Catching up on my connections for #The100DayProject–I can’t believe we are almost 3/4 of the way to the finish line! Here’s day 55-72 (I thought it would be easiest to show them on my board–starting with day 73, I will go back to posting sets of 3 connections like how I have been doing before):
If you’d like to learn more about The 100 Day Project and my personal project, 100 Days of Alphabet Connections, head over here:
In learning more about how to support and stand with the Black community, stop senseless killings of Black men, women, and children, and contribute to solutions so we can stop seeing vicious cycles of racism and violence over and over again, I came across the following organizations and resources. I have personally found them to be educational and helpful and I wanted to share them in case you find them to be helpful as well. Learn more about the work they do, why their work exists, different ways you can get involved, and how to donate at the links below:
The National Museum of African American History & Culture just released a new and free online portal called “Talking About Race”
There are lots more resources right at our fingertips that enable us to research, read, listen, watch, learn, and act. Let’s keep on doing all of those things and as we make mistakes, learn from them and keep growing while remembering that there are many ways we can show up and activism can take a variety of forms. We can encourage and help educate one another instead of judging–we can respectfully engage and support so that we can take action today, and also be inspired by one another to continue to take ongoing action tomorrow and all the days to come. Let’s hold on to hope and stay connected to the heart of who and what we are standing up and and fighting for.
I wanted to leave you with #26 from the “26 Ways To Be In The Struggle Beyond The Streets” article (#7 on the list):
“26- Take care of yourself! Self care is a revolutionary act. The criminalization of black communities, police violence against black people, and the devaluing of black lives is traumatizing. All of it can not only cause trauma but bring up vicarious trauma and sap our individual and collective energy to work for liberation. Step away from the computer, social media, or the tv and take time to remember what we’re fighting for: the people we love and call community. Allowing yourself to feel and express rage, cry, and experience joy and pleasure in these times is not only critical but essential.”
Continuing on with proverbs inspired by the countries our recent Mother’s Day micro-loan recipients are from! This week’s proverb is from Nicaragua, where Evelyng and Alma are from (you can meet them and learn more about their businesses and background in this post). Here is the proverb and the translation:
Every month I create free PDFs that are available for my newsletter subscribers to download. This month I wanted to do something a little different–I am making this set of PDFs available to anyone who would like them and in exchange, I am requesting a donation be made to Equal Justice Initiative (or another organization you support that is helping the Black community and fighting against racism and social injustice).
This is completely based on the honor system–it is up to you if you give and how much you give but please remember that no donation is too small and every single dollar helps! If you are not in a place to donate, I understand. Please feel free to still download the PDFs and take action in other ways (there is a list of links and ideas on the last page that I have come across and found helpful). Here’s more information about Equal Justice Initiative and this set of PDFs.
EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE
Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the US, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. EJI focuses on criminal justice reform, racial justice, public education, and creating spaces for history, reflection, and legacy at The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memory for Peace and Justice.
EJI has a perfect score on Charity Navigator and 91.2% of their finances are used to fund programs.
I encourage you to both donate and take time to read about the work they do, why their work is needed, and learn from the many resources that are available on their website.
These PDFs are made up of a collection of words I have seen repeatedly in my research and reading that have really resonated with me. They are a reminder that it starts within us, our own hearts and homes and communities, and that we can learn, unite with one another, stay hopeful, listen, act, and create on-going change.
The PDF includes 4 pages, all formatted to print on standard pieces of 8.5″ x 11″ paper or cardstock:
The Heart Home Learn Unite Print
A traceable version that you can use to brush letter on/trace over with a small/medium brush pen
A traceable version that you can use to brush letter on/trace over with a medium/large brush pen
A page of resources, links, and ideas I have come across and found helpful
Print these words out as a visual affirmation to keep learning and growing and doing all that we can on a daily basis to fight racism. Share these prints with your friends–send them via snail mail along with articles/resources or tucked into a book. Have your kids color on this print while you have a conversation about racism or what these words mean. Use the traceable brush lettering worksheets while you listen to a new podcast or book on tape about social justice, or use them during some quiet time while you reflect, refocus, and take a break from the news and social media.
Be sure to indicate the specific page you’d like to print out, otherwise you may end up printing all the pages.
If your PDF is getting cut off at the edges when printing, be sure to change the setting on your printer to “fit” instead of “actual size”.
I recommend printing on cardstock if you want to hang or post the print up. I recommend printing on HP Premium32 paper for the brush lettering pages. Regular printer paper will work as well for both.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for FREE from adobe.com to view this PDF.
If you have any questions, you can email me at hello (at) atiliay (dot) com.
This is a gentle reminder that this PDF is designed for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Please ask for permission first if you would like to share this. Contact Olivia at hello(at)atiliay.com. Thank you for your cooperation!
Earlier this year, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Morgan Harper Nichols to talk about our creative journeys (and letter too!)–Morgan is sharing our conversation through a beautiful art essay where she combines her colorful and vibrant drawings of flowers and their meanings along with some of the topics we covered: creating, practicing, success, dreams, and more. You can read the entire essay as well as download her artwork by clicking here. Here’s more about these essays in Morgan’s own words:
I often walk away from conversations thinking of colors, shapes, poetry, and stories. I created this project to celebrate storytellers and the many ways we can be inspired by them. For each conversation, I reflect on how I was inspired and make an art series. These 4 kind souls were the first to be a part of this adventure!
Olivia Lin @atiliay – “Practicing Joy” – Olivia approaches her creative practice with her whole heart. I was so encouraged by her courage to pursue her work even when she didn’t feel like she was capable. Our conversation took place in-person a few months ago when she shared some of her techniques with me, using actual leaves and magic markers. Olivia’s work is both incredibly detailed and accessible which I love – a visual reminder of what’s possible.
Fleurie @fleuriemusic – “More Than Words” is an essay that explores my conversation with Fleurie and also, her latest album ‘Portals.’ With this essay, I did something I’ve never done before–I listened to an album and made art as I listened. Fleurie’s work creates space for thinking, feeling, and also, just being.
Aundi Kolber @aundikolber – “Gentleness” – Aundi is a therapist whose words and work help loosen the shoulders. Far out into the wilderness of my worry, Aundi’s words remind me that there is still time to come home.
Arielle Estoria @arielleestoria – “Flowers Still Bloom”is an essay about how a poet is finding peace amidst all of the uncertainty and changes in her life. Arielle will leave you wanting to take a closer look at the flowers, the trees, and how, even in these times, the earth still sings.
I have been a long time fan of Morgan’s so this is very special to me! What has always resonated with me with all of her work and words that she shares is her honesty and that they are coming from a genuine, true place. That is what we need more of and that is what we should all be sharing because 1) it’s enough 2) somebody needs to hear it 3) somebody feels the same. I am so glad I hollered at Morgan from my car as we were setting up for a pop-up market–that is how we met in real life and how our paths crossed! Then we got to chat more later and I tried not to fangirl too much :)
Thank you Morgan for letting me share my journey with you and translating it into such a lovely format! I am grateful for the abundance of creative energy, inspiration, and positivity you have brought into my life! A special thank you to Ashley for all her help and snapping some of these pics below.
All artwork, images, and photos that are by Morgan Harper Nichols has been used with permission.
Thank you to each of you who placed a Mother’s Day cards for a cause order this year and helped to fund 7 micro loans for these amazing mom entrepreneurs around the world: Malohat, Kurbonoy, Evelyng Elint, Mygona, San Cayetano Group, Alma Nubia, and Dilbarniso!
I wanted to introduce you to each of these mamapreneurs to you —I hope you’ll take a second to learn more about them and their businesses! I think this is such a cool way to connect and see how much we have in common as well as learn about other parts of the world.
Please meet Malohat from Vose, Tajikistan (pictured below, to the left)! She is 25, is married with one child, and obviously has an awesome sense of fashion and color (I love her outfit!) She is launching her own sewing business and this loan will help her purchase a computerized sewing machine and supplies to get started! She has already rented a space and her first clients will be friends, family, and neighbors. She is an experienced seamstress and is confident her business will be a success because this work is always in demand.
Please also meet Mijgona from Vahdat, Tajikistan (pictured above, to the right)! She is 35 years old and is proud to be a wife and mother. She is a seamstress who works from home and will use this loan to buy more fabric—this will help her expand her business.
I’d like to introduce you to Dilbarniso from Vose, Tajikistan (pictured below, to the left)! She is 42 years old, a wife, and mother. She is described as having an open soul, talented, and hardworking. She has long dreamed of becoming the craftswoman of her area and hopes to do so by operating a sewing business, a trade she really enjoys. This loan will help her purchase a computerized machine to support her business! This year I also wanted to learn more about the countries these woman are from. Here are some things I learned about Tajikistan, where all 4 of these mothers are from:
This is Kurbonoy from Yavan, Tajikistan (pictured above, to the right)! She is 47 and the mother of 6 children. She currently works in a farm and her husband is a craftsman. In addition to her current job, she would like to start a new sewing business as she knows how to sew and cut. This loan will help her purchase a new and modern sewing machine for her new business. The additional income will help her improve her family’s financial situation.
This year I also wanted to learn more about the countries these woman are from. Here are some things I learned about Tajikistan, where all 4 of these mothers I introduced above are from:
The average annual income of Tajikistan is $2,700.
One of Tajikistan’s national dishes is rice pilaf, known as Plov. It is made with rice, shredded yellow turnip or carrot, and meat that is fried together. It’s a large communal dish traditionally eaten with your hands. If there is an exchange of Plov, it means I want peace with you, No words are needed, just the simple act of sharing this dish together.
Both of the next two mothers I am going to introduce you to live and run their businesses in Nicaragua. Evelyng is the optimistic and goal-oriented owner of a small motorcycle shop in Teustepe, Nicaragua (pictured below, to the left). She is 33 years old and a wife to a supportive husband and a mom to two children. She has owned this business for 2 years and wants to turn her shop into a well-established auto parts shop. Her loan will help her buy motorcycle chains, tires, halogens, and ball bearings to help increase sales and earn more income.
Alma is from Nagarote, Nicaragua (pictured above, to the right) and is a hard-woman who has made her living selling new and used clothes on foot for a few years now. She has been doing well and her goal is to have a stand on a heavily-traveled road near her town. Her loan will help her purchase women’s summer clothes to sell. She is the mother of 2 children who are her main motivation. Every time I read an entrepreneur’s story, it just emphasizes to me how many of the same thoughts and dreams we all share regardless of where we live, where we come from, our culture, etc.–how many of us also want our businesses to thrive so that we can provide better lives for our families? Who else is motivated by their children? How many of us can relate to their goals and share the same characteristics? Some things are just universal and we are connected through them.
Here are some things I learned and found interesting about Nicaragua, Evelyng and Alma’s country:
The last micro loan recipient I wanted to share with you is actually a group! The San Cayetano Group is based in Santani, Paraguay. The 14 members are: Justiniana, Lurdes, Liz, María, Manuela, Juana, María, Janina, Eliana, Raquel, Vilma, Isabel, Myrian, and Gladys. They are working together to create better living conditions for their families. Here is a photo of them, along with some of their daughters:
One of the members, Myrian, makes and sells Cleaning Kits for a living. She is hard-working and always looking for ways to improve so that her family can live in better conditions and have everything that they need. This loan will help her purchase supplies to continue making and selling her kits.
These are a few things I found out while reading more about Paraguay:
The annual average income in Paraguay is $8,400.
The terrain here is a mix of marshy plains, dry forest, grassy plains and wooded hills
Capybaras are from Paraguay! They are adorable and are the world’s largest rodent!
Lace making is a popular traditional craft here. Intricate designs inspired by spiders’ web are made by both men and women. The lace is called Nanduti, which means “spider web” in Guaraní, the official indigenous language.
Thank you again to every single person who made these loans possible and I hope all of the special women in your lives enjoyed their cards! I hope you enjoyed learning more about each loan recipient as well as where each mom entrepreneur is from! If you’d like to see all micro loans we have helped to fund since we started doing this, you can find Atiliay’s Kiva Profile here.
And if you feel inspired to make a loan of your own, it is very easy—head to Kiva.org to learn more. (If you do lend, please tell me about your entrepreneur!)
All photos of the women shown above are courtesy of Kiva.org.
At the start of this year, I started writing in a journal that included a daily prompt for “quote of the day”–I found myself really enjoying that part of my journaling since I have always found lots of inspiration in quotes and words. I found myself dedicating some time to find phrases that really encapsulated how I was feeling that day. I especially felt like it was such a nice and powerful way to set the tone for the day so every Monday I started sharing the words I wanted the week to reflect in my Instagram stories.
That evolved into me wanting to letter the quotes myself and I decided to try something new–every week I’d share one mantra, phrase, quote, etc. that I’ve created on my iPad in 5 minutes or less (to create, let go of being a perfectionist, and use a tool that I don’t normally use but have and should use!)
I’ve been doing this for several weeks now and since not everyone has Instagram or looks at stories, I wanted to share them here! Please feel free to download and use as a background on your screensaver or save if the words really resonate with you (if you would like to use it for anything other than personal use, please contact me first–your cooperation is greatly appreciated! :))
So I’ve been setting a 5 minute timer, busting out the iPad, and here is what I have come up with so far! Below each image is a little background on why I chose those words and images. I have really enjoyed making these and the time I get to spend lettering, even if it’s quick! I hope you like it and I will be sharing these weekly on my blog going forward.
The first quote I created was in mid-April and with all the changes happening due to the pandemic, these words came to my mind. I wanted to set the intention of truly taking time to take care of ourselves and not worry about being productive or feel pressure to do whatever. Our emotional and mental health, what we feel in our souls, should always be top priority but especially in these uncertain times. The image is a free one I found online and I loved the colors and the border it created. (Usually I stick to a black and white palette but also going to experiment with images and colors for these :))
The weekend before the Monday I created this something I had been planning did not go as I had thought it would. I was really bummed by this and even though I know it wasn’t a big deal and could be fixed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all weekend! The time and work and money I had spent on it. But by Sunday I was feeling a little bit better and it made me reflect on change. Sometimes we welcome change and other times, when it’s unexpected change, it can be harder to deal with. But I do ultimately believe everything happens for a reason and leads you to the right path. These words are a combination of a few mantras I came across. I love the use of the word of “expanding” here and I think it’s so true, change is what creates growth.
The image is actually a picture I took on one of my morning walks with Valentine (my pup :)) I was lucky to get close enough to this beautiful butterfly that had stopped on a flower. Butterflies remind me of change so I thought this was the perfect backdrop for these words.
I had been feeling anxiety during this time over finances–when the pandemic started, I had no idea it was going to be this serious or last this long. I thought I would be able to resume workshops by summer, but at this point in late April/early May, I was becoming more certain that I would not be able to count on workshops as a steady source of income as I had been lucky to do prior to covid. For the past few years I have been really working on my money mindset and the idea of abundance. I was really trying to embrace those lessons and instead of using my precious time and energy to worry, I wanted to remind myself that abundance is always there and let it inspire me to take action to create more products, pivot, etc. But above all, the more abundant we are, the more abundance we can share with others. And when I think of that, I really feel inspired to take action.
The background is a photo I had taken of the sky and clouds–I have noticed myself taking so many photos like this because the sky and clouds have just been so beautiful! I feel like I didn’t really notice it before but now my phone is filled with so many of these pictures!
It was Mother’s Day a few weeks ago and through mom’s day cards for a cause, I was able to help fund 7 new micro-loans for mother entrepreneurs around the world! This year, I wanted to make more of an effort to learn about the places each woman is from. I was able to fund loans for 4 mamapreneurs who are from Tajikistan, a place I have heard of but know nothing about. When I was thinking about what to letter for the week, I really wanted to find something related to Tajikistan to use. I got the idea to look up Tajikistan proverbs and found this one that I thought was so beautiful. And we were actually having a full moon during that time I believe so it seemed perfect!
I also tried something different with the lettering this time and created it in the shape of a circle to represent the moon. The background is a free image I found of stars in the night sky.
And that brings us to this week! This was another Tajikistan proverb I really loved and wanted to letter. This is so true–languages definitely open up a whole new world! I have also been inspired recently by foreigners living in Taiwan who know the language SO well to brush up on my own Mandarin and Taiwanese! The background is an image of an old map.