Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Vision Plan Cards

Many of us who identify as creative are challenged when it comes to the business side of things! And even zoning in on what we have to offer can be a challenge - so many ideas! So many possibilities!! 

Thoughout Color of Woman and the other Intentional Creativity® trainings, we are offered tips and tools to help fine tune our vision, and keep us on track. One of the recent offerings for both students and course graduates was Dancing Entrepreneur, which was offed as either a weekend course, or a deeper 5 week dive. 
Vision cards
I participated I the longer journey, and enjoyed the depth of offerings, calls, and focus groups that emerged. Several of our teacher Shiloh's colleagues and advisors shared insights, and it was very rich.  In addition to creating a folded Vision Plan Book, we created a deck of 16 card Dancing Entrepreneur deck, as action prompts for our next 'Dance Move.' We wrote short prompts or Dares on the back, and Shiloh suggested drawing one daily.
Vision Cards
I loved seeing the other students' work, and was especially drawn to a visual organization system Karen Dawn's created, and to how she incorporated the cards. Karen has developed a visual planning wall that helps her stay organized and focused, and I'm excited to participate in her 6 week course. 

Our next assignment is to create a Vision Board for our own planning wall. I enjoyed Karen's video with tips on creating one. I've done and taught several over the years, it feels timely to do one focused on current energies! 

I'm thinking of creating some calendar pages for my wall, like I've done in journals. One of Karen's inspirations for her wall was realizing how many great ideas were tucked away in her journals, and "out of sight, out of mind!" (Does that happen to you, too?)
Calendar spread
One of the Creative Business planning projects we did in CoW was to paint our Biz-Muse - she's a whimsical muse, with a winged eye, for seeing behind the ordinary, and intentions collaged on strips of paper.
Next up - collage time!!  
I used an 11×15" sheet of watercolorpaper for the backing, and images and words from several magazines for the board. The mountains are The Three Sisters, which I grew up with in Central Oregon.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Catching Dreams

It's always fun to experiment with the creative process, and see what emerges. This week there's a thread of unrest, so I find painting prayer dots a soothing balance. With that in mind, I was curious when I saw my friend Gisela's tutorial video on painting a dream catcher in a journal! 

My grandkids had out the box of craft paint, as they had been decorating their trash baskets lids, and I had one of my composition book journals with me. These are great places for creative play, it doesn't have to be perfect! It was a lovely ready to sit at their picnic table in the sun and paint! 
I stared with several glides for the background, and splattered stars - seeding my dreams. One role of a dream catcher is to capture the bad dreams so they don't trouble us - so happy to do that right now! 
Night sky with stars
The next step is to paint the hoop, either free hand, or using a container as a template, and then begin to fill in the pattern - 
Dream Catcher - basic lines
As we begin to fill in the web, we are invited to consider what we are grateful for - dreams that have already manifest - family, basics: food and shelter, health ... 
Dreams and prayer dots
After filling in the web of lines, and adding some color while reflecting in gratitude, we painted feathers for the dreams we wish to bring in - continued well being, time/resources for creativity, safety, ... While engaged in the creative process, our whole brain lights up, and insights flow - this is a good time to lightly play attention, and jot down ideas! 

In our community, we often "Pray in dots," and I had three friends in mind as I painted dots around the hoop and feathers, I had three friends in mind with needs for healing and comfort. 
After I came home (across town) I pulled out a board book juju journal I began with Cat Caracelo and her 12 Days of Solstice group last December. I joined two matching books with black art paper as a hinge - this center spread was the foundation for the dream catcher page.
Hopes and Dreams
I followed the same process with dark paint, this time my Golden Fluid acrylics, then slayer stars, hip, web and adornments. The comet of new wisdom, Neowise, is seeding new directions, the feather brings insights, and the goddess stone helps ground and center. I used my water pitcher as a template for the hoop, and painted prayer dots around the edges. 
This version echos the web pattern of the dream catchers I've made with supple sticks and linen imitation sinue. 

One of the Dream Seeds is to do a series of these mini classes with a theme of Good Medicine - we've offered several in our bimonthly Red Thread Circles - What's in your Basket? Medicine Wheel - revisiting the color wheel and Medicine Black via the lens of the four direction wheel - and Prayer Flags.
Medicine Wheel
Happy Paint Party Friday

Monday, June 8, 2020


Since my own journey through Color of Woman teacher training, I've had the pleasure of collaborating with several SiStars in our community! 

The very first collaboration was at the beginning of my CoW journey, June, 2015! Graduate Lora Pirtle invited me to join the PNW MeetUp group, and post my offerings there. When I asked about auditing her upcoming 'Mystical Mermaids' class, she replied, "no, teach it with me!"
Here are the class photos - I played harp during the visioning, and she'd prompt me to show them what's next throughout the afternoon. (Yikes!!)
Serena of the 7 Seas
The next collaboration was as I was gearing up to teach my 13 step class, Dancing with the Muse. My friend Sepha, who'd been teaching Paint Nite for several years, gave me tips for teaching in a carpeted room without running water (the chapel at my church!) and then attended! 
She asked great "beginner" questions that helped keep me on track, and helped with set up!! (The link has some of her excellent tips!) That fall, Sepha enrolled in CoW '16, and we co-facilitated many monthly circles and periodic classes over the next several years. 
Sepha, Nadya & Shiloh Sophia - 2016
With this Spring's turn toward offering circles and class virtually, I decided to invite SiStars to co-facilitate my monthly Red Thread circles, and added a second circle each month. It's exciting to team with gals who live over an hour away, and can't easily attend our in-person circles, and to benefit from their different passions and soul work.

In May Linda Allen, who is a graduate of both Red Thread Guide and Color of Woman courses, and is finishing Catt Geller's Cosmic Smashbook course, offered "What's in your Basket?" (during this time). Linda has a strong background in crafts, and we've both woven baskets, so she she suggested a 3-D approach! 
Morning's basket, leather, twine
In April, I teamed with EFT (tapping) practitioner and CoW graduate Sherry Rueger Banaka, with a Metacognative process in resilience and short tapping sequence. Gals from her tapping community joined us from England and British Columbia! Our second June circle will be with Tina Green, who recently moved to Washington State.

One of the benefits of collaboration is that wider reach, connecting with beloveds from afar and from different circles, all connected by the Red Thread. Yesterday, our attendees included 2 other IC graduates, and two students - one in CoW 2020, one in RT Guide! Each is interested in co-facilitating a circle.

Whatever the field, collaborations invite us to think outside the box:
  • Who has wisdom and skills that complement yours?
  • Might beathwork or movement be a good addition? 
  • Can someone help with set up in exchange for attendance?
  • Does a friend know a craft or skill you'ld like to learn? 
  • And who is responsible for what? (Spreading the word, registration, teachings...)
My circles are currently complimentary, but when charging for events, it's important to be clear about the logistics of how expenses and income from an event will be split.

One of the silver Linings during this time of social distancing is the opportunity for unexpected collaborations!!

Friday, May 29, 2020

What's in your Basket?

It's so fun to be collaborating with my Red Thread SiStars on virtual circles! Linda is graduate of both the Red Thread Guide and Color Of Woman, and competing the Cosmic Smashbook certification course! She's also a super craftswoman, and basket maker. 

Our inquiry for yesterday's circle was "What tools do we need in our baskets now?"  With choices on how to create our baskets using simple materials! Linda and I've both made pineneedle baskets, and brought one to share on our call! 
Pineneedle basket
Several women from Oregon joined our call, plus 3 from E Canada! As usual, the finished pieces varied in materials, shape, colors and contents. I tore strips from a privacy envelope, colored with Inktense pencils them wove the strips, and glued then to another envelope to make a pocket. One gal wove silk strips, others added feathers or bark ...
Nadya's basket, Red Thread and vision plan cards

Linda's basket and collage
Our next circles will be June 11 & 25th, at 1 PDT. 
The link will be on the MeetUp announcement. I look forward to more collaborations with my IC SiStars. 
Margie's basket
What tools do you need at this time?
Jana's basket - handpainted silk strips 

Enjoy creating - and happy Paint Party Friday!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Musing Around the Medicine Wheel

Everything inside us is held in a web of stories. When we create around stories, we discover juicy new chapters, can begin to hear with new ears, see with new eyes. The creative process engages both sides of the brain, and gives us new access and clarity going forward. Often we discover new paths around old obstacles. 

Over the last five years, I've led circles and taught classes from this perspective of bringing Intention to the creative process, since the reintroduction to my Muse of creativity. I've designed a series of classes around the Compass that can be taken in series, or stand alone. Many of these were first offered at my friend Margot's beautiful rural retreat outside Corvallis. 

Each turn of the wheel offers opportunity to explore different aspects of ourselves, and navigate the terrain of becoming more true to who we are. 

Spring is a potent time as Mama Gaia invites us to stretch out limbs and reawaken. This is the perfect time to listen for her call and tune into fresh energy. The urge is to plant and nurture new life and ideas. East, sunrise, element of air.
She Changes - 2018
Muses light fuses and nudge us to grow. In summer, our creative juices are flowing, and our days are often action packed. The world needs every Wonder Woman to recognize and engage her own Supper Powers, Muse inspired creativi-tea can be the perfect way to harness them! South, midday, element of fire.
Wonder Woman - 2019
In the fall, our Harvest Queen beckons us to go within and discover our inner Queen's wisdom ways. A true Queen is not a diva, or someone who 'rules' over another. She is privy to her own heart centred wisdom, and a steward of resources for the people. West, sunset, element of water
(The Harvest Queen class demo is a good example of how far we get in a one day class.)

Queen's Harvest - 2019 
As days lengthen and winter sets in, we appreciate each bright day, and are reminded to Shine our own light more brightly. This is a time of contemplation and renewal, of remembering that, like snowflakes, we are each unique and perfect in our own way. North, night, element of Earth. 
(Snow Queen also began as a class demo - this post shows her in both phases!)
Snow Queen - 2017
I invite you to join me in this journey around the Medicine Wheel, deepening with the teaching of each direction, and into your own true essence. Classes include instruction, time for journaling, group sharing, and chocolate!! 
Harvest Queen, fall 2019
Happy Paint Party Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Prayer Flags RT Circle

In the mid 80s, I joined our local calligraphy Guild to attend a couple of workshops at the nearby Mount Angel Abbey, which has a beautiful collection of illuminated manuscripts. One of class was on a Japanese practice of writing poems on paper, creating prayer flags to hang on trees. We cut bookmark size strips from brown paper bags, and wrote simple poems (often haiku) on them, folded over the top, punched a hole, and used string to tie them on branches. "Hanging poems on Cherry Branches" illustrates this tradition.
Ishikawa Toyonobu
As ephemeral as these paper flags seem, they last for months, even in our rainy Western Oregon climate. 
Over the years, I've created tobacco ties to be hung in sweat lodges, using cotton cloth in primary colors and a pinch of tobacco, and hung Tibetan prayer flags, which have been used for over 2000 years in Tibet. That tradition goes back to the indigenous Bon, and "coupled with the natural energy of the wind, quietly harmonize the environment, impartially increasing harmony and good fortune among all living beings. ...They used colours symbolizing the five elements, blue for sky, white for air or clouds, red for fire, green for water and yellow for earth."  Tibet Travel

Brown paper Prayer Flags
One year, our pastor invited a Buddhist monk to speak on the prayer flag tradition. After his talk, we gathered around tables to write a favorite passage from Scripture or a poem on fabric squares prepared by our sewing group, the Sew and Sews. I chose a phrase from a Cherokee blessing, and wrote it in that language. The flags were threaded onto cords, and hung in our long hallway for several months.
Reiki Principle prayer flags and alt
When I attended my Color of Woman Graduation in 2015, one of the 2 hour circles offered by a graduate was on creating prayer flags on watercolor paper. After the introduction, we chose symbols to paint on one side of a 5x6" piece of watercolor paper, punched two holes at the top of each, and strung them on pretty ribbon to hang inside. 

I enjoy inviting my community to create prayer flags of their own, in my Red Thread circles and Red Thread Reiki 1 classes. The Reiki Principles offer inspiration for Reiki Flags. We use watercolor paper from a pad, or brown paper for outside flags. 
The possibilities are endless, one of my Reiki Master friends invited his clients to write prayer requests on strips of cloth, which he then hung on his fence! 
  • Choose your materials, paper or cloth, fear or cut into shape and size of your choice
  • A variety of markers, watercolor pencils and paint, calligraphy pens 
  • Fold the top of cloth squares, and stitch channels for cord or string, and use fabric pens
  • Take a moment to center, and focus on your prayer or gratitude
  • Choose a symbol to picture your prayer, a drop falling into a pool for calm, a rainbow for hope, a tree for endurance, a butterfly for transformation ...
  • Or Write a three line haiku using the formula: 5, 7, 5 syllables 
  • Put your image or poem in the paper
  • Punch a hole (or two of it's wider) for a string or ribbon (you can also staple it!) And thread through
  • Tie to a tree branch, or string several flags and hang on a wall or porch.
This week, we brought making prayer flags to our Red Thread community via a Zoom call. As always, I was intrigued by the variety of flags created during our time together! On cloth, paper, barbers from the local dollar store, and in a smash journal! This was our second circle via zoom, answering the need for virtual connection. 

May these flags indeed, harmonize the environment, and bring peace to all living beings! 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Magic in vessels

During this spring of our time as Artists in Residence, our Intentional Creativity® teacher Shiloh and her husband Jonathan decided to offer their transformational APOTHECARY (online) class over the month of April. This is my third time in the workshop, which is designed to transform tragedies to remedies through painting journaling, and my second round as one of the online support team. I'll be certified to offer Aircraft for my community at the conclusion of this course.

Posts on my paintings and process during the First year and here, second year and here
APOTHECARY - Compass and biophotons
This class was inspired by Jonathan's own journey, finding healing from PTSD through creativity, moving from "Distress ... to Discomfort."  They offered APOTHECARY Medicine Painting as an in person workshop in the states and Australia before translating it into an online offering. 

  • Shiloh and Jonathan encourage participants to choose just a few old stories which block their lives now, and not dwell on the pain, but move toward the translation to healing.
  • The emphasis is on process, rather than finished product (Though that is usually satisfying as well!) 
  • Intentional Creativity® is an approach to creating "which yeilds greater access to who we are now, who we are becoming, and what is possible for us in our unfolding future."
  • Utilising our inherent creativity offers a wonderful opportunity for clearing old baggage and facilitates lasting change.
Participants in this course are encouraged to have their own support system, and if working with a therapist, to keep them in the loop! Decades ago, my massage mentor  Jeanne bespoke working through layers, a few at a time, which is more manageable with both physical and emotional pains. 
Flower allies
This year we used the videos filmed in 2019, supported throughout each week by a team of Guild members who took Apothecary previously, and  interacting during 4 Zoom calls. The paintings this year are so rich, and participants are invited to share insights and breakthroughs in our private online group and on the calls.

Yesterday, my kitty Percy brought a snake inside - 
I scolded him, and took it back outside - and decided it was one of my vessels!  ... During our legendary journey earlier in the year, we made Ally cards as a journaling exercise, and one of the animal totems was snake ... The medicine: "coilng around what is needed, letting go of what is ready to be released." 
(A dragon showed up on the canvas itself - which I'm in love with!) 
Legend 2020 - Raven's Beauty
Other vessels are a mortar and pestle, and Oracle cards for medicine teachings, and the pine needle basket a vessel for abundance of resources and financials.
The vessels are blocked in, ready for the remedies to bubble and shift...
I look forward to adding details and symbols, as the remedies evolve, and seeing my classmates' medicine emerging.

Happy Paint Party Friday!