Resources, tools and inspiration to live the creative life.

Subscribe


Calendar

April 2014
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930

Recent Posts

  1. Hard Reset
    Wednesday, January 29, 2014
  2. Jollidays - Part 8
    Sunday, December 22, 2013
  3. Jollidays - Part 7
    Thursday, December 19, 2013
  4. Jollidays - Part 6
    Wednesday, December 18, 2013
  5. Jollidays - Part 5
    Tuesday, December 17, 2013
  6. Jollidays - Part 4
    Sunday, December 15, 2013
  7. Jollidays - Part 3
    Saturday, December 14, 2013
  8. Jollidays - Part 2
    Thursday, December 12, 2013
  9. Jollidays - Part 1
    Wednesday, December 11, 2013
  10. Proud & Panic'd
    Monday, December 09, 2013

Tag Cloud

Contact

You're welcome to post comments or thoughts. You can also email Jen@TheCreativeGoods.com. Thank you.

Amazon Info

theCreativeGoods.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Free Offer for first 50 orders of Vol1.

The first 50 orders of Volume 1 get a print of The Road Taken. Email Jen@theCreativeGoods.com with receipt & shipping info.
BLOG.THECREATIVEGOODS.COM

Hard Reset

Sometimes life does not give you a choice.


You are minding your own business, doing your own thing and then "wham!!" – your life is forever different.


The path you were on gets diverted, pulled out from under you and it all changes.


Such has been the case since December 23rd for my family and I. (The posting on the 24th was a goof auto-post.)


My mom fell and broke her arm after getting groceries. Being an overachiever, she had a spiral fracture (lots of sports athletes experience this kind of torque break.)


Surgery on the 24th, recovery for a week, brief stint at rehab, home for in-home health care and a round trip back to the hospital with another round of rehab to come.


Since the accident, my family and I have been on 24/7 care for her, only breaking away for necessary supplies. As a result, dear reader, the blog has been left alone.


I've missed it – the writing, the photography, the time to be creative.


So although nothing is as it was before, hopefully I can start posting again to help inspire you to keep being creative and provide tools and diversions for you to use.


Treasure your health. Do not take it for granted. If you can, become ambidextrous – you never know when you might need to use the non-dominant hand to help you get through life.




Peonies




creative acts for the day:

writing, photography, design, pray, plan




Jollidays - Part 8

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.


Now's the perfect time to check your list.


Take the items you have left to do and compare them to the time and resources you have left before your special day.


Breathe.


Don't forget who you can call on for reinforcements.


What can you skip on this year?


What's left you can do without losing your sanity, making yourself sick or not sleeping for 24 hours?


What can you write IOU's for or what can you shift to extend the holiday magic? Would something moving toward your New Year's celebration make that more meaningful and enjoyable? (Holiday cards, cooking, gift?)


You are in charge of your holiday celebrations – regardless of what society says.


Make them yours.




Winter White



creative acts for the day:

writing, photography, design, shopping



Jollidays - Part 7


Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.


This time of year gives everyone the chance to be the better self they've always wanted to be.


Give of yourself.


Help others where you can – through opening a door, a friendly smile, a "Have a good holiday."


You do not always know what others are going through. Sometimes the simplest of gestures can help someone going through hard times to keep moving forward.


We are all on this planet together.


Remember to 


…lend a helping hand.


…speak kind words.


…volunteer.


…donate to your favorite charity.


…recycle.


…sing.


…laugh.


…love.


Time and life are precious gifts to us all – use them wisely and never take for granted the blessings of friends and family in your life.




Peaceful



creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, coffee break




Jollidays - Part 6

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.


Has holiday fever kicked in? 


Your pulse races. You constantly scan any location for potential decor, gifts or ideas you can take for your holiday. Your hands twitch in time to music you can only hear. Your smile has frozen into place causing small animals to back away slowly when they see you.


Time to take a break.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know you don't have time to take a break. But you need to.


Take a small section of time today just to do non-holiday stuff. Go eat a nice meal, read a book, watch a show, have a cup of coffee, take a walk outside, play with your kids (pets, significant other).


Celebrations of any kind can be stressful based on the expectations we bring to them. 


Give yourself and your special day a break. 


Enjoy some "now" time.




Moon Bridge Break




creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, coffee break




Jollidays - Part 5

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.


Today's a great time to think forward to your special day now that you've got your preparations under way.


We're going to rip off the band-aid here. Be strong.


Will you have guests coming?


Some assembly required.


Batteries not included.


Shipment delays?


Ok, the worst is over.


Like any situation, bringing your creative ideas to the table can add a dash of fun and inspired thinking to make magic happen.


Guests - do the usual triage of cleaning, chair hunting and having enough food and drink on hand. Make sure any dietary needs are asked ahead of time (allergies, specific meal times.)


Some assembly required. Lock yourself away with the item for a few moments to figure out if you will need a special tool to put it together. If the item is being shipped, check the company website. Most items will use the basic tools you have on hand. (Or, if the gift recipient can safely assist you, make time to put the item together AFTER the gift is opened. Create a new memory.)


Batteries - always a good idea to have a few on hand in various sizes anyway. Check the package or the website for what's needed, Every grocery, box store and hardware store carries these,


Shipment delays. Have some extra holiday cards on hand in case you need to write an IOU about the gift being delayed (stationary or scrapbook paper works, too.) Print out of the item's image or a make quick doodle of what they're getting is another way to let the recipient know. If you wanted to get really clever, you could do a multiple envelope game with clues leading up to the big reveal of the gift. 


Anticipation adds to the fun.




Pears




creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, caroling



Jollidays - Part 4

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.


How are you doing?


Be sure to take time each day to check in and update your list. It's important for you so you know your progress (give yourself kudos along the way) and so you can gauge what still needs to be done. (Anything you can delegate?)


If you are shipping anything out of town, today's a great day to get them packed and shipped.


Yes, you can ship on Sunday. Visit your local Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, UPS or FedEx location. Use the online store locators before you go to find hours and which locations offer the service.


Most of them are open and some will even you help you package your items to ship.


TIP#1: Books, dvds, cds (yes, some of us still use them), calendars, boxes and other flattish stuff are all easy to ship. Pre-wrap your gift with wrapping paper and plan to use a very simple ribbon for finish. (Regular bows will get squashed anyway.) Add your gift tag – if multiple gifts going to multiple receivers. Now wrap the gift in one layer of bubble wrap, folding up the ends and sealing it shut with packing tape. No part of the gift should be open and unprotected. Repeat the process for all the other gifts. Once everything is ready to go, place them either in padded mailers or shipping boxes with additional bubble wrap, air pillows or recycled shipping peanuts to make sure nothing shifts around in your package. 


TIP#2: Use post it notes on the outside of the box so you know what's in the box as the shipping services will need to know fragile, perishable, liquids etc. If you plan to ship via the US Post Office, they have special restrictions for flammables, batteries etc. Ship these items UPS or FedEx.


TIP#3: You've found the perfect gift, but it doesn't lend itself easily to shipping. Everything can be shipped. You just may need some additional shipping supplies to pad and protect it. Fill any hollow spaces with packing material. If anything is protruding out of the main item, add extra protective material to it and some to anchor it the main body of the gift. Make sure the shipping box is big enough to allow packing material to provide a protective nest for the item. If all else fails, throw yourself on the mercy of your local UPS shipping location. (Please don't ask the US Post Office to pack and ship your item. They can sell you the supplies they have on hand and advise you, but they do not have the man power to help prepare your item to ship.)


TIP#4: Gift cards are perfectly fine to give as gifts. They are not the easy way out. And sometimes, they can be the only solution when dealing with short amounts of time or difficult recipients. Most grocery stores (Kroger, Albertson's, Wal-Mart) now carry a large selection for restaurants, entertainment venues, and other stores. Most online retailers can send digital gift cards. 


TIP#5: Remember to take care of yourself. Don't skip meals, get sleep and ask for help where you can. 



Light Show 2



creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, holiday movie fest




Jollidays - Part 3

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.



Are you ready to make your special day happen?


Breathe, get your notes together, make sure you have a good breakfast or a great lunch, your choice of "go" juice, and get to it.


You are in control.


Make sure you are creating and gathering for YOUR holiday and not someone else's. 


But we all need inspiration, especially since you might have some folks in your life that are more difficult to gift than others.


Here are links to other sites with great holiday lists for gifting. 

(TIP#1: set a timer for yourself so you don't fall down the rabbit hole and spend more time than you have allotted for this.):



For the fashionista:


whowhatwear.com, byrdie.com & domaine.com (all sister sites) are hosting their holiday guides here.


theglitterguide.com list is here.


stylelist.com's collection of guides (22 ct ) is here.



For the home/shelter maven:


From the shelter blog by Julie Richard.


Designsponge.com has a fun list of stocking stuffers here.


ElleDecor.com has last minute gift ideas here. 


Gardenista.com has several gift guides posted off their main page here.


And from 2 shopping sites: 

designpublic.com

and Jonathan Adler.



For everyone in business or creativity:


From Mitch Joel's blog, Six Pixels of Separation.


From Seth Godin's blog. 


FastCompany.com has a great guide to make 2014 even more productive here.


From apartmenttherapy.com, a guide for the DIY folk in your life.


From redinfred's blog, the gift guide is here. (Scrolls down.)



For the traveler:


BBC's gift guide for travelers.


Six gift guides from the Huffingtonpost.com here.


Conde Nast Traveler magazine's gift guide is here.



For everyone:


Remodelista.com has a collection of 20 gift guides here, ranging from travel to cooking to tech, truly something for everyone.


Wired.com has several guides here from tech to health and getting smarter.


Real Simple magazine's list of holiday guides are here.




TIP#2: Many of the sites listed have publications. You can give subscriptions – either traditional or digital.


TIP#3: Remember to enjoy the process and SMILE. This is all about bringing joy and happiness to those you love – short, furry or tall.




Climbing Higher



creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, holiday prep



Jollidays - Part 2

Jollidays continues – use it as a tool as you create, prepare and enjoy your holidays.



Take your notes from yesterday. Let's start the holiday triage.


What do you need to order? 


Gifts, decor, food, travel arrangements. Now's the time to get the orders placed so items will arrive in time.



What do you need to finish making?


Stop laughing, now. (Although it was great to hear you do it. Your eyes even twinkled.)


How much time will you need? Are there any supplies you need to get?


Now's the time to make sure you have what you need so you can create when you're ready. (Or you can be WAY AHEAD in your planning for next year.)



What do you need to transform your space to holiday readiness?


This is a great area to get help with. 


From the basic "gotta get it all clean before everyone drops in on us" to the full on holiday decorating, many hands make light work at the holiday.



Want to survive the season and enjoy some of it yourself? 


Delegate.


Yes, I have a tough time with this because I love making the holidays special for my family.


But I like to sleep.


So while my vision of the holiday can rival that of the great shelter publications (GIFT IDEA), I don't have a staff to make that happen. 


So in addition to sharing in the making of the holiday (decor, cooking), I change plans on the fly taking advantage of the resources available.


Serendipity. (Also a fun romantic holiday movie with John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale & Jeremy Piven, GIFT IDEA.)



Do your holiday preparations feel like work instead of  fun?


Play! Listen to holiday music or run your favorite holiday movies as you go about your day. 



This weekend is the perfect time to get your holiday preparations well on their way. Take full advantage of it. 




Ivy and Roses



creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography



Jollidays - Part 1

Welcome to Jollidays – a time spent preparing, enjoying and creating for your holiday seasonal celebrations. 


Grab your favorite pen or note capture device, have a nice cup of steaming hot cocoa* and let's sit down for a few minutes.


Take a deep breath.


Close your eyes for a few moments and then open them back up again.


Now think about your day of celebration. Not the preparations leading up to it, just your actual day of celebration.


What makes it special for you? Remember and think about the years in the past of this magical day. 


Where does this day of celebration take place? Your home only? Or in a series of special places from friends to family to places of worship?


Who are you celebrating with? Is everyone all in one place or does the aid of technology help bridge the miles?


When is the day of celebration? Special time of day? Or is it over multiple days?


How are you celebrating? Is it quietly peaceful or full of loud, boisterous, joyful noise? Does your day have multiple moods to match several different activities?


What traditions do you keep from year to year? Are they special and meaningful to you and your family or do they need some "buffing up" to bring back the sparkle?


Ok, now you're ready.


What have you already committed yourself to? Note these items down.


What are your resources? Money, time, energy, helpers. Knowing what you can realistically call upon to make it all happen.


Now think back to your day of celebration. What are the most important components and can you accomplish them with the resources you have? 


Whether your answer is yes or no, now is the time to figure out what you can do and where you need to use your creative talents to bring about your vision of the day.


Take another deep breath. It will be okay. 


"Where there's a will, there's a way." – English Proverb




Holiday Screen



creative acts for the day:

planning, writing, photography, gingerbread house architecture


*or whatever your favorite comforting hot beverage is


Proud & Panic'd

Proud:

Yes, just finished six UFOs (UnFinished Objects)* during this time period known locally as Icemageddon.


We got lucky and had power during this long enforced weekend of staying in and staying warm. 


Panic'd:

Way behind on all the holiday magic as I have major elf duties to perform. 


Due to the lateness of Thanksgiving and all the crazy winter weather, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.


Strategies, plans and other tips to come.


Hang onto your jingle bells.




Winter Dove



creative acts for the day:

design, writing, creative planning, creative break


*Shameless Plug:

If you want to see what I completed, check out my bookstore at Blurb:

http://www.blurb.com/user/store/Jenphotoart

The new projects? Five 2014 Planners and Volume 1 of theCreativeGoods,com Blog Book.