Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Awayyyyyy We Go!

We are heading out of town for a few days this week . . . to sunny and warm Arizona. We were just there last summer, but decided (with the help of Phil's flyer miles and Hilton points) that it would be the most cost effective place for us to escape to this spring break.

And escaping is just what I need to do.

The past year has been one of the most emotionally draining in my life. I don't know why . . . but I am not keeping myself in line on the emotion side of life as much as I have in the past. Maybe I never have. Maybe I've always been a big ol'stress magnet. But this past year, it is really hanging on me, and I am feeling it.

So, I am heading to sunny Arizona for a few days of R & R.

And I can't wait.

The last time we were there, I snapped a few moments like these . . .

I can't wait for the pool . . . seriously . . . the sunshine . . . 
the warmth . . . the sound of children laughing . . . all of it. 

I can't wait for the blue skies . . . and the ride up to Sedona, 
where the mountains look like a painting left by God . . . 

I can't wait to see all the silly cactus plants . . . they make me laugh . . . out loud . . . 
each with their own personality . . . doing their own special dance for all of  us to enjoy . . .  

I am hoping to reconnect with all of these things, again, with two welcoming days of pool time in Phoenix, and a day of soul searching fun in between in Sedona. Then, home.

My spirit needs it, bad.

I'm hoping you find some moments of wonderful inner peace, too, my friends.

Big time.

Till we meet again . . .


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Simple Moments of happy

Lately I found myself losing sight of those moments that make me happy. It's so easy to let myself get caught up in the drama of others . . . becoming lost in the negatives . . . and forgetting the simple things that bring me joy.

Ah, focus . . . 

It started a few months ago, when Phil told me that I don't just sympathize with others . . . that I really empathize with them. I take on their emotions and begin to truly feel as if what is happening to them, is happening to me too. Of course, it's not. But I couldn't agree with him more. It was a perfect way to describe what I was putting myself through in recent months, as sleepless nights and physical stress started to take over my own life.

So, I made a plan. To remove myself (as much as I could) from the emotion. This is a really hard task, and not one that can happen overnight. But I'm trying.  I don't want to lose the caring part of me, I just need to learn how to handle it. How to be a good listener, be a caring person, try to offer help when I can . . . but not take on the responsibility of someone else's life or problems. 

I decided to do a few blog posts on the moments when I feel peace. When I feel calm. When I feel happy, whole, and most alive. Moments . . . when I really focus. The first thing that came to mind was the morning. Any morning, really. But this is the scene . . . 
My kitchen table. 

My iPad, my sketchbook, a few favorite magazines, my sudoku book, and a cup of coffee. 

This is usually what happens when I first wake up, especially on the weekends - before anyone else in the house is awake. It is quiet, and calm, and I have time to soak in all the inspiration. Updates from Facebook (yes, I actually get lots of inspiration from Facebook), an opportunity to sketch art that I've been thinking of, time to plan some meals, and even a few minutes to work those brain muscles in a game of numbers. 
It's a happy time, really. Doing things that I enjoy, in a place where I feel safe and love (home).

It's funny to me that a scene like this can bring me true happiness. But it does. It comes at very little (if any) cost. It requires little planning or coordinating. It is me doing some things that I enjoy.

And it is a simple moment of happy, in this life of mine.

I'll be sharing more soon . . . .

What is a simple moment that makes you happy?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

March-ing On!

I can't believe I haven't written in a month. One month. One complete and entire month.


As I've said many times before, I'm multi-creatively-challenged. I swear, I need to write a book just on that concept alone. However in doing that, I fear it would bring yet another absence of some other creative task. I started the year off so strong here in blogland, but somewhere got lost this past month. In between starting a new health regimen, Phil's really crazy busy travel schedule, a craft fair, and a whole desire to get in touch with myself (again . . . ), my blog fell to the wayside. Something always gives.

Sniff. Sniff.

My sister is always telling me to stop apologizing for things (I am a frequent "I'm sorry" girl). Actually, she yells at me. "STOP SAYING YOU'RE SORRY!!!!" she'll demand, when I truly deep in my heart express apologies to people for what they are expressing. "STOP IT!!" She gets pissed at me. It makes me feel worse, and has me wanting to apologize (yet again) for saying 'sorry' in the first place. It's a vicious cycle.

So, I won't apologize here for my absence. I will only tell you that I am here, today. And I am glad you are here, too. And then, we shall move on. Shall we?

So, March. Busy. A bit of a blur. Fast paced. Exhausting. March.

Here is a bit of what I did this month, where my energy was focused, and what took me away from here.

My Art 
I had another craft show mid month, so I found myself working on some new products earlier in the month. These are larger wooden decorative blocks made from some of my original art. Most of the art was newly designed and created for the show. The original pieces are mixed media, and three of them already sold! (YAY!) The blocks are about 5.5" square, and came out so beautifully! I will have them in my Etsy shop mid-April, so be on the look out for them. They were a BIG HIT at the fair!

Here is a photo of a part of the table at the craft show. Coffee mugs, spiral notebooks, new magnets . . . it was a GREAT sale with lots of new products to share. I was so proud of all the new work, and seeing it displayed on the table truly, as the artist and visionary of these items, takes my breath away.

My Health
If we happen to be Facebook friends, you will already be well aware that I am really focused on healthy eating and getting my physical self together. This month I started Weight Watchers. It was time. It has been going very well for me, and I am feeling so great about this journey I am on. However, if my mother asks me just once how much weight I'm losing, I think I will hit her. ; ) . .  . my mother is big on numbers. That is what motivates her. For me, it is not the numbers. It's the lifestyle. It's about putting good things into me. It's about making food beautiful when on the plate. It's about inspiring others. It's about feeling good about myself. Here are just a few of the meals I shared this month . . . I am proud of myself.  Look for me on Facebook for this continued journey. It's going to be good, my friends. 

Job Opportunities
I was asked to paint a mural for a friends daughter's bedroom. The request was for waves along the walls of the room. The bedding they are using is a cool tie-dyed pattern from Pottery Barn kids. I loved it the minute I saw it, and I knew exactly the vision I had for the wall. Luckily, my friend was very open to what I envisioned, and let me go ahead and do whatever I wanted. I was so happy with the outcome.

Here is a look at a photo my friend sent me via text this week . . . I am so happy with how it all came together, and hope her daughter loves it!

My word for 2014 is focused. I go back and forth trying to decide if it is the best word for me. But this past week, I realized . . . it is a PERFECT word for this year. Focused. I took a long walk with Phil one day this week. There is a nearby trail that is so beautiful . . . it was at least 2.7 miles (we started the tracking app a short time after we started.) It was cold out, a bit cloudy and overcast, but quiet. Just us walking on this long trail. We talked a little, but most of the walk was spent focused on our task. It felt so good to accomplish it when we were done (even though my knee was killing me afterwards. I slid on a big patch of ice in a grocery store parking lot this past winter, and really messed up my knee. I haven't been the same since then. But, I shall overcome!) This path and I are going to become very good friends this year . . . I can't wait.

So that brings us up to date. I am so glad for the month of quality time with me and my life. I am looking forward to the Spring with great anticipation for some wonderful things . . . and hope to be here sharing with you along the way. Thanks for the peek at my life the past month. I wonder how you spent yours.

Wishing you peace, my friends, where ever you may be today.

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