Well Come on in!

Hey there world!

Tonight I was checking my email only to discover a golden nugget of delight sitting in my inbox.  It was a comment from my Grandma Sue, who has to me been my lifelong cheerleader.

“I love to read your blogs. Amanda you have such a way with life, and writing. I feel that you enjoy every minute, that is great wisdom for a person your age. Your little Cora reflects everything you are. I always felt you would be very special, and you are. Do you remember me telling you that when you were little?

Keep it up sweetheart, I think it is good for you,and it makes me smile, and makes me happy. It makes me feel that I can be a part of your life.”

Well, if that isn’t inspiring and encouraging then I don’t know what is!

And I often think of my little broadcast journal here, and how its truest purpose is sharing our life with the people I love who are so far away.

My thoughts about this blog are so often met with “I don’t have time for it, I’m stretched so thin, I can barely keep up with all that I am already doing.”

But having this space does inspire me to look at my life as though it is beautiful, as though it is worth living slowly and cherishing.  Having this place to document our days encourages me to celebrate them with pictures.

With that here are some pictures (albeit from a season past) but I am so excited to be inspired once again into taking, and sharing more!

adding color to my home ❤

Cora's favorite picture of herself. Making pie

painting with feet- try it its a revelation

never too many forest pictures

Can't get enough of these 2

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Self Portraits of a 2 Year old

During our recent move Cora spent a good deal of time playing and exploring the car. (after a good toddler proofing of course).  Surely I am not the first desperate parent to utilize the car as babysitter!

And as life has finally settled back down I was delighted to discover a series of self portraits done by my precious girl on my camera which was apparently in the car
.  Enjoy!

Full Moon Face with Two Year old Teeth

Pretty Lips

Sideways

Baby

Mama Forgot to Clean my Face

My Shoes

Precious, hilarious this girl of mine.

I’m Baaaaack!!!!!

Yup.  I have been feeling a giant pull to blog again.  Hooray!!!  And I’ve also decided that I can skip the whole “God I suck that I haven’t been here since March”  routine that I normally go through.  I needed a(nother) break and that is perfectly ok.

So what have I been up to these last 5 somethin’ months?   I’d love to catch ya’ll up.

The usual really.

I made some stuff. (Oh and bought a cello 🙂 )

I washed a bunch of dishes.  Though I bet you did too!

Recieved an epic inheritance.  This here is a quilt impeccably made by my Great-great-great grandmother, to be cherished by me and passed on to Cora.  It is breathtaking.

I built a few castles….

Baked at least once.

Grew things from seeds, and made a generous contribution to the community of ground squirrels….

Enjoyed a few rainbows….

Celebrated the coming birth of a brand new baby….and then was honored by the privilege to watch my friend transform from maiden to mother as she birthed her baby like a goddess into this world.

Was struck by the realization that mine is not such a baby anymore, as I nursed her for the last time.

Took lots

And lots

and lots of pictures of crystals, as we are getting our Ebay store set up!

We changed the name of our shop……

(and are working on a new website! floweroflifecrystals.com )

And I even got to go on a solo retreat.  That’s right…all by myself!!!!

And then….we moved here!!!!!

And now I’m making stuff again.

And we are still going for walks.

And making new friends…….

Daily Walks

 

I’ve been wanting to share with you all for so long the magic I encounter on a daily basis whenever I venture out of doors here.  But how could one possibly put it into words.

I realized I have a bunch of photos.  All mostly of the same views in different light, seasons, weather.  Because I can’t stop taking pictures of this place.

This walk is a daily ritual of healing, replenishment, and light and color therapy.

One may think that since the onset of winter it wouldn’t be quite so beautiful, but au contrare, my friends.  These sunsets are putting on their show just before dinner time, and we attend faithfully for a daily dose of awe, fresh air and movement before the quiet of evening time commences.


I’ve come to rely on this daily dose of Aaaah, like a medicine of the most powerful kind.  Sometime our walks are ambitious and we climb a hill, but more often they are a stroll to see the white dog that herds watches over the flock of sheep that live just down the rode, and then to our friend Ebony, the horse.   Sometimes they take us to the field on just the other side of the creek and we do more mosey-ing, or sitting than walking.  At the end of summer we picked blackberries all along the sides of the road, and then after the first frost of late fall we would stop at the rose bushes and eat fresh rosehips.  And now we enjoying the flocks of robins, the tiny flowers peeping out of sandy places and the buds emerging on tree branches.

Divine Home Objects

The satisfaction of creating a functional object is divinely indescribable.

Our home has been sorely in need of new dish towels for some time now.  I realize this is a problem easily remedied by running to my local big box for a hectic minuet to choose between a selection of *blah* dishtowels that will do.  But where is the fun in that?

And quite honestly I am so over filling my home with objects that will do.

Enter thrifted table cloth that hadn’t ever quite found its place or reached its full potential in our lives.  (and a big dose of inspiration via Soulemama) And……

Ta-da!!!  One of a kind, handmade dishcloths made from a repurposed table cloth.

Imagine my delight as I went to place these precious dishcloths in their new home, only to discover that the entire drawer is comprised of items made by me, and vibrating to the rate of motherly love.  These are items bursting with the energy of afternoons and evenings at home, the precious days of my baby’s babyhood playing by my side, and me, exhasperatingly attempting to complete projects with a wee one at me feet.  Every object in this drawer holds a memory and a moment in time that is dear to me as it was being created.

The potholders are a pattern from Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule.  ( I heart Soulemama.)

I blogged about the dishcloths about this time last year.

And the placemats and napkins I made in a fit of color famine.  (I assure you there is no lack of color in this house anymore.)

Up next?  Well I have been working on a sweater.  Yup.  And we need dishes.  So it looks like there is some more delicious afternoons creating functional artwork in my future.

Courage

 

“Courage is nessasary to creativity but not as necessary as most of us think.  Too often, we confuse courage with comfort.  We want to wait until something feels comfortable before we try it.  There is a certain touching childishness about this notion.  It has lingering overtones of Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, and even Merlin.

It goes like this.

“‘One day magically, we will feel safe and protected and powerful.  When we do, then we will let ourselves begin the novel, the piano lessons, the acting class…'”  – From The Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron

It never fails to amaze me that no matter how many blog posts published, how many art projects completed, or dance classes attended, that there is always a moment in the cycle of creativity where beginning again is so dang hard.  Sometimes, it feels as though writing a simple blog post and then pushing the *publish* button is like my first jump off the high diving board.  And no matter how many times I have managed to muster up the courage to just do it, and have survived the outcome- always better for it- it just doesn’t ever get too much easier.

I think this is because the nature of art and creativity is that through growth we are always on the threshhold of uncharted territory.  Every time I complete a cycle and lay still in the soulful silence of abyss between projects, I’m *waiting* for that tiny whisper, that says “its time!”  And like all intuitive whisperings and listenings I am take a chance to go following a teeny tiny voice when it comes.  It’s taking a chance to trust that promising sweet little voice.

I think, “What if I’m wrong, what if I fail, what if its not worth it, who am I kidding, don’t you know how important a clean house is?!?!?”  And a whole other slew of unhelpful thoughts.

Over and over again I have learned that it always pays to take the chance.  No matter how uncomfortable to go out on that limb, to dive into cold water, to face the opinions of others.  It always pays to take the chance.

There are many projects on the horizon for me, I don’t know if any of them are worth it, destined to be successful, important, or necessary.  I’m as scared as ever.  But here I go, leaping anyway!

 

I Want it All.

Its true.

Its January here,(for you too huh?)  and for me that means I suddenly need to (quickly!), before the months ends become perfect.  Okay, I realize it just aint gonna happen again this year, but it’s still worth a try I think.

January for me is the month that I take a big life survey and figure out all the things I want to make awesome, achieve, organize, focus on, ect.ect.ect

It’s the month that I decide my entire house must be thoroughly  organized.  This year I have placed the added pressure that it also be completely functional. Its my new buzz word, my new house organizing mantra.  And not such a bad word if you knew how dearly I really do need a functional house, what with the ginormous portion of action I have on my plate.

There’s the 2-year-old(she’s 2! can you believe it!) that needs to be fed, clothed, and entertained on a daily basis no less.  There’s a dream studio with 100 lbs of clay just waiting to get all over my overalls.   A garden that will need a bit of tending in only a short couple of months.  My dream of writing about crystals for our store, having our business’ website become an action packed stop on the information super highway(I’m a dork I know)  There’s belly dance and hoop dance!  There is the oh so special sacred Date night!!  And Mom’s group. And Music Together. And then of course there is this sweet little space, my blog.  I also have a few sewing and knitting projects in mind.  I want to bake.  And eat more raw foods.  And of course lose weight.  And a night out with some girlfriends would be nice too.  Pretty please?!

Sigh.

You can definitely see how a functional household is in order here.

In an overwhelmed and exhausted moment I decided to go cool my jets and take a few deep breaths in the shower.  (We don’t have a bathtub)  And it hit me!!!  There are some very wonderfully symbiotic relationships between a great deal of these activities.  Cora needs to eat, I want to bake!  She needs entertaining, I need to spend time in the garden!  Gardens make raw food for me!  and they are a lot of work which provides excercise!  Ceramics makes me stiff and sore, I have regular movement classes at night with girlfriends!  And so on.

The bottom line is that I am beginning to see a fuzzy out of focus picture of how it can really all come together.  And something tells me to keep coming to this space for what its worth, to share, that this space is also an important piece of this great big dream puzzle.

The Practice of Kindness

For the past 8 weeks, on Monday nights, I have been attending a bellydance/yoga class.

Each week we gather and we connect to our bodies in movement and stretching.  We gather for the purpose of learning and experience of working towards a goal.  The atmosphere is special, and we are all taking our lessons quite seriously.  Our passionate leader and friend, Monique Manning is soulful, experienced and doing what she was born to do.  Several of us are mothers, and this night is a precious one of enjoying our bodies, and connecting us to the realms that only breath and movement can reach.

Tonight I came to class feeling flustered by an off day.  I realized I hadn’t eaten in hours, and my mood was just less that shining.  I complained about it to a friend and then complained about my body, whose landscape had been permanently altered by childbearing.  Each week I have become increasingly critical of my body in that space, and so cruel that it is sometimes just painful to look in the mirror.  I berate myself and it feels awful.

We began our practise, breathing and moving like the ocean.  And then Monique said something…..

Something about reconnecting with our intention for being there.

It hit me like a smack in the face.

I don’t show up at bellydance each week to berate myself.  I don’t even show up to sculpt my body.  These are not my intentions for being there.

My intention for showing up is to have fun.  It’s to connect with women in my life in a way that is healthy and powerful.  It is to gain mastery of my body and to train.  It is to unlock my body’s secrets, to blaze trails in undiscovered muscles and movements.  It is to dance in celebration of blood and sweat, to join the heartbeat of life in the glory of rhythm.  It is to celebrate my body and experience the joy of dancing.

I am discovering a new and nesasary intention with this class.  It is to practice being kinder to myself no matter what.  Practice shining the light of love at my reflection in the mirror.  It is to find the place in me that can feel off and still give my heart to that intention, still be a contributing member of our dear, precious group in that sacred time.

This is a worthy practice.

The Show


A couple of months ago I wrote here that I had set a goal for myself of completing enough work to participate in a show.

Well…. I made it!!!

It wasn’t the show I had originally planned on.  But it was definitely that show that I was meant to do.

It was amazing to finally get to take my work out of the studio and share it with my community.  It was amazing to do it all with a an almost 2 year old under foot.  It was amazing to to get intense with the creating process and take a journey and find that groove, the vein where what I am making is my passion.  These 3 statues here are the culmination of this era’s journey, and they are from the realm I am so excited to explore when I get back to the studio.




Dear Blog(again),

I fear I left you without the full story of “This Little Family Goes To Alabama.”  It is a riveting story in which we ride 2 airplanes then land in the red dirt part of the country and in Nana and Papa’s arms.  It was gorgeous and warm the whole time we were there and we managed to jam pack in a Thanksgiving dinner, walks on the mountain, snuggling with Tj the “titty-tat,”  Several slow drives past our beloved old home and gleeful discovery that a sentimental art piece still lives on the porch.  We ate biscuits and gravy, grits, cornbread dressing and bacon stewed green beans.  We took lots and lots of baths, cuz we don’t have a bathtub and Maw and Paw do.   We sat through numerous Twinkle twinkle little star concerts sung by a pixie child like no other.  We left that little singing pixie with her Nana and my man took me out on the town to a fancy grilled lettuce kinda meal.  It was gooooooood.  The whole trip was a lot of beautiful busy days.

And then we came home…..and that story is all about how winter moved to town while we were gone.  The last pretty leaves are now mulching into the earth, and I am in full blown nesting mode.  I even sewed curtains (I told you).  Right now I am hunkering down into wintertime and getting cozy.

 

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