Friday, October 6, 2017

Care to Try Your Hand at Drawing? Here are Some Super Tutorials

 "Talent hits a target no one else can hit." — Arthur Schopenhauer

Who knows what hidden talent one might have. Who knows, if it's rooted early and nurtured through one's life, what targets it might hit. 

My son once gave me a book to read. This is Your Brain on Music, by rocker turned neuroscientist Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, is subtitled: The Science of a Human Obsession and (to oversimplify the message) suggests that practise makes perfect.

Far be it from me to dispute someone with the education of Dr. Levitin, but honestly I really can't completely believe it. I certainly think that if you practise hours each day you will play better than those who don't. But, I also think that the talent needs to lie within too.  Our son, an accomplished guitarist, practised incessantly. And I do believe that has contributed to his admirable ability. I will never be convinced though that had I played for those hours alongside of him I'd be as good. After all,  it's not practice that makes the canary a canary, rather than a blue jay.

What I do believe, however, is that we all need the opportunity to try. It's our exposure to multiple experiences that will help us find where we excel, what our hidden talents might be.  It's probably too late for me to hone any now, but there are situations in life that will make me determined to try. 

Way back in 1968, my friends and I had entered high school. It was an interesting era for us; young girls raised by conservative parents in moderate times, we now sat on the cusp of cultural, societal and moral change. We still took home ec classes while the boys went to the tech wing, but the notion that we could be lawyers, doctors or bosses if we chose was starting to take hold.

Where just a few years before, young women planning their futures typically chose office work, nursing or marriage, now my peers and I could let our desire and imagination direct us down all career paths.  I was fascinated by the world of journalism, still not exactly thinking out of the box. A friend of mine, however, saw herself as a fashion designer, doing illustrations of young girls in mod clothes, typical of what most of us were wearing.

Fascinated by this creativity and by her romantic choice of profession, I began copying her drawings. What came as a big surprise to me was, with the exception of the hands, I  was not that bad.  At the time, that this said more about her limited talent than it did about me actually having any, was lost on me. What was found, however, was a love for doodling.

And now, today, with a granddaughter enchanted by unicorns I did a little digging to see if I might find a guide to teach me  how to draw these magical creatures and of course, discovered a bounty of them.  I remember how delighted I was as a little girl when my grandfather would sketch his beloved horses for me, so hope that this will create a similar memory for our little missy.

For many, these pastimes and activities we try can lead to hobbies,  passions or careers. All must begin somewhere though, so here are some great drawing tutorials from our Pinterest Drawing Tutorials

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It's Good for Your Health. Promoting Fitness With Inspiring Photos from

Photo of two senior women doing a tree pose in yoga
If you ever spend any time reading my blogs  you'll probably have noticed that I don't talk often, or much at all really, about fitness. Which is probably because, if I must be honest, I'm really not that into it.

Giving thanks for some good genetics and apparently a moderately-high metabolism, I've spent most of life indulging in carbs, cheese, sweets, treats and wine, with only a modest weight struggle. For a long time I could balance my taste for unhealthy eats with a moderate exercise program. Aerobics, yoga and a nice long walk now and then generally was all it took to keep the extra pounds off for many, many years.

Then I hit a certain decade and for the first time in my life losing any excess baggage didn't happen just because I wanted it to. Whatever exercise I did in the past to drop the weight,  now had me hanging on for dear life to stay where I was.

Improving myself before that was always the drive behind any exercise program. Now though, with nothing to show for my efforts, the necessary inspiration to get up and going was lacking. Then yet another decade arrived and with it a seemingly simultaneous shift in body parts and energy levels. Add in some new stiffness, aches and pains, and even walking has lost its lustre.

Sadly, though this might be the age when sitting around doing nothing feels most pleasing,  it is probably the absolute worst time to do it. Exercise helps ageing hearts, bones and minds. This is a fact so loudly touted it would be ridiculous to try and use the excuse that you didn't know a sedentary life, along with a diet loaded with fats, carbs and sugars was bad for you.

I'm a big fan of being pharmaceutical free. I also like the idea of sticking around this world for as long as possible. I therefore know it's time for me to shape up, that I can't continue all the bad habits I've nurtured over the past several decades and continue to enjoy the good health I have to this point.

Photo of two seniors jogging in autumn
The challenge is going to be to figure out how and what I might do to get control of me again. My fitness level is not helped by the reality of being chained to a desk, all day, each and every work day. It's not helped by the exhaustion when I get home, the inability to rise early in the morning, and the household tasks and responsibilities that must fit in to all the spaces between.  There are no gyms in close proximity, there are no indoor pools nearby.  Large classes intimidate me, and it's far too easy to cheat on solitary walks.

I will find my way, though. There's incentive to be discovered at every turn, on television and in print, from promotions for weight loss and fitness facilities, to ads reminding us that we'll never get fit if all we do is sit.

For people in the industry, who are looking for great images to promote physical activity,  these inspiring fitness pictures from offer plenty of variety.