Orienting towards Solutions . . .

Lately, I’ve posted links and re-blogged other people’s posts; I realize that staying informed can lead to an increase in fear, which in turn tends to lead us to ‘turn off’.

I feel there are other options, too. Creativity, especially practised daily, can be a powerful antidote to fear and pessimism. By creativity, I mean creating; writing, singing, making music, art, crafting something useful, decorative or both. I like to draw with coloured pencils, especially the aquarelles:

20130528-150647.jpg Nothing special, this, but making it lifted my spirits.

But I was also thinking of creativity in the sense of finding a creative solution to a problem. People all over the earth have been doing this for some time (well, forever, really, but here I’m thinking more of current challenges).

Often I’ve been guilty of saying something should be done about whatever it is that I’m paying attention to at that moment; but I’m only one person, with few resources, I say to myself. So I feel excused from action.

20130528-151648.jpg I like creating folk art designs, too.

Lately, as I think more about grass-roots activism, about positive and peaceful ways of overcoming great challenges, about moving from being problem-oriented to becoming solution-oriented, I am finding some unusual and inspiring stories crossing my path; like this one on “The Power of One”: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/indian-man-single-handedly-plants-a-1360-acre-forest
We aren’t all called to plant a forest; but now I’m inspired to think more about what I am called to do . . .
I plan to keep sharing links that inform and links that inspire. While I’m thinking about Creative Activism, I’ll continue my personal creative journey and share that, too.

Did I mention that I love making Art Dolls?

20130528-152724.jpg My favourite so far.

And here’s the “plain” garter stitch (well, mostly LOL) shawl as of yesterday afternoon:


20130528-153006.jpg Looks good on my Aunty, doesn’t it? But I’m not done yet . . .


22 thoughts on “Orienting towards Solutions . . .

  1. Love your “stuff”, so creative, I am jealous! I tried to learn painting when I fell pregnant with my first, but the smell made me so ill I had to pull out. Maybe one day I will look into it again… then again I think sewing is my “thing”…. x

    • Thanks, Kym. Was that oil painting? You might want to mess around with watercolours . . . I’ll have to post a picture of my favourite piece, a watercolour done from a drawing I created some time ago. I got the painting half done and liked it a lot. Then I was afraid to finish it in case I wrecked it. A common dilemma, I think. Anyway, I started a second one that I will finish. Then, of course, came the flood, the move and all that, so now my painting stuff is put away.

      There are so many ways to paint and not all of them are difficult. Sometimes you just have to mess around and see what comes out. One teacher I had made us use a bit of broken branch from an apple tree as a brush when he taught us pen and ink work. He said if we used a pen, we would have a pre-conceived idea of how it should look and that would make us stiff and awkward. But no-one had any idea of what a ‘broken branch and ink’ work should look like, so we just made marks on the paper. I really liked what came of that. Try it sometime. If you use India Ink, you can add watercolour washes or detail with watercolour pencils, or both, once the ink has dried. One other thing I learned; use the best materials you can afford; no one can do good art with inferior materials. Another thing I was taught (because we were all concerned about ‘wasting’ expensive watercolour paper) was to not throw out anything we were unhappy with. Instead, tear them into postage stamp sized pieces and sort them into envelopes by colour. When you have a bunch (and you will!) use the pieces to create collages . . . it’s an awesome way to deal with so-called ‘failure’!

      If sewing is your thing, you may want to think of creating some original fabrics for quilting by painting or batiking or other methods; that can be lots of fun, too.

      • Thanks for those tips Linne. It was actually water colour paint, I know, how strange eh. I have made a lovely quilt for my niece’s little girl and used material dye to make the colours I wanted. It was such fun and the quilt came out a treat. It is an easy method using a rice cooker for the microwave. We had a demonstration from the lady who sold them and I bought a heap and had such fun experimenting with it. I think I will have to get it out and do some more now that I don’t have a material store handy.

      • I never thought of watercolours as having a smell . . . you must have been sensitive from being pregnant, eh?

        That quilt sounds intriguing. I have a load of silk fabric and silk dyes here that I purchased last summer, thinking to make some hand-dyed scarves and sell them; but, life kept happening and the fabric work didn’t . . . is there a link you could post where I could learn how the microwave dying is done? I know a bit about it, but never heard a rice cooker mentioned as a means to that end . . . and I have a load of fabrics (you don’t want to know, really!) and a heap of fat quarters, too. I’ve been thinking of doing some dye stamping on them before using them, as I also have a goodly stack of stamps . . . don’t ask . . . 😉

        Post your progress, will you? I’d love to share your fabric adventures . . .

    • You know, I’m hearing more and more creative solutions and now books are coming my way that point that out, too. It’s so easy to get sucked into the mass negativity and stop looking for solutions, isn’t it? I find I feel better and more inspired, too, when I read about what other people are doing across the world. Big things, small things, it all adds up.

  2. Looks like Aunty loves it Linnie! Good luck getting it back ;). I agree that it is vitally important to keep yourself pointing forwards and not stagnating and a lot of time thats where crafts come in. If you start to feel like you can’t contribute much to the world you just need to pick up those needles, that hook, that whatever you need for whatever craft you are making and remember that those 2 hands actually create. They give you an outlet for everything inside your head, for what makes “you” …”YOU” and they are a reminder that each and every single one of us is here for a reason. Not quite sure what that reason is just yet (a bit slow on the uptake probably…) but there IS a reason and it is up to us to pick up the slack that we see around us. You are doing a magnificent job Linnie 🙂

    • Lucky I’d make three of her, then, isn’t it? 😉 I’ll let her borrow it, though . . .

      You are SO right about moving forward and creativity; it’s a big part of my Plan B. Those days are coming and I’m quite aware of it and I do see it all as part of life . . . but I know the adjustment period may be challenging.

      Thanks for the compliment, Narfie7! I try . . .

      As to our purpose in life, I do know we all have one. For a long time I thought of it more as what sort of work I should be doing . . . imagine my surprise when I read of a woman being told her purpose in life was to appreciate beauty! Turned me a good 90 degrees from where I’d been looking . . . sometimes our work is just what keeps the wolf from the door (more or less) and our purpose is otherwise.

      Since I did all the testing I’ve been looking at the results to see if they hold a lead or two . . .

      • And so you are! As for myself, I am congenitally curious and in addition have spent much of my life (mis-spent?) trying to figure out various things about myself (esp. why I’m so weird . . .)

        Now I use it more to help me navigate life’s shoals and rapids a bit more happily. Wish I’d known more of this sooner in life!

        The extremes of my character, personality, what-have-you, created challenges that most people I’ve met just didn’t seem to face.

        I do understand why others may not choose testing like this, but it was the best thing for me, lost job and all . . . I think I’m happier and more at peace after all the thinking I’ve done over the past year about the results.

        Two things I know; nothing is for everyone, and we learn by choosing, whatever we choose.

      • I took 2 years after I split up with my ex to work through “life, the universe and everything”. Whatever it takes Linnie to get back into a place where you feel like you belong in your own skin is worth it. My daughters love quizzes and testing etc. I, not so much. I guess I just don’t want to end up finding out that I am a boring old housewife who should be working on a factory line (I have my suspicions 😉 ).

      • Hmmmmm……

        “boring old housewife who should be working on a factory line”

        ….. yeah, Narfie7, that is SO you!!

        I would be ROTFLMHO if only there were room …..

        You are right, ‘whatever it takes’; for me, that’s having the right information and then thinking about it ’til it fits. Not for everyone, I know. Some people try different things ’til something ‘clicks’. I’m not sure if most people are aware of the questions . . . to me they always seem happier, somehow. But I woyldn’t trade, so there I am . . .

      • Imagine being someone who likes to think. Someone who likes to plan, make a list or two, put a few things in a few boxes and tidy up as she goes. Imagine someone who likes her dishes done and her “i’s” dotted and her “T’s” crossed and then image her taking up with a man who is pure chaos. A man who could care LESS about leaving the teatowels in a single layer to dry out hey what the heck, leaving them on a vertical surface and not crumpled up wedged under the stove grate would be nice! Imagine trying to negotiate ANYTHING with someone who loves nothing more than jumping into the middle of a problem and working his way backwards, sideways and forewards when your way is to start at the beginning and navigate the steps from A…to B…to C…and if you miss “B” you are stuffed! That’s the life of narf7 and Stevieboy. Sometimes he is on his own! I sit and twiddle my thumbs while he is messing about with a computer program that makes NO sense to me at all because we didn’t bother with the “help” function or with a tutorial or with the instructions, we just opened the unfamiliar program and got messing about…imagine narf7 having to study with someone like that…sharing the PC at the same time…imagine the craziness…the frustration…the learning curve! I know a whole LOT about my personality (none of it flattering) since I started studying online with Steve…sigh…I fear I AM that person happy with working on a factory line. I love peeling potatoes, I love progressions of things and I love starting somewhere and finishing somewhere and “Next!”. I would have made a fantastic librarian but for my bolshie temper that would have had me throwing people out of the library on their ears for overdues 😉

      • Oh, I SO want to answer this . . . I was just closing everything down, as it’s nearly 1:30 here and Mum will want to lie down for a bit. And then I saw your comment! But I’m hungry (got up early to let the vampire in, got busy here and, as I’m sure you know, after that there was no going back . . .), so a late brunch has now become an early lupper or dinch or whatever the heck you call it. And Delilah’s calling me to get in there and deal with her daily output, which is about to become yummie pancakes, just for moi!

        I guess I could have answered your comment, if I hadn’t been so busy being a smartie pants, couldn’t I? But no, just had to shoot off my mouth . . .

        And now it’s not only raining again (had a series of short, but huge, downpours yesterday while I was out with my Crafty Friend and her Crafty Husband; we even had some flash hail, and large bits at that!

        I can hear thunder; how lovely; and the tyres of the traffic far below, splashing and shushing along in their hurry to be somewhere else.

        Ok, I am still not answering this; you will have to wait, my friend . . . and I have to think of a Word worthy of a Wet Wednesday . . .

        Virtual hugs. ~ Linne

      • I can imagine someone who likes to think (I look in the mirror LOL). Planning, yep; listing, yep; tidying, well, not so much . . . except while I am cooking or otherwise occupied in what passes for a kitchen these days . . . I fold and hang up the teatowel after each use, aware that it makes me seem compulsive and obsessive and maybe a few other ‘ive’s’ that I’m not yet aware of . . . but there they are, neatly hung on the oven handle, drying. I even hang them so the folds face each other. The reason I seem obsessive, of course, is that I may need that towel again in half a minute, but nearly always hang it up. I trained myself to do that ages ago and it works for me. As for other sorts of tidying, I’m working on that most days now.

        I dot my ‘i’s, cross my ‘t’s and backspace to correct my spelling and grammar (unless I’m fed up with the stylus and just want to get to an end; or unless I’m leaving it on purpose).

        The men in my life were not pure chaos, unfortunately for them, because I AM pure chaos! Hard to reconcile with the above, right? Not for me, apparently . . . I problem solve and think in an alternating pattern of linear and gestalt thinking. I also rarely read instructions unless I come up against a snag I can’t figure out on my own. I install software and jump right in. (in my defense, in the beginning there were few user manuals and those were written by techies who assumed a lot of things. I had to teach myself!)

        Peel potatoes?? What’s that?? I only peel when the outside is obviously too difficult to digest (some squash, and even then I often eat some of the shell).

        I do like progressions and starting something, then working through to the end; but in truth, more often than not I am distracted by multiple ‘blades of grass’ along the way. Somehow I manage most of the time to keep track of an idea, conversation or project while simultaneously haring off after those ‘blades of grass’, and most times I drag myself back ontrack and finish up somewhere near what I was aiming for. Not always, though . . .

        I would have made a fantastic librarian, too, but would have been fired for spending all my time connecting with the customers and leading them to the books I love to recommend (or being led to their faves LOL). I do have to say that overdues are the sign of dedicated readers, who usually overestimate how much they can read in three weeks (or six, with the renewals). I, myself, would have been thrown out by you on multiple occasions and might have had to resort to visiting a more distant branch . . .

        So . . . I appear to exist somewhere in the uncharted lands lying between you and SuperSteve . . . I often find myself there and it’s fun exploring . . .

  3. I love your art Linne, all your created items. I also like to draw and paint and am doing a drawing at the moment myself with coloured pencils…I often find myself getting tied up with other things but art is what brings me my peaceful times.
    Yep, there’s alot going on in the world at present, I have my areas of interest and concern that I like to share a little of occasionally but I love the nicer, more inspirational stories like the one you share here. There’s alot of bad in the world but so much good too. x

    • Art brings me peace, too . . . and focus and lots more. Same for music and some other things; gardening, being alone in the woods or by the sea; that sort of thing.

      I want to be aware of what’s going on and take action, but not let either of those define me.

      It’s dumb to go into the woods with no information or equipment, and with no idea what predators are there snd how to protect myself. Same (or more so) for the urban world . . . where the predators look just like me!

  4. creating things lifts my spirits too. As does thinking about what I would like to create. The thing that really lifts my spirits is the knowledge that I am empowering young people to make things. I think it is gently subversive and putting the power back into the hands of the people. I love your shawl. It is a triumph! 🙂

    • Yes, long live the Dreamtime . . . and the far-flung company of secret (and not-so-secret) subversives.

      That’s my thing, too . . . you may have noticed . . . 😉

      Thanks for the compliment, too. It’z coming along quite well. More pics soon . . .

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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