My Create-A-Way! Blog – 2012 in review!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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26 Acts of Kindness

26-acts-of-kindnessI’ve been very inspired by the mini-movement going on called “26 Acts of Kndness” which specifically honors the innocents killed last week in Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School (see the Facebook page here). I am definitely going to participate in as many ways as I can. This tragedy has hit so many people, saddening hearts all over the world, and doing an act of kindness can do wonders for the soul. I woke up early this morning because I couldn’t get these ideas out of my head. Thought I’d write them down here just to get them out of my head, and we’ll see how many of these things I end up doing:

  • Buy three $26 gift cards (or envelopes with $26 cash) and give them out to cashiers at Wal Mart, Alde, and CVS/Walgreens pharmacy to give out at the cashier’s discretion. Why three? To represent the Trinity and/or Holy Family in honor also of Jesus.
  • Print out 26 strips of paper with inspiring quotes (or something inspirational regarding gratitude) and have my children hand them out at the grocery or toy store to strangers (with my supervision).
  • Draw 26 hearts as a symbol on cards expressing gratitude to my children’s caregivers (I’m doing this now, actually).
  • Create 26 construction paper chain links with my children to hang around the tree this year.
  • Give a $26 tip if I dine anywhere over the Christmas break during our Christmas travels.
  • DEFINITELY doing 26 caricatures for EACH of the innocents killed, but this one will take a while to complete – a long-term project so it doesn’t burn me out.

That’s all my “angels woke me up at 4:00am with these thoughts” mind could come up with right now.

Would you like to add some ideas of your own?

Or if YOU have already done something for this mini-movement, please share in the comments also!!!

Time to Make Good Art!

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The video at the bottom of this post is something I’ve watched and listened to several times in the past few months just to ENGRAIN it into my mind because it is chock full of such wisdom for artists. And when this Connecticut Tragedy occurred, like everyone, I was struck in the heart from the news of twenty innocent little children gunned down along with their guardian angel school teachers and caregivers.

In the video below, Neil Gaiman states (beginning 9:43):

Screen shot 2012-12-07 at 11.16.57 AM“… remember that whatever discipline you are in, whether you are a musician or a photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a designer, whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art.

And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that’s been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones.

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.”

I’ve decided to take Gaiman’s advice in light of this Connecticut tragedy. I’m the mother of two kids, age 5 and 7. My heart aches just imagining what it must be like for the parents of those lost children. I’ve cried, I’ve gotten angry, and I’ve felt hopeless thinking there is NOTHING I can do to give any kind of peace to the ones who are suffering most through this time.

But there IS something I can do, as Gaiman has said.

I can make good art.

I was recently inspired over the weekend by a friend I call “Angel Katie” who had a great idea to gather a collection of handwritten notes and send them to the families.

Ever since meeting with her, ideas have been brewing about what I can do to help – not only the suffering families, but also my own soul which needs healing as a parent and caring citizen.

5561565_origI’ve seen how much people appreciate my caricatures, and I’ve gravitated away from them a bit this past year, but I know how a joyful image of a loved one can give a smile. And with caricatures, I have never made fun of people. I CELEBRATE the individual. That’s the way I do caricature. I emphasize the beautiful, the cute, and the divinely quirky.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll be sending caricatures to each one of the victim’s families. It might take a month or so to get them all done, but I suppose that’s okay.

If there are other artists out there who would like to do something similar, I’ll share my resources with you:

HERE is is a great page to view photos, as well as character descriptions.

And I’ll be sending the caricatures to:

Newtown Youth and Family Services, 15 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook, CT 06482.

For more details on how to donate, call Newtown Youth and Family Services at (203) 426-8103.

If you would like to donate or volunteer in other ways, visit HERE to see how you can help!

Winner of 2nd Giveaway: Jan Blount!

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Everyone shout for Jan Blount!

Whee!

She’s the winner of my second giveaway drawing!

I’ll be sending Jan a printed copy of Goddess Leonie’s “Incredible Year – Business Edition” WORKBOOK.

A Big huge thank you to those who entered the drawing! I wish us all prosperity and success in 2013!!If you’re interested in checking out Goddess Leonie’s workbook & planner, you can find out more about it here (not an affiliate link):http://leoniedawson.com/shop/kits/incredible-year-workbook-calendar/

Celebrating Programs and Classes I’ve Enjoyed in 2012!

workshop group

I can’t believe all the teleclasses and programs (free and paid) I’ve attended this year! I’m sure I’m missing some in my collage above, also!

I’ve grown tremendously this year with my business plans, “lightning bolt” ideas, my website, my blog, business explorations, and online relationships! I know it’s because of all this wonderful activity I’ve enjoyed this year!

What can you get out of joining a free or paid online program or class?

Not just learning a new technique, trade, or information, but it will also provide you with incentive – motivation – to move forward with something. It will open your mind to something new and most likely create lightning bolt ideas for you!

And best of all, you will meet all kinds of new people – kindred spirits. Many of these programs involve communities you can join, therefore meeting so many others who have gravitated toward the same interest. It’s a wonderful chance to network online with others who are interested in the same things you are. You will meet new mentors, new friends, and new clients!

I encourage you to have a year like this where you say YES more often – even if you’re not sure you can complete the whole program (most likely you will be provided downloads and links you can return to later).

Another thing I love about this, is it’s a way to support others in the same field. Support your friends by subscribing to their blogs, FB pages, and free newsletters. Learn from them. What are they doing, and how are they doing it? Observe and learn from your online peers. There is a WEALTH of knowledge out there, and it’s SO easy and fun to absorb it all.

Here is my list of website and program links that I recommend you check out for 2013 (hopefully some of the free programs are still available – you really need to catch them before they disappear):

Programs/Classes I started AND FINISHED:

Programs I started but still need to finish:

I invite you to check these out and see if any of them seem interesting to you. Even the ones I still need to finish, I am fully enjoying and gained so much just from dipping my toes into the waters (even if it the best part was just to meet some new people)!

I wanted to give thanks to all these courses for contributing to my growth and joy this year!

Digging a Little Deeper into 12-12-12

I just can’t stop listening to this song today, and realized it’s 12-12-12, so I felt the urge to combine this song with a bog entry today.

I thought it’d be fun to write about the significance of the number 12, “digging a little deeper” than what’s been hyped about lately (the whole end of the world thing).

Actually, the number 12 does have tremendous religious and spiritual significance.

Here’s a collection of tidbits from a website I found with a HUGE list of symbolic, scientific and spiritual meanings for the number 12:

  • Twelve is the number of what is completed, which forms a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. In the ancient civilizations, like Oriental and Judaic, it corresponds to the plenitude, the completion and the integrality of a thing. R. Allendy tells that it expresses the idea that the Universe forms a whole, associated with the idea of differentiation – 10 + 2.
  • Represent the manifestation of the Trinity to the four corners of the horizon – 3 X 4.
  • Symbolize the command and the good, and governs the space and the time, that is to say the operation of the Cosmos, from where its designation of cosmic number.
  • Symbol of material and spiritual food, because of the 12 breads which Jesus Christ broke to the Last Supper, Himself being the Bread of Life.
  • Number attributed to the government of the world or the cosmos.
  • It is the creative capacity, and in some religions, it expresses also the Divine Mother.
  • Twelve is the number of the disciples accompanying the great Masters of the history: the 12 apostles of the Christ; the 12 disciples choose by Mahomet to spread his doctrine; the 12 minor flamines beside the Pontiff Maximus; the 12 first companions of St. Francis of Assisi; the 12 disciples of Confucius; the 12 disciples of Mithra; the 12 descendants of Ali; the 12 companions of Odin, with also the 12 goddesses for women; the 12 marshals of Napoleon.
  • The twelve animals of the Chinese dances included in the ceremony of the change of year.
  • The pure light would be made up, not of 7, but of 12 colors.
  • The twelve semitones derived from the seven notes of the scale.

Pretty interesting!

One thing I think is pretty cool is that my own birthday happens to be on the date of “Epiphany,” which is the 12th day of Christmas (wheee!!).

I’ve also been seeing 12:12 a lot this year on the digital clock.

Here’s what I found as a meaning for seeing 12:12:

The point is if you are seeing 12:12 you are being given the “call” to service for the betterment of mankind and earth.

Wow – I sure do like that!

So HAPPY 12-12-12, everybody!! What a great number day to celebrate!!

2nd “Incredible Year” Giveaway! Printed Business Edition!

workbook

Since it takes a lot of color ink and expense to print these babies out, I figured this would make a tasty giveaway opportunity!

Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year, 52-page WORKBOOK (only), BUSINESS Edition!

As not to spend so much of our Epson printer ink and paper at home, I thought I’d save myself a little money and resources by having my own copies of the workbook and calendar printed at Staples. Unfortunately they bound the workbook the wrong way, so I asked them to re-print it and bound it the way I originally asked. It just seemed too awkward to use it the way they bound it, especially since it’s something I want to use all year, AND I paid a lot of $$ to have it printed.

So here I am with an EXTRA printed copy of the 52-page WORKBOOK – Business Edition! (I don’t have an extra printed copy of the calendar planner – just the workbook). Pages are printed double-sided, FYI.

You could take the spiral off the top and hole-punch the sides if you like to put it in a 3-ring binder, OR just leave it as is if it doesn’t bother you the way it’s printed… or take the pages out and do something else with them – it’s up to you!

AND I will snail mail it to you to arrive by Christmas, no expense to you! (Merry Christmas!)

GIVEAWAY INSTRUCTIONS:

Simply leave a comment below with a link to your business website, and/or explain the business you are working to develop for 2013! Wishing us all ABUNDANCE in the year ahead!!

DRAWING WILL BE HELD THIS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14.

My Giveaway Winner! – and special individual messages for my other wonderful commenters!

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morehappynow

CONGRATS to my wonderful Giveaway winner, “morehappynow!”

Special note to you: I wish you much positive action and luscious VISION in 2013, and I hope there isn’t much you have to persevere through!

I’m sending her instructions to download her own copies of “Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year Workbook and Planner for 2013! – LIFE Edition.”

To my other wonderful commenters, I will be posting a NEW giveaway soon (today or tomorrow) for a PRINTED version of Goddess Leonie’s Incredible Year (workbook only) BUSINESS Edition. I ended up with an extra copy – will post the story in the giveaway post.

I am SO grateful to all who entered, I want to write well wishes for EACH of you here to celebrate YOU ALL!!!!!

  • VIRGINIA:  Wishing you the most abundant ABUNDANCE in 2013!!
  • DIANA: Wishing you a 2013 filled with delightful transformations!! May this be a year of DREAMY RAINBOW butterflies for you!
  • ANGEL-KATIE: Wishing you a 2013 filled with enlightenment and spiritual BLISS!
  • SHANNON, FCPCC: Wishing you a FLOCK of clients in 2013 who LOVE AND ADORE you and your work and delightfully spread the word about you to their friends and family for flowing support!
  • JAYNE: Wishing you a 2013 filled with fearless dancing through good times and struggles. May you DANCE your way through it all!!
  • KATHLEEN: Sending you a virtual ticket to Paris, France! Close your eyes and SOAK IN the culture, drink champagne, and savor the pastries!
  • WOZ: Wishing you a 2013 blessed with clarity and healing, and a BONUS of blessings EVERY DAY!

GET YOUR STRAW!

mcdonaldsI feel inspired to write this post after writing most of this in response to a writing prompt.

This is a personal story that I was a little embarrassed to tell years ago, but now I wear this story proudly like a badge, because it’s a story that perfectly illustrates how badly I suffered from low self esteem / low self image as a teenager, and how MIRACULOUS it is that I have grown to this point in my life. I battled with this for years after, but this story marks the beginning of my recovery.

And the turning action point involved a McDonald’s milkshake.

I remember the drive back home in high school after attending a summer camp for SGSA (School for Gifted Students in the Arts). I met people there that I didn’t know existed. I was surrounded by them. Kids who knew Monty Python, kids who worshiped the music from Phantom of The Opera, kids who understood what it means to have passion… kids who actually thought I was… cool.

On the drive back home from this camp, my parents and I stopped at a McDonald’s and when we sat down at the table, I realized the woman at the counter forgot to give me a straw for my milkshake. At first my low self esteem (the inner critic which had ruled me most of my life) spoke up to say I should keep my mouth shut and try drinking the milkshake without a straw.

Then something rose up inside me… something NEW.

“NO!” A new voice rose up. “You deserve a straw! Besides, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to drink a McDonald’s milkshake without a straw! Go on, Wendy! GET. YOUR. STRAW.”

So I did.

It was in a meek little squeaky voice and my body was trembling, but I did it!

And yeah, that was a personal BREAKTHROUGH for me.

The first of many, thank God.

THAT is why community is so important to me. The few weeks I spent with those other kids really awakened me. I had no idea there were other people like me out there. Until that camp experience, the only people I felt I could relate to were the two or three buddies from school and my immediate family. I believe meeting with like-minded souls STRENGTHENS us as individuals.

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made online through this blog, through classes and courses I’ve taken, online communities I’ve joined, etc.

I only hope that I give some of that strengthening support back in return. I’m definitely trying!

Prepping for 2013 – Goddess Leonie “Incredible Year Workbook & Planner” GIVEAWAY!

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I am such a fan of Leonie Dawson’s artwork and business. I really enjoy her colorful, artistic and spiritual approach to the way she runs her business, and I’m a member of her “Goddess Circle” community.

I was lucky enough to win this “LIFE EDITION” of her “Create Your Incredible Year Workbook and Planner” e-book. I won it from I Saw You Dancing ~ I am participating in the “Reverb 12” blog challenge. HOWEVER, I actually get this automatically through my Goddess Circle membership, so I am passing this gift opportunity on to my wonderful blog followers!

All you need to do to enter this giveaway is to leave a comment below, leaving a word or phrase that describes what you want for 2013!

I believe 2013 will be an INCREDIBLE YEAR for us! I’m getting good vibes. I am SOOOO excited, and looking forward to working with my own printed copy of this workbook!

For me, 2012 was a year of personal and professional development. I believe 2013 will be my UPGRADE year, where all the work I’ve done in 2012 will pay off in a big way.

So, please go ahead and leave your comment to activate your intention for 2013!

The drawing will be this Sunday, December 9.