Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Word for the Year

The New Year is about to start and I see that people all over the net are choosing a word for the year again. Then I got Christine Kane's email article to push me a little further.

So I have chosen Release. My focus this year will be to release all old patterns and blocks that prevent me from truly living an authentic life. I like this word because it resonated with me and I can see it applying to so much in my life. The desire to lose weight and become healthier, organize my life, truly find my place in Art, having more monetary abundance, finding work I love, finishing a novel and so forth all relate to release. So this year I embrace the word Release

I am including Kristine's article so you may know more and choose your own word too. Lets make 2009 as fantastic a year as we have ever known.

Resolution Revolution: A Better Way to Start Your Year
by Christine Kane

The regulars at the gym were joking about it early in December.

"Have a good workout now," they said. "Cuz you know what it's gonna be like in about three weeks!"

Word of the Year That's because all the folks who have - yet again - made their New Year's Resolutions will show up. They'll stick around for a while. Then, around Valentine's Day, the regulars get to have their old gym back.

Last week, I overheard a radio talk show. The hosts were discussing the most common New Year's Resolutions and the average success rate. Among the most common were Get Organized, Be More Spiritual, Lose Weight, Quit Smoking, and Spend More time with Family.

I don't know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life transformation does little to inspire me. And it doesn't surprise me that the success rates were low.

Why Resolutions Don't Work

The reason most resolutions don't work is that they address only one level of your life.

The DO level.

It's the DO-HAVE-BE model.

It goes like this:

"I will DO this thing." (i.e., Lose weight) "So I can HAVE this other thing" (Self-Esteem) and I can BE this thing. (Confident.)

The average New Year's Resolution doesn't address the core of the issue:

The "BE" level.

The best order for creating positive change in your life is the BE-DO-HAVE model. This means you start from the BE level. When you begin changing on the BE level of your life, then the DO level and the HAVE level follow more easily.

When you start only on the DO level, then the blocks on the BE level will often become the obstacles you can't overcome.

A Better New Year's Ritual

Several years ago, my friend Kathy and I decided that, instead of making resolutions, we would pick a word that would guide us throughout the year. It would be our touchstone. It would remind us of living our lives at the BE level.

This didn't mean that we didn't take action. It meant that our actions were inspired from the BE level. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!

For two years, I've blogged about this inspiring way to begin the year. The response has been huge. So have the success rates! I regularly hear from people who have created big changes in their lives because they focused on one word.

How to Choose A Word

Look through the list below. Get quiet and listen to your Wise Self. Pick a word.

Then, hold that word in your mind throughout the year, and let your word guide you to take action.

Here's an example:

Let's say you're one of the many people who would normally choose "Get Organized." You're tired of chaos and clutter. So, you think, "I need to get organized. That'll be my Resolution."

But then you read this article. You decide to try this new approach.

You sit with your clutter. You spend a few days pondering words. You realize in an "Ah-Ha!" moment that you hold on to lots of things. You're scared to let go.

So you choose the word "Release" because it inspires you in a bigger way than "Get organized."

So, every time you approach your clutter you remind yourself of that word. "Release," you say softly. You start to let the clutter go.

Eventually, you realize that you're still holding on to lots more than just physical clutter. You realize that you hold onto resentment at old relationships. "Release," you remind yourself.

You realize that holding on is affecting your diet and health. "Release" applies to some of the extra weight you've gained as well. Throughout the year, you can see clearly how much you hold on. "Release" is your touchstone. It grows you throughout the year. It becomes your guiding force, not your harsh standard.

Your clutter became your teacher simply because you shifted your intent towards it. This wouldn't have happened if you'd opted only to "Get Organized."

What word to choose?

Many people know immediately which word resonates with them. For others, a little contemplation is required.

As you read through the list of words, see if one stands out. It's tempting to choose four or five, believing that you can do it all! (Or that you're so messed up, you can't possibly narrow the mess down to one!) I recommend that if you can't choose just one, choose no more than two.

One is ideal. It gives you focus. If you master that one word, you can choose another one in June.



































































Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Works in progress

I spent the day working on this warp. It is really taking me a long time. I finished threading it, getting all the tangles out and had it almost wound onto the back beam when I discovered a problem. Had to pull it back through the heddles and adjust the stick on the back beam. I need to rewind it on now. A job for tomorrow. Its a mixture of reds rusts and grey that will become a shawl soon.

I took a break to play and finally finished this journal page for the Goddess art class I am taking with SuziBlu. I have had the picture glued down for a long time. It was fun to finally find some elements to add to the page. I am not used to working this big so it was a challenge. Now that I have done one of these I think I will go and work on the other two that I have started. I have been having a hard time getting in the art groove again. I'm hoping this page will help.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A wonderful Day

We had a wonderful Christmas and I received some wonderful gifts. I have been wanting this for 2 years. I put it on a vision board back then and its exciting to really own it now. Its a Canon Rebel XSI and its going to take some time to learn how to use it. Since its so expensive I had agreed it could be my birthday present too. Then Dave decided we just couldn't afford it this year. Then the price was lowered by 250.00 just before Christmas so I got it after all.

I was pretty sure I was getting this since I had asked for it long ago. I have been using and old version of paint shop pro so I am excited to venture into the world of photoshop.

Sarah gave me the following to redo the bathroom in the basement.

The shower curtain.

and the rings to match.

Accessories, there is also a wastebasket. Now I need to figure out what color to paint the room and so forth

And then there was a little something to read.

My sister sent the Stewart Gill paints that I have been wanting to try.

Here is the felted hat made by my sister Peggy.
We had a wonderful dinner on the 25th. Each of us prepared something so it was a joint effort. My cornbread stuffing turned out fantastic and we now are letting Sarah always do the mashed potatoes because hers were excellent. As I sit here and look out the window the snow is gently falling. We have snow drifts as high as our mailbox, but the roads have been cleared so we can travel if we want to. We plan a trip to see a movie this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A lovely gift

I received this in the mail from the lovely Lisa Oceandreamer. I won this when she had a birthday giveaway. Its beautiful, makes me think of my mom today. She had some of these china cups and saucers but I never received any of them. I collect tea pots and have wanted to start getting some beautiful cups and saucers. I previously had only 2 and now with this third one I will soon have enough to have a tea party. Its extra special that its come from Lisa. I know that she was close to her mom and that when I use this cup I will think of her and her mom and mine too. What a pleasant memory that will be. Thanks Lisa.

We haven't been snowed in but I did get stuck in the driveway after the snowplow dumped tons of snow there. Today I chose to stay home. Domestic goddess, thats me. I baked 2 pumpkin and 2 apple pies, cleaned the house, did laundry, finished up the last Christmas gift and got it wrapped. Maybe now I should get dressed. Right now I am listening to my favorite Christmas song by Trans Siberian Orchestra. Christmas Eve Sarajevo, its all instrumental and is a mixture of tunes including Carol of the Bells. I have it on repeat, I won't say how many times I have heard it today. Sarah loves it too so neither of us complain about it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snow abounds

Like in many locations around the country we have lots of snow. These are the drifts in my front yard.

Outside my window the birds are really congregating.

Then I saw these on the lawn. I believe that they are Hungarian Partridge.

And here is one close up. A minute later they all walked over the snow bank and disappeared. I was taking these through the window so they aren't real clear.

I did this drawing on Sunday. I have wanted to try two faces together and this was my first try. I see this as two sisters looking out on the world. This was fun to do and I think I want to try it again.

I finished weaving the blanket last night. I am now busy making repairs and twisting all the fringe. This a picture showing some of the fringe already twisted. This has to be done before the blanket can be washed and fulled.

Just in case I don't get back here I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday. enjoy the time with family and friends and be safe.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Outlander Fans

Check out the video if you are a fan of the Jamie and Claire saga by Diana Gabaldron. There is enough eye candy here to satisfy anyone.

This week has been incredibly busy and the end is not in sight. One of the women in my knitting group had her cancer return for the third time and this appeared to be the final round for her. I busily knitted a 12 x 12 swatch to go in the blanket for her final days. It could be today or tomorrow or later, hard to tell. So she is in my thoughts and of course my mom died on Dec 17, 1999 so I have been missing her too.

I have the loom working again which gives me 5 days to weave a blanket. I'll post pics of the blanket as soon as its finished. I think I have the time,just have to work everything else in too.

There is a possibility that my sis Marianne will come for Christmas, it all depends on how she feels. She has a nasty cold right now. So I am planning on her being here and if she can't come then I will still be ok. I'll just have extra stocking stuffer's. I have done no holiday baking but that will change soon. Sarah made some peppermint bark and its yummy. I have plans for mini cheesecakes, lemon bars and Russian teacakes. I'll skip the sugar cookies this year. We are having turkey since we didn't have it for Thanksgiving. Dave usually makes it but this year I decided I wanted to. I want a cornbread stuffing. I have to find a good recipe for one. I'll drag out the cookbooks or look on line. Plus there are pies to bake and on and on. I know you know how it all is.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Introducing yourself

We got plenty of snow over the weekend and its supposed to be cold and snow a little bit everyday this week. I guess winter is finally here. It really looks like Christmas now. It is good to have my girl home.

I went to my drumming circle last night. There were five of us drumming by a warm fire sharing our journeys and life experiences. It really was wonderful. I am so thankful for Marilyn for holding these monthly gatherings. I meet new women every time and the connections are wonderful. I do struggle with the question what do you do? When I say I am an Artist, people ask oh what gallery are you in? If I say I am a writer they want to know what books you have published. Now last night I ended up saying I was a Jane of all trades, master of none. Now I wasn't happy saying that either. Identity is an uneasy thing for me. I have never fit in with the usual mold and find it hard to let someone know who I am in just a few words. How do you introduce yourself? Is it based on what you do or have done or what you are?

I drew this girl in church, I think I prefer paint or collaged papers for the dresses. Colored pencils and I are not friends yet, its all I had with me so I made do. I did add a little paint to the face when I got home. I like how she looks, maybe my next focus should be on clothing and the rest of the body.

I have had little time for Art lately, all these projects to finish before the 25th seem to take over my life. I am sure it is the same with many of you. I have hundreds of blogs to look at but alas that will have to wait. I am headed back to the loom. I hope you are having a great day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Raging snow storm outside

We are in the midst of a pretty nasty storm. Dave has gone to pick Sarah up from college and they are driving home in it. Keep them in your thoughts if you read this today.

I braved the elements when the wind died down a little to feed the birds. They were really suffering in the weather. My sheep take bad weather in stride, it doesn't faze them much at all. I started a fire just in case the power goes out which can happen frequently here. So far so good.

We bought our tree a couple days ago and I am finally getting in the Christmas mood, I have most of the house decorated and have been listening to some wonderful holiday music. It seems to set the mood. I finished making the presents that have to be mailed but now I need to knit a swatch for a lap robe for a friend whose cancer has come back for the third time. Sometimes its hard to fit it all in especially when unexpected things come up. I get to see my girl today so I am really excited about that.

I went to see this last night. It has taken forever to come here and I was happy to see it. I really loved the book and I have met Sue Monk Kidd several times. When I was in Charleston we actually talked about the movies being filmed. It felt good to finally see the final project. That Dakota Fanning is just one incredible actress. If you haven't seen it I recommend it highly. As with all movies you want them be totally like the book and they can't really be that. I always want more character development. Queen Latifa is August to me. All the actors did great jobs. Yes, there will be tears but worth it.

Ps...Sarah and Dave arrived home safe. It took them an extra hour and a half to get here. They traveled on glare ice, lots of snow, white out conditions but also had periods of clear where they could actually see where they were going. I am glad I was not driving. Anyways I am glad to have them home safe.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fiesta ware contest

Check out the giveaway here Who wouldn't want to win some of this wonderful dish ware. I really love mine.

What I won

Look what I got today! This is the painting that I won from Zorana. It was a give away for her birthday. Lucky me. Thanks for being so generous Zorana.

The start of my garland I saw these on Laini Taylors blog and then found directions here

I too told myself I don't have time to make these but they were so cute and they are so much fun to make. I haven't enjoyed sewing so much in a long time. They are just felt and embroidery floss and you make them into a garland. Once again its simple things that can really bring joy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nanowrimo Celebration Party

Here I am looking at my gift a copy of this

If you haven't seen Wreck this journal it has all these fun things you do to the book. Its going to be fun to take it through the trials and back again.

Look at all the wonderful writers who showed up to celebrate

Then there are more, we had some of the supporters too. Several spouses attended too. I gave away a slew of writing books. I think most everyone ended going home with something. I also had some moleskin cahiers to pass out. Dave was supposed to be taking pictures but he only took a few. Anyways fun was had by all. We are glad its over and many will join the writing group we have that meets once a month. There were 21 people who managed to write a novel in November. We have an awesome group of writers here. Congratulations to everyone who participated in Nanowrimo this year.

Weaving Time

I have been spending time weaving. I got the towels that have been on my loom forever. I decided to un-weave what I had done on Dave's blanket. It was just not working our like I had planned. I am going to add more warp threads to make it more dense and then weave with varying shades of grey. I think that will work out much better. I figured what I had done was so gauzy that by the time the fabric was washed it would draw in too much and the blanket would be too short. I also pulled out a mixed warp I had done for a demo a couple years ago. I am going to put that on the Baby wolf loom. It will be a shawl, it has varying shades of reds, maroons and some pink. So lots of projects in the work. I want to work on them all but I have Christmas things to make so I have to get back to them.

Tomorrow I am going to learn how to make soap. My friend Kate makes it and I asked to watch next time. I helped her set up her new loom yesterday and I also need to teach her how to set up a project. She has materials to make a rug and she is excited to be working at it. Its always fun to work with someone who is new at it, their excitement and enthusiasm just seems to fuel mine. Then I can't wait to get back to my own stuff.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Treating Yourself Well

After yesterdays little mini-depression I am seeing that if I am conscious of my choices I can turn them around so much quicker. I love how that happens and the duration is so much shorter than it used to be. Instead 12-24 hours maybe the next time I can turn that to an hour and then a minute. We do choose our lives minute by minute. Its a good thing to remember.

Yesterday I was out shopping for a Christmas gift and I ended up getting myself something instead. Tuesday Morning sells these decorative boxes and they are covered in beautiful papers. I was looking for one to put some items in for a gift for a friend. Then I saw one I have been admiring. Its shaped like a old fashioned doctors case and has birds on the front and a handle on its curved top. It just evokes calm for me. So I bought it for me and it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. I think besides being pretty it is a symbol for me. I think part of self care is to treat yourself to a gift once in awhile. So I see this little box as feeding my soul a little. Now when I look at it I am reminded that on the day I bought it I took care of me. I think taking care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the other people in your life.

Tomorrow is the Nanowrimo Celebration Party. I have some fun things planned for our luncheon. Earlier I sat and wrapped some gifts in brightly colored tissue paper and really enjoyed this simple act. Tissue paper is an interesting form of paper, its can be all crinkly or smooth as silk. It fun when you can take the pleasure in simple things.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thankful for many things

This is a response to SuziBlu's thankful video. She challenged us to do a page on what we are thankful for. This was fun. I layed down a layer of water soluble oil pastels, painted over it with titanium white paint mixed with glazing liquid. Then I used stamps and Colorbox chalk ink and added words and a picture.

This one was in emulation of Kim at Queen of Arts. It was all about being grateful for yourself. It was fun to do. Sometimes its important to celebrate yourself. Not sure why I decided to just do it hand written but it does have a different look that way.

I am so excited I won a painting from Zorana. You can check out her entry to see what I have one. She gave it away to celebrate her birthday. How fun is that.... If you are unfamiliar with her she has a wonderful blog and paints beautiful faces.

Winners of my blogiversary gift are PJ, Sharee, Gemma and Ninnie. PJ and Sharee would you email me your address.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My petite dolls

I have been doing the Les Petite Dolls class with Suzi blu. By the way it really is an incredible class. It takes awhile to get good at something new. I don't have any of the fancy paints that she uses so my background don't have the same quality. I am still learning new techniques and that is what its all about.

This first one I plan on working on some more. I stamped butterfly's and used distress inks. I should have sprayed a working fixative on them before I added more paint. So yes they smeared. I will rework the background at a later date. My first time woodburning too. I need more practice at it.

This second piece was doing a painting on drawing paper. I like her a lot. I have a certain young friend I think would love this as a surprise gift. I am going to try this on watercolor paper next. As with new technique I think we get better and better at it the more we do it.