Actually doing things, moving furniture around, deciding on where pictures and accessories would go opened up both my creativity and my confidence. Not for writing, no, not for that, not yet. It hit in other ways. I started cooking, really cooking, again. With a little inspiration from Food Network's Chopped, I started thinking about how I could combine ingredients in new ways. I've played in the kitchen, had some meals that were barely edible and surprised myself with the quality of others. I'm particularly proud of my cream sauce with avocado and horseradish. (I served it over tilapia.)
I have a container garden on my patio with pots of basil, rosemary, cilantro, chives lavender, petunias, pansies, violas and English ivy. I planted some of the violas in an old silver pitcher that was tarnished beyond my ability to polish away, and now tentative, purple blossoms are starting to spill from its spout. I remembered one of the exercises from The Artist's Way, collecting a folder of images of things you love and would like in your life, and I started a Pinterest account. I've made recipes I've collected there. I've done a couple of crafts, (painting picture frames and wrapping others in fabric), utilized some organization ideas, used wine bottle corks as labels for my herbs. I'm doing as well as dreaming, and I really like it.
I think the thing that has surprised me the most was a purchase I felt compelled to make. I went to a craft store to pick up a plate hanger. (The plate collection has surprised me as well, but it's not your granny's plate collection.) To get to the plate hangers, I had to go through the art supplies, and there was this sketch book, smooth and black, with the elastic band to keep it shut and the loop for a pencil. I have half a dozen empty journals in the same style. It was filled with beautiful, creamy, unlined pages, and almost right by it was a box of water color pencils. I had to have them. I've never used water color pencils before, but they feel exquisite when I pull them across the paper. It's easier to let yourself be bad at something and enjoy it when you don't have a good bit of your ego tied up in it. I don't have to draw well, and I still love it.
So, I've found I like small, cozy spaces, light and bright colors, the play of light through my windows, the smell of herbs in the evening as I sit on my patio, the feel of a whisk in my hand, and the blast of heat from an open oven door. I love playing with color and shapes, and I love feeling like I'm actually playing a role in creating my life.