Tag Archives: creativity

Embracing Imperfection (1)

I just finished writing (on my other blog) a rather long post Embracing Imperfection – Getting stressed or getting things done? about my Small Product Lab experience.

So for today I just want to give a short update: All went well, eventually, and on time – except for the fact that only now, more than a week later, I’m still catching up with writing about it…

My Small Product (the original idea was to write a small 20plus-page eBook) Five Steps to Getting Started with Word Art stubbornly resisted all cutting and grew into a full-fledged set of Guidebook, Workbook and Templates book, with over 70 pages. You can imagine that I had to cut the time from other tasks.

Anyway, it’s done and available, and in the meantime I sent a one-page wordart printable to my newsletter subscribers (who get a small freebie three times a month). Here it is – free for you, too:

word art: embrace imperfection

Click on the image to get this footprint in two sizes and different colours. (via Gumroad)

Enjoy, and have a great day!

Maria

Show Your Work and Share Your Progress

It’s already Day 4 of the Small Product Lab course! Today’s assignment is to … well, you read the title of this post.

What we did in the meantime: Decided on our first Small Product, outlined it, gave it a name/title, created a landing page for a newsletter, and wrote a Thank You letter for those who sign up.

Yes, I’m starting the Enermazing Newsletter with focus on scrapbooking, card making, art journals, mixed media and other paper related crafts & techniques. Contents: creativity tips and ideas and a small freebie for download three times a month.

My Small Product is a Continue reading

What I learned through NaNoWriMo

November is NaNoWriMo – the (inter)National Novel Writing Month.

Last year I participated for the first time in NaNoWriMo. What I learned during those 30 days had not only impact on quality and quantity of my writing (fiction and non-fiction), but also changed my approach to writing – and other life areas as well :)

I wrote this list of “What I learned through NaNoWriMo” beginning of December 2010. When I reviewed it today for this post, I was surprised at how complete – and still valid – it was. I have not altered my last year’s statements, only grouped them.

Perfectionism vs. flexibility – dealing with obstacles

  • how to plod on even when I didn’t know where I was going or how to get there
  • apart fom finding and using small bits of time I also realized that “having to make” time for something as opposed to “having” the time to do it – makes it much more likely that I use the “made” time for the task I made it for, instead of procrastinating or doing something else – I value the time, because I made it valuable by limiting it
  • my worst enemies are my own doubts – can I write 2500 word in one day if necessary? Yes, I can. They may be crap – but that’s for revision to fix ;)
  • not to be overwhelmed by (or back off) a difficult, confusing or giant long-term goal, but to break it into achievable bits (okay, I knew and made use of that one, but I tended to avoid the real biggies)

Focussing on results WHILE enjoying the process

  • setting quantified goals = results instead of how much time I spent on it, but I do combine it with short sprints of max 25 minutes
  • I discovered many time saving techniques I can also apply in other areas, for instance not procrastinating with details while still in the draft stage
  • It’s about finishing this one step: the draft = getting the story down. If there’s no story, just ideas, what am I going to base my revision on?

My own writing preferences

  • although I type a lot faster than I write (legibly) by hand, the result with paper and pen is better and quicker in the end, as I’m not tempted to correct – and the story flows better
  • I discovered my average draft writing speed and rhythm, one I feel comfortable with at long distance – which helps me also to plan more realistically (I was surprised that when doing short sprints  I can hand-write 250-300 words in ten minutes – I focus on “writing” instead of “thinking”)
  • I found out how long I can concentrate on focused writing, and learned to recognize AND respect the signs telling me it’s better to have many breaks (as long as I’m eager to go on) rather than risk mental exhaustion and lose time during recovery
  • looking forward to revision instead of dreading it as a boring task

Switching on and off as desired

I usually don’t have problems with focus and concentration as long as I enjoy what I’m doing ;) but for some aspects NaNoWriMo helped me to find better solutions – with benefits spreading into other life areas as well:

  • how to switch off when I’m full of enthusiasm – and still not lose momentum
  • how to get going at a time when it’s “inconvenient”, that is when I’m tired, have “something better” to do, “don’t feel like it”
  • how to get started again, especially with complex or ongoing projects, or when I hit an obstacle and get stuck
  • how to switch instantly into writing mode AND how to switch off (took me a couple of weeks, though, to learn it)
  • how to use small time spans of 10 or 15 min (“oh, I still got 10 min” instead of “10 min is not worth starting”)

Even if you never thought of writing a novel, NaNoWriMo is an experience worth having :)

No idea what to write? On the site you can even find titles to choose from, or adopt a plot – so, no excuses ;)

All you need to do to participate is to sign up.  (And perhaps inform your immediate social environment that you might not be quite your usual self for the next four weeks…)

Link to the blog:  The Office of Letters and Light

Stay tuned for my long list of tips on how to survive NaNoWriMo 2011 healthy and sane ;)

Maria

25 Days ‘Til Halloween 2011 | Halloween Decorating Ideas

The countdown to Halloween 2011 started on 1st November 2010 :mrgreen: . If you plan to decorate your home – and are still looking for ideas – maybe this post is for you; there are only 25 days left…

Before you ask: No, Halloween is not celebrated in Greece. But I surf the internet in English, plus have subscribed to a few craft blogs, and so it’s next to impossible to avoid Halloween ;)

Today this impressive yet low-budget project for decorating your whole house landed via craftzine in my inbox:

How To: Haunted House Silhouettes by Jeffery Rudell

Apart from on-page instructions and templates Jeffery also offers pdf’s for download.

Is the theme too grim’n’spooky for you? Well, why not pick up the idea and “haunt” your house with happy pumpkins and smiling ghosts?

pumpkin/jack-o-lantern - photo by Evil Erin

jack o'lantern - photo by Evil Erin

"fantome" by Emilie, 7 years old

"fantome" by Emilie, 7 years old

Happy haunting :)

Maria & E.D. 

Knitting With Glass – Impossible!?

Making the “impossible” possible is creation and creativity at its finest. Creation starts with an idea or vision – but it takes determination, endurance and resilience to bring it into being, to realise what formerly existed only in our mind.

I’ve been a textile crafts addict for thirty-plus years, and although the technicalities of the textile world fortunately :) still bear lots of surprises and challenges for me, it takes a lot to stun my mind into time-out.

Which is exactly what happened a few weeks ago when I came across artwork which I would not have believed possible:  “Knitted Glass” by Carol Milne.

Cakewalk 7" x 11" x 11" by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Cakewalk 7" x 11" x 11"

What intrigued me just as much as “How can this be possible?” was the context in which Carol sees her Knitted Glass (see Carol’s statement below). I contacted her immediately to ask whether I might feature her work on my blog, and as you see she said yes :)

Knit Wit by Carol Milne - Self-portrait in knitted glass and knitted copper. 19" x 10" x 12"

Knit Wit - Self-portrait in knitted glass and knitted copper. 19" x 10" x 12"

Here’s Carol’s brief statement about her work:

I see my knitted work as metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together. You can crack or break single threads without the whole structure falling apart. And even when the structure is broken, pieces remain bound together. The connections are what brings strength and integrity to the whole and what keeps it intact.

Darn by Carol Milne - A fraying, knitted glove with a pun for a title. 10" x 18" x 13"

Darn - A fraying, knitted glove with a pun for a title. 10" x 18" x 13"

I found it very difficult to choose only a few photos from Carol’s amazing site, so here three more.  The last one is E.D.’s favourite – I wonder why… ;)

Bustle by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Bustle 7" x 16" x 16"

Quadrille by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Quadrille 5" x 11" x 11"

Eddy by Carol Milne - Kiln-Cast lead crystal knitted glass

Eddy 5" x 11" x 11"

Thank you, Carol :)

An inspiring “real world” example for “knitting with glass” – or knitting society by making the “impossible” possible:  Blood-lines of action – Butterfly Effects for Change by creatingreciprocity

Image sources: all photos courtesy Carol Milne www.carolmilne.com

If you liked this post and can think of a friend or colleague who might be interested as well, please share or email it by clicking on the buttons below.

Related articles:

The Enermazing Weekly Ticker (6)

+ +++ +++ Site News +++ +++ +

You may not have noticed the new, tiny, yet significant image in the sidebar: Guerrilla Goodness, courtesy of Kindnessgirl.

What is Guerrilla Goodness?

According to The Free Dictionary,  “guerrilla [or “guerilla” is] – a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment”.

“armed force”, “sabotage” and “harassment”? Now how does that go with “goodness” :?

It’s all in the attitude, intention and action taken :)

  • Goodness Guerrillas arm themselves with small acts,  gestures and other expressions of kindness.
  • Their contagious force or power is the motivation coming from a compassionate heart.
  • With determination and resilience, Goodness Guerrillas sabotage daily thoughtlessness, cruelty, boredom, meaninglessness and indifference.
  • They keep harassing their environment with surprise attacks of hope and joy.

How exactly  do Goodness Guerrillas operate? Click the little icon in the sidebar to find out more about Guerrilla Goodness :)

+ +++ +++ Quote of the week  +++ +++ +

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

+ +++ +++ This & That +++ +++ +

You want to become a Goodness  Gorilla Guerrillero yourself?

Or perhaps you are a Goodness Guerrillero already – knowingly or not ;) – and are looking for even more inspiration, ideas and resources? Try these links for starters:

Update: When re-reading my post I noticed that I had written “Kindness Guerrilla” whereas Kindnessgirl named it “Goodness Guerrilla”, and I replaced “kindness” with “goodness”.  – Pick your choice; at the end of the Guerrillero’s day, kindness and goodness will lead to the same results ;)

Can you think of a friend or colleague who might be interested in this post? For instant email click on the button below.