If you read Oprah magazine, you know that at the end of the mag she always writes about one thing she knows for sure. Today, as the year winds down and I take a few moments to reflect, I've put together my own list of what I have come to know.
10 Things I know for sure:
1. You can’t force change, but you can allow it.
2. I am truly my own best friend.
3. Happiness is an inside job, every single time.
4. The more I care for myself, the more I can care for others.
5. Action isn’t everything; attitude is.
6. There are little things to be enjoyed in every single day.
7. I get better results when I play at life than when I work at it.
8. There is a gem of hope and joy that can be found in each traumatic or sorrowful life experience.
9. If you weren’t born into a big family, you can make a family of your friends.
10. Whatever you’re wanting in life, you have to believe it to see it.
It's Christmas Eve, and just like a little kid, I woke up early today, filled with excitement! For me, it's the little things that all add up to making Christmas a special time...
I love my little Christmas tree with all its special ornaments! The angel that tops my tree this year decorated my friend Maria's tree for many years, and now she watches over mine.
I love the shadows that the tree lights make against the wall -- in the same way I love cloud shadows on the mountains in summer.
I have collected so many special ornaments over the years. My dad was the first to get me started with an ornnament collection when he gave me a group of vintage ornaments back in the late 1970's. This lovely red bird was given to me just last year by Maria.
It's fun to wrap presents. These were sent off to Silke & Daniel in Savannah.
And it's fun to see how others wrap gifts. This is one of my favorites this year. Thanks, Maria! I'm enjoying it without even having opened it yet.
I don't typically decorate with themes the way some folks do. But this year I did end up creating a little pastel tablescape in one corner of my living room. The centerpiece is a pretty blue and white tea cup my friend Barb brought back from Russia. It's holding this wonderful old corsage that Silke gave me a few years ago. In the back is a DREAMS jar that I made as part of my Artist's Way group and a bright magenta tree in a silver pot.
I also made this little grouping on my porch to greet visitors as they come into my house. It started with a little red chair, circa 1920's, that I found at a flea market in Jersey about 15 years ago. It holds 2 little volumes of poetry from the 1880's and a reproduction bottle brush tree.
I love stationery and I always have fun choosing Christmas cards to send.
Sometimes I like to relax on my couch with my favorite mug filled with hot chocolate and just enjoy the little presents underneath the sparkling Christmas tree. (My Christmas tree lights are doing magical things this year: sometimes they blink, and sometimes they don't.)
I'm blessed to have wonderful friends, several of whom are also fabulous bakers. Every year my friend Patty sends me a box of what I think of as THE COOKIES. Patty and I have known each other since kindergarten -- and believe me when I tell you, that's a loooonnnggg time! With 400 miles or so separating us, we don't get to see each other that often, but she is never far from my thoughts. This year she sent 16 (!) different types of cookies. Here are some of her pretty sugar cookies on a vintage plate that Maria, another close friend, gave me one year for my birthday.
And so, I'll wrap this up by wishing a very Merry Christmas to all my blog readers! Thank you for reading my little blog. I hope that wherever you are, whatever you're celebrating, you take some time to enjoy the little things that make the season special!
As I finish up my holiday prep -- decorating my little tree, organizing my home, writing and mailing the Christmas cards -- I want to take a moment here to thank my blog readers for honoring me with their attention to this blog! I'd also like to remind everyone to take pleasure in the busyness of the season. It's a privilege to have loved ones in our lives for whom we can shop, wrap, mail, decorate, cook, and clean. And if it's getting to be just too much, find a quiet corner and take a brief timeout for yourself -- even if it's just 10 minutes with a cup of gingerbread cocoa at Starbucks. Take care of others, but take care of yourself too. And above all, make fun a priority this holiday season!
This blog has been sadly neglected as I've been busy the last couple of weeks writing copy for this client and this one and getting ready for Christmas. I did manage to buy my Christmas tree last Saturday, but it sits on my porch waiting patiently for me to find time to decorate it.
Yesterday the last of the out-of-state gifts were put in the mail, so that's one less thing to think about. By the end of the day tomorrow, I should be caught up with work. Then I'll take the weekend to clean and decorate my place. I'm looking forward to getting out the old favorite ornaments.
Since today is December 16th, my thoughts turn to two good women: my Grandma, who was born on this day in 1890. And my good friend Barb M., who departed this earth on December 16, 2005. I know they're both watching over me!
As you prepare to celebrate the holidays, please remember to take time to hug your loved ones. For one reason or another, they may not always be right there with you. With Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year, it's the perfect time to count your blessings and appreciate those who matter most! Neglect things like writing a blog or cleaning house? Sure -- it's not the end of the world. Neglect showing your love and affection? Never!
Emily at CGDSpa, a wonderful Maine business that provides delicately scented hand lotions, body lotions, lip balms, and customized thank-you gifts, was kind enough to feature me on her blog. Her profile tells a little bit about my background, what inspires me, and what I've been doing lately with my Intuitive Photography. Click here to read her posting.
To share the blog and Maine biz love, and to give you all an incentive to buy fine-art photos for those on your holiday shopping list, I'm offering 30% off to all those who read Emily's GCDSpa blog or Beth's Take On Life. Simply go to Intuitive Photography and enter the coupon code GIVETHANKS at checkout. But don't wait too long! This sale ends December 8th.
I decided to get into the holiday shopping mode by offering my first ever sale in my online shop, Intuitive Photography! Now through November 30th, every photo in the shop is 30% off! I just started the promotion this morning, and I've already made my first sale! Thank you, Irene! Fine art photos make great holiday gifts, and I want to make it easier for folks to give one-of-a-kind photos that convey the spirit of Maine.
Irene chose Beach Bench, one of the many photos I've taken at the Maine Coast. But there are many different types of photos to choose from at Intuitive Photography, including my newest category, Industrial & Architectural.
Thank you to Casey & Donna for their purchase last week of No. 22, a photo I captured while walking near the Narrow Gauge Railway in Portland, Maine.
I'm always intrigued by unusual lettering, and I spotted several examples of it on buildings and railroad cars while out shooting recently by the Portland waterfront.
The classic Maine lighthouse, Portland Head Light, is a favorite subject of mine in any season.
And of course Pemaquid Light is another iconic Maine lighthouse that I can't get enough of.
So if you get a chance today, stop by Intuitive Photography and see what kinds of photos I've been taking lately, here in the great state of Maine!
"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself." -- Tecumseh Shawnee Chief (American-Indian Warrior, 1768-1813)
"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” -- Brian Tracy (American television host)
I have a confession: I'm obsessed with clocks! Not the kind you keep on your bedside table -- big, old clocks with character like the one pictured here. It all started two weeks ago when I went to Biddeford (Maine) to take a tour of an old mill building that's been turned into apartments. This clock is right down the street. It was removed several years ago from the top of an old (mill?) building and now sits behind a fence. That's why the photo is a bit cut off on the sides -- because I had to stick my camera through the fence railings to take the picture.
Anyway, I actually took this photo about 3 years ago. But when I saw it again in October, and then toured the mill building, it stirred up an intense passion for industrial decor -- and these huge old clocks! I'm going to get a print of this clock photo and maybe even frame it. In the meantime, I am heading out soon to scout for more big old clocks! And soon I'll be posting more about industrial decor items. I truly am obsessed!
Update: I just found this YouTube video (no sound) that shows the clock being removed from a tower. It evidently did come from one of the many old mill buildings in Biddeford.
Beth is a creative Mainer, constant dreamer, retired writer, passionate beader, positive thinker, and cancer survivor. "I am a woman who feels blessed to live in the great state of Maine. I enjoy being creative in many ways: making bracelets, taking pictures, creating unique greeting cards, making monoprints, and much more."