Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I Am Tired of Pressure - And The End of NABloPoMo January's Theme of Pressure

I write about pressure quite a bit.
I am under quite a bit of pressure.

And I am so tired of it.

When I signed up for's January NaBloPoMo, I hesitated when I saw the month's theme was pressure. I wondered how much more I could write about pressure
Image courtesy of Master isolated images /
Then it brought on the more relevant question of 'How much more pressure could I endure?'

I have felt so much unpleasant pressure in the past year. I went through the pressure of trying to make a struggling business grow, closing said business, moving all the crap out of said business, then the pressure of what to do now? All while struggling to meet out obligations moneywise. This is heavy pressure.

I am sick and tired of this kind of pressure.

So I took on the pressure of posting a blog every day (NaBloPoMo) for January, since it gave me such pleasure when I did it in October and November. But I was not as successful in January, I missed more than a couple days (including the very first day!). 

But that pressure is a different kind of pressure, and when I missed a day, well, I just missed a day. I knew I had more important things going on, and that the world would keep spinning even if I didn't get a post done that day. I enjoyed writing, and enjoyed sharing and getting the excellent feedback that you, my fine readers, blessed me with. 

I am still struggling with the stresses of direction, money, where the heck we will be in three months, that kind of stuff. THAT is the stuff I am so ready to leave behind.

But writing? That I want to keep doing. That pressure will, hopefully, help me with the other stresses (meaning I will make it part of my livelihood {$$} sometime soon). It is something I find very satisfying, and enjoy. If I can earn doing it - GREAT! 

That pressure is not so bad. So what did I just do? I signed up for February's NaBloPoMo, of course. 
NaBloPoMo February 2014
I am coming in to this one with a new perspective though. (And good thing because February's theme IS perspective.) 

I am going in to February with a new perspective. One where I just know our luck is about to change. I feel good things are coming to us. After all, we have worked so hard, we have put tons of effort into the path we want our future to take. We are open to new things, new places, a new chapter, so to speak. (I am not sure what chapter we are on right now, but it would be one heck of a book, someday maybe.)

I know the pressures I have struggled with will ease. 

Perhaps new pressures will reveal themselves, but that doesn't worry me at all. Pressure is not always a bad thing. 

Pressure often makes beautiful things happen. It often leads us to success. 

It all depends on how we look at it. It depends on our perspective.

Have YOU changed your perspective, and then seen things turn around for you?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Thought of the Day ~ A Little Bit of Summer......

source - Pinterest
I am sure I am not alone in wishing for the temperature to start going up! 

In this vein, I am sharing some of my warm weather creations for us to dream about no wool socks and slippers, no fuzzy socks, not being covered in quilts when watching tv, etc etc.

Let's dream about being barefoot!
Natures Green Rose on Sunshine Yellow
Alices Blue Flower Garden
Let's dream of a nice Valentine gift too.
Red Open Heart Toekini's
Beating HeartToekini's
These make you feel too cold still?
How about some with a little more cover?
Purple Mesh Barefoot Sandals
Sunshine Yellow with Groovy Red HeartBarefoot Sandals
All that is missing is the beach I would be on wearing these.....
(click on that beach link to see the beach I mean.....)

Well, now back under the blanket, because it is really only 27 degrees outside, even though the sun is shining like it is Spring.

Stay warm!

Zibbet Exhibit ~ Burlap Possibilities

I made a goal to feature more creative people this year, so along these lines, the Zibbet Exhibit is a great way to show many interpretations on a single theme or idea by many different talented artisans and artists. 

Today, the idea is burlap. I love the look of burlap, and have even tried my hand at being creative with burlap. It is a challenging thing to work with, so that these creations are so well done tells you something about the talent of these creators. 

There is so much you can do with burlap, these are just some of the possibilities. 
Coffee Pillow Cover in Burlap by Texas Eagle Gallery
Coffee Pillow Cover by Texas Eagle Gallery
Rustic Burlap Roses by Accents & Petals
Rustic Burlap Roses by Accents & Petals
Sunflower and Burlap Bow by Knitting Nadia
Sunflower and Burlap Bow by Knitting Nadia
Ivory and Burlap Mason Jars by The Vintage Artistry
Ivory and Burlap Mason Jars by The Vintage Artistry
Coffee Sack - Little Bookend Owl by Tailys
Coffee Sack - Little Bookend Owl by Tailys
Little Burlap Bows – Bobby Pin Set by BE Something New
Little Burlap Bows – Bobby Pin Set by BE Something New
Deep Purple Burlap Wreath by Trend to Trend Wreaths
Deep Purple Burlap Wreath by Trend to Trend Wreaths
Purple Felt Pinwheel with Burlap by Cute Little Things
Purple Felt Pinwheel with Burlap by Cute Little Things
Heartstrings Burlap Throw Pillows by CarmaMia Decor
Heartstrings Burlap Throw Pillows by CarmaMia Decor
Valentines Hearts - Burlap and Felt by Le Beach Shack
Valentines Hearts - Burlap and Felt by Le Beach Shack
Have you ever tried to work with burlap? 
Let us know! Comment, share links, and let's see all the possibilities!

I will be adding all these, and yours too, to my Pinterest Burlap Board, so please share your creativity!

And if you haven't tried Zibbet, go check it out!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Walking on Wednesday ~ This is NOTHING!

If you haven't heard, the south has had a bit of a snow storm.
(and if you haven't heard, I would ask what rock you have been under)
Now, having grown up in the Buffalo area, then moving BACK to the Buffalo area (after my other life in the Caribbean) before moving here, to the mountains of NC, I am quite familiar with snow.

I grew up with snow, and my kids spent 5 'love-slash-hate' years dealing with it.
This? THIS is snow.
photo: Raige Creations
I can drive in it, I can shovel it, snow blow it, and basically deal with it. I have even shoveled it off a roof when we got more than 5 feet of snow in one day. (yes, that happened.)

Nothing closed up there unless there was a blizzard or sub zero temperatures AND a blizzard. School was open that day we had 5 feet of snow in a day. 
Yes, that is several FEET of snow.
and there still was school,
and everything stayed open.

photo: Raige Creations
So now we are in the mountains of a 'southern' state. (I put southern in quotes because as far as southern states go, NC is right on the verge.)

And when it snows here, they CLOSE EVERYTHING. And it doesn't take much snow either. 
NC snow, where we are.
Maybe 1 inch.
School was closed, and businesses were closing early.

photo: Raige Creations
Now, I understand how difficult it is to drive a steep hill in a regular heavy car. I have a regular heavy car that can't make it 5 ft UP the hill at the end of my driveway, in the right conditions. 

And I understand the roads are slick, and it can be dangerous. Ice forms quickly on the roads here.

And I understand that people around here don't know how to drive in snowy and slick conditions. 

I am NOT saying people here SHOULD be out in this weather!

But we have a truck. With snow tires. And 4 wheel drive. 

So when I had to go out in this....
The 'snowstorm' yesterday.
photo: Raige Creations
I came home and hubby asks, quite concerned, how it was out there.

Me, being a Buffalo native, I said "THIS? This is NOTHING!"
(think: Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman, as Stanley Motss saying this every time their situation got much worse, he thought of another situation he had been in that had been much, much worse, and somehow they got through it unscathed)

When it snows here, we often think, and often say, just like in Wag the Dog: 

"This? This is NOTHING! Remember the time when we were in Buffalo and......". 

A story is told of us driving in almost white out conditions, snow on the road, falling and blowing, and we remember how it was 'business as usual'.

This amount of snow? This is NOTHING!
photo: Raige Creations
This? I can handle this amount of snow. Actually, we went out for dinner last night, in this. It was some visiting family's last night in town, so we celebrated. It was a great time! 
We are ready for LOBSTER!
photo: Raige Creations
And we made it to the restaurant before they closed... at 6pm. They decided to close early, at 6pm, to let their staff go home, due to the weather. 
The manager helped fish out the lobster,
then he cooked it for us!

photo: Raige Creations
The manager cooked our meal, and we were the only customers in the restaurant after the 2 other parties left around 6:30. 
We had the restaurant to ourselves.
photo: Raige Creations
It was lovely. And, the drive home was perfect. Only about 5 other cars on the road. We made it safe and sound, no incidents.
Snowstorm Remnants.
(the school was closed again today.)
YES it is cold, but beautiful.

photo: Raige Creations
I can enjoy this type of snowstorm. It IS cold though, so yes, it IS better to not have to go out in it. But at least I know I CAN. 

This? This in NOTHING! This is beautiful!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Featured Artisan ~ Jazz It Up With Designs by Nancy

This week, we have more beautiful jewelry and fiber items by Nancy, a talented creator from Massachusetts. 

Nancy says: 
Crafting is my hobby. I love jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, painting. I love trying new things to create new designs. Generally, I design my own items. I rarely use patterns and if I do, I will change something about them to make them unique. I do a lot of exploring in youtube for tutorials on basic techniques and then apply them to the stock products that I have. I hope to make very unique items. Anything you see in my store, especially knit, is very flexible and can be made in different color to tweaked slightly. Also if you are looking for something, please contact me and I will search for patterns. 

jazzitupwithdesignsbynancyEnjoy her creations, and be sure to find her online.

jazz it up with Designs by Nancy

Featured Artist on Share the Love… Blogger’s Unite

Jazz it up with Designs by Nancy is this weeks Featured Artist on Share the Love, Blogger’s Unite! You will find high quality handmade jewelry in her shop on Artfire!

Jazz it Up with Designs by Nancy

Find Designs by Nancy on: Artfire   Facebook   Blog   Twitter
Are you On Fire for Handmade?

Shop at On Fire Gift Guide!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Music Monday! My Little Buttercup

What a whirlwind of a weekend we had.

It was the weekend of my daughters graduation, in this post she will be known as Little Buttercup, as that a pet name her daddy used since she was born.

Let me tell you, she busted a$$ and graduated. 
She finished a semester early, with High Honors to boot, and a designated NC Scholar! (meaning she achieved excellent grades in several honors and AP classes)
2014 Grad
Our Little Buttercup
(we are so proud!)
source: Raige Creations
We could hardly believe this is our Little Buttercup!

She used to be a littler 'Little Buttercup'...
with eyes so blue....
Little Buttercup, at about 2 years old
source: Raige Creations
Daddy used to sing My Little Buttercup to her since she was a tiny baby, trying to make her laugh. He would get through the song with no response. Then he sang it from the point when everyone joined in, imitating the Mexican response. The giggles came fast and hard when he got to this:
My Little Buttercup has the sweetest.....'eh-smile?'

She actually remembers her daddy singing this song, and giggling to it, but never knew, until now, where it came from.
And she STILL laughs only when it gets to the 'eh-smile'.

So will you eh-smile with us for...'a while..a while...'?
Proud Daddy and His Buttercup
source: Raige Creations
She will always be daddy's little buttercup.
But now she is going into that big bad world, no doubt looking for 

....where the moonbeams paint the sky....

She has the creativity, and determination, to find it, too. 
Good Luck my Little Buttercup.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Orange Soda Birdhouse ~ Yes, I Am Not Afraid of Random Creativity

Sounds ridiculously fun, no? Well, my bird thinks it is!
Orange Soda Bird House
source: Raige Creations
She crawled in the soda box at the opening at the top, slid down, then stuck her head out the handle. I thought she might be stuck in there, but no, she was just having fun!

Dangling Boxes - Joy for the Birds
source: Raige Creations
Ever since I got lost on the internet that one day, and found I could MAKE bird toys, I have actually been making my own bird toys.

It started with the register paper rolls. I used up the ones I had, even bought more and used those up. 

Then I discovered I could use boxes and tee shirts. I got lots of ideas from here, and have since found this Pinterest board. I now recycle in a completely different, and fun, way.

My mini recycling center
source: Raige Creations
I hoard boxes, paper towel cardboard rolls, toilet paper rolls, tee shirts, anything I think I can use. The area by the bird cages looks like a messy recycling center.

Not to mention I am saving a ton of money. Store bought bird toys for large birds run $10-$20 a pop! And they don't last very long at all. Looks don't matter to me, or the birds, so I just give them my basic no frills homemade toys. I don't paint them or try to be fancy. 

The birds just love tearing up boxes. It is a great way to keep them busy. Plus, I do believe it is helping our one parrots' tendency to pick at his neck. His feathers seem to be coming back, and they both seem to be happy. Overall success.

But today, I got the best reward ever. My bird got inside a box!

What will be next? The Pop Tart Cabin? 
Cardboard Playground.
source: Raige Creations
I can't wait to try other ideas, like with straws, dixie cups, who knows what else. 

They are happy, I am saving a ton of money, we all are happy. 

Next, I am going to try this.
To deal with this problem.
source: Raige Creations
What is one repurposing project you are proud of? 
Share your ideas, and maybe I can feature YOUR project. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Featured Artisan ~ Ruta Jewelry

Today, meet Ruta Budrikiene, of Ruta Jewelry.
Source: Ruta Jewelry on Etsy

She says:
My passion is art, fashion and design. All of my pieces are hand made and unique. I make jewelry used beadseeding, beadweaving, soutache techniques. I use seed and glass beads, semi- precious stones, metallic details, leather, wire.

Beautiful creations, detailed and thoughtful designs. 
From Ruta's blog, rutajewelryideas.

Go check it out yourself!

Featured Artist Share the Love Blogger Unite

Featured Artist

Ruta Jewelry is this weeks Featured Artist on Share the Love, Bloggers Unite! You will find beautiful Handmade Jewelry and Gifts Ideas in her Etsy Shop!

You can Find Ruta on: Etsy Facebook Page Twitter Blog Facebook

Are you On Fire for Handmade? Shop at On Fire Gift Guide!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Music Monday! One Week

It's been............... 3 days since I have blogged.
(so much for posting every day! this NaBloPoMo has been extremely difficult for me to keep up with!)

It's now...........One Week until daughters graduation
(well less than that now, it's Saturday! But on Saturday this song kept playing in my head, because it WAS one week until graduation. Somehow, I am not ready for this......)

Plus, the other day, hubby said to me, 
"It's been one week....",
and then he paused.
Boom - the Barenaked Ladies filled in the rest. I can't even remember what he said after that.

How can you NOT think of this song when someone says something like that?
Over and over, in my head...It's been...One Week... 

And then the rest fills in.
Chickity China the Chinese chicken
Have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'
Watchin X-Files with no lights on

We're dans la maison

It will still be two days ' arrives in town for the graduation. Guess I better get cleaning. At least I will have this groovy tune keeping me going. It has a great beat to be cleaning to.

May it now be stuck in your head.
(no doubt it will, at least certain parts of it, and you won't be able to remember the rest, you will just have the same crazy lyric going through your head over and over) Like this:
Hold it now and watch the hoodwink
As I make you stop, think
You'll think you're looking at aquaman

And may you accomplish good things today, while you enjoy some Barenaked Ladies.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Early Morning TEASE, Then Ultimate Disappointment!

My alarm just went off,
(for the first time...I am a snooze button addict) 
and I was glad that I could snuggle back in bed for 10 more minutes until it went off again.

Just as I crawled back under the covers, the phone rang.

Usually, a phone ringing at this time of morning (6:14 am) means only one thing - SCHOOL DELAY OR NO SCHOOL!

I ran to the phone, somewhat irritated but somewhat happy with the thought of getting more sleep. Too late, missed the call. 

Sitting anxiously on the couch in my PJ's, (which was just a tank top...brrrrr!!!) I waited for the voicemail to finish recording the recorded message and dialed excitedly to hear the good news.

I hear this:
Good morning. Although there are patches of lingering snow and ice throughout the county this morning, for the most part roads are okay. The worst conditions are in the Enka and Erwin District, so ONLY ENKA AND ERWIN schools will be on a 2-hour delay today, Thursday January 16, with no buses on icy roads. All other districts will follow a regular schedule, with no buses on icy roads. To repeat, schools in the Enka and Erwin Districts only will be on a 2-hour delay, with no buses on icy roads in all districts.

Bold text is added by me for affect. How lovely, except WE ARE NOT THE ENKA AND ERWIN SCHOOLS!

What a disappointment! I was pulled out of my last 10 minutes of cuddly warmth for THIS!?! School as usual.


Yes, I growled. 

So I got up, made coffee and did my morning animal chores. I was up 10 minutes early. I can't remember the last time this happened! Kind of like bonus time!! 

What did I do with it? Scrolled facebook. 

How sad is that? I haven't even RUN in more than a month!!!
I will get back to my less pathetic and lazy life soon. Very soon. After I lay down some more.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Walking on Wednesday ~ The Journey Through Year End Crap

I finally forced myself.

I finally started gathering all the year end stuff, in preparation for tax time.

Actually, I stressed myself right into it. 
Image courtesy of anankkml /

We were going over our monthly expenses (always so much fun) and I realized I should really go ahead and get everything in a spreadsheet so we can better budget this year. 

So I had to find all the expenses, and doing so I realized I needed to update quite a bit businesswise to have good totals for year end. I was quite behind. (I am sure, if you read this blog regularly, you are not at all surprised, you know I teeter between giving in to the pressure (aka LATE) or pushing through.)

I like to have a handle on things at least by February so that all I have to do is wait for all the reports to arrive from the various places they need to. Not early, but definitely not late. This is one area that I refuse to be late.

So far, I am on track if I keep at it. But if I don't...well I am not going there right now. 

I am curious, are you an 'early tax preparer' or 'in the nick of time tax preparer'?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Featured Artisan ~ Adore By Nat

Tuesday's Featured Artist is Adore By Nat.
From the On Fire Team.

Meet the Artistadorebynat

I love custom orders! Most of my orders are custom orders. Let’s plan and create one party package for your special one. I love custom orders! Most of my orders are custom orders. Let’s plan and create one party package for your special one.


Adore by Nat

Featured Artisan

Adore by Nat is this weeks Featured Artisan. You will find quality handmade party decorations for any occasion.

Find Adore by Nat On: Artfire Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Adore by Nat Artfire Shop