Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creating Habits

This morning I started my day off with meditation. I also used my Neti Pot because with the change of the weather I'm starting to feel a bit stuffy. Still trying to get into the habit of drybrushing daily (even weekly to start would be good lol).

I remember when I was in 3rd grade, we learned that it takes 21 times of doing something regularly to make it a habit. So, once I drybrush for 21 days straight, it should be engrained. That's the hope.

Yesterday was a challenging day at work. Today is going to be so much better! After all, it started well... and I get to drop some orders off at the PO on the way to work! Life is good.

So... I told you some things I'm doing for ME... what are you doing for you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Peace Within

I took this photo at Camp 18. It's on the way to Seaside, Oregon, and it's an old lumber camp that they've turned into a restaurant. It's the place where we went for dinner on the boys last day here this summer after a wonderful day at Seaside.

Seaside is a town that I love. From my first trip there, I noticed that the air there has the ability to heal me. The main street in Seaside is full of very busy shops, and normally, it's amazingly crowded. In any other place, that type of scenario would exhaust me. I don't like shopping, and I don't like crowds. But in Seaside, it's all ok. At the end of that long walk down the busy street is the ocean.

No amazing sites in the ocean off the coast of Seaside. No jutting rocks, nothing spectacular. Just a flat horizon. But it's beautiful. Down the road a bit to Cannon Beach... that's another story. There's Hug Point, and Haystack rock... man, Oregon is beautiful!

I am hoping for a trip to Seaside in the near future. In the meantime, I will make that peace within that I feel when I am there. Now to my meditation.

I hope that you can find the peace within today. It's there... we just have to embrace it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A time for Personal Change

There are many circumstances in my life right now that are way out of my control. And finally, I (being the consummate stubborn one) realized that there are changes that I can make to make this time easier. I had fallen out of my meditation routine. Self-care was decreasing. Feelings of anger, hostility, and anxiety were increasing.

This morning, I did a stretching routine. Then I meditated. It felt good being on my meditation cushion. My job is hit and miss for down time, I will try to get some time to just breathe during the day, but regardless of that, morning meditation soothes my soul.

I am also planning to go out more often with my camera. Probably less online time in the evenings. Hopefully more time creating, organizing, cleaning. Less time dwelling on the negative, and more time harvesting the positive.

How about you?

Friday, September 25, 2009


I am so thankful that Friday has arrived! I'm hoping to go over to my girlfriend's house this evening for an art night. I have all my journal stuff packed up and ready.

Tomorrow will be spent cleaning and doing laundry in the morning, doing some basic shopping, and then going out on a solo photo-taking afternoon. I have found some interesting old barns on my drives recently and would love to photo them.

I have allowed myself to get into such a funk, that I have not gone out and taken photos in a very long time. It is time to turn that around! My camera and I are friends, I seem to remember... time to rekindle that relationship.

So... perhaps Sunday, be looking in my shop for some more journals, and perhaps more photos! I hope that you all plan some recharge time into your weekend! Reclaim a lost passion... I dare ya!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sometimes, I need a Time Out

Last night, after work, I went to my friend's house. No plans really, though I did sew a journal while we visited. It was amazingly relaxing and we gabbed like a couple of hens! Yesterday at work, in anticipation of spending my evening at a girl's night, I didn't feel the exhaustion that I've felt all week.

All week, I've been on a slippery slope to depression. Sinking deeper with each breath. All I wanted to do was sleep. I could see all this going on, and I know how dangerous it is for me to get there... But the "a-ha" moment was when my best friend asked me "have you even left the house while I've been gone this week?" I said "yep, I've gone to work every day!" But we both knew that's not what he meant.

So off to my girlfriend's I went... and I made no other plans to be home before bedtime. Her home has a healing air to it, and I felt so relaxed, yet energized. That makes no sense really... but it's true.

My time out was wonderful, and I'm already anticipating the next one. Tonight, I am planning to stay in and clean the house, possibly make some journals. Time to do some work... and I'm energized to do so.

Life is good! Don't forget to take care of you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Meet SewNook

1. What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?
I enjoy sewing the most and have been doing that consistently for about 10 years. I like to challenge myself by finding new ways to apply sewing to varying crafts.
2. How did you get started?
I was influenced by my Mother. She is a quilter and made my clothes for me when I was a child. She taught me how to sew when I was about 16 and I remember attending quilt shows with her.
3. What is your inspiration?
I am inspired by the fabric I see and choose. I am drawn to fabrics and from there; I decide what to make with them.
4. How long have you been on Etsy?
Just over one year.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Just as happy as I am now with life and family and SewNook will have evolved into a profitable business.
6. What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?
Time management is the most challenging, but I have been able to implement a lot of my skills as a Virtual Assistant for managing SewNook.
7. What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?
For me, the most rewarding part of having an online business is seeing how it has evolved and the excitement of the possibilities to come.
8. How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?
I have three jobs. Taking care of our two year old son,, and I am a Virtual Assistant for
9. When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy every spare moment with my husband and son.
10. Are there any links you’d like to share?
1. for face-to-face networking opportunities.
2. for an affordable way to print the patterns you develop.
3. for administrative support, which for crafters, can be bookkeeping, website and newsletter updates, and anything else you may need to delegate so you can spend more time with customers and on your crafts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Productivity is Good

The week is going pretty well. Got a lot of journal prep work done on Sunday, and yesterday I cut and folded the signatures for 4 journals. This evening, I will sew some. And I'll probably be doing that at a friend's house. I've missed her like mad, but I need to get these journals done, so I can multitask :-).

If all goes well, I will have many new journals to list by the end of the week. I should also be able to list more photos and possibly more greeting cards.

Yesterday evening was obviously a time for me to connect with loved ones. I talked with my Dad, my step-mom, two old friends (one online, and one on the phone), and I had a long talk with my youngest son. It was a good night.

I think at some point this week, I'll write out a list of goals. A self check-in. Yes, I will definitely do that...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet DivaDiaries

1. My favorite art medium is vintage altered journals. I have been creating my Bettie Page, Audrey Hepburn and Victorian journal lines for the last 9 months.
2. In order to alleviate my everyday stresses from teaching, I began frantically collaging and gluing everything in site to the mass stack of journals I had sitting around in my office.
3. My inspiration for this type of art began once I started rummaging through boxes of ancestory photos and my grandfather's WWI letters. I wanted a way to preserve these memories for the rest of my family. Now, I have shifted my focus to Bettie Page, Audrey Hepburn and French Erotica. I suppose that taps on my alter ego, the sassy, spunky side of Divadiaries.
4. I began my Etsy shop just 3 weeks ago.
5. In 5 years, I anticipate I will have a dual career that combines my day job of teaching and allows time after hours for creating altered journals.
6. Gaining exposure and marketing seem to be the most challenging aspects with an online business.
7. I am so new to online selling that I am unable to determine what are the most rewarding features to this type of business.
8. I am a full time teacher with a part time interest in altered journals. This last summer, however, I created journals like there was no tomorrow. At the end of the day, my fingers were glued together and my hands felt like they had been run over by a semi truck.
9. My favorite recreational sports are snorkeling, running, and yoga. Writing poetry is another interest of mine.
10. I hope to one day set up my own website. For now, I just dream about the possibilites for

Friday, September 18, 2009

Using all my Tools

This next week my best friend will be gone on a business trip. I will be filling my time with lots of activity to keep the sadness away. I've also noticed on the rainy, dreary days, depression has been lurking. That's a first for me. But, since I'm in the Pacific Northwest, our rainy season lasts for months and months. Thankfully it's not fully here yet. However, I do have a SAD light that was given to me years ago. I think I will most likely start using that now.

Not sure what is going on with my body lately, for this all to be affecting me, but I am not just going to accept it. I will be actively working towards my happiness and well-being!

I've been talking to an old friend from high school days... I was so depressed during those years. I have not had to deal with it in forever though... I'm very determined not to let it win! I have no desire to be miserable...

So today after work, I go buy a bunch of supplies. Keeping busy starts with adding new items to my shop!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Miss Manners is Coming Out

I have become active on facebook over the last few months. I've been reunited with old friends, I've added many old acquaintences as friends, and I've met new people. I love facebook. I have had no issues with facebook until recently. Over a week ago, a post showed up on my wall (I always read the posts on my wall throughout the day), and it was a general post. However, in the comments, the original poster used a racial slur.

I was pretty stunned. I can't believe that in the year 2009 we can hate an entire race. Come on people. So... I don't understand the hatred, but that's not where my real issue lies.

Facebook is a PUBLIC forum! Anyone can go on there and see what you have written. Why would you want to put that image out there? This person who posted never would've come across as hateful and ignorant... but after that post, that's pretty much all I can see.

You would not walk into a United Nations meeting and start using racial slurs. Why? Because all races are there. Facebook is the same way. I personally hate no group of people. And I don't want to be associated with anyone who does. Now... to delete the contact? I'll have to figure out how to do that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So much going on

I have roughly a million things going on in my life and none of them are reflected in my Etsy shop. I have my first online "home" party coming up (if you would like to host a party and earn free product, let me know), I have been putting finishing touches on and organizing my journals, I have been marketing like a mad woman. I have not been taking very many photos, but I hope to change that soon. I also hope to edit and list some photos today.

Next week will be a big creating week for me. This weekend I will be stocking up on supplies, and by Sunday I will be creating lots of new. What to make, what to make... definitely some art journals, as I am now down to only one in my shop. And hopefully some new motivational prints/products.

I hope that your creativity is taking flight! Mine... well, it's getting there :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Time and a Season for Everything

I remember in high school, I loved learning about poetry from my English teachers. All the adjectives, adverbs, sentence diagrams, you could keep that! But when it came time for poetry, my full attention was given! My freshman English teacher brought in a record player and played "Turn, turn, turn" by the Byrds. She handed out bibles while she did so and we read the premise of that song. I learned then that poetry came from a lot of different sources. I will never forget highschool english, and poetry....
But I digress. In that song/poem, it talks about how there's a time and a season for everything. For those selling online, we're embarking on the busy season, or at least we will be soon. I will be learning daily how to prioritize. How to make time for all that I want to do. How to get the hours in for marketing. Every single day will be a new lesson. After the holidays will be a down time. A time and season for everything.
Not sure where I'm going with this, actually... sometimes I'm on a flow, then I get distracted. That happens a lot with me.
But as I was saying, a season for everything... I've seen a lot of talks about reuniting with old friends via facebook, twitter, etc. About old transgressions being righted. I have had this going on myself. The internet is pretty amazing. Bringing old friends together. A time and a season for forgiveness and renewal.
Whatever season you are in, I wish you the grace to handle it well, and those around you to understand what you are going through...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sometimes the rain comes

I am generally an upbeat person. I know how to keep my head above water, how not to let the little things get me down. But once in awhile, something pulls me under. I allow other's toxicity in, and it saddens me to the core.

Saturday, I slept in, I took a long nap... I didn't even shower or brush my hair. I was in a funk. It started on Friday, and I functioned, I spent time with my children, I cooked meals, I cleaned. But at the core I was sad.

Saturday was tough, and Sunday I got up, forced myself to be happy, making a big breakfast, cleaning up the kitchen, took a shower. I also went and visited a friend. I knew that I couldn't lay around the house. That I had to be out there, and I had to shake this.

I talked to some good friends online. I sewed some journals. I talked to some old friends on facebook... the clouds lifted and the sun shined bright! I have the tools, we all do... just have to remember to use them!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meet michiganhemp

1. What is your craft of choice, and how long have you been doing that?
Everything hemp is my passion and I've been making hemp items for almost 7 years. I really try to make hemp items that are 'out of the box', so to speak. I want to take hemp to the next level...where hippie and beauty meet.
2. How did you get started?
My husband and I were at a small craft show in Mackinaw City, Michigan. While checking everything out, I found the cutest little hemp necklace that just screamed BUY ME. It was simple in design and made with all wooden beads, but it was adorable. When I reached for the price tag, I almost choked! It was wayyy over priced. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the value of handmade, but this one was almost ridiculous. It was then and there that I decided that I could make better items from better supplies and sell them at better prices. The hubby and I stopped at the craft store on the way home, and I've been making hemp items ever since. :)
3. What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes to me from many different angles. Some days, it is the color of the hemp, other days it is the pendant, and still other times it is simply random mixing of beads and colors that finally turn into something amazing.
4. How long have you been on Etsy?
I joined Etsy in February of this year, and I have absolutely loved every day since!
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Wow. This is a tough one for me. I have so many different interests that my life could literally take many different paths. At this point in time, I would have to say that I will be working from home, have my Bachelor's degree in either Graphic Arts or Visual Communications, and be a very successful Etsy shop owner. :)
6. What is the most challenging thing about having an online business?
This would have to be the marketing. It is extremely hard to get seen, and then to get a sale after being seen is even harder.
7. What is the most rewarding thing about having an online business?
Knowing that someone likes my handmade items as much as I do is the best feeling in the world. Usually, I tend to devalue myself, so knowing that someone is willing to buy one of my items is a big deal to me.
8. How does your internet business fit into your life? Is it your job or do you have another job as well?
Etsy is my top priority...until class starts next week. As far an another job, raising 5 boys, tending to the man of my dreams, running an online Etsy shop, and earning my bachelor's is about all I can handle right now! lol
9. When you are not crafting, how do you spend your time?
I spend a ton of time getting to know other Etsians, and attending my boys' sporting events. I would have to say that is how I spend the majority of my time when I'm not doing homework, or creating something new.
10. Are there any links you’d like to share?
Bonus: How do you push yourself to stay ahead of the game with your shop?
I don't believe that I am ever ahead of the game, but if I can keep myself above water and still swimming...I feel I'm doing great! :0)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sometimes after a rain, comes a rainbow

I took this photo last Friday at my work. See the faint double to the rainbow, above it? I think rainbows are absolutely magical. Usually, they're after a rainstorm of some sort, and then the sun pops through and there's this rainbow. Amazing.

I am finding more and more that life is like that. A storm, then something glorious. You just have to wait it out. Next time you're stuck in limbo, remember that. Always work towards where you need to be, don't give up, and it will be glorious.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lazy, long weekend

I had a 3 day weekend, as many of you in the US did. And it was lazy. I took naps, I watched some movies, and generally relaxed. I wonder how long it's been since I've just relaxed for that amount of time.

I forget, many times, to just chill out. I am constantly busy. Constantly on the go, fueled by my own momentum. Usually if I slow down, even a little, I have guilt. Guilt for not going 100 mph. Guilt for not getting as much done as I planned.

And I had planned lots of things for this weekend! I was going to clean my boys' rooms. Deep clean the living room, go through some stuff to sort out for the move. I don't feel guilty though. That stuff will get done. And I am recharged. Yay, me!

I have really big plans business wise, and I will start concreting those plans today. Working on some new journals, planning to learn some new techniques. Along with other plans... plans that I'll unveil soon!

I hope your weekend was wonderful. And surprising, in some way. And that this week is magical.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Your Journey

I love to take photos of pathways, of stairs... to me it symbolizes the journey we are on. Always moving forward, always climbing. Each time we place one foot in front of the other is a glorious moment.

I have a photo in my shop with this quote: "Take the First step, no more, no less, and the next will be revealed" -- Ken Roberts. And I chose that quote because it mirrors everything I believe in.

I know someone who's always 'scared'. Always just on the verge of a panic attack-- any time there's a thought that he may have to move out of his comfort zone. There are times, plenty of times, that I am scared when doing something new. However, I don't listen to that voice, instead, I just begin. And more often than not, I'm thrilled at the result. Or at the very least, my curiosities have been answered and I've veered off onto another path. A path that I would not have found had I not taken that first step.
For Mother's Day one year, my oldest son memorized and recited my favorite poem to me. Let me share it with you here:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference...
Robert Frost
What an amazing Mother's Day present it was! Those words touch me. I hope they lend to your day as well.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Working through Adversity

I have always said that everything I have gone through has made me the person I am. That means all the good and all the bad. I find myself thinking of that through tough times. My motto is actually helping me through! Yes, things are tough, but imagine who you'll be when you come out the other side!

I'm in several different situations right now where I am in contact with negative, venomous people. I have to make it through without letting them break me. Unhappy people often become bullies, wanting to make everyone around them as miserable as they are. It's not going to work on me!

Instead, I have a network of wonderful creative souls who I can draw from at any time. I find shelter in their love, their energy. If the bullies are pecking away at my armour (as they love to do), I just retreat, I strengthen, and I resist their attacks.

So why stay around such people-- the bullies I mean. Because sometimes in life that's the way it is. Sometimes you have to be around people like that at a job, sometimes even in your own home. As far as I can see, that's ok, because of my motto. I'm not a glutton for punishment, though, I do limit interaction. But when there is interaction, I come through it stronger, more resolved.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Things I learned Yesterday

Yesterday I learned so many things. It was an exceptionally challenging day. So... here are a few things I learned:

I learned that communication is the key. And sometimes, when a relationship ends, you must assure others in your life that it's not their 'fault'. Even if there is absolutely NO WAY it could be, they still need that assurance.

I learned that no matter how close to death a spirit is, you can't predict the timing. I nursed our near-death ferret all day yesterday. He stopped taking fluids around 4pm, I let him rest, checking on him and talking to him periodically. I knew he would be gone by morning. This morning, still no stirring, but he is taking fluids. Who knew that Oliver was such a fighter?
I learned that when my heart is hurting, it is ok to finally let the tears spill out. I seldom let that happen, but the cleansing I felt was astonishing.
I learned that there are people... some very physically close to me... some who I have never met in person... who can soothe my soul.
I learned that no man is an island and no-one is on this journey alone. And I learned that my duty is to reach out when I need the support. Friends can't be there for me if they don't know what I need.
I was reminded that life is amazing. What did you learn yesterday?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Tuesday! And a Sale!

Goooooooooooooood morning! I'm feeling very happy today! I hope that you are as well. Sometimes, mostly when I'm at work, I get bogged down by the journey. I forget the bigger picture and get mired down in how... whatever... it is at the moment! I do try to be mindful in situations, but I get completely buried in how slow it is at work, or how I'm feeling about things at the time. None of that for me today!

Today I stay busy, and if I run out of work to do, I get busy with something else... easy enough!

Today is the first day of the Bookbinders of Etsy Street Team's back to school sale! See details here and come shop! My shop is 20% off this week!

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