The other day, I was reading about creativity on Charlie’s blog, Seattle Trekker, which had a link to another article entitled, “101 Tips on How to Become More Creative.”

Number 6 on the tip list suggested “create the dumbest idea you can.” I snorted. I do not have to create dumb ideas because dumb stuff tracks me down like an angry tornado intent on wrangling with an old broad in a claw foot tub. You know that’s not going to end well. It doesn’t matter whether or not the old broad in the tub is wearing purple underwear. Yes, wearing purple underwear for inspiration was number 55 on the list. I don’t even own a pair of purple underwear but the stoopit stuff finds me every time. Every Time.

When you think you are having a bad day, just remember there’s an old gal out here with hair-standing-on-end cowering in a claw foot tub from a tornado. Instantly, you should feel better.

Oh, if you think purple underwear might improve my destiny, feel free to send me a pair.  Size Giant, please.

BOOK REVIEW: Digging Deep

I recently finished reading DIGGING DEEP: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening by Fran Sorin, a garden designer.

I loved this book because it was about gardening and creativity. As I mentioned in a previous post, the subject of creativity has been dear to my heart for 20+ years.

Digging Deep was divided into seven stages starting with Imagining and Envisioning then moving onto Planning and Taking Action. The last three stages were about Tending, Enjoying and Cycling Through the Seasons.

One of the chapters was on Trusting Your Instincts. Sorin said “we all have stories about times in our lives when we didn’t follow our instincts and lived to regret it” and went on to say that “when you make choices that are aligned with your instincts, you build self-confidence.” In relating it to gardening, she suggested that we trust our instincts when we have a sense of what will work in our garden and suggested that in a worst-case scenario, we would end up with something representing our current creative process that we could fix or camouflage later.

Near the end of the book, Sorin said the special secret about creativity is that it’s “a form of energy, and it follows the natural physical law that energy begets energy. You are not giving your ideas or creative products away so much as making room for new ones to arise. By keeping the energy in motion, your imagining and envisioning powers stay fresh and active, and your capacity to see more possibilities increases. To share the products of your authentic creation is to pass along your legacy. This is how a piece of us lives on, long after our time here has expired.”

You can read more about Sorin at fransorin.com or gardeninggonewild.com.

GARDEN TIP: Garden Markers – Part 1

Give me a moment to rant: Thanks to Wall Street’s hijinks, I have worked all of 6 weeks since August 2009. I place the blame for our financial meltdown on all of corporate America because of the bribes they pay our political leaders to acquire legislation favorable to their goals. Any legislation favoring corporations generally is not in the best interest of the rest of us. As someone who worked for almost 40 years, I watched pensions, major medical and unions disappear from the working landscape. When that wasn’t enough to support mega-million-dollar CEO salaries, they sent our jobs overseas. My personal, gut reaction was to limit my support of corporations. Rather than solving my needs at the retail level, I solve many of them at the home level. This required me to take a renewed look at the subject of creativity. It has been a favorite subject for the last 22 years. I have no idea how many creativity books I’ve gobbled up over the years. I like to think  that I can now think outside the box, inside the box, around the box, over the box, under the box, and through the box.

One of my favorite books on creativity was written by Chic Thompson but I can’t remember the title.  With my pitiful memory, it’s a wonder I can even remember his name. I photocopied his “What If” Compass from the book because it demonstrated how to think in opposites. Here are a few examples:

What if I …

  • Stretch it  … Shrink it
  • Combine it … Separate it
  • Balance it … Unbalance it
  • Do it backwards … Do it sideways

You get the idea. It dumbed down creativity to a level where I “got it.” Many times over the years, I have consulted those two pages rather than setting my pea brain on fire by asking too much of it. I think I’ve mentioned not being the brightest crayon in a small box of crayons. Without a lot of colors, I could easily use the same crayons so much that I wear them down to little nubs.

Now I use creativity to fill needs rather than jumping in my car and running out to the store. One of my ongoing needs has been for garden markers for my veggies. I know I’ve tried cut-up bleach jugs, slats from window blinds, and plastic knives but, with a sieve-like memory, there are probably other marker ideas I tried that have already hit the road.

Back at my Veggie Garden Tour, I briefly mentioned building some T-shaped plant markers that, once painted yellow and placed in the garden, looked too much like cemetery markers. I wondered if a change in color would help so I got Poppie to help me build another six which I painted celery green. Everything in my garden will likely be celery green as I purchased a quart of flat celery green paint. A quart of paint goes a long way on small projects so I have, no doubt, a lifetime supply. I wish I had purchased shiny paint rather than flat to give the garden a little bling.

What do you think? Do the celery green markers blend in better and look less like cemetery markers?

Suspecting that garden markers might be an ongoing request, Poppie built me a jig so that I could saw and hammer on my own.  That was his hope, anyway. On some of these saw and hammer projects, I need moral support because my level of comfort among saws and nail guns is pretty low.