Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Sunday Spintop Origami! Art & Craft, one in the same…

It’s Sunday, you’re either out and about playing, hustling or struggling, at home sitting, playing etc. Maybe you have kids and you all need a project?

Our son is 5.  With a “project” in his hands his attention is so concentrated and still. You can observe the place where he goes from the chatter and into the flow. It’s different for everyone but  he’s a quiet worker when he’s working with something he has practice with, he goes into the process and brings something back besides a new creation. There’s smiles and standing up straight. There’s excitement to be alive. “I made this! Look what I did all by myself!” Just saying, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you can find a place to slow down and try something challenging, and learn something new, it will open you up.

Atom at work. He has a little spot between Shani and my torch stations to work in. That's where his torch would go if/when he's onto that.
Atom at work. He has a little spot between Shani and my torch station to work in. That’s where his torch would go if/when he’s onto that. It’s all hooked up under the bench…

Like folding paper. It’s paper, but spend a few hours with colorful squares and it becomes something else. Paper will never be the same to you after that. You will see things you never saw before from then on. Like how you never noticed (insert activity/craft/hobby) here until you did it, you opened up a new spot, you turned a different light on, now it’s everywhere!

Before the internet (I’m a whopping 35 years old). I used to check out books at the library!   These were usually how-to crafty type of books. Paper airplanes, science experiments, how-to-draw books, knot tying. If it’s something you can do with two hands I’m probably interested in knowing how. I’ve even tried knitting and crochet, I was terrible at it but am happy to know how it’s done in case I need to fashion a pair of ugly mittens real quick. 🙂 “Just don’t forget the tassel’s bro!”

It’s like that with everything. You might have an affinity for certain materials and attitudes, but they all have value and they all have hidden insights and provide wonderful contrast to their inevitable counterparts. You can’t go wrong people.

If you adopt, identify and associate with just one aspect of this experience, the ability to understand and make connections with other aspects will be greatly compromised.

The war of art, or the war of craft, in the center of each you will find all kinds of flow. The war is won and lost, simply by succeeding or failing to start. As soon as you begin, everything changes…

Your determination humility and bravery to try new things, and be open to the idea that who you are, may be something you have to work hard to discover. To raise your determination to a higher level than the resistance that will keep you to afraid to try.  There is little that can be understood about certain things without doing, without trying because failure is even more educational than success. If you pass GO the first time around, it’s still there waiting for the next pass. Pass go knowing that it’s a blessing, that some folks get slammed in the intersection and slow down, take it all in, then maybe you see and understand a few things to help you through the next time around.  Because you have to. Things will be different then so you need to look close again, and connect what you learned now, with what you’ll learn then. “A-haa!”


The saying “jack of all trades and master of none” is kind of true, but needs salt once things get rolling.  Having a focus is  important, but you have to look up and away from time to time.

All that focus you cultivate and brew, when you bring it up to aim at an outside target, it is charged.  It has the potential to spark and ground something in here, with something else “out there”.  These are the “A-ha!” moments, no matter how big or small. When you have them, you’ve broken new ground and this is being more of who you are. This is the universe being more of what IT is.

Even if it’s just you, sitting at the dining room table by yourself or with your kids trying to figure out how to fold squares of paper and assemble them into a spinning piece of something just to see what it’s like. To see if you can, and to say you did. Then they’re laying around when your friend comes over and you talk about it…

Ellie had commented on some of my glass spinning tops on Facebook and I noticed some Origami in her profile. (Cause I can’t-not see it ya know?) Next level is that she has these guides on Snapguide for making SPINNING origami.

Wanna make one? Go get at it then!  Thanks Ellie!

Spinning tops made by Ellie Kneeland
Spinning tops made by Ellie Kneeland

     Check out her other published guides here!

The things that lay in the path… Don Juan x Walt Whitman

In the book “Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Casteneda. Don Juan Matus was an old Yaqui shaman who at one point says;  “For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length–and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.”

SO, that’s the path I’m talking about. When you’re on one, you find things. They seem like they are there on purpose. People call them coincidences, I like to call them synchronicity. It’s almost as if you cross paths with your SELF.

Today, I found the Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself” in the path that is my Facebook feed via Mr. Paul Stankard. You can send him a friend request and read his post if you like.     He was talking about his introduction to the works of Whitman, as a “God Manufactured Coincidence” or “GMC moment.”  “when he saw and bought the copy of Justin Kaplan’s “Walt Whitman: A Life”  for $.50 at a used book stall in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. ” he goes on to say how; “This award winning biography opened my mind to many years of pleasure both reading about Whitman’s life and reading his poetry. ”

So then he posts about it, and I run across it am subsequently moved by it, and the least I could do is leave it here for others to discover. This is how it works.

Facebook is not a path with heart, but it is an aspect of the path we can work to follow, so we notice the things that we love, we share and we build on them, wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, whomever we’re with. we try to remember what the path is about, so we can grow on our ability to stay trained, navigate and shed light a greater upon it.

Here’s To finding and following your paths with heart, because they all cross somewhere…


-Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d
     the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
     origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
     millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
     look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
     spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
     from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

-an excerpt from Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”   You can read the whole version here. (it’s long and awesome, you’ll need to make time).


…are you for Scuba?

Really though…the boat  is leaving right now! Don’t even finish reading if you don’t have time. Come back later.

This is about cultivating the spirit of being open to the next right thing.
There are times when strange folks might offer you a look at their world.  Your mother told you not to talk to or go with strangers. You are a grown up now and strangers are just other people that think you might be strange too.

Don’t miss the opportunity, these uneasy social moments are where you make or break communication and where we get to be truly human. This is your chance to say “no thanks bro, I’m too cool to leave my comfort zone”.

Or you can be the one that says, “which way to the boat, lets do this.”

Only one choice earns the story to tell and the notch of experience in your belt.   The people that pull your hand towards adventure, know adventure and want to share it with you. Be brave and say yes sometimes, live this life.

Your cronies might attempt to belittle you into staying high and dry on the beach where required effort is at is least. You don’t give even a little shit cause you’re going and glad you decided.  You have chosen to lead from the front. Now they stand their wondering if they should have gone too, as they should. Maybe they’ll choose differently next time, but that’s not your problem, you did your part and set an example. You paved the way kid, you are living and working to be more of who you are. Keep that up.

Historically it’s been true that some of the most terrifying  adventures and situations have been the most worthwhile and fulfilling.  It might not be skydiving or a physically harrowing experience that taunts you, it might just be saying yes to something socially risky, those things where the only thing stopping you is what other people will think.  In those moments, just remember, that for an anxious or neurotic person the rush of going through with, and being over with, a nerve-wracking  challenge can be equally exhilarating and the most worthwhile.

Don’t miss the boat. If you do, keep watching,  they pass all day.

Speaking of color…

The Real Deal Color WheelRCW

  People think I have color sense, but what I have is a color wheel, and I actually use it. Not always, but I usually follow the “rules.”  I have a long winded view of color that is pretty fun to talk about. This is a quick pin-in-it post, but I’ll share more thoughts on that soon.

 For now, save this image to your computer, print it out, and tape it up by your workspace and your life will get better. You can check out for more info.