Look Up, Look Down, Sparkles Giveaway!

March 19th, 2011

Earlier this week, I went on a walk. Oh, glorious Spring! It was so nice to be outside.

One of my favorite things to do on a walk is to take along my iphone and snap pictures. Simply having the camera with me helps me see things in new ways. It reminds me to look up at the sky, to look down at my shadow, and to notice the little moments of beauty that are everywhere.

It also got me thinking about how creativity can be inserted into the smallest bits of time, like a short walk. This is the idea behind Sparkles, Jamie Ridler's creative e-course, which brings you 31 days of quick-to-read, 5 minute exercises from lots of inspiring, creative guides (including myself!) I love the idea behind this project because it's so true, creativity can be brought into your life, even when you feel like you have no time for it. And even when it feels like five minutes couldn't possibly enough, time can impossibly expand once you begin, and you'll be amazed at what you can get out of it.

Here's a sparkly idea to get you started: Go out for a short walk with a camera. Focus on looking up and taking pictures of what catches your eye. Or try focusing on your shadow or the shadow of other objects on different surfaces. You'll be amazed by what you see when you start paying attention to these things. 


Sparkles registration begins March 22nd and I'd love to give away one spot in this course! Even if you don't win the spot, I highly recommend checking it out. It'll be a great, creative adventure!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post, before 12 pm EST on Monday the 21st, telling me your favorite way to bring creativity into your life when you just have a little bit of time. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday. Good luck!

Update: The giveaway is closed, but you can still join in the fun. Sparkles registration is now open!

44 Responses

I would love to win a spot in the Sparkles course! I was thinking about signing up for it even if I don’t win (but don’t let that ruin my chances of winning).

My favorite way of bringing creativity into my life is to take my iPod, my sketchbook and a pen to the park in our town and play on the big swings there. Playing like a child for even a few minutes makes me smile and constantly look up and around me to see all the great things: “Oooo, I want to draw that and that and THAT!”

I’ve never heard of Sparkles, but I’m off to check it out. I have two favorite ways of bringing creativity into my life: hit the studio and make a card and take a random drive with my camera next to me. You are so right about seeing things differently. Even when I don’t have photography as the agenda I see everything in more detail because I’m always looking for a great shot. Thanks for a chance to win.

Love the photo of your shadow!
I love taking shadow pictures. In fact, that’s a fun, quickie way for me to add a little bit of creative joy to my day (with my iphone also).
It’s always in my pocket, so I can just whip it out any ol’ time and have some fun!

I’d love to win some Sparkles, and learn some other quick ways to bring creativity to my days!

My favorite way to get creativity flowing is to grab my camera and go looking for inspiration.

ooooh, this sounds like fun . And who couldn’t use a little sparkle in their lives?!

Jamie is one of my favorite creative inspirations. She always comes up with some wonderful activities that make my mind twinkle with excitement. I would love to join this course. It sounds so wonderfully simple to do – no pressure, just inspiration. xoxo

I’ve learned so much from you and Jamie already … such generous spirites. I always forget about my camera phone and thus, much to my dismay, missed a picture of an early bird crocus poking it’s head out to enjoy the sunshine. Today was just too cold … walked the same path but no crocus to be found. :( Maybe tomorrow … phone camera is on the ready! … waiting anxiously to see if I am a sparkling winner.

Lovely Leah, for me it would have to be my iphone, especially Instagram – I am so addicted! I love how quickly I can produce that moment of creativity no matter how busy my day is and how much inspiration there is to drink in. Thanks for this opportunity, love Milena

Lovely Leah, for me it would have to be my iphone, especially Instagram – I am so addicted! I love how quickly I can produce that moment of creativity no matter how busy my day is and how much inspiration there is to drink in. Thanks for this opportunity, love Milena xxx

Ooops, sorry for the duplicate message, not sure what happened there !

Love the idea of sparkles! When time is short, I find I can at least make one card, and add a dash of glitter! Even picking out one unique pair of earrings or necklace to wear will add my creativity to an otherwise blah/bleh uniform I am required to wear to work.

I love the idea of Sparkles. I’ve been trying to “find more time” in my days for self-discovery and creativity. I have so far to go! But if I have a chance, I like to snap a few photos or even to a bit of doodling with markers or oil pastels.

I’ve been eyeing the Sparkles course for a while, I’d love to win a place! When I need a blast of inspiration I go to my inspiration folder where I keep lots of images by my favourite artists, and just dive into them until the ideas start bubbling up. :)

I carry a notebook with me everywhere. I try to pick out beautiful ones; I just filled up a gorgeous Little Prince themed journal. Right now I carry an iconic and tactile moleskine, decorated simply with a bumper sticker from my church across the front (”love wins.”). Even if I don’t have the motivation to work on any of the books started on my computer, or even a simple blog post, every day I spend a few minutes writing in this journal. Usually ideas for more writing or projects – art, children’s book beginnings, a thought to jot on a card and send a friend – come out in these few minutes.

And even on my least creative days, I have plenty of paper handy for doodling at-work, mid-meeting, or in the midst of coma-inducing calls.

I hadn’t heard of this course, but now I need it! Currently, my creative quicky is taking photos with my iPhone as well–now I need to figure out something to do with ALL! THOSE! PHOTOS!

My favorite quick way to bring creativity into my life is to look at a magazine. Any kind of artsy/crafty/gardening or even home dec magazine will do, photos are mandatory! It doesn’t even matter if the mag is old and I’ve already read it five times. Just a quick look always get my creative juices flowing in minutes.
I would love to win the opportunity to participate in the Sparkles course! It sounds fabulous.

What I did recently was to clear out my stash (not as much as I should but its better) and put things I’ve forgotten about or haven’t used in to a basket to play with on the days I only have a little bit of time.

When I only have a bit of time, I create a background for a page in my journal or ATC. It not only makes me feel perkier to have gotten to do some creative play but when i have more time later I have a project started, not blank pages.

Too pause, take a breath, look around and notice the little details, the feel of puppy fur, the smell of turned over earth,the sighing of the breeze, taste of early fruit, texture, color, shadow, perfume,touch, all inspire me to create! Thank you for the opportunity to enter!

My best way to get creative is through blogs and magazines, I love them both, they bring lots of inspiration in just a little bit of time :)

I use “small stones” ~ paying attention to my reaction in a moment, and writing it down, sometimes in poetry form. My small stones are at http://mlissabeth.wordpress.com

Oh I’ve just found your site through Jamie’s, and I’ve had my eyes on Sparkles for a while.
I’ve just done a Full Moon Dreamboard and I intend to do one every month, I love it!

My best way to get creative is carrying my journal around with me, and make the most of the times I get back from work on public transportation, or any train traveling for that matter, to journal and write.
Just like almost everyone, I use my iPhone and Instagram too, nice way to just get something done in 5 minutes :)

I am finding that my time is very limited these days and though I would love to find time to create on canvases, I seem to have lost this time for now. What I have discovered in the place of mixed media is poetry, just opening my journal, breathing deeply, and allowing words to flow in poetry form. This is new to me, but it has been so satisfying and takes such a small amount of creative time. Thank you for offering Sparkles.

When I’m pressed for time, I indulge in a 15-minute creativity fix. Opening the folder where I stash my “prompts,” I pull out one that speaks to me. It can be a photo, quote, image from a magazine, a business card, postcard, poem or other bauble that has struck my fancy. Then I grab my “vision book,” paste it in, and write for 10 minutes about whatever it triggers.

Just the word “sparkles” makes me tingle all over…I’ll sign up even if I don’t win, so thanks for sharing. But winning something…well, wouldn’t THAT be fun?

When I have just a bit of time I will do backgrounds in my art journal. Just slapping around some paint on the page makes me happy. It doesn’t take long and somedays I feel like I have created something magical.

i call these Bright Moments, these small insights into wonder!
Sparkles = Bright Moments!

I’m enrolled in a rigorous school program, and spend a lot of time with horses as well. I’m barely home long enough to get my full time to sleep! Still, I love to find a way to fill up my Moleskine…although it can be difficult. One of the ways I get creative is inspiration from the ‘Daisy Yellow’ blog, and yours. I love little things that get me going, even with the limited time and supplies I have. Heck, I take my journal with me to school, and sketch in the bathroom(even though I should be in class…). An entry to ‘Sparkles’ seems to be just the thing for me!

What a fantastic giveaway! I’d love to take part in that course! You and Jamie are my go-to on-line mentors for so much creative inspiration!
Love your shadow!
When I only have a little time, I take photos, or create a zentangle.

My favorite way to be creative when I have little time is to doodle with a black pen using the zentangle model. I love the loose way of creating something that looks so complicated and precise. I hope I win – I love your site and your thought process. Kathy P

They are both lovely pics that you have taken. Great to have a camera all the time, I never leave home without one :)

My favorite way to bring creativity into my life when time is short: draw, make or do something spontaneously.

I try to mix 5- or 10-minute creative gestures into my everyday living, to amuse myself & others. Like writing something ridiculous on my grocery list (milk, cheese, lion cub)… or drawing a little cartoon to leave for my spouse by the coffeemaker, or under the wiperblade of a friend’s car for later discovery… or decorating the envelope of a bill payment, not knowing who will see it.

A brief artistic act can get me thru a day when I am overworked, tired, down or uninspired… and carry me until I have a good block of time to really apply myself :-)

If I don’t have my camera with me, I have a little notebook, where I doodle or sketch something that draws my eye. Thanks for the all the inspiration you give all of us!

Love the idea of Sparkles! I find creativity through my writing, and keep my notebook with me at all times, so that even when I’m doing 100 other things, I can jot down bursts of creativity as they come to me through the day. Those little bursts end up being longer pieces later on.

I love the idea of trying to “sparkle” and be creative even for just 5 minutes. One way, I try to be creative is to go walk the dog with one of my kids and we try to look at what strikes us as we walk along like a bird or a shadow. We then try to draw together after all the junk of the day is done like making dinner, homework, laundry etc. Seeing the world through my kids eyes helps me get a new viewpoint and appreciate the day more even if its just 5 quality minutes together with no distractions.

You’re right about how even 5 minutes can be enough. For me it’s a new way of looking at time and how liberating it is!

Sparkles sounds like a great idea! When I just have a few minutes for creativity, I’ll either grab my sketchbook and start a doodle or zentangle or paint a background in my journal.

You have some stunning photography there :D I particularly like the one of your shadow. It says so much ::hugs::

The e-course sounds fantastic. For me, one of my favourite things to do is to shut out thought and work through my senses, particularly touch. For example, go outside, stand perfectly still and focus on the senses that usually run subconsciously – touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Shut your eyes if you think that will help, or focus your eyes on one spot, a chunk of sky or a tree, and explore the world around you with your other senses. Feel the breeze on your skin, smell the city or the flowers or whatever is brought on the wind, and listen, sort through the sounds that surround you and identify each of them. Let your mind wander in this enviroment and explore it. It is amazing what can be found.

I also like to focus on the small. Look at some of nature’s tiny creations. The structure of a leaf, the fine colours and textures of bark, a blade of grass, bugs, a swirl of paint, anything that can be easily overlooked if you don’t look closely.

These are some of the wonders of my world.

(overly verbose tonight apparently :D )

For a quick creative fix I keep gessoed playing cards in a small box with colored pencils and a travel water color kit. When I need to dash some color about I grab a card and go!

my favorite way to sparkle my creativity is to look at an old (preferably black & white or sepia toned) Photo and see what “story” forms in my mind spontaneously. Then it will “come out” in the form of a story, a poem, a painting or a collage!

I missed 12pm by 15 minutes! OH MY!

I am a winne!, I am a winner! I am a winner!

Let the mantra bring abundance to me today.

I may have missed by 15 minutes–but there is something for me today. I know it.


I love the tree picture most. How did you get that pink tone?
I’m in need of inspiration, but on the quick side: everything I do seems to take years and years to finish.

Thanks for all you do,
Tina in San Diego

always, always my camera is with me and i am like a pig hunting for truffles … rooting out little gems of beauty in my seemingly quiet world …

When I don’t have much time, like now, I bring creativity in by paying attention and being present as I am preparing meals, creating nourishment and comfort for my family–usually with my little 11-year-old son, who loves to cook, by my side.

I know I’m too late for entering the giveaway but just wanted to relate to taking photos being a way of noticing detail. It helps me to focus on the moment. The course sounds fab. As you’ve probably noticed on my blog I’m a fan of doing 10 minute exercises/prompts and also love to make them up for others to do. Especially fun when hosting a group or running a workshop because its always fascinating to see all the variety of results that can come from one exercise.

Hope all is good with you & you’re having a super creative week.
Kat X

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