Tag Archives: creativity

This Journey’s Final “Someday”

I don’t remember when I rode my first carousel, but I know I love the feeling of freedom that rushes over me as the carousel goes round and round and my horse goes up and down.  I feel exuberant, free, and innocent whenever I’m on a carousel horse.  Years ago, after finding out I was receiving a significant promotion at work, a department manager invited me to use her office to call my parents so I could share the news with them.  I still remember that phone call, standing next to the carousel horse she displayed in her office.  This past spring, I took my oldest grandson on his first carousel ride.  I will strive for the rest of my days to attain the level of joy that burst forth from him as the carousel began to turn.

img_4024I’ve always wanted a carousel horse, but the real ones, even the reproductions, are too expensive.  A few years ago, I came across this carousel horse (zebra) in a thrift store.  It’s actually a child’s rocking horse that has been refashioned into a carousel horse.  I like the idea that it was, perhaps, used by a family’s children and then, once they were grown, crafted into a carousel horse for display and memories.  I’m also a little saddened as I wonder why, then, would someone donate it to a thrift store.  I bought it with the idea of refreshing its look “Someday” and giving it a new home.

I’d like to have the kind of house someday where a carousel horse wouldn’t be out of place in the living room.

–Jay McInerney

I have the kind of house where a carousel horse wouldn’t be out of place in the living room, but I’ve reserved a spot in my bedroom for my carousel horse.  There’s a large ledge across one side of the room that can only be seen from the other side of the room – where my bed is.  My carousel horse will sit up there where I can see it each night before I fall asleep and first thing in the morning when I awaken.

As I thought about what “Someday” I would tackle for this final month, I realized I wanted to do something that would bring me joy.  Refinishing the carousel horse feels joyful in two ways:  the act of refinishing it will be creative and I like being creative and the finished horse, sitting where I can see it every day will remind of the joy and freedom I feel while riding a carousel.


Stick Figures & the Creative Process

As I work toward stepping up my card-making a notch, I’ve thought a lot about what creative process happens as I come up with a card idea.  I have to admit, first, that I had a hard time typing in the word “creative” in that last sentence.  I had always thought of creative people as those who “make art” – painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.  I cannot replicate an image, in any medium – I can barely draw stick figures.  Several years ago, sitting with my family, I said something about not seeing myself as a creative person.  My oldest son, who I consider to be a creative person, piped up and said, “You’re creative, Mom.  Creativity isn’t just painting or drawing.”  Since then, I’ve struggled to remind myself I am creative.  My writing is creative, my cards are creative, and I know I have other creative outlets just waiting to be discovered.

IMG_2286So, what’s the process of creating a meaningful card?  Just as with my writing, sometimes the ideas just come to me as I’m walking.  I see something or think of something and suddenly and idea has sparked in my brain.  A couple days ago, as I walked in the morning, I passed over an area where somebody had used chalk to write a word on the path.  The word was “ROAR”.  I looked at it and suddenly an idea for a card popped into my mind.  I’ve been playing with options for completing the idea ever since.

A week ago I sat down to make a card for a special occasion and wondered where to go with the card.  I paged through my paper scraps and came upon a piece of paper with a calendar image in one corner.  I found a quote to go with the image, pulled out some coordinating paper and, quite literally, the pieces came together.IMG_2276

So is this creativity?  Just being open to ideas that form from all the stimuli around me? Maybe, for me, the key to continuing to be creative is to continue to be “out there” embracing my world and keeping my mind open for those little stimuli that can turn in to words, or cards, or maybe even stick figure drawings!

The Flip Side

Marie's Card

After lamenting last week about the card I’d found in the garbage can, I’ve received an outpouring of support and encouragement.  Last night I received one of the nicest forms of support yet.  I went to a friend’s house for an event and, sometime during the evening, she said to me, “By the way, I love your cards!  I even keep one you made me on the buffet,” and she motioned to the adjoining dining room.  Sure enough, there amidst her other décor and trinkets was a card I’d made her.  Heartwarming!

Is Handmade Obsolete?

Email.  Snapchat.  Skype.  Instagram.  Twitter.  Vine.  Facebook.  Text messages.  FaceTime.  Google Hangout.

Three cards I made earlier this week.

In a world with instant communication, where using the telephone to make an actual call is a bit outdated, is there a place for a piece of paper conveying a sentimental feeling or thought?  Is the message in a greeting card actually read?  Is the care and effort put into a handmade card acknowledged and appreciated?

As I began working on my August Someday of advancing my card-making abilities and exploring avenues for possibly marketing my handmade cards, I had these questions slammed into my head when I emptied a garbage can and saw a card I’d made for someone had been tossed in the can.  My feelings were a bit hurt, of course, but seeing my little piece of creativity thrown into the refuse, also makes me wonder where we are headed.  Is our world moving so fast that we’re losing the ability to cherish a small gesture?  Is handmade obsolete?  I don’t know the answers, but being an optimistic person, I’m going to forge ahead with my August Someday and do my part to revitalize what I believe to be a lovely form of communication.

My Heart’s Desire

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.

–Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz


I didn’t even have to go as far as my backyard, I simply walked down the hall to my office/studio and saw my heart’s desire in my workspace and supply closet.

My workspace (the cat likes to help)
My supply closet

I’ve always had a thing for paper.  I love a pretty piece of paper.  I’ve also always had a thing for cards and letters.  Email is great at getting information conveyed quickly, but it’s transient.  I love a written letter or a handmade card.  I love the feel in my hands as I read the words.  I love that I can put a letter or card away and reread it later – maybe in a month, maybe in ten years.  It will still be there.

Having been a letter writer and card sender since I was a child, I realized several years ago that I love to make cards.  I’ve gone through several different styles, making cards for my own use in a totally casual manner.  I love the cards I make, but I know there are processes I’m not aware of and ways to improve the quality of my cards.  Two years ago, for my birthday, I bought myself a machine for cutting shapes for my cards.  I’ve only recently unboxed it and I haven’t yet figured out how to use it.  I also wonder if there’s a market for my cards.  Perhaps others would like to purchase a personalized, handmade card.

Given my love of making cards and knowing there’s more to learn about the process as well as potentially marketing the cards, I’m dedicating my August Someday to improving my card-making skills and to researching possible markets for them.

My heart feels happy with this choice.

Hello Inspiration!

You’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So, get on your way.
                                    --Dr. Seuss
Starting today I’m choosing to climb a mountain (or twelve)
rather than skate along on flat land.

A couple weeks ago, as I was driving from Toad Hall (our primary residence) to the Boathouse (our “other” home), I was hit by a streak of inspiration.  Recently I had gotten back to healthier eating habits and had dropped 15 pounds.  I felt like I finally had this “food” thing figured out.  As I drove with the music turned up loud, I drummed along on the steering wheel, wondering what to do with the extra time and energy I had previously given to food and eating.  As I drummed, the thought ran through my mind that I really do want to learn to play the drums.  That’s when inspiration hit me!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about lifestyle, dreams, goals, etc.  I started with Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book, Goddesses Never Age.  That lead me to other “joy” and “goddess” books and articles and, somewhere along the line, I stumbled on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, which deals with the creative process.  In this book, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about “magic” or creativity occasionally knocking on our doors and suggests a person has to be ready to answer that knock.

As I drove along thinking about learning to play the drums and feeling full of joy (music, beautiful scenery, road trip…), I realized creativity was indeed knocking on my door and I let out a gasp as I realized I was ready to answer.  Thus, the hit of inspiration:  I would make a yearlong plan to learn and do twelve things I have always wanted to do – and I would write about the process.

This is not a “bucket list”.  I think of bucket lists as being those big events and activities one wants to do before they die.  Instead, the things on my list are more immediate.  They are the things I’ve always thought I might enjoy, might want to pursue someday – if only I had the time.

As I started to plan what ideas I might want to include, my energy and enthusiasm skyrocketed.  I felt I was running headlong toward something wonderful, life-changing, and terribly scary (in a good way).  As I neared the Boathouse, Vonda Shepard’s song Searchin’ My Soul began to play:

There’s a side of my life where I’ve been blind and so… 
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight 
I know there’s so much more to life 
Now I know I can shine a light 
Everything gonna be alright 
I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight

Tomorrow:  Month 1 – Write a Book