Monday, January 31, 2011

Creating the Life You Want, Checking in on Goals, Creating Workable To Do Lists

 So its January 31st and your wondering where the first 31 days of this calender year have gone and why you aren't living the life you want to be.   You know what you are not alone in that, these simple tips and suggestions are ones that I have used successfully in the pursuit of the life I want.

Your probably wondering, where to starts, well now is the perfect time to on your goals.  See where you are at and where you are heading in the new year.  It is a good time to change anything you disliked about the first month of the calendar year.  It is important to do check-ins, like this so you are living the life you want...


Socrates said it best:  "An Unexamined life is not worth living."


Let's start with a check in, on where we currently are at.   This isn't rocket science, it doesn't have to be complicated or hard.  Depending on your personality, it doesn't even have to be a written down evaluation.  One of the easiest ways I have found is to keep a notebook handy and got things down as they occur for about a week, before reviewing for changes.


The following is a list of 5 questions I use to do a basic check in:

1.)  Do you know what are your goals for this year?

2.)  Have you done anything towards reaching those goals.

3.)  Is there something you would like to change about the last 30 days?

4.)  Do you have control over what you would like to change in the last 30 days?   
      This one is really important, because knowing what we have control over and what we do not, helps us adjust our days.   It also alleviates the stress when you want to change things you have no control over.

5.)  Our your goals realistic?  Or does severity of need make them unrealistic, but must achieve anyway.
     Again having a realistic view of the priority and need of your goals, will help you achieve the goals in a timely and practical manner.  Sometimes we have to take it up a step when the goal is unrealistic, but necessary to achieve in an untimely manner.   Knowing this too will help you adjust and avoid stress.


Now that you have answered the above questions, your probably wondering, I have my list how am I going to accomplish this?    That is easy, this is where the all important To Do Lists come in.   I realize everyone isn't a list person, but here are some good tips of why they are important and how they can assist you in achieving the life you want.  Both Tina and I are list people, so using a to do list is second nature to me.   It helps keep you organized, focused and in control of your time.



1.)   Daily To Do List --- You want to have a daily to do list.  This covers things that have to be done or you would like to do every day.   Having a framework will allow you to see a more realistic view of the time you have to reach your goals.   It is also a good check and balance to make sure you are enjoying the journey, while you work towards your desires.

2.)  Uncontrollable ---  this is not really a to do list per say, because they are not things you are doing.  But I find that having a list as a reminder of the time eaters that I have no control over, helps me keep perspective, when I am frustrated at not being able to work on reaching my goals and am behind.

3.)  Short Term Goals ---  This is a list of items that you would like to accomplish in the next 6 months.  Whether it be more time with friends, less time spent working, more time spent outdoors, setting up a garden or paying off a bill, whatever it is.

3a.)  Now review your Short Term Goal list for the realistic achievement of them.

4.)  Medium Term Goals ---  This is a list of items that you would like to see happen, but will take 6 months to two years to accomplish.  

5.)  Long Term Goals ---  Anything that will take 2 years or longer to accomplish.


The next step is to prioritize the items on each list. 

This is the hard part, because our desires are usually counter to our responsibilities.
Start by reviewing the larger projects and breaking them down into smaller stepping stone steps.

Review each list separately and assign a priority code.  You can use anything that works for you.

I use the following simple alpha notation:

"A"  Have to do   
"B"  Should do 
"C"  Would like to do
"D"  Could Do

Most of the time you will see people only recommend a three step prioritization, I have found the 4 step to work better for me.   Mostly because the three step really doesn't allow for the personal stuff.  For me "C" is more often than not top priority, it just becomes a matter of managing &/or eliminating the "A" and "B's" to accommodate.   And well my "D" list from last year is still worked on, so they really are items that only need to be worked on when time allows.


Having your list done allows you to complete task while freeing up time, memory and keeping the clutter down from working on multiple projects in a frenzy.    Now, your set move forth on to living the life you want to be livings.  But before you go, Do you have any tips to share, that help you accomplish your goals and achieving the living of the life you dreamed about?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fishing Humor and Kids

Midweek we all need a bit of a humerous pick me up...   Enjoy!


It was a cold winter day. An old man walked out onto a frozen lake, cut a hole in the ice and dropped in his fishing line. He was there for almost an hour, without even a nibble, when a young boy walked out onto the ice, cut a hole in the ice not far from him. The young boy dropped his fishing line and minutes later he hooked a Largemouth Bass.


The old man couldn't believe his eyes but chalked it up to plain luck. But, shortly thereafter, the young boy pulled in another large catch.

The young boy kept catching fish after fish. Finally, the old man couldn't take it any longer. "Son, I've been here for over an hour without even a nibble. You've been here only a few minutes and have caught a half dozen fish! How do you do it?"

The boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rrarm."

"What was that?" the old man asked.

Again the boy responded, "Roo raf roo reep ra rums rarrm."

"Look," said the old man, "I can't understand a word you're saying."

The boy spit the bait into his hand and said, "You have to keep the worms warm!" ---
 
 
unknown author

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bluetina --- Studio of the Week

Interviewing artisans is a great way to get to know one another at Artfire.com, where we are truly a community that works together. A natural step is featuring those artisans so we can introduce others to them as well.

Today we would like to introduce you to Tina of bluetina.artfire.com. She creates unique one of kind pieces of jewelry. When you view her studio, it becomes obvious that she is inspired greatly by the water. Which makes sense living so close to the sea, as Tina lives in spain.

Interview:

1. When and how....

Some years ago I developed a health problem and had to stop working. (I suffer from unpredictable bouts of vertigo like syndrome, as yet unnamed and undiagnosed). I was bored to tears and wanted to do something creative to fill up my suddenly acquired free time. I've always loved jewellery, especially earrings, so I started to learn to make my own.

2. How long....

I've been making jewellery (I believe this is the European spelling)for about eight years now and I'm still learning new things all the time.


3. Crafting influences....

Well, just about everything really! But most of it comes direct from my own imagination. New designs sometimes come to me in dreams!

4. Does anyone in your family....

I appear to be the only member of my family that makes jewellery. I think I inherited all the artistic genes! However, my future daughter-in-law is a very creative person. She can turn her hand to anything!

5. What kinds of places.....

In the UK I used to stall out at lots of craft fairs, school fetes, my local pub etc. (That one was particularly good for business!) Here in Spain there aren't so many places to show my wares. I had, until recently, a display board in a local cafe. Also I have been involved in some art exhibitions. They considered my jewellery to be art - isn't that nice?

6. What else do I do....

I read a lot, play on my computer, surf the net, cook, eat, drink and generally do anything that gets me out of the housework!

7. What is your favourite piece.....

Hmmmm... difficult question. Generally speaking, the piece I've just finished is my favourite! If forced to choose, however, I think my Mediterranean bracelet, because it took so long to make and I didn't stint myself when choosing the components. That's why it's my most expensive piece.
 Here is the link. Sterling silver Charm Sea Theme Bracelet with Blue Onyx.


8. Why did I make it....

I wanted to make something that reflected the colours of the Mediterranean Sea. I live half an hour away and get to see it quite often. I also had this toggle clasp with a fish on it.....

9. What does it take....

It takes a lot of time, patience, reasonable dexterity and a bloody good pair of glasses! I use my MagEyes all the time when I'm creating. I can't see a thing without them!

10. What is special....

Am I supposed to answer that? You're making me blush now! I think it is that, as my little slogan says, I never make the same thing twice. They are all unique, one of a kind and I won't make another!


11. What makes it good....

It fulfils all my artistic yearnings. It keeps me out of mischief. It gets me out of the housework. All except the ironing, I still have to do that as my husband flatly refuses!



Here is a brief glimpse of Tina's creation's.
Swirls and Loops



I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Tina of Bluetina a bit more. You can see more of her lovely creations at http://www.bluetina.artfire.com/   We would love to hear what you think of her studio and what your favorite piece is...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Random Thoughts on Books



Among all of are other interests, books and being able to read is within  the top 5 favorite things we enjoy.

Tina is currently reading "Drums of Autumn"  by Diana Gabaldon for pleasure.

She is also doing a lot of reading of Cookbooks.  While to some this may sound strange to others it won't.  Except in this case it is vitally important reading as both Tina and I are having to relearn how to cook without Gluten.   We both recently discovered we are allergic.  Thankfully, for me that is, there isn't an aspect of cooking Tina doesn't like and she is willing to share.   While I cook well, I don't enjoy that aspect nearly as much as I do the growing of the vegetables, herbs and fruit and of course the enjoyment of a good meal with even better friends.

A few places we (o.k. Tina)  have found on gluten free lifestyle information are:

glutenfreegirl on Twitter

Gluten-Free Girl on Facebook

Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

OK yep all three of the links are the same person, but we really like her writing and she is local, so we have access to the fresh foods she talks about...


We also are planning on trying our hand at curing our own meats this year, due to one of the things we found out is that a lot of meat cures have maltodexin in them, which is a gluten product.


It isn't a bad thing it just means lots of new food adventures for us!



Tammy (that's me) is not currently reading anything due to my insane corporate job work schedule.   But I have a stack of books that I received for Christmas that are sitting there waiting for me.   Ah, the warm fuzzy feeling of having books to read and the weather is perfect to curl of with a cup of tea to read.   Soon, it will happen soon, because I say so.


In my stack waiting for me is:

Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, the first 6 books in the series  (I am working on acquiring them all).   If you haven't read this series you really, really should.  There are days I can so relate to the mishaps in Stephanie's life  and the men our fine.


Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, though in truth while a fun intense read, I enjoy them because of "Jenks".  Jenks is a  bloodthirsty pixie who is  an unheard of partner in the firm (Pixies don't usually count), a homeowner, a dad of 54 and doting husband.   Swears worse than a sailor and trucker combined and loyal to a fault.  Who couldn't love a pixie singing "The 12 Days of Pixie Christmas" which includes humans hiding, trolls in drag, french ticklers  and succubi.  Ok, Kim Harrison also weaves the story with unexpected twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing, so far all the way thru the series.


There is more in my stack, that I will save for a rainy day...



I am also reading a lot on computer programs right now, to teach myself how to better utilize my computer.   This is an attempt to streamline my time on the computer, so I have more free time for pleasure reading.   Dry reading but learning something new is always a joy.





Books are meant to be enjoyed and shared between friends, we do a lot of that, in case you couldn't tell.

Share with us some of your favorite books and authors, we are always looking for new books to read.




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Computer Humor

Due to our ongoing technical difficulties the last several months, it was determined guidelines were needed to assess our relationship with our computers.

The following list is what came about. 
Some of these we have heard somewhere and some we created ourselves. 



1. You wake up at 2 O'clock in the morning to go to the bathroom and stop to check your email on the way back to bed.


2. You turn off your computer and get an awful empty feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.


3. You decide to stay in college for an additional year or two, just for the free Internet access.


4. You laugh at people with 28.8 modems.


5. You start using smileys :-) in your snail mail.


6. You find yourself typing "com" after every period when using a word processor.com


7. You can't correspond with your mother because she doesn't have a computer.


8. When your email box shows "no new messages" and you feel really depressed.


9. You don't know the gender of your three closest friends because they have nondescript screen name and you never bothered to ask.


10. You move into a new house and you decide to "Netscape" before you landscape.


11. Your family and friends notify you of deaths via email and facebook.


12. In real life conversations, you don't laugh, you just say "LOL, LOL".


13. You start calling burned dinners Cajun Cuisine, because you were on the computer instead of paying attention to dinner.


14. You schedule your social life around access to a computer, because you might miss a message.

15. You choose where to live based on Internet availability and quality of reception.

16. After reading this message, you immediately check your inbox to see if anyone has forwarded it you and then you forward it to a friend!

 
 
 
We hope you had a good laugh as was our intent.
Anyone willing to share there tech obsessive habits?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthstones for January Birthday's



Birthday’s we all have them whether we acknowledge them or not. Regardless of your take on birthdays, each calendar month of the year has a specific birthstone associated with it. As you may or may not know, it really is dependent upon which list and which region you draw from for what the stone is going to be, which is why there is confusion. On top of that there is a gemstone associated with each of the Zodiac signs, which I will cover on a different day.



I take the lists with a grain of salt and recommend you do too. Each stone is as unique as each individual is. So choosing the stone that most closely corresponds with your personal character traits is perfectly acceptable. Though I am sure there are some purists out there whom would disagree with me.



Gemstone associations have evolved over the centuries, for various reasons. From ease of acquisition, to new stones found, to an attempt to standardize the list for jewelry sellers. For whatever reason the lists have changed over the years, I view them as a guide. A guide that will assist you in a search for the perfect birthday present to the perfect piece of jewelry that you are sure to wear for years to come.



Birthstones for the month of January:



Modern: Garnet

The modern birthstone list officially adopted in 1912, is the accepted list in the United States. This list was created by the American National Association of Jewelers.



Mystical: Emerald

Dating back to over one thousand years old, the Mystical birthstone list are of Tibetan origin.



Ayurvedic: Garnet

Indian medicine and beliefs dating back to 1500 B.C. is where the origins of the Ayurvedic birthstone list can be traced back to.



Italian: Jacinth

The Italian birthstone list, from what I could find in my research appears to be a list specific to the geographic location of Italy.



Russian: Hyacinth

The Russian birthstone list also appears to be specific to the geographic location. Information was limited on the origins of this list.





A bit about the stones:



Garnets ---

Are believed to provide protection for the wearer, aid one in healing, and lend both energy and strength.

Specific to those born in the month of January, the Garnet is believed to impart friendship, truth, purity, and faithfulness.

The traditional Metaphysical Properties of garnets are believed to be regeneration insight, commitment, removing negativity and awareness.



Emeralds---

Are believed to bring the wearer loyalty and faithfulness in all of their relationships, especially friendships.

Metaphysically they are thought to assist with memory retention, clairvoyance and a deeper faith.

It is believed that emeralds have healing properties. Specifically in regards to eyes, fertility, easing of headaches and the spine.





Hyacinth & Jacinth

Are both referred to as Zircon. With colors ranging from brown, orange, yellow to a reddish-brown. While virtually the same stone, Jacinth is the older name and can be traced back farther in history.

Zircon is a common naturally occurring stone. Many people erroneously confuse it and refer to it as cubic zirconia. This is unfortunate since zircon is a natural stone; where as cubic zirconia is a man-made stone. Each with unique properties and composed of completely different materials. To be completely accurate Zircon is categorized as a mineral.





This is by no means a complete list of all the different birthstone charts that are out there. But it does give one a good basis for deciding how to choose a stone for someone whom is born in the month of January.



We work with a lot of different stones when creating our jewelry, as we find the infinite variety and uniqueness blends with our creative talent to create unique pieces of wearable art.





What is your favorite stone?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Food Inspiration's


This piece is a glimpse of how we use our everyday lives to inspire us here at Entwined Vines!

Red Onion Skin, Jasper, and Marble Necklace
Jasper Necklace with an Onion Skin Pendant




You can read more about how food inspires us in Rice, who knew and Purples, blues, greens, yay.



What inspires you?   What types of food do you enjoy and why?


Monday, January 10, 2011

January -- Flower -- Carnation

Each calendar month of the year has dedicated flowers, and stones. Depending on how far back in history and which region you choose from depend on what appears on the lists. Occasionally they correspond exactly with the Zodiac sign that dominates the largest part of the calendar month. However, sometimes they do not, today is the first of a 12 part series exploring the calendar month designations of flowers, starting with January.



The birth flower for January is the Carnation.


Carnations date all the way back to Greek and Roman times. You will find it in art and decor from that era. The shades pale pink and peach were the predominant colors in early times. Down thru the ages, the palette of colors has been bred to include red, yellow, white, purple and even green. Even through so much change thru the ages, carnations have remained popular. This undiminished popularity of carnations is why you find them in so many pieces of art, as they provide a never ending amount of inspiration, regardless of the art form pursued.



Now, the scientific name for carnations is Dianthus caryophyllus, this roughly translates to mean the “flower of love” or the “flower of the gods”. It is a durable and delicate flower that appeals to women. Which is why with its feminine ruffled appearance and clove-like scent, its meaning is most commonly known as the flower of love.



However, you will also find the basic meaning of Carnations listed as love, fascination and distinction. Depending on how far you research or if you prefer the Victorian era meanings, they also have specific meanings based on colors.


While flower meanings date further back than the Victorian era, it is the Victorian era that really brought it into focus. Their love of creating nosegays for specific meanings, refined the flower meanings, to convey various messages, that due to the times people were not willing to voice out loud.



For Carnations, the colors meanings include:

*General meaning --- Fascination, Devoted Love.

*Pink --- Women’s love, I’ll never forget you.

*Red---Admiration, my heart aches for you.

*Deep Red or Blood Red---Alas! For my poor heart.

*Purple---Capriciousness

*White---Innocence, pure love, sweet, lovely.

*Yellow---Rejection, disappointment.



They also assigned meanings based on style of flower colors:

*Solid --- Yes

*Striped---Wish I could be with you, Sorry I can’t be with you, no, refusal



Colors and style of flower with multiple meanings were determined by the flowers added with them in the bouquets.



You may be asking yourself, what this has to do with creating jewelry, well that is easy actually. At Entwined Vines both Tina and I find so much of our inspiration in the great outdoors, that the need to share is like breathing. Something that is such a part of us that it seems natural for us to share and provides great ideas for those looking for gifts for loved ones with birthday’s in January.



What is your favorite flower?




Friday, January 7, 2011

Picking up and Moving Forward

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We are back, from a brief hiatus to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. 
This has been good for us as our creativity is sparking with lots of new designs, new ideas for blog topics and excitement for our new adventure starting in March.

A slower pace, the first few weeks of January, is the approach we are taking this year.

Some topics to look forward too in the new year:

1.) Stones, Stones and more Stones.

2.) Inspiration

3.)  Random topics of thought.



We look forward to hearing from you as we move forward in 2011.

Cheers,