Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-nine

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.~ Khalil Gibran
img_2635

September 23

Creativity: Stained glass, writing

Gratitude: Bargain shopping! MIL was released from the hospital. Safe trip to the mountains. Early morning coffee on the porch with my mom listening to the songs of the birds and the creek.

Joy: Youngest arrived! Wonderful family dinner, lots of love and laughter…oh yes, always laughter when Youngest and Oldest are involved! Wylie’s excitement over seeing Youngest was absolutely fabulous!

Awareness: There are no words for a heart overflowing with love and blessings.

September 24

Creativity: Dancing at a wedding (That’s all I got! Can I count it?)

Gratitude: Time (We crammed an incredible amount into a 12 hour period.) Heartfelt conversations. Early morning coffee on the porch with my mom listening to the songs of the birds and the creek.

Joy: A family wedding. Love, laughter, family, friends, fun, good times…Youngest absolutely insisted I dance with him (I’m not much of a dancer unless DirtMan pushes me into it…had a wonderful time on the dance floor!)

Awareness: While things are ever changing there are things that forever stay the same…and the most important of those things is love.

September 25

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: To be back home after a whirlwind weekend, Oldest had ordered lunch for us before we arrived home

Joy: A few hours at home before taking Youngest to the airport for his return trip.

Awareness: When your children live far away and you only see them once or twice a year, the joy of their arrival and pain of their departure doesn’t lessen with time.

September 26

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Back in the groove of work, today’s errands accomplished (actually yesterday’s errands a day late!)

Joy: Thrilled to finally have a pattern finished for a commissioned piece (It only took about 6 designs to get it to where I was satisfied, ha!)

Awareness: When I push myself I can often accomplish things I didn’t think I could do.

September 27

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: a rainy day, sometimes a rainy day is good for the soul

Joy: Pulled out my book “Fire Starter Sessions” by Danielle LaPorte. I didn’t read much of it when I bought it a few years ago. Now, I feel like it pertains to my life, working on an art project, a series of stained glass that I’m extremely excited about. Loving the designs and finished products, also involves some writing as well. A glass of wine!

Awareness: My attitude sucks today…I am worn down and out of sync; I really need a vacation; fortunately it’s next week!

September 28

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: On schedule with two commissioned projects,

Joy: A hot shower and an early bedtime

Awareness: As one thing dies another blooms, such is life.

September 29

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: A relatively light day, and was able to run an errand at the end of the day and cook dinner.

Joy: Realized there is an unfollow button on Facebook…yay, so tired of all those political rants. There is no way I could remain on there through the rest of the election season with all those antagonistic posts. I enjoy using FB to keep up with family and friends, but shuffling through all the bitterness was really messing with my inner peace. Some quiet time to myself.

Awareness: “I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom goes on as fruit.” ~Dawna Markova:  I posted this quote a year ago as my FB status, and I finally feel I am comfortably “Living in the Gap”. You see, this was my intention for 2012. But when 2013 rolled around I began to shift…while it is difficult to live a balanced life I feel like I’m headed in the right direction.

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-eight

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don’t want to remember, and remember everything they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.”  ~ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
img_2616

September 16

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Enjoyed a quiet Friday night at home, reading time

Joy: Design inspiration is still strong.

Awareness: Sitting on the back swing in the cool air is a balm to my soul.

September 17

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Had a complication with one of my stained glass pieces and figured out how to take it apart and redo a section on my own…yay, me!

Joy: Completed seven stained glass projects, a hot bath, a glass of wine

Awareness: When I exhaust myself doing something I enjoy I feel satisfied, yet when I exhaust myself with drudge work I focus on my used energy and sore muscles. Yes people, life is all about attitude and focus; we make it what it is.

September 18

Creativity: Writing and photography

Gratitude: DirtMan and I met friends in Smithfield for breakfast. Dinner with Oldest. Phone call with Youngest.

Joy: Needed a sweater/jacket to accompany a dress and found a perfect match, reading time

Awareness: Words are powerful. They are able to edify or destroy, use them carefully. When angry try to reach for love because once words are released there is no return.

September 19

Creativity: Stained glass embellishment videos

Gratitude: My husband did not have to pull nightshift when it was expected. I would say we got time together, but he was so exhausted from working nights and getting little sleep (this is week # 5 of nightshift) he slept over twelve hours…so I’m thankful he was able to catch up on his rest.

Joy: People who make me laugh, especially when it’s my kids. Being a witness to happiness.

Awareness: When people are happy with themselves they seem to establish healthier relationships.

September 20

Creativity: Stained glass design

Gratitude: Raincoat and umbrella because the rains keep coming…glad my street was not flooded while I had to go to the store.

Joy: Absolutely thrilled DirtMan doesn’t have to work any nights this week. Phone calls with my sister and a friend. Two little ones playing hide and seek; the counting out of order was hilarious, especially since the other child totally got it!

Awareness: It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone who gets you, and even greater if you have more than one person.

September 21

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Schools were closed due to flooding, waters were down (at least on my street) by the late afternoon though it is still raining. Writer’s Group cancelled so I didn’t have to go out in the pouring rain (except to take the dog out as she refused for the past 24 hours: I swear her bladder must be the size of Texas!)

Joy: Tonight DirtMan and I watched family videos of when our sons were small. It was wonderful to visit the days of our early family and the joy of sharing the river and mountains with them. We spent a lot of time camping, hiking, fishing, ATV riding, and just enjoying the bounty of nature and love of family. I hope they will always have fond memories of their youth.  Learning about creative energy patterns, fascinating how the right side of the brain controls the left (female energy) of the body, and the left side of the brain controls the right (male energy) side of the body.  We need both; female for inspiration and male for structure…this makes our dreams tangible. This comes from the book  “Wild Creative” by Tami Lynn Kent. I am so enjoying this book.

Awareness: Learning this concept in the above joy section helps me understand what I need to expand on in various creative endeavors. I am balanced with stained glass. With writing I have lots of inspiration but I lack structure. I knew this but I’d never looked at it as an energy form.

September 22

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Feeling appreciated…kind words on a card, gift certificates. The sun returned today!

Joy: Love. Twittering birdsong and twitching fluffy squirrel tails have made their way back into our yard now that the rain finally stopped. Manicure and pedicure (with the enjoyment of massage chair) Phone call from Youngest…he is due to arrive tomorrow!

Awareness: Sometimes we receive the honor and joy of positively impacting another’s life, and perhaps they touch your heart as well…though no relation, we call these people family. And often the time comes your job is done and they move on which is the case in my work. My heart is sad and yet it is full as one of my little guys moves up to preschool.

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-seven

img_6940

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.  ~Yo-Yo Ma

September 9

Creativity: Stained glass design (an angel, a fairy, and a mermaid)

Gratitude: Started rereading Julia Cameron’s “Walking in This World, The Practical Art of Creativity”. I hadn’t thought about this in years and wasn’t even sure if I still had it as I’d unloaded all of The Artist Way books on a friend. Sure enough, it was on my shelf. Take out sushi. Erasers.

Joy: Phone call from my goddaughter. A short surprise visit from a friend. I am delighted this is not a travel weekend for us because my body told me it really needs to rest. Chamomile tea and hot bath with chamomile essential oil.

Awareness: Though I’ve been in a productive stage of creativity, my energy is still scattered. Noises have really had me on edge for the past few days…zooming planes practicing for air show, nearby drums of the high school band, vibration of the AC, shrieking screams and whines…things I don’t usually pay much attention to while inside have me feeling dizzy, my neck tense, headache, and slightly shaking. Not sure if I’m getting sick or if I’m sensitive to the Mercury Retrograde. I just know that for a few weeks I have felt off though some days have been fairly normal.

September 10

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: A trip to my favorite glass store, and they had exactly what I needed. Added bonus is I left my list at home, and I still remembered everything.

Joy: phone call from my goddaughter. After running errands I spent the rest of the day in my studio.

Awareness: So, do you think the universe is trying to tell you something if it throws you together with two complete strangers and in six weeks you find yourself at the same place three times? We remembered one another because we struck up a conversation. Originally, I met them in the glass section of a local hobby store. In conversation we realized we had taken glass classes at the same shop but at different times. A few weeks later when I went to the glass shop they came in while I was there, and we laughed because we’d met up shopping for glass just a few weeks prior. While I was shopping for glass this time I heard someone say, “No way, it can’t be her.” We got a good laugh, and when I left I told them I guess I’d see them next time I need glass. It is ironic we have a lot in common other than glass, and they happen to have the same retirement plans as DirtMan and I have…opening up some sort of creativity studio! And none of us want to retire where we currently live.

September 11

Creativity: Writing, stained glass

Gratitude: Spent the entire day absorbed in creative endeavors. Even got in a little reading time.

Joy: Getting my studio back in order after having everything out of place while working/playing. A hot bath, cup of hot tea, sandalwood candle…a quiet evening.

Awareness: There are times I set unrealistic goals for myself. Rather than beating myself up for what I don’t accomplish I am going to start being appreciative of the objectives I achieved.

September 12

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Time to browse through the bookstore, and talk with a few people before the book club started.

Joy: Book club, always great discussion and laughter, stumbled upon an excellent book and purchased “Wild Creative” by Tami Lynn Kent.

Awareness: What we need always find its way to us, especially things we don’t know we need.

September 13

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: DirtMan always supports my creative meanderings.

Joy: Surprise breakfast with DirtMan, phone call from Youngest

Awareness: I’ve always considered my husband to be analytical while I am more of an artsy or free spirited soul, even though he has the heart of a poet and is creatively dabbling in photography and woodwork. I’d never before though his engineering career to be creative…what was I thinking? He builds highways and bridges, of course he’s creative. I guess I considered my first career (hairdressing) to be creative because it had flair…point is engineering and hairdressing, start with a set of plans and you build from there. I realize that was sort of a ramble, but the realization we both have creative careers and hobbies has been on my mind today.

September 14

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: Sitting on the back yard swing as night tiptoes across my yard. Frogs and cicadas blend in the darkness but their songs are an invitation to play hide and seek. A lifelong friendship.

Joy: A lovely sunset while eating dinner with DirtMan at a neighborhood pub.

Awareness: Those who are demanding often push others away rather than pull them in…I can only be pushed so far before my energy resources are depleted.

September 15

Creativity: Stained glass

Gratitude: I am eternally grateful for the prolific creative phase I am experiencing. My stained glass designing and creating has been on an unbelievable roll this week. I’ve created fourteen designs, and am in various stages of creating these pieces. Most of these even fit into a feminine theme. I’ve focused mainly on angels, fairies, and mermaids, and used inspiration from my feminine ancestry and women who inspire me. Most surprising to me is I haven’t had any desire to write, only to create with glass. I can honestly say when I started this “Define and Design” theme this year I had no idea this would be the direction I’d be headed. Life is full of surprises!

Joy: Able to steal a few minutes tonight with my husband. His job has been taking a lot of his time these days as they are winding down on a huge project…been working nights (and parts of days, extremely long hours at times) for a month now…and so much to look forward to – one week and Youngest will arrive for family wedding…another week and vacation, yay!

Awareness: I am sitting outside. The air is a bit chilly, cool drips of moisture settling on my arms. Robins bomb dive from the tall pines across my yard. I haven’t seen this many Robins since early spring. Fall is in the air. I witness death around me: dead heads on the coneflowers and black-eyed Susan, Sedums lifting a final wig to this year’s fashion show, pines are shedding their needles, the huge Oak is dropping leaves of varying degrees of change…and yet this excites me because autumn is my favorite time of year.

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-six

“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.” ~Osho

eastern-shore-sunset-at-mallards

September 2

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Got hurricane preparation completed, grabbed a quick dinner with DirtMan

Joy: DirtMan bought some pumpkin beer for me…I haven’t had any yet, but it’s the thought that counts, especially since he doesn’t even like it but knows it’s my thing! A letter from my mom with a picture of her father as a little boy. Texts and phone calls with family. Have been wanting a deep red (wine/ruby) colored purse and shoes; upcoming family wedding is an excuse to buy them, so I found what I like and purchased…sometimes it feels good to treat yourself. Ticket purchased for Youngest to visit at the end of the month.

Awareness: Siting on the porch swing…a cool breeze whipping through the air and against my skin, birds are active at all the feeders, the rustle of leaves and wings; all pure joy to my soul. (Not exactly stillness, but still the calm before the storm.)

September 3

Creativity: Writing, reading about writing, designed a sewing project and a mosaic one

Gratitude: Electricity outage early in the morning. DirtMan suggested we go out to get coffee and donuts and see if he could pinpoint where the electricity was downed. And then I discovered Chick Fil A had electricity and was open so I suggested we stop there as well. We ended up well fed for sure! Lots of time for reading, and movies after the power returned.

Joy: Funny texts with a friend during the Hurricane/tropical depression…thought I was going to delete my battery power before the current returned. Only out of electricity for slightly over seven hours.

Awareness: Build your brand. Reinvent yourself. These terms don’t mesh with “Be authentic” unless the reinvention of yourself or your business is the real you. Of course, we change and reshape constantly until we are sometimes no longer the person we once were. This kind of change doesn’t require a “reinvention” of self and “branding” generally refers to careers. This kind of change is gradual, a living and learning experience of “being”.

September 4

Creativity: Writing, stained glass (foiling)

Gratitude: After a slow start to my day due to back pain, my back improved enough to accomplish some yard clean up; always a mess after a big storm.

Joy: Sandalwood candle, a pumpkin beer, family

Awareness: There are times I put off difficult tasks to only find they’re not nearly as difficult as I’d imagined.

September 5

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Today was Dirtman and my 34th wedding anniversary…sometimes he might roll his eyes at some of the things I come up with but he lets me be ME, and that is a gift.

Joy: DirtMan and I started our day off at our favorite neighborhood pub for brunch. Then we headed off to the Eastern Shore. We brought essentials: cameras, water, wine, cheese, crackers, and fruit for a little daytime fiesta. We hiked a wildlife reserve which is ideal for bird watchers. We heard many familiar calls and some not so familiar, and a few sightings. We explored a bit more of the Eastern Shore and ended up at Mallards for dinner. We dined outside by the water and viewed a spectacular sunset and were provided live music for entertainment. It was a beautiful day all the way around.

Awareness: Everyday Everybody Matters (graffiti seen on building on Eastern Shore) Powerful words to contemplate on…in other words be kind to everyone.

September 6

Creativity: Writing, Painting, Stained glass (soldering)

Gratitude: Not having to leave my house all day! Made a phone call after I didn’t get a response to two emails on an Otterbox warranty. My customer service representative was excessively happy and helpful…don’t think I’ve ever encountered such an enthusiastic service person…I even felt guilty for steering her back to my problem a few times. Perhaps she just needed to talk about life in general, so I allowed it after I got my problem attended. Or perhaps the people in Colorado are just super nice!

Joy: Completed the glass projects of my Dancing Fairy and 57 Chevy stained glass designs!

Awareness: It’s a small world…finding mutual connections with people you’ve known for many years. Funny how things suddenly come up in conversations and it’s like someone has opened the window and a gush of fresh air enters.

September 7

Creativity: Writing, painting, Stained glass design (three mermaids)

Gratitude: A visit, though brief, with a longtime friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

Joy: I sold some stained glass pieces and received several more orders. My ruby purse and shoes arrived…I absolutely love them, makes me think of my goddaughter as she loves “ruby slippers”.

Awareness: I find my creative focus shifting more and more from writing and sewing to stained glass. I’m thinking I’m better off not trying to fit myself into a mold but to allow my spirit to mold me  and reshape me as I find my own places of purpose and pleasure.

September 8

Creativity: Writing, painting, Stained glass design

Gratitude: When small children exhibit compassion. I had a headache today and was resting on the sofa. A little girl (two and a half) brought her favorite blanket over and tucked it around my neck, rested her beloved stuffed giraffe on my chest, and leaned over and kissed my cheek. Just melts your heart, doesn’t it?

Joy: A quiet house, a cup of herbal tea, a hot bath with essential oils, a bowl of caramel ice cream

Awareness: Intuition is an innate gift many of us shed due to ego or societal pressures.

 

Define and Design 2016, Week Thirty-five

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.  ~John Muir

IMG_2502

August 26

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Words. Weekend trip with DirtMan…able to avoid Lockn’ traffic on route to mountains

Joy: The workweek is over and the weekend is on!  Listening to some old time rock and roll on our road trip, got ice cream at a gas station, unexpected rain shower

Awareness: Traveling into a rain shower and you can actually see it clear on both sides…only where you are momentarily is being watered; life is life that. I’m not talking about the poured on soaking rain (though that happens as well) but the nourishing soul watering; not everyone gets it at the same time.

August 27

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: Time with family, Orchard peaches and apples, homegrown tomatoes, fresh air, a pink cap the hubby bought me, a beer at the hometown brewery. Sharing a profound poem I came across with DirtMan and how the words touched each of us.

Joy: DirtMan and I were exploring country roads and stumbled upon quite a gem, Staton Falls. This gave us not only a photo op but a bit of a hike as well. Cloud watching with the hubby while we were at the brewery. Friendliness of people in the country, waves everywhere and easy conversation.

Awareness: Sitting at the base between upper and lower falls, watching the many butterflies feast on giant milkweed and the water flowing and splattering onto the rocks. Listening to the combined songs of the upper and lower falls. I know I am in the midst of a Holy place. ..a tiny stream carved its way through the mountain; water shaped the mountain. Can you even imagine the power it that? If God has given a trickle of a stream that power, can you even imagine the magnitude of what he has equipped humans. We can change the world in wonderful ways…we are changing the world. We may never know the impact of our presence; our very presence is a present to the world.

IMG_2582

IMG_2560

IMG_2529

August 28

Creativity: Photography

Gratitude: a short hike to the family cemetery with my sister and Wylie (the dog is always up for a walk outside)

Joy: porch sitting with my mom and sister on a beautiful day filled with sunshine, breezes, birds, and a few lizards, spotting a cardinal flower by the creek, lightening bugs

Awareness: A day of nothingness is good for the soul…also good for the mind for when it empties it fills again but with fresh ideas.

August 29

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: My body, mind, and spirit: Though I might complain at times I am truly grateful my physical capabilities, my mind’s perception, and the essence is which I carry out the daily tasks required of me. I am blessed. Happiness.

Joy: Phone call from my sister. A glass of wine

Awareness: Sometimes judgment clouds my vision and I have to step back, clear my mind and heart, and start over; mainly, there are times I need not think. All I need to do is be.

August 30

Creativity: Prepping for kids art projects

Gratitude: the cold smoothness of a polished stone (red jasper is my pick today)

Joy: Phone calls with my children

Awareness: Sometimes people are so concerned with what others are doing they begin to stunt their own growth.  My mantra today, “Be considerate of your fellow travelers but focus on your own journey.”

August 31

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: Kid’s naptime, a pair of cardinals flying past my window this morning

Joy: Opening my email to find an inspiration I need to hear. An added bonus was sharing it and having someone tell me it was exactly what they needed this morning.

Awareness: Every once in a while there is a day of stress that only a hot bath with essential oils and cup of herbal tea can heal.

September 1

Creativity: Writing

Gratitude: A message from someone thanking me for something I did for her a few years ago. Some books I purchased on my Kindle a while ago came back into focus. I never got around to reading them…today I almost purchased one of them; glad Kindle lets you know when you’ve already purchased something!

Joy: Synchronicity at play!

Awareness: Surrendering to Spirit is peace to the soul. Simple moments are often the greatest blessings in life.

IMG_2543