Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Wanted To Do Something

I've started this post 15 times.  I don't know what to say about this week's project, as I created it in response to wanting to do something to help a friend's mother who they found out this week, that she has final stage Cancer.   I've had the pleasure of knowing this woman over the years, we've never met in person, but we have spoken over the telephone for the past 13 years. They are working to keep her comfortable.  Hearing the news of her illness, I wanted to do something.  My creative juices got flowing...and I came up with bed slippers.   Toasty warm and colorful.  It is at times like these, I'm so happy I know how to create so many different things.  My creativity has gotten me through so many emotional times in my life and has created so much joy.  Not to mention all the cool things that are the product of all that creating.
I don't know what else to say here.  Perhaps it's a time to be a silent and reflective.

Until next week...create to feel great. 
50 projects complete 2 to go!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A World Shakin' K.I.S.S.(Keeping It Simple, Silly)

"We have long forgotten that activities can be simple and precise.  Every act of our lives can contain simplicity and precision and thus can have tremendous beauty and dignity." ~ Chogyam Trungpa

Every week, I go through a process of attempting to discover what would be a great, not just good, but a great project of the week for me to complete and then blog about.  I always feel like the project has to be great and world shaking.  My insights have to be life changing and deeply profound.  When I first started this challenge, almost a year ago, I was really attached to this idea.  I very quickly got off it, and now I only entertain this idea for about a half second each week and move on.  Honestly, it's not how it all works for me, and really seems a little arrogant of me to fashion a reader's response.  I'm pleased when reader's enjoy what I'm doing, if it changes some thinking or gives a person another way of looking at something...super!  I can set out seeking to create world shaking greatness, for me, because only I can gauge what is world shaking greatness and how it fits in my life.  I've also come to see that world shaking greatness occurs in pieces built on each other.  Days, weeks, months and years of simple steps built on each other.  We step back and realize that something pretty fabulous has been built, and maybe we shook the world or at very least our own world a bit or a lot.
So, this week is a simple focus, and another little cat story (oh, no!).   Mr. Gus loves to sleep on very corner edge of our bed.  He does this so he can see Mickeygirl coming up the stairs before she jumps into bed. I think he attempts to collect a toll from her for entry.  His spot on our bed is covered with mountains of cat fur everyday.  I have a super great lint brush, but it's time consuming and doesn't get all the hair that gets spread around the bed.
Back track to last week, I went on a cruise ship to Alaska.  (Yes! It was great)  In our room, instead of a bedspread, the Room Stewards, would drape this sort of table runner size bedspread on the end of our bed, each morning and remove it each night.  This idea inspired me.  How about making one of these for our bed at home?  I have to still lint brush it, but I can wash it when it gets really bad, and hair isn't all over the quilt.  Plus it's a nice addition to the bed.  Another great thing, is I got this fabric at the Goodwill, in it's former life it was a bed skirt. It was half price at $1.99, it's washable polyester, but doesn't look or feel like it. The only issue now, is Gus has made himself a cave behind the sofa in the TV room and is hanging out there, but I think that is only temporary, he'll be back.
Simple, yes.  Focused on solving a problem, yes.  I feel I created something beautiful.  I'm discovering the joy in simple.  Keeping in mind that building simple acts on simple acts each day, moves towards doing some world shakin'.
Are you making things too complicated?  Is it time to look at keeping things simple?
49 projects complete!  3 (Wow! Really?!!-3) to go!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Onward To The "Finish" Line!

This blog post will signal only four weeks left in my year long challenge to do a project a week for a year.  Wow!  I have to confess, I get way more excited about finishing a project than I do starting one.  I'm a Completion Junkie.  I think it's because of the thrill of seeing where I've come from (the starting gate) and seeing the finish in my sites.  It's a rush for me.  Some folks are the other way around.  They love to start projects.  That's their excitement. 
I've often wondered if these folks get stuck in the same places I tend to get stuck with a project?  I mean, I think we all get stuck.  Bored. Or the project isn't meeting our expectations or vision and we don't know how to fix it.
Yuck.  It wasn't what I wanted to do anyway.  No one really cares what I do or how I do it.  Yuck .Yuck. Yuck.   Being a "Completion Junkie", I think, helps me get through to the end.  I know that rush of a job done (well done or otherwise) is going to be there.
Being within 4 weeks of completing this challenge, is a challenge in itself.  I keep thinking about what will be my last project? I've been reflecting back on everything I've done, written and learned.  The people I've met.
Yet, the finish line might be in my sites, but it's not over yet.  I have four more weeks. Four more projects, and I certainly hope much more than four more lessons or insights.  If now is really all we have, then this is the time for me to live in the now, more than ever.  Treasure what is coming.  Be in the moment to catch the inspiration, the light, the lessons, and the insights. Heading towards the finish line, but not racing.  It could make for a fun four weeks.  I hope you will play along with me.  Be in the now with me.  Let's see what we can create.
Oh, my, I got all in the now and spaced out this week's project.  A knitted cap.  Using yarn I discovered at Happy Knits.  Yes, it's a winter cap, but I'm using it now.  Stay tuned for more on that next week.
How will you stay in the now?  What will you create for yourself in the now?

Until next week...create to feel great!
48 projects complete...4 to go! Wow!  4 to go!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

Ah, sleep!  I don't know a single person who doesn't like to sleep.  I think even those folks who say they don't need sleep or very little, still enjoy it when they hit the pillow.
Last year, we purchased a new bed.  We spent more money than we really felt comfortable with at the time, but over this last year of some amazing sleep, it was worth every penny.
I'm one of those folks who loves to sleep.  I'll take it in any form, but my favorite is a good nap.  I've been allowing myself to get over the guilt of a nap in the afternoon.  It's a pleasure I love and look forward to almost everyday.  Some cultures, other than our own, know the value of a good afternoon nap.  I'm with them.  You might be asking. "If you have this great bed and you are sleep well at night. Why do you need a nap in the afternoon?"  Simple.  To re-charge my energies.  My outlook on life and my creativity.  20-30 minutes is all I need (I'll come clean, sometimes it's an hour or a bit more).  I wake up feeling super, ready to finish or start projects, my outlook is fresh.  I also feel that it is civilzied way of living life and honouring myself.  People who know me, know I do a lot.  I love to do a lot.  A wonderful afternoon nap allows me to take good healthy care of myself.  I don't see anything to be guilty about here.
It also extends that old phrase, "Let me sleep on it."  If I have something to solve, mid-day, I'll attempt to take a nap.  Some days, it's not possible, so it will have to keep until I go to bed at night.
This is another good thing I do for challenges or looking for creative inspiration, I'll go to bed at night and ask for the answer to come to me in the morning.  Then, I allow it to work, while I sleep.  First thing in the morning, I usually know what to do or an idea will come to me that I never expected.  It is amazing.  I recommend that if you never tried this or it's been awhile since you have tried it...try it.
Sleep is the great healer. It's a way to vacation without leaving home, and everyday, if you like.  It allows us to really works on all levels of our mind, without it being work, and for course there is that restorative aspect to sleep, good sleep helps ward off illnesses, depression and the crankies.
With all this talk of sleep, I made myself a sleep mask for this week's project. (Black velvet with polka dots...oh, yes). I'm been using it for my quick naps, and it assists me get to a deep sleep quicker.  It's simple to make.  For a pattern, I googled "how to make a sleep mask?" I got lots of web sites with how tos.
I'm suggesting that you get some good deep sleep and see how it effects your outlook on life, and your creativity.  At very least, give yourself permission to take a small nap. I wish you pleasant and inspiring dreams.
Until next week...create to feel great!
45 projects complete. 5 to go!