Monday, March 1, 2010

Time, Energy, and Motivation

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 Activity Spurt

I'm over 75% finished in my new revised studio. While working outside of my studio I created a new set of flash cards. The theme was Valentines so I got to use my happiest colors and I worked my Wizard for the first time in months.

Sample card from set and handmade envelope below.

Simon Says Stamp
The Artful Tourist is pleased to welcome a new sponsor to the web site and the blog. You must check out Simon Says Stamp for great deals on the newest products for paper arts along with a great selection of the “standards” we need every day. Every time you visit them from my links, they help support my web site, so please, use my links whenever possible to keep this show on the road. Thanks!

A few more digital projects

The 2009 digital gallery is complete with the creations from September through December.
I've finished some additional digital projects this year but you'll have to wait for the new gallery.

Regular Features

Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently: –There are plenty of markers out there to use when writing on non-porous surfaces, but these cool markers from BIC are by far one of the best values ($2.99 at Wal-Mart) and they are great performers. They are acid free and write directly on photos as well as metal, plastic, glass, and ceramic surfaces. I got a fine point set for Christmas and then purchased an ultra-fine set this week. I hope to do some projects with them to show you very soon. --This just cracks me up. In the spirit of having a web site and phone application for everything you can now check out this site to find out the best time to leave a movie theater to use the restroom.

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me— pink, red, glitter

Pleasing sounds-

1. Bruuuuce on the Ipod, mostly the Seeger sessions.

2. The tiny whimper Drexel the dog makes when he wants to leap all 20 pounds of himself into my lap—it’s like he’s asking please first.

Studio progress:

Yes, I’m aware this could be a separate post, but I'd rather do one big one than get bogged down in too much…

What marvelous opportunities for creation arise in each and every moment. I’m listening to an audio series called “Get Organized the Clear & SIMPLE™ Way” by Marla Dee.

I started this audio series to assist me in finally conquering the studio. I began listening in late fall when I really felt I didn’t have time to work on the organizing but I wanted to “set the stage” for delving back into the project in early winter.

In addition to relearning the power of adopting vision statements for my life I am appreciating how close I was to following through on the studio without being able to make an effective impact. Marla Dee explains quickly and often that resisting the urge to just dive in will be an asset in organizing and clearing.

The first step in Clear & SIMPLE™ is to SEE IT. Accepting where you are now and really seeing where you are now. Some of you may recall the scary movie I made last winter of my studio chaos I felt like I had a head start on this step. But I had missed a few important components with my previous process. I had not allowed myself to fully accept where I was or accept the fact that I could let go of the clutter easily and simply.

Last year I was also trying to do the reorganization in a format that was not comfortable for me but more accommodating to what was expected from me by social norms. While it is vital that I honor my loved ones, especially those that share my home, I needed to find a way to approach the project which worked for me.

I worked through the MAP IT phase, which according to Marla only needs to take a short amount of time. I found myself thinking the same way so many clutter-philes think which is that there can’t be any other situation like mine and that the principles can’t apply to me like they do for other people. I was wrong.

I'll let you check out the book for more details but I can't say enough great things about this methodology. I sorted like items together, packed everything up, moved it out, sorted what I wanted back in the room, and have got almost all of it moved back in. Sir Henry made me a new paper shelf (four feet wide and six feet tall!) and a new ink shelf for what I realized was over 100 ink pads....

Last weekend we had a "Creative Minds Yard Sale" and let go of 8 tables crowded with stuff. The leftovers not sold were donated or recycled and that felt so incredible. Some of my vision statements:
"I trust that I will have everything I need when I need it"
"As we release, we make room for the abundance"
"I have a creative-friendly zone"

Oh the joy.

In the kitchen—

Cheap Eats in a Flash! I need to funnel all available funds for a few fairly major projects right now so I’m looking to do cut backs on the grocery budget. I’ve been making a ton of casseroles and soups and freezing which also helps with week night dinner prep.

  In January I happily fed 6 for family night. We had Fiesta Bean soup and frozen taquitas with mexi salad. The price was right and the food was delcious.

Fiesta Bean Soup (10 servings)

Three cans of Progresso Mexican soup ($4.50)

1 can black beans, drained but not rinsed (.75 on sale)

1 cup frozen corn (.45 worth)

1 tblsp. McCormick’s taco seasoning

1 teaspoon Tastefully Simple Onion-Onion

1 teaspoon cumin

1 can chicken (1.30 at Big Lots)

Dump it all in the crock pot for about 2.5-3.5 hours and serve with crushed tortilla chips. Sour Cream dollop and grated cheese optional (I had these left over from other recipes)

The soup was about .70 cents per serving and took less than 15 minutes to assemble.

Austerity Plan progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools):   I invested $40.00 of my holiday gift card in packing and storage boxes--but really is that art supplies? I purchased adhesive refills and a color applicator at a crop for $12.00. Sir Henry gave me the shelves for Valentines and devoted 3 days of labor plus paint and some materials. I contributed another $75.00 to materials too. These big expenditures weren't exactly art supplies and tools, but they were well worth the investment and I had the money because I'd done well with my austerity plan for months now.

While packing my studio I spend a bit more time on the internet looking at inspiring sites, clips from CHA, and how-to videos. I decided that I really wanted this tool called an Enveloper.  I had money in my Paypal account from some online writing payments and ordered on from So, technically I spent that money, but it's not like I ever saw it--grin. The tool is from a UK company called Crafter's Companion. They have a big multipurpose tool launched this year, but I really wanted just the envelope portion of the package which is sold sperately.

When the Enveloper arrived I used it immediately to make a 3-D enevelope(they call it an EnveloBox)  that held a Valentine card taped onto microwave popcorn. See video here 

Left back of envelobox, lower left front of envelobox, below digital popcorn Valentine. Click to enlarge.
Points of Interest: (random things I’ve paid attention to lately) As Joni Mitchell said, “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone…” The record cold weather here in South Florida reactivated way too many fibromyalgia symptoms and my neck went screaming again. I took a recovery week and changed some medications that have really improved by outlook and my quality of living.

I've lost enough weight for it to show in my appearance! It's taken a year and the Girl Scout Cookies set me back a bit, but it's so movtivating to see the weight drifting away.

My opinion and where it may lead: I’ve been cherished far more than I’ve been played and I’ve received far more than I’ve given. I am thankful.