About hollyjanecreative

I am a seeker of detail and a teller of story.

Take Time

To pause.

To give thanks.

To consider.

To appreciate even if you don’t agree.

To listen to a thunderstorm.

To just watch clouds go by.

To notice how many shades of green appear in the canopy of a tree.

To notice how those greens change when the sun shines through.

To smell the coffee, before you add water.

And then after you add water.

To actually taste your coffee.

Chocolate? Berries? Nuts? What does it taste like?

To sit and not feel like you should be doing something else.

To rember that being,

is not

a waste of time

Pause.

Take time.

Family Recipe

There is something I gave to my girls, nieces and nephews a number of Christmases ago.

Their nana had passed that September, and I had the opportunity to gather some of the prayers she had written in her journal for each of her grandchildren. I compiled the various handwritten copies of her words, in separate notebooks for each, with the hope that they would know they were loved, and prayed over consistently.

This notebook also contained some of Nana’s recipes. Gingersnap and chocolate chip cookies that she made, often with helpers, as well as some treats that were made for holidays and family gatherings. Some of these were also in her own handwriting. (I think there is a bigger connection when you see someone’s handwriting.)

Here is some additional text that I wrote, and placed in the front of each notebook:

photo.joshuapaulking.com

———–

Before time began, you were written into history.

You are part of a story.

As you became part of this family, you were brought into traditions, conversations, and hearts. You have been part of many family dinners, and holiday happenings. You have been woven into the memory of others, and have made memories of your own.

You also became an answered prayer. Within this notebook are the words spoken in prayer for you between Nana and God. They are surely only a small fraction of the many conversations she had with Him about you. These conversations are here for you to read, remember, and to carry on.

Know you are loved. Know you were chosen to be part of this family. Know that you were prayed for.

Your heritage and your story have begun, but you continue to write it, breath by breath, word by word. 

Remember that words are powerful. Choose wisely.

You continue to write paragraphs, pages, and chapters as you live out each day.

What are the words you choose to write? Your story could help, teach, encourage, and strengthen others.

Seek wisdom.

Do justly.

Love mercy

Be kind.

Love.

Your Story

Have you ever noticed, when there is a story attached to something, it seems to pull the listener or observer in closer to hear the details.

It holds true for me because when I write, or paint, or think, I don’t just think of an object or place, I look deeper for meaning, a connection, a story. I realize that many of the things I have created came with a story, or a story came as I worked on them.

Each of us has our own story. We all have a beginning and are living out our middle. With what has been given, add new lines, paragraphs, chapters.

This is not The End,

it is To be continued. . .

Do you connect more with something that has a story?

Make Space to Create

One thing I find with creating, is that it takes space, physical, mental, and time-al? Here are some things to consider as you prepare:

  1. Clear a physical space.
  2. Clear a mental space
  3. Clear space in your schedule

Physical Space

It may seem obvious, but having a clear physical space is really important! I don’t have an extra room to set up a studio of any kind, so our dining room table is my space. While we don’t eat many meals at this table, it is in the middle of our living space, so I don’t want to leave it piled with paints, papers, etc. Though I confess this often happens, I am trying to be more organized, and am actively working on this step.

To bake or cook, you will need table or counter space to gather ingredients, assemble the dough or batter, and cool the final product. Again, this for me, is a constant work in progress. Especially if you live with others, this is something that others can help with!

Mental Space

Next, clearing some space in your mind allows you to focus on your project, even if you are experimenting with a new tool, recipe, or medium, setting aside the rest of your to-do list for this time will be important. You can set a timer if you have other pressing tasks to get to, to avoid getting lost in the creative process, but I would offer that an occasional open ended afternoon of playing with paint, paper, or dough can be very relaxing!

This is something that sometimes requires a choice to make space for. Often it feels like an “extra” that maybe doesn’t or shouldn’t take priority, but I’m learning that if you want it to become a habit, or are looking to increase your skill, it needs to be a priority!

Give yourself permission to create that mental space.

Schedule Space

This takes us nicely into a space in your schedule. Having some scheduled time to create can be a great help in building your skill. Just like exercise, putting in on the calendar like an appointment can be a simple way to keep yourself accountable. Sometimes it can feel like play, and shouldn’t take a spot that might be needed for laundry, yard work, or dishes, but if we neglect the creative muscles, you will eventually begin to notice.

As you begin to think about creating, be sure to make space. The first few times may be a little difficult, but the more you allow yourself the opportunity, the more your skills will develop.

How do you create space in your life for creativity?

Morning Coffee

Almost every morning, I make myself a cup of coffee. A mug, really. With a daughter who was a maestro for a local coffee shop, I learned some things about really tasting different types of coffee, and have put into practice, different methods for enjoying it fully.

I buy whole bean coffee, and while I am not a snob about using pre-ground coffee, there is a definite difference in the flavor that makes it into the cup (or mug).

My morning coffee goes like this:

I select the mug I will use. This is an important step! I have a few favorites, so I have some options. 

I get the white ceramic pour over coffee funnel that my other daughter got me for Christmas a few years ago, a coffee filter, and the coffee beans. The coffee beans are stored in the buffet, and each time I open the door where they are kept, the best scent greets my nose. 

I place the filter into the funnel, and with a gentle clink, I place the funnel on top of my coffee mug. I pour some coffee beans into my small manual grinder, listening to the plinking of roasted goodness, hitting the sides and nestling into place. 

I pour filtered water into my electric kettle, and push down the lever to begin the heating process. As the light on the kettle glows, I get to work grinding the beans. 

The grinder is a small metal cylinder, with ceramic burrs, that fits on top of another metal cylinder which captures the aromatic grounds as the handle on top is turned. It is a process that I have been following for some time now, but it is routine, and familiar. 

As the water begins to stir in the kettle, I continue to grind the beans until they gather at the imaginary mark on the small clear window of the bottom cylinder. I pour them into the waiting filter, and the water boils.

I pour a bit of water over the grounds, the steam carrying the aroma upward. As the water sinks in, I watch some flavorful flecks cling to the sides of the filter, and others move toward the bottom, taking the shape of the funnel. 

I continue to pour water, watching it soak through the grounds, making its way into my mug. I add some agave and half and half when the level is right, and stir to combine. 

I take my mug over to the kitchen table, which has been my work space for the last few months, to begin my day.

This is my morning coffee.