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30 November 2009

Work and Play


I came home on Saturday after a lovely holiday with my family. The wild hills were beautiful and I could hear the wind blustering from a valley away without the usually-present rumble of traffic. Such closeness with nature is rare, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be there and to listen without distraction!

Now, I'm curious: does it ever happen to you that you are so full of creative ideas that you don't know where to begin? I am in that place right now. I want to paint on canvas, crochet a hat, embroider a pair of jeans, write a letter to my friend in Canada, fold cranes and work on the 5000 question survey for my Mission 101 project, work in my art journal, paint with my new watercolours, bind more books, fill my Etsy shop, take photos, catch up on Daily Art Cards, make Christmas presents, and write the hundreds of blog posts that I've been thinking about.

Of course, then there are all the things I need to do, like laundry and cleaning and packing for my upcoming trip. These are the things I'm not looking forward to doing when there is so much fun to be had and so many things to be made!

25 November 2009

Gratitude & Blessings


Soon we will look ahead to the new year and dream of things to come, giving our attention to the future. Isn't it wonderful that we have this time of gratitude, right now, to slow down; a time to remember the present, and all those things with which we have already been blessed?

For my readers in other parts of the world: even if you do not celebrate the traditional American Thanksgiving holiday, you can certainly join our season of thanks. Tell me, what makes your heart bubble over with gratitude?

Here are a few things for which I endlessly thank the Universe:

* Nature's beauty and the changing of seasons
* Being able to afford to do the things I love - like travelling, painting, and photography
* Opportunity and possibility
* Countless new things to learn
* Big dreams
* Never having known the feeling of hunger
* The support and kindness of strangers
* Old and new friends
* Artists and philosophers and other creative thinkers, who inspire me beyond measure

I wish you a wonderful holiday filled with gratitude and love and, of course, family! Please, please, please travel safely, and come back happy, full, and rested.

24 November 2009

Etsy Goodness

Today I ventured onto Etsy to see what goodies I could find that might serve as Christmas presents for my family. I browsed for a little while, and then - well, suddenly there were seven browser windows open filled with Etsy deliciousness, and every item in those seven windows was something that I would like to get for Christmas. Oops!

I wanted to share with you four things that are the top of my wishlist. Now don't steal them, or your name is going to put on the naughty list!


Aren't they pretty? I especially love the elephant necklace; it's from the same woman who made Tara and Emily's beautiful necklaces that I so covet!

I have been working on a few projects to get ready for my upcoming trip to Germany. Already I have a newly bound blank travel journal and a new crocheted pencil case, but the weather hasn't been co-operating so I must wait to share photos with you. The other project I spoke about a few posts ago is still sitting against my wall waiting to be fixed - I do hope that I will manage to finish it soon!

I hope that you are all well and happy and are soaking up this week of gratitude. What a wonderful thing it is, to realise how much we have been blessed with and to have a holiday which reminds us to show our thanks!

Love to you all!

21 November 2009

Saturday Challenge, #26

Each and every Saturday, I post a new Challenge. Ranging from artistic prompts to self discovery exercises to ideas for living a wholesome, beautiful life, every Challenge seeks to inspire growth, love, creativity, and a more full life!

You can view and participate in past challenges
here, and remember that you can share photos in the (rather neglected) Flickr group. If you have a suggestion for a challenge, please leave a comment or write me an email at mypeacetree2 (at) gmail (dot) com.

The argument of whether or not the Soul exists is one that has lasted almost as long as the human race has. For some, the Soul is spiritual and will be what lasts after our bodies have disappeared from the earth; for some, it is what makes us what we are - a thinking, feeling, doing, moralistic being; for some, it is nothing at all.

I cannot claim to know anything more than anyone else on the subject, for I am merely an ordinary human and the question is so subjective that it is difficult to prove or disprove. Personally, however, I do believe that I am more than just a body, though I admit I can't quite put in terms how I believe it to be so! How we perceive the world, how we react to it; our dreams and our hopes and our paths in life - it seems that these must be governed by a part of ourselves that is higher than that which deals with instinct and basic needs and other earthly things. Do you agree, or no?

This week's challenge is this: If you drew or described a home for your Soul - for the essence of you - what would it look like? Would it be airy and light? Warm and soft? Big and open? Full of colour or nature or music or stillness? Remember that the word 'home' can be interpreted in many, many different ways!

As I was writing this post, I realised that perhaps I have stumbled across something so big that it needs to be properly thought about and returned to in a later post. Forgive me if my writing is a bit jumbled and confused; I was writing as I was thinking!

19 November 2009

Odds and Ends

Taken on a rainy day in October.

Today is a drizzly, soft, cozy sort of day; the kind that makes one want to curl up under a blanket and drink steaming tea from a favourite mug. Though it is still Autumn, I can feel something in the air that hints of the Winter soon to come.

The next month or two will be full of excitement and adventure. First, at the end of next week, I am going to be joining my family for Thanksgiving in the beautiful wild hills of West Virginia. My uncle owns a cabin there, nestled in a magical place surrounded by nature. I have been there once before during the summer - what a sanctuary it is!

Then, in two weeks' time, I will be flying across the ocean to visit my dear boyfriend. I can't wait! And, of course, soon after I return, Christmas will be here in all its glory. It's incredible how swiftly the time flies by - have you started thinking of what you hope the New Year will hold for you?

(Oh, dear, I suppose that means I have quite a bit of work to do to catch up on my Daily Art Cards. I've been slacking again. Shame on me!)

I have been working on another project and am looking forward to sharing the finished piece with you. It was close to being done in the wee hours of this morning, but perfectionism has its price - I didn't like how it turned out and I feel compelled to start again.

And that, my lovelies, is all for today! I wish you a wonderful Friday filled with all the best kinds of things. If you have the time, head over to the BlissChick and wish her a very happy birthday tomorrow!

With love,

17 November 2009

On Seeing Ugliness


As much as I hate the fact, not all things in life are beautiful. There is war. There is hate. There are parts of ourselves which we'd rather we didn't call our own. There are unkindnesses and sorrows and suffering.

Though I truly believe that focusing on the positive draws positive things into our lives; that there are uncountable beautiful souls and deeds and thoughts in the world; that there are infinite things of awesomeness on our Mother Earth, I also believe that we need to see the bad and the ugly in order to appreciate the good and the beautiful.

I have been working on an art journal page - this time not focusing on the elements that pull it together or the colours that make me happy. Instead, I am making it uncomfortable and discordant and ugly.

When it is finished I am going to look at it and decide what about it I don't like about it and what repels me from it, be it the colours, the shapes, the composition, the writing, or something else entirely. Then, I will realise the things that do draw me to a journal spread or a piece of art.

Opposites are important; without one, we wouldn't understand the other. Without hate there wouldn't be love, and without war there wouldn't be peace. And without ugliness, there wouldn't be beauty - beauty beyond measure.

16 November 2009

Golden Afternoon

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)


I went for a walk in the golden light of the afternoon. The autumn air held a slight chill, bringing roses to my cheeks. The sunlight was rich, golden, thick, and it fell on the last leaves clinging to the trees and caused them to light up from within.


I discovered dried, brown skeletons of plants that thrived in the summer, now stiff and fragile, holding a beauty all their own. It's an enchanting, marvelous, magical world we live in, isn't it?

14 November 2009

Saturday Challenge #25

Each and every Saturday, I post a new Challenge. Ranging from artistic prompts to self discovery exercises to ideas for living a wholesome, beautiful life, every Challenge seeks to inspire growth, love, creativity, and a more full life!

You can view and participate in past challenges
here; remember that you can share photos in the (rather neglected) Flickr group. If you have a suggestion for a challenge, please leave a comment or write me an email at mypeacetree2 (at) gmail (dot) com.


The kindness that I have seen during my six months in the blogging world has astounded me. Strangers sharing encouragement, praise, and support with each other, be it swapping crafting tips or advice about life - how indescribably amazing it is to see such love! I, myself, have received countless sweet words that make my heart overflow and that inspire me to pass the gesture forward. (Again, I thank you every one of you!)

This Saturday, I challenge you to comment on at least five blogs you have never been to before. (Maybe you'd like to start here?) Follow your mouse and click, click, click away! Find a post that speaks to you, a photo that touches your heart, or art that inspires you to pick up a paintbrush, and tell the author how much it meant to you. Pass the love on!

I wish you a weekend filled with slow, happy days and dazzling autumn weather!
Much love,

Ingrid


PS:
  • I now have a Facebook page! Come be my friend here.
  • You can view and download my completely free, newly made, hand drawn buttons for your blog here.

13 November 2009

Technical Question

Would you mind telling me if this font (currently courier) is too difficult to read, and whether you prefer the original (georgia)? Thank you, dearies!

12 November 2009

Wandering in Blogland

When I first entered the blogging world as an observer and a reader, I was astounded at the creativity, the colour, the inspiration that was present in so many blogs. I began to bookmark my favourites, coming back again and again and again and soaking up the beauty of each one. This list still grows, and has become quite long now.

A few days ago, I happened upon a blog called + handmade love +. Perhaps you've already visited it? It is authored by an art student named Dawn, who writes about her artistic life and her daily life and fills her blog with with beautiful, rich photos. I am very excited about this discovery and have already returned several times, excited to soak up the inspiration!


This photo below belongs to the blog elkemay. I simply adore the gentle way of words and the soft, beautiful images and collage that the authoress has. I find calm, quiet, and serenity when I enter her blogspace; it's almost meditative.


Lastly, I want to introduce you to a blog that I have been following for some months now. The Drifter and the Gypsy, authored by Micaela, shares dreamy photographs from photographers all over the web and occasional inspirational words. It radiates magic and encourages daydreaming.


Tell me, friend, what are your favourite blogs to read? Which spaces are the ones you come back to again and again, the ones that inspire you, motivate you, captivate you, teach you?


PS. I visit the blog of every person who comments here ~ I love venturing into others' worlds! If you please, would you invite me to your corner of the internet and show me what you have to share with or say to the world? ♥

10 November 2009

The 'i' Journal


[Update] This has been sold to the lovely Brandi! (Thank you!) No worries, though ~ I'm busy making some more.

Today I finished a little journal made out of index cards. Would you like to buy it? I am going to put it on Etsy at the end of the week for $4, but for my friends here I'll offer it to you for $2! It is about 3 1/8 x 2 1/2 in. (8 x 6 cm.) and has 34 alternating lined/blank sturdy pages which were bound using a book-binding stitch. The cover is made of a dark magazine page and has a big "i" attached to the front.

It could be used for itsy bitsy collage, writing, drawing or doodling, list-making, sticker or stamp collection... Please leave a comment or write to me at mypeacetree2 (at) gmail (dot) com if you'd like to purchase it. I think I am going to make some more - they are fun to make and are pretty cute, I think!

09 November 2009

The Joy of Being



What shall we celebrate today?
Will it be the the blue or the rainy skies, the breath in our bodies, the nudge of possibility that this day holds? Or shall we instead celebrate dreams, love, laughter, and hugs..?

I'd like to remind you, dear one, that you are radiant and beautiful and full of so many good things! The Universe loves you! Take my hand and we'll dance down the road together, celebrating everything that is and everything that could be. We'll discuss life and all the wonderful things in it; we'll jump in puddles and we'll chase each other over hills, giggling furiously.

Today is a good day, friend.

08 November 2009

Everything That I Am

At the beginning of last week, on November the second, this little blog of mine turned six months old. Hurrah, hurrah! I am still learning about what inspires me to write, I am developing my photographic habits, and I am finding my style by trial and error - but this corner, right here, of the vast, astounding, and dazzling internet is all mine, no matter what, and I love it dearly for everything that it is!

Thank you, friends, for being here for the ride! Already I have found lovely souls out there in Blogland who inspire me to no end and whose acquaintance I treasure greatly. Hugs to you out there. What is so delightful about this journey is knowing that there are so many more friends to meet, paintings to paint and crafts to make, things to learn and ideas to write about! I can't wait to discover them.

I have been feeling for some time that I need to properly introduce myself. I have, however, been putting it off. I have so many worries - will you like the 'real' me? Will it shatter the magic that I feel here? Will I be reduced to an ordinary being who does ordinary things and struggles with life, just like everyone else? Can I still hold onto what I believe of this place: that anything is possible and that all dreams are within reach?

My desk, pleading for some tidying.

I have finally decided, though, to remove my mask, just for one post, and show myself for everything that I am. A brief reality check - then back to dreaming! I need to know where I am starting so that I know which path to take next, right?

And so, my Loves. Here I go.. My name is Ingrid - really, it's my middle name, but I like it ever-so-much better than my first. I am twenty one years old. After a year of college, then a year of wandering through Europe, I am once again living at home in a teensy-tiny town on the eastern coast of the United States. This situation frustrates me beyond words, and I desperately long for the freedom of my own space.

I am so very passionate about colour, about art, about expression and love and travelling and people and exploration. I adore animals and I treasure nature's beauty. My favourite season is Spring - it is the season of hope. I love skipping, laughing, twirling, creating, and singing; friends and the ocean and birds and elephants and culture and small, quiet moments of love between strangers (a wink, a smile, a kindess).

I am extremely messy. My desk is in the picture above - covered with Things and Papers! Ideas come and go quickly though my mind, and my desire to start new projects heavily outweighs my desire to finish them.

I have been dealing with depression for many, many years and am very proud of myself for being where I am today in that journey. (My, what a scary thing it is, announcing that to the world!) My boyfriend of nearly two years lives in Germany - a difficult situation, to be sure, but I love him dearly and, somehow, we make it work.

I long to travel the world and meet the people in it, taking part in the beauty that is humanity and the love that resides there. I am not interested in making a fortune in my lifetime, but rather gathering a vast wealth of experience that, in the end, brings happy tears to my eyes and fills an overflowing heart.

Is that enough, friends? Have you made it this far? I suppose I will end here, and my heart will tell me over the next few days if there is anything else that I would like share with you on this subject. Thank you for reading; this has been exactly what I needed. One's heart never lies! And until I know about Part Two, I will wear the cape of a princess, a goddess, an artist, or whatever else I choose to be!

Love to you all,

07 November 2009

A Last Christmas Wish

One of my favourite quotes is "Practise random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty". The act of reaching out to others and making a difference, however small, in a stranger's life is absolutely indescribable and fills me with warm fuzzies every time! You can read this post if you'd like to know more about what I think of strangers' kindnesses and of returning the favour - always passing it forward.

While looking through swaps on www.swap-bot.com tonight, I stumbled across someone who is sharing this message: "I have a friend called Noah. He's 5 and he is in the final stage of cancer. He will die before Christmas so his family is celebrating at Thanksgiving. He wants cards for his gift."

This really touched me. I think it's so terribly sad that any child face something so scary and so big. (Please note that this is not a forward or chain mail letter - I never pass those on. This is a real boy with a real wish.) I want to help and do what little I can; and I thought that perhaps I could reach out to my readers and ask for your help, too. Let's give a little boy his last Christmas wish, shall we? The address given is:


Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI 48178

I'm not sure of the "someone's" name who is organising this, but her blog is here. Please visit and let her know if you do send a card! (And, of course, please let me know, too!) I encourage you to tell this to anyone who you think may be interested. Thank you for your kindness!

[EDIT 9 November] Here are a few more links for you ~ a news video, a report on Snopes, and the Facebook event page.

Saturday Challenge, #24

Answer me this: how often do we get stuck in the same routine, doing the same thing day after day with little excitement? I know I end up down this path far more often than I'd like.

The remedy? Shake things up. Change - even just the tiniest bit of it - can add interest to our daily lives, help us to pay more attention to what is happening around us, and helps to exercise our spontaneity and our sense of adventure.


Today, I challenge you to try something new. Try a new food. Paint with your least favourite colour. Wear a different style of clothes. Take a new route to work. Be daring and silly and (most importantly) enjoy the ride, wherever it may happen to take you!

06 November 2009

Bits and Pieces

With the exception of a lingering cough, I am on my feet again!
I have two tidbits to share with you today:

  • The new word of the month is "gratitude". I believe it's important not only to dream of what is to come in our futures, but also to realise what we have already been blessed with - be it health, art supplies, a great car, or lovely friends. I certainly need a reminder every once in a while to stop and appreciate what I already have. What are you grateful for today?
  • I am currently involved in a swap over here, and am excited to share photos with you after my partner has received the package. No point in spoiling a good surprise!

I wish you a lovely Friday, friends!

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