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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.

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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.

 

Seed Bead Revolution Book In Progress

I finished, I Finished, I FINISHED! Woot Woot!!!

I’m sooo excited that I finished all my jewelry instructions for the book “Seed Bead Revolution” I’m working on with Sara Oehler!

A big project that has had me beading all day and night is a beading how-to book I’m co-authoring with my friend Sara. I completed my 16 beading designs and we photographed all 32 projects this Friday.

Here’s a sneak peek at one of my design sets that will appear the book – squeeeeeee! You can easily make this necklace and earring set. Seriously.


Sneak peek photo by Jennifer Lind Schutsky and I’m in awe of her photo skills! Thank you for sharing your magic Jenn!

I am moving on to the tougher parts of the process – instruction writing and book design. Oh my goodness, it’s about to get really REAL!!! Can’t wait to share more – stay tuned as we get ready to launch this book this summer! #seedbeadrevolution

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Creative Warrior Goddess

I am a creative warrior goddess.

I am here to lay claim to my creative heart, my artist soul, my being, my creative warrior goddess energy and that which fills me up. And in doing so –  my well will overflow and spill out to those around me. I am here to encourage your creative warrior goddess to emerge. To help you lay claim to your creative heart and share that what is hidden within your artist soul.

creative energy: ability to create, life energy and passion for creative actions.

warrior energy: focus, dedication, purpose and personal power

goddess energy: creative flow, love, pleasure, wisdom, intuition and joyful self-acceptance.

The warrior goddess is a sacred mixture of the masculine and feminine. Both yin and yang are held in balance within the Warrior Goddess and therefore a deep sense of wholeness, confidence and joy is felt. I invoke the creative warrior goddess in me when I explore, practice, show up, ignite, and create magic that is mindful and heart-full but also wild and free.

“If we truly want to be fulfilled in life, it is going to involve us learning to work with our warrior energy. For those who do not frequently feel the arising of this powerfully passionate and creative yearning, it might mean invoking the warrior energy by doing things that activate adrenaline. Once the energy is flowing, you’ll definitely feel it. It’s the kind of energy that wants you to jump and leap; to scream and shout. When you feel it arising, the key is not to deny it, but to find a positive vehicle for its expression.” ~ from ShiftFrequency.com article Learning Through Adversity – Invoking the Spiritual Warrior Energy > Read more.

I’m a multi-passionate creative and am proud to weave my creative pursuits through my life and work. It’s hard for me to explain what I do – what is my elevator pitch?! I fear I may appear flaky or confusing. What I really hope comes forth is that I’m creative, curious, passionate, and a lifetime learner who wants to share creativity with the world in whatever way that shows up.

I’m a full time graphic designer for a small business, that’s been my day job for 17+ years and I love it however, I don’t share the work I do on my blog or social media often.

The stuff I share with you is my creative heart.

I am multi-passionate (and fell in love with that term the first time I heard it) I draw, paint, craft, design jewelry & lifestyle products, I teach art workshops, hold painting parties and share jewelry tutorials online and in print. This list is ever evolving. Just when I think I have things figured out, they change. I have learned to follow my creative heart and allow myself to wander. Not all who wander are lost. Being creative is the constant. It’s the thread that ties everything together. It’s the desire to express – to bring forth beauty – to share and connect.

I am a creative warrior goddess.


What things do you love that weave their way through your life and biz? Do you struggle with feeling flaky and confusing or do you embrace the different things that show up?!

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My Year in Paint 2016

I am strolling down memory lane by reflecting on the acrylic paintings I created last year. Take some time and reflect upon the art work (or whatever your creative outlet) you created last year and I bet you’ll be surprised by the wisdom you find buried in your creativity.

I wanted to do this earlier in January but, I realized I had not photographed and uploaded all my current work – I guess that’s another good reason to take stock on what you’ve created. 😉

I want to thank Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio for her prompts and insight on how to think about my year in paint and what things to consider for digging deeper through my annual body of work.

Live Mural Painting during the Phoenix Festival of the Arts 2016

PART 1 DOCUMENTATION

I take pictures of everything. In fact, I am constantly running out of camera space and dropbox space which can be super annoying but, still I take a zillion pictures. One key task for me to work on is editing and deleting the unnecessary photos so, I’m not storing so many.

Subject matter. What did you explore this year? I painted lots of mandala’s due to a few mandala workshops. I surprised myself with the night goddess (I don’t usually paint faces) and I had one little gray bird appear, other subjects were dream catchers, abstracts with natural imagery and a seascape.

Color palette. Are there certain colors or color combinations you leaned towards more often? How do you use color — is it bold and bright? earthy? Why do you think that is? I played with neon and a few hot pinks and oranges. Mostly I was drawn to blue and purple. I used leftover paint from painting parties to limit my choices. My colors this year overall have been bright jewel tones with metallic touches. The dominate color palette feels mystical, like I was inviting in more magic.

Composition. Is there a certain composition you lean on more often than others? I fluctuate with painting in the center or off to one side.

Patterns & motifs. Are there certain patterns or motifs that you repeat in many of your pieces? Do you notice any repetition? Dots, lotus petals, natural elements mixed with geometric.

Medium. What were your favorite art supplies and mediums to work with? Did you try anything new? Acrylic paint and paint markers are my favorite. I spent a lot more time with watercolor, even had a 30 day challenge with watercolors that produced awesome ideas. Some new things I added this year are inky sprays with stencils for the backgrounds, white gel pens for detail and line work and I used my wood burning tool for the first time this year too.

Energy. What is the overall energy of your art? What words or emotions would you use to describe the feel of it? I spent more time with intentional creativity, mindfulness and meditation this year and due to that I feel like my work has been infused with spiritual, magical and uplifting energy. Just the things I needed to bring forth in my life.

PART 2 INFLUENCES

As you look over Your Year In Paint consider some of the things that were impacting your creative process.

Workshops or classes. Was any of your work created by studying with a particular teacher or program? Lots of work was created during and after facilitating art workshops. I read a few intuitive art books and grew my art mentor tribe online to keep me inspired (and honestly sometimes overwhelmed).

Work. Did work influence your art making? Are you a teacher? Were you inspired by the classes you taught? I created a lot of work in 2016 based off the workshops Free Spirit, Mandala Magic, and Catching Dreams that I taught. I didn’t spend much time in the studio creating just for the fun of it. Lots of artwork began as class demos. Because of this my subject matter doesn’t feel as scattered.

Family and Relationships. Did you find your relationships to be supportive of or disruptive to your overall creative process this year? On one hand financial stress disrupted my sense of security and grounding. But on the other hand, it forced me to take risks that I may not have. I jumped before I was ready. Some ideas worked wonderfully – like awesome collaborations and showing my art in two gallery group shows – while others didn’t get enough water to grow or were put together haphazardly as I didn’t have the serenity of security to properly plan and execute them.

Travel. Did you travel during 2016? How did the change of scenery influence or impact the things you see in your art? We spent time exploring Arizona visiting Cibeque Falls, Payson, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Bert and I also got to Denver in the Fall. Travel, especially with a large emphasis on being in nature, is incredibly inspiring and soul satisfying. Exploring in nature had a direct impact in me exploring the idea of creativity itself and playing with lots of new mediums this year.

Other Artists. Were there certain artist that really impacted you this year? I am inspired by intuitive and intentional artists, their philosophy and way of getting others to open up and let go during art making. I try and soak up all the love and wisdom they share so that I can in turn share it with my tribe in my own way. I have a long way to go before I think I’ll feel totally comfortable with how that translates into sharing my gifts and why. These heart centered art mentors help me navigate the way.

PART 3 WEAVING THE TWO TOGETHER IN A CREATIVE NARRATIVE

This is when you take what you excavated about your actual creative process for 2016 (Part 1) and combine it with what was influencing you in 2016 (Part 2) to craft a narrative about who you were as an artist in 2016 (and to give you clues of who you are becoming as well!).

Creative Flow. When was I the most in the flow creatively during 2016? One art piece that stands out is Light within Darkness and with that piece I was moving through negative energy and reminding myself that I am able to create and that is powerful. That there are beautiful things that come out of the darkness such as the full moon and lotus flower. I was most in the flow during the index card a day challenge, where I showed up regularly in a small way to create.

Art and life. How did my art making mirror what was happening in my life? Are there certain subject matters or ways of expressing myself that best reflect what I was going through? Yes, mandalas in particular are a form of meditation and healing. I spent a lot of time working on them this year and that calmed me. I can let my worries and thoughts drift as I just focus on what pattern to add next. It was a mindful practice in presence to help ground and remind me that I have all I need right now, in this moment.

Interests and curiosities. What was I interested in creatively during 2016? Definitely the desire to share the magic of painting with others as well as the philosophy or intuitive and intentional art making. I was curious about watercolor taking it out of my sketchbook, onto index cards and then paper and then out into the world sharing with others. I started the year off with a curiosity in wood burning, but only got to a couple projects. I hope to pick this up a bit more this year.

Highlights and achievements. What are the things you are most proud of creatively? There really are many! I’m proud that I stepped out of my comfort zone and facilitated many workshops at multiple locations, that I shared my art in two group gallery shows, that I began to find my people – those that get me and want to join me on this magical creative journey, that I said yes more then no to things that scared and excited me and mostly about being a creative warrior – pushing through whatever muck I was stuck in and gifting the magic of creativity with others.

Nuggets of wisdom and advice. What nuggets of wisdom did you learn about your creative process? What type of advice would you give another artist based on your year creatively? Follow what feels interesting. Get out and connect with creative minded souls. Collaborate. Let go of perfection. You don’t have to know it all to say yes, just jump and figure it out along the way!

What’s next? What feels really juicy to you? What do you want to explore more of in 2017? What do you want to do less of? Where can you tighten up or loosen up? Where can you embrace more of who you are as an artist?  Refining my workshops for more soul nourishing creativity. Bringing in a little more magic and play. Letting go of having to do it all, focus on what feels good and give it your all. Tighten up on how to help others feel safe to let go and let it flow in creating. Loosen up on needing to gather more and more information, be content in my enoughness. Through daily art practice I want to explore and allow my voice to emerge, through art journaling I want to embrace the messy, ugly parts of art healing without worrying if anyone will see it.

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The Enchanted Tarot

While checking out the Creative Catalysts Silver Lining exhibit at K’é – A Place to Grow Small Business during 2nd Fridays in downtown Mesa, I spotted a sidewalk sign for a metaphysical shop and decided to take a peek. I have been wanting to get a deck of oracle cards for a while. This shop only carried Tarot, however I could use them similar to oracle cards.

I opened and flipped through the first deck. Pictures were pretty, seemed like a nice deck. I then opened the second deck and I was hit with an overwhelming sense of tingling that began on the left arm and went up over my head and down the right arm. Whoa! I had heard about the deck connecting with you energetically, but couldn’t believe it really just happened. It began as soon as I opened the box and took me by surprise. It was such a strong sensation. As I flipped through the artwork and I just kept tingling all the way down my body. It was so strange and delightful at the same time. I was laughing and telling the girl at the counter how I couldn’t believe that actually happened. I obviously had to buy this deck.

I have been enjoying the ritual of asking the deck what I needed to know that day, drawing a card and then learning about the meaning. It helps me stop and think about what the card is trying to tell me in regards to what’s going on in my life at the moment. The first 3 days I pulled cards that all related in some way to finances, I know the universe is trying to tell me something there!

Have you used tarot or oracle cards? I’d be interested to hear how you use them. 

Bracelet Design Tutorial Published in Beadwork!

 

Beadwork Magazine
Feb-Mar 2017
p. 44

I am so excited to finally be able to share this design with you! It’s my debut jewelry tutorial project design with Beadwork magazine. I love that it is showcasing how to use Soft Flex beading wire in a non-traditional way – with Kumihimo! This design uses a flat braid pattern made with the square kumihimo plate combined with superduo two-hole beads.

I just love the elegant look of the braided wire and the flat braid is so comfortable to wear.

 

If you get a chance, I hope that you will check it out and give it a try!