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, December 31, 2009

Notable Quote: On the Decade Now Ending

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Jan's note: This says it all!

The decade began with Y2K and ended with WTF.

~ Andy Borowitz in
The Huffington Post


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Feng Shui Road Again

On Monday I went out to do a Feng Shui consultation - the first in quite a while (it's the economy you know) - and dang, it was fun!
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I knew from the start it would be a challenge - my clients, the owners of a medium-sized therapy practice, had warned me of such. The presenting problem was their office conference room, and it had all the ills, indeed: a windowless, tunnel-like entryway; poor lighting and a badly-placed, glaring skylight; a mishmash of furnishings; and unconcealed piping and electrical sockets in the Wealth corner! By the time we'd finished, they a to-do list based on my recommendations, and smiles on their faces. They could visualize the improvements to be made, and now it looked like FUN.
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My recommendations were fairly straight-forward, interior-decorating type of stuff: Paint the walls in a warm, soft color; filter the skylight and improve the lighting; keep the good furnishings (the conference table was primo) and ditch the hodgepodge in favor of streamlined, coordinated pieces; and place the truly outstanding artwork where it could actually be seen. It was hardly an extreme makeover, but the clients were excited by these new possibilities, and I felt pretty proud, if I do say so myself :)
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The key, however, to this transformation was not so much in my decorating skills - impressive though they might be - no, the key to meeting this challenge was energy-clearing, which I specialize in and have developing through my long practice of dowsing for information and subtle energies. Contrary to the way I've described it here, I did the energy-clearing first, taking about the half of the appointment. This is standard in all of my Feng Shui consultations - I don't just give pointers; I perform a thorough cleansing and produce a clean energy-slate before we even talk about Feng Shui. I feel strongly about this, because Feng Shui builds on the energy that exists in the space, as well as bringing in positive energy. If you're building on a noxious-energy foundation, you're just building the bad stuff. It's rather like putting a bandage on a wound without cleaning it first.
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What are these subtle energies I'm working (always with guidance from my dowsing system's connection with Universal Intelligence) to clear? All manner of ghosties and gheesties and things that go bump in the night. Really! There are so many subtle levels beyond what our ordinary senses can perceive - and yet, we do pick them up, even if we don't know what they are. I have cleared geopathic zones and dimensional portals; thought form energy - everybody's bad hair days "stuck" inside the space; karmic ties; and the little gray people often known as ET's. The most sacred thing I've done, however, is clearing of discarnate entities - ghosts, human or animal souls who have crossed over but haven't found their right place in the Cosmos. They are, for one reason or another, attached to the earth plane, and they remain "stuck" until they can be helped to move on. I consider it a great blessing and privilege to be able to do this, even though I sometimes pass it off as ghostbusting (I still haven't received my grey jumpsuit and ghostbusters badge :)
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Once the energies are cleared, the real-world Feng Shui choices - what colors, where to place the couch, windchime or mirror? - come easy. But without it, people struggle like my clients who spent several years trying to get that conference room right, only to end up frustrated and desperate - fortunately desperate enough to call me! I'm doubly happy that the did, because when I help a helping practice to improve their space, I also help them help their clients.
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I'm happy that I've been given the opportunity to return to my Feng Shui roots - and it's definitely a sign that the economy's improving. While I do most of my consultations on-site, for those of you who live outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area, don't feel left out. I can do this work at a distance - yes, really. I just need to get a floor plan from you. For more information about my Feng Shui consultations worldwide, visit my intuitive services website. At least let me do an energy clearing, and bust those ghosts for you - because after all, who ya gonna call?

Friday, December 25, 2009

CycleCast for Mercury Retrograde 12.26.09 to 01.15.10

By now, the Christmas dinner has been consumed, the presents have been opened, and we can look forward to the festivities that ring in the New Year. It's always a good time for looking back at the past year, and the Universe has given us a little bit of an energy-gift to encourage those endeavors: It's called Mercury Retrograde.
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Yes, dear readers, that regularly-occurring timespan that make us pull our hair at all the foul-ups, lost e-mails, and misfires in our communication attempts, begins on December 26 at 7:38 am Mountain Time, and ends January 15 at 9:52 am. Since 12/26 is also known as Boxing Day - the time when you're supposed to pack up those gifts you didn't want and return them - this Retrograde business might not be a bad thing. In fact, this whole cycle has a lot to do with you have and what you want!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Perfect Albuquerque Snowfall

There's something special about snow in New Mexico - not because it's especially rare, but because it's beautiful: Imagine cactus plants iced like sculpture, against a dramatic mountain backdrop under the desert sky. And in Albuquerque it's even better because, as we like say, "It's so pretty, and then it melts!" I woke up this morning to find a perfect layer of snow coating the ground and frosting the trees, so right after I tossed down a cup of tea and bite, I grabbed my camera and went out to get these pics:
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^ My angel suncatcher lights up the monotone landscape
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^ This big cholla cactus in my front yard looks like modern art!
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^ For holiday decorations this year, I hung these oversize ornaments from the big pines that grace my front yard. Here in the snow, they look like a pathway to another realm.
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^ This towering pine stands beneath the lightening sky, as the clouds break after the storm. And true to form, the snow is now mostly gone as the day draws to a close. Tomorrow I'll have a little snow left in the shady spots - and these pictures - to remind me of a perfect snowfall.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CycleCast for Winter Solstice to Candlemas (December 21, 2009 to February 2, 2010)

The year's wheel has turned once more, dear readers ~ the Winter Solstice occurred Monday morning at 10:47 am Mountain Time, which means the sun has moved into its waxing phase. There are longer days ahead for those of you who like that sort of thing (I'm a winter person myself, so I will miss those cold, quiet nights). I've prepared a new CycleCast that will take us up to the next cross-quarter day, February 2, also known as Candlemas. For now, let's look at our relationship to the greater whole of the Universe, something we're able to see clearly, as exemplified by The Eye ~
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We bring the clear perception of the Eye to this dance, fellow-travelers, and the Universe greets us with the Wheel. Climb aboard and ride off to meet your destiny!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twelve Notebooks I've Been Making


I'm putting my feet up after one of the happily-busiest weeks I've had in a long time, dear readers. One thing that made it so HAPPY and BUSY was completing my largest custom-order to date: A collection of beautiful (if I do say so myself ;) notebooks a-noting ~
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This lovely client had purchased two notebooks from me at a craft fair the previous weekend, and in her foresight, she saw my notebook style as the ideal give-away to guests at her winter solstice gathering, which happened last night. I feel so blessed that she trusted me with this order, and that I had the means and willingness to carry it out!
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Her vision for these notebooks was "dark fabric covers reminiscent of a winter's night, with an oval, whitish label to evoke the rising moon." Wow - I saw instantly what was intended, and immediately went to work, bring her vision into reality. I went even a little further than I've gone with my notebooks, and selectively embellished the covers with sparkle. (One of my crafting favorite mantras: Sparkle is good!)
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To put even more of my own stamp on it, I lined the inside covers with papers all of my own design!
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Yesterday, when she picked up the finished notebooks, my client was thrilled - and so was I. She even asked about future custom orders: embellished blank-paper notebooks to get her nieces and nephews started on the lifelong project of journal-keeping. The bit of brainstorming we had time to do on the spot has got me generating a bunch of new ideas ... so guess what, I'm not done notebooking! I'll be making up new prototypes starting today - I've promised myself some new notebooks as a year-end treat, and I've got the supplies on hand!
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I have an existing notebook collection for sale at my Etsy shop - and each of those is a beautiful, ready-to-ship gift for yourself or another. Obviously, I'll be adding more as we go into the New Year. And if you'd like a custom journal, please contact me! I've got all the details for custom orders in my Etsy shop announcement and shop policies. Happy journaling!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Collage Technique: how I made those holiday images

I've recently posted some new holiday designs at my Zazzle store, and I'm still glorying in the rich color of these works. The collage process I used was a first for me - although it spins off from the work I've done with appliqué using fabric - so here's a little tutorial. Basically I adapted a quilting process known as the snippet technique from fabric to paper: you back squares of your color material with a fusible adhesive webbing, then cut the squares into pieces and arrange on you backing material. When you're ready, adhere the pieces into place by ironing according to the directions on the fusible webbing. That's it in a nutshell! I'll give you the technical details at the end of this post - but now let's talk about the fun part: the design process ~
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Note: because I don't have in-progress photos, I'm showing you a close-up of the finished piece combined with overall views:) For this colorful Candlelight's Gleaming image, I first cut the candle shape from the red paper, and then ironed it to the background paper. Then I cut bunches of green slivers, using pinking shears, from about 5 different shades of green paper. I placed them every-which-way around the base of the candle, ironing them onto the paper and building up layers until I had the effect I wanted. This was absolutely the first time I used the snippet technique, and it was tons of fun! I finished with the flame and the candle wax-drips, by just freehand cutting the papers until I had what I wanted.
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This lively Santa's Work is Done image is the most complex of the series. I used the green snippets combined with punched stars to compose the tree. The presents underneath the tree came from an enlargement of my photograph of a Christmas decoration that's been in my collection for some time. When the paper-adhering was all done, I decided that the background paper was a little too busy, so I dabbed over it with mixtures of silver paint, white paint, and glitter glue - a reverse of my usual process, but consistent with the media-media artists' motto - if you don't like it, paint over it and start again :)
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The bright and beautiful Tree of Stars image was composed entirely of punched-paper stars. For the large star at top, I traced and cut from a favorite template. When it was all done, I thought I'd try doodling over the tree with a glitter pen, to simulate the stitching lines that a real quilter would use. Unfortunately, the press-paper I was using to protect my iron rendered the star papers kind of waxy, so it was difficult to get the pen lines to take. Oh well - it still looks great, I think!
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This beautiful peace dove image is my favorite! I started by cutting the bird's body from an enlarged (on photocopy paper) photograph I made some time ago of a seashell. Then I used a scalloped-oval punch to create the shapes for the "feathers," which I placed in overlapping layers. The translucent-appearing feathers were punched out of mulberry paper. Finally, I cut the branches and leaves out of the appropriate papers and added them to the mix. This time, I traced the leaf veins with a gold metallic-marker BEFORE I ironed them! It was part of my original plan to also add a beak and an eye to the dove, but the design came together so perfectly, I decided against it. This is clearly a case where less is more! Oh btw, I sold a print of this image at my craft show yesterday :)
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I had great fun putting these images together, and I hope you've enjoyed them, too. The sources book describing this method as a quilting technique is More Snippet Sensations by Cindy Walter (2000). I used Steam N Seam 2 for my fusible webbing; it's designed for lightweight fabrics. I used an iron set for SILK temperature, and one of the backing papers from the webbing as a press "cloth." The colored papers in these collages are largely of my own design - made photocopies either directly from my design or from altered digital images. Yes, I spend a lot of time at Kinko's doing this, but it's worth it - copy paper, I've found, is an ideal weight for collage work, and when it's my design, it's all mine!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zazzle discount code and shopping help for my Dear Readers ~

So I splurged a little yesterday, and bought some Zazzle products I'd had my eye on - and the result was I got a gift for you: A discount code for $5 off a $20+ purchase! Now, I'm going to tell you about the products when I get them, so I can post some photos of my goodies in "real life." And I'll post the discount code at the end of this article ;) Meanwhile, to whet your appetite and give you some shopping ideas for the holidays, I'm going to show you some ways you can put that $5 discount to good use:
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How about refreshing someone's desk (maybe your own) with a matching coffee mug and mousepad? I've shown them here in my Neon Fantasy design, which will surely brighten up the office on even the dullest winter day. But if if you want some less girly, I have a range of designs to choose from. The mug and mousepad set is regularly $24.90, but with your discount it becomes an affordable gift for under $20.
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There's still time to send out Christmas cards - or solstice, or New Year's, or just a heartfelt greeting to distant friends. From my new Holiday Shoppe collection, this Time for Peace card makes a lovely greeting for anyone, anytime. A set of 10 full-sized cards is normally $24.50; with the discount it becomes just $19.50. What a great gift - and matching postage is available, too!
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With the New Year coming up, you need a calendar! I have two designs in my store right now - and this one lets you collaborate with me! I've filled the pages with the best of my collage and photo art work - and each image is set up as template so you can replace my pictures with your own! This is great if you want to try your hand at designing a calendar, but don't know where to start - or don't have enough pictures to fill out the months. Of course, if you can just buy it the way it is, and enjoy my designs throughout the year! With the discount, a large-size calendar goes from $20.95 to just $15.95!
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Time to replace that grubby old shopping bag? Zazzle has great totes, and the discount code lets you upgrade to to this deluxe, Impulse version. I've shown it here in my Form Exists design - an ancient Chinese saying made into a wordle - great gift for the geek in your life! This bag version is regularly $25.95, becoming just $20.95 with your discount.
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All right, here's that discount code:
BIXPWDPLRBEFFHWXHQBR
Just paste it when making your purchase, and it will be automatically applied - but please hurry because the code expires on December 15. And if, despite my best efforts, you don't see anything you like in my store (I have many more designs than just the few I've referenced), feel free to keep shopping the site. A built-in code gives me a bonus for each purchase that is referred through my links. How cool is that - you get a discount, I get bonus, and some lucky Zazzle seller gets a sale! Now that's enough to put me in a holiday mood, in 3, 2, 1.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Notable Quote: On Borders



Borders in general are a source of difficulty as well as a pointless labor for government bureaucrats, not to mention anguish for the pople who wish to cross them, or who do cross them only to find misery different from the kind they fled. Whenever I hear yet another news report about the nonsensical contortions, both semantic and political, of our government in its attempts to legislate immigration, I wonder why we need borders at all. This may sound patently absurd, given the state of the world. It would take a planetary revolution of the most drastic kind to undo our system of nation states and border controls. I am aware of that. And yet the national borders in Europe and Africa, for example, are a relatively recent development, when seen in the vast trail of human history. There is the added irony that at a time when Europe is relaxing the notion of strict borders - witness the European Union and the attendant ease of crossing borders - the United States is busy building fences and deploying armed guards.
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As practically absurd as a borderless world might sound, it is equally absurd that certain residents of a place should be "legal" and others "illegal." Besides "illegal" people, borders make possible invasions, occupations, detentions, prisons, and so many other evils. Why shouldn't people come and go freely on the face of the earth? At least as freely as money and corporate investments, which are rarely detained at borders.

~ Lynn Sharon Schwartz, from Not Now, Voyager

Jan says: I found this passage very compelling when I read this book last summer. Then I recently watched The Syrian Bride, a fine movie about the effects of a border on peoples' lives, and it moved me to post this quote.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December's Energy is The Lightning

We've turned the calendar page into the last month of this old year, dear readers. Be prepared for lots of excitement as we head into the holiday season, because December's energy is The Lightning ~
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Image provided by Bing Clip Art
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We've been given an interesting energy to ride out the year. In the Star+Gate card system, The Lightning is defined as critical energy that shakes things up. This is good if you've been feeling like you're in a stuck place - a little shaking-up is just what you need!
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Yet Lightning can also be fearsome.

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