Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunset in Heaven

Sometimes I have the feeling that I am living in a heaven on Earth. The nature here is beautiful and all we need to do is step outside - or look through the window - and enjoy.

Today's sunset was marvelous. This is how it looked when it first caught our attention:


Some 15-20 min later the scene adopted a more dramatic look:


Another 5 min and the sun was almost down. We were in awe with the magnificent contrasts painted by Mother Nature.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A 3-Year-Old's Custom Order :-)

Have you ever had a custom order, that was requested and supervised by  a 3-year-old? Well, my first one was today:-)

I only work with gemstones nowadays, but there are still some other beads at home. My daughter spotted the dyed Mother-of-Pearls love hearts today (where were my eyes when buying?) and asked me to make  a pink necklace with them. I suggested that we also use purple hearts and some glass beads. 

She sat next to me and actively participated in the entire process, and at some point even insisted on adding more colours - like yellow, blue and green. I didn't like the idea at first but we tried it anyway, and it gave the finished piece a nice sun-brushed flair. Here it is:


It turned out quite nice, didn't it? And, of course, my little fashionista had to pair it with her new handmade bag:

Apparently, some child in the kindergarten had a bag with printed candles on it, so she also wanted one. We made it this morning from 2 recycled A4 pieces of paper, on which she drew candles, and some leftover ribbon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Butterfly That Likes Posing for Photographs!

My daughter and I saw this gorgeous butterfly this morning.






We were observing it quietly for a while and just when I remembered that the camera was in my bag, a neighbour passed by, said "Hello" and scared the butterfly away. We thought that it was completely gone, but it landed only a few meters further. This time I managed to take a few pictures. 

Surprisingly, the butterfly let me stay very close to it, and at some point I was just about 70 cm away from it (the zoom of the camera is not that great).

Later when we left, it even flew with us for a while:-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Storms and Rainbows

It's been stormy here recently but at least we get rainbows every now and again!

The thunderstorm eventually quietened and allowed the sun to bring its treasured gift: the rainbow:-)


My daughter was really frightened but brightened up the moment she saw the rainbow.


And this is the rainbow she drew before going to bed:


The little person under her rainbow looks very green and happy:-)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The official DVD cover
Brad Pitt's latest movie "The Tree of Life" just won the top prize in Cannes, but slow as I am when it comes to films - I do  have a child and a business to take care of, I only recently got to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (released in December 2008).

It has been a week since I saw it and it is still in my mind. Directed by David Fincher ("The Social Network", "Fight Club", "Seven"), it is loosely based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The only similarities between the two are the title, and the fact that the main character is born as an old man and ages in reverse. 

Cast
Brad Pitt stars in  the main role and  reminds that despite his over-publicized personal life, he is indeed a brilliant actor. His performance includes heavy make-up and computer-generated imaging for the largest part of the movie, but he still manages to portray his character with continuity and depth.

Cate Blanchett is the female lead starring as Daisy, Benjamin's childhood friend and love interest. Her performance is charismatic like almost everything she has done through the years. She graciously pulls the line of her character from a spoiled young prima ballerina to an understanding, albeit stricken by life woman.

I really enjoyed watching Taraji. P. Henson as Miss Queenie, Benjamin's surrogate mother. Queenie is a tough, hard-working lady, whose explosive character and warmheartedness make you love her from the moment she appears on screen. 

Tilda Swinton is also to be seen with a beautifully nuanced cameo appearance.

How it feels watching it
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" runs for over 2 hours and 40 minutes, which makes it rather long for today's standards. It held my attention for the whole time, and one week later still makes me ponder on its themes and characters. While the story is totally unbelievable by itself, it is still captivating and catapults the perception to a reality of its own.

Digital Effects
One thing I couldn't get while watching the movie, was why it got an Oscar for Visual Effects - it did not look as if they were used at all. Only after watching a few "making of" videos, did I realize how Brad Pitt 's character was built. At first I thought that Benjamin was played by actors at different ages, with Brad Pitt arriving sometime around the end of the first hour. The truth was miles away from it, because although body actors were used, it was still Brad Pitt who shaped the character - with some help from a studio of digital effects wizards. 

Below are the You Tube videos I watched:

Making of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

 

Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face - This video is especially intriguing, as it describes and explains the whole process in detail (and I actually watched it till the end:-).

Friday, May 20, 2011

This Huge Box

Today the postman brought me this HUGE box:


At first I stared at it in disbelief but then figured out what it might be. Inside I found these two smaller boxes:


And in the little boxes were...


... my new bubble envelopes!!!

I was running out of them and wanted to order a new batch of 100 from my usual supplier. However, they had raised their shipping and handling charges so much, that it made more sense to buy from another company. Their minimum order quantity was 200 and as I have more and more orders from my website and DaWanda shop, it felt OK - I just didn't realize how much place will they take... 

Well, well, at least I've got PLENTY of bubble envelopes now and the orders can keep flowing:-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doreen Virtue. International Angel Congress 2011

Doreen Virtue was the last speaker at the Angel Congress in Hamburg, and additionally gave a one-day seminar on the following day. She is one of my favourite authors and I also love her weekly program on Hay House Radio. Meeting her in person was the main reason why I went to the congress.

Sunday, 8 May 2011
Doreen started with an evocation of the 15 Archangels, in which she also described their main "specialties" and energy colors. Both the evening talk and the seminar included question and answer sessions.

There were some unexpected but touching moments. Doreen wanted to give away a book and asked if someone had birthday. It was a young lady with Down's Syndrome, who immediately rushed down the aisle. Doreen gave the book to her helper in the audience but the girl ran past him on her way to the stage. Doreen  took the book back but in a matter of seconds the girl virtually jumped on her with such a power that she almost fell down - things like this make you realize that fan's love could be dangerous... However, after the few moments of struggle to stay on her two feet, Doreen managed to regain control over her own body, smile and give the girl a big hug.

Year 2012
Doreen used some of her stage time to address people's fears about 2012. She maintained that there will be no end of the world but rather a shift in our thinking. She also pointed out that fears add to the overall vibration of negativity and are thus unhelpful.

I had the impulse to shortly film her while she spoke about these issues:


Praying for World Peace
The only occasion in which we are allowed to ask the angels to interfere with other people's free will, is when their actions affect us directly in a negative way. Doreen encouraged us to pray that our political leaders take decisions out of love and care for the world and its inhabitants, rather than their personal or national political interests.

Monday, 9 May 2011
There were two main topics at the seminar - Archangel Raphael and Life Purpose. Archangel Raphael is widely known as the healing angel, but the story from The Book of Tobit makes him also patron saint for travellers and helper for people, who are looking for their soul mate.

In the afternoon Doreen spoke at length about ways to determine one's Life Purpose(s). She also  did a few short readings and I hoped  to be able to ask her a question. Interestingly, by the end of the seminar the need of it was gone. We were guided through a process, in which we asked Archangel Michael about our life purpose and other important for us questions, and the answers I received felt good. Suspicious as I am, I asked for confirmation that I have got it right - and it came promptly less than an hour later!

Doreen signs my daughter's copy of "Thank You, Angels"
One for me and one for my daughter:-)
Our 3-year-old's favourite book is Doreen's "Thank You, Angels", so I made sure to take it with me and let Doreen sign it. My little one enjoyed the love heart that Doreen drew there, but complained that it wasn't properly made. "This is how you write a heart, Mommy," she said and drew one in the air with a serious look on her face. Here we go...

Links:

All previous posts about the International Angel Congress 2011:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lorna Byrne. International Angel Congress 2011 Day 2

Lorna Byrne at the Angel Congress in Hamburg
Lorna Byrne was a completely unknown name to me before the Angel Congress - and now I am looking forward to reading her book! Her talk was scheduled just before the highly anticipated appearance of Doreen Virtue, so many of us were seeing it as a mere prelude to the day's greatest event.

And then she came:-) Lorna captured us with her calm and peaceful presence and kept smiling while answering the interviewer's questions. Everything she said sounded like a magical story from another world. At times she was describing angels present in the hall, and talked about them as if they could be seen with physical eyes. They surely were - to her.

Guardian angels
She pointed out that every person - no matter of their religion or even lack of spiritual beliefs, has a guardian angel. "Atheists tell me that they don't believe in God or angels, but I have to smile, because I see their guardian angels behind them," she said. To her, guardian angels are God's gift to us.

Our world's futures
When asked if she thinks that we, as humanity, have completely "screwed it all up", Lorna answered with a firm "No". "I have seen a few wonderful futures and it all depends on how we are - each and every one of us," she said. "One of these futures shows the world as one nation, where the present-day countries  have kept their traditional cultures. There is no war, people don't need to kill each other and everybody have food and work."

Lorna's Blessings
On the way out of the hall everybody received a little card with a prayer, which  she had signed in advance in order to use her scheduled book signing time for giving blessings only.

The video below will give you an idea about it. 


And this is a (very) short footage of me and Lorna - for some reason, the lady who filmed waited until the last moment, even though I asked her to start recording from the beginning.

Lorna asked for my name and then quietly spoke a prayer. The feeling was  absolutely beautiful. However, I wasn't aware how petite she was and felt like an enormous giant next to her :-)

video


My present to Lorna
While waiting on the queue a thought came: "Lorna has given us so much today, she deserves to receive something too." I decided to give her one of my handmade angel pendants and the lady before me helped select one. We chose a  carnelian rose bud angel (similar to the one you see on the right, but with different wings) and Lorna seemingly liked it!

Links:
Previous posts about the International Angel Congress 2011:
Coming up next: Doreen Virtue - talk and one-day seminar

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eurovision 2011

I am not an Eurovision fan and didn't even consider watching the final, so it wasn't until today that I checked the winning song - "Running Scared" by Azerbaijan's contestants Ell and Nikki. My first thought was "This must be a joke". I made an effort to listen to it till the end though and found that it was OK, just way too cheesy for my taste. We all have different tastes and apparently many people liked it.

These are two songs, which I would have loved to see in the Top 5.

Amaury Vassili represented France with "Sogno", an operatic entry in Corsican. It was a very untypical song for Eurovision and some people branded it "too good" for the contest. I guess we will be hearing more from this beautiful tenor in the years to come.


Lena's decision to represent Germany again after her success last year was met with controversy. I liked her joyful appearance and jumpy tune from 2010 more, but had to admit that "Taken by a Stranger" is a catchy song indeed and she did a great job performing it in Dusseldorf.

Silvia Wallimann. International Angel Congress 2011 Day 2

Silvia Walliman is an important spiritual teacher in the German-speaking world, but being a foreigner I had never heard about her before. She was on stage with her son Peter Walliman, who was reciting poems.

They filled their two 1-hour slots with extended guided meditations and everybody I spoke later to found them deep and profound. 

My own experience was different and probably had something to do with the fact that I am not German and don't understand the language to 100%. The guided meditations were combined with prolonged explanations so I struggled to follow the main line. The poetry, recited by Peter Walliman, distracted me even more, because I could hardly understand what was it all about (whoever has tried to read poetry in a foreign language, would know that it is harder to comprehend that a plain narrative).

Silvia Walliman's stage appearance caused a real buzz at the congress - both before and after her appearance. She prefers to live secluded and doesn't always accept congress invitations, so even the sole fact that she was there meant a lot to the largest part of the audience.

Previous posts about the International Angel Congress 2011:
Coming up next: Lorna Byrne

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Obsidian Concert. International Angel Congress 2011 Day 1

Obsidian, the group that features Doreen Virtue on guitar,  rocked the stage of the Angel Congress at the end of the first day. I had only seen a few videos of them before and enjoyed experiencing them live. It felt strange to dance in a congress hall but this was exactly what we did:-)

Obsidian is comprised of three members - Mark Watson, Tatiana and Doreen Virtue. Tatiana's beautiful and powerful voice makes her the natural lead singer. In addition to that, she plays on the band's second keyboard and is the author of some of the songs. Mark writes most of the music and plays the role of the "man-orchestra" on his keyboard. He duets with Tatiana for some of the songs.

Without planning it, I filmed the first song from their concert in Hamburg . It was Tatiana's "Mrs. Blue".

Links:

Previous posts about the International Angel Congress 2011:
Coming up next: Silvia Wallimann

Child's Perfect Bad-Weather Pastime :-)

My 3-year-old loves playing with water. After creating a right mess in the kitchen, I thought that it might be a good idea to send her to the bathroom. We turned a washing basket upside down in order to use as a table and put it with the stool in the bathtub. The "toys" came from the kitchen cupboard and voila - we had a happy child and a happy mommy:-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jana Haas. International Angel Congress 2011 Day 1

My first encounter with Jana Haas
When a friend came back from the Allegria Festival in September 2010 with a book by Jana Haas, I looked in disbelief at the picture on the back cover and asked: "Does she really look like this?". With her broad smile and rounded facial features, she looked like a combination of a child and an angel. "Yes", answered my friend and then didn't stop talking until I agreed to read the book. I did (believe it or not, in German) and was impressed by its depth and detail.

About Jana Haas
Born in Kasachstan/Russia, she lives in Germany since 1992 and have been clairvoyant all her life. She trained as an alternative health practitioner and worked in this field for some years, but now concentrates on writing and teaching. Her five published books on angels are considered to be between the best originally written in German.

Jana Haas at the Angel Congress
Her talk was about afterlife, which is also the subject of her upcoming (next spring) new book. She virtually described the process of dying and transition to the other world from the point of view of a clairvoyant - a process she observed during the long months leading to her 90-year-old grandmother's death. It was fascinating to listen to, but surely hard to retell in detail. Jana's grandmother was nobody interested in spirituality, and it took her long time to let go of the fears connected with leaving the physical body. The two spent lots of time talking about these issues, and Jana could observe the angels and their efforts to comfort her grandmother.

Jana Haas has a captivating peaceful presence on stage, but can also be cheeky at times. I don't think that any of her book are translated into English yet.

Links:
Pictures from the book signing after Jana's talk. The queue was so long, that she had to come back and continue on the next day.


Previous posts about the International Angel Congress 2011:
Coming up next: Obsidian concert

Friday, May 13, 2011

Princess Märtha Louise. International Angel Congress Day 1

About Princess Märtha Louise
Princess Märtha Louise (in turquoise and gray) and Elisabeth Samnoy
Princess Märtha Louise is a real princess, who talks with angels.
The only daughter of Norway's reigning king and fourth in line to the throne is known for causing controversy in her homeland - she married a commoner, started a business (and  now voluntarily pays taxes), studied at an academy for holistic medicine and in 2007 opened an angel-related spirituality school of her own. The last move must have shocked many in Norway, because one newspaper called for her to give up her royal titles, and another suggested that she should be excommunicated from the state Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Princess Märtha Louise and Elisabeth Samnoy at the Angel Congress in Hamburg 2011
Elisabeth Samnoy is the co-founder of "Astarte Education" and works closely with the Princess. They have also written a book together.

They spoke about connecting to one's angels and learning to see and hear them - and put a stress on letting go of the expectations about what are you supposed to experience. We did a guided meditation, which was designed to help us meet our guardian angel. While I didn't see mine, there was a feeling as if invisible hands hugged me and left a breeze-like sensation.

I really enjoyed Princess Märtha Louise's tomboyish and humorous style. The two women talked in turns and she looked serene and attentive when listening to Elisabeth Samnoy. However, the moment she would open her mouth, you would be "swept" by her explosive bubbling energy! A truly untypical princess, who possesses both elegance and child-like excitement.

Link:
Book signing at the International Angel Congress in Hamburg
Previous post about the Angel Congress: Sonia Choquette
Coming up next: Jana Haas (Germany's favourite own angel lady - and yes, she is special)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sonia Choquette. International Angel Congress Day 1

Hamburg 2011 - how I felt about it
The International Angel Congress in Hamburg took place on 7th and 8th May, and finished with an all-day seminar held by Doreen Virtue on Monday, 9th May. It was an unforgettable experience with interesting talks and an audience of lovely people. I made some new friends and even sold a few of my handmade gem angel pendants.

Lapis Lazuli and 925 Sterling Silver Angel
Mom had urged me to take them and eventually I complied. I felt shy to show them but people started asking  about the pieces I was wearing myself, so the little box came out of the bag.

As a matter of fact, I also gave a few pendants as presents - it brings even more joy, doesn't it?

Sonia Choquette
My intention is to share personal impressions about all talks and Sonia Choquette was the first speaker.

She made sure to give the Angel Congress a kick-start by turning the hall into a disco for 3:49 min - with the explanation that movement, along with other means she talked about for the remaining 1h 56 min, helps open up and let the spirit flow. We did feel energised, awake and cheerful after the dance routine.

At first I was uncomfortable with Sonia's overly direct and partly overpowering style of teaching and even considered leaving the hall. Later other fellow attendees described her as "too American". 

Thankfully, pure curiosity made me stay and I had the opportunity to participate in the exercises she asked us to do in pairs. They were all interesting and helpful but my favourite was "Diving for Gold".

For about a minute you need to say: "If I weren't afraid, I would..." and list things you avoid out of fear. It is important to state only one issue at a time and always start with "If I weren't afraid, I would..." It felt powerful and relieving. Sonia recommended that we do it  every day for 30 days and I intend to give it a try.

Link:
Tomorrow I will tell you about Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Elisabeth Samnoy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Angel Congress 2011 - a Disco and a Rock Concert

Who would have thought that the International Angel Congress will start with a disco and finish with a rock concert? And while the rock concert was announced in the programme - after all, it was Doreen Virtue's band Obsidian, the disco was improvised and lasted 3:49 min:-) It was part of Sonia Choquette's talk on opening up to your spirit. It was  fun and surely put big smiles on the faces of most of us.

It is very late now, so I prefer to go to bed. However, I intend to post more about the talks after the end of the congress.

Good night!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

International Angel Congress 2011

The International Angel Congress is taking place in Hamburg, Germany this weekend and I will be there! The energy will probably be gorgeous, and  - needless to say, I am almost jumping with joy these days. What is more, Doreen Virtue will hold an all-day seminar on Monday, May 9th. I absolutely love her books and radio show on Hay House Radio, and can't wait to finally meet her in person.

Some of the other guest speakers are Princess Märtha Louise und Elisabeth Samnøy, Sonia Choquette, Jana Haas, Silvia Wallimann, Peter Wallimann und Lorna Byrne. I have only met Jana Haas before; she is Germany's favourite home-grown angel lady and the author of a few great books on the topic.

My poor husband will be home alone with our 3-year-old:-) He is not used to taking the full responsibility for days in a row but I am sure that he will manage it - plus, our daughter loves having Daddy time.

Link:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sananda Maitreya and His Music

Sananda's Website
Little did I know that Terence Trent D'Arby, one of my very few teenage music idols, has been performing under a new name since 2001. Sananda Maitreya is not simply a stage name, he had made it legal. Letting go of a popular name as his old one is an admirable act of braveness, and surely impressed me.

Teenage Memories
"Delicate" climbed the charts during one of my last years of High School. I couldn't get enough of it and ended up buying not only "Symphony or Damn" but also the two previous albums. 

What Did I Love About TTD's Music
The voice. The energy. The colour. The lyrics - as much as I could understand them.

The Colour of Sananda's Voice
In my inner eye it is emerald green with streams of amethyst purple and gold. It has the magic of tourmaline and the row power of red jasper.

Sananda Now
... is better than ever. 

Gone are the flamboyant costumes, outrageous dance moves and synthesizer-enhanced background sound - he mainly relies on keyboard, guitar, bass and drums now. You do see a wrinkle or two on his face (who doesn't have them at the age of 49) but his powerful voice and creative energy are at their best. It is as if he had stripped off the frills, wiped off the glitter and kept only what really matters - the musical genius and the love to what he is doing.

Sanada Live
... sounds as perfect as on a studio recording - no autotune involved. His packed with concert performances official You Tube channel is my favourite place on the Internet right now, a kind of  a compensation for the years when I thought he had disappeared from the music scene.

You won't see him jumping up and down on the stage as he did some 15 years ago; nowadays he "just" sings while playing the keyboard or the guitar - fully immersed in the music. I actually like him more now than during his superstar years.

"Loosing Becomes Too Easy" quickly became one of my favourite songs from his new material. It refers to his quest for freedom, which led to the name change and the departure from the music industry. He is an independent artist now, does not have a manager, produces his music under his own label Treehouse Publishing and sells it exclusively through his website.

Links:
 "All the Way To Memphis" is from Sananda's latest album THE SPHINX (available since March 10th, 2011 at
http://www.SanandaMaitreya.com )


    A live performance of "Losing Becomes Too Easy" from July 21, 2009.



    'I Saw Her' is track no.4 of Sananda's brand new album THE SPHINX

    Since When Killing a Person is a Solution To All Problems?

    The headlines about Osama Bin Laden's murder came as a shock to me. Of course, I neither support nor condone acts of terror and yes, the news about the innocent victims of  9/11 were even more shocking.

    However, is killing someone in their bedroom in the middle of the night much more humane? Do two wrongs really make it right? Isn't it sad - and embarrassing, that in 21st century mankind still thinks in the archaic "eye for eye, ear for ear" pattern?

    President Obama declared that "Justice has been done" but it rather feels that the US Government opened the Pandora's box of evil. For Al Qaeda' s new generation of terrorists Bin Laden must have been God,  so they are likely to try to "do justice" themselves now.     

    An online friend posted a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., which sums it up perfectly:

    "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that"

    So how to brake the cycle of terror and revenge?