Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mandala Zipper Pouch

Hey, guess what!
I made something!
Big surprise: it includes a mandala.
I needed a little zipper bag for my colored pencils and other mandala drawing supplies, so I made this bag back in April. I am finally getting around to sharing it here on my blog!

I have some decent sized scraps of canvas fabric, so I cut a piece to size for the bag I was making. For the mandala, I cut a large circle template from a piece of cardstock and folded it a few times to make my grid lines. Then I traced it onto a piece of canvas fabric already cut to size for the bag I was making.

I used Sharpie markers to draw directly onto the fabric. I found that it was best to keep the pen moving, otherwise the ink would soak in and bleed into the fabric.

Then I stitched it up. {There are all kinds of online tutorials for making zipper pouches. I found this one for you in case you'd like to try.} My bag is lined with muslin - here's what the inside looks like...

And the back side of the bag...

And the bag in use...

Have you discovered the beauty of drawing mandalas?
You can see my simple mandala tutorial here.

Monday, June 29, 2015

When I loved summer...

I've lived in Arizona long enough that I had forgotten I actually used to LOVE summer! The stifling heat night and day, day after day has kind of jaded my feelings about summertime. So when I came across this idea - to write a list of favorite memories from my childhood summers - I was surprised at how many sweet summer memories came up for me. {The prompt was from a newsletter I subscribe to by Chookooloonks.}

Here, in no particular order, are 10 of my favorite summertime childhood memories.
☀ ☀ ☀
My nephews (Cris & Tyler) and niece (Britny) ~ photo by my brother Ron

No school. It's not that I disliked school, I just loved summer a whole lot more. So the first thing on my list of favorite things about summer when I was a kid? It has to be the no school part!

Being barefoot. We were country kids and we were barefoot all summer long! I remember walking on the hot blacktop road to Grandma's house - feet tough enough that the hot surface felt warm but didn't really make me dance. The way it felt to step onto the cool, lush green grass, and ending each day with super dirty feet that needed a good scrubbing in the tub before bed time.

Water play. With sprinklers, garden hose, wading pools, water balloons and dangling our feet into the muddy water of nearby irrigation ditches.

Crawdad fishing. Our great-uncle Homer would tie a piece of meat on a string for us and we'd pull dozens of crawdads out of the muddy irrigation ditch. {I wrote a story about our crawdad fishing days and you can read that here.}

The ice cream truck. Running to the sidewalk with a fist full of change, waiting for the ice cream truck to stop for us. My favorite treat was always the creamsicle pop-ups. Yum...haven't had one of those in forever...

Our cousins from Chicago came to visit. For a few summers in a row, our three cousins from Chicago came to spend several weeks in California. Our grandmas were sisters and lived on the same country road, and we spent hours building forts, crawdad fishing, riding our bikes, and just having fun. When the day would come for them to go back to Chicago, my siblings and I would sob like it was the end of the world. Ahhh. Those were such fun times!

Iced tea. My mom made the best, fresh brewed iced tea, and she always had a pitcher made. I remember for a while she made ice by freezing water in an empty paper milk carton. Once frozen, she'd break it up with an ice pick - stabbing several times right through the paper carton. She'd pour the crushed ice into a glass and then cover it with fresh brewed tea. Ah - such a refreshing way to cool off! {My sis and I still make tea just like our mama, though we don't do that ice part.}

Bike riding. We rode our bikes all over the place back then. We lived in a small town and friends were always a bike ride away. There was such a feeling of freedom and independence, riding off on my bike to go to a friend's house. As I write these words, I'm struck by the way I miss that simple pleasure.

Being hot. It seems weird to remember a time when I actually enjoyed the heat. Our home had a small evaporative cooler in one window and that was enough "back then." We slept with our windows open and didn't really complain about being too hot. Heat meant that it was SUMMER and we loved that so much!

Shopping for school supplies. As much as I loved summer and the whole no-school-gig, I always loved shopping for new school clothes and supplies. The anticipation of new teachers, seeing friends, a fresh notebook and a hint of fall in the air? Awesome! And although this memory signified the end of summer, it's still one of my favorites.
☀ ☀ ☀
What would your list of top ten summer memories include?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Just a Quote for Friday

“Consider letting go of the barriers between yourself and others, let go of the definition our culture has inflicted upon us and allow the best part of ourselves to connect with the wondrous parts of others. Allow yourself to connect in a deeper and more profound way.”
― David W. Earle

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A salad recipe for summer dinners

There's a croissant shop near the chiropractor's office where I teach yoga. Ohmygosh they have the best croissants! They also have a small lunch menu and one of their salads has been a favorite of mine for a long time.

I love the salad so much that I wanted to make my own version at home but I assumed that it wasn't something that Doug would appreciate. He's a "ranch dressing" salad guy and likes a good old fashioned side-salad if he has a salad at all.

Well. TA-DA!!! I made it and he loved it and I've made it a few times since then. :o) Now it's one of our favorites. It's super easy to throw together, and a salad I plan to make often during the upcoming hot summer months.

Spinach/Chicken/Cranberry Salad

Use amounts according to your preference:
spinach leaves
diced cooked chicken breast
dried cranberries
chopped walnuts
crumbled feta cheese
balsamic vinegar dressing

Combine, toss and enjoy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's officially summer - weekend recap

Good morning, blog friends.
"Welcome to another exciting edition of weekend happenings on PaperTurtle," she wrote sarcastically. "Doug was out of town, it was hot outside, I taught yoga and I drew mandalas."
{first cup of coffee consumed...}
Ok, it wasn't that mundane. You know, these weekend recap posts I do never fail to remind me how fortunate I am. There was beautiful sunlight, yoga practiced, pedicures with my girl C, and dinner/movie with a friend on Saturday. And on Sunday I drew mandalas. Come to think of it, I had a really great weekend! :o)

Doug and I came across some photos of our backyard when we first bought this house and wow what a difference! So much has changed back there in four years! I want to do a before/after post on this space...soon.

Our local grocery store had a great selection of roses on sale last week ($6.99/dozen) so I picked up this beautiful bouquet. They were tight little rose buds on Friday, and by yesterday each of them had opened to beautiful full roses. I think I'll pull at least one of these out of this bouquet to have on my desk at work for the next few days.
Item #1 - a bouquet of flowers
Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt

I spent a considerable amount of time with my mandala sketchbook this weekend, and my trusty sidekick, Whiskers Jay, was right by my side. He was a loveable pest every time I sat down to draw. I've recently been loving watercolor pencils, and the cat loves it too...

Yes, he's drinking my watercolor paintbrush water.

I'm in the process of scheduling my next yoga/mandala workshop which means my mind is pre-occupied with plans for a class theme. Now that I have that first workshop under my belt, I'm even more excited about the next one!

I'm also in the process of creating some simple mandala kits and plan to offer one up in a little blog giveaway soon. Maybe next week if I get my act together.

I'm in need of a little attitude adjustment, for sure. I know my morning yoga will help (maybe I should start practicing yoga before I blog in the morning...) but I also think I need a little retail therapy. Some new flip-flops and a sundress maybe... Yeah...I just decided...I'm going shopping on my lunch hour today...
Time to hit it. Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Me, June 2015

Feeling pulled in several directions right now, but so grateful for this life I live.

Loving my life as a yoga teacher. It gives my life meaning and purpose, truly.

Reading yoga anatomy books as part of my continued teacher training.

Drinking coffee by morning, water by day, red wine by night.

Anticipating the next few months of Arizona heat. Ick. We know it's coming every year and somehow we always think it's not going to be so bad. It's bad. Sooooo hot...

Listening to yoga music. Man, I need to crack down and organize some playlists for my yoga classes. I’m tired of the same songs over and over and over…

Watching nothing much right now. All my favorite shows are on break until the new seasons begin. (Love “Survivor,” “Amazing Race,” “Dancing with the Stars.” “Married at First Sight,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)

Planning a move of households. Although we haven’t found a place to move yet so this feels very much on hold. I have started organizing my craft supplies but it’s hard to get too fired up about things until there’s a definite date on our calendar for a move.

Looking forward to finding a new house.

Creating mandalas, mandalas, mandalas!!! And I have some ideas for creating a mixed media mandala canvas that really needs to get out of my head and out through my hands. But first I…

Need to finish my friendship quilt!

Wishing for more free time to do the things I love.

Main goal spread the word about the benefits of yoga by continuing to do what I do.
PS: I was surfing the other day and came across this list, copied and pasted it but closed my browser before I captured a link to the original source. If this is your list of prompts please let me know and I will give proper credit. In the meantime, thanks for the fun list!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How do I make my sunflowers LOOK like that?!

My six-year old nephew, Stone, is poised to be an amazing gardener someday. Last spring I sent some sunflower seeds to him with instructions on how to grow them. He was so excited when the seeds sprouted!

Stone planted a new crop this year and once again has loved watching them sprout and grow - taller than he is! You can just imagine how it warmed my heart when he was so excited about his first sunflower bud - just on the brink of blooming - that he had his mom (my sis) post an Instagram and tag me to take a look. "Look, Aunt Deb!!!" he said. :o)

My sister recently showed one of my sunflower Instagram photos to Stone and his immediate response was, "HOW does she do that?? Does she grow them in wood chips??? That must be it!"

I love that he is already trying to figure out how to grow the best sunflower; that his mind is always open to learning and discovering how things work. I love that he is having so much fun growing sunflowers and that he is striving to improve his already successful technique.

Stone couldn't wait to show me his sunflowers when we visited at the beginning of this month. Ah! Made this aunty so proud!!!

And here's part two of this story. After Stone showed me his flowers and I took the obligatory photo, I flipped through my photo feed to show him some recent photos I had taken. A sunflower photo caught his eye and Stone said, "See, Aunt Deb?! How do you make your flowers LOOK like that?!" and I realized that what he's seeing as the difference between my flowers and his is the photography factor. I have a feeling that Stone's next lessons will be photography related.

How do I grow sunflowers? Plant a seed in full sun and make sure to water it regularly.
How do I photograph sunflowers?
With my iPhone and making sure the sun is behind them at a pleasing angle.
A little skill and lots of luck.
Oh, and a little bit of love.
I do love my sunflowers, you know.
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