Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Here is to a new decade! I think about where I was ten years ago and how far I have come emotionally, spiritually, and professionally - it can be overwhelming how much can change in 10 years!

In the new year we will be able to say "Twenty-" instead of "Two thousand and-" which is pretty exciting. I hope to advance professionally as a hoop dance performer, an Etsy seller, and a teacher - but I'm also taking this time to focus on growing myself as a supportive and devoted friend, partner, and family member. I see a lot of positive personal growth in the next year and decade!

So to all friends and newcomers reading my blog, I wish you the happiest of New Years and New Decades filled with your own personal growth and successes.

Much Love!
Farren Square

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How schools are killing creativity.

The Second installment of the TED Tuesday Feature! To see the first TED Tuesday, Click Here!

All children have talents, and we squander them pretty ruthlessly. How proud are children of their creativity, how quick they are to show off their work without fear of judgment. What are we doing to them that by the time they reach adulthood, the majority of that creativity is flat and uninspired and the majority of adults are too anxious to share their true creative thoughts and ideas?

Most of us went through the Education System, and we all have an opinion on how it may have made us into the person we are now. As a teacher, I maintain the philosophy that children need more opportunities to be creative critical thinkers and have more questions asked of THEM, instead of being told what is what. I agree that creativity is as important as literacy - it is a vital skill to hold.

Here is an outstanding video about how schools are killing creativity and what we need to do about it. (19min21sec)

I've seen it in the classrooms everywhere. Art projects that have step by step instruction manuals and large expectations. Children who are told what to think instead of asked their for their own synthesis of information.

Picasso said that all children are born artists - the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. Is creativity literally educated out of us?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Feature! TED Tuesdays

I'm the kind of person that separates my creations into two sections: Table Crafts and Couch Crafts. Most of my creations pull from a little of column A and a little of column B. Thus, I started poking around the Internet for interesting things to watch during "Couch Craft" time and re-discovered my love of TED talks. Many of them are incredibly thought provoking and inspiring on many different topics, and because they are just speeches - it is easy to craft while you listen.

I have decided to feature a new TED talk every Tuesday in the hopes of sharing thoughts and ideas, inspiring others, and hopefully inciting some interesting discussion on my blog. I would love to have you chime in with your opinion on the topics I post.

So lean back, grab your knitting or stitching or oil pastels and join me for a TED talk, maybe it will get you thinking.

This week's topic is Creativity. Does the confidence to create come naturally to you? Or do you work to overcome those little voices that can sometimes bring us down?

Author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert gave this TED talk on Genius, on Nurturing Creativity, and on overcoming fear - the fear of failure. Can we work to eliminate those insecurities by removing our ego from the equation? Listen to one person's theory on how (19min32sec):

Why is it that artists and creative people everywhere are linked to a history of mental or emotional suffering? Will Artistry almost always lead to anguish? Have you brushed up against 'that thing' that makes you feel like you might just have a genius standing over your shoulder? Sometimes I feel like ideas coming knocking on my head, asking me to make them real.

While watching this TED talk, I worked on this:
The Brooms skinny notebook
Did you work on anything you'd like to share?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Giant crocheted Raccoon Mario rug

If anything has ever inspired me to re-learn how to crochet, this is it. This is beautiful:

Learn More Here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So exciting!!

I'm in the middle of organizing my cozy craft corner - so cozy that it's 4ft by 4ft - when I had to drop everything and share the exciting news:

I've been featured in my very first treasury! Click here to see all the pretty things!" Thanks for helping, guys, clicking the link and even leaving comments will help bump the entire group closer to the front page so that it will get more interest.

I've never been featured in a treasury before, so this was way to exciting and I just had to share.

I'm also pretty excited to share my newly organized craft corner, once I'm finished. I've incorporated a couple vintage pieces to the design and some interesting organization techniques and ideas, and I'm really looking forward to having all my supplies super handy.

Many Bisous,
Farren Square

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Mustache for Movember

My cousin, Jeff, grows a mustache every November. Come December 1st he shaves it off - and happily, too. He does not like growing a mustache. Why does he do it? To raise money and awareness for Men's Health.

Men across the world are growing mustaches in order to raise money for a charity of their choice. Jeff has gone with Prostate Cancer Canada, definitely something that men just don't mention casually to one another. When he started his pledge to raise money, I wanted to help him -but I just couldn't afford it.

So I decided to make this tough, rugged, and manly Mustache Journal to help him raise money for his cause.

Movember Mustache JournalMovember Mustache Journal

This Journal is Up for Auction and all proceeds will go directly to Jeff's fund for Prostate Cancer Canada. I think it is one of the best journals I have made so far, I absolutely love the detail of the fabric and the binding is so sturdy.

Movember Mustache JournalMovember Mustache Journal

Jeff may not like mustaches, but I sure do! Besides being pretty tough, rugged, and manly, I think they can be pretty sexy too. I mean, Tom Selleck couldn't be wrong - could he?

For more details about this notebook, please Click Here!

To donate directly to Jeff's cause Click Here!

Farren Square

Monday, November 23, 2009

The best way to clean up!

When I was younger, I loved playing and hated cleaning up. Who didn't, right?
My sister and I loved our lego, barbies, troll dolls (remember them?!), blocks, and pretty much anything else with many tiny pieces. You know the ones that seem to float all over the floor, but never in the toy bin where they belonged?
Toys inside, the playmat hangs nicely.
Then one year we received PlayMats from my Auntie Lana who is probably the craftiest person in my extended family - I can remember LOVING how easy clean up became: just throw everything into the middle of the circle, pull the drawstrings and it turns into a bag that holds all your toys until next time!
Child's Playmat Toybag
The playmat opens up for playtime.
Now that I have made a few of my own PlayMats for friends and their families, I also realize what a great great gift bag they make - the kids may not be into it at first, but Mom always is, and the kids come around the first time they use it. 
You can find more pictures of this playmat in my Etsy shop!
Playmat turned Toybag
Simply Pull the Drawstrings - All clean!

My first Blog Feature!

Wow! I am very excited to share that my Etsy Shop was featured on another blog today!

SimplyInvitingCards asked me a few questions and you can find it all here! She has a great blog and a great shop - worth checking out especially if you send out Holiday cards around this time of year.

I'm also learning about Twitter this week! I am at so follow me if you have an account and I will follow you back!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Creative Triggers

It is a rare moment that I sit down and say to myself, "Okay, time to be creative," and wait for the juices to flow. I just simply can't be ordered to create when I am not feeling in the moment. Poetry is the best example of this. If I get an idea for a poem I really like, I have to launch into the moment to create the masterpiece. Poems are like realizations, one must pluck them from the air before they pass. In other situations, like crafting handmade things or hoop dancing, this rule is pliable; in the last four years I have figured out different "creative triggers" that will often launch me into that head space I need in order to be at my most creative. While some of them were a no-brainer for me, other things seem so small and random! But each one has their place.

Here is a list of where I draw the most inspiration:

  • Deadlines! The most obvious, of course. This summer I realized just how much it will motivate me, when I'm heading out that door for ten days to spend time at the craziest art festival in the world - that is a deadline that got me moving, and happily.
  • Fellow Artisans and Creators. Looking around can be so inspiring! Whether it is fantastic art pieces, costumes, or handmade designs - I can always find something to get my own wheels turning in completely different ways.
  • Sitting down in my little crafting nook that I've set up for myself! It is awesome in there with my electric typewriter, sewing machine, and all my supplies in reach. I've started to realize the merit in starting projects - but always leaving one small thing undone in such a way that picking it up and finishing it would be a breeze... and while I'm there, I usually jump right into the next project.
  • Painting my toenails. Weird hey?
  • Looking away from the internet. But just once in a while. Not too much. But if I don't, I could get trapped for days. And I mean days and days and days. I love you, internet.

What are your creative triggers? Listening to music? Kissing cute people? Both at the same time?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to Meeee

I'm one hundred and threeeeeeeee... Its my birthday today! And the best gift would be to sell some lovely items from my Etsy store. Its a definite win / win for both of us! ^__^

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What is all the Hoopla?

If you had told me two years ago the level of importance that circle would play in my life, I'd have laughed. To be honest, I think any sane person might laugh if you told them that a hula hoop could mean so much spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally to a person. But it does.

My hoop is my sanctuary, it is my temple. It is such a simple motion, but it takes my all my focus and clears my mind of all clutter.

There are moments inside my circle that I'm feeling the music and using my body to propel such a simple shape in some pretty imaginative ways. That we have legs and arms and skin and cells that can do and be so much is in itself a miracle! But that we can take patient practice to study, learn, and perfect movements that make us so happy is just beyond that in so many ways, it may not even be communicable. I encourage you to try it, and if it doesn't suit you - try something else. Because this kind of passion for movement and grace (something I'm definitely working towards) can be within everybody! This is a feeling worth seeking. I wish it upon everyone I know.

And now that I'm working towards becoming a paid performer - with a few gigs already under my belt - I'm just ecstatic. I understand the drive to create and share and aim for independence. I understand the artist's elation - because to benefit from doing something you truly love to do is the ultimate joy.

Zen Hooping

Click here to see my hooping pictures on Flickr

Click here to see my hooping videos

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A lovely walk.

I had a lovely walk home from the post office this afternoon! Feeling pretty jazzed about my first Etsy sale today, I passed a group of kids in a school playground, sent ahead by their grown up they careened around the corner of the school into the wide open space and immediately launched into a game that had them hollering and laughing, shuffling around in the fall leaves and getting so warm in game that they had made a pile of winter jackets, choosing to keep their mittens and toques.

I thought about that feeling of pure elation that they felt - that I felt - released of responsibility by another, running around a corner like that and being met with wide open space and the desire to laugh at the exhilaration of it all. That freedom to let go and do nothing but enjoy. They reminded me that it is still there, that feeling. I smiled the whole rest of the way home.