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Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

I feel like my head was swirling around today but in a good way. Meditation seems to help bring clarity.  Things have begun to click a bit and interweave together in a beautiful way and I am very grateful. I signed on to participate in a KAL on Twitter (aka #twitKAL).  The cast on date begins on January 27th so for those interested in signing up you should visit Spazzy Amber here. She has written up the details about the KAL there.  I was VERY happy to see that the pattern that was chosen(by votes) was for the Traveling Woman by Liz AbinanteLiz’s website features the pattern for free and you can also find out details about it on Ravelry here(if you belong).  I started this same piece in a KAL late last year but did not finish it.  I was so eager to start it as my first lace project and my first piece in Alpaca but I lost my gusto. Perhaps because it was something I wanted to make for myself and I had many other projects to make for other people.  My revised plan was to rip out the section that I did incorrectly and start over in January or February.  Well, while it was slowly making the way to the top of my to-do list I saw this twitKAL and waited with bated breath  to see the voting results.  Now I will be unraveling what I had started so I can give it another try on Wednesday, January 27th. Liz’s design was inspired by two things, one of them being the television show Bones(or if you are like me, the internet show) but I want you to visit Liz’s website to read about her inspiration. My inspiration for making this piece is it will be my first completed lace piece and I am so happy to have a group of people to work with as I go.  I am also very excited as I begin to explore the non-100% acrylic or dishcloth cotton fiber world.  Not that I have anything against them, I just never really knew the other world of fibers existed.  Well I guess in some way I knew they existed but they were not part of my normal realitySO here I am in 2010 beginning to push boundaries within my own reality and that is a good thing. Here is the picture of my alpaca yarn patiently waiting for Wednesday.  I will be ready and open to making these changes in my life.

Ironically, or should I say serendipitously, working on this twitKAL works beautifully with my Craft or Bust challenge.  Gee, do I call this a challenge? Well, Quicksilver Crafter set up the guidelines as “1. Join whenever.
2. Stay as long as you like.
3. Create, check in, be inspired, show off your craftigoodness, feel good.”

Come-on!  How can you beat those guidelines? Feeling Good sounds fab to me! Keeping with my desire to follow where my heart leads me, I had to really think about my personal guidelines.

Here is what I decided: 1. To craft, or better yet, create in the physical form the visions residing in my head and dreams. 2. work on various knitting/crochet/sewing/needlework projects that are in my storage bin in particular a twenty year old cross stitch(that I want to finish for someone that I think will love it). 3. Actually upload pieces to my Artfire store.

Seeing it is now the wee hours of the morning I will call it a night and hopefully have time tomorrow(or Sunday) to fill you in on a few other things that fall within the realm of Craft or Bust.

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December first is here. WOW, where has this year gone? After achieving my NaNoWriMo writing goal I began to think about the Resolutions I made at the beginning of this year. I am happy to say that I have kept with my blogging goal. I feel that if you are going to blog, then you really need to do it, even if some of the posts are short in length. I personally find it disappointing when someone starts a blog and then doesn’t update it. I’ll go back a few times to check but after that my desire to check it wanes. So that being said, I have done my best to update with posts on the average of once a week. With only 4 weeks left in this year, I am confident I can maintain the rest of this year and uphold my own resolution. I am a little bit behind on my goal of my twelve new born hats but I will be returning to that this week and am confident I can meet that goal as well. In truth, the hats work up fairly quickly. I have already donated some of the hats I did make this year to several different charities. I promised a very special lady a dozen hats for the New Born ward at her hospital so I plan on making twelve hats before the end of the month to send to her.

What has currently been on my hook, aka crochet project, started off to be a rug but has since evolved into the beginnings of a market bag. A girl can change her mind you know! My Mom sent me the crochet hook I am using for the project. The hook actually lights up and you can practically crochet in the dark! Thanks Mom, it works great!
Here is a picture of the bag in process.

FREECYCLE…
Yesterday being the last day of the month I decide to list a bunch of items on my local Freecycle group. I posted a dozen or so items and the experience has been very interesting. I love the idea of keeping usable items out of the landfill. Sometimes you have an item that you just no longer have a use for but you hang onto it because it is too good to just throw away. I found I had one of those piles. So I took several hours taking measurements, writing descriptions, taking pictures and submitting my “OFFERS”. I probably did not need to take that long but this was my first time posting so many items at once and I wanted to make sure to do it right and make less work for the volunteer moderators that check each listing.
Our Mod had sent out a message suggesting that perhaps we(the group) could find some items that were no longer needed(or wanted) and maybe they could make someone’s holiday season a little brighter. I took that to heart as I began my clearing out process. I know I have more to clear out but I made the first step in what I believe makes a difference in this world. I met several nice people in the process. I heard from single moms, families, individuals, and some of the recently laid-off population. They touched my life and I am grateful. Grateful for what I have and also grateful for what I can share.
Have you thought about what you can do to make a difference? Sometimes what we perceive as the littlest thing, or no big deal, might make a huge difference in the life of someone else. I know this has been true in my life. Thank you to those of you that have touched my life.

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What do johnny cakes and buddha have in common?  That is how I started my morning!  As I think everyone realizes, in the States especially, it is 9-11-09.  Yes, I know where I was when I first heard the news. On this day especially, I am focusing on joy, contemplation and remembering to honor each of us those living and those passed.  Sometimes it takes a specific occasion for us to pause in our lives and give a moment for gratitude, reflection, and remembrance.  

I started my morning thinking of the red, white and blue and my roots…which stem from New England.  I dug out my Kenyon’s Johnny Cake Cornmeal and then remembered that I had some Kenyon’s Red Cornmeal.  I used the recipe off the back of the Johnny Cake bag and made Red, well more pink, johnny cakes.  They sell white, red, and blue cornmeal so if you are looking for a patriotic meal I suggest red, white, and blue johnny cakes. Make each batter separately and you can mix the finished johnny cakes on a plate….YUM!!!!!  Unfortunately we used up all of the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from my last trip to Kenyon’s. As I was only making breakfast for two, I just made red ones today but I have made the white ones and blue ones too! ***NOTE to my Gluten-free friends, Kenyon’s has a disclaimer on their website regarding those with food allergies. As those with food allergies know, always read the fine print. ***

I personally LOVE Johnny Cakes made from KENYON’S Cornmeal and make them often…I might be  a little biased  because I grew up in R.I.  All I can say is Yummy!

Here are a few pictures:

So that was breakfast, where are the buddhas?  I sent out a new e-letter for my on-line gallery.  Here is the heart of the letter:

If you would like to receive future emails please contact me. 

keep breathing

Keep Breathing…Summer has provided me with a wonderful amount of contemplation time. Contemplation of where I am and where I am going, while staying in the present moment. Buddha

I am extremely grateful for all of you in my life and the wonderful blessings that come my way on a daily basis. Several of you have inquired about the series of contemporary Buddha heads that I made this spring….wait no longer! This month I am featuring those paintings. In the future I will also be including additional images based on Buddhist imagery; some contemporary, some traditional.

Thank you for all the support and feedback during my on-line gallery launch. It was a huge success and that was accomplished through all of you! 

I will continue to include new images in my on-line gallery between these email announcements I send out. So please feel free to view all my artwork by selecting the various gallery tabs on my FAA (Fine Art America)home page. 

OTHER NEWS: 
Come Celebrate the Spirit of October with an adventurous group of artists in San Clemente, CA. The Green Flash Gallery hosts THE NETHERWORLD SHOW. You can go to the link provided below for updates, more info, and to sign up for announcements regarding this fun-filled event. 
October 16th, 2009 from 6PM-11PM Artist Reception for the Netherworld Show. Costumes encouraged. 

**If you can not make the opening, watch your email in mid October for the latest release of prints available through FAA of my pieces from the show! ** you must sign-up for these emails 🙂

http://netherworldshow.wordpress.com/ 

I am excited to say that The Sydney Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Show debuted at the Powerhouse Museum in Australia. I contributed 3 pieces of coral to the exhibit but was unable to physically attend the show. There is a slideshow that was lovingly composed by Kaz. She was another artist that contributed to the coral reef exhibit.
The Sydney Slideshow is available for viewing through my weekly blog on my website below. 

If you are receiving this email letter, it means our paths have crossed during my journey. I maintain my own mailing list so if you would prefer to not receive these updates, just reply to this message and ask to be removed. I do appreciate hearing from all of you and welcome feedback. 
Of course if you know someone that you would like to share this email with you have my permission to forward this along to them. 

Thank you for joining me on my artist journey! 
Blessings, 
Michelle

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Last night I felt a sudden sweep of sleepiness come over me.  I went to my husband, he was busy working away on his portfolio, and told him I was heading to bed.   I told him I was too tired to do the dishes and would do them in the morning. I also told him I was too tired to set-up breakfast in the slow cooker(which was among the dirty dishes) for the next morning.  At that moment, I had convinced myself of these facts.

I sleepily made my way to the kitchen to get a glass of water to take to bed.  As I rounded the corner into the kitchen I was mesmorized by the moonlight coming in under the half closed curtains.  I raised the curtains and gazed at the beauty of the moon.  It gave me enough of an uplift that I decided to do the dishes before going to bed.  My heart didn’t want to leave the magical feeling of the moonlight.  I went and opened the blinds above the sink to allow the glow of the moon to enter into my kitchen.  Next I placed a small candle at the edge of the sink.  Between the two sources of light I had just enough glow to see my dishes.

Late night dishes.

Late night dishes.

I do love candlelight.  As I began washing the dishes it offered me a heightened sensory experience.  As I could not fully see with my eyes all the surfaces of the various dishes I was washing, I had to feel the surface.  I explored, through the sense of touch, the structure of each object that I use everyday. Both inside and outside surfaces of these everyday objects felt new as my hands utilized the gliding slippery foamy lubricant the dishwater offered.  Our body is capable of so many experiences.  Sometimes if we change just one variable within an everyday activity we can alter our thought process, even if only temporarily.  This experience did this for me, not to mention saving a little on the electric bill. 🙂

 

 

Candle

Candle

 

 

 I turned on the kettle to boil some water. I washed the slow cooker and set up a cup of mung beans to cook overnight. I should mention I use our rice-cooker cup to measure, so I don’t believe it is an 8 oz cup. One cup of beans to three cups of water works perfect in the small cooker that we use. Not only is it an economical breakfast, so important in these times, but having breakfast ready when you get out of bed in the morning is awesome!  

My kettle was ready and I made a delicious cup of herbal tea.  The tea was a custom rooibus blend from the teashop where I use to work.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had any of that tea(yes I know technically it is not a tea) left.  With the dishes done, breakfast prepared, and my tea steeping, I went into the bedroom to grab a small blanket.  I wrapped myself up and called my sweet & precious kitty cat.  She looked at me with eager loving eyes.  Have I mentioned how much I love my cat?  I poured a glass of tea as she watched me.  Then I opened the door to the deck and stepped outside.  She looked at me perplexed….outside at night???  My indoor cat slowly made her way onto the deck with me.  I tightened the blanket around my shoulders and sat down.  She came over and jumped onto my lap and snuggled.  She needed the cuddle time I think, as much as I did.  Together we gazed up at the moon.  

 

Prayer flags in moonlight.

Prayer flags in moonlight.

 

 

Moonbeams gleamed hypnotically through the prayer flags on my deck. We basked together in that light as I sipped my tea and pet her head…and chin….don’t forget the chin!  She purred and purred.  Sitting together I was, and still am, so grateful for those moments.  The moments I almost missed out on!

 So a message to those that might feel alone right now…gaze upon the moon and know you are not alone.  There are those of us also gazing and basking in the moonlight.  We are together.  Can you feel it?

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Enter the moment of darkness. The darkness that appears when you are still clinging onto the last rays of light. Knowingness of light remains deep within your soul. You know the dark does not last forever. The light is still there, even when you cannot see it anymore. Sitting in that quiet place, the time between when the day-walkers slow down and the night-walkers begin to stir.

Darkness

Darkness

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I looked through blurry, sleepy eyes at the time on my cell phone. 6:38 a.m. I woke up two minutes before my alarm was set to go off, somehow I do that quite often.

Sleepy eyes

Sleepy eyes

I gave myself all of ten minutes to wash my face, brush my teeth, throw on some clothes and scurry out the door. As I began walking, images of the morning world emerging trickled into my brain. The slight chill in the morning air saw to it that by the time I reached the end of the first block I was fully in my senses. The thought of Petia walking on the trail to meet me put a spring into my step and a smile on my face.
As we recognized each other from a distance we began to smile and I wondered why so much time had passed since I had seen her. We exchanged greetings and big hugs. Ah, the warmth of a loving soul is such a special thing. We began an amazing journey along the beach-front trail on both the physical and the spiritual level. We filled each other in on some of what had happened since we had last seen each other. As we are both artists we also relished in the images that surrounded us and how we saw different things we would like to capture through painting or photography. What a wonderful morning.
We parted ways and I looked at the time…I had just enough time to make it home to make breakfast for my husband before he left for work. As I began to prepare the food an inner quiet came over me. I realized that there are many people that don’t understand what happened to me last year. Most of what happened is a very personal journey that cannot be easily expressed in words. So I guess the best summation I can offer is to say that I began a tremendous and sometimes tumultuous journey of inner work. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be with my grandmother as she passed from this world. The experience is one that I will never forget and is a priceless part of my life.
New Direction

New Direction

My life has taken a new direction since that moment. The direction is still unfolding before my eyes like the most beautiful exotic flower I have ever seen or could possibly imagine. I am finally beginning to embrace this instead of fighting the process. Funny how when you embrace the change things seem to flow smoothly. Would I say I am a different person? That is complicated…in some ways yes, in some ways no. I am still me, but things are changing. Changing for the better.
So for those I have not seen in awhile, know that I am well. I hope you are well. I thank you for your patience as I have needed the distance to undergo this whole process. I also thank the new people I am meeting. I am grateful for all of you that are entering into my life. I feel so blessed. So with humble gratitude I thank all of you!

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Today is a beautiful sunny day.  But alas, my sinuses are in revolt today.  I did manage to work on quite a bit from my list yesterday.  The act of accomplishment is not mine today.  Resolving not to let the way I feel get me down, here is a picture from one of my sunny day outings(not taken today but worth showing!)

Sunny Day

Sunny Day

I did manage to get some studying done today.  Other than that, I received the gentle reminder that  I can’t always plan things out.  Or should I say I can plan, but need to be able to go with the flow too 🙂

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