Saturday, November 27, 2010

An end of AEDM and a break.

AEDM was a bust for me this year.  I started out with lots of momentum.  Then I began to realize the project of using my rusty bits wasn't really holding my interest.  My heart and desire wasn't in it.   So actually, I cannot completely say AEDM was a bust because I learned something about what my desire is not.  I actually feel a bit lighter around it all now and can let it go. 

I might have switched to something else as a daily art project, except mid month my 10 year old cat Oscar got sick.   He seems to be getting better now, but there is still a bit of a question mark about his health.   I've been caring for him instead of focusing on doing any kind of art or creative things.  Though I've managed a moment here or there, nothing much to document.  

December is just around the corner.  I won't turn this post into a rant but it is a little bit of one...... I'm already feeling worn out.  I come online either to get email, or look at Facebook or read some blogs and everywhere I turn is a pitch for someone's product, ebook, vote, movement, etc.   Right now it's a lot about the Holidays but soon it will be the "turn over a new page and live the life you've always wished for stuff" that comes with the New Year.

I am questioning why I blog.  I thought it might be useful to have an outlet to express myself.  I certainly thought it might be useful to keep track of my creative dawdling.   I know it would be useful to be more consistent on this blog.   I sometimes see an online class or ebook that might help me improve this blog, but I am weary of online connecting.  As I said above I'm tired of all the connecting that is just a big cluttered room of sales pitches of one kind or another.   Or if it isn't a sales pitch it is some other kind of believe as I do sort of broadcast and be sure to share it with your network.    Yes, you do hear some cynicism in my voice.

So, I think at least for December I am going to take a break.   Oh, I'll still come online.....just not quite so mindlessly and habitually.  I think this will be the last post I make this year on my blog........I reserve the right to change my mind.   I'm not quitting my blog.   For now, I'm just saying you don't need to look for a post from me in December.

Have a happy end of the year 2010 however you choose to reflect upon it and celebrate it.  Creative blessings to y'all.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sometimes I feel like giving up.   It's been one of those weeks for me.  I have managed to do a little creative something everyday but none to very little of it involved clay or rusty bits.   Well, I did look through some library books about mosaic.

I have had several visions for some of my rusty bits.  First it involved learning to weld so I could weld these bits together and make some really strange and cool yard sculpture.   This makes me remember I once had a flirtation with rock climbing.  I bought shoes and started climbing walls and realized I love the idea of this more than actually doing it.  The nearly new shoes went to a sports consignment shop.  That was twenty years ago - ugh!    

Several years ago I gave up the idea of learning to weld.   It occurred to me that I did not need to try it to discover it was like rock climbing for me.  I love the idea but I strongly suspect I would not actually like doing it.  Then slowly over time my vision morphed toward making clay creations and using my rusty bits with those.  This is what I've run up against - my vision doesn't actually match what I tend to do creatively.    I see these rusty bits and clay put together in my mind and I just know it isn't my art.  It isn't what I create.   The vision is based on what I've seen others create.   Suddenly this week the committee came in and convinced me to give up.  My committee is what I call the gremlins/inner critics.   I sort of stopped doing any of the creative things I was doing with clay.

So I'm stuck.  And in a bit of funk because of it.  Ok, a lot of funk.   I am hoping to break through the funk just a little bit.  To say hey, committee, I won't give up.  I may give up the vision I have for these rusty bits, but that doesn't mean I have to give up creating.   Today, I am going to get back with my hands in the clay.  I may do some other creative things too, but first priority is to get my hands into the clay.

When I started this Art Every Day Month I thought I will push through and make something with all these rusty bits using clay.   I will focus my attention just on that.  I learned this week that I really don't want this at all.  What I mean is - I am much happier doing a creative dawdle than creating some big dang do.   I was trying to take my vision and make some big dang do.

Really what I want is to be enough.  To create what pulls me each day.  To work in small lumps, small steps.  To say one day I will create by writing my blog.  To say another day I will create in my journal.  To get out clay and form something out of it one day.....but another day paint glaze on the clay.     To photograph another day.  To not force myself into some kind of mold or vision that is outside of me.  Not that there is anything wrong with creating a big dang do it is just that I've come to realize that for me just the act of doing some tangible hands on creating everyday is enough. 

So I'm changing my mind mid-month about the rusty bits.    I am letting a lot of it go.   I still may use a bit or two in something I'm making but I've decided to be creative every day without a forced agenda.   Actually, now I can feel my energy rising.   I don't feel so much in a funk. 

I give myself permission to be enough.  And with that I am off to the studio.......

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Clay Play Every Day - The Rusty Bits Update

My rusty bits project so far has been fun and challenging at times.  So far I've worked on something in clay everyday.  I've drifted a little away from some of my rusty bits.  I saw some mosaic work this week and it gave me an idea that I may want to use mosaic to incorporate my rusty bits into art.......that of course opens up a whole lot of mess.  I really do not like the process of mosaic that much.  I love the effect of mosaics but grouting and the heaviness of the finished product has always deterred me from doing much of it.  There would be a large technical learning curve if I was to do I'm pondering it for now.   

Meanwhile I keep working in clay.  I think today, Sunday Day 7, I will give myself a break from the wet clay.  I may create some sketches and mindmaps about the project.  I will finish glazing a piece that I started long before this month began.  I have a lot of lingering unfinished pieces that await glaze.  I also would like to finish two SoulCollage® cards that are awaiting to be glued.  

We've had very nice weather this past week....I know the wind and cold will be coming and snow maybe.   On Day 2 of this project I did not save the clay piece I worked on.  I took notes about what I liked and what worked but I didn't think the piece was worth the trouble to dry and fire and I smooshed it back into the bag.    I went outside to walk my labyrinth and took my camera.   I had the best time playing in the late day sun......The long shadows gave me some interesting shots....
Here is one of my favorites.....

Day 3 I was inspired by a Brene Brown video.  And the day before I'd had a discussion with someone who reminded me that some of the rusty bits I have are in the form of barbed wire.    It was left here on our property and I wouldn't let my husband throw it away.  So I went out and got a piece of it and created this heart with a saying inspired from Brown.    Her blog is found at Ordinary Courage.    And the video found at youtube - TedxHouston.   I shared the video on my Facebook and it is worth the 20 minutes of time.  Many people are now sharing it and commenting they've watched it several times.  I have watched it multiple times too.  

Day 4 I found myself making angels.....and using my clay and other items to make impressions in them......

Day 5 I loved what I made.  I was completely stumped when I started and then I went on to make something that just delights me......but I didn't take a picture of it.  So you'll have to wait to see it.   I think I may wait until I get it fired and glazed and fired again.   All of these clay pieces once they are fired will turn a nice terra cotta color and have some mica twinkles to them. 

Day 6, well I was tired.  So I switched to my favorite soft low fire clay called story teller.  I started by just relaxing and making in a meditative way one of my hearts.    Then I played with making a face.  I nearly threw this back in the bag - but decided it is so small, approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, I will find some use for it.  It's over worked but in the end reminds me of the man in the moon.  I think the photo is the best thing about it at this point.  It's leaning up against a rusty bit.

At this point I feel like I need to leave you with something colorful because this clay is all so grey right now.  So here is some color. 

May your creative life bloom......just like beauty.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art Every Day Month Begins

Rusty bits project day 1: November 1

I was a bit short on time yesterday to start off my rusty bits project.  So, I had to just dooo eeet!  This clay piece may end up getting fired and hanging from the rusty bit above it.  Or I may change my mind and do something else.  It is all about experimentation - Yay!

I'm proud of myself for several things.  I began.  I used my slab roller.  I used one of my sister's doilies to press into the clay for experimentation. Thanks sis for the crochet donations!

Before I go to play in the clay today here is one other photo from yesterday
My studio helper and a random studio view on 11/01/2010
For other AEDM goodness - click on the icon on the right sidebar.    =>    =>    =>

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rusty bits...... such a metaphor for the creative process when it gets into stuck.  If one doesn't use it then things get rusty and stagnant and stuck.  Then when one turns on the tap it's messy and yucky and sputtering with red rusty bleck.   It is really easy to quit at that point.  To say to yourself  I cannot draw.  What was I thinking - I am no sculptor.  I will never write this novel.   Look at all these art supplies that I've stockpiled and now they are stagnating.    Oh creative life is over......

But wait!.........

That is just the rust coming out of the creative tap.   It is possible to get rusty even overnight or between studio sessions or writing sessions.  Yesterday I was in the flow but what is this bleck today -I'm anxious.  I don't like it.  I want to listen to my gremlins aka the committee and just avoid it all. 

But if I was to look at this bleck as a rusty faucet sputtering.....and I just told the committee to go play in the clubhouse while I work on this.......and I began again knowing that some rust may appear and nothing has gone wrong.  Just keep pumping that creative well.

Set some conditions of enoughness*.     Soon, the creative water will flow crystal clear or at least it won't be so darn blecky!  And when it does get blecky between creative dawdling time then I know what to do..... just keep on taking steps.


I have an acquaintance that is participating in NaNoWriMo.   In fact, she's organizing some events for it in my local community.   I've never known anyone local who has participated in this novel writing month.   I've witnessed it online.   This year I thought - oooooh....I could do that.   In my mind I imagined going to the write-ins and making friends and doing all this writing.......I do love to write.   My husband said to me, "oh you'd have no problem writing that much."

Then I realized, durnit,  - I have no big burning desire to write fiction at this point in time.    So if the NaNoWriMo is a push to just "dooo eeet." (thanks Havi for the do it phrase)   NaNoWriMo's have said, "I've always wanted to write a novel............" 

then what in my life am I always saying  "I've always wanted to.........???????"

Answer.......there are many answers to that question,  but what came to mind for an equivalent NaNoWriMo type project was......

I've always wanted to take these strange rusty bits I collected more than a decade ago and use them with clay to make art.  Weird I know......but hey we all have mysterious things that we love...  

If not 2010, then when?

Then I thought Leah Piken Kolidas offers this Art Every Day Month each November.   I could join that?......I hesitated to join because I thought - maybe I don't really want to have the pressure to blog about this......but you know I like the idea of joining in community.  It may not be local but it is still a community.  I need to track this and why not on the blog with friends and creative companions.  

So, in just a few days I will start taking those rusty bits and doing a creative dawdle with them.  My goal is not to create one finished piece each day but to work each day on them.......To work everyday at sketches, and clay lumps, and to do something everyday in November to move these rusty bits along.   To pump my creative well.

Now I likely won't post about this every day.....but I will try to keep frequent updates coming so that I can declare myself satisfied via conditions of enoughness*.    And it helps to be part of the community if I actually share what I'm doing.  If you are here visiting from AEDM  - welcome!  Feel free to dawdle and dabble around here.......or feed the bunnies.

*want to know what conditions of enoughness are?-see Jen Louden's work  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Committee

spiritdoll made by Kara 1995
Eventually, every creative dawdler in action will come face to face with he/she/it/them-
Recently, I have been having conversations with my critic.   It may be more accurate to say my critic(s).  Actually, I think there is a committee of gremlins, critics, dragons, monsters and a lizard (that reptilian part of my own brain). So I've started calling them the Committee.

The Committee appears-
They show up and prevent me from doing my full out creative dawdling.
The say stop and caution.....avoid....avoid!  Sometimes they sweetly lull me away from my studio.   I think my procrastination and overwhelm is really the habit of unconsciously listening and believing everything this Committee has to say.

Appearing soon at Creative Dawdling-
I've built them a clubhouse.  I've been coloring them and listening to what they are saying.  I've even comfort them a little bit.     I have lots to share, so this will just be my first post in a series.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pattern Overwhelm

I often say I'm overwhelmed.  I wrote about overwhelm before.  Then I kind of forgot about it until a friend was saying I'm overwhelmed.......I once had an insight about that so I went to find my writing about it.....this has lead me into writing this new post about overwhelm.

In the last 2 months I've been doing this brain dance.  And by gosh it has helped me begin to see a pattern.   More dancing is required to fully unmake it and remake a new habit.  As a consequence of doing this wacky flailing of arms dance I see a little more clearly my overwhelm pattern.  It is so weird that this dance works. (more about that in future posts)

I say I'm overwhelmed, and it's usually on a day when I feel I need to answer emails, plan dinner, drive 50 miles to do the main grocery shopping, pay bills, and there are a million little care of the home tasks like scooping out the litter box and watering the basil.........

What I'm discovering is that it isn't all that, pardon my wording, *crap* that has me overwhelmed.   It is that on some level I've reached a point where I've been avoiding my one big thing.   Back when I wrote about overwhelm before - I did not put in any links in my post.  Nor did I put in the links to the blogs that originally gave me a clue to this insight.  So here is the link love to those bloggers....... Third Hands Works mentioned it and she was referring to Mona Grayson's post about it.  

But more about my Big Thing......
 I'm a creative dawdler.   Living a creative existence is what I feel is my Big Thing.  Creative dawdling isn't just the name of  my blog - it's what I call all my juicy soul nourishing creative activities......In my years of being a creative dawdler I have developed some habits that maybe are not so useful such as procrastination, drifting, exploring all things creative instead of focusing on just one or two.   These habits lead me to a pattern of overwhelm.

Sometimes when I am avoiding/drifiting from my creative life or when there is a lot of external responsibilities happening that I feel the time monsters shouting   -No Time!  No Time for creative! -  I start to go into a frenzy of chores and to dos and say I'm overwhelmed.   But really it's a clue that my overwhelm pattern loop is happening.  The way out is to go back to my creative dawdling.  Even a small step is enough to lessen overwhelm. 

Sometimes my creative dawdling has me overwhelmed because I love to do soooooooo many things........just a quick list includes, clay, SoulCollage®, journaling, photography, crochet, astrology, rituals, space arrangement, writing for personal pleasure, writing my blog, assemblage art, beading, reading about any of these topics........there's more....but my point is that when I say I'm overwhelmed in regards to my creative dawdling then it is usually because I'm thinking about all of these and more in a monkey mind jumping around in the studio tree's way.  I haven't actually taken a concrete tangible action on a one of them. 

The way to disrupt the pattern loop is to just pick something within my Big Thing Domain of Creative Dawdling and act on it.  Or finish something that is part way done.    In this instance, when I'm overwhelmed in my creative dawdling I have to make myself sit down and take an action.  Ignore the mind, tell the critic to go take a break(more about that in a future post) and do one creative thing.  I do not even have to worry about what that thing is as long as it is a tangible action and not more thinking about it.   I also don't have to worry about the quality of the creative act.....only doing - doing badly, ugly,or beautifully but DOING.

This is where Jen Louden's Conditions of Enoughness comes in handy.     This process helps you pick a simple action, do it in a measurable way, making sure it is dependent only on you to do, and when you are done you declare yourself satisfied - even if you do not feel satisfied.    

Here is a part of my overwhelm pattern I've noticed.....
When I'm in overwhelm I'm very bad a choosing a simple action.  As soon as I try to set a simple condition of enoughness (COE for short) I get more overwhelmed.   That is because choosing a COE while in that mind boogling moment of overwhelm doesn't work for me.  It is too much thinking and not yet an action.   So for me, I have to do a preview action before setting a COE.  I have to do something creative and not worry about what it is so I might draw -or scribble -or doodle -or list words.  I might crochet.  I like to use my hands.   That action calms me down.   Dance of Shiva (brain dance) also gets me out of thinking and breaks the pattern loop.   

Once I've calmed down then I can come up with some COE's that help me further along on my creative dawdling path.  They help me lessen overwhelm.    The COE's help me move forward with quantity.  The brain dance helps me notice the pattern. 

It isn't that overwhelm is never going to happen.....but it's nice to have a little clue as to what will shift the pattern and what will help move me out of drifting and procrastination.......

Are you overwhelmed?  Ever thought it's not the to do list pressing on you but your one big thing saying attend to me?  Whatever, your thing is, I wish you creative blessings.....
The bunnies around here love comments......please feed them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am grateful for: 4

noticing the turning of the seasons......
Happy Equinox!

late summer blooms

seeds for the birds

I am grateful for: 3

A hubby who picked wildflowers for his late summer lady.  Oh, Beauty!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I am grateful for: 2

A sister who made, with her loving hands, an apple pecan cheesecake for me. YUM!

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am grateful for: 1

A good friend who helps me remember what it is all about.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pizza Night

measure for the dough

don't forget

view from my window

the hubby who packs the cheese in freezer for me leaves me little messages on the bag

ready to bake

Place on stone in oven with blessings and thanks.

Yummmmm! Pizza night my favorite night of the week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Action Taken

I came home from the writer's spa, and I was finally able to make a SoulCollage® committee card for the artist. I have been collecting imagery for years. It was time to let the imagery I had on hand come together.

I've known since I first started creating a SoulCollage® deck that I wanted to have a card for my artist self. It's eluded me. In the time I've spent doing SoulCollage®, I've learned for me at least, that those parts of myself that I most consciously identify with are the hardest cards to make. It's like the imagery in ones mind's eye can get stuck in what we are thinking and what we think we already know about ourselves. Sometimes the best cards are created by just allowing the images to speak.

Committee card: Artist Working

One of the workshops at the writer's spa was a non-art collage process. It was intended to be a way to allow our writing project or our writer self to speak with us through visual images. I was glad I attended the class because the collage I made has spoken to me and continues to speak with me. Each day I gaze upon it and it offers me some inspiration or direction. I'm not quite ready to share it here because I want to stay in an intimate retreat like conversation with it longer before I open up the discussion. It is a way I can remember and pull myself back into that space where retreat and magic happens.

What I can say about the process of making my non-art writer's collage is that it was so rapid and quick that I had to just let the images do all the talking. We didn't have a lengthy amount of time to fuss with it. My mind and words and analysis did not have the chance to get in there and get me stuck. It was more like deciding to let an image sit next to another one.........and to say I resonate with this image and it can go here on the page. I wasn't concerned about anything other than pick an image, find a spot, then glue.

When I sat down at home to dawdle in SoulCollage®, I found myself loose and able to let my artist self speak through the imagery. So I did a similar thing in creating my artist card. I let the images speak as my artist self. Instead of thinking about it I worked in a narrow time frame and let the images find their places.

I also created a council card for The Artist archetype. It seemed like images would find their spot. They picked which card to go on and all I did was cut and glue. Some images I collected did not find their spot on either card, but when I was in this process it was easier to determine - no that image is darling and it belongs on another card or collage. In fact, as I worked I realized there are cards to be made for my play in clay self and my photogragher self too.

Council Card: The Artist

I have not taken the time yet to write out fully the SoulCollage® exercise called "I am the one who........" I often hear things as I work on cards and it takes me a long while to get words down on paper because I get distracted. Something I hope to get better at is completing a card all the way through to writing about it.

If I was to write anything here initially about these two cards I would say this-
My artist working committee card says:
I am the one who holds her mouth right as she creates. I am the one who focuses her attention on creating. Who grabs hold of her tools and makes a mess. I am the one who explores color and her craft- allows her gaze to flow through her to the paper or the sculpture. I am the one involved in creative dawdling. I am the one who is occupied working on her art projects.

The council card The Artist says:
I am the one who flows inspiration through the makers hands. I am the one behind the urge to create.

I am feeling a sense of accomplishment and completion to have some artist cards join in my SoulCollage® deck. I am grateful when I can enter this temenos (a sacred play space) where the rational mind takes a break.

Is there anything you do that helps you enter the temenos and give your vigilant mind a rest?

Please note: SoulCollage® cards are not to be sold, traded,or bartered; they are to be reproduced only for the personal use of the maker of the card. SoulCollage® cards may be shared as examples to illustrate the SoulCollage® process, but it is a principle of SoulCollage® that SoulCollage® cards are not for sale, trade, or barter.

Please go to for more information about the process and Seena B. Frost's book SoulCollage.

Last, but certainly not least: Thank you to all the wonderful photographers and artists whose images inspired us to recreate and discover our inner and outer worlds.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oops....there she ...what helps

It took about two and a half days and I just had an epiphany about what helps my thunkyness.

What truly helps is:


I've been getting the nudges and some were not so subtle. For instance, I drew out of my SoulCollage® deck the card that speaks of slow. It has a picture of a sloth. Yet, when I was racing around in my head mostly and so busy grasping at fixes and connection I missed even the most obvious answer that showed up in my cards.

Yes, getting into my body helped a lot. Writing helped when I settled. Connection via email to friends helped but really it would have helped more if I'd taken the time to SLOW way down and not be in such a rush to reply or get replies. Getting into my body could only happen when I slowed down through breathing and resting yoga. Writing was nourishing and connecting when I slowed down a little bit and settled into it and myself.

Laughter I had not really thought about (thanks Karen) but that helped too. Why does laughter help? I think because when you laugh, everything STOPS while you are overcome with laughter. Isn't that space a place where one finds slow in the everyday small moments.

It seems so obvious and kind of very embarassing to be the creative DAWDLER -
helllllllloooooooooo.... I think a dawdler ='s the message to slow down. This is good. This is where a blog helps you. It's a mirror where one gets to see themselves and exactly what one needs to unfold one's patterns.

For another perspective on retreat integration I found this post today by Michelle Lessirard. It reassured me it takes time. Slow down - 40 days or even 3 lunar cycles is normal for integration - click on New Moon Journal

also I mentioned slow before.....maybe it's developing in a theme....huh.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oops....there she goes.........


That was me coming down from my retreat high. I'd been expecting it. I know it is a part of any return from _(fill in the blank)_______________. In this instance, it was the retreat with Jen Louden. I've had similar experiences with vacations, art shows, and visits from my siblings when I was a little kid. It is the let down afterward.

On some level it is grieving for the time gone by and the experience that is over. For me in this particular instance it is also feeling the loss of the physicality of these soul sisters. I have lots of wonderful life all around me, but what I find missing right now at least in my current life is that physical in the flesh kind of creative connection of women. I do not get a lot of the voice tone and body language that comes from being in parallel play together in the same space.

I can get connection over the internet. Right now I live in a place that I have found difficult to find others to be with in parallel creative play. There really are reasons for why this is and I'm not looking for suggestions on community building. It will change. For now the simple observation I am making is I feel the let down of this particular kind of in the flesh connection.

I'm sure there is some brain research out there that explains how the brain and the hormones produce this kind of high and that after it is over those chemicals abandon their posts it causes this kind of let down grieving process. It's normal. It happens.

Jen is such a master at retreat that she actually prepares you for this to happen. I appreciate that. It still isn't fun to go through. Sometimes, I want to avoid living a creative explorer and dawdler kind of life in any larger way because I want to avoid the pain of this experience.

In my thunkyness, I want to whine "it would be easier if I was just a hermit and avoided everyone and any circle of community." I know this is a passing transition. I have learned to not take it to mean all is lost forever and ever and I'm destined to be a lonely hermit.

What helps?
Well, that is the question I am exploring........hmmmm........

I know the only way through is through. DUH!

I don't think I've ever studied my process enough to know exactly what will help me through this rough patch. I feel sharing my feelings instead of trying to escape from them will help. Hence I'm posting here on my blog about this and I feel a little vulnerable.

Not isolating. Again that is probably a good reason to post this on my blog. Oh, so hard to put myself out there and opt to matter.

As, I write, I am looking around. My cat Fox is looking so cute and snuggly wuggly curled up on the bed nearby my writing spot. He just opened an eye. If I gaze out the window I see blue sky. Two lounge chairs are sitting in labyrinth left from last night's star gazing. I'm anticipating more star gazing tonight as the Perseid Meteor Shower begins to peak.

So I guess a beginning answer to the question of what does help? I think it is just taking in the here and now. What is delightful or pleasurable right now?

When I went *thunk* yesterday I didn't have the good sense to really get in touch with my body.......I stayed up in my head and worried a lot. Tried to write disconnected to my body - ouch!

So today, I think I will do more that involves using my body. That may mean I do not get online so much or try to connect via the internet. I may just start connecting with the physical environment around me. Go for a walk. Do some yoga like dogs and children.

Oh, and here is a thought! I could do some creative go into my studio and assemble something or get out the clay. Clay is very physical. So in the creative lab of me today - I declare it to be about physical play......and I'll let you know if it helps my thunkyness. Please share if there is something you find that helps you when you go thunk!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Retreat Goodness

The photo below is the rough draft of my backyard labyrinth in 2007. Sketch a path for yourself. Put down a few words on the again.......

I was inspired this morning to take my draft posts and get something up here. Karen and Joy* inspired me. These are two of the women I was lucky enough to spend time with on the retreat. I realized upon reading their blog posts that I really needed to get something up here - it doesn't really matter what I write just that I write.

I've been back from retreat for over a week now. Re-entry is bumpy. I had a wonder-full time. I have also been slowly reconnecting with my regular life at home again. The hardest part about retreat I think is returning.

I'm sure my time spent in retreat will unfold and reveal itself here in future posts. I definitely feel like I have some creative stuff to dawdle with in writing, collage, and clay. I'm holding much of it in a private safe container for now until it's time for it to come out and play in a public space.
I met so many lovely women. And what a special gift it was to reconnect with the women who attended in 2007. I feel the need to just say to any new and old friends coming by for a visit - miss you!

I am starting to believe this blog will be a more regular thing I attend and tend as my creative path. For now, I have nothing bright and pithy to say.....just wanted to leave a post.

At the retreat, some readers of my previous blogs asked me about them. Spiritdoll was my first blog. It begin on Jan 1, 2006. It continued into August 2008. I also created Temenos which I couldn't take on blogspot so it's address is Temenos never really got going strongly but looking back now I realize it held a desire that I believe will grow again here on this current blog.
For the past few years I've kept these previous blogs but made them private. For a little while, as an offering of retreat goodness. I am going to make them available. Just click on the links above. I believe I've turned off the comments because I'm not trying to start these up again - creative dawdling is where I'm directing my attention and opening up the conversation.

creative blessings y'all

* I hope to have a link for Joy coming soon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

perspective minding

I wrote this post a few days ago, but didn't post it immediately because I wanted to add some sort of photo. Then I discovered these bugs on the glass outside on a window of our house. I used my camera and got a really micro close shot of them. Talk about a perspective change because what you see there in bugs is probably only about an inch square. These bugs were just hatching out of the little stick thingy. Amazing. My hubby did a search and identified them as seed bugs. They eat conifer seeds.

The post I wrote is below the on the photo for a larger view.

I'm preparing for a week of retreat in Taos with Jennifer Louden. I attended this retreat in 2007 when it was Jen Louden and Suzanne Falter Barnes leading together. Jen is now working with Havi Brooks. I loved the retreat with Jen and Suzanne but I'm also very excited to meet Havi and her duck Selma. I'm intrigued by the wacky Shiva Nata yogic brain stuff Havi teaches.

I could make a list of the things I'm looking forward for this retreat.... like spending time with Karen, seeing all the other lovely, creative, women who are returning from 2007. I'm looking forward to new women I'll meet (though I'm also a little nervous about that too). The Mabel Dodge Luhan house is a wild and serene artist's haven(yes, it is a paradox) and I look forward to visiting it again. And Taos. I cannot wait for the good food. The laughter and the tears. Comfort given and received from the Comfort Queen Jen Louden. I bet I could make a list much much longer than this.

What I most look forward to is a shift in perspective. We all need that from time to time. On my better days I try to work it into my daily life. Such as when I've been involved at my computer I'll make a shift by going outside. Or doing some kind of exercise. I'm not always successful or mindful about it. Retreat though is something different. It creates a container for a kind of mindfulness which opens up the possibility for all kinds of shifts in one's perspective. I look forward to that the most because I guess it has been a few years since I really retreated in length and width. I'm feeling like it is time.

Speaking of time, today Saturn moves out of Virgo and goes into Libra. This will be a shift in perspective too. I'm not much of an astrologer. But I like it as a creative process and it is something I dabble in and explore. When Saturn moved into Virgo I found myself volunteering a lot. I did a couple of years of service in my homeowner's association. I also became more and more involved with our local library. It's a library run entirely by volunteers. I found I really like the work of libraries. I did not care for the homeowner's association work so much. The other thing that happened in this 2-3 year period while Saturn moved through Virgo was I mostly stopped blogging. My previous blogs sort of lost mojo and I lost mojo to write them. This one - creative dawdling - has been sort of waiting and waiting for me. Sometimes it says to me- "Too much dawdling Kara, come back!"

I have a feeling that with Saturn's move into Libra I will be more inclined to reestablish my relationship (Libra) with writing a blog. I've been noticing the urge to express myself again. Going on a writer's retreat will give me that opportunity to look at it from other angles and feel it out in new ways. My guess is that Saturn may give me a need to create a structure and establish a more regular way of expressing with this blog. Of course, with a shift in perspective there is also the possibility that I will go in an unexpected direction. Yet, I look forward to that too.

I've been on cruise control a little bit these past few years. I like making small steps and I feel I have made progress. Yet, going off cruise control for a little bit and taking a new unknown path - one where I can't just go on auto pilot will be very good.

There will also be creative dawdling involved granted it will be more mindful creative dawdling......more when I return....blessings

Friday, June 25, 2010

Taking that oar and making a swish

I haven't paid any attention to my blog for weeks now. When I sign in today, I discover blogger has new templates. It may be time for me to either commit to writing this blog or not. Yet that is an *overwhelming thought. It seems easier to drift, to live in limbo, than to make a decision. And I know it is not easier ultimately. Not making a decision is also a choice. It is a decision. My future self does not want to be dealing with this decision drift in the future.

I have been feeling the need lately to broadcast. It comes up as words in my head. Sometimes it is like writing a letter to my friend Karen. Sometimes I think I ought to go post on the Comfort Cafe forum. Sometimes I just rant in my journal. I get an urge to go to Facebook. I read other forums that I never have posted on but suddenly I want to register and write a reply. Or I talk my sister's or husband's ears off about stuff they don't really need to hear about in such detail.

The above techniques I can see right now as I reflect on this is more drift............

Okay, so I am not ready to commit to ALL that is involved with writing this blog. It feels like a huge big dang do. I do know I am ready to just try making a broadcast. To explore one step at a time what that is like. I have a choice to keep drifting or to just put an oar in the water one swish at time and guide my lifeboat.

*I use the word overwhelm all the time. It has recently come to my attention that overwhelm may not be that we have so many things going on as it is we are procrastinating or avoiding that one thing. Yup, I agree. I use the word overwhelm in relation to all the things that need doing but the feeling of overwhelm is coming up because I am not tending to my need to express myself through writing and creativity. I am not broadcasting or giving my gift and consequently I start to feel I'm losing it. Buried under everything I have to do, should do, wish and desire to do..........overwhelm!!!!!!!

Ah, but it really doesn't take much to come out from overwhelm. Sure, there is work involved. I just have to turn back to making that thing, that it, that need a priority. Even a few minutes begins to get the wheels going and that buried feeling becomes - I can do this...yeah, I'm doing it! Remember to more steps and then your standing still.....oh here comes the pile of get the picture.

There are a bunch of links I could put into this post but I'm not going to bother. Because, eventually I'll get back to playing and sharing and taking the time to link.......but today it is about just taking a step or to use my paddle to make a swish ...... Instead, I'm going to declare myself satisfied and publish. If you would like links to where I learned about overwhelm or a link to the Comfort Cafe or to Jennifer Louden's satisfaction finder well leave me a comment.......

Oh and one last thing, I also arrived today to find that I have a new unknown to me follower. How cool is that?! She probably came from Karen's blog which is about the only place I comment and leave a trail to this blog. See, in addition to drifting with this blog I also put no decisions toward leaving links anywhere so anyone might find it........ that is a topic of exploration for another post......right now it is just one step at a time.

Another step will be to figure out how to find my new follower????? Oh, I know it is probably rather simple.....but I've been standing still so step at a time.........

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quarter speed

Well, Tuesday I was in pain and feeling calm because of it. Yesterday, was a very pleasant day, until my body seized up again. I didn't do that new moon vision board or make a SoulCollage® card. I looked through images.

Overnight, I managed to sleep and to relax my body again. Yet, I'm worn out. I also fear hurting again. So I'm on strict orders to myself to do nothing.

So why am I here writing? Well, to remind myself. I set a heavy duty intention yesterday in the new moon and feel it is important to me to show up....if only briefly.

Also, in order to do nothing I have to slow way down. And how often do we embrace SLOW?

SLOW as a meditation mindfulness practice.

What would happen if you read these words slow? What would happen if you got up slowly from your computer walked at a 1/4 of the speed you normally do and got a drink of water. Drink the water slow. (Go on you can do that, I'll still be here)

What awareness changes when you did that?

S L O W ........ is what I'm exploring today.

After lunch I'm going back to bed for more flat relaxation. I may lie still and read or listen to a relaxtion meditation on my ipod. But I will also be exploring slow and preparing myself for bringing that back into my daily life tomorrow.

Try out a few daily tasks in slow mode. What do you notice? Tell me about it if you'd like.....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Seeding your wishes on the New Moon

Geranium Seed

Last week I discovered geraniums have these really cool TWIRLY seeds. This is a geranium I moved inside over the winter. The petals make a pink mess around the plant, dropping petal confetti all over. I was sweeping up and I saw this seed shimmering in the sunlight. It looks as if it is ready to dance and spin right into the ground and grow into a new plant.

Today is the Aries New Moon. A seed is a wonderful symbol for this day. Traditionally, Aries is the first sign on an astrological wheel. Aries begins the new year in spring. And this new moon is the perfect time to plant your seed wishes for the next month and even the next year. It's a sign of new beginnings and going after what YOU want.

Aries is about going with your impulses. It's bold, courageous, and self directed. A sign to embody your authentic self and twirl right out there!

I know this new moon falls into my 6th house in my astrological chart. The 6th house is the area in one's chart that explores work, self improvement, health. It is a house about one's daily routine and self discipline. This new moon landed conjunct with my natal Saturn - so that tells me that now is a good time to create structures and persistent work.

I am wishing for:

daily creative dawdling action

writing practice

making stuff

developing the skills of a creative dawdler, dabbler, and explorer

maintaining my exercise habit and continually exploring new skills in movement

choosing and taking action! (even if it is just a small BOLD step)

improving my working environment, purging stuff I don't need anymore and using up what I have. Not saving it all for later or someday.

I want to pursue - Go! Jump right into the current moment of creating. Clear through the accumulated projects and get to a fresh new page.

I wish to track my routines. I want to be self reliable, trustworthy to myself, more consistent in my pursuit of my creative explorations.

This is what I wish on this new moon. Now I may go collage a dream least in the spirit of impulses I am going to go sift through some imagery and maybe a vision board will happen.

What do you want, wish for, desire on this New Moon?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving a library is a pain in the side....

I am home today. Feeling very calm because I have a pain in my front left side. It came on suddenly last night while I was sitting on the couch. I think it is a spasm or a muscle strain of my oblique on that side. I did some new core abdominal exercises on Sunday. They were challenging, but I was fine until last night. Spending 4 hours yesterday moving books might have something to do with it.

Why is it that our bodies get these sudden pains at the oddest times? It wasn't during my work at the, I was sitting on the couch and suddenly I got a stitch in my side. I had to stand up and try to shimmy the cramp away. It felt just like the side pains I'd get in elementary school when the PE coach would make us run laps around the school yard. Anyway, it hasn't gone away which has lead me to believe I just strained it. Hurts to breathe deep but I keep trying because that's what I do when I'm in pain....breathe deep. I took some ibuprofen and that has given some relief. Enough that I am able to enjoy being calm.

Moving a library is no small task. The library I volunteer with is moving into a nice new building in about a week and a half. In preparation for moving the collection, I was helping to get some books interfiled together. When the library reopens in it's new digs, the fiction books will all be together. Up to this point they have been shelved together but separated into different genres. Mystery, science fiction, fiction, romance, etc..... Getting all these books alphabetized and together is no small task. We have all these space constraints for packing. In order to alphabetize multiple sections together we need shelf space we do not have in the old that meant moving the same books more than once. It also meant a need to hold three sets of alphabets in my head at the same time. A lot of this interfiling work will just have to take place in the new building end after the collection is moved.

This library is staffed, run, created by all volunteers. No one is paid. The cat who patrolled for mice was paid with cat food. The cat has gone into retirement - lucky cat. She won't be needed at the new building and the only thing cats are good at in moving is being under foot. All of us volunteers, with thankfully, some help from the larger community, will be moving this library. It's work......frazzling work.

At the same time as it is tiring, I am very excited to be a part of it all. I volunteered with this library because I love libraries. Even though my brain hurt yesterday from alphabetizing three sections together I love the puzzle of it. What I have discovered in working with this library, is that I really enjoy certain library jobs. I like the puzzle. I love getting information into a format or system that allows people to find it. I love helping patrons. For a creative dawdler it is a great environment to stimulate the brain.

Now, I just pray my body will hold up. I dread the work of moving....but my brain itches to get the puzzle back together.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lost my creative dawdler

On the 18th of January I partially wrote a post, which I never finished and posted. Partly that was due to being interrupted and also my own willingness to be interrupted. January just got completely away from me and my intentions. I sit here today kind of lost. Where was I?

A creative dawdler has to learn to start. To practice starting and even restarting. You see - there will always be interruptions or obstacles or committees.

Do you mind if I tell you a little about what happened to me? See January started off with great enthusiasm. I had a word and focus and a strong desire to get back to my blog and do some other creative things.

First I found out that my shoulder/arm pain was not a torn rotator cuff. Thankful for that. Then I found out a volunteer committee I'm on had come back to life. Then I realized - oh if I'm going to get rid of and hand off my secretary treasurer job for my homeowner's association to the next person I must do a lot work between now and February 1. That first week of January the dominoes started lining up.

Well, then I started physical therapy to help with my shoulder/arm pain. Of course I do NOT live anywhere close to the place so factor in a bunch of extra commuting time. Then it dawns on me that I have to make my schedule possible for accommodating the sudden classes for this volunteer committee that's been resurrected. Okay, no problem I make sure I can do physical therapy and attend these classes and move the cat vet appointment a week ahead.

Notice my creative dawdling time is rapidly disappearing. Then the dominoes all started to fall last week. I started the week with an appointment that had been made in November 09 (wasn't going to try to change that one since this appointment was the first available). I did hours of sec/treas work. Went to physical therapy (which at this point as they added exercises with my improvement it meant I was there longer and longer). The cat's appointment that had been moved ended up in this week. I was going from one task to another and all the details for the homeowner's sec/treas job and the details of this resurrected committee were making me feel as if my life had been swallowed. It had. My stress increased as I had less recovery time. My creative life, which is what I consider is my life, was no where to be found.

So this week I am saying, "Now where was I?" What was my intention at the beginning of the year? Oh yeah, "I choose......" was my theme. I was choosing to become a more productive creative dawdler and to attend to my creative projects. I was going to explore tracking my creative dawdling. Well, one month down and I can say I did very little creative dawdling in January.

This is an opportunity to explore. It seems not okay to say "no I cannot be on that committee anymore because that would take away from my creative dawdling time" I wanted and needed to get my shoulder better. I'd waited two and a half months for that physical therapy. I made the mistake of not recognizing the amount of time I needed to close out my work and train my sec/treasurer replacement. What I had a real choice about last month was this committee. And I just went along. I just said well I agreed to be on the committee last year - then it got shelved. Yet, here it is. Now is the time for it, and I'll make time.

And I admit I didn't choose. I was too embarrassed to say, no I cannot do this now. I really want to help this organization. I thought this is a temporary tightness in my schedule. And it is and was. Except, I feel really sad this week. I just completely abandoned my creative life. Gone. I'll never get that time back.

This week I'm still a volunteer with this organization and I wear a few hats there. I'm still on this committee. I believe it won't interfere too much in the future with my creative dawdling time, but there is a part of me that worries it will because of what happened last month. My physical therapy is going to start winding down. Thankfully, I'm much much better. I did all the work for the sec/treas job and gave it over. There are a few details, but I'm done with the job. So now I have the chance to get back to something creative.

I think this blog of mine is about practicing this muscle that says "No, I cannot do this because I must tend to my creative dawdler." How do you say no to things you care about but are less important than your creative life? Why do we in this culture minimize creativity? It seems only important if you are a bestselling author or painter or musician? I do not really believe that. I believe creativity is just as important to human beings as breathing, loving, eating, etc.... But it still feels wrong sometimes to put my need for creative puttering time ahead of the requests of people I care about.

I am proud of myself for one thing. In the month of January I stayed consistent with my exercise and I cooked meals for my husband and I. I just feel so sorry I neglected my creative life. How do you handle this when your creative life gets swallowed? Do you have any tricks for getting back to it? For starting again?

Monday, January 11, 2010

This is a quick update post........just to say I haven't forgotten about you blog. I created a schedule where I can track how I'm using my time. I'm using my timer for 15 minutes at a time to help me stay on task. I'll be back soon to elaborate on more......