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!