Monday, July 27, 2009

interview: aimee dolich

my dears, i have a delicious, wonderful, colorful treat for you this morning!
this is going to be my last post for a couple weeks, as my dear fiancé and i are leaving for california tomorrow morning to go get married-- eek! i can't believe it's almost here!

so, i wanted to leave you with a very special post before i go for a little while, and i can't think of a better lady tofit that bill than aimee dolich, of artsyville fame. aimee is one of my very favorite friends in the blog world, and it's a huge honor that she took the time to illustrate her answers to my interview questions, rather than the typical typed-out answers. she's so uber-creative, it just blows my mind.

so, without further chatter from me, here is aimee's wonderfully insightful (and colorful) interview-- i hope you enjoy it! and i will see you back here on august 12th, when i have wedding and honeymoon photographs to share. (and i'll officially have a new name! jessica swift- cool, huh?)

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. (What's your favorite color? What can't you live without? What do you do all day? What's your favorite way to relax? Share whatever random bits you'd like!)

2. What is abundance to you?

3. What are 5 things you are grateful for right now, in this moment?

4. Do you have any tricks for turning a bad mood into a good mood?

5. Do you have any irrational fears/worries that you'd love to let go of?

6. What is one huge, crazy-seeming goal that you dream about accomplishing?

What daily practices do you follow, if any, to stay focused on positivity and abundance in your life? (journaling, meditating, drawing, visualization, reading, etc.)

What is your favorite part of your day?

9. Do you have a favorite quote or author that help you remember to live and think abundantly?

10. Can you share some books or blogs with us that you think Pecannoot readers might love?

*thank YOU, aimee! you are a truly special part of Pecannoot.* :)

make sure you check out artsyville the blog and also the artsyville etsy shop!

Friday, July 24, 2009

beauty: by erin jane

i fell in love with erin mcnulty's illustrations the second i came across her etsy shop. they're so lovely and happy and positive! and i want a big vase of those flowers above in my house (real ones, of course. they smell better than drawn flowers!) i adore that illustration.

erin runs an etsy shop called erin jane, and also has a lovely blog. oh, and you can follow her on twitter if you want frequent updates!

i hope you all have a *terrific* weekend. i'll be doing last minute wedding stuff all weekend, as well as starting to pack, because we're leaving on tuesday morning! that means i have just one more post for you before i leave for a couple weeks, and people, IT'S A GOOD ONE. like, you won't want to miss it! be sure to come back on monday morning for a very special treat.... :)

see you soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

bird love: by laurie coyle

these pieces by laurie coyle just make me happy. i especially love how vibrant and blue the sky looks behind this top piece! isn't it beautiful with the orange words? LOVE.

laurie says her work is "simple, illustrative and joyful, I take inspiration from nature and my own search for happiness. I really love putting a smile on my customers' faces and making the world a more beautiful place through my artwork. I am a painter, graphic designer, illustrator, and print maker, and I also work with fabric to make little animal soft sculptures. I'm currently working on a line of flying birds that I will release this fall, along with a bird-themed wall calendar for 2010."

and look at that little yellow bird! it's so lovely and happy. and if i had more time, i would commission laurie to make a couple of those sweet corduroy birds pictured below for me for the top of my wedding cake. (am i really getting married next weekend? oh my goodness!) they are so adorable!

you can find laurie's work in her etsy shop and on her blog-- go have a gander!

*thanks so much, laurie!*

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the gardener's secret: by jacqueline adamo

This happy oil painting by Jacqueline Adamo is called “The Gardener’s Secret.”

She says:

It is an expression of the joy of simple things like flowers and the feel of the soil between your the smile on the face of someone you love. This piece is currently showing at the Cazenovia Public Library in Cazenovia NY.

Sometimes the joy of simple things really hits me, and it's such a good feeling. Usually it happens to me when I'm out walking in my neighborhood and looking at the trees.... there's something about trees that gets me right in the moment and reminds me how perfect everything in the universe is. I love that. Is there anything that reminds you to be in the moment and to appreciate the simple joys in your life?

To check out more of Jacqueline's work, visit her website!

*Thanks so very much, Jacqueline!*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

tell people: by heidi burton

i saw this image while browsing etsy recently and just had to post it, because i think it's so darn adorable. wouldn't our world be so much happier if we all told each other what we loved about one another? often i find myself judging what i don't like about people (people i don't even know! that's judging a book by its cover, i'd say.) sometimes i remember to turn it around and find something that i DO like about that person. it always helps make my day take a happy turn rather than an aggravating one.

anyway, this lovely little print is by heidi burton, and you can find it in her etsy shop. she also has a blog and a flickr page full of loveliness. go to it, my friends!

Monday, July 20, 2009

i need your submissions again!

it's that time again, my friends. i need your help spreading the word loud and far for images of abundance!!

i know all you creatives out there have images to send in-- let's spread our abundance far and wide!

an abundant painting by jeanne rozzo

good morning, dear pecannooters! did you have a lovely weekend? i sure hope so!

here is a doodled poster created by jeanne rozzo in denver (yeah for colorado folks! did you all know that i'm from boulder? best town ever.)

look closely to see all the words jeanne included in her drawing-- it sure feels light and heart-filled to me.

*thank you, jeanne!!*

Friday, July 17, 2009

you will have everything: by samantha spitzer

First of all, sign me up to go to those mountains in the photo above! Whoa, holy gorgeousness.
Second, wait until you read the story about what happened after Samantha Spitzer took that photograph, in New Zealand, where she and her new hubby were honeymooning. Here it is:

This submission contains one of my favorite mantras. The mantra spewed forth a couple months ago while I was chatting with my friend and colleague Heather Villars (yes, the same Heather featured on your site just a few days ago). I have been using ever since. During moments of depletion, during moments of doubt, during moments when I am so overwhelmed by being a human-DOING that I forget to be a human-BEING. Yes, those moments. I share this mantra with my yoga students who report that it brings them comfort and relief. I'm so happy to share it now with your readers. And then I found the perfect photo to use as the backdrop for the mantra. I took this photo in February 2004. My husband (Stephen) and I honeymooned for a month in New Zealand, where we rented a car and fit everything we needed into our little yellow tent shown in the photo (that's Stephen setting up the tent). The photo was taken on our first night camping, hours before experiencing the biggest thunder/lightening storm ever, which coming from the Midwest meant it was a serious thunderstorm! We were flooded out of our tent and escaped to the car where we spent the night cuddled in sleeping bags. It was one of the best nights in memory - I was okay, and I had everything I needed. I could never have imagined that I would arrive at the future I am at now. And my future will indeed look different than I imagine. But from this moment on, I will always remember that I am okay, and that I will have everything I need.

Don't you think many people would've just gotten really grumpy, thinking their honeymoon had been ruined by the weather, and being miserable all night? Not Samantha-- what an inspiring way to find the beauty and happiness in a situation, while living in and enjoying the present moment just as it is. (I imagine her yoga practice has something to do with this, don't you?) I can definitely learn something from this story!

And to read more from Samantha, check out her blog (note: she has an awesome list of 32 things she wants to do before she turns 33-- i totally want to do this! I think I'll do it when I turn 29 next month. 29 things to do before I turn 30!) and also her yoga website.

*Thanks so much, Sam!!*

Have a fabulous weekend, everybody, and I'll see you on Monday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

abundance: by Lori Portka

This is one happy painting! Lori Portka sent it over to us, saying:

Here is a painting of abundance that I did after a workshop I went to where we listed all the evidence of abundance that already exists in our lives.

I came up with a HUGE list- here are some of the things I listed:

flowers that are spilling over the window boxes at my house, abundant gardens, our new dog on the way, great closet stuffed full of clothes, trips to Europe, abundant friends, abundant sunshine, the kiln that was given to me, house full of books... and it goes on and on.

Let's all make lists of what is abundant in our lives! Here is mine:

I have more than enough money, I get to eat delicious and healthy food, I have a loving fiancé (who will be a husband in 2 weeks!) and a darling cat, I live in a place that is full of beautiful trees, I get to work for myself each and every day, I have great friends and a loving family, and ART! Lots of art.

This is just a beginning. What's your list?

To see more of Lori's work, check out her website and her blog.

*Thanks so much, Lori!*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

joyful pieces by violette clark

Oh boy, talk about a woman full of inspiration. Violette Clark sent over all these images, telling me that she is a gemini so she had a hard time choosing! ha, i love it. :) So, i figured i better post all of them!

Violette is an artist in British Columbia, Canada, and just wait until you see her studio! oh man oh man, what fun it must be to work in that space. {You can see a studio tour video on youtube!}

About these images, Violette says:

These images were originally created for my nephew who became paralyzed last year. I made one a week and laminated it and posted it on the wall in his hospital room. By the time he left the hospital the wall was littered with little snippets of inspiration.

(Recently Violette's book Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash your Inner Eccentric was published - the image above called "Journey" is from the book. You can find the book right here.)

What an incredible way to inspire someone who is probably feeling down in the dumps a little bit, eh? From what Violette told me, though, her nephew is doing well and sounds like he has a fantastically fun and positive spirit. Yay!

You can find more of Violette's work on her website and her blog.

*Thanks so much, Violette!!*

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

i'm ready for the rain: by kim creagan

When I read this email, it was like Kim Creagan was plucking thoughts right out of my head. So without any dallying on my part, I'll let you read what Kim has to say:

I've been having some life challenges lately...a lot of unknowns and changes. That's what this painting made me think of. My life has been full of ups and downs lately. It seems like its really good one minute and then it throws a big curve ball right at me. It's hard to anticipate when those tough times will come, but having some techniques for coping helps when they do. I've been trying to learn some of these techniques for making the down times easier, and feel like my skill set is growing. Deep breathing, yoga, positive thinking, friends and family, walks, meditation, changing is still hard but some things make it easier. With these skills in my pocket I feel like I can say, "I'm ready for the rain!"

I'm finding that it's so so important to have these types of skills and habits in place to deal with all the challenges in life in a healthy way. I'm with you, Kim! An important part of that for me, too, is not expecting myself to change all of my habits and thought patterns in an instant, but knowing that it's a process. I'm learning what I'm learning when I'm learning it! That's it-- it's not good or bad, it just IS. Just having the intention to change and let go of old patterns that don't serve us anymore is huge in itself. We need to be gentle with ourselves! Everything is ok, even when things feel like they're falling apart. And knowing healthy ways to cope makes it that much more ok. :)

To see more of Kim's work, check out her etsy shop, her website, her blog called the spadefoot toad, and her other blog called create :: love :: laugh.

*Thank you, Kim, for sharing your experience and lovely painting with us!*

Monday, July 13, 2009

time: by heather villars

so last week i was in a mild state of panic. this happens to me occasionally when i feel like i have waaaay too much to do and not enough time to do it. i compare myself to others who i think "could do all this with their eyes closed," have way more energy than me, are more talented, blah blah BLAH. what ends up happening each and every time, though, is that i have more than enough time to do it all, and everything always gets done. i put myself through this needless stress for absolutely no reason! when will i ever learn?

so imagine how pleased i was to receive this email from heather villars with this illustration attached and this description to go along with it:

I hate feeling rushed. I hate feeling like other people are farther and faster than me, that if I could be more productive, could do more stuff, could be more friendly, could try becomes an endless cycle of despair and not measuring up. Instead, I like to take deep breaths and remind myself that I have all the time I need. That good things (homemade bread, knit sweaters, close relationships, gardens) take time. And that I have enough time for all of it.

DEEP BREATHS. oh, how my life would change if i just remember this simple task in the middle of my bouts of worry!

check out more of heather's work on her blog called dreambird designs and in her etsy shop called tiny footprint (cutest name ever!), and also on these two funny blogs: this is me with a sign and you are the statue. they are very clever and amusing. :)

*thank you, dear heather, for the reminder and for your sweet illustration!*

Friday, July 10, 2009

presence: by alma de la melena cox

you've seen alma here before (here, here and here), and i'm going to let her speak for herself about this happy photo. she says:

I am, by nature, a fairly driven person. I tend to think about what is NEXT, instead of what is NOW. In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle says, "Only if we are still enough inside and the noise of thinking subsides can we become aware that there is a hidden harmony here, a sacredness, a higher order in which everything has its perfect place and could not be other than what it is ..." I WORK at staying present-and in the moment, DAILY- it is not easy for me, but I try. I am truly amazed by the generous gifts I receive when I am- like this one:

This moment with my 13 year old daughter was between basketball games- my family had found a patch of shade under some trees. My daughter had been busy (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree :)) climbing a tree, showing us her cartwheels, goofing with her brother and his friend, and I laid there completely captivated by her- present. Suddenly she plopped down next to me and said, "Do you want to see what I have in my bag?" She proceeded to empty the contents and then named each thing, "This is my lipgloss, this is my wallet, see I even have money! Oh! and this is a picture of...." She took me right back to a place in the past when she was four when she showed me her treasures in her purse, her brother's Matchbox car, her lipgloss, her little plastic cup. Right then I knew that moment was FOR ME, to let me know everything has its place, in the past and present. Each thing in her bag are all present moments waiting to be witnessed and appreciated....."there is a hidden harmony here, a sacredness....." I guess future will depend on the quality of our present moments.

I think I just called lip gloss sacred. :)

check out alma's artwork on her website-- she is quite the talented lady!

*thank you, alma, as always. :)*

Thursday, July 9, 2009

say yes to life: by amanda fall

OK, somehow you people know exactly what to send me when I need it. Seriously-- I woke up to this an email from Amanda Fall this morning with this image attached, and it is exactly the reminder that I need today! I've been stressing lately about all the work I have to do before my wedding in 3 weeks (not to mention finishing up the wedding preparations!), and now I'm reminded that if I just say YES to it all, I was have plenty of time and everything will work out beautifully.

Amanda says:

Recently, I began participating in a creative challenge (100 items in 100 days; I chose art journal entries) and posting results daily on my blog . At first I held back, worried that I would run out of ideas and material if I threw myself in wholeheartedly. Instead, I quickly discovered that when I let myself create openly and freely, even more ideas effortlessly flow to me. Instead of becoming depleted, I'm rejuvenated. I'm finding this to be true not just in artwork, but in daily living: when I say yes to life, life says yes right back.

Unbelievable! If I say yes to life, I will feel rejuvenated instead of depleted? Sounds good to me.

Make sure you check out Amanda's etsy shop and her blog, where you can find much more of her lovely work.

*Thank you so much, Amanda!*

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

magic show: by liv lane

i think this is just such a clever way of thinking about flowers, don't you? pure magic indeed. i think it's easy to just walk by things like flowers that we're used to seeing everyday and forget how spectacular they really are. but when you think about it, WOW! they are truly incredible, as is everything in this universe! why the heck is it all here? where did it come from? it sure seems like magic to me.

anyway, liv lane sent this image over from her site called One Year of Beauty.
at the top of her site it says:

"what happens when you choose to see the beauty in every day? life changes before your eyes."

it's amazing to me when i can remember to change my perspective on how i'm seeing or thinking about something-- life truly can change before your eyes if you're open to new ways of seeing. a flower can be a boring flower, or it can be a spectacular display of the perfection inherent in our gorgeous universe. that way of seeing seems much more joyful and fulfilling, doesn't it?

*big thanks to liv for reminding us of the beauty in our world!*

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

salvaged wood 'abundance' signs: from art by mags

pecannoot reader amber leilani pointed me in the direction of these salvaged wood 'abundance' signs that she thought we would all enjoy-- and she's right! aren't they fun? amber is from new orleans, and she told me that these signs are made by a local new orleans artist (margaret coble, who works under the name 'art by mags.')

you can find several more in the art by mags etsy shop (also with different words like 'hope' and 'peace'), and if you're curious about who amber is, you can check out
her etsy shop, too, as well as her blog.

*thanks to amber for alerting me to these abundant pieces!*

Monday, July 6, 2009

flowers: by amy hanson

i can't stop staring at this photo and wondering how in the world amy hanson got it to look so amazing. it feels sort-of vintage-y, and almost like a painting, and the perspective and color is just perfection. wow!

this photo feels so abundant, which makes it all the more poignant what amy had to say when she sent it over:

my 10 year old daughter and I went on a "date" last saturday, just her and me. i wrote about it here, on my blog. it was a wonderful day, and this picture totally "got" it for me. money is tight for us right now--there will be no trips to Disneyland this summer, or even new backpacks for school next year. but we have each other, and many, many blessings.

not to mention that her blog is called sweet sweet life, and it's just so lovely. amy makes me want to recount all the blessings in my life, which i think might turn into an illustrated post soon.... stay tuned for that. also, if you'd like to send me an illustrated list of the blessings in your life, i'd be so happy to post them. really. :)

please check out amy's blog, because it's really a gem! and it looks like she has an etsy shop, too, called bebe and yaya (cute!), where she sells really pretty jewelry.

*thank you so much, amy!!*

Friday, July 3, 2009

fireworks + happy 4th of july in the USA!

there is something so abundant about fireworks. i love the feeling of wonderment i get while staring up at the sky watching them, and how everyone can share in the joy of how beautiful they are.

these photographs are long-exposure shots of fireworks by 2 different photographers-- the first and last photo here are from - [ away ]'s flickr photostream, and the middle 3 are from luke o'rourke's flickr photostream. i think they're amazing. long-exposure photography feels so magical to me, because it's not something you can see with your eyes. it's all about the camera.

if you are in the USA, i hope you have a fantastic holiday weekend with lots of fireworks!! i'll see you on monday (hopefully with some amazing long-exposure shots of my own to share!)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

sarah gardner: positive messages

sometimes it's so hard for me to remember this! "be here now." it's so simple, yet so challenging for me. i get so caught up in thinking about the future and what i "should" or "shouldn't" do, that i forget that my life is actually happening RIGHT NOW, and not actually at some time off in the distance.

so this reminder by sarah gardner is doing the trick right now for me, and i absolutely adore all of her work. the messages are positive and uplifting, in a really creative and colorful way, which is right up my alley!

aren't they amazing? and today IS a day like no other, to be sure.isn't it a bit mind boggling to think that you'll never have this exact experience that you're having in this moment ever again? it's astounding to me.

please visit sarah's flickr page to see more of her wonderful work-- she has an etsy shop, too, but it seems to be closed at the moment, so hopefully she'll return soon with some new goodies to share and iinspire us with!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

flowers: by marianne konvalinka

oh, flowers. could there be anything more perfect in the world? marianne lives in idaho, and she wanted to share these beauties with us today.

she says:

i live in the high desert of idaho. we get 12 inches of precipitation in an average year (compared to Denver at 15.8 or Chicago at 38 inches). every spring when the wildflowers start to bloom i am amazed by their variety, hardiness, beauty, sheer exhuberance and abundance. these plants are perfectly adapted to their harsh environment and a great reminder to "bloom where you're planted. sometimes you need to find the right environment to thrive."

for much of the year, the beauty of our landscape is all about sky, open spaces, hills that roll on forever and mountains beyond. the flowers bring the focus down to earth for me, reminding me that small things can be grand too.

you can find more from marianne on her art blog and her dog blog.

*thanks, marianne!*

{ps- i meant to post yesterday but was playing catch up. if you're wondering, my trip to california was a huge and productive success, and my wedding plans are all set! i'm so excited. it's going to be goooooorgeous......}