Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Altered art, altered emotion

Today's images are from Susan Tuttle's amazing course "Visual Poetry" .

Carol sent me a link for Kathryn Antyr's wonderful website and an art prompt found there. This prompt really got me thinking. It is about how we can get what ever stressful emotions that might be bottled up inside and put them into our journals or in this case, into some altered bottles. Kathryn gives Sharon Soneff credit for this idea which she found in "Art Journals and Creative Healing - Restoring the Spirit through Self-Expression." Since it's all about altering things I would like to alter this prompt a bit. I created my altered glass bottles with interesting labels like various emotions, dreams, hopes, wishes. And I left the tops off, that way I can place what ever I like into the bottle and forget about it. For me, it's a better idea metaphorically if if I am working with and trying to release troubling emotion to not re-bottle it. There's folk wisdom that I tend to agree with, "What we resist persists" so I'll keep my altered bottles free of any corks or tops. Turning a difficult emotion into a work of art (altered or otherwise) which I actually like, may be what I would aim for in response to this prompt. Do you want an example? See below.

Vintage image altered by Lani

I may have been feeling a little worried about something when I selected this photo to play with and by the time I was finished with my alterations I was very happy with the image AND in a completely different mood.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Trying new words and new ideas!

Collage by Lani

Working in my friend Cyn's "Wreck This Journal" for an RR I'm participating in and I found this amazing sentence. "Dark times call for new words and ideas to bring the colors back into the day." So true! There's nothing quite like learning something new, trying one new thing every day to help us bring color back into our lives.
Today's images are from Susan Tuttle's amazing course "Visual Poetry" and what a delight that is, learning so many new words and ideas!
This shot was into the sun with marbles in an antique glass bottle. I love this but I have to admit I didn't think of it all by myself. I got the inspiration from Azirca's blog. Thank you Azirca!

And finally we have some sweet peas from Edward's garden with some of the "Visual Poetry" treatment. Such fun. It really is hard to keep a grumpy mood going if you are learning something new! Try it out for yourself and let me know what happens.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Touching Serenity

Collage by Lani
I stumbled on a website, Goodlife Zen, full of wonderful directives for increasing positive brain activity and the potential for being here now (why is it so much easier to live in the past and future?). Here's one example and it fits so nicely with my previous wishcasting post.

There is a way to escape this negative spiral of emotions.

The simple action I’ll describe in a moment is the physical expression of loving-kindness meditation. This is a kind of meditation where we turn loving and kind thoughts towards ourselves. When we are wound-up and blame ourselves for not performing well enough, we need to break this negative cycle of emotions through being kind to ourselves.

A simple touch can return us to serenity

What I’m going to show you is a powerful technique. It means touching the heart with the hand of love. You will notice a change when you do it. But it’s not going to make you serene for ever, just by trying it once! The tension in your mind and body is apt to reoccur. However, if you use this loving touch regularly, you will be able to prevent a build-up of stress in the future.

Touch the heart with the hand of love

Here is a beautiful and very simple way to find serenity.

  • Step #1 Take one deep breath and notice it flowing in and out.
  • Step #2 Take your right hand and place it gently– in slow motion and with warm awareness – on your heart area.
  • Step #3 Leave it resting there lightly for a couple of complete breaths and notice then changes in your body and mind

What your hand is saying to you is, “It’s all right. I love you all the same.”

When your hand comes to rest, you may notice that you spontaneously take a deep breath. Leave your hand on your chest for a while and notice your breathing deepen, your shoulders relax, and your face soften.

Repeat this magic action as often as possible

We cannot get too much of loving-kindness. All of us are in need of it. And we ourselves are often the ones who are our harshest critics and withhold our self love. When you touch the heart with the hand of love, your soul unfolds and your whole being lightens up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How do you wish to stretch?

Collage by Lani (vintage image from Paperwhimsy)
Over on Jamie Ridler's Studio, the wishcasting question is "How do you wish to stretch?" and I'd have to answer that I wish to stretch my heart. Being kind and nice to folks who are kind and nice to me is easy. What I'd like to be able to do more easily is to stretch my heart to include everyone, no matter if they are kindhearted themselves or not. That would be quite a good stretch, I think!

Wonderful workshops in Ohio!

I'm back from the latest road trip. This one was to Ohio where I met up with my co-presenter and best buddy, Susan Anand. The BATA Symposium was a treat! Susan and I got to play and share what we think is a fun, non intrusive, culturally sensitive methodology AND we got to visit with Kim and Julie and all those lovely dogs. 7 indoor dogs! 2 of them are Great Danes and one is a Saint Bernard. These are big dogs! (Really!!!!!)

One of the things we were talking about was how easy it is to create a somewhat animated video for YouTube, so the fairy tale above is just such an example. Not perfect, not polished, but lots of fun. Paper puppets, Photoshop, and iMovie were all that I used. I'm going to try a simpler one on Slide.