Making the Wine

10 11 2013

A Year in Burgundy is a beautiful and quiet documentary on the art of winemaking in the pastoral heart of France. The winemakers know the importance of each season. Late summer is time for harvesting. As the leaves of the autumn vines turn red and gold and fall to the earth, it is time to prune the vines. You can see the smoky haze on the horizon as the winemakers burn those pruned-off vines in the vineyards and let the ashes fertilize the roots for next year’s harvest. Winter is the time for the vines to rest as their roots dig deeper into the ground.

grapevine

Many of the winemakers in this fertile corner of the world farm vineyards that span generations, as do the actual vines. Some vines that hold the grapes of the world’s best wine live to be 100-years-old. The older the vine, the deeper the roots, the more the vines can weather periods of drought. Watching this film made me realize what real artisans these winemakers are and that nature is their palate.

I talk about the creative process in a workshop I give on creativity and innovation and why it is important to understand your own process. Most, if not all of us have a period of time we call procrastination. It’s when we’ll do anything, but the creative job that has a deadline looming. This procrastination is actually creative hibernation. Just like the grapevine in winter, you may not see the creative harvest yet because your creative roots are digging deep and your creative vine needs to rest. The reason it’s important to know your own process is that you must honor this quiet time and not only celebrate the creative harvest.

As a writer I’ve observed and learned my creative process is different from my design process and different from my presentation process. Each are different varietals of creative vines, similar but uniquely their own.

The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling the need for a creative hibernation. A quiet season to still my mind and rejuvenate. I’m recognizing my need for quiet and reflection. Maybe it’s the time of year, the chill in the air, the leaves are falling, the days are shorter, even my bamboo has slowed it’s relentless attempt to take over my yard.  The busy season of holidays is almost upon us. I’ve decided to not take on any new projects for the rest of the year. I need to slow down and nurture me.

After a quiet night alone with a fire glowing in the background, savoring a glass of wine while watching a documentary on how it was made, I awoke before dawn with ideas that had fermented in my dreams. I had words that were ready to be harvested. The parallels to the seasons of winemaking and the creative process were ready to spill out of my pen.

wineglassHonor the season you are in
Fertilize the soil
Plant the idea
Let it hibernate
Allow it to grow
Nurture the creative vine
Prepare for droughts
Grow and create
Grow and create
Grow and create
Prune your creation
And prune again
Know the time to harvest
Pick the best grapes
Make the wine
Throw it away if it is sour
Start over if necessary
Savor when done
Celebrate
Drink what you have created
Honor the season you are in

Salut





Salut! It’s My One-Year Blogging Anniversary.

6 07 2013

Salut

This month marks one year of blogging! WOO HOO! It has been an amazing year and this little blog ‘o mine has taken me to unexpected places. I started it because I needed to have my creative voice out there. A few months into blogging, I stumbled upon this fabulous group of women at Generation Fabulous. They were remarkably supportive of one another and read my blog and even commented on it. Then GenFab bloghops were in the freakin’ Huffington Post and there I was!  This led to writing for another group, Better After 50 and more amazing writers. GenFab has grown in just the few months since I joined and  now has a website featuring the powerful voices of midlife. I was a featured blogger and had a video interview with Chloe Jeffreys for her feature Coffee with Chloe. I still am surprised when I look back on this past year and see where My Creative Journey has taken me.

Another surprise is that I didn’t expect that each post I’ve written would become a blog child. I must admit while I love all my blog children I do have favorites. So in honor of my one-year anniversary I’m going to tell the world my favorites and why.

These are what I consider my 3 best posts:

the jump

Taking the Leap
This is about my attempt to become fearless.

Me and my sweetie, Steve

Soul Mates and Angels
Even though I wrote this, I can still tear up when I read it. It’s me and Steve’s love story.

Full view w detail

If You Give Connie a Glass of Wine
This chronicles the birth of my business, Greenview Designs in that meandering way that is my creatve processs. It’s written in the style of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” a book I loved reading to my daughter when she was little.

These are about where I live:

katrina-08-28-2005

Bread, Batteries and Booze
Big shoutout to my buddy Juan Simoneux who posted it on at The Cajun American.  It’s because of his fans that this remains my most viewed post ever. It’s about living in hurricane country.

Flyin Alligator waterfront lounge

Luzianna Friday Nite
I love where I live. OK, I don’t love hurricanes (see above).

These are about my family:

  My mom dresses just like the Cosmo Girl.

Wild Woman
This is about my Mother. You’ll need to read the post to understand why that’s all I can say about this one. 

My Mom and me, 1961

The Sandwich Generation  
What make The Wild Woman story so special to me is where my Mom came from. This post tells that story.

letter

Large and Purple
My Dad, Lloyd McLeod, was a local character and a really great father.

My first apartment

Argo, the Ayatollah, Eudora Welty and First Apartments
Connections I share with my daughter.

These were unexpectedly popular:

mcleodyardwork

Timeless Tips From a Fashionista
This was inspired by the GenFab bloghop on epic fashion fails and it also made the Huffington Post. It proves I don’t care about embarrassing myself if it makes a good story.

Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey flipping a table screaming Prostitution Whore!

My Guilty Pleasure
I was a little surprised how many other people admitted to the same guilty pleasure. Ssssshhh, it’s our little secret.

Sometime in the last year I heard about this amazing blogging conference called BlogHer. So I will be flying off to Chicago soon and rooming with a new friend from GenFab. I could never have imagined this a year ago. I’m sure a blog child will be birthed from this adventure. Time will tell if it’ll become a favorite.

Thanks to all who have read and supported me in the past year.

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!





Liquor & Vinyl

15 06 2013

L&Q wine bottleMy vinyl-wrapped-wine-bottle-Honorable-Mention award reads, “This Vinyl Makes Me Want to Liquor.” That pretty much captures the spirit of AAF-BRs* Liquor & Vinyl fundraiser. AdFed, my club, my professional organization, my tribe held a wildly successful art auction. In keeping with the spirit of advertising, which is the industry this group supports, a call for artists was issued with the opportunity to use an old outdoor board vinyl in your creation. And that creation could be whatever you wanted it to be.

This club is made up of people who use their creativity in their jobs everyday; photographers, art directors, web designers, writers, graphic designers. It was amazing to see the work displayed by this group (the majority of the work submitted was by members though the call for artists was open to the public). The creativity was wonderful to behold. Not every one used the vinyl theme and there were some stunning fine art pieces. The vinyl did, however, add to the kinky fun of the night.  There was the shower curtain that was a slice from a colorful outdoor board. There were vinyl pillows, beanbags and vinyl-covered chairs. There was strips of woven vinyl on a frame, paintings on vinyl and vinyl covered frames.  A friend even made and wore a vinyl skirt! Click here and go the event page and you can scroll down and see most of the work.

The Martini Table

The Martini Table 

My sweetie and I took the liquor and vinyl theme to heart. Steve builds wonderful furniture and built a table with repurposed and recycled wood with a vinyl inset. He named it The Martini Table and it took First Place for most creative use of the theme. It came with a cash prize and after we paid our bar tab at the end of the evening, we even had money left over.  My honorable mention was for how I was able to incorporate vinyl onto a wine rack. My biggest expense in creating it was that I had to go buy several bottles of wine so I could take a picture of it before it was auctioned off.

Vinyl Wrapped Wine Rack

Vinyl Wrapped Wine Rack

 

 

Here’s a glimpse into my creative process:

creative sequence2

1. This is the old wine rack I had. It was in a high traffic area in my house. We kept bumping it and breaking our wine glasses. This led Steve to build the Hurricane Bar, which I then had to blog about. 

2. I picked an outdoor vinyl that had the most color on it. You don’t realize how huge an outdoor board is until you open it. This is about ¼ of the board. We’re using the remainder as a tarp.

3. I only needed two small pieces, so I was strategic in the areas I wanted. (Steve used the backside, which is black for his table). The vinyl had a grain to it, so when I selected the sections I wanted, they needed to be in the same direction of the grain.

4. After selecting the vinyl I decided to paint the wine rack copper.

5. I needed a something to tie the rack and the vinyl together. The furniture tack idea comes from watching way too much HGTV.

The auction quickly turned into a good party, after all liquor is in the title. It was held in a new cool downtown restaurant snuggled in the back of a shiny contemporary multi-storied office building, that has an urban vibe. The work was displayed in the building lobby and bought in piece by piece into the restaurant for the auction itself. The place was packed and the auctioneer found a home for every item.

An early morning journaling question was, what is your passion? I realized everything about this event fell into my passion, which can be summed up with the word creativity. The creation of this event with my professional friends. The creation of something tangible for the event. Seeing the amazing work that others created and gave away to be auctioned for a good cause. The fun auction and party that the actual event was. Creative friends supporting each other’s creations. It was a perfect creative storm. It’s left me inspired; I wonder where this creative energy will take me. I’ll keep you posted.

*AAF-BR stands for the American Advertising Federation -Baton Rouge; also know as AdFed or Ad Club

 

If you like My Creative Journey, I’d love for you to follow me. My posts will then arrive in your email and I promise no spam.

I’m proud to be a GenFab blogger!





The Creative Process and Innovation

9 11 2012

It’s Happening!
Last week my blog was about giving birth to Greenview Designs. The business is born and taking it’s first steps. I created my title, Creativity Coach; I like it better than CEO or President. It describes what I do. I help people find their authentic voice for their own creative journey.

My first program using the title Creativity Coach is with the Arts Council of GBR under it’s Community School for the Arts program. It’s Thursday, Nov. 15th. If you’re interested in the program, you can sign up though the Art’s Council FB event page at:

http://www.facebook.com/events/122198911270706/

Here are the details on that page.
The Creative Process and Innovation
Thursday, November 15, 2012
10:00 am until 12:00 pm
Beauregard Gallery and Bistro, 715 Europe St, BR 70802

Learn to use the creative process as a means to create leadership potential and the life you strive for. The process allows for imagining, building, and developing something unique and remarkable in response to a problem or challenge. Using creativity in our jobs, in our time off, or even in stretching resources, we may use this process as a means to solve problems as well.

$20 includes lunch
Contact Robin at 344-8558 or robin@acgbr.com to register

The Arts Council Radio Show
My radio interview about this program is this Sunday at 7:00 in the morning—I know—that’s early for a Sunday. Its on 1150 WJBO AM on the Arts Council Radio Show.  I’m not sure how I sounded, but I looked cute and I was wearing my Miracle Ball earrings!

Synchronicity
This was my horoscope the morning of the interview (spoiler alert—the interview is pre-taped):

“Creative Confidence: Creativity encourages confidence because it gives you an opportunity to stretch the limits of your mind while making the most of your skills. When you think and act in a creative way, you are naturally intrigued by and drawn toward those ideas, people, and situations that are unfamiliar to you. Any fear that might have prevented you from exploring new worlds in the past will be quickly overshadowed by the urge to widen your perspective. When you make use of your imagination today, you may find that a zest for creation is awakened within you as you become more confident in yourself and your abilities.”

I took the horoscope as a “sign”. Not only did I use it in the interview, creative confidence is what the program is all about.

If you’re available and in the area, I hope to see you Thursday. I’m also planning on facilitating a 12-week class on “The Artist’s Way at Work” starting in January. I’ll keep you updated on that.

Now I really have to create my business card.

Feel free to contact me at: greenviewdesigns@gmail.com