Posts in joy
The Art of Doing Nothing

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

—Henry James

Ah, summer. Here in Wisconsin summer is well and truly here.

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a bit of this and that, finding inspiration (and joy!) everywhere

I’ve been feeling so inspired lately. My garden is providing me with abundant painting ideas, but more than that, it seems everywhere I look I see beauty and find encouragement from people who are living authentic, creative lives.

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Why Joy?

I talk about JOY a lot. The word is up there in my logo. It write about JOY in my blog posts. I describe my paintings with the word and when you sign up for my newsletter I send you a set of Joy Lists as a thank you. On top of that, I call my newsletter a JOYLetter.

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In the Garden Lately

I’ve been spending as much time as possible in my garden.

The dogs love being outside, too. During the week Jude goes with Matthias to his shop and Charlie stays home with me until I need to leave for my job at the library.

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The Joy of Whirly Birds! (Maple Seeds)

All week long I’ve been painting whirly birds.* That’s what I used to call maple seeds when I was young.

At this time of year when the seeds come helicoptering to the ground it’s hard not to feel a surge of childlike joy. I walk around with my eyes to the ground trying to find the most interesting ones.

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Keep Going

This week I painted bleeding hearts with the paint I mixed last week.

It’s lovely to be working with flowers from the garden again. But it’s also been a bit frustrating trying to get back into a groove of art-making and gardening and all the other stuff that life demands.

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Around Here Lately

I haven’t yet gotten around to painting more tulips. I’ve been a little busy. But also standing firm against overwhelm. I’m determined to take my days slow and to enjoy the spring. Oh how I love this time of year. The relief from winter. Being able to play with flowers and dig in the dirt.

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Carving Out Time for Art

Today I’m taking over the Carve Out Time for Art Instagram account. I’m so honored to have been asked to share my day with that creative community. Carve Out Time for Art was created by Marissa Huber and Heather Kirtland and this is what they have to say about it:

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More Art Supply Love -- Kuretake Watercolors and Some Pens

A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I was enjoying playing with acrylic craft paint and mentioned there were other art supplies I wanted to share. I find it so hard to resist the pull of new art supplies. It’s probably a good thing that there isn’t an art supply store nearby!

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Looking Back and Looking Forward

Today is my birthday. I love birthdays. When I was a child my mom always made them so special. I guess I never let go of the joy of celebrating my day.

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Celebrating The 5th Handmade Joy Exchange

Back in January I opened an invitation to the 5th Handmade Joy Exchange. I hosted the first one in 2012 and three more after that. Each one was such fun. It was great to get to know some new people, to facilitate new friendships and to help spread joy around the world.

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Battling the Winter Blahs

Spring might be on its way (according to meteorologists it’s already here), but it certainly doesn’t feel like it in Wisconsin. Does it feel like spring where you are?

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More Thoughts on Blogs and Blogging

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts (in comments and email) after my questions about blogs in last week’s post. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking after reading what you wrote; your words brought about a few epiphanies for me.

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Being (and Loving) Yourself (or, On Blogging)

When I’m planning, I write blog topics for the week on my calendar, often scheduling the whole month at once. Sometimes those topics will be crossed out or directed with arrows to other weeks. Because inspiration supersedes planning, sometimes a post will bounce from week to week to week before I finally get around to it and then sometimes by the time I sit down to write the post, I can’t entirely remember what I wanted to say.

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The Lies We Tell Ourself and How to Break Free From Self-Imposed Limitations

Are there things you wish you could do, but “know” you can’t because you don’t have the talent?

Around ten or twelve years ago, before I got the rose tattoo on my ankle I studied images of roses and planned out a design. I even made a sketch and brought it and lots of photographs with me to my appointment. I clearly remember telling the tattoo artist “I want something like this sketch, but I can’t draw”.

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An Invitation to the 5th Handmade Joy Exchange

The Exchange is now closed. Thank you to everyone who has joined in! Stay tuned to hear about what everyone creates!

In 2012 I organized the first Handmade Joy Exchange. People from 4 countries and 6 US states participated. Since then I’ve hosted three more exchanges, the most recent in 2017.

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Happy Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice to you.

It’s the longest night of the year and the official beginning of winter (though around here it’s been feeling like winter for a few months now).

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On Dreaming Big

When I first started writing a blog and named it My Giant Strawberry one of the things that appealed to me about that name was how it spoke of my big dreams. Back then I had a lot of dreams, but I never imagined I would begin painting or that painting would become a main focus for me.

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Successes, Failures and Celebrating Where We Are

This morning there is a blanket of snow over everything. When I checked the thermometer it said 23. And yet I have more energy and feel more inspired today than I have for a long time because the SUN is shining.

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