Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Venus zine has articles on women in music, art, film, fashion, d.i.y. and culture. I've just discovered it and read a few articles - I like the broad range of well-written articles which include interviews with musicians, artists and fashion designers and reviews of CDs, films, and books.

Quite a nice little diversion....

Monday, May 30, 2005

Aleksandra Zawodzinska

Aleksandra Zawodzinska has a quirky Flash based site, which is in Polish and English. She is an artist and the site is her gallery, sorry to say but her art doesn't really appeal to me as it's quite childish, but the site is beautiful and is a joy to browse around.

Anyway, I thought it was time for some more eye candy!

Idea a Day

Idea a Day is an interesting site. People submit their ideas for inventions, changes, or just for laughs. There are some really clever ideas submitted, and some that are just so obvious you will wonder why you didn't think of it!

I like to use "Idea a Day" as a bit of a brain exerciser - think about the idea, analyse it...then follow the thought process. Being creative is like any other pursuit - it takes practice and training, so using something like this to stretch the braincells has got to help.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Tera's Workshop

Tera Leigh is an artist, author, presenter and generally "crafty person". Her Tera's Wish web site is aimed at helping people think creatively. I must say it all looks a bit "folksy" to me, but that is just my personal taste, I've never been into decoupage, or folk art or all that. I do appreciate the hard work and skill required to do it, but I just wouldn't put any in my house! Sorry to all those that love it, I know how popular it is, please don't hate me!! But what I do like like are some of her articles and the workshop area. I have only read a few articles, but I've already gleaned a number of handy hints, and ideas are starting to churn in my head.

I love reading web sites that get me thinking.....then I start to feel excited about the possibilities.......then I start planning what I'm going to do...... ah, excuse me will you - I have some work to do!!

Project Dream

Project Dream is a "global project created to inspire and motivate people to examine their passions, identify their dreams, and journey toward the realization of those dreams". It has interviews with people who are in the process of pursuing their dreams, or have already achieved it. They are also planning to write books aimed at adults and children and are planning to start educational programs in schools. I think the education program is a great idea - school is fantastic for learning about things, but not so great for learning how to live. Sometimes I feel that I am where I am (feeling a bit stuck and uninspired!) because I have followed a safer path, doing the things I was told I was good at at school. I look back and am so pleased that I did resist once - my teachers told me I should do Advanced Maths for the Higher School Certificate, but it clashed with Art. I always did really well at Maths, but it just didn't rock my boat. So I ignored them and did Art instead! And I have never regretted that decision - I have the fondest memories of my art class. Our teacher, Mr Holdsworth, was a wonderful inspiration - he took us on adventures outside the classroom for inspiration and pushed us to really understand other artists. The one thing that has really stuck with me was his favourite quote:

"A fragment of beauty is complete"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Biggest Morning Tea

Today in Australia it is the Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea. It's an event that gets group of people together to raise money for cancer research. We have just finished our morning tea, we raised $155 which I think is pretty good for such a small group of people.

I'm writing about this today because I think we all need to be inspired to do everything we can when it comes to finding better cancer treatments, and hopefully cancer cures. No-one is immune from cancer, in fact today it couldn't be any more obvious to me. A week before Christmas my Mum had a cancerous lump removed from her breast, and I'm not ashamed to say that I have never been so frightened in my life. Mum is my best friend and the thought of losing her makes my heart stop. Only last week it was revealed that Kylie Minogue has breast cancer. And not 5 minutes ago my boss got off the phone - her daughter rang her to tell her that her English teacher had died earlier today from a brain tumour.

I think those of us not fighting cancer ourselves also need to be very thankful for that fact - and to do as much as we can to help those who are. So, if you are in Australia today - DONATE! $1 can make a difference.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pants Press Sketchblog

The Pants Press Sketchblog is a community of comic artists sharing their sketches. Some of the text is a bit hard to follow - like joining in on the middle of a conversation when someone is telling an "in joke", but the sketches are great. You get the impression the artists just, you know, oh casually rough up these drawings (I'm too cool for school!) but they look fantastic. Oh to be able to draw like that!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

5 Keys

5 Keys is an interesting article describing how the brain filters and stores information and a suggested meditation technique to access the stored information and release creativity.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tidy Up

Lately I have been working on reducing the clutter in my life and getting things in order. So far I have cleaned out the garage (took 7 hours and 4 trips to the garbage dump but now it is clean and tidy!), sorted the pantry, culled my wardrobe (3 garbage bags full to St Vinnies!) and reorganised the bookcases. It is such a good feeling to get rid of the excess and clutter. Some days I wish I could just exist with what I can carry in a backback. It would be Ok for a while, but I'd miss all my books especially and I can't carry all of them around with me!

Yesterday though was the job I've been itching to do - organise the office/studio. For about the past year, everytime I feel like creating something, I walk into this room, look at the shambles it had become and just walked back out. Well, not anymore! I realised that if I want to have half a chance of ever working for myself and, more importantly in the meantime taking time out to create, I needed to have a workable space to do it in. So I cleaned, tidied, sorted, chucked out junk, labelled, archived. The office/studio is now a sparkling, open space just asking for me to get the creative juices flowing in. I will confess and say that still I have a box of stuff I couldn't find a home for - I think I'll buy a big plastic tub to put it in and store it in my clean, organised garage!

Going through all my crafty supplies also inspired lots of ideas - I'm not sure when I'm going to get time to make them, so I just wrote them down or did a sketch, so when I do have a free moment I can get straight to it.

Only problem is now it's Monday and I'm back at work and feeling a bit bummed as I can't be playing in the studio!

Friday, May 20, 2005

My Bookshelf

Yesterday I ordered a heap of books from Amazon and now I can't wait to get them! Patience isn't one of my strong points (as my husband regularly reminds me. If only he'd just hurry up it wouldn't be such an issue!)

I ordered:
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
- Claire Shaeffer's Fabric Sewing Guide
- Homemade Money: Starting Smart! How to Turn Your Talents, Experience, and Know-How into a Profitable Homebased Business That's Perfect for You!
- Creative Cash : How to Profit From Your Special Artistry, Creativity, Hand Skills, and Related Know-How
- Handmade for Profit! Hundreds of Secrets to Success in Selling Arts and Crafts
- Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook

Hmmm, it's an interesting selection isn't it! Some motivation to get me started, some technical advice for my sewing and web site development and then information on how to make a living from them. At the moment I'm doing a lot of research into how best to achieve my dream of working for myself. I want to be sure that when I do take the leap I'm well prepared.

If anyone has read any of these, or can suggest others in a similar vein I'd be very interested to hear from you. As I work my way through them I'll let you know what I think.


My apologies for it being so quiet around here - as I mentioned my sister got married on the weekend, so last week was hectic and this week I have been trying to recover! It was a beautiful wedding, exactly suited to my sister and her husband - relaxed, beautiful, fun and full of the people we love.

I wanted to share with you a site I visit regularly for a bit of "girl power" - Empowerment4Women. It is an webzine with articles in the areas of style, attitude, support, spirit and respect. I regularly come across articles that get me thinking and assessing issues, ideas. The authors describe it as being "dedicated to bringing 3rd wave feminism to women and men of all ages and backgrounds. We're not about the shock factor—we're about the realism factor." Don't worry - there isn't any bra burning going on, just concise articles on matters relevant to the lives of women today. You must also check out the karma section and enter the competitions. On my first visit to the site I entered - and won!! I couldn't believe it, I hardly ever win anything. I won the most amazing pair of 'kickass' shoes you can imagine. They aren't the style of shoe I would have ever bought - but everytime I wear them I feel great!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My name is Michelle and I'm a jewellery-aholic...

There, I've said it! Only thing is I don't want to be cured of my addiction. Instead I thought I'd share some of the amazing jewellery I've discovered on my web-wanderings. Disclaimer: any excessive salivating or maxing-out of credit cards that result from following these links is the responsibility of the reader - Inspire Create accepts no responsibility, but we do understand how hard it is to deny the temptation!

Lynda Holt
Bernadette Croft
Better Through Daisy
Chocolate Rain
Eni Oken

Hopefully they will keep you busy for a while, as things will be a bit quiet here for the next week. My little sister is getting married on Saturday, so I'm taking the rest of the week off to help her with the preparations. I'm so excited - I'm Chief Bridesmaid (sorry, but I refuse to be known as the "Matron of Honour"!!) so I will be having my hair cut and coloured, I'll be manicured, facialled and massaged and then I'll get "frocked up"!! I love getting dressed up - and what better excuse than a wedding - my favourite. Take care and I'll see you next week.

Australian Art

I like to visit Eva Breuer Art Dealer and dream about buying some of the amazing Australian art available. You can browse by artist or by exhibition. You can view works by well known artists such as John Olsen (who just won the Archibald Prize) and Brett Whiteley - and there are a lot of artists that I have to admit I have never heard of, but I will be remembering their names now having been exposed to them.

A beautiful virtual gallery....

Monday, May 09, 2005


I just came across the most poignant, beautiful site. PostSecret is a collection of peoples' secrets. You anonymously post in a handmade postcard revealing a secret, and the best ones are chosen to go on the site. Some are very sad, some funny, some are clever, beautiful works of art.

I am so impressed by this idea, and I just can't stop thinking about the people who have sent them in....

Friday, May 06, 2005

Beautiful Jewellery

The Australian Fashion Week in Sydney winds up today - I have been checking out all the shows online and I wanted to share one of them with you. Sarina Suriano makes beautiful ready to wear jewellery, but for Fashion Week she pulls out all the stops and presents amazing avant garde pieces. There aren't many of the pieces in this show you could wear, but who cares they are striking, clever works of art. Sarina had to lobby for quite a while to be included in Fashion Week, and now her shows are one of the highlights.

Anyway, I just love eyecatching jewellery and it doesn't come much more eyecatching than this!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Dealing with the Fear

The article Fear Factor by Suzanne Mulvehill has some great tips for dealing with the fear you feel when thinking about or are actually starting your own business. It is targeted at "entrepreneurs" (a term which always makes me think of dotcoms and tough business) but I think it is extremely relevant to creative people. I think starting an artisitic, creative business is even more frightening than starting something like, I don't know, say a take away food shop - people always need to eat, but will they need my beautiful, one-of-a-kind, handmade widgets? Not only do creative business people have to deal with the issues of will anyone buy my widget, but also will anyone else be drawn to my vision, or understand the hours of work I had to put in to create it?

There are 31 tips in the article - all of them clear, brief and I believe very useful.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Lifestylepreneur is targeted at people who have started (or like me, want to start) their own business so that they can have the lifestyle they want. For me that means throwing out my @#@!?# alarm clock, being able to make my own decisions, being able to go for a walk at 3pm when I feel sleepy rather than just struggling through it because I'm expected to stay at my desk, to work at 11pm because that's when I feel inspired (and not at 8.30am when I would rather be sitting in the sun, drinking a cup of tea and reading the paper!) - you see where I'm headed...

Lifestylepreneur has lots of useful information including reviews of relevant books, tips and tricks, a blog and a newsletter you can subscribe to. Maria (the original Lifestylepreneur!) also runs coaching courses which look like great value and have received glowing reviews from previous participants. Maria is also planning for a leap into a creative venture (visit Believe Street) which I plan to watch with great interest. I love visiting the sites of people who have felt the fear and still made the leap - inspiring!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Australian INfront

Australian INfront is a collaborative project space and launch pad to Australia's best online designers, artists, companies and other design related web sites. It has regular news and event listings, projects, designer showcases and a forum. For designers, it is a great resource and for non-designers it provides access to some amazing eye candy. I always feel inspired after a visit - the great projects people are working on, the sense of community, the possibilities through the listing of job opportunities, the galleries of work. Have a stroll around this amazing space.....

Monday, May 02, 2005

Creativity Coach

Sorry things have been quiet round here for the past week - I wasn't well, then was snowed under when I got back to work. But I'm back now and keen to find inspiring information to share with you.

Eric Maisel is widely recognised as an expert in the field of releasing creativity and creativity coaching. There is some useful information on his site, plus information on purchasing his books. You can also sign up to a mailing list, but I find this is mainly a listing of his upcoming training, appearances, etc which isn't particularly useful to me as I'm on the other side of the world!

He also runs courses to train you to become a creativity coach. I think these courses look very interesting and even if you never used it to coach anyone else, I imagine it would be very useful for coaching yourself. You can also sign up to receive free coaching by becoming a guinea pig for the creativity coaches in training. This sounds like a really good deal - I keep planning to apply, but then I think about how much time I will need to spend on it each week - and I think better of it. I'm sure the first thing I would learn if I did do the course would be to stop procrastinating and to reorganise my time!!