Tag Archives: Creativity

Mandala Monday – Soul Sisters

A set of heart shaped mandalas I painted in purples to represent myself and a treasured friend of mine…

 

I haven’t had much time for painting this past week because there’s been so much going on in my world.  And this week is sure to bring much of the same, as my “Soul Sister” is coming up to visit me from Arkansas.  But maybe we can do a bit of painting together while she’s here.  💜

 

Wishing you all a wonderful week!  😊

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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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

 

 

Mandala Monday – Peacock Feathers

The outer edges of this one remind me of peacock feathers…

Not to mention, the background color paint that I used was called “peacock” blue.  😊

Once I had painted around the edges like that, I couldn’t figure out a way to fill in the rest of the canvas without taking away from the main mandala design, so I left it plain.

I hope your Monday is off to a great start.  Mine is starting out sleepy, because I went on a midnight drive out of the city last night to try to see the aurora borealis, as it was supposed to be visible here in Minnesota.  But apparently they had downgraded the expected strength of it, and I had no luck.  I did see some gorgeous twinkling stars and the Milky Way though.  😊

 

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Monday – Earth Tones

I’ve been experimenting with a new color palette over the past few days…

I LOVE  these colors and how this tile turned out!  😍  I used the same mandala design as my favorite one that I shared in my Mandala Madness post (here), but I painted it in earthy tones instead.

 

I also painted a few rocks with these same colors.  I usually paint a background/base color underneath my mandalas (like the brown on the tile above), but I hate covering up the rocks’ natural color, so I painted a few without a base color.  I’m not sure how I feel about how they turned out though, because the mandala’s colors don’t show up as vibrant without a base color.  I was thinking “Earthy paint colors, natural rock color” but it kinda failed.

In actuality, this rock is less gray as it shows in the photo, it’s more of a brown, and it’s prettier in person, but I still think it would have looked better with a base color underneath.

 

Here’s one I painted in all browns and tans…

It works a little better than the other rock without a base color underneath, but I don’t really like the mandala design as much.

 

I know I probably sounds like I’m being overly critical of them, but I really don’t mean to be, I’m just ‘writing out loud’ as I’m processing/learning/seeing what I feel works and what doesn’t as I’m traveling along in my little mandala journey here.  Thanks for traveling with me.

😊

 

I’m still looking for round rocks…

 

Wishing you a happy Monday and a wonderful week ahead.

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Mondays

While I’m in this mode of incessantly painting mandalas, how do you guys feel about having mandala Mondays?  I could just post one mandala that I’ve made over the previous week or several, depending on how many I have and whether or not they’re worth sharing.  And it may or may not have any text depending on how wordy I’m feeling.  To be honest, I haven’t been feeling very wordy lately, which is probably why I haven’t been posting regularly for a while.  Anyway, here are a few I’ve painted recently…

I found some mini canvases at the art store that I can paint on in addition to the tiles, since I’m having such a hard time finding round rocks.  I also picked up some mini easels to display them on.  My brother-in-law had a liver transplant this past week and the morning of his transplant I woke up and felt the urge to paint spirals, so that’s what I’ve been doing a lot since then, this one is my favorite…

I like how each strand of the spiral goes from light to dark and vise versa depending on which direction your eyes follow it, and how the dots go from small to large to small again as the spiral itself continues to grow.  It makes me wish I had a bigger canvas. There’s definitely some symbolism and metaphors going on in there.

Although I’ve had a hard time finding round rocks,  I seem to have no trouble finding ones that I can paint hearts on.  I figure the universe must be trying to tell me something, so I’m just going to go with it.  Here is another heart-shaped one that I made, this time in purple, my favorite color…

I’m really happy with this one.  It’s a fairly small stone, so it was a bit difficult painting all those itty-bitty tiny dots, but it turned out so pretty, and it feels like me.  💜

This is a tile that I painted with the same colors of a rock that I did earlier on where I wanted to try to recreate the design on a tile, it ended up not looking anything like the original, but I really like the way it turned out…

Well that’s all I got for now on this Monday.  Thanks for letting me share.

We have our fourth of July holiday tomorrow here in the States, so I’m wishing all of you here with me in the US, a happy Independence Day.  🇱🇷 And I’m wishing the rest of you… a happy everything else day.

😊

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

A Buddha Board, Pink Brains, and Chinese Flutes: Hey, Whatever Works Right?

My daughter had her birthday recently and one of the gifts I gave her was something called a Buddha Board.  We saw it on display while we were out shopping together and thought it was a really cool and unique thing.  The philosophy of it according to the description on their website says “The Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment.  You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design.  Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear leaving you with a clear slate and a clear mind – ready to create a whole new masterpiece.”

What I have found in “playing around” with it myself is that it’s a very helpful and therapeutic activity to do when I’m feeling worried, anxious, or having other things troubling me.  There is something very freeing in painting certain words or pictures that portray/describe my troubled thoughts and feelings and then watching them evaporate and disappear into nothing.  It just gives a wonderful sense of letting them all go.

Many years ago my sister gave me a ridiculous looking pink plastic brain shaped container that had gumballs in it.  It was during a time in my life when my mind was feeling especially overloaded with thoughts and worries, many of which were things that were completely out of my control.  She said that after I finished all the gumballs that I should use that pink brain container as a sort of “second brain” to use when mine got too full.  To write down all of those thoughts and worries that I couldn’t do anything about and place them inside my “second brain” as a way of clearing my head.  And that when afterward if those thoughts tried to creep back in I could simply look at my pink brain and say “Nope, I have already let those go, they are my pink brain’s problem now.”  I know it might sound a bit silly, but it really did work.  For me it was a type of “Let go, and let God” mindset in addition to carrying out a deliberate, physical act, as well as adding my prayers of surrender.  I’ve long since stopped using it, but after all these years I still have that ridiculous looking pink brain, it’s sitting on my desk stilled filled with all of those little slips of paper inside. One day perhaps I shall open it and read them.  It might be interesting to look back at all of those things that troubled me so much that are no longer an issue in my life.  You know, we worry about so many things all the time and it never changes anything or does us one bit of good.  “And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”  “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

So anyway this Buddha Board is the same sort of idea as my pink brain, only in addition it also provides the added benefit of a wonderful, creative, artistic way of doing it.  And it isn’t only good for that purpose, it’s just really enjoyable in general.  Even the bamboo paintbrush feels good to hold in your hand.  I’m probably going to end up buying one of my own so I don’t have to keep using/borrowing the one I gave my daughter for her birthday.

The motions I use are much more fluid and I paint my words in a calligraphy style, but this video gives you the basic gist of how it works.  I like the lyrics to the music they put with it.

~

Several nights ago I was looking around on YouTube for some relaxation music to listen to and I came across a lovely little gem.  It’s so peaceful.  And I find it not only very soothing, but also somehow hopeful and even cheerful at the same time.  I absolutely love it and I feel so good listening to it.  I’ve went to sleep with it playing nearly every night since.  Music combined with sounds of nature… it doesn’t get much better than that for me.  Music truly is such a beautiful, wonderful thing and I’m so thankful for the ears to hear.  The original version I found doesn’t allow for embedding so you have to click this link if you’d like to listen to it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YCAcXiHEdk

But I did find a portion of that same selection on this one

~

I also took a picture of my pink brain…DSCF0081a

Silly looking isn’t it?  Hey, whatever works, right?

~

Knit Nut

I learned how to knit over the holidays and now I can’t seem to stop.  It has such a wonderful, therapeutic motion and rhythm to it.  I even like the sound that the knitting needles make as they touch together.  🙂  I have always enjoyed working with my hands and so doing this knitting thing just feels really good to me.

I’m not entirely that great at it, however.  It takes a certain bit of finesse to remain consistent with the amount of tension you use on the yarn.  Oh… but speaking of the yarn… who knew there were so many completely delicious textures, colors, and varieties of yarn?!

I decided I wanted to learn how to knit on a whim.  I was browsing around at a thrift store one day when I noticed some navy blue colored yarn nestled among some of the other random crafting items on one of the shelves.  It wasn’t especially nice yarn, but the blue color of it reminded me of someone special and for some reason I suddenly got the urge to learn to knit with it.  My sister knows how to knit and she was there with me so I asked her if I forked out the whole 50 cents for the yarn and some knitting needles if she would teach me how to knit, and she said she’d be more than happy to oblige.  My big sis has taught me so many things over the years… from quilting, to beading, to canning homemade jam, and now knitting, she’s the best!

Well, it’s a good thing I had some cheap stuff to practice with because it ended up being quite challenging for me at first and had I used a more expensive yarn, it would have been a waste of money.  Nothing worthwhile other than experience came out of that navy blue yarn and I have since pulled out all of the practice stitches and rolled it into a nice little ball for my kitties to play with.

The easiest thing I could think of to learn to knit was a scarf, but even that isn’t as simple as one would think.  After practicing a bit with my thrift store yarn, I went out and bought this absolutely scrumptious yarn from the craft supply store.  It’s so unbelievably soft, and the scarf I made with it is so warm and cozy and… deformed.

My sis failed to tell me until I was finished with it that you have to periodically count the stitches as you’re going along with each row and keep the same number as to keep it the same size/shape throughout.  I know that may seem like common sense, but I’m a knitting noob and didn’t know that, so my first scarf turned out looking quite misshaped.  It’s unfortunate too because I kinda had someone else in mind that I wanted to give it to once it was finished, but I didn’t because it ended up being so deformed.

For some reason every time I tried to take a photo of the scarf by itself I couldn’t get it to show up very well, but one day when I was wearing it and my daughter and I were out and about, she had me stand over in front of some trees so she could try and take a picture of it for me.  I look a bit silly and the overall lighting in this photo is a little off, but the scarf shows up nicely.  And you can’t even tell it’s deformed.  🙂

DSCN6496a1But even deformed, this scarf is seriously the snuggliest thing ever.

~

Well, I couldn’t stop there, so off I went back to the craft supply store to get more yarn.  This time around I picked out a lovely purple colored blend with a fun knobby, fuzzy texture to it.  With this yarn too I had yet another someone else in mind to make a scarf for, but because my first one had turned out so badly, I still wanted to practice a bit more, so I made one for myself with it first.

Knowing now to count the stitches as I went along resulted in a more uniform shaped scarf, but I still made a few bloopers which caused looser parts here and there, so it’s a good thing the style and texture of the yarn helps hide them nicely.  😉

I failed at trying to take a decent photo of this one too, so I stole this picture off of Facebook of my dear friend wearing the nearly identical one I knitted for her (she is the one I originally planned the purple yarn for :)).  And because this was the third scarf I made, it’s somewhat of an “improved model” with fewer bloopers.  And speaking of “models” the one in this photo looks quite stunning in her new scarf don’t you think?

I love her to pieces!  Warm, fuzzy, and purpley hugs to your neck, my friend!  ♥

Mindi's ScarfBut like I said… be careful because those little fuzzies really like to get stuck to your lip gloss and tangled up in your eyelashes.  😉

~

So now I was on a roll, with three scarves under my belt, maybe I should expand my knitting horizons and try and knit something a bit more complicated ~ mittens, a hat, or socks maybe?  No, I’m afraid I’m still feeling very much like a beginner and really not quite confident enough yet to attempt any of those.  So what did I do… I knitted another scarf, of course.  😉

On this trip to the craft supply store I surprised and confused myself because I chose to get some red yarn.  For one thing, red is not a typical color that I tend toward.  For anything.  I don’t often wear red and there are only certain shades of red that I even like.  But here as I was ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over all of the wonderful different varieties and colors of yarn to choose from, suddenly out of nowhere this red yarn starts crying out in a loud voice “Pick me!  Pick me!”  I argued with myself over it for a little while, but for some reason I just couldn’t resist it.  So weird.  My sis was with me and knowing me quite well, she too was surprised at my selection of red.  But sometimes you just have to “follow the force, Luke” even when it doesn’t make sense, so in the end that red yarn went home with me.

As I worked with it I completely fell in love with it, the deep rich color and the simple texture.  And the scarf I made with it is my favorite of all the scarves I have made so far.  I’m not even sure why.  The first scarf is definitely the coziest and the purple scarf is most certainly the prettiest (purple is my favorite color), but this red one… this red one, I just really especially adore.

In the end I’ve just decided that maybe it was meant to be a Valentine’s gift to myself ~ it is red after all.  😉  I also ended up using it to take a Valentiney photo of myself wearing it to give to my special someone for Valentine’s day.  ♥

It’s just a plain, ordinary looking scarf, not anything special, but for some reason I just really love it.  And it’s so weird because I don’t usually like the color red, but this scarf feels like me…

Red Scarf~

I am currently in the process of knitting yet another scarf.  Not for myself, but for someone else.  I think three scarves for myself is enough, don’t you?  Well, maybe not.  😉  I still haven’t moved onto learning to knit anything else or learned any other stitches except for the basic knitting stitch yet, but my sister has plans to teach me more.  She better hurry though because I think I may be moving out of knitting mode soon; for spring is coming.  Knitting is a great indoor winter activity and I have been enjoying it immensely, but spring means ~ gardening!

Winter is so long and oh how I miss my garden and all of the green and growing things.  I can’t wait to get back out there and play in the dirt…

~