Thursday, July 28, 2016

Where the mandala leads, Part 2

In April of last year I wrote a post with this same title, minus the "Part 2." At the time, I was preparing to lead my first mandala yoga workshop and had rented a room from Inner Vision Yoga, the studio where I practice and also receive my yoga teacher training. I'd always had a feeling I'd be teaching in that room in the studio, and having that come to fruition was such an exciting thing for me! Even if I did have to rent the room and promote the workshop on my own, I was so happy about that.

Well, I've lead six workshops since then (two held at Inner Vision), and when I contacted Inner Vision Yoga to see about booking a date for my seventh workshop I assumed it would be like before. I'd pick a date that worked for them, I'd pay the fee for room rental and go about my merry way promoting the workshop and taking care of registration.

Imagine my delight when I received a call from the studio with a request to lead my workshop on their behalf. :o)!!! The studio will promote my workshop, they'll handle all registration and I'll show up with my mandala supplies and lead the workshop. And this time they'll pay me instead of the other way around.

I cried happy tears after I got the call. My mandalas have been life changing for me in so many ways, and it's such an honor to lead workshops where I can share this simple art form and inspire others with these magical circles. The process is so soothing and lovely.

The photos in this post show my progress in creating this mandala...

Sometimes I begin my mandalas using a circle template and the method I shared in this tutorial. And sometimes (most often) I use my compass to lay down some circles and just dive right in.

I drew this mandala with a Sharpie permanent marker, my favorite drawing tool lately. I wanted something that wouldn't bleed when wet because I used watercolor pencils to color this one in.

It's a lot quicker to color in with these watercolor pencils. The entire area doesn't need to be covered because once you wet the color it moves around as paint would.

Most fun part: putting the water on and seeing the colors become so vibrant.

I will gladly continue to follow where the mandala leads me.
I wonder what's next?! :o)
A mandala template to print and play with,

Monday, July 25, 2016

Around here this weekend...

Good day, blog friends.
I hope this Monday morning finds you well and happy. I am both. :o) Come in, I'll tell you about our weekend...

Saturday morning I had breakfast with my sister-in-law, Janet. We each had a mimosa and a yummy meal at The Original Chop Shop in downtown Chandler. SO yummy, and I'm excited to take Doug there sometime.

Carrie and her beau were out of town for the weekend, so we had her dog, Marcus, in the mix of our resident fur balls. Marcus and Lucky are great friends. The cat? Not so much. This next shot was at feeding time for the cat...all hands on deck.

I drew a few mandalas this weekend and I loved spending lots of time with each one, just taking my time. Whiskers Jay stayed close by (as usual).

That tail.

You can see both of our turtles in the photo below, enjoying some ground venison that Doug gave them. Oh my gosh, they love that stuff! Rex literally comes "running" for it. Nature. So gross and so cool.

I played with watercolor pencils on my mandalas this weekend and Whiskers would not leave my water jar alone. Pal or pest? Both rolled into one!

This week will include lots of yoga as I have picked up a Friday morning class at another Chandler Parks & Recreation location. So, in addition to the two I teach at Snedigar Rec Center on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, I'll be teaching Friday mornings at Tumbleweed Rec Center. I've also scheduled my next mandala workshop for the end of August, so I'll be preparing for that in the coming weeks.

When my schedule is full like this it's a challenge to keep up with my own yoga practice, so I'm stepping up my morning routine starting today. Gotta' click publish and hit my yoga mat.

Pray for peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My mandalas in Mexico

Oh my goodness, the yoga retreat I took to Mexico at the end of April seems like it was ages ago! Finding this post saved in my blog drafts really took me back. Today I give you mandalas I drew in Mexico...
I loved having the opportunity for some down time on this retreat. I spent plenty of time practicing yoga, shopping with friends and visiting Mayan ruins, but there was also plenty of time for relaxing. I had taken a few books to read, but every time I picked one up my mind just wouldn't stay on task. So naturally, mandalas for me!

I noticed something about my mandalas while I was on the yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. My colors were all beach-y and sunny and vacation-y feeling.

Oh, that light that shined through my cabana window... Swoon!

True. Love.

This next mandala never made it to completion. This is what happens when I force something. I wanted to draw a mandala with harder edges so I started out with this:

And then I lost interest. I tried to add some color but just wasn't feeling it so I figured, "Meh. Life's too short, turn the page..."

And then I went back to what comes naturally...

Side note from mandala talk: The first couple of mornings as I walked along the beach I was surprised to see no shells for collecting. How could that be? Then I thought of my sweet hubby and how he is always finding little trinkets and stuff - because he really looks for them. So the next morning I decided to be more like Doug. I looked a little closer, and what do you know? I found shells! The shells on the beach at our resort were always buried just a little under the sand, with the very tops poking out. I was tentative with the first couple I dug out with my finger, expecting a little critter to climb out from underneath, but that never happened. I found shells every time I walked on the beach from that day on.

One of the participants in our group had a birthday during the week of our retreat, and my Alaskan friends suggested that we make a card for him that we could all sign. "I have nice paper with me!" I volunteered, and we agreed to meet later and construct a card. When we gathered we decided that I'd draw a mandala base, and a couple of other friends gathered beach items to adhere to the front. I loved the addition of the beach finds and the ring of sand inside! We were able to borrow a bottle of glue from the resort office, and we were all so happy with the way the card turned out. The recipient loved it too.

I drew the next one for my mama. Her birthday was at the end of the week during my retreat.

Last but not least, imagine my surprise and gratitude when I was presented with a birthday card made just for me at the end of our week. (My birthday fell on the day after our return home.) I had taught a couple of the ladies in my group how to draw mandalas, and they made this card for me that everyone signed. I love that I have Kat's first mandala as a keepsake! I will treasure it for always.

And how cool is it that they found a heart shaped ocean piece for the center?
Mandala love.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Around here this weekend

Hey there, blog friends.
Welcome to the beginning of a whole new week. What a lovely weekend we had around these parts! We were productive and also had time for time for relaxing and spending time with friends. Come on in...

You may recall that I reduced my corporate work hours to have Friday's off in order to pursue yoga and hospice work. I completed my hospice volunteer training in June and have been waiting to receive my first assignment. Well, Thursday afternoon I got the call, and Friday morning I visited my first hospice patient.

I had a moment Friday morning as I was getting ready to go where I wondered what in the world I was doing. I called Doug and he soothed me - reassured me that I could do this... And I did.

Turtle Town
The patient I'm assigned to is so lovely. And as "luck" would have it, she has a great deal in common with my mom. They were both born in the same year, born in the same state, worked the same profession all their lives, and my patient even has a daughter my age. When I first walked into her room I was struck by her lovely appearance - she even resembles my mom in a way. Petite build, impeccably groomed, at the end of her life yet still a grace about her.

It was awkward for both of us at first, but by the end of my visit we were connected. Hospice is sacred space, and I'll visit her every Friday until she's no longer there for me to visit.

In the meantime, life rolls on. I've managed to stake my sunflower sprouts to keep the turtles from plowing them down. The ones in the photo above are doing so well in their habitat.

Doug and I had friends over for brunch yesterday. Doug's friend is also our electrician, so he's seen our house remodel in progress, but his wife hadn't seen it since we first got our keys. It was so fun to show her all of the changes around here. I made baked French toast with blueberries, a fruit tray, deviled eggs, and stuffed mushrooms. Yummy!

And after brunch, I made art.

I've been wanting draw mandalas with a Sharpie pen on canvas and it felt so good to get this idea out of my head and out through my hands. I've been collecting words cut from magazines, and though these aren't glued on yet, I'm thinking they will be...

After the orange hues, I went blue...

Ah! Looking at these photos makes me want to stay home on this Monday and create more! It was overcast yesterday, and we had a big thunderstorm and lots of rain during the night. Bam! Woke us up at 3:00 a.m. with some crazy thunder. But alas, there's yoga to be practiced and corporate work to be done, so here I go.

Ahhh...a whole new week awaits.
Wishing you a great one, sweet friends!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Around here this weekend...

Happy new week, blog friends!
And just like that, it's Monday morning! Come on in, I'll tell you about my weekend.

I'll have an assignment for hospice volunteer work soon, but until then my Fridays are free to do what I choose. Pretty much loving that right now! Carrie had a webinar to listen to, so she brought her laptop to my house and we listened together while we drew mandalas. A perfect Friday afternoon!!!

Doug was off scouting/camping with his brother this weekend, so I called my own shots. ;o) I attended a yin yoga class on Saturday morning at my favorite studio, and I made Mexican quinoa for dinner that night...

Doug is not a fan of quinoa, and I love this dish! So that was my dinner for Saturday night, and I froze the leftovers for future lunches.

Then, Saturday night, baby...

I had the Food Network on as background noise, and I sat on our couch (in Doug's spot - ha!) and drew a mandala. Gosh, time just slips by when I draw mandalas!

Sunday morning:

The flower bed at the corner of our patio was half-over-grown and half-almost-dead, with a healthy dose of unwanted grass spouting up. I was outside by 7:00 a.m. and spent the next three hours playing in dirt. Bliss.

I also might have gotten a little carried away with succulents. We'll see how they fare on our patio in the shade. Yesterday's high temp was 109°. Bla.

And now, a new week on the horizon. There's my usual schedule of yoga teaching mixed with corporate job duties, and fun stuff on the calendar for the upcoming weekend. Ha - living weekend to weekend these days. Maybe I'll get my first hospice volunteer assignment this week...I wonder...

Carry on and keep sweet thoughts.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Meanwhile, in Turtle Town...

Today I'm sharing a bit about our habitat where our two box turtles live.
♥ ♥
Casper with a little crusty dirt on her face. Also, ice plant starts I set out last week that are taking root as I type.
You can see what this space used to look like by clicking here and taking a peek at the first photo on that post. That was last September when we were just starting to clear this space for our shelled friends.

So, that photo above is a sight we see quite often when we look into our turtle pen. Rex on top of Cas, though usually not in a side position. Eh-hm. On this particular morning I gently moved him off of her and this next picture kind of makes me laugh. Cas looks happy - she's off and running - Rex looks annoyed. If you can read turtle expressions, that is...

As soon as she was free, Cas headed my way and went straight for my toes...

Just checking out whether the red was strawberries or toes. For the record, our turtles have never bitten us. They do this little thing with their nose where the push against potential food to smell it first and maybe to test the texture? I'm guessing. Anyway, she did nudge my big toe and then made her way on to other things once she discovered I wasn't food.

If you look closely, you can see dichondra grass sprouting in the photo above. I've sprinkled seed on the little hill where their food hut is, and also around their pie plate water saucer. The dichondra I planted several months ago is really taking off now that there's a regular watering schedule from the drip lines Doug and I installed.

I also have a few sunflowers sprouting and you can see a couple of them in the photo below. I'm going to have to do something to protect these sprouts from being plowed over by clumsy turtles. Need to protect them until they're big enough to make the turtles go around them.

The turtles do climb through the hollow log on occasion, but they really prefer hiding behind and slightly under it most of the time. It's a fun piece that Doug found on a wood-cutting road trip we took last year.

The little saloon building used to be a birdhouse before I dropped it and the bottom fell out. Then I repurposed it as a mess hall for the turtles. There's a little turtle plate inside where we put their food every morning. Sometimes that keeps the birds from seeing and taking their food before our turtles reach it. And yesterday morning it was covered in ants, aka live turtle snacks.

The deer antler is a shed that Doug found years ago. It's dried out from being in the sun - Casper loves to nibble on it. And those little red marbles serve no other purpose but to make me happy. ;o) I do love when the sun hits them just right and they light up.

Rex on the move

It's so fun to have this space arranged for our turtle pets, and I'm so excited to watch it fill in and take shape. Rex and Casper seem to enjoy it too, as they are out and about more often, strolling around and checking things out. Plus, now that there's a regular watering schedule, there are more bugs for them to scavenge. I think they love it here.

PS: If you're curious about why I love turtles, I did write a blog post several years ago called, "Why the Turtle." You can read it by clicking here.
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