Second Journal Post

black and White and images inspired by Native American Medicine Cards…   

Above: medicine Card and drawing of an Edward Gory Fantod Card called “The Feather”

Feather Drawings


Attempt to draw a Bunny with a turtle body, gave up quickly!

Day 3 Task

Ok. Start with the funny thing that no matter how much I think I am paying attention, I still manage to be oblivious! I wrote this whole post on the Blogging Class Site’s Draft writing page and even posted it before realizing when it was published that I posted it on the wrong blog! Luckily I figured out how to erase it. So I’m late with this post. It’s Day 8 of the class. I’m going to say yay that I did Day 3,  a lot of Day 4 and some Day 6. I just haven’t posted about them.

Day 3’s task was not as difficult or complicated as any of the others thus far!

Assignment: Get Read All Over: make sure your site is mobile-friendly, and familiarize yourself with the features of responsive design.

I looked at the different formats for my blog. I discovered that, luckily, when I just recently changed my theme, it is a theme that works well for tablets and phones, so no work needed to be done. So I did learn about the idea of “responsive design” which is a term I didn’t know that kind of says that when you design a website or internet site of any kind, it’s important to see how the look of it “responds” to all formats, including the computer larger screen, the tablet and the smallest, the smart phone. I also noticed myself noticing more what other people’s blogs look like on my phone!

About the class: My interest in improving my own “DBT Skills”, especially Mindfulness which is part of all the skills, goes well with this class. For me most important involves “paying attention” to  and noticing and caring about aspects of this blogging process I mostly ignored since starting in 2011.

I ignored it because I was focused on content and getting readers and following other people, which is still the most important aspect of blogging. However, as with foods I avoided trying as a kid, I now have a lot of new exciting things to try out and learn about which have been there all along!

(Here is where I did not notice I was on the wrong site’s draft page!

So, for example, when I’m on a WordPress page like this posting page, I notice the word count,  then on the left sidebar I see there are things for Sharing, Location, Excerpt and Advanced Settings. There’s a “Slug” box I should find out about. Never noticed that before. There is the post format, which is set to “Standard”. What are other options? Visibility says “Public”. It’s one thing I do already know about. So the Format turns out to be a choice among things like, Quote, Link, Video, Image. There is one option I don’t know: “Aside”. I guess I will start a new post to see what that involves. Also at the top of this posting box there are a few options I haven’t explored, symbols I am not familiar with:

I just found out that the icon on the far right is a “Toolbar Toggle” that when pushed shows even more Toolbar options. There’s an icon next to it to go to full screen for your draft. And you can get it proofread by clicking on the icon third from right, something I never did before as I would look it over by myself. I can change the text color now that I opened up that option with the Toolbar toggle, so I will make the text a different color right now!

I’m also going to do something new and “Preview” my post to see what it looks like!

Waiting revisited

Both the poem and the description of the rabbit story are great metaphors and the writer shares her experience with living out these ideas; it may be sort of a cliche that “Good things come to those who wait” but it is really true. In my own life I have been trying to “slow down and breathe”…

Life in a Bind - BPD and me

little rabbit waits for the moonWhy are you carrying a copy of ‘Little Rabbit Waits for the Moon’? asked my husband a couple of weeks ago, as I came home after therapy. ‘I lent it to my therapist’ I said. ‘Why did you lend your therapist a children’s book?’ he asked, puzzled, then thought better of it, gave me a strange looks as if to say ‘this therapy lark is really weird’, and walked away….

Ever since my therapist quoted T. S. Eliot at me this time last year, the concept of ‘Waiting’ has had a special sort of significance for me. But I never expected to find it embodied in a children’s book about a little rabbit waiting for the moon to come out and watch over him, before he could go to sleep. My pre-schooler came across the book at a children’s group, and the…

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Blogging 201: Day 2’s Task: Audit Your Blog


Day 2 was basically about the Appearance of your blog, and learning to both look at and look beyond the obvious, which would be the Title of the Blog and your theme. To start with, I changed the title, and true to me-ness, I can’t remember what the previous title was! This is the third time I’ve changed the title. The big one was the second time during another class, I realized that the Title was too Impersonal and not Creative enough for who I am and what the blog is about.

Anyway the new title is “Musings of a Creative Spirit: Balancing the Artist and Art Therapist Self” which reflects what I and this blog are about: creativity most of all, then the creative process and what it is like to blend being a professional visual artist as well as a Licensed Art Therapist. Which reminds me I haven’t posted recently directly about balancing the two…

I changed the theme to a new theme, what you see now, which I found after trying a bunch of others. So the header and background color are both new. The header reflects what I am making now, and the background color kind of goes with the header image and the idea of being a fun process oriented blog.

So I am excited that I revamped the basic things about the blog, which are very important. I also learned a lot about using the program PicMonkey which I never tried before, and in that process, realized that I can use it for a lot of things related to this blog to up the image amount and image fun on the blog.

In doing Day 2, I also realized that I have another big important goal I may not have mentioned in Day 1’s post (I forgot the goals in that and will have to look at it again!): which is to make the blog more images and balance the image oriented posts (posts about my art or process, like the most recent post of the t-shirt) with the test oriented posts like this one. This is what’s so great about taking a Blogging Class.

What’s not so great is my frustration tolerance. I tried to create my own image for a Twitter Widget and could not upload it and managed to erase my old one, so that means for now you can’t click on a twitter thing to go follow me on Twitter…

Whoops! Look and Learn! So my Twitter widget is on the blog at the bottom and gigantic; something to fix…

I also learned from looking at blogs of classmates, a big part of the class. Specifically from the blog site:

I just realized it’s hard to figure out the bloggers name easily as I don’t know her name. Anyway I saw how she highlights her Blogging 201 Task posts with an image and the Day and Class, which I am copying and making my “Featured Image”…

Ok. The featured image is not showing up!

Let me know what you think of any of these things, especially should the text on the image above be another color!

Mission Accomplished!

Last month, I was hired to do a very challenging commission, and I am posting the final results here. I will post as some of my process of making the images on the next post. 

It involved a lot of fascinating research about the Lakota Native Americans and their Sun Dance and rituals as well as vision quests. The commission involved drawing images to be put together on a t shirt. This t shirt is a very meaningful gesture of greatfulness from the giver to the people at the Sun Dance…

The process of making the nine images for the t shirt was intense and a spiritual journey vision quest for me as the artist.

Words on t shirt and meaning:

Mitakuye Oyasin: All are related. (We are all connected…)

Cangleska Luta Wiwang Wacipi:

Need to ask the person who comissiinsd the images, as I did not know that he was putting words in it or what words. Seems to mean the sun Dance Circle and unity. Luta may refer to cloud or a person named Red Cloud…

Each image on the t shirt contains many meanings and experiences connected to participating in the Sun Dances. 

The final result t shirt:


Assignment One: Set Three Goals for the Blog

This is the part of the class I enjoy most as it involves thinking, writing, drawing more than widgets, blog appearance, editing. I want to share my goals for this blog as part of this blog’s identity, which involves process and showing my process, more for the sake of engaging in a feeling of excitement and play than anything else. With that in mind, my first goal is:

1.) How do I keep some of that stye of blogging while being better at reimagining the whole blog as a Whole and a Presentation to the World (of Bloggers and some others…)? It’s a goal about Balance, which nicely fits into my blog theme and goal about balancing the artist and art therapist identity. It’s a similar type of balance: as an artists I personally do not edit myself that much, I engage in process, though I have the product and sell and show it. Bring that free spirit into the art therapy room involves then using it only when it is useful as an energy and focusing and using this energy with clear intentions and letting go of agendas for the session, the patient or even me as a therapist…

My old style of blogging would involve me getting excited about having articulated that bit about the main topic of Balancing artist and art therapist and might even change lanes and make the rest of the post about that more than general goals. I’d publish it quickly and remember it for future revisiting.

Given the choice I just outlined, I will go with the “Stay on Topic” even though it’s against my nature to organize thoughts and anything else in a typical way.

The writing process actually makes blogging like this difficult, as I find topics and interesting ideas as I go and enjoy these so-called distraction, as it isn’t a distraction because it’s part of process for me.

Anyway, it’s show AND tell time.

Two other goals that go with this idea of balancing creativity and process in blogging with product presentation:

2. Through use of mindfulness and paying attention, I want to stop, look and notice all the things I don’t pay attention to naturally when blogging and see how it is to learn more about a lot of aspects of the process. There’s tons there to discover as I ignored a lot of stuff in my enthusiasm and former blogging approach… The great thing about choosing what to focus on is that there are a lot of interesting exciting things out there to discover!

3. Think more about the idea of “success” for me in the blogging world and what blogging means to me, why I spend time doing it. This goal is connected to the audience for this blog and my looking at the blog as a visitor. It involves looking at other people’s blogs not just for content but for the whole, connecting more with the people following my blog, again, it involves noticing more what I chose to spend less time on and now am going to spend some time doing…

Blog-Conscious Now

After wasting a lot of time yesterday and this morning trying to figure out mechanics of WordPress in order to arrange images on my post and do other things, I am glad to be in the Blogging 201 class. A year ago that post and three other separate drafts of posts would have already been published. Now that I take more time to do posts, this post will be the first published, not my two Words and Pictures posts. Given the intent of this blog, it’s fine to blog about blogging, but images are great for blogs as people look at them and don’t have to read or figure anything out. As an artist I love posting works in progress, etc.

When I wasn’t taking blogging classes, I would write a post or put images in it, maybe edit it, and throw it out there into the blogosphere. Now that I’ve been learning more about Blogging, branding, having an identity for your blog and clear focus, I’ve had a lot of interesting stuff come up that would not have without these valuable classes. And a lot of getting in the way of myself and not posting.

On the other hand, I miss the old days when I didn’t know or care about widgets and wrote long things and inserted research into the blog in the moment of looking at it. Blogging was more easy and satisfying…

Back then, Blogging, though I didn’t get “Blog-Conscious” felt like a genre of putting words and images out in the world. I would have said, it’s a fun and fast way to communicate ideas and things I’m interested in, throw them out to the blog, then if I want to add more or change ideas or do a series of posts, I add more, with the option of not reading the first post if I know the next train of thought. The writing style felt like: not a journal or sketchbook, not an essay but a “Post”. A post for me was fast, easy, a way to organize my thoughts while writing the post but not go into the territory of free association unless chosen for some reason. There was a quick satisfaction and the feeling of having pinned down some topic to revisit. There was the good feeling of knowing my “readers” would enjoy the post and let me know if they had thoughts about the topic or reactions and that they wouldn’t care that much about the way it looked or how I wrote it!

Ignorance is bliss! I didn’t care much what the blog looked like or any of that stuff. The only goals were to post often, have fun, feel pretty good about time management and fitting blogging into my already full box of creative expression tools.

The evolution of this blog: In the last year or so I started taking classes and learning all the things that some people learned before they started posting. Like most things on the internet such as Twitter, it seemed the right time to get more Blog Conscious. I revamped and changed a lot about the blog.

This new information and knowledge also meant that posting was more slow; I would have more drafts than before and there was often some stumbling block that would lead to who do you do this? took too much time finding out, give up or same thing but figured it out eventually with the wish that I could have back the hour of time spent trying to figure out how to do things and find things.

Today’s example: Images and inserting and posting them on the blog. Now I look and ask before posting: where does this image go? where do any words go? how big should the image be? That last question put me in territory that resembles having a huge thing of yarn that got mixed with other yarns and taking the time to restore order, untying, etc.

Frustration tolerance got higher and maybe it would save me time if it got lower!

How do I keep some of that stye of blogging while being better at making the whole blog a gestalt? That’s one goal for the first class assignment about goals… I’m going to publish this now so I get that feeling of satisfaction! and throw a picture in at the end and not care what size it comes out!!!IMG_9406