Thirsty Thursday: Made Especially for You

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“Nothing can make you feel peace but yourself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

lillian-weber3-sewing-machineHave you heard the story about the 99 year old woman who sews a dress every single day for an African girl so each child will have something beautiful to add to her meager wardrobe? The sewer is not far from hitting the 1,000th dress landmark –which means she has been sewing for 1,000 days in a row.

The senior citizen from Iowa incorporates unique trim, buttons, bows or what have you to give it a custom-made “especially made for you” look. She puts her own heart-felt creativity into each dress so the little African girls will feel they have gotten something special, custom-made for them.

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Take tme To read the full story. It’s always good news when we read about inspiring women who are more interested in serving others through their creativity than worrying about aging. That is all for this Thirsty Thursday.

This blog is brought to you by the award winning author of Gift of Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

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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

 

Need for Mountains of Creativity

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Entrepreneurship, inspiration, and putting faith in one’s own creativity are all the things that excite me about the world of independent publishing. It is a field that has brought vast changes (with an eye on sustainability) by doing things differently than in the past.
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Some time ago on All Things Fulfilling, I posted a blog about a TedX talk which I think bears repeating. I believe the speaker, Chuck Scranton, had some wonderful things to say about the future of education, how to engage students in classrooms and what today’s children need so that they are prepared with skills that go beyond what students of the past have been taught. It is all about encouraging creativity and active learning.

Parents and educators, this issue is very important. So please listen in to The Immovable Mountain. https://allthingsfulfilling.com/tag/that-immovable-mountain/.

Is there something more you can do to help support your child’s mind, interests and creativity? Our country’s future depends on new industry, creative thinkers and “pioneers” working in ways that are different than the same old-same old ways of doing things. The new generation will need to work in ways that will lead America forward to new eras of discovery.

Interested in reading about more ways you can foster your child’s creativity? Here is also a good article. http://bit.ly/10dKjtG.

Today and everyday is a great day for brainstorming! Don’t forget to write down your ideas!

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her book Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, please visit this link.http://amzn.to/1te9k2F

Motivated by Interest

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Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ~ Franklin D Roosevelt

About two weeks ago, a newsletter from All Things Fulfilling with the mention of my two book awards and notification of book signings that are upcoming in October was sent out via e-mail. I received an unexpected number of congratulatory e-mails in response. They came from people with whom I have made business connections over the years through the independent publishing industry. I hadn’t heard from some of them in a while. One such e-mail came from Diana who said “You motivate me to work on my own book.”  I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to write because you encourage me!

I have had the privilege to meet such interesting and creative people through my work in the field of independent publishing. As I look back over the past 6 years, I am astounded to think that I have published an award-winning book, written some 1,461 blog posts as of today, had 6 or 7 e-zine articles published and formed We Write Steamboat, a networking group for independent publishers with 58 members and counting! There is a lot that has come with that. I’ve also done volunteer work in the arts, for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and for my church. Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I’ve gotten much personal fulfillment out of all of it or I wouldn’t have continued.

Why am I telling you all this? Because sometimes we do have to pat ourselves on your back and be proud of our own successes. When I moved to Colorado six years ago due to my husband’s new employment opportunity, I had no idea what I was going to do. I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in learning all I could about this thing I became so interested in called “independent publishing.” As it turned out, even though I had already worked in the industry  I had just begun to wade into the waters. The industry kept evolving. At that point I hadn’t even begun to learn about good writing or public speaking either. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would soon get to all that I’ve accomplished!

Leaps of faith…sometimes we need to take them. What happens when we are driven and livin’ by our heart, soul and creativity can be surprising!

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Over the next 10 days or so, I will be taking a much needed break to concentrate solely on preparing for some upcoming book appearances. I invite you to peruse this site. There are hundreds of postings about independent publishing, finding motivation in the arts, writing, ideas that are an extension of my book and all kinds of fulfilling things to read about.

This blog is brought to you by the award-winning author, Sue Batton Leonard. For more information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won two EVVY book awards, please follow this link.http://amzn.to/1mbmVGR

Angelic Antics

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Make yourself familiar with the angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you.”    – Francis de Sales

It’s funny, I have never considered myself as a particularly creative person. I didn’t take a lot of  lessons outside of school growing up. Kids of my generation spent more time outside playing in nature rather than being shuffled to all sorts of organized sports and other extra curricular activities.

However, I did take a pastel drawing class at the YMCA one summer with my sister. It is a happy memory that stays steadfast in my mind all these decades later. Although, I didn’t have any innate talent, I found fulfillment in it.

My experience with the clarinet was another story. I’d much rather forget it and so would my parents. Their ears are still damaged from all the squeaks that came out of the instrument when I played it. Their pocketbooks became emptied having to so frequently replace reeds that both my sister and I ruined.

My twin sister and I had a different kind of creativity – we were full of ideas that were not always angelic!  Like how to “get Fanny’s goat” (Fanny is the stellar character in my memoir) and how get her involved in our childhood antics. Her creativity came from how to teach us life lessons that we’d later come to realize was about our silly, double trouble.

Thank heavens for Fanny. She was an angel for putting up with my twin and I and our two brothers. And I am  also grateful for all other angels my life~

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

Sue’s memoir

Beautifully Aged Specimens

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Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

We all know someone who looks age in the face, and is out to prove every stereotypical trait of aging wrong. In fact, their determination to show others that being over age 50 is no reason to slow down, has become their fulltime job. Working at aging gloriously brings personal fulfillment to many men and women. After all, we take little notice of the fact that we are aging if we are busy enjoying ourselves.

There have been all kinds of studies that identify how influences to the human spirit affects the way we live. http://bit.ly/1hENNXn. Resilience and determination are just a few character traits that truly make a difference. Humor, gratitude, spirituality and creativity in our lives play important roles in the aging process, also.

We can often identify within minutes of meeting someone whether they have “esprit de la vie” or not. You can tell by the words they speak, the inflections in their voice and their outlook for the world we live in.

Juicy tomatoes_The Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living after 50, by Susan Swartz is a look at women who take on the idea of living with spunk seriously. This book is written with cheeky attitude and humor,  which might annoy some readers but the tone matches the spirit of the book. It is fun, lively and a great gift for someone is overly concerned with growing older and the physical changes that naturally take place as we age.

Positive and negative attitudes affect not only our human experience, but also that of our children. My parents, who are well into their eighties and still maintaining their own house and gardens, are aging like heirloom tomatoes – a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it’s valued characteristics.

How my parents have lived their lives has given me many reasons to be very grateful that I am their daughter. Mom and Dad, you are ripe with beauty – you’re wonderful specimens.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com. Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow!

 

Rockwell Models Gather

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“I am the oldest antique in town.” ~ Norman Rockwell

RosieTheRiveterI love the images of Norman Rockwell. To me they are symbolic of the innate goodness of people and the average hardworking American. The paintings also remind me of a time when children were not rushed through childhood and were able to retain their innocence and naïveté for much longer. Things like patriotism, creativity, family and fellowship among people are depicted in so many of Rockwell’s paintings.

On July 6th, the NormanRockwellMuseum will be having a reunion of the models who posed for the artist who are still living. This event is being held in honor the 20th anniversary of the new museum building in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Panel discussions and the opportunity to hear Melinda Pelham (the daughter of the Arlington, Vermont Rockwell assistant), talk about her recent Rockwell discovery and her appearance on PBS-TV’s “Antiques Roadshow.” To read more about the Norman Rockwell Museum and this event, please follow this link to the website. http://bit.ly/16z8gcm .Click for info & ordering on Norman Rockwell Publications

Sounds like a fulfilling event! Put this on your “to do list” if you are in the area. While you are there, check out the many antique shops, farmers markets,historic architecture and the spectacular Berkshire countryside. The Sterling and Francine Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts http://www.clarkart.edu/museum/  is just a hop, skip and a jump away and worthwhile seeing!

Have a fulfilling 4th of July week, everybody. Cheers to independence and all things made in America!

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