Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birds of a feather

I have had a new fascination with retro-looking birds lately.
So, with this new fascination I decided I would design my own Photoshop bird brushes.
I also have a bit of an obsession with quotes, if you hadn't already noticed :)
Fascination with retro birds + obsession with quotes= new card designs

Creating bird brushes led me to create some other brushes including: trees, flowers and text.
Enjoy and please let me know what you think! I would love to hear your comments!!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Voting for Kindness Contest!

I got two wonderful nominations for the Kindness moves Mountains contest. Both of these women sound extraordinary! Here is wishing that everyone has someone that is a blessing in their life.

Please read the nomination stories and vote for your favorite. Poll is on the right side of the blog! Names have been substituted by just the first initial of their name.

#1 I would love to nominate my dear friend and co-worker P. P is an inspiration to me. She has dedicated her life to helping others and worked tirelessly in the process. Whenever I need to get turned around P is always there to guide me and help me see things as they are. She and her husband raised two children who have now moved away from home and her daughter has children of her own. P is a volunteer through her church, for the school, and is also an advocate for social justice. She has taken trips with students to poverty stricken areas and helped those in need. She has also been a sponser for a special gentleman who recently was granted citizenship in the US. In the past she has also worked as her block leader in her neighborhood and spent time with Habitat for Humanity. These are just a few of the things that I am aware of. For all the experience that she has, and work she has done and people she has helped, P never holds this over anyone or brags about her work. I often tell her that she is the 'salt of the earth'. She is so down to earth and I dearly love her.

#2 The kindest person I know is my sister, D.
She is one of those extraordinarily caring people who are always available with a kind word, a willing ear or just a silent hug whenever it is needed most. She always seems to know the right thing to say or the right thing to do whenever someone needs her.
Some examples of D’ kind ways:
Since our sister J was moved to a memory care unit in Forest Lake, D has been there to take care of J’s laundry, sit in on care conferences, take J for walks, paint her fingernails, help her enjoy an energy shake, pick her up for sister time at her house, provide personal care, and so much more. She makes sure that J enjoys some quality time away from the day-to-day of the nursing home and is treated with love and dignity.
D’ mother-in-law and father-in-law have also had some health issues recently, and D was right there helping out with cleaning, meal preparation, and just being with them to help out with whatever needed doing.
D is my go-to person whenever I am feeling down or disillusioned and she is always there for me with words of wisdom or a shoulder to cry on. She has inspired me in so many ways and I feel that I am a better, kinder person due to her guidance and love.



Live. Love. Laugh. Embrace.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ava is 7 months!

Ava was 7 months on the day we did these pictures.
It had been a long day, and she was pretty tired but she did a great job!
Here is just a few to show off her cuteness!




To love, cuddle, play with, adore, that's what baby girls are for.

Unknown

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Touch my soul


This poem truly touches my soul. I read it and felt peaceful. It brought images of my past into the present; things I have done, people I've known, emotions I've felt.

_____________________________________________________________________
Kindness
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.


Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.


Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
_____________________________________________________________________
There is still time to enter your friends, family, co-workers, neigbors etc. into the Kindness moves Mountains contest. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me at visualessence@gmail.com
Have a wonder filled week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Renew

A couple of weeks ago I got to be part of a great act of kindness; a renewing of an old picture and a reliving of memories.

You see my Grandparents are a part of an old neighborhood. Years ago the neighbors would get together to celebrate many occasions, one of which was New Years. One of the guys from the neighborhood was a great illustrator and drew up a picture of "New Years 1962" and gave it to my Grandparents.

This great illustration has been given a new life; taken from it's plastic bag, matted and framed and now hangs prominently in my Grandparents den.

The idea to get it framed came from one of my brothers and then my dad took the idea and ran with it.

To witness my Grandparents delight in this gift and to see them reliving the memories of yesteryear was so moving!! Here they are, 91 years old, married for 60+ years, and just recently in and out of the hospital for three months...and then before my eyes taken back 40 years. I will never forget the joy they emitted!







Renewing is an important part of our lives.

Reconnecting with an old friend. Replenishing the love in a marriage. Recovering strength after sickness or depression. Taking up an old hobby. Reviving our Soul.

There are times when we feel all used up. We have no energy or motivation. We have been struck by the worry bug. We feel that we have nothing to offer.

In these times we need renewing!

Things that help me renew are:

1. Talking about what is going on in my head. Getting the thoughts and feelings out.

2. Listening to my favorite music...anything I can sing to.

3. Watching funny movies.

4. Hugging

5. Writing

6. Petting my Cat

7. Finding ways to help someone else

8. Snuggling with my hubby

9. Praying and giving thanks

It is important that we listen to ourselves. Listen to our conscious.

What do I need? What needs renewing? Who do I need to forgive? What stuff from my past is holding up my present and future happiness? How can I better myself today? Who can I help?

We must always change, renew, rejuvinate ourselves; otherwise we harden. ~Goethe

Leave me a comment and let me know how you RENEW!