July 31, 2012

celebrate imperfection

this is your official Permission Slip to let go of perfection.

just coming off of almost a week-long redirect to Plan B in my own life (husband sick, family plans including two trips cancelled), i am reminded once again that best laid plans are always good to be made with a healthy dose of grace so when things go awry (they always do), you can bounce rather than crumble.

resilience is such an important secret super power to have, and it will help you live a more happy creative life.  let’s face it, nothing ever goes exactly as planned, ever, so cultivating the ability to sway with the wind, accept the imperfect, and let go into the moment is so important.

‘hold on loosely’, that’s how the song goes, right?

and we all know that the lessons and growth are in the humbling wake of imperfection, in figuring out an alternate route, a different approach, a new perspective.  though wrapped in frustration and maybe even disappointment, imperfection is often a gift.

as we end our Wishful month of celebrating (though keep on celebrating all year round!), i hope we can all embrace a bit of fallibility in our lives.  embrace it in yourself, and embrace it in others, and go gently and with a little more kind compassionate fairy dust to sprinkle around.  so celebrate the quirks, the bumps, the missteps, and even the failures that help us come closer to what truly matters to us!  delight in detours, revel in re-do’s, find wonder in wrong-turns, and then party like a rock start in the possibilities.

July 29, 2012

Great Summer BlogRead weekly themes and highlights

hello to all you Great Summer BlogReaders! hope that your have all been relaxing into a little extra delicious blog writing and reading time.  i have been really enjoying all of the new friends and blogs i have been discovering, and have found so many wonderfully insightful and inspiring posts!  the world wide web is so full of beautiful voices, experiences and projects, sometimes it completely boggle the mind.

at the top of this week i am recapping all of the suggested weekly themes and wanted to reveal all of the coming week’s themes as well.  although august is right around the corner and we are honoring ‘rest’ here in the wishstudio, i wanted to give you a no muss no fuss gentle nudge to get you going through the next month.

so here are the themes along with a few highlights of what i’ve discovered along the way of this summer’s BlogRead.  thanks again for joining!  it’s been so wonderful traveling round your pages.

:: celebrate :: a sweet slice of slow hot days

:: remember :: a lovely remeniscing, remembering summer

:: studio ::  scenes from an exhibition at Artstream Studios was a delightful peek into studio life!

:: story :: because…this is why we share.

:: rest ::

:: friendship ::

:: read ::

:: practice ::

:: renewal ::

July 24, 2012

tribe of one

it’s always a magical thing when women gather. last night’s book event with Susannah Conway, of course was no exception. Susannah read a beautiful excerpt from her book, tugging on heart strings and touching so many familiar chords of life and love in all of us. she spoke openly, with humor and grace, about her life and relationships.  this kind of honesty, the truth that fills the pages of her beautiful book as well, is what really gets me.  it never ceases to amaze me how one person’s life can so profoundly effect so many simply by opening up and sharing it.

reflecting on her book, she spoke about the importance of being a “tribe of one”, the necessity of belonging to one’s self and stand solid in our own power, healing, and the potential of our own lives. she has prevailed as a shining example of this, and embodies the journey so poignantly.

having been a follower of Susannah’s since back in the early days of Ink on My Fingers when the blogging tribe was so much smaller and intimate and she was just beginning to unravel her story, i feel a little like i have been on this journey with her in some way, even if only as a spectator.  her words have always inspired me and i am so grateful to have had this little moment by her side to remind me, again, why it is i do what i do, feeling her supersonic beam of Life shoot right through me.

a tribe of one, a tribe of many. and so it goes. yes, yes, yes.

July 21, 2012

celebrate community

{art picnic with jamie ridler and leah piken kolidas}

celebrate… warm embraces :: those who understand you :: serendipitous meetings :: kindred connections :: collaborations :: sitting in circles of love :: offering and receiving :: shining your light for others :: support :: a deep well of resources :: infinite wisdom :: telling stories :: kindness :: resonant experiences :: teamwork :: open hearts :: meeting you where you are :: helping meet needs :: a safe place :: sisterhood :: making messes together :: your mentors :: listening :: seeing one another  :: teaching and learning :: unforgettable moments :: deep knowing :: reaching out :: service and purpose :: parties :: walking the path together :: joining forces :: smiling faces :: art retreats :: solidarity :: laughter :: sacred gathering :: being brave with your life so others will be brave with theirs!


July 19, 2012

a page from my journal :: wanting what you have

I was out looking for something to prop up two tables in the studio this morning.  I was about to pay $120 for shelves that could serve as legs for the table tops, but considering that I bought them both for only $40 (one of which is a beautiful butcher block counter top salvaged by Alex for free), I couldn’t do it.  I love that saying, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have.”  So true.  Ask anyone who knows me, it takes me a lot to part with my money unless it’s going to transport me (books, technology), entertain me (art supplies, movies), or provide me with lasting memories (trips, gatherings, parties and the like).  I don’t want a perfect Pottery Barn home.  Buying new and expensive clothes off the rack hardly ever appeals, unless it’s a bag or maybe a pair of boots then all bets are off, and I would never pay more than $40 for a haircut mostly because my hair can’t tell the difference and neither can I.

It’s not that I’m cheap, as sadly I have consistent and unrequited expensive taste in most things always turning around price tags on items that make my heart flutter only to find ridiculous jaw-dropping numbers, but I just know what makes me happy.  A five thousand dollar couch is not it.  I love the thrill of finding things.  I love investing in experiences.  I love being able to turn nothing into something and using my magic powers to envision and manifest.  I often see things and think “I can find something else I like better.” or “I can find that cheaper and with more character.” or my favorite, “I can make that.”  Yeah, we all know how that one usually goes.  My ratio of shopping time to buying time leans heavily to one side as I always have to see everything, imagine all the possibilities, and weigh all the options.  Most rounds end with leaving empty handed, much to my husbands chagrin, but usually with a head swimming with ideas.  That’s surely worth the trip, right?

So it goes.  After a trip to Home Depot and the local big box stores, I’m back home puttering around to see if I can pull something together.  Surely I can figure out two useful/interesting/functional table bases, right?  I really did want to get the studio back in working order today.

Hmm…we shall see.

July 17, 2012

celebrate creative motherhood and wishmamas everywhere

“recently launched in the wishstudio was our special monthly series, wishmamas: a collection of stories of the extraordinary journey of art and motherhood. i have learned through my own journey that these two elements are often inextricably intertwined. for those of us on this path, the need to live and grow creatively and the everlasting and ever-changing role of being a mom are both deeply rooted in our souls and in our daily lives.

in both capacities there have often been times i have felt uninspired, overwhelmed and even alone. finding my way creatively and embracing my motherhood has always been a winding road. countless times i have been encouraged and lifted up by what you have to share; so many beautiful little bits of life and wisdom that i have found out there in this big blogging universe. i really wanted to bring a piece of this collective inspiration here to the wishstudio, like a trail of shiny white pebbles to follow as we all try to find our own way. it is a reminder that others do exist who understand our daily triumphs and struggles, and who also want to share the joy and heartache of what lies within.”

~ may 2009, wishstudio

this is where it began over 3 years ago, and since then over 43 fabulous women have shared their stories and insights into this incredible journey. i look back and am in awe of all that has filled these virtual pages.  so much goodness.  so much honesty.  so much inspiration!

so i am celebrating walking on this path with all of you! fearless mothers, brave warriors, beautiful winged souls!

this trail has led me to the next incarnation of this project, which i am so excited to tell you about… soon, i promise.

until then, hug those little (and big) ones, revel in how far we have truly come, every baby step and every milestone, and sing and dance and smear paint until you fall into bed in a fit of giggles and exhaustion! isn’t that what we do every day?  the exhaustion part for sure!

lucky mamas ;)

blessed be.

in the meantime, i was so honored to be a part of these two fabulous creative mom-ing projects along with so many other juicy souls, i just have to share!  check out Amanda’s gorgeous eBook, Zen and the Art of Creative motherhood, and Miranda’s beautiful project Six Creative Practices for the Early Years, both such insightful reads overflowing with wisdom and sparkle!

July 15, 2012

spontaneous acts of creativity

in little unexpected pockets of time, i have been finding many of my long-time creative ideas coming to life this summer. i keep zillions of project ideas in my notebook, jotting them down when they pop in my head, and i eventually neatly round them up and compile them in my aptly labeled “Projects” list in my planner.  Some of them have lived on that list a very long time, ideas that i’ve never crossed off but have held onto in hopes that one day i’d find the time to actually make said project.  what i’ve been finding though, is that trying to plan a specific time to complete a project is far less fruitful then simply diving into something when the inspiration strikes.

so lately i have been working quite a bit in the spontaneous moments, that imperfect space in a quiet lull of time, just enough to whip up a little something.   i’ve been surprisingly productive in little bursts of 15 minutes here, half an hour there.  it’s been really helpful to have an open project table set up where messes can be made easily and without worrying about clean up.  it also has been helpful that i can make things without lofty expectations and just for the joy of it amidst the chaos and life with little boys, and not surprisingly they have been making lots of things too!

there have been seashells painted, necklaces strung, clay beads hand rolled, watercolor hearts painted, collages pieced together, journal spreads created, bits of sewing completed, and postcards and memory cards made too. i do love collecting the ideas, doodling them in my notebook and dreaming up colors and how-to’s, but i’ts been so fun seeing a swell of these projects come to fruition and actually completed in that abstract space where i never thought i really had the time. it’s been a small shift in perspective, but a substantial and happy change in my own creativity.

who knows?  maybe i’ll even get the scarf i have been working on since last summer completed.

July 12, 2012

celebrate your story

what is your personal narrative?

there are so many little bits and pieces that make up our story, where you’ve been, what you dream about, your community, the physical aspects of your world as well as that meta of your relationships and way of showing up in your life.

we all have a cast of characters, a series of props and sets, and a juicy plot, but unlike theater we get to be both the star of the show as well as the narrator, but we don’t always have control over what happens.  no matter what direction our Alice-in-Wonderland adventures might veer off in, it is the deep truth of who we are that is the indefatigable story-line in our life as it is being written.  what can change is our perspective and the wisdom of our own being, and there are a million things that can shift how we see and live our lives on any given day.

the tricky part is knowing what parts of our story are fact and which are fiction.  ideals that we’ve held onto forever might just be sturdy barriers helping to shield ourselves from getting hurt, but these also hold us back from living our best life.  it is so important to keep wandering just the beyond the edge of the page into what might feel a little scary and uncomfortable.  challenge your yourself to follow those windy paths because this is also where truth lives!

i believe “story” is just another word for truth which connects us.  no one has the same exact story, but we all share similar themes in our lives and it is the threads of these connections that give beautiful meaning, context, and purpose to our existence. it is why inspiration is so resonant and bright.

so believe in the power of your truth and how it effects other people’s lives!  honor the unique person you are and your own bright star!  celebrate all the imperfections and ugly bumps and bruises, as others surely have them too. congratulate yourself for coming to this life every. single. day. and keep digging deep and sharing your journey.

the world needs your story.  the world needs YOU!

July 9, 2012

the studio table :: Instagram memory card game

for my little guy’s 3rd birthday, i just made this fun and easy project as a gift.  we love the Memory matching game, a classic i’m sure for many kids growing up, and one day it popped into my head that Instagrams would make such cool cards for this game since they were already formatted as a square, and had the idea jotted in my notebook for about a year now.

i was finally inspired to make these as I love anything personalized, and because they were so fun and simple to create (and even more fun to play with and look at), i wanted to share this tutorial with you:

what you will need:

1.  a digital page layout program of your choice, and printer

2.  a set of Memory cards with a pretty back-side that you like (which you can buy new or used for under $10).  be sure they have a white background on the image side, otherwise you will have to trim your photos to cover the whole side.

3.  3-5 blank white sheets of sticker paper

4.  scissors or a paper trimmer

5.  finishing medium of your choice (gloss or matt)

step 1:  choose the images you would like to use.  pick photos that are simple and bold, featuring one object or person for easy recognition.  be sure you have half the number of pictures to the number of cards your game has (since you need 2 of each, of course)

step 2:  using whatever computer page layout program you like (i used adobe illustrator) size you images to within 1/4 of an inch smaller than the finished size of your cards (or the actual size if you want to cover the entire card), and lay them out grid-style, for easy cutting, in pairs of two on a page.

step 3:  print out your images pages onto blank white sticker paper.

step 4:  trim all your photos into squares (if i had more time i might have rounded all the corners too)

step 5:  peel and stick on all of your images

step 6:  apply 2 coats of finishing medium and allow to dry well between coats (Modge podge, glue/water, etc.)

step 7:  PLAY!  flip all the cards face-side down, and try to find the matching pairs by flipping over two at a time… you know the game ;)

my son really loves these, and seeing familiar things and faces is such a happy treat!  i thought later, how fun it might be to create different editions of this custom game, one with all family faces, one themed by season or an occasion.  the possibilities are endless!

July 7, 2012

celebrate your unique creative voice

we all have a creative voice, whether we use it to write, paint, decorate, imagine, invent, dance, photograph… whatever!  living is a creative process, and so we are all creative.   i truly believe that.

since “celebrate” is our word for this Wishful month, i wanted to encourage each of you to celebrate your own creative talents and gifts! maybe you know how to really throw a party.  maybe you always come up with really innovative solutions at work.  maybe you add a special little something to your child’s lunchbox that makes always them feel so special and loved.

to me, creativity is an act of connection, with yourself and with others. like the saying goes, you don’t have to understand art, you only have to respond to it.  so this is the hope when we create… a simple meal for our family, a handmade card for a special someone, a cozy nook to read in. everything we do has resonant energy.

sometimes it takes patience and getting a little quiet to hear that whisper that is always there to guide you. it took me a while to finally conceive of this this art quilt which was supposed to be a simple framed photograph for a local show, but eventually i was steered in a different direction that felt more true to my creative voice.

so listen deeply and pay tribute to your inner wisdom.  honor what unique talents that you have to offer and the beautiful ripple effect they have in the world. whatever your gifts are, whether it is giving great style advice or making whimsical fairy houses, keep connecting to that place of  joy and inspiration and remember that the world needs your creativity!

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