Thursday, March 31, 2011

Polarity and Making Things Happen - the wrap up - Part IV

You may have noticed that when you hold an intention with strong emotions, it will often happen -

partly because your passion will motivate you to take the actions you need to take, but sometimes it may also feel like things just fall into place, like life is opening a door just for you.

In those situations you were in the flow of polarized energy, focusing on either the outward flow of creative expression (giving) or the inward flow of acquisition (getting or maybe think of it as receiving, that sounds better).

Instead of mixing the two polarities together, you mostly focused on one flow or the other. It was either “I want to give” or “I want to get.”

You may be thinking, but I want both and that could be true, but maybe try a strong focus with your intention on just one and see what happens.

Our intention and attention are very powerful.

If you want to make things and make a living making those things - a strong outward focus would be "I want to create something amazing that will inspire people" which with polarity will create a laser beam focus on amazing and with passion and self discipline you will create amazing and life will support your amazing and the money will follow (as long as you are open to the many ways that it may come to you) to support your being able to give to others your amazing.

A strong inward focus could be "I want to make money with my makings" which with polarity (and passion and self discipline) will create a laser beam focus on money and the work that will follow will be edited and re-edited in order to make the most money with it until it is very likely amazing, too.

The "getting" focus of - I want to make money - though may take you to places and have you doing things that do not always sit well with you as a maker if you are not inclined toward this way of being in the world in the first place (and you will know if you are just by what feels right to you).

(many makers, being innately creative and creativity having an innately outward focus feel more comfortable focusing on the giving with this and how wonderful would the world be if we were all focused on giving!)

This is kind of simplifying things, but it really is kind of simple at its core.

Sometimes only the creator of the intention can know if it is an inward or outward polarity - you can create a business for the pure joy of making something amazing - you can create a business so people will think you are amazing - the outward polarity may be the only one that really leads to happiness, but that is another post.

Of course you still need that intention to inspire your passion (you need it to be something that gets you excited and fired up) and you need the self discipline to take the action to go through those doors as they open.

(and sometimes they will just crack open a little peak and you get to decide if you stick your big toe in or force that door open with your shoulder - I vote shoulder, but I'm from Jersey, remember)

With polarity you really can't lose -

especially if you're wearing the locket (wink).

* I can see for miles print by Bucks County Frames

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Polarizing Our Intentions - what to do when we aren't a narcissist, but we aren't Mother Teresa either - Part III

OK, back to my polarity series- you will find Part I HERE and Part II HERE to see if you are attracted to these concepts.

(couldn't resist a little magnet maker humor)

Intentions that align well with outflow (from your consciousness out to the universe):

•write a book •build a business •compose a song •throw a party

Intentions that align well with inflow (from the universe into your consciousness):

•get a new car, job, etc •attract a new love •receive an amount of money

There are people who work with these concepts and think of outward energy as good and inward energy as bad, but it is not that simple, although I absolutely think we will each be drawn more toward one way of being in the world than the other way, since one way focuses on giving and the other on taking -

but they both work equally well, at least for a while.

At some point a more outward focused person will probably have to deal with themes of self care (valuing our own worth, time, etc), competitiveness and ambition

and the more inward focused person with themes of caring, compassion and connection because this is not a linear path for any of us.

These are just pitstops not permanent resting places.

I think people get much more done in a much more effortless way with a pure focus on one stream (not the way we mostly all go at things with a little give out and a little take in - which works of course, but maybe not as effortlessly) -

and yes, this is why so many people totally focused on themselves can get so far in life (not to judge that, but definitely not to endorse it either) and also the reason they usually have some sort of awakening or downfall involving compassion and caring and connection because these lessons get lost if this inward focus becomes too great.

Anyhoo, I am not sure why I felt the need to post about polarity this week, but these are just some concepts I have been working with in my own life and thought maybe someone might benefit from thinking about them, too.

My hubby (a person probably more naturally inclined toward inward energy, but who has been working on a more outward focus these last few years) -

gives away alot of free since he started his own business. He was upset (ok really pissed off) last week when a customer he gives alot of free to (advice, services, after hours, etc) had gone to a larger competitor, a competitor who would never give away any free, for a job that would have provided us with a nice little chunk of change.

He came home ranting about raising his prices and ready to never do anything for free ever again -

(thoughts that he is actually very comfortable with since he is kind of predisposed to this way of being)

but he had to kind of look at the fact that he gets a lot of satisfaction, appreciation, respect and money from that giving away things for free.

Of course we are not trying to be Mother Teresa here -

but we are just trying to create things that are real and focused for us right now and see where this takes us.

(I should add in a little act of synchronicity - a customer who had given us a bad check for $1000.00 over a year ago that we thought we would never hear from again - walked into George's shop and paid him ... in cash ... the day after I wrote this post and more importantly the day after George got over being pissed off at the other guy and let it go)

Back tomorrow to wrap this up with specific ways we can work with this idea in Part IV

*give to others print by brook noel
*run mad print by bookfiend

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Part II - Polarizing our Intentions or How Daisy Does It (not the 80's bachelor party flick)

So back to Polarity today and how this connects with manifesting our dreams.

Our strong emotions for our intention are actually the result of energy, not the cause of it.

The source of this energy is actually the universe itself. The energy is already there. We just need to connect some of it with our intention.

The polarity of the energy flow is simply its direction. The in-flowing energy has one polarity, and the out-flowing energy has the opposite polarity.

So the two basic ways energy can flow through us are:

1. Us -> Universe (we direct energy from our consciousness out to the universe)
2. Universe -> Us (we draw energy from the universe into our consciousness)

OK, now back to Cousin Daisy Mae

(I've had alot of strong tea this morning, I'm sorry)

because the very thing about her that drives some people crazy (ie, me) her total focus on herself - allows her to connect with this energy easier than most of us because most people direct our energy in both ways and the polarities kind of cancel each other out.

Most of us get muddled up in the middle of things - we set our intention to write the book so we can inspire other people through our story and so we can make alot of money - these two intentions (one flowing inward and one flowing outward) create a kind of energy deadlock - picture two fists pushing against each other.

Cousin Daisy Mae (with a pure inward focus) might say that she wanted to share her story with the world and she may even say that this grew out of a need to create something, but the true intentions that would get her into that energy flow would be to 1. share her story with the world to impress people (inward focus) and 2. make alot of money (inward focus)

and with a pure inward polarity for her intention (along with a strong emotion to align with a strong energy) and her self discipline she will manifest, I promise you, a book deal and advance faster than I can finish my tea and first sudoko.

Now, the same can absolutely happen with a pure outward focus for our intention where we focus solely on sharing our story and creating something amazing -

maybe this is a harder polarity because there could be a little voice in the back of our heads that is also sending out the thought - now, I need to get enough money for this because this is going to take alot of time or I need to get credit for this.

And maybe those thoughts that we push down and do not really want to look at cancels out the energy that the thought of creating the book has connected with.

Now, I am not saying we can't be thinking both these things - I want to give and I want to get (because this is exactly what almost all of us would be thinking) and I am not saying that thinking both things cannot work for us - because of course we can totally make this happen - but maybe it doesn't work so well with the more effortless flow of energy that is the law of attraction; not as part of the same intention anyway.

The best and most successful things I have ever created have been with a pure outward focus and such a strong sense of excitement and adventure about the whole thing that the lack of knowingness about the outcome just didn't factor into my thinking and I think the younger you are the easier this may be to do - because there is a kind of youthfulness and daring to this that comes easier to us when we are young and have less responsibilities and gets more complicated as life gets a little bigger and more demanding ... but is even more crucial to us then.

Part III - Wednesday - Polarizing Our Intentions - what to do when we aren't a narcissist, but we aren't Mother Teresa either

* ask, believe, receive print by colorbee
* giving you my heart photograph by Yann Pendaries

Monday, March 28, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Studio724 - Gorgeous Lime and Aluminum Tote!

CLOSED- WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED HERE THIS WEEK!
Studio 724 is the incredible shop of designer Lucia Bennett where some amazing urban design and modern vintage work is created!

After 20 years as a graphic designer, this ex-Jersey girl launched Moda Industria - a waterjet cutting business - in Bloomington, Indiana.

At Lucia’s bungalow, waterjet art is everywhere. It hangs beneath the front gable of the house, all around the front porch, inside of the front fence, between container plantings in which she grows vegetables and herbs, on her garden gate, along the exterior walls of the house, and all around the back deck with its outside cocktail bar.

(ok, I'm jealous, I admit it)


I have one of Lucia's amazing bags and it is just gorgeous, the felt is incredibly strong, the metal handle is incredibly smooth - it is really perfect and gets lots of attention!

We are so lucky to have one of Studio724's amazing pieces for this week's giveaway.

WHAT YOU GET:

One lucky winner will receive Studio724's 12" Lime Green Wool Felt and Aluminum Tote ($75 value) -


HOW TO WIN:

It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below with LEAVE A COMMENT and be sure to check out Studio 724's shop - you will find some amazing urban design and modern vintage pieces!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

DRAWING:
Enter by midnight, Sunday, April 10! Good Luck!

The winner announcement is here - thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, March 25, 2011

How to Use Polarity To Make Things Happen (you do not need a locket for this, but it might help)

I have been sitting on this series and considered not posting it because I feel like I am getting a little too heavy and serious with my blog these days

and preachy, maybe a little too preachy, but then I thought maybe someone will resonate with it and since it was mostly finished anyway, I talked myself back into posting it ... so here goes ...

(so much for 2011 and my year of deciding)

"I believe in polarity."

(not the locket here, although I believe in that, too, but the polarity that makes our thoughts into things. The non-content part of our thoughts - the energy part or at least the direction of that energy part - the part that makes things happen.)

Mostly polarity is not a thing people question -

(except maybe the same people who question human activity's impact on the environment)

but, polarity's part in the manifesting of our intentions is not something that can actually be proven.

(in the same way as melting glaciers and the depleted ozone)

I will try anyway.

Last week I talked about Cousin Daisy Mae and her amazing ability to manifest just about anything she wants through self discipline, passion and intention. There is one thing that I didn't mention about Cousin Daisy Mae.

(and I should add that her name isn't really Cousin Daisy and she may even be a he, but I can promise you this person does in fact exist and would probably never in a million years recognize themselves here or even read my blog)

Cousin Daisy Mae is a clinically diagnosed (although maybe only by me while sipping my green tea and puzzling through my sudokus) narcissist. She is the most self-absorbed, selfish person you may ever meet.

She is a master taker, a master manipulator, a master liar - well, let's just say Cousin Daisy is all about Cousin Daisy.

Since we were kids I have watched her manifest her every intention (and I would guarantee she never thinks the word manifest or intention and most likely nothing any deeper than - "hey, that's cool, I want one") - with maybe a little background thought of I deserve that.

I am truly, truly grateful though to have her in my life because she has taught me some incredibly valuable lessons about energy and manifesting.

I believe thoughts are things and that they have both content and energy. So when we set an intention to create something - the thought that gets this creation started includes 1. the content of that thought and this content part is important - so if your intention is to create health for example - the intention: I am healthy (good) is much better than I am not sick (not so good) and you are probably aware of this and there is lots of information out there on thought content if this interests anyone, so I am not going to get into it here -

and 2. the energy of that thought - now most of our thoughts have a neutral energy because they are kind of low-level nonsense stuff

(I have to do laundry, here comes the mailman, hmmm... Olive needs her nails clipped)

and we can even spend hours holding low-energy thoughts with great content (positive daily affirmations like - I am happy, for example) and we will manifest virtually no emotion, no action, and most likely no results.

Now energy is not something we create. It simply is. It is always there. What makes us feel strong emotion is not the energy itself (which is always there) but the flow of energy moving through us.

Our intention needs to get us so fired up (and if it doesn't why are we intending it anyway) that real emotion is created (and that emotion can be joy or love and it can also be greed or lust because this stuff is non-judgemental) that we are (for example) talking so much about our new idea or concept or way of being or thingamajiggie that people are telling us to "shut up about it already" then maybe we have something real.

And speaking of  "new" (which intentions do not have to be, of course) I have read a couple posts lately suggesting that maybe there are no new ideas anymore and sometimes posts supporting taking something that is already out there and making it better and I really couldn't agree less.

I believe there are people with new ideas every day, every second of every day, and these new ideas and concepts and ways of being and thingamajiggies are being thought up by people who believed a new idea was possible -

(if we think there is no such thing as a new idea then I am pretty sure we will never have one)

and as for taking someone else's idea and making it better - well, what is better? and I am talking art here and not functional automobiles and washing machines - if someone has created something from their heart and soul and taken it from step 1 to step 10 and we bounce in and take it to step 11 to make it better than what have we really created anyway? - probaby nothing any more impressive than a possible copyright infringement.

And I am not talking about inspiration here - which we obviously take and give to each other all the time and is something that absolutely needs to flow, but that is a whole other post.

Back Wednesday with Part II - How Daisy Does It

and my legal department (ie Olive and her best friend Ruby)  likely due to the possible conflict between next week's blog title and an 80's bachelor party flick (maybe there really are no original ideas) suggest that I add my usual disclaimer.

Disclaimer - since I am not an expert in energy and cannot be said to actually know what I am talking about, I cannot be held responsible for any actions you might take from reading any of my posts - please keep this in mind if you end up in your parents' basement obsessed with sudokus and green tea.

(unless of course, this would be an improvement over your current living situation, in which case, I take full credit)

Check out my Etsy shop critique this week for a wonderful sustainable jewelry shop Nature's Art Melbourne HERE and don't miss the last few days of love, maude's giveaway HERE if you haven't entered yet.

Next week I have my biggest dollar value of any giveaway ever - it starts on Monday and you won't want to miss it! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If Your Karma Runs Over Your Dogma - don't panic, just sprinkle nuts ... the dry roasted kind ... (a wednesday whine of sorts)

I have a new friend -

(or a friend depending on who you talk to)

she is an artist who teaches Hindu to non-Hindus and we were talking about karma and I was telling her how I thought things happened almost instantaneously for me and how I have to be very careful that I never run over a squirrel

(or anything else, of course, but squirrels always seem to be getting in my way lately)

because I think an airplane or a giant oak tree or a UFO -

(which would totally be worth it to all the UFO crazies in my family who would finally have some actual proof of their existence - not that my family needs proof to believe in anything - and my sacrifice would be a small price to pay, although to be fair to them I am pretty certain they would erect an amazing martian memorial to me along the highway - they are just thoughtful that way)

would immediately crash and crush my car and that would be the end of me, too.

She assured me that it doesn't work like this.

(but she may have let me in on a little secret I will pass along - because if you do ever run over a squirrel, and please don't, but if you ever do there are certain squirrel tributes you can pay in the form of Planter's dry roasted around the neighborhood, so don't panic)

She didn't actually say this, of course, but she did tell me something else that was very interesting.

We were talking about truth and I said " ... if you lie to protect someone's feelings - say for example, when you thank your mother-in-law who has just given your hubby a 10 gallon jar of homemade pickled eggs again that he will want to eat every night and that will smell up your entire kitchen every time the jar is opened - well, that's not really being dishonest, right?"

And she said something that was kind of an aha moment for me -

(and I can't have an aha moment without picturing Oprah nodding solemnly)

"When you try to protect another soul from hurt, you are preventing them from learning their own lessons and this may earn karma - for you. You might like to consider that you were actually trying to shield yourself from feeling your mother-in-law's pain."

(of course this isn't an excuse to be mean to people, but I certainly could have related more honestly about the size of these picklings or maybe I'll just take my karma lumps - anytime anyone wants to lie to me to avoid hurting my feelings and balance my karma, I am ok with this)

She said the same thing about all the things we do for our kids to protect them from failure - that we are preventing them from learning things they are here to learn and we earn karma for ourselves for blocking their growth and this karma must then be balanced.

(this balancing is probably the part a few years later where they tell us they hate us and we are the worst parents on the planet)

Anyhoo, just something to think about while I stock up on Planter's and transfer the pickled eggs to smaller jars - can you transfer pickled things into smaller jars without repickling them? - hopefully I do not poison George - I don't even want to think about the kinds of things I will need to sprinkle around the neighborhood to balance that.

* more good days than bad print by Jen Lewis of JayHell

Monday, March 21, 2011

Leaving the Poetry in What We Make - embracing wabi-sabi

At its most nakedness, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and wisdom in nature. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered and above all it reveres authenticity.

It is the gift of time and the thing that can't be rushed.

It is the reason we love real flowers instead of plastic ones, even though we know they will wilt, flea markets instead of big box stores, barnwood instead of pergo. It's the reason those botoxed, un-naturally smooth faces on television make us so uncomfortable.

(and as pretty as Target's colorful little plastic thingie is and how much it is calling my name at times, I can leave it in the store because I know my soul just doesn't embrace this stuff anymore - it has no essence, it has no poetry - I know I will forget all about it 10 minutes after I get it home)

It isn't about laziness or letting things come together or fall apart in a messy or sloppy way. It's kind of the opposite of that. The beauty of the frayed edge of grandmas's quilt can only be appreciated in a clean and unencumbered setting.

(this is why the vintage sellers do so much better with empty space in their photos and clean, simple backgrounds - trust me on this vintage sellers)

I have been thinking about Japan alot these last few days (I know we all have) and this concept stands out to me as one of the most wonderful of all Japanese principles.

And for small maker companies it means not being afraid to show the flaws in ourselves and our work because real is never perfect and that is why people connect with it.

It's OK that we're not perfect - it's more than OK actually.

* Secret Door print by SeaLilyStudio
xo

Friday, March 18, 2011

Self Discipline Part II - making things happen when we'd rather be doing something else

Ok, so back to WCIT.

(see Wednesday's post if you have no idea what I am talking about - you may have to read it two or three times to figure out what the hell I am talking about and when you do please let me know - I'm still confused)

Self discipline is about willpower.

We don't always want to hear this. There are so many commercials trying to sell us something that will take the place of this - something that will replace our own power of will with something fast and easy with a money back guarantee -

that they are pretty much guaranteed we will never take them up on because if we do not have the willpower to do the thing ourselves in the first place, we will be way too lazy to send the thing back when it doesn't work.

People who think willpower doesn't work for them or they have none are probably trying to use it way beyond its capacities to work. Willpower is the original thrust that gets things moving - the first action that sets the other things in motion - the starting point.

Self discipline is about challenging ourselves.

This is the hard work part - the part where we do the thing that we are too tired or too burned out or too lazy or too afraid to do - this is where we do the thing that is hard.

"The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work" - Oprah Winfrey

Self discipline is about industriousness.

(and Webster's is trying to tell me that this is not a word but I think I am just a wee bit smarter than Webster's on this one)

This is the kind of discipline that gets those little tasks done - the tasks that are not hard, but they add up.

This is the little stuff that is cluttered all over top of the big stuff, so the big stuff stays hidden. Maybe it is more comfortable for us to leave the big stuff covered up so we will not have to deal with it, we will not have to see just how amazing our life can really be - maybe this is a reason for our busy-ness and our clutter and our inability to say no when we need to - but we can change that and we can change that in this very moment!

This is the part where we clean up our email and our closets, wrap our thousandth bead, mail the invitations early, clean the tub again, fold the towels again - this is where we pay our dues. This is the place where there are no shortcuts.

Self discipline is about tenacity.

Tenacity is what keeps the action moving forward. This is the part where you keep going even when you just don't feel it anymore.

Now this doesn't mean that we never give up - sometimes giving up is the best thing to do - sometimes we clearly have to let go of things to make room for better things.

Have you ever heard of a company called Traf-O-Data? It was started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen (yes, the Bill Gates and Paul Allen who started Microsoft). It was the thing they let go of in order to make room for something better.

It's not about clinging to the past (if it is then it isn't going to work for us) - it is about moving toward our vision of the future - a vision that is so compelling we will do anything to make it real.

So, WCIT is how we build self discipline. And I think without self discipline all the amazing work we are passionately wanting to create may never end up in the hands of the people who will love it; it may even not ever get made at all.

So, we get clear on what we want - we set our intention - we use willpower to get ourselves going - we challenge ourselves by doing the hard stuff - we challenge ourselves by doing the tedious stuff - we don't give up.


It's really as easy and as difficult as that.

(I need a nap and yes naps are totally allowed and encouraged - there is an absolute balance to this - no one can do it all, not all the time)

Next week I am going back to intention and doing a post on polarity -

(not the locket this time, but the non-content part of our thoughts - the part that makes our thoughts things - the law of attraction stuff that really does work)

this sounds boring now that I write it but it isn't trust me and it is the thing that allows (along with self discipline and passion) Cousin Daisy, uh, I mean Cousin Daisy Mae to manifest all kinds of amazing things and we can, too.

* I Just Ate My Willpower print by persimmonandpink
* be posititve, patient and persistent print by trulyvera

If you are still awake after reading this post check out my interview on Lisa Jacobs blog HERE and my shop critique for Betsy and Bess on the Ecoetsy team blog HERE and Maki from JustBento has put together a great list HERE of ways to help Japan - have a wonderful weekend everyone! xo

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Upcycled Tutorial - Leftover Clay Tile and Rubberstamp Chalkboard!

This is another easy-peasy reuse tutorial. We always have a leftover tile or two when we do tile work

(you can also purchase individual tiles super cheap at tile shops or home improvement stores)

and since I know from writing on them with chalk when we are laying them out that they make great chalkboards I thought why not make some tile/chalkboards for little places that you would like to leave a little note or message.

You can also use large tiles and tile edging as your chalk holder (see step by step pictures for a picture of this)

what you need -

tile (test chalk on it first - it must have a matte finish), epoxy, hangers, rubber stamp or ceramic edge tile

1. If using a rubber stamp for your chalk ledge - peel off rubber (you can glue this on some scrap wood so you don't lose your stamp!) 2. Sand off any leftover glue 3. glue the 'ledge' near the bottom of your tile 4. Add your hangers (there are probably better hangers for this project, but I already had these - they are supposed to attach to the wall, but since they are fabric and flexible they worked very well on the ridged back of the tile)- I needed some hoops to hang them, but I had something handy for that, too 5. Write something!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Passion Without Self Discipline Might Never Make Us Rich (or even pay our cable bill which is actually the same thing, now that I look at my cable bill) - Part I

Self discipline is our ability to take action regardless of whether or not we feel like taking action.

(imagine the amazingness we could create if we could just get ourselves to follow through on our best intentions no matter what)

I have a relative (we'll just call her Cousin Daisy) who manifests just about everything she sets out to manifest. When she tells us she is going to do something (and these somethings are often very unusual somethings) - we listen. She doesn't have alot of money and doesn't seem to focus on manifesting that.

But the thing she wants (and want is the wrong word here); the thing that most of us would assume you need money to have - well, she doesn't assume - she just skips the step of wanting (wrong word again) the money and goes directly to manifesting the thing.

Now, there are a couple things that I think she has working for her here and one of them is 'Polarity'. Yes, that's right polarity and I have a post or two next week about that.

(before polarity was a totally amazing locket it was playing a huge part in how the law of attraction really works - the secret within the secret so to speak)

The other thing she has going for her is self-discipline.

Cousin Daisy never does things half-assed. When she made the decision to eat a macrobiotic diet (this is just the first thing that popped into my head- it is not a manifesting thing, but it is a self discipline thing) - she just did it; cleared out her fridge and cabinets, bought 2 cookbooks, made a trip to the grocers and then proceeded to follow through for the next, oh, I don't know, 10 years.

She didn't think about how this was going to effect her lifestyle or say - let me try a meatless Monday or let me try this for a month - she just did it.

And it was easy for her because she already had this self-discipline thing down. Some people are just born this way I think and my family is filled with industrious folks who 'get the job done'.

I like to think I am self disciplined but sometimes have to admit I may be more disciplined by external things - other-self disciplined you might call it. I will get the job done for my customers - the making and the shipping of orders - no matter what it takes. In the weeks before Christmas I was getting up at 3am to get my orders made and out, but ....

the stuff that I am not held so accountable for by external circumstances, mostly personal stuff like laundry and cleaning and exercising, but even the business things like bookkeeping and marketing ... well ... sometimes they get done when they get done.

I can guarantee you that Daisy would not have a sinkful of dishes or a filthy car (yes, I will use the "f" word for this) or a half-assed bookeeping system - if she didn't have time for this stuff, she would either find the time or find someone else to do it and she would manifest that person without even thinking about how she was going to pay them and it would all work out perfectly. I am totally serious about this - I have seen her do it ... many times.

For free-spirited makers self discipline can feel a little too much like being told what to do, even when we are the ones doing the telling. It just feels rigid and planned and not very passion inspiring.

this is a test, this is only a test ...

(and yes, grades will be tallied, report cards mailed to parents and there will be no make-ups or incompletes given due to lack of self discipline)

I found this little self discipline quiz last year which I promptly failed.

•Do you get up at the same time every day?
•Do you have any addictions (caffeine, nicotine, sugar) you’d like to break but haven’t?
•Is your email inbox empty - are old emails you are saving in folders?
•Is your studio and home neat and organized?
•How much time do you spend watching tv or trolling the web every day?
•Could you fast for one day?
•How much sleep do you get each night?
•How often do you exercise?
•Do you usually eat foods based on their healthfulness or their taste?
•If you make a promise to someone, what’s the % chance you’ll keep it?
•If you make a promise to yourself, what’s the % chance you’ll keep it?
•When was the last time you consciously adopted a positive new habit or quit a bad habit?
•What’s the greatest physical challenge you’ve ever faced, and how long ago was it?

You get the idea. Self discipline is a powerful tool. It can wipe out addictions, procrastination, chaos and unhealthiness - it's all about Willpower (concentration of force), Facing Challenges (doing the thing we don't want to do but know we should), Industriousness (putting in the time) and Tenacity (sticking with it).

(so WCIT, it's all about WCIT - yeah, WCIT)

Back on Friday with Part II - MAKING THIS HAPPEN aka OK, so I see I need to be more self disciplined and less other-self disciplined, so how can I make this happen if I don't have the Cousin Daisy gene (which I don't because she is a married-into-the-family Cousin Daisy).

(wait, I think I will call her Daisy Mae, I like that better ... plus she will hate it and the more I think about how effortless she makes things look, I really want to annoy her a little)

* test screen necklace by bRainbowshop

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

we are all Japanese now ...


our only planet and its people - our brothers and sisters - are hurting.

I remember the days after the Three Mile Island explosion when we thought the reactor could meltdown and no one knew what would happen (they still don't) and how scared we were and my family trying to figure out what to do and where we should go. Although I was a kid, my eco-leanings truly formed around that time period and the little knot of fear that formed around the words 'nuclear energy' never really unraveled.

Sending white healing light, love and strength to the amazing people of Japan - there is truly only one of us here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Hand Embroidered Secret Message Necklace by love, maude - CLOSED

CLOSED - WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY!
"love, maude" is the amazing hand embroidered accessories shop of Sandie from Indianapolis, which she named after her grandmother.

I fell in love with her work at first sight and know you will, too!

I also fell in love with her profile which reads:

"I like pretty. Just because it's pretty. I like kind words and happy people. I adore manners.

I like traditions. Using my grandma's blue willow dishes for special occasions and looking through boxes of holiday decorations carried down from the attic year after year warms my heart.

I like red lipstick. Even though I am quite tall, I love to wear heels. I prefer to wear skirts and dresses. I'm just more comfortable in them.

I love to sew. I have a chinz, overstuffed chair in the corner of my living room that I call "my stitching chair". Curled up in my chair with a needle in hand, coffee on the table and stories in my mind makes a perfect afternoon."

Don't we love that!

We are so lucky to have one of her gorgeous pieces for this week's giveaway!

WHAT YOU GET:

One lucky winner will receive love, maude's gorgeous hand embroidered secret message necklace!

HOW TO WIN:

It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below and be sure to check out love, maude's shop - what gorgeous Mother's Day gifts!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone. CLOSED

Friday, March 11, 2011

when a hug isn't really a hug ....

I recently had a conversation about Facebook with my brother. He believes that Facebook represents the time we are living in and is not something a business person desiring 'personal' connections with people can just skip.

This is where my problem comes in becomes I can't totally silence the little voice in the back of my head

(the little voice that is often right)

that tells me something is not quite right about all of this.

I once read something like - you’re an introvert if you recharge your batteries while being alone and you’re an extrovert if you recharge in the company of others - and most people are somewhere in the middle and can do both.

When my daughter was little and I had a job in a place outside of my house, a place with other people, I definitely recharged from time spent alone.

Now, that I am alone alot - pretty much the opposite is true - I need the company of others more and more often to recharge.

Now, sometimes this 'company of others' takes place on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr or wherever ... and these things do fill us; for a little while - the feeling just doesn't last though.

(kind of like eating Chinese food)

There's a great deal of talk about the business value of social networking.

I can't help noticing that alot of this talk is circulated by people trying to make money from it. But taking advice about how the fish are biting from the girl selling you the bait is not the best idea.

(this advice is kind of like the sellers on Etsy with ebooks about how to make money selling on Etsy who have never sold anything other than ebooks about how to make money selling on Etsy - now if this person wants to tell me how to make money selling ebooks on Etsy, well then, I'm listening ... but otherwise not so much)

Anyhoo, back to Facebook. Yes, it is happening right now. Yes, I am a part of this world, right now. Yes, I do not want the world to pass me by ...

(well, except for maybe that honeysuckle color that is Pantone's color of the year - I am just not feeling it, that can pass me by, I think, and Charlie Sheen he can pass me by, too)

but maybe there are ways to raise our visibility without always raising our accessibility. I just don't think this is all sustainable.

For now, I continue to update my Facebook and tweet once in a while - I am not about to jump completely out of these fast moving waters because it may be very hard to find my stroke if I have to jump back in.

(did anyone see that guy on Dr. Phil who gets off work at 3 and then runs until 6, all the while photographing his run and then spends every night after dinner updating his Facebook or blog about his run ... while his wife goes crazy with the kids and his entire life falls away from him and he doesn't even notice)

But, I think it is time for me to challenge myself socially and get out there in the real world because I don't want those muscles - that were never exactly Linda Hamilton in Terminator II anyway - to weaken to the point where upon meeting new people I immediately become their 'friend', give them a hug and a friendly poke (not too friendly) and a great big thumbs up.

(so today it's back to the library and off my Nook - a little face to face time with other readers and I think our librarians have been missing us ... baby steps)

* print #17 from HappyTownUSA

10 Days Until Spring (or is it 9 because we won't count today or is it 8 because we won't count the actual first day)

let's just agree on 8 that sounds alot better ...

* some new pieces in my shops within the last few weeks 1) the royal wedding cork bracelet, 2) the vineyard wedding cork necklace 3&4) the gorgeous photography of the amazing Joy St. Claire graces my lockets

Next week will be my final spring cleaning crafty closet cleanout giveaway - last week's winner chosen by random.org

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 356
Result: 201

is Karen L - Congrats Karen!

Also check out my post over on the Ecoetsy team blog where I give a eco-friendly team member Herban Lifestyle's shop a little tweaking and friendly critiquing - there might be something there that will resonate with you.

My new blog series will kick off next week! Have a wonderful weekend all ...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Upcycled Tutorial - Window Corkboard - create an industrial size corkboard with some old fashioned character in minutes!


There is almost no limit to the amazing things you can do with an old window!

If you don't have one in your garage you should be able to pick one up for just a couple bucks when the garage sale / flea market season starts up in a few weeks.

You can even make a huge industrial size corkboard!

You will need:

an old window
cork (I used cork underlay for flooring- you can also buy cork rolls at the craft store and cut foamcore sheets to fit underneath the thin cork and support your pushpins)
glazier points
flathead screwdriver

You can make your old window like new first with a fresh coat of paint

(you might want to use a lead test strip first if you do not know the age of the window and the kind of paint used)


I like things to look a little aged so I am just going to leave this one alone.

Measure your openings and cut your cork to fit (1), using a flathead screwdriver and some glazier points attach your cork to the window frame (2), that's it (3) - easy peasy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

one guy's trash is another girl's excuse to dumpster dive ...


I am in the process of de-cluttering my life - making space for something new. This is a big undertaking for a packrat like me. Things and thoughts and emails and ... well, mostly crap actually ... is making life feel a little heavier around here than I like it to feel and even though I mostly love my crap

some of it just has to go ...

In the process of my own de-cluttering, I discovered that in a totally unconnected passion to untie some knots and clear some space, my brother and his wife were doing a massive de-cluttering of their own house -

they rented a huge metal dumpster, to toss everything that is not recyclable, and it has been sitting in their driveway for a week.

(they are totally lucky they live where they do because in my neighborhood a dumpster in your driveway for a week would be filled while you sleep with 3 barcaloungers, 2 tires from a '79 Pinto and a toothless guy named Pete would already be unpacked, settled in and receiving mail and guests)

When I heard about this I had to head over there and check out just what they were throwing out -

(I truly tried to hold back because I really don't need anyone else's stuff - I paced around my house, bit my nails, reread the Oprah cut the clutter issue, ate a poptart, tried to remember just what the hell they had in their garage anyway - but finally I gave in to my inner dumpster diver and drove over there)

It was kind of like this ----->


(except I was wearing way cooler shoes)



Anyhoo, I grabbed up some of the beautiful pottery the two of them created at art school in Boston -

(not sure what I am going to do with it all or how it fits into my own de-cluttering, but something tells me my life can use the kind of grounding this large pile of lovingly handcrafted clay is offering up)
a book on HTML for dummies and some CDs that were about to go to Best Buy including Harry Chapin, Jeff Beck and Pat Benatar.

(WTH Vinnie - tossing Pat Benatar?!)

So maybe I took a little step backwards, but it is all good because life is a process after all and some things cannot be rushed. Things are still getting de-cluttered around here because I know I need to create some awfully large space in my life for the awfully large, awfully amazing stuff that is coming my way.

At first when hubby saw boxes coming into the house he was all - "what the heck, I thought we were getting rid of stuff" - but then he saw the gorgeous pots and bowls and thingamajigs and he was smitten, too

and the Frank Zappa, did I mention there was a Frank Zappa?

(WTH Vinnie?!)

* let it go print by the amazing Nan Lawson (who also has a locket or two)

Monday, March 7, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Spring Cleaning at Olive Bites Week # 2 - Another Scrap Happy Giveaway

CLOSED- WINNER WILL BE POSTED THIS WEEK!

This week's giveaway is more stuff from my crafty closet clean out!

Most of these things are, I'm pretty sure, no longer available so your only chance to get them is probably to win them here!

WHAT YOU WIN:

Photobucket

The loot includes 8 making memories journaling tags, 2 narratives mini lunch bags, 1 making memories defined sticker sheet, 1 making memories chipboard flower sheet, 1 k&company dimensional stickers, 1 junkitz rubons, 10 making memories flowers, 2 hero arts rubber stamps - always and precious (large size), a 72 letter rubon monogram set, 3 tilez tiles, and 3 meters of 7 different fibers from ek success.

One lucky winner is going to be in scrap heaven with this take!

HOW TO WIN:

It's easy, peasy - just leave a comment below with your contact information!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to US and Canada only (sorry guys!)

DRAWING:
Enter by midnight, Sunday, March 13th! Good Luck!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Have a Happy 1st Weekend in March Everyone!

I'm a little late seeing this quote since I haven't been reading as many blogs lately - trying to get myself organized around here - but this little gem from Seth Godin seems like a perfect way to get our weekend started right:

"Art is what we call .. the thing an artist does.

It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making.

Something risky. Something human.

Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist."

I love that.

The winner of last week's MOOZA DESIGN giveaway is Monapete! YAY for her! Mooza's work is amazing.

Also if you have a waffle iron you need to be making brownies with it (just don't overfill - cook for 3-5 minutes) yummy with ice cream and syrup - it is still officially winter and we are definitely allowed to hibernate and eat stuff like this ...

And thanks to everyone who sent happy thoughts to me after my rambling tweets about my car accident this week - I'm ok - and I'm pretty certain I will be whining about it next Wednesday ... stay tuned ...

xo all =^..^=

* Livewire print from the amazing Jessica Grundy of Solocosmo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Upcycled Tutorial - Acetate Transparencys For Your Matted Photos

This is a cool way to add a layer of words and whatnots to your framed pictures - looks especially amazing with black and white photos and is uber-easy to make.

I used to sell these at craft shows and people ate them up.

(no, I mean, they actually ate them up ... and it wasn't pretty .. in fact I am feeling a little light headed from the memories ... but I have been advised they tasted like chicken)

Anyhoo, the idea here is that you use a transparency (overhead projector paper available at Staples works perfectly) to add a layer of pure awesomeness under the glass of any framed print.

what you need:

a transparency
a computer
a picture to be framed, mat and frame

Using your computer lay out some fun and funky wording, imagery, boxes, etc that you would like to use to create your 'floating layer' - measure the inside of your matting and print it out on regular paper to make sure it will fit with your mat and picture.

To print on the acetate use the 'transfer' style paper setting (as if you were making a t-shirt transfer) and print on the rough side of the acetate on a regular setting (I used to find the 'best' setting would sometimes leave too much ink and smear) - allow a little drying time

Tape the acetate to the backboard of your matting and add your picture underneath the acetate. I like the picture to be slightly off-angled, but do what pleases your eye with it. Frame it- easy peasy.



Here are a couple mini ones I threw together to get you started and your creativity flowing:


Enjoy! xo =^..^=

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Look At Me ... if I stand on my head and don't tell anybody that I stood on my head - did I actually stand on my head?

When I was growing up we had self-esteem classes in school where we filled our notebooks with everything anyone would ever need to know about us -

they were like little prehistoric facebooks.

These classes were designed to increase our confidence and self-esteem and basically imprint us with the message that we were OK.

Today, it isn't enough for kids to hear that they are OK- they need to be "special".

(and maybe we are all feeling like this actually)

And parents are encouraged to increase our kids 'self-esteem' by affirming their 'specialness'.

My adorable little niece serenaded me recently with a song she learned in nursery school -

"I am special. I am special. Look at me. Look at me."

(sort of to the tune of the farmer in the dell if you are old enough to remember that one)

I told her that I knew a better song and sang her something like -

"I am nice. I am nice. I promise to stop kicking Aunt Cathy in the face as she tries to put on my shoes because I am nice."

She told me I was mean.

(which I am, so maybe she is special)


Her brother, who is a few years older was insisting I wanted to watch him play video games

(having been advised by him that my own video gaming skills were not quite up to the par of actually being able to play with him)

I tried to drag him away from his controller and do something with me.

He wasn't going for it.

I tried a new tactic.

"I like to make jewelry" - he glanced up at me wondering where this was going.

"Would you like to watch me make jewelry?"

"Oh, I thought you were going to make me something", he said

"No, I like to make jewelry - would you like to watch me make jewelry?", I repeated.

"Why would I want to watch you do that?"

"Well, why would I want to watch you play video games?"

He told me I was weird.

(which I am, so maybe he is especially astute also)

Of course, I remember when we were kids and my sister and I would drag my mother into our bedroom to watch us do 'gymnastics' on the beds - shouting "look at me, look at me", until my mother, bored and achy with tennis-neck would find some excuse to leave

She could have said something about how amazingly special this all was, but more likely she said something like -

"OK, enough girls, I'm tired of sitting here"

since neither of us became Olympic gymnastic champions, maybe she wasn't the best encourager of 'specialness' - on the other hand we did think we actually had to do something to warrant an audience.

Of course, playing a video game is doing something - I sure as hell can't do it very well.

(now we all just go on our Blogs or Facebook or Twitter and announce what we are doing)

Kids today have never known any other world and are certainly not to blame here, but all this 'specialness' is making me a bit uneasy about our future.

(or maybe I have just had too much coffee this morning and am way overthinking this)

* adorable Look at Me print by The Extent of Silence

I should also add that when I redid my blog the other day I went to set up a Facebook fan page and the name Olive Bites was already being used

(I was thinking what has Olive been up to now?)

and then I realized that I had set up a fan page almost a year ago and then I forgot all about it!