Tag Archives: creativity
22 Jun

Some good advice for creative folks… Though my problem isn’t angst as much as this energy and time deficit I keep adding too. So my big hurdles are numbers two and three… My recipe for reject is remembering that every art (even the most random wall hanging made of tampon applicators… see http://www.regretsy.com for some fantastic examples!) has an audience, and sometimes the problem isn’t your art, but it’s that you are presenting it to the wrong audience… Anyway, I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and underwhelmed (unfortunately, when they occur together they don’t negate each other. I wish they did.) as you could probably guess by my infrequent postings… I’m working on the “making it a habit” part of blogging and creating. I am, even though progress can be hard to gauge in such fascinatingly teensy scale.
Hope everyone is well!
Cheers,
Bek

Studio Mothers: Life & Art

Sometimes creative angst gets the better of us. How often do you find yourself thinking “I don’t have enough time,” or “My work’s not good enough,” or “I’ll never reach my creative goals”? Here are four simple ways to avoid those minefields and stay focused on what really matters: your creative work.

1. Turn rejection into affirmation. With practice, you can reframe rejection so that it actually affirms your creativity, rather than causes injury. Here’s how. Simply put, you can’t get rejected if you haven’t had the courage to send your work out into the world. And you can’t send your work out into the world if you haven’t reached a level of completion and polish that makes you believe your work has legs. And your work can’t have legs if you haven’t put yourself at your desk or easel or studio bench and actually done the work, for however…

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Say Cheesssssssssssssse.

30 Oct

Behold, the Cheesssssssy Bread that I conjured up for Alex’s Halloween luncheon at school…

I was thrilled that I was up for making something from scratch for the festivities, and also grateful that the Vermont Cheese Bread recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day had proven itself to be an easy beast to get just right, and also one that I could tweak a little bit without *poof* complete kitchen disaster.

In this case, I stretched the dough into a large rectangle.  I then sprinkled even more cheese over the surface (the recipe says to use good cheddar, but I made this with the part skim kraft shreddy stuff the first time around and the taste was pretty nice- tasted, with the slight sourness of the dough, more like the asiago bagel of my ABP frequenting days in New England)… Then I rolled, stretching the dough even more (in all directions) until I was left with a long, fairly thin log.  After resting for an hour, the log was big and puffy, so I gently pulled on it some more and realized that ovens should really come in letterbox.  So I bent it into a squiggle, said “Eureka!” aloud, and then I went off-recipe again and brushed the top with an egg-water wash to give it that slight hint of change of color that snakes have between their topsides and undersides… I was thinking of putting almonds in for eyes (and then I thought of making scales with sliced almonds) but decided against it because the whole point of this project was to make a food for the luncheon that Alex likes and could enjoy with his classmates, as he has been a trooper but still seems to feel a little isolation at school as far as his dietary needs go (due to G6PD Deficiency).  I also thought of burning a screen with the gocco to egg wash on a scale pattern.  Then I realized (and this is a major development in the world of my head and creating) that I was heading down my usually disastrous path of gilding the lily.  So I….

Stopped.

I did.

Really.

Did you see the picture above?  That was the first try. Even after my fantasies of silk screening my meandering length of cheesy dough.

I really did.  See what I mean?  I think that turning 35 next week has me suddenly having great moments of clarity and I’m really embracing all of my quirks these days, instead of putting on “the normal”…  Now I feel like I can use my quirky powers for good, and not derail myself completely.  I have to work smart, conserve what little energy and strength I have, and not go full on sparkle, glitter, laser show, sequins, fog machine, showgirls, hydraulic lift apeshit on everything.   But sometimes I will, because I’m a behind the scenes- make stuff happen- challenge myself (seriously. You know Barney in How I Met Your Mother and how he is always saying “challenge accepted” but nobody actually challenged him… Yeah. I do that. Or I used to. I guess only time will tell.) kind of creature.  And you can take the craft supplies away from this chickadee, but face it glitter freaking sticks to and gets in everything, so really, you can’t totally take away the craft supplies.  That and inspiration is everywhere.  Ooooh. Mah pain meds seem to be kicking in.  Mama is getting more verbose than usual.  Please tell me that you could tell and not that this seems like regular, ol’ me?  Please?!?!?  Pretty please with some demerara sugar and some edible glitter on top?

Where was I?

Oh… So when kiddo came home from his festivities at school, it was reported that 1. the kids and adults loved the bread and it was devoured fast as a wink and 2. the teachers told Baldguy that he should let me know that I am welcome to make this bread and bring it in any time I have the urge to do so.   I knew it was good, but Yippee! Other people actually like it and think it is *that* grand.  Kiddo reported that he was so proud of the reptile themed bread because it was tasty and all of the kids thought it was the coolest food ever. Woohoo!  And then he said that he is proud of what a good bread baker I am (he has plans for us making bread for the whole world!  I’m barely managing a loaf a day for us!)

Oh and the cookies we spent forever decorating? Nobody ate them! They were all stuffed with cheessssssssssy bread!

Remember, sometimes what looks like a trick is actually a treat… and vice versa.
Happy Haunting!

xo

Bek
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Dr. Literal, Mad Scientist

4 Apr

Raaaaaaaar!

Originally uploaded by CleverIndie

We are so used to Alex taking everything so extremely literal, or having a rather drawn out reaction (he’s a worrier) to things that are even slightly out of place that we really do what most folks would call “overthink” when it comes to daily activities, gifts, even clothes.

I’m guessing that most parents with kids with ASD or Asperger’s or anything under the PDD header go through this as well. I hear complaints about it and how it’s “abnormal” from my mother (her word not mine) but really, we don’t have much of a choice. It’s not that we spoil him so he always gets his way. We do take preventative measures with some things- we brief him before we do anything new.

I’m sure any parents of non-ASD kids make sure they have batteries for the toy they are giving their child as a gift, or else there could be some serious fallout (especially on Christmas morning, or if there is a sizable quantity of sugar involved).

We are that prepared for everything. It’s getting easier, as we have been working our behinds off with Alex, trying to improve his flexibility, self-soothing skills, and creative problem solving. He has come so very far- we can now crack the occasional joke and he will laugh or even if its not funny (joke delivery is not one of my well developed skills, I confess) he won’t break down into a full on freak out that takes over an hour to calm him.

Recently, he became the proud owner of an Easy Bake Oven (for use only with us, of course) -the image clearly shows a digital clock on the box- so I read every mm of that box for the words “simulated digital clock” or something similar. When we got home and unpacked it we found out it is a simulated clock, we braced ourselves, but Alex announced he could use my little kitchen timer instead. Phew. Big sign of relief. This is a kid who has been carrying around my old, broken cell phone for 2 years and until recently would not play telephone with it, but would follow me around trying to calmly explain that all it needed was to be charged up and as the grownup it was my job to plug it in, in complete denial that it was completely busted, and then would have a meltdown when we took it off the charger and it still didn’t work.  Recently though he started clipping it to his pants and paces around talking to various people on it. He is pretending, this is huge. He’s really into it- to the point where  he’ll say “shhh, I’m on the phone” with his hand over the mouth piece, if we are repeat offenders we get nasty looks and occasionally the suggestion that we will get a time out if this interrupting continues.  I’m so proud of how far he has come….

Just when I was thinking that we are out of the woods on maybe one little thing, we had another literal interpretation incident though that really drove home the recognition of what a strange place the world is, as a sum of all of it’s parts -particularly those with marketing and advertising people behind them.

From the bathroom I hear (Alex is an announcer. He narrates every moment of every day, repeating much of it a few times until someone acknowledges what he said by repeating it to him, at which point he will correct them or act angry as though we can no longer discuss the topic at hand.)

“I’m using the water to make the bubbles go away, but it keeps making more in my mouth”

Then he comes around the corner and he’s wiping out the inside of his mouth with a hand towel.

He announces “Oatmeal and Butter, I didn’t taste the butter, I don’t think there was butter in there. Is there butter in there?”

Our child, who approaches even edibles with great suspicion, apparently saw the new soap pump next to the basin and his brain interpreted the soap to also be a snack- one of “oatmeal & butter” which are two things that he really likes, so he squirted a bunch of the “oatmeal & shea butter liquid hand soap” in his mouth.

Yes, I realize we are very lucky that it wasn’t something toxic. He has been making great strides in reading and he is very rules based and a very cautious guy. We have had other tasty sounding soaps (milk & honey, almond, grapefruit, etc) that he never would have thought of tasting, so what made this one different? On the bottle it has a photo of a bowl of shea butter (all whipped up, could easily be seen as regular culinary butter) with a pile of dry oatmeal sprinkled around it. The other soaps we have had, that had culinary inspired fragrances, only had the names not the images- Alex reads very well, but as a kid who usually needs a visual reinforcement, the snacktime liquid soap from today really had him thinking he was in for a tasty treat that he could not resists (other household cleaning products don’t interest him at all- never had, they are locked away, of course… He has his own small spray bottle of water, vinegar, and lavender oil that he cleans his desk, snack tray thing, and step stools with).

By the way he said the soap didn’t taste so bad. Good to know.

From now on we will be using a refillable dispenser, and when shopping I now know to avoid anything non-edible with an image of foodstuffs!  Oddly enough, when I was very little I was threatened with having my mouth washed out with soap around the same time I learned the term “acquired taste”, so I would eat Ivory soap (and occasionally dove, depending on where I was in the house) a little fingernail sliver at a time.  I think I assumed that if my parents swore so much that I would someday speak like that as well, and I wanted to be prepared.  Imagine the horror on my mother’s face when she said she was actually going to wash my mouth out with soap and my response was to grab the bar and take a large bite out of it without flinching.

Anyway, hugs all around!

There are a few new pieces in my Etsy shop… Still on my crazy medical journey…And still getting the new blog just right so I can have a good and proper blog-warming!

xo

Bek

Creativity… A most excellent clever resource!

15 Jan

Amazing site on creativity…

Great brainstorming, creativity, thinking, teamwork tools….

I think this will help not only me, but also help teach kid some new problem solving skills….

Enjoy!: CreatingMinds.Org

xo

bek

Off the fridge and on the walls…

29 May

Kid art storage solution….

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

I have been looking for a solution for displaying the bits of art that my little guy makes for me…

Our fridge has been taken over by a family calendar and the wall next to it has been plastered with boyo’s papers for so long that I finally decided that I was going to get my rear in gear and mature our kid art display….

I looked into clip frames of all sorts and even a display “wall system” for hanging photos… All of those seemed either too makeshift or too “dainty” or frankly, required too much effort from this tired and sick and stretched mama to actually change out the art…. I wanted something substantial looking as we have very high ceilings…

I wandered around our local Michaels on a quiet Sunday and found these attractive shadow boxes. Perfect. They have a slightly padded linen backing for pinning artwork…They are a couple of inches deep so they offer even more of a substantial presence and depth…
The doors are hinged and held closed by magnets (strong)…

I think these are going to be the perfect solution for storing boyo’s creations where everyone can enjoy them and he can beam with pride….

When pictures are rotated out I plan on letting him scan them into the computer as he loves scanning and copying stuff…then they go in a large photo storage box in his room for safe keeping… I still have a box with my creations and school work from when I was a wee one and it’s a blast looking through some of the silly stuff I wrote and painted…Even if boyo isn’t as sentimental as I am when he’s older, i know I will enjoy looking at all this stuff…Little snapshots of his world for us to treasure….

By the way, these were on sale on Sunday- I think Michael’s home collection frames are all 40% off this week- so these were $29 and change, I believe….  And I hung them using a laser lever and Hercules Hooks/Monkey Hooks… Quick and easy and secure….

kid art closed

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