Sunday whispers – Word of the year

Sunday whispers – Word of the year

First of all I want to wish you a wonderful and happy New Year. The least I can do, when I already missed wishing you a Merry Christmas.

The last weeks I spent rather quiet. Which felt so great! But the next time-out will be a little more planned and prepared so that you do not think I just have all forgotten about my newsletter, blog and shop. ;-)

How did you start the new year? With a big party? Or more quietly? Do you have many plans for 2014? Did you come up with New year resolutions?
Over the last years I have done what many do. I picked a bunch of resolutions that I wanted to work on. And then I had all forgotten about them by about February. At some point I decided that resolutions are just not for me. ;-)
But last year I tried something new and was actually pretty surprised how well that worked. I had picked a word for the year. Last year my word was „simplify“. And I actually did simplify all over the year. And in different aspects of my life. Honstely, I would have never thougth that one simple word can be so powerful!

Thrilled by my success I chose a word for this year. BRAVE. And just to make sure that I do not forget – I made myself a little reminder. ;-) Every time I look at the picture I am reminded to be more brave.

Mixed media "Brave" by Ursula Markgraf

Do you have a word for 2014? If yes, would you tell me which one?  

 
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

Sunday whispers – Advent

Sunday whispers – Advent
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 
 

Today is the 1st of Advent. I LOVE Advent. Yes, I wrote it deliberately like this. Not “I love Christmas”. I love Advent. I love this time of waiting, hoping, looking forward to …

During the last years however, for our family Advent has turned more and more into a race. Somehow the more kids you have the more demands are placed upon you during Advent time. It is incredible how many appointments or dates even kids suddenly have!
After all, Advent lasts about 4 weeks. :-) And if you try to stuff as much as possible into those 4 weeks – at some point it is just TOO much. Even if baking cookies, crafting, reading, decorating, puppet theatre, going to the Christmas market, Christmas parties and all such things are fun, when you are only running from one event to the next, then the whole point of Advent is lost. 

Therefore I try each year to say “no” more often, but also to celebrate Advent with little things. Cause if you really enjoy and savor the little things, then they are actually not less than the big things.

Weihnachten/ Christmas - mixed media - by Ursula Markgraf

The art pieces shown above are Christmas mini-canvases and read “God became human” in German.

So today I would like to inspire you to think about how you want to celebrate Advent this year. What is important to you?

For me the most important things are:
-baking cookies with my kids
-reading Christmas stories and Christmas books
-putting up the manger
having an Advent wreath – or at least 4 candles ;-)

What I want to “let go”:
-decorating the whole house
-handmaking gifts for everyone
-taking part in all Christmas activities or events
-having a wide selection of homemade cookies available, at all times
-crafting all the fun things that I find on Pinterest ;-)

And now it’s your turn:

What are things that are important to you in Advent? What are things you want to let go off or want to do less? 

 

Sunday whispers – Don’t be afraid

Sunday whispers – Don’t be afraid
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 
 

This is a post I kinda wrote for myself. :-) But I think it does affect everyone at times … so maybe it will help you.

Do you know the feeling when you start something new? The fear, that kinda creeps up and boycotts what you are doing?
Last summer I had a moment when I realized how much I actually do – or do not do – out of fear. And back then I promised myself to stop listening to that fear. That is not easy. At all. Often fear creeps up silently – with a bunch of arguments in stow. There are times when fear sounds so reasonable that one does not recognize it as fear at all. In those times it is good to have friends that tell you “Hey, you are just afraid”. And this is exactly what happened to me today.

What am I afraid of? To show the things that I made in my studio during the last weeks. No buttons – but pictures. Yes, I have shown some of my art before. But those were always pictures that I had not made for selling. Somehow to show those was easier. (Not easy, but easier.) But today – without prior announcement or a big party – the premier on my website: my first mixed-media art piece that is for sale (Sold).

Fürchte Dich nicht/ Do not be afraid - mixed media art - by Ursula Markgraf

It is inspired by Christmas. The words read “Do not be afraid” in German. It is what the angels say in the Christmas story.
To me personally Christmas is quite important. Not the kind of Christmas that happens in the stores and shops, but the “actual” Christmas.

But I think that even without Christmas the message of the picture – or of the angels  – is important. Do not be afraid. Trust. Yes, that is not easy. At least not for me. But each time I do overcome my fear, I learn how much it is worth.

So today I want to inspire to think about where fear sneaks up in your life? What do you do – or do you not do – out of fear? And what would you do if you did not have your fear?

I am really looking forward to your comments … and am off having a cup of strong tea. To calm down … ;-)

 
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Sunday whispers – Dream, dare, drink tea!

Sunday whispers – Dream, dare, drink tea!
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 

It is gorgeous weather here today. So I thought a piece of art and a little thought-provoking impulse should be enough. :-)

Dream, dare, drink tea - mixed media art by Ursula Markgraf
 

I made the picture already a while ago. And it actually was more an experiment than anything else. But it was so much fun! And in my opinion the message on it can not be repeated enough. 
It does not have to be the BIG dreams all the time. (But it can, of course.) And it does not have to be the huge daring things you do. You can dare in small ways. Every day. And it will change your life!

What are you dreaming of today? How will you dare?

I am off to have a cup of tea … ;-)

 
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Sunday whispers – What makes your heart sing?

Sunday whispers – What makes your heart sing?
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.

 

One thing that makes me really happy is knitting. – Yep, today I was in knitting mood. Next week there will be mixed-media again. ;-) – I really knit very slowly. A pair of socks or legwarmers will easily take me a couple weeks or months. But still, I enjoy it immensely. It really helps me to calm down. It is almost like meditation. Added bonus being you end up with a pair of legwarmers. :-)

Knitted legwarmers and handmade button by Ursula Markgraf

I made these legwarmers with a pattern called Heartwarmers  by Girly Knits. It took me quite some time to finish them – but now they are finally done. And I am totally happy with them.

Knitted legwarmers and handmade button by Ursula Markgraf

Especially since I managed to actually knit those hearts. I have to admit that I am quite proud of that achievement. :-) I only had learned how to do cables just before so to me that was quite astonishing.

Knitted legwarmers and handmade button by Ursula Markgraf

The fact that my handmade grey faux knit heart buttons fit perfectly to the legwarmers was a coincidence – but that makes me even more happy. :-)

What makes your heart sing?

 
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Sunday whispers – Celebrate life

Sunday whispers – Celebrate life

 every day.

I made this card for a swap organized by Beth from „Do what you love“ with the theme „Celebrate“. 

Celebrate life every day - mixed media art - by Ursula Markgraf

In my opinion each and every day should be celebrated. It does not have to be a huge party. ;-) But celebrating with little things … like a cup of tea, fresh bread, a juicy apple, or a cupcake. :-) 

What do you celebrate today?

 

Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.
 
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Sunday whispers – You are beautiful

Sunday whispers – You are beautiful
Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.

 

Do you think that is a strange title? If yes, why? You ARE beautiful.

ursula-markgraf-mixed-media-you-are-beautiful_MG_1208

Today I want to inspire you to explore your own beauty. We are bombarded daily with so many messages that are trying to tell us what we are supposed to look like and what beauty is. Yes, we do know that models are photoshoped and not perfect either. But do we think about our own beauty differently because of that? Do we find ourselves more beautiful because we know that noone is perfect?

If you had to name three things that you find truly beautiful about yourself – what would you say? Would it be easy to come up with three things? Or would you have to think about it alot?

A while ago I had to name three things that I find beautiful about myself and I was quite shocked how hard it was for me. It made me sad how much I struggled with this.

Therefore todays Sunday Whispers is dedicated to your beauty! Find it, enjoy it and make yourself at least one compliment!

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Sunday whispers – Be creative

Sunday whispers – Be creative

Today I only have a short post for you. After I hit “publish” I will go into my studio and play with my paints. Can not wait. :-)

Oh, and my kids will probably join me so there is a considerable chance that it will get messy … *laugh*

Be creative now - by Ursula Markgraf

So I challenge you to do the same. Not necessarily with paints – unless you want to :-) – but be creative in whichever way you like. Sew, draw, write a poem, bake a cake … create something and feel how amazing it is to create. 

Oh, and let me know what you are creating. I will be working on some painted boxes for my craft fair display.

What will you be creating?

Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.

 
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Sunday whispers – Listen to your heart

Sunday whispers – Listen to your heart

Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.

 

When was the last time you listened to your heart?

What are your deepest wishes?

What are the things you ache to do, make, have, experience, learn?

Do you allow yourself to go for them?

Listening to your heart by Ursula Markgraf

I love Martha Beck. She is AWESOME. Seriously, read everything from her you can get your hands on. If you are open to it it will change your life.

Anyway, one of the concepts of her work is that our deepest wishes will guide us to the things that will fulfill us and let us live our best life. To me that was quite a concept. After all, isn’t fulfilling your own wishes kinda selfish and egoistic?

When I first came across this concept I admit I was reluctant. Also I realized – somewhat shocked – that I had no idea (anymore) what I really wished for. 

But the more I listened to my heart the more dreams bubbled up. And … the crazy thing … the more I acted and act on them – even in just very tiny ways – the more they seem to „guide“ me to something bigger. 

 

So, I invite you to take a bit of time for yourself today and think about what you deeply wish for.

If you like write about it or make some art. Or just sit and think and dream. And of course I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. :-)

 
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Sunday whispers – Kisses from nature

Sunday whispers – Kisses from nature

I love fall. So much. I can not tell you why. There are many things about it that I love – the colored leaves, rustling through them when going for a walk, plum cake, the cooler weather, rain … There are many things that I could point out, but in the end – those are all not the reason. I have no idea but fall makes me feel alive. Fall is just “my” season. I have no idea whether this has to do with the fact that I was born in fall or whether this is just a coincidence. But I love it. 

Kisses from nature by Ursula Markgraf

When I made this painting I was thinking of fall, of falling leaves,  of thick scarfs, of the crisp and fresh air. Whenever I am outside I somehow feel better, I feel whole. It is the weirdest thing but it works everytime.

So today I invite you to spend some time outside. Go for a walk. Sit in your garden. Hug a tree. ;-) Get your kisses from nature.

And if you like come back and tell me how it made you feel.

 

Sunday whispers is a little series. My goal is to post something shortish but inspiring for you each Sunday – hopefully together with some art – so that you have a little incentive to slow down, reflect and think. I know how crazy weeks can be, but after all, it is Sunday. :-) Enjoy and let me know what you think. You can find the other Sunday whisper posts HERE.

 
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