Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

We were just trying to watch the sunset and wait for the stars to come out, and then the bats came out instead. I think these must have been the fault of Silkworm's magic--a leak that lead to a fluke, or something--because they don't look like bats in the photograph! Didn't know Silkworm's magic would ever cause relevant flukes, though. This'll make for a nice Halloween greeting card next year. (Can you see Silkworm? It's so dark, but he's standing at my feet, being poked at by two bats!)

Anyway, we've got a busy Halloween ahead. We still haven't carved our pumpkins, I've got a job interview, and we absolutely must take a bike ride around town to photograph every pumpkin we see. By tomorrow, we'll have a ton of stuff to share with you, and lots and lots of news for November, because guys, there's only 54 days until Christmas!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lucy the Yarn Bombed Bike

It's been a long time in the making, but finally we're here to show you the bike I got for my birthday, now delightfully covered in crocheted swatches (and someday, flowers and pom poms). This is the project we were working on in June's blanket fort and all the ones since. We used 100% cotton Sugar & Cream yarns, hoping we'd be able to ride in all weather just in case we ever get caught in the rain.

I don't know, a bike named Lucy just seemed to demand clothing.

I suppose we'll have to cut it all off someday when it gets terribly dirty or moldy, but then we'll only get to replace it with a new outfit. Besides, the faster it gets dirty, the more proof there is of recent adventure.

Here's to many adventures on my bike, making people smile and gawk. Silkworm and I are thinking of crocheting small swatches from cheap yarn to keep in a basket on the bike so we can hand them out to people who have really nice compliments or seem very interested.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mission of Magic: Paint Chip Scavenger Hunt

It worked!

Silkworm and I left a ring of paint chips at our favorite park, yesterday morning, and invited people to go on paint chip scavenger hunts with them like we did earlier. Delightfully, when we went back to get them before sundown, we found PARTICIPATION!

The only thing that took away from the perfection of this Mission was our forgetfulness. It keeps slipping our minds to leave hashtags for people to use on social media to share their findings. We want our Missions of Magic to be a collective happiness for everyone who participates to enjoy, not just for our own satisfaction. We'll have to go back and leave a note where the paint chips where once hanging to say thank you to whoever participated this time, and promise better communication next time.

I love to think a little kid wrote down some of these answers, especially the one about the sky through the trees, but we'll never know for sure. That's part of the magic in our Missions, though--never knowing what happened and getting to wonder about it and create our own stories. I think it's my favorite part, actually. We create an unknown when we go on our Missions of Magic, and that's a very cool thing to be responsible for.

Fact: this was the easiest, cheapest Mission we've done so far. We're definitely gonna do it again and again and again and again...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Paint Chip Scavenger Hunt

When Silkworm and I came back from Walmart with a bunch of paint chip samples, we didn't initially intend to write the paint chip poetry we posted about last month. Actually, we planned to go on a scavenger hunt, so this time when we picked up more paint chips, we turned our scavenger hunt idea into a spooktacular Halloween event.

There is nothing inherently creepy about the other colors of Halloween, to me. Purple doesn't speak "evil", nor does orange speak "ghosts and ghouls". Black, on the other hand, speaks ominous whispery volumes of macabre. So Silkworm and I agreed to collect "Cracked Pepper" black things for our day-long Halloween paint chip scavenger hunt.

Visit a Home Depot, or a Walmart, or anywhere that sells paint and lets you take free paint chip samples. Choose one and take it home. Spend the rest of your day searching for objects that match that color. You don't have to collect whatever you find, just find it. Take pictures if you'd like, but it's not necessary. It's your own personal scavenger hunt; you don't need to prove to anybody that you really found 22 "Cracked Pepper" black objects.

"Cracked Pepper" Things We Found
- An inflatable spider
- A crow
- A baby black squirrel
- Lots of mailboxes
- The flag at the fire department
- Too many cars to count

Silkworm and I also took this project to our favorite park, where most of our Missions of Magic go down these days (like our Snap and Scurry project and the time we hung origami dragons in the trees). We left a ring of paint chips hooked onto the sign at the front of the main path, inviting people to take them with them on their hike and write down anything that matched the color they chose. We'll write about that tomorrow morning after we pick up the chips from the park later today!

If you go on a paint chip scavenger hunt and you wanna share your findings, use the hashtag #paintchiphunt on social media. We wanna see! And of course, let us know if you're going on a paint chip scavenger hunt in the comments!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Would You Rather: Michelle at Busy Weekends

This is Michelle. She is the kind of person who recognizes fantastic beauty in every little thing she exists with, and uses her creativity as an outlet for the resulting inspiration. Her brain is obviously one of the most loveliest places to live in in the world, vouched for by her Busy Badges project and the fact that she set up a moon and stars backdrop for a photo shoot one time and subjects would actually sit on the moon. This is what we asked her:

Q: Would you rather have an incredible talent that inspires people but not yourself or have an incredible talent that inspires you and no one else?

A: I’m going to try to break this down in a way that would make sense to another person.

I go on about how inspiring people drives me to create, but the reality is that this is only to the extent that I have found something that inspires people-- the truth is that I would never be able to continually produce something (long-term) that doesn’t inspire me, even if it changes lives.

So that’s the short version.

I honestly feel conflicted about that thought in the same way I feel conflicted about other contradictions in my nature. Recently I made a list of all the things I know about Michelle, and it felt really good to identify and validate those thoughts/emotions/traits for myself, but I came out with two very high priority needs that actually conflict in a lot of ways. Having never put them down on paper, I suppose I didn’t quite understand the inner struggle I’ve felt for years, but now it makes sense. Luckily, you’ll get the break down here because it completely relates to this question.

One of my primary needs/desires in life, historically, has been to be inspiring, useful, helpful... to the point-- necessary, not irreplaceable but not expendable either. There are varying degrees of this (for example, I’m not interested in being used and I honestly won’t engage in acts I don’t enjoy for too long, even if someone I love needs it), but for the most part it has held true throughout my life. It’s caused a lot of weird self-esteem issues.

That said, my prime motivation to live is to enjoy my experience (which also has varying degrees, for example, I’ll put myself in hateful situations just to experience it-- that’s part of enjoying life, to me: learning and understanding regardless of actual pleasure levels).

With that in mind, this question is very easy to answer: Obviously the second one.

But on the other hand, to walk away from something that I know will inspire/help others is really difficult for me. It makes me feel very selfish, and not in a justified way. Though I’m to the core a person who puts personal experience above basically anything else you could think of, that second level is consumed by the drive to help where I can, solve problems, put any skill I might have to a ‘greater good’ sort of use. If I have an ability or skill that might help people, why wouldn’t I use it that way? If you look at my shop prices you’ll understand how little I care about using my ‘gifts’ to make money. I have to sell lots of zines to offset other prices! (Gratefully, I do.)

These two create several conflicts in my life already, so I can see how they would with this decision, too!

In the end, I think I have lived with that struggle, and (in terms of those self-esteem issues I mentioned) with accepting that I could even possibly be useful in any capacity… so I think that I would prefer a lifetime of continuing through that struggle by enjoying what I do, rather than a lifetime of that stale, uninspired lump residing in my throat any time I try to force creativity. I wouldn’t see any reason to create or do my best otherwise.

In some ways, I think my current projects already answer this question. I launch ideas to the public, do projects for myself (that may inspire others) without sharing them, and all the while talk through my process on my blog. I’ve made lots of kits and zines and cycled through many different ideas that have not had any response, or very little. (To be clear, some have had response, but I’m focusing more on the ones that haven’t at the moment.) I still do them. I still produce that content and make those things, because even though they might be geared towards inspiring other people, and yet don’t, they inspire me! It’s difficult to keep my hands busy if I’m not passionate about the process.

I know that was a very long-winded way to say the answer three times, but I think to understand me and what’s going on underneath, it’s important to see that I do have an internal struggle going on almost constantly. Often I’ll choose one side, sometimes the other, but when it comes to something as personal and intense as creativity, I think I would have to side with myself.

- Michelle
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