Van Gogh on the struggle to create beautiful things

Van Gogh's Olive Grove

Vincent van Gogh:

I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort and disappointment and perseverance.”

Another good one, by Pablo Picasso:

Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”

 

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There are always plenty of distractions

busy-shark-comic-600x450

C.S. Lewis, in “Learning in Wartime,” a sermon he gave at Oxford in 1939.

There are always plenty of rivals to our work. We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want [their goal] so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions may never come.

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Quote via Elise Amyx

Image via Shaaark!

 

Ways to display your favorite quotes (or your to-do list)

If you’re a quote collector like me, you probably have one or more favorite quotes that you’d like to display. But your favorite quote this month might be replaced by a new one in a few weeks. Here’s a collection of simple ways to display any words you want, whether a quote, a Bible verse, a menu or a to-do list. Some of them will also work for a changing display of family photos.

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DIY dry erase board

Here’s an easy-peasy DIY dry-erase board (with the how-to) from Makes and Takes., using pretty patterned paper in an inexpensive frame with its glass.

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DIY dry-erase board

Same concept, using plain paper and a thrifted frame painted a fun color, from Nothing But Bonfires.

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platter-magnet-board-

Take a cookie sheet or serving platter, add spray-paint and/or a few brush strokes in a fun color, and glue one or more clips or clothespins on it. Image from sparklecandace on Flickr.

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window as whiteboard

At Cut Out and Keep, a teacher explains that she just tapes white paper to the back of the window in her classroom door to turn it into a whiteboard. You could do the same with a freestanding vintage door or window, and just paint the back of the glass.

Then, of course, there’s the ubiquitous chalkboard, which you can make…

clipboard-chalkboard

… on a clipboard (from No Time for Flashcards)

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chalkboard-serving-platter

…on a thrifted or dollar store serving platter (can’t find the original post). Or of course, you could do it in a vintage/thrifted/upcycled frame, as well.

In a couple days, I’ll post a collected of magnetic boards. Come back soon!

Is an ending

one staring eye

… Self-love is an ending, she said,
and not a beginning….”

From the book SELECTED POEMS by Robert Bringhurst

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Other Robert Bringhurst quotes:

When you think intensely and beautifully, something happens. That something is called poetry. If you think that way and speak at the same time, poetry gets in your mouth. If people hear you, it gets in their ears. If you think that way and write at the same time, then poetry gets written. But poetry exists in any case. The question is only: are you going to take part, and if so, how?”

— from The Tree of Meaning: Thirteen Talks

In a badly designed book, the letters mill and stand like starving horses in a field. In a book designed by rote, they sit like stale bread and mutton on the page. In a well-made book, where designer, compositor and printer have all done their jobs, no matter how many thousands of lines and pages, the letters are alive. They dance in their seats. Sometimes they rise and dance in the margins and aisles.”

— from The Elements of Typographic Style

‘A man who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep,’ Frederic Goudy liked to say. If this wisdom needs updating, it is chiefly to add that a woman who would letterspace lower case would steal sheep as well .”

— from The Elements of Typographic Style

photo credit: Hani Amir via photopin cc

10 of my favorite Dr.Seuss quotes

"Put me down," said the fish. "I do not wish to fall!"

“Look at me! Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”

“And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We cannot pick it up.
There is no way at all!”
― The Cat in the Hat

“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny,
but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”
― The Cat in the Hat

“You oughta be thankful, a whole heaping lot,
for the people and places you’re lucky you’re not.”
― Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“Today was good. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.”

― ??

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”
― Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
― The Lorax

“Be grateful you’re not in the forest in France
Where the average young person just hasn’t a chance
To escape from the perilous pants-eating plants!
But your pants are safe, you’re a fortunate guy.
You ought to be shouting, ‘How lucky am I!’”
― Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“You can find magic
wherever you look.
Sit back and relax,
all you need is a book.”
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild,
to pick up a book and read to a child.”
― ??

“So…
be your name Buxbaum, or Bixby, or Bray,
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”
― Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Dr. Seuss books & Cat in the Hat costumes