Friday, March 25, 2011

24 hours

In just 24 hours, my friend Hallie Garcia, a professional face painter, will be shaving off these magical locks to raise money for the St. Baldrick's foundation which funds research for childhood cancer.  We need your help!  She is $260 short of making her $1000 goal!  Please help us by giving even a small amount by visiting this link through the secure online donation process.  Tomorrow she'll be at Trinity Hall Irish Pub (where I got engaged btw - another day, another story)  in Dallas with 49 other fundraisers.. shaving off their precious locks as a statement of support for all the children who lose their hair due to cancer treatment.  Please, please help!  Just $5 will make a difference!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tend the Nest

Before I sing
I build my nest.

Spring has hit Dallas and I've been using the fresh air as an opportunity to open the windows and clear out my home with the help of my wonderful mother.  It's a hard task for me.. I don't naturally consider home maintenance to be part of my creative life.  I'm a grab the paint tubes and spatter kind of girl.  But eventually it catches up with me and I need to take time to prepare my space for new creative adventures to emerge.  So today... no eggs.  No song.  Nothing colorful.  Just a solid nest.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Step Into Ireland's History with Crochet

A tribute to the human spirit.
Beauty born of necessity.
Conceived from lowly beginnings,
With a dream of higher aspirations,
It grew out of patience, perseverance, and ingenuity,
To stand in majesty,
To feed a nation.
(from the Irish Crochet Lace Exhibit Catalog at the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles, 2005)

No, this fun little scarfy necklace thing isn't actual Irish crochet!  I just don't have the skill for that.  But here are a few pics of traditional Irish crochet and a video demonstation I highly recomment you look at.. It's only a few minutes long.  During the potato famine of the mid 1800's in Ireland, the country was in desperate need of a commodity to help left them out of the devastating economic decline.   A new form of crochet that resembled Venetian needlepoint was developed speeding up production of a piece that would normally take at least 200 hours to only 20 hours.  The unique aspect of Irish crochet is separate crocheted floral motifs that are then joined through a network of crocheted mesh.  This allowed for mass production as it was well suited to a division of labor where women could work on aspects that suited their ability.

Irish crochet became a cottage industry where women were provided materials that they could work with in their own homes.  Families became known for particular motifs and would even hide them from view to visitors to their homes to keep their patterns secret! 
From a wellspring of ingenuity, perseverance and community cooperation the lace industry flourished for a time. It served as a vital cottage industry throughout the famine. It not only fed the people, but preserved their dignity...and the world took notice. In the post-famine years its popularity waxed and waned with the flow of the economic tides. Soon, the surge of two world wars put a harsh decline on the demand for luxuries, but by then, the lace had worked its magic and revived a nation. Today, we see in its bold patterns the life of the people, and the hope of a country. (Martha Sherick Shen, 2005)

Enjoy these pics and the video and prepare to be amazed!

A Little St. Patty's Magic

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

~ Eden Phillpotts

Haven't been able to post lately as I've been traveling and also been down with a terrible case of the flu!  But I couldn't pass up on some St. Patrick's Day fun!  I have fond childhood memories of this holiday filled with creativity!  Each year my mother always made the cutest little shamrock shaped gelatin "jiggle" treats.  I remember writing lots of magical stories about leprechauns and pots of gold.  I especially loved when teachers would make up stories of how mischevious little leprechauns had visited our classroom the night before and played with our toys and left little treats of thank you in return.  Even as an adult, I find having a little magic play in daily life to be so healing.  With all we have been hearing from Japan,  taking time to find joy in simplicity is sacred.  May you seek magic today! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Make a Statement!

This piece today if for my friend Hallie Garcia who is raising money for childhood cancer by shaving off all of her hair to stand in solidarity for all the children across the world who lose their hair during treatment.  As you can see by the pics below, Hallie's hair may be short, but it's quite an integral part of her joyous personality.  She's Rainbow Brite!  Please consider giving a five dollar (or more) donation to this cause by visiting this link.   So proud of you, Hallie,  and all the other participants in this cause! ♥♥♥

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Inside myself is a place where I live all alone
 and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.
~ Pearl S. Buck

I had a lovely day today playing at the Seattle Fish Market... so many sights and sounds and tastes!  Stopped at a drugstore to pick up a few things and came out with the most beautiful bottles of nail lacquer in a rainbow of colors.  Back at the hotel, I raided the tourism brochures to cut up for this collage.  There's a little bit of everything in this one!  I can think of no better way to renew myself than fresh air and playing around with unique materials....


The secrets of spiritual life are open
To those who venture
Not to those who seek
Guarantees for each step.

~ Meher Baba

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Each Shining Hour

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower.

~ Isaac Watts

Friday, March 4, 2011

Healing Art Challenge: Delicate

The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits,
can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Last weekend my husband and I headed out to a bakery, but I forgot to bring my pad of watercolor to paint while he did some work.  Instead I played around on a brown paper napkin.  Laying one napkin out on top of another, started with a sharpie and then filled very soflty with watercolor, taking great care to not put too much water, not to press too hard or the napkin would rip.  As I painted I thought of how we need to treat others with kindness and gentleness and expect the same for ourselves.  That does not mean we accept fragility, but rather that we embrace the spirit of others and ourselves as precious.

This week the art challenge theme is "delicate."   Send me your creative pieces  - paintings, poems, photographs  - to by Thursday, March 10 at 12 pm CST time.  The gallery of pieces will go up later that day.  Happy creating!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Widening the Circle

A human being is a part of the whole called by us "the universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consiousness.  The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

~ Albert Einstein

Please check out the upcoming Seeds of Spring e-course:

Seeds of Spring: Cultivate Your Creativity

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kaizen Wednesday: The Gift of Order

When the house is messy and our lives are disorganized, we lose touch with what is peaceful and noble in our lives, and our self-image suffers.
~ Sandra Felton, founder, Messies Anonymous

It's a new month, a new theme for our Kaizen pursuit of continuous change through small steps!  I have to admit I was a little apprehensive when I saw what I had scheduled for our theme this month: cleaning and organization.  I am a "hopelessly" messy person.. have been from the time I was a young child.  I've tried so many different plans, made lists, given myself rewards, given my consequences, enlisted the help of loved ones, enlisted the help of professionals.. and still I am messy.  So, with that disclaimer, I hope you'll still join me on the journey this month, working with a new idea each week to assist us as we clean up a bit of the chaos and move towards a more simple and serene space.

A few years ago, in some article or other, I came across a very simple change of thought.  Begin to see each little step of organizing, of picking up, of cleaning out as a small gift to yourself  for it will be a such a pleasant experience when you come back to that place and have it in order.  At its root, lack of cleanliness and order is sign that one has difficulty caring and attending to themselves.
Ultimately, Messies deny themselves a life of  serenity and beauty.  They insult themselves with disorganization on such a regular basis that they are unaware of it.  The messy house is just a part of the picture of a person who consistently abuses herself.  Messiness is just the top of a very deep pile of problems.  At its heart, messiness is a problem of self-neglect. (Sandra Felton, Organizing For Life)
This week,  I am suggesting that we each take 15 minutes a day in organizing or cleaning our space.  Make your bed.  Fold your laundry.  Wash your dishes.  Clean out a draw.  Get rid of something that is clutttering up your space.  A small act, just 15 minutes a day.  We will see these tasks as an act of affirmation, just as one would write words in a journal or seek comfort in validation from a friend.  We will use organizing tasks as a way to say "I am worthwhile.  I deserve a life of order, simplicity, and comfort."  We won't get angry or disappointed in wherever it is that we are starting.  We will focus not on the past, but on each day, welcoming each day as an opportunity to learn a new thought pattern, and see the blessing in ourselves.

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