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Make something for a stranger

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From the Bench Diary Project to Twitter’s mysterious @HiddenCash, people are using old-school objects and new technologies in tandem to interact with people they may never meet.

Give it a try!

Make something for a stranger. You might choose to leave a hidden love letter to the finder in a public place, make cookies for a neighbour, or do something entirely your own with your creative talents and energy. Whatever you make, share the story here.

Together, let’s fill the world with unexpected gifts.

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Stories (22)

  • Jerome Santucci

    We do random acts of balloon art. For example, I will often have many balloon animals after I am done with a practice session or after filming a tutorial video. I will take these out and put them around town - the bank lobby, at the grocery store in shopping carts, in the booths at restaurants, etc. We even have a Facebook page for it: https://www.facebook.com/Randomballoonartistry

  • Stephanie Thomas

    Right now I am making small wood burned tokens (each individually crafted by myself) that I set out in various places for people to find. They say 'Somewhere Out There' on one side and a motivational word (happiness, success, love, etc) on the other. The project has taken off and I have shipped out tokens as far as Australia and gotten pictures of people putting them out for random strangers to find! I can't wait until this is a global project!
    www.facebook.com/somewhereoutthereproject

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    I simply live this way. I think couchsurfing really cemented this inside of me. Sharing whatever I can. One of the things I share are Stories. When I am staying with a new host, I will find out more about their culture beforehand and about their interests. Then I will find a story that connects to their culture or interests, tell it to them and leave behind a printed copy tied with ribbon or yarn.
    I also share FREE HUGS everywhere I go. Never leave home without my FREE HUGS sign and it's amazing the conversations that simple gesture opens.
    I love the bench diary and More Love Letters and also the Little Libraries. So much kindness in so many places. Hugs from my heart to yours! Kristin

  • Scott Lary

    Once (this happened to me) rather twice - total strangers acted on my behalf - I post this in recognition of the life affirming effect it had on me. So far I've been unable to duplicate these acts of kindness (as far as I know) but am keeping an open mind and heart to do so should the occasion arise. Case one: out of food and money totally in newly new city (Washington DC). At home was wife and two year old daughter. All prospects for loans came up empty. Took a hike down 14th street (not the 'best' area). Saw a storefront school (this was 1983). Went in to offer my services as a tutor. The manager took one look at me and promptly went to the back room and returned with a full grocery bag which he thrust into my arms.

  • iallen77

    When returning to our table at a restaurant to leave the waitperson a tip, I try to wait until I see the bus-person clearing the dishes and discreetly hand him/her a separate tip.

    What happened when you last did this?
    The person whispered a heartfelt and strong, "Thank you, God bless you, thank you." Tears welled in my eyes.

  • Jonny Miller

    Have you ever Googled ‘Monday morning feeling’? Try it now. Scroll through pages of posts that give tips on how to avoid the ‘Monday morning blues’. We wanted to do something, however small, to help change this—here at Maptia whilst things are certainly not always easy in startup life, we always look forward to waking up at the beginning of each week excited to make progress. We can honestly say that we love what we do, and feel that we have an opportunity to create something meaningful. This is why we decided to reach out to people all over the world to help us crowdsource a translation for ‘arbejdsglæde’ by describing how they feel on a Monday morning in three words—the result was the poster below... we hoped if nothing else to make a few strangers smile on a Monday morning and connect those lucky enough to make a living doing something that they love.

  • LE BohemianMuse

    I have used the word warrior in a few of my blogs, and titles for a couple of my painting series. I find the concept of being a warrior courageous, fearless, and inspiring. When I think about the warriors of today, I don’t necessarily see soldiers (though in their own right they are warriors as well). However, I personally will categorize anyone to be to a warrior. Anyone who is valiant, brave, and doesn’t settle for what’s just in front of them but moves forward to expose the truth, or the need for something that can help us all as a society and/or as a community , in my book is a warrior. There are various types of warriors; my favorite ones are the creative.

    What do I mean when I say a creative warrior? A creative warrior is someone who is vigorous, courageous, and aggressive in displaying and/or promoting creativity within their community. I would consider Pollack a creative warrior, I would consider Basquiat a creative warrior, I would consider Maya Angelou a creative warrior, Langston Hughes, Silvia Plath, etc. You know who else can be a creative warrior? You can. Now to truly become a creative warrior you got to earn your medals, therefore you got to go into battle. Who is the biggest arc nemesis to creative warriors? Procrastination, if you let it, it can destroy the creative warrior within you. By procrastination’s side usually resides General Excuses. General Excuses, will attack you with all the unnecessary reasons for why you can’t create at this time or moment. It will also dose you with why it is not important and then ransack you with self-doubt, nearly knocking you out completely.

    Let me provide you with the counter attack and the weapons you need to win this fight. First off you’ve got to knock out General Excuses, the truth is what you want to create can and will have the effect the people you are aiming to affect. It’s not a dumb idea, it’s not worthless, your efforts are not in vain they are Important, because they matter to you. Thus, your first weapon is confidence. Secondly, STOP PUSHING TIME AWAY. You have more of it then you think you have. Remember the blog I wrote about “How to Incorporate a Creative Hour into Your Day?” This is your second weapon, planning! Organization and planning time to incorporate a creative hour into your day and sticking to the plan allows you to avoid procrastination. Lastly, remember your mission. Your Declaration of Intent, this particular weapon can be used really for anything you do in your life. Why are you doing this is the first place? What is your ultimate goal? Try this idea for the week: Create a self-portrait of you as your creative warrior self. This could be a painting, a short story, a poem, a song, etc. Below is an image of myself in creative warrior form, to see more of my work and blog check out the website: www.lebohemianmuse.com

    “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” - Lord Chesterfield

  • Marie AndThePinkPony

    Play with your city and the people in your local area

    My name is Marie, I'm a 26 french girl living and loving in London, and as I grew up I never stopped playing. All the best things in my life happened when I was playing around and not looking for them at all. Playing as been so important for me as an adult that a year ago I decided to create myself a partner in play: The Pink Pony. The Pony and I have London as our playground and keep exploring its beauty during our play trips. The Pony has helped me to see beauty and meaning in even the smallest and more normal things you can think of. A while ago, the Pony and I started to play with other people in our area, inviting them in our playground. We have organized polaroid hunts and drawing days in local communities, where people were invited to play around with polaroid cameras or stencils to reveal the beauty and meaning of the small and usual things that surround them. Even the eldest ones have started to love it and each time we try to bring more people in our playground.

    Playing has allowed us to make unexpected, meaningful and rewarding encounters in our area, that we would have never made by just following the routines. This is the power of play, to make you see everything with fresh eyes and connect with your environment.

    So I'd like to ask you all to get out there and start playing around and explore your local area in a different way, on the back of a BMX or a Pink Pony, with an old school polaroid camera or just the one at the back of your iphone, and I promise that you'll see a number of beautiful things that were waiting for you but you had never noticed!

    And if you want some help to start playing around, please reach the pony at www.mariethepinkpony.com

  • Carol Becherer Wright

    I have many interesting experiences with glass - creating and restoring leaded glass windows, making Tiffany-style lamps and most recently, doing some mosaic work.
    I wanted to go to Europe a few years ago and was going by myself. I decided that I wanted some sort of focus or goal and stumbled across the idea (on-line) of art vacations - going somewhere and learning a new skill. Eventually I settled on a mosaic class in Ravenna, Italy. I spent a week there, making my first mosaic projects and visiting the countless mosaic installation there which are hundreds of years old and as exceptionally beautiful today as they were when they were first created. I came to really enjoy this art form and have been able to incorporate it into my house (bathroom decor and kitchen backsplashes) as well as use it as a focus with groups of people.

    Last year at the Pridefest in St Louis a friend who was connected with the LGBT Center asked if we couldn't set up a table on the grounds and create a mosaic which could then later be hung in the LGBT office. It was a wonderful success - all sorts of glass and baubles were provided to the people who stopped by and the results ranged from the humerous to the beautiful. It was a wonderful chance to meet many people and at the same time to introduce them to something completely different that the majority of them had no experience with.

    Another time my apartment had been brojen into and we had to nail a large board over the broken area. Instead of trying to hide it, I invited family and friends over, gave them each a snall square of wood and they each made a mosaic, all of which are now in permanent exhibit on the hallway door.

    In both instances it was great to see how, even though people said, "oh, I can't do that!", they DID do it and had a good time and enjoyed a new experience.

    The three pictures below: Pridefest mosaic, first mosaic made in Italy, and hallway door mosaic