This weekend was a throwback to 8 year old me. In 1995 I was an arts and crafts fiend, a connoisseur of the hot glue gun. I practically had a degree in popsicle-stick jewelry boxes, and man, could I make a mean friendship bracelet.
I don’t know what it was that prompted this throwback, but there was just something about Friday night that screamed ‘art project!’. It scared me a bit, being as artistically challenged as I am (I once had to make a toy snow otter for art class. My classmates sewed stuffed animals, while I covered a shoe box in white paper and glued on a margarine container for a head). Despite my shortcomings, I thought… why not?
The primary focus of DIY night had a pretty stellar outcome actually, for only about 7 bucks (the former student in me loves that). If anybody’s been surfing around on Pinterest lately, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t have seen this. All you need is canvas, crayons, and a hair dryer, and you’ve got yourself the kind of project that even someone like me can pull off. If you’ve got a bare wall in your house and want something quick and easy to jazz it up, or if you have kids/nieces/nephews around, this is such a good idea (apologies for the amateur photography here).
It was nice to spend an evening on something that I can continue to enjoy even after my night of the arts, but my crafty weekend didn’t just benefit my walls. For anybody wondering, I did actually meet the goal that I set for last week. It wasn’t easy though, and the conversations were not nearly as in depth as I’d have liked them to be. I’m not making any excuses, I’m just saying that it’s more difficult than I thought it would be to wiggle my way into new workplace relationships. I also realized that work is not the only place I should be focusing my efforts on. I’d like to go beyond my company, and just try to get a better feel for my industry as a whole.
This is where I really got crafty. Without the hot glue.
Let’s just think for just a second. Reflect. If I want something, and I am not getting something, shouldn’t I be the one to do something about it? I mean, it’s only practical.
I’ve been sitting on an idea all weekend (and part of the week) that involves organizing my own “networking” event. It doesn’t need to be jazzy or formal, it just has to be fun, social, and facilitate re-connecting.
And really, Vancouver isn’t that big. Many of my old classmates from engineering work in or fairly close to the downtown core. So, why don’t I organize a mini-reunion? It’s only been a year and a half, but why should I rely on my school to do it when I’m just as capable. All you need is an informative email invitation and a restaurant reservation and bam! It’s a new-grad networking extravaganza. Even better, the intimidation factor that usually accompanies a networking event is eliminated, because these are people you already know and just haven’t seen or spoken to in the last little bit. What’s not to love about that?
Here’s something else to think about. Millennials (a term used for my generation, or Gen Y) are becoming known for their rejection of the one-company career path. The US Department of Labor estimates that the average millennial will have held 10-14 different job titles by the age of 38. Considering we typically graduate at age 22, that’s a new job every 1-4 years. Holy guacamole batman.
Commitment issues aside, why wouldn’t you want to know what other companies, opportunities, or projects are out there for you in the future? I’m not at all suggesting that I am in any sort of discontent with my own job, because I’m most certainly not, but I am saying that there’s nothing bad about knowing your options. If the time did come where you felt you wanted to move on (and up, of course), you’d be a lot better off if you already knew what was out there. So, in the spirit of being prepared, I think an event like the one I want to organize would be great for just that–getting the information you need from the people you trust. Aren’t we in the information age, after all?
Anyway, this event in the first stages of development. I definitely don’t want to throw my name on something that turns out to be a flop, so it’s going to take a bit of effort to put together. I’ll keep you posted. And on the note of keeping posted, I did end up making those red velvet cupcakes. I actually made minis and took them into the office on Friday (a little bit of sugar-bribery never hurt anyone’s networking efforts), where they were an instant hit. So, if you wanted to hold your own ‘my big red bicycle is gone’ pity party, you might want to go set your oven to preheat. To 350˚F, by the way.
Red Velvet Cupcakes (from Vegan Machine)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp liquid red food colouring (I used a 28 oz. bottle)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
(for the icing)
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance butter (room temperature)
- 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
- 1 tbsp almond milk (to achieve desired icing consistency)
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake tin
- Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl, and let it thicken for 5 minutes
- Combine sugar, oil, food colouring, and extracts in a large mixing bowl. Once the milk mixture has thickened, add as well and combine
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix until all lumps are gone.
- Fill the cupcake liners to about 2/3 full and cook for 17-19 minutes
- Use an electric mixer to combine frosting ingredients while your cupcakes are baking
- Wait at least 30 minutes to frost (I am horrible at this, and always end up with melty icing)
This recipe will make 12 regular sized cupcakes, or about 30 minis. yum. Happy creating! xo