Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Firsts and Lasts

The Broken Hill lasts are starting.  With only a month remaining here in this town I have grown to love, I am experiencing the This is the last time I will…. phase.  DSCN1493Sunday was my last class as a resident teacher and it has to be said that I have been spoiled here.  I reckon that my students on Broken Hill are up there with the best. They are so enthusiastic, committed, encouraging, brave(!) and patient.  We have lots of fun, lots of laughs and I am constantly inspired by what they make.

I try to make my classes enjoyable for those who like to learn a technique AND forDSCN1488 those who would just love to finish something. And preferable wear it! And underneath it all is my passionate conviction that each and every one of us is creative. Each class member receives a little card with a hand written message about creativity (selected by the universe!) and we share these at the start.  So often, people have said that a message was spot on for them.  (Read what gorgeous Deb said about her message from Neil Gaiman* here).

DSCN1476Last week we had a bloke come to the Fantastic Fold class (with Lamingtons!) and he produced a very fetching snake, cufflinks, a brooch to be and a room full of admirers.  The rest of us made bracelets, cuffDSCN1472 bangles and a wide array of beads.

My regulars wanted to learn how to make little figures like some of my Ladies of Colour and that was what we did yesterday. It was the first time I had taught these to this group.  To any group!  They produced gorgeous girls of colour, verve and chutzpah, just like them! Because it was my last class here for a while we finished with champers and nibbles.  Thanks to the ever patient Ian for kicking us off and so faithfully letting me in so I didn’t ever have to set off alarms.  (I have DSCN1486done this in the past and consequently have a wee phobia about.)

These Broken Hill polymeristas have so much drive, talent and a sense of fun so I do hope that they continue with their addiction. I sense they will!

*Neil Gaiman’s words about mistakes are some of my favourites. At least one person gets them each class:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying newDSCN1495 things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

DSCN1490So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

 

You can tell a lot about a girl by her caddy…

I don’t subscribe to many posts but one I love is Ginger Davis Allman’s The Blue Bottle Tree. She writes clearly, frankly and intelligently about all things polymer and her latest post about the Sculpey Organiser Tool prompted me to photograph my DSCN0933wonderful organiser!  We both agree that often the best storage tools come from other people’s junk.

I haunt our tip (as I may have mentioned before) and got these two caddies on two separate occasions. Gosh, I must have paid at least a dollar for them! I slightly modified one and find it to be a perfect tool caddy. It revolves. It is easy to shove in a box to take to classes and it was in one of those classes that students told me they were stands for remote controls! All I can say is that some people must have a lot of remote controls. I am just glad that sometimes they chuck out their holders!

I love that my fabulous texture sponges from Daniel and Natalia have their ownDSCN0936 slot and my extruder disks go in small containers blue tacked onto one of the corners. (Cynthia Tinapple’s have their own and the rest go underneath).  Another corner is for carving tools and a third for exacto blades which are stored in an old film canister (remember them!?) The final corner is for water spray when using molds.

DSCN0935I have a section for blades, a section for exacto handles and a Berocca tube stuck in one section is great fro storing my carving tools.  A second caddy is great for my pliers, scissors and measuring bits.  The careful observer will see that the caddy is decorated with a favourite Neil Gaiman quote:

Go and make amazing mistakes.  Make interesting mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes.  Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.

The presence of Bandaids clipped to the side indicate that at least I take the Make mistakes bit seriously!

Thoughts on a Thursday

image1. When you have travelled in planes for 24 hours and then driven in a car for 9 hours, sometimes even the company of your magnificent daughters and delightful grand-daughter is not enough to stave off sleep after Christmas lunch;

2. Today marks the beginning of Universal Letter Writing Week and I have undertaken to write one letter (albeit short!) each day for the week. A hand written letter in an envelope with a stamp. Read more about this here!

3. Truly understanding (thanks to being involved in this) that I am a human with limited time and energy and I must make hard choices every single day about where I can put that time and energy can make a profound difference. Jen Louden goes on to say It’s OK to mourn that I can’t do everything, but it’s not OK to pretend that I don’t have to choose.  Choosing is my art. Learning to live this made the latest time in Nepal very different and very special. For me and the ladies!

 

4. On a really long hot ( over 1000 km) drive when one hearing aid isn’t working so you1305549469484 can’t really talk and you only get inklings of music, you can make a wasabi coated pea – just the one – last for 20 minutes from mouth entry to swallowing final crumbs. I had to work up to it and think I could get to 30 minutes now. I can perfect the technique on the next long drive!

5. It’s always good to be reminded that the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your story, your mind, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. Thank you for your voice Neil Gaiman.

6. Sometimes, reorganising the studio is more important than unpacking.  But because I am learning about these, it was delightful rather than driven!  And not totally finished but good enough to be playing in!

DSCN06797. Visiting the remote  Solu Khumbu home and family of my dear bhai (and Colourful Journey co-leader) Bishnu Rai was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. A joy and a privilege.  We could have done without the earthquake in Okhaldhunga (5.9 on the Richter Scale) but it meant I was all over the earthquake drill when we had another one (tidily at 2.9) in Broken Hill the night we got home!

And who said you can’t maintain a unique sense of style in tiny Himalayan villages? I can tell you where to get the sparkly pink rubber chappals I was wearing with my thick purple socks.

Happy New Year. May we cultivate open, inquiring minds.

Brain Pickings

pbifxlx94sbrainThe magnificent Maria Popova describes herself as an interestingness hunter-gatherer and, in words that I relate to oh so well to, a Sherpa of curiosities. Her website Brainpickings is one of the highlights of my reading week! It is one of the few I actually subscribe to and the newsletter that comes each Sunday provides a week worth of interesting reading and links.  She says,

The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to culture, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas — like LEGOs. The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our creations will be.

I loved reading about the seven lessons Maria has learnt in the seven years of reading, writing and living Brain Pickings.

She constantly turns up interesting writings, thoughts and observations on living the creative life and an absolute cracker is here.

She didn’t get me onto Brene but loves her too and that’s a good endorsement in my eyes. Read here where she introduces one of the books that has had a truly profound effect on every single day of my life and how I live it.

She finds fabulous writing about living a meaningful life, the kind of stuff that makes you want to stop reading and go out and live it. So…stop reading, go!