Friday, June 13, 2008


Inspiration for a cloudy Friday

Here are some inspiring stories I've come across today.

Local communities are taking direct action to protect asylum seekers

A New York apartment turns out to be a giant puzzle box, thanks to an ingenious architect

Engagement 101 have invited various community moderators from Reed Business Information to try a "chogging" (chat/liveblogging) experiment today - you can head on over and ask them a question, or share a picture of a tractor or a pilot's moustache, here.

Tim Ferriss, he of the infamous Four-Hour Work Week, has thoughtfully provided an insider's guide to Tokyo on the cheap (Part 1 and Part 2) - some day I'll get there and it will be AWESOME.

And that link came courtesy of the fabulous Gala Darling, an inspiring writer on her own creative journey from NZ to Melbourne to NYC and beyond. Now that I'm planting myself in UK soil, I love following other people's travels.

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Migratory Books and Art in a Carton

I'm delighted to be taking part in a couple of exciting creative projects.

For one, I will receive a Migratory Book to study, following which I'll answer a question about the connections between us (and perhaps create some related artwork), before sending it on to someone else. It's rather like BookCrossing, except with artists' books.

The other project, Art in a Carton, is a pay-it-forward concept which, perhaps because it originates with Susan, who lives in Germany, reminds me of a German Friendship Cake.

These cakes generally work when you receive a cup of starter mixture (which I think includes live yeast) and a copy of the recipe. You make up a big bowl of cake mix but before putting it in the oven, scoop out a couple more cupfuls of raw batter to share with other people. I clearly remember us doing this a couple of times when I was younger, but as I type this now I'm wondering whether, in our health and safety conscious modern world, people are quite so trusting of bacterial cultures.

Back to Art in a Carton - I'll receive a reused, decorated fruit juice carton filled with art materials and interesting bits and bobs. I will then make up other cartons to post to other people. This is a great opportunity to share some of the ATCs, postcards, beads and buttons and cardstock scraps I've been holding on to for too long!

When I met up with friends for a lindy-hop class this week, I got to chatting with another mate who, seeking more creativity in her life, has begun volunteering at a local museum and art gallery. In one of those serendipitous moments where your minds turn out to be in perfect harmony, we've decided to establish our own art group. It will take place along the lines of a book group, meeting once a month in a different person's house each time. Hopefully, everyone coming together with paints and paper will get us producing more artwork - even if it's just making sets of greetings cards and attempting to capture some still lifes, it should give us a reason to get together and catch up with wine and cupcakes.

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