Christmas Presence


Hi everyone…I hope all has been well.  And I hope that your holiday plans have been going along smoothly.  I imagine many of you have been busy-busy buying and cooking, wrapping and decorating, and making trips to the post office and such.  Are you all caught up…and are you ready to sit back and enjoy?  I hope you are!

If so, and you’re craving a creative outlet, here’s a little something that I made using a cheerful, red birdie stamp as the focal point.  Many of you have probably been receiving lots of Christmas cards in the mail and maybe you’ve been saving the stamps like I have.  And perhaps you also save mini jam jars.  I used both of these items to make the following.

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I positioned the feather to reach towards the light, which is life…which is hope.

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For weeks now this tune has been playing in my ear…and I hear it loud and clear.  Sometimes our subconscious whispers wise and encouraging words.

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This Christmas and thereafter, may your peaceful presence be the loving light that warms the hearts in all.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Necklace Winners and a Jingle


Just popping in to thank those of you who participated in my necklace giveaways.  I enjoyed reading your comments, and loved the range…from the deep and heart-felt to the light and fun-loving.  Your good energy is always well-received…thank you.

The two winners who were randomly chosen from the hat are:  di@Cottage-Wishes for the “Wish upon a star” necklace.  And Joy Meadows for the feather necklace.  Ladies, please contact me with your mailing address so that I can send them your way.

Since we’re on the subject of necklaces, here’s a look at one of mine which I made and wore last year.  And I’m planning to wear it again during this holiday season.  Practicing simple, personal, little traditions like this makes me feel festive.

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Wishing you happy, wonderful (big or small) festivities also!

 

 

 



Sharing Wishes and Hope


On this day after Thanksgiving I feel good.  Good that the sun is shining (such a treat, especially after the snow storm that we had two days ago) and also good that there’s a whole weekend ahead of us…to unwind, and also to gather my thoughts.  Thoughts of Christmas…thoughts about what gifts to make or buy, what special treats to cook/bake and thoughts about how to spend the holidays in general.

To begin this season of celebration, I thought I’d share a couple of things with you (you’ve all been on my mind too).  Below you’ll see two necklaces that I made…

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…one on wishes…

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…and one having to do with hope (I think by now most of you know that I associate feathers with hope).

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Both necklaces are up for grabs.  To enter a chance to win simply leave a comment to this post (please specify which necklace you’d like) by next Saturday, December 6th and I’ll be back the next morning to announce the two winners.  For this giveaway I’ll be drawing a random winner from 2 hats (1 hat for each necklace).

In the meantime, happy “wishes” and I “hope” all is well with you and yours.

 



Fall Rainbow


Once again, I did not plan on being away from my blog for so long.  Life’s been busy-busy so I haven’t been able to make it back here.  And if you don’t mind, I thought I’d back up a bit…to share with you some Fall beauty…

…starting from my kitchen window.

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A day or so later, on the other side of the house, a rainbow showed up.

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If you look closely you might be able to see that this was a double-rainbow.  I know it’s hard to tell with the afternoon light.

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This unexpected sign of hope seemed to literally come to our front door.  And it felt like the sky was smiling down on us.  Magic seemed to be everywhere…in the sky, on the trees, on the ground…you could even smell it in the air.

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Amongst the background of rust and amber colored leaves, there were surprising pops of pink.

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This mix of warm and welcoming Fall colors inspired the batch of bracelets (shown below).  And the necklace was inspired by thoughts of “love”.  Love is always on my mind.

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This month, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  Giving thanks for our earth, our homes, our nourishment, our health, our every breath…Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

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Yes, this holiday is about giving thanks and to me, this holiday is about giving in general.  Giving to our loved ones, our friends and even to strangers in need…or simply giving a smile to whomever and wherever.  Giving is good and giving is love.

This month I may be absent again from my blog, because there are some people I’m close to who need my support.  They are the reason why I haven’t been able to be here as much.  I wish I could do it all, but I know I can’t…so for now I have to choose.

Just recently, a wise friend of mine (whom I met through my blog, and am so thankful for) gave me good advice.  She said “loved ones first”…which was exactly the encouragement I needed…to know that I was choosing the right thing…at least for me it is.  Although I can’t do it all, I can try to do my best.  My best for my loved ones…and I hope that this will be enough.

 

 

 

 

 



Bracelet of Branches and Soft Sky


It’s that time of year again, when the light begins to lesson and fade.  Admittedly, this darkening of days is not my favorite.  I much more prefer the bright energy of a full sun, which I realize is not possible to have all year round.  So, to compensate, I try to create my own kind of internal sunshine…by creating. 

Below is a bracelet that I made.  I like how the golden cast of the afternoon light brings out the warm beauty of the beads.

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As the light changes, the bracelet slightly changes…to this…

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…and then to this.

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The branches all around me are starting to strip down, revealing their strong brown color…limbs reaching outward and up…

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…towards the sky of softening light.

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Brown for branches and blue for sky…this combination is both soft and strong…and soothing.  I have a feeling I’ll be using these natural, quiet colors a lot these next months.  And you, what colors feel right to you now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Birdie on a Wire Tree (class)


On Saturday, November 1st, I will be teaching a class at Five Crows in Natick, MA.  During this 3-hour class, we will be making felted wool birdies on wire trees.  And you’ll have the option to make two items (examples shown below).

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One of the items is a canvas (this piece was shown in a previous blog post).

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The other option is a tree in a spool.

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This will be my first class teaching adults.  When Brook was little (elementary and middle school years), I used to teach an after school art class to kids her age, but it’s been many years since.

It’s taken me a while to branch out again (these last several years I’ve mostly been creating alone in my home art studio).  Although I very much enjoy this alone time, there’s a part of me that would like to try the group atmosphere of creating together.  If you like this idea as well and have the afternoon of November 1st open, just hop on over and sign up for my class.

I have a feeling that branching out could be fun.

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Lights of Hope


My trip to Thailand was months ago, yet I have not been able to stop thinking about it. I know it’s not good to keep focusing on the past (life happens in the now and I don’t want to miss out on any of it), but so many special moments happened while I was in Thailand that I’m not ready to completely move forward yet. Maybe I’m still in the “wow, did this really happen?” stage. I’m not sure…but what I am sure about is that I feel an immense sense of gratitude…for the light and for the love.

Below you’ll see a bit of what our family came across while in Bangkok. Very unexpectedly, the first sign of light came at night (we saw this on our first night down the block from our hotel).  Seeing this literal sign of hope made me wonder about what was to come during our days in Bangkok.

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Above this sign, the full moon shone brightly…as if to say “everything will be okay”.  I felt that heaven was smiling down on me, comforting me.

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The next day I woke up to a soft morning light. There was a whisper of hope in the air.  This hug from the sky gave me a feeling that being in Bangkok was going to be wonderful…

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…and it was, it was even better than wonderful.  The reason being that during our time in Bangkok, I saw my biological father every day.  Every night we had dinner together and during these dinners he told me stories from the past (details of what I was like as a baby/toddler as well as details about our close relationship when I was young).  My father also told me his account of what had happened regarding my adoption, which turns out was a tough situation for everyone.  As my father talked, I looked into his eyes and I listened to everything.  He was speaking from the heart and my heart was ready.  After forty-something years our timing finally met.  And yes, I could be bitter about this (the time that we lost living separate lives), but somehow I’m not.  Instead, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude…to be given this incredible opportunity to get to know my father as well as my other Thai relatives.  I can feel the love coming from their direction and it all feels like a dream…a dream that I did not expect nor ever thought was possible.  After all these years, the love has survived…isn’t that amazing?!

On our last day in Bangkok (prior to going to Chiang Mai to see my biological mother) the light came into Brook’s room…and in the form of a rainbow.

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What a magical sight this was…we were delighted beyond belief!   This rainbow seemed like another sign…that all was going to be well during our next stop in Chiang Mai…which turned out to be true.  I’ve shared some details in a previous post.

Whether you look for the light or not, it is always there.  Sometimes it comes with meaning (such as when I needed some encouragement) and sometimes it’s just there…every day, warming us, comforting us…and always lighting our way.

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At the close of every day I always feel a sense of hope…that another day is coming.  Another day, another chance…to live and enjoy, to be grateful, to give and to love.  And all we have to do is to open up our eyes…to the beauty of it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Go Slow as You Grow


It’s been a busy month…so I’m a bit slow with sharing my article inside the current issue of Somerset Studio (Sept/Oct).  I imagine that September has been a busy month for most of you also (closing out the Summer can feel rushed)…so maybe you don’t mind that I’ve fallen behind on my blogging?

The vibrant colors on the cover of Somerset Studio are so full of Fall.  Although I’m not quite ready to jump into this season yet (again, I’m slow), seeing these rich, rusty-toned colors reminds me that there’s much leafy beauty ahead.

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However, before I move full steam ahead, let’s revisit some Summery things…such as these clay pieces that I created using beach finds and such.

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The article features two pieces of artwork (both made with air-dry clay), and both sides are embellished.  The colors on all sides are soft and sandy, minty and watery, with touches of sparkling sky.

Here’s a close-up of one side of one piece.

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And here’s a close-up of the other side of the same piece.  I created all of the pieces with Brook in mind (I wanted to shine the light on some words that have special meaning to me).

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As a mother it’s my responsibility to pass on words of encouragement and advice to my daughter…and very often, these words are expressed through the things that I create.

Here’s a look at the front side of the heart-shaped piece.  I intentionally allowed the feather on the other side to stick up in view.

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And on the other side, the feather (a symbol of hope) seems to blend into the heart itself.  With hope in your heart, anything is possible.

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In addition to the two pieces here, originally I created one other piece that went with the set.   The pink in this third piece (shown below) didn’t coordinate well with the other two pieces  so it was left out of the Somerset Studio article.  However, I thought you might like a look anyway.

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On the back of this piece I hand wrote my message to Brook.

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I hope that she’ll take this advice to heart…because growth doesn’t always have to happen quickly.  Sometimes it is within the slow moments that we feel the most, so that we can grow the most, towards becoming our best selves…our most loving selves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



A Note to Self: Drink in the Joy


A note to self:  Come up for air and drink in the joy.  Life happens in the now…be in it, and enjoy.

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The photo above was taken while I was in Chiang Mai (in my Mother’s yard).   Now, a month later, I woke up this morning unexpectedly thinking of this photo.  And thinking of how this little fishy seemed to be taking a breather…and thinking what a good idea this is for me to remember to do the same.

How about you, have you seen anything lately that’s got you thinking?  And have you written any notes to self?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Clay on Canvas – “Still and Strong as Stone”


Firstly, I’m here to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.

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Meg, please contact me with your mailing address so that I can send you a copy of Bella Grace along with some trim from my trip to Thailand.  And to everyone who participated in this giveaway…thank you very much for taking the time to comment.  I very much appreciate all the beautiful energy that you left behind!

Now on to the next item, which has to do with a clay on canvas piece of artwork that I created for the current issue of Somerset Apprentice.

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Here’s the artwork in print.

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And here’s another look at the artwork (photos taken at home).

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I created this artwork to express my thoughts on stillness and strength (which you can guess from the article title, “Still and Strong as Stone”.)  The stone is represented by the clay used for the bird figure, and the stillness is shown in the peaceful colors that I chose to use along with a sense of rest that comes from the purposeful positioning of the bird (letting it sit on some string) rather than posing it in flight. Sometimes sitting still can accomplish more than getting caught up in action.  And personally, I’ve found that being still very often connects me to my truest self…my strongest self.

This week there happens to be a free online workshop that’s scheduled for Wednesday, September 10th.  This workshop (“Success Without Struggle”) is being hosted by Deepak Chopra, whom I greatly admire for his wisdom about stillness and mindful living in general.  Bill and I will be tuning in to participate in this workshop and if you’re interested in it as well, here’s a link to sign up: https://www.chopra-online.com/successwithoutstruggle/

Okay, back to the artwork shown above.  I’ve included the specific step-by-step instructions in the article (a full list of materials used is also included).  Please know that if you ever have any  additional questions, just leave a comment to the post and I will be happy to answer your questions there (this way the information will be available to anyone with a similar question).

Have a beautiful week ahead and wishing you all some quiet time to think, dream, create…whatever you need to feel grounded and peaceful.