Category Archives: free stuff

Me, Myself and Midtown

So, in the continuation of my new trek on life’s journey, I discovered a fabulous guidebook via a Facebook friend (in a roundabout sort of way.) This friend happened to post a link to a book they had just read which sounded interesting. In reading the reviews, I noticed that many people preferred an earlier book by the same author. Next stop, Barnes and Noble! Of course they had the earlier book in stock and I quickly snapped up my copy and adjourned to the closest coffee shop to dive right in. Wow! This book seemed to be written just for me! It’s called The Artist’s Way. It challenges us to rediscover our true creative nature through weekly exercises and daily stream-of-consciousness writing it calls ‘morning pages.’ I challenge any random readers of this blog to check it out! One of the facets I particularly love is its focus on spirituality as a source of creativity. This spoke straight to my heart, since I have struggled for years (ok, decades) with the notion that my life as a creative person had to be egocentric and narcissistic out of necessity. It’s the main reason I turned my back on a profession in the arts back in the day. But through this book I have realized that, not only is a spiritual connection necessary to creative inspiration, creativity is by its very nature a way for me to both give praise and glory to God while receiving His grace and blessing.

Anyhoo, one of the non-negotiables to each weekly romp into self-creativity is what the author terms an ‘artist date.’ A date with yourself. Destination unspecified, other than to a place which might inspire you. For this week’s jaunt I chose to head to Midtown – an area of town I’d previously heard of but had only the vaguest of notions of its actual location. All I knew of Midtown was that it was an ‘up-and-coming area frequented by young, hip professionals due to the growing number of hot nightspots.’ Quotation freely abridged from any and all H-town guides you may have seen. I can’t believe I’ve never spent time there in the nearly thirteen years we have lived here, but there it is. That’s reality. I forsee many more jumps to this locale in the future. Moving on…

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft holds free – repeat, FREE – workshops on the first Saturday of every month. These are staffed with plenty of helpful volunteers who are expertly trained to help even the novice (read, ME) learn a new technique and complete a project on-site. This week’s topic was finger weaving, something I remember learning as a kid but had forgotten. In just the span of an hour I had my project completed – a fuzzy scarf I now need to find just the perfect outfit for! I spent some time in the galleries themselves – again free, but with a box for donations should you be so moved – and was amazed at the ‘crafts’ turned art. The Center also has artist studios on-site which you are welcome to explore, and if you’re lucky enough to find one of the artists at work you can observe and ask questions. Very cool! I left there inspired, invigorated and just brimming with creative desire that far exceeded my current abilities. But hey – everyone needs a goal, right?

Here are some scenes from the quirky-cool garden behind the Arts Center:

Oh, and I was lucky enough to see this amazing mural just across the street which, as it happens, was the front-page story of the Midtown News this week:

And a few more scenes from my trek midtown. This blog is truly not intended to be a travel resource, but I was amazed at all of the inspiration I found in just a one-block footprint. Definitely worth a return visit or three – and did I mention it was FREE??!!

Downtown from Midtown:

Next time, baby!!

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Filed under artist, craft, creativity, free stuff, inspiration, Midtown