Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remember "You are the Gift"

"You are the gift" morning pages with help from FlyPaper 

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  I just posted some things to remember over on my blog that could make the holidays go a little more smoothly.  And of course most of all remember what Lore Caldwell taught us at 14 Secrets: You are the gift!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

14 Secrets for Creating a Stress Free Day (a stress free holiday and a stress free life)

14 Secrets Collage by Lani
1. Claim this day for yourself; it's your life, your day.  Claim it, and don't give it over to anyone else!  (One of the worst things we do for a holiday is to make someone else responsible for our having a happy day.  Even if you have Ebenezer Scrooge in your family this is your day, your happiness is yours!)

2. Be generous with LOVE!   If you are in the holiday gift giving cycle and you want to find new, less materialistic gifts for those you love, Christine Arylo, author of Madly in Love with Me, suggests asking these questions, "what love do I want to give you this year?" and "what form can the love take to help this person feel that love?"  What gift would bring delight and a feeling of being loved to sad, old Ebenezer or who ever is on your list?

3. Create a delightful, fragrant experience.   You can use naturally scented soy candles (love the Aveda candles) or create your own room fresheners.  Mix 30 drops of your favorite essential oil into a half cup of distilled water, place this in a spray bottle, and spritz.  Think balsam fir, spruce, cedar, or myrrh and frankincense, or cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, or orange, lemon, and grapefruit.  Mmmmm.

Be Original collage by Lani with help from FlyPaper
4. Create new traditions for yourself and your family and make them yours.  Think about your strengths (see previous post), what traditions would speak most to your strengths and the strengths of your loved ones?  Want some ideas?  The folks at Folk have some great ideas!  (They have some nifty DIY gift ideas as well, come to think of it!)

5.  This little secret is from Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.  If you are feeling resistance and stress about anything at all, like the holidays just around the corner,  notice your reluctance and  see where it speaks to you from your body.  Is it a tightness in your shoulders, neck, chest, or mind?  Leo says you have a few choices, you can stop doing what ever it is, call off the holiday, or you can push yourself to go through with things even if you are feeling like you don't want to (usually results in bad moods, no?) or you can chose to let go of the feeling of tightness.  Woo!  Easy, right?  Leo has 5 simple steps right here, go immediately and check them out.  You won't be sorry.

6.  We all know about altered books and mixed media art, taking something that is one thing and using art materials to turn it into something else, right?  Why don't we do that with stuff that makes us feel stressed?  What could you do to alter the things that give you stress? 

Let's Occupy Our Hearts collage by Laniwith help from FlyPaper
7.  Go for a massage or take a long hot bath.

8.  Do a little yoga and/or meditation.

9.  The Universities of Dalhousie and Tufts have both employed therapy dogs to help with end of term stress.  What an awesome idea.  Play with your pet, and if you don't have a pet, visit a friend's pet for a pet therapy break!
"Pleasure in the Pathless Woods" collage by Lani with help from FlyPaper
10.  Go for a "treasure hunt" walk.  Look for evidence of love (got that from my love guru Christine Arylo), kindness, and beauty.  Take notes, take pictures, and share them.

11.  Spend some time in nature.  Dress well, stay warm, be comfortable.  See what you learn, take notes and share.

12.  Make a hot drink and pull out the art supplies.  Do a little journaling.  Awesome stress reducer, plus you will have something lovely to look at.

13.  Curl up with a good book and your favorite music by the fire, if you have a fire place, if not then imagine. Your imagination is a wonderful stress reducing tool!

14.  Make a list of what you would do to create a stress free day and share your list with others (or right here).  Ask them what they would do, start a conversation or a movement!  Take back your life!
(There's more on my blog so do come by and visit!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Imagine a world full of love. (Imagine such a thing and come visit the post over on my blog.)

"Imagine" collage by Lani (with help from FlyPaper)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Subversive Book Alert

Collage by Lani (with help from FlyPaper)

Watch out, there's a new, highly subversive book out there.  And if you want to be a happy artist this may be your best investment this year!  It's all about creating more joy, freedom, and love, right here, right now!  I just wish this book was around for our ancestors, seriously!

While in college I worked as an au pair/domestic support person at  an orphan's home.  I loved how the kids seemed to feel so proud and happy with themselves when they were working creatively.  Later, while working as an art therapist in NYC, I loved how people were using the creative process to pull themselves out of some rather negative life situations.  One woman I worked with explained it this way, that in the art room she discovered that she could love who she was, that there was something in the creative process that allowed her  to love herself more, love others more, and be less dependent in her relationships.  There was more freedom, confidence, and joy.  Because of that, she was more capable of doing things for herself, which increased her sense of self worth.  What if I'd had a book back then, chock full of ideas, tasks, questions, and art adventures?  This would have been great not just with the folks I worked with, but also with my own adventures in creating a happy artist life.  Okay, you want to know what the book is (and maybe why I call it subversive)?

Christine Arylo's newest book "Madly in love with me; The daring adventure of becoming your own best friend" is truly a great idea, a sort of "Self-Love Handbook" full of wisdom, reassurance, and of course love.  Oh, and there are these amazing interactive links that you can follow to create a richer experience.  (It's in paperback, so the price is fine, and the kindle version has an even nicer price!)

If you want a peek at what it's all about there's lots of ways to peek!  No risk at all!  First of all, there's the You Tube Self Love Station, full of sweet and inspiring videos.  (My favorite so far is Self love book with Kris Carlson, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.)  There's the facebook page  MadlyInLoveWithMe, and a Madly In Love With Me website which has freebies, a chapter, meditations, coaching, retreats and workshops.

"Take a stand and make sure that, from this day forward, your relationship with yourself is as important as every other relationship in your life."  - Christine Arylo

PS - Why did I call it subversive?  Because if you can truly love yourself, you are truly free; free from the marketing messages of the media, free from negative or abusive relationships, free to live your life and be the very best you can be.  Truly free people are brave and willing to speak up about what they feel is important, without being afraid of judgement or criticism.  Isn't that delightfully subversive? 

PPS - You may see some extra subversion in future artwork on this blog, heavily influenced by "Me Art" prompts from Christine's book

Monday, November 5, 2012

If you are attending my workshop at the Summit in NYC:

I hear there's confusion about the download so I'll post it here:

In addition, here are some awesome links:

Roland L. Freeman, “A Communion of the Spirits; African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories”

Roland L. Freeman Gallery

Quilts of Gee's Bend Catalog

Brief history of African American Narrative Quilts on Prof Susurro’s Blog

Kyra E. Hicks - Black Threads - An African American Quilting Sourcebook (website)

The Prayer Flag Project Blog

Darn Good Yarn

Spirit Cloth (beautiful blog) 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An Art Prompt or Challenge via Jeff and susanna!

Jeff and susanna, of Owen Sound, Ontario, sent me these delightfully layered and reflective images.  No photoshop involved, just a little point and shoot digital camera.  

For more go to
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For more go to
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Being of a philosophical nature I studied these photos and wondered about the nature of reality and our perception of reality. I realized that for me part of the beauty of these exquisite images is that the reflections and the actual objects seem to shift in my mind's eye.  I can get a little dizzy looking at these, but a very pleasant dizziness.

Immediately I wanted to rush out with camera in hand and see where I could find this sort of layering of reality and reflections.  So here's the challenge.  Find and record (camera, drawing, painting, etc) images where reflections and reality merge.  Let us know how you make out!

PS - It's a lot harder than it looks.  Some of us at 14 Secrets are playing with this prompt and here's what we have so far:
From Barbara St Jacques taken at the Peace Pagoda this August.

From Carol Ingram Moore

 And from me:

I tried this outside, and I like the reflected color!
This one feels quite peaceful.
I also tried taking a photo of a mirror.  Interesting.
(People don't seem to realize you are taking their picture if you do this.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Workshop Alert

Workshop in NYC

Expressive Therapies Summit
Art Drama Music Poetry Psychodrama Dance and Sandplay

 Lani A. Gerity, DA, ATR
Susan Ainlay Anand, ATR-BC, ATCS

Exploring Cultural Identity & Strengthening Resilience through Story and Cloth

FRIDAY, November 9
10:00 am – 5:15 pm

In this Master Class class, we will weave experiential art-making (simple narrative cloth structures, group mural and individual pieces), with resilience narratives and an examination of cultural strengths.

What to bring for the day-long workshop! Bring your curiosity, dreams, strengths and hopes. We will start the workshop with an exploration variety of cultures’ use of fiber arts to create what is both practical and expressive. We will look at Narrative and Other quilts from the African Diaspora in North America and in India. We will look at the Hmong narrative quilts created by refugees in North America. We will look also look at prayer flags from a variety of cultures as artistic expressions of hope and strength. 

For the hands on work you might like to bring a variety of pieces of cloth that have personal meaning for you (lace, bits of clothing, ribbons, buttons, embellishments, all are welcome). If you have particular scissors, embroidery floss, needles, thimbles, etc. please bring. We’d like to do some very simple image transfer so if you have some ancestor photos that you would like to play with in this way, please bring LAZER copies.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Michael DeMeng workshop

Have you ever wanted to take a Michael DeMeng workshop but had a terror of ventriloquist puppets?  Or string?

For me it's not the string so much as the super creepy dolls. And I like creepy dolls but these guys with their moving parts can give me nightmares. I know that when we are at our bravest, though, good things really do happen. I'm going to trust the process. I will be brave! Too hilarious! OK, one more: So my plan is to take my two found dolls and fly to NJ and DeMeng the heck out of them. Hopefully there will be photos to follow! The workshop will be in Kecia's Lemencholy Studio.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Playing favorites

As part of my continuing participation in Seth Apter's The Pulse (an ongoing discussion of 130 artists about multi-media art), my work is featured in today's ongoing chapter, Playing Favorites.  Participating artists were asked to share a favorite piece of their work and explain why its a favorite. Take a look at Seth's blog, The Altered Page, and be inspired by all the art and stories there!

I am so grateful to Seth for his blog and inspiration for all of us!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Gluebooking" adventure continues...

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
 Big excitement here, Gretchen Miller's paper stash for 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks  arrived and I also got two politically correct coloring books as a gift along with permission to use in my glue books!!!  Hooray!  Such fun.  So here's a little coloring book character with her to-do list (be unruly, meditate, care, and begin!)

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
 In this one I continued to play with Important Instructions (see earlier gluebook post) and I felt I should remember that "my beast likes pretty things" so I need to create lots of little pretties for my inner beast, keep it happy.  (This beast comes from a PM Press coloring book.)

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
 Here's some of Gretchen's fun stash.  I love working with new stuff or playing with new stuff, I should say.  (Big face from Zettiology)

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
 Here's another collage with both Gretchen's and Suzanne's stash.  Such fun.

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
 I was fascinated by the blue face (lower right hand corner in the above collage) from Suzanne's stash, and yet was having trouble placing it on a collage.  Somehow I wanted it in but wanted to contain the anxiety it expressed, so I let it peak through the arch at the little girl having a very happy birthday in this collage.  Very contained.  Very satisfying.

Morning pages with  help from FlyPaper Textures 
Such fun.  Loved the old stamps, elephant, scrapbooking papers, and text from Gretchen's stash.  Got to love "gluebooking"!  Thank you Gretchen!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"6 Degrees of Creativity 2" stash arrived with Very Imortant Instructions

Stash from Suzanne in Gretchen Miller's 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks.

 This was great fun.  Swapping paper stashes must be one of the top ways to promote creativity!  So I poured through all of these papers this morning and I pulled out Very Important Instructions with Power Panels and things that must be turned one way and another in a particular order, DO NOT step outside the line, and I though, YES, this is what I want to play with.  So I started with that and added some magazine strips that I could push the ink around on, and then some black and white imagery mostly from an old Zettiology catalog.

There's something about altering Very Important Instructions with Power Panels that's so liberating!  It was such an awesome, freedom inducing feeling.  Almost like flying!  A bit like deliberately going outside the line and saying wow, I really like that!   I think that instructions tend to make me a little anxious, I'm always afraid I'll miss a crucial step.  And these instructions looked SO important that I really had to face that anxious feeling.  It makes me want to look for other instructions to see what I can do with them.

Anyway, thank you so very much Suzanne and Gretchen!  What a pleasure.  I can't wait to see what other art unfolds and what I might learn from it.

Morning pages using "Important Instructions" from new stash!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gluebook fun and inspiration!

Morning Pages Collage by Lani

I have been busy with my gluebook inspiration from Gretchen Miller over at 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshop.  Her workshop Creative Goodness with Gluebooks  awesomely fun with everyone  making gluebooks and sharing photos, one particularly fun thing is paper stash swap. At a future date we will also have a gluebook page exchange with our fellow workshop participants.   Gretchen has quite a lot of inspiration right on her blog, in case you aren't involved in 6 Degrees of Creativity.  Just look through all the posts on art journaling!

So I thought why not post some of my morning pages here and share a little about the techniques involved. 
Morning pages by Lani

Some of the things I collect and use in my morning pages are:
1. Varieties of washi tape, and thanks to a washi tape exchange right here at 14 Secrets, I've started making my own.  (This page has washi tape on the spine while the collage on top has it as a ground line.)
2. Old labels that I can fill  in with what ever from the day.
3.  Interesting focal images.  (Images of hands holding things always gives me a feeling of enoughness and generosity.)   I also tend to photocopy and print out elements from my old collages so the same characters may end up in many collages.
4.  Cardstock for tabs (I like to create these out of old ticket stubs or packaging).
5.  Backgrounds are from paper stashes of antique books with great script, old magazines, and scrapbooking papers, they all make great fodder.
6.  My favorite glues are UHU glue stick and Scotch Advanced Tape Glider.  The "glider" is really a two sided tape which works really well on heavier papers, card stocks, feathers, and even waxed papers.
7.  I also like to add a word or two, from my stash of letters and words out of old books, magazines, etc. 
8.  To give a collage a more unified and sometimes painterly look, I use a bit of Citrisolv on a baby wipe and push the ink from the magazines around a bit.  Then I'll finish it off with some Tim Holtz distressed inks (great stuff).  I've also played with some do-it-yourself distressed inks, using ink and glycerin.

Collage by Lani with obvious inspiration from Teesha Moore

Here's a peek at my paper stash getting packaged up for the paper stash swap on 6 Degrees of Creativity 2.

Hope you can use some of these ideas, add to them, and pass them on!  The best ideas are the ones that are shared!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Do you ever say "I wish I'd known about this before"?

Here's a Tim Holtz demo I wish I'd seen before I finished my Washi Tapes for an exchange at 14 Secrets.  Oh well, there will be more exchanges...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

30 Secrets for Staying Creative

Morning Pages by Lani
Adapted from Hogret the relentless experimenter How to stay creative

  1. Make lots of lists (like 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist's Life)
  2. Be very kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can
  3. Take as many delightful breaks as possible
  4. Sing in the shower
  5. Learn to be your own barista, and make your own creative cafe environment.
  6. Learn about your roots
  7. Always ask "What if …?"
  8. Risk absurdity and humor as much as possible
  9. Rock the boat as much as possible, it's how a culture grows
  10. Surround yourself with creative people
  11. Find ways to collaborate with others
  12. Never give up
  13. Always practice
  14. Make lots of mistakes, sometimes your best work will appear in a mistake
  15. Find new places, take new paths, try new ideas
  16. Watch foreign films
  17. Create new rules
  18. Start a gratitude list
  19. Get lots of rest
  20. Be your own myth
  21. Do more of what makes you happy more often
  22. Try going with the flow of the river sometimes
  23. Keep a notebook with you for ideas
  24. Try removing clutter from your workspace
  25. Have more fun
  26. Learn something new
  27. Make a visual pinboard
  28. Always be curious
  29. Play often 
  30. Create a list of ways to stay creative and share it with others!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Disruptive Wonder for a Change

Clever clever clever!  This will get you thinking!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nurturing our sense of wonder and awe...

Collage by Lani with element from Teesha Moore.
"The creative source is a room hidden inside you. Wonder is a door that - for an instant - opens to give you a glimpse inside. Wonder entertains mystery, builds a nest for the unknown and unknowable, and it lures you down the path less traveled." -Mari Messer from Pencil Dancing
While preparing for our November  workshop at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City, Susan Anand and I employ one of our favorite signature strengths, curiosity. 

Do you know about the groups of African-Indians who live on the west coast of India and Pakistan?  They've lived there since the first century and are part of the African Diaspora.  The most interesting history is available at the New York Public Library website.   Siddi women in Karnataka create amazing, colorful, and dynamic quilts (kawandi), with the family’s discarded clothes.  You can see examples of these quilts and the quilters on the NYPL website as well as on Henry John Drewal's website.  (The way the quilters work must be very similar to the way the quilter's of Gee's Bend work.)

But being a curious person, easily awed and filled with wonder, I wondered how the quilts were actually constructed.  Margaret Fabrizio, a prolific quilter and vlogger, went on a trip to India to meat the quilters and find out how they do what they do. She describes the process in her vlogs.  Actually I think the process is simply magic and art, but you can be the judge.

For more on this quilting technique and other cultural threads, sign up for the Expressive Therapies Summit and our workshop.

Mark your calendars for Friday, November 9 10:00 am – 5:15 pm
Exploring Cultural Identity & Strengthening Resilience through Story and Cloth
Lani A. Gerity, DA, ATR
Susan Ainlay Anand, ATR-BC, ATCS

In this Master Class class, we will weave experiential art-making (simple narrative cloth structures, group mural and individual pieces), with resilience narratives and an examination of cultural strengths. Using case material from a variety of populations ranging from the chronically mentally ill to depressed communities in the southern U.S. and in Canada, we will explore how the simple act of working with cloth and fiber in a group, while telling stories and listening deeply, can enhance compassion, curiosity, and even appreciation for beauty across cultures. Particular attention will be paid to the difficulties of working with populations from cultures other than our own, as we examine strengths, resilience, and the culturally syntonic ego ideal. Through storytelling, deep listening, and stitching, we will learn how to support a culture of resilience and inclusivity within our art rooms and other treatment settings.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Take a look at Gretchen's Blog!

Gretchen Miller's ATC for our swap.
Gretchen Miller has posted about our permissions ATC's on her blog.  Do take a look!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Permission to create permissions!

Lani's Occupy Elf
Hooray!  Our 14 Secrets Zine full of Permissions is ready to pick up here.  It's so full of amazing permissions, I'll just list them here for fun.  You can print them out and create your own permission ATC's or use them for art journaling prompts.  How ever you use them, you will feel your heart lift with all of these permissions!

Permission to Flow
Permission to Let Go
Permission to Fly
Permission to Grow
Permission to be Calm
Permission to be Brave
Permission to Walk on the Wild Side
Permission to Make a Fresh  Start
Permission to Find your Fit
Permission to Sing
Permission to be a Star
Permission to Unleash your Inner Animal
Permission to Play
Permission to Breathe Deeply
Permission to Make a Creative Mess and Enjoy It
Permission to Disagree
Permission to Enjoy This Moment
Permission to Write What You Feel
Permission to be FearLess
Permission to Let Go
Permission to Be Bold
Permission to Paint Colorful Layers Outside the Lines
Permission to take a Nature Walk Along Your Own Path
Permission to do what brings Me JOY
Permission to Let Go of the Past
Permission to Lighten Up
Permission to Play
Permission to Relax
Permission to say NO
Permission to speak or whisper My Truth
Permission to be an Artist (make many copies of this one and you will give yourself multiple permissions to be an artist!)
Permission to do things Backwards
Permission to be Crabby
Permission to Hang On for the Ride
Permission to Choose
Permission to Breathe
US Dept. of Health and Human Services Grants You Permission to PLAY
US Dept. of Health and Human Services Grants You Permission to be AMAZING
Permission to Vent
Permission to Fly
Permission to See with Your Heart
Permission to Play
Permission to Create Beauty
Permission to Create Umbrellas for the Rain
Permission to Dare
Permission to Breathe Deeply
Permission to Forgive
Permission to Be Silly
Permission to Love
Permission to Create
Permission to be Brave
Permission to Sleep
Permission to Take The Leap
Permission to Make Mistakes
Permission to Rest
Permission to forget My Past
Permission to Be In The Present
Permission to Laugh until You Cry
Permission to Unfollow Instructions
Permission to Play
Permission to Jump
Permission to Be Myself
Permission to Take the Leap
Permission to Question
Permission to Fly
Permission to Dream
Permission to Play
Permission to be Wrong
Permission to Take Care of My Needs
Permission to Nurture Myself
Permission to Not Know
Permission to Spend Resources on Myself
Permission to Disagree
Permission to Take Time to Play
Permission to Do Something Creative Every Day
Permission to Make Art
Permission to Dance
Permission to Act Like a Movie Star
Permission to  Talk to Flowers
Permission to Walk on the Wild Side
Permission to Pick Up the Part You Want
Permission to Sing Like a Bird for No Reason At All
Permission to Smile for No Reason At All
Permission to Leave the Dishes
Permission to Escape the City
Permission to Be Your Authentic You
Permission to Float in the Mystery
Permission to Visit a Farm Market
Permission to Stir Passions
Permission to Cocoon in a Cozy Corner
Permission to Embrace the Creative and the Colourful
Permission Granted to Share Your  Experience, even if it seems to contradict others
Permission Granted to Acknowledge That You Really Do Feel My Smile Coming to You
Permission Granted to Wiggle in Your Chair For As Long as it takes to feel Well-Supported
Permission Granted to Give Your Hands a Little Rub and Thank Them for All They Do
Permission Granted to put Your Artist Needs FIRST Today
Permission Granted to Privately Make some 'Silly Putty' Faces
Permission Granted to respond to anything with love first, the rest will follow
Permission Granted to forgive yourself for something dumb you already apologized for
Permission Granted to stop and breathe in everything good
Permission Granted to find your own pulse and marvel at it
Permission Granted to listen tenderly to your breath
Permission Granted to be flaky
Permission Granted to go back to a recent dream…
Permission Granted to picture yourself as heroic in some situation
Permission Granted to not return a phone call till later
Permission Granted to enjoy looking at the clouds for ten minutes
Permission to Heal
Permission to Plan Your Vacation
Permission to Feel Your Feelings
Permission to Dream
Permission to Chart Your Own Course
Permission to Love
Permission to Escape
Permission to See Things Differently
Permission to Laugh
Permission to be Happier
Permission to be Silly & Act Like a Child
Permission to Take a Break
Permission to Laugh at Fear
Permission to do only what makes you feel good
Permission to say "no"
Permission to be quiet
Permission to take your time
Permission to be true to who you are
Permission to Feel
Permission to Fly & Use Your Wings
Permission to Create
Permission to Inspire
Permission to be who you wanna be
Permission to Grow
Permission to Shine
Permission to Follow Your Heart

Monday, June 11, 2012

Live the life you desire...

VERY cool, inspiring Ted Talk here:

Want more? Patti Dobrowolski has a website full of inspiration! Just click here!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Permission ATC's are rolling in! Hooray!

Cover of Permission ATC's Zine
Permission ATC's are rolling in and I've started the Zine for all of us.  Hooray.  I'd say we've got permissions for just about every eventuality!  Hmmmm.  Maybe I should make a couple of fill-in-the- blank's for the end of the zine, a sort of blanket permission!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For those wanting to join the permissions swap...

Permission ATC by Lani

We've extended the the Permission ATC's  swap over at 14 Secrets it is awesome fun giving ourselves and others Permission! 

Send them to me by mid-May.  We are creating a permission ATC's Zine with all the contributions and we'll be swapping them up as well, so you will get as many as you give and you will also get a Zine with many more! 

 Want to play?  Contact me at lanipuppetmaker at mac dot com and I'll give you my address and further details.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

Permission to join in!  Permission to Dare!  Permission be be free!  Permission to be brave!
Permission to say NO!  Permission to say YES!  Permission to be creative!  Permission to love more!
Permission to breathe!  Permission to be me, any where, any time!  Permission to laugh with joy!  Permission to cry when sad!  Permission to dance in the grocery aisle!  Permission to sing out loud!
Permission to do the right thing!

Want more inspiration?  Here's Gretchen Miller's blog post on creating Permission ATC's!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"When we don’t have time, we have to create it..."

Over at 14 Secrets a few of our members have had their art published in Marney's new book on creating time for ourselves, aptly named Creating Time! An awesome idea who's time is NOW!!

I asked the members if they had a question and all of the questions were best articulated by Sandi:
Marney, I can think of few people who accomplish as much as you do. It appears that you have a tremendous handle on how you spend your time. So what really sparked the idea for the book?


Here's Awesome Marney's wonderful answer:
Like most people, time has been a big challenge for me throughout my adult life, but it escalated to an extreme after I gave birth to my first child in 2008, and struggled in vain to find the time to “do it all”. I devoured every time management book I could get my hands on, but still found myself exhaustively chasing time. I finally put myself on mission to find a new solution, and began to explore ways that I could apply my best resource (imagination) to my biggest problem (time). I passionately researched and experimented with imagining, viewing, and experiencing time in new ways, and at last, felt time expand and change at my design. I created an online course to help others do the same and saw that other people had success with these techniques as well. After that, I finally felt able to sit down and write a longer work that developed these ideas much more fully. Creating Time is for people who feel like they don’t have enough time to live the kinds of lives they want to live. I want everyone to know: when we don’t have time, we have to create it, and the incredible news is that we can do so using one of the greatest resources ever to exist on our planet: human creativity.

And here's an excerpt on flow (one of my favorite topics and a true time bender!) from the book Creating Time.  Got to love it.  Any questions, check out Marney's website!

Time Sighs When You’re Having Fun

An Excerpt from Creating Time by Marney Makridakis
The perception of time is the quintessential human paradox. We often want to escape ourselves and lose track of time, and yet when we become fully aware of the gift of time, we are more present and in touch. As mentioned in chapter 1, I see a solution in becoming less aware of time but more aware of the present moment. This leads us to a certain state of bliss that often is described as “losing track of time” or “timelessness.”
We all have had moments when we lost track of time or became unaware of the time passing. There are several ways to describe such experiences. In 1964, Abraham Maslow coined the term peak experiences to explain those moments when we are fully engaged with something outside ourselves. In his book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi popularized the concept of flow, a mental state in which we are fully immersed in what we are doing through energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.
During peak experiences or flow activities, it’s not so much that time goes faster, but that time seems to dissolve altogether. We’ve all heard that time flies when we are having fun, but when I’ve been in the flow state, I have felt that time neither flies nor stalls...instead, time sighs. When we have those experiences of time sighing, everything feels different. The example that sticks out for me occurred several years ago, when we had just moved to Hawaii and my husband had returned to the mainland to finish packing up our home there. I spent two months in a new home, on an island where I didn’t know anyone. It was a unique opportunity for inward exploration and reflection, and it triggered the most prolific period of creativity I’d ever experienced. With few responsibilities or obligations, and with no sense of linear time, I did little else but paint wildly colorful canvases around the clock.
I can remember a sensation of blurriness in the air as I was painting, as if the edges of my experience were fusing into something else, perhaps the very borders of time fading away. Though I’ve never felt it again to quite that extent, I still recognize this gossamer-silk sensation during times when I am in a creative flow; I’ve even experienced it a few times as I’ve been writing this book. I don’t know what it means, and I can scarcely even describe it; I just know that everything takes on a different quality when we are in the flow, when time is sighing. When I asked students to describe their experience during the flow state, they shared some of the following impressions:
•    “Colors become brighter.”
•    “I feel a buzzing sensation inside.”
•    “I feel really, really awake.”
•    “There’s a bit of sparkle in the air.”

As a child, I remember, I fantasized about what it would be like to live inside of a snow globe. I think this fantasy was rooted in growing up in Texas and longing for snow. And yet, even then, perhaps part of me longed for the still perfection of a glitter-filled utopia and the metaphor for timelessness that it provides. In those sparkly little dome-shaped wonderlands, there is only the present, only the now, only that world. Nothing else matters — appointments, responsibilities, negotiations. Everything is flowing, shimmeringly encapsulated in the moment, encased in a flow globe.
In real life, we can call it flow, peak experience, or losing track of time — different labels to describe the same type of experience, an experience that we all seem to crave. These timeless moments align us with the truisms of who we are. They unify us with the world on which we spin. And they provide our souls with deep evidence that outside of the obvious mortal limitations we have on this planet, the perception of time is completely subjective, and just as it was when we were children, time is therefore always under our control instead of the other way around.

Marney K. Makridakis is the author of Creating Time. She founded the Artella online community for creators of all kinds and the print magazine Artella. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she created the ARTbundance approach of self-discovery through art. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit her online at

Excerpted from the book Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life ©2012 by Marney Makridakis.  Published with permission of New World Library

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Marney's New Book and whole wonderful idea of creating time!

Dear Time Travelers (I love this idea of making time flexible and bendy),

 I'm so excited about The Creating Time Mega Event...three FREE weeks of inspiration as people all over the world will come together and welcome the ending of time as we know it...and the beginning of an exhilarating new life!The Creating Time Mega Event celebrates of the release of the new book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life by founder Marney K. Makridakis.The Creating Time Mega Event invites us to "time travel" as a collective community to create a new paradigm of time! It's FREE and it all starts April 2, 2012 and runs for three amazing, life-changing weeks. I'm so glad to be part of it and I hope you will join us and enjoylive webinars, daily email inspiration, dynamic time-shifting games and challenges, a lively interactive community of fellow time-travelers, and so much more. Learn more and sign up here!

Blogs, zines, workshops,
it's all here:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Free Zine - Lifting the Veil

This “Zine” came out of a presentation Susan Anand and I made July 2011, at the American Art Therapy Association annual conference held in Washington, DC.  We had been thinking quite a lot
about what Sue and Sue have called the “invisible veil,”  that tricky, hard to grasp, cultural barrier between people who don't share the same background, ethnicity, or class.   We created a presentation and then this ‘zine about a few simple ideas that we’d like to share with you about creating an inclusive environment and lifting the "invisible veil". You can download it for free right here!   Feel free to download and twitter or comment on facebook.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Free Zine of Encouragement!

Here is a free zine for you!  I need to test my new e-junkie service. (It's all supposed to be automatically downloadable. They send you a link and you click and download.) So here's a free zine for you to try out the system. Only the first 100 (lol) will be able to download this.  Let me know how it works. The zine is an updated version you can find on Artella, but it's still free!

Add to Cart

And of course there are plenty more zines here!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Permission to Dare

Permission ATC by Lani
Here is some more information on the Permission ATC's.  Over at 14 Secrets we are working on Permission ATC's.   We realized there are things we'd love permission for, lots of things we are longing to do, be, or create!  Sometimes it would be great to have a whole little box full of permissions, so that you could chose your permission of the day, just the perfect one to match your need.  What if we creating "permission art" for each other? Wouldn't that feel very freeing, generous, and kind? Wouldn't it light up the happy chemical producing part of our brains? Wouldn't we be delighted to create these permissions, to send them out into the world, and then to receive new ones in exchange?

Over at 14 Secrets we are going to work on these and send them in by mid-April.  We are going to create as many permission ATC's as we would like to receive, as many as we can think of; 2, 4,8, what ever we want (we have permission) plus one extra for our moderator. We'll mail our ATC's plus one with our self addressed stamped envelopes. (If we live outside of the US, perhaps a self addressed envelope and some paypal money would work.)   Our moderator will scan them all and send the scans to me, I'll create a pdf - Zine of our permission ATC's which could be printed out on card stock. Finally our moderator will send you back new permissions, the same # as you sent in (minus 1 for her efforts).

But why not open this up to the community at large?  Send my your permission ATC's by mid April and I'll send you new one's in return.  I'll add yours to the Zine and  send out copies of that as well.  Should be very permissive fun!  Want to play?  Contact me at lanipuppetmaker at mac dot com and I'll give you my address and further details.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

Permission to join in!  Permission to Dare!  Permission be be free!  Permission to be brave!
Permission to say NO!  Permission to say YES!  Permission to be creative!  Permission to love more!
Permission to breathe!  Permission to be me, any where, any time!  Permission to laugh with joy!  Permission to cry when sad!  Permission to dance in the grocery aisle!  Permission to sing out loud!
Permission to do the right thing!

Permission ATC by Lani

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More 6 Degrees of Creativity Goodness on its way!

Have you heard about the 6 Degrees of Creativity workshops? We are just finishing up our on-line group of workshops which have been completely wonderful!  All the ideas and techniques presented in the workshops are being beautifully played out in our lives, our art rooms, and our creative practices.  You can read about my experience here.  But the greatest news is that Gretchen Miller is starting up a new round of workshops which you can read about here!   6 Degrees of Creativity 2 will go on sale to the public April 1, 2012 with the next round of inspiring workshops and instructors being offered July 1 through December 31, 2012.

Collage by Lani, Inspiration from Gretchen Miller, texture from FlyPaper Textures.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Permission ATC Exchange

Permission Ticket by Lani

Over at 14 Secrets we are working on Permission ATC's.   Is there anything you would like permission for, anything you have been longing to do, be, or create?  Come on over and join in the ATC swap!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Here's a video for a film trailer for "Inocente" on how art might save your life. This film trailer, however, might break your heart.  I think I need to see the movie! Thanks to Gretchen Miller for sharing a link to the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Here's what the Cleveland International Film Festival said:

 INOCENTE is a personal and vibrant coming of age story about a young artist's determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by being an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past. INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America: children. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in her story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.

May we all be defined by our dreams!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Inspiring videos from Melody Ross

Inspiring video from Melody Ross Here's another one. I just couldn't get the image or idea of soul restoration out of my mind so I thought I better share it! Beautiful!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

More puppet wisdom.

Collage by Lani, texture from Kim Klassen.
I'm working on a new puppetmaking zine, to incorporate hand puppets, sock puppets, and paper puppets.  It's a lot of fun and I keep finding very awesome wisdom that I learned from all the workshops I've done.  So here's more puppet wisdom:

A child noticed that the plans he had for his sock weren't really work out.  But he kept on working and gradually changed his plans and guess what happened?  He liked his final result even better than his hoped-for plans.  He was actually really happy with what he had made!
Now isn't that just like art?  Or at least how art can be when we step out of the way and let it flow?
Collage by Lani, texture from Kim Klassen.