Monday, February 12, 2018

A few words on CREATIVE energy...and gratitude


February Tulips


My youngest son and I were driving to town this morning and I remarked that I felt really good today, brighter in some way, better than I had in a while. He asked if that was because he worked all weekend and was working a full day today. I said yes...partly, but for good reason. It gave me time to navigate my life around the house, something I promised myself in the month of January. It was time to delve into those boxes we save for a rainy day, in the cupboards we close as quickly as we open and think "not now". It was time. I had left it for nearly two years, it was time to properly unpack our belongings from Vietnam and place them where they needed to be. I knew it would be a lengthy task and I knew I could think of better things to do but we had rain for two days and I didn't feel like skating on ice. I put my apron on and thought...right..


THE CREATIVE CENTER
The basement "disaster zone" that I mentioned in my last post has now become my 'creative space' where my creative energy can be put to good use until our carriage house/barn studio is up and running. I have three 6' folding tables which I have used for a multitude of activities and in my mind this is by far the best. Add to that a large desk waiting for a studio and we have lift off.

Table #1
I have one table for all those family photographs that have piled up over the years. I had a fit of brilliance about ten years ago and took all our photos out of photo albums to do something clever with them. It ended there. The great divide is around 1999. Life prior to that was all printed photos, life since has been digital. Lucky for me I have not printed many since I moved to digital but I do have A LOT of photos going back generations and I need to revisit them. I plan to share the love and pay it forward with many. I imagine they will bring a smile to family and friends. A very worthy creative project.

Table #2
If you have been following Collage of Life for a few years you will know that I have a love for postcards. There have been several mailings over the years to readers and I always love my time doing so. It also gives me an excuse to buy one for you and one for me...or maybe two or three in case I need them for a creative project. Well...I have A LOT of postcards and I am nostalgic for each and every one. They were a great source of creative energy in the past and I know they will be again. Don't be surprised if another postcard mailing comes up as a result. ;)



The Postcard Collection


Table #3
The creative table is the most important of all. This is the center of my creative energy, where the sparks of brightness are coming to light. It started last year while living in Sydney, with a silversmithing class and other creative workshops. Lately I have been dabbling with this and that, creating essential oil remedies for friends to try, topping off little sample bags for friends of 'Tahilla Farm Tea', a special blend I created during a workshop at Glenmore House.  The table is a collection of creative projects that are brewing away...

Table #4
I call this the expat table. Not nearly enough space but the center for all those things I collected during our lives in Vietnam, England, Australia and New Zealand. The paintings, artifacts, textiles, clothes, hats...you name it and it is there. It has been a wonderful walk down memory lane for me and with it a reminder of what I had intended for so many of them...another spark of creative energy.






HIS AND HERS LIBRARIES
I have a study, which I reluctantly use, I say reluctantly for lots of reason but one is that I do not feel the love in this room. It's a bit dark and for the past two years has become the 'dumping ground' for all those things I need to figure out what to do with someday. Over the past months I added a carpet, a coffee table, moved a few chairs, added FIVE lamps...but still...nothing, no love. I realized it was lacking all those things we need to spark creative energy...namely my books. Up to now I have been looking at a series of mystery, military history and assorted out of date text books belonging to Mr. H.

EPIPHANY....move the books!

Fortunately for Mr. H, he has a built in bookshelf in his wardrobe/closet. He now has a well ordered bookshelf of all his favorite authors. Mrs. H currently has a well ordered bookshelf of her 'bookfriends' the ones she likes to refer to when on a writing quest along with years of journals both filled and new. Amazing what a bit of book sorting can do for creative energy. I carried on to the guest rooms, the reading nook and the master bedroom. They have been defined by subject...travel, gardening, decorating, cooking, art and so on. Nothing like a well ordered library to get the creative energy flowing.






OPENING DOORS
It is only natural that when you open one door, it will lead you to another and another. The doors I recently opened were to my past and sometimes you need to look at your past before you can move forward. One of the boxes I pulled out was years worth of "ideas" for blog posts, the ones I hoped to get around to one day and never did. I read through them all and tossed most. What I did love was reading the old posts I had written and the comments that followed. I cherished the fact that so many of you are still with me all these years later. Reading about life in New Zealand and the move to England and then the move to Vietnam and the purchase of Tahilla Farm and the move to Hong Kong...it was surreal to go back and read our thoughts on it all. I admit I cried...mostly because I was thankful that I had written about it and thankful so many have been there to share the journey, both in the written word and in person. When I think of all the people I have met through Collage of Life and the fact that Tahilla Farm would not exist if I hadn't...well, it makes my creative heart just explode with joy.

Last weeks view...Tahilla Farm

On that note, I am going to take my creative energy and get back to work...the creative center is need of a bit more organization and my son finishes his work shift in a few hours! ;)


From one creative heart to another...
for I know you all are!
Thank you!


Gratitude unlocks
the fullness of life.
It turns what we have
into enough, and more.
It turns denial into
acceptance, chaos to
order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal
into a feast, a house
into a home, 
a stranger into a friend.

-Melody Beattie



Jeanne xx

PS..
How about you?
Any creative energy happening in your life?
If you would like to share your thoughts, 
I would love to read them.

You can write to me
  jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com



Sunday, January 14, 2018

In the month of January....a 'recharge' and a reading list


Lavender, books and a view from Mr. H's 'Master and Commander' window.



Happy New Year!

I hope your year is off to a roaring start or a gentle one...whichever suits you best. I ended the year with a wonderful big family roar and now that everyone has flown the coop, am easing into a gentle start.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas in New England....MERRY CHRISTMAS!






'Tis the wee hours of Christmas 
and all though the house, 
not a creature is stirring and if I am lucky, 
not even a mouse. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sharing the LOVE for My Stylish French Box and Christmas in Paris





How are you faring this holiday season? Are you feeling the magic yet? I had a super productive day yesterday which is a good thing because these past few days have not been as productive as I had hoped. I finally looked at the calendar and started counting...19 days until Christmas! Seven days before the first of our clan comes home for the holidays. I swigged two cups of coffee and felt the holiday magic. I love a productive day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Some Kind of Wonderful....Tahilla Farm

Follow the path...

I feel like that woman who stands on a street corner with traffic whizzing past her wondering if she should look left of right...because she has forgotten which country she is in. I started the month in Sydney, spent the mid-part of it in Hong Kong and am finishing it off in New Hampshire. All the while I have been thinking of writing about the answer to the BIG question I asked in my last post...deciding which winter scene to use for our 2017 Christmas photo. Just when I thought the decision was done and dusted... I arrived in New Hampshire to this...a blanket of fresh snow and more potential photo choices. I honestly couldn't think of a better welcome home gift from Mother Nature. If I could have wrapped my arms around her and Tahilla Farm I would have given them both the biggest squeeze...just so happy to be home!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Christmas Card Photo...which one do you like?



I am the first to say no, no, no when it comes to seeing Christmas decoration in stores in October. So it  must seem odd that I am asking for your advice on picking a Tahilla Farm Christmas card photo in October. But I am. ;)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Grace Notes...and Grandmothers


Ferry passing, Sydney Harbour


Dear Friends,

It's been wild here in Sydney these past weeks. Since I last wrote, Mr. H flew into Sydney for a week and flew back out to Hong Kong. We had a wonderful time, celebrating a wedding anniversary, catching up with family and friends, exploring and discovering four more Australian Aboriginal paintings to add to our Tahilla Farm art collection. I love them all but am particularly excited by the one below. It measures 4' by 6.7' and will hopefully hang above our kitchen island. We have been wanting something special for that space and as soon as it graced our presence we knew it was the one. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Celebrations and a Giveaway!


A new day, a new dawn and lots of news...in Australia


 You know that feeling 
when you are really really excited 
about something 
but you have to be patient 
and wait but you are really really 
excited 
and all you feel like doing 
is running in place 
and hopping up and down...
thinking it will possibly 
come faster if you do?

I have that feeling. 

For FIVE reasons.
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