The Diary 2010 Project

diary2010I became aware of this great project from the Etsy Artists of Color Team and decided to check it out. I ordered one of the books from Fantazya’s shop on Etsy to have a look and was wonderfully surprised! The diary is a page-per-day book with month, address and note pages. The quality is great and the idea is that different shops provide the artwork for each page. (Not only is available in the printed book, she also offers a CD version that you can print yourself. Very cool.)

The result is a delightfully eclectic collection of artwork and design. As a designer I just love it! It’s my new favourite book. I’ve taken to carrying it everywhere with me. I’ve peeked at a fair number of shops as well. It’s an amazing way to advertise if you have a shop and it costs nothing! What could be better than that?!?  I just want to thank Fantazya for this ingenious idea.

You can still reserve a page if you’re interested in this great opportunity. The deadline to provide your design is July 15th, so you have a lot of time. Head over to her site at: http://www.fantazya.ca/diary2010.html.

Yep, I’ve got my page already reserved. I can’t wait to see how Diary 2010 turns out!! 🙂

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What is the bliss of your heart?

What do I mean by a person’s Personal Legend? Why does that have any meaning to me?

Well, Joseph Campbell’s quote of “Follow your bliss” has been heard and seen almost everywhere. Some people interpret it to mean that you just need to do whatever makes you happy. I’ve heard people use the saying as they go off to the bar or on a date which, to be fair, may indeed be their bliss. For the moment.

For me the saying ties in with the idea of the Personal Legend. I first came across this idea in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, a book that changed and enhanced my life, as it’s done for many others. The Alchemist is the story of the journey of a boy named Santiago as he travels from Spain to the Middle East. Santiago’s journey is not comprised of just the outward travelling but is also internal, into himself, and perhaps through himself as well, from one kind of consciousness into another. One of the main concepts is that of the Personal Legend. I can’t possibly explain this better than Coelho himself, so here is a quote from his site that comes from a conversation with his master:

It is your blessing, the path God has chosen for you here on Earth. Whenever a man does that which gives him enthusiasm, he is following his Legend.

It also comes with an admonition:

However, not everyone has the courage to face up to his own dreams.

This isn’t simply about dreams of becoming rich or having a big house. Your Personal Legend is about the bliss of your heart. That certain something in this life that you feel, above all, you were meant to be doing. Ask yourself these questions:

What is the bliss of your heart?

What is the truth of your soul?

Don’t be afraid. Just ask. For some of us the real answers to these questions are wrapped in layers of fear and doubt. If you’ve never walked in the murky glades of self-destruction, never cried out within a dark night of the soul, be very grateful for you are blessed. However, if you ask these questions and the answers seems dark and negative, I can tell you that this is not the true answer. Gently unwrap that fear, unwind the doubt and the truth of your Self shines out. No matter where we are in our life, we can find the way to our Personal Legend. I have walked on a dark, dark path and somehow I came back. If you’re on one of those roads, you can come back too. I was shocked to find that my life had a purpose, I was born for a reason – a very good reason. To be me. To love and be loved. To be here. And to sing in the universe.

If you want to fully realize your Personal legend, you will have to summon your courage. Coelho outlines four obstacles that we must all face:

  • The first is uncovering the dream. Like an archaeologist brushing away the detritus to find a shard of history, you may need to dig before you unearth your Legend. There may be painful, even shameful, things for you to get through, but that shard of truth is there.
  • Once you’ve done this, you’ll face quite an unlikely hurdle. You’ll find you love the people around too much to embark on your adventure. The dream of your heart, your own Legend will look selfish to you. You’ll think that by living it, you will hurt those around you. As Coelho says: He does not understand that love is an additional impulse, not something which hinders one from going forward. Just remember that the people who really love you only want what is best for you. They are longing for your happiness, wholeness and fulfillment every bit as much as you are. You can transform this obstacle into a powerful force driving you to embrace your Legend.
  • Now, you’ve uncovered your dream and realized that love is your great ally, so what could possibly get in your way? Ahh, the old demon that whispers in every ear. Failure. What if you reach out for this dream, soar so impossibly high, and crash to the earth in spectacular ruin? In my own limited experience, this is where people become disillusioned with phrases like “Live your dream” or “Follow your bliss.” They believe that these phrases, if they adopt them like mantras, act like a “Get out of Jail” card when failure or disappointment comes calling. Gentle friend, none of us can escape failure. All of us will taste the bitterness of disappointment again and again.

    It is beautifully human to reach and strive. We cannot achieve any goal without missing the mark along the way. There is so much wisdom to be learned in the face of defeat and sorrow. There is so much more confidence and strength to be gained by trying again and again. My defeats have shaped me ever so much more than my triumphs. When I look back on my life, the milestones I see are the places where Life knocked me down and I got back up. I barely even notice the times I soared to sky or earned accolades. Those are wonderful moments, but not defining ones.

    And the greatest single harvest from all these long defeats is patience. I understand at 40 what I could not understand at 17. Patience and temperance will see you through heartbreak more surely than any friend. You learn that you will indeed survive the storms and tempests in your life, and like a weathered sailor, you’ll be able to call them by their names, diminish your fear of them and their power over you, and navigate your way through.

  • The final obstacle is a huge one. It is the fear of actualizing the dream. It’s not the fear of failing, because by this time you’ll understand there really isn’t any such thing. It is being on the doorstep of your bliss and questioning your right to be there. Seeing the promise shimmering there before you, one step away and feeling that you are not worthy to take that step. Love, trials, lessons learned – none of these will help you at this stage. You will need to drop the veneer of ego, to immerse yourself in gratitude and simply believe that you are worthy, child of the universe. Because you are.

Living your Personal Legend is no joke. It’s much more than a bohemian idea accompanied by sandals and organic yogourt. You have to embody courage, nobility, and humility. You need to be as open as a child, as prepared as a warrior. When life seems to collapse around you, you’ll need to find the moment of peace and gratitude in the middle of it all. It’s a wonderful, daring pursuit, an adventure all your own that’s worthy of an epic tale. It’s all for you so dare to dream, to embrace and to live.

The Personal Legend on Paulo Coelho’s blog

What I learned from the Webbys

This year’s Webby Winners are out and, once again, my favouritest site of all, COLOURlovers didn’t win (FlickRRRRRR!!!, lol) but it’s amazing that the site is in the nominee list! Maybe next year CL … 😀 There are some really amazing sites out there that make this time of year exciting for me. The Web Designer (oh yes, the caps are needed) part of me itches to see what the Webbys bring forth every year. Who stands at the cutting edge of design, communication? Where is web psychology taking us this year? I love seeing what the Webbys have to offer. Here are some of my 2009 faves …

The Museum of Modern has two fab sites that I’m loving. This first, I think is really cool because it’s about beautiful, beautiful colour. Color Chart: Reinventing Color 1950 to Today is a great ride through an art exhibition derived from the modern commercial colour chart. I love the colourful design and set up of the site. Design and the Elastic Mind is another Art nominee from MoMA that is fabulous. Instead of paraphrasing, let’s let MoMA speak for themselves:

Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use.

It’s a very cool exhibition, definitely worth your cyber time.

The Best Visual Design is one that I’m always interested in. I love this year’s People’s Voice Winner – Patagonia – The Tin Shed. The Tin Shed is filled with stories and as you look around the shed it’s just about impossible not to peek into all of them. It’s a unique journey and worthy of a win.

The Best Blog award goes to the always awesome 1000 Awesome Things. If you’ve never been over there, you need to have a read! This is one of the most awesome places on the web. (Did I get “awesome” in there enough times?)

This last one is a fave of mine: Boston Globe’s The Big Picture. It won, hands down, for Best Use of Photography and if you have a peek, you’ll see why. Letting pictures paint their thousands of words, it’s a worthy cyber break in your busy day. I especially like Human Landscapes from Above and the photos from Cassini’s mission (astronomy nerd alert). 

Head over to the Webby Awards to see the list of sites. You can learn a thing or two about the web and how it’s evolving, and while you’re there you can’t help but learn a thing or two about our world. 🙂

Oh and did I mention COLOURlovers?? Ok, I know I did but it’s worth another mention! If you love colour, love to play with colour, investigate colour, ruminate upon colour, discuss colour, LIVE in colour … then CL is the place for you! It’s only the most awesome community I’ve ever been part of. See those folks over on the right-hand side in the Peoples I Love column? Most of those are my lovely fellow CLs. I’m constantly inspired by the people I’ve come to know there. If there is one thing more wonderful than playing with colour it’s loving other colour people.

Update

Well, there goes my promise of consistency! I guess I am quite consistent at breaking that promise though. (:

I’ve been up and down, been waaaay overworked, overstressed, overwrought (work, of course), had some hand issues, back issues, money issues … And now I’m on the other side and, hopefully, back to making this blog something useful.

I’m back to making jewellery and I’ve got some new stuff up at Etsy (you can see a few pieces on the RH side there). I’ll post some pics to the gallery with those. I’ve only just realized (duuuh Lara!) that Etsy is this humongous place with tons of features. I’ve tried to scan the forum and I find it pretty tough to keep up with the flow of conversation. Guess I’m finally gettin’ old … LOLOL. I was able to purchase a couple of the Showcase spots, which was neat and fuelled an outburst of jewellery making. And I’m trying to figure out what the teams are all about. So many things to do there … so very little time.

Jewellery for me …

phoenix002-web1I love to make pieces for other people but I often forget to make things for myself. Here’s a piece that’s an unfolding co-creation. I saw these amazing phoenix necklaces at artisticprostitution’s shop when I first joined Etsy and I had her larger version as a favourite for a while. When it sold, I despaired a little because I loved it but then the artist created a smaller version. I couldn’t afford to buy it right away so I kept my eye on it and finally made it mine. Originally it came on a lovely silver necklace that is still part of the design.

phoenix-web12The way this phoenix has been done really spoke to me. I find it so beautiful and it symbolizes the way I view my own life – the times I’ve been kicked down and got back up again, the amount of screw-ups I’ve made but still managed to make it through. I’ll be glorious 40 this year and I feel like my life is really in my hands, and I chose this necklace to be my gift from me to me. I married it with my favourite stone, the ruby. This is its current incarnation; it will change once more before I write “the end” on this one.

Oasis Bead Show

Spent a little too much time at the Oasis Bead Show this weekend. I only intended to go on Friday evening but there were great beads that kept calling me back. The quality of beads available was pretty good, from low-grade to some gem quality stones. Two things that seemed to get me excited were matte-finish beads (especially the African jade) and rough-finish beads. Not sure if that’s a correct technical term but the beads are mostly rough; you can see they’ve been tumbled a little. I did get 3 strings of rough citrine and amethyst. I don’t know why yet, but I’m sure they will speak to me soon!

I was able to take in a free seminar that really interested me about Colour. I hoped for some interesting bits about colour theory and how it can help you with jewellery or even just the basics. Instead, the person giving the presentation didn’t seem to know much about colour. I guess she was tired or just worn out with the whole show but the presentation had zero energy to it. ): Sad for me because I’m such a colour freak and I get so excited about colour. When she didn’t know what the K stood for in CMYK I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I guess that is one of the things I’ll delve into here on this bloggie. How to use colour in the art of making jewellery.

I’ll try to keep things organized if I go down that path. For today, here’s a gorgeous gradient (up top) created from one of my palettes at ColourLovers.com – it has the potential to become such a lovely piece. CL is probably my favourite place on earth or in cyberheaven right now. The opportunities to create are endless and the site itself is a drug. It’s also one of the best communities around. I’ve given you the link to my page so if you haven’t been there yet, have a look around. If you love colour, you’ll be addicted in no time. (:

As for the bead show, it was time well spent; a great 3 days of walking around and revelling in beads of every kind.

Welcome to Wandering Moon

Halleluja

Hallelujah

Welcome to Wandering Moon.

Hopefully I’ll remain ‘on the ball’ with updates here as I continue my journey into jewellery.

This piece was made last year and was a quick seller. There won’t be another like it, but I’ll make something else along the same lines. I called it Hallelujah – I think because I was so glad it looked ok at the end. It was my first try at incorporating gemstones, shell and glass.