The above quote from Howard Shultz, to me, is a powerful one. He is referring to his visits to Italy and the coffee experience. Howard Shultz is the man who started Starbucks Coffee, and for him it started with this experience, and his vision to create that for others. While this quote says a lot to me, I take away from it one thing in this moment. I take away that savoring moments, have so much power. For me, my morning coffee is a ritual, but I do remember times, having coffee in other countries, where I lingered, with every sip, every placement of the cup back on the table, to take it all in. The breathe of savoring the moment.
I can picture my coffee in Cuba, in it’s white generic restaurant style cup and saucer, hot and steaming as I looked out at the ocean. I can remember my first really strong cup of coffee in Italy as I watched the hustle and bustle in the boutique across the street. I can still taste the strong dark coffee in Greece, in a mug placed among fruit and a morning croissant on the balcony of our Air BNB in Santorini, overlooking the town below. I remember 2 dogs sitting at our feet, they would come every morning and meet us at the end of our day (and walk the 40 minute walk down to town with us). I savored those mornings, slowly eating each bite. I want to remember that forever.
Savoring is a practice, it takes thought and deliberation, but its a beautiful gift of the moment if you get it just right! Below, are some of my thoughts and suggestions on how to practice savoring the moment. So this month, I hope that you really will make the effort to ‘Do Less and Savor More’
A gift for you…
For this months first creative practice, I want to gift you an online workshop that I created. I have not launched it yet, but I am giving you access to it! I worked really hard to put this together, I hope you like it! It’s also great for kids, or t do as a family! The password for the workshop is floralcollage. That password will give you access to the workshop! This password is for you only!
Stop and Take Notice
When you walk into your house, your friends house, outside to your favourite space, what are some of the things you notice that bring you comfort and joy?
Think of these things almost like snapshots, photos in your mind that make you smile, bring you joy, make you feel good.
Here is my list…
my sleeping cat
my polka dot pillow case
my blanket in the cabana
flowers in a vase
candy in a vintage dish
coffee in my favourite mug
flower pots on a deck
mismatched dishes that go together
a new journal
the smell of palm trees
the crackle of a fire
a scrapbook album
buttons in a tin
my moms recipe cards
my sleeping daughter
rain as I fall asleep
There are so many things! I am sure I could list many more! I created a sheet for you to work on, or list them in your journal. If you are not into journaling, just take some time to think about them and see how it feels! Share in the Facebook group a few of the things, I really want to know what they are!
How do you feel about Mondays? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Not just Mondays, but weeks that are tough, or get tough on Tuesday, Wednesday or even Thursdays, and how to re calibrate and get back on track. Many moons ago I worked a Monday to Friday job, and every weekend, I would have a headache! I knew it was because I didn’t like my job, didn’t like my boss, and come Friday, I crashed, the stress of the week taking it’s toll on me. Sunday night, I would have the usual dread!
I know a lot of people get that Sunday dread, and often it doesn’t even matter if you love your job or hate it! Maybe it’s what we heard our parents say, maybe it started in school. Often though, we can make it worse than it is!
Right now I like Mondays, because it means back to work for my hubby and school for my daughter. But come the summer months, it gets more difficult because often we don’t want the weekends to end, or with kids out of school, and our time off, our days get confusing! For me, I find most often, I get off track on Wednesday or Thursday. Sometimes all the things I wanted to get done, didn’t get done, and the things I wanted to do, there was no time for.
So, I brainstormed, I researched a bit on what works, plus I am sharing some of the practices I already use, and I am hoping together we can try something! Let’s try having Marvelous Mondays! And if you are like me and Monday isn’t your ho hum day, these are still great practices!
I can say that taking small steps, and taking one day at a time, has been the best thing for me. We can beat ourselves up over the things we didn’t do, or the fact that we ate badly, or we missed the gym or the swim or the yoga class. I re evaluate my day all the time at the end of the day, and make a decision what I am going to be better at the next day, and starting small is the only way to do this!
Starting the week on Sunday instead of Monday is a great start. We always think that Monday is the start of the week, but what if we considered it to be Sunday, and used that day more effectively? Sunday during the day (don’t wait until the evening), for me, is when I look at my calendar for the following week and make my lists and plan. Why wait to look at all that on Monday and add to my already growing list of things I have over committed my Monday to doing?
Try to be specific, if you have something to do, give yourself a time slot to do it. Want to be more active, write in your exercise like an appointment, you’re more likely to keep it!
Try meditating, even if it’s just 5 minutes, starting with 3 days a week. Sunday night would be a great start. I really like the app Calm, but there are so many out there!
The following is a pretty sheet of guidelines that I created for you, so feel free to print it, or jot it down in your Marvelous Mondays journal and actually commit to giving it a try!
Some of my favorite art supplies…
My Favorite Art Supplies
Sharing a few of my favorite brands and supplies for a creative practice!
Each month going forward, I want to share some of my favorite art brands and art supplies with you. I will also share a video on how I use each of the products! There are so many products and brands to choose from that it can get pretty confusing. I am in no way being sponsored to promote these brands, I’m simply sharing the knowledge and it is my personal preference!
This month’s share…
How to use gesso, charcoal pencil, matt and gloss gel.
Gesso. I use it a lot and I get asked often, what it is and why we use it. Gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. You can purchase gesso in white, black and clear. It is used as a preparation for any number of substrates such as wood panels, canvas and paper, as a base for paint and other materials that are applied over it. Gesso helps to provide a more absorbent surface to work on, especially if you are using water and inks and lots of paint layers! Usually it’s used for art journaling, also acting as a primer base, and also adds great texture to your substrate. I do really like the Liquitex gesso, but recently found a lighter gesso that is a Bob Ross brand and it’s very good as well! What I like about the Bob Ross gesso is you can squeeze it right out of the bottle, and it’s really quite convenient.
Charcoal Pencil. I specifically use a charcoal pencil, instead of a charcoal stick. You will find them categorized in H for hardness and B for blackness. I like the medium and soft pencils, and often use a 2B or 4B pencil. I use the charcoal pencils for outlining or darkening shapes and images in my art journal and paintings. There is also a white pencil, but I have not used it yet!
Matt or gloss gel medium. I use gel medium a lot! I use it as a glue when I am collaging, creating mixed media or art journaling, applying it to the back and the front of the papers. It’s a great sealant! I use the gloss gel medium when I am working with layers in an abstract painting piece, the gloss gel allows me to wet a cloth and wipe off paint where I have applied too much. Gloss gel medium will also enhance the brilliance and transparency of your paint.
Remember, it’s basic purpose is to change the consistency and appearance of acrylic paint, but I am showing you other uses as well! You can purchase it in soft, medium or heavy body. I prefer the medium body. Gel Medium is essentially a binder without pigment. It is intermixable with all types of acrylic paints. It is lightfast, water-based, flexible, and permanent. My favourite brand is Liquitex, mostly because of the price, but Golden is great too. There may be less expensive brands out there too, if you give them a try, let me know what you think!
Please watch both videos and then give the products a try! Let me know what you discover and what you create!
My June Color Palette
If you are looking to practice with a different color palette, feel free to use this as your inspiration! Please note that color names can vary dependant on brand so I am just placing the color here for reference only and no name attached to it.