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These mixed media collages by Karen Arp-Sandel were currently shown in the IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Faculty art show in Stockbridge, MA this month. And, as you can imagine, they were purchased as a set to some very happy art owners!
Karen has an upcoming class at IS-183 Art School of the Berkshires.
I will be watching my son graduate from high school that weekend, but if you are hankering for a deep dive in to book making, look at this class.
Celebrating mothers this month on Laundry Line Divine means we are Putting Motherhood on the Front Page. All month I will be sharing guest blog posts from the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series here on the front page. In this collection of writing, women who are artists, authors, dancers, filmmakers and quilters will be sharing their creative journeys. I am convinced that the stories these women share illuminate the territory of motherhood with a detail and expansiveness that is rarely found elsewhere.
I know very well that some of the readers of Laundry Line Divine don’t have children. For a myriad of complicated and intensely personal reasons, you don’t have kids.
But, you do mother in so many other ways.
Coleen Davidson’s post says it so well. Women, by nature, are ‘madres’ to others. It is in our female DNA to care for others. While I will never stand here and say that one choice or situation is better than another, since I am a mother, this is my perspective. I never, ever want what happens here on Laundry Line Divine to feel like a club, exclusive membership only. I know women who have become stepmothers at 45. I know women who have adopted at 43. I know women who are perfectly happy without children and get immense joy out of showering nieces and nephews with a standard of care and attention no mother could muster. I also know there are some great guys who read these posts. Thank you each! When I welcome the stories of mothers, I am welcoming the stories of all women who own their creative powers, whether you birth babies, books or business. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute to this series by writing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can take some of this goodness home with you.
Consider buying a copy of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, which compiles some of the blog posts and writing from the live events I host for the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers called Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others. Mandy Steward of Messy Canvas wrote this review.
Today I launched a tag on Instagram, where I like to play visually.
It is an invitation to doodle every day, photograph it and post it on Instagram with this tag #doodleaday2013.
Sunni Brown tells you in this Ted Talk why doodling would do you a world of good this year.
When I doodle, I just make myself a small, often square, shape to fill in and apply my pen or pencil. I don’t give myself a wide panel, just something small. Go on. Try it. If you enjoy Instagram, I’d love you to play there with me. I will post more doodles from my friends here on the Line.
In this bright sunny winter light, I am taking stock of what I have done for the past year. I consider what ideas that have taken form in me and in my world. Today I am preparing for an annual meeting I have with my art collaborator, Karen.
The juicy, precision sankalpa is the resolve, determination and good intention that resonates precisely in your core and aligns sublimely with your essence . It is fluid enough to insinuate itself through the semi conscious patterns of self sabotage, wounded self’s objections and ego discontent. It is a will power that is flexible enough to account for changing circumstances as the sankalpa begins to manifest in your inner and outer world. Yet it is precise enough not to be diverted by the core negative beliefs that stand against it.
This meeting is our sankalpa practice. This ancient tradition is described here.
As you may have noticed, Karen and I love to take things we learn-like this practice from the yogic traditions, and bring it in to our daily lives. We are both yoginis and lean in to our meditation practices for inspiration and guidance. In our sankalpa practice Karen and I list things that inspired us and illuminate what we choose to carry forward into our life and work. This is a time of deep harvesting and listening for themes that emerged in 2012 and looking at what might take root in this new year.
I am so drawn to my winter cave on these cold days. I have learned to answer the call of winter and hibernate. I give myself time to write longer in the evenings, I don’t do every little thing outside the house, I budget more hours when I don’t have to be driving places so I can respond to the quieter forces that well up in this stillness.
(This is when the slow cooker really comes in handy.)
Here is what I said about my Sankalpa preparations last year.
Just reading this post gives me a perspective on what 2012 held for me.
I am heading back to my writing chair, but I urge you do let yourself engage in a new practice this year that could add a new dance move to your already cool repertoire. Doodle with me if you like, follow me here on Laundry Line Divine and go ahead and find your juicy resolve to live your brightest light.
You do realize that tonight is the ninth day of Christmas, right?
My Mom taught me to appreciate and have my tail saved by the Twelve Days of Christmas. This practice softens my panic to get every freakin’ little thing done by the stroke of midnight on December 24th. And it allows a bit of surprise to carry me in to the New Year.
Who knows when a certain special something will show up to cheer me on a frigidly cold and windy day?
Why, today, my FeMail art partner, Karen Arp-Sandel, with whom I make art and a whole lot of fun, sent me this one-of-a-kind collaged postcard. We sell these at various art events in December and whatever escapes the keen eyes of holiday shoppers, we mail to our special friends.
And how special is this one? That is a New Yorker from the 1940s behind that snappy jester gal.
Here is to a new year of more art, adventure and FeMail!
Here’s where you can learn more about FeMail.
Our next event is an evening program at Kripalu in March, then a day-long workshop with Alchemy Initiative on Saturday April 27th.
Everyone is hopping with news of growth in their businesses or ideas, in upgraded websites or book releases.
Sort of like celebrating a kid’s new front tooth, this post is a short list of eight things that have come my way this week that inspired me.
At least one of them will inspire you, I am sure.
Jennifer Currie is my nearly next-door neighbor and a painter and spiritual seeker is doing beautiful work. On her blog she writes about dancing in her jammies every morning. She had a special offer to her newsletter subscribers that I took her up on, and all I can say is, thank you Jennifer. You light up Great Barrington with your joy.
Advent has long been a time of great anticipation and joy for me. Less joy, honestly, once my kids were big enough to be ‘waiting’ for Christmas, even though we have not had huge Santa strewn holidays. Advent has a very special place in my heart though, not tied to gifts or doing, but is about sitting and listening, waiting- not an easy thing for little kids understandably. They loved the Advent Circle at their kindergarten, but have outgrown that tradition. I have to coax my girl to open the doors on our lovely calendar. Oh, I could go on about Advent, but when I discovered what Mandy at Messy Canvas was doing, I signed up for her ‘Come Thou Long Expected’ Advent journey. Her e-book is written in her steady voice with a month of daily readings and prompts for working in my art journal. Here is the quote I loved today:
“To be seen fully by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow- this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
At Alchemy Initiative’s Handmade Holiday Festival in Pittsfield this weekend, I ran in to my collage studio pal, Laurie May Coyle. Aside from raising a sweet angel of a little girl, Laurie has sprouted her own coaching studio and with her friend Ilana Siegal, will be leading a 13 week Creative Productivity workshop here in the Berkshires. I love Laurie’s art. Whenever I see a bird, I think of Laurie.
Then, in a comment here on Laundry Line Divine, I met Spike Mason who introduced me to his latest music video. After sharing it on Face book, I learned from my soulmate in Australia, Justine, that the vocalist, Kristin Berardi, is a friend of hers. Here is what Justine said about Kristin:
“Gorgeous soul, and the mother a son and daughter. Kristin’s singing is as divine as she is herself…. she is a powerful force for promoting women and voice…”
I know you might be worried about your holiday shopping, but, if you stop at my pal Janet’s blog, you might take yourself out for a little food adventure. She manages to find the most unexpected foods in unexpected places. And here is her newly updated blog spot, not to be confused with Blogspot. It is ever so roomy there now.
Then, there were some wonders in the mail.
First, my pal Lori Randall Stradtman, who I met in BlogWorld Expo 2 years ago and fell immediately in love with, sent me her new-to-the-world book “Online Reputation Management for Dummies”.
I have only begun to dip in to the very clearly written text, laced with her natural humor and clean sharp eye which peers perceptively in to Huffington Post and Nike all while raising 3 kids and a couple of dogs. Lori has written a book that appeals to blog hosts like me. I am always working to improve what happens here on the Laundry Line and I want my presence on the world wide web to one that foots with my value and integrity. Lori has written THE book on how to make sure I do that. Thanks Gal!
And, of course, being the holiday season, this post of marvels would not be complete without some FeMail! Karen and I got together this week to create some one-of-a-kind postcards to be sold at the Burlington Vermont Holiday Art sHop next week.
Karen wrote a post for FeMail here. Here is a sample of our little works of art that you can send through the mail. This one is by Karen.
And lastly, this is mail I look forward to getting, I just joined my virtual friend Michelle’s online community at her site Gwarlingo. I often mention Michelle here because she posts some of the most interesting and exciting art and culture news.
I joined because I know being a reputable and steady presence online requires support. And, being an artist, I know the value of that support. So congratulations Michelle! I can’t wait to share my Gwarlingo mail with my Laundry Line readers.
Here’s what we used to do. A lot. We will bake again this year. And I will hope for some decorating assistance from the best little bakers in the Berkshires..almost all grown up!
For today I am taking deep breathes and offering prayers of gratitude that all is well in my household. The kids are working hard at school. My husband made dinner twice this week already. And tomorrow is art day where he takes the steering wheel for our family life for the whole day. I am a very fortunate woman, I know.
I have big news too. That anthology I mentioned is really happening. I am becoming an indie book publisher before your very eyes. More on that when I have visuals to share.
Until then, just know I appreciate your time and attention here on the Laundry Line.
I will close with a quote from one of my husband’s heros, Jacob Bronowski. If you sit next to my guy for longer than 30 minutes, let’s say you are at a party and you get him talking- he may steer you towards some of the wonders of life that he learned about watching Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man in 1973.
Here is the quote that captures the spirit of this post and pretty much everything I do:
The world is totally connected. Whatever explanation we invent at any moment is a partial connection and its richness derives from the richness of such connections as we are able to make…the act of imagination is the opening of the system so that it shows new connections.