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Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

Double JoyA thoughtful gift of a plant with two garden stakes multiplies my joy every morning. As someone who enjoys nature and who has an affection for birds, I clearly appreciate the plant and the whimsical hummingbird. But knowing that my personal mantra is “Spread Joy,” my friend also gave me a garden stake with the word “joy” on it. What she doesn’t know is that every morning, when the bright eastern sun shines on my backyard, my joy doubles!

#1 – Napkin Notes
Napkin Notes A man named Garth writes words of encouragement on napkins before placing them in his daughter Emma’s lunch box. As a dedicated dad, he has been giving her these napkin notes, since she was in the second grade. But now, after being diagnosed with a cancer that gives him only an 8% chance of living beyond 5 years, Garth is accelerating his note-writing. He plans to write an additional 826 napkin notes, so that Emma will continue to receive notes in her lunch box after he is gone until she graduates from high school. Read about Garth and Emma’s inspirational story and check out their Facebook page.

#2 – Mother, Art, and Climate Change
Zaria Forman: Art and Climate Change Rena Bass Forman, an artist and photographer, conceived an idea to retrace the 1869 Arctic trip of American painter William Bradford, but unfortunately she did not live long enough to realize her dream. Her daughter Zaria Forman, a Brooklyn-based artist, fulfilled a promise she made to her late mother by leading an expedition called Chasing the Light up the northwest coast of Greenland. This trip inspired many realistic pastel drawings of icebergs. In an interview posted on My Modern Met, Ms. Forman says, “My hope is that these drawings bring awareness, and invite viewers to share the urgency in a hopeful and meaningful way. Art can facilitate a deeper understanding of any crisis, helping us find meaning and optimism in shifting landscapes.” Ms. Forman also traveled to the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, to continue her focus on climate change. Below are links to see more of her incredible artwork:

Exploring Climate Change Through Art: Giant Pastel Oceanscapes and Icebergs Drawn By Zaria Forman

Zaria Forman Website.

#3 – A Hum a Day Keeps Stress Away
"Flying" Hum Want to begin the day in peaceful calm or end your day completely relaxed? Or do mid-afternoons present the most stressful moments? In any case, all you need to do is hum. Check out Osmosis, a “Frequency-shaped Meditation Drone Generator. The site reads, “Humming enhances breath control and extends exhalation. It also creates deep vibrations inside your chest, helping you to relax, ease stress, and balance your mind and body.” Locate the steady hum behind the soothing tinkling of bells and hum along. Feel better?

#4 – Valentine’s Day Upcycled
Upcycled Gift Boxes Not wanting to rush the year along, but Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away! Instead of buying heart-related stuff at your local craft store, how about upcycling something you already have around your house? Start by making these lace-inspired gift containers, made with plastic containers that previously held powdered drink pouches.

#5 – Joy Follows
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
Guatama Buddha

Now Go and Spread Joy!

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A Rose Called Heaven A near-leafless rose stem, cut from its mother bush, sits alone in a jar of water on a cold window sill. Even though the words “Don’t Forgetta” are embossed on the jar, time passes with little attention paid to it or to its contents. Despite its forlorn situation, a feeling of anticipation and hope permeates the air that surrounds it. Eventually hope blossoms into joy, when tender new growth appears on the stem. The cutting came from a rosebush named Heaven. Come spring, when the sky is brilliantly blue and the warm sun welcomes new growth, this stem, this little piece of Heaven, will be lovingly planted and looked after. My little dog Romeo will finally be a part of Heaven. The end of one thing becomes the beginning of another.

The New Year brings promises of new beginnings, but we should not forget those same promises are ours every single day. Every morning when we wake up, there is hope. Each new day showers us with gifts of fresh starts and endless possibilities. The quality of our lives and that of others are determined by the choices and decisions we make each day. Hope, promise, and a new beginning exists every day, not just at the beginning of the year.

#1 – Prayer of Intention
Prayer of Intention A few years ago a friend gave me a note card with a simple prayer printed on it. I keep it on my bathroom mirror, so that I can be reminded of the promise within me and the blessing of each new day.

Prayer of Intention

I welcome this day and give thanks for all of the gifts and the blessings that I am, that I give, and that I receive.

I am filled with grace, joy and possibility. I celebrate, embrace and bless this life and my place in it.

#2 – Traveling in 2014
11 Places To Go In 2014 If it’s your intention to do some traveling this year, you might want to check out CNN’s 11 Places to Go in 2014. Travel to Iceland to see what NASA scientists predict as “the most spectacular display for the the next decade” of Northern Lights. If you’re the athletic type, New Zealand might be the place for you to visit. The 2,500-kilometer Nga Haerenga cycle trail will be completed this year.

#3 – What To Do With Christmas Trees
10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree Now that Christmas has passed, what do you plan to do with your dried out Christmas tree? Throw it in the trash? I hope not. From This Old House Magazine comes this article on 10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree.

#4 – New Upcycling Ideas for the New Year
Paint Chip Clock Why stop at re-purposing your Christmas tree? Start the New Year off with the mindset of upcyling as many things as you can. To help you get started, here are 200 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind.

#5 – A New Beginning
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Seneca

Happy New Year! Now go and spread joy!

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Peace Rose

Peace Rose by Linnell Chang

My high school photography teacher used to say that black and white photography was an art form that required a fair amount of skill, whereas, color photography required less skill, because it got an assist from Mother Nature. I agree with him. My photograph of a Peace rose is nice, but Mother Nature did the lighting and the color for me. For this to be a good black and white photo, more forethought would have been necessary prior to the shoot. When color is stripped away, the viewer’s appreciation of the subject matter changes. A black and white photo, with its shades of grey and exposed lines and angles, bares its soul and tells a different story. What do you think?Peace Rose in black and white

#1 – Who Is Vivian Maier?
As a longtime fan of black and white photography, an old news feature caught my attention. Until recently, Vivian Maier’s existence as a photographer was unknown. She lived on the East Coast in the 1950s and was a nanny by profession. Decades later, when the contents of a storage locker went up for auction, her skills as a street photographer would be revealed to the world. Watch the video to learn more about the interesting discovery of her work and check out the Vivian Maier website to view historical social commentary through her black and white photographs.

#2 – Re-purpose Plastic Bottles into Gift Boxes
plastic pillow box repurposed from plastic bottles Who doesn’t have plastic bottles at home waiting to be recycled? How about making pillow boxes out of them? Pillow boxes make great gift boxes and storage containers. Follow the tutorial provided by Too Good To Waste and re-purpose some plastic bottles today!

#3 – 10 Winning Words
If Scrabble is your game, you’ll want to learn these 10 words and keep them in the back of your head:

Oxyphenbutazone
Quizzify
Oxazepam
Quetzals
Quixotry
Gherkins
Quartzy
Muzjiks
Syzygy
Za

To learn more about these words and to check if I spelled them correctly, read 10 Words That Will Win You Any Game Of Scrabble.

#4 – Fork Bows
This is one of those ideas that needs to be shared – how to tie perfect little bows using table forks. If you’re clever, you’ll find a way to extrapolate this knowledge and create bows on a larger scale. I’m already thinking about wood pasta rakes and pitchforks!

#5 – Life’s Challenges
“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon

Have a perfectly lovely weekend!

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