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All the Good Things!

6 Good Things

Twice a month I send a list of 6 Good Things that I think people need to know about. Here are all the past installments. If you want to get them first, sign up now!

 

 6.19.21

  1. I find this practice so lovely. Having done a bit myself, I know it’s also strangely addictive.
  2. Now I want to know everything about Dragon Blood trees
  3. I have Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, but I might have to invest in Nature’s Palette now too. SO gorgeous. 
  4. This sweet little clip simultaneously captures the joy, capability and power we all possess even as tiny kids. Let’s all reclaim some of that.
  5. Whenever you think your job is just too hard, watch this
  6. As my final Good Thing for this particular iteration, I’ll reshare this otherwise unremarkable little gem. There’s just something about the earnestness of Chris Staley that gets me every time. Plus, I totally agree with the importance of liking mistakes

 

5.7.21
  1. I wish I had known about The Artifact Artist when I was living in NYC. I think we would have dug each other. 
  2. Gah! I just can’t get enough of Japanese craftsmanship lately. This woodworking is astonishing. 
  3. This Laysan Albatross is the oldest known wild bird on the planet, an international icon, and still hatching eggs. 
  4. In these ongoing strange times, languishing vs. dormancy is an interesting thing to consider. 
  5. UBC professor Suzanne Simard is showing us how trees and fungi are the key to saving us from ourselves. I can’t wait to read her new book
4.23.21
  1. Jane Jacobs is one of my heroes. I love this opportunity for people to continue her work. 
  2. I have a deep suspicion that I lived in Japan in a past life. I just can’t get enough of this ukiyo-e printing.
  3. You’ve never heard Dancing Queen quite like this
  4. Christoph Niemann has one of my favorite brains
  5. This ancient technique of food preservation works better than your fridge. 
4.9.21
  1. Farmers, gardeners & chefs collaborate to save the South’s signature green.
  2. I’m not sure anyone has ever captured the essence of night quite as gorgeously as Hasui Kawase.
  3. I'm having fun playing around with these new cuffs. I also managed to get a bunch of other stuff made too.
  4. The world is made more beautiful by fools and dreamers
  5. I had never heard of mercy dogs. I’m torn about the practice, but I’m sure many men survived on account of them. 
  6. I kind of can’t stop watching this. Physics is phreaky.
3.26.21
  1. Put something that’s bothering you into perspective.
  2. I don’t think of myself as judgy (who does, really?) but I like this practice I picked up from a recent Art of Noticing (No. 66) newsletter. 
  3. I got into all kinds of things this week. I dug into the cool tin I found while in Santa Fe, finally listed my tiny Chock-a-Blocks and made some other random things.
  4. Red Clouds Golden Summit. Gorgeous. Acrophobics need not apply.
  5. You need to violate your instincts if you want to build a better, less fearful life.
  6. See what materials Leonardo da Vinci used for sketching, visual note taking and art making.
3.12.21
  1. Stop what you’re doing and dance.
  2. Speaking of dancing, if you haven’t ever seen Hellzapoppin, you have to check out this amazing dance sequence. Now in Living Color.
  3. Dick Dale would dig this
  4. I’m sure you’ll recognize The Flagstones.
  5. Do you know this woman? A 70 year old mystery to solve.
2.26.21
  1. Speaking of mutual aid, consider starting or joining one in your area now.
  2. “Sometimes it only takes a stranger, in a dark place, to offer a kind word, to say we have the right to be here, to make us warm in the coldest season.” —Neil Gaiman
  3. I wound up trying to clean up my precarious pile of egg crates filled with bits and pieces of unfinished jewelry. So this week’s offerings are extra random.
  4. Like David Eagleman, I’m definitely a Possibilian.
  5. Write on!
  6. I’d never really looked that closely at the Sgt. Pepper’s Album cover, but Chris Shaw surely has.
2.12.21
  1. I hope our collective near future holds much, much more of this
  2. This 2000 year old icosahedron is to die for.
  3. I’m back to my standard random collection of pieces this week. There’s a bit of this, some of that and even a few Surprise Packs from the surprise cache of earrings I found buried under art supplies in my shop.  
  4. Suffragists released from a New York attic after 100 years. 
  5. I love this easy technique for making a repeat pattern. Plus there’s a fun bit of fashion history. 
  6. Gordon Park’s work is a national treasure. Set aside some time to peruse dig deep into this amazing collection
1.29.21
  1. What would a modern day chatelaine contain? Hopefully more than our phones.
  2. If you’re anywhere near Austin, get yourself to The Contemporary to see Deborah Robert’s stunning show, I’m
  3. It was a strange schedule for me this week. I wasn’t in the studio as much as usual, but any time there was spent making more Scribbles. I’m kind of obsessed at the moment. Also, it’s my birthday this weekend and to celebrate I’ll be giving away a free mystery pair of tiny basin earrings away with every order through midnight Sunday.
  4. This process is nothing like I would have imagined. 
  5. The PBS American Masters series just released a treasure trove of thousands of hours of never-before-seen interviews. 
  6. Consider adding a modest quest to your week.
1.15.21
  1. Supposedly these are oil paintings, but I’m not sure I believe it. 
  2. Elizabeth Brim’s work reminds me that I hope I get to do more blacksmithing before I die. 
  3. Some new stuff made with new-to-me tins, a new heart design just in time for Valentines Day and the 25% off Year End Sale ends at midnight tonight. 
  4. How a British accountant who died in 2000 is helping to keep your internet connection secure today. 
  5. Gorgeous abstract ice art
  6. A long list of good things that happened in 2020. 
1.1.21
  1. Crows are tool makers and gift givers
  2. EMDR therapy keeps showing up on my radar. It’s fascinating and I think I’m supposed mention to you. 
  3. The Year End Sale collection still has a bunch of great pieces all at 25% off. Help me clear space for new good things in 2021.
  4. The longest exposure photo is pretty magical. 
  5. Some wise words to keep handy in good times and less good times. 
  6. As the one year closes and another opens up, this is a lovely story of how to think of the chapters of your life. 

12.14.20

  1. Are you a soldier or a scout?
  2. Your houseplants are slo-mo dancing all day long.
  3. This week's collection is available for a couple of days and then things are off to the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. If you haven't been by, make a plan to check it out. It's open every day from 10a to 10p through xmas eve.
  4. Where would the Founding Fathers have been without the Iroquois?
  5. Artist Judith Nangala Crispin creates stunning art honoring the lives of animals killed on our roads.
  6. Yes. Cats do have a plan for world domination.

 

11.27.20

  1. Kid President is good at reminding us to be thankful.
  2. Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, this cool collage animation brings back memories of Thanksgivings past. 
  3. I'm gearing up for Max's Haus Vintage in Martindale next week, so stop by if you can. Also, my Blue Genie Art Bazaar booth is stocked with hundreds of pieces and open every day from 10 to 10 through xmas eve. This week's collection is my usual melange of randomness.
  4. Gratitude is the key to our attitude. 
  5. I love the tenants of the honorable harvest.
  6. Indigenous creation stories fascinate me. Though there are differences between those from the Hopi  or Onondaga or Potawatomi Nations, they all frame the earth as a gift given to humans. A gift for which we are expected to honor, care for, and respect. That really resonates for me. 

 

11.13.20

    1. I listened to this episode of Throughline yesterday and had to watch What the Constitution Means To Me last night. Highly recommend both..
    2. Don't miss this story and certainly don't miss this song.
    3. The Blue Genie Art Bazaar starts today. It's open every day from 10 to 10 through xmas eve or you can also shop onlineThis week's collection is another mashup of pieces.
    4. Ha! Laughter yoga.
    5. The emotional work of butter making.
    6. Nobody is normal.
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    10.30.20

    1. I want to grow my own kitchen sponges.
    2. Barbara Franc’s work makes me think I should be doing way cooler things with tin.
    3. A complete jumble of pieces in this week's collection, from crewelworkand cherry blossoms to polar bearsand gingerbread men.
    4. How do you create sacred space? Siamak Hariri's Baha’i temple in Chile has some lessons to impart.
    5. File under: “You’re never too old.”
    6. I love learning about how people incorporate sustainable practices into their culture.

     

    10.16.20

    1. The difference between caretaking and caregiving was pointed out to me the other day and now I can’t stop thinking about it.
    2. Mid-century doll technology is creepy cool. 
    3. Lots of Rex Ray inspired pieces in the mix this week, plus some cardinals and even a little Mickey.
    4. How a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s bullet train.
    5. What we practice, we become. I like these six grounding virtues
    6. The gospel of Mexican cuisine with Silvana Salcido Esparza.

      

    10.2.20

    1. Proving you can make art from the simplest materials and tools.
    2. The Wedgwood Factory then and now.
    3. There's still pieces available from the Special Collection I released earlier this week, some Elvis earrings and a few other random additions to the shop.
    4. When we go climbing, we feel free from everything.
    5. You don’t have to be fomenting revolution to find this book useful. If you’re trying to affect change anywhere, this blueprint can help.
    6. This is wheelie awesome.
     
    9.18.20
    1. Here's how you deal with kids messing around in your driveway.
    2. Who says a lighthouse has to be white.
    3. As per usual, I made a little bit of everything this week. Some new birdhouses, mixed rectangles and a new multishape talisman design I've been mulling over.
    4. James Baldwin has shown up for me repeatedly these last few weeks. This interview with Studs Terkel is an excellent example of his amazing mind and gorgeously precise use of language. There is still much to learn from him.
    5. Seeing how obscure things get made is eternally fascinating to me. 
    6. Are you engaged in breaking or bridging?
     
    9.4.20
    1. I got a lovely gift of solitude from a reader and then I stumbled across the Sounds of the Forest project. Both are particularly welcome at the moment.
    2. The Kukeri are magical. Maybe we could get them to come help us here.
    3. An amazing and fast paced tour of Mont Saint-Michel.
    4. Here's your chance to live in a Bubble House.
    5. Mana Morimoto just wants to eat music and shoot thread laser beams.
     
    8.21.20
    1. The flying train is a feat of engineering and was built in just a couple of years. Wouldn't it be great if we could manage stuff like that today?
    2. This tree house builder masterfully blends nature and engineering.
    3. I made a few more Encircled pieces, a flowery bracelet and a few other bits of other randomness this week.
    4. I've come across several mid-century futurama videos in the past few weeks, but none as trippy (and hilariously problematic) as Design for Dreaming from General Motors.
    5. I'm betting that kek lapis Sarawak will be the next quarantine sourdough.
    6. One of my favorite albums in my 20s was Stewart Copeland's The Rythmatist, so I can't wait to check out his BBC series Adventures in Music.
     
    8.7.20
    1. Hearing the bardcore version of Jolene makes me want to make more Bayeaux Tapestry pieces.
    2. Have we created a new religion? This interview on Zig Zag with Greg Epstein is really worth a listen.
    3. I got on a chandelier earring making jag this week, but there's a few bits of other randomness as well.
    4. Now you don't have to go to Egypt to tour an ancient tomb. This 360° walkthrough is pretty amazing.
    5. I am fascinated by seed banks and grateful to people with the vision and fortitude to amass and protect them.
    6. Because absurd times call for absurd amounts of silliness.
     
    7.24.20
    1. Are you tired of looking outside your own window? No problem. Now you can enjoy the view from windows all over the world.
    2. Alexander Semenov is a marine biologist and underwater photographer specializing in invertebrate animals. His photos are stunning.
    3. This week's collection has a lot of Texas love. I added a Favorites feature to the shop so you can now easily keep track of pieces you love or that you want to share with others. I've also created a bunch of new collections like Bold Color, Black & White, Classics, Rough-Hewn, and a bunch more.
    4. I am a sucker for good data visualizations and this one is one of the best I've ever seen.
    5. Kung Fu nuns. So badass.
    6. Iceland looks like the fantastical backdrop of every magical kids book ever. Except it's really real. I hope I get to go one day.
     
    7.10.20
    1. Zooniverse is such a cool way to become a citizen scientist and involve yourself with real research. If I wasn't knee deep in local criminal legal reform I would sign up for this one.
    2. I just watched What Happened, Miss Simone on Netflix last night. She was a force of nature.
    3. I got caught up with this new tourmaline shape this week, but there's a few other things in the mix as well.
    4. They say it's important to learn from the past. Here's a whole site dedicated to it. How to Exercise from 1560, How to Avoid the Plague from 1630 and How to Avoid the Plague from 1550 are a few that caught my eye.
    5. Bisa Butler’s colorful quilted portraits are stunning.
    6. If you have moments when you think all hope is lost for humans, take 3 minutes and watch this.

     

    6.26.20

    1. Painting with thread continues to fascinate me. These pieces seem to glow.
    2. The Bayeux Tapestry might be one of the most famous pieces of textile art in the world. Now you can create your own Bayeux inspired epic tales online.
    3. Seeing the Historic Tale Construction kit, I realize I had a Bayeux Tapestry tin in one of my many bins. Seemed like the perfect time to put it to use. The rest of the collection this week is my standard mash up of whatever else caught my attention.
    4. If anyone should have known about tin embroidery, you think it would be me, but I just found out about it today. Of course now I have to go research it.
    5. Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock artist Jamie Okuma creates stunning beaded artwork that blends native traditions with contemporary fashion.
    6. This is the best conversation.
     
    6.12.20
    1. Put Netflix on hold for a few days and watch Tending Nature—a series of gorgeous visual narratives. If you only have time for one, try Restoring the River with the Yurok, Hupa and Kurak.
    2. Gah! I love these gorgeous portraits by Tawny Chatmon
    3. This week I found a bunch of pieces left over from punching circles and somehow found myself making a series of these hole-y brooches. There's also a few more days left to pick up raffle tickets for my $200 Gift Card. Just $5 each & 100% of proceeds benefit Mano Amiga.
    4. This map is endlessly fascinating. Also, a good reminder if you haven't yet filled out your Census. It's important to be counted.
    5. This is a lovely and amazing mashup of Rachel Carson, young people and song.
    6. I am grateful to Chief Oshkosh. The world needs more forest keepers.
     
    5.29.20
    1. The Peacock Room is gorgeous, has a fascinating backstory, and is surprisingly well traveled.
    2. Tiny spring-loaded bugs. Nature is endlessly amazing. And yes, science continues while we're at home.
    3. This week in the studio I was obsessed with making hoop(ish) pieces with flexible tubes of colorful tin. In between I collected up some Classics and pieces for Grads and even put the rest of this gorgeous bird tin to use.
    4. I'm pretty sure I've shared Liking Mistakes before, but it has even more resonance as we move into another way of being.
    5. "First, some of them know me as a farmer. Some of them don't even know I'm a museum Director."
    6. José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen is sort of a chefs without borders. They are efficiently delivering literally millions of fresh meals a week, doing other amazing work and should be on everyone's radar.
     
    5.15.20
    1. I want this for you. And for everyone.
    2. The Singularity is another gorgeous merging of art and science and art.
    3. This week in the studio was focused on trying to integrate all of the awesome new materials that have flowed my way recently. In between I revisited these chandelier style earrings, made a few Kodak pieces, and even got a few new pieces up to Parts & Labour
    4. Dr. Laurie Santos is studying the science of happiness. You can get great tips through her podcast (start at the beginning) and even take her class for free through Yale.
    5. These gorgeous Tibetan and Korean books are good reminders that our Eurocentric worldview limits our knowledge in as many ways as it might expand it.
    6. Such a cool glimpse into the workspaces of 37 artists from around the globe.
     
    5.1.20
    1. There are so many ways to bring a little joy into world.
    2. I'm fascinated by Jim Bachor's pothole mosaics. They are insightful social commentary while simultaneously beautiful and practical.
    3. I've been making a bunch of DIY Earring Kits and in between trying to get some new pieces listed in time for Mother's Day.
    4. Make sure you have an ASG.
    5. This simple visualization is a great reminder of how simple it is to keep each other safe as many places decide to open back up.
    6. This video is an amazing example of how art can (and should!) be harnessed to make complex ideas both beautiful and lucid. 
     
    4.3.20
    1. Trees are made of memory and every memory, every story, is of kinship and belonging.
    2. It's easy to see emptiness here, but like the folks at Big Flavor Films, I choose to see spaces full of love for one another.
    3. I haven't been to The Met in years, but now we're all able to visit it virtually. I planning to do it with the help of this astounding map by John Kershbaum.
    4. Out of work sports caster Andrew Cotter had to apply his talents elsewhere this week. This play by play had me laughing out loud. Nick Heath is keeping busy with #lifecommentary as well.
    5. There has never been a better time to learn about and practice shoshin.
     
    3.16.20
    1. I love Theo Jansen's Strandbeests
    2. The many contradictions of living as a female summed up in under 3 minutes.
    3. I'm back from some amazing time in southern France. Refreshed, though not quite back up to speed, I only managed to get a few new pieces made this week. (But there's plenty more here, here and here.)
    4. This is a fun set of personalized stats
    5. A classic parable told by Alan Watts.
    6. I've always had a deep affection for trees and they are showing up everywhere in my life lately. I read The Overstory last week (HIGHLY recommend), learned how trees secretly talk to each other and was reminded about moon trees.
    2.14.20
    1. This gives me inexplicable amounts of joy and hope.
    2. I totally want to go to this party.
    3. Through the magic of friends and family, I'm heading out for a bit of an adventure.
    4. Wonder where we would be without women weavers?
    5. This looks like a great new way to support indie booksellers.
    6. "The only unique contribution that we will ever make in this world will be born of our creativity." —Brené Brown  Get in the ring!
    1.31.20
    1. A recent post from @halliebrewer on IG alerted me to the fact that female artists earned just 2% of the total global art sales in the last decade. TWO PERCENT!! Clearly, not good. But it did lead me to the hashtag #5WomenArtists where I found a bunch of amazing new artists to follow like @julie.liger.belair and @blackboxpress.
    2. This is a mind-bendy short animation.
    3. With Valentine's Day coming up it's the perfect time to pick up a little something for the amazing women in your life. Grab something heart-y or pink or red from this week's or the V Day collection.
    4. Honestly, I feel really overwhelmed by the state of the planet at the moment. Emma Marris has a five-point plan that feels actionable.
    5. Who knew that your luggage travels three times as far as you do?
    6. I'm fascinated by the work Alison Gopnik is doing. She seems to be one of the few people taking the science of childhood seriously. This interview with Krista Tippet is great and this one with Ezra Klein is even better. 
    1.17.20
    1. This podcast episode will transform how you think about stress.
    2. Here's your brain on art. Want to get in on some of that? Check out these upcoming fun art-making workshops at my gallery.
    3. I'm mostly back into full making mode, so there's a bunch of random things for you this week and a few cool pieces from last week.
    4. At this point you've probably seen at least one of these film clips floating around Facebook, but did you know there's a whole treasure trove? I'm not sure if I'm more in love with the one about wallpaper or globes
    5. I don't think you have to be a graphic designer to get a kick out of this animated short.
    6. Oh my. This makes me want to go out and leave reviews for all sorts of things.   

        1.15.20
        1. Feeling productive makes me really happy. This article taught me that I'm not multi-tasking but switch-tasking. One is productive and the other isn't at all. Here are some great tips for breaking the habit.
        2. If you've been getting 6 Good Things for a while now you know I have a soft spot for short animations. Island creates a lovely visual world from just paper, cotton balls and clay. Oh, and a whole lotta talent.
        3. I'm a third of the way through my 30 Day Challenge where I'm creating one new earring design each day this month. See them all in my shop or on Instagram.
        4. I have to say, this little video series, Optimal Living 101 is pretty thought provoking. Each video is less than 7 minutes long but filled with good stuff. There's also lots of others like Public Speaking, Journaling and Leadership.
        5. TIred of bad news? Artist Mauro Gatti has decided to do something about it by illustrating heartwarming stories from around the world to “counter hate and fear culture”.
        6. So, I saw the numbers on almond milk the other day and realize I need to find an alternative. I think Oat is the way to go, but my little HEB doesn't carry it. It's super easy to make your own, but I need to perfect my straining technique to get the boys onboard.
         
        1.3.20
        1. I'm fascinated by both the math and craftsmanship that went into these ancient buildings.
        2. Possibly the coolest instrument of all time. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite music videos.
        3. I'm ready to clear out 2019 work to make way for new good things in 2020.
        4. Age segregation is becoming a huge issue in the US. Here's one lovely way to combat it and another
        5. The art history timeline just got 12,000 years longer.
        6. Need a quick happiness boost? You can always find some good news at The Happy Broadcast.   

        12.13.19
        1. I like this approach of "things I learned this year". This guy learned a lot of weirdly cool stuff.
        2. This is an end of decade list. I like it because I only recognize about a quarter of the songs and artists.
        3. Just a few more days to order online in time for xmas. These are around til Monday morning.
        4. I like Emily's take on best-of lists.
        5. Here are all the things that were a thing in 2019.
        6. Need even more? Here's a compendium of year-end lists.
         
        11.29.19
        1. All the feels for this.
        2. These portraits are stunning.
        3. I keep thinking I'm gonna get ahead of things this season, but Blue Genie continues to kick my butt. Good problem, but it's trickier to get cool stuff to you first. These are around til Monday morning.
        4. It's probably clear by now that I have a soft spot for stop motion animation, so it will come as no surprise that I find this brief history of the art form fascinating.
        5. No Black Friday list of good things would be complete without a reminder of the ripple effect. Shopping small and local this holiday season keeps about half of your money circulating locally instead of 80% leaving the community immediately.
        6. I'm always on the prowl for interesting stocking stuffers and this one hits a couple of sweet spots. (It's not local unless you're in Harper's Ferry, but it is small!)  
         
        11.15.19
        1. This makes me want to find and grind rocks. For now I'll just ogle her IG.
        2. The Doodle Boy schools his teachers. Science is on his side too.
        3. Making furiously all week didn't get me as close to ready as I was hoping for Blue Genie. Pretty much everything in the shop will be heading there unless you grab it.
        4. Looking for a great backdrop for that next Instagram post? If you're around ATX, here are 84 to choose from.
        5. I had no idea the extent of environmental damage caused by the lowly cigarette butt. Yet again, art helps us make sense of the world.
        6. Sesame Street turned 50 this year and we're reminded of its positive impact on generations of kids and adults. 
         
        11.1.19
        1. I’ve long loved listening to The Moth storytelling. There’s so many wonderful vignettes told on those stages. This is a sweet one about the art of caregiving that I hadn’t heard before.
        2. There’s nothing quite like Japanese woodblock prints. Known as ukiyo-e, master printmakers created images so iconic, it’s likely these images are conjured whenever you hear the word "Japan". These tech boosted versions by illustrator Shinji Tsuchimochi are a beautiful homage. Watching the traditional printing process is fascinating.
        3. I was a bit more unfocused than usual this week, so I have new book pieces, bracelets and even some new designs. You get first dibs. Whatever is left goes in the "for Blue Genie" bins.
        4. The crinkle crankle wall is a beautiful example of how using resources sparingly can produce beautiful results.  
        5. Have we lost our way on our thinking about happiness? The piece reminds me of my favorite cartoon.
        6. Sometimes I want to spend hours on Vimeo. This is a 2 minute thing of beauty and a reminder that art is the most beautiful form of resistance and may just yet save us. 
         
        10.18.19
        1. These store interiors are good enough to make anyone feel like a kid again.
        2. The next time you feel like everything is wrong with the world, watch this.
        3. Holiday making is in full swing here at adaptive reuse. I'll be offering select pieces to you first. Things that don't get snapped up will head out to holiday venues.
        4. I love everything metal. Well, almost. I have a deep loathing of chain link fence. I won’t bore you with whyfors, but if you too are not a fan, maybe you would be interested in this eco-inspired and reuse-y way to hide the chain link in your life. 
        5. Holy moly. Sometimes there are just no words to properly express how endlessly amazing this planet and it’s creatures really are. In my half-century on the planet I’ve never once thought of how a ladybug's wings work. Bio-design is another of those fields I would have gone into if it had existed in the late 80s.
        6. As a born and bred Yankee, the tenets of the Honorable Harvest resonate deeply for me. If you haven’t yet read Braiding Sweetgrass, I’m recommending it once again. 
         
        10.4.19
        1. I’m always trying to figure out what to call some of the designs I make. Now I have to try to make some designs based on the shapes here that I didn’t even know existed.
        2. I have no idea what’s going on here, but it’s pretty cool. Plus, I just love bubbles.
        3. I spent the week getting pieces made for other venues, but still have tons of one-of-a-kind finds in the shop.
        4. Honestly, I'm not into Halloween, but Houston's Cardboard Art Parade looks pretty awesome.
        5. I've been questioning the idea of meritocracy quite a bit lately. This short talk is dense, but useful.
        6. This resonates for me: "“Peculiar Thinking” lives at the intersection of weirdness, naiveté, and openness. To be peculiar is a critical skill." Get 365 days of peculiar creativity prompts.
         
        9.6.19
        1. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love of Spirograph before, so it will probably be no surprise that I’m in love with the work of James Nolan Gandy. Fun Fact: Spirographs are just high level mathematical structures also known as hypotrochoid. Furthering my belief that we should be teaching math through art.
        2. Have you ever tried to draw a map of some place you love from memory? Try it. It's super fun and really hard. I love these of San Francisco. They range from boring to hilarious.
        3. I spent the week making book jewelry for some wholesale orders, so this week's Good Things First collection is all about books.
        4. Incredibox has been around for a while, but my son reminded me of it the other day. It's still a super fun way to play with sound. (Just drag a symbol onto a beatboxer to get things started.)
        5. The Wind Phone in Japan reminds us how human creativity is key even to managing our grief. Listen to the story or read about it.
        6. This cafe interior is kind of mind blowingly cool.
         
        8.23.19
        1. The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders is radical activism through profound kindness. More of this, please.
        2. I love how people are modernizing and playing with the traditional idea of hand embroidery. This is a particularly fine example.
        3. I have quite a few things in this week's Good Things First collection.
        4. I stumbled on Anthony Bourdain’s Raw Craft series recently and fell hard. I especially enjoyed learning about an ancient Japanese tattooing technique, how to make steel pillows and the intricacies of making a bespoke suit
        5. As an avid thrifter, I long to find something like this
        6. These paintings of National Parks are pretty stunning (and downloadable!) and a reminder that art as information is part of a long tradition. 
         
        8.9.19
        1. To follow up on that thought for a moment, OMG. People. I am reading Braiding Sweetgrass and it's connecting so many dots for me about why we're so adrift as a society right now—essentially: our first principles are misaligned with our nature. Bonus: the storytelling is incredibly lush and gorgeously written.
        2. Ethiopians planted 350 million trees in one day last week. It has inspired me to get back around to setting up my biz to partner with One Tree Planted. More on that when I get it all figured out.  
        3. I didn't get a ton made for this week's Good Things First collection, but I did manage to come up with a simple little flip-flop necklace that I'm excited about.
        4. Nature is so fabulously intriguing. This short video beautifully captures some of it.  
        5. This advice from Ira Glass is worth keeping handy. We’re all beginners at something. If you haven’t begun something lately, do so today. Beginning is the heart of cultivating creativity and time is the perfecter.
        6. I just stumbled upon this great bit of an interview with Brené Brown this morning. Before watching it, think about your answer to this question: Do you believe people are doing the best they can? (FYI, there's a couple of F bombs.)

        7.26.19
        1. I’m always skeptical of a headline that starts out, “The First Female…” because you know that somewhere before in history someone did the exact same thing but the knowledge of it was lost to time. Nonetheless, these maps are things of beauty and a delight worthy of attention.
        2. Google’s Art and Culture Experiments are incredibly fascinating projects that bring artists and technologists together. I’ve played around with Weird Cuts, which is an app that lets you create collages in an augmented reality space. It makes my brain hurt. There are literally HUNDREDS of these experiments to explore. Go lose yourself in the future. 
        3. I didn't get a ton made for this week's Good Things First collection, but what I did manage to finish is mostly new and different.
        4. Even after 4 years of art school and a lifetime of sketching ideas, I am intimidated by drawing. This little exercise is super relaxing and reminds us that drawing is supposed to be fun. It’s a great way to get yourself or a group of people ready to do higher level creative thinking. 
        5.  I’ve said here before that I could happily watch competent people practicing their craft 24/7. There’s something so soothing and mesmerizing to me to watch a master create something. If you haven’t found Blown Away yet on Netflix, I highly recommend it. This article about the show is also interesting.
        6. This great animated documentary about Nellie Bly makes me think about the importance of intrepid women, investigative journalism, and how technology shapes our storytelling.
         
        8.10.18
        1. It's good to be reminded that humans are still capable of creating things like this.
        2. When times feel so unsettled, it's important to remember that we really do have some agency over our own happiness. And that joy is also a form of resistance. offers several simple ways to improve your mood by simply modifying your facial expressions.
        3. This mismatched pair are my faves this week.
        4. I adore seeing how things are made. Those experiential school field trips where we learned how to churn butter and shoe horses made me giddy. As an adult I could watch how-it's-made videos literally all day if I had the time. Like the most basic of household tools--scissors. Ever think about how they are made? What about crayons? Or honey? Or tennis balls?
        5. I love Christoph Niemann's mind. I learned about him on this interesting Netflix series and immediately started following his IG account. I just came across his TED talk as well. I highly recommend all three.
        6. I'm realizing my body just can't process carbs the way it used to. I mean it can, it just turns them all into extra layers of me. In working to eliminate simple carbs I stumbled upon this easy "granola". Pour some into a bowl and add a drop of two of liquid stevia to the almond milk for just a touch of sweetness. It's delish.
         
        7.27.18
        1. These octogenarians prove without a doubt that old is just a state of mind.
        2. I made these loopy earrings this week. They look a bit weird laying down, but in the ear they have this really lovely, elegant feel. Like so many things, it's all about position and perspective.
        3. Anyone who knows me knows I bristle whenever I hear the line, "I'm not creative." Makes me crazy. Humans are inherently creative, it's just our society that has conditioned us to conflate creativity with natural artistic talent. Gah! Don't get me started. Anyway, that's one of the reasons I'm really excited about The Creative Curve. Not only does it confirm my bias, as one review says, “It will take you through the science and practice of creativity so that you can start tapping into your own breakthroughs.”
        4. I guess I'm on a creativity jag. This talk by David Hieatt to a room of teens makes me wonder what kids in my school might have done if we had someone like this guy at an assembly rather than that cop who told us to just say no to drugs. Don't have time to listen to the whole thing? (and there is some adult language) At least check out his great list that I saved to my Lists board.
        5. I love Rube Goldberg machines, so I've seen quite a few of what the interwebs have to offer, but I'm not sure I've ever seen one quite as complex as this one.
        6. It's about 142° in Texas at the moment, so cooking food isn't really high on my to-do list. This is a trifecta cold meal for me--easy, Thai, and noodles. Here's another 24 bonus cold dishes to get you through the inferno.
         
        7.13.18
        1. What Went Right? the April to June 2018 installment.
        2. I spent a bunch of time this week practicing addition by subtraction with these distressed half moons, cones and rounded square dangles.
        3. Literally the simplest things can connect people. Resolve to chat with a "stranger" today. 
        4. This quote from Don Hertzfeldt's amazing short film, World of Tomorrow, is a good one. The last three lines really get me.  "Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away, and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well, and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead."
        5. I'm not a huge cat video watcher, but given this research, maybe we all should be.
        6. A few weeks back I mentioned my love of fools. Not the human kind, but the whipped cream kind. This non-dairy version is making me foolishly happy right now. 
         
        6.29.18
        1. I really couldn't find a more purely good thing than this.
        2. My 16 y/o got an unexpected job opportunity in the Idaho wilderness for four months. Super good thing. Less good thing, we only had about a week to get him ready. So, what work I managed to squeeze in between packing & prepping became even more of a meditation that usual. These super long tin strip earrings were the perfect things to focus on.
        3. If you're a stained glass fan like me, you'll want to know about River City Glassworks. Owner Kathryn Welch makes really lovely and inventive art piecesand teaches in her studio, but the bulk of her time is spent creating and restoring fabulous stained glass windows.
        4. I'm not actually convinced CRISPR is a good thing, but I am sure that it is a technology that will change all our lives, so it's a good thing for you to know more about. I really liked Nerdette's Power Up discussion. Dig deeper with 10 other options.
        5. You may have caught the rainbow trail pics from Daniel Mercadante already, but I'm going to post them again because they made me smile.
        6. As I've gotten older my diet has shifted to more plant based. In letting go of dairy, I've found only a couple of things that I really miss now and then. Strangely, one is pasta with cream sauce. When I found this easy and delicious recipe the other day for vegan creamy mushroom pasta, I was pretty happy.
         
        6.15.18
        1. I was lucky enough to get a chance to spend a week near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. If you're looking for a lovely, nature filled spot for a (family) vacation—look no further. As picturesque as it is, it's a town that would never get built today, which is an extremely un-good thing.
        2. Being away from work for a week should make you refreshed and ready to get back to it, but since my work is my happy space it always takes me a while to recuperate from relaxing. It was good I had this interesting new cone idea to come back to.
        3. As summer picks up, teens and boredom become more of a thing. First time yours utter the word, have them listen to this Surprisingly Awesome podcast. Circle of Fifths, Insults, Broccoli and Moldare also well worth a listen. It's my favorite new-to-me podcast.
        4. I've been looking for ways to keep up on the pulse of our daily politics without getting too mired in the muck. I found Feedly and easily created a Left and Right feed so I can quickly get a sense of what each 'side' is focused on that day. (Pro tip: Title-Only view is a great primer in the linguistics of headlines.) You don't have to use it for politics though. You can build a custom feed on any topic.
        5. This past year I've had an opportunity to get to know phenom Renee LoPresti and watch her create some of the most painstakingly detailed and interesting ceramic art I've ever seen. She has a solo show coming up at Companion Gallery in Tennessee in a couple of weeks. If you're anywhere close, go see the work in person. Can't make that? Do follow her beautiful, constantly evolving, and inspirational Instagram feed.
        6. Delicious as a hot, soothing beverage through the brutal Texas winters, ginger tea is also my go-to for a refreshing and healthful summer iced beverage. I've heard that some folks add lemon and vodka for the adulting version. Though probably more fun, I suspect it's slightly less healthful that way.
         
        5.25.18
        1. Remember this Good Thing? If so, we're clearly near the same vintage.
        2. I'm excited to announce an exclusive engagement for my book jewelry at Echo in Johnson City. They will be the only shop to carry my Ex Libris line and will be featuring it tomorrow night during Johnson City's monthly Art Walk and for the foreseeable future. If you haven't been to JCTX lately, get on out there to experience their flourishing fine art corridor.
        3. I have no idea how freediver Julie Gautier dances underwater for 6 minutes. You have to watch it.
        4. Did you know that Buda, Texas is the wiener dog capital of the world? These folks claim it's one of the nicest in the world as well.
        5. This is a great example of how making art with limited materials can yield amazing results.
        6. One of the few things I really miss now that my body has decided to reject dairy is whipped cream. If you can still tolerate dairy, I totally recommend this easy summer dessert. It's delicious when made with all sorts of other fruits, too.
         
        5.11.18
        1. This animated video of Jane Bordeaux's Ma’agalim is a really lovely take on the passage of time.
        2. I made and posted this pair of earrings and then promptly got three more requests. Luckily I had just enough of the tin remaining and even found another while rooting around for it. As an unexpected good thing, I found this amazing story of how George escaped Nazi forces in France.
        3. I love watching experts make their things. Like this video taken on the streets of India of a man making lac bangles. Fascinating.
        4. This optical illusion is crazy. Brains are weird.
        5. Don't tilt at windmills. Be like William Kamkwambaand build them.
        6. This time of year is great for getting together with friends and these roasted sweet potatoes are the perfect thing to bring to share. They are easy, good warm or cold, vegan and unsuspectingly delicious.
         
        5.3.18
        1. Looking through and old Uppercase magazine I scored at the local Goodwill, I came across this amazing blog, Advanced Style. It's filled with images of beautiful, creative people living vibrant, unconventional lives.
        2. I listened to this great interview with economist Tyler Cowan on Hurry Slowly. Much of what they discussed revolved around our relationship with risk. Unfortunately his Complacency Test seems to have disappeared, but this article has some pointers for living a less complacent life and some reminders that restlessness is actually a good thing.
        3. I'm fascinated by Casa Terracotta in Colombia. Building anything at this scale seems a bit like magic to me, but to think of a 5,400 square foot, two story home built entirely of water, earth and sun seems like pure alchemy.
        4. The older I get the more I believe math is wasted on the young. Or, probably more accurately, how we teach math wastes the entire subject for nearly everyone. That's a whole rant, though. I'll forego that and point out these beautiful images created by Iranian artist Hamid Naderi Yeganeh. I'm sure I'm partly drawn to them because much of his work is based on my favorite math-y thing--the circle. His equations for creating the images are equally artful.
        5. Years ago in a conversation with my husband I struck upon this idea that enough of anything is art. Of course, then I started seeing examples everywhere. I save some of my favorites on this Pinterest board.
         
        4.27.18
        1. Did you know pigeons were the original drones? I knew a bit about kite photography, but didn't realize just how many ingenious ways people had devised to take early aerial photos.
        2. My industrious and vibrant friend Liz Potter is working on a Wonderful Adventure with a West Texas vibe. She's an amazing photographer, purse designerand, more recently, printmaker. Check out all her beautiful wares and follow along.
        3. If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know I love every aspect of material reuse. You might not know that I also love stop motion animation. This little short by Ainslie Henderson combines those two loves in the loveliest of ways.
        4. While listening to Maria Popova on a recent On Being podcast this line caught my attention, "But Humboldt meant the cosmos was us. It was the cosmos of humanity and the natural world and everything out there. But there was no division. There was no “environment,” as you say, because there was no separation." It makes me want to read The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf.
        5. Oh my word, these vegan cupcakes! SO easy and super delish. I subbed coconut flour to make them gluten free as well and paired them with this delectable salted caramel icing.
         
        4.20.18
        1. I finally got around to completing this other long-imagined side project. I probably shouldn't have devoted quite that much time to painting a door, but I'm inordinately happy with the outcome.
        2. This short video by ceramics Professor Chris Staleyhas called me back multiple times. It is such a touching tribute to the beauty of handmade objects and how they connect us to each other.
        3. My older son turned me on to Koji the Illustrator and now I've spent too many minutes watching these super cute 'Kids Describe' videos. Koji illustrates the kids' visions of the future, God, their parents, Donald Trump and more.
        4. I watch (mostly listen to) TV in a tiny 4 x 2 inch box in the upper left corner of my laptop as I'm doing things like listing new earrings on Etsy or writing newsletters. There's tons of great content now, but one of my favorites—The Durrells of Corfu—is from the original queen of great content—PBS Masterpiece. It gets bonus points for being family friendly.
        5. I really like lists. I make to-do lists all the time both on paper and on my notes app. I also recently discovered Google Keep, which is great because it easily syncs between my phone and laptop, but haven't yet formed the habit of using it regularly enough. My lists are just productivity tools, but How to Be an Explorer of the World is a list of pure condensed goodness. I keep a Pinterest board of some favorites and I have this oneand this one tacked up on my studio wall.
        6. I've been trying to keep better track of more of the amazing art being created in Texas with Jeanne Claire van Ryzin's Sight Lines. She introduced me to the work of Elizabeth Chiles, alerted me that UT is mucking with its Fine Arts Library, and had me instantly in love with Deborah Robert's collage work.
         
        4.16.18
        1. Uppercase: I've known about this magazine for years, but am re-obsessing about it's visual richness.
        2. I'm still having fun making jewelry from book covers. I'm also playing around with using those insides for display. Learn how to make your own objet d'art from old books.
        3. Coming back from Wimberley last week I finally took a moment to stop by Silo Gallery and Studio. Wow! If you live in central Texas, go check out their beautiful selection of art glass or take a class in their amazing work space. Also, don't miss the super fab waterfall fountain tucked between their two buildings.
        4. I'm weaning myself off the 24/7 news cycle with podcasts. S-Town is one that I just can't recommend highly enough. Few characters burn as bright in my mind as John B. McLemore.
        5. I know next to nothing about music, but I do know what I like and I love Black Coffee Blues from Albanie and Her Fellas. It's hard to pick a favorite, but Buddha Lives in Lafayette is near the top.
        6. Finally, in honor of the person who inspired this format, watch this great talk by Austin Kleon about How to Keep Going.
         
        4.12.18
        1. I made this random pair of earrings and learned a bit about the Slavic tale of the Firebird.
        2. If you watched Austin Kleon's speech last week about How to Keep Going, you may remember this creativity tip from Corita Kent. Go make a finder and use it today. It will change the way you see the world.
        3. This amazing story of a piece of art and history nearly lost forever is one of my favorites. Make time to watch Finding Vivian Maier this week. Can't carve out the two hours? At least spend 10 minutes perusing some of her most stunning photos. Breaking News: There's now a Russian version of Vivian as well.
        4. Watching Eskil Ronningsbakken bike backwards down a crazy road in Trollstigen Norway made me cringe, but also think about the value of taking risks and looking at the world differently as often as possible.
        5. Holy moly. This is brings me back to being 10. Were you a fan of sand art like me? If so, this is the thing for you.
        6. Our little cooperative gallery is a year old this month! If you're in Central Texas, be sure to join us for champagne and cupcakes during our regular Third Thursday celebration. We believe The Future is Cooperative.
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