Thursday, June 17, 2010

Heeeellllllooooo Out There...

When I first started this blog, I imagined it would be a dialogue, with lots of witty repartee. But let’s be honest here: I alone have been going on and on and on. I don’t know about you, but I, for one, get a little tired of me. Doesn’t anyone have something to say out there?

I know you read my blog (and let me say how deeply grateful I am that you do.) When I post it on Facebook, you all make lovely little comments. On Facebook. But take a gander at the comments on the blog: So often it’s ZERO. Nada. Nothing. So I ask myself, is it something I’ve said? Something I’ve done? Perhaps you don’t know how happy I’d be to hear from you. Or is it My own sister doesn’t follow me. She claims it’s too technically difficult. My mother claims she can’t find me on the “interweb.” Sheesh. I figured I’d at least have a dozen followers in relatives alone.

So now, officially, I say: Speak Up My Friends! Let your voices be heard. Let’s start with a leading question: How do you bring creativity into your life? I know you’re out there, because you are my friends and I know you are a creative bunch. (Even if you don’t acknowledge it yourself.) Don’t be shy. Tell me something creative you’ve done today, even if it’s nothing more than arranging parsley on the plate of food you served. Tell me how art fits into your life. Is it listening to a great piece of music, digging up a beautiful garden, painting your children’s room or, God help me, arranging a great themed party? I’ll even give you a few examples to get started.

One of my friends recently ran an end-of-the-year dress-up relay where 2nd graders had to race to change into different funny costumes. Just hearing about it made me smile all day long. When I was a girl, I vividly remember coming home to discover that my mother had re-purposed some cheap old furniture into a new-looking sofa, complete with painted croquet balls for the feet.

Children do it all the time. My 11-year-old son made flaming torches out of rolled construction paper to put above the door to his room. Another friend’s daughter made cupcakes that were actually fashioned to be the grass skirts of plastic hula-girls. (There was a lot of green frosting involved.) My sister’s children are constantly creating the most amazing paper ships, mansions, etc. for their stuffed animals. And my own 6-year-old has created an entire set of football player paper dolls and playing field. We know how to make stuff from a very early age. I think we are born with a need to create. Just because we’re not opening the paste jar as adults, doesn’t mean we aren’t creative in our every day life. Somehow, we’ve stopped calling it “creativity.”

So think about your day and what part was the most fun, the most inventive. Is it how you dress? How you eat? How you live? When you collect all of them together, life gets so much richer. Tell me about it.


  1. First, I must admit that I'm truly a lurker at heart, but I will try and jump in and be a participant:) I went to the InHowse designer conference last week in Denver - a really great experience, and I went with the goal of coming away with ideas to feed the creativity of my team while working in an in-house environment (always a bit stifling when you're not the core business/particularly when you work for the state!). I went in thinking that I had moved dramatically away from being hands-on creatively - I haven't painted in years, generally, I'm not doing much graphic design at work and I'm no longer singing. But I came away realizing that as a creative person, we always have an outlet; we make it happen in spite of ourselves. I realize that I've put a great deal into creating a garden which I love and am continually amazed with this summer. Dirt is my new medium and watching what what works and doesn't is fascinating. I'm hoping to add a chicken coop next spring - the thought of it and the lovely chicken sounds make me so stoked (weird I know, nothing my husbands excited about, but my kids are).

    Also, we're having a really great 9 year old birthday party for Jake on Saturday. It's a World Cup party that we pulled together last Sunday with a family brainstorming session - soccer tourney at park, followed by swimming and cookout at our house. We're getting 3 of Emma's soccer playing buddies (middle school boys on travel team) to come and be coaches for the 12 little guys. We managed to find Brazil, USA, Italy and Mexico jerseys for all boys and each coach ($5.99 each at JCPenneys!!!!), my 12 year old has let her creative juices fly making flags for each country (they're awesome) and tomorrow I'm taking the day off to watch soccer and paint a big birthday/world cup welcome banner with the kids. I can't wait!

    While I know I need to make a more concentrated effort to really get back into art, I'm trying to appreciate the little things we're doing each day where creativity is coming out - whether it's making indian inspired grilled vegetables, looking at how beautiful an eggplant plant is, watching my kids go further than I would have with a project or being inspired by my friends incredible pinch pot project. I hope to celebrate the small amounts of creativity in my life everyday.

    Thanks Lisa for the push!

  2. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!!! Thank you Ellen for the lovely words. I will be smiling for days thinking of you & your glorious life. P.S. Happy Birthday Jake!

  3. it's lonely out here in blogworld,... I know!

    Still I do read your posts pretty diligently and I enjoy your art immensely.