Soul Food's Monster A.B.C.
Soul Food Idea Generators
Peeling the Onion
The therapeutic benefits of writing and art have long been acknowledged. When you peel the onion and pull back layers you may shed tears but you will end up feeling better.
of Writing Prompts
Lift the Spirit
Newsletters 2003 -4
Sit around and have a slice of Pizza at Soul Food's Pizza Banquet with some of the people who call Soul Food and Lemuria home. This is a chance to meet the people who have helped to build and populate this amazing cyber cafe.
Anita Marie Moscoso has opened a Curiosity Shop within the walls of Soul Food. Anita Marie's passion for the curious and ghostly is adding fresh colour to Soul Food.
So what shall it be tonight? A ghost story? Maybe a twisted tale of revenge or longing or greed? What? My story? Why not? It's a good one, if I don't say so myself. Take a seat and listen to her newest story about The Amazing Benandanti.
Apart from the Curiosity Shop Anita Marie is also presiding over the Chamber of Horrors which is set in an old medical building not far from the Lemurian Abbey Catacombs. The Chamber is filling with stories, resources and writing suggestions. Responses to story starters such as Red Death the Noble Shewolf and Little Red Riding Hood can also be found here
Advent Calendar for Artists
Soul Food is proud to launch what has become an annual feature. The December 2004 Advent Calendar, like the December 2003 Calendar is full of projects that have been test run during 2004 in Melbourne schools, and features the work of artists from around the world.
Make sure to let all you friends know that they must visit Soul Food on a daily basis during December in order to experience the joy of opening up a new link on the Calendar.
Shoe String Publishing
Discover how to recycle all sorts of paper products to produce Albums of Memories. Discover how you can transform things that would be discarded, learn how to renovate, redecorate and create a masterpiece that will be passed down through the family. You will literally learn how to 'publish on a shoe string.
Check out the Popular Fiction Hip Hop Music Feature that was completed by LaTrobe Secondary College students. Students made altered vinyl covers and wrote lyrics about To Love Veronica Bee. They cut their singles at the Experimedia Centre in Melbourne's State Library. Graphic artist, Greg Blakey has designed this exciting cyber DJ studio where student tracks are played.
The opinions expressed by contributors to
Soul Food Cafe on public domains outside the Soul Food Cafe are not
to be construed as being endorsed by Heather Blakey.
Making a Difference
Soul Food supports the work of over five hundred students in Melbourne's Northern suburbs. A cursory glance of the work competed amid the participating schools will reveal the success of the innovative Writing Passport Program. This program promotes positive habits of the mind in order to develop creative thinking and self expression. An important side benefit of this program is that students gain self awareness, self confidence and they become more socially resilient. Soul Food is a free site and will always remain so. You can help ensure that the Writing Passport Program expands its field of influence and actively support the learning of young people.
Creative Literacy Projects
Make sure to take the time to check out two exciting Soul Food visual literacy projects which have successfully engaged students in both primary and secondary schools in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. A diverse group of individuals are currently presenting a broad range of responses to set tasks on the Big Bad Werewolf Project and Magic Beach projects. You could join them and learn about a very creative approach to literacy
When Heather has recovered from running from one end of this estate to the other, has done with the dusting and polishing needed to make the place looks good for unannounced guests, she will make contact. Of course, if the servants finally arrive to lend a hand, she may reach you sooner.
Soul Food Cafe
The Arches, which lay on the Dargo Road, approximately eight kilometers outside Briagolong, in East Gippsland, Victoria was the enchanted world that I was privileged to regularly visit with my parents, brothers and sister during the 1950's.
We headed off from Maffra, in the Austin, stopping briefly at the General Store at Briagolong to buy Mrs Hair an ice-cream. The Arches had no running water or electricity and my mother recalls that Edna loved ice-cream. It was a challenge to keep the ice-cream cool until we had navigated the winding eight kilometer stretch to reach the Arches, but it was a small gift compared to the gift of wonderment and enchantment that surrounded us during those regular monthly visits.
The Arches were the home of Archie and Edna Hair, an elderly couple with a rare spirit of generosity.
Archie had a wooden box, the contents of which were a source of fascination. He called it his box of wonderment and in it he kept things that he had collected from the bush. He called the bits and pieces of debris that he gathered wonders.
And wondrous they were! Archie held us captivated as he regaled a story that was associated with a rock, tiny fragments of pebbles, a prized birds nest.
This box of wonders, a collection of the writing exercises that I have used with people ranging in age from eight to eighty is a tribute to Archie and Edna who filled me with wonder and whose magic is continuing to be woven over forty years later.
Graffiti the Walls
Click each bird and meet the women who make up a group of 'Ravens', who reside in the Soul Food Cafe Rookery.
The 2006 Adventure Calendar
It's here! It's here! Heather Blakey's famous Christmas Advent Calendar is moving into its fourth year now and goes live on December 1. Besides plenty of creative inspiration, what else can you expect this year? Heather says:
As you visit the calendar page each day in December you'll find a new adventure link (they magically appear daily!) that will take you deep into the realm of creativity and imagination. Wonderful for artists, writers, and bloggers — don't miss it!
Interviewing Chris Dunmire from the Creativity Portal was a treat but then she turned the tables and interviewed me. Being on the other side of the table did prove to be an interesting experience and has inspired Soul Food's next feature.
Chris Dunmire writes about how Heather Blakey made her famous.
I love a sunburnt country...
Celebrate being Australian, learn about Australian History and discover the essence of creativity all at the same time. The Dig Tree, is etched into the Australian pysche as one of the greatest ironic tragedies. Dig and unearth some of the secrets of creativity. The Dig Tree was designed by Greg Blakey, a talented design student, with flair, imagination and the ability to meet the needs of his clients. Greg has created, amongst other things, Soul Food's zany Magic Writing Tram.
Magic Writing Tram
Send Soul Food Chocolates
If you have an artist, a dreamer, a dancer, a mythologist, an imagineer, a writer amidst your clan, make sure to nourish their creative spirit by sending them a box of Chocolates from the Soul Food Cafe. But be cautioned! These hand filled chocolates are totally addictive and may change lives.
Childhood is a state or phase of imaginative existence, the phase in which the world of imagination is still a brave new world and yet reassuring and intelligible.
The strictly non-fat chocolate from the Soul Food Chocolate Box is full of projects and material to help us return to that wondrous kingdom where imagination and creativity rule. The special fillings focus on celebrating childhood joy, spontaneity and imagination.
Artists who participated in the Footprint Challenge were sent a small stash of paper, fabric and oddments together with a shoe insole. The challenge was to leave a footprint in the halls of Soul Food make something using the eclectic oddments. The morale of the story is that when you challenge an artist to make something out of nothing you can expect to be surprised
Writing as Creative Medicine
As Creative Medicine
Mirecle33 Creativity Patch
I nearly choked with envy and spluttered my coffee all over the keyboard when Chris Dunmire from the Creativity Portal showed me her brand new Mirecle33 Creativity Patch. These creativity patches are for those who claim not to have a creative bone in their body. Now why didn't I think of this first?
Actually, this whole new collection of Dunmire tidbits has my mouth watering. If Chris keeps producing things like this I am going to have to head north and physically blow her out of her pond. Too clever!
Building Virtual Communities
When she is not working at Soul Food, Heather Blakey builds virtual communities. She is currently working with the Victorian Department of Education and Training, building a virtual community for teachers using state-of-the-art, internet based publishing tools.
What goes on in blogs with mythical names like the Lemurian Abbey, the Hermitage, Riversleigh and Gypsy Camp? Plenty. And the sense of creative community experienced in the supportive Soul Food environment has been transforming lives. Troops willingly inhabit these virtual places under Heather’s skillful facilitation to explore more than just their art and creativity.
Residents will be given the opportunity to join a residents group and meet guides who will help them navigate their way around this land.
The Lemurian Abbey, which lies beyond the Glastonbury Tor, is strictly restricted to members of the Order of Soul Food, to those votaries who have committed themselves to Making Art A Daily Practice and to building The Lemurian Abbey Community. This is not a religious order and welcomes people of any faith.
During 2006 Abbey Residents worked collaboratively on the A to Z of Abbey Alchemy. Just click on the individual letters to find the tasks.
Advent Calendar 2005
The theme of the 2005 Advent Calendar was 'Journey of the Heart'.
A group of courageous travellers packed at a moments notice and headed off for a three month trek along the Soul Food Silk Road.
They discovered a road that twisted and wound endlessly. They met the Amazon Queen, a Hermit, a Mystic, Gypsy Travellers, Fortune Tellers, a Bath-house Madame, the Sacred Warrior Knight, the Mistress of the Wardrobe and many other interesting characters.
The 2005 Advent Calendar preserves the journey of these travellers and provides everyone else with the opportunity to pull out their visual journals and participate in many of the activities that travellers undertook.
Each day a bright light appeared on the calendar, opening a new link.By December 25 the heavens above the Silk Road were aglow.
This year the calendar provided visitors with the opportunity to join bloggers in order to complete activities and interact with the Silk Road travellers.
Alluvial Mine Open
An Alluvial Mine has been discovered within the grounds of Soul Food and it is opening for sturdy miners who know that to find real creative gold you have to be prepared to dig deeply.
Soul Food Cafe Community
When the Soul Food Silk Road Pedlars come to town they come bringing lovely things for us to buy.
Embark on a journey through the four seasons of a market farmer, homesteaderís life. Join her as she taps trees for maple syrup and discovers the first snowdrops peeking through the snow in early spring. Walk alongside as she pursues the wild berry brambles of June and gleans the rustling cornfields in late autumn. Finally, snuggle in by the wood stove while the stew simmers during the cold of winter. In the pages of Ohio Homesteadís Recipes & Recollections of a Season, Trendle Ellwood brings us a taste of the challenges and a sampling of the joys of a life lived close to the heart of nature. She shares with us the hope that as in the seasons of the garden, likewise within the human heart, winter is destined to melt into spring.
Meet Trendle Ellwood at Soul Food and talk to her.
Soul Food Specialties