Focus on Simple Pleasures

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There are few things in common between where I grew up, in Towson, Maryland and where I am residing at this moment, Steamboat Springs, Colorado except great peaches and sweet corn.

It is an unexpected gift when you live high up in the magnificent Rocky Mountains to find corn and peaches as good as what’s grown in Maryland.  The produce comes in  from Palisades, Colorado every weekend on a truck.

We are getting into the fresh from the farm season! So, although, I am living many, many miles away from all of our family – today I would like post a reminder to myself.

Peaches

And as gift for my readers on this sunny summer day – here is something you can make that is useful, healthy and delicious.It comes from http://www.OasisAdvancedWellness.com. Visit their website, there’s other fulfilling things they’ve posted for the visitors of their space on the internet.

See you tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling! This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO BOOK, TOO! http://amzn.to/1rDx80a.

Peaches two

 

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Spotlight: Inspiring Fiber Artist

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“Art is literacy of the heart” ~Elliot Eisner

The first thought that comes to mind when the word publishing is mentioned is books. Art, however, in all kinds of forms, can be associated with the word publishing, also.

The other day, I met a fiber artist, Windy Karpavage, who became a “test knitter” for patterns of felted handbags and knitted flowers. The forty original test pattern designs were subsequently published in the book, “Noni Flowers” by designer Nora J Bellows. http://noniflowers.com/.

Out of Windy Karpavage’s experience as a “test knitter,” grew the business Kaire´ je Studio (meaning left handed)http://on.fb.me/13Btjv6. Karpavage makes felted handbags, totes and purses. Her home studio on Taylors Island, Maryland is filled with treasures for the knitter. Along with purse patterns of Noni’s designs, Karpavage creates some of her own original compositions. All the accessories that go with the craft are available in Kaire´ je Studio such as yarns, knitting needles, handbag clasps (including a growing collection of vintage purse clasps),  along with patterns for knit dresses, artistically-styled cowls, shawls, scarves and more.

Windy karpavage TI fiber artist

Photo Credits: Grace Batton

Photo Design above: Sue Batton Leonard

Karpavage also gives knitting lessons from her home studio and at a knitting group gathering every Friday morning at the DorchesterCenter for the Arts http://www.dorchesterarts.org/ in Cambridge, Maryland. She teaches right and left handed knitting.

I’d like to thank Windy Karpavage for sharing her art with me. She has inspired me to find a way to spend more time knitting this winter, after business hours. Who knows what yarn creations I can make if I put my mind to it in snowy Steamboat Springs, Colorado. My first project might be one of the great new artistically-styled cowl patterns, to keep my neck toasty warm on those frigid winter days. Perhaps a felted bag, such as the pattern Hearts on My Sleeve, to match the knitted cowl, for when I step out on the First Friday Art Walks during ski season would be a fulfilling knitting project also.

KaireDress

Above: Custom Knitwear by Windy Karparvage.  Work in progress – Original felted handbag design.

TI Fiber Artist sign

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Where independent thoughts, words and views are all part of the business.

Spreading the Joy in Indie Publishing

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Joy isn’t in things, money or positions. It is IN us. And we need to bring it with us and SHARE it!” ~ Unknown 

Day Two of 2013!  My resolution this year is to do something a little different each month, to promote our growing population of independent publishers here in Routt County, Colorado. 

snowboarding tricksWhy? Because I believe greatly in each one of our We Write Steamboat, independent publishers. They are a creative and well-educated group of people, male and female. Many of them are award-winning authors with award-winning books! Each of them is a healer of mind, body and spirit! They have career knowledge in all sorts of fields. Our members include teachers, physicians, life consultants,a chef, holistic health consultants, experts on our natural environment,  just to name a few. All with valuable experience in life to write about. Our group also includes young people and retirees who like to spin yarns just for the fun of it! (Of course, they don’t object to selling their books, also!) 

In my opinion, all writers are helpers and healers of mind, body and spirit! After all, we publish books to educate, inspire others, entertain,and inform readers. Could there be better reasons? I don’t think so. In fact, writing is as therapeutic for the author as well as the reader. It gives us a way to share our thoughts, emotions, experiences and our imaginations. http://bit.ly/ZSk0Yc.

A networking group of independent publishers, She Writes Steamboat, that I began almost two years ago, has grown, and as of January 1, 2013 we have changed our name to We Write Steamboat. From the very first meeting, we have had male writers attend, and we don’t want them to feel slighted! We’ve welcomed them and have been delighted to have them part of the group from our inception.

We, independent publishers here in Ski Town, USA and Routt County, Colorado, come together and meet monthly. In a nutshell, because producing independent books, films and music is a win-win for the artist creating the work as well as for the audience who so enjoys it! Our mission is to provide networking opportunity and to promote success of independent publishing. Our affiliation with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com , also fosters our growth as award-winning writers and publishers.  

If you wish to learn more about starting up an independent publishing networking group in your area, contact me through this blog.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com, a company specializing in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers!

Common Community Through Art and Culture

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“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever noticed how artists flock together and build common community?

People find kinship in their writing, painting, poetry, music, filmmaking, knitting,the performing arts and so forth. You know how it goes. Everyone in the group speaks the same language. 

The Colorado Creative Industries has worked to identify communities where art contributes greatly to the overall culture,  enhancing the lives of local citizens and tourists.  

Telluride has been designated as a one of five prospective Creative Districts in Colorado. Forty-four towns and cities were under consideration. The goal of the Colorado Creative Industries is to bolster the artistic community by providing consulting and technical assistance and an $8,000 grant to help grow the community as an economic driver through art. 

During the winter, outstanding skiing is the impetus behind visiting this “box canyon” with stunning and dramatic scenery, but in summer it is all about art festivals. Each weekend from May to September people flock to the area for two film festivals, music concerts and gatherings of playwrite/screenwriters. There is also a Cajun weekend, chamber music, yoga and bike races,  and more. 

There is even a Compassion Festival held in Telluride, which I was not aware of until I picked up some tourist literature. This event brings in academia from different parts of the country who lecture on the benefits that compassion brings to overall health, well-being and stress reduction. Cultural differences in compassion is also part of the discussion. It is held in collaboration between the Telluride Institute http://bit.ly/U87yzg and Stanford University’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE). Interesting! Please visit this link to read more about it.http://bit.ly/QVb8Kn

Congratulations, Telluride! When I was in the area recently I was impressed with your charming Victorian homes, art galleries, retail spaces, historic hotels, the amazing scenery and the emcompassing flavor of the artistic community. It was fun visiting. I’ll be back!

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Truly Committed to the Indies

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“The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go.” ~ Bill Rancic 

Today, I’ll tell you about my ride to Telluride over the weekend. What gorgeous scenery and a charming town, also. 

 Did you know that Telluride is home to the American Academy of Bookbinding? http://bit.ly/s29fjg. Although the Academy was not one of the primary reasons I visited Telluride, I found out a lot about this village that made me understand why it was recently awarded a grant from the Creative Colorado Industries. http://bit.ly/fXkoNC

One of the reasons I visited was to take a look at  Between the Covers. It is a quaint, well-stocked bookstore, well arranged from floor to ceiling. As soon as I walked into the space,  I noticed the Indie Best selling books, front and center. Proudly displayed and identified as such. They were not hidden away, as in many bookstores, like the black sheep of the family. Instead of the NY Times list of best sellers that you usually see in bookstores across America, prominently displayed was the Indie List of top independently published, hard covers and paperbacks. IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) Award winning books were displayed with full cover out rather than with spine only. I was so glad to see it. This bookstore takes selling indie books seriously – it was so refreshing! 

I got a head start on my Christmas shopping for my favorite filmmaker in the family. Between the Covers Bookstore has a nice variety of books on cinema and movie production. I didn’t bypass the nice selection of books in the language arts section without noticing it was at the heart of the store, in the middle. 

Just as we were ready to leave the bookstore, I spied a sign that caught my eye. It read “We prefer being a community partner much more than a showroom.” 

“How apropos!” I thought. This bookstore obviously embraces and is proud of being a partner in the community of independent booksellers and publishers.” Take a peak into Between the Cover’s website. Follow this link http://bit.ly/QK8K5F.   

Next week, I plan to return to this fulfilling small town of  Telluride in my blogging writing. I want to tell you more about the grant it received from the Creative Industries of Colorado. Follow this continuing blog series on Telluride, next week!  

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com .

Gem Stone Village Discovered

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I’m also looking for gems that the average reader might have missed.” ~ Terry Windling

“My, oh, my, isn’t it gorgeous?” I said to my husband and son, as we drove into Ouray, Colorado on Saturday. “Didn’t I tell you, Mom?” my son said “that’s why I said you have to come see it.”

Ouray, nestled between high, high peaks in the San Juan Mountains is called “Switzerland of America©.” The “alpine-like” village is a gem. Outstanding ice climbing and summer rock climbing and the healing hot springs are just a few reasons that this little town is so busy with tourist activity.

On Saturday morning the center of town was the starting place for the Imogene Pass half marathon. Fifteen hundred runners faced a challenging course that climbed from altitudes of 7,700 elevation to 13,000, over an unpaved mountain pass from Ouray to Telluride.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the relief and pride I felt as my saw my son cross the finish line after running seventeen grueling miles. It takes guts and grit to tackle it. He did well for himself, finishing 14th in his age group. But, he said many of his competitors were “seniors who looked older than the mountains and really put him and the younger people to shame.” I noticed that as I watched.

Ouray has so much going for it! Well cared for Victorian buildings, art galleries and quaint little shops, the Ouray Hot Springs, and charming bed and breakfasts, historic hotels.

It was second Saturday Art Walk, and we made the rounds. We stopped into Buckskin Booksellers. They have a large and outstanding collection of books of regional interest on Colorado, Western history and of geological subjects such as mineralogy, mining, fossils, rock hounding and the like.

I also noticed some outstanding art books scattered in different retail establishments throughout town. You could not help but notice them because some were like tomes – oversized, beautifully crafted, filled with magnificent images. I spied John Fielder’s Ranches of Colorado http://www.johnfielder.com and books on the Art of Howard Terpning

Many notable movies were filmed in Ouray County. My son Marc’s interest in visiting Ouray was more than just to run in a footrace. As a filmmaker, he was interested in seeing the settings of these movies:

Our visit to Ouray was a perfect stop along the way of a fun and fulfilling weekend. I’d like to return some day to further explore this area. It is located near where four states – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah come together. There is a lot more to see such as Twin Peak Falls, and more to do than I ever realized.  For more information, visit this website http://www.ouraycolorado.com/.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Creative Bookselling

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“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” ~Ayn Rand

On Friday evening at the Bookworm of Edwards, I and two others presented an evening writer’s workshop on marketing books. We focused mainly on e-marketing/social media marketing, selling books through public speaking and placing books in retail and bookstore environments. The discussion led to other ideas for creatively finding potential book buyers.

The morning after the event I visited the Minturn Market, a fresh-air shopping experience . I noticed a booth filled with children’s books from Osborne Publishing, a U.K. company. Must be a local distributor is in the area. I tried to approach the vendor, but, the booth was too crowded.

Just as I was ready to leave the market area, I noticed a woman folding tee-shirts. As I walked by she asked me “Whether I was familiar with the Burrow Race?” I admitted that I wasn’t; I was a visitor to the area from Steamboat. She said the tee-shirts were being sold in conjunction with the annual Burrow Race that goes up the mountain and the sales of the shirts were to support literacy; a program of the Avon-Vail Libraries. http://bit.ly/Rbl52C. That explained my sightings of borrows  with packs on their backs wandering around about town.

Literacy and books surround us in our daily lives, and we never know where we will find opportunities to sell books of regional interest. There is a book that has created “buzz” in the Vail, Colorado area. It is called Women of Vail – Those Who Walked This Bridge 1962 – 1970  Click on the title for more information and ordering.

Where is the book being sold? According to the Vail Daily, it is available at the Minturn Market, however, this seasonal market is coming to an end in two more  Saturdays.

“Women of Vail” would make an excellent Christmas present for those who know and love Eagle County, Colorado.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.