Category Archives: Random Thoughts & Contemplations

Mandala Monday – August

The month of August sort of signals the end of summer, which can be a bit depressing to realize, but there are a lot of wonderful and beautiful things about the month of August…

For one, I love all of the gorgeous late summer flowers that are blooming everywhere – sunflowers, lilies, phlox (whose scent is completely intoxicating here at the moment, by the way), coneflowers, liatris, and black-eyed susan, just to name a few.  And it’s also when my vegetable garden starts kicking out lots of yummy things – for example, my zucchini (as you may have seen in my post the other day), and also beans, jalapeno peppers, and the first of my cucumbers are just about ready to pick.  August is a very rewarding time in the garden.  😊

For two – it’s my birthday month, and I tend to celebrate it all month long, which is always fun, and this year is no exception – I’ve already started before the calendar has even turned to August by going to see the butterfly exhibit at my local zoo and conservatory with my daughter and granddaughter last week.  And I also went to the salon this past weekend to get my hair color freshened up and to get a bit of pampering before my birthday.  My stylist, who is also a good friend of mine, gave me an early birthday present – a gorgeous book about lavender that had belonged to her late mother, such a beautiful and meaningful gift.  I browsed through it while my hair was processing and it was the perfect reading material to enhance my pampering session.  Ah lavender… 💜

For three – August is when the Minnesota Renaissance Festival starts and that is something I love going to each year.  I’m looking forward to going with my new bionic knees this year (even though they are still paining me a bit), hopefully I’ll have an easier time walking around and enjoying all of the festivities there.  I have a new project that I’m working on for my costume this year too – a staff/walking stick that I hope to embellish to make it look more magical.  Yeah, I know that’s totally nerdy, but I don’t care, I chose long ago to embrace my inner nerd.  🙃

Another fun thing that is happening this particular August is a solar eclipse, and I plan on going on a little road trip with a good friend of mine to see it.  We haven’t worked out all the details yet, but we are thinking of making a week of it.  She is bringing her camper, so we plan to camp somewhere that is nearby one of the areas of totality of the eclipse.  I haven’t been camping in ages, so I’m a little apprehensive about that part of it.  But as you all know – I LOVE being out in nature, so that will be the wonderful part of it.  Hopefully we have good weather and clear skies during the eclipse, so we can get the full effect and awe factor.  I love the sky and all things astronomical!  Speaking of astronomical events, August also is the time of the Perseid meteor shower, and who doesn’t love shooting stars?!  🌠

So even though August signals the end of summer and the weather sometimes gets too hot and humid, there are lots of things to look forward to and enjoy about August as well.  Plus, it does mean that fall is just around the corner, and fall is my favorite!  🍁🍂

But I’m rambling and this post is supposed to be about my mandalas haha!  So let me get to sharing a few of the ones I’ve painted recently…

 

This one was partly inspired by my trumpet vine that I have growing up the fence on my patio where I paint.  These colors speak August to me…

So warm and summery!  ☀️

And this one, although not inspired by my phlox, looks lovely pictured with them…

I painted this tile a bit differently.  I wanted the center design to stand out more prominently, but I also didn’t want to leave the corners plain, so rather than continue around the center design, I improvised and painted the corners separately instead.  It’s pretty, but I’m not sure how I feel about it – the corners look a little too separated from the center, what do you think?

 

This one also speaks August to me, although not necessarily for the same reasons as the first one, it reminds me of peridot, which is the birthstone for August…

It also reminds me a bit of clover leaves, so I took a picture of it amidst the clover leaves in my yard…

That’s a whole lot of green!  ☘  This one is a good example of why I don’t always want to continue around the center design, because it takes away from it.  I snapped a few pictures of the progress of this mandala that will show what I mean…

See what I mean?  The finished piece just looks a little too busy or something and the center design gets a bit lost.  That’s why I made the corners like I did on the one pictured with the phlox.  But like I said, I’m not sure how I feel about that either hah!

I guess it’s just a continual learning process, right?  As is all of life…  🙃

 

Happy Monday and happy August 1st tomorrow.  I wish you many blessings in the coming week and in month ahead…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

 

Music Monday – Summer Breeze

 

Sheltered from the blazing sun

I lay daydreaming

under a lush canopy of green

soothed by the caress of the warm summer breeze

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2017

 

 

🎶”Summer breeze makes me feel fine…”🎶

 

 

This song is filled with nostalgia for me, as it reminds me of the summers of my childhood.  Funny how the phrase “summer breeze” brings it to mind all these years later…

 

May you have a warm, soothing, summer breeze blowing your way on this Monday…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

I thought the circular patterns of rust underneath the peeling paint on an electrical pylon I came across the other day was quite unusual, so I stopped to snap a photo of it.  Convenient that the weekly photo challenge this week is unusual, so I can share the unusualness with all of you.  😉

Really though… why is the rust in circular patterns?

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

WPC:  Unusual

Music Monday – Hold Back the River

 

Another scene from a bike ride that brings song lyrics to mind.  And a certain someone…

Hold back the river…

 

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Madness

 

Circular patterns

painted in pretty colors

helps clear the mind

quieting troubled thoughts

bringing order and calm

to the chaos within my heart

 

© Julie Rehnelt 2017

 

I recently experienced a painful heartbreak and have been having a pretty rough time of it here emotionally.  But also during this time, I have found painting mandalas to be quite therapeutic – it’s very focused and takes a lot of concentration, so it doesn’t leave much room in my mind for anything else.  It’s also meditative, so it’s soothing and clearing as well.

At the end of May, I took a Mandala Rock Painting Class at a local art studio and learned how to paint mandalas on beach stones.  I wish I could say I enjoyed the class, but for various reasons (which I won’t make you listen to), I actually found it a bit frustrating.  However, I did learn a few techniques from the two wonderful gals who led the class, and I’ve been painting mandalas nearly everyday since.

The following day after the class, I went out to hunt for suitable stones among the river rock landscaping rock that I have around the perimeter of my house.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any round stones, but I did collect a few that were somewhat round that I figured I could practice on, and off I went to the art supply store to purchase some paints and a few other necessities.

When I got home I painted this little oddball…

Don’t look too closely at it, it’s actually a bit of a mess, but it’s much better than the turd one I painted in class – which is so bad, I’m not even going to show it to you.

Unfortunately, the next day was when my heartbreak occurred and I was so sad and stunned, I could barely function.  But for some strange reason I felt compelled to paint.  I had this strong urge to try and create something that somehow represented my feelings, and I painted this…

And although it may have heartbreak associated with it, it also has beautiful, meaningful things, and profound love associated with it, so I like how it turned out.  Even if my heart is blue…

From there, I’ve continued to be compelled to keep on creating more mandalas.  It’s been a fierce urge, to be honest, a sort of madness.  I neeeed to paint them, like my life (and sanity) depends on it.

But the trouble is, I can’t find any round stones to paint them on.  Ask my sister how badly I’ve been obsessing about finding round rocks.  It’s become a joke between us now.

I worked with the little rocks I had found around the house, but unsatisfied with their lack of circularness, I moved onto tiles.  Even though they’re square haha!   I had a few tiles left over from a remodeling project and got an idea in mind of how I could make them work.  And I painted these…

Don’t look too closely at them, they’re not painted very evenly.  Hey, I’m still learning!  It’s a lot harder than you think to paint dots of the same size and to space them evenly.  Especially when you don’t have a real steady hand.  The tile pictured at the top of this post was the 3rd tile I painted, and I’ve since painted 6 others, each progressively improving.

Would you like to see them all, or just the most recent one?  I guess if you don’t mind scrolling, I’ll just share them all.  More blue…

This one got way out of hand and crooked, but the pattern and colors are still pretty 🙂

I wish I had a better photo of this one, the colors got a bit glossed over by the lighting

This one took me the longest. All those dots around dots, around dots… it took me 4 or 5 hours to make.

This last one is the most recent tile I’ve painted, and it’s my favorite so far.  The photo doesn’t really show the full depth and color.  You can click on it to enlarge…

I really like the look and the idea of the tiles.  I might even use these (and any future ones I make) in some of my remodeling projects around the house – maybe as a back splash on the kitchen or bathroom counter, or around a window or mirror or something.  I was using one of them as a coaster the other day, and I even thought I could attach some type of ribbon or wire and just hang them on a wall as they are, the possibilities are endless.  🙂

But as much as I like the tiles, I still really wanted to find some round rocks to paint on.  Remembering the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, I took a day trip up there with my sister in hopes of finding some.  And in hopes of providing a bit of self care too – the North Shore of Lake Superior is one of my favorite places, being near the water is always very restorative and soothing to me.  ❤

These rocks aren’t exactly round either, but they all spoke to me and said they wanted to come home with me…

I love rocks, and I don’t really even want to paint on these.  They’re lovely just the way they are…

But I have painted on a several of them, and I have to say, I enjoy the feel of painting on rocks better than on the tiles.  If only I could find some round ones.

 This one reminds me of the sun…

And this one reminds me of an Easter egg…

This one I made into the shape of a heart after writing my last post

And this is the most recent rock I’ve painted.  It was a challenge on this elongated shaped rock…

 

I have no idea where I’m going with this mandala thing, but for now it feels good, so I’m gonna keep at it.  It feels like it’s helping me work something out within myself – while also creating something beautiful outwardly.

That’s all I got for now.  Thanks for letting me share my mandala madness.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I’m off to check on my garden (which is doing splendidly this year) and then I’m heading to Minnehaha Falls for the day for a picnic and a free Bluegrass concert.

 

“I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.”  

~ Carl Jung

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Music Monday – Yellow

 

I came across a massive field of dandelions on my bike ride the other day and just had to hop off my bicycle to try and capture a piece of the magical scene with my phone, it was like looking out at a sea of pure sunshine.  While I was looking out at it I heard a line from Coldplay’s song “Yellow” playing in my head…

“And it was all yellow”

 

Except when against the blue of the sky…

How can anyone hate dandelions?  They’re like bright little stars shining in a field of green and “Look how they shine for you.”

 

I like the sound of the studio version of this song better, but listening to any music in concert is always fun, and this one is “all yellow”  😉

 

May bright things shine for you this week…

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Brain Surgery

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately as to what career path I should take, and last night I had a dream that I was performing brain surgery.  Apparently, I had become a neurosurgeon?   But I had no clue what I was doing and faked my way through the whole thing.  It felt so wrong.  I was so happy and relieved afterward that the guy was okay that I held his face in my hands and cried.  Even though it all turned out okay, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no future for me in neurosurgery.

Other things happened in the dream too that give me cause to ponder and reflect on, but what I come away with in the end, is that I should do something that feels authentic to me.  Something that I am equipped for and gifted at – unlike brain surgery.  There’s a no-brainer.   😉

Ever since my divorce back in 2011, I’ve been wondering what I should do with my life.  Thankfully, I’ve had an income from my divorce settlement, so I’ve been able to take the time to try and figure that out.  But the interesting thing is…  that while I’ve been wondering what I should do with my life, I’ve realized that I’ve already been doing it all along.  Living each day, being open, listening.  And I’m so grateful for all of the experiences that I’ve had over these past 6 years – even the sad ones, because I’ve grown so much through it all.  But the time is nearing that my settlement will go down to an amount that is no longer sufficient to support me financially, so I will need to find a job.  It’s exciting and daunting at the same time, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do.  What to do, what to do?  I might need brain surgery after thinking so hard trying to figure it out.

A few of you know, but I haven’t shared here publicly yet about the total knee replacement surgery I underwent this past September.  The recovery has been really slow, gosh what an ordeal it’s been for me, like seriously, wow, but the surgery went very smoothly and I haven’t had any complications, so for that I am truly grateful.  I’m scheduled to have my second knee replaced at the end of February, and my hope is that once I’ve recovered, I will have more job opportunities available to me with two fully functioning knees.  The sky is the limit really, and I’m completely open.

Well, open unless it includes performing brain surgery.  😉

But hey, maybe the meaning of my dream was more about how I can do anything – even brain surgery.

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1