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Embrace Your Bliss





Updated: 2014-10-02T23:33:40.490-07:00

 



Summer is here, and creativity is a flowin'

2012-07-06T20:34:59.389-07:00

I cannot believe that I have been so bad about blogging for SO long...
However, I am going to make a conscious effort to do better.  This wave of an effort may last about a week but I am going to try. 

After a long pause, I am heading to a retreat in the fall in Omaha.  I am excited to say I signed up for Handmade U.  You can read more about it here


It will be so good to get to see my friends Michelle and Hope again as well as others I have missed over the last couple of years.  I will also get to work with a new artist I have never met, Liesel Lund.  Should be a treat! 

We all need to do something we love, something that brings inner calm and nurtures our soul, something that allows us to embrace our bliss.  The hardest part of it is, making the time to do it. 

~hugs



seventeen years ago, tonight...

2012-02-16T18:13:43.457-08:00

Today is our REAL Valentine's Day here at the Grable home. 

Seventeen years ago tonight, my fella asked me to marry him. 


We were babies.

What a great memory, what a perfect choice.

Happy Valentine's Day Sweetheart!

~xo



goodmorning valentine!

2012-02-14T06:27:46.708-08:00

Just a quick hello and a happy valentine's day to you!

(breakfast on Sunday... because Tuesday is just too crazy)
~xo



Round Robin

2012-01-15T23:54:38.818-08:00

Oh my... here we go.I am in a round robin book swap and this week I am shipping my book off to the first of 10 other girls (not including myself) who will create pages in my book based on the theme I chose.  There are so many ideas swimming around in my head, but I have gone with a very general theme. This book is all about "happiness"I began creating it under the tutelage of Pam Garrison at my very first art retreat ever.  It was held in Ashland, Oregon, where I actually met some of the girls in the RR for the first time and it will forever be a memory of a very happy time in my life… up there with some of the happiest.  I was with like-minded girls, all come together for the simple pleasure of creating.  I never even knew such things existed.  Now with this, I finally have a great use for my budding art journal.  Since that time in Aug 2008, it has been waiting for the perfect inspiration to fill it, and I am honored to be in such a group of girls who will help make that happen.  The girls will focus on the simple things that make them happy.  It could be dedicated to just one thing, or a whole list of things.  They may even just capitalize on a quote about happiness.  I want their creations to make them happy.  After all, it is about the journey, right?happy creating!~xo[...]



Perspective...

2012-01-15T10:01:33.607-08:00

This past week I was a guest curator for CRESCENDOh.  Here is my personal story about how I feel art saves and all the wonderful links that I shared throughout the week:PerspectiveI used to think being an artist meant that you had to produce work that people paid top dollar for.  I used to think that in order to be an artist, you had to isolate yourself only to, and for, art, excluding all other factors of life (like family, career, and anything that pulled you in another direction.) I used to think that certain people had it in them to be artists while the rest of us had to sit by and watch it being created, longing for that same talent and skill.  I was always creative… but an “artist?”After much searching, I have learned.Now I know that we are allartists with grand ideas waiting to be discovered within.  Now I see that I can have a life outside my art and still make time for my creativity to flow (although it isn’t always easy.)  Now I see that we all have it in us and it only takes time, patience and practice to bring forth great work.I cannot say that I was “saved” by art, but if I didn’t have it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  It brings me an inner calm, joy, and peace that nothing else can.  And when I am able to step back and look at a completed work, no matter if it is a simple collage or journal page, I feel a sense of satisfaction and happiness because I have brought something into the world that no one else has.  And to me, that small piece of work makes my world a brighter place.  I hope you too can find that inner artist, love your work and find true joy in creating it.I also want to thank all of the artists who allowed me to showcase their art on Jenny's blog.  Although they were only up for one day, they are all so awesome, I have relisted them here for you to see:‘tis the season of giving all year… http://kaseybuick.com/2010/12/the-perspective-project/ because some of us need a little prompting… http://embers.typepad.com/e/52q/page/6/ I hope to be like hope… one of my greatest inspirations… (*caution, you may be here awhile…)http://besottment.com/besottment/2011/12/december-daily-reverb11-hybrid-journal-days-16-17-18-19.html Winter stitching tutorial... http://www.feelingstitchy.com/2011/12/cute-ice-skater-embroidery-tutorial.html?m=1  art journaling is such fun...http://michellegeller.typepad.com/michelle_geller_weblog/2011/11/the-love-of-journaling.html going to start early on my Christmas gifts for next year… http://www.2gypsygirls.com/2011/12/day-7-oh-christmas-tree.html What happens when art comes from YOU...  http://www.inspireco.blogspot.com/2011/09/happy-family.html going green can be fun…http://www.littlelucylu.com/2011/05/from-pallet-to-bookshelves.html humble artists make the greatest art… http://glitterdusteddaydreams.blogspot.com/2011/04/gratitude.html  something yummy to make on a cold day…  http://stamps4fun.blogspot.com/2011/10/traditions.htmlBecause limited lighting choices are no fun… http://pursewna-pursewna.blogspot.com/2011/07/baby-girl-2s-room-broken-down-lamp.html?showComment=1312337253617#c4095102593449937699 art is everywhere…  http://www.logolalia.com/alteredbooks/ a small work per week (this is from a long time ago but is still fun and each time you do it, it is reinvented and fresh): http://embers.typepad.com/e/2007/01/join_me_on_an_a.html something fun to get us ready for warmer weather… http://bluemossgirls.blogspot.com/2011/04/hello-spring.html pure inspiration… http://pamgarrison.typepad.com/pamgarrison/2010/01/working-on-my-inspired-project.htmlHave an inspired week! ~xo[...]



art saves

2012-01-09T17:14:25.491-08:00

Oh my,
be sure to look at crescendoh.com this week for some pure inspiration! 

Jenny Doh asked me to be a guest curator on her site and I was nothing short of honored.
 
See it all here.  And for a little eye candy... here is a little note Jenny wrote in my art journal last summer when I was so lucky to get to take a class in her very home.


I love what she continues to do to promote art in us all,
to bring out of us something great,
something that many don't even realize is there. 

Go out today and be an artist,
make something out of nothing,
stand back and love what came from you.

~xo



the last touches of Christmas...

2012-01-06T20:56:23.806-08:00

In keeping to my word, I have been creating every day.

My page for the Vintage Christmas ABC book page is complete. 

I was assigned the letter "H" and had no idea beyond
holiday,
holly
and
ho, ho, ho
what I would possibly come up with. 

I am happy to say that I stretched my creative wings and did something completely different that what I expected. 

Love it or hate it, here is the product:
(I couldn't resist the "hiney")




and because the group needed some more members, my little creative one signed up too. 

She is 11. 

You want to try something really hard sometime? 

Give an 11 year old a project, with a deadline, and sit back and let it happen. 

It is so hard for me to not intervene. 

However, she has been working hard on these little beauties and I believe that she is quite pleased with them.  She was assigned the letter L (again, very difficult to come up with many Ls for Christmas)  We had just watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and so she based her page on that fond memory.  Here is what she came up with:


She painted around each family photo and based it on the meaning behind the movie. 
Not bad for 11. 
I was just trying to remember what I was doing at 11 years old. 
I don't think it was as memorable as this...
~xo



simplification

2012-01-02T13:57:54.992-08:00

Every year I look forward to receiving Christmas Cards.
 
Each one different and containing sweet notions from friends far and near.

I hang them all the way up our banister
and usually
have to use the other one as well. 

Even the letters!

At the end of the Christmas Season, I take them all down and my stairway becomes bare again. 

Then comes the "what to do with them now?" 

I have a hard time just tossing them in the trash, they are treasures and full of amazing photos. 

So this year, I have decided to put them on rings. 
I punched holes in them and put them all together like a little book. 
I will pack them away with our Christmas decorations and next year,
I will toss the little book on our coffee table for perusing. 
It doesn't take up much room
and it is full of every one's letters and well wishes. 

A simple little spot of joy.



~xo



Bonne Annee

2012-01-01T22:36:50.602-08:00




This year while making resolutions,

several ideas came to mind.

I reflected on my year and thought about what worked and what didn't, things that made me feel good about life and being here on earth, and things that didn't contribute at all.

So after much deliberation, I finalized my list of the big ones.

1.  Create as often as possible (at least once a week)  It can be as simple as an art journal entry, but I find that in my most stressful times in life, I am not creating.  We all need balance, and this is one thing that brings me back to me.

2.  Continue to remove things from my home that I do not love or honor.  Stuff really messes with my "ch'i." It truly blocks my energy, concentration and ability to relax.  Less stuff = more time to breathe.

3.  Do something healthy every day.  It can be as simple as making sure I eat enough veggies, skip my favorite drive through, or go for a walk.  Health brings an inner peace and outer glow that no makeup or tanning bed can replicate.

4.  I want to learn how to crochet.  You can create such sweet things simply with yarn and a hook. 

5.  Judge less, love more. 

I hope you are able to create goals and resolutions that bring you and your little place on earth creativity and peace this wonderful new year.

Happy New Year to one and all!

~xo



Merry Everything!

2011-12-25T22:33:14.042-08:00



Merry Christmas!
~xo




oh my greatness... Christmas already??

2011-12-20T14:50:20.724-08:00

While perusing pinterest, as many do these days, I found this cute little wreath:


It is located at this blog with instructions

I really wanted to hand make some Christmas gifts this year so I took this idea and made it my own.  I went to all the local thrift stores and picked up as many wool sweaters as I could find.  My DH was so sweet and suportive, he doesn't even question me anymore.  He actually came along and helped me hunt down some of my best finds!  So then I washed them in super hot, super soapy water and dried them on high.  They came out looking like they would fit no one larger than a muppet.
I got out my scissors and through several Christmas movies, I cut 4x4 squares out of those sweaters.  Goodness knows how many.
Then, I took a wire hanger (the kind you get from your dry cleaning) and with my tin snips cut off the top and made a loop with the wire by twisting it aroung some pretty hefty pliers.  I then started putting the felted sweater squares on the wire one at a time and an hour later, I had something that looked like this:

It is so warm and festive, I just want to cuddle with it.  There are cardigans with their buttons still attached, scarves and even tags throughout the wreath.  It was fun, easy and will last forever.
Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, full of fun and homemade love!
~xo



your barn door's open!

2011-05-03T09:14:25.742-07:00

finally!  after 3 long days of painting with rollers, brushes and teeny-tiny detail paint brushes...it is finally complete!Here is the coop the way we bought it:(photos courtesy of the knotty bird company)  Crystal, the owner, does an amazing job!  and after much deliberation, (so many fun colors to choose from)we went with fate... the $5 can on sale that someone left behindI think "the girls" are going to love their new home.Now all they need is an antique crystal chandelier up top and some swanky fine linens for afternoon tea.AND...due to the inspiration of Crystal (owner of the knotty bird company and builder of our fine coop) and her amazing gardens,my favorite guy created a little veggie garden for us too.(that's my DH gardening in the background)We are going to grow corn, tomatoes, beans, lavender (I hear it is good in cookies) zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and who knows what else.  I love our little farm by the ocean!~hugs[...]



the easter bunny came early...

2011-03-29T20:07:21.330-07:00

Wanted to stop by and say  "hello!"quick, simple and easy.there are more additions to the family(is that the only thing I blog about... animals?)Don't ask me why.Meet: LuckyPennyLibertyand Henrietta (the yellow one out front, she's mine)Anna lovin' on her baby chick Liberty (She's an Americana Chicken)I said don't ask.the coop costs as much as a new dishwasherbut what is more fun?besides, we can hand washit builds character.(and fresh eggs are about as close to having a farm as I can get here.)~xo[...]



something new... something BOO!

2010-10-24T18:18:12.128-07:00

after much deliberation, I am going to try something newit is small, simple and sweet.  nothing hugebut something fun.I will be offering a small class, a get togetherat my home, in my little embrace your bliss studiofor a tiny group of crafters.if you are interested, shoot me an email.  the gist:Grab a friend or two and spend the day with us Saturday October 30th in Oceanside at a private class at my own little slice of heaven, the embrace your bliss studio where we will be creating the perfect Halloween memento. I only have a few spots available that are open to the public for this exclusive class. You will not be able to find it anywhere else and it will only be taught once. In our class we will make a five page (10 back and front) chipboard book jammed packed with goodness and featuring your little Halloween witches, ghosts, ghouls and goblins at their Halloween best. A delicious lunch will be served, techniques will be taught, and lasting friendships will be made. All supplies for this one of a kind kit will be given to you at the class, you only need your basic tool kit and pop-dots (I have some to share if you need them :O) Optional items: if you like a distressed look, bring a sanding block or dremmel (I use a dremmel... love my dremmel!) Agenda: 10:00-10:15 guests arrival, mingling and “finding your seat” 10:15-12:00 class and loads of fun 12:00-12:30 yummy little lunch (served by me) 12:30-3:00 second half of class and more fun  This workshop is for adults 18 and older. The cost is $35 and payment for classes are to be made through paypal. If you send me an email, I can send you an invoice.Once you sign up, I will send you the class address and if you have any dietary concerns, we can address those then, I want you to be happy and comfortable. ** I do have a couple of kits or completed books for sale too, they are $28.50 each. Email me with questions or for additional photos. Thanks!~hugs[...]



1,000 paper cranes

2010-10-07T08:54:10.508-07:00

What would you do

if you found one of these?














Recently, I was contacted by this creative soul Sandy who has masterminded a wonderfully fun and positive idea.

After reading the true story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Elanor Coerr, Sandy was inspired.  She is attempting to make 1000 paper cranes, putting a different positive word on each of them, and then placing them all in different locations out and about in our world. She has included her blog address so that people can go there and write to her about where they found it and maybe share about how finding it affected them.  A picture of each crane with its word are on her blog daily in addition to a picture of the crane in its location.  Most of her cranes are in New Jersey, but I think it would be cool to contact her and see about sending them all over the states and further. 

What a sweet, peaceful idea.  I love stuff like this, reaching out to random others with happy messages of care, love and peace. 

Have a happy peaceful day, full of love!

~hugs



September already??!!

2010-09-01T12:07:42.044-07:00

Two years ago I posted that I was starting to branch out and sell a few paper crafting kits here and there. Well, my start kind of stalled.  I only ever made one. Don't get me wrong, they were great kits and sold out quickly but then I got busy with other things. Since the kids went back to school, I have had some time to created another. Based on one of my favorite holidays, these little Halloween monsters chipboard books are more of a treat than a trick. (giggle, giggle)

The kit is stuffed with goodness and just about everything you need to complete a project minus your basic tool kit and pop-dots. In addition to sending you the kit, I will email you instructions and full color photos of the completed project.

Here is a peek at the book:


You can see more photos and buy yours here
I have only made 10 kits and sold one already!   

Also, if you can believe it… (I still cannot)

we have adopted a little puppy.

Meet Charlie.




Charlie chews,
Charlie runs,
Charlie “teedles” (as my friend Holly would say) wherever Charlie likes…
Charlie is a baby.

Goodness. I forgot how hard babies are.

He is half boxer, half lab.

The person we got him from said he is called a boxador
back in the day we called a dog like that a mutt.

We just call him Charlie
and with all the chewing,
wild running,
more chewing,
and occasional teedle…
we love him
(and it is probably because he is just so darn cute.)

Please remind me of this when he goes after my anthropologie boots!



remain calm...

2010-08-24T19:11:16.988-07:00

TODAY, while shopping for some art goodies, i happened upon a copy of the newest somerset Holidays and Celebrations edition.(i think it is supposed to hit shelves sep 1st.)I flipped through it and GUESS WHAT???My work is right there, taking up all of page 17!!!EEEEKKKKKK!!!Those poor ladies in the shop looked over to find me jumping up and down,  hair falling out of the clip it was so carefully put in, squealing to my 10 year old... "Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!"  was all I could say!At Silver Bella 2 years ago, I hosted a swap full of amazing talent and one of the girls (thanks Kim!) submitted the entire work along with an article about the swap to somerset and they decided to put it in their magazine!!!(You can find all of the work of these amazing ladies blogged about here)"Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness!!"I know girls who have their work in these magazines and they are so cool about it.  "yes, I have a few things in there" and "oh, that little thing?" and "oh, that really isn't anything"Well, let me tell you... I was not cool AT ALLJumping up and down so very excited... I bought one.  Now I am off to actually read it.~hugs[...]



It really was no miracle, what happened was just this...

2010-08-21T17:38:19.567-07:00

The wind began to swishThe house, to pitchAnd suddenly the hinges started to unhitchJust then the WitchTo satisfy an itch Was flying on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch. and, oh, what happened then was rich. ~dorothy galeI have done it!  Finished my tags for the Wizard of Oz Swap (hosted by the lovely Karla Nathan)Getting them packaged up and mailing them monday...Yippie!Now on to other goodies... gotta work on:my journal birdhouse (yes, I signed up and have not even started!) and some little albums I will be selling on etsyAlthough, when I get to create, it isn't really work at all.  It is more of a recharging of my batteries.aaaahhhhhh...~hugs[...]



my honey bunches of stinkweed...

2010-08-20T18:08:35.905-07:00

first, as promised... the answers to yesterday's post. here is the back of my alphabet card with the answers:now on to the real reason for this post...while shopping with Hope the other dayI found a ringyou know when you find something you likeyou make the move to try it onand when you do, it fitsAND looks good?well, it happened to me.it was not a big deal, just a sterling ring...but it had a heart in the center of it.i don't want to buy a heart for myself.i know it sounds weirdi feel like I am saying "i love you" to meand as we should love ourselves...i don't need to buy something to tell me that.  well, i suppose no one needs to buy something for someone else to tell them that.it is evident in how we treat each other, right?Well, I went home that day, ring-lessand told my husband about it.it was the same day I got my little animal (fox? bear? cat?  we still don't know)I digress(i do that a lot!)So today, he told me to go put my feet up, take a nap or just lie down for a bit.  and after a ton of lollygagging (it is what i do best,)i finally made my way into my room and found this:Upon first glance, it looked as if she had a cast on...but no!It was the ring!!!and then came the note...I won't share it, because it is personal, and mushy...but it was the sweetest note ever.really, you are just going to have to believe me on this.He was supposed to be setting up his classroom yesterday with our kids while i was out with friends and instead, he spent over an hour on the road and somehow the kids kept this a secret for a whole day!(my favorite is the heart in the middle)I love my honey bunches of stinkweed!~hugs[...]



staying true to my word...

2010-08-19T23:35:14.952-07:00

one more thing to check off the list!  Yippie!!I completed my ABC book swap page.(hosted by the ever so sweet and gracious Marian Ballog)as you can probably guess my letter was Gg  it started out in a whole other direction, but as I workedmy page morphed into something whimsical. and i can sit back and say "i am happy with it"so, I think I will...I am happy with it!There, another thing checked off my list...being kind to myself about what I create.Wow, this evening is full of check offs.Here are all TWENTY SEVEN in all of their glory...criminey!Can you guess all of the "g" words included on the page?Hint, there are seven!get it?G is the seventh letter of the alphabet!!answers coming tomorrow...On another note, I got to hang out with Hope this week while she was in town!What a treat that was!!!Anna and I took her to blick (oh the copics!) antiquing (vignettes is amazing!!!)met up with LeAnne, had lunch on the beachtouched our toes in the COLD Pacificate bright green ice cream(well, Anna and I did... everyone else had normal colors)went to Out of the Blue, Solo and Leaping LotusLove this towel! before having to take her back to her hubby.I just could not resist bringing this little one home...She was just so sweet that I could not leave her.she has a home, now she needs a name...any suggestions?~hugs[...]



someday is here

2010-08-04T19:11:23.394-07:00

I decided today that it is about time.About time I start finishing up all of the old projects i paid big bucks to createthere are so manyand yes, they are neatly stored and kept in the state they were in when the class was overi packed up exhausted from a long day of creating and good companythere was usually a long drive home or flightunpacking and putting it up on a shelf for somedaywell, someday is hereit is now or neveruse it or lose itI think we all come to a point where it is easier to chuck some things rather than take the time to finish themi am battling with that and trying to win.(silver bella alum 2008, remember this one?  this one will be done before bed!)so, with that in mind...i am already taking Hope's journal class (as you probably know)and suzi's petit dolls class (you probably know this too)i am in a vintage abc book swap (but hey, one is going to charity!)just signed up for Karla's swap:and planning on signing up for this class online because i just cannot resist.I mean come on!  2 weeks and $25... super cute and affordable.  Who can resist this stuff???now, I am creating, finishing and glad someday came.paper is flying, scissors are snipping and glue is dripping but i don't care.someday is here and i am getting ahead.~hugs[...]



one word? really??

2010-08-03T22:39:25.836-07:00

I was supposed to think of one word to describe myself...
and since it was difficult,
I cheated. 

I used a word that has more descriptors than any other I could think of.

I picked Libra

Here is my most recent journal entry
and
my first attempt at a petit doll
from the suzi blu class i have been taking...




on my last journal page,
I realized that my journaling
(well really my lettering)
needed much practice,
so that is really my focus here. 
Look at that ridiculous letter A in the middle of the left page! 
Well, it was a good exercise to get some practice in and stretch those creative wings once again.

~hugs



Nourish Your Soul

2010-07-30T10:08:22.078-07:00

I went to mail something yesterday and realized I was near a bookshop that sells Moleskines and I needed some for my journaling class. The come in packs of 3. I purchased them and went home, not knowing what I was in store for and how fate sometimes has other ideas for us.

There has not been much creating lately and I was so excited to get back into it (much like my blogging!) It is when I am at my most calm and peaceful state, which doesn't happen often enough.

As I sat down yesterday to begin my online journaling workshop taught by Hope, my little budding artist asked if she could join and grabbed one of the journals.

If you want to grow as an artist, create with a child.

We ended up at it most of the day.

It was quite an experience.

She is only ten and expects herself to create just like the master.

There were some tears,

but when she realized what wonderful things she can come up with on her own,

she relaxed and enjoyed the day.

Now she has some work that she is proud of and the time we spent together was priceless.

Here are our first pages:

(image) anna's

Now, as I reflect,
I see that I need to
work on more words and less collage.

Getting comfortable with my writing is tough,
but I have to let go…
especially with my little one watching.

Being comfortable in our own skin and developing our talents is such a mountain for an artist to climb but once we are at the summit, the possibilities are endless and what amazing and beautiful work follows! 

I am still climbing...

~hugs



a random act of kindness (rak)

2010-07-29T22:07:06.277-07:00

Today was unlike any other...

got up, got ready,

ran out for errands

and

blammo!

I found a box in the mail.

I didn't order anything...

hopefully my son was not on eBay again trying to out bid someone

(the last time he did that
we paid almost $70 for 2 inspector gadget toys...
God bless him, he hates to lose!
you can bet your sweet pa-tootie
that we changed our password though)

I digress.

In the door I went,

mail and box in hand.

I ripped into the package and found the sweetest card and gifts.

AND all owlies! 

She knows me!!!

My dear friend Julie Baxley sent it with thanks for hosting swaps last year at Silver Bella. 

Honestly...

what a living doll! 

She already sent me goodies back then

and now this!

Well, there is only one thing to do...

pay it forward. 

Maybe you can do one too!

I love random acts of kindness, thank you Julie!!!



i am still here...

2010-07-28T16:42:48.305-07:00

life tends to get away from me...or maybe it is this blogging that gets away.while i am living lifeyep, that is it.I have been LIVING LIFE.summer is in full swing, family visits, garage band sessions, house guests, horse camp, swimming in the cold pacific, BBQs, kids i do not even know running through my home...  gosh, i need a vacation to get away from my vacation.  that sounds ungrateful.  i do not mean to sound that way, i am happy to have the time off.  it is a blessing.just yesterday, i drove my dad and step mom to the airport and said goodbye.  I came home and everyone was exhausted so we pulled out the hide-a-bed and hung out snuggling and watching movies all day... the whole family (and yes, puppy too)  It was like a snow day, without the snow.  Now that I am all rested, I wondered onto a wonderful friend and artist's blog... Hope Wallace Karneylook out girls, if you have never been there(and I cannot imagine you haven't)you can get lost in the wonderfulness of it allI just signed up for her "nourish your soul" journaling class(i know, like I need something else to work on)but maybe i will finish this one... maybeit looks really, really, really creative and i hope to get those juices flowin' againit has been really, really, really too long.more on this and that suzi blu class later... (whichihavereallynevermentionedexcepttosomeclosefriendswhohavebeenaskingaboutmyprogresswhichihavenonetoshowbecasueijustcannotsitstill.)whew![...]