Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”

Today we talk about creativity and where it comes from.  I found this wonderful essay by Isaac Asimov who wrote it for the MIT Technology Review.  Since Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite authors, naturally I had to read his essay.  I am really glad I did.

He was asked to join a group of scientists and engineers who, at the government’s behest, were asked to “think outside the box” about the effects of nuclear weapons on aircraft structures. While at first he agreed to join this group, after a couple of sessions he declined to continue stating that having access to sensitive data would compromise his ability to write what he wanted to write.

He did, however, leave the group with this wonderful essay where he talks about not only how one becomes creative, but also why.  He determined that sharing thoughts in a relaxed, even fun, environment would be the perfect incubator for such creative thoughts.

Please read his essay in full and make up your own mind about the source of creativity in man.  I really think I will agree with Mr. Asimov’s opinion.

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Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”

How do people get new ideas?

Presumably, the process of creativity, whatever it is, is essentially the same in all its branches and varieties, so that the evolution of a new art form, a new gadget, a new scientific principle, all involve common factors. We are most interested in the “creation” of a new scientific principle or a new application of an old one, but we can be general here.

One way of investigating the problem is to consider the great ideas of the past and see just how they were generated. Unfortunately, the method of generation is never clear even to the “generators” themselves.

But what if the same earth-shaking idea occurred to two men, simultaneously and independently? Perhaps, the common factors involved would be illuminating. Consider the theory of evolution by natural selection, independently created by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.

There is a great deal in common there. Both traveled to far places, observing strange species of plants and animals and the manner in which they varied from place to place. Both were keenly interested in finding an explanation for this, and both failed until each happened to read Malthus’s “Essay on Population.”

Both then saw how the notion of overpopulation and weeding out (which Malthus had applied to human beings) would fit into the doctrine of evolution by natural selection (if applied to species generally).

Obviously, then, what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.

Undoubtedly in the first half of the 19th century, a great many naturalists had studied the manner in which species were differentiated among themselves. A great many people had read Malthus. Perhaps some both studied species and read Malthus. But what you needed was someone who studied species, read Malthus, and had the ability to make a cross-connection.  (Read the rest of the essay here)

 

Posted in Blog posts, Creativity, Knowledge, Opinions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Project is a FAIL!!!

New project

Original card

My new project was to make a votive candle holder from a card that was given to me long ago.  I really love this card and wanted to make something with it, so I decided to root around in my craft supplies to see what I had that would do.

Well, I found an unopened package of paper clay that I cannot tell you how old it was.  I thought I would try it out to see if it still would work.  It was very dry and I had to add water to make it workable, but it did finally work.

 

I was able to cut out the template with this paper clay.

New project

Template

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not realize just how floppy the paper clay

would be and when I tried tonew project

connect the two figures they buckled! So I had to improvise a way to make them stand while drying.

As you can see, I rigged up a way to keep them upright, but they continued to sag and sway while drying overnight!

new project

In this picture, I am starting over–this time with Sculpey clay.  You can see how the first one dried and it is pathetic.  Now, this Sculpey clay was also old but unopened.  I wondered just how long the shelf life would be for this clay but decided to give it a go.

When I first tried to work the clay through the pasta machine, it disintegrated into a pile of little pieces. Not to be put off, I simply gathered these pieces into my hand and worked with them until they warmed up and began to adhere to each other.  I did finally get the clay to work like it is supposed to, but boy did I have to work for it.  I bet I ran that clay through the pasta machine 50 or 60 times before I finally got pieces I could use.

So after finally getting the clay to work and cutting out my template, I was able to put the clay into the oven as per the instructions on the box.  Fifteen minutes at 275 degrees.

Unfortunately, because it was so old, the pieces almost burned and I had to rescue them from the oven after about 10 minutes.  They are quite brown around the edges but I think I will see if they will work.   I will keep working on this project because I really want it to work.  I may have to break down and go to Michael’s to get NEW clay!

My plan is to paint each piece with acrylic paint back and front and once dried, try to glue the pieces together.  I think it may work, but we will see.  Check back later for these results.  What about you?  Ever have a project just go bad?

Posted in Blog posts, craft, crafting, Handmade, Paper clay, Polymer Clay, sculpey clay | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

9 Simple But Powerful Marketing Secrets of the Network Marketing Pros

Sunday is the day I get to talk about my network marketing and affiliate marketing businesses.  I love talking about each of these opportunities, but not everyone is interested in hearing about them.  So, here I will post information and articles that I find to help you understand what these businesses really are and how to make them work for you.

The key idea in the above paragraph is that these are businesses.  They are not “get rich quick” schemes or “do no work and get rich” schemes.  Both types of business require constant and coordinated work on your part.  Just like if you were to open your own store, you would plan it, and you would market it, and you would build it over time.  Any business will require this minimum effort on your part.

First, you have to start out with a plan.  You need to examine what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do that.  You need to know who your market will be.  You will need to identify their needs to be able to help them meet those needs.

Then, over time, with consistent effort and a well designed plan, you should start seeing some success.  The point is that you can work for someone else all your life or you can start working for yourself.  The choice is yours.

I understand the pull of being employed by someone else.  There are quite a few perks and just as many drawbacks.  I understand the fear associated with being your own boss; having your life depend on your productivity and nothing else.  Being your own boss does not come with a life-jacket should you find yourself in over your head.  But the beauty of these types of business is that you can be fully employed and you can build your business at the same time.  You can get the best of both worlds–all you give up is television time.

Below is a really good article about how to do network marketing the right way.  It takes time and there is a learning curve in this business.  You should know that you will not get rich immediately, but the good news is that if you just stick it out, you will make money.

Please enjoy the article below and let me know your thoughts on this business model.

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9 Simple But Powerful Marketing Secrets of the Network Marketing Pros

9 Simple But Powerful Marketing Secrets of the Network Marketing Pros

Are you feeling unsatisfied with your line of work? Do you feel that there is a better way to make a living… that you have more to offer?

The good news is that there is a better way, but it is very different from what you learned in school… it’s known as Network Marketing.

Network Marketing Isn’t Perfect… It’s Just Better.” ~ Erric Worre – The Network Marketing Pro

Network marketing can be summed up as a business opportunity for those with limited time on their hands. People that would love to make a full-time living at a part-time level. Some of the best-known companies in America, including Avon, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Tupperware ALL fall under the network marketing umbrella.

Time-Tested & Proven Marketing Strategies of Network Marketing Pros

Discover the 9 Time-Proven Secrets Used by Top Money Earners in Network Marketing Today.

#1 – Network Marketing Professionals Know Their Target Market

You MUST understand your audience best suited for your small business opportunity. You must be in touch with their needs, there inner most desires for change. You must know what drives them to want to better their life.

Knowing the people that would like to lead a different, more satisfying life will help you succeed in network marketing.

#2 – They Have Their “Why” Established

This is very important. This is your major driving force, your reason WHY you decided to make a move and become a network marketer. It could be family, financial freedom or even time freedom. Make sure it is strong and you have it written down in a place that you can look at it on those days when speed bumps seem to appear around every corner.

If your ‘Why’ isn’t big enough to keep you driven, then I am sorry to let you know, statistics state that the chances of you continuing on are NOT in your favor.

Read the rest of this article here.

Posted in Blog posts, Business, Education, My IM adventures, Network Marketing, Social media | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Beautiful kaleidoscope craft for kids makes upcycling fun

This year for my birthday, my sister surprised me with a wonderful handmade gift!  She is in a stained-glass class and she made me this beautiful kaleidoscope as my present.  These pictures do not do it justice.  Looking through the eye piece takes my breath away with the beauty presented.

So, since I know absolutely nothing about how to make a kaleidoscope, I looked it up and found this wonderful article to share with you here.  It looks pretty easy, so I will probably try this out sometime soon, but for now I am simply enjoying my birthday present!

kaleidoscopekaleidoscope

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Beautiful kaleidoscope craft for kids makes upcycling fun

Help kids repurpose a paper towel roll into a gorgeous kaleidoscope craft

Putting together a fun crafting day for kids can seem overwhelming, but it really doesn’t have to be — sometimes the simplest crafts are the most entertaining. Your kids will have blast making this beautiful kaleidoscope, and even more fun playing with it after.

The best part? It’s a fun way to teach your kids about repurposing and upcycling. It’s a win all the way around…(read the tutorial here)

Note:  If you read the comments to this article, you will see many who say this doesn’t work.  However, until you try it for yourself, you cannot know that.  I believe the use of aluminum foil may give a blurry image instead of a clear one, but I think it will work just fine for the kids to play with and enjoy.  The lesson here is not in the end result exactly, but in the reuse and recycle to have fun instead.  If you try this craft, please let me know how it turns out and leave me a picture in the comments.  I know I’d love to see your results and hear how your kids like these.

Posted in being creative, Blog posts, child activity, craft tutorials, Handmade | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

This article is from Scientific American, which is one of my all time favorite magazines.  I found this article about the real neuroscience of creativity and read it.  My thoughts immediately became intrigued by this study and its findings, so I decided to share it here with you.

As an artist, as a crafter, as a writer, or as a homemaker–all of these use creativity daily to get things done.  I am interested in learning where this comes from in our brains and ways to make it work harder, so I am posting the article here for you to read and think about.

I like that the author starts with the well-known left-brain vs. right-brain argument.  I have never felt that argument was complete.  Now, in this article, I find that I may have been correct all my life.  Who knew?

Please read this entire article and think about your own experiences with creativity.  Don’t you think this research may be on to something?  I hope you enjoy reading this and if you have questions, please leave me a comment.

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The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

So yea, you know how the left brain is really realistic, analytical, practical, organized, and logical, and the right brain is so darn creative, passionate, sensual, tasteful, colorful, vivid, and poetic?

No.

Just no.

Stop it.

Please.

Thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists such as Anna AbrahamMark Beeman, Adam Bristol, Kalina Christoff, Andreas Fink, Jeremy GrayAdam GreenRex JungJohn KouniosHikaru TakeuchiOshin VartanianDarya Zabelina and others are on the forefront of investigating what actually happens in the brain during the creative process. And their findings are overturning conventional and overly simplistic notions surrounding the neuroscience of creativity.

The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction does not offer us the full picture of how creativity is implemented in the brain.* Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain.

Instead, the entire creative process– from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification– consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.

Importantly, many of these brain regions work as a team to get the job done, and many recruit structures from both the left and right side of the brain. In recent years, evidence has accumulated suggesting that “cognition results from the dynamic interactions of distributed brain areas operating in large-scale networks.”

Depending on the task, different brain networks will be recruited.

….(click here to view the entire article)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts, Creativity | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

3D Star Wreath with tutorial

Today I get to talk about what I have been doing in the art room!  I am so excited to share with you!  I promised my daughter a long time ago that I would make her a 3D star wreath just like mine.

my wreath

3D star wreath

So, this time, I took pictures along the way to try to show you how easy and fun this is to make.  And the best thing is it costs nothing because you use what you already have to make it!

3D Star Wreath Tutorial

Cut a base for your wreath out of  cardboard.  Not heavy mailing box cardboard, but a bit lighter.  I used the cardboard on the back of an old desk calendar to make this one and it is perfect.  You will be limited only by the size of your cardboard, so this one is smaller than mine.

3D star wreath

Cut a cardboard base for your wreath

Next, you will need to cut out as many stars as you will need to completely cover the base you just made.  I found a template here.  I cut out 24 stars using manilla folders because I did not have a stash of usable cardboard.  The kind you need comes out of your pantry–  old cereal boxes, macaroni and cheese boxes, protein bar boxes, etc. are the best to use and usually quite handy.  Unfortunately for me, I had just cleaned out my pantry and had no cardboard available, so I improvised!

Using the template, cut out your stars

Since manilla folder material is pretty thin, I used  gesso to coat both sides then I painted each star with acrylic paint.  It helps to give the stars some heft and makes them more bendable in the long run!

3D star wreath

Paint your stars on both sides with acrylic paint

After using cute rubber stamps on each star for decoration, it was time to score and fold each of them.  This is not the most fun thing to be doing, but it goes quickly and is very satisfying to see your stack of stars grow.  (Next time, I will score and fold before I paint because I think it will be easier.)

3D star wreath

Score and bend each star

Once done with that task, I sealed them with gel medium.  This step helps to make the stars more stable and will keep them from wilting over time. I had gel medium on hand anyway.  If you don’t, you can skip this.

3D star wreath

Coat each star with gel medium

Halfway through this project, I remembered that I had made these stars before when I promised my daughter.  So I tore my craft room apart until I found them!  These are heavier and just a little bit larger than my manilla folder stars, so I decided to combine them for strength.  You can skip this step since you won’t have a supply stuck somewhere in your stash!

3D star wreath

Glue the stars together for strength–this step can be skipped

Since my first batch of stars were all painted white with gesso, and the edges peeked out from under my new stars, I decided to add glitter to the edges of the bottom stars for a little bling.  You can skip this step, too, if glitter isn’t your thing.  My daughter specifically asked for glitter.

3D star wreath

Add glitter at this point if you are going to do so

I let them dry overnight to be sure that they wouldn’t drop glitter all over me, but they did anyway.  I forgot how messy glitter can be.

3D star wreath

Be sure to let them dry totally before moving on

Finally, I glued each star with hot glue to the base, overlapping as needed.  I ended up with three extra stars, so I added them as dangles.  My daughter really loves this wreath!

3D star wreath

The finished project

Surprise!!! I made a second one because my sister wanted one to hang on her bedroom door.  It went really quickly and turned out quite nicely, even if I do say so myself.  My sister loves her new wreath!

3D star wreath

My sister’s wreath

Posted in Acrylic paint, art supplies, Blog posts, craft tutorials, crafting, Decorations, painting, Wreath | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

12 Secret Facebook Features EVERY Marketer should be using

As a network marketer, I know that Facebook plays a very large roll in my business.  I meet people there, I learn about new products there, I keep in touch with friends and customers there, and I use Facebook Ads occasionally.  It seems that there is no way to do business anymore that does not include using Facebook in some way!

When I first saw this article, I thought, “Sure, I bet I know what they all are!”  After reading, my mouth was open and I was amazed.  I had never heard of some of these features.  Now, I am not saying I will need to utilize all of these features, but some of them make perfect sense for a business that relies on Facebook traffic.  I plan to reread this article many times until I understand and can use the features that are relevant to me and my business.

I hope that you find something to take away from this article.  If you have an online business, or if you are just wanting to start one, you can bet that Facebook will play a role in your success.  It pays then to learn all you can about how to utilize this tool to your advantage.

I’m going to reread this article right now after I post this.  Then I’ll be off to Facebook to try to use some of what I just read.  How about you?  Think you can learn anything in this article?

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12 Secret Facebook Features EVERY Marketer Should Be Using

12 Secret Facebook Features EVERY Marketer Should Be Using

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 —  Get access to 100% of my hype-free social media advertising secrets. You’ll learn how my clients generated over 1,500 qualified leads at $1 each in 2 weeks and achieved 500% ROMI. As a bonus, you’ll also learn how to best spend your lazy Sundays. Also published on Social Media Examiner and Agorapulse.

More than than a billion people use Facebook daily.

Yes, I know… that includes you. 🙂

But did you know there’s a bunch of secret Facebook features you’re probably missing out on?

Stop for a sec and think about how you used Facebook yesterday… and the week before that… and the month before that.

Are your tactics only scratching the surface?

Probably so — because even though Facebook’s been around for a decade, most marketers are still only using the standard features.

This needs to stop today — with this article.

Facebook is a goldmine of functionality! So I’m going to show you how to tap into it.

Below are 12 secret Facebook features that you’ve probably never heard of — but you’re GOING TO LOVE!

12 Secret Facebook Features EVERY Marketer Should Be Using

To help you navigate this article, I’ve categorized the 12 features into 4 groups:

  1. Features for Facebook CONTENT CURATION
  2. Features for Facebook COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE
  3. Features for Facebook PAGE MANAGEMENT
  4. Features for Facebook AD MANAGEMENT      (read the rest of the article here)
Posted in articles, Blog posts, Business, E-Commerce, Education, Facebook, Facebook features | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

10 Frankenstein crafts and recipes

To begin our celebration of all things Halloween and to share some of the wonderful ideas to be found online, here are 10 Frankenstein crafts and recipes for your perusal.  I always think about Frankenstein as Halloween approaches, I don’t know why.  Maybe it is when I first saw the old black and white movie with Boris Karloff, who knows?  But, since I am getting in the “spooky” mood, I have rounded up 10 really cute crafts to do with your kids (or not) that all are about celebrating the Frankenstein monster!

  1.  Frankenstein cookies — brought to you from Munchkinmunchies
    Frankenstein cookies

    Click the picture to go to the recipe and instructions.

    Don’t these cookies look great?  I think they are very creative and fun and I bet kids will love them!

  2. Frankenstein treat bags — brought to you from Cleanandscentsible
    Frankenstein treat bags

    Click the picture to go to the tutorial

    I can see even the smallest child having a great time making one of these for Halloween!

  3. Frankenstein Sun Catcher — brought to you by Fromabctoacts
    Frankenstein sun catcher

    Click the picture to go to the tutorial

    I think I might have to make this craft for myself.  It is soooooo cute and I could put it on my front window for Halloween.

  4. Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops — brought to you by Justataste
    Frankenstein marshmallow pops

    Click the picture to go to the instructions and recipe.

    These are just simply the cutest thing I have ever seen.  I don’t know if I have the patience to make these, but I might try to make some for church this year.

  5. Popsicle Stick Frankenstein craft — brought to you by ThisgirlslifeblogWhat child doesn’t like making things with popsicle sticks?  I think he is adorable and this craft is fun for small children as well as big ones.
    Popsicle stick frankenstein craft

    Click the picture to go to the tutorial

     

  6. Frankenstein juice boxes — brought to you by Consumercrafts
    Frankenstein juice boxes

    Click the picture to go to the tutorial

    Wouldn’t these make cute refreshments at a child’s Halloween party?  The instructions are super simple and look really easy.

  7.  Frankenstein mask — brought to you by Supermommy
    Frankenstein mask

    Click the picture to go to the tutorial

    I just had to include this one for the little people who want to celebrate the season!  What toddler would not love to have this in his/her hand to scare you with?

  8. Frankenstein luminaries — brought to you by Craftsbyamanda
    Frankenstein luminaries

    Click the picture to be taken to the tutorial

    Can’t you see a line of these on your walk up to the door?  Kids of all ages will enjoy making and lighting these cute little fellows.

  9. Paper Roll Frankenstein  — brought to you by Seevanessacraft
    frankenstein paper rolls

    Click the picture to go to the turorial

    It seems there is nothing you cannot make using the poor unsung toilet paper roll!  All the necessary items to make this cute monster should be already in your home so why not make a few of these with the kids?

  10. Frankenstein Sugar Cookies  — brought to you by Craftcreatecook
    Frankenstein sugar cookies

    Click the picture to go to the instructions and recipe

    Since I started with cookies, I thought I would end with cookies.  I love how easy sugar cookies are to make and these are not only delicious but “spooky”!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I also hope you found some inspiration to get started with your Halloween planning!

Posted in Baking, Blog posts, child activity, craft, crafting | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Creative in a busy world

I often talk about how I struggle with getting creative–painting, crafting, etc.  I love to do the work, but I seem to drag my heels about getting started.  I want to make a habit of doing art daily and I have been doing quite a bit of research into creativity and how being creative in a busy world happens.

The article below is the best one I have found that explains the actual flow of creativity.  This author lists the seven categories of creative work and explains each one and it’s place in the flow of being creative.  His list is based on the four stages of control developed by a German scientist in 1891 and still being referenced today.  I know that the article is long, but please read to the end.  It has really good information for you about how you can get your “creative” on.

Once he has explained the different categories and where they fit in the flow, he lists three stages you can use to make your creativity go wild.  Always a good thing for anyone interested in art, but not a bad thing for anyone period.

Anyway, I wanted to share this bit of information with you.  I hope you find something in this article to boost your own creativity.

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Arrange your time and tasks according to these seven categories, and you’ll be a creativity machine

David Kadavy

Art is hard. Creative insights are hard to predict, and just when it gets difficult, your mind immediately jumps to a distraction: something easier to do, an excuse, a scapegoat.

To get the most out of your creative energy, carve out space for creative work. To make that space, you need to make space for the other types of work, too. The key to this is understanding how creative insights happen.


The four “stages of control” that build creative insights

In 1891, German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz—whose accomplishments included inventing the ophthalmoscope—was honored with a party for his 70th birthday. He got up to make a speech, and shared how he achieved his creative insights:

Often … [ideas] arrived suddenly, without any effort on my part, like an inspiration.… They never came to a fatigued brain and never at the writing desk. It was always necessary, first of all, that I should have turned my problem over on all sides to such an extent that I had all its angles and complexities “in my head.” … Then … there must come an hour of complete physical freshness and quiet well-being, before the good ideas arrived. Often they were there in the morning when I first awoke.… But they liked especially to make their appearance while I was taking an easy walk over wooded hills in sunny weather.

35 years later, social psychologist Graham Wallas cited Helmholtz’s speech,

Posted in art, art work, artist block, Blog posts, creative exercises, Creativity | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Art Journal

So today is a free day where I get to write about what I am doing and show off my work.  That being said, I have no new work to show off–but I am watching videos and reading about “How to Art Journal” because that is something I want to do.

Why art journal you might ask.  Well, I love journaling in general, but I have always wanted to combine journals with my love for art.  Hence–Art Journals!

Imagine my glee when I discovered that there are so many people out there that are already doing just that!  I found so many wonderful videos and watched every one of them.  I have to be careful, though, because watching videos is not making an art journal and I am a master procrastinator when it comes to making art (why?).

I was hoping that by combining these two activities I would jumpstart my brain into being ready more quickly to paint.  At least that is what I am hoping.  So I am going to leave you with a few of these art journal videos that I have been watching.  Maybe you too would like to get started with this process.

This first video is by Jennibelly and I really like all of her work.  She has a Ning group also that is fun and free.  I liked this particular video because she explains her process so clearly!  As you can see, she does not try for perfection.  She simply does what makes her feel good and uses this journal to capture things and colors and pictures that do just that.

I put this video here for two reasons.  The first is that she is so funny! and happy! and I really like that.  The second reason is that she shows you just how easy it is to make your own journal from items laying around the house.  Her point is to just get started!

This last video is added because she shows her own take on making a journal.  Using old books or magazines is a really great idea.  I especially like how she covers the old book cover with paper, pictures, tape, etc.  then she seals the entire thing with packing tape to completely protect the cover.  She also shows you just how simple it is to make and attach your own papers into this type of journal.

So, I hope you like the videos and I also hope that you enjoy making or starting your own Art Journal!

Posted in art journals, art supplies, art work, being creative, Blog posts, Handmade, making things, ning group, one of kind, painting, papercrafting, self expression | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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