Monday, August 24, 2009

Good for what ails you

I've been laid up with a cold the last couple of days. No real help for it unfortunately, but one of the downsides it is my mental processes are not what they should be. So, the universe is letting me know that now's the time to watch a whack of YouTube videos! And since this is a blog about being creative, I'm going to use this space to laud the clever clogs that made the following production: A Very Potter Musical.

Gentlemen and Ladies, house-elves and hippogriffs. If you have any fondness at all for the epic battle of the Boy who lived against He Who Shall Not Be Named, I urge, nay I implore you to grab a tub of popcorn and a bottle of Butterbeer and sit back and be entertained. Just make sure that you press "play all" so you don't have to miss anything.

Thanks go out to for the great find.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Speaking of turtles...

What is the difference between a turtle , a terrapin and a tortoise? According to the all-knowing, long may it reign, it depends where you are speaking from.

British language refers to turtles as seagoing critters, terrapins as the same but from brackish waters, and tortoises as the landgoing versions.

American English is both more and less clear. Turtles = all freshwater and some landroaming critters that look turtle-like, sea turtles for those oceanic ones; tortoises is only for those members of the tortoise family, Testudinadae, while terrapin refers to only one species: the diamondback terrapin.

Our Aussie firends have cut to the chase and use only 2 terms: turtle for all forms of water-living turtloids, and tortoise for the land dwellers.

Apparently, if you want to be a cool daddy-o and impress your veterinary friends, the latest term, encompassin all the turtle/terrapin/tortoise brethren there are, were, or ever will be is
chelonian. Which makes it sound like you are keeping some Star Trek reject in your basement:
"Before I went to school today I made sure that my chelonian, Duuuuk Zsup, had plenty of yummy bugs to eat. Unfortunately, his home planet still has not called us back. "

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Turtle Power

No, I haven't been hibernating for the past several days. Instead, I have been making yet another baby gift for my prodigiously procreative pals. And that means turtles, turtles (Rah rah rah, turtles turtles Ha ha ha --mmm I love Turtles). My current favourite stuffed toy pattern is the Sheldon tortue by Ruth Homrighaus. I just finished making my 3rd turtle in about 6 weeks.

What I like about it is that you get a really cute little stuffie in a lot less time that it takes to make a baby sweater, but (hopefully) impresses the parents to bits. One turtle I figure takes about 10-12 hours, including the sewing up, which is a bit more than average due to the multilayered nature of the toy. Yes, you guessed it, it comes apart for washing. Talk about coming out of your shell!

And the best part of it? People have literally fallen in love with this doll, taken the pattern and invented costumes for the darn thing. Everything from SuperTurtle outfits to pirate gear (Arrggh mateys). I haven't had time to sit down yet and make a set, but you can bet that the pirate gear is going to be joining my queue of things to make.

Here's my collection of turtles so far


In the spirit of this blog, I decided to try something I haven't done for 2 years. I made a little movie of one of the turtles and set it to music, using Windows Movie Maker. I've used iDvd and Garage Band before, so the technology was pretty familiar. I think it worked out pretty good. Here's the results:

Having used both the PC and Apple versions of movie making software, I have to say that Movie Maker is like the Dollar Store version of Apple's iLife suite. Both will give you the same basic merchandise, but Apple gives you so much more flexibility in terms of attaching sound bites and extending images, as well as visual effects. If I was buying a new system, iLife would definitely be one of the deciding factors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning....

So, what exactly is holistic creativity?

(adj.): Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

cre/a/tiv/i/ty (noun): the ability to create.

Okay, so that definition is as clear as mud. Sounds very high faluting, and like all gibberish illustrates little. Here's where I'm coming from.

  • I believe that creativity is as necessary as breath, water and FDA-approved snack food.
  • I believe in the arts being an important part of everyday reality, not a segregatable option.
  • I believe in Einstein's lesser known Theory of Creativity, which states that "Imagination is more important than Knowledge"
  • That children should be trained in creative arts the same way that they do physical education, with an equal importance given.
  • And I refuse to believe in the myth of "I could never do that, because I'm not creative."

One of the best compliments I ever received was from my brother when he told me that I was the most holistically creative person he ever met. Hence the name of the blog.

But as I spend more time thinking about it, holism is an important, neglected aspect of our world. We got into global warming in part because we separted out the positive parts of our post-industrial world (ka-ching) from their potential consequences (destruction of the planet ).

We cordon ourselves off, into little segments, like some crazed version of a human pie-chart, with 2% going towards "the finer things in life" like art, music, and other creative impulses. Never realizing that by pigeonholing being creative as something we only do on alternate Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. that we make it easier for ourselves to gradually eliminate that aspect altogether when "more important" things crop up. But just like the impacts it has on the planet, this dis-integration isn't good for the soul. I'm guilty of this myself, which is the second reason for the blog. So for the next while, I am going to work on embracing my creative side in all aspects of my life, becoming more holistic and less specialized.

I recently became an avid fan of A Year of Slow Cooking, where the author made a New Year's resolution to use her crockpot for an entire year and journal about it. I aim to do the same thing with this blog, only focusing on doing something creative every day, in any aspect of my life. I'm trying to get back in touch with a part of myself that I have lost along the way, and recapture some of my artistic skills that I haven't used regularly since college. As I go along, I will also be trying ways in which to expand my interest in creativity into the educational field, as I am a newly minted teacher. Everything and anything will be fair game to be posted (and hopefully photographed), so who knows what will hit these pages. And having said that, let's get on with the show!