Turn story into play with a creative content creator

diy kids gameWelcome 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. mary poppins carpet bagA 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

DIY trick ‘and’ treat Halloween panties

halloween underwearTreat 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.

nerd panties

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

DIY cottage projectDesperate 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. office storage roomAll 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.

office cottage“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)

“Double vanities?”

“Not quite, but the public washroom is just around the corner, opposite the office utility closet.”

“Fantastic.”

“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

hat brim extenderThere 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. hat brim extensionThis 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:
 hat brim extender materials-two baseball caps (mesh Nike hats shown)
-colour coordinated 3/4” velcro
-waterproof (dry clear) fabric adhesive
-needle/thread (optional)
-clips for clamping (optional)

Instructions:
1- Cut away crown of one hat, leaving only the sweatband where it attaches to brim.diy hat brim extension

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!

Promote your blog by ‘taking it to the streets’

diy blank canvas shoesWe 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.

diy blank canvas shoesWe 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

diy barbie clothesI 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.

suspicious face“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.”

barbie clothes patterns

Note: The basic pattern pieces shown above can be adapted for any fabric or body (or doll) size. From top to bottom: sleeve/top (cut one), fold sleeves along horizontal dash line and sew to vertical dash line; leggings with bootie (cut two), sew as per leggings; chest wrap (cut two), sew onto angled front-neck of top and attach back of top to leggings.

“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…

The design process applied to office sanctioned crafting

design processCreative problem solving isn’t about sitting by yourself in a little corner hashing out some rigid step by step plan of action. It’s about responding to your materials, interacting with your environment, and fearlessly risking your time and ego by challenging your ideation at every step of the process.

When my boss asked me to design paper gauges for our two giant printers, I was thrilled; especially considering that despite my background, I’ve deliberately chosen a job that strictly confines me to rolling said paper when it comes out the other side of said behemoth printers (but that’s another story).

“Ooooo yes please!” I said, always eager to engage in any office sanctioned crafting. And really, is there any better kind?

I quizzed him on the design criteria: show amount of available paper (two sizes) without having to open the machines. And set to work, scouring our office for any potentially useful materials. A key exercise in creativity – feel free to try this at home – is to look at objects in terms of their inherent physical properties, not just by their associations (click here for classic candle/box experiment). For example, an elastic’s basic properties can allow it to become be a shock absorber, a vice, a sound generator, a friction enhancer, a weapon, a hinge, a sex toy… etc.

First attempt: I cut out the center of two paper plates (using small ceramic plate template), used Sharpie coloured wood coffee stirrers as indicators around a central pivot made of a paper clip (by first creating holes with thumbtacks and securing potential wood splitting with packing tape), then partook in label making to obscene excess. Brilliant!!

Except… for the fact that the resulting gauge looked exactly like two paper plates with coffee stirrers sandwiched in between, and carried the ugly evidence of someone with an obsessive fetish for label makers. And then there was the embarrassing discovery that moving one indicator influenced the rotation of the other. Sigh… not so brilliant after all.

Solution: Back to the drawing board. Always a sharp physical pain, but part of the creative process that must never smell your fear. There can be no mourning period. Huzza! Onwards and Upwards! I extended my foraging area to include resources available within walking distance on my lunchbreak.gauge design Brass spread-leg fasteners obtained! Cardstock… cardstock? After waiting for an eternity at the counter of a print shop, I’d almost given up hope. Then low and behold, a miracle! A dashing, ever so gallant, white knight of customer service came to my rescue with a stack of backroom off-of-stock-list sheets of two different weights. Huzza!

Sometimes, when you go out into the world with excitement, openness, and a clear mission, that world gets excited along with you and gives you what you so desperately need without asking anything in return. The gift of those few sheets were more than enough motivation to re-energize my demand for perfection from this project. No more compromises! This gauge was going to be perfect down to the mm… who are we kidding… the 1/2 mm!

Final design: So what if the heavier cardstock jammed the printer. I simply laminated the lighter version with packing tape and got on with X-acto-ing and blending my pencil crayons to a professional blur with strips of Kleenex. Brilliant! Perfection achieved! Perfectly proportioned, eminently easy to read, two super pro looking paper gauges = Mission accomplished?

“What do you think?” I asked my boss, proudly showing off my brand new twins.

“Hmmm,” he said, “I was thinking of something maybe a bit smaller.”

…oh for the lova’ pete.

DIY Jewelry Ideas – UFC Themed Necklace

Hooters girls are going to be there!” heralded my Viking in his sales pitch for a friend’s upcoming UFC party. Hooters girls, eh? As if watching the gnarly, bloody mayhem of Ultimate Fighting Championship wasn’t enticing enough… add giant breasted hot chicks and we’ve got a recipe for severe testosterone overload. Now, I’m not without my attributes, but wit, charm, and blonde hair can only take a gal so far when the surroundings are 100% eye candy. Solution? Parlaying some of said wit and charm into an eye grabbing, chest focused… craft project!! Because nothing’s sexier than a gal who can ‘bead’ down the competition.

DIY UFC themed necklace instructions:
Components modeled by a very manly, and surprisingly willing, neighbourhood construction worker – working on, yes, those are train tracks.
2 mini wrestler action figures ($10 for duo at Walmart)
2 lengths of 22 gauge wire (length of your leg) (Dollar Store)
1 package white/grey/black pony beads (Dollar Store)
wire cutters

1-Dismember wrestler action figures. Trim joints and scrape off unwanted paint.
2-Beginning at center point (see legs in detail pic), wrap both strands of wire around 1st body part. Secure by twisting wires together (three twists each time – to resemble UFC chain link fence around ring)
3-Working outwards from center, alternate beads as shown in detail pic. Thread each bead onto one strand (leaving other wire on outside of bead), then twist wires (three times) to secure.
4-Once all body parts and central chest area beading is complete, bend to form desired shape (see detail pic). Continue beading on either side until desired length.

Note: Eye protection is heavily recommended for this DIY necklace project!! I admit, dear readers, there was a moment halfway through this bizarre beading adventure when I had to ask myself: “Is this awesome or… just weird?” In my defense, I did promise you I’d do something radical over the weekend…