Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weeds or Plants or Both...

A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered...

Weeds are just plants growing where we do not want them to grow...

These are just a couple of quotes I think of every year about this time when the weeds start to grow. I do realize the concern with and need to control noxious weeds as they can be so invasive to native plants, soil and water sources but whenever I see one of these thistle plants blooming I can't help but take in the beauty. The color is so vibrant... I just love them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cleaning House

Over the weekend I cleaned and organized my studio space. It always feels good to do this. It creates space both figuratively and literally and it re-energizes me for more creation.
Over the last 15 years I have shared my energy between making art and jewelry. Lately I have been thinking about pulling away even more from my jewelry making to focus solely on my painting... my true passion. My small wholesale jewelry business was fun and had the potential to turn into something bigger but I realized I am not a huge fan of production. As exciting as it was to get orders from my rep, there was also a slightly heavy feeling knowing I had to make a bunch of the same pieces over and over. Bummer but true. Instead, I love creating with whatever materials inspire me at the moment. So as part of my "cleaning house" I put away some of my jewelry supplies so I would have more work space for my paintings. It feels right.

Here are a couple of new paintings I started after I cleaned. They are not actually new... they are two paintings that I made last year but I was not loving so I decided to give them new life. They already feel better and I know they will change even more. I will update as they progress.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing...?

I will be the first one to admit it... I have a major soft side when it comes to books. An obsession really. Or maybe I am a collector...? Point being, I have a lot of books! I have a nice collection of art, jewelry, yoga, nutrition and cooking books. Throw in the few fiction titles and I could start a small library. I think I inherited this trait from my dad. I grew up surrounded by books. I think it also stems out of my love for learning.

I don't think I could ever replace real books for a kindle though I do get the practicality and convenience. I love the feel and weight of a book in my hands, I love turning each page, thumbing through, making notes on the pages and the pictures... oh the pictures. Especially the pictures in my favorite kinds of books; art, of course.

This is a small sampling of a few of my favorite art books that are piled around my house, readily available for learning, inspiration and admiration. A few I have had for a couple of years and others I have received in just the last weeks or months. These books are by some of my favorite artists and are heartfelt, full of inspiration and beauty and loads of information. Some of the techniques are familiar and others I look forward to experimenting with. I love seeing what goes into another artist's creations as well as the energy behind the process. I highly recommend each one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mountain Love

On Sunday we took an adventure into the woods and came across this mama moose and her calf. The quality of the photo isn't great and I zoomed in as much as possible. If you look closely to her left you can see her little one tucked in the willows as she stands protectively in front. So cute! We paused to gaze and snap a few photos but then moved on so as not to make them feel threatened. They can burn a ton of energy in these types of encounters. The calf looked so furry and sweet. Always a treat to see!

The rain is back and that is great news for more than one reason... besides the fact that it has been dangerously dry up here it also means that the summer rainbows are back. Evening rain + just before sunset = stunning rainbows... often double ones. Again, my camera does not do it justice but believe me, the double rainbow extended across the sky in front of the Continental Divide with amazing vibrancy. 

The other day a visitor to this area asked me "Is it still as beautiful after living here for a while?" Yes, after 15 years here, it absolutely is! Almost every day I am amazed by my surroundings whether it is a fiery sunrise or an alpenglow sunset, the hugest puffy white clouds, a fox running through my yard, fresh powdery snow or golden aspen... yes, it is still as beautiful. I love living in the mountains.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Girl Power and Chocolate

For the last three years I have had the good fortune to teach yoga at this awesome event. I love what this gathering has to offer... a joining of women for adventure, fitness, self-empowerment, challenge, support, rejuvenation and so, so much more. It is held at this beautiful lodge, nestled among the aspen and pine trees. I feel honored to be a part of the experience. The women are great and the founder of the company has created a truly unique retreat. I dream of sharing this experience with my mom.

This year I taught two classes. Tonight, I started with a meditation on chocolate. I love doing this meditation, partly for the obvious reason... hello... chocolate! But also because it is a great way to develop such awareness and focus in a less than traditional manner. There were some giggles and it may have been one of the slowest chocolate eating experiences ever for some. Chocolate tastes different this way...

I always finish my last session of the retreat with some kind of special offering for each participant. So tonight at the end of our class, after savasana, I had the women gather in a circle. Each woman reached into a box and grabbed a rolled up piece of paper. I had typed different affirmations, or as I called them, truths. I asked each woman to open her piece of paper and read her truth silently to herself, feeling the truth and knowing that it was meant for her. Then, one by one, we each shared our truth with the circle, saying it out loud and sharing it as the truth, not only for ourselves, but also for each woman there in the circle. I am always amazed when I do this activity at how each woman chooses exactly the "right" truth. Whether it is because it is what she is trying to create more space for in her life or because it is right on. I truly love this experience each and every time. What great energy and love from these amazing women.

Some of the truths... I am beautiful, I am strong, I am alive, I am powerful, I am awesome, I am vibrant, I am dazzling...  Ahhh, namaste.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I am excited to list some new items in my Etsy shop. I recently had  some of my paintings and collages printed onto greeting cards. I decided to put two different sets together and I will offer them in packs of five. Here is a quick peek...

Set One Consists of 5 different mini collage prints
Set Two consists of 5 different acrylic paintings

I think these will make fun gifts! I am deciding exactly how I will package them. I will for sure bundle them together in a protective plastic sleeve and I have some fun new logo stickers that I will play around with. I look forward to getting some prints made to offer on my site too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Living Our Truth

A concept that has been very important to me is to live my truth. Lately, I am finding this need more than ever before. It is fairly easy to live our truth when all is well and smooth in life. It is different when we are faced with a challenge. I am facing a challenge and I am struggling with finding a balance to take care of myself and to keep a sense of peace in my situation. It is not easy and I feel I am having to compromise some of my truth in order to keep matters agreeable. Some of it feels necessary and in in other ways I feel I am caving, not standing strong in my beliefs. I guess I am trying to find a balance.

I wanted to reflect on the need for my truth as I am feeling a bit icky about my compromise. I need to really define my truth and what it means. Although it is open for revision in the future, this is what I need right now.

To live my truth means to be honest with myself and others even when it is difficult (this is a big one for me and what I am feeling most in need of right now), to speak my truth, to be authentic by being myself, by letting my "freak flag fly" and not worrying what others will think, to honor my needs and to take care of my heart, to give to others without expecting anything in return, to learn to say no and know that that is acceptable, to build on my strengths, to make the choice to feel joy... to create it, to find the positive in all situations and to express gratitude each and every day for each and every experience so that I can continue to grow and flourish. I am curious what others truths are...?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden Visitor and New Art

In between creative breaks and rain storms it was more house work this weekend. While I was pulling weeds in my garden I found this little guy... a salamander. He was hiding under the cool, wet lushness (read: neglected and overgrown) of weeds. I think he was shocked by the abrupt change and bright sunlight so I snapped this photo quickly and then covered him up with wet earth. By morning he had made his way back under the rock wall and to his home. Apparently, that's where he and his buddies live according to my husband. He has seen several of them over the years. Kinda cute with his big head and eyes. 

I've been working on some new smaller pieces while I wait for some big canvases. With all of the house work we've been doing we are left with lots of scrap pieces of wood. My hubby cut some into small squares for me and I have been having some fun with them. Here is a little peak at the pieces in progress.

Summer Deck Party

Ever since we moved into our house we have been working on different improvements and updates. Slowly, over the last six or seven years we have seen the progress. Some bigger changes than others... new kitchen cabinets... a new garage... a painted wall... new trim. It is exciting to see it all come together, especially now as we only have a few projects left before it is "finished".
Our latest projects have been on the outside of the house. We covered a section of old, ugly stucco with corrugated metal. It's a nice balance against the stone and logs.

We also rebuilt the deck out in front. The old one was, well, old. The boards were crumbling apart in spots and the supports were weak so the deck flexed and moved a bit. So we tore off the deck boards, reinforced the joists and laid down new boards that we have been planning on staining but much needed rain has put that on hold for the last week. Totally fine since the fire danger has been so high that we are in a stage 2 fire ban.

As soon as the staining is complete we will break the deck in with... a deck party! I love summer in the montains.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Tuesday, July 3rd, was my 41st birthday and although I worked all day I was still celebrating. I have to say that with every year and with every day, for that matter, I am truly grateful for being alive. I am grateful for all that life has to offer, no matter what.

I came to the realization about 16 years ago that the choice is ours in how we play the cards we are dealt. It came to me at a time when I could have easily made the choice to let the weight of my circumstances bring me way down. I'm really not sure why or how but it occurred to me, in an instant from somewhere deep within, an aha moment,  that I could see the situation as negative or positive and that it would be that way based on my choice. It didn't make sense to wallow or dwell in a poor me state. Instead, I went with what was and chose to see the positive in it and even to find the beauty in it. And I did. Yes, I did have a brief moment of despair but it was truly brief; a good cry that helped me to release stored emotion as my body worked toward healing. Yes, it was physically challenging and painful and slow to gain strength back in my body. Yes, it was scary. But the magic of making the choice to stay positive and of making the choice to see the beauty in this (and any other situation) was that it gave me a strength and ability I didn't know I had. The experience is a part of my being, of who I am and I am richer for it. It also gave me the new perspective that everything we experience is an opportunity for learning, for growth and a reason to celebrate and be grateful.