Book Organizing

Last week a winter storm kept me house bound, and it gave me the opportunity to re-organize my bookshelves.

The winterscape was lovely for a bit, until white-out conditions made my windows hard to see through.

So I started pulling out the books that graced my shelves, to give them a thorough dusting and get them realigned. My collection includes books about nature, a lot of historical and map-making books, biographies of strong women, art books, books for the spirit, including goddess and bellydance books. I also have books about language and writing, along with my own words in print.

With various reference books being used often, and others shipped to me, things get crowded and mis-aligned over time.

So I systematically cleared each shelf, dusted off the books, and considered which ones to give away.

While I love my silent companions, sometimes it is time to let go of the books that no longer get used.

My childhood authors still have a hold on me, and I do re-read their lovely tales on occasion. I have a shelf-full of cookbooks I hardly use, but gave them another year to gather dust. There is also a shelf of vintage books I cannot bring myself to tear up yet.

The bottom shelves hold binders with paperwork that I needed to sort through. The binders had not been updated since 2014.

So a shredding session ensued the next day as I reorganized papers and let go of what could be thrown out.

I have about 3 bags to donate to the library, but also still need to give these two bookshelves a whirl, which is a task for another week.

Space clearing feels good, and lifts up the energy of the home.

The snow is now melting, and chirping birds indicate Spring might return.

How do you re-align your home and your belongings?

Radvent: Influence

I’ll have to let Radvent go through January because there are a few good topics this week. Today I’ll work on Influencing.

Influence Radvent by Princess Lasertron

 Image re-blogged with permission from Princess Lasertron

Five of my greatest influences is difficult to narrow down. I could easily do this exercise for every year of my life, as well as make the list longer. But narrowing down what influencers you should listen to most is very important, especially when you want to be a positive influencer on the world.

1. Nature: Every time I am out by trees or water I am reminded of how time is fleeting, that life has cycles and that everything will (instinctively) work out as it should.

nature photography by Maike's Marvels

2. Captivating authors who inspire me to write: Thea Beckman (her Hasse Simonsdochter is my most influential book), Astrid Lindgren, Annie M.G. Schmidt, Anne Frank, Else Ury (Germany’s Lucy Maud Montgomery), Donna Tartt, Paulo Coehlo.

influential authors to Maike's Marvels

3. Living in 3 countries before age 20. Adapting to each culture was difficult and a huge learning curve, and then exploring 3 states in the U.S. has been an adventure as well. I cannot identify with one single nationality and have learned that every culture has its pros and cons. “Where are you from” is a complicated question!

globetrotting days by Maike's Marvels

4. My year at Thunderbird. That is when I began growing up. I made wonderful connections with people of a variety of cultures, began to empower myself as a person, learned a lot academically and interpersonally, and have fond memories of the international nights.

Thunderbird memories by Maike's Marvels

5. Successful women in the arts and crafts industry: Marjolein Bastin, Mary Engelbreit, Susan Branch, Dee Gruenig, Suze Weinberg, Kelly Rae Roberts, Princess Lasertron, Curly Girl Design. These wonderful ladies are proof that one can pursue one’s artistic passion and thrive. (For those who wonder: “Where’s Martha Stewart?” Martha Inc. influenced my opinion of her too much.) Where Women Create Magazine continues to inspire me and keep me believing that I, too, can have a thriving artsy venture in the near future.

crafty divas who influence Maike's Marvels

Honorable mention:

Family and loyal friends: (whom I couldn’t sum up in 5 bullets as my Christmas address list made clear) #3 would’ve been hell without them.

The ghosts of relationships past (including friendships, teachers, colleagues):  like Christina Aguilera’s Fighter, each one made me stronger and taught me to love and honor myself more.

Music: It calms, empowers, energizes, moves you physically, puts feelings into lyrics when you can’t express yourself. I’ve had a few theme songs throughout the years. “The Good Life” by One Republic sums up this year.

Thoughts: Ultimately, it all comes down to what is in your head and how you respond to situations. I’ve let my mind pull me down a lot, and am working hard on keeping my thoughts positive and uplifting as much as possible. Princess Lasertron’s prompters are key to sticking to happy thoughts.

  • What kind of influence do you want to be on the world?
  • How do you feel about the power you have to influence people?
  • Does anything have too much influence on you?

Let’s be positive influencers today!