Month: November 2016

Mermaid Monday-connecting with creativity, cleansing, emotions, psychic abilities and intuition, and nurturing.

I hope if you celebrate Thanksgiving that you had a wonderful holiday! It got so busy with cooking and gathering here that I decided to take a blog break for a few days. Hopefully, you were into your own thing so much that you didn’t miss me. 😉

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Since “Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life” came out, it was a perfect time to cocoon myself in that world twice over the weekend and recover from the hubbub. Though I drew some and covered my notebook with washi tape, I didn’t get back into the studio until last night. It was great to chill out some, but I was very glad to be back in my sanctuary.


The beginnings of this art journal entry were posted last week. Initially, I thought I might fill the whole page with mandalas, but it was calling out for more color and I really missed paint! It felt like it really came alive for me once I added the alcohol ink and acrylic paint. The question, of course, is one always worth asking. Songs and a quiet voice answered me when I took a few moments to be still and sit with it. Here is an in progress video of it:


My 3 year old daughter saw the Angel from last week’s art journal entry and said full of awe, “that looks like a princess in a purple dress. It looks like it’s for me!” When I asked her if she wanted me to paint her more princesses, she replied without a doubt, “yes!” Well, there’s no greater motivation than that for me to paint some princesses!! This in progress fairy princess will be one of her Christmas gifts from me. ->>


Hopefully, I will be able to complete one for each of the kids, as well as a few other hand made items that I have in mind for them. A couple are already started, so that gives me reason to believe that it will happen.

If you would like to give handmade gifts at great prices this holiday season, I have some beautiful and beneficial handmade jewelry in my Etsy shop! Use code 65OFF for 65% off already reduced prices! When I end the offer, I will announce some warning, but they’re already selling, so hop on over and pick some up before they’re gone!


Take Care Tuesday- Artist Dates and other Self-Care.



This week, I was able to get into the studio more than the previous week, which was a big boon for my well being. Also, some polymer clay molds arrived (those, you get to see later). After realizing that we had some reward points stacked up, I thought that I might as well treat myself to some fun things. Though I resisted at first, thinking that they weren’t “serious enough”, I realized that that’s exactly the kind of language that an overactive Inner Parent uses, and took it as a chance to nurture my inner child.

Friday, I walked to get a chair massage and then over to the Dollar General to look at the craft and office supplies- something that is always fun. While I was there, I also looked at the toys, just to enjoy them. Since we have already celebrated Thanksgiving once, it felt like an Ok time to pick up some stocking stuffers/pre-Xmas crafts for the kids and myself.

Also, some sparkly, shiny duct tape made it home with me and I covered my 3 ring binder with it. It’s my attempt at being more organized, and it does help. Right now, the only things in there are a pencil pouch (holding heart sticky notes -another take care purchase, a sticky list pad, a small notebook [holding everything from “random thoughts” to lists to creative ideas…], a dry erase marker, and a pen) and some page protectors (holding nothing, but maybe someday a master cleaning and master grocery list. The dry erase marker is to mark off what has been cleaned/groceries we don’t need to buy). It’s a start.

Sunday, I further cleaned my dance/yoga floor in the studio and now it’s about 99% clear. Then, I did yoga _alone_, without anyone climbing on me or asking to nurse. Later, the littlest fell asleep on Daddy for nap and her sister beside him on the couch! This seemed to be a miracle! At first, I started to panic and thought about getting him to hand the baby over to me. Instead, I finished my food, which I didn’t have to share with anyone, and then drew mandalas for at least an hour! “The Diary of Preston Plummer” accompanied me as I drew, and I finished it after the baby woke and needed nursed back to sleep. Having streaming video on my phone and a headset is pretty awesome! So grateful for that! Then, we finished “The Life of Pi” during dinner and rewatched the new Cinderella. Normally, I am taking care of dinner/the kids while my husband cooks or other chores or heading up to the studio, so getting to relax and be cozy with my family was a very nice treat.

Reading “Miracle of the Artist’s Date” book by Julia Cameron confirms that I have been taking myself on artist’s dates for a long time, especially since Self Care like massage and pedicures are included. Some of my favorites of the ones that I want to try include writing a letter from my 9 year old self (or maybe it’s to my 9 year old self? Both ways sound good, actually) and making a list of my favorite things. A lot like the “My Favorite Things” song in “The Sound of Music” makes Maria feel better, it soothes us to think about what makes us happy. She mentions over and over that people are often more resistant to Artist’s Dates than Morning Pages (3 pages of long hand writing- whatever comes into your head in order to clear it) because they understand “working on your creativity” through a disciplined practice, but play seems unnecessary or frivolous. Really, I feel that as a Mother of 3 and an Artist putting herself out into the world, my workload is pretty full. Fortunately, I don’t feel stuck for ideas or anywhere near uninspired, so these Artist’s Dates have been doing their job. Certainly, Morning Pages would help me get some things straight, though. This is how I journal (stream of consciousness writing), but it tends to be more random in frequency. We will see if I “give in” to that part. 🙂

It has been very good to have these sort of kindnesses to myself be framed as so important, not just for flow of creativity, but for connecting with so many parts of myself and for recognizing how the ego mirrors an unbalanced demand for “productivity” and “getting things done” so common in our culture. Receptivity is just as important, and often more so. What are your thoughts on that?


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Mermaid Monday – connecting to the element of water, creativity, emotions, intuition and psychic abilities, cleansing, and healing.

Maybe you have seen these pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. The process videos that I posted previously, I have edited together. The progress pictures are also there so you can get a better idea of how it went. At one point, when I was working on this, a car outside was playing a song that I didn’t recognize. The lyrics, loud and clear, said “only love, only love”. It was very synchronistic and I got the message.

Part of my motivation for sharing what I do is to uplift, inspire, and raise the vibration here on earth. Since I have so much love for making art, my hope is that you feel that in some way and recognize your own Inner Artist either awakening or sharing the happiness because you know it yourself.

The quote is an adaptation of things that Julia Cameron said in “The Artist’s Way”. I just wrote that and saw the time at 11:11- an Angel number that says to think positively, as an energy gate has opened and your thoughts are manifesting quickly. It speaks of being aligned with the Universe and often people make wishes at that time because it’s as if Source is taking requests. It is my wish that as many people as possible (all things are possible in the totality of possibilities) go out and create your own Soul-FULL, sacred acts.


Over the weekend, my art time consisted almost entirely of drawing mandalas. The background on the pink one was done some time ago. Often, I work on backgrounds as a group or if I don’t have a lot of time, by themselves (sometimes in stages), and then wait until inspiration tells me what to do next. This meditative process- drawing Mandalas- was just what I needed for centering my mind. The mandala represents the sacred circle of life, the micro and the macro, the small and big picture, the individual and the collective, consciousness, and is a wonderful healing tool. Carl Jung used them with his patients to uncover much needed information.

Expect to see a lot more with mandalas here. 🙂


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A visit to my parents’ farm is always an exciting adventure, especially if there are cousins to play with. Seeing the grandparents and animals add to the excitement, and with all that activity usually comes over-stimulation and over-tired-but-wired kiddos. In an attempt to help my son center and just to get some 1:1 time with him, I suggested a game of tick-tack-toe. The usual X’s and O’s sounded pretty boring, especially since he knows the game well enough that we tie most of the time. So, I asked him if he would rather draw shapes instead. First, I picked hearts and stars, and then we each chose a shape for ourselves. Water bottles, water bottle funnels (he’s into life hacks and just happened to have one he made), pens, toaster pastries, and lemon slices were Angelo’s choices. Mugs, flowers, mittens, butterflies, and leaves were mine. It really made it so much fun!

After the game, I thought it would be fun to do some back and forth mandala drawing. Once I drew a layer, then he did, and so on until something else called us away. He started to write his name around the last layer, which I love!

We were drawing on top of the kitchen table, a true farm table, so it was rough and our drawings were extra wiggly. Though I don’t ever put any pressure on them to “improve” my kids’ drawing, just let them express themselves, I also censored what I said about my own drawing… which was pretty much nothing out loud, but a lot of “oh, that’s really messy” inside (it’s ok, since a masterpiece wasn’t the point. Usually I followed that statement with “whatever”. 😉 ). Leading by example is usually how I “instruct” them when we do anything creative. While I may give simple, neutral instructions, I let them work it out and practice on their own so that they don’t feel criticized or limited.

How about you? Have you modified traditional games to shake things up a bit?

My copy of Collage Unleased- yours won’t have that sticky back mirror on it. Not sure when that adhered itself there, but I’ve had this book a long time. 😀

Women Wednesday- Women artists I find inspiring and women as the in subject in artwork.

Today, I am featuring Traci Bautista, author of “Collage Unleashed”, “Doodles Unleashed”, and “Printmaking Unleashed”, has 2 DVD’s, has been featured on TV, including HGTV, and is the artist behind Collage Pauge. Collage Unleashed is another one of the first books that I purchased when I first started exploring mixed media art. Her bold use of color and “try anything” style truly impacted my personal artwork and really did unleash my inner artist. She gives great techniques and inspiration for making your own artist’s papers and tools, which I’ve found quite liberating. Incorporating stitching into my artwork definitely stemmed from reading this book so early on.

She has offered several free video courses over the years, (join her newsletter to find out when the next one is) which I have taken, including a “Spread the Love” art journaling session last Friday. After what I was personally feeling post election and while I was packing, this was such a Soul nourishing thing to experience. Packing is a lot of work and stressful in that I don’t want to forget anything for me and my family, especially on the way to the farm. It’s a long way to drive for supplies if you realize that you are missing something once you are there. The timing for her teaching session couldn’t have been better for me. I had the screen open from the night before and literally opened my computer when it was counting down from 20 seconds to the start. Though I didn’t have set exactly in my mind what time it started or what time it actually was, it felt synchronistic that I opened it then and it was at a point where I could work at the kitchen island while it played. It was very much appreciated and I loved watching her work. No doubt that I will be incorporating some new techniques into my work from that live art journaling session!

Be sure to check out her website, YouTube videos, her Instagram, and all that she has to offer! Enjoy!



Take Care Tuesday – self care, including for the Inner Artist.

Since Thursday, most of my time has been dedicated to a trip to my parents’ farm for an early Thanksgiving gathering. Simplification is probably my most used self care skill when preparing for a trip with 3 kids and a dog. Also, making sure that I don’t skip packing my essential oil roll on blends, flower essences, and crystals. These are things that I use on a daily basis for stress relief and general health, and though I am often tempted to leave them so that I don’t have to pack as much, I know that the additional demands of traveling are when I need more of these things rather than less.

The trip to the creek that I mentioned in yesterday’s post was a necessary gift for myself and my peace of mind. Delighting in my children playing with their cousins and the joy and surprise at finding some of my old Barbie clothes were some of the most pleasing moments for me and my Inner Child. Actual face to face adult conversations with my sister and sister-in-law were a rare treat I got to enjoy. With all of my siblings (I have 2 brothers, 2 sisters) minus our west coast brother and their children all in the house and caring for all of them, it can get quite hectic, so actually conversing with someone is not guaranteed. If we didn’t get much of a chat with someone, one or both of us were busy at the time… which is most of the time. Still, I’m so very grateful we are able to gather and get the interaction we do, and that our children do with everyone there.

My brother-in-law is also an artist and we were able to talk about a wide range of topics and artists, including consciousness, the self possessed Genius, Prince, Picasso, Alfonse Mucha, and a variety of artists’ books. We have both read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Camron, and I told him about a novel that centered around the painting of Pierre Auguste Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Susan Vreeland. He highly suggested two books in the vein of “The Artist’s Way”- “Letters to a Young Artist” (not the one by Julia Cameron, but one that is an actual collection of letters of advise to a specific artist in the late 1700’s? 1800’s?) and “The Art of Fear”. Though I have to check with him on the exact titles and authors, in my search, I did find and purchase “The Miracle of the Artist’s Date” by Julia Cameron.

My most typical Artist’s Date is to go look at mostly art magazines (and probably buy one) at Barnes and Noble… I’ve been known to walk down to CVS and look at the decorative thrift/antique magazines or walk over to browse the antique/consignment store a few streets over. A recent need to pick up a birthday present for a friend’s child gave me a great opportunity to browse the toys at Barnes and Noble, which seems to me to have really fun, intriguing toys, including creativity kits that teach how to reproduce Master work, embroidery and sewing kits, etc. So many things jump out at me there that would be fun for me. We have some great museums here in Pittsburgh, and I will definitely be taking some solo trips to visit them again, as I have in the past when I only had one child. This book will surely give me some gems to try out and I’m looking forward to it.


Mermaid Monday- connecting to water, associated with creativity, cleansing, healing, intuition, and psychic abilities.

The current post-election emotional atmosphere has had this Empath working very hard to find peace. Empaths are very tuned in to energy and the emotions of others. We transmute for the collective. Besides just having compassion for people, my own feelings were especially churning after an online discussion with someone (a family member who has very different political views). Eventually, I left it at acknowledging that through what we said, I believed over all that we were seeking to be understood and that was more important to see than proving ourselves right. We both expressed love and respect for each other.

It also led me to realized that there were stories I had been telling myself about my child-self that maybe weren’t complete. It was time for me to process more and let go of everything from this story and what transpired over the last week.

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We spent the weekend at my parents’ farm with most of my siblings and their families. There’s a creek there and I knew that by spending some time alone by the water, I could more easily release the jagged energy. The sun was shining, making the water sparkle so beautifully. The spot I photographed is actually the place we drive through to get to the house, so it’s quite low (when it’s drivable). The delicate trickle of the water was exactly the gentle sound I needed to let the negativity ease out and away. A particularly nice tree let me hang onto it while I turned my face towards the sun and cleared my vibration. It feels like perfect timing that I was there to be able to do this at this time and I am grateful.


A friend, Marcia Peters Coleman, shared this description of the frequency of Joy and I thought it relevant to what I experienced this week as well as the general energetic weather: “As Love becomes more and more unconditional, it begins to be experienced as inner joy. This isn’t the sudden joy of a pleasurable turn of events; it’s the constant accompainatment to all activities. Joy arises from within each moment of existence, rather than from any other source; this is also the level of healing, and the domain of saints and advanced spiritual students and healers.

A capacity for enormous patience and the persistence of a positive attitude in the face of prolonged adversity is characteristic of this energy field; the hallmark of this state is compassion. People who have attained this level have a noticable effect on others. They’re capable of a prolonged, open visual gaze, which induces a state of love and peace. …

One’s sense of responsibility for others at this level is of a different quality than that shown at the lower levels. There’s a desire to use one’s state of consciousness for the benefit of Life itself rather than for particular individuals. This capacity to love many people simultaneously is accompanied by the discovery that the more one loves, the more one CAN love. …

Within this realm we experience deep Transfiguration of the Soul, defined as ‘the complete change of one form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state’. Our gifts and blessings are not longer enjoyed solely for ourselves, but in service to the Whole. We delight in the interconnectedness of each living being, and enjoy the consciousness and light of awareness available through authentically living our unique purpose in the web.”

Read the whole thing at

Though the video is out of focus, I hope you enjoy the sound and that it brings you peace.



For Family Friday, I will focus on creating and enjoying creativity as a family. Sometimes, it might be flashback Friday, where I share from my previous art blog. Sometimes, like today, it will be both!

This was a really fun, interactive art festival we attended when I was fairly newly pregnant with Serafina. It was great exposing our son and daughter on the way (though the vibes) to this creative and mind-expanding event.

In this photo, my son was excited to be able to climb on the art and not only have no one stop him, but encourage it.


Find more pictures and writing on the original post here: