Little things have been delighting me lately. Capturing my attention.

The coming of spring lightens my heart and sunshine makes everything feel better.

seedlings, seed starting, gardening, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've been getting reminders from the universe, affirmations, reassurances. And I've been seeing hearts everywhere. The sugar I poured into the banana bread batter arranged itself into a heart shape. Splashes of water on the counter are hearts. Rocks, leaves, they're heart-shaped, too.

I haven't had my camera out very much these past months, preferring to experience life's moments instead of photographing them. Even my journal has been sitting neglected.

Sometimes we need a break of sorts.

orchids, houseplants, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Time to just be. Stillness.

Not that I've been very good at honoring stillness. I'm working on a few different projects.

watercolor, watercolor painting, painting, paint palette, lotus, teapots, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And I have so many ideas. I find it hard not to be doing something.

I can be a slow learner. I have written about my struggle to slow down many times here on my blog (here, here, here, here and here, for example). It's always a struggle for me.

I guess that's why the universe constantly sends me messages to slow down. I wish they didn't have to be quite so dramatic (though I guess I wouldn't listen if they weren't). Yesterday while packaging some paintings to send to their new owner, I sliced off the edge/tip of my thumb with my X-Acto blade.* You would think that I would listen to that. SLOW DOWN. But, no, after I wrapped it up, I kept working on projects and getting frustrated that the bleeding would not stop. If I had just sat still for a while... (I seriously had this thought during the process: If I can't work in the studio, maybe I should spend some time working in the garden, instead. OK, universe, I get it!).

Intention is my word for the year. I'm striving for mindfulness. I'm striving to be present. One of the biggest lessons I've been learning from this year's detour is to be present, to take each day as the gift that it is, to savor joy, to let go of worry. There's been a learning curve and I'm still working on it. This is a good reminder to keep going.

hyacinths, bulbs, forcing bulbs, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope you will take some time today just to be. Listen to the stillness. Notice life's beauties and joys and let everything else drop away for a while.

*Amazingly, I didn't get blood on any of the paintings or anywhere in my studio at all. And my thumb will be ok, so don't fret.


  1. Anne, we have things in common - I am always darting about and moving quickly and today whilst shoving a roll of cling film in the kitchen drawer I cut two of my fingers on the exposed cutting edge of a box of aluminium! That definitely slowed me down as I have a bit of a phobia about blood! I love your paintings of the pots with bamboo handles. Such soft colour palettes. I have never thought of growing hyacinths in a jam jar. Seeing yours makes me want to do just that! I hope you have a satisfyingly wonderful weekend. :-)

    1. Ugh! Those cutting edges are always such a pain (sometimes literally!!). They never seem to do a good job cutting what they're supposed to and so often end up cutting my fingers, too!

      It was really fun to paint those teapots (and the bamboo!). They're looking quite different in their current guise and I'm not quite sure about how that project is going. We'll see. I'll share it soon.

      A jar filled with pebbles works really well to force hyacinths (and other bulbs, too). Sometimes I find that it works better than bulb-forcing vases. I always seem to stretch my forced bulbs to just about the time that bulbs are popping up in the garden, but I'm ok with that.

      Hope your weekend is wonderful, too!

  2. :-) oh my, sending a hug!
    I do understand, we all get so excited for Spring, but it can be so busy! I am hearing you. I have a new adventure I will be taking on this Summer. I will share it soon. As Spring has sprung, things are keeping very busy. I have to balance my time with my kids, my work, my dreams......
    ♥ Carla

    1. Awww... thanks, Carla!

      I'm excited to find out about your new adventure! :)

      Spring having sprung sure makes a difference. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to be outside surrounded by green and growing things, my hands in the dirt.

      Balance is always a challenge, but I think simply being aware of the challenge and of the desire (or need) for balance is enough.

      Have a lovely spring-y week!


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