Falling In Love Again

+1 rolls eyes and resigns to the fact there will be a purchase……

Yes it happens all the time.  Something – some beautiful piece of art, or meaningful saying or wacky idea or something of pure love – captures my attention and that’s it…  I’m head over heals smitten.

Today (*smiles*) it is the artwork of UK artist Rob Ryan.  Rob’s London shop “Ryantown” features his intricate paper cuts, limited edition screen prints, handcrafted, limited edition pieces.

This is what his cute as a button shop looks like:

ryantown

I’m waiting in excitement for this lovely little vase to arrive (from Larkmade):

Rob Ryan 'Please Smell Us' Vase

And here’s a sample of some of his other works:

This Bell Will Ring When From Nothing Something ComesBelieve In People printed teatowel

The Key To My Heart Tile

I Cant Forget (Raspberry Red and Navy Blue)

Simplify Our Love

If you want to become equally smitten visit Rob’s website which has links to his blog and shop.

And, as always, feel free to share likewise.  I ‘d love to see what’s your latest obsession.

Meg

Shared Inspiration: Wind Us Up & Set Us Loose

I came across Wondermark’s Rules for Builders, Crafters and Makers and just HAD to share it.

This little manifesto 100% spot on  reflects my whole philosophy, approach and how I do things – classic stuff.   LOVE it madly and hope you will too….

If you have time have a look through the whole Tinkerer’s Handbook, featured on Wondermark’s site.  I particularly adore the page on “Non Traditional Gardening Tools” – heart-warmingly hilarious.

Enjoy

Tinkerbell Meg

NO HONEY IT SAYS 'TAKE IT APART' NOT 'PUT IT BACK TOGETHER AFTERWARDS'

Leadership Learnings: Just As You Are

I am so fortunate to have worked alongside and for some of the people who I believe embody the best aspects of leadership.  For me they are truly inspirational people and they have my greatest respect.  What I have learnt from them, just by being who they are, is nothing short of a gift. They are true friends as well as colleagues.  Not surprisingly to those who have also had the blessing of working with them, my first manager and my current CEO are two of the most inspirational leaders I know (if either of you are reading this just take it – it’s true).

The key thing that these sensational people have in common is that they do not try to be anyone but themselves.  They are authentic and genuine.  They know themselves,  they celebrate their talents and work with their strengths. They devote themselves to personal growth and development and seek out opportunities for feedback to ensure they are succeeding.  These managers are open and remain mindful of their ‘gaps’, can have a good laugh at themselves and generally have a great sense of enthusiasm, fun and enjoyment.  There is a sense about them that they almost glow from within and are incredibly relaxed within their positions.

Authenticity has become a critical quality in modern leadership and much has recently been written about it.  A sense of people’s authenticity has a tremendous impact on how much we trust them, how comfortable we are with them and how willing we are to follow them.

The characteristics Authentic Leaders share include:  Insight – they have vision + wisdom and the ability work through complex problems with clarity; Initiative – they have a go, they don’t ask permission, they back winning ideas, go against the status quo and take calculated risks;  Influence – their enthusiasm and vision is contagious and people are drawn to them and want to help them succeed;  Integrity – they have a personal set of values that they live by and are honest, trustworthy and transparent in their actions; and Impact – they make a difference, they are able to create real and lasting change, they leave a ripple behind them, they aim to leave a legacy.

You cannot be authentic if you are pretending to be someone you are not or suppressing the real you.  Most people who work for you see through this quickly.  The impact this has is enormous – people are less likely to trust, less likely to participate and provide information and they are less likely to fully commitment or give their all.  This all impacts on organisational culture and general productivity and achievement.

The benefits speak for themselves.  There’s nothing to lose and it all starts with being yourself and finding your own groove “just as you are” (yes more dreamy Mr Darcy via Bridget Jones’s Diary).

I’d love to hear your stories of authentic leadership.  Do you work with an authentic leader? What makes them authentic and how does this inspire you?

Meg x

Shared Inspiration #4: Life Lessons Gleaned from Jane Austen

Most will agree Jane Austen is a rockstar.  Her books are hilariously funny, easy to relate to and choc-full of character and wisdom to guide you along your path.

I came across a post (via @GuyKawasaki) by the Huffington Post’s literary critic and Austen aficionado, Bill Deresiewicz which  provides a snapshot into his new book titled A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter. 

This post offers 12 very funny, if not brutal life lessons gleaned from Jane Austen.  Here goes:

  1. You aren’t nearly as special as you think (from “Emma”):  You may walk around like the heroine of your very own novel, but you’re no better than any of the minor characters. You know — those dull, ordinary, conventional people you’re forced to be surrounded by.  Take a good look at them: that’s you.
  2. Gossip is the highest form of wisdom (from “Emma”): The most important things in life are the small, trivial, everyday events, the little moments of feeling, that people like to gab about. That’s what the fabric of our years really consists of. That is what life is truly about.
  3. Humiliation is the fastest way of growing up (from “Pride and Prejudice”):  You’re not as wonderful as your mama told you, and the way to grow up is to realize that. Growing up, in other words, means making mistakes. Only it’s not enough to make mistakes: you have to feel them. Those moments of excruciating shame when you really screw up? Cherish them.
  4. Your feelings are not necessarily right (from “Pride and Prejudice”):  Feelings are always about something, and that “something” is not itself a feeling. It’s an idea, a perception of a situation. And because ideas can be wrong, the feelings that are based on them can also be wrong. So relax a little bit.
  5. Don’t believe everything you think (from “Northanger Abbey”): We do not come to things with open minds, we come with all the ideas we’ve already acquired, and we can’t wait to project them onto everything we encounter. Instead of discovering the truth, we end up with a very elaborate theory that bears no relationship to what’s actually going on in front of us.
  6. Keeping your eyes open is the best way of staying young (from “Northanger Abbey”): Forget Botox. Staying young means continuing to be open to the possibility that life can take you by surprise. Curiosity is the true source of joy. If you think you’ve already seen it all, you have.
  7. Too much money makes you miserable (from “Mansfield Park”): Being able to get whatever you want makes you awfully unhappy when you can’t get what you want. And if everything is easy, then nothing really matters. The only people who can feel are those who have a sense of what it means to do without.
  8. Listening to people’s stories is the nicest thing you can do for them (from “Mansfield Park”): A person’s story is the most personal thing about them, and paying attention to it is just about the most important thing you can do. Our stories are what make us human, and listening to someone else’s stories — entering into their feelings, validating their experiences — is the highest way of acknowledging their humanity.
  9. Friends tell friends when they’re screwing up (from “Persuasion”): The true friend wants you to be happy, but being happy and feeling good about yourself are not the same thing. Being happy means becoming a better person, and becoming a better person means having your mistakes pointed out to you in a way you can’t ignore.
  10. Men and women can be friends, because the sex thing doesn’t always get in the way. (from “Persuasion”): Harry and Sally were wrong. Men and women can talk to each other, sympathize with each other, even share their intimate thoughts and feelings with each other, without having to be attracted to each other. Men and women can be equals, so men and women can be friends.
  11. Love is never at first sight (from “Sense and Sensibility”): Lust at first sight, a whole train of fantasies and projections at first sight –sure. But to love someone, you have to get to know their character, not just their body, and that takes time. True love sneaks up on you. You never see it coming until it’s already there.
  12. Arguing is the best thing about being married (from “Sense and Sensibility”): If your spouse is already just like you, then neither one of you has anywhere to go. A friction-free relationship would be a desert. Conflict is good; disagreements are good; even fights can be good. Committing yourself to someone doesn’t have to limit your growth: it can be the door to perpetual growth.
I’m adding a 13th that I reckon Bill may have overlooked:  
13.  There is no Mr Right: No one is perfect, everyone’s got something which
will annoy the living daylights out of someone else.  Mind you, if Mr Right Now comes in the form of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, my advice is to settle – it’s pretty much as good as it gets.
Mmmmmm Mr Darcy – caio for now, I’m off to watch P&P on DVD.

firth.jpg

You can read Bill’s full post here.  If this is anything to go by his book is a must. Can’t wait to read it.

Meg

Book Crushing: Lucy Reads… “The Curious Garden”

Another book me and Miss 4 and 3/4s have on the go is Peter Brown’s “The Curious Garden”.

This book is about a little boy who lives in a very drab, industrial city.  On a walk he discovers a neglected lonely garden on an abandoned railway line.  He decides to help the plants along and in doing so creates this magnificent garden which has a life of its own and inspires others to join in.

It’s a gorgeous book and it speaks of hope, potential, determination and the power of one person to achieve amazing things.  As you can see above, the illustrations are truly wonderful.

What makes this extra spesh though is that this story is inspired by an actual garden in a real abandoned railway, called the High Line, in Manhattan.  Left decaying in 1980, 2 neighbours took it upon themselves in 1999 to do a spot of guerilla gardening, starting what has turned out to be a magnificent collective of community spirit in “Friends of the High Line”.

My fabulous Out-Laws are in NYC at the moment and visiting this amazing place is on the top of their itinerary – I can’t wait to hear all about it.  This place is truly magical and has become a place of true community spirit, co-opting, collective vision and energy, partnership, design, public art and performance.  You can check it out here:  http://www.thehighline.org/ or by watching this awesome video (wait for the ad to pass, it’s well worth it):

My family and I are gardeners to the core, so this book is totally for us.  But if you aren’t the gardening sort or have had a couple of past tragedies, I hope this inspires you to go get a packet of seeds to sprinkle in your garden or plant a herb in a pot.  Give it a go – with the right amount of attention and love anyone can achieve anything.

Meg x

I Heart Urban Art

Over the last year and a half I have become increasingly obsessed with Urban/Street Art.  Can’t get enough of the stuff and have been uber-excited to see Adelaide embracing this with such gusto.

Creative collectives such as Format and recent events like Street Dreams and Indelible (so sad that I missed this) – just spur my enthusiasm – I am blown away by the talent and energy (not to mention the final product).

My poor work colleagues don’t hear the end of it from me, every time we move to play-space to conceptualize what might be for project, you can bet you bottom $ that I pipe in with some wacky Street Art concept *team rolls eyes*.  Yeah come on people……

Other than the awesome factor, what I really love about it is:  its all about where our younger peeps are at:  It embraces  and celebrates their identity and what they associate with, rather than just discouraging & regulating it.  It is about trust and creating a cool space.  It’s about community and culture.  It sort of has a mischievous feel about it, it’s provocative and often super intelligent and political. It promotes diversity, creativity and artistic endeavour and, with any luck, it encourages younger people feel proud of the place they live.  There’s more but that would just be raving.

To give you a taste, here’s a few pics of cool urban art happening about the place.

Adelaide Street Art:

Kate Gagliardi Street Dreams / Format Mural

Prisoners and Guards | Topham Mall carpark, Adelaide CBD.
Loves it.

From LA’s MOCA – Art in the Streets:

banksy-moca-art-in-the-streets-4

If you want to see more awesomeness have a look here and here.

Final note:  this post is in no way condoning random tagging on people’s private property, which is highly disrespectful, not to mention often incredibly ugly. However I do wonder what might be if we took a different, collective approach to turning this issue into an opportunity…..

Final final note: I am sad to say that I no longer see myself in this “younger people” category *booooo* – I guess it’s all relative….

Happy day

Meg