading is “Listening,” and it deals with listening to our creative source.  It asks us to consider the idea that everything (the painting, the story, etc.) is already there.  We must listen and give ourselves the space and time to receive the information.  Once we have the creative inspiration, we now move from idea to creating something of substance.  The next sections talk about the things that can stop us from producing our art.  “Perfectionism,” “Risk” (the failure to take them), and “Jealousy.”

One of my favorite exercises was The Jealousy Map.  Like anger (Week 3), jealousy is a guide to where you want to go.  This exercise asks you to write down in 3 columns who you’re jealous of, why you’re jealous of them and an action antidote (one action you can take to move toward creative risk and out of jealousy).  I also enjoyed (really enjoyed) listening to a favorite CD and doodling/drawing shapes, emotions and thoughts I heard in the music.  I thought this was not only a wonderful creative exercise but a great stress reliever.

This week was especially interesting to me because I’m preparing to open a shop on Etsy.  It’s fun to think and play with my creativity, but now I’m ready to create something “real” and offer it to others.  I’m thankful that I’m going through this book, because I feel stronger and more confident about making those offerings, celebrating when they’re applauded and moving on when they’re not.


Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 1 Comment

March 13

I’m a Copshaholm Docent

When I was a little girl, my mom would drive into downtown South Bend, Indiana to shop.  On the way, we would pass  by this magnificent home and I would ask, “Who lives there?”  My mom would answer, “The Olivers.”  Copshaholm is the home built by J.D. Oliver for his family.  J.D. Oliver’s father, James, developed processes to create a better plow and his the business eventually became the Oliver Chilled Plow Works.  Where James was a genius at innovation and invention, J.D. was the financial genius who made the Oliver Chilled Plow Works the largest manufacturer of plows in the world.

Copshaholm is different from many historic homes in that it was turned over to the Center for History in 1988 fully intact.  As a visitor to Copshaholm, you get to see it as the family lived in it, suspended in time.  It is an American treasure.

Last Monday, I took my test and now I am a docent at Copshaholm.  A docent is a host, an interpreter and a guide.  I would love to take you on a tour.  Tours are available Monday-Saturday, 11 am, 1 pm and 2 pm and Sunday, 1 pm and 2:30 pm.  Your tour also includes Dom Robotnika (The Polish Worker’s Home).  An added bonus, the Studebaker National Museum is adjacent to the Center for History.  As a little girl, I was spellbound by this beautiful home, now it is my privilege and honor to share it with others.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 3 Comments

March 12

Out of Africa

Out of Africa is a memoir by Isak Dinesen (pen name for Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke) and recounts the 17 years she lived in Kenya from 1914 to 1931.  The book is very different from the film of the same name.  This is the story of colonial Africa, the people and a remarkable woman.  Read this if you love words and imagery.  It is lyrical and melancholy yet very attuned to the time and place.  Africa is the main character and star in this book.

Where Africa is the star of the book, romance is the star of the movie which focuses on the love affair between Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton.  Meryl Streep and Robert Redford are incredible and heartbreaking as lovers.  Even though the movie has a different focus than the book, you’ll come away with the love and nostalgia Karen Blixen felt for Africa and you’ll glimpse colonial Africa and the people who lived during that time.  Out of Africa won the Academy Award in 1985 for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Music Score and Best Sound.

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 2 Comments