Thursday, June 28, 2012


Originally, I meant to have the studio ready (tidy, presentable) for a big reveal at the end of February since I posted teaser shots of it in progress last year.  However, when I go up, I tend to jump right into creating or clean up a little so I can create more easily (or do yoga, etc).  Even my 2+ hour cleaning efforts a few days ago barely put a dent in it.  Clearly, that tidy and presentable space won't be happening any time soon and if I took pictures, you wouldn't have any idea what you were looking at. ;)  Since I am a recovering perfectionist, I'm not going to wait until the space is "perfect" to show it to you.  I'm posting these pictures I took a couple of months ago after we had a cleaning service come in (didn't have them come back because, though the job was OK to good, it was expensive enough that it should have been Excellent-Perfect IMO.  Not sure if that really happens with cleaning services.)

If you would like to see full progress, first see this and then this post.

Stairs leading up to the attic.  There are some amazing pictures on Pintrest that show painted/mosaic tiled stairs and would love to do that here.  My "Peace, Joy, Freedom" reminder at the top so I see it every time I go up. 

The belly dance and yoga space.  The mirrors and foam floor tiles are from the public studio I ran in Morgantown (Earth Movement Studio).

Shelves of distracting supplies.  It's great having them open and available, but I often have trouble being present with my practice thinking of all the things I want to make.  Maybe a curtain or sliding closet doors are in the future here?

View looking towards the stairwell.  Do you see that pocket door sawn in half?  I don't know who did that, but it breaks my heart.  (There's additional storage behind the mirrors, so that corner gets oversized and spill over items.)  There's a bathroom to the left.  Very convenient for washing brushes and palettes. 

View from the belly dance and yoga area into the mixed media and sewing area.  That's Josephine wearing the witch hat.  Her dress is to the right.

The mixed media area.  Just a couple of days ago, I started re-arranging things here to suit the way I am currently working.

Closer look at the really cool vintage shelves my husband found for me.  I think it's made of cut up wooden crates.  It looks like words/advertising on the bottom inside of those cubbies. My boxes of paint sit on top of this beautiful chest my brother-in-law carved and he and my sister made as a bridesmaid gift.

Sewing area with the cutting table in a regular state of piled up stuff when I'm not sewing.  Angelo's easel and art table are here too.  A fabric organizer will go on the wall to hold more of his art supplies; yes, yes it will.

When I walk into this sacred space of mine, I am washed over with happiness.  I just love being in there.  Even just going up to get something or drop something off makes me smile.  In here, I know my Soul gets to speak, and I am so grateful.

Another post is coming soon!  Some Art Journaling sneak peaks for ya!  Have a great day, my friends! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Post Solstice Performance

This weekend is the monthly hafla at the Istanbul Grille.  It's a great place for me to reconnect with my belly dance pals and make sure I get my belly dance on.  Since I'm working on my costume right now, I'll just include the information from Janim's website (our gracious organizer/hostess) below:

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Doors open at 7:30pm, $8 at the door !
Istanbul Grille, 4130 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA
Featuring the League of Amazing Drummers!
1 ticket to the Hafla!
1 ticket to the Hafla!
2 tickets to the Hafla!
2 tickets to the Hafla!
Join us as we welcome our featured performers,  THE LEAGUE OF AMAZING DRUMMERS, a group of drummers facilitated by Rich Ermlick, that come on out to jam together as often as possible. They will be joined by Pittsburgh’s finest  bellydance performers! We will have a lively intermission mini-lesson, followed by an open dance floor and open drumming to finish the evening!
This event is BYOD! Bring Your Own Drum!
The Istanbul Haflas are monthly bellydance events at the Istanbul Grille in Lawrenceville. We feature a different guest artist each month. We also feature bellydance performers of varying levels. If you are interested in performing at one of our haflas, please email Janim (me!) with your request.
Haflas with their intimate and cozy atmosphere, offer the perfect chance for you to involve your friends, to show off a few moves, but most importantly to learn the dance styles of other dancers/ instructors in the community.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For the Papa

These two guys of mine... well, just look at them.  Melts my heart. :)

Hope you had a great day celebrating the fathers in your life!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zen and the Art of Coloring

Totally asleep with the crayon still in his hand.  :)

There's nothing like coloring for relaxing, color-filled fun.  And for me, it's a great no pressure way to play with color combinations.  It's been interesting to watch DS progress into his coloring interest.  It used to take a few marks and then he was ready to move on to something new.  Now, he's willing to work on the same couple of pages over the course of a few days.

He's inclined to build things pretty often and his imagination is so fun to watch in action.

This book is really fun.  It's not for Angelo, though. It gives me something fun to do while he is coloring or happily running around the yard.  Originally I got it because the doodles are really cool and I wanted to use it as inspiration for art journaling.  There are coloring pages and blank butterflies so you can doodle/draw your own.  So far, it's stayed downstairs, but I'm sure at least a few designs have lodged in my brain and come out in the studio- which is the way I'd rather it happen anyway.

There's also a mandalas book in this line and I definitely plan on getting that one soon.  Birdie- didn't you say you made mandalas?  Would love to hear about your process!  :)  I have been interested in focusing more on them, especially since meeting and sculpting next to the Tibetan monks at the Children's Museum.  Inner Peace- isn't that the real reason we make art?  


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Self Care/Self Love

My temporary workspace for the last 2 days.  I really like the desk and may change my worktable for a desk with drawers.

Though I remarkably restrained myself, I felt in the spirit of full disclosure that I should tell you I requested a room with 2 double beds so I could have the surface area to spread out. ;) 

Two days in a hotel by myself with some art supplies and "no obligations".  Sounds like heaven, right?   Well, for me, it was kind of difficult to jump right in due to missing my guys and my pup... even though the whole thing was my idea (and the hotel was about 10 or so minutes from home).  I chanted to myself on the way, "this is an act of great self-love", "how else am I going to get in the meditation time I crave so much right now?", "Do not go home".  After checking in and setting up, I glued one thing.  Then I ate and watched TV.  It wasn't even good TV.  Then I glued another thing and checked Facebook.  Really, I needed some time to decompress before inspiration hit. About 9:00 I finally got the paint out and really got going.  About 10:30, I called home and almost cried talking to Angelo.  He picked up on it and was sad. :(  *Insert best guilt releasing I could muster* More art making. A little "Soul of Healing" meditation with Deepak Chopra before bed and I slept peacefully.

The next morning, I meditated again and did some chakra balancing sun salutations.  By then, I was feeling so peaceful, I wasn't bothered by the fact that I had to eat, shower, etc. and wasn't using my art time to maximum efficiency.  Yes, I managed to work some guilt in about not doing what I loved enough in there the first day. Started art journal entries in the afternoon and by about midnight, I was still going strong. Then, an abrupt awareness that I needed to pack up if I wanted to do morning yoga before checkout made me sad.  Nothing is ever an experience with just one emotion, though, is it?  Even though it was only 2 days, and in some ways "not enough time", I was excited to get back to my family and eat in my own house.  But, it was so good and I'm so glad I did it.  Maybe there's a state park near that rents cabins??

Then, at home, I answered an email where I backed out of something I committed to because "it wasn't an absolute yes" (so it was a no... forget where I heard that, but it's good to remember.)  After sending that email, I was greeted by a newsletter from SARK that started by asking me "Do you ever feel guilty or worried about taking time and energy just for you? Most people do. Do you happily and easily change or cancel plans that no longer feel good? Most people don't.
Many people are motivated unknowingly by what i call *FOG or *PUS- or both! 


Copyright 2012 SARK. All rights reserved. Even though we are not.;-)"

That hit home on both accounts! 

Then, I found this post by Michelle Ward, the "When I Grow Up Coach" on self-care.  Seems there is a Universal theme going on!  

Also something I found recently that you may find inspiring and related: How to love yourself in 17 Ways  a post by Evelyn Lim.

Wishing you much Self Love and Self Care!!