Category Archives: Books

Ask Ivy – the Inner Critic & Life Balance

Hi there readers,

How’s life been treating you? We are still recovering from the long weekend and are headed into a heat wave here in Portland! Yikes!

I have managed to stay cool in the studio and just finished shooting my next “Ask Ivy” episode. In this one, I answer a couple of questions about the inner-critic and finding (or not finding) balance in my life ;) …check it out…

So here are a couple of books I would like to recommend on these topics that are sitting next to my bed…

Love this guy’s whole belief that we are not actually after balance but rather satisfaction! I like that he de-mystifies the life-work balance concept…especially since it eludes me! lol!

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 4.31.35 PM.png

And this one just arrived on my doorstep. It is pretty, inviting and full of wonderful ideas, inspiration and creative ways that we can work with our inner critic…


I’ll be sharing some Art to Adore tomorrow from one of my favorite artists!

Hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!




Leave a comment

Filed under Ask Ivy, Books, creativity, Learning

3 Must Read Books

Hello there!!

How is everyone? I wanted to pop into today and let you know a couple of things! First off – Trina and I are so, so excited that we ONLY have ONE more spot left at ArtWorthy 2016!

We are over the moon happy and so grateful for the beautiful souls who have signed up to join us for this special long weekend! If you have been sitting on the fence, now is the time to snap up this spot! With a private gourmet chef, yoga, meditation, EFT sessions and loads of ART making you won’t want to miss out! Valentine’s just around the corner so treat yourself to some SELF LOVE!

Facebook event page


Ok, so I also wanted to tell you about three FAB books that I want to recommend!


This book literally changed me! Literally. If you haven’t read it yet. Do. It. Now.



This fabulous book was gifted to me by the lovely Trina and I ate it up! Full of wit and several laugh out loud moments – you will love this quick read about empowering your life with that sweet little word YES!



And last but not least, this book knocked my artsy little socks off! Building creative confidence is not only powerful, it may radically change your existence! My belief that we are all creative beings is the cornerstone of this book and unearthing that creativity is not only your RIGHT it is your DUTY! Hiding those gorgeous gifts from the world is a major bummer for everyone!


I adore the little trailer for this book too! Check it out…

Okay, those are fresh off my stack of books! Check them out and let me know how they affect you I would love to hear about it!

Much love and gratitude to you all!


















1 Comment

Filed under art retreat, Books, creativity, favorite things, Learning, News, Travel, workshop

New Amazing Feather Art Book

Hi there!

Okay, so you guys know I have a thing for birds and feathers…I mean I even did an entire class dedicated to them – soooo when I saw this I kinda freaked out.

Artist and author Chris Maynard is truly gifted! His feather sculptures are beyond gorgeous…see for yourself…

How completely stunning right?

Enjoy some more images of his spectacular creations and then go visit his site.

Maynard_11Maynard_04Maynard_03You know his book is on my Christmas list!


Hope you enjoyed these!



All images via here.



Filed under Art, Books, creativity, Love, nature, videos

My Top 5 Favorite Art Books

Hi there lovely people!

How’s the week treating you so far? Yesterday was blissfully rainy and I was knee deep in editing project videos for Flight & Feather! I’m so excited that class opens on Monday! I can’t wait to share all these projects with the students! I couldn’t resist and threw in 3 bonus lessons too! Why not? I was having a blast creating so it’s a win win. ;)

Here’s a pic of one of the bonus lessons I will be teaching! Loved making this one!


Anyway, today I wanted to share with you my top five favorite Art & Creativity books right now!! Highly recommended and full of inspiration, wisdom and ideas! If you are feeling a bit out of creative juice grab a new art book! Perks me up in no time…along with a strong coffee!

Okay so here’s the line up in no particular order! They are all fabulous!

 #1 Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena BartonScreen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.47.32 PM#2 Birds In Art by Caroline Bugler

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.50.55 PM

#3 Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.52.44 PM

#4 The Art of Expressive Collage by Crystal Neubauer

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.54.55 PM

#5 Encaustic Mixed Media by Patricia Baldwin Seggebrush

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 10.01.40 PM

Hope you guys check these out! You can never have too many books as far as I’m concerned! Happy ART reading!



Filed under Art, Books, collage, creativity, encaustic

Eating Lean & Green Cookbook

Hi there lovely people,

Okay, so I’m continuing my theme this week of celebrating the women around me and all the amazing things they are accomplishing!

Today, I wanted you to meet my dear friend, Katie Marreel! You know the friend that is just good at whatever she does…yeah that’s Katie! Creative, brilliant, kind, caring – you know that good to the core kinda person – well, Katie pretty much rocks and I feel super lucky to have had her in my life as a close friend and one of my best brain storming buddies!! Nothing better than another entrepreneurial girl to keep you going! So check this out…

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.38.25 PM

She has just launched her first cookbook and I couldn’t be more proud! Woo!!!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 7.53.59 PM


I have witnessed her toil lovingly over this project for a looong time but the finished product is beyond gorgeous!! Go to her website to check out this beautifully written and photographed (by Katie herself) cookbook. Chock full of delicious, healthy recipes!

So you can get to know her a little better, I decided a little impromptu interview was in order! Just like her book, she’s bursting with great information and healthy tips for busy families and health minded individuals alike!

Okay here goes….So Katie…..


What is your personal relationship like with food and fitness? (hint hint…tell us about your story. ;)

My story begins nearly 60 lbs. and 15 years ago with a quest to transform my body into something healthier. The first several years brought many new diets and exercise programs, some of which failed, and others that made their own small contribution to weight loss. Nothing, however, came close to achieving the ultimate goal.  Then I discovered the Medifast 5 & 1 Meal Plan© through Take Shape for Life©. With guidance from my physician, I followed the program and experienced radical results. I lost weight beyond my expectations and built an entirely new relationship with food. Six years later, I’m still maintaining a goal weight. Eating Lean & Green has become a way of life.

My relationship with food and fitness is always changing and growing. There are so many ideas from experts in the field, I find that I am always studying and learning as much as I can. 

When it comes to food, I have learned to think about it as fuel to power my body, and I find deep satisfaction in eating things that are nutritious.  Old emotional eating habits, using food as a reward and a comfort, continue to fade away as new healthier habits take over.  There is no reward sweeter than the satisfaction of having made the right choices!

Fitness is something I have always been passionate about, and I am dedicated to keeping it a regular part of life. I like to change it up and try new things. From yoga and strength training to running and tennis, I’m always keeping my body moving.  Although it can be exhausting in the moment, I know that it does so many healing and restorative things for our bodies. It’s worth every drop of sweat.

What was your inspiration in creating this cookbook?

As a person who has struggled with weight for most of my life, my inspiration comes from a deeply-rooted desire to help others on the same journey.  I am passionate about sharing healthy and nutritious meals that are also incredibly satisfying and delicious.  Losing weight doesn’t have to taste bad!



What are your top three tips for incorporating healthy eating into your everyday family life?

#1:  Plan, plan, plan. It may not be the most fun task, but getting familiar with the nutritional value of your food and making a daily plan is the best thing you can to reach your goals.  I write down all the foods I plan to eat each day before I go to bed. If I’m going out to a restaurant, I will check out the menu online ahead of time and know ahead of time what I am going to order.

#2:  Don’t force it. Learning to be selective with your own foods while offering a few options for others will go a long way to getting them excited about being healthful. Forcing food choices on others will only drive them away from healthy eating.  Not everyone in my house eats on such a restrictive plan as I do, especially the kids who need more carbohydrates. The core of every dinner I cook is a healthy lean and green meal, but I will often serve a starch like beans or grains on the side to make it more satisfying for them. 

#3:  Make a daily habit. Whether you choose to read a book or magazine, listen to a podcast , or go online, spending an hour of time each day thinking about health and nutrition will make a big difference in your ability to incorporate healthy eating into your everyday life.  It will keep you focused and give you a better knowledge base to make wise decisions.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 7.57.09 PM

What changes have you seen within your life and your families by implementing these healthy practices?

One noteworthy change has been in my own sense of identity and being comfortable with my body. Losing weight and maintaining it has brought a great deal of self-confidence and has opened the door to trying lots of new and exciting things in life that I might have been intimidated by otherwise.

The most exciting thing to see is the effect on people around me.  By living out a healthy lifestyle, I get to be an example for others who have a similar goal, but may have lost hope or gotten frustrated in the process.  My conversation often falls into the topics of health and nutrition because it’s something I get really excited about. I love getting to share new ideas about food that show people being healthful can also taste incredibly delicious. It’s a win win!

She’s inspiring right? Katie is so passionate about helping others live a healthier life!

Now don’t be shy…you can visit her at her website or Facebook too! Go say hi! ;)

Thanks for chatting with us Katie! You go girl!



Filed under Beauty, Books, celebrate, creativity, entertaining, Food, Friends, Health, News, Stories

Intuitive Painting

Hi everyone. Hope you are all doing really well!

Okay…so, show of hands…who was looking forward to summer so badly? Couldn’t wait for the kids to be out of school…have things slow down a bit…enjoy the lack of rushed mornings and packed lunches. Sound familiar? Yeah…I was there too and now I’m kinda feeling overwhelmed/annoyed juggling a smattering of camps, all in different locations, a bored kid (when camp is over), running around like a taxi and basically having a complete lack of a schedule. Makes me a little on edge – especially when all I want to do is paint!

Now, don’t get me wrong. We’ve had a great summer so far. Got to take a few trips and make some memories with the kids but I guess I’m just a creature who likes rhythm. A consistency to each day that I can count on.

So…to soothe my nerves I’ve been spending a lot of time (when I can slip away) with my art books and journal. I’ve been incredibly inspried by Tracy Verdugo’s new book – “Paint Mojo“. Her work really speaks to me and feels so authentic and organic. You must check it out. She creates most of her work by way of Intuitive Painting, also called Expressive Painting, Soul Painting or Source Painting. Wondering what that is exactly? Well… I found this wonderful definition via here.

The medium of expressive painting exercises your creativity without concern for the results, develops greater trust in your intuition, expands your sense of freedom and possibility, and gives you a way to fearlessly explore unknown aspects of yourself.

I know it sounds a little woo woo…but I’m okay with that and let me tell you – it’s pure magic! Scary? Hell yeah. Exciting? Definitely. It is most of all – surprising! Surprising to see what unfolds in your Art, what forms arise and symbols come up.

This isn’t communing with any kind of spirit or anything like that. It’s just getting in touch with your inner self and removing the Ego, the BS, you know – all the junk that gets in the way – and letting all the beauty of your soul pour out onto your canvas. And sometimes that beauty can be kinda ugly at first and that’s ok. As you move through the work, it transforms. Remember, this kind of Art is not about the end product but rather the simple act of creating. I’ve done two works so far using this technique and they are really so different than anything I’ve ever made.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.34.12 PM

This first attempt at making a background was tons of fun! Lots of scraping, stenciling, splattering and other fun paint verbs…

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.34.35 PM

Lots of layers, symbols and imagery came as I worked on this piece. I would often walk away when my mind would pause and then I would wander back as more images flooded in.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.34.48 PM

This was my second Intuitve Painting back ground. Added some scraps of vintage paper to this one.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.35.03 PM

These images came thru stronger, resulting in a more striking composition. I was braver with this one and I think you can see and feel that. Loved working in such vibrant colors even though it isn’t my typical palette. Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 3.35.17 PM

I can’t wait to do more!!

Anyway, if you are in a creativity rut I highly recommend Tracy’s book or just pull out the Art books you already own and visit with them.

When you are ready…grab a canvas, leave your logical mind behind and let the paint flow! Be brave, trust your hand, your eyes and most importantly your heart!

Let me know if anyone gives it a go! I would love to see what you come up with! Feel free to shoot me an email with your images. It would be fun to feature some of your Intuitive Art on the blog!

Sending you all lots of love.



P.S. Okay just found this amazing video from the amazing Intuitive artist – Flora Bowley…check it out. So beautiful!





Filed under Art, Books, creativity, intuitive painting, Learning, mixed media, painting