Sunday, May 31, 2009

Challenge #12 - A Bright Future

“The future is as bright as your faith.” - Thomas S. Monson

This week strive to act based on and be filled with faith. Create a list of things in which you have faith by writing down at least one thing you have faith in every day. Post your list by the end of day next Monday.

Smile Away

This week the challenge caused me to try to connect with more strangers than normal. As I did so, I found that the tried and true method of simply smiling worked best. (I guess that's why it is the "tried and true" method, right?!) :) No wonder my mother always counseled me to smile when I was small. Smile engage almost everyone and even disarm most people if they're uptight or not happy.

I also found that commenting on people's children or pets (especially when hiking or walking) works great to make a connection and sometimes even start a brief or extended conversation.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

#11 Surprise!

Follow Your Bliss!

Who doesn't love an unexpected smile or laugh, especially when it comes from a stranger or anonymous donor. This week come up with a creative way to give strangers the gift of a surprise warm fuzzy. Record your efforts and results for next weeks posting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steph's Unique Jewelry Piece

This week I made myself a new bracelet out of various shaped blue and clear beads and fun silver bangles. I strung the beads and bangles on an elastic line so it would be easy to take off and put on. The bead/bangle pattern is fairly systematic, typical of my unique style. The color and textures are more bright and rich than much of my jewelry of the past.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

#10 Unique Jewlery Piece by Julie

For my unique Jewlery piece I choose to try making a fabric cuff. I used the instruction from Anna Marie Horners book 'Seams to Me'. These were really fun to make and came together quickly. I'm thinking they would make great gifts.

I used fabric left over from a quilt lining. I loved the fabric and was a little disappointed I was only using it for a quilt backing. This gave me a chance to have something that would display and highlight this fabric.
I made both a plain and ruffled version

The button loops as explained in the book, work fantastic and are very easy to make. These were a new skill for me.

I personally like the non-ruffle version for this print, although I did love that the buttons had a checked texture to match the ruffle.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Uniquely You

“Do not let anyone rob you of your personal power and creativity. Always, always, always be you and revel in and stand up for your uniqueness.... Sculpt yourself into a multi-dimensional, fully-empowered, fun-loving human being.”
-Gary Lee Price, sculptor, January 2004

This week design and create a piece of jewelry that is uniquely you. Explain how it represents you and/or any symbolism behind the jewelry in your blog posting next Monday and, of course, provide a picture of the beautiful finished piece.


The words" Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine" most spoke to me this week. Ever since January I have been training for the Ogden Marathon with my younger sister, Laura. Two weeks ago, Laura sustained an injury and didn't know if she'd be able to run the race on May 16 or not. Last Wednesday, May 13, she decided she wouldn't run. I was terrified to run the race alone. I told her and the rest of my family that I wasn't going to do it. Finally, on Friday, they convinced me to run the race without Laura. Both of my sisters said to me, "This is your chance to get out there and run hard. You're a fast runner. You could run a really fast race because you won't have either of us to slow you down."

Saturday morning, I intended to run the race alone, but then my pacing watch that I had borrowed from Laura was dead and I had no way of keeping track of time. Thus, I started running the race with Laura's friend and neighbor, Jen who had a pacing watch. I felt really good and had to hold myself back a bit to run with Jen, but I was still so fearful of running alone that I stayed with her until mile 18. At that time, she said to me "You can run faster than this. Go ahead." So, I mustered up courage and started running at the pace my body felt natural to do. I did that for the last eight miles. To put it in the words of the quote, I finally allowed myself to"come out from behind the clouds." Amazingly, I did "shine." I ran the last eight miles at a sub eight-minute mile pace and finished strong at 3 hours 28 minutes and 24 seconds. Ironically, though the finish time was good, it doesn't really matter to me. What matters most is that I was finally had the courage to run on my own.


I have always wanted to be a person that meditates. I've set goals about it, I've attended guided meditation, I've created a meditation alter in my home. But alas I have never had a meditation practice. Hence, this week the word meditate has stuck with me. I've been thinking about it as I water my yard, practice yoga, sew at night, cook...then I came to my realization. I am a person who meditates. I meditate while doing.

Once I had this realization I put it more into practice. I feel best when I practice yoga, just stepping on my mat is a meditation for me. I know that fitting in a full daily practice right now is an unreasonable and unattainable goal. So, I am setting one that I feel is within my reach. Each day I will step foot on my mat, get grounded and take a deep breath. Hopefully this ritual and the lure of the meditation will inspire me to do a small portion of my practice.

(this is a really weird angle, my feet look very small, they are actually very big! :))

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lucky number 9

Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds!

As I am late in posting our challenge this week, I will make it simple. Take something from the quote above the speaks to you and put it into action in your life. Whatever that looks like for you this week. Post your outcome Monday (I think I can post on time, I think I can post on time)

Random Acts of Kindness

I apologize for the delay, here they are my three random acts of kindness.

#1 - My neighbor hates all things having to do with gardening. I love all things having to do with gardening, so I planted his parking strip and have committed to its care this summer.

#2 - My girlfriend works for Delta and often lets me fly for free on buddy passes. I recently used one of her buddy passes. As a thank you I made her these wool felt coasters.

#3 - Another neighbor just brought home there granddaughter and her preemie baby boy. I put together a care package of gently used items of my sons for them on mothers day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Acts of Kindness Report

As I completed the good deed challenge this past week, I learned that one of my best creative gifts and/or talents is to assemble or orchestrate the coming together of things. This is evident in the three "acts of kindness" I have chosen to report on.

1. When I learned that my parents were coming home and would be staying at my Grandma's house for a few weeks, I decided to assemble a food basket with their favorite edible items so things they like to eat would be readily available to them. It was fun to shop for and arrange all the items in the basket.

2. I bought and assembled a bouquet of flowers for my mom for Mother's Day. Arranging the flowers so the colors, textures, and sizes worked well together was fairly intriguing.

3. I took my sister-in-law's and mother's wedding rings into the jeweler to have their crowns replaced and to be cleaned for my dad and brother this past week. When I got the rings back, I wanted them to be wrapped beautiful without expending any money, so I used the plastic wrap and ribbon from the flower packaging I had purchased earlier as wrapping paper and the bow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Challenge #8 - Good Deeds

I shall pass this way but once; any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Henry Drummond

Do three acts of kindness for others using your creative talents and gifts. Explain what you did in photos and words by next Monday night.

Dandelions by Julie #7

On my walks I collected photographs of Dandelions. I had 30, but I liked the layout of 5 x 5. Dandelions scream spring to me and make me feel carefree. Collecting these photos I became even more found of the plant for all the textures and variations it produces. These photos have my creative juices flowing, I'm thinking of all sorts of things I could use these images on and designs to make inspired by them!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Objects from the Sea

Last weekend I traveled to the Oregon coast with a few friends, seeking rejuvenation and solace. Walking on the beach daily brought peace to my soul and joy to my heart. My finds for this week come from my walks along the beach - rocks of all shapes, compositions, and textures worn and weathered by the sea. I didn't make any permanent configuration of these rocks because I like to take them out of the bowl regularly and arrange them in various patterns on my desk.