snapshots from the stead:
did i mention the beautiful lettuces?
not pictured are the leeks, onions, garlic, radishes, squashes, raspberries, and 15+ herbs. completely distracted, i am, with all of the little darlings. i may never leave the house again.
i'm not going to fake that everything has been groovy around here. i've hit some real bottoms this last year, especially pertaining to my physical health. but i don't want my little spot of real estate here on the internets to be a place for whining - i'm not capable of articulating the words lately to make it seem other than - and i'd rather be putting out the good juju into the universe when i am able, the stuff we all can't get enough of these days.
and if one is really lucky, something on said list will just present itself, without the usual pre-meditated actions necessary for crossing something off one's list. thank you martha, for your lovely company on this day, and for capturing by far the funnest thing on my completed list with your talented eye. oh yes, another healing day indeed.
rubber soul business brought me to massachusetts, not too far from the lovely kristin's home in maine, so i was able to meet up with her for a day in her town, beginning at her awesome house, with her awesome kids and her awesome husband, and her awesome dog. right after the welcoming hand-waves through the window as i approached the house, i was greeted with this. oh yes, they had me at hello:
surreal really, to meet someone who's life and moments i've only experienced through photos. it was like reading a storybook, but suddenly all the characters start moving and stepping out of the pages. yes, just like that. there we all were, in her cozy home, face to face with those beauties; casey and kellen as they showed me their room and their toys, their rubber stamped arms, chatting with hubby, meeting taylor. you could just feel how much love and nurturing kristin gives her family. it filled my soul in so many different ways.
keiko is spreading love. or rather, her little paper hearts are. all over the world. keiko began the love project by sending little groups of paper hearts with a card to the loving souls that would request them. then, as each person receives this little package, they photograph them, then pass them on to someone new. with love. and so on.
tiny new growth and sprouts around every corner.
this new song and album that i can't stop listening to.
ordering our heirloom CSA for this year.
this photo and shout-out by a very talented friend.
a new stamp in the works that makes me very very happy.
a dear friend that uses words like squishy and sweet pea in her text messages to me.
making notes, plans and schemes for the new vegetable garden.
savoring every last homebaked swiss mailanderli cookie sent from my swisster gabi in new york city. so good.
a sunny saturday.
during saturday's event (see previous post), i too wanted to participate and help make cards for the nursing home residents, but i was the one managing the store that day, so i couldn't get too buried in the fun at the back table. realizing i'd have to keep it simple, i grabbed a few stamps, a few stamp pads, and set in on making cards in between customers at the front counter. one of the stamps i chose is from our recent new valentine release, the love hearts stamp. what i found was how limitless the possibilities are with this sweet stamp.
talk about your quick and simple cards - no tape, no layers, no cutting. each took just a few minutes, and can be great solutions for some fast and easy valentines. they certainly satisfy my clean and simple sensibilities. i hope they bring a little bit of love cheer and inspiration to you!
every year, fifteen of them now, rubber soul has sponsored a day, just before christmas, for our customers to drop by and make cards for the residents of our local nursing home. but this year, because of the inclement and unpredictable weather, i decided to postpone it, and ask our customers to redirect their generous and creative energies to cards for valentine's day. we held the event on saturday, and had lots of different stamps, papers and inks available for use. it was a great event, and i loved seeing all ages of creative souls side by side, creating from and for the heart.
of course, my favorite part of all is getting to be the one to deliver all of these pretties to the nursing home. i'm so grateful to all who participated!
the day-off bar certainly gets raised when one stumbles upon a neon sign graveyard on one beautiful sunny day. indeed it does. old neon signs from the 30s thru present day, cast-off to a new home amongst the gravel, all crumpled, and rusty, fenced in and forced together. waiting for some soul to eek out a last bit of appreciation for their beauty, perhaps rescue the fairest of them all for a pretty penny. dear signs, will perhaps a little love with a camera and a lot of passion make it sting a little less?
believe you me sweet little signs, i reveled in your details, amongst your tight quarters, despite the harsh light. i noticed every one of your bleeding rusty curves, your fragments of peeling paint, your cracked and vacant stares.
i embraced your unique and sexy contours, your utterances of those purposeful mantras you stand by. the empty sockets that once assisted your convictions.
you do not have to be good,
you do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting,
you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
meanwhile, the world goes on,
meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers,
meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air are heading home again.
whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination.
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
- mary oliver
have a lovely weekend all, whoever you are. xo
now, i am as sad as the next polaroid fan as i find it more and more difficult to get my hands on a pack of the now defunct polaroid film. my once large stash in the fridge vegetable drawer is dwindling fast, and i need to get more discerning with my pola shots in the days ahead. i love my collection of different polaroid cameras, and get absolutely giddy when i hear that oh-so-lovely polaroid sound when the film exits the camera after the button's been pushed. so even though it's no replacement for the real thing, i found myself smiling when i discovered this.
once you download the program, you can drag and drop any photo onto the polaroid camera icon, hear that sexy pola sound, and watch the "film" develop in front of your eyes.
i had fun "developing" several shots i took over the summer. . .
you'll even see an occasional finger print or two show up randomly on the frames.
here's a quirky twist: just like a true full cartridge of polaroid film, you'll need to "reload" (relaunch the program) after 10 shots.
ok, this is ridiculously addicting. just one more.....
you can see what some other peeps are doing with their faux polaroids here. so go steal a moment and have some fun "snapping" pics with your new poladroid!
The Be Good Tanyas
One of my very favorite bands, doing one of my very favorite songs, epitomizing everything I believe to be wonderful about a song and a video. Hoping this adds a little something to your sunday...
so very much to ponder today, this the first day of the new year. i'm contentedly propped up in bed with hot tea, 84 pillows and my laptop. one of my favorite pieces is playing on the stereo - bach's violin concerto for 2 violins in d minor, best played LOUD by the way - and lists are being made and strewn all over the sheets in between the entire animal posse. i have never been one for new year's resolutions, as i always like to think i try to live as my best self each day of the year. but today feels different somehow. perhaps it's all the uncertainty and fear permeating my thoughts of the days ahead. or that i've never felt so stuck and disorganized in my life. or that i'm starting to put some pieces in my own puzzle together. and it's so nice to have a day free from everything to appraise it all.
"can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2009?"
serenity. i choose serenity. i crave serenity. at first i chose peace, but the word serenity is peace for me, and carries with it a more personal meaning. it reminds me to accept the things i cannot change and have the courage to change the things i can. it combines hope and trust and faith, and with serenity there is no room for fear or anger or doubt. i truly believe that with an inner peace i can move gracefully through hard times. with serenity i can be a better friend and support for other people. i vow to not be scared, to look at upcoming challenges as a way to personally evolve, to listen to what my higher self might be trying to tell me. with serenity i won't be afraid to take new chances, try new things, and i'll be better equipped with a serene and content heart to handle failures that undoubtedly accompany new chapters, and to recognize difficulties as a pathway to peace.
so, i'm going to keep making those lists and dreaming big. i'm incredibly inspired by all of you that are living your best lives, putting yourselves out there, encouraging, lifting, creating, writing, sharing. thank you for the positive influence you have on me, and for all the uplifting buzz in your spirits about the new year. i enjoy and devour your uplifting energies - thank you, thank you.
ok, i'm ready now.
at the end of each year, i locate my copy of the book "prayers for healing: 365 blessings, poems, and meditations from around the world" and search out this entry by may sarton. it gets me where it counts.......every. single. time.
the last day of what has been an uneasy and painful year for me. i look forward to dawn tomorrow and, as the days get longer, to begin to feel my way into renascence. it is not strange though it is mysterious that our "new year" comes at the darkest time in the seasonal cycle. when there is personal darkness, when there is pain to be overcome, when we are forced to renew ourselves against all the odds, the psychic energy required simply to survive has tremendous force, as great as that of a bulb pushing up through icy ground in spring, so after the overcoming, there is extra energy, a flood of energy that can go into creation.
- may sarton
last night - after a very difficult week - the snow fell and fell and fell..... and metaphorically froze all troubles and worries, giving way to a sunday of gratitude. comfortably snowed "in", time was well spent regrouping inside and out. silly snow-filled videos were filmed. christmas gifts were made. a spicy turkey chili simmered. and the beloved camera was employed again after too long of a hiatus. a day of getting grounded again.
and being grateful.
wishing you a happy winter solstice friends.
i love this campaign.
from the statement:
"the main goal of this project is to spread a positive message throughout the world by any means necessary except through commerical use. we are extremely open and interested with collaborating with individuals and groups. anyone is welcome to participate, there is no age or skill level necessary. the project is as inclusive as the message."
to get your own stickers, go here.
if you want to use your sticker, photograph it, and email it to You Are Beautiful, check this out. i have a feeling my new stickers are going to work their way into several future photos.
YOU are beautiful.
i had big plans to take lots of pictures of some of our dear customers in redmond on our "secret sale" day yesterday, but things were so wild that i never even made it out from behind the register until late afternoon. i never anticipated such a response from an email-only, non-advertised event.
i worked as fast as i could on the register, and fred handed out bunches of trays as shopping "carts", and was the host with the most. at one point, the wait in line was ninety minutes! the line wrapped into a crazy, long pattern, yet all were soooo patient, and i hear some friendships were kindled because of it. carlie and michi were awesome to work with, although it was not a conducive day for much catching up with them! karen lockhart surprised us by stopping by to help, and stayed for hours assisting customers, re-stocking, serving treats and re-shuffling product. man, was she ever generous and kind.
so, i had an amazing day seeing so many people that have made the last 10 years such a great journey. i am still sad, but this emotion is taking second to the brevity of the blessings and gratitude i feel.
today was a sad day.
today we announced the january 27th closing of our redmond store. the rise in expenses and the new lease proposal make it impossible for us to keep this store. the feeling in my gut closely resembles a break-up, and among other things, has played a great role in my recent funk.
i wish i could explain the energy, the amazing fung shui that exists within those walls. it has been a place where we celebrated births and birthdays, kindled deep friendships, mourned passings. certainly a challenging exercise for me in acceptance and letting go. in the few hours since we've made this public today, we've been inundated with kind, thoughtful, and supportive emails. our customers are just the very, very best. it's been an amazing 10 years there, and we have been abundantly blessed. and abundantly grateful.
more to follow on the process...
Can you tell I've been sucked into a creative void as of late? I hope you can be patient with me while I regroup, recharge. It's been a difficult last few weeks for me. I so appreciate when you stop by here, and doing this blog has been giving me SO much pleasure. Hmmm......maybe some good ol' outdoor nature communing? Better sleep? Dark swiss chocolate??
Nothing was as it should be today. Cars floating in streets. Water shooting OUT of manholes. Salmon swimming across roads. And then there's the now infamous car down the street from Rubber Soul headquarters, with nothing but the slightest evidence of its existence except for its rooftop barely appearing from under a sea of water. Major, and minor roads closed one after another. It has been raining here for hours, and hours. Now we anticipate strong winds, which inevitabley prey on the root-soaked trees, replacing them onto roads and houses. We wait...
Yesterday was a great day, and everything was definitely as it should be. Every year in December we do the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour. It's a self-guided tour by car - we get a map of the island designated with all the participating studio locations. At each stop are groups of artists exhibiting and selling their varied pieces, from jewelry, ceramics and photography, to handbags and large mosaicked animal figures. This is a great source for creative inspiration, and a fun way to Christmas shop.
to exquisite and unique photo-etched jewelry pieces. You can view more of her work here, on her new blog.
So many things to photograph, but the sloppy, slushy snow kept my camera tucked away most of the day. There is a summer version of this tour, too. Come visit and we'll go! Thanks for your visit today.
Looking forward to our local artist's Studio Tour tomorrow. It's a self-guided arts and crafts tour of artist's wares and their studios, sprinkled all around Bainbridge Island. Should be adventurous, what with the icy temps and snow and mud puddles. A yearly tradition that always begins with breakfast at my favorite diner. Aaaaah, I love this every year. Pictures to follow...
The more I open my mind, the more things want to go in it. Lately, I've been reading about Buddhism, one of mankind's most compelling - but often misunderstood - systems of wisdom.
The Buddah once told the story of the blind men and the elephant. A former king in the town of Savatthi gathered all the blind people of the town, divided them into groups, and then introduced each group to a different part of an elephant. Later, the king asked each group to describe the nature of an elephant. Those who met the head described it as a water pot; those who touched the leg described it as a post, and so on. The groups then began to argue with one another, each insisting its definition was the correct one, and all others were wrong. Various lessons have come from this parable; one being how the study of Buddhism over this past century has been much like the tale itself. People tend to hold on to one part of the tradition, and assume those conclusions hold true for the whole. This is less the case in current literature, however, and the tendency to generalize is now less prevalent.
The story has also been used to illustrate the many different types of blindness, as the mind has a great influence on what we see. We see what we want to see, and filter out the rest. I believe we are drawn to - or attract - the pieces necessary for our own individual evolutions, and I am finding myself attracted to people with the qualities I consciously long to have.
I take special notice of the giving and generous nature of certain people in my life, as lately I haven't been very capable of showing up in those ways myself.
I'm especially enchanted by people spilling with creativity, because lately my creative well has been dry.
I admire the discipline of those that treat their bodies like a temple, as I ask mine to wait while it's under re-construction.
These pieces comprise a collective whole of goodness in my world - of kindness, love, and generosity. Thank you for inspiring me to want to be like you. Thank you for putting yourselves out there every day. For inspiring me through your blogs, including gracious words in your emails, performing random acts of kindness, spearheading a fundraiser to make our town a better place, or for the random smile in the market. Thank you for each representing a unique piece of MY metaphoric elephant.
I've been swooning all week. But first, let me back up a little.
I was exposed to Gram Parsons years ago via my brother, and probably even more year's ago than I'm aware of. It's likely that Gram was in the mix of songs that my brother would sing while driving us around in our silver, Nader-condemned, family Corvaire, me buckled in the back seat, a mere 4 or 5 years old. I remember always being so impressed and tickled by his knowledge of ALL the words to ALL the songs on the AM radio. Oops, digressing...
Twenty years later, when Fred and I both had jobs in the music industry, he would continue to impart his musical knowledge and experiences on me, of bands and musicians like Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Jimi Hendrix. But the one guy that really resonated with me, that I could really feel when I listened to him, was Gram Parsons. He stood out to me. He was something I wanted more of. I was also so intrigued by the haunting stories that trailed GP - the drugs, the tequila, the fire at Joshua Tree - and the bands he played in; The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds. Sadly, GP was part of the pioneering, fast-living rock musician epidemic of the 70s that ended in his death at the age of 26.
Over the years, I have pined for more of Gram's music ( the ultimate in roadtrip music by the way), longing for more than the limited library of material he had recorded before his death. What I didn't know, was that David Prinz of the legendary Amoeba Records, hearing my call and that of many other GP fans, was going to great lengths and employing years of dedication to unearth a new set, made up of never-before-heard tapes from two 1969 shows at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco at which the Flying Burrito Brothers supported the Grateful Dead. Released just two weeks ago with fanfare, this is quite the gift to a Gram Parsons fan. WooHOO! It's been all Gram, all the time in my house this week. Two great discs. Superb recording quality. And the packaging is nice with a worthy booklet. Won't my bro be surprised when he finds this little gem under the tree?
If you've made it this far in the post, you might also be interested in:
this trailer for the documentary dvd Fallen Angel
this tribute concert dvd
this article in the San Francisco Chronicle
this great tribute album
and this live video also recorded in 1969:
Gratitude before me,
gratitude behind me,
gratitude to the left of me,
gratitude to the right of me,
gratitude above me,
gratitude below me,
gratitude within me,
gratitude all around me.
- angeles arrien
Did you know recent research indicates that feelings of gratitude release positive endorphins and create health throughout the body? And I just thought it was the pie.
Wishing you abundant gratitude and love my friends.....Happy Thanksgiving!
Having oh so much fun with my Lomo camera:
This camera is not a finely tuned piece of apparatus made only of the finest in hand-crafted modern materials.
It is not a precision instrument with settings for the slightest nuance in aperture and lighting. It's a real camera, but in a tacky plastic box with four lenses strapped to the front, and inside are a few springs and cogs that reluctantly turn a full circle when you press the shutter release.
And the lenses are moody little beasties, reluctant to let any light get to the film at all.
Each time you hit the shutter release, despite the inferior quality of the lenses, light actually exposes the film at quarter-of-second intervals. One second has been neatly dissected into four composite parts and lined up in impeccable order.
The brighter the light, the more action captured, but hey I live in Washington, so I'll have to continue experimenting with less bright light and slower film speeds. Unexpected colors, haze and blur. I think I'm in love.
Info captured from the folks at Lomo. For more on the world of lomography, go here.
Cecelia Harris is one of my all-time favorite women. When she decided to make a professional change - to spend more time designing and less time in the endless minutiae of running a business - she had faith in my brother and I to continue with her beautiful, timeless images, and to keep Wordsworth Stamps a vital company in the industry. I loved the time we got to spend with her while making the transition, and being inspired by this motivating, smart and talented woman. With more time now spent following creative muses, she can continue to regularly bless the Wordsworth line with fresh new images. She is spirited and kind-hearted and generous (we're crazy about her husband too!), and I thought it would be fun to do an interview with her. I've been curious as to what she's been up to lately, and thought you might also enjoy a peek into her world:
Can you give us a little history of how Wordsworth Stamps came to be?
When I moved to Colorado from Tennessee in 1997, one of the first things I did was find a calligraphy guild. I had been taking lessons about one year, and I knew I loved it. The Tennessee guild was very established and had many accomplished members. The Colorado guild was a fun-loving group that focused more on crafting - even rubber stamps. I was a little dismayed at first that it was not a more serious guild. But who knew what an influence this guild would have on my life. I had never before seen a rubber stamp. My new best friend, Lonnie, began designing stamps for a local company. It gave me the idea that I might be able to start my own business as well. My girls were just getting ready for high school, and I knew they would soon be leaving the roost. I wanted to be prepared with a new focus for that time. I intended to take it slow, but it didn't turn out quite that way. We attended our first trade show in 2000, about six months after creating the stamps. Wordsworth was off and running.
What was the impetus to make a change?
Running a business is an amazing journey and requires a lot of different skills. I learned so much in the seven years that I ran Wordsworth. Eventually, though, I was working all the time, between designing for and running Wordsworth and designing for a couple other companies. I knew my heart was really in design, not management, but at that time in my life, I didn't have any time to create. This is when we (Fred and Dani) got together and brainstormed about how we could work together to continue Wordsworth. It's been a great fit.
What have you been working on lately, professionally and/or personally?
One of the first things I did when my time was freed up some was to redecorate my house! It was so refreshing to be creative in an entirely different venue. One of my favorite things is a wall in my television room. I created a great big stencil and then nearly killed myself getting it done, but I love it. I have been designing alphabets and shape sets for ProvoCraft's Cricut and Cuttlebug machines. I love creating alphabets, and this is just another way that they come to life.
How is your life different now?
It's a different universe, nearly. I feel able to think, to enjoy an afternoon out with one of my daughters, to browse new design trends in stores or on the web, to sit and enjoy the sun, and to have time to travel and see family. I didn't want to look backwards in a few years and find myself regretting that I worked too much.
What does a typical day in the life of Cecelia look like these days?
It always begins with tea. I am really into the whole experience - loose tea leaves, warming the pot, (I had time to sew myself a tea cozy!), teapot collection. When it's warm, I love to sit on the front porch with my tea and cereal and have some quiet time to reflect, pray, or write in my journal. I've been known to sit there for an hour or more. I practice yoga pretty faithfully, so that might come next. I usually start right in on my work for the day. We turned one of the bedrooms into my office, and I love it. It's painted Kermit-the-Frog-green which makes me happy. Once I start in, it's sometimes hard for me to stop. I have to remind myself to take breaks and eat. After supper, most nights you'll find my husband and me relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book. Ah, joy.
How old were you when you discovered your passion for the letter arts?
Tricky question. I've always loved letters. In 3rd grade, I developed about 4 different handstyles. One was about 1/16" high, and I actually turned in homework with that one. I had a teacher that retired after that year, so I'm sure I gave her fits. But I didn't take my first calligraphy class until 1996. I was fortunate to take from a really great calligrapher, Les Hardy, who started me out right. I know it sounds corny, but when I started making letters during that first class, I felt like I had found what I was born to do. Since then, I've taken numerous classes and attended national workshops and practiced like crazy. Calligraphy really is a skill more like playing the piano. To be proficient takes a lot of time and work.
Is there an art medium you've never tried that you'd like to?
Some day when I'm retired, I'd love to try carving letters into stone.
What was your very first job?
I taught piano lessons to a few kids. I was the accompanist for our church when I was in high school, but I didn't get paid for that. During college, I taught more piano and was an organist, but I decided to stay at home when my first daughter was born. My next job was Wordsworth!
Do you have a favorite quote?
Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.
What or who inspires you?
People who are continually trying new things and seeking meaning. I used to say about people I met like this that they were 'chasing after life'. I met a man once who was a farmer but during the winter when he didn't have as much to do, he quilted with his wife. One of my good friends survived colon cancer 20 years ago and breast cancer now 3 years ago. Yet she is one of the most energetic and curious individuals I know. She is chasing after life. My husband is taking a break (permanent or not we don't know) from his career to build stringed instruments. In our 28 years of marriage, I've never seen him so happy. He's taking a risk and loving it. I think I'm about to get behind a pulpit here!
What is your favorite letter arts publication?
Letter Arts Review for serious calligraphers, but I also love browsing font websites and designing books.
Can you tell us about some of the art you have in your home?
One of the things I want to begin to do is collect more artwork. Right now, I have several paintings by my daughter, Kinsey, and calligraphic pieces that I have done or have been given to me by various accomplished calligraphers.
Do you keep a journal?
I was a faithful journaler all through high school and rather sporadic after that. Last month I took a class on the 'visual journal'. We made a journal with really nice watercolor paper in it, and then our instructor gave us lots of ideas about how to fill the page. I am really enjoying working in that. A characteristic of me that is both positive and negative is that I can be a perfectionist. This works well when I am tweaking an alphabet but not so much when I'm trying to brainstorm and be creative. Sometimes I stop myself from getting where I need to go because it's looking so bad along the way! I'm working on this.
What is your favorite thing in your studio?
When we installed hardwood floors in my studio, we took down the closet doors. I decided to have cabinets built in there instead of using it for a closet. I love having those big drawers for my artist paper and all my supplies.
What's been playing on your iPOD?
I have to admit, I may be the only person in America without an iPOD. Even though I was a music major, I don't listen a lot to music. I think I enjoy silence. But when I do listen, I love a variety: Rascal Flatts, Sara Groves, Durufle, Bach, Keith Urban, John Mayer.
What books are on your nightstand?
Going Gray (I'm considering it after my 50th birthday next year), The Bookman's Wake by John Dunning, Glimpses of Grace by Madeleine L'Engle (a favorite author)
Will you be making your Christmas cards this year, and if so, can I be on your list?
I'm kind of on the every-other-year plan, and this is the year. My friends and I are having a card-making day next week at my house. Of course, you're on my list!
Thank you SO much Cecelia for taking the time to do this with me. I know I speak for a lot of people when I say thank you for the many graceful designs you've created over the years. There are lots of lessons you teach me by being you. And for that too I am grateful.
This week we've been preparing for our annual Holiday Open House in both stores. Tomorrow, all who attend will be well accomodated with lemon bars, pecan bars, divine drinks, and LOTS of new holiday products and ideas to also whet one's creative whistle. Christmas music. Demos. A real party!
I love how we work together to put this on every year. After many years of doing this, we all know what our strengths are, and are rather efficient in assuming our own individual contributing roles.
These are photos from the Poulsbo store. I love this area that we've turned into display space out of what used to be an old elevator shaft.
Below is a view looking in on one of our front window displays. A sheet of glass balanced on pieces from a fell tree. I'm usually a fan of the less is more approach.
This officially kicks off the holiday season for us in the Rubber Soul stores. It's usually just a blur from here on!
It was bound to happen. The risk of having a blog, I've discovered, is being "tagged", and I was nailed by the fabulous Suzi Finer. Here's what that means......
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself (on your blog, we all want to know them).
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Ok, 6 more random facts about me:
2. I drive with my sunroof open 95% of the time, even if it’s raining.
3. I used to be one of three gratuitous girl back-up singers in a band named Gutter Spit when I was 16.
4. I'm much more comfortable outside than in.
5. When I’m celebrating I order Shirley Temples.
6. I’ve been to a party at the Playboy Mansion: the grotto, Hugh, monkeys and all.
7. I would choose a new book or music cd over a new handbag any day. Really.
Now, I don't know many bloggers, and I'm a little reluctant to toy with tagging karma. So instead of definitively tagging say Rachel or Dawn or Sabine or Sarah or Trudee or Michelle or Emily, (they're all very interesting people and we'd love to know more!) I'll make it a "soft" tag and leave it open to anyone who wants to play. Thanks for stopping by today!
Simply put, if you send a postcard, you'll get one back. From some random place, anywhere in the world.
The Postcard Crossing Project is designed to allow people to do just that.
For example, I've mailed postcards to Finland, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, France.
And here are some souveniers I received in MY mailbox this week, from Germany, Spain and Finland:
Receiving mail with foreign postage stamps in and of itself makes it worth retrieving the mail. The majority of Postcrossing cards are photo postcards from the participants hometowns, but I'm enjoying taking my own creative liberties for the ones I send. This project has served as great impetus for me to stamp again like I used to some 20+ years ago. Just rubber and ink on a plain card. Just simple one-dimensional, goofy stamping.
There's something so fulfilling about connecting with people from all over the world, even if it is fleeting.
Imagine being abruptly awoken in the early morning hours by a fireman, telling you you have no time to change or grab any belongings, that you must leave it all to save yourself. Imagine being brought to a nearby emergency shelter where you spend the entire day in your pajamas with sleep in your eyes, wet towels over your nose and mouth, and fear at your core, not being able to see beyond the windows that are solid with smoke and an orange red glow.
This was the scene my niece Laurel was describing to me yesterday from the Pepperdine University campus, with an amazingly calm delivery. She spoke of the hurricane strength winds, water-dousing helicopters, family friends not being able to go in and she not being able to get out, as all accessible roads were closed for miles.
Man, this gave me nightmares last night. I think what bothered me the most was not being able to protect her from the fear that I believed her to be experiencing in such a vulnerable situation. But it doesn't surprise me that Laurel kept such an outward cool. She's a brave and amazing girl.
She returned to her dorm last night and packed a bag to have ready. All classes today have been cancelled. The winds then changed again, sending her up the road to stay with a family she's never met, but feeling safer. It will take until at least Tuesday or Wednesday for the fires in the immediate area to be contained, and so many other people are still in danger and not yet at that same comfort level. I'm wishing safety to my friends out there, and everyone affected by the fires up and down the coast.
And sending you protective and love energy sweet girl...
... is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Pat entered with this quote and her number was randomly selected. She is the hopefully excited recipient of a sweet little package of quote stamps and notecards. Yay Pat!
I had so much fun being exposed to some unfamiliar quotes, and new friends. Thanks to ALL who humored me and submitted.
I've changed out my light bulbs, use refillable aluminum bottles for my water, bring cloth bags to the market, called the number to reduce junk mail, and avoid produce from far away lands opting instead to buy from local farms when I can.
Little bitty things. Little, bitty me. One of 300+ million people occupying space in this industrialized nation alone. How can these tiny acts POSSIBLY make a difference???
But lately I've been recognizing how all the tiny things we do, CAN have a very BIG impact, by way of impacting others by our own examples. All these small actions can turn into bigger waves of change as we influence and inspire one another.
I'm impacted when I see Jackie compost with worms, Fred recycle old computers, Alicia use only cold water for her laundry, and when I see my nephew in his early 20's spend his hard earned bucks on a Honda Hybrid.
No Impact Man has made a BIG impact on me. Ten months into his no impact experiment while living in the middle of New York City, he truly inspires as he documents, recounts, researches and educates us on his quest for no net impact.
Meanwhile, I do the best I can each day, ever increasing my repertoire of do-good gestures for the earth, and lessening MY impact, acknowledging that I won't ever come close to any perfection at this, yet. But every small change has the potential to turn into a bigger one.
And then, it feels less hopeless. One litte act at a time.
Great related sites:
SIGG for awesome arty aluminum reusable bottles
Seventh Generation for home products
Calculate Your Impact for your own carbon footprint
And of course:
Take a small step and leave a BIG impact by taking the water bottle pledge here, or clicking on the badge on the upper left side of the blog. If you need convincing, go here and here and here and here.
"Once you understand the resources mustered to deliver the bottle of water, it's reasonable to ask as you reach for the next bottle, not just "Does the value to me equal the 99 cents I'm about to spend?" but "Does the value equal the impact I'm about to leave behind?" Simply asking the question takes the carelessness out of the transaction. And once you understand where the water comes from, and how it got here, it's hard to look at that bottle in the same way again."
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell
There was a time several years ago that this quote saved me. Or so it felt like it. When I needed it most, I came across it in a magazine, cut it out, and whole-heartedly embraced it. Reading it daily was one phase of healing, believing it was a whole other process.
I love quotes. Especially those written long ago. I've collected quotes over the years that have resonated strongly with me. Cecelia Harris, creator of all the beautiful Wordsworth designs, has brought to life many of her favorites with her amazing letter art.
I'm always interested in the quotes that move people. Do you have a favorite quote, one that you've placed on a post-it on your mirror? One that tags the bottom of your emails? One that has changed your perspective?
I'd love to hear about it. Make note of your favorite quote in the comments section, and you may be the lucky participant randomly picked to receive a *special little package* of quote stamps and blank notecards from the Wordsworth/Rubber Soul line (including the stamp I used above). Please leave it by Wednesday the 17th, 8pm pacific, at which time a name will be drawn.
Looking forward to reading what moves you...
all love surround you,
and the sweet light within you guide your way on.
Dannica is one of those people that comes into your life and leaves an imprint, forever.
She has been spreading her creativity, love, generosity and attention to detail in our Redmond store for 9 years. Her kindness and open heart have garnered her many friends over the years - customers, co-workers, and distributors alike.
She truly is one-of-a-kind, and I believe I became a better person the day I met her.
Dannica, thank you. Thank you for being the pillar that we could all always count on, ethically, emotionally and spritually. Thank you for your patience and guidance, and for being such a huge part of our success. We will miss you dear Dannica.
It happens out of the blue. A distant memory resurrected that brings me to my knees. A sprinkler, a purse, the smell of hot wet cement, a pearl. For months I've been fighting not to succumb to grief, exactly twelve of them today. Scared of total emotional and physical paralysis perhaps? The possible inability to function in a get-over-it society? So I, or more likely my higher self, let in only little bits at a time, small rations, just short of what I can't handle. Most of the time. I am blessed, and always grateful, and default to joy in the smack center of my being. But, please forgive me if I haven't been myself. A piece of me is gone, and I find myself expending the least amount of energy I need to to get by, while I strive to nurture and re-grow a new one. A piece that is capable of giving back, that can make a difference, that can spread kindness and love, as my mother did. Resting, processing, re-evaluating, evolving, being, listening, living in the moment. And getting ready for the next experiences, and gifts life has for me.
My mother, as captured through my father's eyes