Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Celebration Of Happy

This last week, was a busy one.  I'm finishing up a costume project on a show that has the quick changes from hell to say the least.  I also have to trash costumes, bloody and dirty them up.  That is one thing I don't like to do with costumes.  Not because I feel every costume has to be clean, pressed and pretty, but because distressing costumes take so much time, and if I do too much, then the costume is ruined and doesn't look right.  Now on top of that, Mr. Gus decide to get a head/chest cold.  So, I've been sitting in the bathroom with steam and him for a week.  I can't tell if he's getting better, but it hurts my heart to see him not being a pest and his old bouncing self.  It's something we'll both have to just ride out. Plus a visit to the dentist in all this.  So, those are the "downsides" of my week.  Not too bad.
Up side I started yoga a week or so ago.  To say that I'm loving it would be an understatement.  A couple of days ago, I really felt my body, mind and spirit  line up.  Amazing stuff!  With this awareness, I'm seeing some really wonderful things in my life.   I had two people this week, take a stand for me and who I am.  Both were completely different situations.  Both times really sent me home a message of how valuable I am. How I treasure all the strong, loving and supportive people in my life- if which I have many.  In the two situations, this week, the friends took risks and went out on a limb for me.  It was a level of friendship and support, that I feel, until now, I've never been able to acknowledge.  I would shut down.  Sort of go out of the moment, so as not to feel the depth and beauty.  I'm glad I stayed in the moment to receive the gifts.
Someone asked me about my blog a couple of weeks ago.  They wanted to know what I'm "getting out of all this creative stuff."  So much.  I'm getting so much.  How?  By being open.  I've had to open myself up to the possibilities to create a project each week.  I'm not only creating stuff, but with a positive attitude. I can not be putting (excuse me here with the language- I'm channeling my Grandma) "God Damn it" energy all over everything and expect a loving or positive out come.  This being open for me, has also created a connection to me the rest of my world and the world at large.  I'm seeing and feeling things at a depth that shutting back down is not an option.  "Yeah, but won't you get hurt? I don't want to feel hurt."  Yes.  That's possible.  And yet it is a small price.  I love feeling alive and energized. Creative and healthy.  Connected and contributing.
I've opened the door.  It would be painful and hurtful to back out now. Again, it is an easy step.  Now, I said easy.  I will acknowledge adopting a positive attitude, allowing oneself to be open to all the good, great and sometime bad and really bad a challenge.   I come from living in a place of worry, anger and fear for many years.  I can say now that my shift to the positive and creative and being open feels so so much better than the place I came from.  The first step on the path was easy.  Staying on the path as it unfolds is the challenge.  A worthwhile challenge for me, as I discovered this week the rewards are many and great.

Where are you "shutting down" and not allow life to flow in? It is time to enjoy a Celebration of Happy?
Until next week...create to feel great!
15 projects complete!  37 to go!
Oh, and in all this celebration of life and being open to life...I made Dry Lotion "hand cream" bars.  These are amazing for all the crafting I do.  Not greasy or filled chemicals.  A mix of great rich butters and lavender! Rub on my hands and I'm ready to get back into action! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Creative Courage

Still going on my Christmas Crafting Creativity Buzz, I finally finished my last project of the holiday season.  I know how late is that?  I'm usually more timely with my gifts.  This year it got away with me.  The gift was for one of me "kids".  Who is not a kid any more but a lovely mature young woman in her twenties and working on a cruise ship that sails the Caribbean seas. Miss D. has had the good fortune to graduate from college and get a job working wardrobe on the ship.  "Working wardrobe" in theater is a difficult job.  I don't do it.  When asked to do wardrobe,  I hate to do it.  Now Miss D is the master of wardrobe.  She makes it an art of doing wardrobe.  It's one of her many talents.   I have been able to talk to her off and on during her contract with the cruise line and I've read her blog.  Even though she is doing what she loves and in an exciting environment, she is facing challenges, and she's doing great, by all accounts.  
What I'm learning from Miss D, is the importance of doing what we love for a living, and the courage it takes to work through the challenges.  I feel it takes a certain type of courage.  A creative courage.  What do I mean by this?  Well, it's the courage to use your creativity to meet challenges.  I think most folks can "stiff up lip" things and just get through.  Sometimes that's all the energy we got for the situation, and yet creative courage means to engage the creative process, not to just get through, but make something better out of the situation.  After all, it is your life.  Why would a person want to just get through?  Even under really adverse, crappy and horrible conditions, I feel the way through it is to engage creative courage.  Be courageous enough, find that creative spark to keep the fire of life burning inside.  Sometimes by not engaging our creativity and just getting through something, we forget how to live, we lose a bit of our soul.  It becomes difficult to recover those lost pieces.  I do believe they can be recovered but it takes a lot of work.  I for one really don't like working that hard.
Creative courage is a strength inside everyone that can not be taken away.  Only I can choose to give it away by choosing not to engage it.  Again, for me, it is looking at a challenge; instead of throwing my hands up in the air and taking a "oh, who cares, nothing can be done here." attitude, I ask how can I meet this challenge with my creativity engaged?
So, I created a pirate doll for Miss D.  The women pirates of old, had to be strong.  I don't know if they engaged their creativity in order to live the lives the chose to live.  I like to think they did.  I'm not trying to glorify pirates either, as they the life they chose was anything to glorify.  Certainly not positive.  And I know that living and working on cruise ship isn't anyone's idea of an adverse situation.  Yet I think it takes creative courage to not only create your life your way, but to follow through and keep on living it.
Where does your creative courage show up in your life?  Are you willing to be more creatively courageous in your life?
Until next week...create to feel great!
14 projects complete! 38 to go!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Magical Blessing Of The Day!

I like making connections with things, events, ideas, people, etc.  It happens all the time with this Campaign.  A lot folks know I'm doing this.  A lot of folks send me ideas for projects.  "'Cause I was thinking of you and your blog." I like that.  I have a good friend, who lives in Colorado.  We speak on an almost weekly basis.  We've never met in person and yet the connection and friendship is amazing.  It's like we have been through years and years of stuff.  And yet we have never met.  We will some day and for the time, it doesn't stop us from building a sisterhood and a tight bond.  I have a few friends like that.  Old School Pen Pals have been replaced with telephone, email and text buddies.  The miles that separate- really don't.
My friend and I have been sending each other email links to these massive Internet sites with massive amounts of craft ideas.  I have to confess, I think I started it with the help of Martha Stewart.  This week my friend sent me a Quick Crafting link.  And from there my brain went into over load. (I think I'm still a little amp-ed up from all the holiday crafting I did. It's sort like eating too much sugar or a really great coffee buzz.)   One project struck me...quick fingerless gloves, well mitts!  Crotchet with big yarn.  This project struck me as a "want to make this." I have another friend. who is homeless and camps on the parking lot of the office I work at, he was saying, that same morning I got linked the pattern, that his hands are so wrecked by years of outdoor living.  It hurts to wear regular gloves. He has been looking for big fingerless gloves at the places that give out clothing.  Fingerless gloves are a much wanted item in his community and very hard to get.  I figure these aren't really a glove, but more like a mitt.  I think they might do until the real thing come along.  So, that connection between my friend in Colorado and my friend in the parking lot and this craft site...almost made me giddy with joy as I created.  Now maybe some of you are thinking. "Why doesn't she just go buy a pair of fingerless gloves?"  I could.  I could, and yet I keep thinking to myself. "What fun is that? Where's the joy and love in that?"  Besides the fact that I really hate to shop. Everyone would be advised to know, I love making things and giving them to folks.  With this "connection" I've created in my mind between a friend miles away and a friend locally in need and Internet designer and my stash of yarns and my creativity and my love of making things- running to the local store didn't seem as joyful.  So, I created.  The mitts were easy, yes they took time to make, an evening with stupid TV. I had a joyful time with them.  As I was making them, I also figured out a way to make them into real fingerless gloves.  The yarn I used was a blend of wool/acrylic and nylon. They will hold up to whatever Capt. Mark tosses at them.  The best part was giving Capt. Mark the gloves the following morning, after watching him struggle the previous morning with cold fingers.  They fit, they were comfortable on his fingers and hands.  He danced around for joy, showing them off to his friends as they passed by his campsite.  He thanked me for what he called "the magical blessing of the day."  He has no idea I'm focusing on bringing the magic this year.  I guess he knows now.  I didn't really realize I was bringing the magic to the situation when I was creating the gloves.  I guess I know now, as well.
I'm not posting this to brag.  I'm posting this to show how a very simple act can bring joy all around and touch more than one person.  I would have never thought of doing this or felt frustrated at how to do this, if my long distant friend had not sent me a craft link and I was in the moment enough to make the connection to making the gloves that became "the magical blessing of the day".  That for me is one of the greatest gifts of being in the moment and the creative flow.  Why I feel so blessed everyday. Using my blessings, my talents and gifts in a positive way can only bring about a positive outlook in me. It does. I like taking this outlook into the world.  It feels healthier, more productive.  And I feel closer to the people.  I certainly feel closer to my friends who are connected in this situation. More and more Magical Blessings of the day!
We all have blessings, gift, talents.  It's about being quiet long enough and strong enough in ourselves to bring them out and show them to the world.  Again, it's simple. I'll knowledge it sometimes takes practice here, and yet I like to say. "What else have I got to do with my time?"
The Magical Blessing Of The Day is now.  Right now.  How are you going to bring that into realization in your life? Right now?

Until next week...create to feel great!
13 projects complete. 39 to go!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year! Bring It On!

 "The real enemies of our our life are the "oughts" and the "ifs".  They pull us backward into an unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future." ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

Welcome 2011.  What fantastic things will this year bring to my life?  What can I create with with this year?  How can I bring the magic this year?  Bringing the magic is going to be my focus for this coming year.  I get chills thinking about it.  I smile at all the possibilities. I shudder a bit at the challenge of it all.  I just do not want to spend the year in oughts, shoulds or ifs. I want to create a magical year.  I've said this in the past posts, I feel that magic is easy.  All the movies, TV show and books make it look like it is. These characters usually need to source something inside them to work the magic.   For me it is remembering that there is magic in the moment.  Every moment.  It is all about my attitude and out look on life.  Yes, things get tough and challenging. (I've been dealing with a smoking furnace/almost fire hazard and the after math of it all, this week.)  Yet I feel, when I hold on to the belief that my positive attitude and outlook on the situation can help me steer into smooth waters or set myself on a clean and clear path, then looking around and taking note of the magic there is in the moment...magic gets created. I'm not going to go into depth defining magic.  As I think it is different for everyone. We know it when we see and feel it. I will say that tapping into the magic in the moment is where there is a deep deep source of unending love. Love is powerful magic for sure.  It can transform us.  It can transform the world. Oh, heck it just makes life sweeter.  Magic can be found by coming from a place of love.  A joyful acceptance.  I don't have to like something, but I can chose to "joyful accept" what the situation or person is and not let it tear me apart or ruin my life. "Harsh my mellow" as the old hippies would say.
So, I'm bringing the magic this year.  I'm excited.  I have absolutely no idea what all is going to look like, but that's the fun of it all!

The wand is purple felt with red glitter
saying "Magic Now".  I added
a Hello Kitty Charm and a beaded heart.
To help me remember to bring the magic, made a magic wand for this week's project.
Will you join me in finding magic in the moment this year?  Don't over think it, as the moment is passing. You just might be missing some of the magic around you!
Until next week...create to feel great
12 projects completed. 40 to go.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Post Holiday Slump

Great title for a blog about banishing negativity.  Well, it is a great title, because it is the truth.  My truth for Christmas evening and the day after.  What happened ?  I don't know.  All I know is that it happened.  Late Christmas day I found myself slipping into a deep funk.  A real funky funk.   I had a great holiday.  I created a mountain of joy and what I feel were great things.   Broadside and I had a fun Christmas Eve.  (How many folks can say they saw Santa buying drinks in a dive bar, down the street from their house?  It was a friend of Broadside dressed as Santa. Still.  It was fun and funny.)   Christmas morning was bright and wonderful.  Great and relaxing.  Afternoon brought with it a funk, and it decided to stay until the evening of December 27th.  Why am I going on about this less than positive event?  Because for whatever reason funks happen.  I've discovered it is sometimes best to embrace these occasional funks  Allow them to be and don't give them any more power than they are just funky and the sooner they go away the better.  Embracing this funk allowed me to feel.  Everything.  I felt and thought so deeply about so many things, that  I gained clarity about elements of my life I want to change for the better.  Somewhere on the evening of December 27th I found my old happy positive creative self.   I started to do this week's project and a couple more.  The rest of my week was full of happy meetings with people I treasure in my life, amazing "wow! The world looks so great from here" moments, and creativity.
The departure of the funky didn't just happen.  I had to work at it.  How?
1) I embraced it.  I didn't try to change it.
2) I looked at all the wonderful elements of my life.  Big and small and really really small.
3) I figured some of this funky could have be brought on by eating way too much sugar and other junk.  Stopped doing that at upped my water intake big time to flush it all out.
4) Looked for things to look forward to.  I my case it was confirming my meetings with special folks and creative projects.
5) Taking a nice nap after a long hot bath. (A true classic that works for me.)
The result of all this produced this week's project.   It's a glass etched water pitcher.  Glass etching is easy and takes a little planning. A little focus.  This one has a spray of flowers on it. 
I'm calling it Spring Right Now.
I'm confindent in saying I will be heading into the new year...with no signs of a funk.  If one does show up, I'll embrace it fully.
Given that we all get in funky funks or slumps from time to time, how do you deal with it when it arrives in you life?

Until next week...create to feel great!
11 projects complete 41 to go!

I also want to wish you a Happy New Year!  I hope it is full of joy and light for you.