January 11

Poetry & Kindness 1.0

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Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.

Aristotle

For years I’ve wanted to read more poetry, so this year I’m going to share a poem every Friday.

I’m also hosting a kindness challenge every Friday called Kind is Kool. Each week, I’ll post a prompt of something you can do to make the world a kinder place.

I want to offer both the poem and the kindness challenge without any obligation, so I’ll turn off “Comments” every Friday. Enjoy.

Poetry 1

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“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

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Kind is Kool Challenge

Kind Is Kool 500x375

Week 1 Challenge – Give someone you don’t know a sincere compliment this week.

A special “thank you” to my friend, Amy, who made all the Kind is Kool graphics, and to my daughter for coming up with the name of the challenge.

Posted by lori . Filed under Poetry & Kindness | No Comments

January 10

Third Annual Pet Blogger Challenge

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There’s a lot going on in today’s post.

PBC 2013

I’m participating in the Pet Blogger Challenge. Sponsored by GoPetFriendly.com, it is a community event that gives pet bloggers from around the world the chance to get to know each other, find out what motivates them, share tips for making their blogs better, commiserate, inspire, and support each other.

A list of questions was provided to everyone participating. Let’s go…

1. When did you begin your blog?

I started What Remains Now on January 1, 2011.

2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?

What Remains Now came out of my love for Tales and Tails. A link to Tales and Tails was posted on my Greyhound group’s Yahoo! Groups page. At the time, I didn’t read blogs, but I fell in love with the Tales and Tails gang and every morning my girlfriend and I would start our day by reading or by talking about what was happening with Lilac, Blueberry and Bunny. One day, my girlfriend told me that I should write a blog about my greyhounds and call it Greyhounds or Bust. I thought she had lost her mind, but apparently a seed was planted.

The funny thing is, I can’t remember the moment I decided to start What Remains Now. A friend’s husband was between jobs and I asked him if  he would set-up a blog for me. He said “yes.” That was important because if I had had to set it up, I probably would have never gotten around to it. Since my daughter was off to college, I wanted to get back in touch with my creativity and share the things I found interesting. I loved how happy I felt when reading Tales and Tails, and I wanted to create that experience for those that enjoyed my blog. Once I started writing, I fell in love with blogging and the changes I could see in myself, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

3. Is your current purpose the same?

No and yes.

If not, what’s different?

When I started What Remains Now, I wanted to focus on crafting using re-purposed items. Then, I took Juliette Crane’s How to Paint a Girl e-Course and I fell in love with painting little girls. Now, I want to paint, paint, paint.

If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?

What Remains Now is still the same in that it records my creativity journey and is an extension of myself out into the world. I feel I’ve met my goals because I write What Remains Now with as much sincerity as I can.

4. How often do you post?

I post every day.

5. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you?

I blog on a schedule, but I find there is a lot of room for the spirit to move me within that schedule.

If you publish on a schedule, why? How strict are you about your publishing deadlines? What do you do for inspiration when it feels like you’ve covered every topic?

I publish on a schedule because I need the structure. I’m just not a good free spirit. Even though I blog on a schedule, I try to make the categories broad enough that I have a lot of room to cover different topics.

6. How much time do you spend writing your blog per week? How much time visiting other blogs? Share your  tips for staying on top of it all.

Hmmm…that would be interesting to track. I’m guessing, but I’d say I spend 20 hours a week writing and putting together my posts. I probably spend another 10 hours a week visiting other blogs. I stay on top of my blog writing by using on a schedule, which gives me the structure I need; I keep a blog calendar, which helps me plan ahead; and I have a notebook where I write down ideas, which helps me when I get stuck for something to write about. I use Google Reader to keep up with the blogs I read.

7. How do you measure the success of a post and of your blog in general (comments, shares, traffic)? Do you look strictly at the numbers, or do you have a way of assessing the quality of those interactions?

Honestly, I try not to think about this aspect of blogging. My goal is to offer up what I have and hope that it reaches people who find it interesting and helpful. I may be more interested in assessing traffic in the future, but for now, I don’t worry about it.

8. If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one issue you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Social media mystifies me. I’m weak in that regard, and I’m always interested in how people use it in creative ways.

9. What goals do you have for your blog in 2013?

My main goal is to keep on doing what I’m doing. The journey is everything to me. The only thing I wish I would improve on…I would love to get a little ahead on my posts so I could improve the quality.

I’m not able to get the linky list to appear, but I hope you will go to Go Pet Friendly and visit some of the other blogs who are participating in this challenge. It’s fun to read the posts since everyone’s answering the same questions.

How to be HAPPY!

HTBHappyBadge

I’m also participating in How to be HAPPY! a brand new meme from Jay of The Depp Effect.

Here’s what Jay says about it…

It’s about finding the little things in life which bring a smile or a glow of warmth to our hearts and souls during our daily lives.  Why?  Because it’s the way all these little things add up which truly determines if we are happy people, not the big stuff like a lottery win.

To enter, write a post about one thing which has made you happy in some small way recently – it could be birdsong, a favourite smell, a particularly good loaf of bread, a blue sky, anything!

Then, head on over to The Depp Effect and link your post.

Here’s something that make me VERY happy…BOOKS!

Books Make Me Happy

I love everything about books…the stories, the authors, the smell of the pages, the dust jackets, the language, the illustrations, the places you buy them…everything. I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life in the company of books. Books are sacred to me. Through them, everything is available to us.

This Week’s Inspiration Results

Something new I’m doing in 2013…Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration. I think this will be a fun exercise for me and keep me painting. It will also allow me to discover and share my “process.”

This year, I’m once again participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge. Every month, Leah posts an optional monthly theme for inspirational purposes and to give some focus to anyone who needs it. This month’s theme is…DARK…so that’s what I used for my inspiration this week.

I started with the background.

Dark Canvas

The first thing that came to my mind was a red dress…

 Dark Lady 2

and this is the girl that came out of it.

 Dark Lady 1

I think some of her came out of this unfinished painting.

 French Lady 1

I still want to do a more work on both of them.

Whew! That’s a lot of posting.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds), Inspiration | 21 Comments

January 9

The Gift Of Beauty

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I received some cool “beauty” gifts for Christmas…

From Amy

My friend, Amy, gave me an assortment of her (and my) favorite things…

  • The newest philosophy fragrance, living grace. I love the philosophy “grace” fragrances.
  • Priti NYC nail polish (in Chilan Bamboo) and Almond Cuticle Oil. The Priti NYC polishes are all completely non-toxic and made without toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde and camphor. I sampled Amy’s Priti NYC nail polish before and thought it was great, so she got me some of my own. She also gave my a Julep nail polish (in Daphne) which is her current obsession.
  • It Cosmetics is one of Amy’s favorite brands. These are the softest, most luxurious brushes. They are a pleasure to use and make you feel glamorous.

The Yum Yum Shoppe Gift

My friend, Sherry, gave me this collection from The Yum Yum Shoppe. Back in 2011, Sherry helped me out with a 4 Faves post and The Yum Yum Shoppe was one of her favorite things. I’ve only tried the lotion so far and it is lovely. Not too thick and not too thin with a wonderful fragrance.

Glam'Eyes

I treated myself to a little gift…Glam’Eyes by Rimmel. How could an Anglophile resist?

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 10 Comments

January 8

Introductions – Freedom

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Every Tuesday in 2013, I’ll post something about the houndies. To start, I’d like to introduce Freedom, Casper and Nikki. I’ll start with Freedom.

Low Freedom

Freedom is a retired racing greyhound. Her racing name was Free Spitfire, but she didn’t race for long…around 10 races and no wins. Freedom is 5 years old.

Freedom's Cute Face

Freedom is the leader of the pack. She can be a bit bossy, testy and headstrong, but she has a sweetness about her that makes me melt. Freedom is my heart dog.

Sleeping Freedom

Freedom has the cutest bent ear and she is very bald…no hair on her rear, neck, chest or belly.

Freedom BTC4A 2

Freedom’s favorite toys are her hedgehogs. When she wants to comfort herself, she grabs a hedgehog and squeezes it in her mouth.  She can even lull herself to sleep like this. So sweet!

So Sweet Freedom

Freedom is very gentle with her little sister, Nikki. Freedom and Casper are another thing altogether. They play bitey face, they chase, they argue. They act like a brother and a sister. Love you, Freedom.

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 20 Comments

January 7

In My Studio – January 7

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Here’s what’s happening in my studio during the first week of 2013…

Remember this?  Last year, I signed up for an art journal course called Art Journal All Year E-Course from Red Velvet Shop. The course offers an art challenge and a journal challenge for 52 weeks.

Art Journal Adventure

For some reason, I set this aside around Week 32 and then BOOM! the year was over. I want to finish this, so I’m going to do several pages every week until it’s done. I really do enjoy working on this…when I work on it.

Art Journal The Best Part

This Week’s Inspiration

Something new I’m doing in 2013…Inspiration Mondays and Results Thursdays. Every Monday, I’ll post a painting “inspiration” and then on Thursdays, I’ll post how I’m interpreting that inspiration. I think this will be a fun exercise for me and keep me painting.

This year, I’m once again participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge. Every month, Leah posts an optional monthly theme for inspirational purposes and to give some focus to anyone who needs it. I’m going to use it. This month’s theme is…DARK…so that’s what I’ll use for my inspiration this week.

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio, Inspiration | 12 Comments

January 6

Creating A Life Worth Living – Part 1

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Creating a Life Worth Living Book

I’m starting off the year reading Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd. The book begins with this:

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium. It will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.

Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

Isn’t that true. Now…to put it in practice.

I wanted to read this book, because I’m trying to figure out what part I want my painting and writing to play in my life so I can focus my efforts properly. Please grab a copy and design your own creative life/career plan or just follow along.

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

January 5

Things To Help Me Focus

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I’ve taken the first several days of the New Year to think about some of the things I want to focus on in 2013. How will I keep track of things? I’m pretty low-tech, so I’ll be using:

Keeping Track Paper Calendar

1. Paper calendar – I’ll use this to keep track of my work schedule, appointments, and daily & weekly tasks.

Keeping Track Wall Calendars

2. Wall calendars – I just hung up 3 dry-erase calendars in my studio.  I’ll use these to keep track of my goals, my blog schedule and ideas that come up.

Keeping Track Journals

3. Journals – I’ll use these for planning and playing.

I’m always looking for good ideas and helpful hints, so feel free to share how you plan, play and keep track of things.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 11 Comments

January 4

My Goals For January 2013

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January Goals

I don’t like to set goals. Some of it has to do with my personality…I like to flit around from this to that, and some of it has to do with fear and how bad I feel when I set out to accomplish something and then fall short, but I know it’s a useful tool when you’re trying to focus on something. So here goes…

1. Figure out what role I want painting to play in my life.

2. Write out ten goals I want to accomplish in 2013 with regard to my painting.

3. Every Sunday, review and plan the week ahead and keep an eye on the month so I don’t overextend myself.

4. Schedule regular painting time. I’ll start with three hours a week.

5. Set-up a gallery page on my blog.

These are the goals I want to accomplish by the end of January.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 11 Comments

January 3

A Little Help Setting Goals

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I’m spending this week thinking about some of the things I’d like to focus on this year. I love a good self-help book. Here’s a few I’m looking at, as I set-up some goals for 2013.

Push Book

My friend, Amy, gave me this book last year. At the time, I knew that I was dedicating 2012 to creativity and playfulness, so I wasn’t particularly interested in it. I’m giving it a second look…the “turbocharged habits” part, not the “bangin’ body” part. Maybe I’ll do bangin’ body next year.

One Year To An Organized Life Book

I bought this book last year and think I’ll work through it this year to focus my never-ending efforts to make peace with my stuff.

Creating a Life Worth Living Book

This is the first book I’m going to work my way through during my “Creating the Creator” posts on Sundays.

Life always feels so “hopeful” when you have several self-help books to look through.

Now for a little fun…My friend, Jay, who writes The Depp Effect, wrote a post called How To Be Happy! Jay said, “The secret of happiness, if you ask me, is to find it in small things.” To help us find and consider the small things in our lives, Jay is hosting a link party every Thursday. If you’d like to join in, here’s what you need to do:

1. Look out for those little things that bring a little sunshine into your heart, and produce anything from a tiny smile to a flat out belly laugh.

2. Take a photo.

3. Post it on your blog, telling us a little bit about it.

4. Link it to The Depp Effect.

Here’s my first “little thing” that makes me happy…COFFEE!

Coffee Makes Me Happy

I love coffee. I love the taste, the things you put in it, the warmth, the mugs, the smell…pretty much everything. My favorite coffee is Seattle’s Best Number 4 (Henry’s Blend) with Coffee-mate Cafe Mocha creamer. This makes me very happy, and I do appreciate it every single day.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 12 Comments

January 2

One Word For 2013 – Focus

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One Word 2013 - Focus Large

Last year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I picked a word that would encompass the spirit in which I would live the year. My word for 2012 was CREATIVE. I feel I did live within the spirit of that word during 2012. I pushed myself to create all year long, and I tried a variety of different things. As 2013 neared, I started to think about my word for the new year.

Here are some things that became clear to me as 2012 was winding down…

1. I love to paint. In particular, I love to paint my little girls. I want to continue painting. Today, that’s where I see my future as an artist.

2. I love to blog. It is a great source of joy to me, both in how it allows me to develop myself and how it allows me to communicate with others all around the world.

3. I would like to do better with my finances, health, home and relationships.

Looking at this list made my word for 2013 pop into my head…FOCUS. I need to focus.

A little note…Thank you to Melanie of Only a Breath. She created my one word button. If you’d like a button of your own, check out this post for the information Melanie needs from you. Need help choosing a word for 2013? Check out One Word 365.

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 10 Comments