My monthly ATC (Artist Trading Cards) Swap with my Girlfriends


I always wanted to participate in a monthly ATC swap but hesitated because I didn’t know if I could commit to it all the time. I liked the idea of challenging myself to work on a small canvas, trying new things and receiving beautiful art in my mail box. This year, one of my goals with my OLW (One Little Word) is to connect with friends more. Last year, we lost one of the places that we met weekly to craft and have girl time so we have had a hard battle staying connected like we would like. I really don’t want to lose what beautiful friendships we have been building so I am always in search of a way I can help bring us together.

So in December, I kicked around the idea of approaching my crafty girlfriends and seeing how they would feel about a monthly ATC Swap. I wanted to create nothing but encouragement and present little obstacles so that I could pull them all in.  So I made up the catergories for each month which always included a few options and didn’t put any creative restrictions.  I also told people they could jump in any month they choose. So about a week before each month, I contact them all via email and find out how many will participate for the next month and then announce the number of ATCs we have to make and due date (which is the last day of the month).

january8The first month is January and this is the gallery of all the participants in our January swap.  I decided January’s theme would be New Years and Stars. Look at all the great interpretations everyone had for this theme. That’s what makes it wonderful. My other goal is to not make this a chore or competitive. I believe each ATC is a unique beauty and I hope the participants continue to feel happy about the process. I know I am so happy I made the leap and asked them.


One Little Word 2015

Good morning! I hope you all are well this sunny morning. It’s sunny here with a little drop of snow on the ground.

I have been participating in the One Little Word class with Ali Edwards for several years now. Each year, I have chosen a word fairly easy. Last year, I chose Listen. I have learned that you never are really finished with the word at the end of the year, you just incorporate it with you life and move to the next. So although I still feel Listen is a great word and there is always more to be done, I think I need to move to a new word for 2015.

This year, I began seeking my word in November.  I went through many words but none seemed to resonate. Then the pressure built when Ali announced her word, ‘give’. I liked it because the past few months I had been moving towards establishing more charitable work and giving in my life.  But again, something didn’t quite connect. Then I looked at the word ‘engage’ and while exploring the definition and synonyms, I  saw the word ‘connect‘ and everything fell into place and my word for 2015 was selected.

I am excited by the possibility of how the word  Connect might change my life.

When I think of connect I think of:

Connecting to family – Over the years, I have allowed too much distance with my family and extended family. Technology which is wonderful has taken over my family and I hope to find more ways to connect with Leao and the boys without technology. I would also like to find ways to connect with extended family that don’t live so close on a regular basis.

Connect to friends – I want to find more meaningful opportunities to connect with new and old friends and not just texting!

Find the connection to all beings – I want to use my spiritual beliefs and my continued research on poverty and humanities other struggles, to connect to those in need through compassion, understanding and giving.

Connect to my fitness – Continue on my path to well being through regular exercise and healthy eating.

Connect to my customers – I want to find ways to connect with more customers via my Etsy shop and offline sales opportunities.

So for the class each month Ali provides some things to do (sometimes crafty sometimes journaling) to help us keep our words present in our lives. So I will share some of the these activities as I work through them.  This will be a big help because each year I start fairly well then somehow life and priorities shift and I let go of my promise. This year, I hope to push myself through the entire experience.  Because I do believe in the process I know that pushing through with my word will create new possibilities in my life. So now you can have a front seat while I work through this process.

What’s your word for 2015?



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