Archive for January, 2011

2011, January 31

Love projects – Pay it forward

Today, I want to share with you guys a couple of (love) projects I’ve been doing.

It all started with the week of extreme nice inspired by Gretchen Rubin back in December last year. It was a week where I decided to help out (my family, as they’re always so supportive of me) in every way that I could, not to question, criticize or judge and just do everything they needed even if it was unspoken, and just be extremely nice.
Though it’s not sustainable for every single day from that first day forward, it reminded me to be even more attentive, selfless and loving.

After new years, I read Judy’s post. I completely agree with her when she says “I believe love should be our default position.”
I loved the idea of making this into a project, and while I do act on impulse trying to make people around me a bit happier on a regular basis, by sending e-cards, e-mails, leaving loving comments, sending postcards and letters, giving unexpected small gifts, being there when all seems hopeless, talking on Skype when in fact I’ve had the account for about 5 years and barely used it a couple of times, calling just to say “Hi”, and lots more…
I’m feeling more accountable and so much more happy since I’ve decided to start consciously following J’s Love Project. Go check her blog out, take the cute love project badge and put it on your blog; she truly inspires people to join in and experience a year of loving fearlessly.

Which brings me to one of the loveliest ways I can entwine spreading love and my crafty side, and one which will go wonderfully with January being International Creativity Month –>

pay_it_forward

Last week, while flipping through my GoogleReader before heading out in the cold and our sidewalks consisting of pure ice to get to the last tutoring lesson of the week, I found this "Pay It Forward" blog post on Becky Povich: Writer and Bliss follower’s lovely blog. I instantly fell in love with the idea!

~Rules~

ME:  I will create something handmade to send to the first five people who leave a comment on this post saying they would like to participate! – And I just can’t wait to receive my gift from Becky :)
YOU:  To play along you must be willing to repost the photo + this part of my post and do the same, offering something handmade to five other people. (The Rules don’t specify that the five people must be the first five to leave a comment on your blog, but that seems like the fair approach.)
YOU & ME, BOTH:  All handmade gifts will be sent sometime in 2011, and they can be anything you want. Simple, light, funny and endearing, a hand drawn card, even just a poem written especially for someone if you’re not so handy; anything goes.
Just remember the main goal: bringing a smile to someone’s face – selflessly and fearlessly spreading the love!

Now, let me see a show of hands: who would like to receive something handmade from me and make a few people more happy themselves? ;)

2011, January 27

Note to self

Sometimes I do things I may later wish to kick myself for, but which turn out funny enough to share. So here goes, a few notes to myself you can take a peek at –>

  • The result of adding: bookshelf + mom’s "help" + my toe = sooo not a good idea! I’m perfectly capable of injuring myself on my own, so don’t ask my mother for help again! Ever! EVER!
  • Disregard inner clock while reading at night (or I might just end up going to bed after 3 AM every morning).
  • Making the cat swallow her medicine is so much easier at the vet – she isn’t too scared to move (nor bite, nor scratch, etc.) at home!
  • Just because the crosswalk light is green it doesn’t mean that guy in the tuned up car making half the city listen to his music also got the memo.
  • Having glasses does not equal with seeing in the dark. On the contrary…

 

PS: I’ve fallen in love with Bookshelf Porn

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2011, January 23

Pen name in print ;)

January 4th started out cloudy and with a headache lingering on since the night before, so I honestly didn’t expect much of that day.
Then the doorbell rang.
The postman handed me over my package and my heart literally skipped a beat when I read the return address!

page BOFF

I had the Best of Friday Flash – Volume One under my Awaiting Publication list for a while and on August 18th #fridayflash history has been made: the eBook was out and available on SmashWords.

The more exciting news though is that since November 2010 the anthology is also out in paperback!

When I started writing and actually publishing my writing, I never imagined People would like my writing. I never thought I’d get published.
But people liked my flashes and poems. I got published in a few wonderful e-zines.
However, by far my biggest achievement is getting my flash accepted in the BOFF.
January has almost come to an end, yet it’s still somewhat unbelievable to look at my bookshelf and see the BOFF, to open it and see my pen name in the table of contents, to see my flash in print.
The book contains the best sixty-seven stories written during the very first year of #fridayflash.

Now, as I’m an emerging writer, a young Hungarian woman living in Romania, writing in English (and as far as I know, the first and only writer of #fridayflash filling these exact characteristics) – you can imagine my excitement and feeling way beyond honored to have one of my flash stories, Carving Terrific Jack-O’-Lanterns, included in the anthology among some of the most amazing writers’ pennings.

*excitedly jumps up and down practically bouncing off the ceiling*

Hope I made you curious enough to head over to Amazon or CreateSpace and order your copy of the Best of Friday Flash – Volume One ;)

2011, January 21

Radiant darkness – by Estrella Azul

I avoid
scouring the depths of my being.
I’m exhausted
to argue with myself any longer;
day by day,
instant by instant.
I don’t wish
to ask any more questions,
I don’t need
any more contradictory responses.
It’s overly vast
to live with this multitude of inner reins.

Reluctantly, I glance outside and surprisedly notice 
the mystical way
a coat of crisp white snow causes even the darkest night
to seem radiant.

2011, January 19

Clear some clutter, clear your mind

Outer order contributes to inner calm.

I’ve read this numerous times on J’s blog, in Danielle LaPorte’s guest post, and quite a number of times on Gretchen Rubin’s blog and it made me start contemplating.
For the longest time I haven’t actually thought about the reasons behind starting cooking, baking, crafting or cleaning when I was upset. It felt right, so I did it.
But after I’ve read this simple statement, this little six word sentence, it rang so true.

Another thing I’ve noticed as I started thinking about this, was the immense amount of clutter the human mind can hold on to and process for the longest time.

These past few weeks haven’t exactly been the best, nor the easiest ones I’ve lived through so far in my life.
So, as I like to clean when my life is in disarray, I’ve found myself cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, my room, my closet, drawers, and as to provide further evidence of the mild case of OCD I have, I even helped clean other people’s rooms. (My work area is sometimes a "creative mess," but that’s an exception.)
New lookIt’s vital not to get overwhelmed and only tackle little things. So these smaller tasks were perfect… for small happiness boosts and getting energized.

Regardless, over the weekend, I’ve decided to move my room’s entire content into my mom’s room for a day, move around all my furniture keeping nothing in its old place, then throw away everything that seemed like junk and only keep/take back the essentials.
It gave me a concrete thing to focus on. Being surrounded by disorder makes me feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and depressed, and straightening things up even a little bit makes me feel more in control.
While it may sound as a distraction and some people did call it (including myself at one point before realizing it really wasn’t) distraction because of the immensity of the task I’ve taken on, I (now) simply call it clearing out and letting go.

While I was tackling all this, throwing away boxes and bags of stuff I’ve found I could live without, and some of which I wondered why in the world I’ve kept for so long, stuff which I most certainly won’t need ever again, my mind was in a different place entirely.

I took pictures of that advent calendar hanging on the wall covering a huge hole where I tried to once hammer a nail after we moved into this house fourteen years ago. I took pictures of the vase and of the plastic flowers my friend and I painted more than ten years ago before she moved away. I took pictures of the pretty colorful striped flower pot I broke, then glued back together when I accidentally knocked it over last year.
I took pictures of a lot of things I won’t ever admit to having held on to for this long.
Then I threw them all out.

And at the same time of clearing all the clutter my room once held, I somehow managed to clear my mind.
Although emotional crap isn’t as easy to let go of, nor to overcome in just one weekend, and while I know this is far from over – as I let go of many things I’ve collected over the years, I could more easily let go of the clutter I had going on in my mind as well.
I “took pictures”, then I threw them all out…

The result? My room looks brand new, incomparable to its old layout and infinitely better.
I don’t feel like I can’t breathe anymore. I have a wonderful new writing space!
And most importantly, I don’t feel like I can’t think anymore.

I think choosing to clear some clutter, letting go – both physically and metaphorically – is the best way to start a new chapter!

 

So, any of you in the mood for de-cluttering after reading this? Do you find yourself doing the same when life gets too demanding?

2011, January 13

One little word (and more) for 2011

Last week, as a part of her latest wonderful Friday list J asked her readers what their 11 words for 2011 would be. I took a day to type in my words in a comment on her post, but overall the words were easy to choose.

Then a couple of days later, I’ve accidentally come across this post from BigPictureClasses which also got me thinking. This time of a single word for 2011. Now that was harder!

To be truthful, as I started contemplating, I kept thinking along the lines of choosing one word out of the eleven I had already chosen.
But somehow, they didn’t fit.
They’re great words with much meaning and hope for the year to come, for who I am right now and who I’ll end up being when 2011 ends, yet I couldn’t make a decision and choose just one.

And then it hit me – the one little word has chosen me. 
I love it already!

So today, after those few days of being inspired and considering both these post’s provocations, and because I generally tend to do things on my own terms, I present to you – my combined list of words in one sentence:

In 2011 I choose to hope, dare, live, smile, dream, love, create, appreciate, listen, leap, enjoy.

Somehow choose was the exact word I needed, without my even knowing it. Because thinking about it, every day, every week, every year (and by extension – Life) can be broken down into a series of choices.

 

And so, I choose to hope. To refuse giving up on anyone, including myself. To see the best in others. To keep believing when everyone else has stopped. To think that good will always prevail in the end. To open up my heart and mind to the magic I can/will find behind each reality. 
I choose to surrender to the moment, to trust the voice within, to let go, to move on, to accept, to look fear in the face and act on Life’s stage, to dare to live and to smile throughout the journey especially at times when I’m hurting or when I feel like crying.
I choose to believe in myself and in what I do, to stay optimistic, to continue to dream, making my dreams an asset, turning dreaming into doing.
I choose to fearlessly love everything that makes me happy.
I choose to create. I have a rich imagination, many many ideas in various creative fields, the ambition to put them into practice, so I choose to take the chance of making messes sometimes in order to achieve creating something I’ll love. I choose to appreciate my gift(s) and not to second-guess myself.
I choose to not only hear, but to listen. To put aside pride and ask for help when I need it, to be open for suggestions, and constructive criticism. To foster understanding and to reflect upon what has been said.
I choose to leap – and by extension, to trust that the net will appear. And even when it doesn’t, I choose to enjoy the flight and land on my feet.

 

I will make many choices this year!

However, I’ll keep in mind that sometimes, when it’s least expected, it works the other way around too:
words, characters, books, songs, places, objects, people, feelings, dreams, happenings… Life – will choose me.

 

Your turn: what are your eleven words for 2011? What about that one little word your heart is whispering to you right now?

2011, January 11

In a lilac phase ;)

My camera is broken, so I couldn’t take photos of my newest crafts for a tutorial this week either… However, as January is International Creativity Month I wanted to post something crafty too this month.

 

Right before I left for Sicily in November, I bought a little wooden jewelry box to safely take some jewelry with me (and not have to search for them in my suitcase for hours on end after arrival).

As I sat down to beautify it, for some reason, the lilac paint I had started kicking, screaming and demanding to be used. And so I did.

S7009770-1

I painted the jewelry box in four shades of lilac then decorated it with decoupaged Lilacs, a few plaster heart shaped magnets, a Yin-Yang candle holder and the frame of a wall picture decorated with a napkin I bought from Hungary this summer.

I love them all! ;)

The jewelry box and wall picture have been decorated with the decoupage technique, and the magnets, candle holders and picture frame are plaster castings. Click here to read both techniques described in this post.

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