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Our October theme was “Play” and audience member, Anthony Blatner, had a unique experience thanks to our speaker, Mikal Hart. Check out his Quest Box adventure below:

I went to the CreativeMornings event and heard the talk by Mikal Hart.  It was very a very interesting talk about a game that he created using these devices, these boxes, that would only unlock when they’re physically brought to a specified location, sometimes at a specified time. The quest only gives you clues of your distance to that location, only 50 times. And it will only tell you your distance, but not any more information such as direction. If the location is not found within those 50 tries, then it is locked forever. For-ev-er.

The idea was born when he wanted to give a really cool, unique gift to a friend for their wedding, and so the puzzle-boxes were created. Since then many people have used his puzzle-box adventures to get engaged, given as gifts, and more. He told one awesome story of an older sister who gave each of her 3 younger brothers a box that would open on their 18th birthday.

At the Creative Mornings event, Mikal randomly chose three people to give a puzzle-box to, and I was chosen!

So the following Wednesday, me and my team at Jackrabbit (Jon and JoJo) went on the epic adventure to find the location for our puzzle-box. We met at Doc’s on South Congress for a beer, planning, and we activated the quest. The screen lit up and reported that we were 18 miles from the goal. Since we were starting in South Austin, we decided to try driving north first. Stopping at a nearby gas station on I-35, we hit the puzzle-box button again — data point number two. This time it reported we were 21 miles away. Wrong direction.


Next, we headed back south. Approaching 290 we decided to head west, since we thought there was a better chance of the goal being out there. Hitting the button a few minutes later, we found we were on the right track. We followed 290 for a ways, and were still making progress. We approached Dripping Springs, and gave it another try—the screen reported that we were within 10 miles. On Google Maps we saw a Sports and Recreation park, and guessed that this may be the location, since the theme was “Play”. Although after a few more presses we found that we were wrong, and must have overshot turn somewhere. The distances that were previously counting down were now starting to climb back up—wrong way.


Backtracking through Dripping Springs, and along with Google Maps help, we took the next biggest road that wasn’t 290. Again, progress. We were weaving through backroads and the rain was coming down hard. Looking up with Google Maps, we saw we were approaching Driftwood. As we came within 2 miles, we saw The Salt Lick plotted on the map, and started to get excited.

It’s so rewarding to watch the number shrink as you get closer to your target. And pulling up to and in the parking lot for Salt Lick the number crawled from miles to thousands of feed to hundreds of feet. We pulled around the back, and as the number dropped, the box popped open right outside the venue. Success!

The note said, “Dear Friend — Nice! Meet us on the patio. We’ll find you. <3” Woohoo!


We found the rest of the group inside of Salt Lick. The first team had already arrived, and Mikal was there.  

We grabbed a bunch of Salt Lick BBQ, and some pie & ice cream dessert. What a great prize! The third team arrived at the very end. We had a great time on this adventure—reverse geocaching is awesome!


You can see the path that Anthony’s team took and read Mikal’s blog post about all three teams adventures here: http://www.sundial.com/2013/11/dark-stormy-night/


Childhood is the theme for our talk on Friday, January 17th.


When Brent Dixon was a kid, he wanted to be a tractor. That didn’t work out, and so he’s a designer, musician, and educator living in Austin, TX.

Brent believes curiosity, empathy, and play can change the world. In 2013 Brent organized hands-on art, design, and technology workshops with kids at Travis Heights Elementary SchoolDell Children’s HospitalTEDxYouth@AustinDallas Makerspace,SXSWEdu, Brooklyn’s Alpha One Labs, and NYU’s Tisch School of Arts. These workshops are designed to help children open new doors to creative inquiry and exploration.

Brent also runs The Habdash, a creative consultancy, and is Vice-Chair of The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive, a network that empowers students to create ethically-sourced, cooperatively-run food enterprises on college campuses. He was a 2012 Teaching Fellow atSingularity University and mentored 80 students from 36 countries on using disruptive technology to address global challenges. In 2010 Brent founded the The Cooperative Trust, a grassroots network of hundreds of young people fighting for the future of socially responsible finance.

Last year Brent recorded and released “Cradle to Cradle,” a five-song collection available for your ears on iTunes and Spotify.

Most recently, he launched the Austin Hacklebox, a collection of materials and tools available for educators to freely borrow and use to organize their own hands-on workshops with kids.

Brent is currently a Master of Fine Arts design candidate at the University of Texas.


Real HQ 

Real HQ sponsors CreativeMornings because they believe that everybody should spend time making useful and beautiful things. They also believe in coffee paired with inspirational talks.

IBM Design 

IBM Design engages and inspires forward-thinking individuals everywhere to impact humanity in ways that matter and endure. They design for a purpose, for a person, the world, and the future.

Our coffee sponsor, Texas Coffee Traders, wakes up Austin’s creative community every day with organic and fair trade coffee.


This month’s talk will take place at the Thinkery!


Registration begins on on Monday, January 13 at 11:00am CST on our site. It’s easier and faster to get tickets if you have a CreativeMornings profile.

Thanks to Kristen and Eve from MakeATX for making these for us - and to RealHQ for making it possible!
Tiffany http://instagram.com/p/iF25ORP-ds/
Jared (1 of 2) https://twitter.com/meany_face/status/411282413868687361/photo/1
Jared (2 of 2) https://twitter.com/meany_face/status/411283047158263808
Joel https://twitter.com/joelp/status/411980692071776256/photo/1
Buddy https://twitter.com/buddyoverstreet/status/413770247892504576
jolyn https://twitter.com/jolynjanis/status/411228450364858369/photo/1
Decorated by Evan, age 3 https://twitter.com/BrandWriter/status/411874194549665792
Aaron https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=591671747554127&set=a.492753657445937.1073741831.416635871724383&type=1&comment_id=1591378&offset=0&total_comments=1
Emily http://instagram.com/p/h7Mh6AhrGq/

Everyone at December’s “make” talk received a laser cut ornament kit to make and decorate from MAKEatx and RealHQ

Share a photo of yours on twitter or instagram with #CMATX and we’ll add it to our album.

Our December theme for our talk on Thursday, 12/12 is “MAKE”.


Kristen von Minden and Eve Trester-Wilson of MakeATX make beautiful things with LASERS – and you can too!

MakeATX is a member-based design and fabrication workshop and custom laser cutting studio.

Kristen and Eve are two friends trained as architects with a passion for making–but they’re also fierce knitters, furniture fanatics, card makers, DIY enthusiasts, craft lovers, etsy shoppers, apartment therapy blog subscribers, artists, potters, welders, metal sculptors, graphics geeks, calligraphers, independent inventors and avid tinkerers with an interest in community and supporting local business.


Check out more of their creations – and where to buy them – here.
You can also see what they’re up to on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Real HQ 

Real HQ sponsors CreativeMornings because they believe that everybody should spend time making useful and beautiful things. They also believe in coffee paired with inspirational talks.

Our coffee sponsor, Texas Coffee Traders, wakes up Austin’s creative community every day with organic and fair trade coffee.


This month’s talk will take place at The Long Center’s Rollins Theatre.


Registration begins on December 9 at 11 am on our site. It’s easier and faster to get tickets if you have a CreativeMornings profile.

Our November theme is “Bravery.”


Sheila Scarborough

Sheila Scarborough is a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. She’s written for many blogs and print publications and is also a certified Navy Master Training Specialist, with years of experience as an instructor.

Winner of “Austin American-Statesman” Texas Social Media and Clarion communications awards, Sheila trains and speaks regularly about social media to a variety of audiences including journalists, public relations and marketing professionals, tourism and economic development experts and Chambers of Commerce.

Along with Leslie McLellan and Becky McCray, Sheila is part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person training in social media for tourism and hospitality.

She serves on the National Board of Directors for the AWC (Association for Women in Communications,) she’s the Co-Chair of Freelance Austin, serves on the Advisory Board for SXSWi (the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference) and was honored to be selected as the Gladys Whitney Hearst Outstanding Chapter Member of Women Communicators of Austin. She founded and runs #awcchat, a weekly online Twitter chat about a variety of communications topics.

A U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two children, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan because there’s one winner, one loser and no whining.


Texas Coffee Traders wakes up Austin’s creative community every day with organic and fair trade coffee.


This month’s talk will take place at The Museum of Human Achievement, a multi-disciplinary art space.

Registered ticket holders will receive an email on the day before the event with the address.

(The Museum of Human Achievement usually reserves information about their location and events to their members.) Click here to become a member of The Museum of Human Achievement.


We apologize for the delay, but we're all (re)set for this month's talk with Mikal Hart. It will take place next Friday: Oct 25. Thanks to Capital Factory for hosting! Registration begins on Monday at 11am, so mark your calendars, and if you haven't already, be sure to set up your profile, for easier registration.