Where have I been?

3eb41d60f0ddbccc76660c20f79949e8Well since you asked, I’ve been taking a winter-long hiatus from the blogosphere in order to focus on travel, photography, and my current work in cross-cultural communication. As this is not a travel blog, I decided not to post stories from my adventures throughout the winter. To sum it up, they involved immersion into the European psy trance scene, homestays in a rural Turkish village with poke-down (not flush, not outdoor!) toilets, seaside villas, and much communication through charades in various awkward and fantastic situations.

I am back in the soon-to-be-greener state of Vermont, so you can expect my usual transmissions of somewhat useless information, photography, and craft projects.

I am currently in the process of editing a massive stack of new images for my photography site, so stay tuned!

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Dream Jar

Post image for DIY Dream Jar For The New Year

As this year draws to a close I, like many people, just remembered “hey, I’m supposed to come up with a list of ways to make myself feel better next time this part of the year rolls around!” I’ve never been that into the whole New Year Resolution thing, despite being a sporadic list-maker. For some reason, I tend to do that sort of thing on my birthday because that’s when my new year starts. How self-centered of me!

That’s why I kind of like this idea of a pretty jar filled with objects that act as visual reminders of what you’d like to accomplish in 2013. Little things, like a fork to remind you to eat healthier. A pen to urge you to write. Maybe a picture of place you’d like to go.

dream jar for new year's resolutions

What’s in your dream jar?

{images via free people}

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Awww…I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by My Pen and Me at http://mypenandme.wordpress.com/. I really appreciate being honored with this award from a fellow blogger so thank you!

The rules state that I must share 7 things about myself:

1. I get stressed out when people ask me to name my favorite things. It seems so pedantic to narrow the world into favorites. I love different things at different times!

2. I can never get sick of eating sushi (especially raw tuna) mmmm….

3. As a child, I used to allow myself to read the last sentence (and the last sentence only)  of a book before starting it. I was very disciplined about this.

4. Sometimes I get trapped in the shower. It is a wondrous land of steam and closed eyes and nice smells and I find it very difficult to shut it off and enter the cold harsh world every day.

5. I always feel like babies and drunk people can see into the depths of my very soul. This does not make me uncomfortable at all; I like it when the layers are removed. I am aware that this perception is completely inaccurate, as both are in possession of brains that are actually quite foggy.

6. If I could have any superpower, it would be time travel.

7. My favorite time of day is when dawn is just breaking. However, I am very lazy in the morning so I rarely get to see this now that I’m no longer a crazy night owl twenty-something.

* Oh, wait…that’s a favorite. Apparently I’m full of contradictions, too.

I will add some blogs that I’d like to nominate later…

The Right Regrets

Not regretting anything in particular today, just finding myself in a reflective mood. Maybe it’s the leaves fluttering to the ground and signaling the coming chill, or perhaps it’s just the sense that seasonal change marches on whether we want it to or not.

Fall is usually my favorite season, but today it feels rather bleak. Maybe it’s time to get outside and crunch some leaves in the afternoon sun, pick the last autumn apples at a nearby farm, or buy a pumpkin or two.

How does the changing of the seasons make you feel?

The Science of Procrastination

Did I mention that I’m now a grad student? this video is particularly relevant to me at the moment (in fact, I’m posting this in class…hah!)

And solutions? One is the Pomodoro technique, a time-management method similar to timeboxing that uses timed intervals of work and reward.

“Human motivation is highly influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be — meaning, the further away the reward is, the more you discount its value. This is often referred to as Present bias, or Hyperbolic discounting.”

Also check out The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination

{via Brain Pickings}

10 Rules for Students and Teachers (and Life)

“Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.”

This beautiful and quite moving list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers is often attributed to John Cage, who passed away twenty years ago this week.

The list was actually created by artist and educator Sister Corita Kent as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968 and posted as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent.

The list was popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly, and often attributed to him.

Have a thoughtful weekend as you mull these over, readers.

For more of Cage’s musings on life and art, see the excellent biography Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists 

Weekend Links + Fiction Photo

I took this photo last week on an empty backroad on Cape Cod. An old motel, a broken phone, a car…surely there is a story here.

It’s up to you to tell it.

Your submissions can be as long or short as you want. I’ll post the winning entry next week. I can’t wait to find out what happened here!

Now, some links for your weekend perusal:

  • Have you discovered Art.com? Every print imaginable…browse to your heart’s content! I almost felt like this deserved a post of its own, I love this site so much.
  • Pretty handpiece jewelry from Palomarie.
  • 20 ways to let go of regret.
  • There is something about the way that the modern and the ancient are seamlessly fused in this Spanish convent by architect David Closes that I can’t stop looking at.
  • English designer Isabel Knowles makes lovely handmade skirts, dresses and tops. I love all of them…and good news- she has both an etsy shop and a blog!
  • Wearelucky. “I decided to pass on my good luck to others by giving away £1,000 every day. I planned to give the money to complete strangers – someone different every time – and all I’d ask is that they’d do something positive with the cash. I didn’t just want to share the money; I wanted to share the responsibility that came with it. I would take a few photos, ask a few questions and build a gallery of Lucky people and stories.” Um, hello. Hi everyone. Right here.
  • Happy Birthday, E.B. White. The author of my favorite children’s book (no, not “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Trumpet of the Swan”) turned 113 this week. Here is a vintage animated film based on The Family That Dwelt Apart.
  • Did someone say glow-in-the-dark cupcakes?

Have a good weekend!

xo Serenity