Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today at Jamie Ridler's Studio, it is once again Wishcasting Wednesday and Jamie asks :

What do you wish to say NO to?

A very interesting question! I would much rather say "yes" to new things. But, as I have been reading "The Artist's Way" with Paula's group, saying no to negative affirmations is a constant theme. It is so important to say no to those voices that tell you you can't do it, or you're not an artist, or you will fail. So, I want to say no to those internal voices and replace them with positive affirmations.

I also want to say no to negative emotions that can drag you down: guilt, fear, and especially worry. Focusing on each day and looking at the positive will help banish those negative emotions.

I want to say no to procrastination and wasting time, and to clutter.

Last week, we arrived home from our vacation to find that Jack Layton had died. He had lost his battle to cancer too early. As someone said, he was the greatest prime minister we never had. As I listened to the wonderful eulogies at his funeral, I heard many of his words of wisdom.

"Don't wait for perfect conditions - you can wait forever. Make the best with what you have."

"Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime."

"Be loving, be hopeful, be optimistic."

"Make time for what matters most."

"Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done."

"Dream no small dreams."

So, for this last wish, I want to say no to dreaming small dreams. I look at Jack and at 61, he lived every moment to the fullest. His was a life well lived. What a wonderful role model!

As Jamie says:

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog. Support wishes by visiting other participants. It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

ABC Wednesday - G is for Jane Goodall

This week at ABC Wednesday, G is our letter of focus. I missed E and F as I was away on holidays. (I will try to catch up later.)

Continuing with the quote theme, I decided on Jane Goodall as I have been reading about her lately. She is a very interesting, thoughtful woman.

To learn more about her mission in Africa with the chimpanzees, I encourage you to visit her website here. (lots of fascinating information here!)

Here are some quotes I particularly liked:

"Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right."

"We can't leave people in abject poverty, so we need to raise the standard of living for 80% of the world's people, while bringing it down considerably for the 20% who are destroying our natural resources."

"The greatest danger to our future is apathy. "

"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference."

"If you really want something, and really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities, and never give up, you will find a way."

"Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved. "

"The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. "

"Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long your values don't change."

(I saved the best for last!)

"How would I have turned out, I sometimes wonder, had I grown up in a house that stifled enterprise by imposing harsh and senseless discipline? Or in an atmosphere of overindulgence, in a household where there were no rules, no boundaries drawn? My mother certainly understood the importance of discipline, but she always explained why some things were not allowed. Above all, she tried to be fair and to be consistent. "

Be sure to stop by ABC Wednesday for lots of interesting takes on G.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Artist's Way

We have finished Chapter 4 of "The Artist's Way", with the group being hosted by Paula. I read this chapter while travelling, and did a few of the tasks. The one task that I absolutely refused and felt such resistance to, was the reading deprivation. I could not even attempt it!

I have found myself over the past few weeks sorting through books and papers, and getting rid of a lot of "stuff". When I read about making these changes in this chapter, I felt on the right track. I still have more to do, but it feels good to be clearing away clutter.

I am back to doing morning papers. It does help to clear the mind. I want to start this school year off with a better morning routine and maybe this will help.

I attempted a number of the tasks with the buried dreams exercise - listing hobbies, activities and skills. Interesting lists!

I thought about a number of the tasks while I was in the car, but did not write the letters. I do intend to do this.

One artist's date took place in Lake George. There was an outdoor fair and I spent a good hour visiting art booths and seeing a lot of interesting work. I even bought a few pieces.

The second artist's date was in Saratoga Springs. I saw one artist's work and was mesmerized by the size of the pieces (well over 4 ft. tall) and the vibrant colour. I have to track him down online!

During the past 2 weeks I have not been very creative. I haven't worked on ATCs or painted and I have missed that. Travelling was enjoyable and I did take a lot of photos tho. It was fun to explore Lake George and Saratoga Springs - something we have not done in the past few visits.

But now it is time to get into school mode. I have started planning and will be going in all week to set up my classroom.

I must make time for art though - I have missed it.

On to Chapter 5 this week.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Going away for 10 days and taking time away from blogging has given me time to rest and appreciate the best of the blogging world. I truly missed those people I visit and hear from. But it also made me realize how much time I did spend online - especially in the summer. Next week marks getting back into school routines and thus, less time to blog.

My favourite meme has to be Shadow Shot Sunday. On our trip to Montreal and Lake George, N.Y., I took a lot of photos, but also a lot of shadow shots! Here are a few to share this week:

(This was actually a leaf - couldn't resist it!)

Be sure to stop by Hey Harriet - that fun meme created by Tracy - and see great shadows!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday

A day for wishing - Jamie Ridler has posed a new question:

What inspiration do you wish to follow?

My inspiration these days is the great community online of such awesome artists and bloggers who are so open and giving and inspirational. Where ever I look I find ideas, gorgeous art, inspiring stories. Everyday is like a new treasure hunt - you never know who or what you will find.

I also find such inspiration in the memes I participate in and groups (check my sidebar for links)I belong to:

The Artist's Way Group, hosted by Paula

Full Moon Dreamboards and Wishcasting, hosted by Jamie

ABC Wednesday, Shadow Shot Sunday, Sky Watch Friday, Creative Every Day.

Thank you to all those who support with lovely comments, who give of themselves and their art so generously and to the hosts who provide such incredible groups!

I wish to continue seeking and finding inspiration from these wonderful people!

As Jamie says:
"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog . Support wishes by visiting other participants. It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ABC Wednesday - D is for Isak Dinesen

This week at ABC Wednesday, D is our letter of the week.

I had a wee bit of a challenge as the people I wished to focus on had quotes I wasn't enthralled with. Then I found Isak Dinesen. Here is some info on her:

"Karen Blixen (1885-1962), also known by her pseudonym, Isak Dinesen, is famous for her memoir, Out of Africa, and for several works of fiction, including Seven Gothic Tales (1934) and Winter's Tales (1942). A 2007 poll of opinion in her native Denmark lists Karen Blixen as one of the most representative personalities in Danish history. She was several times nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. She wrote in English, after living on a coffee farm in Kenya from 1914 to 1931."

Here are a few of her quotes:

"All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them."

" Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever."

"God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road."

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. "

"When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself."

Be sure to visit here to visit great participants of ABC Wednesday.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

It is that time of the week when I look back at what I have been focusing on creatively.

The Artist's Way

I have read Chapter 3 but have not done many of the tasks. Listing who I admire, but alive and deceased was the easiest.

The idea of being kind to oneself each day in small, concrete ways really appeals to me. It is so necessary to be kind to yourself and to give yourself permission to carve out some me time each day.

The quote "Leap and the net shall appear" is one I need to just do.

I was sporadic with the morning papers. When I do them, I do feel lighter!

This week I will get to more of the tasks and the morning papers!

My artist's date was a fun one this week. My hubby and I took in the Kitchener Blue's Fest this afternoon and had a great time. The downtown of Kitchener is blocked off to cars for 3 days and there is music at 3 different venues. We visited 2 of them.

The music was awesome, the weather beautiful and I had a chance to photograph lovely flowers and a grand old church. (see below for these photos)

While we were listening, I noticed this saying on a man's Tshirt in the row ahead of us:

Perfect quote for this chapter!

Calendar ChallengeI finally finished my August calendar for the challenge at the Kathryn Wheel.

I always thing of water in August, as many of our holidays are near water. The stars represent both stars in the sky (which I tend to notice more in August) and starfish.


I took part in a couple of swaps this week.

ATCs for a PAT - where each participant states their theme (angel, koi, shrimp, fairy)


My Giveaway Prizes

These are the 2nd and 3rd prizes for my giveaway - 2 ATCs and a tag. They have been sent on to their new owners.

These were taken at the festival. The flowers and small waterfall were in Victoria Park.

This was a watermelon a young man had carved at one of the many food venues.

This was a small statue of Mary in the garden of the church where we parked our car.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Shadows make for interesting subjects - you never know where they lurk. I used to try to avoid them in photos - now I love seeing them out.

Shadow Shot Sunday is the amazing brainchild of Tracy of "Hey Harriet" - very addictive, that's for sure.

Here are a few shadows from this past week.

Last photo of one of our baby robins - they have flown away!

Our inukshuk

Be sure to check out the wonderful participants here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today Jamie Ridler asks us a very interesting question:

What door do you wish to open?

At first I thought I had no door to open, that I had expressed all my wishes lately. But then the image of myself, standing on the outside looking in, came to me. I realized that this is a feeling I have had most of my life - with my family and later at school and at work. I am friendly with people and I have a couple of close friends who live far away. Moving here 6 years ago was difficult and I still feel like the new kid on the block.

So, the door I wish to open is the door of friendships and kindred spirits. I want to enter that world of laughter and caring and sharing and joy.

As Jamie says:

"You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt above on your blog . Support wishes by visiting other participants. It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together."

ABC Wednesday - C is for Julia Cameron

This week at ABC Wednesday, C is the letter of the week. Continuing with the quotes theme, C is for:

Julia Cameron, the author of many books that focus on creativity.

Her book "The Artist's Way" is a must read for artists.

I am working through the book with a great group hosted by Paula of "Happy Snappy".

Throughout this book are numerous quotes from other people as well as Julia's. But it is her quotes that I wish to share with you. Here is a sampling of her wisdom:

"Love is the substance of all life. Everything is connected in love, absolutely everything. "

"Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are. "

"Serious art is born from serious play."

"As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you."

"Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can."

"Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are. "

"What we really want to do is what we are really meant to do. When we do what we are meant to do, money comes to us, doors open for us, we feel useful, and the work we do feels like play to us."

"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow. "

"Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult."

" Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself. "

Be sure to check out ABC Wednesday for how others around the world focus on C.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

100 Followers! A Giveaway to Celebrate

Winners to Announce!

I want to thank all those who entered my giveaway - I appreciate all your lovely comments!

I printed off the names and drew 3 names.

These are the winners:

1. Phogles wins the set of 3 photo cards of macro flowers

2. April Cole wins the decorated tag

3. Lucy wins the 2 ATCs.

Congratulations! Please forward your snail mail address and I will get your winnings off to you asap! (I will be contacting you as well)

Thanks again everyone!