Saturday, January 29, 2011

Clean Art!

I came across this artist, Paul “Moose” Curtis, who does what is called "Reverse Graffiti"; essentially, cleaning a very dirty surface with a pressure washer, using stencils and such to create beautiful pieces of art that are earth friendly and raise environmental awareness.
It's a really interesting concept and I've found his work amazing. The video is from his project with Green Works, but since this he has struck out on his own without sponsoring corporations.
Check it out!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's good to give...

So, I've been working away in my studio (aka. A very cramped and messy home office). And I've just finished my latest piece; an abstract rose...just in time for Valentine's Day!

The piece I am currently working on is for a charity silent auction and I am very very excited with how it's turning out!
It's funny how, knowing that even in the smallest way it might help...makes me all the more determined to make it incredible and pour my heart and soul into it.

Well, I'm off to go bury myself in paper and glue. Much love to all!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Raw Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free!)

With my dairy-free diet requirements, I am always on the lookout for delicious alternatives to my most beloved (and missed) dairy foods.
Ice cream is a big one. I have a big sweet tooth, and I'm always trying to find new and fun ways to tweak my ice cream recipes.
My mom recently passed this one on to me, and I am in LOVE! It is like having fresh soft serve ice cream and takes just minutes to prepare.


4 Frozen Bananas
Optional: Cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vanilla flavoring, berries etc

Shred the bananas with the grating blade of a food processor and then blend with water until the desired consistency is reached. To create different flavor combinations (or to hide some of the banana flavor) add cocoa, chocolate, berries etc.
For mine, I added apprx. 2 TBS of cocoa powder, a tiny sprinkle of sugar and a tsp of vanilla extract. It made the most DELICIOUS chocolate ice cream I've had in a long time!
My biggest issue with most dairy free ice creams is the lack of creaminess...but this was incredibly smooth and delicious.

The Little Things

Have you ever had one of those days? Where the sun is shining just a little bit brighter, the colors are all the more vibrant, and your heart sings with joy?

Yeah, today was one of those days.

I'm not exactly sure what the cause of such a wonderful day was; I'm not even sure there IS a cause. Mostly I attribute it to a finding of balance.
I've always been an anxious person, a person who needs things to be simple and organized, and I always need everyone (except usually myself) to be happy.
The day I started my Etsy shop, I was terrified. Shaking in my boots, sweaty palms, terrified! I was afraid I would screw it up, nothing would sell, people would hate my work etc. My husband sat me down and asked me this one simple question, "Does making art, make you happy?" to which I replied and obvious, "Yes". "Then nothing else matters." He went on to tell me how money and popularity and the like were just icing on the cake; but if it was the actual process and not the results that made me happy...why worry about them?
And since that little conversation; my perspective on the entire subject has shifted.

In fact I have yet to sell even one piece of art. But, I'm still ecstatic! Why? Because I am actually trying. For me, being able to create beautiful pieces I love and share them with the world is a HUGE accomplishment (you wouldn't believe how much art pieces I have hidden away in boxes, because I was unable to bear sharing them)
For me, it's the thrill of effort, the enjoyment of knowing I am giving of myself openly and freely.
Of course, I am still like a kid at Christmas when people mark my works as "Favorites" or share a piece in a "Treasury". A subtle shift in perspective have made the little accomplishments all the more sweet.

The world is a beautiful, mysterious, amazing place to those who marvel at the colors of the leaves, the feel of the wind on their cheek and the the sound of the waves on the shore.

So, for all of you out there, struggling to find balance; just remember to cherish the little things. And may you always "Live Luminously"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just go with it...

Well...when I get going. I REALLY get going. I buckled down over the last few days and managed to finish up my Dia De Los Muertos Sugar skull piece in record time. :-)

It's amazing how we can get lost in the things we love doing...

Hope you're weekend is going as fabulously as mine! Best wishes, love always, and as always I hope you are all "Living Luminously"

Expressions of the heart...

If you've been following along lately; you know that my passion for art and my indulgence in that passion has taken off over the past few months.
So, I thought I'd update on my latest projects in the works.

I've just recently opened my own Etsy shop, which can be found here.

I've also started some new small scale pieces and begun collecting various recyclable materials from around my house to experiment with some three dimensional work.

My heart is happy, my hands are covered in glue and paint, and my spirit is soaring.

Much love to all...and always "Live Luminously"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let's talk...

It's funny how a good conversation can touch your heart in a most profound way. Suddenly, as soon as the words are done; there is a sense of peace and complete joy; even if the words were sad or difficult.
I had one of these beautiful conversations today with a dear friend of mine and it lifted my spirits, calmed my mind, and right now as I sit here writing I am completely at peace.
Through meditation/prayer/quiet contemplation we can often find a personal sense of peace; but I think even many of the great spiritual thinkers of the ages would agree, there are times when we must see our thoughts displayed before us, as is done during a good conversation.
It gives us a chance to reflect, challenge and open ourselves to new ideas.

I believe a healthy spiritual life is just as important as a healthy physical life. Whatever that spiritual life is; it must be nurtured through love, learning and growing. So, get out there and have a good "Talk" today with someone about something other than daily habits, the latest gossip, or groaning about minor injustices...discuss feelings, beliefs, fears, happiness, and love. Be open. Be honest. Be kind. And who knows where it may take your heart...

Much love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raw Kale Salad

Hey everyone!
So, lately our family has been introducing more and more raw foods into our diet (fruits, veggies, and raw grains) and my mom recently passed this delicious recipe on to us, so I just had to share it.

Raw Kale Salad

Big bunch of Kale
1 Ripe Avocado
Lemon Juice
Sea Salt
Fresh Garlic (1 or 2 bulbs, chopped)
Pinch of Cayenne

**You may notice a lack of measurements for the lemon juice and the salt, because it's completely according to taste. I love my lemon, so I usually use about 1-2 tablespoons or more.

Remove the stem from the kale leaves and then rip the leaves into bite size pieces. Chop the avocado up and massage it into the kale leaves with your hands. (this mixes it nicely and breaks down the fibers of the kale leaves so they aren't so dense)
Add the lemon juice, salt, garlic and cayenne and mix thoroughly.

Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes (it can even be left over night and is extra flavorful!)

You can eat it plain, or add your own "extras" to it. Tonight we enjoyed ours with raw (soaked) garbanzo beans; which gave it a little extra crunch that was delicious!

**To add the garbanzo beans, take raw garbanzo beans (the hard, crunchy uncooked ones) and soak them in water for at least 8 hours (changing the water three times); draining and sprinkling over the top of the salad.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Food Matters!

The truth is...we are what we eat. Everything we put into and on our bodies affects us. The very air we breath is reacting with us on an ever constant basis.
So, if we want our bodies to work to their highest capacities and feel their best; we have to give them good fuel to run on.
In a world of fast food, instant coffee, drive thru dining and meal bars to go; we've become so caught up in how "easy" the food is to obtain and not actually whether or not the food has any nutritional value what so ever.
Recently I watched a documentary called "Food Matters" and was amazed at how much the food we consume and the supplements we take really can determine the quality of life we enjoy and how our bodies react to illness.
For those who don't know me, I'm a "locally grown", "organic", lots of fruits and veggies, lots of raw, healthy, clean, pure, complete nutrition kind of gal. I don't eat any dairy or flour (due to intolerance), and avoid most processed foods like the plague. I haven't had a soda in well over five years. I can't even remember the last time I had McDonald's, Wendy's, or Taco Bell.
While most people I know laugh off my diet as "odd", "too intense" or "too much of a sacrifice"; the longer I do it the more I notice my energy levels rising, my overall sense of health has increased, I rarely get sick and when I do it's a very minor inconvenience, and the less and less I crave "bad" food. I have found myself craving nuts instead of a hamburger, fruit instead of candy, and tea instead of soda or juice.
I'll be the first to admit that changing the way I ate was hard. The first year was full of challenges, slip ups and lots and lots of learning. But, in the long run it is absolutely worth it.
In this day and age, there is a wealth of information and a million ways to find the healthier alternatives.

So, in the essence of living life luminously; give your body the respect it deserves and feed it properly! Do your homework, break bad habits and change the way you think about food.
For those of you interested, I highly suggest watching "Food Matters" (available on Netflix) and checking out their website

Love and blessings always; and may you live luminously!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Beginnings...

It has been a ridiculously long time since I have been on here to write a new blog.I t was partially due to a lack of available free time and partially to a terrible case of writer's block. Not just a sense of not having something to write about; but literally having no ideas, no direction, no utter clue about what to write. Every time I logged in...I blanked.
I started this blog, with a purpose of sharing knowledge about healthy, luminous living. And, as time has passed I've realized that not only is this blog is a great way to share information that I learn; it's actually a great place to share my own personal experiences as well.
So... with that in mind I've decided to do a little remodel; and here's what's been going on in my "luminous life" lately. :-)

A couple years ago, a friend of mine held a mosaic workshop for a small group of people and I spent a weekend learning the fine art of tile mosaic. I pretty much instantly fell in love with the process. It was so detailed, so all consuming. You could get lost for hours in the arranging and rearranging of tiles.
But, being that my family is on a pretty strict budget (Or at least we are in my own husband is constantly telling me how "overly frugal" I am), I never really got around to actually getting materials for myself and starting a mosaic hobby. Instead, being the ever thrifty lady that I am. (and calling upon my minor pack rat tenancies) I decided to use scraps of paper and "practice" the skills of mosaic while I saved up some extra money to buy tiles, grout, and other various tools.
Little did I know...the art of paper mosaic was seeping into my heart and taking up root. The moment I finished my first piece, I was in love. Not only was I immensely pleased with the result (which is a very rare thing for me) I had loved the entire process from start to finish (which was an unbelievable month long endeavor...unheard of from the girl who usually started and finished art work in the same 24 hour span)
Since that moment, I have felt like butterfly emerging from her cocoon. Everything has felt so natural, so right, and so beautiful.
Art for me has always been a means to express the things I just can't seem to put into words; but finding a medium in which I felt comfortable was always a major stumbling block for me. But now, paper mosaic has filled that void and given me more freedom of expression than I thought possible.
So, I've decided to run with it. Doing things I had never felt brave enough or would have allowed myself to do before. For starters, I am now calling myself an artist. I never felt deserving enough for that title, because I never felt like I had much to offer in the way of "art", but I am now embracing that being an artist is just a natural part of who I am as a being; regardless of "how good" I am.
I have also started posting my work for sale and working towards getting it out to the public, instead of hoarding it away in dusty corners; afraid to share it with the world.

Up until this moment, I've been posting mostly physical ways to embrace your own "Luminous Living" in the form of research gathered from other sources. But now, I'm going to add my own touch of knowledge about mental and spiritual luminous living; based off the lessons I've learned myself (especially through this most recent adventure!). :-)

Today's lesson: Embrace the things that bring you joy. For me, indulging in my art has been an incredible stepping stone in my life path; and instead of shying away, afraid of rejection, ridicule or failure; I am putting myself out there in full force! I'm giving this moment in my life my complete energy and whether my art sits on a back shelf for the rest of my life, sells out within days, garners praise or ridicule, invokes awe or disappointment, or is ignored completely; I am happy just to have tried. I am happy that it makes me happy, and that is all that matters.

Blessings, love, and happiness to all. May you always live your life luminously!