Scrappin’ Happy

I have found some seriously cute projects to use up all those fabric scraps.. not that I have like two dresser drawers of fabric scraps or anything… Okay.. let’s be honest. I probably have more fabric scraps than two drawers even. I, of course, also use a lot of those scraps to make my little baby scrap dragons, but I’ve still got more fabric flying around than even I can use for them! So I am super excited about some of these great ideas for fun little projects to use up all those stray scraps.

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Pop Garden Scrap Flower: What an adorable little (or big!) fabric flower! I could think of so many places to use these.

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Long-stemmed fabric roses: I can think of so many projects to add these to!

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These Forever Flowers are too much fun!

(There are a ton more flower tutorials here.)

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Come on! Look at these little Scrappy Owls!

Stop, self!

You don’t need any more plushies to sew!

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Sweet Scallops Tote: You have to love the fact that you can use so many different scraps to make the cute little scallops! I know I love mix and matching my patterns (you’ve seen my dragons!)

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This Velcro Wallet tutorial is so simple and just great!

I’ve been looking for a good wallet pattern. Yay!

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Hopefully something sparks your creative little heart into action!

Happy scrapping!

~Seth

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You Made a Plush What?!

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Snoop Dogg (2012)

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook’s “Memories” feature. Every once in a while it will share a memory with me of when I had a really horrible experience or lost someone close to me and I wish there was a way to tag those posts so they wouldn’t come up again in the future to reopen the wound. Most of the time the memories are mundane daily blah blah blah, but I love when it brings up a really amusing status that I maybe don’t even remember posting. Like just recently it reminded me of the Snoop Dogg plushie that I made on commission for a girl I worked with. When I scrolled over the pictures I just started giggling to myself. I can’t help it. Have you ever made something and, when thinking about it later, couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief at the thing you’ve done?

Just me?

Fine then.

When Teesha asked me to make a Snoop Dogg plushie for her, I admit I stared a bit incredulously. Honestly, I think I mostly took the commission because I wanted to see if I could actually make a plushie that looked like Snoop Dogg. When I finished him, my room mates were dying laughing at how perfect he turned out and Teesha literally squealed, so I guess I did alright. When I did conventions people would ask me what other plushies I’d made than the ones I had for sale and nobody believed me about Snoop. Good thing I included him in my look book!

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Snoop Dogg Cuddle Buddy by Rainbows Anthem (2012)

Can I just say for the record how much I really, really love what I do?

 

~ Seth

Forward Momentum

Lights Reflection

I have been inspired to make not resolutions to fix myself so much as goals toward mental and emotional happyness. 2015 was a very full, very busy, and very fast-moving year. I seriously spent so much time going “wasn’t it just April? August? October?” Truly, where did this year go? But at the same time I know a lot happened this year – workshops, retrogrades, epiphanies. I am hoping to step into 2016 with forward momentum, seeking more creativity and joy, trying to make space for whatever this new year is bringing into my life.

Here is my list of goals for 2016. Hopefully they will inspire you to take a look at your goals and resolutions for the new year and consider whether they are really the healthiest, most fulfilling things you could be doing for yourself.

  1. I will make my home a free nap zone. (SARK would be proud!) I have a really bad habit of shaming myself and my poor, blessed besties for taking naps. I don’t know why I do this… out of irritation and guilting myself for not being productive enough most often (damn you, Perfectionist!) But naps are healthy and can be very recuperative on a stressful or just extra busy day. Naps are great and I’m going to embrace them!
  2. I will try really, really hard to “hug my dragons” instead of trying to slay them. Yes, Robert Ohotto, I hear you preaching at me about always wanting to get rid of parts of myself that I see as bad. I know that the more healthy practice would be to give them more love and let them have their space when they need it. Trying to “slay” the difficult archetypes in my psyche (perfectionist, narcissist, shape-shifter, codependent etc etc) only serves to force them down into the subconscious and make them rebel worse.
  3. I will maintain my boundaries. I will put myself first. I will respect my authentic needs in the face of other’s demands. If I really need to just listen to my music at lunch and read my book, then I will keep my headphones on. Maybe I’ll even get a little “Do Not Disturb” sign to sit on the table like Hermie keeps telling me I need to. I will not coddle you out of fear of rejection and abandon my own authenticity to make you more comfortable.
  4. I will be mindful about what goes in my body. There’s nothing wrong with a little splurge once in a while, but if you’re going to “cheat” then it should be something worth the cheat. Carrabas > Little Caesars. Both of these are outside my regular gluten free, organic diet, but dinner at Carrabas includes great atmosphere and quality ingredients. Little Caesars, while I do love pizza, will make me want to die in an hour.
  5. I will seek more spiritual connection. I know that when I’m actively studying and practicing my spirituality brings me joy, reduces my stress and lightens my heart. I can feel the lack in my daily life from not seeking spiritual connection regularly and I don’t know why I do this to myself.
  6. I will set up some kind of sewing/crafting schedule. I know I need it. I’m afraid to even make a to-do list for fear of how many entries it will have… and my brain just doesn’t stop coming up with new super-adorable things I could make next. I need to set up some kind of schedule to make space for my plushies, my drawing and coloring, learning to make clothes, or none of these things is ever going to get done because I’m busy shaming myself for how far behind I am on everything.
  7. More dancing. My whole body, mind and spirit feels more open when I dance. I feel like I can breathe again. I need to do that thing.
  8. I will spend less time feeding the social media monster of hate and ranty-ness. There is enough anger and aggression on Facebook already regarding *insert offense here* and my energy is not really needed. I need my energy more. People need to smile more. I would much rather share pictures of kittens and videos of baby goats on trampolines.
  9. I will not base my self-worth on how productive I’ve been. I started sewing and drawing because it made me happy, it made my friends happy, and I wanted to share that joy with others. I need to refocus my creativity back to that motivation instead of putting so much weight on myself for not finishing things on a timeline that I made up in the first place.
  10. More genshiken. There has been a distinct lack of anime marathons in the past few months and I find this disturbing turn of events unacceptable. Must make more geek time!
  11. I will be more consistent with my online artist presence. I will start by reading less blogs about how to maintain a good online artist presence that leave me feeling like I am an epic failure and am doing basically everything wrong. If I come across flaky, flaily, sometimes annoying and pretty much always obnoxious, then at least you know you’re getting the real, authentic me.

 

What are your goals for happyness in this shiny, new year? Do you still make resolutions?

~ Seth

Christmas-Lights-Image-Wallpaper-1024x681

I have loved Christmas lights ever since I was a kid. We used to pile into the van and cruise around slowly to look at all the awesome light displays. I grew up in an apartment, so we didn’t really have a lot of outdoor decorating options, but my folks always knew the best neighborhoods to hit for an abundance of Christmas magicalness.

I’ve noticed recently that there don’t seem to be as many houses lit up as in years past.. anyone else noticing the same in their area? Kinda makes me sad to think people just don’t have as much love for Christmas as they used to.. *insert materialism of Christmas rant*

But there are still some glorious lighting displays to be found. One just around the corner from my house has a fantastik Christmas spire almost as tall as their house with a huge, shiny gold star on the top and color-changing lights that run all around their house and their shed. PLUS a couple of rainbow-color-fluctuating candy canes beside their front door and arches along their walkway. It’s beautifull! You can see the Vegas-like glow as soon as you turn into our neighborhood. (I wonder, though, if their next door neighbors appreciate the all night glow… I hope they have black out curtains lol)

There is another house up the street that I adore because they have light strung all over the front of their house and the bushes. I love it because it’s kinda messy and none of the strings match, which gives me the feeling that, while they’re not very good at perfect lighting displays, they do love Christmas and want to show it off. That makes me so happy!

Do you go all-out with your Christmas decorating? Do you light it up so they can see the glow from space? What’s your favorite Christmas memory?

 

~ Seth

 

We Have Our Own History

photo-1428959249159-5706303ea703 by garrett carroll

It honestly is hard sometimes to not practically deify our spiritual teachers. You’re thinking “OMG you are so much wiser than me! What would I have done without you!?” This gifted, intelligent voice of reason in your times of frustration, depression or struggle. You feel like they’ve saved you from yourself… It’s a slippery slope from gratitude to worship when it comes to mentors and teachers. And when one person you admire calls out another of your teachers it can cause a serious emotional conflict. “But.. but they’re so brilliant. They’ve helped me so much in the past…” You don’t know which way to turn.

It’s okay to listen to both teachers because no one is write all the time. No one has all the answers.

Thus is the beauty of the human experience – that we all have our own history, our own wounds and our own perspective to teach from. Each of us has unique gifts and wisdom of our own to share, birthed in us by our wounds and grown in the fertile soul of self exploration.

~ Seth

original digital painting by Nevi Star

Source: Shining Imperfectly

Just Do You

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You were not born for nothing. In you, in the terrific, singular way life has shaped you, there is a truth that is yours to tell. You may say: Not me. You may think: What I have done in this lifetime is to follow orders well. Not true. There is an undercurrent. You dream. You have something to say that we need to hear… Smash a hammer to the geode that is you. Shine a light on what is most beautiful, heartbreaking, and real for you in life and in your heart. Then let this vision be known, let us be made right, made whole, be dazzled by your truth. – Mackey Alston, documentary filmmaker

It is a sad thing that people think they’re boring. Because they don’t live exciting, adventurous, famous lives. But every soul has value. Every soul has a story. Every person has a gift that is unique to them. That thing that only they can do in the way they do it. You don’t have to be big and loud and cataclysmic or tragic. With a heartbreaking, painful story of adversity and survival. You have lived a life. You have experienced ups and downs, hurts and pains. Not every story has to be CNN-worthy to be valuable and meaningfull.

You must understand that you are the only you there will ever be. If you don’t create, express, speak your words and give your wisdom, no one will. No one else will ever have your voice or your words. No one else will ever have your eye for colour or your ear for music.

I know that I have felt more than once that there is something wrong or not good enough with my artwork or sewing. I’ve been told that I’m not doing it “right” but what does that mean? How can I be doing me wrong?? Because that’s all I’m doing. Being and expressing myself as authentically as possible.

That’s all any of us can do.

So just do you. Just promise yourself that you will be as authentic as possible. That you will look inside your heart with honesty and integrity and hold to your values when you create and when you make your choices. Express yourself in the only way you really can – in your way.

~ Seth

A Blessed Day Off

158HToday was just a really nice day. Nothing major going on, really… but just a nice afternoon with my besties.

See, Venus in retrograde (in Leo/Virgo) is proving to be even rougher on my little pirate crew than Mercury retrograde can sometimes be – and they’re no picnic! But the themes of this Venus retrograde are all about assessing your values and the things in your life that you’re giving value to. (I’m in Part 4 of the Venus retrograde podcast by Robert Ohotto, so I’ve still got a ways to go with all the energies at work over the next 3 months. If you haven’t heard of Robert, you really need to listen to his radio show! He’s fantastik! And his retrograde podcasts have brought so much understanding when life gets hella crazy.) There has definitely been a lot of that going on and it hasn’t all been easy-peasy. Things got a little brutal the other night but we took the time the next day to sit down and talk through what was going on and I feel like we really heard each other this time.

It can be scary to let down your carefully crafted defenses, even with those you love. Especially if you’ve spent a long time cultivating those defenses.. I am grateful to have friends who love each other enough to come back to the minefield and have a real, deep conversation.  Sometimes life gets away with you and you forget that you have to be gentle with each other. Yes, it is a beautifull and authentic friendship with you can be honest with each other, lucky not to have to play mind games or walk on eggshells because you might say the wrong thing. But you have to be careful. That authenticity can start to take on something more like “brutal honesty” where saying your piece is all that matters, even if it can cause serious damage to your loved ones. We must remember that honesty is so important, but people are fragile and easily breakable. You don’t have to use kid gloves, but you need to practice awareness with your words.

Is your honest thought necessary to speak?

Is it possible that your words could do more harm than good to your loved ones spirit?

Where is your honesty coming from? Is it really authentic, or is it coming from a wounded place in you?

Sometimes we tell ourselves that we’re being honest when in reality we are being vindictive because we feel that we have been wronged or ignored somehow. We need to be vulnerable enough to say when we are hurt, when we are lonely and feeling ignored. Maybe then we can have more space for someone else’s pain because ours has been heard.

I am grateful for my friends, my pirate crew, my family. My nakama. I am grateful that we were able to be honest and kind and gentle with each others pain. I am grateful for the beautifull afternoon that we got to spend together. I am grateful for what felt like rewards from the Universe for making important and difficult choices about our values.

We traded in some old books we didn’t want anymore and Half Price Books gave us enough that all the books we wanted were basically free, and we had a little leftover for snacks. We discovered Fresh Thyme, which is similar to a Whole Foods. They had the most amazing deli sandwiches and build-you-own-pizza. We sat in their cute little hidden lunch area and just enjoyed the sunshine streaming in through the windows and the music playing along with our conversation. They also had cupcakes from Sweet Ali’s Bakery, which are heaven.

Like I said, it was just a really nice afternoon with a sunshiney drive and beloved friends.

What has Venus retrograde been doing in your life? Has it been bringing up values for assessment? Maybe showing your places in your life where you or your gifts are being undervalued?

~Seth

Beauty in You, and In Your World

beauty

I’ll be honest. When I logged on tonight, it was with the intention of posting a rant to FB about a customer at my hotel job who upset me, but grace intervened. I got distracted by the little red notification icon on the top of the page and found this blog by Dr. Flanagan. I always enjoy his posts – filled with imperfection and grace and a fresh perspective that I dearly need (usually just when I need it). His post was about beauty. Not cosmetic beauty, but the kind that exists around us on a daily basis that maybe we miss.

How often do we find ourselves pounding through our day on rushed feet with angry strides and completely missing all of the beauty around us?

How often do you take the time to drink in the blue sky, the clouds, the flowers, the birds, the simple magic happening all around you?

I wonder how our moods would shift if we took the time to cultivate awareness of the beautifull things we ignore in our busy lives and maybe we could point out that beauty to someone else who maybe needs a little brightening.

What a shame to think that we trudge through our days, checking off to-do lists, running errands, but completely missing all the beauty of life going on around you. Why don’t we try, the next time we’re out, to cultivate awareness of life’s beauty going on around us. How about instead of filling our FB feeds with bitterness, rants and random offense-to-everything posts, we share photos of our gardens, our neighborhoods, that flowering bush by the post office, the deer hiding in the neighbor’s evergreens. Let’s cultivate beauty together and watch it flourish and grow!

~ Seth

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