Sunday, December 6, 2015

In a Blink...

Have you ever had what feels like a little psychic flash about something? Like you knew someone was going to call you, or you knew what was going to happen next in a certain situation?

I have.

And I'm not psychic.

But I have always been good at pattern recognition (or that's what I call it), and if you see enough of a certain pattern, that turns into a pretty good prediction tool. And in some cases, I believe, it has kept me safe from a variety of things.

I finally read a book - Blink - that makes all that make sense, and explains some of the reasons that things click in your head before you even have a conscious thought about something - it's really interesting.

One of the things he discusses in Blink is an algorithm developed at Cook County hospital for diagnosing chest pain - the somewhat (at the time) controversial Goldman Algorithm. It involved limiting the amount of information doctors based their diagnosis on to the answers to just three questions. This meant elimination the other information usually collected by doctors examining patients with chest pain - things like age, weight, other conditions, etc.

The facts were that if two of the three factors in the algorithm were present, the patient was at high cardiac risk, and if they were not present, the patient was not. The problem the algorithm solved was that a doctor's decision in the COMPLETELY overwhelmed Cook County hospital at the time to declare a patient at high risk and unnecessarily treat them, putting truly critical patients at risk, was influenced by things that didn't matter - like age, weight and other conditions. The statistics didn't lie. The less information the doctors used to refer patients to the next level of care, the more people who needed treatment got it, and fewer patients who didn't, didn't.

Too much information can most definitely be harmful to clear thought. A few months inside any university will teach you that.

And those little flashes of "intuition" you have are really based on your ability to recognize patterns and utilize some unconscious processing your brain is always doing for you - thanks brain! I highly recommend this book, and I was already a big fan of Gladwell - I loved the Tipping Point and Outliers too. The audio version of Blink is actually read by the author, which always makes for a better book.

So when I sat down to make kits for my customers for last night's customer appreciation Christmas Party, I deliberately stopped myself from overthinking the project.

I was creating a little snowman from these adorable miniature mason jars, (Tim Holtz has some different style ones that are a little larger here)and I initially planned to have a nose, buttons, etc. But I thought about what MAKES a snowman, and it's really the hat, so I eliminated a few details and focused on the hat and the scarf. I didn't want to cover up the word "love" on the jars. So cute.

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I made the hat by cutting a brim, by nesting the 2.75" and 2.5" circle die framelits to make a donut from Basic Black Cardstock. These make the PERFECT brim - no adhesive needed - it rests on the edge of the lid. Then I cut a 7" x 1.25" piece of Basic Black and adhered it to the jar lid by running a line of Tear & Tape around the jar lid and adding more where the cardstock overlapped.

Take the circle you cut out of the donut and adhere that to the top of the hat by running a thin line of Tombow Mono-Multi around the top and gently setting the circle on - let it dry, and then tie a bow around the hat with the 1/8" striped ribbon (this comes in a package with red and green striped ribbon.)

To make the scarf, I just twisted some pom pom trim around his neck - and POOF - a perfect, sweet snowman with just the right amount of detail

The jar is filled with individually wrapped Pep-O-Mint Life Savers (you can get a GIANT bag at Target for $8). I didn't want unwrapped candy in the jar because, germs, but I think those white butter mints would be cute too, or mini marshmallows and then you could put it with a packet of cocoa for a nice coworker or teacher gift.

The jars are teeny - just 3" tall, and 4" with the hat on.

We really had fun making these, and ended the night with a great White Elephant gift round and food, drink and merrymaking.

Hope you all had a good weekend too and got some crafting in. This is one of those glorious, cool Texas fall weekends we get to enjoy before the cedar pollen sets in, so the kitties are very happy about all the open windows. 



  1. Adorable as can be! I need to move to Austin.

  2. These are cute, thanks for sharing the instructions.

  3. I love Malcolm Gladwell. I was excited to hear him speak at a conference in November - what an engaging speaker. Love this book - one of my all-time favorites. Love this project, too, Lydia - and who doesn't love Pepo-o-Mints for the holidays? This is perfect.

  4. Ingenius and, oh so, adorable. Wonderful idea...simple and effective. Always the best. I can totally relate to your "flash" perceptions. They certainly have kept me out of trouble for a great many years.

  5. I'm still recovering from the Japanese Art of Tidying, not sure my brain could handle another one of your book recommendations! :P

    These snowmen are so cute!

    1. Your snowman jars are adorable. Thanks for the BlinK recommend.

  6. Hi Lydia! This is just too adorable and thanks so much for joining my challenge this week :)

    Jeannie T.
    Dragonfly Journeys

  7. Bitty Bits of Darling is what these are!!


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