Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wrapping Myself In Intuition

Intuition.  It's a funny thing. Yes, sometimes funny ha ha.  Sometimes funny, odd.  Most creative types are envied by those who think and believe "I'm just not creative," because they seem more in tune with their intuition.  Isn't that where all those creative people great their ideas?  This vast land call Intuition.  Where the visitor can pick any ideas off a tree, know it's right and then go make that idea happen.  It's all good in the land of Intuition.  It's open all the time and it's available when ever those creative types want to visit.   So, here's the thing about intuition.   First, it's not just for creative types...and what is that anyway?  Everyone on this earth is a creative type.  We are all creative.  I think some of us have just said "hell with it, I'm embracing my creativity, I'm going in.  It's a part of my life."  Then there's the camp that sit (perhaps in a bit of fear) and look at the creative types and say "I wish I could be creative."  Good news.  You are, come on in the water's fine.  Once a person taps into their creativity they also tap into their intuition.  A person can also do it the other way around as well.   At some point intuition and creative are going to team up.  I firmly believe these are the greatest gifts from the universe, God, cosmic muffin or what and who ever you recoginze as your higher power.  It's trusting.  Trusting your creativity and what it brings and trusting your intuition and what it brings.
Oh, with all this comes the wicked sense of humor.   I also believe, I'll say God, for ease here, that has a wicked sense of humor to get us to laugh at ourselves when we are getting too heavy.
I really discovered that this week.   Last week, I was drawn to yarn at JoAnn fabrics.  It was on sale and in big quanities.   As I walked by this yarn, I kept thinking about a crotchet blanket.   I haven't crotchet in years.  I have several friends who crotchet, I have off and on over the years.   Why a blanket? Why now?  I purchased enough for new blanket.   I usually don't do large projects, but something was driving me here.
I found a pattern for a blanket that claims it takes 5 1/2 hours to make.  Not bad.   Well, it took longer than that about 15 1/2 hours, but I completed it.  It was soft and warm.  Both Mickeygirl and Gus like to sit on it as I would crotchet and watch it grow.  
Four hours after completing this blanket, I got hit with chills, aches and a high fever.  Flu.  I've been under my new blanket from Tuesday night this week until this morning.  That blanket has been such a comfort to me all week.  Since it's new and soft, it's a kitty magnet.  More comfort.
I had some of the best rest, although ill, under that blanket.
Had I ignored that yarn, and not made that blanket, I would not have had such a wonderful such of comfort this week. Also, I would have been stuck for a project this week! And all the insights and lessons that I've had around the creation of a simple blanket and my life. Now that's funny, ha ha and funny, odd.

Yeah, being ill is the pits, but not listening to my intuition, no matter where it takes me, is missing out on all the creativity, joy, and humor the unverse has to offer and that's one great ride for me.  I keep thinking that if I would have listen to my intuition more, that I wouldn't have gotten sick.  I don't know.  It happened.  I think the lesson on that will be revealed when I'm ready to hear it.
I'm on the mend.  And I'm going back under my blanket.  I can't wait to use this blanket for the occasional nap or snuggling with a kitties after a big day of creating.

Until next week...create to feel great.    16 Projects complete 36 to go!

Mr.Gus is wearing a stylish Cone of Shame, as he has an eye infection that is mending.   Oy!  It's been a long couple of months of clearing out the old junk of life and moving on.   Thank God for my creativity!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Polka Dot com

I'm having so much fun creating stuff and writing for this blog.  Each week I discover something new about myself, about the creative process, about my community, about how much I don't know. 
The folks that offer hosting sites, have spent their time and efforts to make it easy for folks like me to have an outlet.  So, getting started and setting up this blog was fairly easy.  As I make tours around the internet, I noticed other people's blogs.  I quickly developed a case of blog envy.  I wanted a cool looking blog.  At very least a banner with some visuals.  My project this week was to achieve this.  How?  I could easily have asked my husband to just do this for me or any number of people I know.  I didn't want to do this.  I wanted create this for myself.  I soon discovered that there is, once again, a ton of information and "how to dos" out their on the internet.  Lots of free information, lots of free downloads, lots and lots and lots.  My mind started spinning, I suddenly didn't want to do this. Why?  They all make it look so simple.  Follow these steps and bingo!  Here's your new pimped out blog!
I kept telling myself this is just another creative project.  What's the deal here?  I was expressing some of my fears to a friend of mine and an insight came to me.  This is a totally new way of creating for me.  Now I'm not afraid of other new mediums. In fact, I embrace them.  Why is this different?  Well, it's not hands on.  It's mind on.  I can not effect, or at least I don't know how to effect, the creative outcome with my hands.  For me this computer creative process takes a lot of thinking, learning a new language as well as a new medium, and it all comes from my mind. My hands weren't in charge here, they were along for the ride.  I can't take in a seam here or pull a thread there to make this work.   Or could I?  Sure I could.  I just had to learn which "threads" and "seams" I would need to alter in cyberspace to get the creative end product I wanted.
I went back to the internet.  Did some more research and when I got to a place I didn't know what to do...that's when I ask for help from my husband, Broadside.  He showed me what "threads" and "seams" to work with to get my result. In doing this, I also realized that I could get my mind  and hands to work together.
And my creativity, intuition and intelligence as well.  Just like all my other projects!  Yay! Silly me.
I didn't want to total re-vamp the blog.  I just wanted to enhance it a bit.  And I wanted to keep the polka dots.
The thing about Polka Dots for me.
As long as I can remember, polka dots have represented people to me.  I remember as a kid looking at a piece of polka dot fabric and thinking about people coming together.  Standing side by side.  When I wore a garment made out of polka dot fabric, I felt this odd sense of protection.  Like all the people, past and present were standing side by side to protect me and guide me.
So, when I saw the template for the blog background and it had polka dots...that was it for me.  It represented the campaign.  I saw all sorts of people standing side by side expressing their creativity to assist us all to move forward and create something good.  That meant any element I added to this new "pimped up" blog would have to have polka dot something.  My new banner does, and it has a sewing element as well, 'cause that's me most days.
Once I got comfortable with this new creative medium, it was difficult not to go over board.  That's not to say it might happen down the road, but for now, I'll keep my blog looking like it does.  I don't know if it will ever be the source of "blog envy" for anyone, that's not my point.  I do know there are folks that are enjoying what I'm doing and are doing their own creative thing.  And for me that's right on the dot.

Until next week...create to feel great!  15 projects complete 37 to go! Whee!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Looking for Fun in All the Coolest Places

Dear Readers and fellow Campaigners
I have a confession.  This week, I found myself stuck. About 1/4 of the way through my year long challenge and I'm feeling stuck.  It wasn't that my creativity was blocked.  I don't feel it was that,  I just felt stuck.  I couldn't land on a project that felt like fun.  I started feeling like nothing was fun.  What happens around being stuck?  What is being stuck?  I don't even like the sound of the word.  Stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Yuck. Suck.  I just couldn't find what I thought was a juicy fun project.  So, I sat stuck.  Great excuse to not do anything.  I can feel the negative wheels gearing up.  I felt myself being pulled into negative thoughts, images.  Well now I know nothing good, fun or wonderful (even juicey) comes from this state of mind.  Stuck.  Yuck.
Getting stuck happens.  I knowledged that I was stuck.  That doesn't mean I have to let it grow and take me over.  No that wasn't going to happen.
My wonderfully crazy Grandma use to say, "Do something.  Do something even if it's wrong."  My spin on that is Do something.  Do something and look for the fun.  Maybe I felt tapped out of big, real juicy fun projects.  But I'm not out of creative ideas, and fun is what I make it, right?  I also feel that fun isn't something a person can go chasing. It's not about trying. The more a person trys the more fun runs away.  It's really a do or don't do, so not about trying.  It's totally about being.  Being in the moment.  That leads to seeing the vast amount of wonderfully fun moments, images, ideas, situations, and people that are out there.
I work in many creative mediums.  Knitting is one that I love and adore.  It relaxes me, it helped me heal a sore elbow once, it has so many benefits in my life. I don't  think of it as rip roaring fun.  It was time to look at the fun of knitting.  One reason I don't think of it as rip roaring fun, is that for the last eight years, I've knitted plain socks and nothing but plain socks. Over this holiday season, I started kniting neck warmers, cat nip mice and earwarmers.
I went looking for free neckwarm patterns on the internet.  Oh, my!  There are so many.  And more importantly so many creative people.  These neck warmers are small to carry and quick to knit.  And they are so...dare I say... fun to knit!  I even discovered a cool new yarn shop in my neighborhood.  The day of my first visit it was buzzing with people and there was a table of people sitting around knitting, laughing and talking.  Having fun! This environment created a sense of joy and excitement in me. 
Knitting and designing my neck warmer for this week's project, I was hit with insights. Not earth shattering but simple and I want to share.
Here goes...we all get stuck.  Instead of wallowing in the stuck state, perhaps one way of shaking this state of mind is look at something that brings comfort and look at it in a new way.  Approach the familar from a new fresh angle.  It's so not about censoring ourselves.  It's about being in a place of curiosity and discovery.  I feel that's what charges the creative spark.  The medium is the same, tried, tested true, but it how I approach it that makes it fresh.  I also found it inspirational that there are so many people in my community and on the internet who are expressing themselves and sharing with us all.  It's outstanding.
As finding fun is simple.  Simple as a deep breath.
Do Something. Do Something and look for the fun.  I'm going to keep that one.  Oh, and I really did have fun making this neck warmer.   I like the color, the cable stitches (which are fun to knit) and the pirate buttons.

Until next week...Create to feel great.   14 projects complete  38 to go!

Also, donate $25.00 or more to Haiti relief and I will knit you one of these neck warmers or a pair of cyclist helmet earmuffs or a cat nip the color of your choice.   It's really time to get creative to help those folks.   Send me an email at

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Visons of creating a Happy New Year

2010 Here I come!   My focus for the year is to Be Creativily Expressive.  In this moment, what can I create?
No resolutions that start off with the best of intentions and then fizzle by the second week of January.  A focus.  A focus on being creative and the expressions that follow.  Asking myself along the way...In this moment what can I create?   This makes the possibilities endless and limited only by my willingness to play along, stay in the moment and create good things for myself, my family, my friends, the world.   (I'm sort of an expansive thinker.)
I'm also very visual and I love symbols.  I'm also a hat maker.  (Sidebar...I'm teaching HatMaking at PCC starting January 25th.  Fun easy way to make cool and groovy hats)  So, I thought that a Vision Hat which would help me focus on my focus for the year would be great.
There are things I want to create for myself this year...good health, more income, more connection with others, more travel. Less worry. Less weight. Less wasted time.  More time for creating fun and good things.
So, my hat focus is just that.
I like the idea of a vision board, but I love the idea of a vison hat.  It's 3-D, it's wearable, heck it's more fun!

The hat form is easy to make.  Some folding and cutting and a few staples.  I got the insturctions at   from there it's up to you what you put on your hat...I mean it's your vision for what you want to create in your life.   I also added a red satin ribbon that I had around and wrote on it "Create...Create to feel great...In this moment, what can I create?"   Just as an added reminder that my focus is to be creativily expressive this year.   I'm excited by the endless possibilities!
It's that expansive thinking thing again.
So, I encourage you come up with a focus for yourself.  Make a Vision hat or board.  And kick off your happiest year! (Also, please don't be shy about sharing your creations with us!)
Until next week, create to feel great!   
13 projects complete 39 to go!
I also had to make a Ham costume this week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Creative Buzzing

Sometime around the middle of November, my Creative energy kicks in to overdrive.  It's humming everyday, but this mid-November mark, it really starts to roar.  I've known over the years not to fight this and to run with it.  Come January 1st, I'm tried, but it's a great tried.  So, I slow down a bit, reflect and get the creativity reved up again.
For this week's project, I chose a cooking project.  The old Southern traditional New Year's dish, Hoppin' John.  It's said that by eating this dish on new year day one will experience prosperty throughout the year.
Cool.  I had never made this dish before.  I love to cook and yet cooking bean dishes are not among my favorites.  I went looking for recipes for Hoppin' John.  Everyone seems to have one.  Which is awesome, because that meant, I could make my own.   I also chose to cook it in my slow cooker. ('cause I wanted to sit on the futon, knit and relax with the on the mend Mickeygirl kitty).
Here's my 2010 Prosperty Knows No Bounds Hopin' Jack
1 bag black eye peas
1 big red onion chopped
2 big red peppers chopped
5 stalks of celery chopped
1 pound ham hocks
Garlic to taste
Louisana Hot sauce to taste
Salt and Pepper
32oz. Chicken broth

I toss these in my slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 3 hours, switch to low for five hours or just cook on low of 8 hours.   I serve it over rice and with corn bread.  Yum! Yum! Yum!

Okay, does this count as a creative project.  I think it does.  I think cooking is one of the best ways to express yourself and get in touch with your creativity.  Especially, a new recipe.
I certainly didn't lack for creative projects from mid-November to January 1st.  If there is a doubt, take a look at this list.

2 pairs hand knited socks.
3 hand knitted neck warmers
3 hand made journal books
1 pair hand knitted/felted slippers
1 gold lame tree skirt
5 hand knitted cat nip mice
3 sewn men's shirts
2 christmas stockings
2 french press coffee cozies
8 bottles of raspberry cordial
12 bars of soap
2 doz. dog treats
10 doz. chocolate truffles
5 doz. decorated priate cookies
4 doz. chocolate brownie kisses
4doz. chocalate dipped shortbread stars
5 lbs of cashew brittle
2 pine wreaths
1 Christmas stocking tree
Plus the pieces I made in glass studio (doing that again on January 3rd).
30 plus pyramid evening bags
14 hand knitted cyclist ear muffs.

It was a super great Chirstmas season!  I looking forward to the New Year.  My focus is to be creatively expressive.  Working on answering the question...In this moment, how can I be creative?
Happy New Year!!!
Until next week...Create to feel great!   12 projects complete 40 to go!