The Key to Happiness


The world’s happiest people recognize that the key to sustainable happiness lies in appreciating life every day.

We don’t need winning lottery tickets, fame or even other people to be happy: we can choose to be happy in each moment, even in the midst of the most mundane activities, like driving to work, or the grocery store.

This simple keychain helps remind us that the beauty of life & the secret to happiness is right here, right now, and not hidden in some distant, future goal.

Materials/Supplies:

  • Suede/leather cord
  • Round key ring
  • Beads (I used ceramic beads – any type that will fit on the leather cord will work!)
  • Glue (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the leather in pieces a little more than twice as long as you want them to hang. I used 2 pieces about 6″ in length, each for this example.
  2. Fold in half and loop ends through key ring and back through looped end, catching key ring on the “knot”.
  3. Pull each strand to tighten.
  4. I placed a tiny bit of glue between the layers of the knot for extra security.
  5. Thread your beads into each string, position as desired and knot on either side of each head, & trim ends as desired.
  6. Add keys & you’re good to go!

You can also attach to your purse or back pack as a decoration.

Enjoy!

(C) 2017 SmarttChick

A Little Luck


Most of us have, at one time or another, collected 4-leaf clovers, put a lucky troll on our keychain, or followed some superstitious ritual that seemed to bring us good fortune.

There’s no harm in most of these practices if we keep them in perspective: they’re fun but not really reliable.

The truth about the luck we find in our lives is that there are no magic incantations, secret spiritual shortcuts or magic powders that can change our lives. The good luck we are seeking lies right at our own feet.

It is activated when we get up, show up, work hard and stay committed to our dreams.

Luck is not a fickle Leprechaun, blessing some of us at times and skipping others the rest of the time. It comes to those who prepare for it by working toward their goals every moment of every day.

This easy stretch bracelet is a great reminder that Good Luck is in our hands.

Materials/supplies:

  • 0.7mm Stretch Magic elastic cord
  • Green beads (I used Darice Venezia crystals)
  • A lucky charm (I used Jewelry Designer charms)

Instructions:

  1. Measure your wrist and add 3″
  2. Cut the elastic cord in this length
  3. Place tape or a clip on one end and string beads on about 1/2 of the length.
  4. Put a jump ring on the charm and thread onto bracelet
  5. Continue stringing beads until you have a balanced (about the same on either side of the charm) amount of beads on the elastic.
  6. Tie a square knot between the first and last beads (right over left, then left over right)
  7. Pull tightly & trim ends
  8. Pull bracelet into your wrist
  9. Get out there and make your own good luck!

Whether we seek good fortune in our careers, relationships or money; the pot of gold lies at the end of our own willingness to do something every day that takes us closer to our goal.

Enjoy!

(C) 2017 SmarttChick

Our Guardian Angel

Prosperity Angel
Prosperity Angel

Each of us has at least one guardian angel: that still small voice inside that nudges us to do the right thing & cautions us when we’re about to do something foolish.

Celebrate the special wisdom of your guardian angel with this gentle reminder of her guidance and the blessing of wisdom she brings into your life.

Create a Guardian Angel

Supplies:

  • Wired craft ribbon (1 ½” for smaller angels; 2 ½” for larger angels)
  • Beads (~1 ½” for larger angels; < 1” for smaller angels)
    • Choose from glass pearls, wooden beads, acrylic and other – be creative!
  • Flat rhinestone/jewels, buttons or other flat-backed embellishments
  • Halo material (I use strands of tiny pearl beads)
  • Thin gold or silver embroidery thread
  • Hot glue gun, glue stick, stapler, scissors

 

Instructions:

  • Unroll about 1-foot of your ribbon – do NOT cut!
  • Trim the raw end so it is straight
  • Begin folding the ribbon accordion-style, wrong-sides-together. Make 14 folding movements so that you end up with 7 pleats of equal size.
    • Make sure that the raw edge on both ends points in the same direction
  • Flatten this accordion and line up evenly the best that you can.
  • Trim very close to one side, cutting away the wire edge.
  • Staple this same end as close to the cut edge as you can get while still capturing all the folds.
  • Set this aside (this is the dress/body)
  • Unroll another few inches of ribbon, and begin to fold in the same manner. Take care to make the folds the same size as you did in the other piece.
  • Make 10 folding movements so that you end up with 5 pleats.
    • As with the other piece, make sure that the raw edge on both ends points in the same direction
  • Flatten this accordion and line up evenly the best that you can. These are the wings.
  • Do NOT cut – staple in the middle of this folded ribbon aligning the staple perpendicular to the folds.
  • Fluff the pleats of the bottom/dress.
  • Fluff the wings and decide which way they will face (raw edges on both pieces should be toward the back)
  • Turn the underside of the wings piece upside down and place a line of hot glue in alignment with the staple.
  • Taking care to ensure that the raw edges on both pieces (wings, bottom/dress) are lined up in the same direction, lay the cut edge of the bottom/dress in the line of hot glue – hold for a few seconds.
  • Fluff and arrange your angel
  • Find the bead you wish to use for the head.
  • Cut a piece of metallic thread; fold in half & tie a knot at the cut ends. Trim the excess past the knot.
  • Using a piece of fishing line or similar material as a pull/guide, thread the unknotted end of the metallic thread through the head bead.
    • Depending on the bead, you may need to secure the knot from coming out through the top by putting a little hot glue on the end and easing up into the bead.
    • It’s OK if the knot sticks out a little.
  • Going back to the ribbon angel, lay the head bead on the wings to get a visual on where you want it to sit.
  • Put a round spot of hot glue in the middle of the wings (on top of the staple) and lay the bead – knot down – into the hot glue. Hold for a few seconds until set.
  • Locate the flat-backed gem or jewel that you wish to add to you angel. Lay at the intersection of the bottom/dress and wings to get a visual of how you want it positioned.
  • Put a drop of hot glue at this intersection/on the ribbon where you want the jewel to go, and then lay the jewel on the hot glue.
    • Measure the size of the halo you want and cut this size of the pearl-bead string. You do not need to cut extra – cut the exact size you want
  • Place a small bead of hot glue on one end of the pearl bead string.
  • Touch to the other end and hold until set.
  • Thread this halo over the metallic thread and get a visual on how you want it to lie on the bead/head. Line up the connecting ends with the back of the head.
  • Place a small dot of hot glue on the back of the head and position the connection point of the halo in this dot of glue; hold until set.

 

Irish Angel
Angel of Good Luck

Here is a YouTube video that show how to make slightly different versions of these angels!

(C) 2017 SmarttChick

Thankful for Slow (?) Mondays

Remembering when I didn’t have an early morning wake-up or commute (and missing some aspects of that time period, like the easy wake up and fuzzy slipper routine!)

Reblogged from 2013/14

I’m thankful for slow Mondays.

Some Mondays loom so large over our heads that the knot in our stomach begins to form late Saturday evening. Even quasi-busy Mondays can begin to encroach on our off-time with that Sunday Dread that I wrote about last year.

Mondays that are non-scheduled up until 10am, however; are beautiful. Some of this in my job is an artifact of the time zone lag (another benefit). Otherwise, it does seem that people try not to pile on first thing Monday morning at this employer, and that’s a very nice thing.

Tonight, I’m grateful that tomorrow morning can begin peacefully, and slowly – me, my cats and some coffee til 10am,…then the ‘fun’ begins!

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Rainy Days & Mondays (Saturdays, too!)

Worth sharing again…

A Practitioner's Path

Rainy day On Saturday I awoke to the sound of a steady and serious rain falling outside. It’s May and it was Mother’s Day weekend, which means that lots of folks engage in outdoor activities. After all, we’ve had one heckuva Winter here in the Northeast, and we’re READY for warm weather, flowers, and sunshine. Often a rainy day makes people glum, and we hear descriptions of “lousy” weather, a “miserable” day and similar negative comments. As a girl who grew up in rural America and who spent Summers on my grandparents’ farm, I see rain in a different way, and I suggest that everyone can with a little shift in perspective.

Rain washes pollen out of the air and off of porch furniture, windowsills, cars, sidewalks and more. This is welcome  news for allergy sufferers, and others whose upper respiratory systems react to the insidious dust. Rain also washes dirt from…

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The Great Escape

I recently completed a 40-day journey in gratitude for my job. Some days were easier than others, as the clown car emerged from the C-Suite with various edicts or as the latest wild hair of the nearest general manager caused a pain in my backside. Still, I managed to keep the snark to a minimum and identify real facets of my job for which I am truly thankful.

There was a definite reason I embarked on that journey. Things were (still are) a bit “flinky” (a Scooby Doo term for those of you not familiar with the cartoon), and I was trying to convince myself that I was overreacting and used the 40-day journey as an attempt to correct my perceptions.

I succeeded but only to a point. This week and last we received a series of disjointed announcements that a whole laundry list of people are leaving, and a critical mass of these peeps have skill sets that the company will miss greatly. These are not low-level malcontents, either: an exit from the C-suite, several Director exits and others representing higher level skill sets (programmers, e.g.). There are a number of us laying odds on a few VP exits to follow soon, too.

This makes me think there’s more to the mild (?) discontent I was attempting to ameliorate than I originally credited myself with identifying!

In just under 2 years, this company watched a $8million project get canned (with relatively nothing gained); the shut-down/cessation of work in 1 major business unit, 3 major reorganizations and a series of small layoffs where people disappear in 2’s and 3’s with no announcement. If you didn’t know the person and get the email or text from their personal account, you found out when you emailed them for information and got an auto-reply indicating that they were no longer with the company. Classy,…right!?

I surely know that there are no perfect work places. I also know that all organizations face pains of growth and change, BUT – how many times can the rank-and-file hear the mea culpas from the top and still believe that “NOW, we know what we are doing – really – we PROMISE!” The last time the C-suite made a promise (“there are no layoffs coming”), a 10% reduction in force was implemented less than 2 months later.

So, I’ll smile and nod and maybe even clap as they pull the wrap off the next big idea, but meanwhile I’m preparing my parachute… and no one can blame me after what I’ve watched the past 2+ years.

They say academia is full of crazies. I don’t disagree, and could add a few names to the list, BUT: corporate America isn’t immune to that syndrome. The only difference may be that when you leave an academic position, it’s easy to replace your salary – in fact, most folks are shocked at the low wages you were pulling down as an esteemed “professor”. Leaving the corporate world – especially if you are thinking about a retreat to academia (crazies you at least understand!) – means a serious leap of faith, and probably a few extra jobs.

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