Monday, February 29, 2016

Spice Girl

The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it. - Daniel Gilbert Happiness, Knowing, Secrets

I was never really taught  how to cook, my mother was not one to share kitchen time as a learning experience. Her objective was to put food on the table and clean up the kitchen - no room for fun here. I like to tell people I am a "self taught" cook, everything to me is a learning experience. My creativity in the kitchen can be beneficial as well as not. I have learned over the years some things can not be varied and rules must be followed.  One of the things I was never really comfortable with was the use of spices. Growing up there were two spices in mom's kitchen, salt and pepper. While I enjoyed cooking and I could follow recipes and understood the essentials of spices, I still didn't feel I had a grasp on what spice was enhancing what foods.

So the journey begins one wintery day when my husband and I stopped in World Market and I purchased several spices and jars.  That evening I researched each spices (nerdy yes that's who I am) and recorded the information in a tiny & cute notebook. The next day I cleaned the jars, labeled them (this took much deliberation) and welcomed them to my kitchen.

For the past months I have so enjoyed cooking and my new love of spice knowledge.  I have picked up my next round of experimentation; arnica, chamomile and lavender; I am excited to see where they take me in my culinary skills.

Be present in your skills, learn and understand. Most of all savor the essence of each moment.

Happy Leap Year!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bits and Bobs - mostly friends

One of the pleasures of creativity is sharing time with friends. Nikki (friend and accomplice in creativity) brought her sewing and knitting notions to my studio. Wanting to keep things simple and relevant we decided to embellish the knitting needles as individual pieces to be displayed in a group collection. Maybe in a glass jar or on a tray just something interesting and different to see and talk about.

As you can see, we pulled out all the stops - paper, paint, fabric, ephemera etc.  Nikki now has possession of these beauties and (hopefully) is proudly displaying them for everyone to enjoy.

I like to call these kind of projects the embellished collections. A few oddities, mixed media supplies and viola! You have a collection of interest. Sure beats buying manufactured collectibles (vintage reproductions) from the big box store.

Gather a friend or two and some oddities (or odd friends - just kidding) and begin your creative journey to starting your own embellished collection.

Send me a photo or two. I love to see everyone's work and accomplishments.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Cooperation from the Heart to the Mind

The mind and body connection has been analyzed and written about for a very long time. The outcome being how you think can affect how you feel and likewise, how you feel can affect how you think. Knowing these special terms can help us to understand who we are and why we feel (and think) the way we do.

The key to it all, I believe is practicing the terms your heart and mind presents to you. The operative word being present.

The creative mind has the innate ability to take your experiences and represent them in a visual sense. All the choices that you make are reflections of your heart and mind working together. Whether it is the pass that seeps forward or the immediate - one thing is for sure you are creating in the present.

Take a look back at a piece of art that you created and try to remember the details of the work, when did you work on it, what did it mean to you at the time and what does it mean now.

Our brains react to everything that is around us. Find your sketchbook and a pen. Go to a very busy space (classroom, restaurant etc.) Sit down, make yourself comfortable, with sketchbook and pen in hand close your eyes and draw whatever comes to mind. After a few minutes open your eyes and notice how focused you are on the drawing process. Shut out the world around you and commit to you.  Try this experiment in different locations, noisy, quiet and so on. Look at your drawings and share them others, write about them. Explore all the depths of being present and how you connected with heart and mind.