Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

How To Wear Colour

When it comes to the topic of colour, the most common question that is asked is: "How do I know what colours are good for me?"

You can get your 'colours' done professionally, but here are some simple tips to get started!

1. Make a list of the colours that instantly 'light up' your face when you put them (even when you are not wearing any make-up at all). Those colours are definitely colours that are 'good' for you; and you should have more of these colours in your closet. Colours that compliment your skin tone will make your complexion glow and make it appear clearer. Shadows under the eyes will become less pronounced.

2. Make a list of the colours that always get you compliments or those colours that friends tell you that you should wear more often.

3. Make a list of those colours that make you feel good when you are wearing them. When you feel good in something, you'll look great.

4. Keep in mind that it is the colour that is worn up near your face that matters most. So let's say you love khaki green, but khaki green really doesn't do that much for you - then wear khaki green in the lower torso (as a pant or skirt) and match it with a top that works well with your skin tone.

5. Finally a safe bet ~ navy blue and charcoal grey are colours that flatter just about everyone and are fabulous colour staples to have in your wardrobe.

Monochromatic Look

1. Any time you wear a single colour through the entire frame of your body you will look longer and leaner. (Great tip for those of us who wish to appear ~ ahem a little trimmer).

2. The colour you wear can be a light colour, a bright colour, a dark or dull colour - regardless of the colour you will get a lengthening effect through the body.

3. This illusion of length is created because you are providing the eye with a continuous line of colour without any colour breaks to stop the eye.

4. As a variation of the head to toe monochromatic look, you can also achieve this effect by wearing a pattern or a print head to toe, or by wearing subtle variations of the same colour.

5. To maintain the illusion of length but to add some interest to the outfit, add a contrasting coloured accessory or a contrasting patterned blouse to a matching blazer and skirt or pant.

Colour Breaks

1. When you are mixing two or more colours of different intensities, your eye will always be drawn to the lightest or brightest colour first versus the darker colour. Lighter colours appear to advance while darker colours appear to recede when they are mixed together.

2. Understanding this principle can help you make the most flattering colour combinations for your figure type.

3. For example, if you have a pear shaped body (fuller through the hip/thighs compared to shoulders) might want to try wearing darker colours in the lower torso (to de-emphasize this area) and brighter colours in the upper torso (to draw the eye upward and highlight this area).

4. Women who have an inverted triangle figure type (stronger shoulders in comparison to their hips) might want to try the reverse ~ darker colours in the upper torso and bright or lighter colours in the upper torso.

5. Also be aware that the eye will also focus on colour break points (the point where two colours meet), so be careful that your colour break points do not hit at your figure challenge area.

6. For example if you are wider through the hips or thighs be careful that the colour break point does not happen at your widest point. What you want to do is wear a jacket or top that ends either an inch or so above or below the widest point on your hips or thighs.

7. Use colour breakpoints to accent your figure assets as well. If you have a smaller waist line try wearing a top in a contrasting colour to your bottom piece and be sure to tuck it in. To further highlight your waist ~ wear a belt and do not wear a jacket to cover up that beautiful small waist.

Wearing Prints Or Patterns

1. When you mix prints with a solid colour ~ your eye will be drawn to the print or patterned piece first (as it is more visually interesting). For this reason a lot of women tend to avoid wearing prints or patterns on their lower torso.

2. If you want to wear a print on the lower torso, there is a way to soften the effect of the print or pattern. Make a list of all the colours in the print. Remember ~ the eye is drawn to lighter and brighter colours first, so select tops and jackets in the lightest or brightest colours in the print.

In the late 80's early 90's it was all the rage to "have your colours done". Although it is not as prevalent now as it was then, it is still a wise idea to match colours to your skin tone.

Skin tones were divided into Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Once the season was established, you were then told the colours that would work best with your skin tones.

Hokey you may ask ~ no, I did succumb to having my colours done and there is a distinct difference in wearing a colour that work with your skin tone as opposed to wearing onees that do not.

Here is a breakdown of the four seasons ~

Summer

Summer is a cool tone and like winter complexions, the summers among us have blue or pink undertones. Skin is very pale and pink. Summer colouring usually occurs in natural blonds, and even pale-skinned brunettes with pale eyes. If you’re a trying to discriminate between winter and summer, winters are usually brunettes and summers are mostly natural blonds.

Summers have a low level of contrast between their hair, eye colour and skin tone. In order to look your best, choose soft neutrals and pastels, as well as muted colours with cool undertones.
Powder blue, dusty pink, mauve, lavender, plum, and pale yellow are all great colour choices.

The worst colours for summers to avoid are intense, vivid hues because they will look harsh. Don't wear earth tones either. Stay away from black and orange.

Autumn

Autumn is a warm tone and people with this complexion have golden undertones in their skin, like a pale peach, golden beige or golden brown. Many redheads and brunettes with golden brown eyes fall into this category. However, golden blond and black hair colouring can also fall into this range.

The best colours for Autumn are rich golden, spicy and earthy colours to accent your complexion. Therefore, look for a warm undertone when selecting a colour. You can wear both muted and rich warm colours that are seen in autumn leaves and spice colours, such as camel, beige, olive, orange, gold, and dark brown. You will also look great in a rich warm grey.

The worst colours for autumn to avoid are clear, bright colours and black and white, which will make your look tired and faded. Also steer clear of pastels and blue tones, which will look cold against your complexion and give you a pale appearance.

Winter

Winter is a cool tone. People with winter complexions have blue or pink or rosy undertones. Skin can be pale and porcelain white, yellowish-olive, or dark. Winters are generally brunettes with deeply coloured eyes. Many Asians and African Americans fall into this category. Natural white-blonds may also be winters.

The best colours for winters are colours that are sharp, stark and clear. You will look best in intense, rich colours, like black, navy blue, red, and hot pink. These powerful shades will compliment your colouring. For lighter colours, wear bright white or icy pastels, such as like cool blues, pinks and yellows.

The worst colours for winters to avoid are earthy tones and subdued colours like beige, orange and gold. They will make you look faded and ashen.

Spring


Spring is a warm tone. People of this complexion have subtle golden undertones and are usually creamy white or peach. Springs have extremely light, ivory skin colour. People of this colouring are usually natural golden blonds, auburn, or strawberry blond redheads. Springs also have very clear, light blue and green coloured eyes. Freckles and rosy cheeks are also characteristics of this group.

The best colours for springs are very pale, soft colours, such as peach, camel, golden yellow, golden brown, and aqua. You will also look fabulous in ivory, bright greens, true reds, clear blues and coral. Your colours may be particularly hard to find because they can never be too muted or too dark.

The worst colours for springs to avoid are black and white, which are too contrasting for you. Stay away from dark, dull colours.

The colour wheel is your best friend ~ buy one and keep it handy all the time. It really will help you are you work with colour placement in your home.

My living room has been monochromatic (shades of creams, custard, vanilla) for years, however this year I decided to inject a little colour into the room. I started by picking up a large bowl for my coffee table. It is clear with swirls of frosty white and a blue grey through it. Then I took the blue grey in the bowl and matched it to two cushions on the sofa in that same shade. Accessories on side tables in the same shade and then a large vase in a punchy tangerine (remember blue & orange are complementary colours) gave the living room a completely different appearance.

I have deliberately not posted any pictures in these last three posts on colour as I did not want to detract from the message on colour and how it affects our lives so strongly, however, if comments show interest I will post a picture of the living room before and after the colour injection so you can see the difference a little colour makes.

I apologize as well for the wordiness of these posts, but colour theory is a subject near and dear to my heart ~ a subject I had to study intently with my fine arts background and I pondered on the thought that my knowledge may be of some interest to some of you.

I hope you enjoyed the tips and tricks within these posts.
Well, Happy Weekend my friends, I hope these little primers on colour in your life will help you a little when you are adding more colour to your home ~ your wardrobe ~ your life.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Colour As Healing Therapy

I love colour ~ colour in my home ~ colour in my clothing ~ colour in my art. Colour plays a major role in setting up a particular mood or state of mind. Colour affect one's feelings, moods, and emotions. Through this week I would like to touch on different aspects of colour and how large the role is that it plays in our lives. Today I would like to discuss colour therapy and it's healing properties.

Colours are certain wavelengths of electro-magnetic energy seen through our eyes. The colour we see is the part of the visible spectrum that is reflected back by a certain object.

Colours affects us in so many different ways. They influence our mood and emotions. They have their impact on our sense of well-being or unease.

Using and avoiding certain colours is a way of self-expression and sheds light on our personality.

Colours affect our perception (light colours make a space look big, a high ceiling looks less high when painted in a dark colour, etc.)

Colours influence the flow and amount of energy in our bodies and the use of Colour as a Therapy is a truly holistic, non-invasive and powerful therapy which dates back thousands of years.

True healing comes about when the cause of the condition or illness is addressed and transformed. If healing goes no further than masking the symptoms, then, eventually, that which brought about the need for healing in the first place, will resurface and manifest itself within the body in one form or another.

Holistic healing says that the body is an outward expression of that which is taking place within the mind, the soul and the spirit of the individual. Thus, any healing technique which deals only with the physical body and the energy field of the individual tends to accomplish one thing ~ it jump starts the individual and gives him or her an added boost of energy. That energy boost then allows that person's own internal healing mechanism to become mobilized into greater activity.

A preference for certain colors can point at two things:

Self-expression (you choose the colors which match your personality; for instance green for a lover of harmony and nature)
Completion (you choose the colors you need more of; for instance an active, passionate person chooses blue colors to cool down his nature).

An aversion against certain colors gives information as well.

Red

Healing properties: Brings warmth, energy and stimulation, therefore good for energy, fatigue, colds, chilly and passive people. Red energizes heart and blood circulation, it builds up the blood and heightens a low blood pressure. Energizes all organs and the senses hearing, smell, taste, vision and touch. Increases sexual desire and activity. Stimulates ovulation and menstruation. Cancer is never treated with red, because it stimulates cell growth! Red links with and stimulates the root chakra, at the base of the spine, causing the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. This results in greater strength. Red causes hemoglobin to multiply, thus increasing energy and raising body temperature. It is excellent for anemia and blood-related conditions. It loosens, opens up clogs, releases stiffness and constrictions. It is excellent for areas that have become stiffened or constricted.

Preference for red:

Red is associated with passionate love, sex, great energy, impulse, action and stimulation, assertiveness and aggression, courage, strength and power, adventure, danger, warnings, revolt and revolution. Temperamental and ambitious people with a need for personal freedom.

Aversion to red: A person who has an aversion to red may be over-active, too impulsive, hot-tempered, aggressive and egocentric, or have difficulties with people with such characteristics. It can also symbolize deeply hidden fears and rejection of his own assertiveness.

Orange

Healing properties: Orange is warm, cheering, non-constricting. Orange has a freeing action upon the body and mind, relieving repressions. Orange shows new possibilities and other options in life. Stimulates creative thinking and enthusiasm, and helps assimilate new ideas.It is also helpful in dealing with excess sexual expression. Orange stimulates the lungs, respiration and digestion. It increases the activity of the thyroid. Relieves muscle cramps and spasms. Increases the amount of mother milk. Finally, orange links very strongly with the sacral chakra.

Preference for orange:

Orange represents the warmth of the fire. It brings even more energy than yellow, celebration and great abundance, comfort, enjoyment of the senses. Warm, sociable, dynamic and independent people who dedicate themselves to whatever they do.

Aversion to orange:

A person who has an aversion to orange may have suppressed sexual feelings or other difficulties with sensual enjoyment of life. The attitude can also be over-sensual, indulgent, or too materialistic.

Yellow

Healing properties: Yellow helps strengthen the nerves and the mind. It helps awaken mental inspiration and stimulates higher mentality. Thus, it is an excellent color for nervous or nerve-related conditions or ailments. It also energizes the muscles. Dark yellow soothes pains in the nerves. Yellow can be used for conditions of the stomach, liver, and intestines. It helps the pores of the skin and aids scarred tissue in healing itself. Yellow links with and stimulates the solar plexus. Activates and cheers up depressed and melancholic people. Gives lust for life.

Preference for yellow:

The color of the sun, life-force, vitality and energy. The colour of cheerfulness, curiosity, flexibility, progress, amusement, contact through traveling and communication, learning and practical knowledge. A feeling for writing and speaking.

Aversion to yellow:

A person who has aversion to yellow may be emotionally disappointed and bitter. May have tendency to rationalize feelings, or to avoid the depth of life by often changing relationships, many superficial relationships and/or constant changing activities.

Green

Healing properties: Green is the color of Nature and the earth. It is balance and harmony in essence and possesses a soothing influence upon both mind and body. It is neither relaxing nor astringent in its impact. Green can be used for just about any condition in need of healing.
Green stimulates the heart chakra. Green affects blood pressure and all conditions of the heart. It has both an energizing effect and a moderating or soothing effect. It cures hormonal imbalances and stimulates growth hormone. Harmonizes the digestion, stomach, liver, gall bladder with a healing effect on kidneys. Increases immunity. Builds up muscles, bones and tissues. Stimulates inner peace. Strengthens the nervous system.

Preference for green:

Green brings peace, rest, hope, comfort and nurturing, calmness and harmony. Interest in nature, plants, fellowmen, children and animals, health and healing, natural and plain life. Longing for a safe home and family-life. A dislike of conflicts.

Aversion to green:

A person who has an aversion to green may be more interested in independence and self-development than in a warm family-life. May prefer to keep a distance in relationships.

Blue

Healing properties: Blue is cooling, electric, astringent. Dr. Edwin Babbitt, in his classic, "The Principles of Light and Color" states that "the Blue Ray is one of the greatest antiseptics in the world." It cools down inflammations, fever, high blood pressure, stops bleeding, relieves headaches, calms strong emotions like anger, aggression or hysteria. Brings tranquility. Soothes suffering. Blue can be used for any type of ailments associated with speech, communication, or the throat. Excellent for laryngitis or inflammation of the larynx. Blue stimulates the throat chakra. The throat chakra is often referenced as the "power center" and "the greatest center in the body" because it is the primary center of expression and communication, through speech.

Preference for blue:

Cool and soothing, dreamy and magical. Peace and rest. For people who keep a certain distance, but give calm and practical help; they are faithful and loyal, have a sense for order, logic and rational thinking. Flying in day-dreaming, ideals or nostalgia when felt misunderstood. Dark blue is more severe and can be melancholic. Blue is also the color of truth.

Aversion to blue:

A person who has an aversion to blue, may be very disciplined, strong career worker, with an aversion of commentary or restriction. He may have charted out a clear direction for his life.

Indigo

Healing properties: Indigo is a great purifier of the bloodstream and also benefits mental problems. Indigo combines the deep blue of devotion with a trace of stabilizing and objective red. Indigo is cool, electric, and astringent. It stimulates the brow chakra (third eye) and controls the pineal gland. It governs both physical and spiritual perception. It can be of great assistance in dealing with ailments of the eyes and ears.

Violet / Purple

Healing properties: These are colours of transformation. They heal melancholy, hysteria, delusions, alcohol addiction, bring spiritual insights and renewal. These colours slow down an over-active heart and stimulate the spleen and white blood cells. Aids sleep. Soothe mental and emotional stress. Decrease sensitivity to pain. They help in detoxification. Leonardo da Vinci proclaimed that you can increase the power of meditation ten-fold by meditating under the gentle rays of Violet, as found in Church windows.

Preference for violet/purple:

Colours for meditation, contemplation, mysticism, spirituality and religion power. A longing to ascend and dissolve polarities (purple consists of the active red and passive blue), to improve the world. Reservation, mystery and dignity. Soft, sensitive people with often paranormal abilities.

Aversion to violet/purple:

A person who has an aversion for violet/purple may have very serious attitude towards life; and may find it difficult to give dreams, fantasies, vague fears or memories a place in it. May have tendency to reject everything unnatural or unrealistic.

White

Healing properties: White is the perfect colour; for it is all colours, in perfect balance and harmony. Just about everyone has heard of surrounding people with the "White Light of Healing and Protection." White light raises the vibration of one's consciousness and the body, bringing harmony in all aspects of one's life. Directing white into a part of the body that needs healing is one of the fastest ways to bring about healing.

Preference for white:

White points at innocence, purity, virginity, cleanliness, freshness, simplicity, nothingness, oneness and truth. In some cultures white is the colour of death and mourning.

Aversion to white:

A person who has an aversion to white colour is solely interested in 'realistic' and tangible things, not in illusions or things that are beyond seeing or understanding. Knows and accepts imperfection and does not wish to achieve perfection.

Magenta

Healing properties: Strengthens contact with your life purpose. Stimulates adrenaline and heart activity.

Preference for magenta:

Much energy and activity focused on achieving power and self-realization. Strong but controlled passions and emotions. Daring, ready to fight, willing to give everything for a goal. Can drive things too far and have fixed ideas.

Aversion to magenta:

A person who has an aversion to magenta may feel overwhelmed by people with strong convictions or heavy emotions like jealousy; also may have difficulties with exposing deep emotions.

Pink

Healing properties: Heals grief and sadness. Restores youthfulness. Brings you in contact with your feelings.

Preference for pink:

Regarded as a feminine color. Pink symbolizes softness, sweetness, innocence, youthfulness and tenderness. Soft and kind people.

Aversion to pink:

A person who has an aversion to pink may have a challenge with expressing soft, tender, female side.

Turquoise

Healing properties: Increases intuition and sensitivity. Works disinfecting and antiseptic. Tones the general system. Builds the skin. Relaxes sensations of stress.

Preference for turquoise:

Just like the wide turquoise sea you don't want to feel restricted and you don't immediately bring to the surface what goes on in you ~ emotions can remain hidden. A colour for renewal, innovation and inventions, progressive techniques, alternative ways of living together, humanity.
Aversion to turquoise:

A person who has an aversion to turquoise may be looking for solidity and security in society, especially in marriage. Also, may be reluctant to think originally or to walk new paths.

Brown

Preference for brown:

An earthly colour for practical people with a preference for natural, tribal and primitive things, solidity and simplicity. Brown can be warm and cosy but also depressing. Family-life persons, stable people, loyal friends.

Aversion to brown:

A person who has an aversion to brown may feel an aversion against normal, boring, trivial life; may not feel connected with his roots (home-land, family, etc); may experience instability in health and attitude.

Grey

Preference for grey:

Very neutral and indifferent, non-expressive. It can be deliberate, but also lifeless, fixed, depressed and apathetic. Reserved, cool people; unwilling to expose themselves or to have obligations. Grey can be refined and tactful.

Aversion to grey:

A person who has an aversion to grey may prefers to be straight to the point, no time for political and tactical attitudes. Demands clarity, a knowing where one stands.

Black

Preference for black:

Symbolizes seriousness, darkness, depression, death, mourning, mystery, secrecy, occultism, a standing apart from or revolting against triviality, provocation, underground, underworld, things that have to remain hidden, nothingness as the great source of all creation, the need to keep your energy with you. Black is a color for extremes, everything and nothing. People who foremost trust themselves.

Aversion to black:

A person who has an aversion to black may have fear for the unknown, or fear for the abuse of power. Desires to become free from all kinds of dependency, blockages, hindrances; to throw off shackles.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Colour

Do you love colour?

Do you choose colours according to your mood?

Do colours affect your mood?

Here's a little primer on colour and why it plays such a large role in our lives.

Here is a colour wheel which is an organization of colour hues around a circle, showing relationships between colours considered to be primary colours, secondary colours, complementary colours, etc...

Primary colours are red, yellow and blue.

Secondary colours are achieved by mixing the primary colours. These colours are green (mixing blue and yellow), purple (mixing red and and blue) and orange (mixing red and yellow).

Tertiary colours are the result of blending primary and secondary colours, for example ~ red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, green-blue, blue-violet, violet-red.

Analogous colours are a palette of compatible colour combinations that blend well together. They are neighbors on the colour wheel. They tend to live harmoniously because they are relatives to each other.

These colours are less vivid, bright and saturated. They have less contrast and vibrational energy then complementary colours. Think of purple, blue, and, magenta colours in a twilight sky or the yellows, golds, and oranges in an Arizona desert. A pine forest has light greens to blues and purples within its depths.

Complementary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. They contrast, enhance and intensify each other. An example of complementary colours would be red and green.

Monochromatic colours are all the hues (tints and shades) of a single colour. As a result, the energy is more subtle and peaceful due to a lack of colour contrast.

Triadic colours are high-energy colours that are found by choosing three colours that are separated by 120 degrees on the colour wheel. The primary (red, blue, and yellow) and secondary (purple, orange, green) colours are examples of triadic colours.

Colour, without our realizing it, can have a profound effect on how we feel both mentally and physically. Dr. Morton Walker, in his book The Power of Color, suggested that the ancient Egyptians as well as the Native American Indians used colour and coloured light to heal.

Blue can "slow the pulse rate, lower body temperature, and reduce appetite.

Green soothes, calms, and has great healing powers. It is often worn in operating rooms by surgeons.

Orange symbolizes balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy, flamboyancy, and is demanding of attention.

Purple represents royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning. Purple is considered an exotic colour.

Red is associated with love, valentines, danger, desire, speed, strength, violence, anger and can evoke a fight-or-flight response, raise blood pressure and make the heart beat faster.

Yellow represents joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard, spirituality and inspiration.

Did you know that colour is light and energy and the fact that it has a physical effect on us has been proven in experiments? When blind people were asked to identify colours with their fingertips they were all able to do so easily. The shorter the wavelength, the stronger the underlying physical effect.

Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated that light travels in waves, when he shone white light through a triangular prism and, when the different wavelengths of light refracted at different angles, he was able to demonstrate that the colours of the rainbow (the spectrum) are the component parts of light.

So now that we've completed our lesson on colour theory, let's get back to my original question ~ is your mood affected by colour?

Most definitely .... When yellow daffodils, bluebells and colourful crocuses appear, we immediately begin to feel livelier, all symptoms of SAD seem to disappear ~ when grey skies and rain or snow surround us we instinctively draw in and tend to hibernate.

We choose colours to surround ourselves with according to our mood. We wear colours choosen according to our personality type.

For example ~ a very confident person will wear many, varied bright colours. A person with a lower self confidence may choose darker colours in an effort to blend into the background and not draw attention to themselves.

From my own experience I find that I am uplifted when I choose to wear brighter colours like yellow, orange, coral and turquoise. After enjoying cashmere's, denim and wool in shades of grey, brown, navy and black through the winter my spirit is uplifted as I anticipate the arrival of the warmer weather when I enjoy all the colours of the rainbow making me feel as glorious as my garden in bloom.

This morning the sky was many shades of lavenders, reds, corals and pinks set in a beautiful silvery blue morning sky. A few wispy clouds were sprinkled here and there across the sky.

"Red sky in morning ~ sailors warning .... red sky at night ~ sailors delight."

This gorgeous sky I was treated to this morning is, according to the old adage, my warning that bad weather is on the way.

Hope it holds out until tonight, Don is planning on barbecuing steaks for my thirty-twenty fifth.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Looking Forward

One third of the way into the "Year of Barb", I continue my journey to a calm acceptance and a pure & true happiness that radiates from within. I am succeeding in many of my resolutions.

Putting myself first ..... releasing anger, bitterness, resentments and old hurts ..... accepting, loving and enjoying this time I have been given with my mother in the sunset of her life ..... nurturing myself ~ physically (still exercising every morning ~ alternating 20 minutes daily on the recumbent bike ~ treadmill), spiritually, emotionally (centering myself through quiet introspection, meditation & reading) ..... loving every single moment I have with my daughter and grand babies ..... learning to say no ..... not biting off more than I can chew ..... getting back into my crafting and art.

One important aspect of this journey is starting each morning with an attitude of gratitude. My feet do not touch the floor before I have expressed gratitutde. Then with each step towards my day, I say thank you. This simple act has gone a long way to improving my postive outlook on life. It is very hard to feel negative about anything when you are thankful!


Finish every day and be done with it.
you have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely,
with too high a spirit to be encumbered
with your old nonsense.
This day is all that is good and fair.
It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Love ....

........ this child.

My third grandson ~ Mammys love.

He is precocious ...... he is daring ...... he is precious ...... he is sweet ...... he is beautiful ...... he is so very gentle with his baby sister ...... he loves his mammy and never fails to greets me with kisses and tight hugs after jumping into my arms (usually from the third step).


(We won't be able to do this much longer, he's getting heavy).

While visiting last week, he and I had fun playing a game called "Guess Who". On our second game, I guessed who he was on my second question. He stopped with shock on his face, looked up at me and said, "Mammy ~ you're right." The stunned look on his face as he gave me a high five was absolutely priceless.


Then on Saturday, while we were entertaining friends, the doorbell rang.

Don went to the door and I heard him say, "Oh my God." I couldn't imagine who was there when I heard the voice of our little princess.

She came in and ran immediately to her "Poppa" and stayed in his arms for most of the visit. She was quite shy with our friends, but had no trouble entertaining everyone as long as she was in Poppa's arms.

While in his arms, I asked for a hug and kiss and she placed her little hands ~ one of each of my cheeks and brought my face to hers to give me a kiss. It was such a tender moment, that I could barely contain my heart from bursting with love for this precious child.

This young lady is very girly (Mammy is looking forward to pedicures together) ..... she loves sparklies (I must always wear jewellry for her when I visit ~ she does look for it) ..... she is entertaining ...... she is loving ...... she knows what she wants ...... she is going to break hearts ..... she is going to make her daddy worry ..... she is stunning ....... she adores her Poppa.

How fortunate am I to be Mammy to such wonderful grandchildren? And these are only two of my loves.

I could never imagine being separated from my four babes. They are my happiness ~ the air I breath. Just the thought of them, brings sunshine to my day.

As I sit here writing this I am looking forward to my visit tomorrow, hoping that Ryan our oldest grandson is better from a cold he was fighting earlier this week. Fingers crossed he will be better tomorrow and Mammy will once again have her weekly fix.

How Beautiful Is This????

Yesterday I received a package in the mail from a dear friend whose blog I regularly read.

We have never met, but have shared numerous emails and lots of comments on each others' blog.

I apologize for the sideways shot, but no matter how hard I tried, it absolutely refuses to upload right side up, so here is the beautiful shawl knit of Noro wool, which Vickie sent to me ~ albeit sideways. It's is gorgeous no matter how you look at it. The wool is so soft and luxurious and I have been wanting to pick some up and make something, anything just to feel this beautiful yarn pass through my fingers as I knit.

I must mention here that knitting is a moderately new craft to this lady. She just started knitting last year if I'm not mistaken.

Beautifully done Vickie!!!!

Thank you so much. I am actually sitting in the office with the window open right now and have the shawl around my shoulders to keep the chill off.

It is clasped together with a beautiful handmade wooden ornament made specifically to hold the shawl from falling off the shoulders.

It also came with a gorgeous card hand painted by her husband Dave - Thank you Dave - another cherished keepsake.

There was also a deliciously fragrant peppermint handmade soap which was made by Sherrie over at Frenchy's Finds. Can hardly wait to try this invigorating soap.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fabric & Flowers

What a beautiful spring day it was yesterday with more of the same on the way today?

I thought it would be nice to take my mom out somewhere she has never been before, so off we went to Ikea.

She was a little overwhelmed by the size of it ~ it really is quite a large store.

She enjoyed it thoroughly and we stopped by the restaurant for breakfast which she really liked.

As I walked through the window coverings & fabric section, these beautiful fabrics practically jumped into my shopping cart, so I relented and purchased a couple metres of each.


I won't say what I'm making, but they will somehow make it into the "Handmade Giveaway".

Then when we got home, my son stopped by ~ a surprise visit with these beautiful roses for me.

It was a lovely finish to a beautiful day.

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful week.





Friday, March 13, 2009

Body Image

How do you view your body?

The dictionary defines body image as a term which may refer to a person's perception of their own physical appearance, or the internal sense of having a body which is interpreted by the brain.

Essentially a person's body image is how they perceive their appearance to be to others, which in many cases may be dramatically different from how they actually appear to them.

Do you know that 44% of women today express negative feelings about both individual body parts and their bodies as a whole. The desire to lose weight is highly correlated with poor body image, and more women than men desire to lose weight.

There are a brave few on Flickr who recently have been posting self portraits of face & body in an effort to improve their body image.

If you pursue self portraiture, it can help you in your efforts to accept your body. Shooting self-portraits regularly gives you inner strength and can help in the process of healing any illness ~ physical and psychological. As real women, we must undertake to do whatever it takes along the journey to become more comfortable in our own skin.

The little girl inside of me wants to see a beautiful woman, but unfortunately when I look in the mirror this is far from what I see.

I only see the wrinkles, the big stomach, the sagging breasts, the thinning hair, the not quite straight smile, etc.....

Why is that?

Why do I not see what the people who love me see?

Why as women are we so hard on ourselves?

We are constantly bombarded with "Barbie-doll" images. By presenting an ideal that is so difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. It's no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. The message we're hearing is either "all women need to lose weight" or that the natural aging process is a "disastrous" fate. Botox, Restlyne, liposuction, fat transfer, laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels. These procedures are as common as having a tooth filled. Clinics and spas providing these services are popping up on every street corner.

Why can we not be happy with this marvelous body we have? The body that has sustained us throughout our lives .... the feet and legs that carry us where ever we go .... the arms that carried our babies .... the hands that lovingly prepare the very nourishment that feeds our body .... the breasts that fed our children ..... the stomach that nurtured that life as it prepared to be born ..... the face with all its characteristics that is ours alone.

Negative Body Image is a distorted perception of your shape. You may perceive parts of your body unlike they really are.

You are convinced that only other people are attractive and that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure.

You feel ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about your body.

You feel uncomfortable and awkward in your body.

Positive Body Image is a clear, true perception of your shape. You see the various parts of your body as they really are.

You celebrate and appreciate your natural body shape and you understand that a person`s physical appearance says very little about their character and value as a person.

You feel proud and accepting of your unique body and refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.

You feel comfortable and confident in your body

Here are ten things you can do every day to improve your body image.

1 ~ Twice a day, everyday, I will ask myself: "Am I benefiting from focusing on what I believe are the flaws in my body weight or shape?"

2 ~ I will think of three reasons why it is ridiculous for me to believe that thinner people are happier or "better. I will repeat these reasons to myself whenever I feel the urge to compare my body shape to someone else.

3 ~ I will spend less and less time in front of mirrors, especially when they are making me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious about my body.

4 ~ I will exercise for the joy of feeling my body move and grow stronger. I will not exercise simply to lose weight, purge fat from my body, or to "make-up for" calories I have eaten.

5 ~ I will participate in activities that I enjoy, even if they call attention to my weight and shape. I will constantly remind myself that I deserve to do things I enjoy, like dancing, swimming, etc., no matter what my shape or size!

6 ~ I will refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that I do not like but wear simply because they divert attention from my weight or shape. I will wear clothes that are comfortable and that make me feel comfortable in my body.

7 ~ I will list 5-10 good qualities that I have, such as understanding, intelligence, or creativity. I will repeat these to myself whenever I start to feel bad about my body.

8 ~ I will practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender, or "well put together" they appear.

9 ~ I will surround myself with people and things that make me feel good about myself and my abilities. When I am around people and things that support me and make me feel good, I will be less likely to base my self-esteem on the way my body looks.

10 ~ I will treat my body with respect and kindness. I will feed it, keep it active, and listen to its needs. I will remember that my body is the vehicle that will carry me to my dreams!

Let us not pass on this legacy of self abuse to our daughters and grand daughters. Let us learn to love ourselves as our friends and family do. Stop for just a moment and think ~ if your best friend talked to and treated you the way you do to yourself ~ would you maintain that friendship. Of course not ~ so it's time to become your own best friend and love yourself.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friendships

What do friends mean to you?

My friendships are so important to me. Even more so since observing my mother following my dad's death with no outside support from friends. All she has is Don & me and our family and she relies more and more on this relationship. Her situation make me even more determined to cherish and keep strong the friendships that I enjoy presently.

What makes a friendship?

What draws us to particular people and not to others?

In the past year I met a woman who I felt an instant connection with. We recently spent some time together and after 3-4 hours of non-stop talking, it felt as if I had known her forever.

I have spent the last couple of days trying to analyze why I felt this instant connection and yet with other relationships I find that I cannot go deep. Time spent together produces those uncomfortable moments or lapses in the conversation. Do emotions play a role here ~ are there resentments ~ jealousy ~ bitterness that resides so deeply they can't be identified yet somehow they put up a wall that is so difficult to get over?

Edited to add:

Today I spent some time with another friend. We chatted about my thoughts and she offered some interesting insight on how she and I were both raised in a very judgemental, critical atmosphere. Could the fear of criticism or judgement be what holds me back in these relationships? Hmmmmm, I wonder ......

Is the deep connection that is felt instantly when we meet a kindred soul something as basic as a commonality with our likes & dislikes ~ or something deeper such as our moral structure.

In our familial relationships what makes some work and others not? My thoughts stray to my relationship with my mother. I love her, but do not consider her a friend, yet my daughter is a cherished friend to me.

A dear friend who lives hundreds of miles away from me is one of those connections. We have known each other for over 20 years. We share the odd email and occasional phone call. Six or seven years ago I went to visit her. Our conversation started when I arrived and didn't stop until I left. It was like we had never been apart. How can that be when we don't constantly refresh that friendship on a regular basis? The connection just remains constant.

This new friendship in my life has really made me think deeply about why some relationships work so well and so comfortably while others although the love is there present those uncomfortable moments where participating in meaningful conversation is almost painful.

I believe everything in life happens for a reason and I know this new friendship has arrived in my life for a reason ~ it is up to me to determine what that reason is.

My cherished friends and I go very deep in our conversations, sharing everything, supporting, loving each other and giving all.

I think of a dear friend who I have not met in person, yet we have shared intimate thoughts and feelings through very lengthy emails. I cherish her words in each email and look forward to the day when we will meet. Will we still have this innate ability to be as open with each other in person or will there be those uncomfortable moments. I hope not ~ I have most definitely grown through the years to love this person.

What are your friendships like?

What are your thoughts on these feelings that haunt my thoughts as I try to understand these dynamics?

I would be interested in knowing how you view your friendships and if you experience these same issues that I have raised here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Monday

As I sit here this morning enjoying my morning coffee, I'm watching a very gentle spring snow fall as it comes to an end.

It's one of those beautiful snowfalls with big, wet snowflakes that holds onto everything as it comes tumbling out of the sky.

Everything has a light coating of white ~ my concrete statuary in the garden are all wearing garments of white ~ the gazebo frame which is charcoal gray has a ribbon of white laid carefully over top of the frame ~ the cedar bushes are frosted with white whipped cream ~ the deck has been covered with white velvet ~ the bare trees are a study in sharp contrast as the dark brown limbs hold onto the snow ~ the bird feeder has been dusted with icing sugar ~ every plant laying dormant in the ravine behind us has been sprinkled with white frosting ~ all the homes have changed the colour of their roofs to pure white ~ Chelsea after going out for her morning, ahem "constitutional" came in looking like she had been sprinkled with coconut ~ the birds are not in flight, but taking cover under the larger branches on trees ~ even the chain link fence between our garden and the ravine is outlined in white.

Outside my window looks like a crisp black and white photograph with a few focal points of colour.

I have to describe this quickly ~ it blew in wild and willful, but was over in just a few moments.

I am not posting any pictures of this beautiful scene ~ you will have to use your imagination to see what I see.

Have a lovely, happy Monday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Give Away


Today on reading Sherrie's blog over at Frenchy's Finds, I read that she was doing a handmade giveaway.

Sounded like fun, so I decided to participate, however in order to participate I must "Pay it Forward".

The first 5 people who respond to this post will get something hand made by me: it will be my choice, but will, hopefully, be something you can use or enjoy for its aesthetic merits.

I won't guarantee that you will love it ~ but I sure hope you do!
I also promise to mail my handmade gift to you before the end of the year (December 31, 2009) or sooner.

To participate, you must "Pay It Forward" by posting your own hand made giveaway on your blog. Then put together something to be sent out as 5 surprises of your own.

These surprises can be anything ~ a piece of art, a photo, a poem ~ whatever you choose.

Now I'll just wait for the comments to come rolling in! If you're one of the first five to comment, please e-mail me your mailing address (mailto:barb.takeda@gmail.com, and my gift to you will go in the mail sometime in the next 9 months!

Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life Lessons

~ Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

~ Marry someone you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

~ Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

~ When you say, 'I love you ,' mean it.

~ When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

~ Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

~ Believe in love at first sight.

~ Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

~ Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

~ In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

~ Don't judge people by their relatives.

~ Talk slowly but think quickly.

~ When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

~ Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

~ Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

~ When you lose, don't lose the lesson !

~ Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and responsibility for all your actions.

~ Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship..

~ When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

~ Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

~ Spend some time alone.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

~ Bliss ~

If you love to knit, you must pick up the newest Debbie Bliss knitting magazine.

This is the second publication.

Last year, I picked up the Fall/Winter one and literally drooled over the patterns.

In fact there wasn't one pattern in there that I wouldn't love to knit.
The cover on the Spring/Summer magazine tantalizes with it's soft pastel and believe me when you open the pages, the softness continues.

There is a beautiful section on all white ~ white cushion covers, white dish cloths, white trims, white blankets, etc...

I love the white blanket and this I will be my first project. It is knit on circular needles in a plain garter stitch with a ribbed border. Simple, lovely and would look just great on my bed for a little extra snuggling.

There are cardigans galore and I think I just might make every single one.

Well, off to dream about colours and yarns and whether I can talk hubby into springing for all this yarn I'll require.

Here are a few patterns from the Fall/Winter publication last year.















Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Thought

I can't change the direction of the wind,

but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Remembrance

This day is the second anniversary from the first day I saw my precious granddaughter ~ Gabriella.

This to the left is Gabriella in my arms with a couple of other children in the orphanage.

Along with that wonderful memory come the sharp, cutting images that are impressed on my memory of Africa and her pain.

Today I am thankful to Gabriella's Enat (birth mom) for the enormous sacrifice she made in giving up her child. I cannot imagine the hole it must have left in her heart.

Only through her unselfish sacrifice were we able to bring this amazing child into our lives.

I remember all that I witnessed there ....
the terrible living conditions ....
the number of orphaned children living in the streets ....
the extreme poverty set against extreme wealth ....
the struggle of so many people.


Then there is her breathtaking beauty which is in stark contrast with her poverty.






















Terrible living conditions .... not enough food .... little to no wages for many.














But still I was uplifted in this country at the joyfulness of these people ....
their generosity .....
their willingness to always help.

But always when I look in the face of this beautiful girl ~ my granddaughter ~ I will remember Africa, the impression she left on me and the place in my heart that she touched.

Printing

Print Posts