Wouldn't it be swell if you could exhibit more of your cool stuff without pockmarking your walls with a Tommy gun's worth of holes just to figure out how to make it all fit?
Salon-style, in which art is hung vertically in a kind of Tetris configuration, solves half the problem. But what about those holes? Here's how to proceed:
1. Measure the length and width of the area in which you'll be displaying your art, and mark that same area on your floor with blue painter's tape.
2. Gather up a nice variety of art. If you have a cat, grab him also; cats have marvelous eyes for detail.
4. When you've got it all figured out, all you need to do is transfer your composition to the wall. Take your time, measure carefully, and use a level. If you've got to set it aside for a bit, take a picture of your arrangement for later. Plus, cats like to have their picture taken.
Super-special tip: to keep your art straight after you hang it, press a ball of museum putty to the back of the piece, then push. no more crooked pictures...
Congratulations on your masterpiece! And the next time you invite a bunch of people over to sip wine and stare knowingly at your wall, remember: salon-style!
Our Swedish-style kitchen is still receiving final touches. This blustery Valentine's weekend was the perfect opportunity for staying inside and helping some unfinished kitchen window areas to really "sing"! I've long been a fan of blue glass and birds. Thanks to John's handy installation of curtain rods and glass shelves, my collections now catch the light - both from the inside and outside!
Mister Jimmy could hardly contain himself as the skiing competition heated up.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Greg Bensinger addressed Amazon’s practice of using so-called “bar raisers” to vet potential employees. Amazon believes the use of these uber-interviewers protects its corporate culture and ensures a workforce that will do well anywhere they are placed. How does it work? Each candidate is interviewed by multiple employees, including the bar raiser, whose role is to push a candidate into areas he may not be as familiar with as those that got him the interview in the first place. There are notes taken and debrief meetings held, in which every interviewer has a say. In the end, however, if everyone is impressed, and the bar-raiser is not, the candidate is not hired.
This wouldn’t be the end of the world if every potentially valuable aspect of a candidate could be taken into account by the bar raiser, providing an almost clairvoyant assessment of that person’s possible future at Amazon. It cannot be done. Nonetheless, Amazon empowers its bar raisers with the power of the veto. Bad idea. Here’s why it should should be “all hands on deck” when it comes to making a hiring decision:
“I LIKE YOU. WANT A JOB?”
It’s no surprise that we’d rather work with people we like; it’s more fun to build a culture and share success if everyone is rowing in the same direction, after all. But as far as the interview process is concerned, it can be problematic owing to what’s known as the affinity effect. A candidate is trying to make a good impression. He wants to be liked. He wants to create a connection and be remembered. Known as social affinity, this coalescing around common interests and ideals is how it is accomplished. If every interviewer gets a vote, a more realistic picture of the candidate will result, mitigating any possible bias from any one person.
“CAN YOU DRAW ME A PICTURE?”
There are as many ways to learn and know something as there are people to learn and know it. These myriad methods have been quantified into what are known as learning styles. If you’ve ever heard someone say “I’m more of a visual learner” then you have encountered one such learning style. The other broad categories are logical, verbal, physical and aural. In the context of a job interview, identifying a candidate’s strength in this area decreases the chances of dismissing your company’s next software genius because she is a logical thinker and you asked her to draw a picture, since that’s how you learn best. Presuming a plurality of learning styles among any given set of interviewers, it would be wise to leave the final hire/no-hire vote to the group.
“SPEAKING OF AIRPLANES…”
Tech hiring in America is more competitive than it’s ever been, and with colleges the world over cranking out more computer science majors each year, it’s tempting for many companies to view them as interchangeable widgets - put ‘em in, burn ‘em up, pull ‘em out (rawhide!). The idea of fostering and maintaining domain expertise over time is seen as costly and wasteful, when a “broader” range of knowledge can be brought to bear across multiple areas. Maybe, maybe not. It is worth fully and carefully considering a candidate’s passion and experience in any one area before throwing out the expert with the bathwater. Allowing every interviewer a vote forwards this cause.
Like most corporations, Amazon certainly has in place internal training, processes and procedures meant to hone its hiring practices, and the bar raisers must gain valuable experience with each interview they do. As for the hiring decision itself, however, there is little logic in the group deferring to the individual. As John Donne put it, “No man is an island.”
All over the world, people are actively seeking ways to enhance a sense of community. Synchronicity plays a big part in how various concepts and ideas emerge and “catch fire”. In 2009, two men in Wisconsin began to building the first dollhouse-sized Little Free Libraries and also encouraged others to do the same. Their mission was to promote literacy and the love of reading by encouraging the building and placing of these small book exhanges, worldwide. They wanted people to join in, building stronger neighborhoods as they shared their skills, creativity and wisdom across generations. Their goal was to encourage and coordinate the installation of 2,510 Little Free Libraries – as many as were once built by Andrew Carnegie. Nobody could not have predicted the huge success. Just five years later, in January 2014, there are between 10,000 and 12,000 Little Free Libraries, internationally. We wanted to be a part of the excitement!
John designed our Little Free Library and built it entirely from available scrap materials. He used our own leftover, cedar house siding on the library’s exterior and lined the inside with veneer from the back of IKEA shelving, sealing all the joints and nail holes as he went along (it gets wet in Seattle).
He designed and built the door to seal out the weather. Plexiglas was used for the window and a small magnet prevents the door from blowing open.
Our library passed many inspections by cats with high standards! The roof shingles are leftovers from our roof. John built a sturdy, craftsman-style stand, attached to a 4x4. This was set securely into a two-feet deep posthole packed with dry Sakrete.
Go to the Little Free Library website to learn much more. You’ll find history, a world map of little libraries and their hosts, as well as information on how to register your library, instructions on how to construct a library and even a place to order a library, should you not wish to make your own!
I've begun an experiment in songwriting.
I'm asking anyone who is interested to tweet me @verkstad using the hashtag #MakeMeSing. Write anything you want; send me a single word, send me more - it's up to you.
Using the video app Vine, I will reply with a six-second song written specifically for your words.
Here's an example:
Have you ever experienced confusing holidays, followed by an unexpected wasteland of a January? I asked the kind universe to please send me some sign of hope and clarity. Two months ago, in honor of my departed mother, Ulla, I planted a rather puny amaryllis bulb. I proceeded to coax the little anemic stalk through the oddest Christmas season ever – quite dubious of the plant’s success. On what would have been Ulla’s 84th birthday, I rediscovered the amaryllis – in full glory. First two blossoms, then four, now six! It is huge, brilliant and entirely unexpected! Thanks, Mom, for again reminding me to keep hope alive.
Tonight Kevin Daniel and I got to work demo'ing a wall in the photo studio. Plaster and lathe? Very dusty...
A song about deciding not to care