Words of wisdom: Power each other up

Thanks to the lovely folks at Friendswithyou, this has easily become my new favorite “words of wisdom” when thinking about relationships, both personal and professional related.

Simple yet a great way to frame your mindset when helping others.

Of course, each time I also think of it in this context:

power-up

Fact is, we all want sympathy

“Three fourths of the people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy.”

Recently I finished reading two books by Dale Carnegie and his insights on the topic of sympathy was one I found to be quite interesting. Maybe it was his writings still fresh in my mind that sparked a Sudden Clarity Clarence moment of my own; users (including some of my own instances) are using these platforms as a form of therapy, but in many ways to also gain sympathy from one’s peers.

I had a Sudden Clarity Clarence momentI certainly wish I had this sort of Eureka moment a years ago, however, there’s quite a few articles on the subject, like this one from SocialMedia.Biz.

Certainly none of this is new. Being an online marketer most of my personal social media usage is to keep tabs on what’s new, trends and connecting with others in the industry.

Sure, I’ll sprinkle in some thing random.

and yep, even a sympathy seeking post.

Most of us are guilty of it. But I suppose the question then becomes, “When is it too much?” Simply because we have the ability to share every detail of what we’re feeling does it mean we should on such a public scale? It’s this freedom and thought process of “because I can,” yet even with our advancements in technology, John M. Grohol, PYS.D. seems to say it best when referring to emotional beings and technology meeting…

We don’t quite know how to interact well — mindfully, meaningfully.

Similar to apps that disable texting while driving, maybe in the near future an app will exist that takes into account one’s feelings before allowing on-the-fly status updates.

someecards.com - I like to passive aggressively share my feelings on facebook by posting multiple ecards to get my point across.

What are your thoughts on over-sharing to social networks? Do you find yourself seeking sympathy from your online peers?

Calibrating

This is only a test

Since my last post, I felt the urge to ask those close to me, “Which topics do you think you’d read about on my blog if I were consistent with updating it?” And surprisingly, those I asked came back with very similar answers. I’m sure I cheated by asking others and not simply going with whatever I felt was worthy of writing. However, it definitely helped to narrow down some of the topics. Here’s what my sample size survey resulted in:

Art – near and dear to my heart
Crafts – things I make/want to make
Marketing/SEO/Social Media – opinion pieces/cool things I read about
Pets – nothing but love for this topic
Personal Development – these should be interesting…

I’d say that’s a fairly good list to work from. Much better than what I had come up with, which was simply “Whatever my current interest is.” And this changes on the daily.

Anyhow, I suppose instead of simply squatting on this domain, I’d add some substance behind it. Truth is, since almost a year ago (and two posts ago) a bit has changed both in my personal and professional life. I don’t foresee sharing every detail of these two in great depth on here; after all, these aren’t the old LiveJournal days. (Boy, those were fun…) That, and I’m mostly an extrovert hiding behind an introverts guise. Maybe you’re wondering, what exactly does that even mean? The easiest way I can describe it is: 80% of the time I’m fairly introverted, and the remaining 20% is when my extroverted side makes an appearance. It’s certainly not something one can pinpoint. To date, I think this illustration by Dr. Carmella is a wonderful visualization of how introverts are (and more importantly, how to interact with us).

Rewind – now, whether or not all (or any) of my posts will even fall under the topics above will remain to be seen. Until next time.

 

That splendid yet fickle feeling

You know the feeling when you’re in love? It makes you want to shout from the rooftops and spend as much time with that special someone. Simply put, it’s a pretty great feeling. After what has seemed to be a long and drawn out hiatus, my love for all things creative and crafty has returned. Sure, it’s at times a fleeting feeling, but one that’s splendid and fickle all in one. And after thinking it would take me for-ev-er, I finally learned embroidery.

ABC embroidery, -- easy as 1,2,3

Making progress on my embroidery piece

Below is a photo of the finished piece to be framed for one of our walls.

Finished sampler piece

Pattern is from Posie Rosie Little Things.

Looking back on it, this song from Ingrid Michelson seems pretty spot on with how I’ve felt over the past few years with my on-again, off-again relationship with creative outlets.

After I finished the above project of course came the inevitable, “What should I work on next?”

Currently I’m toying around with the idea of creating an embroidered family tree as a gift for E’s mom. However, I’d love to also revisit print making.

Have you also gone through a creative block? What are some of the ways you helped push through them?

Dreaming in Fassett

In the words of Penelope Stamp, I don’t plan, which is also evidenced by my missing posts for the SMCSF Blog Challenge.

This past weekend included a trip with my mom and brother to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday. Normally E and I will make the usual trek to the Art Walk down in Wynwood, but there was an artful surprise in store during my Naples trip!

My mom squeezed in a quick visit to a quilt shop which is one of her vices whenever she gets a chance. While mom was clearly in her zone, and a quilting class was all a chatter in the background, I began flipping through a book on the artist Kaffe Fassett. What intrigued me most about his work was how vibrant and varied it was. As I thumbed through a few more pages, I learned he was into a variety of other mediums such as needlepoint, mosaics, and knitting to name a few. He is also known for his unique fabric designs, which are just as diverse and fun. A lot of it reminds me of a bold take on Anthropologie’s boutique designers.

Below are a sample of some of his fabric patterns:

Is it just me or are these prints begging to be made into wonderfully flowing skirts and dresses? I know we’re in the middle of fall, but in South Florida this season (sadly) doesn’t seem to exist. If only I knew how to sew! Although I wouldn’t mind learning to sew, this is a fine line because there are still many other creative projects I have still waiting to be completed. And that’s when I start to wonder if others find themselves in the same boat. Do you find yourself quickly moving from project to project without finishing one first?

Do you tend

Love and Passion and Curiosity, Oh My!

Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it

Source: blogbrunch.tumblr.com

Day 4 of the blogging challenge! Surprised to admit I was looking forward to doing this today. Although I can’t say for certain I’m entirely comfortable with writing, but maybe by the end of the challenge my viewpoint will have changed. (Fingers crossed!)

Yesterday’s post ended with a question that I know I’ve been asked by others and have asked myself countless times.

Do you love what you do?

Now, this could be entirely open to interpretation. Is it with regard to a profession or career? Or some over-arching sentiment? Maybe this question has been on my mind recently because it’s close to home for a number of reasons. For instance, my younger brother was laid off his job a few months ago and has yet to find another. Having gone through the same situation a few years back, I know all too well the blow it can do to one’s ego – especially when he (and I both) have been working since we were 16 years old. However, even while he was employed, he didn’t seem to find something he felt he could be passionate about. Please know I’m not trying to put him down in any way, simply using his situation as an example. I also don’t think everyone needs to have a passion for something. Although, I’d have to ask the question, why wouldn’t you want to find something to be passionate about? Throughout my life I’ve met individuals and wondered if someone, (anyone) is in a position where they don’t enjoy what they are doing today, tomorrow, 5 minutes from now – why would they choose to not change it? Because as most of us know, doing nothing is consciously making a decision to not change. I know it’s always easier said than done, but I’ll use my dear friend Christen as another example.

Christen was tired of the daily grind of a 9-5 job and a few months ago left her job to pursue self-employment to run her craft business, The Soft Sunlight. I’ve told her numerous times how brave I think she is for doing such a thing. And you know what? She loves being her own boss. I certainly wish her all the success in the world because she’s a gem.

So we’ve covered love and passion, but what about curiosity? During a drive earlier today I spotted a sign outside a building which read: The more you learn the less you fear. This immediately reminded me of a great post by Tobias Schneider which I think everyone should read about learning and being self-taught. In many cases when our curiosity is piqued, we can simply take it at face value or dig deeper to learn more. It’s at this point where you can use your curiosity as a first step toward becoming self-taught. That’s where the hows and whys rush in and demand answers.

The great thing about going down the beaten path of self educating yourself is you’ll likely feel a desire to do so with other aspects of your life. And who knows, maybe during your travels of self teaching, you may just find something you love to do.

For the Love of Glass Art

Day 3 of SMCSF Blogging Challenge!

One of the main problems I’ve usually encountered with blogging is not really sticking to a set few topics. I suppose my thought on this is since it’s a personal blog, what’s the use when most of my ramblings tend to fall under the “Randomness” category? But let’s face it, as humans we love routine and find comfort in familiarity. Although it’s kind of boring to think that way, I should also admit that each Sunday morning I cannot wait to read the Sunday Secrets from PostSecret, so I’m certainly guilty of loving routine.

However, I’ll admit I could make an effort to organize my thoughts and create a more cohesive theme of writing. With that said,  below are a few things near and dear to my heart:

  • Art (more of the low-brow, mixed media and street art stuff)
  • Types of creative outlets such as taking photos, crafting, cooking/baking
  • Social media, search marketing and anything new in the tech space

Art is entirely subjective, but in my world we’re all creative beings. I truly believe this. Although I won’t get into that discussion so much at this time (maybe another post to come?). I first “discovered” art during a temporary job in between high school and college at The Norton Museum where I worked in their pop-up gift shop set up for their glass art exhibition.

Sure I’d seen art before, but now I was surrounded by it 8 hours a day, talking to true art lovers and admiring works from artists I never even heard of. During this time the museum was having a glass ceiling installed, much like the Bellagio in Las Vegas and it was something they were certainly proud of. It was then when I first noticed the art of Dale Chihuly. His work was quite incredible and unlike anything I had seen before. Although my temporary job came to a close, I continued to follow his work and even contemplated taking a glass blowing workshop.

Several museums I’ve visited since my Norton days may display a piece or two of his, but it wasn’t until a recent trip to Seattle for SEOMoz’s MozCon, where I was able to enjoy an entire glasshouse and garden filled with his latest artwork. Stoked? You bet!!! It was like a playground of glass art, which probably doesn’t sound as appealing, but you get the idea.

Chihuly ceiling

Chihuly glass art boat

Chihuly GardenAnd the following picture I’m throwing in as a bonus since it’s the shadow of one of his chandeliers. Is it not a dead ringer for Medusa’s head?

On a more serious note, surrounded by all of his work made me think of the expertise and patience which goes into making such intricate work. I’m sure my art geek is showing but it’s entirely fascinating and admirable. Clearly, someone has to truly love doing this in order to continue making these works, right?

Which leads me to my next question – how many of us get to do what we really love? Even if we’re not in the position today to do what we love, are you making the steps towards doing so? If not, what’s preventing you from doing so? I’ll pick up on this topic and more in tomorrow’s post.

 

SMCSF Blogging Challenge: Let’s Do This!

Well, this is somewhat embarrassing isn’t it? The SMCSF Blogging Challenge started yesterday and I’ve already missed a day. Even still, I’m taking on this challenge to help sharpen my blogging skills, which as many of us in the community seem to all agree that we could use a nice push to do more of. With that being said, I’m certainly looking forward to reading other community members’ posts and getting to know some of you a little more. (On a side note, it means I can also include some of my new film photos. Score!)

I’m going to preface this challenge by saying that for at least a few of my first few posts I will be writing them using a variation of a technique from one of my favorite books, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron which involves stream of conscious writing. In her book, one of the main exercises is to write 3 pages in this style each morning (the author terms them Morning Pages) before you go about your day. The interesting part is, you don’t think about what to write. You simply put down whatever is on your mind; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s certainly a process that takes some getting used to, but once I had the hang of it, it was actually quite therapeutic and I found myself feeling the need to write.

Getting any and all frustrations out of my head and onto paper helped me to actually see what topics were at the forefront of my mind. Whether it was worrying about family matters or remembering how beautiful the sunset was the day before, there was always something to write about. I suppose we could all ask – doesn’t this concept also apply to our blogging?

At the very least, my Morning Pages helped me to see where most of my energy was being spent and if those areas were beneficial to my overall being. Another advantage of these daily writing sessions was that they allowed me to hash out solutions to whatever problem might be at hand. You’d be surprised how much over analyzing you do in your head and don’t think anything of it. But to see it each morning and write about the same thing day in and day out – you’re more inclined to attempt to find a solution to the problem, instead of continuing to complain.

So could writing each morning help you think more clearly? Maybe! As someone who has done so on and off for 2 years, I would recommend anyone to give it a shot! And with that I’ll end my first post to this challenge.

Thanks to Alex and the SMCSF community for putting this challenge together. As a new SMCSF Board Member, I’m excited to be joining a group of incredibly creative and collaborative group and I look forward to connecting with more of you soon!

Lastly, I’m going to borrow from Jackie Jimenez’s post and suggest all readers to check out bloggers participating in this challenge and follow the #SMCSFBlogOff Bloggers on Twitter.

Sketchbook Project | Limited Edition: Capture and Create

It seems working under pressure and procrastinating are something I can unfortunately be all too good at. But all negativity aside, *drum roll* I can happily say my submission for the Sketchbook Project Limited Edition will be sent out tomorrow morning!

Sketchbook Project - Create and Capture

Materials used: 35mm photographs (Canon AE-1 Program, LC-A, and Supersampler), watercolor paint, and pen.

Sketchbook Project - Create and Capture inside cover

Continue reading