PERMISSION TO PLAY : Order : #p2play


Welcome to PERMISSION TO PLAY! For late Spring and Summer of 2013, Chel Micheline will be hosting a creative challenge (a sort of  “summer camp” for your inner child here) at Bliss Habits every Tuesday. And she’d love for you to join her.

All you have to do is this:
Once a week, every week, make the time to HAVE SOME CREATIVE FUN– something that allows you to let go, drop the inner critic for a while, and just have fun.

Every Tuesday, we’ll do a little “show-and-tell” about our creative experiments- you are welcome to leave a comment or link up to your own blog post about your adventure. (If you want to know more about PERMISSION TO PLAY, click here.)  And since today is Tuesday … here we go!

markers at the ready...
markers at the ready…

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
– Steve Jobs

When I was a kid, and I got a new box of crayons, I used to do this thing where I would just sit and *look* at them for a few days. I would take out a crayon from time to time and examine it, marveling at its color, it’s perfect, “fresh out of the mold” brand-newness, and think about all the things it could be used for- green grass, blue skies, yellow suns, pink hearts… Then I would slide it back into the box and just look at the entire collection of colors as a perfect whole.

After doing that for a few days, I would take all the crayons out and reorganize them according to the color spectrum, from red to violet. I would sort of agnozie over this a tiny bit, because there were always in-between colors that were both orange and red or blue and purple, so I would move them around until I finally made a decision and moved on to the next color.

Finally, I would slide one crayon out of its slot, and draw a line on a piece of paper. And with that, I moved from “order” to “creativity”. My little ritual of examining the crayons and organizing them almost felt like I was getting the crayons prepared, and also preparing *myself* to be creative.

It wasn’t until I read the quote by Steve Jobs above that I understood why organization has played such a huge part in creativity for me throughout my entire life. By sorting through the crayons, I was *connecting* the colors to objects, imagining and savoring all the creative potential that the box of crayons held.

As for right now, I’m still in a massive creative funk. And I’m still not going to push it.

But this week I found myself wanting to spend time in my art studio, especially in the mornings. I didn’t want to really do any art, so I found myself going through my supplies and really culling a lot of things from them. It felt like I was imposing order on the world in my own little way (which is how I feel about gardening these days), which comforted me a great deal.

But it also made me feel a little like a kid, going through my crayons… as I pulled out all my stamps, all my markers, all my paints, all my pens, all my sketchbooks, I felt as if I were looking at each one for the very first time, and really *examining* and *feeling* the potential that each item had.

I guess what I was doing was making creative connections.

And anything that didn’t resonate or make me feel hopeful went either in the “donate” pile or in the trash bin.

It was actually great fun. I felt a little like a kid in a candy store. And as my stash was gradually culled down to just the things I really like, I felt even more enchanted by the potential. I felt myself warming up to the idea of making some art again.

You know what? I like stuff. I like having stuff. I don’t like to have a *lot* of stuff, but I do take pleasure in having a nicely stocked art studio full of bright, colorful supplies. This is my happy place.  It almost feels like a fully loaded magic wand, in a way.

It’s just that I’m feeling like I’ve forgotten how to make magic with my wand…

And maybe that’s okay, for right now. There were plenty of days when I was a kid when I spent hours outside, stretched out on the grass, watching the clouds dance across the sky. And I don’t regret those days- in fact, I think they fed a part of me that evolved into the artist I’d *like* to become.

So maybe right now my inner child is thinking about possibilities, about potential, about crayons and colors and life. Maybe all this organizing is actually my inner child coming out a bit and checking out all interesting things that are there for the taking before she makes her next big move.

It’s never too late to join in. Simply have some creative fun and get ready to share it next Tuesday. You can leave a comment here or create a blog post over on your site and link it to Bliss Habits on Tuesdays. We’re even on Twitter: Kathy added a # to p2play to make #p2play for twitter! Share your creations there too! We are @BlissHabits (Kathy) and @GingerblueArt (Chel) if you’d like to copy us too!

Here’s a banner you can put on your blog:


the code for this badge (just copy/paste into your own blog):

<a href=””><img alt=”playchallenge” src=”” width=”200″ height=”142″ /></a>

Chel Micheline is a mixed-media artist, curator, writer, and avid gardener/reader/swimmer who lives in Southwest Florida with her husband and daughter. When Chel’s not making art or pondering the Bliss Habits, she’s blogging at (come say hi!) or posting new things in the gingerblue etsy shop.

3 thoughts on “PERMISSION TO PLAY : Order : #p2play

  1. Chel, I am glad you are finding order and seemingly feeling a bit better! I visited gingerblue first to see if you had any updates there. I’m sure I’m not alone wondering how you and Grace are coping. While I was there I did notice that you added my blog to your “blog roll” and I wanted to say Thank you!! It means a great deal to me! Now to go update it with my last play session…thanks again!

  2. Karen B says:

    Order is a bit difficult for me – I love to have my art/craft stuff. I love to use them. I hate to tidy them away – so my craft room is not very ordered! This week I have been playing with a camera – taking pictures to represent spring – the difficult bit for me will be getting them into order and finding some creative way of showing them!

  3. LOVE all the vibrant colors! I love crayons & magic markers as much now as I did as kid. I like having a nice little stash of all sorts to creative with. I rather count them in the necessities of air, water, food, love… The trick is to keeping it all tidy. I find I had to tidy often… LOL… Hope you are doing OK, Chel :o) ((HUGS))

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