Friday Features ~ The Night Owl

Night Owl in acrylic
Night Owl in acrylic

I am a night owl.
We are birds of a feather, solitary and nocturnal.
This night owl appeared to me in a dream years ago.
He is ever watchful perched on a winter oak, illuminated by a full moon.
As he came to life on the canvas I was reminded of his wisdom.

 A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird? 
~ English Nursery Rhyme

Monday Musings ~ Paper Arts ~ Exploding Boxes and Ancient Wisdom

Paper Art

I love the organic, tactile quality of working with paper. There’s a connection with nature and the nature lover in me wants to honor the sacred sacrifice of the tree by creating something beautiful. I’m fascinated by what you can create with paper.  Here are a few of my paper creations.

The Exploding Box

The exploding box is a work of art and makes a great gift when filled with notes or treats…

Exploding box made entirely of craft paper
Exploding box made entirely of craft paper
…remove the lid and voilà!

Inside of the exploding box
Inside of the exploding box
When the lid is taken off, the four sides of the box fall away and reveal its contents. In this case, the box was filled with handmade paper flowers and each side had a pocket that held a pull-out note card. I made this box for my mom on Mother’s Day a few years ago. There are so many possibilities with the exploding box, check them out here.

The Wisdom Book

I wanted to create a handmade wisdom book that contained some of my favorite quotes. It is one of my treasures.

Paper Crafted Wisdom Book
Paper Crafted Wisdom Book
It was rather complex to put together, but worth the effort.

Wisdom Book2 Framed
Inside the wisdom book

The wisdom book contains many layers
The wisdom book contains many layers
Hmmm, maybe I should make an exploding box of ancient wisdom! You may be laughing right now…but seriously, the idea just came to me as I write this post. What pearl of wisdom would you include in an exploding box? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.  So please share your favorite quote in comments if you’re so inclined.

For more amazing paper creations, click here.

 

Friday Features ~ The Art of the Tangle

Elephant in Ink - tangled
Elephant in Ink – tangled
Zentangles 2
Tangles from my art journal
Zentangles 4
Practicing the art of the tangle

Like any artist, there are times I stare at a blank canvas in complete frustration – my mind a tangled mess of ideas with no sense of direction. So I’ve looked for ways to tap into my creative flow and want to share a method that I find especially helpful.

A few years ago I took a class on the “Art of the Tangle”. The method is called Zentangle and is best described as a meditative art form using repetitive patterns to create art. Creating the repetitive patterns requires focus and mindfulness.   I find the process of tangling relaxing because it quiets my mind (no easy task). When my mind is quiet, space is created allowing the flow of creativity. In essence, tangling puts me in the zone.

I know what some of you are thinking…back in the day we called that “doodling” – and I get it, but there’s one major difference. When you find yourself “doodling” on your notepad at work during a meeting – that’s mindlessness. You’re escaping through the repetitive process of doodling – often you’re daydreaming (trust me, I doodled my way through many a meeting). When you “tangle” it’s a mindfulness process – a difference that makes a difference. Tangling requires awareness because you are creating repetitive patterns purposefully, not with random, reckless abandon (that comes later when you get back to that blank canvas!) When you tangle, you end up with something like the elephant in the photo above. Doodling often gets you an “eye roll” from the boss – but hey, day dreaming has its advantages too!

If you’d like to learn more about the art of Zentangling click the link here.

As for the benefits of mindfulness, let me share this infographic I found  down my favorite rabbit hole – Pinterest!

Mindfulness Infograph

Have a great weekend!