Posts tagged quotes
8 quotes from Maya Angelou that speak volumes

I'm taking a step back or maybe a step to the side from my regular blog programming today to talk about something on my heart. The poet, Dr. Maya Angelou, died yesterday at the age of 86. She left behind a wealth of writing and performance that will continue to bless us for years to come.

Unlike some of my blogger friends, I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Angelou or hear her speak in person. I was more of a remote fan, tuning into her countless appearances on Oprah and watching her on television during her brilliant oration in 1993 at President Bill Clinton's first inauguration.

I clearly remember the first time I read her poem, Phenomenal Woman. I was in college, my first-time away from home for an extended period of time, a bit unsure of my place in the world around me, feeling small. I typically read words of any kind quickly in my head, often skipping a few here or there to rush to the point. And as I began her first stanza, I felt compelled to read her words slowly, carefully. Sounding out each syllable in the word Phe-nom-e-nal as I read it and repeated it. The letters themselves seemed to possess a tenacity and resiliency.

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I read and reread that poem. And as I did, I started to understand that I had my own spot from which to stand. And that because of, and not despite, the curves I possess and the strength of my character, I was my own brand of phenomenal. And I visualized all of the phenomenal women I had encountered in my life and saw them again for the beauty they each held.

It was one of those moments that will be significant to me, even though I was merely sitting on my bed, reading from a book. Dr. Angelou taught me or at least pulled out something from within me that I'd missed along the way...

Listen to her articulate the five stanzas like no one else could:

Maya Angelou - Phenomenal Woman by poetictouch

I felt a pang go through me yesterday upon reading of Dr. Angelou's passing. Our paths never crossed yet her work struck a chord with me. That's the power of words, of poetry, of art. Her poems had and have lifted me from one place to another. Her spirit will live on through her wisdom.

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As I read through the illustrations of her words, I found myself typing, "Amen!" or "yes!" to each social media post. The eight I'm sharing with you today are some of my very favorites from talented makers and designers.

Thank you, Dr. Maya Angelou, for helping me to recognize the Phenomenal I was created to be and inspiring generations of women and men to do the same.

xoxo, MJ

P.S. Here's one more from me. I just couldn't resist.


Living life

Hi friends, Man, oh, man, it has been busy around here! I've been away with work while my husband hung out with our kids as they developed the stomach flu. I returned on Sunday evening to a clean house, healthy kids, and a warm welcome home -- nothing short of miraculous.

I'm working on two projects that I can't wait to show you, but they're not quite to the show-me stage.

I'm also monster tired. And in need of a little refresh.

But I've been thinking alot about the quote above. And how my best laid plans now look quite different, and I still think I'm living the life I'm intended to live. It takes me a while to adjust to different plans and the emotions I lay on that transition.

But here I am. In an unexpected place, ready to embrace something new heading my way.

You just never know, you know?

xoxo, MJ

Make It: Washi Tape Frames

Hi there, lovelies. It's wonderful to have you back here again. I missed you at the end of last week, but I promise I've been working some magic behind the scenes to move Pars Caeli to a new level of fabulous.

I had a wonderful birthday - thanks for all the wishes - that was topped off by a fantastic performance of Wicked. Though I'd heard the music and read the book, it was my first time seeing the musical, and I loved it!! Many other special, special moments continued throughout the weekend and into Mother's Day.


I have definitely grown into motherhood and grown from motherhood. Lately as they are now 3, 5, and 8, I find myself staring at my kiddos, amazed at the people they are becoming. Where did these lovely souls come from, and how did I get so lucky to share in life with them? I'm not sure, but I am most definitely humbled and grateful.

And on that note, I have an easy DIY I want to share with you. I made these cheeky notecards with vinyl letters last week that I'm stuffing in packages headed out to some of my favorite bloggers who joined in For the Love of Blogging series.

One of my favorite parts to these bundles are some sacred words.

These inspirational quotes come directly from the writers themselves.

I wanted to create something special for these writers, photographers, artists, and stylists. And as any crafter knows, washi tape is the most forgiving medium around so I was able to adjust and rework the prints as I wanted.


Here's what you need: cardboard, fun paper, glue, washi tape, and a bulldog clip for hanging.

I treasure the words these bloggers shared with me. And I hope they treasure their own words in the same way. Sometimes we discount our own wisdom, don't we? I think with these prints around, it will be a lot harder to do!!


STEP 1: Design your print. Load paper. Print.

STEP 2: Trim print and cardboard to the same size. These are 5x7 but make them in any size you'd like.

STEP 3: Glue paper to cardboard. I used rubber cement just because I love it.


STEP 4: Add washi accents. Make sure that you use the washi tape around the edge to combine the cover the cardboard/paper seam.

STEP 5: Add a washi either right next to the framed edge or a bit closer into the center for more of a matted look.

STEP 6: Attach a bulldog clip for hanging!


Have you ever framed your own words?

xoxo, MJ

P.S. A brand new Celebrate the Normal is headed your way on Wednesday; don't forget to tag your photos. And, I'll be joining in Anne's Love Yourself in a special Tuesday post tomorrow. Hint: The temptations of Photoshop.


Last night was so full of blogging greatness including two wonderful meet-ups and an informative class. I love how this blog keeps me creative, and I adore all the amazing connections I've been able to make. I guess Thomas Merton summed it up pretty well for me.

Great project coming at you next week. And lots of great connections, too.

Have a bright weekend.

xoxo, MJ