Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feng to the Shui, Baby

Once upon a time, I had no clue about how my environment impacted my life. Sure, I understood that I impacted my environment, but only in a peripheral sense. Add to that my Eternal Monuments to Entropy; my children and the whole concept of my house as a reflection of me went by the wayside.

Enter a good friend of mine who introduced me to Feng Shui. This wasn't some militant Feng Shui focused on the exact placement of my furniture mood-ring style until I felt calm and tranquil. She introduced me to a book by Karen Rauch Carter called Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life. Not only a good source of information, this book is also an entertaining read.

Skeptical? Sure. I was too, at first. But I'll try anything once. So I read the book and applied what Carter calls "cures" to several areas of my home. One area focused on Prosperity. Money. Who couldn't use more of that. Within a week of intentionally applying the cures, we got a check in the mail; it was a refund for overpayment on car insurance. Coincidence? Maybe, if you believe in such things. I like to think of it as attracting money energy to our life.

And if this sounds like a bunch of voodoo magical stuff, it might be. But have you ever been in a house where you could feel something wasn't right? When Hubby and I were house hunting, we looked at a place that felt wrong from the moment we walked through the front door. The house was clean, well-kept and decorated nicely. But there was an odd energy in the place. We went upstairs and discovered there was a bedroom painted a very very bright red. The color of the walls was migraine-inducing. It was in an area of the house that never should have had so much red. We called it the Murder Room. Thank goodness we didn't buy that house.

Again, entropy can be the enemy of any Feng Shui (or anything home related) so it helps to periodically re-feng shui things. Also, desires change, life changes and what once was deemed important might give way to something else.

It's all about intention. The intentional placement of objects to enhance your space and give your life a boost. Everything has energy. As the book explains, use this energy to your advantage. Let your stuff work for you. I can totally get around that. Anything that will make my life easier is always welcomed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Throwing Down a Gauntlet

This gauntlet-throwing blog post begins with a confession, though it's not really a huge secret. I am a clothes horse. I love shopping. I love clothes. Even from an early age, I can remember enjoying the process of picking my outfits. In high school, my wardrobe was funky. My prized score was a tuxedo jacket with tails that I routinely wore with my favorite jeans and my CATS musical t-shirt. Standard issue for every high school drama geek.

I have bought, sold and given away probably enough clothes to adorn a small village in ... well, somewhere there are small villages of snappily dressed villagers. Lots of these clothes have been bought in the mainstream large stores. Dillards, Target, The Limited, etc. Though I do shop at the Goodwill store and local stores, most of my wardrobe is still from the easy-to-obtain Big Boxes.

In the last year or so, I have become more aware of the impact that we as consumers can make on a local economy. I have talked and written in this blog about the idea of shopping small. As in small business (though I really don't like that term. I prefer independent businesses, which is what I shall call them.)

Recently, I read a blog post from a fellow Etsian which resonated with me and my desire to not only support local clothing boutiques but also following a movement of reusing and recycling. We live in a world of disposable clothes. Things purchased at Wal-mart or Target might be cute, or cheap, but ultimately, they don't last. Even the higher end stores like Dillards and Macy's stock items mass produced in China. A lot of our money is going to some large corporation.

My challenge to myself is this: I will only purchase clothing from an independent business OR from a second hand boutique or thrift store. Also allowed are yard sale finds or items sold by folks at work.

I have a feeling this will be tough. I love that new clothes smell. And I love the mall. But, I also love keeping my money in my own backyard. And I also love independent clothing stores that stock unusual items. I don't want to see myself coming and going. And you never know what you might find at the local thrift store!

The one caveat to this is underwear and socks. There are some thing you want to buy new. However, I will find a local store that sells undies.

This challenge will begin with me. While I would like to get my children to do this too, I think the better example would be to encourage them and then let them see me, and follow suit if they want. My daughter is going into middle school.. so, yeah.. good luck with that.

I am excited about the prospect and hope to discover some nifty things along the way. And I will share my progress as it applies. I am throwing down the gauntlet to myself... but only if it's second-hand.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Special Wednesday Edition

Check out my guest blog debut over at Leona Wisoker's fabulous blog, The Writing of a Wisoker on the Loose. Never done a guest blog before and I am honored to have been asked and featured on such an awesome blog. Thanks, Leona!

And on a related note, Leona Wisoker will be at the James River Writers Conference this fall.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Me Time

So, today is all about me in Blogtown, since this is my blog.

I recently scored my first publishing credit. I wrote an article for a company that sells jewelry wire. Soft Flex Company has a feature on their website called "Spotlight On." You might have noticed the badge on the side of my blog. I followed this company on Twitter and saw a tweet asking for writers. I said "what the hell" and sent them an email. I got a response and scheduled my article for June. It was due in May.

I had never done anything like this. I write fiction with the odd blog post here and there. However, I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone. Just sending the email was a step for me. A couple of years ago, I might not have gotten the courage to even ask. The worst they could say was "no." Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

This was an experience, writing a non-fiction article. I had a deadline. I like a deadline, I have discovered. Makes me actually get it done. I also had to supply my own pictures.

And the finished article can be found here:

I am rather proud of it and hope to do more in the future.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dusting It Off

Taking a page from my husband and also following some sage advice I gathered from the Writing Show, I will post to this blog more regularly. Every Thursday I will post something on this, my own little corner of the Internet.

As for content, it could be about jewelry, writing, creativity. Really, could be about anything. Kind of like a bloggers grab-bag. Just reach in and be surprised!

Until next week, I will leave you with a link to another blog that's worth a look. It's the official blog for the James River Writers Conference coming up in the fall. Check it out for news and other nifty bits!

And in a shameless plug for Hubby, check out his online comic strip at the Wildcat's Lair.