Hello folks! I was thinking about sharing some things that you, my dear readers, creatives, journal keepers and friends, may not already know about me that might surprise you.
Are you ready? Okay, here goes.
1. I was an early reader at the age of 4. Mom used to tell me that I was reading out of encyclopedias at that age even though I don't remember that part. I am an avid reader to this day.
2. When they did a scoliosis screening at my school when I was 12, they discovered that I had "uneven" shoulders. Later, when I went to a chiropractor for an exam at 16, Dr. Cantor (now deceased, but so kind and generous when he was present in this world) determined I had double curved scoliosis with an upper curve between my shoulder blades and a curve in my lower back which causes my hips area to be uneven. I am highly functional but I'm not one to go hiking or for long walks. And, of course, it would go without saying that I'm not athletic either (my sister fills that role as previous cheerleader in high school) although I have enjoyed games of badminton, ping pong and miniature hockey in game rooms!
3. I had the dream from the time I was 12 years old to be a recording artist, song writer and guitar player. I wanted to be in a live band as lead singer. I did go on to sing in two different worship teams and even played tambourine in one of them. And I also wrote enough songs for an album. And now I'm back to my music roots once again, singing and enjoying myself. I don't think I have a big voice by any stretch, but it does bring me JOY. (And I'm still waiting for a guitar player to offer to play my songs for me since I never did master the guitar myself. *wink*)
4. I used to copy my sister's homework when I was in elementary school and wanted "homework" like she had. I guess you could say I started "writing" at a young age. And of course, I still take notes on books I read and write reviews on ones that really hit the spot for me. And yes, I am one of those writers who has a novel written but not revised tucked away in a magazine box.
5. When I was in high school and early twenties, I sang solos and duets with my sister and another friend in a church setting (before my worship team experience). Whenever I would finish my one song, I was always raring to go to do a full concert of all my favorite songs.
6. My favorite color is orange red. I also love turquoise, lime green and mustard (or what I refer to as gold). I think my first favorite color was purple, then on to gray, and then khaki green. Now I love vibrant colors (as you may notice in my wardrobe pieces on Instagram!)
7. I absolutely LOVE Miniature Schnauzer dogs. Every time I see one, I get animated and point it out if I'm with others. I think they are so adorable with their cute furry faces! No, I would never want one of my own. I just admire them from afar.
8. I remember meeting an artist one day when I was a youth as I was taking a walk around the block where I grew up. She was drawing a female on sketch paper and the detail was intense and I loved it. I watched her draw a little bit of it as we both sat on a sidewalk bench. She saw how much I adored it and she gave it to me! I was so excited. I took it home and copied it as best as I could. I still have that treasure in my artist portfolio.
9. I was a member at Terrace Lake, a place I grew up at during the summers. They had three different slides, one in the kiddie area, one in the deeper section and one next to the diving boards where it was very deep. The highest slide was 25 feet. After being too frightened to go down that slide at 15 and 16, with the help of two friends (who I still care about deeply), I went down that slide when I was 17! I was elated! (and I enjoyed it on repeat all that summer.)
10. I do NOT like roller coasters, haunted houses or horror movies.
And here's an extra one that applies to my eating habits and my physical well being:
11. I went Gluten Free about 10 years ago due to an issue with iron absorption. I'm always pleased with new gluten free products when they become available for me to try, like mac and cheese, spaghetti, crackers, chips, and cereal. Most of them are either rice based or corn based with either flour or sprouted grain options. I have found the gluten free foods to be easier to digest and I love the taste of the corn and brown rice products.
So, there you go! Now you know a bit more about me! You're welcome to leave a comment below about things I may not know about you! Have fun with it.
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I read the book, Eat, Pray, Love, several years ago, and I've watched Elizabeth Gilbert speak several times. I find her sense of humor, her forthrightness and her honesty refreshing, so when I found out she came out with a new book, AND it was about CREATIVITY, which is one of my favorite subjects--well, you know I just had to get my hands on it and see what all the hubbub was about!
Her new title,BIG MAGIC: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is a BIG PERMISSION SLIP to have Fun, Follow Your Curiosity (which I talk about here in my video, Creative Curiosity), not to take yourself so seriously (martyr syndrome) but to go about pursuing creativity from the perspective of PLAY, taking it light, and why not dress up for the occasion to keep inspiration fresh? Showing up because you want to because you like it.
Elizabeth sprinkles stories, anecdotes, and relevant words of wisdom, sometimes on the humorous side, to prove her specific points on being brave (because being creative takes guts, folks!), on the amazing experience of when inspiration comes at you and even through you like a creative force, and the issue of not giving up and learning to trust yourself and the process of letting your creative expression flow.
I laughed aloud several times during this insightful and interesting read. I think one of my favorite parts is when she describes dressing up for a refreshed inspiration session. I also enjoyed her inside track on writing several of her other books (it helps to see what others experience in the writing process). And I appreciation her revelations about her parent's influence on her while growing up and how those values have stayed with her over time.
Inspiration, laughter, permission and going about your play with curiosity just because you like it.
That's BIG MAGIC.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header image by Dawn Herring
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Refresh Daily: Back to SchoolRead Now
Ah, it's back to school time...whether it's next week where we live in Texas or in the days ahead (after Labor Day) in other places.
Time to shop for school supplies, clothing and shoes, and getting back to a "school schedule."
It's all about getting ready to learn and grow and discover the world around you, whether you're a young student, in college, or maybe you just want to learn something new as a Pupil of...Life!
To me, going Back to School is really about immersion in the things I want to learn about that help keep me Aligned with Who I Am.
Whether it was my avid interest in drawing as a child which eventually morphed into doing portraits for many years, or my seeking out writing-related resources, including books and magazines from the library and some purchased for my personal in-house space as I delved deep into fiction and then non-fiction/memoir.
Then I moved into learning all I could (and can) about my favorite art medium, Watercolor, as well as mixed media in the fun world of art journaling and collage. I'm always eager to discover new techniques and find inspiration from other artist's and their authentic artistic paths.
Back to school can really be about listening carefully to those intuitive nudges that can push us into uncharted territory to discover more of Who We Are...perhaps in a place we didn't know existed.
My discovery of watercolor came to me late in life...just 4+ years ago even though I've been a lifelong artist. You can never know when you're going to delve into something that brings you to life and activates your creative center like nothing else has. It's important to be open to such possibilities...it could even change your life!
What does Back to School mean to you right now? Make a list of all the possibilities of learning for further exploration that are drawing you right now and pick one to investigate with all of your delicious curiosity, as if you're a small child discovering something delightful for the first time. Revel in this new something and record all of your delight on the page.
Art Journal Prompt:
Honor the School Person in you by creating a page of all of your favorite school supplies, whether in image or doodle/illustration with your favorite pens. You may even use some crayons to color in areas on your spread, focusing on the primaries to take you back to your younger days.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Graphic Header by Dawn Herring
Ah, Summertime! Swimming, BBQs, Ice cream, family and friends. And did I mention Swimming??
I wanted to tell my dear readers about a very special place that I frequented that I hold very dear in my heart that was the center of as many summers as I can remember; it was called Terrace Lake. Just thinking about what it used to be makes me smile and sigh at the same time.
The Sigh is due to the fact that Terrace Lake as it once was no longer exists; it is now full of condos. No more monkey bars, or gorgeous shady trees, or picnic tables ready for lunches or dinners to cook on the Habachi grill.
Of course, the Lake itself is still there, being preserved. But the 25 foot high slide, the middle slide as I termed it, and the children's slide are no longer there.
But the MEMORIES, oh they remain embedded in my brain! From the hot black streets that stung the bottoms of my feet since I didn't have my flip flops on coming from the beach after a long, fun swim with friends to the warm metal of the monkey bars I sat on as I chatted with my companions.
I can still see my Dad putting chicken on the grill, trying not to burn it on the outside while cooking it thoroughly on the inside. YUM! Then there were the homemade batches of macaroni salad and potato salad Mom would make as well as the Tupperware containers in orange and green with the middles you would press to the get the air out, full of potato chips and pretzels.
And of course Mom would put down the checkered table cloth with the metal brackets so it wouldn't fly off in the wind.
We always took the same picnic area toward the back of the Lake grounds where there was less foot traffic. Dad would bring his folding chair and sit to read the newspaper he brought.
Once our place was set up for the day, we'd head to the beach, where Mom turned on her Oldies station on her portable radio, as she sat in the shade, crocheting her latest project to keep her hands busy, sitting in her beach chair close to the sandy ground.
My favorite activity at Terrace Lake was the swimming, of course. It was always fun to dive under water and stand on my hands while plugging my nose to keep the water out.
Then there was the times Dad would teach me how to dive off the diving board, keeping my feet together, which I tried to do so many times...and he would applaud my efforts.
Once the swimming was done for the day and dinner arrived, I'd pull out my activity bag full of books to read, or my art notebook filled with paper and images to draw. Sometimes I'd bring my recorder and play music.
On Saturdays, when our friends came too, we'd play fun card games till the sun went down and enjoy lots of laughter and suspense, with a game called Clothespins. Keep an eye on those cards to get four in a row, but if you don't grab a clothes pin after the first person does, you might be left without one! Yikes, don't get your fingers smashed in the attempt! Ha!
Oh yes, in the good ole summertime, when fireflies come out to play, when the Sunday School Picnic comes to town with those wonderful foods at the vendors where you have to buy tickets to get what you want.
And the pavilion where we hung out when a thunder storm arrived but we didn't want to leave...we'd just wait til it blew over...
Terrace Lake was my summer time gift to play and face my fears (that high slide!) and have fun with friends and make awesome memories buried in my heart. And speaking of hearts, I remember bringing my hubby when he was still my boyfriend to the Lake for dinner after he worked all day.
Yes, my memories stretch many years of fun, food, friends, family, and a far reaching love for my man that continues 26 years later.
Thanks, Terrace Lake, for everything (and for the parents who paid for my membership!). It's been real and you'll always have a special place in my heart. (Sniff.)
Detail the atmospheric loves of your summer haven, whether at home or in another location bringing yourself back in time to sweet summer memories. What stands out the most to you? What pleasures did you find there? Honor your preferences by detailing what you loved the most.
Art Journal prompt:
Dedicate a spread to your summer haven, using color, text and image in whatever form pleases you that captures the essence of the place, even if it's just in your mind. Enjoy the visceral feeling you may experience as you attempt to capture that sense of safety and pleasure a haven can bring.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header Graphic by Dawn Herring Collection
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.