Category Archives: CricketDiane

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game

Grandma is introducing the exciting new Scared Donkey Mine Money Game GoFundMe campaign to turn the board game designed by CricketDiane into a video / online game. Come join her.

The GoFundMe page where the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game is fundraising is found here –

Please like us and share on facebook, youtube, twitter and your blog! And, donate if you can. Thanks so much!


The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game Project –

We are going to make a board game into a video game. You want to come along and watch us do it?

Well, put on your “Get Along” face and donate today for our Scared Donkey Mine Money Game to become the world’s best number one new kind of exciting game and gaming play. It is a board game now by an inventor who is a grandma like our spokesman. You’ll love her. You’ll hate her.

But with your money, she will put this board game into a video game that you will get to see happening as it happens with updates, secret invites to streaming and video content of team and project development sessions, be the earliest beta version testers and help grandma get the kinks out to make this the smoothest, most seamless running game being done today (with hyperdrive) – no, not really hyperdrive.

Let’s Put Together A Seamless, Amazing Video Gaming Experience For This Game –

We’re up against the greatest teams in gaming development who are already in place making the games we will be standing next to in the marketplace.

They’ve got their geekdoms all set up so we are gonna need your help.

Donations give us the money to pay for code to be written and to hire our own team of people who will take this board game and make it come alive.

Explore the various mines with their valuables in a walk-through style gaming play –

With worlds of the Scared Donkey Mine and other mines you can explore, trade, change and build on its potentials to be mined of valuables in the best way possible. It’s fun!

Find the secret vein of riches in the mines that no one ever knew about and find the costs and ways to mine it before the other players and without King Pindick and his conniving buddies finding out.

You need to play this game at least once, but every time it is played, it is different in what combinations of actions will work as the valuables change value and the mines offer different yields – and learn more about how money works in the real world and about mining your own resources than you would ever be able to figure out some other way.

Don’t Look Now But King Pindick Thinks He Can Mine His Mines Without Your Help –  

    (he is in for a shock because it turns out he is wrong about that)-

Join us in the worlds of the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game. Follow our story as King Pindick discovers that his vast resources cannot help him unless he gets others to find, harvest (mine), and profit also from the mines.

Just take a moment to help Granny D assess the mining operations that No Help Hannah and No Help Harvey are using for King Pindick’s service while robbing him at every turn.

Take on the challenge of finding and mining in the most power-giving and profitable ways possible from your choice of mines, operations and markets for their valuables based on making the best possible set of factors and deals with the King and his cohorts.

Find yourself in the worlds of the mines and assess their potential riches, see the mine operations to decide on how to invest in making better and more efficient returns of their potential money-making.

Be The Wheeler Dealer You Know Yourself To Be And Try Out What You Think Works –

Make the trade deals on the trading markets to get better returning mine operations or more profitable mining equipment or mines with larger payloads of valuable resources, that you must discover by exploring and comparing their riches in the changing markets values for them.

Fight off King Pindick’s conniving cousins and his current mine operators, No Help Hannah and No Help Harvey as they try to sneak in and take the mine and its proceeds from you and other players. Make deals and alliances among the other mine owners to stop them or divert their interests to something else and some other group of resources. It can be very tricky and take a bit of sneaking and conniving back on them, since they are pretty slick but very lazy and greedy as they try and get King Pindick’s permission to take the mines away from you and other players.

Play with others or play alone, but remember – in this game, strategy wins.

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game is a board game created over twenty-five years ago by CricketDiane. You can view more of her art, designs, blogs and things by googling cricketdiane as one word.

It takes anywhere from $20 million dollars to develop a top tier video game to a low of $200K if some of the programming can be done by the game’s founders. (add link to those facts.)

Our goal is to raise $3 million dollars for developing this video game through online crowdfunding and other sources to get the game made and into the market.

This campaign is raising funds to take the Scared Donkey Mine Money Game from a board game and make it into a video / online game with a cost of doing that of two years and very likely, about $3 million dollars. The GoFundMe campaign you see here is part of that fundraising effort to develop the video game.

Join us by donating today and let’s help Granny D up her game into the 21st century!

Thank you for your donations and for taking the time to check out our project. Please take moment and share us to facebook and twitter, or write up a blog post about it.

Thanks so much!

(But, don’t call me Granny D. – Thanks bunches – cricketdiane.)



Several Things I’ve Been Creating This Week

Some of the things I’ve designed in the last week –


CricketDiane 2018 Princess Beading Designs Opals DSC03948-1
Opals – Beading Design with a beautiful princess look for a necklace – Designed by CricketDiane 2018 and Cricket House Studios Art and Design.


CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny DSC03982 - 2
CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny that I’ve been painting from a drawing I did last week.


Reading this just made my day. It is a great blog post about creativity and how it makes so many things better. Worth checking it out.

10 Ways Creativity Can Completely Change Your Life

But there is something that’s always at my (and your) fingertipsSomething we always have that will instantaneously make us happy, right now in this moment.

And that is (drum roll please…) our creativity.

Creativity is not just for artists or making art. Creativity is life making. It’s anything we do that turns us on, invigorates us, or offers a simple moment of pure merriment.

Definitely go over and read this one – it is inspiring.


What’s Blocking Corporate Creativity?

Creative ideas don’t have metrics. They haven’t been around for a while. You might not know anybody that’s been using them. What ends up happening is, you get a creative idea, it has weird metrics, you don’t really know much about it, and it doesn’t allow a decision-maker to make a correct decision. They don’t have the data.

Instead, a way to think about creativity might be better served by not thinking like a decision-maker but like an inventor figuring out and getting curious about the answer.

From a corporate perspective, creative ideas and creativity are necessary but often, elusive despite the opportunities inherent in organizations for creativity to flourish and being much needed. This article explores it very well. There is a podcast about creativity too, from Wharton.


NYC US Customs House Smithsonian American Indian Museum Rainbow CricketDiane 2017 DSC01567 - 3Z-2
Creativity flourishes when we do more of it. I gave the US Customs House in New York City, a more expressive creative look to its stodgy, stuck in the 18th century facade. – CricketDiane 2018



Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin on the role of creativity in business

from Maya Angelou. As she put it, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

This concept of creativity being a resource that grows with each use and diminishes in strength when left tucked away in silence, runs counter-intuitive to how we view most finite business resources like time and money.

. . . successful entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin, treat creativity as sacred. They often view creativity as their strongest competitive advantage, and taking the time to actively nurture the creative process, gets priority in their daily routines.

The blog post above offers Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin on the role of creativity in business in video clips – amazing!


9 Ways to Make Creativity Part of Your Daily Life

The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow.

So how do you make creativity part of your daily life? Here are 9 suggestions–and guess what? You can get started on them all in the next 10 minutes.

These are great and lots of fun to try. The creativity awakening suggestions from the blog post above are as fast and helpful as claimed. Great fun!


10 Weirdest Things Anybody Ever Said To Me About Creating Art While I Was Creating It

People have a strange sense of what to say when they see someone, like me – doing art, sculpting, painting, designing and creating something new. It seems like maybe – (maybe, hah-hah) that people don’t know quite what to say.

So, I wrote down some good ones and here are the best 10 weirdest things people said to me about doing art when they saw me doing it –

      1. Cricket, are you still coloring?” – watching me doing a commissioned portrait.
      2. Can I get that in blue?” – looking at a painting that took me three months to finish.
      3. Is that paint by numbers?” – watching me paint a deer in a large landscape.
      4. Go check the box for the directions.” – there isn’t any box it comes in – my paintings, artworks and designs don’t come from a box or a book with directions and there aren’t instructions showing what color goes next or how to get it to look “right”.
      5. If you want to have a business making pillows, you have to go buy fabric – you can’t do it online.” – it was funnier at the time than it is now that I think about it.


  1. Well, if you don’t like the knife held in the Indian girl’s hand, I can cut that part of the canvas off and then frame it for you.” – said by a framer to one of the collectors of my artworks who was having a disagreement with her husband because he didn’t like the knife in the hand of the girl in the painting and she did.
  2. I don’t have time to spend 30 minutes sitting for my portrait, just make it look like me.” – there are no words for this one but it takes weeks to produce the painting, many hours of work and the buyer can’t spend 30 minutes so I can get it right?
  3. We paid $5,000 for a portrait that wasn’t even close to this good – it didn’t even look like us, but my parents bought it for us in San Francisco.” – said to me by the buyers picking up their commissioned wedding portrait 36″ x 48″ in oils who only paid $200 for it because “nobody knows who you are, Cricket”.
  4. Well, if it was me, I’d do it like this” – from a multitude of people who had never painted a portrait, landscape, seascape, floral or with oil paints ever – or with artist pastels, or watercolors, or any of a thousand other mediums and techniques I’ve learned to use over the years. Gotta love em though.
  5. If you were any good, you’d have sold everything you ever painted, so you must not be any good.” – it isn’t pouring concrete, or automatically seen by anyone simply because I create something artistic, paint an artwork, design, sculpt or make a stained glass piece I designed. There are people who specialize in sales because it is an entire skill set, which I have learned and studied, practiced and practiced without becoming good at them.
  6. Can you paint that on my wall?” Of course they don’t want to pay you more than a few hundred (if you are lucky) for making that 24″ x 36″ oil painting into a 10′ x 11′ wall piece.

Okay, so it was 11 weirdest things people have said to me about art while I was creating art, (and designs). Although, if I thought about it a bit, there are hundreds of those weird things people have said considering I’ve worked in this field for (how long do I admit to?) – well, never mind.

  • cricketdiane, 01-31-2018


Can Do Thinking and the Magic of Creativity

After writing the last blog post a couple hours ago and thinking about all that negativity that people have said to me, I wrote this statement down on a card and then came in, made it into a design for a clock using Zazzle and posted it. That is Can Do Thinking and what the magic of creativity does. It creates something, makes things happen, constructs something new, re-creates something already done into something else, energizes ideas and applies them, innovates and moves forward on goals. It is amazing – and I like the clock, too.


Dealing with Negativity from Others when Brainstorming, Creating and Inventing

At Christmas, I and my granddaughter who just turned 8 years old, set up our Christmas tree in the living room, placed the lights and then used every Matchbox and HotWheels car we could find in the house as its decorations. There are a lot of them from years of my seven children having lived here at various times in my parents’ house.

We put Christmas hangers on the underside from the front wheel on one side and carefully placed each miniature car and truck throughout the entire tree until it was covered in lights and cars. We added iridescent snowflakes of white acrylic and glitter that had been bought at the dollar store or WalMart at some point which we did find among the Christmas decorations.

Then, we added fan-folded skinny strips of red metallic wrapping paper and little curls of silver holographic and red metallic papers thrown on top of branches here and there. Eventually, I let my granddaughter completely drape the tree in tinsel and it was all amazing.

CricketDiane 2018 and Allia Christmas Tree with hotwheels and matchox cars decorating it s DSC02676 - 2

It turned out that the lights were blue that we had found and then we found another box of lights with multi-colors which we added as well. So, half the tree was blue (on the top half) and then it was all colors when all the lights were on. We set up the plug-ins for the lights, not in series accidentally, but separately, so that when one switch was turned on, only the blue lights lit up and it seemed the tree was lit in blue. When both switches were on, the tree lit up with its bottom branches predominantly multi-colored and the top two-thirds only blue. It was interesting and very fun.

The first person to see the tree like this and the person who had been steadily watching here and there on the sly, was my daughter and she didn’t want to hurt our feelings about using these cars on the tree or our making do with half a tree of blue lights and the other half multi-colored, so most of what she said to us about it was in the “well, that’s really kind of nice that way” variety of comments – a little held back, a little patronizing and very thoughtful, really.

The next person to see the tree was my oldest son when he came over a couple weeks before Christmas and just after we had everything on it except the tinsel. We had it all lit up for him to see it and I thought he would be thrilled to see many of his little cars on the damn thing  but no, I don’t know why I thought that. At least he was playful when the first words out of his mouth were, “What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t use those for that!” And, this only other comment about it after first seeing it was, “That is the worst use for HotWheels cars I’ve ever seen,” or something close to that.

My first feelings were – he thinks I’m crazy to use these little cars as Christmas ornaments on a Christmas tree and my feelings are hurt. I told him not to say any of that stuff in front of my granddaughter because she is really proud of it and then I saw his face and realized he was only partly being playful about what he said and partly didn’t really think it was an appropriate use of his little cars. Too funny.

Negative comments are easy to make and every one of us do it, including me. Being on the receiving end of those comments, it is hard to figure out if it is meant intentionally, if it is a playful barb, or if it is intended to convey something whether intentionally meaning to be negative or not.

How we deal with all that matters since the hurt feelings that can happen in those vulnerable moments when creating something, brainstorming something and inventing things will carry into future choices and current projects to get in the way and cause stumbling blocks.

The first thing I do is to think about what was said and try to understand what the overall moment was like between me and the person who made the comment. Sometimes that just isn’t possible, because I can’t see the playfulness that was intended or the light jovial interaction that way when it is a very negative barb that came from someone’s mouth and mind in the midst of that moment.

However, I’ve learned that regardless of how jovial or cute the moment was intended to be, what the person tells me about me in that moment and whatever negativity they convey can hurt my feelings just as if they meant to throw a blow at my self-esteem on purpose. Surely that is partly my own issues getting in my way at times, there is no doubt. And, each time I process those moments like this, I’m working through those issues and becoming emotionally and intellectually stronger.

The second thing I do, is to note what my own thinking is telling me about all that. Unfortunately, I can interpret meanings into things by what I’ve been taught that they  mean, when maybe that isn’t even what it means today with the people I’m around now and the situation where I live today. Sometimes, I write down this part until I can understand what was said and how my mind and subconscious translated it to mean something.

For me, this technique works and it isn’t journaling – it is writing what was said by the other person on a 3×5 card with a fat black Sharpie pen where I can see it good, then writing what my mind is telling me it means or thinks it meant using another color Sharpie marker and color post-it notes or 3×5 card backs without the lines. That was I can see them side by side when I pushtack them to a wall or piece of wood or board of some kind.

By seeing the two communications side by side, I can genuinely ask myself – well, if the person really meant that and what if it is true, how does it feel? Then, I write that down where I can see it separately from the communication and what my mind tells me about that communication.

Then, I work to feel those feelings and let the wash through me and accept them as my own. Usually, it doesn’t matter if the person meant any of it or not, in the way it conveyed to me since the feelings that were stirred by it are what I need to deal with effectively and process properly.

The third part of what I do, is to talk to the person about it – usually, but not always. I can make a written or video commentary about it, talk to them about what they said and how I felt about it either on the phone or in person. Or, I can write a debated argument about why do people say that damn negative stuff anyway (but that helps a lot less than the other two). Or if I’m still heated up about it, I can work with a friend to take a walk with them and cuss about it at the top of my volume range until I’m calm enough to do something else, (which works very good.)

Really, it is easy to be the brunt of negativity and negative comments when the thrust of what I’m doing is to create or invent something new or different. People around me are often judgmental in very negative ways when I am working on ideas that might work, brainstorming solutions or new business ideas, or inventions, creating artworks or sculptures, making models and drawings of ANYTHING, or writing, blogging, making, video-ing and photographing things for online publication and broadcast.

Maybe it is just part of the package to have an assaultive barrage of negative, why it won’t work efforts come from the people around us when it is time to imagine solutions to a problem or invent new things and create diverse approaches to innovate new options. Maybe that process invites those around us to take time from their day to express vehemently why we should know better than to think any of it can work.

The most negativity that comes from others when I’m brainstorming and creating happens more often at the beginning of the project when it is easy for my subconscious to shutdown the process of generating any more ideas or options or creating any solutions at all.

That is the worst, because it aborts the entire process and then nothing goes forward from me at all. It just stops. And the thinking about, why bother to create new things and invent solutions when the world is filled with nothing but people like this anyway – let them fix the damn stuff their own selves – starts to fill my head instead of creating solutions or inventing of any kind.

But, what did the person gain who took the time to shut down, demean and deride my efforts to create solutions, invent something new, innovate and make those innovations apply to make our lives better? They gained nothing and cost me a lot considering the overly short amount of time in anyone’s life, including mine.

To deal with that kind of negativity, I do three simple things and ignoring them isn’t one of them. My subconscious isn’t going to ignore them whether I do intellectually or not.

One, I deal with the fact that the person is telling me certain things about myself that hurt my feelings whether they are right or wrong about those things. To deal with those, I use the processing my feelings method described in last few paragraphs above.

Two, I deal with whether or not the project and its possibilities, its solutions, its efforts required and its merits means something to me that is more important than the person who is shooting down those efforts. This is the most powerful tool I have about this.

Three, I deal with the negativity itself through rigorous and candid honesty with the person by speaking to them about honestly. For me, that means saying things like, it sounds like you are saying that nothing I might try is going to work. And, did you really mean to tell me that I have no right to try and create solutions for this problem or to invent something that might work to solve it?

I repeat back aloud some of what it sounded to me like they are REALLY SAYING – which in our family is rather a no-no to say aloud honestly, and then let the person tell me if that is what they meant or realized they were saying, which sometimes it isn’t. And, sometimes – it was what they were saying and did mean, but on hearing it out loud – the person who was deriding me for even thinking about things that I could never hope to ever create anything to solve for it, in their judgment of it – decides maybe that wasn’t real helpful and not appropriate to the person they want to be. Sometimes.

Often, and in most cases – believe it or not, people don’t want to help brainstorm or create solutions or something new because it isn’t worth their “valuable time and efforts” which could be used to play a video game or watch cable instead.

But, the same people feel compelled to get up once I’m brainstorming and writing down those ideas or talking with them about it if they let me or creating something with those ideas that I generated, and that person will tell me every single reason they can imagine that it won’t work, can’t work, doesn’t work, isn’t going to work, has never worked that way, has never been done that way, could never be done that way, doesn’t make sense to do it that way and isn’t done that way by anyone else.

And, my least favorite of all – the thirty minutes these same people always seem to use up to explain to me why historically it isn’t done that way and if it would’ve worked that way, somebody besides me would’ve already done it.

It is hard to want to create anything by the time I’ve heard all of that, and often screamed at me by those who choose to tell all that to me – including various family members, my grown children, best friends, friends and sometimes done by even acquaintances that don’t know me that well, when I’ve worked with others and teams in situations to brainstorm solutions with them.

Having read a lot about inventors, inventing, making, creativity, brainstorming, creating, doing art, writing new music, writing and about writers and other creatives – it is apparently part of people’s general reactions to things that are new or different that is affecting them when confronted with someone brainstorming new ideas or working to create solutions and invent things that either haven’t been done before or were done in some other way in order to innovate them. It must be dealt with effectively too, because this kind of negativity is damaging, mind-numbing, often cruel and a complete waste of time – it destroys and creates virtually NOTHING.

By the way, staying completely away from others is not a good answer either.

  • cricketdiane, 01-16-2018


This amazing article from The Guardian was on my twitter timeline and I went over to read it. Well worth checking it out. The article is about creativity, creating and inventing.

Creative thought has a pattern of its own, brain activity scans reveal

An Excerpt from the Article –

“One of the barriers to creative thinking is the ease with which common, unoriginal thoughts swamp the mind. Some people in the study could not get past these. For example, when asked for creative uses for a sock, soap and chewing gum wrapper, less creative people gave answers such as “covering the feet”, “making bubbles” and “containing gum” respectively. For the same items, more original thinkers suggested a water filtration system, a seal for envelopes, and an antenna wire.”

from – Ian Sample, Science Editor

The Guardian,  Science Section, 01-15-2018




Conveying Information Visually for Inventors, Bloggers, Video-makers, Creators, Artists, Makers and Innovators

Conveying information visually – I made a list for my own use and then thought to share it here on my blog. When I’m writing a blog, it is easy for me to forget the many ways to convey and share the information in visual formats that go along with the written information. So here is a list of them –

  • Memes
  • Graphics
  • Charts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Tableaus
  • Posters
  • Artworks
  • Diagrams
  • Dioramas
  • Flowcharts
  • Models
  • Infographics
  • Collages
  • Plans
  • Planchets
  • Whiteboards
  • Maps
  • Isotypes
  • Illustrations
  • Drawings
  • Animated GIFs
  • Animations
  • Pictorials
  • Timelines
  • Graphs
  • Bar Charts
  • Iconographs
  • Pic Charts
  • Placards
  • Signs
  • Captions
  • Banners
  • Cartoons
  • Caricatures
  • Comics
  • Logos
  • 3D Graphs
  • Dramatizations
  • Visual Narratives
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Expanded Diagrams
  • Visualizations
  • Vignettes
  • xdx – anything I haven’t thought of yet.
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Cause and Effect Charts


Venn Diagrams –

“A schematic diagram used in logic theory to depict collections of sets and represent their relationships.”

from – Wolfram MathWorld (online)

Cause  and Effect Charts – (the ones with the arrows)

” It graphically illustrates the relationship between a given outcome and all the factors that influence the outcome. This type of diagram is sometimes called an ‘Ishikawa diagram'”

from – Basic Tools for Process Improvement, Module 5:  Cause and Effect Diagram, AU.AF.MIL (online)

  • cricketdiane, – 01-13-2018



Personal Stories from Years of Making, Creating, Problem-Solving, Inventing and Innovating

CricketDiane Sculpture Warrior 1 2016 - 2I can’t think of any. My sense of humor is gone. Will have to come back to this subject when – well, maybe – never.

Yes, I am an inventor, innovator, creator and maker. Yes. I’ve done a lot of all those things since I was like 5 years old and especially over the last 50 yrs, nearly daily on a vast array of things. But no, can’t think of a thing today about any of it.

Sometimes I stumble over something I’ve designed, made or built, invented or created and remember what the process and occasion was in vivid detail, including the problem-solving at various stages and seeing it to completion with some measure of pride about accomplishing it. But today – it all seems very distant and unimportant to try and remember any of it to simply share with others on my blog in a way that is fun and entertaining to read.

Maybe my mind is too over-shadowed with the questions – Why would anyone want to read about that? Why would there be an audience for any of that when people seem to want nearly anything else but not this? There isn’t any respect for it where I live or in my family although they’re enjoying the fruits from my doing these things. I don’t know. Maybe today is just a bad day for thinking about any of it.

  • cricketdiane, 01-13-2018


Teach your child to focus using this simple inventive old-fashioned game

This old-fashioned game teaches children to focus and takes about 5 minutes, a couple times a week. After all, what if to some degree, focus and focusing the mind’s attention is a skill set that must be learned? Inventing this game must have been fun, whatever thousands of years ago – and it works!

This attention focusing game is one you probably know and just never thought about this way. Put a quarter, a dollar or a cookie in your hand, get your child to see which hand it is in and then put both of your hands behind your back and ask them to guess which hand it is in.

Of course, it could be in either one – but children love the attention you are giving them to make this fun and sneaky cute playful game work and will focus their attention as if nothing else is happening in the room they’re in. Kids can outlast you too in this game, so you might want to say how many times they get it right to get the quarter, dollar, cookie or donut. (I’m adding donut because I like donuts and they work too. But so do toys and night-night kisses for getting it right along with the best hug.)

And yes, the child gets to eat the cookie, or have the dollar, quarter or toy when they have guessed it right. But watch how much their attention is now focused – on what your body language says your hands are doing behind your back and how many times your elbow moved indicated you switched it up again, and every time they get it wrong or right – they’re learning to focus attention when it is right now and desirable to do so.

Attention focusing is an important skill set to have and maybe our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and strangers sitting in the lobby of the movie theater where we were all waiting just about forever to get in to see the movie did something good for us playing that silly little game that works so well!

Happy Inventing!

  • cricketdiane, 01-10-2018


This is a great skill game for learning to learn, learning to focus and increasing observation skills too.

P.S. Don’t stick the dollar in your pants pocket, waistband or use unfair advantage when playing this thinking skills game with children because they won’t try to genuinely focus their attention on it the next time.

Playing this old-fashioned focusing game with your child for about five minutes every so often and it is surprising how much more focused their attention becomes in other situations going on at school or at home.

Also – there are not studies on this claim about this game. I’m offering it because I’ve experienced it personally and seen how it works to increase focused attention skills in both children and disabled adults who are re-learning their thinking skills.

Ok, that’s it. Go play.