Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Frugal Paint Tip

I needed to finish off the sides of my mosaic mandalas so I brought one of them to Home Depot and had them match up the paint with my thin-set. I bought the color sample and it only cost me $2.99. What a deal!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mosaic Mandala 4

I am alive! My body is healthy, vibrant and full of life. I love life!

I find this mandala delicious. When I finished it I couldn't stop going back into the room to look at it as it dried. I loved it so. It's funny because I'm not a big fan of green so I was surprised at how much I liked it.

The materials used here are Italian smalti, glass gems, metallic vitreous tiles, millefiori, and 24k gold tiles. Yes, I used gold. I know you can't see it because I actually put them in upside down. The cool thing about the gold is that it is placed on top of this beautiful aqua glass and when used upside down the gold shimmers through the glass and creates a brilliant color. You can see it between the glass gems.

I'm having so much fun with these!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mosaic Mandala 3

I embrace nature and ground myself. I spend time just being among the trees, the grasses, the flowers, the birds, and the animals.

This mandala is made with matte porcelain tiles. They are earthy and seemed to fit the affirmation perfectly. There are several shades of green and brown to go along with the stones.

This is a bit of a departure from the vibrant colors and sparkling glass I used in the previous mandalas. My boys really like this one. I guess it might be considered more masculine. I find it comforting and simple.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Staying in the Present

Today is my son Cody's last day of high school. He is graduating on Saturday. I can't believe the day is here. You know you're old when you start saying things like this. Oh well, older and wiser I like to think.

Last week I had a bit of a meltdown. I started sending my daily gratitude list to my friend Carrie and before I knew it I was crying and then sobbing. I was longing for the days when he was his cute little self all chubby and loving. Running after me looking for me to pick him up and hug and kiss him. These days I am running after him trying to get him to LET me hug and kiss him.

Of course I know that this is all in perfect order. He is doing what he is supposed to be doing. He is turning into a man. I am happy about that and I am excited to see what life has in store for him. He is quite a charmer and as I like to tell him he has a horse shoe planted up his ass so I am sure it will be interesting.

For all of you moms who still have little kids at home, go now and cuddle with your babies. Shower them with hugs and kisses and tickle their little necks. Smell their sweet scent and see their eyes light up when they see you. Enjoy every moment you can, even the tough ones because I promise you, there will come a day when you will be wondering where the time went, how it went so fast and where your sweet little baby went. Such is the nature of life.

For those of you moms who are like me, watching your beloved child grow up and move on, I send you my love. I wish for you to be in the moment and enjoying each second just as it is, not for what it once was. I wish for you the strength and the courage to set them free and for the ability to keep them close to your heart at the same time. I wish for you a fresh beginning right where you are right now filled with loving memories from the past and the possibility to create new ones.

If my desire to say in the present moment wasn't strong enough, Cody just came in and told me he was voted all conference on his baseball team! Now that's a great memory being made right now. I'm so proud of him.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mosaic Mandala 2

I live in the flow of the Universe. I trust that everything comes to me for my greatest good.

Here is my second mandala I made. It evokes the ocean with the blue tiles and the seashells. The materials used are iridescent vitreous tiles, stained glass, painted glass tiles, glass gems and seashells.

I find it so fascinating how the mood of the mandala follows along with the message of the affirmation. I'm having so much fun. Stay tuned for more!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Healing Mosaic Mandalas

soul art mosaic body map
I am still exploring and learning from my Mosaic Soul Art. It is such a difficult thing to put into words. I can tell you that the intention for this piece had to do with my physical body and allowing it to heal and be at its optimum health.

As I stood back and looked at it I had this feeling that the amorphous shapes were not healthy. They felt to me like little monsters floating around. It's funny because even trying to write it I can't quite articulate it and "monsters floating around" doesn't really express the feeling I got but it is simple and will suffice.

Anyway, there were these small mandalas that were peppered around the piece and I felt like these were my little soldiers going off to battle. They were the good guys!

I had this overwhelming urge to make more of them. I have a TON of 6x6 squares of MDF that I cut for another project and never used. I knew they would be perfect.

I grabbed one and wrote this:

I take back my power! My body is under my control and I choose health!

Then I spread some thin-set over the affirmation and began creating.

I put one of my river stones that I decorated in the center. From there I used some red and orange smalti (Italian glass) and some thinner tiles that I put on their sides for texture. I added some millifiore, some red mirror and some 24k gold tiles. Viola, my first healing mosaic mandala.

I love it! It felt so good to make and I could feel the power in it. I couldn't stop there. I kept making them and making them, each with their own positive affirmation.

I only wish photography did mosaics justice. You can't appreciate the beauty of the materials. The red mirror shows up flat in the photo but in person it reflects the light so beautifully as does the scrumptious gold tiles. Can you tell I love it?!

I will show you more of them next week. I love them all so much so I want to share them with you. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Defining Success

I was watching Oprah yesterday. It was the show with Ralph Lauren. What an interesting man with an interesting story. The thing about him that really struck me was how much of a family man he is. Here is a man that runs a billion dollar empire, who takes great pride in making the best and doing the best in his company yet he still managed to be home for dinner and play with his children on the weekends. You could feel the love and respect his family had for him.

In stark contrast one of my favorite blogging artists recently wrote a post about how difficult it is to be an artist and to be successful at it. The long hours 7 days a week with no vacations, the obligations, the deadlines, the rushing, and the pressure were all given as examples of this.

One of the things I believe in when it comes to being a holistic health coach is that food is important but oftentimes it becomes secondary and the other areas of life are the primary foods. We are fed by the quality of our lives. The relationships, the environment we live in, our careers, our spirituality, etc. When those things are going well food is of less importance.

When we are out of balance oftentimes we turn to food to fill us up. We reach for the sugary treats, caffeine, and salty treats. When our lives are filled with passion, excitement, and love we can forget to eat...that's secondary food.

When I work with my clients I don't just tell them how to eat (in fact, I don't tell them at all but that's a whole other post), I look deeper and help them to find balance, to find passion, to love themselves and to put themselves on their priority list. In the beginning they resist. "How will everything get done?" they ask or "I couldn't possible do that!" they tell me. I push them just a tiny bit out of their comfort zone and they begin to get it. They feel different, they're happier and more fulfilled.

When looking at your career, I guess the question you have to ask yourself is, "How do you define success?" Is success simply how much money you make, how much power you have, or how well known you are? Or is it that you are living a life that brings you joy, that fills you up, that is balanced with family, friends, career, health, AND financial security?

There will be people that say it can't be done. You can't have it all and I say don't listen! I know people who have done it. I've seen how they structure their lives, how they prioritize, how they stay connected to their spirit and still manage to be successful. Are they as successful as Ralph Lauren? No, but Ralph Lauren is and he seems to have it figured out.

So I ask you, what is your definition of success and where are you on your path to finding it?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mosaic Soul Art

What an amazing experience I had creating this piece of Soul Art. I wasn't prepared for the twists and turns that would occur when I allowed myself to enter a place of trust and flow.

This piece is 4 foot by 4 foot. I did it on a piece of wood. I wasn't planning on doing that but I was in the home improvement store and I just had to head over to the wood department and lo and behold I walked out with some wood.

I had my husband trace my body in the fetal positions. I THOUGHT I was going to do some kind of plaster work on it but when I went down into my basement to find some tools to use I came across my HUGE stash of mosaic supplies I've been holding onto for years.

I was overcome with all of it and suddenly KNEW that I had to create a mosaic.

In the past when I created a mosaic I would be painstakingly precise. Every cut was perfect, every groutline evenly spaced. I would lay everything out before gluing down a piece to prevent making a mistake. I longed to be spontaneous but I didn't know how.

That all changed with this piece. I spread the thin-set down onto the board and just started plopping things in. I didn't know what I was creating or how it was going to look and I didn't care. It was so freeing and I felt like I could fly.

The materials I used were bits and pieces that I've carried throughout my life. They were all a little part of me.

There are seashells my family collected in Florida,

stones from Michigan,

glass I carried back from Italy,

and things I always loved that I was too afraid to use because I loved them so.

I even had some gold tiles I brought back from Italy that were so expensive I didn't want to use them.

Crazy, I know.

I let loose and just did it. I kept spreading and placing materials with no real regard for the outcome. What an amazing feeling!

I played with texture and shine and just had so much fun being creative.

Everything seemed to be flowing...


and submerged in a perfect bed of concrete.

Organic shapes emerged and grew out of my soul.

It all seemed so perfect.

And when it was complete I lifted it up off the table and stood back to look at it and...

I didn't like what I saw.

How had it gone so wrong? How was it possible to feel so good making something and feel so bad looking at it in its totality?

Thank goodness there were tools to help me dive in and to learn from this piece. To get its messages and to connect it to the intention I set for it.

As I sat there and looked at...
talked to it...
and listened to it..

I learned

I grew

I expanded

I learned that even things that I don't like can teach me something...

maybe even more than the things I do like.

Even today as I talked about it with a friend of mine I learned more.

I went deeper.

I have a feeling there will be more to learn and room to grow with this piece in the future.

I am honored to have uncovered this tool to use my creativity to get in touch with my soul and to heal myself a little more each and every time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sneak Peak

Interesting things are happening around here.

Letting go.


Going with the flow.

You never know what can happen.

I can't wait to share this with you. It's been amazing!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quesadilla Night

Spring=baseball in my home. I have 3 boys that play travel baseball and 1 in high school. Needless to say I watch baseball just about every night of the week.

The boys get off the bus around 4:00 and many days we have to be out the door by 4:30. That doesn't leave a lot of time for dinner!

Many of the parents say baseball season is fast food season but I can't quite seem to bring myself to do that so I have to come up with some quick ideas that the kids can eat in the car if need be.

The thing is, this isn't just good for moms with kids. I started thinking about one of the hardest things for artists to do is pull themselves away from their art when they are inspired. The body needs to eat but who wants to stop and make something?

I like to make large portions up ahead of time so meals can be quick and easy. It's saved me countless times at lunch time when I am cruising on a project and my tummy starts to rumble.

That's right! Quesadillas. Fun, easy, and yummy.

I make up a large amount of taco meat. You can use beef or turkey. I don't like to use the prepackaged spice mixes because they are heavy on salt and God knows what other chemicals so I just make my own. It's so easy. I'll put my recipe down at the bottom of the post.

I also will saute up some veggies. I might use onions, red peppers (I'm not a fan of green peppers but those work too), zucchini or squash.

With those things prepared it takes just minutes to spread some organic re-fried beans on a tortilla, top with taco meat, veggies and cheese and heat them up on the stove top. Viola dinner in minutes. You can even make them up and store them in the refrigerator for later. I do that with my teenager who never seems to be home at dinner time. I suggest warming them in a toaster oven so they aren't soggy.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
makes enough for 1 lb of meat

1 Tbl minced onion
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika ( I used smoked...it's divine)
1/2 tsp oregano

Mix it up and add it to your browned meat and you're ready to go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Meet Felicia!

Flowing pink swirls, hot pink lips, flowering cheeks. It seems that Felicia is a manifestation of my feminine side.

I actually started her before working on my body map but then she was just a face. The girly girl started after my body map.

I completed her and took a picture to share and then I knew she needed some words. I had a whole bunch cut out so I just went through them until I came up with this.

Your body is your garden of Eden.

The whole idea of loving my body is something I've been working on for years and it has definitely been brought to the forefront with my work on my body map. It's really got me in touch with my body and dialoguing with it. Very powerful!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Embracing My Feminine Side

I'm not much of a girly girl. I never wear dresses, I don't wear much makeup and never wear perfume. I'm not surrounded by floral prints, anything pink, or frilly lace.

As I created my Body Map I began to notice that a lot of the images I was choosing were feminine. Women in glamorous dresses and flowing dresses, tons of flowers, jewelry, crowns, and swirls. The shape of my piece is even curvaceous and flowing giving it a feminine feel.

I realized that I am a bit off balance with my masculine and feminine energy.

One of my spirit actions was to buy myself some flowers for the house. You would think that would be easy but it was far from it. It seemed like such a frivolous purchase, almost a waste of money. Who needs flowers?

Apparently I do, well my soul does. So I went out and got myself some pretty flowers. I didn't even buy the cheap bouquet. I bought the ones that made me the happiest. I put them in a vase on my kitchen table and every time I walk by I smile at them and I breathe in their fragrance and I embrace my feminine side.

What kinds of things do you do to embrace your femininity? Help a tomboy out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grass Fed Beef

I am an omnivore. I have tried to be vegetarian and vegan. I even was a raw vegan for a while. It didn't work for me. When I began eating meat with vegetables I felt so good for the first time. I felt stable and grounded and it was fantastic.

One of the things I learned while studying to become a health coach is that no one diet works for everyone and I work with people to figure out what diet works for them. Some of my clients have been vegan, vegetarian, or paleo. The important thing is that they feel good.

As a meat eater I try to buy organic meat whenever possible. When I go to Costco I get the organic ground beef instead of the conventional and I look for the organic chickens for making my chicken stock. My eggs are always organic and free range.

With such a large family it can be costly to make these purchases and there are times when I just can't do it. I've been trying to get my husband to agree to making the big purchase of a half of a cow so we will have access to healthy, grass fed beef with no hormones or steroids.

The problem has been that we need to buy a freezer to store it and it is a large expense all at once so I have been slow to convince him.

Well no more my friends! My aunt gave us some of her beef that she gets from a local farm in Indiana. She has been to the farm and says it is immaculate and the farmer shares in her philosophy on pasture feeding and humane treatment of the animals.

I have to tell you that this beef was DELICIOUS! It tasted infinitely better than any beef I have purchased at any store, organic or not. My husband agreed. He started asking questions about it to figure out how we could do it.

The way it works is you purchase it in a large quantity i.e. a half a cow. It goes to the butcher and they package it up into various steaks, chops, roasts, and ground beef. The best part is that it ends up costing just under $3 a pound! How can we go wrong?

I think this is a great way to source healthy meat at an affordable price. You might not have access to an aunt that knows a farmer so check out Local Harvest. You can search farms in your area and it's a great resource for farmers markets and CSAs.

If buying such a large amount of meat is the issue, see if you can split it up with family or neighbors. My aunts splits it with her daughter and we might be splitting it with my mom. My husband also thought about getting a group of friends together to split it up. The options are endless.