It’s a Monster Invasion!

Have you ever seen someone come up with such a great idea that you wanted to be part of it? Not only that, you wondered how you could be part of it?

That’s me.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a post by a Facebook friend, BeLinda Creech. (She and her daughter CeCe were behind the Elephants for Joplin movement after an EF5 tornado destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri.) She was starting a movement to spread joy around the country.

Monsters were going to be a key part of that movement.

These are no ordinary monsters, though. None of your run-of-the-mill One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eaters here. No, sir! (Or Ma’am.)

BeLinda developed a knit pattern for a monster and posted it on Ravelry.

With support from Maker’s Mercantile, Operation Monster Drop was born. Since then, Amanda King developed a crochet pattern. (Both are available as free downloads in the Maker’s Mercantile shop. Link will open in a new window. NOTE: Please be aware the patterns are only free until the end of June.)

The original idea is to make monsters and leave them in random public locations for people to find. Each monster has a tag describing their mission (to spread joy) and a hashtag (#monsterdrop, #operationmonsterdrop) so the finder can post a picture to Facebook. That way, we can see where our monsters are spreading their joy.

Since Operation Monster Drop started, there have been knit monsters, crocheted monsters, sewn monsters, and even some silver monster pins (so cute!!). All spread their own unique kind of joy.

As BeLinda has said, the monster’s joy is actually double. How can that be, you wonder? It’s simple, actually. The monster brings joy to the person who makes it AND to the person who finds it.

How can you get involved?

Check out the Facebook page, The Monster Drop Project, download the pattern(s) (or come up with your own), and start dropping monsters.

It’s quite fun!

As of writing this post, I have dropped two monsters. They both went to the Wound Care clinic I go to.

One went home in a nurse’s pocket. The other had to get a compression wrap. Poor guy! But afterward, he went home with the Wound Care Specialist where he is getting plenty of TLC.

I have more monsters to make, so I’ll talk to you all later.

Happy crocheting!

Should You Go to a Conference?

No matter what your hobbies or career choices, eventually you’ll be faced with going to a conference. Should you go or not?

The short answer is yes. You should go.

The longer answer begins with “it depends.”
Here are three things to consider when you’re decidig whether or not to go to a conference.

1. Budget

Unfortunately, conferences aren’t free. Some are more expensive than others and only you can decide if it’s worth the cost or not. If you’ve never been to that conference, it’s difficult. How can you know if a conference is worth the mone if you’ve never been? (Talk to others who have been, evaluate the speakers, etc.)

Aside from the conference fees, though, remember the travel expense and vendors. Many conferences have books or other merchanidse for sale. That needs to be considered when you decide on your budget.

2. Education

Depending on your profession. you have to have to have a certain level of continuing education credits. Because of that, you might be hesitant about going to another conference for something you don’t have to do. I understand that.

The thing is, if you don’t go to conferences that aren’t “required,” you’re behind on new advancements and upcoming trends by the time they hit the stores. That makes you scramble to try to keep up. Disclaimer: I am NOT suggesting you should chase trends. Keep with what you know and love, but be aware and ready to change or adapt if there’s something new coming up that you want to incorporate in what you do.

3. Connections

Conferences allow you to network and meet with like-minded people who work in similar areas as you. Yes, you can meet people in groups on Facebook and other social media platforms, but there’s something to be said for meeting people face-to-face in real life. The shared connection of the interest the conference caters to makes networking and meeting new people easier and less awkward.

The people you meet can become friends, mentors, coworkers, collaborators, and even fans of your work. They can help you promote your work and you can help promote theirs. It’s almost like having a built-in street team.

What else?

There are many more reasons to attend conferences. I couldn’t list everything here, so I thought I would focus on the top three. What did I miss that you think is an important consideration? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Podcast: Living Your Creative Life – 6 Keys to Creativity Part 3

This is the final installment of the 6 Keys of Creativity. If you missed parts 1 and 2, links are below so you can go back and listen to them.

Part 1

Part 2

5 Themes for the Days of the Week


I know themes are everywhere. Taco Tuesday. Throw-back Thursday. Woman-Crush Wednesday. And so on.
I’ve thought about themes and how they can be beneficial to a creative practice. Here are some themes I’ve been thinking about.

1. Motivational Monday.

There are so many motivational quotes and creativit quotes that could go on this day.

2. Tip Tuesday.

Afer so many years of studying creativity and developing my own theories and ideas, I have a lot of tips I can share.

3. What-if Wednesday

This sounds like it could be a brainstorming day.to come up with more ideas for future projects.

4. Thankful Thursday

In November, a lot of people do a month of Thanksgiving. But why limit it to November? For that matter, why limit it to one day of the week? Of course, it’s not. But it is a day of public gratitude.

5. Focus Friday

I have a friend who does Fnish Friday, where she wraps up ny outstanding projects for the week. I decided to kind of flip that and do a Focus Friday. This day is meant to make a list of what you need to do for the next week to be successful. You don’t have to p lan it out yet unless you do your weekly planning on Fridays, but at least you’ll have an idea of what needs to be done when you sit down TO plan it.

I know I said this was a list of five themes, but we’ve covered everything but the weekend, so….

BONUS:

6. Siesta Saturday

Yes. Siesta. Take a nap. It’s the weekend. There isn’t a law that says you have to run-run-run, go-go-go every single minute. You need to take some time to rest and recharge.

7. Serene Sunday

In our family, Sundays have historically been a quiet day. Church/reflection/quiet time. Whatever you want to do with it. Think about it like the calm before the storm that is the work (or school) week.

Are these themes that work for you? What would you change? Let me know in the comments.

Podcast: Living Your Creative Life – 6 Keys to Creativity Part 2

Today’s episode is about the next two keys of my 6 Keys to Creativity. If you missed the first part, you can listen to it here.

 

Do You Plan Everything?


I don’t know how it’s happened, but I’ve become a planner. I used to be a pantster in just about everything. Not anymore.

In writing circles, a pantster is someone who basically flies by the seat of their pants and doesn’t outline or really even plan anything about their current work in progress. Yes. That was me.

Like I said, not anymore.

If I sit down to write or do any other kind of work, I want to know what it is I’m going to do. More than that, I NEED to know what I’m going to do. I spend too much time playing games or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram if I don’t.

Maybe it’s an age thing? I don’t know. It does seem to go along with age, though. As in, the older I get, the more I need to plan.

That brings me to the point of this post.

What about you? Do you plan everything? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants?

If you are a pantster, do you ever see a time you will become a planner?

Better yet, do you think planning would restrict your creativity too much? That’s probably a question for another blog post, but I’m genuinely interested. Leave me a comment and let me know.