Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hangin' with Oprah

You know what the most exhausting part of this blog is? Trying to think of catchy titles for the art projects. Therefore, today's project will be named whatever comes to my mind, I am not willing to spend a long time thinking about it.

Funky Folder Fashion

Yup, that's what I came up with. Let's see if it's accurate.

This was my idea: you've got to deal with all kind of folders and filing systems at work, and all your work papers are in these boring Manila-type folders:

But I thought it would be fun to make a collage on one, so when you have to go to that folder full of boring work, it would be a little pick-me-up.

Step one:

Locate a magazine (preferably the kind that does not arrive in a plain paper wrapping; you never know who will see your folder.)

Step two:

Starting cutting stuff out that appeals to you (doesn't Oprah appeal to you, too?):

Step three:

Find enough stuff to cover at least one side of the folder and paste it on and decorate:

I picked Oprah because I wanted to get a pep talk from her each and every time I looked at this folder:

She's telling me she loves my blog, wants me to come on her show, and wants me to move in her with her. Oh, Oprah, only if you want me to move into the Maui house. I have no interest in moving to Chicago, but thanks for the offer!

This is obviously, right? It's chocolate. It makes me feel better. It's been scientifically proven.

The reason I put this chick on my folder is to remind me how thankful that my job doesn't involve anything that requires me to be fully clothed yet covered in water. Come to think of it, my job doesn't require me to be fully clothed, period.

This project ties in nicely with my tip of the day, which is:

Remind Yourself How Awesome You Are!

This is not to say you should be come a self-obsessed, narcissistic person with no regard for anyone else. My suggestion is only that you remind yourself of your accomplishments and enjoy the glow you get from all that positive thinking.

What if you can't think of anything to be positive about, you ask? You hate your job and your family? Okay, well, did you manage to make it through the entire day without running over any innocent furry woodland creatures? Have you been nice to your neighbor or a complete stranger any time recently? I want you to make a list of at least ten things that you are proud of yourself for, and to keep it up for the next week. Make a new list every day with new things you've accomplished, and by the end of the week you'll have 70 things to look back on!

Hey, maybe if you're lucky Oprah will ask you to move in with her, too.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun with Foil

What did you bring for lunch today? Ew, that doesn't sound all that appetizing.

Now that I work from home I just walk over to the fridge and pull out something that doesn't have anything growing on it and chow down, but back when I schlepped myself to the office I'd always pack something to save money. And when whatever delight I had was packed in tinfoil, I always found a way to turn it into something wonderful. Hence today's project:

Fabulous Foil is Fun

Step one:

Find some leftover used foil. There should not be any moldy food or funny smells associated with this foil, or you will live to regret it.

Step two:

Locate something you can cover in foil. A paperclip tray, mouse pad, co worker's Blackberry, etc. I chose a jar that I use as a pencil holder.

Step three:

Wrap foil around object. I noticed that when I started to do this, it looked like my pencil holder was wearing a cape, and it seemed to boost its self esteem.

Step four:

Take more pictures of the object, if you think it will make the object feel better. Notice my photos are light, dark, light, dark? I've got a strobe light going at all times. Helps me think.

Step five:

Finish wrapping foil around said object.

Step six:

Find some accessories to improve the look of your newly decorated objet d'art.

Step seven:


My segue skills seem to be temporarily paralyzed, so I'm going to leap into my tip of the day for Living the life you want to live...NOW!


Find a basket. Put a foil cape on it. It's happy now. But the objective here is to make you happy, not the basket. You put a cape on, too. Now that you've done that, your goal is to notice what makes you feel good in your day to day life and put it in the basket. I'm not talking about illegal substances here, either! Maybe you read an article in Cat Fancy that revved you up. Cut it out and put it in there. Or you saw a program that really got you excited and thinking happy thoughts. Write down a brief synopsis of the show and put it in there. A picture of a beautiful garden or a gorgeous talk show host that make your heart swell, put 'em in the basket.

Do this for a full week. When the week is up, dump out the contents of the basket and look through them. What do you notice? Are there any themes? Does anything in the basket surprise you?

Take the energy you got from all of the things you put in the basket and turn it into something good for yourself. Start a hobby based on something you love, or join a team or club. Better yet, design your own life around the things that make you feel the most alive! This exercise seems silly and simple, but you might be surprised at what it teaches you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're All On A Budget

One of the greatest benefits of working from home is that I get to wear cat-hair-covered pajamas all day, every day. The second greatest benefit is that I can take a break to watch Oprah. (If I'm on the phone with a client I just tell them what's going on during the episode, and coach them during the commercials.)

Yesterday's episode was something about decorating on a budget? I'm a little fuzzy on it since I was participating in the third greatest benefit of working from home: being able to take naps regularly, and missed part of the show.

It got me thinking about how you could improve the decor of your office using the ultimate budget-conscious item: office supplies paid for by your company. I present to you today's Office Supply Art Project:

Picture Frame Perfection

Step One:

Locate a picture in your office:

This picture was placed on my printer for the benefit of this photo; this is what's normally on my printer:

Cat hair is supposed to be good for electronics, right? And, FYI, this is what's usually on my lap:

Step Two:

Bring the photo into your hands and think about why you have a picture of a barn in your office. I was born in one, what's your excuse?

Step three:

Locate some office supplies.

Step four:

I decided to use Post-It Notes. See how I rolled this one up on itself? The sticky part makes it stick in this tube shape. You can do the same thing or use whatever you have on hand.

Step five:

Make more rolly thingys and stick them on the picture frame, if you're using Post-Its.

Step six:

Voila! Improved decor, on a budget! I know, I know, this looks kind of lame, but I didn't spend much time on this project because I actually like my job. (In case you're not sure what I do, I'm a life/career/wellness coach, writer, and blogger.) Since you probably want to kill more time, you can do a much better job than me when you redecorate your office.

Just in case you've decided you don't want to be stuck killing time with Post-It Notes for the rest of your life, how about following my daily "Live Your Life the Way YOU Want To" Tip?

When Time Flies

I want you to list five things you did as a child that made the time fly by. It can be anything, I just want you to get excited and in the mindset that life should be fun. Your list might include things like

  • Experimenting with your chemistry set
  • Riding your bike
  • Playing doctor with the boy (or girl) next door
  • Playing with your EZ Bake Oven
  • Drawing
  • Eating Broccoli
  • Building Forts
  • Selling Used Car Parts

Do you have five things yet? Okay, now I want you to list five things you do now, as grown up, that make you feel the same way. Here's my list:

  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Coaching
  • Blogging
  • Spending time with family, friends, furry creatures
  • Making art
  • Baking

Yes, that was more than five, but when I'm blogging not only does time fly by, but I forget how to count.

Please tell me you came up with five things yourself. If you did, awesome! How many of them do you get to do in your job? If it's none of them, can you think of a way to incorporate one or more of them into your current job or your future dream job? I don't care how ridiculous you think it sounds, I just want you to use that noggin of yours and get creative!

If you didn't come up with five things, look back to the list of what you liked to do as a kid. Can any item from that list find it's way into your adult list? You loved to ride your bike then, do you ride now? Why not? What about another outdoor activity like hiking or kayaking? It's so important to enjoy your life. Preferably your work and personal life, but for now I'd be proud of you for just integrating some fun and passion into your personal life, but the goal is to bring it into your work life, too!

That's all for me for now, I've got to remove a cat from my coffee mug now...

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'll Put My Paperclips in a Box For You


Today's Office Supply Art Project is:

Bad Ass Business Card Box

Step one:

Get a pile of your business cards. Or your boss's business cards. If you do not personally have business cards, go to an establishment, say a sub shop, that has one of those containers on their counter that people put their business cards in hopes of winning a free lunch, and steal some of those. You'll need 7 total.

You may be wondering if you can always count on me to provide amazing photographic tutorials such as the one above. I will not disappoint you.

Step two:

See? More quality photography from Jen. Give me a break, I'm a life coach, not a photographer. So, what's going on in this step? I made this box more than 12 minutes ago, so it's already sort of fuzzy in my mind. Oh, okay, hold one card up to the other, but perpendicular, so you can cut two of the business cards to the right height for the ends of your box.

Step three:

Actually, this isn't a step, I just wanted you to see that now the other business card has been cut and is the same height as the other business card, but it just looks like a miniature light saber. It reminds me of the time, a couple weeks ago, when I had my pupils dilated and everything looked much brighter than it should have. My white cat looked like she had been sent down from heaven to give me a message from God. That message was "more kitty treats and less back talk, please."

Step four:

Layout the business cards in the above formation.

Step five:

Tape the cards together. I know you can't see the tape, but it's there. Try not to get too much cat hair in it like I did. It leads to an unprofessional final product.

Step six:

What the heck is that??? Oh, yeah, I'm folding the sides of the box up and taping them. You can do it, too.

Step seven:

Again, this isn't a step. This is just how the box might look when you're done taping up the sides. Yours might not look quite this professional, but with time you'll develop my level of skills.

Step eight:

Not a step. Again. This is another picture of my water tight box. Stop smirking.

Step nine:

Are we done yet? No, the box needs a lid in case you want to use it to contain important documents. Get one more business card.

Step ten:

Tape it on. Fill it with nuclear waste so it glows like mine.

Step eleven:

Put some stuff in the box, just so you feel truly accomplished.

You may have noticed from the photos an area rug under my work station. That is because I assembled my box on the floor of my home. I no longer work in an office, because working in them literally caused my soul to start seeping out of me, and it was terribly messy to keep cleaning up. So I quit. Actually, I quit to become a writer and life coach, and I feel well equipped to hook you up with some ideas on how you, too, can find a way to leave that soul-seeping job. So I present to you....

My daily "Live your life the way YOU want to!" tip:

What, exactly, do you want to look back on?

This is an essay question. I want you to close your eyes (unless you're reading this on your Blackberry, which is being held in one hand while you steer your car with the other) and picture yourself when you're quite old. Like 30. Okay, okay, be serious, Jen! Picture yourself around 80, or even older if you're ambitious and most of your meals don't revolve around bacon.

So, you're 80 years old, sitting on your front porch/sail boat/dragon and telling someone about your life. Think back to your current age and your current job and/or life situation. What do you want to say about the decisions you made at this point?

For instance, when I was at my previous job I was completely miserable, but kept putting off quitting because I was afraid. Afraid I'd run out of money, afraid my boss would be mad, afraid I'd let down my family. But when I let my mind sprint into the future and look back, I realized that if I kept staying in a place that tainted my whole life, and refused to pursue my dreams because I was afraid, staying at the job would not be the story I wanted to tell.

What story do you want to tell? Allow your imagination to travel, but keep your "rational" thoughts out of it. This is about your LIFE. The one and only life you're going to get in this body, with the talents you've been blessed with. Yes, I consider your amazing ability to make armpit fart sounds a gift. I'm not telling you to make a huge change today, I'm telling you to think, seriously, about what you really want to have experienced in your life.

Please try this if you're unhappy with your life! I don't even care if you make the Bad Ass Business Card Box!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm Back! And Better Than Ever! Possibly!

Hi! I have taken a much-needed hiatus from the old Office Supply Art Blog, but only because I needed to get some fresh ideas and learn something valuable to share with my readers besides how to make animals out of toilet paper rolls and Post-It Notes. But believe me, there will still be plenty of that.

I've decided that I'm going to combine my love of passing the time at work making things out of office supplies with real tips for getting out of that boring job that drains the life out of you to the point where you'd actually rather make a necklace out of paper clips and wear it on a first date with a super model than finish your expense report and spend time with your boss going over why you, for the second month in a row, have charged over $60 a week for Krispy Kremes.

So! The new format will include a daily office supply art project for your time-killing pleasure and a valuable idea or quiz or inspiring story to help you figure out what you, Bob H. Vagabond, wants to do with your life. If you are just dying to get even more from me, check out my website, because you can also pay me to tell you this stuff if you'd like.

Here we go...