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Co-creating with my Family

You know that I’m all about creativity. I’ve been described as an ambassador to creativity. Putting a slice of yourself into the world is affirming in the most wonderful ways. And I also believe that community creativity is a sure fire way to join people together.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

My family is regularly subjected to family art projects by me. In the Fall, group pumpkin carving is mandatory. We go out and pick our pumpkins and one night before Halloween, we sit at the kitchen table, draw out our jack-o-lantern faces, scoop out, and carve our pumpkins together. Then have dinner and watch a favorite scary movie with the jack-o-lanterns lit up on the bookshelf in front of us.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

At Easter, we all dye Easter eggs together. I make sure I have the eggs cooked and we all try different techniques like tye dying and rubber bands and drippy eggs. Our fingers get dark with dyes and we chatter and say”look at this” and there is a palpable feeling of pride in creation. It makes us feel good to create and we feel good together while we do it.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

So when I had this idea to art these plates for the garden fence wall, I thought why not involve the whole family in making the art? We chose animals and insects that we’d encountered in our backyard. I bought the right paints for ceramics. I downloaded the animal pictures. Then I cut out the animal shapes from clear sticky back shelf paper and adhered them to the plates.  The animal shapes would come out white after we’d painted them and peeled  off the shelf paper.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.comCo-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

My son chose to paint the turtle and the firefly. My daughter painted the fox, the raccoon, the squirrel, and the rabbit. We joined together with great sincerity and intention in our now air-conditioned garage and set to work to create art. And that’s what we did. Each persons’ was different yet they were all united by a theme. And just this weekend, I finally mounted the last four as I had to go buy more plate hangers.Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Co-creating with my Family on Shalavee.com

Creating memories with my family is always an ulterior motive. But luckily my kids are creative and grab any opportunity to find themselves within whatever medium is laid in front of them, be it pumpkin, egg, or plate. And long after the kids are gone, I’m still have a piece of them in my backyard.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Creativity Couldn’t Cure Me

Back in November, I had what I’ve referred to as an emotional fallout. It was like an anxiety caused implosion which caused me a couple days of waiting and watching the grief I was experiencing. I consequently took myself to my doctor and asked for some anti-anxiety meds. While these were exactly what I’d needed for a very long time, this also caused me a new wave of grief for admitting to a failure to “fix” myself without them. Creativity couldn’t cure me.

I am a devoted self-development practitioner. I have been chasing a better more confident version of myself since my teens. I have peeled back layer upon layer in order to understand myself. And last year, I was devoted to developing a theory about how creativity can be used to battle and quell the anxiety monster.

Creativity Couldn't Cure Me on Shalavee.com

I wanted this to be the outright answer to all of it. I wanted Creativity to be my savior, my answer, my magic potion. I hosted creativity challenges and participated in them and every time, I felt my soul grow. So when the first anxiety episode happened after giving a speech on the inverse relationship of anxiety and creativity, and then again after I held a workshop on creativity, I was devastated. I was an impostor.

I grieved for what felt like giving up and giving in. I wasn’t so much worried about the stigma of taking the medication as much as I was worried my theory had lost it’s wind, it’s proof in me. Like saying yes to medication was disproving all that I had worked on. And I was also sad that I hadn’t made this choice so much earlier because the relief that it gave me was astounding. No more underlying anxiety buzz in my brain means that I can carry out and finish more wonderful creative projects.

Creativity Couldn't Cure Me on Shalavee.com

But now I think I am done grieving and I am moving into a less all or nothing zone and more of “whatever works” zone. I say do it all and keep doing whatever works. Happiness is all it’s cracked up to be and there will never be a disadvantage to being creative. It brings you joy when you permit yourself to give into it.

I’m not sure what my all or nothing attitude was supposed to get me. I can tell you that I am now engaging in another type of therapy called EMDR to dig specifically into why these episodes happened and how I can learn from them instead of feeling ashamed of them. And I am certain I won’t have another one again as long as I am on this medication.

Anxiety is a sucky way to live and your wellness plans are up to you. Yes you can tell stories about yourself but make sure that you are authoring them and that you work very hard to give them happy endings!

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Days 36 through 69 for the 100 Day Project 2019

My 100 day project continues into June with about a month remaining. I have mostly kept up with creating everyday save a few days where I had to produce a couple of pieces at a time to catch up. But I didn’t mind. I am glad for the excuse to get into my craft room and create more. Because that’s what this project is about. An excuse to create.

The project is deceptively more than this however. The continued creativity becomes a way trust that I can show up for myself. This is a lesson I continue to need to learn. To trust that I will show up for me.

The ICAD project, which I participated in for the past two years in a row, just started up in June and as much as I wish I was creating with them, I have chosen this as my sole challenge now. Plus I’m already doing collage which is my favorite medium for ICAD.

Summer has just begun and yet I am already enjoying my creativity routine. I am reading a book and working on the garden. Life is always better when I indulge my creative whims.

With a month to go, I need to look ahead to what I might replace this routine with. Last year, when my challenge ended I felt it was a waste not to replace the intention with something else. Habits formed are nothing to mock. 30 more days to go and I’ll do a round-up.

Go HERE to see the first two weeks of the 100 Days of Shalagh 2019.

Go HERE to see days 19 through 35 of the 100 Days of Shalagh 2019.

Go HERE for a definition and the home of the project. Or search the #100DayProject hashtag on social media.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

100 Day Project 2019 : Weeks One and Two through Day 18

This is the second year that I’m taking on the 100 Day Project. Last year I did both 100 days of sketches and pastels and simultaneously participated in the Index Card a Day challenge with collage and a few other random mediums. The thought of doing all of that again exhausts me.

This year, I decided to just do 100 days of collage on a slightly larger format than an index card. I cut a piece of paper in half and decided that was neither too big nor too small. It was just right. And everyday(almost) I get into the craft room and I stand there and I craft. Read about my start Here.

Here’s the thing, you are sure that there’s nothing that you could possibly commit to every day. But that’s bunk. You certainly can. You are committed to putting clothing on everyday. You concede that activity will take a certain amount of time and you patiently spend that time daily putting that clothing on your body.

Life is all about expectations. I have just added an expectation on to myself. Much like doing the laundry or making dinner or exercising, I expect that I must blog three times a week and now I art daily. Once it’s a non-negotiable in my head, I slide it into my day without a thought. Intentions become habits.

I have missed a day or two with the boy’s birthday/Easter/Spring Break combination this weekend but I am also not worried about it. I’ve also noticed that with this proactive arting, I don’t care too much about whether people are seeing it online. The act of doing it seems to be satisfying in and of itself.

Keep on Keeping on! Art like you mean it. And if you are interested in keeping up with my progress, you can follow along with me on Facebook or Instagram.

See Days 19 through 35 of my 100 Day Project for 2019, here.

See Days 36 through 69 of my 100 Day Project for 2019, here.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Waiting for Creating

For a very long time, I had no permission to be myself. Seems silly considering there wasn’t anyone threatening my life if I created. But it felt like a NO No. A hidden shame. An act of treason and insanity. Artists are crazy. You can only create if you have some sort of degree in art. You can’t make money doing it. You will be stoned to death if they find out what you are thinking.

Waiting for Creating on Shalavee.com

These messages are deeply rooted in our history. We’re kept in check by fear of authenticity and failure. Our parents want us to be pragmatic and stay safe and they pass these inane messages onto us meaning well. We so quickly forget that we owe our existences to innovators and creators who stepped out of their boxes and found a new way to do everything.

I read a quote online from Stephi Wagner, MSW. She said, “Please don’t wait to ‘be healed’ to do your creating. Your creating is your healing.” She further says, “Creating is an act of self-care. Creating is an act of self-love. Creating is and act of self-healing. You deserve to create because you deserve care, love, healing”.

Waiting for Creating on Shalavee.com

How can any of us believe we are so unworthy as to not deserve self-healing, self-care, or self-love ? And yet here we are controlling and bullying and punishing ourselves by holding back out primary beings, our inner six year-old. They are joyful prolific beings who love to be and see themselves emerge. And they deserve all the love we are capable of coming up with.

So keep creating and caring for yourself in all the ways that make you feel loved. And I will too.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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