January 23, 2017

A Thought or Two: All Great Thoughts

(Yes, I did just insert myself into a Nietzsche quote...) 

As I procrastinate reading over my first paper of the term, I found myself reading articles for creatives. How to get inspired, how to get noticed, how to become the next Picasso.... that sort of stuff. I came across an article by Alex Mathers that I really enjoyed: Why 'Idea Adventures' Have Become the Most Important Part of My Day. It's from this article that I pulled my Nietzsche quote, and it all got me thinking about how I personally function.

Mathers writes about leaving the house, physically moving around, talking to someone new, looking at something other than your computer screen or sketchbook and the four walls of your studio/bedroom/basement... I realized that, as a highly sociable creative, this is one of the ways that I keep myself sane. When I spend a whole day without leaving my apartment? I go nutty. It's just the way things seem to go. Sometimes when I feel I have too much work to do to, or the weather is absurdly gross (we had a week of freezing rain last week...), I need to shake things up in a different way. Usually I'll do yoga, or take a hot hot shower. Just last Monday, a really exciting new idea for my Master's research emerged during my shower, somewhere in between soaping up my armpits and singing off-key and loudly to myself.

I love Mathers' notion of Idea Adventures, and I think an adventure can be something different for everyone. Sometimes it's an adventure to a different room, to the café around the corner, the park 20 minutes away, or a whole new continent. I'm taking this as a reminder to myself to MOVE, to SHAKE things up, and to ADVENTURE, whenever I start feeling frustrated, uninspired, or unmotivated. And as a last resort, I can always take a nice hot shower.

What do you do when you need to shake things up a little?

January 11, 2017

House of Ell Instagram!

This year I'm taking the time to "curate" a House of Ell instagram account associated with this blog. My goal for it is to help build community in a quick and easy way (I love that I can tag directly to other peoples' accounts!) but also not be one of the instagram accounts that only shares other peoples' stuff and gets popular from featuring others. I'm aiming for a 50-50 balance of my own photos and artwork, and others'.

It's been fun and inspiring so far to collect images that I find beautiful and post them all in one spot. I love seeing them all in a square grid when I look at my profile as a whole, and I've been enjoying connecting a bit with other creatives. I'm looking forward to seeing what this instagram door opens up for me!

Follow along @house.of.ell on instagram! And let me know if you'd ever be interesting in having your work added to the little online collection ;)

January 9, 2017

Colour Lovin' 06: Three Stones

Colour Lovin' is a series of colour palettes based on images I love. It is my hope that these colour palettes offer some visual stimulation and inspire creatives who might find themselves in need of a starting point or creative prompt!

These three stones (and two bracelets) reside on my bedside table and each has its own story. I'm not normally one for the power and spirituality of stones and gems, but these 3 have specific stories, and I love nature's little pieces and how varied and different they can be.

The light pink stone was given to me by friends before moving and starting school. I can't remember the kind of stone it is right now (sorry Kerry!) but in their note they told me it was to help me remember I am loved and feel better if I get homesick while I'm at school. And I do, so it's been a nice little reminder to have around.

The blue is a weird story, actually. The same friend as above came with me to another friend's place after drinks downtown, the same night as I was given the pink stone! He broke his blue crystal and realized there were equal parts as there were people in the room and took it as a sign that we should all have a piece. It was a great night until a certain time of night where alcohol caused the energy to change and someone was saying things they maybe shouldn't. Nothing bad enough to make me not want to keep this piece of crystal, though!

The red stone was given to me by my fella when we were in Greece. He combed the stoney beach in Rhodes to find me some pretty stones, and this was one of them. I like to remember the warmth of that trip, both physically and mentally between the two of us.

Do you collect crystals or stones? Tell me the story of your collection!

January 4, 2017

New Years Mantra, 2017

I used to be all about the resolutions, the birthday year goals (18 before 19 anyone?), the lists of plans. I still am an avid to-do list kinda gal, and I find it helpful to use a written planner and write down my grocery lists. It's been a long time since I've done actual resolutions though. The last couple of years I have done New Years Mantras: Have Courage (2014, 2015), Let Go (2017), and these resonate well with me.

Letting go was a harder one for me than have courage was previously. I let go of let go, so to speak. While I was able to let go of a lot of past events, which was the original intention of this mantra, I had trouble letting go of things in the moment this year. I've been trying to figure out why it is I am still frustrated by the same things over and over again, and that I run to my various listening ears to vent to them every time things happen. For some of these events there is never new information or new happenings: just new days. I still need to find a way to let go of these moments as they happen.

Reflecting on why it is that I have trouble, I think I have one of the big reasons pegged down. The reason I am continuously disappointed and frustrated is because I hold onto this expectation that things will change, that some people will change. I am not a pessimist: I truly believe that people can change. However, maybe I am too optimistic, and I wonder if my belief that things/people can change is clouding my judgement about whether or not things/people will change.

So maybe it's time for a combined mantra: it's time to let go of these expectations, or perhaps to adjust them. Things might change, but I can't count on it to happen when I want it to happen.

I also have a couple of very concrete goals for the new year, even though I'm not into resolutions. I want to be way more organized about my digital files: transferring photos from my phone to computer, organizing them well on my hard drive, backing everything up.... nothing like a new year to start a big ol' 2017 folder!

Anyway - the goal of this post is not to sound as vague or serious or dreary as it is now sounding (oops!). It's actually a happy realization, I think. Either way - I am happy. I had a wonderful new years eve with special people, I am back at school and excited for what this term will bring me, and I am ready to enjoy my last months in my lovely apartment, getting to know this new city.

What have you got planned for the new year?