Free Family Fun Creativity Workshop at the San Mateo County Fair

It’s county fair time and an opportunity for some serious summer entertainment. When I was little, the merry-go-round was my kind of ride; one gentle speed going around in circles. My in-laws used to plan their trip around the Midway so they can ride the Ferris wheel at dusk to see the swirls of carnival lights. My daughter and my husband like roller coasters. Are you someone who goes to see the latest 4H exhibits, stop by to see the baby goats, pigs and rabbits, and the award winning animals. Or do you eat your way around the fair? Strolling from one deep fried food to the next. Tom Thumb doughnuts are my weakness. Whatever your indulgence, I’ve got a suggestion that won’t add calories to your fair experience and is guaranteed to deliver a refreshing experience.

On Wednesday, June 14, from 1-3 p.m. Coaxing Creativity and the Writer Unleashed/Creativity Muse (aka yours truly Mary E. Knippel) is facilitating a Coaxing Creativity Workshop. This is a free, a family-friendly event for ages 10 and up. (Kids, please tell you parents you want them to play with your!) This is a fun experience for the young and the young at heart. During the workshop, we’ll explore the secrets of keeping a journal and discover how combining bits of paper, glue, and magazine images create magic!

Join us Wednesday, June 14, 1-3 p.m. in the Expo Building by the Literary Arts Stage. I’ll bring the materials. You bring your imagination and a generous supply of enthusiasm.

Coaxing Creativity Workshop is part of a series of readings, presentations, workshops and special presentations during the San Mateo County Fair (www.sanmateocountyfair.com)  sponsored by the California Writers Club-Peninsula/San Francisco Branch (www.cwc-peninsula.org).

 

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Go Get Creative!

Teresa LeYung Ryan sharing collage at Mary E. Knippel's creativity workshops

Teresa Le-Yung Ryan sharing her collage at Mary E. Knippel’s creativity workshop

It’s International Creativity Month!

Tap into the height of your creativity and recognize the miracles surrounding you every day…little seeds planted now will sprout into fragrant, colorful flowers or nourishing fruits and vegetables.  Even if gardening isn’t your thing, nature is a source of constant creativity!

What do you do to tap into your creativity?

  • pick up a needle and thread/yarn
  • bake bread
  • make a collage
  • write in your journal
  • 15-minutes all to yourself to watch the clouds drift by
  • soak in a hot tub (any chance I get I’m going to encourage you to nurture yourself body and soul in a tub of bubbles)
  • sip a cup of tea in the sunshine 
  • a walk on the beach getting sand between your toes (probably not an option in January)
  • go to bed at 9 p.m. with a new book
  • eat popcorn and watch your favorite old flick…in a theatre or on your couch
  • spend time with your loved ones
  • visit a museum or art exhibit
  • get lost in a new venture
  • plan a vacation or a mini-retreat
  • sleep in on Saturday
  • light a candle against the dark
  • play an instrument
  • sing a song
  • get messy with paints 
  • sit in front of a crackling fire
  • make s’mores around a campfire
  • dream out loud

How do you express your creativity?  

 

[Free Training] It’s What you know and Who you know

Mary-E.-Knippel-Teresa-LeYung-Ryan-teach-Be-Your-Own-Editor-at-SFWC-photo-by-Margie-Yee-WebbWe’ve all heard that it’s often not what you know but who you know. Of course, we know how important it is to get out there and spread the word about our message. We are among the lucky ones if we are fortunate enough to have friends who would help us prepare for an event, coach us on content and delivery, and then be our support “team” on the day of the event!

I’m sending a huge THANK YOU and lots of love to my friend, head cheerleader and my Mentor, Writing Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan.

On more than one occasion Teresa has been there when I’ve been the featured speaker or facilitated a workshop. We have co-presented numerous times at the San Francisco Writers Conference. I had the opportunity to present Create Your Success Story to a fabulous group in San Francisco. This was a speaking opportunity as well as a mini-workshop with writing, collage, and conversation resulting in lots of creativity. When folks were asked to introduce themselves, Teresa was the first one to stand up and say she was there because of today’s fabulous speaker!  

Your success is determined by what you know AND who you know. My friendly advice is to be confident in not only what you know…to also recognize that you are not in this alone…to acknowledge the tremendous impact of those who support you in sharing your clear, concise and compelling message with the world.

Teresa and I have known each other for over a decade now and are members of the Women’s National Book Assn-San Francisco Chapter and California Writers Club-Peninsula Branch. She amazes me with all that she does for everyone else, encouraging, supporting, and documenting our accomplishments. I have opened myself up to new opportunities and had some incredible experiences because Teresa nudged me to consider taking on a bigger role.

Do you have someone who lifts you up?

How do you lift up others?

Tell someone that they shine today.

You’ll be glad you did.

Photo Credit:  Margie Yee Webb

[Free training] Writing without writing…

 

Gratitude journal by mary.e.knippelHere’s an idea to encourage writing without actually doing any writing…Intrigued? Sometimes you have to keep your hands busy so that your head will stop spinning those “what if” scenarios and your heart can catch up with what you are really feeling. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just need to have a task to do that involves a practical result, a dash of intuition and generous dose of creativity. In other words…here’s a perfect mixture of play with purpose when want a little down time (you can do this in a half hour to an hour) without guilt or drama.

I’m sharing this in honor of National Craft Month. Its a simple and useful craft – collage a cover on a small journal. No special equipment or tools necessary. You have everything you need without fussing with exotic supplies or detailed instructions:

  • start with a notebook (any size will do…you probably have one hiding in your desk drawer)
  • collect bits of interesting paper (junk mail, magazines, gift wrap, copy a favorite picture – add a bit of whimsy with a rubber stamp if you have some hanging around your desk drawer)
  • tear pictures from the magazines, line up the gift wrap in a design, use the junk mail to create a short poem or slogan
  • arrange the bits of paper to be pleasing to your eye
  • attach the paper to the notebook cover with a glue stick and your creation is complete
  • Bonus:  Combine the embellished journal in a pretty gift pouch along with a small pen and you have a thoughtful token ready for any number of occasions.

Photo credit:  MEKnippel  (yes, that is one of my hand-embellished journals)

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] I love me bucket list…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image7211296We are all familiar with that To Do list…probably way too familiar, where we never seem to get to the bottom of that list!

I’m suggesting a totally different kind of list. A bucket list usually refers to something you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket.”

My idea is that you create a list of all the things you can do right now to show how much “I love me.”  Cut them into individual pieces of paper and put them in a container you can seal such as a glass jar, or decorative tin.

Choose an item from your list on a regular basis (once a week? every other day? daily?) to nurture you. Include simple indulgences such as a new nail polish color for your do-it-yourself manicures, or a new scent for your bubble bath. Include special treats that may take a little planning…a trip to a museum for a special exhibit or a attending a theatre matinee. Include a trip to the beach, a massage, some new reading material, searching for intriguing hobby ingredients. Indulge in a trip to a large department store make-up counter and get a make-over without spending a dime. Get out your magazines and glue sticks to make a collage. Write in your journal. Sit under a shade tree and read Jane Austen, or your favorite author. Play dress-up in your favorite store…or in your own closet.

It doesn’t matter if there are ten things on the list or 200. Just start one! Then make adding to your “I love me” suggestion list an on-going activity.

Hop over to my Facebook page and share what’s on your list.

photo credit:  Dreamstime.com

[Free Training] Friendly hint on sharing your message

Writing Mentor Mary E Knippel and Writing Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

We’ve all heard that it’s often not what you know but who you know. Of course, we know how important it is to get out there and spread the word about our message. We are among the lucky ones if we are fortunate enough to have friends who would help us prepare for an event, coach us on content and delivery, and then be our support “team” on the day of the event!

I’m sending a huge THANK YOU and lots of love to my friend, head cheerleader and my Mentor, Writing Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan.

On more than one occasion Teresa has been there when I’ve been the featured speaker or facilitated a workshop. We have co-presented numerous times at the San Francisco Writers Conference. I had the opportunity to present Create Your Success Story to a fabulous group in San Francisco. This was a speaking opportunity as well as a mini-workshop with writing, collage and conversation resulting in lots of creativity.  When folks were asked to introduce themselves, Teresa was the first one to stand up and say she was there because of today’s fabulous speaker!  

Your success is determined by what you know AND who you know. My friendly advice is to be confident in not only what you know…to also recognize that you are not in this alone…to acknowledge the tremendous impact of those who support you in sharing your clear, concise and compelling message with the world.

Teresa and I have known each other for over a decade now and are members of the Women’s National Book Assn-San Francisco Chapter and California Writers Club-Peninsula Branch. She amazes me with all that she does for everyone else, encouraging, supporting, and documenting our accomplishments. I have opened myself up to new opportunities and had some incredible experiences because Teresa nudged me to consider taking on a bigger role.

Do you have someone who lifts you up?

How do you lift up others?

Tell someone that they shine today.

You’ll be glad you did.

[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Fun shopping trip

School is starting in many areas and so the back-to-school sales are in full swing. Whether you have someone going back to school or not, take advantage of the sales and stock up on pens, pencils, paper, and glue sticks. 

Instead of a No. 2 pencil or Blic Blue, try colored pens and pencils or even zebra striped erasers to add a bit of whimsy to your desk. I’m addicted to purple ink and so my journals have a variety of shades of from lilac to deep purple hues.

Speaking of journals, pick up a few of them with your favorite character, or cartoon to record your thoughts and dreams. Or, collage on a plain notebook and use that as inspiration every time you sit down to write.

Treat yourself to notepads with pretty flowers or bright colors to give yourself reminder notes  and lists an extra dash of life. Instead of the plastic stacker on your desk, try a wicker basket to hold all those papers you have yet to deal with.

 

I have a friend who pours milk for her coffee from a pitcher shaped like a cow. I have another friend who has strung lights shaped like stars across her cubicle to add starry insight into her environment.

What do you think? Any of these sound like fun? Please let me  know if any of these ideas spark something in you? 

 

[Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip] Get Creative!

Teresa LeYung Ryan sharing collage at Mary E. Knippel's creativity workshops

Teresa Le-Yung Ryan sharing her collage at Mary E. Knippel’s creativity workshop

It’s International Creativity Month!

Tap into the height of your creativity and recognize the miracles surrounding you every day…little seeds planted now will sprout into fragrant, colorful flowers or nourishing fruits and vegetables.  Even if gardening isn’t your thing, nature is a source of constant creativity!

What do you do to tap into your creativity?

  • pick up a needle and thread/yarn
  • bake bread
  • make a collage
  • write in your journal
  • 15-minutes all to yourself to watch the clouds drift by
  • soak in a hot tub (any chance I get I’m going to encourage you to nurture yourself body and soul in a tub of bubbles)
  • sip a cup of tea in the sunshine 
  • a walk on the beach getting sand between your toes (probably not an option in January)
  • go to bed at 9 p.m. with a new book
  • eat pop corn and watch your favorite old flick…in a theatre or on your couch
  • spend time with your loved ones
  • visit a museum or art exhibit
  • get lost in a new venture
  • plan a vacation or a mini-retreat
  • sleep in on Saturday
  • light a candle against the dark
  • play an instrument
  • sing a song
  • sit in front of a crackling fire
  • make s’mores around a campfire
  • dream out loud

How do you express your creativity?  

 

Get Crafty in honor of National Craft Month…

 

Gratitude journal by mary.e.knippelHere’s an idea to encourage writing without actually doing any writing…Intrigued? Sometimes you have to keep your hands busy so that your head will stop spinning those “what if” scenarios and your heart can catch up with what you are really feeling. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you just need to have a task to do that involves a practical result, a dash of intuition and generous dose of creativity. In other words…here’s a perfect mixture of play with purpose when want a little down time (you can do this in a half hour to an hour) without guilt or drama.

I’m sharing this in honor of National Craft Month. Its a simple and useful craft – collage a cover on a small journal. No special equipment or tools necessary. You have everything you need without fussing with exotic supplies or detailed instructions:

  • start with a notebook (any size will do…you probably have one hanging around in your desk drawer)

  • collect bits of interesting paper (junk mail, magazines, gift wrap, copy a favorite picture – add a bit of whimsy with a rubber stamp if you have some hanging around your desk drawer)

  • tear pictures from the magazines, line up the gift wrap in a design, use the junk mail to create a short poem or slogan

  • arrange the bits of paper to be pleasing to your eye

  • attach the paper to the notebook cover with a glue stick and your creation is complete

  • Bonus:  Combine the embellished journal in a pretty gift pouch along with a small pen and you have a thoughtful token ready for any number of occasions.

Action comes in cans…

What did you think when you read that string of words?

Were you puzzled?

Did it make you smile?

cansAre you wondering about the list of ingredients?

It may sound simple, but this is what I mean….

  • You can say a prayer of gratitude.
  • You can make a difference.
  • You can try to the best of your abilities.
  • You can decide to think differently.
  • You can choose to change your behavior.
  • You can talk to yourself in only positive language.
  • You can help others with your gift.
  • You can write in your journal to heal yourself.
  • You can believe in yourself.
  • You can create an environment that nurtures you.
  • You can make yourself healthy food.
  • You can take yourself for a walk, to yoga or to exercise class.
  • You can read books that inspire you.
  • You can listen to music to quiet your mind.
  • You can dance with joy.
  • You can listen to a friend with compassion.
  • You can cry when the tears need to come.
  • You can love yourself.
  • You can laugh at yourself.
  • You can share your truth.
  • You can honor your commitments.
  • You can be proud of your accomplishments.
  • You can celebrate speaking up for yourself.
  • You can be your own cheerleader.
  • You can treat yourself with kindness.
  • You can be happy in a bubble bath.
  • You can feel pretty in your clothes.
  • You can play with your colored pencils, pens and markers.
  • You can delight in making a collage.
  • You can have your own opinion.

What else can you think of for the list of Action cans? Hop over to my Facebook Page and share them with me.

[Coaxing Creativity Tuesday Tip] Make an “I love me” bucket list…

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image7211296We are all familiar with that To Do list…probably way too familiar, where we never seem to get to the bottom of that list!

I’m suggesting a totally different kind of list. A bucket list usually refers to something you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket.”

My idea is that you create a list of all the things you can do right now to show how much “I love me.”  Cut them into individual pieces of paper and put them in a container you can seal such as a glass jar, or decorative tin.

Choose an item from your list on a regular basis (once a week? every other day? daily?) to nurture you. Include simple indulgences such as a new nail polish color for your do-it-yourself manicures, or a new scent for your bubble bath. Include special treats that may take a little planning…a trip to a museum for a special exhibit or a attending a theatre matinee. Include a trip to the beach, a massage, some new reading material, searching for intriguing hobby ingredients. Indulge in a trip to a large department store make-up counter and get a make-over without spending a dime. Get out your magazines and glue sticks to make a collage. Write in your journal. Sit under a shade tree and read Jane Austen, or your favorite author. Play dress-up in your favorite store…or in your own closet.

It doesn’t matter if there are ten things on the list or 20. Just start one! Then make adding to your “I love me” suggestion list an on-going activity.

What will be on your list.

Make a collage

Had so much fun yesterday spending the afternoon facilitating a collage workshop at the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage sponsored by the California Writers Club/Peninsula-San Francisco Branch. Being able to introduce the magic of bits of paper combined with the attitude of whimsy to create a whole new picture was amazing.

The creativity was electric! 

The added bonus of the timed writing exercise to learn the impact the making, meaning, or motivation of the collage was exciting to watch participants write and then to hear them share their stories.