Sunday, April 24, 2016

P is for Praise

In my mind, Praise is to the soul, what a nutritious meal is to the body.  A simple expression of approval can go a long way, and it doesn't matter if a human being is 1 or 101 years old.  Of course, it has to be sincere and well deserved, or it will not be credible.  I can testify to the power of praise in my personal and professional life, as I've praised others, as well as when I've been praised.  I found an article by Victor Lipman at Psychology Today, where he provides four reasons why praise is necessary at the workplace.  However, I feel that they apply to any situation.  Here the are:

Happy Birthday, Walter!
Roben-Marie Smith Cardbase; K&Company Dimensional Seahorse Die; Tim Holtz Simple Sayings Stamp and Distress Pads; Ephemera; Ribbon Scrap; EK Success Mini-Tag Punch; Adhesive Foam Pad Squares; and Sharpie Micron Pen
The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #23 - Dimension
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #226-227
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Number 1, praising is cost effective.  Although bonuses are excellent motivators, they're not always plausible.  For example, as an educator, I know I won't get raises for my work, but it is very encouraging when students, parents, peers, and administrators praise my work with the students.

Tangled Horse Tile
Stradmore Artist Tile; Pigma Micron Pens; Mechanical Pencil; and Blending Stump
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Try It On Tuesday: Mood Board Challenge
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #360
Number 2, praising doesn't require much time or effort.  Telling someone, "great job" or "thank you," only takes a few seconds or a few minutes, if you elaborate.  For example, I may praise a student  about a paper he/she wrote by saying, "I like the way you drew an image in my mind through your choice of words."

Butterfly Etegami & Haiku
Yasutomo Sumi Ink; Winsor & Newton Watercolors; Liner & Round Paintbrushes; Uniball Air Pen; Hand carved Name Stamp; and Rubber Stampede Asian Symbols Stamp.
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 225
Etegami Fun Club
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 8 Year 6
Number 3, praising is a great way to improve a person's self-esteem.  People are much more productive when they feel good about themselves, than when feeling unappreciated.  For example, as a parent, I always make it a point to praise my daughters when I know they've worked hard to accomplish one of their goals.

My Favorite Café
iPhone 6S and Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World: OBW 144 ~ Café
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - P is for Praise
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
Finally, "when employees feel good, they work harder."  Positive morale raises the level of energy in people, and this can be attained by feeling valued.  For example, as a husband, I make it a point to complement my wife for everything she does for the benefit of our relationship… which is a lot!

Mother's Day Card
Brother's Scan'N Cut 2; Tim Holtz Tiny Things Stamp Set, Butterfly Tissue Tape, Distress Ink Pads, & Baroque Die; Prismacolor Colored Pencils; Assorted Paper Flowers; Vintage Buttons, Embroidery Floss, & Rick-rack; EK Success Corner Adorner Punch; Making Memories Stapler; Sharpie Micron Pen; DCWV Four Seasons Stack; and Paper Studio Gatefold Card.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Butterfly Beauty
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Make It Girly
Moo-Mania ~ Floral
As you can see, Lipman's reasoning on the importance of praise in the workplace applies to every aspect of our lives, as I pointed out through my examples.  Most importantly, let us not forget the words found in Psalm 148, "…praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven."  Blessings!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

O is for Ominous

We are living through some ominous times around the world.  If it's not a terrorist attack, a mass shooting, or other heinous act of violence, it is politicians (and their supporters) spreading bigotry and racism with their spiteful words.  I've even heard some people fearfully say that these are signs of the end of the world.

Orar (Pray) - Vignette
iPhone 6S Shot
Our Beautiful World: OBW 143 Books
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Denise & Roger ABC Wednesday - Letter O
I don't know what is causing all these evil acts, but I do believe that people need to stop and think about their words, thoughts and deeds, no matter what their beliefs are.

Nature's Bounty - Haiku
iPhone 6s Shot Edited on Pixelmator
Bella's 52 Photo Project - Gallery 50 {Lush}
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #224
Try It On Tuesday - Spring Mood Board
Kristina's Word Art Wednesday - Challenge #226-227
Haiku My Heart
It is incomprehensible though, since all major world religions, and even atheist and agnostics whom I've met, profess love and peace amongst humanity.

Secretary's Day Gifts - Hand Sanitizer Tag Holder
Tim Holtz Mini Vintage Fan Die & Tissue Tape; Fiskars AdvantEdge Punch, Corner Edger, & Handpunches; Assorted Cardstock; Unibal Air; Sharpies; Memory Makers Mini Stapler; Wire; Jute Twine; Aleene's Tacky Line Roll; and Mini Hand Sanitizer Bottle.
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - April Showers Bring May Flowers
Therefore, all this hatred is coming from humans hiding behind the guise of a "religion" or believe.  No pointing fingers either, because every group has been guilty at one point or another.

Gelli Print Papers; Hand Carved Stamp; Uniball Air; and Sharpies.
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #359
Kristin & Evas's Paint Party Friday - Week 7 Year 6 
I wish I had an immediate solution to end these ominous times.  I don't, but believe we could begin by following the global golden rule, "treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."  I also believe we all need to keep our faith in humanity that we can one day achieve world peace for the sake of our children and the world at large.  Anyway, thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment.  Peace - Paz - Shalom!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

M is for Mistakes

I have made, and will probably continue to make, a plethora of mistakes throughout my life.  Some mistakes were by pure accident, and the circumstances were beyond my control.  Some mistakes were due to foolishness, and were made because I was either in a hurry, not thinking, or not being cautious.  A few mistakes were made when I knew better, and proceeded anyway.  However, in all cases, I believe the most important thing is the way I handled them.

The Lord Is Your Strength (Hand Lettering & Doodling)
ZigCalligraphy Marker, Sharpies, and UniBall Air Pen on Mead Sketch Book
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - M is for Mistakes
Art Journal Journey - Inspired By A Song
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #357
Accidental mistakes are bound to happen.  Therefore, I believe it is a matter of standing back up, dusting myself off, and moving forward.  As the Bible says in Psalm 37:24, "Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand."

Be Renewed - Etegami For My Mom (Hand Painted and Lettered)
Sumi Ink, Winsor & Newton Watercolors, Ink Pads, Brushes, & Stamps
Anything But Cute #12 - Earth Day
Karen's Word Art Wednesday #224-#225
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 5 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday #223
I know foolish mistakes can always be prevented.  That is why I try to be cognizant of everything I do.  However, when I make them, I always remember what my parent told me as a child, "What did you learn from this?"

Happy Birthday (Hand Cut, Pieced, & Decorated Cake)
Martha Stewart Paper Borders; Paper Scraps; EK Success Flower & Corner Punches; Fiskars Paper Edgers & Gel Pens; Ink Pads; Mini Bowdabra; Assorted Ribbons, Including Glitter Organza Ribbon.
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Spring Break 2016 - Austin, TX
Smash Folio; Tim Holtz Matchbook die, Mini Star Die, Pinecone Die, & Travel Ways Stamp Set; Stampcraft Typewriter Stamp Set; K&Company Diecuts & Tissue Tape; and Uniball Air Pen.
Sketches In Thyme Project Life Style - Sketch #21 
Deliberate mistakes are harder to handle.  Honesty, repentance, and amends are always necessary.  As found in Proverbs 28:13, "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."

Instruments Of Peace
Nikon D3300 With Text Added On Pixelmator
Our Beautiful World - Compassion
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Rebecca's Haiku My Heart
In closing, I want to make a disclosure.  I believe mistakes can be beneficial.  Mistakes can help us grow, molding us to become better and wiser persons.  Mistakes, like those made during creative endeavors or the scientific process, can also lead to innovation.  Anyway, thank you for following my blog and for your thoughtful comments.  Most importantly, thank you for your friendships.  Blessings!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

L is for Laughter

I believe there is a lot of truth in the old saying, "Laughter is the best medicine."  I also believe that it helps you stay younger… at least in spirit.  According to WebMD, we experience physiological changes when we laugh.  We stretch facial and body muscles, our heart rate goes up, and we breathe faster, so we get more oxygen in our tissues and even burn some calories.  It is like getting a little aerobic workout - LOL!

The Turtles Resting
Etegami Watercolor
Moo-Mania and More - Spring
Recuerda Mí Corazón - Haiku My Heart
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 4 Year 6
I also read about a couple of studies on the benefits of laughter on a Huffington Post.  One of them found that laughter increased memory recall and lowered levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Other research found that laughter can also help protect against heart disease.

Easter Baskets For My Girls
Baskets, Photos, Paper Grass, Chocolates, & Handicrafts From Previous Post
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday #356
My 3 Girls at Pat O'Brien's, San Antonio, Texas
Nikon D3300 Shot
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - L is for Laughter
Although interactions with family and friends can foster laughter, all research pointed out that healthy habits such as diet, exercise, and rest are of utmost importance too.  Oh, bummer - LOL!  Anyway, I found some classic quotes about laughter that I thought you might enjoy.

Wheels & More
Nikon D3300
Our Beautiful World: OBW 140 ~ Part
Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Laughter and tears are meant to turn the wheels of the same machinery of sensibility; one is wind-power, and the other water-power; that is all."

Tulips For Easter
iPhone 6S
Sue's Image-in-ing
Ralph Waldo Emerson said in his famous quote, "The earth laughs in flowers."

A Morning Walk
Nikon D3300 Shot
Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 222
Finally, according to King Solomon, in Ecclesiastes 3:4, there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."

I hope you enjoyed my findings on laughter.  Thank you for following my blog and for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment during your visit.  Live, Love and Laugh!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

K is for Kingdom

According to the Gospel in John 18:36, Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders.  But now my kingdom is from another place."  I am a servant of the Lord, so I abide in Him, as He in me (John 15:4).  Although I sometimes fall short and know I am nothing without Him, He never fails me with His unconditional love.  Therefore, even though I do not deserve them, He has bestowed me with abundant blessings.  Amongst these blessings is a place on Earth which I consider a taste of His Heavenly Kingdom… my art studio.

Ramona's Inspire Me Monday - Week 221
Denise & Roger's ABC Wednesday - K is for Kingdom
Julia's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday #355
As with every blessing, I am grateful for this microscopic portion of His "kingdom."

Drummond Phlox, at Seiders Springs Park, in Austin, Texas
Etegami (Picture Letter) and Kao (Signature Mark)
Art Journal Journey - Into the Woods
Kristin & Eva's Paint Party Friday - Week 3 Year 6
Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
Singing In The Rain Birthday Card
Tim Holtz Dies, Distress Inks, Tissue, Tapes, Papper Clip, and Remnant Rubs; ArtC ATC Papers; Dymo Label Maker; Sharpie Micron Pen; Making Memories Stapler; and Scrap Papers & Cardstock
SanDee & Amelie's Steampunk Challenge - March 2016
Moo-Mania: Use Newspaper
Karen's Word Art Wednesday - #222-223
Masculine Spring Card
ArtC ATC Papers & Ribbon; Maryjo Koch Ephemera; Sharpie Micron Pens; US Postal Stamp; Glass Beads; Wire; and Thrift-store Card-base
The Male Room: Challenge #31
Simon Says Stamp Challenge - Cute and Cuddly
Try It On Tuesday - Nature
That is why I thrive in having my artwork and writings glorify Him, as well as bless others, regardless of their faith or believes.

The latter is in response to His two greatest commandments, which are to Love Him above everything and to love my neighbors as myself (Mark (12:30-31).

Chicken Turtle at Seiders Springs Park, in Austin, TX
Nikon D3300 Photograph
Our Beautiful World 139 ~ Hide
Sue's Image-In-Ing
Eileen's Saturday's Critters #119

As the King of Kings, He shares His kingdom's treasures with us, which I cherish through my photography every time I exit my studio's doorway.  Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave such thoughtful comments, as well as for following my blog.  May your life be filled with His kingly blessings!