Stamp Collecting!

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

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

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!

7 Days and 7 Photos

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!

Trusting creative ideas? Mmm …

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)!

Creativity can involve hard work!

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

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 :).

On Creativity

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.

Fanticipation …

computer

I have decided that “fanticipation” equals fear and anticipation. It is a little like when you are a child waiting for Santa to come. You are hopeful he will bringĀ  you what you desire however you are holding back a little just in case he gets it wrong.

I am not writing about Christmas here! I have been working on a project for over six months (as a volunteer for my local University of the Third Age, otherwise known as U3A).

We have purchased some new software to manage membership and enrolments and I have been on quite a learning curve. The “fanticipation” is occurring because we are due to go live online on Tuesday.

This week I found myself pondering when I can retire only to remember I already have! Voluntary work is great as an interest and also to keep the brain sharp. I have learned so much about project planning and data bases but I don’t think I have found my passion in this area.

However, given that I.T. is such a big issue for many (not all) mature age people, I am hoping I may be able to do a little to help bridge the gap in getting people to feel more confident about using computers online. I can get passionate about that! Once we have done this foundation year I am optimistic that next year will be easier going. I hope so!