Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


My Sweet World Postcard

Here is one postcard I plan to send for submission in the WCA’s Sustaining Our Environment Postcard exhibit.  This postcard is made from an old Christmas card, candy wrappers, and images and letters from old magazines.


My Sweet World (January 2008)

The submission deadline for this exhibit has been extended to February 18.  You can read more about it here.

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X-Man Puzzles

I loved to work on puzzles as a kid.  It was fun to mix up the pieces, pour them out onto the table, and then reassemble the pieces into the picture on the front of the puzzle box.  There was something magical about watching the puzzle picture come together.

X-Man Puzzles grew out of a hobby Randy Crossman picked up several years ago.  His handcut “micropuzzles” consist of notched, interlocking pieces as small as 1/4″ wide, long, and deep.

Crossman sketches a line drawing, adheres the pattern to 1/4″ thick cherry plywood and cuts out figures or objects that will be in silhouette first.  Next, concentric circles are cut in a snaking pattern.  The last step involves cutting out the tiny, individual puzzle pieces.

Gallery Series puzzles, aimed at curio collectors, have 1,200 to 4,000 pieces.  Limited Edition Series puzzles have 140 to 400 pieces and the Silhouette Series puzzles have approximately 40 to 65 pieces.


Most of the puzzles I’ve ever put together are eventually taken apart and put back into the box for another day.  Crossman’s puzzles are stunning works of art that deserve to be displayed.  To see more X-Man Puzzles, click here.


Quotable Monday

There is a movement going on. 

It may only be 25 or 30 percent of the population, but they’re getting to the point where they’re asking: What is important to me, and how can I create my future based on what is important to me rather than what I was told as a child should be important to me.

This quote was originally in reference to those in the 50+ age group, however, I’m seeing this change in those of us in our 30’s and 40’s too.

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Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?

One of our first assignments in the Great Big Dreams e-Seminar is to think about why we decided to take the course.  I admit to hating these types of questions.  It reminds me of being asked why you chose your particular career (Because it sounded interesting on the skills assessement?) , why you want a certain job position (Because I always wanted to be a …), why you like chocolate ice cream (Because I don’t like rocky road?) or why you want to join a certain organization (I don’t know; it sounds cool? I just like it?). 

I saw the question and my gut response was “I have no idea.  I don’t know.”  And after some thought, I realized that my “I have no idea. I don’t know” response was an easy, default, avoidance response.  It keeps me from having to delve deeper and think about why I’m doing this.

Now realistically I know there is some reason for why I’m taking this workshop.  I don’t believe it would have appeared on my radar if I wasn’t looking for this type of challenge; this type of self-discovery.

Yet it made me think about how easy it is to say “I don’t know” in response to many questions or how easy it is to just give an answer without really thinking about it. 

And it made me think about why I do or want to do some things and not do other things.

I admit to being the type of person who has just moved through life.  I never considered myself to have lofty goals (e.g. becoming CEO) and feel I’ve often done what was expected of me (e.g. going to college.)  I consider myself an introvert.  In new settings it can take me a while to warm up to people.  I’m often more of a listener than a speaker.

And now I’m being asked (again) why I want to do something.  And therein lies the rub: easy and don’t think.

It is easier to go through life doing what is expected of you or doing what pleases other people, or saying what you think someone wants to hear.  You avoid conflict.  You avoid confrontation.  And then what?  Do you lose a little bit of yourself each time?  Do you talk yourself down for not standing up?

Compromise is a good place to start; however, you have to think about why you feel a certain way or want to take a certain approach.

Don’t Think
It seems that don’t think is the mate to easy.  If you choose the easy response, you don’t have to think about justifying yourself (usually).  You don’t have to put any effort into your response.  You move merrily along.  However, sometime later (perhaps sooner than later) you start to wonder why you did that.

So why are you doing what you’re doing?

Now I’m not saying that you have to give thought and justification for every single thing you do in your life.  And yes, there are things we do because they are expected of us (such as obeying laws.)  Yet when you are pursuing aspects of your life, especially those involving change on some level, it really does require thought.  And thinking about that change can be hard because it requires some amount of self-evaluation.

And then there are those times when you want to do things a certain way and it requires compromise.  Simply state why you feel a certain way, state the facts (just the facts, try not to get emotional) and put the proverbial ball into the other person’s court.  If the situation doesn’t work out in the end at least you know you didn’t just do what was expected or say what someone wanted to hear.

And then there are times when you “just know” you have to do something and you truly don’t know why.  You just have to act now and ask permission later, as they say.  Sometimes things just feel right.

So why am I taking this seminar?  To find clarity and direction.  I have many ideas in my head about which direction I want to move next in regards to my business and other life interests.  Christine is providing many exercises to help us through our intentions; lots of great ideas and words of wisdom.

So now I know why I’m doing this.  Journaling and meditation have helped me reach this conclusion.

For now.

I think.


Resolutions, Goals and Intentions

I mentioned yesterday that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore.  It was like making a promise to myself that I couldn’t keep.  And when I didn’t keep it, I usually berated myself (“loser.”)  And what good does that do?

In Christine Kane’s post on making resolutions, she writes about a ritual she started a few years ago; choosing a word (or words) to guide her throughout the year.  By choosing a word to guide her throughout the year, Christine put herself right into the BE mode.  What a brilliant idea! Christine provides a list of words as possible choices.  I’ve narrowed down my words to Gratitude, Acceptance, and Clarity.  What I like about this approach is that you can use your word(s) to silence your inner critic and to guide you throughout the year when you hit those rough patches.

Do you have a word or words to guide you throughout this year?

While I don’t make resolutions, I do find goal setting throughout the year to be beneficial.  However, setting goals did not come easy for me.  I think it is partly due to the fact that I’ve always strolled along in life doing what was expected of me and not giving much thought to what I really wanted.  It is hard to sit down and really think about what you want for yourself without it feeling selfish.  This also ties in to my being a “giver” and less of a “receiver.”  I now realize that by setting goals for myself, I am giving to myself and receiving a personal blessing.

Does that sound strange?

Sometimes, setting goals is easy; it is like listing your favorite foods.  The first five or so flow from your pen and you think “piece of cake” and then you hit this wall and you really have to get quiet and think hard.  You might have to get up, walk away from the list, and come back at another time.  You might think you’re being silly.  I want to do what????

Those really big, outrageous goals are also known as Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG; Thanks to Alyson Stanfield for that term.)  Those are the goals where you reach for the stars and think of something you’d love to do (and which you may attain someday.)

My BHAG is to take voice lessons, or to at least learn to sing better.  I love to sing along with my favorite tunes.  My sister-in-law and her family are all talented singers and it is so inspiring.  I don’t plan to give a concert.  I would like to at least carry a better tune and feel confident with my voice.

Along with setting goals, there is a lot of discussion about intent or setting an intention.  Andrea Hess recently discussed the idea of replacing goals with intentions on her blog.  I’m not sure I completely agree with this proposition though it is interesting.

I started to learn about intentions last year when reading the Law of Attraction.  (I’m having a fuzzy memory about being told to set an intent during catechism and religious studies classes.  I’m not remembering, however, any explanation for why we were to do this.)  Setting an intent can help you clarify what you want in your day and in your life.  It feels positive; something that you want, expect, and deserve.

It may be a matter of semantics, trying to distinguish between a goal and an intent.  Goals are much more structured to me with lots of little steps along the way.  Intentions are positive statements that feel good and impose less pressure than a goal.  Both require thought and quiet time to discover what you really want and need.

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Clearing Out for a New Year

In the past, I found the beginning of a new year to be both exciting and sad.  It was sad because the holiday season was ending and often with it the joyous attitude of many people.  It was exciting because the year was new and full of opportunity.

Entering into 2008 I feel no sadness; only excitement and opportunity.  I look forward to removing the holiday decorations because it feels like I’m clearing out the old to welcome the new.  The weight of the holiday season is being lifted in anticipation of new ventures, new opportunities, new possibilities.

Throughout the year and especially during this past month, I’ve spent time cleaning out closets and drawers in our house.  We have a standing rule: If you haven’t used it or worn it in two years, it gets donated.  I love donating knowing that what I no longer need, use, or want, can find new life with someone else.  I’ve been blessed with many “things” in my life and over time many of those “things” lose their luster for me.  It is a sign of my changing as a person; a change in decorating taste, a change in color preference,  a change in attitude that tells me I want to make life better for someone else and that I no longer need “stuff” to feel worthy.  We have a great community organization nearby.  WHEAT Community Services provides services to families in our area, runs a food pantry, a community cafe, and a thrift store and collaborates with other community agencies.  What impressed me most about WHEAT was knowing that my donations support people in my surrounding area.  It is not uncommon to drop off items for donation to WHEAT and have them set aside something specific for a certain family with an immediate need.  They know their clients by name and what they need.

And it isn’t just material things that I’m clearing from my life.  I’ve made new friends, re-established past friendships, grown stronger in current friendships and “released” other people and commitments from my life.  I’m listening to that inner voice and learning to pay more attention to it.  Organization is also rearing its head.  Rolling carts in the studio to hold materials and tools previously stacked on tables and shelving to get stuff off the floor.  Baskets and containers in the kitchen and bathroom to consolidate body condiments and display goodies.

I no longer make resolutions.  I never kept them and always questioned why we made resolutions to do something that we should probably be doing all year round anyways.  And if I decided I was going to do something, why should I wait until the beginning of a new year to do it?  Christine Kane has a great approach to making resolutions on her blog.  She refers to traditional resolutions as the DO-HAVE-BE model where we typically get stuck in the DO mode.  Instead, Christine recommends a BE-DO-HAVE model where we begin changing our lives on the BE level which in turn makes the DO and HAVE levels easier to attain.

One thing I did decide to do this year was to participate in Christine’s Great Big Dreams e-Seminar.  It started this week and I’m already contemplating future blog posts based on what I’m learning and experiencing.  It is another way in which I’m clearing out and being clear for the new year.

How are you clearing out for the new year?


Happy New Year!

As we welcome a New Year, here are some words to ponder from Shakti Gawain.

You Are An Artist

Think of your life as a painting and try to create it the way a painter paints.  Listen to the life force within you.  Trust it and move with it.  Risk trying new colors.  Then stand back and look at your painting. What does it tell you about yourself?  Your painting gives you wonderful feedback about what is going on inside of you.

Life is Your Masterpiece

Here is one way to look at your life.  Every day, you are creating a masterpiece.  As you create you take the feedback from it, so you see how you can change what you create tomorrow.  And you have to be willing to delve very deeply and very honestly into yourself in order to do that.  You have to take that reflection and see what it is really teaching you about yourself.  Where are you really expressing yourself in a way that feels full and right to you?  Where are you holding yourself back?  Where is there distortion?  How can you heal that?  Where is there not truth in this creation and how can you allow that truth to come forward?


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