creative freedom

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Grandma and all her grandchildren at the time.
I started when I was young just like everyone else loving my creations.  I remember my first self doubt when I was young sitting at the ranch in my grandmothers office and she sat me down with an orange and some cloves.  She instructed me to make an ornament by taking the cloves and pressing them through the flesh of the orange.  I could choose to make a pattern or I could just cover the orange.  It was my choice.  Oh the pressure of this was more than I could bear.  It lasted about a minute and then my grandma said to me, “no pressure, just have fun.”  She explained the orange was going to be beautiful and smell wonderful no matter what I created.  She took away the pressure I was feeling and replaced it with freedom.

We all feel this pressure when we create sometimes. Some of us more than others.  Some of us do it by putting pressure for money, deadlines, and others self made pressure.  This pressure can suck the joy out of creating.  For me I decided long ago not to play along.  I never place a dollar amount on what I create.  However, I do fall into the deadline category sometimes.  It is a painful feeling to place pressure into my creativity.  Creativity is a natural thing for everyone.  It is a practice we should all partake of.  When we place pressure on our creativity we lose our creative freedom and therefore do not see being creative as a fun, freeing experience.

How can we be free creatively?

1.  By being kind to ourselves.  NO harsh self talk.  When these voices come into your head just ask them politely to go away and then see some good in what you have created or the creative thought you are nurturing.

2.  Don’t box yourself in.  If you are photographer and you want to paint.  Go paint.  I say this because I did this.  For a lot of years I stopped playing in paint and just played with my camera.  One day I decided to play in paint again and it is what I do most of the time.  I still take pictures and I adore photography but it is not my path right now.  Right now it is painting.  So I am following it.

3.  Start your creative process with the bold NO PRESSURE attitude.  Just have fun and enjoy it.

4.  Remember creativity is your God given right.  You were born a creative, we all were.   Do not put a place marker in your creativity.  Don’t compare yourself to others or let them compare themselves to you.  You do not have to be the best or even place yourself in some rank.  “You are you.  That is truer than true.  No one can be you better than you.” Dr. Seuss

5.  As far as deadlines are concerned, start early and give yourself time and space to finish things.

winter walking–alaska style

i don’t know about you but i think i am over winter. i am a firm believer in enjoy the seasons as they come but winter is always my challenge. i see pictures on the web of green grass, flowers, gardens being planted and i just can’t help but be a little envious. 

 the best cure for me is to grab the camera and head out in the cold with husband and pups in tow. 

 on a side note summit had surgery last week and had to wear this cone of shame….poor guy.

on the way back i am freezing but feeling much better. i don’t know if it is the exercise, sunshine, or fresh air. i guess i do not care, i am just happy that i am feeling better.

kitchen gadgets — popcorn love

i love popcorn.  i used to go to the theatre not to go to the movie but to sneak in and buy a bucket of popcorn.  i was lucky enough to live in a small town that would allow me to do that.  now that i am older and never live in a village/town large enough to have a theatre i am forced to make my own.

for years i have searched for the perfect popper and ended up throwing or giving away poppers that just did not cut it. then my friend introduced me to the stir crazy popper and my love for popcorn has been taken to a new level.

i use coconut oil for everything these days, another tip from another friend (if you are wondering if i have any original thoughts….i wonder that too). anyway i use coconut oil and gourmet white popcorn.  the coconut oil is better for me and the popcorn is delicious. when using gourmet popcorn you use less kernels if that matters to anyone? i just like the way it pops up better than a cheaper brand.

i add the oil and the popcorn and plug the popper in and then just watch the magic happen.  i normally wait for the pops to slow down and then unplug the popper. you just flip it over and you can use the lid as the bowl.  

clean up is easy.  i just take a clean sponge and wipe out the popper.  i wash the bowl in a little soap and water.

i do not add butter to my popcorn not because it tastes better without it but because it is healthier that way.  i do add some popcorn salt. the kernels are perfectly popped with very few solid kernels to get in the way of things.