August 4, 2010

Where Do I Go From Here...

Do you ever have those moments when you aren't sure where to go next in your creative endeavors?  I am in that place presently where I am unsure what to leap into next.  I have been in the design stage for weeks but, haven't come up with anything that I can get really excited about putting together.  Maybe it's the Summer doldrums that have me stuck.

What do you do when you get into a creative slump?  What techniques do you use to inspire yourself?  I would love your input and advice.

Things I have tried include visually beautiful movies, a walk on my favorite hiking paths, vigorous bicycle rides, exploring my favorite junk shops, pulling out my favorite magazines and I even knitted a sweater for this Fall to take a break from the drawing board.


None of these seem to have worked.

Photo:  The Greenhouse and Potager in Tyra's Garden

On another note, I juiced elderberries for the first time this year.  Delicious.  The flavor of the juice is so delicate and light - and most importantly good for you.  Here are some of the health benefits of elderberry juice.

Elderberry juice is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis.

Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Wow, all that in one little berry that grows wild in most of the United States and around the world.  I found mine growing wild at the farm this Summer.

With latex gloves, I pulled the tiny berries off the stems, rinsed them in cold water, placed them in a stainless steel pot, covered them with water, brought them to a boil, turned off the heat and placed the entire pot in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, I drained the liquid using a sieve, poured the juice into jars and placed them in the refrigerator.  I have been enjoying the juice every morning. 

Elderberries are not overly sweet, so if you would like a sweeter juice you can add agave sweetener or add natural apple cider.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer and all the wonderful fresh produce from you garden and favorite Farmer's Market.

Blessings - Julie


Alice said...

With our hectic schedule and a long to-d- list, this happens to me a lot. After trying 'all of the above', I pull out all my beads and just feel their texture, admire their color, and more or less fondle them. Most of the time something comes out of this, but sometimes the only thing that happens is finding a bead that I forgot I had.

Try doing nothing--sort of like ignoring a misbehaving child. Works like a charm for me. Usually I end up with many ideas swirling in my head.

I've never had elderberries. They are lovely, and have so many health benefits!

NuminosityBeads said...

It sounds like you're doing all the right things, Julie.
Sometimes for me just walking away and doing boring old housework works, in fact these day I use it as a procrastination measure> I never thought I'd put off doing art to do dishes but indeed sometimes that's what happens. I try to take the pressure off of myself and give myself long breaks from some of my crafting. I looked at my notes and saw that I haven't made a bead since the end of June.
Cooking, for me is a good diversion as it was my main hobby for so many years before my current artistic pursuits. It feels creative and fulfilling on an immediate level. Hope this helps!
xoxo Kim

Julie Pishny said...

Thanks, Kim. Cooking is a great suggestion and it's a win-win. I'll just learn to make something entirely new...time to browse through my cookbooks for something intriguing. Hugs to you my friend - Julie

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Julie, thanks for the birthday wishes! Miss you girl. So I think you're doing it all right, just getting in touch with nature and things important to you. Open your mind to something new, and it will come. One tiny thing can lead you in a whole new direction, then go with it. It will happen my friend. Hugs, and happy summer. Riki

TesoriTrovati said...

Creativity is hard to schedule. That is most often when it doesn't want to appear. I read (some of) a book about 12 habits of highly creative people, or something like that (sorry, the title escapes me). There was a chapter in there that made a lot of sense about having a fallow season. Just like farmers who don't plant in a particular field to give it a rest, that sounds like what you are doing. You are enjoying other creative endeavors...movies, walks, knitting and elderberry juicing...perhaps when your creative focus returns it will be crisper and the soil will be richer. I say wait it out. But keep enjoying and noticing the inspiration around you. It will return when the time is ripe.
Enjoy the day!

Julie Pishny said...

Thanks, Erin for sharing the fallow season with me...something that made alot of sense. I'll have to find the book you mentioned. Hugs - Julie

Lesley said...

Hi Julie,

I find the summer difficult creatively sometimes - there are so many lovely outside pleasures to enjoy!

When I hit a block I tend to steer right away from anything crafty and do something totally different. Last time it happened I just went on a nature ramble and picked up anything that I liked the look of - a stone, a leaf, a piece of bark from a tree; then laid all my finds on the window ledge in the craft room.

not so Surprisingly all the different textures and colours were very inspiring and it wasn't long before ideas began popping.

I hope you get your mojo back soon.

Our elderberries grow wild here too but the flower season has only just finished. It will be a month or two before the berries are ripe and then it will be a race against the blackbirds to see who can harvest them first haha!

Sending you a ((hug))
Lesley x

Lee said...

Hm, often I just wait the slump out, becaause forcing it just doesn't work for me. That being said, I like to look at magazines and catalogs to get ideas, color combos, etc. Or, I think about it right before I go to bed, and sometimes in the thwlight sleep, ideas come. Or, just go dig in the dirt for awhile!!

Lee said...

Hm, often I just wait the slump out, becaause forcing it just doesn't work for me. That being said, I like to look at magazines and catalogs to get ideas, color combos, etc. Or, I think about it right before I go to bed, and sometimes in the thwlight sleep, ideas come. Or, just go dig in the dirt for awhile!!

La Dolce Vita said...

I organize the studio when I get unsure, then I will get inspired by something in the pile and I have to jump back to work! who knew elderberries were so good?

Ms Bingles Vintage Christmas said...

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It is so special, I just love it!
thank you for sharing!