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Called to be Creative

HK
Heidi Kaisand
0:01
Realigning text with audio
Good morning and welcome to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand, owner of hen and chicks studio in Conrad, Iowa, and lover of all things creative. Each week here on create with Heidi, we'd like to cover topics that educate and inspire you about how people are being creative. Whether it's quilting, scrapbooking food, wool, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo grooving in all the right directions. We are excited to share these things with you. We are equally excited to be a part of when Kyle's cash brought to you by 1230 kF JB, if you go to their website 12 30k of JB comm you can learn everything about how to win Kyle's cash because we want to break his pocket, right? We want to we want to give all of your money away, right, Kyle, it's it's flying out the door, I didn't have a lot of money to begin with. But now I'm a little lighter in the pocket book. And we want to share all of that with everybody. So hen and chicks studio is proud to be the sponsor of that event. And we certainly would love to encourage everybody to earn to be able to win $1,000 Well, creativity is something that is so important and near and dear to my heart. And today's quote is, creativity doesn't wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones. And that is by Bruce. I'm not gonna probably say his last name right ghera brand. And I thought this was perfectly fitting because our guest today is Mary Potter, Kenyan, the author of called to be creative. Good morning, Mary. How are you today?
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Mary Potter Kenyon
1:50
Good morning, Heidi. I'm doing well.
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Heidi Kaisand
1:52
Well, good.We're so glad to have you here. You actually reached out to me several weeks ago, and, and brought to my attention, your book, and in just the few paragraphs of your email, I immediately was drawn to the fact that this book was definitely something that I would enjoy. And it has been a delight to read. And so I'm so glad to have you with us and to help share with others. How I guess how you were called to be creative. And so I would love to have you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, Mary and the fact that you are a fellow Iowan?
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Mary Potter Kenyon
2:36
Yes, I am. Yes. So I grew up in a very small town also in Iowa. And we were very poor. But even though we was seven of 10 children, and even though we were poor, our parents were always very creative in the way my father could take two radios apart to make one working one and he put his cars back together when they were falling apart. I mean, he was creative in his own way. But my mother, especially, she beautified our home, our very simple home with her wallhangings made out of burlap bags and buttons, and she would embroider things and she made quilts for our beds to keep us warm and beautiful rake rugs, all those old homey things that people hand make, make their home, beautiful, and also you that you need things that you need. But she also at the age of 41 picked up a knife and a piece of wood and and carved a wooden statue and started honing that talent so that she would make beautiful wood carvings. She did paintings. I mean, I could go on and on and made their homemade teddy bears just just beautiful things. And she made a home business out of that. So when you grow up in a home like that, you almost think that you can do anything. And I had this hidden desire to be a writer ever since I was a child and spent most of my free time in the libraries and books with my friends. So So I grew up in a home and life like that, but I didn't start writing until after my fourth child was born. And I had decided to abandon my pursuit of a master's degree and stay home. And so I was writing for 30 years before I started getting some books published, but I was getting other things published at the time.
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Heidi Kaisand
4:23
Sure. And you are the mother of several children. Tell us yeah, you have is it 10
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Mary Potter Kenyon
4:29
but I have 8
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Heidi Kaisand
4:32
that was 10 of you in the river. Remember the number 10 but it was bad, though. Yes. So but so you have eight children of your own. And you know, one of the things in the book that I really related to was the fact that creativity as a child is something that I say comes naturally and I say throughout education process, we're told that oh, you know, that tree is supposed to be green on the top and brown on the bottom. And we start to, I'll say, lose our independence in, in creative thinking. And you really you, you delved into that in several different ways in the book. And you want to talk to that a little bit.
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Mary Potter Kenyon
5:23
Yes. So after my mother passed away, and I found these unpublished manuscripts underneath her bed, and I started doing some public speaking to groups of young women who were raising young children. And at the other end of the spectrum, older women, and I guess, because I grew up the way I did, I just saw creativity in everybody. And I saw it in myself. And that kind of clung to that. Well, I had to start to dig into the science of creativity, because the younger women were telling me, well, I don't have time for that, you know, they're busy raising kids, they're paying money for their lessons. And they're, they just don't have time for that. Even though I raised eight children, made sure I had time somehow for writing. And the older women, at the other end of the spectrum, we're saying things like, well, I don't have any talents. Or worse, it's too late for me now. And I knew this could not be true, I knew. So I started delving into the science of creativity and discovered, as I suspected, as my mother believed, as I believed, anyway, that each of us is born and designed to create, we're born that way. And we see that little kids, we see that in the way they color and the way they dig in the clay and the way they'll dig in the dirt melts, and they invented something out of a stick at that, and we do lose it. We lose it because our society doesn't value that as much as it does making money or, you know, doing get busy and we start to see being creative as a leisure activity and who has time for leisure. Yes, right. Well, to build that back into our lives.
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Heidi Kaisand
7:07
Absolutely. And we're off to a great start in this conversation. And we're gonna take a quick commercial break and I will be back right right after that
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Speaker 2
7:15
hen and chick studio and Conrad was recently announced as winner of the Association for Creative Industries best brick and mortar Retailer Award. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in industry service and philanthropy Henan chick studio is a full service bookshop and retreat center for quilters and scrapbookers Heidi Kaisand, owner of Henan chicks was honored to receive the award. And thanks to all of her wonderful customers for making the award possible. Heidi invite you to visit her award winning store Henan check studio in beautiful downtown Conrad.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
7:47
Welcome back to create with Heidi, and our guest today is Mary Potter, Kenyan author of called to be creative. And right before the break, we were talking about the fact that, you know, kids loved your description of making an incredible thing out of a stick, you know, that, that there's that childhood creativity, but somehow, over the course of time, it's not maybe valued. It's not. It's not appreciated, you know, things, I think, do you use the word, it's thought of as leisure rather than an important part of our day. And I see that at the store, that you know, there's a lot of customers who don't feel confident in picking colors out and, and, you know, that kind of thing, yet, I think you feel very strongly about this, I'm not gonna put you I'll let you put your own words in your mouth. But being creative, and allowing our brains to have that creativity, whatever it is, whether it's making a quilt, or painting or writing is really important to our health.
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Mary Potter Kenyon
8:58
And there's a, there is a lot of science behind that. And I delve into that a little bit in my book too, because I study everything. If I want to understand something, I, I really delve into research. And so to write this book, I didn't delve into scientific research, and I interviewed Creative People and just really wanted to figure this out. So if we want to be healthier, and happier, there's science behind adding creativity in some way, whatever it is you were designed to do to do the sentence we have to figure that out, might be in our 40s or 50s. Or even this, you know, you just haven't you haven't quite figured out what we were designed to do. We have to go back to our childhood. And we have to look at what it was we were naturally drawn to. And once we can figure that out, we have to let ourselves play again. Try some of these things that we used to love as a child. And that's pretty scary for a lot of adults because we could fail right? Yeah, and none of us likes to fail. There's science behind letting ourselves spell fail, and to play again and should try different things. So I love when science proves that we need to do something creative, we need to figure out what our passion. And our purpose is. And you'll know, kind of what it is as you get lost in something that you're trying. And if you can get lost, they call that the flow, you get lost in the flow, I can do that, on a Saturday morning, start writing at eight o'clock, be interrupted at two o'clock by my daughter saying, hey, are we gonna eat lunch today and look at the clock and realize that that many hours pass, because I'm doing something like love. And so that's kind of a clue for us that that might be our passion. And our purpose, there is that thing that we get lost in,
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Heidi Kaisand
10:49
and I loved the phrase, that you just use the flow. And it began for me, there's several different times when I get into the flow, but one of them is, when I have a quilt project, and I have the pieces cut, and I've sat down to the machine, and I'm sewing those pieces together. there literally is physically a flow of me, you know, pushing fabric through the machine. And there's got to be there's a physical flow that way. But then there's that, that mental flow, I'm gonna say, of that my brain just gets caught up in all of that. And it's funny, I always keep a notebook, not too far away, because it's at those moments when I'm in the flow, that some of my best thoughts actually come out. Because it's like, I've let my brain rest. So therefore, the stuff that's been, you know, shoved to the back, because I had to, you know, do this, or I had to do that are now coming forward. And I think that's, that's how I would describe the flow for me.
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Mary Potter Kenyon
11:58
And I love that you keep a notebook handy. That's what writers do. That's what artists do is keeping a sketchbook handy. It's just like, because it's during that daydreaming time, it's during that meditative time or that practice. And that's what your quilting becomes this meditative practice, or what that's what my writing becomes. It's I slow down. I mean, you have to to write on paper, which is what I do is, there's something about writing on paper, too, that's part of the flow like you with your quilting. So then it becomes a meditative practice.
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Heidi Kaisand
12:30
Oh, absolutely. In the book, you use the words make, and take in reference to time. And that, I think at that point, you were, you know, again, I'm going to probably not recall exactly the book. But you know, as a mother of eight, you, you could so easily get swallowed up into all your mother duties, and all those kinds of things and not take the time or make the time. And so you want to talk a little bit about how, how you use those words and how important they are.
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Mary Potter Kenyon
13:09
Because when I do speaking in front of groups, particularly younger women, with families, and they, I hear what are these words, well, when my kids are older, or when I have time, and I hear that from everybody, well, I don't have time for that. And yet, they might have time to watch television they might have time to. I mean, we have to pick and choose what how we're going to use our time, we each have the same 24 hours in a day. And yes, I get it I our lives get busy. But if we sit around and wait for that time, it might never come. Now I have a husband who went through cancer and then ended up passing away from a heart attack five and a half years later, he didn't wait to do whatever he wanted. He just did things. And that's what we can't, we can't make we have to make the time or take the time. So what I did is with a mom of younger children, and it was my husband's idea, eventually at some point, because it was so frustrating when you're just have so much to do in a day and you're just not finding that time. Well, you're not going to find you got to make it. So it was his idea. Well, why don't you take yourself out for breakfast with your notebook. And what an amazing and freeing thing is okay, so maybe I don't have time until Thursday, and that's the morning I'll go out and he'll watch the kids. And I would sit there for two hours straight. Just all the stuff that had been in meal a week. I was just like writing, there was no thing, no such thing as writer's block, or I would sit the lid of a toilet seat while my kids were playing in the bathtub and I'd be writing or I would offer to sit by them at night when they were falling asleep and they wanted somebody by them. And I would write by the night of all by the light of my light. So if sadly if we just wait until that perfect The moment when the sun and the moon and the stars align and we can now be creative. It's not going to happen if we're gonna be waiting a heck of a long time. So we have to take the time make the time and in our busy schedules,
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Heidi Kaisand
15:14
I so agree with that. Well, Mary, I'm just loving this talk with you and we're gonna take a quick commercial break and we'll be back right after this
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Speaker 2
15:22
Henan chicks studio and Conrad was recently announced as winner of the Association for Creative Industries best brick and mortar Retailer Award. This prestigious award recognizes excellence in industry service and philanthropy Henan chicks studio is a full service bookshop and retreat center for quilters and scrapbookers Heidi Kaisand, owner of Henan chicks was honored to receive the award. And thanks to all of her wonderful customers for making the award possible. Heidi invites you to visit her award winning store Henan chick studio in beautiful downtown Conrad.
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Heidi Kaisand
15:53
Welcome back to create with Heidi, and we're having such a fun conversation with Mary this morning, author of called to be creative. And for anybody that is looking for the book, it is available in audio download, because that's how I listened to it on Audible. But obviously it's available in print as well. What is the best way Mary for somebody to be able to get your book in print,
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Mary Potter Kenyon
16:23
especially now, with the pandemic, I really hope people will support their independent bookstores. And so check out your independent bookstores to see if they can order it for you it is available. Also Barnes and Noble on amazon.com. And, but really, we we need to support our local independent bookstores, if we can
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Heidi Kaisand
16:43
absolutely agree with that. And the library would be another source for it. I know you're like, you know, work at a library and and are having and so I absolutely all of those options. Again, I loved talking about the taking the time and making the time. And again, I feel very much the same way that we just we fill our time, and that we choose what we fill our time with. And so you really do at some point have to make some choices as to you know, what, what you're going to fill your time with, and people always asked me, How do I get so much done? Well, there's lots of things I don't do. I you know what I mean, I choose to do the things that I do, because they they fill me up and they you know, they're what I want. But there's plenty of things I don't do as well. So I think that that's so important. Another aspect of the book, and again, it's just aligns with everything that I believe in is having a grateful heart and, and how that plays into, into everything that you've got going on. So, you know where how do you use gratefulness and, and gratitude in in your daily life?
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Mary Potter Kenyon
18:03
Yes, there's science behind that to lo and behold, they've discovered that if we are more grateful and more thankful, and more kind and more mindful, all of those things can contribute to our creativity. And so for myself, it may be because I lost three very important people in the space of three years and mother, very creative mother than my husband 17 months later, and then eight year old grandson to cancer 17 months after that, that somehow through that experience, I wanted to be more like the best of them. And they were like I said, My husband's survived cancer. And he he was so grateful for each and every day, he didn't care which birthday he was reaching, he was just grateful to be reaching that birthday. And my grandson was so kind and would save toys for the children in the hospital and he was himself going through treatments. So I wanted to be more like the very best of them. And so for myself, I live each and every day, looking for ways that I can write gratitude and, and kind and not realizing that there's science that that that those those attributes actually can help us be more creative.
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Heidi Kaisand
19:29
Yeah, it is. There is something definitely something there about being grateful and some days the things that I'm grateful for are funny, not not what you might think you know, gratefulness you know, kinds of things. But it is usually in the little details. It's in the little things where I find the most gratitude and and the end up making me the happiest. Absolutely. You know, obviously I've pick and choose chosen some different aspects out of your book. If, if you were to give that all say, you know, 32nd elevator pitch to somebody about what your, what your book is about, how would you describe it?
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Mary Potter Kenyon
20:19
Well, it's a book that encourages and inspires all of us, because we all have it in us to be creative, to add that into our lives, to look back to our childhood, to maybe do some of the exercises that I include in the book, to kind of jumpstart our creativity, and also to look at the everyday usual people that we run into every day, some of them I interviewed, and how they work creativity into their life, as a way to inspire us to do it in their own
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Heidi Kaisand
20:52
way, obviously, that just is is good. And one of the other parts of, of minutes, say that your book you do talk about the grief, and, and how the loss of the three people that you have mentioned, plays a part and you know, and and how are you working with others through grief as well.
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Mary Potter Kenyon
21:15
So through those losses, and through my own experiences, I eventually took online training to become a counselor and also a therapeutic art coach. And I work it