Brandy Agerbeck holds a copy of book with her image on cover

This is SO exciting. I’m holding my very own hand-delivered copy of Pamela Meyer‘s book, From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement.

Those are MY “Ico” guys on the cover! And my graphic facilitation work inside. Hooray!

Pamela & I have had a great collaboration for over a decade. We developed the model of the Playspace process for her dissertation. I’m so happy that work became this book. Even happier that I’m part of an absolute rock-star team of people who’ve spent the past year developing an offering to help organizations foster the principles of Playspace.

The book is filled with examples and ideas for people at all levels of an organization who want to create dynamic, fun and inspiring spaces where everyone can work at their best. I absolutely love that the book has a chapter dedicated to each piece of the conceptual model, the qualities that must all be present to foster this environment of play. And each of those chapters has a great case study of a business who is making Playspace happen and what results they are getting. AND each chapter describes what you can do as a leader, as a facilitator, as a participant. Very accessible principles you can start using whether you’re in power or not.

I was lucky enough to get to read the manuscript. I really enjoyed that I could “diagnose” what has made some company cultures so great to work with. I’m also very proud that those of us working on this new Playspace venture truly walk the walk.

We, the Playspace Co., are not quite ready for prime time yet. I hope you’ll read the book. And if you’re interested in more, please sign up for the newsletter on at

Things have been rough lately. But I’m very thankful for a good date with The Professor today. We had a tasty, hearty breakfast at our local diner, then headed to Brookfield Zoo. Happily we used museum passes from the library for free admissions. More happily, it was a beautiful sunny days, high around 40. Even more happily, this weekend winter visit found the zoo nearly empty. Like have our own private zoo. Here’s a small set of photos posted here on Flickr.

The neatest/creepiest moment of the day was seeing a mama naked mole rat ready to pop out her babies. Her belly was taught with wriggling babies.

How glad am I that I’ll never have wriggling babies in me? Very.

Polar bears are my favorite and was hoping to see them. Brookfiled is building a new Bear Wilderness area. The existing areas were built when the zoo opened, in the 30’s. Happy the bears will get bigger, better digs. Bummer to see no bears. This is as close as I got. The Mold-a-Rama bear.

The polar bear is telling The Professor its secrets.

The Professor leaves tomorrow for two weeks of all sorts of prefessorial things. Very glad we had a very nice date today.

Just a couple pics from my post at The Four Seasons, Beverly Hills.

Honestly, I think most hotels are about 90% the same, it’s that 10% that makes the difference between a crappy or stellar stay. The Four Seasons had great service, friendly staff, great food at our event. But the best of the best was the gardens around the hotel. Small footprint, but chock full of gorgeous succulents. Sorry I didn’t get any pics. Too busy with a fascinating, productive graphic facilitation project.

Here’s a pic of the bib necklace I designed and made to wear to my friend Alise’s wedding this weekend. I’ll post more details soonish. (By soonish I mean when I eke out time between graphic facilitation gigs and if I don’t get the creeping crud that I feel looming.) Details below –

bib necklace made by Brandy Agerbeck

It is shiny. It makes me happy. All this began with a segment on Martha Stewart’s show I saw at the gym. Aided by a NYC gig allowing me access to the mecca that is M&J Trimming.

At M&J Trimming I bought a bunch of silver, gray, white and black sequines, rhinstones, odds and ends. I was most in love with the white leather jewels and the long thin sequins. Then I found a tin of old rhinestone jewelry Alise gave me, from an estate sale. And found a few other bits and bobs in my stash.

The next part is the bestest, funest part. I absolutely love sorting and arranging things. I separated everything into The Best Craft Tool Ever: muffin tins. Then I started arranging everything on a black piece of paper. I took a digital photo of each composition:

Then I set the project aside so I could have “fresh eyes” to look at it later.

I ended up with a None of the Above design that didn’t use any of those beloved white leather jobbies. I used black velvet for the background.

First I glued everything down with Fabric Tac. *whew* Fumey!

Then I sewed everything down. I think the MSL video says you can do glue-only. Some of the pieces fell off before I could glue them done – the backside were too smooth and nonporous to really stick. So, I recommend sewing everything, even if it’s tedious. I both glue and sewed the ribbon in. At this point I was tired of sewing, so I “hemmed” the edges with glue.

Here’s the nearly finished piece, modeled by Gunther the Very Handsome Cat. He loves to sit on the table while I work and was happy to lay on the extra velvet. This is actually a candid pic:

Next I sewed on those awesome long sequins. It was futzy, but I think the result was worth the effort. Lastly, I glued the whole darn thing to a black felt backing and trimmed away the extra felt.

Here’s the finished necklace:

Uh, yes, The Girls were out for the event. I wore a velvet vest from New York & Co (bought a few years ago), with black pinstripe pants and a black jacket from Lane Bryant. Was comfy in the cold and could really boogie down at the reception sans jacket. The necklace was a big hit and I wonder when I’ll next get to wear it…

Yellow Still Life


My worktable: roll of paper, Neuland markers, necklace, computer, hard drive and daffodils shining bright. I’m thankful for daffodil season.

The Professor recently learned a cat-pleasing technique (from Amihan) of petting/pulling on the fur at nape of Gunther’s neck. Yes, I know how strange/pervy that sentence sounds. It gets all sort of loose fur off of G, and he (cat, not man) gets 110% blissed out by it.


Well, The Prof picked me up at the airport today –

Prof: You know that thing Gunther really likes?

Brandy: Yeah…

Prof: Well, I was doing that to him. I was watching tv and lost track… Gunther’s got a bald spot.

Gunther’s got two bald spots, one behind each ear:

The Professor grew up pet-less, so I’m happy whenever he and the cat bond. But I will admit every time Gunther turns away I simultaneously laugh and wince. The Protective, Overly Proud Cat Mama in my thinks, “My poor handsome boy…”

He’s still a heartbreaker:

Missing Mom


I finished my 2009 Year-In-Review newsletter (you can join in here). That includes the sad news that my Mom died Oct 2nd. I added this, my all-time favorite photo of my Mom and I: