Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure
Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 21

Giving Gifts to Others Brings Abundance
I just finished reading 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. As with many successful self-help books, the message in the book is simple but profound.

Cami found out she had MS a month after she was married, a diagnosis that shook the world she and her husband were planning for themselves.

Fighting the horrible disease, Cami received a presccription from her friend and spiritual advisor: give 29 gifts away in 29 days and wait to see the abundance you will experience.

If you find yourself in a bad way right now, reading this book may help. I thought that the way Cami describes her newly embraced way of life was inspiring and made a huge difference in her life.

Cami is coming here to Pittsburgh to talk this month and I plan to hear her speak. I will write more about that later. In the meantime, I hope you will check out her website for more information.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creativity Tip. No. 20

Napkin Notes
Sitting at Border's this afternoon and leafing through some magazines, I noticed the following words written on my napkin for Seattle's Best Coffee:

NAPKIN. aka spontaneous genius sketch paper.

I thought that was pretty cool. Made me want to jot down a great idea that I needed to keep track of. Since I had no great ideas, I wrote down the directions to a technique I found in one of the magazines for canvas paper transfer.

When in doubt, copy, I guess. But when I finally do get around to using that technique I'm sure it will lead to all sorts of creativity and that makes me happy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yeasty Adventures

We stumbled upon the neatest birding store this past weekend on our way to lunch with some family members. The Birdwatchers Store, lcoated on Rt. 108, Slippery Rock, PA has everything you need to pursue a backyard birding hobby along with some sweet gifts for all occasions.

Since last year, I have become completely enamored of the avian visitors to my backyard. After weeks of fighting with squirrels and other critters to save the food for the birds, we have arrived at a good compromise. We hung two suet holders from the upper deck on our house and so far, the only visitors to the feeders are songbirds. (This year, though, we have attracted a small flock of starlings too, but not much we can do about that.)

While at the store I picked up a third suet holder and filled it with a tropical blend that the birds are not  interested in as of yet. Too much to hope a Baltimore Oriole will stop by? Maybe. The other peanuty suet concoctions have a lot more takers.

If you are in the neighborhood, hope you can find time to stop at the bird store or find one like it near you. They also have several feeders and birdhouses in their back yard that you can watch when you visit. The owner told me that I should already have my birdhouses in place since the returning flocks are checking out  new housing for the summer already.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yeasty Adventures

While looking over hundreds of brochures at the San Francisco Visitor's Center recently, I came across only one that had the word "yarn" on it. Since that set it apart form all of the other ones featuring tours and sights to see, I grabbed the brochure and, map in hand, walked around the city until I found ArtFibers.

What a surprise. You take a small elevator at 266 Sutter Street and when the door opens on the third floor, you enter the cafe designed for those who love yarn.

The store offers a unique way to purchase their beautiful yarns. You can take any length of yarn they sell -- all offered by American spinners, dyers and designers -- and work up a swatch right there in the store, enjoying the natural light and cammaradie of other knitsters. For those of you who don't do yarn work, a swatch is a sample of yarn that is knitted or crocheted into a square to determine if this is the right yarn for a project.

Untimately you could sit there all day -- knitting or crocheting to your heart's content as the busy city carries on outside.

It's a creative way to sell yarn and shows a genuine interest on the owner's part to make customers happy. Allowing them to sit and work with a new yarn in hand in such a comfortable spot is definitely a way to do that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Green Creativity: Use it Up, Make It Do

I have a fairly good-sized collection of craft items in my home. I love making things and relish the challenge of finding something unusual (on the street, at a flea market, from a friend) and holding on to it until I find the perfect way to use it.

That said, it follows that crafters like me have a LOT of stuff waiting to be discovered for its moment of fame. It's not so bad around here that I will be featured on a TV show about hoarding anytime soon, but enough for the clutter to drive me a little batty sometimes.

With the Depression-era saying of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" as my mantra, I have been loooking for ways to use what I have.

As an example, I wanted to send St. Patrick's Day cards to some family members. I took out the leprechaun stickers I bought a couple of years ago for some reason that escapes me now, and used them to create the cards I would send, instead of buying them. I saved a few bucks and the crafty clutter pile was reduced a little bit.

Let me know if you have any success in this area. It takes a little creativity but the results feel good.

Creativity Tip No. 19

Creative Ways to Use Gasoline Wisely

Gas prices continue to rise, creating a financial hardship for those who need to drive, for whatever reason. When gas prices rise, there are a dozen articles written on the best ways to save gasoline: combine trips, shop via the Internet, do your errands in the most efficient way possible.

I'm sure that most of us can come up with our own creative ways to save gasoline, if we put our minds to it. It's not easily done because we are so dependant on our vehicles, but times are forcing us to change I think.

Here are some quick hints to get your ideas flowing:

  • Empty your car of any excess weight (and that doesn't mean your spouse!). Don't store items in your car that don't need to be there on your next trip out.
  • Drive slower. This is such a good idea for many reasons, but maybe the hardest of all to do. I don't see much evidence that drivers are slowing down, but it would be a great way to save fuel.
  • Leave windows up when you are driving at higher speeds.
  • Use a/c only when you need to.
  • Don't idle your car. Turn it off instead.

Let me know if you have other ideas and I will publish them here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Creative Spotlight

Photo taken with a cell phone

This truck was spotted inside a grocery store, covered with potato chips and pertzels. What a yeasty idea!

How they got it in there I don't know!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Creativity Tip. No. 18

Small gifts best for keeping in touch

If you have older relatives out of town who you don't see very often. try this tip to stay connected. Make or buy small gifts that will fit in either an envelope or a small jiffy mailer. Every oncein a while, mail off a little gift to your loved one just to let him or her know you are thinking about them.

A group of my knitter friends did this last year for a friend of a friend who is housebound because of illness. Each week one of us would send a small package to the woman with a little note. She said it helped her to know that others -- who hadn't even met her -- were thinking about her.

For a start, some ideas for small gifts are bookmarks, scarves, refrigerator magnets, pens, small notebooks, handmade greeting cards meant for keeping, jewelry, magazines, handkerchiefs, candles, tea bags etc. Sending photos of you and your family will always be well-received.

Be creative! Get Yeasty and come up with even more great ideas.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 17

Choose a quote for the day

At our local family-owned market, someone writes a "thought for the day" on a dry erase board in the lobby. It provides a nice moment for those waiting in line to check out.

I thought this was a great idea so I bought a small deck of cards at a craft store, with each one illlustrating a quotation. I have been enclosing some of these little cards in birthday cards when I send them, sharing the wealth.

But I think I will hold onto them from now on. I will place one in front of my computer and focus on that quote and it's meaning for one day. I know that a lot of meditative-type books tell us to have a mantra to live with over time. But I like the idea of changing my thought of the day -- everyday.

You can easily do this too, just by printing some quotations from the Internet. Place one where you can see it and think about what it is telling you as you go about your day. Look forward to tomorrow when you will  have a different phrase to live with for the day.

This is a great idea for those of us who have short attention spans, which I think is most of us anymore.

Some of the quotes from my deck include:

What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's all about?

Too much of a good thing is wonderful.

Carpe Diem (Seize the day).

Do one thing every day that scares you.

We are all capable of so much more than what we think we are. ~~ Lao Tzu

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Creative Spotlight

Photo taken with cell phone

Maybe a little too Yeasty? Hate to admit it, but maybe (sometimes!) too much of a good thing may be bad!

About Me

I am the creator of the web's premiere Baby Boomer site: Boom This: A Generational Thing!(