A MindFULL Vacation

If you could see the sign hanging off the tip of my brain, it would say “gone fishing…for new ideas”.  We all talk about how important it is to step outside of our lives and slow down, but how often do we give ourselves permission or time to really take the step?

In order to fill our minds with ideas and thoughts we are the better for, we must first empty our minds of the clutter. Easier said than done, but with a change of scene for an hour, day or week, I find that the clutter starts to fall off and my mind is, once again, open to new ideas. Its like taking a long swim in the cool ocean on a hot summer day.

This summer, I was clinging pretty close to the shore. I didn’t feel like wading out into the summer water, so to speak, but I am so glad I did. A little change of scene has helped and once again, I am busy filling my journal.

I had forgotten about my journal – a small book that my friend Tamara taught me to easily make:  simply cut out words and pictures that mean something to you and glue them onto 1/2 of an 8×11 colorful page. Take the the page to Kinkos, where they can laminate  it and bind it to several sheets of plain white paper — and viola’! A journal for collecting ideas, all in one place and easy to refer back to it and use.

Before I head back out to the sand, here are a few ideas in my summer journal,  so far:

Black Mango tea – great iced

Pine Nuts – toast em and then roll ready to bake cookies in them for an extra little pizzaz!

Drizzle grape-seed oil on avocado, orange slices and dill

Collect stones of similar shapes and sizes and paint them — you can find little ones and make them look like green olives and fill a martini glass with them for a fun centerpiece ; you can paint them with designs and get a big piece of wood for a home-made checker board, you can lay them in a pattern by the back door and fill the spaces with cement, thus creating a small area for a table and chair, flower pots or a path in your yard.

Tunics are totally in! Fun colors and lightweight cotton make them ideal for hot days – paired with leggings and or thin white jeans, they are a fun summer uniform. Very “Mad Men”.

How do you empty your mind and refill it with MindFULL ideas? Let us know!

Summer Needs Some Spirit

You’d think as it is summer, that I would be well rested and my creative spirit would soar. Sadly, I am feeling just the opposite and all I want to do is lie on my bed and watch hulu.com. It’s not like me, but I am tired. Really tired. It’s a high class problem – too much to do, too many wonderful people to see, too little time.

So, I have dug deep and pulled out some creative jump-starts. One is cooking, one is finding the perfect gifts for thanking all the people I will have to thank this summer for all the nice things they are about to do for me and one is learning with a fabulous teacher and fun, heartfelt and creative spirit who simply helps me see the world in a whole new way.

First, the food. Everyone has some where to go and has to bring something to the party. I was on for dessert Saturday night at dinner club and I brought home-made s’mores. Crazy – but fun and actually tasty!

I made the graham crackers http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000126.html, I made the marshmallows http://www.sugarlaws.com/homemade-marshmallows and I bought good old Hershey’s chocolate. Two tips: make sure you roll the cracker batter thinly (mine were more like Graham bricks) and let the marshmallows set for as along as you can. They gel better. But these were fine and fun! A new twist on an old summer staple!

Moving on to gifts, check out Barbara Solway’s work. http://www.solwayart.com

Hand painted wooden bowls and fiber art pieces (bags, wall hangings, etc) all hold Barbara’s unique style and eye. They are truly works of art and will surely delight the recipient. We gave a Solway bowl to my Dad and Pam for their anniversary. They are lovers of wood and glass. I have a small purse to wear across my chest when I travel and another small bag I keep my personals in. Addie has a fiber heart hanging from her bedroom doorknob and the mirror in the picture below, rests in my study. My back faces the doorway and I use the mirror to fix the feng shui. Its complex simplicity stimulates me on a subconscious level every time I look at it.

And then there is Judith Cassel-Mamet at http://www.jcmamet.net. Pick up a glue stick and be prepared to let the hours fly by. Judith teaches all sorts of mixed media art techniques. If you click on my past entry on travel journals, you will find an example of one technique. I will do a whole entry on a fun idea that Judith will help me share with you, but in the meantime, check out her site and blog. There are so many fun ideas and links to other creative spirits. I guarantee you will find SOMETHING that gives you an idea and makes your day a little more saucy.

Just writing this entry has gotten my juice flowing again. Imagine if I logged off the computer and picked up my glue stick, just how energized I could be. Hmmm… think I’ll find out!

How do you MINDfully get over being tired and get your energy flowing? Let us know!