Facebook Live Video - Creative Life Tip #98 I Don't Know What I'm Doing - Yeah, You're an Artist
Facebook Live Video - Creative Life Tip #97 Be a Social Animal - Join a Peer Group
Facebook Live Video - Creative Life Tip #96 Pitch Perfect - Tips for Making a Creative Pitch
Facebook Live Video - Creative Life Tip #95 Let Your Beliefs Come Through in Your Art
We spent the last week in Copenhagen, Denmark. This was one of our stops to see this Carl Bloch altarpiece. He's a fave of mine and there were several to see in his country of origin. Almost 150 year old painting still in its intended viewing place. What a great opportunity to see it up close.
Sankt Jakobs Kirke, Copenhagen. Carl Bloch painting, The Resurrection
For the past 9 years the sister and brother duo Salli and Nate, have run They Draw and Cook (and Travel and Garden). I've followed them for years with their largest collection of illustrated recipes website. (They use a very loose interpretation of "recipe") So many delightful images. I decided it was time I tried my paint brush at it. And the challenge theme this time around - "Favorite Food Memories" - was a draw. So this is the entry I sent in . Below is the longer version of my "recipe."
A merry night doesn’t start out as a tradition. It evolves over time. Slowly. Taking on a life of its own. That’s the way our Christmas Houses started with our first child, Leila. It continued with the seven other children that followed. Candy, frosting and cookie all wrapped up into colorful little houses.
It’s changed as our families have grown - houses have added sugar cookie people, at times frosting is replaced by hot glue, and corner-cut baggies can be quicker than pastry bags with tips. But always there’s the handfuls of candy. And the aftermath of mess.
And it doesn’t matter if we’re in Missouri, Amman or Stockholm. It’s not even the where, the what or even the how. It’s the inherited birthright of happiness, the heritage of harmony.
I didn’t know back then how important our Christmas tradition would be now. Now that I can tell Joseph that his Angel Mama Leila loved making the houses as much as he does. Something to connect him to the mother he never knew. And the joy he has for months in advance as he talks and waits to decorate. The tradition reminds me that it’s never been about the houses. It’s about the laughter. Love. Fun. And memories.
Share your fave food memories? And check out the FB Live Videos every day where I talk creativity tips.
#lovelettersfabrics sewn by prolific @frontporchquilters with great pattern #meadowlandquilt by @thencamejune #lovelettersfabric #thencamejunepatterns #frontporchquilters #instaquilts #shannonsstudio #shannonchristensen
Talented Alison @sewbeeitclothier sewed this #violettefieldthreads classic #hattiedress with #lovelettersfabrics which Charlotte wears on the cover of my #windhamfabrics lookbook #shannonsstudio #shannonchristensen
I wanted to share my word for the year. I know it’s March but I’ve been dragging my feet on sharing it. Let me backtrack and tell you why.
A couple of years back I chose the word, “Flourish.” I was pretty excited by it. I had big ideas and plans for it. I had lunch with friends often, consulted with another artist about my art work, consulted with a friend and came up with a new business direction and plan and I was generally on the road to expanding and flourishing.
Then, my husband lost his job. Even thought we were on a single income I didn’t really think much about it because he’s highly employable and has always had a job. I thought it’d take a week or two to him to find somewhere else to work. It ended up being six months and it was rough. We even moved out and prepped our house to sell. My word for the year - flourish - wilted and died.
Five and a half months into joblessness and it was New Year’s Eve. I couldn’t bring myself to pick a new word because of how much the last one had imploded. I just didn’t want one. And the following year I felt the same and didn’t want one.
So after a couple of years of not having a word, picking one was a big deal for me. Then once I picked it I didn’t want to share. When the word is put out there it’s so public. You’re exposed and accountable. Your outcome tells the story. What if it was a big bust like before?
My 2019 New Year’s Resolution Word is - SUCCESS. Then the crippling questions went off. What if I had another crash and burn year? As a side note, I don’t feel like I’m a complete failure at life in general. I feel really good about my life but there are a couple of areas I feel could be more. But what is the opposite of success? What would I have to report on if success wasn’t working? Failure. And failing isn’t fun.
So what gave me the extra push to announce my word? It was another question. If I’m afraid to say out loud that I’m seeking success then how successful is that?! You can’t hide and feel successful. Those two words don’t seem to fit together comfortably. So, it’s out there now. I’ll see where success take me this year.
This is a Creative Brain Food Board that I served at one of my watercolor painting groups. The foods shown on the board are said to raise, increase or better utilize dopamine which in turn predicts, relates to or effects creativity. And it's a great, yummy, natural way to increase it. It's just another heartstring to support our creative heartbeats.
"At the broadest level, dopamine facilitates psychological plasticity.... Indeed, research shows that psychological plasticity is associated with high levels of idea generation, engagement with everyday creative activities and
publicly recognized creative achievement."
Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) message sent between never cells (neurons),
dompamine message on nerve releaser to a dopamine message on nerve receptor with a gap (synapse) in the middle.
"It’s hardly a stretch to say that dopamine is the mother of invention."
-Scott Barry Kaufman Wired to Create (p. 87)
Food boards are a fun way to try different food combinations as well. Here are a few pairings that come from the Fruit & Cheese Please Board. Make a food board for your next creative get together.
Here's a list of the foods on the Fruit & Cheese Please Board.
The Post it™ note is the greatest invention. Okay not the greatest but you know what I mean. I’ve used them everywhere. For everything. But mostly ideas. And that’s where my ideas would end up. Everywhere. My thoughts ended up doing me no good because of the million sticky notes. I had to get control.
Enter my Black Books - my collection of ideas.
I call them Black Books because that’s the color of them and that’s what I called them when describing them to my family. What most other people call them are Idea Notebooks. I’ve written ideas in my Black Books for at least 6 years and refer back to them over and over. They’ve been so successful for my idea-keeping that I have books for different topics -
- General ideas
- Church Ideas
- Book Ideas
-Surface Pattern Ideas
I sometimes carry one with me. But what ever the thought it goes in one of these books. And by thoughts I mean good, bad, nonsensical, crazy, what-are-you-writing-that-down-for thoughts. That’s the beauty of these books - there’s no editing. They’re raw. There are no rules to this record. You are its author so put in what interests and excites you.
Honor your ideas. It doesn’t matter its merit, give it its space. Give it life. Let it have its breath even if it remains a whisper on the page the rest of its life, let it have its ink. You’re not obligated to these thoughts. You don’t have to do anything with them. You don’t have to share.
It’s an insight to you, of you, for you.
Sketch. Write. Scribble. Draw. Scrapbook. Tape. Tear. Note. It doesn’t matter how you record it. Experiences. Experiments. Explorations. Impressions. Excuses. Excerpts. Awareness. Everything. Anything. Collecting ideas is one of the first steps to being creative. So, go buy your book. Any size, shape, color or kind. Make it something you’ll love.
You have ideas. You see ideas. Collect the ideas. In one place.
Don’t be scared of the blank page of your new Idea Notebook. I’ll give you some prompts to get you started.
Flowers are part of my life all year long but Valentines, well it's the Day for flowers. So here are a few Pins I found on my Pinterest Boards to wrap a simple flower. Pretty creative gals. Share some love and give lots of flowers out this month.
"James Clear cites studies and research that demonstrate creating art decreases negative emotions, reduces stress and anxiety, and.... it can improve your quality of health and life too." - Courtney Carver
I spend a lot of time in our apartment and don't get out much. But I think it’s important to get together with other women to visit. So I opened up a few days a month to have some ladies over for an open watercolor creative time. I’ll have something for them to paint or they can just play with some idea of their own. It’s relaxing, fun and the good kind of messy. These gals (and guy) have been great! Doing our part to improve our quality of life here in Amman.
Its like magic when the chenille fluffs up. @chenilleit finished the quilt using #cottagejoy Its so fun to see my fabrics in use.
You might recognize this fabric @missouriquiltco weekly special $28.15 #jellyroll #sewperfect #floralfabric
* I don’t know if I told you but I’m living in Amman, Jordan in the Middle East. We’ve lived here for two months (would you like to hear about it?)
* We’ll be going to another country in a few months (were not sure where)
* We’re going to be gone from our US home for about seven months (likely back out again)
* I packed three suitcases - 1 for clothes and 2 for art, craft and sewing supplies
* We’re parenting 2.0 and couldn’t be happier about it
* There’s no such thing as too much creativity (my website has a list of a ton of benefits from being creative)
* The benefits have played out in real life for me * I have a creative heartbeat, so do you
A little #chrysanthemum for my friends daughters wedding invites. Yesterday was the day and sure hated to miss it!! #shannonsstudio #shannonchristensen #weddinginvites #daughters #purple #floraldrawing #watercolorfloral
DAY 19 #1000thankskit Sunday the day of rest. First time going solo with Joseph to church. Arrived late. My #10things100days1000thanks 1. Thankful for Sunday naps 2. Thankful for a day of rest where I dont feel guilty for resting 3. Thankful for the
DAY 12 #1000thankskit My #10things100days1000thanks for Sunday. What makes Sunday special for you? 1. Thankful for the scriptures. Always. Forever. 2. And the audio version so I can listen while doing mindless things 3. Thankful for revelation when
#1000thankskit inspiration. DAY 2 traveling thru Nebraska on our way to drop off girls to college so I have to type out my #10things100days1000thanks here ........... 1 thankful we dont have to travel by wagon #pioneertrail 2 thankful for amazing techn
Yesterday was DAY 1 and Ive written my #10things100days1000thanks Today is Day 2. Youre not behind just jot down 10 this morning and 10 things tonight and youll be on your way to more #thankfulness in your life. Ill post mine tonight too. #1000thankskit
Ive started #100daychallenge of thankfulness and gratitude. 10 things for 100 Days = 1000 Thanks. Though you dont need it I have a little kit that can help. Join me #1000thankskit #1000thankschallenge #writeandrecord #shannonsstudio