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Tips for Starting the New Year Off Right

Creative Handwork(TM):


I once salvaged a throw-away quilt block (originally made from scraps) to use as a practice block.
After many months of practicing on it, one day I looked at it with new eyes. I saw beyond the squiggles and individual lines of stitching to notice the overall patterns and textures. I was amazed to realize that I now liked it too much to throw it away. I decided to add even more metallic threads to catch the light. As I did, my ugly throw-away block became beautiful.


Contemplative Handwork(TM):
While I stitched, I listened with my heart. I needed to know how to turn ugliness in my life into beauty, and I wasn’t disappointed. This recycled throw-away block had lots to teach me about how to reclaim my life and start anew, even when all I have is scraps.

Can you relate? Or is your life just where you want it to be right now? Are your relationships just the way you want them to be? Your finances? Your spiritual/soul life? Your work? Your health? Just in case they’re not, and you, too occasionally despair of crafting the life you’ll really love to live, I’ll share with you some of what I’m (still) learning from turning this throw-away block into a practice block, and then into a quilt.

How to Reclaim Your Life and Start AnewAngel of the Hourglass quilt photo-1

Contemplative Handwork(TM):
I invite you to take a few deep breaths, stretching and relaxing your muscles as you do so. Create some quiet space in & around you. Listen with your heart as you read:

  1. Don’t throw it away just because it’s not perfect.
  2. Lighten up; have some fun and take some risks with it.
  3. Build on its existing (blah, boring, essential) structure.
  4. Transform the multitude of mistakes with loveliness.
  5. Include glowing images of things you love.
  6. Discover its vibrant themes and develop them.
  7. Add shimmer and sparkle until your eyes shine.
  8. Surround it with strong, broad borders.
  9. Create a cuddly, cozy container for the chaos.
  10. Make it elegant and regal, fit for a queen.
  11. Let the (irregular) Angel of the Hourglass reveal that Time is in Her Hands.
  12. Enter her timeless place often, and she’ll guide you peacefully through life’s chaos.
  13. Become your own Earth Angel: open your heart to the healing power of love, beauty, wisdom and grace.


Featured Quote

Uncertainty and mystery rather than predictability are the driving forces of artistic transformation.

— Shaun McNiff, Art Based Research