Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ida Clare, It's Easter

Good Morning Creative Chicks!

Probably when you get here I will be out cavorting with that guy with the big ears.

And you think I mean the Easter Bunny!!!

"Ida, you're giving your readers the wrong impression.  You don't have a boyfriend."

Oh shuddup.  You are the most humorless woman. The only thing getting laid around here are the eggs out in the splendor of the grass up and down my street. 
Now, Ida Clare this is an Easter Bonnet if I ever saw one.

No, I just want to get outside in this lovely springtime weather wearing my Easter bonnet or in my case a three-color wig.  The style around here is to have parts of your hair dyed about three different shades if you count the darkest ones at your roots.  Really?

I can hardly maintain the one color God gave me.  There are fates worse than dyeing your hair, but every time I see that silver pathway working its way toward my forehead, I can't think of any.  If they had only told me I was going to need to know  chemistry to mix the ingredients to color my hair, I might have paid more attention in class.  As it is, I only know how to light up Bunson's burner.

But I digress.  I just want to wish you the Happiest of Easters spending it with your loved ones and families.



P.S  I am making you a little printable poster of this later in the week.  Check out the Freebies button. -Ida

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ida Clare, It's Bunny Wisdom

All I need to know I learned from the Easter Bunny:

So you are now up-to-date on all the bunny wisdom that I care to illustrate.
I would like to acknowledge these website that so graciously post and share images to use and enjoy providing hours of intense goofing-off time trying to make silly decisions that mean nothing to anyone but me and these rabbits who have been tooting their own horns for decades and never complain, so I will do it for them.

Thanks to:

I had fun doing these, but nothing else got done and I stayed up really late last night so that I am staggering around here sleep-deprived since they just had to be ready by Good Friday, according to my internal task-master.

Tomorrow, I am going to try to install the Pintrest button, so if you see that I was successful, please pin this post for me.   I need some new readers who leave comments, unlike you who come and go and only eat the snacks. (I'm kidding, of course!) I'm not complaining.  See my smiling face frozen into place.  It's been like that for decades too.

Ya'll have a Happy Easter!  Eat lots of candy because, according to the Easter Bunny, you can never have enough candy.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Ida Clare, I beg your pardon

I already knew what I wanted to write about this week.  I have been thinking about it for a while and I am trying to create a short e-book to go with the topic.  Alas, my short e-book gets longer every time I work on it.  (This has been going on for weeks!) Since I cannot present you with what I thought I was going to write about I have had to cast about for another subject.

What should be no-big-deal from anyone else's point of view seems to be huge to my BLOCKHEAD.  (My all-knowing-bossy-expert-on-all-things-Ida internal-critic is named Blockhead and is alive and well in my head, thank you very much.)

Ms. High and Mighty Blockhead is hammering me because I’ve changed my mind instead of congratulating me for still having a mind in spite of everything.

I won’t bore you with the nasty dialogue I am hearing inside my head: mean words I wouldn’t say to an enemy, I use to bludgeon my poor artist-self.

I can bet you know what it feels like to be confronted by small and not so small disappointments: 

•    Not doing what you said you’d do
•    Not starting or completing a project like you’d planned
•    A project not turning out like you’d hoped
•    This list could go on forever

It takes an amazing amount energy to live with disappointment, guilt, regret, and self-recrimination that it is no wonder we don’t do our art or resist doing what we love.  If you have to run the gauntlet of these feelings before you can resume your work, how can you expect to physically and mentally make yourself move forward?

I say, we need a daily forgiveness ritual. 

•    Goofed off yesterday?  Forgive yourself!
•    Left the cap off the tube of paint?  Let it go!
•    Didn’t finish your e-book? Grant yourself a pardon! (You deserve to live!)

Do you know that sound of the needle being pulled across a record to stop the music? I can hear it right now as the thought of forgiveness brings my idea to a screeching halt by a crabby old perfectionist with beady eyes pointing a crooked finger at me while scolding me with these pearls of wisdom:
•    “You’re letting yourself off the hook.”
•    “You’re tolerating bad behavior like you always do.”
•    “You’ll never create anything if you don’t hold yourself accountable.”

What is unforgivable is already done.  You can allow your Blockhead to have his or her way with you and wallow in the muck or you can choose to give yourself a break and start where you are.

Put the needle back on the record and play the music to the commercial that McDonald's used for years.  “You deserve a break today…”

•    Give yourself a break today. 
•    A forgiveness break. 
•    A letting-go break. 
•    Beg your own pardon…and grant it.

Don’t get hung up on the term, “forgiveness.”   The root of the word forgiveness means to let go.  Or you can always pardon yourself.  I like that too.

Start your day or your creative project by forgiving you for all the stuff you didn’t do; or didn't do well enough; or didn’t get marked off your to do list.

Humming that little song, “You deserve a break today…” made famous by McDonalds is your trigger to let go.

Have a carefree creative week,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ida Clare Spring has Sprung or How to Procrastinate without Really Trying

Well it’s Day 2 of Spring here in Big Thicket and evidently Mother Nature decided to sleep in.  It’s cold and blah and makes me want to do the same.

My blog posts were a little scarce last week because I was visiting friends and we were working on creative projects.  Theirs.  Not mine.  But that’s ok.  I enjoyed myself mightily just being away from Rancho Wrecko where sometimes my creative projects lurk around here like sirens beckoning ships upon the rocks. 

Image f rom:
As an aside:  When did ice cubes become rocks?  The waiter asked me while on my mini vacation, did I want my margarita frozen or on the rocks?  If one were to say, “I’d prefer mine with ice cubes,” would one get actual rocks?

Too Literal, Ida.

I know, but my mind wandered and when I am trying to avoid work it naturally wanders to food and drink.

You have a lot of stuff to do.  Last week you were gung ho to clean up your desk.  What happened?

Spring cleaning is no more fun than fall or winter cleaning.  And nobody in their right mind cleans house around here in the summer.  It’s too damn hot to do more than rake out a trail from the thermostat of the air conditioner to where you store the margarita machine in your kitchen. 

Mmm…Now I’m wondering why we use the term gung ho. 

I give up.

Yay me too!  Let’s give up and read a book.  Give up and go to a movie.  Give up and take a hot bubble bath.  Give up and call a friend.  Give up and pet the cat.  All these things can promote creativity; they just don’t look productive or gung ho.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Ida Clare, I'm spring cleaning

Pep Rally Friday

Ida Clare, it’s time for some cheering.  I have been involved in two separate hands-on creative projects this week and I am still ready to go but my house looks like a creative hurricane hit.

Creative cheer:

Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar
If I don’t clean my house
It’s gonna turn into squalor.

"There is nothing cheerful about that Ida.  Nobody wants their house to be considered squalor.  What’s squalor got to do with creativity?"

The only reason I put that in there about squalor is that it rhymes with dollar and I don’t know many other cheers since obviously I wasn’t a real cheerleader in junior high or high school.

But now that we’re on the subject: Creativity is messy and isn’t messy heading down the road to squalor?  Doing projects requires books to learn about your craft, tools, materials, and the storage to hold all the goodies and a place to strew it all about.  If that doesn’t affect your Martha Stewart image, I don’t know what will.  Plus, there is all that secret stuff you have that you haven’t yet shared with the people who live in the house with you. 

"Huh?  What do you mean?"

Oh don’t play innocent with me.  We’ve all done it. 

I used to hide my tole-painting paint under the front seat of my car from my first ex-husband.  He thought I had about six tubes of paint because I would switch them out when I needed another color.  I was afraid that he’d put his foot down if he knew how much my “paint habit” cost just to paint apples and strawberries on little wooden plaques.

The point I am trying to make is that when you create, there is a lot of stuff that comes with creativity and it eventually takes over your garage, the basement, the kitchen table, the storage on your computer, or in my case, my car.

So what!!!!!  You are a creative genius and genius requires stuff.   And that stuff requires the occasional sorting and cleaning and organizing. 

So for today I am going to cheerfully get busy and put some things in order no matter how much cleaning stinks.  As bad as I don’t love doing it, it is part of the creative process.  I can work in chaos as well as the next guy, but I love it when my little creative corner is clean and neat too.  Why don't you join me?

So today’s cheer is

Two bits, four bit, six bits a dollar
I don’t like it but
Let’s clean up the parlor.

Oh God, Ida.  You are hopeless.

Pretty much.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Have a Happy Muse Day

I’m out and about in Big Thicket searching for my muse high and low.  By that I mean High Falutin' and Low Down.

Have a great Museday.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ida Clare, That's a Good One!

Ida Clare, It’s Friday.

Don’t you just love the promise of Friday?  It’s the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend and there is a tall, cool and handsome margarita in my future.

 I am excited because I did some digital art yesterday and (as they say here in Big Thicket) it’s a good-en.  What?  Don't you know what a good-en is?

Maybe I could start a Big Thicket Word of the Day Email Service just like Dictionary DotCom to clear up some of the words that are creeping into my vocabulary like mold in the shower stall.  I try to keep it clean but first thing you know, I’ve slipped up and broken my vow to speak the English I spoke before I arrived here.

Word of the Day for Friday, March 8, 2013

Good-en [goo d~`uhn], noun and adjective conveniently rolled into one handy word.
  1. East Texas Speak. Word muttered to keep from having to actually use facial muscles to speak when indicating excellence.  Also helps to prevent showing real enthusiasm for the subject because if someone here thinks you like something really well, they will steal it, kill it or sleep with it.
  2. Hollywood. Good-en should not be confused with the actor’s name, John Goodman who portrayed Rose Ann’s husband on the show Rose Ann even though they sound exactly the same.
The intensity of the atmosphere in the mobile home’s living room relaxed considerably when Marshall declared the 72” television to be a good-en.  --Confessions of an East Texas Madam, 2011
We were all glad to see that Mr. Gooden had lost some weight because we don’t want anything to happen to him cause as an actor, he’s a good-en. –Gossip column in the Big Thicket Gazette, 2012

(Is the opposite of a good-en, a bad-en?)  Oh dear, I’ve already been here too long because I can use bad-en in a sentence:  We saw a buggy wreck on Aisle 12 at the Wal-mart and it was a bad-en.  If that sentence makes sense to you, your ear for languages is a good-en.

Ok, now that’s out of my system I am going to share the name of my new digital best friend, a free photo editing website.  Let me be clear, there are parts you can’t use unless you upgrade to their paid royal service, but you can do a lot here that will make your photographs look like you know how to operate your camera.  I took a photography class and I still don’t know what half the stuff on my camera means, but it’s Friday, so I’m not going to complain.

Picmonkey’s tagline is “Easy, fast, fearless, photo embetterment,” which makes one wonder if these monkeys hail from this part of the country, but don’t hold that against them. They got game.  If you don’t have Photoshop, you will appreciate this website.  If you do and are intimidated every time you load the program like me, you are going to appreciate it even more.

You can do all the basics like crop and resize and remove the red-eye of your family members who happen to be vampires and were trying to keep it quiet until your camera outted them.   Picmonkey can even whiten their fangs and give them a nip and tuck.

The real fun you can have is making some digital art by using textures and effects or if you are feeing evil, a mustache on your grandma.  The possibilities are endless and will make you look smart and creative or at least like a person who has way too much time on your hands.  They do have a help section that is at the bottom of the very front page but I haven’t seen a way to access it when you actually need it.  Just give it a try and see what you think.  Here is a before and after photo I did with this nifty little program.  I would have probably deleted this photo, so it's worth it to take a second look at some of those rejects.
 Well it was fun doing this anyway.  Tell me what you think then try it for yourself and have some fun.

Happy Friday,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ida Clare, My pom poms ain't what they used to be!

Even though I was never a cheerleader in high school and my pom poms ain’t what they used to be, I can still “you go girl” with the best of them. I bet you can too.

When I wrote Monday’s blog post, I was really feeling the need for creative life support and it occurred to me that I may not be the only one whose creativity needs to be hooked up to an I.V. 

One of the things I have often admired about the artful blogging community is that we are kind to each other and to each other’s creativity.  Any time you comment positively on someone’s work your voice may carry the exact bit of cheer that helps them to create again on another day.

Do you have a vicious internal critic like mine that can shoot down a good idea, poo poo a project or insult your best intentions?  I call that internal voice, Blockhead.

If your Blockhead lies to you like an ex-husband who owes you money, you need a cheerleader with big giant pom poms that will tell you the truth.

So join me right now for a little truth-telling Pep Rally.  Let’s start with one of Blockhead’s favorites.

Blockhead:  You are not creative or You’re not creative enough to _______ (fill in the blank).

Ida Cheerleader: We are all born uniquely creative.  Our Blockhead would have us believe the big lie that only a talented few are blessed with creativity and we weren’t invited when they were handing out the gifts.

We yearn to do our art but Blockhead wants us to define art with a capital A; something that other people with more creativity, more energy, or more education do with spontaneous ease.  I define art with a small “a” that says doing art is a natural right, something we came to this earth to do; create as we were created. 

Doing what your creative spirit urges you to do in spite of training or no training, recognition or none, support or opposition: yielding to the nudge that says, “Go ahead; it will be alright. Make it into being.”  And you do.  That is art; that is creativity; that is who you are.

Even if you have been practicing your craft for years, Blockhead will find a way to sabotage a good creative buzz.  That’s why we all need the occasional pep rally where we raise our voices to drown out the mean spirited internal critic who tells us big fat lies that can cost us a lifetime of joy.

This concludes today’s Pep Rally, my big idea from Monday.  I’m thinking I need more of these in the future and I’ll need you to bring your pom poms too.

Your Creativity Cheerleader:

Hey, I learned how to make this sign in PicMonkey:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ida Clare, I Could Use Your Support

When I moved to Big Thicket a lot of things had to go and I’m not just talking about a no-good lying ex-husband. Even though I had little more to my name than my tarnished reputation and the black garbage bag full of clothes I couldn’t sell at the She/She Resale Shop, I brought a lot of baggage with me when I came here and it’s not necessarily the kind that rolls behind you on little bitty wheels.

What I wish I could have packed instead of my cranky disposition and resentful attitude are the members of my writing group. This writing group had participants who have been showing up for meetings for twelve years. It originally began from an Artist Way Group that morphed into a group that needed an outlet to read our work in a safe place.

Until then, the only opportunity I had ever had to read something that I had thoughtfully and laboriously written to an audience were those pesky wedding vows that never were reciprocated no matter how many times I did the rewrite.

Having supportive members of your tribe are the best gifts the universe of creativity can bestow upon you, but they don’t just appear out of the ether. You have to look for them where they hang out, test-drive them to see if they’re a fit, and build trust.

Note to self: Ida, you won’t find them while playing Cityville or watching The Amazing Race.

Creativity needs support. Even if you enjoy creating alone, someone somewhere will eventually be in the position to give you truthful feedback and you want that person to be one who has walked the rocky path just like you. Like the annoying old-maid aunt who always told your mother how to raise her children, you don’t want that person to tell you how to corral a bunch of youthfully exuberant creative ideas when she has never done more than chase down a pencil to write out a grocery list.

I miss my writing peeps. There was a flurry of emails among some of us the other day and the writing was so tasty that it fed me the way no buffet of mindless television or fried cheese and marinara sauce can.

If you don’t already have a tribe, won’t you be a member of mine?

If you like to create in whatever capacity, let’s agree to support each other by:

Checking in
Showing up to do our work
Being honest about what our challenges are
Supporting each other to have fun
Being open to possibilities
Expecting creative miracles
Tolerating mistakes
Being a beginner
Cheering each other on

I'll be your Creativity Cheerleader.


P.S. Hey ya’ll this post gave me a BIG Idea. Tune in Wednesday and I’ll share.