Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday, 11.29.16

In a complete clean-out of our house a couple of years ago, when we moved (and then moved back!), I got rid of lots of Christmas decorations. So much so, that it has been really hard to resist buying more. I've been pretty good, I have to admit, as last year, the only decoration I spent money on was live, cut greenery. This year, I only splurged on new stockings for the grandkids, since Target had a great sale on them after Thanksgiving. As a result, I realized that I now have six extra stockings. So... since it is Giving Tuesday today, I've decided to stuff those stockings with some handmade items that have been accumulating in my studio and distribute them tomorrow around Washington, MO as my long-overdue contribution to the Art Abandonment movement. Just "Pimpin' some Joy", you know?! You gotta do that sometimes, right?! With that in mind, I'm seriously considering some kind of "Pimpin' Joy", "Spreading Cheer", "Power of Positivity" type of challenge for the month of December. I'll be googling some things tonight, but I'm open to ideas, so if you have any that you want to share, leave a comment! 

Someone will be finding mini wall hangings, onesies and hand made washcloths in their stockings tomorrow :) If you are in WashMo, be on the lookout!

Have a great week!  Juli

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Lately, 11.23.16


Making: Painting Operation Christmas Child boxes, making stress-reducing washcloths (stress reducing to make them, not to use them!), finally using the Purl SoHo yarn I bought over the summer to make a scarf for... MYSELF :) , leaf mobiles with my Adaptive Art class (they loved this project found on ArtBar blog)

Our version of the Painted Leaf Mobiles also included leaves covered with washi tape, then laminated. Sorry for the bad lighting :(

Boxes for Operation Christmas Child

Washcloths and scarves. Love these colors :)

Drinking: the usual...wine, water, coffee and tea, but really looking forward to some tawny port as the weather gets cooler.

Eating:  Whole Food take-out (highly recommend the cauliflower/almond salad and the roasted root vegetables).

Watching: Saturday Night Live (loving Alec Baldwin as Trump!) And, we broke out the holiday movies early the other night and started with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Reading: Still plugging away at Carry on, Warrior by Glennon  Doyle Melton. Love it. And highly recommend it.

This excerpt is a must-read for anyone dealing with new family members, whether they are in-laws, step-parents/kids, etc. Such good advice that I wish I would have read years ago.  I love how the author compares life to weaving a rug. Great analogy, I think ;)        
Be simple. Be sophisticated.

Listening to:  The Sound of Silence by Disturbed, The Story I Heard by Blind Pilot (recommended by Colbey of the All Good Things in Life blog)

Thinking about: the concept of "shifting" and a few quotes that have meaning for me lately.

Always love Elena Brower's contributions to Instagram.

from soulseed Facebook page
Laughing at: these boys!

Love how this baby boy always wants to curl up in my lap.

... or not!
And how they laugh at every single, silly little thing I  make with their  Play-Dough :)

Loving: spending time with supportive, happy people

Celebrating M.'s 65th birthday.

And receiving yet another "Thank You"- this time from a student. My job, students and co-workers have definitely been a respite for me this year and I am SO thankful to have them.

Spreading Joy: sending 'Positive Notes' home to the parents of some of my really incredible students.

With What I Have:  I just have to point out, once again, how a little rearranging of the things you already have can give a space an entirely new feel. Last week, in preparation for making space for the Christmas tree, I rearranged our living room as I cleaned. Placing old things in new positions and doing a little editing and weeding out of unnecessary items was exactly what this space needed. Now we're ready for that tree :)

I'll leave you with another song- this one isn't new to me, but the lyrics are really resonating with me lately. (It's also a suggestion from Colbey of All Good Things in Life.)

Have a great Thanksgiving!  Juli

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Times... They Are a Changin', 11.8.16

I bet you thought this post would be about politics, huh?! (It's gonna be a crazy day out there!) I guess, in a way, it is. More like family politics, though. More specifically, it's about transitioning traditions. Or, traditions, transitioning. Oh, my. However you want to put it, it's not an easy thing.

My family is currently having to make some tough decisions about longstanding traditions as this holiday season approaches.  I'm sure we are not the only family having to navigate through changes that will affect the holidays.  So many things happen to all families over time. Maybe part of the family has moved away and it is just not logistically possible to be together. Maybe a divorce upset the routine. Maybe there was a death in the family. Maybe the family just grew apart. Maybe the family grew too large and it just doesn't make sense for EVERYONE to get together for one gathering. Or maybe it grew too large and there were just too many people with differing opinions and personalities and it's just not fun to be together anymore. Maybe it was a combination of all of the above. There are SO many things that affect a family over the years. Change is, ultimately, inevitable. One lesson that experience has taught me, though, is that change is not always a bad thing. Over the past 12 years, my kids and I have had to deal with divorce, death, the kids growing up and moving away and many new family members coming into the mix. We are all too familiar with change. It's not always easy, for sure. But it definitely isn't always bad and can, in fact, be a good thing. Even, sometimes, a wonderful thing.

For us, this year, change will lead to simplicity. Ahhhhhh. Simplicity. The older I get, the more of this I want. Even though I hate it that things have to change, I'm also really looking forward to having much more simple holidays. In any case, I'm just trying to focus on the good memories that were made with my family over the years and move on to focusing on the new ones, yet to be made.

What about you? How have you or your family dealt with changing traditions? I would love to know.

I've come across a few quotes on the subject lately, which help me stay positive :)  It makes the changes a little easier. Right?!


And a link to a song that says it all, really. Way beyond just changing family traditions. Listen to it here.

Have a great week and GO VOTE today!  Juli

P.S. Happy, Happy 76th Birthday to my dad today! Love you, Dad!