First line… let’s go.

Recall:  I sit now surrounded by my manuscripts, references, inspiration and pressing fingertips to keys and (re)typing.  (Re)COMMITMENT!  This version will be from the pelvis.  First chakra shit. Yesterday, I posted: Start again. Put China markers and socks and threaded needles down. Write, bitch, write. There is no beginning.  I’ve tried to invent one but it…

Catacomb of Veils- Burning Man 2016 Reflections

Recall: Part 1: The Project Part 2: The Inspiration Part 3: The Team Part 4: The Scope Catacomb of Veils Burning Man 2016: Reflections Anna Thorsen (my daughter): “I’ve back been home in San Francisco from Burning Man for 24 hours and I’ve been trying to figure out how to summarize my first trip to the…

SOME PORTRAITS OF GRIEF.

For me, it is impossible to quantify grief.  To qualify it.  To define it.  It comes as a surprise. It comes as a wave.  It comes suddenly.  Or it comes on slow.  It can feel like nostalgia, anger, sadness, gratitude, drowning.  It can be triggered.  It can be low grade.  It can be reassuring.  It can…

You had the opportunity last month to end up not recognizing yourself.

This past weekend I have had a bit of that existential-post-trip-out-of-body-kind-of-weirdness-needing-to-contract feeling. [Thanks to my soul sister, Patti Henderson], I check in with the Power Path regularly (especially when I feel like this) as a tool/guide.  I am reminded of the July 2016 forecast: “Radical personal transformation is possible. Start with taking care of yourself, loving…

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 2: Travel

Recall: Preview Part 1: Preparation Part 2: Travel I have arrived!  (Excuse any formatting issues as I am using the WordPress app on my iPad!) Those of you that know me know that I am not used to travelling (aka NERVOUS WRECK) so a simple trip from Vancouver to wherever comes with its share of…

Of being age 21 at age 54. Being a menopausal millennial. Journal musings.

Have you ever sat so fully in the moment, teetering on a sharp blade, fully aware of being so profoundly present- wondering if you are living a parallel storyline or path not predicted, not destined, but accidentally claimed? The world is chaotic and painful, glorious and terrifying, and large- yet each of us spin around…

Journal exercise: self-care and self-compassion

Journal exercise: What does self-care and self-compassion mean to you?  How are they different?  How are they the same? — Inspired by conversations of late, I am intrigued by the differences between SELF-CARE and SELF-COMPASSION. — — In health care, self care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated. [source]…

In place of death there was light.

I am preparing myself to draw my mother’s “death mask” from the photo my son took after she passed on November 8, 2008. I have been preparing for awhile. I know the process will be an important and necessary one for me personally.  I think about it often.  It’s not about needing to work on something…

Messages from Angels…

I love getting messages from Angels. I just sat down for a spot of tea… and pulled out some creativity books to prep for a session around mission and vision statements. I discovered a tiny envelope inside one of the books containing a gift from one of my mom’s best friend, Jopie. I don’t recall…

The timeless/spaceless mid zone of creative process and chatting with the dead…

There is a beautiful part of my creative process that I cherish- the part that allows me to dialogue with my parents as if they are here in my kitchen, sharing coffee and offering advice and dialoguing on the cold case.  I had some magical moments the other day as I pulled out old binders…

Dear my body… a love letter.

  Dear my body, We shy away from the camera; we always have. We are like the Sasquatch– rare sightings on FB. I am not interested in what you look like.  I don’t want to see.  I don’t need to see. I prefer the role of the observer, not the observed. I love REALITY and…

… it goes deep, deep down into its burrow…

I was organizing my notebooks and loose papers and to-do lists at a coffee shop this morning.  I love to organize, but I am strangely disorganized.  Creative chaos is my middle name, but so are organizational skills. My mind runs a 1000 miles per hour, and so I write bits of quotes, make lists, tiny…

Stay tuned.

I have been quiet on the blog.  But I am here!  So many new wonderful unfolding happening. So why so quiet!?  Me, who usually shares everything!  Well, I reached the limit for storage space (visual blogs do that)- DOH!  I know I could have formatted my images smaller.  But I love the flow of the blogging…

“I am not young enough to know everything.”

54 today.  At times through crawling, at times through running, stumbling, skipping, dancing, rolling, falling, shaking, tripping, jumping, sliding, swinging, flying but mainly through one step at a time- I am still here. It is a beautiful day indeed. “I am not young enough to know everything.” – Oscar Wilde  

Getting out of my own way.

I was down and dark in January- been down and dark before- but this time I was dipping down a little too low.  I am blessed that I was able to communicate that to my nearest and dearest and have the difficult conversations and be met with love and support. I want to be here.  To…

Mom’s laugh- visual sound.

I originally posted this six years ago.  I just came across it again and my heart aches.  This year (on November 8) it will be 8 years since my mom passed away.  It can’t be possible.  I feel her with me always.  And I love that I feel safe to process our loving, deep, difficult…

The heart of it.

Practicing being heart-fully present and health-fully detached.  And checking in regularly with my own heart journey. Getting up a bit earlier.  Gentle time before facing each day.  Then practicing stepping into the day with OPEN boundless bountiful boundary-full HEART. And always reminding myself to nurture the heart of my passions and gifts. “I’m filled with burning passion to experience life…

Can we look at sad rants in our journals in a new way?

No doubt my collection of 300 + journals, sketchbooks and image-idea files are filled with more sad rants than with positive day-to-day activities. For many of us, our journals are a safe harbour in which to deposit racing thoughts- a place of privacy in which to address the darkness that we all struggle with from…

What makes me feel rich is…

A bowl of eggs in the fridge A bowl of fruit on the table A jar of random trinkets: Small details Watching approximately 40 herons playing in the wind outside my window.   Herons represent an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that an individual doesn’t need great…

The healing power of journaling and “making sense.”

To me, the journal is an essential vomitorium, a depository, a giant worry doll that contains it, holds it- allows for LETTING GO.  It allows me to make sense.  I find that journaling is different from keeping a diary. The difference between diary keeping and journaling (to me): A diary is a record of events, happenings,…

Ponderings on the “idea.”

As a creative, I find it as important to make time for input as well as make time for creative output. And allow myself some stupor time- doing nothing— doesn’t happen often.  Tried today.  To just stop for a bit, but instead I was distracted by my thoughts- thoughts that have been swirling in my head…

Sunday morning coffee shop musings.

Journal entry January 24, 2016 Write out goals –> no, write out PLANS. What is the difference between goals and plans and by writing goals as opposed to plans, am I not being BADASS enough? (Thank you, Cat Webb, for defining me as a badass and being a constant source of empowerment.  Check out Cat’s extraordinary…

Now her ghost wheels her barrow…

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through the streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O! Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O! She was a fishmonger and…

Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard….

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it. Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started. I have been collecting soul…

2015 reflections and 2016 intentions.

It’s that time of year to reflect and lay out intentions. What a journey 2015 was.  It was the year… [DELETE.] I had written several lengthy paragraphs reflecting on 2015 and laying out a detailed list of intentions for 2016.  I almost posted it last week.  Then again yesterday. But this morning I delete it….

I thought my achy body was grief but perhaps it is birth.

Journal entry December 26, 2015 The surprise Christmas release by LCD Soundsystem epitomizes my achy-boned, sentimental, full of love and nostalgia, time to transition Christmas. I both celebrate and honor and am in awe that this was the first Christmas without both my kids in the same room or even the same town. I want to…

What can I learn from the little mouse in the house… 

  T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. – Clement Clarke Moore Well, maybe a few mice were.  Since my beautiful cat, Violet, passed away, the mice have been showing up here and there. It makes sense in this 1929 building, a block from…

To live until we say good-bye. Tobey: Jan. 14, 2000-Dec. 23, 2015

December 23, 2015 3:52 PM As I write this, I await my brother to pick me up to take Tobey to the vet.  I awoke yesterday with a painful heart, knowing it was time to help Tobey let go. 6:36 PM I said goodbye to my sweet Tobey at 5:45 PM. So much love and…

Magical thinking and Christmas knickknacks.

Christmas is here- magical time of year.  One of my favorite and one of the hardest.  So true for many of us.  It’s a time of joy and connection, of reminders of loss and longing, of financial hardship and worry, a time of creating and sharing and giving… I love surrounding myself with old Christmas…

“Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…”

I revisited Brideshead Revisited last night and was struck, more deeply than usual, by Waugh’s opening line: “Here, at the age of 39, I began to be old…” Why did this opening line stand out?  I’ve been trying to find the right quote, the right words to help me reflect on my current dip into…

And so, the vulnerability shakes set in…

Hi. As you may know, I’ve been fully immersed in process in the last month or so- working on my book presentation for my agent to shop around, and I have LOVED the process, trying to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s.  Exciting to be at the next stage.  Ready to share.  So ready….

Reminder: the purpose of the design is to unsettle the bee…

I am about to embark on a very personal journey revisiting a time in my past I need to process in depths in order to fully move forward into the next chapter in my life.  I’ll share more about that later.  Until then, I will revisit an old post on the bee and its relationship…

A letter to my father, 3 years later, at our favorite table.

Dear Pappa, Sitting at our table at Lions Gate Hospital Cafeteria. — Three years later now… you died on October 25.  How can this be real?  You and Mamma seemingly immortal.  Yet- — I would love to break down- my heart feels too big for my chest cavity.  I want to curl inward. There was…

A certain preface this way comes. 

Writing for me often happens in stolen moments.  It is easy for me to plan time for and execute illustrations.  It is easy for me to plan for and to execute mind-maps as well as write down structural and technical details.  It is TOO easy for me to plan and execute and get lost in RESEARCH….

When grief is like a wave crashing on shore…

I attended an event last night at the Vancouver Public Library. I am so glad I went alone, for not only could I soak in the event itself (as I am passionate about this case), but I could really sit in my personal grief. This was the room I sat in with my Mom as…

Turning point: reflections on triggers. Part 2- (re)discovery

This week I have been exploring triggers in my life– their roles as fodder for creative work, their potential to help in self-development and their ability to create turning points. Recall: Part 1- archives Part 2 (RE)DISCOVERY As I mentioned in Part 1, a random journal entry may bring me to my knees. I was organizing my studio the other…

Turning point- reflections on triggers. Part 1: archives

Last New Year, my brother and I brought home all my journals and artwork from storage.  We recently brought home all the family photo albums and objects.  I love being the family archivist.  I love seeing the heirlooms showcased in my kids’ collections and in the extended family’s homes.  I love that the next generation…

Art journaling e-workshop 12-part course

I have created an in-depths arts journaling program and am offering it to you as an email course! I have been developing a little project for awhile now, inspired by my desires to combine my learned lessons from years of facilitating art sessions.  You will receive instructions and imagery to print out and color.  Fun, easy, in-depths!   The…

Owl wisdom

Taking a somewhat silent retreat today to regroup and prepare for transitions.  Picked up an old sweater (80% merino wool, 20% cashmere) and created these little one inch plus tall baby owls. Perfect for holding in the palm while figuring stuff out. I have always found that sewing and drawing owls is a powerful experience. Stay…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 7 of 7: Reviewing

I have been diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing…

Mindmap tutorial week Part 5 of 7: Enhancing

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting TODAY: PART 5 OF 7: Enhancing Last…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 4: Prioritizing, consolidating, connecting

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping TODAY: PART 4 OF 7: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting So once you have…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: the Big Vision TODAY: PART 3 OF 7: Stream of consciousness mapping In your journal start writing out…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 2 of 7: the Big Vision

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Tutorial so far: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Part 1: What is a mindmap? TODAY: PART 2 OF 7: The Big Vision You may recall my journey with mindmaps using:   Right-brain entrepreneur Jennifer Lee…

Mindmap Tutorial Week Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap?

I am diving into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! Recall: Introductory blog post- mindmap tutorial week Today: Part 1 of 7: What is a mindmap? Mindmaps (or mind maps– but I prefer the one word version) are essentially visual diagrams. Wikipedia definition: A mind…

Mindmap tutorial week on the blog!

Getting ready to dive into a much-needed new mindmap this week, so I thought I’d create a tutorial during my process! What to expect: Part 1: What is a mindmap? Part 2: The big vision Part 3: Stream of consciousness mapping Part 4: Prioritizing/consolidating/connecting Part 5: Enhancing Part 6: Addressing Part 7: Reviewing What you…

Lilla My #fanart custom made composition books. 

I love customizing composition books.  Prepping a new one for today. I am particularly in love with this one so I’m making this version available to you!  Lilla My fan art custom made composition books: Ready to contain your hopes, wishes, dreams, ramblings, musings, to-do’s, purges, goals etc. A safe place to vent as you…

Dear future me… Empowering exercise designed by @peterbreeze

I was so honored to take part in a taste-test workshop last Saturday designed and facilitated by Peter Breeze (co-facilitated by Odin in Germany. Participants included Kany, Annalise and Mariel). Very special day! I’ve been developing a workshop for over a year and today I finally shared my ideas and exercises with these special people….

Pay attention to the birds: Part 6- Starling

Ah, the birds— and their delightful ways— this time of year in particular.  I just LOVE watching them! And I love when I feel something extra special in a particular moment that makes me stop and pay attention. The other day, I observed a flock of starlings.  I know many people call them rats, greasy…

“Dear me…” Write a letter to your younger self.

What would you write to younger you today? There is so much I want to write to that little anxious girl.  I haven’t written my letter yet, but it will come.  For now, I give that little girl a knowing nod and whisper- you are perfect as you are. We have outgrown our container and…

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 4: Frida and her Magic Cone of Truth

I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo. — For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I…

Slingshot: limbo anticipation? #journal #ramblings

I’ve been mulling over the slingshot image for a few days now. I have been recognizing a darkness and a certain kind of fatigue in the air of late. In many in my circle. Certainly in me. I feel like I am being pulled backward, downwards– just when I thought I had it all figured…

Flu poem. 

Walking my old dog in Stanley Park today oh so slowly.  My body brutalized by flu. Every joint aching.  My head pounding with a migraine.  Can there be creativity in that?  If I can stay truly present- not deny it or be annoyed by it- what words come out?  Where does my mind go if…

ART SALE: One-of-a-kind journals 

One-of-a-kind journals with hand-drawn, embroidered covers containing  12 of my original journaling exercises — — — I have been developing a little project for awhile now, inspired by my desires to: • combine my learned lessons from years of facilitating art sessions • reach more people that doesn’t require arranging in-person workshops. But I want to do it in…

Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings

   Little Brown Mouse Journal Ramblings I have been told in the past that I think TOO BIG.  But I have come to realize, I may not be dreaming BIG ENOUGH. * why, oh why do I question [everything]? * *so embarrassed * I have been too timid, too small, too local, too shy… I…

Pay attention to the signs. Badger. #alignment

    The image of the badger has been playing in my mind the past few weeks.  I really have no idea why.   But in the spirit of trusting the signs, I play along. Badger symbolism:  (SOURCE) The badger symbolizes aggressiveness, reliance, self-expression, holding ones own, link to the underworld and the magic and…

What happens when you open yourself up? #journal #truth

April 28, 2015 What happens when you open yourself up and share some painful truths?  Say that you are with a (safe) person and the door opens to have the conversation. What happens first? The heart beats a little faster. And your breath gets more rapid and shallow. Perhaps the bile rises a bit in…

Bio-math

From 1 over 2 To 1 over 2 plus 1 over 2 To make one me Within she– To me and she and we And that one me– so she. Until he… But Not 1 + 1 = 2 Nor me + he + she = we No… he + she equals less of me….

Self-imposed exile- let it go, let it go.o

Curled up in my chair in self-imposed exile.  Wrapped in old knits. Loving less interaction. Loving not working on my to-do’s. Happy to be doing less. Should I worry and fret?  Feel guilty? No.  Nah. Let it go. Let it all go. So fatigued- let it go. Heavy grief dreams these days- let them go. Dreamt about…