Clarity through Visualization and Self-Expression

 “We are on a journey not to be perfect, but to be whole.”  ~ Eileen Anglin

Self-expression brings forth insight, a greater sense of peace, and most of all joy.  Even when the painting itself turns out less than desirable, there’s something about the simple act of creating that nourishes your soul. Meditation is a great companion to self-expression as it helps quiet your mind so, that you became more present in the art making from a process point of view, letting go of being results driven.

Today, I worked on the art journal prompt for this months Meditate & Create art workshop at Alis Living Lifestyle Boutique in Scottsdale.

As nature begins to signal a change in the seasons, we’ll be focusing on gaining clarity; clarity around our authentic selves, and clarity around our heart’s desires as we prepare ourselves to embrace the changes we want to see in our lives.

Mediate & Create with Janet of In Her Peace and I are designed to reconnect you to your intuition through guided visualization, honest free writing and spontaneous art making so that you can see, process, and heal your emotions, and access your fullest creative clarity.

Our evenings begin with a short introduction, a meditation journey where you will enjoy deep relaxation and an opening of your imagination in preparation for your intuitive art journaling experience where you can express your feelings and desires through painting, collage, drawing, and/or writing in your art journal – a safe, personal space all your own. This practice will inspire your sacred heart and enhance the meditative vibrations through creativity.

Meditate & Create will encourage you to quiet your mind, to welcome creativity with ease, and to connect with like minded people that will rejuvenate your souls. This experience is not about being perfect. This is about being free to create! No drawing, painting or meditation experience necessary.

To see the schedule of classes and register, visit https://alisliving.com/collections/workshops-and-classes/art-classes

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Seed Bead Revolution Now Available on Amazon

Seed Bead Revolution is available for order through Amazon and  SoftFlexCompany.com.

A Journey into using unusual shaped seed beads in unique ways

The seed bead sector of the jewelry making industry is churning out new shapes and sizes of seed beads with a variety of hole configurations.

Authors Sara Oehler and Kristen Fagan wrote this book to show how these new and innovative beads can be used to create jewelry using Soft Flex beading wire rather than thread or cord. The projects are easy to intermediate, but they are unique enough to capture the interest of even the most advanced beader. Most projects can be completed in one sitting.

  • 32 projects
  • Foreword and bonus project by Nealay Patel
  • Most projects show two colorways
  • Projects use SuperDuos, SuperUnos, Tilas, Half Tilas, Rullas, Dragon Scales and More!
  • Learn how to crimp in a variety of ways, braid, kumihimo, patina metal and weave with beading wire.

Can I just tell you how excited I am that our book, Seed Bead Revolution, has finished shipping pre-orders! After three printed proofs and multiple edits, Sara and I finally signed off on the final Seed Bead Revolution and the pre-orders are on their way to Soft Flex Company headquarters in California to be shipped. We can’t wait for you to receive your pre-order copies!

Thank you so much for those of you that already placed your order. We are excited to see the designs you create. I hope you share your projects and the arrival of your books in the mail with me! Use the hashtag #seedbeadrevolution on social media for me see your images.

Seed Bead Revolution is available for order through Amazon and  SoftFlexCompany.com.

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Eclipse Creative Magic

Blessing to you on this new moon! Are you still buzzing from all of the eclipse magic this week? Even if you weren’t able to see it – I’m the only one in my family that didn’t have the opportunity to watch it – but, I am definitely feeding off the intense vibes from it and hope you are too.

The solar eclipse is the perfect time to use the celestial powers to unleash your creativity. Aside from being amazing to witness, solar eclipses are also powerful times to manifest what you want to bring into your life. During the solar eclipse, I guided a beautiful soul to create her own abstract intentional painting. This art will infuse the scared meditation space At Alis Living Lifestyle Boutique with love, gratitude and peace for all. Through this personal painting session, I believe we both both did that for one another today!

Don’t forget that even though the eclipse has already happened – the energy from it will impact and affect us through the middle of September. And will be planting seeds for years to come. This eclipse is in the sign of Leo. And Leo energy is the invitation and imperative to shine our most glorious shiny selves.

Speaking of Leo’s (see what I did there?! Ha!) I celebrated my 39th birthday this month! The picture above is from an awesome sunrise I witnessed from the Boulders Resort and Spa in Carefree, Arizona. My sweet husband Bert booked us a night for my birthday and arranged for his mom to watch the kids. I am not much of a morning person but, this place was so pretty I decided to set my alarm and take it all in. The only way I could drag myself out of bed was that I knew I would promptly go back to bed for some extra zzz’s after! Here are a few more pictures of our little getaway:

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Custom Art: Beach Landscape

67 Steps in Greenpoint, NY

Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 24″

This beach beauty was a commissioned custom work of art for a very special couple. They just celebrated their 1 year wedding anniversary and that made me think of this piece. 67 Steps is a sentimental spot for this couple. They wanted a way to celebrate their love of each other and this location, an original work of art allows them to “visit” this beach every day.

I am sharing the photograph they gave me on the left and my rendition of it on the right. After totally obsessing about the sky on this FOREVER, this labor of love shines with the spirit of the beach and the joy 67 Steps brings this couple.

I love to work on commissioned art like this. There is something magical about creating with the intention of it being a special gift.

Contact me if you would like to discuss a custom art gift.

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Focus for the Free Spirit

Free Spirit, Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″
Shop Original Paintings
Shop Prints and Printed Products on RedBubble

I am a free spirit and definitely have sparkly object syndrome – oh what’s this, ooo that’s pretty, oh yeah I want to do that, oh look at that – otherwise known as “squirrel!” hehe.

My word of the year is “presence” and what I mean by that is to be here now, do things with more intention instead of just floating along. I guess in some ways that word is also about focus. I will not be as successful as I want to be without focus. For a creative, focus is something I kind of rebel against. I’m a free spirit! I want to drift from project to project letting my muse guide me. I have LOTS of passions and embrace that I am a multi-passionate creative. I have my personal art practice. I sell my paintings. I lead painting workshops and parties. I design for small business. I create jewelry tutorials. I sell jewelry. I want to combine my art and design more seamlessly. I want to illustrate. I want to license my  art. I also want to participate in retreats, hold intimate soul painting gatherings and the list goes on. I do lots of creative work/play and for all that I do there is more I want to do. I feel compelled to create.

It comes down to the fact that I am an opportunist. I want it all, and I believe it is my potential to have all that I want – I also believe this to be true for everyone – we just have to work on not trying to doing it all at the same time. I started to think about this about a year ago and at that time, deep down, I was not convinced that I could or even wanted to focus on one thing at a time. There has been lots of soul seeking since then and realized that I don’t have to choose to focus one thing forever but, I do need to choose to focus on one thing for the moment. Focusing on just one thing at a time will give it the space and energy that needed to thrive. I had to let go of the idea of multi-tasking and embrace single-tasking. Sounds quite scary really. I lean towards what’s juicy and fun, and enjoy having lots of irons on the fire to jump around to, but this ultimately leaves the deeper work that needs more time and focused action to be birthed, to take a back seat.

Working on jewelry design projects and writing instructions for our new beading book Seed Bead Revolution with my co-author Sara Oehler and designing the book cover to cover was a big job. One that took months to plan and execute and now that I am nearing the end of the birthing part of this book making journey, I feel deeply satisfied with the process.

Seeing the bigger picture through all the shiny details can be tough and one reason why I think it’s hard to stay focused with a “big” projects.

Here are a few ways I help myself to focus and re-focus:

  1. Be Present. When I’m mindlessly scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds, I lose track of time, become zombie-fied and end up feeling frustrated, tired and uninspired. If I’m present and engage my senses in what I am doing, seeing, tasting and hearing, I am rejuvenated, inspired and feel the fullness of all that life has to offer. Silence your phone or any other technology distractions, stop checking email or notifications and just be here now. Creating a natural mandala like the one above is a great way to slow down and be present.
  2. Create a daily, weekly, or monthly list and regularly look at it. I love lists. I love creating them and I love marking things off. I don’t always actually look at them though. That part is pretty important, ha! When I do look at them, I’m enlightened to see what the next step is. When I don’t I can easily get myself off task. One thing about lists I’d like to add is that if you have something you keep moving down or de-prioritizing. Stop and ask yourself why? Is it no longer something you want to pursue. Are you stuck on what the next step is. Is the task simply too difficult for you to do on your own and  time to reach out for help?
  3. Carve our scared time and space. It’s easy to get swept up in all that has to be done each day. If you are going through the motions and ticking things off – jumping from one task to the next – you may be getting things done but at what cost? By carving out time and creating a sacred space for creativity to join in you shift from the energy of a drill sergeant to that of being the artist of your life. To create a sacred space you may have a ceremonious cup of tea, play music or listen to a podcast that inspires you, stretch, meditate or sage smudge before beginning. Show up with the mindset and rituals that signal to you that you are ready to work.
  4. Notice your own rhythm.  This one is not as obvious but, equally important. If you work best late at night, early in the morning or maybe you’re a midday warrior, honor that as best you can. We tend to put big expectations on ourselves that simply don’t flow with who we are and when we are at our best. Notice what times of the day you are most inspired to create, write, plan or organize and when you feel drained and need of rest. You can even expand this out to the month, seasons, ect you best work in. For us ladies, following our moon cycle and noticing patterns there is also helpful, knowing when in your cycle you have a surge of energy, are most creative and when you need to rest and rejuvenate your soul.
  5. Have an accountability partner. Tell someone what you are working on, if it makes sense, post it on your blog, email or social media to hold yourself accountable. Let someone else gently nudge you along, be your cheerleader and celebrate the wins towards your goal – no matter how small. This could be one person or a group of people. Or better yet, work on a collaborative project so, you have support built in! Having support is priceless.

What things can you add to this list that help keep you focused and present while aiming to reach your life or business goals?

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Free Spirit Artwork

“Free Spirit”, Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 20″

Embrace your free spirit with this colorful expressive painting. This eclectic pattern and freestyle mark making was created as part of an intuitive painting meditation process.

Shop Original Paintings


Shop for prints and printed products in my RedBubble shop.

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Seed Bead Revolution Available for Pre-Order!

I co-wrote and designed a BOOK! This is pretty exciting stuff. Who would have thought I would collaborate with the magnificent Sara Oehler and write a beading book?! Not this girl. Sometimes you have to say yes and just jump into creating something awesome!

A Journey into using unusual shaped seed beads in unique ways

The seed bead sector of the jewelry making industry is churning out new shapes and sizes of seed beads with a variety of hole configurations.

Authors Sara Oehler and Kristen Fagan wrote this book to show how these new and innovative beads can be used to create jewelry using Soft Flex beading wire rather than thread or cord. The projects are easy to intermediate, but they are unique enough to capture the interest of even the most advanced beader. Most projects can be completed in one sitting.

  • 32 projects
  • Foreword and bonus project by Nealay Patel
  • Most projects show two colorways
  • Projects use SuperDuos, SuperUnos, Tilas, Half Tilas, Rullas, Dragon Scales and More!
  • Learn how to crimp in a variety of ways, braid, kumihimo, patina metal and weave with beading wire.

The printed proof arrived in my mailbox this week! I’ve been ooo-ing and aah-hing and of course editing and a little file tweaking on this baby. Sara should be getting her copy any day now.

Seed Bead Revolution is available for pre-order through SoftFlexCompany.com through July 31st.

Pre-order books will be signed by Sara Oehler and I and include two full project sneak peeks from Seed Bead Revolution in a digital PDF format that will be sent to you via email shortly after purchase. That will allow you to get a head start on two projects from the book even before the book ships!

Thank you so much for those of you that already placed your order. It’s on schedule to ship out next month. We are excited to see the designs you create. I hope you share your projects and the arrival of your books in the mail with me! Use the hashtag #seedbeadrevolution on social media for me see your images.

Tutorial Tuesday: Agate and Crystal Set

Natural fire agate is a vibrant, colorful, often banded variety of Chalcedony Quartz. Like all agates, it has protection energies. It can aid memory, including recall of past lives. It can assist one in finding the right mate. It is also a stone of protection in general and from anger, jealousy and fear. In addition it can help with manifestation of one’s desires, and brings good luck.  

At first I wasn’t sure about pairing orange with these light sapphire blue crystal squaredelle spacer beads, but they are really pretty together. It turns out orange and blue are BFF’s!

Photo Credit: TheTrendSpotter.com

Materials

Necklace Instructions

1. Cut 24″ of beading wire. Squeeze open a bead stopper and attach to one end of your wire.

2. String one crimp tube and one crystal bead.

3. String one squaredelle and one agate bead.

4. Repeat step 3, eight more times.

5. String one squaredelle, one crystal and one crimp tube.

6. Measure 9 inches from one end and crimp tube with regular crimping pliers to hold beads in place.

Click for crimping instructions.

7. Bend the design into the natural necklace shape as shown above and crimp the tube on the other side of the beads to hold them in place. Remove bead stopper.

(Tip: If you lay your design straight and crimp you crimp it too tight and will not be able to wear it in the natural curved shape)

8. String one crimp tube and half of the toggle clasp. Pass the wire back through the crimp tube and crimp. Repeat on the other side for the second half of the toggle clasp.

Bracelet Instructions

1. Cut 8″ of beading wire.  String one crimp tube and half of the toggle clasp. Pass the wire back through the crimp tube and crimp.

2. String one crystal bead.

3. String one squaredelle and one agate bead.

4. Repeat step 3, eight more times.

5. String one squaredelle and one crystal.

6. String one crimp tube and the other half of the toggle clasp. Pass the wire back through the crimp tube. Bend the design into the natural bracelet shape and crimp.

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Spreading the Joy of Beading at the Women’s Expo

Photo Credit Sara Oehler

Sara, Thomas, Lucy, Josephine, Leeann and I had fun in the Soft Flex Company booth teaching hundreds of people how to make their first pair of earrings at the Arizona Ultimate Women’s Expo in Phoenix!

Bonus, Thomas and I got to meet Carson Kressley!!! I really should have paid attention to the keynote speakers before I went because, had I known, I would have brought my (ahem, Bert’s) Queer Eye of for the Straight Guy book to sign. Sara said I was the most excited she has ever seen me. Hahaha, I’m not sure if that is true, but I was pretty excited.

If you would like to learn how to bead, visit Soft Flex Company’s School of Design online or their YouTube channel for hundred’s of tutorials.

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Beads of Courage: 1,000 Origami Cranes Installation

My friend Sara really captured how pretty the cranes are in this picture! So happy I drove down to Tucson with her and her adorable daughter on April 19th to see the Beads of Courage 1,000 Origami Crane Art Installation debut.

The 1,000 Origami Cranes community art project was conceived by Tucson resident Coppelia Tarantal, whose niece, Kelsey Luria received Beads of Courage during her treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Although Kelsey left her battle with cancer, her spirit, legacy and desire to positively impact the lives of children and teens with cancer lives on. The 1,000 Origami Cranes project celebrates Kelsey’s life and the lives of all children and teens coping with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Japanese folklore suggests people with patience and commitment for such a project will be granted a wish.

Support for the project was proudly provided by Soft Flex Company with their generous donation of beading wire and tools to create the display of origami cranes.

Beads of Courage is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in Tucson in 2005. Its mission is to provide innovative arts-in-medicine programs that improve the quality of life for children coping with cancer and other serious illnesses, their families and the clinicians who care for them. The organization serves 60,000 children in 250 children’s hospitals annually. For more information, visit beadsofcourage.org.

About Kelsey Taylor Luria: Kelsey was 17 when she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). “I am more than cancer” – she wrote, and indeed, Kelsey was far more than cancer. She was the queen of her own life and she lived it with courage, strength and grace. She lost the battle against AML after 5+ months. Shortly after her death, Kelsey’s family brought her vision of the Bald Beauties Project to fruition. Bald Beauties Project provides funding for AML research, and provides professional photo shoots, and Teen Comfort Kits for pediatric oncology patients in Southern Arizona. For more information, visit http://baldbeautiesproject.org.