creativity

Blank Canvas

Today is a blank canvas. What will you create?

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An Introduction

Ladies & Gentlemen I would like to introduce to you the designer behind The Luna Tree logo’s and graphics you see here and on my Etsy shop. Allie Bandy. I met Allie through the Indie Business class that I was participating in on line. She was also a student, who turns out is a great graphic designer as well. Without ever having met in person, she managed to capture the whimsical idea I was looking to convey in the logo and buttons for The Luna Tree. I sent her a couple of pictures  as jumping off points and she ran with it from there. We collaborated through email over the course of a few weeks and in the end came up with what I think is a fantastic design.

She is just getting started with her business, so please if you are in need of a graphic designer, definitely check her out.

You can visit her blog at http://alexandraraedesign.blogspot.com/ or view her portfolio site http://www.alexandrabandy.com/. If you would like to contact her, email Allie Bandy at “abandgeek88@gmail.com” or follow her on twitter @abandy.

Thank you again Allie. You did an outstanding job.

 

 

Small Spaces

I’m learning to work in small spaces.

If you know me in real life, you know that I’m tall. 5 feet 12 inches as a friend used to tell me. 🙂 So I don’t do well when it comes to working in small spaces or having to handle small things (like tying itty bitty bows). I’m not claustrophobic, I just need room to stretch out and be able to put my long legs somewhere. So having moved from a house with 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, and a 2 car garage to a 3 bedroom, 1 car garage apartment has been, let’s say a challenge. So when it comes to working on my projects, if it takes up more room than my lap, I don’t have the room to spread out like I used to.

So I’ve learned to adjust and work in small spaces now. A chair in the corner of the living room has become my writers corner. The right end of the couch has become my knitting nook, and a 1/3 of what would normally be a bedroom has become my craft area. This room also serves as Dean’s office and Amy’s art room. So you can see we all are working in small spaces.

But what I’ve found is that it’s not the physical space that limits my creativity. It’s that space in between my ears that I allow to place limits on what I think I can accomplish. And while that may be a small physical space, it is vastly larger than I usually give myself credit.

How about you? Where do you find you work the best? Wide open spaces or do you have a small nook somewhere that you find your creativity can run rampant?

* One of the few times I’ve actually had enough leg room on a flight. First class from ATL to LAX.

Creative Kickstarters

We’ve all had them, the creative slumps, blocks, emptiness. Whatever you call it, if you call yourself a creative, you know exactly what it is I’m talking about.

I have recently had a bout with the creative block, where absolutely everything I would do just wasn’t turning out as I had it in my minds eye. So I decided to try something different this time. Instead of relying on all the old stand by ideas to get myself out of my rut, I did something new. I went back to something old.

I decided to pick up a project that had been relegated to the back of the closet, probably put there in another one of my creative slumps, and finish it. Not just work on it a little bit, but really finish it. And if you’re anything like me, you know you have a stack of those unfinished projects somewhere too. They may be sitting in your drafts folder, or in a basket near your sewing machine, or on that music stand. Whatever the project is, it’s somewhere not far from where you are now. Okay, maybe you threw one or two out, but I bet if you look around, there are more, there always are.

While I was working on said “old” project, I suddenly realized that the creative juices were indeed flowing again. Not only did I finish the project I picked up, but I had ideas for 4 new blog posts (5 if you include this one), an epiphany on how to embellish another item that I was working on, and finally a name for a character in a story I’ve been trying to write for… well let’s just say for a while now.

The fresh eye that I brought to the old project also brought a new perspective on what was bogging me down before. So even if you have one or twenty one unfinished projects, don’t beat yourself over the head because nothing is done and you feel your creativity has slipped away. Take a step back. Do something you haven’t done in a while and finish just one thing. And make it a doable something. Don’t expect to finish painting your all time masterpiece. Just pick up one of the smaller items, and get it done. You’ll be amazed at what that will do to boost your creativity again, not to mention make room for something else to be worked on too.

So I ask, what do you do to kickstart your creative juices again when they’ve run dry? Share your ideas in the comments.

Push Here

At what point do you actually make your child do something? Even though they say they don’t want to do it. This was the question I had been struggling with for a few weeks. Now I know the answer. At least for this particular situation.

One of the reasons for our move was to have more creative outlets and opportunities for Amy (and us as well). Last night she had the first of one such opportunity. She went to her first acting class. She didn’t know she was going until dinner time. We had intentionally not told her, knowing we would get a negative reaction, which in turn would lead to a sour attitude, and well you parents know how that turns out.

Rewind a few months, I had seen a flyer hanging up at the storage facility we rented for a kids drama school that meets here in Redmond, not to far from where we are living. I mentioned that this might be something fun for her to try since she has such a flair for the dramatic – making up plays and scenes on a whim, and being over the top in her reactions some times too. The idea was met with the typical reaction, “no” and “I don’t want to”. So the subject was dropped.

Fast forward to Christmas break and she’s asking us to give her ideas of things to act out. We would throw out an idea – waiting for the bus while listening to crazy music – as an example. And she would create this entire scene around this one idea. These scenes were pretty funny. Other times it would be something completely random that she would come up with, at any given moment. Imagine living with a female Robin Williams (only not as vulgar – remember she is only 10 after all).

Skip ahead to 2 weeks ago, me with nothing to do but rest after my surgery. I looked up the information again on the acting classes to see when the spring session was starting. Much to my surprise it hadn’t started yet and they still had openings in the class. After discussing it with Dean (out of earshot of prying ears) we decided to go ahead and sign her up. Keep in mind, she still has no idea that we are doing any of this. And of course there is that voice inside my head questioning the decision, are you sure this is a good idea? Will it be a waste of money? Will she resist and be a grump every time she has to go for the next twelve weeks?  There was no way of knowing the answers to these questions, all we could do is just proceed and see what happens.

Now here we are at yesterday. Dean makes plans to take her out to dinner. Just the two of them. She wants to go to KFC (which I don’t particularly like), so it works out well. He picks her up after work and they go to dinner. Still she doesn’t know that she’s going to class after this. While at dinner he tells her that she is going and is met with exactly the reaction we expected. But she goes, accepting the fact, grudgingly, that it is only an hour, one day a week.

Which brings us to the present time. She went in to the class with the  hopes that she wouldn’t like it. Much to her (and our) surprise, she did have fun and seems to be looking forward to going again. Her reaction upon first coming out was lukewarm, but by the time she got home and described it to me, she actually had some enthusiasm in her voice. But what really tipped me off that she had fun was one little statement on twitter that she made “Just got back from my first acting class!!!!!!” I think it was the 6 exclamation points that made me realize we had made a good decision.

So yes, sometimes it just takes a little push (and maybe a clandestine decision) to get the momentum going.

Intentions

I had every intention of writing more these past couple of weeks. But instead I allowed distractions to distance me from what I should have been doing. So here I am with the best of intentions, trying to write something. But I’ve got nothing. Really, life has been pretty quiet around here lately. That’s not a bad thing. But I just don’t have any creative ideas flowing out of me right now. And I’m frustrated by that.

Apparently however I am not alone in this. Just today I have read tweets, blog posts, and updates from others that are all in this same place. Maybe it’s a season, maybe it’s the weather, the full moon, or maybe it’s just … oh I don’t know.

So that’s all I’ve got for Monday. Intentions, but not much else.

Searching For A Balloon Farm

I find it interesting that one of the most searched terms that brings people to this blog is “balloon farm”. I’ve never actually seen a balloon farm, so I can’t really say what one is, but I like the one my daughter created. I’ve reposted it below.

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If I lived on a farm I would ride horses, do cartwheels in the grass, and make a balloon farm.

To make a balloon farm I would make a secret recipe.

1. First I would mix dirt and popcorn together.

2. Next water it and sprinkle salt on the ground.

3. Then you water it and last you wait a day and you have a balloon farm.

And that is what I would do if I lived on a farm.

I don’t know what the exact assignment was that she wrote this story for, but what a great use of imagination. All it takes is dirt, popcorn, salt, and water to grow a balloon farm. 🙂 Sounds like a great place to live.