Monday, June 30, 2014

Mondays in June – Part 5

Here we are. The last installment of Mondays in June. I have one more last tidbit to offer and then I’ll review the main ideas I presented over these last few weeks in Creativity, Ideas and Inspiration: Getting Where You Want to Go.

Last Monday we were discussing how we actually take the ideas we’ve accumulated, the inertia we’ve overcome and actually get where we want to go. We covered taking that first step no matter how small in order to make some progress. We also talked about appreciating how constraints and parameters can work in our favor. Now there is one more thought I’d like to offer.

It is to

How do you do that? Having courage comes from accepting that you have fear but are going to move forward in spite of it. Practicing this time after time builds courage. Sometimes you have to act as if you have courage. It a sort of a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ situation.


Nelson Mandela said courage is triumph over fear and Rollo May said “Every creative encounter is a new event; every time requires another assertion of courage.”

Finally, keep hanging in there. Perseverance in the face of obstacles will help you build courage.

The above photo was the inspiration for the piece below.

If you practice these things time after time – even those times when you feel as if you have no confidence and no courage, one day you will look up from your work and realize you do have courage and you’ve come by it one day at a time, practicing, practicing, practicing.

Passion, persistence and perseverance are traits that will serve you well as you seek to follow your creative aspirations.


Let’s review, shall we?

How do you gets lots of ideas?

1. by specifically choosing creativity
2. by expanding your horizons and changing your environment
3. by relaxing, playing and daydreaming

How do you overcome your fears and inertia?

1. by believing in yourself and your ideas
2. by accepting that failure is an innate part of success
3. by having confidence

How do you get where you want to go?

1. by taking one step, no matter how small
2. by creating constraints and parameters
3. by having courage

When I began this series, I mentioned that I have read quite a number of books on creativity over the years.


Much of the information in these Mondays in June blog posts is from them. If you have an interest in reading more about creativity, I have put together a Pinterest page with a variety of references and resources, including fascinating videos, creativity quizzes, books and inspirational quotes. Click here to be magically transported there.

If you have any thoughts about what you have read or would like to share your experience with ideas, inertia and how you got moving, I’d love to hear from you.

As always, thanks for reading!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sebastian’s Closet

Hi ho everyone! Sebastian here and I thought I would share a little something different. Just the other day I had a chance to read the newspaper and I saw a notice that said Clinton Kelly from the TV show What Not To Wear was going to be making an appearance not too far from where I live.

That got me to thinking about my unique sense of style. I thought perhaps if I took you on a tour of my closet, it might give you a peek into what makes me, Sebastian . . . well, Sebastian. Just be forewarned, this tour is not for the faint of heart.

Let’s start with the closet itself. First of all, I’ve come to believe that it’s not a real closet. I think in its former life, it was a cigar box. There’s no fooling me you know. And now it is getting a bit small for my needs. After all, as I get invited to more events, my wardrobe expands and yet, my closet stays the same size. I think someone is going to have to have a talk with someone else about this matter very soon.

Brace yourself I’m going to show you the inside.

Ta dah! The inside. I do have a system, it’s just that the last time I had to fish something out of here, it kind of went wonky. So, let me show you a few of my favorite items of apparel.

Let’s begin with my hats.  I have a lot of hats and I wear them well if I do say so myself.

You see here I have my Mickey Mouse ear hat and my crown. There’s also my Tin Man hat, Sorcerer Mickey hat and birthday hat for parties.  Just remembering the times I wore these makes me feel all warm inside!

Here I am in my Donald Duck hat that I love!  I also have my bunny face mask and the warm winter hat that my friend Lyn knitted for me.  It’s too hot for that today!

Now let’s move on to some other things in my closet – like these fairy wings!

I wore these when I met Tinker Bell.  That was so much fun.  I need to find another occasion to wear these because they are my favorite wings.

Here I am mixing it up a little bit.  I’m wearing my Donald Duck beak  with my fried egg costume.  I wore the egg to a Halloween party once.  Now people remember me as the fried egg bear so I really need a new costume this year.  Oh, and that white cloth next to me?  That’s my ghost costume.  No one could guess it was me when I had it on!

From Halloween to Christmas, here I am in my red and white stocking cap!  I like to get in the spirit of Christmas and this hat gets me there fast.  I’m embarrassed to say that this is the only T-shirt I own, but I like it very much.

And finally, look who I found!  He’s been hiding in the bottom of my closet!  I had a great time making my friend here and I think it’s time we hung out together a little more.

Well, those are the highlights of my closet.  Remember “it’s not the clothes that make the bear but the bear that makes the clothes”.

Maybe next time I will show  you the things in my scrap box.  I don’t have a scrap book because most of my treasures are not flat so I put them in a box.  I’ll bet you can guess what kind of box they are in, can’t  you?


love & hugs,


Monday, June 23, 2014

Mondays in June – Part 4

Hello again. There’s only one post remaining in this series after this one. I hope these have been helpful to you in one way or another. Here are a few more thoughts on Creativity, Ideas and Inspiration: Getting Where You Want to Go.


We’ve discussed ways we can increase the quality and quantity of our ideas and how fear can paralyze us to the point that we give up rather than fail. Now that we have gotten loads of ideas and have overcome our inertia and fear


It’s time to put the lessons we’ve learned in our back pocket and move forward


from having ideas to acting on them. How do you make that happen? How can you avoid being a bump on a log?

First, do something! Do anything! Sometimes you have to do something or anything in spite of your doubts. It becomes necessary to take a chance, to act. You have to start somewhere. Take one small step.


If you don’t think it can be done, that may well be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

How do you move forward even if you don’t know where you will end up? If, for example, it is making a new pattern that has you immobilized, perhaps you can start by just getting out your pattern drafting supplies – pencil, paper, etc. Then make a mark. Once you have begun, you might be surprised at how much progress you will make.  You don’t have to be a Jedi to appreciate Yoda’s wise words:


Speaking of beginning, there is a perfect time to begin a project that you have been considering. It’s not when you know where you are going or when you have it all worked out in your head. It not even when you have all the things you will need gathered around you. The perfect time to pursue a new idea or project is . . . NOW.


Scott Woody says that “Just by taking action you are better off than ninety-nine percent of the people.”

Secondly, give yourself parameters and/or constraints.


Telling someone about something you are working on can have two effects. On one hand, it makes success or failure of an idea very public. On the other hand, it gives you incentive. It makes you accountable. It’s kind of like telling the world you are going on a diet. If you do, you feel some obligation to keep up the hard work. If you don’t tell and you fail, no one is the wiser but then you also don’t have the same degree of motivation to keep it up. Parameters, deadlines, budgets, lack of resources and time, can positively influence your creativity. The most satisfying conclusions to a new idea are the ones that didn’t come easily. There is more of a sense of triumph if the route to success is strewn with obstacles and challenges.


Do you see yourself in any of these situations? I have been there many times and it helps to know that being stuck or immobile or confused about where to begin or where to go is not a permanent condition. No one has all the answers or has it all figured out. What is encouraging is that by making an effort of some sort – no matter how small you are setting your ideas in motion. And remember from my last post that you might not always be successful but if you learn from your failures you are closer to success than you would be if you had never tried, never begun, never made an effort at all.


So, as one of my favorite bloggers put it, “sometimes it's just a good idea to put your coat on and get out there”. Thanks Alan!

See you all next time!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Totally Unrelated?

It could be said that the following photos are totally unrelated. And in one way, that would be correct. Then I thought there is some common ground among these disparate images. Check them out.

Making eye contact with a new friend I am making.

Making friends (?) with these two siblings.

Sebastian showing off for friends way back in February at dinner.

A clearer photo of the first one above.

Sebastian making friends with Anna, from the movie Frozen – when we were on the ship.

A couple of weeks ago, my friends and I experimented with this new waffle iron fad.
(There were really good too!)

I copied this image from a good friend’s Facebook page.
It goes right along with my Mondays in June posts!


And I’m  just throwing this one in for good measure!

Have a great day, my friends!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mondays in June – Part Three

Well, hello again! Welcome to the third installment of Mondays in June. More specifically, the next part of Creativity, Ideas and Inspiration:  Getting Where You Want to Go.

Last time I offered a few ways to explore getting new ideas or more ideas or even better ideas. And once, you have those ideas, what do you do with them? Do you run with them or do you find yourself mired in excuses?

What IS holding you back?! How can you overcome inertia?


Roger von Oech said “The two greatest enemies of action are fear and lack of confidence.”


All of us can come up with a list of what seems like very valid reasons for stalling or quitting. Do you recognize any of these excuses?

I have to cook dinner or walk the dog or change the sheets. Also known as: I don’t have the time.
This is a good idea but someone else can do it better. Also known as: I don’t believe I have enough talent.
This would be a good idea but it is doomed to failure. Also known as I shouldn’t waste my time on foolish endeavors.
This looks awfully risky to me. Also known as I don’t have a guarantee of success.
If I have to experiment, I might find out it takes me out of my comfort zone. Also known as I don’t like to try new things.
I don’t know where to start. Also known as I don’t know where to start.

Those are some pretty good excuses and you can pick any one of them to avoid trying something new and the possibility of failure. In fact, if you want, you can choose more than one. We can talk ourselves out of taking a risk very easily. But what happens if you



What if when that little voice tells you that “you don’t have the time to try this new idea”, you reply by saying “Maybe not, but I’m going to give it a go anyway”?

How do we overcome inertia - or whatever it is that is keeping us from moving forward?


What is the hurdle we need to jump to get past just having ideas?

The first thing has to be


Without it, would ideas make the leap into reality? Andy Stanley said that “The ability to believe is the most powerful force at mankind’s disposal. Everything that has been done, for good or bad, was done because someone believed it could be or should be done. Every problem that has been solved was solved because someone believed it could be or should be solved.”


When we believe in something, we look for ways to make it happen or to make it possible. I listened as a friend of mine read a list of what believing allows us to do. It empowers us to try, “to try again, to anticipate, to hope, to imagine, to create and always improve.”

When we believe we look for evidence and ways to support our belief. If you have an idea that you believe in, you will find ways to


in the famous words of Captain Picard. You stop looking at your ideas from the point of view of “Can it be done?” to “How will I accomplish this?”

How else can you get moving on your ideas?

It isn’t necessary to overcome failure, because failure is an inherent part of success. We have to overcome the fear of failure.


We need to learn to accept it as part of the process to bringing a new idea to fruition. If we are afraid to fail, we will not take a chance. If we don’t take chances we won’t fail but neither will we succeed. Often failure is so scary, so embarrassing, so discouraging that we become focused on it. The fear of failure can, and often does, immobilize us. If you accept that failure exists as part of the evolution of the idea, then you will become open to possibilities you may not have considered previously. Rollo May said,


Let’s take a look at Thomas Edison.


He held over 1000 patents and he knew 1800 ways not to build a light bulb. We don’t think of Edison as a spectacular failure. We think of him as a creative genius.


What we sometimes overlook is how many times he made attempts before he found the best and most efficient answer to the problem he was facing.

Having confidence is also important.

If we don’t have confidence in our ideas, who will? A lack of confidence can paralyze us. How can we increase our confidence? One thing we can do is to stop comparing ourselves with others. You are you!


What happens when you constantly compare your ideas to someone else’s? You may become insecure or lose courage. If comparing yourself to others begins to consume your thoughts, your efforts become stifled and stunted. You might think “Why try?” That quality of uniqueness is what makes your work different from everyone else’s. It is yours and yours alone. No one thinks like you do.


When you try something new, you may fail, and you may fail lots of times, but if you keep going, you might find that when you look back, each failure took you in a direction that ultimately resulted in success.


You can give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with it and for seeing it through.

So let’s review: How can you overcome your fears and inertia?

First by believing in yourself and your ideas.
Next, by accepting that failure is an innate part of success.
And finally, by having confidence.

There you have Part 3. I hope I have provided you with a few nuggets of useful information that you can utilize to get where you want to go with your ideas and dreams.

Until next time,


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