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Everything listed under: creativity

  • I think I’m in love.

    No doubt that creativity is an important part of all of us. It’s so easy to say, “I’m not creative; I’m not an artist; I’m not very good;” when what I really mean is “I’m afraid other people won’t like what I create, won’t find it appealing, and will pass that negative judgment onto not just my work but my Self.”

    Typing out fears that basic makes them sound silly, doesn’t it? But I think sometimes we all feel that way—a basic human fear of being rejected and kicked out of the tribe if we don’t conform makes creativity a little scary for us once we are past childhood. For perfectionists like me, that can be paralyzing because while I am like a kid in a candy store at art supply shops, I often end up buying supplies and then admiring them sitting on my shelf, to hesitant to use them to create anything in case it is somehow less beautiful than the supplies themselves in unused form.

    This makes Whimseybox perfect for someone like me. Every month since January, a brightly colored box has landed on my doorstep.

    Inside is another neat, Velcro closure, label-able, reusable box.

    It is presented like a little present, complete with satin ribbon and paper crinkles.

    And inside is a project just for me. Already set up with everything I need to spend an hour with goodies like colored bakers’ twine and stamps and Japanese masking tape.

    It’s just the nudge I need to actually get started on a small project.

    And while none of the end results are super,

    it still buys me an hour on one Sunday afternoon a month when my monkey mind stops swinging and focuses on that basic human urge to create. The boxes are designed just right so that the focus is on the experience rather than the small finished product. I know several people who are getting a Whimseybox subscription for their next birthday…


  • Happy Local Find

    I had no idea that Encinitas has an art supply store. I’ve been fitting in rejuvenating mini-trips to Michaels here and there in the past 8 months since moving here, but it wasn’t until I needed a sheet of large paper to use as a background sweep for product photography for the new online store, that someone told me about Rhino Arts . I made a pilgrimage a few Saturdays ago, and I’m in love.

    It smells just right—like an art supply store should, that combination of wood and paint and paper. The people working there were friendly and helpful and patient with me. (“Um, yes, you can help me. I’m looking for a stiff-but-not-too-stiff largish piece of vaguely cream colored stock paper, to match the color of my website I’m showing you here on my mobile phone. Why yes, you can wrap it up for me so that it stays clean on the way out, thank you very  much.”)

    Funny that I’ve run by there so many times and never even looked up to realize that Rhino Arts is on the hill on the northeast corner of Encinitas Boulevard and the 101. A lesson to me from the Universe, no doubt. Don’t keep your eyes down. Look up and find your inspiration.


  • February thoughts

    February: a month for l'amour. No, I'm not talking about that day in the middle of the month when we are expected to eat lots of chocolate and then still squeeze into our lingerie. I'm talking about self-love. No one says it better than Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance.

    "What will you do? Celebrate yourself, find pastimes that make your heart light and your spirit sing. Take in a movie (one of those English period dramas you love), have an early breakfast before work at a new French cafe, cruise the aisles at that incredible Italian market, explore a fabulous thrift shop, browse in used-book stores, visit an art supply store and imagine all the wonderful ways in which you can begin expressing yourself. When you embark on creative excursions, your authentic self will lovingly reveal to you the beautiful mystery that is you. This occurs spontaneously as you make the pursuit of personal growth a sacred endeavor.

    Having encouraged you, now let me warn you. This is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, for me the hardest part of the Simple Abundance path was creative excursions. I was simply not used to having fun by myself. It seemed too frivolous, too self-indulgent. Be prepared for strong, emotional resistance. Excuses will be plentiful: you're too broke, you're too busy, who will watch the kids, maybe next week when you're not so frazzled. Don't give in. Creative excusions require an investment of time, not money. None of us are too busy to find two hours a week. If we are, we seriously need to reconsider our personal priorities. Hire a babysitter, let your spouse watch the kids, carve out time when they are in school, use your lunch hour at work. There are ways to do it, once we realize that nurturing our imaginations and developing a relationship with our authenic selves is an investment we can no longer afford to put off."

    I challenge you to give yourself some love this month. You could start here, here, or here.


  • New Brochure Racks

    I do love getting crafty. I think that creativity is one of the most important ways in which we can rejuvenate ourselves. So many people say, "I'm not creative," when what they really mean is, "I'm afraid that what I create might not be very attractive to others...." But we are all creative by nature, and if we can let go of our expectations of what a creative project should look like, there is wondrous good in a few hours spent cutting and sewing.

    Case in point:

    I've been looking for some brochure racks for the office for a while now. Our beautiful, reclaimed-wood table in the waiting room that holds the magazines is starting to look a little cluttered, and I wanted to get some of that information displayed on the walls instead, but the clear, plastic, straight-edged options for brochure holders at Office Depot did *not* appeal. Then Deborah found these nifty iron racks at a bargain store. We're not sure what they were supposed to hold (spices?), but we decided they were just the ticket to hold brochures and other patient information. But what to put in the bottom to keep the papers from sliding through? Stained wood stuck on with Gorilla glue? Not very classy. Solder in some metal? Um, that was a bit more of a project than I wanted. Then based on another idea for my sister's upcoming wedding, inspiration struck.

    Burlap bottoms it was, whipped in with embroidery floss.

    And, you know, it was such a simple project, but it had such a calming effect on me. Just sitting still, cutting and sewing. People ask me how I can be a doctor and have time to do this sort of thing. And the answer (I know you've already guessed, you wise women.) is that I don't have time *not* to do this sort of thing. Creative time keeps me sane and able to focus on the important things when it's time. And the result of this project?


    Well, I was happy with it.

    So, what works for you? Do you sew? Break out the paintbrushes? Dabble in mixed media or make jewelry or knit?

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