Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013...

Getting ready to say Happy New Year to 2014 in a few hours...

Tomorrow I will start the New Year off with a 2 hour yoga workshop at It's All Yoga.

Photo credit: Yoga Journal

It is a dream of mine to be able to do The Dancer Pose (Natarajasana) some day, so need to work on my flexibility and balance this coming year.

HERE are some lovely Pinterest images of this pose.

And more inspiring yoga photos HERE.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Yoga thoughts... and lemons.

It is getting easier. Not so many excuses (I don't have anything to wear, I'm hungry, tired, etc, it's too late, or myriad other words that have been keeping me from feeling better) and more doing. Slowly a change...

I went to the "winter Soul-stice" workshop at It's All Yoga last night and really enjoyed the 2 hour practice. And from it came another word for me to focus on in the coming year... soften.

Yes I know I had already chosen my word for 2014 as BREATHE and it will stay because for me it is the most important thing to focus on, but the idea of softening just hit a good chord with me so it might be something I keep handy in my mind as I go about my days too. Two other words/ideas have come from yoga lately too which I have noticed I may need to pay more attention to as well: aware (of myself more than things around me) and boundaries (as in paying attention to them within me).

And an interesting thing I am also noticing. My blog roll list is huge (on Feedly) and most of them are art blogs, but I am finding yoga blogs lately too and adding them and today I realized I have a fair amount of them in my DAILY READ list. And I am finding I go to them first. I enjoy reading of experiences other people have bringing yoga into their life. And I find truths in those blogs that I very well could have written in mine...

“... I remembered something important: practicing yoga makes me feel good. It allows me to move my body, stretching and feeling my muscles activate. It helps calm my mind and keep me centered. It allows me to connect with an entire community of like-minded people. But showing up at the studio for class does not happen by accident. It happens only when I prioritize and make a conscious effort.”
From Bekah: Outside the Box

And now to figure out what to do with my lemons, hiding in the backyard...

Friday, December 20, 2013

On Vacation!

16 days of blissful vacation... Winter Break, formerly known as Christmas Vacation, is here!

Some plans so far:
Clean up the living room, do a lot of yoga, make some art, keep cleaning up my art room and going through my supplies, working towards decluttering and destashing my stuff, and generally relaxing, maybe having lunch with one of my lunch lady friends (I seem to be one of the last ones to retire in a small circle of friends I have) and just enjoying 16 days off. We are not officially doing anything for Christmas this year so that will not be anything that takes any energy.

I got a new Moleskine Weekly Planner to do a better job of keeping track of what I am doing during the year because when I started thinking of what got done in 2013, I found I was short on memories or any documentation and it was hard to see where I had been in my creative journeying. Yes I have some blog posts but I am not really diligent about blogging so a lot of things fell through the cracks this last year.

This is what I got: (photos from Amazon)

The inside:

I like that there is a page opposite each weekly area for extended info or maybe room for some art... I do not plan to do a lot of art in it, more to keep track of what I do on a daily basis, but an occasional art burst could happen and there might be a place for it!

My intention is to wrote just a couple of sentences at night to document my days... one last semester at school, retiring, traveling, whatever comes my way in this next (hopefully exciting) year.

Also it will be a way for me to see how much yoga I end up doing. I have an odd idea about making sure I do yoga at least 108 times this coming year. 108 is a special number in yoga and when I broke it down I realized it was just 9x12... so if I did yoga just 9 times a month, for 12 months, I would easily reach 108. I may elaborate more on this later but if you are really curious you might Google "yoga 108" and read some of the various things that come up. Working up to maybe some day 108 sun salutations?

All I know is that I feel so much better when I practice yoga on a regular basis so I want to make that more of my life. I signed up for a Winter Solstice workshop tomorrow and a New Years Day Workshop at It's All Yoga, and then I will keep going to other classes as well.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hot Glue Gun Stencils...

Who knew? Well apparently a few people judging from the You Tube videos available HERE, HERE, and HERE... but it was a new technique to me so I tried it this weekend!

You need:

tools for project

a hot glue gun and a LOT of glue sticks, some parchment paper or a craft mat (I used 2 pieces of parchment paper),and I used a brayer to press down as it gets hot and hard on my hands to press the glue flat.

then for the printing you need:

yellow layer

a gelli plate, acrylic paints, and a brayer to spread the paints as usual, paper to print on.

You can follow the technique in any of the videos above, but basically, you lay down a design on the parchment paper using the hot glue gun, immediately press the other parchment on top of it, flatten it (for the gelli plate I found this is needed), then when the glue has cooled, lift it away from the parchment and you have your stencil!

Here are a few I did today:


Primary set (a la Jane Davies above), yellow layer first, then red, then blue.


Yellow first, then orange, then teal, with a wash of part yellow-part gel medium to soften it.

olive-magenta print

Olive green and magenta, with a softening overcoat of gel medium mixed with transparent iron oxide (Golden)

and its reverse ghost print (my favorite of all these I did today):

olive-magenta ghosts

These are mostly tests, although there are parts of them I like and might tear or cut up to use in my journals or other art. When Leslie and I get together again after Christmas we are going to play with this technique more. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Linked to:
Colorful Gelli Party
Mandarin Orange Monday
Creative Every Day

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Moving on...

It has been a difficult couple of weeks with Pandora's death but I feel like I am finally able to move on. The first few days I could not come back into my art room without crying and seeing her in my arms but that is passing and I am feeling the need to create again. And with Winter Break coming up in a couple of weeks I have a lot of things to think about...

The thing that has been on my mind the last few days is creating another Word for the Year. I did it last year (see THIS post) and it was nice to think about throughout the year. I had it glued to my work table at school and several times when I was mad at the kids I would see it and work on letting it go. I wanted to make a word this year that built on that idea. I thought about what I did when I "released" and it was all about breathing. And now that I am back to doing more yoga practice I find the reminders to "breathe" coming fast and furious from all angles. And wouldn't ya know it, conscious breathing is still hard for me (to remember mid-asana or when I am mad). I need more work on that one.

So I decided for 2014 my word would be BREATHE.