Monday, December 14, 2015

Enter mindfully ... Creativity in process

I believe in giving myself permission to create. And sometimes, I need to be reminded that when I enter my studio, I enter a different realm, one where anything is possible. The ideas come flying in from all directions and I need to choose one and follow it where it leads with my full attention.

I wanted to share this reminder to follow creativity where it leads and so I created these door hangers which are perfect to hang on the door to your creative corner. On the back of the door hanger is my guide to nurturing your creative practice - all the things that have worked for me over the years and which I know can turn your life into a more creative one.

Catherine's Guide to Nurturing Your Creative Practice.

Create a Sanctuary

Find a space in your home to convert into your creative Playing and Dreaming Sanctuary.

Make Time to Create

There is no perfect time to create. If you want to be creative, it is necessary to carve out time for this in your life. Learn to create in the middle of things.

Take Small Steps

Do one thing every day that makes you feel creative. Make a list of projects that inspire you.
Choose one. Begin.

Play and Practice

Give yourself permission to create without attachment to outcome. Let your inner critic take a rest.
Have patience with yourself. We learn through practice. Creativity is the process, not the product.

Open to Wonder and Joy

Opening to your creativity will change your life. See problems as creative exercises. Take risks.
Go on adventures. See the world with fresh eyes. There is beauty and wonder all around you.
Give thanks for your creative life.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Creativity Carousel

Ever wondered what you could do with an old slide carousel and outdated business cards? I turned mine into a Creativity Carousel.

Add a tin in the middle with your journaling pens and add phrases to the covered business cards and you have a journal prompt inspiration station!

My instructions on how to make this are in the Autumn 2015 issue of Greencraft Magazine

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Animate Your Fear and Your Curiosity

Anxious Annie
I've been listening to the wonderful podcast series Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert in which Elizabeth coaches people to overcome their creative blocks.

In Episode #9 entitled "Dear Creativity and Fear" Elizabeth suggests to Casey that she personify her fear and her curiosity, and then have Fear and Curiosity write a letter to her telling her what they want! She suggests Casey read their letters very carefully and respectfully and then, as "Manager of the Corporation who is you," write a letter back to them.

I was so excited to hear Elizabeth suggest this as this is so similar to the SoulCollage® process, and I know that it works. As Elizabeth says, instead of battling our fear, if we give it respect, kindness and even gratitude, it will slowly quiet down. I have found this is absolutely true with all those parts of myself that I used to think as "less than perfect".

In SoulCollage® instead of writing a letter, we ask our cards questions. For example, a dialogue with my SoulCollage® card Anxious Annie using the SoulCollage® questions might go something like this:

Who are you? I am one who is easily overwhelmed when faced by decisions. I am one who sits and looks in dismay and can't move forward.
What do you want from me? I want you to see how difficult this is. All these fish! Which one do I choose first? They are all so slippery. How can I rescue all of them? What will I do? I can't do anything!
What do you have to give me? I give you the reminder that things can be overwhelming, that you don't have all the answers, and that you don't have to have all the answers. Sometimes you need to ask for help.
What else do you have to tell me? Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe I can start with the fish right in front of me.

Curious Child of Wonder
On the other hand, a conversation with my Curious Child of Wonder card might look something like this:

Who are you? I am one who sees possibility and beauty and excitement everywhere I go. I am one who wants to know everything about the world, who wants to touch and feel everything I see.
What do you want from me? I want you to recognize that you live in a beautiful world. I want you to stop and look at the magic that is all around you. I want you to let wonder and awe be your guides.
What do you have to give me? I give you a reminder that life is too short to focus on the problems. Focus on the beauty. Know that you hold the world in the palm of your hand..
What else do you have to tell me? Don't see the abundance of possibility as too much. The world is made up of abundance, and that includes the choices you have to make each day on where to focus your energy. Ask yourself: "What is important right now" and focus there. You will know what is important when you stop and look deeply.

There is absolutely something magical that happens when you personify your Fear and your Curiosity. We are all made up of different parts and being able to see them and dialogue with them allows them to be seen and heard. Until we do that, they can be like demanding children. That is why SoulCollage® has made such a difference to the quality of my life. It gives me a place and a process I can turn to, no matter what emotions are holding me back or overwhelming me. It allows me to access my own inner wisdom through the images on the cards as they speak to me.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Media Remix

I've just finished creating a new online course called Media Remix. If you've ever wanted to get into art journaling but struggle with where to start and what supplies to buy, this workshop will help you with both. The only supplies you need are old magazines and some inexpensive acrylic paints. You don't even need a journal as I show you how to make your own painted journal.

And even better, Media Remix is part of 21 Secrets, a collaborative abundance of creative workshops from 21 different teachers for $98, that is about $5 per workshop full of inspiration for your art journaling practice. All the workshops will be delivered via pdf into your mailbox on September 28th, 2015. You have unlimited access to them and can do them at your own pace.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Joy of Making Things

This was sunrise at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC last year. I leave in the morning for a week of Seeing with Quiet Eyes: Photography as Mediation at the  Folk School. I love teaching at there. The beautiful mountain scenery, the vegetable garden and the beauty around the campus provide us with rich inspiration for our photography. Last year my daughter came along with me and took a class in felting and natural dyeing. Her comment was that it was like summer camp for adults (but more comfortable with amazing food)!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Returning Home

I'm home from my travels to Italy and France, and slowly settling back into the rhythms of everyday life and making time to remember and reflect on my experiences. I plan to share more as the insights reveal themselves to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Slow Photography: Seeing with Your Senses and Your Soul

I'm busy packing for Italy where I will be teaching "Slow Photography: Seeing with Your Senses and Your Soul" in Orvieto with workshop hosts Bill and Kristi Steiner of Adventures in Italy. It really is a week of slowing down and opening our senses to a different way of life, and I always come home refreshed and inspired with new ideas. I'm looking forward to the "trip taking me."!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Road to Heavens Above

I just returned from a week at Penland School of Crafts in the North Carolina Mountains near Spruce Pine. On the campus is this road sign "Road to Heavens Above". Decided it needed to become a page in my journal.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Labyrinths in the Wind

Have you ever thought of taking the pages from Journaling the Labyrinth Path and hanging them up as a prayer flag? In winter, when the surrounding landscape isn't as colorful as usual, this is a fun way to brighten up the space around a labyrinth or even your garden! I did this yesterday by tearing pages out of the book, trimming the torn edges, hanging some rope from two trees and pegging the labyrinth pages to the rope. I just love how they looked!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Art Stretches Us

This quotation comes from Danny Gregory's blog. Danny is also author of a number of inspiring books as well as the upcoming book Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are, which is already in my amazon basket.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A labyrinth for the beginning of the year

One of the ways I like to use my book Journaling the Labyrinth Path, is by pulling the pages out of the book and laying all the pages out so that participants in my workshops can choose whichever color labyrinth is calling to them that day. I did this at my annual open studio in December. In addition, on the back of the labyrinths is a quote and a question, and it is always interesting to watch the synchronicity that is at play when the messages are revealed.

Feel free to print out the above image (by right clicking on the image) and use it to journal the path of the labyrinth. The colors of the labyrinth felt right for the beginning of the year as they reminded me of the quiet of winter and the seeds that sleep beneath the soil, waiting for the right time to birth themselves into the world. 

The quotation that goes with the labyrinth above is 

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
Joseph Campbell

Think about this as you journal the labyrinth path.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Secret Patterns of the World

For my international photography retreats I create printed journals for the participants which incorporate photographs, quotations, journal pages and creative approaches to image making. I like the idea of participants being able to have a container for their journey. Because there is always a creative component to my retreats I like to call them Creative Pilgrimages. Right now I'm  preparing the journal that will be used for Slow Photography: Seeing with Your Senses and your Soul which I'll be teaching in Orvieto, Italy for Adventures in Italy, in May, 2015. I found this wonderful quote from a TED Talk given by Pico Iyer which I'll definitely be including in the journal as Pico expresses so beautifully one of the reasons I love to travel.

I've always felt that the beauty of being surrounded 
by the foreign is that it slaps you awake.
You can't take anything for granted.
Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love,
because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked "on". 
Suddenly you're alert to the secret patterns of the world.
Pico Iyer