Postcard swap 2015 – sign-up NOW!!!

Postcard swap 2015 – sign-up NOW!!!

Do you love receiving snailmail? To me a sweet postcard is like a little miraculous gift … it brightens my day, puts a smile on my face and just makes me happy. If you feel similarly, then the postcard swap is just the thing for you.
The postcard swap last year was so incredibly fun, that it was clear to me that I had to do it again. So, here’s the 2nd round. Can’t wait!!!

Postcard swap Ursula MarkgrafThis is how it will work:

Each participant sends  me (in Germany!) an envelope with:
THREE selfmade postcards with a little message on the back
(you choose whether you’d like to include your return address or not)
FOUR sticky address labels with YOUR postal address on it
(please write it so that it is okay for international delivery)

You will also have to send 3,70€ to my paypal-account for postage stamps (details will be in the email after you sign up).

One postage stamp for international postcards costs 0,80€ here in Germany. From your money I will buy four so I can send four postcards to you. Yes, the money is slightly more than 4 x 0,80€ – you’re a smart cookie! ;-) The difference is to account for the paypal fees that I will have to pay when you put money into my account (1,9% + 0,35€ per transaction).
I’m just explaining it, so you can see – your money is only going toward the postage stamps for your postcards. I’m not earning anything on this. :-)

(If you are living IN Germany, just put 4 postcard stamps in the envelope.)

After I receive all those postcards and the money/ stamps I will SWAP all those cards and add a card of my own on top. So I will be mailing out four postcards from four different people to each participant. This way I can make sure, everyone who did send postcards also gets postcards. :-)
Of course I can’t account for the mail service loosing mail, which does happen. However , I think that it’s VERY unlikely that the mail service would loose all four postcards that go to one person! ;-)

Postcard swap Ursula Markgraf

So, how does that sound? Interested?

If you wanna participate in the postcard swap you have to SIGN UP until the the 30th of July, 2015 – which is WORLDPOSTCARD DAY. Nice timing, ey. ;-)

To sign up all you have to do is click below and sign into that mailing list and and you will get all further information via email. Don’t forget to confirm the link in the confirmation email!

With signing in you will be put onto my regular bi-weekly newsletter list after the swap. However, if you do not enjoy my emails you can always unsubscribe after the postcard swap is over.

If you are already on my list, please sign up again as I will send the swap information only to this specific list. :-)

Postkartentausch Ursula Markgraf 2015

Here are all the important dates:

– SIGN-UP for postcard swap until the 30th of July, 2015
– envelopes and postage money via paypal have to reach me until the 30th of August, 2015
– all postcards will be send out again until the 15th of September, 2015

So during September you can be looking forward to receiving four different postcards!

Ready to sign up?

Sorry, sign-up is closed. The next swap will probably be held in summer 2016. Sign up to my newsletter, to not miss it. :-)

Postkartentausch Ursula Markgraf 2015

What is success for you?

What is success for you?

Success. Such a strange concept.
We all strive for it, don’t we. Often we work our ass off to get it. But once “there” we often realize – “Hey, this does not really feel as awesome as I thought.”
Ever had this happen to you?

To me that used to happen ALOT until I started my own business. At that point I figured that I must have my defintion of success wrong.

Yes, you get to define what success means to you.
There is no one-size-fits-all defintion! (Even though some people want you to believe just that.)

Working for myself made me really think about what success means to me. Very hard.
And even though I think that in a way I always knew what matters to me most, for the first time I really put it into clear words. For myself. And it was incredible how much that helped and changed my perspective on things.

I live my dream - affirmation - Ursula Markgraf

You can download this image and more as free affirmation cards HERE.

Cause once I had put it into words, I realized that I actually AM living my dream in many ways already.
Which is kinda hard to realize if you are busy comparing yourself to others and measuring yourself on their definition of success. ;-)
And it also helped me get alot more clear on what to do and what not to do in my life and in my business.

To me success means that I can live my life my way.

It means I can work WHERE I want to, WHEN I want to and of course I also choose WHAT work I want to do.

To me success means that I can live my life according to my priorities.
That I can put those things first that mean the most to me (my kids!).
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my work! But I still want to plan my work around my life – not my life around my work!

Success also means to me that I can make a difference. For one person at a time!
When someone tells me that what I do made a difference to them – best feeling ever.

So, what does success mean to you? Let me know in the comments!

 

Free affirmation cards for you! (free pdf-download)

Affirmations about selfcare - free to download - by Ursula Markgraf

So, I finally have a new goodie for you. How is that?

I created a new sheet of affirmation cards around the topic of self-care.

You can download them for free HERE.

(Just right-click on the sentence or on the image below and use save-as.) Then you can print the pdf and use it.

Affirmations about selfcare - free to download - by Ursula Markgraf

And if you are new to my site and love the free affirmation printable, you can download another one HERE.

Like them? Please consider sharing! You would make the day of an artist SO much brighter! No kidding. To make it easier you can use this tweet(Just click on it, change the text if you like and tweet.)

Or just use the share buttons below or on the side of this post. THANKS so much! *big hug*

Wishing you a wonderful day and hope these affirmation cards are helpful to you.

Let me know in the comments!

 

Dance in the moonlight

Dance in the moonlight

The last couple days I have been working on my first ever video about my little German book I had created.

(Or rather had my husband working on it and was trying to be super helpful by commenting on everything that I did not like yet.)

But … as you are probably not too interested in a German book  – or video about it ;-) – I was thinking what could I share with you. And one of my fav quotes came to mind.

(I hope I’m not the only one seemingly addicted to quotes!)

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

Oprah Winfrey [click to tweet]

Love that quote as much as I do? Click on it to tweet it!

Dance in the moonlight - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

 Mixed-media art print “Moonlight” – SOLD OUT

You know, quotes are awesome. But in the end they are just beautiful words …. if we do not act upon them.

So go on, celebrate your life! Today! :-)

And don’t forget to dance in the moonlight. ;-)

P.S. The next video that I create will be a workshop video … so stay tuned if you are keen on videos. ;-) Might take me a bit … but it will happen! That’s a promise. :-)

 

What you should definitely do today

Meine kleine Reise zu mir. 10 Schritte zu mehr Selbstachtsamkeit - von Ursula Markgraf

This is a little reminder to up your selfcare. :-)

Over the last weeks I was working on a project where I had to think about selfcare ALOT.

I just published a little booklet in German that’s all about selfcare. If you do read German or are just curious, you can take a peek HERE.

selbstachtsamkeit-ursula-markgraf_cover

But the thing is, as the deadline drew closer and there was still so much to be done … what did I drop first? Even though I was reading, writing and thinking about it all the time? Of course. My selfcare. And what happened?
I did not feel good, I got even a bit sick, and my mood was of course nowhere near where it should be. I did not enjoy life, bitched at my husband and kids, and simply did not feel like my usual self. (I really hate that feeling.)

“Tree” – available as postcard HERE :-)

Lesson?

There is no right time for selfcare. It is ALWAYS time for selfcare. Selfcare is not the luxury you add on top of a good day.

Selfcare is the underlying foundation of everything else.

Yes, I know. I probably will have to re-learn this lesson over and over and over again. Cause even though I know by now how important selfcare is for me, my well-being and ultimatley everyone around me – I still forget.

I still work too much or too late. Or both.

I still eat in a rush cause I want to finish something for work and did not take the time for lunch that I should.

I still skip my yoga or meditation when I think I’m short on time.

I still try to “push through” when there is alot to do.

Yesterday I stopped. Even though I had a gazillion things to do – I took a break – or rather – I slowed down. I meditated first thing in the morning, I ate my lunch outside in the yard on the swing, I read a chapter in my fav book on my way to pick up my son instead of doing work on the train … and you know what? Yes, I did not get everything done that I wanted to.

BUT – noone died! Everything is still fine. AND when I went to bed in the evening I actually felt good. Not completely exhausted and edgy and irritable. But good.

So, this is my gentle reminder for you to take better care of yourself today. TODAY!

What will you do? Tell me in the comments?

Will you drink an extra glass of water? Sit for 10 minutes in the sun? Or just stop working early? Can not wait to read your comments!

“Play time” every day? That’s how I do it.

“Play time” every day? That’s how I do it.

First of all, what IS play time.

It is rather simple as the name suggests it is all about PLAY. Your only goal is PLAYING. Nothing else. The product or result should not be important. You should just enjoy the process!

Do you have "play time" every day?

I believe play time is important for everyone, even – or especially – creative professionals. Spending all day producing creative things can leave you kinda pumped out. You do need to recharge your creativity and just play. Also, it simply is a very good way to care for yourself and make yourself feel good.

I actually developed a list of different things that I do for play time and depending on how much time I have that day I choose one of these. More than a year ago I wrote a guestpost for April from Blacksburg Belle where I shared that list. I totally intended to share it here as well … but I forgot. :-( During the last weeks I was working on a project about selfcare which reminded me of the importance of play time AND … my guestpost. So, if you wanna see what my play time looks like – here it is *tadaaa*:

Why you need play time and ideas how to fill it

Leave April a nice comment while you over there. And once you are back here …

I’d love to know what are your favourite ways to fill your play time?

If you had a wish …

If you had a wish …

what would you want from me?

Lately I am thinking about creating a new freebie for the secret page. But … well, there is a “little” problem. If you do know me a bit you might guess it. I am having WAY TOO MANY ideas what I could create for you. So I was listing them down and trying to decide what I should do. But, as much as I love coming up with gazillion ideas, I hate making decisions. I am THE worst decision maker EVER.

So I figured, hey, I am creating this for YOU! So, why not ask you what you would like?!

"Dream" - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Art print “Dream” available  HERE

So if you had one wish, what would you want me to create for you?

Here are some ideas to get you started. But if nothing from these ideas sounds like “IT” to you, feel free to add your own ideas in the comments. :-)

1. More printable affirmation cards so you have a larger variety to choose from.

2. An online workshop that shows how to create your own affirmation cards using mixed-media techniques. So you end up with custom-made affirmation cards, paint-stained fingers and hours of fun! :-)

3. A free chapter from my upcoming ebook on how to live YOUR life. I am working on the German version right now, so this one would take a bit longer …

4.  A little online mixed-media workshop that get’s you creating. Something else but affirmation cards. ;-)

"Teapot house" - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

What would you like? This is your chance to make a wish. :-)

Can not wait to read what you would want!

 

Why do I create what I do?

Why do I create what I do?

Quite some time ago I took part in an artist bloghop, where one question I had to answer was: Why do I create what I do?

And to be honest, I get asked this question quite alot. In different versions. With “What is mixed media art?”  and “How did you end up doing this?” it is dfintely in the top 3 of questions I get asked.

Why do I create what I do?

So, why do I create what I do?

Because I want to change the world. Even if it is only for one person.
Because I believe that each person has to live their life THEIR way, in order to be happy.
Because I am certain that everybody can live their dream but we often simply forget our dreams or where discouraged in the past.
But figuring out what makes YOU happy is the only way to live a happy life. Which everyone deserves!

"Trust" -mixed-media art by Ursula Markgraf

I create in order to remind women of their dreams. I create to remind YOU of your dreams. I create mixed-media art pieces. I create sketches. I create books. I create postcards. And I am certain many more things will follow. I create because I love creating – it is what I just HAVE to do – and it helps me to tell women that their dreams are imporrtant. That it is important to listen to them. And that it is not selfish to follow them. That you need to find your own definition of success in order to be happy. And that it is possible to live your life according to your own beliefs.  I want to encourage you to take your life into your own hands. I want to inspire and empower you to follow your own dreams.

Just recently I started to re-write an ebook about how to create a wonderful year for yourself, which I had published in German in January. I wanted to make it better and put together a questionnaire so I could figure out what customers would like to see differently or would want improved. There also was a field for “Other feedback” and in one of them I read:

„Your workbook, dear Ursula, has given my life a new direction. I am now clear on what I want and what I do not want and I even created directions on how to get there. This is something that no money can buy and I am endlessly thankful to you.”

(This is my translation of it as the original feedback left was of course in German. But I tried to stick to the actual words as closely as I could.)

The questionnaire was filled out anonymusly, so I have no idea who wrote this. But while I had tears in my eyes when I read it I thought to myself – THIS is exactly why I do what I do!

So thanks to whoever wrote this – it made my day and showed me that what I do can make a difference. And I am endlessly thankful for knowing that!

"Hug" - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf

Now, I’d love to know – what do you do? And why do you do it?

Did you ever have such a moment, where it was just crystal clear to you WHY you are doing what you do?

Wanna know what you are?

Wanna know what you are?

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s day. But I do love to make people feel special. Putting a smile on someone’s face is just wonderful. Telling someone with a little something that you care. Showing someone that they are appreciated.

"Du bist ..." Postkarten-Kollektion von Ursula Markgraf

That is why I created my new postcard collection with some of my mixed-media art on them. To tell someone with a little card that they are loved. (The writing on the left side of the art piece reads “Du bist geliebt” which is “You are loved” in German.)

geliebt-ursula-markgraf-mixed-media

To remind them that they are worthy. (“Du bist wertvoll” in German.)

ursula-markgraf-du-bist-wertvoll-600-2

To make sure that they never forget that they are free. (“Du bist frei” in German.)

frei-ursula-markgraf-mixed-media

What do you think of my square postcards?

"Du bist ..." Postkarten-Kollektion von Ursula Markgraf

Of course you can see more pictures of the postcards in the SHOP. And as the postcards are brandnew they will be available for a reduced introduction price until the 21st of February, 2015.

Who would you want to send one to?