Friday, April 18, 2014

egg-stravaganza (finally, friday)

Enjoying Spring break and busy with preparations ...

Our experiment in natural dyes (thyme, coffee, black tea and raspberry zinger tea)

While we wanted to try something new, there are times when the traditional (yes, good old Paas dye kits) cannot be resisted.  We girls love color!

Easter blessings to you! xo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

an insistent call ...

I consider myself somewhat of an expert in daydreaming. As a child road trips involved flopping about the backseat of my mother's cream colored Impala to find a comfortable and cool spot out of the sun (this being the era before air-conditioning and mandatory seat belt use) and staring out the window, creating movies inside my head to pass the time. To this day, I tend to fall mute on any road trip my interiority annoying to The Husband who would talk or listen to music. 

My nature is quiet and rather sloth-like.  Yet there comes a time when I must apply effort to channel the inner out.  A backlog of ideas, images, impulses to create a specific thing rattle around my head, distracting and disturbing the peaceful, easy daydream feeling.

So I find myself reaching for familiar structures of support as I seek to birth a fantasy long-held and only half-heartedly attempted in the past.  I know when I seek the freedom of creative energy I must exercise a fair bit of discipline and structure to constructive channel this energy.

I turn to what I know from 20 years of a yoga practice: show up daily, set a clear intention, be open, let go of my notions of what should or ought to happen (way too small for magic to exist in) and hold space for the unexpected to arise.  The foundation is hard work: I must do my part and then trust Creative Flow to come in and take care of the rest. To meet any Call is to suspend the rational, logical mind in favor of the spacious, daydreaming, anything-is-possible-when-you-step-out-of-the-way mind. 

Still, one must go in prepared ...

Practice is how I prepare for the magic.  Practice is how I clear space for the miraculous. Practice makes us more likely to be accident prone in the sense of hearing the Call and the grace in knowing it is speaking to me.  

I would love some company on this portion of the journey ... I would love to support you in making your way:

Further details and registration information can be found here.
Final days for early bird registration and bonus gift of a mentoring session.

There's no perfect time to start ... you just have to decide you can no longer wait ... you must choose to answer the Call before you can surrender to it ...

Monday, April 14, 2014

time for a virtual stroll ...

It is a blissfully rain-soaking day here ... my prairie home is in a drought, so we welcome the rain here (but not the snowy mix in the evening forecast!

I am enjoying the play of finches, morning doves and robins darting under pine trees, descending en masse upon my feeders, the grey of the day enlivened by the splashes of color zipping across the landscape that is my backyard and the scope of my world this day.  I've made some decaf and am hunkering down for a visit ...

Today is my turn in a virtual blog walking tour ... picking up where my dear SouLodge sister Latisha (a.k.a. my fairy Herbmother - "A little bit fairy, a little bit witch. A whole lot alive") left off last week ...

1. What am I working on?
Work? Um ... right ... I am attempting to blur or soften the the boundaries between work and play.  

play as work, work as play

Having been told my innate building gesture is whirling dervish (chew on that for awhile!) I tend to have many pots simmering, boiling and foaming over on my virtual stove top.  Presently I am having fun recording new interviews with some of my favorite creatives to be included in my upcoming Gift of Practice online offering. (shameless plug here ... but one week left to enroll and receive early bird special of a mentoring session included in tuition) I love learning how others weave together their passions, their creative explorations with spirituality, family, relationships and daily life.  It is pure alchemy - the raw materials of life  transformed into creative and/or spiritual gold. 

Looking around my home space, I see  many other works in progress cluttering awaiting harvest: a pair of wrist warmers on the knitting needles (I'm not behind, but ahead of next year's cold snap!); a shrug that needs a knitted collar and some finishing (my least favorite aspect of knitting); some felt chicks ready to be birthed (from this tutorial);

the next lesson in Mindy Lacefield's Primitive Portraits class (oh my, besides the pure bliss of watching her paint, her southern accent just melts me!); the crafting of MY MYTH (inspired by Magic of Myth Course) which I feel is going to be a collaborative process of writing and painting with my girl (do I even have to say dragons will be involved?); and certainly some other scraps of rawhide tanning, sewing projects bobbing about the flotsam and jetsam of my life.  

Whirling dervish? Or plate-spinner?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Things that make me go hmm? 

I suppose if I could determine what genre I belong to,  then I might have an idea of what I was doing!  

You know, I've always loved crazy-quilts and I think that best describes my life, my work, my approach.  I don't think so much about my work as much as I go about living a life which involves piecing together all my interests, all my passions and joys into an ongoing narrative, into one massive crazy-quilt of experiences.  I am here for the journey, the process, the experiences of this moment and this moment and the work is a lovely memento of those experiences. 

I'm just me and my hope is that my work is uniquely me-ish; and I love that your work is you-ish because that makes the world a pretty fascinating and exciting place.

Guess that brings me back to hmm?  

3. Why do I write what I do?
If you've spent any time with me, you've probably figured out that writing is my way of processing. I write my way through chaos into clarity. Well, sometimes. Writing (or if we are together in person, then it would be talking) is the way I sift through the contents of my mind in an attempt to find meaning or understanding.  

But I also write to celebrate hard-earned truths, to honor our mutual vulnerabilities and challenges and to support others in turning within to discover they are the source of their greatest wisdom and miracles.  At the end of the day, we all want to know we are loved and understood.  So I write as a means of honoring myself, my experiences and to honor those I love.

4. How does my writing process work? 
I generally will have a question or thought flapping around my mind that I need to release through writing.  I will be in the shower or walking the dog or cleaning the house and realize there is this inner dialogue happening and I need to get it down or untangle it or follow it down the rabbit's hole.  I suppose curiosity is at the heart of why I write.  What is this all about?   The How looks a lot like a dog with a rawhide: I just hunker down and chew chew chew!

That concludes this portion of your tour :)  Next Monday the stroll continues with these three inspiring creatives:

Michelle GD is a photographer and writer playing with lens and verse.  She believes there is beauty in tiny moments and healing in image and word.  You can find her on

Mel Leavey is a "writer, magic-keeper, fire-raiser." She has transformed her drafty garret into the inkblot kingdom ( and our world is richer for it. She has saved and supported me in ways beyond the scope of a blog post ... let's just say I have a reoccurring payment to her karmic bank account and I take pleasure in wiring those funds!

Mandy Smith is the proprietress of Flora Phenomena. Mandy enjoys creating herbal remedies, playing with plants, and learning about the relationships between the natural world and the human species. Her blog posts are meant to empower the reader and reignite our sense of wonder of the world and nature. Her herbal products at Flora Phenomena (coming soon!) offer healing and nourishment for the mind, body, and spirit. You can find Mandy exploring her always sun-drenched world (or so it seems to me!)  on her current blog at the present moment.

I leave you in magical hands. 

Now ... Spring, where for art thou?!

Friday, April 11, 2014

playtime (finally, friday)

When the grackles descend upon my bird feeders, it is officially Spring in my corner of the world.  I celebrated by putting out a jar of herbal tea to infuse in the sunshine and busted out my paints for some much needed play time.

primitive faces inspired by Mindy Lacefield's course Primitive Portraits

I may even be so bold as to resurrect the drying rack and do a load of laundry. I've missed crunchy towels (sun-baked and extra exfoliating!)

How are you celebrating Spring's arrival? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

my notebook obsessions (vlog post)

Lifting the curtain here ... a little peek into my chaos ...

For no other reason than it is Spring (finally!) and time to shift through the seed packets and sow some new life ...

password: journallove
direct link here

And announcing the Spring session of my favorite offering: The Gift of Practice

Real knowledge does not come from books. It is gleaned through the experiences of life: through personal encounter, through the body, the senses, and through the heart. It is through practice – regular attention and engagement with the multitude of details and treasures that make up daily life -  that I evolve and grow.

 for all the details, including Early Bird special offering, go HERE.

Diving back into my journals ... How is Spring calling to you? What wants to come out into the sun and play?


Saturday, April 5, 2014

my little chip ... (finally, friday)

... and yes, I know it is Saturday!  Staying out of time as best I can! 

Mini-me, you complete me ... just the two of us ... 

We each have own rattle now ... this one needs to dry and then I can unstuff it, add another row of stitching and fill with sound. I am learning the songs of the mothers, the songs of the goddess and passing them onto Cowgirl.  Grateful for her enthusiasm, her care and tender keeping of the teachings.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

scattered pieces, scattered seeds

I've recently returned from a mini-trip and honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that I've scattered the contents of my Self along with my suitcase along the trail bringing me back home.

Actually, I DID grab someone else's suitcase from the airport shuttle van and only realized as I reached down to hoist it into the trunk of my car. "That's funny, I didn't think I had a luggage tag on my bag."  Fortunately the passenger who had my bag was rolling it towards me as I maniacally made my way hunchbacked and chasing down the van through the parking lot.

I was extra paranoid about my suitcase arriving with me as I was bringing back a meat mallet (a.k.a. still wet buck skin rattle) along with other scraps of flesh in plastic baggies to later sew into a hand rattle for my girl.

rattles drying ... mine is on the top, right hand side ...

Yup, this is my life!

cutting skin IS hard work!  Never mind that I am a vegetarian ... although powerful lesson in honoring the lessons of life & death passed on to us through these 4-footed teachers

I have embarked upon a year-long intensive study with 11 other like-minded sisters under the tutelage of this Wild Woman

Our weekend beginning with deep practice and gratitude for the animal guides who have stepped forward to support us in this work.  Our guide for our opening day being the equally wild and wise Witchy Nis.  

It feels as if so many seeds have been tossed onto fertile soil and now I am frantic as many many little seedlings are breaking through and asking for my attention and care.

Because then, there is THIS:

"Mythological images are the images by which the consciousness is put in touch with the unconscious. That's what they are. When you don't have your mythological images, or when your consciousness rejects them for some reason or other, you are out of touch with your own deepest part. I think that's the purpose of a mythology that we can live by. We have to find the one that we are in fact living by and know what it is so that we can direct our craft with competence."
Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss (shared by Elizabeth Duvivier in her current course The Magic of Myth)

What is MY myth?  What is the guiding story by which I create/experience/interpret my life?  My SELF? It seems to me if I can figure that piece out, everything else will fall into place.

Such a tangle of thoughts especially for one whose mind is still trying to catch up with her body!  I am home but not returned yet from the journey I've begun.  

Someone was very interested in my new rattle (it is dry now and requires additional work, stitches tightened, grain added, additional ceremony and adornment)

Scattered seeds, shaking seeds, planting, tending ... Spring is arriving in her many forms. I think Persephone has some lessons in store for me ...