A Window into Breck

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“Art is the window into one’s soul.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

After yesterday’s blog, you baby boomers are probably thinking Breck refers to the old school shampoo we used when we were our teens in the 1960s. Remember using that? I thought if I used it, I’d look just like the “Breck Girl.”

No, for the next few days I will be blogging about a one day road trip I took to Breckenridge, Colorado, often referred to as “Breck.”  I found all kinds of fulfilling things to write about including a creative arts organization called BreckCreate. There is so much to tell, it can not be covered in just one blog posting.

The Breckenridge Arts District is a series of historic buildings located on an acre of land right up the hill from Main Street. It has become  an epicenter of creativity offering art classes, workshops, performance arts, exhibits and special artist-in-residence visits. I’d like to share some pictures with you of the district:

 

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Below: The Barney Ford Museum is also in the arts district. Barney Ford was a local entrepreneur who escaped slavery and became a man of extreme prosperity. For more information.

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A clan of visiting Aztec’s danced a spirit dance historically significant to their culture and the celebration of life the day I visited the town. Read more about the performance.

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indians 4 Art, culture, history and architecture holds a prominent place in the community of Breckenridge, Colorado. The scenic backdrop to the town, as it is in many Colorado communities, is stunning!

Do return tomorrow to All Things Fulfilling. I have more to share with you about BreckCreate.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Finding a Good Fit

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Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
George Carlin

hAPPYNESS IN SOLE

Today on this Thirsty Thursday, one day of the week All Things FuIfilling is dedicated to good news, I’d like to share an architectural wonder that perhaps has greater meaning than what was intended by the firm who created it.

I was drawn to an article about this holy place since the building of churches goes way back to the first generation in the history of my family’s five generation construction business.

There is a house of worship designed and built by the architectural group, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, in Borgloon, Belgium that takes seeing religion from different perspectives to a whole new level.

The good news is that there are many kinds of religions throughout the world. If you live in a truly free society, individuals get to select the religion that best aligns with their own principles and values, or we can opt out of being a believer of any sort.

Images in the article I’ve linked to this website tell the rest of this story. Put your Sunday shoes on, any kind will do, and take a few minutes to enter into this unique church. View the images and you will see what I mean. To learn more about the construction of the structure, visit this website.

That’s all for today! See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling. We will be sharing an upcoming educational event that is good news for independent publishers or for people who are thinking of writing their own stories of any type (faith stories, memoirs, fiction, non-fiction or creative writing through the form of poetry, song lyrics or screenwriting).

 

O’Keefe in Everyday Life

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“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”  ― Georgia O’Keeffe

I’d always been interested in the art of Georgia O’Keefe. Any artist who paints flowers so magnificently, is alright by me!

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, NM. The art was beautiful, as expected but, what I enjoyed seeing, through black and white photos, was the life of this woman outside of her studio. According to a short film I watched and from reading other literature, O’Keefe found much pleasure in simple tasks of daily living. Images of O’Keefe walking her dogs, hanging out the wash, sitting on the roof of her adobe house and cooking outside over an open fire all acquainted me with her on another level.

She painted much more than flowers. She lived, painted and exhibited in New York City. What a surprise! I’d always thought her entire life was spent in New Mexico. After she married Alfred Stieglitz, America’s first advocate of modern art in America, New York is where she and other modern artists began to proliferate. Her summers were spent in Lake George, NY.

From her great success as an artist,  I would never have considered that she was anything but a person who had all she needed right inside of herself from the start. But according to this quote, not so! “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe

I love that! And I look forward to reading more about this woman of extreme talent who had traits of self-doubt that each artist struggles with, from time to time, going about the days of fulfilling oneself in the world of art.IMG_20150221_153831_642

Above: Photo of Georgia O’Keefe taking a car ride.

IMG_20150221_154346_188Above: Replication of O’Keefe’s studio inside the Museum. The photo is the view from her studio window in NM. These are her art supplies, with a work in progress on her easel. Her studio and home in Albiquiu is also open for touring.  That has been put on my “For Another Day List.”

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Above: Non-floral O’Keefe painting.

IMG_20150221_155447_610Above:   Black Hollyhawk & Blue Larkspur (middle painting – my favorite in the Museum).

Below: The Georgia O’Keefe Museum Gift Shop has a wonderful selection of books, DVDs, notecards and other products with the “signature” Georgia O’Keefe art licensing trademark.

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See you tomorrow! We will be talking about an art form that I saw in my travels that I had never witnessed live before until my visit to Santa Fe, NM last week. It was thrilling and fun!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Reflections on the Creative Path

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“Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” ~ Unknown

Today I will be reflecting on unknown frontiers. It is something I can speak to! I arrived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado some six years ago, sight unseen and took up residence not knowing what I was getting into.

Then, I made another life changing decision! I set off on a 41,000 word journey. A huge task for an inexperienced writer who had dreams of publishing a memoir.

What kept me going? A lifelong desire to tell a story of a beautiful soul who became the heartbeat of our family and who had many words of wisdom to share with others.

As it’s turned out, the unknown frontier became a safe haven in which I ended up exploring my faith like never before. I suspect I am not alone in my story. Artists through the ages have testified that through their creativity, they find their own voice and spirit.  As Maritza Burgos once said “One’s art should be the extension of oneself.”

I’m grateful I journeyed into the unknown. I found all kinds of fulfilling things in the process!

Stay tuned to All Things Fulfilling.com. What’s a new year without a little excitement?  Come back on Monday because I’m telling you now there will be something newsworthy!

heres to new beginnings

 

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information about Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected,

In Store for the New Year

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If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. ~Vincent Van Gogh

New Year, New Opportunities!

If you are in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado area join me on Saturday January 3rd, 2015 at Come & See Christian Books & Gifts, 675 S. Lincoln Avenue (near the Hampden Inn)  for a meet the author/book signing event from 11am to 2pm.

Come & See Christian Books & Gifts picture

Are you interested in writing and publishing a book? The author will share what helped her to write and publish her award-winning book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

There will be refreshments and treats and learn what’s in store for 2015.

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A New Year – Life’s Puzzle Pin

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Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ~ Brad Paisley

The summer before last I had seen a few intriquing and thought-provoking pieces of jewelry that peaked my interest  at the Dorchester Art Center gift shop. This fall when I spoke to the Bayshore Bookies, a book group from Dorchester County, Maryland about my newly released memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected I stopped in once again.  I was hoping they still carried the objets d’art so I could get a second peak. Sure ‘nuf, they did.

The artisan, Joyce from  “Back in Tyme,” handcrafts the pins which I think are symbolic of what a New Year is all about. Take a look at the image of this pin. Creative, isn’t it?

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To my way of looking at things,  each element crafted into the bauble represents a part of life:

Puzzle pieces. What’s to come in our futures is a mystery. Sometimes befuddling,  isn’t it?

Old clock (watch) pieces. Time passes by quickly. Sometimes we aren’t quite geared up for all that happens. Sometimes we lose track if we aren’t fully dialed in. Makes life interesting.

Feathers! We hope there is some “fluffy stuff” in our lives. That’s what makes it worthwhile living! Agree? As they say “when feathers appear, angels are near!” What a divine thought.

Sea glass. Like people, each particle has it’s own journey and it’s own story from tossing and tumbling.

A crescent moon-shaped object. We go through many “phases” in our lifetime from birth to death. The crescent moon has appeared in art throughout the ages because as Debbie Keil-Leavitt says, “it inspires us to think that it might be a cradle for our newly-born dreams.”

If you wish to read more about what Debbie Keil-Leavitt says about the power of the crescent moon, here is an interesting article, full of mysticism. http://bit.ly/1AYu7s9.

On this day before the New Year, I’d like to remind you to tune in and be grateful for each minute, each new hour and each new phase of your life. Embrace life’s surprises. Find fulfilling, positive things even in the difficult. Often times the little mysteries of life are gifts to be explored and discovered just like this inspirational piece of jewelry.

What are your dreams for the New Year? I hope you’ll actively pursue them.

NewYearClock 2015

 

“For Unto Us a Child is Born”

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Advent Day #24

People the world over can relate to the expectancy that comes with the arrival of a precious new life.love came down

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From our family to yours ~ Merry Christmas!

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. We hope you enjoyed the advent calendar from All Things Fulfilling. It was a grand peek between the book covers of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

Advent Day #22 Open Hearts in Community

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Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.” ~ Dale Evans

I’m more proud than ever to attend a church whose motto is “Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors.” The Steamboat United Methodist Church reached out, extended their welcome and showed that they practice what they preach to the Jewish congregation here in Steamboat. The menorah issue was put to rest and it was lit on Tuesday December 16th on the front lawn of the United Methodist Church. The Menorah is symbolic of  “light, wisdom, and Divine inspiration” but it was also designed as creative art for our community.

This story was broadcast on CBS and in newspapers in other cities. To watch the video about what ended up being a story about love in action, please follow this link.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/12/11/menorah-blocked-from-courthouse-lawn-in-steamboat-springs/

One of the best things you can teach children when they are old enough to grasp the concepts is about multi-cultural understanding. Author Sue Batton Leonard recounts her personal experience with multi-cultural love in her memoir, an anthology of stories in her book Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. It has won several awards, one in the young adult category. The book is perfect for giving to “tweens’ and teens and an entire family.

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The memoir, an award-winning anthology of short stories is available in audio book (narrated by the author), paperback and e-book. Here is how to order:

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

Window into a Composer

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Advent – Day #11   A Window into a Composer

Art has long been associated with churches. As I sat in the Holy Name Catholic Church last Friday listening to the beautiful composition The Messiah from composer George Frederick Handel,  I was reminded of how so much music has lasted through the ages.

In “My Beloved,” chapter 16 in my award-winning memoir Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, I  kept the legacy of Frederick N. Crouch alive. This ballad was written in 1837 and the family connection is explained in the chapter.

kathleen mavorneenFor more information on ordering the award-winning memoir by Sue Batton Leonard, please go to these links.

Audio Book  http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback  http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book  http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh

 

Aired at the Farm, Refreshingly

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 “Feed your faith and starve your doubts.”Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Grace, and I visited the Prigel Family Creamery http://www.prigelfamilycreamery.com/ in Glen Arm, Maryland to pick up some of their award-winning “Best of Baltimore” ice cream. The farm is located in horse country, near My Lady’s Manor, Maryland in Baltimore County, north of the city. It’s in the area of the state where the notable “steeple chases” take place every April. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, think fox and hound hunts. http://www.marylandsteeplechasing.com/main/mlm/datetime.htm

As we drove up to the farm, I was surprised by what I saw. A business that unabashedly shares their belief on a sign etched in stone right on the foundation of the building. You can’t miss it.

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“How refreshing is that?” I thought. So many businesses and individuals in this day and age would rather not display signs of the American values and principles that our country was founded upon – a sad state of affairs, I think, if I can be honest.

As everyone knows farming is one of the most difficult occupations there is. Hard work, unforeseeable challenges and the unrelenting task of finding ways to be a sustainable business is all part of the job. It also takes faith to be a farmer because they are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather!

Today during this week of gratefulness, I’d like to dedicate this blog on All Things Fulfilling to farmers and ranchers everywhere who keep us fed with fresh produce and other “fruits” of their labor and production – meat, eggs, grains, cheese, poultry, maple syrup and so much more. When we sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thursday, let us remember where the food we eat comes from and those who produce it.

Here are a few more photos from my quick stop at Prigel’s, along the trail of my East Coast book tour, which I am so very grateful for.

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won three awards, please visit this site.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 


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