I had seen this gold leaf pinecone garland weeks ago & decided I needed to make one. Except I skipped the whole gold-leaf process & took a pile of pinecones out back and spray painted them. There. The lazy girl’s guide to DIY Christmas cheer! What’s that? Oh, you’re right. Lazy girls don’t spray paint pinecones at all! Ok then, it’s the DIY Christmas cheer hacker that does that.
After they dried, I screwed in the hooks & tied them to twine. Ta-da! I ended up with three garlands and a ton of extra pine cones, so I picked out the prettiest ones and put them in a vintage milk glass dish I snagged at my favorite thrift store when I was back home over Thanksgiving.
To be honest, I kind of cheated on the wreath. These flowers are from a friend’s wedding last year. She encouraged us to take as many as we wanted. I’d been wanting a fun way to use them since then & a simple wreath seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I picked up a straw wreath at Joann Fabrics, curled up on the couch with Love Actually, wound twine all around the wreath, and tied on my friend’s wedding flowers. Done!
If you feel so inclined to try any of these, let me know how it goes! I’d love to see what you do with them!
I’m sponsoring this round of 30 Days of Lists! It’s an easy way for people to document their lives in a super simple way — just making lists. There’s a list prompt for every day, and your lists and/or documenting tools (art journal, pen and paper, blog, whatever) can be as simple or as elaborate as you please. If you want to join in, it’s not too late to sign up!
Yesterday’s prompt was “Before the End of the Year.” Makes sense to make a list of December goals.
Get my ish together for Alt Summit, which is coming right up. This includes launching something, building a Rails app, and finalizing business card designs.
I’ve got my work cut out for me, especially with the Alt and work projects in addition to normal client work, but my list isn’t without plenty of low-stress holiday cheer and reflection. Here’s to finishing strong.
I have a confession to make: I hoard my own ideas.
I keep running lists of things to make, projects to start, dreams to pursue, blog posts to write. (In fact, this was one of them.)
Rather than make a plan to execute these ideas, I collect and save them. I check in on them now and again to be sure they’re all still there and haven’t run off anywhere. Assured that my previous ideas are all still around, I add to the growing list without refining and executing any of them.
There are myriad reasons why I (and maybe you?) do this:
Fear of beginning.
Thinking I’ll have more time or resources to better execute the ideas in the future.
Not wanting to “waste” the ideas on my inexperience — If I wait until I’ve gotten more experience, have more followers, etc, my projects will be more successful.
Fear that my ideas are finite — if I execute them, I won’t have any more ideas.
Here’s the thing: Making begets making. Creation begets creation. Generosity begets generosity. Waiting is a Catch-22: If I wait to do things until I have more experience, I’ll never gain the experience I think I need. Fear is a lie: Ideas are not a limited resource, and frankly, they aren’t ours to claim. The only thing we can claim is the work we’ve done to make our ideas real.
Keeping shiny plans or ideas or knowledge or skills to myself does nothing except speed up the rate at which my ideas get stale. My idea-hoarding problem stunts my creativity, productivity, and contribution. Your idea-hoarding problem robs the world of your gifts and unique story.
Leading up to this year’s Iceland Airwaves festival, I started having dreams that I was headed back there. I’m still having them. About once a week, I have a dream that I’m going to Iceland on a last minute trip by myself. Usually I try to find a friend who can come along with me, but often I end up traveling solo.
I’ve heard that Iceland is a place you don’t go just once. You start saying, “The first time I went to Iceland…” instead of “That time I went to Iceland…” Now that the country’s otherworldly landscapes have tenaciously taken hold in my consciousness, I’m starting to believe it.
Last year when we were there, I decided that I wanted to go back for Airwaves this year. And not just that, I wanted someone to send me there to write about it. How is that for an audacious dream? Obviously, that didn’t happen. I didn’t work to make it happen, either. And I’m ok with that. My work this year has taken me in a different direction. That said, I’d never pass up the chance to go and write about Airwaves if someone wanted to send me in the future!
I don’t know why I’ve been headed there so often in my dreams. Maybe because I was there about a year ago, during a really transitional point in my life. A lot of things were changing, and Iceland gave me the space (literally and figuratively) to think and make better choices. Maybe it’s because the temperatures have dipped and the days are getting darker and I’m taking inspiration and encouragement from how Icelanders compensate for winter darkness with warmth and light and coziness. Whatever it is, I do know that I’ll find myself back there someday.
I’m thinking of sharing a little more Iceland here. Maybe it will help me figure out why it’s been such a presence on my mind lately.
Bringing Art Home: What is the fruit of creativity worth to us? We are totally blessed to have been gifted with tons of art for our wedding, but I understand the hesitation to spend money on art. I think many people probably focus on the practical necessities (especially those with Mennonite/Anabaptist backgrounds, and probably other specific backgrounds as well), but what if art is also a necessity? What is the worth and role of beauty, art, and creativity?
Get Specific about your dreams. Sure, you can say you want a more interesting and inspiring life, but what does that specifically look like? Kathleen reminds us that if we want to move in the direction of our dream job, dream life, or dream travels, we need to take action. Dreaming vaguely doesn’t get ish done. Getting specific does. This is definitely something I need to work on, though I’ve certainly improved over the past year.
Quilts, maps, history, and more. This is rad & makes me want to quilt more than ever. Pouring my love, time, and self into something so practical & beautiful (I clearly love the marriage of form and function, practicality and art — see above!), is super appealing to me. Alas, it’s also super time consuming. I can do it all, just not all at once. Learning to quilt will have to wait.
I’ll admit, I’m biased, but I’m incredibly proud of Chad for writing this post: Subconscious Life Lessons: My (White, Male) Narrative is More Important Than Yours. One of the things that I love about him is his willingness to accept criticism, improve, and evolve. He’s bravely and publicly taken time to reflect and examine his own privilege as a white male: “It’s awful to think but doubtlessly true that people who are not white or male learn the same lesson in our culture: That the white male narrative is the main story arc, and everyone else plays a supporting role.” But he points out that if those of us who aren’t part of the main white male story arc don’t speak up, the world is missing out on a multitude of stories and perspectives.
Likewise, Garann Means encourages non white non male humans to blog about code & give zero fucks. Her words, not mine, though I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. I’ve struggled with this personally & will be thinking about venues to practice writing about code. Hesitating to write about code is doing me no favors, no matter how little experience I have. There’s still people who know less than I do and could learn from something I share.
What interesting things have you been reading ’round the interwebs lately? I want to know!