Tag Archives: creativity

Whimsy and change

“Pretension and trendiness are pesky intruders. I try to swat them out of my studio while making tea for whimsy and change.” – Ellis Anderson My friend Ellis wrote those words years ago referring to her work in jewelry design. But I copied and saved them, even though I’m not an artist, because I think …

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Making life more bearable

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow…” — Kurt Vonnegut “What is the purpose of your blog?”  That’s a question others have asked occasionally …

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The transporting wonder

“Those of us who know the transporting wonder of a reading life know that…when we read, we are always inside, sheltered in that interior room, that clean, well-lighted, timeless place that is the written word.” – Alice McDermott All of my life, reading has been a shelter for me, and never more so than in …

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Many worlds

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…” — Marcel Proust How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few …

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Truly artistic

“The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent Van Gogh Quick, think of your stereotype of an artist.  Did you picture someone isolated, temperamental, aloof or demanding of perfection?  Someone slightly out of touch with “normal” life?  I have to admit, that’s …

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Dressed for Halloween

There’s a ghost who haunts my bedroom, A witch whose face is green, They used to be my family Till they dressed for Halloween. — Sandra Liatsos Whether or not you plan to dress up for the holiday, I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy the cute and creative trick-or-treaters who may be showing …

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The human story

“The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.” — …

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Wildly enthusiastic

“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things…It has been after such times of joy that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work.” — Leo F. Buscaglia More than once over the years, people have made fun of me for getting excited over things they considered minor or insignificant.  Confusing their …

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A kind of artist

“We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist.” — Wendell Berry History tells us much about the wide-ranging though conflicted brilliance of Thomas Jefferson.  Aside from his celebrated love of books, farming may have been his greatest passion. He and his trusted gardener …

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For almost everything

“There is a use for almost everything.” — George Washington Carver “A great master can find a use for everything…he is good at salvage. He wastes nothing; therefore, he always has enough. He values everyone; therefore everyone values him.” — Chris Prentiss One year ago today I wrote about my problems with clutter, and having …

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Intelligence having fun

“Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun.” — George Scialabba Have you ever heard of rock balancing?  Neither had I, until I saw this guy, one beautiful sunny day in San Francisco, practicing his hobby for all passers-by to enjoy free of charge (though some were leaving him tips).  I don’t know who thought up …

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Anything created

“Anything created by human beings is already in the great book of nature.” — Antoni Gaudi One year ago today I published a post that is one of my favorites, because it includes a link to a delightful PBS re-mix featuring Fred Rogers.  It’s all about how “you can grow ideas in the garden of …

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Until I write

“I cannot see what I have gone through until I write it down. I am blind without a pencil…But it does seem a slow and wasteful process. (Like walking, tapping with a cane.)…There is so much waste in creativity, always.  But there is something curious about creativity: the trying-too-hard for results seems to defeat itself.” …

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Sharing their experience

“I want to thank anyone who spends a part of their day creating, I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music – anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us – I think this world would be unlivable …

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Costumes tell a story

“Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.” — Mason Cooley I mentioned a couple of days ago that my siblings and I much preferred making our own Halloween costumes over buying them in a store.  Perhaps it’s because the store-bought costumes in those days were cheesy little plastic masks coupled with cheap apron-like printed …

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An art of balance

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of  troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the  mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”  — Henri Matisse I understand and agree that art is meant to do a variety of things.  …

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Designed by nature

“The marvelous pharmacy that was designed by nature and placed into our being by the universal architect produces most of the medicines we need.” — Norman Cousins One of the first things I did after Jeff got his stage IV cancer diagnosis was request that he read a book first published in 1979:  Anatomy of an …

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Make them carry you

“If the winds of fortune are temporarily blowing against you, remember that you can harness them and make them carry you toward your definite purpose, through the use of your imagination.” — Napoleon Hill Windmills are a visually appealing reminder that forces beyond our control can be turned to good purpose.  Wind-driven machines have been …

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Read them fairy tales

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” — attributed to Albert Einstein I could not verify that the quote above actually came from Einstein, but countless sources verify his more famous statement that “imagination is more important …

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Yonder lies the way

“The hour is ripe, and yonder lies the way.” — Virgil In most ways I’m a cautious person.  I tend to fall into what a friend once described as “paralysis by analysis,” so fearful of making a mistake that I think and re-think decisions far too long.  This blog, however, was an exception that could …

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Imagination will take you

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”  – Albert Einstein Logic is important and even indispensable, but imagination is what gives life its brightest colors.  Often we equate imagination with fantasy and escapism, although its most common and useful purpose is to add flair to everyday life.  Think of …

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The garden of your mind

“You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.” — Fred Rogers As springtime approaches, there’s no better time to tend to the garden of your mind.  Let’s make our minds into beautiful gardens to enjoy every day!  We can cultivate the soil by feeding it healthy images and words.  We can watch out …

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Intense love

“Creative work carries with it a form of intense love.” – Lin Yutang Lin Yutang’s description of creativity is parallel to the Bible verse that tells us “God is love.” If God’s love has been made manifest in the boundless beauty and diversity of creation, it stands to reason that people made in God’s image …

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The ordinary arts

“The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” — Thomas Moore There are small details– inexpensive or free– that make our homes a more nurturing environment.  For me, some of the minimal efforts that have maximum impact include making the bed daily, keeping things tidied …

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