Entries Tagged as: blogs

What’s Inspiring You Lately?

September 3rd, 2009, Comments (15)

Yes, I'm curious. What's inspiring you at the moment? Are there any books or tunes or artists that are lighting your inner fire?

I'm constantly adding to the list of what juices me up and I plan on sharing some of those things throughout the month. I'm super excited about and inspired by the wonderful guest posters who will be sharing stories of inspiration here throughout the month. Jen's post yesterday was fabulous!

I've had a fairly quiet day today for the first time in a solid week and so I thought it'd be a great moment to share a few things that are inspiring me and ask you about your current inspiration!

Nature: I'm feeling inspired by and grateful for the gorgeous weather. I took a walk down to a nearby river where I ate my lunch and wrote for an hour. It was lovely. I'm always inspired by sitting in nature and near moving water.

Books: I'm currently reading: The Wishing Year: A House, A Man, My Soul A Memoir of Fulfilled Desire by Noelle Oxenhandler and absolutely loving it.

Music: Somehow I missed out on the music of Arcade Fire, but the song "Wake Up" in the trailer of Where the Wild Things Are (also very inspiring, check it out below) was haunting me, so I got the album the song came from and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Inspiration Journal: I keep a nifty inspiration journal by my bed. It's one of those thick, red, canvas-covered, blank journals you can get in book stores. I keep it to do very light, low-pressure, playful collages and doodles in whenever I feel like it. It's fun sometimes to tear through catalogs and magazines, ripping out images of whatever catches my eye. I glue them in in a pleasing fashion and sometimes write words alongside them. Looking back through it today, it felt like I had been writing a visual love letter to our first home. Sadie helped me flip to this page today. I like all the muted colors and textures here.

inspiration journal sadie

Interview: I loved this video interview of Dirty Footprints Studio's Connie on Darrah's blog, artcetera. Connie is too cute! I loved when she said, searching for your artistic voice is like searching for your own nose, it's already there, you don't need to find it!! Ok, she said it better than that, so go over and listen for yourself. And if you'd like to hear more of Connie (and me!), tune into Connie's blogtalk radio show this Sunday, September 6th at 6pm EST when she'll be interviewing Jennifer Lee and I about our Creative Play workshop in Boston this month and lots of ways to add creative play to your everyday life. You can even call in and say hello!

Writing: I love Eileen's writing. This post about the times between our creative pushing and the meanings behind our obsession with Buffy (or whatever it is you're obsessed with) is saying about you, is a great example!

Podcasts: I love to listen to podcasts, so I'm super excited that the fabulous Jamie Ridler has started her own all about creative living! Check out her very first podcast here.

And the list could go on and on and on...But for now, I bid you adieu.

p.s. Please send some good kitty vibes to my kitty Sadie who is having an itty bitty lump removed tomorrow. Thank you!!

Links to Move You

August 26th, 2009, Comments (8)

ap birdcutout

So many fun links to share. Hopefully some of them will move you!

-Jamie Ridler has this great video and post about dancing in response to Gretchen Wegner's Muse Cubes. So fun and fabulous!

-If you want to see some more wonderful movement in action, head on over to Creative Every Day Challenge participant, Shamsi's blog, where she talks about her own movement practice, her work, and she's also got some wonderful videos of her belly dancing!

-Another beautiful belly dancer, Tatty Franey has some gorgeous pictures of her dancing on her site as well. The costumes and colors are so gorgeous, especially as they move! Oh my, super inspiring to me!

-Tammy Vitale has a wonderful discussion on her blog with Molly Gordon about how artist/entrepreneurs can set goals vs. expectations as you move towards your big dreams. If you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a gold membership to the Self-Employment Summit.

-Vicki of Faint Heart Art is celebrating her 200th post with giveaway of a lovely travel art set. Great for art while you're on the move!

-Pema Chodron has a new book available for pre-order called, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. This looks like it would be a great book to continue playing the move theme of this month!

-For a completely different kind of movement inspiration, check out this time-lapse video of NYC that was tweeted by the lovely Kirstin Butler (she's @kirstinbutler on Twitter.)

-There's less than a week left to take advantage of early bird pricing for the Creative Play Workshop, happening in the Boston area on September 19th. Jenn and I would love to see you there. Spots are filling up, so grab yours soon!

-The art above was something I played with during the Art Picnic Workshop on Saturday. We had such a great group participating in this class! One of the participants was actually having her picnic in the backseat of her car while her husband drove. So cool! You can also check out Beckie's experience of the workshop here. The next Picnic will be in October and I'll announce the date soon.

-As I mentioned earlier, this month's theme was especially poignant to me as the hubster and I just purchased our first home. Well, the closing happened today and we are officially homeowners!! I'm super excited to share next month's theme with you, so look out for that announcement tomorrow. In the meantime, keep on movin'!

Deep Rest

August 23rd, 2009, Comments (17)


It's funny, but all the themes get me thinking about their opposites. I'm just contrary like that. :-)

So with this being the month of movement for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I've been doing a lot of thinking about rest. And I'm not talking about any old rest here...I mean deep rest. The soul-nourishing, replenishing, much needed kind. 

Do you give yourself time for this kind of rest? For more than 5 minutes? What does deep rest mean to you?

Giving yourself the time and space to rest is so important for creativity. When you're better rested, you'll have more energy to create, to make connections, to do the things you love, and to be there for the people you love. And yet, it can be hard to give ourselves permission to slow down.

When I slow down, I often feel this sense of, "Oh, there's something I should be doing!" It's even harder to do when I really do have a lot to do. But when I give myself permission to stop and relax, it's amazing how much better I feel. And all that stuff gets done much more easily.

Deep rest for me, might include a nap, or turning off the computer and reading a book purely for pleasure, or spending the day in my pajamas, or taking a bubble bath, or getting a massage, or rubbing lotion on my feet. Maybe you can just squeeze in five minutes of lying still or maybe you can schedule in an hour, a day, or a weekend. Try playing with adding some deep rest to your life and see how it impacts your creativity.

Looking for some more ideas? Check out Jennifer Louden's The Woman's Retreat Book or check out her blog, Comfort Queen.

Moving with the Full Sturgeon Moon

August 6th, 2009, Comments (11)

full sturgeon moon

Last night and tonight are the evenings of the Full Sturgeon Moon. I've come to enjoy making mixed-media vision boards to celebrate along with Jamie Ridler's Full Moon Dreamboard group. For this one, I drew a sturgeon fish, with four moon-like bubbles coming off it. Within the circles, I pasted small circle cut-outs that represent elements I want to bring into my life.

I love that this moon was named for a fish. The other day, Havi posted an exercise from Barbar Sher's Wishcraft in which you choose a favorite color and then list your qualities, speaking as that color. I chose the color blue (go figure, right?) and I wrote:

I am blue.
I am fluid, flowing, calm, yet strong.
I am life. And I am full of life.
I am clear, not just transparent, but clear as in clarity.
I am intuitive. I know things. I trust what I know.
I am gentle, soft, mothering.
But I am also a powerful force. Don't forget it.
I am healing, I hold space, I hold others with love

Among the qualities I listed was fluidity. I realized that I had a strong desire to bring a deeper sense of effortless flow and ease into my life. When I saw that the full moon this month was named after a fish, I knew I had to make a dreamboard around it, something with flowing water to represent the fluid motion that fish, water, and the color blue has; the same fluidity I want to call forth.

I'm also loving how the fluid fish and water fit in with the move theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge this month. (I'm really vibing with this theme!) I'm having little a-ha moments all over the place. I'm noticing the way I'm moving energetically in my life and realizing where I can make adjustments. It's exciting.

How are you moving energetically in your life right now? Is your energy more anxious and frenetic? Does it move in waves like the ocean? Is it more like a still lake?

How would you like to moving through the world? Perhaps you could make a piece of art or write about what energy you'd like to embody more of. Or perhaps you could practice one small movement in the style of energy you want to live in.

Just noticing how you move through your day might be a place to start. In this moment, take a breath and check-in. What's your energy like right now?

Seeing Yourself in the Moon

July 7th, 2009, Comments (27)

If the Moon Came to Dinner

Tonight is the Full Buck Moon and I celebrated in my favorite way by painting the moon, one of my favorite subjects. I have a couple new moon related pieces up in my art shop, including the one above, If the Moon Came to Dinner.

During the day yesterday, I was thinking about the Full Buck Moon and the Full Moon Dreamboard group that the fabulous Jamie Ridler runs on her blog (p.s. Jamie is launching a new website tomorrow with give-aways!)


Jamie's group does the Dreamboards in a collage style, which I totally love. But I've also been enjoying doing painted versions of these dreamboards lately. Above is what I did for the Full Pink Moon last month. As I pondered the Full Buck Moon this month, I started to doodle in my sketchbook and drew a woman with antlers. From the circles hanging from her antler prongs I drew circles containing the things I wanted to bring forth.

buck moon red

I took the little sketch I made yesterday and made the mixed media piece above in my art journal. The hubster fell in love with it before I finished it with the words in the circles, so I'll be handing it over to him. To finish the process, I did a second one in my art journal (below), this time writing in the words of things I want to bring into my life, expand upon, create, and grow during this full moon cycle.

buck moon blue

To play with this idea for the self theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge you could keep in mind what you want to bring into your life during this full moon cycle and then try one of these methods:

Do a collage version: Tear through magazines and pull out any image that catches your eye. Don't think about it, just go with your gut. After you've pulled a pile, look at your selections and place the images that really sing to you on a piece of paper. Arrange to your liking, glue down, and then hang your dreamboard somewhere you can see it daily.

Write it out: Sit quietly, breathe, and ponder what you'd like to bring into your life. Then pick up a pen and do 20 minutes of free writing. You could describe your ideal day as if all the things you're desiring are already in place or just write freely about all the things you're wanting to draw to you.

Mixed-media: If you do the collage version, you could take the collage you create and paint over it, letting some of it show through. You could paint additional images on top of your collaged dreamboard. You might add writing to the collage. You could collage your own painted, drawn, or hand written elements into the piece. You might simply put some writing in an envelope and attach it to your collage. Or you could create mini envelopes in the collage to place one word, such as "money", "health", or "inspiration."

Paint: With the ideas of what you want to draw to you held loosely in mind, allow yourself to paint intuitively. Let yourself go with whatever colors or images pop into your head without worry about what it means. Keep painting until you come to a natural stopping point, then step back, and see what has come up for you. Put your painted dreamboard somewhere where it can continue to inspire you throughout the month.

Make a book: Create a small book or keep a blank journal where you can paste, draw, and/or paint images of things you want to draw into your life. I keep something like this by my bed and enjoy tearing images from catalogues and magazines and pasting them in. It's very relaxing.

Make a box: Collage a box as your dreamboard with images and words. Use it to hold collage material or written bits to put in future dreamboards or art journal pages.

Have you ever used any of these ideas? What other ways can you play with the dreamboard idea?

What is that you want to bring into your life during this full moon cycle?

Sound Shifts Stuff:
An Interview with Fabeku Fatunmise

July 6th, 2009, Comments (10)


I'm so thrilled to be sharing this audio interview with the wonderful musician, artist, and sound healer, Fabeku Fatunmise!

I had hoped to have this ready for the month of sound for the Creative Every Day Challenge, but because of some technical difficulties with the recording vanishing temporarily, I couldn't do it. But the recording survived (phew!) and I just know you'll love hearing about Fabeku's work with sound and how it connects with art and creativity. Magical stuff. (Click on the link below to listen right here or right-click to download.)

Click here to listen

Fabeku Creation
Creation, Fabeku Fatunmise

Cymatics: During the interview, Fabeku and I discuss the science of Cymatics, which is the study of visible sound and vibration. It's absolutely fascinating to see how sound can impact form. (Turn down the volume if you watch the video.)

There's a great video introduction to Cymatics here and above is a demonstration of how it works, with sand on an aluminum plate. What blew my mind was how sound vibrations move the sand into patterns that look like mandala shapes or turtle shells. It certainly gives me pause about the impact of sound on the body when I see it like this.

Fabeku's New Website: Fabeku has just launched his brand-spankin'-new website, Sankofa Sound and it is awesome. Really. Go check it out. The about page alone is killer! I love the music memories Fabeku shares there.

You can also learn more about sound healing and how it works, schedule a session with Fabeku (in person or distance), and purchase one of Fabeku's amazing cds or downloads. I was also quite enamored with the collection of singing bowls he has for sale, each one in the shop has a recording of the sound it makes. So cool. Oh, and there's a blog too! Fabeku is also on Twitter as @fabeku.

Free Download! Yay!: Also be sure to check out Fabeku's fabulous *free* sound healing download right here. There are ninjas involved. Yes, ninjas. Go see for yourself.

Fabeku BlueDeer
Blue Deer, Fabeku Fatunmise

 Thank you, Fabeku, for sharing your work with me and everyone here!

WTJ and Muse Cube Fun!

June 26th, 2009, Comments (21)

muse cubes

For the month of sound, I just had to mention Gretchen Wegner's fabulous Muse Cubes! Gretchen is currently working on a new set and has asked for our help.

The cubes are like two dice that you can roll any time during the day to shake things up and help move you through any stuckness you're feeling by using movment and sound. I just shook my set and got "stretch" and "sigh." Try it out. Don't you feel better?

Gretchen is looking for some feedback on the words she'll be using on the new set of cubes and has set up a short survey to get some feedback, so she can choose the best possible words. Please give your feedback on Muse Cubes here. It's quick, easy and anonymous! Thanks in advance!

I've also been playing with my copy of Wreck this Journal for Jamie Ridler's book group. I decided this was the week to take the journal in the shower and I did that yesterday with amusing results. After the shower, I decided my journal deserved it's own little towel.

wtj towel

Poor thing got washed well and I'm not sure how it's feeling about its first ever shower. I mean, it got really wet.

wtj wet

And it got scrubbed too. Even behind the ears, but especially on the "Scrub this page" page.

wtj scrub

Only problem is, one day later and my journal is still all wet. I think it's the humidity we're having and all the rain. But wait, as I type this, the sun has poked out! I want to cry I've missed the sun so much!

O.k. Just put the journal out for a little sunbathing. Hope that helps things. I'd like to take the journal along with me on my trip to NYC this weekend, but if it's going to be a big wet mess, it may miss the party. I thought about taking a hair dryer or heat gun to it or popping it in the dryer...Hmm, what do you think will work best?

Featured Creative Every Day Challenge Participants!

June 12th, 2009, Comments (11)

I love featuring fabulous Creative Every Day Challenge participants here to give you all a glimpse into some of the wonderful things happening in our large group. I hope you enjoy the wonderful creations below!

Sax in the Country

The fabulous photo above is from the incredibly sexy mama, artist, and blogger, Karen Mowrey. Karen was inspired to do her TGI Bench Monday self-portrait with her saxophone, in response to the sound theme this month. This image just kills me. So cool!

Heart Senses by Emily Long

Close the eyes
Still and listen
Open the senses of the heart
Smell the green
Washed clean by falling rain
Smell the soil
Warmed by beams of sun
Feel the air caress the skin
Cool shadows
Hot sun
Feel them play across the face
Hear the heartbeat within
Let it slow
Hear it match its rhythm
To the pulsing of the Earth
Taste the love that dwells within
Taste the joy so deep
Hear the footsteps of the ages
Steps that were, are, and will be yet
Hear the voice of all that is

The poem above was written by Emily Long of Healing Pages, a blog filled with heartfelt poetry. Emily also recently wrote a poem in response to my painting, Listening, called Listen Deep (which I loved!)

featured sue

The beautiful mandala above is Fairyland Pentagram Mandala by Sue O'Kieffe of the blog, Sacred Circle Mandalas. The colors in this piece sing Spring to me!

featured studiovee

This art journal spread above was created by Verna of the blog, Studio Vee, in response to a prompt from Ali Edwards. It's all about the things that make Verna happy. What a lovely thing to play with in your journal!

Kitty Duet! Last, but certainly not least, I want to point you in the direction of this post from Janice of the blog, Postcards from Wildwood. The post itself is hilarious, but the recording Janice put together in response to the sound theme...oh my, it may just be one of my favorite responses to a Creative Every Day Challenge theme ever!! It's flippin fantastic! So, please go over there straight away and check out Janice and her cat Oliver's earth-shattering duet based on Rossini’s famous Duetto buffo di due gatti (Comic duet for two cats). And then you can come back and thank me for making your day by sending you over there. :-)

Wishing you all a wonderfully creative weekend!

Wrecking This Journal and Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

June 5th, 2009, Comments (33)

O.k., so even though I feel a bit self-conscious about doing video blogging (or vlogging) and this is far from great video quality (enjoy my wet-fresh-out of the shower hair and weird buzzing noise), I'm stepping outside my comfort zone a bit today and sharing this 1 minute video of me talking about Jamie Ridler's fabulous new book group, for Keri Smith's Wreck this Journal. Enjoy!

Untitled from Leah Kolidas on Vimeo.

Interview with Bridgette Guerzon Mills

May 22nd, 2009, Comments (14)

bgm innate

I'm so thrilled to be sharing an interview with artist, Bridgette Guerzon Mills. I absolutely love her creations! Her work fits so well with the Creative Every Day Challenge theme of nature this month. I know you'll be inspired by Bridgette's gorgeous art, the ways she connects with nature, and how that comes through in her work. Enjoy!

LPK: Please tell us a bit about yourself.

BGM: I am a self-taught mixed-media artist living in Chicago, Illinois with my husband, our 2-year-old son, and our dog.  I incorporate a variety of materials into my artwork, including photographs, oil paint, acrylic paint, and encaustics (wax-based pigments). I have always been drawn to the beauty and spirit of the natural world.  Through both imagery and medium, I create organic pieces that speak to the cycles of life, memory, and the passage of time. I layer paint and photo transfers, papers or fibers to create depth in both form and meaning.

LPK: How does nature inspire your artwork?

bgm where memory resides
where memory resides

BGM: I think nature has a strong hold on my psyche. I grew up roaming around outside, climbing trees and playing in mud. The imagery in my paintings always include something of the natural world - a tree, a plant, a bird.  The patterns and backgrounds that  I create are attempts to mimic nature's effect on surfaces through the passage of time and the elements. 

On a conscious level, I am always looking for and searching out the details of what is around me.  I think of myself as a sponge, absorbing the colors, surfaces, and emotions of what is around me - even when I am not aware of it. For example, when I lived in the Pacific Northwest my palette was very moody with different tones of grays and blues, reflecting the clouds and the water around me.  I have recently moved to Chicago and my palette has shifted to more earthy tones that include the rust and patina of the urban cityscape of my new environment.

LPK: I've noticed that like me, you seem to be drawn to trees and birds.  Can you tell me what these elements mean to you?

bgm origins

BGM: Ever since I was young, trees were my playmates, my sanctuary.  If my mom couldn't find me in the house, she would send my sisters to look for me in the branches of an ancient Magnolia tree!  As such, it is only natural that trees appear in my artwork.  Trees symbolize growth, life, roots and strength. 

It is interesting, though, that most of my trees are bare winter trees.  I think that I am attracted to bare trees because a bare tree is the essence of a tree pared down. To me, a bare tree represents the idea of strength being found in the bare bones. Trees have the ability to withstand anything that life and nature throw at them.  A tree often works metaphorically as a self-portrait in my work.

Birds are creatures of both earth and sky. Because of this, they often represent to me the go-between of the two realms.  Crows in particular appear in my work when I am speaking of dreams and/or visions.

LPK: Do you have any special places you go to gather inspiration?

bgm beneath the prairie
beneath the prairie

BGM: Anywhere!  Inspiration is about keeping your heart and eyes open to the beauty and the messages that surround us.  As a mother of a very active 2-year-old I am no longer in the studio full time as I used to be.  It is challenging because I do believe that inspiration is not something that appears out of nowhere, but rather in coming to work at your table or easel everyday.

However, I have found that in the moments between, I am constantly gathering information, experiences, inspiration from my everyday life.  I always try to have my camera with me at all times. When I do get concentrated studio time, it is like an eruption!

LPK: Are there any natural symbols that are especially powerful to you  right now?

BGM: Right now I am working on a series about prairie life and plants.  Working on this series has been instrumental in helping me adjust to my new home in the Midwest.  My work with this series has helped with both accepting where I am and embracing what is around me.

LPK: You create gorgeous journals for sale at amanobooks. What role does journaling play in your creative process?

bgm heartland

BGM: Journaling plays a huge role in my creative process.  When I first began to paint, I dedicated myself to journaling about each painting that I created, as well as studio notes for myself so I wouldn't forget the painting lessons I was giving myself! 

Little did I know when I started that process that I was essentially creating a dialogue with myself - putting words to what I was doing on canvas.  This dialogue helped me figure out my symbols and what I was trying to say with my paintings.  I believe that the process of journaling empowers my work and helps me hone in on my objectives.

LPK: Do you have a favorite quote you'd like to share?

BGM: I love quotes!  Here are some favorites:
"Art is not living. It is a use of living. The artist has the ability to take that living and use it in a certain way, and produce art."
~Audre Lorde

"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." ~Pablo Picasso

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the Beautiful Stuff out." ~Ray Bradbury

Thank you, Bridgette, for all the inspiration! If you'd like to see more of Bridgette's work visit her at her blog, art website, or her art journal shop, amanobooks.