Sunday, October 18, 2015

Grief & Loss

My husband and I at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

For those of you who do not know, my husband passed away suddenly in early August 2015. I am deep loss and grief, but I managed to record an episode of my radio show, Spilling Rubies, that focuses on this difficult time as I navigate this great loss.

I want to write more about this process, but for now, these are some great resources for your own grief process:
Thanks for your support. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Power of Revolutionary Art

Here I am wandering around the Napa Valley Ruins & Gardens Tour, hosted by the American Canyon Arts Foundation

I was quoted in the American Canyon Eagle this week, talking about the power of revolutionary art!

Some of the visitors on Saturday, like Petaluma artist Tristy Taylor, would be pleased if the city left the site as is with its graffiti, towering weeds and abundant plant life. “I think it’s beautiful,” said Taylor, whose own work includes painting, sculpting and embroidery. “I’m glad I got to see it now, today, in this decaying archaic form. It really reminds me of visiting the Greek ruins.” Hearing that the development project may include new art on the site, Taylor said she’s happy that commissioned work is part of the plan. But that’s not the same thing as having “free-form, revolutionary, out-of-the-box, in-the-moment creativity displayed on the walls here. I’m glad they’re thinking about including artists in the new development,” said Taylor. “But it’s not going to feel like this feels, and that’s a loss.”

I love these little moments of connection and inspiration.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Making Art with Dreams

A page from my Dream Art Journal

Making art with your dreams can be a really interesting way to step out of your analytical mind and work with a dream in a more visceral way.

Here are a few ways you can do work with your dreams through creativity, making and art:


  • cut out images from magazines and other materials that remind you of the dream (remember you don't have to find literal images from your dream, just pictures that remind you of the dream or make you feel similar feelings to the dream)
  • collage these images on paper, poster board, postcards, playing cards, index cards or anything else
  • make a series of these collages related to one dream, or a series of dreams that feel connected
  • take it one step further and give the collaged postcards to a friend and ask them to mail the cards back to you at a time of their choosing


  • write down the dream
  • circle important/emotional words
  • write a poem or haiku using those words
  • take it one step further by making a book of dream poetry and read it at your local open mic night

A card from my Dream Collage Deck -
this one is called "Guide to Lost Souls"


  • choose a scary or confusing dream character
  • use a paper plate or cut a paper circle
  • collage, paint and/or glue objects onto it
  • cut out eye holes (or not!)
  • configure the mask so you can wear it
  • wear the mask and embody the dream character
  • write down what you feel after embodying your scary or confusing dream character
  • take it one step further and ask a trusted friend to join you in re-enacting the dream and have them ask you questions about your charcter


  • focus on one color or image from your dream
  • learn everything you want to learn about that color or image
  • paint/draw it several times in several ways
  • pay attention to how that color or image shows up in your life
  • take it one step further and have a conversation with your painting/drawing - answer all your questions with another painting/drawing

If you do any of these processes, let me know. I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Changing Tides

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

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


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

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.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Monthly Check-In: April 2014

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.
Follow me on Twitter.
Follow me on Goodreads.
Become a fan of Create With Spirit on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Monthly Check-In: March 2014

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


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


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.