Tag Archives: Creativity

Mandala Monday ~ Spring Bouquet

Finally, a bit of creative inspiration!  Leave it to the blooming things to help that arise within me.

My soul has been craving fresh flowers for months and nothing is blooming here yet.  With everything shut down since mid-March, I haven’t been able to go to the usual places to get my flower-fix this spring, so it’s been a bit of a struggle for me.  Winters here are LONG and things are only just now starting to green up a little.  My brother came to my rescue when he sent my mom and I a lovely spring bouquet for Easter.  And I don’t use the word ‘rescue’ lightly.  Oh, I tell ya… much, much needed.  Especially with everything else going on in the world right now.  I was so grateful to have something blooming and full of life!

The bouquet lasted a nice long time and we’ve enjoyed it immensely.  When I noticed the flowers fading, I decided to take them outside to try to extend that enjoyment a bit further by creating a mandala with them.  I can’t even tell you how good it felt to sit out on the ground and play with flowers, making them into a whole new type of arrangement. 🌸

Here is another variation of the mandala I made…

After playing around with them for a while, their petals began dropping fast, so I plucked off the rest of them and am in the process of drying them out for some future possible use.

My daughter creates stunning jewelry and has a few designs where she makes cabachons, encasing various plants, pieces of nature, and other things in resin, and then wire wraps around them.  So maybe she can use some of the petals to extend the beauty of the bouquet even longer.  Here is a pendant she created for me for my birthday last year using a butterfly wing I found while out on a nature walk with my granddaughter, some Hawthorn blossoms we picked together, and a lock of my granddaughter’s hair. These photos are used with permission and taken from her Instagram account…

How meaningful (and beautiful) is that?! 💕

While I’m at it, I think I’ll just post the link to her Etsy shop too.  She does beautiful work and takes custom orders.  Now, more than ever is the perfect time to support artists and small businesses.  😉

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RachaelsWireGarden

 

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I hope you are all doing okay and staying well.  May you have a beautiful and blessed week.  Wishing you joy and inspiration, and as always…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Thankful Thursday

Whew what a week it’s been!  I can’t think of a more perfect time to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for…

 

Feeling grateful for these two beautiful people – my sister and brother-in-law…

for taking me to experience this beautiful place…

I’m still feeling all the aaahhh remembering.

I’m grateful for the random patron at the library who brought in tulips for all of the staff…

There’s nothing like fresh flowers in the midst of winter to remind you that spring will indeed come again. 🌷

I’m beyond grateful for this lovely – my daughter, who turned 28 this past Tuesday…

and grateful I was able to celebrate the day with her.  It may have been her birthday, but she’s the gift – to me, to her children, and to everyone who crosses her path.  Such a beautiful person, inside and out! 💕

I’m also grateful that I’ve kept various journals all these years, so that I can look back on gems like this from my daughter’s infancy…

Eeek! Hahaha!

And now for the reason for the “whew” I mentioned at the top of this post…

I’m grateful for my quick spring to action when our basement flooded the other day, and for the ability to channel my inner MacGyver, so I could rescue all of our family heirlooms from water damage.  You cannot imagine the horror and panic I felt when I stepped down into that ankle-deep water.  I was down there for hours trying to get things under control, it was a nightmare.  You’re probably not really going to be able to tell what is going on in this photo, but basically, I (with the help of my sister’s gigantic brain) rigged something up in the aftermath to direct the remaining water that was leaking from a cracked nut on the spigot on the main water pipe coming into the house to go directly into the floor drain.  The whole basement flooding thing is a long, long, long story, which will only exhaust you and make me have to relive it all, so let me just say…  A funnel, a hose, a half-full can of paint and two lasagna pans walked into a bar… 

with a measuring cup and some tape. 🙃

And I’m so grateful for this shiny new pipe the city came and installed…

For FREE!  On account that it was one of their employees who cracked that nut when he came several months ago to install a new water meter.  They couldn’t fit a new nut, so they ended up replacing the entire pipe (which I’m pretty sure ordinarily would not be free).  This one has a handy lever instead of a twist knob too.  Hopefully I’ll never have a reason to need to shut off the main water to the house again, but if I do, that lever will make it much easier.

I’m also grateful for creativity, and for the fun I had making beeswax candles with my family…

Not to mention the warmth, the light and the sweet scent I get to enjoy.

Lastly, I’m grateful for the moon, who follows me around everywhere and reminds me of the vastness of the universe…

and that I’m connected to it all…

 

 

I’m also grateful for all of you!  May you have lots to be thankful for today too!  Many blessing, my friends…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Monday ~ Puzzle

And now for something completely different…

I haven’t been painting mandalas nor creating them out of pieces of nature lately, because I’ve been completely absorbed in assembling a puzzle of them that my sister gave me for Christmas.  And I’m almost finished…

Just have a giant blue mandala in the center left remaining to do.  This beautiful (and quite challenging) puzzle was made with the stunning artwork of the mandala queen herself – Elspeth McLean, and has been on my Amazon wishlist ever since it was made available.

The photo above is crude, was snapped in bad lighting, and doesn’t do it justice, but it’s absolutely gorgeous!  I plan to glue it and somehow frame it once it’s finished.  Which I’m procrastinating finishing because I don’t want it to end.

I’m a huge fan of puzzles, there’s something very therapeutic about fitting the pieces together, like there’s an order to the universe or something – which of course there is haha!  I don’t know, maybe it just helps me feel like I have some control over something in my life?

Ah well, let the psychologists of the world figure that out, I just know I enjoy puzzles…

However, I should probably be organizing and putting things in order around the house instead.  January is good for that, and it’s likely that’s exactly what I’d be doing if I hadn’t got sucked into assembling this puzzle right after Christmas.  Thanks a lot Sis!  😉  That’s what she’s been doing – getting her home organized.

How about you, what have you been up to since the new year began?  Hey, did you guys catch the lunar eclipse last night?!  The moon likes me… 😍

 

Happy Monday, hope your week is off to a lovely start!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Mandala Monday ~ Christmas Ornaments

I’ve been back in painting mandalas mode over the past couple of weeks making Christmas ornaments as gifts for friends and family.  I’ve had a lot of fun painting them and I really hope they like them.  Here are a few of the designs I created.  They’re all a bit similar, especially color-wise (red, green and white), but each one is different…

The ornaments I used were clear glass, so they pick up whatever is in the background.  It really affects the look of the design and I’m not sure if I like that or not.  I tried using an etching cream on one of them to create a frosted glass look, but omygosh that was a complete fail.

The lighting wasn’t the greatest trying to photograph them indoors, so I brought them outside and snapped a few photos of them hanging from the branches of my arborvitae…

I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but I put fake snow in the bottom of this next one.  I thought it’d be a whimsical way of providing ‘snow’ for loved ones who don’t get snow where they live…

I also put rhinestones in the center of some of them for those who might like a bit more bling, but at the time of this post, I’ve already wrapped them up for giving and don’t have a good picture to share.  Oh wait, here’s one…

It’s not very sparkly in the photo, a real crystal would look prettier, but I couldn’t find any flat-backed ones in the proper size.

I made them in two different sizes and the details got a bit muddled up trying to paint the tiny dots on the smaller ones, so they don’t look as nice blown up in a photo, but they’re pretty and dainty in person.

Due to the same color scheme, they all started feeling like they looked too much alike, so I tried to create different patterns, at the same time as keeping the person I was making them for in mind.  This one turned out be sort of a star burst design…

A few of the recipients of these ornaments follow my blog and I’m hoping they don’t see this post before they receive their ornaments, but I wanted to share because it’s one of the things I’ve been up to lately.

I know I’ve been a bit absent from my WordPress community this December (posting and reading) and I’m sorry I haven’t had the chance to stop by your blogs as much, but please know this… I’ve still thought of a great many of you quite often during this time, truly I have, and I’ve been sending love and good vibes your way as you’ve come to mind.

Please be well my friends.  Sincerely wishing you all that is good and lovely in this world, a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and lots of love to you and yours…

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

 

Mandala Monday – Apples

I’ve been craving all things apple lately, but haven’t had the chance to get to the orchard yet this fall due to the wet, rainy (and then snowy) weather we’ve been having here.  So I caved in the other day and went the boring route and bought some apples at a local store.  I’m feeling like some fresh baked apple crisp is in my near future…

I’ve also been feeling like creating a mandala with apples, so after the snow melted yesterday, I went out and did just that…

This one sort of reminds me of a wreath.

My sister was with me while I was making it, as she had driven down for the day.  I hadn’t really been ‘planning’ on making a mandala, but she helped me prune a few branches on the crab apple tree out on my boulevard that were hanging on the power lines attached to my house, and when I had noticed them earlier in the week I had had an idea for possibly using them in a mandala and I wanted to use the sprigs while they were ‘fresh’.  Thankfully we didn’t get electrocuted while we were at it.  😉 ⚡

We laughed a lot yesterday and it felt really wonderful.  She watched me as my mandala took form and felt my ‘glee’ (as she put it) when I discovered a few browning pieces of Cedar on my shrub, as they were just what I needed to brighten and provide a little contrast.  It was fun to have her out in the garden with me while I was making it.  We always have fun together.  My seester. ❤

So this one has joy mixed in it, along with some delicious little apples. Thanks for letting share!

 

 

Wishing you a joyful, delicious day!

 

 

✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

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

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