It’s a Birthday Celebration… And Delicious Giveaway!

We’re celebrating a birthday! No, not the President’s… though I wish him many happy returns.

The Blue Room is a year old today!

It’s been a fun year. I thank you, dear readers, for listening to my ramblings and for talking back as I test ideas and sound off on whatever’s on my mind. You’ve been a great source of wisdom and friendship. Thank you.

The Blue Room is named after our dining room, which we’ve converted into a study/arts and crafts space. (Read about that here.) I’d love to know—do you have a favorite space in which to play and create? A room in your house? Coffee place? Museum? Park? Or maybe it’s a good friend, in whose presence you feel fizzy and creative. Please share in the comments.

I love sending people stuff, so I’ve planned a giveaway to celebrate. Leave a comment below by 5 p.m. EDT Friday August 5 and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive some confections from our favorite truffle place.

14 thoughts on “It’s a Birthday Celebration… And Delicious Giveaway!

  1. Alex says:

    Our new house has a tiny room off our master bedroom that I’ve converted into my home office. I think it originally was the “crib room” or nursery when the house was built in 1875. It has no closets and barely fits my desk, a rocking chair, a shelf and a filing cabinet. But it affords a gorgeous view and is snug and cozy.

  2. Marci says:

    Happy Birthday!
    The only “creating” I seem to do lately is writing. And I don’t do that well at home or in my study at church. But any coffee shop works just fine. I don’t mind noise, as long as none of the voices are wanting things from me.
    And I create pies, so the kitchen is my other space.

  3. Lisa Daross says:

    I have a cozy corner of my couch that’s perfect for knitting, reading, and whatever. Everyone knows it’s my spot, and Julian takes wicked pleasure in usurping it when he can (and acts all offended when he gets kicked out. Gimme a break hahaha). The local Phoenixville coffee shop – Steel City – is another great place. I learned to knit there, I put the finishing touches on my one and only (so far) sermon there, and I’ve spent a lot of hours talking to teenagers there. LOVE IT! [PS – love love love the picture you used at the top of your post! 😉 ]

  4. Happy Birthday!
    We rearranged rooms about 5 years ago- converting our formal living room/dining room into a more casual great room. That left us with what had been our “den” (wood paneling, linoleum tile, doors to the carport and backyard). It turned in to the catch all space.
    It now has a gun safe (I can’t believe I married a guy who owns guns), a chest deep freezer, 2 shotgun shell reloading machines, the litter box, cat food and water, computer, files and 1 old, heavy 6 foot table we “borrowed” from the church for our 1st anniversary party over 6 years ago.
    That table is my creative spot. I have my sewing machine. Store on, under and around the table I have supplies for painting, crocheting, stone carving, sewing, scrapbooking and general crafty-ness. I love it. I make a dress for my daughter’s birthday party every year. I make gifts for new babies. I spread out photos with my cropper and glue and archive memories. It is a special place. Most of the time it’s piled high with bags and stacks. But when I clear it out to start a project it is a thing of beauty.
    It also served as a desk for me when I was working part time from home after each of my maternity leaves. So sermons have been written there, liturgies, newsletter articles and countless emails!

    • MaryAnn says:

      I love the makeshift aspect of the space you describe—I think I get into a perfectionism thing sometimes with space, like it has to have a certain mojo. “How can I create with the litter box nearby?” for example. But that’s usually a copout on my part, a way of making excuses rather than creating.

  5. Shala says:

    Congratulations! Like Lisa, I have a couch spot that I use in the evening for reading, knitting, blogging, etc. My husband likes it too because it’s next to the outlets, but can only rarely use it, because whenever I get up, our daughter snuggles into it and “keeps it warm for me.”

    I can write in lots of places for a while, including my home, thankfully, until the distractions become too hard to ignore. So like a cat, I have several places I visit — Barnes & Noble, the local library, Starbucks, my couch, etc. — and I rotate between each at random intervals until whatever magic it is that made that a good working place for me expires and it’s time to move on. I’ve not tried Panera Bread yet although my husband tells me I should. I’m kind of saving it for when the magic rubs off completely on one of my existing spots and I have to replace it outright.

  6. NotShyChiRev says:

    I don’t think that it’s any secret to anyone that knows me that I do most of my writing in public spaces….my two area Paneras, Chipotle, Caribou, Barnelli’s Pasta and a little spot in our neighborhood that is a coffee house/short order/music performance space created and run by an awesome gay couple who were looking to create a space near the regional AA headquarters that would be drug/alcohol free, but also attitudel free.

    I find that in each of these venues, I create differently. Barnelli’s is the only space without WiFi and it’s the loudest…but it has booths with high sides, so when I need to do concentrated analysis-type creativity or creative planning–that’s where I go. The coffee-house is usually the emptiest, but the most distracting in an odd way. It’s where I’ve been most effective in creative endeavors that involve spreading out a number of resources and digging in.

    For sermons, poems, blogging and facebook note writing, the more dynamic environments of the three national chains are always most effective. There is something about the ebb and flow of humanity and the unique client-base of the two Panera’s (one a mix of blue collar and Muslem the other a mix of elderly assited living types and very wealhty suburbanites) that is very stimulating.

    For short stories and serious journaling, I like to be outside…park bench and laptop, that sort of thing…There’s something about the perspective of being in the midst of natural things that fits those scenarios for me.

    For non-verbal artisitic creativity, I’m most engaged when I go away….really away.

    I can always tell if I wrote a sermon at home…they seem formulaic and tired to me.

  7. Manya Lisse says:

    I have a beautiful dark red room with a large window, a desk, a comfy chair, the walls are lined floor to ceiling with books. In the closet is all the wrapping paper, sewing stuff, and craft supplies.

    It never gets used. It is currently storing a ladder, a bunch of random stuff which includes papers that might or might not be important, and some cat litter that REALLY needs to be changed. I made the room for me, for an office and it has never worked. I don’t know why. It looks lovely (except for the cat litter and the ladder and all the stuff strewn all over) but it never really worked as a writing/working space for me..

    I do a lot of work at coffee shops, sometime in my office, but mostly at my dining room table (in a chair that makes my neck hurt), or on my couch (which, after several hours, gives me a very sore butt). None of these places are ideal…but they all work better for me than the place that I created to be perfect.

  8. Sarah says:

    The out-of-doors is one of my favorite creative spaces. I love to putter about the garden, although this spring/summer has been a little slow in this department due to the hip replacement. One of the first things I did when I could walk, post surgery, was to tend my perennial and herb garden, and then to attempt to encourage the veggies to rally thru the heat with some fertilizer and TLC. I love to rearrange plants, and to “repurpose” plants that others are discarding, or willing to share. Not a lot of fussy gardening – I have a lot of naturalized space – but love to see blooms and color at different times. I also love to walk in the outdoors – much prefer it to a treadmill – when I can feel the breezes or heat or rain, and let my mind wander as the dog and I wander about. I’m a real bodily-kinesthetic processor, and in these two places (and in the pool – another creative space for me) I mull over texts when writing lesson plans or sermons, or work thru various decisions and the general stuff of life.

    More on the pool- and water – the presence of a lake or ocean, or even outdoor fun pool – is very calming to me. Even at my local splash pool, complete with slides and lazy river – and lots of people to watch – I find myself able to detach from a good bit of the “everyday” and set aside the time as mini-Sabbath moments, slices of the day in which to rejuvenate and refresh.

    The other creative space for me is my kitchen. Although I don’t cook as much/as often, I sure love the sheer sensory pleasure of combining ingredients- recipe or not – fresh herbs from the garden if possible, even when making ice tea – and sharing the plenty with others. Kneading dough – bread is a specialty neglected except at holidays -is particulary imagination-stretching – and smells divine when baking and toasting/eating.

    Happy birthday, Blue Room – may yyour various creations continue to you, your family, and your readers.

  9. Mary Beth says:

    I’m lucky to have a room of my own…with a wall of built-in bookshelves and a comfy chair that looks out into the side yard. Oh, there’s a freezer in there, too; but I can deal.

  10. […] a brief consultation with the random number generator, I can report that Mary Beth wins the blog birthday giveaway from last week! […]

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