Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Brand New Year

In keeping with the Creative Every Day challenge, I'm going to do a little something on this sock doll today. It has been neglected for quite a while because when I couldn't get it done in time for Christmas, it just got shuffled under stuff. You know the kind of stuff I mean, all those things that end up cluttering every spare surface in your studio or sewing room.
Amelia went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought canvases and scrapbook paper on sale. She then proceeded to make these adorable collages for Bryce Eleanor's playroom, which in a previous incarnation was known as the dining room.

I just love this owl!

Both of my daughters love creating, but with small children, demanding jobs, and the mundane chores we all must see to, there is not a great deal of time. They do, however, appreciate and enjoy that time when it does occur!

My New Year's wish for them is more time to spend in creative endeavors--which, of course, includes creatively entertaining and guiding their children.

Kaizen! ("改善, Japanese for "continuous improvement" is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life") by taking baby steps and is what Ingrid Cummings recommends in her book The Vigorous Mind. Will I ever let up?

Nieces Katie and Megan have a hefty dose of that creative gene; Katie makes the most delightful and humorous cakes, while Megan paints, draws, makes books, and more.

The joy in all of this: that "flow," that being in the "zone" which occurs when you are working on something you love. It can be cooking, gardening, sewing, quilting, embroidery, or mountain climbing, biking, tennis, or using your people skills, teaching, learning.

Aren't all of these things creative?

From A Year of Living Your Yoga:
Living well is not about being calm; it is about being present.


  1. I think we both passed on those good genes to our brilliant daughters. Happy New Year, Jenclair. I look forward to checking in on you throughout 2009. I am also intrigued by the book you are reviewing.

  2. Kaizen - Yes! A friend recently introduced me to the concept. She is a creativity coach and encourages her clients to take small, gentle steps. Kaizen is a great watch word for 2009. I jotted it down to remind me. Last year I moved mountains, this year I want to dance and play MORE.

    Love that owl.

    Cheers to a creative 2009!

  3. Gerrie - Happy New Year, Gerrie! I especially loved the diptychs from Stephanie, hanging in your kitchen!

    The book is one of those that makes you want to challenge yourself in a playful way and widen your perspective.

    Kathryn - Interesting that the original idea of kaizen was business oriented, but can be applied to any area of one's life. Move mountains and Dance--sounds wonderful!

  4. Hiya Jenclair!

    What a wonderfully and abundantly creative family you have!

    My definition of creative is anything that sends out positive energy and joy into the world. :)

    And that is so full of possibilities! :)

  5. I signed up for CED, encompasses all I talked about in my last post...I'm off to be creative...=-)

  6. On a much more mundane level, "baby steps" is the phrase used by to describe the process of cleaning and de-cluttering a very messy house! I didn't know it was Japanese. I wonder if she does.

    I looked at the Creative Every Day site and bookmarked it. Interesting.

    Love that quotation at the end of the post. Thanks.

  7. well, Jen, these past couple of posts have been super inspiring for me. Was disappointed I could not find Ingrid's book through inter-library loan but I have added it to my list of possibilities for full moon self-gifting. I always try to indulge and incite myself with something that's creatively-focused. This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

    Your enthusiasm and focused intention is definitely contagious!

  8. Genie - I love your definition of creative!

    Debby - :) CED provides both stimulus and inspiration, doesn't it? And the good part is that you don't have to finish something every day or post about it every day...just do something!

    Kay - You are right--I'd forgotten FlyLady's use of baby steps. It is a common sense approach, isn't it? Toyota is one of the businesses that applies the concept of kaizen in their business philosophy, and they have certainly been successful.

    ACey - When the book arrived, I was afraid that it wouldn't be useful, just another one of those books that says something very common sense, over and over, and that I'd find it difficult to write a positive review.

    After the first two chapters, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the content and eager to begin my own program. Now, I hate having to wait until Jan. 20 to post my review.

    Oh, I love the idea of full moon self-gifting! Tell me more!

  9. Love your sock monsters! SO creative! Happy New Years!

  10. Jane - Thanks! And Happy New Year to you, too!


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