Friday, October 31, 2014

Changing Tides

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a rich, open pomegranate spills its rubies for you

Hello, one and all. The one thing we all can rely on is that everything ends and everything begins again. I am still crafting an authentic life and creating with spirit, but it is currently taking the form of my radio program, Spilling Rubies which airs LIVE every Tuesday evening at 8pm. You can stream it live on KWTF, and every show is archived, both on the main website and on Mixcloud and Soundcloud.

This Create with Spirit blog is going to take a sabbatical, so please join me at the links above, or connect on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

Thanks for all your amazing support and I'll see you in Radio Land!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monthly Check-In: June 2014

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Here's what I've been up to this past month. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow links and connect with me in other spaces as well as here!


Images from My Life


I got to meet Tom Robbins and have him sign my 1976 copy of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues! He and I have (almost) the same birthday - this year he turned 82 and I turned 42.

Our apricot tree fruited! It's so magical to wait and watch the fruit trees grow and bear fruit. Then it's HURRY HURRY and harvest as many as possible. I kept meaning to make chutney, but we just ended up eating them all (and giving many away to friends)!

I met a Red Milk Snake named Daisy! She curled up in my bra for a warm nap.

We AirBnB'd an amazing yurt in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It was magical!

Videos from My Life


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I also managed to capture some hoisting. Here's me doing some half-squat into jerks at 52kg/114.4lbs. So fun!

Books I've Read

I read four books in June, but the only one I really liked (make that LOVED) was The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye by A.S. Byatt. As I said in my review on GoodreadsThis book is a love letter to fairy tales, storytellers, and mythologists. It's the kind of writing I find so delicious and easy to sink into. I had to take one star away for the disappointing thread of body shame that runs throughout the main story. If only I could lift that damaged cord out, this book would be true perfection. I can't wait to read more of her work.

As usual, I'm really late for the bus on this. So many people have been recommending the work of A.S. Byatt to me for years. I do this weird thing, where if TOO many people recommend something to me, I almost willfully don't seek it out. It's a strange thing I do, and I'm not sure why. I'm glad I got over that weird impulse and dove into this fantastic book. I really want to read everything she has ever written now!

So far I've read 41 books in 2014

Music I Dig

This month I learned about the music of Haley Bonar and I adore her music. Below is her performing live, "Heaven's Made for Two" from her May 2014 album Last War


Green sweeps in the apple trees
I can feel it in between my toes
And I love you, baby, yeah, it don't sound much
Close to leaving me alone
I call you on the phone but I hang the phone
I could barely even admit I'm on the phone
Besides, I make my way down to Mexico
So I'll see you on the other side
HEAVEN'S MADE FOR TWO

Thanks for going on this month's ride with me! See you next time.
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Monthly Check-In: April 2014

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Here's what I've been up to this past month. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow links and connect with me in other spaces as well as here!

Images from My Life

New Spring Altar!

My husband, the scavenger, found a bunch of giant anatomical hearts.
He's a giant himself, so I love this photo.

I had my first skin allergy test....

And it turns out I'm allergic to the plastic tool they use to
GIVE the stupid test! I hate being such a sensitive flower, sometimes!



I've just started taking a really fantastic class, offered by Vivienne McMaster of Be Your Own Beloved fame, called Beloved Camera Class. I've always been petrified of my Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. It's so intimidating, with a million controls and delicate pieces that could break if I drop it! I've always admired Vivienne's photography and she's such a fantastic teacher (her and Flora Bowley have both taught THE BEST online art classes I've ever taken - and I've taken a lot, y'all)!

The above photo was taken as we learned to use the self-timer on our cameras. It was fun to tune in to my camera's rhythm and know just the right time to JUMP!

Books I've Read



A friend recently returned/gifted me with all my old Lynda Barry books and I've been re-devouring them. These books saved my life in high school//college and they saved my life all over again. Isn't amazing how books come back into your life, just when you need them? I actually don't even have the words to describe how important her books are to me. I'd have to draw you a picture instead. When I finish my current art journal, I'll share some of those drawings with you. Her latest book, Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book is SO FANTASTIC and so great for all of us struggling writers/drawers/weirdos.

I also really enjoyed a few other art books this month, including
Painting Your Way Out of a Corner: The Art of Getting Unstuck by It is a really sweet book that essentially takes the basics of process painting (originally taught by Michele Cassou) into a variety of exercises for self-healing. Throughout the book she shares interesting research about the human brain, including how we can re-train our brain to work more creatively. There's also a really sweet section on "myth, magic & psyche" that speaks to Carl Jung's "active imagination" practice as well as a re-connection to the old myths of our cultures (and bonus points for acknowledging how the Grimm Brothers re-wrote all the old myths, removing the "darkness" and complexity of the "bad characters"). She even mentions Baubo, and Baba Yaga, two female characters that do not fit into the "Disney-fied" mold our culture so obsessively puts forth.

I also re-read The Once and Future Goddess by It begins with showcasing prehistoric Goddess art and details several hypotheses as to how and why the sacredness/worshiping of the Goddess was ground out by patriarchal forces. Interspersed throughout the book are some incredibly powerful images of works art, covering almost all mediums. If you feel a need to re-connect to your inner Goddess Creative Power, I highly recommend picking it up.

So far, I've read 30 books in 2014. 


Music I Dug 


 This month I've listening non-stop to Sleepy Kitty. I used to have an all-female-voiced radio show on KZSC, back in the 90's and they remind me of that great, lady rock I would blast in that little treehouse on the UC Santa Cruz campus.

Movies I Dug


Even though I love Katharine Hepburn, I had never seen Pat and Mike. It's got that perfect back-and-forth, romantic chemistry that I love in movies from the 1940's & 50's (another one of my favorites of that genre is His Girl Friday). It's also a powerfully feminist movie and lo and behold, it was co-written by one of my heroes, Ruth Gordon! One of my mantras is "What Would Ruth Gordon Do?" She's amazing.

I also enjoyed Improv: 50 Years Behind the Brick Wall since I am kind of a stand-up comedy nerd. There was a great balance of men and women represented, which you don't always see in comedy documentaries.

Thanks for going on this month's ride with me! See you next time.
Don't forget to:
Follow me on Instagram.
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Follow me on Goodreads.
Become a fan of Create With Spirit on Facebook.
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monthly Check-In: March 2014

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Like many, I rarely blog anymore. I've moved on to quicker, more visual ways of sharing my life. But I don't want to neglect this lively space, so I've decided to do a monthly check in that aggregates the "best of the month" in other social media I use. It's so meta! So please enjoy, and make sure to follow links and connect with me in other spaces as well as here.


March 2014 on Instagram

My magenta hair lives on, into the Spring!

I'm painting up a storm! This is a Sad Clown that appeared in my Circle Painting.

I have a new painting studio and it's been such a joy to sink down into my painting practice again. When I paint every day, I find that my paintings begin to respond back to me. The above began as a painting made only of circles. Eventually, this Sad Clown Face began to reveal herself and as I "pulled her out" by defining the details, I realized that she came in answer to a question I've been sitting with, about my life as a performer and improvisor. The current group I am performing with is fantastic and I love them, but the improv we do together is way too "normal" and it's making me a "Sad Clown." I didn't realize this until this face in my painting showed up to tell me.

Videos I made in March 2014



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Here I am deadlifting 100kg (220 lbs.) for 4 reps.

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SO MANY turkeys at our house!

Books I read in March 2014

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley ~ 1917. Illustrations by Douglas Gorsline

I read a lot of books in March. One of my favorites was Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morely. I received it in Book Riot's 2nd Quarterly Box. I loved this book and it was quite a feminist story (especially considering it was written in 1917)! In this short novella, a woman buys a book caravan and sets out to escape the drudgery of domestic farm life and sell books on the open road. It's really worth a read, if only to inspire you to jump in and try something new.

So far, I've read 19 books in 2014.
 

Music I dug in March 2014


This is a new section I'm going to add to this Monthly Check-In Series. This isn't music that necessarily came out this month - more like music I discovered this month:



Bridge to Hawaii by Tacocat 
First of all, this band's name is Taco Cat. That in itself is fantastic. They are super poppy in the best way and this song is about escaping the cold winter with a bridge to Hawaii. 

"It's dark and it rains all the time
I'm guessing not the destinations that you had in mine
Your brain's unraveling, the endless traveling
And you can't go up, jump into the ocean"


Elemental Finding by Tara Jane O'Neil (set to vintage 1970's baptism footage by David Dean Burkhart on YouTube)
I've been a fan of Tara Jane O'Neil for years, and her new album, Where Shine New Lights does not disappoint. It's dreamy and slow and perfect.

"Lay down, lay down your armor
Your guards have already fled
Take a look at yourself you marauder
And be your soft test"

Thanks for going on this month's ride with me! See you next time.

Don't forget to:
Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.
Follow me on Goodreads.
Become a fan of Create With Spirit on Facebook.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monthly Check-In: February 2014

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Like many, I rarely blog anymore. I've moved on to quicker, more visual ways of sharing my life. But I don't want to neglect this lively space, so I've decided to do a monthly check in that aggregates the "best of the month" in other social media I use. It's so meta! So please enjoy, and make sure to follow links and connect with me in other spaces as well as here.

February 2014 on Instagram


I started off the month of February with fresh magenta hair!

I moved into my NEW ART STUDIO! Where, for the first time in my life,
I could line up all my paintings and look at them together. Amazing!

I've been drawing one portrait every morning. I improvise with these two funny gentlemen.

I painted a giant, abstract Full Pink Moon on the floor of my new studio.

Playing with the Diana app, to combine self-portraits with my drawings. So fun!

 

Videos I made in February 2014



 Here is me benching 55 kilos (121 lbs) for 5 reps!


Rain in my new studio!

 

Books I read in February 2014


I read three books this month:
Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen by one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America." The story was brutal and difficult to get through, but still an important story to be told.

Ariel: The Restored Edition by

And finally, Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart by with a foreword by Dalai Lama XIV. This book completely blew my mind. It's so good. Bennett-Goleman breaks down "ten basic emotional patterns, including fear of abandonment, social exclusion (the feeling that we don't belong), and vulnerability (the feeling that some catastrophe will occur)." She gives great tips on mindfulness and presence and shares wonderful stories to illustrate her suggestions. She's humble, authentic and generous and this is a book I'm keeping on my shelves to refer to when things start to spin out of control and I feel overwhelmed by my own schemas (it's a life-long journey, isn't it?).


So far, I've read 14 books in 2014.

Don't forget to:
Follow me on Instagram.
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Follow me on Goodreads.
Become a fan of Create With Spirit on Facebook.

Thanks for continuing to visit this space and connect!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice

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One of my Winter Solstice altars

Today is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. We've had a very cold, dry winter so far, and my heart and soul yearn for the rain. I am a true Northern California girl - I need wet, moist earth and green, dripping branches to truly feel at home and to truly feel the magic of the season. The cold, bright landscape of this strange winter we're having leaves me feeling lost and confused. It's too bright. It's too cold. My plants are dead from frost and my lips are constantly chapped.

This is a time for nesting and reflection. When I can, I like to have a big bonfire and invite all my friends to gather round it and let go of the old year by burning various ephemera from the past, but this year, I'm going to celebrate a bit more quietly. No bonfire this year, but there will be lots of candles lit throughout the house. This is a night to stop and breathe - to take in the year that is about to exit out the door and dream about what is to come, when the light returns. I want to nestle in my little nest, curl up with my beloved husband and kitty cats, sip hot cider and LET GO. The solstice is a time of wonder, of ritual, of candles lit under shivering stars.


Painting of Antlered One by Susan Seddon Boulet via Turning Point Gallery

It's important to me to re-claim this holiday season from the corporate, industrial world. Thankfully, every season still celebrated, has a Goddess beneath it - you just have to scratch the surface a bit - and my favorite Goddesses of the season are Beiwe, Beiwe-Neia and Rozhanitsa. All could fall under the archetype of the "Antlered Goddess."
 

The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway, worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity. She travels through the sky in a structure made of reindeer bones with her daughter, Beiwe-Neia, to herald back the greenery on which the reindeer feed. On the winter solstice, her worshipers would sacrifice white female animals and thread the meat on sticks which they bent into rings and tied with bright ribbons. They also cover their doorposts with butter so Beiwe can eat it and begin her journey once again. 

Sami woman reindeer herder, Berit Logje
with cast antler at round-up near Kautokeino. Northern Norway.
In twelfth century Russia, the eastern Slavs worshiped the winter mother goddess, Rozhanitsa, offering bloodless sacrifices like honey, bread and cheese. Bright colored winter embroideries (usually red on white) depicting the antlered goddess and her children were made to honor the Feast of Rozhanitsa in late December. For her feast, small, white-iced cookies shaped like deer were given as presents or good luck tokens.

The antlered woman is really an iconic figure in art and mythology. I'm actually working on my own antlered crown that I hope to complete before the year is complete (wish me luck)!

More reading about the Antlered Goddess:
In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways by Robert Moss


Amanita Muscaria mushroom

I also really love the old stories about the origin of Santa Claus. It's no coincidence that Christmas colors are red and white. Just look at the mushrooms the old shamans used to take, because really, Santa Claus is just a Bear Shaman on mushrooms anyway!

What about music? I plan on making a mix of all my favorite Winter Solstice music (stay tuned!) but until then, I recommend listening to Beautiful Darkness, Celebrating the Winter Solstice, by Jessica Radcliffe, Lisa Ekström & Martin Simpson. It's a quiet, sweet, powerful album and a great companion for nesting through the winter cold.

I am wishing you all a joyous and delightful new year full of light, love and vigor.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Be Your Own Beloved #28

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Every day, I am taking a self-portrait in conjunction with Vivienne McMaster's Be Your Own Beloved e-course. Sometimes it takes me longer - like a month - but I'm dedicated to finishing this project!

A Message to My Future Self
 TODAY, 3 MONTHS AND 23 DAYS AFTER THE END OF THIS PROJECT, I HAVE FINALLY TAKEN 28 SELF-PORTRAITS. Well actually, I've taken quite a bit more, but as far as this particular project is concerned, I am finally done!

In this last assignment, Vivienne asks us to take a picture to send to our future self. As you can imagine, I ground my gears over this one for weeks. What do I want to tell my future self? This is so BIG. This is so IMPORTANT.

Finally, I realized that more than anything else, my big brain OVERTHINKING all of my creative projects actually stops them from ever getting done, just as it stopped me from taking this very picture. So my message to my future self (and my present self) is to remember to just create. Just make. Don't worry so much. You will make mistakes and often those mistakes will turn into something beautiful. If you stay frozen, you will never make anything at all, so you might as well just go for it. What a relief!