Note: - to change the width and height of thumbnails, modify the 110px and 100px values in red - to change the color and size of related posts titles, change the #333 color value in blue - remove the line in violet if you want the related posts to be displayed both in homepage and post pages. Step 5. Find the line below (you will find two times, but you need to stop at the second one):


I am happy to share my thoughts, interests with you.
For all my other creative ideas please check the links to my other blogs.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

March 09 Wallpaper with and without Calendar

Even though we still have snow on the ground and the snowstorms, but every so often there is a day when spring is in the air. February 25th was such a day and the crow was asleep in our blue spruce tree until I decided to take a picture.

Wallpaper with Calendar

Wallpaper without Calendar

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Trouble with Being a Renaissance Woman

bloggingI have run into a little snag with my blog. I am trying to cover too many subjects and so find it difficult to submit the blog to be included in sites. I guess, that is the problem when your interests are all over the place rather than limited to just a few.

So I am trying to figure out how to solve this problem. My main website is called Marlies' Creative Universe for exactly that reason. When I started it in April of 1997 it was manageable, but now after all that time it has grown to humongous proportions and is more like 5 websites in one. On top of it due to the amount of traffic I am generating and the fact that I am using TYPO3 as CMS the site literally crawls. That is not good for visitors, as they have to wait for the pages to load.

So temporarily, I have solved this slowness problem by making most of the pages static rather than dynamic. It helped, but I still will have to figure out a way to improve this on a permanent basis and that brings me to the problem of switching to a different CMS.

TYPO3It took me a year to figure out how TYPO3 really works as most of the tutorials were written for programmers and not lay people. That experience has lead me to discover that I am great at tutorial writing by taking 'geek talk' and explain it in plain English.

After using Blogger now for almost a year, I like the ease of use, but not for a website of my site. I looked into Drupal, but that was even more 'geeky' than TYPO3, so I scratched that off the list. Currently I am immersing myself in Wordpress and think I will go that route. The problem I have with Wordpress is learning to understand the templating system better and figuring out how to translate my TYPO3 experience to Wordpress.

You might ask why I don't just go and pay somebody to help me? Well, that is not my style. I am totally self-taught with computer stuff and like leraning at my own pace. Yes, sometimes it would be great to have a mentor, but taking official classes or paying for help is a no.

I have found some Wordpress templates that I like and even figured out how to install XAMP on my computer so I can test locally, but sometimes the themes don't quite do what I want them to and then I have to do some more research and that is time consuming and progress is slow.

So my next step is to create a blog for each of my main interest and link them to that section of my main website. I hope that it will make it easier for visitors to subscribe to a blog that is more narrowly focused. This blog will stay, but focus more on my thoughts and interest that don't fit into a neat category.

Does anybody have any ideas how I could approach this transformation differently? I am open to input and would love to hear from you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Do You Understand Your Dreams?

I have a lifelong interest in dreams. My hubby is a natural at helping people understand their dreams. After being married to him for as long as we have been, it has rubbed off on me and I now can usually interpret my dreams myself.

Before you can try to understand your dreams, you have to remember them. Some people never remember their dreams and others are like me that they go through waves of remembering their dreams and then suddenly nothing.

I view this like this. The dreams I don't remember have served their purpose and don't need to be remembered. The dreams I do remember have message for me that I should pay attention to.

Some dreams explain my current situation and offer support or tell me that I am on the right track. The dreams I find hardest to place are the ones about the future, as I don't know that they are about a future event until that event happens.

This weekend I came across a website with an article about understanding the meaning of dreams that combines it with EFT. This is something, I had not thought about. Cool another thing to tap for.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Different Perspective about Death

Following my post from two days ago, I had to add this post from a RSS feed I subscribe called Chief Joseph Newsletter. For me this article is the way I see the world, but to some reader it might be very strange.

Life, Death, and Plane Crashes

Last week, on a cold foggy night in Buffalo, New York, Continental Flight 3407 suddenly spiraled down into a fiery crash five miles from its destination.

John Cali

The plane, for those of you who might not know, crashed on its final approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport about 10:20 that dark foggy night in Buffalo. Fifty people died, including all passengers and crew members, plus one man on the ground.

The sad events in Buffalo had a particularly poignant personal meaning for me. The next night, as I read about them, my thoughts carried me back to a time long ago, to what seemed like another lifetime in a dim and distant past.

I grew up in a small farm town on the shores of Lake Erie just west of Buffalo. In my younger years I worked in the aviation industry, including a short stint as an air traffic controller in Buffalo. I was also a pilot with Colgan Air of Manassas, Virginia, the commuter operator of the Continental Airlines plane that crashed that night at Buffalo. Though I was a Colgan pilot many years ago, I still know people in the company.

So my personal "coincidental" connections to this event were curious and mystifying. What was it all about? Was there some cosmic meaning in all this for me?

I don’t fear death, and rejoice when someone I love dies, because I know they’ve gone Home and are happy in their new lives. In fact, we wrote an article several weeks ago about the death of a close friend of mine.

But this seemingly catastrophic plane crash got me thinking again about life and death, and what it’s all about.

Even though I know there are no "accidents" and death is not the end of us, that night I felt an overwhelming sadness, something I rarely experience these days. I just wanted someone here to talk to.

Of course, I always have Chief Joseph. But that night I wanted someone in the flesh here with me. I felt lonely, something else I almost never feel at this point in my life, even though I’ve lived alone many years.

Last weekend I did talk to Chief Joseph. Here’s what he/they said.

Chief Joseph

Any events out of what you consider "ordinary" are often difficult, even painful, for you. The Buffalo crash is certainly one of those.

It gives you pause to think about what your US President Barack Obama, in response to the crash, said about "the fragility of life."

Your physical lives certainly appear fragile to you. And if you die young or by "accident" you consider it tragic. Yet it is not. All is as it should be.

John, as he explained, was deeply saddened by the events at Buffalo, especially because of his personal connections to the events. He also said death holds no fear for him, and that’s true.

What was going on with him was this: He was "tuning in," if you will, to the human drama of that night. He was viewing, from his human perspective, the pain, the grief, the anger of the families and friends of the crash "victims."

Of course, there are no victims. Every person who died that night had decided, on some level of their awareness, it was time for them to return to Spirit. They are all fine, and happy now.

Yet the human drama remains. And, of course, the human survivors, the families and friends, remain -- many, if not all, of them, in intense pain.

But it is useless for you to take on another’s pain as John did. In fact, you cannot take it on. But what you can and often do is to observe the pain of others and then, in your observance, create your own pain.

That, friends, does neither you nor those you wish to help any good whatsoever. You are useless, of no value to those in pain and suffering if you also are in pain and suffering.

The best thing you can do is to do whatever it takes to return to that place of peace and power within you. To do whatever it takes to be happy -- and to find joy in even these seemingly tragic circumstances.

As John implied, those fifty souls decided to die, and now they are far happier than most of those who remain behind.

It took John a couple of days to realize his sense of sadness and loneliness were of no use to him, and certainly not to any of the people in the crash or to their human survivors.

It is only from your internal place of connection with the peace and power of who you really are that you are empowered to help others. You cannot take on their pain, but you can help them regain their sense of joy. You can help them regain that sure knowing that all truly is well.


Since 1992, John Cali has been communicating with a non-physical entity called Joseph. In one of his many physical lifetimes, this spirit was incarnated as the legendary Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe in what is now the state of Oregon in the northwestern USA. These messages are a blend of information from Joseph, other spirits in the "Joseph group," and John.


Copyright © 2008 by John Cali. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another Perspective on Alzheimer's

My interests are not mainstream and when I came across this interesting article at the 'Dying to Live Again Foundation website' with a different perspective on Alzheimer's I just had to post it. It is the view of 90 year old woman who has died and found a way to talk to her daughter and explain the last years of her life from the perspective beyond the grave.

Patricia on Alzheimer’s

Patricia is a 90 year old woman who had died a few months earlier after having Alzheimer’s for 20 years. She is speaking to her daughter.

I am so excited, my dear one. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been trying to get to you. I know that there are ways that you can kind of feel me and know that I’m around but you’re not sure what it is all about. Do I have a message? What’s going on? So I can tell you right now that I just wanted you to know I’m with you all. I love you all. Just because my body is not there anymore doesn’t mean that I don’t feel that connection. I actually had the most unusual of lives and I wanted to speak to you about that so you would recognize that what happened to me in terms of the illness is not some misfortune or random act that was a tragic kind of turn. I want you to get that there was something about me that was very agreeable to that. I know that sounds strange to you. When you would have such an ability to live life more vibrantly and more in touch with things, why would you choose to be in such a state of dysfunction? I know that if I were looking at me the same way you are I would ask the same thing. Why would anybody get any value whatsoever out of living through what I did these last twenty years before I left? So I’m going to give you a different view – not only so you’ll hear it and know it is true but so you can reach out and help others when the time comes. For you will have a great amount to say in this line of work. You will be pulled into the energy with others who are suffering through what I did. You’re going to give them and their loved ones an entirely different view because you’ll be able to see them with a different eye.

I want you to know that there was a part of my brain that was already pre-dispositioned to this. I know that you’re kind of thinking; well, what about me? Is that going to happen for me? Do I have that genetic code? I’m going to say genes are only a very small part of this. So even if somebody tells you you’re genetically inclined to get this, don’t believe them. It doesn’t matter. It’s what you ask at this level that matters. At the level that you exist at as the essence and soulful being you are, just like me, you don’t have the same inclination. You do not want the experience I wanted. So back to that, you have to ask me, “Mom, why is it you would want such an experience?” and I’m going to tell you. First of all, you have so many lives to live, honey. I can’t tell you how much excitement there is with each new one you step in to. That’s why you don’t care how long you live. You don’t really care at the soul level what’s going on in your life. You just know: oh boy! I get to go to the earth and have an experience of being human. It’s such a beautiful thing that you get excited about it. You love it. You jump up and down.

Well, I’m not saying everybody but most of us do. Most of us who try the human world out love it. Now there are some who come in who do not feel that way – their sense of duty and obligation to the Universe is to help - so they say, “All right, I’ll go into the human condition and live” but they are much fewer. The rest of us all jump up and down for joy and say, “Yes, I want to go.” So when we do we are not set up with a list that says, “I don’t want any diseases that are bad. I don’t want to have trouble. I don’t want to fall into some sort of disarray with other people and on and on.” We don’t say that as souls. We say clearly, “Bring it on. Let’s have the experience. Let’s see what it is going to be about in this life.” I had some beautiful experiences. I had all of you who I love so dearly. I had so much that was full and rich in my life that when I reached the age I did when the whole condition, or the illness as we call it, set in I wasn’t all thrown out of whack. I didn’t just say, “Oh no, what doom.” Now, of course, I had some opinions about it. When you talked to me about it in the early stages you know that. But, on the other hand, there was a part of me that said, “All right. I’m in for this ride. I fully and completely give over to it. I surrender to what the experience is going to be” and I did.

I found myself reaching out, especially when it got to that place where I didn’t know anyone and the memory was so gone. It was in exactly those moments that I was travelling, my dear. I was out there in so many different dimensions, so many different fields of experiences, that there aren’t even words that I could come back into my body and explain to you. I couldn’t sit there and tell to you - this is where I was, this is what happened, this was unbelievable because there are no words. There is no language that you have in your human world, or me when I was there as human, that you would have possibly understood where I was travelling. The travelling was amazing and, yes, it was something that was beneficial to me. I loved being able to then enter back into the flesh and blood of the body. You might ask, “Well, why? If you couldn’t do anything, you couldn’t remember anything, you couldn’t interact in a functional way like you used to, what good was it to travel in all those dimensions and then come right back into a flesh and blood that wasn’t doing anything?” I’m going to do the best I can to describe this and I know it isn’t going to satisfy you.

Let me tell you that sometimes there are parts of your life that you live on the earth where your intention is not to do anything. Really and truly. Sometimes you are just fine with a turn of events that says, “You can stop thinking. You can stop moving. You can stop making anything have to happen according to the rules that you’ve been living by.” So there was great value in me just laying there. I want you to see this because I want you to let go of this part of me, this part of my life - the part of your mother who existed in such a way that seemed so tragic and do difficult and depressing. I want you to see me differently. To realize that there was great value in the learning that I was having and there was a great sense of peace at being able to end up back in that body. Yes, to your eyes and to everybody else’s, it was seeming like I was just laying there but I really wasn’t. I was just in a place of repose, a place of surrender, and then I’d take off again. Off I’d be – out there traversing in ways that you have no idea and then would bring me such a sense of joy and fulfillment and, yes, inspiration. Then back into the body that was still, that was not doing anything, that was not moving in the usual way the human does.

So eventually I had enough of it. Eventually it was all that I required and all that I really cared to continue. So everything stopped. I shut down and no more my physicality would really work. But I want you to know and see the different part that I was living than you could possibly understand when you would observe me. I want you to begin to absorb this into your understanding of why certain souls choose such a condition as Alzheimer’s. I will also tell you that it will never be cured. It is not a condition that can be cured like a disease that has been conquered by our human interest. This is a condition of life that many souls seek, particularly when they get near the end of their lives, and it is a viable way to be. So it will not go away.

I just want her to know that I miss her. I hadn’t seen her for so long. I turned off to her when she was in that condition. I didn’t even go visit because what was the point. I want to make sure she didn’t take that personally.

Oh yes, that’s a whole other reason I wanted to talk to you too, dear. That whole guilt thing - it’s so overrated. Just stop it, will you? There’s nothing personal at all that I took or that anybody takes in that condition. That’s what I mean about you helping other people who have relatives and loved ones that are going through this condition. The guilt just gets real sticky and it gets in the way. Tell everyone that. I know you just basically said, “What’s the point? There’s really no need. I just feel bad and depressed when I go.” I was glad you made that decision because, let me tell you honey, I was travelling to where you were anyway. I was around you just like I am now when I no longer have a body. I was going everywhere and feeling the love of those who love me. That’s the way we live and exist when we’re not in the body.

What is just so amazing to me is that when we’re conscious, and when we’re all invested and involved in our human life, we don’t have any idea how there are so many different roads we can travel here. We can step out into the bizarre and the weird and the strange and it’s beautiful. It has a great meaning to us. So I loved being able to do that. No, I didn’t need you to come by and say, “Well, here I am - standing in the room looking at my immobile, non-functioning mother.” I didn’t need that at all. I was finding you, you were finding me on another level and we were happy with that.

So don’t, for one minute, think that just because you show up physically, or you don’t, that there is something good or bad about that. There really isn’t. When you get to the condition that I was in you are just as happy to have everyone go about the business of their life and just send the hellos to you. I could feel that. Every time you prayed or had a moment where you sent some thinking to me I felt it immensely – right to my heart – and I sent the love right back. That’s what happens, you know, and that’s why I’m so excited you are letting me through to say this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Fan Album

Here is a tip for a quick Valentine craft. It is easy to make and quite unusual.

I took the idea for a scrapbooking fan album and shrank it down in size. I used 6x4 inch photo paper to make the small strips that are 2x6 inches. Each fan used 2 6x4 inch pages and so has 4 pages that are held together by the colored split clip and a scrapbooking flower.
  • Full instructions and MS Publisher template is available here

Friday, February 6, 2009

What is a Maven?

Yesterday on the local radio station I heard them talk about being a maven, but they had no idea what that meant. That gave me the idea for today's post.

I call myself a 'creative maven', a Jack no Jill of all trades. I grew up in Switzerland where in grade 1 I learned to knit and crochet and then over the years to embroider, sew and more. Eventually, I had the opportunity to learn metal work, I learned working with wood by watching my dad. My learning style is monkey see, monkey do.

So what is the meaning of maven? It comes from the Hebrew word 'mevin' to understand and when you have mastered something you really understand it and become an expert, a maven.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why is this day different than any other day?

Today is different because it is my birthday. There is big snowstorm going on outside and I am sitting here at my computer save and warm. Working from home definitely has its advantages.

This morning as I was contemplating my blog post, I had this idea that I was going to see what I could find out about today's date. In the past I had a computer program called 'special day' that made a printout of what happened on any specific date. I used to include it in my numerology and astrology readings I did for people. Sadly, it is totally out of date, but now with the Internet there are many other options to find that information and here are just a few:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Start February with this empowering video

The first month of 2009 is over and we are still on a roller coaster ride, the weather, the economy and our emotions are all over the place. Then I watched this video by Esther Hicks, based on "the secret - the law of attraction" and realized that is has a balancing effect.

If you don't want to watch the whole video every day when you are down, here are 2 a cue cards with the affirmations from the video.

Making the cue cards, gave me the opportunity to use my experimental backgronds. I discovered that most official envelopes have a pattern on the inside and each one is different. So I sliced the enveloped open, stuck them in the scanner and then created square pictures of the scans.