design ideas process tips

Bring Focus to Your Organization

I work for a nonprofit and co-own a business with my husband. When it comes to either type of organization, there are always far more ideas than we can put into practice. It’s also easy to be sidetracked … taken down a path that isn’t particularly good for your organization. How do you pick the most appropriate path? How do you decide what to do among hundreds of competing good ideas? Here’s a tool I…

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process projects

What Took Us So Long?

Hubby and I are the proud owners of a new kitchen faucet. We weren’t supposed to be the proud owners of a new kitchen faucet, just a new sprayer. As with all home improvement projects, this took longer and was more expensive than we expected it to be. Except that we expected exactly this, which is why it has taken us years to tackle the sprayer that was going haywire on us, spraying us through…

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art observations process thought fodder

Spinning a Record

I’m having a day off from the world, doing whatever strikes my fancy without working through a To Do list. While the freedom of this is heavenly, it’s not always easy to decide how to spend my time without a list. (Ah, the life of an adult!) First I wrote a list of all the things that I find relaxing, mostly as a reminder to myself when I get stressed out, not as things I…

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art inspiration process

Making Progress on My Little Free Library

I love the idea of the Little Free Library movement. Sharing books with others feels good. Putting them in a little “house” on your property that you can decorate as you like is fun. Finding Little Free Libraries and looking at the books inside is a joy. When I heard about and then visited some Little Free Libraries (mostly in the Twin Cities), I knew it was something I wanted to have. I mentioned my…

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art ideas process

A Drawing Exercise from College

Anita Mills, one of my college professors, posted this marvelous New York Times article about blind contour drawing on Facebook. I remember blind contour drawing well. The exercise has students, using charcoal and large pieces of newsprint paper, draw a subject without looking at the paper. The results are always laughable, but the exercise makes students see their subjects differently and frees them from trying to draw the “perfect” picture. This is what Sam Anderson,…

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