Entries Tagged as: friends

Guess Whoooo Turned One?

May 8th, 2012, Comments (26)

My daughter, A! Here's a whole lot of pictures of the party and the decor that helped us celebrate this big milestone. Enjoy!

This party was a labor of love with lots of folks involved. I went with an owl them partly because when I was in labor with A, I kept seeing little owls in my head. I knew that owls represent wisdom in Greece (Andrew's father is Greek) and that Sophia means wisdom. And I just knew that should be her middle name!

I asked my best friend and partner in crafty crime, Judean, to help me out with the party because she is amazingly creative. I sent her a drawing of an idea I had for the invitation and she brought it to life in paper, with moving wings. So awesome! And then our friend Lis at Butterqueencakes.com took the invitation design and created a stunning cake and cupcakes that simply blew me away (and tasted delicious!!)

Judean also created the beautiful owl art above the timeline and the tissue paper one on the front door.

I also created owl lanterns, decorated branches with little owls, hung a "Happy Birthday A" owl banner, and created a clothesline style timeline with pictures of A in the same chair from 2 weeks through 11 months.

I made sweet little owl stuffies as favors for the kiddos. They were my first attempt at stuffies and they were a little wonky, but very cute.

A had a great time and was a real trooper with all the attention. She looked so sweet in her little dress, I could have just eaten her up.

I think she wanted to take pictures too. :-)

She wasn't quite sure what to think of the cake, her first sweet! She's a bit of a picky eater and likes to play with her food, so at first she just made faces as she squished it around in her fingers. Then she tasted it, made quite a face, and dug in for more! Mm, butter cream frosting!

She also had fun playing with the other kiddos and telling one little friend about her favorite toy, Ernie. She actually shouted "Ernie!" so loud at her, which cracked me up.

Here's our happy little family. We made it through our first year together, which was one of the fastest and slowest years of my life. I feel so lucky to be A's mom. She's a beautiful, bright shining light that makes the world a better place! Happy Birthday, A!

The Sweet, Small Touches

April 5th, 2011, Comments (24)

I've had two baby showers, one in New York for the hubster's side of the family, hosted by my mother-in-law, and one here in Massachusetts for my local family and friends. My best friend, Judean, offered to host the local shower in her home, along with my mother, sister-in-law, sister, and step-sister. Both showers were wonderful and I had a blast at each!

I thought it would be fun to share some of the beautiful, creative details that my best-friend created for the local shower because they fit so perfectly with this month's theme of small!

Here's a pic of the hostess with the mostest with the super cute polka-dot balloons. I was so blown away by all the little touches she did. It made for a delightful environment and I was so touched by all the thought she put into everything. Thanks, luf! You rock!

Above, you can see the makings for an abc book. Guests were instructed to select a letter and draw their own page (for example, they could do L is for Lion and draw a lion on the page.) The pages will later be bound into an abc book for our little girl. How cool is that?

I was smitten with these painted polka-dot buckets, filled with buttons and topped with these gorgeous fans that were throughout the room. So adorable! You can also see a glimpse of the shower favors in this pic, They were baby jars, filled with a homemade brown sugar scrub, covered with adorable fabric, ribbon, and the sweetest little labels that said, "From Leah's shower to yours."

In this picture, you can see the guest book, a copy of Prudent Advice: lessons for my baby daughter (written by one of the authors of the very cool Prudent Baby blog) with instructions for guests to sign their name next to a bit of advice that resonated with them. You can also see the adorable badges (with magnet closures on the back!) made for me and the grandmothers-to-be. And do you see the polka dot table cloth? It was made from sheets! Love that!

Speaking of the grandmas-to-be, here you can see my mom, myself, and my mother-in-law with our badges on. They're just a little excited. And above us you can see the beautiful bunting my best friend made in my nursery colors.

And oh, the gifts. It's a workout opening shower gifts, but oh my, the little dresses, teeny-tiny socks, onesies, hair bows, toys, handmade blankets and sweaters, and a gorgeous handmade baby book. I'm overwhelmed by how loved this little girl is already. We'll be meeting her soon! We've got a little more than a month to go, give or take! And here's one belly shot for you guys, that does not fit into the theme of small, more like the theme of basketball. ;-)

The Right Brain Business Plan and a Giveaway!

March 1st, 2011, Comments (59)

I'm thrilled to share this interview with Jennifer Lee, author of the recently published The Right Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success. Jenn is a friend of mine and I've loved seeing the process of this book go from a spark of an idea, to proposal, to draft, to finish product. I'm so proud of you, Jenn!

The book is awesome and I'm so excited to be giving away a copy! With all the creative folks who stop by here, I know many of you would benefit from this work. I'll have more details about the giveaway at the end of this post. I also want to be sure you've heard about the free Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit that's taking place this week. Check it out, there's loads of great information being shared.

On to the interview!

Jenn, how did you come up with the idea for the Right Brain Business Plan?

Funny you should ask, Leah, because the first Right-Brain Business Plan was born when I did your fabulous Art Every Day Month challenge for the first time back in 2007! So thanks for creating a space to help the idea blossom. During the last two days of the challenge, I was also working on my business plan and decided that I would use the opportunity to do something creative with it since I had to make art for the day anyway. I collaged my big vision for 2008 and beyond on one side of an accordion book and then the next day I put details such as my marketing plan, products and services, financial goals, and action plan on fun cards on the back. The plan helped me reach my goals the next year and became the inspiration for the e-book, workshops, e-Course, and now the book. Just goes to show you how having a regular creative practice like AEDM can spark fresh new ideas!

What advice do you have for creatives out there looking to start their own business?

You don’t have to go it alone. It can be scary to start your own business and put yourself out there, so make sure you have a circle of support – I like to call them your creative cohorts – who you can lean on and learn from. In fact, Leah, you and I connected through our blogs several years ago and have been great sources of support and encouragement to each other even since.

What is the first step to crafting a Right Brain Business Plan?

Start with getting clear about your vision for your business (and your life). What are you passionate about? What do you and your company stand for? What values are you honoring in your business? What does your success look and feel like? This will serve as the foundation for the rest of your plan.

How do you recommend creative people deal with the overwhelm and fear that can come with putting a business plan together?

Find ways to make it fun. Use colorful markers and sticky notes on fun paper instead of forcing yourself to go straight into a spreadsheet to crunch numbers. Pick one piece of the plan to work on and then jump to another part if you get stuck. Don’t feel like you need to have everything ironed out before moving on to the next piece. Give yourself healthy doses of what I call Left-Brain Chill Pills to quiet your judging mind.

What are the benefits of crafting your business plan in this way?

People who have unsuccessfully tried to do a traditional business plan have actually completed a Right-Brain Business Plan because they had fun with it. So actually finishing a plan (and a plan that you’re totally jazzed about and that you look at again and again) is a huge benefit. This RBBP approach allows you to think outside the box and make your plan in any format that tickles your fancy (I’ve seen a bracelet, a paper plate mobile, and even a plan in a paint bucket decorated with a feather boa!).

Above is the fabulous leather cuff bracelet created by Bevla Reeves of Hair Conspiracy.

What are some of your favorite creative business planning tools and resources?

So many. Basic things like sticky notes and colorful markers (Mr. Sketch and Staedtler triplus fineliner are my faves). I’ve been using the Levenger Circa notebooks for more than a decade – it’s an amazing cross between a spiral notebook and three-ring binder. I also love Levenger’s Oasis Concept Pad for brainstorming ideas. My friend Lisa Sonora Beam’s book The Creative Entrepreneur is also one of my favorite creative business planning resources.

How do you stay creatively inspired in your business?

I like to connect with other creative entrepreneurs and see what they’re up to. I work with a coach who helps me innovate and try new things. I look for ways to blend my various interests to form new ideas. I practice self-care Fridays so that I refuel my creative spirit. I love to read.

Where can we get more information about you and your book?

You can find out more about the book at http://www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com. You can also visit http://rightbrainersinbusiness.com to learn about the Right-Brainers in Business Summit started this week.


To win a copy of Jenn's book, leave a comment on the post below by Friday, March 4th at 12 pm EST. If you'd like, leave a comment about how you think the book could be helpful for you!

UPDATE: Congrats to Sheri D. Maple who won a copy of Jenn's book!

Leonie’s Goddess Circle

January 6th, 2011, Comments (7)

This year, I'm participating in Leonie's Goddess Circle, an online forum that is way more than a forum. For a set price ($99/year), you get access to a forum full of beautiful, interesting women from all over the world, plus (and this is a huge plus!) access to Leonie's fabulous 2011 Workbook and all of her e-courses and other goodies, such as the Creative Goddess e-course, Creating Your Goddess Haven e-course, Divine Dreaming Meditation Kit, among others. It's an amazing deal for all the fabulous things you get.

One thing I love about belonging to a forum like this, is that it can provide wonderful support for various aspects of life, from business to the personal. And one one thing I've learned about myself is that I thrive when I have wonderful support systems in place with like-minded souls.

The forum has sections for accountability, support for your growing business, a book group (they're doing The Artist's Way now), and others. I'm particularly excited about the section for mothers, as I love gathering wisdom from other women who are going through or have been through the process I'm in the middle of now.

For those of you who don't know Leonie, she is an amazing woman, new mom, and business owner. I admired her work before I met her online and am glad to now call her a friend. She's sweet as can be and full of such beautiful fire and sparkling, creative energy. Seriously, the girl is a total inspiration!

In the interest of full disclosure, the links I've provided are affiliate links, but I would 100% support Leonie's work without any added bonuses because I truly believe in her work. So if you feel called to do so, check out her Goddess Circle. Or if you're looking to bring some focus to your year, check out her 2011 Creating My Goddess Year Workbook.

If you're already part of the Goddess Circle, say hi to me there!

Bee Memories

April 20th, 2010, Comments (21)

This is where I took the collage that I began in the video I posted last week. Much of the collage is covered, but some of it peeks through and provides a cool texture and layered look to the piece, which is appropriate considering it's all about a memory.

I was inspired to paint this after re-connecting with someone I went to preschool with. She shared some super funny memories of our time together, including the time we dumped an entire bottle of her mom's perfume on ourselves and her doll carriage, and another time when we put my mom's lipstick all over her face (and it wouldn't come off!) But the most vivid memory I have of the two of us was when we sat on a bench in the preschool playground that was a bit too close to a beehive and we both got stung, her on the knee and me on the finger. I have a film-strip memory of the whole thing in my head as if it was happening in slow motion. Funny how the mind works, isn't it? It sounds like a scary memory, but it isn't, just a surprisingly vivid one, embroidered into my brain. And when I reconnected with my old friend, who is now a mom of a small child, I got the idea to paint an image of this little story that is so rich in sensory memory of sight, sound, scent, and touch for me.

What strong sensory memories do you hold in your body? In what ways could you express them?

Honoring the Dark, Welcoming the Light

December 21st, 2009, Comments (17)

A Happy Solstice to you! Today is our shortest day of the year. And even though we're just starting winter, I always feel a hit of joy knowing that the days are beginning to get longer now. This week I attended a sweet little Solstice celebration with some friends. Gem, who led the festivities, selected some beautiful pieces to read out loud and one to listen to. The one I got to read was so beautiful, I wanted to share a piece of it with you. It's by Chris Heeter:

What if darkness has nothing to do with fear?
Or sadness.
Or all the weight we attach to the night.
What if these dark days...
were seen as precious,
sacred even, for the very lack of light...

This really touched me. How lovely to think of this time as a sacred time to go within. I tend to think of the dark as a negative. Partly because the lack of sun has me dragging a bit and I long for the days when I can be outside more, feeling lighter and more energetic. I have to work a bit harder during this time of year to stay active and creative and joyful. But I like this idea of releasing the darkness from fear and sadness and seeing it as a special time. How can you honor the dark, the unknown, and the unseen in your life? What ideas might you want to let go of? What art could be created from it?

I often feel like art-making is a reaching into the unknown. I didn't know what was going to come of my experiments with art today. With the recycling theme in mind, I used a cardboard shape I found while unpacking some glass bowls this week. I had saved one, not knowing how I'd use it, but knowing it was a cool shape and I could do something with it. I ended up using a scrap piece of mat board, putting the cardboard shape on it, and then using a glimmer spray (which is very sparkly in person) that was given to me by my bff ages ago, to create a stencil.

I then played with ink to create the solstice image above, a winter scene with a woman carrying a lantern in the forest. Another little glimmer.

And speaking of glimmers, I had an incredible light added to my day by the arrival of this spectacular, art-filled thank you card created by a group of Art Every Day Month participants that were brought together by Laura Duldner. Thank you so much, Laura for organizing and creating this beautiful piece. And thank you to everyone who added their sweet words and art to it! It brought tears to my eyes and I'm so very grateful for all the kind words and seeing all the little pictures of people's work. So cool!!! I've propped it up on my easel for now and will be putting it up on the wall soon.

I wish you all a beautiful Solstice. May you find loads of glimmers in the darkness.

A Day of Creative Play

September 23rd, 2009, Comments (5)

picture by Mindy

I'm just beginning to unwind from the whirlwind of moving, unpacking, having the beautiful Jenn as our first house guest, and co-leading our fabulous Creative Play Workshop! Whew! I'm a bit pooped, but it was all so much fun! In the pic above, you can see me in the top left and then going clockwise, Jenn on my right, Kerry, Dana, Melba, Janet, Whitney, Carolyn, Julie, Margaret, and Judean. And Mindy got the shot (thanks, Mindy!)

pictures above by Jenn

The workshop was a blast and I felt so honored to be able to share it with a group of such fabulous, creative women. It was great to meet some new folks, some people I only knew online, and some old friends as we played, laughed, and created with our intuition.

creativeplay jennandleah
Jenn and Leah

And can I just say what a pleasure Jenn is to work with? She's super sweet, creative, fun, and I just loved the way she let go with her own collage work in the class. Jenn and I are already talking about doing a Creative Play workshop in the Bay Area next year! You can check out Jenn's post about the workshop here and stay tuned for a guest post from her right here tomorrow!

After class, Jenn and I had a bit of a road trip with the lovely Mindy and Melba up to the Squam art fair. I'm so glad we went as a group (and that Mindy was driving!) because it was scary-dark up there! But I'm also so glad we went because we got to meet some awesome creative women and see some gorgeous art. It was great fun seeing so many faces you know online, in person!

So much inspiration here and so much more to share. In the meantime, I also want to mention that I've just scheduled the next Art Picnic teleclass for Thursday, October 22nd, from 8-10 pm EST. You can sign up for that right here.

Good Stuff Galore!

August 14th, 2009, Comments (6)

I've got other posts swimming around in my brain since I wrote the Swimming Lessons post, but I had to stop and share some of the good stuff going on!

greeting cards

Firstly, I've got some gorgeous new greeting cards for sale in my art shop. They're lovely. Right now there are three to choose from and you can purchase one or save money by buying them in a set. Checkity, check them out right here.


Secondly, time is absolutely flying by and it's nearly time for another Art Picnic Teleclass! The next one is happening Saturday, August 22nd from 1-3 pm Eastern time. This is a great opportunity to schedule in some creative time for yourself and learn some tips and tools to help you get going when you're feeling stuck with your art.

Third, I'm super excited about making my second appearance on the Connie's fabulous Creative Juicy Life radio show this Sunday at 6pm EST. I'll be on with my pal, Jennifer Lee to talk about living the creative life and our upcoming Creative Play Workshop, which is taking place in the Boston area on September 19th. If you can't listen into the call live, you'll be able to hear a recording of the call here. EDIT: Due to technical difficulties, the radio show was canceled and rescheduled for Sunday, September 6th at 6pm EST.

cp2 large

The Creative Play Workshop is going to be a blast. Lots of giggling, creating, and mess-making will be happening and we'd love to see you there! There's an early bird price for this workshop through August 31st and space is limited, so be sure to scoop up your spot here.

Lastly, I've been doing lots of tedious, behind the scenes kind of work this week and haven't had as much time as to get around to see all your fabulous work. I plan on doing some blog-hopping on Sunday though! Tomorrow the hubster and I are going to do some measuring at the new house for things like curtains and blinds. Weird. We've been living in this bachelor pad type apartment for so long, it's going to be quite a switch to do things like actually decorate!

Hope you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!

Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program

May 11th, 2009, Comments (7)

WHEATeacherTraining 400x200

If you've been following me here for awhile, you may know that I've taken many intutive painting classes. It is truly powerful, healing work. I highly, highly recommend the process for anyone looking to let go and create from their heart.

Because I love this type of work (and adore Chris), I'm so thrilled to tell you all about the Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program for women, led by my pal and fellow artist, Chris Zydel. If I can possibly connect one of you creative souls with her work or perhaps with this training program, then it will be even more beautiful!

wheat chris

Chris Zydel has been teaching expressive arts classes and leading sacred circle women's creativity groups, retreats, and workshops all over the world for over 30 years. She is now leading teacher training programs in the hope that these soulful expressive arts classes will be available in communties everywhere! Above all, Chris has the kindest, wisest heart you can imagine. Her classes create a safe space in which she guides others to express themselves from a place of deep intuition, authenticity, and freedom.

The teacher training program sounds utterly facsinating and I already know one friend of mine who is doing it! Chris is keeping the group small, so if you have any interest in leading groups through this type of work, please head over to Chris's website and contact her immediately!

In case you're curious, let me tell you more about this delicious and transformative program:

wheat GoDeep

The Wild Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training Program will begin in 2009 and end in 2010. This program is designed to teach you how to use the process of Intuitive Painting, Group Process and Bodywork, Music and Movement to create a healing environment via classes, workshops, and retreats, to encourage people to manifest the best of who they are through the power of creative self expression.

It will be held at the Mountain Home Ranch Resort located in Calistoga, CA which is in the beautiful Napa Valley in Northern California. The training will be conducted as one 7 day intensive and three 5 day intensives (or 22 days of training) that will be held about 4 months apart over a one year period of time. Gourmet meals and dorm room occupancy lodging at the Mountain Home Ranch is included in the program fee.

Dates of the Intensives:

August 21-28, 2009
December 5-10, 2009
February 27 - March 4, 2010
May 30 - June 4, 2010

In addition to the hands on training, you will also receive:

- 4 individual coaching sessions with Chris Zydel.
- 3 group teleclasses where you can ask questions and get support.
- A Teacher Training manual
- Opportunities to assist Chris at her various workshops and retreats

wheat dragon

Wow. I believe this would be such a powerful way to work as an artist, while making a fabulous living, and guiding others to connect to their creative hearts. If you have any questions about the process, please contact Chris and let her know.

The world needs more people creating from the deepest part of their souls! If you're feeling called to this type of work, go check out Chris's program. You can also learn more about Chris and her process though her blog and find all her wonderful offerings on her website, here.

Celebrate Your Creativity

April 4th, 2009, Comments (7)

Yesterday, I participated in a super fun celebration call with many fabulously creative women. We gathered by phone to celebrate the end of Jamie Ridler's book club reading of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women (great read, by the way!) and to launch the product Jamie put together, Your Creative Spark.

You can listen to the call here and I recommend listening to it as it's super fun and you get to hear about the wonderful topic of celebration. Many of us on the call, myself included, talked about how we have some trouble with celebrating. For me, it has been something I never really thought much about. When I finish something, my tendency is to dust myself off and move on to the next thing.

But there's something to be said for taking a moment to celebrate your successes, no matter how small. On the call, I mentioned how I've learned a lot about celebrating from the hubster. The way he celebrates a meal he's cooked is hilarious, but it's also fun! He oohs and ahhs over every bite and suddenly you find yourself laughing and appreciating every bite too.

Why not celebrate every bite? Life is delicious!

More recently, as I've recognized the importance of celebration, I've been taking time to celebrate, usually in the form of a happy dance. A little jig (done in your chair or around the room) can be so uplifting and a simple way to celebrate those little successes we experience every day. Why not give it a try?

I'm curious, what do you do to celebrate? How does it impact your creative process?

I hadn't thought much about how celebrating was affecting my creative process until Jamie asked the question, but when I considered it, I realized that celebration is about all self-care and valuing yourself. And you can always create from a stronger place when you're taking good care of you.

Your Creative Spark is now available for purchase from Jamie. It's jam-packed with loads of inspiration from incredibly creative women such as Jennifer Lee, Andrea Scher, Jessie Marianello, Melba, McMullin, Goddess Leonie, myself, and many others! The interviews Jamie did over the last 12 weeks are included in audio and transcript form and there's also some bonus articles from several of the interviewees. Through midnight on April 5th you can get $10 off the price by using the Discount code "celebrate," so if you're thinking about grabbing a copy, now's the time!  Jamie did such a fabulous job putting this together (happy dance for Jamie!) and she's such a creative rock star. Thank you again, Jamie, for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic project!


Click here to view more details about Your Creative Spark.