Do you enjoy these creative practices?

Question #3 from my survey; this one is super interesting. When I put up the multiple choice answers, I focused on the things I was most interested in at the moment. I was curious to see the other ways people practice a creative spirit. (Maybe I should have phrased it that way!) In any case, the comments reflect many other activities and even, “ways of being” which are self defined as creative. I love it. Just the spirit I was hoping for.

As of 8am West Coast time, the survey has 37 responses – excellent! Thank-you so much for taking part. If you have not joined in yet, please add your voice to the conversation.

If you are curious, here is the full list of additional practices so far:

  • music
  • writing
  • fashion
  • food
  • entertaining
  • gardening
  • jewelry making
  • woodworking
  • crafting
  • building
  • beading
  • pottery
  • blogging
  • business
  • costumes
  • signs
  • painting
  • parenting
  • relationships
  • health & well being
  • up-cycling
  • problem solving
  • poetry
  • scrap booking
  • flower arrangements
  • crochet

Amazing honesty in the responses, thank-you so much. I am honoured to be connected to so many creative people. Rightly so, many times it has been noted that “creativity is a way of life”. For many of us, it can’t be separated from our daily life. It is present in everything we do. I think that is pretty evident by this list.

Speaking of creative projects, enjoy these photos from a recently completed silk scarf I knitted. The pattern and yarn came from LoopsClub in Tulsa. I’m a member who receives a kit each month. Because there is always another project on it’s way, I stay focused on getting projects finished. For me this is a good incentive. Otherwise projects sit on needles for years, waiting for me to complete them.

Silk_scarf_1 Silk_scarf_2 Silk_scarf_3 Silk_scarf_4

Handmade business cards

Business Card Making Assembly Lin

Who hand makes a business card these days? Creative people. Artists. Someone with a lot of time on their hands. Turns out, I am not really any of those kind of people and yet I’ve just finished my first batch of handmade business cards.

I have to say, I really liked the process. I’ve been collecting ideas and thinking about this for a long time. But the deadline is looming. WDS 2015, (World Domination Summit), in Portland starts in just a few days. I’m not going to be caught short again this year.

In truth, I didn’t mention my blog until the closing party at about 9pm. The person I was chatting with replied, “Wow, that is a really good concept”. Of course I did not have a card to give her. Wow! Rookie mistake.

There have been so many moments since then, when I could have used a card. The URL is the name of the blog, but it requires memory, which I certainly don’t possess. Hardly can expect the attention span from anyone else.

Business cards are probably still in use just to save the brain cells required to remember yet another thing. If you have the card, it is so easy to make an association to meeting the person from whence it came. At least, I find them to be useful in this way. And I have a neat little box on my desk where the new cards go. After a year or so, the cards are sorted and filed away appropriately.

I love to see who has taken the card design to the next level. Unfortunately it is few and far between, where any kind of creativity comes into play. You would think people would be trying to stand out in this area of branding, just as they do in all other areas. Maybe I’m attending the wrong kind of events. And maybe I need to speak up at the right kind of events!

So I’ve made 30 cards. It seems like quite a few. Especially when I only might have given out one or two last year. I suppose if I make it a goal to give out 30, then I’ll be so far ahead. But, let’s face it, my efforts to date have been pretty pathetic. Self promotion is not my strong suit. However, my husband is with me this year and he is my #1 fan. So at least I can give him one. Maybe I’ll make a few more!

What I did was super easy. Picked a really nice card stock. Metallic finish, premium card stock, 65 lb. paper. Then I found some see through vellum in the 25 cents bin at my local art supply store. After I had created my funky design, I printed it on the vellum. (I designed the page myself in illustrator). Then I cut out both pages, the card stock was true size and the vellum was a little smaller. I used a good ruler and an OLFA knife. And glue.

The whole operation took me back to my college days. When I was design school, there was no auto-cad. We did everything by hand. The best I might have done then was hand draw the first one and then make multiple photo copies. But the cutting and pasting are the same. I love the way they turned out. Now to get a nice little case for them.

Interesting links about business cards:

Business Card Making Top Sheet


Business Card Making Progress

Business Card Making Finished

Oh I hope there are no spelling mistakes! At lunch time, when I was well into it, I double checked “flourish”. It started to look wrong to me!


The tree

I bought our first Christmas tree from The Bay in 1992. We were living in an apartment that didn’t allow real trees, something about a fire hazard. The model that adorns our living room now, was so popular, the floor display was available to staff in early December. 21 years on, this faux Douglas fir is looking a little worse for wear. She drops as many needles as if she were real.

The Bay_web

We had no money, so we made most of the decorations. The store-bought items still bear the markings of discounts in years gone by. I have not acquired anything new in a very long time. Unless you count the myriad of class-made presents my children have presented over the years. I can’t bear to throw them away. So my “style” of decoration has become home-made chic. The very thing I vowed never to accept in my life, back when I was younger and maybe more hip.

wood chip_web

card globe_web

Bead star_web

foam wreath_web

ginger man_web

snow ball_web

I do have a few standards. The lights have to go on first and they need to be done in a certain way. Truth be told, I realized today, I have paid so little attention to decorations in recent years, I almost didn’t have enough lights for the whole tree. I remembered when I was running out, that I need to buy a new string every year to account for the one that dies. So I’m down at least one this year.


As it turns out, my daughter doesn’t have the stamina for decorating a Christmas tree. She refused to put all the bows on. That was after I let her clump everything of the same style all in one spot. She begrudgingly put all the bows on after I had to start counting her. Really. That is not in the spirit, for either one of us.

However, my husband has carols playing in the kitchen and is making dinner. My son is greatly relieved after realizing that he did not mistakenly ruin his iPod. He is almost singing for joy! Not the most traditional way to start the season, but we walk to the beat of our own drum.

Hand made

The other day I was asked, “why does anyone knit anymore”? The assumption, of course, is that mass market consumer wearing apparel is so inexpensive, the economics of making something yourself doesn’t make sense. Everyone knows that goods produced in foreign lands are cheaper. And therefore, better.

But I think differently. As it turns out, so do many others. However, I am a realist. There are only so many things of which I use everyday that I can make for myself, or even source from another local, small-scale manufacturer.

I think the thrill comes from the hunt. As I learn about new and inventive ways that people are turning back to the basics of local resourcefulness, I am inspired.

  • FOOD – for anyone that has followed this blog, I have written about this so many times, (when I search for “local food” there are 2 pages of references). This is well covered, not just by me, but by a quick google search for your area.
  • SHOWS – Make it! – the handmade revolution. An upbeat experience that gives enlightened shoppers the opportunity to buy directly from Canada’s top artists, crafters and designers! Got Craft? – Vancouver’s largest Indie craft fair.
  • MAKER – Mini Maker Faire Vancouver – Vancouver Maker Foundation is a non-profit committed to building a strong and vibrant community of Makers in the city of Vancouver. Maker Faire – A family friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.
  • CLUBS – Lego club – Connecting adult building in greater Vancouver. West Coast Knitter Guild. Knit Social – Our mandate is to help this community of crafters and artisans grow and become even more closely tight-knit.
  • SHOP – Homesteaders Emporium – A one stop shop for all of your urban homesteading needs. Spool of thread – sewing lounge.
  • INFORMATION – The DIY Daily – searching the web so you don’t have to.

I have to give a personal shout out to my Mom – thank-you for teaching me all this stuff, before it was cool. I may not have appreciated it then, but I sure do now. Back in the eighties, (the height of conspicuous consumption), we were recycling, composting, making our own from whole foods, crafting for fun, gardening for the taste.

Something new

This is crazy, I know. Most knitters would probably sympathize, having been in this state before.  I don’t know what I was thinking, or rather, I do. I was bored with all my current projects on the go, (too many to list here), and I wanted something new.

So, what have I done? Bought 7 projects worth of yarn. I went through the Herrschners website and the Red Heart website at the same time picking easy, free patterns and the corresponding yarns. And that was how the big box of yarn came into my possession today.

The only downside I see in this experiment is; I am missing needles for all but one of the projects. That is simply a sign that I must start the only project that calls for basic 6.0mm needles. (Ruffled Wrap). Who knows how much the 9 sets of new needles will cost. Because the most important criteria in all this has been fulfilled. That was to ensure the patterns were marked “easy” and that I bought the exact type of yarn being called for.

This hankering for something new may take years to finish. And I may not end up with, what I had planned for, but it will be exciting nonetheless.

Glass beads

My sister is creating the cutest little beads you have ever seen.

The process is somewhat similar to blowing glass into a vase or other shapes. She takes sticks of coloured glass and under heat, twists and turns it into whatever shape you can imagine. Once her creations are complete, she fires them in a kiln so they set up hard and durable.

While the most common form of glass beads is round shapes of uniform colour and size; used in jewelry, Beadlejuice adds another dimension to personal ornamentation. You might require a second glance to notice that the bead hanging off a lovely pink silk rope is actually, a pig? - "critters"

Or a cute little blonde haired girl… - "critters"

Or a fish? - "critters"

And my favourite of last year had to be the Christmas card. What a hoot it would have been to set that one up!

Re-purpose coffee bags

Because of the lining that is required to keep coffee beans fresh, the whole bag is not recyclable. At least not in our municipal recycling program. But, there are a number of crafty ways to re-purpose them. The one I most often use is an idea I learned in a book called, “Eco Craft” by  Susan Wasinger. This book has a number of other interesting ideas I have yet to try. I prefer to focus on the projects that create something from materials that we already have a good supply of. And a market bag that is a useful item is perfect. I’m not keen on decorating my house with a lamp shade made from six-pack rings, for example.

If your house consumes an average amount of coffee by grinding fresh beans, then it will not be too long before quite a pile of bags start to accumulate. Over time we have fine tuned our coffee selections so that we are now buying shade

grown, organic and fair trade brands. We even prefer that the roasting is done here on the West Coast, which is also widely available. And the bags tend to have great graphic design.

The only other thing you need, beyond the patience required to actually “craft”, is duct tape. Amazingly you can buy it in a full spectrum of colors now. So these bags could start to look very interesting. A word of caution about this kind of tape, it is incredibly sticky. There is a reason that men in my family have a roll of this at hand and can perform any number of vehicle repairs with it.

Because the tape is so strong, the finished product can hold as much weight as you want to carry. I never hesitate to load up these gift bags with bottles of wine, jars of canned goodies, local cookbooks, etc.

This market bag holds 3 bottles, so it is nice and tall. I took it over to my parents-in-law yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner, yum.