Seasonal shifts….Do you enjoy the changing of the seasons?

4_Seasons_by_WhiteSpiritWolf

I’m getting back on track with the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank this month with the topic “Seasonal shifts….Do you enjoy the changing of the seasons?

I truly enjoy the change of seasons, especially when I live in a place where these shifts are quite evident.

Spring’s arrival announces the rebirth.  I love to watch buds form and new life burst forth.

Summer signals maturity.  The fruit of spring’s blossoms emerge.

Fall brings a wonderful transformation. I am fascinated by the beautiful colors of leaves changing.

Winter provides a time for restoration.  It is as if everything is at rest, preparing for what is to come in the spring.

Now let’s see what my fellow Think Tank participants had to say on this topic:

Andes Cruz:  http://andescruz.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/seasonal-shifts/

Pallavi Gandhi: http://studioat605.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/october/

Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/

Catherine Witherell: http://happydayart.typepad.com

Tosca Teran: http://nanopod.me/2014/10/20/seasonal-shifts/

Shelagh Blatz http://www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog

Namaste

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Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank ~ Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone

How I Visualize The Comfort Zone

The topic for the May Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank writers is: ” How often do you step outside of your comfort zone?  If yes, how, when?  If not, are you considering it?”

I think instinctively, we know what The Comfort Zone is.  It’s that place where we are content.  Let’s not mix things up with a bunch of change.  Why would I want to leave something where I’m not feeling any stress or pressure?  Well, there are plenty of good reasons to leave that space because the action of doing so will help you to grow.  I know.

The revelation to Step Outside of My Comfort Zone came to me sometime in the ’80s.  Discussions centered around being stuck in a rut.

Who Wants to be Stuck?

The part about being stuck didn’t sound very pleasant to me. I recognized that I was ‘stuck’ and needed to do something about it. The answer came in the form of stepping outside of my comfort zone.  It’s not easy because we like what we know.  It’s familiar.  I hesitated, but I knew it was something I had to do.

One of my biggest steps outside of my comfort zone was going back to college to get my degree in Computer Science.  Working full time, going to school at night after working all day, making time to study and knowing it was going to take longer because I was a part-time rather than a full-time student.  The desired result was I would change careers. The unknown was being able to find a job in a new field. My parents thought I was crazy to leave the security of an established career. I suspect some of my co-workers thought I was nuts too. But you know what?  I did it. I got the degree. I found the job.  All of that reinforced so many positive things; the most important was that I was doing something about my current situation, investing in myself and my future. If I hadn’t taken that step, I would have remained in a job I didn’t enjoy, frustrated and miserable. By taking that step, a whole new world opened up for me and I felt alive again. The reward was well worth the initial trepidation I felt.

I continue to look for ways to step outside of my comfort zone. Yes, it’s still met with that initial fear/hesitation but I am equipped with the knowledge of all the great things that happen when I push through that fear. The end result, the rewards far outweigh the perceived risks.

My current venture is to write a book. I’ve wanted to do this for years. One of my first steps toward this was taking a Writing Workshop last month. There I was in a room of 499 other writers, listening to Dr Wayne Dyer share aspects of his journey. I’m thinking, wow, this is a big goal and step outside of that oh so comfortable comfort zone. I’ve written blogs and made my first attempt to write a book last November with a Novel Writing Challenge, but this workshop, this is the reality of what needs to happen. I started to think all of this is scary stuff. Then that little tap on my shoulder that tells me, remember how much fun it is to step outside the zone? Ah, yes, it is! Time to plunge, really plunge into this with everything I have. I’ve done it before, I can do it again. So I’m working on my book proposal and it feels like I’m off to a bit of a slow start, but that’s ok because I know my momentum will come.

Yes I’m a huge proponent of stepping oustide of your comfort zone. I do it a lot. I highly recommend it because I have found it has helped me to grow as a person. My life has been so much richer as a result.

Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers shared on this topic:
Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com
pencilfox: http://www.pencilfox.com
Christine: http://christineesovoloff.tumblr.com/
Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com

Namaste

Do the seasons affect/inspire you? In what way?

This month’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank is: “Do the seasons affect/inspire you? In what way?

Well, I consider myself a geek by day, artist/writer by night.  As I considered this question, I thought…..in all honesty, no, the seasons don’t have any affect on inspiring me….at least none that I’m aware of.

I find that I welcome and look forward to the seasonal changes.  It’s hard for me to pick a favorite season because as each one matures, I find myself enjoying certain aspects of it.

AspenLeaves

Spring.  Symbolizes rebirth, new growth.  I’m always looking forward to growing and changing.  I love to challenge myself by trying new things.  Recently I started a new series in my jewelry work called Express Yourself.  The primary focus of this series has been earrings that are a collage of all types of items.

brassAspenLeaf

However, I decided that each earring set would have an Aspen leaf as one of the components.  The aspens, in our backyard, provided the samples of baby leaves from the branches I pruned last spring.  The new growth providing growth in my work.

MyTorch

Summer.  Warmth, heat, maturity.  I’m really not a fan of the heat.  However, one of the most important tools I use as I create my art jewelry is my torch!  When I first started to work with metal, I quickly discovered how integral torch work was to the works I create.  I matured in my understanding and growth about the medium of metal and could not do what I do without my trusty torch.

FallLeaves

Fall.  Crispness coupled with slight cooling signaling a change is in the air.  The beauty of the leaves changing has always created a sense of awe for me.  In 9th grade science class we learned about chlorophyll and the science of what takes place as the trees prepare for winter.  Many things affect the colors of the leaves as they change into the beautiful warm spectrum that tells us fall is here; tree species, amount of moisture during the summer season, the first frost. I do find it magical and have taken many samples, along with photos, to preserve some of what that season offered.  Sometimes I incorporate these into my designs.  Mainly I want them as a point of reference for future works.

WinterScene

Winter.  Cold, white, quiet.  A time to hibernate and reflect.  I don’t think I every really slow down as much as I would like to during this season.  Holidays tend to cause a flurry of activity (pardon the pun).  Decorating the house, taking down the decorations, preparing a holiday feast either large or small, buying presents, lots of preparations.

Sunset

So you see, I can’t really pinpoint that any one season influences me.  I think they all do in their subtle and not so subtle ways.  After writing all of this, I think it is LIFE, with its ups and downs, the changing seasons, the joys and woes, music, my spirit in tune with the Universe….all of that inspires me.

Now lets see what my fellow Think Tank members have to share on this topic:

Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com
Natsuko Hanks: http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com
Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com
Shelagh Blatz: http://www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog
pencilfox www.pencilfox.com

Namaste

Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank ~ What is one thing you really love to do?

PositioningSolderChip
Photo of my hands as I am working in my studio
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

The topic for this month’s Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank post is…..drum roll please…… “What is one thing you really love to do? And why?”

I absolutely, positively LOVE with a capital L-O-V-E working with my hands.  I have ever since I was a little kid.  Coloring. Playing the piano. Typing. Macrame, from basket holders to jewelry. Sewing. Painting. Creating Stained Glass. Wire wrapping. And now Metalsmithing.  I am drawn to anything that involves working with my hands.

The reason for this is I thoroughly enjoy the tactile experiences from the creative processes involved when I am using my hands.  Manual dexterity just feels so good.

A definite side benefit I experience is this wonderful sense of serene tranquility and calm. I’m in a zone where everything is at peace.  It’s wonderful.  I can be so focused on what I’m trying to accomplish that Dan has to find ways to get my attention so I’m not startled.

Yes, working with my hands has always brought about great personal satisfaction.  Sure, there are times when I have my bad days and just have to stop. BUT, I can easily say that 99% of the time, working with my hands is the ultimate  endorphin  releasing experience for me.

Let’s see what my fellow Think Tank bloggers wrote on February’s topic:

Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com
Mary Spencer (WATTO DMW) http://www.wattoonline.com/news
Shelagh Blatz: http://designsbyshelagh.com/blog
pencilfox. www.pencilfox.com
Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.