What if you took the Explorer out of Dora?

What if you took the Explorer out of Dora?

Many of you may be familiar with Dora the Explorer.  The little girl that travels all over the world exploring and in the process she discovers many new things.   What if she was Dora the Bookworm or Dora the Student… OK, first of all it doesn’t rhyme, so it is not nearly as catchy.  But more importantly, it isn’t as much FUN!!! 

I am in the process of learning so many new things including blogging, how to make an iMovie, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, On-line Teleconferencing and more!  With all of this technology, I have to admit that I was becoming totally over-whelmed.  I was starting to feel like I was back in high school or college and failing miserably. 

I had my appointment at the Apple Store this morning at 8:00 to take another class on iMovie and I almost canceled it because I didn’t have my self- imposed “homework” done.  But I made the decision to go, what were they going to do to me, give me an “F?”  I am in the process of making a movie (really a short video) on the Mini-Retreat I took in January.  I have been struggling with even where to start- it all seemed so intimidating that I couldn’t decide what to do first.  Joel, my teacher today, was amazing and worked with me to actually do a story board using pen and paper (something I KNOW how to use!)  I was able to put a plan in place to determine the sequence of the video.  Now I can work on a section at a time, rather than thinking about it as such a huge project.

As I was driving home I decided I needed to change my entire attitude about technology and everything I am in the process of discovering.  Instead of thinking of it as something I “have” to learn, I want to think of it as an area I “get” to explore. 

Whenever I come up with a word I want to dig into, I look up it’s meaning to gain more insight.  I came up with 2 definitions for “explore” that I know are going to help me on my technology journey.  The first one is:  To search or travel for the purpose of discovery. The whole purpose of exploring is discover something new – not to get a good grade or do it perfectly.  The second definition is: To investigate systematically. That is the part that is going to help me from getting over-whelmed.  It is going to help to have a system or plan to tackle technology and get it in smaller bites so I can digest it all. 

So I have decided that I am going to be more like Dora and explore lots of new areas and discover all the wonderful opportunities this technology is going to help me uncover.  What about you?  What if you changed your attitude about something you are struggling with and instead of dreading it, think of it as something you get to explore.  Let me know if you try it and it makes a difference.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

I will be at Finding Joy in Chanhassen TONIGHT Thursday, February 23,  from 4:00 – 8:00 for Girls Night Out. 

Finding Joy is a great boutique that features local artists.  It is located at 7838 Market Blvd in the Market Square Complex in Chanhassen near Cub Foods.  Come out tonight and join us for shopping, food, prize drawings and tons of fun!  6 participating stores.


I have designed a new Origami Tote Bag in two sizes. 

It features upholstery fabric samples that have been folded into a unique shape that create wonderful pockets on either end great for holding a water bottle, sunglasses, cell phone and more!   A necktie is used to create a unique strap.  I will bring lots of fabric swatches and neckties tonight.   Come out and choose the fabrics and necktie you love and I will make a bag custom for you!

A Century of Love

My Dad would have been 100 years old today!  We used to tease him that he was a Groundhog because he was born on February 2, 1912.

My Dad had a heart attack and nearly died when he was just 38, before he and my Mom had any children.  They were married 14 years before they had any kids and then they had 4 of us in less than 5 years!  Talk about a change in lifestyle!  My Dad was 40 when my oldest brother was born and 45 when I (the youngest) was born.  

Because of his heart attack, my Dad had a different approach to life.  He took a nap every day after lunch and always took his time where ever he went.  He took great care in everything he did, never rushing, just enjoying every minute.  He was a perfectionist, he loved expensive clothes and cars.  He would rather have fewer things but have them be of the best quality.  He was always patient and kind and very rarely raised his voice.  

He lived a wonderful life, but not a long one.  He collapsed while playing golf at the young age of 64.  He was doing what he loved to do and I am sure if he had his choice, he would have picked the golf course as perfect end to his amazing life.  I was only 18 when my Dad died, much to young to loose my Dad, but the years I had with him were the best.  

He taught me so much in such a short time, to be kind, patient, understanding and above all to love.  I miss you Dad, but I know you are up in heaven, smiling down on all of us.

How do you find your gifts?

I love this sidewalk artwork that a Facebook friend posted a couple of days ago.  

The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.

I have been thinking about this for the past few days.  While this sounds very simple, it is not always easy to find your gift.  What is it that you are really good at?  What God given talents do you have that makes you special?  

A couple things that I feel I am good at is inspiring and encouraging other people. That is a good start, but how do I turn those gifts into a career?  Well, I am working on that…  I am doing a lot of research to figure out what I will be able to share with others that inspires and encourages them to renew their dreams.

What do you need to help you attain your dreams?  Maybe you need to figure out what that dream is – what would inspire or encourage you?  I would love to hear from you. You can be a big part in helping me to find my gift, so I can give it away!

Are you Living Divided or Whole?

The Divided Self

A friend of mine has just posted on Facebook that she is going to a retreat at the center for Courage and Renewal.  I have never heard of this place or its founder Parker Palmer, but I am intrigued.  It sounds like an amazing place where people learn how to lead a more meaningful and engaged life.  I know that I am committed to leading a more meaningful life and also to inspire and encourage others to do the same.  Check out this video and the concept making ourselves whole rather than living divided.

Beauty: From the Inside Out

Have you ever thought about how you would dress if you were dressing the person you are inside, rather than the person you are on the outside?  

Would you choose bright, colorful, funky clothes or would they be dark and subdued?  Is it different than what you currently wear?  

I have to admit, I haven’t ever given it any thought until this morning.  

My guess is that for most of us, our outside doesn’t match our inside.  

What would happen if we spent even a small portion of the time and money that we spend on our outside appearance on our inside beauty?  The interesting part is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money to beautify ourselves on the inside.  It is FREE to pay someone a compliment, to stand up for someone that is being bullied, open a door, say Thank You or listen to a friend.

From now on, I think I am going to pay a lot more attention to how I am dressed on the inside… I encourage you to join me.  I know if we all work on our inner beauty, the world will be a much better place.

If you don’t know where you are going… How will you know when you have arrived?

Have you ever felt a little lost on where you are going with your career or your life?  You just figure you can stumble around and at some point you will get somewhere.  But how will you know you arrived at where you are suppose to be if you didn’t know where you were going?  

I have been feeling like that recently as I am steering my business in a new direction.  I decided that I needed to have some idea of where I was going and spent about 3 weeks writing my mission statement for my business.  I know you are thinking… how boring… and who reads a mission statement or remembers what is says anyway?  

I took a class last winter called “Designed to be Me”.  In the class we looked at our life history, values, personality, strengths, weakness, and dreams.  The purpose of the class was to write a personal mission statement based on what you learned about yourself.  My teacher, Jim, said that since a mission statement is such a monumental task, we need to “sneak-up” on it by finding words or phrases that have meaning or value to us.  But here is the tricky part…. Jim has a lot of rules around mission statements: No more than 16 words, must contain 4 verbs, only one “and”, no punctuation.  In other words, get to the point and do it!

I have to admit, when I decided I needed a Mission Statement for my business, I went back and pulled out a couple of different phrases that I had used over the years to describe my business and stuck them together to form a “new” mission statement.  I showed it to my teacher Jim, who is always very honest and candid and he said – it sounds like you took a bunch of words that you thought belonged in a mission statement and stuck them together (I guess I didn’t fool him!)  He told me that he didn’t think I really “felt” any of what I had written.  Back to the drawing board…

After 3 weeks of thinking about it, tweaking verbs and phrases, I have my new mission statement:

Helping reclaim what is meaningful by transforming ideas and keepsakes into dreams that are continually renewed

I am thrilled with my new Mission Statement, I feel that it gives me a direction for my business.  Oh, and one other rule I forgot to mention – you need to memorize your mission statement so that you could repeat it at gunpoint!  In other words you need to LIVE  IT!

Why not give your own mission statement a try… it might just be the direction you need.

Tillie the Taskmaster

I am taking an on-line class called “Playing with Your Personas.”  The purpose of the class is to learn to love the unloveable parts of you. Tomorrow I have a conference call with another member of the class and we are going to interview each other’s personas. We have to take on the persona that we want to have interviewed.  I have decided that I want to have Tillie the Taskmaster interviewed.  She is the part of me that puts together impossible T0-Do lists and is always pushing me to get more done by cracking the whip.  We are to take on the character of our persona and step into the role. The idea is that we learn more about the  persona, so we can keep the parts we love and let go of the rest.  It should be interesting to find out what Tillie has to say for herself!

The petals are starting to form….

I made just a little bit of progress on my Heavenly Hydrangeas Jacket today.  I wasn’t able to spend as much time as I had hoped.  I started with the base sweater and added princess seams in the front and back.  This gives the jacket more of a fitted shape, I wanted to do this because the original sweater is quite boxy, the princess seams make it look more feminine.

Petals were formed from some of the other sweaters, they were cut into a petal shape and serged around all edges to get what I call a “wiggle” or fluted edge. I added a few petals to the front and back of the jacket.  My favorite petals were created from the sweater with pearls.  I used the front of the sweater including the  neck opening to make 2 pockets.  I love using details from the sweaters to create something unique.  I have already altered my design slightly, so that the petals don’t look “stuck on” to the bottom of the original sweater.  I am going to bring the petals down at more of an angle from the center rather than straight across.

At this point, everything will just be pinned on until I get all of the petals made.  I have already decided that I need to figure out some way to make the various colors of sweaters work together.  I may use some yarn or other fabric to give the petals a little more detail.  Check back tomorrow to see what I get done!