Category: Creative Living TV

The Books on My Creative Living Bookshelf

Despite the fact that I love books, it has taken me years to get back into the habit of reading. I found myself so busy that I just never picked up a book and I missed it deeply.

The first step of the return was discovering the joy of audiobooks. Suddenly, I could read while I was folding laundry or out on an errand. That was a gamechanger. The evidence is in my Studio Yearbook. I could see all the titles I had read in a season. In three months of listening, I read more books than I had in three years! It felt so good.

Once I was back in the world of books, there was still something missing. I longed for a deep dive. I love listening but I also wanted to get out my journal and take notes. I wanted to grab my highlighter or pencil and (gasp!) underline and make notes in the margins. I wanted to follow the author’s thoughts to my own conclusions. I wanted to engage!

Here’s where I found a new level of weariness.

Though I longed for that deeper connection with the material, it was also exhausting. Sometimes I would make a start and get flooded with so many ideas, feelings and reactions that I would be overwhelmed. It was like plugging into something with a higher voltage than I was currently able to handle. My off switch would immediately flip.

What life am I living that I can’t read a book?

What life am I living that I can’t engage in reflection and thought?

I remembered some wisdom from my sister Shannon who is an avid reader. Citing her own experience of moving from YA novels to Shakespeare and Tolstoy, she reminded me that reading is a muscle and it strengthens with practice.

So now I am welcoming back not only reading but also engaged reading. If I read a single paragraph and am sent into a whole new world of thoughts, feelings and ideas, I close the book and follow that path. I give myself time to take in all the richness and let it become a part of me. It’s like learning to take the right-sized bites and then letting my system digest fully. I feel richer for giving myself and the author’s work this time and attention.

Of course this deep dive isn’t required at all times. It’s not a ‘better’ way of reading. It’s a way of reading that my creative spirit needed and now I include it in my days. Figuring all of this out has led me to being able to bring you a new episode of Creative Living Bookshelf. I hope you enjoy the return of the show as much as I have enjoyed my return to books!

Deepening Creative Roots: Behind the Scenes in the Studio

It’s been a while since I’ve been here with a Behind the Scenes video. Amazingly, it was the BTS episodes where I shared my thoughts on artistic devotion that sent me into the studio for a season. I’ve been hard at work deepening the roots of my work in service of helping more people step onto this path. Changes are afoot, my creative friends!

Mentioned on Today’s Show:

Journal with Jamie: Create a Circle of Love

Last season in Journal Club we did an exercise that shifted everyone’s energy in the midst of a truly turbulent time.  As we continue to face so much at the start of 2021, I wanted to bring it to you.

To participate in this journaling exercise, all you need is something to write with, something to write on and 20 minutes. A cup of tea and a candle are always nice addition to journal practice too.

May creating a circle of love bring you focus and solace in the midst of turbulent times.

with love,

Jamie

PS If this feels like just what you needed, join me for Journal Club for a weekly creative sanctuary.

Create with Me: Sorting Collage (Quiet Studio Time. No Music. No Instruction.)

I’ve been feeling the need for some Studio Time and thought maybe you have been too. Choose something you’d like to work on for 30 minutes and join me.  Gather your supplies and let’s spend some Studio Time creating together.

I’ll be working on gathering collage materials for a future piece. I am sorting strictly by colour combinations, paying no attention to the subject matter at all. I started looking through pages until a colour story started to catch my eye and then that’s what I started to look for. Today it was blues and yellows, like the pale sun in the sky.  I also had a pile of sort of acidy greens for a piece I haven’t completed and a pile for some pinks that looked like they might be my next piece.

What did you work on in your studio?

Things you might be interested in:

  • You can listen to the same playlist as I did, Dance Hits on Spotify
  • The fantastic green boxes I use for collage materials are the Kuggis series from IKEA. They come in various colours and sizes and they stack beautifully.
  • My extravagant cordless Bose headphones are one of my favourite things ever. I wear them around the house and listen to audiobooks while doing chores! You can find them here.
  • You might also want to check out my Journal with Me video. We can journal together at dawn while listening to the rain.

When Life is Stressful

On Tuesdays I invite you Behind the Scenes at my studio.

Today:   When life is stressful, we don’t need to leave behind our art. We can lean into it and additional practices to support and nourish us every day. Thank you to the Mindful Mondays Wisdom Circle for sharing thoughts on how to stay present and well during anxious times.

Mentioned in Today’s Video:

Journal With Me: Rainy Day Dawn
(Quiet. No Instruction.)

Every morning I wake up and head to the studio to journal. I noticed recently that while I am spending time at the page, the sun is coming up and I wanted to share that with you.

There’s no instruction or speaking in this video. This is a simple invitation to spend some quiet time journaling with me. I hope you’ll join in and enjoy journaling, the rain and the sunrise!

If you want to listen to the same playlist I am listening to click here.

Some other things you might be interested in. My candles are from Wick WitchThe ‘good witch’ candle has become a staple for me. I light it every day while I write.

A student at the studio gifted me with a rechargeable candle lighter and I have never looked back! It’s particularly awesome when you are trying to reach deep into a holder to get to the wick! Thank you, Laura! Here’s the one I am currently using this one.

My extravagant cordless Bose headphones are one of my favourite things ever. I wear them around the house and listen to audiobooks while doing chores! You can find them here.

For what I call “journaling-journaling” i.e. free writing, morning pages, stream of consciousness writing, I use a Moleskine classic large notebook, lined, black (or white, or sometimes a kraft cahier if I am going out).

I’m also using my much loved pen is a Lamy Safari Fountain Pen