Saturday, January 31, 2009

Secret #4 of 12: Surrendering To Creative Cycles

Fish On a Bicycle - closer
"Fish on a Bicycle" by Darren Greenhow

12 Secrets of highly creative womenWe are onto chapter 4 of Gail McMeekin's "12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women" hosted by Jamie Ridler.

And today I've got my copy of the book at last!

A couple of days ago I found I could read parts of it on google book search, which has some way of monitoring how much one's read and limits it, but it seems to let one dip in wherever one likes.

But its much better to have a real physical copy in my hand at last.

Portait of a DogThis week is about surrendering to creative cycles...

And talk about creative cycles....

Our household is currently being turned upside down as Teasel, our not yet quite 6 month old puppy, has just come into season for the first time...

She is so frustrated that she is not being allowed to run free in the park... indeed yesterday she showed us that she is able to leap the puppy fence that we thought was keeping her safely constrained within our back garden...

The keys in this chapter are:
  1. Learning Patience
  2. Surviving the Void
  3. Navigating in the Darkness
  4. Watching for Clues
  5. Trusting in Creative Re-emergence
1. Patience

Butterfly InspirationHow can I tell the difference between patience and procrastination?

Is one person's patience another's procrastination?

I love to read cards of various sorts:
  • Am I putting off doing something else when I do this?

  • Am I just playing?

  • Am I finding ways to let clues come through to me?
Photo: "Butterfly Inspiration" - a toy butterfly with the Inspiration card from the Enlightenment Pack by Chuck Spezzano

2. Surviving the Void

Madam ButterflyEach void that I've faced has been different and needed different coping strategies... the main thing I've learned is that what worked before may not work again.

If you don't like where you are, you need to do something different... 'cos more of whatever it is that you were doing, no matter how beneficial it was before, may be currently digging that hole deeper.

Letting go of everything is sometimes what's needed... and that's really scary!

Image: Collage and digital manipulation. Blogged in Novemeber 2006.

3. Navigating in the Darkness

Little Lost ButterflyI'm not sure that this is a useful concept for me.

It makes me think about things like destinations and maps...

But what if what's really needed, especially at times of darkness, is to realise there is only what is here and now...

When I'm in the dark it is a time when I feel that there is no meaning and no purpose... and the fact that at other times I feel differently doesn't really help me then.

Accepting where I am at such times is never easy but, so far, reaching that point of acceptance is what has then enabled me to see the light at the end of the tunnel...

Photo: "Little Lost Butterfly" - a pram toy found on the pavement (sidewalk).

4.Watching for Clues

Butterfly BrainOne of my favourite activities...

As I've mentioned before I love synchronicities.

I also look out for other sorts of signs.

Sometimes I ascribe meaning to them.

Other times I simply enjoy them.

Does God play dice?

Or is it simply that we cannot see the pattern?

Or feel the connections?

Photo: "Butterfly Brain" - graffiti of Einstein and a butterfly spotted in Bristol

5. Trusting in Creative Re-emergence

Paper Doll - 1Does a caterpillar know it will become a butterfly?

Does it dream and yearn for wings?

Or does it just get on with being a caterpillar?

Caterpillar dreaming of things to come

Photos: "Paper Doll - 1" & "
Caterpillar dreaming of things to come"

I hadn't previously realised quite how many butterfly images I had on my flickr stream. And as there weren't quite enough I popped out to get a couple more before finishing this post ;-)

If you click on any one of the thumbnail below (or any of the other images in this post) it will take you to that photo on flickr:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Start of A Year Full of Art

Pay It Forward

Yesterday I wished for a year full of art and was very glad to have so many others wish it along with me - thank you.

And look its already started!

This morning I got this hand-painted dog box from Andrea (of Colouring Outside The Lines). Andrea is one of my longest standing blogging-buddies and she's sent this to me, unasked, as a "pay it forward" art work. The idea being that I'll be inspired to send some of my art on to someone else to keep the ball rolling.

I hadn't really thought that my year of art might be kick-started by someone else's art but of course its a fantastic way to begin it!

Thank you Andrea!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A wish to create

Blue Star

This Wednesday's Wishcasting prompt is "What do you wish to create?".

Well as a manifester of my own life that's a pretty big question!

Health, wealth, love and happiness would all be worth mentioning...

A little more specific?

Well in that case I wish to create a year full of art!

One World.....One Heart Giveaway!!


Lisa Oceandreamer has organised another huge giveaway event.

Hello to everyone - old and new - what fun to be part of this!

I'm offering three perpetual calendars inspired by photojojo. They will all be somewhat, though not exactly, like this one:

Calendar from Calendar Project

Sign up for the draw by commenting below - make sure to leave sufficient contact details so that I'll be able to let you know if you win.

On Thursday February 12th 2009 I'll use a random number generator to select the three winners and each will receive:
  • A packet of Lomo Lomography Fotoclips
  • Seven 4 inch square photos - with a day of the week indicator on it e.g. SU, Monda, etc.
  • Thirty-One 4 inch square photos - one each of the numbers 1-31
  • Seven 4 inch square photos of blanks to fill in potential gaps at the beginning or end of the month - you could use any 4 inch square image for this
  • Suggestions for how to use them
I've also made all the number images available for use on flickr in my Calendar Project set. Like most of my photographs on flickr these are available for reuse with a creative commons license - I love seeing how people have used my photos so do let me know if you do!

I'll be closing comments on this posting at midday GMT Feb 11th 2009.

UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED - thank you to all who have commented - the winners will be announced tomorrow - the 12th Feb on a new posting.

Other participants in the giveway can be found on the One World, One Heart giveaway blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Photograph Orbs

Jim's Waterfall Photo
Jim's Icicle Photo

To get orbs it helps to use a compact camera with its flash on.

Then go into a dusty atmosphere, or rain, or underwater, or a swarm of midges, or pollen - if you can't find them you can make your own:

Backscatter from Dust

The above was after shaking a dusty rug in the air.

The next are from water droplets sprayed into the air:

Backscatter from Water 2

Backscatter from Water 3

Backscatter from Water 4

Backscatter from Water 1

And maybe you can see the backscatter from flour here:

Backscatter from Flour

Update: It just started to rain so I got this:

Flashy Rain

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Secret #3 of 12: Following Your Fascinations

Gosh its already Friday! The start of the 3rd week of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women - and no, there is still no sign of my copy of the book... of course that means there's more time to read your blogs and glean both inspiration and ideas from them!

I feel like I'm being influenced by the group despite having no idea what is coming next.

You see yesterday I took a big, expensive, step... one that I had been putting off...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1I went out and spent rather a lot of money on a new camera... its not that I don't already have one (or two...) but that what I had meant I kept on compromising - I don't often take my D-SLR out with me because its too heavy for me these days and although I like my compact a lot its quality is not that of an SLR's. Jim had found a potentially really good camera for me a couple of months ago but I was hesitating about buying it, I hadn't even looked at it... but then I got a series of little nudges that pushed me and yesterday I got it!

When I say nudges I mean things like this. I'd actually started to seriously consider going to see it though I'd let a day or two go by without making the time to go to the shops. Then on Wednesday I got out to the park earlier than usual and there wasn't anyone there that I knew.

Me with too many legs!

But it wasn't long before Teasel decided to play with a Spaniel (they are giving my shadow far too many legs in the photo above) and I started to walk around the park with the Spaniel's owner. It turned out she was just about to drive up to Pershore...

Once upon a time, I was a member of Pershore camera club (despite never having lived there) and that year I won their photographer of the year award... At the time I was printing my own black and white photos and taking colour slides... All very serious stuff and a long way from the sort of photos I've been taking recently...

All of which brings me to one of my major encouragers - synchronicities!

When I did the Artist's Way for the first time in 1996 I really got into synchronicities and I haven't looked back since. Some I note with amusement, others get me thinking, all of them help me feel supported.

Another real encourager is to do something different. Anything.

Break a habit. Try something new. Switch media. Switch from words to images or vice versa. Change subject matter. Play with something.

Walk a different route - taking new paths is a great metaphor for getting unstuck - I recently discovered a strange little footpath I'd never been down before - and we've lived here since 1996!

Jamie suggests that we be brave and take a risk this week - having already been brave and bought the camera I'll have to pick a completely different sort of brave to do next... now I have been wondering about putting streaks in my hair... or buying some different clothes... or dyeing some of the clothes I've already got... mmm... seems like these are all about changing the way I present myself... and yes they all feel potentially risky...

Saturday Update: Today a book came. Unfortunately it is the wrong book.

Not what I ordered!

Looks like the creative urge got in and muddled up the packer!

The original seller had it for sale on amazon again - this time I emailed them before ordering it - they say they do not have it in stock - however they are still advertising it now!

I've now ordered it from somewhere else - wish me luck!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Casting a wish for space

A Penny for A Wish?

A little late I've decided to join in with the Wednesday Wishcasting for this week. The general idea is to add wish power to everybody's wishes by commenting “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” so for me that'll be:
“As Caroline wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.”
(Just to make it easy and because I got it wrong when commenting on someone else's wish last week... ;-)

Spirit of the HomeMy wish for my space is that I honour Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, with all the changes we make whenever we make them.

Since beginning to work with Jane Alexander's book - The Illustrated Spirit of the Home last year I've adopted Hestia as one of my pantheon of guides and have begun to work with her.

My ideas are ranging from quite a big overhaul, to odd little details that would make life cosier, calmer and generally more fun. I've not worked out all the details yet at all which is why my wish is that as I do, and as the changes manifest, they are all in tune with Hestia.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Secret #2 of 12: Honouring Your Inspirations

8:59 Admiring the Rainbow
8:59 Admiring the Rainbow

Tinker recently did a lovely posting on her word for the year - delight - and ever since reading it I've been thinking about what delights me too... and realising that light is indeed one of those things. So when I saw that there was a wonderful splash of sunlight in a dark stormy sky this morning I rushed for my camera - then I noticed it was raining and looking away from the sun I found the rainbow.

9:08 The tail end of the hail stormHowever I'd hardly managed any photos of it before I had to close the window as the storm hit and hail started to bounce in.

I was so glad I had honoured the inspiration of the moment of light and caught the rainbow.

I still have no copy of the 12 secrets book - the people I'd originally ordered it from cancelled my order (though as yet no refund!) and I've had to order from the US which means it may take several weeks... I guess that means I'll have to be creative about what I do without it!

One of the things I've spent time doing in the last week is collecting photos of house numbers to make my own version of a perpetual calendar mentioned on photojojo.

I'd begun to notice that one of the things that had been consistently stirring my interest were displays of multiple images in grids. I know I've been making mosaics for ages so some of you might think I ought to know this about myself already but the ones that are inspiring me right now are collections of images hung on walls. And the best thing about the photojojo site is they mentioned a type of clips to use:


I ordered some Lomo Lomography Fotoclips immediately from gadgetpoint and they came next day!

I may well make the calendar numbers rather more colourful before printing them but here is a mosaic of the first 1-12 as they currently are:

36 of the numbers from my Calendar Project

I've also been tidying my bookshelves. One of our problems is that we have too many books so the shelves are stacked 2 deep. This time whilst resorting them I've also been photographing the books that will be at the back. These will then make a photographic index, hung with the clips, to help us find our otherwise hidden books. And maybe also make an interesting display.

There is more yet to do on the calendar project and the books but once done these will all be going off to be printers - what fun - I can hardly wait to get them back!