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Friday, May 31, 2013

Learning to believe again- an affirmation

Leap of faith.... dress by me, photo by James Conway, model Tatiana Chersini

Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? I didn't. I used to think, "Well, it's a good idea and everything, but it can't actually change anything in the real world." I have changed my mind after what we experienced in the last week. Some people will think I'm full of it, but I promise you this is a true story.

A week ago my husband and I watched the movie "The Secret" on Netflix. It is all about how positive thinking and visualization are the key to success in life. Ask the universe what you need/want, don't worry about the "how" of it, the universe will take care of the details.The various gurus in the movie advised, not to think, "I have bills coming, I'm at the end of my rope, everything is going wrong", because it sends out the message to the universe that that's what you want, that's who you are- you get trapped in a negative spiral. Instead think positively, "Everything is taken care of. Money isn't a problem, it comes easily," and it will be true, and you will receive everything you need and more.

Maybe it speaks to how desperate we were feeling that we took this message to heart and decided to try it. We both spent a couple hours that evening visualizing positive things we want for ourselves and our family. The next day, I swear this is true- my husband got 3 callbacks about jobs.

 He had a job interview a couple days later, and he left the house feeling like he didn't look good, so he decided to stop at a thrift shop on the way and look for a nicer shirt. He visualized a "power shirt" and found exactly what he pictured, a pinstripe button up shirt. He bought it and put it on in the parking lot and immediately felt better, more confident. He went to the job interview, which in his words was the perfect interview- couldn't have gone better.

So here's where the story gets a little weird....

My husband was feeling great when he got home that afternoon. We packed up our little girl and went grocery shopping. She threw a tantrum in the store so he took her outside to sit on the bench and wait for me to shop. While they were sitting there he saw this burly biker dude having trouble getting a duffel bag to stay on his bike. My husband suggested he use his bike lock to secure the bag. They started talking and the guy opened up to my husband, that he is down on his luck, his boss just passed away and he had been like a father to him. He said his boss's name was Joe Newsom*, did he know him? My husband said no, and the guy proceeds to tell him how Joe was a pillar of the community, took care of everyone, was a wonderful man. My husband then told the man a little about what we learned watching "The Secret", that it seemed to be working so far, and to keep his chin up and try positive thinking. The guy thanked him and said he needed that, and he was grateful for his advice.

We got home, and my husband was standing outside having a smoke, still wearing the "power shirt" which was by then unbuttoned and untucked. He looked down and the hem of the shirt was flapping in the breeze, and what is written on the inside of the hem in permanent marker? "Joe Newsom". I swear this is true. And while it does make sense that Joe's clothes were donated to a thrift shop after he passed, what, seriously, are the odds of my husband buying that shirt, and then talking to the guy's employee who missed him so badly, while still wearing it?... He ended up mentoring a stranger who just lost his mentor, while unknowingly wearing the former mentor's shirt. As if my husband just stepped into that role when he put on the shirt. My husband didn't have to talk to him- he could have minded his business like most people do...but he reached out to help, and.... wow...we learned so much through that cosmic coincidence. It really blew our minds.

Fast forward- today my husband found out he got the job he wanted! We are so happy and relieved, and it  answered he question as to whether the positive thinking was working. I have no doubts now.

I've always been such a skeptic and a cynic... but now skeptic has become the believer, and now I find myself wanting to share this message as well because I feel that so many people need to hear this.

 We only have this one life. Don't limit yourself! Your mind is the only limit, so push that limit, push it, push it, push it up up up, until you're high above it all, all the pettiness, greed, rat-race, misery, worry, anxiety, sadness, failure- nobody needs that and it never helped anyone. Let it go. Embrace the happiness, the little things to be thankful for, like good hot coffee and milk, a loaf of bread on the shelf and salt in the shaker, fresh air, clean water to drink, plants growing, birds singing, children laughing, dirt under your feet, stars to wonder at, breeze blowing your hair.... Life should be wonderful, and ultimately you are responsible for creating your own happiness... and you do have that power. It's just waiting to be tapped.

*name changed
dress by me, photo by James Conway, model Tatiana Chersini

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"lost again, found again" wins HM in Nonteam Challenge 136

Just found out I won an honorable mention in the Nonteam Challenge this week! This treasury was a bitch to make, excuse my French. The inspiration item was "The Lone Button" from KarmaRox- if you click on that item below, you can read the description which has a beautiful poem in it. I knew the feeling and message I wanted to convey: a mix of the day to day, losing things finding things, putting a face to the name, messing things up for ourselves, making rash decisions, car keys in the couch cushions, sad doll lost her button eye (and even Wonderwoman loses things sometimes- isn't that photo the best? :))..... but also a deeper sense of losing our way, finding direction, searching for identity, trying to capture happiness, trying to find the meaning of life... and then a nice bold middle finger (with angel wings) right in the middle, like, "you know what life, I got this... try to throw me off, I'll find my way." And then the last tile, so important- caught the bird- which symbolized to me that after all the chaos and struggle there is success. And talk about struggle, I rearranged this thing about 30 ways before I finally settled. I am so glad Karma "got it" and liked it! A big compliment for sure.

'lost again, found again' by deconstructika

treasurychallengenonteam.blogspot.com/


Think Of It As An Adventure ...
$10

When i hold your hands - 12&...
$21

Greta's Pets
$30

Midnight Sentinel - 8 x 10...
$23

Red rose brooch felted wool ...
$29

Fine Art Photography, Seattl...
$15

Vintage High Heels . Peep To...
$38

Heroes/Villains: Annual 1 - ...
$250

The Lone Button
$1

Angel Ring (It is not rebell...
$255

Ready To Ship Photograph Red...
$15

Snip Snip - FREE SHIPPING - ...
$25

Antique Tailors Shears Sciss...
$55

The Scream - Resin Ring - Si...
$28

No Doubt, embroidered art, w...
$85

Bird in Hand . giclee art pr...
$15

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Unique gift ideas made using your kid's artwork


child's art made into fabric art

We all love artwork made by our kids. We put them on the fridge, we love them... and then they go in a box never to see the light of day again. What if you could save your kid's drawings forever, in a form you could enjoy every day?

That's the idea behind my new line of items. I will be offering frame-able fabric art for home or nursery decor; baby dresses- a wonderful gift for an older child to give to their new baby sister; throw pillows- perfect for home, office, or gift; baby blankets; Christmas stockings- your kid would love to design their own stocking! You know they would.

I am beginning with some very basic options but I hope to expand to offer more products soon. I am putting this new line of items in my shop CalamityJaneBoutique, on Etsy. http://calamityjaneboutique.etsy.com

Here is the first example item I worked up, with help from my own lovely daughter, who provided me with the art. Her drawing is titled "Baby Rolly Polly".
Ezra's drawing
transformed into embroidery

and made, in this case, into a baby dress!
I am also bringing back my custom Christmas stockings, which you can have made from family photos or your own artwork, or give me some ideas and I will work up a unique concept for you. You can find that item as well at http://calamityjaneboutique.etsy.com

Have more ideas for me? Please share.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Drop Dead Gorgeous

This is an alternative wedding dress I made recently. The main fabric (the black) is 60% cotton, 40% bamboo, and the lace, mesh, and silk circles on the skirt are mostly upcycled fabrics. The lace up front ensures a snug fit. The scales on the skirt were quite a project. I didn't actually count them but I think there are about 550 scales on the dress. It's actually a very lightweight dress considering the volume of the skirt.

I sent the dress down to Ken Gehring for a workshop he was doing, and had the extreme privilege of having the dress shot by Ken and several other very talented folks. I was lucky to have the beautiful model Melissa Bryant wear it. The photos they came up with are drop-dead gorgeous!! So without further ado, here are some of the fabulous photos they got during the workshop.

These first ones are by Ken Gehring.
 http://kengehringphotography.com/
 https://www.facebook.com/KenGehringPhotography
Model Melissa Bryant.
H/MUA Lauren Tapp.




These next two photos are by photographer Julie Bird. 
www.juliebirdphotography.com
 www.facebook.com/juliebirdphotography


These next two are by A. Wilson Photography.
awilsonphotography.zenfolio.com

And this last, lovely shot is by Kristi Marie Photography. Thanks!

Friday, May 10, 2013

You Made me Shiver

This is a treasury I entered in haunting Treasury Challenge #24, and won! Surprised and pleased as punch.

We used this quote as inspiration:
"These shattered masses could come following the numb tread of their own footsteps and hold their heads that say only why why why toward the sky until their unmanageable grief flew from their chests like the most glimmering flock of black birds" -from "The Beautifully Worthless" by Ali Liebegott

Next challenge is featuring one of my items and a Tim Burton poem I chose. If you're interested in entering, here you go: Haunting Challenge #25

'you made me shiver' by deconstructika

Join us. www.etsy.com/teams/11921/haunting-treasuries


Couture Black Wings, Fa...
$298

Full Moon Photography, ...
$30

Grand Central Station p...
$25

Theories of Flight - Bl...
$23

A Crowd of People (8x10...
$30

Gray Timber Wolf (Black...
$25

Storm Clouds photograph...
$21

Faceless Frozen Charlot...
$6

Statue Photo Art Print ...
$12

If they came back at al...
$50

Bird Hybrid Drawing, Sm...
$19

A British Crowd - Acryl...
$475

Raven crow photography ...
$40

Another Earth 8x10 fine...
$20

Ill be your blackbird d...
$30

Faceless Man - Original...
$20