Something I try to focus on every day.

July 6, 2012


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Inspiring words

April 27, 2012

~ If all you can do is crawl, start crawling. – Rumi

~ There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting. – Buddha

~ Dare to believe that something inside you is greater than your circumstances. – unknown

~ Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

~ The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor touched but are felt in the heart. – Helen Keller.

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Up-Inspired Floating House

April 6, 2011

National Geographic Up-Inspired Floating House

Did you see the movie “Up”?

I took the little guys to see it when it came out a few years ago and we loved the movie! (Even though it was a bit of a tearjerker.)

When I saw the scene where the house floats up and away into the sky, I wondered to myself if that was really possible.

National Geographic Up-Inspired Floating House

I guess the answer to that question is ‘yes’!

National Geographic Up-Inspired Floating House

Last month, National Geographic Channel and a team of scientists, engineers, and balloon pilots successfully launched a 16′ X 16′ house 18′ tall with 300 8′ colored weather balloons to set a new world record.

The filming of this National Geographic experiment will be part of a new National Geographic series called How Hard Can It Be?, which will premiere this fall. (You can read more about this experiment on Modern Met, which is where I found out about it.)

How awesome would it have been to be inside that house when it floated into the sky?


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My Inspiration Board

March 3, 2011

I’ve been wanting to create an inspiration board for a long time but I’ve never managed to set aside the time to do it. Thanks to my dear friend, P, who gave me a great IKEA desk, I finally carved out a little corner for myself in our guest room to use as a combination office/craft area. Having my own space got me really motivated to get my inspiration board made so I could hang it right above my desk.

And since March is National Craft Month, I thought this would be the perfect time for this project. BigSis and I are both crazy about all different sorts of crafts and we recently decided that we want to start sharing more “DIY” crafts with you here on our site.

This bulletin board was Bry’s when he was in high school over ten years ago and I’ve had it stashed in the back of a closet ever since just waiting to be transformed.

This is what it looked like when I pulled it out of the closet.

Inspiration Board

The first thing I did was clean it up and paint the frame a glossy black.

Inspiration BoardI found some nice, thick Scrapbook paper at Jo-Ann Fabrics for a great price, so I bought four 12″ x 12″ sheets with a scrolly design for the corners and four more 12″ x 12″ sheets of a pretty cursive handwriting design to fill in the center and cover all the cork.

Inspiration Board

Once that was done, I just gathered some of my favorite photos and items that inspire me and make me happy. Here’s a little something about what some of these mean to me.

I’ve wanted to go to Italy for many years and BigSis & I hope to some day take a two week dream vacation across Italy.

Inspiration Board

I’ve talked before about how badly I want to see the Sistine Chapel. This is at the top of my bucket list.

Sistine Chapel on Inspiration Board

Maui happens to be one of my most favorite places on Earth. Just the thought of sitting outside on Kaanapali Beach having lunch at Hula Grill or strolling the artsy/fartsy streets of Pa’ia always makes me smile. These are just a few photos from a previous vacation.

Inspiration Board

I’m inspired by a lot of different things when it comes to my passion for art. Scents, colors, textures, and creative people inspire me. And reminding myself not to worry so much helps keep my mind clear.

Inspiration Board

I collect greeting cards designed by the amazing artist, Josephine Wall and these are just a couple of my favorites. I’ve made four sculptures that were actually inspired by her cards and my Mermaid was the first and inspired by this card.

Inspiration Board

My ‘Shell Queen’ sculpture that I created several years ago was my first to ever be exhibited at a gallery show and she was inspired by another one of Josephine Wall’s gorgeous creatures, “Shell Child”. I’m now in love with “My Lady Unicorn” and I think she may be my next sculptural inspiration.

Inspiration Board

And, I also mentioned my love of these bookshelves on our site a couple of years ago. I’d love to have some floor to ceiling bookshelves like these so I think if I keep looking at this photo and visualizing it, maybe I’ll have some like this some day!

Inspiration Board

Yoga is a big stress buster for me and I want to be able to do this version of the pigeon pose one day; I came close a few years ago. This photo just inspires me to continue with my yoga practice.

The ceramic cross hanging in the corner is from a series I sold to an art gallery years ago. I have a goal to get back in my clay studio to start producing some new creations before the end of the year and this helps to inspire me.

Inspiration Board

This was such a fun, inexpensive project! I bought some ribbon and some small, headless pins in addition to the scrapbook paper, but the cost was still less than $10.00 since everything you put on your board is either an inspiring photo or an item that you already own.

I just finished my board today and I’m so anxious to get it hung so I can look at it every day. Why didn’t I make time to do this sooner?

Inspiration Board

It was probably because I didn’t have one single space in my house that I could call my very own. Now, I do. And it makes me very, very happy! :-)


Bee Inspired

November 13, 2010

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

~William Arthur Ward

I found out about these lovely boxes of quotes from Bee Inspired in the November, 2010 issue of Whole Living. I’ve always had a love for inspirational quotes. I’ve got a stack of books that are filled with quotes and I’ve found that it really helps me start my day off on a positive note to read something inspirational and uplifting first thing each morning.

I love that each of these beautiful boxes contain a year’s worth of daily inspirational messages that are each hand rolled and hand tied into a small scroll. The boxes of quotes, which come in several different themes, such as Marital Bliss, Success, and Motherhood, start at $29.00 and would make a perfect gift for a special person in your life.

Here’s the story about how Kristen Novak was inspired to create these beautiful boxes full of quotes. :-)

The Bee Inspired Story

When I learned from my sister, Kelly, that her newborn child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, I was at a loss as to how I could help her during this transitional time. We had always been close at heart, but now the distance between Saginaw, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois seemed worlds apart.

I desperately wanted to be there to give her daily hugs and support. That is when the idea of sending an “inspirational quote a day” was born. It was my way of being there to give her a “pick me up” when I could not, delivered exactly when she needed it most.

My love for inspirational quotes and the way they positively affect people’s lives inspired me to create a box filled with these treasures. After carefully selecting quotes to be shared with my sister, I individually hand rolled and tied each scroll with raffia. Then, I placed them in a custom designed box. Now I had a gift uplifting to the soul and beautiful to the eye!

This gift helped bridge the miles between us and let her know I was always with her at heart.

My hope is that this gift will inspire you and you might reach out and share the buzz with others.

Hugs and Smiles,

Kristin's Signature

(Note: Bee Inspired donates a portion of the proceeds from the signature gift box sales to the National Down Syndrome Society.)


Goodbye to Daylight Savings Time 2010

November 6, 2010

Don't Forget Daylight Savings Time

You do remember that we get an extra hour in our Sunday, right?  Happy dance, happy dance!

What to do with that precious hour?  Here our my Top 10 Ideas for using that extra hour:

  • Just do it!  Intending to exercise won’t get you into your skinny jeans!  Start that exercise program TODAY and you won’t have to make that same old New Years resolution to get in shape!  If you’re working out super-hard, you may also be less prone to sabotage yourself by eating horribly during the holidays.  Bonus!
  • Dig around iTunes and download some new music to liven up your cardio playlist.
  • Clean your closets out now instead of scrambling to make that end-of-the-year charitable donation on December 31st.  You know you won’t have time once the holidays get into full swing!
  • Have you met your medical insurance deductible for the year?  There may be some medical appointments you should schedule to take advantage of that situation, so make a list today of the calls you can make tomorrow.
  • Think about what you want to cook for Thanksgiving this year.  My recommendation of course, would be to skip the turkey and do a feast of veggies and sides!
  • Start your Christmas lists: gift list, Christmas card list, to do list.  It’s never too early to begin!
  • Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather if you’re blessed with it today, and get out there in it!
  • Hang out with your kids or grandkids without thinking about anything else you should be doing.
  • Sleep!

photo credit: Somewhat Frank


As September Ends

October 1, 2010

It seems like I just blinked my eyes and September is gone. In my mind, it’s still August, so I  can’t believe that it’s already October and time to start talking about the holidays.

(Is is just me or does time fly by faster the older you get?)

In September, I found myself in an extremely stressful situation and the stress and anxiety leading up to it and during it took a real toll on my body and my mind. By the time it was over, I was more mentally exhausted than ever before. This particular situation is mainly what led me to post this quote about anxiety and I’ve made the decision that I’m never going to let stress wreak havoc on my body like that again.

Since it’s been a few weeks, I’ve managed to wrap my brain around the situation and I’m in the process of taking a serious look at priorities, opportunities, and the challenges that may lie ahead depending on which way I turn at that fork in the road.

Actually, for the past several months, I’ve been trying to deal with issues that aren’t in my control and I’m learning to take one day at a time and live by the theory that everything happens for a reason.

I count my blessings every day and I’m trying harder to appreciate the little things in life and be grateful for what we have today. As we all know, everything can change in an instant. I’m making a conscious effort to live more in the present moment than to worry about what’s going to happen next month.

There were a lot of great moments and lots of things that I LOVED during September. Here are just a few.

I don’t have a photo of the big day, but our youngest grandson turned two last week and in a couple of months he will welcome home a baby brother!

Bry graduated with honors from his “A Training” class in Great Lakes last Friday. And the great news is that he got stationed in San Diego and will be here with us soon.

This was a great moment for me, even though a bit emotional. Last week, I had only been home from my trip for a few hours and Hay realized that it was a full moon so we hopped in the car and drove up the nearest hill so he could try to snap some shots of the moon.

When I saw him with his new camera and realized that he really is a natural and he has a great creative eye, I got out my phone and took this photo. (Apologies for the quality of the photo.) My dad was a photographer his entire life and I wish that he was here to see Hay follow in his footsteps. Hay’s Pappy would be so proud.

Last weekend, I went on my first sailboat ride with some great friends and it was even more relaxing and peaceful than I ever could had imagined.

I loved that I had my camera ready when these four little dolphins popped up right next to the boat.

And this may seem really silly but I can’t even explain how much I LOVE my new reusable Trader Joe’s bag. It’s perfect for toting around all my other reusable bags and for taking on an afternoon of errands to eliminate using a bunch of little plastic bags. I’ve even used it as an overnight bag already. I’m almost as happy with this new $1.99 bag as I would be if I just got a new Coach purse. :-)

More things which made me smile:

  • Going to dinner with BigSis while in Dallas
  • Trader Joe’s Lavender Tripled Milled Soap
  • Spending half a day at the beach catching up on unread magazines
  • Cheryl Tall’s exhibition in Tucson, AZ
  • Reaching into my nightstand one night and grabbing The Creativity Book by Eric Maisel
  • Lisa Leonard’s Creativity necklace
  • My new Bath&Body Works Wallflower in Nutmeg & Kitchen Spice (now my house reminds me of BigSis’ house)
  • Ordering a pair of Sanuk Yoga Mat Sandals
  • Going on a bike ride with my hubby
  • Catching up with an old friend that I haven’t talked to in months and felt like it was just days ago
  • Discovering my new favorite vodka, Chopin
  • These yoga pants covered in butterflies
  • Celebrating a great friend’s birthday over dinner and lots of laughs
  • Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snacks
  • Laurie Mika’s mixed media mosaics
  • Back to School night at the HS (makes me feel like a kid again.)

I’m confident that October will bring more special moments and things that make me smile. I’d love to hear what makes you smile. :-) :-)


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Thought for the day

September 26, 2010

Cast all your anxiety

Photo credit: Lel4nd Flickr Photostream

Transform anxiety into excitement;
focus not on the fear of what lies ahead
but the possibilities you might create.


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December’s gifts

December 1, 2009

December’s gifts – custom, ceremony, celebration, consecration – come to us wrapped up, not in tissue and ribbons, but in cherished memories. This is the month of miracles. The oil that burns for eight days, the royal son born in a stable, the inexplicable return of Light on the longest, darkest night of the year. Where there is Love, there are always miracles. And where there are miracles, there is great joy.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Ocean Sunset (1)

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein


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Inspiration Bookshelves

September 14, 2009

I’ve been daydreaming about a new office for several months now, and in my dreams, my office would have floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves. I’ve flipped through magazines and browsed the internet for ideas, but ever since I found this photo on  ZOKK Furniture, I knew that these were my inspiration bookshelves!

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have all my books and favorite magazines together on an entire wall of bookshelves! I’m totally in love with these! A girl can dream, right?

“If you dream, dream big, it just might come true.”


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