Category Archives: nature

Pink blossoms, Spring fever and creativity overload…

Hello lovely readers!

I’ve got Spring Fever! I’m planning and creating like a mad woman and I don’t want to stop. Lol. Even a bad cold isn’t stopping me! I have been in bed for three days but I’m sketching away.

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Dreaming of my upcoming retreat to Scotland – (that is Edinburgh Castle). Can’t wait and yes…you can see my sweet kitty companion, Leo has been keeping me company while I rest.

And one more – a moody gal inspired by some vintage fashion photography.

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Lucky for me, I have a pretty great view from my cozy bed – the pink blooms of a cherry tree are just starting to pop! One of my favorite things about Spring. They inspired a bit of a Pin-fest and this board emerged…

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Oh and speaking of PINK and gorgeous images, my dear friend Georgianna Lane just published her stunning book! You must get it. If you love Paris and flowers then you will adore this…

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To go along with all this flurry of Spring energy, I’m having a BIG SALE on our online classes too! Why not!? It’s the perfect time to encourage growth and creativity, right? I would love to have you in class.

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Hope you enjoying the first signs of Spring where you are!

Much love and gratitude,

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Filed under Art, classes, creativity, flowers, Learning, mixed media, nature, online class, painting, photography, sale, teaching, workshop

Vulnerability + love = JOY

Hello lovely blog readers,

I hope your week is going well. I have been down with a bad cold but I’m on the mend. All that time in bed, let me truly reflect on all that has happened in the past month.

Many of you know, I had an Art Retreat on Bainbridge Island about four weeks ago – the Intuitive Muse Retreat.

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goodie bags for the students

Where we focused on trusting our creative instincts and quieting the critical mind. We set intentions, journaled and made A LOT of Art! It was an amazing experience and a great honor to teach on this magical island – a place I had been two times prior but as a student! The women that joined me were incredible souls, all beautifully open and excited to delve into learning more.  (Little did I know, just how much I would learn along the way.)

So let me share with you a little about the journey…

Robin and I were lucky enough to stay in a sweet spot just a few steps away from the farm. It was the perfect place to center myself for the teaching that lay ahead and with a view of Seattle like this…well…it was beyond gorgeous and did much to soothe my anxious mind.

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The days leading up to the retreat were spent drinking tea and practicing my lessons with Robin. She was so kind and patient, listening to me go over things a thousand times! LOL.

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That’s the funny thing about what I do – it kind of terrifies me! I actually get very nervous when having to speak in front of a crowd. Online, in front of the camera, it is somehow easier but sitting in a room with a many sets of eyes on me – oh boy – it makes my hands shake and my nose sweat. (Yes, my nose sweats when I’m nervous, it’s very attractive – I assure you.) 😜

I knew that the hardest part would be the first night. The introductions. The part where I have to talk about myself.  I knew that if I could make connections, I would soon relax. I wanted to get to THAT place as quickly as possible but as time would have it, I needed to experience each stage as it came. There was no fast forward button on this gig.

That first night, we gathered at the ranch house for the welcome dinner.  I was greeted with beautiful, warm hugs and even a few excited tears. It humbles me each and every time I meet a student “in real life”. The connection I feel for them and them to me is a true thing. What a gift to receive. It amazes me to this day, how powerful the internet is and how very real the connections can be. Invisible heart strings that somehow manage to go through the computer screen. Magic indeed.

When it came time to sit in a circle and do our introductions, the ladies did the rounds first and I listened intently,  shaky hands folded in my lap. Each woman lit a single candle to represent her presence and placed it gingerly on a beautiful old artist’s palette – a treasure from Serena’s family. It was a sacred thing to behold.

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image by Serena Berry

I was stunned at the similarities of our stories. Before me, was a group of 10 women from all different backgrounds, all different ages and family situations but the common thread was apparent. We were all seekers. We had lived a life seeking out our creativity, searching for our joy and the connection to our soul. We had all jumped through careers, or passions – each coming in with force and usually fizzling out until we followed the next pull. The next insatiable curiosity. Photography, crafts, scrapbooking, cooking, gardening and even creating skin creams! We had all jumped through multiple phases on our journey towards Art. The fact is, Art is seeking. It becomes the vehicle of expression to discover the deeper layers, the hidden parts, the shadowy darkness and the shining light we all carry within us. So, while on the outside we had our differences, really, we were of one mind. One heart, hungry for more.

This helped ease me a bit as I felt the circle close. The bonds forming already – in a matter of minutes! But, my hands and slightly glistening nose gave away my nerves as I began to share myself with the group. I hoped they wouldn’t notice but I know they did. I hoped it wouldn’t matter or make me look unprofessional. I hoped, with all my heart, that I would be accepted. And there it was – Ahh – hello VULNERABILITY!

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This is where I was. Where I had to be. Exposed and vulnerable, yet doing what I wanted to do so very badly. Connecting and guiding and teaching. So with a deep breath, I accepted the uncomfortableness of it and just spoke my truth, trembling hands and all. I don’t know everything that I said but I knew when I had finished that I was safe. These women made me feel so and I was grateful.

The rest of the blissful days glided by full of hard work and wonderful art! The women battled it out with their inner critics, we laughed and shared stories and helped each other solve problems in our compositions. I was at ease, in my role, soaking up the precious time I got to spend with each student. Carefully listening and helping to guide them through projects they could enjoy and learn from.

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They created pieces that pushed them out of their comfort zones, slipping into the unknown, the fear – where the good stuff starts to emerge. Where the left brain retreats and our intuition begins to lead us. The sweet spot. The flow state. I could tell from the class when people were going through it, they worked intently in silence, not pausing to judge or worry. Just moving. Creating. It is one of the most joyous things to witness as a teacher.

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Art time was interspersed with walks among the mystical places on the island,  like the Labyrinth where we silently followed the stones that wound us gradually to the center. And we all enjoyed the special Buddhist Bell that rings out after you have spun it just enough times while focusing on your truest wish and intention.

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Looking back on this magical weekend, I am so filled with gratitude for the opportunity. The chance to not only encourage others to trust themselves but a chance to step into my truest self as well. Each time I teach in person, I feel myself grow. Each time it gets less scary and every time I walk away knowing that this is what I am meant to do. It is where my JOY lives. If it means I have to push up against the vulnerability then so be it – I’m up for the challenge! 😉


 

A big thank you to our warm and gracious hostess, Serena Berry, who was nothing short of perfect – spoiling us with delicious food and ensuring everyone was comfortable. You made the retreat truly lovely and relaxing for our guests and for me too!

Thank you to the amazing women who attended! You each taught me something and inspired me with your open hearts and creative spirit. It was such a joy and honor to spend the weekend with you! I’ll cherish the memories of this special time, always.

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Much love to you all!

xo,

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Filed under Art friends, art retreat, creativity, Learning, Love, mixed media, nature, News, Student Work, teaching, Thoughts, 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!

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Hope you enjoyed these!

xo,

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All images via here.

 

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

Etsy Love: RiverLuna

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve brought you some gorgeous, art inspiration so here’s a healthy dose of beauty from the amazing Etsy shop: RiverLuna. Artist, Marisa Redondo creates these magical, nature inspired illustrations, full of intricate pattern and rich hues. I’m a huge fan! Now to decide which one to order…hmm.

Here are some of my favorites…

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il_fullxfull.586949764_66ly   etsy * blog * twitter * facebook

After much debate, I just couldn’t resist these sweet owls for my Gracie. Can’t wait to hang it up in her room!

Go explore her wonderful collection of work – her blog is a delight too! Such talent!

xo,

Ivy

 

 

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Filed under Art, creativity, Etsy, favorite things, nature, painting

Hawaii

Hi my friends! Oh my goodness, I have been neglecting my blog but for good reason…Summer has begun and we’ve been busy with a new schedule and some travel too! Let’s catch up a bit…

In early June, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Hawaii and stay at the Four Seasons in Kona. I had to pinch myself!

the gorgeous view from our room!

the gorgeous view from our room!

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It was through Chris’ work and while he was busy in meetings, I got to play around the pool and beach with the other wives. Let’s just say Mai-tai’s at the swim up bar before lunch became a daily ritual! I know that is a tad early…but really they are mostly juice…and rum. Ah. Forget it. Anyways…

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Oh, did I mention that we left the kiddos at home with my parents? Yeah. It was kinda awesome. I missed the girls, of course but to have time away at such a dreamy place was sublime.

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I have to share this little adventure with you –

We had the first couple of days to ourselves so Chris thought it would be fun to rent a canoe and paddle around the ocean. I agreed – imagining myself reclined and sunning while he did the rowing! :) Well…let me tell you…I was in for a surprise!

We unknowingly rented a Hawaiian racing canoe! Think super long, skinny boat with two tiny seats, and outrigger on one side. Looks like it will tip over and dump you into the ocean if you look at it the wrong way. We must have looked confused because a burly Hawaiian guy approached us and inquired about our reservation. We gave him our last name. He nods, introduces himself and then proceeds to explain the training he is going to put us through before we can take the canoe out alone.

Training?! What the —-?? Ok. Let’s do this – I told myself, trying to muster up my courage. It was when, in his long speech about operating the canoe, that he said “simulate a flip” that my heart start to beat.

“Wait…simulate a flip?” I asked, trying not to sound terrified.

“Yeah…it’s no biggie. We will get you out to about 150 ft. depth and then we will lean to one side and flip the canoe over.” He shrugged.

I stared at him. No biggie? I hadn’t even planned on getting wet during this “relaxing” canoe trip. Plus, I couldn’t even remember the last time I actually swam. Wading into the shallow end during a kid pool party probably doesn’t count.

“Yeah…he continued, and then I’m gonna have you pull yourself up on the capsized canoe and pull it over so it’s right side up again. It’s easy!” says the guy who is all muscle, complete with a sinuous dragon tattoo meandering the slopes of his bulging arms.

I continued to stare. I’m pretty sure my mouth was open.

Chris laughed a little and squeezed my hand.

I chose to watch from the safety of the beach as the trainer and Chris went out first. They made it look easy…of course. The canoe sliced through the water as they timed their rowing.

As they hauled the canoe back to the beach, I could feel myself mentally sliding backward. I didn’t HAVE to do this. I could say no but then somehow, I managed to push past my fear and cheerfully grabbed an oar. I was gonna do this!

I gotta admit, once on the canoe, and adjusting to the rowing, I found myself enjoying it! The water was beautiful. Infinite shades of sapphire, turquoise and teal. One or two sea turtles swam just beneath the surface, their sweet faces popping up out of the water as we glided by. As the ocean got darker and darker, I could feel my hands start to shake. I knew we were closer to the dreaded “flip”!

Finally, our kind instructor announced, “Okay, Ivette time to flip this thing over!”

My body tensed up as I gazed into the seemingly endless blue depths. I decided this was not a good time to ask about sharks…

“Just lean to opposite side of the outrigger and we will flip over. Then swim back up to the boat, pull your upper body on the canoe and reach with your hand to pull it over. You can do it!”

“Okay….”

Boom. Within a millisecond of leaning we were in the drink. I came up, sea water up my nose. Mascara running down my face. I must have been a sight. Somehow, my brain told my legs to kick and my swimming skills returned. Not sure if I was terrified or super annoyed, I swam back to that damn canoe, hauled myself up on it and flipped it right over! Yeah! It felt good!

Now, I just had to get back on the stupid thing. Kicking like a maniac (I probably looked like a dying sea mammal – basically a shark magnet) I finally pulled my lanky self back into the seat. The trainer glanced back at me to get a read on my mental state. I managed a smile and we headed back.

Chris and I took the canoe out together and enjoyed a “paddle”. We did quite well, till I turned back to him and asked “Hey do I still have mascara all over my….”

I had turned around the WRONG way and dumped us both in the sea. Damn it!

At the end of our little adventure, I was proud of conquering my fear and trying something VERY outside my comfort zone. Would I do it again? Probably wouldn’t be on my top 10 but I’m glad we did it. I found I was stronger, braver and more determined that I thought I was. Discovering that made it all worth it.

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Have you ever done something out of your comfort zone only to discover something about yourself? Would love to hear about it!

xo,

Ivy

P.S. I have also been working on some new art pieces…more on that later this week. :)

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Filed under nature, photography, Stories, Travel

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How’s life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace’s 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib – laughing, talking and calling out to me. I’m exhausted, to say the least! I’ll be glad when this little night owl phase passes.

Anyway…A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego – The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you…

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What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It’s so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

Ivy

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