Five Tips to Help You Grow, Develop, Flourish

This has been one wild week. I have 2 publishers waiting on books that… keep getting pushed to the back burner. Aaaaagh.

Yesterday I painted – my class is called “paint with a pro” and the teacher is awesome (here’s some of his work). Well it was less than 50 degrees, and I swear the wind chill was about 30. I know for most people that’s not so cold, but when you live in Florida your blood gets thin, so I never really warmed up, you know?

Anyway… here are Friday’s Five:

Hand Lettering

A couple weeks ago, my son and I discovered that we both separately developed an interest in calligraphy. As I searched online, I found that calligraphy has become quite a thing. Look at Amazon’s best selling calligraphy pens – they vary from Pentel pens to a Hogwart’s quill!

More exciting, I found that in working on it my regular (illegible) handwriting has improved! So now I’m more motivated than ever to master it.

Here are some of our favorite sites for calligraphy or handwriting:

https://thepostmansknock.com/ Lindsey offers both free and very inexpensive worksheets, and tons of great tips.

Dawn Nicole recommends brush calligraphy; she also offers free downloads, and a 30-day challenge.

http://www.1001fonts.com/calligraphy-fonts.html  I include this one because you can look at the fonts and copy the ones you find interesting.

Faust does giant calligraphy-style graffiti.

Sleep Schedules

I finally slept last night for the first time in at least 3 weeks. Usually I wake up every hour or two, with one long (2-4 hour) period of wakefulness in the middle. This article suggests staying awake all night to re-set your sleep pattern! I was almost desperate enough to try it; someone told me loss of a single night’s sleep increases the odds of psychopathology by 60%.

I’ve tried essential oils, melatonin, sleepy teas, music, silence, and I have a great bedtime routine. What do you use to fight insomnia?

Simplifying

I keep working ok I think and read about, and occasionally work at, simplifying. We had a garage sale and raised over $1,000 and managed not to bring *most* of it back in the house.

But some items do better online, like eBay. I have a bunch of items going on eBay, but that venue hasn’t worked so well for me in the lasts 2,3 years. I’ve been on eBay since ’98, when it was wonderful. Over time, it went slowly downhill. Now I am so glad to learn they’ve made one major change, which I consider to be a big PLUS for sellers: EBay is removing its 3rd-party ads and allowing sellers to place a promoted listing in that spot instead. The 4th and 5th spots will be dedicated to promoted listings, and they will have the word “promoted” on them.

They’re also working at other ways to drive traffic to eBay. I think that’s really great news for eBay sellers.

This blog explains sponsored ads for eBay sellers.

Going Paperless

In an effort to continue fighting clutter, I’ve gone paperless. This has been a slow process and I don’t have it down yet. One tool I’m using is Evernote. It’s an online note storage system where you can put unlimited photos, links, clippings of web pages, and more. To do that, you’ll need to set up notebooks, which will be extremely personal, as they’re tailored to you. Here are mine:

!Inbox (anything you start with a ! will show up first; I want the Inbox at the top)

Art and Craft Business

Blogging

Books in Progress

Books Read 2017

Challenges (where I put notes about various painting or craft challenges)

Cricut (where my friends and I keep a list of our craft cartridges, so we can share them)à this list can be viewed from each of our Evernote accounts)

Family

House Hunt

Illustrations

Jokes

Quotes

Reference

Shopping (I’ve linked up hubby so we can share the list)

Statistics (don’t even remember what stats I’m tracking)

Today (to do list, which I forgot was there and don’t use)

Web Stuff (Miscellaneous clippings that don’t fit everywhere else)

As you can see, most of mine pertains to writing books but you can fix it however you want. I love it! I’ve already cleaned out one whole desk drawer (not an easy feat for a hoarder like me) and I’m working on another one.

To get the full use out of Evernote, you might want Evernote essentials which is $9.99 for the paperback but if you do the paperless, Kindle Unlimited version it’s free.

How to Praise God

If you don’t attend church regularly, or you do but you aren’t one of the hand-lifter / hallelujah crowd, you might wonder how you can “praise” God. We’re often told to praise him first thing (in prayer) and praise him daily, but so often no one tells us how.

I’m going to try to explain it.

Praise flows out of our sense of wonder for the Creator. It is something we choose to do, both to give him glory and to help us build a deeper relationship with him.

Praise to God can be done either outwardly or inwardly. Inward means in our thoughts. You might say something like “God, I am so glad to be a part of your world; I want to praise you in every way!” You might quote a Psalm – like Psalm 150. When your heart is grateful to God, you’re probably already thanking, exalting, and praising him; you just didn’t give it that name.

Outward expressions might be singing a song to God, or doing art or music that you use to honor him. You could state your praise publicly. You could pray a pre-written prayer. Dan Burke admits this felt a little awkward at first, and describes how he personalized it.

Dr. Michael Youssef explains that praise “teaches us to be joyful and thankful regardless of our circumstances.” Perhaps that explains why some people are so good at remaining joyful; they practice praise. And, if we aren’t feeling so great, praise him anyway – it is important to commit to doing so, and to follow through. Which it turn teaches us to be thankful regardless of our circumstances … so it’s a circle.

In addition to Psalm 150, I like Psalm 95 and 98.   And Exodus 15:11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?….”

When we praise God, he works in us and through us. He honors us and protects us. Others might see our praise and come to know him.

Changes Again

If you’re female and over the age of six, you’ve heard of Stampin’ Up, a resource for card-making supplies like stamps, cardstock, ink, and so on. I have been a SU demonstrator for awhile, but just took the plunge and set up my website. I won’t be discussing it much here (it’s not the purpose of this blog) so if you need Stampin Up supplies, this is the link to my store and here’s my blog where I will (eventually!) show some card-making techniques.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that, should you choose to use them, will compensate me for the referral. 

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