Millie Case May 6, 2021 Dot to Dot
Of course you want a dot-com extension. Everyone does. But one of the biggest mistakes you can make choosing a domain name is picking one that is difficult to scan and impossible to pronounce. By "difficult to scan" I mean a word or phrase that bares so little resemblance to a real word or phrase that it is resistant to mental retention and you forget it the moment you hear it. An example might be when two or three common English words are severed and reconnected into one impossible mishmash as in "landarchass," a shortened version of a business name that a fictional businessman might choose instead of "landscaping architects and associates" (by the way, if youre interested, this name is still available as a dot-com; I didnt dare use a real name).
It has been a long while since I last wrote. I really miss it when I cant put my thoughts to paper (or keys... as it is). Last week I was teaching a bunch of kids aged 4-8 about the importance of mindfulness. This is a class which I teach every week. If you have never taught little kids before, it is much like trying to herd cats. The mindfulness class is one hour and for one hour I need about ten to twenty different activities as their attention span is so fleeting. Last week I had prepared a very exciting lesson using vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate how, when your mind is racing, it is like bubbles in the jar. I LOVED my new experiment and the kids were mildly amused for thirty seconds. I taught them to put their hand on their belly and breathe down the "bubbles of anxiety in their minds". Naturally as the acetic acid reacted completely with the sodium bicarbonate, the bubbles settled. Seemed like a compelling lesson? But, as with the others, it was... on to the next lesson!
Since its humble beginnings seven years ago, Dot To Dot Festival has gone from strength to strength and has served up sets from bands that have gone on to see incredible success. In the past, this has meant shows from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Florence & the Machine and The XX - but this month it focused back on some lesser-known acts hoping to break through in the same way. Taking place across three cities - Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester - the event has a pretty ambitious mission statement. In Manchester alone, it uses seven different stages at venues like The Ritz, Sound Control, The Deaf Institute, Zoo and Joshua Brooks, but while this is probably something of a challenge for the organisers in terms of business liability insurance, the backing of sponsors Fred Perry probably provides some small comfort.
Its also a good idea to have a larger one, about the size of a sheet of paper. 9 inches by 12 inches is a good size. Most papers these days are acid free, but if you have a choice, I suggest getting the acid free, because it will not turn yellow over time. I have a few drawings I made long ago that I wanted to keep, but the paper has turned yellow, because it wasnt acid free. So I suggest using it, because you may want to keep some of your drawings. I also like to get a pad of Bristol board. Thats like a heavier paper or a light cardboard. When you make finished drawings, you can use markers and felt pens on it, and they wont bleed through, like they will with lighter weight paper.
The other type of eraser is just a soft white, plastic eraser. I like the white kind made in Japan. Do not get the pink ones, because they will tear up your paper, and they deteriorate quickly. Same for the pink erasers on the end of your school pencils. Never use those for your drawings. Finally, to do your final artwork, you will need a good black pen. I usually use the cheap felt tip markers, but you can pay a lot of money for specialty marking pens just for drawing or drafting. I dont feel like I need to spend so much money, so the cheaper ones work fine. If you want to add color to your work, you can use markers or color pencils. You can start with a cheaper set and wait until you know you are serious to get more expensive markers and pencils. Youll know they are the good ones, because you will be able to buy them separately, usually for a couple of dollars per pen or pencil.
The great part about mindful drawing is that it is not just for kids! In fact, my wife is a Certified Zentangle Teacher and regularly sees the amazing benefits in adults who practice this form of mindful drawing. Just like meditation, mindfulness with a pen can also reduce blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and have long-term benefits with depression and anxiety. Have you ever found yourself just doodling on a scrap piece of paper. There is a good chance that when you are making lines or dots or shading with your pen or pencil, you are focused on present moment. Perhaps if the idea of meditation seems to be not your cup of tea but you could use to manage your stress; why not consider mindful drawing, doodling, or zentangle. The goal is not to make art to hang on your fridge but rather to give your restless mind a much need break from the endless chatter.