a moment in good karma :: my favorite candy

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Violets!

I’ve loved these candies since I was a kid. I would often snatch a piece out of my dad’s jacket when he wasn’t looking. How easily they bring me back.

A reminder that good karma is always around the bend,
even on the rainiest of days.
Keep the good vibes coming, share your good karma moment in the comments for all of us to see. :)

Professional Development: Self-Care & Continuing Education

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I’ve been starting to plan my professional development: self-care and continuing education classes for the year. I’ve been feeling like I needed to invest in myself a little bit more. I didn’t take any classes last year and I think that may have been a mistake. It always good to stay sharp and on point.

Here are a few of the things that I’m planning on for 2014. For a little kick in the ass. I signed up for Lila Rogers Assignment Bootcamp. I always seem to function better when I have a deadline. And if that weren’t enough I signed up for 2 classes at the Writing Salon. One of my 40×40 goals is to write a novel, so I thought I should invest in some tools.

And of course there are a few conferences I’m hoping to attend (in order of calendar dates) Craftcation. I thought it was a perfect way to get my craft on. Ya know, since I wrote a mother daughter craft book. Then there’s the World Domination Summit I’ve wanted to attend ever since I first read Chris Guillebeau first book. And finally there is Squam…an epic creative escape. Who wouldn’t want to attend this creative love fest?

So that’s my professional development plan for the year. Are there any classes or conferences you are planning on attending this year?

Pinpoint!

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I am not a fan of new year’s resolution.  The last few years rather than make a resolution, that I’d inevitably break as quickly as I’d made, I have decided to pick a word that has meaning for me to harness and embody for the year. In the past I’ve chosen words like grow, learn, and doing the unexpected.

This year my word is pinpoint.  I’m feeling the need to focus and be more precise with the direction I want to take my life, work and business. Usually I try to be really open to what is around me. Feeling like yeah I can do that, and that or even that. But being pulled in too many directions ultimately just make me scattered and feel unclear on what my next steps should be.

I’m working on accurately aligning my goals and actions so that I can land on the mark.

The Winter Solstice is a time for letting go

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Right before the holidays, under the new moon of the Winter Solstice each member of my family sat down and wrote and created a Fire Release Packets. I first got the idea a few years back from Pixie Campbell  and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s a lovely ritual to release and leave behind those things that no longer serve us and invoke peace and wholeness while inviting in our good intentions for the start of the new year.
Feeding the solstice fire is a way for us to transfer our energy and reclaim hope. Turning our bad habits and obstacles into something rejuvenating, new and reborn, just like the phoenix rising from the ashes.

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This is how we made our Fire Release Packets:

You’ll Need:

  • A contained fire (either in a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit)
  • A brown paper bag or craft paper
  • Strips of scrap paper
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Scissors
  • String or twine
  • An assortment of symbolic and meaningful herbs  (Pick 3-5 to include from our List)

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SYMBOLIC & MEANINGFUL  HERBS

Ash – is an herb of the sun, for protection
Bay Laurel – to bring in the light of the sun and ward off illness
Camomile – to soothe and cleanse, love and purification
Cinnamon-  success, power, healing, the spice of life, lust, protection, intuitiveness and spirituality
Eucalyptus- wealth, abundance and foretelling
Frankincense – an antiseptic herb to bring purification and protection
Ginger- passion, success, wealth and power
Holly- hope, protection, the co-existence of human and plant spirit and life
Jasmine- sweet love, modesty, sensuality, grace and elegance
Juniper-  staying true to oneself and never compromising your integrity
Lavender – devotion, virtue and acknowledgement
Mint- virtue eternal refreshment, wisdom
Mistletoe – healing, peace, and beautiful dreams
Pine- peace, healing, joy  and humility
Rosemary – remembrance, love, loyalty, fidelity, faithfulness
Sage – wisdom, long life, banish and ward off evil and cleanse spaces of negative influence
Yellow Cedar – for cleansing and purity

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To Make A Fire Release Packet:

  1. Cut your brown paper bag into 5 in squares. One for each person participating in the Fire Release Ritual.
  2. Place a pinch of each of your selected herbs in the center of you square.
  3. On the strips of scrap paper write down what you would like to release and in exchange what you would like to invite into the new year. (See below for some release writing prompt)
  4. Fold each strip and place them in the center of your square.
  5. When you are finished writing fold your paper together to enclose the contents and tie it closed with the twine.
  6. As a group give witness to each other as you gently place your release packet into the fire.
  7. Gaze into the flames in a symbolic gesture of letting go and watching your thoughts and intentions transform.

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RELEASE WRITING PROMPTS to help get you started

  • Write about how you can turn a negative into positives.
  • What do you want to manifest and hold dear.
  • What fears have been holding your back? It might be time to let them go.
  • What are you are working on changing in your life?
  • Align and empower your goals by changing your mindset and thoughts.
  • What old connects are no longer serving you? Let go and release them.
  • Let go of grudges, hurt feeling, petty grievances, emotional wounds and debts owed to you.
  • Where can you turn to for inspiration?
  • What part of you do you want to awaken?
  • Is there an opportunities or some bit of knowledge available to you that you have chosen to overlook or ignore?
  • What intentions would we like to put forward for the next phase of your life?
  • How can you rejuvenate yourself physically and spiritually?
  • What have you taken for granted ? Offer thanks.
  • State and restate personal dreams, goals and desires.

Pixie also offers some really good writing prompts. But most of all remember to be honest with yourself no one but you and the flames of the release fire will see what you’ve enclosed in your packet.

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The Winter Solstice is the time for the releasing so you may step into a new year free and clear of the burdens you have carried.

I post therefore I am…

 

This has been something that has been on my mind and bothering me lately. Does what I share define who I am? I’ve been feeling a little disenchanted with social media lately. I can’t pin point one specific thing. It’s just been a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Is all the time that I’m spending online actually worth it? It’s become such an oversaturated and overloaded space that I find the noise level deafening at times.

I use to faithfully follow a list of about 25 blogs. I no longer do that. And now, with even more amazing blogs and resources available online I feel like there is just too much to try to keep up with. I’m curious to know if you still read certain blogs on a regular basis or if it has also become too much for you too?

I think I’m needing to approach things differently. I’m just not sure exactly what that is yet. I’d love to know how do you stay connected to your peers and creative community? Is it all online? In-person? Skype? Email? Over the phone? I feel like I’ve fallen for the “I post therefore I am” mentality and I’m needing to change things up and start fostering some more authentic, real and off-line relationships?

Have you all seen Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk? It’s what has inspired me to post about this today.

Homemade Craft Connection :: Potato Print Infinity Scarf

Ava Blu and I made these T-shirt scarfs over her summer vacation, but I thought with the colder whether now upon us it was the perfect time to share. This is a super easy project and a great way to stay warm this winter. No fancy tools or techniques needed here :)

You’ll Need:

An old T-Shirt

Scissors

Cardboard or Chipboard

Potatoes

Kitchen Knife

Craft Knife

Pencil

Cookie Cutters (optional)

Fabric Paint or Acrylic Paint with Fabric Medium

Wax paper (to use as your palette)

Craft or Newspaper (to protect your table surface)

MAKE YOUR SCARF and prep for printing

1. Fold your T-Shirt in half vertically and then in 1/2 again. (This will make it easier for your to cut in a straight line.)

2. While folded cut off the bottom seam of your T-shirt (if it has one).

3. Cut off the bottom third of your T-Shirt. This will be your infinity scarf.

4. Wrap your scarf around your piece of cardboard and stretch it flat. (This will protect the bottom side from getting paint on it while you are printing. 

MAKE YOUR POTATO STAMPS

1. Cut your potato’s in half.

2. Draw a shape or design into the flesh. Simple shapes are easier to carve.

3. With your Craft Knife carve around your design. Cutting away the background.

 

START PRINTING

1. Pick your color palette. 1-2 complimentary colors tends to work best.

2. Squeeze your paint onto your wax paper.

3. Dab your potato stamp into your paint being sure to cover the stamp fully.

4. Press your potato stamp onto your scarf firmly. Lift up and stamp again until the print become paint and reapply paint.

5. Let dry and then stamp the other side.

TIPS: 

  • Use a cookie cutter as a stencil for your stamp. Press it into the flesh of your potato and cut out the negative space.
  • Make multiple stamps of the same shape if you would like to easily alternate colors while stamping.
  • You can preserve your potato stamp for a couple of days by wrapping each in wet paper towels and placing it in a zip lock back in the refrigerator.

East vs. West

This time of year always makes me feel nostalgic. Dreaming of the beautiful and snowy winters without really remembering how painfully cold it actually was. It’s interesting how our memories can be so selective. All this reminiscing got me thinking about the major and notable differences between where I live now, the West Cost and where I grew up, the East Coast. 

Have you seen those maps of the US. that have been recently circulating around declaring certain regions of the US this or that? There’re totally stereotypical but somehow they still manage to hold a nugget of truth that we all seem to relate to.

 So here’s my little visual display of East vs. West!

Homemade Craft Connection :: Gratitude Mobile

November is the month of Gratitude.

It’s a time to be reminded of all the good in your life. A time to remember your love ones and a chance to be introspective and reflect. What have you learned this past year? How have you grown? What challenges and obstacles did you face and over come? A lot can happen in a year and it’s sometimes too easy for us to keep going and not take the time to stop and remember.

This gratitude mobile is an easy way to pay homage to the past while also inviting thoughtfulness and generosity into the future.

Each printable strips has space to write down your thought and feeling of the year past. Ask each guest at your Thanksgiving table to help you add to your gratitude mobile. And if you have a message that’s a bit too personal to openly share just fold over your paper and seal it away in the wax. It’s the thought and action that hold the most meaning in this ritual.

And remember Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the only time these positive messages hang in your home.

You’ll Need
2 wire hangers
Wire cutters
Strips of scrap fabric
Glue gun
String, twine or ribbon
Bee’s wax
A double boiler or old crock pot
Basting brush
Tissue paper in assorted colors (I also used sewing pattern paper)
An iron
Printable Gratitude Prompts or scraps of paper
Scissors
Hole punch
Pens, pencils and markers
Decorative scissors and paper punches (optional)
Craft paper or newspaper (to protect your work surface)

PREP:

1.  Bend 1 hanger into a circle shape.

2. Cut a piece of wire out of the second hanger and shape it into a smaller circle.

3. Wrap your wire frames with strips of scrap fabric securing the ends with a dab of hot glue.

4. Tie a piece of twine to the top of the smaller circle and attach it to the larger circle.

(Click here to download the PDF printable gratitude prompts)

5. Cover your work surface with craft paper.

6. Print out and trim the Printable Gratitude Prompts.

7.  Cut or tear tissue paper into approximately 5 X 11” rectangles.

ADD THE GRATITUDE :

1. In a double boiler or old crock pot melt your bees wax.

2. Write down your gratitude messages.

3. Sandwich your message in between 1 to 2 sheets of tissue paper and brush on the wax.

4. Cover the message with a piece of craft paper and iron it smooth.

5. Peal off your message and let cool.

6. Trim the tissue paper edges. You can uses decorative scissors and punches. Think about cutting them into fun shapes like leaves, hearts and stars.

7.  Hole punch the top of your waxed message and thread a piece of twine or ribbon thought the hole.

8. Tie each message to your Gratitude Mobile and you are ready hang your mobile.