Jewellery pieces

I bought this glass ball today at an ‘antiques and collectables fair’. It caught my eye and I thought I might be able to use it for fun with my photos. I have seen people do clever things with glass balls! Here is my attempt to do something a bit different.

Ran out of Creativity

With the days slipping by and my lack of blogs for my 30 days of Creativity I think I will take the liberty of changing direction! What’s the worst that can happen?

That being said, I thought the words below could apply quite well to creativity. It could be Rules for Being Creative!

Day 17 of 30 days of Creativity

I was recently gifted a capsicum plant that looked like it may not survive. I put it on my kitchen bench where it gets lots of sunlight. It seems to be thriving now and has some baby capsicums!

This photo was taken today at normal size. The photo below is magnified x10.
See the baby capsicums!

Day 16 of 30 days of Creativity

I have slipped behind in my blogging for a few days but there has been some creativity that I failed to capture with MY camera.

Photo by Vaibhav Jadhav on Pexels.com

I made some crusty white bread.

I made a quiche using some leftover Christmas ham.

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

I got some new glasses that are made from recycled water bottles! Now that’s creative!

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

Day 14 of 30 days of Creativity

I just made this trifle this evening for Boxing Day. It has layers of cake (I have used left-over Christmas pudding from our early Christmas last Sunday). The cake can be soaked in sherry but I used fruit juice. Layers of cale, custard, cream and jelly are added and then some chopped nuts go on the top.

Trifle

Day 13 of 30 Days of Creativity

Favourite musicians

I enjoy most types of music: the 1970s was my era. I enjoy pop music, light classical, country and much more …

I am listening to Billy Joel as I write this (Piano Man). I am also a fan of Bob Dylan, Creedence Clear Water Revival, Carole King, Buddy Holly, Gene Pitney, Bee Gees, Adele, Kasey Chambers, Leann Rimes, Janis Joplin, Eagles, Rod Stewart and many more I can’t remember until I hear the songs! Music really has the ability to bring us back to a moment in time. I wonder if you have heard of all these musicians. Some go back to the 1950s.

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitu0101ns on Pexels.com

Day 11 of 30 Days of Creativity

Today I will write on the following prompt: Would we be happier if we were living closer to nature?

It is easy to say a resounding YES to this question however I can only answer for myself. I love nature and enjoy watching the birds, kangaroos and cows that I sometimes spot through my back fence.

We had a full height fence and earlier this year replaced it with half-height to enable us to see what happens on the other side. It is just a small stand of peppermint trees based in the corner of a farm that has been partially redeveloped. It is fenced off from the public so we get exclusive viewing rights (along with some of our neighbours.

It is wonderful to stand in my kitchen and be able to see kangaroos nibbling on the grass. We get plenty of magpies, willy wagtails, silver-eyes and sometimes we get parrots (who annoyingly like to eat my geraniums).

Farmer Bell occassionally allows his black angus cows to graze in the area as well. They are big impressive animals that seem to freeze on the spot when they spot me looking at them.

With the warmer weather coming on we may get some reptiles visiting us as well. We have had two tiger snakes (deadly) in the past few years. We also get skinks, bobtail lizards and frogs.

Ours is a small ecosystem but so very easy to access. I find nature to be calming and inspiring and that has to be a good thing!

Day 10 of 30 days of Creativity

I did an exercise today that I think could be considered creative. I was actually feeling that “end of the year” tiredness and “not ready for the New Year” anxiety!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

I decided to do a review of 2021. I was amazed to see how much has happened, both positive and negative. I have also experienced some personal growth that I didn’t want to slip through my fingers. I made a note of all the things I have learned (and the books I have read to support the learning). I want to be able to refer back to my list next year and refresh my memory.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

I also did a bit of a plan for 2022. There are a few things I know I will be involved with so I did some mind mapping for each of them so that I can start doing some preparation now (to hold off some of that anxiety!)

I also reflected on friends who I hope will be part of my life in the New Year. I lost my closest girl-friend this year and she is irreplaceable. However I am open to new friendships in the year ahead. We all need friends and even more so as we get older, I believe.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Day 9 of 30 days of Creativity

Today I would like to share a piece of music that my husband, Tom, composed. At the start of the pandemic he taught himself to read music and has gone on to compose over 45 tunes on his computer using music composition software. He has done many online courses about the different aspects involved.

Here is one of my favourites:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Day 7 of 30 days of Creativity

Today I will respond to this writing prompt: “What do you do when you find yourself stuck?”

I have many strategies for becoming unstuck. Here are some of the ideas that I apply:

  • I write in my journal and usually it becomes clearer as to why I am stuck on what I am stuck on!
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com
  • I reflect on the thoughts I had prior to becoming stuck – were they negative or self-critical?
Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com
  • I might do a mind-map where I just randomly write down all the things that are happening in my life right now. I will try to go to the next level and see what is the most important or most stressful.
  • After identifying any issues in the mind map I may do another sheet where I check whether the issues are really as important as first thought. I may come up with action points or clarifications.
  • I try to change my location from one room to another or to go outside. Perhaps I will do something in the garden for a while.
  • Sometimes I will get out the recipe book and find something interesting to cook.
Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Pexels.com
  • I check out my “to do” list and see if there is something small that I can tackle.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com
  • I have some adult colouring-in books and these can be quite relaxing and help to free up my addled brain a little.

Day 6 of 30 days of Creativity

Is frustration a part of the creative process? Wanting to see the finished product unleashed?

I ask this as I am experiencing some frustration with a current project that I am working on. It is with a community organisation and I have spent quite a few hours developing a new website. It is ready to go “live” and people are waiting for that to happen. The only thing we are waiting for is the transfer of the domain name. This should be a simple process but it has hit a few hurdles (are hurdles part of the creative process too?)

Anyway I am waiting on an email from the new host to say that the domain name has been transferred. Once this has taken place I can then make the website live. I can see my work go public. I can get feedback and make improvements based on that. Hopefully the new website will create some new interest in the organisation.

I have been obsessed with checking my emails for that magic one to arrive that will make it all happen. So I think I have answered my own question. We can create something and get pleasure and satisfaction from that activity. The process of making it public is a separate part but an important one that enables us to share our creativity. We have less control over this part of the process.

I should remember the teachings of Stoicism that “some things are up to us; others are not.”

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Day 5 of 30 Days of Creativity

What is CREATIVITY?

C is for Curiosity about the world, people, thoughts, emotions and our environment

R is for Remembering our childhood and life experiences

E is for the Energy that is within us and all around us

A is for Art in its many different forms

T is for Talent and this can be very subjective and sometimes elusive

I is for Inward journeys to explore ideas

V is for the Variety of forms of creativity

I is for Ideas that can lead to all sorts of possibilities

T is for Treasure and how we feel about a creative work

Y is for You as creativity is best when it can be shared with others.

A canvas art print I purchased ealier this year. I think it is very creative!

Some things are in my control …

Epictetus

Epictetus

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.”
― Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

I thought it would be worthwhile to look more closely at what things are, and are not, in my control.

Things in my controlThings not in my control
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Such as:
My perspective and opinions
How I treat other people
How I respond to how other people treat me
What hobbies and interests I choose to pursue
How much exercise I do
What I eat and drink
How I wear my hair, makeup, and clothes
How I spend and/or invest my savings and my time
What I study, read, watch or listen to
What I choose to do in my garden
How generous or not I am with my possessions and time
Who I choose to spend my time with  
What values I have
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
Such as:
Getting older
Other people and their opinions of me
Whether other people agree with me or not
Whether other people listen to me or not
Whether other people understand me or not
Actions by other people
The weather
My genetic code
The stock markets
Other peoples’ actions
Death and illness
Disasters such as pandemics, bush fires, floods etc.
Wars  
The past and the future

Day 3 of 30 days of Creativity

For today’s post I chose to do some cooking! I made a date and walnut loaf. The recipe follows:

1 cup chopped pitted dates

I cup of boiling water

I cup of chopped walnuts

I 1/4 cups of plain flour

3/4 cup of rolled oats

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar.

Directions: Mix the chopped dates with the cup of boiling water and add maple syrup.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and add the date mix when it has cooled a little (about 15 minutes)

Stir the date mixture into the other ingredients and then place in a loaf tin.

Cook in oven heated to 175C for about 45 minutes.

Lovely served in slices with butter.

Day 2 of 30 Days of Creativity

For today I will write in response to the writing prompt “What is something that made you happy this week?”

I walk a dog named Roy every Thursday morning at 9am. Roy is a cross between a labrador and a golden retriever and he is ten years old. I got involved through a local not-for-profit group called POOPS (Pets Of Older Persons). It was set up to enable elderly people to keep their dogs with them even when they are no longer able to take them out for walks.

At first I could walk faster than Roy but now he is more energetic than me. He lives close to the beach so we head there when we leave home. Once at the beach I let him off the lead and he loves to run and have a dip in the water.

His nose is continually busy sniffing things that I can’t see – I do wonder what he is thinking when he is concentrating so intensely! He does have a strong idea of where he wants to go and lets me know by refusing to move or just sitting down. Sometimes I have to let him know who is boss!

What made me smile last week was when we returned from the walk and rather than run into his yard without looking back, he walked a little way and then turned and waited as if to say, “Aren’t you coming too?”

Day 1 of 30 days of Creativity

I was fortunate to be given a lovely bunch of carnations this week. I took a photo with my 10x magnification lens on my digital camera. I also took a photo of the flowers in vase with my iPhone and then played with it in LiteRoom software.

Here they are:

30 Day Creativity Challenge

Do you feel like joining me in attempting to do one creative activity each day for the next 30 days? If writing is your thing maybe you can find some ideas in the file below:

But it doesn’t have to be writing, it can be anything creative and it doesn’t have to be a big thing – the challenge is in making the effort each and everyday and recording it in your blog. I am going to give it a go (partly as a distraction to the festive season craziness). I have also been absent from my blog for many months so this is a good way to get back to writing. I hope you will join me.

Could you please include a link to my blog so as I can check out what you have done (www.allaboutwordswa.com)?

A short stay at Jurien Bay

We recently enjoyed four nights staying at Jurien Bay (around 440km north of Busselton where we live) on the West coast of Australia. The weather was good as was the company. It took us about six hours with coffee breaks and going around Perth rather than through it!

Cervantes is close to Jurien and is well known for The Lobster Shack so a visit there was essential.

The view from the Shack was pretty good too!

We started off sitting here but the sun was a bit warm so we retreated to the shade.

Some other pics of our stay. These are from Green Head; a short drive north of Jurien.

Finding Mindfulness in Unusual Places

I have wanted a new dining setting for a long time. We ordered one and were pleased it arrived after only one week when told it would be two. I enjoy the task of putting the pieces of the puzzle together; having tackled a few Ikea projects in the past. I really do enjoy the challenge of focusing on what is in front of me and being lost in the task. At times I was more lost than others! The table package came with no instructions so it took a bit of figuring out.

First the boxes

Four chairs in two boxes and the table legs in one.

The table top box was EXTRA large and heavy.

Table top surround by a wooden frame.

The four chairs were in two boxes – they took me about 20 minutes each.

And then the biggest challenge: putting the legs on the table (without the instructions!)

FINAL OUTCOME

Now that was FUN! And we now have a new dining setting for four.

Bridgetown, West Australia

We are just back from a couple of days away in Bridgetown – just over 100km to the east of where we live. I took some photos of flowers from the garden where we stayed and one of the view from the back verandah. It was very quiet and peaceful. Just what I was seeking!

Be The Best

My Mum loved poems and seemed to have a great memory for the lines. Much better than me! She used to encourage me with the words “if you can’t be a tree, be the best little bush” or something like that. I decided today to search for the words and found it online in no time. It must be better known than I thought. Here it is:

BE THE BEST

It you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill,

Be a scrub in the valley – but be

The best little scrub by the side of the hill;

Be a bush, if you can’t be a tree.

If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass,

And some highway happier make;

If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass-

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,

There’s something for all of us here.

There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do

And the task we must do is the near.

If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail,

If you can’t be the sun, be a star;

It isn’t by size that you win or you fail-

Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch

http://www.english-for-students.com/be-the-best.html

It brings back fond memories of my Mum who passed away nearly 15 years ago. I often think of her.

My Survival Kit for Christmas/New Year/anytime!

Sometimes I find life overwhelming. I don’t think I am alone in that experience! Just thought I would put together a list of some easy things to remember when feeling stressed/depressed etc.

  • Remember there are some things in my control and others are not (inspired by the Stoics)
  • Remember that it is not things that upset us but our beliefs/judgements about them (Stoics)
  • Be grateful for life, health and the many good things in my life
  • Be in the moment, as in “when doing the dishes, just do the dishes”
  • I sometimes break the day down to hours or minutes e.g. “for the next hour I will shower and make my bed” I can do more if I want to but the goal is to just get one or two things done. (works for me).
  • I try to remember that others are fighting their own internal battles (we don’t know what it is like to be them) so try to be compassionate and try to see where they are coming from.
  • I find something to do that lightens my mood – I love taking photos of flowers or editing photos so I can set up a small project (go out to the garden and snap away and them come inside and edit the photos) and it can help me lift my mood.
  • Listen to a podcast. I am currently into learning about Stoicism and there are heaps of podcasts and YouTube video to watch or listen to.
  • If every thought in my head is coming out bleak I need to consider it might be my thinking that is out of kilter and not the rest of the universe!
  • Sometimes I write in my journal and maybe do a mind map (in my journal) to get a more objective picture of where my life and thoughts are at the moment. See what I can change and what I can’t.
  • I try to resist making big decisions when stressed. I sometimes want to do something straight away but encourage myself to review the idea at a later date – maybe three months, depending on the issue.
  • If all else fails, I go and have a rest for a while. Often I feel better afterwards!

Some things are in our control … others are not.

Epictetus

Epictetus

“Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.”
― Epictetus, Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses

I thought it would be worthwhile to look more closely at what things are, and are not, in my control. Have I missed any biggies?

Things in my controlThings not in my control
Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Such as:
My perspective and opinions;
How I treat other people;
How I respond to how other people treat me;
What hobbies and interests I choose to pursue;
How much exercise I do;
What I eat and drink;
How I wear my hair, makeup, and clothes;
How I spend and/or invest my savings and my time;
What I study, read, watch or listen to;
What I choose to plant in my garden;
How generous or not I am with my possessions and time;
Who I choose to spend my time with;  
What values I have.
Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
Such as:
Getting older;
Other people and their opinions of me;
Whether other people agree with me or not;
Whether other people listen to me or not;
Whether other people understand me or not;
Actions by other people;
The weather;
My genetic code;
The stock markets;
Other peoples’ actions;
Death and illness;
Disasters such as pandemics, bush fires, floods etc.
Wars;  
The past and the future.

E-Merging

Today I took a leap of faith (of great risk more likely) and decided to merge two of my blogs together. That is this one and “It’s a Small World”. It seems the posts are now spread throughout my allaboutwordswa posts. The only way I could be sure that the merge worked was to find some images from the other site. This one below is a flower from a chilli plant. It is not taken with a conventional camera but a tool that can be used in the field for enthusiasts – it actually magnifies the image up to 500 times. The image above is of a blueberry.

Chilli

Here are a few more examples 🙂

In the garden

Below are some flowers from my vegetable garden plus a flower from the geranium plant – all magnified x 100.

Purple potato

I found this in my pantry today. It is a purple potato gone to seed. I love the colours and shapes when magnified x 100 times.

Italian Parsley

Here is some parsley I just rinsed to go with my dinner this evening – I like the way the circles distort their shape a little.

Soil

I had a close look at a sample of the soil in my garden today and a close up view of some rainbow chard (similar to silver-beet) and this is what I found …

 

It IS rocket science

The rocket I am referring to is a leaf variety used in salad. For more detailed information click HERE

And now here are some images of rocket flowers from my garden x 250 magnification.

Grateful for small things of beauty

I found this tiny piece of coral on the beach some years ago (I don’t remember where) and kept it as a reminder of the beauty, strength and fragility to be found in nature.

It hasn’t been under the microscope as I think it is beautiful as it is.

simple objects 006