National Bike Month — Bike to Work

Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar

Images from our Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar. Top to bottom credits: Russ Roca, Stephen St. John, Jef Maion

To me the bicycle is in many ways a more satisfactory invention than the automobile. It is consonant with the independence of man because it works under his own power entirely. — Louis J. Halle, Jr.

Our hometown of Portland, Oregon, is a wonderfully bike-friendly town, so the celebration of National Bike Month is a big deal here. The Bike More Challenge is among the tons of activities around town this year. As of today, the Bike More Challenge has 902 organizations and 13,225 people registered to see who can log the most miles for the month!

The League of American Bicyclists originated Bike to Work Day (3rd Friday in May) as part of Bike to Work Week in 1956. Here’s more from their website:

National Bike Month includes an ever-expanding diversity of events in communities nationwide — but the biggest day of the month is Bike to Work Day. In 2017, Bike to Work Week will be May 15-19, with Bike to Work Day on May 19.

40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. With increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, it’s not surprising that, from 2000 to 2013, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 62 percent.

Hundreds of American communities have been successful in increasing bicycle commuting by providing Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day events.

In fact, among the 51 largest U.S. cities, 43 hosted Bike to Work Day events in 2010. The City of Denver reported the highest rate of participation with one out of every 28 adults participating in its 2010 Bike to Work event. That effort makes a difference: Many people who participate in their Bike to Work Day promotion as first-time commuters become regular bike commuters.

But Bike Month is more than one day — or week! From fashion shows to group rides, local groups find unique ways to celebrate their diverse bike cultures and community pride.

We hope you join in the fun by searching for events in your area or even just by dusting off your bike and going for a joy ride. #ridemore


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Bicycle Bliss 2017 wall calendar

Beltane — The Dance of Spring

Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar featuring artwork by Jen Delyth.

Ceilidh – The Dance
Excerpt by Jen Delyth from the Celtic Mandala 2017 wall calendar — Within ancient and modern spiritual traditions, dance is a metaphor for life, an ancient choreography moving with the rhythm of the earth to the music of the cosmos. Within Celtic tradition, the Ceilidh is a gathering to celebrate music, storytelling, and dance. The long winter nights are passed to the music of the fiddle, the whistle, and the beat of the bodhran drum. Traditional Celtic dances weave intricate patterns of circles, spirals, and squares in arrangements of threes and fours – a dynamic expression of the eternal knot. In ritual dances such as the annual Beltane Maypole dance, men and women weave ribbons in ancient spiral patterns around the sacred tree to raise and manifest the fertile earth energies. Morris dancers continue the tradition of shaman dances. They wear antler headdresses and costumes of red and white representing the colors of the Otherworld. Their clogs, sticks, and bells stamp out rhythms in circular and square patterns in celebration of the ancient Horned God of fertility and strength. The Lord of the Dance is one of the oldest gods of the natural world. Within the Christian religion, he is still honored as the force at the center of our spiritual and metaphysical lives. Continue reading

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — May 2017 — Free to Download

May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the third month to have 31 days. May is also the month with the shortest name.
Flower: Lily of the Valley and the Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), also known as “may blossom.”
Birthstone: Emerald

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – Beltane (Pagan/Wiccan)
1 – May Day
5 – Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)
10 – Vesak (Buddhist)
11 – Lailatul Bara’ah (Islamic)
14 – Mother’s Day
19 – Bike to Work Day
20 – Armed Forces Day
22 – Victoria Day (Canada)
25 – Ascension (Christian/Orthodox)
27 – Ramadan Begins (Islamic)
29 – Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)
29 – Memorial Day Observed
31 – Shavuot (Jewish)

Free Desktop Wallpaper May 2017 Continue reading

Arbor Day — A Time for Celebration and Action

Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar featuring photography by Chris Burkard.

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees. — Karle Wilson Baker

On April 28, communities across the country will to come together to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. What is the origin of this celebration for this natural wonder?

Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), one of the earliest American conservationists, settled on the treeless plains of Nebraska in 1855, where he edited the Nebraska City News and developed a lifelong interest in new agricultural methods. Believing that the prairie needed more trees to serve as windbreaks, to hold moisture in the soil, and to provide lumber for housing, Morton began planting trees and urged his neighbors to do the same. On April 10, 1872, when he first proposed that a specific day be set aside for the planting of trees, the response was overwhelming: a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day alone. Continue reading

New Coloring Book from Amber Lotus Publishing — Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis

Desert Dreams coloring book

Free sample coloring pageDownload a sample page from Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis and share your work with us on Facebook!

It just arrived in our office! Wooohoooooo! We’re absolutely thrilled with this new coloring book. Embark on a desert adventure with illustrator Geninne D Zlatkis. Crafted as a love letter to the desert, Zlatkis’s collection of charming illustrations feature some of her favorite crafty creatures and natural treasures — all found in her desert home. Her passion for this magnificent and wild place will inspire you to explore your own color palette and bring the illustrations to vivid life. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — April 12, 2017

Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

HONOR
For any person, any society, any nation to remain strong, honor must be one of the values to live by. Strength is not only a physical trait but it can also be woven into the spiritual and philosophical threads that bind a person’s character and that of any society or nation as well. There is no true strength without honor. Without honor, there is only force without reason or compassion. Without honor, strength is only a brute weapon, and the consequence is that “might makes right.” Furthermore, honor must be applied to all the many aspects of life, be it friendship or politics, words or deeds, peace or war. Without honor, a warrior is defined only by the weapons in his hand and not by what is truly in his heart as a human being. Without honor, a warrior acts only with the weapons in his hand and not by the values that make him a person first.
— Joseph M. Marshall
Continue reading

Create Magic Coloring Book Giveaway

Create Magic by Katie Daisy

We’re giving away 3 copies of the Create Magic coloring book by Katie Daisy. You can enter to win by liking or commenting on this post on our Facebook page. We’ll randomly select 3 winners (US address entries only) on April 14, 2017, at 12:00 pm PT.
Continue reading

Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — April 2017 — Free to Download

April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian and the first month to have the length of 30 days. April is also National Poetry Month.
Flower: Daisy or the Sweet Pea
Birthstone: Diamond

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – April Fools’ Day
9 – Palm Sunday (Christian/Orthodox)
11 – Passover Begins (Jewish)
14 – Good Friday (Christian)
16 – Easter (Christian)
16 – Pascha (Orthodox Christian)
17 – Easter Monday (Canada)
18 – Tax Day
22 – Earth Day
24 – Isra/Mi’raj (Islamic)
24 – Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
25 – ANZAC Day (AU, NZ)
27 – Freedom Day (South Africa)
28 – Arbor Day

Free Desktop Wallpaper April 2017

See download tips and system instructions below: Continue reading