Saturday, April 24, 2010

Who Does This Sort Of Thing?!

As a kid, I was a punk.  A real snot nose bratty little punk kid.  Full of anger, attitude and pranks.  I loved mean pranks.  The house that was T.P'ed on a cold Autumn night that turned into a dewy Fall morning.  The soapy window.  The burning bag of dog poop on the door step. The prank call to that busy person asking if they had Prince Albert in a can or if their refrigerator was running?  Those sorts of pranks.  Mean and hateful.  No one ever got hurt, but it wasted time and certainly didn't add to their well-being or make the world a better place to be.  Now, I'm not telling you all about this because I am the least bit proud of this fact about me in my youth. In fact, looking back, it was a total waste of energy and time, and talk about earning negative karma points.  I am telling you, because I now feel like those pranks came out of a driving need to for high drama and creative expression.  I am happy to say over the years I've learned and developed more healthier and constructive ways of getting those driving needs met.  I feel that needs that drive us get met anyway possible.  It's only by acknowledging we have those needs and discovering positive forms for their expression, do we grow and evolve as a person, and contribute to the world.  The other part of the prank, for me, was doing something that no one ever knew who did the prank.  As the person was hanging up the phone (prank phone calls are now really in the past, thanks to Caller ID), or cleaning up the mess, this person would say out of frustration. "Who does this sort of thing?!"  I know. I know. 
It's twisted and I didn't say it was a healthy form of expression, now did I?
Which brings me to this week's project.  Last week, I was invited to join Angels For Hope.  This organization sends out Angels, Butterflies and Smiley Faces that are hand crochet to people who are in need of a bit of cheer in their lives.  It is done a bit anonymously.  The friend of the person who needs cheer, sends in a request, and the person making the Angel, Butterfly or Smiley Face, crotchets it up and mails it out, enclosing a card with a note of cheer and to let the person know that they are loved.  We don't sign it, but the person knows it comes from Angels For Hope.   It's not a prank, but a wonderful way to help people know they are loved and cared about in a time of need.  I really like the idea of this project.  As it is so positive, so made out of love and so unexpected.  It's is my hope that the person receiving my hand made Angel, will not only know they are cared about and loved, but might ask themselves in a sweet way. "Who does this sort of thing?" 

And this is another positive and constructive way for me to get my high drama and creativity needs met.  Making the angels is deceptively hard.  I've been crocheting off and on for over 30 years.  I made this angel over four times to get it looking right and to understand the patterns.  Fair pay back, as I don't think it would ever be as hard as picking up toilet paper stuck to a wet lawn on a weekend morning. And the organization asks that you commit to making one a week for a year. (Which will be easier now that I understand the pattern.) I won't have a bit of scrap yard left in the house!  Upon completing this item and sending it off, it felt better than I've felt with a creative project for sometime.  I don't ever remember feeling this good pulling a prank.

Angels For Hope is a group of 425 (now 426) crocheters  who make and send out at least 3,000 to 4,000 items a month. Their goal for this year is 83,000 angels to people.  Yes! You read that one right.  That's a lot of hope for people in times of need.  It's really the essence of creating to feel great.
In closing this week I'd like to ask, is there some need you are meeting in less than constructive ways?  If so what is it and how can you start meeting it constructively?
So, until next week ya'all...get out there and create to feel great!
28 projects complete!  24 to go!
If you are interested in Angels for Hope, you can find out more about them

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bookin' It

I had a fun opportunity presented to me for this week's project.  My friend, Kim Morris, who is the owner and designer for Sweet Moss Designs, created these cute and fun crotcheted BookWorms.  She has a wonderful Etsy shop and wants to start selling the pattern for making Book Worms, for us crafty folks. (For those of you who want a Book Worm, but haven't yet learned to crotchet, she sells them ready made).
The opportunity for me came in the way of doing a test run of Kim's pattern and giving her feedback.
This was the perfect project for this week.  The pattern is easy, Kim's writing is flawless, and making the Book Worms in addicting.  One is not enough.  And when Gus, my boy cat, got a hold of one, I had to make another.  I encourage you all to make one or two of these sweet little guys.  Kim makes them with a mix of cotton yarns.  I made mine from an orange wool.  It's a great way to use up those little bits of yarn.
For Gus's worm I stitched the eyes on, as I was afraid he'd chew the plastic eyes off and swallow them.  Trust me, he would do something like that.  The stitched on eyes aren't as cute, I really like the google eyes, but it's a safety measure for my wild boy cat. I also stuffed the head with catnip for an extra boost.
I thank Kim for this project this week.  It was just want I needed.  It was a wild week for me, I was doing dress rehearsals for a show I designed the costumes and did all the construction.  My lesson this week was all about really listening to my intuition.  With one character for the show, I didn't listen to that small whisper that said. "This isn't the right costume.  This isn't going to work.  You are wasting your time and killing yourself on something that isn't right and isn't going to work."  That little's voice message got louder and louder this week until it was screaming in my stressed out, over worked, under slept, ear.  If that voice could have grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me until my teeth rattled, it would have.  I don't know if I would have listened any sooner.  When I finally listened and understood the message it was sending me, it was like the skies parted and the sun broke through.  The solution was sitting right in front of me.
It makes me wonder why I agrued with my intuition?  I kept on proceeding to prove I was right and my intuition was dead wrong and crazy.  Most times, I listen to that whisper, and before to has to yell at me.  I wonder why this time I didn't, until I was worn down. The best I can figure is I was letting my need to right about everything get in the way. I guess listening here came better late than never, and lesson learned, which is for me this round...Listen to intuition, and when hearing it speak, stop!  Really listen.  Quiet the mind and listen to what it is saying and trying to tell me.  My intuition is there is assist me, not get in my way.  My drive to that's getting in my way and shutting me down and wearing me out.  It's funny, cause I also know the value of the lessons animals have to teach us.  There is not an animal on this planet that doesn't listen to their intuition or worse argue with it. In my case, it's really about getting in my own way.
The trick to this is, listening. Even when my intuition is speaking to me in the middle of chaos and chatter.
I'm open to suggestions.  I'll be listening.
Right now I'm going to read a good book, as I now have a cool new book mark.  And Gus has a cool new toy to play with.
Until next week...create to feel great.
27 projects complete 25 to go!
To order Kim's BookWorm pattern or a BookWorm- check out her shop at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Half Time Game Report

Wow!  As of this week and this post I have completed 26 weeks and 26 projects of the year long challenge as part of The Campaign for Creativity To Banish Negativity.  It's Half Time!   I want to take this post to pause a minute, celebrate and reflect on this Campaign's impact.
When I started this challenge in October, I knew that there would be little bumps in the road as I moved along.  I had no idea some of the personal life issue that would present themselves.  These challenges, challenged not only my everyday life, but they challenged my commitment to my creative process, my outlook on life, as well as my time and how I am living my life and what I want out of life.  Big stuff.  What the Campaign and my Challenge to complete one project a week and blog about it for a year, has done for me is astonishing.   I feel my understanding of my creative process and the creative process in general has deepened.  I've expanded my community of friends, support and mentors. I'm learning tons of new things about how to create, about myself and about just how expansive the creative community is out there.  Oh, and through it all, my attitude and outlook on life has been, for the most part, positive and upbeat.
I'm more confident and relaxed in who I am as a person, an artist and a contributor to the world.
And I've just hit half way mark!
I know I'm not doing this alone.  I have a large group of supports/readers/followers with me.  Lately, there isn't a week that doesn't go by where someone out of the blue comments to me that they have been following my progress.  Sometimes it's folks I know, sometimes it's total strangers.  I want to thank you all.  I'm doing this challenge for me, and yet, I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't say that, I know you are out there, cheering me on, and there is a part of me that hopes you find some value in what I put out here.

To celebrate this milestone, I started taking a class in flower arranging.  I always feel like everything I learn helps me in other areas that I work and create in.  It was only the first class, but it promises to be a great eight week ride.  It's relaxing and smells so good.  So, I've titled my first flower arrangement "The Campaign Mid-way point Celebration Bouquet."
Thank you all for joining me on this Challenge and the Campaign.  Here's to the second act!  Bring on the next 26 weeks.
Until next week...Create to Feel Great
26 projects completed 26 to go!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

When time is not on my side

I love this campaign and yet it does take my time and attention.  That's what a challenge does.  That's what commitment to something does. Takes time and attention.  Do we ever have enough of time to give the things in our life attention?  I think yes and no.  I have certainly wasted my fair share of time, and I have certainly felt pressed for time.   This week I felt both.  I wasted time on not trusting my design abilities and running around looking for the items I needed for my costume design work.  These items were right under my nose all the time.  This wasted time left me feeling pressed for time. I was so involved in completing my work for the show I'm designing, that by Thursday, I had forgotten to complete my project for this week.  It was suggested to me that I could pass on a week.  That was an option.  Passing on a week of this campaign, is unthinkable to me.  When I started this challenge, it was a project a week.  If I stop now, and pick it up later, it wouldn't be the same.  All that time and attention given to this Campaign for the last 25 weeks (!) would be for nothing.  At least for me it would be like for nothing. Working on this Campaign has given me so much and has added to my life in ways I couldn't even imagine.  So...not having a project for this week wasn't an option.  I took a break from finishing up my costumes to make a necklace for myself.  Maybe I'll wear this to opening night.  
The biggest thing I'm taking away from this week is that I can focus.  Yet, when I drop my focus on something I've committed to, I risk not coming back to it, in a sense losing the commitment to something I thought or said was important to me.  Hum?....if I can do this with my creativity and this Campaign, what other areas of my life can I commit to, and give my time and attention to that will enhance my life as much as this Campaign has for the last 25 weeks?  I'll work on this and get back to you with some answers.
Until next week...create to feel great!
25 projects complete!  27 to go!