Entries Tagged as: creative every day 08

2009 – The Year to Leap

December 30th, 2008, Comments (35)


For the past couple years, I've used Christine Kane's fabulous idea of selecting a theme word for the year. I've spent some time pondering and have chosen the word, "Leap" for 2009. I love this word! I noticed as I wrote it that if I turned the "p" upside down, I'd almost have my name there! But I didn't chose my word for that reason. I chose "leap" because in 2009, I want to be be courageous, I want to take risks and launch into my dreams. I want to leap into the unknown, to go for it! Leap as a word means many things to me, including taking action, movement, daring, and it is also playful and fun. There is an element of trust to it and the feeling of dancing with life.

Christine Kane's "Resolution Revolution" is a fabulous way to start your year with intention. Instead of listing off the regular resolutions that we try at (and often fail at) each year, we can choose a word to inspire and lead us through the year. During the month of December, Christine has been sharing stories of people, like artist, Lisa Call, who wrote about her word of the year, Courage. Be sure to check out the blog for some instant inspiration.

Earlier this year, I created a piece of art (below) with the title "Leap" and it makes me smile whenever I look at it. Prints of this piece are available here.


I drew the word "leap" last night in my sketchbook and today I played with it in Photoshop to make the image above. Here's the original (below), which I'll be putting up in my studio to remind me to keep leaping.


Have you chosen a word for 2009? I'd love to hear it. I don't usually make a list of resolutions at the New Year as I prefer to make goals as I go throughout the year. However, I do like to do some reflection around this time of year, to think back over the past 365 days, what I've accomplished and where I've struggled. I like this set of reflective questions from the "More in You" Life Leadership blog and plan to spend some time journaling on them before the year ends.

G’s Year of Creativity

December 28th, 2008, Comments (15)

A couple weeks ago, I got a wonderful email from someone I'll call "G." I asked her if I could share her email here because I think it exemplifies what the Creative Every Day Challenge is all about. I hope it will inspire you to know that you too are an artist and that you can take the leap to be creative every day in whatever way works for you.

Hi Leah!
I wanted to drop you an email ~ to thank you for putting this wonderful idea out there to be Creative Everyday.  Looking back, I have no idea how I found your website at the first of this year.  But?  I did!  I read what you wrote, inviting everyone and anyone to challenge themselves to be creative everyday.  I took it.  I didn't sign up to be part of the group ~ too shy I think.  I have sketched, drawn all my life ~ but kept my sketchpads in the closet.  Every now and then, I would take something I had drawn and make it "public".  But, that was a very rare occurrence.  Never having any art education or instruction, I fell into that terrible crack called: Oh, no... I am not an artist.  So very sad....
However, all that has changed through the course of this year.  I did take you literally and I did draw something every single day.  I also posted my drawings at the end of each week for almost 6 months. Over the summer months and into the fall, life was what life can be sometimes ~ and I didn't post any drawings.  I did, however, continue to draw.  October, I sat down with my scanner, scanning in all the drawings up to that point, and posted them!
I continued from that point on ~ posting at the end of each week.  I sat here today, while the snow fell here in Portland, Oregon ~ posting yet another week's drawings.  Looking at the calendar, I realized, with the three weeks remaining in this year ~ I DID IT!  I made a commitment to draw every day.  I did it!  I have four small sketchpads FILLED with drawings ~ some doodles, some renditions of others' work I loved, some "pictoral journal entries and some preliminary drawings for greeting cards sent!  (Yes, I said sent ~ I actually put some what I drew OUT into the world.)
My blog has been invitation only ~ and have friends tell me as the months passed, how much they looked forward to that email from me stating in the subject line:  Drawings Posted.  And, after a year of keeping to the pen, I have discovered alot about myself ~ and there has been this self confidence I have not known ever before ~ simply in life. A friend of mine once told me:  Just draw a line on a page.  Make yourself do it!  And, it will change your life."  With his words and your challenge, I made the commitment in January of this year to give this a try.
Thank you!  Thank you for taking your idea to this forum.  Thank you for setting a bar not too high, but one that we could raise or lower as we chose to do.  This has been the most amazing year....

Thank you again, G, for sharing your story with me and for allowing me to share it with others. Happy creating, everyone!

p.s. You can find out more about CED and how to participate here. For 2008 participants, I will not be posting a link widget for the last Monday of December. You can post anything you have to share at the post from last Monday.


December 23rd, 2008, Comments (34)

The (totally optional) theme for Creative Every Day in January 2009 will be...Play!


This year, I will be choosing a monthly theme for Creative Every Day Challenge participants. I've chosen themes that have helped inspire me and I hope that you will find some creative mojo in them as well! The themes will be general words, so that they can easily be manipulated to work with whatever creative mode or medium you are working in at the moment. Throughout the month of January, I'll be sharing some of the ways I use play to infuse my daily life with creativity. Feel free to embrace the theme for the entire month or any part of the month, if it speaks to you!

How to use the themes:

  • If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving.
  • In the case of play, explore how you can get playful with your work, journal about what play means to you, make a piece of work using the word play in it, or more simply....just play!
  • Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't.
  •  I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate that particular theme into your life. Feel free to make suggestions or share how you use that theme in your creative worlds throughout the month.
  • Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.
  • Have fun with it!

I created the picture above through play and a bit of fun. My work table is covered with with craft paper and there were already doodles and paint smudges on it. So, I added some more, painted the word play and added some fun dodads. Then I posterized it in Photoshop to get what you see above.

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn't taste good. -Lucia Capocchione

Creative Every Day: December 22nd – December 31st, 2008

December 22nd, 2008, Comments (44)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment on this post or use the widget below to link to a post (or posts) about your creative activities during the week of 12/22/08 - 12/31/08. *I'm making this one stretch a little longer than a week to close out the year.*

To find out more about the Creative Every Day 2008 project, click here. To sign up for Creative Every Day 2009, check out the details here and then leave a comment on this post or email me to let me know.

To all the participants of CED this year, thank you so much for your participation! It was wonderful sharing this year filled with creativity with all of you! If you're interested in continuing on in the new year, let me know!

Happy creating!

Art is a step in the Known toward the unknown. -Kahlil Gibran

The Key to Winter

December 20th, 2008, Comments (44)


This is the painting I've been working on. It started out so very differently, based on an intuitively created sketch in my sketchbook. In the original sketch the key was attached to the heart of a person buried underground. It had a dark and Victorian feel to it that I decided to bring to life in a painting. But as I painted it, it became a little too dark for me. A little spooky even. I let it sit for awhile, tried playing with it in different ways and then at some point decided I needed to take it in a different direction. It takes a bit of courage to jump in a new direction sometimes, but I got a rush of energy and just began.

First, I put down collage elements from old architectural blueprints and then tore some of it off, I added some paint to make a snowy ground and some more collage elements, including maps of Lewis and Clark's path. I added circles and numbers in the sky and I knew I wanted the string hanging from the key to become like roots or an upside-down tree in the ground. It speaks to the potential that is hidden beneath the ground during winter. It speaks to tapping into that potential during the darker days when it's hard to see anything bright or inspiring. It's a reminder that even when everything seems cold and dead, there's magic happening underneath it all. It also reminds me of a quote I keep pinned to my bulletin board:

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer -Albert Camus

I could try and explain this painting to you more, why I chose this element or that. But I like it when people can find their own meaning.

The snow is still coming down outside. All of the sudden, winter is here in full force! O.k., I gotta run!

The Lovely Internets

December 19th, 2008, Comments (9)

It can make you crazy, inspire you, and overwhelm you at times. It can connect you with wonderful people from all over the world. It can give you energy. And it can suck you in for hours. It can help you run your business. It can give you that spark you needed to keep going. It can help you find that perfect gift. It can teach you things. It can help you procrastinate. It can make you laugh out loud. It can make you cry. Every day it seems I'm inspired by some new story of wonder that the internet has helped create. Shayla sent me a link to this youtube video and I just had to share. It exemplifies just the sort of wild and wondrous ways that the online world can bring people together. You can find out more about the artist on her blog, here.

I'm looking forward to sharing a wonderful year of creating together online in 2009!

I've been totally absorbed by a painting the past few days, but I think it's finished and I'll be able to share this weekend. I enjoyed painting today while the snow came down. Even though I started this painting about a week ago, it has a snow/winter theme to it. So it felt so fun and timely to be finishing it up today in the midst of a New England snowstorm. The snow is rather pretty while I'm here inside. Not looking forward to driving in it, but for now, that's not a concern. The cozy kitties, hubster, and I are enjoying a quiet evening. I hope you are all safe and warm and that you have a wonderfully creative weekend!


December 16th, 2008, Comments (30)

The time leading up to Christmas tends to put me a little on edge. There are things that I love (the lights, cocoa, cookies, giving special gifts, quality time with family, decorating the tree), but there's a bit of stress in there that wipes me out. I do my best to stay healthy and upbeat. We've all got to remember how important self-care is during all the craziness!

Fortunately, this image that the hubster put together for our holiday cards is just the sort of thing to brighten my mood. Hehe. I used double stick tape to put this picture on our holiday cards. Last night, the hubster and I put them together, wrote out the addresses on envelopes, and messages inside, while listening to cheesey holiday tunes, and then I sent them off today. I'd love to send one out to all you, so consider this your holiday card from me, the hubster, and our four kitties.


The hubster and I were both raised by parents of different religions, so we incorporated a Jewish yarmulke on one of the kitties, so our Jewish relatives wouldn't feel left out by the Rudolf theme. I think he did a phenomenal job. Hopefully all our relatives will find it funny. Heh. We sent out a few non-picture cards to family members who are a little more old-fashioned just in case. Ha! I'm laughing again, looking at it!

Ahem, anyways, I'm getting very excited for Creative Every Day 2009. I'll be letting you in on the theme for January very soon. In the meantime, happy holidays to you and yours!

Creative Every Day: December 15th – December 21st, 2008

December 15th, 2008, Comments (17)

CED2008 participants! Feel free to leave a comment on this post or use the widget below to link to a post (or posts) about your creative activities during the week of 12/15/08 - 12/21/08.

To find out more about the Creative Every Day 2008 project, click here. To sign up for Creative Every Day 2009, check out the details here and then leave a comment on this post or email me to let me know.

Happy creating!

Paint what you love, and the ideas will never stop coming. -Brian Knowles

Notebook Pages and Other Bits

December 14th, 2008, Comments (12)


I just had the notebook pages I sent in as part of the Do Not Leave Unattended project posted on their blog. The project involves a series of notebooks that are sent out to the locations of participants all over the world who write, draw, or create whatever they like in some of the pages before passing it on. The first page I did is above. On the left is the pink paper that came in the book. On the right is an image I drew in ink on a vintage journal page that I then pasted into the notebook. I had the idea to octopus umbrellas. Cool looking, but not very practical. Here are the other pages I did:


On the last page spread, it's a bit hard to see, but there's a tree in silver ink coming out of the woman's mouth. The silhouette is cut from blue paper that I glued onto the page. It was fun making these pages. And I love the idea of them traveling all over. I sent the journal to Ontario, Canada next and from there who knows will it will go!

Tonight, I listened in on Ananda Leeke's monthly radio program, Go Green Sangha. This month's program was all about transforming your life, career and home into a sacred green space. And one of my favorite people, creative musepreneur, Jennifer Lee, was one of the guests on the call! You can listen to the show in its entirety here. I was trying to listen in, but got in a little late because of some technical difficulties (you can normally listen to the show live online through a chatroom, but that wasn't working tonight.) But I did call in later and ask a question of the panel which was, "Are you doing anything new or different in the coming year to create sacred space in your home?" I loved the answers I got too! If you have an answer to the question, I'd love to hear it in the comments! Oh! And I almost forgot to mention that I'm going to be a guest on Ananda's show next month. I hope you'll join in!

I have another fun link to share with you tonight, a newly discovered blog called Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Every Where. The author of this blog, Erin, let me know that she featured my blog recently in her "Check it Out" portion of her latest blog post which was all about the art of making mistakes. As Erin notes, so-called "mistakes" can lead to beautiful things!

We had a pretty mellow weekend here. Well, except for the Christmas shopping attempt which was a bit hairy. Heh. Overall, I've been a bit lazy, but that's just fine with me. I'm a very lucky girl because the hubster made the most fantastic minestrone soup for dinner tonight. Yum! Hope your weekend was a wonderful one!

Sketchbooks and Intuitive Drawing

December 11th, 2008, Comments (22)


These are images from a sketchbook I'm working in as part of a sketchbook swap. I've been using the pages as a way to simply play and just draw intuitively. In the image above, I started by drawing circles because that's what I felt like drawing and then this is what came. I may make a little painting out of this idea at some point. It kind of cracks me up. I did this drawing last night and the one below I did sometime last week.


This drawing was created intuitively too. Again, I began with circles that became trees that became a face that spoke in creatures. The thing about creating intuitively is that things come that I probably wouldn't have come up with if I sat down and said, o.k., what am I going to draw here?

That's what's great about having sketchbooks handy. They're great for both ideas that pop into our head and for just drawing to see what ideas will come when we put pen to paper.