Posts from the ‘Fun’ Category

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UNUSUAL JOB#3 – AN ARTIST WHO IS A PUZZLE SOLVER

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Toledo, Ohio’s Kathleen Gill-Slee is not your ordinary artist. She is also something of a puzzle-solver and a marathon runner.

An honors student in math, English and science in high school, Kathleen knew she could draw from the A’s she received in art class. But she didn’t spend every moment drawing like many would-be artists.

In fact, when she had elective classes to choose during the school year, she chose English courses! By the time Kathleen graduated from high school, she had accumulated five years of extra English courses. “I was a nerd,” she said.

Nerd or not, those classes taught Kathleen to use her mind in ways that helped make her the dedicated, unique artist she is. And she is currently a graphic designer for Hickory Farms in Maumee, Ohio–her day job. “Who else has a job where they can draw all day and get paid for it?” she said.

At the time of this interview, Kathleen had been drawing fruit. Her drawings were clearly visible in the fruit wrapping paper she created for Hickory Farms. But when Kathleen creates wrapping paper, she actually only draws a small section of what will become rolls of it. She has to discover a way to do that one section so it can be repeated without showing any seams. Sound like a puzzle to be solved? It is.

Many sketches later, after discovering a segment that will work, Kathleen sends the segment to the printer. The printer follows Kathleen’s directions to produce a high resolution scan, which is like a very good color photograph. From Kathleen’s one small piece, the printer creates one finished puzzle or huge roll of wrapping paper.

Kathleen has also used her fruit drawings for two of the eight catalogues Hickory Farms owns: Mission Orchards and Pinnacle Orchards. But if you look at the catalogues, you will not see drawings at all. Where is Kathleen’s work? It’s another kind of puzzle.

“I brainstorm with the catalogue manager,” Kathleen explained. From the ideas, Kathleen draws exact sketches to serve as master plans for all the pages and photographs that will be used in the catalogue.

From Kathleen’s drawings, displays are set up for a photo shoot. A local or agency photographer shoots the photographs. Then Kathleen goes to the printer for what is called a “press check,” to make sure the colors come out correctly. After that, the photographs are put into the catalogue, taking the place of Kathleen’s drawings.

“Sometimes, a catalogue has to be designed right at the photo shoot,” Kathleen said. “I play around with props.” Props is short for properties, or pieces that might be used in the photographic puzzles that make up each page of a catalogue: candies, flowers, nuts, bowls, etc.

“There is always something different to work on,” Kathleen admitted. “I once did a scale model of a kiosk (a little booth or stand) and the boxes that went on it. I created 400 boxes in miniature.”

Kathleen makes signs, mailers, packaging, labels, and store display pieces. For the displays and packaging, her work is mostly three-dimensional; that is, work that takes up space in several directions. If Kathleen creates a box, she must imagine how it will look assembled. She must also be able to imagine it and draw it flat, before it is assembled, along with the slots and tabs that will hold the box together.

Kathleen often uses math skills she enjoyed in school to help her figure out how something will look. “I use a lot of math in my work,” she said. “Mostly for packaging. It’s mainly geometry–like the circumference of a circle, the legs of a triangle, or formulas to figure out the square inch area of something.”

Besides doing graphic design, Kathleen also creates pottery. “After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1994, my first jobs at Office Max and Cherry Dale Farms in Cleveland were very stressful,” Kathleen said. “My brother suggested I take a community pottery class to relax.”

When Kathleen made the move to Hickory Farms, she discovered The 577 Foundation’s Pottery Barn in Perrysburg. She has been making pottery there ever since, and she never stops sleuthing for her next project.

“I was trying to figure out something to do with all the bottle shapes I had been throwing, and I came up with a pig. It just came out of my head. I don’t even know if my pigs have pig ears. They may have cat ears.” She admits that her mood at the time plays a big factor in determining the pigs’ expressions.

Since the first pig was thrown on the potter’s wheel, it has been pig heaven for Kathleen’s new nieces and nephews. They all receive ceramic piggy banks. That is, until she made a purple warthog for her brother-in-law. “The warthog has a Mohawk and several piercings,” Kathleen said.

Hickory Farms once asked Kathleen to use her pottery skills on the job. She developed pieces for miniature ceramic farms that could serve as gifts. Want to ask Kathleen some questions about being a graphic designer, potter and puzzle solver? Leave your questions as a comment and we’ll see what happens!

UNUSUAL JOBS: A SERIES

THE FIRST IN THE SERIES: CHOREOGRAPHER… DANCE MAKER…

Because choreographers are dancemakers, the POFFF decided to give you a snippet of what they produce and do on the job. It’s all about dancing and an art form. Want more information on how to become a choreographer? Click here.

Check back often as this series of unusual jobs continues. The POFFF will feature some interviews with people who have what some might find as unique and very special employment.

Click on the links below the slideshow to see more examples of choreography.

Ballet classical, story and contemporary

A choreographer at work

Another choreographer at work with the composer of the music for his ballet

Before its seen on stage choreography can look like this

Theatrical dance… interviews

More ballet fun

Musical theater – Jerome Robbins – An American master of choreography for the stage and film.

Giselle as the Danes do it

Enchanted Shoes

I found a pair of shoes that I would love to own and I think many elfin folk would enjoy wearing them. I have green fairy shoes, but I can’t walk far in them.

Check out these enchanted shoes. Can you make your own?
Check out these enchanted shoes. Can you make your own?

Thank you to artist Lexi Sundell for sharing these with the world on line. If you’d like to read the story behind them, click here.

Do you have enchanted wear? Can you make some?

Scared, Worried? Use Your Energy Potential & Tap Your Fears Away!

Are you worried about lots of stuff?

Do you find it hard to take tests because you get so scared that you forget everything you know?

Do you feel afraid sometimes about the same things, but don’t know what to do about how you feel?

There are many ways to help you with what are called anxiety, phobias, and fears and the ones I mention here are from energy healing, or energy psychology, but the great thing is, you don’t have to be a psychologist to use them.

One way is Hawaiian and is called DMT or the Dynamind Technique. There are instructions on the linked page and they are free. There is a booklet you can send for and if you send a donation, Aloha International will mail you booklets to serve a group you belong to.

Another way was developed by a man named Gary Craig and is called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. The POFFF Master learned about it from a father who uses it and has worked with young people. A school psychologist also uses it at Maumee Valley Country Day School in Ohio with young people, and it is part of a research project being conducted there. If you click on the link, you can send for a free EFT manual that will arrive by e-mail. There are videos and other information on the site.

Both systems use tapping that you can do on yourself. The points you tap on are actually acupuncture points, the ancient Chinese method that has a lot of research behind its effectiveness. You can tap your way to self-confidence, and you can prepare for and pass tests feeling calm and safe as many other students and adults have done using these techniques.

You can also overcome shyness and embarrassment that may stop you from being all you dream of being.

Besides these techniques, you can also visit the page called, Chamber of Energy (above) and breathe in the energy there that is called Reiki. The POFFF Master personally uses Reiki and Crystalline Consciousness Technique (CCT) to help her in daily life in situations where she feels uncomfortable or unsure of herself. She recommends both systems, and feels that they are very spiritual, though in no way affiliated with a specific religion.

If you discover something that works for you, please let the POFFF Master know about it by leaving a comment below. What helps you may help someone else, especially someone who right now is saying or feeling that these ideas are ridiculous, stupid, or faulty in some way, or has tried many things and feels that nothing works. Don’t give up!

Please note that even though EFT may be called energy psychology and that some of these techniques are used by therapists and counselors, some problems are best directed to a licensed professional like a school psychologist or a medical doctor, especially if they interrupt your ability to live your life. At the very least, mention reoccuring symptoms or problems when you visit doctors, school counselors, or other helping professionals. If you use any of the practices in this blog, you may be able to cut down on medications or avoid expensive or invasive medical treatments.

One last idea you might try is to take a little time alone. Sit quietly. Breathe in deeply three times. Go deep inside yourself. Pretend you have a magic map that shows you things inside yourself that only you can see. With your eyes closed, look at this map inside you. It may look something like the map Harry Potter uses to locate people inside Hogwarts.

Your map may give you pictures, images, feelings, or shapes and colors of energy inside you. You may know or feel guided how to best use or change that energy so that you feel better. Allow your imagination to bring relief by working with the energy or picture. Change a color, shape, or size of what you find there and then notice what happens to how you feel or what you find in your life.

When I locate energy that doesn’t feel good inside, I use a magic vacuum cleaner to suck it up. It’s a nifty model because it sucks up the energy and changes the energy it picks up. It shoots the changed energy like fairy magic dust or star dust out its back side away from me.

I hope one or more of these techniques helps you today. Energy fields also help you. If you haven’t read the blog on setting these, you might do that now and try it out several times before you have a big test or event. Let me know how you do.

-The POFFF Master

P.S. If you enjoyed this page and found it helpful, and want to learn more about energy helping you, check out this link

Happy Fairy Faerie Fae Day!

I just learned about this one. Is she someone to fear? Certainly, this is a different way to look at something or someone, like a Banshee.

Is she what we mean today by calling someone a cry baby?

Beansidhe (Banshee, Ban shee, Badhbh, Badhbh Chaointe):
A Celtic or Celtic Irish fairy whose name actually means, Woman of the Hill. Her name comes from “bean,” or woman, and Sidhe, or fairy.

Apparently, she looks like an old woman with deep-set eyes, which are bright red from constant weeping. She wears a cloak over a green dress. But I suppose she could wear anything she wants, couldn’t she?

Another description places her with wild long red hair, wearing a white gown or dress. Another, still, describes her as a beautiful veiled woman, with a way of moving or being that conveys great sadness. She seems to be a servant of some kind, and her sorrowful wail is heard the night before a family member is going to die.

Sometimes she takes on the form of a crow and beats her wings against a window as she lets out her mournful cry.

Many claim to have seen her as she goes wailing about. The Irish funeral cry is said to be an imitation of this cry. And when more than one of these creatures wail together, it is said to be for the death of some holy or great one.

Unseen, these crying spirits attend the funerals of the beloved dead, and sometimes can be heard wailing along with the mournful cries of others, each beansidhe attending her own mortal family.

The Scottish version of the Banshee is the Bean Nighe.

What unusual faerie types do you know about? Are there banshees in Harry Potter? Do any have first names?

Fairies seem to want to help us. They offer a look at emotions or circumstances in life. Most are tied to nature in some way, and many are nature’s angels.

Today, many people feel that fairies are here to help us lighten up, have fun, be playful, and look at ourselves and our lives differently. Sometimes, we need to wail like a banshee, but after a time, just like sun appearing after rain, it’s time to come out and sing, dance, and play again.

May you feel the fairies around you and see their little lights and note their fluttering wings in your life often.

Check out my Slide Show!