Thursday, December 27, 2012

bits & pieces

 at some point in life, the world's beauty becomes enough. 
-toni morrison

this summarizes the sentiments behind these weekly posts. the words of julia cameron continue to ring in my ears, the capacity for delight is the ability to pay attention. there is so much beauty. swirling around us. and at some point, it becomes enough. when our eyes are opened, we find joy in the seemingly simple & often overlooked parts of our days.  

{bits & pieces} is a challenge to discover & document the world's beauty. one photograph at a time. there are no rules, no limitations. just a way to look back, at the end of a year, for instance, and reflect on the bits of beauty and pieces of joy that surround... 

one // took the first steps back into the gym this week. a little daunting. and after, a little sore. but it felt so good. 
two // the red is back. and i'm loving it! my hair has always been an extension of my art. <3
three // Christmas card photo. i love this man. 
four // secret message from a treasured friend
five // feathers, feathers and more feathers. i can't get enough! (beautiful artwork by mandy)


i'd love for you to link up and share your posts of beauty & delight. 

happy last weekend of 2012! 

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

one word // 2013.

i've been inspired by ali, elise (and many others) to choose a guiding word for each year. 

the word for 2012 was: {peace}

i chose this word as a soft place to land during many emotion filled days, life altering decisions, & letting go--of all that was once familiar. 

peace was a faithful companion. 

i have now chosen my word for 2013...    


...welcoming the courage to create

...create-ing a new life, new traditions, new roles, new creative outlets, in fact, this blog will find itself re-created. {more to come on that...}

...accepting the challenge to continue to create. to trust the creative spirit that is mine. pushing through doubts & bravely picking up the brush and the pen. pushing through the perceived lack of fresh ideas and creating anyway.  

i ordred this locket from my sweet friend jodi's etsy shop

i wear it close to my heart, as reminder of my one, little word that will guide me through my days in 2013. 

will you join me and so many others by aliging your decisions, dreams & days with a guiding word? 
(no can always change it half way through. stick with the word as it continues to feel 'right.') 

i'd love to hear what word you choose. <3

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Friday, December 21, 2012

bits & pieces

this week has been full of a range of emotions. 

coordinating & buying & wrapping & sorting & delivering gifts for seventeen families through our miracles adopt a family program at work.  

...and walking up to one of the elementary schools and seeing a class of five and six year olds traveling together in a single file line to gym class. 

heart breaking. tears welling up. 

thoughts of the angels that no longer walk with their class to the next activity, but walk the hallways of heaven. 

and their families ache.

just a week before Christmas.

it's been a week full of a range of emotions.  

full of light. and time to create. an unexpected afternoon at "my" Starbucks. inspiration flowing. on the brink of a new year of possibilities and unfolding. 

and once again, full of {bits & pieces} of beauty...

one // these words changed me this year. 
two // my heart skipped a beat when i discovered this in a package of {love} this week. thank you, christine.
three // i feel most "me" when i'm wearing dangles & head wraps.
four // "to seek beauty in the simple things." what these friday {bits & pieces} posts are all about.
five // christmas cards in the making.

i'd love for you to share your posts of bits & pieces below...

beauty to you. and light. and so much joy.

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

be en{courage}d.

a c c e p t.

you are exactly where you should be.

you are right on time.

eliminate: catching up.

b r e a t h e. 

something beautiful is being birthed.

exhale, release.

free yourself.

c r e a t e.

create {in the midst of} the chaos, for this is fertile ground.

create new patterns, new rhythms, new traditions.

it takes courage to be creative.

you might be surprised at what beauty will appear on the {pages} of your life.
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Friday, December 14, 2012

bits & pieces.

if you are new to style of a songbird (welcome, new followers and readers!), i'd love to introduce you to my weekly friday feature called bits & pieces. it's about opening our eyes to the delight & beauty that surrounds us each day and capturing those seemingly 'small' moments. nothing is 'too ordinary.' and there are no guidelines. just a weekly link up where we gather to share joy and light. 

one // #secretmessage found while art journaling. and so true ---> my tribe flourishes
two // reading my new julia cameron book by candlelight. so wonderful. 
three // treasure hunting on our double date. found the most amazing used book store downtown new haven. 
four // it was a really good mail week. 
five // continuing to create everyday with #adventwindows.

i'd love for you to link up your own {bits & pieces} post below. remember, no rules--just recognizing and capturing the beauty that surrounds.

wishing you many moments of joy this weekend. <3 thank you for visiting my online home.
you are always welcome here. 
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Monday, December 10, 2012

opening windows this advent season.

last week was wonderful. 

it was chaotic, full, and exhausting. 

but it was wonderful. 

i've been joining {other brave hearts} to open some windows this advent season. i've chosen to create everyday. one page. based on one word. drawn from my magical thrifted jar from goodwill. and at the end of december, i will have a little book completed with meditations to focus on throughout the new year.

day one: soak

day two: smell

day three: invite

day four: permit

day five: give

day six: eliminate

day seven: accept

day eight: choose

it's not too late to join us.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

bits & pieces.

if you haven't read yesterday's post, please do.

i'm giving myself {grace} this week.

the {bits and pieces} have been scattered. and most went un-captured.

but this wild, rare, and delicate orchid (for under 10 bucks i might add) found me at the grocery store. and she had to be mine. 
she's going to remind me that beauty is always waiting around the corner.
it might seem small.
but the orchid has had great meaning for me this year.
and it was just what i needed.

i'd love for you to share one (or a few) parts of your week that were extra beautiful or life-giving.
and if not, i honor that too.

Let us remember that a moment’s pause is {enough} 
Make it work FOR you … not become work for you, Braveheart. 
It is art … it is whatever you decide it to be. 
-found here

thank you for the permission.

have a wonderful weekend everyone. mine includes a manicure + pedicure & some time in my orange chair at "my" starbucks. <3 yes, please.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

centered through creativity.

i tweeted this last night: exhausted. time to ::create:: in my studio to refocus my mind before bed. 

sweet mandy replied and asked what's your secret to creating out of exhaustion? i can't do it. (or at least i don't think i can). 

to which i answered: release the weight of fatigue/left brain tendencies through colors & syllables--push through until my mind is clear and i can fully rest. 

i'm creating a page a day in a special art journal for the month of december  inspired by *magic* mandy's advent adventure. on top of mountains of responsibility and lengthy lists of tasks, reminders and plans, i'm setting aside time every evening to sneak away to my *studio* and put some paint on the page. 

because that's what art journaling, writing, creating is about. getting out what is on the inside. 

i live a real life beyond the pretty, polished posts that end up here. 

i work a full time job. 
i am married to a pastor, so i serve in ministry by his side. 
i am now the social media manager for The Art Journaler as well as the online executive assistant for the incredible, Teresa.  
i blog. i paint. i cook. i clean. i rehearse. i sing. i commute. {repeat}.

but i don't want to do a little bit of everything, running on steam, and not be centered or focused in any area, because i'm trying to do it {all}.

we are human beings not human doings. 

and nobody can do it all.

a wise woman once shared with me the illustration of a jar, a few big stones, and lots of little ones. you can't fill up the jar with all the little stones and try to fit the big ones on the top, it just won't work. you need to put the big ones in first. and then build accordingly. 

as a passionate and creative person, it's easy for me to over-commit and set up lofty goals for myself and my days.

what has been so freeing for me to realize is that ---> creativity doesn't have to be reserved for set aside "art" time. in fact, art journaling has helped me become more centered & focused this week amidst all my activity. creative planning helps to map out my priorities. i am starting to make a "red box" for the day/the week/the month. this is carved out time devoted to certain aspects of my life, so i'm not trying to fit it all into everyday. 

another resource that's been helpful to me is susannah's "unravelling." this helps me to clarify my activity and cast vision for my time. each year, i pick a word (or three) and funnel my thoughts, energy and time through those guiding syllables. {just decided on my word(s) for 2013 today! super exciting!}

i hope that if you've been feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, frazzled, in a rut, "blah" or any of the above, some aspect of this post was encouraging to you. i invite you to carve out some *you* time, whatever that looks like, (for me, creating) and honor the priorities you've set for yourself. you are free from trying to fit it all in. 

By the sacred yes or sacred no I mean that affirmation or negation that comes from a deep place of wisdom and courage, even if it creates conflict or disagreement. The sacred yes is not willful or egocentric, but rather is willing and surrendered. The sacred no is not rebellion or refusal, but always the necessary protecting of boundaries. ~richard rohr 

tonight, i'm crawling into bed a bit {more centered}. fully accepting all i was able to accomplish today and releasing what still needs to be done. 

breathing deeper. 

and dreaming in {color} for what is to come.   

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

how pinteresting.

welcome to another round up of my favorite "pins" for the month {of november}! the original site is linked in the description above the pin, and the link to the board where it is found on my pinterest site is below. enjoy! 

mmm... heat a mug with 2 tsp of vanilla in the oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees. 
Perfect tip if you are going to have company over or you just want your house smelling amazing. Simply  place 2 teaspoons of vanilla into a coffee mug and place in a 300 degree oven for 1 hour.
pinned here.

Hot Glue Gun Stencils via #artjournaling #theliljournalproject
pinned here

so true.
pinned here.

bbq chicken quinoa salad. y u m
BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad, need to try this
pinned here.

nutella stuffed sea salt chocolate chip cookies. woah...
Nutella-stuffed sea salt chocolate chip cookies
pinned here.

pretty pop of pink
Brown, Rose, and Gold.. Pretty :)
pinned here.

i know skinny jeans are still in, but i love this look!
pinned here.

so true.
ch-ch-changes #begin {image by Andria}
pinned here.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

bits & pieces.

hello. i'm so glad you're here. joining me for my weekly link up, sharing the {bits & pieces} of joy and beauty from my week. and there were plenty of those moments to choose from.
one // gosh i have amazing friends. and my mail box has been exploding with artistic love!

two // i've been swooning over this fake tattoo from this etsy shop all week...makes me want a real one!  (we put them on the same night! just doing what we know in our hearts to do!) <3 

three // latest art journal page. finding light wherever i can. considering it gets dark at 4 pm here now!!

four // a #secretmessage found in a fashion magazine.

five // j and i were given the most precious gift this week. we traveled back to michigan for the holiday, and our dear friend was due to deliver her baby boy any day (official due date next week). i prayed and prayed that we would be able to meet our little nephew before we left. and my prayers were answered!! jeremy and i fell in love with little jude alexander just hours after he was born. thank you JUDE for making your way into this world on the very day we were heading back to CT. SO grateful.

thank you for the feedback on last week's post. i found that so many people resonated with the idea that our {bits & pieces} are more often than not, the ordinary parts of our days. not the *fireworks* or monumental moments. it's so transformational to start capturing those {bits & pieces}. gratitude soon follows...

i'd love for you to share your {bits & pieces} posts here: 

have an amazing weekend, everyone. you are {loved.}

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


i am afraid to show you who i really am, because if i show you who i really am, you might not like it--and that's all i got. 

-sabrina ward harrison

i've always been a "girlie girl." applying a full face of make up is just a part of my routine as brushing my teeth. 

i had a recent epiphany about this "practice" of applying my make up.

{the less make up i wore, the clearer my skin got.} 

when i have breakouts, it's such a natural instinct to plaster on layer upon layer to try and hide each blemish and uneven patch of my skin. but in reality, all of this make up is just further clogging my pores. and not allowing the healing to happen--but just providing a "quick fix" and cover up.

and i thought, wow. that translates to our lives too.

the more we let ourselves be seen, the more freedom we find. 

there is such healing in our lives {and "clearing" of our skin} when we peel back the layers and shed our defense mechanisms {hiding, retreating, reverting to what is comfortable}.

the fear and anxiety of the "truth." uncovering what's hidden. what no one really "sees." {release and allowing}. daily.

slow, circular motions. the deep cleaning. to remove the dead cells, that which no longer produces life, and stunts growth and forward motion. we must exfoliate to reveal the beauty, underneath.

moisturize. apply life giving nutrients to the body & soul. once the filth has been removed, drench yourself with affirmation and healing emollient. {pamper.}

sometimes it starts with first, seeing ourselves. and not grimacing or wincing. but smiling. and delighting. and accepting. and loving. 

kelly & liz have helped me to embrace the practice of self portraits. capturing ourselves, for who we are:

And here it is. Me. Breathing, being, knowing me. The me who walks this path trying to tell her story through words plus photos. The me trying to just lean into the truth that loving this body, this beautiful body that houses this soul who is me, is the only way forward now. Me. Beautiful. Real. Me.
Try it. Take a few self-portraits. Take 100 if you want. Find the you in there. The beautiful you. Choose to see your beauty. 
(original post here).

i am beautiful. today. now. just the way i am. 
i am not too much. 
i am not too scarred. 
or imperfect.
i do not have to hide.  
i am seen. 
i am accepted.
i am embraced
i am loved.

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