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Category: Ginger’s Musings

Linger on the Lovely

Years ago, one of the “fathers” of communication theory, Marshall McLuhan said that the “medium is the message”. One of his theories is that our experience of the world, and the message that we can put out there, is shaped by the medium. The world changed when Gutenberg made the printing press because ideas could be carried in a book. But the existence of a book changed the WAY that ideas were formulated. This same shift happened when radio, then television, then the internet happened. We shift to accommodate the limits and modes of the medium. (And this shift is largely invisible to us, fish not being aware of water and all that.) But did you know that your experience of the world has changed just since social media has come about? Algorithms can sense what posts you linger over (which suggests that you’re intrigued or outraged) and it feeds you more of those things, trying to make you stay there longer so that you see more ads. The particular feed that you see when you access social media and some news sites is customized to cause you to have an emotional response. If you’re not aware of this manipulation, you might think that the world really IS as toxic as you fear. It’s not. It’s an illusion. And you are being played. We have all been made to believe that social media is about connecting to others (and it can be). But it has also become a medium to

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Imitate then Innovate

I know, I know, the copying thing has been done to death. But I think there’s still confusion and discomfort about looking to the work of others as a source. But I thought you might enjoy this video, which presents a unique slant on this problematic topic. Enjoy!

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Limitations vs Possibilities

We all know about the difference between optimists and pessimists. How you perceive the glass of water will color how you perceive many things in life. That dichotomy is, of course, commonly understood in popular culture. But it’s not the only duality that can be helpful in making us understand the way we see the world. Some of us see the world in terms of limitations. If this is you, you likely see the edges of a situation first, then later determine what can be done within that system. You’ll tend to focus on the constraints, the limits. You might tend to prefer to keep a schedule, prefer to know the guidelines, and perhaps might even have a deep-seated fear of losing control of things. Others see the world in terms of possibilities. These people see tend to instantly see what could be, what might be, and where we could go with something. Only then will this type of person start to look for the constraints and bring things “back to earth”. If this sounds familiar, you might also struggle with a fear of being closed-in, limited, or stifled. Which is better? Neither! Any manager or leader knows that both mindsets are useful in a team setting. They balance each other. But if it’s just you, in your studio, dealing with your own insecurities and inner dialogue and demons (we all have them), how does your mindset complicate your creative process? Do you box yourself in with many limitations? Do

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Best laid plans!

So, my plan for this past weekend was to play around with the Papa’s Clay that was being sent. It was scheduled for delivery on Saturday. (Very responsive seller, btw.) Anyway, nothing has been delivered by mail for almost a week, citing animal interference. Funny, we don’t have pets and no truck has been here to deliver. Six packages are waiting in a pile somewhere. Sigh. I know that delays are a problem now, but I really hate when people lie to escape responsibility. On Sunday, I unexpectedly was able to get my shot with leftovers (daughter is a tech and there were no-shows). Then Monday I was feeling pretty punk. So…again…no studio time! Sorry, I had expected to share studio stuff with you, but that didn’t happen. And this week I’m working on getting my video setup finalized and perfect for our meeting with Lyne Tilt on Friday/Saturday. Have you signed up yet? Do that here. Lyne has a wonderful way of viewing creativity in our lives that I know you will enjoy. Please make a point of joining us.

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Which crime?

Do we commit the crime of doing? Or of not doing? Fear is the unspoken presence wrapped tightly around so many polymer clay questions that I read on social media groups. So afraid of making a mistake, we want to know, exactly, how should I do this? Or that? But…but…what if this happens? Should I use a tile? What temperature? How long? Can I mix brands? Will it degrade? Fall apart? Blow up? Burn? Melt? Smell bad? My husband, ironically not known for his derring-do, often tells me that we only regret what we never do. What’s a worse crime, doing something and trying it out and possibly having it FAIL? Or not trying it? Worrying. Equivocating. Allowing the fear to wend its way into our hearts, paralyzing us from action. Causing us to doubt ourselves. And yes, stealing our joy. One of the hardest parts of being an expert about something is that readers want me to be responsible for their outcome. It’s common for a simple question to go on for days as the asker almost pleads with me for assurance that all possible variations will be fine. Sometimes I have to disengage because the reader is so utterly petrified to…just…try…it. Where does this come from? Why are we so deeply afraid of failing? Or even afraid of just…mixing two brands of clay together?

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We are imitation machines

Humans are imitation machines. From our first moments echoing our parents sticking out their tongues, we spend our lives looking at “the others” to make sure we’re doing it right. Of course, this is important in a tribal society! That’s how Og and Zog learned how to make spears with a killing point, after all. But if you get a gaggle of people together in our modern world, people STILL look to each other for the answers. The problem with this is that bad information gets spread. When everyone in the pool is new at something, it becomes the blind leading the blind. And the funny part is that it becomes easy to get caught up in it, ourselves. We stay limited because our “tribe” believes a certain thing. Or we never learn to try things our own way. For years, I’ve been told that you can’t buff your polymer clay with the felt wheel from your Dremel kit. (And you can’t.) But it makes an absolutely fantastic tool to shape the edges of flat pieces (such as earring pieces). “Everyone” knew that those felt wheels are useless, until someone else, who wasn’t part of the classic clay world, came along and tried something different. Try it! It’s no good for sanding the face of something smooth as part of polishing. But it certainly grinds off the excess clay from edges and smooths rough areas like magic. And you don’t need to use a Dremel. My buffing machine is a

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