choosing simplicity

I recently read the book Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World by Linda Breen Pierce. It's ironic really because I feel like my life is anything but simple at the moment. For reasons beyond our control we will be moving from our rental home. We are unsure of when we are moving, where we are going and all the other challenges that lay ahead.That sounds anything but simple!

The book is filled with stories of real people who have chosen to well, live simply. I found the stories inspiring and enlightening. I was nodding along in agreement with the things I do now and the wishes and dreams I have for the future. I enjoyed reading the variety of perspectives and appreciate that the author emphasized that there's no exact formula for this type of life style.  

This is how the author defines simple living:  

Simple living or voluntary simplicity are lifelong processes in which we turn loose the quest for more wealth, status and power in favor of an authentic life of inner peace and fulfillment. 

Excerpt about materialism and productivity (page 107) that spoke to me:  

If materialism is addictive, so is our desire for productivity and efficiency. We are constantly trying to milk the most out of each minute of the day. Our love affair with productivity and efficiency generates busy, chattering minds. Often we have trouble relaxing when we finally get some leisure time; we cannot easily escape the habit of working, thinking, and above all, saving time.

Simple living does not mean you must reject the material comforts in life. It means letting go of anything that interferes with a meaningful quality of life. This for me, means I need to strip away activities, stuff and work that doesn't fulfill me and bring peace to my life. My desire for productivity in particular is in need of tweaking. I am always trying to see how I can squeeze in something while doing something else.

This book affirmed many of the choices I've made about the of life I choose to lead and I am hopeful that I will learn to escape the habit of working so often. My only criticism is that there is some repetitive material and the author plugs the book "Your Money or Your Life," way too many times. However, looking past that this book gives you lots to think about and good resources are included.

I picked up this book after seeing a review on the nature mom's blog about it, click here to read her review.


typography tips

What is typography? Typography is the arrangement of type and the selection of fonts (typefaces), size, line spacing (leading), adjusting the space between groups of letters (tracking) and adjusting the space between letters (kerning). Type is made of shapes which influence how the words are to be read, and the emotion they convey, giving every typeface a personality.

Today I am sharing some tips for using type effectively and avoiding common mistakes to make your documents a little more attractive, easy to read and professional on Soft Flex Company's blog. Click here to read my guest blog post.


exploring watercolors for the first time

I have wanted to play with watercolor paints for awhile so, when Alisa Burke (one of my favorite artists) recommended the Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Set on her blog I placed it on my wish list and last month I finally bought it! I don't have any watercolor paper yet so, I made do with my current sketchbook for now just to play.

Watercolors have always intimidated me a bit because I love to work up lots of layers of paint and watercolor doesn't quite work that way. After my first session I am a little more comfortable. I feel like I used the paints in a very "acrylic" way but, part of that is probably do to my paper. So, the next time I am art supply shopping I will have to pick up some watercolor paper to further explore. For me, trying something new is always a welcome challenge.

Have you tried any new materials or techniques lately? Please share or link in the comments, I'd love to see!


july biz goals

Wowza, June sure did fly by. We uprooted ourselves from Arizona and traveled home to Long Island, New York for 2 whole weeks to visit family and friends, explore NYC, catch a Phish concert and hit the beach. It was a great trip and aside from my stomach being a constant issue it was perfect. I'm not sure why my stomach goes into disarray each time I go away, it's such a pain, literally. It must be stress induced since I was fine as soon as I returned home. What is that all about?! Anyhoo, here were my goals for June ...

 June Goals
  • continue work on S & J wedding invitation - working away ...
  • post new beaded necklace and 2 art resin earrings in shop - done, done and done
  • creative every day challenge check in - checked in with other artist progress, so nice to see!
  • enjoy two weeks of summer vacation with our families!!! - woo hoo
  • added my paintings to this blog's artwork page.  may decide to narrow it down to show just a few images on the page and link to a full showcase of artwork via PDF.
Bridge in Central Park
Large Nests at Brooklyn Botanical Garden
 July Goals
  • continue work on S & J wedding invitation
  • creative every day challenge check in
  • continue packing and preparing for move later this summer - eek! Right now we are unsure of exactly where we are going but, we need to leave our rental soon so, just keep packing ... just keep packing
  • possibly post a moving sale for Etsy shop?
  • create pdf file for artwork page instead of the long list and then move on to design page.
  • try and make time to move - family walks, yoga and dance. It feels good to move.
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us" ~ Joseph Campbell

If you would like to join in the Meetup biz goals fun, head on over to Athena Dreams to read more about how we support one another and how to join in.