Jan 5, 2014

Snowing Outside, Shining Inside

Greetings from the North Pole!


I can't tell you how much I have been wanting to "visit" with you for over a month now! I missed you and long story short...my entire computer system (two of them) are being completely revamped, backed up, updated, and completely wireless and getting all upgraded systems. What should have taken only two days is now going on over a month! I won't bore you with this, but at the moment, my laptop is on "pause" which means I can post something quickly and get it back to whatever the tech guy needs to do. I am a little frustrated, as I had wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I sincerely hope the holiday season has been good to you all.

While it may look like the North Pole, I'm only in the Midwest under a blanket of snow as I type this out quickly. I can only post Iphone images for now, as my computer...well, never mind, that, too, is frustrating...aacck!...time to maybe get an Ipad?

But I digress; I snapped the above picture with my Iphone right before I began this post. My little holiday lanterns that I love are getting a little coating of snow, it seems.

And out my back window, I snapped this, as you can see the snow falling better. I will admit, it has been a very cozy day over here. A big pot of split pea and ham soup simmering, and candles lit.

I usually begin the first of the year, reflecting on the past year, or dreaming about the new year in front of me. But this year, I would like to share with you an article that I clipped out of the newspaper, I think, about 15 years ago! I came across it again recently, and how this article really resinates with me at this time in my life. I thought you might enjoy it as well. 

The article is written by Catherine Galasso-Vigorito:

Enthusiasm Kindles Confidence, Energy

Best-selling author Napoleon Hill wrote, “Enthusiasm, if fueled by inspiration and perseverance, travels with passion, and its destination is excellence.”

A powerful transformation takes place when we are around sincerely enthusiastic people. They motivate us into action, encourage advancement and create the energy we need to ponder innovative ideas, to believe, and the sustaining power needed to achieve.  And their ambitious, optimistic approach is positively infectious.  Enthusiastic people find each day an adventure and lend enchantment to the ordinary.

It’s been said that one of the best gifts we can give our children is enthusiasm.

I was impressed with a story I read about wildlife artist John James Audubon (1785-1851). One of the greatest naturalists that America ever has produced; Audubon’s story is one of triumph over adversity. A lover and observer of birds and nature, he was a person of legendary strength and endurance, and he also had a deep appreciation and concern for conservation.

Audubon would vanish into the wilderness for months, and when he would return, he would have numerous, precious drawings of birds.  Once, after months of being away, he opened his trunk where he had stored his cherished drawings, and found that the rats had gnawed at them, destroying his works of art.

Audubon professed to a friend, “They have destroyed my drawing, but not my enthusiasm.” Thereafter, Audubon produced some of his greatest watercolors.

It’s enthusiasm that accomplishes. Moreover, enthusiasm is much more than just a zest for work; it is for all of life and living. Enthusiasm is priceless possession to cherish, for life’s challenges cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the sun of enthusiasm. It releases the power to lift us above our obstacles and adds significance to all we do.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

And HarryS. Truman, our 33rd president, said, “I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm.”

Remarkable accomplishments have resulted from the communication of ideas and enthusiasm, for all achievements have their beginning in an idea, and enthusiasm is the sustaining power of great thoughts.

Genuine enthusiasm is contagious, and so is the lack of it. We must tune out the pessimist, not letting cynics drag us down. Having an enthusiastic mindset means being continuously on guard against negative forces.

Success and creativity grow and flow only in the a positive, upbeat environment. We are the ones who create that atmosphere, and we must build a strong hold of defense around it. Nothing determines who we will become so much as those things we choose to overlook. 

Aways search for the good. 

If someone says or does something hurtful, it says something about the other person, not about you. Some like it when you are down. It makes them feel superior. Toxic individuals are like quicksand and can torpedo any enthusiasm.

Have cheerful, honest friends near, those who are heartening and helpful. Keep your mind on the good things of God and off of the things you do not want. By cleaning out the dark corner of your mind, creativity immediately will fill it. 

Reader Tammy DiCarlo wrote, “After 27 years as a registered nurse, I have recently changed careers and opened up a yarn specialty shop. Yarn artistry is very nurturing and therapeutic. I feel like I left one career of nurturing the body to a career in nurturing the soul. When I give my customers a welcoming and enthusiastic greeting, their response is, ‘We welcome you!’”

Those who are excited with enthusiasm and allow it to take hold and govern their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm is there, so will newfound possibilities. 

Cherish your visions and your dreams. And through persistence and prayer, let’s follow our hearts, proceeding enthusiastically with our plans and joyfully living our lives, giving our all.

Hello, it's me again. Isn't that a great article? And it is so meaningful at this time of my frustration with my dang computers and not being able to do what I want to do (for a very long time now). But, I will say, I am very excited and very enthusiastic that once all is completed, I will finally be able to produce like I've been wanting to for a very long time now. Like Churchill said, "...It is the courage to continue that counts."

What about you?

Could 2014 be the year that you reenergize your enthusiasm for that special dream you had at one time? You know the one I am talking about...that goal, wish, or dream that still nags you in the back of your very busy mind; the one that you will "get to" one day, just not today? 

Your goal may be something simple like finally cleaning out the closet and getting rid of all those clothes you no longer wear. Or maybe,your dream is to have a huge garden next spring. Or perhaps, maybe your goal is something like finally learning how to make homemade bread. Whatever the goal, dream, or hope may be that is still nagging in the back of your mind...take comfort.

That little "nagging" is often mistaken as drudgery, regret, guilt, or just plain work. But it is really...a little voice tapping you back into enthusiasm to get started! And that is why I love my readers so much...your blogs that I visit, the emails I receive, so often, rev me up and keep me going to do/get/create that special "nagging" goal. 

We all need each other, and I am so grateful to have you all in my life. You'd be surprised how a simple comment, or a post that I may read on your blogs, kick-start me back into action. 

Well, it seems that my little holiday lanterns are starting to look like snow cones. I went out and snapped another image to see how much snow has fallen in just a very short time. My steps are losing their ability to call themselves "steps," but rather they are quickly turning into a slide!

These little lanterns still have their little flame inside...but the snow drifts are covering up the light. I can either wait for the snow to melt to enjoy the lanterns' light...or, I can go out and brush off the snow around them so not only to enjoy their light, but to remind me that it I am the one "who creates my atmosphere" and I have the ability to let my surroundings shine, if I so choose.

And that is the beauty...we all have the ability to choose when or how we will shine. I take in your brightness every time I "visit" with you, your blog, or read a comment, and for that, please know I am so very grateful for you make my life much brighter.

May 2014 be the year that is brighter and more hopeful than ever before for you and your family.

from my house to your house,



Deb said...

Happy New Year Elizabeth ♥
Such beautiful snowy pictures {we are in the midst of another blast of snow here too & it looks absolutely magical outside}.
Wonderful article & I love your theoretical lantern vision ...here's to a bright New Year xo

Rita C at Panoply said...

I love your blog, Elizabeth. What a fantastic article! And yes, I've missed you. Happy New Year!
Rita C.at Panoply

Gail said...

I've missed your posts as well, this one is so uplifting and so timely!
I cleaned out most of my very cluttered kitchen cupboards on New Years Day and now I'll be moving on to other rooms in my home....it will feel like such a huge accomplishment to tackle all of that....freeing, you know?
I hope you continue to shine on throughout this year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Elizabeth! I've missed you, and just yesterday was reviewing pictures of your lovely apartment and pinning to a new Pinterest board. I hope you have time to update us on your home and projects. In the meantime, enjoy the snow--you are so lucky to have it! Allegra on the OR Coast

Lin from A {tiny} Cottage In The Woods said...


I've enjoyed your blog for years. I don't usually leave a comment, but thought I would today to THANK YOU For all you share with us.

Happy New Year, Elizabeth!

trash talk said...

As I was reading along (and shivering I might add...brrr!), I kept hearing "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine." in the soundtrack in my head. I think it's remarkable that even the snow can't put out the lights in your lanterns. Dim maybe, but not extinguish their purpose. Perhaps if we burn from within as they do, our flame won't go out either...especially if we remember who our Pilot Light is.
Miss you and hope all is going well. Stay warm and shine on.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Well I was wondering what was going on with you.
I figured you was out touring the world on a photo shoot
I went out to Barnes & Noble before the big snow and low temperature of minus 35 here in Columbia, anyway there you was in Where Women Create, your dining room converted to a studio workshop
It looked soooooo good in the book

Happy New Year

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

Our older married kids are in Old St. Louie enjoying the {Tony Bennet singing}
"Snooooow faallllll
Snoooooow faaaallll
Gently drift down..."

These images blessed this Missouri mule's day as we had to have the air con guy stop by to take care of the rattling.

Shining on in Manila,

Mary said...

Dear, I love it when you 'pop up' here sharing life's ups and downs. Today was a great post and thanks for sharing the article. Speaking of articles, we were having a coffee at a B&N last week and reading mags. when I happened upon your article in 'Where Women Create'. Of course you had already shown us pics here of your fabulous work space, but it was such fun reading again, looking at the lovely pics........and saying to Bob, "look, here's MY friend Elizabeth". Blogging is so worthwhile.

BTW - you may want to get an iPad as mentioned, however, be aware you will have problems using it for posting on your blog! iPad does not support Flash which is required to post photos in a blog - I've not had any luck using it for working on my blog. Do you use Macs? If not you may want to consider the Macbook Air which is easy to carry about and works like a dream for me! Just saying.

Stay warm - enjoy then winter wonderland. We've not had a flake yet but this morning have the lowest temps. in NC since 1994 - it's only 6F and even cold IN the house with the HVAC pumping like mad, and me praying it doesn't break down this week! This time last year I was getting ready to leave for Antarctica and it was so much warmer there, LOL!

Happiest of new years to you and hubby -good health, prosperity, and much joy each and every day.
Hugs - Mary

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Deb - the snow is magical, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by and may 2014 be a wonderful year making wonderful memories.

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Rita!

I am always so humbled when someone comments how they missed me - warms my heart. I am glad to be back (in spurts of moments while my tech continues with updates).

Happy New year and may 2014 be filled with laughter and joy.
Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

HI Gail!

I love hearing when something I post comes so closely to what someone else is experiencing as well. I am jealous of your uncluttered kitchen....I need to get to a couple of cluttered areas myself!

Happy New Year, and may 2014 be clutter-free for you!
Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Allegra!

Thank you for stopping by and finding me on Pinterest. We may have snow right now, but at least you get to see the ocean :-))

Lots of things going on, and looking forward to sharing later.

Happy New Year, Allegra! (May you get at least one weekend of heavy snow in 2014!)

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...


I agree with you about not rushing winter to be over...I enjoy the peacefulness that comes with it as well. Thank you for stopping by to visit and leaving a comment - warmed my heart on this very cold day!

Happy New Year Lin!
Big hugs,

Elizabeth Maxson said...

My Beautiful Texan Deb!

I just love your comments and love your beautiful insight to our real "pilot light"! (wish I had thought of that when I posted....!) You are so very eloquent in a very lovable, caring way.

I hope 2014 is a year that you will want to remember for years to come!
Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...


I just love getting visits from you - you have so many adventures, that I can live vicariously through you! Thanks for the input about the Ipad! No...I didn't realize that there is a major difference, and I am so glad you pointed it out. I use Mac. So I will look at Macbook Air - maybe there are some sales going on now. How nice of you to share your tech savvy! :-)

How neat that you were at B and N and saw the latest WWC with my image on the cover. You made me smile when I read how you pointed it out to your friend and called me your friend...Just know that it is I, who feels so very blessed to call you MY friend.

Be safe - I know you are off to somewhere....and Happy New Year and may 2014 be filled with miles and miles of new adventures and laughter.

Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hello Janice,

It is too cold to be out, girlie! But since you went out, I am glad we got to "visit" at Barnes and Noble :-)

Stay warm and enjoy it while we can - summer is bound to be a doozy!

Happy New Year and may 2014 bring you peace, happiness and joy.
Big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...


You make me laugh. I remember the days of needing the A/C while living in Texas during the "winter." Well, at least you can still wear pretty shoes, not be tied down with bulky snow boots!

Thanks for stopping by, always makes me smile.
Big hugs
Elizabeth and Happy New Year too!!

Nella Miller said...

Dear Elizabeth, this is positively, beautiful...the words, your gorgeous photos, but the inspiring article on enthusiasm...just what I needed this morning...thank you, N.xo

girl on a bicycle said...

So happy to see you back! Really missed you and was a bit concerned. Happy New Year to a wonderful, inspirational woman.

Anne Lorys said...

Hey sweet friend,
As white and frigid as it appears to be where you are, I can only imagine that your presence and company makes everything a little warmer and brighter.

I miss you, planning another MO trip this Summer!

Burlap Luxe said...

Its all so calm over here, and your beauty in photos taken with your camera or a iPhone still speak to our hearts.
I am enjoying the article you sent me, and it truly touches me deeply that you thought of me enough to share.

So enjoying the beauty of the honey and did a bit of baking so I could enjoy it that much more :)
Elizabeth, the snow looks divine, I so wish we got snow here. We get about 2 or 3 days of snow fall here and there and as quick as it falls it melts. If we have an extra cold winter here we may get a snow storm but, this is rare and late in the year when it does happen to fall.
We are expecting a snow fall, how many days of enjoying the white blanket will be questionable.
I will let you know if it takes place.

The snow covered lanterns look so charming sitting in the freeze of it all.
Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your love, and for allowing me to share with you.

Your friend,



Margo @ Legacy of a Single Girl said...

I know it's really really cold there...but snow makes for the most amazing photos, don't you agree!!?? Have been thinking about you, your caramels and February coming up. Praying for speedy healing!! XOXO! Margo

Mary said...

Dear, me again!
Thanks so much for the wonderful comment (you are too kind) on my recent 'blue paint' post - I answered you there if you care to go back! Anyway, I will do as you suggest with the big squares - I think a deep warm navy will work - the very dark charcoal has been fine for a few years, just want to have a small change and freshen that paint a bit.

Hope you guys are warm and snug this weekend. We lost power yesterday for several hours as a storm hit - we were under a tornado watch but thankfully it didn't happen - just high winds and many trees down around the city!

Stay safe - love and hugs -

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Mary!
What a treat to have you visit me again. I went to your blog and thank you for your lovely comment. I bet your hallway will look fab. Whenever you visit my blog I am immediately reminded that I am sure to find another adventure on your blog - and it is always true. You are very generous with your sharing of your talents!

Miss you and big hugs

girl on a bicycle said...

So good to read your post...really missed you in December!You are an inspirational innovator and, as those who follow you know-you inspire others to lead the most creative, spirit-filled lives possible. For that,I am thankful! Looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

Cindy said...

Beautifully written. I love the article too! Your blog always inspires me!

Unknown said...

Look at you! Even in the midst of a very frustrating time (with technology no less) you find a way to post beautiful photos from your phone! Thank you for sharing your inspiration and enthusiasm and the best to you and yours in 2014! xo Teri

Gail Peterson said...

Hi I just found your lovely blog... I am your newest follower.
The snow is beautiful...It reminds me of my childhood living in the midwest. I miss the seasons. I love in SoCal where it's mostly the same all year, beautiful but around the holidays & winter I really want to dress in winter fashion!
I love your office space... took your tour!
So happy our paths crossed today...ovely for me.

Unknown said...

Happy New Year! Love this post and your uplifting vision. Wishing you all the best for 2014! Happy weekend ~ Heidi

Debra said...

Thank you for this post-I sure needed it-I'm stuck in a ditch of not knowing where to go with my art, and it happens to be a hurtful place for me. But reading the article about enthusiasm helped, and also looking at your beautiful photos gave me a calmness I need just now.....

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