Creative Check-in

Happy Holidays!

I feel the need for another creative check-in. I continue to struggle during the school term to make consistent time to be creative. However, over the winter break, I seem to have made up for lost time. As an aside, I also notice how much more content I feel with life when I do take time for creative pursuits.

So, on with the update:

Blogging: I haven’t been posting much of late, as this blog evidences. However, I’ve been accruing a long list of blog topics, which is a good start. More importantly to me, I have taken on Movable Type’s CSS code and managed to redesign both of my blogs. I genuinely enjoyed the challenge of discovering how to manipulate the code to get the look I wanted, and my blogs feel like they are really mine once again. I’m excited to start writing again.

Book Reviews: After taking a hiatus from reviewing for the Sacramento and San Francisco Book Reviews, I have a lovely stack of nine new volumes on my desk, some of which appear on my bookshelf widget. I’ve also signed up to review for the new Portland Book Review when it gets up and running.

Knitting: I am proud to say that my yellow Warm Bundle baby afghan for Project Linus is off to a solid start. Having mastered some new stitches and gotten a feel for the pattern, I think I should be able to make steady progress now.

Photography: For the past few years, my steady sidekick has been my Canon PowerShot S1 IS.  Lately, however, the lens has been sticking just long enough for me to miss my opportunity to shot pictures. My anniversary, birthday and Christmas all fall within several weeks of each other. This year, my husband decided to splurge and surprise me with a new Nikon D5000 D-SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm and Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm lens. During this winter break, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time reading about digital photography and testing out my new toy. And someday, if I can master its dozens of features, you may once again see my photography here!

Children’s Book: No, I haven’t actually started writing the book yet. I have a list of good ideas and a small stack of writing manuals as guides, but that is as far as I’ve gotten. However, I’m including it on my list because I’ve decided to make getting a draft done a real priority, rather than something I’d like to do someday.


Creative Check-in

I’ve decided to start a series of posts called “Creative Check-ins” as a way of keeping myself honest to my goal of having a creative life. Basically, these posts will summarize what I’m doing to nurture my creative side.

This past weekend, I finally made a solid start on a new knitted baby blanket for Project Linus. I am attempting Warm Bundle in Leisure Arts’ Tea for Two Baby Afghans. While I don’t think the pattern is particularly complex, I have a knack for complicating matters. I’ve started this pattern once or twice in the last year without success, but this weekend I finally figured it out. That said, I came up with two extra stitches on my last row, so I’m going to have to backtrack a bit to get it right. Still, I can finally see myself finishing it, so that must be some sort of progress.

Beginings of Warm Bundle
I’m also delighted to report that I’ve started taking piano lessons, as of this morning. My sons’ piano teacher kindly offered to give me two lessons a month. I started playing piano as an adult just after my first son was born, but couldn’t really pursue it once my second and third sons arrived. So, I’m a complete novice. I realized today that I have so much to learn, but I love a challenge. For the next two weeks, I’ll be continuing working through Level One of Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book and attempting to master the second exercise of Hanon and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You in Fun with 5 Finger Pop Hits. It’s a start.

Piano PracticeFinally, I am taking a poetry workshop with an amazing woman, Julia Connor. My assignment this week is to write an object poem where I give an object a back story and see if I can create a poem from that. I will also read Stone by Charles Simic for what it says about imagination.

And that’s exactly what I am off to do!