Welcome to The Phoenix Files!

This blog is a collection of papers and how-to articles I have written, as well as my travel journals and general announcements. Scholarly works from "The Library" on my old website, are labeled here as "Historica Tractatu." 

My travels have had heavy influence on my work and are the 'back story' behind many of my designs. Some of my older journals are revised from the original, and most link to photo albums on Facebook.  

Textile as Literary Art

Posted by Heather Daveno, circa 1987 on 3/16/2016 to Historica Tractatu
A few days ago, I saw a call for submissions for Cloth -- a commonplace which asked for "a literary fragment from your reading that refers to cloth in some way."   You can read more about this project at this link. 

Once upon a time, I wrote poetry.  I never published, and did not keep most of my pieces.  While I was looking for a piece to submit to this project, I found this one in my files, which I wrote 29 years ago, on the eve of the Feast of St. Patrick. 

It is an excerpt from "Letters to a Squire" and describes clothing that might be worn by a Mongolian king or khan. I took my inspiration from a verse from Chaucer's "The Squire's Tale" which is quoted at the beginning of my piece.

Creativity Explained: Part III

Posted by Heather Daveno on 3/13/2016 to News & Miscellanae

Developing a Creative Process

The creative process was defined by in the 1920’s as four components: Preparation, Incubation, Illumination and Implementation. The theory was developed by J. Wallace in 1924. He theory maintained that the subconscious was decisive to the creative process.

Creativity Explained: Part II

Posted by Heather Daveno on 3/9/2016 to News & Miscellanae

The Science of Creativity

The human brain is a pattern recognition system. It’s how we learn and remember things like language and job tasks. A brain that is hyper efficient can miss detail if that detail falls outside of proscribed patterns.  It’s normal for people to ignore this ‘out of sync’ data as an anomaly (i.e. something out of norm, an exception to a rule).

Creativity Explained: Part I

Posted by Heather Daveno on 3/6/2016 to News & Miscellanae

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected …

I have often been asked: “How do you come up with these ideas” followed by “I could never do what you do.”  My response is that everyone is creative in their own way, and that they just haven’t discovered where their creativity lies.

It turns out, there’s actually some scientific theory that separates creative people from the rest of the class …

Considering the Herb Mint and its Family

Posted by Heather Daveno, first published in 1984, revised ©2010 on 3/2/2016 to Historica Tractatu
When I first started this paper, I had planned to write about the herbs and flowers currently growing in my own garden, including elder, carnation, parsley, rose and mint.  When I came to mint and discovered how extensive the mint family was, I discarded all else and concentrated on members of this grouping only. 

Recipes noted in this article are from pre-17th century sources. Most illustrations are 18th century botanical illustrations.