Friday, May 30, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - slowing down

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I am grateful that I can take time to slow down - to calm my mind and relax. I've been feeling very rushed lately and need to focus - I just need to remind myself to slow down....

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - lists

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I am grateful for lists! seriously - when i feel overwhelmed with everything I need to do I can write out the list of everything and it seems much more do-able (is that a word?).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - Silence

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I am grateful for silence and being alone (at time). This morning at 6am I went for a run around our neighborhood and everything was silent except for the birds and cars in the distance. It was beautiful - calming and healing.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - space

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I am grateful that I have space to grow a garden, space to work on my art, space to be alone...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - early morning

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I am grateful for early mornings, especially in the spring with the smell of fresh air and the sound of birds chirping... and the occasional deer in the park.

This deer has been showing up a lot lately - this morning there were two deer hanging out and eating leaves.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Our Garden - Before and After

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I live in a small apartment and therefore don't have the option of planting a large garden in the yard.

Thankfully, we are on the bottom level and there is a nice door wall out to the patio and yard and our view is of a large city park with tons of trees. There is a spot under the kitchen window where the grass never grew well so I decided to claim it for our garden years ago. I lined the edge of it with rocks that my husband has collected over the years from all the places he has gone rock climbing, and this year he and our daughter made a three level shelf thing out of tree branches and old closet shelves.

My daughter helped me pick out some flowers and plant them in our containers - the garden area gets sun all day long and with the containers I can move them to the porch for shade if they look like they need it. I also planted a bunch of seeds that we had either bought or saved from last years flowers. I love to stand in the garden and examine each flower and plant to make sure it's growing well - it's very relaxing and rewarding.

At the end of last summer I let the garden die out and this is what it looked like after the winter snow melted. Some of the clay pots were too damaged to reuse, but all the new plastic pots I had bought were in great condition.  

 Next, my daughter went with me to the nursery to pick out some flowers and plants and clean out al the pots...

I knew I wanted my hanging basket to have lobelia, vinca vine, and pink geranium - three of my favorites.

Last year it rained so much in spring that when I was finally able to plant things I was so excited that I forgot to label the pots. So, I had a lot of pots with mystery seeds and some plants that I bought at Easter Market in Detroit but I replanted them and forgot to transfer the tag. This year we decided to make some garden tags with craft sticks and seal them with Mod Podge. We did this a few years ago and it worked well. We all worked on the tags and used lots of colors trying to make them really cool.

 After finishing the writing for one, I coated in in Mod Podge and it smeared the colors all over. We decided to try coating the finished tags with a clear acrylic spray instead.

The clear acrylic spray appeared to work well until the tags got wet then most of them smeared or washed off all together. Some of the words written in black were still legible. We'll work on those again later...

My husband and daughter jumped the fence to get some fallen branches to make the shelf in the garden.

Time to place all the pots in the garden area!

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - change

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I am grateful for change but it also makes me very nervous. It scares me to take risks, although  I guess that's why safe is not scarey... change = growth     

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - Work Redefined

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I am grateful for the ability and opportunity to define work in my way and the way that best fits me and my family - it's scarey but exciting! It seems to be getting more difficult for anyone - or maybe just creatives - to find a career path that is straight forward and obvious. I'm not going to find a job where I can do all the things I want to do on my schedule and stay there until I retire. It's more like I am creating my career as I go and finding opportunities to be able to do what I want to do and be successful that way. By putting myself out there and sharing my work, more opportunities show up. I am getting invitations from artist friends to be a part of their art projects, as well as clients asking for more time with me for art therapy and art lessons. It all seems to be working out :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - the school bus stop

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I am so grateful for the few minutes I get to spend with my daughter at the bus stop on school mornings. It's not a lot of time but we always enjoy it - singing, playing tag, doing a rain dance (she made something up and we couldn't stop laughing) - we talk and hug goodbye and it really has been some of the best moments.

When people talk about what makes you happy, I've found that it really is the quality moments when you are completely present in the experience. 

Here we are huddled together under the umbrella finishing breakfast :)

Here is my reminder drawing to go in my box of gratitude. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - rain

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I love rain! I woke up this morning and the sky was gray and the air felt wet. Thunderstorms are amazing!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude for my mom, sunshine, and support

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I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue sharing my gratitude journal - not sure why, just thought posting it everyday was too much or a waste of time - who really needs to see these anyway. I think I often talk myself out of setting new (good) habits. I start something with the intention of bettering myself, but then quickly decide that it's not working or it's a bad idea or I forget about the new habit all together (like my idea for training for a half marathon).

I started this habit of daily gratitude with the intention of increasing my joy. If I can wake up each morning and meditate on something that I am truly grateful for, then that should carry on throughout my day, right?

Today I was reminded that this is a good habit, something worthwhile to share, and that others are finding inspiration from what I'm sharing - thanks Jolie!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude - friends

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Grateful for friends and kindness in general. I'm always reminding myself and my kids to be kind because you never know where someone is coming from - you don't know what's going on in their life. I am grateful that the friends I have are not petty or judgmental - they are kind and understanding.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude

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I have been working on a simple new Daily Visual Journal : Daily Gratitude. My original Daily Visual Journal has not been daily lately - I have been creating art everyday, but not in the style of my DVJ (I will soon, I swear). However, I had this little box that I wanted to use for something and then I had the idea of making small visual reminders of gratitude that would fit inside.

I started by creating lots of small cards that would fit inside, about 2 x 3 inches. I used watercolor paper that was painted on but not used for anything, so it had cool colors and patterns that would make a nice background. I also used some old manila file folders that I painted with gesso and some old poster board - I will need more cards eventually, but I think I started with about 40, which is enough to get me started.

After a few days of creating the cards at different times, trying to work it into my schedule, I decided that I wanted to use these as a type of morning meditation. So, I am choosing a word for the day - writing it on the card (adding more details or decoration as I want) - sitting quietly, breathing, and focusing on the word and what it means to me. I am also writing the date on the back with a short sentence about the reason for choosing the word.

This process is helping me to slow down and focus at the start of my day. I'm going to start sharing them here, feel free to join me in the process, I would love to see the gratitude you share.

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