Expression from the Other Side

Non-dominant hand wants to come out and play!

Simplicity and play are two facets of pure soulful expression that I like to share with others through many art forms and processes.  The seed for this art process was planted back in November when visiting a local vendor fair. I purchased several origami star bursts from a young boy who had his own vendor table (next to his mom’s!) using colorful post-its as his paper source. Yes to supporting a young budding artist!

Origami Star Bursts

The motion, colors and 16 rays kept the curiosity flowing and led me to the next step – painting these star bursts using a new tool I’ve wanted to explore for an upcoming art event. The tool is called a sponge stick and many artists use these for blending charcoal and pastels, they are also used for crafts. Let’s see what happens when we use watercolor paints! Once I started making marks on the paper a texture appeared that brought on a feeling of new birth, something wanting to come forth from the painterly marks. The space between the painterly marks became the space between each thought and breath, a graceful dance and meditation. Now on to sharing this process with others.

sponge sticks

star bursts

But wait! Let’s add another element, painting with our non-dominant hand! Yes to gifts from the universe, a recent fall and wrist fracture of my dominant hand – this art process has allowed me, and my left side, to express movement and change while staying in the present moment, exploring new patterns with different color pallets and simply being open to process. Creating in this way has always empowered me in service to working with others. This time around with love, compassion and purpose heightened to a new level of awareness. I am grateful for this.

We are all conduits of pure Source energy where creativity and natural forces of nature flow.  Bring on your expression from the other side.

With Sweet Grace.

 

 

Mandala, Purple & Gold

Beauty in Motion with Many Moons

Purple & Gold Mandala

The newest in a series of mandalas where intention, play, construction, introspection and beauty come together. Each mandala begins with an intention, and then the play begins, creating a variety of artworks using different mediums and techniques. Each mandala’s intention acts as a guide through creating the shapes to use for all the artwork and arranging the shapes in patterns and design. After the mandala pieces are laid out the paper colors are chosen for the circle and backing and beads are added to flow with the whole. Every shape that gets glued down, along with every stitch and bead is gratitude in motion.

The intention for this mandala is our connection to water and many moons, as in storytelling – many moons ago….

Mandala assembly
Shapes are laid out and the paper color and beads are ready for the final step. Size: 20″x20″
bamboo is used for hanging
Bamboo is used for hanging. Cord or cup hooks can be used to support the bamboo.

Mandala Series
https://naturessweetgrace.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/seasons-change/

The magnificent mandalas in this series bring vibrance, peace and beauty to any environment. Contact Nature’s Sweet Grace to have a mandala created for your business or home.  Workshops or week-end retreats are also available.

With Sweet Grace.

Ageless Grace and Musical Vibrations

F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2

My neighbor, 82 years young, is a classical piano teacher. She’s been teaching for 50 years! I have the pleasure of listening to her play almost everyday…through the walls. Sound and musical vibrations travel! She lives on the second floor back apartment and I live on the first floor front apartment. When I hear her play, usually late afternoon, I stop what I am doing and listen, taking in every note and graceful touch of the piano keys.

Recently I saw my neighbor (choosing to stay anonymous) as she was leaving and I was entering our building. I expressed to her how much I enjoy her classical piano music and asked if I could take a video of her playing and share it on Nature’s Sweet Grace blog. She agreed. The intentions for creating this video also ties in with a fitness & wellness program I take part in called Ageless Grace, Timeless Fitness for the Body and Brain which is based on the science of neuroplasticity. Her piano playing is a beautiful expression of Ageless Grace and the body, mind & spirit connection.

Music is what I love. When playing classical piano you use the brain and the whole body – head, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers all the way down to the feet.

Get to know your neighbors. You never know what gifts and talents they are ready to share with you. Enjoy F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2!

With Sweet Grace.

Friendship Art


Connection Through Our Gifts

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Illustrator Keara McGraw – Gifting Artwork to Friends
Keara-community-web-1
Illustrations on their own are strong, heART felt and beautiful.

Four friends are to each receive a flower illustration. The magic happens when Keara arranges the four illustrations together and adds the color. The color addition creates a new collective art piece symbolically illustrating that each recipient and illustrator are connected and part of a whole. A powerful representation of how artistry, friendship and meaning come together through our gifts and talents we share with the world.

See more of what Keara is up to at kearamcgrawcreative.com.

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 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.

We As Creators

Intentions – Boundless Creativity

flowers2

Have you ever come across a book where you found yourself saying, “I wrote that!” All the words resonate with you on a higher level and knowing. It’s as if you co-authored it coming into your physicality…all ego aside.

craftingcalmRecently, a participant in a jewelry class I was facilitating brought a book to share that she checked out from the library, crafting calm-projects and practices for creativity and contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon. Looking through it I could tell this book held much wisdom. After class I picked up the book at a local bookstore, went home and created a space for embracing the wisdom, creativity and energy within crafting calm.

In Maggie’s Introduction, and throughout the book, she shares simple yet profound reflections on creating.

The soulful statement that I hope this book makes is that whether you call yourself an artist or a craftsperson, both or neither, we are all creative. We are all creators. We are all creations of creator. It is to this that this book speaks–how we can stoke our deepest sense of ourselves and the Divine by employing the inherent flame that lies deep within each of us: creativity.

I see this essence when facilitating expressive arts classes. There is a creative spark that’s lit and participants voice this with an I wish the class could go longer, I could do this everyday, oh thank you so much, and this is fun! When we connect with the creator within us, we are at home with our Divinity. And that feels amazing. It’s light, at ease and timeless. It’s available to us when we are present.

It doesn’t matter if we are creating a craft or another life modality, the act of creating extends out to all creations; creating a meal, a vacation itinerary, a new space to relax, foundations for a new business, peace within a relationship, or a musical composition, we are all creators.

 At first glance, some of these crafts and suggested spiritual practices might seem simple, even simplistic. But everything–including the simple act of breathing–always offers an invitation to go deeper. The key, the alchemical ingredient that changes an activity from craft to spiritual craft, is one’s intention. How one consciously chooses to dedicate his or her creative time–and to what or whom one dedicates that creative time–is what turns an ordinary crafting experience into an experience of the holy.  

Intention is powerful. In this moment create an intention for what you have in front of you – maybe it’s a garden that needs weeding, a blog that needs completion or meal preparation for family and friends. How will what you are creating serve others and your well Be-ing?  As I begin _____________________, my intentions are _________________________. Apply this throughout your day and see how the energy of the world around you shifts. As Maggie Oman Shannon expresses it, crafting calm.

What are you presently and intentionally creating?

Enjoy the creative journey!

With Sweet Grace.