Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning

IMG_8685For me, a good morning is a Sunday when I’m at church, drinking in the beauty of the music, the sanctuary, the words.  It renews me, refreshes me, and helps me pack up the week I just had and get ready for the week to come.  For me, that’s what Sabbath should be about.  Sometimes, though, the rest of the chaos and work I end up having to do on Sundays seems to get in the way.

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Super cool goings on

So, I don’t really have a project to share tonight (but I’ll try to find a cool photo for the end of the post).  But, I do have some super cool things to share.  First, “I made top 3” at the Shopping our Stash challenge.  I have to admit, the challenge was kind of made for me.  It was using “hardware” in a card- and I LOVE my hardware collection (they, I think, had slightly more refined crafting-specific hardware in mind but seemed to appreciate my literal interpretation).  Here’s the announcement post:  http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.ca/2013/08/saturday-shoutout_31.html.  I submitted an anniversary card I made for my wife.  (Maybe I don’t have to spend as much on a gift now that her card has won an AWARD!)  Now I just have to figure out how to put my prize badge on my sidebar (I seem to have to figure it out from scratch every time).  Isn’t it perty???

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The other super cool new news is that I was nominated for more blogger awards: The Versatile Blogger Award (which I’ve gotten before but one can never have too many nominations) and the WordPress Family Award (which is a new one for me).  Here’s her post (which puts me in some pretty awesome company, judging by her other nominees): http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/versatile-blogger-wordpress-family-awards/ The nominations came from a super cool blogger that I recently started following:  Krissy from “Shut Up and Create Something”.  She has some great art journal spreads, full of color and collage, and just a genuinely fun and unique aesthetic (case in point: http://shutupandcreatesomething.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/hamster-in-a-reptar-wagon/)  Plus, I think she has possibly the best name for a blog EVER!  So, here’s my newest badge (which I’ll also have to figure out how to put on my sidebar).

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So thanks, everyone!  What a great day!!

And here, to “borrow” a phrase from Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, is “Your Moment of Zen”.

Image(A snail trail on a Cape Cod beach.)

Mandala Monday

ImageMy wife said she was going to throw away a bunch of old herbs in a set that I’d had for probably about 10 years- from back when I thought it would be fun to learn how to cook and then realized that it really wasn’t (not my cup o’ tea, apparently).  I hated to waste them all (like I hate to waste anything) so I saved a bunch of each to use for some to-be-determined project in the future.  But while I was consolidating them (and making room for other goodies in the other jars) I decided to do my mandala.

It was such a relaxing process.  My boy was playing in his room and my wife was out shopping, so I had the craftroom/playroom to myself.  The herbs still had some fragrance (but I could tell they were nowhere near what they should have been to make them usable in cooking).  I used a sleeve to an LP to keep the shape and kind of played around with a strip of cardboard and the mixture of green herbs until I got the foundation shape of the compass.

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In looking at the celery salt and noticing that the little shaker top was removable, I thought about using it as a kind of a stencil.  It worked perfectly!

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I put one of the caps from the jars in the center with some pretty paprika on top and a little mustard seed trinity and then I added some crushed red pepper around the outside of the larger circle and then around the cap.

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It was still looking sparse, so I added some more of the green herb mix along the NW, NE, SW, and SE directions.  Finally, I sprinkled some caraway seeds in the middle and was done.  The whole process only took me about half an hour, but it was so relaxing and mindful- exactly what working on a mandala should be.  I took the photo with my Instagram app and used the Lo-Fi filter.  I mostly liked the boarder on that one, but it also works well with the graininess of the herbs and spices.

The best part is that I now have 8 empty jars that I can clean out and use for other things and then I can add them back into my pretty spice rack with my “crafting spices”.  I wonder what I should use them for to make the most out of this newfound lovely storage.  I’ll try to remember to add a picture to this post when it’s all put back together.

Fun collage ICADs

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I was in a training all day yesterday and came home completely brain dead. I sat at my craft table and making a collage seemed like about all I could do. I have a box of cut outs from magazines that I keep for just such an occassion and just started going through it. This is what came out. I have no idea what it is but that’s half the fun. The words aren’t a quote but they seem to sum up my mood well.

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I was having so much fun that I wanted to make another. I used a little verse from a book of children’s poems I got for a dollar. For this one, I used a cut out from a pattern envelope, a cut out Highlights magazine, and glitter glue. Who doesn’t love glitter glue?

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The training was on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  I’ve been to trainings in it before but this one was free and I needed the continuing education credits. The mindfulness aspect of this technique is especially interesting to me and I did learn a few new techniques. The neatest part was the quotes from Thich Nhat Han sprinkled throughout the PowerPoint.  I love readings from him and they always speak to me in some deep way. This one literally brought me to a mindful state just by reading it and hearing the bell in my mind. Sense memory can be so powerful.

Here’s another one that really spoke to me:

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This is so important to remember.  I see some of these quotes in future ICADs.

Peace.

Catching up on ICAD

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Here are another 3 ICADs for your enjoyment.  The one, above, is my favorite.  I used the “stitching” theme and the “sun” prompt and was completely inspired by that morning’s church service so I used a meditation from the bulletin for the quote.  In the background is a picture of my church (a beautiful cathedral next to a big park in our city) that’s usually on the front of the bulletin.  I sewed on the round scrap of t-shirt fabric for the center of my sun with a black bobbin and yellow thread (to get some more dimension in the stitching).  Then, I put some “rays” in with magazine bits.  It was so simple to make but I love the effect.

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This one is my second favorite of this bunch.  The text is from a great book, Switch on the Night, by Ray Bradbury.  In the background, I used security envelope patterns (for the “junk mail” theme) to make a kind of skyline (for the “city” theme).  I painted them with watercolors and then added a dark sky with some silver Sharpie stars and the “ice-cream moon”.

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My last one in this installment was a bit experiment that didn’t end so well.  I had a nice background, using a map, stamps, and pre-paid postage marks on envelopes (“map” and “mail” themes).  I white gessoed over them which kind of left it pretty blah (too much of the gesso, I think).  The big experiment was with a cellophane window from an envelope that I drew lines on with glue (thinking I could rub them off after painting) and then painted over it with a mixture I had made a while ago with acrylic paint and spices (another experiment).  The rubbing off the glue didn’t work so well, so I made some more lines (thinking the “map” theme) with my trusty Sharpie and then just slapped the quote on it.  Ironically, the quote is one of my favorites: the title of a book about mindfulness by Jon Kabot-Zinn.  Oh well.  Sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination.

This is going to be the best part of today’s blog. I’ve found so many neat ICADs on other blogs that I can’t wait to share:

http://mollylollyloo.blogspot.com/2013/06/just-ride-elevator.html  – This one is one of my favorites.  The “ride the elevator” phrase spoke to me so much and I love the deep colors and textures.

http://iamrushmore.blogspot.com/2013/06/index-card-collages-made-with-swap.html  – I love this blog and her ICADs are so graphic and bold.  She’s done them in previous years so she has quite a collection going, too.

http://www.glimmerbug.com/icad-14-polka-dots-pugs/  – I like her style, as well.  Also bold and unique, with a great sense of humor.  And who doesn’t love a pug???