Showing posts with label hands and heart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hands and heart. Show all posts

Sunday, February 14, 2021

At the Heart of Love

Today, my heart is full and filled with the beauty and the grace of all that surrounds me.
Filled to the brim with the magic, wonder, and miracle of all that exists in this world and beyond.

Today, with my own full heart.... 

I will strive to see the peace
that is everywhere.

I will call in the abundance of
beauty and joy that lie in every moment.

I will strive to set aside everything I have learned and presume to know, in order to allow new experiences to flood my being. 
I will do everything in my power to clear my mind of the negative energies that have confused my view and distorted my words and actions. 
I will create a new paradigm that helps me to recognize only the good qualities in every person, place, and thing that creates my environment and the world I live in. 
I will raise my energy and my light to the highest frequencies of love, generosity, charity, compassion, forgiveness, and truth. 
I will fill my head with constructive thoughts and images that will help me to grow inside and out.

I will fill my body with the nourishment it needs.

I will fill my heart with the beauty of all that is and ever will be.

I will fill my spirit with the divine energies that reach out and surround me. 
I will love because I can

give because I can

be gracious because I can

be humble because I have every reason to be

and speak from a place of love, joy, and gratitude.

I will practice random acts of kindness.

I will write a poem.

I will make art.

I will fill up my life with my heart's song.

I will volunteer to help loved ones, family, and friends.

I will reach out to my greater community, my nation, and the world. 

I will recite my own personal affirmations, poems and mantras.

I will laugh and forgive myself when I forget that I made these promises at the beginning of my day.

And at the end of my day I will celebrate and congratulate myself for what I was able to accomplish and not chastise myself for what I forgot.

I will become my true heartbeat and give myself my own valentine of love for I am a child of this universe no matter my age or stage of spiritual development and I have a God-given reason for being here and much I still need to learn, to be, and to do.


Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Sewing with Healing Thoughts of Love

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Rabindranath Tagore's words from 1910 and his call for peace and freedom for his beloved India resonate in my heart and my own fervent belief in our need to call out for equality and freedom and a better life for all people in our own countries, nations and our much bigger world.

We must simply and complicatedly open our hearts to one another with love for all of man and animal kind and with the deepest of true sentient caring, compassion, and most of all, mercy.

We must direct our minds and our hearts through the energies of this love and compassion to envision, create, and bring forth into reality a new and better world.

The true world of sacred communion and all encompassing community that in our hearts, minds, and souls we all dream of within our deepest dreams within a dream that we call reality.

We strive to reach across uncertainties to our own basic truths and desires for a happy, healthy cohesive family, country, nation, and most of all world.

And that my dear friends is not always easy to do. This is the hardest lesson, learning and truth. And one that all of us, our countries,  nations and our entire world is and must learn to do to survived our many hardships and challenges.

And for me it's always starts with hope, faith, and charity--and always, always begins with love for family.   

And we all  have really good days filled with really good fun while still working towards our individual goals and desires with an immediate goal of being as happy and healthy and productive in living our days and weeks and months, and lives as we can.

And we have really challenging days, weeks, months or even years when things get harder and more challenging.

But our family is hanging in there,  celebrating the really good days of optimism and strength and inner faith that hope prevails and goodness and light lift us up over and over and over to keep up the good fight for health, healing and hope.

New fundraiser has just started this month but still shows 2019 amount ending 8 months ago and no longer in the actual account. But we are so blessed by all donations past, present and going into the future. Thank you so very much!

Bless all of you who contributed. It helped her so much and meant more than you could ever imagine.


My daughter, Terin's 2nd year of battling breast cancer continues.  Donations incredibly appreciated with deepest gratitude.

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting--"from my heart and with my hands."

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

In the Heart of Summer

There is a moment when time and space stand still and we are transfixed by beauty, by an event, even by some exceptional moment in time.

Sometimes the moments are magical. Sometimes they are tragically sad.  But we know in our hearts that that magic, even the sad and the tragic times are a marker or a turning point that can impact us forever.

A truly unique, even magical moment or event like the solar eclipse of 2017, or the horrifying moment when the Twin Towers came tumbling down, or the assassination of JFK.

Moments of the heart that stay with us.

Today/yesterday/tomorrow  on the anniversary of the 2017 eclipse I watched and listened to Bonnie Tyler's epic 1983 song of her Total Eclipse of the Heart video on YouTube. I wanted to remember how an eclipse feels, how a gathering of so many doing the same thing all over the world at once feels.

Suddenly, time stood still. Sure I noticed her hairdo,  the 80s shoulder pads, the heavy eye makeup we wore then.

But i wasn't just transported to the 80s. The song, the music transcended time. Moved through space. I was in the magical in between that is a plane and place between and beyond time.

A time when our dearest family friends and neighbors were still alive. When the 12 year old daughter, not yet born, still had 14 years ahead of her. 14 years before my second daughter and 3rd child...her future lifelong best friend and neighbor forever was born.

A time when I still had my parents, my aunts and uncles, all of my sister in laws and friends alive and in my life.  I could see them,hear them, feel them and remember them in the strangest tiny of details.

Now, back in my present time in 2018, when today marks the 33rd birthday of my not yet born youngest child of that yesteryear,  I think of yesterday, today,  and tomorrow.

Yesterday which was once today and before that was even tomorrow...backwards and forwards in the fluidity of time. 

We went outside into the searing heat of summer, the sky once again filled with the dull haze of skies filled with the pervasive smoke of more wildfires again this year in Oregon to take a photo with our sunflowers.

Once more looking next door at the house our dear friends from college days had built just as we built ours right next door in 1978. The 1st houses either of us had ever designed or built, both families eventually going into new home construction during our journeys in time. All so different now.

Deep breathing in spite of the fires everywhere. Deep knowing that the sad is balanced by the beauty of all that's good in the world, in our lives.

I know that inspite of the seeming barriers I can still find our garden behind the wall of self seeding sunflowers. Finding my way between the thorny weeds, the tangled roots, the hidden tornadoes of giant cucumbers and Godzillian zucchini ready to trip me in the overgrowth.

There are more weeds than berries, more weeds than fruits, or even vegetables. But the good nourishes and even the weeds mean growth and survival of the strongest and most stubborn!

I am reminded that we too are strong. The amazing and often unbelievable challenges of my life have shown me this, just as yours have for you. Challenges and obstacles prepare us, teach us, harden us through grace and faith.

In the heart and the heat of summer, I think of my journeys from there to here. Even now, typing on a cellphone , no more desktop computer, no wifi. Old, not working, limited signal strength in my energy filled house of healing. I too am older, have less energy.

 No matter your age, so are you. But we are strong, capable women warriors. And we can sew, we can quilt, we run with scissors and brandish rotary cutters.  When we take to the mat in full fighting form it's a rotary cutting mat or paper crafting mat,  or a kitchen cutting board or maybe even a business boardroom.

Whoever we are, whatever we do, we are women warriors and a force to be reckoned with. We dance to our own music, we use walls to climb over, walk through as well as around. So what if we walked with a cane or cry through our pain. We are here and we make our presence known.

I think, i write and I remember it all. The past,  the present and why I am here and what I  am meant to be and to do.

Now, where did I leave my coffee cup and who moved my car keys??

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

Monday, June 25, 2018

We Were Made for These Times

"My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. 

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. "

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Several years ago, our family used three vessels to canoe and kayak over the 4th of July to one of our dearest places in the world. 

A place on the Oregon Coast where the river meets the sea. A sacred place where we brought our three children, and our best friends brought their three children, all of us together, to play on a peninsula of sand on the Oregon Coast. We shared this over and over, many times over 20 years, until the mother and the 12 year old daughter were killed in a tragic rollover car crash that left the husband and two remaining sons bereft. 

And here in this special place where the river met the sea,  the husband and father was later hiking and no doubt filled with memories and fell to his own death 3 1/2 years ago ...14 years after his loss of wife and child.  Loss upon loss.

Memories of so many wonderful times in the past,  but also of two sons,  now married and with children of their own, missing and feeling the loss of both of their parents and grandparents for their children.

Now, on this trip, the canoe I was in was in with my family, was in trouble. We could not battle the headwind or the waves. Debating between beaching on a side where we could not traverse the rocky beach or returning to the side where we had started and hoping for rescue, instead the members of our family, wondering where we were and  realizing our dire straits, came back for us and towed us with their kayak. 

Just when we had reached that end place of feeling stuck and unable to progress..and were unable to choose between opposite but equal choices... help arrived,  There is always someone there for me, for you, for all of us. 

We may feel physically or emotionally exhausted, or like we are between the  proverbisl rock snd the hard place, but we are more resilient, more capable of facing hard times in our lives, more willing to admit to needing and accepting help. 

We were all made for these times........

 Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

With Heart and Hands: The Claddagh Ring

Being an usual combination of both French and Finnish, I have been strangely fascinated by my own love of all things Irish. I love Celtic music, imagery, and most of all their beautul iconic crosses. I believe that we all carry deep symbolic or archetypal images in our collective subconscious and those images speak and call to us.

Such is my emotional connection to the Heart in Hand image and such is my love of all things that sing my own heart's song in symbol, meaning or intent. I am fascinated by the meanings behind the Claddagh (Claddaugh, Clada) ring...especially with its 'heart and hands' symbolism.

The claddaugh is a traditional Irish ring, given in friendship or worn as a wedding ring. It's history dates back to the Irish fishing village of Claddagh, located just outside the old walls of the city of Galway. The ring was first produced in the 17th century during the reign of Queen Mary II, though symbolic elements of the design are much, much older.

The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The expression which was associated with these symbols in the giving of the ring was: "Let love and friendship reign."

The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the design facing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship. When worn on the right hand but with the design facing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that "someone has captured their heart".

A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger, facing outward away from the body, generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and facing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married.

There are many stories told and passed down through the ages to explain the designing of the Claddaugh, and most involve lost or unrequited loves then brought back together again with the ring. With the joining of both their hearts and their hands and with the loyalty to love represented by the crown, they are then not only forever united but crowned with the higher power of loyalty to that love.

The symbolism of the Claddaugh is not limited to jewelry and sentiment alone. Many of the creative needlecrafts and other hand made arts have also incorporated the symbolic heart in hand and/or hearts and hands symbology into their patterns.

In a week when I am still seeking recuperation from my extended work session in Alaska, and my on-going work, here in Salem, I look at the those clasped hands and truly think of what to means to lend another a hand or reach out with your own hands to give aid or nourishment.

The giving of one's heart, like the giving of one's hand is truly a priceless gift. It is no wonder that so many exchange Claddagh rings for weddings, anniversaries...or even Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Making a Quilted Book or Fabric Journal Cover

I dearly love journeys, journaling, and it is no wonder that I also love to make journal covers. I have decided to share this book cover project which incorporated my own favorite "With Heart and Hands" theme and was a perfect February project, as well!

1. I used leftover warm toned scraps and strips to co-ordinate with this Heart in Hand image.

2. I then used the simplest of random log cabin stripping around the center block image and pieced them together to form the front section.

3. For support, add a piece of interfacing or fleece between the layers, and then sew the front section (right sides together, fleece against a wrong side) to a back section. This creates the entire outside, or visible wrap-around the book, section.

4. Use an additional three pieces for the inside lining section. The center sections uses about 2/3 of the area with two hemmed side pieces to create the 'self-facing' or 'tuck in the book flaps at each end. (Note: at this point you can also add a ribbon bookmark, which can either be hand tacked down or incorporated into the bottom seam....visible or invisible :)

5. Hand quilt, bead or use any decorative stitcheries at this point, before making your final seams. Stitch around all exterior edges, flip and turn to the outside. If you look carefully at the photo above, you can see that the open flap sections are less than 1/4 of the way in from each side. (If you make them too deep, hard back books will not 'bend' enough to be able to insert into the book cover.)

I hope to use my quilted journal to record my sewing and quilting projects. My plan is to include a photo of each project, the project date, a description of the project and/or swatches of fabric, and a record of whether it was given as a charitable donation or a gift, plus any other fun notes, reminders, or momentos of the project.

A book cover that's easy to make, fun to use...and whose photos worked nicely as a blog post, as well ;)