Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tuesday's Treasures - A new way to do your To-Do Lists

A little over 6 months ago, I began a new way to do my to-do list. You see I had just recently hosted the Texas Gathering, a weekend full of art and friendship.  I had planned and prepared for this event for months.  I anticipated a great weekend, I planned a great weekend and I prepared a great weekend…My anticipation, preparation and expectations were greatly surpassed by the love, laughter and friendship that we created that weekend, let alone some amazing art!!  However, no amount of planning, anticipating or “to-doing” would have predicted how much of a lull came the morning after everyone was gone…I had forgotten what the end feels like, when all the hard work, the gathering and the sharing are over…So when I began my morning with quiet time, I knew it would end with my “to-do” list which would involve putting away, taking down and cleaning up…ugh!!  So, at the top of my list, I wrote

To Do -Day 1

 And then the page sat blank…the lines were there, the endless tasks were there, but my pen would not write them there… I didn’t want business as usual, diving into chores, swimming upstream through the waters of daily life.   I began to think that my list needed to start differently- to reflect the day in which I was presently in, to honor the gathering of just days earlier, the feelings I wanted to capture… and from those thoughts began a new way to start my list…It went like this

-Breathe          in and out, slow, to catch up
-Be                   Grateful
-Enjoy              the moment
-Reflect           on the memories
-Smile              at the sun
-Hear               the water
-Savor              the coffee
-Let                  my heart be filled.

As I wrote those words, emotions came quite differently than the usual thoughts from my usual to-do list such as… “Oh today’s already taken. I’m already running behind with all the chores, errands, emails, calls,…”.  Instead of frantic, frazzled and finished – my day began with this…” Breathe (just saying it brings calm…try it, say it slowly, breathe in and then out), Be…Enjoy…Reflect…Smile…”. What a difference my day and my list looked and felt like.   Ever since that day in October, I have begun my lists this way and I can see where my heart lives in each day, my focus on first things and to know that there will always be enough time for what truly needs to get done…seeing others and savoring moments, delighting in today and letting go of yesterday, embracing the daily and encouraging the soul.  Lists have a funny way of finding out what is in our hearts and on our minds, what needs to get done and what can be left behind, what is our purpose and what is living life on purpose.  I hope that in sharing a few of my lists (feel free to make them yours), your “to-do’s” will let you catch your breath and begin to breathe with a new-found way to start you day. Here are Days 2-5 of my journal just as I wrote them. And just to let you know after my first things, the list began to look like this…make beds, get ready, empty dishwasher, etc…Just want to keep it real.  The fascinating thing was (and is) each time I went back to my list to cross off a completed task, I read and re-read my firsts list…how it changed my days! I hope it will change yours...

Until next time, let your list light your path to a breathing-easier, loving-deeper, gratefully-living “to-doing” kind of a day.  Let's savor the coffee and begin a new list...

To Do- Day 2

-Breathe          in and out, slowly, deeply, restfully
-Pray                faithfully, honestly
-Enjoy              this moment of renewal
-Embrace        this day
-Focus             on just today, the needs and cares of this day
-Give                Grace to others and to myself

To Do- Day 3

-Breathe          slowly, meditate
-Be                  thankful for all I have
-Live                in the present
-Do                  not worry about the future
-Be                  forgiving to one another
-Let                  go of what I can’t change
-See                 the beauty all around me

To Do- Day 4

-Breathe          take my time
-Remember     it doesn’t all have to get done today
-Find                time to create
-Be                   thankful for all that is around me
-Take               time to listen
-Know              that I am enough

To Do- Day 5

-Breathe          to find calm
-Be                  present to meet the needs of others
-Listen             to the words being spoken and, in the silence, too
-Believe           I am enough
-Pray                for my “to-do” list (the Lord can handle it)
-See                 the blessings in each day.      

© 2018 Chantal Johnson

Monday, January 8, 2018

Word for the 2018: The three C’s

I love words…. words to encourage, to give hope, to bring a smile.  In my home, on my walls and in my art, one can find an apt word.  On my mantel is Believe; In my breakfast room-You are Loved and gather dress the top of two of my windows; A rescued old mirror etched with so thankful, count your blessings and oh so loved hang above the refrigerator.   This is just the hem of the garment when it comes to the affirmations and encouragement in our home.  You can find words like hope, live, love and laugh, joy, quotes from scripture and songs, sayings and truths.  The words find a place in my home and in my heart.

When the calendar turned the page to January 1, Words began popping up everywhere.  Questions such as “what’s your word? Have you chosen a word? How do I choose a word? Can somebody please choose my word? could be seen on Facebook. Artful pictures, calligraphy letters of words already selected were popping up on Instagram.  It seems as if the Word of the year is now a movement, an avenue to help focus our minds and thoughts and ultimately our actions.  With the new year, I knew I needed a new word, a fresh focus.  This year I wanted a word that would speak to me daily.  A word that would easily be on my heart and my mind.  One that would help focus and start my day, give me direction but would also bring my joy.

I began the journey of discovery.  I read lists and lists and lists…so many good words but there wasn’t just one word that could convey what I wanted.  So as with my love for words, I chose three little words that would focus my day…Clean, Create and Calm

Clean – each day, something to clean out and clean up – maybe a drawer, cabinet or closet.  Just one thing to bring a little more clarity.

Create- each day, find a little (or a lot of) time to spend in the studio, the sewing room or wherever I can give a little time to the art that fills my heart with joy, 

Calm- each day find something that brings calm, whether reading for a few minutes outside, sitting with my girls in wonderful conversation, crochet a few rows or spend a few minutes in prayer. 

When I finally decided on these three little words, I wanted to see if I could choose a scripture to add to my word journey.  One that would keep me centered not just on the words but on my heart as well… I think I found it....

Create in me a clean heart, oh God and renew a steadfast {calm} spirit in me.
                                    Psalm 52:10

 Have you found your word(s) for 2018? I would love to know what you chose and why?  Words from our heart can give us hope and healing; promise and purpose; love and light.  I hope your words bring these and so much more in the coming year!!

Until next time, 

Find joy in the journey as you discover the words that stir your soul and make your heart happy

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reminders from a Reclaimed Mirror featuring etchall® crème

I found this mirror on one of our treasure hunting days in Canton (TX). I actually passed it up (only for a moment) …the price was too good to be true so I didn’t think it was. I looked at and then moved onto the next booth. But it was just nagging at me to go back and to double check the price… So, I did “Is this mirror really $4.00?”. “Yes” was the answer and money changed hands and I was now a proud of owner of a not so perfect mirror that was going to be perfect for my new kitchen wall!

Etching was immediately on my mind.  I love to etch mirrors- it can be a little tricky when removing the crème but with a little a patience and practice, it turns out beautiful every time!! With etchall®, the etching is deep, beautiful and permanent!  On mirrors, the etching also adds to the beauty as it reflects what is in view and the words or images gently create depth and richness. Reclaimed or Used Mirrors are easy to find at treasure (thrift) stores, garage sales and estate sales and sometimes it’s easier and a little less stressful to try something new on an inexpensive item.  Once you’ve finished one mirror, you will be on the lookout for that perfect looking glass to etch your next word or beautiful image!  Let’s get started….


Painter’s tape
Stencils of your choice
etchall® crème- you may need a larger quantity, depending on the size of your mirror
etchall® squeegee
paper towels
glass cleaner
rubbing alcohol


1.     Clean mirror with glass cleaner and then follow it with rubbing alcohol. Make sure it is free of lint, dust and dirt.  Let dry.

      Using stencil spray, spray back of stencils.  Give it a minute to get a little tacky and then place on mirror.
2.     Using painter’s tape, tape securely around your stencils and cover every part of your mirror that you do not want etching.  ***This is so important.  As you can see in the photo, I covered the entire mirror.

3.     Using squeegee, spread the etchall® crème over the stencils.  I try to spread it in the same directions so as not to move the stencils or accidentally spread the creame under the stencil.

4.     Set the timer for 15 minutes
5.     Using squeegee, pick up the crème and put it back in the jar! Remember the crème is reusable!!

6.     Using a wet sponge, wipe the remaining crème. Once all crème is sponged up, remove all painters tape and stencils. You can clean it one more time with water but be sure you have all the crème up!! Let it dry.

Until next time,  enjoy your beautiful mirror that also will remind you of just how loved you are!!!