Friday, February 20, 2009

Picking the Oscars

The Oscars are on Sunday. A big day for me. Not only do I try to see as many of the award contenders as possible before the big show--a rough ride, since they INEVITABLY release a slew of depressing Oscar hopefuls in January when I'm feeling most low--but I make my picks based on copious reading of entertainment magazines and analysis of Hollywood politics. It's exhausting!

This year, I've seen everything but The Changeling with Angelina Jolie. (Blockbuster screwed me on that one...I was so close to seeing them all before the show! I may have to try and rent that one on Saturday.)

So, my picks are:

...Sean Penn for Milk (I really think Frank Langella should get it, but politically the tide appears to be with Penn)

...Kate Winslet for The Reader (it's her time and though Meryl Streep has a shot, I don't think she'll pull this one out)

...Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight

...Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (she was a force of nature in this picture, the only Woody Allen movie I've liked in ages)

...Danny Boyle for directing Slumdog Millionaire

...Slumdog Millionaire for best picture

...WALL-E for best animated film

Anyone want to post their picks?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Craft Resources

I just read an article that said crafting stores are doing pretty well in this lousy economy. Makes sense to me. People are looking for activities to comfort them, as well as ways to make heartfelt but inexpensive gifts.

Sometimes, though, you can't find what you need at Jo-Ann's, Michaels, or AC Moore. Here are three websites I turn to often for embellishments and the like. This site has an online store called Flourish that offers art quilting supplies. Warning: It's very addictive! They stock Lumiere paints, Shiva paintstiks, charms, threads, yarns, and all manner of embellishments. (FYI: I took a class with Country Quilter's Jane Davila and Elin Waterston that they turned into two great books: Art Quilt Workbook and Art Quilts at Play. These books offer a lot of fun, innovative, and freeing art quilting techniques.) Look up the word "funky" in the dictionary and you'll find this site. It's charming, it's fun, and they have lots of great beads, charms, rubber stamps, and other embellishments. It's a blast! This site offers a WIDE variety of beads and crystals and everything you need for making jewelry and embellishing quilts and whatever else you want.

Any favorites you want to share?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Creative Success in a Failing Economy

Thanks to all my posters--please keep it up! It feels so odd to keep posting myself when I don't know if anyone is listening, so I really appreciate it. And we all need a little community these days, don't we, with the economy still looking so gloomy? I know we're all looking for ways to save money, distract ourselves from the bad news, and find new and more creatively satisfying jobs.

I love when people talk about using a layoff to pursue a new career path they can be passionate about. Easier said then done, but I have two friends who can help...

First, I recommend that you visit my friend Gail McMeekin's website, Creative Success, at Gail is a creativity author (The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women is one of my favorites) and coach. You can sign up for her coaching services and to receive her wonderful monthly newsletter, which always inspires me. Gail has an uncanny ability to say the most reassuring and encouraging things!

Second, my friend Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio is also a coach, with a focus on career guidance for Gen Y students and young professionals. Visit her website at Connie worked in corporate recruiting for many years, most recently for Merrill Lynch, so she really knows the ins and outs of the job market, and she has the most incredible demeanor with everyone. She's a charmer! She and her partner Caroline also do a blog on, a job-seeker's website (Go to message boards, blogs, sixfigurestart or

Can any of you recommend websites or resources you've found helpful in this job market?