Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I spent ringing in the new year with my brother and his family. My niece Amelia and I created ATC cards to welcome in the new year... we had fun exploring the many, many, many papers, pictures and text I carted over in my craft shoulder bag. Here are the results of our discoveries may it bring you some joy.

  MY niece Amelia's ATC series she did a combo... she really had fun.

ATC collage 2.5 x 3.5 inches by 9-year-old niece Amelia.
ATC collage 2.5 x 3.5 inches by 9-year-old niece Amelia.

MY ACEO ATC series which I titled "Three Cups of Tea"
"Three Cups of Tea" series ACEO ATC collage 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

 I came up with this series because for 2012 I want to be mindful of my time spent on ME. I've been told one too many times by people who really know me that I GIVE too much and I need to find BALANCE and JOY for myself. That it is okay to be selfish and focus on my needs and wants. So for this year I want to be more mindful of my fashion (ahhh, I'll have to forfeit buying art supplies and books for new clothes), of my fitness and allow for outdoor playtime like hiking our beautiful trails in PA, and mindful of my tranquil mind by enjoying at least three cups of tea a day. I already start my days with a cup of tea, I now have been adding a cup at lunch and a cup before bedtime. Of course different blends to meet my different needs. Black Tea is great in the morning to get my energy going, Green Tea at lunch with a little honey is warming and keeps my immune system up and Camille Tea at night relaxes me and gets me ready for sleeping.

It seems to make much sense just like the tea custom says:
"The first cup of tea is sour as life. The second cup is sweet as love. The third is soft as death."

Fits so well for me since I am not a morning person and the first cup is a bit sour and the last cup brings me to a soft sleep as sweet as death... don't get me wrong I am not done living my life but there is no peace, like that of a deep sound sleep to restore your spirit and undo the man made stresses of our earthly lives. So we may awake again; restored and ready to rebuild our purpose driven lives.

How did you ring in the new year, have any art ventures in mind for 2012? I welcome your comments and storytelling.


Three Cups of Tea for the New Year

 The first cup of tea is sour as life. The second cup is sweet as love. The third is soft as death.

I first learned about the "Three Cups of Tea" custom in 2005 when I was visiting my local Ten Thousand Villages store/restaurant located in Ephrata, PA. It was the end of the school year and I was treating 3 of my advisory students to a lunch at the restaurant and in turn we were ALL treated to some storytelling by one of the third world artists who shared the story behind the tea ceremony. What a joy, what an art memory... for the tea ceremony went beyond the tea leaves, and purity of water and boiling time lapse... while we waited for each cup to steep we were treated to a story of how to wear/wrap a turban and ahhh, the colors of the cloths were so beautiful.
May 2005 my three students visiting Ten Thousand Villages to meet a jewelry artist.

Movie on preparing the cups of tea click on the play button above to view.

Preparing the tea.

Making a new friend over tea and learning how to wrap a turban.
Showing off the beauty of the different colored cloths.
I had been teaching my students that year about world crafts and fair trade and how to create crafts, and how to sell them to fundraise for local nonprofits like our local women's shelters.... it was nice to connect with my students on a weekly basis on how to learn how to knit and weave. It was a small charter school (only 100 students grades 6-12) and I so loved working there my 3 years until my grant position ran out and then I was contracted to work in the public school system under a different grant. Funny how even then .... years before I was to begin to even think about starting my own social venture (Alchemy: discovering, exploring, enjoying) I had the spirit of creating in my heart and the love for sharing my discoveries.

It seems like the spirit of the "Three Cups of Tea" is becoming a theme for me in 2012. First with the creation of my New Year's ATC cards, second with me finding these old photos of my students, and third with me also finding two very important books that spoke to me years back and yet I had discarded them for a future read not having time to devote to them. Never having enough time to sit and complete my readings once I found them again in my home library I placed them center stage on my coffee table so I would move forward with my 2012 venture to create art and balance in my life and in my enjoyment. I am glad to report that I am almost done with "Art is a way of Knowing" and "Three Cups of Tea" is close behind.

My 2012 Reading List: 

A Guide to Self-Knowledge and Spiritual Fulfillment through Creativity

Three Cups of Tea
One Man’s Mission to Promote

Three Cups of Tea is one of the most remarkable adventure stories of our time. Greg Mortenson’s dangerous and difficult quest to build schools in the wildest parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not only a thrilling read, it’s proof that one ordinary person, with the right combination of character and determination, really can change the world.” -Tom Brokaw

What is on your reading list for 2012?



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