29 October 2010

Etsy Sale

There is a 50% off sale on all prints in my Etsy shop - and shipping is completely free! (This link has been fixed.)

All photos are vibrantly colored and are beautifully, professionally printed on matte paper, ready to be framed, used in art, or used in an inspiration board. A bit of cardstock could easily be adhered to the back; add a note and a stamp and you have a one-of-a-kind postcard to send to a friend!

This sale will continue until November 29th when I will be temporarily closing my store. Do please stop by and take a look! I also encourage you to browse my Flickr photostream and let me know which images you like, and I will do my best to have these printed for a future sale. You may email me at mypeacetree2 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you, dearests!

26 October 2010

Academics, Balance, and Creativity

As my tests ended and five beautiful, yet-to-be-filled days loomed before me, I was filled with a strong desire to create. I've painted some fabric to create more art dolls and have begun knitting a circular scarf - it feels so wonderful to be using my hands again!


Many days after starting this post, I am once again piled up to my neck in schoolwork. I have a new found appreciation for those who can balance blogging with full time jobs, intense college careers, and parents of small children! If I thought time was flying before, it is no comparison to how it has become a blur before me, as if I were spinning on a merry-go-round.

I miss creating. I miss playing. I miss having time to breathe. I miss blogging and connecting with each of you on a near-daily basis -- and yet I also enjoy being busy and feeling both productive and useful. I reflect on my word of the year, emerge, and am surprised about just how much I've lived into it; I've come out of my comfort zone, both literally and figuratively, and have come a long way in just one year.

It is a lifelong battle, I think, to achieve a good balance of needs and wants; too often our desires to create, relax, or enjoy oneself is put off an hour, a day, a month. The world rushes by us with an ever-present demand of deadlines and many of us struggle with the feeling that we are out of control of our own lives. While the pace of the world is unfortunate, remember that you are in control of your own actions, choices, and priorities.

You can lead your life; the consequences of your choices may be inevitable, yes, but it is up to you to suffer them or not. They do not by default define your actions. You are in control. This mode of thinking opens our minds to the possibility of spontaneity, opportunity, and freedom - which are, indeed, possibilities. As I've written in previous posts, refusing to take risks leads to ordinary, predictable outcomes. The act of taking a risk, however small, reminds us that we are masters of our own journeys. Try it out!

How are you, my lovelies? How is life treating you? Are you celebrating all that you've been blessed with? Are you remembering just how loved you are? Sending you lots of good wishes from my small corner of the world.

10 October 2010

Evening Musings

The weather has been beautiful lately, tempting me endlessly to enjoy the lingering warmth of summer. Sadly, though, I will not be able to go freely into nature until the end of this week - midterms have snuck up already and I have been spending my time studying all sorts of wonderful things and preparing for tests.

I recently came across two new words which I found completely enchanting: meraki and duende. The first is Greek and the second is Spanish; both describe things for which there is no translation in English. Meraki is used to describe "doing something with soul, creativity, or love -- when you 'put something of yourself' into what you're doing, whatever it may be". Duende "captures an entire world of passion, energy, and artistic excellence" and implies a whirlwind of zest in creation. Oh, what lovely ideas! Big thanks to Micaela for sharing.

I have a few posts in mind - including a recent art journal page - and do hope to share them soon! In the meantime, play in your art journal and explore autumn colors, moods, and ideas; let your pen flow across crisp white paper to describe all the beauties of this month; listen to this wonderful piece of music; explore Michelle's art challenges; go for a long walk with a camera in hand; and create warm things for the coming winter. Cuddle in bed and drink steaming tea when you can - my favorite flavor at the moment is black currant!

Recently I've been inspired by dancing golden leaves, blue skies, cello concertos, tights, the thud of acorns falling, Jacqueline du Pré, books, bright scarves, red lipstick, and dripping rain. How about you?

Sending love to all the corners of the world!

04 October 2010

Self-Love in Busy Moments

Repeat after me: I will give myself a moment or two of my own time. I will remember that I (and my mental, physical, and emotional health) am a priority. I will be gentle with myself.

I sit on my bed under
a downy blanket, fighting procrastination. This past week has been a tough one for me. There have been several things which have been testing me mentally and emotionally and which have been completely preoccupying my mind. Deadlines are ever present. I'm exhausted and have not been treating my body well, resulting in further exhaustion.

What does one do in these situations? Do you, like I do, need reminding that it's okay to take a step back, take a deep breath, and go slowly? Sometimes, in all the hurry and bustle and must dos and should dos, I forget to take care of myself. I forget to send myself love, and I forget to be gentle with myself. If you are in a similar situation, dearest, remember that you are a top priority - those To Dos can wait for a moment while you dedicate some time to you.

For a short-term solution, take a quick break in the midst of work - it often allows one to come back refreshed and full of renewed energy. Struggling through a project or task may in fact prevent you from doing your best work or from accomplishing as much as you need to! Try one or more of these little tricks to boost your spirits and your drive:
  • Make a cup of tea and sip it slowly
  • Read a blog post or two
  • Take a short walk outside
  • Have a conversation with your kids, spouse, or friend
  • Doodle or sketch
  • Stretch
  • Meditate for a few minutes, or simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing
  • Tidy the area around you - often a clear space helps create a clear mind
  • Make a list of 15 reasons you are blessed
After a few minutes' break, return to the task at hand and see if you are not more clear-headed and better able to focus. I suggest giving yourself at least five minutes of time each hour in order to re-center. Go on, treat yourself to some self-love!

If you have tried and true tactics to gently push yourself through difficult or tedious days, please share in the comments!

01 October 2010

Blue Skies and Yellow Leaves

Taken 2009.

October announced itself this morning with deliciously autumnal weather - breezy and cool, tempting me with the promise of a beautiful season. I am beginning to accept that summer is over and a new season has begun. This is a lovely month, filled with red-tinted leaves, pumpkins, harvested corn, and chilly nights; bonfires with good friends, thick blankets, and steaming mugs of hot tea are an absolute necessity!

In academic land, mid-terms are, incredibly, already approaching. Time flies so quickly, but when your days are filled from top to bottom with to do lists and looming deadlines the hours rush by in a blur! Tell me, how have you lovelies been in the past four weeks? What have you struggled with? What have you accomplished? What projects have you started or added to your list of "Things to Try Someday"?

I propose that the new word of the month be nurture - this October, have a greater focus on your art, your health, and your passions. Nurture yourself. Take a moment or two to breathe and allow yourself to center, and challenge yourself to grow in even the minutest of ways. (If you need some ideas to jump start creative exploration, check out Daisy Yellow's Creative Experiments for October or iHanna's list of 49 Creative Things You Can Do Today.) What else could you nurture, and what else about you could be nurtured?

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend, my loves.


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