Trying to get my focus back onto my artwork, after a summer of losses and lovely slow days spent with my children.

(via Nanashi)

After decades of working with artists and studying their behavior, Maisel realized that something very much like obsession was at the heart of the creative process. When he enlisted test subjects to obsess on purpose, he found improvements in their concentration, capacity for tackling big projects, and ability to solve problems -- artistic, personal, or professional.
And so, he reasoned, by giving our creative impulses time and space, they can develop into what he calls a productive obsession -- something you choose to engage in because it fascinates you and ultimately leads you to create something.

Read more at Wholeliving.com: Perfect Brainstorm: How to Tap Your Inner Genius


More Pretty Things

This is a fantasy post, you understand. And yes, I do see the irony after yesterday's post.

Sticks and Stones bracelet, from colbyjune at etsy:

Nordic scarf from seedknits (8 feet of oatmeal-colored soft Peruvian wool goodness):

Or this plaid Woolrich scarf with chain closure, from NeedSupply:

A nice pair of dark forest green boots:

Might as well toss in a bag while I'm at it:

And as long as I'm at it, here's a little Italian number to ride whilst wearing any/all of the above:


On Well-being

By Ilse Crawford:

Wellbeing deserves to be given equal billing to our economic aspirations… because the one without the other does not add up.

Read the entire essay here, it's very good.


Crows use tools.

My favorite birds, so full of attitude. And smart, too.

via ScienceFriday.


How to Play Cards.

Spent Saturday evening playing cards with my kids and lovely in-laws. We had a lot of fun and somehow I was reminded of this scene from "Born Yesterday". Best card game in a movie, ever.


Rock Lobster (after a fashion)

Played by a machine with minimal sense of rhythm, but it's fun nevertheless.

Have been busy seeing my fabulous daughter off on her college adventure halfway across the country. I'll be back soon; I just need to go off into this corner for a few minutes with my hankie. I miss her already.


Labor Day

From The Samuel Gompers Papers:

Labor Day began as a muncipal holiday -- the New York City Central Labor Union sponsored the first parade on September 5, 1882.  Within few years other central labor bodies were following their example and by 1885 the Knights of Labor and the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions were calling for a national holiday in honor of working people.

In 1887 Oregon became the first state to pass a law establishing the first Monday in September as Labor Day. After 32 states took similar action by 1894, the United States Congress passed legislation making Labor Day a legal holiday.

 (biography of Sam Gompers here)

First Labor Day march, New York City (more here)