Sunday, December 29, 2013

Great Round of Mandala - Stages 11 & 12

Stage 11 - Falling Apart
Stage 11 was a hard one with so much going on in my life at the time.  Meetings and personal issues all emphasized the "falling apart" aspect of this month.  I even broke my glasses.  Arge!
Mandala of Fragmentation
Mandalas of Scratch Art &
Least Favorite Color
Stage 12 was such a huge relief.  Meetings over, the holiday season began seeping into the cracks and s-l-o-w-l-y it all settled down into quiet.  I honestly felt like I was "Opening to Grace."
Stage 12 - Opening to Grace
Mandala of the Winter Solstice
The Solstice brought some special gifts for me.  Inclusion and acceptance.  In a very unexpected way, I was able to hold a releasing ceremony and honor the solstice.  I am incredibly grateful that it turned out as it did instead of holding on to the expectations I'd locked myself into.

So.  That pretty well wraps up the 2013 Great Round of Mandala course I was in.  There's one last chapter in the workbook that I'll be reading and working on.  I don't know if I'll be sharing that or not.

2014 will be a solo journey.  Expenses are rising but my salary is not, so I cannot pay for any online classes and I don't have anyone here to share the experience with.  That's the problem with being older when you finally give yourself permission to tear down some walls and see what lies on the other side.

The plan is to work on my own with another Book of Days (as I did for 2012) and exploring the concept of the Goddess along with regular art journaling.  I may get myself back into writing, too.  We'll have to see what happens.

May you all have a wonderful New Year and I wish you health, prosperity (not necessarily in money, but in other delightful ways), and magic in 2014.


UPDATE: 12/31/2013 - Julie Gibbson, our fearless leader in the Great Round course informed me that in a Random Act of Kindness, one of my fellow participants has paid my tuition for the 2014 Great Round of Mandala class!  Whoot!  Thank you - whoever you are!!!!  Stand by for more art posts in 2014.

**dances down the hall**

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Round of Mandala: Stage 10

Stage 10 Letting Go
Kali Yantra
Let It (Me) Go

Great Round of Mandala: Stage 9

Stage Nine: Reaping Rewards
Sublime Flower Mandala
Mandalas of My Higher Power
Crystallization Moments

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Difficult Decision: No More Comments

Hello to everyone who reads my blog!

I've come to a crossroads with this particular medium of expression.  While I love being able to post my art and thoughts here for your perusal, I hate some of the junk comments that I've had to deal with.

Yes, I turned on the Comment Moderation with the "captcha" code feature, but it doesn't stop some of the determined spammers out there.

So I won't be taking comments here anymore.  My apologies to those of you who do, but since I mostly post the links on my Facebook account (friends only), I get all the great feedback there.

Thank you for understanding!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Back in the Studio! The 2013-2014 Edition

Now that the weather has cooled down enough, I am back out in my non-air conditioned studio space.  There are still things to move out and when one of the kids living with me moves to her own apartment next month I'll have shed space to do so.

The clutter free entrance.  Yes, the building needs painting.
Inside right corner - sitting & reading space.  For me and my little dog.

Back right corner. 

Straight back.  The blue shelves hold all my written journals.

Back left corner.  Cleared counter & more supplies.

Inside left corner.  Where the action happens.

So there you have it.  My 2013 place of peace.  Thanks for reading!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Great Round of Mandala: Stage 8

Stage 8: Functioning in the World
Stage 8

Invoking My Creative Energy
These were done early/mid-August.  Then I hit a total slump as far as my art goes.  If I were really honest with myself, I hit a slump in all other aspects of my life, too.  Unfortunately, it is on-going.

I noticed that I'm not alone.  Several bloggers and art journaler friends also slowed down.  My co-workers have been joining me in the "spacey" feeling department.  Bad timing for it.  We have some rather large meetings coming up and there is plenty of work to be done.

Autumn has finally arrived on the calendar even if it hasn't felt like it here in the desert southwest.  The signs are there, however.  The light is changing.  It is softer and more golden.

Cooler weather will be coming soon.  And when it does, hopefully my energy will return!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Great Round of Mandala - Stages 6 & 7

Stage Six: Igniting the Inner Fire
Stage 6
This was the only mandala I did for Stage Six.  I was very busy at work and there was turmoil everywhere I went.

Stage Seven: Squaring the Circle
Stage 7

MAJOR resistance felt on this one.  Accepting the masculine side of myself is causing a whole mess of journaling and contemplation.  To be brief, I've had difficult men in my life and it has caused me a lot of pain.  So much "stuff" came up with this stage that I'm feeling edgy and fragile.  
Tree Mandala

Solar/Lunar Mandala
Again, the juxtaposition of the masculine/feminine hit me in the old gut.  It came out totally feminine.  Once I let go of the gender part of this exercise and focused on two specific sides of myself (public & private) I was able to relax and enjoy this spread.

I'm hoping that the next stage is a bit less angsty for me!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I am a recovering people-pleaser. 
I wonder if I can say no to both sides of any given situation and walk away.
I hear them whining and crying and bitching.
I see pity-party invitations sent willy-nilly.
I want peace and quiet in my own home.
I am a recovering people-pleaser.

I pretend that I'm an adult and can act like one.
I feel like a slave to their whims and emotions.
I touch sanity's crumbs lying on the table.
I worry that I will try to please just once too often.
I cry when the storms come. And they always come.
I am a recovering people-pleaser.

I understand that I can't please everyone or even most or anyone.
I say that next time it will be different.
I dream about living alone and being happy about it.
I try to be silent and back away but something always triggers.
I hope someday I can have the courage to just say no.
I am a recovering people-pleaser.

Write your own "I AM" poem using this generator:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Great Round of Mandala - Stage Five

Stage Five: Claiming Selfhood

Not as prolific as I had been, I admit, yet I like these the best so far.  

Stage Six will be harder yet and I don't know how many exercises I'll be able to do.   Summer has hit hard and I've been driven into the house with all my fragile art supplies.  I'm feeling hemmed in and "blessed" with cat butts sitting on my page while I'm trying to art.  

Anyway, this class has been wonderful and I'll see what materializes from the next chapter.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

As Promised: Sunflowers Part 2

The first two were hard to get to for some decent pictures as I had to stand on the tire and hold my phone up over my head.  Tall beauties these!  AND bonus - they have blooms and buds most of the way down the stem!

This last one is a smaller but sweet baby in the lower shadows of the tall varieties.  I had to hold a couple of leaves aside for this picture.

So, summer is here in Phoenix.  109 degrees again today.  This is my claustrophobic time of year as I go from air conditioned house to air conditioned truck to air conditioned office and back home the same way.  


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Something from My Backyard

Years ago, my brother rolled a huge tire into my backyard and filled it with play sand for my toddler daughter.  I painted it white to withstand the blazing Arizona sun and she enjoyed it for several years.

When my daughter outgrew the sandbox I repurposed it for a planting bed.  I dug out about half of the sand and filled it up with soil.  Every year I plant flowers in it and I've discovered that sunflowers do best.  Along with the sunflowers this year I tossed a few forget-me-not seeds in as a "what the heck" gesture and was hugely surprised when they grew and blossomed.

These are miniature sunflowers and there are taller ones growing behind them.  When they bloom I hope to share those with you as well.


The plant in the smaller pot is a mystery.  I cannot
remember what the heck I planted in it!  I guess I'll eventually
find out, eh?  Yes, the tire needs repainting.

The spoon is an old one that I'm using to hold the fence in place.
I need the fence to keep the cats out - IF you know what I mean!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Great Round of Mandala - Stage Four

This stage of the Great Round of Mandala is entitled "Embracing the New" and for me that means my new life: post divorce and entering the later parts of my life.  While I'm enjoying freedom to make my own choices/decisions, I also face the fact that I'm getting older and my body is aging.  
Stage 4: Embracing the New

Discovering the New mandala

Nurturing Flower mandala - the
corresponding writing is on the
facing page.

Nesting mandala - Peace and Gratitude

Welcoming What's Up mandala - yes, I
ended up writing on this one.  I grew a
step braver by posting it here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Great Round of Mandala - Stage Three

Stage 3: Turning Toward the Journey

Umbilical Mandala

Labyrinth Mandala

Breath of God Mandala - this one
reminded me of tossing a pebble into
the lake when I was a youngster
in south-central Minnesota.

Finger Painting Mandala - the most
fun one to do of this stage.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Misc Art Journal Pictures

January 1, 2013
January 2, 2013
January 3, 2013

January 5, 2013

January 6, 2013

January 12, 2013
February 16, 2013

March 24, 2013

February 2013

January 2013
August 2012
September 2012

As you can see, I love working with collage the most. In general, you can say I do mixed media.

No matter, I really love messing around in my art journals.  I don't dip in on a regular basis, but they have been a very valuable way to soothe me when I get to feeling unsettled.