Overestimate organization.

It pays for creative minds to be organized, despite the stereotypical assumption that some creatives are messy and all over the place.

If you’re convinced you don’t need to be organized, stick around for a minute. The ‘spic and span organized lifestyle’ doesn’t exist in my world. I like to consider my form of organization different from the norm. As long as I know where my tools are when I need them and similar things are in the same place, I’m golden. Speaking of golden, my new Goldendoodle sure is keeping my hands full and away from the computer! She’s resting, so I can take this short-lived free time to post a snippet of thoughts.

Dottie the Goldendoodle resting

With all the different projects I work on, between the computer and off the computer, it is integral to keep everything in a designated spot. I think of this sort of like little spots of reference. So, image materials go in one spot, photographs in another, notes in another, etc… The more organized my materials are, the more efficient I feel I can be. Constantly working on and off the computer can cause organizational chaos, or lack thereof.

My goal for a while has been to become organized. I’ve been slowly progressing. The more that is added to life, the more I feel the overwhelming sense to keep an organized fashion. Now that my world has been tipped upside down, I’ve really been hammering this thought! Today’s goal is to do just that. There is no better time than when you’re at an organizational low to start the process.

For those exploring their creativity and expanding their horizons, try to start with an organized process of keeping or storing things in a way that fits your lifestyle and your habits. For instance, I have organized ‘piles,’ but I now where everything is.

Organization

Here are some initial ideas found on Pinterest, if you need inspiration. Image courtesy of The Huffington Post.

-Kalli

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Dottie the doodle.

About a month ago, we decided to get a dog. She is a Goldendoodle and we’re calling her Dottie.

I should start by saying, we don’t actually have her yet. She’ll be coming home this Wednesday, December 28. In lieu of this, I decided to start a blog tracking Dottie’s progress, as a puppy and on. The website/ blog isn’t ready yet, but here are the steps I took to start.

When starting/making a website or blog (or both) you need 3 big things:

  • a domain name (url or address to the website/ blog page) Note: each page you add to the site will have the main domain name (url) in its address, just extra text to indicate which page it is after the domain name (url)
  • a hosting service (a place where the space for your site or blog is stored), there are many to choose from, but because I purchased my domain name from GoDaddy, I also used GoDaddy as the host for the website/ blog because they offer hosting services for WordPress platforms (my platform of choice)
  • a platform (this is what you use to add content to your site or blog), WordPress offers fantastic themes for sophisticated, sleek-looking sites; again, there are many templates to choose from, but there are also other platforms like Typepad, Blogger and SquareSpace to name a few

Whichever domain, hosting and platform company(ies) you choose to work with, choosing a domain name, a hosting service and a platform is relatively straight forward. The instructions are easy to follow. The hardest part is deciding which platform and hosting service is right for you! Some are geared more towards the more computer savvy, while others are as easy as drag and drop, for those who aren’t as skilled on the computer.

I do have a note about custom websites. If you have the means and knowledge to create your own custom site, go for it! I have little coding knowledge and, in my situation, the templates offered on WordPress are just as good if not better than something I could come up with anyway (probably better). Utilizing the templates available saves me time and money.

Here is a glimpse of Dottie content!

Dottie, goldendoodle

-Kalli

 

Don’t get discouraged.

Is everything in the media, online and offline, these days making you feel inadequate?

Don’t get discouraged! No matter where you are in your journey, it is certainly easy to falter. It’s happened to me many times. Instead of elaborating and focusing on different scenarios that could fit your situation, I’m going to focus on convincing you not to get discouraged! Take it from someone who has been there, done that. Let me save you time, energy and frustration. Things that we as Americans (and in some cases people) are exposed to on a daily basis do not resemble real life. In fact, most things we see are either altered or are only tiny snippets of peoples actual lives.

I stumbled on a great website and blog (Susannah Conway), which led to another awesome website I’ve frequented before (Lisa Congdon). Lisa discusses how ‘the internet is not real life.’ It offers a great perspective on the ‘reality’ of social media (affects on mood and self confidence) as well as an in depth description of her experience with Instagram. It’s especially important when accessing your creative sense to not become discouraged and not to compare yourself to others. Everyone is different, thinks differently, works in different ways, etc… Either way, you wouldn’t be unique without your own special self and ways of thinking.

Lesson of Today:

Don’t falter, trip & fall. Use the image of the rift below as inspiration NOT to get discouraged.

Crevice

-Kalli

The figurine project.

I’ll admit, this one is a tad experimental; I let myself have free reign.

This project does a few things. These are my perceptions & ideations formed while making this piece:

  • to display items in a new light
  • why do we make knick knacks?
  • can time & money be better spent on manufacturing other things?
  • to poke fun at something (knick knacks, figurines) that serves no important purpose
  • what is important in life, how have we changed as a culture over time?
  • the mock environment, although kitschy, imitates a sense of realism with green hills, foliage and the relative size and positioning of the figurines; the simple shapes and hue structure create a sort of ‘contemporary realism;’ the hardware and wire contribute to the sense of the figurines being ‘tacked up’ or ‘bluntly fastened down’ and speak to the fact that they are puropsely placed on the wood, much like they are purposely placed as display pieces on bookshelfs and countertops, etc…
  • what kind of environmental impact is there to manufacture products like these figurines?
  • as humans, this is a representation of our habits–we feel the need to produce in a certain manner, as we also have the need to be mindlessly entertained with the comfort of having knick knacks
  • to explore the ironic beauty of ‘junk’ Americana
  • this particular junk Americana speaks to wildlife and rustic environments
  • if the talent and skill used to create figurines was channeled elsewhere, could you imagine the possibilities?
  • clutter is clutter, let’s face it, knick knacks fall under this category–clutter creates unnecessary chaos

In any case, if the above list doesn’t register with you, at least this is something odd to look at. Develop your own opinion of what this piece says to you. Just in case you’re wondering how to make this, here’s what I did:

  1. gather supplies needed :
    1. wood backing (plywood) with dimensions of a frame
    2. a frame (found object) to display the piece when finished
    3. foam board
    4. paint (acrylic or craft paint)
    5. brushes for painting
    6. figurines–I chose animals that could be found in a real environment of relative size from various thrift and antique shops (this exhibits how readily available these figurines are from many years ago until the present; these are also found objects)
    7. glue or ModPodge
    8. other materials for attaching the figurines such as wire and nails
    9. paper and pencil, pen and/ markers for sketching
    10. tools to chisel figurines, if needed
    11. manipulated photographs of ground material (trees, plants, sky, etc.); this is something specific to my medium of choice, add a touch of what makes you unique as an artist
  2. paint figurines
  3. sketch layout of figurines and where to place foam board
  4. cut foam board layers to create the ‘ground’ for the figurines as well as to add depth (do this how you prefer, if you would like to portray an abstract environment, do so as you see fit)
  5. adhere foam board to wood backing
  6. fasten figurines with glue, add other embellishments such as wire and nails if you’d like
  7. lastly, put on the remaining elements, such as photographs or drawings and anything else you see fit
  8. my final piece is very heavy, so I’m not going to hang it on the wall, but if you’d like, hang it and then place the frame you have around it
  9. title your piece, mine is: ‘Americana Unearthed: Trophies of Our Time’

Finally, I leave with this. Exercise your mind and unleash what you’ve got. Who cares if it doesn’t turn out? If anything, you will have learned what NOT to do. Then you can go forth and keep improving your process.

-Kalli

Apply your skill sets in the real world.

Skills, traits, talents. We all have them. Now, what’s the secret to actually using them in everyday life?

If your situation is anything like mine, you may have a degree, but you may not have a job title that directly reflects said degree. As a freshman, I heard many upperclassmen talk about how they were taking jobs that did not directly reflect their studies. In addition, here is something to keep in mind-sometimes gained experience outside of the classroom can be just as important, if not more, than all of those papers and mid-term tests.

So, now college is over. You may be job searching or looking for the next best opportunity. Or, maybe you’ve been out of college for awhile and are going on to something new and different. What do you do?

  • make a list of all of your strengths, traits, skills, even things you enjoy and like to do or aspire to do
  • think about your past experiences-at work, school, or anything that can speak to your talents
  • now, think about each task associated with your list of experiences and evaluate your performance and what you learned
  • make your resume look the best it has ever looked, really put a good amount of time into polishing it
  • if you already have a job, make a list of the tasks you do
  • use this list of tasks and figure out ways you can apply your skill sets to them, you might have to think outside of the box on this one
  • ‘add your special touch’ to tasks and see what you come up with
  • if you’re looking for a job, look for things in your field, but you may have to get creative and look elsewhere
  • note jobs that have a broad enough range of tasks to fit what you have to offer
  • note jobs that maybe you hadn’t thought of trying initially and see how you can apply your skill set to each aspect of them
  • ultimately, look at what’s out there in the world and envision what you would be doing–how can you get to that point?

Here are some snapshots of my resume, for inspiration!

Resume, Kalli Payment Resume, Kalli Payment Resume, Kalli Payment

-Kalli

Best posts about productivity.

Postanly Weekly features a collection of the best blog posts about productivity, life and career improvement.

Thanks to Thomas Oppong for collecting and sharing these posts. I’ve already read three articles! This stuff is definitely shareworthy or shareable, as I like to call it, especially pertaining to discovering or enhancing your inner creative being.

Postanly Weekly  Postanly Weekly

Give it a visit and see what you think.

-Kalli

Old collared shirts and neck accessories.

This is the result of the project from Tuesday.

I’ve framed an old collared button-up shirt and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop. The idea of the overall product is something you can display on the wall or place on a bookshelf, as wall art or a unique piece of decor that tells a story. The process of making it is ongoing. Tweaks will need to be made to really make it seamless. Right now, experimentation is the name of the game.

Collared button-up and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop  Collared button-up and vintage tie in an embroidery hoop

Collared button-up and vintage tie with window

Normally, I refrain from using the flash on my camera. The lighting in my good ol’ house is just terrible though. Sometimes, to get the most accurate picture, using the flash is necessary. On another note, I’m pondering the idea of completely removing the outer ring of the embroidery hoop. However, I have yet to master the execution of doing just that while making it look good. Project execution has never been my strongest suit. I do have to say though that over the years I have improved a bit. The most important part of executing an idea and actually making it is patience. Among this, doing it the right way, or the correct way, is equally as important.

Here is another piece I completed awhile back.

Collared button-up and bowtie  Collared button-up and bowtie in a picture frame

Collared button-up and bowtie with window

-Kalli

Framing clothing & accessories.

I like to call this a clothing collage or an accessory collage. To go a step further, I like to call this a vignette. My husband thinks I’m crazy to call it that, but hey, it’s fitting in my mind!

Firstly, let’s clarify. The word vignette associates with the following:

  • a brief evocative description, account or episode
  • a small ornamental design (or graphic) filling a space in a book or carving
  • portray (someone)
  • a short descriptive literary sketch
  • a brief incident or scene

The way I think can be explained like this:

Throughout the years, I have focused my artistic efforts on collage techniques and incorporating these techniques into my pieces in numerous ways. With the vignette, I have the opportunity to combine my love of fashion with collage. In this instance, the ‘collage’ aspect is three dimensional. I’m not pasting and gluing pieces together. I am pairing different articles of clothing and accessories to a canvas. The end result becomes a collage of textures, color, patterns and form.

For this project, I’m using:

  • a men’s collared button-down shirt
  • a vintage neck tie
  • a large, wooden embroidery hoop

The construction of this piece is going to take a little finesse. I’ll check back with you when I have it complete!

-Kalli

Pardon the inconsistency.

‘Tis the season for holiday joy…among all of the holiday events, gift shopping, gift making and holiday-ness. I haven’t been very consistent with the blog the past two weeks. Organization apparently wasn’t on my radar once the holidays hit. On Thanksgiving I posted about table centerpieces-on Thanksgiving. Could I have been more last minute? Whelp, here’s a goal for next year anyway: be organized and ready for the holiday season. I have a post planned for tomorrow. Let’s see how well I can keep it up. My apologies. Thank you for reading and visiting; please come back!

Cookies

Holiday cookie baking party

-Kalli

Caught in the blizzard!

Today I was lucky enough to catch the beginnings of a beautiful blizzard. Right on Lake Superior too!

Welcome to Marquette, MI ladies & gents; where it looks like this many days of the year. Truthfully, it is quite a sight to see. Today it wasn’t snowing continuously. I got caught in it at the right time! Normally, this time of year the ground is covered in white. This year is a bit different.

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse 

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse

Picnic Rocks park, Marquette, MI

Blurry lighthouse

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse

Lake Superior in a blizzard

-Kalli