Thursday, July 14, 2011

Its Summer!!!

Summer has finally arrived.  I have found my long neglected blog and maybe some time and energy to write something inspiring. Whhoohoooo!!!

Spring has really been a busy time for me this year.  And sadly it has not left me much time to write on my blog or dedicate as much time as I'd like to my Etsy shop.  There has been a lot of personal issues come up in my life that have really needed my attention and energy, I am trying to flow with that.  Dietary issues have been a major factor; gluten, dairy, soy and peanut intolerance to be more exact.  Both my eight year old son and I have be presented with the challenge of these intolerances, and although we've had a few bumps in the road both of us are quite happy with our diet and are adjusting into healthier and much happier Mother and Son. 

Spring is about New Growth, and that is something I have been very busy doing.  Its also about letting go of things that are no longer useful to you.  I have been doing housekeeping within myself and in my house.
Meditation and mindfulness have been two things I have been bringing into my everyday life.

Have I been crocheting up a storm?   Oh, yes!  I have been hard at work doing alot of things I never seem to find the time for in the Fall and Winter.

This summer I decided I was going to take more time for my family.  I am really not putting a huge effort into my shop right now.  My garden always consumes so much of my time too, not that I don't enjoy it.  :)  I also wanted to be able to just crochet when I felt the desire, I do often feel the desire, but if I wanted to not be held down by getting orders out on time.  This will also allow me to get ahead for the Fall/Winter season and have some items in stock and ready to go!!

Not to mention we have decided to add a dog to the mix.  The dog is 5 years old and in need of a loving family home.  We are pretty excited to have him join our family.  I will post pictures of him when he is settled in. 
Summer is leading us out doors for bicycle rides, hiking, camping, swimming, not to mention our garden.  So amongst all this busy energy I am finding opportunities to just enjoy the moment, and flow with life.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cycling into Spring............

I know its still cold out and the ground is covered with snow in many places but Spring has definitely arrived here on the West Coast.
I have found myself designing some new fingerless mitts lately, using some of the hemp wool blend yarn I dyed this winter.  I am also incorporating some the buttons my husband made from fallen tree branches off of our property.  I love the character they give each piece.  He cuts and sands them, and I polish them with orange oil and bees wax. 

The hand dyed yarns are so fun to create with, I love mixing and matching leftovers from other projects to make one of a kind items.

I am also working hand crocheting little appliques like leaves and such to add to my woodland collection.  Its a great way to use up any little pieces.  

Spring is a time for renewal, for letting go of things that are holding you back and down.  This could be anything, poor eating habits, emotional baggage that is not longer serving you, bad behaviors.  Learning to take a step back from the situation, calm down often time our perspective changes so much.  I used to think it was just better to deal with things right away, this isn't true.  Its healthy to calm down and collect yourself.  Getting emotional about situations only complicates things and mars your perspective.  

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” -Pema Chodron

I have been finding myself mindfully breathing a lot lately.  This puts me in the Present moment, not thinking about how I did this wrong, or what I could've said better...etc. At any given point I will stop my monkey mind by breathing in peace and then breathing peace back into the world.  This is so detoxifying.   

I have found myself rediscovering songs that so inspired me as a kid.  Here is one of my Favorites:

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

You with the sad eyes
don't be discouraged
oh I realize
it's hard to take courage
in a world full of people
you can lose sight of it all
and the darkness inside you
can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
don't be unhappy, can't remember
when I last saw you laughing
if this world makes you crazy
and you've taken all you can bear
you call me up
because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creative Cycles and the Winter Solstice.........

This winter more than ever I have been paying attention to cycles in my life, a new awareness so to speak.  I have noticed that like the plants and animals I have less energy in the winter.  Less energy to cope with stress, to be physically active, even to create.   At times I find myself fighting this nature.  Even though deep down I know that if the kettle is always boiling, sooner or later the water evaporates.
I do notice that I seem to be a in cycle of reflecting, on what I want, where I was, what happened, how I felt, I am practicing or putting ideas into practice.  I am hibernating, slowing down some.  This is ok.  I need to recharge my creative center, my soul.

I know that I go through times where I don't create anything new.  I make items that I have already mastered, just enjoying the repetition and zen like quality I get from something so familiar and simple, easy.  These are the times that I cherish as much as I do when I am exploring new ideas and experimenting. 
I cannot create and explore new ideas and inspirations all the time.  I cannot force them to come to fruition either.  The more I force them, the more stuck I feel.  These are times I need to retreat and find quiet, to rest with my ideas and nurture them.

How am I going to do this:  Eating warm and spicy food, walking, warm baths, meditating, just enjoying the slowness of winter.  Reminding myself daily that there is a time for planting, for growth, for pruning, for harvesting and for rest.
When I am creating I am making items that are not overly taxing on me.  Just sitting and cuddling with my children, reading books.  Cooking simpler meals even that I am not slaving over, but that are nourishing.

Being gentle with myself, understanding that I too need to have my cup filled once again.
That the things that really matter are the people I love in my life.  Not how much money I have, not how fancy of a car I drive, not the uber trendy clothes I pay too much for, not what I give people except, of myself.  My love, my attention, my acceptance, my understanding, my compassion, my laughter, my ability to listen, my hugs and kisses, my smiles, my tears, my silence, my dreams, my nightmares, my hopes, my fears, my strength, my grace, my kindness, my virtues.

My cup is really always full, I just lack the perception to conceive of it.

Shima and Shanti,


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Winner of Our February Giveaway is..............

Allison Lore.  Congratulations! 

Allison has won A set of her choice of Either Hemp or Organic Cotton Produce Sacs.

Thank you to all who entered and please look out for March's Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February Giveaway!!!!

Its time to show all my wonderful followers some love!!

How about a giveaway?  Yay, a giveaway?  A giveaway.  But what to give?

Seeing as I am giving love, I want to give something that will love the Planet too.

I wanted to give something pretty because I think we all need to feel inspired by beauty this time of year.  But something practical too, something someone could use a lot!!

Produce Bags!!!  This time its your choice though.  You can choose from the Hemp ones or

the Organic Cottons ones.  Any colors I have available.

This time around you will receive 1 Small 17cm wide x 22cm long, (6 1/2" wide x 8 1/2") long and 1 Large bag that will measure 26cm wide x 33.5 cm long, (10" wide x 13" long).

Now, for how to enter.  Please Follow the Directions Carefully. 

1) Become a Fan on my Blog.  :)
2) Visit my Etsy Shop: The Art of Zen.......Crochet  have a look around and find your favorite item.
3) Email me at theartofzencrochet(at) with the February Giveaway in the Subject, telling me your favorite item and why!

Please do not leave your email on my blog, this will be deleted and you will not be entered. 
Entried will be accepted until February 13 2011 and the Winner will be announced on February 14 2011
Thank you for entering and have the Best day Ever!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Hhhhmmmm.......I don't generally make a "New Years Resolution",  I feel if you want to do something badly enough and you really think its worthwhile, why put it off or wait?

Normally I am not a person to wait to resolve to do something.  I analyze the situation and then take the best course for me and my family.  Why put off for tomorrow what you can take care of today?

I often contemplate many things but rarely procrastinate anything.  LOL.  I know that I need to surround myself with positive thinking people, that help me find compassion, mindfulness, love and happiness within myself. 
So, I was watching a program yesterday and it had Deepak Chopra on it.  This man is amazing.  He said something that really hit home with me.  "Who am I?  What is my Purpose?"  he answered,  "You don not need the answer, you only need to live the questions."  Wow!!  I said it over and over.

 My next person I have much admiration for is Thich Naht Hanh.  He is Vietnamese by birth but has been exiled from his country.  He is a Zen Master of "engaged Buddhism".  His life has been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.  His humor and ability to put his teachings and that of Buddha into layman's terms is amazing.  Thich Nhat Hanh's key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Thich Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in one's self and in the world.

Someone else I highly regard is the Dalai Lama.  Compassion, empathy is the core of his being.  He has the most wonderful laugh I have ever heard.  When I think of how he has filled his being with so much love and happiness despite being exiled from his country, I think he is one of the most amazing people of our time.

These are three of the people I will be surrounding myself with or maybe it is rather their teachings that I will be surrounding myself with.

My first Resolution is to Listen Deeply.   I want to make the time to listen deeply to my own suffering and then also the suffering of others.  It is only when I take the time to acknowledge my own suffering that I can acknowledge the suffering of others in a compassionate and loving way.  I am resolving to listen, to listen to my own suffering and then listening to the suffering of others with comapassion.

Being mindful in my judgments.  Often, my judgments serve no purpose but to ignore my own suffering and therefore spread it to those around me.  What is a judgment?  It's a belief.  What is a belief and what purpose is that belief serving?  It is causing anger, resentment or anxiety?  Or is it allowing peace, happiness and love to grow within?  If it is causing suffering maybe that belief is no longer worth believing.  Challenge the belief. 

My last intention is to live mindfully.  To be aware of what I consume.  Not just eat but any items I use and how they came to be.  Where they came from, who made them, grew them, how far it has come to get to me.  What impact does this have on the people who make it?  What impact does it have on the environment?  Or the economy?

I remember that I am constantly setting an example for those around me, especially my children.  If they see me living mindfully of others, of myself, of the environment, then I am teaching them these values as well.