Creating Big

Sharing a past post that today still rings true for creating, creativity and working with the mandala as an expressive and spiritual art process.  Enjoy!

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 young children and teens is to turn the dots into stars! With a colored pencil or marker, draw stars over/on top of the dots. Express the stars free hand or use small star cookie cutters or star templates. Connect the stars to create a personal Star Constellation Mandala.

With Sweet Grace.

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.

 

 

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.

Stillpoint: Dance of the Morning Light

Stop and Look Around You

Stillpoints are opportunities for quiet observation and meditation. They are moments when you stop what you are doing and take notice of your breath and something near you that captures your attention. A Stillpoint could be the steam rising from your coffee cup, a leaf falling from a tree, the way your pet companion cleans its paws, or the design of a flower. Stillpoints are simple and awe-inspiring.

The morning light shining through tree leaves, accompanied by a breeze, makes for an orb-like dance of light and soft shadows.

Stillpoints are also incorporated into a fitness program for body and brain called Ageless Grace. Being aware of Stillpoints throughout your day can help create a life filled with gratitude and appreciation for the beauty everywhere now. As an Ageless Grace Educator I share this practice in my Ageless Grace classes.

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.

Stillpoint: Dance of the Autumn Light

Stop and Look Around You

Nature’s Sweet Grace is adding a new blog category-Stillpoint. Stillpoints are opportunities for quiet observation and meditation. They are moments when you stop what you are doing and take notice of your breath and something near you that captures your attention. A Stillpoint could be the steam rising from your coffee cup, a leaf falling from a tree, the way your pet companion cleans its paws, or the design of a flower. Stillpoints are simple and awe-inspiring.

The ornamental grass, Autumn Light, captured my attention – the way the grass flows with the breeze dancing in all directions, and standing so tall in moments with no breeze. The brilliant white plumes were releasing feather-like seeds illuminated by the sunlight.

Stillpoints are also incorporated into a fitness program for body and brain called Ageless Grace. Being aware of Stillpoints throughout your day can help create a life filled with gratitude and appreciation for the beauty everywhere now. As an Ageless Grace Educator I share this practice in my Ageless Grace classes.

With Sweet Grace.