Category Archives: Stoke the Fire

Procrastinate for the Win + Creative Scaffolding starts on Saturday!

Think that procrastination means you are wrong, broken or lazy? Not a chance! If I believed that I’d be rocking gently in a corner of my flat right now…

Procrastination is a part of living, a part of ART-MAKING and if you embrace it, it’ll change everything!

There is still time to sign-up for my free call today on how to make procrastination your BFF (and if you can’t make the call live, a recording will be emailed out to you within 24 hours).

And Creative Scaffolding, my love-letter to creativity in all aspects of life, starts on Saturday and I’d be beside myself with joy if you joined me. We’re going to take all that unused creative potential inside of you and we’re going to revolutionize your life!

I know that sounds like a big statement but the last time I ran this course one participant moved to the other side of Canada and sold her house, another stood up to her boss about her working conditions and another realized that she was incredibly talented at helping people execute their dreams so she created a workshop! None of them considered themselves ‘creative’ when we started working together and they certainly didn’t see how creativity impacted such seemly diverse and unrelated parts of their lives. But it does..and it DID!

SO DO IT! Love, P x

Creativity – It’s Serious Business Folks!

Yup, serious business!

I was watching a little Oprah not that long ago (don’t judge me!) and stumbled upon her interview with Brené Brown, a research professor who studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She’s most well-known for her Ted Talks ‘The Power of Vunerability’ and ‘Listening to Shame’. If you haven’t watched them, do it RIGHT NOW…In fact here you go…I’ll make a cup of tea. See you in a wee bit…

Brilliant, isn’t she?!

Anyhoo, during her interview with Oprah Brené got on the topic of Creativity and singled it out as one of the universal traits of people who live ‘wholeheartedly’. And then took it a step further.

In one sweet second of syrupy TV all my deep-knowings and years of art-making were validated with this statement…

“Unused creativity is not benign.
It matastizices.
It turns into grief, rage, shame, judgement, sorrow but we are divine beings and we are, by nature, creative.”

I KNEW IT! I KNEEEWWWWWW IT! I’ve known it since the beginning of time, since I first made something (sweet music probably) and procrastinated doing it again and then felt bad and then finally got around to it and then felt incredible and then the cycle started again…the circle of life…I mean Art…well, dysfunctional Art.

Creativity might seem like finger-painting, time-wasting and sappy self-indulgence but this is serious.

Expressing yourself in some way or another is serious.

Processing and metabolizing life through the action of creation is serious.

For our physical health we need to eat well, move regularly and get hugs. For our mental and emotional health we need to CREATE THINGS!

>> How do you fulfill this emotional-nutritional need? What do you create in life?

If you don’t have an answer to this question or are feeling flat, uninspired or blocked then I’d love to go on a creative adventure with during my course CREATIVE SCAFFOLDING which is kicking off on June 8th.

It’s revamped and repackaged especially for release as an online course and I want to share this inaugural experience with you.

You can find all the details here (what to expect, why bother, etc.) and keep your eyes peeled in the next few days for an invite to some interwebinal hijinks and creative block-busting fun that I’m putting together.

There was so much goodness spilled on Oprah’s sound stage that day that they had to make TWO episodes for Brené’s interview. You can catch the highlights here over on Oprah-interweb-HQ.

And if anyone feels like buying me a copy of Brené’s latest book ‘Daring Greatly’ or ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ for my birthday/wedding/being alive that would be aaaawesome. Marvelous stuff!

How to Overcome the Fear of Unedited Poetry!

I fear unedited poetry like others fear the monster lurking under their beds.

Nothing freaks me out more than the thought of Poetry being ‘done’ in one go…mainly because nothing thrills me more than MESSING around with a poem after I’ve captured it. How dare you steal my thrill one-draft-wonders!

I pin down the gist of things with a few ham-fisted phrases and then gear up for the delicious act of peeling apart these glorified place-fillers until I hit on what I truly want to evoke. Ah! Blissful!

NaPoWriMo seriously squashes that one. All I can think about at the moment is the poem I published on the first day, cringing at the thought of its rough edges and day-dreaming about how I’d tweak it into shape. I should be thinking about my next offering but I’m distracted by the joys of noodling and fearful of published crap.


Dear Reader,

Please know that all my poems written and published through the month of November 2011 will be crap. I thank you for being so kind in your critiques and comments and bearing this fact in mind.

On the 1st of December 2011 I shall be removing ALL poems published in November so they be treated to some tender, loving drafting…even poems deserve some love at Christmas…I will re-publish them only when I feel they are properly risen and baked and those which flop in the middle may never be seen again!

Thank you for you understanding in this matter.

Yours sincerely,


Poet & Principle Firestarter at LLFs.

And with that said, now back to my regularly scheduled poeming…


‘Our World, Our Home’ cupcakes by clevercupcakes, via Flickr

Today is the 41th anniversary of Earth Day – 24 hours dedicated to thinking and acting for our shared Home.

I wrote an article on Earth Day and ‘Eco-Crafting’ for the yarn store I was working at in Brisbane last year. I reread the article while thinking about what I wanted to say here and was struck by certain points that I felt rang true for all Creatives.

You can read the whole article here (and find links to lots of eco-friendly, waste-reducing knitting and crochet patterns) but I have nicked a few of my favourite points and put them below. I hope they resonate with you too!

Today isn’t just for Eco-Warrior, Do-Gooders or Pryius drivers. Today, for me, is about working from the ground up.

Adjusting my actions to influence and encourage those around me.

Change starts, not in government or legislation or environmental campaigns (though all these things serve a purpose and have power to help change), it starts with you… well, me.

It starts with me.


We are so lucky to all possess skills that allow us to create… For that reason we are set apart from the wasteful nature of our ‘throw-away’ culture, where clothes sell cheap and wear out in two washes.

In our own little way, our crafting helps bolster the idea that to invest time, energy and money in creating…is a worthy act.

In this sense I think we are all helping to support our planet…

Have a great, green Earth Day…and thank you Planet Earth for the best of rental agreements…an unlimited contract so long as we promise not to trash the place!

More on Igniting Your Creativity!

More on Igniting Your Creativity

I’ve scoured the inter-web (thank you kindly Google!) for more info and inspiration on getting your CREATIVE on! Here are my favourite interviews, podcasts, blogs, articles and suggestions from other readers who commented or tweeted about this week’s article ’25 Ways to Ignite Creativity’.

Thanks so much for all your input and please feel free to keep commenting your ideas or thoughts!

» Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat Pray Love’ and ‘Committed’, talks to about her creative process

» An interview with Julia Cameron, author of ‘The Artist’s Way’ and creative mentor, on the tools she uses to kickstart creativity and the interchangable natures of spirituality and creativity

» An article by Scoutie Girl called ‘The Art Makeover: Starting with an Unblank Canvas’ exploring recycling your work and starting with something other than a white canvas!

» Gideon posted this great comment on ’25 Ways to Ignite Creativity’. I particularly like the Bob Dylan quote…

There’s a few tricks which work for me. One I worked out very recently, which was that you have to make sure that it’s something that fires you up.

For me, first of all the thing is to try and make it fun.

Say I want to write a song, then I have to ask myself what the coolest, funkiest type of song I’d like to hear is. That gets me thinking about what kind of wild stuff I’d really like to do instead of something boring.

Use good bait, as Bob Dylan says. Put yourself into situations that demand a response.

» Gideon also recommended this article from Steve Pavlina on Passion vs. Self-Discipline…

» @druchunas tweeted this article, Fruitflesh:  Seeds of inspiration for women who write, by Gayle Brandeis Thank you so much @druchunas for your kind tweet :)

Reading List:

~ ‘The Right to Write’ Julia Cameron … ‘We should write because it is human nature to write.’

~ ‘The Artist’s Way’ Julia Cameron … yes, I know that is twice in one list but she is veeeery good. This book in particular is for any artist or any discipline with any kind of block. Even if you are creating often it’s perfect for an internal spring clean!

~ ‘Living the Creative Life’ by Rice Freeman-Zachery …ideas and inspirations from working artists on living the creative life, touching on inspiration, overcoming blocks, work spaces, journalling and moving things from ideas to work.

~ ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes …one for the women reading this maybe, I found it hugely inspiring and provocative even though not specifically about creativity (though there is one chapter dedicated to it that you can skip to, it is a long book) but I felt energized and inspired after reading it!

~ TWO fellow college-mates of mine mentioned this book to me within a day of each other, syncronicity or what?! Check out ‘The War of Art’ by Steve Pressfield, as recommended by working artists Nick D’Agostino and Lucinda Roberts


~ ‘The September Issue’ …Documentary film about the legendary Anna Wintour and the American Vogue office during the making of their largest, most successful issue ever. Look at the dedication to excellence, attention to detail and the beautiful photography particularly from Wintours right-hand stylist

~ ‘The Planet Earth’ series by BBC. Awe-inspiring footage of our Earth at it’s most creative and at the end meet the highly creative teams behind each episode and the lengths they went to capture pure earthly magic.

~ Rainn Wilson (best known for playing Dwight in the U.S. version of The Office) talking to Oprah about his site Soul Pancake, a place for people to talk about life’s big questions and explore their own spirituality and creativity through art, music, photography, social networking, thoughtful discussion and more. Brilliant interview…Art is Prayer!!

~ ‘Frida’ the film, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina …she made Art, even with all the tests and hardships in her. She had every excuse to give up and instead she turned them into every excuse to make Art!

~ Documentaries about artists that you admire …I started collecting ones about musicians I admire on my parents sky+/tivo box. I love them – Elvis, Joni Mitchell, Thin Lizzy, Billie Holiday…or even better, watch them play LIVE!! See how they come alive when they create!

Journal It UP:

~ ‘The Truth and The Questions’ by Sabrina Ward Harrison …a really beautiful art journal filled full of glorious colour, question and journalling prompts. The journal saved my sanity during my final semester in college. I owe it a lot!

~ ‘Living Juicy – Daily Morsels for your Creative Soul’ by SARK …little stories, meditations, questions and tasks to get your mind moving every morning.

» And lastly, GOOD MUSIC! Here’s something stellar me and my friends were giggling over this week…man, Kate Bush rocks my universe!!

OK, this is by no means an exhaustive list…in fact, this is just what I could think of off the top of my head which means I have watched these videos, read these books and heard these interviews. I would love to add to this list and discover some new creativity-boosting material!

Leave a comment and I’ll add your ideas to this list too and we’ll turn it into a resource that anyone can refer to when they need a creative pick-me-up!

Have a great weekend everyone!!