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.

We’re Going Zen!

Colour Yourself Calm PosterOne of the exciting new programs coming up this fall involves colouring….but it’s not for kids! “Colour Yourself Calm” is going to be a regular, relaxing evening for adults. Mark your calendars now!

Join us the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm starting September 23rd for 90 minutes of zen colouring. We’ll provide the designs, markers, and more…all you need to do is show up.

If you could use a regular night out, why not bring a friend (or two), and colour with us. It’s not just for kids anymore!

No registration required….see you in September!

Epic Yarn

Star WarsThere is a Canadian link to Star Wars now! Brothers Jack and Holman Wang put their creative talents to work on the cutest books you’ve ever seen…all with an amazing twist!

Recently, we received these three board books at the library, all under the STAR WARS : EPIC YARNS series—A NEW HOPE, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and RETURN OF THE JEDI.  But these are not your typical board books. They tell the well-known Star Wars tales with few words….and pages full of gorgeous felt creations by the Wang brothers. Each photo is well lit and the settings and characters are extremely detailed.

I love each and every book in this new series, and I can see it being quite popular with fans of Star Wars. Even if the little ones reading these books aren’t yet old enough to walk, their parents sure will delight in sharing the stories with them.

A new generation is born!

You can find out more about the books, the series, and the brothers who created them right here.

Peanuts!

 

While it isn’t exactly library related, it’s PEANUTS, folks!  And they’re releasing a movie in November!

Growing up, I read “Peanuts” religiously. After all, weren’t the Saturday comics the only part of the newspaper just for kids? I thought so, anyway, and grew to love Lucy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Pigpen as though they were my friends, too. I’m so excited to see this movie….it’s been a long time since a new Peanuts release, so I thought I’d share.

If you’re interested in knowing a bit more about Charles Schulz and his wonderful gang of wacky kids, we have some great books at the library about his life, and the characters.

Biography of Charles Schulz

The Parables of PeanutsSee you at the movies in November, Charlie Brown!