Colorful mint salmon and lemon spirograph.

Spirographing. How That Spirograph is working Out

I draw the spirograph patterns by pinning one wheel or shape to the board then spinning a circle gear with a pen.

I draw the spirograph patterns by pinning one wheel or shape to the board then spinning a circle gear with a pen.

I recently was gifted a spirograph, which I absolutely love. I like making the circles in each pattern, and watching the pattern appear. I have been using the circle wheels until my pen ran dry. I am going to experiment with pens. I want a nice dark line that applies smoothly and doesn’t puddle or spot (when the pen leaves white spots in its wake I have to fix it in Procreate). My pen did both but for what I had, its nib fit in the Spirograph discs so I used it anyways. Mine is vintage, and from the looks of the ugly bulky colored not clear plastic modern ones, I am very lucky to have it. I guess parents don’t want toys that come with dozens of tiny push pins. I don’t blame them; Jeremy has already punctured his thumb after picking up what he thought was a small green bead off the floor.

Here are the Rainbow spirograph shapes all together.

Here are the Rainbow spirograph shapes all together.

My Super Spirograph set comes with a little cardboard surface. I lay out my paper – I like more than one layer of paper so my pen doesn’t fall in a pin hole and puncture my paper. Then I pick the larger shape and pin it to the cardboard. This is the one the circle will spiral inside or around.

Now I can repeat these spirograph patterns i

Now I can repeat these spirograph patterns in any drawing I like.

Triangle Spirograph with an interesting darks on light transition. This is what happens if I don't clean up the contrast before making a brush.

Triangle Spirograph with an interesting darks on light transition. This is what happens if I don’t clean up the contrast before making a brush.

Then the circular wheel, with pen shaped holes spiraled around the disc. These are where the pen goes in and turn the gear. Its a little bit of a steampunk craft, with the little gears revolving around a shape and laying down a pattern.

The process reminds me of this drawing machine.

eske rex: drawing machine from designboom on Vimeo.

(edited to add: my friend Alan let me know my previous link was not working and adds, “Caveat: the device above is not recommended for small apartments or those with nervous cats…” Ha! :D )
Have you ever heard of the Spirograph nebula IC 418? It is so named because its patterns are complex and lovely, too.

The Spirograph nebula named after the toy phot from NASA.

The Spirograph nebula named after the toy phot from NASA.

Eske Rex: Drawing Machine from thisispaper on Vimeo.

Spirograph custom Procreate Brushes i created for my illustration work.

Spirograph custom Procreate Brushes i created for my illustration work.

I import the spirograph designs into my digital illustration app, ‘Procreate’ and edit away the texture of the paper. Then, I transform the drawing from pen and ink to black and white, suitable for creating custom brushes in Procreate.

Spirograph mandala creation.

Colorful mint salmon and lemon spirograph.

Colorful mint salmon and lemon spirograph design. Available on Light Love Art Etsy

Looped spirograph.

Looped spirograph design available on Light Love Art Etsy.

How to Cleanse Your Energy Now

Refresh And Revitalize Your Energy!

7 Ways to Feel Better now and take care of yourself spiritually. I use all of these methods myself according to the occasion.

1. Meditate (free)

Taking a few moments to calm your mind and focus on emanating loving-kindness from your heart will clean the negativity in your energy and project positive energy, attracting positive things to you. All you need to do is close your eyes- or, you can download over an hour of free meditation music from Sounds True, Inc. or click this button for a 10% off. banner

2. Listen to Mary Malinski’s Free Protection Shield Meditation (free)

Guided Meditation will help you calm your mind and protect it from the energy of other people. I have found it very effective on public transportation when there are a number of people around who have a wide variety of energy.

3. Get A Distance Reiki Session

Reiki provides the safe, loving, relaxed space you need to release fear, anxiety, and tension from your energy body and invite in the energies of positive abundance and healing. When I begin your session, I cleanse the space with White Sage and use the Reiki symbols to connect with you. The crystals I use are intuitively selected, always including at least one crystal per chakra. (ie. rose quartz for the heart chakra and so on). Or, if you are a Reiki practitioner, give yourself Reiki using these hand positions.

 reiki treatments

4. Smudge With White Sage or Incense

Light a White Sage bundle or cone and waft the smoke over your body and allow it to fill the space. The smell will neutralize the air around you and cleanse your energy body, allowing you to feel more peaceful and relaxed. If you don’t have white sage, use lavender or good-quality incense.

5.  Use EFT (free)

If you are holding negativity in your energy, tapping your meridian points in the way the free EFT guide recommends will clear negativity and fear from your energy, allowing energy to flow where there was once resistance. This is the method I used to dramatically reduce and eliminate my fear of spiders over four years ago.

6. Use Donna Eden’s 5 minute Energy Routine (free)

You will find this five minute energy routine will change the flow of your energy and increase your health. Flowing energy is cleansed energy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gffKhttrRw4

7. Enter A Sweatlodge (By Donation)

The ceremonial chief or person pouring the sweatlodge acts as the liver. It’s the time to “come alive” and get it all out.Expect to spend an afternoon experiencing authentic, cleansing, ceremony and come away feeling cleaner inside and out. The only challenge with this is finding one with a positive reputation in your area.

 

Blue Escape. Photo by JRD photography of Sidhe Etain.

Candy Cute Crazy at Ohio State Reformatory

“The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.”
― Neil GaimanAmerican Gods

A pretty mother and her child have good days and bad days; watching the birds fly, looking out the window, laughing and playing together. Or so mommy thinks. Her baby is a creepy, crumbling doll, and their home is the asylum, whose other residents have long since moved on. And then it dawns on you: ‘mommy’s’ sweet face hides a world of crazy. Photographer Jace of JRD Photography shows a glimpse of that fantasy world inside the haunted building, following her with his camera as model Grace Nuth  plays in the Ohio State Reformatory ruins, oblivious to the reality around her.

Photographing Fantastical Narrative

Grace,  model and creator of Domythic Bliss, loves anything with a narrative; becoming a part of a story is what she does best, and the more fantastic and mythic the better. Her many fans and friends follow her posts because of the magical worlds she shares with us, and even more, we love seeing her face become part of those stories. She says, “And the more surreal or fantastical the story, the better.”

Photographer Jace, who travels from Ohio to Florida shooting his subjects, and who has been a professional photographer for many years now, is at his most creative with variety, so their collaboration at the OSR event was a perfect match.

The Best Laid Plans: Improv in Photography

Jace, a consummate professional, is a master of improv, from his proficiency as a jazz musician to walking into a set and ‘seeing’ the photographs he can take- with a sweeping glance around the room, his mind immediately says “there’s a shot, there’s another shot’ where a less experienced mind may require time to plan and execute, Jace is ready to roar.

But that immediacy is preceded by great imagination and preparation, from spending hundreds of dollars on props, everything from skulls to dresses, to imagining the story he wants to tell. For this shoot, he was inspired by Isla Fisher’s crazed character in Wedding Crashers whose prettiness hides her insanity – revealed when she threatens with wide, crazy eyes “but if you ever leave me!”

'Bad Baby' Photo taken by JRD photography at OSR 2014.

‘Bad Baby’ Photo taken by JRD photography at OSR 2014.

In this shoot, the character is all sweetness and candy cute, with a demented edge. Grace’s expressive face becomes this character; perfectly transforming into this beautiful yet deluded woman who convinces herself her baby is real (but not we frightened viewers). For Jace, this is creativity, where he sells fear instead of products or the perfect wedding day.

Photographing the Ghosts At Ohio State Reformatory

OSR is a gathering of creative genius, networking via Facebook, scheduling models with photographers, who then meet on the day of the shoot to collaborate. It is an incredible place to shoot! Grace explains her involvement, “I was lucky enough a few years ago to find a group of photographers, models, and creatives in the local area whose goals and artistic ideals synch extremely well with mine. In 2012, my dear friend and phenomenal artist Ellie Lane went to the annual OSR group shoot, as did Kevin James of Red Generation Photography, and several other people whose opinions I valued. I saw the amazing results of this single day shoot in an amazing location, and I knew I had to go! OSR 2013 was my first year attending, and I shot three concepts with three photographers. ”

Baby Dream photograph at OSR

Baby Dream – JRD Photography and Grace / Sidhe Etain

 

 

 

Say Yes To The Dress

Jace and Grace had only a limited time to shoot, so JRD took great care to make sure it would go smoothly.

With a bit of sleuthing on Facebook, he purchased the dresses Grace loved (in her size! Despite the sizing difference between the UK and US!) “This is how I like to woo my model” he explains, and it paid off in spades.

Grace says, “This year I shot SIX concepts with six photographers. It’s a whirlwind, but it’s so very worth it!” Unbeknownst to Jace, one of the dresses she had for one of those other shoots was completely unusable. So not only did Grace look amazing in the two dresses from Jace, but it also lessened the sting of not being able to wear that other dress. “When [the dress from Jace] did fit, i was in love!” She says.

Jace says, “She just lit up when she saw the dresses!” As every girl knows, having the right dress can make a world of difference between a photograph you love and ones where you untag yourself on Facebook (or is that just me?)!

Blue Grace. Dress by, Flower by artist Katana Leigh.

Blue Grace. Dress by, Flower by artist Katana Leigh.

Creative Collaboration

I love these gorgeous photos, the dresses look smashing on Grace, and so of course I was delighted to see the flower barrette I sent to Grace accessorizing. Purchase Grace’s dresses from Lindy Bop, or get yourself her blue flower barrette (handmade by me).

If you would like to collaborate with either of these two wonderful creatives, Grace can be found on Model Mayhem and Facebook.  Jace’s photography can be found at his portfolio JRD Photography .

 

how to paint realistic art step by step

How to Make Realistic Art Step by Step

Let’s be honest – has anyone ever created a better series of realistic art painting videos than Bob Ross? He’s so cheery and warm, with deft brushstrokes that are so effortlessly explained that anyone can follow along to acquire techniques to allows you to paint practically anything realistically.

Bob Ross’s realistic art style reminds me of laying on my great grandparents’ couch at age six, looking at their paintings and thinking, “I could totally do that.” Even though I had never picked up acrylic at that point and my faces still didn’t have noses. He just makes it look that easy. And he’s right!

First, pick up all your basic beginner’s Acrylic Painting supplies. 

Then, learn how to make realistic art step by step by Subscribing to BobRossInc’s YouTube Channel and discover the Joy of Painting all over again! Even the most seasoned artist will feel encouraged and creative blocks lifted with Bob Ross making realistic art step by step with you.

 

Bob Ross is my hero!

rainbow northern lights starfield

See the Northern Lights From Space


Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? One cold winter night in Manitoba, my friend and I were driving back to our small town from Winnipeg – an hours’ trip – and we pulled over on the side of the road to watch the Northern Lights move slowly across the dark, starry sky. It was magical.

Earth's Magnetic Field causes the Aurora Borealis Northern Lights.

Earth’s Magnetic Field causes the Aurora Borealis Northern Lights.

When I saw these photos of the northern lights I was amazed. It looks like the aura of Mother Earth – green for her heart chakra – dancing across the atmosphere. Just as the snow looks like her inhale and exhale (click here to see the Breath of the Earth Mother)

How to Paint the Northern Lights

Inspired? This Classic Bob Ross video shows you how to paint your own northern lights. I think he is using oil, which allows for so much blending before the paint dries. Use an acrylic medium or extender to get the same effect.

Cultural appreciation or cultural appropriation

Nelly Furtado’s Big Hoops Video Featuring Native American Dancers

Nelly Furtado Big Hoops Native American Dancers

I love the title of the song, big hoops, big nineties hoop earrings, or big hoops of the dancers. This is a wonderful music video! A lot of Native American young people love hip hop and rap because of the similarities and connections they feel to the music and lifestyle, so its beautiful to see those two elements (Indians and hip hop) combined so perfectly, culturally inclusive without appropriation- a line many, including Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, and Kesha, have crossed.

Native american shawl dancer Violet Duncan (Cree/Taino) in Nelly Furtado Big Hoops

Native american shawl dancer Violet Duncan (Cree/Taino) in Nelly Furtado Big Hoops

Canadian Nelly Furtado Big Hoops culturally appreciating Native Americans.The Bigger the Better, Tony and Kevin Duncan (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/San Carlos Apache)

Canadian Nelly Furtado Big Hoops culturally appreciating Native Americans. The Bigger the Better, featuring dancers Tony and Kevin Duncan (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/San Carlos Apache), Tony is  Violet Duncan’s husband.

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Adrienne K of Native Appropriations says, “Do you know how rare and exciting this moment is? A mainstream music artist used Native influences in her music video, and I HAVE NOTHING NEGATIVE TO SAY!!!! … Basically, this is going to go down in history as my example of how to incorporate Natives without crossing the line into cultural appropriation.

Indian Country Today says, “The video for Nelly Furtado’s single Big Hoops (Bigger the Better) has been released, and for fans of hoop dancing it’s a great tribute to the skills of champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan and his brother Kevin (both San Carlos Apache/ Arikara/ Hidatsa). Also making a surprise (to us) appearance is Violet Duncan, Plains Cree/Taino, performing a fancy shawl dance. Violet served as Miss Indian World 2007.”

Powwows.com explains, “Furtado practising with world champion Native American hoop dancers, directed by director Little X, who previously worked with her on the video for ‘Promiscuous’. The video premiered on May 3, 2012 in Much Music and on May 7, 2012 on VEVO.”

Furtado talks about the lyrics here: explaining her song as an ode to the R&B /hip hop  soundtrack of her life as a teenager.

Shawl Dancer and storyteller Violet Duncan is the author of “When We Dance” and Native American Music Awards Artist of the Year Tony Duncan is her husband.

 

The Lyrics:

You’re a hundred percent right, Chris!
(Time to release the fresh)
Time to release the fresh!
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The better the bigger
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The better the bigger
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
Tonight, it’s the jam, I’ll be there ’til dawn
I’m going down, I got my big hoops on
Pant leg so wide, I got my backpack on
I’m going to hear my favorite song
Hey, hey, hey, what’s the scenario?
That boy keeps passing me by
I said no diggity, no doubt
I thought I told you I was fly
Yeah, he and all of his friends, they
They got that hair like high five
I don’t want to talk about sex
Want to express myself tonight
I can go fast
I can go slow
I can go places nobody else goes
I can move fast
I can move slow
I can go places nobody else goes
Everybody, say hey
They going at it all night and day
Everybody, say hey
They going at it all night and day
I bet you never seen something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
I bet you never heard something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
I bet you never seen something like that (That, that, that)
That boy going to feel my poison
I know he can’t stand the rain
I want to be down with you, baby
Back and forth, back and forth
Back, back, back and forth
You got my rump-rump shaking
I’m another bad creation
All real and I never have to fake it-fake it
You know I got to move quick
And I got to move slow
Guess, there ain’t no ending no more
I can go fast
I can go slow
I can go places nobody else goes
I can move fast
I can move slow
I can go places nobody else goes
Everybody, say hey
They going at it all night and day
Everybody, say hey
They going at it all night and day
I bet you never seen something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
I bet you never heard something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
II bet you never seen something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
I bet you never heard something like that (Like that)
Like that (Like that)
I bet you never heard something like that
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The better the bigger
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The better the bigger
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
You know, I thought this song was over
Nope
It ain’t over, yet
I can go fast
I can go fast
(I can go fast)
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The better the bigger
(I can go fast)
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
(I can go slow)
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better
The bigger the better

This is my new favorite book about creativity.

Quantum Creativity: Eureka Moments For Everyone

Quantum Creativity: Think Quantum, Be Creative

Quantum Creativity: Think Quantum, Be Creative

When I conceive of an artwork or drawing or painting in my head, it’s shimmery and beautiful. The likeness of a face is always exact, the corners of the mouth forming an expression that practically moves on the page. The light is perfect, every highlight making the illustration sparkle.

And with each line and mark on the page, those possibilities collapse and vanish. The actuality of an illustration does not always achieve the heights I imagined in possibility.

Sometimes, after taking the idea onto the page, the magic is lost. And other times, all the possibilities unite in that magical AHA moment where I know I have created the best possible drawing or illustration I possibly could have, where everything I have ever learned comes together at one inexplicable moment that absolutely exceeds the possibilities I knew about before. That is where the creativity arrives- that inexplicable moment.

This is my new favorite book about creativity.

This is my new favorite book about creativity.

Inexplicable – unless you’ve read this book. It’s not a dry science book, it’s lush and readable and fascinating, which makes me reread the complex explanations, which are broken down to be completely understandable. It explains creativity with reality, the way that Jonah Lehrer wished he could (I’m referencing that recalled book of his).

I have to say all the superlatives to say about this book. The best book about creativity I’ve ever read; if you have ever felt like you weren’t creative, you have to read this book; if you are creative and want to understand what makes you so, you have to read this book. If you want to really understand the difference between avant-garde and a remix, you have to read this book.

You know what, you have to read this book. It’s brilliant.

The stories and anecdotes are enlightening, the musing is poetic, the science is solid, and it’s written for humans with creativity, whether they believe it to be blocked or they have the muses on speed dial.

I absolutely recommend this book. It made me smile, it made my tear up, and it definitely made me go ‘AHA’ – I read it all in one day and then started again.

It is my dream to create illustrations that visualize the invisible, to combine what I have seen with what I feel and experience and know and imagine, to make someone who sees it, go, “Ah, yes, that is that feeling, or that is what that mystery looks like!” At my art show on Friday, I achieved that – looking at a painting of a dream, someone said, “Yes, that is like my dreams, too.”

I can’t say anymore about this book! Spoilers might collapse the possibilities of your experience with this book. I’m definitely going to be rereading it to get a better understanding of the concepts. I hope you’ll read it to, and tell me about it.

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I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes.

 

diy homemade candles burning

DIY Candle Making With a Crock Pot

I love light flickering from my home made candles. This project cost a total of $4 and I have now five diy candles. DIY instructions for making your own candles in a crockpot.

I love this art project because these candles practically made themselves. I chopped up the wax, put it in a container, walked away, and came back to candles (Actually I made my husband do the wicks because I got hot wax on myself). Don’t move the candles when the wax is hot, or you may spill. Use containers that are safe with flames!

DIY new candles from old candles with a crockpot, mason jars, and wicks

DIY new candles from old candles with a crockpot, mason jars, and wicks!

There are so many wonderful jars and containers you can repurpose for candles. I love Cupcake & Cashmere’s teacup candles. She went all out and bought a kit, but mine only cost me $4 (the cost of buying new wicks from Etsy).

I love light flickering on my walls now; its such a warmer feeling than just using the dimmer switch. And now I have candles in the bathroom, too.

Need more information? More crock pot candle making instructions here. 

The Essential Guide to Writing For Children and Young Adults

The author, Simon Rose.

The author, Simon Rose.

I illustrate children’s books occasionally and I know many of you have ideas for children’s books or you may have written a few stories yourself (and a wonderful number of you have commissioned illustrations of your writing from me). Simon Rose’s The Children’s Writer’s Guide is the perfect handbook to take you from finding a unique, untold story of your own, to launching your published work in bookstores.

The author has taught classes at the local university and this book comes out of his experience teaching in person, making the benefits available to many more!

My first impression was of a very straightforward guide which covered each topic necessary to the author, without getting bogged down by in-depth over explaning. After all, the person most likely to pick up this book “knows” about books and topics, and simply needs the direction and clear path provided by this guide. This book is also an excellent resource for accomplished authors who wish to become more prolific, using a system of efficacy to create more books in a shorter amount of time.

Many of the ideas in this book are quite wonderful; such as the suggestion of world-building. When I was in elementary school I invented imaginary worlds with my friends and we started writing our own short stories. If we had this guide at the time we may have even completed writing our stories and found an outlet to share them with the world. From that experience I can say that the ideas in this book are perfectly targeted towards children’s’ authors and YA authors, and this guide’s simplicity will make following your inspiration a breeze. Pick up The Children’s Writer’s Guide on Amazon.

The Children's Writers Guide by Simon Rose.

The Children’s Writers Guide by Simon Rose.

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Simon Rose for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

California sunrise forgiveness book review

How To Forgive Anyone For Anything

How to forgive
Everyone needs this book, but not everyone will have the dedication to follow through on the wonderful daily practice this provides. Forgiveness is certainly challenging; and we have all experienced resistance to forgiving another and ourselves. In fact thought of many people I would like to send this book to instead of actually practicing it myself.

Book Review: Forgiveness 21 Days to Forgive Anyone For Anything by Iyanla Vanzant

The inclusion of EFT, emotional freedom technique, makes overcoming the hurdles of resistance much easier. Even if one doesn’t believe in EFT, clearing the energy blocks through Tapping can still be effective. I believe it is similar to pressing Ctrl + Alt + Dlt on your computer.

This book arrived with good timing for me, as I have been focusing my energy on my illustration work, while letting go of unhealthy relationships, and energy drains. This book allowed me to let go of these things sooner and easier than in the past.

The guided meditations included with this book are quite wonderful. I especially liked the phrasing of, ” I forgive I am forgiving I am forgiven. ” This stood out to me, because reframing forgiveness from a concept to an active result is so powerful. Iyanla Vanzant’s voice is calm and soothing and easy to listen along. I listen to guided meditations almost daily; most of the ones I listen to are from Walks Within, and I am adding these into rotation.

Forgiveness quote

Anchored in A Course in Miracles, this book has a solid foundation for creating effective, transformative results. The 21 day practice period is less daunting than the 365 day Course in Miracles workbook (which I am halfway through), and, Vanzant provide specific forgiveness examples such as forgiving parents, and yourself, whereas the Course in Miracles suggests that you search your own mind for these examples.

I highly recommend this book, and while I have not yet completed 21 days myself, I have already significantly benefitted. I hope you will as well.

I received this book for free, from Hay House for review purposes.

About the Author

Iyanla Vanzant

Iyanla Vanzant is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions International and the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. She is a Yoruba priestess and an ordained minister in Christian New Thought. The author of 13 titles—including five New York Times bestsellers and the Inner Visions CD Series—she is the former host of the television series Iyanla and co-host of the NBC daytime reality show Starting Over as well. The proud grandmother of eight currently resides in Maryland.

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