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2012 Michigan Art Show Schedule
I'm looking forward to meeting in person those of you who have ordered online and told me you will be at one of these shows. Please introduce yourself to us. It's so much fun to put a face to a name!
26 Elk Rapids River Street arts and crafts show. This was a great show and we hope to do it again next year!
June - none
14 Leland Artists Marketplace at the Old Art Building. We are inside in front of the fireplace. This is a great show!
18 Glen Arbor. The Glen Lake Women's Association Art Show is one of our favorites!
25 CSA, Frankfort
4 & 5 East Jordan Portside. Closest show we have to the Petoskey area. Lovely grounds by Lake Charlexoix!
17 & 18 Frankfort. Friday the 17th 4-8pm and Saturday the 18th all day. This is a large show with lots of artists.
25 Alden Show at the Depot
Joyce's great idea for using the Blessing Bowl!
Thanks to all our beloved customers who call us up or email to say thank you and how much the couple or friend loved their bowl or platter. This always makes me smile! Here is one given to us from Joyce, at one of the art shows last summer. Check out how they used the bowl at the wedding shower:
"I gave one of your bowls to my neice for her wedding shower. She loved it. She said it was her favorite gift! We gave each guest a parchment paper tied with a ribbon on which they wrote their blessing and "words of wisdom" for the couple and we filled the bowl with them!" What a wonderful idea, Joyce! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
New Bear Design inspired by Julie's childhood Bear Dream
I love bear and painting them on our pots is so much fun! This winter I design a mama bear and 2 cubs. They are available on all the platters and medium to large bowls. Small bowls and heart dishes will have one or two bear. Some of the blessings/saying to go with the bear is a revision of the friendship blessing: "Blessed be all the friends who walk through life with us." And, our newest blessing: "May your lives be blessed with all things loving, kind and wonderful."
My Bear Dream: When I was 8 years old, I dreamed I was walking alone in the park when a bear approached me from behind. Filled with fear, I began to run when a wise voice suggested I stop and turn to face the bear. So I did. "Let's be friends!" I said. And immediately the bear and I were skipping away, arm in arm, off to play. My dream taught me that I do not have to live in fear and it continues to give me the faith and courage it takes to listen to the voice of my soul and live each moment embracing life with the power of love and compassion. Just like my friend the bear.
PS did I mention I'm working on a deer design also?
New Personalized Design Addition Options
We are offering new personalized design options on our Lake Design bowls and platters. You might have seen some of them on the pottery Home page slide show and wondered, "How do I get these and what do they cost?" These options take a while to paint so they are not cheap but I think you will find them reasonable:
I'll get the details on the couple and dog when I call you. So far, a sailboat is still free!
At some point in our lives, after we've done it all, had it all, been it all (in reality or just our imagination,) we get back to the basics of who we are, why we are here, what's really important to us and how we fit into the larger universe of life.
Why I write words on every bowl or platter
I always enjoy showing folks that on one side is a blessing and on the other side are words, like wisdom, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, honesty, humor and so on.
Often people spend time reading the words, letting them soak in, finding their own special meaning or perhaps just the right ones for a gift to a friend.
So here are a few thoughts on what these words mean to me. I hope that you reflect on their meaning to you as you enjoy your bowl or platter:
To be aware of the consequences of our actions. Not to do something today for personal or political gain if tomorrow it causes others or the earth great pain.
It is so simple to be kind and yet it brings tremendous healing. One simple act of kindness can change the world. Let us do our best to speak kindly of others.
Moves us out of judgment and into our heart. It means not taking things personally so we can be lovingly present to others in their pain. It is a way of being towards all life and towards the Earth. It is the desire to do no harm.
To forgive is to stop blaming others for how we feel. It is empowering. It is a recalling of our spirit, our energy, from the past so we can live compassionately in the present. Forgiveness requires compassion and wisdom and it is an act of kindness to ourselves and others.
being truthful to ourselves and others about our actions or feelings. It requires a certain amount of self-awareness, compassion and courage to be honest despite feelings of guilt or shame. Honesty allows us to heal and move forward.
May your lives be blessed with all things loving, kind and wonderful!
A Wonderful Life Affirming Book by Carol Amber
Author Carol with son TJ
The Gift of the Ladybug is a
magical story of two horses that learn their son is actually a handsome little ladybug. Inspired by the brilliance of their late son TJ, this metaphor for life offers hope, insight, and peace to all ages.
It is a wonderful life affirming, sweet book that was written by one of my favorite wedding clients, Carol Amber. The story came to her when she and her husband Troy, found out that their precious little boy TJ would not live to see his 2nd birthday. It is a story of grief, acceptance, serenity, wonder, love and joy. TJ is an amazing soul who did an unmeasurable amount of loving in his short life and who taught his parents and those close to him what life is all about.
It was listed as Amazon's #2 hot new childrens books on the day of it's release. The book is delightfully illustrated and sells for
$10.99. Congratulations Carol!!!
To learn the story behind the story and see the making of this book, visit www.GiftoftheLadybug.com
Environmentally Conscious Living
This new topic on my MDIV site menu strives to keep us informed, healthy and inspired to action be it in our purchases, how we tend our lawns or what we feed those we love. Click here to link to this page on my website.
Sometimes when I write my FFM column, it's a poem about the beauty around me but if I know something is hurting that beauty, ourselves, wildlife and the environment, I will speak out.
With revelations of the pesticides in GMO corn poisioning the bees and all who eat corn, fracking for natural gas poisioning water and air and the 10 spent fuel rods sitting on the Japanese coast, it's hard not to wonder if what you and I say or do will make a difference. Are we just voices crying in the wilderness?
Perhaps, but doing our best to be informed is important. A First Step
- Regarding GMO's, not buying corn for wildlife or corn and corn products for ourselves and our children. This includes any food or drink with corn syrup - the pesticides that damage the bees is in that too (infact, many bee keepers whose hives collapsed and bees died were feeding them corn syrup.)
Like to go to the movies and eat popcorn? In 1999 the FDA noted that non-organic popcorn was one of 10 foods highest in pesticides. I no longer buy anythng made with corn oil. By all means if you eat strawberries, insist that they are organic or don't buy them. Strawberries are one of the fruits highest in pesticides. Check out the EWG’s 2011 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/. Or,
on my website http://juliechai.com/Weddings-Poems-Counseling-Personal-Growth-and-Spiritual-Development/index.php?s=GMO
A second step
is to sign on line petitions to label GMO's and inform your family and friends. A third step
is to take action yourself. It may be a small step but I have called food companies whose product contains corn. Recently I called Frito-Lay Inc's customer service to speak with a very kind woman about their use of corn oil in their chips made with "all natural ingredients." She noted that they do have some non-GMO products though they are not labeled as such. I suggested they label them accordingly and even have the moral courage to stop using GMO corn altogether. Imagine, if one of the largest snack food companies in the world, said no to GMO's!
A Beautiful Poem
Jim's poem was in my Spring Families First Monthly Column. When he called to read it to me and ask, "if it was ok," I couldn't answer him because I got all teary eyed. Jim expresses the sentiments of so many of us who grew up in the outdoors but ended up being a part of the larger problem. Jim however, has become part of the solution, as he has returned to school to study water ecology. By the way, Jim is one of the most amazing and passionate organic farmers I know. We wish him all the best in his studies and know that he will continue to make a difference.
Changed By Life
by James Kelderhouse
Trees, creeks, gardens, lakes, and bluffs, all touched by the sky are the special places I frequented often when I was a child, with a sense of wonder and appreciation of the secret and sacred life they contained, when I existed with, and was wrapped in the winds of our shared collective mind. I was curious about the many lives and families within these places and was in awe of them before I was old enough to know or question my own being, before I was able to understand, that the whole living community was susceptible to the touch of my hands and large mind. I observed, touched, and was a part of these sacred places and other living things as a child and learned that they could be hurt by me reaching and touching the sky. They were as close to me as the air we all breathe, as close as my Grandparents who taught me to respect every being and its place. After high school, the sacredness of these places and the simple life my Grandparents showed me, slowly slipped away without me noticing, my senses began to fade, I was shamed and forced to ride the modern economy of over consumption, consumerism, and maximum use of fossil energy called progress that dirties the air and sky in order to drive and survive in modern times. I long to return to this sacred place.
Link to Jim's suggestions on caring for the earth.
Fireworks do Great Harm
With so much beauty around us in Northern Michigan, so much secret, sacred life, I wonder why so many of my neighbors are determined to do harm by exploding fireworks over Lake Leelanau and in fields. Here is a recent letter I wrote to the Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper. If you have any suggestions on how to help me stop these fireworks displays, I would be most grateful. If you would like to borrow the letter and revise it to send your own to your local newspaper, please feel free!
The fireworks season (June – September) has begun and I would like to remind us to please view fireworks at the public displays and refrain from doing them around your cottage, home or in fields.
The smoke from fireworks contain toxic heavy metals that damage our lungs, trigger asthma, pollute the water and cause cancer and digestive illness in humans, wildlife and pets. The loud noise of fireworks can trigger PTSD in veterans, cause miscarriages in deer, can kill or deafen birds and terrorizes family pets and wildlife.
Fireworks are not patriotic. If you have money to spend, please consider a donation to a veterans organization, homeless shelter, food pantry, animal shelter or conservancy. That would be a cause for celebration!
I wish us all a peaceful, relaxing summer!
Spiritual Challenges with issues like Fireworks
One of the challenges whenever we have issues with neighbors is to remember to abhor the deed but not the doer of the deed. Just because their actions cause harm doesn't mean we no longer believe in love, compassion and kindness, right? We all make mistakes or are uninformed on some issues. We all do harm in some way, knowingly or unknowingly. I've taken to letter writing because "getting my mad on" and yelling at my neighbors while they are exploding fireworks, makes me feel terrible, causes them to react angrily at me, and only escalates the conflict. As a spiritual and inner work challenge, I've noticed that fireworks trigger my personal old issue of helplessness, so I have spent some time being aware and allowing the feeling of helplessness so it can unfold, begin healing and I don't need to avoid it by getting angry any more. This does not mean I don't do what I need to do to not feel helpless, which for me is to educate others by writing letters and asking for help. It just means I am more able to stay centered in my response, or at least, I try. It is my hope that the letters educate and that the power of public opinion will change our attitudes towards fireworks just like it has so many other issues in the past.
For more information on the environmental and health damage of the toxic heavy metals in the exploding colors, click on this link For information on the effect of fireworks on Veterans with PTSD cick here. For information on the effects of fireworks on wild life and pets click here.
Balancing the Spiritual Quest
Many of us who seek spiritual enlightment and or oneness with God may do so at the cost of being grounded. Spiritual seeking can be a way to avoid being present to our deeper needs, pain and feelings. As with everything in life, we need a balance. The practice of being present, here and now, of being self-aware and connected to the earth can, ironically, heighten our God awareness. Using mushrooms or drugs to quicked the enlightment process is usually done at the cost of balance and by those who are already ungrounded. Opening up the higher energy centers too quickly without the lower center earth connection can makes us feel disoriented, estatic and mentally and emotinally unstable. Yoga, meditation, inner work and quiet time in nature are much better ways to connect to the sacred and help create a body/mind/spirit balance. One of my favoirte breathing exercises when walking through the woods or standing in line at the grocery store is to breath in from the center of the earth, letting the earth energy come up through our feet in to the base of our spine and up, then releasing to the divine light, entering in from the top of our head and showering us with healing light on the inside and the outside. In from the earth, release to the spirit. Balance, it's a good thing! Enjoy the journey!!
May our lives arise from the quiet center of our being, which is already one with the Divine. Being still, may we know.
Families First Monthly is On Line!
You can now find my column "In this Moment" on line! Congratulations to Laura Kalchik, FFM publisher! Great Job!
The home page site is: www.familiesfirstmonthly.com To read on line: http://digital.zoompubs.com/publication/?i=106703
Look for a brief newsletter with a link to free Blessing and Inspirational Cards which are printable on Business cards or plain paper. Think about how you might use them. For example, leaving one at the table after eating in a restaurant or enclosing one with each monthly bill. Perhaps you might leave one as a blessing on the desk of a co-worker or in a note to a friend. How sweet it is to bless! Now it just got even easier!
I wish you all a beautiful summer and plenty of moments to relax and savor the sacredness around and within you.