Monday, October 30, 2006

Links and inspiration

Prospero says, "Have a happy life, you are good people!"

Artist Happiness Challenge News:

NEW -- A 4-WEEK Mini-eWorkshop
The Artist Happiness Challenge -- Condensed
Beginning November 1, 2006.
Only $20.00 4 weeks of challenges and support.
A new full 12 session will begin January 1, 2007. 12 weeks of challenges and support.
The cost is $40.00
Click here.

Click here. Images, lots of images, vitamins and nourishment for the eyes (not just eye candy) Type in a category in the search bar and see what you come up with.

Diane AuCoin sent me this link and from it I got lost for a couple of days. Some of these links following are Diane's fault.

Click here. Joyful dolls and craft links.

Click here. simple little dolls

Click here. paper toys

Click here. paper toys, lots of links

Click here. Fabric art

Click here. Some nice photoshop tutorials here.

Click here. houses and safe places

Click here. Dolls

Click here. art

Click here. Lots of doll patterns and great stuff!

Click here. Barb Kobe now has e-patterns for her little emotion dolls "Numbfull and the Fulls"

Click here. jaihn's spacious corner of the internet, lots of amazing Hallowe'en and El Dia de los Muertos and Altars links! Now jaihn sent me on a week long link adventure starting with this one:

Click here.

They have a manifesto (This is great. I want to make one of these! What would yours look like?) here:

Whip up is for experimentation, innovation, self expression and the sharing of information and ideas.

Whip up is against mass produced small plastic crappy stuff designed specifically to extract money from wallets, last less than 10 minutes and spend eternity in landfill.

Whipup is about taking time out of your hectic schedule to make. To make something by hand. And by making something by hand instead of buying it, you achieve personal satisfaction, then by teaching yourself and others new skills you will enjoy life more fully.

Whipup is for the slow movement, slow cooking, slow living, slow schooling, slow sundays, slowly enjoying life. By living life out of the fast lane we will hopefully notice more, learn more, enjoy our children, friends and family, enjoy our time doing the things we love.

Whipup values time over money, values skills over things, and is for creating a space in a hectic life for making.

Whip up is all for the handcraft movement.

Some people say Whip up should be against frilled toilet roll holders, but I say if they are made with love then why the hell not eh!

Whip up is against such polarised views as for and against stuff.

Click here. Monk-E-Mail (Very funny!)

Click here. free books to download

Click here. Simplicity

Click here. Scott has some really beautifully strange characters here

Lore Caldwell sent me this link:
Click here. Eleanor Wiley's beautiful beads with a purpose.

Lore is hosting a bead round robin based on Eleanor Wiley's beads.
You can join it here:
Click here.

There are a lot of other great mail art exchanges happening there as well.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I haven't gone missing...



OK, I haven't gone missing, I was in London, and Hamilton, Ontario visiting family and friends. What a great time. One amazing thing we saw was a butterfly garden which had the most beautiful big Blue Morphs that didn't flutter so much as move with wing beats that were slow and languid. Whew. And a butterfly only lives for 2 weeks so they had these adorable tiny quails running around under foot and foliage, tidying things up. So sweet.

I've also been working on ART and some other "secret" things which you can find here:
http://askpussykatz.blogspot.com/
and here:
http://www.artelladailymuse.com/

By the way, you can sign up for a free two-day subscription to the paper at

http://www.artellawordsandart.com/members.html


While in Hamilton I was talking with some of the "Lost Sisters" who may be coming to Nova Scotia for the "Lost Sisters First Annual Reunion and Art Retreat" and the idea of making in intergenerational came up, you know, having a grandchild there, or a niece, etc. Sounded really fine by me. What do you think?

Another thing that is coming up really soon is the American Art Therapy Conference. Susan Anand and I are going to be running a pre-conference course on creating short term puppet-making/story-telling workshops for communities that have suffered stress (addictions, loss, school violence, and hurricanes are all stresses we have worked with). The idea is to use community strengths and strategies for resilience while creating narratives and puppets. The format has been used in First Nations groups in Canada, to folks distressed and displaced by Katrina in the southern US states. If this workshop is of interest then contact AATA by Oct. 23, tomorrow!!!

And on a totally different note, have you seen the free hugs video on "you tube?"

A delightful video, a young man with a concept, free hugs, wanting to give away free hugs and share a little human warmth and connection. He was given a police citation and had to raise a lot of support in order to keep hugging in public. You can see the video here and there are follow up video's as well, not all of good quality of course but there were a few worth watching. One here where a young woman tries free hugs in Toronto and another woman signing. I don't read sign but it was extremely eloquent non the less!

Thank you Adela for sending me out to find free hugs. Hope you are getting lots of great hugs in rehab and that all your injuries are healing speedily!

A collage for the Paperwhimsy Yahoo Group.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let's go to that place of our beginnings...


Diane AuCoin was reading author Sue Monk Kidd's (The Secret Life of Bees)newsletter and alerted me to this lovely quote:
I have come to love the following words by the French Nobel laureate, Albert Camus: “A person’s life purpose is nothing more than to rediscover, through the detours of art, or love, or passionate work, those one or two images in the presence of which his heart first opened.” Where did your heart first open? And how shall you find your way back to that dawning?
Ah, yes, let's go to that place of our beginnings; and remember the moments when the light broke and our hearts opened.

Lore Caldwell sent me two quotes, so I'll give you excerpts:

Some form of suffering often brings about a readiness. One can say it cracks open
the shell of the egoic mind with which many people identify as "me." Life cracks open that shell, and once that crack is there, then we are reached more easily by spiritual teaching. We're suddenly open to it, because it reaches the deeper levels of our being. Something from within-not from our conditioned mind but from the deeper level of unconditioned consciousness-responds immediately. Often all that is needed to evoke this response is to listen to one statement of Truth and immediately there's a response. Because we all carry the Truth within us as our essence, we recognize it immediately. --Eckhart Tolle from an interview in Science of Mind.


And from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I
want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls
away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like
the company you keep in the empty moments.

Lovely! And finally there is this Nietche quote which popped up in Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth:
For happiness, how little suffices for happiness! ...the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard's rustling, a breath, a wink, an eye glance - little maketh up the best happiness. Be still. -- Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra


So the light broke and my heart opened when I looked at Prospero this morning.
And I looked for the "least little thing" that made the "best happiness" and there were too many to count, but I took a picture of Edward's Icelandic Poppies in the early morning light and that will have to do for now. Some days it's such an amazing thing just to breathe... Sigh.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Playing with Happiness Challenges

Photoshop collage by Lani "When a door opens..."

Working hard on the artist's happiness challenge! Looking for images, inspiration, and fun!
So here's an article on health and optimism!
Chris Peterson was teaching a class in abnormal psychology at Virginia Tech when he told his students to fill out an Attributional Style Questionnaire - a carefully designed test that determines a person’s level of optimism and pessimism. The students also answered questions about their general health, including how often they went to a doctor.

Peterson followed the health of his students the following year and discovered that the pessimists had twice as many infectious diseases and made twice as many trips to the doctor as the optimists. Later, Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania and two of his colleagues, using interviews and blood tests, found that optimists have better immune activity than pessimists.

Studies by other researchers show the same thing. Why?

One big factor is that “[p]essimistic individuals,” as Seligman writes, “get depressed more easily and more often.”

When a person is depressed, certain brain hormones become depleted, creating a chain of biochemical events that end up slowing down the activity of the immune system.

For example, two key players in our immune systems are T cells and NK cells.

- T CELLS recognize invaders (like viruses) and make more copies of themselves to kill off the invaders. Pessimists’ T cells don’t multiply as quickly as optimists’, allowing invaders to get the upper hand; and

- NK CELLS circulate in the blood and kill whatever they come across that they identify as foreign (such as cancer cells). Pessimists’ NK cells can identify foreign entities, but they don’t destroy them as well as the optimists’ NK cells.

Optimists also look at information in more depth to find out what they can do about the risk factors. In a study by Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, at the University of Maryland, subjects read health-related information on cancer and other topics. She discovered that optimists spent more time than pessimists reading the severe risk material and they remembered more of it.

“These are people,” says Aspinwall, “who aren’t sitting around wishing things were different. They believe in a better outcome, and that whatever measures they take will help them to heal.”

In other words, instead of having their heads in the clouds, optimistic people look. They do more than look, they seek. They aren’t afraid to look into the situation because they’re optimistic. Thus, for yet another reason, optimists are likely to be healthier. The best news is what research has shown repeatedly: Anyone can become more optimistic with effort. And every effort you make to keep an optimistic attitude will reward you with a stronger immune system. So you’ll enjoy better health.

And it is also true that the better your health, the easier it is to maintain an optimistic outlook. Become more optimistic.

From OPTIMISM: THE KEY TO A GOOD LIFE by Adam Khan
read more here:
http://www.thisisawar.com/HealthOptimism.htm

"The laughter in our home is its heart beating. Laughter leads us, kneads us and sometimes helps bleed us of torments and woes. "(Bob Talbert)
What can you do to pass some humor on to someone else today?
Put funny notes in odd places; bathroom mirror, kitchen sink, kid's lunch. Leave small humorous art where it can be found; in the library, in the park, on a lamp post.
Check out:
http://www.humorproject.com/

Friday, October 06, 2006

What I learned from the Bergamasco Boys


This is highly borrowed and slightly altered from Bill Harris's 19 Ways to Have a Better Life
(for jaihn who introduced me to Bill Harris and Holosync sounds of rain and crystal bowls)

1. Don't pass up any opportunity to go in the car.
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure
ecstasy.
3. When loved ones come home, always run to meet them and be sure to vocalize you happiness.
4. When it's in your best interest, practice obedience. Use your Bergamasco judgement on this.
5. Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
6. Take lots of naps and stretch before rising.
7. Run, romp and play as much as possible.
8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
9. Be loyal.
10. Never pretend to be something you're not.
11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle
him or her gently.
13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you and play with your dread locks.
14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
15. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
16. When your happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
17. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
18. No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and
pout...run right back and make friends.
19. Let what ever happens be okay. Tomorrow will be a new day, more walks and play, food, and wind through the dreads.


Some good things today, fine weather, a little family of rock sculpures out in the wild (made by who? no one knows), and a feather with dew on it. Lovely.