Emotional Landscape

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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 …

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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!

Day 28 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge / small

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Today’s Topic – A Small World

Sometime ago I created another blog called It’s a Small World because I like miniatures and am fascinated with nature up close. I will post a gallery below with some of my favourite small images.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, I mentioned yesterday that I was about to change my theme. I eventually decided on a theme called Cocoa. I haven’t explored it much as yet but hope to have some fun in making it the new home for allaboutwordswa 🙂

Day 27 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic – WordPress Themes

I do quite like the theme I have for my blog – Hemingway Rewritten. I haven’t always used this theme and used to change themes periodically for a fresh look.

Recently I have noticed that my blog doesn’t show up well on iPads and iPhones and started thinking about upgrading. Tonight I have been exploring all the different themes that are available if I upgrade my account to Premium. I decided to upgrade but now am a bit nervous about making the change. I have over 9 years of blog posts and photos here and I am not sure if the changeover will go smoothly!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people plan for weeks and in great detail before making such a leap. I am more inclined to press GO and then sort things out afterwards. What is the better option? Well I decided to have a cooling off by writing tonight’s post before making any major changes. How does this relate to creativity? Is creativity impulsive and risk taking or is it more considered and careful; or is it a bit of both?

The themes I am considering include Rosalie, Finder or Huntt. Perhaps I should sleep on it and make the change in the morning! You may not recognise me next you check out my blog!

Day 26 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic – Creativity capturing memories

In one of my posts last week I received a comment from David at David Oakes Images (I recommend a visit to his site). David said that “Creativity starts with creating memories….. then maybe capturing them 🙂.”

That made me think about the fact that every day we create memories (without even thinking about it) so why not create happy memories as we have that choice, if even for a few moments each day. I was inspired to make a little poster to put up in my office to remind me. Here it is below:

Day 25 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Today’s writing prompt: What would you take with you if you had to evacuate your home in an emergency?

If you have seen the news this past week you probably heard about the horrendous bush fires burning throughout Australia as we face record heat waves and drought conditions. Many homes have been lost and sadly, some lives as well.

I have seen many people on television saying they didn’t have time to grab anything apart from what they were wearing at the time. Ironically I have some friends who were in Queensland last year (Townsville) and they lost nearly everything in the floods. They had only what they could fit in their car.

So what to grab in an emergency? Photos are often mentioned but today most photos are stored electronically. I have scanned most of my older photos with the originals taking up several boxes. So I guess the sensible thing would be to grab the computer, laptop, external drive or iPad.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is hard to replace legal documents so I would grab my file with my passport, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, wills etc. I also have a file of children’s drawings, news clippings about my sons and grandsons. They are precious and irreplaceable.

I am told the hardest part of losing everything is that the sense of loss goes on for some time. My friends from Townsville said they would go to get something mundane and then realise they no longer have it. This would happen time and time again reminding them of their losses.

I would like to think that I would be grateful to get to safety with our lives intact. After all, most other ‘things’ can be replaced in time. I have a bundle of letters that my Mum wrote to me over a period of a few years. I started a blog (not public at this stage) recording those letters as she was the hub of the family and kept me in touch with what everyone else was up to. I wouldn’t want to lose those.

Some treasures!

I sincerely hope I don’t have to face such a situation but thinking about it makes me consider how so many people are dealing with this right now and their futures are uncertain with no homes to go back to. I only hope they are resilient enough to start afresh.

Day 24 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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I was just putting some finishing touches to our U3A Course Booklet for Semester 1 and I discovered that Microsoft Office 365 has a function where I can attach an icon. There were pages in the Course Booklet where there was white space I wanted to fill in so I was able to use the icons. I had never noticed them before. So I can show you, I attached a sample of icons on a Word document and then I used the Snippy Tool so I could put it on my blog as an image. Here it is below:

This creativity stuff is FUN 🙂

Day 23 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

I thought that tonight I would share a little about how I am finding challenging myself every day to do something creative.

Some days it has been easy and I see creative opportunities all around me. Other days I am questioning the purpose of the task. I just really want to be more creative and to understand creativity more that I currently do.

I also realise that we have different areas of creativity that we feel more comfortable with. In the past my writing was the area I felt most at ease. Not so today – I rely a lot more on photos telling the stories these days.

The other insight is learning I need to put in some effort if I want to get good results and yet I am wanting to have fun! That is the end result.

It is New Year’s Eve with only 3+ hours until we (here in West Australia at least) move into a new decade. I wonder what it will hold for us all. My best wishes to you for good health and happiness for 2020!

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Day 22 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge / Uncategorized

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Today’s topic is A Poem

FAIRY MUSIC by Rose Fyleman

When the fiddlers play their tunes you may sometimes hear,

Very softly chiming in, magically clear,

Magically high and sweet, the tiny crystal notes

Of fairy voices bubbling free from tiny fairy throats.

When birds at break of day chant their morning prayers,

Or on sunny afternoons pipe ecstatic airs,

Comes an added rush of sound to the silver din –

Songs of fairy troubadours gaily joining in.

When athwart the drowsy fields summer twilight falls,

Through the tranquil air there float elfin madrigals,

And in wild November nights, on the winds astride,

Fairy hosts go rushing by, singing as they ride.

Every dream that mortals dream, sleeping or awake,

Every lovely fragile hope – these the fairies take,

Delicately fashion them and give them back again

In tender, limpid melodies that charm the hearts of men.

Day 21 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Today’s Topic: Editing iPhone photos of my garden

I have small garden that is mostly in pots. I took some photos this evening just after they were watered. I was surprised to find some mint growing – self sown! I also have some self sown parsley which is good. I am pleased to see my rhubarb doing well.

So here is my selection of edited photos for today.

Day 20 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic: Six Thinking Hats

The writer (Cate Russell-Cole), of the Course I am doing (Unleashing Your Creative Spirit) suggests using Edward De Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ as a good tool to look at projects creatively or in a different light. For tonight’s exercise I will try and do just that. I will also highlight what hat I am using and what it signifies.

My task is to write about this photo from the six perspectives.

The White Hat calls for information known or needed. The image is of the weir that is opposite the main street in Cohuna, Victoria. The weir can regulate the flow of water passing through. The water is deep and fast flowing. The pedestrian bridge gives access to the swimming pool adjacent to the weir.

The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. The weir can be dangerous and people have drowned there. As a child I was frightened to walk over the bridge because the rushing through the weir was flowing so fast and so loud.

The Black Hat is judgement: the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Is there a need for a weir in this location? Has it been proven it is dangerous? It is not suitable for swimming for a number of reasons. The engineering of the bridge is questionable.

The Yellow Hat symbolises brightness and optimism. Seeing the water pass through the weir reminds me of the flow on effect on the local farming community who use the water for irrigation. There is a future in this farming community!

The Green Hat focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas. The weir is a great attraction for tourists visiting Cohuna and is also a popular fishing spot. It could be further developed with diving boards and a fenced off area for swimming for people who enjoy the deeper water than the public pool.

The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process. Given all the above ideas it is now time to prioritise the responses and make sure that all points have been noted and all concerns recognised. A short report will be provided for all participants to consider all the above options.

So there you have it! It is better to do the exercise with a group of people as more ideas flow and you can get the categories more finely tuned! Note that the image below uses the Red Hat twice.

Day 19 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Tonight I felt like dabbling with my Super Eyes microscope. My husband gave me some nail polish for Christmas and I wondered what that would look like under the ‘scope. Here are the magnified images plus the originals in their bottles.

A creative project in the wings – charcoal drawing. I have some charcoal sticks for drawing that I kept for many years and may yet do some drawing with them some time. Here is one of them magnified.

Yet another creative project that I hope to engage in more is calligraphy. Here are some magnified images plus the originals.

I realise that these things are not going to happen without some planning and goal setting. That is what I hope to do better at in 2020!

Day 18 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic: Poetry – time I tried to write a poem!

Inspired by a quote from Friedrich Nietzche

There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.

Admiration of another is Personal

I see it my way and you see it yours

I don’t look for power or one with aspirations of greatness

Or for a beautiful body with riches aplenty

I admire a person who is quiet, yet strong

Self possessed yet not short of humility

I look below the surface to see the gold underneath

That rare gem of a person who is good and kind

They may also be witty and wise – that’s a bonus!

Someone I know can be relied upon

And yet …

They will probably not even realise I admire them!

Day 16 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic: Christmas (gratitude)

  • C is for Children – three sons who grew into men that I am proud of and two amazing grandsons
  • H is for the good Health that I give thanks for each day
  • R is for Reading – such a great way to escape and have adventures without leaving home
  • I is for Ideas and Inspiration to make life interesting and add sparkle to my days
  • S is for a Sense of humour to remind me to ‘lighten up’
  • T is for Tom who I am grateful to share my life with
  • M is for Moments to be cherished with family and friends
  • A is for Attitude that I get to choose (hopefully wisely) each day
  • S is for the Serenity that comes with knowing what I can change and what I can’t!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas or Holiday time. Stay safe and enjoy the moments!

Day 15 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Task – Your Favourite Poem

I first came across this poem in the early 1980’s when I started an Art’s course. I still enjoy it today.

To His Coy Mistress

Andrew Marvell – 1621-1678

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
 Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

This poem is in the public domain.

Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell

Day 14 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Today’s task – write a response to the two questions below?

1. What is your favourite childhood memory?

My mother worked shift-work as a nurse at the local hospital. This meant that often she was at work by the time I got out of school. Unless of course she had a day off during the week. Sometimes she would walk towards my school and meet me half-way and we would walk home together companionably. One day I remember we went to Goulding’s Cafe (it was a very cool place to be and they had a Juke Box). We ordered milk-shakes and I selected the songs for us to listen to. It was a simple outing but as an adult, I can appreciate that she was trying to reach out to me as a teenager – and that was no easy task!

Mum at about 60 years of age.

2. Where do you want to be in five years time?

In five years time I will be seventy! I really only feel about forty five! I would like to achieve the following:

  • keep my husband happy!
  • maintain good physical and mental health and keep going to the gym
  • maintain meaningful friendships and have good relationships with all my family
  • play a constructive role in the community I live in
  • learn how to deal positively to all the challenges that ageing brings
  • keep learning and growing in knowledge and wisdom
  • express myself creatively in some medium.

Day 13 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Today’s task: Cooking – Christmas Pudding

The recipe above is close to the one I used. I was a little ‘creative’ with some of the ingredients. I used sherry instead of brandy; butter instead of suet; and added a grated carrot! My late mother-in-law always added a carrot along with the other ingredients. She showed me how to make the pudding and today I felt she was watching over me closely and making sure I got it right.

It made me think how good it is to actually do something alongside someone close – it helps build positive memories in their absence.

Day 11 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

Write a response to “What is a new skill you would like to learn?

For info about the Challenge click HERE

I would like to know more about graphic design. It has been a great experience using WordPress for around 10 years now. I have created websites for other people and I really enjoy doing it – I find it a real pleasure in fact!

My skills are limited to what is intuitive within WordPress. Sometimes I have ideas of how I would like to display images etc but I don’t know where to start. I often get ads from Adobe promising me the world but I am reluctant to commit to a monthly payment for something I am not sure will meet my needs.

I would like to be able to produce a range of products such as attractive flyers, cards, programs for print and online. It would be good to use these skills on websites as well. I would appreciate feedback from any readers who have gone down this path.

This is an example of me wanting to be more creative but getting discouraged easily when I don’t find the right tools. In the course I am doing, “Unleashing Your Creative Spirit” it talks about the barriers we allow to stop us from achieving our goals. I need to get down and do some research about the best way to learn graphic design. I need to set myself a time frame and persevere until I achieve my goal!

Day 10 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

Today’s Topic is Creative Place

Today I visited the Quill Collective. It is a new concept that literally brings creative people, crafts and gardens, events and workshops and good food/coffee together under one roof. And it is only a few kilometres from home.

As you can see from the images above, it is an eclectic place with nooks and crannies to relax and read and/or enjoy a coffee with a yummy cake. My friend Sandy and I enjoyed a coffee made with hemp milk – delicious. She is a talented artist and well experienced with the creative journey.

I am also working on building a creative space at home. More about that later …

For information about the Creative Challenge click HERE.

Day 9 Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

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Topic for today is “What is Creativity”

I am exploring creativity from all different angles. It is not limited to arts and crafts as some people assume. It can be about using photography to create beautiful or haunting images; creating music or writing the lyrics for songs that may never be sung; it could be graphic design; home decor; it could be writing stories or poetry or it could be a whole lot of other things.

My basic understanding is when we are involved in the creative process we bring something into being that previously only existed as a tiny idea in our minds. We incubate the idea for a while until is starts to take shape. That might be hours, days or even years. Then we plant the seed and feed it until it grows into fruition as something beautiful.

Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

The reason I am interested in exploring creativity is that I see myself and others get stuck! We come up with ideas and dabble with them for a little while and then let them go before there is a chance for them to take off. Have you ever started a project enthusiastically only to not follow through with it? There are 101 reasons we use to explain why!

Sometimes the reason this happens is we lose confidence and feel that our effort is ‘not good enough’. Sometimes we are not prepared to put the work in. I used to think that creativity would be a purely joyful experience but I have since learned that it can require effort, perseverance and planning.

I read somewhere that “The creative adult is the child who survived.” It resonated with me. There is something about being creative that is child like. It enables us to escape from being adults for a while and get in touch with our inner selves. Well, that is how I see it.

What does creativity mean to you? Please share ….

Day 8 – Creativity

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30 day creativity challenge

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A Visit to the Dentist

I was overdue a visit to the dentist.

I saw a new one not far from home.

I liked the decor as it looked a bit like this:

I was the only patient to their three staff.

I was ushered into the room where it all happens.

The dentist said he would see if he could find anything exciting (his words).

When he didn’t see anything exciting he suggested X-Rays may show up something exciting.

Yes, I needed a filling.

But first the disclaimer – he said “they don’t always work, you know”.

I am starting to wonder what I have walked into here – is he for real?

Next the drilling starts.

The dental nurse is in training – he tells her what to do in minute detail.

For example, “avoid the patient’s line of sight when passing the tools as they may get frightened”.

Next time I go I hope to find out what a spoon excavator is and what is the green matrix?

To finish off he extracted a large sum from my credit card and wished me Happy Christmas!

Creativity – Day 7

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30 day creativity challenge

Reflections on Week 1 – It is harder than I expected! I am a harsh judge of my own activities! I have to keep telling myself that the purpose is to become more consciously creative; even it is a short burst to get into the habit.

Link HERE for the background to the Creativity Challenge.

Today I was inspired to take some photos with my Super Eyes microscope. I am growing a sweet potato vine and thought it would be interesting to see it up close. I will include a full size photo as well. It is worth clicking on each image to get a better view.

Day 6 Creativity – Photo editing for iPhone photos

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30 day creativity challenge

If you would like to participate in the Creativity Challenge (10 minutes a day for 30 days) click HERE

I have just spent an hour going through all the photos I took of my son Joel’s graduation yesterday evening. For convenience sake I used my iPhone even though I am not very skilled at using the photo functions. I came home with a few dodgy videos I didn’t intend to take!

We started out in bright sunlight and later in semi-darkness so I have tried to lighten and darken where I could. I have included one taken by the professional photographer. We were able to collect it immediately after the Ceremony – very efficient! I am including the enormous organ and the stained glass window at Winthrop Hall.

Day 5 Creativity : Writing

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30 day creativity challenge

My youngest son just graduated at the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science in Botany with Honours! It was really hot today and around one thousand graduates plus friends and family crowded into the beautiful Winthrop Hall.

It was amazing to see so many young people in their regalia and to imagine the impact they will have on their communities in the years ahead. It was also heartwarming to see the vast diversity in cultures among the graduates. Many will go back to their home countries and find a place where they can share their newly acquired knowledge.

University isn’t for everyone! Where would we be without the skills of trades men and women and others who work their way up in their jobs over time?

We can all use our skills – whatever we are good at, and make a difference to our world. It doesn’t have to be in paid employment. Parents and carers, volunteers etc all add to the quality of our environment.

Day 3 Creativity Challenge – Photos of Art works

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30 day creativity challenge

For info about the Challenge click HERE

Today I thought it would be interesting to do a gallery of small segments of some of the art we have in our home. It was a fun thing to do.

I also decided to take some photos of old and broken jewelry. Instead of throwing it out or putting away in a cupboard I have them displayed in my office. Even though I can’t wear them anymore, it is still nice to catch glimpses of them throughout the day/evening.

A collection of mostly broken jewelry I keep for sentimental value.

Day 2 – Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge

For info about the Challenge click HERE

The writing prompt I have chosen for today is “What is healthy?”

It just occurred to me recently that doctors don’t know everything. I strongly believe in the science behind our health systems and the staff that work within it. It isn’t just that they are not perfect; it is just that we humans are so complex!

I used to think it was just a matter of identifying the symptoms and then applying the fix. Perhaps I was fortunate that was often the case for me. I have occasionally sought out alternative health practitioners but generally return to the mainstream. Today I believe that many things go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and it is often a lifetime of exploration to find the right solution or as best as is available; or even, not at all sometimes!

However, getting back to the question of “What is healthy?”….. It is only in the last 18 months that I have been going to the gym and have been amazed at how a very small investment in exercise can provide such a great return in things like more energy, better mood, improved balance, more interest in doing stuff that I wouldn’t have done previously. I was one of those people that was sort proud of not being very fit! What if I had worked all this out when I was fifteen!

Apart from physical health, I have found that being busy this year has had a positive impact on my mental health. I need to exercise my brain as much, if not more, than the rest of me.

So this creativity challenge is about learning how to express myself creatively through various avenues. The writing prompts are a means of getting me writing again – something I have done very little of in recent years.

Day 1 – Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge / Acceptance / Christmas / Cohuna Victoria / creativity / Writing

Click HERE if you would like to join me in the Creativity Challenge!

Today my challenge will be to write a short post about the following topic:

“What is the best lesson you have learned?”

When I was in my early 30’s my marriage broke up and I found myself in a situation where I had few possessions (including money) and three young children to take care of. I was also living in a remote Aboriginal Community in Northern Australia.

The lesson I learned is that I am stronger than I think I am. Sometimes I just pretended that I was strong and often that was enough. I also learnt that I was the only person I could rely on to get through the difficult time.

When I rang my Mum to tell her what happened she said that I shouldn’t even think about coming home. I was quite shocked at the time but now I realise that the path I did choose turned out to have a lot more going for it than if I had returned to my home town in Victoria.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

That was about forty years ago. My sons grew up with me in Western Australia. We did miss (still do) having extended family close by but it forced me to go out and meet people and in many ways enabled me to rebuild my life without the constraints and limitations I would have faced if I had returned ‘home’.

As I get older I see many people on their own – having lost their partners and perhaps their extended families. I do feel passionately that we need to be aware that some people suffer from loneliness and isolation. This is even more so with Christmas approaching. I find Christmas a bit challenging however I try to make the most of it and put in a little effort! I don’t think I am alone in this!

A Creativity Challenge

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30 day creativity challenge / Cooking; Creativity / creativity

Do you fancy joining me in a 30 Day Creativity Challenge?

First, let’s jump ahead to the back story – next year (late March) I will be leading a small group of seniors (through our local University of the Third Age) in a course titled, Unleashing Your Creative Spirit. I thought it would be good to get my creativity muscles toned in the lead up to it.

If you are interested in joining me in the Challenge you can read about it in the following website and documents:

Inspired by Melissa Harfiel’s Tips for Undertaking a Daily Creativity Challenge: click HERE

Have a read of the documents and see if it appeals to you. The Writing Prompts documents is about 8 pages so you may want to just keep an electronic copy handy.

Day One of the Challenge will be on Monday 9 December for me but you can start when you are ready. We can share our activities on our blogs using the 30 Day Creativity Challenge tag.

If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment in the space provided below.

Kahuna or Cohuna – my home town?

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beautiful / Cohuna Victoria / creativity / Friends and family / Garden / Just for fun

Today I went to Bunnings to get a few garden things and at the entrance there was a colourful display of plants called The Big Kahuna. Now, you may have heard of the movie:

The Big Kahuna is a 1999 American business comedy-drama film directed by John Swanbeck, and produced by Kevin Spacey, who also starred in the lead role. The film is adapted from the play Hospitality Suite, written by Roger Rueff, who also wrote the screenplay. John Swanbeck makes few attempts to lessen this film’s resemblance to a stage performance: the majority of the film takes place in a single hotel room, and nearly every single line of dialogue is spoken by one of the three actors.

Wikipedia

I grew up in a small country town in Northern Victoria called Cohuna – about 3,500km away from where I currently live.

Surrounded by dairy farms, and situated on the banks of Gunbower Creek, (an anabranch of the Murray River), the town is a popular holiday spot as well as a regional sports centre with a wide range of facilities. Cohuna is the main access point to the attractions of the vast red gum and box forest covered Gunbower Island, which lies between Gunbower Creek and the Murray, and is home to diverse native birdlife, kangaroos and emus.

Wikipedia
Cohuna from above (Murray River)

So, the reason I am telling you all is this is because I just had to buy the flowers with that name! And here they are …

We have given the garden a bit of a makeover this week so it was good to add a splash of colour with the Big Kahuna name tag!

Kalbarri West Australia

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Australia / Holidays

Last week we had a few days in Kalbarri. Here are some of the photos taken during our stay there – most are taken at Rainbow Jungle Bird Park. Many of the birds were in enclosures and I didn’t enjoy taking photos through the metal grids. Some were free to fly in the bigger enclosure. We stayed in a AirBNB house with a pool (which we only used once!) and great views of the Indian Ocean. Here is a link to some common Australian native birds.

Many Happy Returns

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Acceptance / Australia / beautiful / Friends and family

Well I have heard of people who have ‘near-death’ experiences where their life flashes before their eyes. I didn’t know that having a 65th birthday could also bring on this phenomenon!

A little bit of background – nearly ten years ago we moved from Perth to the South West of Australia. I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the region so there are not a lot of cues for past memories. It is a bit like living in a bubble where much of the past fades almost to non-existence.

For my 65th we decided on a family catch-up in Perth with an overnight stay at Joondalup Resort. As it happens I used to be a regular guest there every Monday evening in my role as President of the Joondalup Rotary Club. I used to work in Joondalup too. The next morning we had breakfast in the street where my old office was. It was across the road from the Chinese Restaurant where I often went for a $5 lunch special (in the 1990’s). Also in the same street is where my original office was and I met a lady who came to see me looking for work. She had only been in Australia for three months. I was able to assist with some contract work and she stayed on for over 20 years. She is still a good friend today and actually outstayed my time at the Department.

We traveled to Kalbarri after breakfast – approximately 600kms north. We passed through Yanchep where I often took my three sons when they were little. Lots of happy memories there. Further along we passed through Geraldton where I lived for a short time in 1993-1994 until my marriage broke up and I moved to Perth.

Our destination of Kalbarri held some memories too. While working in the region I visited there to assist a community group who had funds from the Department to set up a local bottled Spring Water enterprise using unemployed youth. Then there was the Greenough Village where we investigated an employment project.

I won’t go on as it is probably boring to anyone except me! I felt the need for the trip to come to terms with reaching 65 years old. I am grateful that I have reached it and hope to have a few more decades yet.

The photos are from our stay in Kalbarri.

On Creativity

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Baby Boomers / beautiful / creativity / encore careers / finding your passion / Flow / flowers

I am currently doing a course from University of the Third Age Online. It is called Unleashing Your Creative Spirit. I am keen to run this Course in 2020 through our local U3A.

I have met a lot of people in early retirement who find themselves wondering what has happened to them with all the changes of no longer being in the workforce. I have noticed that lots of people, me included, have a list of project we have always wanted to do when we got the time.

Well, we have the TIME now but struggle to make these projects happen. I have been wondering why that is. Some of my projects include learning calligraphy, making personalised greeting cards, sewing (I bought a nice new but basic sewing machine) photography (I purchased a digital camera) and writing. I also like doing WordPress websites for friends.

This course is great in that it looks at what motivates us to be creative and at what situations create blockages. It emphasises that a part of creativity is actually ‘work’ and organisation. That surprised me, silly as it may sound. I had thought that being creative was purely stuff you did for fun and quite different to what we do for work.

It was a bit of a light-bulb moment when I realised the ‘work’ aspect of creativity is the main cause of my not completing my projects. A small project I am working on involves using some photos of wildflowers to create greeting cards. My first big hurdle was I didn’t know how to print the photos even though I have a modern printer. I did persevere and had success!

I feel I have learnt a lot already and I can see lots of opportunities for exploring new skills and enjoyment along the way.

Confucius

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Acceptance / harmony / Philosophy / politics / Serenity prayer

The Philosophy discussion group that I facilitate considered Confucius last week. Who would have thought that the topic would be so relevant – the 70th anniversary of Communism in China and the unrest in Hong Kong?

Some of the comments that came out of the discussion included: ‘Confucius spoke of unity but what we see in China today is uniformity’; ‘it is so difficult to examine an Eastern Philosophy when we (in the group) all grew up in Western democracies and can only try to consider Confucius’ (and China’s) ideas from a distance’ :

An article written (Why is Confucius Still Relevant Today?) for the National Geographic in 2015 interviews writer Michael Schuman, author of Confucius and the World He Created shone some recent light on where Confucianism sits with modern China. I did find him to have quite set ideas though.

Over the past week I became quite distressed at issues happening throughout the world and I know I am not alone. I have been looking hard for the positives but today I came to see I am powerless to change anything. I think I need to detach and let go … I found the quote below this evening and thought it to be relevant.

Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.

Eckhart Tolle

South West Australian Wildflowers

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Australia / beautiful / flowers / gardening / Nature / Uncategorized

I did a blog recently about the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition and my involvement in promoting the event that was held last Thursday and Friday.

Below is a gallery of most of the flowers on show at the Exhibition. There are strict rules about what flowers can be picked in the wild and the quantities allowed so as not to impact on their sustainability for future years.

I found it impossible to choose just a few! Our local Geographe Community Landcare Nursery had some native plants on sale – the bottom few photos.

A trip to Darwin …

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Australia / Nature / Numbulwar

A week ago we arrived home from a short holiday to see family in the Top End or Darwin, Northern Territory. It is about 4,800km N/NE of where we live. We visited the Aviation Museum as you will gather from the photos above. I was really taken with the size of the B52 Bomber. It was a central feature and the other planes were placed around it. I actually bumped my head on it (trying to get underneath) and wouldn’t recommend it!

We also went for a drive of around 100km to Mary River on the Arnhem Highway. I lived in Arnhem Land for a stint in the 1980’s so enjoyed seeing the landscape once again. The ocean shots are taken from the The Esplanade park area in the City of Darwin (population around 150,000). To me the water looked a bit sinister with the knowledge it is crocodile territory.

The weather was wonderful. I was a bit amused about the newspaper article about the cool weather. It was much warmer than we were getting at home.

About motivation …

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Motivation / pressure to perform / Procrastination

I have been thinking about motivation. There are some things I have no trouble doing when they need doing. There are other things, usually jobs I don’t enjoy much, that I struggle to find the motivation to do them. Examples include housework and gardening. There is no shortage of time to do these things.

Photo by Ihsan Aditya on Pexels.com

I thought I would put the question to readers “What tools or strategies do you find helpful in achieving goals?” I have read lots of literature over the years and I know there are multiple books out there but I would really like to hear what has worked for YOU! Please share your experience with me.

Somethings I have tried include:

  • A ‘to do’ list
  • Breaking tasks down to smaller chunks
  • Breaking time down to smaller chunks
  • Do things as they need doing rather than let them build up

I hope you will get back to me with what has worked for you.