Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Gifts for YOU

Who doesn't like presents? While giving these gifts across cyberspace is absent the thrill of pretty paper and ribbons followed by ripping open the packaging to reveal the goodness inside, I believe these gifts can give you so much more over the long term. What I have for you below is a list of glorious websites that will introduce you to some inspiring people across the world. I have discovered many of them by word of mouth (or randomly clicking internet links), and since I have both words and a mouth, I made this list of World Wide Goodness just for you.

These are in no particular order, and each is worthy of a click of the mouse. So, Dear Reader, here is your present and I hope you enjoy. Each one has brought me happiness, and I hope they will do the same for you. In a season filled with Christmas cookies and holiday meals, these will feed your soul. Enjoy!

Squam Art Workshops -- What a collection of deliciousness here, ranging from an entertaining blog to online classes to in-person retreats. There is magic here. I'm talking about wrap-you-up-in-starlight-and-set-you-atop-a-unicorn magic.

Jennifer Belthoff -- The Love Notes Postcard Project is free and quite the delight. Check out her online journaling courses, too. Such goodness!

The Conscious Caterpillar -- Xan Holyoak uses her delightful writing skills to give the reader a peak into her life in South Australia, where kids, husband, a big heart, and conscious living combine.

Danielle LaPorte -- She is a force of nature who leaves you wondering how you ever got along without her. Whether through her Desire Map book, Truthbombs, or her motivating daily planner, she'll set you on a path to your goals and you'll like it.

Stephanie Levy -- Her Creative Courage course offering guides dreamers of all levels toward those very dreams. Whether professional artist or one who just wants to break out of their shell, this site has several offerings to inspire and encourage.

Brave Girls Club -- Two Idaho-based sisters bring sunshine and comfort to their part of the world and yours with uplifting words, cool crafty projects, and daily reminders of the love of community.

Artsyville (Aimee Dolich) -- I discovered Aimee's work by randomly searching Etsy, and I immediately was drawn to her colorful designs. Several purchases later, the wall of my study is covered with her work, and I often give her designs as gifts, which are always a hit with recipients.

Harriet Goodall -- This Australian artist brings the ancient craft of weaving to a new level here, turning cast-offs of the natural world into unique works of art. Best of all, she teaches it, too! (I was lucky enough to participate in her online weaving class last year and was totally hooked!)

Jean Ellen Whatley -- On my list of Top 10 Books, hers is firmly in that mix. In Off the Leash, she escaped the daily drudgery of job and home to set off on an epic road trip with her dog, where she discovered much more than expected. On her blog, she continues to bring her candid wit and insightful observations to many.

Nicola Taylor -- What happens when you combine a talented photographer and the moors of North Yorkshire England? Pure magic. This self-portrait photographer has a unique manner of bringing her vision to life (and has a great story of how she became a photographer), producing hauntingly beautiful art as a result.

Flora Bowley -- I cannot say her name without an elongated pronunciation, "Flooooooooorrraaaaa". Colorful abstract paintings bring color and shape together in a new way, and best of all, she teaches her technique through classes and books.

Kerry Lemon -- Who says you have to do what everyone else is doing? This illustrator proves through her story and practice that artists can do what they love and make a living.

Momastery -- Glennon Doyle Melton's hilarious and heartfelt blog about life with her family is a must read for moms and non-moms (like me) alike, and this piece that she wrote about kitchen gratitude had me laughing until I hurt.

Elizabeth Gilbert -- Author of Eat Pray Love, Liz is wonderfully accessible to her fans via her Facebook page, where she frequently writes posts that encourage and uplift her readers. Though internationally known, she takes the time to personally interact with her readers on her page.

Hannah Stonehouse Hudson -- If you were anywhere near a computer last year, you surely saw the touching photo of a man floating in the waters of Lake Superior with his aged dog, Schoep. Hannah's lens caught that poignant moment of love, sending her into the international spotlight for her talent. She remains incredibly grounded as she practices her photographic arts from her home base on the shores of Lake Superior. A year would not be complete without her wall calendar of lovely pet photos donning my wall.

Susannah Conway -- Break free from what binds you by soaking in all the loveliness of her website. Whether you subscribe to free emails or enroll in an e-course, the benefits will most assuredly be memorable.


  1. You just made me cry! No one has ever described me that way... that I know of. Rita, the world is a better place with you in it and I am honoured to be your friend. Thank you for this beautiful list. It is a perfect gift xo

    1. Oh, well, now we're both crying! After reading your blog entry yesterday about Pitch Perfect, seeing Elizabeth share it on Facebook, and being thankful for our friendship that came out of the class -- oh, it's just so much -- my cup runneth over. Someday we will meet at Squam, I am sure of it, and we'll just talk and talk and talk over many cups of tea. You are most definitely a bright spot in this world. xo

    2. I have begun my jar - it's a big jar, actually it's a cookie barrel :-) And we have a date!


I'd love to know what you think, so please leave me a comment or two.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.