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 ~

Friday, January 29, 2010

Notable Quote: from Howard Zinn

The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. The government will try to deceive the people, and the newspapers and television may do the same, but the truth has a way of coming out. The truth has a power greater than a hundred lies. My hope is that you will not be content to be successful in the way our society measures success; that you will not obey the rules, when the rules are unjust; that you will act out the courage that I know is in you.

~ Howard Zinn, who passed away this week at the age of 87. He had a long and fruitful life as a strong voice for the people. R.I.P. Professor Zinn

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I've been featured! Now please help me help Haiti!

I've said it before: one of the great things about Internet connections is people helping people. I've been blessed this week to be named as a Top-5 Etsy Find by LindaB, author of the Linor Store blog. She's featuring my favorite afghan, the one I call Kaleidoscope ~
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As you can see, this afghan is special for several reasons:
~ It's wonderfully colorful, warm, durable, and easy-care
~ It's now offered at a special price, so you save over 20%
~ I've pledged 10% of the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders
~ Last but not least, it's endorsed by LuvLee the cat!
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I'm pledging to donate a portion of the proceeds from all my afghans, including baby blankets, and I hope some prospective buyers will be moved to help me as well as this important relief effort (I really do need the sales :) You can find out about my donation pledge, and purchase your choice of afghan, at my Eclectica By Jan Etsy site.
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To keep us mindful of why this relief effort is so important, I've linked this very moving article from the Doctors Without Borders website. I stand ready and willing to support these dedicated workers. Now all I need is your help - so please spread the word - and sales!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

My first handmade notebooks!

I'm going to town in my progression of bookbinding skills! Here are some shots of my first batch of hand-stitched little notebooks. Shown below is my Greengold Mini Journal, recently posted for sale on my Etsy shop ~
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Here's another - Ben's Bumblebee Journal - made to order for a friend who likes the colors black and yellow. Like a bumblebee, of course! The photocollage shows all the different views one little booklet can give you - front, back, inside, and so on. Every part of it has to be considered when making a multi-dimensional craft piece such as this.
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The book that started it all is this, My First Handsewn Journal, shown below. I made it a couple of weeks ago to take to a visual-journaling workshop. I just love this little journal, because of the way the pages lie flat when you work on them, and how sturdy it really is, in spite of its lightness and seeming delicacy.
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In truth, all the hole-punching and plain stitching can become a little tedious, though it goes faster with practice. But sewing the signatures together and watching them form a real-live book is thrilling! I've always loved paper and notebooks - nothing says potential like a pack of unopened paper or a new notebook - and there is something very special about beginning to make my own. These soft-cover mini books are warming me up to begin making genuine bound journals. Be sure to keep your eye on both this blog, and my EclecticaByJan site, because I have more notebooks to come!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January's Energy is The Handle

Good news, fellow-travelers: Mercury Retrograde is over (it ended yesterday!) and as that stuck-in-reverse energy peels away, we can align with January's true message for us, which is The Handle ~

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It's a refreshing shift, because the The Handle is about taking initiative and starting things, not waiting for others to do it for you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Responding to Haiti's Earthquake Tragedy

Like so many who are watching and weeping as the recent earthquake's tragedy unfolds in Haiti, I have been engrossed in the news of rescue and humanitarian efforts from that country. Early on, I made a donation to Doctors Without Borders, and so have followed with particular interest their incredible and timely response. They provided some of the first on-site medical care after the earthquake - and in seriously dire conditions. All three of their existing facilities were either destroyed or seriously damaged in the quake, so they immediately set up emergency clinics outdoors, in the streets! Obviously that will not suffice for long, because the injured will need more extensive care to fully recover. So Doctors Without Borders is bringing in an inflatable hospital! I didn't know such things existed, but here it is - and if you need to see something awesome and uplifting, take a moment to watch this short video, showing a similar hospital serving the victims of an earthquake in Pakistan several years ago:



If you can't see the video, you can read about this hospital, and what Doctors Without Borders is doing in Haiti, at the link. And please, take a moment to make your donation, if you haven't already. Every little bit helps, and you will have done something positive and rewarding. Thank you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Notable Quote: The Rocks or The River


Then the early morning question showed up. "What is mightier ... the rocks in the Grand Canyon, or the river that runs through it?" The answer to the question (at least as I saw it) was very simple ... it was a draw. It sounds odd, I know. But when we look at the big picture, it's simply nature's way of keeping things in balance. Even the strongest things in nature have their weaknesses. and even the weakest things have their strengths.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kittehs Esplain My New Year's Forecast

The old year has passed and gone ~
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And now we look ahead to the new ~
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We'll have obstacles to overcome ~
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So do your best to change what you can ~
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And accept what you can't ~
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Take time out for yourself ~
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And always put your best foot forward ~
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Stand with others, even if they're not your kind ~
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Lend a helping hand when you can ~
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Now say it out loud & proud ~
Happy New Year 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

CycleCast For 2010: The Butterfly in The Wind

It's a New Year and a new decade - finally! The general consensus seems to be that the first decade of this 21st century s.u.c.k.e.d (there's no nice way to put it), and the recently-departed year of 2009 was the worst of the lot! Now that it is officially 2010 (and I'm told it's to be pronounced Twenty-Ten), what does the energy-weather forecast have in store for us? In my forecasting for 2009 I described it as a very serious year, and I'm sorry to say that pattern continues - but we now have a chance to wrap it up and come to fulfillment.

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