How to Read a Dreamboard Like a Tarot Card: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 292)

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 292:
How to Read a Dreamboard Like a Tarot Card

I recently opened up the opportunity for Studio Yearbookers to submit their dreamboards for a ‘reading’. In this episode of Creative Living with Jamie, I go through four dreamboards, sharing what I see and offering techniques for how you can learn to read your dreamboard like a tarot card! I also share how backing out of a commitment kept me in integrity.

BONUS CONTENT: I’ve put together an ezine of the transcripts, includes a summary of strategies for interpreting your dreamboard like a tarot card!  Download here.

“WOW, Jamie. I’ve been doing SoulCollage©️ since 2012, and taken classes from a number of facilitators, and yet watching your process was amazingly inspirational for enriching my SoulCollage readings. Thank you so much for sharing your way of unearthing such richness, depth, and insight.” Carol R

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It includes a summary of the strategies I shared for interpreting your dreamboard like a tarot card!  Download the full transcript ezine here.

Transcript Excerpt

: I promised something a little while ago and it’s taken me a while to get to it because I’ve had technical difficulties. Hopefully, fingers crossed, it will go well today. I’m trying to trust that there’s something in the energy of today that is ready to come through that maybe wasn’t before. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So what I’m doing today is I opened up the opportunity to people who participate in the Studio Yearbook to submit their Full Moon Dreamboards (it’s something we do in our yearbook every full moon) for a bit of a reading.

The reason I did that is in the studio we have a three-point process for creating dreamboards. The first is to do some reflection, and we do that with the inspiration of the energy of a particular full moon. Many of these are from the Full Worm Moon, so it was about what’s emerging, what dreams are trying to break through and be seen. It seemed a really good one to work on.

We do a bit of reflecting and then with that in our minds, all the thoughts that have been stirred, the question that’s been asked, we gather images that call to our heart. We glue them in our Studio Yearbook. Then when we are done, we go back and look and say, “What do I see here?”

The reason being is a dreamboard is really a two-way conversation. You know, out there in the world, when people talk about vision boards, they’re really often talking about one-way communication. “Here’s what I want, Universe. Let me show you what I want.” And that works. But here’s something that is so rich and deep, and I’m doing this so you can really explore this aspect of what’s available.

The richness that’s available in a vision board or a dreamboard is to go back and see what it’s telling you. What is it telling you? When we pick images, there’s something happening energetically. There’s something that’s calling to us. It’s in part rooted in what we know we desire, but it’s also rooted in the unknown, and that’s why I think this is such a crucial step and I wanted to share it with you today.

Now before we start. I want to do something that I do in all my classes, which is light a candle. This is a way of us bringing our intention and our energy present. It’s a way of calling back in all the parts of us that are somewhere else, that are listening to me but also scrolling on Instagram, that are listening to me but also worrying about what’s for dinner.

Instead to say, “Okay, hold on. I want to invite some magic in so let me signal that invitation to my heart, my spirit, my body and the powers that be by lighting this candle and inviting this moment to be full of magic.”

So I’m lighting this on all of our behalf, an invitation to intuition, an invitation to inspiration, an invitation to one penny dropping, a moment when you realize something you never knew before. I’ll leave that there. Even though it’s such a bright day you can barely see it, it’s there to guide the way.

Okay, let us start. I am going to look at four dream boards, two in more depth, and two with a light touch. They just had a couple of themes I wanted to pull out for the people that submitted them.

Let’s start.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript ezine here.

We Are Capable of Creative Magic: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 291) featuring artist Lola Yang

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 291:
We Are Capable of Creative Magic

In this episode of Creative Living with Jamie, I share how creating shows us what we’re capable of. Plus I interview mixed media artist and Devotion alumna Lola Yang about how she approached being an artist as a mom of a young child and also how she made her dream of a minivan art studio come true! We hope you’ll be inspired to pursue your dreams too.

BONUS CONTENT: I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a bit of a magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download here.

FREE E-BOOK: The Dreams Do Come True – and Yours Can Too e-book is also available to studio members! Join the studio and you’ll find the book in the studio resource page.

About Lola Yang

Lola is a self taught mixed media artist inspired by nature, she enjoys living by the sea and working in her mini van art studio by the sea.
She makes collage art that reflects what a gift it is to be alive.
She journals to find her inner voice and sketches to capture the beautiful moments of everyday life.
She also leads creative workshops for those who believe in magic like she does.
Born in China, currently living with her husband and her 3 year old daughter by the sea in Israel.
Visit her and her mini van art studio journey on instagram @Lolayangstudio

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download the full transcript magazine here.

Transcript Excerpt

Jamie Ridler: Everybody, I just have to share, recently Lola and I celebrated 10 years of inspiration, connection. I’m so excited to bring her here on the podcast. Lola, why don’t you tell us all a little bit about you and about your creative life?

Lola Yang: Okay, so my name is Lola and I was born in China. And right now, I’m living in Israel with my husband and my three-year-old daughter. My creative life looks like every morning I wake up around the sunrise and I take a short walk by the sea to my minivan studio. And when I arrive there, I light a candle and then I start my morning routine. Usually, it takes about two hours and it’s movement and meditation and tarot card reading, plus journaling. If it’s a new moon or full moon I would do my new moon reflection practice and full moon connecting. All of this takes about two hours.

At 8:30 I will go back home to have breakfast with my husband. Then after that I come back to the studio again, spending time with myself until the lunchtime. Usually, these three hours I’ll be working on something I chose in Devotion, the projects that I chose in Devotion. And then the afternoon, I usually spend the time with my girl. And if that evening I have Devotion, I will be in the studio again a bit more. If not, I would just spend the rest of the day with my family.

Jamie Ridler: You’ve touched on a couple of things that I really want to dive more into. One is I for sure want to ask you more about what it’s like to have a minivan studio, but also, I want to mention for people who don’t know what it is, Devotion is a program that I have. It’s a three-month immersion into embracing yourself as an artist, into creating your artwork. I also have a mentorship program afterwards. Lola did Devotion and now is in the mentorship program so that’s what she’s talking about, setting a goal, a “something” you want to create for your season, and then spending intentional studio time for that. It’s been and continues to be a joy to have you in that program, Lola.

Lola Yang: For me, Devotion is my self-care. Once I joined it, I think, “Why, why don’t I take care of myself better?” It’s nourishing me. It’s just giving me energy. It really boost my immune system, I would say, to be with you, all of you.

Jamie Ridler: One of the things that makes me– Oh, I’m going to just have to go all over the place and follow all these threads because there’s so much inspiration here. I’m going to come back to the minivan studio, so don’t let me forget it. But one of the places I wanted to take you was, I know that when you came to Devotion, one of the challenges was, “How do I be my full creative self? How do I be an artist and also a mom of a young child?” And I know on this side of it, so much has changed for you. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

Lola Yang: I look back, really in the last 10 years, and I would say my biggest challenge is really three years ago that my time and my space was– All of a sudden, because I become a full-time mother, I’m wondering, “This full-time artist, where is she?” I mean, “Where is her time and her space?”

This is why I always believe challenge can bring me gift. The space that I lost, I got a minivan now. And the time, I didn’t know how to make it and now I have Devotion. So this is my two biggest gifts from the challenge.

Jamie Ridler: What do you think it’s like for your daughter? How is it different for her now that you’re saying, “I’m a mom and also, I am an artist”? What do you think the impact on her is?

Lola Yang: Hmm. I think when she was two, I really felt that I couldn’t fully spend time because whenever I have a moment, even if she’s sleeping, I can do my thing, but I’m around her and any moment somebody can tell me, “Stop.” I really never been interrupted like that before.

So, I came to Devotion and in the beginning it’s difficult for her because she didn’t understand how come you suddenly need to hide in a room for one hour, two hours? Also, I can still hear she’s crying. It takes time, but for her it was pretty fast. I feel like almost one month she’s starting to understand that I have a date with Jamie. It’s a bit before she go to bed because of the time difference. It’s around 8 to 10 o’clock. So she’ll wait me until I finish and then she’ll hug me and we’ll go to bed together. And I think that there is this one month that she need to get to understand.

But now for me, it’s such a blessing every time she remind me, “Hey,” (or even we have the breaks between Devotion, she would remind me) “Why you don’t meet Jamie?” It’s sweet. It’s just, I don’t know. I feel my heart is… Now with her and her support, I feel this is really a gift, all the challenges I felt.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript magazine here.

When Everything’s About to Change: Creative Living with Jamie eps 290 featuring artist Sam Tucker

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 290:
When Everything’s about to Change

I am so excited to move forward with a vision I have had for a long time: a video version of the Creative Living with Jamie Podcast. It’s a work in progress and there’s a lot to learn but it is such a joy to make a start. Here’s the very first episode, which features an interview with artist Sam Tucker, who uses words and images to tell the stories of her life.

About Sam Tucker

Sam Tucker is a storyteller in words and images.  She is currently immersed in a long-term project, an illustrated memoir and storybook chronicling her journey through the grief of losing her partner while wandering the country on an epic road trip.

For years, Sam kept her creative dreams hidden in the shadows of her vibrant business consulting practice.  The journey to embracing her artistry, the essence of who she is, was a long and meaningful one that included journaling, visual journaling, book binding, collage and various forms of writing.

The turning point for Sam, that point where she finally stepped in and claimed her artistry was nearly two years ago.  Sam was part of the initial offering of the artist residency program, Devotion with Jamie Ridler.  That was a game changer!  Today, Sam divides her time between traveling the U.S. and finishing her memoir, Lost in Bentonia.

Connect with Sam at her website

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download the full transcript magazine here.

Transcript Excerpt

Jamie Ridler: Hey, there. It is Jamie Ridler and I am so excited to be here with you today. I am starting something new and I’m so excited about it and I hope you’re going to be excited about it too. For years, I have hosted the Creative Living with Jamie podcast and it has been a joy. I have interviewed some amazing people, including Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Brené Brown, people that are lights on the creative path that really have inspired us all.

I’ve also always paid attention to artists at every stage of the journey, whether it was people starting their own creative business at home, people who are creative with their kids, people who are writing and publishing their own eBooks. Because one of the things I believe deeply is that we artists benefit so deeply from showing up for one another as artists, by engaging in creative conversation, by sharing strategies and tools. And so, I’m going to continue this process, but with a bit of a shift-a-roo. And that is I am making the show video and I am expanding its scope.

Now Creatively Living with Jamie is going to draw in other shows that I’ve done. The Creative Living Bookshelf, the Behind the Scenes, as well as these interviews and so much more are going to become segments of this show. I’m going to share it with you on video, and I’m going to share it with you as a podcast. Most importantly, I’m going to share it from my creative heart to yours.

This is new and there’s going to be a lot of growth involved, and that will mean crunchy bits and exciting bits and change and wonder and adventure, and that is what living a creative life is all about. So, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Today I’m going to share with you my very first interview in this format with the marvelous Sam Tucker…

Sam Tucker: Well, hi everyone. I’m so excited to be here with Jamie. I’m Sam Tucker. I have landed on the descriptor that I am a storyteller, and right now that’s in words and images. And who knows? It’s an ever-evolving thing for me.

My creative life right now is completely (and has been for a couple of years) immersed in a book, and that book is a memoir. It’s illustrated and it’s also a storybook. It’s from a, a very special time in my life where I was wandering the country for a year, effectively just landing in a spot for 30 days, moving on and collecting people’s stories, moving through the grief of losing my wonderful husband and working remotely and exploring.
It was an outer exploration and an inner exploration. I think that’s why this current creative project is taking a while because it’s tender. You know, it’s a tender time. It’s my story. And it’s trying to honor the stories of the people I met on the road who I fell in love with. So that’s kind of what’s happening with me.

Jamie Ridler: I know that, too, this year you have been doing some adventuring and moving through the world. I wonder for you, what’s the relationship between– I’m going to come back and ask you more because I know everybody wants to hear about what it was like doing that. What do you think for you is the relationship between that sense of movement or that sense of place and your artistic self?

Sam Tucker: Beautiful question. I’m a Sag too.

Jamie Ridler: Me too.

Sam Tucker: We have that horse energy. You know, for years I was stuck behind a desk and felt a piece of myself kind of dying inside and that was doing non-creative work. Movement for me– I don’t know where it came from, Jamie, but I intuitively knew I had to leave Los Angeles after Freddie died. When I have things that need to move through me that are so deep that go to the core of my being, I need physical movement too. And I’m quite aware it’s not about running away from anything. I take myself where I go. I’m very, very self-aware. But there’s something about new expansion, pushing boundaries.

I knew if I stayed. I could, I could really pretend that everything was okay and I could keep going with the things that weren’t working for me, and I just didn’t know where this was going to lead me. So physical movement in a strange way, it does ground me by uprooting me. It’s an enigma.

Jamie Ridler: Yeah, I get it. And I can see it. I can see it in your body too. When you express yourself, it’s through that whole body movement. And that’s what they talk about when we’re talking about embodiment. It’s like you’re embodying your journey, your feelings, your truth. I wonder, I get that piece of both that it was expansive and I imagine challenging at the same time as it was nourishing

Sam Tucker: Every day.

Jamie Ridler: Yeah, tell us about that because I think a lot of people are like, “Wow, what would it be like to just get up and go for a year? To process my own experience for a year? To be in my own self for a year?” What was that like? Tell us.

Sam Tucker: I just read a chapter about one aspect that shocked me in here. You think it’s like freedom, you know? You think you’re a free spirit and you’re going off, like, I choose a city across the country and book an Airbnb for a month and immerse myself in it. But getting there, I wanted to control. I wanted to know where I was going. I wanted to know the end. And the whole purpose of this is to unfurl from that! (Thank you Meghan Genge for the word I use all the time!) And so that, that was at odds.

I don’t think I realized it until I was writing the book. It didn’t dawn on me that I was still trying to hang on to some semblance of who am I. What is my world? I purposefully ripped it all apart and started over in a totally new way, while holding the memories, the love, all of that with me. But I needed something new, absolutely.

Jamie Ridler: What do you think– I think that sense of control is a part of the way we manage that. We know that transformation is coming and there’s a part of us that wants to embrace it, but… Right?

What would you say to somebody who can feel they’re on that cusp of a whole body transformation, whole life transformation. What would you want to say to that person?

Sam Tucker: Oh, I’m so excited for you. Breathe. Please breathe. And truly know– I’ve been on this planet a few decades and I know at this point it’s all going to be okay. You know, we think the world is ending. We think that we can’t push one more boundary, open one more door to the unknown. We can and it’s beautiful and expansive. You will never have those experiences, that growth, those relationships, sometimes even that careers, you know, life-altering experiences, unless we keep moving. It doesn’t have to be big and grandiose. It can be one baby step at a time, but don’t give up. Don’t give up, just keep moving. If I can do it, you can do it. Trust me.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript magazine here.

A Winter of Creative Magic – The Studio Offerings Are Here!

It’s mid-November and I’ve got that ‘year-end’ feeling! It’s so easy for that to turn into a rush of “must-do to-dos” before the year is over, early holiday panic, a dread of winter and a sense that next year will either be “same old same old” or out of control.

This year I’m doing my best to choose something different.

I’m starting with reminding myself of all the good stuff. Like how Justin and I put out a holiday basket that we secretly tuck treats and treasures into to enjoy once Christmas arrives. Or how much I love creating my Vision Pages between Christmas and New Years. They are potent visual reminders in my Studio Yearbook of the priorities and plans I’ve created during Planning Day. The calm contentment of sitting under the twinkie lights on dark mornings and showing up to the page. The Studio Kittens’ constant craving for connection that helps to ward off the cold.

What wintery things are you looking forward to?

I’m also setting creative intentions. In colder climates, winter naturally draws us inside. What better time to make art our priority? Winter feels so different when you imagine spending it dedicated to painting or pastels, to knitting or writing your book. At the start of each season I like to choose what I’ll be pouring my creative energy into. I love having a plan for what I’ll be adding to my body of work by the time the next season arrives.

What do you intend to create this winter?

And what about learning a new skill? We creatives are wired to be lifelong learners and the world of art gives us a million things to choose from! What if you dedicated this winter to learning calligraphy or print-making or ikebana or film-editing? What about learning to play the piano or how to do improv or sing? I’m currently learning a lot about video editing as I follow my inspiration to an expanded version of the Creative Living with Jamie podcast.

What would you like to learn this winter?

In all of the studio offerings this season – Planning Day, Devotion & The Studio Yearbook – I take this seasonal approach. It’s a guiding principle in everything I do. It opens us up to plans that feel healthy and supportive, to a creative rhythm that feels alive and approachable and to a creative practice that helps us savour life and remember our part in creating it.

I hope that you’ll join me in some or all of this winter’s offerings and that together we’ll walk with creative enthusiasm and artistic anticipation into the year ahead!

Create the Year You Long For
Registration is Open for Our Yearly Planning Day Retreat!

Register Now for Planning Day
LIVE December 1 from 1:00-5:00 pm EST*

What if you had an approach to planning that was flexible enough to respond to inspiration and “life” while also being strong enough to give you momentum and keep you on path? That’s what you’ll learn in Planning Day.

We’ll weave together vision and dreams with plans and practicalities. We’ll dance with structure and freedom to find the just-right mix, a balance that will support your forward momentum while leaving you feeling free. Planning Day is not about squishing yourself into a box filled with endless lists and to-dos. It’s not about push, drive or figuring out how to exceed maximum human capacity.

Planning Day is about knowing where you are, getting clear on where you want to be and closing that gap, one step at a time.

It’s also a beautiful way to spend a wintery day at the close of the season. We’ll cozy in and do the work together. We’ll bring our tea and our journals. We’ll light a candle and turn on the twinkie lights. We’ll vision and explore. We’ll share and we’ll plan. And when we are done, we’ll celebrate, knowing we are entering the new year grounded in clarity and confidence.

I hope you’ll join me for our year-end studio tradition and experience the joy and power of Planning Day.

*Note: A recording will be available, usually within 24 hours.

Devote Yourself to Your Art this Winter
Wait List Registration for Devotion Is Now Open

Winter’s Devotion begins on January 23rd
Join the Wait List Now for Early Access to Registration

This winter say a brave and beautiful yes to the creative fire in your spirit. Say yes to three months of showing up to your artistic work with passion, commitment and purpose. Say yes to Devotion and fully answer the artistic call.

Imagine what is possible when you embrace yourself as an artist and step onto the path of Devotion.

In Devotion you will establish a clear vision for your residency, create a loving and supportive plan and then dive wholeheartedly into a season of making. You will have structure and support to keep you on path. You’ll have creative kindred and an expert creative coach to lift you up when you falter and to celebrate you when you soar.

Imagine what will come of three months of dedicated creating. Imagine the body of work you will bring to life, the skills you will hone and the confidence you will gain, whatever your medium. Here’s what happened for Anne:

When I first read Jamie’s thoughts and intentions for the Devotion program the concept immediately resonated with me. As an artist, the love for my craft was real but I felt stuck creatively and didn’t know what to do to revitalize my perspective or the work itself. I am amazed at the shift in how I see myself as an artist and how I approach my work; truly, it is transformational for me. Jamie has prepared a suite of tools that open new pathways of thinking and promote deep reflection. She is a skilled catalyst that understands the creative mind and heart. The Devotion environment is warm and deeply supportive. I wholeheartedly recommend Devotion to anyone who seeks to rekindle the magic within and move forward as an artist! Anne Hallcom

I want this for you too, {{ subscriber.first_name }}. Find out more about Devotion here.

A Seasonal Creative Practice to Awaken Your Inner Artist
The Studio Yearbook (Winter 2023) Is Available Now!

There is magic in the Studio Yearbook!

The Studio Yearbook is a simple and doable fill-in-the-blank journal designed to support your creative practice and awaken your creative spirit! In your yearbook, you’ll tune into the energy of the season. You’ll create dreamboards under each full moon. You’ll gather your gratitude and look for inspiration in every day! You’ll start a weekly practice of focusing on what truly matters to you and you’ll give yourself gold stars of celebration. You’ll take note of what you learn and acknowledge what you create. Day by day, as you pour your life into the pages of your Studio Yearbook, it will become a magnificent reflection of you and this moment in time – a true creative treasure.

The Winter Studio Yearbook is unique in that it covers the powerful transition from one year into the next. In the special Crossing the Threshold section you can gather the wisdom of the year that’s passed and move with intention into the year ahead. There’s even a spot to create Vision Pages, visual reminders of the priorities you set for your new year. (This is one of my favourite ways of spending the holidays. I hope you love it too!)

The yearbook isn’t just another journal – it’s an experience! One that has been enjoyed by creative hearts around the world. I hope you’ll join in and be a part of the adventure this winter!

Order your Studio Yearbook now!

How We Can All Find Our Way

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time finding my own way.

This was in part the traditional Gen X upbringing of being pretty much left to our own devices but it was also the result of a family tragedy. My little brother Robbie was taken by cancer when he was only 6 years old. My parents were overwhelmed with grief, leaving my sister Suzie and I to do our best taking care of ourselves.

Being a sensitive and introverted girl meant that I found great solace in my own company, as well as in books, music, colouring, puppets, a journal and the willow tree in our backyard. When I was in my own little world, all was well. To this day I am quite excellent at being on my own and finding things to do, create and explore.

But also, being a sensitive and introverted girl, I found myself anxious in the bigger social world, where finding my way without guidance was fraught with ways of getting it wrong. The only rule that seemed clear was to do well in school, so I did that. Everything else I learned from keen observation because I was far too shy to ask.

Much of the time, this is still how I work. I remember braving my first drawing class at an art school, walking in early and seeing people putting up easels, grabbing stools. I felt that familiar sense of shrinking and freezing, wondering, “How the heck do they know what to do?” Then I watched and waited until things became clear.

What has emerged from a lifetime of these uncomfortable experiences has been my deep commitment to always sharing what I have learned in the hope of making things easier for others. For example, when I was in high school I volunteered to wear blue and white ribbons during the first week of school that signaled to anyone new, “If you ask me where the gym is, I will point you to the gym, not to the music room.” (By the way, that happened to me in first year.)

Because it has been hard for me to find my way on my own, I want to make it easier for you.

This studio, these letters, my classes, the podcast, all of these things are rooted in my desire to share what I can to help you find your way along your artistic path. In my programs and classes, I encourage my students to do this for one another. Today I want to encourage you to do the same.

Never underestimate the wealth of wisdom that you have earned in your lifetime and how a simple sharing of information might help someone onto their path, especially when it comes to art. We all know what it’s like to feel clueless, left out and intimidated by everything from classes to equipment to stores. Together we can change that. We can be the ones who generously share knowledge, experience and resources. We can be the ones who are welcoming, who notice when someone is lost, who offer intel as well as kindness – with no attachment or pressure, just the sincere desire to help.

If we all share what we learn, if we all reach back and lend a hand in this life and on this creative path, none of us will be in it alone.

Studio Diaries (2022, Week 37): Back in the Studio

It’s Friday afternoon and I found myself with a bit of time and inspiration to show up here and share a bit from my Studio Diary.  It’s the first week of a new season and that felt just right too.  This is a quick and personal round-up of this week in my studio – and remember, our lives are our studios!

The big excitement is that classes are back in action. A new cohort of amazing artists has stepped into Devotion this fall. This week, we started getting to know not only one another but also each of the artist’s visions for the season ahead. I have learned over many years the power and transformation available within a season. I use that three-month measure as a container for all that I plan, prioritize and do. For me, this fall I am clear on my priorities: Devotion, my well-being and my loved ones. I also have some amazing projects waiting in the wings and as and when I have time, I will reach over and invite them into the studio to dance.

In addition to the new Devotion artists, I hold an ongoing mentorship circle for Devotion alumnae and we made a start on Wednesday.  In the original program, artists are learning to create an unshakeable relationship with their art. In the seasons that follow, the mentorship circle helps hold and strengthen that relationship within the context of everyday life and all its opportunities and challenges. What is so deeply fulfilling to me is seeing the deepening clarity and confidence of each of these artists as they continue their practice of devotion. It is a wonder to witness.

And speaking of wonder, look at these dahlias! They are one of the richest blessings of this end-of-summer time of year.  I was thrilled to see that our local farmer’s market has a flower vendor this year and when I saw these dahlias, they spoke to me!  Earlier this summer a dear friend, a fellow artist and intuitive told me that dahlias wanted to work with me this season. I am happy to invite in the wisdom and beauty of dahlias! Of course, I could look up all the meanings these flowers traditionally symbolize but I prefer to build a personal relationship with these beauties, letting them speak to me directly.

Though we have started fall classes, we still have just under a week of summer left. I can tell the season is changing by the dark of the mornings, the chill in the air (though I insist on open windows) and the diminishing pages in my Studio Yearbook.

We’ve been through quite a time with the yearbook of late.  The behind-the-scenes demands had started to take over and I found myself spending more and more time tracking packages and dealing with paper prices than working where my true gifts lie – creating work that wakes the untapped magic that lives in creative hearts.  So I decided to let it go… and then to bring it back. The more I thought about it, the more DMs and emails I received, the more I talked to people about the  practice, the more I realized the yearbook itself is a core offering here at the studio. The problem was with the logistics not the offering itself.

I worried that people would think it was a ‘ploy’, that I had it in mind all along. (I didn’t.) I knew that to keep it, I’d have to switch to PDF only, and I worried about that too.  Would it be a barrier? Would people still want it? I didn’t know.

But what I did know, was this journal makes a difference. This simple daily practice has changed things for people, truly changed things. People have started drawing for the first time. They have started to take risks. They have recognized the beauty in their life. They have shared it with their sisters, their kids, their neighbours, their nieces and their dear friends. They have remembered what it is to dream. And it’s a part of my life. I use it every day and it matters. It reminds me to think like an artist every single day and I do.

So over the next week, I’ll start to draw my summer yearbook to a close. I’ll go back and fill in some things I missed. I’ll glue in pictures and have fun with washi tape. I’ll print out some of the pieces I’ve written and glue them in. I’ll look over some of the markers that have made this summer. Then I will close the book and have a fresh and beautiful slate for fall.

Okay, I have promised myself to keep Studio Diary entries easy and light so here’s a quick round-up of some other small or significant things that happened this week in the studio:

  • On Tuesday, September 13th, I started officially writing my book about Devotion. I have been doing a lot of writing for it for the past two years but this time felt different, like I was no longer wrangling the invisible but instead moved into knowing what this book wants to be.
  • I started slowly and intently reading the classic Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This book has been on my shelves for over 20 years but now, in the year where my word is ‘rewilding’, it is the perfect time to read it.
  • I’m working on a secret project and, with the help of my sister-in-law’s sewing skills it is coming to fruition. I’ll share later when it won’t be a spoiler to the people it is for.
  • I tried something really cool with my Studio Yearbook after the full moon. I identified 12 themes in my Full Corn Moon dreamboard and used one of the Focus Pages to do a bit of writing about what dreams live in each of those themes. I loved it and will do it again! (My dreamboards have taught me so much over the years.)
  • Another way I can tell it’s getting colder is Shibumi is interested in cuddles, LOL!

Traveling into Uncomfortable Creative Territory – and Finding Gifts!

I am working on a project that is way outside my comfort zone. It is taking me into the world of fabric and sewing, a world that is at once mystifying and familiar.

When I was a girl, I would spend hours tucked away in my mom’s sewing closet. I would pore over every single page of her borrowed pattern books, choosing which cuff, which collar, which length etc., I would pick for each shirt, dress, pant, jumpsuit, you name it. My mom also had piles of fabrics and I would run my hand along each one, taking in the colours, textures and patterns with delight.

What my mom could do with the sewing machine was sheer magic to me. If she and Dad were hosting a dinner party, she’d whip up an incredible floor-length gown in no time. Picture day tomorrow? When I woke up, I would have a fabulous new shirt to wear. She even worked a miracle with my 7th-grade sewing project, finishing it while I slept because I just couldn’t get the hang of the sewing machine. I never did.

Some of you may remember a couple of years back I gave it another go. With support from my sister Shannon, I found a pattern and fabric. My Auntie Laima helped me pin and cut the pieces and showed me how to use the machine. Those pieces of fabric then sat in a bag in our storage room for years!

I was pretty hard on myself for not getting any further. Then I realized the experiment had actually been a success. I had given myself the opportunity to explore sewing. I had help, I had instruction and I just didn’t want to do it. I could let it go.

There are a million creative avenues and we don’t have to take each one.

In fact, with the limited time we have on this planet, it makes sense to focus on the ones that feel like ‘ours’.

Having said that, I’ve also learned not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is so much I can still enjoy about traveling to the creative world of sewing. It’s a world I have tremendous love and respect for, even if it’s not my home. It is a world of beloved women in my life. It is a world of colour and shape and technical prowess, of measuring and math and magic. I give a deep bow of love and respect to those who live and breathe in the world of sewing. It is a wonder.

This week, when my project took me to a fabric store, I still found it intimidating but truly, it is a wondrous place. I could have spent all day with the fabrics, just like when I was a girl, discovering colours, shapes, patterns and textures.

Just look at the few bolts I’ve shared in today’s picture: the gentle joy of soft blue and yellow side by side, the muted vibrancy of pink and teal, the effect of white backgrounds versus black backgrounds, shapes that would be a delight to draw, the impact of scale, the way patterns take us back in time…

Looking at fabrics is like dipping your cup into a well of inspiration and having enough to sustain you for months!

Our creative projects can stretch us into the uncomfortable and unfamiliar. When that happens, remember that you can ask for support, get help and instruction. You can decide what is for you and what you can honour in others as their gifts.

Everything we create transforms us in some way. Perhaps the projects that take us outside of our comfort zone are there not only to stretch us but also to help us see that we don’t have to do it alone.

PS Special shout-out to my sister-in-law who has offered to do the sewing for my project. Thank you, Sylvia!

NOTE: Originally shared in my Letters from the Studio. To receive my weekly missives, sign up here.)