Paper Connections : Faraway

The connections that I have to people really have made a profound difference in how I feel about myself. Whether it’s the random compliment from an online acquaintance that lifts my mood for the day or the interactions I have with the local folks as I go through my daily routine in our small town of Denton, Maryland, I feel good about being me.

As I was trying to work through my thoughts on being creative and making a career that I love, it occurred to me that besides writing, I spend a lot of time on paper crafts. It’s my “thing”. Suddenly I had an excuse to prove my making abilities to myself and strengthen the connections I’ve already made both here and afar. At the same time. I had a birthday card or two to make as well.

Paper crafting in progress on paper connections on Shalavee.comSo I conceived of two “projects” to keep me creating and inspired. This one was a card making and snail mailing project to my online friends and connections. And the second part of my Paper Connections two-part blog post will be all about a pre-holiday paper crafting party.  Here’s some of what I took pictures of my cards in process of creation and appreciation before I sent them on their way to their wonderful new owners.

birthday card for paper connections on

birthday card for paper connections on

And here’s what happened when my fabulous and creative Instagram friends received their cards in their Canadian mailboxes.

cards reatyled from paper connections on

Instagram is a very visual realm and so I am always inspired by the art work of these two women and the camaraderie that spills over during visits to each others’ feeds. And especially during theme prompted posting challenges. I have really become fond of these people and I consider them friends truly. So here’s to creation and gratitude and inspiration to continue this creative streak into the New Year and to setting up that Etsy store I keep putting off. Next up is Paper connections : Nearby, a post about my crafty party.



Making The Pizza : Lesson # 178

Although I  am encouraging of empowerment and change, I am not secretly harboring a dream to be a motivational speaker or a life coach. I believe leading by example carries more weight. In a very insightful blog post from Kathleen of Braid Creative entitled Don’t Aim To Inspire, she says inspiring others can’t be your end all be all. People can be inspired by you but you have to be pursuing your own goals while your being inspirational and learning your lessons. I am suspicious of the slightly overzealous people preaching motivation and change of being most in need of the stuff they’re preaching. I have seen a few exceptions online.

I will again admit, I feel like I have often talked about change and how everything’s great while inside I’m thinking I’m faking my way through it. Faking it and not necessarily feeling like I was making it. Sometimes I clearly see those parts of me that are pretty cool. I read a writing piece and think, “Wow, that’s good”. Then I forget.  I forget myself.scratch pizza dough on

It’s like when you have all the necessary ingredients in stock to make a pizza from scratch on Friday night pizza night. The self rising pizza dough kit and the jar of sauce and the pre-shredded mozzarella and you still feel incapable of making the pizza. If you don’t think you can, you won’t.

homemade pizza on

I do not see all the methods and opportunities for advancement and clever work I can create for myself because I don’t always think of myself as capable. Remember how you see the outside of someone’s car with “Wash Me” drawn in the dirt but whomever is driving can’t see it. Or how about, if I could see my puzzle piece clearly and the spots to try it out in clearly, I’d still have to pick it up and place it in the hole.

So I am going as fast and as hard as I can to sort my pieces and look for the puzzle holes to fill. And yes, sometimes I’m saying, “I can make this pizza!” even though I have every doubt in what that process will look like. I can read instructions, ask a friend, Google it, or muddle my way through it. But this pizza won’t make itself and you know I’m getting kinda hungry.

It’s A Small Recycling World Christmas Tree

If it’s perfect, you can’t improve it. And so I didn’t change one thing from my decorations last year to this year for the 15 foot tree at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Easton. My post from last year is here. uufe tree left side from

The theme again for this Christmas tree was definitely global awareness and I also created all the ornaments from found supplies at my house. I’m a huge fan of decorating with paper. You can get big scale for little money.

Brown papre stars on the tree from

So again, I brought out the brown stars made from coffee filters and cat litter bags that were my inspiration project last year.

paper doll garlands from

And the paper doll chains were a copy of ones my sister made for me for my wedding shower made from a roll of plastic-like paper that doesn’t rip.

globe topper and atlas nests on

The mini globes were created from big silver plastic balls I got bulk and on sale one year and hot glued ripped road atlas pages onto them. And the nests are globs of shredded road atlas pages wired to branches. I’m in love with the texture they provide. And of course I stole the old globe from my son’s room for the topper. The red netting them pops the elements and completes the tree because I’m a firm believer in red on a tree. All the members of the congregation are so happy and if feels like a perfect reflection of the consciousness and interconnection of the foundation of this community.

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