If I really want to use this blog I’m going to have to expand the focus a bit to cover a lot more variety of content and share more. I’d really like readers to feel like they can get to know more about me, but that will only happen if I share more. This is scary for me as I’m usually introverted and keep all my thoughts and ideas to myself and worry far too much about what people will think but.. to hell with it!Let’s be brave!
At New Year generally make people take stock and re-evaluate, which is a good thing. Most of those, often pointless, resolutions come from genuinely useful thoughts about what can I do to be happier this year?
I feel quite lucky and very pleased to say that I’ve done mine already – in November! Who says that it all comes together on January 1st?
1. Quit smoking, since 7th November! Success!
2. Go to the gym regularly. In the winter months, even if ‘regularly’ has only been Sunday early evening around 7.30 for an hour. I’ve been doing it for a couple of months, enjoying it and it’s become a habit now. Success!
I still have a couple more challenges, let’s call them that, then I’m not committing myself!
1. Try – daily dolly picture! This is tricky! I can only do this in in the evenings which are dark, so the only spot is on Marks model bench against a white wall!
They will all look a little like this!!
White wall, doll, prop! Hmmmm?
Let’s see how is goes? It might get very dull, or I might fall into the trap of trying to turn a boring ordinary photo into something different by ‘psych-ing it up’. Now this might sound like a cop out but I love it!! There are many joyous ways to I have found to do this! Each on engaging and stimulating in its own way… pass the LSD!!
Using something like phototropedelic iPhone app and watching a boring photo turn into something amazing colour by colour and adding stars. Here’s a picture I took at Alexandra Palace -“14 hour Technicolor Dream” anyone??
The other one I have found that I like is Cameran. Very Japanese!
Here’s a picture of my new Christmas dolly, Betty.
Or good old Photoshop – Curves, Filters, Saturation, or my new personal favorite, the stunning ‘Gradient map’!! For example…
Another challenge is a musical one – to try to play guitar for an hour a day, or at least 30 minutes!! I love music but unfortunately I have no musical talent whatsoever! Really, if I try to sing people run away! Well, Mark does….. I’m usually banished to another room if I pick up my guitar!
I used to play a lot. I’d get out my ‘Complete Beatles Guitar & Vocal’ & start at the back, working my way vaguely to the middle scanning for tunes that didn’t have too many F’s or Bs! I could almost play “You Never Give me your Money” reasonable effectively, with the change in the middle & everything.
I think I also played ‘Daydream Believer’ & ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ a lot! I had a folder where I’d printed a lot of Online guitar archive tablature. I printed more this week. I was surprised that they still now in that horrible Courier font? It’s awful! This week’s new tablature is not in courier anymore -I changed it!
Unfortunately I still can’t play any better; especially F’s & B’s and I don’t have a very good strumming technique!
So – why bother? Well, what’s actually inspired me pick up the guitar again was attending a session last year at work about How to increase brain power and improve brain functioning.
It was a great session – very inspiring. The biggest impact for me was realising that all out brains are ill-equipped to cope with the amount of stress we all have! The primitive centre of the brain which operates on “ye olde” Fight or Flight (or Freeze) principle releases hormones, adrenalin & cortisol to give us a boost! but this ‘danger’ period would have lasted what? Around 30 seconds to maybe 30 minutes, in which time you’d have run away or been eaten!
Now we work so many hours a day, juggling tasks and priorities all the time, it’s really hard to relax and escape from this ‘stress’ and the associated release of chemicals from the brain which make you more ’hyped up’!
This is my very non-scientific explanation of the way I understood how the human brain, wonderful though it is, has not quite evolved, or has mal-adapted and the important thing it to manage this by even more actively trying to relax, de-stress, calm down. And even more so, to learn how to effectively train our brains to develop, “self-directed Neuroplasticity’
Research has suggested that effective ways to overcome this are….
Learning a new language
Playing a musical instrument
Doing novel, interesting things more!
Developing good habits.
I decided then that I’d like to play guitar again and was lucky to have a few days over Christmas to make a start.
My fingers are now toughening up…. But there will be no playing in public or recording!
In other Blythe Dolly news!
Not much over Christmas but I’m now looking at a few ideas for Jan & Feb including a few designs inspired by Pop Art, Biba & 60’s girls! I’m pretty excited about these! Just scribbles and a couple of unfinished things on the go at the moment
Other news…Ive been thinking about reviving my original ‘Woolly Rocker’ Rock star dolls which were featured in Mojo Magazine, in 2001! I could have tried to make a lot and sell a lot as I was getting a lot of people interested – but they just take too long! So much detail! I don’t think people could appreciate the hours of work in these.. but I’ve found a few nearly finished ones and I might try to do something with them again?? This was a picture from then….
Lets see? I worked on a few all over Christmas for a whole week but they are still not done! Now I’ve moved on to dolly stuff!
Anyhow folks Keep on Rocking!! I’ll leave with this…..which I’ve become a little crazy obsessed with as for years I was convinced that nothing good came after about 1972! I’ve revised that to 1978, before it all went a bit disco!