Celebration Mandala

An Opportunity to Create Together

celebration mandala

The upcoming Celebration Mandala class is being held at the Naperville Art League beginning February 26.

This class is about integrating play, patience, and beauty into the creative process as we focus on balance through color, movement, texture and pattern. Mandala, which means circle, acts as a container for this self-expression. Participants will be introduced to a variety of simple and playful art techniques used for cutting and creating organic shapes and symbols. These organic shapes and symbols are then assembled into a radial formation on a circle made from handmade paper. Handmade paper provided as part of class materials. Stitching and beading are added elements to mount and adorn your mandala. The completed Celebration Mandala is hung from bamboo rods. All class materials provided.

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Mandala, Purle & Gold
Seasons change…..

Pieceful Creations

With Sweet Grace.

Creating Big

Within the Circle

mandala

Moving beyond a standard size sheet of paper, going from an 8×8″ paper size to an 24×36″, to create a mandala can be a turn to an unknown world. It stretches our comfort zone. It’s too large, that’s a lot of space to fill, it will take forever, are some of the concerns expressed. Here is an introductory mandala exercise that will ease the jitters of creating large! Mandala Connect-the-Dots. Working with eight or sixteen spokes, the connect-the-dot mandala is designed to act as a guide for drawing, along with allowing for the intuitive process and creativity to flow. Mandala Connect-the-Dots is also for anyone exploring the circle, looking for an expressive art form for meditation, or for creating community connections working together coloring a mandala. Children, teens, adults, watercolors, acrylics, crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Download Mandala Connect-the-Dots and have the eight or sixteen spoke mandala printed in B/W, 24×36″ at an office supply store such as Home Depot. Here in the U.S. a B/W print is $3.00.

18x24
24×36″ Mandala Connect-the-Dots, sixteen spoke
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.

Dots to Stars: A creative way to involve children is to turn the dots into stars! With a colored pencil or marker, draw stars over the dots. Connect the stars to create a personal Star Constellation Mandala.

With Sweet Grace.

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots

For YOU to CREATE

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots is an Expressive Arts tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety, connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness and for embracing our creative spirit.

Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots here.

Through my mandala classes I come across those who have never heard of a mandala and would like to know more about what a mandala is.

When providing an explanation I keep it simple at first, mandala means circle. As a spiritual art tool, what ever we create within the mandala acts as a reflection of our inner world in the present moment, and we bring these inner reflections into the physical world for us to see on paper, canvas, fabric, which ever medium we wish to work with. Working with mandalas over a period of time we begin to see patterns, colors and symbols that change to support our growth and life journey. Then I move on to the circle acting as a container for our wholeness, the vast universe that resides within each one of us, and how mandalas are found in all cultures around the world. In wellness settings where I facilitate classes, mandalas are used as a spiritual art tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety and connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness. In some classes we create mandalas for celebration and coming together in community. For those who would like to go deeper with their mandala practice, I suggest working with Judith Cornell’s Luminous Mandalas.

Through these mandala explanations and introductions I find myself asking, how can I keep the creation process simple for those new to mandalas and wanting to incorporate the mandala into their personal practice. This question brought forth the creation of PDF tutorials for everyone to download from Nature’s Sweet Grace tutorial page, Seed Meditations, Embracing MandalaArtfully Scrappin’ Mandala, and the newest PDF Mandala, Connect-the-Dots. Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots now to have for your personal practice or share with others through your work place.

The term connect-the-dots has been with me ever since I heard (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs’ Stanford University’s commencement speech. He talks about his life and how it was the journey from A to C to G, etc, that brought him to where he is in the present. And that journey is worth living.

With Sweet Grace.

Seed Meditation

Complementary Therapies Series
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL

photo

Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:00pm

This Seed Meditation evening is one of four different Wellness House evening programs being offered as part of a Complementary Therapies Series for those living with cancer.

Seed Meditation is an Expressive Arts tool used for calming the mind, centering our focus and enriching our creative spirit.

I welcome you to join me for this evening to learn more about Seed Meditationmindfulness, beginning a daily practice, and take part in creating a personal Seed Meditation.

The four evening programs are Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki & Energy Work, Seed Meditation and Acupuncture. The programs are an opportunity to have your questions answered about complementary therapies available through the Wellness House that can help manage side effects.

With Sweet Grace.

Painting Our Cosmos

With Spectacular Swirling Patterns

What started out as Art Play is now a galactic exploration into the birth of stars, nebulas, flow lines, fractals, spiral motion, and The Great Attractor. From this exploration, Painting Our Cosmos came to be — a simple and fun way to create your own cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy of wonderment.

After a star is born….

over the next few million years, winds blow the surrounding gas into spectacular swirling patterns. It blows away the gas, it blows away the dust, and lets us see this beautiful new thing, this place where the star was born.
How Stars are Formed and Born

nebula (a massive cloud of gas and dust in outer space) is sometimes the birthplace of stars. The Orion Nebula where new stars — a youthful million years old — are still forming is a great example. Google nebula images and be wowed by the display of colors and swirling patterns.

Left: Rosette Nebula, Right: Orion Nebula

Rosetta-50


Painting Our Cosmos

What you’ll need to get started:

  • Two sheets of glass or plexiglass (use plexiglass when working with kids).       At least 3/8″ to 1/4″ thick for durability. The glass in the video is 19″ in diameter. The two sheets are repurposed for Art Play. The glass came from being used as table tops.
  • Acrylic paints or tempera paints, including several metallic paints.
  • Large sheets of paper or art board that cover the glass, black captures the cosmos and space.
  • Sink or tub with water for cleaning along with rags.
  • Your curious and playful nature!

The Process:

  • Squirt dabs of paint on the first sheet of glass, three to five colors.
  • Place the second sheet of glass on top and watch the colors mush together.
  • Swirl the top glass clockwise about 3/4 of the way around. The more you move the glass in the circular motion, the more the colors blend and sometimes over blend. It’s all about process. Experiment with different circular motions, 180 to 360 degrees or more, and see what resonates to your liking.
  • Separate the glass carefully, there will be suction from the paint. It is helpful to have the top glass be off center from the bottom glass so you have an edge to grab.
  • Make a print from each glass. Pat down lightly with your hands, yet firm enough to make a nice print. I find when using a roller the paint smears.
  • Use different colored paper. Have fun! Yes, it’s possible to make two prints from the same sheet of glass.
  • Name your creation.
  • Clean glass and start all over!

Before cleaning the glass take a look at the texture and colors. Both on the glass and paper you’ll see where the paint makes extraordinary branching patterns. Nature in action here! Both the spiral motion of rotating the glass, and the branching patterns from the paint are patterns found in nature (e.g., spiral-sunflower, pine cone, fingerprint; branching-rivers, tree branches, lightening) and in galaxies.

Cheers to the birth of new stars!

With Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom

An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

A new eCourse that begins November 4

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom eCourse

Seed to Blossom eCourse, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

Seed to Blossom is a six week self-paced course created to support and embrace your self-expression and inner explorations into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower. Using seed to blossom as a metaphor for growth, Divine purpose, and sacred intention, you’ll be guided through an inquisitive and creative process that takes you from your seed’s conception through to full bloom. It is a journey co-creating with Great Spirit your flower’s essence – an expression of your true essence. Your unique flower may come to life through a poem, song, quilt, painting or other expressive art form that resonates with your gifts, talents and adventurous spirit.

Throughout your Seed to Blossom journey, the exploratory process acts as an opening to:

  • Self-expression through the expressive arts
  • Awe, wonder and amazement
  • Awareness of your connection to the Whole
  • Gratitude and appreciation for the journey
  • Connection to nature, inner and outer
  • Playful and expressive storytelling
  • Meditative practice for focus and clarity
  • Curiosity, inspired intention and conscious co-creating
  • Imagination through the extraordinary and fantastical
  • Growth through authoring your journey
  • Purpose in the vast universe of possibilities
  • Creativity and your unique flower essence!

The self-paced format is ideal for working at your own pace, whenever you like, allowing for flexibility, creativity and flow. The course is presented in six Phases, with each Phase presented in a PDF format that can be downloaded from the Seed to Blossom course site anytime during the six weeks. Each Phase includes a video introduction explaining the growth sequence you’ll be working with, inquisitive journal prompts, inspiring resources and other exploratory tools. You will need a journal and materials that support the medium you’ll be working in. It’s OK if you do not know what that is now. I’ll cover this in the course introduction.

Throughout the course I connect with you individually and through the group collectively via email providing personal feedback and answers to questions. Therefore, this class enrollment is limited to a small group. Registration will be closed as soon as all the slots are filled. I welcome you to take part in Seed to Blossom, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence. Enroll now to reserve your space!

November 4 – December 14, 2014

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

More about the creation of this class
This class came together through my love of nature and personal journey over the past 15+ years getting to know myself. Flowers for me have been, and still are, a window to the extraordinary. I can recall the first time I looked at a flower with a knowing it was so much more than a flower. I became aware of its beauty, exquisite design and reflection of a world that connected me to something much larger. I asked myself, “Who created this beautiful flower?” That one question opened up the window to seeing the magnificence in all of creation. I have come across many flowers, each unique in their color, patterns and design. Some take on the appearance of animals, fire, food, and even faces. Did you know there are over 1 million flower species in the world, some yet unnamed. The number could be infinite! Which leads me to the creation of this class and using Seed to Blossom as a metaphor for connecting with our true essence. Though there are an infinite number of flowers in the world, there is only one you, with a unique purpose that is meant to be shared. 

It is my intention that Seed to Blossom be a window for those willing to go deeper with an adventurous and creative spirit into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower.

For inquiries about the class, contact me here.

With Sweet Grace.

Art Journaling & Doodles….

for connection with others and going with the flow.


art journals and doodles

Art journaling and doodling are creative outlets for bringing your ideas, visions and expressive nature into physicality. They also act as portals for the extraordinary. Putting to paper, bringing them out of the ethers, is a key component for creating. You can come back to the drawings or doodles and expand on them at another time.

I’d like to share with you two of my favorite journal/doodle tips and exercises.

1-tip) Designate mandala pages throughout your art journal. Take a cup, bowl, or round object to trace and fill the page with a circle. Fill at least 1/3 of the journal pages with circles. Of course, you can make every page a circle too! Having circles in place for the next time you pick up your journal is helpful and you’re ready to go.

1-exercise) Group Art Journaling/Doodling – Ask a friend or family member to participate in drawing or doodling with you. You can both begin with a shared inspired intention or simply see where the drawing takes you. Take turns adding to the journal entry or doodle. It’s fun, intimate and a collaborative art activity. The two colorful mandala examples shown here were with my daughters.

2-tip) Keep pens, pencils, small notebook, sketch pad or loose paper available where ever you go! Keep them in your car glove compartment, near your computer or reading chair, in a tote, fanny pack, or any type of container so supplies are available in the spur of the moment.

2-exercise) Doodling With Spirals – Draw a free-hand spiral leaving enough area for drawing as the spiral gets larger. Begin at the spirals center and fill in with patterns, images, symbols, words and what ever comes to you in the moment.

Happy journaling and doodling to you!

With Sweet Grace.