Monday Morning Coffee with The Art of Instigating/Tom Morkes

Monday Morning Coffee with The Art of Instigating/Tom Morkes

I recently came across this ebook: The Art of Instigating by Tom Morkes. It’s a quick, one sitting read and an inspiring kick in the rear. It’s completely free to get. I downloaded it after subscribing to Tom Morkes’ blog, which I came across earlier this month. It immediately grabbed me with the orange blocks and bold words, “Join the Resistance.” I don’t think I made it through an entire article before I was like, “WHERE IS THE SUBSCRIBE LINK?!” His writing is capitative and inspiring. He has a unique voice to his writing that just makes it enjoyable to read.

The Art of Instigating is structured into three parts: Hit the Shore, Burn the Boat, and Take the Beach. If you have a project you’ve been thinking about starting or have gotten stuck in, this is the book for you. If you’re stuck wanting to make changes to your life, this is the book for you. Honestly, no matter where you are in your life’s ambitions, this is the book for you, just read it.

The Art of Instigating

Go check out Tom Morkes’ blog this morning and grab his ebook to read over lunch.



First Craft Show

First Craft Show

I recently did a small Make &/or Bake Sale for Alzheimer’s research. It was the first time I’d ever done something like that. I didn’t have a lot of props and I used sticky notes to show prices, but it went really really well.
So First ever show a success! Aaaaannndd a friend asked me to share a booth with her in October, so second show here I come! I’m very excited! I have to make some more items and look around the house for some props. If you live in Tennessee, or want to visit, it’s the Grundy County Craft Show on October 1st. Come and see me!

Some items that will be with me in Grundy County:

Also, I’m taking orders for custom jewelry for gifts or upcoming holiday party gatherings and for custom bags. Get your orders in early for a special surprise!

Monday Morning Coffee with Enough is Enough

Monday Morning Coffee with Enough is Enough

I was never any good at writing book reviews in school, but as someone who reads often, I come across books and articles that I feel are so important to share. So I’m going to try this out for a few months, Monday Morning Coffee with… whatever I feel compelled to share. For the first installment: Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources by Rob Dietz & Dan O’Neill. A couple months ago I read this article on LearnVest interviewing Rob Dietz which inspired me to pick up his book.

It is a good read for anyone interested in the problems not just of our economy, but also things like inequality and education. You do not need a scholar’s understanding of the economy or how it works to understand the problems and the strategies for fixing them that Deitz and O’Neill present. Likewise, it is not going to bore someone who knows all about it.

Enough Is Enough depicts many issues, such as natural resource depletion, population stabilization, reducing inequality, and more, in a matter of fact light and then proposes long-term solutions with the goal of bettering not just one set of people, but really of all people. The biggest things that I took away from this book are that it is not just possible to reach an equilibrium between the impact we have on the earth and what we gain from it, but just how closely tied the economy is to things like education, population size, and equality. Most importantly, this book provides a base for creating a better human experience, not just a better economy.

This was my first taste of the theory of a steady state economy and I look forward to learning much more. If you’ve read the book, or once you read it leave me a comment! I’m curious to see what you think!

Some of the comments about the book off the cover… they do it much better justice than I do. 😛

Enough Is Enough is an extremely important and timely work. Herman Daly and his many colleagues have masterfully articulated the importance of creating a new economy that can enhance rather than destroy our natural resources and, at the same time, improve our quality of life. Now, in Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill have laid out a pragmatic scenario that describes, in great detail, how we can all become involved in making that economy a reality in the communities and on the planet in which we live. This is a must read for all those interested in their own welfare and that of their children and grandchildren.”

Frederick Kirschenmann, Professor of Philosophy, Iowa State University, and author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience

“The notion that economic growth is the enemy and not our salvation still has about it more than a whiff of heresy. Not after this admirably lucid book, though. Dietz and O’Neill argue persuasively that adopting a governing axiom of ‘enough’ rather than ‘more’ will help make our politics more democratic, our economy more egalitarian, and our society more creative — and then they show how to bring it about. How bad is that?”

-Marq de Villiers, journalist and author of thirteen books, including Our Way Out

Just playing around with the computer…

Thought I would share some current graphic and web design projects I’m currently working on.

I did a few things around here,  a new banner and social profile image.  I also made a cover image for a new series that starts Monday!




I also have been playing around with a logo/car design for a friend. I’m still conceptualizing, but here are his favorite concepts so far.

jklogo JohnnyK

How I got started with Graphic & Web Design:

I’ve always been a bit of a graphic designer. Sadly I used to play around with the basic paint program, changing and building images, sometimes pixel by pixel. At some point I discovered a wonderful and free program called GIMP. It was my favorite program, although, Inkscape is pretty fantastic itself. GIMP is able to do everything from photo editing to from scratch creation, although Inkscape is probably a better choice for from scratch designs and creating vector images. GIMP is for anyone, Inkscape is bit more hardcore, but you can find help all over the net.

And then I discovered web design. I got into web design, because I worked in a church office and they needed some one to do their website. I volunteered and, having only been exposed to the amount of html it takes to change the color on your myspace page, I picked up a book called Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. If you want to learn, it’s a fantastic book to start with. Also, another thing I did was to download free templates and play around with the code. I’ve made quite a few websites now.

I’m always very excited and humbled when I get to use all of my skills and knowledge to create all the components, not just for the website, but the whole brand or business, everything from the logo, letterhead, postcards, t-shirts, etc. to helping build the entire marketing plan and campaign. And then create a unique showcase for it on the web. I love the process and creativity involved in that sort of thing.  Over the past year, I’ve been switching to Adobe Creative Suite! I love it. The tutorials were very helpful at first, as it’s very different than GIMP. There are a few functions that are easier in GIMP than Adobe, but there are also many more functions available across the adobe platform.

Check out some other things on my portfolio.

Wall of Inspiration

Wall of Inspiration

I’m a huge fan of using inspiration, idea/goal boards. I think they are a beautiful way to keep your goals and inspiration ever at the front of our minds.

Since I don’t have an office, my desk sits against a wall in a hybrid hallway that open to the living room, and so I wanted to create a beautiful and simple way to display my ideas, to do lists, goals, and things that inspire me. But I also want the area to have it’s own feel since it’s my workspace.
Want to make your own wall of inspiration? Follow along below!

Staple gun with 6mm staples
Four 12×12 squares of cork board
Four 13×13 squares of fabric (depending on the thickness of your boards, you may need more than an extra inch all the way around)
Four picture hangers and screws
Screw driver

I started with a 4 pack of 12×12 cork boards. Then I selected fabric that matched my living room enough not to clash, but is also different enough to give the area it’s own feeling. I decided to use only two colors, but another great idea would be to use four different fabrics.
I cut 13×13 squares out of the fabric. I made three from the light color and one from the darker charcoal color.

To start attaching the fabric to the board, I placed the fabric face down and the cork board down in the middle with at least an inch of fabric showing all the way around.

Using the staple gun, fold the fabric over the cork board and staple once in the middle. (I was working on a carpeted floor, so I placed a piece of board under where I stapled for support.) Then do the same thing to the opposite side pulling the fabric gently to make sure it will lie flat in the front.
Now repeat on the two remaining sides, so that your piece looks like the one below.
Now working from the center staple on each side, fold and pull the fabric down and place another staple in between the center one and the corner. Repeat on each side of the board. Now you have three staples on each side.
Now to tackle the corner. Take a pair of scissors and cut a square out, to look like the second image below.
Now, fold one side over holding the fabric taught, but not too tightly. Then fold the other fabric over and put one staple in the corner. Repeat for the other three corners.
Now, how to hang them on the wall. Eventually I hope to find and up-cycle some decorative frames, but until then, I took some tooth hangers off of picture frames that I have standing. You could buy some at a craft or hardware store, but it’s always awesome to use the opportunity to reuse/repurpose something!
To attach them, simply measure to the middle of side, place the piece and screw in.
Now the fun part! Hang them up and start pinning inspiration, to do lists, special quotes and phrases, and anything else that inspires you!
Need more space to pin? I took an old picture I was given, painted the frame and covered cardboard in fabric to match. I’m upswing it for my home study course.
I also made a pretty little paper pocket to hold study materials. X-)
So what do you think? How do you keep inspiration and to do lists present in your mind?

A Necklace to Envy, The Key to My Heat, Tear Drop, and Recycling!

A Necklace to Envy, The Key to My Heat, Tear Drop, and Recycling!

I was very busy last month with social and family commitments, as we’ll as trying to get my shop ready, but I still managed to create a few fun pieces of jewelry.
I stayed up late more than a few nights to get things just right, but it’s always worth the lost sleep. Lulu came up a few times to stick her nose in my work saying, “hey, it’s time to play with me!!!” That’s always a good indicator it’s time to take a break.
I was excited that I was able to add those and few other new items to my shop! I’m in a building and creating mood, and so I went through and sorted through old jewelry friends and family have given me to recycle. Some of them are broken and others they were just tired of. I love that instead of throwing it away they gave them to me! I can’t wait to use it all!

A Strip of Roses

I have been meaning to make myself a laptop bag for my Mac book since I bought it. And I finally made it!! Well almost I haven’t decided about the strap yet, so I’m using a temporary one. But I’m very pleased with the rest of it.

I used an old felted sweater as padding were the computer is held. a good way to recycle an old sweater.
20130510-154816.jpgorange fabric is the sweater and the natural, tan color is the inside.

To close it I used a zipper framed it with the rose fabric. On the inside, I added an expandable pocket for all the cords and extra electronics.

On the side, I made a small pocket to hold pencils and pens for easy access.

The bag came out a little larger than I had intended, but I love it! And that just means there’s room for when I upgrade to a larger laptop. 😛

The PB banana shake

The PB banana shake

Its very cold out and snowing, so Kelly and I decided to save our lungs and throat by running on the treadmill today. It was a short one about 30 mins.

I wanted something light and flavorful for my post workout so I made a PB and banana shake!

The recipe:

  • 5 oz milk (soy, almond, cow, etc) or water
  • 5-6 tbs peanut butter unsweetened
  • 2 medium bananas
  • a dash of honey
  • 1-2 tbs protein powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 20130302-111026.jpg
    I don’t drink milk, but I love coffee and so always have half & half around. I mixed the half & half with water. So feel free to substitute!

    It’s very delicious! Now it’s time to settle in to catch up on my drawing! I’ve fallen terribly behind.

    Frame your Paint

    Frame your Paint

    Originally to store my paints I hung them on some small hooks I attached to a shelf. It worked very well for a while, but as I collected more paints, it began to sag in the middle as you can see below. So I had to come with a new plan.
    I had an old canvas frame that I had planned to recover, but as I looked at it leaning against the wall, I had a much better idea. So I painted it with a watered down brown paint… More like a stain.
    Materials I used:

  • 16 hooks
  • One screw about the same size as the hook screws
  • Screw diver
  • Tape measure
  • 20130210-173400.jpg
    Using the tape measure I evenly spaced the hooks and marked it.
    Then I used the screw to make the hole for the hook screw.
    There you have it! X-) I’m super happy with it. I will add one more row at some point but for now its nice way to house my fabric baskets.

    The Greenway and a Kale Smoothie

    The Greenway and a Kale Smoothie

    My friend and I trained this morning. We did a little over 3 miles…though not all running. I brought Lulu to join us for her first trip to the greenway. She has some training of her own to do as a running buddy, but over all she did really well.

    During our trek, I used an app called Charity Miles. You can run, walk, or bicycle for whatever charity you pick. I did ASPECA today, in honor of Lulu being with us, but I plan to change it up.
    We weren’t home 10 minutes before Lulu passed out. While I made an after run snack.

    This week I’m going to experiment with kale green smoothies.
    So today I used 8 ounces green tea, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 cup baby kale, 1 banana, 2 cups frozen mixed berries. It was very delicious! I was warmed by a friend that kale is very strong in smoothies, but I can’t taste it at all in this one! Tomorrow I will try 2 cups and see if I can handle it.