Friday, July 27, 2012

Sources of Creative Inspiration for the Week

My desk at home

People have asked me where I get my creative inspiration.  I find that just going about everyday life leads me to new sources of creativity.  My parents were both very creative people, although I don't think they necessarily looked at themselves that way.  They both came from large families and had to be resourcefully creative out of necessity. My father had wanted to be a chef, and ended up a professional photographer for his career.  He was always available to create a set for my Girl Scout troop's holiday show, make me intricate doll furniture or try making just about anything around the house.  My mother sewed and needlecrafted her way through countless doll wardrobes, costumes for that same Girl Scout troop, and kept the two of us looking very hip and chic in the latest fashion trends of the day.  We truly were the family that would see something in a store or a magazine and our immediate response was, "we can make that ourselves!" ...and often we did.  There were a few hilarious disastrous outcomes, but for the most part we were successful.  So I'm a firm believer that you can add your own personal twist on things and make it special for yourself or those who will get to share in your creative endeavors.

My creative parents

Here are some things that sparked the creativity bug in me this week:

Kitchen Adventures

Beet brownies (gluten free) - the link to this low fat, flourless recipe was sent to me by a friend.  I have to admit that I panicked just before I poured the batter in the pan because of the consistency.  I added about 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour because it just didn't seem quite right and I didn't want to waste good chocolate or beets, and I think that a gluten-free flour would work equally as well.  The brownies came out perfectly.  A nice texture between cake and fudge brownies that were super moist,  not too sweet and more healthy than usual because of the beets.  I don't have a photo to show of them because they were consumed before I could snap one.

Natural Flea Control 


The hot, humid weather has really caused an explosion in pesky bugs including fleas this year.  I want to protect our pets without using harsh or dangerous chemicals and this article has lots of information and practical, natural ways to help protect your pets.  I looked through a few websites that offered recipes for natural flea sprays and came up with the following recipe which seems to be working well and makes our dog, Noah, smell nice (although he doesn't seem to think so).  This mixture doesn't kill the fleas, but they don't like the smell and want to vacate the premises.  You'll want to spray this on your pet outside if possible and then take them on a nice long walk so the fleas will  jump ship outside and not on your rugs or floor.

Natural Flea Spray

1 cup (packed) rosemary needles
3-4 cups of water - enough to cover the rosemary in a saucepan
lavender essential oil
cedarwood essential oil
neem oil
citronella oil
spray bottle

Put the rosemary and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.  Strain the rosemary needles and pour the tea into a spray bottle.  Add 10 drops of each essential oils to the spray bottle.  Shake well before each use. Spray your pet's coat until saturated and rub in to help the mixture reach the skin.

Creative Podcasts

And finally, this week I've been enjoying interviews from the broadcasts of After the Jump on my commute to and from work.  The radio show features independent artists, designers and other members of the creative community.  You can listen online or download the podcasts at the link above.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading!

A ladybug sunbathing in my garden

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