Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Grungy Galz Christmas

Photo Collage Via GRUNGY GALZ Facebook Page

Since I'm pulling some extra Holiday Shifts, both Day Shift and Night Shift, and driving into the City more often, it's giving me the opportunity before or after Work to visit some of my Favorite Shops nearby.  So I just had to stop by my Talented Friend Bridget's Shop GRUNGY GALZ to get a dose of their Christmas Cheer and Fabulous Vignettes.  It was a White Winter Wonderland as I walked thru the doors... simply Enchanting!!!  Alas, I had missed Santa's visit on Small Business Saturday and the big Celebration going on to usher in the Season at the Shop.  But it was still buzzing with activity and filled to the rafters with Amazing Treasures to Decorate your Home or put under the Tree as Gifts!  And if you are Transforming Furnishings for the Holidays, their Paint section has a vast array of Trending Hues.   The Boutique area is filled with Winter Wardrobe, Jewelry and Accesories for those Christmas Parties you will be invited to. This Shop is a Treasure of the Far West Valley so be sure to stop by for fulfilling your own Holiday Shopping List if you are seeking those OOAK Treasures you just won't find at those Big Box Stores and a Warm Friendly Family Atmosphere beyond compare!


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Refinement... Self-Improvement Projects & Goals for 2017

I have decided, well in advance, that 2017 is going to be the Year of quite a lot of Self-Improvement Projects and Goals.   Because it's the Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine and some of the most annoying little things have been causing me the most problems on Life's Journey lately.  Or just been barriers to Improving the things that are Important enough to me that I am on a Quest to rectify that.  I know that it will make me feel Accomplished to get even the smallest of things Improved and then work up to get the larger things Improved as well once I gain momentum and have some Victories.   So I'm beginning earlier than New Year's Day with Small Beginnings towards Improving things that I can!

Lately I've been working on Refinement... so I began with the Small Beginnings in the area of improving the Blog Visuals by playing with Photoshop and adding borders to some Posts to make them more Visually Appealing for the Holidays.  I'm totally in Love with the Snowflake Border offered by Lunapic, tho' it takes a lot more time to Create a Post all Jazzed up, I think it's been worth the extra effort. *Smiles*  I've always Enjoyed the Blogs that have the Fancier Photography and I wanted to learn now to make mine just as Pretty and a bit distinctive and Refined.

I've also Needed more of a Creative Outlet since most days lately have been consumed by Work and Caregiving at the exclusion of a Creative endeavor.  When I'm Creating anything I'm a lot more Tuned In to Life with a more Positive Energy, Creativity does that, doesn't it?   I'd Love to be able to spend my days Merrily flitting and poncing about taking Photographs, but that's not always possible.  *Pouting*   Thus Refining those I have been able to take is just as Enjoyable as when I took them.

It also makes the Photography look better, more Professional, and who doesn't like to Pretend they took a Professional Grade Photo, right?!  *Winks*  Well, mebbe that's just me, but my Goal at least is to delude myself into thinking, hey, that almost looks like a Pro took that one!  *Bwahahaha!*   My younger Brother actually IS a very Gifted Professional Photographer and when he Compliments me on any Images I took, well, Angels Sing!  *LOL*  That's the ultimate Compliment from someone whose Body of Work in that Art Form I've Admired most of my Life! 

And besides, the extra effort and time it takes to Photoshop a Post of Images means it curbs my tendency and urge to over-share too many pixs all at once!  I do that you know... over-share... and over-do just about anything and everything, but you knew that, right?  *Smiles*  Yes, I'm a person of Excess and Extremes and I know it, but curbing it is entirely another Self-Improvement Project I'm also Refining... I might even Succeed?!?  *Winks*

  I've been pulling extra Holiday Shifts at Work and that's given me some Wonderful Blog Fodder Imagery from the Booths of my Antique Mall Vendor Friends.  They've been Sourcing their little Hearts out and my Friend Michael especially, well, the Treasures he always Finds are off the freakin' hook!  He's like the Male Version of me in what he totally digs, so it could seriously hurt my wallet if I were to succumb to buying everything he Sources that I J'Adore!  I audibly Sigh when he's bringing in new Merchandise because damn... Killer Found Treasures that are Delightful to behold and Torturous to Resist!

And I haven't always been able to Resist, which is why I try to just stay focused upon Refining my own Inventory so that I'm suitably distracted from Buying and Zoned In on Selling instead!!!  *Smiles*   Loved this Painting, seems to be an Original Watercolor and the Scene of the Village is so Soothing to the Soul.  I have so few places to hang as much Art as I'd like to at Home, so... my Showroom gives me the opportunity to Source Art that I Love but cannot Keep due to lack of Gallery Walls to hang it all upon!   I know, I buy a McManse and still don't have enough Gallery Walls for all my hanging stuff, clearly I Need an Art Intervention! *Winks*

But, even without an Intervention orchestrated by Family or Friends I am making SOME Progress in the right direction.  When I Source some really Cool Stuff or need to Let Go of some really Cool Stuff I already own, it's indeed heading to the Showroom and not being Hoarded away so much anymore.  You noticed that I said SO MUCH, right?   I know, I'm still a Work In Progress... I'm trying to get to the place where I can Honestly say "not being Hoarded away anymore" period!  But I'm not quite there yet.  *Winks*   The Handsome GI with the Soulful Eyes, he did make it to the Showroom... but probably only because if I'd hung him up peeps would have asked which Relative he was?!  And they already think I'm Weird enough, right?   *LOL*

So I didn't need Images of Handsome Random GI's hanging all over the house and thus I had to end my Love Affair with him and give him up to somebody else to Love.  *LOL*   The Good News is some of the Cool Stuff I can Waffle about, Sells fast... like the Head Vase, didn't last but a few hours before it Sold... Yay!  And Whew... now I'm not Tempted to drag it back Home when I have second thoughts that mebbe it shouldda been a Keeper?!  *Smiles*  Yes, I do that with Inventory sometimes, don't you?  It's Okay, your dirty little Secret is Safe with me... if you Source what you Love then it is sometimes hard to say Good-Bye and keep it strictly Business and not just Pleasure!  *Le Sigh* 

In fact I stand in total Awe and bow down to the Vendors who can Source the most Killer of Inventory and not become Attached to any of it and just send it out the door without Emotional duress!   You wanna know why I don't often Shamelessly Plug my own Inventory on the Blog?   Because when an Image turns out really Good of it... like this one... I want to snatch it all back up and set it up in a Vignette at Home rather than the Showroom, that's Why!?!   So hurry up and Buy this Stuff so I won't Okay?!??!  I know, I Suck at Retail, I'm much better at just Pickin' the Good Stuff... I just get too Attached to my Stuff sometimes to hawk it most effectively.  But I'm Refining that area too... so I can become all Business about it... yeah, right, huh?!?  *Winks*  But if by some Miracle it actually happens, Count On I'll have the Best Showroom EVER!  *Ha ha ha*

I know, I know, I SHOULD be saying I already DO have the Best Showroom ever, but it could be better... cause you know what happens?   This... I had this Antique Salvage Door that got Vandalized at the Old Homestead from one of the Outbuildings that got broken into and couldn't be Saved... but I did manage to pry some of the Hardware off of it.  But because it's from the Old Beloved Home, well, I ended up hanging it all on the Christmas Tree of Memories this year instead of hawking it!!!   The Memory and Attachment means more to me than the twelve bucks or so I could glean off the Vandalism Tragedy of the Destroyed Old Door a Thieving Vandal kicked in!  Besides... it looks Purdy hanging on there, huh?  *LOL*

I really would like to get to the place tho' where I can just Source the very Best Stuff ever and slap a price tag on it without Sentiment, Nostalgia or just a Lust for Keeping it afflicting me!   I've reached that juncture with many items so I'm slowly desensitizing myself to the Letting Go Process not being so Painful.   Sometimes it's not so much Painful tho' as the decision making Process of WHAT to Let Go of just being HARD and rather Agonizingly Exhausting for me!   If I have to make too many decisions consecutively that aren't EASY then it wears me out Mentally and actually Physically as well for some reason!  I don't even know what that is called, but I just know whatever it is, I have it, a Bad Case of it in fact!  *LOL*

And I find that to be Strange only because in my Corporate Lives I had to make difficult and often complex decisions constantly and quickly on a consistent basis and it never wore me out!   Weighty decisions that probably should have caused me far more Anxiety and yet it didn't, not one iota, but sorting thru my Found Treasures, and making decisions about any of it, a whole other story!  I could probably run a Marathon and not be as Exhausted as an hour of sorting thru Great Stuff and decisively parting with most of it!  And yet, I Love to Seek the Great Stuff out, it's a Carnal Urge I can't Kick... and I seem Born to do it... so I gotta get better at Profiting from that 'Gift'!  *Smiles*

Since clearly I'm not gonna Stop having such Fun in the Hunting and Gathering that brings me such Joy... it's something I've always done without getting Paid to do it, Scavenging is in my DNA... so, if I can turn a Profit at it, why not Refine the ability to?!?  And any of you who have already attained that Goal... feel Free to Share your Secrets... they're Safe with me and the Posse that hangs out at Bohemian Valhalla here in The Land of Blog.  *Winks*


Blessings and Happy Holidays from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Numbers... Or... I Can't Help Myself!

The Numbers... I tell myself I shouldn't do it, that it shouldn't matter... but, I can't help myself, every so often I take a peek.  WHY???  Curiosity... Vanity... Ego... Seeing if Blogging is really in it's Death Throes... Comparisons... Whadda my Visitors and Loyal Supporters Like Best... Most Popular Posts... Least Popular Topics... What Inspired the Most Commentaries... Where are the well over a Million all time Views coming from... ALL OF THE ABOVE?!?

It could get out of hand and be a total Head Trip if you did it too often or Cared too much... but in a way I do think it's Important to get Glimpses of the Stats, every so often.   Because shortly after beginning this Journey of Creating an Online Journal I realized I wasn't doing this exclusively for myself as originally intended. 

  Nope, it was naive to think I ever was I suppose being that it's Public Domain and anyone can drop by at any time and for any reason.   It's not like that Diary you could keep under lock and key and Hope nobody ever got too Curious to see the Contents of your Loves, your Life, your Heart and your Head.  And in a Strange way I Like that best about it and I'm not even entirely sure Why?

Maybe Exposure and a measure of Transparency of Self has been more Revealing to me than to anyone else actually.  In Old School Letters I never Wrote about as much nor covered as much Ground about my Life in general actually.   I especially never had it unfold in Imagery almost day to day and On Purpose.  I never really put much Thought into what actually made me Tick in the World around me and the depth of my Passions, Habits, Challenges, Loves and Dislikes.

Often the Imagery and the Stories Archived have been Therapeutic in ways I never Imagined they would be... to me or to anyone else reading them.  When I'm Feeling Down, Discouraged or Lonesome I can go back and realize how very Full and Blessed my Life is overall and how many Great People I actually know and have known!   I can see Transformations and Metamorphosis taking place of myself, of others, of places and daily happenings that are relevant at different times.

I never, ever thought I'd have well over a MILLION Page Views in my Blog's Short History, WOW, that's a LOT of Visits and I'm Humbled and Honored by it.  And the Consistency of the Visits from May of 2010 when I began and now has been startling actually.   When I Compare Stats from Month to Month over the Years it has been steady and stable so at least my Blog doesn't appear to be in it's Death Throes like I thought it might be... and that's Good!!!

You wanna know Why I Care about that?   Because I truly Love doing this, I have from the first day and the first Post and Topic.  I'm a Frustrated Writer and Photographer I suppose and this has given me a Wonderful Outlet for both Expressions.   I couldn't Imagine NOT Blogging now... and I know that if people ceased to come my Posts might be different... No, correction, they WOULD be different.

Because if it became totally Egocentric an Activity for me I'd Risk not being as well rounded in what I'm Sharing out here in Cyberspace and that could get tricky and monotonous.  I wouldn't be thinking about what I wanted to Share or get as Excited about Sharing it.   When I'd be Creating a Personal Post to Share my Heart and Challenges I might be Struggling with, I wouldn't be having the Wonderful Objectivity and Compassion my Blog Friends bring to the Table to Help me thru it!  It's become somewhat of a Sanctuary for myself and others to come to, a Safe Haven.

And I wouldn't have any of the Constructive Criticism too and sometimes, Yes, I Need that almost as much as those who are in Agreement or see and do things MY way!  *Winks*   I do Appreciate the occasional Constructive Critic in my Corner, those peeps who tell you what you Need to hear and not just what you Want to hear about those Topics that are vitally Important to you enough that you've Shared them Transparently and Publicly.

That was one of the most difficult parts of Blogging actually for me, WHAT to Share and what to Omit on Purpose?   What kind of a Blog did I REALLY want this to "Become", not only for me but for those who would come?   That was a weighty decision that took some Time to Evolve actually and "Become" what it actually IS.  

 I couldda made it exclusively a "Design" Blog... a "Biz" Blog... a "Caregiver" Blog... an "Artist" Blog... a "Grand-Mommy" Blog... a "Photography" Blog... a "Writers" Blog... a "Rant & Rave Dumping Ground so that we could all Solve the Issues of the Universe Together in this Forum" kinda Blog and have those DEEP and Controversial discussions endlessly!!!   *LMAO*

But in the end it has taken on a Life of it's own and "Become" exactly what I Hoped it might have Evolved into, something rather Organically apart from myself and yet the Essence of myself all at once.  An Exploration if you will of the many layers that each of us actually is since we cannot really Define ourselves by just one or a few things we are or we do.  It has remained Authentic to Self and I've really tried to Keep It Real to make those Connections meaningful here in The Land Of Blog.

I have had the Pleasure and distinct Privilege of not only Attracting Kindred Spirits and Like Minded Souls, but also a Diverse Population of Wonderful People here in The Land of Blog that otherwise I might never have met or Connected with in Real Life.  Because in Real Life we tend to Gravitate more to those we Gel with in SIMILAR ways and Feel totally Comfortable around... not such Diverse ways as this less awkward setting.  We can Peek into the Lives of very Different people than ourselves and have that Fantastic Exposure!

Here, if you come for a Visit, even if you Stumble by on Accident and yet still choose to stay a while even if it's Obvious I'm NOT at all Like you are, we don't have to initially Converse or lift the veil of Anonymity.  And that's Okay, in fact, it's Wonderfully Okay to sometimes be more of a Spectator in Blogland than an Active Participant.  Eventually tho', when there is that level of Trust that Magically Develops, Mutual Contact is made!!!

It's almost like in Real Life where you might see someone you would like to walk up to and Introduce yourself, for whatever reason Compels you, but perhaps you don't because you don't really KNOW them.  And maybe you're not Sure you even Want to, you know, once you actually get to KNOW them?  *Smiles*  But if you see them around often enough you might just actually make a Connection... and develop a Friendship even... just like that!   Or not...

But, here in The Land Of Blog those Connections are Forged differently I think... where the Getting to Know peeps is more Gradual and less Invested in so many ways, so it's not so Intimidating, such a Commitment or so Tricky as Real Life can be or get.   I mean here in The Land you could go off the Grid whenever and for however long you Need or Want to either in your own Blog or in the Visiting of other Blogs and it's perfectly Okay.

You can openly Say or Share the things that perhaps in Real Life you'd be a lot more Guarded about.   I've got Favorite Blogs where Dear Blog Friends are Revealing more to the rest of us here in The Land than they ever Dared to Reveal or Share in Real Life for a whole lotta valid reasons.   I know I even have... because some things we just don't Talk about Openly in daily Life do we?   But here we can, it is often a Safer place to Land... sometimes... so you do have to use discernment even here.  *LOL*

I'm Fortunate Indeed that as much of an Outspoken, Opinionated, Quirky Weirdo as I know I can be that I've been Embraced so Positively by the vast majority of the Million Plus Visitors!!!   *Ha ha ha*  The Negativity has been minimal and not too harsh actually, which is a Good thing since I can have a Dark Side myself and Lord knows we don't wanna unleash HER on some Poor Unsuspecting Soul!!!  *Bwahahahahahahaha!!!*

Being able to overall keep my Topics and Sharing Diverse, Uplifting, Hopeful, Fun, Real, Inspirational, Kind, Candid and uncomfortably Transparent at times has been a Good Run I suppose.   I do Feel it's been the best decision... and The Numbers, tho' I tell myself I shouldn't do it and it shouldn't matter, IT DOES and so probably I SHOULD occasionally.  So long as I don't start Obsessing over it... taking it too Seriously... or have it Change who I am at my Core... Yes, it's Okay to... and so I DO! *Winks*


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl