Have you ever noticed how many stars there are in the season’s traditions? Venus calls out in the night sky as we pretend it is the Star that lead the wise men. Christmas carols sing out the magic of a holy night with stars brightly shining, treetop decorations twinkle everywhere and Hanukkah’s star of David shines its indigo beauty.
You know I love stars by the bazillion I painted in “Mother Nature’s Kiss”! My daughters and grandbabies went to Vallea Lumina in Pemberton, BC and just look at the stars in the forest! Spectacular!
Kind of looks like a page from my book, doesn’t it?
On this New Year’s Eve, there is a palpable yearning of hope all over the world. We make wishes and resolutions, which are all based on hope. We take stock of our lives and the state of our world and hope, wish, resolve to make things better.
As I began my lists for presents this year, I tallied up the number of gifts I wanted to buy. Jack and I have 6 kids between us, which turns into 12 with significant others. Seven grandchildren and a couple of other family members turns into a large number fast and I thought through giving socially conscious gifts, our family could make a positive impact.
I research different companies and in the end landed on Tentree Check them out here. who sell high-quality clothes and plant ten trees in the fire-ravaged areas of B.C and California for every item sold. I loved the colourful sock choices at Bombas where they donate a pair to homeless shelters for every pair sold. Here is their fun site. Then I bought the 12 pack Clean Ocean Collection bracelets from 4Ocean, where they clean 1 pound of garbage from the oceans for every bracelet bought. The 12 were even more special as the funds also go towards the preservation of ocean coral reefs, mangroves, dolphins, seahorses, sharks, whales, polar bears, penguins and waterfowl, just to name a few. Their website sucks you in, in the most wonderful way as you want to jump in and support the movement. Pun intended.
This brings me to who make the bracelets. Women in Bali are able to join the workforce and, as primary caregivers, can work from home to assemble the bracelets. This goes for so many Free Trade and sustainably made goods. I gathered baskets, chocolate bars oven mitts (made from repurposed saris) and tree decorations, all made by women who work to bring home wages to feed their families.
It was a rewarding challenge to pull it together and through my big family, we touched the lives of people all over the world, planted 100 trees and gave some love back to the ocean.
Oh, it was also a season of elves!!
I chuckled as I hung the elves on the painting and purposely slanted it as a reminder to myself that life isn’t perfect and that’s ok. My stress skyrocketed, though, when I realized I lost my wallet 5 minutes before boarding the plane on Christmas day – but that’s another story!
As the year closes, I would like to reach out and thank all of you who supported me this year by buying my books. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your positive impact on me! When you put yourself on the line and create something from the heart, you never know how it will fly. “Mother Nature’s Kiss” certainly did and “Gifts of the Crysnix” is still a favourite of the slightly older crowd. They are both books of stars and hope and I absolutely love sharing them!
Best wishes to you all for the best year yet!