Creative Capers Creation I

Capers I Title

Here’s my first creation. I’ve actually got a couple others in progress but just have been too busy to post. The colours of this piece were inspired by a social emotional retreat I attended.  I also took creative inspiration from the following quote:

“She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.” (Proverbs 3:25)

Capers I Details

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Power of Now Reflections and February Review

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Zen sketch I am currently working on.  A little too realistic but I’m having fun with it.

Power of Now Reflections

For some reason, I feel great resistance while reading The Power of Now. His focus on living with constant “deep trouble” and “sadness” doesn’t resinate with me. However, my flat resistance to the book isn’t helping me access the underlying message so I’ve decided to instead focus on what he says that does resinate.

I know what he means when he talks of trees being more vivid in colour when you allow yourself to fully embrace their beauty. I never thought about it as being “fully in the now” but I can go with that frame of reference. For me, there are days the sky is so beautiful or a drop of rain on a leaf so enchanting my heart feels it might burst. And I love looking for colour within colour. I think of it as “artist training” but it’s when you look at a tree, for example, and see other colours within its browns and greens – such as purple in shadow or blue on the underside of a branch.

I especially appreciate his message about the importance of focusing on the current moment and being very present. This is something I have been trying to keep in the forefront of my mind lately especially when interacting with my kids. The message of being in the now here resonates with one of my favourite quotes by Gretchen Rubin: “The days are long but the years are short.”

There are days I feel I may lose my sanity in diapers, laundry, and sibling rivalry, but then I try to switch focus.  I focus on the little hand I am holding or the chubby arms thrown around my neck or the high pitched voice telling me all about his or her dreams. And in embracing that moment, the colours in the world do actually amp up a little and I try to train my brain to remember this interaction because this is what matters.  This is the Power of Now (for me).

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As for my February goals, I didn’t paint as much as I would have liked this month but I do feel I was successful in being more mindful. I am especially proud in my efforts to be more mindful in my interactions with my kids. Life can get so busy that somedays I can let myself get wrapped up in the busyness and forget what is actually most worthy of my time. The Zen painting I did manage to do was very fun. I still have some projects in mind to complete with this technique.

Monthly goals:
Write in the kids’ baby books. -done
Remember birthdays. -done
Read The Power of Now. -most complete so far:)

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. -only about 50% successful this month
Go at least seven hours of sleep a night. -mostly successful:)
Exercise three times a week. -only about 50% successful

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The Creative Life Project: March

 

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January and February were a bit of a doozy of a couple of months. They were work focused toward a specific goal which was worthwhile (and thankfully ended in results I was aiming for) but this month, I need to make more room for fun. I want to play with paint. I want to play with ideas. I want to play loud music and let loose. I want to lose myself to everything but the paint for a guaranteed couple of hours a week. This is my plan for March.

Monthly goals:
Write in the kids’ baby books. 1 page monthly update for each child.
Remember birthdays.

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. Minimum of 15 minutes drawing, writing, experimenting with a mixed media focus for the month.
Paint. The aim here is to paint for a minimum of two hours once a week for the duration of this month.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
Exercise three times a week.

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The Creative Life Project: February

 

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Mindfulness is something I am still striving to increase in my life. One thing I am doing toward this goal is focusing on really being present when I am with my kids and finding time each day to meaningfully connect with each one individually. On a personal level, I find painting can be meditative and mindful. This month I will work on my Zen paintings (from an on-line course I took last year) in order to focus more on this style of painting in my daily practice.

Monthly goals:
Write in the kids’ baby books. 1 page monthly update for each child.
Remember birthdays.
Read The Power of Now. This may become a yearly repeated attempt… Who knows, maybe it will resonate with me one of these years. Everyone I talks to says how much they love it. Maybe this year’s read will be the one where I “get it”.

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. Minimum of 15 minutes drawing, writing, experimenting, working Zen painting style.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  I already know that until February 7th this will be unrealistic for me but after that I am really going to try to make it happen!
Exercise three times a week.

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The Creative Life Project: January Review

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Balance Book Brainstorming Pages

January Review: Preparation, Organization, and Creativity Jump Start

This month’s goals were aimed to enhance my creative space and time.

Monthly goals:
Write in the kids’ baby books. My poor baby books are sorely out of date. But hopefully by including them as part of my month goals, it will keep me mindful of updating them. Month 1: check!
Remember birthdays. Check!
Prepare a plan for a creative year. I set up my plan for The Creative Life Project 2017. The goals are simpler than last year and involve more repetition but I think this will make it more do-able along side working full time. So check!
Make a space that is easy to create in. I reorganized both art caddies (mine and the kids’). They look so awesome now. We’ll see how long it lasts:) Check and check!
Make a life that is easy to create in. Didn’t get to this as much as I had hoped. I’m finding making time to clean and clean up a bit of a struggle. It’s the first thing to get dropped if time is limited (and when isn’t it? Lol!)
Organize plans in lists and keep them all in one place. I’m loving my balance brainstorming book. It’s kind of like a notebook, a sketch-book, and a mini-scrapbook in one. It’s not complete yet but I like that it still has room for additions.

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. I maintained this pretty well this past month. Some days my creative activity was just knitting for ten minutes before bed or while snuggling with the kids but maybe that’ll mean C’s blanket (that I started for him BEFORE HE WAS BORN) will actually get done this year!
Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Mostly it’s been 6 – hardly a surprise.  Definitely something to work on though.
Exercise three times a week. Mostly achieved. Mind you I also probably ate my weight in chocolate but that’s the reality of balance for me:)

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Other Balance Book Pages: painting, Affirmations, Quotes, Decorations

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Creative Life Project: January

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One of my fave pics I’ve painted and one of J’s least favourites.  Art is so subjective:)  It makes me feel calm.  I think that’s what I enjoy about it.

So far this balance thing has been interesting and hard to be honest.  I am extremely busy and yet also feeling extremely fulfilled – though there aren’t enough hours in the day.  One thing I am still trying to figure out is where down time fits into my life.  Is creative time my down time or is that its own space?  Not sure on that yet.

Just today I realized I never posted my January aims for The Creative Life Project 2017 (though I have been working on them – honest!).  So without further ado, here they are:

January: Preparation, Organization, and Creativity Jump Start

This month’s goals will help me enhance my creative space and time.  As well, they are to help me prepare the makings for a creative year.

Monthly goals:
Write in the kids’ baby books. Monthly update page for each kid. Include any milestones reached over the month, personality quirks, current passions/interests, and any cute quotes I can remember. I plan to continue this goal monthly.

Remember birthdays. I will continue to have my kids make cards to send out. I really liked the connection this goal fostered with extended family and the purpose it gave to some art endeavours with the kids.

Prepare a plan for a creative year. Break my goals down into month chunks to focus on different things and to start fresh each month. Even if some months are write offs, the next month will begin and I can feel invigorated to start anew.

Make a space that is easy to create in. Reorganize my art caddy and workspace. Again, if if it is easy to pull out creative supplies, I will be able to do art/write even in small amounts of time.

Make a life that is easy to create in. Clear out clutter. I find clutter distracting so it will help if it is minimized. How does clutter accumulate so quickly and where the heck to put it all?

Organize plans in lists and keep them all in one place. I have been in the process of creating a balance brainstorming book. I’ll keep a list of inspiration ideas for those days I’m not feeling so organically creative. Again, I will also list interests for future research, words I like, etc (ever the word geek:) These lists will be added to as ideas come up throughout the year.

Daily/weekly goals:
Do one creative thing daily. This idea is borrowed in part from The Happiness Project. A woman in the book said she did one thing toward her goal daily. One small thing a day is manageable and even if I only keep this goal half the time, I would maintain my creative engagement. This goal is going to continue each month for the year.

Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Once the kids are down, I’m so happy to have quiet me time that I often stay up later than I should. I pay for it in focus ability the next day.

Exercise three times a week. Easier said than done. Kind of like the 7 hours of sleep goal…  What can I say?  I’m ever optimistic!

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Happy 4th Birthday, Little Q

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Twirling, whirling, jumping, leaping, ever expressive (and fashionable) Q inspired these ladies who now hang on her wall.  

Darling little one,

Four years ago, we became a family of four with you.  Your light and energy were evident from day one.  Since before you were able to stand, your smile inspired others to smile.  You love openly, deeply, and with a ferocity that can sometimes bowl one over – at times literally, my little bam-bam.

And yet in the same breath your heart is fragile.  You can easily take offence and be hurt.  This passion of yours that holds such great heights, leads also to deep lows.  At least until you rebound and touch the sky once more.  There is no middle ground for my little Q.

With your tenacious nature, you are a force of will with a steady step that does not falter.  You know what you want with an absolute determination that, though it can exasperate me at times now, will serve you well in future.

Please be patient with mommy.  I love you to the ends of the earth and back and always will, however I can already see that on this journey there will be bumps between you and I.  We are two dragons with fire in our hearts and will in our every breath (aka passionate tempers).  However, though there may be clashes at times, know I will always be your biggest champion.  I believe in you one hundred percent and have absolute faith you are an amazing addition not only to my world but to the world at large.

You will do great things.  And I will be there cheering you on.

Love you baby.  xo

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