What Was That Art?

If you were a fan of 70’s sitcoms, you no doubt watched The Brady Bunch. The sprawling home featured in the show was interesting due to the number of people who lived there, and the fact that Mike Brady was an architect. But did you ever notice the decor, in particular, the wall art? Blogger Kirk Demarais sure did.

In a truly informative and detailed post, Demarais goes through the Brady household room by room, and analyzes each sculpture, painting, and work of art he can find. Not only does he try to figure out the name of the piece, but he tracks down similar art, and does a small profile on each artist he identifies.

Overall, it seems that the artwork was more about blending into the set, to allow the actors to stand out, rather than the background. But the set designers got it right–the pieces were interesting enough for a modern, fashionable family of the time, and bland enough for the rest of us not to notice.

Take your time reading through the post. You’ll probably recognize a few things you never even realized you had noticed before.

Legacy Journaling

journal1Author Heather Tucker visited us at the Carleton Place Public Library last week to talk a little about her book, THE CLAY GIRL, and to run a workshop on Legacy Journaling. It was a VERY creative and informative evening. We were colouring, drawing, and doodling our way to elaborate family histories without feeling like we couldn’t do it. And I know many of us will continue to work on these for months to come.

claygirlThank you, Heather, for bringing your amazing talents, and wonderful, vibrant personality to our little town. We know it was a long few weeks for you, but we had a blast!

journal2

Sample pages from her journal.

journal3Wonderful display from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

Creativity is Alive and Well at the Library

As part of our “Lifelong Learning” series at the library, we have been running a six-week course entitled, “Find Your Creative Self”. It rose out of the interest people have in creativity, and the lack of inspiration we sometimes feel when it comes to making things. After the flood of interest, we thought maybe you’d like to know how things are going.

Most of the course is based around the ideas from two creativity-inspiring books. The first is Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY, and the second is Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC.

waymagicBoth books cover many of the same topics, from identifying the fears that hold us back, to learning to respect and love the act of creating, to championing ourselves when we don’t often feel like we can. But each book takes a different approach–one quite rigid with meaningful exercises and soul-searching, and one more inspiration-based–and we decided to combine the ideas to appeal to a variety of people.

Each week, we do a creativity activity (or a “creactivity”, as I like to call it)–anything from drawing crazy pictures based on a single shape, to making art out of string cheese. Let me tell you, this past week was one of our best activities–where we performed a rousing rendition of “Swinging on a Star” using only found instruments, such as sponges, pool noodles, safety pins and thumbtacks. Bruce Springsteen—look out!

cheeseBut more importantly, the participants have really been making some progress in their creative lives. We’re discovering what’s been holding us back (lack of time!), ways in which we can open up our creative minds (try cleaning out a closet and getting rid of things you never use), and a greater sense of allowing ourselves to be creative. It’s been a struggle, and there have been some near-tears, but we’ve also done a lot of laughing and getting to know new friends and supporters.

Will everyone come out of this with a brand new hobby or career? Maybe not. But I know that most people are enjoying doing new things and trying the challenges they’re faced with each week as a means of exploring their abilities. After the end of the six weeks, we’ll do a little assessment, and see what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown, and hopefully, there will be progress made in the future as they go off and try to approach creativity in new ways. I think, if anything, we’ve all learned to be easier on ourselves. Being creative is supposed to be fun, not guilt-inducing, or self-esteem-crumbling.

Happy creating, everyone!

 

Starbucks + Christmas – Christmas = ???

10890728_1234187126596633_2133648073_nBy now, you’ve probably all heard the crazy argument going around the internet about Starbucks and their “plain” holiday cups this year. If you haven’t, you’re lucky. But just to summarize, when Starbucks rolled out their annual red cups November 1st, a former pastor in the US took offense to the fact that they were so plain, and free of all Christmas references, which he took to mean that Starbucks hates Christians, of course.

Now, as far as anyone can tell, holiday references in Starbucks’ previous red cups were only things like ornaments, or reindeer….and not really any religious references. This year, they kept the cups clean—only a graduated ombre to the deep red—to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories”, claims Starbucks President Jeffrey Fields. So why the pastor chose to take this fight to such an extreme level (and really, it has nothing much to do with being Christian and celebrating Christmas at all), leaves everyone stumped. He started up a campaign online to get people to say their name was Merry Christmas, so that the Starbucks employees would have to write that on the cups, and therefore, keep the Christmas at Starbucks, as well as fight the fight using the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks.

What?

Red cups, blue cups, reindeer or no deer….what does it matter? Coffee and books go together,and we’re fans of Starbucks here at the library. Does anyone really passionately care what the design is on the cup? Unless you’re the one who designed it, I don’t think so.

I’m pretty sure this former pastor, Joshua Feuerstein, who now calls himself a “social media personality”, just needs to chill out, and maybe take up adult colouring as a form of relaxation.

Just keep the red pencils away from him.

(Speaking of adult colouring, join us at the library on Wednesday, November 25th at 6:30pm for some fun zen colouring. There may even be Christmas things to colour!)

Tim Burton

It’s almost October, and that means many people will be pulling out Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. If you’re a big fan of the director, you might be interested to know that he’s got a new book coming out at the end of October called THE NAPKIN ART OF TIM BURTON.  Yes, it’s exactly what it seems—-Burton’s doodles on napkins.

artThe mini book features sketches as he spends time on the road, either making movies, or doing promotion. And it’s a great window into the mind of a man who probably doesn’t think like the rest of us.

If you’ve already started your holiday shopping, this might be the perfect stocking stuffer for a fan.