Welcome to play! Invite a creative content creator into your child’s life and watch the magic happen! Who needs video games, anorexic dolls, and regimented craft kits when kids have so many stories ripe for exploration and invention. A creative content creator isn’t a babysitter or a simple craft coordinator; our specialized skill set opens imaginations and turns story into a personalized – ridiculously fun! – physical reality. Continue reading
Category Archives: Fashion & Design
DIY trick ‘and’ treat Halloween panties
Treat tonight’s date to a naughty trick with these devilish DIY bad girl panties. A sexy, full-on naked, first impression leads to a very spooky, downright scary surprise. Caution: may cause long term trauma when dealing with a first time face-to-panty explorer…
She lifts the hem of her angel costume and beckons him closer. In the dim light of the party host’s bedroom he can see she’s not wearing any underwear.
“Not a natural blonde then, eh?” He chuckles at his joke. He can’t believe his luck. It’s easy, too easy.
“Crawl to me, slowly,” she orders.
Dropping to his knees, he obeys. Closer, closer, his heart beating faster, faster, pounding to the tempo of the Halloween music booming below. Now his head is bowed at her white stilettos. He follows the curve of her bare, sweet smelling calf with his lips, his tongue. This is his first time. Anticipation is ringing in his ears. Now up her thighs, spread just wide enough to take his cheeks between and squeeze, gently, as he rises towards his prize.
But suddenly everything is wrong! Cold, so cold and horrifying! He’s face to face with a swarming mass of scorpions!! He cries out, falls back, traumatized down to very gut of his manhood.
“Holiday birth control at its finest,” she laughs, and walks over him back down to the party.
What you’ll need to make your own DIY Halloween panties:
1 flesh coloured thong (La Senza)
1 package creepy critters (Dollar Store or Walmart)
flesh coloured thread
Arrange plastic insects/scorpions/spiders into a… um… suggestively pubic simulation. Sew to secure in place. And because this subversive craft is all about ‘subtlety’, chose critters that match your natural… um… hair colour – cockroaches for blondes, scorpions for brunettes. Oh, and that green beetle fellow if you’re in the mood for a Brazilian rainforest surprise ~wink.
Note: This technique can also be used to DIY the most frightening Halloween underwear of all… Microsoft, Star Trek, and Noam Chompsky certified NERD PANTIES!! Although I think the scariest thing here is that I actually own all these pins.
Start your weekend early with a DIY office cottage
Desperate for the weekend? Stuck in an office? Just like the sod houses of early prairie settlers, your best chance for survival is to get creative with what you have on hand. All you need for this DIY cottage project is a well stocked office storage room and a boss who’s open to a bit of out-of-the-box(es) problem solving – at least on Fridays. Because sometimes the only way to escape an impossible situation is to story your way out…
“Well, dear,” says my realtor, “you told me you wanted a cottage property that’s easily accessible from work, and with your budget, I really think this is the best option you’re going to find.”
I’ve always tried to see the best in a situation – although a few exes might disagree – but, although charmingly designed, this sad little shack isn’t exactly screaming sunshine and sailboats.
“But it’s only twenty feet away from my office door,” I complain. “What kind of vacation is that?”
My realtor, a middle-aged firebrand with a forehead as immovable as her shellacked bob, isn’t one to give up easily, on youth, 80s style eyeliner, or a sales pitch.
“But look at all the features!” She points out relevant bits of recycling as she enumerates. “Bubble wrap window for light and built-in entertainment, foam paving stones – so soothing to the sole after a long workweek. You’ve got an end-of-roll doorknob, decoratively staggered tube fencing, garden area with overhang and canopy, and just look at that darling slanted roof.”
“What happens when the wolf comes and ‘blows it all down?” I can’t resist asking.
She ignores my sarcasm and plunges on, “And talk about environmentally green construction, this cottage and its landscaping are made exclusively of unaltered found materials.” (author’s note: because I had to put everything back exactly as I’d found it… sigh)
“Not quite, but the public washroom is just around the corner, opposite the office utility closet.”
“Seriously, Cymbria, for right now, for today, this is as good as it’s going to get.”
I know she’s right. That’s the worst of it. So I do what so many of us have gotten in the habit of doing when offered only a scrap instead of the whole – I take it.
DIY Hat Brim Extender – Where vanity and nerdiness collide
There must always be a first, some brave fool to jump headlong into a new idea and herald its brilliance to the naysayers, the stick-in-the-muds, and all those not-so-innocent bystanders. Well, dear readers, let me introduce you to the Blank Canvas Living Baseball Cap Hat Brim Extender. This simple, easy to craft… er ‘engineer’ custom DIY hat brim extension keeps your face fresh and your eyes strategically shielded from any soul scarring double-takes from ignorant passers by. A blonde ponytail can only protect a gal from so much… sigh. But I ask you, at their genesis, haven’t all celebrated works of fashion prompted the question (in this case from a rather more than mildly concerned hubby): “Are you really going to wear that?”
What you’ll need to craft your own DIY hat brim extender:
-two baseball caps (mesh Nike hats shown)
-colour coordinated 3/4” velcro
-waterproof (dry clear) fabric adhesive
-clips for clamping (optional)
1- Cut away crown of one hat, leaving only the sweatband where it attaches to brim.
2- Cut and position Velcro as shown – hook side on brim extension. Glue and clamp in place.
3- Let dry overnight. Baste stitch around sweatband velco to secure (optional).
Note: Double brim can be positioned directly under the top brim for discreet storage. Double brim can also be angled for distinctly less-than-discreet shade coverage. Be bold, not burned!
Welcome to the glamour of the void
When we untether ourselves from a set of behaviours and/or beliefs (however unhealthy) that have anchored us in this mad mad world, we must face the inevitable hell of ‘the void’. You’ve been there, when your brain chemistry is crashing hard and your whole universe turns in on itself and any semblance of hope dissolves into putrid stringy traces of vomit in your tortured throat – not to be too dramatic or anything. Welcome to the glamour of the void.
6:25AM – you’re sprawled on your bed in a frenzied state of wanton despair, with nothing to look forward to but the bland blind routine of daily responsibility – lucky you. No bullshitting, such purity of emotion is a rare and magical thing in our age of diffusion through screen and language. There’s something so fabulously indulgent about waking up to a viable world where everything good and beautiful exists only as a mockery of self.
We’re taught to fear the void, to stay in the arms of abusive lovers and abusive substances rather than embrace its grim romance. But no sense pining for bygone Byron days of poetic emotional abandon. Let’s get real. The void can be navigated and negotiated just like any other system state, provided, of course, you’ve got the balls.
5 tips to help you survive the void:
1) Accept the void with unrelenting compassion. Breathe. Feel the horror, the pain, and the misery as it is, as an eternity.
2) Go through the minimal motions of a day. Respect your system state and don’t pick a fight, do the dishes, or ask for a raise. And make sure to avoid news media!
3) Dress the part. Above is a 2014 collection of void-approved designs inspired by fashion design houses Chanel, Dior, and Alexander McQueen. But you don’t have to style your pain in haute couture. Even if it’s just apocalyptic back-of-the-drawer underwear, just be sure to carry a symbol of today’s truth. Note: Tragically, Lee Alexander McQueen didn’t make it through the void… a man gifted and cursed by a genius sensitivity.
4) Give yourself permission to force-feed your system: maximize your nutrients, drink lots of water, get some exercise, connect with your social support. Trust system state logic, it hasn’t failed you yet!
5) Don’t force hope. Today, there is none. And that’s perfectly OK. You may have the vague memory of being someone who had hope. Other people around you may provide precedent of hope. Whatever. That’s enough for today.
The void, just like a craving, is one of our most intimate human experiences. If we accept it for what it is, without panic, it can be an interim glamour in and of itself. There is no bridge. You must brave its black waters to get to the other side. Trust time and system state support to balance out your brain chemistry. But more importantly, trust the larger system to carry you up and along with it into the future. Reach your body into the current and let go… float, glassy eyed and screaming, into the glamour of the void.
Promote your blog by ‘taking it to the streets’
We all know that pounding the pavement is the best way to land a job, but it also happens to be a great strategy for promoting your website and increasing blog traffic. Yes, I’m being literal here, absurdly, almost painfully, literal. These DIY blog advertising shoes were made for some serious pavement pounding.
Come on, admit it, blogging is inherently self-indulgent. Oh sure, we all say we’re sharing our unimpeachable wit and wisdom out of some altruistic impulse to inspire and serve. But let’s be honest, what other forum gives you open permission to post Calgary Stampede inspired bondage gear or a fully darted paper pencil skirt, or… even these shoes? Own it. Be your own best advertisement. Be proud to be a walking billboard for your precious blog creation. Wrap yourself, or at least your tootsies, in personal propaganda. Just do it.
We already cover ourselves in logos, why not wear your own? I bought these ‘blank canvas’ shoes (I know, I know, so apropos for this blog) at my neighbourhood Payless for under $20. Click here to view Payless’ online canvas shoe selection. Using a fine tip black Sharpie, I went, admittedly, a bit wild drawing my blog address and our darling mascot Mitch-the-insatiable-itch. Note: You could also use fabric pens/markers, which you can find at Michaels, along with 40 000 other products you never knew you’d ever need (and I do mean ‘need’).
Indulging one’s shoe fetish by wearing a couple dozen little penises on one’s feet is always going to lead to fun times – not to mention some very interesting conversations while riding public transit. But even if your blog lacks any reference, visual or otherwise, to genitalia, feel free to play up your theme and get creative with your imagery. Why stop at shoes? Hats, canvas totes, belts… drape yourself in personalized, attention getting advertising. Stop street traffic while increasing blog traffic! Ok, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away, but to compete for clicks, views, and readers in our age of in-your-face promotional bombardment, it pays to think outside the box and try some on-your-foot blog advertising to get the word out. Heck, if the shoe fits…
And if you want to get your hands involved with promoting your blog and increasing your readership – the more body parts the better – you can click through to learn how to make an innovative DIY bookmark flip book. Sounds bizarre, sure, but we bloggers know that engaging (and broadening) an audience calls for every trick in the book (er… blog?).
Modeled by Barbie – How to turn Walmart’s ugliest Muumuu into sexy DIY loungewear
I bring out the adult-size version of this catsuit inspired muumuu transformation to show my Blank Canvas Living Creative Counselling client. She’d been brave enough to strip off her Walmart muumuu to expose her addictions, and braver still to hand over the epically unflattering pink and orange synthetic protection in hope that I could show her a different kind of comfort.
Last session, she was enthusiastic in her adoption of the new language of addictions – glamours, insatiables, and be-all-end-alls – and ranked her own obsessions according to this novel nomenclature. We discussed how these words open new patterns of positive brain associations and allow more space for change. But now, faced with a different life dangling in front of her on a thin wire hanger, chest wraps (two long narrow strips of fabric for wrapping around the torso) pooling on the green carpet, she looks more than a little dubious.
“Is this really part of the treatment plan?” She asks, her expression and voice the definition of incredulous. “You want me to join Cirque du Soleil?”
“For goodness sakes, no! This is about transforming your perception of an object – in this case a protection – that you think you know, and taking that change out of the theoretical and into the physical world. This is about embracing a whole new definition of comfort. Rather than making yourself invisible by hiding behind your learned glamours and insatiables, we’re going right back to a genetically coded human glamour – swaddling! This DIY bodysuit can give you that close womb feeling of being held when you swaddle yourself with the chest bands. You can change the wrapping pattern to play with your body to let its secret curves surprise and sustain you (and your most intimate relationships) rather than layering on artificial distractions and escapes.”
“So let me get this straight,” she says, “dressing up like Comic-Con Stripper Barbie is going to help me stop drinking and waiting for calls from bad men?”
“This is to get you back in touch with your body and start opening up more creative avenues of perception. The real hard-core brain work comes later. Funny you should mention Barbie clothes, though. I actually thought the ultimate sex kitten would be good place to practice. And don’t worry about your body not looking like Barbie’s, or Adrianne Curry at comic-con. But I can promise you that you’ll be amazed at how your body will respond when you start to get your glamours in gear. So do you want to play?” I put down the hanger and pull two dolls out of the canvas bag behind my chair.
She takes the brunette with all the grim, ceremonious reluctance of a subpoena. But before long her and I are laughing and joking as we compete for who can come up with the most risqué-chic chest wrap variation.
“You know what,” she confesses with pink cheeks and a naughty grin, “this is actually really fun.”
This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…
Two-part DIY belt transforms into full set of bondage gear
Bring home the Wild West with this easy to make two-part DIY belt that converts into a full range of bondage gear: handcuffs, legcuffs, hogtie cuffs, gag, and collar. Having this naughty, ever so stylish, secret bound round your waist will let you schedule your own rodeo events whenever, and wherever, your fantasies take you. Why pay for admission to the Calgary Stampede when all the best rides are just a hogtie away? Let the cowboys keep their rope for tying up cattle and lassoing unruly cowgirls. Animals like you and I know that Western bondage is best played with furry cuffs made from nylon webbing.
Supplies for this easy artistic bondage DIY project:
1/2 m fabric (Walmart short pile cow print faux fur shown)
1 1/2 m 25mm (1″) brown nylon webbing
2 black nylon side release buckles (25mm)
2 metal rings (1 1/2″ diameter)
safety pins/lighter/thread/scissors/sewing machine (or hand sew)
1) Cut nylon webbing into 4 equal pieces and adjust lengths with safety pins to fit desired submissive’s wrists and ankles. See pic of how cuffs will work and measure accordingly. Make sure you leave enough excess webbing for belt (when both cuffs are buckled to each other end to end).
2) Securely sew webbing as marked by safety pins. Cauterize ends of webbing with lighter, being careful not to melt surrounding webbing.
3) Cut 4 rectangles of fabric – 4 inches wide with lengths determined by webbing between buckle and ring + 1/2inch hem allowance on either side. Hem width edges, fold over, and sew wrong sides together along lengths. Turn right side out and slide over buckles to cover webbing.
4) Practice changing BDSM sex toy modes according to the illustrations and pictures in this post. Just like training for any rodeo or bondage technique, practice makes perfect!
-If you want to switch domination and submission roles, or go out to find new limbs to bind, you can use the pictured figure eight cuff variation to accommodate an infinite variety of wrist and ankle sizes in these homemade furry handcuffs and legcuffs.
-For the latter variation, and belt configuration, fabric tube can be pulled over buckles for style and comfort.
-Fabric tube can be rolled in over itself if bunching occurs in belt configuration.
How to promote your blog using an innovative DIY bookmark flip book
We all want to drive more traffic to our sites, but we need to get creative when “come read my blog” is the internet equivalent of a stranger in line at Starbucks flipping open his wallet to show you pictures of his cat. This new flip book method is a way to engage people through animation, individual choice, and a take home object with real-world use to anyone who loves the smell and feel of books too much to fully convert to their eReaders.
How to promote your blog with a bookmark flip book:
“Check this out,” you say, leaning close to your target like you’re letting him/her in on a special secret – which of course you are. Holding your stack of bookmarks firmly near the midpoint, use your thumb to quickly flip through your images (each varied slightly), thus creating a lively animation of your blog’s theme. In the sample shown above I’ve used Blank Canvas Living’s mascot: Mitch the insatiable human itch. Lastly, invite your target to choose his/her favorite bookmark to take home.
How to make your own DIY blog bookmark flip book:
Copy/paste your website address and tagline down the left margin of any word processing (or graphics/draw) program, leaving suitable space between. Choose a simple, repeatable image that captures the theme of your blog. Note: the genitalia shown is optional, although I do think it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any invitation. Copy/paste your graphic down the opposite margin, remembering to vary each one. You can also use repeating sets to save yourself some time/effort. Note: I’ve hand drawn the samples above, because an hour spent drawing a few dozen penises is almost as fun as an hour spent… Print out your bookmarks on card stock and cut/X-acto them apart. Flip!
Humanist Public Restroom Architecture – How to design a toilet for ‘actual human beings’
After the glacier floored, architectural dreamscape of Blank Canvas Living’s Antarctic inspired public restroom, I have no idea what to expect from the offices’ West corner facilities.
“You’re certainly dressed for it,” says Dr. C, as she leads me through the maze of corridors on the 10th floor.
I know this detour is making me late for my own job rolling paper on the 6th, but the anticipation of adventure is too strong to resist. We stop in front of a solid metal door, painted army green and accented with row upon row of rounded rivets.
“There’s only one toilet in this one,” Dr. C explains, “and no windows. In the midst of the collaborative madness of war and industrialization, we can forget who we are – one human, one moment in time. Our processes are not mechanized, nor should they be. Our bodies are sacred and should be celebrated. Take your time, I’ll be waiting right here.”
The door takes all my strength to open, then slams shut behind me with a BANG that jolts my nerves into combat readiness. The room is small and closed, a tight box of ridged green metal with artificial light coming from bare humming tubes wired (crudely) into the ceiling. To my left, near the back wall, is a strange industrial object – all gearing and quietly rotating circular components – which spins slowly to reveal a hidden sink, like the prize in a Chinese puzzle box.
And to my right… is the most human toilet I’ve ever seen! It’s curves are unexpected, fleshy, and warm, despite the smooth, cool porcelain. I can’t stop myself. My hand involuntarily reaches out to touch the molded torso that extends seamlessly from the tank back. The seat swings open, invitingly, and I take my place beside the lovely bum. Drawn by an urge even more primal than my body’s function here, I draw my fingers down the shallow dip of her spine and follow her curves with the caress of one human exploring another for the first time. Nobody’s watching; I smack her lightly on the cheek.
This is intimacy. This is indulgence. Heck, this is fun! My mind begins to churn. If this is really possible, really happening, what other processes can be transformed? Suddenly, for the very first time, pants down and mind spinning, I know exactly who I want to be.
I heave open the heavy door and relish its BANG behind me. “Dr. C! I want to do it. I want to be part of this! You don’t even know it, but I was born to work here.”
“Of course you were.” She doesn’t seem at all surprised to see me so red cheeked and excited. “I knew it the moment I met you. Well, my dear, welcome to Blank Canvas Living.”
This is a Story Thread post – Click to read more…