Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Thoughts on a Perfect Wednesday

Life is full of yumminess if only you will see

There are poetic moments at every turn

Being a grandparent goes way beyond what I ever had imagined

Writing is a gift I give to myself over and over again

Mandala artwork soothes the soul

Seeking out moments of quiet heals the heart

Life shouldn't carry with it stresses and anxieties all the time

If you are unhappy in a situation, do something drastic to change it

Make your yoga practice a sincere way of life
(if you don't have a practice ... oh please try it)

Dreams really do come true

Sending love and light
peace and joy
happiness and all good things
to you today!
Life is a gift ... don't waste a minute

Donna Lee

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grace and Gratitude

Is this not the most perfect sign?
I was visiting a garden show recently
and just had to snap this picture!

It got me to thinking . . .
Each and everyday do I try to live my life 
Grace and Gratitude?

In the busyness of our everyday lives,
we are losing touch with simple things,
forgetting what is important,
always looking to what comes next.

I went to Mr. Webster for meanings of these words ...
Grace:  a way of moving that is smooth and elegant
Gratitude:  a state of being or thankfulness

Summertime is such a perfect time of year
to slow down, enjoy life at a more gracious pace,
and live with a more grateful heart.
My senses are hightened around these words,
this way of life, this way of thinking.

I do try to live my life around grace
and I am truly grateful for each moment
in my life, whether good or bad,
for each are teaching moments for me.

Try practicing gratitude today,
see what comes up for you!
List all the things you can think of
in your journal that you are truly grateful for ...
right now in this very moment
I am so grateful for Wednesdays,
time with Annabelle ...
who is sleeping sweetly ... oh so sweetly
in her crib right now.
I always wonder where  do babies go in their sleep?
It must be a very happy place ...
for Annabelle always wakes up full of joy and smiles
ready for her grand mommy to give her some smooches!

Have a beautiful day today,
walk in grace and peace
talk with grace and love
act in grace and patience
I will too!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lessons from the Ocean . . .

My Ocean Mandala

I have just returned from a week in the Outer Banks
what a beautiful experience it was to be
with my family, to rest and restore, create art
and unplug from life's demands.

The Ocean's rhythm is so soothing and calming,
it naturally draws us in.
Just standing in the presence of the mighty sea
calms the spirit.
Walks along the ocean shore allowed me
the time I needed to pray, to think things through,
to collect beautiful shells (a gift from the sea),
and to sort out all the thoughts running around in my head.

I always learn something new when coming to the beach,
I think the lesson that so strongly came through this visit
was that my life needed to change a bit.
I need a quieter pace and carry less worry about the little things.
I always wonder why it is that at home,
I can't think as clearly as I can when I return to the sea.
I know there are life disruptions that get in the way at home ...
 yet I still can't find the stillness and quiet I so need.

So I thank the Ocean for teaching me
a quieter pace, a much needed slower walk in life,
to breathe in the salt and the sea and the sun,
and recognize the gift it is giving to me. . .

What a beautiful vacation I had ...
so many wonderful memories I will keep close to me.
Seeing Annabelle put her toes in the ocean for 
her very first time,
seeing my daughter n law Lauren
so cute and pregnant and growing each day
with our soon to be grand son,
watching my kids laugh and play and get along,
watching my husband and his sons
surf together in the ocean,
finding time to paint and create,
re-reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull
after all these years
and so much more!!

The Ocean is mighty
and certainly strong.
The Ocean waves are a gift,
drifting into shore and out to sea,
the natural rhythm it carries
teaches us to listen deep within,
if only we will.
Bringing into shore new beginnings and freshness
and certainly taking old habits,
ugly thoughts and sorrows
back out to the sea.

I hope to keep the lessons I carried home with me close,
never forgetting that my life is a gift,
and there is still so very much for me to learn,
to experience and to share.
I hope your summer gets you to an ocean shore,
somewhere, somehow.

Wishing you peace and love on this Wednesday,
as those of us on the East Coast
prepare for our first Tropical storm of the season;
yet another reminder of the
mightiness of the sea!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why I Art Journal

Journaling thoughts to page

All week I was trying to decide
exactly what my blog post would be this week,
sometimes the ideas just don't come to me.

I took some quiet time in the studio this morning,
and created an art journal page ...
I had fixed myself a hot cup of Tazo Passion Tea
and the teabag was so juicy and full of color,
I wondered how it would look in my mixed media journal.
I just brushed the tea bag across the page
and let it dry,
I love the results, don't you?
Funny how Passion tea is a deep red when brewed,
but as it hit the page and dried,
it turned this gorgeous purple shade.

So I gave myself a moment to think about the word
and the thoughts kept coming.
Inspired by a little tea light, quiet in the room 
and my thoughts,
I filled the page

I realized then I knew what I would write
on the blog today!

Art Journaling is such a beautiful expression of self
I am filling the pages with inspiration,
different art techniques and ideas,
words, poems and mandalas.
I love looking back over previous journals,
with the dates (I always date my work)
to reflect on where I have come from.

There are so many art journal e courses
out there on the internet,
and I have participated in so many,
and learned so much from
incredible artists.
I have taught Art Journaling
at my own Artful Spirit Workshops,
and the response is always
that of delight and wonder.

Do yourself a favor,
find yourself a wonderful art journal,
(my favorite is the Canson Mixed Media Journal)
start with one page,
experiment with all types of art supplies,
ideas and techniques.
Get yourself a copy of
Art Journaling Magazine
by Somerset Studio,
have fun and LET GO!

Have a beautiful Wednesday,
it is for me ...
for Wednesdays are always Annabelle Lily days
and blogging here at Gentle Threads.
Each one of you, my friends and supporters
are a small and gentle thread in my life,
interwoven to complete a beautiful experience.
I am truly thankful you have come to visit with me today!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Setting Intentions ...

Funny thing about Intentions ...
we set them for the present moment
and then life moves in and off we go!

I love attending a retreat 
and being asked to set my intention for the experience,
it helps me to slow down and focus on the moment.
Sometimes ... just sometimes ... the intention we set our minds on
doesn't even happen ... something more glorious turns out!
Every time I am able to step onto my yoga mat,
I am asked to set my intention for the class.
When we hold our Artful Spirit Workshops,
we always start with intention settings,
it helps us to leave the world behind
and focus on the experience at hand.

Intention:  the thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose
(Websters Dictionary)

I think every time we sit down to do a creative project
we should set an intention and ask ourselves a few questions:
what do I hope to learn from this?
how much time should I devote to my art practice today?
will I be sharing my techniques with others?
how does this project make me feel?
am I happy here in this moment?
what do i hope to learn here today?

I also love creating an intentional space
when I start to create something.
I love lighting a candle,
playing my favorite music,
lighting incense
and preparing my heart for what I am about to do.
I want the space around me to be beautiful
and in harmony with the creative process.
It all affects the completed outcome.
I think that is why I am so in love with Zentangle,
it is mindful and intentional drawing,
it soothes my spirit

It's good to remind myself, here in the month of June,
halfway through the new year,
for Intentional was my word of the year!
I feel I have been doing very well with it.

So think about walking with Intention this week,
whether in your workplace, creative space, family space
or just life space.
Keep in mind the thoughts and feelings you come across.
Living intentionally, step by beautiful step
is a process we learn to grow into.
I'm not all the way there yet,
but I'm pretty darn close,
and it feels so right!

I wish you blessings in your life this week ...
walk lightly
speak truthfully
love others
take care of your precious self

Donna Lee

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My keys for successful living . . .

My keys for successful living . . .

I attended a beautiful family wedding
this past weekend in North Carolina
 and it was so inspiring!
Lots of vintage decorations were used
that carried meaning to the bride.
Everything was thought out with heart and love!
This door in fact was used at the altar
and belonged to her grandmother's farm house.
It had been kept in a barn for a
perfect day such as this.

Somehow I was drawn to the keyhole
while taking this picture
and the thought for a prompt
for my blog this week came to mind.

I truly believe my keys for successful living are ...

Living with a happy heart
Having a strong faith to guide me is important
I must find as much time to be creative as possible
Writing is a way of life ... it is important to get the words down on paper
Treat others as you would like to be treated
See the beauty in all things
Smiling is a gift we can give to others
Enjoy the simple things
Finding time to rest is good for the soul
Family love matters and it is a gift
Believing in yourself is crucial
Don't be so serious!
See yourself as a delight
Love yourself with all your might!

"Seeing the beauty"
So I will take my own words of advice,
with the season of summer now upon us,
I want each day to matter, just a little bit more!
Slow the pace down,
accomplish without stress
have plenty of time to hold
my little Annabelle in my arms.

By the way ...
I will have a precious little grandson
coming my way this October,
my other son Drew and his wife Lauren are expecting!
Life just keeps getting better and better,
for I am truly blessed.

Donna Lee

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just Knitting in between life moments

I have been knitting it seems my whole life ...
I learned when I was just a little girl
from two very special little senior ladies.

It seems to be the constant I carry with me
in between my life moments,
whenever I need to slow myself down,
grab a minute of creativity,
calm myself down during a stressful time,
knitting has always been the friend I bring along with me.

Moments of sitting with my parents,
through their illnesses and life journey,
laughing with my sister and trying a new pattern together,
knitting baby booties for precious newborn feet,
learning a new stitch
trying my hand at lace shawls,
and I can't not mention
the wonderful pairs of socks I have knit
over the years.

Knitting is the "new yoga" they say,
well I call it
"calmness on two needles"
I have worked out many problems
while knitting,
calmed my heart and fears,
and found myself in a 
sincere state of zen
while holding my needles in my hands.

I am enjoying my latest project,
The Holden Lace Shawl
and it is really turning out beautifully!
I am using a natural grey yarn from my
favorite yarn company
and taking my time to just
enjoy the knitting process,
I'm in no hurry to finish it.
How I love the feel of the yarn in my hands,
and as the shawl continues to progress,
how I love the feeling in my lap
while I am knitting.

So right now I have been knitting
between Annabelle's sweet naptime,
another precious life moment.
I am already thinking about what I can
knit for my sweet grand daughter 

Wishing you sweet moments in your walk of life,
happiness at every turn,
creative moments whenever you can grab them,
love, hugs and wishes
for a beautiful life!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On Becoming a Grandmommy . . .

My precious Annabelle Lily Wynn

How did I know my life would change
in the blink of her birth?
You hear the news about a baby coming into your life,
wait for quite awhile to see her growing
inside her mommy's belly,
you get the call that "It's time"
you wait anxiously at the hospital
with other family members
and then
you hear the precious lullaby song
playing on the loud speaker!
An overwhelming sense of happiness showers you
and that moment
when you get to hold her in your arms
for the very first time ... WOW

October 4, 2014

Well my precious girl is over 7 months old now
and our lives have changed truly
for the better.

So many beautiful moments to treasure,
and seeing her develop
and become more aware of her world,
communicate and smile
is beyond any words to describe it.
She is cautious, beautiful, a thinker,
intentional and bright.
She is seeing the world and
truly taking it all in right now!

I have found way deep within myself
a love I didn't know was even there
or that I was capable of giving,
but it is there, trust me.
How I love the name "Grandmommy"

I can't wait to see her walking and talking,
and running to her Grandmommy!
I can't wait to teach her all the things
I want her to learn from me.
For now, we will just dabble with
some paints and brushes
and see what we come up with!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ten Thoughts on a Wednesday

Ten Thoughts on a Wednesday

Beauty can be found everywhere ... if only you will look

Friendships are lasting treasures ... you must always nurture them

Poetry soothes a restless heart ... take the time to write or read it

Spring is a time for renewal ... in nature and in one's soul

You can't do it all ... so choose your steps wisely

We must choose to be happy ... for it is a state of mind

We all have a message to share ... what is yours?

Candlelight is beautiful ... take the time to enjoy it

Our homes are our safe sanctuary ... stay home and enjoy it

Be at peace with yourself ... and you will be with others

Have a beautiful day
and always look for the good in this life!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It's the Simple Things


I did just return from a precious weekend
at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival
now celebrating 
41 years!
I have been coming for over 20 years
and each year I take away something new
that I have learned.

This year the idea of Simplicity
kept coming to mind
for it is truly the simple things
that matter,
that are sweet,
that keep us wanting less not more.

I am always reminded here at the festival,
that doing things for the joy of it,
is important to the soul.
Obviously the shepherds think this way,
for they are truly living a simpler life,
taking care of their flock,
living humbly
and loving their animals.

The weaver is enjoying the yarn that is produced
from these precious animals,
the spinners love to take the time
to spin their own yarns, 
(not buy them from a yarn manufacturer)
to create works of sincere beauty.
The artists love to produce beauty
in their handcrafted art,
the dulcimer music I hear playing
 is reminding me of softer times,
taking the time to appreciate the good in life,
even in playing a handcrafted dulcimer.

There is so much here at the festival
to remind me
to just slow down
appreciate the simple things in life,
put the cell phone away,
create with my hands,
wear something hand knit by me,
that took gentle slow hours to create.

I have returned home with a freshness,
lots of precious treasures,
and heirloom tomato plants
I can't wait to plant in the garden.
I am grateful that I get to travel
to this festival every year,
it is a tradition for me,
it is a soulful renewal for my spirit.

Here are a few pics to share ....

Booths full of yarn treasures!
Spinning right from the Angora Bunny! 
My favorite booth of all ... Kiparoo Farm!
Yarn Bombing was everywhere! 
Sheep to Shawl Competition!
My favorite time is seeing the sheep in the barns! 
How I love to watch little ones with the animals!
Just taking it all in!
Fiber Heaven!