Browsing articles in "creativity"

The Versatile Blogger Award

Aug 30, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, Uncategorized, writing  //  4 Comments

Receiving awards is always fun. My yogini friend, Christine, from my 200 hour yoga teacher training recently awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Being me, I did a little digging trying to figure out who thought of this award and when it was first given out. The origin of the award is very much a mystery, but at its heart, is the desire to help your blog readers learn more about you and to recognize and share recently discovered blogs.

My friend Christine - YogaTwistOnLife (photo credit: Gleam Photography)

Christine and I met during our level 1 teacher training (the first 33 hours of the 200 hour certification). Christine started her blog at the beginning of our teacher training journey and is now a very much seasoned blogger. It’s been fun watching her blog evolve from a journal about our teacher training experiences to a forum for sharing insights on her travels and hobbies, and tidbits about the practice and teaching of yoga. I’m honored that Christine awarded me with this award and I’m happy to pass it on to others who are just as deserving.

Here are the Official Rules of the Award.

  1. Thank the award-giver(s) and link back to them in your post.
  2. Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
  3. Give this award to up to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
  4. Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

Seven things about me (that you won’t learn from the “about lisa” page on my website)…

  1. I’m a certified public accountant, licensed in four jurisdictions – the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the states of Maryland and New York. I have four active licenses because when I worked in public accounting, I had to have a license in the state of my home office and the jurisdictions that my audit clients were located in.
  2. I was my sister’s maid of honor. I’ll never forget receiving the call from my sister, while I was on vacation in the Bahamas that she and my brother-in-law got engaged. I was so excited for her. And three days later, she asked me to be her maid of honor, which of course I said yes to. I have always been happy that I was able to be part of my sister’s special day. It’s a day that I don’t think I will ever forget.
  3. I love olives – any kind: regular, oil-cured, kalamata, manzanilla, etc. You name them, and I eat them. Growing up (and who are we kidding, not much has changed), I could make meals out of olives. My dad would put out a bowl for guests and I would be told to wait until the guests arrived. When I was a kid, my grandfather taught me to put regular black olives on my finger tips and then to eat them off of my fingertips. So, I love olives. And yes, I love olive oil, too, for cooking and dipping bread into.
  4. I’m a pescatarian. Despite the fact that I eat vegetarian the majority of the time and also enjoy some vegan meals, when I made the decision to eat vegetarian, I didn’t want to give up fish. I found that it was really red meats, poultry, and pork that would make me feel sluggish after eating them. Fish didn’t have the same effect, and so, I didn’t stop eating it. I also happen to be a lover of sushi. Now all that being said, I mostly eat vegetarian and only have fish once or twice a month (and usually in some kind of sushi style preparation).
  5. I’m a brother… at least that’s what I am in my professional business fraternity, we are all brothers there. My fraternity was founded in 1904 as an all men’s business fraternity. In 1976, after Title IX became law, the fraternity voted to allow women to join, making Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed professional business fraternity. Although the issue of what to call women has been a recurring topic at our biennial Chapter Congress meeting, women continue to be called “brothers”. This is part of the tradition and I’m in support of that tradition never changing.
  6. I ran cross country my sophomore year of high school. For a long time I thought I wanted to be a runner, and so, after ankle surgery the summer of 1993, I decided that I would give running a try and joined the cross-country team. I ran that fall and then decided to give track a try the following spring. I determined that running wasn’t my thing and went back to the dance studio to take more tap lessons.
  7. I’ve had two surprise birthday parties thrown for me – for my 20th and 30th birthdays. Both were thrown by my family and friends and I was clueless about both. Who knows what exciting things will be planned for my 40th birthday, but there’s no need to start considering that for another 6 years.

I think that ‘s probably more than just 7 things about me, since I can’t just write a list, I have to have commentary on each one. I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me. And now the real exciting part, passing the honor along to others, so without further ado, the Versatile Blogger award goes to:

  • Virya Vinyasa by Jes Hrivnak, the journey of how a type A personality learns to love Bakasana face-plants
  • The Vegan Season by Lindsay Boyd, a blog all about vegan eating
  • Adventures in Vegetarianism by Miriam Miller, a blog about the exploration of vegetarian cooking – from kitchen to restaurants in DC and around the country

For other blogs that I like and that inspire me, check out the Yoga Resources page on my website.

Knitting up a storm

Aug 28, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation, Yoga  //  No Comments

my size 19 bamboo knitting needles from ChiaoGoo

I learned how to knit when I was about 10 years old from my mother’s mother, my grandmother. For as long as I can remember, she would always have a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook and yarn with her almost everywhere she went. I have several afghans that she knitted or crocheted over the years. And at 89, you will continue to find her crocheting – mostly baby blankets for my nephews. I didn’t do much with knitting after the summer that she taught me, but I did remember bits and pieces of what she told me.

In 2009, I had a desire to pick up knitting again. I bought a “teach yourself how to knit” kit, some yarn, and a few extra needles to get started. That year, I completed one project and started one, which was put down shortly after starting it. Whatever I thought knitting would do for me, it wasn’t doing, so I just stopped. In 2010, while I was preparing to go up to NJ for the holidays, I decided that I might as well bring my knitting stuff with me. Afterall, I would be in NJ for a week, staying at my condo alone. And when I wasn’t visiting with family and friends, I would need something to do, that did not involve eating, shopping, or watching TV. It turned out to be a very smart decision.

While I was visiting New Jersey over Christmas, a blizzard (or near blizzard) decided to come for a visit dumping 5 to 6 feet of snow on us. Needless to say, I was condo-bound for a couple days and needed something to do – that wasn’t eating or watching TV, and reading wasn’t on the top of my to do list. It was the perfect opportunity for me to try knitting again. I found my knitting groove that week. I managed to finish 1 unfinished project and complete 2 short scarves from start to finish. When I was no longer condo-bound, I went out and bought a bunch more yarn to bring back to DC with me.

I got back to DC and the year of the scarf started. I decided that many of the important women in my life would be getting a handmade scarf in 2011. In general, I’ve always felt that there are few things better than receiving a handmade gift.  You can visually see and emotionally feel the thought that went into the gift. A handmade gift may not cost a lot of money, but in my years of giving handmade gifts know, they generally take a lot of time. The giving of time to make the gift is what makes it difficult to put a price on a handmade gift and makes it so special. The year of the scarf started by making scarves for my mother and sister for their birthdays. They were the first 3 scarves that I made in 2011.  I had a lot of fun making the scarves and the act of knitting was very calming and relaxing. Seeing how much my mom and sister liked the scarves when I gifted them cemented why I wanted to keep making and giving them away.

Lion Brand Yarn (clockwise from top left): Fun Fur Orchid, Fun Fur Prints Tropical, Homespun 329 Waterfall

A few weeks into the new year, I started my yoga teacher training and I was the knitting yogini. Training was held almost every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from February through mid-April. And I would bring my knitting with me to the yoga studio. It was almost guaranteed that you could find me in the yoga studio’s tea lounge for almost an hour every morning of training – knitting. And during the week between training weekends, I would pull out my knitting to help me relax. Over the course of my 200 hr certification, I completed 13 scarves and 2 wraps.  I found that I would get lost in my knitting. It was like sitting in meditation.

I’m still only at a point where I knit and pearl – so I make many scarves or wraps that I can do with either a stockinette or a garter stitch, and garter tends to be my favorite. I find it to be the most relaxing and meditative, since I can get lost in the repetition of the movement and I don’t have to think about changing the stitch. It’s the same reason why I haven’t ventured into patterned pieces or shapes yet.  (One of these days, I’ll try to make a pair of sock slippers. When I do, you can expect that it will find it’s way here.) The repetition allows me to become aware of where I am, aware of my breath, and aware of my thoughts. It’s not quite the same as sitting down for samatha meditation, but still requires finding a comfortable seat and physically stilling the body.

I started a new project – another wrap – after teacher training over Easter weekend. Without teacher training, it took me much longer to finish the project – picking it up and putting it down many times over the last 4 months. Although the need for the meditative benefit still exists, I have not made the time to pick up my knitting needles. However, it seems like kickstarting my knitting goes hand in hand with severe weather conditions. Due to Hurricane Irene passing through the DC area, all of my weekend plans were cancelled or postponed until later in the weekend (Saturday to Sunday) or to later in the fall and I all of a sudden had a completely free weekend to do whatever I wanted. Spending the early morning hours blogging about passions colliding and catching up with a friend over breakfast, I spent the afternoon and evening hours, knitting up a storm.

pattern of finished wrap (used size 19 knitting needles; see below for instructions)

made a cuff with the yarn i had leftover (used my size 17 knitting needles for this)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rainy Saturday was the perfect weather to help bring awareness and calm back to my mind and my body. I finished the wrap, which I really do love, and made a cute wrist-cuff with the leftover yarn. (I’m hoping I have enough of the three yarns left to make a second cuff for a pair or possibly make a muff. I think they’ll be fun in the fall or winter.) This morning the rain continues, but is expected to stop in a few hours. After breakfast and maybe a nap, I plan to pick up another unfinished project and continue knitting up a storm.

How did you ride out the storm? What did you do while being stuck inside the house all day?

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Instructions for Wrap (modified from a 2-hr shawl pattern I found on Lion Brand’s website)

Materials: 3 skeins each of Lion Brand Fun Fur Orchid and Lion Brand Fun Fur Prints Tropical; 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun 329 Waterfall (if this color scheme doesn’t suit you, select complimentary yarn shades using the same ratios: 1 Homespun yarn and 3 each of 2 different Fun Fur yarns)

Knitting needles: size 19 for wrap

Instructions: Pull yarn together from each of the three yarns to create one thread. Cast on 20-22 stitches based on desired width. Knit each row until wrap reaches between 68 and 72 inches long. Bind off after reaching the desired length.

To make the cuff, I followed the same approach, using size 17 needles and casting on 7 stitches. I then knitted each row until I reached the desired length to fit around my wrist and bound off the project. I used a plastic needle and the ends of the yarn to sew the two ends together to create the cuff. I think that 16 to 18 stitches and the size 17 needles would have resulted in a cute muff. I may be trying to make one of those later today. Happy Knitting!

it’s like christmas in august

Aug 24, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care, Yoga  //  9 Comments

I had a grand plan this evening to update everyone on the status of my 30-day challenge that became 21 days, and then I came home to a package from my mom full of tons of my scrapbooking turned art journaling supplies. It feels like christmas in August. Given that my birthday was last week, today’s package was not the only one I received this month. The birthday treats that I got were awesome (and delicious). I shared the little chocolate bundt birthday cake (not pictured below) with my colleagues on my birthday.

my birthday surprise from my sister, brother-in-law, & nephews by Cheryl's

some of what was inside my birthday surprise

And then today, all of my art journaling supplies arrived. I had almost as much fun taking pictures of them, as I did opening the box and seeing what was inside.

art journaling supplies: scrap packs, ribbons, mounting squares, whole punch

art journaling supplies: cards & envelopes, stencils

art journaling supplies: multi-colored cardstock, cards & envelopes, stencils

These will be put to good use when I meet up with Valerie from CityLifeEats over Labor Day weekend for an afternoon of art journaling fun. It always feels like christmas when you get fun packages in the mail; maybe since it’s still august, I should really feel like my birthday has been extended a bit.

Have you gotten any surprises lately that have made it feel like an extended birthday or christmas in august? What have you done with those surprises?

*****

And for those of you interested, my challenge update: in the last 15 days, I’ve taken 9 yoga classes, I’ve taught a bunch of yoga classes, I spent time with friends and family, I rested and took care of myself. I haven’t come to my mat for a physical yoga practice every day for the last 15 days, but that’s because I’ve made choices. I chose to spend time with my friends and family and to rest when I was rundown. And these choices were probably more aligned with practicing yoga and being true to myself than had I come to my mat everyday. A fuller challenge update coming later this week. Thanks for all of the support… 7 days to go!

An Afternoon of Art Journaling

Jul 23, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, writing  //  8 Comments

A couple months ago, I decided that I wanted to find a way to save the cards that my nephews give me for holidays and other special occasions. I registered for an art journaling workshop at Tranquil Space to potentially find the outlet I was looking for. I found something completely different and absolutely wonderful. I spent 3 hours this afternoon learning something relatively new, being creative, relaxing, having fun, and letting go.

As the workshop began, I got comfortable on the studio floor and began to spread out – the ephemera goodies that Kimberly gave us with glue stick, scrapbook paper, tags, tissue paper, and other fun goodies, plus sketchbook turned art journal, magazines, photographs, postcards, inspirational books, even an old wedding invitation that I found – I may have had all but the kitchen sink on the floor.

My Workspace

Not really knowing where to start, I tried to do all the instructional exercises that we were given. And somewhere along the way, my creativity started to come out. Kimberly provided us with some simple and very straightforward art journaling tips and then we were off. The first assignment – open to a random starting place in the book and begin to create a background using color, images, and/or pattern. It was fun not to start on page 1, although page 1, was already reserved for one of my favorite ads, that I’ve kept since 2002, found when packing up my condo, and don’t have the heart to write on yet:

Absolut Vodka Ad from 2002

I filled in the background using scrapbook paper, photos, and words and images from old issues of Yoga Journal. I got on a real roll and cut out more than I could use during the three hour workshop (this will make it easier the next time that I sit down to journal). The next step was to write on the pages we created. We could use the journal prompts or something else. Based on the images I selected and the words that resonated with me at the beginning of the day, I wrote a list of reminders. These are my first completed art journal pages.

the first exercise - my reminders

As the afternoon progressed, I learned fun techniques, like layering papers to create pages and adding envelopes or the like to help create dimension. I immersed myself into the process and was caught on multiple occasions feeling free enough to think out loud to myself. I created an opening to the journal with some of my inspirations, set some everyday goals, and thought about my takeaways.

an opening filled with things that inspire me

 

layering with tissue paper and my goals

my take-aways

An art journal is a collection of ideas, feelings, inspirations, and emotions. The simple activity of art journaling can be a very therapeutic experience, as you express yourself through words and images. I had a blast at the workshop – three hours surrounded by such positive, creative energy was a great way to spend a saturday afternoon. I look forward to sitting down with my art journal again soon.

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

*Click here to make a reservation for any of these classes!

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