Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 - 16 Gratitude for Colors

5 - I just love noticing colors. When things are not going very well in my life, I do not notice colors particularly, but when life is the berries, colors are brighter and more bold. Sometimes it's like going from a black, white, and gray life to a rainbow colored life. One way I've found to lift my spirits is to emphasize color in my life.

6 - My favorite color is PURPLE by far. I loved this from The Color Purple by Alice Walker:

Shug: More than anything God love admiration.
Celie: You saying God is vain?
Shug: No, not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off when you walk by the colour purple in a field and don't notice it.
Celie: You saying it just wanna be loved like it say in the bible?
Shug: Yeah, Celie. Everything wanna be loved. Us sing and dance, and holla just wanting to be loved. Look at them trees. Notice how the trees do everything people do to get attention... except walk?
[they laugh]
Shug: Oh Miss Celie, I feels like singing!

7 - I love that colors are free! Anyone can enjoy color in so many ways in their lives. I love to dress colorfully, not only for myself, but for other people. I am very willing to wear goofy clothing for my personal amusement, and I hope for the amusement of others. The photo at the top is of a wild and beautiful shawl that I have. When I am surrounded by that colorful shawl, I am very appreciative and happy.

8 - If things are not going well in my life, wearing colorful clothes and fun jewelry improves the quality of my day dramatically.

9 - When life is terrific, wearing colorful clothes and fun jewelry emphasizes my gratitude for living!

10 - I have a project -- learning to love the color ORANGE. I appreciate orange in fruits and vegetables, especially in a beautiful real orange. And I like orange when it is with hot pink. I feel disrespectful for having a color I don't like! I've made progress with liking orange, especially when it was the team color for my grandsons' baseball teams for the past few years.

11 - My favorite place to appreciate color is in a rainbow. What is more inspiring than a gorgeous unexpected rainbow? An amazing double rainbow!

12 - I exist in gratitude for all the wonderful lipstick colors there are! My friend Wendy and I love to trade lipstick stories -- isn't that a fun thing to have in common? Here are some of the color names of lipsticks I currently own -- Earthly Ore, Golden Splendor, Chocolate Icing, Blushing Nude, a Different Grape, and Tawny Tulip.

13 - The names of paint colors are fun, too. I recently bought some brown paint that was called "Wild Manzanita" -- I just couldn't help myself. Then I had to buy another color to paint over it because it was a little too wild even for me!

14 - Most of us have favorite crayon colors -- mine is "Periwinkle". For a complete history of Crayola Crayon colors, click here www.Crayola.com

15 - I love unexpected color, whether it is in artwork, in nature, or in clothing. Often it is the odd color that doesn't seem to "match" that gives a real punch!

16 - Nail polish excitement has been around for quite a few years, but I am always amazed at the creative ways that nails are done these days. Right now I have a French manicure with blue, green, and purple tips for Spring.

My gratitude for colors is boundless. Do you have any color stories to share? Please click on comments.

Monday, March 19, 2012

1 - 4 Gratitude Countdown

1 - Gratitude for my sock collection! Even during times when I was very concerned about money, I usually could come up with the price of a pair of socks. I enjoy socks that are a little unusual, like my sock monkey socks, my "I am too sexy for my socks" socks, the happy socks that a dear friend knitted especially for me, those argyle socks I never have even worn! I even have a pair of hot pink socks that were given to me over 20 years ago when I had a needlework store called Threadbender's Needlework Supplies.

If I am in a crummy mood, just the right socks will lift my spirits. When I was in college, and in living fear of my professors, if I spotted them wearing some fun socks, I knew I could relax because they were a kindred spirit to me. I especially appreciate wild socks worn with a conservative outfit.

These socks are just multi-colored stripes, but there's more to them than meets the eye -- they are transparent between the lines! Oh my! I bought these over 10 years ago, and have duplicates just in case. If I am feeling like a splurge, I get two of the same pair of socks, so if the toe goes out in one, I have 3 left.

2 - I feel a special gratitude for all the sock gifts I have received over the years. I don't need diamonds and champagne, but I am always happy for a brand new pair of fun socks!

3. Here's a big "thank you" to all the people who have amused me with their socks.

4. I have special gratitude for all the sock monkeys in my life! Coming from humble beginnings, they have blessed and amused children and adults with their cheerful appearance and non-threatening demeanor for many years. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sock_monkey for more information. If you don't already have a sock monkey, take my advice and get one soon! They also make wonderful presents and acclimate to new owners cheerfully.

I would love to hear from you if you have any sock stories, or if you would like to add gratitudes to the "Gratitude Countdown".

Gratitude Countdown!

To celebrate reaching over 1/3 of my goal of "1,000 Fun Things to Do", I am creating another 1,000 list. As of today, I am declaring a "Gratitude Countdown". I think I could list 1,000 things right now if I had enough time, but it will be fun to see how this list develops! I am even going to include being grateful for things that haven't happened yet, like the new iPad I think I am getting one of these days!

For years, I have semi-regularly posted on welovegratitude.com and I have really come to believe in the power of gratitude. When I first started listing things that made me feel grateful, I was oriented to the more tangible things in my life. Now I live in expectancy of gratitude, and in being aware of my blessings has made my life much richer and fuller. I have even come to the point where I can find things to appreciate even in the most miserable of times!

I hope that you will join me. What is making you feel grateful these days? Just add to the comments below -- let's get started on a gratitude journey together!

Monday, March 12, 2012

332 -337 More Fairy Gardening Fun Things to Do!

332 – Invite a friend to come over and make fairy gardens with you. They can bring their own container, and you can make a fairy garden designing table with your extra supplies. I had accumulated so many supplies a few years ago, that I had taken over a whole bookcase in our kitchen. I invited different friends to come over and create their own fairy gardens. It was so fun to see how differently each person’s fairy garden manifested.

333 – Use making fairy gardens as a meditation. Once you have gathered your supplies, you can get totally lost in your creation. When you are done meditating, you will have a glorious prize!

334 – Make a cigar box fairy garden. I had to go into the hospital for surgery a few years ago, and I wanted to take a fairy garden with me, so I assembled it in a cigar box. It was great fun to put together and to look at, and it helped me feel more relaxed, both in the making and the viewing!

335 – Get twig furniture for your fairy garden. You can probably find darling chairs and tables at your local craft store. Miniature furniture, tiny fences, and twig arches can really add to the fairy garden effect.

336 – Write words on stones for you fairy garden. One of mine has stones that are “Believe”, “Create”, and “Laugh”. I know that fairies can read, so it makes them feel even more at home.

337 – Force branches from an about to bloom bush or tree, and use them in your fairy garden. This happened to me by accident when I put some floral foam in a dish and covered it with moss. I put a twig in to look like a tree, and for some reason, I watered the foam. Within a day or two, I had a little flowering tree blooming in my fairy garden! Oh my!

In case you need help with your fairy gardening plans, Under the Rainbow Productions is launching a fairy gardening service. A personal consultation (by phone or in person) is $10. Building one with your help is $30, and constructing one from scratch at the place of your choice is $40. Group fees for fairy garden presentations are negotiable. Contact me at carolbaileyfloyd@gmail.com

If you are already a fairy gardener, I would love to see your comments and ideas below!

321 - 331 Fun Fairy Garden Things to Do!

321 – Explore the idea of fairy gardening! When we were young, there came a time when we began to suspect the reality of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. No matter what conclusions we came to, we probably never doubted the existence of fairies and fairy gardens. As a child, whenever I saw a place with moss, tiny flowers, acorns or other evidence of fairy homes, I knew that the fairies lived there. You can see the fairies of my childhood that are still often the main images of fairies depicted at www.flowerfairies.com

These beautiful fairies, as portrayed by Cicely Mary Barker, only confirmed what I had suspected all along – that there were all kinds of fairies, more than we will ever meet in our lifetimes. I even read that fairies turned themselves into crows when they want to get into mischief!

322 - Make a fairy garden using common materials. Creating a fairy garden is not only fun, but once you have gathered your materials is definitely a meditative process. Some of the things commonly used in fairy garden are: acorns, buckeyes, small mirrors, moss, coral, stones, pine cones, marbles, shells, glass discs, and rocks – with or without words. Dried or silk flowers, and anything else you find that will work will be fun to gather. Making a fairy garden is simply creating an environment that fairies would love to visit.

323 - Activate a fairy garden with glitter so fairies know it is time to start visiting. If you put a coin in the fairy garden when you are finished, you will be able to tell if the fairies have been there because they will always take the coin.

324 – Make a secret fairy garden in someone’s yard when they are not home! Then you can tell them that there is a fairy garden in their yard and they have to find it. I made one for my daughter, Maribeth, and she was happily surprised to find her fairy garden in a corner of her patio on a little hilly area.

325 – Plant bulbs around your fairy garden. One time I snuck over when my daughter was gone, and planted daffodil bulbs all over her yard. Then at Christmas, I told her that one of her gifts was going to bloom in the Spring. Since she lives right across the street, it was extra fun to see her yard burst forth with bright yellow daffodil beauties. I planted some of the bulbs around her fairy garden. Good bulbs to plant for fairy gardens: grape hyacinth, snowdrops, miniature daffodils, crocuses – anything that strikes your fancy!

326 – For your indoor fairy garden, you can put floral foam in the bottom of a basket, bowl, or dish, cover it with dried moss, and delight yourself with a moveable fairy garden. These are also great for gifts. You can also make a fairy garden on a shelf or windowsill, etc. A dear friend had a close relative pass away, and I had made a fairy garden for her just before that happened. They took the fairy garden to the funeral home, along with other flowers. I had put a penny in it, and told everyone that if the coin ever disappeared, it meant that the fairies had come to visit. I snuck over and with the fairies’ help, I removed the penny. After the funeral service, my friend’s granddaughter started yelling as she ran across the room – “The fairies have been to visit! The fairies have been to visit.” It was the first time I ever witnessed sheer joy in the midst of so much sorrow.

327 - Make a fairy garden for someone with materials gathered from their yard. When my neighbors, Art and Peggy, moved away after they had become like family to us, I made a fairy garden using pine needles, pine cones, little stones from their garden, and a twig for a tree with a tiny teddy bear with angel wings perched on it. I added some other fairy materials. I put the fairy garden in a beautiful coppery bowl that reminded me of Peggy’s flamboyant red hair and personality. Unfortunately, Art died soon after they moved, and I put a stone with Art’s name and a heart into the fairy garden, which made it all the more treasured to Peggy. Sadly, Peggy died within a year of Art, and I put some of the rose petals from her casket into the fairy garden. The journey of that fairy garden ended with one of her son’s keeping it.

328 – Once you have become a fairy gardener, you can get business cards made to give to people who might be interested in learning to make fairy gardens also. (that email address is not correct - it should be carolbaileyfloyd@gmail.com) I got mine at 123print.com – enormous selection and low prices. I have shared the idea and techniques of fairy gardening all over N.E. Ohio at garden club meetings, libraries, and other groups. Doing that is one of the most fun ways I have ever earned money.

329 – Choose a special spot for your outdoor fairy garden. I have two right now that are in plain sight, and one that is yet to be refurbished around the corner of my house between bushes and our house in a more hidden area. The children in the neighborhood love to visit my fairy gardens, and one day a painted stone ladybug appeared mysteriously. I found out that Andrea, one of my neighbors’ granddaughters, put it in my fairy garden because she enjoyed visiting it so much. I try to keep making changes to the outdoor fairy gardens, so the kids will have some fun and keep visiting.

330 – Make a fairy garden with a child! This is one of the best fairy garden adventures ever! A child’s creativity is usually wide open. All you have to do is encourage them to gather some natural materials, give them other fairy gardening supplies, and they will delight you with their fairy garden assembling techniques! Then have them put a coin in the fairy garden for the fairies to take, and sprinkle the fairy garden with glitter to activate it so the fairies will know it’s time to visit. The son of a friend of mine made his fairy garden using little cars around his basement. One way he knew that the fairies had come to visit was if the cars had moved in the night!

331 – Have a fairy garden making birthday party for your child. The supplies are inexpensive, and anything you gather in the woods or neighborhood is free. I carry a sandwich bag with me when I walk for treasures that appear on the sidewalk. I don’t go into people’s yards (well, hardly ever!). Once your friends know that you are a fairy gardener, they will probably started giving you gifts from their yards.

Leap Day Quotation

And the day came when the risk to stay in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

This photograph was a gift to me from my friend, Dottie Goebel. She makes jewelry and photography as two of her artistic passions. Thank you, Dottie!