My little nephew Ben was walking home from school and found this little broken piece of tile.  He said to his mom, “it looks like underwear.”

I love that Ben sees the world in such a creative way.   I love that he looks for and finds junky things that he views as treasures. I love his way of exploring the world, and when I’m with him, there is always an opportunity to flex my creative muscle.

I’m still on my creative quest as part of my Year Ahead/Year in Review work.  Last year was ‘Art Every Day Every Way‘ and this year and began 2012 with a commitment to explore and then focus on a new medium or art form every month.

This past month, my focus was on fabric. On my March travels I discovered a new junk store, called The Legacy, that sells lots of great junk including scraps of fabric and a whole wall of elaborate trims. I also found a video on Youtube demonstrating needle felting. I also bought fabric to re- upholster my dining room chairs. My sister-in-law, who makes beautiful quilts, built an entire studio where she will be teaching quilting classes – she always inspires me with her energy and creativity. We must be on the same creative wavelength, she sent me a picture of cool needle felted handbags – without knowing that was exactly the project I was working on.

I love having a focus for my creative projects each month. It doesn’t mean I don’t do other art projects, like my favorite art form of collage, but having a focus keeps me flexible. I make an effort to discover something new and possibly fall in love with it.

What have you fallen in love with lately?


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First off – I love this logo. I pretend it stands for ‘Pat’, but it really is the logo for Pinterest,  a new and super rapidly growing social network tool. To read a comprehensive description, here’s how it works –

But for the quick version: Pinterest allows users to visually share and discover new interests by posting (‘pinning’) images to their or others boards, or collection of  themed pins. What makes this different from Twitter or Facebook is that it is focused on a person’s lifestyle, what are about and their interests. (hence Pinterest)  In this way, you can share your tastes and interests to discover others with the same. Pinterest’s goal is to  “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”   Now that is some lofty goal.

The thing is – it’s fun (although I keep reading how addicting it is) and if you are a business, it is a great marketing tool.  I know, I know – it’s one more thing to think about – but it is worth your while to check it out.

Here are some things you can do on Pinterest –

Get ideas. Organize images. Build a brand. Engage with like minded people. Display your art. Get inspired.  Show case your portfolio. Promote places. Bookmark favorite sites.  Share on Facebook. Tell a story. Educate. Have fun.

To get an idea how it looks, check out the Pinterest pages for:

Scholastic, Nordstroms, Whole Foods and Real Simple.

I’ve been working on one for Mark’s biz, Spiritus Financial, and here’s mine!



A Gracious Way to Shop

by Pat Chiappa January 25, 2012

Tweet       The National Peace Corps Association is celebrating it’s 50th birthday and a friend of mine whose service took her to India, recently went to Washington, DC  for one of the many celebrations they were hosting.  There she connected with Peace Corps friends and her roommate who she lived with for almost […]

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Welcome 2012!

by Pat Chiappa December 30, 2011

Tweet We’re getting ready for our favorite weekend of the year! Tomorrow starts our Year in Review, followed by Year Ahead on Jan 1 and we are ready to go with a year’s worth of pictures, our journal with all our goals and lists, many, many notes from 2011 and of course our food and […]

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I’m Talking ‘Bout Gratitude

by Pat Chiappa December 1, 2011

Tweet   Gratitude. Particularly this time of year, you hear the word ‘gratitude’ often. We all use it, advertisers and us regular folk alike – and we mean it, really we do. Yet, like so often happens, words can get diluted and lose some of their meaning. Or they are spoken out of, dare I […]

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Year Ahead Planning and Budgeting Starts Now

by Pat Chiappa November 8, 2011

Tweet Mark and I generally check in every few months to see where we are on our goals.  I  know it sounds like serious business, and it is, but we always turn it into a party.  Our check-in generally take place outside on a chaise, or the beach, or inside by the fireplace and it […]

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Ivan Stevens Four Years Later

by Pat Chiappa October 11, 2011

Tweet I live in one of the many ‘foodie’ areas of the country, Sonoma County, CA.   I frequent farmers markets and have friends who raise chickens, keep small gardens and share the fruits of their labors.  We have some of the best restaurants in the country within minutes of our homes.  I love to […]

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Getting on Island Thyme

by Pat Chiappa September 16, 2011

Tweet One of my major goals is to live on Orcas Island for part of the year. After returning from a beautiful week, my goal is more clear than ever.  In my book Year Ahead Year in Review, I talk about how to dream big and plan smart so you can live well.  I know […]

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My First Piece of Music

by Pat Chiappa August 30, 2011

Tweet On a recent vacation with relatives, I asked a few people what their very first record was – yes, the gang I was with would have bought records and not CD’s – either 45’s or LP’s.  Mine was “The Doors“, their debut LP released in 1967. My older brother, who had what I considered […]

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It’s All Relative

by Pat Chiappa August 10, 2011

Tweet I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I’m really good at budgeting. I like working with numbers, setting goals, sticking to it and then seeing results. In my book, Year Ahead Year in Review, I share ways to handle paying for things you want to buy, like calculating your ‘real’ hourly […]

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