Coffee Shop Confessional

I’m so used to typing rather than writing by hand it’s confusing my brain. I’m second guessing all my spelling cause it feels so unusual to be writing out each letter in the word. In my mind I see them coming out in type, fully spelled and sorted. The long hand way makes them all look less sure of themselves.

The drawing above is my latest Coffee Shop Confessional. I bended the rules. Instead of drawing on a napkin I used my notebook and I didn’t draw more than the one first thing that came to my mind. I also flubbed the name when I wrote it down at the coffee shop last night.

101 + Links for Doodling and Drawing by Hand

Lots of links, not in any real order due to a small mishap with cut and paste somewhere along the way. Most of these are for beginners who draw on pen and paper, but not all. I think everyone will find something to stir their imagination and (I hope) pick up a pen to doodle. Join in for Doodle Week this weekend.

Fail Blog

My nephew, Zack, introduced me to Fail Blog. A friend gave him the book for his birthday. I noticed it on his desk and he told me about it, even let me take it home to read it this week. (I do have to make sure the post-it notes from his friend stay on the book though, that was an important point).

Fail Blog is about people noticing their surroundings, signs that conflict each other (like a sign on a bus saying to use hammer to break glass in an emergency and a complementary sign saying to break the glass to use the hammer), mistakes in spelling that change the meaning of a sign, construction that doesn’t make sense (like a driveway to the garage that doesn’t connect to the gate coming from the road), failed products (like cookies saying they have double the chocolate chips but in the bag you find a cookie that has only one single chocolate chip), sarcasm (like the guy who taped his stereo remote to a handmade sign left for whoever stole the rest of the stereo set). I’m sure you get the idea now. Not the Darwin Awards, more like the sarcastic, the ironic and the confused (a lot like the Darwin Awards but with more photos versus news reports).

You’ve seen something, some where, some time that would fit into Fail Blog. Maybe you kept it to yourself. Maybe you just told a friend or two. But, did you take a photo? Why not share your photo on the blog?

Remember Why you Love to Write

“Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world. We try to humanize them. If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday … or if she can make someone chuckle about a stressful relationship, I’m happy. Putting a smile on people’s faces is what it’s all about.”  John Wagner, creator of the Maxine comic for Hallmark Cards.

Maxine even has a blog of her own now.

I like the quote about cartoonists because it can apply to anyone writing, drawing, sculpting, etc. As much as we write for ourselves it is good to think about who is reading what we write. How it will be perceived and what kind of reaction it gets.

Think of your writing goal, are you writing horror, comedy? Then plan your writing that direction. Seems overly simple but worth keeping in mind on days when you feel you are getting lost in the details or just need to get yourself back into loving your story again.

Use Every Colour, Make Mistakes

From Ben Spark’s post: Use Every Color in Your Box of Crayons (treat yourself, read the whole post):

I think that we are so afraid to make mistakes. We don’t take chances with those additional colors in the box of crayons. If I took bloggers, for example, I’d say that the people who are making the biggest differences are those who have a box full of broken and peeled crayons. The box is ripped and there are marks of every color all over it. These are people who take big risks and in return make big mistakes but also make some incredibly big wins.

I think it is important to keep trying new things in the layout, content, style and even the niche of your blog. Don’t be afraid to try new topics, a new slant on an old one and don’t think you can only write about each topic one time. If you are inspired by something you see translate it into your own work, whether it is a blog graphic or an idea for a new post, or something completely different, try it your way.

People who get blog burn out are those who try to appeal to readers so much they lose themselves. The blog becomes a chore to please others and there is nothing left there that you (the producer/ creator) really want. It is empty of life. You may have traffic and ads that are making some money but the passion, the creative flair and the life are sucked dry.

Try some weird colours from your crayon box. Use them for mad science experiments and wild, grand adventures. It’s your blog! Remember.

Get Artsy Crafty

This is the blog I am writing with the Twolia network. The blog is about creative arts and crafts. There are all kinds of interesting ideas from paper doll chains to crocheted flowers, Inukshuks and digital scrapbooking. I’m mainly looking for small craft ideas which have been forgotten as we grow up and get too busy. I like simple things that can make you feel you used some skill, learned something new and interesting and have something uniquely you at the end to show for it all.

What are some simple crafts or unusual art forms which you have encountered, found interesting or tried yourself? If it is something you could stick with and do as a hobby would you or did you? It’s great to have something you create yourself. DIY! Even if you are all thumbs or can’t draw or can’t this or can’t that, try something.

Let me know what you try. Post about it to your own blog, with a photo if possible.

Altered Pages

Something else to do when you finish reading a book, Altered Pages. Look for more about altered art and making collages. I think it’s something fun you can do with a book too old or tattered to be accepted at the second hand bookstore. Or you could just recycle them with the other paper, that just never seems right to me. A book should have a burial at sea or under a rosebush, something with a little more respect than being turned into a pile of mush for recycling.

Altered Book FAQ.

The Altered Book Group on Yahoo gives a definition of what an altered book is: An altered book is an existing book that has been changed or altered…. “glued, painted, collaged, rubber stamped, cut, torn, or added to. It is an expression of one’s self, a piece of art, an experiment or a conversation piece.”