Monthly Archives: July 2009



I’m really bad at keeping up with people, absolutely negligent.  So over the years, I have lost touch with everyone I knew before college, not to mention quite a few people since.  Then last weekend, I got a call from a very close friend from high school.  We were best friends at 16, and now we’re almost – well never mind!  Anyway, it was great to hear from her and to do some catching-up on all those years.  She and another “girl” from way back when have been searching for people from our little circle of friends, and this has resulted in a flurry of excited emails and potential plans for a mini reunion in the fall.

High school can be rough for a variety of reasons.  I never went to a high school reunion because I had no desire to revisit that dreadful period of my life.  But now it’s all so far in the past, and I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with these friends.

People come in and out of our lives at different times.  If there are old friends who you have lost in the shuffle but would like to talk to now, find them and phone them.  The call I got over the weekend certainly brought a smile to my face!  So thanks for calling, Bari.


Filed under Other



Get ready for the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) 2009 auction.  You can see over 200 of the 12″ x 12″ pieces that have already been donated by SAQA members at

The auction starts September 10 and will again be a reverse auction with price points starting at $750, and moving to $550, $350, $250, $150 and $75 on successive days.

Here are 2 pieces of art in this year’s auction:


by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Sea Fans

“Sea Fans” by Shelley Brucar

It’s time to start shopping for the piece of art that will enhance your surroundings.

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Filed under Art Stuff, Fiber Art



Did you have some New Year’s resolutions for 2009 way back in January?  Are you working steadily toward those goals or are they long-forgotten?  Whatever your answer, I think July is just as good a time to think about visions and goals.  In fact, it’s a good habit to review and modify your goals on a regular basis.  It’s also good to write down your goals and to talk about your goals.  “Studies” have shown that committing something to paper and talking about it to other people makes you more likely to follow through on it. 

Floating Leaves Revisited“Floating Leaves Revisited”  fiber art by Shelley Brucar

Right now, just start thinking about some of your goals, short-term and long-term, using the following framework:

GOALS that will take you FAR should be:

FLUID:  Allow your goals to be flexible.  As you change, they will also change.  If you get too attached to a specific goal or outcome, you may miss many opportunities, either because you won’t recognize them as opportunities, or you will dismiss anything that does not fit neatly into your plan.

ACTION-ORIENTED:  Attach an action plan to each goal.  Map out specific steps necessary to make the goal a reality.  If you wouldn’t plan a road trip without a map, why would you plan your life without one?

RELEVANT:  First identify your core values.  Then be sure your goals are relevant to those values.  You will be much more motivated to work toward goals that reflect what is most important to you.

In the next few posts, I’ll talk about identifying your values and related goals and mapping out strategies to reach your goals.

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Filed under Coping, Fiber Art, goals, Refocus, vision



At Sea I“At Sea I” fiber art by Shelley Brucar

One of my first posts was about breathing, about how to breathe slowly and deeply for maximum benefit.  Today’s post on the Zen Habits blog is about breathing, about some of the times when we most need to remember to breathe efficiently.  Check it out…

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Filed under Fiber Art, Relax, Stress



Here are 5 more tips from my list of “100 Stress Reducers” that are great for summer:

26.  WATCH A SUNRISE OR SUNSET.  Really watch it!  Sit somewhere comfortable and take the time to thoroughly enjoy the sun’s rise or set.  Savor all the colors and the cloud shapes.  If you’re near a body of water, check out the reflections on the surface.

27.  GO FOR A NATURE WALK.  Whether it’s a forest preserve, a botanic garden, a path along a lake or river, nature gounds us.  Walking in a natural setting can be  peaceful and inspirational at the same time.  Be aware of the sights, the sounds, the colors, the breeze and the warmth or coolness against your skin.  I’m convinced that being out in a natural setting enhances health and wellness – both physical and mental.  Allow yourself to be relaxed and refreshed.

Reflections VIII“REFLECTIONS VIII” fiber art by Shelley Brucar

28.  TAKE A BIKE RIDE.  You’re out in nature and getting excercise.  But it’s more than that – feel the wind against your face and rushing through your hair.  Watch the scenery constantly changing.  Ah – exhilarating!

29.  GO TO THE ZOO AND WATCH THE ANIMALS.  This is not just for kids.  Wathcing animals can be relaxing – some of them are completely at peace.  And watching animals is often funny – lions roaring at each other, monkeys flying around from ropes.  At the Racine (WI) Zoo, the peacocks strut around freely, right along with the visitors, and what a treat if one shows your its feathers!

Wayne Racine3aphotography by Wayne Brucar

30.  FEED DUCKS.  Ponds full of hungry ducks can by found almost anywhere.  Bring along some bread and a friend to share the serenity.

If you’re following, you now have 30 of my favorite stress reducers as well as Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Visualization and Reframing from negative to positive.  Please click on “comments” to tell me what you’ve used that is working for you.

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Filed under Art Stuff, Coping, Relax, Stress