Monday, March 26, 2007


The big adventure starts tomorrow! My bags are almost packed. Hoping to learn tons and tons of great stuff! Which of course I'll share. But I'll be away from the computer for the next three weeks. So this blog will be very quiet, I hope. See y'all later!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life

Of course there are more than 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life and one of the secrets is searching for and finding all kinds of good things out there that add to a person's happiness quotient... oh, and then sharing them of course!

So talking about serious happiness, nothing frivolous here, one thing we need in order to be truly happy is to untie those knots that we all get tied up in. Lots of teachers out there are willing to teach us all about releasing the old resentments that don't really do anything but weigh us down. So here are a few teachers:

Byron Katie is really very good about helping people find freedom from the feelings that no longer serve them. She can help us untie a knot faster than anything. It just takes four simple questions (and a willingness to let things go of course). It is possible to glean quite a lot from her websites and there are video clips so we can actually see and hear how "the work" works.

Learning Strategies has a very manageable course called Euphoria. They have a package CD's with teachings and meditative sessions that will increase bliss levels, for sure. Included in these CD's are Paul Scheele with a "Paraliminal" learning session, Hale Dwoskin, with the Sedona Method for euphoria, D. Trinidad Hunt, of Elan Enterprises helping you live life on purpose, Chunyi Lin, of Spring Forest Qigong with a Qigong meditation for euphoria, Bill Harris, of Centerpointe Research Institute with a deep, euphoric meditation using Holosync, and Rex Steven Sikes, of IDEA Seminars with the Attitude Activator for reaching new heights of joy and happiness.

Then of course there are all the binaural sound programs, which I highly recommend, if you have headphones and a CD player. Bill Harris is pretty popular with his Holosync program, although he has a pretty high pressured sales technique that can be a bit off-putting. Binaural Beats offers similar products for less. The Meditation Solution offers a program very similar to Bill Harris's Holosync with a series of CD's which can be purchased individually or in a package. Dr. Mercola has an offer for a very good binaural sound program, also much less costly than Holosync and also very effective. And finally Brainwave Entrainment offers a very wide range of CD's and downloads which seem to be of good quality with lots of variety.

What I find with these binaural sound programs is a lessening of that inner chatter that we tend to carry around with us, you know that inner critic that is looking at how we are coming across, or judging those around us and of course that part of us that projects ourselves into the future with thoughts of "if only this or this would happen, then I could be happy." It's almost as if the volume on that inner chatter is turned down to a point where these thoughts can be released quite easily. The mind can look at a thought and lets it go. There is a sense of lightness or relaxation in this, a feeling of increased energy as though waking up out of a deep sleep or coming back to life. When the inner chatter is quieter you can actually be more alive in the moment, you can actually experience your life right now.

So that's a little tour of my euphoric research for now. More will follow, I have no doubt.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Try this!

Have you noticed interesting "to do" lists cropping up on people's blogs? A very nice librarian, John Blyberg, has this neat little gizmo on his website for making these little notes for yourself.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

On the road again...

...or time to post the Spring/Summer workshop schedule.

My first stop is Seattle, Washington for ArtFest! Talk about excited and joyful! I need a few more languages for the delight I'm developing about ArtFest! How about "joie et plaisir" or "gioia e piacere"or "기쁨과 쾌재" or "alegria e prazer" or "tripudium quod letifico" or "plaisir et réjouir." I will be taking a class with Lynne Parella and 2 with Nina Bagley. Here's a Nina Bagley quote about her favorite tools: " hands are the best tools of all, and I've been using photographed images of them a LOT in my artwork lately." About art making Lynne says:
I have always found it valuable to go into the studio and BEGIN, regardless of outcome. A day spent just following ideas or impulses, or just staying at your art table, no matter what --- That’s what it is all about.
My next stop will be NYC to teach a mini course at NYU. And then to Vermont for a workshop on resilience. Actually both course and workshop are titled "Building Resilience Through Puppet-Making and Storytelling" and come out of work done in Mississippi post-Katrina, with folks who originally lived in New Orleans, or folks living on the gulf coast, whose lives were turned upside down from Katrina. I'll be showing how puppet-making and story telling encouraged resilience and group problem solving. If you were to come to one of these workshops you'd learn about the "quest narrative" and encouraging strength from the inside-out. You would also learn three separate puppet-making techniques (glove, sock, and paper puppet people) in a flexible, "open studio" style. You would feel first hand the power of creating these puppets, as well as experience the power of creating a healing narrative with your characters. You'd probably come away with some of the current research in resilience strategies and some ideas about building resilience in communities under stress. Both workshop and course are anchored in art and narrative-making experience, which can be utilized in many settings, including schools, adult day treatment, and outpatient psychotherapy. If you are interested in the NYU course you can contact Ikuko Acosta. For Information on the Vermont workshop, or a registration form you can contact Lore Caldwell.

For the month of May and the beginning of June I'll be home and traveling down the road on Fridays for a puppets and narratives at Hebbville Elementary School.

Then I'll be getting ready for the The First Annual Lost Sisters Art Retreat and Reunion from June 28 thru July 1, 2007.

In mid July I'll be at the Altercations Altered Art Conference in Ann Arbor Michigan. That will be two courses in altered books. One will be making Wabi Sabi Wisdom books and the other will be making Fairy Gifts books in order to encourage the Urban Fairies of Ann Arbor (and other fairy folk and powers that be) to help us manifest our dreams. Sign up here for information about this conference (and it is SUCH an amazing wonderful conference!). They will let you know when registration starts.

I'll be writing more about these and also more about the keynote and workshop for the Ohio Buckeye's Art Therapy Symposium as we get closer to them.

Whew! Got to go make some art now!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another great puppet making workshop!

What a good time we all had! Workshops where all ages can come together and play, creating sweet little creatures or the wildest puppets and most fun memories...
When folks can find that they can amuse themselves no end...
By sneezing huge puppet sneezes of profound proportions...
Or by creating a happily-ever-after ending for us all.

Hooray! (For more photos click on the title)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Charming Obsession

Getting ready for a 14 Secrets Swap and for Artfest and beyond. Help. I can't stop making these little treasures! What fun!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Joys of Guerilla Art

So I've continued playing with my photoshop stuff, and I'm thinking of guerilla art of the bookmark genre. Keri Smith has a lovely description of guerilla art here and she talks about it in the current issue of Somerset Studio.
Guerilla art is a fun and insidious way of sharing your vision with the world. It is a method of art making which entails leaving anonymous art pieces in public places. It can be done for a variety of reasons, to make a statement, to share your ideas, to send out good karma, or just for fun. My current fascination with it stems from a belief in the importance of making art without attachment to the outcome. To do something that has nothing to do with making money, or listening to the ego.
So I'm thinking of scattering my photoshop fun images in the form of bookmarks hidden away in library books, bookstores, and in cafes. I think I'll leave a secret web address on the back.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Happy happy day!!!

Woke up this morning with Artfest on my mind. A very colorful dream full of confetti and joy.

Julie Morgenstern (a time management guru) has a whole wonderful list of ways to make sure you are spending your time the way you want to. Fantastic! One of her big things is to not do emails in the morning. She says you are freshest and most creative in the morning so why not do those things that require some thought and creativity first thing. And my friend Lore (an art and joy management guru) says that if making art makes you happy then you gotta do it! So these pieces are dedicated to Teesha Moore's Artfest Energy, Julie Morganstern's time management skills, and Lore's art and joy encouragement. Oh wow, can you feel the energy rising?

Interesting photoshop "stuff" can be found on various digital scrapbooking websites. Look at the freebies sections first to find the most generous gifts. Gifts add to the happiness quotient.

My favorite is The Scrap Artist but there are lots out there.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Oh Happy Day!

Prospero on our morning walk.

The wild women of Prospect are working on books for our annual summer lobster dinner. We will sell blank journals as part of the general money making that is required to pay for the insurance for the village dock. Actually it's all great fun and hard work but good community building. Some folks gripe about the whole thing but the interesting thing about this is they are not the ones cooking the lobster, they are not the ones binding books, they are not the ones who even eat the lobster, so I really don't know why they complain.

This is the front and back of a small white journal. You can see some "silk throwster waste" which is "couched" down the side. The button and throwster waste came from Joggles which is a fantastic place for books and on line classes. On the back of this little journal I did some more "couching" and jaihn will be coaching me on this any day now, so I will be improving soon.
This one was made from some Rajasthan tribal cloth with a little silk couching on the edges. I wonder if it's couching then?
This one is with antique batik cloth, a photo on cloth from Paper Whimsy, old buttons and key.
This one was fun, a photocopy of an old geography book cover, some interesting papers, some masking tape, an old coin and feather, some bee's wax and pigment. What fun!
This is the back of this same journal.
And this is one of the inside covers. So you can see the folks that don't want to play with the wild ladies of Prospect, or help with the lobster dinner, or even eat the lobster dinner, they are missing out on a lot of fun and a lot of community building!
And finally there is news of the 20 Things Zine project, hosted by Jen Worden, which will be in the Canadian Postal system on Monday. Whooey, aren't these gorgeous?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rocks and endorphins

This is a little plug for the idea of heated rock massage. I went to our local Aveda Spa the other day and got one or their "Fussion Stone Massages" and I have to say there was a lot of endorphin activity involved in that experience.

Heated basalt rocks were used as massage tools along with scented oils. In theory the gentle weight of the rocks, combined with manual manipulation of muscles, helps to push toxins out of the muscles and into the lymphatic system, stimulating a detoxification process. In practice, it is a mind altering and extremely relaxing experience. The massage thereapists are gentle and strong, giving you a sense of being treated with kindness. They ask you questions which allow them to give you an individualized massage experience. They call it a sensory journey with sounds of ocean and soft piano or flute playing, the scents of plant and flowers wafting and of course the touch of the highly trained staff of massage therapists. It is indeed a tranquil world, of hard wood floors and fire light.

When I got home in my state of bliss, I put a few smooth river stones on top of the wood stove in an old, wabi-sabi bowl from Korea. Warm rocks on certain key spots on the shoulders are doing wonders for knots and the headaches that they cause.