Welcome to Jan's Eclectic-Mix Blog

Greetings, dear readers ~ I am excited to present my detailed Intuitive Forecasts (formerly known as CycleCasts) to this blog! Join me for a guided tour of our journey through life's subtle energies, and stay for my musings on arts and crafts, current events, a little of this and that ~

Monday, September 28, 2009

Having Fun at the Craft Fair!

I've been AWOL from this blog for most of the past week, dear readers, because I was getting ready for the first craft fair of the fall season - and I think that's good enough reason, don't you? I mean, I worked hard all week - and now that he fair has happened, and I'm so pleased because the results were totally worth it!
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Above, you can see me posed in front of my table, along with some of the colorful wares I had for sale. (My Tabletop Labyrinths sold out :D but I have more available through my Etsy shop.) The fair was a benefit for Christ Unity Church in Albuquerque, along with a benefit for the efforts to bring about a national Department of Peace in the USA. Worthy cause! As you can see, we were outdoors - and we lucked out with the weather! Last week was unseasonably cold and rainy; today is wwwiiiiinnnnddddy, but yesterday we had the perfect combo of sunshine, light breeze, and shady, sheltering trees! It was an unqualified success, imo - nice people, lots of sales, awesome networking. I'm looking for lots of good to follow up from this day!
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I also put to use my new Zazzle products! Above, I'm wearing my "Crochet Psychic" apron - it has my avatar on it, and big pockets perfect to hold all those things you need at a show, like pens, tape, scissors, eyeglasses, a snack, and of course, money! I'm showing my business cards that I also made and printed through my Zazzle site. You can do it, too - just go to Jan's Zazzle Store, and you'll find template designs I've pre-made for aprons, business cards, and a whole lot more!
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My friend, Janice the Dolphin Lady, also had a great day at the fair! Above, she's holding the postcard I made for her to identify her table. I also made her business card template. Her dolphin pillows, like the one she's holding, were a big hit at the fair, and rightly so!
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In fact, Janice is the person who signed me up the fair in the first place! I owe you a big thanks, Janice, for getting me out on the circuit again, and I'm looking forward to the fairs we'll do together in November and December!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CycleCast for Autumn Equinox, September 22, 2009: Finding Our Place

The Autumn Equinox arrives today, September 22, at 3:19 pm Mountain Time. I've prepared a CycleCast to take from this third quarter-day of the year up to All Hallows on November 1. It's the best part of fall (my favorite season :) and I'm liking the energies the cards have revealed for us. There is much more settled feeling now, than in some of the topsy-turvey cycles we've been through. It's kind of like finding one's place by sitting down in a favorite Chair ~
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. Fellow-travelers, that is indeed the central energy we bring to this cycle: The Chair is the gift of organization and evaluation; executive function; and being able to find one's place - both literally, in the real world, and metaphorically - being at home in Spirit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Early Taste of Fall

Still a few days before the Autumn Equinox, and I've already turned on the pilot light to my gas-fired stove, and got some heat going! That's just a bit early at my location in Albuquerque, and although I expect that a warm spell will follow soon, the cold rain and wind that came through this week has left us feeling like fall ~
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I don't mind: Autumn is my favorite season - yes, I'm one of those people who endure spring, dread summer, and perk up with the crisp days and turning leaves of fall. (Winter is not bad either, as long as it doesn't snow toooo much - I love the cocooning.) In honor of fall's imminent arrival, I made the photocollage above from pictures of autumns past.
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With the coming Autumn Equinox, I'll have a new CycleCast to take up through the next quarter-day, All Hallows or November 1. (How fast this year has flown by!) Come back by the evening of Tuesday, September 22, to see the full CycleCast, but in the meantime here's a taste: The prevailing energies will support discipline, focus, and contemplation. Do you have any karma that needs to be digested and integrated? This will be the time to do it!
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And don't forget, with the Autumn Equinox my pre-season sale on fall and winter crochets will end! This is the last weekend to take advantage of these great offers - so go to the link and check 'em out :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Getting Chilly! Check Out My Pre-Season Sale on Fall Crochets!

Yes, there's a hint of fall (my favorite season) in the air! All afternoon, I watched the clouds roll in as the wind picked up. And now, with the first drops of rain pattering on the roof, it's the perfect evening to wrap up in a cozy, comfy afghan ~
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This is my fabulous Blue Lace Afghan - on pre-season sale for one more week at EclecticaByJan etsy shop! You are so lucky - I've put all my fall/winter scarves and afghans at special pre-season prices through September 22, the Autumn Equinox. Need to go out in the chilly autumn wind? You should to wrap up in a colorful, warm scarf like this ~
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I call it my Red Clay Scarf - read the item description and see where the name came from :) I also have these beautiful holiday crochets included in the sale ~
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Here's a Yuletide scarf/garland, and afghan, to get you in the holiday spirit - faster than Scrooge can say, Bah humbug!" And my totally fun Boo Flower Scarf for Halloween - perfect for a little extra warmth when you take the kids trick-or-treating - or to wear at the office on the day of Halloween.
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You can see listings for these and all my pre-season sale items right HERE - and hurry, hurry, hurry because there's less than a week left until Autumn officially rolls in, and this special offer ends :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good grief, I Hate Fabric Softener - and most other "fragrances!"

Okay, this blog has gotten too tame of late, so I'm going to spice things up with a rant! I only need to go back in time to yesterday afternoon, which I spent at home, making more notebooks for the upcoming fall craft fairs. And which all of my "neighbors" spent doing their laundry. How could I tell, and why do I put "neighbors" in quotes?
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BECAUSE I COULD SMELL THEIR STINKING LAUNDRY PRODUCTS, COMING IN THROUGH MY A/C VENTS!!!!! That's why. Oh yes, and when I stepped outside for a moment on that beautiful late-summer afternoon, I was overwhelmed by the gaggingly-sickening stink of fabric softener (springtime fresh??? It smells like rotting fruit, to me :P) pervading what I thought was going to be fresh air!
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I really don't get why people think it's a good idea to wash their clothes in cancer-causing chemicals. Don't believe me? Take a look at some of the info available on the Interwebs: Health effects chemicals in fabric softener
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This is particularly important to me, because I strive to keep my home and work space as fragrance-free as possible. (And btw, the safe alternative to fabric softener is a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in your wash water. And don't overdry your clothes. That's it. Duh.) This is important not only for my own health, but also that of my clients. I do readings and bodywork with a lot sensitive people. Yet time and again, I've had new clients show up with clothes reeking of all the toxins our chemical corporations want us to think make our lives better. I have to steel myself for an hour of fighting headaches and nausea while working with them - then massive airing of my treatment space to get it clean for the next client. I've got to remember to say "fragrance-free" in my promotional materials!
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I recognize that there are some legitimate uses of fragrance in aromatherapy - but I've also encountered some so-called "aromatherapy" products that are instant-migraine-headache in a bottle. Look, if you still think you want to smell up everything you touch, I hate you. This is not just your business. Your laundry products, perfumes, air "fresheners" (call them "poisoners" and you'd be more accurate) are killing us all. The biggest risks associated with these chemicals are cancer and hormonal disruptions. Auto-immune disease is also a likely result. I've lived with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since I was 18, so I know a thing or two about that. It affects our environment as well as our well-being - we're seeing effects on animal populations from the hormonal-disruptor actions of these chemicals. And you're lining the pockets of corporations who couldn't give a rat's patootie about your well-being or that of the planet. It just makes me want to weep, when I see otherwise-aware folks buying into this advertising nonsense about "fragrance," while buying poison that harms us all!
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Save my sanity. Save money. Save your health and that of your family. Save the planet. Lose the so-called "fragrance!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Use Spray Adhesive in Your Bedroom (or wherever you create ;)

As a mixed-media collage artist, my adhesive weapon of choice is the humble glue stick (permanent, please; not repositionable or washable). But there are times when I need to avail myself of spray adhesive's certain advantages: It's useful for covering large areas, and it is a relatively dry-mount. Unfortunately, spray adhesive has some drawbacks - it sprays glue around, for one thing, and it stinks, too. Since most of us indie crafters work where we live, and we don't live in a warehouse, how do we use spray adhesive without gumming everything up? I've found the answer in my trusty glue box:
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Take a cardboard box with the flaps still on it, and line the bottom with a stack of newspaper sheets (single not folded), to give your paper or fabric a clean surface to rest on. I've set the box up in front of an open window for ventilation, and I removed the window's curtain to keep it from catching any stray spray of glue.
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Here I am spraying away on the reverse side of a paper I will use to line the cover of one of my embellished notebooks.
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Picking up the paper, ready to apply to the notebook. Before I spray the next piece, I'll remove the top sheet of newspaper and toss it. There will be a fresh sheet underneath for the next sheet of lining paper. When I'm finished with the day's batch of spraying, I'll fold in the box flaps and store it for future use. It's important to store the box right away if the household has a Cat in residence ~ cats love to jump in boxes, and we don't want kitty to get all glued up! That would be a real Cat-astrophe.
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Here's the inside of my finished Brown Croc Notebook. I love making these embellished notebooks, and as I'm getting ready for several craft fairs this fall, I'm in full-on production mode. But I like the finished products so much, I swear I'll have to keep one for myself :)





Thursday, September 10, 2009

Notable Quote: Rule #1


Rule #1 ~ When the going gets tough, the tough relax.

Any time you approach a task with fear you are at least a double loser. First, you color the work with fear and increase the chances of failure. Confidence and composure trump fear every time. Second, you guarantee that you won't enjoy the experience. Whether you succeed or fail, wouldn't you like to remember the experience as one you enjoyed, not one you suffered through?

So when you feel that familiar unpleasant feeling rising up in your chest or settling into the pit of your stomach, remember Rule #1. Don't let fear undermine your chance to do that one thing you've wanted to do. Rule #1 touches every other rule. Take a second and smile. Enjoy the trip.

~ Alan M.Weber, Rules of Thumb

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A New Leaf: CycleCast for Mercury Retrograde, September 6-29, 2009

Even though the summer is dwindling, dear readers, there's a new, leafy feel to the energies as we head into our next phase: Mercury Retrograde, which begins tonight at 10:45 pm (Mountain Time) and ends on September 29 at 7:14 am. Despite the challenges that sprout when Mercury, the planet of communication, appears to move backwards in the heavens, this CycleCast is all about the beginning of a new cycle, growth and vitality, and keeping hope alive.
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Let's see what the cards have to tell us ~
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It may be the last green Leaf of summer, fellow-traveler, but its freshness and vitality hold up a mirror for you:

Custom Business Cards at my Zazzle Store!

With my relatively new Zazzle store, I needed some new business cards. So I designed some for myself and bought them through - where else - my Zazzle store:
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A few days ago, my friend Janice the Dolphin Lady asked me to make some cards for her - and guess what, I'm now in the custom business card business! Here's the front of the template I made for the Dolphin Lady's card ~
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One of the great things about Zazzle business cards is that you can print both sides of the card for the same price - and it is very reasonable! Here's the back of the Dolphin Lady card ~
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The same day that I finished making these cards, another client came over for a bodywork session, and asked about the template that still showing my computer screen. After I showed them to her, she said, "Oh, will you make some for me?" How great is that - I have another custom order to look forward to!
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Zazzle's templates are fairly easy to use - just replace the template text with your own, and you'll see your words magically appear on your screen! In case you don't want a dolphin card, you can see the other business card templates at the link. I'll be adding more as time goes on, too. And if you have a specific need that won't fit in a template, I'll take a shot at designing one for you. My contact information is right there in my colorful card at the top of the page :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thoughts on Health Care Reform, or, why can't we take care of our people?

After watching all the craziness transpire this summer over the simple concept that the United States of America should do a better job providing health care for our people, I've never come to despair. Fortunately there are a few notes of simple sanity going around the Web today, and now I feel a little better:
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Jan Burch thinks that no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day.
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That's from Facebook. Lots of my FB friends are posting this as their status update, and I am, too. If you're on FB, please copy it and join us! And now here's my favorite thought on Health Care Reform, from who else but dear, departed First Cat Socks ~
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Wouldn't you know it, the wisdom of a Cat cuts through all the noise we humans can generate for ourselves!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Earth ~ September's Energy for 2009

I turned the calendar page today, dear readers, and found that we've started the month of September! So I sat down forthwith, and asked my cards to reveal September 2009's spiritual Energy of the Month. It is ~
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The Earth ~
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As a basic condition surrounding us, The Earth represents our resources, stability, and structure. This is good news for those of us who've felt buffeted by all the twists and challenges we muddled through over the summer. Perhaps as we turn the year's wheel from summer into fall, we'll at last have a chance to collect ourselves, lay in some stores for the winter, and feel more grounded. And, since Mercury turns Retrograde on September 6 through the 29th (more about that later), we'll get another chance to practice in any skills we failed to develop when the winds of challenge were buffeting us.
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On the Star+Gate pattern, the nearest neighbors to The Earth are ~
  • The Star of Bowing ~ as in "bow to your partner," this universal energy supports us to see the majesty, the God Within, every one of us - including self. Namaste.
  • The Star of Indecision ~ a universal energy that lets us dance between the polarities of life - yin and yang. And, if you have any major decisions to make - put them off. Now is not the time to be decisive. Enjoy the dance.
  • The Maiden ~ the side of us that seeks the best for everyone; purity and beauty that is uncompromised. Iron hand in velvet glove, anyone?
  • The Bell ~ wake up to the fact that you are attuned to your surroundings - or at least you are, moment by moment, attracting the next right move to make.
  • The Letter ~ the gift of being able to put your ideas into form, and find meaning in symbols. It's a great time to keep a dream journal.
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As a major theme this month, we will be looking to the earth herself as a source of harmony and balance. Perhaps, at long last, our species will wake up and begin repairing the damage we have done. We'll also focus on relationships, cooperation, and all the ways we combine energies with others. This drive will peak around the new moon of September 18. Above all, fellow-travelers use the energy of September to keep your feet firmly on the ground - and don't let fear put you out of balance!
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Coming celestial events: As mentioned above, Mercury Retrograde begins on September 6 at 10:45 pm, Mountain Time. And then we'll reach the Autumn Equinox on September 22 at 3:19 pm. So that means I'll be posting not one, but two, CycleCasts this month! Why don't you bookmark this blog, and come on back to read about the energies as they unfold themselves for us :)
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Namaste
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Would you like to have a forecast of your personal energy cycles? My intuitive readings will help answer your questions and illuminate your path - and are now available by e-mail!. For information and to request a reading,click here, or send a message to burchjan@gmail.com.Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information about my intuitive services.

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