Free Class – Five Days of Mandala Magic

I found the most awesome free class that I am going to participate in and I wanted to share this cool opportunity with everyone I can.  It is called Five Days of Mandala Magic and it’s a free online class. The artist, Julie Gibbons, seems like she will be an amazing inspiration and I really can’t wait for the class to start.

You can go to her site and sign up here.


Art Therapy Blog List

Art Therapy Blog List

If you’ve ever been involved with art therapy, you understand how restorative it can be. It has the ability to drive creativity, restore your sense of well-being, and help you overcome anxieties, conflicts, and even addictions. And while art therapy was once only practiced in select settings – such as hospitals, wellness centers, and rehab facilities – its reach is much broader now.

Research clearly shows the positive impact of art therapy on emotional health and it’s important that you find ways to expose yourself to this powerful therapeutic practice as frequently as possible. Thankfully, there are a number of online resources designed to make art therapy accessible and convenient. In fact, you may want to bookmark the following blogs.

(Original post can be found here.)

1. Psychology Today Arts and Health

This blog is managed by Cathy Malchiodi, an experienced art therapist and author of 13 books on the subject, and offers a very educated look at “the integrative, reparative and restorative powers of the arts.” While content is not published on a daily basis, the posts that are published are thorough, unique, and interesting. Those who are new to the blog will enjoy reading past posts, which are still quite relevant today.

2. Adventures in Art Therapy

This blog is managed by another registered and licensed art therapist, Lacy Mucklow, and is an excellent resource for keeping up to date on the latest trends and developments within the industry. There are plenty of posts to read through, as well as lots of helpful links and resources on the right-hand side of the site. These external links are resourceful for those looking to learn more about specific aspects of art therapy and related topics.

3. Park West Gallery Blog

While it’s not a dedicated art therapy blog, the Park West Gallery Blog is an excellent resource for those interested in supplementing their study of art therapy with bigger industry news and developments. Park West Gallery is the world’s largest art dealer and, as a result, is seen as an authoritative source on all things art. The blog may indirectly inspire you to see art therapy in a new light.

4. Art Therapy Spot

The Art Therapy Spot is an extension of licensed therapist Sara Roizen’s professional website. It offers really unfiltered and genuine posts about topics that are important to both therapists and patients within the industry. Roizen does a fantastic job of exploring the artwork she creates and explaining the stories behind her pursuits. It’s a fresh and revealing blog that doesn’t get enough attention.

5. Inner Canvas Blog

The Inner Canvas blog may be the most professional, organized, and aesthetically pleasing art therapy blog on the list. Not only does it provide fresh perspectives on relevant topics, but it does so through multiple mediums. The blog uses videos, interviews, imagery, and even poetry to connect with readers and help them learn more about the value and importance of art therapy in restorative healing.

6. Colors of Play

While this site is not updated frequently any more, the abundance of past posts are extremely relevant and helpful for parents looking to encourage the use of art therapy for their children. The blog is very practical and provides solutions to common problems, answers to frequently asked questions, and hands-on activities designed to help children understand themselves and the world around them. Art therapists who work with children on a regular basis may also find the blog helpful.

7. Creativity in Art Therapy

This is another fantastic resource on the topic of art therapy for children. Carolyn Mehlomakulu, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist, manages the blog. She works with a lot with children and adolescents and shares her experiences on this blog. Many of the posts are extremely practical and can be used by parents at home.

8. Creative Juices Arts

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box blog on art therapy, this is it. You’ll notice from the moment that you log on to the site that it’s much different than some of the clinical art therapy blogs and websites you’ll run across. However, it’s a really valuable resources and has a lot of value and wisdom to offer to regular readers.

I am Home pt. 2: A Mantra Mandala Tutoral

I am Home pt. 2: A Mantra Mandala Tutoral

Found in the book, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

I have arrived, I am Home

In the Here and in the Now

I am Solid, I am Free

In the Ultimate I Dwell

This is my first Art Assignment that I set for myself in my project I call “The Happiness Experiment.” I feel that actively putting effort into being a more joyful person makes sense if you are serious about having a happier life.  It’s just true that you need to take time with yourself and do things like meditate, make sacred art and music, or just uninhibitedly sing and dance…. if your attention is on joy and the present moment then life will bloom radiantly all around you.

When I decided to assign myself an art project, found here in this post, I didn’t know that I would end up making a beautiful Mandala.  Putting words into a Mandala is also something I have never seen before but I felt like that is what called to me this time.

This is my first tutorial and I wish my pics would have turned out a little better but if you click them they enlarge enough so that you can see the pencil marks in the first few photos.  Next time I will learn from my mistakes and use a better camera.

Making a Mandala is like doing a round Zentangle.  One small step at a time without a whole lot of thought to the finished project.  It’s a metaphor for life.

First I found the center for the paper with a ruler and made a large X as a base.


Next I marked half inch segments onto each line.


I divided the circle into equal parts  an added more half inch markings on the straight lines I added.



My mantra fit into the spaces.  The outer layer starts with “Arrive” then the next ring shows “Home”, as you go further inward you will see the words “Here” and “Now”, then “Solid” and “Free.”  The inner two circles represent the “Ultimate”with the “I” in the center surrounded by an infinity symbol.


I marked out the larger pieces of the Mandala surrounding each word in a seperate space.


Next I started filling in the larger parts with ideas from patterns that I found on Pinterest. When you use inspiration pieces from other people, use a lot of examples, don’t take more than 1 or 2 patterns from each example so you can create your own personal art.


Make sure to erase all the the pencil marks now before you start painting.

I used Dr. Martins India Inks to paint mine, pictured below.  When you use multiple coats of ink you achieve a stained glass look that is mesmerizing to look at.


I decided my color layout as I went along after choosing a palette to work from, Blue, Purples, Pinks and Red.


At the end I added some detail work with a white Gelly pen.


This whole piece was intended and created as a Meditation. I tried to stay in the present moment as I worked, trying to feel a sense of “home” with each new part. It was important to me that I didn’t overthink the piece, just placing my attention on what I was doing at that exact moment.

Now I have a great piece of art that I can hang in my home and whenever I see it I am reminded of my Mantra and how I felt while I made it. It’s kinda awesome.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy




Happy November! It’s a beautiful day outside here in Kansas City.  It’s warm and it’s just about the perfect fall day.  I am so grateful when the weather is nice and I can open the windows and have fresh air.

Mondays are always hard, the kids are dragging their butts and crying about doing school work. I don’t really blame them, I sometimes want to cry about all the work there is to do.  It’s just a matter of acceptance. I have a job that I have to do, I can not wish I didn’t have to do it. That is the friction that really causes the irritation in my life.  Acceptance is all there is. You have to make the most of what you have in store for you today and do it with a smile. Amazingly, things become easy when you abandon resistance and let each moment flow as it needs to.

I used to be a Massage Therapist and I would say Mantras in my head as I worked in the quiet darkness, letting my hands feel the knots under the skin without thinking. It’s easy when no one is distracting you and you can work in a quiet environment.  I need to apply the same peace and flow to my daily life, letting things happen without my refusal and self created friction.

Acceptance is the key that allows life to be smooth and peaceful… acceptance of what really is. There will be no more blame and angry self talk about how hard things can be or how I deserve such and such to be happy. This is what I have, this is what I have to do. And it’s a great life, I am actually really lucky. If I take to time to look at it from the point of acceptance, I can focus on the best parts and joy becomes natural and fluid. It’s amazing when you can finally see it around you.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy


Realizing Compassion

Realizing Compassion

Mother Theresa is the person who, I believe, is the personification of compassion. I admire her and what she did. Loving unconditionally takes a special understanding of who people are at the soul’s level. Serving selflessly takes knowing ourselves on that same deep level.

Daily life makes me grumpy and feel wasted. As the day goes on, managing the family makes me frustrated and I lose site of the bigger picture. I start micro-managing every detail of everyone’s life.  The reality is that these people are the ones I love and have committed myself to care for.They are special and alive and a miracle of actuality, I need to be more understanding. Being a caretaker is my miracle.

My goal today is easy, I need to cultivate compassion… make it grow from all the dark hiding places, one little moment at a time.  Remembering to be a little more kind when frustration tries to make me snappy.  It’s a seed I want to plant for myself and my kids. I truly believe that what people shine forth effects those around them and it creates a ripple effect. I want to see more compassion in the world so I need to be more compassionate.  It seems so simple when I say it. I just need to remember to do it, that’s the hard part.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy


Today I Choose Happiness

Today I Choose Happiness

Good morning! It’s one of those fall days where you can hear the rain patter onto the leaves outside and you just want the fireplace warming your cold body. No plans, no worries, just the warmth wrapped around you like a hug.

I live in Kansas City and the leaves here are in perfect form. Every tree is full of color, it’s a late fall this year so we still have lot’s of beauty to look at through the window while we stay inside warmed and cozy.

I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness.

Lately with all the colds going around and a stiff back because of the weather I have been less than excited to wake up in the morning and face the day. Sometimes life is just too overwhelming to be excited about it.  I was an only child growing so having all the people around me in the house is hard sometimes. Crawling under the covers is so much more comforting than the care and feeding of a bunch of free spirited children.

Because of this gloomy attitude I decided to start this blog and learn to free myself from my resistance. Maybe just stating the obvious is enough to get me going until the coffee kicks in!  I choose to be happy today. It is my choice after all. We forget, at least I do, daily, hourly, that I can change my own attitude.

Today I am going be grateful and look at the good, choose to be happy. Be warm and cozy and stay positive.

Of course it’s all so easy to say until the first kid throws up…

Have a HAPPY day if you want to!

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy


Go With the Flow

Go With the Flow

So I got distracted yesterday and didn’t get a chance to start work on my art assignment about my Mantra.  Five of the littlest kids starting throwing up with a fever and my dog wont eat or drink, can dogs catch human sickness?  Maybe today I will squeeze in some time, let’s hope.

I ended up working on a cute little panda drawing that I started earlier this week. I don’t usually do cutesy drawings but little animals make me smile so I am stretching my scope of abilities. He is turning out pretty sweet so far. He’s mixed media with graphite pencil, micron pens, neocolor watercolor crayons, and pastel pencils.  I think I will add some background color with pastel pencils and do some detail work today but other wise I am not going to spend too much more time with him.  I don’t have a plan so we will see what turns up, that’s part of the fun.

I believe that making art is a meditation.   It’s a gift spending the time working and using my senses, without thinking or planning ahead, letting things develop organically.  Even though I didn’t start my Mantra Art yesterday, I still thought about what I wrote and I realized my goal of being more connected to the present moment even with life’s little disasters occurring all around me. By letting life flow and accepting what I could do and could not do with grace, I was able to feel peace in my heart.

Baby panda guy is page 4 of a mixed media art journal that I started for myself to practice new techniques.

artjournal page 1 artjournal page 2 and 3 artjournal page 4

I have never done any art like these projects before.  It’s a mixed media adventure!

Today I want my meditation to be about Going With the Flow.  I will remind myself throughout the day to just be like the river and let life go where it needs, sick kids and all.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy