Have a Good Day with Me – Time Sensitive

Today, February 3, is my birthday and I hope you'll celebrate with me.

Alyson Stanfield
After the Broncos sad performance last night, we drowned ourselves in early birthday cake.

It would be meaningful to know that you had a really good day on February 3. So I outlined 8 (my favorite number) things that I thought would make for a next-to-perfect day.

My Birthday Challenge

Just for this one day, could you please do the following? I estimate everything except #1 will take less than an hour (though you could spend longer on #6 – up to you).

  1. Spend time making art – whatever your art is and whatever it needs from you today.
  2. Smile to yourself at least five times.
  3. Tell 1 person you love them.
  4. Tell 1 person – via phone, email, or social media – that you appreciate them.
  5. Write in your journal or on your blog about 5 things you are grateful for.
  6. Splurge in some way on yourself (take a bubble bath, get a manicure, buy a new art supply, take a walk, have a piece of cake).
  7. Listen to your favorite music. *Bonus points if you dance!
  8. Donate $5, $10, $25 or more to a deserving cause. I'll be donating to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), which provides assistance for artists in need all over the country. You can donate to CERF+ here.

I'd Love To Send You This Gift

If you do these TODAY, leave a comment here in the next 24 hours and share the details of what you've done. I have to be able to see that you've done all of them.
I'll pick a winner to receive an Art Biz Coach goodie bag – shipped anywhere in the world. Includes:

  • Hard copy of my book, I'd Rather Be in the Studio
  • 5 CDs: Pricing Your Art, Go Pro, Website Makeover, Your Artist Talk, and Promote Your Art Through Video
  • E-book on CD: The Relatively Pain-Free Artist Statement

Value = $234

Picking the winner is my sole discretion. It might be based on what I hear from you or, if all is equal, I'll pull a name out of the birthday cake.
UPDATE: We have a winner! Selected from a pile of names on paper dropped to the floor (blindly): Denise Newberry of Cabin Press Studio. Congratulations, Denise!

PS: Even if you don't get all of them, done, at least do a few and tell me about them. I hope they make you feel good.

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67 thoughts on “Have a Good Day with Me – Time Sensitive”

  1. Happy Birthday to You. Wishing you a wonderful day! Since we have a snow day and my grand daughter is home from school I may not get to do everything on your fun list but that does not mean I will not try.
    Let you know later how many I got to. Checking off #2 while I am writing this.

  2. Alyson,
    I’m working on the list! You’re the only reason am considering #2 and #1 my biggest challenge today (just under the weather, not because of the UnSuper Bowl).
    How can you “see” if we all checked off #8?
    Please and thank you,
    AM

  3. Alyson, Thanks for all you do for us, and have a great day!
    For #7 – Listen to your favorite music. *Bonus points if you dance!
    Here’s a wish for you, if the link will post: (link removed – outdated)

  4. Hi Alyson Happy Birthday!
    It’s also the day the music stopped in 1959…Buddy, Ritchie & PJ.
    and #2 to #7 done…
    #9 already made a donation of my studio cluttering art to Oxfam. In the past 40 years its helped in two African Villages with clean water and one Peruvian family farm being supported.
    The trouble with travel it reveals poverty in every continent…and you can’t help them all.

  5. Happy Birthday Alyson,
    What a great way to greet the day. If we did some of the items on your to-do list a daily, it would be a much happier world.
    Blessings from God on your special day,
    Angelia

  6. BIPPO BAPPO HAPPIFEROUS BIRTHDAY TO YOU ALYSON!!!
    1) I will be in my studio from 4-30 to midnight tonight.
    2) You have already made me smile. More smiles to follow.
    3) Several times already. (Both my husband and my cat.)
    4) I think I am accomplishing that right now.
    5) Gratitudes (at least seven) are part of my daily practice thanks to YOU!
    6) Headed to a zumba class at 3pm.
    7) Will press the send button, then head to the CERF donation site.
    ps Feeling guilty because I had intended to put a FB challenge up to EVERYONE who was watching the Superb Owl to donate $1 or more to their favorite charity, but didn’t follow through.
    Big hugs and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!!!!

  7. Happy Birthday Alyson! Even though I now live in Arizona, my heart is still with the Broncos! Sad yes but life after football goes on. Definitely have accomplished several things on your list today already! Thanks for all you do & hope your birthday celebrations continue on throughout the week!

  8. Happy Birthday, I love that you put Studio #1:
    1. Drawing of Macau feather on crystals, on Twinrocker linen paper; (so far)hey I tried to paste the file here, no luck…
    2.many smiles
    3. yes, husband and kids
    4. sent you and other 2.3 birthday boy card by email
    5. wrote a post; http://obrienstudio.blogspot.com/2014/02/5-things-i-am-grateful-for.html
    6. special hair treatment with rosemary tincture I made last summer
    7. listening all day, dancing for breaks from drawing
    8. donated to CERF

  9. Happy Birthday, just look at that cake. Great list you’ve given us and I plan to work my way through them today. I’d been grumpy through January because of the weather but I realize that I have a lot to be grateful for. Hope you enjoy your special day.

  10. Happy Birthday Alyson!
    You give so much to us all through this blog. You have made a career out of your generosity, no mean feat. I read almost every entry, and act on much of your advice and insight. And I pass your work on to others as a valuable source on how to make art in a sustainable fashion. Thanks, Alyson for helping us all get better at what we do!

  11. Happy Birthday Alyson!!! I’ve been saving this news…as I’ve been working like crazy…hoping you’d be proud of me…because I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished this calendar year so far – and looking forward to a super year of accomplishments. I took your ‘getting organized’ course before this one, and I’m still trying to integrate everything (they’re just not lessons you outgrow, but keep using every day). So far this year (in just January), I’ve started a new series of classes in my studio, “Mentoring Mondays”, I have 2 workshops lined up to teach this summer, – one in France and one in Ireland. I have a solo show in a local gallery lined up for September- to show a body of work I’ve been working on for the last 2 1/2 years, and I just got invited to be part of an “invitational show” at Hartford Fine Arts that is for “Artists that are Teachers” which will hopefully promote these workshops further! I keep looking for ways to keep my work out there through the marketing steps that I’ve built up over the years. (Slow & steady has done it for me, really started this online effort in 2007). I really appreciate the reminders of “Keep focused on your work!!!” It’s all too easy to get distracted by the business end of things…I continue to work hard to find “balance”. The rest of my afternoon (after my lunch break) I’m finishing sealing up a painting that gets shipped out & a thank you note to my collector, and starting my next painting! (of Ireland).
    As for now, I’m going downstairs to have lunch & have a piece of cake in your honor!!! woohoo!!! Thanks for a great day to celebrate!! Best wishes for many more!
    Gratefully,
    Roxanne Steed

  12. Strangely, I have already done all of these things today except the smiling and the writing of five things I’m grateful for. Wait a minute, I’m going to do those now. Right. Done them. Strange holding your mouth in a smile for a while.

  13. Amazing. First, happy birthday and you are and look absolutely fabulous. Next… I am grateful and delighted to say I did today (we started a bit earlier here in Israel) most of the things you recommended, without having read your post first… it’s a wonderful sign for me! I sure will try to adopt this state of mind on other days as well.
    Have a great year!

  14. Happy Birthday… every time I read your stuff I get something so beneficial for my art business. You are a real blessing to the art world. Hope you have a happy, wonderful and fun birthday.
    (And I did most of the stuff you said to do too — and can’t stop smiling :o)

  15. I wish tour birthday turns out to be everything you’ve wished, in good health & peace leading to joy- first & foremost! It happens to be my 1st granddaughter ‘s birthday also! Isabella is 4 years young today, happy at home with her mommy ( my daughter Rachel) daddy & brother Jesus. I called first thing when I woke up to tell her how much I Love & appreciate her being part of our lives. She has my heart, as much as Jay & Elise, my youngest. I truly hope the joy & feeling of being so Blessed will pour over into your day, always! Now to get back to that short list: im working on a pre-cast Hermes statue. Painting it to look like its carved out of (?)-that’s the surprise im teasing with on Twitter @AdrianaJGarces. I’m also listening to my favorites in music, a daily necessity for me 🙂 I started with ” Don’t Stop” by Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown. Chat again soon…and Alyson, I Love You also! Happy Birthday!

  16. …#9 being “hitting enter too soon (c:
    1. Worked on my painting for an upcoming show. The theme is “fear” and I am working on taking and using reference photos for my “main character”
    2. Done! Smiling now, in fact!
    3. I did this this morning and will do it again when I see my boyfriend on lunch
    4. I definitely appreciate the great tips you put out for us artists! So, thank you (c:
    5. I will write my blog post today! (www.unravelledonline.com/blog)
    6. One delicious cookie from the bakery across the street, coming up!
    7. I am currently listening to some Karunesh…and there might be some dancing happening….ahem.
    8.I will donate to ReStart Inc–a local homeless shelter here in KC tonight!

  17. 1. I have completed a value study for a new portrait this morning. Looking sort of good, I think!
    2. Related to #6 – walking a dotty Schnauzer, on a snowy trail, in 18 degrees with Brilliant sunshine, then you know all about smiling, many, many times 🙂 I had the 5 done before we left the front yard!!!
    3. My sweet hubby left for work this morning and we shared our “I Love Yous” and a cuddly hug (as we have every single morning for 32 years).
    4. This morning I hand-wrote a note of appreciation and thanks to my dear friend in England, who is 91 years old, to thank her for writing to me so sweetly and regularly (she has no computer, so we hand-write to each other).
    5. My gratitudes are entered into my daily journal every morning before I even get dressed!!! Jammies Rule!!
    6. See number 2 – Schnauzer Lizzie is 15 lbs, completely full of the joys of life (after 5 years of a cage in a puppy mill) so every little thing we come across, everyone we meet, every leaf which blows in our path – all these things are joys to us. We laugh, run, play, and then come home for a warm towel, a bowl of food and a very long hug.
    7. My favorite music is on right now, here in my studio. Mozart’s Piano Concerto 21 … I did dance to this, because I wanted to do everything on your birthday list, but the dancing to that particular piece was very (very) strange …..
    8. I mailed off $20 to the Pike’s Peak Humane Society this morning – was holding it to next week, but wanted to compete this list today – today, which is an Amazing Glorious Day!!!!!! Sarah

  18. Oops, how did my comment end up over there? I was drawing in my big bath tub which I do when my MS pain is bad.( pic to prove it without showing me!) Beading too. I thanked Back Alley Bygones in Sapulpa, Ok. On Facebook for the wonderful pictures of my one of a kind hair accessories and beaded jewelry. I am smiling lots all day every day as I get to create. Lots of shared smiles with my grand kids today – snow day. More than 5 things in my journal . My MS is not active, created my Artist statement, mission statement, and today finalized my colors and fonts for web site and blog. I also lined up a photographer for my paintings and jewelry . I am grateful you stressed one landing page for all I do . Everything checked off the list. Thank you for all you do. Wishing you many more blessed, creative and joyful years.

  19. First thing first Happy Birthday to you!
    1. Doing-I have been in the studio since 9:30 and plan on being here till 9ish tonight, getting pieces ready for a show this month and to jury into a major art center.
    2. Done and still doing- been smiling since I got out of bed and every time I look at the cat in his box on my workbench.
    3. Done- told 1 daughter, 1 son, boyfriend, dog and cat that I love them. Will tell other daughter when she gets out of work.
    4. Told my accountability partner that I appreciate her and I will help her move boxes out of her old studio Wednesday. And also Alyson thank you for all your support and knowledge that you have shared.
    5. Done- wrote my gratitudes in my Bootcamp Notebook.
    6. Done- ordered metal clay sampler pack (bronze, copper, steel) to experiment with to expand my metal clay experience.
    7. Doing- listening to Loreena McKenitt, finding myself swaying to the music.
    8. Will do- Heifer International http://www.heifer.org when I take a longer computer time break.
    Hope you are having a great day! You derve it.

  20. Forgot to add picked out fabric to make 15 costumes for Kellyville High School play which is my charitable donation of money and time

  21. Happy Day, Alyson! It is my mom-in-law’s birthday, too. May you celebrate many more!
    OK, here goes:
    1) took a break from painting to write this comment. I am stuck at home with the house painters so I grabbed my stuff and set up at the kitchen counter. It works well as long as the kitties do not try to add their input…
    2) I have had many reasons to smile already today, especially at my cats.
    3) I love yous have been given to husband, dad, son and cats
    4) I will text my friend later to say how much we enjoyed her delish food while watching the game (sorry about your Broncos)
    5) Gratitudes have been duly noted in my journal
    6) I had pound cake for breakfast, and now I must fit in a good walk later today
    7) I have been in a Beatles mood lately so Abbey Road is on the iPod
    8) I am donating to the college fund for the kids of a schoolmate who recently passed away.
    I notice that my cats are in too many of these……I guess that’s what happens once the nest empties. Now
    it is back to work!

  22. I’m working on my list… 1) I’m getting ready to head out to the studio; 2) Been smiling to myself every time I pass a mirror in the house; 3) Told my husband and my two kitties that I love them — got a hug from the hubby and headbutt and purr back from the little kitty!!; 4) I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate you and how much you motivate me (and others); 5) copied a poem down in my journal that I saw from another person’s post on Facebook; 6) working on the splurge (not sure yet what that will be); 7) will be listening to 80’s music when I get out to my studio; 8) I donated $10 today to the Arbor Day Foundation… will post this on my Facebook page for you to see. Thanks for the challenge!! And Happy Birthday!!

  23. Believe it or not I DO all of those things on a daily basis (I learned #5 from your Blast off class!)…except for #6 & #8. So tonight when I am at the grocery store I will buy myself dark chocolate with sea salt and I’ll go right now and donate to Happy strays Cat Rescue.
    And…Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating!! And I appreciate you, your blog and the chance to win your book!! 🙂

  24. First off…..Happy Birthday to you!!
    Secondly…thank you for the opportunity to win such a fab prize! Very generous!
    1. Done…there isn’t a day that I don’t do some amount of art.
    2. Done…I always have much to smile about…and do. It’s also good face exercise 🙂
    3. Done…my husband hears this numerous times a day from me!
    4. Done…in person this morning to a dear friend who just had us spend an overnight at her lovely farmhouse for a super bowl party.
    5. Done…or at least will be by tonight. I keep a daily journal for this and always put my gratitude,thoughts and feelings in at the end of the day.
    6. Done…bought some lovely red wine on the way home from the earlier mentioned friends house…and will enjoy it this evening “with” some cake 🙂
    7. Oh yeah…Done…I put on my Bruno Mars cd and of course…I can’t help but boogie along to it as well. It’s Bruno after all!!
    8. Done…I gave to my local animal shelter. Love to support them since I had gotten my dog from there 15yrs ago (he was born there) and now have a 9yr old kitty I adopted from them 2yrs ago!!
    Again…thanks for offering the contest…all good things to do anyway!
    Hope it was a fun filled day for you to!

  25. Happy Birthday Alyson!
    Thank you for your motivation today. Your blog motivated me to finish a piece of art and take on your challenge! Number one can be seen on my website blog. It is a stippling I have been working on since November. A lot of dots, but well worth the time. Here is the link to see “Wide Eyed Wonder”. http://joyesart.com/blog/71405/wide-eyed-wonder
    2 was easy especially after feeling like I accomplished my picture.
    3. This one is easy…I have the blessings of several lovable people in my life
    4. This one is as easy as number 3. You should also be added to the list. I appreciate your generous spirit of sharing your wisdom and common sense so freely with us
    5. Check
    6.My morning hike on my favorite mountain
    7. Does chair dancing count? Van Morrison “Born to Sing: No Plan B”
    I believe you should get notification on number 8
    This world is a better place because you were born. Thank you for sharing your talents with us Alyson

  26. Happy Birthday dear Alyson!
    You kept me busy today
    1. I have been spending time on and off all day on a custom order, doing various things that it needs done (and waiting in between times for things to dry) – I enjoy the creative process
    2. Lots to smile about today! So I did Smile to myself at least five times, and the day’s not even over.
    3. I told two people I loved them (so far) — My ex-mom in law, and also a friend
    4. Who did I thank? Becky the kitchen manager here in my building – she is an unsung hero in my book. I told her in person, actually. I also told a team leader how much I appreciated her efforts
    5. I wrote out all the things I was grateful for today – and I am saving it for a project
    6. I bought some new papers to use for future projects – looking at and buying paper is always a splurge and a pleasure
    7. So far I’ve listened to my Beethoven CDs. No dancing yet but that will come
    8. Coincidentally I received in today’s mail an appeal for the RI Food Bank, so a check went off to them
    Like I said, you’ve kept me busy! And thank you for doing that

  27. Happy Happy Day to you Alyson + enjoy your year to the fullest! OK…. here I go:
    1. I am in the Lilla Rogers Bootcamp + our 1st “mini” assignment is drawing Cuckoo clocks, so now I am obsessing all the different parts of the stunning clock!
    2. As I am researching + drawing my clocks I have chuckled + smiled WAY MORE than 5 times at what I am coming up with!
    3. My husband is the recipient of my I Love You…. along with our Golden Retriever + they both said it to me too.
    4. I appreciate always reading your newsletter + blog + insights Alyson
    5. That was an easy one today to write this AM in my journal…beginning a new art class, the sun was bright, the birds are gathered around the birdbath, my photopolymer plates are due to arrive today, grateful that the plates just got delivered from my trusty USPS man, Jerry!
    6. Today I splurged on having a soft pretzel from Whole Foods… with mustard, YUMMY!
    7. While the printing press is running I listen to REALLY LOUD music, Natalie MacMaster …. dancing is too dangerous around heavy metal machinery!!!! (darn no bonus points)
    8. Donated (actually it is automatic, monthly) to KUNC — NPR a great cause.
    Hope your day went well. Denise
    PS… I like how everything in your birthday photo is colour coordinated!!!

  28. I want to help make your birthday happy, Alyson, because you have encouraged me so many times. Your challenge was timely because I had to drive my husband to the airport today.
    1. Though I’m not pursuing my watercolor or clay sculpture right now, I am working diligently on my fifth book—this morning included.
    2. I’ve smiled to myself at least five times. Once because I’m helping you celebrate and once because my dog is so fun.
    3. I told my husband I love him.
    4. I told an old friend by email that I admire a huge life change she made.
    5. I found my old gratitude journal. The last entry was twelve years ago, so I added five items to it today.
    6. I ate the last piece of our 48th anniversary cheesecake.
    7. I listened—and danced—to music directed by an old friend.
    8. I sent a donation to Gideons International in memory of a cousin who recently passed away.
    Have a great day!

  29. This was fun and as a result, productive.
    1. Painted on a oil painting.
    2. First two smiles, were forced the other three or more were just majic.
    3. Sent an email to tell a friend that I love her….she ansered the email and was happy. 🙂
    4. Sent fb messages to students and letting them know how much I appreciate them.
    5. Finally got back to my blog and filled it with reflection and appreciation: http://www.rustyharden.blogspot.com
    6. I splurged and had decadent hot choclate about 11:30 and looked out the window.
    7. Listened to Jason Mraz (no extra points for dancing…how about toe tapping?)
    8 donated to the Pumphouse Gallery towards the building of their Art Education Center (Here’s my posted pledge: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pumphousecenterforthearts?fref=ts)
    Thank you!!
    ~Rusty

  30. ¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!
    All done…even buying a new art item and am now planning out a design for teaching!
    How is it you give the best gifts on your birthday? I will have to jot down this idea and copy you.
    PS: The donation was made in your honor.
    Angeline

  31. Hey again Alyson!Just wanted to add detailed portion of the Hermes bust im painting. I continue nightly as responsibilities get done 🙂 My vision for this looks nothing as you see here, except for the colors. That’s the idea! I do hope you’ve had a beautiful, Blessed day & wish you many more countless birthdays! The detail is originally posted on Twitter. Here’s the link: Enjoy! http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfdFMtqIUAAfvuT.jpg

  32. Thank you for inspiring me today.(more so than usual)
    1 only spent two hours in the Studio but They were bonus hours.
    2 the smiles were easy
    3 actually told two people
    4 that was easy too
    5 wrote them first thing this morning
    6 the splurge was chocolate, my favorite indulgence
    7 listened to TSO while I was working, Beethovens last night on cd
    8 $20 in my friends name (she recently passed away) to our local animal shelter
    In spite of being snowed in, shoveling snow, re arranging my schedule it turned into a good day.Thanks Alyson, hope your day was great.

  33. Happy Birthday! Thank you for motivating me to enjoy your day! I have tackled your list but can’t compare to those who have responded but I will say this- your motivation helped me have a wonderful day and even though I won’t win your gift I WON by having a great day and accomplished so much by following your list!

  34. The last year has been a tough one for me. Over a third of last year was spent with children at home sick, we have had some major family problems and now we are having some challenging financial issues. The last part of the holidays (I am from NZ we have just finished our summer break) have been spent in the A&E again. Everyone went back to school yesterday and I was just thinking this morning I really need to get back into the art studio full time today but I really didn’t feel like it. I was exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally. Then I saw your little list….it was just what I needed to get me going again today. I really needed this today. Thank you
    1. I spent 3 hours in my studio. I made 3 beautiful tags for my unlabelled boxes. I am ready to post a blog on them in a few days. I finished off two complex cloths I have been making and I make a background for a sketchbook page that I will finish later today.
    2. I smiled to myself 10 times
    3. I told my daughter I loved her even though she has been very prickly lately
    4. I facebooked a friend I told her that I appreciate her. She wrote back and said it had been such a hard week and I made a difference today. I felt so good
    5. I wrote 5 things I am very grateful for in my journal
    6. I gave myself a foot bath and a much overdue moisturise. My feet feel wonderful.
    7. I listened to a beautiful inspirational CD by Hilary weeks and danced my heart out.
    8. I have donated money to the local high school for their music trip to America.
    This has been a great day especially since I wasn’t feeling the best. I appreciate you doing this today and helping me so much. I hope you have a great birthday. I want you to know that down in the South Pacific someone today had a much better day because of you. xxxx

  35. Happy Birthday, Lady!!!
    I’ve had the most glorious, art-filled day – I hope you have, too.
    Today I made art, even finished a piece,
    Said “I love you!” to my sister, the mother of my niece.
    I enjoyed my work, being serenaded by Pandora,
    And for a treat, ate chocolate, which you know I adorah!
    I had a little pedi, which was nice for my feet
    and smiled often at myself…which was really quite sweet.
    My journal is full of gifts and of blessings,
    At the grocery store I donated to a charity and bought dressing.
    I texted the hubs – that I think he’s quite great,
    So when added up…I think that makes more than eight.
    There was more to this day, to fill it with mirth,
    But the best part of all was celebrating YOUR birth!
    Happy Birthday, Alyson!

    1. Thanks, Teyjah. It was fun to write. Love those cave paintings! I especially like the Southwestern ones. I am inspired by the petroglyphs I wander upon when hiking in Arizona. Such deep history! Thanks for the comment!

  36. Dear Alyson,
    Thank you for inviting us to join in your birthday celebration. I did all eight things, perhaps a little differently…
    1. Worked on the eyes on my self-portrait painting. You can see my progress on my fb page… facebook.com/marysfineart.
    2. Smiled at myself at least five times in the mirror while painting my self-portrait. It always made me smile twice, the 1st time was contrived, and then the real smile followed.
    3. I told my cat, Sir Kitty, that I loved him. I looked myself in the mirror while painting, and said, “I love you, Mary”. I am one of the most worthy people in my life of being told that I love them.
    4. I had the opportunity to tell a fellow artist on fineartamerica.com that I appreciated her and her art. I had another opportunity to tell you on fb how much I appreciate you and everything you do when I discovered one of your guides tucked inside my book on VanGogh.
    5. I wrote in my journal five things I am grateful for and had to add three more.
    6. I pampered my hair with an olive oil conditioning treatment for two hours while painting my self-portrait, looking at myself in the mirror (I am painting myself from life, not from a photograph) with the plastic bag wrapped on my head, sooooo glad when it was time to wash it as it really was not a very lovely sight. Lol
    7.

  37. Happy Birthday Alyson! You don’t know how much support you have given me for the last few years! I’m so happy to read your blogs and posts and books and workshops! You are such a blessing to artists everywhere!
    Thank you for giving me permission to do things I love today, in your honor!
    1.Spend time making art – whatever your art is and whatever it needs from you today.
    2.Between getting an email out of the blue from someone wanting to buy a painting and having a puppy that is sweet and lovable, I smiling all day today!
    3.I told two friends, both my daughters and our dogs how much I love them – there’s still time for one more love call!
    4.I’m telling you how much I appreciate you, Alyson! Thanks for being there for me!
    5. There are SO many things to be grateful for – here are the top 5 – leaving a nowhere marriage and moving to San Diego last September, getting my beautiful puppy/companion, Tootsie (she makes me smile all day, every day!), having 2 wonderful daughters, having the best friends in the world! and being super creative every day!
    6.I’d say eating rocky road ice cream as I type this suffices for pampering myself, don’t you?
    7.Brazilian jazz (Jobim) is on as I write – and how can you stay still when you listed to that?
    8.My deserving cause today was to buy my daughter a humidifier – she’s constantly sick with respiratory colds and this should help!
    Happy, Happy Birthday to you Alyson! Thanks for being strong when I feel wimpy about my artistic journey – it can get scary out there! Hugs to you!

  38. Continued… I hit a wrong button…
    7. I listened to Concrete Blues by The Revelations on my cell phone… and danced… Sir Kitty started meowing, so I picked him up and danced with him. He liked it.
    8. I donated via PayPal $25.00 for art supplies to an artist friend who just lost her job. I preferred to make my donation personal.
    Well… it was a fantastic day, Alyson, thank you! I hope your day was amazing.
    I love you and appreciate you…
    Mary

  39. Hi Alyson,
    Happy, Happy Birthday. I hope you had an amazing day.
    Thank you for this, I thought of you all day, and
    we had a lovely, creative, loving and great day here
    in Toronto.
    1. I worked on a larger version of a painting and had
    so much fun. Plus I worked on and almost completed
    a smaller portrait. The woman in the painting would
    like to give me a wall to display my work in her
    coffee shop.
    2. I smiled many more than five times and can send you
    five photos I took to prove it. (You said you have to be
    able to see it.)
    3. I told several people that I loved them, but especially
    my husband Steven.
    4. I talked on the phone, and emailed a few friends, and
    big time told them I appreciate them.
    5. I wrote on my blog about five things I was grateful
    for, but went to six, and could add seven, because I’m
    grateful for you.
    6. I bought myself roses at my favorite flower store.
    7.I listened to Pharrell Williams singing the song Happy
    and danced to it with my son in the kitchen. If 48% of
    happiness is genetic, I am lucky I got that piece.
    8. I donated $40.00 to Avaaz.org, an organization I
    believe in. I don’t know a group that helps Canadian
    artists.

  40. First, Happy Birthday Alyson!
    This is so funny… My birthday was yesterday, February 2nd, and it was a big one: the big 60! Time goes so fast!
    So, after reading your message, I decided to pamper myself a little more (yesterday was a very quiet celebration – a bit solitary)
    1. I did work on several images that I plan to include in a mixed media piece (I am a fine art photographer and do also some mixed media work, in 3D, not on computer). I had fun, was feeling very inspired!
    2. I liked the idea of smiling to myself in the mirror. I recently read about someone saying “I love you” to themselves in the mirror. I did practice both today & I must say, it does bring some loving energy around!
    3. So, including myself, I told 4 people I love them: my husband + my parents.
    4. I called my parents in France and told them how much I appreciate them & I am thankful they are still alive. I also e-mailed several people who sent me birthday cards to thank them & tell them how much their kindness means to me. I sent a special message to a retailer who recently did me a favor.
    5. I already write every night in my journal at least 5 things I am grateful for; so today I am grateful that I have a roof above my head, that I can work from home without trying to venture in the big snow, I am grateful there is plenty of food in the refrigerator and in the freezer, I am grateful for all the birthday cards on my desk, and I am grateful that the Internet is working and that I can so easily keep in touch with Europe that way and do so much research, get so much education through this fabulous tool!
    6. I treated myself and ordered a small mirrored tray to put on my dresser 🙂 http://www.amazon.com/Taymor-Chrome-Vanity-Mirror-Rails/dp/B004Q7EDF6/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1391474306&sr=1-8&keywords=mirrored+tray
    7. I did shake my butt a little while preparing dinner and listening to a CD from a special friend who lives in Germany
    http://www.franck-kade.com/?lang=en
    8. Well, that was a day of really good feelings, the way Life should be, and I was so grateful for everything that it was easy to think of others and pledge a donation to a local cause:
    http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/604255.html
    Thank you so much Alyson for all your suggestions and for sharing your birthday with us. It made me feel my birthday lasted two days 🙂
    Kind Regards,
    Daniele

  41. Happy Birthday Alyson!
    I took up your challenge and here are my results:
    Spend time making art –
    Today I worked in polymer clay I made a few jewelry pieces and completed two of the polymer wall crosses I make for charity [I support Food for the Poor, 100% of the $ from these crosses is donated]
    Smile to yourself at least five times.-
    That’s easy
    Tell 1 person you love them.
    That’s easy too
    Tell 1 person –
    I texted that to my DH today, he’s a great guy and easy to appreciate 😀
    Write in your journal or on your blog about 5 things you are grateful for-
    I blogged about my 5 things here [http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/2014/02/pinterest-monday-2-3-14-five-things-im.html] which I tied into my usual Pinterest Monday post.
    Splurge in some way on yourself (take a bubble bath, get a manicure, buy a new art supply, take a walk, have a piece of cake)-
    I had birthday cake today, it was my DH’s birthday too, I made him a carrot cake from scratch, his FAV. 😀
    Listen to your favorite music. –
    I always listen to the radio while I’m in the studio, [country music] but there was no dancing, just creating.
    Donate $5, $10, $25 or more to a deserving cause. I’ll be donating to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+), which provides assistance for artists in need all over the country. You can donate to CERF+ here.-
    Well, I didn’t physically donate any $ today, but I did get an emergency call from my neighbor [a military wife with a deployed husband] who had to go to the ER and was admitted to the hospital, so I watched her children for a few hours till her in-laws could come and take the kids. I guess that’s my charity for the day.
    I appreciate all the advice found here, it is one of the many steps on my creative journey. ~ Thank you & Best wishes for a great “New Year”

  42. Well it’s my lucky day since I did spend time and finished 1 and 1/2 paintings.
    I smile all the time I’m told and I told my sweet hubby I loved him as I do every morning.
    I spent time cleaning my neighbor’s kids house whose parents were hoarders (recently passed) and took a few loads to the local Thrift Store. I did not tell them I appreciated them, I showed them I cared.
    I took a neighbor’s Great Pyrenee for a walk as he rarely gets walked and is chained up most of the time (I’ve been doing this since last summer- very soft spot for animals). He runs away.
    I was shaking my bootie while writing my blog and listening to “Moves like Jagger” at my local coffee shop. I usually meditate for an hour very early in the morning and part of my routine is to focus on what I’m grateful for.
    What’s left? Donation. I usually give $20.00 per month to my local SPCA but forgot to do so last month so thanks for the reminder.
    I’m grateful for your efforts as they help to keep me on track. It can’t always be easy. Oh and I really thought it was thoughtful of you to reply to my e-mail saying I hoped you felt better. Good on ya! I keep a daily gratitude journal and today’s entry was being grateful for heating systems at -20.
    My usual perk for myself is to take a hot tub early morning or late at night (for me 8pm!) will do that tomorrow morning. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thank you for thinking of others on your special day.
    Hugs, Teyjah

  43. Happy post-birthday day, Alyson!!! I was inspired to accomplish almost all the 8 things, except for the music part… NPR won out instead. Thanks for posting about CERF+, which I donated to, and also shared on my FB page. People are appreciative and responding. My splurge was fresh raspberries + a glass of wine in the bathtub after a long studio afternoon. Thanks ever so much for your amazing energy , all you give, and everything you share with us! (sorry about the Broncos… oh well.) Onward in creating.. xoxoxo karen

  44. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Hope it as memorable!
    Okay, #1 DONE–Started on a new beaded curtain titled “Gingko Leaf”.
    #2 DONE–Since the beginning of winter, I haven’t STOPPED smiling due the best winter ever here in Chicago!!
    #3 & #4DONE–I tell my wonderfully patient husband that I love and appreciate him almost every darn day.
    #5 DONE–I did this back on New Year’s Day, so I’m counting it!
    #6 DONE–Built a big-ass snow fort. Great fun!!
    #7 DONE–Listened to my favorite cooking music (French cafe)while making dinner last night.
    Unfortunately I can’t even afford $5 to donate as I am the one that actually could use donations! I am saving feverishly to get my creations out there this year! It’s been a long road to get to this point as I have had to go along with very minimal funds, but this is the year! I am VERY excited and could really use your gift pack to learn more about how to go about this successfully!!!
    Thanks for listening.

  45. Oh Happy ME on our birthday!
    Thank you for the ‘boost’ – as you do so well.
    So Yesterday (your birthday) I decided on 2 specific subjects and started working on them as my next pieces. They come from my heart and that feels so good.
    I almost always smile to myself, either catching myself having a ‘bad habit thought’ or because I’m just so darn cute/funny! And i got to say I love you to 3 people! My hubby and 2 of my dear girlfriends who I don’t see nearly enough, but we had an impromptu lunch that was so amazing!
    This project helps me realize that I am blessed by having a lot of these things as daily practice! Every day my friend Wendy and I exchange 10 things we’re grateful for (even if they are ‘blessings in disguise’), and I find myself appreciating people all over the place, a text, social media –
    I treated myself to some Rolo’s (candy) and got to shake my booty to the B52’s! (the universe was showering me with opportunities to celebrate!)
    And due to your prompting I chipped in a few bucks to Fences for Fido which is a great organization – and my other passion, in addition to art! Plus my art (and my efforts) are always contribute to my own non-profit, PeopleHelpingPets – Helping shelter pets be seen and loved and find homes!
    WOw! My life is so wonderful!
    Thank you for the reminder! And for all the gifts you have already given me In Bootcamp and so many of your offerings!
    Many blessings for your coming year!
    Jennifer

  46. Happy Bday Alyson!Be healthy,happy,inventive and imaginative!I will ignore your list and tell you what I did today for others:taught 3-year old to cut paper.Donated 20 euro for stray dog, who recently got 7 puppies.Have a memorable day.Majda

  47. Hi Alyson,(I tried to post this today after hearing back from you but no go, not sure why? …so it is probably too late, but anyway….here it is and it was fun to rise to the “challenge”))
    Happy Birthday!
    I smiled (to myself) as I saw the colours of your scarf, then the curtains (both small patterns), then the cake….you are an artist indeed!
    So I did the list!
    Spent 4 hours at my studio doing cold wax and oil and groovin’ to Leonard Cohen. I definitely smiled a number of times. Came home and had a glass of wine with my hubby and then lit two candles and had a bath.
    And this was BEFORE I read your email!
    So I went and did my 5 gratitudes (which I am grateful you taught us in bootcamp). I told my son I loved him. I emailed a friend an appreciative comment on his birthday.
    And I wrote a cheque to the Red Cross to support the ongoing civil unrest in south Sudan…heard a refugee from there speak yesterday so this was my deserving cause.
    All the best in the coming year, Alyson!
    Jane Gateson

  48. What a lovely idea! I had such fun with all your suggestions. I had to drive in winter weather to take my sewing machine in for repair and I sang along with the music in the snowstorm!

  49. Hey Alyson! Great ideas!
    I spent about six hours working in the studio, and smiled almost the whole time:)
    I start and end every day telling my wonderful wife that I love her, and a few more times during the day.
    I dropped of new paintings at a local gallery and told the owner how much I appreciate what he does for the arts community and my career.
    I recorded my newest ideas as I drove around running errands and then wrote in my journal. The blog is next.
    My splurge was on my nutritional supplements. I spent 30-60 minutes a day taking care of my health.
    I listened to some amazing music while I worked in the studio. No dancing today, but I did a little boogie a few days ago.
    Tomorrow I’ll be in my Exchange Club meeting, where we donate to a brag jar, and on Thursday I volunteer my time to wait tables at the local Theatre which will raise money for the Exchange Club.
    Tonight I’m catching up on some reading and research.
    Maybe tomorrow can be just as productive. I love days like this!
    Thanks for the motivation!
    Happy Birthday!
    Randy L Purcell

  50. Happy Birthday,
    Always spending quality time creating art while listening to music and dancing.
    This in turn makes me (and everyone else) smile at me.
    Found some great shoes and on special (in my size) bonus.
    My husband always has my love and appreciation, he believes in me so much (he is so wonderful)
    My donation goes to the salvation army.
    Have a great day and every day.
    Best wishes
    Odette

  51. I thought you were wishing me a happy birthday when I opened up the email – because WE SHARE THE SAME BIRTHDAY. I started my day with the Artist’s way – journaling and then some meditation and then some healing work.
    I celebrated with two very special art friends and we had a fun and easy time together – it had been just about a year since we were all together. I did complete your list and also my list. I took pictures of the day and the laughter and the singing and dancing (Brenda brought her steel guitar and her new accordion) and the art (Penny brought new paintings she recently completed) and the lunch and the cake ( my 97 year old mom made for us) and even the cards. Brenda’s birthday is today and we thoroughly celebrated both of us because we both still want each other and we both still need each other and we are both now 64!
    I can’t imagine a better day! Thanks for adding to it with your blog and HAPPY BIRTHDAY RIGHT BACK AT YOU!

  52. You guys are AWESOME.
    We have a winner! I made about 30+ pieces of paper with your names on them. Then I closed my eyes and dropped them to the floor. With eyes still closed, I picked up a piece of paper that said Denise Newberry.
    Congratulations, Denise!

  53. Thank you SO VERY much Alyson, excited that my name was dropped on your floor + picked up!! …. My mailbox is anxiously awaiting all the special goodies. Can’t wait to play the CD’s. Enjoy your year.
    Warmly ~Denise

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