Stamp Collecting!

comments 3
collections / finding your passion

I am trying to improve my photography skills and today I tried taking close up photos from my stamp collection. It is a group of five albums given to me about 30 years ago. There is a wide variety of stamps from countries around the world. I will do a few posts on them so as I can give you a fair sample of what I’ve got. Here are some to start with:

Spring Wildflowers

comments 2
beautiful / finding your passion / flowers

I visited a local reserve (area of natural bushland) today. It was so much better than I anticipated. My aim was to take close-up photos of flowers. I still have lots to learn about using my DSLR camera but about 50% of the photos came out okay. Better luck next time!

Here are some images of the native vegetation. Much of it is quite unique to South Western Australia.

Here is a link from Wikipedia about Xanthorrhoea (featured in the photo above).

Day 7 of 7 photos in 7 days

comments 7
7 photos in 7 days / Cooking; Creativity / creativity / finding your passion / Flow / flowers

Last Thursday I suggested our U3A Course participants take on a creative challenge of their choice, to do something creative each day for 7 days. I couldn’t convince them to do the 30 day challenge though. We meet again in the morning and I am looking forward to finding out what they have been up to.

My 7th photo is shot of our morning tea tomorrow: Mini blueberry muffins!

Day 6 of 7 days and 7 photos

comments 4
7 photos in 7 days / Blogging / collections / harmony / Just for fun

Today’s photo, below, is of a canvas art painting I have in my office/creative space. I find it so relaxing to sit in my comfy chair and lose myself within the painting. It seems to relax and energise at the same time. Every time I look at it I see some different detail or how different light shows up the different colours. The image at the top was done using a colouring-in iPad app. I enjoyed experimenting with the different shade options.

Day 5 of 7 days of 7 photos

comments 3
7 photos in 7 days / beautiful / Blogging

I decided to divert from the flower theme of the last few days. Today I took a photo of one of my favourites – a cup and saucer I bought at Westminster Abbey gift shop in 2008. It was my first ever trip to London and I was in love with the history and architecture. I am also a fan of miniatures and fine china. It all came together in the gift shop where I bought four of these with different designs.

Day 4 of 7 photos in 7 days

comments 3
7 photos in 7 days / Australia / Blogging / flowers

Lesson 101 – always check the memory card is in the camera! Twice now I have forgotten – hopefully I have mastered that one now!

This plant below was a gift to me from fellow blogger QP & Eye who I was lucky enough to meet due to COVID19 putting a halt to her travels throughout West Australia for several weeks earlier this year. It was great to meet Linda and her husband and then follow up with a coffee in town before they were able to move to another region. I love reading about Linda’s travels throughout Australia.

Day 3 of 7 photos in 7 days

comment 1
beautiful / flowers / gardening

Well, I headed out with my camera this morning hoping to get some shots of wildflowers. They were a bit hard to find given that it is still Winter. Anyway I took some pics of tiny flowers only to find that I left the SD card in my computer – so NO photos!

When I got home I asked my neighbour if I could take some photos of the flowers in her front garden and she kindly agreed. So here we are:

7 Days and 7 Photos

comments 8
finding your passion / Just for fun / Nature

I am leading a University of the Third Age group in a Course called “Unleashing Your Creative Spirit”. On the first week I suggested a 30 Day Creativity Challenge where we would each do something creative everyday for 30 days. I didn’t get many takers unfortunately.

I tried again today (Week 6) and we compromised to do a 7 day challenge. Participants can choose their own topics out of a range of suggested ones. I agreed that I would take part and would commit to doing one photo a day using my digital camera rather than my phone. I recently enrolled in a Photography Course but have only just started.

Tonight as I was putting out the bins for collection I was captivated by the evening sky and raced in to get my camera. I am sure I will do better when I learn how to use it (at least I hope so!). So anyway, here is my photo for today:

I think there are some aliens in my neighbour’s garden!

Just popped in to say hello!

comments 4
creativity enhancement / Just for fun / Nature / Phiosophy / Photography

I haven’t written for a while. I keep meaning to and have had lots of ideas for posts (can’t remember what they were now!)

There is a lot going on at present. I am leading two University of the Third Age courses (philosophy discussion group and learning about creativity). I have also signed up to an online photography course – Digital Photography masterclass. Hopefully in time you will see some improvement in my photos.

For now I will include a few photos I took with my iPhone – spur of the moment shots. I love to see the trees in winter with no foliage but the bright blue sky beyond.

Stop rowing the boat!

comments 9
Acceptance / compassion / depression / harmony

I have been thinking about persistence, perseverance, resilience and the like. All good things, I am sure you would agree.

Do you remember the Olympics a few years back when one of the rowers actually stopped rowing and caused her team to lose the race? She received lots of negative publicity. My question is, is it ever okay to say ‘I can’t give anymore energy to this’ ?

Today I was pulling out some weeds in the garden and decided I would be happy to get the job half done. But then I thought I would do some more but couldn’t quite complete the job. Of course, I could have kept going but I chose not to. It wasn’t that important to me and the weeds will still be there tomorrow.

But what about more important issues such as a work situation or a big challenge you have taken on? Is it weak to quit? Or is it healthy to know when enough is enough? When I have experienced periods of depression in the past it is usually my first inclination to want to quit doing just about everything. In a case like this, is it weakness to give in to the urge to quit?

What I find challenging about this topic is that in the past I thought it was okay to quit but now I wonder if I could’ve been tougher! I know there are many layers to the questions I have asked and there are many strategies to consider but the main issue for me is to not rush into quitting too quickly as I may find I can actually achieve what I want if I stick to it for just a little bit longer!

Time to write!

comments 8
Acceptance / Australia / Friends and family / Gratitude / Music

It is weeks since I wrote anything on my blog! Not necessarily a bad thing. Instead I decided to start a hand-written journal to capture some of the experiences of living through a pandemic. A strange experience for all of us and continues to be pervasive one way or another.

As I go about my day I think of things to blog about but before I know it, the day has gone. One thing that struck me recently was the concept of ownership – a new perspective for me. I sometimes ‘google’ the addresses of places I used to live and quite often the houses come up from the most recent real estate listing. You can do a walk-through of at least two of my former homes. I have even found some homes where my grandparents lived in the 1920’s!

Getting back to ‘ownership’ – I look at my former homes with a sense of permanence even though I only lived in them for a short time. One house in Melbourne we only lived in for 12 months – 40 years ago! The people we sold it to still live there. Any yet that house appears in my dreams and has grown in my imagination.

I shared this rental home with another couple in the 1970’s

In actual fact these homes were just a roof over our heads for a period of time before the next family moved in and it became ‘theirs’. We can’t lay any claim of ownership on our friends or family either. We are just fortunate to share some parts of our lives with them. Perhaps it is a sign of me getting older and a sense of gratitude for the people I share my time with. Things we purchase can be useful and even beautiful but they do not last forever.

I got hooked on this song 6 or so months ago (it kept turning up wherever I went) and maybe it sums up what I am trying to say …

And now for something completely different!

comments 9
emotions / family traditions / food and diets

I went into a shop today and the first items I saw were bags of Snowballs. I told my son I bought some and he asked me what they were. I thought everyone knew but just in case, here are a couple of photos.

Food has all sorts of purposes and meaning in our lives. My dad loved Snowballs. In fact it is one of the last things I remember him eating when I last saw him a few weeks before he died at 89 years old. When I visited I often brought him Snowballs and for my mum it was ginger chocolates!

In case you haven’t come across them before they are balls of marshmallow dipped in chocolate and then rolled in coconut. Sometimes they are advertised as “fat free” which almost makes them sound healthy.

Here is a little video on how to make them. This one uses bought marshmallows but my mum used to make her own.

Yum!

Stormy Weather!

comments 13
Acceptance / gardening / Nature

I have been watching my palm trees flourish over about six years. We had some wild weather overnight and woke to find some carnage in the back patio. I was quite shocked as we are rather fond of our palms. After a few hours of thinking about what to do next (can’t find a replacement for the broken one) we have a little project on our hands – and we all need projects at the moment :). Maybe it is time to transplant four of them (the casualties) into bigger pots and rethink their colours and positions.

We are fortunate considering that some people had a lot more damage to their properties and long power outages.

Uncertain Times

comments 7
Acceptance / depression / emotions / Meaning and Purpose

Our World has faced an unprecedented time these last few months due to Covid19. Each country has been impacted differently and has responded in its own way. Only history will help us see what we could have done better and what were our good decisions.

My life hasn’t changed enormously but there have been some changes in the daily routines. We have missed the luxury of being able to go to the gym. I had been going regularly for about 18 months and found it to be really good for my mental health and well-being. I also feel a bit fitter too!

The retirement community where I live has been very quiet with very few guests passing through. The lock-down has created a feeling of solidarity among residents and greater desire to say hello and chat when the opportunity arises.

Now there is talking about relaxing restrictions. In many ways we do want that to happen, but not too quickly – for safety sake but also I have come to like the SLOW life and not sure I can pick up the fast pace again.

Anyway, I shall take each day as it comes and enjoy what it has to offer!

Photo by Sophie Xiang on Facebook

What does it mean to be a writer?

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Acceptance / all about words / Balance / Blogging / life long learning / mistakes

I haven’t really thought about this question until now. On completing a five week course in Creative Writing today I am almost ready to hang up my pen! I didn’t research the course in great depth as I just thought it would be great to do during this time of home isolation. In fact the course was geared very much toward writing fiction novels and the development of character, scenes, point of view, momentum etc.

I found that the only way I could develop a character was to base it on the character I know best – ME! That got me thinking and I quickly realised I am not in the least bit interested in writing fiction. I have often thought of the possibility of writing a memoir but I am not even sure about that now.

I have had this idea of “writing” in the background (the name of my blog for example!!!) for many years but maybe it is time to take a different path. After all, why do people write memoirs? Is it to reassure themselves their lives had some meaning and purpose? Or is it to reconcile life’s experience and to find peace at its conclusion?

Maybe it is the COVID 19 affect that is perhaps making me stop and think about where I am headed and to look at possible alternatives for the future. that can’t be a bad thing.

Just for Today (8)

comments 7
Acceptance / Balance / Gratitude / Just for Today

8. Just for Today, I will have a programme. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests – Hurry and Indecision.

Author Unknown

I am finding that having a ‘to do’ list is really helpful in this time of being isolated at home. I have done some really mundane tasks that were at the bottom of my priorities but it felt good to get them done. I also plan some leisure time and exploring hobbies that haven’t progressed much in the past. For example I have tools and guidelines for calligraphy but haven’t invested much time or effort. Today I decided to go back to basics and start afresh – take time to check I have the right pens, ink, instructions etc. It turns out I have all I need so I just need to practise.

A Favourite Beach

comments 5
Acceptance / Balance / Gratitude / harmony / Health

Needed to get out of the house today and enjoyed a short break at the beach. I took a few photos with my phone and edited (cropped) each of them a little differently. The bottom right was just taken from a different angle from where I was standing and the sun reappeared. What is it about the beach that is so calming – especially when there’s not many people about?

Just for Today (7)

comments 5
Acceptance / Balance / Fashion, Colour / Friends and family / Just for Today

How are you holding up with the current restrictions? It seems that most people are finding some positives in slowing down the normally fast pace of life.

Here is another quote for your consideration/reflection:

7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low,  act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit  nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

Author Unknown
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Just for Today (6)

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Acceptance / Balance / Friends and family / harmony / Just for Today

6. Just for Today, I will exercise my soul in three ways, to wit:

(a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.

(b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.

(c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Author Unknown

Something to think about during this strange time with Covid 19!

Photo by Ikhsan Sugiarto on Pexels.com

Just for Today (4)

comments 3
Acceptance / creativity / Fashion, Colour / Just for Today

Here is another quote :

4. Just for Today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.

Author Unknown

With all the current restrictions it is hard to keep up the good habits. I can’t go to the gym but I can go for a walk. Not quite the same though. It is tempting to start baking yummy food with the excuse that I need a ‘treat’! It would be so easy to gain a few kilos.

On the other hand I think it is good to get up and do my usual routine of doing my hair and dressing reasonably well – it makes me feel better anyway.

Don’t think I will ever achieve the “perfect machine” as the quote says but hopefully fit and well enough to fight off the pesky bugs turning our lives up-side-down!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Just for Today (3)

comments 2
Balance / creativity / emotions / Friends and family / Just for Today

3. Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.

Author Unknown

How did you go yesterday with remembering you are as happy as you make up your mind to be? Confession time – I didn’t do so well but the quote kept coming to mind so I wasn’t totally unaware that my happiness is in my own hands.

Just for Today

comments 4
Acceptance / Balance / life long learning

Like most people, I am looking at new ways to fill my days at home and new ways of shaping my attitude. When I was a little girl I remember finding an article in the Readers Digest that grabbed my attention (note – I was an unusually deep thinker as a child).

I now want to share one of these each day and try to live one each day as well.

Today’s quote is:

1. Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

Author unknown.

It ended before it started …

comments 5
Acceptance / Gratitude / Meaning of life and that stuff / Philosophy

Since late 2019 I have been preparing to deliver a Course for our local University of the Third Age called “Unleash Your Creative Spirit”. I put myself through the course for the second time and allowed all sorts of creative ideas to flourish. In some ways I turned my house upside down in the process. I have already shared some of those experiences in previous blogs.

Eighteen people enrolled and I divided them into two groups – morning and afternoon. It was due to start this Thursday 26 March and run for eight weeks (2 hours per fortnight).

I don’t think I need to tell you the cause of the cancellation! We can never predict what is going to happen from one day to the next. I am sure that is a lesson we are all coming to terms with in the time of this pandemic. It is really challenging my expectations of how I would like the world to be. I am trying to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can. I have taken comfort in the Stoic philosophers and the following quote in particular:

THE BEST RETREAT IS IN HERE, NOT OUT THERE!

The Daily Stoic message for 21 March says:

“People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, or in the mountains. You are very much in the habit of yearning for those same things. But this is entirely the trait of a base person, when you can, at any moment, find such a retreat in yourself. For nowhere can you find a more peaceful and less busy retreat than in your own soul – especially if on close inspection it is filled with ease, which I say is nothing more than being well ordered. Treat yourself often to this retreat and be renewed.’

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

Former Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher.

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

New photo app I found

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beautiful / collages / creativity / Holidays / Just for fun / life long learning / Photography / South Western Australia

I needed to do a collage of photos and so went looking online. I found an app that is fairly easy to use and I am having fun learning what I can do with it.

Here are some wildflowers from our region:

Here is an image of some of the popular tourist attractions where I live:

The app is called Phototastic (I am not making any money out this post!). I signed up for a free trial for 7 days.

Brothers …

comments 13
Cohuna Victoria / family history / Friends and family / Writing

I am the youngest of five children with two sisters and two brothers. This story goes back to when we were kids.Somehow my brothers had me twisted around their little fingers.

For example they would con me into polishing their shoes. I would spend ages doing it and waiting for their approval which was very hard to get.

I remember we had an old cupboard in our yard (no longer useful in the house) and I used to love playing “house” (as a good 1950’s girl would do) and the cupboard was the central prop. My brothers got some ferrets (which I didn’t like at all) and they convinced me that they needed the cupboard to keep the ferrets in. I think they may have given me one shilling (ten cents) in exchange. I think they got the better deal!

My brothers had a lot of friends that used to hang out at our place. As long as I remained inconspicuous they didn’t mind me tagging along. That was fun and had a sense of danger!

Another time they had some friends around – I was a bit older, about 12 I think – and they dared me to smoke a cigarette. They were all smoking and promised to give me 10 shillings if I could smoke a cigarette and do the draw-back. I was a willing student and to their surprise they had to hand over 10 shillings. It went a long way in the 1960’s. That was my first ever cigarette (it was a roll your own one at that), and unfortunately I later took up the habit. I have been off them from a long time now.

The other memory I have is of my stubbornness when it came to swearing. I absolutely refused. They tried many times to bribe me without success. The first time I was known to swear effectively was when I was in my late 30’s in an argument with a politician!

Both brothers joined the armed forces around the time of the Vietnam War – one in the Royal Australian Army and one in the Royal Australian Navy. I didn’t see a lot of them at that time.

I think I am lucky to have had two brothers and two sisters. I believe it has helped me in being able to relate to men and women plus lots of interesting memories from growing up.

The five of us – taken about 15 years ago.

What is blogging about for me?

comments 17
all about words / Anonymity / Balance / Blogging / family history / Gratitude / privacy / sharing

I started this blog about ten years ago with the idea it would be an avenue for me to write regularly. At times I DO write regularly however it often has quiet spells where I have nothing to much to say. Do you ever get asked “What is blogging anyway?” I try to answer it but I can’t find adequate words to describe the experience.

Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

Last year I was leading a philosophy discussion group so I often felt inclined to share snippets on my blog. This year I am leading a group looking into creativity so that’s why a lot of my recent posts are on that topic.

There I so many people I have “met” through blogging that have become a valued part of my everyday life. I look forward to reading their posts and admiring their photos and stories.

When I first started posting I was very open and shared a lot of personal ideas, feelings and experiences. Today I am a little less adventurous. I have been “found” online by various people who know me personally so it is not anonymous. The world is a small place and I need to be considerate and not write stuff that may hurt or malign anyone (unless of course they are politicians!)

So where does that leave me if I want to share my innermost thoughts and feelings? Perhaps I could disguise them as fiction or go back to an old fashioned journal. I do have an online journal that is confidential and a good space to debrief. However I do like the feedback a blog provides when someone reads and likes a post and understands what I am on about.

What do you say when someone asks you what a blog is? I would love to be able to provide a quick and easy response to that question!

A SPECIAL GIFT

Leave a comment
compassion / creativity / Meaning and Purpose / Meaning of life and that stuff / Nature / Poetry

The pretty blue fairy wrens had nothing to do

When one of them spotted a pretty blue stone

One said “I will fly close and inspect it for you”

He soon called out for help to carry it home.

Just at that moment very close by, a little girl is born

She is very sick and might not live

Her parents are indeed quite forlorn

The fairy wrens decide they have something important to give.

They magically carry the precious blue stone to the babe

And cleverly hide it in her tiny navel

They disappear quickly into a nearby cave

And wait for news via twitter or cable.

The little girl is now better and going home to stay

Her lovely eyes are becoming a pretty shade of blue

The tiny blue stone glows within her each and every day

As she gets older the wrens decide to give her a clue.

She learns that the little blue stone

Is full of love, wisdom, truth, beauty and kindness

It is always there to help her when she feels so alone

It frequently helps her out of a mess.

Inside she becomes beautiful, wise, honest, loving and kind

But others don’t seem to know about her little blue stone

She wants to tell them, if they look carefully, they too will find

There is a special gift inside each of us waiting to lovingly bring us home.

NB. Looking back through my old writing files and came across this one I thought I would share.

Going back in order to go forward

comments 3
Acceptance / creativity / creativity enhancement / emotions / Friends and family

Barbara Mallon (A Year of Creativity) says that:

Sometimes in order to go forward you have to go back to earlier times when the path you were starting out on was still covered in virgin snow.

She poses the following questions and suggests you write your responses in your Creative Year Journal. I will include my answers to the questions in this blog.

My favourite childhood game was…. “let’s pretend.” This included dress-ups, shop keepers, TV characters …

The best TV program I saw as a child was … Lassie Come Home or Black Velvet or Mr Ed. I also loved Popeye cartoons …

My earliest memory of school was … my very first day! I did not want to stay there and I got stuck into Sister Kevin by kicking and screaming – much to my mother’s horror!

The toy I loved most was … paper dolls that you could dress in paper dresses (anyone remember them?), dolls & teddy bears, musical jewelry box and wind-up toys.

If I had the perfect childhood I would have grown up to be … the person I am now but maybe would have got there a bit quicker in a more favorable environment.

The best gift anyone could have given me as a child would have been … their full and undivided attention.

NB My answers included multiple items whereas the questions mostly asked for one thing. I couldn’t decide so included those strongest in my memory.

Even if you don’t want to blog your answers you may enjoy giving some thought to what your answers might be. My answers were a surprise to me!

Favourite Colours

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AFL / Art / Australia / Australian Rules Football / creativity / creativity enhancement

What are your favourite colours? Do you have them liberally spread throughout your home?

The book, A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon asks:

Are you sensitive to colours (colors) that go together or colours that clash?

Brenda Mallon

That got me thinking about my home and the colours I have chosen throughout. I took some pics to give a sample of what appeals to me. None of these choices came from logic – they were all from the heart!

So there is blue, yellow, orange and white background. A long time ago someone told me that yellow or gold are positive, happy colours and I believe that is true. Mixing the golds with blue and orange, to me at least, is striking! When our gold curtains were installed I was rather shocked at their bold statement but I have never regretted getting them!

Magpie

comments 2
Australia / Garden / Magpies / Poetry

Daddy Magpie

It is a blissful day to fly

The sun shines on my wings – the shiny black feathers and the gleaming white

I am proud of who I am!

I hear movement in the house beyond -the human is out and about

I know I am safe – we have history

She feeds my youngest who squeaks all day

I trust her – she’s okay

She looks at me and I at her

I wonder why she doesn’t fly

She walks about the yard

Without any attempt – she doesn’t even try!

Emotional Landscape

Leave a comment
Acceptance / creativity / depression / flowers / Western Australia

What words would you use to describe your emotional landscape e.g. rocky, barren, overcast, filled with sunshine?

A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon

My response:

Calm as the waters of Geographe Bay

Stormy as the waves at Yallingup Beach

Light and bright as the Spring wildflowers

Gloomy as the clouds with strong winds buffeting me about.

Of course it is an ever changing scene with sometimes all four occurring in the one day! Now I would welcome a glimpse at YOUR landscape 🙂

Trusting creative ideas? Mmm …

comments 4
creativity / creativity enhancement / finding your passion / You must be kidding?

I have been revamping my room (formerly called ‘my office’) to be a more creative space. Recently I bought a lovely new mat and was concerned the wheels on my ‘office’ chair might damage it.

I started looking for a swivel chair without wheels. I looked at hundreds of sites but found very few. I found one that is quite unusual but discovered it would cost me over $200 to have it delivered. Then the company had 48 hours free transport. I made the decision to choose the unusual one and get it delivered.

It arrived today and needed some putting together but now I am wondering if I was too impulsive.

Should I have been more sensible? I have found a spot for the bears at least! This could end up being a bigger project with me totally reoganising my room to suit the chair. I think I will sleep on it (not the chair)!

Translating Creative Ideas into Action

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creativity / Western Australia

If you get an idea that inspires you to do something creative, what is your first response? “A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon”

I would be interested to hear your responses to the above question. I sat down and wrote a reply straight away. My computer is almost always where I head first to do some research and then some more research!

Next I will print out what information or images are most relevant to what I want. If that is a bundle of paper I will put it in a file and give it a name. What happens next may well be the more important question! Sometimes I will get discouraged but other times I may leave the ideas to incubate for some time.

It seems that this year (2020) is the time I will get these folders out and dust them off and come up with some action plans. One idea in particular comes to mind, and that is drawing ground images of rivers as viewed from above – bird’s eye view.

Photo by Svanur Gabriele on Pexels.com

PS Confession here – I shared my ideas with a friend who is an accomplished artist and she showed me several of her paintings she had done on this topic. I became discouraged – but I haven’t written it off!

Creativity can involve hard work!

comments 6
all about words / Cohuna Victoria / creativity / family history / finding your passion

Some time ago I found some letters my mother wrote to me in the early 1980’s. We didn’t have phone access as we were living in a remote community in North West Australia so we tended to write to each other regularly instead.

Over time I have collated the letters, numbered the pages of the 38 letters and then scanned them last week with a photo scanning app. It took me ages but now I have captured them electronically it feels great.

My plan is to include these letters on another blog I have started (Stories from Letters) but it is not public yet and may not be for quite a while. The purpose is to capture some family memories in a space other family members can visit. It will help with my overall idea of some sort of memoir. I am open to however it may develop.

Below is a sample – just the first page, of one of the letters. My Mum passed away in 2005 but as I read the letters I can see her so clearly!

to be continued …

Progress on the Creative Space

comments 4
Balance / creativity / creativity enhancement / finding your passion / Flow / Just for fun

Recently I wrote about enhancing our environment to best support creativity. I am gradually making changes to my “office” (might need to change what I call the space!) to encourage me to be more creative.

This week I made a simple change and it has made all the difference. I have three desks in my room and I set up one with various creative projects that I started (and not completed). The space didn’t feel right until I moved my files for the two committees I do volunteer ‘work’ for. Once I moved them it felt so much better!

I also purchased a new mat for the floor. I was going to replace the carpet but the mat seemed so much easier and I got instant gratification without all the hassle of moving furniture etc.

I love my new mat!

Once the space felt right I spent some time there looking through my past projects. About four years ago I attempted to make a start on a memoir. I got as far as writing two pages of information for each decade of my life up until then. It made it seem manageable to do it that way. I printed out the pages I had written and put them in a nice new file. I found other bits and pieces (journal writing bits and pieces) that I was able to add to it. Who know where it may lead!

The two bears are there to remind me to have fun but also I don’t know where else to put them! I have been known for collecting teddy bears :).

Finding Balance & Creativity

comments 5
Balance / Books / creativity

I have two elements in mind with this post: psychological and physical.

One of the things that has scares me a bit about creativity is getting caught up in it! I remember as a teenager making my own clothes. I would get so carried away I could not stop until I finished the job! Sound familiar to anyone? I think it is being “in the flow” where nothing else matters except what is in front of you. Not such a bad thing in a world full of distractions.

The other element being physical – in this case, in creating an environment that is pleasant and comfortable to work/create in I am faced with the dilemma of having too many books. Some may say we can never have too many books! Books that I am unlikely to read again. I look at them and think, “That was a great book. I may want to share it with someone one day and I will get annoyed that I disposed of it.” Can you relate to that? I could pass them on to our Village Library but I don’t. Is it selfish to hang onto them when others might get pleasure from reading them? I don’t know!

Creative Enhancement

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creativity enhancement

A little book called “A Year of Creativity” by Brenda Mallon (Andrews McMeel Publishing) sits on my desk. A friend has lent it to me for ideas for the course I will be leading this term. It is rich with ideas and suggestions to explore. It is divided into twelve chapters and I thought I would share Chapter 5 (or Month 5 as the book calls it) titled Creative Enhancement.

There is a little questionnaire below (with my responses) from the chapter:

  • Have you got fresh flowers in your home? NO
  • Have you got any pictures hanging on your walls? YES
  • Have you got any photographs in your room? YES
  • Are you wearing clothes that delight you? NO but they are okay!
  • Can you smell your favourite perfume? NO
  • Have you got an inspirational book by your bed? NO but does a book on Stoicism count?
  • Have you listened to any special music in the last 24 hours? NO
  • How long is it since you went for a walk in the countryside or by the sea? TOO LONG since I live in the country and close to the beach.
  • When was the last time your prepared yourself some special food? TODAY (some lovely fresh fish).
  • Are the clothes you are wearing comfortable and pleasing to you? YES they are okay.

The writer goes on to say if we are not cherishing these things then our lives may be diminished. I need to take note and work on the areas where I didn’t fare too well.

Building a Creative Space

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creativity

I am up to Unit 6 in the Unleashing Your Creative Spirit course I am doing through U3Aonline. It was this course that inspired me to take on the 30 Day Creativity Challenge which was great fun!

The course material says:

Having a dedicated space for your creative outlet has many benefits…Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with the tools and resources you require.

Unleashing Your Creative Spirit, U3A online

There were multiple suggestions so I will include a sample:

  • computer with web page building and graphics programs
  • notice board for ideas and to-do lists plus photos and cards from loved ones
  • calendar, diary
  • sticky notes in lots of different colours
  • paint brushes, charcoal, coloured pencils, markers
  • writing ideas notebook
  • coloured paper clips and staples
  • hole punch, containers and magazines holders to help organise things
  • small drawers to hold craft and stationery items
  • folders and sheet protectors

Have I missed anything important? What would your creative space look like?

Day 30 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

For more info on the Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic is writing fiction

I first met Brian when I was about ten years old. There was a knock at the door and I raced to be the first to open it. When I saw him I drew back – he was a stranger and I was shy all of a sudden. He asked to see my mum. She didn’t invite him in but went outside to speak with him in private.

Later on she told us who he was: her long lost brother, Brian. She hadn’t seen him for thirty years. When they were growing up there were ten kids in the family and Uncle Brian was just one too many. My grandfather died when he was in his early fifties and my grandmother was overwhelmed with so many mouths to feed. He was sent to live with an aunt in Western Australia, 3000 kilometers away.

He rented a unit in our home town and we gradually got to know him and his cat, Megs. There was a sadness about him even though there was often a smile on his face. He’d never married. He didn’t talk much about his past but always listened to our stories of childhood adventures. Evidently he spent some time working in the mines. He had that deep, wrinkled suntan.

One day after school we stopped by his place and saw a police car out the front. We crept up to the veranda to hear what they were saying. Surely he wouldn’t do anything bad! They sounded friendly and there were few laughs – even the police were laughing! What on earth could it be?

Brian, all smiles now, saw the police off and waved them goodbye. He said to hop in his old car and he would drive us home. He said he would tell us what happened when we got home to mum and dad; and he did!

A member of the public had handed in a box of stuff belonging to Brian that was lost during his move. In searching the contents to identify the owner, they found a lottery ticket. A story in the daily paper told of an anonymous winner of $10 million. He or she hadn’t come forward to collect their prize.

The policeman checked the numbers on the ticket with the winning numbers and they matched perfectly with the ticket from Uncle Brian’s box. That was one house visit they really enjoyed and would never forget. And we would never forget how happy he was that day.

Uncle Brian was thrilled with his new fortune. He bought himself a new house and some new clothes. He even bought himself a new car – except it wasn’t new – he was happy with a secondhand one! The money didn’t change him much but he loved being able to help family and other people who were doing it tough.

PS Thanks for supporting my 30 Day Creativity Challenge. It has been great fun!

Day 29 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

For more info about the Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic: Creative Fashion?

I don’t claim to be up with the fashions but sometimes I like to experiment. I bought myself a new handbag today – I loved the colour – sort of ochre brown. It has four different compartments. I decided to have one for essentials (car keys, sunnies etc.) The second one is for a spare carry bag, comb, pens etc. – not things I need everyday (I do comb my hair everyday but not with that one!). I decided to use one of the outside compartments for my mobile phone (leaving one spare).

From previous experience I always forget which one is which so I came up with the idea of a little adornment to help me to remember where my phone is if I need to get to it in a hurry. What do you think? Does it work?

I guess only time will tell!

The jewelry is a gift from a friend but I prefer to look at it rather than wear it!