Instagram Accounts I’m currently digging

I set up my Instagram account in the fall.  Above is one of my pictures on Instagram taken one morning from the bus stop.  I started an  Instagram challenge for 2017. Check it out.  I’m enjoying the pictures and posts and thought I’d share some of my current favorites.  I would love to hear in the comments your favorites so I can check them out!!  In no specific order here we go…..

DJMctographee pictures of his travels and everyday shots.  Beautiful lighting and incredible scenery.  Well worth a look.

Lost and found in the city part of her blog’s social media.  Links to her blog and pictures of life in New York City. FYI one of my favorite cities.

A Beautifulmess again a blog so one of their social media platforms. Their pictures are beautifully shot, colorful and make me happy looking at them!

Debs world her pictures are mostly scenery. Are you seeing a theme here? I like scenery/travel pictures!!

I enjoy doing crafts – working with my hands so enjoy checking out what is happening over at Modpodge rocks.

One of my main reasons for purchasing my place was to paint and put my stamp on it so always enjoy looking at different decorating ideas.  Domino mag has a variety of them.

Simply designing also has decorating, crafts and even shots of her life which shakes things up.

If you are into bullet journaling check out Boho berry.  Lots of ideas and tutorials.

My last one is Oliver Spence Design.  Reason I like her pictures.

I am just touching the tip of the iceberg here.  I would love to know Instagram accounts you are currently digging so drop me a line in the comments so I can check them out!

You can always start now !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Framing an odd size print

I brought three cards last year in Ireland.  They were 8 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches. So, needless to say, not your standard size.  I didn’t want to pay a fortune for framing so had the sizes written down in pursue and some times even the cards.

For months I mulled over how to frame the cards and recently I thought of an idea. I had purchased some lovely paper and a few pieces where burlap and even in complimentary colors for the pictures. Yes, all three.  So I just laid the cards on the paper and done.  I am happy with the results.

If you have some unique ways to frame odd size prints/cards let me.

You can always start now !

 

5 actions to start creating the life you want

The quote “life is a journey not a destination” has always felt right to me.  We know the final destination, so it is how we go about getting there that counts.  The following is my take on what we can do to create the life we want and make our journey count.

  1. Try new things.  For me this has ranged from belly dancing, zumba, yoga, pottery and improv class.  Some have stuck and other no. The thing is I would never have known I enjoy yoga if I hadn’t taken a class.  Belly dancing is not my thing – even though I had a blast at the class.  I have never regretted taking a class in something and have always come away with a new appreciation. Recently I went to the “Big Sing”. Where people come together and learn a song in an evening.  Check out events and classes in your area.
  2. Your health.  I’m not advocating you have to run a marathon and not eat cake here.  What I am saying is trying to keep yourself in shape to do the activities you want to do. If you want to hike when you retire – well keep hiking and moving now.
  3. Connections.  Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you.  Remember that works both ways.  We all need and should be cheerleaders.  Find your tribe that pushes you to try new things. I volunteered on a committee for a Christmas fundraiser and came away with a new friend who I now go to the theatre with.  Connections can be made in unlikely places.  Does your library have a book club? Coffee date anyone?
  4. Hobbies.  If you are trying new things has any of them stuck? For me one was yoga.  Hobbies get your face away from the screen and uses a different part of the brain.  I have friends who curl in the winter so that season takes on a whole new meaning. Not just ice and snow.  Knitting, drawing, writing, Pilates, pottery, blogging and travel. The list is endless. Hobbies have you working towards something. Looking for new patterns and ideas. Plus something to talk about besides the latest show on Netflix.
  5. Realizing you are okay right where you are now.  A journey has a starting point. No beating ourselves up because we didn’t start sooner.  We are starting now and creating memories.  Wherever we are in life it is fine and we are okay right now. This can be our starting point.

You can always start now !

 Continue reading →

Finding traits I might want to be empowered with

A few weeks ago I started The Artist’s Way.  Fast recap of book “12 week course in discovering and recovering your creative self.”  I am plugging away on my morning pages (I find I am better on work days) and doing the exercises.

One exercise recently was to make a list of people you admire and people who are dead you would like to hang out with.  What traits do they have?  So I started my list of individuals I actually know (dead and alive) and others out there in the world.

The main trait in common for all the individuals were they are risk takers.  They were not settling for the status quo.  The majority of people I admired were not living traditional (9-5 lives).  They were/are following dreams (actress I know), starting businesses, creating and putting themselves out there.  They do not let society dictate what they should or should not be doing.  I noticed that over 1/2 of the names I wrote down were creatives.

The next exercise was what could I do to bring more of that trait into my life? Take a course? Plan a trip? Submit a story? It doesn’t have to be anything major. Go to the theatre. Art Gallery.  Just push your boundaries even a bit. Take a risk and see or do something new.

My plan is to write and submit a short story to a competition before the end of the year. Submit it knowing it isn’t perfect (and never will be) but it is finished. Submitting it will free me to start something new. Plus it puts a piece of me out into the world.  That is risk taking to me.

So write out a list of people you admire or would like to hang out with. You might find a few traits they have in common.  Is it a trait you are empowered with? What steps could you take to get a piece of it? Go for it.

You can always start now !

 

A Different Kind of Monthly Challenge – Loving Kindness Meditation

Fast recap if you are stopping by for the first time.  In January I decided to do a monthly challenge.  From podcasts, crafts, journaling and more (to come!!).  I find I get more done when I am busier, have a deadline and focused. Hence this challenge helps.  For previous challenges I have links at the end.

This month I gave myself a bit of a break and did a Sharpie craft.

I bought a bowl at the Dollar Store. Followed the instructions of washing, drying and letting the Sharpie work dry for 72 hours. After that it is all over the place time wise and temperature wise in the oven. I ended up at 350 degree for two hours.

I am so not an artist so did something easy.  The full quote around the bowl is “Today is the perfect day to be happy!”  Sharpies are easy and fun. Hard part is figuring out whose instructions to follow.

WOW I am starting my fourth month of challenges. For April I decided to do something I am currently struggling with and hope it will get me into a better routine.  So for April’s challenge I am doing Loving Kindness Meditation.  It keeps me more focused when meditating as I am repeating phrases not just concentrating on my breath.  The phrases you repeat are:

  • May I be safe
  • May I be happy
  • May I be healthy
  • May I live with ease.

Next is someone you care about – maybe someone going through a rough time.

  • May (insert name) be safe
  • May (name) be happy
  • May (name) be healthy
  • May (name) live with ease.

The third and last person is someone you might be having a hard time with currently or in the past. Insert their name and repeat the phrases. Basically it is you and two other people you want to send loving kindness out to.  Repeat each of the three names/phrases as long as you want. Ideally you want to sit with this for at least 10-20 minutes if possible. Maybe work up to it.

I would love to see your Sharpie craft or any of the other challenges you have been working on. So to a loving kindness month.

March Challenge – Gratitude Journal

February Challenge – Podcasts

January Challenge – The Start

You can always start now !

What caught my eye – favorites from the past month

Spring is officially here on the calendar but where I am sitting there is still snow on the ground.  Below are a few posts that caught my eye in the past month.  So to celebrate spring and getting our gardens in gear let’s head over to The art of doing stuff for some truly unique planters!

BEAUTIFUL (and simple) Hello Spring Wreath tutorial - this is the perfect craft to make and display on your front door or in your home.

This DIY spring wreath from Lilluna was just too pretty not to share.

Sunset-In-Halifax-England_01

You have to check out and maybe put on your bucket list these 15 colorful place to visit. Head over at Skybambia.

Cute And Fun Kids’ Fort

DIY Crafts has 20 ideas on using old (or new) curtains  I imagine the tent above could entertain a few people on a wet Saturday afternoon!

I was scrolling through Bloglovin and found this attic apartment with a brick wall. I have to say there is something about brick that appeals to me.  I love the look of it inside and out.  This attic apartment was all eye candy for me.

Hope you enjoyed what caught my eye in the past month. Would love to hear what you think and any links to your current or old favorites.

You can always start now!

 

 

 

Writing camp and you don’t have to leave home !

Camp NaNoWriMo

I can’t believe how fast the first three months of the year have gone.  End of March and still snow on the ground, but that is not what this post is about. It is camp time!  If you have read the blog before you know I work better with deadlines and commitments.  So for April I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo . It is part of National Novel Writing Month which takes place in November where you write a novel (50,000) in a month.  Camp Nanowrimo is similar but a bit different in that you can choose your word count.  It is also neat in that if you want they will assign you to a cabin with writers from all over the world.  The cabin has the writer’s bio and an area for cabin mates to discuss what they are doing and encourage each other.  It is free and you can get on-line support. You can also check out forums and get in on discussions.  If you, like me, need that extra push to get writing this is a neat way to do it.

Here is their direct quote “Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat, designed for maximum flexibility and creativity. We have Camp sessions in both April and July, and we welcome word-count goals between 30 and 1,000,000. In addition, writers can tackle any project they’d like, including new novel drafts, revision, poetry, scripts, and short stories.”

Check it out and hoping we connect at camp!

You can always start now!

A different type of to do list !

There are so many things I want to learn to do, some more realistic than others Pepper and Twine: I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across the above pin from Pepper and Twine Instagram account.  I thought what I neat idea. Their Instagram has other pages worth checking out.  I thought this is a different to do list.  So, get yourself pretty colored pens, stickers and put a question or thought on the page and your answers around it.  Don’t censor yourself. Just write. Nothing is too crazy as these are our pages and sharing is optional.  Maybe by not writing line by line it will shake our thought process up. Who knows?

Some ideas we could start with are:

  • what makes me feel safe
  • I want to learn to…..
  • books I want to read
  • places I want to travel
  • goals I want to accomplish

Below is my first page. I enjoyed sitting and thinking about goals, picking out different colors to write with. It was a relaxing experience and made me slow down for a bit. I wrote a variety of things on my page and know I will be adding to it. So everything is open!

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

You can always start now !

 

I’m listening. I so want to understand.

I am reading the book Presence by Amy Cuddy.  She talks about relinquishing power to listen. To stop talking, preaching and listen to understand. By listening and giving up power we are really gaining so much more. I wanted to share what we can gain when we let go of knowing, asserting and listening more.

  • people trust you.  Trust is a building block. So much more learning and sharing will take place when trust is involved.
  • you acquire useful information.  Just shut up and listen. Don’t be thinking about what you want to say, as right there you are not listening. Hence you are not taking in what that person is offering.
  • you begin to see other people as individuals and maybe allies.  You are knocking down those walls of “us versus them”.
  • you develop solutions that other people are willing to accept and adopt.  There is more by in when people feel they have had input and have been listened to.
  • when people feel heard, they are more willing to listen.  Listening and respecting people will get your message across when needed.

So take a step back.  Listen to what other people have to say. Ask questions. Relinquish knowing it all or even half of it. Be open to a totally different take. Let someone shine. Be that person people want at the table. You know the one – the one that makes sure everyone is heard respectfully. I think we need more of these people now more than ever.

You can always start now !

 

Starting another journey – The Artist’s Way

I started The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron last week.  The book is more of an exploration and discovery than a read. It is broken down into 12 weeks with exercises that push boundaries and have you rethinking experiences.  I thought I’d share (and hope you hold me accountable) some of the exercises in the book.  There is week one.

Exploring our past. Everyone is creative in their own way. Week one is digging deep into our past and finding those people and moments that made us question and often withdraw from our creativity. Like you can’t even draw a stick figure, your stories are boring or even less blunt – you have to get a career where you can support yourself.  Writing, painting, pottery are great hobbies, but they are hobbies not a job. I am sure we have all heard that. So we put our creative ideas aside and get that job.

Week one has exercises of acknowledging those past hurts. Who said what – bringing them out in the open. Also list your champions. Those people who encouraged you. Another exercise was imagine you could live another life. What would it be? Is there a slice of it you could do now? Maybe take up a musical instrument? Sign up for a painting class?  Do it.

Also Julie Cameron is a big proponent of morning pages.  Just writing free-hand first thing in the morning whatever occurs to you. Just get it out.

I have done The Artist’s Way before and always get something out of it. At times my morning pages have been brutal as I pour out past and current hurts. Also it is hard to write down memories of not feeling good enough and exploring them. The positive is one of my previous imaginary lives is no longer imaginary. I am say/write I am a blogger and writer. Period.

So to the next 12 weeks for me.  I’ll keep you posted.  Remember we are all creative and have something unique to offer. DO NOT let anyone tell you differently.  Our job is to create and enjoy the process. Society will judge us and we can decided what we think of society.

You can always start now !

 

%d bloggers like this: