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Hello, Joy!

Many bloggers have been choosing a word of the year for a few years, a word that they want to focus on for the upcoming year. Maybe it is something they want to invite more into their lives, or a reminder of goals. But whatever the reason for choosing the word, it is a very powerful way of stating intentions to the Universe. And the Universe has a way of responding.

There was some big joy in my life in 2009. I bought a house – a big, beautiful house, with enough space for me to have an art studio, and a library. I got married to the love of my life in a perfect, magic mermaid beach wedding. We honeymooned in Belize, relaxing, swimming, diving, and spending time together after an incredibly hectic start of the year. I cut off my mermaid curls and went back to really short hair, and totally love it. I started Flying Mermaid Photography and fell more and more in love with photography.We spent Thanksgiving in Seattle with my awesome brother-in-law, and had an amazing time.

Lots of big joy.

But, the last half of the year has been very challenging with my health. The struggles, the frustrations, the pain, the tears, the emergency room visit, the urgent care visit…they have defined the last half of this year. I have felt trapped and attacked by my body. I have lost some of my joy.

No more, I say.

For the first time, I decided to participate in choosing a word of the year. And for 2010, it is Joy.

I am welcoming and inviting joy into my life. And I know that sometimes, I will have to look for it. But I’m hoping that by choosing this as my word, it will remind me to always stop and find out where Joy might be, even when it seems like Joy is nowhere to be found. It’s there somewhere.

Like the photo of the Joy wreath at the top of this post.

I was out of my steroid skin cream. My skin was broken out. We were going to go out and buy our Christmas tree. I had been given a new prescription for a different skin cream, one I had used in Portland, and I remembered it didn’t work very well. But I put it on, figuring it would help at least a little. Right after I put the cream on, we left to go Christmas tree shopping. And once we were at Home Depot, my skin started to explode. I was insanely itchy. I started to get really hot. I was having a severe allergic reaction to the cream I had put on. But I found this wreath when we were there, maybe an hour or so after I had announced that I was choosing Joy for my word of the year for 2010. A Joy wreath to hang on my front door, and invite joy into my home. I took it as a sign from the Universe that joy can be there even in the worst pain. It might be small, but it is still there.

Since declaring Joy my word of the year, I have started seeing Joy pop up everywhere.

And every time it does, I pause, even just for a second, to say to myself, yes, Joy is here.

I even painted a little joy painting for myself – the bottom reads, joy was small but faced life unafraid.

Welcome Joy, I look forward to finding you and celebrating you, big and small, in 2010.

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Meet ShutterCal – a really awesome day-in-the-life social photo calendar site. The goal is for people to shoot every day, post it on the site, and see what your year looks like. There is no general theme, just to keep shooting, and share what you find.

I’ve wanted to get in the habit of shooting every day, and always having a camera on me. The iPhone, and the built-in camera, definitely help, but I want to just get in the habit of playing with my camera daily. It will help me grow as a photographer, and I really love photography, why not make it part of my daily life?

So, I joined ShutterCal and will be posting daily photos there.

Now, this week (when I started), I cheated slightly because not all these pictures were taken this week. But all of them were photo-edited this week in some way. The pumpkins, cranberries and light fixture were all taken this week, and the San Pedro and mermaid pictures were modified using iPhone apps this week.

I’m excited for this, and to see what I find when I make photography a daily habit 🙂

My ShutterCal page is here:

http://shuttercal.com/calendar/FlyingMermaid/

 

Happy clicking 🙂

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We went out last night with our friends Andy and Jess and had such a great night. We went to Blue Corn Cafe, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Durham. After a great dinner, we then went to check out 3rd Friday Durham, where some galleries were open late, serving champagne and snacks. It was in this great space, converted mill buildings with big windows and lots of open space.

3 ah ah ah

Today’s art night is brought to you by the number 3

art letters

I fully admit to not understanding art. This was letters and words suspended from the ceiling, reflected in mirrors on the floor. Supposedly, it is supposed to mean something, but I just thought it looked neat.

tree lights

obama ice cream

Isn’t this a cool art display? I love the bird pictures, and adore the Obama ice cream picture. Unfortunately, the smallest prints were $50, which is more than I wanted to spend. But I do love it!

labour love

A neat pillow in the gallery

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cool-truck

a-table-for-one

flower-gate

boxes

old-floor

rust-and-faucet

shadow-design

where-the-yellow-brick-road-leads

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I mostly do photo editing in iPhoto, and I don’t tend to do much extreme stuff, color adjustments, exposure adjustments, make it black and white, soften the edges. Tonight, I decided to play around with Photoshop online and see what I came up with. I really like how they came out. All photos taken at the Raleigh Flea Market this past weekend.

In each set, the top one is unedited, the second has been edited in photoshop.

coffee-orig

coffee-box

cowboy-orig

cowboy-up

records-orig

put-your-records-on

stars-orig

stars-and-squares

truck-orig

truck-rust

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B is working on fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams this weekend, learning how to become a scuba diver (which means we will get to do lots of dives on our honeymoon!). He had the car all day yesterday and today, so I’ve had the house all to myself. Add to that, it has been rainy and cold, so the weather was just insisting I stay in my jammies and pillow slippers all weekend! I finished a great book, did some laundry, and put on some live Eva Cassidy and painted. Just about perfect.

spring-trees

We are seeing lots of flowered trees in bloom down here. In our neighborhood, pretty much everyone has these white flower trees, so it looks like you are walking amidt giant cotton balls. I love the flowers and blooms, but I really really want warm weather now!

march-calendar

March has definitely walked like a lion through here lately. I realize the lion’s face is a bit odd, but he is my first lion.

B has requested that I make up our calendars now, as a result of this. I think that is a fun idea!

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I’ve been having an art date with myself once a week for the past couple of weeks, it is great. I am loving it, I am having fun creating on a regular basis, and it is very necessary for my overall happiness.

What have you been creating lately? Have you been giving yourself time to play with your inner artist?

rainbow

Where will your rainbow lead?

A gift of love, grace, happiness, inspiration, play, well being, peace of mind, wellness, love, celebrate yourself, art of life, joy.

magic-brew

super-girl

Some days I’m your super girl. Her shirt says rock star super star, and the quote next to her says, “If it doesn’t absorb you, if it isn’t any fun, don’t do it.”

And this is very much an outfit I would wear on my super girl days. I think today needs to be a super girl day!

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