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30 May 2010

Forget Me Not

Forget-me-nots, taken a few weeks ago.

Hello, my sweet, sweet friends.

A brief little post for you today. Firstly, I'd like to apologize for not posting as regularly as I used to; I have been struggling to find a reliable internet source and am finding it frustratingly difficult to be as present here as I once was. This saddens me. I am doing my best, though I will try my damnedest to find a better solution soon.

The weather here has simply burst into beauty recently - the skies are blue, blue, blue and the sun warm and smiling. It is a joy to be outside. Tomorrow I will go with two new friends to the ocean and dip my toes into its cool, salty waters; the first beach trip of the year! The ocean has always been to me a reminder of peace, calm, and patience, and I very much look forward to soaking up some of those qualities (and lots of sun, too). I will bring my camera and hope to take many pictures of the waves and the sand to share with you later this week.

I wish you an absolutely lovely holiday, for those in the US; create, relax, breathe, and remember that you are loved unconditionally, unequivocally, forever. Really, truly!

26 May 2010

Things I've Learned: Part 2

This post is the second of a two-part series. You can find the first part, on life lessons I've learned, here.

What I have learned about blogging over the past year:
  1. People are kind. Incredibly, astoundingly, amazingly kind. Be kind back.
  2. Write for yourself, and don't expect comments or a huge readership immediately. Write what you want to write and enjoy the process.
  3. Unless you are very good at marketing, don't be disappointed if your handmade goods don't sell quickly on Etsy.
  4. Personally, writing in a "big picture" frame of mind is much more satisfying than writing about daily life - though the latter is much easier to put into words.
  5. Pictures make a big difference, and grammar is important. (Ha - note that there's no picture in this post!)
  6. Comment and be commented on!
  7. Post regularly, be it once a day or once a week - and be sure to let your readers know when you will be gone for a while.
  8. Comment on what you like and don't comment on what you don't. And if you must comment on something you don't agree with, do it with respect.
  9. Don't copy words, photos or ideas without getting permission and giving credit!
  10. Keep your promises.
  11. Keep your blog your own. You can take others' opinions and suggestions of your writing into consideration, but ultimately the decision is yours. Stay true to yourself.
What are your thoughts? Do you have something to add or is there something you don't agree with? Please, share!

23 May 2010

Marietta Day

Every year in May, my small hometown closes its main street and invites vendors to come and sell jewelry, food, junk, antiques, pottery, and art. It's so much fun! The town comes to life; the usually quiet streets are filled with a surprising number of people, dogs, and children, and there are so many interesting things to look at. Prices are incredibly low, and, by the end of the day, left over items are often given away for free.

I welcomed the opportunity to take some photos - my poor camera has been neglected as of late! Let's take a walk together through my sweet town.












Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

19 May 2010

Freedom of Expression


Let me ask you a question: do you dress the way you want to dress? I read something a little while ago that I haven't yet stopped thinking about and would like to share with you.

I read Teach Yourself Happiness by Paul Jenner a few weeks ago. I highly recommend it; the author shares incredibly practical tips on how to choose joy and expand your satisfaction in life - and, as the title suggests, to achieve happiness. For some reason, the following part of the book really struck a chord with me - and I'm paraphrasing - "Express yourself in everything that you do - in your hobbies, music choices, friends, your actions, and the clothes you wear. Only when we can be free to express who we are can we be happy."

It sounds simple enough. Yet when I looked at my own life, I found that I don't really know how to express myself; I dress conservatively, though unintentionally so, and often refrain from speaking my mind to avoid conflict (though I am getting much better at this). In art, I think, I feel the most free to be myself. I know that my mama often sees jewelry or clothing she likes but says that she can't wear it because she's too old/it wouldn't suit her/she's too shy.

I know how I'd like to dress; I know whom I admire and would like to emulate; I know what qualities I'm drawn to and what kind of person I'd most like to have as a friend. But, due to fear or expectations or something else entirely, I hide behind something that is not a true representation of who I am. How many of us dress, act, speak, or seem a certain way because we are afraid of being different, standing out, or being ridiculed? It is so, so much easier to blend into the crowd - but you won't necessarily be happier this way.

Let's change this. The solution may not be as easy as changing your entire wardrobe; I suspect that it is something much larger - something in the heart or the mind. I don't know how, but I am determined to work on this, to think about it, until I reach a new realization. Are you with me?

17 May 2010

'Things I Found on the Street' Journal


I get so excited when I find handwritten notes, grocery lists, forgotten school papers, tickets, and other little treasures that once belonged to other people. Welcome to my new little side project! I've been finding many of these things on my walks and have begun gluing and stapling my findings into a simple journal handmade from a paper bag.

I love the effect. Here are some more peeks:

iHanna recently posted about a little journal centered entired on color (here). What else could you collect or explore in a journal?

15 May 2010

Giveaway Winners

ANNOUNCED: WINNERS of the My Peacetree Celebratory Giveaway Week!

Congratulations, lovelies! I will be sending you all emails shortly to get your mailing addresses. Please write back promptly so that I can get your things into the mail as quickly as possible! Remember that if after two weeks I do not hear from you, I will choose a new winner.

I love you all dearly and truly am sorry not to be able to give you all gifts and hugs. Thanks so much for helping to celebrate this special week with me! The winners are listed below.

Giveaway 1 - Red Journal
Giveaway 2 - Flower photos
Giveaway 4 - Love Journal
Giveaway 5 - Art Photos
Giveaway 6 - Art Doll
Oops - because there were no comments, there was no winner!

And one last thing I feel is important to mention: I used random.org to choose the winners for each giveaway. Though many of my blog friends ended up being the winners, and though I did cringe slightly to think that someone might think I skewed the results, and though I almost re-chose to make it seem more fair - I didn't. These are the real winners, cross my heart.

Yay! Lots of love to you all. Happy weekend!

13 May 2010

Things I've Learned: Part 1


This morning, as I had my breakfast, I began two lists of things I learned this past year. One was of truths I have come to firmly believe in, things that have helped me grow personally; the other is a list of all those blogging tips I've picked up here and there and advice for bloggers, new and old alike. I'll share the first list here today.

Here's what I know so far:
  1. Never apologize for your feelings or for who you are. (Read more about this here.)
  2. Support and help others achieve their dreams when you can, but you remember that you deserve to succeed in your dreams, too, whatever they might be. This is not selfish.
  3. There is lots of sadness and violence in the world - if you look for it, you will see it; so too, if you actively look for beauty, love, and goodness, you will find it in abundance.
  4. You must learn to discipline and to push yourself; others will not always do so.
  5. Don't put yourself down in hopes that someone will argue.
  6. Too much modesty can be seriously damaging to one's self esteem. Praise yourself, and don't feel the tiniest bit guilty about it - you really are amazing!
  7. Fear is powerful, and courage can be difficult to find; nevertheless, you must always push yourself out of your comfort zone; face, welcome, and learn from failure. If you succeed in this, you will live an extraordinary and happy life.
  8. People are kind. People are even kinder if you are kind, too!
I do hope in another year I will have another list to share with you! Tell me, do you agree with what I've written above? Have things to add or to change? Please, share your thoughts!

***
PS. Last day to enter the giveaways is tomorrow!

These giveaways have ended.

11 May 2010

Tuesday


What a busy week last week, no? I had originally intended to write two more posts - one on my favorite bloggers and one on what I have learned throughout the past year - but by the end of the week I was ready for a little break. I will write these later, or perhaps combine them into a single post.

Shall I tell you a bit about my adventures here? To start, this city is wonderful, filled with so much life! I feel comfortable here now, at home, and I have made a few new friends. I have been searching for a job for several weeks now, hoping to make some money so that I can visit my Lovely this summer. I've had no luck so far.

I frequent the library often because I no longer have internet in my home and the internet available in the lobby of the building is completely unreliable. This situation has been frustrating, as I can no longer have an easy, active role in the blog world. I cannot visit my friends' spaces every day, and when I have a chance I often spend a good chunk of time reading through twenty or thirty posts at a time. I read and respond to your lovely, kind comments when I can, and I appreciate your patience!

The joys of reading been rediscovered! When I was younger, I consumed book after book, but for some reason or another I fell out of this habit a few years ago. Happily, I've read five or six books in the past few weeks, and am so very much enjoying the magic and beauty contained within.

I am continuing to work in my art journal, exploring faces and color and texture. It is nearly finished - this will be my first true finished journal! I did create this one a few months ago, but felt that, as I finished it in just a few days, it didn't quite count. I have difficulty following a project through, and feel that when my large journal is finished I will have something to be very proud of.

The time allowed
on this library computer is winding down, and I must go make myself some lunch. Do remember to enter the giveaways - you can enter each of them once and they will be ongoing until this Friday!

Wishing you a day
filled with love, creativity, and happiness!

09 May 2010

Mother's Day


This is my mama. She is smart, strong, happy, silly, and beautiful through and through; and she is one of the kindest, most selfless people I know. One day I hope to be just like her. I love you, mama!

07 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number Six

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!

This week marks a year since I began My Peacetree. To celebrate, I am hosting several giveaways throughout the week to thank you for your support, kindness, and friendship!


Meet Alana. I created her last Autumn during my discovery of art dolls. She is the keeper of the galaxies, the stars, and of time; she smiles because she knows that all is well in the Universe and that each of us is blessed, and that many more blessings are to come.

She would like to have a good home, and so I am offering her as my last giveaway of this My Peacetree celebration! Would you like to have a Muse such as this lovely lady?

She is sewn from cotton and stuffed with pure wool, then painted in blues, golds, and whites and embroidered with sparkly silver beads. She wears a rainbow crown on her head.

You can find Alana's sister, the gypsy Ara, for sale in my Etsy shop!

Here are the rules to enter:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you the art doll.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
Remember that each of my giveaways can be entered until one week from today (last day is Friday, May 14), and that you can enter all of them once! Check out the rest below:


Thanks so much for your lovely comments this week, dear readers! I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people as you. Happy Friday!

06 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number Five

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!

This week marks a year since I began My Peacetree. To celebrate, I am hosting several giveaways throughout the week to thank you for your support, kindness, and friendship!

Next up, I have another set of photographs to give away. All three are images from my art journal - two are full spreads and one is a detail from another spread. There will be two winners for this giveaway!

Each photograph is professionally printed in gorgeous color on matte paper and has a thin white border around the edge - note that this has cropped the photos ever so slightly. Each photo is 4x6 inches (10x15 cm).


Here are the rules:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you the photos.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
Enter my other giveaways:
Handmade Red Square Journal
Set of three sweet spring original photos - two winners!
Ephemera for Collage, Art Journaling, etc.
Love Journal

05 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number Four

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!


Throughout this past year I've attempted to create a space that welcomes anyone who enters it, a place that is warm and nurturing and creative. Words that came to mind when I first began blogging were love, peace, beauty, and imagination, and I hope to continue to do my best to bring these words to life here under My Peacetree.

On to the next giveaway of the week, a reminder of this loving space here: a cheerful spiral notebook (note that this will be the only giveaway that is not handmade!). The word LOVE, simultaneously a verb and a noun, is typed across this cover in colorful letters. It's pages are lined, eager for your words to spill across its pages!

If you like, I will write a little something to you in its first pages to break the fear of the Newness, something so many of us are held in captivity by.

Here are the rules:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you the notebook.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
Have you seen my other giveaways?
Handmade Red Square Journal
Set of three sweet spring original photos - two winners!
Ephemera for Collage, Art Journaling, etc.
Set of three art journal original photos - two winners!

A Blog Year: Favorite Posts

Today, I'd like to share with you some of my very favorite posts from this past year. I am nearing the two hundred mark (something I am amazed by!) and can't thank you enough for all of your sweet comments and for all the time you have spent perusing my thoughts and words! Here are some of the posts I most enjoyed writing:

The Kindness of Strangers
Beautiful Beyond Measure
Try, Try Again
The Joy of Being
You Are So Worth it, My Dear!
Saturday Challenge #38

Read the entire Saturday Challenge series here, and check out all of my art-related posts here. Tell me - what are your favorite posts from this past year? What do you most enjoy reading about?

There are several more giveaways to come this week, but be sure to enter the ones I have already posted. Remember, you can enter all of them - find them in the list below! Have a beautiful Wednesday, my lovelies!

04 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number Three

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!

This week marks a year since I began My Peacetree. To celebrate, I am hosting several giveaways throughout the week to thank you for your support, kindness, and friendship!



Onto the third giveaway this week - a collection of all sorts of collage/art journal materials! I don't know how well you can see in the photo above, but this includes stickers, vintage atlas pages, twine and ribbons, clippings from magazines, pretty papers, and several more surprises not shown here. It is my hope that these goodies will inspire you to create, explore, play, and (if you haven't already) discover your artistic style.

This is perfect for any artist, no matter where you are on your artistic journey! Isn't it fun to have new materials to play around with?

Here are the rules:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you the ephemera.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
Have you seen my other giveaways?
Handmade Red Square Journal
Set of three sweet spring original photos - two winners!
Love Journal

03 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number Two

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!

This week marks a year since I began My Peacetree. To celebrate, I am hosting several giveaways throughout the week to thank you for your support, kindness, and friendship!


Hello again, friends!
Today I'm offering a set of my original photographs - sweet reminders of the beauty of our natural world! These photos, shown below, are professionally printed on high quality matte paper in vivid color and are surrounded by a thin white border. And did I mention that there will be two winners - two sets of these lovely prints up for grabs?

You can find lots more of my photos available for purchase in my Etsy shop!

Here are the rules:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you these photos.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
Enter my other giveaways here:
Handmade Red Square Journal
Ephemera for Collage, Art Journaling, etc.
Love Journal

02 May 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway - Number One

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. See the list of winners here. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate!


This week marks a year since I began My Peacetree. To celebrate, I am hosting several giveaways throughout the week to thank you for your support, kindness, and friendship!


For the very first giveaway
of this week of celebration, I am offering one of my newly handmade journals! It is sweet, square, and completely blank, sewn together in one signature with stiff blue, green, and yellow paper with a red cover.

It is small enough to lessen your fears of starting a new journal - with seven full spreads, it is the perfect size to play, experiment, and explore in any medium. Use it as an art journal, a book of collage, a written journal, a scrapbook, a sketchbook, a book of lists - anything is possible! (If you'd like to purchase this journal in another color, you can find many other options in my Etsy shop.)

Here are the rules:
  1. Leave a comment - this must include your email address so that I can contact you should you win! If I cannot contact you, I cannot send you the journal.
  2. One entry per person, please.
  3. You may enter as many giveaways as you like, but you can only win once.
  4. If you win, you must respond to my email asking for your physical address. If you don't respond within two weeks, you will forfeit your prize and I will randomly choose a new winner.
  5. People living internationally are welcome to participate!
  6. I will announce the winners in one post by May 15.
More giveaways are to come - keep checking back to see what else I have in store. If you have any questions regarding any giveaway, please leave a comment or email me at mypeacetree2(at)gmail(dot)com.

Enter my other giveaways:
Set of three sweet spring original photos - two winners!
Ephemera for Collage, Art Journaling, etc.
Love Journal

Happy Birthday, My Peacetree!

Can you believe it? I've been blogging for a whole year! One hundred seventy nine posts and three hundred and sixty five days later, I am still here in this warm, welcoming space, surrounded by incredible people and blessed with their support, kindness, and creativity. I can't thank each of you enough.

This week will be one of celebration! I have several giveaways prepared just for you in celebration of My Peacetree's birthday and to thank you for your sweet friendships - you can find the very first one here!

Here are the rules: you can enter as many giveaways as you like, but you will not be able to win more than once (unless so few people enter that I have no choice); I'd like to give as many people as possible a chance to win! The winners will be drawn randomly and I will announce all of them by May 15. Please keep in mind that you MUST provide an email address or blog where I can contact you for each entry; if you do not, you will be disqualified. Also, if you do not respond within two weeks with your mailing address, you will forfeit your prize to another individual. Each giveaway is open to international residents!

In addition to the giveaways, I will share some of my personal favorite posts, things I have learned, and some of my very favorite bloggers I've come across in the past year. Anything else you'd like to read about or want to share this week - let me know! After all, none of this would have been what it is without you.

Let the festivities begin!

01 May 2010

Now is the Month of Maying


It's May, hurrah, hurrah! Spring is my favorite season - and May is my favorite month of the whole year. When I was much younger, the first of May would always be celebrated by making crowns of flowers and dancing and singing around a May Pole - I have such lovely memories of lilacs in my hair, feeling as beautiful as any child-imagined princess. In lieu of making a crown today, I'll be sitting outside in the golden sunshine and drinking up a new book.

Let's celebrate this beautiful month with the word openness. Breathe in deeply, clear your mind, spread your arms wide, and let go. Be open to new possibility and to new experiences. Say yes; go forward towards adventure and newness without fear. What does openness mean to you?

This very first week marks a big milestone for this blog - and I'll have at least five giveaways to share with you! The first will start on Monday. EDIT: I've change my mind - the celebrations will start tomorrow (Sunday)! It's going to be an exciting week; stay tuned!

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