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