Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Morning Pages Art Cards Arrived

This is a little bit exciting! I had decided I would like to have my Morning Pages in some kind of card form, so that I could pull a card randomly and be surprised. I tried a recommended card printing service and was very happy with the results.

They had a lot of options for size, card stock, and finish. I showed some friends who said print and sell. The current way this is done is to set up a kickstarter crowdfunding effort. When you reach your goal, you get the cards printed and sent to you. Then you mail out. There are many difficulties in all this for my current life situation. So I chose another option. 

In this option I sell you the images and the "How To Get Your Cards Printed" with easy-peasy instructions and screen shots ($10). And really the printing company has set things up so they couldn't be easier. Then you can choose to go with the company I chose, or you could print at home. You could choose a smaller card size, you could also print duplicates to give away. I added a couple of images and an extra back, 54 total.

Another plus with this option is you become comfortable using the card printing service and can create your own art cards! Hooray!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Creating sanctuary - Meditative Stories and Self Care

"Stories Are Sacred” collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper
This post is very simple. While creating sanctuary do consider principals of Self Care. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has many resources under Self Care. Take a look and breathe deeply. We can get through this.

The other element in creating sanctuary is mindfulness. I do find meditation a little more difficult in times of enormous anxiety, and I think the creators of Meditative Story may have a wonderful answer. You can read about the psychology of this process here but at it's simplest each podcast is a first person narrative, quite compelling, from a variety of authors. Meditative suggestions a woven throughout the podcast so you are able to practice mindfulness even under extremely anxious conditions. You can listen to the podcasts here and most podcast sources, like Apple Podcasts.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Creating Sanctuary - A Healing Environment

"Heart And Soul” collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper
There's quite a lot of interesting evidence-based research out there about the effects of our environments upon us, particularly in medicine. Roger Ulrich and Craig Zimring analyzed more than 600 published articles, reports, and research programs and were able to establish a strong link between the physical environment in which patients receive care and patient outcomes.

They list five key factors that are essential for the psychological well-being of patients and their families, including:
• Access to nature
• Reduced or eliminated environmental stressors
• A sense of control
• Positive distractions
• Social support
They also list specific recommendations that embody these principles:
• Access to nature or views to the outdoors
• Harvested daylight
• Healing gardens
• Use of materials that evoke nature
• Positive distractions such as therapeutic art and sculpture
• Private rooms and increased patient privacy
• Noise reduction and elimination of overhead paging
• Patient-controlled lighting, acoustics, and audio/visual electronics
• Cafes, family resource areas, libraries, and health-related retail shops

Well now, if these things are good for patients, and increase their ability to heal, so much so that hospitals are hiring architects who understand these principles, then it seems to me that these things would be good for all of us, and that they would encourage our well-being, especially in times of pandemic. So I'll be getting right to work on my healing environment, my sanctuary!

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Creating Sanctuary - Staying Close While Phyisical Distancing

"Hope” collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper

I came across Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dacher is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name.

The podcast of particular interest is one full of ideas about Staying Close While Physical Distancing. It's only 17 minutes, and hugely helpful! Also helpful on the Berkeley Greater Good website are many practices for this difficult time, including awe, compassion, connection, empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, optimism, resilience to stress, and self-compassion.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Creating Sanctuary - Art Seed Packets

"Courage” collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper
This idea creative activity includes a component of generosity. This is for two reasons. One is that generosity helps create good social networks, which is a very strong resilience factor, the top of everyone's list. The second reason for including this element of generosity, is that it seems to stimulate a creative process. Cathy Moon, Michael Franklin, Laurie Vance, and Randy Vick (Franklin et al, 1998, 2000 and Moon, 2002) are very generous artists/art therapists, who have discussed their collaborative work in many American Art Therapy Annual Conferences. Together they had formed an artists’ collective agreeing to encourage and inspire each other’s art making, by sending each other "Art Seed Packets." I totally fell in love with their idea of the “Art Seed Packets.” So here's your art challenge:

Try this:
Create two art seed packets. Fill them with interesting, mysterious, and beautiful images, fiber, stamps, and other embellishments. Mail one to an artist friend and one to yourself. Create an art piece with the contents when your packet arrives. Check in with yourself about your responses to the process as you go along.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Creating Sanctuary - The Artist's Emergency Kit

"You Are Loved” collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper

I love this prompt and it's obviously the perfect time to create an artist's emergency kit!  This idea is based on a Self Care Strategy from wellness coach, Hueina Su. Hueina used to work as a nurse and now coaches people in the medical profession. She's fond of using medical metaphors in her work, like "CPR for you life" or "Intensive Care for your soul," or "Rx for Balance." I was thinking about these metaphors and I like it. So here's today's challenge:

Create a small, portable container for self care reminders, something you could slip in your purse or keep tucked away at work. Collage or alter it up a bit. Need some ideas? Take a look at the altered bandaid tins on Art-E-Zine. For the contents, create cards with simple reminders and images for self care. Review Hueina's list (see below). Do you have a friend in need of and Emergency Self Care Kit? Make two, one for you and one to give away!

Here is Hueina's paraphrased list, sorted according to amount of time needed for these activities.
Less than 2 Minutes Breaks
• Deep breathing: take a deep breath in slowly, hold 3 counts, and breathe out slowly
• One-frame Mental Picture: use one mental picture that gives you instant peace and joy. E.g. your child’s smiling face, pet, favorite vacation spot.
• Apply therapeutic-grade essential oils to your pulse points and inhale deeply.
• Wash your face or run cold water on the back of your hands – this will energize and
wake you up
• Get a drink of water – proper hydration is important in keeping your energy
• Send a quick email to say hi to friends or family
• Rub your palms together until your hands are warm, then cover your eyes with your
palm for a minute

2 to 5 Minutes Breaks
• Close your eyes and visualize yourself skiing down the slope or doing one of your
favorite activities.  Create a 5 minute ATC.
• Browse through an art book
• Keep a book of affirmations or positive quotes near your desk so you can read a few
pages when you need a spiritual pick-me-up
• Brew a good cup of tea or (decaf) coffee. Enjoy it
• Have a quick, healthy snack
• Take a short walk
• Give yourself a head massage or foot massage

5 to 30 Minutes Breaks
• Plan some extra walking into your day
• Curl up on the sofa with a good book and/or a cup of tea
• Play with your kids or your pets
• Create a present for your friend/family member
• Contact someone you enjoy talking with, and have a positive, energy-building conversation
• Have a collection of pre-cut ATC cards and post cards at your desk, so you can write a quick note to your friends or family – reaching out and feeling connected to someone you care gives you energy and lifts your spirit
• Create a surprise for someone you love or appreciate
• Create something special to look forward to this evening, or this weekend
• Take a camera on your next walk

30 minutes to 2 hours
• Take an exercise or yoga class
• Check out a YouTube lecture on a topic that you enjoy
• Take an on line arts and crafts class or workshop – learning something new energizes you
• Create a tea party with your with family
• Take a bubble bath or foot bath
• Light a scented candle and meditate
• Enjoy your favorite dessert and savor every bite of it
• If you have a yard, enjoy an outdoor game together with family
• Attend to your garden
• Take a nap
• Track down old friends that you’ve lost touch with, and call or write to them
• Watch an old favorite movie or sitcom