Friday, December 31, 2010

Reverb10 - Core Story

December 31 – Core Story 

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.) (Author: Molly O’Neill)

For me, the central story is God will Lead. God will Guide. He knows the path, and I may divert but I cannot divert His path.

If you follow Christ - you know. If you don't, I respect you. If you have questions, ask. I am here. I may not have "the" answer, but I won't lie to you. 

I simply follow my Lord.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reverb10 - Gift

December 30 – Gift Prompt: Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

My most memorable gift this year was stumbling across a new artistic pursuit: Art Journaling. I don't have many reasons to take photographs anymore, but I still wanted to document life. I am an accomplished scrapbooker and teacher, but I needed something to keep me going. Cards and stamping were fun, but they really weren't practical - so few people to write to now days.

I stumbled across art journaling, and quickly found two people I admire - Jonathan Manning (Blade the Artistic Biker) and Paula Phillips (Journal Artista). I watched videos on youtube and was instantly hooked. I met others, I learned from them - I'm still learning. There are over 100 people I've met and learned from so far. 

My memorable gift this year is two-fold and keeps giving: grasping a new set of skills, and all the wonderful relationships that I've built along the way. 

Keep giving!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reverb10 - Defining Moment

December 29 – Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

I know my readers can already answer this one. It was the series of events that began with an application, and culminated in the keys to a house in Chicago. It consumed most of our year, and you're sick to the teeth of hearing about it! LOL

We'll leave it at that. ;-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reverb10 - Achieve

December 28 – Achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)
My big thing this year is money management. I want all our debt gone! I know it will feel awesome because I've been there before. I will feel free, like a weight is gone, like fear is abated. We will have plans when we buy things and get out of this "Oh, it broke, we have to replace it now." pattern. Unfortunately, it's a real condition - the need (not want) to replace it NOW. 
1. Start budgeting now
2. Adjust all excess money (even if it's just $1) to savings
3. Couple the budget and savings with mental pleasure and reflection
4. Create a list of statements as sifters
5. Re-evaluate all expenditures - pass them through the #4 sifter above before agreeing to buy
6. Change where we shop for things
7. Donate functional items to those that can use them
8. Purge, purge, purge
9. Have monthly reviews and discussions - does this thing work? Are we on target?
10. Consider it an adventure. Find ways to make it fun.
Wish me luck! ~ky

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reverb10 - Ordinary Joy and Soul Food

December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: BrenĂ© Brown) 

I would have to say it was seeing my husband peacefully sleeping in his new recliner, in our new (to us) home, in our new city after his first week on his new job. I've never seen him so thoroughly and totally happily relaxed.

Then, there was the look on our kitties faces when they discovered they had green grass and trees to play among again. Or, maybe it was the look on our bunnies faces as they discovered grass under their paws for the first time, ever. 

December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)

I love to cook. I write my own recipes. We seldom eat things thoughtlessly. Favorites this year? Stews made using our own garden-raised tomatoes and tomatillos. Coming home to all live dinners unique to our palettes and hands. 

We had a few other meals of memory too. We enjoyed a wonderful seafood dinner as a treat in Salt Lake City at McGrath's. Karl got to enjoy scallops and oysters while at a training event in Iowa. We shared an expensive bottle of port to celebrate his acceptance in the DOT Academy. 

Most recently, we savored Hereford rib-eye, aged with exquisite marbling from the Fresh Market. Fresh Market is a brief (yet pricey) trip down to Wonderland for groceries. We enjoyed an olive bar, fresh fish steaks, kumquats, and heritage tomatoes, all brought to our kitchen, prepared and lovingly consumed. It was a tasty year! 

Next year? I will reintroduce bread to our home! Fresh, crispy, tender, chewy bread. Sigh...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Reverb10 - Photo

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and [...]

I'm usually behind the camera. I'm the photographer - ran my own dark room, everything. Now I take snapshots more than structured photos. I rarely photoshop things tho - I prefer to at least get my composition right when I push the shutter. Still, I remain the cameraman and have few photos of me.

{Dyna and me, with short hair, cuddling on the couch}

A photo that best captures me very likely wouldn't need to have me in the frame. Being a photographer, that picture would allow you to look at the world through my eyes.

{Scrap being tough}

I used to do a lot of scrapbooking. In those books, I have a lot of my photography, and a lot of family and pets. These are two quick ones that I love. I hope they will bring you a smile!

{Cabana Boy and Tinker, Mollie and Tinker lower left}

Happy Christmas to you all! 


Reverb10 - Everything's OK

December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

There was a moment. I think it was when we got the final paperwork officially establishing Karl's job here. We had been in the house a couple weeks, lost Jinge-bear, and things finally found a rhythm. We still have turmoil, there's always something going on, rearing up, falling apart; but, it's tolerable. Bills get paid, things get done, we enjoy each other, we enjoy ourselves, we work and we play. This will carry-over into the new year granting us the peace of knowing this too shall pass. Just ride out the storm - another period of calm is coming.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

#Reverb10 - Travel

December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt) 

I traveled the most miles by truck in 2010. My trusty, big, burly Hootie. I love Hootie - he takes good care of me. He's always ready to go, but doesn't like mornings (my kinda guy!). He loves the road untraveled, and finding new places. He is my ultimate travel vehicle. We carried on across the country this year. He's playing in snow in Chicago - always a delight when his tires are in crunchy snow or dancing over ice. He is a silly, playful bull of a truck!

I tried something new this year. Yes, I cheated on Hootie. Hoot needs a break now and again. He's getting older, so I let him see me off on this adventure. I booked an AmTrak seat in summer to help bring an extra vehicle home. It was a short trek, but quite stimulating. I learned a lot about how people traveled a century ago. It was a 3-hour ride. We stopped at road crossings, sat on a side track until passing trains went by. It was amazing.

Based on that experience, I booked a longer trip to see my family for the holidays. It was an 18-hour ride, and it gave me a great opportunity to study human travel behavior. I am still fascinated, and am leaving later today for the return trip. I really enjoy this new mode of travel that lets me wander around, sit in an observation car with my art tools, and watch movies in my chair. There's more room on this train than on the train used for shorter distances.

I'm hoping Karl and I can take a trip together on the train. Maybe we will visit his mother next year, and take the train on that adventure. That would be suppa fun! Wherever you travel and by whatever mode, I hope you enjoy it, have a safe trip, and a wonderful time!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverb10 - Future Self

December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

Five years from now: I will be 30 lbs lighter, 100% better organized, in a home that we will keep for several  years. I will be accomplished in some art endeavors that I struggle with now. I will still be head over heels in love with the man I married five years ago. I will be stronger in my health management, I will be weaker in some ways physically, stronger emotionally but more resilient over all. For the year ahead, my advice will be: this, too, shall pass.

As for the 10 years past - that might be a novel, so I will add that to my other writing assignments.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Reverb10 - Beyond Avoidance

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

I laughed when I read this. I mean, big-ole-belly-laughed at this. What didn't I avoid? We moved 1,600 miles across the country with 2 bunnies and 3 cats. Karl was in the academy for 8 weeks, and on the road a lot once we got moved. I was busy finding new specialists and managing a new household that we were blessed to find on the exact day we needed it. Thank you, Lord, for that huge miracle.

We know this is essentially temporary housing, and neither of us has had the time or energy to put into decorating. My focus is for me to keep my body working, and getting Karl comfortable downtime as he learns his new job. Unpacking and picture hanging has not been the priority - especially when we know we will turn around and move within a year. We're still catching our breath!

Will we do it? Some of it, yes. Most of it, no - not until we have firmer plans on housing, the effort does not equal the need. Life is too short and uncertain to waste resources when you could be riding the open road, playing with a bunny in the summer grass, creating an incredible piece of art, cuddling in a quilt whispering sweet nothings with your love, writing a lingering story or getting caught up in a fabulous book or movie. The key, my friends, is choosing the right things to avoid! 

Happy avoiding!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reverb10 - Healing

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

I'm still waiting for the healing. So far, it's been a year of ripping me down to my core by everyone I dare to care about, and many whom I don't. I'm tired. I'm having thoughts of suicide again, but I recognize that for what it is and deny it serious access or consideration.

Being healed? Ha. I would be happy if people who just live up to what they promise. Don't lie to me, don't steal from me, and realize that I am allowed to have opinions, feelings, and imperfections. Don't build a box of perfection for me to live in. Don't define me by your expectations. Nevermind the physical battles. I just want to be allowed the space to breathe and live. Is that too much to ask?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reverb10 - Try

December 18 – Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

In 2010, I tried needle felting. I got supplies, a nice machine, and lots of bookmarked videos and blogs. I didn't have a good set up space in my studio, and we had other priorities. So, needle felting (the way I wanted to do it) got shifted aside.

For 2011, I have an additional desk upon which to keep my felting machine (called an embellisher) available all the time. I have storage for the supplies, too. I will revisit felting and give it the effort it deserves.

I also plan to tackle another problem area: specialty flour mixing. Yes, I suffer from Celiac's disease, which is an autoimmune reaction of the body to the presence of gluten - the protein found in wheat, barley and rye - in the digestive tract.

I love to bake. There's nothing quite like the smell and feel of freshly baked bread. I want to have that in my home again, and it will involve a big learning curve. I will make many inedible things along the path, but that's just experience. I will be getting a wonderful kitchen scale and buying different flours which is exciting for me. I love gadgets!

There are other things I want to explore next year. These are just the two at the top of my list. I hope you have some exciting things to look forward to!


CHAPTER 44: `Curiouser and curiouser!'

`Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English); `now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was! Good-bye, feet!' (for when she looked down at her feet, they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). `Oh, my poor little feet, I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears? I'm sure _I_ shan't be able! I shall be a great deal too far off to trouble myself about you: you must manage the best way you can; --but I must be kind to them,' thought Alice, `or perhaps they won't walk the way I want to go! Let me see: I'll give them a new pair of boots every Christmas.'
Hello from all of us here in Wonderland! This week we are Curiouser and curiouser to see if you are willing to play along with our weekly challenge. The challenge is a simple one, and one that most of us should be able to play along with, we would like to take Wonderland and turn it into a Winter Wonderland! Yes, that's right.....put your boots on, hats, mittens and lets play in the snow! Alice with a hat on? Rabbit in the snow? Anything that reflects a Winter Wonderland. Have fun with it!

This week we are being sponsored by SUGAR NELLIE! The winner's prize will be an awesome set of 6 Leanne Ellis Alice In Wonderland stamps!! Woohoo!!

Here is what I made to inspire you!

{click to enlarge - sorry for the poor quality, I'm on the road!}

These art journal pages were created using acrylic paint, SnoTex, Glitter, Pixie Dust Studios images (LOVE), Copic markers, and Gelly Roll stardust pens. 

I really appreciate Kathy sponsoring us last week, and was so sad that my schedule and preparations for this family trip got in the way of my project work. So - feel free to go visit Pixie Dust Studio and check them out!!

As usual, you'll have until midnight Christmas eve (Friday, December 24th) to show us your work. Just link a picture of it (or your blog post, etc.) to the Oh Alice! Challenge Blog. Take some creative time for yourself this week during all the hustle and bustle. Best wishes!!


NOTE ~ We will be taking a short time away to play in our Wonderlands through the holidays. We will resume January 8th, 2011 with more challenges and fun giveaways!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reverb10 - Friendship & Lessons Learned

December 17 – Lesson Learned - What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

I learned that I have more patience than I think, if I will just use it. I also learned to let go of wrong lessons in expectations for others from childhood. Going forward, I will apply this knowledge more often!

December 16 – Friendship - How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

My gradual change this year is a result of many new friendships I made. I have always been tolerant and appreciative of the differences others have in their perspectives, backgrounds, taboos, etc. However, I got even better at respecting those differences, and even adding their views to my way of thinking.

However - I also learned that people who pose as friends are not always capable of being friends. 

Thanks to everyone who helped me grow this year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reverb10 - 5 Minutes

December 15 – 5 Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

I want to remember that I began art journaling in 2010. That way, if I lose my memory, all I need to do is pick up my art journal where I documented it.

Yes, you can cheat - it's a hectic, busy time of year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reverb10 - Appreciate

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

Technology. There are a lot of other things I appreciate from this year, but technology is what has held it together. 

The internet allows me to be "out" among friends without risking infection. It has allowed me to learn many things, especially at 3 a.m. It kept Cabana Boy and me together when he was away at the academy for 8 weeks. It allowed him to find this great new job, and me to find this nice rental home we enjoy.

I think I express my gratitude by making sure I'm never without it. I share my knowledge of it with friends. I honor the lessons and people with things I create from what I've learned and who all I have met. It occupies both my time and my budget in a large sort of way. :-)


Monday, December 13, 2010

Reverb10 - Action

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

There's the idea. Then there's the list. I list out every step, and sometimes specifics of the sub-steps as I begin considering implementation of an idea. I am a planner by nature.

I consider audiences, benefits, costs, negatives, positives. I think about the outcomes - if it's perceived accurately or negatively. Then it all gets over-ruled if I like it more than I care about how it's viewed.

There's a lot of product juggling too. I want to use what I have, so there are those adaptations. Then, there are unavailable product substitution when I can't find specific products. Eventually, the project takes on my personal touch through my personal product choices, my personal abilities and biases, and finally, my limitations and preferences.

It is indelibly MINE.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb10 - 11 Things and Body Integration

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

Eleven things. Can I just name family? Oops - I really did write that out loud. LOL

We got rid of three really big problems this year (location, control of schedule, financial stability). It really did change our lives. So, what else do we need to clean up for 2011?

1. Clutter! We need to take a serious look at our possessions. I'm not really a feng shui fan, but I do feel my house isn't "happy" with all this clutter. We just moved, and know this isn't where we plan to stay for long, so it's really hard to do a thorough unpacking and deal with all this crap!

2. Debt. We're fairly good so far as funds go, but with some "surprise" expenses we are feeling a little less than easy about what we do buy. It would be freeing to get that cleared out again.

3. Our own home. We won't buy our own home in 2011, but I do expect to make some significant strides financially to be prepared for that eventually. So - we would be getting rid of some financial uncertainty, and having to ask before we can paint.

4. My own motorcycle. I want to enjoy being out in the summer with Cabana Boy on my own machine. Yes, it's fun to ride on the back of his, and Yes, he wants me riding "bitch", but there's something about having the power to go out on your own. Again - it's a financial planning thing, but I like it. We'd be getting rid of having to do things together all the time, and the feeling of inequality. Yes, I have bad gadget envy!

5. No Babies. We have three bunnies that have their replicators still intact. We need to get that taken care of so we can let them run together. It also lends to better long-term health, so it's important. We lost too many family furry friends in 2010. We want to make them safer.

6. No surprises. Same as #5, but for the human.

7. Fears. I still struggle with my inner demons. One day at a time, I need to address and conquer them. Personal stability is a better place to be.

8. Physical conditioning. I need to get rid of some weight this year. I need to gain fitness and tone so that I feel better. Feeling better, I will be able to do better and more in 2011! Hello 5-mile challenge!

So - I will count those 8 with the 3 we've already attacked my 11 for 2011.

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Running. Physical activity. When I feel best and most alive is when I am at my healthy best. Running clears my mind. Opens my heart, renews my spirit. I think best when I run. So much so that I'm frustrated by not being able to remember some of the great creative ideas from my inner muse. 

Maybe you've heard of a runner's high? It's real. I crave it. It is addicting and that's no bad thing. I love it when I hit that level. It only takes me about 1.5 miles now to reach that plateau - but it lasts so long that I just keep going. That's why I love a 5-mile run. After 5 miles your body has consumed the energy, hydration and electrolytes available, and needs replenishment. I love a challenge - 5 miles is a great race distance and can easily be stretched to about 10 miles with preparation. Finishing is such a natural high!

Can you see it? Running, biking, weights - my Doc requires me to partake for disease management. I require me to partake to feel fully alive. Don't waste your time. You only have so many days. Grab it!

Introspectively yours,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb10 - Wisdom

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

Wisdom. Hmmm. 

I know a lot of information. I know where to find even more. (intelligence)

I've done a lot of things. I know how to figure out how to do more. (talent)

I've made a lot of decisions. I know I will be making many more. (experience) 

I know how to juggle priorities. I know I will juggle more. (prioritize) 

Does the sum of these things equal wisdom? I would argue, no.

What could be missing? 

Sensitivity - I am aware of how choices affect the balance of a home, a friendship, a project design.

Love - if you do not love the process, you likely won't stick around to see fruition.

Timing - like baking the perfect cake, you need to understand when things are ready or they fail.

There are so many other variables in what comes to be recognized as wisdom. Leave out any one, and what seems to be wisdom crumbles into base motives. How many times have our decisions that we thought came from sheer well-intentioned and hard fought, anguishing decision making melts down into what you "wanted" for the outcome rather than what would have been the truly wise path.

Wisdom, therefore, has another necessary component: Surviving over time with the outcome providing reliable results. 

This year - we made a lot of decisions and some major changes. Life's path led us to the door, but it was up to us to make the choice to open it, open it NOW, commit to following through, and trusting that it was the right choice when weighed against the disruption and risk. We started the search for Karl's new career path in January 2010. Here we stand at the end of 2010, and it is clear, looking back that this choice evidenced wisdom. It took courage, commitment, trust, communication, and tons of other things. 

In short? It was a LOT of work (remember that zendoodle page, and the other journal entries along the way this year?). The results we hoped to see are beginning to appear. The path remains true, and hasn't collapsed into a temporary up-turn, a remorse of stepping on this course. It truly was the wisest decision we made this year, and we are determined to stay faithful to the effort we've begun.

I'm looking to different expressions of wisdom for 2011. I want a break to enjoy the fruits of 2010. Oh - and the runner up wise-choice? Switching over to Art Journaling (wink).

Be strong, be brave, believe.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb10 - Party

December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

There were a few gatherings this year. I typically don't attend anything public, or larger family gatherings because of my health. However, I was so PROUD to attend my husband's graduation ceremony from the Academy. It wasn't all that fancy, or even much of a party. It was just good to meet a lot of the people embarking on the same career as him, and see him happy and beaming.

We moved to our new location shortly after, so we didn't have another "gathering" until Thanksgiving. This was fantastic. We visited Karl's sister's home in Cincinnati, and I finally got to meet their Mom. She was awesome! And funny! Karl's Sis has the most beautiful home, lovingly decorated. I finally got to meet my puppy niece and nephew, Zoe and Baxter. We spoiled them rotten!

My brother-in-law cooked the most AWESOME Thanksgiving feast! He found a fantastic dressing recipe (although it wasn't gluten-free, I risked a sampling) that turned out to be heavenly. We had baked beans, a huge turkey, mashed potatoes - all the trimmings, even pie! We sampled a lot of wines over that visit, too. Best of all? We treated the whole family and one of my niece's friends, to the newest Harry Potter film, and it was wonderful too.

Baxter & Zoe

Sadly - we lost Baxter just 10 days later. Baxter had been in the family a long time, and as a large breed (boxer), had a naturally shorter life expectancy than some other breeds. I was so grateful to get to spend time with him - we knew he was on the way out - so I let him lay on me as much as he wanted. Such an adorable, sweet soul.

Have a lovely day! ~ky

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb10 - Beautifully Different

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

I am definitely different. It took me a long time to realize I have my own beauty. It took me a long time to realize I had any value. I was the last child, a surprise, and was plainly told that I was unwanted. I was told our resources were not to be wasted on the child who would not amount to anything.

On top of that, I was a very sick child, requiring more energy and resources than they wanted to spare. Schools constantly pushed me into the corner, accepting my parents dismissals that they knew I was a waste of effort. I spent more time outdoors, finding comfort in critters, and a lot of time reading. I became very good at observing, imagining, absorbing and playing along in my own little world.

STOP. Do not feel pity. It's my story - it is what made me what and who I am. I'm alright with it - each step I took brought me here. I love HERE.  There were a few points along the way that stand out - my 6th grade science teacher; becoming a college instructor; realizing I make lovely things.

Do you see the pattern? First, there was an outside influence - my science teacher. I wasn't at the school long, but he made me feel smart. Second, there was a personal effort rewarded with peer-voted success. Third, there was personal confidence. Now? There is recognition and understanding.

I didn't understand when I was little why I was treated the way I was. Now that I'm a bit older and more detached, I realize I was dealing with child-to-child relationships rather than child-to-parent. I was stuck in a warped world of "normal". I didn't know this could be (should be?) different. The "other" child was elevated to royalty status - all things revolved around that child's desires and the need of the parent to prompt that child for any opportunities.

I can't change the past. On a good day, I can't even do a lot about that argument at breakfast yesterday. That's ok - we do our best and let it go. I can, however, recognize things in others. Hopefully by sharing, I can help them take a step they wouldn't have. I can see pain - maybe I can make someone laugh, forget their pain for a moment, rest in a ray of guilt-free sunshine. I lift up animals - who then lift up the spirits of others. I can make pretties - send them out to the world. 

I am beautifully different, just like every unique stone the river has polished lovingly to it's own, unique perfection. I am enough and I am not yet finished.

(so are you)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb10 - Community

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

Community. Wow. Where do you begin? There are so many communities. So many types of communities. We belong to the community of family (sometimes, we'd rather not). 

We belong to the community of neighbors (sometimes dysfunctional, sometimes a very small community).

We belong to the community of shoppers, coffee-housers, commuters, pet owners, parents, gossips, gripers, whiners, moaners, polly-annas, doom and gloomers, chronic medicine, caregivers, girlfriends, boyfriends, friend-friends. The list can be never ending. There are communities you want to be in, and ones that you didn't even realize you were in, plus those you wish you could opt out of.

Then there are the communities we relish. Those that inspire us, lift us, give us a chance to lift others. There are communities where you wish you could spend every moment because it's safe, warm, encouraging. Some of these are creative communities. I'm very fortunate to be part of a couple of those.

I have the most delightful group of crafters - artists, musicians, writers - that love to share among YouTube and Ustream. They encourage, nurture, even smack you on the head when you need it! This group is what I term, ALIVE, active, interactive. Someone finds a new thing, and we all run to watch and learn!

There are more static but just as profoundly influencing groups. These tend to attract those who are too busy for the above mentioned alive group. These people need not feel slighted - they just don't have the time (or actually have better self-discipline) to spend all day hanging about the internet. They post their projects, and scour projects and ideas in a more private manner. These groups favor Ning and Flickr groups where they can come and go without a schedule.

I have great communities for creativity. The biggest issue I have is needing to open myself up to new things, but not go so fast that I learn, buy and never continue to play with new media or tools. With health issues, the harder community, for me, is the "in-person" type. I often think about my Mom. We moved around a lot, and she seldom had a reliable community. She would have loved to participate in online communities, and would have been a wonderful addition.

I'm not looking for a new community, but I fully expect our community to grown and morph over the next year. I'm excited by what the future may hold! What's that you say? You want to join my community? Follow me on twitter, find me on Flickr or hang out at some Nings. Share where you lurk, and your enthusiasm!

~ky (the Scrapacat)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reverb10 - Make

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I try to make something every day. Most days I succeed, some days I don't. Some days all I manage making is a royal mess. Those are sometimes the most fun days because it means I've tried something new! I love it when my studio functions like a science lab. I'm a science geek, boldly admitted!

Yesterday, I created a blog post about a memorable turning point in my life. I used my heart, my fears, my hopes, and my gratitude to create it. I hope all who read it and know or can relate, recognize that their name and their art could easily be added along with Kerri's. She led me to know so many fantastic people who have affected my creativity in HUGE ways. I want to thank each and every person along the way personally. Clearing some time for it would be a never ending task in itself. So, I'll just have to trust each of you to fill in your name. :-p !

Now - I'm off to create again. Have a great day!

Reverb10 - Let Go

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

Earlier (Reverb10, Day 1, One Word), I spoke about accepting. The funny thing about opening yourself to accept something new - it means you  must be ready to let something else go. Very few things come into your life, that you want or need, that don't require you to clear some space off your plate, table, mind, house, etc.

"It just means you are letting it go so that your hands are not so filled with past hurts that they cannot grasp onto the goodness waiting to be held." ~Melody Ross, Brave Girls Club

In thinking back over this year, I see a lot of letting go. Just read Day 1's post - everything I accepted was because I had first let go. I was tracing my path that led me to meeting a wonderful and unexpected group of people. I was trying to remember exactly how I came to know this group of mixed media and art journalers that quickly fueled my interest in shifting away from stamping to mixed media. It was a fortuitous meeting - I feel far more comfortable with my art in this venue.

Well, it occurred to me that there was a specific event that propelled me into contact with these people. Like most rockets, a catalyst is the mechanism for such propulsion. For this event - it was the death of my beloved Jinge-bear, my rescued bunny.

I posted the sad news on Milliande's Ning site. I was heartbroken but having just moved, had no one to share the burden with (besides Karl). I reached out. I didn't expect much in return, but it felt good to just send my pain out to the Universe. Bunnies aren't considered pet-material by most people, yet are the third most popular group of pets. I didn't realize, at the time, but I was taking steps in preparation of letting go.

{artwork by iKerriLove}

By reaching out, I was opening myself up to a blessing. iKerriLove (screen name) read about Jinge's short life, and was compelled to create this beautiful page. Soon, Kerri and I were chatting online, and eventually she introduced me to her favorite creative people. The rest, as they say, is history. I was smitten not only with the creative outlet (I'm feeling much at home with art journaling), but with the generous people who give of themselves to teach and encourage budding artists.

I had to let go of Jinge to accept the blessing of new friends, healing art, and eventually these two cuties:

What are you holding onto?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb 10 - Wonder - Land and Alice!

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

This post is dual-purposed: Reverb10 and the Oh Alice challenge! 

Today we awaken to fresh snow - half a foot. The neighborhood has transcended into a quiet, magical land. How appropriate that today's prompt is Wonder! 

My art focus helps me see things from that most magical perspective - child-level. I'm not afraid to ask those questions that we, as adults, are frowned upon broaching. I ask myself "What if..." a lot. I purposely stop and pick a random item, then imagine what else it might be, or if components can be put to a different use. I love doing that! 

I've been struggling lately with life - just getting things done, making sure priorities were met, and finally, I'm close to seeing the end of the tunnel! I rewarded myself by exploring a medium I know little about - encaustics. I spent some time on YouTube watching videos. I spent some time looking at materials and considering how I could try this medium without a lot of investment. I set off shopping and came back with some definite maybe products.

I will do a little video soon to tell you about the products I used, and the mess I made. [Insert very silly childlike grin here!] Here is one view of my Encaustic mixed media ATC:

{click to enlarge and see all the wonderful details!}

This ATC features a wonderful image from Some Odd Girl stamps. I just LOVE this image - it's me and Tinker! The background is all melted, colored wax, and I made my own adhesive tape with a text background stamp, Paula, the Journal Artista's glimmer glam paint formula, and medical tape. Fun! I colored Kaylee Cuddle (the image) with my Copic markers. This ATC will be included in an art journaling page describing how I love to enjoy days filled with wonder!

Now - you notice I had "And Alice" in the title? Well, I wasn't able to get my project completed yesterday, in time for the challenge blog to post. So - this is a reminder that YOU can play along with the Oh Alice Twisted Thirteen for a chance at winning your own Some Odd Girl stamps! Hop on over to the Oh Alice challenge blog for all the sweet details! You don't need to do encaustics to play - just use a handmade flower in your project! What are you waiting for? You have until midnight Friday, December 10th!

See you soon!

Welcome to the Bunny Nest! I host rescued animals in a small in-home setting. Currently, I host 3 bunnies and 2 kitties. These animals will be socialized and housed for the entirety of their lives in my home. They inspire my crafts, and I use any proceeds to pay for their needs. Thanks for visiting!