Entries from: December 2011

Winter Guest Post by Liv Lane

December 17th, 2011, Comments (2)

As soon as he started dragging
the tricycle out of the garage,
all the shouldn'ts and couldn'ts
flew out of my mouth:
 
People don't ride bikes in winter.
It's just too slippery.
You might get hurt.
It's too cold.
It's not going to work.
Put it away.

 
But he asked if he could
please, please just try.
So I watched as he slid
down the steep and icy driveway
on wobbly wheels,
peering back at me
every few seconds,
nearly but never tipping over.
He was so proud to make it down
and wheel his way around the
snowy street.
 
And it was so sweet
to see him on a tricycle
in the middle
of a winter wonderland.
 
Note to Self:
I want him to believe
he can do anything
he puts his mind to,
but maybe more importantly
I need to believe he can do it, too.

::::
 
Liv Lane originally posted this reflection on January 1, 2007 at her Choosing Beauty blog {and her oldest son still excels at doing things his way!}. As a blogger, artist and speaker, Liv uses her creative superpowers to illuminate the good in every day while helping people ignite their passions and purpose. Her popular ecourse, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love, returns January 9th.
 

Winter Guest Post by Tracey Fletcher King

December 16th, 2011, Comments (10)

I was so thrilled to be asked to do a guest post for Creative Every Day... because I have just finished Art Every Day Month and it was a fabulous, amazing, exciting experience, and so coming off being just a touch high from all that I was feeling pretty special and cool... until the reality of the topic set in... wintering????

The elephant in the room is that it is the middle of summer here in Australia and to make it that bit more bizarre, I live in sub tropical Southern Queensland, which means we don’t really have a winter, and summer is not just hot, it is a stinking ball of humidity and violent afternoon storms that give you a few minutes reprieve, before the evening chorus of cicadas start. I don’t even associate winter with Christmas because we have a Christmas day that consists of bowls of iced shrimp and mangoes and smells of suntan lotion and watermelon, and ends with an evening swim and gin and tonics served in tall ice filled glasses spiked with lemon, while we swat mosquitoes that are the size of small planes... having said all that, here goes... wintering...

For me wintering is about being full of energy because there is none of the mind numbing heat, and it is about being productive and is simply the most creative time of the year... the light is just perfect and rich, and it takes on this amazing golden tone that makes everything look crisp, not bleached out by the heat. The other big plus is that there is no humidity which means my paper stays the shape the manufacturer made it, and both paints and paper actually dry without the use of a fan or hair dryer and it means that my studio is cool and quiet and I can work quite quickly, and I spend all day drawing, painting and take the opportunity to indulge in my love of baking.... 

Winter is a time of no huge demands so I have time to be creative in the studio and the kitchen and the house is filled with smells like cinnamon and lemons and all the magic of fresh cookies and brownies, and just smelling things like that sets my mind to productive time in the studio.... and of course I get to play with my favourite piece of machinery in the whole world... my blue kitchen aide mixer... just getting it out of the cupboard and setting it on the bench at the end of summer signals that all the deliciousness of winter is just around the corner...

Tracey Fletcher King 

:::::

I am a painter and teacher who is obsessed with mixed media, contemporary botanicals and all things tea related. I draw inspiration from things around me and like to produce work that can be made into beautiful prints, cards and wearable art. I am wife to Sinus Man, and mother to a 15 year old daughter, who at the moment likes to be called Phantom, and an adorable, thick as a plank, fur baby called Mushu. My work can be purchased by contacting me through my blog while I prepare to enter the online world of Etsy and madeit.com.au early in 2012.

My blog can be found at

http://traceyfletcherking.blogspot.com/

Winter Guest Post by Mandy Steward

December 14th, 2011, Comments (7)

Yesterday a friend of mine shared a picture of his piled books for Winter. I felt a surge of inspiration tickle my fingertips upon viewing his picture. What is it about books and Winter? What is it about gathering some of the great authors to "sit with" through the cold months? I feel as though I am a squirrel, collecting acorns and tucking them into the hole of my oak, because when my artistic soul is ready to hibernate, I want to give it something to chew on. Winter does this to me.

I think back on last winter. I rose early. 5 AM. Sometimes 4:30 AM. The increasing amount of darkness that accompanies the winter was my protective blanket to push into vulnerable areas as an artist. "It's safe here," I felt the moonlight saying to me. You can read the novel Wicked and Madeline L'Engle's Walking on Water and there is time to simply ponder what secret messages they are whispering to you. You are cocooned by the warm walls of the Muse, and there is time. A white expanse of time, like the snow that makes everything look equal and tranquil. A heavy sheet of cushioning to freeze time, allowing you the luxury to sit with ideas.

The teal-colored pot on the stove is simmering and soon it will boil, and I will steep my tea. "Winter is for steeping," I think. Letting the creative waters sit still, not stagnant, but still, so the chai spices can swim around a bit and then settle to the bottom, releasing a sort of golden fog stream into the stillness. There is the hustle going on somewhere outside. The rush to buy presents. The urgency to make new year's goals. The necessity of getting family all together in one place to make merry.

"Can one force merry?" I wonder, sidetracked. I am introspective all the time, but all the more so in the winter. I am hibernating deep within my own skin. On the outside I carry on the traditions, but deep inside the winter tells me I am steeping for something great.

I know I have another book to write. I wish it would just come out. I wish it was just a matter of showing up, because I am here in my creative space at 5 AM, sometimes 4:30 AM, every morning. I know I am on the edge of new discoveries, of new ideas, of new ponderings, but the fireplace and my candles are lit in the Winter to remind me I am but warming up to the idea of what is next.

I am watching the shifting reds of burning embers, and I think I'm doing somewhat of a red tribal dance of my own. My body is motionless on the brown leather couch with the child scribbles in ink pen on the side, but beneath the surface of stillness, I know the energy is heating up and when it's time to ignite into flames I will. The artist must trust the winter. The sitting. The dark. The frozen blanket of white. The wait.

Wait and you will know when it is time, right? "Right?!" I ask with increasing anticipation. That's how it worked last winter anyway. I hibernated for a couple months, and then I ended up writing a book by February. Or was it March? Oh anyway, why would this winter be any different? But the doubts. Oh the doubts. And maybe even the pressure. Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? Isn't a joy to create?

There is mysterious expectancy in this place of Winter-trust. What are you up to? One has to wonder of the Muse. And meanwhile our soul pries off acorn tops and nibbles on the nutty flesh of inspirational book piles, tucking it away in our ever-expanding cheeks, knowing (or hoping rather) one day we'll get to wash it all down with a hot mug of chai.

And when that day comes, we will secretively double over in relief that the cosmos have proved we are in fact actually still an artist. One who danced in the embers at moonlight and didn't get devoured.

:::::

Mandy Steward is an artist. She thinks you are one too. We are all painting on our own Messy Canvas. She invites you to be purposeful and passionate about what you are painting on yours.

Mandy likes to paint with words. Word pictures that reveal the spiritual that lurks even in the mundanest of moments. But she also doesn't like to limit herself to a medium, so she explodes wherever the Muse leads. Lately that has been in the pages of her art journal.

Mandy blogs at Messy Canvas. She has written four e-Books, including a free one for artists and a brand new one called Tomorrow's Dreams Today. She is also in the process of getting her first book published.

Winter Guest Post by Tara Leaver

December 13th, 2011, Comments (24)

 What to do when your creativity succumbs to winter

 

As winter starts to make its presence felt round here, I’ve been thinking a lot about cycles. About listening to my body and honouring its needs and what that really means. This is something relatively new to my Western monkey mind, for whom achievement is paramount, and only a certain amount of rest is permitted!

 

I’m a summer girl with a history of depression. Traditionally winter {which can be a long, chilly, dark and wet affair here in England} would take its toll on my well-being before it had even begun. I rejected the darkness and of course winter became something to dread and struggle through. I gotta tell you, I’m really tired of the concept of resigning myself to the belief that some things are ‘just like that’. 

 

My teacher has been showing me another way to approach winter. We all know about cycles – the seasons, women’s monthly cycles, Saturn Returns, to name just a few - but I’m not sure how often we really notice or accept them, let alone embrace them. We often seem to ignore or resist our personal cycles, because of commitments and jobs and things that Must Be Done. There is no time sculpted into our lives for honouring the quiet, ‘winter’ parts of our cycles. Winter is about resting, seeds waiting underground, animals hibernating. Nature knows and allows this; we can too, if we choose.

 

We creative types have our own cycles. Sometimes the inspiration is flowing fast and furious, and it’s all you can do to ‘get it all down’ quick enough; other times we feel stagnant or dry – nothing inspires us and efforts to force it result in frustration.

 

I learned the hard way that I must honour my creative cycle. Since I made the decision to just let it be what it is, to stop labelling it, judging myself, feeling disappointed or guilty or antsy or impatient about it, I’ve come to see my own personal cycle as something, well, beautiful actually.

 

We are often so unaccustomed to being gentle with ourselves. While I learn to apply this self- kindness to all the other areas of my life and leave the internal dark days far behind, at least when it comes to my creativity I have learned to give myself the ease of knowing that when it’s quiet and I haven’t been into my studio for days {weeks, sometimes}, the cycle will come round again. And in the meantime, if I let it, my creativity will reveal itself in other ways.  Even if it doesn’t, the focus here is honouring all parts of the cycle, not just the bits I may find easier or more comfortable.

 

Here are a few things I do when my creative cycle is in ‘winter’. They have evolved from trial and error, and are about giving myself over to it rather than trying to override or kick start it; perhaps they will help you too.

 

*Stop trying! Let the whole thing go like you just don’t care. Quite a challenge when your creativity is such a huge part of who you are, I know, but just trust me on this. What we resist persists, right? The more we poke at it and try to change it and don’t allow ourselves to accept it as it is, the more we are blocking the cycle from turning in its own time.

 

*Do something else. If you’re not yet ready to just not do, then redirect. If your thing is painting, try cooking {works for me!}. If it’s sewing, try drawing. If it’s photography, try writing. You get the idea. Sometimes our creativity needs new avenues to run down.

 

*Go outside. For me it’s the beach, every time. I started by just going there to sit; that has now evolved into me taking my sketchbook with absolutely no plan or pressure to use it. Sometimes I actually do use it. Sometimes I don’t. It’s all good. I have a friend who needs green; when she’s feeling uninspired or drained or stuck she goes out into the countryside, or even just the park, to get some chlorophyll and hug some trees.

 

*Distract your brain. If you’re giving yourself a hard time about how you haven’t done anything creative for ages, do something that gives you some respite from the chat in your head. Box sets often do the trick for me. You can’t get much less creative than lying under blankets passively watching images on a screen and sipping hot chocolate!  I’ve worked my way through the entire seven series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer doing this. {I know.}  I lay on the sofa and watched Buffy kick vampire ass until that familiar tickle inside drew me back into the studio without any decision making on my part. All I needed was to let myself have a time out, and for the cycle to bring itself round again.

 

What do you to do honour and embrace your personal creative winters? I’ve only touched on four of an infinite number of possibilities. Let’s put our heads together and lay out everything we’ve got. Let’s give ourselves and each other permission to honour all the parts of the cycle, even and especially the arctic wasteland parts. Share your wisdom

:::::::

Bio

I am an energy healer and artist living in Brighton in the UK. I paint with acrylics and mixed media, and my work is mostly bold and vibrant. I’m fascinated by symbolism and meaning, and love to bring my energy work together with my art to produce paintings that have infinite possible interpretations. And sometimes I just like to paint in pretty colours. :-)

 

Links

Website: www.taraleaver.com

Blog: www.taraleaver.com/blog

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/AquamarineArt

Facebook:  Aquamarine Art: Mixed Media Paintings by Tara Leaver

Creative Every Day Check-In: December 12 – 18

December 12th, 2011, Comments (19)

This weekly check-in post is a place for Creative Every Day Challenge participants to share their creative activities.

Join in the Challenge: You can now sign-up for the 2012 Challenge here!

Ways to share: Once you've signed up, you can leave a comment on this post and/or use the "Mr. Linky" widget below to link to a blog post(s) about your creative activities during the days of 12/12/11 - 12/18/11.

The widget below is an optional method of sharing your creativity that makes it easier for others to check out what you're up to. You can use it to link to a blog post (or posts) or flickr image during the week listed. Or if you have a bunch of posts and don't want to link to all of them, you can link to your main blog page once. Do it in a way that makes sense and is fun for you! If you're unsure about how to use the widget, check out the "How to use the Mr. Linky widget" section on the Creative Every Day Challenge page. (If you're reading this in a RSS reader or email subscription, you will not see the "Mr. Linky widget", so click on over to the blog to use it.) If the Mr. Linky widget is missing from this blog post, it's probably a problem with their server and it will come back as soon as it's fixed. You can always leave your link in the comments.

You can also take advantage of the great CED flickr group to post your images and see what others are up to. If you're on Twitter, you can use the hashtag  #CED2011 to help others find your Creative Every Day tweets!

Theme: The (totally optional) theme for December is Winter, which you can read more about and get ideas for here.

Happy Creating!


I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Winter Guest Post by Joanna Paterson

December 9th, 2011, Comments (10)

Winter Light

Creating with Darkness and Light

Creativity - like life itself - begins in darkness ~ Julia Cameron

The natural world reveals so many beautiful creativity lessons at this time of year.

Yes: the days are short, the earth is cold, the fields are a colourless dull-mud brown.

And yet, and yet:

Through the darkness we see a sudden splash of a rainbow cutting through a rain laden sky; a burst of sunlight illuminating that dull brown lifeless field; the pale wintry sun creating wild silhouettes with the bare bone trees, dancing like creatures of our deepest darkest imagination against the barren lines of the horizon.

It is all light revealed through darkness, pattern against the emptiness, life irrepressible through the shortest, darkest days.

And it is not just a light show.

It is a call to create: to make our own wildly dancing silhouettes, to illuminate with shafts of poetry, to paint a rainbow in shades of enchantment, to carve our words in pens dipped in the blackest of ink, dripping with colour and light.

To sing our songs of life, irrepressible, through the shortest, darkest days.

Heeding the call, and creating with darkness and light.

~~~

Joanna is a writer, poet and photographer who explores themes of creativity and connectedness with the natural world. She has recently published Earthflow: a book of photo-poetry inspired by places that call us home. You can find her blogging on landscapes, writing, poetry and practice at The Art of Everyday Wonder.

2012 Creative Every Day Challenge

December 8th, 2011, Comments (13)

2012 is right around the corner! Amazing, isn't it? And with the new year, comes a chance to renew your commitment to being Creative Every Day. I consider this year-long challenge a low pressure one. I don't expect people to create a masterpiece or post on their blogs every day of the year. What I hope is that the challenge invites you to find ways to integrate creativity into your everyday life. I've found that simply by focusing on every day creativity, that the opportunities to be creative sprout up everywhere...in cooking, decorating, playing, dancing, drawing, painting, photographing, crafting, singing, and so on!

You can read all about the challenge and it's history here and then sign up for the 2012 Challenge right here.

As in previous years, every month will have a totally optional theme. You can use the theme if you need some inspiration (sometimes having a guide is helpful!), ignore it if you have other plans, or mix it in as needed. And speaking of themes, I'd love to get some theme ideas from you! Brainstorm for me in the comments. If I use your theme idea this year, I'll be sure to mention you as that month's inspiration. I've got some ideas in mind and I've been considering re-using some themes from the first year (because they're good enough for another go!), but I'd love to hear your ideas as well.

Thank you to all the amazing creators who joined me in 2011. I hope to see you in 2012!

p.s. I've got some wonderful guest posters, new friends and old friends, sharing their thoughts on winter this month, while I gather myself after AEDM and prepare for the holidays. I'm excited to share their creative goodness with you. Enjoy!

Winter Guest Post by Jamie Ridler

December 7th, 2011, Comments (3)

MP3 File

Step into this magical meditation from creative living coach Jamie Ridler and connect to the spirit of the season. Discover the gifts Winter has in store for you.

Jamie Ridler is a creative living coach and the founder of Jamie Ridler Studios. From coaching to workshops, from podcasting to blogging, Jamieís work helps women find the confidence and courage to discover and express their creative selves so they can be the star they are. Website & Blog: Jamie Ridler Studios Facebook: Jamie Ridler Studios Twitter: @starshyne Podcast: Creative Living with Jamie and on iTunes.

p.s. From Leah: A special shout out to Jamie, who's celebrating a birthday today. Happy birthday, Jamie! You're a shining star in the world!

Winter Guest Post by Goddess Leonie

December 6th, 2011, Comments (5)

How to stay connected to nature even when it's cold!

Hola gorgeous goddesses!

For me, a huge part of my creativity is feeling connected with gorgeous nature. Before I create I get my hands in the earth, my face in the breeze, I let my skin tingle with the love of the earth.

I call it sacred grounding.
 

What's so important about grounding?

Grounding helps us get out of our heads & into our spirit.

It helps our souls feel centered & at home.

It helps to invigorate & inspire our creative spirit.

And most of all - it gives us the energy to birth our creative dreams!


Grounding in Winter

What happens though when it gets ding dang cold?

How can we stay connected to Mama Earth when it's freezing, and possibly even covered with the glorious white stuff?

A moment to acknowledge the purdy photo at the top of this post. I took this photo of my hunky-Wise Man-love a few years ago when it snowed here in Australia. It doesn’t snow here, so when it did have a freak burst last winter, we jumped in our jeep and headed for the mountains to play. We were standing in the snow just listening to the sound of quiet, to the sound of snowflakes rustling through the air. This photo was taken when I headed back for the car. I turned back to see my beautiful man, soaking in the moment, connecting with the earth. To me, this symbolises how to ground even when it’s white and cold – with arms wide open, embracing this whole gorgeous world.
 

How to Ground: Get outside

When I talk about grounding, I usually advise goddesses to get their band hands & feet on the ground.

To ground – you don’t NEED to have bare feet. If it’s warm enough, it’s delicious and gives you the extra joy of grass tickling your soles. But if it’s not – still take the time to go outside, and take some deep breaths outside.

The earth is a source of completely healing and rejuvenation for us. Try it out.

Go outside, look outside, look at the earth, look at the sky and take ten deep breaths.


Visualise yourself grounded.

When you *visualise* something, you enact the same neurological responses as you would if you were *experiencing* it. Visualisation can work so powerfully in grounding. In larger women’s circles, we often use a grounding visualisation inside instead of having the whole circle troop outside to do it.

So, either sit down or stand with your legs apart. Take deep breaths down into your core, right down into your belly. Visualise yourself as a tree – your branches reaching into the sky, legs growing like roots into the Earth. Feel yourself deeply connected into the soil and earth. See yourself as a strong oak tree – the perfect balance between sky and earth. With this image in mind, take three deep breaths in and out through your core – visualising that you are inhaling and exhaling through your solar plexus. On your last exhale, exhale with a noise… like an “aaaaaaaaaaaaah.”


Use a Tree.

You can also use actual trees to connect and ground because their roots go through the snow right into the earth. They are the perfect symbol of groundedness!

Is there a park you can go to that would give you a little bit of quiet space to connect with a tree? Even if you could pop down a plastic picnic mat and sit with your back against the tree for a few minutes, you can pick up on the energy, groundedness and strength behind you.

Different trees have different energies and medicines. There are a couple of great books that give the meanings and energies of trees – but as always, the knowledge, wisdom and intuition is right inside you. Give it a go. Listen. Feel. Experience. Trust. This is second nature to you.


Let the beauty of the world intoxicate you

There is so much gorgeous beauty in this world. Nature can be our biggest healer & muse when we let her in!

Get grounded! Make art!


Do let us know how you go! I’d love to hear your experiences and soul stories!

How do you stay grounded to mama earth even when she's covered in cold?

wild joyful love,

Goddess Leonie is the creator of the Goddess Circle an online creativity & spirituality world for goddesses. She blogs from a tree (or her turquoise gypsy caravan) & makes miracles happen. She lives in tropical paradise in Australia with her hunky love & their owl baby daughter Ostara. You can find her at www.goddessguidebook.com. She's just released her uber popular 2012: Creating your Goddess Year workbook & planner too!

Creative Every Day Check-In: December 5 – 11

December 5th, 2011, Comments (20)

This weekly check-in post is a place for Creative Every Day Challenge participants to share their creative activities.

Sign-ups for the 2012 Challenge will open soon!

Join in the Challenge: Read all the details and sign up for the  2011 Creative Every Day Challenge here!

Ways to share: Once you've signed up, you can leave a comment on this post and/or use the "Mr. Linky" widget below to link to a blog post(s) about your creative activities during the days of 12/5/11 - 12/11/11.

The widget below is an optional method of sharing your creativity that makes it easier for others to check out what you're up to. You can use it to link to a blog post (or posts) or flickr image during the week listed. Or if you have a bunch of posts and don't want to link to all of them, you can link to your main blog page once. Do it in a way that makes sense and is fun for you! If you're unsure about how to use the widget, check out the "How to use the Mr. Linky widget" section on the Creative Every Day Challenge page. (If you're reading this in a RSS reader or email subscription, you will not see the "Mr. Linky widget", so click on over to the blog to use it.) If the Mr. Linky widget is missing from this blog post, it's probably a problem with their server and it will come back as soon as it's fixed. You can always leave your link in the comments.

You can also take advantage of the great CED flickr group to post your images and see what others are up to. If you're on Twitter, you can use the hashtag  #CED2011 to help others find your Creative Every Day tweets!

Theme: The (totally optional) theme for December is Winter, which you can read more about and get ideas for here.

Happy Creating!


Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments,embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour. ~John Boswell