Friday, February 27, 2015

Breaking the Writers Block

  I have to admit now that I have had a year long writers block!  When I started blogging, it was so much fun and the words flowed so easily.  Last year, 2014, I would start drafts of blogs and never finished them.  Today I came up with a theory on how to break that writers block.

  It all started when I was talking to a business acquaintance about an article he wrote about Ideas.(Have-you-got-great-idea By Matthew Farmer).  As I read Matthew's comments about an "Ideas" book and how to use those "Ideas" in your business, I thought about how much I missed writing in my blog posts each week.  I spoke to Matthew about having a writers block and that when I was in University I use to have a special outfit I wore when I studied.  That got me thinking that maybe I should apply that same theory to my blog writing and painting.  Well, that started both of us talking about having a special outfit to help set the mood for writing.
  It was a very interesting conversation. My special outfit of tracksuit pants and a very large baggy shirt were only worn when I had to study for exams and writing assignments during my university days. It helped set the mood for focusing on my studies.  Matthew said he has a favourite hat to wear when he writes.
  All this talk of having a "writing" outfit to set the mood for writing got me feeling confident that I can start writing again.  Well at least it was a great subject for writing this blog post.   I have to find that special comfy outfit that only comes out at writing/creativity time.   It always set the creative mood in the past and I know it will again.   One problem, that outfit is LONG gone. I have to find new tracksuit pants and a big baggy shirt....or maybe a hat....maybe I'll stick with the comfort of tracksuit pants and a baggy shirt.

   How about you?  Do you have something special that sets the mood for your blog writing or creative process?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My greatest Aspiration for 2015 - Using Art to Facilitate Team Building

   I am a Geologist and Computer Scientist by training. For 20 years I worked as a "Geoscientist" in Oil and Gas and Airborne survey companies. One of my main roles was to support users in using specialised software for Geological and Geophysical exploration companies. I also worked for an ISP and a major IT company.
   In both my professional life as a Scientist and my private life as an Artist, I loved showing people how to do things.  I always wanted, as a hobby, to teach art classes but never had the confidence in my art to teach.
  In Dec 2013, I started a canvas painting party business this year called Social Artworking.  It is a great way to get a few friends together and have a bit of fun creating a piece of ArtWork.   There is no experience needed to create your very own artwork. 
   Though I still do private computer consulting and teach computer classes at neighbourhood houses, my main goal this year is to take the Social ArtWorking business to the next step.  I want to do Corporate or Small Business Team Building workshops using the Social ArtWorking technique.
Why I want to do Corporate Team Building?
   I have worked professionally in both large and medium sized companies.  Each day many people go to work with their "work attitude", but get them out of the office in a social atmosphere and they are more often than not very different.  They relax.  They spend time talking about other things besides work.  I personally found that was when you really bonded as a team.  I saw a different side of my work colleagues which gave me a different perspective on them as both a professional and a person.
How Art transformed my stress levels     I worked for most of my career in a high stress environment. I was expected to solve problems and get results on a day to day basis.   At the same time I was a mother of two teenagers. I needed an outlet to do something for me, and to relax. When I took up painting classes, I never thought of myself as an artist. It was my way of doing something completely different to my professional life.

 How out of office activities built work relationships
   I believe using Art as a Team Building excercise could be a great way to get people  out of the day to day of work related problem solving and allow them to do something completely different.  Team building and out of office activities are so vital both as a "debrief" from the pressures of work and a way to build a relationship with their work colleagues that can help bond them as a team. Let's face it a team can work more effectively than individuals.

How does Art facilitate Team Building?
Art and Science are polar opposites! One is logical, step by step, problem solving.  The other is thinking, feeling, and very visual.
   Though I have always been a lateral thinker, art allowed me to look at the world in a completely different way. My goal is to take art to businesses as a way to facilitate team building by getting their employees to use the thinking, feeling, visual way to facilitate team solutions to their business.  Even if they are not scientists art is a way to facilitate creativity in a different environment to the daily work environment.

My Challenge....How to get a gig?
   My challenge and my goal is to look for companies that want to use art for team building or out of office activities.
 Happy Blogging

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cleaning my Pandora Bracelet after Tarnishing in a Spa

It's Valentines Day and I am feeling sentimental. I am not a huge Valentine's Day celebrator but I do like to spend special time with my husband.  Today reminded me of my favorite gift from my husband.  That is my Pandora Bracelet.  There are some really special charms on my bracelet that were given to me by my husband.  So, you can imagine my horror New Years Day when I saw that my Pandora bracelet and ALL my silver charms were all black.

Tarnished and Blackened Pandora Bracelet
Tarnished and Blackened Pandora Bracelet

 We were all having such a great time.  We went to visit my sister-in-law who was staying in a motel on Phillip Island in Victoria Australia.  The kids wanted to go for a swim and I thought I would join the adults in the spa.  I always remove my jewellery before going in the spa but this time I had just had my nails done and didn't want to ruin them by removing my Pandora Bracelet. The clasp on the bracelet requires you to use your nail to open it.  So I forgo the hassle of removing my bracelet and went into the  spa with it on.  I was only in the spa for about 15 minutes when I looked up and noticed my bracelet and all the charms were black.
  I wasn't sure I would be able to "fix" my bracelet.  So, I thought I would post it on Facebook and later google how to clean the black off.  One of my friends send me a link from Pandora on How To Care for Your Pandora Bracelet.  I did what the instructions said.  I washed my bracelet and all the charms in warm soapy water. I scrubbed each of the charms and bracelet with a toothbrush.  Then after drying with a towel, I used a polishing cloth to polish my bracelet.  I was able to remove all the tarnish! 

 I was so relieved as all my charms were gifts from my husband. My favorite ones are three charms my husband bought me while on a trip to Mexico in 2012.
Kangaroo Charm,
Kangaroo Charm,
Aeroplane Charm,
Suitcase Charm,

 Lesson learned is always remove jewellery before swimming or going into the spa even if you have to get someone to help remove your bracelet.

Happy Blogging;