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I Need : Bold Brilliant Beautiful You Project Continues

March’s “Bold Brilliant Beautiful You” question was posed and asks, What Do I Need? Seems I had asked myself this same question last year. There’s a page in my journal proving I was equally confused then in defining wants versus needs. I promised I’d return to answer later but I haven’t. I supposed then, the best time is now.

- Wants vs. Needs -

I will simply define wants are desires for possessions or glamor unrelated to our basic existence. I shudder at the American mentality of more more more for less less less as we are lured in by our confusion in defining wants versus needs. Supplies necessary for survival would be needs which are both tangible and intangible. And yet, I would still not have included emotional needs as necessary. Dismissing these is second nature to me.

juniper bush

In my Those That Blog post from last Fall, I listed a few of my needs. I’m still in need of like a babysitter once a week, garden help, or someone to explain #hashtags to me #onceandforall. But sometimes needs seem superficial, dishonest. It feels their root is something deeper, more emotional in origin. And I also suspect that these are the needs I’ve denied for so long that I can’t see my need forest to make my way through my need trees.

 

- Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs-

 

So I set out to define the meaning of needs, hoping this knowledge would help me then feel entitled to have and fulfill them. I looked up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs courtesy of my freshman year psychology. And what I rediscovered was very eye-opening.

Maslow's Hierarchy of needs

Maslow stated there are five levels of needs. The first two levels include the basic needs and the last three are the psychological needs, the top most level being self-actualization. The catch is that you can’t really fulfill the next level up if you are missing something on the level below. I can remember suspecting this was a stumbling block for me years ago. Here I am again and I was more right than I knew.

Yes I have food, clothing, shelter, a loving 2nd husband, healthy children, etc.. The first basic need level is covered but it seems, at times, I have lacked some basic safety and security needs from Level 2. For years, my husband and I have had no health insurance, no savings, and my husband started his own business while freelancing which is a tenuous existence.

Blue wire glob from Shalavee.com

Things have improved for us but periods of want, fear, and sadness meant isolation and not actively seeking out the 3rd level’s Social Needs for new communities to belong to and be accepted by. This was an “Aha” moment explaining my long running low self-esteem and I suddenly understood a lot about America’s need for healthcare as it relates to productivity and the emotional well-being of a society.

-BBB You Project-

And then I see the 4th level and I know getting these needs met is exactly why I joined the Bold Brilliant Beautiful You group. This level is about the Esteem Needs. Our need to be appreciated and respected. Our need to be validated for our existence. This then becomes our motivation for accomplishment and our search for prestige. Um, Heck Yeah!

I hadn’t any idea those needs were mine and yet, that is exactly what I’m feeling these days. When I understood the purpose of the BBBY project and the support and acknowledgment I could gain, my gut feeling was Joy. To be able to create a mirror from others that says,”What you’ve got is good stuff and keep putting it out please”. It’s not narcissism, it’s necessary.

 Christmas lights on fence from Shalavee.com

Once you’re on this need fulfillment roll, your brain reaches a place of potential fulfillment. Not having to worry about much of anything takes you to a place for safe play and creative freedom. Einstein was grooving on some self-actualization and creativity.

 

- Eight Solid Needs I Have Now-

And so I come to a place where I can state my own needs. These were the ones that popped up for me.

  1. I need to keep prioritizing creativity.
  2. I need to see my talents and feel proud to gift them back to the world.
  3. I need to find a way to be OK with being paid for my creativity.
  4. I need to ask for emotional, financial, and physical support.
  5. I need to have and make time for my priorities.
  6. I need to stop trying to take care of too many other people’s needs which distract me from mine.
  7. I need to spend more time with girlfriends and create more friendships.
  8. I need to regularly reconnect with a husband and a little boy who’ve been bumped for a baby.

 

Yes, I still need help with my garden. I still need a babysitter. I still need a decorating friend to come and help me scheme up a new design plan for my hallway/dining room/anywhere else I am sick of. Surely some needs will work themselves out. Meditated on and intentionally thought of until they become a need ready to be fulfilled too. Because I get the feeling the more you have your needs met, the easier it is to have needs.

moss and roots from Shalavee.com

I am immensely grateful for being given an opportunity within my Bold Brilliant Beautiful You group to safely discover my need acceptance was “normal” and that my creative heart can excel from this nourishment. I’ve gotten a creative transfusion and my hope is for other creative women busily fulfilling everyone else’s needs, can fulfill one of their own needs today.

Rocking Chair Sneak Peek

Was it cruel of me not to have shown you the chair? I’ve had it all to myself for a couple of days now. Coated it with one coat of poly today. Fussing a little about a detail or two. And I thought, I could give everyone a peak. Not sure what I’m saving the reveal for. Or where it will go on display once it returns to Easton, Maryland to the Rock On Talbot coordinators. Here you go then, a few pictures of my shy chair.

Back of the painted rocking chair for Rock on Talbot from Shalavee.com

Decoupaged seat fro the painted rocking chair for Rock On Talbot from Shalavee.com

Decoupaged seat from the painted rocking chair for Rock On Talbot from Shalavee.com

That’s all for now. Pretty isn’t it. In love with it and I hope it sells for a good amount at the auction in May to help the humane society. Two more coats of polyurethane and then I’m sending her away. I’ll make sure to take some parting shots. Hopefully the snow will melt soon.

Creativity and A Painted Chair Fundraiser for Rock On Talbot Humane

My recent big creative project has been the painting of an Adirondack rocking chair.  It will be displayed somewhere for a month and then, in May, will be auctioned off in a painted chair Fundraiser for the Talbot County Humane Society here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, USA.

The only stipulations for the artists’ designs was that they incorporate an animal and they be sealed. These Adirondack rockers have plenty of surface area to show off the work. And there are so many flat surfaces that one could be overwhelmed with choices.

Plain Adiraondack Chair from Shalavee.com

In my recent post on creativity and flow , I cited the research contribution of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to the better understanding of our creative process. As I stick my creative neck further out and took on this rocking chair project, I noticed there is a rhythm to my creative process unfolding which involved five steps (Creativity, 1996, p.79) .

 Preparation – Where one becomes immersed in problematic issues that are interesting and arouse curiosity.

My name was offered by a friend to her friend. She thought well enough of me to feel confident I could do this. Wow. Whoa. I had some experience painted furniture for my shop Bally Eden but nothing decoratively extensive and not in a long time. This was a great big challenge. Coming from a pretty awesome creative Holiday season though, I suspected I could pull it off.

Mucha Inspiration fro Shalavee.com

Incubation – ideas churn around below the threshold of consciousness.

I’ve had an urge to play with simple white lines on wood and a modern feminine color palette. I took inspiration from some Alphonse Maria Mucha prints. I love Art Nouveau design and wanted simple inspiration. I also wanted to keep the natural wood element as much as possible and only add white and copper. And I wanted to do some decoupage. Just that simple.

copper and a sander from Shalavee.com


Insight – the “Aha!” moment when the puzzle starts to fall together.

Next came the sketch. I stole from several pictures. From Art Nouveau, I chose a poppy floral design, the tree with a river, and the circle motif taken from Mucha’s repeated use of circles around women’s heads. A picture of white wall panels with gold trim detail in a French apartment reminded me of the French Provincial white and gold bedroom furniture that used to be so popular and it all made sense to me. I printed a black and white picture of the chair on which to do the sketch. 

Rocking Chair supplies from Shalavee.com


Evaluation – deciding if the insight is valuable and worth pursuing.

I used chalk to sketch my design on the chair. It looked great. There was nothing about the idea I didn’t like. I did a little practice painting, both with the copper and the white lines and my mystery animal. And grabbed the old sheet music for the tree’s leaves.

Sharpie paint pens and poppie picture from Shalavee.com


Elaboration – translating the insight into its final work.

Bothered by the sloppiness of my freehand painting and, thanks to my husbands’ brainstorm, I sanded my first lines off and used painters tape and an exacto knife to carve out my line stencils where they were to go. I even sealed them with glaze in case they wanted to seep. And then the one coat of creamy white and my lines were complete. Peeled that tape off to reveal what I really wanted. Crisp pretty lines.

I set up the photo shot of the table with all my supplies because I couldn’t believe how much stuff I’d dragged in and onto the garage table by the end. All I need to do now is polyurethane the piece and I can let it go to the auction. I’ll show you pictures of the chair soon. It’ll probably get delivered this Thursday. And then on to other big projects I already have up my sleeve .

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