Sunday, September 26, 2010

52CP38: Simplify

Again this week, the inspiration I'm posting is not the one I planned on when I started my day... I don't believe in coincidence, but I do very much believe in serendipity and the Law of Attraction, so I think the convergence is where the last couple of posts have come from. It actually works out better this way for several reasons:
  • The theme for this week is the theme of my paradigm shift and new focus in my life the past several weeks
  • There's a great segue from "white space" to "simplify"
  • This post is going to be SIMPLE - short and sweet
I went up to my ("blowed up real good") workroom/studio this morning to add the sentiment to my project and take a picture of it to post here. I was sure I had the quote that I had in mind somewhere in my stamp collection, but as I flipped through my stamp index to find it, I realized that I was mistaken (I must have seen it on one of Steph's cards - she has all the best sentiment stamps!) As Plan B I pulled out my quote books and started flipping through them, but tripped over several excellent quotes on simplifying/simplicity and changed immediately to Plan C.

I've been attracting blogs and books and quotes and all the rest of it that have resonated deeply with me and pulled me a direction I never saw coming but that now looks like the road home. It started HERE and then went HERE and on to HERE and the momentum and resources have continued to build, and what can I tell you? "Simplify" is my new mantra and - soon! - my new lifestyle. It's been a long time coming, but here we go!

Since different people are at different stages of their lives - and even in different lives! - I realize that this is NOT the path that everyone will take, but it does resonate with me, so I'm going there. Simplifying is a valid concept for everyone to a degree, however, so I'll leave you with this thought from Danielle LaPorte's guest post (the first link above): "You're giving sacred space to something that isn't sacred to you." What is it in your life that fits that description? Eliminate it (or all of the 'its') and move on freer and more engaged in what is sacred to you...

Instead of making-a-something, I created three versions of a quote file for you - all with the "simplify" theme. It's a half-page and available to you as a Word document, a PDF file, and a JPEG file (or just click on the pic below to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save" or "save as"):

I typed them in basic black, but you can play around with them in Word or Photoshop or whatever program you use to do what you will with them! I didn't crop the picture above so you can see what you're getting.

And I'm done for today! Off to finish the purge/reorg of the studio so I can function in it! Here's Mr. Linky:

52CP37 Featured Artists

Sorry I'm late posting this! I had another not-as-I-planned-it week, and then ended up doing a major studio re-org yesterday and just plain forgot! Here are the beauties submitted this week:

Steph made this amazing card - notice the oh-so-cool border treatment (my fave color combo, too...):

Shannon made a gorgeous monochromatic card:

Sarah gave us a beautiful head-start for the Christmas season, too, with this fabulous card (again with the red-and-white, too!):

I just love all three - thanks, ladies!

Once I clear a tiny spot on my worktable (the room is still in "blow-up" phase) I'll take a pic of my project and post this week's challenge. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

52CP37: White Space

As I mentioned last night, this has been quite a week. Last week was quite a week. There seems to be a developing/recurring pattern. The Universe is trying to tell me something. Stephanie (bless her forever!) has been the "messenger of the angels" this week, and has sent me exactly the information I needed to hear!

In 52CP26 (July 4th), I discussed "The Space Between", and included the concept of "white space" as part of that discussion. The information Steph sent was a link to the perfect article expanding on the idea of "white space" in our lives, why it's important, and how to go about achieving it.

I'm particularly grateful for this article because my life is not really my own in some aspects right now. Anyone who has been a caretaker for elderly and/or invalid individuals knows that "me" time is at a high premium. Add in full-time employment and domestic duties, and there you have it! Mulling over and implementing the ideas in this article will be helpful - possibly life- (or at least sanity-) saving! Thank you, Steph! Here's the link: Life's Missing White Space.

For my project, I chose to go very literal with the idea of white space:

Stamp: Close To My Heart For Every Occasion; Ink: Versafine Onyx Black; Paper: Close To My Heart White Daisy; Accessories: Prima and unknown flowers, ribbon, bling brad, Cuttlebug floral fantasy embossing folder

That's a thank you card for all of you! You really have no idea how much I appreciate each of you! Have a great week, and try to carve out some white space for yourself! I'm gonna give it a shot, and then I'll report back, k? Meanwhile, here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

52CP36 Featured Artists

Whew - what a week it's been! Apparently for you all, too - two contributions to the challenge this week! First up, Beverly reminds us to "step out with confidence" with this pretty-in-pink confection:

And Stephanie has some sage advice for us, too - straight from the lips of an 8 year-old!

My thanks to both of these ladies for their contributions and support, and my APOLOGIES, as well - I looked at both of their cards soon after they added them to Mr. Linky, but have yet to leave comments on either blog - bad, bad hostess and bad, bad friend! I'll try to be better...

I also need to thank Stephanie for her help on another front - more info on that tomorrow in the new challenge! See you there!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

52CP36: Change Your Mind

This post is later than I planned on, because this is NOT the post I'd planned... I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a headache and an ATTITUDE, and my whole week has gone wonky, it seems, so I needed an ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!!!

A friend of mine in California has three daughters, and when they were cranky/sullen/whatever, she'd say, "You need an attitude adjustment!" and then tackle them and tickle them until they were laughing instead.

This morning on the way to breakfast (a Sunday morning ritual - I thought about bowing out, but we go Greg's parents' afterward to make their breakfast and fill their pill boxes for the week, too) we passed Webster's Pond like we do every week. Geese and ducks live there year-round, and often hang out near the road, and frequently stop traffic to cross it. This particular morning there was one lone goose resting at the side of the road, and Greg and I were tossing around ideas on why it was alone. Was it a "lone wolf" type of goose? Did it piss off the rest of the gaggle? Greg proposed that maybe it had a "quack impediment", but we had to modify it to "honk impediment" since it was a goose, not a duck. For the rest of our drive to the diner Greg tested out various ways to honk like a goose with an impediment - very funny stuff! Needless to say, by the time we arrived at our destination I was feeling much better physically, mentally and emotionally.

This got me to thinking about attitudes and how important they are in so many aspects of our lives. Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't - either way, you are right." When I was pregnant I learned the truth of focusing on what you can do as opposed to what you can't. If I sat around doing not much, I noticed every ache, pain and discomfort. If I got up and moved around and just did, I felt much, much better! That's true regardless of what ails you!

The Secret is all about attitude as applied to the Law of Attraction. The premise - and truth - is that like attracts like, so if you have a bad attitude or are angry, you will attract more events, circumstances and people who will reinforce those attitudes. If you have a positive outlook, you will attract positive events, circumstances and people. It was noted, too, that you can change your attitude. One suggestion was to put on a piece of music and sing. I was mulling over that suggestion and remembered this song (sorry about the non-video, but I just wanted you to listen to the lyrics, and this is all I could find):

I love that whole idea of "changing your mind" to be someone else - as in a new and improved you - so true! I wanted to make something a little lighthearted for my project, so I altered a wooden block and made this:

Stamp: Inkadinkado; Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Paper: Cosmo Cricket Early Bird; Accessories/tools: Bic and Prismacolor markers, Fiskars Ladybug Kidzsors, Martha Stewart baker's twine, button from stash, computer (Space Toaster font)

I hope you're able to maintain a great attitude this week (or change a bad one)! Here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

52CP35 Featured Artist

One sole player this week - our most consistent contributor, Stephanie! She's nailed it again with this fabulous card, which she says is to remind her to "not get so stuck in the 'black and white' of the rules when trying to solve a problem...and to remember, there are always other more creative options."

Fun, huh? I love it!

See you tomorrow for a new challenge!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

52CP35: Problem Solving

Edited 9/06/10 @ 10:37 pm: I'm feeling somewhat better today, and managed to pull a teensy bit of mojo out and finish a card. It's at the end of the post, along with a couple of other things. You can ignore the next paragraph now, but I'm leaving it here, anyway...

NOTE: I have apparently caught some sort of stomach bug, and am not feeling well at all. I was stalling on this post in order to finish my project and upload a picture of it. It doesn't appear that this will be accomplished any time soon, so I'm posting without any pics. When I can be a "normal" person again, I'll add my pic. Thanks for understanding...

A few weeks ago one of our regular contributors, Stephanie Severin, sent me a link to a wonderful post from The Kitchen. Here's an excerpt:

I heard a wonderful story on WNYC's Radiolab the other day. It was about how Alzheimer's patients who live in nursing homes can sometimes get disorientated and agitated. They want to leave the nursing facility and go 'home' - occasionally, home can even mean the home of their childhood. This is a very stressful situation and can lead to the patient being locked behind closed doors in order to keep them from wandering off and getting lost, or worse.

No one is happy with having to lock them in, so an elder care facility in Germany came up with a plan: they built a fake bus stop on the street outside their front door, complete with a bench and a sign. If a resident acted up about leaving, instead of trying to talk them out of it, the staff would help them pack a bag, put on their coat, and take them to the bus stop. And there they would be left to wait for the bus to take them home. Which of course never comes.

"Isn't that kind of cruel?" asked the Radiolab hosts. "Isn't it a lie?" But the nursing staff reported that after sitting there for a period of time, the elder would begin to calm down and eventually forget about their agitation to get back home. A nurse would then come out and have a conversation with them and if they were ready, the resident would happily walk back into the facility.

To me, this story is about a very difficult situation that was solved through acceptance and a playful, compassionate solution. Until the bus stop solution came along, everyone involved was fighting against reality. The patients, seized by their disease and against their will, can't help themselves. To them, their delusions are very real and must be obeyed. And the staff, by trying to force the elders into a conventional response, were frustrated and unhappy, too. So why not find a solution within the difficulty? Instead of trying to fix the problem, why not accept it and from that acceptance be guided toward a solution? How elegant, and civilized, and, ultimately, respectful.

The author then goes on to relate how this same kind of approach can be applied to other problems in other scenarios - for this article, specifically kitchen-related issues (fallen souffle, lack of an ingredient, the extra dinner party guest), but it applies across the board. Followers of my other blog are familiar with my philosophy that everything is The Same Subject, so it's not difficult for me at all to see the tie-in here. I especially like this comment from the article:

When something is giving me trouble, can I first not fight against it? Can I just see it as an opportunity to stop, take a look around and find the graceful, if occasionally wacky, response?

I found this to be a very creative and practical approach to problem-solving. It also ties in with one of my overriding Life Philosophies: What would be for the greatest and highest good of all involved? Answer that question, and you've pretty much got a solution, too!

Edited to add: This morning when I opened my email, there was a link in a newsletter to an excellent article on - who knew? - problem solving! Step-by-step for those of us who get overwhelmed and try to eat the whole elephant in one bite...

I managed to make a card with a quote from Frederick R. Koppel that I've always liked:

Stamps: Fiskars Vintage Farmhouse, Stampabilities Ornate Icons; Ink: Ranger Old Paper Distress Ink, Close to My Heart Cranberry, Stampin'Up! Brocade Blue; Paper: Stampin'Up! Brocade Blue, Basic Grey Boxer dp; Accessories/tools: Tattered Angels chipboard frame, Offray ribbon, unknown gems

My thanks to Steph for alerting me to such a great article (also for the link to the tutorial that reminded me about this great ribbon technique), and thanks to all of you for allowing me to get to feeling better before I get artsy and all.

And yet again, here's Mr. Linky:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

52CP34 Featured Artists

Three people who weren't afraid to join the challenge this week! Thanks, ladies, for your contributions:

Sorry about the short post, but I'm "typing on the fly", so to speak. See you tomorrow for a new challenge!