Welcome

Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Notable Quote: On the Decade Now Ending

`
Jan's note: This says it all!

The decade began with Y2K and ended with WTF.

~ Andy Borowitz in
The Huffington Post


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Feng Shui Road Again

On Monday I went out to do a Feng Shui consultation - the first in quite a while (it's the economy you know) - and dang, it was fun!
.
.
I knew from the start it would be a challenge - my clients, the owners of a medium-sized therapy practice, had warned me of such. The presenting problem was their office conference room, and it had all the ills, indeed: a windowless, tunnel-like entryway; poor lighting and a badly-placed, glaring skylight; a mishmash of furnishings; and unconcealed piping and electrical sockets in the Wealth corner! By the time we'd finished, they a to-do list based on my recommendations, and smiles on their faces. They could visualize the improvements to be made, and now it looked like FUN.
.
My recommendations were fairly straight-forward, interior-decorating type of stuff: Paint the walls in a warm, soft color; filter the skylight and improve the lighting; keep the good furnishings (the conference table was primo) and ditch the hodgepodge in favor of streamlined, coordinated pieces; and place the truly outstanding artwork where it could actually be seen. It was hardly an extreme makeover, but the clients were excited by these new possibilities, and I felt pretty proud, if I do say so myself :)
.
The key, however, to this transformation was not so much in my decorating skills - impressive though they might be - no, the key to meeting this challenge was energy-clearing, which I specialize in and have developing through my long practice of dowsing for information and subtle energies. Contrary to the way I've described it here, I did the energy-clearing first, taking about the half of the appointment. This is standard in all of my Feng Shui consultations - I don't just give pointers; I perform a thorough cleansing and produce a clean energy-slate before we even talk about Feng Shui. I feel strongly about this, because Feng Shui builds on the energy that exists in the space, as well as bringing in positive energy. If you're building on a noxious-energy foundation, you're just building the bad stuff. It's rather like putting a bandage on a wound without cleaning it first.
.
What are these subtle energies I'm working (always with guidance from my dowsing system's connection with Universal Intelligence) to clear? All manner of ghosties and gheesties and things that go bump in the night. Really! There are so many subtle levels beyond what our ordinary senses can perceive - and yet, we do pick them up, even if we don't know what they are. I have cleared geopathic zones and dimensional portals; thought form energy - everybody's bad hair days "stuck" inside the space; karmic ties; and the little gray people often known as ET's. The most sacred thing I've done, however, is clearing of discarnate entities - ghosts, human or animal souls who have crossed over but haven't found their right place in the Cosmos. They are, for one reason or another, attached to the earth plane, and they remain "stuck" until they can be helped to move on. I consider it a great blessing and privilege to be able to do this, even though I sometimes pass it off as ghostbusting (I still haven't received my grey jumpsuit and ghostbusters badge :)
.
Once the energies are cleared, the real-world Feng Shui choices - what colors, where to place the couch, windchime or mirror? - come easy. But without it, people struggle like my clients who spent several years trying to get that conference room right, only to end up frustrated and desperate - fortunately desperate enough to call me! I'm doubly happy that the did, because when I help a helping practice to improve their space, I also help them help their clients.
.
I'm happy that I've been given the opportunity to return to my Feng Shui roots - and it's definitely a sign that the economy's improving. While I do most of my consultations on-site, for those of you who live outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area, don't feel left out. I can do this work at a distance - yes, really. I just need to get a floor plan from you. For more information about my Feng Shui consultations worldwide, visit my intuitive services website. At least let me do an energy clearing, and bust those ghosts for you - because after all, who ya gonna call?

Friday, December 25, 2009

CycleCast for Mercury Retrograde 12.26.09 to 01.15.10

By now, the Christmas dinner has been consumed, the presents have been opened, and we can look forward to the festivities that ring in the New Year. It's always a good time for looking back at the past year, and the Universe has given us a little bit of an energy-gift to encourage those endeavors: It's called Mercury Retrograde.
.
Yes, dear readers, that regularly-occurring timespan that make us pull our hair at all the foul-ups, lost e-mails, and misfires in our communication attempts, begins on December 26 at 7:38 am Mountain Time, and ends January 15 at 9:52 am. Since 12/26 is also known as Boxing Day - the time when you're supposed to pack up those gifts you didn't want and return them - this Retrograde business might not be a bad thing. In fact, this whole cycle has a lot to do with you have and what you want!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Perfect Albuquerque Snowfall

There's something special about snow in New Mexico - not because it's especially rare, but because it's beautiful: Imagine cactus plants iced like sculpture, against a dramatic mountain backdrop under the desert sky. And in Albuquerque it's even better because, as we like say, "It's so pretty, and then it melts!" I woke up this morning to find a perfect layer of snow coating the ground and frosting the trees, so right after I tossed down a cup of tea and bite, I grabbed my camera and went out to get these pics:
.
^ My angel suncatcher lights up the monotone landscape
.
^ This big cholla cactus in my front yard looks like modern art!
.
^ For holiday decorations this year, I hung these oversize ornaments from the big pines that grace my front yard. Here in the snow, they look like a pathway to another realm.
.
^ This towering pine stands beneath the lightening sky, as the clouds break after the storm. And true to form, the snow is now mostly gone as the day draws to a close. Tomorrow I'll have a little snow left in the shady spots - and these pictures - to remind me of a perfect snowfall.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

CycleCast for Winter Solstice to Candlemas (December 21, 2009 to February 2, 2010)

The year's wheel has turned once more, dear readers ~ the Winter Solstice occurred Monday morning at 10:47 am Mountain Time, which means the sun has moved into its waxing phase. There are longer days ahead for those of you who like that sort of thing (I'm a winter person myself, so I will miss those cold, quiet nights). I've prepared a new CycleCast that will take us up to the next cross-quarter day, February 2, also known as Candlemas. For now, let's look at our relationship to the greater whole of the Universe, something we're able to see clearly, as exemplified by The Eye ~
.
;
We bring the clear perception of the Eye to this dance, fellow-travelers, and the Universe greets us with the Wheel. Climb aboard and ride off to meet your destiny!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Twelve Notebooks I've Been Making


I'm putting my feet up after one of the happily-busiest weeks I've had in a long time, dear readers. One thing that made it so HAPPY and BUSY was completing my largest custom-order to date: A collection of beautiful (if I do say so myself ;) notebooks a-noting ~
.
.
This lovely client had purchased two notebooks from me at a craft fair the previous weekend, and in her foresight, she saw my notebook style as the ideal give-away to guests at her winter solstice gathering, which happened last night. I feel so blessed that she trusted me with this order, and that I had the means and willingness to carry it out!
.
.
Her vision for these notebooks was "dark fabric covers reminiscent of a winter's night, with an oval, whitish label to evoke the rising moon." Wow - I saw instantly what was intended, and immediately went to work, bring her vision into reality. I went even a little further than I've gone with my notebooks, and selectively embellished the covers with sparkle. (One of my crafting favorite mantras: Sparkle is good!)
.
.
To put even more of my own stamp on it, I lined the inside covers with papers all of my own design!
.
.
Yesterday, when she picked up the finished notebooks, my client was thrilled - and so was I. She even asked about future custom orders: embellished blank-paper notebooks to get her nieces and nephews started on the lifelong project of journal-keeping. The bit of brainstorming we had time to do on the spot has got me generating a bunch of new ideas ... so guess what, I'm not done notebooking! I'll be making up new prototypes starting today - I've promised myself some new notebooks as a year-end treat, and I've got the supplies on hand!
.
I have an existing notebook collection for sale at my Etsy shop - and each of those is a beautiful, ready-to-ship gift for yourself or another. Obviously, I'll be adding more as we go into the New Year. And if you'd like a custom journal, please contact me! I've got all the details for custom orders in my Etsy shop announcement and shop policies. Happy journaling!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Collage Technique: how I made those holiday images

I've recently posted some new holiday designs at my Zazzle store, and I'm still glorying in the rich color of these works. The collage process I used was a first for me - although it spins off from the work I've done with appliqué using fabric - so here's a little tutorial. Basically I adapted a quilting process known as the snippet technique from fabric to paper: you back squares of your color material with a fusible adhesive webbing, then cut the squares into pieces and arrange on you backing material. When you're ready, adhere the pieces into place by ironing according to the directions on the fusible webbing. That's it in a nutshell! I'll give you the technical details at the end of this post - but now let's talk about the fun part: the design process ~
.
.
Note: because I don't have in-progress photos, I'm showing you a close-up of the finished piece combined with overall views:) For this colorful Candlelight's Gleaming image, I first cut the candle shape from the red paper, and then ironed it to the background paper. Then I cut bunches of green slivers, using pinking shears, from about 5 different shades of green paper. I placed them every-which-way around the base of the candle, ironing them onto the paper and building up layers until I had the effect I wanted. This was absolutely the first time I used the snippet technique, and it was tons of fun! I finished with the flame and the candle wax-drips, by just freehand cutting the papers until I had what I wanted.
.
.
This lively Santa's Work is Done image is the most complex of the series. I used the green snippets combined with punched stars to compose the tree. The presents underneath the tree came from an enlargement of my photograph of a Christmas decoration that's been in my collection for some time. When the paper-adhering was all done, I decided that the background paper was a little too busy, so I dabbed over it with mixtures of silver paint, white paint, and glitter glue - a reverse of my usual process, but consistent with the media-media artists' motto - if you don't like it, paint over it and start again :)
.
.
The bright and beautiful Tree of Stars image was composed entirely of punched-paper stars. For the large star at top, I traced and cut from a favorite template. When it was all done, I thought I'd try doodling over the tree with a glitter pen, to simulate the stitching lines that a real quilter would use. Unfortunately, the press-paper I was using to protect my iron rendered the star papers kind of waxy, so it was difficult to get the pen lines to take. Oh well - it still looks great, I think!
.
.
This beautiful peace dove image is my favorite! I started by cutting the bird's body from an enlarged (on photocopy paper) photograph I made some time ago of a seashell. Then I used a scalloped-oval punch to create the shapes for the "feathers," which I placed in overlapping layers. The translucent-appearing feathers were punched out of mulberry paper. Finally, I cut the branches and leaves out of the appropriate papers and added them to the mix. This time, I traced the leaf veins with a gold metallic-marker BEFORE I ironed them! It was part of my original plan to also add a beak and an eye to the dove, but the design came together so perfectly, I decided against it. This is clearly a case where less is more! Oh btw, I sold a print of this image at my craft show yesterday :)
.
I had great fun putting these images together, and I hope you've enjoyed them, too. The sources book describing this method as a quilting technique is More Snippet Sensations by Cindy Walter (2000). I used Steam N Seam 2 for my fusible webbing; it's designed for lightweight fabrics. I used an iron set for SILK temperature, and one of the backing papers from the webbing as a press "cloth." The colored papers in these collages are largely of my own design - made photocopies either directly from my design or from altered digital images. Yes, I spend a lot of time at Kinko's doing this, but it's worth it - copy paper, I've found, is an ideal weight for collage work, and when it's my design, it's all mine!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zazzle discount code and shopping help for my Dear Readers ~

So I splurged a little yesterday, and bought some Zazzle products I'd had my eye on - and the result was I got a gift for you: A discount code for $5 off a $20+ purchase! Now, I'm going to tell you about the products when I get them, so I can post some photos of my goodies in "real life." And I'll post the discount code at the end of this article ;) Meanwhile, to whet your appetite and give you some shopping ideas for the holidays, I'm going to show you some ways you can put that $5 discount to good use:
.
.
How about refreshing someone's desk (maybe your own) with a matching coffee mug and mousepad? I've shown them here in my Neon Fantasy design, which will surely brighten up the office on even the dullest winter day. But if if you want some less girly, I have a range of designs to choose from. The mug and mousepad set is regularly $24.90, but with your discount it becomes an affordable gift for under $20.
.
.
There's still time to send out Christmas cards - or solstice, or New Year's, or just a heartfelt greeting to distant friends. From my new Holiday Shoppe collection, this Time for Peace card makes a lovely greeting for anyone, anytime. A set of 10 full-sized cards is normally $24.50; with the discount it becomes just $19.50. What a great gift - and matching postage is available, too!
.
.
With the New Year coming up, you need a calendar! I have two designs in my store right now - and this one lets you collaborate with me! I've filled the pages with the best of my collage and photo art work - and each image is set up as template so you can replace my pictures with your own! This is great if you want to try your hand at designing a calendar, but don't know where to start - or don't have enough pictures to fill out the months. Of course, if you can just buy it the way it is, and enjoy my designs throughout the year! With the discount, a large-size calendar goes from $20.95 to just $15.95!
.
.
Time to replace that grubby old shopping bag? Zazzle has great totes, and the discount code lets you upgrade to to this deluxe, Impulse version. I've shown it here in my Form Exists design - an ancient Chinese saying made into a wordle - great gift for the geek in your life! This bag version is regularly $25.95, becoming just $20.95 with your discount.
.
All right, here's that discount code:
BIXPWDPLRBEFFHWXHQBR
Just paste it when making your purchase, and it will be automatically applied - but please hurry because the code expires on December 15. And if, despite my best efforts, you don't see anything you like in my store (I have many more designs than just the few I've referenced), feel free to keep shopping the site. A built-in code gives me a bonus for each purchase that is referred through my links. How cool is that - you get a discount, I get bonus, and some lucky Zazzle seller gets a sale! Now that's enough to put me in a holiday mood, in 3, 2, 1.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Notable Quote: On Borders



Borders in general are a source of difficulty as well as a pointless labor for government bureaucrats, not to mention anguish for the pople who wish to cross them, or who do cross them only to find misery different from the kind they fled. Whenever I hear yet another news report about the nonsensical contortions, both semantic and political, of our government in its attempts to legislate immigration, I wonder why we need borders at all. This may sound patently absurd, given the state of the world. It would take a planetary revolution of the most drastic kind to undo our system of nation states and border controls. I am aware of that. And yet the national borders in Europe and Africa, for example, are a relatively recent development, when seen in the vast trail of human history. There is the added irony that at a time when Europe is relaxing the notion of strict borders - witness the European Union and the attendant ease of crossing borders - the United States is busy building fences and deploying armed guards.
.
As practically absurd as a borderless world might sound, it is equally absurd that certain residents of a place should be "legal" and others "illegal." Besides "illegal" people, borders make possible invasions, occupations, detentions, prisons, and so many other evils. Why shouldn't people come and go freely on the face of the earth? At least as freely as money and corporate investments, which are rarely detained at borders.

~ Lynn Sharon Schwartz, from Not Now, Voyager

Jan says: I found this passage very compelling when I read this book last summer. Then I recently watched The Syrian Bride, a fine movie about the effects of a border on peoples' lives, and it moved me to post this quote.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December's Energy is The Lightning

We've turned the calendar page into the last month of this old year, dear readers. Be prepared for lots of excitement as we head into the holiday season, because December's energy is The Lightning ~
.
Image provided by Bing Clip Art
.
We've been given an interesting energy to ride out the year. In the Star+Gate card system, The Lightning is defined as critical energy that shakes things up. This is good if you've been feeling like you're in a stuck place - a little shaking-up is just what you need!
.
Yet Lightning can also be fearsome.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post-Thanksgiving Thoughts on Gratitude

Thanksgiving is over, the turkey is down to pickings, and we've even survived Black Friday! And I, for one, am thankful this particular holiday weekend is nearly over. It's been a lull I didn't necessarily want in my activities - just so you know, I'm pretty much without family connections, so that means another holiday spent alone. Since this is a long-standing pattern in my life, I'm pretty much okay with it now, and I stayed out of the pity-party this year. In fact, I put my time to good use and started a new collage project :)
.
What does this have to do with gratitude? (Besides being grateful that it's over.) For one thing, I've been inspired to start another Gratitude Journal project to get my spirits in shape and uplifted for the final weeks of this year and into the next. Let me show you how it's done ~
.
.
First, get yourself a nice notebook, like perhaps this Fantasy Flower Journal from my online handcrafts shop. Keep the notebook and a pen by your bed, or someplace where you can reflect quietly each evening. Each night before retiring, write down what you are grateful for that day. It could be something simple, like seeing a beautiful sunset. Or it could be reaching a major goal or overcoming a challenge. And it's always good to include daily blessings, like food, shelter, and the well-being of your loved ones.
.
You can write as many gratitudes each night as you want, but try for at least three. Do this for 90 days. That's the key - consistency and duration of practice. And it is a practice - you might feel like you're reaching to come up with things that make you feel grateful. Fine; just keep doing it! At some point your attitude will shift, and you'll find yourself easily letting the gratitudes flow from your pen.
.
I did this practice some years ago, and I remember that the shift came for me about 45 days into the exercise. I just kept going, and the very positive change in attitude I experienced has mostly stayed with me ever since. Now, I'm feeling that it's time to pick up the practice again - and I will, as soon as I decide which embellished notebook to use from my stash :) In the meantime, I'm going to jot down some things I'm grateful for, right now:
.
  • I'm grateful for this time of year. Really. Despite the recurring single-person-spending-holidays-alone angst, I really love this season. Yesterday I spent some time raking leaves ahead of the incoming cold front, and I felt so refreshed to be out in the crisp air, enjoying the stark beauty of the bare-branched trees and the colorful crunch of leaves at my feet. I've long said I'm a fall-winter person, and this proves it!

  • I'm grateful that I have a nice home, relatively good health, and food on the table. I'm eternally grateful for the loving presence of my dear cat LuvLee in my life.

  • I'm grateful for all my loyal blog readers, Facebook friends, and clients and customers of my business. You folks have kept me going all this time, and your continued support means more to me than you'll ever know!

The practice of gratitude rests on the truism that gratitude changes attitude. Or, as the mystic Meister Eckhart once said, "If thank you were the only prayer, it would be enough." Try it, and you'll see. I'm going to!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Thankful: A Guest Post

Dear Readers: As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season to come, it's a good time to look back and remind ourselves of all the good in our lives. Earlier this month I received the following newsletter from myt friend Shirley Scott of Animal Talk Healing. Shirley's writing so beautifully summed up the meaning of gratitude that I asked her for permission to post it here, which she has graciously granted ~
.

Penitentiary canine training programPenitentiary canine training programPenitentiary canine training program

.

What do you have to be thankful for?

.

What I have learned this year could fill a book. When I said I’d volunteer to be the dog trainer at the Walla Walla State Penitentiary I had no idea what it would teach me. I was prepared to help the offenders learn a new skill and help the dogs find new homes but what the dogs and offenders gave me in return can never be measured in words or even emotions.

.

In this month of Nov. as we think about Thanksgiving in the USA try to look beyond the physical world of “stuff”. The pictures above are of the offenders and dogs in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary. As you look at these pictures remember these men aren’t allowed to have “stuff”. They live day to day without even the privacy of a closed door bathroom. Through their very controlled lives, they have shown me the importance of having someone, human or animal, in your life to love.

.

This has made me love and appreciate my animals and the people in my life even more than I thought possible. It has brought me back to the importance of life – what a reality check I get 3 times a week!

.

Here are some other things I’ve learned from them and what I’m thankful for:

.

I’ve learned to be thankful for the choices I’ve made that have kept me from being in prison where freedom is not an option, where every minute of everyday you are pretty much told what to do and when to do it. I’m grateful to be able to help animals from all over the world and from all walks of life. I knew animals could be a healing factor in people’s lives but until you see a one year old dog turn a man who has been incarcerated for over 20 years into a crying puddle of love - you haven’t seen anything.

.

I’ve learned not to judge anyone for anything they have done but to look at what they are doing today to help themselves or others. I’ve learned to be thankful for the gift of clairvoyance so I can see what is really happening in others lives as well as being able to see much of my own “stuff”. I’m thankful for all the love animals have shown me over the years and the way they keep teaching me patience, respect of nature, how to be humble and set my boundaries.

.

As we start into this changing of the seasons, whether it’s winter or summer depending on your location, take some time to smell the air, walk in nature, look at the birds in flight and be thankful for all the small freedoms you have because many people have made choices that have affected their freedom. The one thing I always think about as I enter the prison on my visits to be with the dogs and offenders is I have the freedom to walk out of this razor-wired, concrete walled institution and can make choices about what I’m going to do the rest of the day. I don’t have to go back to a 9 by 20 foot cell that I share with someone.

.

In this time of history when jobs and money are both few and far between remember the Universe is really giving us time and space to find the real meaning of life. It’s love, sharing, giving, learning, teaching and just being. None of these things cost any money and they are so rewarding. Be like the animals and put your power into life, not money or time and see magic unfold in front of you.

.

Blessings to all. (co-signed by Jan :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

World HELLO Day, and Other Little-Known Holidays of November

I'm getting my online shops ready for the holidays, dear readers! And while we're all thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and such, I've discovered that we have a lot more holidays we've never (or rarely) heard about. Today, for example, is World Hello Day ~ and so a big HELLO goes out to all my friends and readers everywhere.
.
The story of how I made this serendipitous discovery requires a bit of self-promotion, so pardon me if I'm blushing. (Maybe it doesn't come through, but I'm rather ahh-shucksy when it comes to promoting myself.) Anyway, I've been adding new holiday designs to my Zazzle store, like the cool Santa's Chimney card* shown below (it has matching postage, too :) ~
.
.
andwhen I publish an item, I have to tag it. The obvious tag is Major Holidays - Christmas, but I also honor Winter Solstice, and to tag that, I have to go into a category called Minor Holidays. Well! There are more holidays than you can shake a stick at :) One day on a listing break, I checked out the minor holidays for the current month of November, and made this list to share for your amusement:
.
  • November 3 is Sandwich Day ~ yes, we all know it was the gambling British Earl who invented the sandwich dining concept. This day is his birthday!
  • November 6 is Saxophone Day ~ and I just added a smooth-jazz mix to my Pandora Internet Radio, so I'm good on that!
  • November 8 is Cook Bold & Pungent Day ~ living in New Mexico, that's not difficult. Red or green? Chile, that is :)
  • November 8 is Punster Day ~ If the pungent food is too much for you, maybe a rhyming pun will do?
  • November 24 is the start of Game & Puzzle Week ~ break out the Scrabble, Monopoly, and Uno sets! It's the perfect way to keep your guests occupied while the Thanksgiving turkey finsihes roasting.
  • And last but not least, we come to Sinkie Day on November 29. I had to look this one up; it's the day after Thanksgiving, when we get to nom on all the leftovers while standing at the kitchen sink. At least it's easy on the cook ;)
.
And there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed this review; even if some of the days have passed, we can always get ready for next year. And, there's a bunch of days to observe in December: In addition to major holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and my birthday (December 2), we have such events as Bathtub Party Day and Night of the Lizard King. I'm thinking I'll have to honor my birth-month with a description of its holidays, too. Stay tuned!
.
*Victorian Santa image and damask background courtesy of *The Graphics Fairy* - and I have entered this post in the Graphics Fairy's November 30th edition of Brag Monday :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My New Holiday Items at Zazzle ~ and a discount offer for you!

The winter holidays are coming! For a crafter, that means it's a busy time. I've been going to craft fairs and photographing new products for my Etsy shop. But I've still found time to add new holiday items to my Zazzle store! Take a look at these cool pins, featuring a sweet pair of lovebirds sending out their season's greetings ~
.
.
I just bought myself one of these pins to wear at my next craft fair, and a few more to sell. And for doing so, Zazzle gave me a gift that I can pass on to you: It's a promotion code to get $5 off a $20 purchase! First, go to my Zazzle store and look around. If you use that link, you can buy anything from the site, whether it's my product or not, and I'll get a bonus for referring you :) Then, when you have the items you want to purchase in your cart, enter this promotion code:
.
COMVSXELODNXWBRWUGDU
.
Click "redeem" and your discount will be applied - but hurry, the code expires on November 24!
You get a discount, I get a bonus, and a lucky Zazzle seller gets a sale - it's win-win all the way around. How cool is that!
.
Another bit of coolness: While the background is my design, I must credit the bird image on the pin to Karen at The Graphics Fairy, who makes her great collection of vintage images available to crafters, for personal use or resale. If you haven't checked out her wonderful blog, please do so. Thanks, Karen, for your generous sharing of your image file! And, I've added this post to Karen's weekly Brag Monday feature!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Notable Quote: Bloggers thronging before the gates


Hostile observers have always painted bloggers as barbarians thronging before the gates of a besieged culture. This picture has been embraced by some bloggers themselves, who have fancied the rough garb of the invader and relished the license to pillage. But it has always been a fantasy. Bloggers are writers who sit down to type character after character, word upon word, day by day, steadily constructing, out of their fragments, little edifices of memory and public record. In this activity they resemble not the hordes outside the gates of a city, but rather the studious scribes within. Individually they are stewards of their own experience; together they are curators of our collective history. Their work may be less polished and professional than that of many of their predecessors. But they are more passionate, more numerous, and more inclusive - and therefore more likely to succeed in saving what matters.

~ Scott Rosenberg, Say Everything

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CycleCast to the Winter Solstice 12.21.09 ~ Spread your wings and lose your chains!

We are in the final stages of the waning year, dear readers, but the prevailing energies will focus us towards new beginnings, new cycles, and starting over! Is that surprising? Not really; in the great wheel of the year, the Winter Solstice (occurring this year on December 21 at 10:47 am, Mountain Time) has long been celebrate for its lengthening of days and return of the Sun's light from the late-autumn sleep. I've prepared this CycleCast to take us through the solstice turning point ~
.

.... from a collage by Jan Burch ....
.
Flow with the ever-moving Air, fellow-traveler,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Featured in Halloween Orange ~

Some folks are still thinking about Halloween - and that's good news for me, because Charan at Creative with Clay posted her Color of the Week: Orange feature today. And guess who is one of the eight lucky artisans she chose for the feature ~ that's right, moi! I'm honored that Charan picked my Sweet Heart ACEO ~
.
.
The original of this striking ACEO is available for purchase at my Etsy shop, using this link: Sweet Heart ACEO. It's perfect for Halloween, don't you think? Or any time when you need a jolt of color! I also have this design available in print-on-demand products over at my Zazzle store; to find them use this link: Sweet Heart Zazzle Gifts. It's a popular design at that site; fortunately with print-on-demand it will never run out.
.
A big thanks to Charan for her weekly color feature - it's quite fascinating, and a great way to discover new shops. I'm thrilled to be part of this week's selection :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November's Energy is "The Gate"

If you've been longing for some new opportunities to move forward on your path, dear reader, then this is the month for you! November's energy brings us to The Gate ~
.
.
The Gate represents the challenge of how we deal with opportunity. It asks us to go through the gate (at least a little bit) and check it out. It's not the time to reject things out of hand. You can always turn around and go back to where you were, but you'll never know what's on the other side of the Gate if you don't walk through it!
.
On the Star+Gate Pattern, the Gate's nearest neighbors are:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New on Zazzle: Bright Designs for a Gray Day

Yesterday the first brush of winter came through the Rocky Mountains, reaching as far south as Albuquerque. The day was gray with a cold drizzle and snow falling on the mountain elevations. I, however, had a warm fire going, so I curled up with my computer and made some new Zazzle designs ~
.
.
Don't these colors look positively tropical - the perfect antidote to a blustery, gray day! Why don't you click and see the full array of Fantasy designs I've made so far:) Yes, there's even a skateboard in mix! I'm proudly showing off my first my first skateboard, and I have a few more in the works.
.
As I write this, the sun is peeking through the clouds, and the forecast calls for shirt-sleeve weather by the weekend. Don't we love New Mexico! And you know what, I think these designs look just as pretty in the sunshine. I'd love to know what you think ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Have Movies to Crochet By!

With the holidays approaching, my crochet project list is growing by the minute! Here's my new (soft, warm, and cozy) Tricolor Scarf, recently listed for your holiday gift* shopping ~
.
.

* That includes a gift for yourself :)
.
I made this scarf while watching video clips on my computer. As any dedicated crocheter or knitter knows, once you get the pattern down, you don't need to constantly look at your project; you can go by the "feel" of the yarn and stitches. (Yes, I'm giving away one of our trade secrets ;) That means you need something to occupy your mind & eyeballs while turning the yummy yarns into a thing of beauty - and that means, TV/movies are in order!
.
But I don't care to watch TV - never have been a fan, never will be. I like movies, and I'm fortunate to have to a public library system that makes DVDs available for checkout. It's been a great boon, but I've now pretty much seen everything in their collection that I want to watch! What to do, what to do???
.
This weekend I took the plunge and signed up for Netflix (and, no, they're not paying me to post this - sigh). It didn't take long before I had a queue of enough movies to get me through several weeks of crochet evenings! Best of all, I can stream the movies directly to my computer, and not have to wait for the mailed DVDs to come and go. I guess I'll be getting some DVDs in the mail, which is fine, but I haven't quite figured out how that works. We shall see. Meantime, I've already watched Hancock and Paul Blart, Mall Cop, and made great progress on my next crochet wonder. For an added bonus, I got to see the entire movie without commercials!
.
My project list for the season includes more Christmas goodies like stockings, home decor, and maybe another scarf; as many shawls as I can turn out because they make such great gifts; and maybe a small afghan or lap robe. Whew - my fingers will be getting a workout! But I don't mind; I love it and the crochet movements really do keep my borderline-arthritic hands pain-free!
.
So it looks like I've gotten into this movie stream at the right time. I wonder if I can write off the monthly fee as a business expense, lol. And while I've put together quite a queue, I tend to get stuck in a rut (a dozen Jackie Chan movies may be a bit too much). So I'm asking you, dear readers, to suggest a your favorite movies to crochet, knit, craft, or just veg by. It will be great to see what other crafters like to view, and maybe we can keep our queues from getting stuck in a rut!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Notable Quote: Empty Boats


If a man is crossing a river
and an empty boat
collides with his own boat,
he won't be offended or get angry,
however hot-tempered he may be.
But if the boat is manned,
he may flare up, shouting and cursing,
just because there's a rower.
.
Realize that all boats are empty
as you cross the river of the world,
and nothing can possibly offend you.
.
~ Stephen Mitchell,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Greeting Cards for Halloween!

Look at the colorful Halloween cards I made, using vintage, clip-art images from the Graphics Fairy ~
.
.
I originally made these to sell at a craft fair, but I caught a chill this week and hade to cancel from the fair. So it's a gain for my customers around the world, because these cards are now available as a set - at a great price - in my Etsy shop.
.
Happy Halloween!
.
PS: I just posted this to the Graphics Fairy's "Brag Monday" section - you can see it here:
http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/search/label/Brag%20Monday

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fabulous New Afghan Just Listed ~ and a pet-related quandary for the shop owner!

Here's my newest afghan, and I think I've outdone myself in creating another of my popular, colorful signature blankets! I call it my Kaleidoscope Afghan because of the way the colors swirl around the kaleidoscope-bright variegated blocks ~
.
.
You can see it better in the picture below. You can also see how my furry photographer's assistant, LuvLee the cat, has outdone herself by posing in the product shots!
.
.
Charming as she is in these photos, LuvLee gave me a dilemma when listing the afghan. Like any proud momma, I so wanted to show off pictures of my baby! But with online listings, you never know which prospective buyer might be scared away because of cat allergies, fears, or general distaste. (Go figure.) I even raised the question - pets or not in product shots - in a forum thread, and as usual got answers all over the map. Finally, someone pointed out that showing the cat at least alerts allergy sufferers right up front.
.
.
So I decided to go with it, and use this last photo to close out the product listing. (It is, indeed, one of LuvLee's best photos ever :) After all, I mention the cat presence in my shop policies, and I even have LuvLee on my banner - so what's to lose? Beside, I do launder my afghans before they're shipped to the buyer!
.
.
Before I close, I should tell you that the Kaleidoscope Afghan is listed at a special introductory price, now through November 1! If you love jaw-dropping color, handmade beauty, and practical, durable warmth - this is the afghan for you! With the holiday season ahead, here's a great way to get a jump on shopping for a truly special gift. And besides, it has LuvLee's endorsement!


UPDATE ~ This afghan was SOLD to a lovely lady at  holiday craft fair! But I am happy to do a custom order - write to burchjan@gmail.com if interested :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize


.
(My comment to the Huffingtion Post article announcing Pres. Obama's award of the Nobel Peace Prize)

Great News!!!! I am just stunned and happy today, as are so many of my fellow Americans and world citizens who share the dream of peace. Congratulations, President Obama - your careful and dignified approach to the complex dance of international negotions and diplomacy is admired and respected throughout the world!

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My 200th Blog Post - A Retrospective

.
There's an unwritten rule that bloggers have to do something special for posts whose numbers end in "00." And since this is my official Post #200, I've prepared - just for you, dear reader - this retrospective of my blogging journey over the past 22 months:
.
I built this blog around CycleCasts - a word I created to describe psychic forecasts the way I do them, using the unique Star+Gate cards I've mastered for use in my professional readings. So far, I've posted 61 CycleCasts since this blog began in January 2008! To focus this retrospective, here is my first CycleCast for 2009, giving my predictions for the year we've nearly completed. Take a look back - how did I do as a prognosticator?
.
The year 2008 found me taking on the political side of blogging - one of the things that has fascinated me about blogging, even before I began doing it myself. It was, after all, and election year! I kicked off my political blogging with this 4th of July post from 2008 - one of my most popular and commented-upon posts to date! As the time got close to Election Day, I paid increasing attention to the online news, as well as contributing my two cents worth to a number of online forums. It was exciting to be part of this great online discussion, a benefit of Internet connections I would never have expected if I hadn't tried it!
.
In August of 2008 I began selling crafts, especially crochet and collage, online through my fabulous Etsy shop, Eclectica By Jan. Over time, I expanded into selling my images for reprint through print-on-demand site support. This developed into a whole new category of posts I call Jan's Eclectica, dealing with shop news, creative ventures, and even tutorials. Here's a sample post that shows how working with collage/mixed media can turn a bad day into a better one!
.
In addition to my other ventures, I am a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu bodywork. I haven't written as much about this beautiful harmonizing art as I could have, perhaps because I'd rather just do it than write about it! But the posts I have written turn up in a lot of search engine requests, so it brings new folks to my blog on a regular basis. My sample post for this topic tells you what Jin Shin Jyutsu is, and why I'm so passionate about it.
.
Then there's that catch-all category of Everything Else. What better way to end this retrospective than by showing a post of my outtakes ~ proving once again, that I'm only human, and willing to laugh about it. It's a good summary post that hits on several of my interests.
.
I hope you've enjoyed this retrospective, as much as I have in putting it together. Sometimes, when I just really don't want to sit down and write another blog post, it helps to reflect on what I've gained and learned from this venture. Among other things, I've learned that blogs are perhaps the most exciting things on the Internet - and that the programs which support these blogs can be temperamental, but like everything else, that too will pass. I've come to appreciate being able to connect with an international community - blogging truly has connected me with people I would never have met otherwise. And above all, I've learned to keep my spirit of adventure: you never know where a link will take you - and most of the time, it's been good!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Notable Quote: Learning from Blogging


Blogging, the first form of social media to be widely adopted beyond the world of technology enthusiasts, gave us a templates for all the other forms that would follow. Through its lens, people could see the Web for the first time as something they were collectively building. It gave a multitude of formerly private people a public voice. It handed them a blank page and said: Learn. Learn what happens when you take strangers into your confidence. Learn what happens when you betray a confidence. See how it works when you find a lover online. See what happened when you tell the world that you've broken up. Find a job with your blog. Get fired from your job because of something you wrote on your blog. Expose media misinformation. Spread some misinformation of your own.
...Then take everything that you've learned and post it.

~ Scott Rosenberg, Say Everything

Jan's note: I'm approaching 200 posts (this one is officially #199 :) and so it seems appropriately serendipitous that I stumbled on this wonderful book about the history of blogging. I highly recommend it! And for my 200th post, I will be looking back over this blog and highlighting some of my best posts - so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Magician: Energy for the Month of October 2009

A magical new month begins today, dear readers. Why do I say that? Because the cards have told me that October's prevailing energy is The Magician ~
.

.
The Magician is the one who works with energy; therefore all manner of things dealing with manifestation and transformation will be emphasized this month.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Having Fun at the Craft Fair!

I've been AWOL from this blog for most of the past week, dear readers, because I was getting ready for the first craft fair of the fall season - and I think that's good enough reason, don't you? I mean, I worked hard all week - and now that he fair has happened, and I'm so pleased because the results were totally worth it!
.
.
Above, you can see me posed in front of my table, along with some of the colorful wares I had for sale. (My Tabletop Labyrinths sold out :D but I have more available through my Etsy shop.) The fair was a benefit for Christ Unity Church in Albuquerque, along with a benefit for the efforts to bring about a national Department of Peace in the USA. Worthy cause! As you can see, we were outdoors - and we lucked out with the weather! Last week was unseasonably cold and rainy; today is wwwiiiiinnnnddddy, but yesterday we had the perfect combo of sunshine, light breeze, and shady, sheltering trees! It was an unqualified success, imo - nice people, lots of sales, awesome networking. I'm looking for lots of good to follow up from this day!
.
.
I also put to use my new Zazzle products! Above, I'm wearing my "Crochet Psychic" apron - it has my avatar on it, and big pockets perfect to hold all those things you need at a show, like pens, tape, scissors, eyeglasses, a snack, and of course, money! I'm showing my business cards that I also made and printed through my Zazzle site. You can do it, too - just go to Jan's Zazzle Store, and you'll find template designs I've pre-made for aprons, business cards, and a whole lot more!
.
.
My friend, Janice the Dolphin Lady, also had a great day at the fair! Above, she's holding the postcard I made for her to identify her table. I also made her business card template. Her dolphin pillows, like the one she's holding, were a big hit at the fair, and rightly so!
.
In fact, Janice is the person who signed me up the fair in the first place! I owe you a big thanks, Janice, for getting me out on the circuit again, and I'm looking forward to the fairs we'll do together in November and December!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CycleCast for Autumn Equinox, September 22, 2009: Finding Our Place

The Autumn Equinox arrives today, September 22, at 3:19 pm Mountain Time. I've prepared a CycleCast to take from this third quarter-day of the year up to All Hallows on November 1. It's the best part of fall (my favorite season :) and I'm liking the energies the cards have revealed for us. There is much more settled feeling now, than in some of the topsy-turvey cycles we've been through. It's kind of like finding one's place by sitting down in a favorite Chair ~
.


. Fellow-travelers, that is indeed the central energy we bring to this cycle: The Chair is the gift of organization and evaluation; executive function; and being able to find one's place - both literally, in the real world, and metaphorically - being at home in Spirit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Early Taste of Fall

Still a few days before the Autumn Equinox, and I've already turned on the pilot light to my gas-fired stove, and got some heat going! That's just a bit early at my location in Albuquerque, and although I expect that a warm spell will follow soon, the cold rain and wind that came through this week has left us feeling like fall ~
.
.
I don't mind: Autumn is my favorite season - yes, I'm one of those people who endure spring, dread summer, and perk up with the crisp days and turning leaves of fall. (Winter is not bad either, as long as it doesn't snow toooo much - I love the cocooning.) In honor of fall's imminent arrival, I made the photocollage above from pictures of autumns past.
.
With the coming Autumn Equinox, I'll have a new CycleCast to take up through the next quarter-day, All Hallows or November 1. (How fast this year has flown by!) Come back by the evening of Tuesday, September 22, to see the full CycleCast, but in the meantime here's a taste: The prevailing energies will support discipline, focus, and contemplation. Do you have any karma that needs to be digested and integrated? This will be the time to do it!
.
And don't forget, with the Autumn Equinox my pre-season sale on fall and winter crochets will end! This is the last weekend to take advantage of these great offers - so go to the link and check 'em out :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Getting Chilly! Check Out My Pre-Season Sale on Fall Crochets!

Yes, there's a hint of fall (my favorite season) in the air! All afternoon, I watched the clouds roll in as the wind picked up. And now, with the first drops of rain pattering on the roof, it's the perfect evening to wrap up in a cozy, comfy afghan ~
.

.
This is my fabulous Blue Lace Afghan - on pre-season sale for one more week at EclecticaByJan etsy shop! You are so lucky - I've put all my fall/winter scarves and afghans at special pre-season prices through September 22, the Autumn Equinox. Need to go out in the chilly autumn wind? You should to wrap up in a colorful, warm scarf like this ~
.

.
I call it my Red Clay Scarf - read the item description and see where the name came from :) I also have these beautiful holiday crochets included in the sale ~
.
.
Here's a Yuletide scarf/garland, and afghan, to get you in the holiday spirit - faster than Scrooge can say, Bah humbug!" And my totally fun Boo Flower Scarf for Halloween - perfect for a little extra warmth when you take the kids trick-or-treating - or to wear at the office on the day of Halloween.
.
You can see listings for these and all my pre-season sale items right HERE - and hurry, hurry, hurry because there's less than a week left until Autumn officially rolls in, and this special offer ends :)

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin