Monday, April 14, 2014

Hidden Meanings In Junk Mail Part 4

In the final stretch of last month’s creative challenge (week one, week two and week three here), Spring’s arrival was a frequent influence…
#22 "Serenity"
Isabella catalog
grace, serenity and beauty
within a blossom
#23 "The Pea"
Target insert in Sunday paper
sometimes you can feel love
coming from an unexpected or unlikely place...
be open to this lovely surprise
#24 " Magic"
Tea children's clothing catalog
find magic growing in nature

#25 "Discovery"
Oppenheimer Funds Annual Report
best discoveries can often be found on the spurs
off of the main trail of life

#26 "Sweet Life"
The Herald newspaper
taste the sweetness of life and enjoy

#27 "Celebrate Spring"
I Cantori Carmel postcard
flowers bloom in celebration of Spring

#28 "Raindrops, Teardrops"
California American Water envelope
raindrops cleanse the Earth,
teardrops cleanse the soul

#29 "Stepping Stones"
Acacia catalog
keep taking steps to live
healthfully and joyfully

#30 "Spirit"
Cost Plus World Market insert in Sunday paper
shine your spirit brightly

#31 "Bloom"
Boden envelope and letter
bloom in creativity, love, joy and gratitude
Hope you've enjoyed these little blossoms of creativity unfolding from junk mail and newspaper!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hidden Meanings In Junk Mail Part 3

During last month’s self-assigned daily creative challenge (week one and week two), some ideas immediately presented themselves as I leafed through a catalog, while others took their time, coming into view more slowly.  Sometimes “just the right” words were already there, and other times, I clipped letters to compose the word(s) when what I was searching for wasn’t readily available. 

Here’s the ebb and flow of week three’s collaged messages...

#15 "Paradise"
Kauai Coffee ad in Sunday paper
Kauai is my definition of paradise
(Hanalei is always my healing place in visualizations)

#16 "Wander"
Tom's catalog
wander with purpose,
head in the best direction
#17 "Ready, Set, Go"
Mini Boden catalog
be open to and ready for adventure

#18 "Celebration"
Garnet Hill Kids catalog
celebrate possibility
#19 "Lighter And Brighter"
J. Crew catalog
when life has been dark and heavy,
it's time for something lighter and brighter
#20 "Yellow Brick Road"
Title Nine catalog
my "yellow brick road" can be
a hiking trail, a sandy stretch of beach or
the process of creating art

#21 "Heart Chakra"
REI dividend notice
simply a moment to take a deep breath
and focus on the heart chakra
Where does wandering with purpose lead you?  What defines your "yellow brick road?"  Please share!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hidden Meanings In Junk Mail Part 2

In my previous post, I shared the first week’s results from the creative challenge I assigned myself last month, finding the “silver lining” in an envelope lining, amidst junk mail and within the Sunday paper!  Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing the mini collages I assembled in the remaining weeks and the simple, yet uplifting messages that emerged from each one.  Admittedly, when I found a catalog in our mailbox with a wealth of images from which to create, I could collage with ease, while other days when the sole piece of mail that arrived was an annual report from a financial firm, I had to stretch my imagination.  Whether each collage was easy or difficult, overall, this creative challenge was much fun! 

Here's week two…

#8 "Splash"
The Company Store catalog
add a splash of color, brightness, energy, positivity, joy

#9 "All That Brightens"
Ulta ad in Sunday paper
bright pops of nature's colors are always uplifting and inspiring

#10 "A World Of Wonder"
Tea children's clothing brochure
in the sea is a world of wonder

#11 "To The Sea"
Garnet Hill catalog
to the sea
where I wish to be...

#12 "Balance"
American Balanced Fund annual report
seeking balance

#13 "Insight"
California American Water brochure
insight is in sight

#14 "Advance"
Eaton Vance annual report
strength, momentum and perserverance
to advance forward and upward
Click here for week one...
May you enjoy a balanced, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hidden Meanings In Junk Mail Part 1

During quiet stretches between blog posts, typically the opposite of quiet describes what’s happening in the real time of my daily life!  In the past month, I celebrated our daughter’s birthday (multiple occasions including hosting her first sleepover party!), tackled the dreaded, unavoidable task of tax preparation (while trying to reclaim my long lost organizational skills in the process), taught adults and children how to craft paper posies in a weekend workshop and an after-school enrichment class, volunteered at school in my two roles as classroom aide and art docent, participated in SoulCollage® facilitator training (a most profound experience, both personally and professionally…will be writing and sharing soon) and accomplished some private writing. 

On top of everything, I decided to assign myself a month-long creative challenge – assembling a simple collaged daily “mantra” or inspiration from each day’s junk mail or newspaper.  Actually, this challenge initially began as a very simple collage of any sort, but within the first week, I noticed I was always incorporating a word or phrase into each piece, so the challenge evolved into an uplifting collaged message each day.  If I skipped a day or two (or three), then I caught up on the missed days whenever I could make time to do so.  I was practicing discipline and flexibility simultaneously!  On some days, ideas flowed easily, while other days required more effort depending on what I found in the mailbox.  In the end, I created a collection of 31 small, but mighty reminders of how to live each day with inspiration, creativity, mindfulness and gratitude.  I owe author, blogger and artist, Valerie Storey, a thank you as her blog post about mini-projects prompted me to finally take action on my own challenge when I realized a "mini" approach would be more easily achievable and likely much more rewarding than a grandiose plan.
I rose to the creative challenge, exercised my creative "muscle" and found the hidden meanings in junk mail (and the Sunday paper!)  Here's the first week...
#1 "Passage To Blue"
envelope lining + Anthropologie catalog
find your pathway to relaxation

#2 "New"
Bounty ad in Sunday paper
new growth is always possible (inspired by
new growth observed in nature during Spring hikes)

#3 "Bright Life"
Provident credit union offer
life is brighter with a colorful, creative perspective

#4 "Create Joy"
Chase offer
we can bring joy to ourselves and others through creativity

#5 "Go"
Boden catalog
seek and discover new experiences, adventures
and inspirations

#6 "Building Blocks"
HELOC offer
when we build our life on a solid foundation of values,
we can rely on our inner strength and stability as we grow

#7 "Start Today"
envelope lining from Delta Dental statement
take a step any day, start today
Do you enjoy challenging yourself creatively?  Have you ever completed a daily challenge within a specified time frame - one month, quarterly, year long?  I hope you'll share here!