Saturday, February 7, 2009

Igniting the Creative Muse Within...

Most people either claim to be artistic or not. Typical responses include...
"I can't draw."
"There's not a creative bone in my body."
"I never took art in my life."
This mystifies me. As if there is only one element that defines creativity.
To me, creativity reveals itself in many forms; music, cooking, teaching, baking, gardening, painting, decorating, writing, thinking...most everyone does something creative. You just need to find it.

To spark your creative muse, try the following:

Find creative friends...
Some of us have an abundant of creative outlets. My friend, Sara Gehris, is the most creative person I know. I think she deserves a title or something. She owns a terrific shop in Carpinteria, California called Punch Interiors. Sadly, she doesn't have a link, or else I'd be promoting it right now. This gal can make something out of anything. A peek in her back shed and you'll see shelves of paint cans, old picture frames, pine furniture and ceramic works-in-progress. Of course, you can't peek into her shed, but the Internet provides us with this exact opportunity; to be inspired by others. I've enjoy perusing the hundreds of creative,crafty blogs out there and every time I visit one, my inner art muse comes alive. It's really refreshing.

Work with mother nature...try composting
I had an inpromtu dinner with my friend, Caroline, the other night and conversation turned to gardening. She told me about her worm farm (I know, seriously!) and her compost pile. At first, my brained turned off with the mere mention of the word compost. Images came to mind. Big whirly-gig drums, unsightly bins and well, worms. Then she told me how she just plopped her food scraps into a big hole, covered it with soil and that was that. I was intrigued.
Dig a hole? Collect food scarps? Easy peasy. I could do this. So I did. Now I have this cute little bowl beside my chopping block and I put all my organic matter into it. When it gets full, I drop it into a hole and do what Caroline says.

The idea is to get some fertile soil so that when I plant my vegetable garden, I'll stand a fighting chance of actually growing something. This method of composting may not be as official as one would like, so check out this link at How to Compost. I think the whole process is the most creative thing you can do. Turn waste into beautiful flowers and healthful veggies!

The Gardening Bug...

Gardening in Southern California might sound easy, but let me tell you it isn't. In fact, it can be a nightmare. The soil is rock hard, it's perpetually sunny and water is scarce. Best thing I ever did was to hire a landscape architect to design my backyard. She knew what would work for my small patch of heaven. Surprisingly, everything she suggested and planted, is actually still growing. My favorite plants are the day lillies and the roses. They are a sure thing in Santa Barbara. Lately, I got the urge to plant some color in my front yard. Against the homeowner rules, but I didn't care. Everyone needs color. And besides, I had to plant some flowers to match my new door color that I wasn't allowed to paint.
There is nothing so satisfying then digging in soil. I was physically exhausted chipping through the dirt. (Yes, chipping). I think I got the soil fairly well amended and then planted my new climbing rose. I look forward to May when it will greet me as I walk up the path to my front door. Ahhh.
Before growing roses in Santa Barbara, you really should check out The Santa Barbara Rose Society

Of course, reading a good book just about beats all when it comes to inspiring creativity. Just finished reading The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Gallante. It's so well-written, engaging and utterly wonderful that I had to write the author to tell her how much I loved her book. I've never done that before. So, if you haven't read it, you really should.


  1. The Patron Saint is totally on my list. I've heard great things about it, and am glad for your recommendation! And it's great to email the author and let her know.
    Hmmm...composting. I'm hesitant. But maybe.

  2. I love this post. You are so right. We all have so many opportunities to fill our lives with creativity. I like to think I have a creative knack for scheduling and communicating. I am certainly intrigued about "The Patron Saint of Butterflies." I just wish I could read as many books as I would like. You are definitely an inspiration with all the books you read. I'll have to make a note of this one. Here's to a beautiful garden!

  3. Laura, read Patron Saint. Now.It's a perfect story as far as I'm concerned! It will inspire you.


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