Friday, November 21, 2014

Just a Quote for my 6 year blog anniversary

"The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand."
~ Vince Lombardi

PS: My sweet little PaperTurtle blog turned 6 years old this week. :o)
PPS: My ring is from Dogeared and is the symbol for karma.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Music, Memory, and my Yoga Voice

Good day, my friends.
Let's talk about music today.
Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of all joy" and it's true. Over the past several months I've been taking yoga classes from some amazing yoga teachers, all who have calm and velvety sounding voices, soothing and melodic and mesmerizing. Compared to my yoga masters, I think my voice sounds more like a California girl, caught up in crazy banter with my daughter, both of us talking over the top of each other, fast and furious with sometimes two subject matters going at once. That's how I identify with my voice.

I attended a workshop called "Yoga of the Voice" at my favorite yoga studio this past weekend. As I prepare to complete my 200-hour yoga teacher certification at the end of December, I thought this workshop would be good for me and I was right. The workshop was awesome! I was pulled out of my comfort zone and I really did learn a lot. You know, the voice is like a lot of other things - if you don't use it, you lose it.

me with my daddy's guitar

I sang a lot when I was younger - especially when my dad was still around. He played guitar and I even sang up on stage with his band when I was five years old. I sang the chorus of "Tiger by the Tail" and thought I didn't do well because nobody danced - they were all too busy watching me perform.

When Carrie was little we sang together a lot too. Our night time routines involved reading a story (or two), and then when the lights went out I'd lightly rub her back while I sang two (or three) songs. I loved waking her up on school mornings with a lively rendition of "It's a beautiful morning... ahhhh... oooh-oooh... I think I'll go outside for a while..." Ha. She wasn't as fond of that song as she was of her night time favorites.

I'm sure all of us can identify with songs from our past. Those songs that instantly take us back to a place and time, or remind us of a certain someone. So during the workshop when the subject of an organization called Music and Memories came up, I was very interested in learning more about it.

Music and Memories is an organization that is bringing music to nursing home patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. Watch this trailer for a documentary called "Alive Inside" to see some touching footage of patients receiving the gift of music. The transformations are incredible! I love knowing that an organization like this exists, and that somehow those who seem lost from this life are given the gift of memory through music.

You can make a donation on their website, or click here to learn how you can help by donating your used iPod. They'll even pay the postage for sending your iPod within the United States.

Yoga means "union" - union of body, mind, spirit and even voice. How wonderful to have experienced such a unique workshop last weekend, to be reminded of my own sweet music memories, and to be able to spread the word about a worthy cause such as Music and Memories. As for my yoga voice? I'll keep working on that!

It's such a blessing to be me.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Just a Quote for Friday

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

~ author unknown

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Returning to intentions

“Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

In a yoga class last weekend, our teacher suggested that we choose an intention at the beginning of the class. She encouraged us to think about that intention as we inhaled, and visualize it happening on the exhale.
I’ve taken this teacher’s class before, and I love that she invites her students to practice with an intention. She said, “Maybe your intention is to be joyful so on your inhale you think joy. But then on the exhale you think, ‘Yeah, right’…" We smiled as she continued, "Just let that go. Don’t think you messed up your intention; just keep calling it back with every inhalation.”

So on my mat last weekend I chose a challenging intention: “Love everyone.” I’d had an experience the day before where I was the target of someone’s unkind words, and I really wanted to love that person in spite of their behavior. Then, as I exhaled, I visualized little pink hearts floating away from my chest – right out of my heart and out into the world. Inhale, “Love everyone.” Exhale, ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥...
This sweet teacher reminded us to come back to our intention during the course of the class; to feel it and believe it. I felt so full of love at the end of the class! I was ready for anything that came my way.
And then, like a mean little trick from the Universe, I was tested again just a few hours after class. My head was filled with judgment and ridicule directed at someone who innocently and unknowingly said something that I allowed to rub me the wrong way. Loving everyone was the farthest thing from my mind, and little pink hearts were definitely not flowing. My intention from that morning's yoga class flew right out the window.

Don’t think you messed up your intention,” I could hear my teacher say.
Just keep calling it back with every inhalation…

An intention is just that - a thing intended, an aim or a plan. It's not a steadfast rule, and straying from that plan doesn't mean I've messed up. While I might have the best intentions, the fact remains that I am human. I know that there will always be situations to test me, but the practice of yoga is teaching me the art of starting over. I will continue to choose intentions, there will always be distractions, and I'll keep returning to my breath and intention, over and over again...
♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Quilt Square for Denise

Oh how bittersweet it is to post the final month's installment of Fiona's Friendship Quilt exchange. For the month of October, we each made a quilt square for Denise.

With every quilt square I've made for this project, I knew right away what design I wanted to use for that month's recipient. And when I found out that Denise was joining the exchange, my mind instantly went in one direction: Donny Osmond. You see, Denise and I share a fascination with Donny Osmond - a common ground we realized early in our sweet blog friendship.

(Here's the part where you can click on this link and it will open a separate page. Then you can listen to Donny's "Puppy Love" and come back and read the rest of this post while it plays in the background. I'll wait...)

But how would I make a quilt square with our beloved Donny Osmond on it? I tried my best to come up with another idea and kept coming back to Donny. Denise has sons close to Carrie's age...she loves Himself...and her dogs...puppies... PUPPY LOVE. Done.

I used my Cricut to cut letters to use as templates, then traced around them on the back of fabric after I'd ironed on some fusible webbing. The solid background fabric is from my mom's fabric scraps, and so is that little pink heart in the middle of LOVE. :o)

And they called it...

~dreamy sigh~

I loved stitching this Donny Osmond inspired quilt square for Denise. :o)
And I have loved participating in Fiona's Friendship Quilt Block Exchange. I have plans to join all my blocks into a fun quilt top after the first of the year, and you can bet I'll be sharing my progress here on my blog when that happens. Many thanks to Fiona for organizing such a sweet and meaningful project!

You can see the other squares I've created for this project by clicking here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Seeds of Hope Bracelet Winner

Many thanks to those who entered the drawing for the Seeds of Hope bracelet giveaway, and also to those of you who shared my link on Facebook. Seeds of Hope is an organization committed to saving girls from sex trafficking, a worldwide problem far greater than I ever imagined, and described by my cousin Dana on my blog last Monday. If you missed it you can read it here. And if you missed my post, you also missed out on being able to enter the drawing for this pretty bracelet...
I put all the names in a bowl and then emptied it over the top of this rock. The name that fell the closest to the bracelet is the winner... 

Hooray for Audrey! :o) Congratulations!
{I have your address so I'll put this little lovely in the mail for you this week.}
Thanks to Dana for taking the time to join me on PaperTurtle with her thoughtful answers to my questions, and thanks to Seeds of Hope for the amazing work they continue to do in Costa Rica.

You can check out more of the jewelry for sale by clicking here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just a Quote for Friday

"You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own."
~ D.M. Dellinger
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