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I recently had the imperative urge to make a wreath. I don’t know why. I’ve never made a wreath before. In fact, my lifestyle up to this point has been unconducive to entertaining whatever hidden forces compel people to adorning thresholds with festooned circles. I have owned exactly two wreaths my whole adult life – both were of the Christmas variety. Both were gifts. I have rarely managed to get them on the doors or take them off the doors during the proper seasons. When October swept in along came the need to stick a bunch of stuff in a circle. It was confusing to say the least.

But mine is not to reason why…I am a mere foot soldier in The War of Art.

When the battle horn sounded, the command rang out:

 "Forward the Brigade! 
Charge the Salvation Army!"
Thus, into the Valley of Forsaken Things I blundered,
Running with scissors and waving glue gun, 
While all the world held its breath and wondered, 
'How dare this warrior woman fight so hard to have fun?'

COVID to the right of me!
COVID to the left of me! 
COVID in front of me! 

A cough and splutter
...eyes sealed and breath held tight against the potentially virulent cough cloud...
...and there...there in the distance 
...buried in obscurity, came the small cry of a weak voice: 

And I rescued the scarecrow from his Circle of Doom. May his golden years be spent in the garden watching the peas grow and giving the crows and hawk something to laugh about.

The circle was then restructured as such:

Keep fighting the good fight,
Sweet Brigade of Light.

I woke up this morning “full of awesome” with my new tiara!

“If you can’t find the sunshine be the sunshine,” the optimists say. I’m here to tell you, being the sunshine is a lot of work…and considerably messier than one might think, actually. The present state of at least three rooms in my house could best be described as, “there was an explosion at the rhinestone factory.” The shimmering mess of it all extends beyond my home even; yesterday, as I was going about my mundane rounds someone plucked a errant sequin off me. That reminds me of this time I went to the doctor because I was positive I would soon die from the reaction I was having to poison ivy and the physician squinted at me and said, “I think you have glitter in your hair,” before stammering, “Oh, no…I’m sorry… I see now that’s intentional.” (It was gold hair tinsel. I was feeling festive). I responded that it was totally ok and that I actually get that squinty look a lot. I went on to explain that I work with children and I just have live with the possibility that I could be covered in unintentional glitter at any point in a given day, so I just chose to embrace the sparkle. My filter kicked in before I got to the part about belly dancing, so the rest of the transaction unfolded according to the normal rules of social conduct.

But let’s get back to my tiara. I made it for under $6 from an ugly headband, plastic zip ties, fabric glue, and rhinestone adhesive sticker sheets…and maybe like three prayers and possibly a curse or at least a cuss word. Ok, maybe two.

Here’s its “before” picture:

I may add something else to it to give it a little more pizzazz before it makes its big film debut tomorrow. We’ll see.

If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.

John Lennon

~~~~@~~~~

Earlier this month, I received a special gift from a fellow yogi: a full 60-minute playlist of Beatles love songs to use in our Valentine’s Day class. This gift inspired a contest – whoever guessed the number of times the word “love” occurred in the lyrics during the class won a prize. It was SO much fun!

In appreciation for the playlist, I compiled a list of Beatles lyrics and quotes in the spirit of yoga wisdom. Each quote went down on a little decorated card and was placed inside a repurposed Altoids Tin.

(You know, because accessorizing is soooo important!)

mask and bolster

Here’s a study showing home-made masks reduce exposure to respiratory infections to some degree: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2440799/

And here’s the tutorial I used:

I made a couple changes to the design to improve the comfort and aesthetic. I used a couple of soft pipe cleaners for fitting around the nose bridge. I used torn-up t-shirt material for the ear loops because they are more comfortable and durable than the elastic kind.  Mine is also handsewn because machines are complicated and noisy.

 

When he found out I was continuing my make-it challenge, he wanted his homemade buns featured.  I was skeptical about the buns, but they turned out yummy.

buns
Also, he wanted me to share a link to the recipe, so here it is: How to Make Your Own Hamburger Buns

Now, back to me.  I made a yoga bolster today out of a couple extra pillows that needed to go somewhere and some fabric that I bought this summer:

pillow1

It is going to live in this chair when it’s not being used for practice:

pillow2

 

Only three days in and my magical make-it month is starting to stress me out. I wish I was kidding.

Inspired by old family photographs that I confiscated from my dad and by the journals my sister makes, I started creating a Ukrainian-themed journal earlier this year.

Last night I worked on the inside cover (i.e., the gluey mess I alluded to in my last post) and my sister bound it for me. Today I set to work on the front cover. I decided to use the wedding photograph of my great-great grandparents…and…voila!
Ukrainian cover

…when I finished cutting and inking and gluing and tweaking, I went to show it off, so very proud of myself….and that’s when I realized I had put it all on the back cover

upside down.

To cut myself some slack, I am going to blame it on the fact that I’m running a fever and there are 4 medications running through my system today.  Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

If you’d like to see an fabulous example of a “junk journal” check out my sister’s page: RecycledbySkattur

 

 

My electronic archives have been neglected this year as I took a turn back to the old ways, to relish the dying art of handwriting and its ancient tools, and to savor the privacy, tangibility, focus and flow that these tools afford. 

For some reason, this seems like a good time to share a gratuitous picture of a turtle I met this year.  Or maybe she’s not so gratuitous. Maybe she was a little spirit companion meant to remind me the value of slowing down, grounding, and seeking solitude.

turtle

But I didn’t come here today to share turtle pictures.  I wanted to show you one of my most prized possessions — a garden journal my sister made for me.

 

journal

 

She calls it a “junk journal,” though I don’t think that’s a fitting description. Every single page is embellished with awesomeness.

 

iris

There are all sorts of nooks and folds in which to tuck notes, thoughts, dreams, and ideas.  And she stocked it with seeds, charms, a vial of dandelion fluff upon which to make wishes, and all sorts of magic.

seeds.jpg

And these pictures do not even begin to do it justice.

butterfly.jpg

With this journal I am a garden wizard!  Next year, I should be able to grow a beanstalk to climb to find the goose who lays golden eggs.

It makes me happy.

The video below is her doing a complete flip-through of the journal in case you’re interested:

And if you want to see the other journals she’s created (e.g., Murder on the Orient Express), here’s a link to her channel:
Recycled by Skattur

Skattur’s latest completed project is a fairy garden and it’s so cute that it needed to be shared.

SwanPlanter4

Here are a few of her others…

SwanPlanter3

It’s December and I am on a mission! There is a bunch of stuff I need to get done to wrap up the year. I have added new goals and resolutions to this month’s spreadsheet.

Today I decided to tackle the toy collection that is taking over my office.

With the closet and cabinets crammed with tests and materials, the bathtub has become a make-shift toy box.

toy-before

Before

I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond hoping to find inspiration to organize this mess. For under $50, I came up with this solution:

 

toy-after

After

 

I’m not done yet! I need a couple more hanging organizers, but already that feels sooooo much better!

 

Ever wondered what do with an unsightly tree stump?

I had  a tree stump in my front yard and I thought I was being creative by hollowing it out and planting a flower in it.

But then my sister took tree stump creativity to a whole new level.    Skattur of SoKaN and Recycled by Skattur fame, transformed her ugly stump into a fabulous little gnome house.

 

gnome house 2j

 

You can check out all the adorable details in the pictures on her blog:  Skatturcast’s Blog

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