All posts by debrafillingim

Liberate Your Art 2017

 

I like to do different mail swaps through the year.  They are inexpensive and take little time.  The Bonus of my bit of effort is getting beautiful snail mail in return.

One of my favorite activities is the Liberate your Art Swap. This is led by Kat Sloma.  She is great about giving the very simple directions, reminding us as deadline approaches, and getting everything that we have mailed her circulated and sent out.

Basically this is how it works:

I send six postcards of my art to her and I get back six postcards o other people’s art.

My postcard is different every year.  Now that I am doing this a while and because someone else mentioned it to me-I should keep a spreadsheet. I always get extra postcards made and I don’t want to send the same one each year.

Sometimes my postcards are a photo of a painting I did.  Other times it is just a photo I think is cool.  Depending what it is and what I want, I will often use PicMonkey to add words to my card.

I took a picture of my friends rocks and loved it.  I asked her permission to use that as my postcard and I simply included her website on there.

It’s a lot of fun and the cards are beautiful.  I also have people I side swap with!

Here are the cards I got this year.

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Here are some of the cards I have sent in the past:

I hope you will consider doing a swap…very little time -very big rewards. When you order your cards-order a few extra.  Postcard stamps are cheaper and you will have some quick snail mail to send out to those you are about. I sent one to my friend for her birthday and I was so happy to see that she was excited to get a “piece of my art”.

 

Happy Creating!

 

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I DID IT-with a little help from my friends!

People find this hard to believe, but I am afraid of a lot of things.  OK I looked up the definition just to make sure I am using the right word. Afraid: 1.filled with fear or apprehension 2. filled with regret or concern 3. feeling worry or concern or insecurity 4. having feelings of aversion or unwillingness.The only one that does NOT fit is number four. 

I remember reading a book Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky.

“There are only two emotions: one is Love and the other is fear. Love is our true reality. Fear is something our mind has made up, and is therefore unreal.”

Gerald G. Jampolsky, Love Is Letting Go of Fear

At first I found that ridiculous but as I thought about different things I did-I realized everything I did-I could tie to either love or fear.  I started to think about over people’s behavior as well-the boss that hovers, the perfectionists, and the procrastinators. It helped me to see people differently.  We have all run into people at work that seem grumpy and indifferent. Instead of being upset-I saw them differently.  Certainly that type of behavior was not love-so they must be afraid of something.  It really is a paradigm shift and I think it is easier to stop taking things personally and be compassionate because no one likes to be afraid.

“Fear and love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we want…”

Gerald G. Jampolsky

Oh yeah-that is so true and I have gotten in trouble many times, with people I love, for choosing fear. Once it was too gone to get back-I realized my actions were fear based.  I will make every effort from now on not to make decisions based on fear-when it comes to my relationships with people.

I am always afraid of trying something new. Like I have a new silhouette machine.  Yes-I have been busy but I admit I may be procrastinating trying it the first time because it is new. I procrastinate on projects thinking I can’t do it, or I need hours of time-only to find out when I finally jump in…that I can do it just fine.


Sometimes if it is something I really want to do, I will do it anyway. It could be taking a class in a new technique, going to a party where I do not know anyone, joining a new group, or greeting someone at church (yes, this is scary for me). I won’t sleep and I ‘ll be anxious, but I do it.

But there are some things I would never do alone.  I am pretty brave considering all the things I have made myself do over the years and all the hairy things I have survived but I doubt I will I know I will never be as brave as my friend Annette who traveled to Italy by herself! I know I will never jump out of a parachute like my friend Sharon.

Ok I did crochet the bracelet I thought I could not do. But when I did not understand the directions for the closure, it sat for months.  Finally I decided I would finish it MY way so that I could wear this bracelet I loved.

Something that has been on my list for a while is a 5K. Now I am not a runner, I am a walker.  I want to do the Disney one because I want that medal. But, this is one of those things I am NOT doing unless I have a buddy. Too far out of my comfort zone. I have asked friends here and there but never followed through-well…because I am afraid.

Then one day I am sitting with friend Jo Foringer and she said she has signed up for a 10K and that she will be walking. I was listening-I asked for details. I used to walk over three miles a day so I figured I could do this-I can walk.  Knowing I would be with her-a confidence buddy or whatever you want to say…I signed up.  I told myself I needed to get out walking again and wearing sneakers (hate them) to get ready.  I had months.  Well, life is busy and I probably only walked a few times,  I was not giving up though-because as rigid as I can be when I am afraid, I am just as rigid if I have told someone I am going to be there.

So Jo and her husband Dave would meet me at the race. I got there first and then was freaking that she was not coming. Of course they did. I had only slept three hours the night before because-I was afraid. I knew I could finish in three hours because I know my walking pace.  But what if I have to go to the bathroom  What if I get a cramp? What if I get overheated? OK so I planned ahead.  I have a fanny pack and I packed it for every disaster.

Two waters

Two kind bars

tissues (lack of such could be embarrassing)

Deep Blue roll on (for cramping-my friend had used it in a previous race)

Digestzen (a tummy issue would NOT be good-I used this three times!)

Peppermint Beadlets (to keep me alert, help me if I get stuffed up)

Motivate Essential Oil-enough said

Cell phone-got to document this moment

Our friend Tara was there and that was a great feeling to see her before we began and get a hug.  Jo also had some other friends there as well.

When we started out, Dave & Jo were pacing a little faster than I expected. Dave has long legs and Jo was moving.  They asked if they were going too fast and I said no because really-it did not feel bad to me.  As I timed how we were doing, I felt the pace was a good one.

The walk started off with pelting rain and wind.  I was soaked and hated water getting in my face.  We had a headwind for sure but I would rather have it the first half and not the second. Overall I kept just a bit behind Dave & Jo.  The turning point was exciting.  I had no cramping, was not exhausted, and as water was provided, had plenty of water on me still.  I was not overheated at all.

I was thrilled when we got to the end-I think in just over two hours.  Would have been perfect if I had not fell in the sand.  Just to my knees-not out of exhaustion or anything but walking up the hill in the soft sand was the hardest part! There was one woman that was carried across the line by her friends! I got my Octopus Medal and I was SO PROUD of myself. I was SO THANKFUL for the experience. I wondered, of course, what took me so long to do this. But we know the answer, fear.

There were many encouraging words along the way!


After getting up that hill-we grabbed some water and then went off to party a bit before I headed home. Yes I did drink that before 10am!

Dave & Jo-I cannot thank you enough.  Thanks Dave for being the leader, even if you had to walk backwards sometimes. Thanks for your great pacing-all the encouragement helped me to do something that has been on my list for years.  Actually-a 5K was on my list so this was even better.  Just a little help from friends makes a difference.

Dave & Jo have already signed up for a 5K. As soon as I see that the date is not a conflict with our convention, I plan to join them.

Here’s hoping anyone that reads this will take a step towards doing something they really want to do that they are a bit afraid of. And if I can help you I will!

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Have friend-will travel!

My friend Cecil came to visit me from Texas.  We have been friends since before my daughter was born (she is 34). As long as we have known each other, we have liked traveling.  Sometimes we do the local things in a given area and other times we venture out a bit.

I kept asking Cecil when he could come and he finally pinned down some dates in April.  So then I compiled some ideas about what we could do. My husband suggested that we alternate longer trips and shorter trips-ending with local activities on Cecil’s last day.  This was a great idea.  With Cecil arriving Monday afternoon-we had four full days for fun-Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Saturday we would bring Cecil to the airport early-so that we could participate in an Earth Day Vendor Event in Orlando.

Monday we went to dinner at Rib City-this place is one mile from our home in Grant. The owner of this place has really made this a favorite local spot.  Great food, great service, and great atmosphere.  It is so wonderful to have this place so close to home! Not only is the food great, but The Old Grant Creamery is on the premises with the best ice cream ever!  While Cecil was here I think we went a total of three times-Cecil loved it!

This is what we decided on for our week of fun.

Day 1 Tuesday: Tarpon Springs

Day 2 Wednesday: Sanford, Cassadaga,  and dinner at Megan’s

Day 3 Thursday:  St. Augustine

Day 4 Friday: Indian Buffet Lunch, Downtown, and Beach Walk

Day 1: We headed to the sponge docks at Tarpon Springs. The weather was comfortable until the afternoon and by then we were ready to leave. We ate at Yianni’s.  I told Cecil he MUST have the flaming cheese ( Saganaki). Cecil did like the flaming cheese but I learned that Cecil does not like Gyros.  For him the meat and the spices were strange. I loved mine and he offered me the rest of his-but I was full. We walked the streets and we picked up a couple things.  I loved lunch-but the Gyro was not Cecil’s favorite. It was a great ride though-both ways.  Cecil and I like to take back roads-you never know what you will see. We went to Abbott’s Custard in Vero-kinda on the way home.  Abbott’s is something I have been connected to since childhood when my grandparents took us every summer.  Cecil loved it of course.

Decorated bicycles in Tarpon Springs, FL

Day 2: I told Cecil about Sanford after friends and I had gone their to see a friend’s art exhibit.  I fell in love with this town.  There is a great variety of stores and eateries. There is so much charm in this city.  I love the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery.   I think Cecil was surprised by some of the crazy (that’s a good thing) art in there.  He really liked the watercolors. A new group was setting up and we met an artist that was retired after 47 years of teaching.  As Cecil and I are both retired teachers-that was fun.  We walked the streets, which are beautiful, and at my suggestion ate at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe.     My stepdaughter had recommended this to me and I had gone there with my girlfriends on the first trip.  This is excellent food.  I do not remember what Cecil had but he did like it.  I had the sausage plate again (like last time) but this time had sauerkraut and mashed potatoes with it.  The mashed potatoes were the best I have ever put in my mouth.  The kraut was fantastic and if you eat German food-you know mashed potatoes and kraut together are amazing.  I had the bratwurst-also fantastic.

After Sanford we decided to bop over to Cassadaga.    Cecil had been years before and enjoyed the town, bookstore, and a reading. He had the reading and left feeling great about everything the person shared.  He tried to get the same person again but she was busy.  He was able to meet with someone that day and was very happy with that person as well.  It was very interesting to listen to things Cecil had to say about the experience and that was one event this time that when he told me about it, I got goosebumps…

 

Last stop for day 2 is to Megan’s for dinner. She made a fantastic eggplant dish-I bought the salad fixins’.

Day 3: St. Augustine-the nation’s oldest city. I love St Augustine so I suggested it. It’s a bit of a ride but Cecil and I enjoy long rides and he would often look at the map and find alternate routes to using the highway.  We arrived in time for lunch and ate at a place I hadn’t eaten at before.  The menu offered Po Boys which appealed to both of us.  While the inside was typical casual decor-the food was great! The Florida Cracker Cafe–  I admit I loved the name.  It reminds me that I told Cecil he must read A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith.  When I mentioned this to Cecil in the Sanford bookstore, a woman chimed in and also shared her love for the book. We walked around after lunch and I was excited to find some jewelry pieces by Kelli Rae Roberts on sale. When the afternoon got warm-we headed home.  I think we stopped at The Old Grant Creamery again-Cecil said it is the best ice cream he has ever had.

Day 4: Kept things local this day because Cecil would leave early the next morning.  Didn’t want to tire him out! In the morning I stayed home and got a little work done-then we headed out for a few short errands before lunch.  My grandogs Lotus & Po are having a one year Whobilation (birthday) on Sunday so first stop was the pet store to get gifts.  My daughter always collects donations for the shelter at their BD but come on-I am the grammy so I was buying a present.  Megan told me Lotus needed something challenging-that girl is smart.  So I picked a puzzle with four things to do.  For Po-I chose a ball machine.  You put the ball in and it shoots out.  I also knew Diesel (chihuahua) would love it. Off to Taste of India for buffet lunch

We both enjoyed it-I have never been disappointed here.  After lunch we went downtown.  I found a new store there Giftique, with lots of things my friend Annette would like.  I have my eye on a gold crown I saw there. Lots of art by Kellie Rae RobertsCecil bought some bath salts at Indian River Soap .

After perusing downtown-we headed over the bridge to the beach.  Every time Cecil visits we go to the beach.  As we walked this time, we remembered when we first took Megan on a beach walk.  She was about three and would walk at the water’s edge, fall down, run a few more feet, fall down-she loved it.  It was a perfect day for a walk-in fact we were very fortunate to have beautiful weather every day Cecil was here.

Friday night-Cecil’s last night-he offered to take us for dinner to our other favorite local eatery-The Old Fish House Bar & Grill.  We sat outside and it was wonderful.  We suggested the Redfish to Cecil as it is a favorite.  I , however, have been craving clam strips so that is what I ordered-with hushpuppies of course because they are amazing.  We had a nice dinner-but then it was back home to work.  Marty and I had samples to prepare and had to pack the car completely for the Earth Day Event at Lake Eola the next day.  Cecil offered to help but we declined-thinking it would not take long! Sorry to say that we worked till almost ten! Cecil decided to turn in-good idea as we would be out early in the morning.

I always enjoy when Cecil comes.  I am looking forward now to getting back to Texas, on his territory.  Have a quite a few friends I can visit in Texas-it’s a big state.

I kept the list of ideas Cecil and I compiled for travel-for when he comes again.

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Sanford & Friends

I tend to be a workaholic-thank goodness for wild and crazy art friends to remind me to have fun! My friend  Mychele is on a roll with her creativity and is inspiring me to make time for creativity as well.

Artsy girls need to see art! Our friend Jaci suggested that we all go to Sanford to the Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery when our friend Tracy Stilwell would have an exhibit there.

While this may be a bit blurry, I love this shot of myself, Mychele, and Jaci under Tracy’s eyes.

Jaci and I drove over from my home and Mychele met us there.  We all, for some reason, thought this was a small gallery but it was not! Not only were there many rooms of art but rooms where artists worked on site.  Our hostess with the mostest, Bailey, told us how the gallery was laid out and got us going on our adventure.

     

I really enjoyed one couple we met-The Abbots.  Debe  had an eclectic collection of work as did her artist husband, Kevin. They have been doing art together for thirty years I think they said!  I admit my favorites are the rooms she creates.  You can see this process on her blog at Evolution of a Painting.   Mychele and I agreed she had painted our dream room/house.  We spent a lot of time talking to Debe and Kevin-great people!

              

Of course our main mission was to see Tracy’s work so we headed to that area and enjoyed seeing her Garden Girls and fabric creations.We took several photos and left her a love note at the comment area. Tracy’s fabric creations each have their own story.  They are filled with images and details-each one takes time to see fully.

                    

We were surprised to see a small collection of work by another friend Midge Beaudoin.

Midge and Tracy have both taught classes at Art More Place in Melbourne Florida. That is how I met these two artsy gals.

This not so little gallery is very impressive and I cannot wait to go back.

While shopping in the gift area, I was thrilled to find a fused glass bird pendant. I loved it immediately , bought it, and named her Sky.  I have worn her every day since and get at least two comments a day . The artisan is Martin Cheek .

After all the fun at the gallery-we asked our hostess ,Bailey, about lunch suggestions.  She and Debe gave us lots and we ended up next door at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe. My stepdaughter-Katie, quite a connoisseur, had recently suggested this place when she heard I was going to Sanford.  When she says you MUST go there, trust it.  It was right next door and I had read on yelp that they were great at helping with gluten-free/vegetarian choices.  Turns out they had a vegetarian menu! Our server Dalton was amazing! I was very hungry and therefore overwhelmed with the extensive menu.  He helped me pick something out quickly which I great appreciated.  He described the different sausages so I could make a choice.  I admit, when selecting sides, etc I went with his favorites-and I am glad I did. Dalton helped me select a sausage plate and two sides. It was delicious! The decor in this place was German of course-loved everything about this place. Although I did not have any, it seems there were many great beers on hand.

        

After lunch we strolled just a bit more.  We found a bookstore Maya Books and Music.  Well of course I was going in! (for those of you that don’t know me personally,Maya is my poodle’s name) This bookstore was packed with stacks and stacks of books.       

Then I found Magpies. I LOVED this place!  Just a room full of unique treasures!  I found soaps, gourmet cotton candy, jewelry, clothing, and small unique home decor pieces.  Cannot wait to go back! I set up the place on yelp because it was not on there and it deserves to be seen! Don’t miss it if you are in Sanford.

      

Sanford was a beautiful town and I admit I plan to get back there as soon as I can.   Even the walls of the buildings were unusual-encrusted with memorabilia. I did not have enough time that day to explore as much as I would have liked.

Mychele taking a shot!
View down the main street-there are many side streets as well!
just one of the encrusted walls.
Another encrusted wall-I thought this was fascinating.
A shot down the other side of the main road. Everything was so beautiful!

Sanford is now one of my favorite towns for a getaway.  Who wants to go?

Mychele also wrote about our day.  See her version here!

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View from the desk…

THIS IS MY DESK!  Never judge your progress by the piles left behind.  Today Mychele was a great help as we both tried to get our blogs up and running again.

After lots of texts and a phone call, she helped me fix several things.

This very short blog is a test-to see if this automatically shares like it is supposed to.

Despite the messy desk-I have gotten tons done today.

I will not bore you with the details.

On towards progress.

That is all.

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I’ll see you in my dreams…

I had my dream Friday night and wrote the post first thing Saturday morning.

What a dream I had last night-it was so real and entwined with real events of the day!  In the dream-I had two essential oil events scheduled-as I do today.  One was a one on one with Tricia.  The other was a rollerball class with Jessica in the afternoon.  In the dream I looked outside and saw TONS of people walking in my backyard.  There was a table there and they were sitting down. There were other people sitting in chairs. I saw some adults I recognized-Arminta, Teri, Holly, Ana, Sara, Annette, and Dawn.  Then I saw tons of young adults (20-30 years old) that I did not know.

I said to Marty-I must have messed up and posted a class today and not remembered.  Call Tricia and tell her I will get with her later.  So I went to the table (Teri was at the head facing me)  and asked them how many thought I always had my act together (I am accused of this all the time but those that do know me-know what an airhead I can be). They all raised their hands.  Then I laughed and said well this is a great example of how grandly I can mess up because  I don’t know why you are here! They laughed and Teri told me it was a teacher thing.  Something about my name being pulled at a school event.  All the people there were my grown students and some of their parents!  I walked around and could talk to many of the grown students I had in the past. They all looked great, were happy, thanked me and gave me hugs.  It was the most wonderful dream.

Whenever I have a dream that is so real-I wonder what triggered it. I retired December 2013 so it has been a while since I have taught. I was at a small business event the previous night.  I saw a former intern of Sandy Robinson’s there-Jennifer Blank.  She teaches at Royal Charter.  I saw two former students-sons of Lori Grodecky.  One is 18 and graduating this year-the other in 5th grade with straight As.  Former student Amy McPherson was at last night’s event with her mom.  She is in college-to be a teacher. I met a new friend at the event and when I told her I was a retired teacher-she asked if I missed it.  I told her I missed the students, working with parents and the teachers but that teaching was a grueling job.

Last week I saw Odean at Cinemaworld. It was the second time I saw him there and he always gives me a hug. I enjoy seeing Troy Parsons at Pollo Tropical. There is nothing more rewarding for a teacher than to see his/her students out in public being adults.  We all like to think we had something to do with their success.

It is so funny when I see a student, I sometimes cannot remember their name-but I remember them. When I tell them who I am they are amazed I remembered them.  I can always tell them a story-like how I called Troy’s sister Baby Bear after a school show she participated in. It is amazing how many of them tell me they were sorry they were a bad kid.  I tell them they were not a bad kid-they just sometimes made bad choices or had bad behavior.

Students do not realize how much teachers care.  Sure-we are on the back-working towards excellence all the time. Sounds corny-like a school mission statement-but it is TRUE.  I told a student once when he accused me of picking on him-that I cared about him too much to let him be a fool. That if I didn’t care-I would just let him keep going in that wrong direction.Many kids thanked me when they left Jupiter or when I saw them years later-for being tough on them and not letting them continue their bad behavior. I never felt that grades were everything when it came to teaching.  I cared about those kids as if they were mine.  I wanted them to be respectable people that could independently take care of themselves as they grew.  There are some students I still worry about and pray for. They pop in my mind all the time-I wonder where they are and if they are ok.

I do not know why but when I woke up I had to get this all down.  I am friends with some former students on Facebook that I was close to in school. To see them grown, working, raising children-is very exciting.  Teachers are unique people.  Teaching is one of the most difficult professions because we can never leave it at work-either we are bringing work home or we are bringing our student stories home-thinking about them, worrying about them, praying for them. Many teachers’ sanity and diligence is fed by the one note they may get a year from a parent or student-telling them they have made a difference.

This is not the first dream I have had about students.  I had them every year at the beginning of the school year and throughout the summer.  I may have been off work in the summer-but I was still working on projects and worrying about kids.


As tough as teaching is-we try to remember and focus on the good things and not on the things that break our heart-the kid moved out of state when he was just making progress, when you are told to stop your afternoon club unless you can prove it improves scores, and when the kids beg you not to leave in the middle of the school year. Like Marty said though-there will always be those kids, you will always have a reason not to leave. We agreed it was time.

If you are a parent-I hope this will help you see your children’s teachers a little different and maybe you will take a moment to think of your own. Know that the phone calls and notes you get about your child are because the teacher cares.  If they did not-they would just not bother. Keeping in touch with parents is a LOT of work.l  If you are a former student, know that myself and others at Jupiter-we always wanted great things for you.  And for my former students and others going into education..GOD BLESS YOU! If I can help in any way-I will.  We need new teachers that have a passion for the children like my peers did. I am in tears as I write this-because I do miss teaching and I do miss the kids. Last night’s dream was so real.  I wish I really could see so many of my students again. I have boxes of letters from them I will never throw away.  I am glad I am still somewhat local so I can run into them here and there.

I am sure the things I speak of here are not unique to me. Many teachers feel these things.

Thank you for listening to my rant and GOD BLESS THE TEACHERS!

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To see or not to see…

I just saw the movie The Shack and it has really impacted me… I’m really going to try not to have any spoilers. I’m not going to argue with you about how I feel about this movie so please don’t try to argue with me. There are people I admire on Facebook that have already stated that The Shack is not biblically correct and that you shouldn’t go to see it and that it is not scripture , etc. I respect your feelings on that.

I read the book The Shack years ago. Now if you know me at all you know I read many books-sometimes as many as four in a week. And I will tell you right now – I read books for entertainment. I read them to learn as well but for me-well learning is entertaining! I’ll read them, know if I loved it or had certain feelings about the book but don’t ask me about the details. I read the Chronicles of Narnia over twenty times, all seven volumes but there is still a lot I can’t tell you except that I loved every minute. But there is something I do remember about the book The Shack-I hated it. I don’t know why right now but I do remember I was angry. I think it’s because it did not give me a resolution that I wanted.

I do remember as I was reading it I was wondering when something was going to happen that would make me like this book because at the time there was a lot of hoopla about it. Everybody was saying it was life-changing you should read it. So I kept reading. I kept waiting for something miraculous to happen and for me it didn’t. I do remember though that there were a couple sentences that blew my mind and stopped me in my tracks. I don’t remember what they were-I probably wrote them in my journal or something.  I do remember thinking that even though I was angry about the book and I didn’t like a lot of it-those few sentences were worth everything

When I started to see the previews it was weird but that little bit of anger started kicking back up again…I hated that book -I can’t believe they made a movie out of it! But as I watched the previews I admit I was drawn to it and a couple people I trusted and cared about and are similar to me in some ways had gone to see the movie and they liked it.  I decided to give it a chance.

So how did I feel about it? I loved this movie. I didn’t like it a lot, I didn’t think it was pretty decent,  I LOVED this movie. And for those people that think I shouldn’t have even gone to see it because of my beliefs-I am a big moviegoer and I don’t go depending on what my belief system is. I go to be entertained or to learn something. I am a thinker-no matter what movie I go to, it is going to make me think and there will be a lesson.

Anything that is discussing my God and belief systems-I’m interested. I enjoy learning about how other people think and feel. I will tell you that I love this movie because it touched me in many ways. I’m a believer yet something in this movie touched me and really helped open up things that maybe were closed off. My God is an awesome God and I have total belief that there are going to be people that will go to this movie that are not believers that may be touched in some way.

Please don’t write me notes about how I shouldn’t have gone or how I’m being silly thinking that it could touch people.  I don’t know everything, but some things I know for sure.

GOD can take any thing you think is “bad” and make it work for good if He chooses.

GOD reaches people in different ways-some of which others may not understand.

GOD appears to people differently because people are different.

GOD is much more powerful than any movie.

If you feel it is in conflict with your Christian beliefs to see The Shack-I hope you will reconsider.  Certainly you know that with your strong faith, a movie is not going to compromise your beliefs. Ask God to give you insight on what you could learn from the movie.  I loved the movie so much-I’ve decided to read the book again.


As humans we are in different places emotionally day by day.  I may have totally different feelings about the book if I read it now.

I was so filled with emotion as I left the movie-I just had to get these words down.  I sat in my car using dragon dictation until I got everything out that was running in my brain.  None of it seems really profound-but…that’s ok.  If you saw The Shack…I would LOVE to hear what you thought about it.  I would love to get some discussion going.

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Liberate Your Art Swap 2016

I was so thankful to participate in the Liberate Your Art Swap again this year.

Why? This swap encourages me to make art and share.  I am involved in many swaps and do a lot of artsy activities through online classes and through Art More Place in town. At Art More Place, I learned that anything creative is art and it has helped me accept my work-no matter what. I have learned because of the swaps, to take pictures of my art.  While I am my worse critic, by stepping away from my piece for a while, and then taking a photo-the piece takes on a while new look.

After taking pictures of my art, I collect those photos and other photos(usually nature-and definitely art) I love in a folder and order postcards.  Now I have art to share!

It is wonderful to see other people’s art and connect to people around the world.  I often visit their blogs and/or write to them.

As luck would have it, I am staying at a home far from my own watching some pups and do not have the cards with me!

I had the husband send me pics of the four he could find.  I will add them here and more information about the senders later.

I love the painting of the girl and the city.  I can relate to them both.  I love the Oregon postcard-we were in Washington several years ago but never made it to Oregon.  Lastly, the bird is great.  I am greatly attracted to birds and fascinated with them. I always am amazed how the postcards I get seem to be picked just for me!

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I actually don’t remember all the cards I sent-but this is a favorite.  This was actually the size of a playing card and created for the Inspirational Card Swap. I loved this little one so much I took a picture to save it forever.

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As I have participated in swaps, I have encouraged others to as well.  Many have found joy participating.  Maybe you should give it a try?  I am glad to help and/or answer questions  I admit it may seem scary at first but once you jump in-it’s wonderful!

Do something creative for yourself today!

Visit the Blog Hop and meet others that participated in this swap.

This video is great too!

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Florida Blog Con 2015

I was invited by my friend Mychele to the Florida Blog Conference. I knew little about the conference but I know going anywhere with Mychele is fun. I’m writing in my mind constantly but it’s sometimes a struggle to get it down on paper. I have a blog that Mychele helped me set up and I want to blog more and I know I have a lot to learn. First thing I was impressed with was the organizer Bess Auer. I had an issue with my ticket and I emailed her and she took care of it immediately with kindness and a sense of humor. Also the price was so reasonable I couldn’t see any reason not to go! The topics all sounded interesting-so it was a go.

Mychele suggested we go VIP-pay a little more but we get to go to the Blue Man Event the night before. What a great show-we had a great time. We talked to the woman next to us and asked her what she blogged about.  She admitted she did not blog much but she loved this conference because she met the most interesting people.  Mychele and I instantly felt like we were at home. Our only regret is that we were not able to meet up with the Facebook group. That’s something we’d like to do better at next time.

The next morning we checked in as VIPs we got a special bag with cool stuff in it-I had no idea that would happen. Then we also had preferred seating wherever we went. Full Sail was a wonderful venue for this event-no worries about losing power with plug ins easily available.  The innovative un keynote was a blast-plugging in to our phones and following prompts.

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We were spoiled at this conference.  Water was available whenever we needed it.  The Florida Milk Council provided yogurt parfaits in the morning.  Later there was chocolate milk and cookies as well as adorable cow flash drives. 

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Tijuana Flats served a fantastic lunch-complete with pink wraps for breast cancer. Our VIP status provided us a shortcut to the lunch line.

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I love how interactive the conference was-right from the beginning with the interactive un keynote.  With Adam Avitable, we did quick edits and sent them with a tweet. Each speaker had lots of valuable information to share: tips and tricks, apps, and lessons learned.  The vendors were great as they were new to me and were generous with pictures and freebies. I love my new Mieroglyph bracelet with a verse I needed to hear,  “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

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Izea was generous with freebies as was the Better Business Bureau.

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I learned so much at the conference I am still digesting the information, but a few things I know for sure.

I plan to attend next year-I have been to many conferences and I have never been treated as well for such a reasonable cost.

My biggest takeaways?

Consistency, authenticity, and professionalism matter.  Hashtags make a difference and podcasting is something I need to start now! There is so much more…

Thank you to Bess Auer for organizing such an informative event. I wondered at first if I even had a a right to go but quick felt accepted and truly spoiled for the day!

I purposely did not read other recaps so mine would not be influenced…now I need to go see what everyone else said!

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Phone Blogging?

Today my artsy friend Kim  did a blog post from her phone. What a great idea!  I am out and about a lot so if I could blog from my phone this would save me some time! It may not be useful for all posts but certainly for some.  So of course I had to do a test run.

The first picture below is inspired by my friend Mychele and by Kim. Mychele inspired me by bringing Derwent  Intense Blocks when we recently went to a conference together and I got to try them.  I have many art supplies and I love them all but these were particularly exciting to me . I love them and was able to finish this piece using them. Kim inspired/encouraged me because I’ve been struggling with wanting to do an art journal but not knowing how to start. Do I paint every day and then add words later do I do words and then paint.  Kim let me know there are really no rules that I could do what works for me. And then she shared a couple things that she did and it really made me want to jump in.

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This is a picture of the dining room today.  My friend came over on Tuesday and we painted together . I plan to work here a little more before I clean up.

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This is the piece I worked on. I have already changed a few things and have a few more changes in mind.

 

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And this is my view right now.

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Husband called to see if I had eaten yet-nope.  

Had I had taken my shower yet (he was concerned about the water pressure), nope.

Now that I have tried out this blogging by phone-I should move on.

Thanks for being part of my learning adventure.

Your Turn: Did someone recently inspire you to do something new? Please share!

 

 

 

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