Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Already late

 "The future started yesterday
And we're already late" - John Legend

I did learn a lot at GreenBiz17. Some folks are trying hard. Is the stent robust enough to let necessary sustainability measures get past the blockages? Many businesses are committed and spoke at GreenBiz17. The pace of plenary sessions was rapid with 15-minute topics, one after the other. There were longer breakout sessions for a more in-depth and experiential exploration of a subject.

I was very impressed with the biomimicry hike in the Tom Thumb area. Breath-taking scenery and a few teaching moments where function and form illustrated business principles. Another highlight for me was the presentation by Kara Hurst, director of global sustainability and social responsibility at Amazon. Packaging for the on-line market vs. the retail store presents several new challenges. Ideas and innovations include shipping a known container, prep-free packaging, and everyone's favorite - frustration-free packaging. E-shopping needs are different from shelf needs at a retail location. Of course, both sites want to reduce waste, protect the product from damage and have an easy to open package that is recyclable. Another highlight was the student presentations of innovations in technology and the younger grade school presentations on cities of the future. They give me hope in our youth. It is too bad, as the song says, that we are already late.

Phoenix was doubly great because it meant visits with family.

I'm excited to be going to Florida to get away from the rain. Yes, even in Phoenix, there was rain. I'm even more excited to be able to learn more about podcasting. One does learn by doing, but a little expert advice can be helpful!
Only back from Phoenix for just a couple of days and then I'm off to Orlando and Podfest.  When people ask me what I do, I often say, "It's a story." Of course, I could just reply, "A dedicated life-long learner and storyteller." From craft and hobby products and ideas to sustainable business and then podcasting, it's a complicated life. In my opinion being interested makes one interesting.

Thanks to everyone who listens to A Creative Approach Podcast.  Become a member of the Facebook group and send feedback. Reviews at your favorite podcast directory are welcome, too. A Creative Approach Podcast is now available on Stitcher as well as iTunes.
For now, that is all.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Travels, AFCI (CHA) Highlights, Sustainability, Podcasting

Travel seems to be on the agenda.  Above are some night and day views of San Francisco. Cal, of course, through all the years I worked as a physician, and I did all that overnight call, is used to my occasional absences. He does come along, sometimes; though, I must say, that means eating out a bit more. My usual plan is to stay away from high carbohydrate, high-fat food. (Yes, I do miss Crispy Creme!) I've been trying sparkling water as a substitute for cocktails, and I am usually successful at avoiding dessert. I must confess that I do not achieve perfection. Nonetheless, despite being on the go, I am gradually losing the pounds I put on over Christmas. I do try to have high-protein, low-calorie meal substitutes on hand when I travel, just like at home. Sparkpeople.com is my method of keeping track of my nutrition and calories, and the Spark Coach option helps me stay motivated when I need to miss my weekly weight management meetings. It is a constant struggle to stay healthy, especially when one's movement is restricted. I envy those who can "work off the pounds."

I have not been too far afield since my November trips to the Pacific Northwest and Calgary. I did go to CHA (Craft&Hobby Association), now AFCI (Association for Creative Industries), in Phoenix and made several trips to San Francisco.  When I can travel by train and enjoy the views, like the view above, it's a great trip. I did have an unhappy travel experience on my Southwest Airlines trip to Phoenix which did not ruin that one but made me very disappointed. One of my bags did not arrive, and when I finally got it, items were missing. An unopened bottle of Chanel, Allure eau de toilette, a heavy duty iPhone fire cord and a handful of Ghiradelli chocolate covered caramel squares. The thief left with two which was good for my diet, though I was going to ration my treats over my stay. So much for a "two free bags" policy. That was an expensive loss! Another trip to Arizona is on the horizon, and then I'll be off to Orlando.
Cross your fingers for me that my suitcases arrive unmolested.

AFCI was in a new location, though a smaller show than in the past at Anaheim. I hope manufacturers will hear what an excellent venue this was and consider booths for the next show. Look for some innovative and beautiful craft and hobby products in your local stores this year from the vendors who showed. I noticed that party products remain very popular - edibles like cookie decorating and party decor and favors. Paper lines were diverse and beautiful. Florals are very popular.

Plaid presented some current trends in their paint displays - outdoor, eclectic charm, nordic chic, brushed metal, color shift, vintage sign and Boho wanderlust, coastal chic, Parisian chic, chalk/milk paint and coastal charm.


I loved Shimelle and Amy Tan's lines at American Crafts. Then again, I am a color fan! Love the gold "wire" alpha at Pink Fresh, the Palm Beach collection at MME, and, of course, the Space Academy at Carta Bella caught my eye because of my grandson. Theresa Collins, Graphic 45, Heidi Swapp continue with lovely editions of their signature lines. There were planners everywhere, which I find such an interesting trend in this digital age. I loved the new screen print tool from Screen Sensation - easier, much smaller than Yudu and not hard to clean up. They gave us only 3 feet of workroom on narrow tables in a class to work with this product with no excessive mess, and everyone made beautiful samples!

Mixed media remains a trend, and I enjoyed all the classes with Andy Skinner and the great products from DecoArt and Stampendous.
I have not gone through all I collected, and all my photos; these are just a few highlights.
Great yarns for those who like to knit were on display. The show's emphasis was on making and doing. Sewing stuff, 3D printing, wood projects were a major part of the maker demos. Deflecto introduced wheels to their stacked storage; I loved that. Prime Publishing LLC sponsored a blogger event which was an excellent opportunity to learn about companies and products.

Seeing friends was a definite highlight! I missed a lot of photo ops but you get the idea! Many smiles.

The fascinators at Charity Wings were fantastic. Thinking of a project for a party or fund-raiser? The die for these hats and the X-long plates are available at Sizzix and a portion of the proceeds supports Charity Wings.

As I mentioned in my "Sustain" post, I've been studying sustainability and attending meetings to learn more.
GreenBiz 17 in Phoenix is one of these meetings in February. This past week in San Francisco I met many pleasant people involved in sustainability.

The first meeting was about Women at the Center: Linking Population, Health, and Environment For a Healthy World sponsored by San Francisco's WEN (Women's Environmental Network). Healthy environments are vital to me, as I imagine they are to most of you. In fact, I've been delighted to see how many of my friends are reporting sustainability efforts in their social media posts this year. I certainly hope it's more than a trend.

At AFCI, formerly known as CHA, in Phoenix, I asked manufacturers about their sustainability efforts and was pleased to note that some companies were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Fairfield was one of the several businesses which were delighted to talk about efforts in sustainability, like recycled plastic bottles and methods used to reduce packaging and increase efficiencies in transportation. A rare few manufacturers said, "Well, Walmart insists." I also attended a Sustainability Unconference which was an exciting learning experience.  Here it led to some very informative lectures and discussions. From these conferences, I became aware of training on EcoDistricts. I was not sure this was for me, imagining city planners and architects as the audience. I sent an inquiry and was encouraged to attend. It was a great learning experience. I may take the certification test, too.

I, also, am working on the craft of podcasting. It is a different ballgame to be doing one's show versus being a co-host. I'm happy to learn from other podcasters. I think the best way to learn is to jump in and do it. My guests have been delightful, and I hope the listeners have enjoyed them, too. Do go to iTunes and download the show and give a review.  Here is a direct link to the podcast webpage - A Creative Approach Podcast.

Podfest Orlando presented by Libsyn will be a fantastic opportunity for learning from the podcast community. I do a quick turn around after my visit to Phoenix for the sustainability meeting and seeing family and friends and then head there.
OK, I've caught you up-to-date on my recent activities. It's a lot. No wonder I'm a bit behind here at home and feeling a little tired!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Science Nerds, Sustainability Learning and other things

 I've had a busy week with my niece visiting from Canada. She and I are both science nerds. We went to see Bill Nye at SF Sketchfest and also saw the duo from Stuff You Should Know. The CA Academy of Sciences was also on the agenda. Two planetarium shows, of course. One was Habitat Earth. I thought it was a good portrayal of the interdependency of life. If you have kids and want to talk about sustainability with them, it is a good way to introduce the topic. Plus, there is all that other cool stuff in the building!
Speaking of sustainability I've got a few conferences I'm planning on attending. One is Women at the Center: Linking Population, Health and Environment For a Healthy World by the SF Dept of the Environment. Another is SF Sustainability Unconference, which is tailored in discussion to the attendees. I learned about EcoDistricts Foundation Course: Building Sustainable, Equitable, Resilient Cities from the Neighborhood, Up and wondered if it was just for architects and designers; so, I e-mailed for info. Sounds like it will be useful for folk like me, too. Then next month I plan to attend GreenBiz 2017 in Phoenix. It's a good start to understanding that part of the word sustain that I have chosen for this year's One Little Word.
Otherwise, I'm busy with art history, podcasting and art. I cannot forget the American Medical Women's Association and the British Medical Women's Federation meetings, too. Looking forward to those. This may be a summer I will dedicate to relaxing and lounging by my pool. I'll need the rest!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Little Time to Relax

A cup of tea always says "Relax" to me. This packet was in one of our Christmas gifts and was a delightful break in my day. 
Getting a podcast up, Christmas, Folk coming to visit and getting ready to leave town, recovering from surgery and an unexpected exacerbation of my neck problem have not been the most relaxing of times. You likely got exhausted just reading that last sentence!
Still, life is not bad and things look good for 2017. I'm a bit worried about the country with what might be a reactionary and inexperienced new administration; but, I live in California, and things here are very likely to stay much the same, and that's fine with me.
Right now, I'm working on the web page for my podcast. I'm directing folk on iTunes to my Libsyn show notes but soon will direct all the traffic to my official page. There are a lot of details that go into making the podcast a good experience. I'm enjoying the process and know it will all get better over time. Of course, one would like things to be perfect from the get-go; however, experience tells me that waiting for perfection means nothing gets done. 
Some waiting is not too bad. I've had a photo credit from a sale purchase at Persnickety Prints for several months. I finally decided to use it to catch up on my backlog of digital scrapbook pages. I'm delighted! These pages will be going into albums today.
Those are my plans with a relaxing cup of tea on this rainy Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Reporting Back on A Creative Approach Podcast

It's live on iTunes! I am very excited that the podcast is finally there. I really enjoy the conversations and think you'll find them enjoyable and interesting, too. A brief intro and three shows are up now and the plan is to release a new episode every two weeks.
Taking a creative approach to solving life's problems, to enrich our lives, to give to others, to find our path is part of what both makes us unique individuals. The stories my guests relate tell us how they find their passion for creativity in their life and work.
Episode00 is a brief introduction.
Episode01 Finding the Creativity within with the effervescent Charr Crail
Episode02 with Cheryl Dyes Ashcraft gives us understanding of her approach to guide us in presenting our stories
Episode03 features Erin Manning a well known and beloved photographer who has found work by finding what she loves
Several more interviews have been recorded and are in the works.
Join me and and my guests as we explore their stories at A Creative Approach Podcast.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sustain - My 2017 "one little word"

It's time to look forward to 2017 as we will soon be moving forward from celebrating Christmas. I'm arranging my schedule. Yesterday, I joined Ali Edward's class One Little Word. I have taken this class in the past at Big Picture Classes. The class uses a word during an entire year for self-reflection and self-realization. My choice is one that seems to be foremost in my mind in recent days.
Sustainability is a rather long word, not little in size nor concept. It is well past the typical eight-letter (or fewer) word of choice in the One Little Word class. As an idea, the word enormous comes to mind. So, in the interests of a "little" word, I have chosen sustain.
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this. My son spoke to me recently about his concerns for his son and the looming 2030 predictions of the collapse of the world as we know it. I wonder if, as an older individual, I'll be adaptable to the world as it will be, if I should still be here.
I've looked at the SDG's (sustainability development goals) the United Nations has published. It's seventeen items long!
There is good news. I read an interesting article from Medium, republished by Quartz on Facebook about good things happening in the world towards some SDG's.
Makes me think that making an effort does do some good.
Raised a Lutheran, a verse of A Mighty Fortress is Our God, seems particularly relevant to my choice.
"And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him." - Martin Luther
I'm not a person of religion any longer, but I do have faith in the power of little words.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Just 12 Days 2016

Remember my "Just 12 Days" pocket scrapping cards from 2 years ago?

Some Idea Prompts for "Just 12 Days"

Just Scrap 12 Days Design and a Little Art

This year I'm making scrapbook pages and offering the templates for your use.
I love templates and repeat the use of them, sometimes changing them up quite a bit.

Hope you find these useful in recording your "Just 12 Days". A gift for the holidays from me to you.

These are available in Dropbox at this site.

Here are some sample pages I made from these templates. You'll see that templates come alive with not only your photos, story, and title; but, the digital product, shadow styles and layer effects add a lot to the page.  Shadow styles I use on my pages are from Fiddle-Dee-Dee, Mommyish and Karla Dudley.

Supplies: cartoon image - Shutterstock Image ID:457393717, Copyright: Kazakova Maryia; washi tape - kwiniecki, eclectic ; buttons - DigitalDesignEssentials, Playful; stitching - treed, hello stitches ;  Patterned paper -  DDE, Playful; word art - blogovesta gosheva, free2beme; feather - feather6 by Stella; flower - TheDailyDigi85, HappyFresh, justbecausestudio

Supplies: Fonts - cherryla ornaments, Avenir light 65 medium, another shabby, traveling typewriter; Kit - Pixels&Co, genniferbursett,naughty christmas

Supplies: Fonts - Avenir, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - TheDailyDigi91, K Cronin-Barrow, Joie de Vivre; staple - OneLittleBird, Thrive 

Supplies: Fonts - AvenirLT65 Medium, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - OneLittleBird, Peartree

Supplies: Fonts - Avenir, Traveling Typewriter; Kit - DigitalPress, Gilded, AnitaDesigns, KarlaDudley, stitches - treed, Pixels&Co, HappyPlace, MeredithCardall

I'm working on other templates, so check back if you like these. If you do decide to use these in a mini album let me know. I'd love to see your pages. Remember, templates are not rigid or static. A few can work for very different pages for 12 days of scrapping. You can even make a mini book with just pages of one template and even one kit. 
I am trying to learn Camtasia; and, if I am successful, I'll make videos of creating these pages and more. I plan to give insights into how I scrap, use Photoshop tools and work with templates. I'll let you know.

Right now I'm waiting on my podcast. It has been submitted to iTunes and the website is built, though not yet available. I plan a Facebook page and FB group page, too. It's all very exciting. My first group of guests has been a delight to interview and I'm sure you'll enjoy their stories. I'll update on that info, too, as soon as I have the details.

How is your holiday planning? Most reading this know I'm a fan of Sun Basket. Good things to prepare and eat delivered to your door. There are also great recipes for cookies on the website. Those require shopping; no dessert ingredient deliveries, yet. They do have a party in a box for about 8 people that will make entertaining easy. Check it out. It's available to order until Dec. 22 for New Year (and for the rest of the 12 days of Christmas) delivery the week of Dec. 26.  Happy entertaining!
Here's my affiliate link to their site.