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Lisa Larson-Kelley is in the NOW as a consultant and trainer. She is co-author of Flash Video for Professionals, and founder of LearnfromLisa.com, where she makes the complex, simple.
Tell us about your NOW (Noodle On the Wall).
The NOW that I have simmering at the moment is my personal "brand." I've been a lot of different things in my career -- from a graphic designer, to a flash animator to a web designer to a web developer/programmer and now, a trainer, speaker and consultant. It's a long, winding noodle of a career! With all of the changes happening in technology right now, it is clearly time for me to reinvent myself once again. I'm feeling like the Madonna of tech. :D
Is your NOW simmering, al dente or fully cooked and why?
I feel it's al dente -- I know what I want to do, I'm just in the process of discovering the best way to do it. I want to help creative people make their visions a reality using technology.
What recipes can you give other Creative Moms Taking On The Creative?
First, ask for guidance when you're stuck! Don't let that technical hurdle trip up your creativity. Ask. Someone out there has the answer! Oftentimes, the answer is simpler than you think -- and you can soar over that hurdle and on to your next challenge. Second, don't beat yourself up for not knowing how to do something technical right off the bat. After all, the definition of technical is: "peculiar to or characteristic of a particular art, science, profession, trade, etc." How could you possibly know or be proficient in every art, science, profession or trade?! You have your own natural talents and skills... everything else can be learned -- or can be outsourced!
What motivated you to throw your noodle?
I'm a natural 'helper.' I love to show someone how to do something and watch that spark light up in their eyes when they see how simple it can be -- and they move forward, empowered and excited. I'm also a passionate learner. If I don't know how to do something, I just go and research the heck out of how its done!
"My beautiful creative daughter."
What inspires you as a Mom and as a creative person?
I love to teach my daughter new things, and to see the wonder in everything. She reminds me to flex my creative muscles, with her requests for making up custom stories to drawing elaborate scenarios, to explaining why things are the way they are. She reminds me to play. She is my inspiration!
How do you juggle Mamahood and your NOW?
It's not always easy, because building a business and raising a toddler don't generally go together well, to say the least. But I try to compartmentalize as much as I can, being 100% focused on work durIng set work times, and not distracted with email, etc. during 'mommy' time. It doesn't always work that smoothly, but I do my best!
What is your ultimate pasta dish?Hmm... That's a good one. :) I'm a fan of lasagne -- lots and lots of layers, and baked to perfection!!
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Learning How To Lose
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
— Joseph Chilton Pierce
Before I became a voice over artist, I was a starving actor trying to get the gig of a lifetime. So in order to pay my rent and actually eat, I had to become the Queen of "does it pay?" and "I don't have to take my clothes off, right? Great! I'll take it."
One of my most favorite acting jobs, was playing a suited character with a ten pound head for a kids television show. In one episode, I actually carried around a glokenspiel while doing insanely high kicks and wearing, yes, that's right, a TEN POUND HEAD!! I'm convinced that my back problems started on that day. Another great gig was playing a boy named Jim Smiley at a dinner theater in California. Oh that was a good one! On the ever so popular Turkey Night, the folks with the hearing aids sat in the front row. Inevitably, there was always a woman yelling "Can you pass the gravy?" while another guy repeatedly asked "What did that boy say?" And of course, one audience member always fell asleep. The snoring was so loud, the actors had to scream just to be heard. When I wasn't "acting," I was catering, teaching kids improv, dancing at Bar Mitzvahs, cocktail waitressing, temping and passing out menus at a garlic restaurant. You could smell me from a mile away. I told myself I wasn't dating because I didn't have the time, but honestly, no one was asking me out. I REEKED!! Yes, I woke up every day following my dream and wondering when my dream and I would actually meet.
I eventually did land some really great gigs, but I never got that dream job with the sold out performance and a glowing review in the New York Times. I didn't walk the red carpet, but I totally lived down the street from the Kodak theater....close enough right? Designers never gave me free stuff because I was the "it" girl and Joan Rivers certainly did not gush about my Giorgio Armani dress, but honestly, it doesn't matter. Because every time I didn't get the job, it forced me to develop a thick skin, take criticism with a HEAPING grain of salt, work harder and continue to remain open to all possibilities. For me, learning how to lose also meant letting go of the plan. Sometimes, if not all the time, "the plan" changes. My plan went off the track to a station with a microphone, a vocal booth and me recording in my pajamas. Ah, the joys of not caring what you look like because all they want is your voice. Thank goodness because with two small kids, sometimes it's hard to get a shower in.
So what does this all have to do with being a creative mom taking on the creative?
Well, when you throw your noodles on the wall, remember that they may not stick the way you planned. Your noodle may fall a hundred times or go from being savory to soggy. It may start off as a regular noodle and end up becoming whole wheat. Something you never thought you'd like, but oddly enough, you do.
Learning how to lose is a journey every person should take because it makes winning a whole lot sweeter. So if that noodle fails or changes its course, DON'T GIVE UP. Just remember that part of learning how to lose is getting your hand back in the pot and throwing another noodle on the wall. Because, ultimately, the right noodle WILL STICK. So roll up those sleeves, get your hands in the pot and start throwing.
Send a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or throw it up on
The Noodle Wall.
In The NOW.....
Kim Salter is in the NOW as founder of Design Thoughts, one designer's thoughts on balancing mommy, money and all things design. Tell us about your NOW (Noodle On the Wall)My NOW is called Design Thoughts (www.designthoughtsblog.com), a blog about my life as an Interior Designer, a wife, a mama and how I try to balance it all. It started one day last year in January when I was in Target (ps…Target with a HARD T..it is what it is people and I love it!). I saw this beautiful Moroccan candle that was on sale from $30 marked down to $13!! I have no idea why, but I had to tell people about the amazing deal! You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful home. So, I started writing about my findings, about different design inspirations, and what it felt like to be spit in the face by a two and a half year old because I gave him the wrong color top! My son is very “spirited.” Design Thoughts became a blog about real life. I am so excited that I got the spark to start it!! Is your NOW simmering, al dente or fully cooked and why?
Gosh, I hope that it's never fully cooked, ya know? I feel like, to keep the excitement and passion, it needs to be continually stirred, right? I mean, I for sure, think some of the “business” things are closer to being "fully cooked." For example, the page design, the feel of the blog and how to post properly to get it to all of my social feeds. But my life, my business and Interior Design change every week. Plus my child enters a new phase every three weeks, so as a mama, I'm on the constant journey to battle change and the balance of things. Although there are days when I wish so badly that Design Thoughts would just be ready to dish up with a beautiful glass of red, I think that I would be sad if I thought that it didn’t need to simmer some more.
What recipes can you give other Creative Moms Taking On The Creative?
Listen, I am FAR from an expert, but this is what I have learned......
Passion + Interest + Acceptance and Openness = Success
You MUST have passion for what you are doing, or it will fail. It's really that simple. No passion and no sparks, equals no new ideas. You must be interested in your topic and it has to be something YOU would pay for. Otherwise, it's not going to be successful. Also, the greatest ideas come from US, the ones who need something that is lacking. The final ingredients in my recipe are acceptance and openness. I have to remember these for my “dish” every single day. When I say acceptance, I mean self acceptance. Not everything is going to be a great idea, the ONE, ya know?? But if we remain OPEN to whatever comes our way, I truly believe we can find success.
I have learned, and continue to learn, that when we take a minute to be clear on WHAT success means to us, we can see success around us every single day!! In terms of Design Thoughts, I thought, “when I get featured on one of those high traffic design blogs, THAT will be a sign of success for me." Well two weeks ago, I WAS featured on Made By Girl (www.madebygirl.blogspot.com). Yet, as soon as I was featured, I barely took time to recognize the greatness of it, I was on to the next “recipe” for my own success. So, now I have actually become very clear on what success means to me. It means LOVING what I do (passionately loving it......like I want to make out with it. That’s how much LOVE I'm talking about here.) And, of course, bringing in an income from it!What motivated you to throw your noodle?
As I mentioned in the first question, when I saw the great candle in Target, but it was also the fact that a lot of my friends and family would ask me about inexpensive ways to design their homes. It started in college when none of us had any money. Then it just grew from there as we began to bring in more income, but also brought on new expenses (homes, cars, babies.)That’s really what sparked me. I was giving advice, so I thought, eh..why not BLOG about it!
INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO ADD LIFE TO YOUR SPACE! Add light to your space, without breaking the bank.
Here's a do it yourself hanging light made out of a candle holder. DesignThoughtsCandleBlogPost
An easy and inexpensive design idea for kids rooms. Just cut up a copy of their favorite book, and frame the pictures. DesignThoughtsKidsRoomsBlogPost
What inspires you as a Mom and as a creative person?
Ohhh my gosh!!! EVERYTHING inspires me, but here are a few of the biggies…People who are afraid but they push forward anyway, single moms, bright colors, a great deal, a loving daddy, nature and rawness ( I mean in people and materials). I love a gritty metal lamp and I also love a gritty person who has lived life and loves talking about it. Antiques with a story that's known and beautiful things with meaning. You know that saying, "she’s more than just a pretty face?" Well I feel that way when designing a home. I want people to walk into a space and be able to hear a story about certain pieces. I want to give a home meaning. That inspires me!!!
How do you juggle Mamahood and your NOW?
I WISH, for the sake of sounding SUPER professional and creatively cool, I could say…”ohhh it just all falls into place beautifully. It's hardly a struggle.” BUT the truth is, like most of the other creative mamas I know, I get through it by realizing “balance” does not have to be equal. My balance is usually 25% here, 45% there and 30% over there. There is no way to balance everything all of the time. I think if you can hold onto the ingredients above, Passion + Interest + Acceptance and Openness, it can make it a little more comfortable. Not easier, but more comfortable. Oh, and I cry and drink wine. That helps a lot :)
Project: Art Center! "One way I balance mama and blogging is by doing projects that help my life as a mama...and then blogging about it!"
DesignThoughtsArtCenterBlogPostWhat is your ultimate pasta dish?Sigh..my ultimate pasta dish is having the courage to throw every single noodle I have on the “Wall” and not care if it sticks. To live a life of LOVING what I do and still be able to give fully to myself, my child, my husband and my friends. THAT is the perfect dish!
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Are You In The NOW?
"Forever is composed of nows." ~Emily Dickinson
Last Friday, I was sitting in my office with my friend Lisa who was TRYING to explain social media and all the workings of it to me. You must understand that I just joined Facebook and Twitter two weeks ago. Go ahead and laugh.......I'll just sit here and wait until you're done..........done yet? Ok. So yes, I am a social media virgin and for some reason none of it makes any sense to me. It's as if my brain shuts down and all I can hear is blah, blah blah tweet, blah link, blah HTML, followers...and more blah, blah. It's a whole lot of huh?
As I sat blankly staring at my friend Lisa with my head spinning, she turned to me and said "Hey look! I just wrote the Noodles On The Wall anachronism down. Check it out." There, in big black letters, was the word NOW (Noodles On Wall). I never made the connection before. It's as if Noodles On The Wall knew its own meaning before I did. Throw those noodles on the wall and do it NOW! Immediately my noodles started bubbling, as they tend to do :)
When it comes to taking time for ourselves, our creativity and actually throwing a noodle or two on the wall, how many of us actually do it when we feel the impulse? How many of us live in the NOW?
NOW can be a scary place. It means following your intuition, your passion, the side of you that can throw your hands up in the air and say "let's see what happens!" When you're a Mom with a million different responsibilities and way too much on your plate, NOW isn't always the go to place. Some of us find it easier to settle into the past, or what I like to call, the enabler. The past gives you excuses. Here are some popular ones I like to use, "I used to have time for exercising," or "back then, I had all the energy in the world." The enabler gives us an out. A reason why we can't possibly do more for ourselves. Then there are those of us who find comfort in the future, or the when-then. "When the kids are older, then I will (insert something you will do for yourself here)." The when-then can be dangerous because even though you are thinking about the future, you never move forward.
Now, I don't know about you, but I like to hang with all three. The enabler, the when-then and the NOW. I play a mean game of twister with one foot in the past, one foot in the future and a hand in the present. I do this because I fear the NOW. If it's not perfectly packaged and well thought out, I find a reason not to do it. I'm an idea person, but I'm also a perfectionist and sometimes that can get in the way of throwing a noodle. So if you're like me, when you find yourself in those moments of NOW, remember it doesn't have to be clearly thought out. Sometimes just putting it out there can give you clarity. NOW just means you are creating a space for the noodle, and no matter what, that feels good.
So, are you in the NOW?
As the Spring buds are budding and new life is growing, I invite you to take both feet and jump into the NOW. Even if you can't be there all the time, I guarantee it'll be worth your while :)
Throw your noodles and see what happens!
Who do you like to hang out with? The enabler, the when-then or the NOW?
Comment, email me at email@example.com or throw it up on The Noodle Wall.
After reading last week's blog, my mom-in-law wrote me an email saying.......
"You brought back many memories that I could really relate to. Yes, even the dog!! The only part missing for me was the creative aspect!!"
Let me just say that this woman is totally a super hero and the most successful multi-tasker EVER! She is a Mom to four kids and a Grandma to eleven! Yes. You read right. Eleven grandchildren! If being a Mom actually meant you could make a salary, she'd be earning six figures! Let's just leave it at that.
After reading her email, my noodles started bubbling and two thoughts came to mind. What exactly is the definition of creativity and how do you spell Wikipedia?
Creativity: Refers to the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art, a novel, a joke, etc.) that has some kind of value.
Synonyms include cleverness, imagination, originality, vision, resourcefulness.
I literally got giddy after reading this definition! As Moms, aren't we constantly creating something new? Just this week I made a whole lot of new things happen out of thin air. I kept my son occupied in a waiting room with a game of "random things in Mommy's purse," I whipped up a new and improved cauliflower mac and cheese for the anti-veggie phase AND I made a really cool fort out of towels, sheets and a pack and play. As Moms, we are clever, imaginative, original, visionaries and most importantly, we are resourceful. Essentially, we ARE creativity. What we create may not feel "new" to us, but it's "new" to our kids. So if you're a Mom, like my mom-in-law, who can't relate to the "creative aspect?" Think again Mama! You are using your creativity every day to help your kids grow, communicate, invent and ultimately, become good people. Now that's got some value!
So why not use that valuable creativity and create something new for yourself too? Make space or as I like to call it, take a pause for creativity! Whether it's a moment in nature, volunteering, starting a business, writing in a journal, starting a new project, dancing like a super star, or getting a pedicure, carve out the time to begin "something new" that has "value" to you. Because when we take a pause, the noodles really start bubbling :)
This coming week, I invite you to take a pause for creativity and see how valuable it can be for you, as well as your kids!
Refers to the phenomenon whereby (insert your name here) creates something new that has some kind of value.
Got some noodles you want to chat about with other Moms? Throw them up on
The Noodle Wall page above.
Super Hero's have super human powers and quite frankly, Mom's do too.
Picture a one handed diaper change while playing fetch with the dog AND dressing a child who is having a tantrum because he does not want to wear the frog shirt to school today! So what happens next?? Easy. Mom swiftly flies up the stairs while breast feeding the baby AND retrieving a shirt with a tractor on it that's "comfy." Perfect. Super Hero Mom saves the day again!
Ok, fine. So maybe Moms aren't "real" super heros, but Moms are definitely professional multi-taskers. Is that a job? Can we get paid to do that?? Let me know because I have the resume. I can feed the kids, get them dressed, have a conversation with my husband, throw a ball for the dog and juggle my life as a voice over artist. Yes, that's right a voice over artist. You may have heard me as the girl on the Subway radio commercial, "Hi. Welcome to Subway. How can I help you?" Or as the robot who malfunctions while making cookies on The Backyardigans. My latest splash is the voice of the cute and cuddly bear, Snuggle from Snuggles Fabric Softener. Yup. That's me.
Maybe other Moms don't have the exact same resume, but I'm sure we can all relate to the amount of "noodles" we're stirring in the pot. But how many of us have creative "noodles?" Noodles that have been simmering in the pot for years just getting soggy. At this point they aren't even edible. How many of us use the excuse of not having enough time or energy to spend on those noodles? I know I do and when I say it, it never feels good. It doesn't motivate me or make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It just gives me a way out. An excuse so I can justify why I can't possibly be anything more than a Mom, a wife and a pet owner. I'm sure you've heard this before and I'll say it again because it's true. We are better Moms when we make time for ourselves. And guess what? We are happier people when we take on the creative! So today I'm asking you to make the time. Not just for those lonesome noodles, but for you, your loved ones and the rest of the world.
If that doesn't motivate you and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, then maybe this will. Creative Moms everywhere are using their talents to make the world more fun, a little bit easier and a whole lot prettier for our kids. The greatest thing about it is that Mom's are creating amazing businesses that allow them more time with their families. Some are actually making money doing it! They are Creative Moms Taking On The Creative! If they can do it, so can you!! So if you have some "noodles," take the time today and throw them on the wall! That's what I'm doing......
Noodles On The Wall........Creative Moms Taking On The Creative
Let's see if it sticks :)
Are you a Creative Mom Taking On The Creative?
Let me know what you're up to, what you're going through, what inspires you.