Saturday, July 31, 2010

PART ONE An afternoon at Juliana Coles' Enchanted Journal Pavilion,

I have been very inspired by Juliana Coles for years. She has a lot of videos on YouTube, 11 vids as of tonight. If you are a visual journaler, I highly recommend looking at her videos. She has a lot of key wisdom to share. A few of my favorite tips I've learned from Juliana are:
1. "Touch your stuff" (your art supplies).
2. Don't worry.
3. Creating is a way to express your unconscious and to get in touch with your inner being.

She has a lot to share, as I already mentioned. Enjoy!

Wedding Photos

Went to a Friday evening wedding. It was so beautiful. Everything was so heart felt, sincere, and lovely. I was grateful to have been a part of their special event.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vacation in Wisconsin

I went to Wisconsin this past weekend to a town I'd never been to. I was visiting my good friend from college, who was staying in her home town for a brief family visit. One of the adventures we went on was to the Wolf River and Bear Paw Resort. We hiked and ate dinner with some family friends. I loved these little orange and red mushrooms we saw in the forest.

Isn't this tree interesting, how it curves?

This tree is beautiful!

I loved the rusty colored water. Someone said it looked like root beer. I'd have to agree.

The Wolf River

A baby snapping turtle

The boy scouts collected some snakes, turtles, and other creatures.

A kayak tree? Ever heard of it?

The rolling hills of Wisconsin.

What did you do this past weekend?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Creative Intentions Issue No. 7

Welcome to the seventh issue of Creative Intentions. With this newsletter, I hope to inspire all creative types to learn about their personal creativity and how to grow from their creative work. Each week, for twelve weeks, you can look forward to a feature article with information, tips and ideas surrounding the realm of creativity.

Feature Article Topic:

Creativity and the Writing Process

Writing has got to be one of my favorite topics to share with you. I have written as a way to express myself and get in touch with my inner feelings since I was a child. For my personal writing, I keep journals, write lyrics and poems, and I do free writing exercises. I recently was reading a book called Expressive Therapies edited by Cathy Malchiodi, in which I learned that writing as a form of expression is a great tool for people to heal, in particular, people with posttraumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. Healing is a complex subject, but I will say that in order to heal, one must move through their pain, rather than ignore, burry, or cover it up. To be on the safe side, if any of you have experienced trauma in your life and you try writing as a way to heal, I strongly recommend that you are concurrently seeing a therapist for support.

That being said, how does writing relate to creativity? When you write, you open up parts of yourself that often remain hidden, particularly in your subconscious mind. For example, if you begin to record your dreams upon waking, the images and ideas in your dreams can be used to inspire story, music, dance, or art.

Another technique is doing free writing exercises. Often a “free write” lasts for about 10-15 minutes, and the only rule is that you cannot stop writing. If you get stuck, just keep writing what you last wrote over and over until something new comes out. Setting a kitchen timer or writing to a piece of classical music that lasts for 10-20 minutes can be useful in helping you know when to stop the free write. After you have completed several free writes (perhaps over a few weeks time), go back and find interesting lines, thoughts, or phrases and use what you find in another form, such as poetry or story. Let writing inspire your creative juices!


This week, try to do at least one free writing exercise. You might put a heading on the top of your paper that says, “I remember . . .” then write for 10 minutes. Next, right after you finish the “I remember” free write, start your place with “I don’t remember . . .” and write for another 10 minutes. This exercise comes from Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones.

Here is a brief list of writing resources (I have too many favorites to list them all):

Writing Down the Bones

Writing as a Way of Healing

Bird by Bird

Soul Between the Lines

Writing the Sacred Journey

Writing Down Your Soul


August 2, 2010 Issue No. 8 will feature an article on

Creativity and Spirituality

Happy Writing!

© BrianaCreates 2010 All Rights Reserved

Briana: Artist, Writer, Teacher, and Creativity Coach

Contact at





Friday, July 23, 2010



I will be away from the blog this weekend. I will post the next Creative Intentions newsletter early again. I hope you enjoy it.

I love your comments, so please keep them coming.

All of my best,


OrangeSpiral featured on Brandi Girl's blog

Hi All,
Just wanted to share that Brandi-Girl did a feature called 10 Things About OrangeSpiral on me and my shop. If you get a chance, pop on over to see!
Brandi loves color as much as I do. You might also want to take a peek at her blog and her shop while you're there.
Thanks again, Brandi!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Creative Intentions Issue No. 6

Welcome to the sixth issue of Creative Intentions. With this newsletter, I hope to inspire all creative types to learn about their personal creativity and how to grow from their creative work. Each week, for twelve weeks, you can look forward to a feature article with information, tips and ideas surrounding the realm of creativity.

Feature Article Topic:

Creativity and Body Awareness

Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Chi Kung, Reiki, Aikido, Authentic Movement, Massage, Body-Mind Centering, and on and on. What do these names all have in common? They are all ways to get back into the body. They are also meant to foster the mind-body connection, and help to relieve pain, reduce stress, and promote health. What’s the big deal, you ask? You want to know, “how is being aware of my body important for my creativity?” It’s actually quite important.

Our bodies are amazing. They help us to sense how much to eat, sleep, and exercise. Our bodies help us to sense the invisible, such as the energy of another person. Our bodies also tell us when we are on to something good when we are creating. For example, you might get a chill up and down your spine, or your body might physically stop you where you are at, so that you go and write down the brilliant idea that just came to your mind. Unfortunately, our western culture has really torn us away from having a good relationship with our bodies. We are constantly bombarded with messages in the media telling us that our bodies are not good enough, that we must alter our bodies in some way. I do not believe this. I believe that the body is a gift to us as human beings. The body is wise. We are born with this body wisdom. The body guides us in the direction that we need to go. However, one must relearn how to listen to the body’s wisdom. That is where the above forms of bodywork come in.

Bodywork is a way to get in touch with your body, the mind-body connection, and often the spirit, as well. It certainly is not necessary to start up a new exercise program or pay a lot of money to get in touch with your body, but as I mentioned before, western culture makes it challenging to listen to the body’s wisdom. Fortunately, there is a recent surge of these mind-body practices, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, etc., which makes their cost and accessibility very reasonable. For example, there are several videos and DVDs on the market for Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, and even Belly Dancing. If disciplining yourself to practice at home is too difficult, then taking a class might be a better option for you. I also am a big believer in walking as a way to open up the creative energy inside the body. “Somehow movement serves to remove the silt that blocks creative waters from flowing freely” (Discovering the Body’s Wisdom by Mirka Knaster, p. 47). By the way, Discovering the Body’s Wisdom is an excellent resource for information on various bodywork methods; the book helps you to choose an appropriate method for your personality, body ailments, etc.


This week, focus on befriending your body. Treat your body as a precious gift. Be conscious of the mental messages you send to your body. Also, try some form of movement, whether it is walking, dancing, or Yoga, as a way of releasing blocked creative energy. Be kind, loving, and accepting of your body, while attempting to become aware of its wisdom.

Just for fun, here is a brief post I created about belly dancing with a collage of pics.


July 26, 2010 Issue No. 7 will feature an article on

Creativity and the Writing Process

Another resource to look for on is:

Discovering the Body’s Wisdom by Mirka Knaster

Enjoy your beautiful, wise body!

© BrianaCreates 2010 All Rights Reserved

Briana: Artist, Writer, Teacher, and Creativity Coach

Contact at





Sunday, July 18, 2010

More Backyard Photo Fun

High Five Cat

Eggplant Growing in the Garden

Cat Playtime

Beetle Bug

Sun through the Trees

Cat Loves Catnip


Even though the mosquitoes were INSANE outside today after the crazy storms last night, I had to take some photos. I LOVE taking pictures. I also love finding interesting things I've never seen like that crazy orange beetle bug. Do you know what it is, or how bad it might be for our garden? What have you taken pictures of lately? Feel free to share a link in the comments of this post.

Northern Flicker Photos from my BACKYARD


I was looking through binoculars and then decided to try some ttv shots. They turned out very much to my liking. This is what happens when the cats are still inside! I also saw other woodpeckers, blue jays, lots of squirrels, a chipmunk, and a flock of blue jays chasing a hawk! Pretty awesome bird watching morning all from my kitchen window! Love it! To hear the call of a Northern Flicker, go here.
Note: View the comments to see an explanation of TTV.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Words of Wisdom from Danny Gregory

image by Danny Gregory
Drawing is about reaching for pure being. Not making pretty pictures to put in frames and on websites. The world doesn’t need more pictures. It needs peace and connection. It needs people who can accept reality and don’t feel compelled to control their environments. If you can look at a boot, at a rotting apple, at car’s worn tire, at an old man’s foot, and see it for what it is, without value or judgement, can see the beauty and particularity of the thing, you will find peace. You will avoid being covetous. You will be happy with what you have. You will accept others more readily, will see the sunshine on a cloudy day. Life is a wonderful business, though fools blow up London tube stations and sell each other crap and waste time with gossip about movie stars. If you can draw, you will always have a place to go that is beautiful and honest and true.
-Danny Gregory from a post on his blog in 2005

Here are a few more great sites to look at for drawing inspiration:

Wind Blown Hair Photo Effects-Cutting Edge Photo Technique Number 2

Here's how to get that wind blown hair photo you've been dreaming of . . .
1. Get in your car and go onto the highway. (Be sure you are the passenger, not the driver).
2. Open all of the windows.
3. Set your camera to continuous mode.
4. Hold down the button and move your arm all around to get different angles, etc.
5. Smile and have fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cutting Edge Photo Technique

Q: Want to know my green filter secret?
A: A Mountain Dew Bottle

Wisconsin Vacation

I am just returning from a weekend away in Wisconsin. I was there for a friend's wedding, but also happened upon the Art Fair on the Square in Madison. It was sooooo fun! I saw one of my favorite journal artists, among many other talented people. I loved it!
I will be back in the next 48 hours to tell you more about the trip and post more photos. For now, feel free to look back at previous posts, or go to the side bar on the right for links to other blogs and websites.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Creative Intentions Issue No. 5

Welcome to the fifth issue of Creative Intentions. With this newsletter, I hope to inspire all creative types to learn about their personal creativity and how to grow from their creative work. Each week, for twelve weeks, you can look forward to a feature article with information, tips and ideas surrounding the realm of creativity.

Feature Article Topic:

Creativity and Health

Have you ever felt uncomfortable, anxious, and upset, but you didn’t really know why? OR Have you ever felt truly inspired to write, dance, paint, keep a journal, design clothing, or try the latest craft technique? In either case, I would recommend that you pay attention to your feelings and express them through a creative endeavor. When you honor your feelings of anxiety and/or inspiration, you take a great step toward self-understanding and fulfillment.

Most of us want to feel that our life is good and fulfilling, but sometimes things happen in our lives that cause us to feel pain, to suffer. These feelings are inevitable; it is the nature of life. However, when we recognize our suffering and take creative action to move through the hard times, we not only grow emotionally, we often grow creatively as well. At first glance, this idea of “moving through” difficult times seems quite abstract. However, once you try a few techniques and work through a difficulty in your life, the idea and the process are much more concrete. For example, I recently took a workshop from a licensed expressive art therapist. In the workshop, we did an exercise called “The Bridge”. The directions were to create a bridge going from some place to some place, and to put yourself in the drawing. The bridge could be connecting two areas of your life that are challenging each other, etc. The options were open to almost anything, with a variety of materials for either 3-D or 2-D bridges. After we made our bridges, we were to think about a variety of things, such as, “What matter crossed or was drawn under the bridge?” We were encouraged to write about our process, and how the exercise led to new understanding.

Doing an activity such as this really does help a person to process a difficult issue because you are looking at the issue from a different perspective. Your unconscious mind is given space to speak, and your mind, body, and spirit are working together to solve a problem. It is healthy to deal with difficult issues, rather than suppress them. And, it is healthy to use your creativity to express your pain or joy.


This week, try a creative exercise that helps you to move through a difficult issue in your life. It might be helpful to ask a friend to listen to your process, or it may be necessary for you to do this with a therapist. The support piece is important to think about.

There are several good books that you could find at your local library or bookstore. Here are a couple of titles I recommend:

Trust the process: An artist’s guide to letting go by Shaun McNiff

Creative healing: How to heal yourself by tapping your hidden creativity by Michael Samuels


July 19, 2010 Issue No. 6 will feature an article on

Creativity and Body Awareness

Create for your health!

© BrianaCreates 2010 All Rights Reserved

Briana: Artist, Writer, Teacher, and Creativity Coach

Contact at





Friday, July 9, 2010

Peace Cards Coming SOON


Oh, I will be away from the blog this weekend, but you can come back tomorrow, and by noon central standard time, I'll have Creative Intentions Issue No. 5 on Creativity and Health posted.


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