Friday, April 29, 2011

When I felt like a princess...

Frustrated. Having trouble with blogger today and with my scanner. Was hoping to get a couple of decents scans to come out but not working very well.  So here's a blurry pic of my husband and I.

Anyway, I definitely remember feeling like a princess on this day.

May 27, 1995

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just because...

Stargazer 2
Stargazer lilies. Still beautiful 4 days after I bought them.
Stargazer with iPhone
taken with iPhone
I learned the concept of "Just because..." in one of my play therapy courses.  In that context we were taught to share it with parents to do with their children.

Give someone a hug.  If he or she asks why you did it, you answer, "just because."  In other words, do something nice, thoughtful or kind for someone just because you love them.

Today I share with you some pics of one of my favorite flowers.  In fact, it was the major flower in my May wedding almost 16 years ago.

Sharing some love with you.
Just because...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from the Cranes

Easter is my favorite holiday.
Time for renewal, new life, spring flowers and candy!

Enjoy some pics.

Look close.  I caught him just as he dropped an egg.

Meredith shows Miles where she hid an egg.

Mer's wooden egg she painted like silly string

Happy Easter from my family to yours!

Friday, April 22, 2011

For the Love of E-Courses

Ever since Miles was 3 and figured out how to use the computer mouse, he has referred to Internet Explorer as "blue e."  Makes perfect sense.

I recently bought Strengths Finder and took its accompanying assessment on-line.  (You have to buy the book in order to take the test.  By the way, I wish I'd known you can only take the test once.  I marked in the middle for many of the choices which I found out later meant they don't count in the scoring.)  My strengths (according to them) are

LEARNER--loves to learn followed by INTELLECTION--likes to think followed by INPUT--inquisitive, collect things including information

Another strengths assessment you can take on-line for FREE is the VIA Survey of Character.  I feel somehow happier about these results:

Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

Caution, prudence, and discretion
You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Given my love of learning and my appreciation of beauty, it makes sense to me how much I enjoy e-courses.  They allow me to
  • think and learn something new
  • be inspired
  • play with art
  • enhance my creativity
  • meet some fabulous people
  • support artists and other creative people (especially given that my sister is an artist)
  • experience a sense of community
  • have a therapeutic space (can be challenging for me as a therapist and counseling professor in a rural community to find a therapist who doesn't know me or have heard of me)
  • gain ideas for use in my classes and presentations

I've enjoyed each course I've taken.  The places and people I have taken from/are taking thus far:

Each of these allow you to participate as little or as much as you wish.  They usually have a password-protected area for the partcipants to connect with one another.  Most of all, I encourage you to never stop learning.

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."
~~Henry Ford

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    You Have Permission to Play

    Two things inspired me to make the "Permission Slip" you see above.
    1) signing a permission slip for my son to attend a field trip to a dairy farm
    2) listening to end of this podcast where Jamie Ridler interviews Susannah Conway and Susannah brings up the idea of a permission slip as a way to jumpstart the creative process.

    I encourage you to either make your own or even download and print out.  Put it somewhere you can see as a reminder.

    Have a playful week!

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    For the Love of iPhoneography & Lens on Life

    Morning eyes #Sparkles
    I love playin around and taking pics with my iphone.  And my kids do too.  It's so easy.  No heavy dSLR camera to lug around.  No special settings to mess with.  If I share the photos with someone and say I took them with my iphone, then I'm less likely to worry about what a photog (that's someone who knows what they're doing with a camera) would think of them.  After all they were taken just with my iphone.

    Then what's really fun is to use apps like instagram that have several filters that can change the look of the photo and then easily post it to twitter, facebook, flickr, posterous, or tumblr.  Later you can look at your feed in your app and see where others have "liked" your photo or left a comment.  (You can tell an instagram pic from a regular iphone pic by its square shape.)
    Through twitter and other forms of social media and the web I have met the wonderful Stephanie Roberts and Jen Lemen.  What I'm really excited about is Stephanie and Jen's latest venture called Lens on Life.  (And I'm proud to say I am part of the Founders Circle.)  From the Lens on Life website: Lens on Life reveals and illuminates a visual voice for the unseen, particularly children living in impoverished conditions around the world. Lens on Life inspires creativity and cultivates photography skills with our students through the lens of connecting diverse people divided by cultural, socio-economic, and geographic boundaries.

    Stephanie and Jen are currently in Kathmandu, Nepal working with a group of children at the Koseli school.  I've enjoyed seeing their instagram pics via twitter throughout the week.  I am definitely living vicariously through them.  My dream would be to join them one day and do play therapy with these kids.  Stephanie and Jen are Shutter Sisters who first went to Nepal for Picture Hope, their grand prize winning photography assignment the Name Your Dream Assignment global photography competition sponsored by Lenovo and Microsoft.  You can learn more in this video.

    And to top it all off Stephanie has written a book, The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity.  Love, love.  Happy, happy.

    Pink dogwood #2
    pink dogwood at Lindsey Wilson College
    taken with you what and the instagram app

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    What Young Children Can Teach Us

    the tulips that I had planted last fall
    "A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement.
    It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision,
    that true instinct for what is beautiful,
    is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood."

    Young children can teach us
    To slow down and
    Notice the beauty of the world all around us.
    So much to learn if we just stop
    And allow ourselves to be curious.

    It helps to have a 6-year-old that notices the little things like worms, slugs, and caterpillars.
    Who gets excited when a bird builds a nest inside our uncovered grill.
    Who could spend the entire day playing outside.
    May I continue to be open to learning from him.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Art Journaling and Self-Care

    Meredith gets in on the painting action
    Spring break for the kids this week but hubby and I still had to work.  They did come along with us early in the week for the KMHCA conference where I presented on self-care.  This meant they had the chance to swim in the hotel pool.  I remember how much fun it was to spend the night in a hotel as a kid.  My parents used to do this with my sister and I as a way to combat the cold Iowa winters.  As part of the conference, the Appalachian Play Therapy Center sponsored a Stress-Free Zone.  I brought along all sorts of art supplies, simple games, blocks and there was even line dancing.  My kids definitely enjoyed hanging out here and were so proud to be given their very own name tags.  I found myself painting a beach scene out of watercolors.  Perhaps I am really needing a break.  Hearing about others I know who've gone to Florida isn't helping but I'm happy for them.

    Here are my art journals I have done over the span of a couple of weeks based on a workshop for wishBIGecamp by Shannon Kinney-Duh.  I incorporated a focus on self-care.

    Of course, I think a great way to engage in self-care is through PLAY!

    Here are a couple of the first ones I did.  I was going to have the first one say Be Like a Child but I ran out of letters.  Maybe that's a good thing.

    This last one I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my painted background.  Just felt like incorporating the shapes which then reminded me of my son, the solar system lover.

    Art journaling is another method of self-care.  One key to art journaling is to just let go, play around, and have fun.  Try not to have expectations.  Can be quite hard to not listen to those voices, the Inner Critic as Kate Swoboda calls it, but if you allow yourself it can be quite fun.  I think I can do okay with letting go of my Inner Critic as long as I say I'm playing.  But if I say I'm making art, then I can hear them louder.  And putting my art on my blog is even harder, because I'm making myself vulnerable especially to what others might think of me.  BUT SO WHAT!

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Another Blogpost on Self-Care and I'm not foolin'

    Today I'm working on a presentation for the Kentucky Mental Health Counseling Assocation annual conference.  Just an hour to present on


    Kinda funny/ironic that I would choose to present on self-care given my recent posts and the fact that I've chosen KIND as my One Little Word for the year.

    But we tend to teach what we most need to learn.
    And am I procrastinating by writing this blogpost?  No, I'm getting my creative juices flowing!

    Any ideas about the topic?  I'm kinda hung up on what verb to choose.  Do we exercise, embody, exhibit, or practice self-care?  Or is it something else?

    Of course, I think one of the best methods of self-care is...

    Have a good weekend!