December 15

Thinking About 2014

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I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog in 2014. 2013 was a roller coaster year. It started off with my husband employed full-time, and me happily employed part-time with the ability to easily pursue my new passion for painting. In May, my husband lost his job and although we knew we could weather the storm, we both started looking for full-time jobs. I landed my full-time job first, training to be the Store Manager of the Mishawaka Ten Thousand Villages. It is a dream job for me, but it is a big change from my previous part-time commitment. Happily, my husband also has a new job, so we enter 2014 at a good place, but very different from how we started 2013.

January 2014 Calendar

As many of my regular readers know, I post on a “schedule.” I have a topic for every day of the week, and I use that as the jumping off point for my day’s post. As my new full-time position has changed my schedule, I’ve struggled to come up with posts, so I’ve been thinking about what “schedule” I want to set for myself in 2014.

Here’s what I’m thinking about doing…

A post about “what I’m wearing.” The idea is that I will come up with some great ideas for “the woman over 50” to wear, but it may end up being my version of “What Not To Wear.” Either way, it could be fun (or funny).

A post about my pets. This is essential. I’ve been doing this since 2011 when I started my blog.

A post about creativity. I’ve been doing this since 2011 too. It will be interesting to see how I keep creativity alive in my new career-focused life.

A post about “what’s cooking.” I want to improve my relationship with food. That’s how I came up with this idea.

A post about anything I want to talk about. This is another post topic that’s been part of my blog since 2011.

A post about simplifying. This has been a desire of mine for many years. Seems like 2014 would be a good year to put some effort into this.

A post about photography. Although photography isn’t a passion of mine, I’ve come to enjoy it. I’d like to get better, so that’s what this post would help me do (hopefully…maybe).

What do you think? Any other good ideas?

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 30 Comments

December 8

What To Do?

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Craftsy Logo

I’ve been thinking about some simple creative things to do. I think I’m going to sign up for this Craftsy class.

Crochet Lab

Has anyone ever taken a class from Craftsy? It looks like fun, and I could use a “refresher” for my minimal crochet skills.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 17 Comments

December 1

I’m Back

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I took a break in November, supposedly to participate in NaNoWriMo, but mainly to take a break. So how did I do? I wrote a grand total of 19,200 words. That’s a pretty poor showing, but I was pleased with it because I wrote almost every day.

I'm Back

I wanted to take a break because I felt so uninspired. I can’t say I’m coming back with that changed, but I plan to finish the year by following my current blog schedule, and I’m busy planning for 2014. Not sure where this path is taking me, but nothing to do but follow it.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 16 Comments

October 27

Fabric Owl Failure

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I know that during my crafting career I’ve had to have had many first-time successes. This wasn’t one of them. I started out wanting to make these cute owls.

Felt Owls 1

The first one I cut out (using the template in the magazine) was too small for me to enjoy working with, so I made the pattern just a smidgen bigger. I cut out my wool felt pieces.

Fabric Owls Failure 1

I made these cute feet.

Fabric Owls Failure 2

Then, I made the owl. The failure…she won’t stand up. The wire is too thin. Drats! I’ll see if I can get some stiffer wire, and I probably won’t stuff the next one. Live and learn.

Fabric Owls Failure 3

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 18 Comments

October 20

Fabric Owls

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Every Sunday, I write a post under the category “Creating the Creator.” It’s a way for me to keep creativity a priority in my life. Often, I post about a book I’m reading. Last week, I finished the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne. I was thinking about what to do next and nothing sounded good to me. I think I need a little craft therapy.

Felt Owls 1

While looking through a past issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, I spotted these adorable owls by Dawn Rogal.

Felt Owls 2

Let’s make some owls!

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 10 Comments

October 13

Creative Thursday – Week 5

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For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne. I finished the book this week.

Creative Thursday is a book about learning to make creativity a daily habit.

Creative Thursday

Chapter 9, Tracking Progress, talks about feelings of being overwhelmed when you start a regular routine of creativity. One of my favorite things about this chapter is Marisa’s encouragement that like the story of the hare and the tortoise, “slow and steady wins the race.” I certainly have seen the truth of this in my life. Sometimes, I truly feel I’m accomplishing nothing or I’m doing things too slowly, but as I’ve seen, those small actions add up.

Chapter 10, Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone, encourages us to remember that trying different things can add immeasurably to our creative wellspring and keep us growing.

Creative Thursday was a nice book, especially if you’re just starting a creativity practice.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 14 Comments

October 6

Creative Thursday – Week 4

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For the next few weeks, I’m reading the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.

Creative Thursday is a book about learning to make creativity a daily habit. Over the last few years, I have made creativity a priority, but just like any habit or practice, it requires consistent attention.

Creative Thursday

Chapter 7, Finding Your Voice, is particularly relevant to me this year. This is the year I chose to focus on my painting…in particular, painting girls. This chapter discusses how to find your voice. It was not difficult for me to find my voice, the difficult choice was to focus my voice. I don’t think narrowing your focus is necessary for a creative life, but I do think it is helpful for an artist who wants to create a recognizable style or body of work.

Chapter 8, In Search of Encouragement, is one of my favorite chapters and deals with sharing your work and being encouraged. I love what Marisa says, “If I were to strip this book down to the bare bones, that would be the message. This is about creating for you. Whether professional or hobbyist, never lose sight of the fact that this practice is always about creating for you. Tune out other’s ideas of what life is supposed to be and tune into your own voice.” This is often easier said than done, and Marisa talks about how to start sharing your work and arranging supportive environments. Sharing my work at this stage of life is much easier than it probably would have been when I was younger because I’m much gentler with myself, and I don’t put as much stock in other’s opinions. This is not to say that it doesn’t make me feel scared and vulnerable to share my work, but I’m better able to walk my way through it. Marisa also suggests using tokens or totems…symbols to remind and help yourself along. My favorite totem is a picture of myself as a little girl, that I have hanging in my studio. It’s helpful to my creativity because when I look at it, I remember that as a small child I didn’t compare myself to others. I was curious, happy and loved to creative. Remembering that child-spirit helps me to be myself.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 11 Comments

September 29

Creative Thursday – Week 3

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For the next few weeks, I’m reading the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.

Creative Thursday is a book about learning to make creativity a daily habit. Over the last few years, I have made creativity a priority, but just like any habit or practice, it requires consistent attention.

Creative Thursday

Chapter 4, Commitment, talks about committing to the practice of creativity and establishing it as a habit in your life. Marisa gives several ideas to help you towards that goal and towards setting accountability. The first suggestion was to write a blog. This made me chuckle because writing a blog is my number one accountability partner.

Chapter 5, Setting a Time Limit, was of particular interest to me because I’ve recently been hard on myself for not feeling motivated. Since I’m starting a new job, I’m expending a lot of energy focusing on learning my new position. I want to be gentle with myself, but I do realize that I can’t use that as an excuse. Even with what I perceive as less time to paint, I still have time. I’m working on this.

Chapter 6, Redefining the Role of Perfection, is a chapter that will strike home with many of us. At times, I’ve felt perfectionism is one of the biggest negatives in my life. Over the years, I’ve let go of a lot of my perfectionistic tendencies, but they are always lurking. This chapters strives to put the role of perfection into proper perspective. Marisa defines perfection as “a desire to create with excellence.” I like this definition. It lines up with her encouragement to “increase the self-love, decrease the self-judgment.”

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 15 Comments

September 22

Creative Thursday – Week 2

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For the next few weeks, I’m reading the book Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.

Creative Thursday is a book about learning to make creativity a daily habit. Over the last few years, I have made creativity a priority, but just like any habit or practice, it requires consistent attention.

Creative Thursday

Chapter 2, Moving Through (and Accepting) Resistance, is very appropriate for the period I find myself in…a transitional time. I’m moving from part-time work to full-time work. That creates a tension because a new schedule and new practices have to be adopted. Marisa talks about the many forms of resistance from time constraints to fear. One of the suggestions is to “be willing to not make a very good start.” This is an idea I was introduced to earlier and has been a powerful tool in my creativity practice. I find it freeing to realize that much of what I start will not be good and that it is not only okay, but essential. Instead of thinking about it as “not doing good work,” I like to think of it as “playing” or “trying something new.” Giving myself permission to do this has been very helpful to me because it helps me rid myself of both fear and perfectionism.

Chapter 3, Finding Inspiration, offers suggestions on how to find inspiration. I must say, when it comes to painting, this is not a problem for me. I feel like I can’t live long enough to go through all my ideas. I do find that writing my blog is another story. One thing I find helpful is to plan out my posts a little in advance. Then, if I can’t think of something to write, I have a few days to look for an idea. If that fails, I make myself write something regardless. I do this because I set the intention to post daily in order to keep my momentum moving forward. I don’t take myself too seriously. If it’s a lousy post, oh well. For me, moving forward is more important than making sure everything is “just right.” This is an attitude I’ve adopted only in recent years, and it’s been huge for me.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 6 Comments

September 18

Artist Reception

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I was invited to display some of my paintings at my local library, the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library.

Spencer Gallery Sign

I also had the opportunity to have a reception.

Heart Of A Girl Postcard

The large paintings on the walls are part of my exhibit that runs August 30 through September 26, 2013.

Artist Reception 1

For the reception, I brought some of my smaller paintings and put them up throughout the room.

Artist Reception 2

I’m very grateful to all my friends who came and gave me compliments and encouragement.

Artist Reception 3

This is my #1 helper. He is not familiar with taking pictures for a blog post.

Artist Reception 4

He did get this fun shot. Apparently, Amy and I stand in mirror image of each other.

Artist Reception 5

I added three new paintings to the wall display.

Artist Reception 6

I was super nervous, but all in all it was a great experience.

Artist Reception 7

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity), Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 22 Comments