Yeasty Mosaic at Disney's California Adventure

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 26

Screenwriting: Yes or No?

I think there is a little serendipity afoot here. I have never really thought of writing a screenplay, although I could just as easily have tried that form of writing over the years as I did so many others.

But I think the idea is vying for some attention now, and I am not quite sure why.

I saw that our local film school (where I have taken some photography courses) was offering a short class in screenwriting at a local library close to my home.

I seriously thought about doing it -- the price was right, parking was easy, not too much of a gas-guzzling trip -- but held back because

1. I had a conflict on one of the nights the class would meet, and

2. I didn't have an idea for a film that I've been working on for years.

So I forgot about the class until I had a chance to download some free ebooks from the library. Not many titles were available to be downloaded, so I picked one I would probably never have checked out otherwise : Now Write! Screenwriting  by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson.

I let the book sit on my mobile device for a few days and then not having a good book to read, I began reading this expert guide. Now I find myself reading all of the narratives contained in the book plus the tips offered by seasoned screenwriters and teachers. I may not get through the entire book before my subscription runs out in five days, and I realize that will make me very unhappy.

Maybe the time has come to tackle this writing form? Not sure yet, but I do wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something. Guess I will wait for a few more clues before I purchase my Vera Wang for the Oscars.

Creativity Tip No. 25

Favors for the Royal Wedding

I borrowed this idea for wedding favors and made them for a group of us who are "attending" William and Kate's Royal Wedding via TV at an ungodly hour, at least in the East.

These spool favors were based on creations by Becky Shander and were featured in the Apr/May/June 2011 issue of Somerset Life. Becky talks about how she made her Altered Spool Place Cards with things she had around the house, and kept them "quiet" using only delicate colors.

In order to use what I had on hand, I replaced her beaded dangles and flag nametages with bouquets of cloth flowers and nametags attached with little note holders.

Each spool is wrapped with lace or rick rack which is secured in the back with a pearl-topped pin. 

A little something to take home after all of the wedding festivities are over. Nice.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 24

Mind Mapping

You have probably heard of Mind Mapping, which is sometimes called Radiant Thinking and brainstorming. It was created by Tony Buzan and is a way to allow your creative mind to get past your inner editor, not an easy task.

The editor is that voice in your head that talks trash to you when you come up with a Big Idea and are feeling excited. The voice immediately tells you that you can't accomplish anything, that your new idea is stupid, or asks: what makes you think you can write a book? Host both of your families for a dinner party? Clean up the basement?

To begin mapping, write down the subject you want to brainstorm about in the center of a big piece of paper and circle it. Some examples could be Chapter Ideas for a new book; Baby Shower for the party you are going to host or what needs to be done to keep your Garden from resembling the Rain Forest now that the weather has finally warmed up (see my example below).

Then you draw spokes off this main circle for all of the areas that  need to be dealt with. Circle these and then draw spokes off each of them to explore your subject even further. For example, my map starts with the word "Garden" in the middle, way too broad a task for me to tackle at once. So I continue drawing spokes and adding subjects to them: Porch, Herbs, Weeds, Plants, Furniture and so on. Then for each of these spokes I drew smaller ones: under Plants: annuals, Perrenials, look for 3 hanging baskets, buy soil -- all to remind me what I need to do.

After the map is finished I can make a list and figure out a schedule to get all of these tasks done one at a time.

The Mind Mapping concept is simple, although there are ways to make it a little more complicated if you like. You can add colored pens, photos, illustrations and more to your mind map, but if you don't have those things, do it anyway. All you really need is a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. (To see examples of more complicated maps, search for "mind mapping" under Google images.)

The important thing to remember with this technique is to get down on paper ALL of the thoughts you are having on a subject. Once you start writing, don't stop. Keep going and going until there isn't a smidge of paper left bare.

I used this technique when I taught writing to fifth graders a few years ago. They liked the idea of "drawing" their ideas out, but tended to pause a lot in between items. With our adult brains, there is almost never a pause when we are working on a map. We carry around so much clutter in our brains it will be such a relief to get it all down on paper, you won't believe it.

I have used this technique for a long time, and found these maps to be useful. From my Garden map, I can see what I need to do to whip my garden into tip-top shape this summer. And it only took a few minutes of my time.

Give Mind Mapping a try. I think you will be glad you did.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 23

Multi-tasking while Watching TV: Should You?

You know the feeling. You finally sit down after a long day of work and cleaning up from dinner only to remember that you didn't pay your bills, ride your exercise bicycle or finish folding the laundry.What to do? Sit and vege out in front of the tube or do your chores while watching your favorite shows?

Tough one. You can do two things at once possibly in this situation, but is it unfair to the Modern Family cast or the Glee singers to not give them your total attenion while watching? Not that they would know, of course, but still. Don't you owe yourself a little one-on-one time with the CSI crew?

To decide, you may have to figure out how much time you will otherwise have to do those chores. Being truthful, can your bills wait another day or will the sherriff be a' knockin' at your door? Can you ride off into the sunset on your stationary bike after the show is over or will that be time for bed? Can your chidlren live out of a clothes basket one more day?

None of these consequences would be earth-shattering if they aren't done, but just think how good you will feel if you do? More to cross off your To Do list, more things to write in your exercise log.

Only you can decide if multi-tasking in front of the plasma is a good thing. But I'm guessing that riding the bike will not in any way deter you from enjoying Amazing Race or Survivor, and it might even help you empathise with the cast a little more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creativity Tip No. 22

Sweet Sheep

Stanley the Sheep
I made this little sheep (and his cousin) from a small kit I bought at a recent knit/crochet festival. The kit for this small pin was sold by MoonRise Studio and it was very easy to do.I plan to gie it to a friend tomorrow for her BD.

I have been ready to start needle felting as a new addition to my craft repertoire for a long time, and I think this little guy pushed me over the edge. Felting is easy. All you need is a few simple tools, some wool roving, some felt pieces or used sweaters.

Also, I was pleased with myself for actually taking the time to complete this kit of two sheep instead of leaving it in a drawer till who knows when. As we like to say, Use it up!

Have a wonderful spring day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yeasty Events: Evening with Cami Walker of 29 Gifts

I had an opportunity to hear Cami Walker speak this past week on her best-selling book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.

Such a simple idea but usually those are the most lasting -- give 29 gifts in 29 days and wait to see what happens. Cami, who started the 29 Gift Challenge by herself, now has 14,000 members at her site. That's 14,000 people who are giving something every day, and making a difference.

There's room for lots more growth, and if Cami gets her wish, there will be 29,000 members by 9/29/2011. If you would like to learn more, visit

To read more about my visit with Cami, visit

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daily Painting Answer to Artist's Prayer

Guest blogger: Maggie Flatley

Maggie is a super talented artist who also happens to be my sister-in-law. With a full life, she has had little time to paint but found something on the web which has helped: Daily Painting.

Daily Painting, a take off on Alla Prima, which describes a painting that is done all at one time, can help artists who have a difficult time just starting -- to start. It's like the blank page for a writer. . .hard to overcome sometimes).

Maggie writes:

I started following what is known as the Daily Painter Movement last fall. I love it. The time lapse between paintings up to that point for me was months. I tended to overwork each one, but the daily painting helps me overcome that. The painters who have really helped me include Dreama Tolle Perry and Leslie Saeta, of Artists Helping Artists. They have a blog radio show every Thursday, and also offer online demos etc. to artists.

I also like Carole Marine who is a good person to know about if you are interested in this type of work. She provides terrific demos too.

These artists use 6 x 6 in. canvases and panels to do their daily work, but I use 5 x 7 and 8 x 10 in. ones, because framing them is so much more affordable. I also still do watercolors, because I love that medium too.

I have been posting some of my art to Etsy, the online craft and art boutique, which I have found  easy to work with and which also has the lowest overhead cost of online sellers that I have found.

To visit Maggie's blog and to see more of her artwork, click here.

Green Creativity: Use it up, Make it do

I heard about this great way to "Made it do" the other day and couldn't wait to share it. A woman, let's call her Mary,whose daughter got married a couple of years ago, gave her mother-of-the bride dress to Beth, whose daughter is getting married this summer. Mary's beautiful dress was altered to fit Beth, who will now have a gorgeous dress for her daughter's wedding. And the dress had a second life, instead of spending the rest of its days in a closet, never to be worrn again.

Here's hoping this dress has a third life too!

What a great idea this would be for prom dresses, those lovely concoctions that all girls seem to have too many of. It's such a shame that some dresses are worn only once. Finding a way to alter them for another girl to enjoy or even to donate them to a charity that provides prom dresses to girls who would go without is very yeasty!

Search "donate prom dresses" on the internet for some charity options.

Photo by grietgriet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yeasty Events: Honor Mom Charity Knitalong Needs You!

My friends and I have launched a creative knitting charity event in honor of our moms and we hope you will  join us.

The Honor Mom Charity Knitalong (search for it on FaceBook) will include knitting or crocheting items during the first two weeks of May which can  then be donated by you to the charity of your choice, of which there are so many.

The event gives all participants a chance to do what they love best: Crafting special items, helping others and honoring our mothers who made all of this possible. Some of the choices for knitted/crocheted donations can include making dishcloths for soup kitchens, baby blankets for Project Linus, neck warmers to keep the homeless warm, and chemo caps for babies and adults.

There is no limit to what you can do or for whom: just please register on the Facebook event site and let us in on what you will be doing. We would love to hear from you! And please, feel free to pass this along to any of your other crafty friends.

About Me

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