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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Sneak Preview

OK, I'll admit it. I've allowed myself some creative downtime. The first 8 months of running this business were pretty rugged, and I needed some rest. So I've allowed myself to accomplish less, but my creativity has soared. I found a book on color which I really love -- it makes me happy just to peruse the pages. It's called "Color: Messages and Meanings" by Leatrice Eiseman. I got it from my local library.

I'll be introducing some new products over the next month. I've been thinking about ways to make my little kits more user friendly. So I've come up with what I hope will work. I'll be packaging the silk and wool separately and putting together larger quantities of each. It should actually take less time to package, so I can still keep the pricing very competitive. It should be easier to choose a color way, because the color messages will be strong. The silk packages will contain many colors in varying size pieces and will be enough to make more than one piece.
The little journal above was made from one of the new kits. It took me about 30 to 45 minutes to put together. It is partly needle felted and partly wet felted. It was so fun to play with all of this color!
Any opinions about the color message here?
Have a wonderful day and try to allow some creative play time -- it is good for the soul!

Monday, February 23, 2009

On Allowing the Creative Process

I watched a really powerful video clip of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" speaking on the creative process. The clip is about 19 minutes long, and is really wonderful. There is a link at the end of this post. If you don't have time to watch it, I will hit some of the highlights here.

Elizabeth speaks about creativity and all of the negative connotations that have grown up around creative people. She also speaks about the great success of her latest book and about how people are now saying things to her about her career having peaked and she will just go down hill from here. She is "doomed". So her observations about all of this have lead her to the belief that it is the artist's job to "show up" and allow the creative process or creative genius to work in and through them. Creativity is really not about the outcome, it is about allowing the creative process to unfold. (Somehow I think this ties into being present and finding joy!) We don't really know how the work we are doing will affect ourselves or others. Elizabeth certainly didn't expect her book to be the overwhelming success that it has been.

Julia Cameron also has strong beliefs this way. In "The Artist's Way" on page 55, you will find the "Rules of the Road". Julia states, in part, "In order to be an artist, I must 1) Show up at the page. Use the page to rest, to dream, to try."

Julia's list is ten items long and very well worth another read or finding a copy of the book!

So, to those of you who feel the need to create, but discount it's importance to yourself or the rest of us, I encourage you to show up!

Have a creative week out there!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

On Joy

Thanks to all of you who gave me feedback on the blog! Hope the color change makes it easier to read. I will continue to fill out the features as I can...

It took me a day or two to work through my thoughts on the second meaning of Presence. Webster's says "5 a: the bearing, carriage, or air of a person ; especially : stately or distinguished bearing b: a noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness ".

As I started making one of a kind things, I noticed that when people put them on, there was something really special about that experience. They felt -- what is it -- like they had presence?

I think it actually goes a little deeper than that. I think, for some people at least, buying something that makes them feel beautiful or distinguished (you word smiths help me find the right word here) is part of the process of finding joy. It's allowing something wonderful to be part of your life. This does not have to be about buying anything at all -- it's that process of allowing something you love -- that makes you feel energized -- some space in your life. Joy is something we have to begin to notice in our lives. Again, there is such a focus on our busy productive lives, that I don't think we stop to notice -- or allow -- that which brings us joy.

You guys expand this thought!

Next up -- Elizabeth Gilbert on the creative process

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Presence...

This is an exciting day! I've learned to cut through some limiting thoughts about myself and what I can accomplish in life. I hope you will share stories of your wanderings and days of waking up to some new parts of yourselves as well.

What I would like to share today is a comment about why I named my company Presence. Being present had a double meaning to me -- which I found very succinctly written in Webster's dictionary today. Definition one says: " the fact or condition of being present". Now what does that mean? My teachings tell me that a goal is to be present in our own lives day to day. To the best of our abilities on that day, we are not letting old tapes run us or just hurrying through the day without noticing things that are wondrous right under our noses. Help me name some -- the smell of the coffee, the warmth of your robe or shower, etc. The smiling face of a child, a stranger or a pet...the first shoots of new spring growth...the list goes on and on.

Coincidentally, I noticed that when I was dyeing fabric, I really had to be present. I really loved watching the process unfold, and I began to notice that things often went differently than I had planned. (Sounds like life, huh?) But if I stayed with the process and listened, I would either learn something really valuable from that experiment or figure out how to keep going to get an outcome I wanted.

So, today I challenge you to start to notice what is going on right now. Be present in and enjoy the wonder that is your life.

Next blogs: the other meaning of Presence and "on joy".

You guys chime in!