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Anchors Away Service Auction

This past weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of creating the “special” for the special event service auction fundraiser at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton to which we belong. This may have been the fifth special event I’ve decorated here plus various potlucks through the years.wheel scape front of room

A service auction is where community members donate goods or services and these are then auctioned off with the profits going to the church. I donated Help For the Hapless Hostess. Mark donated a round of golf. Many throw dinner parties, offer bed and breakfast packages at their waterfront homes, and there’s a crabbing trip and a plane ride over the region. It’s a wonderful way to get to know other community members and have fun doing so.Anchor on curtain on Shalavee.com

close up tablescape

This years theme was “Anchors Away” and I was told that the anchor was what needed emphasizing so that’s just what I did. I made a pattern out of wrapping paper and then cut it out of velvet. Then I ironed it onto my curtain with fuseable webbing. Perhaps I’ll post those pictures at another point.straight through angle during auction

side window curtains and lanterns

The curtains are a new item being offered by Mark’s company, On Your Mark Lighting Design and Equipment, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to get pictures of them in use. We sent them twelve feet high and then hung the nautical feeling lanterns with jute rope.

tablescape with yellow lantern

Mark used his water affect lights and LED uplights all in blue to give a water feeling. And I collected up as many nautical themed objects as I could for the tablescape in the main table. Food and wine was all donated as were our services and efforts so that all the profits could go to the church.

hallway flags and Colleen

We have a very kind and welcoming and generous community. And we are always glad and proud to contribute our talents to the cause. Plus we get to make the event truly Special. And Fiona said the cookies at this party were fantastic!Me and Fiona on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Week Two : Creativity Bootcamp 2016

As I head into my second week of Creativity Bootcamp, I’m feeling pretty stellar. I’ve produced 7 or 8 new collages, journaled every day, and decorated a special event party. Plus kept my house and blog running. Mostly because I worked hard ahead of time to really prepare. See the first three of the week’s collages here.

It wasn’t that easy the first round of Bootcamp back in October. I was raging against the fact that I had no regular free time for me. Because as it turns out to enter flow, as you’ll see in number two below, you need to have enough TIME to enter and exit your flow state in PEACE. Neither of which you have with a toddler. Ergo the immense frustration I was feeling back then.

        Five Keys To Flow

  1. Ritual – Create a mood or environment that’s conducive to creativity
  2. Solitude and Enough Time
  3. Focus – Plan ahead of time what you’ll be doing specifically
  4. You can’t command creativity – The cat under the bed will move further back if it doesn’t want to come out.
  5. Trust and Welcome whatever comes forth/out

(I got these from Sally Wolfe who’s ecourse on writing my book manifesto I’ve signed up for and will be working on after Bootcamp.)Collage Tulips on Shalavee.com

What has changed in four months? I suppose I get better naps out of her or she’s more self entertaining or I’m not choosing to try to art when I know I can’t. I still have limited time but what I also found was that, if I want to, I can speed my creative process up considerably and get a creative result in 15 minutes. A little bit is better than nada and that expectation adjustment may also be the key.

Interested in more information on Flow, read my past post here on creative expression and flow.

The next week is supposed to be about styling and picture-taking. See this post for my Creativity Bootcamp intentions. Currently I’m catching up on blogging and the sun outside is now being obscured by snow clouds. I’ll need to make sure to create my weeks posts in case another snow day costs me my private writing time tomorrow.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Sorting Out Blogging and Kory Woodard’s Advice

Starting something that you’ve never done before takes courage. When I began this blog I had no idea why I was doing it except that I would have to write more. The technical stuff was terrifying and draining. It takes time and energy to worry. But I could only take it one step at a time. And fortune favors the bold.

Little by little I’ve learned about how to do this online blogging thing. I’ve had to sort out what everyone else is doing from what felt right for me. I took two online blogging courses from Decor8 creator Holly Becker to understand more of the basics and build the aesthetic of my blog. My first online friends, people I’m still in touch with, I met through those courses. (Hi Jennifer, Jane, Sheryl, Seraphina, Sandra, and Mariana.) The more I watched, the more I wanted to do it “right”. at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

There were blogging events and conferences people were attending that I thought I needed to go and find myself at. I felt alone and sad that I could not afford to join. There were people making money promoting stuff on their blogs. Maybe I needed to do that. My contemporaries were suddenly creating projects and groups and communities and I felt like I was standing still for lack of inspiration or courage to do the same. But I was growing up. And I am finding that all of this has been just as it should be.

In taking your time to choose your path, you listen to your own needs and not those “choices” forced upon you by society or family or peer pressure. When I acknowledged that my strong unique voice was more important than any other element in my blog, I felt sooo much better. When I recognized that I didn’t want to sell or promote anything on my blog, I felt better. I would if it was something I adored but those offers haven’t come.

When I recognized that I was using the blog to find myself, have fun and connect with people, make community, find out what my purpose was, and what all that exactly feels like, I gave myself permission to go at my pace and do it in my way. That numbers can’t always show the truth of a situation. Thousands of followers doesn’t mean they all get you. find yourself, be that on Shalavee.com

And attendance to those conferences is great if you know your niche and want to connect with like-minded bloggers to work on future collaborations. But nobody there was going to be able to tell me who I was. There’s no like-minded until I have a mind. This may not be the best activity for me now or ever. I’ve taken the conference attendance off my goal list until I have another great reason to go. Like I’m speaking at one.

I have never wanted to feel like I was forcing my thoughts upon anyone, selling them on something. The online world constantly says you need an email list to use to sell future stuff. But when I was invited to comment on this subject by Kory Woodard, a very smart young woman who coaches online strategies, I noted she’d mentioned “build a community”. She wrote back and said yes and then wrote a follow-up post that was brilliant. Art comes in all forms on Shalavee.com

Kory says that she doesn’t think everyone needs a list. It’s up to you and here are a few reasons you may want one other than building a psycho sales tunnel. Number one was ,”Help you build a community around your blog or business. It’s sort of cool to feel like you’re part of this group of people who are seeing exclusive content. It’s even cooler when you realize that many of your current followers want even more from you. They want to support you and learn more. Having an email list allows you to create a great community of people who want to be active with your content.” I liked her vision much better.

And number two was ,”Allow your audience to get a greater glimpse of who you are – thus leading them to trust you even more.” delivering more information about yourself makes your community stronger by allowing for trust. I disclose so much anyway that I don’t mind doing it. I have sent out only a few newsletters to my subscribers with positive results. So I think I’m now encouraged by this young woman’s sage wisdom in that I won’t feel like I’m invading as much as offering more of what people already like about me. Finding a how to solidifying my community feels righteous. Saturday morning with a happy clementine on Shalavee.com

On blogging Kory’s advice is,”Above all, be yourself. The blogging world is literally packed with thousands of blogs – really great ones and terrible ones. However, you’ll never stand out or gain ground if you’re just copying what other blogs do. Instead, be yourself. Write about things you love and are passionate about, and people will like what you have to share and follow your blog because they like you and your take on things.”

I feel privileged to borrow the wisdom of such smart and intuitive young women online. My younger self had such a hard time that it feels so healing to receive needed wisdom from young women. Because when a thought feels like home, you need to adopt it. Especially when it leads you to community. I am ever grateful for the ones I am involved in and credit much of my climbing out of my dark secluded hole to these people, mostly “strangers” who have given the gifts of self sight and esteem I never realized I was missing.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Pulling My Value Out of Your Pocket

The theme of my recent therapy sessions has been value. What is my value? How do I see my value? Because having low self-esteem often means invisibility. That my value has often been imperceptible to me. I do not see what others see and this has kept me standing still while the world seems to zoom past me.

If I valued myself, then I would ask that others do the same of me. I’d be able to offer what I make/do for people to buy and not just take. Because it had value. The concept of being a business is still so foreign, disdainful even. But I feel that art has value. I believe vehemently in fact in the value of aesthetics and art in people’s lives. I just didn’t see this relating to me. Until it did.Painted floor cloth and my value on Shalvee.com

Blindly, I had based my value quite heavily on what others saw and valued in me. But things go terribly wrong when we act from a need to be liked. And then suddenly, I was offered an opportunity to see what I truly valued in myself when someone told me that what I had created wasn’t of value. At first I doubted myself, my talent. I respected their opinion. There must be something I’d overlooked.

But as I continued to consider what I’d created, I realized I value my design ability and my knack for making visual impact. I had done the very best work I could and I was proud of it. And I pulled myself back out from under those bus wheels.Red white and blue flower arrangement from Shalavee.com

I am grateful beyond words to have been given an opportunity to reclaim my value. To take it back out the pocket of another and put it into mine for safer keeping. My inner artist is a sensitive soul, yes. And I believe there is some work to be done around fortifying my artist heart. But I can say that I will be watching very closely where I’m receiving my valuable esteem from. And when others say,”You are a really good writer” or artist or designer, I’m gonna say,”Thank you” because I knew that and it’s nice to be reminded and recognized for being who you already know yourself to be.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Three Days into Creativity Bootcamp

Day three of Creativity Bootcamp 2016 had me making my third collage with the prompt I set ahead. I wrote 8 prompts out so that I would not balk for inspiration the moment I stepped up to the craft table. This first collage was prompted by “Green”.
 Stack collage on Shalavee.comAs I began to gather my paper pieces, the encyclopedia page with the Wrigley building in Chicago was what I grabbed as my background. The caption said it was built entirely from chewing gum….profits. So the green theme was expanded.

Processed with VSCO

This second collage above was from my prompt “Stack”. The smokestack happened to also be in my pile on my work bench leftover from the Valentine’s wreath I did in the Altered books crafting group activity I participated in in January.  I’d watercolored a book picture of Rio do Janero earlier and I added in some of my more vibrantly painted cut up pages. Ta Da. Took maybe 20 minutes. Very satisfying.

2016-02-03 07.37.19 1

This, my third day’s collage offering, was prompted by the word ” glimmer”. Kraft paper, another old encyclopedia page of a mountain and snow, and a silver paint pen. Took me five minutes tops. Because I spent the rest of the day working on a decorative piece for a fundraiser installation.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures,friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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