Saturday, August 31, 2013

Focusing on Life - Week 35

Growth and Change

We are in an ever changing growing environment. Not only are we in a constant state of flux but everything around us is as well. Most of the time, these changes go unnoticed, our ever expanding horizons quietly growing and changing our thinking, our creativity, even our relationships.

This week, we are focusing on what is growing and changing about you or the environment around you.

For many years, my world was an ever expanding place. New friends, new experiences, new places to explore. I took things for granted though, did not fully appreciate them as they presented themselves to me.

How I wish that I could turn back the clock and re-visit those times, spend more quality moments with the people, and stop to smell the roses along the way.

My world has significantly narrowed in the last few years. Mobility issues keep me cloistered either at work or at home these days. Pain zaps the energy from me every minute of every day. There is no relief, even when I sleep.

My interpersonal contact has been reduced to my co-workers and my nuclear family. The social butterfly in me yearns for interaction with others. Online chatting fills the void a bit but it is not a replacement to spending in-person time with a wider circle of people.

I depend on others to help me with the simplest tasks. At first, it was hard for me to admit that I need help. My limitations are still frustrating and hard to accept some days.

In spite of all this, there are still areas of growth for me in the smaller world where I reside. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not all bad, just different. Not always an easy perspective to have, I must admit.

I did not intend this to be a soliloquy of how terrible my life is, although at this point you may be thinking I'm a bit of a whiner. There are lots of positive things that have entered into my world too and I cherish every single one of them. I see them from a new perspective.

I guess the lesson that I'm trying to pass along to everyone is to not take anything for granted, to live each day to the fullest, and to appreciate all the ups and downs of daily living. One day, you will miss them and look back wishing you had taken advantage of an unexpected opportunity, or spent time with someone who is no longer with us.

To see the growth in the lives of the other participants, check the links below...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Look What I Found Online This Week

I only have a couple of links to share this week, and they are both food related. Easy to tell where my mind was this week. LOL

Check out 18 Microwave Snacks You Can Cook In A Mug. Some of them I cannot eat with my food allergies and I guess I'll have to get a microwave before I make any of the others, right?

I may just try this one over the long weekend...Vegan Cinnamon Bun Smoothie. Yummy!

Speaking of the long weekend...I hope you all have a good one. Be happy and stay safe no matter what you do or where you are.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Inspiration

Inspiration comes from unexpected places. While browsing around in a second-hand store this weekend, I came across a necklace that intrigued me. I picked it up and put it down several times before deciding to add it to my basket.

It is very simple, yet elegant. It has elements of a symmetrical design with the randomness of asymmetry. Quite a striking mix of the two styles, I thought.

The only thing that I did not like about this necklace was the length. For myself, I'd like it to be a bit longer. I would extend the length of the chain coming from the clasp by an inch or so on each side to make it hang better/lower.

So, off to my favourite bead shop I went today to pick up the supplies to make something similar, perhaps a collection of them to sell in my Etsy shop. I've put in my order for small bronze rings from The Chain Mail Guy, along with some matching wire to string the stone beads with.

There will only be a couple of items left to get, bronze lobster clasps and the large decorative rings to hang the stones from. I can't wait to get the final components so I can get started!

See how the prototype turned out here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Focusing on Life - Week 34

"This week we are going to get creative with our photos! Dive into those editing programs and check out all those wonderful effects, actions, overlays and textures!"

I started out with a photo I'd taken this summer of a rose that was blooming in front of my house. The colour of the flower is very striking, and a bit surprising too, considering I thought this rose bush would yield yellow flowers!

I played around with several of the different effects I had available in my photo editing program (ThumbsPlus). I did not like a lot of the resulting images but the 'morphed painting' effect is quite interesting.

To check out the wonderful photos of the other participants, check out the links below.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Look What I Found Online This Week

Coconut oil is a multi-purpose substance that any online search will verify. Here are 10 unusual uses for coconut oil that you may not know about...

Reese's Peanut Butter cups have been a long time favourite of mine. Check out this recipe for making something even better!

I'm not sure this is a project that I will rush out and try but it is a bit of an ingenious idea for making autumn leaf bowls...

And last but not least, this is an article that I think everyone who is in a relationship with anybody should read...6 Toxic Relationship Habits.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Focusing on Life - Week 33

"What's in season where you live?"

All one has to do in my area to see what is in season is to go to the local farmer's markets. They are full of fresh produce locally grown: freshly picked Ontario peaches and sweet corn being among my favourites.

And the beginning of apple picking season is upon us also. I remember taking my boys to the orchard every year when they were younger. They enjoyed the wagon ride more than the apple picking but it was still a fun-filled day for them and those times are special memories now.

In my front garden, it is clear to me this week that it is 'Black Eyed Susan' season. The plethora of bright yellow blooms are exploding in front of my eyes. The patch keeps expanding every year too.

To see what is in season where the other participants are, check out the links below. I, personally can't wait until the fresh Empire apples reach the markets. They are the ones I like the most!