Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Do you have your own questions? Go to Tiny Buddha and submit your photo and question by mid January for a chance to win a camera. I know some of you out there are photographers!

I added my words and reduced the file size using Picnik.com – it is free and EASY to use.

This project would be a great one to do with an older child, wouldn’t it? Kids are so authentic and honest. I can only imagine what mine would come up with…

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This is totally incredible. I need to start taking yoga where this guy goes…

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50mm f/1.4 lens; Manual Mode: iso 200, f/2.5, shutter 1/320

I owned my Canon Rebel T1 for about a year and never moved off the green box.

You know what I’m talking about?

That little camera setting that magically does everything for you?

Tamron 70-300MM leans; Manual Mode:  ISO 400, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500 shutter

Then I bravely moved to the other basic automatic settings. I didn’t know what the little pictures meant, but felt cool having my camera on the running man image when I took photos of my kids playing.

Picture of my garden? Surely all I needed to do was put my setting on the little flower image.

Wasn’t that why I paid $700 for this camera – so I didn’t need to learn anything new? I thought that’s what the big bucks were for. It was supposed to do it all for me. Then why the hell were my photos so BAD?

Finally, last April, I couldn’t stand producing another eye sore and signed up to take my first photography class.

I was hoping it would go better than the time I decided to take a painting class and realized. Ummm. I don’t like painting. And those million dollar paintings that we all think we could do? Nope. Not a chance. I couldn’t even paint a road.

50 mm f/1.4 lens; Manual Mode: ISO 1600, f/9, shutter 1/320

With my modern art painting career over, why not photography? Life is all about Creating. Experimenting. Learning. Failing. Trying.

That first photography class was like witnessing the resurrection.  What seemed like and impossible miracle happened right before my eyes:  I was perfectly capable of understanding these alien camera symbols.  Horray for me.  I am not dumb.

Tamron 70-300mm; Manual Mode: ISO 400, 300M, f/5.6, shutter 1/500

I know I need to get better. I keep working at it.

So this weekend, I took my second photography class. Both classes I found in Groupon.  Have you used Groupons before?  Awesome.

The class was AMAZING.  We spent two hours at the park, playing and learning.

50mm lens; Manual Mode:  ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/1000 shutter

From close-up details to capturing movement. We did it all. And it was all completely off the green box.

As I was walking around on that beautiful day I realized that it’s easy to get stuck on the green box. Automatic mode. Comfortable. Safe. But often BORING and LAME.

There is so much more to experience and learn. Too many amazing opportunities to let yourself be satisfied with familiar or average.

Honestly, friends, if I can tackle aperture, you can get off your butt green box and try something new.

(Just add that to your already overwhelming Fall, why don’t you…)

50mm f/1.4 lens; Manual Mode:  ISO 400, f7.1, shutter 1/500

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I have a a confession to make. I am obsessed with Project Runway. I’ve been watching it for years.

When ever you get gay men and fabric together, I’m so in. So, so in.

Can you believe this about me? I know it’s disappointing. Go ahead, delete your Dalai subscription now.

Dalai Dan thinks less of me when I watch it. He is confused and disgusted. He doesn’t understand or appreciate creativity, skill, and homosexual humor.

I do.

It has been taped for almost a week, taunting me. Begging me to forget about feeding my children and just watch….

Will Josh have another girlie outburst?

Will Anya’s amateur sewing skills finally do her in?

It takes so little to entertain me. So very very little. Just a room without kids, really. And a couple gay men.

Which is why I can’t write anything thought provoking or inspirational right now. The TV is calling me…

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I know, this isn’t a fashion blog.

I don’t even like to shop for clothes. My favorite invention is the internet because it allows me to try things on in the privacy of my messy closet.  I have skinny mirrors.

What I do love, however, are

  1. smart people that
  2. create something awesome
  3. following their dreams and
  4. their success multiplies into helping others

Chooze shoes are made from all vegan materials (cool, even though I do wear leather and don’t feel bad about it) and 100% of the company’s profits go to anti-poverty programs.

Specifically, 100% go to WOMEN (because we rock, work hard, and raise children) in the form of business loans. When the loans are paid back, the money goes right back in the system, helping other women.

That would be a good enough reason to by an ill-fitting, unfortunate looking pair of kids shoes. But, Chooze has the cutest darn patterns and shapes to chooze from.

Pissy Missy picked purple. There are a couple other patterns on-line I’m aching to buy.

Notice anything unique about these shoes?

The left and the right shoe never match. Some patterns may have circles on one side and flowers on another. Or the same pattern in different colors.

That is so stinking cute.

I want to make something that is amazing and cute that helps the world.


Still thinking…

I guess I’ll just have to buy another pair until it comes to me.

The boxes are from recycled materials and are made for kids to color in.

Um, are these people brilliant?

Mia thinks so. I could hardly keep her out of the pictures.

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When I feel stuck I can usually find one of two things is happening:   I’m either feeling so overwhelmed that I can’t sense what I am supposed to do next or my negative self-talk is keeping me from doing what I know I should be doing next.   Either way, I’m stuck.

I was introduced to a book in 2008 that I found to be one of the best resources to help unlock our innate creativity and get “unstuck.”  Julia Cameron has been helping free people’s creativity for 2 decades now.  Her book, The Artist Way, is a spiritual perspective on how to create pathways for our creativity through tools and practices. She divides her book into 12 weekly lessons and tasks. It has been used by artists, businessmen, entrepreneurs, housewives, musicians, and stockbrokers from all over the world to help them open their creative channels.  Free-flowing creativity isn’t just for painters and writers – it is beneficial for all professions.  It can help people in the most “logical” occupations find greater success, unseen solutions, and deeper happiness and satisfaction.

1. Write Everyday.    Cameron specifically encourages us to write 3 handwritten, stream of conscious pages in the morning.  Since they are not meant to be read or be a work of art, it keeps our negative “censor” out of it.  Sometimes it may merely be a list of things to do and other times a litany of frustrations and complaints.  Don’t censor it, don’t think too hard…just let it flow.  Try to do it consistently, but if you miss a day, or you have to do it at night instead – don’t criticize yourself!   Eventually, after writing your complaints, problems and fears down morning after morning, your subconscious will start coming up with creative solutions.  I used this process and personally realized that I like to teach people. This blog is one of my solutions.

2. Schedule Private Time with Yourself.   Cameron say’s to have a “date” with yourself once a week to open up to insight and inspiration.  She recommends walks, a movie, or a visit to a gallery or a junk store.  I personally think we can do this everyday by just changing our attitude about our daily tasks.   Even a grocery store run can be inspirational if we give ourselves enough time to do it with attention and appreciation.  One of the biggest shifts in my life came when I gave myself enough margin in my errands to be present and enjoy them!

3. Visualize Your Daily Intentions/Affirmations. For me, this is my most powerful weapon to un-stick myself.   When I sense the fear or doubt creeping in or I want to make a move in a certain direction, I write what I want to feel or do.   For example, when I was feeling stuck over starting a blog, I repeated to myself every morning, “I write everyday.   The words flow out of me with ease,” and “I inspire people to lead healthy lives.”   When I had economic doubt I said to myself, “I will always be well taken care of.”   The key is to visualize what that feels like and looks like as you are saying it in your head.  The first few times feels phony and awkward, but as it starts clicking with you, it is easy and uplifting.  Eventually, some of your intentions may feel irrelevant as you become “unstuck” and you can write some new ones to work on!

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Take a look at this video and tell me what you see. I was recently shown this at the Think Big Kansas City conference by Dr. Moira Mulhern. Dr. Mulhern lead a discussion about creativity and how fostering our creativity can lead to greater productivity, better solutions, and ultimately greater success. So, what do you see?

I saw (and still see predominantly) a spinning girl who is moving in a clockwise direction. Others in the room saw her going in a counter-clockwise direction (seriously – are those people crazy?) and still others saw her switching directions periodically (now, I know those people have lost their minds) I couldn’t figure out how she could go in any other direction than clockwise.

What does this all mean? Dr. Mulhern explained that if you see her turning in a clockwise direction, you are operating from a right brain perspective. If you see her moving in a counter-clockwise direction or you see her switching directions, you are using your left brain. The right and left brain focus on different tasks. Both are essential, but many of us have a dominant side.

Right brainers tend to: Focus on images, patterns. Are intuitive, led by feelings. Process ideas simultaneously. Use “mind photos” or illustrations to help remember things. See the whole first and then the details. Lack organization. Like to know why you are doing something or why a rule exists. Have a harder time keeping track of time. May have trouble finding words to express themselves. Enjoy sensory input (touching). May start a project without reading the manual. Listen to “how” something is being said rather than “what” is said. Talk with their hands.

Left brainers tend to: Focus on words, symbols and numbers. Are led by logic. Process ideas sequentially, step by step. Use words to remember things and tend to remember names rather than faces. Work up to the whole focusing on details. Make lists and plan ahead.  Are likely to follow rules without questioning them. Keep track of time. Find spelling and math easy. Will read the instruction manual before starting a project. Rarely gesture when talking. Listen to what is being said, not necessarily how it is said.

Are you surprised at what you are? Finding that I am more creative slightly shocked me since I usually get to places on time and like math and lists. But Dr. Mulhern explained that while we may favor a side, we can easily develop skills to help us manage and survive. Both sides of our brains can be “exercised” to help strengthen them. Our culture tends to teach and value left brain qualities (logic and reason), but more companies are seeing how fostering creativity increases productivity. This is especially true in a time when technology is moving so fast and being on the cutting edge is critical to company survival. Maybe thats why Google has a “Play Room” with a ping pong and pool tables! But, what if you don’t work? What if you are looking for a job or a “life purpose?” Unlocking your creativity can help you find your passion. Stay tuned for some tips on strengthening your creative muscles!

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