Thursday, April 30, 2009

i like being me: by clever violet

oh, melanie.

there is something about melanie's paintings that is really refreshing, and i can't quite figure out what it is.... maybe if you have a look around her flickr page and etsy shop you can put your finger on it?

melanie told me she was nervous to send this painting over, because it's very risqué for her (!!), but that she loves the painting and wanted to send it anyway. i say a big fat YES to being brave and putting something out there that feels a bit risky!

here's what melanie has to say about the idea of abundance:

"in my head it has to do with enjoying the things around you, and also enjoying who you are. i'm very often plagued with self-doubt, and as a woman, plagued with body issues as well, which inspired this silly painting."

we could start a whole other blog about self-doubt and body issues, i think! but for right now, let's appreciate ourselves just as we are.

*thanks for the reminder, melanie!*
to see more of her work, please visit her etsy shop and flickr page, where she works under the name clever violet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Marta Spendowska (Rawvolta)

i was just looking through marta's blogs, etsy shop, and website, and wow, this girl is a powerhouse! i get this feeling of energy and overflowing positivity from her, and i'm so excited she wanted to share her artwork with us. here's what Marta has to say about abundance:

"Every time I reach for a brush, paint, pencil, tablet I feel like this is a time to let go. Every time right before I start, there is this feeling of completeness, joy, a bit of confusion, if I can handle my emotions, and than the time stops. It literally stops. I don't care about physics anymore.
Some people don't know what to do with their free time. This feeling was always strange to me.
Abundance is everywhere. Feelings are everywhere, time stretches, if not disappears. With this stunning amount of emotional freedom to do whatever I wish, with feelings overflowing from joy that I can touch paper and create a face, an eye, a foot, I am what I supposed to be/mean.
Abundance is sometimes an opposite of emptiness, but sometimes it is emptiness. Pure clarity and flow. Timeless act of creation".

amazing, yes?

to see more of marta's work (and to learn about raw food living from her) check out her main website, her art blog, her raw foods blog, and her etsy shop.

(not to mention twitter, facebook, and flickr!)

*thank you so much, marta, for sharing your beautiful creations with us!*

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

gorgeous paintings by karen benson

did you know that pomegranates are symbols of abundance? they are! so it's only fitting that these absolutely beautiful paintings by karen benson feature the lovely fruit. and did you know that oranges symbolize peace in chinese tradition? yes, it's true. i'm not sure if karen intended these symbols in her paintings, but i imagine that she did.... and if not, the symbolism is the first thing that came to my mind when i looked at these beauties.

these paintings just feel peaceful and abundant to me. i could look at them for hours. please check out karen's website and blog to see more!

*thank you, karen, for sharing your gorgeous work with us!*

Monday, April 27, 2009

interview: rowena murillo

Good morning lovelies! Did you have a fantastic weekend? I hope so!

I'm excited about this interview with Rowena Murillo this morning-- Rowena's artwork is so lovely, and her answers are so thoughtful and honest-- read on to find out more about Rowena and what abundance means to her!

Flying Girl Remembers her Dreams, or Night Blooming, acrylic on paper, 7"x10"

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. (What's your favorite color? What can't you live without? What do you do all day? What's your favorite way to relax? Share whatever random bits you'd like!)

I am a half Puerto Rican Buddhist from an artistic family in the Bronx. I thought that always made me strange, but it's also what makes me who I am. Now I'm an ex waitress, ex HS teacher, unpublished novelist, emerging artist, beginning businesswoman, closet poet, creative blogger and stay at home mom of a 2 year old girl and 3.5year old boy.

I've always loved shadow colors-- blue, gray, purple,black... but I'm growing into the soft sun colors, too-- cream, warm pink, leaf green, faded turquoise. It's nice to grow up and open up to new things.

I can't live without carmex, coffee, and something with which to write/draw/paint. I used to carry a journal and pens around with me wherever I went. I still do, but now I do so much painting and writing on line that my journal is often neglected.

All day long I take care of my kids, stealing moments when I can to create especially during nap time, or after bedtime, when I sit in front of the tv and paint. If I can, I also read a book (before bed) or a magazine (while the kids are playing) or play guitar (while papa reads bedtime stories to the kids) to just relax without the demands of parenting or productivity. And I read tarot cards. I don't do it enough but I love the language of symbolism and imagery.

2. What is abundance to you?


You can have nothing, but if you can still look around and see the possibilities, rather than the constraints, you are abundant. Abundance is saying yes. Yes to opportunity. Yes to the world. Yes to what is.

It's about choosing the life that you have-- even if there is lack. It's about facing the day and saying "This is living." "I am here." It's about remembering to breathe, and to feel the sun on your face, to listen to the laughter of your children, to taste the tang of strawberries, to see the leaves sway in the breeze, to smell the perfume of your day. It's about being secure enough in who you are to be able to stand in your own skin and head towards your dreams.

Right now, I am always in this dance between reaching for my dreams and being present in life as I am living it. Sometimes one is sacrificed in the pursuit of the other. I am thinking that's the way things are supposed to be. And that's okay. When I accept that, I feel much more abundant.

3. What are 5 things you are grateful for right now, in this moment?

The wonderful garden, my family, my kids, time to work on what is meaningful, the sky.

Triptych: "Gift" mixed media drawing on antique book page, mounted on Moleskine. 5"x8" "Kick Back" mixed media drawing on antique book page, mounted on Moleskine. 5"x8" FG Yearns for the Sea, or Defy Convention, acrylic on paper. 7"x10"

4. What is your favorite part of your day?

When the house is quiet and I can breathe, eat, shower, create, write, cook, clean and relax without interruption. Should it be when I'm playing with my kids? Maybe, but I spend so much time with other people now, that I really miss my alone time.

5. What is one huge, crazy-seeming goal that you dream about accomplishing?

Someday, I would like to buy an old farm (I like to think an orchard or berry farm) and renovate the outbuildings into living spaces and studios. My friends and family could come and live/stay there and all would have space to follow their creative passions. I would turn a big barn into a place to hold workshops and I could host retreats where people come to get away from daily life and reconnect with their creative selves. I'm an artist at heart... but also a teacher, and it just feels right to enable other people in their artistic and spiritual dreams.

6. Do you have any irrational fears/worries that you'd love to let go of?

I think my biggest fears are about money, and about not being worthy of money. Linked to that fear is being afraid that I am not good enough for the establishment. It ties together--- money is power, those in power decide where the money goes. I'm also afraid that people will see me as a hack. Why? I don't know, perhaps I've taken in some of that snobbery in the art and literature worlds. Maybe it's the critics I'm afraid of. Critics=power=money? I've gotten much better with these fears as I've worked on them, and art and writing have helped me with that... but I still have a little bit to go.

Flying Girl and the Moon Rabbit Take Off, or Fleeting, acrylic on paper, 7"x10"

7. Do you have any tricks for turning a bad mood into a good mood?

This can be very hard. And I don't know if I practice it enough, sometimes letting myself wallow. But sometimes a good wallow is restorative.

Sometimes, to switch a bad mood around, I turn on some good rocking music and dance and sing around the room. Or I write in my journal to let it all out, or write a poem. A nice hot shower can knock me out of a mild grump. Interacting with other people so that I'm not wrapped up in my own head can help. Sometimes when I want perspective, I use an oracle system, like the I Ching, tarot or medicine cards, and that helps me calm down and focus on what I can do, instead of how overwhelmed I am.

One new thing I tried recently was to lie in bed and just let myself feel sad-- I didn't try to analyze it or explain or understand it or transform it I didn't try to make anyone feel worse or even make myself feel better. I just existed inside of my sadness and let it be. I allowed it. That helped me turn something that I had been sad about for a long time into a breakthrough...I got no "answers" but the next day, I just started creating. Poof! Like that. I couldn't see where the connection was, but I believe it was directly related.

8. What daily practices do you follow, if any, to stay focused on positivity and abundance in your life? (Journaling, meditating, drawing, visualization, reading, etc.)

Again, I think I have problems with this sometimes. I have to consciously focus on being positive. Some times it's harder than other times.

I keep a To Do list in conjunction with a "Did Done" list, so that I not only remain productive, but also focus on what I actually DID, instead of the things I did not accomplish. Sometimes, I keep a list of three or more things everyday that make me happy. That helps me stay positive, even in a negative day, and soon looking for the positive becomes a habit that I can do without thinking.

Outside of that (sometimes the focus on productivity can get exhausting) I try to schedule in some time every day to do nothing. That's tough too, because I am always trying to do two or three things at once. Even my night time habit of painting while watching tv can get exhausting... although I also find I hunger for that non verbal release. The colors, the tactile pleasures of paint and brush on paper, the subconscious release of meaning. It's not quite relaxation, because I set such high standards for myself, but it seems so necessary now that it's a habit.

I guess my daily habits depend on what state I am in. If I have spent too much time working and producing, I have to schedule in relaxing and just "be"ing. If I've been focusing on living, then I have to get back to my To Do lists and set the work schedule back up. In whatever way I can while I take care of my kids. This is the life of a mom and artist, and writer and beginning business woman. It isn't really regular, but it's really full.

Monkey and Bean Playing on the Stairs, 6"x6" acrylic on canvas

9. Do you have a favorite quote or author that help you remember to live and think abundantly?

I'm going with a whole poem by Mary Oliver, because every time I read it, it's as if I have taken a big clean breath for the first time in days. It's making it's circuit in blog land again, and has been a touch stone for me for a few years now.

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

10. Can you share some books or blogs with us that you think Pecannoot readers might love?

This is so hard, because I follow so many blogs and they all inspire me in one way or another, but keeping in line with creativity and abundance and positivity...

Jamie Ridler's new online book club for Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. It starts on June 5th so there's time to join up.

Not quite a blog-- but a goal setting and listing site that helped me get out of my post partum funk, (particularly this goal)

For handmade and simple and lovely things, maya*made

For writing prompts and thoughts about life and keeping the dialog going, What Kate Did Next

For creative community and prompts and inspiration, Leah has helped me continue my everyday creative project that I started under my own steam (creative everyday)

And talk about Hope!

As for books, one book that helped me take it all in when I first became a mom was Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott (she of the Bird By Bird fame). Operating Instructions reminded me that I could still be me, still be an artist and a writer and a mother.

Rowena authors 2 fabulous blogs, Warrior Girl and Small and Heartfelt, and also has a wonderful Etsy shop, so if you'd like to continue your Rowena experience today, head on over to check them out!

**huge thanks to Rowena for being a part of the interview series!**

Friday, April 24, 2009

secret garden: by alma de la melena cox

oh dear, i don't know how alma does it, but every piece of art she creates is just incredible. i'm crazy about this one, called 'secret garden'-- look at the detail and texture around the tree roots!

alma says:

"secret garden" is about that place inside that is infinite, abundantly creative and knows that all is well. When I walk in the woods by my house, I can't help but feel the trees inherently have the wisdom of 'all is well' built in. We aren't always aware of the deep well of gifts within us, but what makes life so wonderful is that continual discovery.

i will leave you with that thought to ponder this weekend. alma says it so well. :)
{visit alma's website and blog to see much more of her work.}

and, by the way, this is my 100th post here on pecannoot, so thank you again for being here! i appreciate you all so much. have a wonderful weekend!

*thanks, alma!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

go outside and play: by jess gonacha

it's 80 degrees here in atlanta, and i'm having the hardest time concentrating! i want to go get an iced chai, i want to go on a run, i want to lay in the grass..... so when ryan gets home in an hour i'm going to convince him to go on a mini adventure with me! there are many things i need to do, but being outside in the gorgeous weather is just as important. it's good for the soul. :)

so go outside! take a deep breath! enjoy it!

i'll see you tomorrow. :)

bursting with sun: by kala pohl

what a bright sunny painting by kala pohl! wow, what would it be like to be living in that house right now? relaxing, is my guess. :)

here is a poem that kala wrote to go with her painting:

Wake up to the sun
on your face
Look out at this
beautiful place
Miles of sunflowers
in bloom
The joy-filled air
you consume

is your air joy-filled today? i'm going to make sure mine is!
because we get to choose, you know.

(if you are interested in hearing some really inspiring words about choosing your own thoughts, check out this podcast with mindset expert shelby collinge-- it's only available until this evening, so hurry! i listened to it last night and was totally inspired.)

and to see more of kala's colorful work, check out her website and her blog!

*thanks, kala!*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

make one: by betsy thompson

would you just look at this gorgeous piece by betsy thompson! *wow*
i just noticed the first dandelions of the year last week, (which is always a happy day because i love dandelions!), so this piece is especially lovely to me right now.

i think abundance is often about noticing the little things that make us happy-- what do you notice in your life that just makes you feel good? dandelions are one of those things for me-- i don't understand how anyone could ever think of them as weeds! they're so pretty and happy.

if you're not familiar with betsy's work (and even if you are), you must go have a look at her etsy shop and flickr page (where she calls herself urchinmama). her work is spectacular!

*thank you, betsy!!*

happy earth day!

happy earth day, pecannooters!
i hope you have some lovely green plans today to celebrate (and heal) our abundant earth.

for me, i'm going to talk to the people who run our apartment complex to see if they will consider getting some recycling bins and a recycling service going. now, ryan and i have to collect our recycling and drive it to the local recycling center, and i've watch people throwing away junk mail, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles...
it would make sense to start a recycling program here and educate people about why it's important. (although, honestly, i don't understand how anyone could not know the importance of recycling...) i've been procrastinating trying to get this set up, and today is the day! wish me luck.

anyway, these photos are of the winning t-shirt in the threadless loves green challenge that i entered-- unfortunately my t-shirt didn't win, but i really love the one that did! that pink color is great. all this week, threadless is donating $1 per order to, so order those t-shirts! $1 plants one tree, so by ordering a cool new t-shirt today, you could be planting a tree at the same time! sounds good to me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

my sweet fiancé, the non-artist

sometimes we all need a good laugh, don't we? my fiancé, ryan, came into my studio while i was working last night (he was taking a study break-- he's in medical school), and asked if he could try my wacom tablet. of course i said yes, and look what he made!! isn't it so cute? that's a drawing of our kitty, anika, teh beginnings of a tree, and part of whatever he was studying (don't ask me what it is- i have NO idea!)

i told him i was going to post it on my blog, so here you go-- for your viewing and giggling pleasure. :)

oh, how i love my dear, sweet ryan!

visit to the farmers market: by cynthia louden

short, simple, and sweet this morning, i give you this gorgeous image of sunflowers from cynthia louden. she says:

for me abundance = an armful of flowers in my cottage.


{you can find cynthia on her blog, a shimmy in my spirit, and her website, more than a card!}

*thank you, cynthia!*

Monday, April 20, 2009

interview: liz kalloch

My dears, good morning!
You are in for a real treat on this fine Monday: an interview with Liz Kalloch of Athena Dreams. Liz has appeared on Pecannoot a couple times (here and here), and I'm *honored and excited* to share this interview with her. Her answers are wonderful (and one in particular is making me laugh and nod my head with understanding at the same time)! So, without further ado....

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. (What's your favorite color? What can't you live without? What do you do all day? What's your favorite way to relax? Share whatever random bits you'd like!)

I am an artist and graphic designer and live near San Francisco, on a hill looking out over the SF Bay with my musician husband. I am a freelance graphic designer for several gift industry and book publishers, and some of my designs and art are licensed by several gift industry publishers

My favourite colour has been purple for as long as I can remember, but I occasionally lean toward lime green as my favourite, I know, a curious dichotomy...

I spend my day doing any number of things: designing, prepping files for the printer, painting, packing and shipping, making notes about how I could better sell my work (trying to get my head around marketing ideas), making sketches for paintings, meeting with a client who wants a new business card or a book designed, and most days it's a little of everything.

Jess asked me what I do all day, and all this is, in a nutshell, what I do, but I also get to do things like: think about colour and it's symbolism and interplay, work in collaboration with other creatives (writers, artists, photographers), bring to life ideas that are swimming around in my head, and more times than not, I end my day feeling like I accomplished something that made me all happy inside, in terms of my art or design work. All in all, not a bad day, not a bad day at all.

I can't live without my morning cup of coffee, or my iTunes which keep me company all day.

And for relaxation, nothing does it better than a great movie and some knitting at the end of the day. I have been loving all the BBC/Masterpiece Theatre versions of the Jane Austen novels this winter, while working on various hats, a wrap and a cardigan. Perfect day-ender for me.

{cards available in liz's etsy shop}

2. What is abundance to you?

To me, abundance encompasses a few things:
*Friends (and family) that you can share your inner most happiness, your inner most fears and your brightest and darkest moments with
*Good health

*Feeling like I have enough. Enough love, enough connection, enough joy, enough of the things that make me happy, content and "safe" from the top of my head, warmed by the sun in a blue sky, right down to my toes curling into the sweet, soft grass

*Getting to a place in my work life where I am able to support myself solely on what I create - both art and design wise - I don't even have the words to express how full that makes me feel...
*An endless stream of books to read that feed my soul and my heart and my curious mind
*Waking each morning and wondering to myself, "what new creative idea/happening/collaboration/contact that I am not expecting might happen today"

3. What are 5 things you are grateful for right now, in this moment?

*My group of artist girlfriends who listen to my stories and worries about real and potential face plants (in life and in art) as well as my moments of feeling spectacular and full of life, with equal interest, compassion and love.
*The chorus of birds singing just outside my window
*Everything, the good stuff and the bad stuff, that has led me on the sometimes winding and often curious route to where I am now
*My morning coffee (yes!)
*My husband, a musician, who always encourages me to step up and grab the present moment out of the air, and run with it as hard and long as is needed, and then know when to put it down, and grab the next one that has come along.

4. What is your favorite part of your day?

The morning. Waking up, staring out the window, (and yes, drinking my coffee) making my lists for the day, thinking about what I need to get done, what deadlines I have, and also what I might make time for that is not on any To Do list.

5. What is one huge, crazy-seeming goal that you dream about accomplishing?

Oh, I have a lot of those, so, hmmm, to pick one... One of the things that is really interesting me these days is collaboration. Collaboration between artists of different genres, between artists of different regional areas, and even different countries, and the idea of how a group of artists could work together to create something, all the while supporting each other and themselves. I would love to have an art center where I could invite all various and different groups of artists to come and work on an installation, have a big opening party and spend a few weeks looking at what was created, and then start all over again.

6. Do you have any irrational fears/worries that you'd love to let go of?

I have this fear that one day I will wake up with no more ideas, my mind just a blank echoing corridor, with nothing in it, it's kind of more like a nightmare, and I would like to banish it!
The fear that I won't have enough money to pay for even the most basic essentials, and that we will end up homeless. This one sucks a lot of my energy, and I really need to let go of it.
Oh and the fear that maybe I suck, as an artist, as a designer, and I will be revealed as this giant fraud, who should have always been a janitor, yeah, that's another lovely one that needs to go.

7. Do you have any tricks for turning a bad mood into a good mood?

Two things that work pretty consistently: dancing or walking. There are those days where things aren't lining up, where I feel like I am fighting with my computer or my paint brush, miscommunications with others are happening left and right, the presentation I worked so hard on putting together is received with an "eh", those days when everything gathers to make for a sour, crap-ass of a day, one bad mood op-out is dancing in my studio. I have a couple of playlists in my iTunes for just that mood turning purpose, and I turn the volume way up and go for it. My other option is to get outside and walk. Something about my feet on the ground, feeling my body moving thru the air, swinging my arms, it never fails. Never underestimate the power of the body to get you out of your head...

{this journal will soon be available from brush dance }

8. What daily practices do you follow, if any, to stay focused on positivity and abundance in your life? (journaling, meditating, drawing, visualization, reading, etc.)

I am a list maker and a doodler. Lists keep me focused, they keep me grounded, they remind me of my dreams, my hopes, and they help to keep my mind clear of distracting and negative thoughts. Doodling keeps my mind moving and calms my inner gremlins too. I have never been a consistent journaler, or meditator, I start with all good intentions, and then fall out of the habit pretty quickly, but the lists and the doodles, they have always kept me on a positive track, and those moments when I lose my place, bring me back to the moment at hand.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or author that help you remember to live and think abundantly?

I have many quotes that I keep around me - on the fridge, on my bulletin board, taped to the dashboard of my car, but one quote from mary anne radmacher has been my mantra for a few months now: intentional change is the most ferocious response to fear. I look at that every day when walking in to my studio and every night walking out, and remind myself over and over again, it is all about where I put my intention, and purposefully moving my intention away from fear and "less than" thoughts is when I move into an abundant state of mind.

Two other faves:

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - J. Campbell

Time is not measured by the passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves. -Nehru

10. Can you share some books or blogs with us that you think Pecannoot readers might love?

In the last 6-9 months I have been going back again and again to a couple of books:

*Lean Forward into Your Life by Maryanne Radmacher
*Life is a Verb by Patty Digh
*Ordinary Sparkling Moments by Christine Mason Miller

I find new and wonderfully abundant words in new places each time I re-open these books.

What a terrific interview, wouldn't you say? To see more of Liz's work, please please please visit her blog (Athena Dreams), her website, and her etsy shop.

Thank you so so much, Liz!

Friday, April 17, 2009

veriditas: by krista holland

the first thing i need to tell you about this piece is that it's krista holland's first attempt at painting. her first attempt! if this is just her beginning, i can't wait to see what her attempts look like a year from now, because this is just so lovely.

veriditas means "green truth or the greening of the mind," and krista says:

"one of my greatest experiences of true abundance is when i'm gardening and working with the plant kingdom. it's awe inspiring to see all the amazing things that arise so prolifically from natures abundance. this is my first attempt at painting and i'm hoping to continue to develop this art form as another means of expression, abundance and meditation."

krista is a landscape designer and yoga teacher as well as a budding artist, and you can learn more about her on her blog, luminous life.

*thank you, krista! we can't wait to see your future paintings!*

have a great weekend, everyone! i'll be back on monday with a wonderful interview...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

photographs by melissa black

melissa black sent me a long, lovely email about abundance with these images attached, and it made me happy to read what she said about them. she said the images are:

"snippets of people interacting with the world and enjoying the privileges that we are lucky enough to be surrounded by. even the littlest of things is immense: a droplet of water alone may be small, but surrounded by others, by repetition, by abundance, they form a larger entity. every small thing counts: every person on the planet forms a part of the whole community. we, like droplets of water or a flock of birds or specks of sand, are the same: we have the same thoughts, feelings, emotions, functions, parts, features, etc and while that can be affirming, it can also be overwhelming. but to know that every part is essential for the whole to exist, i think, validates individual actions. we also each have tiny variations, and are not quite homogeneous. every action we take shapes our existence and so each should be considered: each should be a positive addition to our life. each thought counts, so think of something worthwhile."

this is something i've been thinking about a lot lately-- connecting to people as a whole, because we are all human beings, trying to do our best and make our way happily in the world. we are all necessary and important! otherwise, why would we be here? thank you, melissa, for the lovely reminder.

to see more of melissa's work, check out her blog, flickr page, and website!

*thanks, melissa!*

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

free abundance project!

my e-friend whitney emailed me about this amazing project yesterday, and i wanted to share it with you, because it's really spectacular!

jo dunning is hosting an abundance project TODAY, april 15, 2009, and all you have to do is add your name to jo's list, and she will focus individually on each name, sending a wave of abundance around the earth.

here are some other ways you can participate in the wave of abundance today:

1. On April 15, 2009, around noon in your local time zone, pause for a moment and imagine your life filled with spectacular, joyful Abundance. Feel how joyful and exciting life is with so much Abundance to share and enjoy.

2. Imagine what you would like to have more abundantly in your life, then give a little of that away to someone else. Give it freely, knowing there is more than enough to go around and it is easy to get as much as you want.

3. Go to a favorite non profit website and make a donation to their cause. Feel the Abundance of having enough to give some away.

4. Take a few cans of food to your local food bank and feel grateful for the Abundance of food you have in your life.

5. Go through your clothes closet and other possessions and give the extras to a local shelter. It is a great feeling to have so much that you have extra to share.

6. Smile at a stranger or assist someone, even in a very small way, like holding a door open for them, or letting them into the lane of traffic. Notice how good you feel offering even a small act of kindness.

7. Be aware of the many ways in your life you are already abundant and feel grateful.

8. Celebrate your Abundance as it arrives in both large and small amounts. Every act of appreciation creates even more joyful Abundance for you.

9. Learn more about The Five Laws of Abundance posted on this website under the Gold Coin button.

10. Know you are deeply loved and take the chance to believe all of this is truly possible.

what a wonderful way to celebrate tax day, wouldn't you say? :)

yoga-inspired art: by lindsay satchell

the thing i love most about these gorgeous watercolors by lindsay satchell is how confidently she put down the marks. it is not easy to paint like that, let me tell you! there's a lot of trust involved in this type of work.

lindsay says:

i created these watercolor yoga images in appreciation for what that practice has brought into my life. The first, "updog," was inspired by my teacher who always said "let your heart be shiny!" when we did this pose. the second is "dancer's pose," which is a pose that inspires us to reach out and both offer and receive good things.

linsday has an etsy shop where i spied a lovely set of notecards with these yoga images on them-- hop over and check it out! (and also her blog!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"we must be willing to let go"

i love this quote. i would even go so far as to say we need to let go of the day or the hour we have planned. sometimes i get so set on doing what i have planned, or whatever is on my lengthy to-do lists, that i let myself miss out on spontaneous experiences-- of adventure, fun, doing something that will later be a fantastic memory...

how do you get in your own way and hold tightly to what you think you "should do", instead of just letting your life flow as it wants to and is meant to?

inner strength: by jodi ulschmid

i absolutely love the story behind this painting, and the way that jodi ulschmid used the experience as a metaphor for life. she says:

"inner strength" is an acrylic painting done on a wooden block. the painted text reads: "rise above your vulnerabilities, believe in your inner strength". this bird was hanging on to a bush outside my window on a very windy day. i knew i had to photograph it to eventually put it into a painting. watching the little bird that day made me realize what an amazing strength they must have to hang on to a branch through all kinds of bad weather. we can definitely relate that strength to our lives. some of us have huge boulders laying in our path, but with great determination and believing in our inner strength anything is possible. i truly believe in following your dreams, life is to short to let it pass by.

isn't that a wonderful insight?
to see more of jodi's work, please visit
her blog and her etsy shop!

*thanks so much, jodi!*

Monday, April 13, 2009

interview: leah piken kolidas

Good Monday morning, my dears! I hope your weekend was as perfect as it could be.
I am beyond excited to bring you our very first interview on Pecannoot this morning, with the extremely talented and lovely Leah Piken Kolidas, of Creative Everyday fame. Her answers to my questions are so thoughtful, so read on for a big jolt of inspiration and abundance!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. (What's your favorite color? What can't you live without? What do you do all day? What's your favorite way to relax? Share whatever random bits you'd like!)

I'm a 32 year old artist living with my four fuzzy cats and my husband near Boston, Massachusetts.

My favorite color is blue. I can remember in kindergarten announcing that blue was my favorite color when all the other little girls seemed to like pink best. I didn't want anyone to assume that my favorite color was pink just because I was a girl!

My favorite way to relax is to snuggle up with a good book, a cup of cocoa, and a purring cat. Listening to Jim Dale reading the Harry Potter series is also wonderfully relaxing. And I like to doodle. It eases my mind. Oh, and bubble baths, they're wonderful for relaxing too. I live in an older home with a small tub that's not big enough for me to stretch out in (which is sad, considering I'm only 5' 1/2" tall), but someday I'd like to own a big bath tub. In the meantime, just being near water relaxes me. There's a river that I like to walk to and sit by when the weather is nice.

2. What is abundance to you?

Abundance to me is feeling grateful for all that I have and just loving it up. When I look at my life, I feel incredibly abundant. It's not just about money or things, it's about attitude.

3. What are 5 things you are grateful for right now, in this moment?

In this moment, I'm feeling grateful for iced tea with lemon and an orange straw, my kitty Emma in a tight kitty ball sleeping in my studio, being asked to do this interview, the hubster quietly napping in the other room, and the super cute momma goose I saw sitting on a nest while walking today.

4. What is your favorite part of your day?

My favorite part of the day is whenever I'm laughing loudly.

5. What is one huge, crazy-seeming goal that you dream about accomplishing?

Well, I'd like to write a book about being creative every day! But that's not so incredibly crazy. One huge-crazy-seeming goal I have is owning a creativity center where I get to play with like-minded souls, have a gorgeous studio space, lead workshops, and have a hot tub where we conduct meetings.

6. Do you have any irrational fears/worries that you'd love to let go of?

I'd love to let go of the irrational fear that I'm somehow not good enough. It's a pesky gremlin-based fear.

7. Do you have any tricks for turning a bad mood into a good mood?

If it's just a lightly bad mood, I find a walk is helpful, watching or reading something funny can help, laughing with friends, or doing some dancing around the room usually helps me. If it's a really bad mood, sometimes I just need to give it some space, make some art that reflects where I'm at, vent in my journal, or just go to bed!

8. What daily practices do you follow, if any, to stay focused on positivity and abundance in your life? (Journaling, meditating, drawing, visualization, reading, etc.)

I draw everyday in some way, sometimes it's just doodles, and it seems to help release any negativity I'm holding onto. I also keep track of the things I'm grateful for. I just started using a new iphone app that helps you keep track of the things you're grateful for which is a fun way to do it.

9. Do you have a favorite quote or author that help you remember to live and think abundantly?

Here's a great quote from author SARK, from her book Living Juicy:
"Invent your world; surround yourself with people, color, sounds and work that nourish you."

SARK's books definitely help me to live abundantly.

10. Can you share some books or blogs with us that you think Pecannoot readers might love?

Oh there are so many great things to check out. Here are a few to start:

- Patti Digh, author of the 37 days blog and the book Life is a Verb
- Pema Chodron
- Mary Oliver's poetry
- Andrea Scher's Superhero Journal (and her necklaces too!)
- Jamie Ridler is leading a book group through Keri Smith's Wreck this Journal in June!! So fun! - The lovely Goddess Leonie,
- Jennifer Lee's super cool Right-Brain Business Plan
- And all the wonderful people participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge (listed in my sidebar!)

*huge thanks to leah for gracing us with her inspiring way of being!*

Friday, April 10, 2009

it doesn't have to be this way: by jess gonacha

i had a miserable couple of days, and it was completely self-induced. ok, maybe it wasn't miserable, really i'm just being dramatic, but i did spend a few days needlessly worrying about things in my life, with that tight, shallow-breathed, panicky feeling in my chest.

i realized how ridiculous it was when i was working on this drawing, and ryan (my fiancé) got home and walked into my studio room. i immediately started whining about the same old crap i always whine about, and he looked down at the drawing to see what i was doing. i looked down, too, paused for a minute, looked back up, and said: "it doesn't have to be this way, does it?" he smiled and said "nope. it sure doesn't."


why is it so easy to forget that i get to choose what thoughts are in my brain? my ego likes to trick me and tell me it's not up to me. and it's easy to listen to the ego, because it's hard (and sometimes scary) to take responsibility for each and every thought and feeling. but if i want to be happier and live a gorgeous life, who is that up to? ME. no one else.

i hope you all have a beautiful weekend, and i will see you here on monday!

{ps- get those submissions in!}

he turns negatives : by duy huynh

when i look at duy huynh's work, i am continually amazed with the thought and wisdom behind the paintings-- each one is deep and meaningful, and i can only imagine what an amazing and transformative practice it is for duy to create them.

here is what sandy, his girlfriend and lark & key gallery co-owner, has to say about this piece:

much of duy's work deals with transformation and triumph of the human spirit. in this piece moths represent the letting go of 'thoughts' that clutter our minds and finding 'the light' with that clarity. we constantly fill our minds with all kinds of wants, which are often misconstrued as needs. by letting go of them we can settle into ourselves, often finding the answer to our questions and problems or simply finding abundance in what exists rather than searching for more.

wow, it makes me realize how attached i am to the things i want in my life- what would it feel like to let those desires go and just be?

you can see much more of duy's work on his website, at lark & key, and on the lark & key flickr page.

*thanks, duy and sandy!*

this too shall pass: by tanushri shukla

tanushri sums up what this piece means perfectly:

to me, abundance isn't about loving everything i have but more about being detached from everything i have, such that i can enjoy it, revel in it, bathe in it while it's there, but be equally content when it's not. abundance is less unbridled joy more peace, less about being too excited to sleep and more about a restful nap, less about looking around my life and saying, "i love this so much, i hope it never goes away" and more about saying "i know i have the abundance in me to recreate this wherever i go."

and i think all this gets most perfectly summarized in the line "this too shall pass." i initially found strength in this line during some bad times when i needed to be reminded that the bad times eventually pass. but you know what, the good times pass too. and once we accept this yin and yang of the universe, we'll just carry our weather with us!

so in the poster you see a jumble of things, who knows if they're good or bad, but they're certainly all consuming. and a little asterisk that constantly reminds you, hey, don't let this bury you, it too shall pass.

yes, this sounds just right to me. how wise tanushri is! everything is temporary, so it's best to just flow with whatever comes your way, right? {you can find more wisdom from tanushri on her blog!)

*thank you, tanushri!*

Thursday, April 9, 2009

christmas lights: by mike germon

i'm *crazy* about this photograph by mike germon. that is erica, who runs mint gallery here in atlanta. (mike manages the gallery space). i love how it captures a moment in what was probably a really fun night-- it reminds me to have fun, be silly, and make good memories. :)

check out mike's blog, three blind mikes, and his website, too. he's one multi-talented guy!

*thanks, mike!*

double heart image: by janet mccormick

janet sent this photo over a few weeks ago, and i'm kicking myself for not posting it around st.patrick's day (duh! look at the shamrocks!), but it's a cool image, so i'm posting it now. we can pretend st. patrick's day is coming up again. :)

anyway, do you see the heart image in there? janet said the garland she was hanging reflected as a heart through the glass- i love that she noticed it! it reminds me of leslie's project from a few weeks ago.

*thanks, janet!*

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

vintage corgis: by cindy krikawa

this photo is SO MUCH FUN. doesn't it make you want to start collecting some sort of vintage toy immediately? those cars are just so sweet!

cindy, from the fabulous blog quaint handmade, shot this photo, saying:

my husband scott still has the tiny english corgi cars he collected as a kid. i'm a total anglophile and love the cars, too. some of them even have rhinestones for headlights! so, i think abundance can come in small packages and represent wonderful childhood memories that are great to share. vroom, vroom!!!

i love it! abundance comes in packages of all shapes and sizes, in my opinion. for cindy and her hubby, it comes in the shape of little vintage cars and childhood memories-- so wonderful!

if you aren't a follower of cindy's blog, get thee over to quaint handmade right away. it is wonderful, and you will quickly become smitten with cindy. :) and you can see more of her photos on her flickr page, too!

*thank you, cindy, for this wonderful reminder about abundance this morning.*

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

you simply glow: by jess gonacha

i had pecannoot in mind when i created this painting called "you simply glow"-- it's a little reminder to you (and to myself) that you are unique and special and you simply glow in your own way.

revel in it.

(and it's available here, if you like it that much!)

enough is as good as a feast: by wendi gratz

i have a hard time with the idea of 'enough'. i find that i am constantly comparing myself to others, thinking my work isn't good enough, i'm not doing enough, blah blah blah... what would it feel like to embrace the idea that i am enough and i have enough just as i am? what a profound concept- i'd love to wrap my head around it! :)

wendi gratz created this embroidered piece to address this idea. she says:

it embodies everything I'm working on in my life right now, both in its content and in its execution. i love the message and it reassures me every time I worry about our finances or the larger economic issues of the day. and i loved the execution. this was a slow piece to make and I savored every minute of it - the play of light on the rich colors of the fabric and the thread, the sound of the thread pulling through the fabric, the feel of the cloth in my hands. it was a joy to make and i'd love to share that joy with your readers.

you can read more about the creation of this piece on her blog. (my favorite part is the cloud-- isn't it great?) check out wendi's website, too, for more embroidered and fabric fun!

*thank you, wendi!*

go confidently: by mara girling

oh, how i need this reminder on a daily basis! why is it so easy to let fears get in your way of this?? i am so crazy about this illustration by mara girling that i can barely stand it. look at those colors! those flowers! it's perfection.

please click your way over to mara's website (she works under the name printspace with her husband nick), and her blog, too-- they have many goodies you can pick up for your very own (including mara's etsy shop here and nick's etsy shop here), and their work is just so adorable and inspiring!

*thanks, mara!*