Thursday, January 31, 2013

Let's party!

January is almost gone (where and when it disappeared?!) and more challenges, blog hops, parties pop in the communities I am part of.

First of all - there is Lori's big party, the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party - wait, big is not correct, elephantine this year: she has 500 participants and I don't know how is she doing it! Hats off!

She's going to announce partners soon - I am looking forward to more fun and I have already started to get some ideas of the soup - this time I will *not* leave it for the last moment, I refuse!

Then there is the fabulous and deliciously fun 'Holiday Blog Hop' - what Holiday?! will you ask? Oh, well - every day is a Holiday if you pay attention :) Marlene and Shelley did (pay attention) and they came up with a long list of possible picks. To stir things up, I have added my own - which will be a surprise for my partner, fellow Canadian Sandra McG :)

For this one you'll have to come back on March 16th - to see what have Sandra surprised me with, and what my personal pick of a holiday was :)

There is the blog hop in memory of Tanya, Love and Light: it's going to be a small, but nice gathering. If you knew her and would like to make a piece in her memory, the sign-ups are still open:

There is the ongoing Focusing on Life: Sally is amazing at picking up subjects - I love this challenge more and more... and more... Every Saturday we meet at Sally's and we share bits and pieces of our lives and ourselves. Come visit us, it's a cozy place: warm and inviting, with splendid conversations and amazing photography.

Another good-for-your-soul challenge is happening this Saturday, February 2nd: the 'Inspire Change: Wellness Words'. I thought I am done - but I realized I want to do something else (or more?!) - anyhow, please come by this Saturday - if you have time for only one blog hop this week, this is the one! What could be better than beauty for wellness?!

Come party with us - there will be lots and lots of fun!

P.S. If you know of more interesting challenges / swaps / parties, please share! I am always on the look for more, as they seem to channel my creativity into positive territory :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Described as a Panopticon, this sculpture commands spectacular views above Burnley from Crown Point.
It creates an eerie, unearthly music as the wind whistles through the steel tubes. This strange sound increases at sunrise when the wind becomes more intense.

It is one of the few sculptures to have won a Royal Institute of British Architects award.

The Singing Ringing Tree was designed by Tonkin Liu Architects.
This video was created by Jonathan Brind.


Monday, January 28, 2013


It is not very often when the house gets quiet - and then I realize I almost don't know what to do with myself :) Almost...

Tonight the house is quiet earlier than usual - at 9:30 my boys are both sleeping soundly, and the dogs have found a place to lay down and relax as well.

So I will share with you a pendant I made for a friend - a little bit of tinkering with etched copper and Swarovski crystals (one for each member of her family), a handmade hook clasp, and voila, a fully personalized necklace:

Family (copper, Swarovski) ooak necklace:: All Pretty Things

Now I'll get back to doing some work! Enjoy your evening & week :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My new partner

Just a couple of days ago our son (who's almost 10 years old) sent us (mom & dad) this email:

Hello mommy,

Did you like the joke? I planned so much, it was foolproof. It lacked attention and patience, the two key properties in a plan. I will tell you the recipe for a good plan.

Recipe for A Good Plan

1 cup of thinking
3 spoons of creativity
1 cups of good space
1000 ml of patience
6 liters of attention
5 gallons of positive thinking

Stir well until negativity lumps disappear.
To serve more, add 3 cups cooperation.
Mix a final time, and put in waiting oven until golden.
Take out of oven and sprinkle with laughter.

Sorry to stay up late, but I will be in bed by the time you’re done reading this.


PS. If you're daddy, forget the first part.

My new partner & guest-blogger: William :: All Pretty Things
He had just played a practical joke on me: he put together the bed sheets to form a lump, so I would think he's in bed, sleeping, while he was hiding in the closet. 

I have been trying to get him earlier into bed - but he figured out he'll solve the problem better using laughter, and he was right. How can you get upset (or even keep a straight face) when you read his explanation and then his well thought recipe? 

Talking about his neat recipe he suddenly told me "I should start a blog and post these ideas! Can I?". 

That's how I offered to be a guest-blogger here (until we figure out what he really wants to achieve on his own blog). His answer: "Really? Can I?!"

Yes, son, really - you absolutely can :) You're very welcome - and we'll have tons of fun, I know it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Focus on Life - Week 4:: Create Art

This week's prompt at Focus on Life was playful:

This week let's CREATE ART!  There is no wrong way to be creative!  Immerse your self in what you already love to make or take this prompt as the little push to try something completely new!  Then show us!

I admit - I cheated a little bit this week. I had a not so good week, and I tried hard to do something other than work, but it was impossible. You all know I like to make jewelry and I consider that to be my art right now. But I wanted to show you something different too.

Besides trying tons of new things every now and then - I have 2 primal loves (yes, I used primal correctly here, they are truly my basic loves): music and visual arts. I am not very good at either - but I am working very hard at getting better in music (see my post from a couple of days ago); and I have plans to take drawing courses to help me with naturally defining perspective and shades, the 2 things I struggle most with in art.

Where am I getting at? In one of the packages my mom sends me she added a couple of paintings I made almost 24 years ago! I was painting a lot back then - mostly abstract, although I didn't like the genre, but it will not need perspective rules :) These are not abstract, as you'll see in a moment...

The storm (oil on cardboard): 1989
I think I was feeling blue (and probably lonely too) here: there is definitely a storm brewing there, but there is also hope.

No name (oil on cardboard): 1989
P.S. Chewed by the dog :) 
A more calm and happy one - maybe too calm; although we have that idea of motion: an airplane that has been there very recently :) [what you see on the right side is the dog who chewed it, I don't even know when!]

Seeing them made me long for those drawing courses! I'm going to look into that right now - luckily for me we have an Art Centre right downtown, and they offer courses for adults (although they seem to cater more for retired adults, they set their lessons weekday mornings... but I will figure something out).

So far Sally's challenge brought lots of good things at the surface, and it has been only 4 weeks! Sally, thank you, again - every week I seem to reach deeper and deeper! This is an exercise I needed =)

Thank you, my friend, for visiting with me today.

Please make sure you continue the Art Gallery tour - the list of "exhibitors" is to be found in the Main Lobby, at Miss Sally's.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New blog post on Artisan Whimsy

It was my turn again to post for the Metal team on the fabulous Artisan Whimsy site - this time with a slightly improved tutorial on wig jig, the blue necklace.

If you're a member of Artisan Whimsy, you can read the article here: Blue necklace - wig jig tutorial. If you aren't - you can always become one! The place is full with information and amazing artists!

If for some strange reasons you can't become a member of the Artisan Whimsy community, you can still see the original tutorial: Blue necklace tutorial on my site.

Wire-wrapped agate necklace (sterling silver, agate, wig jig technique) :: All Pretty Things

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The story of an exam

You probably know I started taking piano lessons with William, years ago. We registered him and I was sitting half an hour listening to his teacher trying to teach this little person (he was just 4 at the time) how to keep his hands correctly and so on. After the 2nd lesson - I asked the teacher (half sure it's going to be a laughing 'no') if they teach adults too.

You should have seen the sparkle in Lana's eye and the enthusiasm she answered with! You'd think you had offered her some unknown treasure =) In time I learned why - most of the parents tend to be too demanding of their children - and I am the first one to admit: had I not started working with her when I did, I might have gone through the 'come on, it looks so easy, how come you can't play it properly' frustrations.

But I did start working with her (the very next week) and I learned first hand how it is to see a bunch of notes that seem so darn easy on the paper and are so darn impossible to recreate in music! I don't have natural musical talent - my ear needs tons of training (unlike William's and Florin's - they have close to perfect ear! and tons of talent comes with that too)... but that didn't stop me from working my behind off! It can be frustrating to be on a 2 page piece for months and months at a time - probably more frustrating for Lana :) but I kept going.

After the first year the teacher slowly pushed me into performing at the school recitals. To say I was terrified is a gross understatement. My very first piece was a small one - can't recall which one now - but I recall one thing: my hands trembled so badly, I could barely play. It became easier and easier - I still get nervous, and I still have the 'OMG, I forgot **everything**' panic moments and tons of butterflies. But now most of the time I can go through the piece without much tremble. I still make mistakes - but I learned how to continue and make them sound part of the piece :) And I have fans too! There is a family in the audience who's always encouraging me and they always clap the loudest :)

Last spring Lana decided I should go to take RCM exams. At first I asked her 'why?' to which she responded with a logical 'why not?'. Then I realized there is nothing to be lost in the process, after all (except some money). So I reluctantly agreed.
I wrote the theory exams (and I just got my results - passed it with 100%... which is nothing to be very proud of, that was the 'preschool' level, I really know a lot of theory, and know it well) and yesterday it was the day to take my practical exam.

Today - I presented myself 15 minutes earlier (as per the exam paper) and the lady at the sign-ups looked at her papers and asked "So, are you with Alicia?"... Not really, I *am* Alicia! She looked half shocked half amused with a little bit of 'good for you' sprinkled on top. I don't think there are many adult students in our neighbourhood! After I put my name down and she explained what I need to do, she also gave me a little bag with a comment along the lines of "This is for you, so you continue your efforts!" and a sheepishly smile. I couldn't check the bag, I was suddenly terrorized that I didn't brink my sight-reading and ear-testing book with me... what if it was needed? By the time I rationalized the examiner must have her own tests and not need my book I was called in.

I thought we will be using the church's instrument (some sort of a small piano, probably digital) - but they actually brought a real piano in!

The examiner - a nice lady - made a small comment on me being there too (it's impossible to not notice an adult when all the other students are kids!) and we started. The first part (scales) went well - I think :)

Then it came the 'repertoire' part. We have prepared the 3 pieces I needed for it and worked what now seems forever on them.

They should file practical exams of any sort under 'extreme sports' - it is nerve wrecking! The examiner was very nice - but that doesn't change the fact that a person was there, ready to catch everything I would decide to do!

There were 3 short pieces I prepared: one that I loved from the beginning and I was enjoying playing, one that I didn't get in the beginning and I worked incredibly hard to learn and to play it decently (at least), and one that I didn't care much for at all and I worked the least on (as I learned it last). So what do I do? I played them in that order and I did from worst to bad to decent. How is it that a piece I love and I can play it for you in my sleep goes the worse? I don't know. All I know is that by the time I finished all 3 not only my hands were trembling, my feet were too!

And I still had one part of the test to do - the ear test! which I fear the most. I wasn't stellar, but I wasn't a catastrophe either: there is something I need to train more for: playback. I can clap you back a melody, but playing it back is... well... a challenge. If I can figure the starting note I am OK - this time my brain refused to cooperate and it took me almost all the allotted tries to get it (I got it on the last one :) how do I know - the lady said "let's move one" right when I got it)

All in all - a mix of pride and terror. Pride that I put myself through this. Terror that I will have to continue... Interestingly enough - there was no shame in the mix; I used to be of the "OMG, I made a fool of myself" clan. Something switched long time ago and now I am of "If you think you can do it better - please keep quiet" tribe :) A much more entertaining one!

I have about a month to wait on the results... I honestly hope I passed - don't think I can play those 3 pieces again! ;-)

P.S. Once I got home I looked in my bag: a music notebook (good for practice or if I ever decide to compose!), an RCM pen (I must keep it as a reminder of my first exam) and... stickers!! I laughed so hard - now I understood the sing-up lady's smile!

P.P.S. The examiner asked me at the very end "Good for you, is it nice to get back to playing piano, isn't?" To which I replied, laughing "Actually this is the first time I learn it - I started a few years back". Her answer? "That's amazing! I hope you continue". I hope so too!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Love and Light - event in honour of Tanya Boden aka Fusion Muse

If you've been in the jewelry design circles for more than a few months and you're on the 'usual suspects' groups like Bead Soup Cafe and a few others - you must have heard about Tanya.

I didn't know her very well - we met during the CBC's destash event back in August and we shared a few late-night chats (I'm a night owl and she was on the other side of the world, in Thailand). I bought some beauties from her - including my precious Larimar cabs and some gorgeous rubies  and we talked about life and humanity...

I knew she was sick and around December she posted less and less - which is never a good sign. But I hoped she'll get better. Early January we received the sad news: Tanya is not with us anymore, she has moved in spirit and hopefully she is not in pain anymore.

After the shock dissipated a little bit the idea of an event to honour her memory and her incredible love of life was formed. We have decided to have it two ways: a blog hop and a simple Facebook event (on the group she founded a few months back) for those who have no blogs to post.

Love and Light blog hop: Remembering Tanya Boden aka Fusion Muse

The rules are simple: make a piece in her memory. It can be made with materials you have bought from her (God knows many of us have an incredible amount of such resources) or not. She loved life with passion - and that's should your piece show: life & light!

The date of this Blog Hop & Faceboo event is is Sunday, February 17th and the sign-ups are going to be open until a week before (February 10th).

What do you need to do next?

  • Sign up - by leaving a comment below - please make sure you leave your name, email and blog address I can use!
  • If you don't have a blog and you're part of the Fusion Muse Facebook group - on the 17th you can upload your pictures onto the FB group; Leah from Beady Eyed Bunny is going to set up the album there
  • If you'd like to share with your followers the news about this Blog Hop and FB event - please do so by using the image above on your blog or by copy / paste the following code in your blog to display the picture:

  • Create a piece that will honour Tanya's memory - there are no rules here! Your choice of piece, materials, theme. It doesn't have to be jewelry either - maybe you're a fabulous painter or drawing artist and you knew her... by all means, create something from the heart!

Most of all - remember her smile and her love for life! Hugs & love, Tanya, wherever you are!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Focus on life: Week 3 [Time for yourself]

This week Sally decided to do something for all of us: the theme is 'take time for yourself'.

Now this is an alien notion for many people - especially women, especially mothers or any type of caregivers. We tend to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. By watching my mom and her friends I learned (early on in life) one needs to take care of herself too! Putting work first will not raise you a statue, that's for sure - and in the capitalist society that's even more true. Putting family first, while commendable (and in my opinion a better option) still leaves room for improvement.

The key issue in the 'time for yourself' is the actual 'time': everybody wants something from you at any point of your waking point (and sometimes when you sleep too!). I get that magic time right before bedtime, when everybody is asleep. Since it's usually late at night (or early in the morning, depends on how you put it) - I don't have many choices on activities... so...

Focus on life, Week 3: Time for yourself :: All Pretty Things

I read :) a cacophony of subjects - mostly jewelry related lately...

I hope you make a bit of time for yourself too: to recharge, to relax, to feel good.

If you'd like to see what other people are doing in their 'me' time - please stop by Sally's post - everybody is linked at the bottom of her article.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The wisdom ring

This story is being told in many cultures and attributed to many famous people (including the wise King Solomon).

Long time ago there was a wise King. He was a good ruler and taking good care of his people. However, one day it came to his attention that a soldier in his army was wiser than the King. Jealousy washed over the King and he thought of a way to show the soldier wasn't wiser than himself.

One day, the King called the soldier and explained he heard there is a ring that holds the wisdom of the whole world: if the wearer is sad, the ring will make him happy, if the wearer is happy, the ring will make him sad. The soldier was sent to find the ring, while the King was sure the task is impossible and the soldier will return empty-handed and everyone will recognize the King to be the wisest person on earth.

After searching everywhere, the soldier could not find such a ring. He decided to return back home and face his fate, without the precious ring. On his way back - he stopped in a village and the silversmith asked him why the sadness. The soldier explained the whole story and the silversmith laughed and went back into his place. After a little while - he returned with a ring.

The soldier - took a look at the ring and started laughing. He thanked the villager and returned quickly to the palace.

The King was quite happy and smug - sure the task is impossible. When he received the ring, after a quick glance, he became quite sad.

What was about the special ring? It had an inscription: "This too shall pass".

A bitter-sweet message: make sure you enjoy your every moment of happiness. If you're unhappy: remember: this too shall pass!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and thanks - blog hop

Lori described the 'reason' for this blog hop beautifully: "You never know what you might mean to someone" - and the story is a sad one, but one we can learn from. Lori is right, you never now - and the reverse it's usually true: people that mean something in your life might never know either.

We tend to shy away from properly thanking the people who touch our lives: we mean to do, but it's always 'tomorrow' and we are so sure tomorrow is going to be there... and we are sometimes reminded in a brutal way that it might not be. I know that's true for me - I have many people I mean to say 'thank you' and the moment passes for one reason or another and I feel it'll be silly now to do that... and... I find more excuses to go on like this.

There are many people to thank and some to remember too... I chose the 'thanks' part of the blog hop (although there will be a memories one soon).

Who am I going to thank today? My mom. We are far away from each other (she's in Europe, I am in North America) and our relationship is a complex and complicated one. But she is and will always be my mom, the one who raised me as well as the context allowed her. Of course I went through the youth rebellions (when nothing your parents do is good enough) and of course I saw many things in a different light as soon as I grew up enough to mature. We talk often and I am always surprised how little she thinks I think of her - which only proves I haven't done a good job of thanking her lately :)

But I do: I am thankful for everything she did for us, the kids, and I know it wasn't easy. I am grateful for all the memories she managed to create for us in conditions less than ideal. Of course there were ups and downs - but that's what relationships are, after all: a complex mix of ups and downs. At the end of the day I hope she will recognize some of what I am as her love and doing. I hope she can see that I truly love her and I am thankful for how she shaped my life.

What can say 'thank you' better than a heart? I don't know - that's why I made a heart :)

"Thank you" heart: silver, wire weaving :: All Pretty Things

A wire woven heart. Simple and delicate, but strong and beautiful. Just like love is.

Thank you, mom!

I hope you'll find some time this weekend to visit the other participants - and learn of what they created with a memory or thank in mind. If you don't - I hope you will take the time to pick up the phone, a pen, or get to the keyboard: and thank someone (or many more!) in your life. Tell them now what they mean to you, make them happy knowing they make a difference.

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Murrow               Charis Designs Jewelry
Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
CJ Bauschka                       4 His Glory Creations by CJ
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog
Iveth Caruso                       Creative Atelier
Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner
Pam Traub                            Klassy Joolz
Priya Krish                           Hellopalz 
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Rosa Maria Cuevas              Helena de Troya
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets

Friday, January 11, 2013

Focusing on life: Week 2 (The Word)

Last week I discovered a new 'challenge' so-to-speak, on Sally Russick's blog: The Studio Sublime. In Sally's words: "For 52 weeks, one photo a week we will capture a moment in our life."

This is not an opportunity to pass - I am a total believer in capturing moments; so I signed up. I am still working on week one (self-portrait), because being sick makes for an ugly close-up :) but I'll figure it out one of these days.

For the 2nd week we are supposed to take a picture of our 'word'. What's "the word", you'll ask? You know how on New Year's day people make resolutions? [which they promptly fail at in the next 6 weeks, on average]. Some people figured out a "word" will work better than resolutions. You choose a word that will be your focus that year. One word - easier to focus that way.

Well - it turns out I had troubles picking up a word. I went from "journey" to "adventure" to "focus" to what-not... wasn't happy with any of them... I kept coming back to a few pictures I took during the holidays and I realize that's my word, I was looking at it and it was staring me in the face.

I herby declare may 2013 word to be: Bloom. I want to focus on blooming: myself, my relationships with family and loved ones, my studio, my art, my work, my horizon: bloom!

Focus on life: Bloom! pure, beauty :: All Pretty Things

Bloom into a pure life: free of false constraints and full of beauty!

Focus on life: Bloom! elegant, rich, exotic :: All Pretty Things

Bloom into an elegant life: rich in details, with exotic curves and colours!

Focus on life: Bloom! delicate, nurturing, balance, grace :: All Pretty Things

Bloom into a delicate life: one that needs nurturing like my African Violets do, and one that will return that nurturing million-times fold: with perfect balance and grace!

Focus on life: Bloom! bold, ephemeral, large, strong :: All Pretty Things

Bloom into a bold life: ephemeral, while large and strong!

There you have it: my word for 2013 is ~BLOOM~

Thank you, Sally, for this excellent challenge: I enjoy it so much! And for you, my visitor - if you'd like to check everyone else's word for the year, please visit Sally's blog and check the links at the bottom: The Studio Sublime: Focus on life, Week 2

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year!

Today it is the beginning of a new journey - one I hope you'll join me on and one that will bring joy and be as much fan as last year's.

Today should be a day of "counting" the past year - I won't... because there are so many amazing things that happened, it will take me a month just to list all of them :) I will just give you a number: 51,000. That's the total pageview on this blog. If you recall, at the 1 year blogoversary I had 33,000. Which means in the past 3 months there were 18,000 more - at an incredible rate of about 6,000 per month! That's more than double of the 1st year and that, my friends, I find it amazingly wonderful. Thank you again!

Today should also be a day of setting resolutions - I won't... because I don't believe in them (and I have yet to find someone who didn't break all of their New Year's resolutions in the first 30 days of the year :)).

I will do something else: I will create the 'grateful jar' - a jar where my family will deposit a piece of paper every week, for the whole year with at least one thing we are grateful for-, thankful for- or simply wonderfully surprised by-. Next New Year's Eve we will read them and remember all the beauty in our lives! It's not my idea, I read it somewhere (don't recall where :( ) and I decided it sounds beautiful.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year: full of joy, sparkle, health, and happiness - with the best New Year song ever: