Monday Blues with the Moon Goddess

Since today is a holiday in the USA, I replaced my usual Monday blues with some other blues.

“Painted Snail”

Christine B. sent this cool painted snail postcard with well wishes for the start of the academic year. She found the card at Snailmailcool, which is all about “old school” mail–“putting it in a mailbox…so the recipient can open it, read it, save it…treasure it.”

“Swimming with Dolphins,” Mixed Media Mandala by Judi Rose

Do you see the tiny dolphins in the center of the mandala? They swam all the way from Albany, Western Australia, thanks to Nyima. Since we met, Nyima and I have noted the synchronicity of our encounters.  Even our names are synchronous–her name, given to her by a Tibetan lama while on a spiritual journey, means sun; mine means moon. It was not so surprising, then, that I received her soothing blue dolphins the same day I received Christine’s blue snail.

She addressed me as “Moon Goddess” in the card and expressed wishes for “much joy, love, and happiness–today and every day.”

Nyima creates stunning mandalas, under the name Judi Rose Art. You can see more of her art via Facebook and Instagram.

“Autumn Blues” by Tara Kamiya

Of course, this Monday holiday required taking a little quiet time, gazing out of my home office window, watching the butterflies play, and updating my everyday ARC for autumn. My friend Cy gifted this divider and matching stickers to me last autumn. She purchased them from Tara Kamiya who designs and sells planner goodies.

Since it wouldn’t be a proper bluesy Monday without music, I leave you with some music for Tuesday–in case the other kind of blues are deferred till you return to work tomorrow:

Have a cool blue day!

Up on the Roof in France with “The Drifters”

On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below don’t bother me.

I’ve been singing The Drifter’s 1962 major hit, “Up on the Roof” for weeks now.  I can’t get it out of my head! Why this random singing of a song that was written before I was born? The culprit is this postcard sent to me for a Liberate Your Art side swap:

“Rooftop in Apremont-sur-Allier” by Louise Mamet

The rooftop photo was captured by my blog pal Louise of Drops of Everything.  Louise has such a unique perspective. I always enjoy her postcards and her blog.

This particular photo features the rooftop of an old home in the “adorable village” of Apremont-sur-Allier in France.  I am really interested in architecture–I especially enjoy studying the similarities of architecture in different areas of the world–so this was the perfect selection for me.

Louise sent her postcard in an envelope and included a splendid postcard advertising an exhibit at the Grand Pressigny–La Femme dans la Préhistoire  [Women in Prehistory]–a subject right up my alley.  Now, I just have to figure out how to get to France by the end of November.  😉

La Femme dans la Préhistoire

She also included one of her business cards which is so perfect I can’t resist sharing it here.

Photo by Louise Mamet

You can find more of Louise’s photography on her blog: Drops of Everything and on Facebook.

Louise prefers postcards in envelopes, so when I sent a postcard to her I included a postcard reproduction of artist/illustrator/graphic novelist Eric Drooker’s  “On the Roof” to prolong our visual conversation.

“On the Roof” by Eric Drooker

Up on the roof, up on a roof
Everything is alright, everything is alright

I didn’t realize when I sent the photo that I’d be introducing Louise to a new artist, so that was a bonus.  And your bonus–the perfect song to end the week.  Take a listen.

Maybe, you’ll be singing “Up on the Roof” too!

Guest Post: “My New Song” by Takiyah Franklin/Takiyah Suhail

Today’s post was written by Takiyah Franklin/Takiyah Suhail, whom I usually refer to as “My Tk.” Takiyah is a former student, mentee, and research assistant with whom I’ve always shared a spiritual kinship.  During her undergraduate years we ministered together–she through song, I through biblical teachings.  Over the 10+ years since she graduated, our relationship has evolved and I consider her a spiritual sister.  In January, I posted about Takiyah’s single, “My New Song.”  Today, Takiyah, talks about the song, shares the recently released video, a little about herself, her music, and her faith journey.

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Takiyah Suhail aka Takiyah Franklin

Takiyah Suhail aka Takiyah Franklin.  Photo Credit: Denna Bendall

I am excited to introduce myself and share “My New Song,” my recent single release. I am a singer/songwriter from Oakland, California and I have the pleasure of working with Rev. Andriette Earl, the founding minister of an amazing spiritual community, Heart and Soul Center of Light, a world-class teaching and empowerment ministry located in Oakland, CA.

Theologian Howard Thurman’s essay entitled “I Will Sing a New Song” inspired Rev. Earl and Erika Luckett, a renowned Emmy Award winning singer/songwriter, to write “My New Song.”

Here’s an excerpt from Thurman’s essay:

The old song of my spirit has wearied itself out. It has long ago been learned by heart so that now it repeats itself over and over, bringing no added joy to my days or lift to my spirit. It is a good song, measured to a rhythm to which I am bound by ties of habit and timidity of mind. The words belong to old experiences which once sprang fresh as water from a mountain crevice fed by melting snows. But my life has passed beyond to other levels where the old songs are meaningless. I demand of the old song that it meet the need of present urgencies. Also, I know that the work of the old song, perfect in its place, is not for the new demand!

I am blessed to have been chosen to deliver such an incredible life-shifting and affirmative song.

You can listen to “My New Song” and/or watch the music video on my website, Takiyah. Feel free to post the YouTube link for the music video everywhere:  (https://youtu.be/m-hK_kvP010).  The song is also available for purchase on all digital distribution music outlets: Search Takiyah “My New Song.”

I am a radical advocate of the transformative power of Love and it is my intention to use my music to encourage the conscious spiritual practice of being a Love Light. When I allowed the healing, transformative power of God’s Love to lead, guide, and direct my life, everything outside of Love steadily faded away. This is not an easy practice: it is radical and requires a lot of internal work.

I invite you to listen to my latest EP, Unfolding I Affirma brief collection of songs born out of breakthroughs of practicing faith through my life’s most difficult times. In my lowest points of being alone and raising three beautiful children, my faith in the Highest Power guided me to perfect Peace.  I’m learning how to live a life filled with joy, love, and peace in the midst of mental and emotional challenges. I want to share my journey with you.

You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @blackstarworld.

Love and Peace…

Reign Supreme!

October's Mail Bag

October’s Mail Bag:  Coming Soon

I know! I know!  I’ve been M-I-A.  I’m sorry!  I couldn’t help it.  October decided to change places with April and become the cruelest month. And November hasn’t been too kind either.  I’ve been plain ol’ swamped—sinking, drowning in work, work, work!  September was busy, but kind.  I had time to journal daily, blog (okay, once!), roam around with my camera, and even start some new ventures.  I thought I’d gained some balance.  I was hoodwinked! Bamboozled!

Despite my unplanned blogging hiatus, my mailbox was very, very busy in October. The postcards, letters, and pretty things were indeed light in my dark, work-filled world.

Well enough!  I reclaim space in my life for blogging—yes, on the same unpredictable schedule.  I will play a little “catch-up,” so maybe I’ll be (some form of) consistent over the next few weeks.

Today, I share a postcard sent late September by my covered bridge-loving friend Lindy who’s on her own exploration of the bridges of Indiana a la Robert James Waller’s The Bridges of Madison Countywithout the illicit love affair.   She sent not a covered bridge postcard but one of my favorite throwback all-girl singing groups.

The Supremes

The Supremes

Aren’t they “supreme?”

Some of my earliest and fondest childhood memories are of Sunday morning listening sessions managed by my father who introduced his ten children to all kinds of contemporary and classic music.  I’m pretty sure our deep appreciation for music stems from our Sunday mornings.

I learned to love music on Sunday mornings and I also learned to dream.  (Music is truly my first love–abandoned for other pursuits).  I imagined myself pouring out my soul to a sold-out adoring audience peopled by individuals who would fall out and go crazy when the first note reverberated through the auditorium.  “Diana Ross and The Supremes” were among my favorite.  I could sing any of their songs like a pro.  I was Diana Ross rocking a brush, comb, broomstick or some other household object as my microphone.   It helped that I had a houseful of brothers and sisters.  I always found someone to sing along with me or someone willing to sing backup.

“The Supremes” reigned in the 1960’s and were the first “all-girl” group to successfully cross racial and cultural barriers and repeatedly top the charts.  Some say they even rivaled “The Beatles” in popularity.

It’s Sunday.  I think I’ll rock “The Supremes”  while I clean and get prepared for the week.

I Did It!

I made it!  I completed the “Month of Letters 2013” challenge today with a postcard to a friend and colleague in Louisiana.  LV is a lawyer and an English professor. She has achieved much, but I admire her most for the three wonderful, accomplished, God-honoring sons she and her husband have given to the world!  Here’s the postcard I sent her:

Edith Spurlock Sampson (1901-1979), by Betsy Graves Reyneau  (1888-1964)Oil on canvas, 1953

Edith Spurlock Sampson (1901-1979), by Betsy Graves Reyneau (1888-1964)
Oil on canvas, 1953

Edith Spurlock Sampson was a lawyer and judge.  She was the first African American named to the permanent United States delegation to the United Nations (in 1950).  While working at the UN, Sampson went on several international lecture tours and held membership on the U.S. delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).   In 1962, at the age of 61, Sampson was elected a judge on the Chicago Municipal Court.  With that election she became the first African American woman in the United States elevated to the bench by popular vote.  Edith Spurlock Sampson retired from the bench in 1978 and died one year later in Chicago.

LV loves law and history and I know she will be thrilled to receive this postcard!

Yesterday, I finally sent a postcard from my Postcard 2013 Desk Calendar to my friend Lindy in Indianapolis.  The calendar is really neat.  There’s a beautifully designed postcard for each weekly strip (53 postcards).  At the end of the week, I perforate the calendar strip, and voila!  I have a postcard to send, complete with the address lines and a postage box on the back. The calendar sits in an attractive framed box.  This is the best calendar investment I’ve made yet!  🙂  Postcards make Lindy really happy, so she’ll be pleased to see this surprise in her mailbox:

From the Postcard 2013 Desk Calendar

From the Postcard 2013 Desk Calendar

If you’re interested, you can purchase the calendar at Calendar.Com.

I  wrote a few letters this week, sent cards, music, poetry and stickers to friends (and their kids).  I received a second letter this month from Tk, my awesome former research assistant.  She sent a nice long letter and photos of her beautiful family.  Her five-year-old daughter even enclosed a letter for my six-year-old.  Oh, happy day for him!  Tk is an amazing singer/songwriter with a powerful voice. You can check out some of her music here (HerStory) and here (Mellow Love).

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I thoroughly enjoyed the “Month of Letters.”  I don’t always have time to write lengthy missives, but it is a pleasure I would love to indulge more frequently.  There’s something about the “look” and “feel” of words on a page.  I enjoy musing and thinking about life in writing.  Letters are also journals, records of our lives, our hopes, thoughts, dreams.  Every purple moon or so, I run across my boxes of letters and piece together parts of my life based on letters written to me.  I find myself engrossed for hours.  Now, if only I could get more of my friends to WRITE BACK!

I was a bit obsessive about vintage writing and reading instruments this month, so I “designed” a very simple stationery set for my February letters.  I used a typewriter image from Books, Reading and Writing Illustrations, a Dover publication with 347 different copyright-free designs. The book comes with a CD for Macintosh and Windows that includes EVERY image from the book.  The stationery looks beautiful on parchment or any lightly textured paper–with a font that resembles that of an old fashioned typewriter.  If you’re interested in the stationery, here it is.  Click the  link to download.

Vintage Typewriter Stationery

While you’re downloading, you might also like this Victorian Rose stationery I designed almost two years ago using elements from Victorian Rose Spring Fresh, designed by Vicki Pasterik of Heritage Scrap.  Heritage Scrap has beautiful kits.  This stationery also looks great on textured paper–with burgundy or maroon ink!  Click the link to download.

Victorian Letter Stationery

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Use them freely.  Find a quiet place and write (or type) a few letters this weekend!