Featured Post

Lost Your Creative Mojo??

Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes. So many words for the ...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Your Blog doesn't have to Read like Twitter....

in Tim Ferriss book "Tools of Titans"....Tim or one of his featured podcast guests talks about their top blogging tips. One precious tip from ???(sorry...I can't recall who the guest was that day) was this...."Don't look down on LONG blog posts.....even long blog posts even 25 pages in length."
That is good news! I don't have cut it down to some uber-concise blurt.... like on Twitter. I can be long winded and it will pay off in the long run.

Mark Zuckerberg, Annienygma  , and Seth Godin, all have a penchant to not cut short their words unnecessarily.....although each one can be brief and concise when they want to be. They master their words and make the words the paintbrush through which they create their own kingdoms.

Content is still king. I am counting on it. Enough of my readers out there in cyberdom, appreciate my long winded thoughtfulness...... b/c if they didn't I'd have closed down this blog years ago.

Sometimes it's just a whiff.....a scent of a thought that a reader can identify with that keeps them coming back to visit this blog. They have shared some of the same "brain" sneezes that have filled me with angst through out my years. They have giggled at some of my kooky homespun DIY projects ... forwarding some to their friends....so they can giggle too. And occasionally they graze upon a tiny tiny grain of sand of ...something that they can thoughtfully chew on...... for a long long time during a boring commute home.

I like to make folks think. I like to re-think "thinking".....and empower folks to believe in the validity of their own opinions. I like to challenge the status quo, not in order to do away with it, but just to "chop it down to size" so to speak......so that "they" .....or the little grey men..lol... know that I know that the difference between "their larger than life " mega-opinions and mega-trends" are just one keystroke away from me and my own "powerful" thoughts. No.....I am not cocky.....just confident.

You are powerful......You are strong. You are an individual. What you have experienced thus far in your life qualifies you to critique certain things in certain ways. My life story is unique. Your life story is just as unique....and empowered and powerful. Grab it and know that!

Never under-estimate the power of a "thinking" human. It is patient thought which must be used to continuously keep ourselves and our societies in check. When we begin to awaken to the realization that we are important and that our thoughts and opinions matter.....we become "dangerous" in an ideological sort of way, because we REFUSE to just blindly accept whatever media, churches, governments, corporations and schools want us to believe.

Just to make things abundantly clear. I am not "anti media, anti church, anti government, anti corporation, or anti schools. I simply want to state that I will not be bullied into blindly following whatever all or any of the above say or do or preach. I will test what I see and read and hear. I will hopefully take the time to think before I teach others about what I see and read and hear. I will hopefully.......have the patience to "test the spirits"  ( scripture 1 John 4:1 KJV inspires this process) in order to sift out the beauty from the wasted space and time.

We CAN deliberately CHOOSE how we want to live our lives.....honoring our own innate intelligence, and utilizing much study of the holy Scriptures.

So.....blog on brothers and sisters. Your words inspire me to keep going. Your thoughts compel me to keep creating. I respect you.

And, in closing, if you need to write a 50 page blog post, just to get out something important that you have struggled for years to say.....then you take those 50  pages proudly.

Peace,
Carla.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lost Your Creative Mojo??

Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes.


So many words for the same block....a lack of creative mojo.


I was thinking aloud today, how "ABUNDANCE" can completely obstruct and hinder one's creative flow. Therefore......REDUCING is often the key to my creative blocks. Now don't misunderstand me....I love abundance as much as anyone else....but it can also become a HUGE stumbling block in getting my creativity to flow.


Have you ever waltzed into a modern arts and crafts store or fabric store and been completely overwhelmed by the glitz and multitude of choices? Walked into a paint store and become completely dumbfounded by the thousands of paint choices? Ditto for yarns, ditto for wallpaper.....ditto for canvases.


Does the "STARVING" artist mindset work better for you?


I fall into this latter category. I have discovered that I simply MUST pare down my artistic supplies to the utter BARE BONES in order to pump up my creative Mojo. Nothing else seems to work.


Tim Ferriss, .....yes THAT Tim Ferriss, talks often in his podcast about his fave author Neil Gaiman, who has to make himself completely and utterly BORED before his creative juices flow enough for him to start writing.I can relate to that conundrum.


You see, creativity is not always logical. Creativity has a whimsical flow. One must unravel one's own creative mysteries.


One might be tempted to assume that an abundance of paint choices, or fabric choices, or yarn choices of every texture and pattern would be helpful in creating masterpieces......but I have found the OPPOSITE to be true.


I must find the absolute lowest cost art supplies and START with those and then somehow in a very mysterious fashion, I receive the blessing to begin creating again. And let's face it....it can be MOST frustrating to WANT to CREATE and yet feel somehow UNABLE to start creating.


I must start at a very low place....it is similar to what the missionary Heidi Baker teaches in approaching her ministry from a "lower still" place of humility.


I must feel that my art or music is needed. It is hard for me to feel that need when I am surrounded by an over-abundance of other folk's wealth. I need to feel it in my bones that my art or music
is a vital piece of a world wide puzzle that the earth desperately needs me to form and fill....that the earth will never be complete unless I do my thing.


Heidi Baker, the missionary, speaks sometimes about how she feels and what happens when she comes back to North America after spending months in Mozambique or Malawi. She'll walk into a grocery store in North America and try to buy some bread and she'll stand in front of a towering bread aisle filled with a plethora of bread choices ....and finds that she can't even purchase one loaf. The abundance has stunned her into silence, incapable of moving forward....incapable of making even one choice.


So, in closing..... I just want to say again..........that if you find you feel that you have temporarily met up with a creative block, try the idea of reducing your choices to that of a more "starving" artist mentality. Take away your numerous fabric choices. Choose only one or two colors of fabric with one texture. Reduce and reduce and reduce until you feel like you have a bare bones palette to work with. And then start from there. Build a thing of beauty from something small and stark. It will feed your spirit. It will build up your confidence.


Feel the need for your art. Feel the frustration of the great painters who had to humble themselves to ask relatives to send them more money just to survive on .....so they could continue to afford to buy the paint and canvas to paint on.


Feel the grittiness of the art collective who gathered old curbside cast off furniture and used the sides of these old beat up dressers and desks as the only affordable canvas upon which to express their painted art works. They started in that low place before their collective group gained traction to afford  "better" art supplies. They humbled themselves to start in that low place. They didn't allow a lack of capital to stop them from creating what they felt they simply MUST create.


Start from that low,  and perhaps..... low priced place.  You just might surprise yourself.
Because if you can make a thing of beauty from something that is of little initial financial cost, your creativity may just shine more clearly through as that thing of GREAT worth.














Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why Do I Make Stuff that is Cheaper to Buy Already Made?

As I was looking around my home, gazing at some of the kooky inventions I've made over the past few years....I began to realize that perhaps some folks might wonder....just why does this chick feel the need to make so many things herself? Doesn't she know that it's easier and usually cheaper to just buy the same things conveniently in the store? Why is she just such a diy crafter/maker???


Well, I began to ponder again....as I looked at our living room garbage can and wondered if I could make one of my own from scrap wood.... perhaps there is method to my madness.

Perhaps this is my attempt to de-construct modern life.....perhaps so that I can begin just to understand it a little bit better. Maybe....just maybe if I can reverse engineer and make from scratch many of the things we buy from stores so quickly...I just might be able to prepare for a time when "stuff" might be harder to find or afford.

Maybe if I am able to make up to 50% of the items I use on a daily basis, I could actually survive if my comfy modern society collapsed. Maybe that's why I insisted to learn how to fish and caught one for the first time this summer ....since I was a little. Perhaps that's another reason why I relish those reality shows that teach foraging and "freegan-ism". Perhaps that's why I applaud the City of Toronto so loudly for launching a "back yard chicken" pilot project  in 2017..

I hate being dependent.....and that includes being dependent on all the luxuries that all of us folks in my Province of Ontario, Canada....take utterly for granted.....like being able to buy fresh food in the grocery store and plug in an appliance into the wall and poof Voila.....it works perfectly and at a pretty low cost for the electricity too. At this point, I merely dabble in Urban homesteading......but I brag loudly about growing my own food....but the total food I glean from my home gardens could probably be packed into about three shoe boxes per  year.

But yes, I must impress myself....there is no need to impress anyone else. My dabbling has purpose....it has an energy all to itself. It's the reason I will drive to the next town to shop at my fave homespun dutch farm to buy fresh apples, kale, local honey and frozen pie. Having an apple orchard within a short drive is a great idea......no matter if you are a prepper or a preppie.

It's the reason I read with eager anticipation any media blurbs about the "good food box" program that runs in my city, even though I have yet to buy even one.....

We have to be forwardly energized to take care of ourselves and each other....no matter what the future holds.

 Well, ....what does that look like?
Does it mean that we all need a bigger patch of land in our community gardens? Does it mean that we re-learn so many of the pioneer skills that early Canadians shed once the commercial stores were fully entrenched into Canadian modern life?

Do we need to re-learn how to sew our own clothes? I've gotten pretty good at knitting bags and hats.....freestyle from memory of an old pattern I learned 20 years ago and have since re-engineered to be more me-ish.

I know how to make my own homemade soap....but with store bought lye...( just not ready yet to force myself to cook up some diy lye from hardwood ashes....for some ideas click Diy lye )

And at the end of the day....I am still not satisfied.....not satisfied that I/we am ready.....that I am prepared for "whatever" comes.

For the record....I am not afraid.... I would prefer the word "concerned".....as I see the lethargy...the passivism, the brand name worship and the droves of young folks who can't name even one handy skill that they have mastered other than how to post their fave pics on facebook. I see us so utterly dependent on a very complicated city wide infrastructure...water systems, roads and hydro to name a few.

What we can't make....we can't understand....and what we can't understand....we can't repair or modify in case of emergency.

I must lament....... the shame of it all....the wasted talent, time and creativity that young and old people need  to reclaim. It is still there....lying inert and docile.

Young people CAN be empowered to build their own homes, however lopsided or code violating, but none the less....their own shelters complete with home made floors and roofs..

My son just turned 19....and he and his friends still love to build forts in the woods. And yes, he is tech savvy and wastes too much time on video games...but he has cornered the market on his own creativity.....enjoying the thrill of building, planning, and yes, hanging out in his own self built fort up in the trees.

I don't worry about my son, because he knows how to make stuff. He knows how to create and he's not afraid to scuff up his shoes.

I worry more about my middle aged generation who were taught to get rid of the flip flops and don
pumps and leather lap top cases to impress a faceless corporation while someone else raised their kids, chasing Preppie Nervana.....propped up on pillows bought from Pier One Imports.

I lament myself....and gave myself a good lecture today...because I was a part of the brand name revolution. I loathed home made clothes and was eager to use debt to buy shiny clothes in order to impress the invisible folks that only existed in my imagination.

I might have thought twice to learn more....how to create my own fashion, my own style and patent that...this crafting-making-stubborn-seed saving-urban-homesteading-mama style that I am toting.

Well...I gotta run...... there's still time...... society has not collapsed and our beloved high tech infrastructure still stands.....for now.

In Peaceful productivity,

C.