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Gifts and Goals


Endings Are Beginnings: Goals

There’s ALWAYS a HUGE flurry of activity in November and December, trying to finish up final projects and commissions of the year, doing sales/shows, and prepping shipments, along with my own household holiday “stuff”. 102 cloverI am thrilled to have completed ALL of my 2016 business goals, considering that my husband was bedridden for over two months and in the hospital for almost a week.  An ocean themed coloring book was created, 100 bowls painted, and diorama “Daydream” boxes put together, (among other things). An odd item on my personal list was to find 100 four-leaf clovers in 2016. I found #100 in October, and ended at 102 (unless I find another before New Year’s)! They are all pressed in a book and ready for framing; perhaps in January.

tabledoneGoals give you focus, and reaching goals leaves room for MORE learning experiences! Breaking big goals into bite-sized pieces help you accomplish what you set out to do (learn, create, grow, build, accomplish). For example, painting a whole dining set with 6 chairs is a HUGE undertaking, so we broke it into steps which made the project less daunting. We removed the seats and cleaned the chairs. Cleaned the table. Sanded rough spots. And so on. You can’t do it all at once. Baby steps.

Comment and tell me about something YOU’D like to do in 2017! NOT an unattainable New Year’s Resolution (ugh…), but something that you really WANT to do, not something you feel you HAVE to do (that’s a whole different subject). Think about what makes you say, “YES”!

ocean coloring bookThe Making Of An Adult Coloring Book

Producing “My Mother’s Garden” adult coloring book (last year) meant labor-intensive sketching from garden photos, scanning the sketches, cleaning up the scans, and then laying it all out the book format. It took a looong time! My latest adult coloring book, “Ocean Rhythms,” was done on my laptop in just under 50 hours (including creating the art and finding suitable quotes and ocean facts for each page). Mandalas need to be more precise than my hand-drawing skills could produce, and building them in CorelDRAW was the best way to accomplish the task.

mandala creationAfter laying out a blank page to the correct size and format for publication, I chose five or six creatures and a tiny decorative motif for each mandala. I started with the center, created a circle, and then aligned objects (sharks, fish, starfish, whales, turtles, etc) along the path of the circle varying the numbers in each piece. Increasing the size of the circular path, I added more creatures in various configurations. Some of the pages are distinctly Hawaiian (in fact, I used Hawaiian petroglyphs in some of the pieces), and each mandala has a main focus, whether shells, deep sea, sharks, or turtles. It was a very interesting learning process as I got my hands on tools in Corel that I’ve never used before. I’ll admit that it still is a very odd, but pleasant, feeling to color in a book that came from my brain!


december saleWant a deal on pretty holiday gifts? Come to our “Last Chance” Gift Sale in our home gallery on Saturday, Dec. 10th, from 10 am – 2 pm. Almost everything is marked down or on sale. And, we’ll have Leilani Cochran here with her Chloe and Isabel jewelry. If you can’t come to the sale, you CAN always use coupon code “20TY15” to get 20% off of purchases over $15 in my etsy shop! NOTE: order BEFORE DECEMBER 18th to make sure your items arrive in time for Christmas!

ARTIST’S PICK: 10 Beautiful Gifts

dolphin dioramaHere are some of my top picks from the store (at this moment). Clicking on each will take you to the product in the shop. 1) The “Daydream” diorama boxes with beach scenes are my absolute favorite…and I have some gnome dioramas, too! Dive into a magical world when you open the lid…this Pacific dolphin swimming near shore makes me smile every time I open the lid!

2, 3) I still have a wonderful selection of 35″ square hand-dyed Kaleidoscope silk scarves. Some of them look like stained glass windows, and all of them have glorious colors! And in the same sort of design vein, the Ocean Rhythms adult coloring book fulfills that need to “color all the things”.

silk scarf     mandala sample
4, 5) Hand-painted ornaments for the bird lovers and turtle lovers! Birds and turtles are cute, but add a Santa hat, and they are super adorable!

painted ornamentspainted bird ornaments

6, 7, 8, 9, 10) Unusual new pieces: a realistic three-toed sloth, a fiery mandala bowl with “lava” dripping on the edge, a tiny peacock feather ring bowl, a yarn bowl with a nest inside (the other two yarn bowls sold immediately), and a whimsical jewelry tray (or trinket tray) filled with pretty swirls of pink, white, and black.

1539 sloth bowl  volcano mandala bowl    tiny peacock feather bowl  bird nest yarn bowljewelry tray trinket tray

So there you have it! Pretty things, an adult coloring book project, a gift sale, 102 four-leaf clovers, and GOALS! 😀
Remember, the completion of goals leaves room for new goals, new projects, and a chance to learn new skills, and I hope that you are looking forward to 2017’s gifts with the anticipation of a child. Let me know what you’re dreaming going to to accomplish in 2017!
And finally, congratulations to Brenda Woodington for winning the last Giveaway! We’ll do another Giveaway in January!


Thank you so much for your incredible support this year! It meant so much to John and me (and he is doing much better now). Until next time, have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year, no matter how you celebrate!
Eclectic Dawn

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  1. Wow! What an amazing story you have written! Congratulations on accomplishing all your goals for this year and I pray next year will be a better year for you and John.
    My goal for 2017 is kind of a “bittersweet ” one. As you know Kenny’s mom passed in April. We always knew when we moved here 10 years ago that we wanted to go back home to our children and grandchildren. So our goal is to make that happen next year. Even though we want to go back to our beautiful Valley, we will take 10 years of precious memories with us.
    May you and John have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Love you both! Kenny and Kay.

    • John and I wish you and Kenny the very best in your move (and for all of 2017). I know how deeply you miss your family – we miss ours so very much, too. We love you both and thank you so much for your support over these past few years of ups and downs! *hugs* Thank you for sharing your story!

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