A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Friday, September 24, 2010

London Fashion Week

from The Daily Beast website
Photo: Electric blue evening dress, Amanda Wakeley, designer
For more photos of London Fashion Week: The Daily Beast,
also, NICOLETTE MASON.blogspot

Creative Flow

Removing obstacles to creativity - a perspective
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never
  tried anything new.”   Albert Einstein
Creativity is flowing energy. Think of it as river which is unimpeded and continually coursing into the ocean. And cyclically, the process restarts without pause. This energy is actually felt in the body as excitement; a refined, stimulating and usually, balanced, enthusiasm. When you feel this way you are positive and self-assured and you feel anything can be accomplished. You are a center of power with the ability to demonstrate your thoughts. You move into the world with confidence and trust.

Comfort is a friend of creativity. To nurture this friendship you must move barriers out of the way, advancing through, around and beyond them. There are times in all our lives when it is practically impossible to be creative. If a friend or relative is ill we are concerned. If we, ourselves are ill, our energy is focused upon healing. If we are out of work, we are worried. If we have offended someone, we feel shame. Unless one is an enlightened Himalayan Master, we will feel blocked, occasionally. When blocked it is best to experience the issue comprehensively and without judgment. In time the block will dissolve and once more you will be able to nurture your flow of creative energy.

It's not always that simple, but you have a choice in the matter. You can choose to extricate yourself from or move through a block by taking action - or you can choose to nurture it. Citing one example from above, if you have offended a friend, find a solution; communicate with your friend and apologize. Remember, it's your block. You created it and you can move it out of the way. To develop this further, if your friend should decide the offense is too great to continue the relationship, then you must make a decision to bring about closure. Perform a ritual if you must. Light a candle, grieve, say goodbye and let go. Shortly, you will discover your creative energy is, again, circulating.

What if the block has nothing to do with an event, but, all to do with not being able to paint the next stroke or write the next line of prose or music? You may be dealing with an issue such as self-judgment, comparison (to another artist's work), lack of self-confidence, etc. When the problem is internal, then you must unblock by "revolution". For example, if you are a writer, you might take any number of actions. If writing on a computer, then change it out and write with a pad and pencil. If you are abruptly censoring each passage and rewriting it, then just write without censorship - get all your thoughts out without stopping. You might want to go outside or to another environment within your home. Or you might stop completely, leaving home for a few hours - but, go somewhere unique. Jog or take a walk. But, do not continue to repeat the same routine. Overthrow it!

Unblocking by revolution will only work if, at the end, you are willing to just stop for awhile. You may need to take a break. Sometimes taking a break and recreating your routine is all you need to remove your self-imposed obstacle. In doing so, you may "find" answers by gently looking for them. Be conscious during this break but, don't make it a chore or another self-imposed creative act. Allow spontaneity and joy.

Many have written about the topic of blocked creativity. This information is not new. However, each time I read an article or book on a topic of interest, I learn something more - and I may find another angle or viewpoint unknown to me before. When you least expect to find an answer - when you are not consciously searching - in this moment will the answer come.

Ultimately, once you are able to identify the block, you have the creative power to move it aside. Identify first, act next. Take a break, if you must. Return to creativity.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Earth Awards

From The Earth Awards website:
The Earth Awards is an aspirational platform that recognizes innovation and inspires positive change for all our futures.
The Awards celebrate designers from the worlds of architecture, innovation, product design, process efficiency, fashion, and social justice and gives shape to their vision.
Innovative designs and new technologies propel us forward. They challenge us to rethink the way we live today and present opportunities to redesign the world of tomorrow.
A consortium of the greatest creative thinkers of our time makes up the Earth Awards Selection Committee.
Their task is to identify viable innovations which have the potential to improve our quality of life. These innovations are then presented to world industry leaders who have the means to bring them to market.
Since its foundation in 2008, The Earth Awards has evolved to become a truly global initiative. It successfully encourages designers, innovators and consumers from many different cultures to come together and find new ways to build a better tomorrow. The Earth Awards (TEA) is an aspirational platform that recognizes innovation and inspires positive change for all our futures.
Founder: Nicole Ting Yap
Director, Co-Founder: Karena Albers 
Selection Committee

The Earth Awards website

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Forage LA - fresh produce from the community

Silverlake (Los Angeles) 
Before you take a bite of Forage LA's delicious food, there is something you should know - the produce is grown by your local farmer. When we say "local farmer" we're talking about your neighbor's garden - literally. Take a peek over your back fence. See any vegetables or fruit growing there? If so, you might be dining on those fresh carrots, lettuce or beets on your next visit to Forage LA Restaurant.
Home growers, certified by the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commission, bring in their seasonal fruits, vegetables, and nuts each day. Their garden bounty is then transformed by owner/chef, Jason Kim, into the freshest, most delicious salads, entrees and desserts this side of the farm. You can almost taste the sunshine!

From the Forage website, "It is our hope that this circle of home growers can spark a rich community dialogue that will benefit anyone who values the idea of developing a better relationship with food. To us that relationship is all about knowing what you eat, enjoying what you eat and caring about how what you eat is grown and prepared."
On a given day, you might find the following menu items:
  • Awesome Avocado Sandwich - crusty baguette topped wit cabbage, tomato, fennel, pickles and Mexican Pationa - and plenty of avocado - served with a choice of soup or salad
  • Braised Brisket Lasagna - beef brisket braised with tomatoes, encased in polenta sheets with parmesan cream, greens, root vegetables, onions, and garlic
  • Duck for Two - served with teamed buns, scallions, cucumbers and hoisin. Very limited special.
  • Jidori Chicken - Jidori, or "chicken of the earth" is raised locally on a family farm. We gently roast them with herbs and garlic.
  • Farro and Lentil Salad with fennel, carrots and spigarello (a delicious broccoli relative)
  • Ricotta Cheese Cake with Dancing Demon Plums
  • Brown Butter Hazelnut Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache 
Forage is not your typical restaurant. The menu changes daily and can be viewed on the website, or you can allow yourself to be surprised.
Upon entering the restaurant, consult the chalkboard and/or menu, place your order and find a table. Shortly, your food is served upon trays, cafeteria-style.

Chef Jason Kim, once a sous chef at Lucques (think award winning, Suzanne Goin), has created, yet, another place to dine in Silverlake. It is simple, casual and without pretension.
And no matter whether you read the online menu or allow the element of surprise, you won't be disappointed.
Forage LA website

Please see our earlier stories dealing with locally grown food:
Alice Waters - April 28, 2010
Meet Your Farmer - August 1, 2010
Ubuntu Restaurant, Napa -August 19, 2010

Below - selected photographs of Forage LA's home growers:
Jared's Silverlake Loquats
Gina + her mom share their oregano, thyme, and geraniums
Forage Harvest - carrots and parsley
Matt shares his grapefruits + organges
Ron + Merle share their beautiful Kale

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Literary Jewelry by Little Fly of London

Throughout history, people have adorned themselves - whether with rings or necklaces, bracelets or other - whether of gold or silver, wood or stone, carved  bone or shell. Early Jewelry was both decorative and functional, used to secure clothing or to keep hair pinned back from the face. However, over time jewelry was, and still is, used to embellish the human body, gifted as an expression of love or to celebrate life's transitions.
Since the dawn of man, people the world over have chosen to create, from almost every material imaginable, jewels to adorn their bodies. 
Currently, a new form of jewelry, made by Mr. Jeremy May, is fashioned by laminating sheets of paper carefully extracted from recycled books. Although jewelry made of paper is not new, what makes these jewels unique is that they are conceptual works of wearable art - cut from the pages of literary works, layered and lacquered, and shaped into meaningful ornaments of beauty.

Mr. May, a Landscape Architect born in Suffolk, England, started Little Fly in 2009. He is the sole fabricator of each and every jewel. Nothing is outsourced. Each jewel starts with a meaningful passage removed from a vintage book; a book which has ..."a history - people bought them, read them, made notes on them, sold them or gave them as gifts or passed on to vendors such as those along the Seine in Paris, a second-hand bookshop in the university district of Tokyo, in Vathis Square in Athens, a local charity shop, or donated."
A distinct quote is removed from a book which is inspirational to either to Mr. May or to a client desiring a customized ring. The shape of the ring is then created out of the meaning of each quote; albeit, a non-literal representation. Cut from the depths of the book, the layered pages emerge and are prepared to begin the creative process of compressed lamination and lacquering.

When complete, each unique ring is given a serial number and boxed within the book from which it emerged.
Meaning is encased within each layer and glimpses of the words of renowned authors, such as Charles Dickens, appear as ghostly imprints or visages of color.
Of course, the element of time enters into the equation, as well. A literary work, written and published many years ago is presently re-worked - or to use Mr. May's word, "reincarnated", while emerging into another, newer art form. Something old is recycled into something new.

While ancient jewelry was made to adorn the body, Mr. May's jewelry, whether worn or  allowed to remain encased in its parent book, is based in a concept making its way through time - an ornament transformed through meaning.
For more information and to learn more about Jeremy May's rings and other jewelry,
please visit the Little Fly website
A few more photographs:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Fastest Cars Ever

For more on this story, please view:
The Fastest Cars Ever (thedailybeast)

First made in 2002, the Enzo Ferrari was named for the company's founder. Produced in a limited edition of 349. Fifty more were manufactured upon demand - and one was built for auction at Sotheby's Maranello Auction, 2005 - benefitting survivors of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.
With a top speed of 226 mph, the Enzo can climb to 100 mph in 6.6 seconds.
Original price: $660,000.
Currently trades close to $1 million.
For another car story - see Jay Leno at the Concours d'Elegance

The Beauty of Science - 'theory of everything'

A new study by Professor Michael Duff FRS, suggests researchers can now test the 'theory of everything'.
For more than 25 years, string theory, which was developed to describe the forces and fundamental particles which make up our universe, has become the favorite assertion of this theory for physicists.
The photograph, above, is a two-dimensional representation of a Calabi-Yau manifold - which some string theorists suggest, could take this shape.
The aesthetics of this image - representing something from scientific theory - is so visually alluring. It leaves us wondering - and transports us into its world where science is left far behind and where beauty reins.
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