Reaching a creative goal

Few things are more rewarding than reaching a creative goal.

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Cindy La Ferle

My photo blog, Something Beautiful Every Day, began last spring as a personal challenge to share something positive every day for one year. Looking for an escape from our nation’s brutal political climate, I decided to spend part of my day putting something lovely, or thought-provoking, out into the world. So I started carrying my camera everywhere — and not just for writing assignments.

I scouted for beauty in my neighbors’ gardens, the local farmer’s market, my kitchen drawers, my bookshelves, my husband’s art studio — and everywhere I traveled. Then I posted my images with a meaningful quotation every morning.

The project, which has been featured in several lifestyle magazines, will end on March 23. After a short break, I plan to start another photo blog, or I might put a new spin on Something Beautiful Every Day. Meanwhile, I’m back to those writing deadlines!

 

Comfort in stressful times

DSCN7825If you’re struggling to find peace in the aftermath of the presidential election, you’re not alone.

Several months ago, when I needed relief from divisive news headlines, I launched Something Beautiful Every Day, a daily blog that features my own photography and uplifting quotes from famous (and not-so-famous) authors.

You won’t find partisan politics on “Something Beautiful.” What you will find are photos of my gardens, things I’ve collected, and discoveries I’ve made on my travels. Each daily photo is paired with an inspirational  or literary quote that will lift your spirit, motivate your creativity, or get you thinking.

Version 2If you haven’t had a chance to explore this online photo diary, I hope you’ll visit soon. And if you opt to subscribe to “Something Beautiful Every Day, you’ll receive a daily inspirational post from me each morning. You can subscribe on the site, or I can sign you up if you email me at cindy@laferle.com usingSomething Beautiful subscribeas the subject heading.

A progress report: My year-long creative challenge is halfway complete

It’s hard to believe that Something Beautiful Every Day — my year-long “creative challenge” — has reached the halfway mark this month. So far, I’ve posted 189 original photos with quotations, and the new blog has logged more than 31,000 page visits from viewers in 10 countries since it went live in April.

dscn3434I appreciate all of the subscribers and visitors who’ve been waking up with me every day. Knowing you’re out there gets me out of bed very early each morning — and I look forward to sharing a new post with you before I start brewing my coffee. Your encouraging emails have meant so much to me.

Something Beautiful Every Day began on a gloomy day in March — and it has turned out to be the most enjoyable creative project I’ve ever attempted. After spending more than 30 years writing feature articles, memoirs, and personal essays, I’ve felt the need for a creative change — a different way to tell stories and share ideas.

As photographer Jan Phillips wrote: “Photos are our autobiography, a way of telling who we are.”

Inspired by Bella Grace magazine, I challenged myself to pair an original photo with a thought-provoking quotation every day for a year. Describing the project to a friend recently, I realized the daily photos I’ve posted are far more intimate than anything I share on social media networks. These images document the little things I treasure at home, gardens I’ve tended, dear pets who share my home, and places where I find inner peace. The quotes have special meaning to me as well.

dscn2598At first, I shared Something Beautiful Every Day with just a handful of close friends. But in June, a newspaper columnist encouraged me to add a subscriber option and open it up to everyone. Since then, it’s been featured in The Detroit News Homestyle magazine, HAP’s Balanced Living magazine, and was recently endorsed by Beaumont Hospital’s Sharing & Caring breast cancer support group as a “positive and inspirational resource.”

The project will end in mid-March of 2017 — one year after its launch.

Meanwhile, it’s already autumn, my favorite time of the year! I’m always moved by the rich, brooding palette of the season — and my images and quotes will reflect that in the weeks ahead. Thanks again for spending this year with me.

To view Something Beautiful Every Day or subscribe to the blog, please click here.

Photos above: Copyright 2016 by Cindy La Ferle

Spring art news

RememberExterior“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” — Emile Zola

When spring rolls around, you’ll typically find me outside, preparing my herb and perennial gardens for summer. But with garden season off to a slow start in Michigan, I’ve been spending more time upstairs in the art studio. Happily, some of my newest creations are cropping up in art shows across the state, from St. Joseph Michigan’s Box Factory Spring Exhibit to the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Association’s Annual Fine Arts Competition. For regular updates, please visit Cindy La Ferle’s Mixed Media.

A cookbook memoir

Sometimes I suggest family recipes as points of entry for writing a memoir. Does your Italian grandmother’s pasta sauce stir up memories of holiday gatherings? Do you recall your kid brother’s grin every time you bake the oatmeal cookies he loved? Using this approach, some writers end up compiling cookbooks laced with treasured family stories and traditions.

IMG_1219Anyone can turn a memoir into a work of art by combining keepsakes and recipes. For inspiration on how to start this type of project (shown at left), you might want to visit my new art blog. Please click here to learn more.

Speaking of memoirs, I’ll be teaching an evening class on memoir writing at the Royal Oak Public Library on March 24, and participating as a panelist in a discussion on blogging on March 31. Complete details on the ROPL’s Spring Writing Series (including how to register for the classes) are included in this feature on Royal Oak Patch.

Photo: “House Wife” (an altered book) by Cindy La Ferle