Friday, January 24, 2014


For those of you who have found my blog through the Grow Your Blog party at 
2 Bags Full , welcome and I am so glad to have you stop by!  To my friends at Random 5 Friday, I look forward to meeting up with you every week, sharing our finds and inspirational stories.  I blog about my art journals, teaching, our pets, photography, and the ATC's, PC's, and journals I create for swapping on Swap-bot.  Along the right side I have several slideshows of journals and altered books which I created.  Enjoy your visit here at A Focused Journey!

: a pleasant and relaxed feeling that someone has when something unpleasant stops or does not happen
:  removal or lightening of something oppressive, painful, or distressing

This week it came in a surprising form; I was laid off.  A flood of feelings came at me as I was sitting across from the principal while she was explaining the situation (none of which I heard as my mind was racing).  But after the initial bolt-from the-blue I was able to clearly see and feel a gladness in knowing I no longer had to deal with the frustration, and helplessness I had been feeling since being recalled. 
Now I need to really let go of this identity to make way for new opportunities.  It sounds easy but I am discovering it is not.  I still have boxes of books, lesson plans, and teaching materials that I am finding hard to let go of.  “I may need that!” plagues me as I go through it all.  On the opposite side of the coin, keeping it does not make me available to take the the next step(s) in the direction of my life’s purpose.  So this is what I will work on this next month; releasing my attachment to my identity as a teacher to allow new opportunities to present themselves.

Here are my 5 Random Finds:

1.        I made the leap and purchased another Dylusions Creative Journal, this one is strictly for play and learning new techniques.  I have a Pinterest board in which I have all these wonderful techniques pinned and I haven’t tried any of them.  Now i have now excuses  My intention is to recreate one pin in a week.This is my first page:
This is the tutorial I followed.

2.      The wind blowing my tall grasses caught Alistair’s attention.  This photo was too precious to pass up.  He was mesmerized by the movement of the grasses, eyes wide as if ready to pounce if only that stinking window weren't in the way!

3.      I love that I am taking more photos.  What I don’t like is that they are sitting in my computer in digital land. My goal for my one little word is to take ACTION so I decided to start printing the photos out and creating a book for 2014.

Page:  New Year's 2014

page:  Winter storm, January 2014
Page: Beauty after the storm
Page: Napping away the cold winter blues....

4.      Visitors had come, leaving their prints in the freshly fallen snow.

An unknown visitor
5.      Last night Mother Nature created this display.  I was taken by surprised at how fast it disappeared.   Because the wind was so cold I hesitated to get my phone and go outside but experience told me I would be disappointed if I didn’t.  Looking at these photos, I am so glad I did!

A final note:  With Glue it Tuesdays no longer running, I find myself longing for a place to share my art that I create for swaps and for myself.  I am in search for another party link/meme to take its place.  Do you have any suggestions?

Gratefully linking up with Nancy's Random 5 Friday and Grow Your Blog 2014.


  1. Oh I am so sorry about your job I do hope you find something that makes you smile and get paid for it.
    Love your photos. B

  2. I'm sorry about your losing your job -- but... you are free from that stress and can move on, right?

    Lovely images of your winter wonderland. :)

  3. I don't know what you were teaching at your job, but perhaps you could do some tutoring from your home? Just a thought, and wishing you much goodness ahead. xox

  4. one reason why i love snow - you get to see all those tracks & check out what is visiting your home & lands? love it!! really enjoy the birdie feet. too cute. ( :

  5. Sorry to hear about your job. love seeing your art work and your wonderful pages. looks like a winter wonderland where you are. kitty love!

  6. Love the page you created...

    Sorry about your job, but it sounds almost like it is a welcome change.

  7. It sounds like the decision was made for you. There is a reason and purpose behind it. You can now move forward towards who you want to become without anything holding you back. Time to take action.

  8. RE Panoramio...if you will notice, when you click on a picture...over to the side is a map and on that map, it shows where the picture was taken. Some are selected to go on google earth and others aren't....the purpose for me is to show where some of my shots were taken and I love to look at other people's shots and where they took them.

    I will even go looking for some of them to see for myself and take my own photos. Some, I put on, and someone else has already put up photos of that place but it is still fun and is just one more view of the area.

  9. great idea to print the photos out to make collages, I should do that too as I often take lots of photos but don't know what else to do with them except post on the web.

    thanks for stopping by my random 5 friday. have a great day.

  10. So sorry about your job ... you know, I got laid off 4 1/2 years ago ... OMG I cried for days! Heck, months! But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
    I love your journaling and will follow your Pinterest pins.
    Have a creative weekend!
    diane @ aug's blog

  11. You're a very creative person! Love your journal page and the photo pages! I'm sorry about your job. One closed door opens another, you know!

  12. Thank You for Your kind words on My post.I 'm grateful that You decided to follow Me and I am following You back.I, like You,am just now in My life experiencing the creative side in Myself and it's fun and exciting-Denise

  13. Glad I persevered to find your blog (I don't sign up to google+, as I've heard it can mess up your computer...
    Anyway, lovely to meet you and to see your gorgeous photos and the lovely scrapbook spreads you've made:)
    And I'd recommend Focus on Life - I did it last year too :)

  14. Diane, I have joined your blog with Google and hope to see more of your work. I love your photos too. Just beautiful. Can't wait to see your Journal 52 work. Don't forget to join me back :)

  15. I can so relate to keeping boxes of the trade. I stopped teaching sewing to children 3 years ago, but CAN'T let myself let the lesson plans and patterns go just yet. lol I can picture Alister mesmerized by that grass. :-) Your art is lovely. It's great to have a creative outlet.

  16. I gotta tell you, that I bought that Tony Burroughs book after I found it here in your morning ritual. And I AM ON FIRE with my intentions! It's truly amazing. You wrote in an earlier post about the Dark Night of The Soul...have you read Spiritual Liberation by Michael Bernard Beckwith? If not, you should! Enjoy the blog party! Aloha from snowy, icy, frigid New York.

  17. Don't you just love those unexpected sunsets. So glad you captured it and shared. What a great idea to do a book with your photos. I may need to do the same. Loved your kitty looking out the window at the grasses. One of ours was mesmerized the other day by a blowing leaf that was in the window box. Silly things. - I read the post below and how well I know about that "Cat Sign" that seems to draw in every stray cat within a 100 mile radius. Thanks so much for stopping by today. Enjoy the blog hop.

  18. So sorry to hear about your job and am hoping the right thing for you comes along. Thanks so much for visiting & following me at Adirondack Girl @ Heart. I'm so pleased you like the little paper flowers :) I am now following you through Bloglovin'. Hope you enjoy the rest of the party! Blessings, Diana

  19. Dear Diane,

    First of all, I'm so glad to connect with you through the Grow Your Blog Party! I am now following you on Blog Lolvin and I look forward to getting to know you better!

    Second, I am sorry that you are dealing with the shock of a lay-off. Though I know God has a plan for your life and I'm sure something better is around the bend, I know you are probably dealing with a lot of mixed emotions at this time.

    In terms of places to share your creativity - I would LOVE for you to join us for Inspire Me Monday, Wordless Wednesday, and Friendship Friday (where we're currently blogging through the alphabet) at Create With Joy! I read through several of your posts and you would fit right in with our creative community!

    Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you again soon!

    Create With Joy

  20. Hello Diane
    Thanks for visiting my GYB post, I'm following you through Bloglovin. I believe in the saying that when one door closes, another opens and hope that letting go of your teaching things will become easier.

  21. It's such a pleasure to meet you. I have followed you via email as well. Mina


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