Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wine Charms

I shared this post on my wine blog, winebellies but thought I would share it here too, as it's sort of a crossover wine and creative thing...

Libby's Charmers

And mine
Love the little wineglass
We had a beach-y thing going

 These charms were super easy to make-my kind of craft.  The girls even got in on the action.

I believe this is Teagan's

The girls can never resist when we bust out the art supplies, even though they were supposed to be frosting cookies in the kitchen...the call of the wine charms drew them in like a siren-song (or maybe it was the 80's music we were playing?  Who can resist 80's music???)

Libby and I had ourselves a Michael's shopping spree (followed closely by Mohitos at Cantina Laredo) 

Supply list:
wire earrings (They come in a box of tangled wire.  We didn't realize until later that the sizes actually vary)
beads in a variety of colors
charms (you may want to go with a theme)
Needle nosed tool to cut and twist wire

Slide the beads on the wire, arranging the charm so it's in the middle. (Best to lay out your pattern ahead of time, which we had no patience for so we just kept putting beads on and taking them off and then drinking more wine to ease our frustration...) 

The wire earrings already have a loop on one end, that stays as is.

When you have your beads on as you like them, use the needle-nosed/wire cutting tool to turn the non-loop end of the wire up at a 90 degree angle so that it holds the beads on and will lock in with the loop. (You may have to turn the loop slightly to align it.)  And Voila!  You are done. 

We made sets of 4, as you can see above in Libby's beach charm photo.  (My wine glass charm was the first one I made and we hadn't perfected how to bend the ends yet, so that one looks different.) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Age Art

The Sunset Before Time on Drawcast App

My 11-year old daughter creates amazing artwork on her I-pad.  This one she made on an app called "Drawcast" which also creates a video of the lines and fillers you used in the process so you can watch what you did after the fact.  Every line, shape, circle.  It's a little replay that I haven't figured out how to share here yet, but you can view it if you have the app and search by the title.

I love the explosion of art and technology. My daughter and her friends make videos, design new fashions, invent new hairstyles.  It's a creative child's heaven to have access to so many ways of expressing yourself.
Here are some of my daughter's faves:

Glow Doodle-Draw a picture and press the glow button to see what happens!
Pencil Pad-Drawing pad where you use different colors
Paper 53-Blend colors and use a bunch of different tools
Doodle Buddy-Draw and use stamps and stickers.  Upload a photo from your library and draw on it.
Falling Stars-You draw a picture and then activate the stars that bounce against your drawing and make music.  Different sounds depending on what tools you used.
Forge of Neon-Create neon colored symmetrical patterns
Magic Painter-Create colorful, textured words and images

Created with Magic Painter using "Rejoice" tool

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mask making

Early stages below, finished product on top

We are knee deep in paper mache. I'm making a mask and my daughter is working on a school project.

I love mother-daughter art projects. 
Good, quality time together.  
Recipe:  Flour, water and newspaper.
Secret ingredient: As my daughter put it, "small people really like making a mess."
And we haven't even busted out the paints yet.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Quiet Inspiration

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation"
-Henry David Thoreau

Art Journal, Summer 2012

I'm living a life of quiet inspiration and I intend to ignite a whole lot of other women to do the same.  Let the men keep their desperation.

Here are some major shifts I've made lately:
I'm looking for greatness in myself and others.  
It hasn't always been this way. 
It's a practice.  
I don't always succeed.  
I'm listening for greatness. 
I'm looking.  

It's different than looking for how you're better than others.
It's different than listing your self-destructive behaviors as greatness.  Like I only screwed up 10 times instead of 11, so that's my greatness.  It's really looking deeper.  Like I screwed up 10 times but I still tried an 11th time and THAT time, I got it right.  Look at how persistent and how tenacious I am!

Part of what I'm noticing in actively looking for in stating the greatness of others is that I'm noticing how damaging comparison can be. 
Holding up this ideal image of what you think should be is damaging to you and those around you.  
Whether it's how much you weigh, how strong your relationship is, how good of an artist you are.  

Part of intuitive painting is that you have permission to suck.  And that permission strips the comparison right away, so that you can see things like how much of your life you spend holding up these ideals that really aren't true.  
Like love should look and be and act a certain way.  
Like if you gain those 7 pounds back you are a failure as a human being.  
Like what you look like is the only thing you have to give to the world.  

It saddens me to watch women do this to themselves. And I see it ALL THE TIME.  Like the kid in "The Sixth Sense" sees dead people.  

Before I would give the advice that you should just STOP.  But it doesn't work that way.  Your mind needs a substitute, a replacement.  I offer it gratitude and greatness, which are really one in the same.  Every day.  

What are you grateful for?

What is your true greatness today?  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Reliquary

For my Ignite Class, our first project was to create a reliquary as a vessel for the spirit of our journey in the class. (Typically reliquaries hold the spirit and possibly parts of loved ones who have passed on.)

My reliquary actually has 3 parts: a container, a book and inspirational cards.
The container is a box that formerly housed one of my daughter's toys.  I broke it apart and covered it with fabric.  I chose the fabric because I love the colors and the flowers look like hearts joined together in circle to me. Our Ignite group is a circle of 12 amazing women, and Connie our teacher.

The book, which to me is the main feature of my reliquary (the relic) is a book that I originally made in a journal making class.  One of those classes where you feel like you want to hand over what you're doing over to the teacher because you just can't get it right.  Well, I have put my own special twist on this book now. I've filled it with pages collaged with thoughts from my journals and photos of my painting that capture the spirit of Ignite and the true, deep, keeping-me-up-at-night excitement that I feel for this journey.

The book contains envelopes to hold things I want to keep.  I made little inspiration cards that I put in one of the pockets.  On the front of the cards are photos of my paintings and on the back are little nuggets that I've gleaned from the sessions so far, or quotes that have influenced me on my journey. Symbols that I included: Mirrors-to reflect the truth back to me so I may see who I really am.  A Bundle-To represent our group.  A picture of my daughter-To remind me that one of the main reasons I'm doing this is to keep her little creative heart alive and thriving.  For her to know and own her own creative spirit.  Pieces of lace from my grandmother's sewing kit.  Grandmother has always been close to my heart, encouraged and supported me in many ways.

I love these cards because I can carry them with me.  I have pictures of my artwork on my phone already, but having the messages on the back will encourage, inspire and/or cause me to think throughout my day. Everyone in the group had their own interpretation of the project and this was mine.  It was an incredible learning experience for me and I'm happy with how it turned out.  It has room to grow and expand with my journey as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I started this painting over the summer at my friend Bev's.  Her sister, the amazing Martha Perkins of  My Sketch Experiment gave us an impromptu lesson in Bev's driveway.  We set up easels and tables and put the kids at their own table and went to town.  At one point a neighborhood dog came over and christened one of the girls' paintings that was drying in the sun.  I suspect it was making it's own mark on the work.

This painting has been through many changes, many layers. I think it has a car payment worth of paint on it. It was all white with just the background poking through in flower shapes.  Then it became giant, vibrant blue leaves with red and orange flowers. 

I hung it on my wall in my bedroom so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up every morning.  I stared at it.  I squinted.  I imagined what direction it might go.  And then I totally transformed it.  More than once.  More than twice.

Then I started the Flora Bowley e-course and this became my practice canvas.  I've been recording the progress of the big mama canvases here already but this was my cautious place where I could "safely" try out what I've been learning.  The class is about being BOLD.  This is dipping my toe in first before I try on my real bold.  I seem to have developed that hesitancy in all areas of my life.  Putting my own parentheses in wherever things feel too strong for my comfort.  But it's coming. 

I do believe I'm finished now.  Now to tackle those biggies....

Friday, October 5, 2012

Art Journal

The art journal is my place to experiment.  Some of these elements I then carry over into my painting.  Stamping, blending, adding unusual elements.  It's wickedly fun!  

This page includes oil pastels, acrylic paint, colored paper, scrapbook paper, smash tape and vintage lace that I found in my grandmother's attic.

I love exploring how the materials and colors work together.  Very addictive!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Ignite Begins

I painted this in February, the first week after I signed up for IGNITE

Today, October 1st, 2012 marks a new beginning.
I'm officially beginning my new creative adventure!  
It's time to IGNITE! 

I took this yesterday.  Coincidence?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Kind of Art

Layer 3

My Kind of Art

Makes me happy

Comes without criticism

Lifts people up

Shines a light

Feels Good

Is Open

Is Forgiving

Comes Intuitively

Flows Softly

Embodies Beauty

Unfolds Mysteriously

Layer 3

Sunday, September 16, 2012


My 11 year old daughter got in on the action too:


I'm taking Flora Bowley's "Bloom True" online course.  As I posted earlier, I love playing in layers of paint, which is exactly what we're doing.  Here's my progress so far, week 1:

First layer-Canvas #1

First layer-Canvas #2

Second Layer-Canvas #1

Second Layer-Canvas #2

I can't wait to see what we get into next week!  Eventually it will all come together.  Our weekend assignment was drawing a mandala.  Mine is in progress.  If you've never done one before, it is amazingly meditative and it brings out alot of your "stuff", one of mine being the need to be perfect and do it right.  That's one I'm really working on all over my life.  Oh, and did I mention it's incredibly addictive?  I can't seem to stop, I haven't even showered today...

Eyeballs, always eyeballs...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Time Away

My daughter combing the beach for sea glass
At the end of August I spent a week totally disconnected from computer-land.  I didn't check e-mail.  I didn't read the blogs I normally do-I didn't even LOG ON. Instead, I spent some time being quiet.  Reading, painting, playing cards with my family.  Enjoying the spectacular sunsets over the lake.  Trying to listen.

I began reading "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer, that was recommended by Traci in my painting group.  There were two things that particularly caught me that I've been practicing since. One, is noticing my "edges".  These are the things that disturb you.  That bother you, make you uncomfortable.  They cause you to close yourself to others. 

I'm practicing paying attention to my edges and noticing when one gets hit.  Just noticing and not battling with it.  It's really kind of amazing to watch it happen without getting involved in the drama of your thoughts when it does happen. When someone says something that irritates me, instead of getting carried away in the irritation, I just notice "hmm, that comment hit one of my edges.  Interesting..." And this thought surprisingly makes me chuckle and I don't get sucked into the vortex of irritation and questioning why I'm annoyed, blah, blah, blah...I just notice that I have an edge there and it has nothing to do with the person or the comment.  It has only to do with me.

Another idea from the book is to make a commitment to being happy no matter what.  That being unconditionally happy is a practice and a simple, radical choice.  If you decide and commit to being happy always, it can alter how you experience the world. You have access to happiness all the time.  It's not a by-product of experience or even thoughts.  It's a way of being in the world. 

Both of these practices remind me of why I started "Have All This".  Because you already have everything you need within you. Sometimes it just takes a little work to see it because it gets all tangled up in thoughts, beliefs and feelings of not being good enough. But it's there, you just need to pay attention.  To be aware. To let what you love show you the way.

Right now, for me, all signs point to reconnecting with this creative part of myself that I have kept smushed up and stuffed in a box under the bed somewhere. It seems all I needed was a safe space to practice, permission to not be perfect and to be open to whatever arises.

Maybe that's all we ever need.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I'm playing in layers.

With fingers, sponges, items I find around the house. 

Sometimes my daughter gets in on the action.  We listen to music.  We dance around as we add paint wherever we feel like it. 

Shapes and patterns and mish-mash.

Then I spend some time looking at the chaos to see what appears.

I found this woman on a swing hanging out on the canvas.

It's the last thing I would have thought to paint if I had planned it.

I love this process. Love it.  Love it.  Everyday I'm so excited to get home and play.  Like a wee little kid! 

It's indescribably fun and freeing. 

No pressure.  No dreaded critique.  Have I mentioned that I will never again participate in anything where "critique" is a part of the process?  I've had enough of that in my life, mostly from me. It's the best thing I can think of to kill the creative process.  It's why I've waited so many years to pick up a brush again.

But I'm so glad I did. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

So Ready

I came across this quote from a post today, from Joanna Rothman on one of my favorite sites, Kind Over Matter

It speaks so directly to how I've been feeling and where I am.  The Ignite Teacher Training Class will begin in two months and I am so ready to immerse myself in something completely and radically different from anything I have ever done.  My excitement to begin is uncontainable at times, overflowing.  I want to add exclamation points to everything...

"You are ready. Ready for the new. The next. The big, beautiful changes that dance in your mind and heart. You are ready to stand up. Step forward. Live in the brightness of your soul. You are ready. It is why you are here.

You are being called forth into an act of bravery. An act of courage. It takes tremendous presence and fortitude, to look yourself in your eyes and know that you are ready for more. Better. Different. It is powerful to declare that where you are is no longer where you want to be. And then to act on that awareness. To move. To create something that is authentic and real...more suited to who you truly are. To change and create something new."

Friday, June 29, 2012


In February, I discovered intuitive painting, and my life has been changing ever since.  I'm sweeping creativity into my life.  I want it to expand to the point of bursting. 

Since I started painting, I have also signed up for some formally instucted classes, and here is what I know:  Formal instruction is not for me.

It shuts down my creativity. 

It's the reason that I stopped creating in the first place. 

It makes me want to stop and hand my brush or my project over to the teacher, as theirs always looks so much better and I don't seem to be doing it right.  One class I took we traced someone elses' art and then copied what they had painted with the colors. 

I learn from these classes about what my creative direction is and where technique falls into my world.

I want freedom and light.  I want to get away from the rules, regulations and rigidity that consume my working life and painting intuitively is my guide.

No rules.  No "try it this way" or "maybe you should do that".  Just me, my open heart and the quiet voice that shows the way.  We're working things out together, this voice and I.  Working out frustration and the desire to quit when things don't look quite right or go how I want them to. 

Experiencing pure joy when things flow and time passes without my knowing. 

Not worrying about the outcome, the finished product or what comes out.  Sometimes I like it, sometimes I mess with it too much and "ruin" it with thinking, but it's in the experience itself that I am learning my lessons. 

Things that I can't see when I'm just grappling with words or thoughts.

Things unseen until they emerge from nothing onto the paper.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I love being a beginner with it's novelty, surprises, sense of wonder.  I hope to always be a beginner.
I love not knowing where things are heading and trusting that the way will become clear as I pay attention.

I'm noticing what I'm drawn to.
Textiles-Why have I never noticed them?  Fabric and color and pattern...
Bold strokes and bold color
Stories that push me to question what I believe
Little acts of love
People who are kind
Red wine in the winter, white in the summer...

I have everything to learn and everything is possible.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Painting outside on my deck is one of my all-time-favorite things.  

It reminds me that this is the life I am choosing.  

That this is the good stuff I want to keep. 

Paint a little, watch my daughter swim.  Talk to my husband while he's sunning himself.  

Have a refreshing beverage.

I have all this and I am overwhelmingly thankful.

At the same time, having this makes it hard to move forward because I could lose it.

It makes me careful and cautious when daring and courage are being called for.

It makes me tip toe when I should run.

It makes me hold on when I should let go.

I know it doesn't have to be an either or.  It can be a both.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just paint

Here's what I need to do, just paint.

I don't have to push so hard to make everything perfect.

Just listen to what arises when I pay attention.   

I've always believed in goals and achievement and success.  That to make things happen I had to take action and do x-million things.

What if, like with painting, I simply acknowledge the whole mess and surrender the outcome?

Just paint, just live, without expectation or reason.  Just create freely without regard to what other people might think.

Yes, that feels much better.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Create a Morphosis

I've been thinking a lot about creating a morphosis.  Big, scary, hairy change. The other night this transformed creature made it's way to my screen door.  I flicked it off (gently and lovingly of course) and then when I went outside I noticed that it had flown back onto the screen.

Moth on my screen door lookin' at me

It's a reminder. It's persistent. Tenacious.
A little flicking away only makes it wink and smile.
It won't be silenced.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Art can change you

Art can change you.  Beauty creates a shift.  Can bring you to your knees if the mood is right and the light hits the pavement just so. 

Art is changing me in a way I never suspected.  Snuck up on me and threw a bag over my head, confusing everything when the path was already dark and murky.  Painting kicked me out of my head where words bounce around like frantic jumping jacks colliding and vying for my attention.  Making images quiets them.

Pure imagination, happening before me without my permission or consent.  I just step out of the way.  I'm not skilled with a brush, haven't painted other than in school, and yet the things I'm learning about creativity herself.  How she whispers and guides, "Blue here", "try polka dots", "I like circles, more circles.  Wind the brush around like dancing."  But bigger lessons emerge that are guiding me like a muse.  Leading me down paths strangely forgotten.

As a child I wanted to be an artist.  I used to sell pictures door-to-door to my neighbors.  25 cents for the really good ones.  5 cents for the so-soes.  But I never stood out in art class.  Ted Skabinski did.  Instead, I leaned into writing, head down, filling endless notebooks with childhood angst that would be my salvation later on.

Now here is what has happened over the last few months, since I've discovered this intuitive form of painting.  Creativity has shown herself to me and for some reason I can't quiet her.  She's rattling me daily.  Shaking me awake.

Screaming from the inside at times.

I'm not really sure the path she's sending me on, but I know it's going to be very, very different from where I've been.

And I can't wait.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


The peonies are bursting this week. Gigantic explosions of color. 

See that little bud in the middle?  That's me. 

Although not as spectacular as Nature herself, here's my version:

I liked it so much, I'm using it as my background


I'm on the verge of a huge shift.  I can't name it or see it clearly yet but I feel it, roiling beneath the surface.  Incubating.  A tiny fetus at the moment, but growing with a life all it's own.
At times it's maddening and I am desperately impatient.
I want to know.
I want to plan.
I want to see it before it's ready.
I want the outcome before I begin.  I want it all figured out and if it could come nicely wrapped, without hurdles or difficulties of any sort, I would gladly receive it too.

I keep thinking that to move forward I have to have it all figured out ahead of time and then I could show others the way.  Teach what I've learned from my experience. But the truth is, I don't know the way and I'm going anyway.  Running my fingers along unfamiliar walls lined with hopeful buckets of flowers and the voices of helpful strangers.  If sharing can help someone else to find their own path, then so much the better.

It's been a long time coming but here is what I know so far.  Each day I face the blank page.  I watch, I do things that scare the crap out of me and I listen.  Each day building courage, exploring ideas and taking teeny steps toward freedom.