Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A day at the McGill Rose Garden

 I feel very lucky to live near a beautiful public rose garden full of birds, trees, flowers and peaceful places to sit and enjoy it all . It was a really beautiful morning there.

"This memorial in honor of  Mrs. Helen McGill was placed in this garden where for nearly twenty years she devoted so much of her time and untiring efforts to bring pleasure to others through the realization of her vision that beauty can exist anywhere even in a coal yard"

Friday, May 17, 2013

Guest post on creativity from Marcela De Vivo

7 Things to Do to Wake up Your Creativity

We’re all born with an ability to be creative and to improvise our way through life. Within our beings, we have a unique ability to see the world in diverse ways that lead us to make different decisions and come to varying conclusions based on our specific situation.

That ability is simply our creativity, and we all have it too in one degree or another; however, many of us may feel that we aren’t as creative as others or as creative as we should be.

It’s a scientific fact that creativity can be improved on and “exercised” by how we engage our minds and how we spend our days. If you want to improve upon the creativity of your mind, there are some simple and effective ways that you can do so.

These are seven of the best everyday ways to exercise the creative muscle of your brain:

  1. Find an Artistic Outlet. Whether it’s playing an instrument, drawing, painting or some other kind of relaxing artistic activity, they all do wonders to work your creative muscle, increase your ability to think outside of the box and assess the creative worth that something might have.

You’ll also find yourself looking to pursue something that is both unique and attractive, while not sacrificing too much of one for the other.

2. Exercise. Getting even just 15 minutes of aerobic exercise a day can improve your frame of mind and actually make you happier, which will result in clearer thinking and greater creativity. It also helps you sleep better and maintain a higher energy level throughout the day.

 3. Learn a New Language. People who are bilingual have been scientifically proven to be notably creative and have improved problem solving skills. If you have the time and you want to increase your creativity, it’s definitely worth a try.

Even just working the muscle to learn the language will help, regardless of whether or not you’re ever able to speak it or become fluent.U It can ultimately help you improve your vocabulary in your native language as well, leading to more creative thinking. 

4. Listen to Music. Music is one of the best and easiest ways to engage the creative side of your brain. Listen to different instruments and analyze them in your own mind. Even if you can’t play those instruments, you’d be surprised at how much more familiar you’ll feel with them if you spend some time being intentional about listening to them.

5. Do Some Math. I know this might be a tough sell, but this does work the problem solving and creativity muscle of your brain quite well. That’s not to say that you need to become a math wizard, but just keep up with it. Spend 30 minutes a day going over material that you haven’t seen in awhile. is a great place to go for quick reviews and tutorials.

6. Read on a Daily Basis. Reading might seem like a relaxing and “disengaged” kind of activity, but it’s actually quite beneficial for you; it can greatly benefit your ability to think and be creative.

Reading requires that you picture what you’re seeing in your mind. So, not only do you need to read the words, your mind also virtually takes you to the world that those words are describing, thereby engaging in a creative activity.

If you don’t already make time for it, be intentional about reading for 30 minutes to an hour per day.

7. Start Something New. Even if it you start off not feeling inspired about a particular project or craft, the most important thing to do to wake up your creativity is to try, try, and try again. Picking up a pen or paintbrush, or even trying something unique like flower arranging, making decorative home decor pieces out of tissue paper or basket weaving, can be a spark of creativity, but persistent and trial-and-error is what really fan the flames.

Try not to get frustrated with it too soon; be patient, don’t push yourself, and let your inspiration come naturally.

You may already enjoy many of these suggestions on a daily basis. The next time you get writer’s block, or are having a difficult time coming up with a new design, try doing something new and you may like where it leads you.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Southern California whose writes on everything from marketing and tech to travel, health, and law. Covering such a wide variety of topics, she is always looking for new ideas and inspiration tricks for her writing process. 


Friday, May 3, 2013

Art Journal

A couple of quotes from this journal page:
"Smells are surer than sights and sounds to make the heartstrings crack"
"A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness"