Sunday, December 5, 2010

Feeling Good by Doing Good

Inspired by this post from Quinn McDonald, I decided to write this brief post today about what we can do in addition to changing our pictures on Facebook. She says better than I could why she isn't changing her photo and what she is doing instead. Yes, the cartoon character thing is fun but my concern, like hers, is what difference does it really make?

I'm challenging myself and my friends to do more than change an avatar on Facebook.  I donated some clothes that I am not going to wear. I know from experience that ‘feel good’ feeling multiplies when you give something of yourself, so along with changing your picture you can donate some food, time, supplies, gift cards, socks, toys, etc to a local agency that provides services for children who are victims of abuse and violence.

Here are some local (Greater Phoenix) agencies to add to the list that Quinn posted:
You can check their websites or call any of these places and they will tell you what they need most.
Childhelp (Scottsdale, AZ) -

Eve’s Place (Surprise, AZ) -

Crisis Response Neetwork (Phoenix, AZ) -

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb10 - Wonder

#Reverb10 - Using the month of December to blog about the year . . . read about it here. You can join too.

Writing prompt for December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

Wonder. One definition is ‘to think or speculate curiously’. Another is ‘to be filled with admiration, amazement or awe’.
I kept my sense of wonder throughout the year first by taking walks in my favorite park. The is something very wonder-ous about the colors, lines and the shape of a rose, whether it is budding or completing the cycle. I have been amazed many times by the beauty of nature in flowers and in animals such as peacocks.

To me, speculating curiously equals creativity. Though the year of 2010 has been extremely stressful and trying, I maintained my efforts to experience ‘creativity time’ by spending time doing experiments with fabric and beads and paint metals and gel mediums, etc. I have made the time to gather with others who value ‘creative wondering’. I have visited, with friends, and been delighted by the studios of other artists.

I also created the opportunity to be the catalyst or facilitator of wonder for others by teaching a class in mixed media for fabric. There is nothing quite like providing the space and materials that give others the incentive to speculate curiously and experiment with abandon.

Wonder has been alive and well in 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Gathering of Creatives

I am so fortunate to have a lot of artistic and creative friends. I had a chance to get together with Mary and Sheila last week in Chandler. We decided to get together to catch up on what we're all working and see what creative mischief we could get into. We even worked a little bit on Mary's blog.

Me, looking quite happy

Really? Could I look any more content? I'm sure no one else hates 'every' photo that is taken of them but these two - I like. That contentment is probably my number one reason for doing anything creative, it calms my soul.

And it really does not have to be complex or complicated types of creativity. Drawing with a pen or pencil, crayons to paper, needle and beads,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Inspiration for Creativity and a little Gratitude

Inspiration comes to me in many forms of expression.
(Reminder - clicking on photo gives you a closer look)

I spent a recent Saturday morning fillng my creative reserviors at the Desert Botanical Gardens here in Phoenix with one of my creative accomplices, Quinn McDonald.
What a calm and peaceful way to spend a Saturday. Walking with a friend like two old desert rats with walking sticks taking in the wonderful weather and the increadible desert flora of the garden.


The butterfly exhibit delighted my heart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Experimenting w/ Golden Digital Grounds

Golden Digital Grounds – Experiments
I will confess that I bought a sample pack of Golden’s Digital Grounds over a year ago and just never got around to experimenting with them. I bought the sample pack at Arizona Art Supply which contained 3 bottles of grounds and 2 jars of topcoats.

On a recent Friday night, in an exhausted state of being, I was entertaining myself by watching You Tube videos about printing on uncommon surfaces. Many of the videos I watched that night were by northern Arizona artist Kathyanne White , whom I met this year at Art Unraveled. She uses a product called Inkaid which I have never seen but seems to act like the Digital Grounds products in that it creates a surface on top of a surface so that it will hold the inks of an inket printer. She prints on lacepaper, fabric, etc.

Well, when she got to the part in one of her videos where she prints onto recycled aluminum cans, I was so inspired by then I pulled out my digital grounds and started playing. Here are my results:  Clck 'read more' for pics.....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

In the Company of Creatives

Do you ever gather with your accomplices in art and healing. You know, the ones where you just get together to try experiments or just do show and tell or someone shares a technique that everyone tries. These kinds of gatherings make my soul say 'ahhhhhhhhhh', because I feel very much 'at home' in such a nurturing environment. It wouldn't even matter if we threw everything away at the end, well ok, maybe it would matter, but the most important part to me is the gathering, the sharing, the joy and delight that we express in our own ways as we listen, share and explore. There is such an exquisite sweetness to that process.

What is sad is that I often tell myself that I do not have time to participate in such things. And sometimes I am truly torn as to whether I should go to a meeting or gathering or not because of time, my lack of energy, a lack of funds . . . But every time I go, and I belong to several groups, I am always, without fail, left with inspiration, energy and excitement. It really does make my soul sing to be in the company of others who 'ooooohhhhh' and 'aaaahhhhhhhh' over seemingly ordinary things.

If you don't have such a group to go to, make one. Start one and let it evolve, like a piece of art. You only need one other person to start. Just start getting together, sharing and talking and let the flow of interests and knowledge lead you on your explorations. Others will be invited and the group will grow.

I am a firm believer that art heals. I know this to be true. And I know that it doesn't need to be a formalized, orchestrated 'healing process'. The healing begins, whether people are aware of it or not, from the moment people start to arrive and find themselves greeted by others who are like them. I find that what helps me most in a creative group is the give and take of positive and powerful energy that is exchanged when people share and answer questions and demonstrate and laugh and just enjoy the process.

Imagine having a holiday gathering that is a group of women who gather to do maybe collage to use for cards. Or small art postcards that can be sent to loved ones or strangers. Maybe painting fabric or paper for giftwrap. Making easy pamphlet journals for gifts. Everyone brings some supplies and everyone has fun creating something. There are so many possibilities. Create with other creatives!

And please let me know what you think about this topic in the comments. Or let me know what types of groups you enjoy nurturing your soul with. Thanks!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Giveaway! by Artful Soul Designs

Our creative team is having a giveaway!
From today thru 6 p.m. Friday, October 22nd.

 Who We Are:
We are a newly formed collective team of artists called Artful Soul Designs. There are currently 6 of us Brian Harrison, Julia Hagens, Geri Gettings, Gayla Doucet and Maura Mall and moi. We create with fabric, metal, beads, wire, fused glass, gemstones, gourds, etc.

Why we're doing it:
We decided to do a giveaway to help promote our Holiday Gift Show happening Sunday, October 24th at the BRIO Fine Arts Center in Scottsdale, Az. 85260 

View Larger Map

Here’s what we’re giving away: (click on photos for larger views)
Created by Maura Mall:
Pink Jasper and Sterling Silver stretch bracelet made by Maura Mall


Created by Brian Harrison of BHarrisonArts:
Lava and Black Labradorite Wrist Mala and Prayer Beads by Brian Harrison

Created by Julia of JulzImageSolutions:
Tack-fused glass pin, wire-wrapped, on
etched brass. Turquoise blue, yellow & purple.
3" high and 2" wide by Julia Hagens

Created by Gaya Doucet:

Gayla hand-dyes scarves and these
are just examples of her work. The
winner will receive a scarf.

Created by Rosaland Hannibal:
Notepad holder: painted and stamped fabric.

Inside view of different one, but you get the idea.
Has a pocket, pen holder, pad holder. Just
under 9" tall.

Here’s how you can play to win: each action gets your name in the hat. The more actions you do, the more times your name goes in the hat.

  • Leave a comment on this post or on Brian’s blog post about this giveaway and tell us which prize you want and why.
  • Tweet about this giveaway using the hashtag #artfulsd then comment so we don’t miss your tweets.
  • Share our event on facebook
  • become a fan of our Artful Soul Designs facebook page 
  • Bonus – post about it on your blog and get 2 entries.
  • Once we figure out the winners –we’ll contact you for your mailing info. If you are local, in the Phoenix area, and are a winner, there will be a bonus gift if you pick up your prize in person.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Desert Botanical Gardens

Chihuly Glass - beautiful!
Brian & the big cactus. It is
an impressive cactus.

My OM (one moment) this week I made myself. I saw an opportunity to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens here in Phoenix for free today. I just happened to see their facebook post saying admission was free today from 1-8. They have what I'm thinking is a very cool butterfly exhibit. So after work, I called my friend Brian of BHarrison Arts and he and I went together.

Joshua Tree
Gorgeous night. The monarch butterfly
exhibit was already closed. Oh well that
just means I have to go back. We were
only there for about an hour but it was the most peaceful hour I have had in ages.

 Outside, listening to crickets and not much else, wonderful weather and fascinating plants. I'm glad I went at night this first time because now I can't wait to see what it is like during the day. It is amazing the number of different cacti that are here. So much texture. It was very good for my soul and a great way to end a stressful workday.


It's the shadows that
intrigued me here.

More wonderful glass.


Love this glass!

om [one moment] meet up  OM was started by Linda Demers over at alamodestuffblog . You can link up and share about your 'one moment' each week when you just stop to 'take notice'. This is my first OM post in a while.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sedona Studio Tours (part 2)

The Sedona adventure continues. First with a few more scenic views


Our next stop on the tour was my favorite - the home studio of Margaret Anderson, a fiber artist who does hand painted, quilted wallhangings. Her use of color and technique were exquisite and very inspiring. We asked her if she’d like to come down to a Mavericks meeting and talk to the group or do a class. Oh my gosh, I love Margaret's work! I was completely inspired! See

Margaret Anderson


Yours truly with Margaret

And finally, we found our way to the studio of Nancy Robb Dunst who creates mixed fiber and installation art. Her installations are very clever and intriguing and make you think. It was pretty cool to drive up to her place and see this painted outhouse, ummm that's port-a-potty for you younger folks, in her front yard.

Inside the outhouse.

Nancy Robb Dunst
Sheila, Myra, Nancy



Mary, Myra, Sheila
Mary, me, Sheila

We enjoyed all of our visits with the artists and their gracious way of sharing themselves and their art with us. Such a fun time!


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