Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Raffle Ideas for Under $50

There are some great ideas here. I especially like the idea of putting out the money for a new electronic device, i.e. an iPOD Nano or a Kindle, and then putting it up for a raffle.

Tips for Writing Memoirs

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Maintenance Work is Nice

When you're a creative person like I am, sometimes it's nice to just sit back and do some repetitive and relatively mindless work. Last week Squidoo announced that it would be making some changes to it's overall look. Some features were added, some mainstays were taken away. At first I was a little perturbed as many of the social networking features within Squidoo itself have been abolished. I also have to resort to using Delicious to bookmark lenses I like now. I'm not very happy about that or the removal of the Squidcast just as I was getting used to using it. I'll have to use this blog for updates to my lenses...or something.

A nice feature that has been added is that we can now list six lenses on the sidebar. It has been a maximum of three for a while (years?) now. This is causing me to go through each of my 111 lenses and update them. Doing that job is surprisingly uplifting. For one thing, I really am excited about my lenses once I take the time to review them. I enjoy the topics I've chosen and I like the way I put them together. Looking at them all this way inspires me to make more.

I have had to resort to making and printing out a list of the lenses by actual domain name rather than the title of the lens. It's a lot faster and more error free. Again, it's almost like looking at a map of my life. Very interesting!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Flower Cake Decorating Ideas

I've been busy making something like forty Squidoo lenses since the new point system was instituted.  Nothing like an instant reward system to get me motivated.  I made a series of cake decorating pages that all started with one idea:  Flower Cakes.  It was definitely one of those times where one thing led to another...and another...and another.

I knew about icing flowers.  I'd tried cake decorating when I was a girl, although I never worked up to making roses.  Here is my lens about making flowers from different types of icing and frosting:  Icing Flowers

Fondant is that edible clay type material that you see on all the fancy cakes and cookies these days.  You can get a lot of detail and the flowers you make will stay in place without melting.  See this lens for more information about how to make them:  Fondant Flowers  

And if you really want to go deluxe in cutting your fondant you need the new Cricut electronic die cut machine made specifically for the kitchen.  There is even a Martha Stewart edition.  I'm trying to gather together as much information as I can about it on that lens, although since it's so new there really isn't all that much out there yet.

You can also make Chocolate Flowers.  The interesting thing about putting that page together was that I discovered that there are such things as chocolate flowers that you plant, chocolate indicating color.  There are even garden plans for chocolate gardens.  So the lens ended up being about both. 

I also discovered that cakes are decorated with inedible flowers made from paper and clay.  My Paper Flower lens talks about how to make paper flowers for many different purposes.  Clay Flowers aren't easy to find.  I would want to use real clay made from earth with anything edible.  Most of the clay flowers I found were made from synthetic materials.  (Although now that I think about it you'd probably want to be careful with the dyes in paper, too.)  Some of the orchids that people make from air dry synthetic clay are so lifelike.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Squid Angel Blessings: Repurpose Altoid Tins

Somewhere in my art studio (or glorified junk room - however you want to look at it) is a collection of altoid tins just waiting to be turned into some sort of altered art. 
What is altered art, you ask?  It's when you take something intended for one purpose and then alter it by turning into an art piece. This process almost always involves some sort of collage.  
Part of my inability to get going with this project is that I don't really know what to make.  I think the idea I like the most is to make tiny little pocket shrines.  There are many ideas at this lens I blessed today:  Altoids Tins.  
Meanwhile, I had no idea that there were so many varieties of Altoids these days.  Here in my area I usually only see the original flavor and the gum, although I got some sours once.  I'd heard about the chocolate dipped mints but haven't actually seen them in the wild.  I would like to try the spearmint flavor as the peppermint is really too strong for me, as well as the liquorice, ginger and creme de menthe.
Here are some of the other flavors:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Squid Angel Blessing: Wind Chimes

I recently went to an art fair where there was an artist who made wind chimes out of old silverware.  It was beautiful to look at and beautiful to hear.  Since then I have wondered just how hard it would be to make my own.  This morning I happened upon this lens about just that topic.  Wind Chimes  It is simple and to the point.  It looks like a good place to start.

Woodstock Percussion is the maker of the wind chimes I have always wanted to buy. They have such great sound and variety.  I would love to hear these chimes tuned to Amazing Grace.  This is going on my wish list.

Wind Chimes

Deep, doleful tones
Randomly punctuate the evening

Bright crystal tinkles
Fill the morning air

Zen bamboo percussion
Accompanies the storm

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