Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
We had 2 Christmases - one with my children on Christmas Day and one with my husband's children and grandchildren on Boxing Day.

Today the Olympic torch makes its way through our city and I want to see it. I saw the torch pass by in Lindsay a couple of weeks ago - I couldn't believe how choked up I got. There is just something so special about seeing it pass. The Olympics will be here in February - not that long away now.

Today we once again share shadows we have found. Our cat Fluffy is one of my favourite subjects and I couldn't resist again!

Be sure to visit the other great participants of SSS at Hey Harriet!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing You a Blessed Christmas; Giving and Receiving

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a blessed, joyous Christmas!
I have been so fortunate this Christmas to be on the receiving end of gifts from some of my blogger friends.
Kara/Mother Henna held a blog gift exchange and I was fortunate to have Brandy as my partner. This week I received 2 beautiful CDs which she created. She is playing Christmas music on the piano - I have really loved playing the music over and over!. Her artwork is on the cover as well. Thanks so much Brandy!

Hybrid J sent me a lovely card of her artwork. Thanks so much Hybrid J - I love it!

I received a beautiful card from Sherry. I had been visiting her blog and when I wrote about missing a card from my Mom she offered to send me one! What a lovely gesture! Thank you so much Sherry!

I started following "8 Things" and as it is Christmas I want to leave you with 8 Treasured sites or inspiring words I have discovered recently - a gift to you!
1. 50 Quotes on Living a Life of Adventure by Marelisa
2. "Dare" video at Jamie Ridler Studios
3. Interviews with inspiring people
4. Why 37 Days by Patti Digh (author as well of Life is a Verb)
5. Planting Seeds for the New Year
6. The ABCs of Following Your Dreams
7. True Peace in Difficult Situations (and just explore The Bold Life!)
8. The Hero's Journey by Joseph Conrad

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Today Jamie of Jamie Ridler Studios asks the penetrating question:
What do you wish for this holiday season?

This holiday season I wish for everyone to experience the true spirit of the season. I wish that love and joy would fill each of us and that peace would reign around the world.

Merry Christmas everyone! A blessed holiday and New Year for all!

Be sure to visit the other wish-makers here.

As Jamie says:
"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. There is great power in wishing together."

ABC Wednesday - W is for Wreath

Once again it is time to share our find for letter of the week for ABC Wednesday. This week the focus is W and to stay in the holiday mood, my choice is Wreath.

Wreaths are usually made of evergreens, but there is so much variety. I have collected a few different kinds of wreaths:

This was a wreath ornament of shells I made with my children many years ago. It is one of my treasured ornaments that I love placing on our Christmas tree.

This is a plaster wreath that I actually keep up all year! I love angels and this one is very special.

This metal wreath is on our landing as people enter our house.

Be sure to check out the other great participants here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Musings Mondays

On a morning when I woke up so early it is still dark out, I ended up leapfrogging around blogs. I ended up at "Should be Reading" and found some very interesting memes.

Today this question was posed for "Musing Mondays":

"When you buy books, do they immediately go onto your bookshelf to wait until you’re ready to read them (even if that means months/years from then!), or do you read them right away? What makes you do this? If you’re a ’shelver’, why do you think you don’t read the books right away? Do you ever feel guilty for letting the books sit there, unread? If you’re a ‘read-em-now’ person, why do you feel they have to be read right away? Do you give away the books when you’re done, too?"

My favourite stores are bookstores and looking around my house you can see where my money goes. My children always knew that if they asked for a treat at the store it better be for a book as I couldn't say no!

There are bookshelves and books everywhere!

I am usually a shelver, although I often read a book as soon as I get it . Lately I have been passing books onto others -"The Shack", "Eat Pray Love", "The Christmas List" for example. It is interesting to see where the chain goes. I belong to a book club and we have a special night where we bring in books we want others to share.

I always like to have several books on the go. Right now I am reading "Stroke of Insight, "Still Alice", and "An Irish Christmas".

This year I have signed on to "52 Books in 52 Weeks" just so that I read more throughout the year.

What are your reading habits?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What Warms My Heart and Soul at Christmas

Since visiting Sherry Lee's blog on Saturday, I have been thinking about the Bloggers' Christmas Party held Friday at Yiota's blog which Sherry had described. The theme of the party was to share what warms your heart and soul at Christmas.

I read several of the lists and they made me realize just how much there is to love about this special holiday. So I have created my own. Most of the items on the list are free, engage the senses and gladden the spirit.
*decorating the tree and the house

*looking at our tree at night, all lit up

*setting up our large Nativity scene

*reading Christmas stories at school

*remembering where the ornaments came from

*finding that special ornament each year

*taking a drive at night to see all the houses decorated and lit up
*making ornaments for my children and grandchildren
*receiving handmade gifts from children

*making Shortbread and other Christmas goodies

*eating Christmas goodies!

*listening to and singing Christmas carols

*attending Church during Advent and at Christmas
*the smell of gingerbread

*candy canes
*Christmas dinner with all the family (with turkey and all the fixings!)

*watching all the favourite Christmas movies ("It's a Wonderful Life", "One Magic Christmas", "A Christmas Carol" - with Alistair Sim are musts)

*my collections of angels, snowmen and Santas

*receiving and giving Christmas cards

*giving to others, especially to the Salvation Army and food drives

*filling stockings on Christmas Eve
*opening my stocking (and being the first up Christmas morning)

*watching loved ones open gifts I have gotten for them

*putting on the concert at school

*candlles glowing

*making all our Santas and Snowmen sing, dance or move

*Christmas get togethers

*happy people, lots of hugs and laughter

*a white Christmas
*visiting family and friends
*kissing under the mistletoe
*following so many family traditions (like opening new pjs Christmas Eve, and stockings first Christmas morning)

There are many more I am sure, but all of these add to the special memories I make each Christmas and remember year to year.

Merry Christmas to everyone! May you find joy and happiness this Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

This was the last week of school before holidays began (yeah! - now on 2 weeks of needed R & R) and it was hectic at school, what with rehearsals, concert, art and then our party yesterday (I know - it sounds like a rough week - but throw in a trip to court and a run in with the horrid ex and more court coming in the spring makes for great stress). Add to that getting ready for Christmas, it was a hectic week.

Chasing shadows can be very addictive. Each week many of us share our shdadows at Hey Harriet!

This week I wanted a couple of Christmas related shadows:

This snowflake graces our door.

This little tree is now the centrepiece on our table.

Join the other shadow chasers here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

8 Things Thursday

Yes I know - it is Friday, but I discovered this new meme through Karen D.'s blog and thought it a chance to have some fun.

Magpie Girl asks us:

"What do you do during this season to make it through the darkness? How do you fight S.A.D.? What parts of the season can you embrace with honesty? What *8Things do you enjoy in the dark? (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.)"

We have not really gotten into the dreariest part of winter (in fact it is not officially winter here until the 21st!), but the question can help prepare for those long dark days of February!

The 8 Things I enjoy in the dark and that help me through the winter are:

1. Cuddling - under warm comforters, wrapped up in afghans.

2. Reading - There are so many books - I am currently reading "Julia/Julie", "Still Alice" and "A Stroke of Insight" right now, and have just finished several Christmas novels.

3. Creating - This year there are so many challenges to take part in and it is fun to just play and create.

4. Listening to music and singing along

5. Watching a good movie

6. Playing card and board games - My favourites are euchre, scrabble, boggle, and Scattegories. But, I'll play most any game even if I don't know how to play it. Just teach me!

7. Make cookies, serve with hot chocolate and combine with some of the above.

8. If you can't beat it get outside for some winter fun - skate, throw snowballs, make snowmen or snow angels. Engjoy the beauty of the white stuff and embrace the cold.

Check here for other list makers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Today is Wishcast Wednesday and Jamie Ridler (of Jamie Ridler Studios) has posed, once again, a very thoughtful question:

What do you wish to give?

Several months ago I participated in the 29 Days of Giving challenge (see my post here) and I found it very rewarding. Even though I don't do it consistently every day now, I still am on the lookout for ways that I can continue to give, whether it is financially, emotionally or just with my time. When you look for it, there are so many ways to give. So many articles I have been reading lately really stress the benefits of giving, and not just of things.

So my wish would be to continue to give of myself, of my time, of my resources, of my talents -but to give more regularly, on a daily basis.

As Jamie says:

"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. Support wishes by visiting other participants and leaving a comment It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together."

So visit the other wishcasters here and share in the power of sharing and wishing!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ABC Wednesday - V is for the Virgin Mary

This week, ABC Wednesday focuses on the letter V. As I sat looking at the Christmas tree last night, with the lights glittering, the perfect V presented itself.

Without the Virgin Mary to accept the burden placed on her, Jesus and the Christmas story would not have been. This young woman chose a difficult path, but the result was the birth of a child, still revered and honoured over 2000 years later.

This is my favourite creche - a hand- carved one.

Be sure to visit the other great participants here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Affirmation - Z

This week ends my weekly look at positive affirmations. Today my focus was Z - for zeal which is especially appropriate for this week before Christmas week.

I chose though, to create zentangles for the journal page. I now have a real zeal for these fantastic doodles (as I used to call them), until I learned there were definite names for different designs. Many other people have got the zentangle bug.
I find it relaxing and you never know where the design will take you.

I will take a break for a few weeks to start another challenge. Come January I plan an art/artist alphabet challenge. Each week I will focus on a different medium or artist and create artwork related to that letter. This will be a whole year project as there are so many choices for some letters. This will also be a learning project as well - a chance to explore different artists and different techniques. I am really looking forward to it. I will post monthly what I plan to focus on and I invite you to join my project. We can learn and have fun together.
Sundays I will post what I have been working on the week before -Sun. Jan. 3 will be the first posting with the focus on Abstract Art.

Another project for the year will be the 52 Books in 52 weeks which I described here. If you love reading you might want to take part!

Have a great week!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

Once again it is time to share shadows for "Shadow Shot Sunday"

Shadows are lurking everywhere! At least today they are. Bright sun, snow covered ground - just beautiful.
And I didn't even step off the back porch!

Last Sunday I took a picture of the same corner but from a different angle to get a shadow cast by our jockey (he has been put to rest for the winter now!)

Be sure to check out the other wonderful shadows at Hey Harriet!

Friday, December 11, 2009

52 Books in 52 Weeks

At Serendipity I discovered a new challenge - 52 Books in 52 Weeks. Not that I really need a challenge to read - I love reading. But usually through the school year I don't read as many books as I'd like. I am still working on the "101 in 1001 days" so this will fit in here.

Here is the format for this challenge:

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks in 2010
The goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks. The rules are very simple:
The challenge will run from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010.
Participants may join at any time.
All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2010.
Books may overlap other challenges.
Create an entry post linking to this blog.
Come back and sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post.
You don't have a blog to participate, I can set you up as a reviewer.
I'll be adding a post with Mr. Linky for participants to post book reviews.

Sign on and share your love of reading here.

New Giveaway from Craftside

The twists and turns of blogging. You go to visit one blog (in this case Creative Every Day) and then you are following a path via several other blogs. I ended up at Craftside and not only enjoyed craft and art ideas but there is an awesome giveaway going on there right now. They are into day 10 of 19!

Here is their info about the giveaway:

"Holiday Goodness Giveaway Time!
Here's how it works:
We ask a question each weekday.
You leave your answer in the comments section each day to the question (and you can enter each day!).
We will randomly pick a winner each day to send a free book to! "

Hurry over!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

It is Wishcast Wednesday once again and Jamie Ridler poses a very searching question once again:

What is your spirit wishing for?

To go deep into one's core is tough. It takes a lot of courage to look inside and really see your desires, needs, fears.

This past year and a half as I have dealt with a number of issues, the overriding desire of my spirit, of my soul is to have peace - in myself, and in my family. I feel torn by so many issues and feel pushed and pulled by conflicts.

So - my spirit seeks peace.
As Jamie says:

"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. I wish for her/him also. There is great power in wishing together." Visit the other wishcasters here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

AbC Wednesday - U is for Upside Down!

This week the letter to focus on for ABC Wednesday is U.

Being overtired last night, I got into a silly mood and my first thought was "upside down" . So I captured a few Christmas decorations upside down!

We have many animated Santas and snowmen! Our latest is a singing Bing Crosby!

Another U is the UCW - this is an organization I belong to - the United Church Women. This group is part of the United Church of Canada, which as a religious organization has been a protestant denomination since the 1920's. Visit their website here as well as their Wonder Cafe.

Be sure to visit the other great alphabet chasers here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New affirmation

I am nearing the end of my Abcs of affirmations. This week the focus is on Y.

The only word that stood out was YES. I have used this before as part of a dreamboard.

As the end of 2009 draws near, I am trying to find a word of intention for 2010 and YES just might be it! There is so much to say yes to - rather than the negative no. I want the positive in my life - there has been so much negativity in the past few years.

So - Yes, Yes, Yes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

As I stepped out to get our morning paper this morning I saw shadows from our almost life-size nativity set. As this is "the reason for the season", I thought what better shadow than to show shadows from the wiseman - casting shadows on Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus.

We have had this creche gracing our front yard for many years now and at night when they are lit up and the spotlights are on, it is a lovely sight. I never tire of seeing it when I come home. We have had many people remark on it. It is truly beautiful with snow surrounding the figures.

Be sure to visit the other shadow chasers at Hey Harriet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Yesterday was my daughter's 25th birthday! A quarter of a century ago! I reflected back to the me that was then and also my 25 year old self. I remember making a big statement to a friend that there were so few "firsts" left! How naive I was. There have been so many firsts since then (having my daughter a few years later was one of them - and what a memorable first it was. Happy birthday my darling girl!)

This year alone has seen several firsts - most resulting from plunging into the blogging world - my blog, creating ATCs, taking part in challenges.

Jamie asked us to do a relection of the year and I have so much to be thankful and still reflect on. I am working in my journal to really reflect on her great prompts.

Today Jamie asks us to reflect on a great question:

What is your winter wish?
I do love winter - in all its variety. The lights celebrating the Christmas season, Christmas itself, New Year's, the snow, the crisp air, rosy cheeks, snowmen and snowball fights, even my birthday. There is so much to appreciate.

There is a downside - driving in bad conditions, the lack of sun, the dark days of February, but there are more days of glory than not.

My wish for this season is to focus on well-being:

to continue my healthy eating (10 lbs. down so far!),

to keep creating,

to continue with keeping my gratitude journal and giving each day,

to make a special effort to connect with family and friends this season.

I also want to really feel the joy of this season - I know it was difficult last year.

May we all experience true joy throughout this season!

As Jamie says:
"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. There is great power in wishing together."
Be sure to visit the other wishcasters at Jamie Ridler Studios.