Tuesday, February 27

self portrait challenge ~ black & white {4}

self portrait, canon digital rebel xt

I chose this self portrait because it shows a very raw and vulnerable side of me. I feel this way about a few pieces of my life but one in particular that I will share with you is my art. Whether it be photography, jewelry, drawing or writing, for years I was timid to share these pieces of myself. I hid them away and created during my quiet times where no one else could judge or criticize. I am tender about my creations. No matter how hard I try not to care what others think, I do care. It is deeply personal.

Going to design school was a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that it helped me be more brave about coming out of my creative bubble and displaying my art for all the class to see. A curse because I had to endure critique and found myself comparing my art to others and questioning my ability as a designer and artist. No matter how many fabulous things were said about my creations...it was that one not so fabulous comment that stood out above all the rest. I know critique is necessary for growth in our talents, just as pain is necessary for growth on our path, but it still hurts our inner child that wants to believe there is no right or wrong way to create when it comes from our heart. This is the only way I know how to create...from my heart.

That is why people like SARK and Sabrina have rocked my world. They, among many other friends in my life, have inspired me to nurture my inner child and explore my talents with freedom and abandon. No rules. This is the perfect path for a sensitive soul like me.

I still struggle with comparing myself to others and when I do this, I have a tendency to run into a corner and hide my art. It is a journey and during those times I need to hold my inner child and tell her there is no right or wrong when it comes to her creations.

Here is an excerpt from "Letters to a Young Poet" that I like to read often for a reminder of the type of artist and designer I want to be:

Your work needs to be independent of others' work.
You must not compare yourself to others.
No one can help you. You have to help yourself.
Criticism leads to misunderstandings and defeatism.
Work from necessity and your compulsion to do it.
Work on what you know and what you are sure you love.
Don't observe yourself too closely, just let it happen.
Don't let yourself be controlled by too much irony.
Live in and love the activity of your work.
Be free of thoughts of sin, guilt and misgiving.
Be touched by the beautiful anxiety of life.
Be patient with the unresolved in your heart.
Try to be in love with the questions themselves.
Love your solitude and try to sing with its pain.
Be gentle to all of those who stay behind.
Your inner self is worth your entire concentration.
Allow your art to make extraordinary demands on you.
Bear your sadness with greater trust than your joy.
Do not persecute yourself with how things are going.
It's good to be solitary, because solitude is difficult.
It's good to love, because love is difficult.
You are not a prisoner of anything or anyone.

"Letters to a Young Poet", Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Monday, February 26

movin' and groovin'

my studio packed away, canon digital rebel xt
I've spent the last four days packing up the upstairs loft while grooving on some funky tunes. I am now sitting in an empty room hearing the echo's of any little sound that surrounds me. I plan to paint it sage green in a few days. It felt so good to give it an early Spring cleaning. There were about 6 huge garbage bags full of clutter junk. For the past year its been driving me mad and blocking my creativity. I am really craving a harmonious, zen space for my studio. Lately I've been giving into my cravings, so I chose to do so here as well. We will also be sharing our studio space with baby stuff when I get pregnant and have the boho babes. So, in the name of manifesting that happening, I am making room for a third boho up here.

I've been an overflowing well of emotions, mostly good feelings and I've needed to channel this energy into physical and mental labor. I'm excited to design a new creative space and my husband and I have some pretty cool ideas. I'll be sure to share pictures when its all said and done.

I will be knee deep in paint this week and won't be on the computer much since I have to close all my stuff down. I'll catch up on your blogs soon when I'm sipping my hot morning tea in the midst of sage walls.

Speaking of moving and grooving...while we were driving on the freeway this weekend, my husband pointed out this truck. We laughed and I had to get a shot of it and share the love. I think it speaks for itself.

rainbow moving truck, canon digital rebel xt

Thursday, February 22

on fertile ground

me wearing Thea's fertility elephant pendant & a fertility goddess pendant
from Jen (thank you, sisters!), canon digital rebel xt

Today was acupuncture day. I go three times a month. Before, during and after ovulation. My session today was post ovulation. This is the time in my cycle that if we did indeed fertilize an egg, it would most likely be implanting in my uterus. This is always such a vulnerable time for me. This is when I feel conflicted. I want so badly to believe and meditate on all that is transpiring within my womb but at the same time all the familiar fears creep in. I've been better lately at not listening to my fears and just allowing myself to feel hopeful and connect with our baby spirit. I feel this spirit near me always. It is hard to explain but it's an essence of a little person that surrounds me. Sometimes I hear it whispering to me. Other times I just feel the longing it has to be with us and I reassure this spirit in my mind that it will be soon...soon. It's always comforting to me. I already feel like a mother nurturing this little soul that is meant to be in my life, in our life.

After my acupuncturist inserts the soft needles and guides me through a meditation to open my heart to a potentially fertilized egg, she quietly leaves the room. It is dark and candle lit, smelling of lightly scented oils while zen music gently plays in the background. My eyes are covered with an herbal pillow. This is when I usually fall asleep. Not today. I found myself crying for the first time during an acupuncture session as soon as I heard the door shut behind her. I whispered to my baby, asking it to come soon and allowed myself to soak the herbal pillow with my tears. I still feel tender from this session.

Yesterday I received a package from Sarah of Rustic Relics. A few months ago I had a dream that I was wearing a fertility pendant that she had made. I woke up with a strong feeling that I needed to contact her and ask her to custom design one for me. Our lives had become busy and we both agreed that the pendant would reach me when it was supposed to. And it did. Yesterday. When I saw the pendant I gasped because it looked exactly like it did in my dream. She also included an oil burner to burn a bundle of fertility herbs she gathered together for me. It was like this cool witches brew of rocks, twigs, stones, fruit and herbs.

I sat down and stared at the burner as it worked its magic and filled our home with an earthy scent. I felt so grateful for her kindness and the perfect timing of her offering. I thought about all of the other gifts I have received over the last year from friends and family to help guide and support us on our fertility journey. I felt an urge to gather them around me and summon the power each of them held. So I gathered.

I feel something shifting in our home. A fertile energy. It feels so close and perhaps that is why I am crying a lot. Not tears of fear this time but tears of joy for all the blessings this journey has brought us.

I thought I'd share the magic that lives in my home from all of the lovelies around the world. If they only knew how much I've needed all this...

Fertility package from Sarah, canon digital rebel xt

Susannah sent me a pouch filled with stones that promote fertility that I put under my pillow every night.

My sister Darlene bought me this gorgeous Gaia fertility goddess. Letha sent me these stones and rocks to help with my journey. I keep them in the Feng Shui "Family" corner of our home.

This baby blessing ring is from my acupuncturist. I either wear it or put it in my pocket every day.

Georgia sent me these pregnant belly earrings that her mother gave her when she was trying to conceive. Apparently it worked for her! I have them on my night stand and rub the bellies often.

Deirdre just mailed me this beautiful mother and baby. She said she heard my name whispered in her ear when she first laid eyes on this in the store and knew she was supposed to send it to me. It is now up in my studio near candles where I can see and rub it throughout the day.

My dear friend Bobbi from Minnesota sent us this fertility pendant at the beginning of our journey. It reminds me of the hope I carried back then and how it still lives within me even 2.5 years later.

The lovely Amy sent me this stunning elephant that I keep on my arched window sill in my studio. I just learned that elephants are a symbol of fertility among other things.

Letha sent me this rabbit charm. Rabbit's are associated with fertility because they actually ovulate right after having intercourse, so they are quite fertile!!

Nina and her children painted me this beautiful "Boho Mama" card and added a lot of goodies in the package to help me relax and meditate on my journey. My sister Darlene made me this beautiful fertility necklace.

Maternity Bliss, Mixed Media by Kelly Rae Roberts

Late last year I asked Kelly Rae if she had a print of a pregnant woman because I wanted a piece of her magic in my home. She ended up being inspired and painted this. I thought it was amazing how much the woman in this painting resembles me (especially since I just got my hair dyed red a few days ago. hmmmm. ). I fell in love with this so much that I bought the original. It now lives in my Feng Shui "Family" corner of our home.

This image is what I am believing the outcome of all of this magic will bring. Until then, I will be standing on fertile ground.

Tuesday, February 20

self portrait challenge ~ black & white {3}

self portrait, canon digital rebel xt

One of the suggestions for this months black & white theme on the Self Portrait Challenge was to capture scenes from our life. This is a portrait of me sitting Indian style up against my drafting board, making a necklace for a dear customer. That necklace is now tucked away in its padded envelope and on its way to Minnesota. I love knowing that the gems that I once held in my hands and poured loving energies to is later adorning the neck of a goddess I have never met (in most cases, that is...i do know some of my boho gals).

I have received a few fun emails from customers that have had magical things happen to them while wearing my Boho jewels. One in particular was wearing my Boho Zen Prosperity necklace and was blessed with some financial goodness and a few lessons in between. This is exactly what I want to create with my business. I desire my creations, whether they are gems, pastels or photography, to touch others individually with whatever they need for their chosen path. It's never been just about monetary things for me and my business. It's much more about the cosmic connections behind it all.

Lately I have found myself neglecting my jewelry designs. In the beginning, I was planning on switching the designs up every few months or so but my inspiration shifted and my photography happened. I am still trying to figure out what to do next. I think it is time for a refresher with my jewelry section but I am the type of person that needs to be inspired and not forced when it comes to my creations.

Right now my heart is with my photography business but even writing about my jewelry and giving it the attention I am in this moment, I am getting the urge to visit a bead store and see where it takes me.

Is that the Law of Attraction at work again? It seems to surprise me now and then.

Sunday, February 18

to pamper or not to pamper...

Suzi's feetsies, canon digital rebel xt

The pedicure above is called the "Island". Can you just imagine the tropical scents coming from this delicious bowl of silky blue water?

While my friend and I were sitting side by side this past weekend as our feet were being loved on with sugar scrubs and adorned with sparkly lotions, I thought about the concept of pampering oneself.

So many of us deal with a lot of guilt when it comes to pampering ourselves. Me included...but I am learning that it is all part of loving myself so that I can be fully present for the other loved ones in my life.

Whenever I leave an acupuncture session, I feel more patient, more calm, more emotionally available to others. When I walked out of this amazing Zen spa with painted toes and soft coconut scented legs, I had an extra skip in my step. I drove away with music blasting, me singing and looking forward to loving on my husband as soon as I arrived home.

So perhaps those of us that do indeed suffer from thoughts that pampering oneself is selfish or unnecessary, I would ask to look deeper and realize that loving and replenishing yourself isn't just about yourself. It is healthy, wise and puts you in a better frame of mind to give of yourself the way you want to.

So, just like you budget for food, gas, doctors appointments and bills...put a little bit of money away each month for a massage, pedicure or whatever it is your body is craving. Or have your girl/boyfriends over to do your own spa treatments. The more I do this, the more I realize that taking care of my mind, body and soul is not just about taking care of me. It is also about taking care of those that have to live with me.

So... to pamper or not to pamper. That is the question!

Thursday, February 15

the girly show

Swirly & Outi, canon digital rebel xt

Penelope & Colin, canon digital rebel xt

Mati Rose & Hugh, canon digital rebel xt

Swirly & Kelly Rae, canon digital rebel xt

Mati & Penny, canon digital rebel xt

Marisa of Creative Thursday, canon digital rebel xt

Kelly Rae & her yummy flowers, canon digital rebel xt

the energy of the evening, canon digital rebel xt

It has taken me a few days to come down from the high of being with the girls at the Girly Show. It reminds me of how I felt as a child coming home from Summer camp when all I wanted to do was reminisce through all my pictures and pick up a pen and paper to write all of the new friends I had just made. Remember those days? Well, fast forward 15 years and I am still that giddy young girl.

Walking into the gallery, before the rush of people arrived, I felt this overwhelming sense of energy and good vibrations. The gallery itself was funky with its colors and architecture and then to see the gorgeous art hanging all around was almost too much lusciousness to handle!

We all agreed how amazing it was that their art together had a seamless flow about it. The palettes, the themes, the compositions, the emotions, all resonated with one another so it wasn't an awkward transition from one wall to the next. Being in the midst of so much talent left me breathless at times as I witnessed pieces of their souls painted on canvas.

I've corresponded with a few of these women for quite a while but this was my first time meeting them all as a whole. Each of them are fantastic, beautiful, unique, outrageously loving and kind. I just wanted to wrap them up and take them home with me! I was lucky enough to catch each of them before the rush, so that I could connect with them and their significant others on a deeper level.

It was a challenge at first to tear myself away from them and hide behind the lens to capture their evening but once the admiring crowds arrived, it was natural for me to retreat and observe. I was so grateful for this opportunity to work with them.

It's difficult to find the words to describe the next four hours of bliss. So, I will leave you with a link to my online album where you can capture the mood and feel as though you were there if you didn't get the chance to go.

The Girly Show ~ Online Album

Wednesday, February 14

my valentine

me & my hubs, 2004, photo by robin nations

He takes my breath away and I lose myself in his arms. This is my absolute favorite photo of us that I think I've already shared here on my blog. I want to blow it up and wallpaper it to our walls. *smile*

This tender moment was captured by our wedding photographer when we hid behind the trees right after getting married. I think I was ready for the honeymoon already...ha!

Tonight we are going to acupuncture together and then later taking our friendly Volkswagen bus (aka "Bussy") over to the beach for some much needed soul~time.

My husband is dreamy (or shall I say...McYummy?).

I am a very blessed girly.

Monday, February 12

self portrait challenge ~ black & white {2}

SPC self portrait, canon digital rebel xt

Unadulterated Joy.

That is what I have been feeling this past week. It's been a rough few months for both of our families and I didn't realize in the midst of it all, I had lost my joy. That playful, unadulterated joy that seems to permeate my being when I walk down the street. Well, it's back and it feels so damn good.

It seems when I allow joy to come into my heart, that more joyful things happen to me. Like a free acupuncture appointment, a photo gig at a cool art gallery, a crazy amazing psychic reading and a photography opportunity to work with my acupuncturists clients and their newborns. All in a few days. But it's not like these things are falling into my lap out of the blue. I've actually spent time dreaming of them, imagining them, speaking them out loud and feeling as though they were happening when they weren't yet. I believe that is called manifesting. I have forgotten how powerful it is. I forget all to easily, actually...and I sit up in my studio and wonder for months why things aren't happening. It's because I am focusing on them "not happening".

It's all about the Law of Attraction that everyone is whispering about where we attract things that we are thinking and feeling. These past few weeks I have chosen to focus on how grateful I am for my fertility journey because as much as there is pain, sorrow, loss and confusion, there has been much more fabulousness in the mix. Like my blog, the connections I've made, the art that has been inspired by my journey and the opportunities that have come into my path as a result of my blog connections. When we finally do have our Boho Baby, I am going to constantly thank them for knowing the perfect time to come into our life. Knowing it better than we do. That is one of the things the psychic said to me. That our baby wants to be with us but it also understands how important it is for my husband and I to be individuals before we are parents. Our careers, our marriage, our creations are all in a different place than they were a year ago. We are more prepared to be parents now without losing ourselves or forgetting our passions. For that, I am so grateful.

One of the things I heard on Oprah the other day when the folks from The Secret were on was "nothing good will come into your life unless you are grateful for what you have already."

So yes...at this moment, I am focusing on the joy, the passion, the freedom, the juice of life...and I expect magic baby...MAGIC! Bring it on.

ps. And speaking of magic...the Girly Show was fabulous! I thought Mati captured well what I did all evening with this Boho Paparazzi pic! A post with details & my photos of this delicious event is coming soon.

Saturday, February 10

a schmoopfest

schmoopy, canon digital rebel xt

Yesterday I met Schmoopy at one of my favorite coffee houses by the sea. We've been corresponding for quite some time about our journey's to conceive. This was our first time meeting face to face and truly...it sort of felt like a blind date. When I first walked in and pranced up the stairs to where she was sitting in the corner of the coffee house, we both giggled with nervousness and sort of stumbled a bit with giddy words for the first few minutes. Then we joked about the blind date feeling. That definitely broke the ice and it began to feel like home...safe in the arms of the wonderful woman I've been sharing such raw emotions with.

After our java & tea, Schmoops and I went to our very first in person psychic reading. This woman was in the most adorable cottage filled with antiques and richly colored walls. When she opened up her barn door red fence, I could smell the essence of incense burning. Her long curly hair covered her flowy pheasant blouse as she waved us both into her magical home. Schmoops waited in the coolest waiting room ever, while I went in first...then she went in 30 minutes after me.

I won't share details yet except that I felt completely at ease and at peace with this psychic. She was very soothing and nurturing. Everything she said felt like a confirmation to what I've already been feeling is going to happen to me in regards to family, marriage and career. Nothing felt off, odd, fearful or uncomfortable. I hardly said a word and she already knew so much about me. She was spot on about the dynamics of my marriage and how we are bringing a baby into this world soon (organically) and how our lives will be full of creativity as a family. I left feeling so much lighter, energetic and alive. Schmoops had a similar experience and the first thing we said as we left the cottage was..."that was wild...lets get a drink!" So we did. We sat up at the bar and shared our magical stories over wine, tears, laughter and awe.

One of Schmoopy's readers of her blog that is also on this fertility journey said it well. "We are all part of a club that we don't really want to be a part of". Although, last night, as we were sipping our wine and we were spilling our roller coaster of emotions about this journey, we felt totally understood and grateful for these connections. Yes, the reason we are all brought together sucks but at the same time, I would have never ever connected with the amazing women that have come into my life as a result of it all. Because really, with each of these women, it is not only the fertility stuff that connects us. That just happens to be the cosmic pull in the beginning.

Later today I am going to the GIRLY SHOW to take some photographs of these amazing, talented, soulful, gorgeous, fabulous women. If you are in Los Angeles...do stop by and show them some love!!

p.s. Thank you, Dancing Mermaid for the tip on the lovely psychic!

Thursday, February 8

What to do when Procrastinating...

one of my favorite postcards, canon digital rebel xt

I have so much to do and I am totally procrastinating. I think something is in the cosmos because most of my friends are in the same head space. Perhaps I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around anything creative right now because it's been a few heavy months and I am a bit drained. No more family tragedies, please! Thank you.

During times when I'd rather stare at a wall than do some work, I just have to pick up my lead foot and make the first move. Then the groove typically starts flowin'. The sun is shining through my studio today and my favorite tunes are surrounding me. That alone should be enough support to push me in the right direction.

Until then, I will procrastinate a wee bit longer and play along with this meme that the gorgeous Ro tagged me to do:

Six weird things about myself...

1. I can easily have sensory overload. Because of this, amuzement parks are not my best friend. But they aren't my husband's either, so no argument there. I have a feeling our little boho kid is going to prefer libraries over Disneyland anyways. ; ) Just a hunch.

2. I cannot wear those fabulous pointed shoes because my feet are totally shaped like Barney Rubble and I get grumpy when my feet hurt.

3. My father's nickname for me is Boochie. So, my sister Pam calls me Boochiana. Don't ask. ; )

4. I have to straighten our comforter and sheets before I get into bed. Even though they get messed up as soon as I crawl in.

5. I cannot eat my popcorn until the film starts. It's just wrong!

6. I try to avoid wearing blue with black. It reminds me of a bruise.

I am tagging Superhero, Stef, Jen Gray & Schmoopy.

Monday, February 5

self portrait challenge ~ black & white

boho in the kitchen, canon digital rebel xt (click for larger view)

Okay, so this is the first installment of this month's self portrait challenge prompt for "black & white" portraits.

I'm going to have a blast with this one because I am so passionate about black & white's. But this particular picture has me laughing out loud. I think it is so fricken funny that my kitty Amber decided she needed to be front and center of attention here.

So, here is me, in my kitchen, snacking on some grapes. Little does my husband know that when he is at work and I am at home taking a break from my work, that I often sit up on our kitchen counter, snack and ponder what to do next for my day. Yep...good times in 'da kitchen.

I know what my sisters are thinking. They cannot believe I allow my cats up on my counter...but I DO constantly wipe them with yummy spray cleaners. I promise. I just can't say no to my kitties.

And yes folks...that is indeed an old door hanging from the ceiling. ; )

Happy Birthday Susannah

me & sus's feetsies, canon digital rebel xt

I will forever walk by your side, my friend. I love you. You had me at hello.

One of the greatest gifts you have ever given me was your midnight whispers from the bunk below mine. May there be many more giggly, sleep deprived nights full of heartful sharings, goblets of wine and the scent of vanilla ciggies. Soon, bunny...soon.

Do you feel us celebrating you from around the world?

Your Sexy Mini~Monkey

ps. Many bloggettes have asked me where I got the shoes I am wearing in the pic above. They are from El Natura Lista and the model is Iggdrasil (N096).

Saturday, February 3

bottled up

vintage bottles, canon digital rebel xt

These bottles were part of Carsten's fathers collection. He loved how bottles aged over time and the iridescent colors that would come swirling through the glass. They now rest comfy in our home on our window sill. Each morning, I sip my tea and watch the sunshine break through the colored glass and think how proud he is that we love them so. I've always had a passion for vintage bottles and it was something I shared with my father in-law.

It's been a rough few months for us with my nephew and his car accident, my husband's father passing away and of course, there is the fertility journey in the midst of it all.

With all that has transpired for each of our families in such a short time, I've noticed I have bottled up a plethora of emotions that need to be released. Some sad, some beautiful, some scary, some foreign to me.

Over the next few months, I'd like to relax into them. My husband and I need time to reconnect and quiet our minds and hearts to prepare for that little soul we want to enter into our womb, our home.

I think I am learning what I need for this journey. My sister Darlene told me she was proud of me for telling her prior to my trip out there this week that I only wanted to talk about my fertility stuff if I brought it up and asked if she could be gentle about this. I am not sure if I would have been brave or aware enough to ask this of someone a few years back. It feels good to be aware of what feels comfortable or uncomfortable as I walk this path. And it feels good that my loved ones are honoring what I need, what we need each step of the way.

I know that I need more yoga, more meditation, more walks on the beach. I need to do some Spring cleaning and to de-clutter my studio. To simplify my life. I know I need to allow myself to have days where I cry when a pregnant woman walks by or someone I know gets pregnant. I know I need to let go of expectations of how things are supposed to turn out for me and just go with the flow that each moment brings.

Most importantly, I know I need to release the bottle cap holding my emotions and allow them to pour freely. I am hoping over the next few months to use my creativity to help this along.

Breathe. Release. Pour. Dance. Play. Feel. Create. Allow.

And over time, just like the bottles in the picture above, these challenges and lessons on this journey will create a beauty we would have never thought possible. Little iridescent swirly blessings in our life.