Monday means more ideas about getting ideas? Good idea!

Well it's Monday, and we Minnesotans are in a splendid mood despite the rain because we enjoyed 2 days of 60 degree weather back-to-back this weekend!

So what, you say?

Well the last time that happened was October 11-12, FYI* and so it's cause not only for celebration but also for a statewide community bonfire in which we burn our parkas. When you've been sleeping, eating, bathing, and everything else wearing a parka for 5 months, there's nothing to do but burn it when you finally take it off.

*Yes, all Minnesotans can quote useless weather statistics for any occasion.

Once we get a few warm days, we never look back. The other morning it was 24 degrees, but I saw a man walking the dog in shorts and a T-shirt because he's a Minnesotan and once you've burned your parka, it's SPRING. (Actually, we tend to skip spring and move directly into summer. I'll probably be turning on the air conditioner next week.)

Of course all of the Friday talk about ideas gave me more ideas, so I figured I'd squeeze a little more from the topic before we walk away.

I realized after I wrote about it that I may have made getting ideas sound a little loftier than it, in reality, usually is
(if you can make a Barney Fife quote sound lofty . . . ?)
so I decided I'd better get a little more specific about it

and tell the entire truth,
so to speak.

If you don't think too hard about it, it's probably easy to guess the origins of this piece, for instance:

Persons of Interest, 2006, Collection of J. Greening

That's right!

I was exercising on the elliptical (sweating like a pig) when suddenly The Brady Bunch came on TV. And if you couple that with my years as a professional viewer of Sesame Street

you can easily see how "Persons of Interest" was born.

There. That sort of took the magic out of it, didn't it?

And then there are occasional cases of flat-out stealing ideas, which everyone does whether intentionally or not,

because you don't have to read or listen to music or look at art for long to realize that most of the really great ideas have already been floating around for awhile.

So when a "Flax Art & Design" catalog came to my house a dozen years or so ago

and I tore out the picture on the cover and put it in my file because I liked it,

I shouldn't have been surprised to find that the little character years later morphed into my flower-pot-head ladies.

I added the "grow" idea of course, and made it a woman and stitched it out of wool, but the catalog image must have definitely planted the seed.

Fact is, I save a whole lot of things I see that I like and put them in files or on the frige or on my bulletin boards just hoping that a little bit of wonderfulness will happen to rub off on my creations.

But if we had to think up everything from scratch, we wouldn't get a whole lot done, would we?

I mean a scratch cake is great when you have time, but thank goodness for cake mixes because they taste great and they're easy and economical too.

As L.K. Hanson illustrated so delightfully and W.H. Auden said so eloquently:

And if you want to make good things, you have to make a lot of things. And if you want to make a lot of things, you have to have a lot of ideas.

And the way to have a lot of good ideas is to have a lot of all kinds of ideas and then throw the not-so-good ones away.

So feel free to beg, borrow and steal. Take someone else's idea and stretch it in your own new direction.

(I don't think the Brady Bunch will even mind
when they find out what I've done.)


Amelia and Justin said...

So, this'll teach me to leave town and not be able to check blogs...5 blogs since I last checked. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every one of them.

I have friends ask me where I get the ideas for my jewelry and I have to admit, it usually comes from some piece I have seen at a store or somewhere else. Is there ever really an original thought? :)

susan m hinckley said...

There may have been one original thought but it was definitely before you were born. It probably even pre-dates me.

Welcome back to blogland. I hope you guys had a great vacation! I'll be looking for pictures . . . :)

Flannery said...

You are so nice letting me beg, borrow and steal your "eyes" for Poe. What a generous artist you are!

april said...

i adored these last two posts. i'm all for tapping into your genius. i've believed for a long time that you have to look at lots and seek to be able to create. i do think that i need to work on the pondering and "baking".

i wanted to add that pat insisted on reading your previous post when i said you quoted russ about how blog's don't make $. it made me smile to read that "susan nation" reply and i hope he enjoyed everyone of our comments. i love being a citizen of "susan nation"!

april said...

just to be clear - i meant tapping into your personal genius - not "your" as a general word there.

Pam said...

Fun post! I like your ideas board. Mine was dismantled when we shifted. Time to reconstruct I think.

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