Sunday, January 31, 2010

52CP05: Mistakes

I'm starting this post with apologies, which bothers me a bit, but it is what it is... I didn't post the players for the week - again - yesterday, and this post is later than usual, for starters. Life happens, and so I am posting the inspiration, but my project and/or ATC will be posted later today, rather than with the inspiration. I may make that the norm, actually, because it has occurred to me several times that my take on the inspiration may be completely different from what you got out of it, and my project may be an inhibitive influence. So - those are things I'm sorry for this morning...

This week I re-discovered a book, "Notes to Myself" by Hugh Prather, and found several passages that were thought-provoking and/or inspiring. I landed on this one:

Perfectionism is slow death. If everything turned out just like I want it to, just like I would plan it to, then I would never experience anything new; my life would be an endless repetition of stale successes. When I make a mistake I experience something unexpected.

I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I am very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a "mistake" is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder that I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown.

And there you have it! I will add the Mr. Linky to the next post, along with my project(s). Enjoy your Sunday and your week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

52CP04: Spreading Light

Good Sunday morning to you! I hope your week has been fun and inspired and full of "best days ever"!

This week's inspiration is from one of several books I own written by Robert Fulghum (best known for "All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten") I love his style of writing, and he has a lot of really good things to say. He has been a lot of places and done a lot of things (Unitarian minister, rodeo cowboy, teacher to name a few), and tells little stories about some of his thoughts and adventures and encounters in his books. Fast, fun reading, and usually educational and/or thought-provoking, too. I enjoy him enormously!

Anyway, on to the inspiration: In his book "It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It", he recounts the answer to his question, "What is the meaning of life?" given by Alexander Papaderos, who founded an institute devoted to healing the wounds of war on the island of Crete after World War II:
Taking his wallet out of his hip pocket, he fished into a leather billfold and brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter.
And what he said went like this:
"When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.
"I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine - in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.
"I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child's game, but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of the light. But light - truth, understanding, knowledge - is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.
"I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of the world - into the black places in the hearts of men - and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life."
And then he took his small round mirror and, holding it carefully, caught the bright rays of sunlight streaming through the window and reflected them onto my face and onto my hands folded on the desk.
Much food for thought here, and I made only an ATC this week to share with you:

Papers: K & Co dp, unknown parchment, DCWV blue, Best Occasions silver and gold; Accessories/Tools: Nestabilities Symbology and Labels Four, Martha Stewart goo border punch and radiant punch, Micron pen, Corner Chomper

I included an Edith Wharton quote in my own handwriting: "There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."

Now it's your turn! Be sure to include the label/tag 52CP04 if you upload to SCS or another online gallery, and thanks for joining me again this week!

I had a busy Saturday and didn't get to post the players for 52CP03, so here they are now, with my apologies:





Thanks, girls! Beautiful creations, one and all! Have a glorious week, and I'll see you next Sunday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

52CP03: A New Day

Welcome back! I have a short, sweet inspiration for you this week, consisting of several tidbits that share a common theme. In my "blurfing" the past couple of weeks, I saw this journal on Amy Johnson's blog:

When I saw it, I thought that the sticker she used on the cover was one of the best inspirations for a journal that I'd ever seen! Imagine if you were going to write something about your day in a journal like this every night - wouldn't you be paying attention as you went throughout your day, and noticing the positive, wonderful things around you? Did you know that what you focus on expands ("energy flows where attention goes...")? What a great tool to move you into living in the positive!

One of my favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift ~ that's why we call it the present."

Another, related quote is the one I used on this week's ATC:

Stamp: House Mouse & Friends Christmas; Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Paper: Paper Company black, Georgia Pacific white; Accessories/Tools: Computer (Penguin Attack font), Bic and Prismacolor markers, Corner Chomper

I also made a journal by altering a "Fat Little Wireless NeatBook" by Mead:

Paper: Stampin'Up! Good Morning Sunshine dp; Accessories/Tools: various stickers, adhesive tape

I was short on time this week and kind of lazy, anyway, so I taped some fun paper to the notebook with cloth adhesive tape (yes, the kind you use with gauze to cover a wound) and added the quote with a bunch of Dollar Tree letter stickers I've had hanging around for way too long! It's kind of "not me" style-wise, but I wanted something I could carry around easily, that wouldn't get damaged easily, and that I could tear pages out of if I wanted to. This measures about 4" x 5 1/2", and has 200 pages in it.

And that 's the rest of the story! What will you come up with for your take on this week's inspiration? I can't wait to see! Have a fantastic week, whether you play or not! Remember that there are NO time constraints - do the challenges whenever you want to, and in whatever order you want to. Just remember to link back to the post for the appropriate challenge, and to add the tag/keyword 52CP03 (for this challenge - use the appropriate number for whichever challenge you do) if you upload to Splitcoast Stampers or another online gallery. Thanks - ta!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

52CP02 Featured Artists

Week two of our challenges brought three participants that added their links in time to be featured here. If we add one a week, we should have several dozen by the end of the year! I'm thrilled that ANYONE is playing along, so thanks! Here are this week's beauties:


Pretty cool, eh? Thanks again, ladies, for sharing your talents with us. Let's see who else will join us this week! A new challenge will be up tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pardon Me, My Inexperience is Showing...

It has come to my attention (thank you, Sherry!) that there was a Mr. Linky issue on the post for the first challenge. After intensive research (requiring one entire mouse-click), I discovered that - in order for Mr. Linky to appear in more than one place on this blog - I needed to upgrade my Mr. Linky account, which I have done. This makes me sound like A Big Deal, but it's only $10 for the whole year, so if that breaks the bank I have bigger problems than Mr. Linky, yes?

Anyway, if you tried unsuccessfully to link your creation (I'm so sorry), or if you plan to in the near future (hint, hint), you should be good to go now! I apologize for any frustration and/or inconvenience this may have caused - carry on!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

52PC02: Make It Count

For our inspiration this week, I've chosen a beautiful (short) VIDEO. Click over to see it, then come on back!

I sooo love that video! I'm seriously considering buying the gift set for everyone in my family! Ah, but I digress... Along with that inspiration, I've chosen to play along with another 52-week challenge this year, too - Heart the Art on Tyggereye's blog. Each Saturday she posts a journaling prompt, and then everyone makes an art journal page, or an ATC, or whatever. The Week One prompt was "Aim To?", which coincided beautifully with my inspiration here for the week! My aim this year - as in years past - is to Make It Count! To that end, I made a cover for my art journal:

Stamps: Stampin'Up! Essence of Love amd Brushstroke Alphabet, Hampton Art Postscript Alphabet; Ink: Close to My Heart Sunkiss Yellow and Honey, Stampin'Up! Kiwi Kiss, Versafine Onyx Black; Paper: Basic Grey Urban Prairie dp, DCWV pink and blue textured cardstock, GP white, Paper Company black; Accessories/Tools: Martha Stewart and Fiskars butterfly punches, SU! photo corner punch, CTMH stubble tool

The journaling on the inside of the cover says:

This year I aim to:
  • Define my passion and pursue it
  • Do something joyful each day
  • Strengthen connections with those I care about
  • Be fearless in art and life

Notice that I am aiming at goals, not resolving to reach them. There's a bit more flexibility and fluidity insinuated this way... Yes, I want to attain these things, but I don't want to feel constrained by them - I want it to be a natural, habituated way of being. I have a tendency to get caught up in routines and deadlines and forget to nurture my soul, so that's why I included the joyful clause. I haven't decided what the inside pages will be yet - watercolor paper? cardstock? bristol board? I dunno, so I left it unbound for the time being.

I also made an ATC:

Stamps: Close to My Heart Make It Count and various words from various sets, date stamp; Ink: Close to My Heart Olive, Heavenly Blue and Baby Pink, Versamagic Aloe Vera, Spring Peony, Sea Breeze and Pixie Dust, Versafine Onyx Black; Paper: CTMH Colonial White; Accessories/Tools: Corner Chomper, detail clear embossing powder, Nestabilities Labels Four

I stamped and embossed dates that were milestones in my life, then sponged colors over them, then stamped the words. Tricky tidbit on the sentiment: I wanted the "live" to be a different color, and I'm reeeeally bad at doing multicolor images in one stamping, so I didn't ink the "live" the first go 'round. After I stamped the main part of the sentiment, I inked up just the "live" with a Versamarker and stamped it so I'd have a guide, then went over it with a glaze pen - ta da!

That's it for me this week! Let's see what you all come up with! Please remember to add the keyword/tag 52CP02 if you upload to Splitcoast Stampers or another online gallery. Have a great week, and Make It Count!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

52CP01 Featured Artists

Well, we had sort of a sparse collection for our first time out... I've heard from a couple of you that have your project "in progress", and there's no time limit - just post if/when you can - but I still hoped we'd have a few more players. Ah well, we have to start somewhere, right? Perhaps it'll snowball as we go! The two links that we do have are for these great cards:
This fab card is from Stephanie Severin (aka Smilyn Stef) at Ingenious Inkling.
And this fun card is from Beverly Gotthardt at Gott Heart Art (great blog name, eh?)

Thanks, girls, for playing along with me this week!

Okay, that's it for tonight! Don't forget to check back for the new inspiration tomorrow - I promise it's too cool! Good night!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

52CP01: Happy New Year!

Welcome to our very first challenge! The passage that I was inspired by for this week is from Oprah Winfrey:

One evening while having dinner at the Malibu home of TV producer Suzanne de
Passe, I began complaining about something I had agreed to do but that I no
longer thought was the best decision for me. In the name of "keeping my word,"
though, I felt I had to trudge through it. Suzanne looked at me and said
something that honestly no one had ever told me: "Girl, you know you have the
right to change your mind."

I went silent. As the words reverberated through me, I slowly said the phrase to myself over and over, trying to embrace what it would feel like to actually accept that principle as part of my conscious living. While the idea sunk in, I repeated it aloud to Suzanne: "I have the right to change my mind." She said, "Who else would? It’s your mind."

Before then, I hadn’t thought of changing my mind as even possible. What about honor, commitment, staying the course? I had always believed that going back on a promise was something only careless, flaky people did. Yet as strict as I had always been about keeping my word, I often gave it irresponsibly. Trying to be the nice girl, I agreed to do things I later regretted. And because I was saying yes when I really meant no, I’d end up cheating both myself and the other person involved. It’s an irrefutable law of the universe: You always get exactly what you intend - and my intention was to be seen by others as the dependable one, even if that came at a high expense to me personally.

What I know for sure is that you have the right to choose what is best for yourself now - not four years ago or even yesterday. And changing your mind does not mean acting irresponsibly; it’s just the opposite. When you honor what you know your spirit is telling you to do, you are making the most conscientious decision, one for which you are willing to accept all the consequences. You understand that when you know better, you ought to do better - and doing better sometimes means changing your mind; and you realize that letting go of what others think you should do is the only way to reach your full potential.

Every day, passion speaks to us through our feelings. That's why when you allow yourself to become anesthetized by what others think, you literally block yourself from living the life you were called to live. I promise you that if you make a choice that doesn't please your mate, your friends, your mother, or whoever, the world will not fall apart - the people who love you want you to love yourself. And as you become clearer about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what's best for you - the first time around.

My favorite parts were the concept of making a new choice today, even if yesterday we thought something else was what we had to do, or wanted to do. It made me feel much better about how fickle I can be! I also need to be reassured that I need to choose for me, not allow someone else's opinion determine my choice. I often tell my children when I'm giving them advice (which is when they ask for it) that I can only tell them my opinion and/or what has or hasn't worked for me - they get to choose what to do with the information, as it's their life and they have to live it the way that it has validity for them.

So what creative effort did that passage inspire? Well, I've decided that regardless of whatever else I may make for these challenges, I'm going to make an ATC every time. I found a package of trading card sleeves at WalMart, and I'll put the ATCs in them and have a little collection - a journal of my year, more or less. Here's my "real" project:

Stamp: Inkadinkado; Ink: Stampin'Up! Real Red, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Creamy Caramel, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red; Paper: Watercolor; Accessories/Tools: Detail clear embossing powder, heat gun

I've had this stamp for years! It's never seen ink until now, but I had it displayed on a shelf in my workroom/crafting space because I just love it! I bought the frame at Dollar Tree and painted it white (it was a hideous coppery goldy kinda color before). I sponged the paint on instead of brushing for a different texture. The image was stamped, embossed and watercolored with the "smoosh" technique (smoosh the inkpad on a Teflon sheet or acetate, pick up ink with wet brush...) Please excuse the reflection of the camera on the sorry...

Here's the ATC:

And that's my contribution to the first challenge! Let's see if I can figure out the Mr. Linky thingie... If you post to SCS or another gallery, please add the tag 52CP01 (52 Card Pickup challenge 01). Thanks for joining me, and have a great week! I can't wait to see what you come up with!