Tuesday, November 15, 2011

we beckoned the lovely

I am a huge fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal (as many of you know!). Not only do I love her messages about humanity, connection and making things, but I love how she embraces life to the fullest. Her movie ~ the Beckoning of Lovely ~ captured my heart. From the moment I started planning the Makerie, I found myself bound and determined to somehow incorporate Amy into our inaugural event. I had no idea how it would work, but I put her picture up on my Makerie vision board. She turned out to be our opening speaker, which frankly I still can't quite believe. She joined us via Skype from her own personal vacation! Her inspirational ideas and thoughts and clever ways with words left quite an impression with everyone and like many things she does, her talk was interactive and had our participants doing a variety of activities. I loved them all, but in particular the very last one where she had everyone write a 'Dear John' letter (a take on my last name DeJohn) about what being at the Makerie meant to them. It was such an unexpected surprise and I will cherish those letters forever.

The culmination of the Beckoning of Lovely was released on 11/11/11 at 11:11 am ~ as a full length feature film. I wish I could have been there in person in Chicago at the Bean, but the gathering we had in Boulder was simple and wonderful. Participants from last year's event were there, along with a few new friends too. We watched it on a laptop, and thank goodness for the kind, generous coffee shop manager who let us borrow his since my computer decided it didn't like the wireless connection that day. Then the volume was too soft and dear Esther offered up a pair of speakers she happened to have in her car. All I could think about was this is exactly what Amy is trying to teach us. The power of human connection. These might seem like such simple acts, but to me it was an example of how wonderful 'simple' can be. If Adam didn't lend us his computer, there would not have been a movie viewing... If we didn't have Esther's speakers, no one could have heard it. I'm realizing more and more how delightful 'simple' can be and our gathering was exactly that ~ just some lovely soles all together in one space watching a meaningful movie. If you have the chance, I highly recommend watching this film. I can almost guarantee it will make you want to go out into the world and do really good things ~ it certainly does me!

I'd like to end with my very favorite take away message from Amy that I hope you will love to. It's simple.

Make the most of your time here.


** post amendment **

Since I wrote this post, Amy has since taken down the movie from YouTube. Please read her explanation below. I love her bravery, how she listens to her heart and the trust she has in the universe!

Dear Universe,

I wanted to let you know that I've just pulled the The Beckoning of Lovely film from YouTube. It seems that if I truly want this to be the best thing ever, then I'm not done. I can't quite believe it myself because I've never worked harder on anything in my life...so for any of you who are frustrated/disappointed that you can't access the film, please know that this was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it was the right one. I owe it to everyone involved in this project and to the diaphanous entity that is The Beckoning of Lovely itself to stay with this just a bit longer and bring it to you in its most perfect, shiny form.

This is not the way I thought it would all shake down post 11/11/11, but so be it. Such is the life of a person who makes stuff.

peace sign, red heart, yellow umbrella,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

finding creative time

Maybe similar to you, I'm always searching for the best ways to find life balance. I go through phases where I make a list of my priorities and plop it in a place where I can glance at it (a lot!), sometimes I create daily to do lists (and openly admit to adding really easy things so I can just check something off!) and most recently I made a chart for what my 'ideal week' would look like from the time I wake up to the time I say goodnight, and even including the eight hours of sleep I've learned I need to function properly. Some days I think I've found it ~ that ever elusive feeling of meeting everyone's needs and a few of mine too ~ and other days everything seems lopsided.

I try to be mindful of where I spend my time and energy, and one of my goals this year is to bring back more creativity into my little world again. Starting the Makerie has been a dream come true in countless ways and the planning of it is a magical experience full of very hard work. I often think about the reason I started the Makerie and the heart of it all ~ the power, joy, peace, calm, inspiration and playfulness creativity brings to your life. I love to make things ~ so so many things that it would take more than a lifetime to finish the projects I have on my list.

Although I haven't made much time for any making or creating myself this last year, I have an insatiable appetite for learning anything new creatively and I'm ready for a new challenge. I'm thrilled to be taking an amazing e-course on Surface Pattern Design with the uber talented duo of Rachael Taylor and Beth Nicholls that starts next week. I'm psyched to be a student again! It's such a great growing experience to try something out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself creatively. I'm a wee bit intimidated but it's such a good exercise in remembering firsthand how our retreat participants often feel. I want to experience that over and over again so I can always look at our event with fresh eyes and an open heart, knowing exactly how it feels to be in your shoes. So here we go! Wish me luck and know that I will be practicing what I preach!