Creative Tip: Take a Field Trip

One of the best motivators to clean your house is to invite guests over. Am I right? Well, the same goes for visiting nearby museums. Sometimes it takes a visitor to get you out the door.

That’s what happened this weekend. It’s been forever since I’ve trekked (all of 18 miles) up to Bentonville to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When family came to visit this weekend to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday, we decided to spend a day touring the museum. #bestdecisionever

State of the ArtRight now CB has an exhibit called State of the Art, which is incredible. It’s only here until Jan. 19th, so I would have kicked myself if I missed the chance to see this American wonder.

To quote the ads, “Over the course of a year, the (curatorial) team logged more than 100,000 miles across the United States and visited nearly 1,000 artists looking for people who haven’t been fully recognized on a national level, yet.”

The result is an exhibition that draws from every region of the country and offers a diverse look at American art. Everyone should have a chance to review and absorb this beauty. The museum feels this way, too, which is why admission is free of charge.

This field trip did wonders for my creative spirit. I didn’t realize how stagnant I was until I saw such inventive and thoughtful art.

I snapped a few pics of my faves to share. It was tough narrowing these down, though.

Compilation

(L to R) 1. Avery & Clara in the crocheted tunnel by Jelia Gueramian; 2. Hand-cut paper moth by Hiromi Mizugai Moneyhun; 3. “Forever” by John Salvest made with secondhand romance novels; 4. “World Map” by Emily Erb made with dye on silk. I wanted to wrap myself in this veil of softness – but that would have ended our visit all too soon.

Forever Books

A close look at some of the books in “Forever”.

crochet tunnel

A wide shot of the crochet tunnel. It was wild and colorful – like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Lottery Tickets

“Ghost of a Dream” by Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was made with discarded lottery tickets. There’s a closeup pic on the bottom. Can you believe someone found beauty in a scratch ticket?

Ghosts of Consumption

Here’s another ghostly image. “Ghosts of Consumption” consists of objects and trash found in ocean water off the coasts of Hawaii, Alaska, Greece and Costa Rica. I spy a bike petal. Whaat?

 

Telescope

A telescope made from holes in the drywall by Chris Sauter. Brandon had to point out how this was made – and it was even cooler once I made the connection to the wall. Thanks, sweet B.

Circle

I was really drawn to this painting by Kelsey Brookes. It’s reminiscent of 60s culture, and the center of the painting “moves” as you walk past the art. Super interesting.

Compilation2

I love this collection pulled together in one picture. (L to R) 1. Emergent” by Isabella Kirkland, an artist and scientist who has documented endangered and extinct animals; 2. Daffodils encased in glass composite by Flora Mace; 3. “Anthropocene 1” by Pam Longobardi painted on copper

Stairwell of String

This pic was snapped in the stairwell where hundreds (maybe thousands?) of multicolored threads were stretched from wall-to-wall creating a gorgeous spectrum by artist Gabriel Dawe. A sight to see!

While the tour ended here, the impact of the outing has stayed with me. I was reminded how important it is to get out of our comfortable homes and workplaces every now and then to see what the rest of the world is up to. I certainly I felt a jolt of inspiration on this visit, and I wish this upon every creative soul out there (and that includes you).

When I started this creativity blog, I told Brandon how sad it is to hear people say, “Oh, I’m not creative.” That simply isn’t true, and I want to help people connect back to their creativity.

If you woke up and dressed yourself today, you are creative. Look at the fabrics, the colors, the accessories, and the way you styled your hair. You made creative decisions all morning! The secret is to recognize and be grateful for your expressions – and more opportunities to feel this way will show up.

It’s okay to start off by following other people’s lead. My daughter Avery came home from our field trip and started painting her own version of Sonya Clark’s “Albers Interaction” series.

Avery's Art

Avery’s painting is at the top. The bottom art is by Sonya Clark who wrapped colored thread around stacks of hair combs. Clark actually makes a direct reference to Modernist painter Josef Albers and his “Homage to the Square”. So it’s like inspiration inception!

Avery started to dismiss her work by saying she just copied what she saw. I told her that her work is just as important because she made it her own. Once she got it, she felt inspired to keep going. That’s the point. Keep going. See what new paths you can carve, and don’t stop there. Even if it takes being inspired by someone else to get you started.

Trust in yourself and your creative voice. It knows the answer to everything. Sometimes it just takes stepping out for a bit to hear what’s inside.

Avery Admiration

Avery contemplating our visit at the museum  – or just looking for some fish 😉

What’s your favorite place to visit for inspiration? Share with us here, on Twitter or Instagram. Use #CreativeTipTues or tag me @Katejandersen.

Most creative wishes to you!

-Kate

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Friday Wrap and Year Beginnings!

New Year's Cheer

A New Year’s Cheers!

In case you haven’t been properly wished upon, yet, Happy New Year!!!

Our family spent the evening with a group of friends playing all kinds of crazy games – and tricks. It was the kind of fun that literally landed me on the floor laughing. It had nothing to do with the Moscow Mules, either. It was all about the awesome people, which we’re super thankful to have come to know.IMG_5099Then yesterday we kicked off the year with an amazing meal. My SIL served up a proper, southern New Year’s feast of Hoppin’ John (black eyed peas for good luck), collard greens (for wealth and abundance) and cornbread (for good fortune). I made sure to have seconds – for the luck and all. Wink.

hoppin-john

I was so busy eating, I didn’t grab a photo! This is basically what it entailed – a bowl full of delicious rice, black eyed peas and other veggies and seasonings.

This meal, and the past few days to be honest, has left me feeling incredibly blessed. Good food, good friends, good family moments…the best gifts of the season. I hope you’re feeling equally as thankful and are excited to keep the good things going.

Speaking of good things, here are five I’ve truly loved and/or obsessed about this past week that I had to share – outside of my SIL’s incredible food. I wish I could share that, too.

{ONE} Horse Race

horse race

We played with a cool, handmade version of this game.

This was THE best party game of new year’s eve. If you ever have a chance to play horse race, do it. And don’t fall for it when someone tells you it’s a game where you run with stick horses around the kitchen. Just trust me – and the floor I fell on.

{TWO} Melting Moments Cookies

Melting Moments

Seriously so good.

I made a few batches of these for our neighbors over the holidays, and I have since made several more batches (who’s counting?) for our own family to devour. These are seriously sinful. And like the name says, they melt in your mouth.

I tried making a gluten-free version for my parents using GF flour. They didn’t turn out so great. I might have botched things when I melted the butter vs. used room temp. I’m not the best baker in town, so I honestly don’t know if that made the difference? Maybe someone has a better GF version? For now, here’s the real deal from Give Recipe (that even I could bake):

Ingredients

  • 1 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar + 1 cup to sprinkle on top
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (not melted!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine flour, cornstarch and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture until everything is blended.
  5. Chill the dough for half an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Make mini balls from the dough, and place on the baking sheet leaving about 1-inch space.
  9. Bake for 13 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before sifting powdered sugar over the top.
  11. Eat them. All. Then lick your fingers.

{THREE} Vision Boardssample vision boardEarlier this week I wrote about vision boards. They’re a pretty powerful way to map out your goals if you haven’t tried your hand at making one, yet. I finished mine (for now) and feel pretty good about how things are mapping out this year. I hope you’re able to take some time to do the same for yourself. Once you have an idea of what you want, it makes it so much easier to break things down into mini steps that you can put in your calendar (or gorgeous planner), which so eloquently brings us to number four…

{FOUR} Day Planners!

Day Designer

I’m so in love with this Day Designer. Belle & Blush sells these beautiful planners. They have tons of other amazing things, too. (Thank you notes, anyone?!) They’re definitely worth checking out. Tell ’em The Neat Nook sent ya!

This time of year reminds me of the first day of school. Stocking up on fresh notebooks and new calendars. I plan to kick it old school this year and use a day planner. I think the act of putting pen to paper makes things feel more official – like a contract. I’m going to see if it makes a difference getting things accomplished this year. Wish me luck!

There are so many great planners to choose from. I landed on a Day Designer by Whitney English. When I read, “It was created with creative professionals, busy mamas, and girls-on-the-go in mind,” I was like, um, that pretty much sums up my life. So I looked no further. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorite tips and tricks with the planner as I go!

{FIVE} Solmate Socks

Solmate Socks

These are from Handmade Market right here in Fayetteville. Darling store!

This was the dark horse of all the gifts in my stocking this year. I didn’t realize how much I could love a pair of socks until these precious things came into my life. They are super cozy, yet not too thick to fit inside your favorite boots. I live in them as much as I can – and probably need to get more for this winter we’re about to have. Snowy weather + cozy socks = happiness. Yes?

So, 2015…I feel good vibes about this one.

I’m looking forward to growing friendships, enjoying lots of family time, venturing into new projects and embracing my imperfections through it all. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Let’s make this year memorable!!

Love and creative wishes,

Kate

Fiveonfriday

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