capture life + create art | issue twenty nine
June 4, 2008


"Dream big, work harder. Have lots of fun, lift a finger, do something for someone else. Cheer your friends on. Cheer yourself up. Celebrate as much as possible. Enjoy everything. Right now. It's OK to want more and do more but be present with where you are or who you are with. Don't rush the situation - even if it's bad. Move on when you can. Don't settle. Try everything you can and get over everything holding you back." [ Alex Beauchamp ]

This week I am writing about life.

I am writing about connecting and choices and opportunities to live a life infused with creativity.

It is so very possible.


[ And check out the full entry from Alex Beauchamp that is quoted above: Living Well Isn't Just About Organic Fruit.]

Infusing Your Life With Creativity

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. [ Dawna Markova ]

"I will not die an unlived life." I find myself thinking of these words often as I am making choices for myself, for my business, or for our family. Those seven little words help me to take risks, to get outside of myself, so I can live to my fullest creative potential.

Here's the thing: I want my personal masterpiece, my ultimate creative act, to be the way in which I live my life.

I fail at this all the time. Every day I wake up and I try again, moving one foot in front of the other, because some days I am really good at infusing my actual moment-to-moment living with creativity. Being present, paying attention, making connections, not just going through the motions, using my gifts for good, living with my eyes and heart open - all these things are how I strive to live.

They aren't easy.

But they do get easier over time. It becomes more natural to slow down and pay attention, to listen, to embrace the processes. Living this way feels good. It is empowering and fulfilling and makes me feel very, very thankful.

At the end of each day, as I reflect back on my successes and challenges, I hope that I have "used up" my creative allotment for that day. I hope that I have "spent" myself and given all I could to the pursuit of a full, rich, creative life.

Here are some of the ways I work on living creatively:

[ 1. ] Focus on the process. I want to not just be focused on my final output, but the actual processes themselves - how I get from one place to the next. I am developing an awareness of the actions I take and the choices I am make as part of the overall process of my life. Every creative endeavor includes a process - a series of steps we go through from beginning to end. I don't want to miss the lessons that present themselves in the midst of the process. What is your personal process? I don't just mean the steps you go through to create a layout or knit a scarf, but your everyday process of looking at your life. Is your process open + flowing or tight + narrow? There's no right or wrong, simply an awareness.

[ 2. ] Seek opportunities. Opportunities to be creative are in front of me all the time. I am not only being creative when I are making crafts or painting or scrapbooking (traditionally creative things), but when I choose how to approach challenges, how to parent my child, how to feed my family, how to organize my garage, etc. How can you find new opportunities outside of your regular routine? Challenge yourself to seek a new opportunity this week.

[ 3. ] Be interested in the world. People + places. Sights + sounds. Notice things. Pay attention. I listen to the old man in front of me in the grocery line tell the checker the story of his day. I observe the mother and child next to me at the park speaking to each other in the soul-filled language of mamas and babies. I travel to experience different cultures, always being open to what may come around the next corner or through the next smile of the person I pass by. I ask questions. How do you demonstrate your interest in the world? How does that attention impact your creativity?

[ 4. ] Make connections. An offshoot of being interested in the world around me, making connections is about seeing one thing in one location and another in a different environment and connecting the two. I like to bring those connections back into my art for further investigation. Making connections is also about the people you choose to have in your world. Connect with those that support your desire to live a rich creative life.Are you living in a way that allows you to be aware enough to notice connections? Have you connected with people locally who lift you up and encourage you in your life?

[ 5. ] Make choices. Everyday I make choices about my attitude when I wake up in the morning. I make choices about how I feel about what I create (and my own personal fears related to creativity). I make choices about how I spend my time. What I have found is that even when I don't think I have time to live creatively there are little choices I can make each day that begin to build on one another. Little choices start melding together and eventually I find myself thinking and feeling more creative. Be open to the possibilities. How do your everyday choices impact your creativity? If you want to live a more creative life how can you make different choices starting right now?

[ 6. ] Look for enrichment opportunities. I am always on the lookout for things that will stretch me, that will spark a new interest, make me ask questions and then search for answers. Take a class. Read a book. Get out of the house. Go for something completely new and different that may be outside your comfort zone. If you are a scrapbooker pick up a book about sculpture or sign up for a class at your local community college about creative writing - do something that engages your mind outside your everyday routine. Ask yourself how you can translate what you learn into your scrapbooking process. I call this continuing creative education. Get together with friends where each of you brings something to teach the others.How do you continue your personal creative education? What steps could you take to enrich your daily life?

"I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise."

A New Partnership : AE + DesignerDigitals.com

I am excited to announce a new partnership with DesignerDigitals.com. I will be designing hand-drawn brushes, layered templates, and much more to come. The first release will be Sunday, June 15th.

Founded in 2005, DesignerDigitals.com is an internet-based digital scrapbooking and digital arts e-tailer. DesignerDigitals.com provides high quality products for consumers to use in the creative process of preserving their memories and creatively expressing their personal life stories. More information about DesignerDigitals is available at www.DesignerDigitals.com.

If you are interested in learning more about digital or hybrid scrapbooking check out DesignerDigitals Getting Started series.


Scrapbook Stores + Events

I have put together three new 3-hour workshops and am excited to begin scheduling store visits again for 2009. If you are interested in having me come to your store or your event please email me for more information.

Sponsorship Opportunities

I am now offering sponsorship opportunities on my blog and in this newsletter. If you are interested in finding out more send me an email.

Questions + Answers

Have a question about scrapbooking or creativity that you would like to see addressed in an upcoming issue of this newsletter? Email me with your question and please put "Newsletter Q&A" in the subject line.

Ali Edwards, author of A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking, A Designer's Eye for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper and Life Artist, is a monthly contributor to Creating Keepsakes magazine where she writes an inspiration column called Studio A . She is a wife, mother, artist, writer, and seeker of balance. Owner of AE Design and Life Art Media, she conducts creative workshops around the globe. You can find her online on her blog or contact her through email.

june inspiration

[ 1. ] Audacity of Authenticity by Brene Brown

[ 2. ] This house. Make sure to click and check out the slide show. Serious happiness.

[ 3. ] Very cool mixed media canvases.

[ 4. ] Polaroid photo-a-day from 1979 through 1997.

[ 5. ] Benita's (Chez Larsson) Top 10 Organizing Tips for Apartment Therapy.

[ 6. ] From LifeClever : How To Grow As A Designer. This one is geared towards graphic designers but can definitely be applied - lots to think about.


Interested in sponsorship opportunities in this newsletter or on Ali's blog? Email for availability + rates.

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