Tag Archive | hobby

30 Days of Photos (challenge) Days 1&2

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I signed up for a free e-course by Iphone photographer, Kristen Radden!

Everyday for 30 days we are challenged to take a picture of whatever it says that day.
It’s mostly about using smartphones but we can use any camera. Smartphones and ipads are encouraged though.
Some are easy, some a bit more challenging. 
Some easy ones are, animals, friends/family, a mannequin, our own face…one more difficult one is random people. lol Sorry but running up to a random person and taking a pic isn’t my kind of thing! Even if I ask, it seems intrusive or creepy.
Unless I take it of a group of people on the street while I’m in back. So their faces can’t be seen. But I guess being a bit challenging is the whole point!  
One day it’s the rule of thirds which isn’t an object but about position. Whatever we take a picture of should be in a certain position, like the third section of the phone camera, it can be hard if we aren’t accustomed to taking pics that way. But much easier if the phone has a grid, which mine doesn’t. 😦 This is like the one occasion ever that I wish I had an iPhone! 
It seems like every phone cam has a grid but mine! 
The point of the rule of thirds is to not always have the subject in the center, which we often automatically think to do. It’s good to mix it up a bit.

If our phone doesn’t have a grid, we can imagine one and take the pic that way, ummm what?! My imagination isn’t this good!  
So I tried to draw one on my phone with a permanent marker! Bad mistake!
I had no idea what I was doing. 
And did not realize it’s a permanent marker I was using. The word “permanent” is very faded. 

So then I quickly scrubbed/licked it off(you’re welcome to use my phone if you want…lol), luckily it all came off! The licking did not work so I had to scrub it with a paper towel. 
Then I looked it up to see how I can get a grid on my phone and found a forum where someone asked how to get one on blackberry and I couldn’t believe most of the people on there managed to get into a big argument over this! Insults going and all! Over a simple question about a phone camera grid! In the end they decided there’s absolutely no way to get a grid on blackberry camera. If a phone doesn’t come with one, you’re shit outta luck. So much for that one!  And the argument is years old, like almost a decade. It started over people saying insults about the person for being “so stupid” and caring to get a grid on a little phone and not just getting a real camera. 

The main rule for the 30 day challenge is just to take a picture of whatever it says that day. Then if we have a blog we are encouraged to put it on and also on Twitter (which I don’t have except an account my sister set up for me years ago because she wanted to test stuff without using her own, and I never used, not my cup of tea), instagram (which I also don’t have) and to upload the pictures we take to the website for the photo challenge, which I’m not doing. Because it doesn’t work good on my phone. I have a laptop computer now but usually prefer my phone. 

I think it would be good to have another 30 day challenge that is even more challenging where we get pictures of not necessarily an object but of an abstract idea. Like maybe one day can be to get a picture representing “loneliness” or “pain” or “joy” or “cheerfulness” or “in love” or “individuality”…..something like that. It would be so interesting and much more challenging in a good way. 

Here is a picture I took last year to try to convey a message of standing out or individuality. We used to sell these bouncy balls at work and most were blue so I took one pink one and put it with the blue and then slightly blurred out the blue ones. Nothing against blue balls or anything(although the pink ones are prettier!)! Lol I was just trying to portray an abstract concept.  

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Another great challenge would be 30 days of rules, like each day a different rule of photography to use. Like leading lines, negative space, rule of thirds, composition or perspective…this would be really challenging for people not completely familiar with photography and the various rules relating to it. It would be so fun! Are there even 30 rules though? Who knows?! But we can put our own twists and ideas onto the rules and it would be great! 

I would love to create my own e- course similar to this one and see all the various photos and creativity people tap into. I would make some days easy and some very challenging and there would really be no rules and it would be free for everyone! I probably need some money first, some more education on photography, just by reading and practicing more, and more followers interested, so I have a good amount of people and much diversity! Maybe one day! 😀

For Day #1, which for me was August 1st, so yesterday, the challenge is to get a picture of feet. Lol I got a few.

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This is me at work. Floor needs a good mopping! It’s my fault. I practically been living here the last few days (weeks actually) with all my extra hours and been slacking on the mopping. 

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This! This isn’t a “feet picture.” lol But my feet are in it! I spilled soda on my shirt, trying to mix stuff together to make a cold s’mores drink with Sprite soda and marshmallow fluff (the non alcoholic s’mores drink – I wasn’t getting my drink on at work or anything, and I don’t drink alcohol anyway) and I managed to spill soda on my shirt, just a drop and then I rubbed it with a wet rag, dreading the big wet spot on my boob. Lol Then I looked and saw it blended into a heart! Whoaa! Amazing! 😀 ❤ I find love everywhere I am.  (btw, I failed at making the drink…lol it just turned into slop)

And this wasn't taken on August first but it's still a "feet pic" and my doggy's cute paws are in it! Aww ❤

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This was taken over a week ago, it's my new pink slippers! I had black ones but my twin pups chewed them! Lol 

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of course my feet photo collection isn’t complete without a couple pics of me in stilettos!!

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August 2nd – today the rule is to get a pic of a tree!

Here goes:

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This is the gum tree outside of work! People just got into the habit of sticking their gum onto it through the years. People have even bought gum at the store here, just to chew and stick to the tree. Fun and interesting? or just disgusting? Poor tree! 

Through the years I have witnessed many parents yelling in horror as their kids were touching it. Lol It probably attracts like every virus in the book, sore throat germs, common colds, influenza, small pox (ok maybe not that one..), zombie infection?, probably not that one either (hopefully!)…. One day years ago, a little boy touched it and his dad screamed "you're going to get Hep. C. & HIV!!!!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh, I don't think those things are likely to be contracted through a gum tree. But I'm no expert on infectious diseases so I wouldn't listen to me! 

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This is the tree in my neighbors' backyard! 
I'm always taking pictures of it in every season, standing in my own yard. It has heart-shaped leaves in Spring & Summer, pretty purple/pink, fragrant flowers in May(my dog, Emmy got one that fell in our yard one year and brought it to my mom on Mother’s Day! lol He just went out and got it and brought it in to her!), and in Fall & Winter I can often see stars through the bare branches through my bedroom window.

And this was taken Thursday.

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Tomorrow I will be posting the pic for Day #3, if technology isn't screwing around with me like it has been.  Tomorrow is the rule of thirds. I don't know about this! But I'll try it!

I love how this project encourages us to tap into our creativity, it has very little rules so we can be creative with angles, effects, concepts…

And it's something fun and new each day! 

If you're into picture taking, maybe you want to join too?! It's at your own pace and you can begin whenever you want. If you decide to or are already in the process, let me know! I want to see your pictures! 😀

30 Day Photo Challenge e-course

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! 

xoxo Kim 😀

Random Inspiration #9 {Beauty (and mystery) in the Mundane}

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Adventure is great, holidays, celebrations, weddings, buying new things, shopping sprees, vacations, new jobs, promotions, and new experiences! Those are great things to experience and pursue if we’re into those things. But we don’t always get the chances to do those and we don’t need them anyway to be happy and have fun, thrilling lives! There’s so much beauty in the mundane, extraordinary in the ordinary, simple joys in everyday.  Let’s cherish, savor, and deeply appreciate them!

Check out my post in the Page section on the menu:

“Small Things Forgotten”

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/small-things-forgotten/

This page explains my goal of reclaiming and shedding light on the simple, often abandoned things, the mundane aspects of our lives like the colors, the textures, the hues and simple conversations, lines and edges and our favorite books and knick knacks and the sounds in the streets, the wetness on bottles of drinks, the fragrance of cookies baking or food being cooked, our kitchen table or dresser even if it’s plain and just getting old or boring now, the rooms in our house, the streets we walk each day, the ground we walk upon, the hills, buildings, and trees we pass by on our way to work…and how they are beautiful even when they’re not, merely because they make up our lives each day, every single day and they are part of us. They are no less important than the big celebrations and vacations and holidays and weddings, all the “big” things many of us often wait for, search for, hope for, and sometimes feel incomplete, jealous, depressed or low without, either because we want them and don’t have them or because society as a whole says we should have them and if we don’t, we can feel like outcasts or less than successful.   

I love to take pictures of “ordinary” or “boring/plain” objects making them look beautiful, mysterious, obscure, nostalgic, or difficult to detect what they are.

Like this one:

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Can you tell what it is?!

I can’t either! Lol And it’s my own picture I took at work of something we see/use everyday! I remember taking the picture of whatever it is and trying to obscure it, mystify it. And it worked a little too well because now I can’t figure out for the life of me what it is. To me, it looks like packages that come in the mail but I’m nearly certain it’s not! 

I even searched the place all day one day looking for it and to no avail! I think the point of this photo Activity

of de-focusing or obscuring objects is to have others guessing, not our own selves but oh well! I guess that just goes to show my madd skills! ;-D

Here are some links if you are interested about photography and photographing everyday objects and tips to taking pictures with a smartphone.

http://digital-photography-school.com/the-16-most-photogenic-everyday-objects/

http://thephotographerwithin.com/2014/01/make-everyday-objects-look-amazing/

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2013/08/07/close-up-photography-creative-ideas-for-photographing-everyday-objects/

(Caution: this website uses cookies and they can store them or access them on your device so if that’s not ok with you, you may not want to click it)  It’s about taking pictures of everyday objects such as a strap on a shoulder bag, a lemon slice in a drink…and making them beautiful in pictures or de-focusing them to make them more interesting and not being able to tell what they arE

How
fascinating! 

http://digital-photography-school.com/5-ways-to-take-better-smartphone-photos/

Even if you aren’t interested in photography there are other ways to appreciate and express gratitude or joy for the simple gifts of living like writing/poetry, drawing or painting, or just basking in the beauty, soaking it all up with as many senses as you have!

😀

Here are some of my pictures of simple, everyday things and inspiring quotes I have come across that convey, in some way, the message of how every “ordinary” day is beautiful.

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Can you tell what this one is?!

If you can’t tell, why should I?! Lol
;-D

“You can be in love with one thousand views and skylines and souls and minds at once. Don’t apologize for your burn, your passion, or your enthusiasm. Enthusiasm propels the world.” – Victoria Erickson

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Hmmm….;-p

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ~ 
Frances Hodgson Burnett

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~ Elliott Erwitt

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“Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every human life is of inestimable value.” ~ 
Desmond Tutu

“Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.” ~ 
Boris Pasternak

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What in the world? An x-ray pic of a spinal cord?!?! Or maybe it’s just a weird pic of a Center City Philadelphia building. I sent it to my mom in a text and said guess what it is and she couldn’t so I said it’s a spinal cord and she screamed “Eww oh my god Eww!!” and deleted it instantly. Lol 😀 She believed me.

“I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.” ~ Sarah Williams

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Light graffiti!

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” ~ 
Bill Moyers

“As a matter of fact, I deliberately look for the mundane, because I feel these stories are ignored. The most influential things that happen to virtually all of us are the things that happen on a daily basis. Not the traumas.” ~ 
Harvey Pekar 

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This looks like cold hard cash. That’s because it is! It’s someone’s penny collection. I don’t know whose though.

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The perfect snack. No mystery here. MmmMmmm

“What I like about The Sims is that I don’t have a normal life at all, so I play this game where these people have these really boring, mundane lives. It’s fun.” ~ 
Gerard Way

Lol Remember this quote the next day you crave a more adventurous life! Some people would give anything for a bit of simplicity. ;-D

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One of those containers to keep coins in with a toy camera effect on the pic.

“Actually I think Art lies in both directions – the broad strokes, big picture but on the other hand the minute examination of the apparently mundane. Seeing the whole world in a grain of sand, that kind of thing.” ~ 
Peter Hammill

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Busstop.

“The heart of the theater is the play itself, how it dramatizes life to make it meaningful entertainment. To achieve depth and universality, the playwright must subject himself to intense critique, to know human character and behavior, and finally to construct art from the most mundane of human experience.” ~
F. Sionil Jose

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” Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella
All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August, she was mine” ~ The Hollies

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And this is???

The rim of a

glass soda bottle (or a photo of one) dressed up in a leaky toy camera effect!

“I think you can find all the elements that you can find in great literature in mundane experiences.”
Harvey Pekar

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Can you guess this one?

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.
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It’s raindrops on my dad’s car window! With a street light in the distance.

“every time we go out into the world we can choose to be alert to see what we’ve not seen before. a trip to the corner store can contain a multitude of universes. it only requires a conscious decision to “tune in” and activate all the senses to be open to what we don’t know yet” ~ Keri Smith 

And we can look at things we see everyday in a different way than we usually do! 

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The picture on the left was taken after 10:00 at night! Right when a lightening bolt ventured across the sky! And I took the pic on the right just a few seconds later after the lightening disappeared! Isn’t it amazing?! A lightening bolt lights up the whole sky like that but it happens so quickly we don’t realize.

What a beautiful lesson to us! When we’re completely in the dark, we can find just one sliver of light or spark of hope, joy, or beauty that can light up our world.

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Purple rain.

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Rainy night in my dad’s car under the blue, blue Moon. That’s my dad’s Kindle lit up in the window.

I read a book called “a new adventure everyday 541 simple ways to live with pizzazz” by David Silberkleit.

The book is about how we don’t have to travel to be adventurous, we don’t have to bungee jump or climb a mountain, we don’t have to take big risks and don’t even have to leave our houses to have a thrilling adventure. Those things are fantastic and I definitely would love to and hope to engage in some of those one day but as I have said, they are not necessary to be adventurous. 

And the author of this book IS an adventurous person in the sense I mention above. He has traveled to various places and tried new things, took risks, and engaged in big thrilling activities such as rock climbing, sailboat racing, scuba diving, motorcycling, visiting other countries…..he believed that was the only way to be adventurous and have a thrill. Then after forty years he realized that being adventurous can be more simple but still as rewarding, it can mean “discovery of a unique new color of silver reflected in a cloud after sunset or a conversation with the person sitting next to me on a New York subway, just to see if maybe we have something in common.” He also lists: asking his father what he remembers about being his age and telling his best friend something he would have never told anyone before.

In his book he lists many simple, inexpensive activities we can do every single day to bring some adventure into our lives without traveling the world or jumping out of an airplane. I hope anyone who wants to travel and rockclimb and go sailboat racing will! That sounds like a lot of fun! But many, probably most of us cannot do that often but we CAN explore and engage in mini but still thrilling little adventures each day. 
Some suggestions the author gives are: admire the small businesses – introducing yourself to the owners and having a look around even if the products or services offered are something you would never use, greeting everyone you see that day without waiting for them to say hello first (I’m so shy so this is definitely a thrilling adventure for me that takes guts!), go on a scary ride at a theme park, pay attention to the name tags of employees in the stores you go to, write down all the things you need to forgive yourself for then burn or bury it or float it down a river, make a compromise with someone, take a whole day and do not criticize yourself, draw self portraits in different ways including two using only your left hand. 

The possibilities are infinite!

The point is NOT to avoid big adventures like traveling and sky diving if that’s what we want but to also cherish the simple forgotten things all of us always have access to. 

Let’s not overlook all that we currently have no matter how simple! 😀 And let’s use our creativity and imagination and see what we can do with all the things we have every day to make them even more thrilling!
I wish you much love and passion and thrilling adventures whatever you choose to do! ❤

Xoxo Kim  😀

My Inner Springtime

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I have been working on this for days! And here it is!! 😀

http://www.positivelypresent.com/2014/03/inner-spring.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PositivelyPresent+(positively+present)

Positively Present(the link above), by Dani Dipirro, is a lovely little place on the net with an abundance of positivity and inspiration to bask in. I subscribed to her e-mail updates a while ago. She came up with a wonderful idea to create an inner Springtime.   You know how Spring is the rebirth of your world around you after what may seem like a long, cold, barren Winter? It can also be metaphorical for rebirth and inner growth, as you may already know.   I love Winter and every season. They all have their own unique beauty and blessings that the other three do not.   And I am blessed to live in a place with four beautiful seasons.  But the Winter cold can be painful and it’s hard to stay out long in that. To me, it often seems urgent like I have to hurry out of the cold after a while. It’s hard to walk and take photos in that weather while shaking in the frigid Winter air. I know many people just don’t like the gray.   And the Winter lack and the light can have a biochemical effect on the brain chemistry of people, contributing to depression or just a low mood.   I wouldn’t give up beautiful Winter for anything though! I like the cold, the gray, the bare branches on trees…

Every year I warmly welcome Winter

But

I also love when Winter melts into Spring and each year I am very ready for Spring as Winter is coming to a close. The sunlight, the warm lingering daylight, the blossoming green and scented flowers…. Dani Dipirro shares her list on her website for how to create our own little Spring no matter what it’s like out there. What a wonderful idea!

I decided to write my own list, trying not to steal any of her exact ideas! Lol   She has amazing ideas on her list! Be sure to check them out! Some of her ideas are: create a gratitude list, re-read a book, watch a Spring themed movie, play with a dog, cat, or child….

She inspires me so much, so frequently! 

Again, here’s her post with her list!

http://www.positivelypresent.com/2014/03/inner-spring.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PositivelyPresent+(positively+present

So here’s mine!

1.) Try to think back to a song you once loved and listened to often then forgot all about it. 
Download the song and listen. Feel the emotions and memories come flooding back. If you need help remembering your song, think of different ages or stages, years, seasons that have come and gone. Think of old music bands you haven’t heard any songs by in a long while.  Can you remember any long lost songs? 
One of my favorite feelings in the world is rediscovering a beautiful song I haven’t heard in years!

Check this out:
http://www.bobborst.com/popculture/top-100-songs-of-the-year/?year=1964

It has a tab with a long list of years and you can choose a year and then read a list of top songs for that year!

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2.) Try to find a quote you haven’t heard of before. A quote about a topic close to your heart. Maybe a quote about hope and healing, love, gratitude, being and staying motivated? You can search for a quote book or just look online for lists of inspirational quotes.

Here, you will find a wellspring of quotes and inspiration: 
http:www.joyprogram.com

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3.) Maybe a little redecorating! Or Spring cleaning!   This will be a good one for me since I tend to get my room cluttered with books and clothes.   Set out things that make you happy, maybe Spring themed things like flowers, pastel colors, bunnies….

4.) Light a beautiful candle with a light fragrance if you aren’t allergic or have breathing difficulties.   Lavender, citrus, cotton or linen, cherry….MmmmMmm!!
Different fragrances are believed to be great for different things.   Lavender is good for depression and sleep disorders, anxiety and fear. Vanilla is good for stress, Lemon is good for sadness and grief, Clary Sage is good for fatigue……certain scents are just uplifting and can inspire a good mood!  
 Open your window, let your curtains blow in the gentle breeze and invite the promise of Spring into your heart. 
And check this out for aromatherapy mood blends:
http://www.aromatherapy.com/mood_blends.html

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5.) Do some random act of kindness for someone anonymously.   Maybe you know someone in need of some cheering up. Send an anonymous card or flowers, help pay for something…

6.) Pay someone a genuine and sweet compliment either in person or online.

7.) do an arts and craft project. My favorite is to write a quote or song lyrics and decorate it!

8.) Buy or download a book you are interested in and never read yet.

9.) Girls and men and anyone else who love/s to wear makeup and/or new hairstyles, try a new hairstyle/color or makeup look that you have been afraid to try, if that’s the kind of thing you’re interested in. I love makeup and hair and for makeup, I like trying different eyeshadow colors and stuff but my hair is always the same.   Either put up in hair ties or long and flowing around my waist. I never care to change the color or length/general style.  Some people do want to but need a little push. It can be scary thinking about changing a part of ourselves, even something like just a hair style/color which can be reversed and isn’t really a serious life decision.   Anyone contemplating any change, big or small, permanent or not can use some encouragement/support. But it’s ultimately up to you.

10.) Search for a new park or cafe or bookstore. It doesn’t actually have to be new. Maybe new to you or one you haven’t been to in a while.

11.) Step outside your comfort zone. Maybe read a kind of book you don’t usually read. Do an activity you probably won’t be good at. Try a new style of clothing, try food you never tried, try to learn a few phrases in a language you don’t know to speak good in, do something you feel way too shy to do, push yourself, I find that this opens me and I become less shy and more open to even more ideas….

12.) Live in the present moment. Here and now. For an entire day or part of a day, forget about later. Forget about tomorrow and what you “have” to do. Be grateful for THIS moment. Bask in the beauty of your life. Maybe you can mindfully watch a movie, eat something while savoring every taste, texture, sensation…, doing a mindfulness, walking meditation 

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13.) Reminisce about things long gone. Remember beautiful things, places, people, pets….you once knew.   Feel the beauty of love they fill/ed in you, feel the sting of loss, the sweet sadness of nostalgia….it’s bittersweet.

14.) Create a long list of all the reasons your life is amazing right now.   No matter what you want and don’t yet or will never have. Focus on the current goodness.

15.) Share a quote you love with someone. Anyone.

16.) Write a positive, uplifting, or thought-provoking message that can apply to people in general. You can sign your first name, nick name or not sign it and have more mystery.  Fold up the paper and leave it somewhere for a random person to find. On a seat in a restaurant or bus or train.   On a park bench, on a random house step(hopefully you don’t get flagged for littering! Lol you can tell them it’s my fault, I will take the responsibility lmao), on a shelf in a store, in the pages of a book in a used book store. It may seem kind of creepy but it may be just what someone needs to read. It can brighten someone’s day! It can be a quote or any short but sweet, positive, little message!

17.) Do something by yourself that you don’t usually do alone. A movie theatre, restaurant, buy yourself flowers…Love your own company! 
I often had trouble with this because I suffer with depression and there were some years where I had no true friends and was frequently, physically alone like in college some years , during the breaks in the middle of the day. While I love my own company and have fun alone and with people, even when I had true friends, being alone outside would make me depressed and sad sometimes and excruciatingly lonely.   But it’s amazing to learn to love and cherish your moments you have alone. You don’t always need people around to have fun and not be lonely. 

18.) Make a long list of things you like about you, physically or not. You may not consciously know you have things you like about yourself but look at you. Look within and look at your body. Maybe you’ll discover new things you like that you never realized. Think of your opinions, your compassion, your kindness, your eyes, your heart, your uniqueness,  Try not to think in terms of better or worse and just focus on what is.   Like how someone else has it better or that yours can be worse. Look at you currently and love you!  Also try not to think of it as being conceited. Self love is great! It may seem unnatural first but you’ll get the hang of it! 😀

19.) think of a habit you would like to develop and begin it now or tonight. Maybe you want to start going to sleep earlier, putting healthier food into your body instead of junk, take one hour or more a day just for you, learn about a new topic, exercise regularly…

20.) adopt a dog, cat, bunny, or whatever fur/feather/reptile… baby you want!

21.) Step outside and wonder at the incredible beauty and greatness that Nature is. And look at the incredible, beautiful structure of buildings.   Look at the veins in the leaves. Go weak at the knees at the astounding gift of life. Look at the sky and marvel at the colors, designs, textures, everything….tap into full awareness of your senses. Don’t just look and know. Feel. Feel at a deeper level. Fall into the depths of mindfulness and beauty. Come alive.

22.) do some stretches that are safe for you. You can find many tips and steps on YouTube. 

23.) Remember not to be jealous of or depressed over anyone else’s beauty or success.  You, too, have gifts and accomplishments.    There will always be those with more and those with less. And that’s ok.  Celebrate their fortunes as well as your own.

24.) try a guided imagery meditation.   I took a counseling class in college for meditation and used to do stuff like this in therapy some years ago.
Here’s one for pain byMagical Meditations:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rPtsVkfTEWY

This is the mobile link. It’s complicated to get the desktop link on my phone and it messes things up. I hope you can find it on your computer if you’re interested! 
I love this. It’s for physical and emotional pain. You can find ones on YouTube for pain, sleep, relaxation, gratitude, and more!

I love when the person guiding the meditation has a different accent than me. Lol

25.) search for an old/classic novel or play if you’re into reading and download it for free! They’re no longer copyrighted so you can find them free and legally online. Usually in text or pdf version!
Over 40,000 free ebooks here!!

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32707?msg=welcome_stranger

26.) find an obscure poem, drawing, painting, or something of that sort and try different ways of interpreting it! Or think of an opinion you have on something and try to imagine having a different or opposing view on it.   What must that be like? You don’t have to change your views but it’s fun imagining and also can teach us to develop deeper compassion and empathy.

27.) create a life philosophy if you don’t already have one! I can’t stress enough how much this has helped me heal and to be a better being than I have ever been. I haven’t written my entire life philosophy out yet, just parts of it. But I will write more. A life philosophy will help guide you on your life journey.   It can grow, expand, and change as you do, please don’t let it restrain you. It doesn’t have to be written in stone but write it in your heart. Make it strong and firm enough to hold you, guide you, and ground you when you falter and fall. Don’t let it imprison you but let it guide you. If you ever find that you outgrow your life philosophy, let your life philosophy grow right along with you.  
My basic life philosophy is to make certain thoughts, feelings, and concepts my general way of life as opposed to just feeling them occasionally or only when I feel like it or when it’s most easy and convenient for me.   It is designed by me to help me be the best me I can be for myself and everyone I impact in any way, not to be a perfectionist but to be better in ways that matter most.
Not to tell people what is best for them ever but to be sure my words and actions are always for the better and never to intentionally or thoughtlessly hurt, destroy, or drag people down.
  I choose to make kindness, love, gratitude, hope, and compassion my way of life. Even when it hurts. Even when people do me wrong. Even  when people are not kind and compassionate for me and others, even when they don’t appreciate my gratitude for them and return it. I choose to remind myself over and over how beautiful life itself is even when it hurts. I choose to never give up.   Not give up on life or myself.   All of these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often come to us and are easy now and then but it’s so easy to crumble and give up on them sometimes. A life philosophy, to be effective to the fullest must be practiced and maintained every single day.   Like I said before sometimes I am so tempted to give up on it and it goes out the Window when I’m in serious pain but it’s ingrained in me enough so I always find my way back to it soon enough. Find quotes, songs, writings, blogs, books, people, memories….to confirm and help you nurture your life philosophy.  Meditate upon it. Write about it in blogs or journals. Apply it to your real life experiences.  
My physical pain disorder and my depressive disorder helped me strengthen and deepen my own life philosophy by testing me.
Just like a muscle when it’s exercised, it gets stronger. My life philosophy deepens with experience, both pleasant and unpleasant. 
This can help you so so much to be happier, stronger, comforted, and have your life more organized. 
Write down the basic tenets of your life philosophy today.
 I came across this idea because I attended college for Philosophy and graduated with the B.A. In it.   So many people say Philosophy is useless and no point in taking it in college. But I took it just for fun and it is not useless or just for academic purposes.    It can help us think more clearly and develop better reasoning abilities.   There are even self-help/personal development Philosophy books designed to help us apply philosophical concepts to our own lives.  Anyway you don’t have to know anything at all about the academic field of Philosophy or go to college to develop your life philosophy or even necessarily read a self-help book.   They can all be supplements.  And you can learn so much about philosophers and their philosophies online. Much of it is old and not copyrighted. 
We even have our own ten commandments! The Ten Commandments of Philosophy!
Check it out:

https://sites.google.com/site/degatzia/thetencommandmentsofphilosophy

But really, all you have to do is think of qualities you would love to have or strengthen in yourself.   Think of qualities you adore in other people, think of thoughts that help you. What are your values? Virtues? Principles? Strong beliefs? Think them through and put them together to develop the basic foundation of your own life philosophy.   As I have said though, it’s ok to change it when/if your core beliefs and values change but it’s good not to let depression, fear, pain, negativity change it in a negative way like make you decide to kick it to the curb for good or for too long. After it becomes your Way and is deeply ingrained in you, it will be much easier to live by.

I hope you will begin to develop your basic life philosophy today. You can add to it everyday.   It may always be a work in progress, not a complete destination.  Just like you yourself.   And that’s for the best. We’re always learning, evolving, becoming and it’s interesting that way!

Here’s an idea for a life handbook:

http://personalexcellence.co/blog/create-your-life-handbook/

Also, here’s a list of Philosophy texts online :
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/subjectstart?B

And for your amusement :

Unsolvable problems in philosophy/unanswerable questions 

http://io9.com/5945801/8-philosophical-questions-that-well-never-solve

http://a-misconception.blogspot.com/2010/09/list-of-unsolved-philosophy-problems.html?m=1

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ETERQUES.html

And here you have free access to an online textbook “Introduction to Philosophy.”

http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/pPecorino/INTRO_TEXT/default.htm

28.) Do you want to be wildly entertained and put your intellectual skills to use?!  And also be pulling out your hair?! You’re in luck!   Check out these fascinating legal puzzlers!! They will blow your mind. And seriously, they have no definite conclusions! You may think you have it all figured out but there’s always more thoughts and conclusions out there, it is tantalizing! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! ;-D In college, Temple University,  in my philosophy of law class, we were introduced to some of these!

http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/puzz1.html

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365 Project (photos)

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(Mom’s slippers)

” A photograph is usually looked at- seldom looked into.”
Ansel Adams

Have you ever heard of the “365 Project?”.   365project.org

It’s a project where we take a photo each day and upload it to our account on that page. Anyone can set up an account for free and begin whenever you want. You don’t have to upload the picture the day you take it, you can post it whenever you get around to it but put the correct date of when it was taken. You can only put one picture on for each date but you can upload as many as you want on any day.

You can take a pic of anything you want, there are really no rules except I think no risqué photos or anything of that sort. And maybe no violent photos.

I set up an account this morning and have one for Dec. 15th & one for Dec. 16th. It’s a very inspiring project and people have said it’s life changing for the better. Some people are waiting until the new year to begin it.

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I love love love LOVE taking pictures, looking at pictures & just everything to do with photography so this is amazing to me! ;-D

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It’s like a social media thing, I guess, and you can have favorites and followers and stuff. I love the idea of taking a picture every day and posting it.

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I think it’s best and most fulfilling if we take the pictures for us and not stress too much about how good or bad or perfect it is or how popular it will be. It really doesn’t matter as long as YOU like your pictures. 

😀

I only recently heard about this so I haven’t seen too many of people ‘s pictures yet and I’m so happy I have so much to look forward to with it! So many amazing people and photos to come across! 

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Here’s my account:

http://365project.org/kimberlyjm52/365

I’m using my phone to take the pictures.

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I love how a camera can capture beauty and immortalize it, and photos can speak so much.

Here are some great photography quotes I love!

“To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.”
Ansel Adams

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
– Aaron Siskind

No, the camera can’t steal the soul. But it can occasionally hold it hostage.
– author unknown

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.

Dorothea Lange 

What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
Karl Lagerfeld

Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.
Marc Riboud

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
Eudora Welty

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell.KKim Edwards

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
Ansel Adams

Xoxo Kim

P.s. If you’re doing this project, I would love to see your pics, you can post the link if you would like to share it with me!

Creativity – Don’t Hold Back!!! :-D

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I have been feeling this creative energy just surging through me like never before and have no idea why! Lol! I have never considered myself to be creative and have always felt a kind of block when attempting to think or act creatively.   I’m better at research/academic/analytical stuff. 

I have often put off doing things I either knew or assumed I wouldn’t be good at.   I would try it and quit right away.  I know that’s not a good idea and is a self imposed creative block. First of all, if it’s fun and interesting to you, it doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not.

Also there’s a chance you will become better with practice.  Creativity doesn’t just have to be things like drawing and writing. It can be things like problem solving and thinking about things at different angles and with different perspectives.

I have noticed I am more creative now in writing poetic -like writings and with problem solving. People have sometimes told me I have a poetic way of speaking, which comes naturally to me but I’m not so sure I have ever been great at writing actual poetry or stories. But I feel more creative than ever now!   I have been trying to analyze why this is and one thing I think is, it may have to do with increased confidence in other areas. Confidence in one aspect of life can permeate to every other aspect, which is very good!

I have been meditating upon the concept of “When one door closes, another opens.”. That is a creative way of thinking.   Instead of dwelling on what is lost, we can use the experience to make way for better things.

If we allow it, it can help us look at things differently.   I used to often, and sometimes still do, dwell on previous pain and struggles, allowing them to hold me back and imprison me. But more and more I have been using them as resources to guide me and strengthen me.

So I believe this is contributing to my general creativity enhancement.  Also, I have been posting here in this blog much more frequently than ever. I have said before, I have always been so inspired to write but often felt too fatigued to put much thought into things. I consume too much sugar and it tends to make me sluggish.  Also depression can make me fatigued, sluggish, like a zombie.

But I have made some minor lifestyle changes such as stretches more frequently which help with fatigue and so I have more energy to put thought into what I write here and that helps me be more creative all around.   It’s like strengthening my “creative muscle.”. Also I have come to sometimes allow my depression itself to inspire me by looking at it in various ways other than just cursing it.  This is hard but can sometimes be accomplished. 

Sometimes now, instead of succumbing to my bed or the floor in a depression, I create a blog post with something positive to focus on!

I let it inspire new ideas, coping mechanisms, and other things in me.

Also, I have been giving in and not holding back. When I feel like writing poetically or creatively I do no matter how much I think it will suck. Lol. This gets my creative juices flowing.

One problem I recently had is somehow my phone service got switched over to Android. I have a Blackberry, never an Android. But someone switched it in the T-Mobile system and it took my phone’s Internet away. This is a permanent switch. It can often be fixed just by the phone service people switching it in their system but sometimes that won’t work. To spare you many boring and confusing details I will just say it did not work and my phone needs a Master reset which will permanently delete all my photos, songs, writings, everything.  And even that may not bring my Internet service back to this phone.

I can back it up on a computer but currently have no computer Internet so that’s out of the question.   I tried writing stuff on paper but it’s overwhelming. I have so much amazing stuff on here! Lol

But I kept calm. I was disappointed but not angry. I know someone just made a mistake and there are way worse things than losing files on a phone no matter how amazing they are.

But because of all my creative thinking /acting lately, I thought of a “solution ” and although my phone isn’t fixed and I can’t get on the net using the browser icon on my home screen, I thought of another way to get on the net.  It’s more complicated but it’s a way!  I found two ways actually.  So thankful!   

 I think I’ll keep it this way for now. There’s a chance I may need a new phone and eventually lose everything but for now I will do what I can to keep it.   And feel gratitude in the process for everything I have and am.

I decided to compose a list of tips that I find helpful for enhancing creativity since I am a creative genius now. Lol jk. I’m nothing of that sort! ;-). But I’m in the process of learning and would love to share.

To enhance your creativity maybe these will help:

1.) Don’t let lack of or perceived lack of skills or talent hold you back. This is probably the most crucial tip. You will never know how great you can be or what you can accomplish or attain if you never try. Keep trying.   Maybe your drawing, writing, painting…..whatever it is you want to do will suck but so what? And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to show it to any one. Don’t hold back!  Channel your inner child. Lose your inhibitions, your fears, your feelings of things being only for children or only for professional people.

2.) Explore. Reflect. Look deep within you. This can be done with meditation of some sort or  reflective thinking. Think about how you feel right now or how you feel or have felt about certain things. Write a poem about it. Draw a picture representing it. Make a collage.   Go to stores, flip through magazines and see what jumps out at you. Last night I was having great difficulty sleeping and felt the urge to write poetry but felt not inspired enough. So I thought deeply about how I felt at that very moment and how I feel about certain situations and people and was suddenly so inspired to write poetically/creatively.

3.) Look at song titles, blog post titles, and other titles like of books and write a poem or short story about that concept without copying the other person’s work. You can just look at them randomly without even reading or listening to the content.

4.) Try hard to understand a view opposing your own on a certain topic or try to see how someone else can feel that way even though you do not. This stretches your “mind” and gets you outside the “box.”

5.) Look to others for inspiration. Pay close attention to other creative work. See what you like, don’t like, what challenges you…and start your own creative journey. I would suggest to consciously try not to rip of their work though.  You probably want yours to be original and probably don’t want a lawsuit. Lol

6.) Take pictures and look at pictures! It’s amazing what photographs can elicit. You can make the photos themselves your creative project or write poems about them! Don’t reserve picture taking for only “special occasions.”. All occasions are special.

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7.) Inhabit your body, be mindful of your senses and how things feel to you, the experience of experiencing. Write or draw about the experience. Write or draw using your senses for inspiration.   What’s does something feel like, sound like, look or taste or smell like? Use imagery in your writing. Try to paint a vivid picture or image in the heads of your readers or viewers or listeners. Use your imagination/fantasy as well as reality.

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I wrote the quote in the picture and I took the pic and put the quote onto it.

Here’s an example of something I recently wrote as part of a poetic-like short story:

“She stands alone with just the stars in the palms of her hands and the moonlight streaking her long flowing hair, meadows painted across her sky blue eyes, butterflies & sparkles woven through her lashes.”
& this: 

“And I watch
Chromatic
Florets 
Bloom
Into the vibrant blue
A fluorescence
Of tranquil tunes
As pastel colored
Butterflies 
Parade
Like a
Slow song
Around the
Floral
Array
In the air”
This is part of a poem I wrote a while ago.

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The line in the pic above is one I wrote as part of a poem and the picture is mine which I took and out the quote on it.
and here’s another of my creations:

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8.) Put some color and design into your world. Surround yourself with bright or soothing colors, various colors and designs…

9.) Try new things to get your brain stimulated. Brush your teeth using your non dominant hand, go for a walk in a place you don’t go to much, drive to work a different route.

10.). Pay attention to kids. They are fearless when it comes to creative projects. Take their lessons to heart. This kind of hinges on Tip #1.

11.) Let other people inspire you, not intimidate you. There are people out there with more developed or stronger skills than you and with more experience. There always will be.  Don’t let this discourage you.  Just be content with where you are. You don’t have to be the best at anything. Focus on your needs and desires. Some people are more experienced so have better skills. Some are just naturally more creative or skilled. And that’s ok. Be grateful you have come across them and their work as opposed to being so envious you can’t see straight.   Jealousy is normal and it’s ok but don’t let it hold you back or make you have animosity for others.

12.) Be willing to create or do things which are or may be viewed as “bizarre ” or “weird” or “unusual” by others. “Thinking outside the box” can get that creativity flowing.

13.) Keep going even when you doubt yourself. And keep going even when your creative work doesn’t turn out how you expected or hoped!

14.) Try looking at things which are usually considered ugly, plain, unattractive, in a more positive light. You can write poems about sadness and pain or take pictures of or draw bare trees, muddy puddles, car oil puddles, snow blizzards, insects…things often seen as miserable. I believe there is beauty almost everywhere if we really look and you can take something typically considered not beautiful and put a beautiful spin on it, poetically, lyrically, artistically…

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15.) Try meditation specifically to get creativity energy flowing.   You can go to http://www.meditationoasis.com/
And you can go to http://www.youtube.com/
And put in words like “meditation for creativity.”. I would include some links here to videos but I’m using my phone and can only get the mobile link and I never know if that works for anyone else. 

Here are two links that are supposed to go to the same video. One is for a computer and one is for mobile phones. I somehow managed to get the desktop link. If it works for others though, I have no clue.   Both links work for me when I click on them.

Computer link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=CPrk4_JFA90

Mobile link
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CPrk4_JFA90

Also here is a list of tips I found:  http://www.creativitypost.com/create/101_tips_on_how_to_become_more_creative

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night and hope you find some creative inspiration if it’s what you’re searching for.   😀

Xoxo Kim 😀