365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

It’s Time For Cake (365 Creative Exercises & Prompts, Day 34)

 

It's Time For Cake /Day 34/ 365-Day Creativity Challenge/ CollectiviteaHello Monday and Day 34 of the 365 Day Creativity Challenge! The days are very short as we head closer to the winter equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a beautiful time of the year, and not only because it’s the holiday season. A quiet hush has fallen over the trees. The steady stream of falling leaves has slowed down to a trickle and it feels like the calm before a new beginning. So much of what we see is a reflection of what we feel, isn’t it? I feel like I am beginning a new chapter, and everything outside seems to mirror that. What are you feeling? What is being reflected back to you? You may use that as a writing prompt to delve deeper. For today’s creative exercise, I suggest drawing a cake. Day 34 prompt: Draw a cake. It's Time For Cake /Day 34/ 365-Day Creativity Challenge/ Collectivitea

Before you start with the creative exercise, here’s a little background on why we are drawing a cake. Obviously with today being this blog’s birthday, I do have birthdays and cake on my mind. It’s also the winter season that is perfect for a cup of tea, and cake, warm from the oven. Perhaps more importantly, and with or without cake, it’s the time of the year which lends itself more easily to slowing down. Because that’s what we periodically do, whether in solitude or by gathering family and friends together- we slow down and recognize this moment, and celebrate it’s momentousness. We celebrate with food that we love, and with people that we love. It’s like we are all driven to periodically create bubbles where time seems to stand still.

It's Time For Cake /Day 34/ 365-Day Creativity Challenge/ CollectiviteaWith today’s prompt, I want to remind you of daily or weekly traditions that you, your family, and your friends may enjoy that allows for this slowing down of time. The Swedish have their fika, the Danish have hygge, the Indians are passionate about chai time, and so on. Of course, it’s not always a cultural thing. We all have our own traditions. Think about that time when you let things be, and settled down for some tea, a slice of cake, and conversation, or with a book. Draw the cake. If you are inclined, draw all the other things that go along with it. The teapot/coffee pot. The creamer. A pile of books. A companion. Flowers on the table. Is it a cupcake or a more elaborate cake? It may even have tiers! Does it have as many tiers as a wedding cake? Imagine an immensely-tiered Royal wedding cake and draw it for your tea table!

It's Time For Cake /Day 34/ 365-Day Creativity Challenge/ CollectiviteaAs always, skill level isn’t important. Draw what you can, and do so with joy. If you’d prefer to photograph, do that instead. Now that we are a month into the creativity challenge, I hope you have settled into a routine that allows you recharge and relax.  If you are able to follow the challenge on some days but not on others, that’s totally okay. The goal is to enjoy, not enforce. To slow down, not stress. If you miss today, don’t worry. it’ll still be here tomorrow. – Priya


Background: Welcome! We are now at Day 34 of the 365 Day Creativity Challenge, and I am excited and happy to have you here!  I use the terms ‘creative’, ‘creativity’  or ‘creative exercise’ very loosely. While they have very specific meanings within the art or business worlds, I define it as any activity that allows us to access an inner stillness. Where the mind’s incessant chatter decreases, and for that short period of time, we are in the presence of a magnificent quietude. Where we feel joyful and recharged as if accessing a powerful, bountiful source of imagination and ideas. It makes what we do- draw, write, paint, work in a science lab, dance, sing, play music, photography etc. etc.- a spiritual experience. It has nothing to do with talent and skill level, and everything to do with joy. Whether you take part in all 365 days, or 7, 21, or 30 days, or join us when you can, I hope you will take the time to relax, slow down, and be your joyous self! Want more details? You may want to read this introduction to the 365-Day Creativity Challenge. Just as a reminder, it really helps to have a dedicated journal or notebook because you will see  a continuous record of your creativity expanding and changing as you devote time to it every day. You will also be creating a year’s worth of creative work. As you work through the prompts, write down other things that strike you because you may want to revisit these ideas. Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya


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365 Days Of Creativity Challenge, Creative Exercises And Prompts, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

Once Upon A Tea Time.. (365 Creative Exercises & Prompts, Day 9)

Once Upon A Tea Time/ Day 8/ Day 9/ 365 Days Of Creativity / Collectivitea

Week 2, Day 9 of the 365-Day Creativity Challenge! Day 9’s prompt is a favorite that I imagine and visualize every time I sit with a cup of tea. Once upon a tea time – a more magical set of words does not exist!  Many of us have retained the romance of tea time- a time when ‘doing’ is suspended. A time for just ‘being’. We associate it with time spent with family or enjoying solitude. A time for giving ourselves permission to relax and recharge. For Day 9’s prompt, brew yourself a cup of tea. Spend a few moments observing the gently rising plumes of steam. Maybe some of them hang like clouds before disappearing. Imagine that each of those clouds is carrying something from the day that you don’t want to keep. Maybe it’s weariness. Anxiety. Disappointment. Loneliness. Fear. Once Upon A Tea Time/ Day 8/ Day 9/ 365 Days Of Creativity / CollectiviteaAs the steam rises over this cup of tea, it takes away these feelings that may have been present in our day. What remains? Hope. Courage. Optimism. A sense of peace.Once Upon A Tea Time/ Day 8/ Day 9/ 365 Days Of Creativity / Collectivitea

Go For It: Imagine and draw a teacup on your journal page. Add those words to your cup that evoke feelings you want to keep- joy, contentment, peace, hope, love. Use the words that resonate most with you.

My Day 9 Prompt: The drawing is a work in progress. I will update this once I have the chance to take a picture as I usually work on it at night and Wednesdays and Thursdays are my busiest days. Much like the gratitude journal, I feel a real sense of having shown up to something I have committed to. In addition, imagining these prompts and carrying them out leaves me with a sense of having dealt with what the day has brought, the good and the bad. For the last 9 years, tea time, for me, has been associated with creativity and this has been one of my favorite prompts.

Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya


Background: Welcome! We are now at Day 9 of the 365 Day Creativity Challenge, and I am excited and happy to have you here!  I use the terms ‘creative’, ‘creativity’  or ‘creative exercise’ very loosely. While they have very specific meanings within the art or business worlds, I define it as any activity that allows us to access an inner stillness. Where the mind’s incessant chatter decreases, and for that short period of time, we are in the presence of a magnificent quietude. Where we feel joyful and recharged as if accessing a powerful, bountiful source of imagination and ideas. It makes what we do- draw, write, paint, work in a science lab, dance, sing, play music, photography etc. etc.- a spiritual experience. It has nothing to do with talent and skill level, and everything to do with joy. Whether you take part in all 365 days, or 7, 21, or 30 days, or join us when you can, I hope you will take the time to relax, slow down, and be your joyous self! Want more details? You may want to read this introduction to the 365-Day Creativity Challenge. Just as a reminder, it really helps to have a dedicated journal or notebook because you will see  a continuous record of your creativity expanding and changing as you devote time to it every day. You will also be creating a year’s worth of creative work. As you work through the prompts, write down other things that strike you because you may want to revisit these ideas. Have a wonderful day and I will see you tomorrow! To share what you are doing, please use the hashtag #ctea365 on social media and /or leave me a comment below. – Priya


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Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal), Textiles

Comfort Zone…Tea Wisdom

Comfort Zone/Tea Wisdom/Collectivitea

Dear all,

It’s the kind of morning tea time that is the stuff of dreams! Pouring rain, and a lovely filtered light that is perfect for photography at breakfast. As you know I am trying to take pictures and blog/write about something everyday as a creative exercise, and I am finding it  both fun and challenging. My current photography fascination is with the earthy color of terra cotta, and its pairing with something unexpected like blue and white china.

Home Decor Catalog Inspiration/Collectivitea

I’ve had a couple of things on my mind this week, and since I’ve always used the blog community as a sounding board, here goes! I have been thinking about how nice it is to be in my comfort zone, but it’s best not to get too comfortable, right? We get settled in our ways and lose flexibility. (But hey, that also sounds like what the 40’s are all about, right?!) But no. Life is constantly offering us opportunities and challenges to grow, and one way that I’ve found to meet and grow beyond them is to not take it, and myself too seriously. This is something I am still in the process of learning, but one thing is becoming clear: the less I weigh down the results with my expectations and general seriousness, the more fun it is. And I also become  more open to a variety of outcomes. Let’s be clear- we are not talking about rash or risky decisions made in any section of our lives. We are talking about trying things that you are interested in even if you think you are going to suck at it,  or fail. After all we are built for growth, and by showing up and constantly pushing our boundaries we are growing. In many instances, we grow in ways we are not even aware that we can. Share your thoughts! Have a fantastic day, and I will see you back later. -Priya


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Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

A Thing Of Beauty..

 

A Thing Of Beauty/CollectiviteaIt’s been a rainy day with a storm system that’s called a pineapple express, and the light filtering through the clouds looks almost creamy. I was thinking of the English poet John Keats whose words, especially if you grew up in a school system with colonial roots, most of us are familiar with. ” A thing of beauty is a joy forever: It’s loveliness increases; It will never pass into nothingness;”. The lines are from his poem Endymion, and Keats was apparently talking about the timelessness of nature’s beauty, people’s actions, and of course, the story of Endymion. Things of beauty are a joy; maybe they are physically beautiful, or have a story or a memory attached which makes them beautiful to us. An old letter, or a scrap of fabric from a favorite childhood dress, a postcard, a tiny pill box. What do you consider beautiful? An impromptu collection of boxes, from my Mom’s first  compact to a Japanese puzzle box that an exchange student gave us has sprung up on one of the tables and while they have so much beauty and meaning for me, they may be just boxes to someone else. Melancholy thoughts! The other thing about Keats is that someone had mentioned that he was buried close to the Colosseum in Rome and we thought to stop by his grave on one of our visits. We ended up not finding it because it was late and cold, but if you are curious, here is an article that explores the meaning behind the words on his gravestone. “Here lies one whose name was writ in water”. Words written in water don’t sound like forever. Thank you for joining me for tea today! – Priya

A Thing Of Beauty/Collectivitea A Thing Of Beauty/Collectivitea

 


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Books, Over a cup of tea.. (Online Journal)

If You Are Lost…

If You Are Lost.../Tea Wisdom/ Collectivitea

I am by no means a professional but I enjoy writing here. For some time in the middle, I lost my writing voice. The words I wrote sounded stilted to me, and I struggled with what I wanted to write about. I’d started the blog when I was setting up a home that my husband and I had bought. It needed extensive remodeling and I was drawn to everything that we needed to design and decorate it. So the blog centered on those topics initially. But, over time, I realized that it was also a platform that I used to express myself creatively- by writing and sharing stories, stories that were not restricted to decor alone. I felt lost, but I also felt like I had to continue with the same style. After all, that’s what the blog was known for. But I felt blocked, and the joy that I’d always associated with writing, blogging, and taking pictures just went away. Even when I continued similar posts, they didn’t feel like my authentic voice. It wasn’t that I wanted to stop. I just wanted to do it differently.  I had this aha moment when I realized that there was nothing to stop me from doing it differently. (Seriously, my a-ha moments, in retrospect, are just huge signs hanging in front of me.) Sure, it would have some consequences, but in the end, it was important to move forward in a way that felt authentic to me. I started to mix and match stories of decor (we all love a pretty home!) with stories of creatives and creative entrepreneurs. And here we are. So, I guess what I want to say is, if you have been feeling blocked or if you are lost, just come back to the present moment. Begin again. Do what feels right for you. Let everything else go. Do what feels authentic to you. Thank you for joining me for tea today. I have been using this series of posts at tea time as a creative exercise, to take some time to photograph what’s in front of me, and to write about what’s on my mind today. Have a wonderful rest of the day- PriyaIf You Are Lost.../Tea Wisdom/ Collectivitea If You Are Lost.../Tea Wisdom/ Collectivitea

Image: Today, I photographed this old Temple Shakespeare edition published in the 1890’s of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; I found it at an old book sale.


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