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Creative People: The Ostlers – a family creating together

One of the things that I admire most about my sister (and there are a lot of things) is that she has a TOTAL mother-heart. She and her hubby LOVE their family and they love to be together, which is wonderful, but can be problematic when you are trying to make your artistic dreams come true! Both she and her husband are incredibly creative people. Fiona writes novels and has a theater background (including acting, writing and directing) and is amazingly musical (songs just pop into her mind – wow!) Bret is an artist, I mean everything that the man touches turns into art! He does photography, draws, writes poetry, and is very musical. As a married couple, each has supported the other in their aspirations – he has a band, she a writing career.

But recently, they came up with a BRILLIANT idea. What would happen if they created together? What if they involved the whole family in creating together? That way they could work on their dreams, talents, and passions, but have family fun as well (and teach the kids valuable lessons about creativity). The solution? The Bret and Fiona Show. It’s a YouTube family comedy sketch show. They involve everyone, create original songs, write and produce, film and edit.  It’s truly amazing to think about how much those kids are going to learn about the creative process!!!

Here’s their first season –

1. Family Band: in which Bret quits his job in order to start a family band.

2. We Have Cookies: in which Bret is unable to get his job back, but finds a silver lining in a bad situation.

3. Fiona Strikes Back: in which Fiona uses her musical ability to slap some sense into Bret.

4. The Mommy List: in which Fiona goes back to work and leaves Bret in charge of the home.

5. Staycation: in which Bret can’t stand being a stay-at-home dad and moves the family into a hotel.

6. Travel Agent: in which Fiona loses her job and only writing a song can bring her out of her sadness.

I put in my favorite videos, although they’re all fun and there are some holiday special songs as well. Check out all of their shows through the links above.

It led me to think for a long time about what I could do with my girls. What would be a creative activity that we could all do together? One that will be fun, teach them some skills, help us to learn to work together, and fit into our time and money budgets – but most importantly be something that I am passionate about creating. I think I’ve come up with the right fit, which I will write about soon.

What about you? What can you and your family to create together?  With summer coming up, this is the perfect time to do something wonderful together!

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YouTube Fun

Have you ever had a mini YouTube parties? That’s when you sit down with someone and say – “hey, I’ve gotta show you this video” and they show you one in return, and then you’re an hour into it, enjoying every moment.

Though you have to be careful (some videos are just too much for little ones – unless you like explaining very adult ideas to the kiddies), there are some UBER-creative videos that have me rolling!  Today I’m going to share a few of my favorites.  I am so impressed with their creativity, and amazed at how some ideas can turn into very successful business endeavors.

1. Kid History – FAAAAACCKT!

The first is Kid History.  Their tag line is –  “If our kids wrote our personal history”.  The children tell the old family stories that their parents have been telling them.  Then the adults act out those stories based on the kid’s narration.  There are truly some knee-slapping, Napoleon Dynamite moments (you know, where it’s almost too silly, but you fall in love with the lines and so you keep quoting them).

My favorites from this episode are “Girls are mermaids…some boys are too,” and of course, “Don’t do it Brett” –  “FAAAACT!”

Here is a link to their website and to their YouTube site.

2. Divine Comedy – Firebolt

Next I will feature BYU’s Divine Comedy.  These guys are “hit and miss” with their comedy.  It usually starts out funny, but then they push it too far ( nothing naughty, just too slapstick and over-the-top cliché for my taste) but I am a huge fan of this particular video.

Love the lyrics and I agree with the line – “Maybe the reason why your letter didn’t come, So you can stay protecting muggles as the Chosen One”.

I mean, don’t you just want to live in HP world again for a bit.

3. College Humor – DORA

Next is just such a hilarious spoof on a movie trailer.  I seriously thought (and hoped) that it was going to be a movie, and was a little disappointed to find out it was just a fun short.  I don’t know much about the makers of the video – College Humor, and so I’m not sure how clean or family friendly the rest of their work is (so far every other video of theirs, that I’ve looked into, has been too much for me – too crass, crude, etc., but then, that probably should be apparent in the name).  This one is really wonderful, my girls LOVE it.  So I’m putting this video up and hopefully they have others that are as family friendly and funny as this one.

4. HISHE – Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter

Finally, I wanted to share a couple of videos from the group –  How it Should Have Ended, who are really funny.  Every once in a while I’ve found some borderline jokes, but for the most part I am really happy with their work and I LOVE their endless creativity.

Case in point – in the “still” of the above video, you see a bum-bum, which to some is funny and to others is not.  I find it fine for the part in the video, but I can see where one might not appreciate it.

I think that the new media (blogs, YouTube, iTunes, eBooks, etc. are amazing because of the ability to see the “everyman” create, rather than just the studios.  It’s reminiscent of earlier times  – before TV and Movies, when families would put on plays, readings, and concerts.  But that is one of my college lectures, so I’ll save it for another day…

For now, enjoy the shows, and please,  feel free to write a comment and share your favorite YouTube videos with me!