Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkins get the mandala treatment

It started innocently enough. I had picked up a couple of small pumpkins to use as decorations and one night after dinner I caught a glimpse of the top of one and thought, "Hm...mandala shape..." One Sharpie marker and 15 minutes later...I was hooked!

A combination of my pumpkins mixed with Barbara's.

My sweet friend (and partner-in-mandala-obsession), Barbara saw the Instagram I posted and was all in. So last week when we met for Mandala Monday the canvas of choice was this:

My local friends who also know Barbara will not be surprised when I tell you that she arrived at my house last Monday with her art supplies and her stash included blue paint. Only Barbara would think to add blue to a fall craft...

Seriously? SO pretty! Made me want to put a dab of blue paint on every single pumpkin I mandala'ed after that!

I thought about creating a tutorial but every one of these pumpkins is so different. Here are a few tips:

* Wash and dry your little pumpkins before you begin drawing.

* I start at the top using the pumpkin stem as my center, then start drawing mandala-type designs this way and that.

* The pumpkins take acrylic paint really well, Sharpie markers not so much. We did use a Sharpie paint pen and the ink worked well on these.

* The white on these pumpkins was drawn with a chalk marker. It's nice and bright but rubs off if you try to rub it off. I won't try. ;o) Besides, these won't last forever anyway so the chalk marker did the trick. I did try a white paint pen but it wasn't as bright as the chalk marker.

* The pumpkins look better when they have lots of friends! After Barbara left my house that night and took her pumpkins, my little collection seemed sparse. I've created a few more since last Monday night, and so has she! :o)

* Last, and most importantly, there's no right or wrong way to draw a mandala so don't get too hung up on where your lines and shapes land. The beauty of a mandala rests in the process of creation, not in the final piece. Although, I'm pretty sure that once you're done you will love the piece as a whole.

Fun, yes?
I'd love to see your creations if you mandala some pumpkins!
Tag me on Instagram (@paperturtle) and use #MyYogaFriendDeb

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Adventures

The use of the word adventures in my post title might be a bit of a stretch, but here's my weekend recap nonetheless. :o)

It's a little tricky to take photos of yoga teacher training. I really hate to have my phone out at all, much less snapping photos, but I managed. Our group meets one weekend a month for three hours on Friday, and five on Saturday and Sunday. This next photo looks like a slumber party but I know better. There are about 25 of us and if you arrive early enough to class you get a spot along the wall. We are all fairly well spent by the end of the weekend, so this is how the center of the room looked by Sunday afternoon:

So there was yoga teacher training and it was awesome. We are still in our anatomy module and we moved a lot this weekend in ways that make sore muscles in places you might not have even guessed you had muscles. Phew. My body is sore this morning, but in a good way. I'm excited to teach my Tuesday and Wednesday evening classes this week. I have a few new tricks up my sleeve.
Doug took a much needed break this weekend and headed north to camp with his brother. Saturday night found me in my yoga/craft space starting on the wall mandala that's been swimming around in my brain.

I have the center mapped out and the first round of color so far. This is going to be an ongoing project for a while, and I'll share the progress as I go.

There was also a little of this:

I have a post scheduled for Wednesday with more photos of pumpkin mandalas. :o)

The only house settling/organizing I managed this weekend was in the backyard. I finally "unpacked" all my heart-shaped rocks that were moved in various 5-gallon buckets, unpacked all my gardening supplies and clay pots into a storage closet, and tidied up the backyard and patio as best as I could without Doug being home. That's a look at the sunset view from our new backyard space.

Our turtles are slowing down as the nights turn cooler. They'll be hibernating soon and I'm promising myself I will not fret about them this winter. {eh-hm. yeah, right...} The new habitat is working well and they are safe from Lucky-the-dog's shenanigans, but he did manage to chew/destroy the second strand of lights I had around the habitat wall. Really, Lucky?

We do love our new house and neighborhood so much. We've noticed that all of the houses surrounding us have plenty of beautiful mature trees but our backyard is barren - save for the orange tree along the side fence. We will remedy that eventually. A neighbor told us that this house has seen a fair share of residents, no one has owned this house for a long period of time. Made me feel a little sad for her, but we'll remedy that as well.

This week? More of the same. Settling in, and also planning a little Halloween fun.

Wishing you a spooky-ooky-fun-filled Halloween week, my friends.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mandala kit winners, and free coloring pages

Thanks so much for your fun comments on my mandala kit giveaway post last week. I loved reading your answers to the question, "What was your first community?"

One of the perks of being me is that I have the good fortune to be part of many communities - groups of people with shared interests. My yoga community. My scrapbooking/crafting community. My blog community. My family. My co-workers.
My first community was in the small town where I grew up: Dos Palos, California. How fortunate am I to have that small town community as part of my history, and to have all of these wonderful communities to love and support my adulthood now.
The word mandala is a Sanskrit term for "circle." It also encompasses groups of people, and when I teach yoga/mandala workshops, we practice as a community. I drew three names at random for the purpose of gifting a mandala kit saved from my last workshop. The three winners are...
Linda, Mary-Lou and Alexa! Congratulations, ladies! Please email me with your snail mail info and I'll send the kits your way. {Alexa ~ I have your address already. :o) }
♥ ♥ ♥
And! I've also had several requests for coloring pages, so today I'm offering two of my designs for you to print and color.

Download and print my swirly mandala by clicking here.
And my turtle mandala by clicking here.
If you post a photo of these colored pages I would love to see them! Do tag me (@paperturtle) and if you are so inclined, use #MyYogaFriendDeb as well.
Happy Thursday to my sweet blogging community.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

New house / new turtle land

Oh hey there, blog friends.
Phew. I just could not get myself in gear yesterday morning and get to a weekend recap. Actually, myself was in gear finishing up the weekend's laundry and preparing for a new cleaning lady to come later in the day to take care of our floors while Doug replaced my car battery. How's that for a Monday morning? So, no official weekend recap on Monday morning but I'll sum it up in one word for you: busy.

When we moved to our new house (tomorrow will mark three weeks!) we used a large 55-gallon plastic tub to hold our two box turtles until we could build a new habitat for them. I filled the bottom with a bag of shredded bark and said a heartfelt prayer for their safety and well-being.

Well, everything was going fine(-ish) with the temporary quarters until our baby turtle, Casper went missing. Doug was working out of town for a few days and I hadn't see Casper at all, so when he came home he was given the potentially bad-news-task of digging in the bark to find a baby turtle.

The good news is that Doug found her and she was just fine. Bad news is that we discovered the reason she was so hunkered down was an attempt to hide from Rex, our male turtle who is seriously in the mood for love. L.O.V.E. And in such cramped quarters there was no escaping him without burrowing to the bottom.

 So Doug and I set aside some time this weekend to work on building a turtle pen. I had some ideas for the design and material to use, and Doug made it happen. Seriously, my husband is a jewel! He's so accommodating to my requests and worked so hard to make this happen. I love the new turtle pen AND my sweet and awesome hubby!!!

This little hut had been a bird house until we moved and I dropped it and the whole thing broke apart. I salvaged the top of it and thought it would be cute in the turtle pen...

I was right. ;o)

Rexy and Casper really like it too. It was fun to put them in their new space and watch them exploring it. This space has so much potential, and I can't wait to get some grass and other plants growing in there. We also need a few more areas for them to hide, and a better water source, but at least they are out of the plastic tub! And Casper has some space to move around and hide if/when she wants to.

In other pet news, Lucky the dog is a bit obsessed with being able to see and smell the turtles in his backyard. Now prayers are for this new habitat to keep the turtles in, and one very curious pup out.

PS: Casper is about three years old. Female box turtles typically begin producing eggs when they are five years old and/or 5-7" in length. I'm glad that Rex is in love with her, and I hope he still feels the same in a couple of years when she's ready to reciprocate. ;o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mandala workshop and a little giveaway

Ahhh ~ this is a much happier way to start a blog post compared to my surly attitude in Monday's ramblings. :o) That's a photo of me (thanks, Carrie!), right after the yoga/mandala workshop I lead last Saturday afternoon.

Just look at my lovely students immersed in their own mandalas. Makes my yoga heart so happy! What an honor to be able to share something that brings peace and serenity to others. I treasure this part of my life beyond words.

As with all of my workshops, we created a mandala using yarn in the center that connected our mats. This is one of my favorite parts of the workshop - a chance to get to know each other before we begin our yoga practice as a community. A circle (mandala) of yoga friends practicing together. Just so beautiful.

I had kits available for each student, and as usual I had extra kits just in case there were late sign-ups. The kits include an instruction sheet, a mandala template, a yoga quote printed on a strip of paper to be used as a ruler, some stickers made with my own mandalas (uploaded and printed via, and a yoga towelette.

I have three little mandala kits to give away. :o)

We practice as a community in my mandala workshops, and one of our get-to-know-you questions is "Where was your first community?" If you'd like a chance to win a mandala kit, just leave me a comment either here or on Facebook and tell me where on this planet did you feel your first sense of community. I'll enter your name into the drawing and draw three names at random. Winners will be announced next Wednesday.

Sending mandala love to all who read this.

Monday, October 12, 2015

This weekend at the new house

Hey there, blog friends.
One of my favorite adages is this: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." And that's what I'm struggling with when it comes to blogging right now. It's been a weird time for me and I feel like I have myself stuck in a bit of a negative rut. I know it will pass, I know I'll morph out of this funk, but for right now I am a little upside down. Makes it kind of hard to come into this space and offer up some words of encouragement and sarcastic humor for you, when I'm not feeling it myself. {Ha. Although, having just typed and re-read my intro paragraph, I already feel a little bit better...}

Anyway! I'm pretty sure you don't come to PaperTurtle to hear me whine, and I've been doing a bit of that in real life, so what say we just look at a few photos and then head out to tackle the upcoming week, eh?

Eddie's home...

When we moved into our last house four years ago, we didn't have a ceiling high enough to accommodate Eddie's rack so he went to live at Doug's brother's house. Well, new house + higher ceilings = Eddie's home. Doug is super happy and I am...well...getting used to having a really large and beautiful and dead animal hanging in our living space. I'll be honest and say that I kind of freaked out last Monday when I came home from work and he was hanging there. Carrie tells me, "Dude. It's Doug's house too!" and I think, "Wait a minute. You're my kid! Don't be on Doug's side!" (tongue in cheek there). One week later I'm surprisingly ok with Eddie living in our space again - or I'm just used to him now. It is what it is...

It's interesting (and encouraging for me) to look at the photo above and see how much progress I made this weekend. All those boxes are now stacked on the side of our house, waiting for someone to answer our ad on Craigslist for free moving boxes. It felt awesome this weekend to actually set out some of our little treasures. It's really starting to feel like home around here! :o)

Our turtles have been living in temporary housing while they await the creation of a new habitat. The unsettling news is that I haven't seen Casper in three days. She's burrowed under the bark in the tub and hasn't surfaced. Doug was out of town this weekend, and he's charged with the task of digging through the tub to find her this morning. Praying that she is ok!!! In the meantime, I've been letting Rexy roam the backyard in the afternoons for some sunshine and exercise. This weekend he discovered Lucky the dog.

Treasures starting to land in place...

A gathering of angels...

Between our house move, my mom's three-year-good-bye-anniversary, having shingles (they are better now!), a full-time job, yoga teaching and yoga teacher training, and blogging, I'm feeling a bit maxed out. This week's goal is to settle the heck down - I feel it coming back around and I know I have to make it happen in my mind. I will. I always have before and I will do it again.

In the meantime, I'm not going to worry too much about blogging. As much as I love this space, PaperTurtle is so on the back burner at the moment. However, I do have a post ready for Wednesday with some mandala goodness to share. You just never know when I'll pop up in your feed...

So, until we meet again, my friends, keep the faith and keep on keeping on. That's what I'll be doing over on my little piece of the planet.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The new house and a long weekend recap

Hello, blog friends!
Has it really been two weeks since I blogged? Oh wow - I am super glad I chose to take a little break on this space during our house move. I had last week off work and we have spent the past nine days...well...let me show you...

Whiskers Jay has lived in this house for six days now. As I type he is meowing in the hallway. Over and over and over. He's starting to settle in, for sure, but he is still very nervous about the new digs.
The floor tiling took waaaaaaaay longer than was originally anticipated. To the point that the tile guys were feverishly grouting as we were moving furniture in on Tuesday.
A house move is tough on pets...

My new craft and yoga space:

Our turtles went from living in turtle paradise to living in the projects. They seem to be doing ok - a bit hard to tell with turtles. We have some ideas for a new habitat for them, but at this writing I'm not sure when we will have time to make that happen.

It's shots like this next one that have me feeling grateful and super overwhelmed all at the same time:

At the end of every day we were absolutely spent. I don't even know how to begin to tell you how exhausting and exhilarating and hot and sweaty and tiring and joyful this past week was for us.

Fortunately, Doug seems to have ended the 9-day run (actually, 7 weeks for him) unscathed. As for me? right knee and ankle and heel = ouch. And. Oh my goodness. I woke up last Monday with shingles. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. O.U.C.H. So that has been a bit of an ordeal but I am coping!

This week. Sigh. This week...

My personal to-do list is super long, and I'm headed back to work this morning to face another kind of to-do list in the midst of the pull to want to be home continuing to settle into this new space. And that last sentence sums up the rambling pace of my mind right now. Ha!

This Friday marks the three-year anniversary of my mom's passing. Boo! :o( So many times over the course of the past nine days I thought of her and longed for her. I wanted to call and cry to her about the pain of shingles and the frustration of tile guys and the exhaustion of moving in this Arizona heat.

And this coming Saturday I'm leading a yoga/mandala workshop so there are kits to be made and a class to plan between now and Saturday afternoon. {lots of deep breathing...}

Even though I'd love to have a few more days off work, the thought of sitting in my office chair for a whole eight hours today sounds more appealing than I ever thought it would.

And with that I'm off to roll out my yoga mat and get back to a somewhat regular routine.
Have a great week, everyone!
See you next time...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...