Thursday, April 22, 2021

Hello - No Such Thing as the Right Time - Jumping in with Both Feet & All Heart



Well it has been a hot minute since the inception, the dream of this blog.  It has held a place near and dear to my heart over the last 5 years.  I kept waiting for the "right time".  Life stepping in, scrambling time and space.... yet I was still waiting for the "right time".   

Life has a way of showing you the "right time" is the time you often find yourselves in.  If you wait for the very perfect, all the stars aligned, heart and soul, time and space align just so, you'll be waiting a very very long time for that "right" or "perfect" time.

Passing's also have a way of bringing to the forefront the preciousness of time. Of thoughts, ideas, passions, hobbies, pursuits that get laid aside for that "one day" period of time.  Now, sometimes life stacks itself in such a way, you do have to make room, prioritize, manage ones time along with those thoughts, dreams, ideas, passions and hobbies. In my case, I did so more because it was expected of me to do so. Sacrifice at all costs for others.  My heart sort of works that way to begin with, in addition to the way I was raised. However, all that being said, with significant passing's of people in our lives, there are lessons we learn along the way - from them, what they leave behind, and our own soul searching.

Writing has always been what I loved, but it also became something that was "expected" of me. It costs were enormously personal. Caused such a rift in my family it tore the very fabric of what was left of "us". Its damage was undeniable, making it very difficult for me to write - the ghosts of those voices, that hurt, that implosion in my family, I've carried with every word you've never seen.

With time comes understanding.... of the past and present. Of others and of oneself.  The journey of the last 10 years. let alone the last 5 when this beautiful glorious place my dearest friend Tinker created for me - it has been a siren call over the years. I am here to answer it finally. To do as I imagined, desired, deep breath to overcome the voices of the ghosts of hurt and also to talk about it. 

Much has happened. Much to share. I know I am a storyteller. Always have been. You won't find perfect punctuation, perfect sentence etiquette. My hope is you will be able to follow my voice, my heart, my excitement most often, and sometimes my sadness.  

This past year especially, 2020 - has shown what I've always believed, we are rarely alone in our experiences - we come to them differently to be sure, our feelings deeply personal, however we are rarely alone. Where there is 1 there is many.  The need for connection. To be seen and to be heard never more important as it has become. It is something I've always always always believed in.  The kindness aspect of A Creative Life blooms from that feeling of seeing and hearing others.  A long held front row seat to such pain and heartache, the lack of talking, of being seen or heard, the brushing under the carpet, look the other way - every cliché bumper sticker or "quote" *while many of them helpful in their time and place* in many ways became the language of "I don't understand you, don't know how to, legacy of this is how we deal with such things  - sort of language".  I've seen it, witnessed it, it became part of my stubborn when facing tough things in life, but it also became my shield.  "Fake it til you make it" "suck it up buttercup" has in fact saved me in many ways, hurt me in others.

Here, that all goes away. This is Christine - the good the bad the ugly, but I hope always always the kind, the heartfelt, the one who sees and continues to hear all those who feel they are not.

There will be some heavy stories to be told. This may be more for me than for you, should you find this place.  It is my truth.  One even thinking about, and still processing causes me such anxiety and panic attacks like no other. That's real life, its from these lessons, when we learn to be kind to ourselves, and to others, we can move forward and heal.  However, the early posts here will be hard .... for me... but its part of my story, how I came to be who I am.  It is also my hope it will touch another's heart. Help them feel less alone, or apart from. 

After that - there will be joy on the other side. Creative New Normal I've learned along the way. Creative - art, fiber, knitting, makers whom I have come to love, been inspired by.  Kindness - always kindness, whether challenges, community events - or these days online events.  Music, books, baking, being kind and nurturing to oneself -I'm still learning. I hope to never stop.  My father told me "You are never too old to learn". He's right. So, lets see how this goes.

No structure here, this was a "okay Cj - get up, get on there, and lets go!" moment. Stepping past the scared.  Being accountable to myself, honoring my heart and it's desire, to write as I do, to share, to connect. Maybe also, in many ways, a diary of sorts.... not a typical blog like I once had. Gonna make this up as we go along.

There are some links over there I need to do away with or correct. So forgive me as I fumble around here, hopefully I don't screw things up too badly!  *wish me luck*  I am hoping a lot of this will be muscle memory come back to life. 

In the meantime, I do so sincerely hope this finds you and yours happy, healthy & well. As always lead with kindness, follow your heart, embrace all that you are and can be, know you are never alone. I'll be here should you need.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hello! Welcome to A Creative and Kind Life!

I know it's been a few months since our construction update notice, and well, I believe all our bits and bobs are working now.
I was waiting for some "perfect time".  You know, when you have this, or that, or you want to start out *again* right, BIG, bright!  Next thing you know, a couple of days turns into weeks, turns into months.  Not good, NOT the way I like to do things.  I'm a getting it done kind of gal, unless I'm scared. Or medicated.... Yes, but not in the way you might think; that will be part of a series of getting to know me.  I will say, it's part of a pain protocol that basically is now working, but the trade off is, I feel like I traded no pain, or less pain, significantly less pain, for little brain...2.5 days out of 3. And let me be clear, I am grateful!!! But I feel more and more like my favorite Disney Character, Winnie-the-Pooh, a bear with little brain.
That's HUGE for a bit of a Type A minded gal, who I might add at one time had a mind like a steel trap!
So a New Normal. A Creative way of looking and dealing with life. Which still plays into what I imagined this new place to be; before my life took a turn left when I wanted it to go right. It happens, and ya roll with it!!
A Creative Life is not just about planners, stationery, RAOK, photography, art journaling, mixed media, yarn arts, coloring, doodling, traditions, arts and crafts with children or family events.  Or a place to showcase National, State or Local "Make a Difference" kinds of events.  It's also, I realized, a way we creatively juggle life. As a Mom, or Wife, a full time Employee or Boss, a Stay at Home Mom, a Home Schooling Mom (or Dad), as a student or a even as a disabled person. Each is trying to do it all. Have it all. Reach the ultimate dream! All of that takes an internal creativity!!  That's not a bad thing.  In this day and age, it takes a lot of creativity to do what we do to make it thru a day.
What my wish in all of it is, no matter what, even in the "ugh" days (we all have em), there is a moment upon reflection, we laughed, we made a memory, we smiled, we did something for someone else, the day no matter how full it was, there WERE moments worth savouring, or even CELEBRATING!!!

So, with all that being said, here, we go. I'm jumping in, both feet, "C'mon Cj what are you waiting for? You CAN do this! You've imagined this place and it's here and it's time for you to be stepping out from behind fear, showing up, sharing, encouraging and living a Crreative and Kind Life."  Yup, it is!

I hope you'll be patient with me, forgive delays, or wonky posts.  If anything I can be entertaining! I believe in turning negatives into positives. I believe in supporting yourself, family, community and the creative community you may be part of.   The world is full of negative folks, thoughts and actions.  I'm ready to counter that with some creative dialogue and fun.

I hope you'll join me, and my friend Erin up there. As I said before,  she'll pop in as she feels compelled to.  She is a treasure to me. I'm a very lucky gal to have made such a friend as I have in her. I can bounce my 1000mph creative brain off of her, and she gets it, she gets me, she'll be honest and direct and funny as all get out; I trust her., and she trusts me, I understand her too! Ying and Yang, similar, but opposite, supportive ALWAYS, and tell it like it is. And Oh how we love to learn!  It's a very cool friendship, priceless to me.  I am grateful for her whimsical, artistic, fun design. She nailed what my heart and head was trying to convey what I was imagining such a place to be, if I truly was going to return back to blogging once again. I've had a few stops and starts over the last 4 years, but the timing wasn't right. My heart wasn't ready and life got weird and complicated for awhile. So timing is everything and here we are! Or I am.  Can I tell you something........ I'm pretty stinking happy about it I must say.

Ok, to kick this off, let's hear what some of your favorite creative endeavors are. In life? Or as a hobby? A self made small business? A dream of one? What would you love to learn to do?
Comment below, I'll be watching, commenting and promise to be back soon, with more about me, my various creative loves and endeavors to make a difference, and community, the one I hope we together might build here.

I hope this finds you and yours well.
Let's be Creative and Kind shall we!?!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Work In Progress - Coming Soon!

We are rounding the bend and almost have things just so here at A Creative and Kind Life. So, very excited to begin this new chapter and look forward to sharing with you all things Creative and Kind. I have been so truly inspired by so many folks, many of which I hope to introduce to you here.

Lots in the works, plans, ideas, photos and goodies.  I firmly believe in sharing, in a community of learning from one another.  I hope you will find it comfy here, a place to pull up to, have a cuppa and join in the conversation.

Creating, Crafting in general, has long been a passion of mine.  Raising a blended family that consisted of 7, then 9 and working full time, didn't leave me a whole lot of time to pursue my passion. Now finding myself at a cross-roads of being an almost EmptyNester, recently disabled with nothing but time on my hands and re-emerging into the Creative and Planner Communities has been a real eye opener, truly inspiring! I can't believe how much has changed in just a couple of years (or maybe longer - time flies when you're raising kids, that turn into teenagers who then turn into adults). I am beyond excited about this place, blogging once again, creating once again, learning and continuing to be inspired by so many. What also makes this so fantastic to me, is the creation of this place by my dear friend of forever, Erin ~ aka Tinker (she is a master tinker of a great many things, like the creation of this design), which is a true reflection of who I am, my heart, the "new normal" I am finding and adjusting to. What you see here makes me HAPPY! I adore her for all she's done to give me this place.  She will be popping in as she feels moved to do so and I know you will come to love her as I do.

As for the Kind Life portion of this place - I am a HUGE believer in RAOK, #KindnessFirst and doing what we can, however we might, as individuals, to do something for others. No matter if it's anonymously, in big or small ways. I believe in the Butterfly Effect, a ripple of kindness that can be far reaching, more than any one of us might realize.  I'd like to feature things happening on a National, State and Local level as we move along here. Organizations, folks that inspire kindness I hope to "shout it from the digital rooftops" their ideas, movements, events and challenges for us all to do something. The idea of encouraging new ways for each of us to make a difference in the the world around us.

So, Welcome to A Creatieve and Kind Life.  We truly hope you will like it here.
Please excuse the dust from construction and the few kinks and things as we work them out.  It's been a long time since I've been in the blogging world - so I am a little rusty - but I'm ready! Jumping back in with both feet and a WAHOOOOO! *Creatively of course!*

See you soon!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cowpoke Cookies {Gift in a Jar}

I love creating culinary gifts for family and friends. These were a huge hit last time I gave them out!

Simply pack the dry ingredients in a mason jar and give them the instructions to make their Gift in a Jar Cowpoke Cookies. Gourmet gifting has never been easier!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


These bagels were once a part of my weekly baking repertoire. Back in the day, when I ate grains. ;)

These bagels are soft, warm and spongy on the inside, and slightly crisp on the outside. I baked them using steam. They're great warm, fresh out of the oven and at room temperature the next day. Honestly, I never the desire to toast them. I'm not so sure fresh bagels need toasting!

Dress these bagels up however you'd like! The mister seems to prefer them plain, but I have dolled them up with a combination of flaxseed, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, tiny sunflower seeds, and black caraway seeds. I also liked mixing together a little garlic powder and dried onion. The onion will moisten and plump up slightly during the steam baking. For an "everything" bagel try a combination of the poppy seeds, dried onion, sesame seeds, and garlic powder. Or you can dust them with a little cinnamon and embed the bagel with raisins.

*storage tip: save and reuse your bread bags to keep your bagels in*
Homemade bagels are where it’s at! If you’ve never made them yourself, you’re missing out. I love that regardless of rolling imperfections, these bagels are still better than store-bought.