Monday, September 29, 2008
The Law of Attraction has gotten much attention in the past couple of years. But the idea behind it is much older than that and wasn't always referred to by that name. Basically it is the power of our thoughts to create our lives, and the underlying principle can be summed up as "What you focus on expands." Another side of that is, "What you resist persists."
What you focus on, you get more of, but also what you resist you get more of as well. The reason is because the focus when you're resisting something is still on that something, so you draw more of it to you. For example, I had an ongoing problem with noisy neighbors. They carried on til all hours of the night outdoors, making it very difficult for anyone in my household to sleep, and repeated attempts at asking them to cease and desist on this behavior got us nowhere. They would apologize and agree to keep things down, but in reality would not change their behavior in any way. It got to the point that the only way we could get the behavior to stop temporarily was to call the police. So of course, all of this was very aggravating, and you can imagine that it was uppermost in my mind day after day. But the more I fussed over it all, the worse the problem became. It did not stop til I could take my focus off the problem, and focus only on what I wanted, which was peace and quiet.
That is the key. Take your mind off what you do not want, and do your best to keep it on what you do want. You will not attract money if you are focused on the lack of it. You will not attract success when you are focused on the lack of it, etc. All things have two sides. If you don't want a particular thing it's because you DO want its opposite. Focus on that.
It's not only a matter of what you think about, however. It really comes down to how you feel. You can think you are focused positively, but inside you are still feeling a great deal of negative emotion. It is the feeling that attracts, more so than the thought. You need to try to focus on the feeling that the desired outcome will bring to you. How will you feel when you have peace and quiet in your home instead of noisy rude neighbors? How will you feel when more money is flowing into your bank account than out? Focus on that feeling, and take your thoughts and feelings off the opposite aspect entirely. That is Law of Attraction in a nutshell and that is what will bring you the desires of your heart.
Friday, September 26, 2008
FIVE SITES FOR SCULPTING INFO
The website of Peter Holland, master sculptor for Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester, Coalport, Wedgewood, etc. Peter Holland is an amazingly gifted sculptor who shares sculpting tips on his website. I was thrilled when Mr. Holland left a lovely comment on my blog recently. Kind as well as incredibly talented!
2. Elvenwork Tips and Techniques
Katherine Dewey is well known in the polymer clay world. She has written a couple of books on sculpting with polymer clay and also provides tips on her website.
3. Polymer Clay Sculpting Tips and Tutorials
This Squidoo lens contains sculpting information along with links to many other sites with sculpting tips as well.
4. Dog Portrait Sculpture
This artist gives tips and techniques for sculpting a bust of a Pit Bull.
5. Learn to Sculpt a Corgi Dog
Artist Aleah Klay shows the steps involved in creating a Corgi dog in polymer clay.
All great sites! Hope you will enjoy them! Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
On my worktable today are more miniature dog sculptures in little Halloween scenes. I am having a lot of fun with these. They are only 2" tall and about 3" in length. I just love tiny things and I see a lot of people share that feeling.
I'm still debating on the tutorial I had been working on. I don't really care for the pdf format. Would much rather do a video tutorial but not sure how to go about it just yet, so that project has been on the back burner lately.
In sculpting though it's really just a matter of forming basic shapes and then blending them together. It's the refining, and the details added that make the difference in taking those basic shapes and transforming them into something special. It's adding clay to a piece or taking it away, and refining it til it looks the way you want it to. At least that's what works for me. I have seen in a book where someone tried to say they developed this method of sculpting with clay, to the great amusement of myself and many other clay artists, because it's the method we've all been using since we began sculpting with clay! The refining and the details just become better with experience.
So what begins as a little lump of clay has other bits of molded clay added to it, and those pieces are blended together, and the whole piece is refined and detail is added until we have the finished piece.
Starts out pretty rough, doesn't it? Hard to believe that blob is going to turn into anything recognizable, but it will. :o)
Still a bit more refining and detail needed, and a tail as well, but the little Bichon Frise has come a long way from its humble beginnings no?
Monday, September 22, 2008
A couple weeks ago, I told the story of a wish I had had as a teen to hold and play with tiger cubs, and how some years later, through no action on my own part, other than going with the flow of my life, that wish was fulfilled. Today, I want to tell of another similar happening in my life which further illustrates the point that it isn't always about the action taken on our own part, but more about trust and belief.
From age 10 I lived in NJ about 20 min. from the beach. As a teen I dreamed of one day living near the beach. My ideal was to live in one of the apartments in Sea Bright that were across the road from the beach. Now there were large stone walls all along the road in this area to hold back the ocean when the Jersey shore was hit by hurricanes or severe storms, so unless you had an apartment on one of the upper floors, you weren't going to have much of a view of the ocean. Most of the apartments also did not even have beach access. Nonetheless, this is where I desperately wished to live. These apartments were very definitely out of my price range at the time. Again, I didn't let this bother me. Just as with the tiger cubs, I just dreamed and believed that one day I would live near the beach.
A few years later, as a 22 yr. old married woman I found myself living in base housing in Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach, Florida RIGHT ON THE BEACH! Base housing on the BEACH! I couldn't believe it! All I had to do was go out my back door, a short walk up the dunes and there was the ocean! It was like the beach was my backyard! I could hear the waves in my bed at night. I got to go out my back door and watch the launching of several Space Shuttles from nearby Cape Canaveral. MUCH better than those apartments in Sea Bright, NJ! A funny sidenote on this story, is that as a kid watching "I Dream of Jeanne" I always thought it would be cool to live in Cocoa Beach as Major Nelson did. LOL Who knew that would become a reality for me when I grew up!
Again, what did I do to make this dream come true? Absolutely nothing. Just dreamed, with no resistance to the idea that someday, some way, I would live near the beach. Well I not only lived near it, I lived on it! So again, God/the Creator of the Universe gave me much better than I had even dreamed.
My point in all of this is that yes, we do need to work towards our dreams and goals, but sometimes what we need most is to have faith, trusting belief that anything we want can be our's. Sometimes we fuss and fight and strive so hard - and get absolutely nowhere. When if we would do our best to remove the doubts, and the need to MAKE the things we want happen exactly when we want them to, in precisely the way we want them to, etc. and just go with the flow, they can come to us in ways we would never have imagined, and end up being even better than we could have dreamed. The Creator of the Universe delights in giving us the desires of our hearts. We're very often the only thing that stands in the way.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Monday, September 08, 2008
Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon... must inevitably come to pass!
---Paul J. Meyer
I like this quote, and I do believe it to be true. It is the vivid imagining of a goal, dream, wish, combined with ardent desire, and sincere belief, enthusiastically acted upon that does seem to bring success in most cases.
Yet there have been times when something I dearly wished for came to me through no deliberate action on my part. I think sometimes it's easier to have a wish come true when we're just going with the flow, believing, but not trying to MAKE things happen.
When I was a child my mother told me a story about how, as a teen living in Manhattan, NY, she had taken care of a pair of lion cubs. I thought that was the coolest thing ever! But I had more of a thing for tigers, so I wished that some day I could play with tiger cubs. It was just something I thought about from time to time over the years, something I knew I would really enjoy, but it wasn't anything I actively pursued. When the thought would pop into my mind, I would think maybe someday, and then go on about living my life, without giving it any further thought. Whenever I did think about holding and playing with little tiger cubs, I would feel excitement and joy at the idea, but I never once thought about HOW I could MAKE this happen.
Years later, I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and working as the office manager for a small veterinary clinic. One day I stayed home because I was sick, and when I went to work the next day, my fellow employees very excitedly told me that two tiger cubs had been brought in the day before! I was so upset! Tiger cubs??? At our little clinic? We were just a small low-cost clinic that only treated dogs, cats, and ferrets, and primarily did low cost spays and neuters, shots, etc. We did not handle anything exotic, nor did we treat emergencies. What had happened was that this lady had called asking if we could treat a torn ear on one of the cubs. She had two 3 month old cubs, and one had been mauled by a 6 month old cub she also owned, and it's poor little ear had a gouge that needed stitches. Apparently she was licensed to own these animals and use them in commercials and print ads. We didn't treat tigers but of course my fellow employees weren't going to tell her that! So she had brought them in, the little ear had gotten stitched up and I had missed the whole thing! Well I devastated. But then one of my coworkers told me, don't worry, she's bringing them back Saturday and you can see them then! So my wish to hold and play with tiger cubs came true through absolutely no action on my part! Not only did my son Josh and I get to see them and play with them that Sat., but I got to see them several times over the next month while the lady lived and worked in Albq. Their names were Samson and Goliath and at 3 mos. old they already weighed around 45-50 lbs.! They made the cutest sounds that I can only describe as huffing. They were very strong and very playful! Just the most beautiful, incredible creatures and I will never forget the thrill of getting to hold them and play with them numerous times over that month.
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
I apologize for the crummy quality of the pics. All I owned at the time was a little instamatic camera. I'm just glad to have pics at all. How do you like that '80's hair? LOL I was also wearing a sweater that had a tiger and stripes on it. LOL I was really into tigers back then. ;o)
Anyway, my point is that this wish coming true, and another one that I will write about next week, are what led me to believe in the Law of Attraction, or the power of thought, or whatever you want to call it. It also showed me that God/the Universe (they're one and the same for me), always gives us even better than we originally wished for.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
I just love creating items for the holiday seasons, though for some reason, I never seem to do much in spring for Easter! Don't really know why that is. I guess Halloween and Christmas just bring back such happy memories from my childhood. Easter wasn't as big a deal I guess, just going to church, and having the Easter basket. I have to get myself in bunny mode really quick here though because I have some due for a swap I'm in. I've been fortunate enough to be part of a wonderful swap group for quite a few years now. Some of the best creators of darling whimsical clay critters are in this group - several of whom have authored some of those adorable clay books by Hot off the Press and Design Originals, most of whom are well known on ebay for their wonderful creations. They are an awesomely talented, sweet, fun group of gals and I'm thrilled to be part of such a talented group!
So here's what's on my worktable at the moment. I'm working on an ornament featuring an Irish Setter I sculpted recently. On the tile I'm working on you can see my three absolute favorite tools. These are the tools that I cannot seem to work without. The purple one is a knitting needle that my husband cut in half and then ground the one end into kind of a rounded triangle to help me shape the clay. Then the flat half moon shaped one is a potter's rib. This tool has a myriad of uses such as getting under unbaked pieces and lifting them up without distortion, or popping baked pieces off the tile carefully, or cutting pieces of clay - much safer than a blade! Then the last tool is the needle tool which I use a lot for adding detail. I have a ton of tools but these are the three I usually use. I also like to use small cutters to help measure out pieces so they're uniform, and also use Kemper cutters for detail pieces like hearts or stars. I like to buy ornaments like the one here on the tile on clearance from the craft store. They make wonderful bases for clay ornaments and when they're on sale or clearance you can get them really cheap, like 20 cents each.
I use the little square cutter to make my "sort of" holly leaves. They obviously don't look exactly like holly leaves but they give enough of an impression of holly that it works. I use the little Kemper heart cutters or circle cutters, whatever's handy, to cut out small pieces that I will roll into holly berries. This makes it very easy to keep them all uniform in size. So the idea is to put the "holly leaves" all around the sides of the ornament with the dog in the center. Sort of like the English Springer ornament pictured. Not sure this is how this Irish Setter ornament is going to end up, but that's one of the things I've been playing around with today.
(click to enlarge)
Monday, September 01, 2008
"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
Sometimes it's really hard to hold onto our dreams. Particularly those that seem the most impossible to achieve, or when we have no idea what steps to take to even begin to achieve them.
Were you one of those kids who was reprimanded for being a "dreamer" or told to "get your head out of the clouds and come back to earth"? I was. Obviously, I didn't listen! I can't imagine life without having dreams and goals and yet, there are times I find it very difficult to hold onto them. There are so many things that seem determined to rip them from our hands. The mundane everyday chores that have to be done, the bills that have to be paid, the family's needs that must be met. It is so easy to get so bogged down in "what is" that we lose sight of our dreams. Sometimes they seem so very out of reach.
But life is empty without them. I know people who are content to just go through life with their only focus on getting through the work week and getting that paycheck, whose only goals in life seem to be in buying the latest toys and keeping up with the Joneses, or sitting in the lazy boy in front of the TV once the work week is through. They have no ambition beyond that. Maybe they're happy that way, and that's enough for them. But I'm glad I'm not, no matter how frustrating holding on to my dreams sometimes is.