Monday, November 30, 2009

Tea Art

After a lovely Thanksgiving and utterly relaxing Friday at home with my husband and bonus daughter I spent Saturday visiting a blogging friend! Kimberly Shaw is an artist that I have long admired (I've seen her work around in local tea shops and yearned for it for a lot longer than I have known she blogs!) and when she held an open house last year I was unable to go. My mom went and I had a delightful Christmas full of stickers, cards, and even some prints that are hanging among the teacups and plates on the wall in my dining room!

So when I saw her post with her invitation for this year's open house I hastily looked at the date and was overjoyed that I was going to be able to go. As an added bonus, Georgia was bringing her delightful Christmas ornaments and Sherry Evans was going to be there signing copies of her new book, Afternoon Tea in Southern California (which has Kimberly's artwork throughout)!

It turned out to be an absolutely lovely day in spite of (or perhaps because of) the stormy weather. We arrived just before the hail, and so were warm and cozy with cups of tea in hand perusing the Christmas cards in the living room of the home that houses Kimberly Shaw Graphics when the skies opened up. Among displays of all of her cards, stickers, notepads, pins, magnets, and teas (and beautiful paper crafts by Georgia and Sherry's book) we nibbled on homemade scones with homemade lemon curd and pomegranate jelly and sipped tea, chatting it up with all of the other Kimberly Shaw fans who came by to restock their stashes of her beautiful cards.

It was quite the day, and I came home with another print to join the two in my dining room as well as several cards and sticker sheets. I think at least three of the cards are going to end up framed (especially this one). It was wonderful to spend time in such a creative space and to chat with Kimberly about her products and plans. She even showed us some of the original paintings, and my mom and I spotted several of her teacups on the shelves as well.

I loved having the chance to meet Kimberly, Georgia, and Sherry in person and to make those local connections that sometimes get lost in the shuffle. I know that when I first started to covet those Kimberly Shaw cards and notepads I saw I never dreamed that they came from less than an hour away!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It is Wishcasting Wednesday again... already???? Today Jamie is asking us

What Step Do You Wish to Take?

I wish to take the step to finally let the past be past. On December 1st I have one more hurdle before I can put the most recent betrayal by my former employer behind me. I had finally realized that it had been for the best when they fired me, but the hurt of how it was done has been lingering until there was formal closure. Next week marks that closure with a telephone hearing.

On a positive note, I wish to take the step of following my calling to be a healer. I have been given the gift, the skill, the compassion, and the passion and it is time I stepped into the part of my life where I am fulfilling my life's calling and being true to myself.

For all of our American friends, Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, Monday

This started out as a Monday Morning update, but has quickly become a Monday Afternoon Ramble! Not for particularly bad reasons - I've been busy baking (of course), doing laundry, picking up, planning, sorting, cutting, washing dishes (goes with baking), and in general pottering around doing the little things that add up to a satisfying feeling of having gotten something done even if you can't quite put your fingers on what it was that you have frittered your time away doing.

In so many ways I am content to do the little things that keep a house running, what is harder is getting said home to a point where it is just little things that keep it running smoothly instead of limping horribly, sadly along. Just last week I tackled a truly frightening project by organizing our mail center. It takes up the top of a bookcase in the center of our house and was completely covered in a very intimidating pile of papers and other clutter. I sat down and sorted the papers, created a very nice filing system of inbox-style letter trays, removed the extra chargers for phones that we no longer use and even had room to plug in the fountain that we moved to sit in a little alcove created by two bookcases. I still have to go through all of the pens and pencils I found and shoved into a couple of pencil cups (I'm sure that some of them are quite dead), but there is a little upright organizer for stamps, an address book, and a couple of member directories and other things needed for mail, and another one of those little upright organizers for sorting things that need to be taken care of right away.

I'm inordinately proud of myself for this endeavor, since it is one of those things that has been bothering me the longest and seemed the most impossible. The top ledge of the kitchen island (which these two bookcases sit under since it was built with not enough room to pull any stools up to) is my current project. As the clutter is cleared away and the counter cleaned it is filling up with boxes and such of things I need for baking and for Thanksgiving preparations. I had hoped to clear it completely, but I can't seem to find a more convenient spot for the gallon of molasses and 10 lb bag of flour and other large amounts of supplies that I am going through.

Now I'm practicing a bit of avoidance here, but thought I'd keep everyone apprised of my progress!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Friday Ramble

Friday evening, sitting on the couch with my amazing husband beside me and a Lemon Loaf cake in the oven (still baking those along with Gingerbread and a Luxury Almond Cake or two for Ivy Hill in a couple of weeks!), I am content. I should be working on my crocheted Christmas presents that feel as if they are falling behind, or I should be pounding away at my NaNoWriMo novel (I'm waaaaay behind by now), but instead I am sitting here typing away at my blog. I've been busy cleaning the last couple of days, and finally tackled one of the scariest projects in the house that I have been putting off for months. It feels good to have it done, and all of that stuff organized. Even better, it means that I am making room in my life and environment for all of the wonderful new energy to swirl through and bring me the blessings of living into my authentic life and calling. I love the feeling. Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of my Friday evening!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Today's Wishcasting Wednesday question from Jamie is:

What do you wish to embrace?

I wish to embrace life as it is meant to be lived.

I wish to embrace the true self that I have hidden for so long that I have forgotten what she is like. Too many traumas have allowed me to accumulate pounds of excess weight (what man in his right mind would think that I was available for his pleasure if I'm so overweight that I don't even come close to what society thinks is attractive?!), scars both emotional and physical, and a rather large collection of fears both rational and irrational.

I wish to embrace the lovely woman who is hidden inside, just waiting for her chance to shine. She is gentle where I am sometimes too harsh, she is forgiving where I sometimes rush in to judge, she is myself when I am being true and honest about who I really am behind all of the defenses.

I wish to embrace my gifts and talents instead of being afraid of the attention they might attract. They are a part of my true self that I keep hidden away where I don't have to see the possibilities, to know that I am missing out on a great deal of happiness and fulfillment as well as keeping something from this world that only I can contribute.

I wish to embrace joy, the profound happiness that comes when you are being your truest self and doing what you were created to do.

I wish to embrace my life as I am meant to live it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Energy Flows

Our little cottage is a bit of a conundrum. When it was placed here on its little plot of land it was set so that the master bedroom is facing the busy street corner with our rooms for entertaining set in the middle and the office and spare bedroom furthest from the street, where there is peace and quiet. Personally, I would have preferred it to have been flipped 180 degrees - with the carport side along the side street where our garden is currently and the master bedroom in the back. In systems like Feng Shui our current alignment is a detriment, because it means that the private areas of the house are most exposed to the busy energies of the street while the areas that would thrive most on the passing energies are buried in the back. Most difficult of all is that our front door and porch are placed so that they face the foothills that run up to the back of our neighbors, making it so that energetically we are always coming up against large obstacles in our forward movement.

Lately, it seems as if those obstacles have become insurmountable and I was even ready to switch doors in their frames if it would declare to the universe that I am ready for a change. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the doors are different sizes, so that didn't work. I try to remember to call them by their opposite names, but everyone still refers to the door to the carport the back and to the porch the front, so I can't even fool the universe that way.

So now I am simply trying to open up our views a bit. Working on the house to maximize potential and energy, to capture opportunities to expand and rise above those foothills. I do not wish to say that moving to this house was a mistake, for I am learning a great deal from our cottage in the foothills. I am simply ready for the tides of energy to change.

Tonight I will join Suzie Ridler and many others in lighting a candle in the dark to proclaim myself a child of the light. I have not finished a great deal of cleaning, clearing or cleansing. I am walking my own journey through the clutter; energetic, emotional and literal. I will keep vigil tonight by my candle flame as it lights a circle in the darkness and I will remind myself of my potential as a child of light. Perhaps I will even gather my courage to work with the Reiki energy that I have been afraid to work with directly since my attunement went so wrong. Perhaps it will simply be enough to cup my hands around that one simple flame as it burns away the darkness of my night. I will not know for sure. Whatever happens, I will bask in the spiritual community of those who will be lighting their own candles, burning away their own darkness.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Musings

I suppose I feel as if I should be saying "Nothing much to report this week" even if I have been steadily working on the baking and growing that are my main projects at the moment! There has been a rather peaceful ordinariness to my days while my mind has been working furiously in the background to keep me on my toes.

Instead, I am gazing at several lovely shades of green and a few brown yarns sitting on my table whispering my name while a paper plate contains the sparkling beads that make up the bracelets that I am making. Soon, the house will be full of the rich smell of the Gingerbread that I am making for Ivy Hill. I will be heading out the door soon to run my errands while it is still early so that I can return home to my cozy cottage that much more quickly.

With a gentle breeze that has a definite nip to it and large fluffy grey clouds rushing overhead through the blue sky it truly feels like fall. I feel rich in my ability to enjoy a day like this, full of the sounds of birds and a view of the wildlife open space that is just outside my back door. Blessings of Peace and Abundance to all of us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Today's question from Jamie is:

What do you wish to dare?

I wish to dare to take risks, to live life out loud, to be myself in the way that only I can be. I am tired of living small to avoid conflict or to keep from upsetting anyone. Today I dare to fly free and be myself - the healer who can heal others from her own knowledge of being hurt; the dreamer who dreams and believes beautiful, impossible things; the wise woman and goddess I have become and am now, even when I forget or hide from the truth about myself.

I dare to live.

(It seems that some of my wishes are a bit repetitive, but it all works. I guess I'm just wishing for the big things and working on the small steps it takes to get there!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Project Update

As part of the general busyness of this past weekend I went to a baby shower for a family friend. She is doing the nursery for her baby boy in a Dr. Seuss theme, with the colors being red, white, and navy blue. So, since she is a family friend whom I have known since she was born, I made a baby blanket.

Since there is no such thing as baby yarn in true red or navy blue, I decided to go all out and use a really nice, very washable acrylic yarn. This, with my mom's help, ended up being Lion Brand's Homespun in Colonial, Candy Apple, and Deco; which made a very nice, warm, heavy blanket that will be able to transition well into the baby's childhood years. I used the pattern Baby Granny Three Ways, which I found online as a free pattern from Coats and Clark.

I think it turned out quite well! (Yes, I know the picture is sideways, it fit better this way!)

I have lots of other projects in the works, but since they are Christmas presents for people who read this blog I can't show them to you until after Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Busy Bee

There I was: ahead of my goals, breezing through, spending hours at a time glued to my computer. I had ideas flowing, I was really going to town. Then I stopped. Two days ago. Today is day three. I haven't written at all. Instead, I've been baking, helping my parents prepare stock for Ivy Hill to sell at the upcoming Holiday Home Tour. The house has been full of the wafting scents of Lemon Tea Loaf and Gingerbread, while I have been nibbling on a sample of a Dense Chocolate Loaf that we are thinking of including. Hopefully, while I am rotating pans in and out of the oven and flying high on the lovely smells of delicious baked goods, I will be able to steal some time to work on my NaNo novel.

The hardest part of writing this is suspending my inner critic. The point is to get the novel on paper - not to have it fully edited and ready to publish! I have to keep reminding myself that it is okay if it doesn't make the best sense in the world: I have all the time I want after November is over to edit the heck out of my story. Perhaps I will end up with two or three stories by the time I sort myself out and figure out what the heck it is that I have just written!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Is it Wednesday already?! Yikes. Today's Wishcast Wednesday question from Jamie is:

What do you wish to experience?

I wish to experience freedom, peace, deep joy, and healing for my own wounds.

I don't think that sounds like too much to ask! There are dark wounds masquerading as healed over scars that I have been carrying around for too long in my life, and they hold me back from fulfilling my purpose. Fear, even as far as terror, surrounds me when I do experience moments of deep peace and joy. The backlash from trying to work through the pain manages to knock me flat every time, trapped within the darkness. I'm not afraid of scars, they are part of the experiences that make me who I am. I just have not found the right teacher to help me find the tools I need to go deep enough to heal those wounds and cleanse them of the infection that keeps them open and active in my life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday, Monday

Welcome back to the every-day world. Halloween this weekend was great fun with a young person here to celebrate with and giving me an excuse to be out wandering the neighborhood (somebody has to walk all those blocks with her and watch to make sure nobody tries to kidnap her!). She collected a large stash of candy which I am sure I will still be shifting around the freezer come February!

Today it is the usual round of trash and recycle pick up, laundry, and general tidying the cottage from the fun of the weekend. Or it would be, if I weren't so busy trying to wrap my mind around writing a novel. Of course, I am still doing all of my Monday tasks, but my mind is not as focused on them as it has been.

Today I am thinking about voice, names, countries, story lines. Fleshing out a fantasy world that has existed only in my daydreams. This writing it down is more difficult than threading a story through my head for my own consumption. It feels more vulnerable, somehow. More dangerous.

I am starting a whole new adventure.