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
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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 Meditation

Complementary Therapies Series
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL

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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

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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.

The Mother Tree

A gift to all children in a story of letting go

The Mother Tree

Mother Tree: Hello Children! Can you feel it? The time has come. Your color is changing and you will soon fly off on your own. Your friend Mother Earth is ready to receive you. It’s OK, she will be your guide through a magical and transformative journey that holds great meaning and purpose. You’ll nourish the earth with new growth as deep rich compost. The same way the children who came before you have done. The animals will play and dance around you. A human child will pick you up and admire your beauty. Every bud that blossoms in the Spring will give thanks for your journey.

Children: But Mother Tree, I am scared to let go. What is it like to fly down to Mother Earth?

Mother Tree: Dear Children, there is nothing to fear. You have many friends along the way supporting you. Your friend Sun provides the light within you that flows with everlasting love. You’ll be carried away by your friend Wind and create an amazing dance together. Wind says there are many ways to fly. Who shall be the first?!

Children: Mother Tree, look at me! I’m twirling! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m floating! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m gliding! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m waltzing! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m circling! Mother Tree, look at me! I’m flying!

 Mother Tree: Know that you are deeply loved my children. Know that you are deeply loved. I love you.

Sunshine Love

Photography and storytelling love to collaborate with each other when it comes to Expressive Arts. For your next creative project, photograph an image, scene or person that interests you and write a short story. Short stories create a moment for taking the next step to longer writings. They make for the perfect daily writing exercise.

With Sweet Grace.