The Magic Dinosaur

“The Magic Dinosaur” Original Artwork by Harmony and Israel (Age 3)

Today’s guest blogger is mixed media artist living in Florida  Harmony Lenasbunt.  Harmony has an unbelievable amount of creative energy.  If you follow her blog or on Facebook – or check out her Etsy  you will just feel her colorful spirit jump off the page.   I love people like this! 


On Being a Creative Mother…

Have you ever looked at a child’s artwork?  I mean really really looked at it?  Their ability to stay free from the rules and restrictions that we adults have created around what is “good” art is truly inspiring and refreshing to witness.  I constantly struggle with the voices in my head telling me that I am not good enough to call myself an artist, or to try to make art for a lifestyle, or to share it with anyone who doesn’t know me personally.    Then I watch my three year old son create, and I witness pure magic. 


His joyfulness and incorporation of play in his creations are exactly what art making should always be about.  As a mother and an artist, I want to do everything I can to help my child hold on to that creative playfulness and confidence in himself as he grows up and battles the messages of the world.  It doesn’t matter to me that he ends up being an artist later on in life as well, what matters to me is that he knows that the passions of his heart and the creative things he loves to do, should always be his guiding force for creating his life journey. 

  The crazy thing is that as I encourage him to create, he inspires me and pushes my boundaries and challenges my inner rules of what I can do with art.  He has become my little artsy guru, helping me let go of expectations in my creations, and to just enjoy the process.

  So we paint and play everyday, making HUGE creative messes, and ignoring all the rules of art making, and together we make magic. 

“I Dream In Color” Original Artwork by Harmony and Israel (Age 3)

We often make videos of our creative play sessions, and I post them on my blog.  I hope the encourage and inspire others to believe that no matter what your particular ability or talent level is, that everyone should be creatively playing as much as they can.  It’s a part of being human, and it truly does bring joy and wholeness to our spirits.

(make sure you check out  her all Harmony’s videos over on YouTube.)


A few weeks ago Harmony and I were talking about creative mothering.  We both wrote something about “the creative mother”.  You can check out the piece I did on Harmony’s blog


Natural dye spinner from Down-under is this weeks guest blogger.

Ingrid Johnson a textile fiber artist who spins and dyes her own wool.  She uses natural dyes from the plants around her home in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.   I feel  honored to have her open the window to her artistic process with the plants and creatures on another continent.

Dyeing with Australian Plants

Spinning came into my life by accident about 10 years ago and I have been besotted about it ever since.  The natural progression with playing with fibres was to find out how to colour them and I began with commercial acid dyes that are easy to use and give immediate bright clear results – not always the colour you had envisioned, but then a little overdyeing can accommodate quite a few errors of judgement.  Today, I still use these products, but am eagerly experimenting with natural dyes, those acquired through purchase , such as madder, indigo, logwood, cutch, etc. and more importantly, those that I can grow and gather locally.  With this in mind, I took a friend and we travelled into the hills just out of Melbourne to ‘Kuranga Native Nursery’ to see what I could add to my garden and of course, have a light lunch at their delightful  ‘Paperbark Café’.

Picked up this Davidsonia Pruriens (Davidson’s Plum), a small tree with clusters of reddish flowers in spring and purple plum-like fruit, edible – my thinking if no colour, jam sounds good.

This is Eucalyptus nicholi which at this stage is very small but has the potential to grown quite quickly to an enormous eucalypt giving me a constant supply of leaves for lovely red dye.  Sophie is keeping a close watch as her ball playing space seems to be diminishing.

Collected a few other natives in the hope of growing a garden full of dye plants.  Very exciting.

Next on the agenda was a light lunch comprising ‘bushetta that incorporated wild mushrooms and a pesto made with local native ingredients, finishing off with a plum tart – the plums were Davidson Plums.

This delightful kookaburra was basking in the lovely day, or so we thought.  A sudden flutter across my cheek, a whisper of air and the remaining piece of plum tart was gone.  Apparently, he was eyeing off our desert!!!

Some of the lovely yellows, oranges achieved with plant dyes – washed fleece dyed with flowers and eucalyptus leaves.

Continue to play with acid dyes too….and being the ever curious spinner blend fibres to achieve a unique product.

Earth Palette dyes from South Australia, cold water dye on washed medium grey merino fleece and left in the sun for 24 hours.

The same fleece dyed with blue colours, now on my wheel.

My passion is fibre, whatever it is you love to do, go forth and enjoy, create, experiment, have fun!

Thank you Ingrid -I hope we can have lunch together at the Paperbark Cafe but I will watch out for the speedy little Kookaburra!


Encaustic Color

Encaustic Queen Patricia Seggebruch is my guest blogger today. YAY! I have watched Patricia’s work evolve over the last 8 years. A Pacific Northwest artist her creative voice is strong and clear. She has published several excellent books. I love her blog called Ginger Fetish. It is a treasure full of textures and images that inspire. She is extraordinary with how she uses the encaustic medium and her creative approach to surface design.

Below… she shares with my lucky blog readers her words about blogging, Etsy and best of all, her photos from hercolor series.

My advice – click on each of the images for a close up look at the beautiful textures that she builds with her process. My other advice… take her workshops, study her books and you can even purchase her wax kits. She teaches all over the world. Australia to Florida!

Words from my guest artist:

I’m in Etsy love ❤
It’s similar to the blog-love I embraced a few years ago…
I began reluctantly; blogging out of obligation rather than delight. You know the mentality I’m sure-‘Everyone was doing it to gain recognition and more web exposure; I’d better jump on the bandwagon’!
Now, I come to it with a sense of anticipation and excitement to express myself in a way I find I can do nowhere else. No real know audience; no deadline to fulfill; no article topic to research. Just write and express.

And so it has come to be with etsy.
I began reluctantly; feeling I ‘must’ get on there in order to be part of the forward motion of art on the web. I was a victim! Succumbing to the lure of logging hours in the media based world of self-promotion!!!!
But now, I come to it with the same aforementioned anticipation and excitement: I continue to post paintings and update my ‘gallery’ because it has proven to be a whole new outlet of expression and a delicious end-source for a body of work I would otherwise not complete!
My color series….a never ending, demonstration-driven, color infused series for etsy only.
I’m, in love. Trish.”

Want to know more about Trish:

Innovative developer of Encaustikits and Encausticamp Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch began painting more than a dozen years ago-always abstractly and evolving into encaustics from acrylic over eight years ago. Her love for the medium translates into her teaching, and students’ worldwide benefit from a passionate, engaging workshop experience filled with all the knowledge Patricia has acquired and developed in her forage into this rich and diverse medium.

Patricia’s books, Encaustic Workshop and Encaustic Mixed Media, are available on book shelves everywhere and two DVD’s in the medium are on the market thanks to FW Publishing and Creative Catalyst Productions.

My goal, what inspires me, is not simply encaustic. What is my reason for getting into the studio-stepping onto another plane-experimenting with another intriguing material-is to enliven and inspire artists and craftpersons, enthusiasts and admirers, worldwide; right now to the beauty, diversity and ease of painting in this wonderfully organic and deliciously versatile medium.

Fall Obsession

Recently I have been obsessed with wanting to learn how to crochet.  I’m not really sure why.  I have no plans to crochet a blanket or a sweater.  I have no patience to follow a pattern.

Even though, in the 90 degree heat here in Florida, when October comes around I am compelled to pick up  yarn and do something with it. Like picking apples and carving pumpkins.

In the Fall, when I lived in Seattle, I  would naturally pick up my bamboo knitting needles and make some fingerless gloves.  But this year I wanted to learn how to use a crochet hook and learn how to crochet circles, spirals and flowers.

So I downloaded this cool online video course – Crafty Crochet Embellishments

I am not very good at following directions but they have a great format for these videos.  If I have any questions I can post my question and they respond!


So now I have become obsessed with using all my scraps of yarn.

I am mastering “small flowers”  I don’t know what I will do with all these.

Maybe they will end up on a felt piece or maybe they will end up on a canvas.

Next I will work on the circles or maybe bigger flowers…
I am always looking for suggestions


Wheel of Feelings

My friend Rachel is my guest blogger this week. 
I think she has a critically important job. She is a counselor at a large public elementary school.
Like a great artist she can speak to the power of color. 

” I love my job as an elementary school counselor.  Part of my job is to teach character ed lessons to our kindergarten- fourth grade children.  Early in the school year I introduce my puppets. Each puppet is a color and is labeled with feelings.  I use puppets are nondescript but meaningful ( I didn’t want to associate with Sponge-Bob or some other commercially recognized thing with a feeling)

At first I encourage the children to throw the puppets around and give examples of when they feel each of those feelings.    As they talk, I acknowledge that everyone can have several feelings at once.  I try to help them see how they can sort those feelings out. 

It’s wild. Some kids are raising their arms so hard they are doing air punches just to be called on.

Others want to tell long stories about when they felt this or that which I know I must hear.  I promise to talk to the more about that later. My time is limited and I have to move on through the lesson.
Some children, bless their hearts, at this age get all filled with emotions and can’t help but stutter and slowly let the feeling out.

Other kids are quiet, with big eyes, soaking it all in, relating to everything I say. Their core feelings are of sadness, anger when we talk about those things.  Their are the others who can’t think of anything to be proud about until they hear what others say, then they can begin to learn to like themselves better. It is fascinating.

Cleverly I save “Disappointment” for last.  The kids are all disappointed to have to hand in the puppets. They all squawk that they haven’t had a turn with each and every puppet.  So I lead the group sigh and act light hearted about being disappointed.  I acknowledge it so everyone recognized the feeling, labels it and feels it together.  We continue having fun by having them throw the puppets back to me.  ( I can catch a puppet in the air better than the rest! )
I keep the classroom climate up by quickly moving onto the next activity. The kids make their own “Wheel of Feelings.” They are instructed to color the wheel just like the puppets.
The emotions of the children show as they color the wheel.  They might fiercely scribble black on top of one or two particular feelings or purposefully add a color from another feeling all loopy and scribbled on top.   It is all so telling.
I instruct the kids to take their color wheels home and hang them up, use them as a reference when they aren’t sure how they’re feeling.

I do this class at our school for about 200 children. I hear from the moms that the Wheel of Feelings is up on their refrigerator or hanging on their bedroom door.  The kids are saying things like “mom, you’re not really angry, I think your more sad that dad isn’t here.”
Each lesson is focused on the feeling of a color.
Lessons on anxiety, friendship, bullying, respect and responsibility are all frolicking fun.  I usually get the kids all riled up which the kids love…. then I leave and it’s up to their teachers to get them calmed down again and back to math!
 Color therapy allows the children to identify their feelings and it can also shed light on what kids are struggling through.”
 How fortunate the children are at that school to have someone like Rachel using her color pallet.

Colorful Start to Monday

I know it is kind of corny but I am always excited when I see a rainbow. So in the steamy hot concrete parking lot of our supermarket… it was almost a relief to see this rainbow.

This morning I had my watercolor sketchbook next to my Twinkle H2’os

It looks like one of my felt pieces.

Have a colorful Monday.

Stack Therapy

When you look around your home do you have piles of papers just stacked? Well today is your day! You are not alone…On Seth Apter’s blog he has posted a collaborative event… bloggers all over the world are showing their stacks. Stacks of stuff.
If you are like me, any available free surface seems to be a magnet to attract piles of paper, art sketch books, art papers that might get used in a project. ( I hate to throw bits of paper away)

Our kitchen table is always got stacks of paper.

And thank goodness for bookshelves… I have a lot of those holding my paper stacks vertically!

It is not just my paper stacks… I’m the organized one… my husband and my daughter have more stacks than I do. I can’t bring myself to photograph their stacks of stuff.

Fortunately, my dogs don’t need stacks of paper on the floor anymore!

So grab a cup of coffee and go to Seth’s blog.. scroll down and spend some time clicking on the links to see what other bloggers are sharing with their stacks. I don’t know why but I find it therapy knowing that I am not alone and seeing others show there stacks of paper stuff.

If you don’t have a blog…email me a photo of your stacks. I will be happy to share on a follow up blog…I ‘m sure this is not the end of it.

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