Saturday 26th May 2018

Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Recently I heard Brene Brown say on the CD of her latest book Braving The Wilderness two things that stuck with me about creativity.

One: she was THAT kid told by her teacher that she couldn’t do art. Her art sucked. As a result, Brene never ever tried again. Until this:

Two: her findings were that the best way to embed the learning in her courses was to integrate them with creativity.

Mind.Blown.

I have taken some of her on-line courses over the past two years and each has a component of journal writing, decorating a page of photos, adding some pictures that inspire and so on. In other words, the head learning becomes embedded with the heart learning.

Source: Brene Brown

My Back Story.

I cannot recall doing anything creative at home like drawing or colouring but I recall coveting the brand new Textas (so colourful) around the time I was in Year 6. I loved the geometry lessons which taught me how to make a flower with a set of compasses. That learning comes back to me every time I make a mandala. I went to High School and would have loved to do Art as a subject but I was advised to follow an academic pathway. Never mind. I had fun decorating diaries, school books bags and so on. I could not draw well but I loved patterns. Still do.

My mum was a colourful and stylish dresser and I am pretty sure I learned that from my observations and my innate creativity. Mum was not educated past age 15 but she was a wizz at cooking and baking. Loads of people were delighted to receive her goodies. I saw creativity in the way my parents’ made their gardens and how Mum arranged flowers.

Into my teaching years, particularly with the children under 8, I loved creating colourful and stimulating classroom environments with my ideas and their art. I found teaching in a space like that was great. However, over the years, I learned that some children do not need a lot of visual stimulation to act out so I amended how I did this.

Over The Years.

Teaching probably kept me as creative as I needed to be until it was time to have a break. I was non-teaching for over 20 years so I went to scrapbooking classes, learned how to make Christmas decorations and went to a term of learning how to observe doing drawing with pencil. I did buy a lot of products over the years and my grandchildren who came to us for care each week got their share of use with my paints, paper, scissors, playdoh and so on.

It actually surprised me not long ago to find that after my visual preference as a learner comes kinaesthetic so I guess I got a lot of that with the cutting, placing and pasting I was doing.

Of course, I also cooked and decorated cakes with icing (still do!) but it really wasn’t until I was permanently retired that I saw that my creativity extended to art-type activities, photography, blogging and making memory books. Then as my outer world shrank as I no longer worked nor cared for our grandchildren something needed to happen.

I needed more. I needed something. As it turned out, I needed to make, to practise, to try and to have some fun.

Every.Single.Day.

Some famous people said this about creativity:

I asked my friends on Facebook about creativity and was delighted that not one person who responded said “I am not creative…” well, a few may have said “I don’t see myself as creative but I do….”

Here’s the list from those people.

  • Blogging
  • Creative writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Doing colouring-in and dot to dots for adults
  • Making my garden
  • Dressing each day and adding accessories to suit
  • Sewing
  • Cooking and Baking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Photography
  • Making Photobooks
  • Journalling
  • Art
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Planning Family Outings and Events
  • Making costumes for dancers
  • Creating websites
  • Talking on radio
  • Dancing
  • Making Slime
  • Card Making
  • Singing
  • what about you?
  • what are your creative pursuits?
  • there are more than I have here I am sure! 

 

Thank you all who contributed. Here’s a few pics of my versions of creativity.

So, how are you creative?

And  sorry but “I am not creative” is NOT a reasonable answer!!

Thanks for joining in.

Denyse.

 

Taking part in Tuesday’s Link of the Day called: I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

And on Wednesdays I link with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love Party.

Then comes Thursday: Thanks to Leanne we have a beaut linky called Lovin’ Life here.

 

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Art Kits, Materials & More. Part One. 2018.6.

Art Kits, Materials & More. Part One. 2018.6.

Introduction.

In 2013 I was looking for something to give me some level of contentment. It was a pretty stressful time in my life and it was a shout-out from Deb Dane who blogs here that changed my life for the better.

That IS a big call, I know!

A R T was it. But back then I was both curious and shy. I had ALWAYS enjoyed creating colourful and crafty classrooms for kids, and then as grandchildren came along I joined the scrapbooking phenomenon of the 1990s and beyond. I also did a college class on sketching when I first retired.

But A R T for ‘arts-sake’ was surely for more talented people than I am. 

Finding My Place as an Artist.

Oh seriously it took some time to apply this term to me but as one of my art gurus said ‘what are the rules for this?’. Rule-maker and keeper me realised I was the one limiting myself. Deb suggested I join the group on Facebook called DaisyYellow and take part in their Index-Card-A-Day challenge from June to July every year. In 2013 I joined, became a devotee, even signing on as a moderator in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 I did the challenge until it was time for my cancer surgery in early July.

This post explains more about it. I thank Tammy Garcia, the founder, for much of her encouragement of my art. Some examples here of my interpretation of the daily prompts in 2016. These are all created on (old speak) 6inch x 4 inch index cards.

What’s An Art Kit?

I credit learning more about art from being a member of this on-line group as above. It’s a free website and there are minimal costs for certain activities. However, as in all things in life, it was time for me to decide what I wanted in an art kit and what would be its purpose.

You know when you are caught waiting in a room for an appointment or sitting in the car waiting for someone and whilst you could look at your phone or read an old magazine there is this idea! An Art Kit.

I always had small one in my bag when we lived in Sydney and then somehow when we moved and I was mainly being at home, I got out of the habit of keeping one. It was when I had to go to hospital last July I thought I needed to take some art materials for when I was recovering AND cognisant. I was right! In 2017 I was obsessed with mandalas! I was designing and drawing them, making patterns to colour later. They were (and still are) a very MINDFUL activity for me. I made a large version of an art kit with my A4 book with pre-drawn circles and some lines on many pages, added in some Unipin pens, some colouring pens and I was set. I did not watch TV at night in hospital, I drew mandalas and they helped in my mood and physical recovery as I relaxed!

Now I am getting dress with purpose every day, one thing I do is go out for a solo coffee. I have been doing that for more than 2 months now and I am loving it. I get to people watch, sip a favourite coffee, sometimes try to eat something nice, and play with ART. Here I am last Friday at a local cafe. By the way, it took me about two goes not to feel self-conscious so now it’s second nature!

Next post I will add more details about:

  • materials I use that might be expensive initially but ‘pay for themselves’ in terms of lasting and quality
  • some ways in which art has helped my emotional health improve
  • how all of us can make art in a way that is meaningful to us and how to shut up the critic’s voice
  • ideas for colouring-in those lovely patterns and pictures in books and freebies on-line
  • and anything you might choose to ask me questions about in the comments!!

I hope this has been helpful.

I wrote this post as a response to Vanessa Smith’s comment recently and she blogs here. Another blogging friend, also named Vanessa and blogs here  is now colouring mindfully and this post may be of interest but the next one will be more so I think.

Happy Art-ing everyone!

Denyse.

 

Joining Kylie Purtell here for I Blog On Tuesdays and on Thursdays I join in the Lovin’ Life Linky with Leanne here.

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For Courage. 2017.80.

For Courage. 2017.80.

I’ve been taking my time since I retired from work to seek answers to life’s twists and turns. I’ve attended church and Sunday School as a child and an adult. I am not sure if or what I believe in these days. But I know I need  to connect with my deeper inside me and I am pretty sure that I also need to connect with others. That is what human beings need. Love and belonging and connection.

Interestingly I have found myself less resilient and even more surprising to me less confident in the past 3 years. I believe it may be connected to the ageing process but it still does not sit too well withe me, so I search for answers and ideas from others. I love the words and lessons from Pema Chodron. Another source is the works of John O’Donoue and in his book  To Bless The Space Between Us  I found this.

 

For Courage.

When the light around you lessen and your thoughts darken until

Your body feels fear turn as cold as a stone inside,

When you find yourself bereft of any belief in yourself

And all you knowingly leaned on has fallen,

When one voice commands your whole heart

And it is raven dark,

Steady yourself and see that it is your now thinking

That darkens your world,

Search and you will find a diamond-thought of light,

Know that you are not alone and that this darkness has purpose;

Gradually it will school your eyes

To find the one gift your life requires hidden within this night-corner.

Invoke the learning of every suffering you have suffered.

Close your eyes.

Gather all the kindling about your heart to create one spark.

That is all you need.

To nourish the flame that will cleanse the dark of its weight of festered fear.

A new confidence will come alive to urge you toward higher ground

Where your imagination will learn to engage difficulty

As its most rewarding threshold!

p. 107. States of the Heart section.

What kind of attributes help us be more courageous?

I’d love to hear from you about how you deal with fear.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell here and the bloggers who blog on Tuesdays!

On Thursdays I join then Lovin’ Life Linky here with Leanne and friends.

 

 

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Try A Little Kindness. 2017.56.

Try A Little Kindness. 2017.56.

I am updating this post for joining Leanne’s Linky here on Thursday 27 July 2017. I have been incredibly grateful for the many acts of kindness that have impacted my life since my cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery. It makes me really pleased to be part of a world where kindness continues to exist. In hospital all of the staff, with one small exception did all they could within their huge workloads to be kind and in turn I made every attempt to not only show my appreciation in words but to do as much as I could (within the means of my physical restrictions) independently.

The decision to link this older post up was made when I saw my daily Buddha quote. I get these sent to me each morning.

Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.” Buddha.

Denyse.

Original Post Starts Here: 

I listened to a lot of Glen Campbell as a young adult and my husband and I continue to enjoy the oldies but goodies by this man. It is sad that he is very unwell with Alzheimers disease now.

In the spirit of my word of the year

..and letting the whole world know we need more KINDNESS in our lives…right now…here it is. The lyrics and the gentle Glen himself singing it way back.

I will not apologise for the earworm because I think we need to sing it. All together now….

Try A Little Kindness

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don’t walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Songwriters: BOBBY AUSTIN, CURT SAPAUGH
© OBO APRA/AMCOS
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Glen Campbell sings here.

Credit: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Memories64&qft=+Filterui:userpage-memories64&FORM=VQCHNL

I do hope that you find a way to show a little kindness today and forever.

Denyse.

Joining Kylie Purtell and friends who blog on Tuesdays here. Thanks for link up Kylie!

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About My Mandalas. 366/343.

About My Mandalas. 366/343.

I’ve become so accustomed to making, viewing and noticing mandalas in ‘my world’ and the ‘world around me’ that I see them ALL the time.

Yes.

Mandalas.

Now,  I am not going to enter into any correspondence about mandalas and definitions because they are almost undefinable.

I think that is their beauty, wonder and gift for me. Some of the art from my mandala journey was written about here and then there is another here with the story of my starting to create them.

I sometimes use something from nature to inspire me and use an image to denote a mandala on my Instagram social media account. @denysewhelanblogs (it’s set at private for now, but ask for follow!).

I have posted a mandala example each day in Instagram and onto Facebook and Twitter. I also belong to a Mandalas group on Facebook where we share our photos of mandalas made and seen.

Since commencing mandala creation on July 1 I have completed at least one mandala a day. It is one of the purposes of my day. I just love it. I wake thinking of what I might create that day. Sometimes I do not post anything I have made that day because I see something in nature or elsewhere that is a mandala and I share that.

Over 175 Mandalas have now been made by me, and I love every one of them. I also love to share them. Recently my Dad who’d never heard of mandalas decided he loved them so much he asked for some for his unit. My older grandkids spied ones they liked last week and took them home. I asked facebook friends if they would like one (postage cost only!) and I sent 10 to new homes.

There is a lot of joy in the creation and the sharing and they have added to my mindfulness and creativity every single day.

In 2017 I will be continuing the practice. Try to stop me!

Each of these is on A3 size quality art paper and are originals by me. I used a variety of media. I was happy to see them go to new owners. It’s part of the joy of mandalas.

If you follow me on IG or are a Facebook friend or would like mandala I create in 2017, let me know. I love to share them as I said.

Thanks for your support too! I get lots of likes when I post my mandalas.

Denyse.

This is a first..and I think will not be the last. Posting under 2 categories here on the blog!

And I am joining Vanessa here for #archivelove on Friday 27 January 2017.

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Mandalas Made. 366/275.

Mandalas Made. 366/275.

Making mandalas has taught me some lessons. I have learned to slow down and let the mandala make itself. It’s true! I actually sit for a bit before starting and let the designs come to me.

Here are some I have made recently.

Only a week to go and the 100 I made the challenge about will have been created!

I hope you like them too.

My Dad does and in fact I gave him some of the smaller ones yesterday. I laminated them and he’s using them as coasters! They will be a conversation starter..if he ever needs one..unlikely!!

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Have a great weekend.

IF you live in a state of Australia where you have daylight saving, then tonight is the time to turn the clocks forward.

Denyse.

creativity 150

Joining the lovely bloggers who are part of the Ultimate Rabbit Hole Link up here.

 

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Is This Helpful? 366/272.

Is This Helpful? 366/272.

This “Red Yellow Green” article is something that popped up into my feed recently. I kind of liked it as a reminder. I hope that it’s helpful for me as I tend to be ‘red’ more than I’d like to be as I (over) react at times.  So I am learning to respond more in the ‘yellow’ as I go and hopefully ‘green’ may come more easily over time.

Red Light

Notice when you’ve become defensive and closed off. Be careful. Communicating in this zone can lead to difficult and painful reactions.

Yellow Light

Pay attention to the limbo between open and closed. Relax with the uncertainty. Pause, reflect, linger there, and let possibilities emerge.

Green Light

When your state of mind is open, feel free to explore your connection with others. Share. Learn. Change. Expand.

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Link to article

What about you?

Is this helpful?

Denyse.

health

Joining Raychael here for Worth Casing Wednesday.

 

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Quietening My Inner Critic. 366/216.

Quietening My Inner Critic. 366/216.

To the world I may look as if I am managing life quite well.

Somedays this is true, and in fact it’s true MOST days but…

On the occasional days, when I am sad about life’s challenges and more, I will be ‘self-critical’ before remembering to be ‘self-caring.’

It’s true our brains are wired to the default of ‘negative’ and I wrote about my Inner Critic here before.

However, when I combine a day that is sad, and get some of my anxiety (about regrets, decisions made and more) it impacts my gut system so IBS re-appears then I can become more critical of myself instead of caring. This has been what has occurred over the past 48 hours.

I am human.

It seems this is what we do.

I know it’s not always helpful to be this way so like many I search for improvement and advice but this takes a lot of time. I read and try to practise this every single day.

I need an inner friend, not an inner critic to walk with me

 

I have found this so you may wish to click here to read more here.

Do you have an ‘active’ inner critic?

Have you learned how to tell yours to go…away?

Denyse.

health

Joining with Raychael at Agent Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday.

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