Monthly Archives: November 2017

In the Meme Time: Fiction

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In the Meme Time: Fiction

In the Meme Time

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Creative Juice #69

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Creative Juice #69

A dozen after-turkey articles to motivate you to create during this holiday weekend. (By the way, I’m thankful for all the people who read Creative Juice.)

  1. The Other Art Fair.
  2. What if life really is just the dress rehearsal? I never thought of eternity in quite this way before.
  3. Can you determine whether a poem was written by a human or a computer? (I missed two out of three.)
  4. Rituals and memories.
  5. Why a painting by Manet shocked his contemporary audience.
  6. Need some inexpensive gift ideas? Be sure to watch the video of the grown-up fidget spinner.
  7. Here’s an alternative advent calendar you create yourself.
  8. Christmas decorations you can make yourself with paper.
  9. Beautiful quilting. Be sure to click on each image for the enlargement.
  10. Why it’s good to try your hand at different arts.
  11. Marvelous photographs by Cig Harvey.
  12. Psychologist Dean Simonton writes: “On average, creative geniuses aren’t qualitatively better in their fields than their peers, they simply produce a greater volume of work which gives them more variation and a higher chance of originality.” Author Thomas Oppong says, “If you want to be prolific, stop judging yourself.” (I don’t totally believe that—you have to judge yourself somewhat if you want to put out excellent work. But this article gives creatives much to think about.)

 

Video of the Week #125: The Littlest Ballerinas

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Video of the Week #125: The Littlest Ballerinas

For Thanksgiving, a longer video than usual, nearly half an hour–but hang in there; excerpts from the Nutcracker at the end!

Wordless Wednesday: Priority Parking

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Wordless Wednesday: Priority Parking

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10 Ways to Give Your Blog a Boost

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10 Ways to Give Your Blog a Boost

If you’ve been blogging awhile, you’ve probably had days when you feel like giving up. It takes too much time, your readership is growing too slowly, you’re not sure if your blog really stands out. You feel like your work doesn’t matter.

But you’re not a quitter, so you decide to stick it out a little longer and try a fresh approach.

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Check out the following suggestions for making your blog even better than it is now, with ideas from some of the best blogs on the web.

  1. Repost some of your best stuff on Medium. Are you aware of Medium? It’s a gigantic blogging community, free to use (although some portions of it are for paying member only). Here’s how to use Medium to boost your own blog. And here am I on Medium. Some people do all their blogging on Medium.
  2. Use keywords strategically. You might need to do a little keyword research.
  3. Research efficiently. Know where to look for facts and figures to authenticate your posts.
  4. Mix it up to keep your blog fresh.
  5. Devise a strategy that will generate topics for you. Here’s one way to do that.
  6. Write killer headlines. Use words that will catch readers’ attention.
  7. Solve the most common blogging problems. Fine tune your concept, write exceptional content, and increase your engagement.
  8. Streamline your productivity. Try batching your posts.
  9. Create special emails for your loyal readers. Many bloggers have newsletters, but don’t let yours be like your Great Aunt Tilly’s annual Christmas letter. Instead, send them something they’ll actually be eager to read.
  10. Share your content on many social media platforms. Here’s how one blogger gets extra mileage from her efforts.

10 Ways to Give Your Blog a BoostI’m assuming that if you’ve read this far, you’re a blogger. Did you find this article helpful? If so, please click the “like” button and share this post on your favorite social media. Do you have something to add? Please share in the comments below. Feel free to illustrate with a link to your blog.

Monday Morning Wisdom #129

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Monday Morning Wisdom #129

Found on Twitter:MMW
michelangelo quote

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#DC341: Go Big (or Go Home)

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Last week’s Diva Challenge was to tangle in a larger format than you usually use. Since I usually make my tangles on a 3-inch tile, I worked in my 5×7-inch sketchbook instead. Having a larger area to cover took a lot more time–three sittings instead of my usual one, which is why I’m posting this so late.

I’m getting into the holiday spirit:IMG_0212

Patterns used: crux, cuidad, heartline, fiore, golvin, moving day, leaflet, static.

From the Creator’s Heart #125

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From the Creator’s Heart #125

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29 NIV).

Serb Fest

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Serb Fest

A couple weeks ago, my daughter Katie accompanied me to the Serbian Festival in Phoenix to celebrate my birthday.

Serbia is located in southeastern Europe on the Balkan peninsula, east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea. In 1918, Serbia, along with Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Slovenia, merged to become Yugoslavia. They disbanded into independent nations in 1991 (I am greatly over-simplifying their struggles).

The festival took place at the beautiful (and colorful) St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, which was open to the public. We went on the second day of the two-day festival.

 

 

One of the missions of the church, besides worshipping God in the traditional manner of Serbian Christians, is to preserve and pass on the culture and heritage of Serbia. The church also sponsors folklore groups for children and teens to teach and keep alive the traditions, music, and dances of Serbia.

The foyer to their Cultural Center was open as well, featuring educational exhibits, including these authentic Serbian costumes.

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When we arrived, Srbija, a three-piece band (keyboard, accordion, and drum set) was playing Serbian music. I recognized some of the songs and joined the line of dancers doing the lesnoto step.

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No ethnic festival would be complete without food, and this one was no exception. Katie and I split a palacinke (Serbian crepe) filled with nutella and ground walnuts.

The band played some more Serbians songs, and a bunch of teenaged girls (and an older woman) got up to dance.

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But for me, the main event was the church’s Serbian folk dance groups. First up were the little kids:

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Next were the Juniors:

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And finally the Seniors:

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Don’t you love the shoes with the up-turned tips?

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Below, the girls dance in a circle while the boys grab onto the girls’ belts.

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And here, the boys and girls are arranged like spokes on a wheel…

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In the photos below, the dancers are linked together by holding on to each other’s belts:

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As the program went on, the dances grew more and more complex. The girls always smiled. They were so beautiful, and the boys, so handsome. Aren’t their costumes gorgeous? Many of them were made by hand by their mothers, including the embroidery.

 

Creativie Juice #68

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Creativie Juice #68

A dozen inspiring articles to spark your creativity:

  1. Beautiful Jersey City and Paterson, New Jersey.
  2. Two of my favorite things: quilts and limericks.
  3. Art dolls.
  4. Can creativity be taught?
  5. These new books sound great. Hollywood thought so, too.
  6. This article about Picasso summarizes: “Not only has massive chunks of our culture been created by specific men who abuse women but also that so-called ‘Western culture’ in its entirety has been marked and in many ways defined by systemic and institutionalized misogyny that has chewed up women for art and discarded them en masse.” Some things never change. Or can they?
  7. Do you like potato chips that look like faces, and clouds that look like other objects? Then this quick video will make you smile.
  8. How to draw a fox.
  9. Some beautiful tangles.
  10. What the blank spaces in a painting convey.
  11. Inexpensive copies of art masterpieces you’ll use every day.
  12. Bonsai!