Thursday, December 28, 2017

Creating Happiness!

As a subscriber of several blogs, newsletters and podcasts, I usually just listen/read and think "now that's a good idea...I need to practice that more" --- but today, when I received my "daily om" newsletter, this little reminder actually made more sense to me than anything in a long time.  I have a picture of my sweet little Ozzy as my background on my computer and every morning and every night before bed, he's the first and last thing I see...puts a smile on my face and makes me think...yes, Life is good!  Enjoy!  
"When we take the time to recognize when we are happy and what that feels like, it becomes easier to recreate."

Those of us on the path of personal and spiritual growth have a tendency to analyze our unhappiness in order to find the causes and make improvements. But it is just as important, if not more so, to analyze our happiness. Since we have the ability to rise above and observe our emotions, we can recognize when we are feeling joyful and content. Then we can harness the power of the moment by savoring our feelings and taking time to be grateful for them. 

Recognition is the first step in creating change, therefore recognizing what it feels like to be happy is the first step toward sustaining happiness in our lives. We can examine how joy feels in our bodies and what thoughts run through our minds in times of bliss. Without diminishing its power, we can retrace our steps to discover what may have put us in this frame of mind, and then we can take note of the choices we've made while there. We might realize that we are generally more giving and forgiving when there's a smile on our face, or that we are more likely to laugh off small annoyances and the actions of others when they don't resonate with our light mood. 

Once we know what it feels like and can identify some of the triggers and are aware of our actions, we can recreate that happiness when we are feeling low. Knowing that like attracts like, we can pull ourselves out of a blue mood by focusing on joy. We might find that forcing ourselves to be giving and forgiving, even when it doesn't seem to come naturally, helps us to reconnect with the joy that usually precedes it. If we can identify a song, a picture, or a pet as a happiness trigger, we can use them as tools to recapture joy if we are having trouble finding it. By focusing our energy on analyzing happiness and all that it encompasses, we feed, nurture, and attract more of it into our lives, eventually making a habit of happiness. 

Happy 2018!  My resolution is to create more happiness!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Huge Year End Sale Going On Right Now!!

Hope everyone had an awesome Holiday!  Happy 2018!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Transylvania Explorer!

I am so excited to be a part of this awesome little publication!  Our local newspaper "The Transylvania Times" recently contacted me about doing an article for their quarterly "Transylvania Explorer" magazine...the Autumn/Winter 2017 publication.  They wanted me to write a short bio, my favorite places to take photographs during the Autumn in Transylvania County and a few photography tips!  The magazine came out yesterday!  Here's what it says:
We enjoy an abundance of color here in the mountains, with people traveling near and far to catch a glimpse, but a lot of people don’t realize the Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest mountains (roughly 480 million years) in the world. Because of that, there are lots of plants and wildflowers that grow here during the fall that are very rare and can only be found in a few other places around the world. One of Hardy’s favorites is the “Grass of Parnassus” (aka Bog Star) that blooms during the fall in the vertical bog areas along the parkway.
 But the true indicator of autumn in Transylvania County is the appearance of the Monarch butterfly. “This is when I really know fall has arrived,” Hardy said. These beautiful creatures start showing up mid-September through mid-October. This area is actually on the migratory path for several species of butterfly and birds, which only adds more color to autumn in Transylvania County. “My tips for a great photo would be always have your camera, always have a polarizer filter on your lens (for shooting outside any time of day) and always look for the magic,” she said. “It’s here, if you look hard enough.” 
A Baton Rouge, La., native, Hardy moved to the mountains with her husband almost 11 years ago. She divides her time between photography and running a successful online Etsy shop, where she sells her handmade things. You can see more of her photos and learn more about her by visiting

So, if you've ventured here via that publication, Welcome!  If you are visiting the area and would like some help with your photography, please feel free to contact me!

Thanks so much!  Love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Always look for the magic --- it's there, if you look hard enough" ~ Kathy Hardy

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Life in the forest...

For those that do not know, we had to send our little Lita to Rainbow's bridge last Friday...I'm comforted in knowing she will see Ozzy again and that he's been waiting for her ~ bitter/sweet
My last journal drawing was a tribute to her:
And today I did some "Shinrin-Yoku" [forest bathing] --- what a wonderful day!
Looks like Autumn is on its way!
So much love in the forest!
Squirrel Dinning Table!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule." ~ Frederick W. Robertson

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Cleaning Clearance Sale!

I'm having a huge Spring Cleaning clearance sale in my etsy shop!  Check it out!  Lots of beautiful "one of a kind" hand-knotted necklaces are on final clearance at great prices!  And, don't forget, Mother's Day is just around the corner!
Spring has certainly sprung at my house!  The Trout Lily is already blooming!  I've been busy working on a new website for my photography --- check it out.

Happy Spring!!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"There is a fire within your heart. Use it to light up the world!" ~ Rachel Brathen

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I am a seauxing fool!

I bet you can't look at this and not smile!  I have been finding some of the cutest fabrics lately!  These Farm Animals are enjoying their Yoga practice and are the cutest little things, ever!
Of course, it's for sale here in my etsy shop!  I LOVE it!
And then, there are these hilarious Lama's that made me smile the whole time I was sewing!  
And the bags are lined with pre-washed, unbleached organic cotton muslin and have a cute little pocket sewn in that is made from a piece of vintage Kantha quilt from India!  These come in handy for so many things!  

Hope you enjoyed the Winter!  It's almost Spring!  At least, our yard thinks it is!  

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Surround yourself with people that you can be vulnerable with. People that make you feel normal in all of your weirdness. That live their lives according to their own rules and that give you the freedom to be yourself just by being who they are. Kind people. Good-hearted people. Free spirits. Dreamers. Believers. People that are not afraid to stand in their truth and that inspire you to live yours.
Keep them close, even if you're miles apart.
Life is short and true friendship is hard to find" ~ Rachel Brathen

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Tea Party...

A sweet friend of mine [Nick Friedman] is the owner/potter of this gorgeous little pottery shop that sits right on the bank of the French Broad River in Brevard, NC.  Charmingly named "Duckpond Pottery".  Just about all of the clay he uses is local to Transylvania County, which makes is super awesome!
Lately, he's been busy making these gorgeous little tea cups and will soon be serving tea on the deck of the pottery shop.  I went down yesterday, not only to pick up a cup I just had to have, but to visit and catch up.  Nick showed me some adorable low tables he made [I don't know why I didn't get pictures of those, but I will go back and grab a few and update this post with them here].  Seating cushions will soon be available to sit on, have hot teas, listen to music [or not], and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the water gently flowing down the river
Nick invited me to have a seat on the "invisible" cushion and he served us "pretend" tea from a beautiful handmade teapot and cups.  I have to say, it was a most pleasant afternoon:
[the view from my "cushion"]
And I came home with a smile on my face, warmth in my heart and the most beautiful little tea cup I have ever seen!  It fits my hand like a glove and is the perfect size for my afternoon Kombucha!  Thank you Nick!  You made my day!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Love what you do and do what you love.  Passion is the key that opens the door to Joy and Abundance" ~ David Cuschieri

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

EcoEnclose Contest!

When I got the email from EcoEnclose, announcing a contest for their customers and three winners would be picked to win $1,000 worth of EcoEnclose products!  I knew I had to enter!!  Not only do I pride myself on my packaging, I also try to use recycled items whenever possible!  All of my customers LOVE their packages from Dornick Designs!  I try to make them forget they spent money!  I will continue to always upcycle and recycle whenever possible! 
Anybody that knows me, knows what a huge fan of Mary Engelbreit I am!  Every year [for at least the past 15 or 20 years], I purchase one of her desk calendars that has an adorable drawing and, usually a quote, on every page!  I've never been able to part with the pages once I tear them off...they are just too cute and always make me smile.  So, I ended up with a gianormous stack of calendar pages and had nothing to do with them!  Well, I solved that problem by using them to write my "thank you" notes to ALL of my customers:  
I just snip off the date part and then write on the back!  A lot of times [most of the time, actually], I try to pick something out that I think "goes with" the item I am mailing.  It's a great way to recycle and make my customers day at the same time:
The notes are then tucked under the hemp cord that I use to tie the boxes
Speaking of boxes...I always purchase boxes made from recycled materials.  I make my own labels and print them on my little printer at home and cut them out individually with my fancy little scissors.  The stamp is my favorite of all quotes, ever!!  I stamp the outside of every box with that quote "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life" --- Pablo Picasso.  
I also have a stamp that says "Earth laughs in flowers" by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I stamp on the inside of the box [I forgot to take a picture of that].  I only use acid free archival ink for my stamps.  The flowers I tie on the boxes are created with some flower punches I bought years ago...I don't even know how long I've been using those!  The local library has a huge book sale every year and I go and purchase a couple of books that would otherwise be thrown out, or recycled. 
 I also recycle some of my wall calendars and magazines that are colorful.  
Sometimes I uses dictionaries...whatever I grab that day:
As for the sticks...we live on 3.5 acres in the forest, so there are sticks everywhere!!  I gather them up and keep them in a shoe-box in my closet and that's what I use on my little packages to keep everything in place.  And now, being able to stick my little package inside one of the shipping envelopes from EcoEnclose makes it that much better!!
I also include one of my business cards that are made using my journal's like getting a free little art print with your purchase!  

Well, that's about it!  I hope I win the contest!!  I need some new shipping envelopes soon!  Thank you, EcoEnclose!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" ~ Maya Angelou

Monday, January 23, 2017

An open letter to Ashley Judd and Madonna...

Well, ain't you somethin?!  Something my daddy always said to me when I was really proud of myself, or had on a new always made me feel special.  And, I'm sure both of you are feeling pretty darned proud of yourselves for your tirades and hate speeches over the weekend --- "bravo" --- some of your best performances, I hear.  No, I haven't watched, or listened...I don't need or want to.  The reason being, neither of you represent me...or, any other woman I know.  Neither of you have ever lived in government subsidized housing.  Neither of you have had children wanting something you couldn't afford to buy them [I'm talking a $10 item].  Neither of you have written checks, knowing you didn't have the money in the bank [lucky for my, I had a friend that owned a convenience store and he would hold my checks, if I asked him to].  Neither of you have to worry about bills or going to the doctor because you can't afford to pay.  And all of these things I "lacked" wasn't because I didn't have a job!  I actually had four of which I started my junior year of High School, at an Insurance Company and ended up working there for over 20 years!  I got off work at 4:30 and would then do data entry for a dentist office until 5:30, when I had to pick up my child from day care.  He and I would then go home to our little apartment that we were so very proud of!!  Even though it was a government subsidized apartment [our rent was based on my income], it was our "home".  We had plastic bookcases full of records we would play at night, after dinner [we never had a tv].  We would listen to Journey and Aerosmith on a portable record player and play "match game" for hours [one of my Son's favorite games].  I bought a beautiful bamboo coffee table and a new couch from an actual furniture costs me a total of $250 and I financed it for two years!  I still have that coffee table!  It's the very first thing I ever bought on credit!  Thank goodness, I didn't have any credit cards...I knew they would get me in trouble!  After my Son and I would have dinner [usually something boxed or canned...I would let him have the Ravioli and I had the Ramen Noodles] we would do homework, play a few games and then it was bath and bedtime.  While he slept, I would paint base-coat on wood cut-outs for a lady that owned a painting store and sold folk art.  She would drop off a box full of raw wooden ducks, geese, cows, etc., and I would stay up to midnight, or sometimes later, getting them sanded and painted for her.  I would leave them outside our apartment door the next morning and she would pick them up and drop off more.  I can't remember what she was paying me, but it wasn't very much.  And then, on the weekends my Son was with his dad, I would work at the local flea market.  I worked for a lady that sold fake jewelry for awhile, then I worked for some people that made porcelain collectibles, then I worked for a man that sold plants, and then for the owners that sold furniture and oriental rugs.  I also sold Avon during this time, so I really had 5 jobs!  And still, even with all of that, couldn't afford hardly anything!

A friend of mine at work would get these catalogs all the time and we would look through them during our lunch break and wish and want for things in them.  One time there was this beautiful blanket and I just had to have it!  It was blue and white and had little sheep all over it!  At the time, I needed a blanket for my bed, so my friend offered to purchase it for me on her credit card and I paid her $10 a pay day until I had it paid off...I think it took me 2 or 3 months to pay it in full, with shipping!  And, to this day, I still have that blanket and use it just about every night!  I bet neither of you have a story like this, or ever had to worry about having enough money to buy a blanket!

When I was a senior in High School, I was all set to go to college, but I ended up having a baby, instead.  I've never once regretted having my Son, but I have regretted never attending college.  I was 18 years old and thought I knew everything!  And even the words to your song "Papa Don't Preach" ring true with me, Madonna!  My daddy handed me my car payment booklet and told me I needed to make an appointment with the insurance company to get my own insurance and that I couldn't live at home, once I had the baby.  I think back on that conversation now and I know it had to be the hardest thing my daddy ever had to say.  I went from a kid to an adult in a matter of hours.  I married my Son's father, at the insistence of his family, but we were both kids, so that didn't last any time and I moved into that little apartment, where we lived for several years.  My grandmother also lived in the same complex and she taught me a lot about forgiveness, letting go, tolerance and not worrying about things that may never come to be.  It's because of her that I finally realized life is way bigger than little ole me and that worrying just sucks out all of life's goodness and energy.  So no, Ashley and Madonna, you are NOT like do NOT represent women on don't know what it's like to be sexually harassed by men in power, or date raped by some guy that thought you owed him because he bought you a pizza and a couple of beers!  You don't know because you have body guards and attorneys following you around and protecting you from the general public!  No, you don't know what it's like to be a REAL woman!  You do NOT represent me!  

I honestly don't know why either of you felt compelled to jump around yelling and screaming and threatening to burn down the White House...sounds to me like you were both just seeking out media facetime and attention.  Who knows, you may both get awards for your performances!  Because THAT is exactly what they were!  Neither of you represent real WOMEN!  Give me a break!  REAL women represent ME --- women that have walked the walk.  Go back to your mansions, your servants and your glamour and stay out of the lives of us women that are struggling for equal rights!  You are not EQUAL to us!  Honestly, you both disgust and embarrass me, because now we have people like you representing women!  Give me your addresses and I will send you each a box of bonbons that you can enjoy, while wearing your silk pajamas, or floating around in your pool and watching the REAL world unfold on your giant television sets!

Okay, I'm done --- notice I didn't say anything mean or threatening, or personal about either of you...that's because my mother always taught me if I didn't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!  I feel sorry for both of you!  You have no idea what it's like to live in the REAL world!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"New Year's Resolution:  To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time." ~ James Agate

Friday, January 20, 2017

United we stand, divided we fall...

Sitting on the porch with my coffee this morning and thinking about how divided our world has become...then I noticed three little birds sitting in the same tree, just branches apart. At first I thought they were probably the same kind of birds, or at least a few of the ones that typically hang out together. But, upon further examination, I realized that these birds never hang out together and that they were three different types of birds entirely. It made me smile to think...maybe things will change for the better and we really will become "one" --- I'm being optimistic! Life is way to short and I'm starting today off positive! At the top is a Robin, the middle bird is a Brown Thrasher and the third one is a Hairy Woodpecker!
And the whole time I'm reminded of this beautiful song by Corinne Bailey Rae!  Enjoy!

Life is your neighbor!  

Happy Friday!

"Fearful as reality is, it is less fearful than evasions of reality." ~ Caitlin Thomas

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I'm a sewing fool!!

I've been addicted [as of lately] to making these awesome journal covers!  I finally got my pattern down [that took almost a week] and now I can't decide which one is my most favorite!  These fit a standard 9.75 x 7.5 Composition Notebook perfectly!  And, I've also sewn in a strip of leather, so you can easily mark your page.  The outside cover features a nice zippered pocket, 
which can be used to store your pencils, markers, favorite pens, etc. 
 The inside flap also includes a smaller pocket that is perfect for keeping your favorite pens and pencils, a small notepad, or business cards.  I love them!  They would make great gifts, too!  Check em out in my Etsy shop!

And now I've gone and bought a heavy duty sewing machine, so I can start sewing on leather!  I can't wait to get started with that!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

love and peace ~ Kathy

"If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it." ~ Ruthie Lindsey

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sneaux Days!

It started snowing Friday afternoon and snowed all night...we ended up with about 8 inches, total.  When we moved to Pisgah Forest, North Carolina [wow, 10 years ago already!!], I was so excited about witnessing my first ever SNEAUX!  Being from Louisiana, snow doesn't happen that often and, when it does, it never sticks around for very long!  I fell in love with that initial snow fall and longed for more...that was, until day #2 and I couldn't leave the house, the mail wasn't coming, all the stores were closed anyway and I started to feel a little bit like "Jack" in "The Shining".  Even though I love days of creating and not having to go anywhere, the mere thought of NOT being able to is what bothered me the most.  I can see the Blue Ridge Mountains from right here, while I type this, and they are covered in snow...a beautiful sight, but I like enjoying it from my window.
The good thing about "sneaux days", is that it makes me very creative.  Yesterday, I made several of these gorgeous "personal crystal" necklaces.  Have you ever wanted to wear a crystal, but always thought they looked too "new age" --- these are perfect for just that!  They are gorgeous and, very unique and feminine!  Check em out!
And I have noticed that snow does add a little "magic" to everything!  I even thought about it last night when I was drawing in my journal and, it dawned on me, what if birds built nests on backs of bears!  They sure would stay warmer in the Winter!  Think about it!  
So, if you're like me, and really don't care much for snow, or Winter, you should join our drawing group on facebook!  It's so much fun!  Here's the link:
It looks like the "sneaux" is starting to melt, but today I'll be sewing!  Hope you are warm and cozy where you are!  Happy Winter!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

I'll leave you with this...a wonderful quote our yoga instructor read at the end of our practice last week --- I find it very fitting for Ozzy and I!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year, New Beginnings, New Life Goals!

Happy 2017 ya'll!  Can you even believe it!  Another whole year just flew by like a bird!  And I started it off a little mad at myself.  One of the main things I wanted to accomplish for 2016 was to minimize my life and get outside more often with my camera and just start enjoying life more!  But, what did I do?  I got a sewing machine and started a whole new journey of making more stuff!  I know, I'm a "stuff maker" and THAT will never change!  But, even though I truly love sewing and making jewelry, it's kept me inside even more than ever!  
It seems as though, after my little Ozzy died, I have been in a "funk" of sorts.  I know it's something that had to be, but I can't help feeling guilty, just the same.  As I sit here this morning, waiting for the first snow of 2017, I can't help but think about how excited he would be.  Even though he was totally blind, he LOVED the snow.  He could feel it on his eyes and, I think, he could imagine exactly what it looked like.  And now, he's my brightest star in the sky...I can see him up there, shining his light down on me and my heart and telling me, it's okay.
So, as I wait for the snow and think about what I learned in my Yoga class yesterday, it's time to "let go" of everything that is not serving me.  And, that would be two websites I'm paying for that, basically, have no traffic.  I've decided to just have this one blog and "let go" of the two websites, including my photography website.  In an effort to minimize and de-clutter my life, it just makes the most sense!  Now, if only I can find somewhere to host the song that plays here...I got lots of feedback when I stopped it one time!  lol
Here's to a brand new year and I am determined to simplify my life this year!  Happy 2017!  Hope it's your best year, too!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." ~ Carl Sagan