Tuesday, October 25, 2011

247 - 252 Fun Things to Do!

247 - Keep your eyes on the sky! The other day I was heading into a local library to teach a Zentangle class when I looked up and saw a big Z formed by clouds in the sky. I knew that I meant I was going to have a great time, and even brought the coordinating librarian out to take a look. I think it is amazing that no matter what is going on in our lives, we often have the beauty of the sky, which is often like free performance art!

248 - Read Dr. Seuss books out loud very loud, with an audience or not! Dr. Seuss books are not just for children and can cheer up anyone, any time. This is especially effective if you are alone and can just let loose. If you don't have any Dr. Seuss books, the library has plenty to share with you.

249 - Have a little silliness in your environment. I got my flamingo with sunglasses at a very high end art show. I was not distracted by the more serious art, because I knew when I saw this, that she would brighten my world. Dare I tell you that parts of her glow in the dark?

250 - Wake up to music. I have been listening to a boring alarm for many years, when I recently remembered that the alarm also has a music feature. Now I wake in a much more friendly way and feel a lot more motivated to get into my morning routine. You can have a gentle classical music wake up or burst out of bed dancing to some rock and roll or electronica -- whatever you like!

251 - Decorate your envelope when you write a letter. There are artists who really go to extravagant lengths to send out amazing envelopes. Magazines even sponsor contests for art envelopes. You can use stamps, stickers, drawings, words -- whatever you like to create a little buzz for your envelope as it makes it's way from your location onward.

252 - Send postcards for no reason. My friend Martha likes to send art post cards every now and again. It's fun to see one appear in the midst of my regular mail with her friendly note. Thank you, Martha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #44 - Tangled on the Inside

The challenge this week is to do a tangle (or tangles) within a tangle. This was another one of those fun ones to think about -- tangle options kept popping up in my head for a few days. I knew I wanted to do "Rick's Paradox" for the tangle string, and then settled on "Crescent Moon" for the inside part. I love "Rick's Paradox" because it is so fun to do, and I remember Rick teaching it when I went to get certified as a Zentangle teacher -- what a fabulous memory! And I usually teach "Crescent Moon" first in a class. It is so fun to see how happy participants get as their tangle unfolds. It's a tangle that gives people confidence right away as they start their marvelous Zentangle journey.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

241 - 246 Fun Things to Do!

241 - Donate to a worthy cause! Back in 1985, Peter Toth carved a magnificent Native American image, Chief Rotaynah, in Akron, Ohio. It is right on one of our major streets in front of a school. It is a beloved landmark in our area. Because of natural causes, it is starting to disintegrate, and the 3,000 lb. feathers recently had to be removed for safety reasons. Other repairs are being made. There is a fund drive to get enough money to get stronger wood for Peter to carve, so it will last longer next time. Peter Toth has carved "Gentle Giants" in all 50 states, and in some states, more than one. There are all kinds of worthy causes, and it is fun to think that you can make a difference with even a small donation, and by educating others in hopes that they will join your venture!

242 - Have an "even though" day. If you are feeling a little low energy, or not in a very good mood, try this: "Even though I don't feel like working in the yard, I am going out there for one hour." "Even though I don't feel like writing those thank you notes, I am going to write just two." "Even though my boss was snippy to me this morning, I am going to do a great job on this project." When I have an "even though" day, it usually energizes me, and lifts my spirits. I don't have to say "even though" very many times to get myself back in the groove.

243 - Try a day without a watch. There are plenty of ways to find out what time it is -- on your computer, on your cell phone, in your car. You can even ask a stranger -- who knows, you might strike up an interesting conversation. It's fun to pretend that you don't have any deadlines. I find that I often work more effectively when I am not checking my watch frequently and I always manage to get my work done and where I am supposed to be on time. If you can believe this -- there are actually people out there who never ever wear a watch! Oh my!

244 - Declare a holiday for yourself with a theme! Every once in a while, I wish I could have a whole day to do some of things I hardly ever get a chance to do. I think I will get a jar and put strips of paper in it so I can reward myself once in a while with a whole day of things like: reading, putting my CDs into iTunes, having a Spa day, a day of complete freedom to do whatever I want, looking through old photographs, taking an aimless drive, going out of town to an unusual event, etc. Then when I can manage a day to myself, I will pull a strip of paper and have a blast!

245 - Enter a contest! My friends and I went to the movies recently and afterwards, just to be really wild, we went out to Friendly's to get ice cream. They have a "High Five" contest now. If you send them a photo of your high five, they will give you a coupon for a free sundae. Now that's my idea of a really terrific contest, where you automatically win just by entering! My friend Maria took a picture of Jean and me in high five position over the remnants of our ice cream orgy!

246 - Choose a mascot for a project! - I am moving my art studio and office back home, and it is quite an adventure. My friend Mary Ellen gave me this wonderful crow because she knows I love crows and she said it looks like it is poised for action! When I look at it, I not only feel the power of a crow ready for flight, but also the power of friendship. Thank you, Mary Ellen!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #43 - Sunflowers

This week's challenge was suggested by Penny from South Africa, where they have Bandana Day, which is run by the Sunflower Fund. This is an organization founded in support of their bone marrow registry for people who have leukemia. Every year, sunflower bandanas are sold and the proceeds go to the Sunflower Fund. Our sunflowers this week, which are coming in from all over the world, are in honor of South Africa's Sunflower Fund and people everywhere who are struggling with leukemia. I am dedicating my sunflowers to the memory of my best friend from my childhood, Mary Elizabeth Kettlewell, who died of leukemia when I was 12 years old. My daughter, Maribeth is named after her and it pains me to know that, while progress has been made, there is still no cure. Sunflowers remind me of happy memories, hope, renewal, and possibility. Please go to iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com to visit the other entries -- just click on each name. Entries will be coming in until 10 p.m. EST on Saturday. I would also be so pleased if you left a greeting here by clicking on "comments" below.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

236 - 240 Fun Things to Do!

236 - Take a hike with a child or children. I recently took a rambunctious hike with Andrew and Nate, my two lively grandsons, and hiking will never be the same for me again! My daughter, Maribeth, thought of a scavenger hunt for them, which made observing things along the trail even fun. She even had a backpack filled with snacks and drinks. Everything is better when viewed through the eyes of a child. If you don't have a child handy, perhaps you could borrow a friends' or a neighbors' child -- if you like hiking, you will like it even better in the company of a kid or kids!

237 - Go to the movies where all you know is the title and a vague recollection that it is a good movie.

238 - Dance in the shower! My friend Christine happily reported this idea and being a fun tester, I am here to report that it is hilarious and energizing! If you need to watch your balance, I would suggest hanging onto something with one hand though!

239 - Take your shower with your eyes closed. This is a fun way to really appreciate the feeling of the water spraying down on your and all the soapy motions. Again, hold on to something if you lose your balance easily.

240 - Take pictures of people in a silly cutout. I never miss an opportunity to take advantage of painted cutouts -- the resulting pictures are always terrific. Andrew is on the left, Maribeth - center, and Nate is on the right.

Great Quotation!

Be bold and mighty forces will aid you. -- Basil King

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Zentangle Challenge #42 - Hope

This week's Zentangle challenge is "hope" in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wanted to do something that radiated light, but also incorporated pink, which is the color of the pink ribbon for breast cancer. This is also a sun, which has always symbolized hope to me, especially in a sunrise which signifies hope to me always.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Secret of Life

I have discovered the secret of life -- a whole lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy, and a whole lot of tra la la. -- Kay Thompson (creator of the Eloise books for children, and actress)

Those are my friends, Craig and Kathy, at a Laughing Club of N.E. Ohio World Laughter Day event. They know the secret of life!