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 ~

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New on Zazzle: Bright Designs for a Gray Day

Yesterday the first brush of winter came through the Rocky Mountains, reaching as far south as Albuquerque. The day was gray with a cold drizzle and snow falling on the mountain elevations. I, however, had a warm fire going, so I curled up with my computer and made some new Zazzle designs ~
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Don't these colors look positively tropical - the perfect antidote to a blustery, gray day! Why don't you click and see the full array of Fantasy designs I've made so far:) Yes, there's even a skateboard in mix! I'm proudly showing off my first my first skateboard, and I have a few more in the works.
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As I write this, the sun is peeking through the clouds, and the forecast calls for shirt-sleeve weather by the weekend. Don't we love New Mexico! And you know what, I think these designs look just as pretty in the sunshine. I'd love to know what you think ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Have Movies to Crochet By!

With the holidays approaching, my crochet project list is growing by the minute! Here's my new (soft, warm, and cozy) Tricolor Scarf, recently listed for your holiday gift* shopping ~
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* That includes a gift for yourself :)
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I made this scarf while watching video clips on my computer. As any dedicated crocheter or knitter knows, once you get the pattern down, you don't need to constantly look at your project; you can go by the "feel" of the yarn and stitches. (Yes, I'm giving away one of our trade secrets ;) That means you need something to occupy your mind & eyeballs while turning the yummy yarns into a thing of beauty - and that means, TV/movies are in order!
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But I don't care to watch TV - never have been a fan, never will be. I like movies, and I'm fortunate to have to a public library system that makes DVDs available for checkout. It's been a great boon, but I've now pretty much seen everything in their collection that I want to watch! What to do, what to do???
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This weekend I took the plunge and signed up for Netflix (and, no, they're not paying me to post this - sigh). It didn't take long before I had a queue of enough movies to get me through several weeks of crochet evenings! Best of all, I can stream the movies directly to my computer, and not have to wait for the mailed DVDs to come and go. I guess I'll be getting some DVDs in the mail, which is fine, but I haven't quite figured out how that works. We shall see. Meantime, I've already watched Hancock and Paul Blart, Mall Cop, and made great progress on my next crochet wonder. For an added bonus, I got to see the entire movie without commercials!
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My project list for the season includes more Christmas goodies like stockings, home decor, and maybe another scarf; as many shawls as I can turn out because they make such great gifts; and maybe a small afghan or lap robe. Whew - my fingers will be getting a workout! But I don't mind; I love it and the crochet movements really do keep my borderline-arthritic hands pain-free!
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So it looks like I've gotten into this movie stream at the right time. I wonder if I can write off the monthly fee as a business expense, lol. And while I've put together quite a queue, I tend to get stuck in a rut (a dozen Jackie Chan movies may be a bit too much). So I'm asking you, dear readers, to suggest a your favorite movies to crochet, knit, craft, or just veg by. It will be great to see what other crafters like to view, and maybe we can keep our queues from getting stuck in a rut!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Notable Quote: Empty Boats


If a man is crossing a river
and an empty boat
collides with his own boat,
he won't be offended or get angry,
however hot-tempered he may be.
But if the boat is manned,
he may flare up, shouting and cursing,
just because there's a rower.
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Realize that all boats are empty
as you cross the river of the world,
and nothing can possibly offend you.
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~ Stephen Mitchell,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Greeting Cards for Halloween!

Look at the colorful Halloween cards I made, using vintage, clip-art images from the Graphics Fairy ~
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I originally made these to sell at a craft fair, but I caught a chill this week and hade to cancel from the fair. So it's a gain for my customers around the world, because these cards are now available as a set - at a great price - in my Etsy shop.
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Happy Halloween!
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PS: I just posted this to the Graphics Fairy's "Brag Monday" section - you can see it here:
http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/search/label/Brag%20Monday

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fabulous New Afghan Just Listed ~ and a pet-related quandary for the shop owner!

Here's my newest afghan, and I think I've outdone myself in creating another of my popular, colorful signature blankets! I call it my Kaleidoscope Afghan because of the way the colors swirl around the kaleidoscope-bright variegated blocks ~
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You can see it better in the picture below. You can also see how my furry photographer's assistant, LuvLee the cat, has outdone herself by posing in the product shots!
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Charming as she is in these photos, LuvLee gave me a dilemma when listing the afghan. Like any proud momma, I so wanted to show off pictures of my baby! But with online listings, you never know which prospective buyer might be scared away because of cat allergies, fears, or general distaste. (Go figure.) I even raised the question - pets or not in product shots - in a forum thread, and as usual got answers all over the map. Finally, someone pointed out that showing the cat at least alerts allergy sufferers right up front.
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So I decided to go with it, and use this last photo to close out the product listing. (It is, indeed, one of LuvLee's best photos ever :) After all, I mention the cat presence in my shop policies, and I even have LuvLee on my banner - so what's to lose? Beside, I do launder my afghans before they're shipped to the buyer!
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Before I close, I should tell you that the Kaleidoscope Afghan is listed at a special introductory price, now through November 1! If you love jaw-dropping color, handmade beauty, and practical, durable warmth - this is the afghan for you! With the holiday season ahead, here's a great way to get a jump on shopping for a truly special gift. And besides, it has LuvLee's endorsement!


UPDATE ~ This afghan was SOLD to a lovely lady at  holiday craft fair! But I am happy to do a custom order - write to burchjan@gmail.com if interested :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize


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(My comment to the Huffingtion Post article announcing Pres. Obama's award of the Nobel Peace Prize)

Great News!!!! I am just stunned and happy today, as are so many of my fellow Americans and world citizens who share the dream of peace. Congratulations, President Obama - your careful and dignified approach to the complex dance of international negotions and diplomacy is admired and respected throughout the world!

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My 200th Blog Post - A Retrospective

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There's an unwritten rule that bloggers have to do something special for posts whose numbers end in "00." And since this is my official Post #200, I've prepared - just for you, dear reader - this retrospective of my blogging journey over the past 22 months:
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I built this blog around CycleCasts - a word I created to describe psychic forecasts the way I do them, using the unique Star+Gate cards I've mastered for use in my professional readings. So far, I've posted 61 CycleCasts since this blog began in January 2008! To focus this retrospective, here is my first CycleCast for 2009, giving my predictions for the year we've nearly completed. Take a look back - how did I do as a prognosticator?
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The year 2008 found me taking on the political side of blogging - one of the things that has fascinated me about blogging, even before I began doing it myself. It was, after all, and election year! I kicked off my political blogging with this 4th of July post from 2008 - one of my most popular and commented-upon posts to date! As the time got close to Election Day, I paid increasing attention to the online news, as well as contributing my two cents worth to a number of online forums. It was exciting to be part of this great online discussion, a benefit of Internet connections I would never have expected if I hadn't tried it!
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In August of 2008 I began selling crafts, especially crochet and collage, online through my fabulous Etsy shop, Eclectica By Jan. Over time, I expanded into selling my images for reprint through print-on-demand site support. This developed into a whole new category of posts I call Jan's Eclectica, dealing with shop news, creative ventures, and even tutorials. Here's a sample post that shows how working with collage/mixed media can turn a bad day into a better one!
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In addition to my other ventures, I am a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu bodywork. I haven't written as much about this beautiful harmonizing art as I could have, perhaps because I'd rather just do it than write about it! But the posts I have written turn up in a lot of search engine requests, so it brings new folks to my blog on a regular basis. My sample post for this topic tells you what Jin Shin Jyutsu is, and why I'm so passionate about it.
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Then there's that catch-all category of Everything Else. What better way to end this retrospective than by showing a post of my outtakes ~ proving once again, that I'm only human, and willing to laugh about it. It's a good summary post that hits on several of my interests.
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I hope you've enjoyed this retrospective, as much as I have in putting it together. Sometimes, when I just really don't want to sit down and write another blog post, it helps to reflect on what I've gained and learned from this venture. Among other things, I've learned that blogs are perhaps the most exciting things on the Internet - and that the programs which support these blogs can be temperamental, but like everything else, that too will pass. I've come to appreciate being able to connect with an international community - blogging truly has connected me with people I would never have met otherwise. And above all, I've learned to keep my spirit of adventure: you never know where a link will take you - and most of the time, it's been good!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Notable Quote: Learning from Blogging


Blogging, the first form of social media to be widely adopted beyond the world of technology enthusiasts, gave us a templates for all the other forms that would follow. Through its lens, people could see the Web for the first time as something they were collectively building. It gave a multitude of formerly private people a public voice. It handed them a blank page and said: Learn. Learn what happens when you take strangers into your confidence. Learn what happens when you betray a confidence. See how it works when you find a lover online. See what happened when you tell the world that you've broken up. Find a job with your blog. Get fired from your job because of something you wrote on your blog. Expose media misinformation. Spread some misinformation of your own.
...Then take everything that you've learned and post it.

~ Scott Rosenberg, Say Everything

Jan's note: I'm approaching 200 posts (this one is officially #199 :) and so it seems appropriately serendipitous that I stumbled on this wonderful book about the history of blogging. I highly recommend it! And for my 200th post, I will be looking back over this blog and highlighting some of my best posts - so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Magician: Energy for the Month of October 2009

A magical new month begins today, dear readers. Why do I say that? Because the cards have told me that October's prevailing energy is The Magician ~
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The Magician is the one who works with energy; therefore all manner of things dealing with manifestation and transformation will be emphasized this month.

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