Monday, June 28, 2010

Coincidence? I Don't Think So.

Have you ever heard of Joyce Meyer? Joyce is one of the world's leading Bible teachers. She has a multitude of books, tapes, and videos that teach people to have better lives through their faith. She has a TV program and also travels around the world conducting lecture series.
Joyce Meyer
I first happened upon Joyce years ago on one of her TV programs. It spoke to me at the time, and I've enjoyed listening to her periodically though the years. Sometimes it seems as if she's picked her topic of the day just for me.
After last night, I happened to turn the channel to Joyce this morning at 6:35. She started talking to me. She reminded me that we are constantly trying to be the people that society is telling us that we should be. Happy, in control, the proper weight, making enough money, organized, on top of everything. You know - unattainably perfect. She reminded me that we are always working to attain those goals, that we only leave time for the things that are really important in the little moments in between. She also reminded me that when I'm on my death bed, I won't be asking for my final bank balance or asking if my house is clean enough - but I'll be asking for the people I love and for peace. Why not ask for more of that now and take the time to enjoy it? Why place the value of a day on how many "to-do" tasks you accomplished - rather than the love and enjoyment that came from the day?
I needed to hear that this morning. Not that I shouldn't keep working on my "to-do" list (because heaven knows, I do need to), but work hard to remember to not base my value of time on it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bravery Welcome

For some reason, I'm feeling a little down this evening.

Maybe I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Maybe I'm feeling a little lonely. Maybe I'm feeling a little insecure. Maybe I'm feeling a little sad. Maybe I'm feeling a little nervous. Maybe I'm feeling a little worthless. Maybe I'm feeling a little wasted. (No, not THAT kind of wasted!)  :-)

Maybe it was good that I checked into my ecourse, "Flying Lessons", and got this message:

Kelly Rae Roberts

I wasn't feeling very brave to push forward. I'm feeling just a little bit more brave now.

Friday, June 25, 2010

100 Hearts Old!

I just logged into my craft cult account this morning. Craft cult is a website that Etsy sellers can use to quickly view some stats about their Etsy page.

Among other things, it can tell you how many visits you've had to your page, how many visits and "hearts" each posted item has, and the number of "hearts" your shop has. (Hearts are received by visitors "hearting" an item or a shop if they like it.)

My shop, The Lavendar Tree, just received it's 100th heart!  Woo Hoo!  How exciting!

PS. I also just celebrated my one-year-Etsy-anniversary on June 4. Can't believe I've been selling my wool online for a year already!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Treasured!

One of my wool items has just been chosen by a fellow Etsian to be included in a Treasury she has created. Barn Owl Primitives picked one of my wool bag charms to include in her Treasury entitled "Enchanted".

A Treasury on Etsy is a way for Etsy members to create and share a collections of some favorite items with others. I've been chosen for a few in the past but have never created a Treasury myself. I think I should do that one of these days. There is no doubt that there is more than enough incredible items on Etsy to choose from!

Thanks Barn Owl Primitives! :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Learning New Things

I'm in the middle of taking an ecourse called Flying Lessons.  It's a course that Kelly Rae Roberts has created from her personal experience of building a business from her creativity.

If you've never heard of Kelly Rae, she's a great artist who works with paint and decoupage to create wonderful works of art. Earlier this year she launched a new line of products with her designs on them including calendars, necklaces, prints, etc. She's a terrific inspiration.

Kelly Rae Roberts

We are now in Week 4 of the ecourse and it's chuck-full of great information. But sometimes, for as excited as I am to learn more about taking my fiber art to the next step, I can so easily get overwhelemed. Just when I feel a little confident about where I am, my excitement (ahhh...anxiety!) can build and I then I realize how much I still have to learn (and all the work yet to be done!).

Fear not, I say to myself, as I'm trying very hard to soak the information in gradually - so as not to overwhelm myself too much.

I guess I'm the kind of person that needs a little gradual soaking along with a complete plunge now and then to make things happen. But right now I'm determined to stay focused on my new Flying Lessons! Come me fly!

I Was Happy!

My son and his girlfriend visited me for part of this last weekend. I got to cook for them and their friends, spend time chatting, took them and a girlfriend out for lunch, and sent home some little "care bags" for them after their return home.

Then, I spent the rest of the weekend traveling and visiting my sister, her husband and friends. We camped overnight in a Minnesota State Park - laughing and talking around a cozy campfire until 2 am.

The best part was that there were many times - during all those wonderful moments - that I intentionally thought to myself ... I am happy! ... RIGHT NOW. It was fantastic and I quietly smiled to myself.  I know I will always have these memories to fondly look back on and enjoy - but I also took the time to notice them at the time they were happening. I don't always do that - but it felt good.

Even through all the good memories, I'll even remember a few of the crappy moments - like when I made the three hour trip by myself, with a migraine, and threw up in a plastic bag while driving. But my migraine passed, and I guarantee that the fun and the laughter will be the things that remain most in my memory.  :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Are We Happy?

As I was walking into work this morning, I was thinking ahead toward the weekend. Thinking that I was anxious for it to come for a variety of reasons. I'm making it a long weekend by taking Friday off, my son and his girlfriend are coming to visit and I'm also going to be seeing my sister and her family.

And then I thought - we always seem to be looking forward to things. Waiting for new events, days, people to make us happy.

Are we ever really happy right now? I mean RIGHT NOW.

Gosh. I'm not sure if I am. But I'm sure I want to be.

I'm able to look at past "happy times" and remember fondly how great it was - and I was happy. I'm able to look ahead to anticipated "happy times" and wait anxiously for them to approach - and know I'll be happy. But I don't seem to remember being in an incredibly, mind-blowing, intensely happy moment and think "Wow. I'm happy."

Isn't that odd? I want to figure out what I can do to have those incredible, mind-blowing, intensely happy moments and really enjoy them as such.

I know it's a variety of things that can make us happy. Truly happy. On a daily basis. I want to see what I can do to figure it out for me. I'll let you know if I come up with anything good. But I think it's got a tight-knit connection to a little ...  :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking a Drive

What ever happened to just getting in the car and taking a drive?

I remember when I was young, it was a special thing if we "went for a drive". My mom, dad, sister and I would climb into the car. Often on a Sunday. Often after church. Sometimes we'd have an idea where we were headed. Sometimes not.

Last Sunday I decided to take a drive. Ok. I'll be honest and tell you that I did have a destination in mind. But I don't have to tell you where - do I?  More on that later...

So, I grabbed my purse, my camera, a Diet Pepsi and my Charlotte (my black-lab-daughter) - and we were off.

I realized (once again) that I take my beautiful surroundings for granted all too often. The incredible green fields, trees of all kinds and rolling hills were so bold and inspiring that day.

I did something that I'm sure I shouldn't have done. I snapped photos while driving. Yes, while driving. (Please don't tell Oprah. I'm sure it's worse than texting while driving.) But I was very careful to not do it while any other cars were around. And I tried to be very careful.  :-)

NOTE: However, taking photos in this manner does lead to viewing many blurry photos on your camera later.  Thank goodness for digital and the power of "erase".

When driving, I love to look at buildings and their surroundings. Homes, barns, shops, anything. It's so interesting to see all the different dwellings that folks inhabit. It  really is good that we all have different likes and dislikes because the earth is scattered with quite the variety of places people and/or animals call home.  On Sunday, I had my sights on older buildings - and I came across some fun ones.

Oh ya, fine. I'll tell you. I went to the casino. I got a wild hair and decided to try lady-luck. Guess I should have just kept driving...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where's the Heat?

It's a very chilly, damp day in Wisconsin today.

I'm thinking back to a month ago when sweating in Florida...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Garden Party Time

My oh my, I've been busy and haven't had a chance to do a blog post for quite some time.

One thing I have been busy with is my annual garden party.

Every year I host a garden party for friends and family. It's always held on a Saturday morning in the early summer with food, friends and fun. This year I enjoyed hosting a black and white themed party.

Anyone who wants to, brings annuals or perenials (often dug from their own gardens) and we anxiously exchange plants. The "anxious" part comes when someone brings a really fun plant and we hope anxiously that no one else picks it before it's our turn!

Prior to the party, I have a lot of fun preparing gifts and prizes for those attending. This year everyone who came received a felted recycled wool pin.

I hold a special drawing for prizes as well. Everyone writes their name on a slip and we draw names. Over the years, my friend's young granddaughter, Emily, has become my very-efficient-prize-drawing-assistant. Happily, she's been fortunate enough to draw her own name every year. She thinks that's pretty special and it is her most favorite part of the party!  :-)

As they say, "a good time was had by all" and the rain held out until the afternoon when it poured! Whew!

Felted recycled wool pins

Magnets made with reclaimed fabric and buttons (prize drawing gifts)

Bistro table and chairs with tablecloth made from Ikea polka-dot fabric
and recycled curtains as the frolicing ruffle - Pink felted recycled wool pillow was also a prize drawing gift

Thrift store glasses embelished with black and white rub-on's

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cleaning Out the Fridge

Last weekend I decided it was time to clean out my refrigerator. 

You know how it goes - items get pushed to the back - things that haven't been used in quite awhile. Then a quick trip to the grocery store and new!/fresher!/better! things get put in front and those "back items" get pushed back further and forgotten.

In my attempt to do a "good job" cleaning out - I may have gone a little too far. I think my fridge looked like it had sat in an empty non-rented apartment for a month.

Thank goodness I was able to make a trip to the grocery store a couple days ago and bring my cold-box back to normal...until I decide to clean "good" again!