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Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 29~30 days of blog lovin'~ Feelgood Friday!

Hello lovelies!

Tomorrow will be the grand finale of my thirty day blog lovin' party and I have no idea what I'm going to write about.

Today, however, it's a gorgeous day here in the Bay, I've spent more time away from the computer than at it and I'm going to keep it sweet and simple ♥
with 5 things that make me FEELGOOD!

1.the amazing birds we have here in Australia. You kind of start to take them for granted sometimes but they truly are incredibly beautiful...check out the handsome kookaburra above that joined me for a cup of tea on the back deck recently :)
 2. The fact that we can walk across the road and over one more block to dig our toes into the white sand, dip our bodies into the turquoise waters and explore the wonderful rockpools of Jervis Bay.

 3. even though Santana is officially living away from home she comes back most weekends, is doing great at uni AND continues to be  an amazing photographer.....

4. I am continuing to follow my dreams and more wonderful possibilities, collaborations and connections are happening each week....

5. Our beautiful Gingy boy came to Sienna in a dream last night to let us know he is fine and happy in kitty heaven. I cried when she told me the dream as I was still holding onto a little sadness and guilt over making the call to have him euthanised. Love you Gingy ♥

Life is good!
Whats making you Feelgood today?

“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 28~Thirty days of blog lovin' Finally in the flow!!

Hello lovely friends and family!

Thank you sooooooo much for hanging in there with me during my thirty days of blog lovin'!

Only two days to go and I feel like I'm finally finding my rhythm. 

I guess I've always been a late bloomer!

One of the things that I've been struggling with this month (big time) is the feeling of not being a capable enough (insert spectacular, extraordinary, breathtaking) writer with an impending deadline looming for the first 3 chapters of my book

I just realised I'm holding my breath while I'm writing about it. That's how uptight I've been!

So today two things happened.....

 one was that I came across the following quote that just hit me "Bam!!" as if Anais Nin wrote it just for me and sent in a time travel capsule for me to see, 
right when I needed it. 
Then I posted it on Facebook and lots of other people resonated with it too....
and I realised
once more
how alike we all are in our longings
and our imperfections....
Do these words speak to you too?
 “We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Ana├»s Nin —

 Today I was writing about finding stillness and the need for patience on our creative journey
 and all of a sudden after really absorbing these words and giving myself a break 

"Bam!" again!! 

I was in the flow and writing from my heart and 

Its okay to be wise in one area and not in another. Its okay to fall back one day and surge ahead another, to have moments of weakness and judgment and epiphany and inspiration. Its all okay and we are all enough just as we are. In fact, more than enough

do you hear me?
I'm speaking to you ♥

Its all perfect ♥

and you are very groovy! Hope you are feeling it...much love Tracy♥ xoxoxo

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 27~30 days of blog lovin'~ the miracle of music ♥

Hello sweet friends!

Yesterday I talked a little about how music is a big part of our lives and although we aren't playing too much these days with all of the other excitement we have going on, the power and capacity of music to make miracles is always something that is deeply moving to me. 

With only three days left of my daily blogging commitment I leave you today with three videos that are a testament to the healing power of song, the capacity for communion between humans and other species with music as the love link and the sheer joy that a song memory can bring!

Next time you're feeling not so on top of the world, find a song that lifts you and play it loud! If it makes you wanna dance all the better! 

My favourite "feelgood song" is  "Praise you" by Fatboy Slim and it never fails to change my mood in the best way!

ok I'm adding that video in at the bottom too and I want you all to dance the dorkiest dance you can while listening. I'll be dancing too! :)) You might have to press pause on the ones you are not watching so they don't all play together!

Enjoy!! See you tomorrow ♥

lots of love
Tracy xoxoxox

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 26~30 days of blog lovin' Tra la la la la!!

Just a quick one tonight as I am heading upstairs pronto for a well deserved bubble bath, one of my favourite things in the world!

I hope you all enjoyed me sharing my wibbly wobbly career path with you....I tried to find some pics to illustrate and just found this gem. Marco and I, 16 years ago at the opening of our second store "Heart of the Sky" surrounded by our wares.........

of course after I finished telling you all about my diverse range of jobs and careers I remembered so many things I had missed out.......the biggest of which has been my foray into singing!

Together Marco and I and a bunch of friends have produced four CD's over the years and played numerous gigs.....

You can find us as The Long Goodbyes on Itunes and download songs from our latest CD 1+1=11

although I have never really gotten over performance anxiety...

 We have had many awesome times on stage together.....

I leave you tonight with this super cute video produced by our friend Scotty Sheehan in collaboration with our beautiful girls all the way back in 2003 which explains how I stumbled into my singing career and more about love, laughter and creativity in the Verdugo family!

 How cute were those girls!!
Makes my heart smile BIG every time I watch this ♥

Hasta manana

lots of love Tracy xox

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 25~30 days of bloglovin'~Some thoughts on gratitude ♥

8 hours straight sitting at the computer, 
working away at my book
 and then doing my GST (blech!! my least favourite job but has to be done)......
so my eyes feel like they're about to fall out of my head and my butt is as flat as a pancake
 from sitting on this uncomfortable chair....
and my back aches a bit....

but you know what?

who cares? 

lucky me to be writing a book with my dream publishers
lucky me to have an income which means I have to do some bookwork
lucky me to have a computer and a  chair to sit on
lucky me to have a warm bed to lay in tonight to rejuvenate
and a warm man next to me to snuggle
lucky me to have eyes that can see and hands that can type
and a blanket on my lap to keep me warm 
and a cup of Chai tea
and a mobile phone so the girls, Marco and my mum can text me during the day.
lucky me that friends have invited us to dinner tonight
lucky me that I am alive and healthy and loved
i am so grateful for this day♥ 

What are you grateful for today? 


Day 24~30 days of blog lovin' My haphazard perfect/imperfect career line continued!

Happy Sunday everyone! 

Just back from a lovely walk along the beach with mi amor and ready to continue where I left off on Fridays blog telling you all about my (ahem) diverse and colourful career path that has led me perfectly to this moment.....

So if you remember......

we left off with me as Ranger Tracy with a slightly offensive fruit bat named Stinky hanging from my arm..... (see here if you missed it)
Just as my career with National Parks amped up, and it seemed I was about to be offered a regular stint on TV, Marco and I made the huge decision to sell our property and take off overseas for a couple of years before settling down to have children...

Always the entrepeneur, and with my creative spark beginning to rear its head, I had begun to dabble in creating dried flower arrangements using native Australian flora. A few large orders had seen me sprawled out on our loungeroom floor with baskets, florists foam, dried flowers and seed pods spread from one end of the house to the other, and before we left for the US to spend a few months with Marco's family, I decided that it would be a great idea to take my new idea with me!
Using my skills gained as a Tupperware lady I decided I would sell my basket's via party plan and came up with the fabulous name of "Australia by Design" (kind of makes me cringe now:/)...

 the next thing you know I was presenting my dried flower parties to small gatherings across Portland AND taking custom orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas table centrepieces!! 
Gumnuts and tea tree bouquets, with all their exotic wonder graced the tables of the Pacific North West...well a few tables anyway.

and then we were off!! 
we headed to Tijuana first to say goodbye to Marco's grandmother (abuelita) and great Aunt Toto.
Toto prayed beside our Chevy truck, with its camper perched on top, blessing us for our trip ahead into the wilds of Mexico.
Abuelita gifted us with a sum of money to travel which converted to millions of pesos at the crazy early nineties exchange rate. We stuffed peso notes under mattresses, inside pillows, in containers and off we headed for our Mexican adventure! 
Along the way we fell in LOVE with the various indigenous arts and crafts of the Mexican and Guatemalan people and an idea was hatched to start an import company and bring these beautiful items back to Australia. After 7 months of wonderful travel throughout most of Mexico we returned to the US and trialled our idea, setting up stalls in markets and college campuses to see which items would be popular.....

1993~ We headed home to Australia with a new biz and a new baby on the way.
I was pregnant with Santana, right on cue ♥ 
For 4 years we ran two stores and a wholesale company specialising in arts and crafts from North to South America. We loved our stores but after one year of flourishing, the economy took a downhill slide and we struggled for the next several years.

To make a few extra dollars I began to run Mexican cooking classes from home when Santana was about 18 months old. This was bundles of fun until everyone went home happy and full on enchiladas and wine and I was left with a kitchen packed with dirty dishes and a night of broken sleep with a toddler who liked to wake me up several times a night!

1997~ pregnant with Sienna we made the decision to close one store and, luckily, found a buyer for the other. I reverted back to the party plan system (again) and started a business called Tribal Collections in which I took the goods to people homes and regaled them with stories about the culture and folklore of the various items for sale. The teacher in me was emerging....

This business was much more successful than the stores but I found myself becoming more and more stressed and burnt out as I presented 4-5 demos per week in the evenings, did all the ordering, packing and delivering, with a new baby and a 4 year old. 
Add to the mix a brush with melanoma and  new baby Sienna in and out of the hospital with asthma attacks and I was heading for a meltdown....

2000~ the beginning of a new millenium and a time for making BIG new decisions. With my health suffering, physically and emotionally, I closed Tribal Collections down and took a breather.
After a severe bout of panic disorder I noticed an ad in the paper for a local once weekly art class. 

At 35 I had found the thing that lit me up!

Almost immediately I wanted to share what I was learning. It was a revelation to me!!
All my life I had thought that art was some magic thing that only SOME people could do and here I was finding out that it was within me the whole time and better yet inside everyone!!

How awesome is that!
Gathering a small group of kids I started a  weekly art class for kids which I called ArtzSPARK; 

Self confident
Kind kids

For the next 11 years I taught these classes, branching out to adult classes too and in 2004 I began working within the school system as a Teachers aide with Special ed kids.
I worked on my own healing, learnt a whole bunch more about people and art and family and relationships and then.........

when the time was right 
and I was ready
BIG things began to happen
and well........

you all know what happened next..... :)

until tomorrow beautiful ones

lots of love Tracy xoxox 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 23~30 days of bloglovin'so where did I leave off?

Beautiful full moon tonight sweet friends!

 Image credit: Santana Verdugo

Hanging low as it came in over the Bay and I'm not feeling too crazy from it...

more like a sense of deep gratitude for all that is...

 Image credit: Dave Kemp

I'm making pies tonight in my very nifty pie maker

in which I place rounds of pastry, top them with whatever toppings take my fancy, put a lid on it and 

hey presto!!

pies in 5 minutes!!

cooking up some vegies and gravy and adding in the leftover shredded Mexican chicken I cooked in the slow cooker a couple of days ago for tacos....

just a quick post tonight

and I know some of you are waiting with bated breath to hear my next instalment of my very crooked career path...can I ask you to wait just a little longer..lets see what tomorrow brings!

I'm diligently working towards my first book deadline~chapters 1-3 ( I still have to pinch myself that I actually have a "book deal" with North Light Publishers :))))))))) How crazy is that!!??

and I am working on a chapter in which I talk about the awesomeness of each and every one of you!

The importance of owning and telling your story 
and how each one of us is part of the most beautiful tapestry,
every sacred thread unique
every individual stitch necessary and valuable 

are you owning your beauty tonight under the watching full moon?
I hope you are ♥

lots of love
Tracy xoxox

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 22~30 days of blog lovin' "When all over the place" leads you to exactly the right place....

I cant believe I've managed to keep up a daily post
 for 22 days!  
Thank you so much for hanging in there with me through thick and thin xx

 Today I was working on my book and thinking about how every experience we go through enriches our story and leads us to exactly where we are meant to be.

I am 47 years young and have dabbled in sooooo many jobs and careers on my way to where I am right now, and I'm feeling like its a pretty good place to be....


in celebration of us creative types who like to dabble in this and that
who try out things which sometimes don't work...
but always learn from our experiences 
and always bounce back with new, innovative ideas

I'd like to dedicate this post to you all

a little(might be quite long!) recap of my (ahem) career path over the past 30 some years (probably over several posts!)

Let me know if you can relate :)

1981~ my mum enrols me (after I beg her incessantly) in a modelling and deportment class where the owner/teacher Judy Le Paris tells me my eyebrows are all wrong! On her advice I pluck half of them off, draw in a line that makes me look like a drag queen and they never properly grow back.
A month or so after I "graduate" I get my first "modelling job"~ serving drinks to middle aged business men while wearing a skimpy santa suit in a Gold Coast night club. I am sixteen. My mum takes the outfit, puts it in a rubbish bag, drives me to Judys house and throws it over the fence. Thank God for mums!

1981~ I get a Saturday job in a bakery where I often sneak into the Cold room to devour a chocolate eclair. My modelling career is really over but I am very good at slicing bread.

1983~ After finishing high school I spend a year in a retail glassware store. My boyfriends brother has taken up glassblowing, making cute little swans that I get to fill with different coloured water each day. After a year I NEVER want to see a glass ornament OR  dust again!

1984~I begin studying at the University of Qld and at the same time start a job in promotions. 

Oh dear! 

Back to wearing skimpy costumes and giving out free drinks to sleazy men in nightclubs!
My boss, a savvy thirty something "sex in the city type businesswoman" starts going out with a local mafia Godfather (in his own small way) who runs several illegal casinos. They offer me a job at one of the casinos where I serve drinks and make toasted sandwiches for a bunch of old Italian guys playing Manila. The tips are good but the hours long and its hard to wake up for my morning classes.

1985~ I meet Marco while he is travelling, a gorgeous smiling California surfer boy, who has moved into the flat upstairs from my grandmother. I quit Uni and follow him to California where I attend my first Tupperware party and am instantly recruited.

1985-1990~ I become a Tupperware queen (I'm not making this up!) complete with company car, and learn lots about marketing and promotion and positive attitudes but after five years realise that I'm really not that passionate about plastic storage.

1990~ I get a job working for National Parks and Wildlife as a Promotions officer and spend the next five years promoting Australian native wildlife and presenting shows in schools, shopping malls and on TV with snakes around my neck, cuddling koalas(who sometimes bite!), possums up my sleeve and a fruit bat named Stinky who likes to hang from my outstretched arm and pleasure himself in front of giggling groups of school kids!

enough for tonight...need to have some family time but will continue on tomorrow

sweet dreams lovelies!

lots of love Tracy xox

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 21~ 30 days of blog lovin'~ a gift from me to you ♥

Beautiful friends ♥

Thank you so much for being with me so far along this ride of everyday blogging.
Thank you for being with me in the ordinary moments
the sad ones
the tired and grumpy ones
and the grateful, wondrous ones....

for being so wonderful I have a gift for all of you today.

It started as a gift for myself
a reminder that there is no need to compare myself to others
a reminder that my voice is unique and valuable

I mean geez that's what I've been writing about these past few months
in the first chapters of my book.

Funny isn't it...
how the universe does that...
how when I begin to reach out to tell others what I feel in my heart
it throws it all right back at me to see where I sit with it all....
really, truly...

so here is my gift to us all
Lets not forget it and shine our light so bright

Here is the link below for your own free downloadable Tracy Verdugo print to hang in your creative space as an every day reminder that you are so incredibly amazing! ♥ Feel free to share ♥

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 20~ Thirty days of blog lovin'~catching dreams and catching breath :)

 It's been a huge couple of weeks and yesterday I had a moment of feeling totally, physically and mentally spent.

done, zip, ready to curl up in a ball 
and sleep for two days.....or maybe a week....

the unexpected death of our beautiful Gingy boy two weeks ago, right before I left for New Zealand, left me no time to really sit with my sadness, 

after a fun, whirlwind teaching trip to NZ I arrived back home to greet and host my new dear friend Judy Wise, and in amongst all that let's just throw in regular life and commitments to be there for Marco and the girls AND a deadline for my upcoming book fast approaching.

All of this ( as wonderful as it is and believe me I am not complaining) has left me in need of some space and time to be still.....

Yesterday I even curled up on my bed one hour before my kids art class started, 
set the timer for 30 minutes and was out like a power nap got me through the afternoon and together we had lots of fun creating beautiful dreamcatchers....

beautiful mess...

original designs

 and happy faces....

When I started this 30 day commitment to my blog I was so inspired by Flora Bowley having done the same
 and with all of the lovely things happening in my world I thought it would be fun, exciting and my blog usually is...


The thing is.....a daily commitment means you get me when I'm not feeling excited and upbeat...and its really hard for me to admit that......this weekend I was talking to Judy about the gap between our online personas and our real selves. 
You see I really love that I am helping others to find their creative mojo and move in the direction of their dreams 
but I've been making the mistake of thinking that I have to appear on top of things at all times and that is just not possible.

So here I am being real 
being human
is that ok with you sweet friends?

until tomorrow xoxox

 ps for all those who sent me lovely messages about the paintings I posted in yesterdays blog and completed at Judys workshop over the weekend, here is the link where you can buy Judys ebook and find out all about Cold Wax for yourself :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 19~ 30 days of blog lovin' the discovery of cold, luscious wax!

So happy with my Cold Wax paintings from  a wonderful workshop with Judy Wise last weekend....
Oh what a weekend and how fun to be the student for a change!!

The beautiful and talented Judy Wise gently guided us
 on a voyage of discovery....

 into the awesome world of Cold Wax....

 These are some of my finished works from two days of fabulous play...

I LOVE this technique!!

and cannot wait to play more....
thank you so much for coming all the way to Australia to share Judy! xoxo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 18~ 30 days of blog lovin' seeing things through new eyes :)

 so much beauty here in our area but it always comes home
 when you show someone else where you live...

 Judy and I hung out with the parrots today at beautiful Green Patch

 and then walked through the trees at the BOODEREE Botanical Gardens.....
 where Judy learned about scribbly gums and turpentine gums and paperbarks...

 we found a wealth of inspiration in the landscape...

 hieroglyphs in nature.....

recorded with wonder...

what a wonderful day :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 17~30 days of blog lovin' what a weekend!

Just a very quick pic tonight as I am ready to head upstairs to my squishy pillow and firm bed,
What a wonderful weekend we all had soaking up Judy's quiet, lovely, centred sharing......much time to reflect on our own process but equal allowance for watching Judy work and learn by example.
The afternoon took an interesting turn when, after everyone had left, Judys supersonic, brand new, button press, ignition rental car started behaving in strange ways, refusing to start and making weird clicking noises from the boot! WE called roadside assistance and upon hearing of a two hour wait, felt our only option was to head down the street to show Judy the Aussie culture of the local bowling club and enjoy a beverage!

The NRMA turned up before we had barely taken a sip so we left our drinks to head back to the car where the sweetest young guy ( Judy said he looked like George Harrison) got her started (the car that is) AND told us to go back and finish our drinks while he waited and did the paperwork!

Judy said that overall she had found us Aussies to be super friendly and helpful and this just topped it!

Off to explore the native botanical gardens tomorrow :))

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 16~30 days of blog lovin' New toys and fun with Judy Wise!!!

Oh what a paradise we live in and sometime it takes sharing it with a visiting friend to appreciate it anew.......the beauty of the Basin on a still afternoon...

 the myriad secret spots of natural treasure...
the finding of kangaroos in someones front yard...

  much to Judy's delight!
a quick visit to the whitest sand beach in the world.....
and a conversation about the difference of light in Australia...
with these skies....

to fill our senses with wonder all on the same night....

 and then today...

 a whole new day of discovery in Judys wonderful class.....

 playing with what I know but in a whole new arena of tools and processes!

 oh my! I think I'm in LOVE!
 with oils and cold wax....

 and a beautiful, introspective, curious, soulful teacher named Judy Wise....

until tomorrow
lots of love Tracy xoxox