Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Creative Story for Beyond Layers

My creative story ... for Beyond Layers. Oh my gosh, do you have time for this? Well, if not, just look at the pictures!

First, I gotta say ommwriter (http://www.ommwriter.com/en/) is a very cool little program with a background layer and meditative background music. Thank you, Kim Klassen!

I think I have been a creative since I was born! I certainly know that by the time I was five I enjoyed coloring and finger painting. When I was nine I loved paint by numbers and box kits that my mom got me. The one I remember most is one where I glued cording as an outline to a board and then glued rock chips inside the outlines. I also expressed my creativity while baking in my Easy Bake Oven. Oh, how much fun I had with those things. I wrote my first neighborhood newsletter with a friend (I only remember her first initial was M) when I was ten. We called it the L & M News. I think we only wrote one issue. Ha! Unfortunately, I don't have any of these or pictures. That's what happens when you grow up in a military family. We just couldn't keep everything.

Anyway, as I got older I found different avenues. Journaling was a big one for me. I used to choose a new journal every year and I found as the years went by I liked writing in different kinds of journals: spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, twin-loop journals. I tried bound journals that actually looked like books, but I didn't like them much. I preferred those that could flip back on themselves. I also found I couldn't write in really fancy journals. It felt like whatever I wrote in them had to be perfect. I still feel that way. I've had trouble choosing one for this year as I've gone more digital. I can write faster and keep up with my thoughts better while typing. I've also found that my journaling has taken different forms: emails, essays, poetry, blog posts. So I tend not to journal as much or as regularly as I used to with paper and pencil/pen. My journal was more for processing challenges, so when things are good I don't journal as much. This is sad because I haven't regularly documented the good things!

My creativity has also taken physical forms. I went through phases: sewing, quilting, embroidery, cross stitch, cake design, pottery, dream boards, painting (rooms), photography. Oh, I can't forget food--baking specifically.

One of my favorite phases was my pottery phase. I created a piece I called a candleglobe: two pinch pots fused together with a star on the top to vent the candle flame and a hole in the bottom so it could be slipped over a votive candle cup. Then around the circumference I carved a theme-oriented design through which the light would shine.

2011 Dream Board
This dream board manifested in some interesting ways. The most significant bits are "money is simple," "leading from the heart," the crystal piece full of money, and the friends with angel wings. The money didn't come in the form of cash flow, but in further education (Masters in Liberal Studies/Creative Writing) paid for by the company I worked for and an old fashioned pension that I became fully vested for a month before I was laid off. It's all good. Then I developed deeper relationships with some girlfriends. Relationships I treasure.

I started taking pictures with a Kodak Instamatic 124, then an Instamatic Pocket 20, then a Polaroid Swinger. Got my first 35mm from my former husband--a Nikon FG-20. I loved that camera. It was a sad day when it was stolen on my move from Arizona to Colorado. Insurance paid for a replacement and I got a Nikon FG. It was never quite the same and after a bit, the camera spent more time on the self than in my hands. But something happen in December 2010. I was going through a tough time at work. I started walking and taking pictures with my Blackberry. People were telling me my photos were great. I laughed because I wasn't using a "real" camera! So, I treated myself to a Nikon D5000. I fell in love all over again and haven't stopped since. This is a really bad Photo Booth (Mac camera) pic of my current equipment. It includes the FG and D-5000, several lenses, flash, remote, and my Blackberry.

I dabble. I get bored. I move on. I rarely go back, although I have kept boxes of fabric from my quilting days (maybe I'll do it again) and I still have my kiln even though I haven't used it in years. My dream boards are posted in my room. I didn't do one this year. I decided to do Ali Edwards' One Little Word 2012 thereby doing my collage in a different fashion-using my photography rather than magazine pictures. In addition, I chose to spend New Year's by myself rather than inviting friends for the dream board party. I chose ABUNDANCE as my word for the year. I'm already seeing it manifest in a variety of ways.

My latest creativity is the adaptation of digital photography. Kim Klassen's Photoshop Essentials opened a new world for me, as did creating my photo-journal, The Stroll, in InDesign. Interesting that I embarked on those things as an endeavor to expand my work skills.

I digress. I have found that taking pictures and working with textures has opened new windows for me. I spend an inordinate amount of time on my computer now. I think it is actually my best friend. And I do find good friends there through Flickr. I've even connected with some local folks so I can meet in person.

Housekeeping is not one of my best venues for creativity. One thing I do want to accomplish is cleaning up my house and recreating my office that has become a flop off, drop off storage room since I moved my bedroom downstairs about two years ago. It used to be my favorite room in the house. Now I sit in a chair in my living room with the TV on in the background, even if I don't really listen to it. OK, so just turned the sound off and can actually hear the background music on ommwriter and the sound of water drops as I type individual letters. It is very cool.

If you got this far, thanks so much for sticking with me. ;->


  1. Hi Lissa, I remember you from Kim's PS class. What fun that was!
    Your creative story is a testament to the philosophy that what you practice and what you believe is what you manifest in your life. Love the artistic design of your ABUNDANCE poster with the heart within a heart. I'm excited to be your classmate again!

  2. Lissa, I enjoyed your story. Looking forward to seeing you in class.

  3. There are so many elements of your story I can identify with ...
    You said, "I dabble, I get bored, I move on ..."
    I have always seen this as a positive thing, a mind eager for new knowledge, new things to do ...

  4. I enjoyed this. Your experience with journals is identical to mine. Always changing, but always needing to fold back on themselves. There is something cozy about that.

    I love the creativity is an always changing process and your story is a great illustration of that.

  5. It sounds like we all love to do similar things that's the artist in all of us and what has brought us together! I'm so excited to see more of everyones work and to making my photography a priority!

  6. Abundance is a great word! You made me smile, I am always dabbling in new creative expressions, some stick, and some do not! I just pulled out the afghan I started knitting 3 years ago, it is 90% complete, I need to make this year the one it gets finished.

  7. Great story. I think we do share a lot in common. (I'm the Bonnie M. from Flickr, btw).

  8. Absolutely LOVED reading this. You're a great inspiration. (ROY, Beyond)


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