Creative Halloween Costumes

When I was a child, my aunt made all of our costumes. Becuase she had been involved in college theatre, she was adept at applying makeup as well as designing our ghost and goblin wardrobes. Aunt Minny was a real artist, and I can still smell the clown white and stage makeup as she applied it while I sat patiently on the toilet seat in the bathroom. (Close to the sink for emergency clean-ups, you know.) My sister and I loved her, and I think much of my love of all things artistic stems from her participation in our childhood.

I have never bought a Halloween costume for any of my children. All of them were hand sewn or otherwise crafted from whatever was at hand. It wasn’t just to save a penny, either. And our kids grew up just as proud as my sister and I were. In fact, the two of them felt sorry for the kids forced to wear Madonna and Spider man costumes from the mall!

Pleasure Reading

I admit it, I am addicted to Agatha Christie’s novels. Talk about an artist! She could weave a tale that took her readers on a wild ride indeed. She is somewhat of an inspiration to me, as a budding writer myself. I think that anyone who aspires to make a living as a writer should indulge in some of her short stories or murder mystery novels. Her ability to create characters with their own identifiable quirks is unsurpassed.

I first discovered her at my public library, after looking for something to fill in the void left by one too many science fiction books. To my amazement, I found her books every bit as thrilling as some of the best Sci Fi writer’s work. And her descriptions of the world she lived in (from Victorian England all the way through the 1960s) is fascinating indeed. Do yourself a favor and pick up an Agatha Christie novel soon!

Portrait Artist – A Career for You?

A portrait artist can have a wonderful career. Most people would love to have a flattering portrait done of themselves, or of someone in their family. Do you have talent for portraiture? And how would you get started  working as an artist?

My advice is to have your artist materials to hand. This would include not only a sketch book, proper pencils and possibly oil paints, but a way to perfect your drawing ability. Enroll in a class at your local junior college, or take private lessons if you can afford them. If you already know you have talent, and you have the confidence to pursue this, then don’t wait! An evening drawing class could help get your portrait artist career off to an actual start, and take it from the realm of dreaming to reality!

Creativity and You

You are creative. Have you tried to deny this to yourself? Well, I would like to encourage you to get things moving in that direction! One of the easiest and yummiest ways to express this is in the kitchen. How about a soup made from all the best leftovers in your refrigerator? Add your choice of spices, lots of garlic, and whatever happens to be kicking around (grains, vegies and so on)

Follow it up with some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Now THAT is something that you can sink a little creativity into! Add nuts, dried fruits and of course lots of dark chocolate chips. Delicious, and creative too. I am making myself hungry!

Creativity does not have to be only related to drawing, music or dance. Life itself can be lived as an artist!

Haiku and You

Haiku are short, lovely poems of usually just 17 syllables. Most of them have something to do with one of the four seasons. They originated in Japan, but they have migrated and seem to be quite a world-wide phenomena.

Have you ever tried you hand at writing one? I think of them as little snapshots of life, crystal clear and somewhat wistful. And you would be surprised at the skill it takes to create them! Not to scare you off; I think everyone, young and old should indulge in a little Haiku writing. It is amazing the beauty and joy that one can find in just a few short lines.

And if you want to keep to the seasonal motif, you can have quite a bit of fun. But where I live, there are not vast seasonal changes, so I would have to get around that somehow. Haiku for the Southeast?

ADHD and Creativity

I think ADHD and creativity deserves some more attention. As a matter of fact, did you know that some believe this is a completely invented label? Now I am not saying that there aren’t children who get antsy, can’t sit still and so forth. But rather than drugging them, why now find out the source of the problem? Often creative children are just plain bored.

Or another possibility is that your child has not had a sufficient protein breakfast. This alone can mess up his or her ability to concentrate. Sugary breakfast cereals do not give energy for very long. Your child may be plain hungry for real nourishment! If it were me, I would find out the true source of my child’s trouble. I can assure you he doesn’t have a Ritalin deficiency!

Art and Children

Are all children artists? Well, that is an interesting question. All children, minimally, are creative. Some excel in the art of drawing, dance, theater, singing and so forth. While others are creative in science or math. Still others may be natural born mechanics. Whatever your child’s interest, it should be nurtured like a the delicate sapling that it is.

Parents who criticize their children endlessly need to take a good hard look at the future mess they are creating. Allowing a young person to follow his or her dream may be difficult, especially if it goes directly against some purpose of their own. My advice? Be a Man (or a Woman) and let your child pursue his or her own dream, unfiltered through your parental sieve.

Creative Children and their Parents

Creative children should be able to express themselves without evaluation. Let their imagination run free! Encourage them to tell stories of all kinds, and give them tools to expand their creativity. (Crayons, paper, pin and ink depending on their age.)

Or maybe your child is scientifically creative. I don’t have much experience in this area, but I’m sure there are places to go to discover how best to encourage him or her. The point is to foster the development of the creative mind, and allow it to blossom.

Children are our future, and we have some responsibility in what that future will be like. Whether or not you feel you may actually live again, your progeny surely will. Do it for them, if not for yourself.

Summer Crafts

Why not pick up a new summer craft this year? New skills are always a lot of fun, and learning how to do seasonal crafts can keep you busy in those idle summer afternoons. Besides, when the kids complain about nothing to do, you can be at the ready!

My favorite craft? Well, I will tell you a secret. I’m not so much into crafts in the usual sense. Nothing wrong with them, of course. It’s just that I would rather spend the time learning an art that can be applied to many different crafts. In other words, if you learn to draw well, you can create portraits of your pets, make up comic books, frame gifts for your family for Christmas, and so on!

What about kids? The same holds true for them. Children are natural artists, believe me! Give a small child a pad of paper and a box of crayons and that child will most likely be occupied for hours! But having said that, it can be fun to work through a book on crafts, just remember to let your own creativity loose as well.

Summer Creating

The changing of the seasons always brings with it new ideas and new dreams. I love to plan for the future holiday season about now. Some people think that’s a little "out there," but I love to occupy myself during long summer days with projects for the fall. It has something to do with Autumn and winter being my favorite seasons of the year and I start looking forward to them as soon as the weather starts getting hot again!

One of my favorite projects is making up stories (written and illustrated by me, of course) for my young relatives, under the age of 10. They look forward to these homemade tales, and believe me, it gets the creative juices going, all right! These are the special gifts they get every Christmas.

What season do you especially love? And what are you doing to prepare for the holidays within that special time of year?

Next Page »