I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and have discovered that books on creativity are bullshit. Since the one that inspired my last post, several more pieces of Freecycle fodder have graced my bathroom bookshelf. Why are there in the bathroom? well, I could say that its because its my thinking spot, but its really because these rapid-fire textual insults to common sense irritate my digestive system… and sometimes its just easier to start off at the final destination.

In addition to having pages with as much text as a fortune cookie, this book is blatantly geared toward painters, a detail that was conveniently left out on the author’s website.

What am going on about? “Get a plant”.  An entire page of this book (3 sentences) is dedicated to the benefits of having a plant in your studio. What? WHAT? Really? I just paid $18 to be told I need a plant?! Wait… it gets better. “Wear pearls”. “Make faces at yourself in the bathroom mirror” I’m a dermatillomaniac… its a given. “Read a trashy novel” how about a trash book on creativity? “Wear you jammies in the middle of the day” Thats kinda… status quo. “Embarrass yourself” Oh please, lets not go there. In fact, lets not go anywhere else at all.

Did Peggy Hill write this book?

I can’t wait to talk to my life coach on Monday and tell her the good news; I’ve decided to throw up on a stack of copy paper, tape it together, and announce my first publication on the creative mind.

Really though, this rash of disappointing books has moved me to write down ideas for my own on the same topic. Why do I keep buying these? I guess I’m hoping for something groundbreaking I hadn’t thought of; something that will change my world.  I  need a book on creativity that doesn’t audibly suck, and I probably have to write it myself.

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This thing came into my life at just the right time. How often do we buy iffy stuff and get to use it the same day? Papercraft isn’t my thing, but that hasn’t stopped me from collecting bits of pretty papers, punches, and the like. Buying this set ($6 with the weekly coupon at JoAnn) was more of an attempt to satisfy curiosity than anything else.

As soon as I got home with it, and Etsy sale had gone through and I had the perfect reason to try it out;  I tie a business card and a thank you/reciept card to every jewelry box with a piece of ribbon.  Sometimes my kung-fu grip pulls the ribbon a little too tight and the cards rip… what about a grommet to hold the cards together and… oh my lawdy loo! Its amazing. it really is.

The pics suck today, as they were taken pre-coffee.

The grommet tool is about the size of a pencil and comes with approximately one bazillion tiny 2-piece grommets in 5 colors/assortments.

Here is how it looks on my cards

This instant success with a tool I was sure would invoke my deepest darkest spazziness spurred me to start grommeting my paper scraps. Oh man… gift tags. I just made gift tags. Whoa.

Cardboard, scrap paper, metal sheet, nothing has been safe since I got this tool. So now I’m cankle-deep in frickin’ gift tags, and without gifts to put them on. Etsy seems to have a ton of them listed, but papercraft isn’t something I want to break in to. Jewelry can be fixed if anything happens between listing and shipping, but paper is schmutz-prone and well… I blame the cat.

Craft Swap!

January 6, 2010

…and social media overload! MAN this stuff is hard to stay on top of. I’ve been working on my consulting business non-stop for the past couple of weeks; getting independent artists started with all the cool(cheap/free) tools and resources I’ve discovered over the years in tandem with my marketing coach savvy is my new day job. Pretty sweet, yes?

I’ll get more into the consulting thing later, but right now I want to t talk about my craft swap booty. No, not OrigamiZen Jen’s eye-talian booty, but the booty she shipped all the way from the exotic reaches of Des Moines… a place that many shamefully admit to visualizing as a giant ear of corn with people living around it.  This last craft swap package changed my life. No, really. It contained something called bacon salt, and I swear this is the spice that Dune was talking about. If you happen to be a Facebook buddy, my assertions of bacon salt making everything better are no mystery. Hell, it could be the new ‘tussin(#3)!

On to the actual crafty stuff… she made these super-cute 1″x1″ tiles with ceramic and origami paper that solved my biggest problem with scrabble tile pendants. Wood jewelry and I don’t get along so well… it usually looks like it went into battle with a garbage disposal by the end of the first wearing, so Jen’s tiles were perfect; I added some of my handmade spiral bails and made a bunch of pendants for friends.

Someday I’ll get this background/lighting thing right… an Ottlite is definitely on the wish list.

I’m not sure if these sweet tiles are for sale yet, but check out her store for some very cool (and almost bulletproof) origami pieces.

Another treasure from the last package were these impossibly cute black sakura hair pins. Cute isn’t usually my thing, but I absolutely love the way these look tucked in to my luxurious, upswept jewfro.

A wonderful dude brought me this sweet little gadget for keeping photos of my work handy! How crafty is that?

Shift3 Digital Photo Keychain

Surprisingly, it is not packed with photos of my cat. Yet. It automatically compresses pictures to fit on the 1″x1″ screen, and is super easy to use in terms of software. The transition effects between pictures are kinda cute when you aren’t in a hurry to find a picture.

 

My only kvetch is the brightness of the display. You might want to and just brightness of you pics before uploading, as well as reshape the original image into a square to avoid the program’s area selector cropping stuff out.

This definitely gets a thumbs up as a gift idea for any crafty person you know, and can be found most places for under 20 bucks.