more stuff I learned in 2012 ... the list goes on and on ....

poster from totally old school
2012 kicked my butt.

My mood right now is "BRING IT ON 2013!" - but this changes hourly - 60 minutes ago it was more like - BRING ... me a hot chocolate and my snugli ... (mommy? sniffle)

I really want to finish this countdown before Dick Clark does his ... is Dick Clark still doing that?!

And yes, I think I have lost lessons 8 and 9 somehow - we will just pretend they were highly personal and emotional lessons that I just can't bring myself to write about - instead of admitting that I just can't count.

#6 - Mental illness sucks. It is not something we deal with well in this country (maybe this is true everywhere).

David lived with us off and on (mostly on) for 8 months in 2012 - we were never able to get him on medication although he was having major psychotic symptoms and episodes.

Finally after a particularly bad episode that ended with him in jail for a long period he was accepted into a program to help keep people from returning to jail. They were able to get him on an anti-psychotic monthly shot (which costs $800 per month - he has 2 left before his samples run out) and into a new program and temporary housing (4 months before his money runs out).

Unfortunately the shot that helps with the voices also makes him aggressive and even more difficult at times. He continues to drink. Schizophrenia is a nightmare; so is alcoholism.

David was our first 2012 hurricane - he blew in and out of our lives and changed us forever and we are totally grateful.

#5 - We are totally unprepared to live without electricity. Hubs and I have been kidding ourselves for years about being somewhat self-sufficient - we're not.

On the other hand I have no interest in being a survivalist - if the world winds down to a handful of people wandering the planet, fending off hoards of hungry animals and killing each other for acorns - I would be totally happy not being one of them.

#4 - I need more downtime; more time to do things unconnected with business. I am going to make this happen. When we had regular jobs we had weekends and even though our weekends now may not always fall on Saturday and Sunday - we still need week ends (a time when our week ends).

#3 - I need to figure out this diet, hormone, environment, eczema, sleep, dry eye, nerve, memory thing - enuf said.

#2 - Now is the time  - I truly believe the old world is ending. Our planet has moved on. Maybe this is what it felt like as the dark ages moved into the renaissance - like things were falling apart or things were coming together and it all depended on how we looked at things - except it's even bigger this time because the stakes are so much higher.

We are the luckiest beings in the universe to get to experience this.

There won't be a guru or messiah coming to get us out of this mess (this is why Obama often disappoints us - he's a catalyst not a savior - he is just mirroring ourselves back to us) - the Hopi were right - we are the ones we have been waiting for.

We have to do the work ourselves - this can only happen by walking the path of conscious choice - discernment, non-judgement, non-attachment to outcomes and detaching from our stories. First step - a meditation practice if we don't have one. Deborah King's is one of my favorites.

# 1 - I am awake now.

And yes, some days I wish I was still snoozing, but we can't unknow what we know and yes, once we know better we do better and yes, to whom much has been given much is expected and yes, nothing about this is easy. It is simple though. Hard but simple. We can do this. Artists and creators (which is everyone actually) have to.

banner by remembered times

Bye Bye 2012 - the countdown continues ...

print by tammy olsen
# 7 Lesson Learned in 2012 - Releasing Attachment to An Outcome (or time to toss the vision boards)

Now I admit that just because I learned a lesson doesn't mean this isn't a process - nothing is so black and white these days for any of us.

This isn't 3rd grade where our times tables were burned into our brains

(except 7X8 - why do I always have to think about that one and by "think" I mean add 7 to 49 ... with my fingers)

things are much more fluid now.

Maybe lesson #7 next year will scream - BRING BACK THE VISION BOARD! Maybe not.

I am trusting now that life has bigger plans for us, bigger dreams than we can wrap our arms around right now - stuff we can't see yet because maybe there are still a few twists and turns in the road ahead.

This isn't about not setting any goals (well maybe it is in some ways) but about making the goals more about how I want to feel than where I want to be or what I want to happen (which has always felt a little like spiritual manipulation ala the secret) -

I will trust that if I just choose joy in the moment I will bring more joy into my life. If I choose more abundance in the moment (yes, I'm buying the damn blueberries even when they are $3.49 a pint!) I will bring more abundance into my life - I don't need to dictate how that abundance will be delivered.

I will take a lesson from my 3 year old niece Elise - who when bike riding on a windy day and told she needed a hat said, "I don't need a hat. I need a pin wheel."

I will make myself a pinwheel. Hell, I'll make myself a whole basket-full of them.

The 2012 Bye-Bye Countdown Continues ...

fancy that design house print
I am glad to shut the door on 2012.

(don't let it hit ya' on the way out 2012!)

I admit I secretly hoped we would all wake up on 12/22 totally enlightened and fifth dimensional and living on a conscious, peaceful planet and we did to some extent,
but I wanted more -

I wanted a lot more.

In my own life the crazy stressful holiday work time (I make about 35% of my annual income in about 6 weeks) was bookended by the two Sandy tragedies - the first a hurricane that swept away so much and left us holding on to what we came to realize was most important; the second a much greater tragedy that brought what really matters into even crisper focus and all of us to our knees.

(in 2013 we have 3 mercury retrogrades in water signs so the theme of wet weather will continue as well as the water themes of children and childhood  - of feelings - do you like how you feel, are you being well-used - and compassion - there will be a grand trine in July that could see a huge surge in compassion on our planet next summer and yes, compassion often comes out of loss and need - so there may be challenges ahead)

Anyhoo, I have been thinking a lot lately about what to do with this blog. It is going in a lot of different directions and I would really like to give it a stronger focus.

In the meantime I'll continue counting down some 2012 lessons and see what this brings up.

Lesson # 9 - Having less to work with requires us to be more creative

When I opened my shop Uncorked on Etsy 5 years ago I had one product - a test tube cork necklace. I picked the name Uncorked because ... well, mostly because it had the word cork in it, I guess.

(plus I didn't have Olive for a couple months and my studio name was still Dream Scenes from my old work and that didn't fit anymore and I was tired of it)

There are lots of reasons why Uncorked is a terrible shop name but luckily none of them occurred to me at the time because having that name forced me to work with just that one material to grow the shop.

Restricting the material I worked with allowed all the amazing work to flow through me - it forced me to be more creative.

This is just one example of how having less to work with enables more creativity - we knew this as kids and parents instinctively know that when we give our kids too much their creativity is hampered.

This restriction definitely doesn't have to be about the materials we work with, but if we find our creativity stifled or ourselves overwhelmed with all the possibilities - some self-imposed restrictions can be a real benefit.

“when you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides” - wayne dyer

dear earth by katie daisy
When I was three years old I decided to take a walk on the metal bar on the top of our backyard swingset.

(one of those 'it seemed like a good idea at the time' kind of decisions I still make sometimes decades later - ugh)

Within a few seconds I was lying on the ground flat on my back and unable to breathe.

I could hear my grandmother through the kitchen window just a few feet away and I wanted to call out to her but couldn't speak.

Just as I was starting to really panic I heard a man's voice say "blow" ... and I did.

(I somehow knew it was my grandfather's voice although he'd died a few weeks before I was born)

I hadn't had the wind knocked out of me as much as into me - what I needed to do was exhale.

I have felt like this for the last few days - I think most of us have.

This powerful ending to this powerful time period designed to wake us the hell up - has done its job.

We are all awake now. 

Tomorrow we have the much hyped Mayan calender end-date of 12/21/12.

As an armchair astrologer

(when I can wrestle my armchair away from Olive, who has spent the last few weeks dangling from it, head hanging dangerously close to the heater, ignoring the usual Christmas chaos in the studio - next year I'm getting her one of those wrist tape dispensers - if she can work her way into a bin of blue buffalo with her toenail, she can certainly work one of those)

I can tell you that there is an interesting astrological pattern that culminates this week - it's a test of faith, a fork in the road, a road toward a more spiritually enlightened future - a time of choice - a time of enlightenment.

(ie more light getting in - a lot more light actually).

Enlightenment isn't something we have to work at. It's something we choose in the moment when we choose love (soul) over fear (ego) - we either choose it or we don't - we don't have to work toward it - we don't have to do anything other than choose ....

(astrologically speaking this period is also the great remembering - why we are here, where we are from - we are all going to have access to a lot more information; nothing will be able to hide anymore - we also see the rise of the feminine and secrets being brought to light since there will be no more dark corners to hide in)

We were born to do this. We are here at this time in this planet's history to build a new world. The world (as we know it) is ending. The new one is up to us. We just have to commit. When we commit, energy is unleashed. Signs follow commitment. We will know what to do when we need to know.

(and this "signs follow commitment" thing is why when we are trying to make a decision and we are looking for signs to tell us what to do the signs just don't come - we have to commit first - this is a free will universe after all, we decide)

We don't get to have our dream come true until we have our dream.

What kind of world are we dreaming of? Some believe this change will happen in a moment. Maybe. It only takes a moment for a person to be broken open - for more light to be able to enter. There are certainly moments in our personal histories after which nothing is the same and the planet is no different.

When I look ahead to the full moon on the 28th though it looks like our faith is heavily tested so maybe this shift does not happen in a moment, at least not in a totally obvious way (or maybe the testing is for those of us heavily invested in more fear-based religious teachings). Then Saturn sextiles Pluto and demands "patience".

This transformation is slow but thorough; maybe there is no quick fix but no stone will be left unturned.

We change the world by changing ourselves. We change the world by choosing love over fear. We simply choose ... again and again ...

There is a live global webcast on Birth2012 and information on The Shift. Everything inside me is telling me that this Shift is the real deal - maybe some of you are resonating with this, too.

Anything we can do right now to focus on what we do want - love, joy, peace - helps to anchor in this energy. Throw a party. Smile (maybe not that big old crazy smiles where we show our gums and everything). Laugh- laughter is very powerful stuff. Whatever we love to do - this would be a good time to do it.

xo everyone

(also the 12/28 full moon is an 'oak tree' moon - the oak tree symbolizes strength, tolerance, eternity and wisdom - the tree of winter - the fruit of the oak tree is mistletoe so it wouldn't hurt to have a little in our homes now - also gives us a good reason to plant some smooches on those who wander underneath)

My Etsy Interview is Up Today!

My Quit Your Day Job Interview for Etsy is HERE - will post more about this later!

10 Lessons I Learned from 2012 ...

2013 calendar by f2images
I am starting my countdown to 2013 a little bit early because

1. I always get backed up (by orders) and sidetracked (by cheesecake) this time of year and 2. if we all ascend on 12/21/12 I want to have some of this down on paper

(or virtual paper anyway)

as actual proof that I really did come away from this amazing powerful year with some kind of insights. 

Lesson #10 - There are not enough people in my life. 

Now, I am normally a little detached - I think this comes from a lifetime of people either really liking me or really not liking me very quickly after meeting me - their feelings having no connection to how nice or friendly or kind I am to them that I can see

(I blame my Scorpio rising sign for a kind of annoying intensity and my Nell-like Appalachia/NJ upbringing).

This "not enough people" thing has come up for me in many ways over the past year. Most recently I saw an old coworker at the store. When I worked with him he talked to his wife on speaker phone eight times a day. She always sounded absolutely FRANTIC about something, and when they hung up she would shriek, "Oh, I love you so much!" Every time. In the same tone of voice I would use if George were being dragged off by the Taliban. This is the main only thing I remember about him.

He was going on and on about all these people I used to know because apparently he still knows them and I was thinking ... why are none of these people in my life anymore (of course 10 minutes into this conversation I was thinking about slamming my car door on my head which is probably another reason there are not enough people in my life - short. attention. span.).

Anyhoo, that's all I have learned at this point - no idea how I am going to get more people in my life - yes, I realize I just said "get people" the same way others might say "get a pepperoni pizza" and yes, I realize this could be part of my problem, too ...

Christmas Countdown - Upcycled Puzzle Key Rack / Keychain

I turned this adorable vintage Peanuts puzzle into a handy hanging key rack in just a few minutes!

The total plus is that I get to carry my keys on a keychain shaped liked Snoopy's ear

(hubs is not so happy with the shoe, but the maker always gets first choice with things like this - it's a universal law ... like gravity)

All you need to have your own little keyrack is a wood tray puzzle (the puzzle has its own cut out holder), eyehooks, washers, keyrings, velcro, glue and a drill.

It doesn't get much easier than this.

Get yourself an awesome tray puzzle (preferably Snoopy - trust me, you need Snoopy for this one) - I got this puzzle from RetroRocketBaby then remove the pieces, add a sawtooth hanger to the back (you might want to measure for this, I like giant sawtooths so I can just eyeball them)

AVOID MY MISTAKE - be certain your hanger goes into the tray border or it will pop through into your puzzle area and your pieces will not lay flat

Glue the pieces you will not be using as keychains into the tray. Drill holes in your 'keychain' pieces and add a washer and eyehook. Add velcro to the back of your keychain and the corresponding velcro to the area of the puzzle that holds that piece.

Voila! Puzzle/Key Rack (if you are lucky enough to get to carry around Snoopy's ear you will thank me for this one) - if you have a lot of keys you may need a long strip of velcro (or get rid of those keys you don't use - hubs says it's bad for your ignition to have all that weight hanging there anyway)

Etsy Gift Card Giveaway on EcoKaren! are ya' feelin' lucky ...

A few of us on Team EcoEtsy donated some moula to EcoKaren's Hurrican Sandy Relief - she was able to purchase and donate 20 heaters to Sandy's needy!

Karen is now giving away 2 Etsy Gift Cards that can be used in any of the following donor shops:  
Polarity, Uncorked, Zosimos Botanicals, Wild Dog Studio (Olive is begging for a playdate here!), BeJeweledNH, FashionGreenTBags, and Herbanluxe

You can enter HERE

Manifesting for Makers - Part III (continued) Connection - the service to others part of manifesting / our calling

print by Jon Van Gilder
See previous posts in this series HERE HERE HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

"Do what you love and the money will follow."

YES - but it is not always a connect the dots, straight line  kind of thing. Life will absolutely support us doing what we love but we are not here to make money doing what we love.

We are much bigger than that.

We are here to make a life doing what we love.

We are here to do what we love that serves others. We serve others by doing what we love - this sounds like a circle because it is - the point of power is with us.

This serving others thing isn't about martyrdom and self-sacrifice because we are totally over that.

(and if we're not - we need to be ... fast - life just doesn't support this way of being in the world anymore - the old paradigm of giving away our power and authority to others - of expecting someone or something to save us or us trying to save others is part of the old energy system)

Doing what we love that serves others too, agrees that we are all in this together - one of the principal teachings of a Course in Miracles is "there is only one of us here" - in this way everything we do effects everyone and everything else.

Does this mean that if we love to let's say, knit, that we will be able to make a living with our knitting?  Well, we will be able to make a life with our knitting (and the 100 other things we are passionate about most likely, it is not such an all or nothing journey).

If a girl's called to knit, then that girl should knit. Not knitting because it won't pay the electric bill is playing small and we are here to play big - knowing what we love and doing it expands everything. Life will send us a way to pay the electric bill. Life will support our following our passions to the extent we contribute to the world.

 (and yes, it may be a through our own Etsy shop selling scarves and a part-time job at the local bookstore during the day so we can knit at night while we watch American Idol because who knows how our work at the bookstore will touch our life and the lives of other people)

Many people I know are looking for ways to be of service these days - wanting to make a living doing something totally outward focused - helping other people, doing what they are called to do. The world is moving in this direction and it is moving in this direction because we are.

This direction, for now, still includes money. If we see the world as a corrupt place or money as a corrupting force in society (it isn't)  - we need to be looking at how this is so in our own life. How are we allowing ourselves to be corrupted by money? We change the world by changing ourselves.

(ie doing things we are not in alignment with to make money or save money - I am not liking the word 'save' these days, substituting the word 'invest' feels more in alignment with the new paradigm - we are investing in the future, not saving for a rainy day, for example, also the words making a living referring to making money has to go away, too)

Also I will add for anyone who is open to this way of thinking that I have seen many maker's  charts and often artists and healers come into this lifetime with a disconnect from money - from lives where they didn't need to deal with that energy and so have never learned to - lives where they were taken care of or unhealthy or lived in communal situations or have taken vows of poverty in previous lives - note - if this sounds like something you might resonate with it can never hurt to ask your higher self to seek release from this vow - a friend told me it felt like a rock rolled off her back after meditating on release.

When we raise our vibration; everything raises with us (the only one of us here thing). The tide isn't carrying us, we are the tide.

To recap this manifesting thing - 1. We practice compassion (nonjudgment with others and ourselves)

2. We don't have to know what you want (thinking we have to know this is what gets so many of us stuck) - we just have to know how we want to feel. We focus on the things we already have that make us feel this way. We set our intention.

Vision Board TIP - I used to be very big on vision boards and have had a lot of success with them- I always start my vision board with pictures of what I already have in my life - things I am grateful for and am already in vibration with, so for example if I want more recognition (still working on releasing this one) I would start the board with images of ways I have been recognized - cards from my daughter, thank you notes, awards, articles, blah-blah - I would get myself into the vibration of that and then add images of this in bigger ways to my board.

3. We don't have to make things happen, we just have to get out of our own way (this isn't about laziness or inaction - this is about getting to a place of compassion and alignment with the vibration we want and using the law of attraction to bring to us what we need; what we are here to manifest, what is truly ours).

4. We focus on the part of this that supports others.
5. We release our attachment to the outcome.
6. We take action on the things that come into our life.

(and recaps suck because this sounds like bull$hit and I really hope the posts said more than this)

Anyhoo, this series is a bit all over the place - I took too long to write it and with with no time to go back and read and edit, it feels a little wanting to me - I hope someone can get something useful out of it anyway - I  have to wrap it up until after the holidays because life is starting to get a little bit... well, bat $hit crazy actually (excuse my Jersey again). The hurricane seems to have blown away 3 weeks of my life along with the little town of Mantoloking and I am still playing catch up ...

Tomorrow is a lunar eclipse and a full moon and I'm hoping to do a post about that - heads up though!

The Hopi Prophecy
To my fellow swimmers:

here is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift,
that there are those who will be afraid,
who will try to hold on to the shore,
they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
and keep our heads above water.
And I say see who is there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history we are to take nothing personally,
least of all ourselves, for the moment we do,
our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves.
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

For we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today's note from the universe:

Two of the most powerful words in the English language for bringing about change, Cat, are "thank you."

Especially when offered before the change even occurs and everything still looks pretty much like it did yesterday.

You'll have to think of something to say afterwards on your own.

Hubba, hubba -
The Universe

print by Yaya Berg

Manifesting for Makers - Part III Connection - the service to others part of manifesting / our calling

vinyl lettering by village vine press
A lot of the information out there about the law of attraction will tell us to figure out what we want and focus our intention on that.

A few years ago I wanted a hybrid car and the Prius seemed too small for my business and my life (I have lately been rethinking this).

I started researching the Ford Escape (the word escape even kept appearing in my life and by research I mean one afternoon on the internet looking at reviews - I am not much of a researcher). I decided I wanted one.

I wanted a light blue Ford Escape - I wasn't so much thinking about GPS and stereos and cup holders and safety things - I was just thinking light blue. I called all the dealers within 100 miles and none had an Escape that wasn't black or white. They all told me it would take months to get one in my choice of color. And of course, I had procrastinated the whole process to the point that I needed a car right away.

I decided to go test drive a white one and see if I could live with it - I had already owned a white car (we only get so many cars in our life, so why repeat colors is my way of thinking with this) and I really didn't want another white car. Anyhoo, I was on my way out the door to go to the closest Ford dealer when hubs called reminding me about going to a friend's house for dinner and that we needed to bring dessert.

So, I skipped the nearby dealer and drove to a dealer a couple towns further so I could stop at our fave bakery. I was test-driving a white Escape and was on a back road a mile or so from the dealer, and suddenly I spied a light blue Escape sitting in a parking lot; a parking lot filled with new cars; a parking lot that happened to be an overflow lot for the dealer. It was brand new - fully loaded - more than I wanted to pay, of course ... but light blue.

I drove back to the dealer and asked them about the car in the back lot - they looked at me like I was crazy -  they didn't have a light blue Escape in their back lot. I drove the sales guy back there and  he was surprised to find that I wasn't crazy (this was a first for me, too - finding out I'm not crazy I mean), checked their records and discovered that the Escape had never been entered in their computer.

Hubs and I realized later that we had the wrong week for the dinner and celebrated my new car by polishing off the entire boston creme pie ourselves.

Now, it isn't like this car saved my life or turned out to be the buy of the century (I'm sure I totally overpaid) but do I believe that a whole bundle of little things had to fall into place for me to have that car - YES.

Do I believe that the universe/my higher self/God wanted me to have this car? No. Do I believe that the universe/my higher self/God wanted me to see that I could manifest this car without pushing, without me making things happen myself, that little things could fall into place for me in magical ways when I got clear on what I wanted? Yes.

The problem is that I am not usually so clear on what I want. I am the girl who has sat in indecision growing cobwebs and rust and depression while birds roost in my hair and summer turns to fall

Luckily, we don't have to know what we want for this magic to work for us - we just have to know who we are.

We don't have to know what we want to do in order for the law of attraction to work for us in positive ways (this is attraction after all - we are not a searchlight - we are a beacon).

We just have to know how we want to feel. And we know that - we were born knowing that.

I will finish this up tomorrow. I have to make some stuffing for tomorrow's dinner and this means cutting onions which I hate - since I just got over the 'eyes like coin slot' face I wore all last week.

let's just be thankful because ...

photo by rosemary jordan
I sat down to finish up my Manifesting for Makers series because I know everyone is desperate to start manifesting ... , well something, something hopefully
worth the 15 minutes it takes to read that series,

(although you are best to never assume I know what the hell I am talking about and read everything I offer up at your own risk)

but so many things are in such flux right now and with a holiday week before us I think I will just offer up a little bit of thankfulness and disappear into my studio for a few long days to catch up with my own manifesting.

The first few things that pop into my hurricane scattered brain are:

1. I did not drive a Buick Roadster
(this may get my vote for most boring car ever and I have photographic proof that hubs used to drive one) - but I did drive an AMC Hornet (I bet this is not even googleable) and a Mercury Capri (although that was my first car - brown with a black vinyl top and totally awesome - I would probably still have it if my sister hadn't ran it out of gas and abandoned it somewhere near the beach where last we saw it a guy named Larry had moved in, rigged a cable line from a neighboring house for his tellie and started receiving mail and company)

and now that I google these cars they look like muscle cars and I don't remember driving muscle cars, but it kind of makes sense for me since I have very nice calf muscles or used to have very nice calf muscles or once fell down the stairs at the beach checking out hub's (before he was hubs) very nice calf muscles, so much for subtlety, but I did get a good look when I rolled past them as he clung to the railing in horror- I think this is how I won his heart - take notes girls.

2. My eyes (and hair) have returned to (sort of) normal after being swollen and irritated for several days after using an eye mask someone had given me to help me sleep (I think it was scented with lavender and pollen) which made my eyes the size of the "insert coin" slots at the laundromat causing me to mistake hair conditioner for shampoo 2 days in a row.

3. I no longer have to be jealous of my friends beautiful floors (because they are all underwater now) and the fact that they live in homes where 'refinishing the floor' doesn't mean 'buying a Dora the Explorer blankie to throw over that place in the carpet the cat clawed up 10 years ago'. Seeing all the beautiful homes turned into homes like mine and the people determined to rebuild them did make me realize I live at the equivalent of Baltic Avenue though  - I am going to have to work on this ...

4. We all survived the hurricane and will survive the aftermath - everything lost can be replaced, rebuilt or released - I vote for released with most things.

Wishing everyone a very thankful holiday. I will be back later in the week for finish up that series and offer up my shop's holiday announcements! xo to everyone

I LOVE LUCY - Upcycled Holiday Gift Countdown - Week # 6 - Best Friend Name Tag Necklaces

When I stumbled on this collection of vintage name tags last summer at Tess Home in Point Pleasant Beach I had to grab them up!

I was going to use them as name tags for a party - since they include the best names evah, (Bertha, Olga, Alice, Francis!)

but when I saw I had the names Lucille and Ethel I knew these 2 would make an amazing pair of best friend necklaces!

Now you may not stumble across tags like these, but this may get you thinking of a new way to make a special necklace set for you and your BFF this season.

There is no one way to do this and it will depend on what kind of attachments and doodads you have on hand. I measured and marked my center holes for drilling the tags - riveted on some industrial grommets (you could definitely just add your jump rings to the holes), added some jump rings,

used some fabric strips for cording (you can tie on additional strips to make chains longer, knots just add to the character of these pieces) and added some industrial hardware to some fabric beads for the final voila!

(now I just need a BFF - not sure I can convince hubs to wear an Ethel necklace - but I'm not parting with Lucy)

Manifesting for Makers - Part II - your message matters

fabric on wood, original artwork by shellie artist
I am going to go off-topic for a minute here for all my ascension 2012 focused peeps who are emailing me about Hurricane Sandy and the end of the world

(or the end of the world as we know it).

To alot of us here this is bringing up memories of September 11th and probably even more distant memories of loss (soul and/or body) are being activated.

The truth of the 2012 energy - which isn't actually about just this one year, but the vibrational intensity of so many people thinking these changes are specifically connecting to this one year can definitely manifest bigger things this year

(in the same way our emergency call 911 energy definitely added to the energy of 9/11)

the truth of this that we have all been sensing - some of us for many years, some of us more recently - is the feeling that something big is happening here or about to happen, that time has speeded up, that the things and people we used to turn to are not there for us anymore, that much has drifted away from us - the truth is that all our karmas are being played out all at once.

Dramas are unfolding so quickly that it sometimes seems like it is the end of everything. We are birthing something new and labor pains are ... well, painful, but no woman even remembers them once she has that baby in her arms (for more than ... oh, a year or two anyway or at least it goes away for awhile and then comes back when they are teenagers).

We are the mother and the baby now.

This isn't something that is happening to us, if we are on this planet right now, we chose to be here for these amazing times and it is a gift.


So, last post we talked about releasing our attachment to an outcome by getting to the vibration of what it is we are really seeking, finding our way into that vibration through a back door and sitting in that.

(doing this during a time of tension really moves our energy into another space - nothing magical has ever been created from the space of fear and tension; expanding from this space only brings us to more fear and tension - that place where we get what we want and then don't want it anymore - which is ok, of course because it's part of this deal called life sometimes and this helps us to define what we do want, but if we are doing this over and over again we probably want to break this pattern)

When we attach ourselves to an outcome it is much, much harder to stay in integrity. The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate”  and “entire”.

Integrity is the state of being complete, undivided, intact and unbroken.

This place of wholeness is an important place to be hanging out if we want to manifest anything real - this is the place where the message of our makings has some really fertile soil. The makings that come from this place are the ones that can change the world - and yes, I totally believe those makings can be sweaters and paintings and earrings and turkey platters.

The world is moved by honesty. The world is shifted by people doing what they love.

It can't not move. 

When we release our attachment to the outcome and trust that what is truly ours will come to us

 - there is no need for jealousy when someone else achieves some kind of success because we know they get what is already theirs - if it was ours we would have it -

we begin to work from a space of wholeness (holiness) - the place in all of us that is connected.

This is why the story and message of our maker business is so important, the reason we do what we do and most especially the part of the reason that is not about ourselves.

Next Up - Manifesting for Makers Part III - Connection or the other part of this involving other people

revive. recover. rebuild - or what's a jersey girl do with dirty hair anyway

I can't really write about this yet. It is too raw and unsettled

(and cold and dark here)

but just wanted to post that we are OK.

The pictures on the television do not really do it justice - if you remember the book/movie The Road - that is kind of what does it justice

(except of course happening here in NJ, we all have much cooler hair ... even when it is dirty and tied back with things that resemble bungie cords - yes, we can even rock those).

I grew up at the Jersey Shore and have lived in New Jersey my entire life

(except folks that live here don't call it that - we just call it the beach)

and so has hubs. We were flooded out and evacuated more times than we can remember as kids. George lost an uncle and two cousins when their fishing boat capsized during a storm; his aunt bought cold cuts, swept sand from her floors and had a funeral on her front porch.

She cried later.

Maybe just being in the proximity of an ocean so strong and so powerful can't help but rub off on the people here

(maybe it is our proximity to New York, people there are pretty tough, too)

although I suspect people are people wherever you find them.

We aren't nice. We talk fast. We walk fast. We drive like maniacs. We will beep at you in 1.5 seconds if the light turns green and your car is not moving through the intersection. We have roads called circles where the only rule is there is no rule and whoever doesn't stop has the right of way.

We curse. If you bring your kids to a Jersey diner for breakfast they will most likely learn some words you will not want them repeating at the dinner table (from our kids probably).

But we are kind. We work together. We will give you the shirt off our back and yes, our backs often have tattoos and tan lines (and muscles ... we work hard).

We do what we have to do.

We are mostly all from here or from New York because who the hell would want to move here, so we have roots; the kind of roots that go back generations - roots that can withstand 80 MPH winds actually.

We've heard all the jokes about how classless we are, how funny we talk, about turnpike exits and polluted air and we laugh right along with everyone because the less anyone knows about how freakin' beautiful it really is here, the more likely we are to have this place all to ourselves. 

That's all I have to say today - I am making myself ferklemped and here in Jersey we cry later. If you are from these parts you know what this is. If you don't, you might if you watch Chris's video:

(the freestanding house in this video used to be a block in from the beach on a road that doesn't exist anymore - the houses on the beach side are ... gone)

NOTE - Maybe one (of many) good things that can come from this is that we can finally get over any need we have to glamorize and dramatize turbulence, the end of the world, death and destruction - ala vampires and zombies and survivalists - let's not focus on this crap anymore - it sucks.

xo everyone - a big thank you to Vinnie and Maribeth for the lentil soup, Harry Potter, offer of a hot shower and internet use to keep Olive biting, Chris for this video, lanterns and the generator and Kella for the barbecue turkey chili and Halloween candy.

Upcycled Hotel Key Necklace - Holiday Gift Countdown Week # 5 -

This week's easy peasy jewelry tutorial turns a vintage hotel room key into a gorgeous little

(well maybe not so little, little is highly over-rated at times anyway)

necklace that your favorite traveler will love.

You will need to hunt down one of those amazing plastic hotel key tags and an old key.

I even found a vintage hotel room do not disturb sign from Etsy seller Papers of Old that makes the perfect little back tag to this piece.

You will need:


vintage key
hotel key fob
do not disturb sign

Just drill a hole in the bottom of the fob- add a fancy doodad with a jumpring, add the key to the top hole along with your chain and voila - some excitement for the weary traveler!

Mine is being gifted attached to this wonderful little do not disturb sign - love it!

Manifesting for Makers - Part ll (continued) your message matters

by crankbunny
"everyone wants to change the world - no one wants to change themselves" ... tolstoy

See previous posts in this series HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

We don't have to look any further than our Presidential election process to see how screwed up each candidate's messages are getting because they have attached themselves to an outcome (ie getting themselves elected).

When we have attached ourselves to an outcome, we want or need for things to end up a certain way

- we will manipulate things to try to make it happen and we will be sad and discouraged when it doesn't and maybe more importantly we will resist what is actually happening.

Letting go means receiving what is happening without resisting  - it's the point of acceptance and appreciation of what is.

It's the very vibration that makes us ready to move into the next vibration.

The space where we are satisfied with what is and eager for what is to come, without the need to know what is coming - that's the place where manifesting happens.

So how do we get to this magical place anyway? Getting there just takes practice and isn't that hard, staying there is harder, but we are probably not really meant to stay there anyway. It's never the achieving at the end that is the greatest teacher - it's always the process. The process is intended to take us to all kinds of alternate places and wonderful (and terrible) adventures - that's it's job.

It helps if you can get to a place of relaxation (exhaustion can work equally well - I know we can all get to that place). Deep breathing and meditation has been a key to me - I can also get to this place through exercise or a day of hard physical work.

So get into a state of relaxation - take time to do nothing. Nada. Zip. Start right where you are. Try to let go of seeking for a moment. Stay put. Just breathe. Just be. Now gently try asking yourself why you are wanting this outcome. Go deeper and deeper with this until you get to the essence of what you are wanting.

(the essence will not be a relationship, money, publicity, travel etc - the essence might be love, security, acceptance, freedom etc)

Let's get back to businessy (why is spell check telling me this is not a word - when are they going to put me in charge of spell check so I can fix the damn thing) manifesting here and let's say I am really stressing because I am invested in getting a certain outcome from an email I sent to a magazine or wanting some kind of publicity that isn't happening.

So when I quietly ask my relaxed self what I really want here maybe I end up with the essence of needing to be accepted or maybe I land on a place of needing to be of service - wherever I land, I land. I don't judge what is coming up - I just look at it in a loving way.

(I find if I imagine this feeling is happening to my child I can get into a non-judgy - spell check you are killing me - loving space with it more easily)

then I look at a space in my life where I already have this essence and I sit in the acceptance of that for a while (getting in the vibration of what we are really seeking helps to reduce our attachment to the outcome of the thing we are trying to control - we eventually come to the place where we can feel that we already have the thing we are seeking) - it's not a quick fix, but if we do this enough we will start to see the same essences over and over coming up for us in all kinds of unexpected places.

If needing to be accepted keeps coming up for example I would start to look at ways I can bring this essence into my life in safe, small bites. I would also begin to recognize this need in myself and have compassion for it (remember the compassion in Part I) - eventually I would come to the place where I have totally accepted myself with no need for any outside acceptance.

(my biography will read "she was unattached" and if you want to read my biography and I can pretty much guarantee you that you don't - it will be available by Harper Collins - is there still a Harper Collins? was there ever a Harper Collins? - I think they published Valley of the Dolls - it may be a Valley of the Dolls kind of biography and I want to be played by Sigourney Weaver, ala Ripley in Aliens, a character I could totally see fitting into a Valley of the Dolls type scenario and who is totally how I see myself minus the automatic weapons ... and the cat)

When we give up control and stop trying to get a specific outcome, when we really get that this is like trying to catch fireflies with oven mitts - we give whatever happens the freedom to bring us happiness without giving it the power to hurt us.

Buddha said that attachment is the cause of all suffering. It can also be a slippery slope toward a loss of integrity (something it is more important than ever to stay in because universal energy is bringing everything hidden up to be dealt with now).

This is getting a bit wordy (.... waiting for spell check - let's just all agree we can add a letter "y" to any word and create an adjective) so I guess this part will be a 3 section so I can tie this into our message as makers - back next time to tie part III up (not in any kind of kinky way- get your minds out of Valley of the Dolls). Have an amazing day all!

Manifesting for Makers - Part ll - your message matters

photograph by pretty petal studio
When Oprah introduced The Secret a few years ago on her show, the glaring, hit you right between the eyes, problem with it was that all the "success" stories on the show

(maybe not all, but I am remembering it was all)

were people making money off The Secret.

Not in a "I am applying these principles and manifesting abundance" kind of way, but in a "I am teaching these principles and charging for my teachings and manifesting abundance" kind of way.

On the one hand this made the whole thing feel quite spammy and scammy, even for a Course in Miracles - inward and outward polarity manifester like myself. It turned me off.

On the other hand this made total sense because this was clearly a message whose time had come,

(the cynics in my life would say due to an entitled, lazy audience who thought this sounded easy)

there was a huge tribe of people open to these ideas.

The success of those people on the show had more to do with their message resonating with the energy at that time and what it would do for others (and the part this 'success' played in their own journey) as it did any particular steps toward manifesting those speakers took and their actual creation (ie end product - book, DVD, etc).

It's the same for us with our makings. It's not the actual makings that count so much

(you can absolutely manifest abundance in your life by producing crap - it happens everyday - but let's not do this because the world doesn't need anymore crap)

it is our experience of ourselves within our makings and how it aligns with others that is the true purpose behind what we do. 

When we connect with that purpose we can create through universal flow; without stress, tightness or attachment to any particular outcome.

Last spring I began to realize (actually someone else had to realize for me) that I had lost my focus and motivation. I didn't feel sad. I just didn't feel any joy - I didn't really feel much (except for a frequent tightness in my chest and solar plexus). I was using words like burn-out and exhaustion to myself - trying to silence the little voice inside me that said "go deeper".

I had felt a definite pull to do something, had it supported by amazing synchronicity and then it didn't seem to work out. I realized this had been my "story" in different areas of my life. I also realized that what the 'work out' part meant (what happy ending was going to satisfy me anyway) was really all in my head.

I knew that even when our creations (everything we do is an act of creation) don't manifest the way we would like them to, there is always a pay-off, providing of course we are not lost in the need for a pay-out.

I knew that it was this need for a pay-out that had me trapped. I also knew that when there appears to be a blockage in our creative affect in the outer world, it is certain there is something wanting our attention in our inner one - knowing this wasn't helping me release it though. I was tired of being a hostage to an outcome.

I will continue Part II later in the week (and connect how releasing our attachment to an outcome frees our message) - have an amazing day everyone! xo

Upcycled Holiday Gift Countdown Week # 4 - Book Clipboard

This week's easy-peasy upcycled gift is an amazing little clipboard book.

(you are probably now certain I am obsessed with books and clips and organization and you would be totally wrong - at least about the organization part - I am whatever the opposite of obsessed with organizaton would be right now)

I use these to hold my order forms at shows, but everyone needs a clipboard to keep all their little notes, photos and doodads handy.

This also looks great hanging on a wall or standing on a book shelf.

You will need:

a book, clipboard clips and hardware, screwdriver, drill

Grab a second book with your clip so you are not fighting to keep it open, mark your holes, drill, screw and voila!

If you need a personalized magnet for yours (any wording) just contact me and I will pop one in the mail to you.

I am making a half wall of these in my studio, will grab pics when I finally get the "about me" shop pics done.

My hard drive died yesterday and I am waiting to get my computer back with a new hard drive - fingers crossed tomorrow - they saved my files, but not the programs - why can't they ever save the programs? Ugh!

Part l (continued) - how compassion can unleash our passion

print by yarrow summers
see part 1 HERE

Compassion is a frequency. It's the frequency of sameness and acceptance

(the place of only one of us here - the place where we all connect).

It's the part of us that holds the essence of the universe - the place where there is no judgement. 

It is the space where expansion happens.

Wherever you are, is just fine…You can get to wherever you want to be from wherever you are… It’s time to stop measuring where you are in relationship to where anybody else is. The only factor that has anything to do with you is where you are in relationship with where you want to be.   --- Abraham

The more we connect to our compassionate self the more we will be heardIt's the sound that allows the universe (angels, our higher selves, universal consciousness - whatever you resonate with here) to recognize itself in us.

One day late last winter, I think during David's first relapse, I had to call a couple family members to let them know what was going on. Family help had fallen away and hubs and I were feeling very much alone at this point. I picked up the phone with a heavy heart, thinking I would lose my mind if I was about to hear "we told you so" while my heart was so broken open.

I stopped. I put down the phone. I knew that was exactly what I was going to hear if I brought that energy into the conversation. I knew that I created my own reality. I needed to get into the compassionate place of no judgement with everyone involved in the situation and not just David.

I took some deep breaths and did a few rounds of pranayama* to see what I needed to open up to.

*(alternate nostril breathing - holding one nostril closed at a time and taking some deep breaths - helps with relaxation and clear thinking - my left nostril which accesses my right "feeling" side - as opposed to my thinking side - is usually more closed. I always get my best work done when both sides are open and more equal. If you are ever driving when tired, covering your left nostril and breathing through your right nostril only - activating the left thinking side - will keep you more alert - it works)

I took the time to get myself into a more compassionate, loving space so my higher self could connect with their higher selves. I dialed the phone and told the first person what had happened.

The words from them that I would have heard as "I told you so- we've been through this before you came into the picture- David always does this - you can't fix this - who do you think you are" a few moments earlier - those exact same words were heard by my heart as "I did my best - don't make me feel guilty that I didn't do more".

In that moment I totally got that everything was exactly as it should be. There was nothing to forgive here.

Hubs and I had more to give at that time and so we gave more - family members pulling away had nothing to do with me and by pulling my judgement away from the situation everything changed. I offered them compassion, I said "yes, you have done so much - please continue to keep your heart open that we get healing in whatever way is possible here".

Well, maybe I didn't say it exactly like that, I didn't suddenly start channeling the Dalai Lama , but by offering them love instead of guilt everything changed in a moment.

Instead of looking for blame, like I would have if I had stayed in my lower self, I reached for compassion - and maybe reach is the wrong word here, I slowed myself down enough to see the other path- the one not in the frequency of my lower self - the one I could only feel.

I got into a space that was so free and so joyous (stayed there for a couple days) and so familiar that I recognized it was where I wanted to live. The compassion for others brought me into a space where I felt compassion for myself.

(I also created a whole hell of a lot of amazing new work the next day)

I have a friend whose husband had an affair and they went to a counselor - a wise counselor who said to my friend who couldn't forgive her husband - maybe you can't feel forgiveness, but can you feel compassion for him? It was the start of their healing.

I promised an exercise (in snap decision making) and will post it in a couple days since this post is too long already and I have an upcycled gift tutorial to post tomorrow!

Next week - Manifesting for Makers Part ll - why your message matters

Manifesting for Makers - Part I - how compassion can unleash our passion (plus a new moon in libra)

kissing print by and at
Since David came into our lives compassion has become a major theme in my life.

(like a giant mirror was being held up to me - in fact I even started collecting vintage hand mirrors and hadn't connected the two things until just this moment-

a mirror saying "this is how you are now being - this is who you are" picture Dumbledore; a mirror saying "how's that working for ya'" picture Dr. Phil)

I am not sure how many people will resonate with this, but since compassion feels like the root of all that is authentically real to me these days, I think we will start with this.

I am not talking about the dictionary definition of compassion which is : a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it; pity.

True compassion holds a higher vibration - it has nothing to do with removing the pain or suffering of another person which we can't really do because the karma (ie energy attraction, cause and effect, our perfectly pre-planned, but not predestined life experiences) - that created it in the first place will just recreate it in another form.

(I think the real secret so many of us do not arrive at our destination by manifesting just what we want exactly when we want it, without explanation and without teaching is that our higher self always seeks the inner journey -

the way our outer life unfolds is not as important - there are lots of roads that lead to the same place;

the inner journey that teaches love - for ourself and others - and imparts wisdom and compassion through process.

Of course the way our outer life unfolds is important to us - to our personality, our ego - the part that makes me Cat Ivins and makes you the person I would get to know first if we met for coffee at Starbucks - which we would never do because I do not drink coffee at Starbucks, but I could watch you drink coffee at Starbucks and pretend I was totally satisfied with the green tea I would order)

Compassion is not about seeing anything or anyone as less than or as broken. It's the opposite of that. 

Pity is about judgement and compassion, in its highest sense and the only sense worth working with, is about non-judgement. It's really about the active expression of acceptance for the world and for people exactly as they are; exactly as we are - being able to look at the whole world (and so ourselves) without expectation that it should be any different.

You may be thinking so what does this have to do with manifesting?

(although you probably know by now I am a wordy blogger and have to work circles around my circles to get to what I am trying to say; "spit it out" my Jersey father would have said - this is not to make you dizzy dear reader - although I do have a certain fondness for this state of being - but rather to draw you into something slowly - so that even if you come away thinking 'she has totally lost her mind with her ramblings' at least you will have had a few minutes of quiet time - you're welcome)

Manifesting happens in the current moment (it is miracle-making after all).

Compassion gets us into that moment. It allows us to still hold the vision of amazing possibility for the world (and ourselves) but we don't use it as a standard of comparison for rejecting where the world (and we) are right now.

You don't get what you want by hating what you have. They are two different currents and you can't jump ship from that place. Compassion gets you into the place of accepting what is. 

I will get back to this on Wednesday - just a quick heads up that we have a wonderful new moon in Libra today - in fact within the hour!

This is a powerful time (for the next 2 weeks) to start something new by joining our intentions and action with this energy - especially Libra stuff (if you know what house Libra is in in your chart this could get more specific) - think relationships, cooperation, legal issues and since this is a new moon in an air sign, it's a good time for anything having to do with the "mind" of our businesses - communication, inspiration, writing, marketing, strategyzing, etc.

We can't see the new moon (until it forms a crescent later on in the week) - it is literally the time we are "in the dark" - we are planting the seeds we will harvest at the Libra full moon in six months (note - jupiter is retrograde so the issues this new moon rules may not be everything they appear- it can make things look too good to be true, so we need to stay grounded).

This new moon is powered by Mars trine Uranus from yesterday and the new moon is on the lucky star Spica and suggests a brand new start (a trine means ease so blockages toward something happening are removed, that could be something good or something bad - again the nonjudgment of the universe is always in play!) and Mars trine Uranus gives us the courage to look at something and deal with it once and for all - we can do this thing!

Tomorrow I'll be posting another easy-peasy gift and then on Wednesday finish Part l of this series before next week's Manifesting for Makers takes us to Part ll. Have an amazing day everyone! Don't forget your New Moon Wishes (see HERE) - although I always change the words "I wish" to "I choose".