Saturday, December 29, 2007

Healing Art Dolls

Over at our 14 secrets group a few of us are falling victim to the ice and really hurting ourselves! So Lore got the idea for a healing doll swap! Excellent idea.

So here are some links and ideas to consider when you create your healing art doll:

Pamela Hastings does transformative art doll workshops and has a great book on the subject. I really liked this book and not just because I have a chapter in it.

Barb Kobe has a lot of information on her website for healing art dolls. Lots of inspiration.

To a question about color and healing bones Deb answered: leg and foot bones are related to the 1st or base chakra, red would be a good healing color.

Gena also sent in this information:
From doll artist and healer Ma- Liis Peacock: ( ideas for incorporating stones into the doll. Here is a list of the specific healing qualities of various stones as well as healing properties of colors. We could make it a sense doll and also use the healing properties of aromas as in aromatherapy or of plants as in phytotherapy. I will try to make a list for the latter two if anyone is interested. Here is what Ihave so far concerning stones and colors, thanks to Maii-Liis:

Abundance- Citrine

Addiction- Amethyst

Allergies- Carnelian

Anger- Carnelian, Howlite

Arthritis- Malachite, Copper

Blood pressure- Bloodstone

Calming- Amethyst

Confidence- Tiger eye, Jade

Courage- Aquamarine

Creativity- Azurite

Grief- Obsidian, Apache Tears

Harmony- Sodalite

Immune system- Malachite, Lapis Lazuli

Digestive system- Citrine, Sodalite

Loneliness- Jade, Pink Tourmaline

Love- Rose quartz

Luck- Malachite, Copper, Moonstone

Mental clarity- Quartz crystal, Labradorite

Heart- Copal, Chrysoprase

Money- Citrine, Malachite, gold

Protection- Smoky Quartz, Turquoise

Sleep- Jade, Lepidolite, Mica

Stress- Lepidolite

Eyes- Celestite, Labradorite, Mica

Purify Body/Mind/Spirit- Amber, Lapis Lazuli

Physical Energy- Carnelian, Turquoise

Balance Body,Mind/Spirit- Amethyst, Celestite

Healing properties of Color

Effects of color will not be of huge importance as applied to healing dolls, mostly because color usually has to be applied in large areas in order
to affect someone. Still, there are some generalities which you may wish to keep in mind.

BLACK is supposed to ward off "bad vibes", but I don't advise a black doll for a depressed person. For the bold, it makes a statement of mystery and strength.

RED is a joyful, purifying color. It is a dynamic color which promotes courage and passion. Add red when energy and self-esteem is needed.

ORANGE has many of the attributes of red, like warmth and vitality, but is less aggressive in nature. It is useful in blocking stagnation and promoting creativity. Good for stimulating circulation and blood flow in the body.

PINK is said to heal broken hearts and other emotional wounds. It is also a color for relaxation. The most beneficial pinks are the darker tones of bubble-gum and magenta.

YELLOW stimulates the mind and clears thoughts. Use for digestive problems and allergies, but avoid yellows with a green tone. Instead, use a bright, clear yellow.

PURPLE is considered a color of the divine. It stimulates the mind and the state of imagination and creativity. The use of violet can help one turn daydreams into reality by enhancing this flow. Good for rebalancing the energies in general.

BLUE brings calm and peace. It brings us inward and allows us a deeper understanding of our inner being. It allows us to channel the thoughts which best lead to actualization without being confused or side tracked by unimportant thoughts that would otherwise clutter the pathway.

GREEN promotes growth and general healing. Green is the color of growth and expansion of both mind and spirit. It creates a peaceful feeling and can be used to relieve tension and stress.

TURQUOISE is an ancient color that has been used for centuries and by all cultures throughout the world. Turquoise is used to express individuality and creativity. It reduces toxins in the body, and adds new life to old projects. It offers freedom from whatever has been holding one back.

Please don't be overly concerned about the use of color in your healing other than how it looks. Allow yourself the confidence, and you will KNOW what color is right.

Also remember the healing power of plants. You could stuff the doll with lavender or rose petals, lemon balm, etc. Nothing too overpowering or synthetic. You could also scent the doll with essential oil, again, nothing synthetic, the idea being not so much to make it smell good, but to give the doll the vibration and energy of a plant to bring about a healing effect. I will try to find a resource file for herbs if anyone is interested. I have tons of books but can't locate that "one" book right now, you know how that goes!

Dolls can be made of anything. This is a great swap for using intuition and tapping our inner healers! Also intent is very important when making the dolls... can write out a little prayer or find a "potion" or just a few words... getting ideas yet?

I thought you might enjoy the interview that Zura Ledbetter has on her Creative Clown blog site of doll artist, Cynjon Noah. There is a pretty cool-looking doll there to feast your eyes on. Also Zura'a blog is a great springboard for creativity. Enjoy! (scroll down)

Jan sent these links:
Barb Kobe's website.

Barb Kobe's Ten Doll Questions

And here are some steps for creating a healing doll:

Carol Moore's Mountain Moments for December 28, 2007

Mountain Moments

Making vegetable soup with a five year old
You will need a stool for her to sit upon
Open some pureed tomatoes
Let her pour them into the pan
Add water
A small handful of Italian herbs
Cut up a large onion
Added with garlic to tomato base
Stir with a large spoon
Cut up six or seven potatoes
depending upon spots and bruises
Small hands add pieces to the soup
with shredded carrots
Cover leave on stove 20 - 40 minutes
Add another small handful of Italian herbs
Decide on vegetables to add
Here were the choices made
white beans, black eyed peas, peas, corn, green beans
Add to the soup
with a little black pepper and salt
Preheat the oven
Roll triangles into crescent rolls
When rolls are golden brown
Serve up the soup
Place orange sections and apple slices in a bowl
Lunch for a cold rainy day

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Carol Moore's Mountain Moments for December 19, 2007

Mountain Moments

A little explanation about the poem for today...
I am one of the moderators of an art group on yahoo called 14 secrets for a happy life.
Life has not been so happy with art swaps lately. Then, one of the moderators sent
the most delightful and practical ways to look at life. Thank you, Adela for this inspiration.

Unique You
The only one of your kind
Take a mirror
Really look
At this wonderful creation
Joy of life
right in front of your
creative eyes
ready to receive the blessings
of the day
ready to give to others
A day like no other
taking the time
To focus upon the moment
Being still
If the critic comes to call
stay a while with her
focus on the problem
then gently let it go
if it is one of those
persistent kind of things
create a collage card
Get a pile of magazines
cut out pictures
glue stick them
to card stock
breathe deeply
Glitter is optional

Secret # Eleven

Grandpuppets at Sagamore.

Carol wrote:

Secret Number Eleven
Play with your grandchildren as much as possible

Being the granny of a five year old coming tomorrow to spend a week,
I have the glitter crayons ready. We are making cookies and art with
friends and family on Monday at grannys art house.

My grandfather played with his grandchildren. He gave us fairy names,
told us fairy stories, and created costumes for us out of catalpa
leaves. I learned how to play checker, ball, and a variety of games
from him. My grandmother taught me to cook, sew, and encouraged me to
draw. She would give me an unlimited supply of paper and pencils.

For six years, I worked in an intergenerational program providing
supportive services for grandparents raising grandchildren. Art gave
them an opportunity to play. Because of the respect I have for these
grandparents and being a granny, I created grannys art house.
A place to play, create and have fun, something people forget to do.

Taking the time to play creates a loving relationship and what fun
you have. Of course, there is nothing quite like a grandchild. I
didn't realize that there was so much love inside of me until she was
born. And her grandaddy feels the same and love.

Carol from the mountains of Virginia

Lani wrote:

Although this secret is fairly self explanatory, it did come partly out of memories of my own grandparents and great grandparents. There's a very special twinkle in the eye of elders for their young grandchildren. Partly, though, it came from running puppetmaking workshops for an Elderhostel intergenerational camp. I watched many elders and grandkids have such fun and appreciation for each other. What a delight! There was really nothing that could compare with the mischief that puppets can get up to when you mix up the generations!

Mary wrote:

Thank you for this Secret. I spent 2 hours under the quilt covered card table two days ago with my two grandchildren and remembered my grandmother and honored her as we played games, told stories, ate and were there with each other. There is nothing that brings me to the present moment as much as being with those children.
All love and the happiest of seasons to you all.
Practicing Art-full possibilities

Image from Joyce's grandmother's book, MIA somewhere in Michigan. Collage by Lani

Monday, December 17, 2007

Carol Moore's Mountain Moments for December 17, 2007

Mountain Moments

Silent night
stars twinkling
cold crisp air
light dusting
of white powdery
fruit basket
left inside the door
angel costumes
hung on hangers
wooden manger
leaning against the wall
annual photograph taken
to be turned into
a Christmas card

This year tradition
took a turn for
me and I found
I was not prepared
Life, a roller coaster
without brakes or
the Holler Daze season

Friday, December 14, 2007

Secret Number Ten

Carol Wrote:

Secret Number Ten
Honor thy grandmothers as much as possible.

Now taken literally, being a grandmother, I like this idea.
However, I was taught there are many grandmothers. Grandmother of the
earth, sky, sea, heavens, and animals. Being a storyteller, I learned
early on to respect the grandmothers. By doing so, we learn to respect
each other and ourselves.

Lately,there have been a few folks who have not responded to the
moderators about swaps. Holding art that has been created lovingly by
others, yet keeping for themselves. It saddens me that this is
happening with this magical creative group.
During this season filled with miracles, it is a good time to honor not
only our grandmothers, but our creative sisters and brothers.

Lani wrote:

The story behind this secret came from an art therapist in British Columbia and my own experiences teaching at NYU. There was once a young woman who came from a very conservative religious community in rural British Columbia. She was a lesbian and felt rejected by her community because of this. She headed for VanCouver and ended up in therapy with an art therapist. He was very interested in the strength we gain from finding something in our history to identify with. So he asked her to bring in old family photos. She had one of her grandmother that was particularly interesting. Her grandmother had moved in with another woman when her husband died. These two women lived in the bush on their own, and were supported by the other women in the community. Suddenly the young woman realized she had an ego ideal and a story of strength about her grandmother and the women in the community. Knowing her grandmother and the women that supported her grandmother would have affirmed her sexual orientation and supported her made for a wonderful feeling of empowerment.

In my teaching experience at NYU, I would ask the students to pick a character from their cultural background, or from their own family history to create a puppet and narrative around. The students that created their own ancestors, usually a grandmother, were always surprised and delighted by the process!

So when I created this secret I was thinking about looking for ego ideals and stories of strength and affirmation in our own history, from our own grandmothers.

To this, Lore added:

I posted a photo of a shrine I made to honor my Grandmother. I uses an old sewing drawer, some of her old knitting needles, her soap dish holds a photo of her. The background is a painting I started years ago of some of her flowers. Nan was an amazing woman and the best Grandmother ever!
In ART, Lore

To this Lynn wrote:

It's beautiful! I love that you have so many of her things in it. What a wonderful way to honor her and display those things that were hers! I'm almost ready to start working on a couple with some of my dad's tools and other small items from his workshop. I love what you did and it's giving me the nudge to get going on mine! Thank you so much for sharing! I love what you've done, as always!!

And Lore answered:
Thank you everyone for you comments on my shrine for Nan. I make shrines all the time with clients and they really benefit from them. So I encourage you to make one for you. It can be for anything, healing, creativity to a memory of someone. I have some others posted on my picture trail.
Be well, stay warm and Make art! Lore

Carol Moore's Mountain Moments for December 12, 2007

Mountain Moments

Acroynym n. a word formed from the first letters of several words
S stop
T to
R relax
E enjoy
S soul
S sounds

It invades the mind
body and spirit
flooding over you
like tar
sticking into
your brain
holding on
until you
decide to
let it be
Calm descends
like a spring
the soul

Note from Lani:
Adela sent me this great link for a Pema Chodren article on the mind stickiness (which feels like something from outside getting in and holding on...) that causes greed, anxiety, and stress. You can read it here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Creative Commons

Collage by Lani
Do you know the Creative Commons? Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from "All Rights Reserved" to "Some Rights Reserved." Personally I really like the whole creative commons approach, taking into account that ideas are like living things that can and should grow and change and be improved on.

It's like the old common land in the center of a village where you could take your sheep to feed them on the common grass. I like that image. I would love to be a part of such sharing, so from now on any material here will be part of the village grazing land, the Creative Commons. If you want to borrow some sheep or ideas or images, just give the 14 Secrets Folks credit AND let us know what these ideas do for you, where they take you.

So here's an example. Gioia sent the 14 Secrets folks an email full of great relaxation techniques. I take them and add images for a zine or slide show. You look at it, get some ideas and try them out too, perhaps with a group of people. You might put them on index cards, add images to the other side, making sure that images make you smile, and create a little endorphin activity in your brain!
Like art seeds being spread, ideas can be shared generously.
Edward's poppies.
Relaxation Techniques and Ideas from Gioia Chilton, MA, ATR-BC
(text is hers, images are added by me and they are totally optional)
Take a Pause: (about ten seconds)
* Identify anything that is presently annoying you.
* Tell yourself, "I don't have to become too tense over this."
* Take two easy deep breaths (counting from 1 to 4 as you
inhale and exhale).
* Ease any tense spot quickly, to the best of your ability.
* Stretch and resume your activity.


Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

Lani's collage
Body Stress Scanning: (about two minutes)
* Take two deep easy breaths and exhale each slowly.
* Scan your body to find a tense spot and relax it as much as
possible (i.e., forehead, jaw, shoulders, back, hand).
* Do two brief yoga exercises (do them slowly):

Head Rotation. Rotate your head slowly around in a circular motion,
once or twice in both directions.

Shoulder Roll. Slowly roll your shoulders forward and backwards a
couple times in each direction.

* Recall a pleasant thought, image, memory, or feeling for a
few seconds (as long as you want).
* Take one more deep, slow breath, exhale slowly and return to
your activity.


Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

This image is a collaborative image from Gioia and Lani
Focusing on an Image: (about ten seconds minimum)
* Simply focus on a favorite fantasy or image, either one that
you have chosen previously or something that occurs to you
* As you think about, or feel, this image, take deep slow
breaths and return to your activity when you are ready.


Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

Prospero the Bergamasco
Find One Thing To Appreciate: (about ten seconds minimum)
* Simply pick out one enjoyable or beautiful aspect of your
environment, wherever you happen to be. In some settings it is
easier, but you can almost always find something to appreciate.
Examples include a patch of a favorite color, a nice piece of
furniture, art, another person, a sound, or a personal object (i.e.,
a pen, your ring, an attractive purse, etc.).
* Focus only on this object to admire it for a moment and
breathe deeply and easily as you do it. Return to your activity when
you are ready.


Maida, C.A. (n.d.) Short Relaxation Exercises handout, McLean, VA:
Family Counseling Center

Lani's Collage
Appreciation game: (about 5 minutes)

Take a moment to be intentional about your appreciation for your
friends and family. Make a game of it by in turn, telling your
partner, friend or child what you appreciate about him or her.
Appreciations can include the "little" things, like the way someone
smiles, the scarf they wear, or the sound of their sneeze! Car rides
are a good time to do a round of appreciations, have fun with it.
My daughter calls this activity "saying my loves." Don't forget you
also get to be appreciated as well, every day. You also don't have
to wait for others to notice, you can appreciate yourself anytime!

More of Edward's Poppies
Drawing breath (3 minutes or more)

"Imagine that the bottoms of your feet are open and that energy from
the earth can be received through them. With your eyes closed and
your feet firmly on the ground, inhale slowly, visualizing the energy
that you are bringing into your body from the earth. Consciously
think about breathing into your belly rather than your chest. Exhale,
watching the energy within you going back through your feet and into
the earth. Repeat this for a few minutes. Try to think of the in-
breath as strengthening and empowering you, and the out-breath as a
force that cleanses and purifies you.

Stop, open your eyes, and slowly try drawing your inhalations and
exhalations on paper. Let yourself intuitively make lines and shapes
across the paper and use colors that represent the quality of your
breathing." (Malchiodi, 2002, 135-136) Continue as long as you like.


Malchiodi, C.A. (2002) The soul's palette: Drawing on art's
transformative power for health and well-being. Boston: Shambhala.

Lani's Collage
Color exhales (2 minutes)
*Uncross arms and legs and sit in chair, feeling the chair below you.
*Take a deep breath and exhale.
*Identify an area of tension in your body.
*Imagine the tension is a color.
*Take 3 deep breaths, on each imagining the air you inhale is pure
white light mixing with the color you chose to represent the tension.
*Exhale, releasing tension, three times.
*Each time imagine that the tension color is being released, becoming
progressively lighter and less intense.
*Take one last inhale breath of pure while light and exhale pure white

Reference: Linda Chapman. MA, ATR-BC, Personal communication,
November 18, 2006.

Mandela drawings (5 minutes or more)

Simply draw a picture in a circular space, with any art materials.
Drawing mandala pictures can be a great way to relax, for adults and
children. A simple paper plate or cup can be used to trace a circle
on any size or color paper.
*Try color pencils or oil pastels on black paper
*Use images inspired by spiritual traditions
*Try drawing a spiral to symbolize one's transformative

Some people make Mandela journals, keeping a circular stencil in a
journal and drawing one or more each day. A friend of mine used
hers as a prayer journal. A portable blank book can turn a spare 10
minutes into a chance for creative renewal anytime.


Malchiodi, C.A. (2002) The soul's palette: Drawing on art's
transformative power for health and well-being. Boston: Shambhala.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Secret Number Nine

Carol wrote:

Create Time

Several years ago, I made a commitment to myself to make time each morning to journal at least three pages. It is now a morning ritual for me, as I awake, I take pen in hand and write in my journal. There are days when one page comes with difficulty and six just seem to appear on the paper. Creating this time for myself helps me to let go of the stuff that accumulates in my head.

How do you create time for yourself?

Lani responded:

I created this secret "Create Time" based on two ideas. One idea is that we never have enough time. You know the mantra, "oh, I'm so busy, I can't even think..." or "if only I had the time." The pace of life seems to be getting quite overwhelming, and it's much easier to be too busy than it is actually to create time for yourself. The second idea or discovery was that time seems to expand when you are in the artistic moment, when you are in "flow." It can be 20 minutes or an hour and 20 minutes, if you are in that artistic "flow" experience it feels as though you are literally creating time. At the end of the experience you can have a real feeling of having been to a magic, life-giving well, completely restored, and refreshed.

“But I don’t have time to draw...”
Draw lunch as you eat it : 1 drawing
Draw the news as you watch it: 4 drawings
Skip 1 sitcom: 3 drawings
Skip 1 basketball game: 11 drawings
Overtime: 2 drawings
Draw in the locker room at the gym: 2 drawings
Draw the coffeemaker while you wait for the coffee to perk: 1 drawing
Draw in line at the supermarket: 1 drawing
Stay up an extra 10 minutes: 1 drawing
Get up 10 minutes early: 1 drawing
Draw during commercials: 6 drawings per hour
Draw every time you smoke a cigarette: 1 drawing
Draw till the waiter brings dessert: 1 drawing
Draw in the tub: 1-2 (waterproof) drawings
Draw on the phone: 2 drawings
Draw during a pedicure: 2 drawings
Draw in the doctor’s/ dentist’s/ therapist’s waiting room: 1 drawing
Draw at the red light: 1 drawing
Get to work early, stay in the car: 1 drawing
Take the bus: 2 drawings
Draw while waiting for spouse to get ready: 2 drawings
Draw what you’re cooking while it cooks: 1 drawing
Draw on the john: 1 drawing

From a free downloadable PDF found on Danny Gregory's blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Carol Moore's Mountain Moments for December 5, 2007

Mountain Moments

First snowfall
powerdery fluff
laid on red roof
cracks of trees
gone by nine
a flake here
and there
on the cold air
silver gray skies
opened to let
of flakes fall
like soft white rain
milk will
disappear from
the grocery shelves
bread will fill carts
then, a quiet will descend
on this small town
as the snow layers
again on the red roofs

Something fun I made for my charms & amulets

Lani's charm basket.
What do you think? I wrapped mop yarn with scrap cloth, used a glue-stick glue every few inches, just to keep the wrapping in place and then sewed it as I went. Almost like a clay coil-pot, only sewing instead of slip and scoring. When it was as big as I wanted it to be I finished it off and sewed some of my favorite 14 Secret charms on to it.