Ever get a little bit stuck in your creative practice? I do and sometimes I need a little push start, kick, or prompt to get me going. Today I’m using Emily P Freeman’s prompt roundup series “What I learned this Winter”.
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A change in life makes me laser focused.
I started a part-time job in November but I didn’t want to leave this little online space completely. This is my space to encourage others (and myself) to be creative for their wellbeing, and I love working here. But I knew that I would now have less time to give to it. Looking forward to the change in my days, made me dig down into what it is about this space that I really love. If I could only do one thing what would it be? I came back to my comfort space of magazines. Creating a magazine in the best way I know how. So that was the beginning of Iola. It meant that I haven’t written any tutorial posts, and my creativity has been limited to design. As a creative, I can bounce around from idea to idea, there’s always so many, but actually being limited by time and money has made me focus on what really matters. And I hope that the results are better for it.
Making space for fun
There have been quite a few changes in the Partridge house over the winter months and honestly, it’s been really tough. When seasons are like this it’s hard to put having fun on the agenda. Some dear friends hosted a fancy dress party at the beginning of December, Tim and I dressed up as Winter Wonderland and Mr Tumnus! I made a skirt from a bridal underskirt and battery lights and fake ivy and Tim some trousers from fake fur. It was so much fun to dress up with friends and I loved my skirt! A friend and mentor remarked that just before Christmas I seemed lighter and I was, Christmas brings hope to my heart for many reasons.
Seasons can be hard but still beautiful
I’m learning to find those diamonds in the dark. Winter has been a season of yelling “plot twist” and carrying on. But there have been glimmers of light. Beautiful walks in nature, iola, sledging in the snow for the first time in a few years, an amazing school production where my older two worked so hard and were A-mazing.
My weekly notebook from Moleskine saves my working day.
I work a day on, a day off at my paid job and have lots of little things to do, I wouldn’t survive without my moleskine weekly notebook. I can easily forget things between work days so my weekly notebook saves things getting missed. You can write deadlines on the left-hand side page which is the weekly diary and all the to-do things on the right-hand side. Although I work on screens all day, I have to write things down, it is better for my brain that way!
I will always be a Mac
Do you remember those ads? I started university back when we had computer labs and that was the year I got my first email address. (That gives you an idea how old I am!) Since then working as a designer I’ve only used Macs. PCs scared me. I have to work on a pc at the office and though at first, it was annoying, I’ve learnt how to use it, sort of. I’m still a Mac though.
I’m not good at reading when I’m tired.
My reading this winter has suffered. I’ve been tired and scattered and not had the energy to engage with reading books. I’m not ok with this. I need to change this soon. There are so many books on my to-read list.
I started to read Walking on Water: reflections on faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle and wrote down this:
“Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work had been stillborn.” – That’s one for your critics!
What I have loved
The Greatest Showman
We watched the film with the in-laws in the cinema on a rainy Boxing Day on a bit of a whim really. I loved it. The story spoke to me in so many ways, the dynamic of Barnum and his wife’s relationship, the building of the ‘greatest’ show, the circus family of misfits. I’ve even watched all the little youtube films on the making of it, I loved how they did the promotion for this movie. If you’ve not seen the James Corden Crosswalk on Broadway or the clip from Keala singing “This is me” yet then here they are.
If for some reason you have not seen the film – I would recommend it. We’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat too.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
I just watched “The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks” on Now tv. It’s the adaptation of a book that is based on a true story. Henrietta’s cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line in the early 1950s, which became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. The film follows a writer’s quest to tell Henrietta’s story, (who died of cancer,) through talking to her family. It explores the death of a mother and the intricate repercussions on a family. I don’t know how I missed the book, but I want to read it now. It is a fascinating story, in the film Oprah plays Deborah Lacks, a character who is captivating. I don’t think I’ve watched anything quite like it recently. It’s worth hunting out.
Learned or Learnt?
Whilst writing this I wasn’t sure on my usage so this is what I found when I googled: “These are alternative forms of the past tense and past participle of the verb learn. Both are acceptable, but learned is often used in both British English and American English, while learnt is much more common in British English than in American English.” So now I know, and so do you.
What have you learned/learnt this winter?