Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A new BlogSpot for 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life

Collage by Lani.

Here's the idea. Over at the 14 Secrets Yahoo Group, we create a lot of amazing things. Why not have a blog where we can upload all of this inspiration and good stuff? So if you are a member of 14 Secrets and you have a favorite image, quote, event, story, or link you want to share, I'll put it up on the 14 Secrets Blogspot. If you aren't a member but would like to be, just let me know.

I have learned by some experience, by many examples, and by the writings of countless others before me, also occupied in the search, that certain environments, certain modes of life, certain rules of conduct are more conducive to inner and outer harmony than others. There are, in fact, certain roads that one may follow. Simplification of life is one of them. --Ann Morrow Lindbergh

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Playing with "slide"

I couldn't help myself, had to add text slides. What fun.
What if we had had these slide shows in grade school.
What if we could have created these slide shows in grade school? What would they have looked like?

For the original version click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gifts, Prospect Lobster Dinner, and Cape Breton.

Aug. 22, 2007 photocollage by Lani with quote by Carol Moore

What a lovely gift filled day yesterday was! Thank you EVERYONE for all the lovely e-gifts and e-cards. What fun. So here's a few gifts that I can share:

You can make a slide show like this by clicking on the "make your own" button. I saw this slide show format on Red Velvet and thought it was perfect for my collages. Judy's work on Red Velvet is inspiring and totally captivating - do go see it immediately!

So yesterday I got a free Tarot Reading from which is always a fun thing to do for starting out a new adventure or new year.

Digital Scrapbook Place sent me a voucher for a free pack of designer papers & ephemera. Pretty cool. So I used them right away in the above photocollage with candles (and the candles came from a i-card from jaihn, thank you jaihn!)

Jaihn also sent a link for lots of freebies for artists! Woo hoo!!! Thank you jaihn!

It was a great day, so thanks to all who contributed!

For those who were curious about how Prospect's Lobster Dinner went, I have a link to Joan Sinden's blog DogKisser for you! Joan also has a website called Charlie loves Halifax, all about dog friendly places in Halifax, good food advice, parks advice, and everything dog & Halifax related. A great resource. Thanks Joan!

And for those who were curious about the Bergamasco Boys vacation in Cape Breton the highlights for the dogs were a beautiful bull moose with fuzzy antlers, a very large and very dead tuna that Prospero found and proceeded to roll in before we caught him. Needless to say Prospero lost some length to his dreadlocks. And of course there were the highland cattle which both boys love!!! And we found another eagle feather. Our highlights were Fort Louisbourg (which doesn't allow dogs but there's a dog sitter in town) and talking with all the historic interpretors and Gampo Abbey and their tour with a young novice and of course staying in Cheticamp with our friend Mary! Thank you Mary!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Links and Inspiration

Collage by Lani

Got my Arts and Healing newsletter and it had a truly not-to-be-overlooked wonderful link for Traci Teraoka and Kate Strasburg's exquisite website and meaningful work designing healing spaces to help ease the suffering of those going through health crises or major life transitions. Their nonprofit, called Healing Environments produces free publications of exquisite quality and design that truly lighten the spirit. Titled A Light in the Mist, each issue addresses a different topic such as memoir, transformation, story, music and more. You can find them all archived on their web site at They also have applied their gifts to help create healing spaces in hospices, homes and in their own office space in San Francisco, CA. If you are at all interested in the idea of creating an ameliorative environment in which to work or live with beauty and grace, then this website will delight you. Actually the whole website feels like an amazingly nurturing environment filled with wonderful ideas and gifts, so if you are feeling a bit over-extended and you'd like some relief of a creative, generous nature, then this is your website.

You can read an interview of these two women in the
Art Heals newsletter in which they explain how they came to collaborate, infusing environments, website and publications with a sense of comfort, stability, history, and transcendence. (Just delightful)

Here are a few quotes to tempt you to take a look.
Our space at Healing Environments is
filled with healing art. What do we mean
by “healing” art? Healing art is art which
enables the viewer to transcend his pain
(whether emotional or physical) by connecting
him to a sense of the universal. This connection
is both grounding and comforting. It presents a larger
context in which the viewer feels supported and sustained.
Traci Teraoka and Kate Strasburg

If we can say that grace is a sense of connection with the sacred within and around us, we may see how, impossible as it may sometimes seem, tragedy holds
the seeds of grace. And we see, too, that grace may not always be pleasant but it always brings us closer to our true heart.
Stephen Levine

The process of wounding awakens us to our strength. It shuffles
our values, and the top priority is never what you thought it
would be. It's never about perfection or power. It always turns
out to be about love.
Rachel Naomi Remen

Other nice links for you:
The Catalyst Magazine
with articles on a healthy life & a healthy planet. Check out the green Burning Man article.

Free binaural sounds. I can't tell who's put together this collection but it's seriously binaural (read more about binaural sounds by typing it into the blog search box) and very good for psyche and spirit.

Pasticcio Zine Issue 1, a zine by Angela Cartwright and Sarah Fishburn. It is a one of a kind art magazine filled with plenty of artwork, informative and entertaining articles. Includes a gallery of artists and a plethora of imagery. 52 full color pages. I can't wait for my copy to arrive.

Angela Cartwright's Blogspot.

Sarah Fishburn's Blogspot.

If you have global warming blues, concerns and anxiety, Joanna Macy has some very interesting spiritual/ecological practices here.

Now I better go pack for the Bergamasco Boy's big adventure. We are all heading up to Cape Breton tomorrow for a week of fun with the boys.

Monday, August 06, 2007

An interview

My artful buddy Holly asked if she could interview me and I enjoyed the process so much, I thought I'd share it here.

1) Can you please tell us a little bit of your background, the area you live in now, the people in your life that bring you joy.
If I think of my life as an book full of collages, the page I'm on right now has a "background paper" of a lovely, small fishing village here in Nova Scotia. I love this place. The Atlantic Ocean is in my back yard. I don't have to cross the street to put a kayak in and go paddling out to look as seals or moon snails or sand dollars. The human to more-than-human ratio here is to my liking, in favor of the more-than-human world. I can see plenty of sky, horizon, ocean, plant life and animal life. Another aspect of the background here is the wild women of Prospect. They are the best! They are the glue of this community. Actually I have learned so much from the women here, about how to build and maintain a sense of community, how to be kind to one another even if you may not see eye to eye on everything. My little life here and all the people and creatures in it as well as the environment bring me great joy and I am most grateful.

Oh, but maybe you were thinking about family? I have one darling husband, two loving Bergamasco sheep dogs, and two very charming cats all in a 150+ year old fisherman's cottage by the sea.

2) When you were growing up, what did you think your life would be like? Is your life better than you imagined or is there still work to be done?

When I was growing up in Taiwan, I never even heard of Nova Scotia. I had no clue about what turns my life would take. It's an unfolding mystery. Actually, as a kid, I thought I'd love to live on a ship, just travel around, see the world, and write on a ship. I thought I'd study nursing in order to be able to travel on a ship and write. The only draw-back to this plan was I really didn't like the sight of blood or needles. Living next to the ocean is just about as good as living on a ship and it's way more spacious. Another thing that I never dreamed of was how much fun grownups can have if they put their minds to it. I put my mind to it and my life is way better than I could ever have dreamed and of course we have no idea what is around the next bend in the road.

3) How did you become inspired to choose your career? What shaped your decisions and led you down that path?
Hmmmmm. Career is a really serious word. I gave up serious words mostly but I'll try my best just for you Holly. My training and post-graduate education has all been in art therapy. So I guess you could call that my career. I chose that as a career because I knew that when I was working creatively, I felt good, and I really wanted to understand how that worked. I wanted to know what specifically it was in the creative process that made people feel better. As an undergraduate I had worked with some kids in an orphan's home and they were happiest when they were drawing, making up stories, and creating little books. I felt like I needed to know more about how it all worked. So my motivation for the career was really curiosity about the creative process.

After working as an art therapist for so many years, I decided I'd rather play, do more art, and write more. So now I'm still focused on how working creatively is good for us, but it's a lot broader and more interesting than I ever thought it could be.

4) Tell us a bit about your art, how you discovered your talent and what keeps you motivated to continually share your passion?
My art is a pretty wildly eclectic bag of tricks, including puppets, dolls, book binding, jewelry, pottery, drawing, and writing. I wonder if I left something out? I've always loved narrative and art and have sought ways to work more of these things into my life, and also looking for ways to integrate the two. For a long time I focused on puppets and most recently I'm enjoying doll making and book binding. I see real potential for self expression in creating artist's books, art journals, and altered books. I have yet to find the perfect marriage of word and art but it's fun to search and experiment. One of my big motivations came from interviewing self-taught artists in Mississippi. I was coming out of a slighly stuffy, rarified atmosphere of academia in New York City. I had grown to believe that artists were people loaded with credentials, shows in SoHo, and reviews in all the best magazines. Then I talked with George Berry (, L V Hull and others (check I grew to understand that we really are all artists at heart. We really do love to embellish and enliven our environment with our own marks, that art-making is really good for us, and that we shouldn't wait for SoHo's stamp of approval to start or artistic life. Start right now!

5) Is there any art form that you long to tackle next?
Mmmmmm, well, I think I'll just keep playing with word & image and see where it takes me next.

6) How long have you been a blogging artist? Have you been able to meet and connect with fellow bloggers and artists?
I started my blog in Aug. 2005. Wow, it's been two years. I think artist's blogs are the best things. You get a real appreciation of other people's lives and you get to see what folks are up to artistically. Sometimes people read my blog and will write asking for advise or directions about something, or just to tell me a piece of their story. They kind of pull me into their story a little bit and I'm always curious how things work out for them. But I don't always get to know. I guess the unfinished story is a part of blogging too.

7) What do you see in the future for you as a person, artist and healer?
When I look back I'm always amazed at all the things I've done and seen, all the people I have met, and all the places I have been. I could never have predicted any of the turns my life has taken, so I don't think I'll start predicting today. It will remain a mystery!

Thanks Holly for asking these wonderful questions! It's probably a very good thing to sit back and reflect on the path that we call our lives.
Thanks Lani, not too tedious I hope.
Not at all!

I'd love it if you could send me a few pictures of your art and yourself.
OK, I'll see what I can do.