Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thrive Thursdays: Finding Your Sixty Seconds

I will be honest with you about two things. One, I didn't think I would be writing a post today for a number of reasons, but one being I wasn't feeling very thrive worthy. Two, I am an extremely negative person; more often than not I find the glass half empty. However, we shall thank Pinterest for a quote and numerous other people for their curiosity. It was the motivation I needed for a short (hahaha who are we kidding, I nearly never write short blogs) blog post.

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I waste so much time and energy when it comes to anger; not only anger with other people, but a vast amount of anger with myself. I realize and fully stand behind the notion that as a believer, life is not necessarily written to be happy go lucky for me. There will be trials and many tribulations, but somewhere here I believe there is happiness. I want to be happy, but I let the dregs of the day or hour continue to drag me down. How many more seconds of happiness could I have each and everyday if I decided to forget my anger? I don't have a special remedy for you forgetting your anger. I'm not even sure how I will go about this, hopefully, new attitude, but I encourage you give up the anger. Happiness fuels so many things, creativity especially! Look up Lamentations 3:22-23 and feel free to "throw it in my face" every now and then. I can use reminders too.

 Many times, over the course my 6 year blogging career*, I have mentioned the 365 project. Yet I still have people in the everyday world asking, "What is a 365 project? What is it all about?" There is truly nothing complicated about a 365 Project...well except for motivation and inspiration. I have days when I'd rather throw my camera at a wall for kicks and giggles than think up something new, fresh, and exciting. Most definitely work is involved, but it can be fun to see what will come of the days inspirations.
A 365 Project is a photo-a-day challenge. Many photographers upload self-portraits each day, in some form or another. I have done such a 365 before; when I was an extreme novice photographer (though I still categorize myself as such) and with a much cheaper camera. At one time I even attempted a 365 Project of different hands everyday. I didn't have many enthusiastic takers for that project and it was soon abandoned. Another 365, which had nothing to do with photography, I attempted to write a letter to someone different each day. Wow was that too much to take on!
My current 365 Project is "simply" a photograph each day with my thoughts. I love writing and this gives me an opportunity each day to "pour a little of my heart out" with a photograph as my inspiration. Some days are pictures of me and other days are photographs of random still-life or at times other people I come into contact with that day.
I realize there is a huge stigmatism with "selfies", but I've discussed this before on other sites. There is a fine line between the narcissistic everyday "selfie" and the learning to realize you are beautiful self-portrait project. My first 365 project helped me learn to like pictures of myself. I still have my days, but for the most part I've learned to take what I got and make it great. I credit much of this to the 365 Project.
The 365 Project is not for everyone, but I would challenge you to try it and see it where it takes you. You may discover things about yourself and about your creative skills you didn't know before.
Thriving Moments: Flickr (again) and learning to kill my anger with happiness!
Did anyone take notes? (Footnotes):
  • *Oh my Atlanta! I can't believe it has been 6 years since I started With a Flower! ?!?
  • The computer shutdown twice and I took a break for a painting party in the midst of writing this...busy frustrated lady.
  • If you are on Flickr leave me a line and I will follow you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tattoo Tuesdays: If you give a girl a brick...can she make it bleed?

Life so often is about the courage to keep going no matter your circumstances. It is the strength to endure the hardships day in and day out with the knowledge that around the corner things could be better or things could be worse, but knowing that ultimately God is in control. This. Is. Beyond. Difficult.

In the span of a day I may whisper a thousand times, "Remember my frame," and I have to muster the hope that my whispers are heard. Let's collect courage and hope in jars to battle these "days of woe". There is no sense hiding away. You can't, I can't, we can't waste what we have been given. In these moments of courage seeking for another step, another day, I always desire to live my life out loud. Harder than you think with trust issues and a jumper judging world.

Love me or leave me... I'm a tattoo loving gal. I can't help acting like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to ink gazing.

Today's Features:

Tattoo via Pinterest and a new blog (Click. Wow! I'm now a follower.)

Sleeves! I wish we had a better view of this gorgeous man's ink. Sleeves are best, in my opinion, when the concept ebbs and flows to make a grand impression. Random is good too, but I "like me some cohesiveness". (insert wink) Honest moment: His tattoos are great, but I really like this shoot from a photography standpoint...hello eyes!
Face and Neck tattoos equal brave to me. There's a definite risk the tattoo could turn out looking so "hello I just got of prison" and truly only a select few can pull it off. I'm not a flower tattoo kind of gal, but I like this placement, glad that the tattoo isn't "eating her face" either. I hadn't noticed her gauge before, first being drawn to the ink and then her hair (jealous!), but I'm even liking it too!
Sleeves are almost always a winner for me. Either this girl is wanting to do some filling in later or for her someday children to have coloring time on her arm...I'm good either way; even left to its outline glory, this flower has my vote!
My life and all it has to offer (i.e. in other news):
  • Via Facebook - Anna arrived safely today in Korea at 5:30 AM Indiana time!
  • Via Snail Mail - Anna made me cry ... all in love and goodness.
  • Since it's upload (17, Feb, 2014) 'Resilience' has become my third most viewed photograph on Flickr. So. Blessed.
  • Keep an eye out on RC's Facebook page because I may be having a giveaway soon.
Find me on Pinterest
What went on (i.e. Footnotes)
  • Tunes for today, Mumford & Sons' Pandora
  • Pondering the need to Skype with Anna when I get my tattoo...excited and scared for that day.
  • Scripture on my mind (something I want in my life): Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! - Psalm 116:2

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thrive Thursdays: We've got you surrounded

Hello! Long time without words...too long. I'm writing to tell you life has settled down.


Life has fallen into a steady and pleasant buzz of busyness. Some days are overwhelming and some days are a fountain of frenzy youth giving greatness. My main agenda is to keep busy, and honestly there are days where I want anything but the covers pulled back and to have to greet the day. All I can say is by God's grace, I am taking each day one at a time.

I always miss writing. I can't quite understand the mechanics of my own mind, that for durations of time I give it up and miss it desperately simultaneously. My mind has found a way to punish me without much work is all I can come with as an excuse. The words still churn and find other ways of escaping, namely my photography.

In quick succession...UPDATES

-While I opted out of a New Year's Resolution List this year it doesn't mean I don't have goals of a sort. I am trying my hand again at the fantastic (and sometimes stressful) Project 365. There have been days of discouragement, but there have been utterly awesome days. I can't help thinking over and over again how blessed I am to live an era of the Camera and Flickr. I love you Flickr...
MadMadelyne's A Hundred Pockets - 365 (2014) photoset MadMadelyne's A Hundred Pockets - 365 (2014) photoset

-I am selling on Etsy! RapaciousCurls is up and running. I also have a Facebook page.

-Hopefully I will be able to blog more regularly because I have been waiting all day to have the time to write today's post. No more waiting...

On to the my Thriving moments (and advice)...

I believe I have talked before about the necessities for a creative environment. (I couldn't find the post, I know it is here somewhere.) Foremost on my list lately has been the importance of creative "bedfellows". The people you talk to everyday or run to for advice. The dear people you are blessed beyond measure to call your friends, your family, your sisters (or brothers) from another mister.

Cuwe Minnehaha* (Jen)

I hope Jen doesn't mind me bragging on her. (insert wink) I have known Jen off and on for 10 years. All those years we were what I like to refer to as "surface friends/acquaintances", meaning we waved, we said hello, but didn't know each other. In August last year I was extremely stumped on a knitting project. Mum encouraged me, "Call Jen, the lady who spins her yarn and is a knitting expert." Every knitter needs a 'Knitting Guru' and Jen is mine. Once we started talking, I knew God sent me this woman for more than just knitting advice. We laugh, we cry, and we love through the ugliness this world brings out at times.
Yesterday she surprised me with a gift and beautiful proof of her 'Knitting Guru' ways. The beautiful cowl above is a Herringbone Cowl and it is all MINE.
Deven...Pyrography Master

I was trying to determine when Deven and I "met". I know where! I owe Google+ a big hug and a kiss for this magical friendship. Initially I admired Deven's artwork and purchased a piece from her through Google+. We continued to "plus" and comment on each other's posts. She eventually asked to be my friend on Facebook (late 2012) and from there it is history. No! It isn't is a grand continuous adventure. Deven's talented nature extends further than her awesome pyrography (wood burning) skills and creating artist maniac. She is a listener, advice giver, bookstore business advice enthusiast, and so, so, so much more! Deven continues to be one of my foremost supporters for continuing down this path of being independently employed and the creative creature that beckons to me. I nag her for advice frequently and sometimes she knows me better than I know myself...scary I know. I don't think "thank you" comes close enough to what I wish to say to her.

Above is my most recently acquired piece from her, Mabon. Isn't she beautiful? You should be jealous you go look at more of her work! Here. And Here. Oh yes and here!
She who gave you life
25 years, 9 months, and 9 days ago a woman brought me into this world. My mum is a woman of immeasurable strength and grace of character. She is my number one fan, president of my fanclub, and oftentimes coconspirator with Deven. I swear they have a secret club, but I've yet to figure out when or where they meet. (I will pay for information 'wink'.) She is a light in my dark times and I frequently wonder out loud "how can you love me," but she does. I think know she gets more excited about my projects than I do at times. She is a fountain of ideas. I know I have tried her patience over the years with my flighty, stubborn, and unconventional nature. Never let her fool you that she doesn't like change, because my Mum has endured SO MUCH CHANGE. If I've ever met a Proverbs 31 is her!
The artwork above is by Mum. I admire this on a daily basis and I have tried to convince her to finish it. She is extremely artistic. Where else did her brilliant (insert wink) children get it from!?!
Thriving is having the thrive givers...the enablers. The weekly, daily, and even hourly people who remind you why you are doing what you're doing and to toughen that upper lip...keep going! It is important to me to recognize the blessing I am surrounded by. I have many more and I WILL be bragging most definitely.
Remember these people are important and don't take them for granted! Surrounding yourself with encouragers and fellow creators is such a blessing.
Just as I am encouraged, I want to encourage others in this world. A few weeks ago I was blessed and surprised by the kindness of a young blogger/photography. Kennedi recently started her own blog and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for listing my blog as one of her featured blogs. Thank you Kennedi and don't give up on your writing!
Thriving Moments: Flickr, Etsy, and the treasures that are my friends and family.
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