Join me this Friday when I appear as the first guest on Michelle Ward’s new free monthly series Women of the World!
It’ll be webinar format, and if you aren’t able to make it during the live broadcast at 1:30pm Pacific / 4:30pm Eastern, no worries because you’ll be sent the recording within about an hour of us finishing up.
If you aren’t familiar with Michelle’s work, she’s a career coach who helps women achieve their dreams in business. She’s a fellow New Yorker and adoptive mom, and though those things have nothing to do with what we’ll discuss, they sure do make me love even more than I already would for her kindness, good smarts, and sparkling disposition.
We’ll be discussing fun in creativity, both at work and in our personal time. I’m sure there will be some good Mighty Ugly in there, too.
Because this is a new series, I love the thrill of not knowing exactly what to expect. If you love some serious spontaneity, I think you’ll be happy! And here’s what I know: We’re going to go deep, and we’re going to be specific. We will not wave our arms around for a while and chat about fluffy bullshit and expect you to think you learned something. Oh no. We’re going to talk about specific things you can do to explore the role of fun in your creative and business experiences, and we’re going to help you up the fun factor without sacrificing the good work you do.
Go on over to the Women of the World page to sign up! It’s free, you guys. Totally free.
This summer has been bananas! My to-do list is so long and varied that I have no idea where to start, so I’m kind of just shooting blindly in all directions, hoping random bits of progress allow me to get things under control.
One huge category of to-dos: blog posts. I have so much to write about! So I’m gonna bootstrap into it by sharing a bunch of panoramic photos I took on our two-week camping trip last month. That’s a start, right?
We started out at French Beach, on Vancouver Island, with a bunch of families we camp with every summer. Then we continued on with two other families to explore the Olympic Peninsula for ten days. It was the perfect combination of exploration, adventure, and relaxation. So very much fun!
Hood Canal, near Dosewallips State Park
View from Mt. Walker
View from Mt. Walker
Port Townsend, Washington
Soon I’ll share more about the trip, including the new obsession I developed with learning how to carve spoons!
Secret Pleasure Art print by boyounkim on Etsy
I feel like maybe we could all use a bit of this today?
I had so much fun talking with Sandi for her Crafty Planner podcast!
Sandi is a quilter, and we first met when she took my Mighty Ugly workshop at Craftcation last year. During the interview, we talked about that workshop, and also about what I wanted to be when I grew up (at various times when I was a kid), how I finally came to think of myself as a creative person after denying it for most of my life, why I’m focusing so much on the fun of creativity after going deep into the feelings of it through Mighty Ugly, the trajectory of my crochet career, and more.
Our chat is really fun, and I love how we managed to go all over the place while pretty much staying on topic. Have a listen!
I brought Mighty Ugly to UBC Maker Camp for the second year in a row, and it was a blast! The weeklong camp, associated with Make Media’s Maker Camp and supported in part by the Vancouver Maker Foundation, is for girls entering grades 7 or 8, and it’s the only exception I make to my adults-only rule for Mighty Ugly.
It was such a great group of kids, and I had almost nothing to do while they made their creatures. No prodding or prompting needed! Within a few minutes, they’d even invented a whole society for their creatures to belong to, complete with a supreme ruler, royal children, and a hierarchy of dignitaries and servants.
I love that there’s a girls-only Maker Camp in town, and that the organizer, UBC prof Dave Ng, includes crafty pursuits alongside the mechanical and coding projects.
Camp, man! So much fun!
I mentioned in my email last week that this month has been bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
Not in a tragic way, thank goodness, but in a many-things-on-fire-all-at-once way. It’s left me little time for play, and even less time for rest.
Last night, Greg shoved this photo (from our road trip last year) in my face, and it was exactly what I needed. (That, and some whiskey, The Americans, and a few minutes in my art journal before I collapsed into bed.)
It would absolutely figure that just as I got into the groove with my month of daily art journaling, urgent things would come up that would demand my full attention to the exclusion of everything outside the most basic of necessities. I missed a few days of art journaling, you guys.
Such is life.
It happens, and I didn’t beat myself up about it. Anyway, I didn’t have time to beat myself up about it even if I’d wanted to, such was the crazy week I had.
But as soon as the dust settled and I could grab just a few minutes to myself, I opened that book back up again and made a new mess in it.
I don’t know why I waited so long to do collage in there, since I’ve wanted to experiment more with collage for a very long time. (Probably that’s the reason right there, eh?)
And then it was finally the weekend, and I’d put out most of the fires, and the kid and I spent an absolutely blissful hour making a total mess on the dining-room table. He made a collage for his teacher (I can’t believe he’s finishing kindergarten this week!), and I messed around painting over the collage, and making another one on the facing page, and painting over the paint wash, and generally just playing and playing and forgetting my own brain and happy happy happy.
It was especially fun doing this alongside the kid, because he loves – loves – glitter glue. So there was glitter glue everywhere, and he kept wanting me to use it, so I totally did. I definitely love using materials and media that are just hanging around. This is probably why I’ve never been even remotely interested in scrapbooking, at least in the super-merchandised way. I’m not at all turned on by using packaged stuff to create new things on paper, but I’m absolutely blissed out using scraps I’d otherwise recycle, or grabbing tissue paper that’s been lying around for ages, or sticking my finger in the blob of glitter glue my kid accidentally squeezed all over the place.
I’ve mentioned before that my relationship with art-making has been complicated since I was a kid. Well. I think abstract art is the way to my heart, my friends. I really do. I can’t wait to finish up my work today so I can rip and glue and paint some more stuff.
For the first time, over three weeks into starting this daily art journaling challenge, I think I’m starting to really get it. And I think that once my month is up, I’m going to want to stick with it. Maybe in a book that doesn’t have a spiral binding, so I can make a proper spread. In fact, I may pull an old book from the shelf and repurpose it. Because why not.
If you, too, want to see what this art journaling thing is all about, you should join us!
Last year, we were on our big road trip when the annual Vancouver Mini Maker Faire was held. It was the fifth annual one, and the first I’d missed. I was especially excited, then, to bring the whole fam to the event this year.
I was impressed and delighted by how many varied activities there were for kids. For adults, too, obviously, but it was just so much fun to be there with my kindergartener.
We came home with a couple of robots – one of the light-seeking ones shown above, and another that involves taping markers to a solo cup, which I’ll pull out on a rainy day.
There was a Textile Village featuring the Modern Quilt Guild, weavers, spinners, knitters, paper-dyers, and screen printers. Unlike at other maker events I’ve attended, where fibre people are sequestered away in a small back room, this area was prominent and inviting. I was so happy to see it.
I’m resurrecting my ridiculous dream of making a huge animatronic crocheted robot/statue, and I’m determined to participate in next year’s event as a Maker again!
Do you have a major Maker Faire or a Mini Maker Faire in your area? Have you participated as a Maker? Enjoy going just to play? If you’ve never been, I urge you to check one out!