Monday, January 23, 2012

The 11th Secret and a Wonderful Inspiring Blog.

Grands' Camp in the Adirondacks

In the 11th secret (the blog is the 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life, right?), I suggest that people play with their grandkids as much as possible.  I came across this idea while working at an Elderhostel Grandparents' camp in the Adirondacks.   I had done a little research on how pop culture and the electronic environment might be harming growing minds. Some researchers were predicting the end of civilization as we know it.  I was eager to see what would happen when the grandparents and their grandchildren would come together in a fairly rustic, wild, and magical environment without electronic distractions, and just their own creativity to entertain themselves.   I arrived at Sagamore armed with puppet-making materials and the hope that I wasn't biting off more than I could chew.

By the middle of the week, children were racing all over the camp, proudly clutching their little puppets. It was as if they had never made their own toys before, or even considered such a thing (perhaps they hadn't). Grandparents, their reactions more sedate, beamed and in quiet moments shared various ideas with one another, sewing techniques, or choices in character and style.

Toward the end of the week, once the puppets were complete, they had to invent the storyline for a puppet show. In order to accomplish this, I gave everyone a few pointers on the concept of "council" slowing down, taking turns, and really listening to one another. Then the grandparents and grandchildren created wonderful stories and I took notes.

These children and their grandparents were truly delighted by their creative explorations and discoveries. Later that year I presented at an American Art Therapy conference. I was able to assure the attendees that although many writers were concerned about the future generation's creative and cognitive abilities being negatively influenced by the electronic environment, there is tremendous generative potential in multi-generational play and creativity, the embodiment of the 11th secret.

But if you don't have any grandchildren, perhaps you have children or nieces and nephews.  Create art play dates for some children (who ever you can find).  Your own creative abilities will be so grateful.

Do you feel a little intimidated, as if you might have to compete with the ever present electronic distractions?  Well, have no fear.  I have the perfect inspiration for you, it's this fantastic blog:
We Bloom Here.  I don't want to say too much, I just want you to explore, look at Wee Peg Dolls, read about Finn Family Moomintroll (my favorite!), endless art activities, and oh so much more!!

Here are some of M. Bloom's favorite quotes:
I am blinded by the glare of all the silver linings... (Elizabeth Cohen)
The reason birds fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings. (J.M. Barrie)
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all...
(Emily Dickinson)
 What, are you still here?  Go quickly, don't miss a minute!  M. Bloom is waiting for you now!
A couple of M. Bloom's adorable monsters!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interesting tutorial here to add to your blues chasing possibilities.

One of the best ways to beat the winter blahs is to try something new.  I totally like this way of working and I'm going to try it right away!!!:

This video was from Bonnie Rose Bryan's website .  I learned about Bonnie Rose from this amazing year long eCourse:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year!

Blue Monday Collage by Lani
Did you know about Blue Monday?  The most depressing day of the year?  The date of "Blue Monday" was mathematically calculated Dr. Cliff Arnall a researcher at Cardiff University. He created his formula for the most depressing day of the year by working six distinct factors into the equation: weather conditions (Gloomy January and its typical lack of sunshine - that's of course in the Northern Hemisphere), debt level and our ability to pay that debt, time elapsed since Christmas, time elapsed since failing our New Years resolutions, our general seasonal motivational levels (don't you find it's WAY harder to get up and out these days?), and our need to take action and to have something to look forward to.

Whew, am I glad that William is having a tea party over at his blog, so there will be some fun stuff to reminisce about when yucky ol' Blue Monday rolls around.

For other blues chasing ideas, check out my other blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did you hear the news?

Did you hear the news? William is hosting another one of his amazing tea parties on Wednesday January 18, over on his blog.  If it's like any previous blog party he's hosted, it's sure to amuse and chase away any winter blues.  I can't wait.  Now if only I could find the right outfit...