Scrap box time and intentional living.

Every once in a while I decide to just stamp some images, or mix patterned papers together, or make up a bunch of card backs.  When it gets to a point that I can’t see my desk, all this stuff eventually ends up in my scrap box (and/or basket, and/or repurposed plant pot, and/or plastic tub; you get the idea).

Today I went to the shelves and pulled out this puppy!

DSC00974And after I shook it around awhile, here’s what came out!

DSC00971DSC00970DSC00969DSC00968DSC00966DSC00965DSC00962DSC00963DSC00964Stamps from Stampin’ Up, Deep Red, Graphic 45, and apologies for those I can’t remember.

Here’s the other puppy, longing to be outside on this glorious day (soon Thora, very soon!).

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Here’s the intentional living bit:

We had a substitute yoga instructor today, and while my expectations for what class would hold for me did not materialize, I came out of there feeling great!  She asked us to set an intention for our time together, and since I was feeling a little in a swirl about the unexpected change, I just told myself to go with the flow and get loose.   Intention can help. Every time I found myself starting to say “that’s not how we normally do things”, I countered with, “Amy, get loose, go with the flow”.  I’m going to try to keep up with that intention for the rest of the day, who knows what I might accomplish?

We gotta let go sometimes, folks.  What kinds of things help you stayed centered on this idea, it might be a very good time to share.

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New supplies!

I made a trip to the big world last week and found some inspiration (and that coffee I was talking about last week, yum).

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Paper dolls by Tim Holtz are die cuts of vintage photos featuring all sorts of people in their finest accouterments.  I din’t know how they would show up in my art, but I knew they would.

Cut to the pile of card blanks I had on my desk, and whammo, a match made in heaven.  Most of what appeared is snarky and fun primarily because I paired the paper dolls with some Dylusions and Stampin’ Up rubber stamps.

But a few are just down right beautiful.

And one is completely terrifying — Happy Halloween, maybe?

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The package comes with 107 of these snappy folks, so I see a whole line of cards and notebooks in my future.

Enjoy!

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Back to basics

Can you tell what I am craving today?  I’m calling this crafting session short so I can go grab a cup!

These 6 x 6 covers will soon become notebooks for all your planning needs!  Stamps from Stampin’ Up and paper from a box of old scraps (Basic Grey, I think).

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The fourth Brahmavihara; Upeksha

The fourth and final of the Four Sublime Attitudes is Upeksha, or remaining impartial to the faults and imperfections of others.

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Well.  This is often easier said then done.  This page (on the right, created with Tim Holtz and dylusions stencils and stamps) from my art journal illustrates this attitude in two ways.  I can see myself in the figure, full of all the anger, negative thoughts, judgments, recommendations, and advice, I am dying to share with those who “need” to hear it.

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I can also see the others, full of their own faults, who don’t have a breath to think about their growth towards equanimity at this moment.  This is the way to see this page, that person is dealing with their own junk, they don’t need me to “help” them.  Let’s let everyone be their own imperfect selves.

This study of the Brahmaviharas has opened my eyes to the idea that we all can be contributing to the idea of loving kindness, even on a very basic level.  No need to be meditating for an hour everyday (unless you can, then, right on!), just take some moments throughout the day to breath and think upon the ideas of friendliness, compassion, celebrating the good in others, and being impartial.  Bringing these ideas into your mind and heart might encourage you to see the outside world differently, and will certainly give yourself permission to see the good in yourself.

I’ve had fun sharing these concepts that I’m learning in yoga class.  It has given me focus in creating my art, and it has helped me to solidify some of these ideas and how they relate to me.  Thanks!  What inspires your lives and art?

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Thora recognizes the light within you, Namaste.

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Goodness all around

Week three’s theme at yoga class was the Bramavihara Mudita, or celebrating the good in others.

This is a fun one.  It inspired this silly little page in my art journal, and reminded me of a few thank you notes I should send.

DSC00853Dylusions stencil, Tim Holtz stencil, vintage alphabet stamps, and probably Dylusion inks in the background.

On the drawing front, I just got this book, Portrait Revolution by Julia L. Kay, for the library, and I can not wait to dive in.  Just the cover alone is full of juicy bits of inspiration!

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This week’s face doodles:

Take some time this week and celebrate someone — it doesn’t have to be balloons and cake celebrating.  It doesn’t even have to be the presents kind of celebrating.  Maybe just a kind word, or a bunch of wild flowers.  Celebrating the good encourages more good, and who couldn’t use more of that delicious stuff?

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Be well.

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Start with yourself.

Week two of the Brahmaviharas yoga series was Karuna: or compassion for those who are suffering.  I am thankful that I am not suffering like so many folks are today.  I have everything I need, and sometimes it feels selfish to be dissatisfied with the quality of my art.   I would never consider myself “suffering” because my art isn’t perfect.

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It’s the compassion part of karuna that is really speaking to me.

We put so much pressure on ourselves.  How often are we told to be gentle with ourselves; but then in the next minute are told we should be giving it everything we got, or going for the gold, or reaching for the stars?

Maybe today we can only reach for the ceiling, is that enough?

Compassion says yes — because we need to show compassion to ourselves before we can show it to others.  So, our masterpiece may not appear today, or this month, or this year — but that’s okay.  Give yourself a break, cut yourself some slack.  No inspiration this week, oh well, create something anyway.

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Yoga class inspiration

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The Mock Orange is in bloom, yummmm.

The next session of my yoga class is focusing on the The Brahmaviharas, the four sublime attitudes.  I have very little experience with and knowledge of these Buddhist virtues, so I am excited to broaden my horizons.

Week One we focused on Maitri — friendliness toward the joyful.  As with a lot of our classes, we focused on going inward, to share friendliness and acceptance with our selves.  I needed that this week.  The postures were a challenge, not because they were physically difficult, but because I had to remember to connect my mind to my body.  To think deeper about body placement and intention.  It was kind of like a backwards step, but I know that sometimes going back gives you the ability to move forward.

At the end of class we shared a Buddhist meditation called a Metta Meditation, something else I was not familiar with.  To ourselves, we repeated the following statements.

May I be happy.

May I be peaceful.

May I be safe from harm.

May I be free from suffering.

May I have the ease and joy of well-being.

After several rounds, we were then encouraged to think of someone in our lives who could benefit from these words, and then, again, to ourselves, we repeated the following:

May you be happy.

May you be peaceful.

May you be safe from harm.

May you be free from suffering.

May you have the ease and joy of well-being.

Powerful stuff, folks!  I spent the day with these words rolling around in my head.  Simple statements that can bring mighty strength.  Quite the learning day!

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