Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Home Page
Art & Literature
Music & Concerts
What's On My iPod
Food & Restaurants
Theatre & Dance
For The Soul
Blog - TIDFM
Subscribe to TIDFM
View our coming events
Group Outings SignUp
Social Media
facebook   twitter   instagram

To Advertise on our
site contact us at


Click below to order
a TIDFM T-Shirt

Robin is a Certified South Africa Travel Specialist.
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































Join our Facebook Group "IT'S OUR TIME TO LIVE." 
The group is dedicated to the upliftment of women age 50+.

For The Soul

This section of the website aims to nurture our souls, our minds and our heart’s desire.  Here you will find material that serves as the glue for all the other areas of our lives.  Our soul reflects the deepest facets of our real self – you know the self that harbors our life’s purpose; the self that keeps us on track despite twists and turns and the self that yearns for communion with our fellow earth beings.  (click photo to enlarge)

This area of the website is where you can escape when you’ve had a challenging day and need refreshment for your core self. 

Stretch out, meditate, sing and rejoice here! 
(click photos below to enlarge)
                                                                                 (photos courtesy of Geri Harper)      

Photos are of ...
Millineum Park and Sunrise over Lake Michigan - Chicago
Lighthouse in NW Indiana
Sculpture in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri
The Grand Canyon


What Have YOU Done For YOU Lately?

Send us a photo and information on what you did, why you did it, where it was done and when you did it ... what was the outcome - how did it make you feel about YOU.  Forward your photos (showing what YOU did for YOU lately) and comments about what you did, how it turned out, and how you felt afterward to ......

What brings me joy and peace has always been spending time with family, especially when they are in need.  

In 2003, I was advised by my doctor to leave my job because I had to have a knee replacement. This was not the news I wanted to hear because I loved my job, and I was not ready to let it go. After coming into the knowledge that this was God’s will to prepare me for the next phase of my life, I surrendered to that will.

In 2004, my brother, who lived in New York was diagnosed with lung cancer, and in 2005 my sister who lived in California was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her illness became progressively worse and to make matters even worse, my sister in North Carolina was suffering with diabetes.  

For the next two years, I was traveling back and forth spending time with each of them.  By 2006, all three siblings had passed on.  The year 2010 brought the loss of a dear friend; thankfully, I was able to spend time with her, as well.  I am so grateful to God that He allowed me to spend quality time with all of them.
After accepting these deaths, and adjusting to a life without them, I started traveling and also getting involved in happier events in my life.  I have become enriched in God, have met new people,and I leave myself as an open instrument asking God to use me to be a blessing and inspiration in someone’s life.  I am thankful for my journey.  

I am getting many opportunities to travel to a variety of places, experience the cultural events in Chicago, and many of the things that I have wanted to do are now being fulfilled.


My name is Regina Hawkins and I retired  in 2013 from City Colleges of Chicago as the Assistant Board Secretary for the Board of Trustees.  Once I retired I had to sit down and figure out how do I fill the void of not working.  I took a day for myself and literally wrote down all of the things that I wanted to accomplish not really a bucket list but a list of what I could do without being on someone else's time schedule.   I knew I wanted to explore aqua aerobics, knitting  (which I have knitted a vest, scarf, hat and shawl) having lunch/dinner with friends who are also retired.  We have a vow that once a month we all get together for either dinner,lunch walking or just meeting at someones home to share some of the things we are doing.  My true passion is to work with young ladies advising them on dress attire, self esteem and involving themselves in proactive activities. I volunteer once a year with the Glass Slipper Project where we offer services in assisting young ladies pick out appropriate prom dresses which are donated, what a rewarding experience.

I also volunteer two days a week at the Southeast Atlas Center working with senior citizens which I am eternally grateful to the Regional Director Robin Tillotson who has allowed me to be a part of the center.  Taking care of my 87 year old mother who is a cancer survivor can be quite challenging, but I am so grateful that she is of sound mind and active enough to still go shopping, plays, casino trips (which she loves) and we attend church every Sunday. I am planning to travel to Greece in 2018 and I am so excited since I have never been overseas, but this is a trip I have always wanted to take.  I have a beautiful daughter who is heavily involved in digital media so she keeps me up to date on current pharmaceuticals since this is the field she aspired to pursue.  There have been many medical challenges in my life, one being kidney stones which seem to flare up every year, but I am now working with a nutritionist to get to the root of the problem.  I now realize that many of our medical problems stems from poor diet.

Every morning before I get out of bed I recite (it is my positive attitude that brings joy to my well being).

~ Regina Hawkins

What I do for my soul begins in the morning with a practice of attending…. I rise early to give myself two or three hours of spacious time as often as I can. Gift to myself time. ‘Filling the reservoir.’ Connecting physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively as I listen and am called. I love the surprise in this precious unfolding time, knowing and not-knowing what’s ‘on the menu,’ following inspiration. Life always go better when I allow myself this honoring, first thing.



Here’s a taste of how it can go: 

  • Sit in reflection and sometimes meditation • Take a hot epsom rosemary or lavender bath
  • Stretch on my yoga mat (I’m a novice) • Put on music and move gently or groove • Check in with my ‘body buddy’ (we talk 3x week supporting each other’s health, exercising in parallel) 
  • Journal: three “morning pages” of free-writing or if emotion’s potent: full-bodied storyboarding with craypas colors, shapes and sometimes words filling large paper spread on the floor.
  • Or collage: [see below]
  • Call in the directions: East, South, West, North, Above, Below, Within, Without, Center. I first learn a Native/Cherokee tradition of honoring 4 directions from a Japanese Butoh teacher and a Canadian vaudeville artist who added broader movement. Over 30 years, this is my time of movement, words of prayer, honesty, thanks-giving and sometimes spontaneous song.
  • Keeping track of my time is part of the practice, too. Mindful of balance - exercise, arts, ideas, and practicalities woven in: Sweeping (and singing). Folding laundry (and reflecting). Putting away dishes (and taking in the ever shifting light). Watering plants. Feeling so much gratitude.
  • And, when I remember – and more and more often I do – I bring this approach into my work life too: earning, teaching, facilitating community music/arts, care partnering and sharing time with friends and family. With awareness of sacred resonance so much more seems possible!

A ‘day in the life,’ found images and a poem:

  • Today, having an open agenda, I start with the intent to surrender and be open.  My living room is at ground level with windows on all sides. The greens, reds and browns of madrona, willow, fir and cedar trees, circle our house calling my soul to delight in beauty, everywhere. 
    I grew up on New York City’s Lower East Side with brick, concrete and mostly spindly trees against faraway sky.  Now I live in the great Northwest at the edge of a remote rural town with Salish Sea waters on three sides.  I never tire of Nature’s details in this place. 

    Facing East, I see the drums by the wall, pick up a frame drum I made some years ago and play and improvise a vocal song - liking it so much that I get my recorder out to catch the sound. Smiling, I face South. Reflections about the world rise up and I start riffing in spoken word - pausing again to record what might become a poem.  Facing West, with a heart full of gratitude for so much creative voicing, I sing a bit more and sit at the piano, sketching a third melody and song idea — all saved for later. Then, North: facing the rest of the house I remember my promise - to myself and my soul - to make more progress on the house clearing project today. I’m sorting more of my mother’s momentos, aware that it’s nearing two years since her passing. I finish my practice. Then go to the small back bedroom where I unearth envelopes full of stamps from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Israel and Russia.  Family stamps tucked away in nested layers going back to WWII…. Treasures!  On more than a dozen from before I was born there are mottos affirming U.S. values of democracy:  
    Liberty, justice, equality, conservation and freedom of the press, to name a few.  How timely :-)

    Last month a friend’s challenged anyone reading his Facebook page to write a poem in 5 minutes!  I’d been doing a ‘Morning Sojourn’ practice of community dance for the first days of the New Year and all seems to braid together in this poem:

The Braid Grows Strong

Although I'm tired I pick up each thread
of the most important things- those calling me to attention.
Here, they whisper, don't forget, every strand of our purpose,
every fiber of our being matters, and can be woven,
beautifully, patiently, imperfectly woven,
in with the others so that the braid grows strong,
and stronger. Then, listen to how the strands sing. 
They pick up the melody of breezes and thawing snow,
footprints and baby's breath, small clouds,
nuances close up and from a distance. This is the way
we meet each other, first gathering the strands of purpose and self.
Then walking in the winter light out to the mailbox
on the rural roads and suburban streets of our hearts and homes.
Following the tiptoe pacings: neighbors, birds bouncing on branches
stillness awakening in readiness for something else, something more - ah - here it is. 
The togethernesses -- where we begin to weave this 
greater fabric, following its sound and pace. Like the vast fungi
on the forest floor remind us - we are of one piece. Love springs up,
peace has its way, night is followed by day, we need not wait,
for all things beckon and hold us, strand upon strand now 
and forward, 

--Judith-Kate Friedman

"Don't just ask what the world needs. 
Ask what makes you come alive and then go and do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 
--Howard Thurman 

Judith-Kate Friedman
Performing Songwriter, Composer
Jubilation Foundation Fellow, 2016
Founder and Director, Songwriting Works™ Educational Foundation
Restoring Joy, Hope Health and Community through Song 
Mail: 2023 East Sims Way #271 
Port Townsend, WA 98368 
Office: 360/385-1160 
Mobile: 360/643-196

Follow Songwriting Works on:


Learning the process of what to do to care for my soul took time and patience.  When I retired from nursing 12 years ago, I spent the first year discovering and exploring my role for the new non-working phase of my life cycle.  As silly as it sounds, the first step was to learn how to spend some time each day relaxing while not feeling guilty.  A process still in the works!

I now start and end each day with a short period of meditation.  Learning how to turn off my brain in the beginning was difficult.  But with practice and patience I have found quieting my mind for 5 to 10 minutes to all the outside pressures and thoughts well worth the effort and meditating has helped me better handle stress and pressure.  In the beginning I constantly had to stop and refocus because my mind could not be still for more than 30 seconds.  Gradually the quiet meditation times increased and while I still sometimes have to stop outside thoughts from creeping into my brain, it has become much easier.

I also joined a Health Club and exercise 4 to 5 days each week.  I try to walk 20 miles each week, and while walking I frequently listen to an Audible Book.  Currently I’m listening to A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry.  I find the walks a great way to exercise, and listening to a good book help me get out there to do it.  During nice weather I walk outside, but in the cold season I walk the track at the club.

In addition, I love working with fiber arts, and I’m an avid quilter, rug hooker, and knitter.  Spending time by myself working on an art project is gratifying, and relaxing, but also stimulating.  I will never live long enough to complete all the fiber projects I have stored away in my brain. 

Finally, each day I strive to do something nice for someone.  To me this means doing volunteer work, offering my seat to someone on the bus, helping a mother manage her young children to get across the street, taking a minute to help a visually impaired person navigate an intersection, helping an elderly person unload groceries, etc.  It always makes my soul feel happy, and makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do so. 




 ~ Carol Waugh

My Soul is Fed when I'm creating.... at the age of nine my mother sent me to her friends house to learn to crochet and knit.  Along with college prep high school classes, I thrived in Home Economics for three years, learning to sew and cook.  Over my life time, I've tried my hand at many crafts and art projects, learning new skills at every turn;  I even had a home based Silk Floral and Crafts business in the 1990's.  


Sewing has always given me instant pleasure.  In 2000, I became intrigued with quilts and joined the Chicago Needles and Threads Quilting Guild and they fed my Soul in a way others just didn't understand.  This is also where I learned to make dolls.  I also joined The Red Hat Society and took the title "Queen Crafty Neva" of my Chapter Sisters In Motion.  Talk about an organization that feeds my Soul.... I can be a Pirate, a Fairy, a Queen, a Purple People Eater if I want .....giggle....just create and share whatever your heart desires.  I love it.  I haven't even reached my creative potential because the continual learning process is a blast!  Now that I'm newly retired, I'm adjusting to having all of this time to Feed My Soul!!! 

~ Neva Rodez

For as long as I can remember, I have been a crafter. I was always looking for a new project, new craft or a new creation. In 2010 while working in corporate America, I began to look at waste and think “how can I create something from all of this waste?”  I began to look at everyday items in a new way.  I began ‘repurposing’, creating creations from everyday items. I began making coasters from cardboard, bags from plastic grocery bags, and jewelry from various paper products.  Utilizing my craftiness in a new way was exhilarating. 

Then in the fall of 2015, I saw a news story about a lady who was feeding the homeless in Humbolt Park out of her own kitchen. I was amazed by this sister’s
spirit of service.

I reached out to Carol Boyd of Humble Heart and asked what I could do to help. She said whatever assistance I could provide would be greatly appreciated.

I knew I couldn’t feed the homeless three times a week like Carol did, but I could craft. So I started on my "Hats for the Homeless" project. Last winter, I made 35 hats and donated them to Carol to distribute while she was in the park feeding.  Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I began using my crocheting plarn (plastic yarn) skills to create mats for the homeless to protecte them from sleeping directly on the ground. In the spring of 2016, I, along with a group of Sistahs,  organized a purse project to distribute hygiene products to our Sistahs affected by homelessness.
We filled over 40 purses with hygiene products, and Carol was able to distribute to the ladies on the street.  Currently I am again in the throes of the Hats for the Homeless project. This year, my goal is that with the help of my happy hookers (crocheters) and chicks with sticks (knitters) we can make 100 hats to donate to Humble Hearts.

I continue to craft and create gift items from repurposed materials,
but serving others makes me tick. I enjoy utilizing my craftiness to
serve others. Crafting to serve is what I do for me.  

~ Musa 


I began piano lessons as a way to delve deeper into the musicality that I have been involved with for many years.  Although, it is an avocation that I seriously pursue, at a certain stage in one's life, if one were not making a living at it wouldn't we give up? I dare to be called a musician, too, despite the pitfalls of such an argument.

As an Oberlin "College" grad, I put Obieland in quotations since I was not an Oberlin "Conservatory" graduate. Yet, I have felt I knew little compared to these later grads,[musically speaking].  By studying the idiom of Jazz and Classical music [in NYC and Harlem, in particular] I've learned many greats started out just where I was, i.e. Ella Fitzgerald to name the First great Lady of Jazz, She IS my favorite all time vocalist yet Sarah Vaughan was more admired for her musicality[of overall musicianship], also a fave.

I have taken notes from both, Vocalists. Why,I study piano is to keep myself someplace in the realm of likeness of these incredible examples of creative expression of one's gift.  Gifts are personal and corporate but not investing in one's gift is criminal, in my mind[against one's conscience].

In continuing to study piano, I believe kids of all ages can benefit from doing this since it's a expression of your creativity[something of your own voice, ultimately].  At this and any age, anything that helps the mind, go faster, better and stay more alert is a necessity!  Then, too, do study the thing that makes you happy for I believe therein lies the penultimate blessing.

~ Carla Dozier

  Back to Top

For the Soul! I learned at an early age that I must find time for ME! Commonly, people go on vacation for their MY TIME. But, for MY TIME I do not have to be on an exotic island vacationing or visiting a beautiful country I’ve never explored.  However, MY TIME must be uninterrupted.  

When my children were younger and visited sunny California during the summer months, I recall the big MY TIME opportunities.  I could go days without answering my phone or seeing individuals normally seen on a daily basis.  Was I upset at anyone? Of course not!  It was just MY TIME to reset me.

As of today, the big MY TIME opportunities are no longer in existence since I have remarried and my husband no longer tolerates the lack of communication or my lack of presence, LOL. 

I am very fond of the summer months because I slip away to the marina where our boat is docked, and we enjoy the tranquility of the still waters.  When the marina is not an option, shoe shopping, always, I mean always makes my “sole” feel real good!  

Robin Tillotson, thank you for sharing your vision with the world and allowing folks like me to embrace you “walkin’ in high cotton”!

~Marlyn Willis

I don’t dance nearly as much as I’d like to (or “need to”). And yet, dance does play a role in my “day to day” functioning.  I think of dance almost all the time. I was introduced to dance early in life (ballet) and dance was a part of my life in junior high (in gymnastics), high school (in cheerleading) and joyfully in undergraduate school (at Oberlin College) where I was first introduced to “African dance.” And then many years after my Oberlin introduction (and after graduate school) I was introduced to authentic traditional West African dance when we had a substitute teacher for Tyrone Murray’s jazz dance class at a modern dance studio in Washington, DC (DancePlace). I was in LOVE and have been in LOVE ever since. I LOVE the drum . . . I tell people that it resonates with most people (of all ages, gender and ethnicity) because our heart beat is “the original drumbeat.”

So while I work to earn a living . . . I dance to live! When I take regular (Saturday) classes I feel free as I soar, bend, gyrate, undulate . . . . and I adore the teachers and the drummers. I had an opportunity to share my utter joy with a youth group at church when I taught them African dance, taught them to listen for the “break” in drum pattern which signals to progress to the next movement in choreography. I watched my students embrace the movement and perform confidently at a Kwanzaa service at church.  I love to perform (when I have the opportunity to attend regular rehearsals).

Dance feeds my spirit . . . my soul. It’s a challenge to express to others that African dance is more than mere exercise (which is just a “side benefit”) . . . it stirs up the spirit within.

Dance means so much to me, I try to support the African drum and dance community by producing a newsletter every 1-2 months that essentially provides a calendar of multi-day conferences across the country.  I do this for free . . . . I do this for me. Even when I’m too busy to dance as much as I need   . . . . the newsletter helps me feel plugged in and that I’m adding value to our community.

Dance . . . I don’t do it for exercise . . . I do it for me . . . . for my complete and utter joy. As a popular t-shirt proclaimed at 1 of my favorite dance conferences, “African dance . . .  it’s cheaper than therapy!!!”

~ Cheryl Townsel

Hi my name is Sabrina Burks, I'd like to share with you the one thing I do for myself to relieve the stress of any given day.  It's called sewing.  I've never taken a class, I've only had visions that I could do it, if I wanted to. I had witnessed my husband's mother do some sewing of her own.  
My leap of faith to began sewing started at age 22.  I was in the military when I got the urge to purchase a Sewing machine.  When my husband saw the machine he asked if I even knew how to sew, my reply to him was "I think I can."  While talking to my dad one day, I mentioned that I'd started sewing.  That's when he shared with me something that I didn't know.  My mother who had passed away when I was five years old, also loved sewing.
It's been almost 40 years.  I now realize that urge I had to buy that first machine was a way for me to escape stress.  I enjoy creating garments that I can call my own.  I enjoy visiting the fabric stores, being surrounded by the most amazing fabric pieces and walking away knowing that I'm going to create something out of that material that no one else has.  It helps to be able to wear it and receive compliments as well.
In short I believe that certain gifts are gifted to individuals so that they will have something that they can call their own, enjoy it and get lost in it.  So I challenge everyone to look deep inside yourself and listen to that spiritual voice guiding you towards the thing that will bring you peace whenever needed.

~ Sabrina Burks

To love your Soul is a beautiful thing. I sit down silently in the morning, and I listen to what Soul is trying to tell me.

Kindness is beauty for your Soul.  When I was a little girl, I used to ask why some people were so mean. I learned that they needed to declutter  their Soul of meanness.

Soul is my compass for my life. Love yourself and Soul will love you back. When people see me, they see my beautiful Soul, too. Nourish your Soul with kindness and love, joy and peace. Do not let negativity get into your Soul. Soul is like a beautiful wave.

~ Sitara Ahmed 

What I Know Now in the Journey Along the Way

What have I learned in my journey to becoming Irment Austin, Doctor of Ministry? I have a renewed, restored affirmation of who I am as an African American woman. I re- discovered the inspiration to continue dreaming even greater than before. The trouble is that once I began to dream large I am saddened that some of people who loved and encouraged me had gone home to be with God. This feeling of loss caused me to labor in a sense of sadness. During my feelings of loss, I remembered something that my auntie told my siblings and I growing up. She said “there comes a point in our lives when we feel deprived of what is familiar. Don’t anguish over the loss but embrace the strength you find in the love and compassion of those who remain with you in Spirit. I think of her words of encouragement and smile at the wisdom of her spirit that forever remains surrounding me like a soft cuddly blanket.

I take a breath and exhale because when people leave us it does not always mean goodbye. The physical presence is gone but the spirit of their love continues to move us forward as we flourish and impact not only our lives but the lives of other African American men and women. Our ancestors are our greatest assets and when we find ourselves facing the giants at the gate then all we have to do is turn within and find the love, strength, and compassion to hope for bigger dreams and greater love toward ourselves and humanity.

~ Irment Austin, Doctor of Ministry

  Back to Top

This I Do For Me…

Without a doubt the one thing I do for me is gardening. To me, there’s something magical about being in my garden. I have several gardens throughout my yard that get different plantings and I create different looks for. I love being creative in my garden. I have a little bit of whimsey, color and excitement going on through the growing season. I experiment with colors and textures and just love when something turns out great.  

No matter how stressful my life is, puttering around my garden seems to heal my soul.  When growing season rolls around, I will make time for my garden every single day without fail.  

It just feels like something that I need.  And maybe I do need it…mentally, spiritually, and physically.  Ah, I can’t wait for May so I can get into my garden again.

~ Patricia Grace

Celebrated my partner's 60th birthday by traveling to Lake Tahoe this past October.
It was a beautifully clear but chilly day when we decided to drive and tour the entire lake - which is the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the US.  It is located between California and Nevada and known for its clear water and spectacular panorama of surrounding  mountains on all sides. The area around Lake Tahoe was previously inhabited by the Washo tribe of Native Americans.  The English name for Lake Tahoe derives from the Washo word "da aw", meaning lake.
We and a terrific time vacationing there and wouldn't hesitate to return!

Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California.  It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation and tourist attractions. Make sure to include it on your list of places to visit any time of year !


~ Paula Basta

I have an ongoing mission of doing all that I can for myself with respect to my spiritual, mental and physical growth. At an early age I had an unquenchable, wondering interest in who, what and where is God.  Around the age of 30, I came upon a philosophy that addressed most of my questions, and thus began my journey on the path of self-improvement.  This philosophy is based on specific spiritual principles, and includes a commitment to study, prayer, meditation and practice as a way of life.

In 2002, after 27 years of practicing the principles to the best of my ability, I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy with a life expectance of five years.  After a lot of looking within and self-searching, the only thing left to do was to double down on my focus and prove that this philosophy has some merit or prepare to meet my maker.

For myself, I closed my business; quit smoking cigarettes; pursued a plant based diet, put more time into meditation, study, and practicing the principles, and all the while claiming my wholeness.  For a while it was rough going  . . . on the heart transplant list for four years.  

I always took all my medications as prescribed.  Finally, in April 2013 due to a surprising improvement in my heart condition, I was removed from the heart transplant list.   The following month, May 2013, it was time for my annual mammogram, which had always been normal; however, this time the film showed an abnormality which after a biopsy turned out to be “carcinoma.”  Because the diagnosis was early and due to the nature of the carcinoma, I had a lumpectomy and was spared going thorough chemo and/or radiation therapy.  Again, had to become even more focused on practicing my spiritual principles.  It’s been 2 ½ years now and things are still looking normal.

In addition to eating a healthy plant based diet, I also do something else for myself:  I go the gym three times per week; do the treadmill, bike, and weight training, which has greatly improved my stamina.  This is all for my physical health.

Professionally, I have been the President of a 168 unit-housing cooperative in Lincoln Park on the North Side of Chicago IL for 15 years.  I’ve never missed a Board meeting, and had my laptop at my side whenever I was hospitalized - - had to keep an eye on the business. This I do for my mental health.

Oh, and somewhere around 2007, I was diagnosed with a pretty tough case of glaucoma for which I’ve had surgery and do eye drops three times and day - - - I do it for myself!  I feel marvelous about myself whenever I think of how wonderfully blessed I am.

~ Shirley Hardiman r

Thinking about sister Robin Joyce Tillotson site "This I Do For Me" and yes I know that this is not travel related, but it is something that you can do for yourself, plus you will smell delicious. I just whipped coco butter, shea butter, and coconut oil together with my hand mixer and it works for the whole body. I don't know what type of journey I am on today, but I just needed to share some distractions I guess. Time to go outside while the sun's out. A different type of body art...    Grace/Peace

~ Trish Williams

When I was in grammar school, I had an art class. I couldn't get above a c grade. I really was a c student. I couldn't figure out any of the principles of art and was always very frustrated. So I told myself that I was bad at art and worked more on my left brain.

But simultaneous to that I was learning to craft. My older sister was a beautiful seamstress and my grandmother would knit and crochet. I learned both of those things while watching them. Crafts was also something we did at the YMCA day camp. So simple things I felt confident in accomplishing.

As a young mother I made clothes for my children, always toting a sewing machine on camping trips, or to my teen parent group at Cabrini Green back in the 80's. But it always just a hobby.

Until, the day I walked in the Pearls Art Store on Chicago Ave., a trip to find rubber stamps ( an item I thought was mainly for sending postal items). The moment I glanced down the Isle to what was a sea of all kind of images, I was hooked and determined. 

I think it was that moment, I'm 1995 that I declared I was  CRAFTER !  Crafting became a vocation for me. With my trip to Ghana, I was mezmerized by the craftsmanship of the people of my homeland, and knew that I'd spend the rest of my life, no longer doubting my artistic abilities, but rather relishing in the many many ways and benefits of crafting.

Since my life has been consumed with quilts and baskets and beads and pillows and anything else that involved, fabrics and stitching and creating beautiful items.

I am a firm believer that everyone can create. We were created by the greatest of all creators, and we were meant to create. Creating a small bead, to a large quilt is empowering. I tell my students and crafting colleagues, if you can create a bead, you can create your world. It's not rocket science, it's God given. We've done it since the beginning of time.

~ Mary Scott Boria

  Back to Top

I decided MANY years ago to leave New York City and move to Paris on a wing and a prayer with my French boyfriend. My soul knew it was right and I followed her there.  In that period of my life and having this opportunity present itself, I decided to do this because I needed to quench a yearning inside myself for joy after a very trying period in my life.

It was one of the most correct decisions I have ever made.  In being kind to myself I have fulfilled many artistic and creative aspects ; establishing a career as a stylist, learning  a lovely language and bringing home a precious souvenir six years later, my very amazing son Richard.

Yes, I decided to do something good for myself and it turned my life around- not only for me but others as well who benefited from my deep happiness and profound joy. As I traveled through many places I have never explored with Robin's generous picture documents I've decided to once again follow my heart and make it happy- it's time! Thank you for so much inspiration Robin!

~ Cynthia (pictured with her son)

I recently booked a trip to Napa Valley to participate in a 5k marathon with friends. As a working mom of two beautiful teenage daughters, traveling without my children, was unthinkable until a few years ago when my oldest child was about to graduate high school.   They cried because they were spoiled and wanted to go and I cried because I realized I was soon to be an empty nester. That trip symbolized the cutting of the cord for me.

Since then, I eagerly make time to create the life that I've always imagined by regularly seeking things that bring me joy. I am so thankful to Robin for This I do for me, and I look forward to the adventures to come.


What I did for myself lately and for my soul was  I started meditating , taking a specific time in the evening before going to bed at nite just 5 - 10 minutes to just sit close my eyes picture myself in a quiet place , breathing , inhaling , exhaling and this has helped me to rest much better.

~ Marie T

I made a promise to myself, to always have a creative project going. Creativity is like food for me, it keeps me nurtured spiritually.

Recently, I traveled to France and took my art supplies with me, making those moments during my vacation not only lasting memories--
but also, extremely personal.

~ Kweli Kitwana

I went to my sister's salon (Desi's Full Service Salon- shameless plug, LOL) ...
got my hair done, got a mani/pedi, went out dancing with my husband and
danced all my curls out, as you can see in the photo. I didn't care because I
was having a great time.

I felt  good about "ME", I looked good and I enjoyed my husband, the music
and our friends.  It was a night to write about and a feeling to share.
That's what I did for me lately ... how about you!?

~ ToniO

  Back to Top

A quick note on my newest baby  . I love, love, love to cook. I used to cater when I lived in Phoenix. Go to people's homes and cook food, then clean up and leave. 

It's always comforting to me to cook, it relaxes me. Maybe because, being unmarried and my only child out of the house, I never really HAD to come home and cook. I cooked when and what I wanted. This gave me room to experiment with different tastes, flavors, cuisines, etc.

This breadmaker is really just another way (just like my wok, food processor, dutch oven, various knives and my favorite bamboo cutting board), to fulfill my passion and bring me a lil happiness along the way in my favorite place in the house-my kitchen!

~ Paula

The Cannes Film Festival is on my bucket list of things to do in the next five years.  In the meantime, I just spent a memorable weekend indulging my crave for big screen entertainment at the Gary International Black Film Festival.  My husband and I are huge movie fans.  There were more than 30  features offered this year.   Many of the actors, directors and producers attended and participated in audience feedback sessions.  This annual event is always circled in red on my calendar, and I love every minute!

~ Kim R

Since retiring in 2010, I have cared for my grandsons (now there are three) twice a week.  In order to have the energy and patience needed, I receive a therapeutic massage every week, work out 2-3 times a week and have a cleaning service twice a month.  Old car, a simple wardrobe and my social security ... I believe, I give, I offer thanks and I remain open to good health and prosperity.

~ Darlene

I have breakfast in bed on Sunday. I travel when I'm well go to art museums can volunteer At my old job for Holidays have massages I love to read and play in my yard. Have a beautiful dog named Egan went for my hair cut today its short look okay have to adjust. Made new friends still writing my journal and poetry  l learned to forgive but very cautious. Happy being me.  Found someone who loves me for me not my looks my soul. Dealing with illness one day at a time .Great friends like you and Wanda  Living my Life for me that's so awesome and loving me as I am.

~ Lana D

  Back to Top


     Copyright 2015© O'K. Graphic Design for This I Do For Me - All Rights Reserve