Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bound for California

In a little more than one month, I'm bound for California. The San Francisco area, to be exact. My first time there. I will be in a class for four days which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But there will be time for sightseeing in the evening and the entire last day that I am in town.

So, tell me what you would do there if you were in my shoes? I love recommendations!

I Think She's Talking to Me ...

Christine Kane's seven tried and true ways to stifle your creativity.

I think she's talking to me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mandala Monday

Fresh new mandala for you to color ... ready to download here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And the Winner Is ...

#10 - Meryl!!!!

Please contact me via e-mail with your mailing address so that I can get these pretty hearts on their way to you.

Thanks everyone for playing along!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love Thursday

Although more than a few days past Valentine's Day, I'm still in a heart-y mood and know this much to be true.

I love wire-wrapping.
I love Love Thursdays.
I love giveaways.
And I love getting to know YOU through your comments.

All that said, this pair of moonstone and quartz crystal sterling silver earrings, wrapped by me with love, could be yours very soon, if the Random Number Generator (love this, too!) puts the number of your comment at the top of the list. (One comment per visitor, please.) Moonstone is known as a stone for hoping and wishing, so if you could make one wish today (at least one that you are willing to share here), what would it be?

The winner will be selected Saturday, February 21 at noon Eastern Time. Trust me, your odds of winning these pretties are OUTSTANDING!

Happy wishing!

Just looked at my calendar and realized that I have a Reikifest appointment scheduled for noon on Saturday, so the drawing will be pushed back until 2:00 Eastern Time. Good luck and thanks so much for playing along! Sending you all my best wishes ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Worlds Collide

The Post Wherein I Blabber About My Facebookish Feelings

I wasn't going to do it. Ever. And then on Monday I received an e-mail from my old friend, Kathy, with a link to a photo on a former classmate's Facebook page. She and me and other pals, way back in eighth grade gathered in the lunch room. It made me laugh. And it made me consider changing my mind about Facebook.

Later that same afternoon, high off the fumes from another viewing of Twilight and not in my right mind, I signed up for Facebook with the assistance of my teenage daughter. She had no issue with me signing up, as long as I promised not to friend her. Fine. We're not friends. So, in a few keystrokes and the blink of an eye, there were all of these names and faces flashing before me that I hadn't seen for decades. Wow. Cool. And then, kaboom. All of my worlds collide.

Most people complain about Facebook in terms of its ability to voraciously consume massive quantities of free time. I can see how this can happen. Easily. When I signed up, I lost about six hours. No joke, pretty much six straight hours except for one fast bathroom break and a dinner that was literally inhaled. Creativity and family time be damned, because Facebook became my sole focus. I went to bed that night feeling like I had succumbed to an entire bag of Smarties in one sitting. The buzz of cheap, sweet over-indulgence.

But the bigger problem for me was the kaboom. I am in a precarious position, both literally and figuratively. I have what could be deemed a very normal full-time job. I like this job ... and, mostly, I like how it helps my family and me to stay financially afloat. I have a kid heading to college in a few short years and her father and I only have so much plasma to donate.

This aforementioned job bears absolutely no resemblance to anything related to my business. They are kept completely separate and as far apart as possible. You will never catch me doing Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop business during normal working hours. That would be a big no-no. I get up well before the birds, so I have a few hours in the morning for Magic Beanishness and then there is usually some time in the evening, as well. I make it work because I love them both, but the juggling isn't always easy. Weekends help. A lot.

Anyway, I often feel like I am two separate selves living in two separate worlds. But who am I now that I am on Facebook? Which me do I want to put out there? Who do I want to present to those who haven’t had contact with me in years, if not decades? What about professional contacts? What about customers and friends I meet here on this blog? Do I present both worlds on the same page? Is that really a wise idea?

As it stands, only my professional experience is listed. You will find no mention of Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop ... this blog, Jakk’s Magic Beans Life ... Magic Beans anything. For now. But it feels incomplete, if not completely inauthentic to keep that part of my life, a very important part of my life, a secret. Am I really afraid of risking reprimand or am I simply afraid of looking weird?

It's okay. I know. The Reiki. The I-AMulets. Some will think it's all weirdo, new agey, woo-woo stuff and therefore I am the same by association. I am pretty selective about who I share all this with in the real world, but if they find me virtually, I am completely okay with it. But to put it out there, everything, and to say this is me, who I am and what I love, BOTH of these worlds and the contrast between. Well, that takes some bravery ... and maybe some measure of fool-hardiness. I don't know if I can muster it.

But what is the alternative? To present the me that I believe people expect to see? Typical suburban working mom. Yeah, that part of me is in the mix. But I'm not sure if I can be okay with representing that alone. It's not all of me. And don't people deserve to know all of me instead of the most palatable portion I think that they will want to know?

That said, I wish my only concern about Facebook was the amount of free time it can suck from my life. But I certainly recognize that there needs to be some boundaries put around it. Definitely. But the bigger decision is how far I want to put myself out there. Maybe I’m not giving the people who think that they know me enough credit to accept that there is much more to me than what they think they know. Wouldn't it be nice to (finally!) live one great, big, abundant and diverse world rather than having to switch myself back and forth between two seemingly dichotomous lives?

Stay tuned and we'll find out.

Yes, I have also considered the possibility that no one really gives a hoot what I do, where I do it, when and why. I like this possibility very much.

Yes, I realize that I may have signed up for Facebook in order to avoid the Camp Magic Beans/Portfolio Project promise that I made to myself. No, creating a lot of unnecessary drama does not count.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mandala Monday

Fresh (and, as a reminder, FREE) mandala ready for you to download here. Happy coloring!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday

Yesterday, for Valentine's Day, I treated myself to an online viewing of Dr. Wayne Dyer's Ambition to Meaning. It was a sweet and thought-provoking movie ... I enjoyed it so much that I ordered the DVD immediately afterward. Did not hesitate. Simply couldn't resist. I know that I'll pick up something new each time I view it. Besides, I like to keep inspirational movies on hand for those days when I need something to inspire me to pull my thumb out of my mouth. I've often thought of joining Spiritual Cinema Circle so I can further build my collection.

The 1000 Journals movie is at the top of my wish list right now. I expect it to be every bit as inspiring as Dr. Dyer's film, but maybe in a different way. Then again, maybe not so different after all. I see spirituality and creativity as one and the same. Show me an artist doing their thing ... working their magic ... bringing an idea to life ... and it is every bit as powerful to me as witnessing a baby's birth.

On that note, what about The Beckoning of Lovely film? Oh my heavens, it isn't even MADE yet and I'm pining! Go, Amy, go!

And, finally, heard gushy-great things about Happy-Go-Lucky but completely missed it when (if?) it passed through theaters here in town. Now I must sit on my hands and wait patiently for it to come out on DVD. Sigh.

Okay, spill it, sisters. What films have inspired you recently or even indefinitely? I LOVE recommendations. Please share!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Not so much to show-and-tell this week. I finished this mandala in the nick of time.

So for the Camp Magic Beans/Portfolio Project, I've got two mandalas, two poems, a papered Y-E-S, and quite a few new photos taken (you can visit me on Flickr linked in the sidebar). I lost some momentum over the last week, but I think I'll gain it back and then some in the week ahead. No worries. I'm thankful for the holiday on Monday. Three day weekends are the best gift of all.

I hope this Valentine's Day brings you lots of love, fun and chocolate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Thursday

Pregnant with
Your own potential
I see you
And honor
The way that you juggle
Deep dreams
With dirty laundry
An effortless
A bridge
Between worlds
I see you
And marvel
In all that you do
All whom you touch
The mountains you move
The tides that you turn
I see
And applaud

Happy Love Thursday!


Monday, February 9, 2009

Mandala Monday

A fresh new mandala for you to color is here!

I hope that your week is off to a great start. The Full Moon in Leo (avec lunar eclipse) arrived this morning after 9:30 (Eastern time). I joined "the ladies who labyrinth" here for our Noon with the Moon gathering. Okay, not as lush as the photo would suggest. Not lush at all. Pretty barren ... although the sycamores majestically stand guard year round. The river was running high from the weekend's big snow melt off. (Good riddance.) We're enjoying 60 degrees here after single digits last week. Welcome to Cincinnati! We know better than to believe it is spring. But we are getting close. At least that's what I keep promising myself.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Show and Tell Saturday for Week 2

A lot of my Portfolio Project/Camp Magic Beans efforts were behind the scenes this week. First off, I secured the services of the lovely and talented Helen to create a desperately needed banner for this blog as well as banners and avatars for my Etsy shop. She was super fast, super affordable, and an all-around joy to work with ... I will gladly call upon her again for support.

I colorfully completed the mandala above. Yay me! I hadn't drawn one of these from scratch since last May. It was a bit awkward at first, but once I got going I felt my confidence grow. Now I just need to stick with it and keep 'em coming. I just love how the colors look like I used pastels. I hope to move onto bigger mandalas, eventually, but I'm fine with taking this facet one small step at a time.

Ah, these wooden letters have sat behind the workshop sink for at least a year and I'd be willing to bet closer to two. I sat myself down and more or less forced myself to decoupage them this week. Okay, not so much tradition decoupage as "jakkoupage," my own style, which I hadn't done on anything since about the time I bought those wooden letters. Anyway, this project turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. It moved me through and beyond my resistance and I'm pleased with how they turned out. I think I'm ready to start a creation box next week.

I've now got two I-AMulets posted to Etsy. I'm taking new pictures and it's taking awhile. I keep telling myself that there is no huge rush. But it kind of feels like a big, burdensome job right now.

I haven't wrapped anything new. That seems to be my biggest block. I think I need to just sit down and give myself permission to wrap badly. Except that sterling silver isn't cheap and so there's this pressure to make good use of my supplies. Round and round and round I go.

Last but not least, yesterday's post came to me in minutes. It was the end of a long work day. I was tired and just thinking about the stories that I tell myself, day-in and day-out, about what's not working. Still not working. And the words to the poemy pep-talk just flowed. To me. To you. To whomever else needed to hear it. But this was truly the "fast and dirty" creating, in this case writing, that is the essence behind the Portfolio Project. Just do it. Just get it down. Just get it out. I got it. And I plan to play with it some more.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. And should you care to show and tell on your blog, leave a comment and let me know.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A New Story

What drum are you beating
What bone are you chewing
What scab are you picking
What hair are you splitting
What record are you playing
What story are you telling yourself about your life
Right now
About why things aren't going well for you
And all that you believe is wrong
And how the odds are stacked against you
And whose (or whats) fault that might be
And how this shit has got to stop
And why you're pretty sure that it won't
Step away from that drum
Drop that bone
Stop it
Just stop
You don't have to do this anymore
To them
To you
It's a story
Just a story
The same story you may have been telling yourself
For a long time
There's still plenty of time to write
A new story for 2009
It's worth it
You're worth it
I promise

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love Thursday: Reminders

A loving reminder from my favorite mermaid. I've never cherished an envelope before this one. It means a lot to me. The message was timely ... arriving when I was feeling a quite depleted and ineffective. I was sure that my well had run completely dry.

Much the way I find myself feeling today.

I'm really tired. I'm really cold. And I am relatively certain that spring will never come and I'll never ever be inspired again. And yet, just now, I caught a glimpse of the icicles hanging from our neighbors' roof ... glistening with the fading light of the setting sun. A moment of magic. A loving reminder. Thank you.

I'll be okay. It's just been one of those days.

Happy Love Thursday, friends! xoxo

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giving It Another Go

I am giving Etsy another go. My first try was, eh. My fault. My fault entirely. I didn't do any research. I jumped right in, cannonball-style, with my mouth wide open, my stomach full, and my fingers crossed.

You get the picture.

I am relisting one I-AMulet at a time. Taking freshy new photos. Spiffing up the descriptions. Trimming down the prices. Looking at the lone listing with the eyes of a discerning buyer ... rather than a biased seller.

I keep editing. And editing. And not again!

If you are at all inclined to take a look at it and further inclined to share your thoughts, either here in the comments or via e-mail, I would be most grateful. Constructive criticism is a good thing. Hey, I welcome it! Okay, maybe not so much with the welcoming. But I can certainly appreciate the value in it. Trust me, I know that I have a lot to learn. I want to learn.

Oh, successful Etsyians, please show me the way!

Tuesday Reiki Tales ... on Wednesday

I seem to be running on a one-day delay this week. I blame it on the snow. We received seven inches yesterday on top of what hadn't melted from last week's storm. Just trying (hard) to go with the (frozen) flow.

I was supposed to give the first Reikifest treatment last night. Understandably, she had to cancel. So the first appointment will now be on Saturday at high noon.
I have spent a lot of time in the literal Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop ... setting up the massage table and getting it fit for company. There's obviously not a whole lot of room to play with ... but efficiency is the key.

I've spent years visualizing what I want the real Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop to look like some day. There will be lots of space for creating ... and not just by myself. I would love to have groups and maybe, if I dare to dream, even offer classes. There will be a separate Reiki room for treatments. And there will be a kitchenette because I feel like I might be moving toward doing some raw food demos in the future. I have so much I want to share. See, no shortage of dreams ... I just need to turn up the volume on the conjuring!

Anyway, Reiki Tales, that's what this post is supposed to be about. Reiki Tales Tuesdays started years ago when I was visiting the local no-kill shelter to give Reiki to the kitties awaiting their forever homes. If you dig around my archives, I'm sure you will find the posts with the pictures. I am hoping to be able to spread out my vacation time this year so that I can get back there for an hour or two every Tuesday. It made a difference. For me. For the cats. It was funny. They would get treated and then they'd get adopted within a week or two. I was doing my best to keep track, but I'd like to try again and keep consistent records. I might be onto something! Even if I'm not, it was fun and it sure felt like I was making a difference.

So these Reiki Tales posts will be about future shelter visits, yes, but other things of the Reiki persuasion as well. Reiki as a way of life for me and its marriage with my art. I love to answer questions, so comment or e-mail and I'll be glad to answer privately or in a future Reiki Tales post. What comes up a lot is the need for some kind of explanation as to how Reiki works. So how to explain the unexplanable?

Here's my best attempt ...

I think of people as radio transmitters. We go through our day sending different frequencies based upon our mood, our energy level, what we are thinking about or doing. We also go through our day picking up the frequencies of other transmitters, um, er, people. Sometimes those frequencies uplift us. Other times, not so much.

As a Reiki practitioner, I have been attuned to offer a frequency that can have a profoundly relaxing effect. Through a Reiki treatment, be it in-person or at a distance, I intend for this frequency to serve the recipient's highest good. Of course, Reiki can do no harm and always goes where it is needed. I have no control over the recipient or if/how the Reiki will serve them. But if the recipient can connect with that frequency through the treatment, then they can be uplifted to a frequency which allows them access to deep rest and, maybe from there, some healing in whatever way that they may need it.

I do not see myself as a healer. The recipient does their own healing. I like to think of myself as a facilitator. I hold the space for them to relax enough to allow themselves whatever it is that they need.

That said, I want to share that there are a lot of Reikifest appointments available, so I am expanding the scope of my offer. If you're not in the Greater Cincinnati area, but you would like to try a distance Reiki treatment, please contact me. The treatment is free and a nice opportunity to give it a try. Just pick the day and time from the list on the Reikifest page. Distance treatments can be sent to you, a loved one, even a project or situation of your choice. If you would like more details, please let me know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mandala Monday

Fresh, new mandala, ready to download here.

The 2008 Mandala Mondays are available, as well. More information here.

Happy coloring!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday ... Meets Show-and-Tell Saturday

I try to keep my computer off on Sundays. Unfortunately, it is an impossible promise to keep if I want to acknowledge Sacred Life Sunday. So I've tried to write my SLS post on Saturday ... which I have more or less deemed to be the day for my weekly show-and-tell. Seems like I've got some figuring-out to do, which is a laughable understatement, but I hope that you'll play along.

My love for mandalas is no secret around here. I have had a blast with the Spinlights Stained Glass coloring book these last couple of months. As you know, it's been my creative outlet during my lightbox time. Now that the coloring book is complete, I am trying to get back to freehand drawing of white pencil on black paper, inspired by Judith Cornell's teachings. The notebook is smallish, so it isn't as though I am demanding a masterpiece from myself every morning. But it feels surprisingly awkward and I'm wanting another coloring book instead. I will do my best to stick with it.

I have started a new Reiki shawl. I took a bit of break since completing the last one. I always marvel at how much I need to crochet on a daily basis. I always wonder why I think I need a break in the first place. Loving this shade of green.

Finally, I setup my playspace for a new creation box. That was all that I asked of myself for this facet ... just to get everything in one place, so that I can sit down and get started when the mood strikes. Except that the mood never struck this week. Some coaxing may be in order. Better yet, bribery. The first step is prepping the paper. The second is applying it to the box. From there, I will be on a roll.

So what does all of this showing-and-telling have to do with my sacred life? Creativity is a big part of who I am ... no matter how much or how little I actually apply it each week. Hey, avoidance and procrastination take creativity too! But when I dare to show up and let it flow for good, I feel most closely connected to what I just plain call God. Art is my worship.

How about you? Do you see the divinity in your creativity? What does it mean to you?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!