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Don’t Wait Too Long

JMW getting biggerSo, two weeks ago, I wrote a post about summer creativity. Read it here. My girls went crazy after I showed it to them and they created an arcade of their own. They were busy for days. They created a bottle ring toss, a claw game in which you could win jewelry, an egg-carton game, and a few others (5 or 6 total).  They found prizes from our thrift store pile, made tokens, and wrote out rules.  Everyday, they asked me to put it up on Facebook so that they could have a “grand opening”.  But, I kept putting it off.

One of my daughters, who is a total organizational/neat freak, decided that now (two weeks later) it was old news and has disassembled everything. (The other daughter didn’t mind, because her attention span is short).

The Arcade did have one day of fun though.  My sister’s kids came and played with it for an afternoon and they all seemed to have an AMAZING time.

A word of caution, don’t wait too long. Kids grow. Kids loose interest.

But kids are also inventive, loving, and very forgiving. It is not too late to enjoy their childhood. Remember Stephen R. Covey’s metaphor of Emotional Bank Accounts (or EBAs)? He writes –

Remember the emotional bank account—similar to a bank account, you can make deposits or withdrawals from each of your family relationships. Make a conscious effort to make meaningful deposits in your relationships. When you make a withdrawal, apologize and correct the mistake.

See more on his blog here.

It reminds me of the 1957 song, Turn Around

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.

So, I am sorry that I didn’t get pictures of the creativity. I am sorry that I didn’t follow through, but we will have more fun.  Right now, I’m making this post is short so that we can hatch up new schemes of summer creativity.  What are you doing with your children this summer?

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Enjoy the Little Creative Moments

When I came home from work yesterday, my oldest daughter had left me a surprise.

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It’s hard to see what each item is, so I will explain.

There is a plate in the middle with her signature dish (a culinary treat that she created 😉 ) a cinnamon carrot.

Above the plate is a card that she made at school for Mother’s day. To the right of the plate is a love note.

To the left of the plate is a glass of water. Beside the water is a rose from the garden and two little crafts that she and her cousin worked on all morning (pieces of nature decorated with beads, paint, glitter, etc.)

I was so touched! I burst into tears.

Yes, this is proud mama having a moment celebrating her child, and most would think, “so, what’s so special?”

I guess it’s just wonderful to know that she loves me. When I was a kid, I used to make little do-dads for people, and my heart overflowed with love for that person as I drew or colored or created.

Albert Einstein is credited for saying, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”

I think that one of the best ways to promote creativity in our children is through our praise. Our joy at the little things. Our writing posts and journal entries about our children’s accomplishments, no matter how small. We thrive on love.

I remember the day in sixth grade that I stopped drawing. I didn’t get any praise for my artwork, and so I figured that I wasn’t good enough. Bummer, huh! Why I feed off praise, I don’t know, but now at *cough* older than twenty-something, I’m getting better at feeding off of creation and doing rather than opinions.

Later on that day, my daughter beamed as she proudly told me that she hadn’t watched T.V. or had computer time all day. She had spent all of her time creating.

So, I need to continue to encourage creativity, as well as the love of doing. Any thoughts on the best way to help your child nurture creativity? And I don’t just mean artistic creativity either. After all, Einstein wasn’t known for his paintings or dance, but for his ability to creatively look at the world around us and think of physical and mathematical solutions to complex problems. Talk about creativity!

So, my questions for your consideration and input are –

•How do we foster creativity in children?
•Why is it important to do so?
•Can a person be creative in fields other than crafty, craft, crafts 😉 or the Arts?
•How do we teach joy in the doing – or does it just naturally come as a result of hard work?

What do you think?

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Creative Work Environments

Who says you can’t have fun at work? Way to go post office for having fun creating this box sculpture.

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Art, even silly art, is good for the soul. It brings people together, it makes people laugh. Brings wonder to kids. Kudos to businesses who allow their employees to allow the creativity to flow!

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Christmas Creativity

This Christmas, I observed adults and children alike being crafty. Here are some fun, zany observations from Christmas 2012 –

I am always amazed when my daughters and nieces will busy themselves for hours with paper, glue, knock-knacks and do-dads. Simply with things I had on hand, they came up with homemade presents to give – this year, it was jewelry boxes.

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Note the intricate detail 🙂 – the buttons that framed the ‘S’ for my daughter’s name. The way they covered the oatmeal box with fabric and then trimmed it with ribbons.

Sure, I had oatmeal packages on the shelf for a week or two, but it was a small price to pay for creativity, cooperation, and hours of time when they were busy in activity that didn’t involve electronics. (And just imagine how much I got done while they were busy at it! Babysitting is a dream when you open up your craft supplies and let them “have at”.)

Another Christmas idea was from my cousin, Jana. She is fantastic at coming up with neighbor gifts. Never is my diet ruined by Jana! Some examples of previous year’s gifts include:
• A Christmas plate for Santa’s Cookies
• A small card game
• Winter window decorations

Each year, it’s something fun and this year, I thought that she was especially clever.

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Wrapping paper – very handy! I used it right up.

Family friends of ours are never short of ideas for crafts. This year, they figured they better build a Chimney for Santa to come down. Look at the size of that thing!

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Complete with very detailed logs –

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Finally, I wanted to close with creativity to the extreme. We found this Lego fireman on display at a Toys я Us store this Christmas.

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That took 170 hours to build and over 21,000 Lego Bricks. So impressive!

I love what creativity and group synergy can do! Now, let’s get going on those Valentine’s Day crafts.

Oh, I forgot one – my three year old figured out how to make jewelry from twine and buttons. You can’t buy the joy and satisfaction etched on her face, due to figuring that one out!

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Tackling Creativity

I’ve been overwhelmed, as usual.  Productive, yes, but not always doing what I wanted to be doing.  Hiding, at times, from creating when I have the precious spare moment, choosing instead to waste it on … whatever.

Then, tonight, as I was searching for a recipe to make chocolate cake without eggs,  (because I had no eggs and because I wanted to feed my face, instead of using the hour when my babes are resting to create) I came across some Mormon Messages.  It reminded me of why I write.  Why I am using my spare time to do what I am doing.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MormonMessages#p/c/A088CD4F66CDB66E/31/-aUb_kvO2YE

 

I loved three things that Cassandra said:

  1. She painted about being in the moment, appreciating the now.
  2. She brought her girls into her art studio and encouraged their creativity.
  3. She realized that she had made up an ideal that she thought she had to be – but all she needed to do was be the woman that God made her to be.
Makes me want to “tackle creativity” once again, and the desire for chocolate cake  (with or without eggs) has finally left.
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Summer Blues? Hearing “I’m bored” a little too much?

Pirate Image copyright Jana Friel 2011

Encourage the kids in your life to CREATE!

Have them enter the Waldron Publishing Summer Stories Contest –

WHO: All children and youth ages 5-18 are encouraged to enter.

WHAT: Original stories or artwork based on a pirate theme.

WHEN: June 25-August 20th, 2011

WHERE: Find out more at www.waldronpublishing.com.

WHY: Plenty of great reasons:

  • To stop the summer boredom blues.
  • To get kids reading and writing.
  • To develop talents and skills.
  • To build resumes.
  • To give them a chance to learn about the publishing process.
  • To have a chance to win fabulous prizes.
  • To contribute to a children’s charity.
Get writing and drawing today!!!
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Royal Wedding – Jerusalem, inspires you to greatness

Kate Middleton enters Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011

I was so touched by the words of the anthem/hymn, Jerusalem by William Blake (1808) music by Sir Hubert Parry (1916) during the recent Marriage ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Poetry is not written like this anymore, where the words are so powerful, they move you not just through emotions, but with the desire to become something greater than you are now.

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land

Beneath this poem, William Blake inscribed an excerpt from the Bible: ‘”Would to God that all the Lord’s people were Prophets” (Numbers 11:29).

Please see more of the interpretation of this poem here.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge exit Westminster Abbey

Much has been made of whether this is a Patriotic Anthem or a Hymn, to me it’s both.

So here’s my challenge.  Try writing poetry, not in the Modern style (devoid of rules, rhyme, meter, or sense)  but in a Romantic or Classical style that can be seen as an anthem or hymn.  Something that is moving, both with words and phrases.  It’s harder than it looks.

We have come to a time when mediocrity is celebrated.  When people scoff at attempts to live enriching principles.

There was nothing mediocre about the wedding that was celebrated last weekend.  Extreme lengths were taken to prepare for this wedding in the name of perfection and the celebration of Marriage.  It was simply, Historic.

I want more from the art that comes from our time.  I want Art that speaks to the inner goodness inside mankind.  Words that don’t mock or deride a person for trying to be more than they are now.  Creations that breathe life, action, and a desire to be better into our minds and hearts.

When people desire to undertake worthwhile challenges simply because it builds the soul, we will be better people on this earth.

Here is a video of the event –