Monday, September 30, 2013

Intro - 31 Days of Change

October begins a new challenge - 31 Days of Change. The Nester has held this monthly daily challenge for several years now and I decided to join in the fun with hundreds of others.
The challenge is to choose a topic that you want to explore and write every day for 31 days.
I am chosing to explore joy. It was my one word of the year and I have made lists, created art and looked for it, but never consistently. I want to look for joy in the everyday and create a response, whether in words, art or photos each day in October. Hopefully the habit will continue! 
With retirement has come a loss of everyday purpose, of routine, of stature even. I want to recapture more joy on a daily basis and some of the routine and sense of purpose I used to have.
I love this definition of joy from Sherman Nobles:
"Joy is an abiding sense of happiness! It’s a bright, sunshine-filled emotional pattern of happiness—the Tigger-syndrome. Though there might be moments or seasons of sadness, even these are tempered with a confident expectation that the sun will soon return piercing the darkness caused by the passing clouds. Joyful people are typically happy. They smile and laugh a lot. Joy is the result of hope, faith, and love! "

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

Yesterday I held my second teacher yard sale and once again did not have many teachers attend. But I was determined to clear my house of as much as possible, so in the end, 2 carloads went to Goodwill, there are several boxes for the school where I will be volunteering and bags of posters and papers that went out with the garbage or recycling.
There is still much to do to reclaim our house - I aim to use this month to declutter and reorganize in a big way.

This past week I started a watercolour course that will run for 6 weeks.
Our first session was a chance to create a still-life with watercolours and India. ink. I had never used the ink with watercolour before but I ended up liking the effect. Our instructor encouraged us to practice every day (haven't started yet)

(a closeup of the flowers)

At Paper Traders the life word for this month was "Forgive". The challenge as well was to use a flower.
Once I found the quote, I knew I had to have several flowers growing. (I used gelli papers for all parts.)

I also created 2 autumn collages for different challenges:

This past week I created a set of zen pumpkins

Books Read:
I read 2 books this week, although I am trying to finish several.

"The Snow Globe" by Sheila Roberts  A light read with an interesting idea at its heart.

"Penelope: Terror in the Harbour" by Sharon McKay  A YA book about the explosion in the Halifax harbour in 1917.
(I am going to read more YA and picture books as I am working on my writing. and these are the 2 genres I am most interested in)

Linking up with

Paper Traders

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Gelli Print Party at Carolyn Dube's blog

Glue It Tuesday

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shadow Shot Sunday

It has been a lovely week of warmer weather and bright sunshine. I was able to capture a few shots in the yard.

(Just leaves but scary for sure!)
Be sure to check here for wonderful shadows from around the world.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autumn Collages

Autumn is officially here and the changes have begun -
leaves changing colour
gold, orange, red and yellow
cooler and darker nights
pumpkins, squash
Thanksgiving in Canada around the corner.

Tonight I created 2 collages celebrating fall:

This fits in with :

the Craft Barn's alpha dictionary challenge  G for gold and O for orange
Inspiration Avenue's "Celebrating Fall" challenge

A new challenge  at Tag Along "Autumn Glory". Love this quote - so appropriate for fall.

Two Photo Challenges - Sly Watch/ Messy Little Details

The skies this week here in southern Ontario have been very blue, with some lovely clouds.

This morning:

Earlier this week:

Be sure to check here for wonderful skies around the world.

Messy Little Details

Carolyn Jane hosts this fun meme. As she says :
"I want to invite you to join me in sharing photos of those odd little things you just have to photograph, things that inspire you, thrill you, make you laugh or make you wonder."

These little berries were on a shrub in our yard.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ABC Wednesday

Time for ABC Wednesday, that fun meme that focuses on a different letter each week.

This week it is "K".

I have chosen:

John F. Kennedy - the 35th President, who was assassinated in 1963.


Grace Kelly - she was  an American actress before she married Prince Rainier of Monaco

Be sure to check here to see how others face the K challenge.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been an interesting week.  3 days with no phone, internet and TV, followed by a 2 day weekend  of art classes.

We finally got our services back Friday night. The good news was that I got 3 books read:

"Broken Wings" by Carla Stewart

"The Recipe Box" by Sandra Lee

"The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp

I enjoyed them all.

The courses this weekend were excellent and taught by Donna Downey (yes! that Donna Downey!).
There is a wonderful art studio- the Art House Studio - in Cambridge that I only recently discovered and it is wonderful.

Saturday's class was a Mixed Media class where we produced a 12 page mixed media book and learned new techniques.. Loved it!

Sunday's class was an acrylic abstract course where we completed 3 small canvases. Again I loved it and learned new techniques,

(This was my favourite canvas of the 3)

Fall Tree of  Intentions
For the past two years I have created a tree of fall intentions, to guide me through the fall months, to focus on what intentions I have for the coming season.
My intentions fall under six areas: Creative, Healthy living, Retirement, Spiritual, Social and Intellectual. It becomes a very visual focus for the season ahead.

I also created some ATCs this week:

(I had a few other larger pieces for a trade but did not scan them.)

Linking with

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Glue It Tuesday

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 17 - September Daily Blogging

Karissa of "A Fresh Start on a Budget" is hosting an interesting challenge - blogging every day in September, by responding to daily prompts

Today's question:  If you could live during any other time,  what and  when would it be? Why?

If I could live anywhere, anytime, I would choose Medieval/Renaissance  England, in the household of a lord or even the king. I love castles and medieval times. There were some very strong women living in this age but then they had to be strong!

ABC Wednesday - J

Time again to share how we have solved the challenge of   J  at ABC Wednesday.

For J I have chosen to create APCs for:

Ernest E. Just - American biologist who lived from 1883-1914.

Lyndon B. Johnson - the VP who succeeded Kennedy as President when Kennedy was assassinated

Be sure to check here to see how J has been highlighted.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 16 - September Daily Blogging

Karissa of "A Fresh Start on a Budget" is hosting an interesting challenge - blogging every day in September, by responding to daily prompts

Today's question - What is an embarrassing moment?  

Forgetting names, making weird noises at inappropriate times - these are embarrassing moments we all have had, myself included.
A specific embarrassing moment - my mind is blank right now. I try not to place myself in a situation where I will be embarrassed. Sorry.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Weekly Wrap-Up

During this past week I have been busy shopping, going to the doctor's, reorganizing, some art and lots of reading.
I have decided to start a 100 Day Challenge, beginning tomorrow. This will take me to Christmas Eve.
I need more structure to my days so that I can accomplish more than I am. I want to create and write more, but I also need to do more to get healthy. Hence the 100 Days.
Ann Voskamp of "A Holy Experience" and the author of "One Thousand Gifts", has a wonderful tool for keeping track of habits you want to address each day for 100 days. Check here for this printable.
Habits can be changed but need time and persistence - usually 30 days is required.
So for 30 days at a time I plan to address 3 different habits and record them on Ann's sheet to keep me accountable.
For the first month, the 3 areas of concern will be:
1. Create daily
2. Write daily
3. Daily bible study
I won't set a time or an amount for the first two, but I need to do both.
Stacey Stubbitz of "Two Writing Teachers" had an excellent article about how to "create a Consistent and Meaningful Writing Life" and this could apply to any practice you want to start (art, writing, yoga etc). I plan to use her ideas to help with my daily practices.
I did create  a couple of collages this past week for challenges:

I worked on a number of ATCs this week as well:
Using Stamps
Day of the Dead

Books Read:
As I am now able to read more, I thought I would share some of the books I have enjoyed this past week:

"How the Light Gets In" by Louise Penny - This is book 9 of her Inspector Gamache series and each books just gets better and better. An excellent read

"The Life List" by Lori Nelson Spielman.  A young woman must complete the life list she made at age 14, or else she will not receive her inheritance after her mother dies. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Made me resurrect my bucket list!

Also linking with

Show and Tell Saturday

Creative Every Day

Inspire Me Monday

Glue It Tuesday

Day 15 - September Daily Blogging

Karissa of "A Fresh Start on a Budget" is hosting an interesting challenge - blogging every day in September, by responding to daily prompts

Today's question - What is your favourite movie?

I can't name just one. I enjoy movies for different reasons, in  different moods or times.

Here are a few:

Favourite comedies:  "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Some Like it Hot"

Favourite Romances:  "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Shallow Hal"

Favourite Dramas: "The Shawshank Redemption" and "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Favourite Sci-Fi: original "Star Wars"

Favourite Fantasies:  Harry Potter series, "Lord of the Rings", "Princess Bride", "Back to the Future", "Hunger Games"

Favourite Western: "The Magnificent Seven"

Favourite War: "The Great Escape"

These are movies I have seen more than once and will probably watch again. There are so many more but these are the main choices.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 14 - September Daily Blogging

Karissa of "A Fresh Start on a Budget" is hosting an interesting challenge - blogging every day in September, by responding to daily prompts

Today's question - What are the top 3 blogs you follow?

If you check my three blog lists (!), you will see that I follow many blogs - for different reasons. I visit all of them when there are new postings. Be sure to check them out.

But the 3 which I seek outthe most  for their tutorials, art challenges or new ideas are:

Jessica Sporn

Carolyn Dube, A Colorful Journey

Balzer Designs

Shadow Shot Sunday

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.” Goethe

When the sun is bright, shadows are easily found. In the past week there have been a few days like that.

But shadows can be seen in the dark, inside, when a bit of light shines.

Be sure to check here for awesome shadows from around the world.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Truth - Life Word Prompt

This past month's Life Word Prompt at Paper Traders was "Be Truthful" (and use a pocket)

My first thought was the verse from John 8:32 -"and the truth shall set you free"

Here are some other great quotes about truth:

The worst thing about being lied to is knowing  you’re not worth the truth.  Unknown 
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.     Mark Twain
Tell the truth, or someone will tell it for you.   Stephanie Klein
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.   Virginia Wolf
Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.  
 William Faulkner

Truth never damages a cause that is just.   Gandhi
Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.   Elvis
Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.   Disraeli
The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.  Aristotle

Day 13 - September Daily Blogging

Karissa of "A Fresh Start on a Budget" is hosting an interesting challenge - blogging every day in September, by responding to daily prompts.

Today's question : What is  Something difficult in your life that you’ve worked to overcome?

Throughout my life I have overcome many difficult things:
-moving often
-being alone up north away from family
-raising a child alone, away from family and friends
-car crash and its aftermath

-death of my Mom

But the ongoing challenge I have had to overcome most of my life is that of lacking self esteem, of feeling always on the outside looking in. It has gotten much better since I have gotten older and especially since I have remarried. I have found someone who loves and cherishes me for who I am.

I think for women body image, especially, can cause feelings of low self worth when we compare ourselves to the prevailing media image.

I feel much better about myself and am trying to get healthier for me, not for an image.

We need to find our purpose, our centre, our own magic if you will.

(a collage I created for a challenge)