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Set Sail

Happy New Year! Its takes me about a week (right on schedule here at January 7th….) to fully own and embrace the new year. A couple of days chocolate/carb/Christmas decoration hangover, a few days of nutrition/exercise/green juice guilt, a day of false starts in back to work mode and eventually a cheerful mosey into my emails, office and easel. So far so good.

I don’t do resolutions but I do like reflecting on the past year of what worked ,what didn’t, do more, do less. The do more list has PAINT written in big letters across it! I even enrolled in an online painting class to get myself in motion straight out of the gate. Again, so far so good.

This piece ,”Set Sail”, was inspired by taking what you have that moment and putting them together in a way that works. I’m a big believer in starting where you are or using what you have. I learned early on at an art festival that my suitcase full of art supplies that I had dragged from my house to an airport to a rental car to a brimming sold out class was….not helpful! I was so overwhelmed that I don’t even remember what I created other than it required little or nothing that i brought with me. Lesson learned. I’m guilty as the next for rushing to the art store for new paint or some fabulous new white pen (if you know, you know) but…mostly I use what I have, paint what I’ve collected or remember or am aligned with. It’s a lot easier.

My wish for 2022 is that we Set Sail on that creative vision. Small steps or big leaps but definitely some trajectory. Sometimes the smallest steps all put together over time can equal something pretty awesome.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and creative start to a brand new year.

Mindy xo

A Compass of Love

A few Decembers ago, I painted this little heart compass. I had words for each of the four points that I wanted to cultivate in the coming year, but I remember deciding not to write them onto the paintingto leave it open for future words. 

I was also leaving it open to share it with othersfor your words. 

This is my Happy New Year’s hope: may you point your heart in the direction of all that is good & peaceful & beautiful in the coming year.

Blessings & joy,

Anna 

 

The Alchemist’s Shield

My newest Workshop

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

1:30-3:30 PST on Facebook Live

$48.00

Registration Is Now Open

For the Brand New Recorded Version!!

The Alchemist’s Shield

Because..

these are the days

for new beginnings…

We need to be creative more than ever! This is the perfect time to offer a New Workshop that I have been planning for weeks!

Do you need time to immerse yourself in making some beautiful and intricate art pieces that symbolize protection during this winter?

If the answer is yes, please join me and create two Alchemist’s Shields that will work as Talismans, giving you protection, guidance, and support and fill you with creative magic.

This is now a self-study workshop

In my videos I will be your guide as you create two unique and gorgeous shields.

As you watch me work, it will be as if you are in my studio with me, sitting next to me at my work table. You can watch the videos at your own pace and stop and go as much as you like!

We will start with a scrap piece of wood and a pile of old cardboard pieces and construct, assemble and layer our shield with fabrics and papers and found objects that we love!

We will work with intent so that our shields will hold in them our messages, our hopes, and our dreams for the future. You will be Honoring Your Own Creative Process. And you will love every part of this workshop!!

Talisman definition:
noun [ C ]
plural: talismans
an object believed to bring good luck or to keep its owner safe from harm

— The Cambridge Dictionary

The Alchemist’s Shield Facebook Group is open now with the Supply List which I will post here as well.

*Please make sure the name you register under is the same as the name on your FB account!!

*We will invite you into the group after January 1st. If you do not get an invitation within a week after you sign up, please request to join and include the name you registered under!

Here is the link to the Facebook Group,

The Alchemist’s Shield

*These steps will ensure you get into the group quickly and hassle-free!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • Some knowledge of assemblage or a previous workshop with me is advised.

  • Please consider your Paypal receipt as your confirmation and make sure when you register your correct email is on the form so I can get in contact with you.

  • You will need to ask to join the Alchemist’s Shield Facebook Group as soon as you register.

  • You will need to have a personal FB account and make sure you are able to stream live videos on your computer.

  • Invitations will be sent out as soon as possible after I have your payment and FB name.

  • There will be lots of important guidelines and information in the Announcements section on the Facebook page. Please scroll through! The videos will also be under Videos on the group page.

  • Sorry, no refunds will be issued for this course.

  • Access to the videos will be forever, at some point I will move them to Vimeo and my website as well so you can download them.

I am thrilled to be able to share this project with you and cannot wait to see your creations!!

Just $48.00





Supply List for The Alchemist’s Shield

  • small piece of wood, about 5” x 5” any thickness.

  • scrap pieces of cardboard about the same measurements

  • collage papers and fabric, small amounts (Think about different textures and weights)

  • scissors

  • straight edge

  • tacky glue or a heavier glue

  • matte medium, water, paper towels, paint brush

  • small nails and tacks

  • awl

  • string, thread,

  • wire: two or three gauges, I like natural colors

  • wire cutters or sturdy scissors

  • bent nose pliers (optional)

  • gathered artifacts or relics- I will be using a small old tin, taken apart, rusty metal pieces, rusty fence wire and maybe a small vintage bottle *Other ideas include old earrings, cabinet locks or keys, buttons, etc.

  • gathered natural objects- I will be using a feather, and a forked twig. Small stones (To use in a mosaic inside the tin) *Other ideas include seed pods, pine needles, dried plants, seed pods, etc.

  • Beads

  • needle, wide eyed

  • small hammer

  • any other favorite tools or materials!

Beach Flea Market is a wonderful place to purchase unique found or vintage objects!

And Artistic Artifacts is a wonderful place to purchase unique fabrics and papers!

 

 

Boat Float

My plum pudding just arrived…from Amazon. No, I will not be baking. Somewhere in the toddler-walking stage of my small business growth, I let go of all things SHOULD and that includes a long list formerly written in calligraphy for Holiday To Dos. I still have lots of sweet traditions and decor that lights me up when I open it up every December but I’m noticeably happier during the holiday season when my to do list is short and sweet.

I like painting holiday things that inspire me in that moment. (Vs. planning in advance like i’m “supposed to” in the greeting card industry. I just can’t paint Christmas trees in April!!!)

I really love egg nog lattes and have no problem considering that a meal.

Putting a festive ribbon on any stuffed animal really jazzes the Christmas spirit up. (Ok, this just revealed that I might have a menagerie lying around….)

Oranges are your decorating friend. Two big bags of clementines just about anywhere looks like Martha did it herself.

Shop for goodies. You don’t have to do it yourself. Supporting bakeries is shopping local!

Send holiday cards…if the spirit strikes you. Obligatory tasks are the worst. I love receiving a chatty note after Christmas. I know the sender had more time and didn’t feel rushed.

Drive around and look at the lights. This gets me every year no matter where I am. There is something so sweet and magical about driving through a town or neighbourhood all lit up. It really is the little things.

Cook or bake the things that YOU like to make! I love making seafood chowder and it’s a family tradition so I’m all in. But I’m not great at doing the massive Christmas dinner anymore so i either ask for help or delegate dishes.

Gatherings. I think we’re all still in the less is more stage…?

I didn’t intend on this being a How to Enjoy the Holidays Without Leaving the Couch list but it struck me that I’m feeling quite relaxed and not worried about all the holiday things that haven’t been done. I’ll call it the gift of the long pandemic winter…the ability to just do what we can do and be happy about it. Hey, I’ve got a candle burning on a snowy afternoon and I’m feeling downright festive!

Wherever you are, I hope your list is short and sweet and feels just right for you. And if you haven’t tried an egg nog latte, I highly recommend it! Holiday cheer in a cup. xo

“Boat Float” 11×14″

All is Bright

The holidays have begun! I want to take a moment in this little space to thank you for reading, supporting, purchasing greeting cards or art or both. There’s a new-ish movement that has (thankfully) taken off called Small Business Saturday. It’s all about shopping small, shopping local and supporting your local artisans, retail shops or favorite online small business. I can tell you that a real life person smiles and does a happy dance of appreciation when they receive an order. I know this because I do!!!!

For this Thanksgiving weekend, I offer the usual free shipping, extra paper treats included with each order AND….this year, special bonus 3 free Holiday Postcards. (New postcards not on website yet..but I think you’ll like them..!) No code needed, I’ll know..I’m the not so secret Santa’s helper packing your order. Offer good until supplies run out…probably mid/late December. (And if they run out, I’ll find an equal replacement.)

I hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season.

Hugs through the blog!

Mindy xo

PS. You can find Holiday Cards, Fancy Envelopes and Calling Cards here. Original Paintings are available here (also free shipping and happy to ribbon and wrap if it’s a Christmas gift…)

All is Bright” 18×24″

In the Middling

I could call this photo “Miles per Life,” quoting myself from the last time I turned the age of a speed limit. But 10 years on, I don’t think that phrase quite works with such little numbers. There have been so many more miles than 45.  

For my 45th birthday, I wrote myself a quick little poem, as I did for my 35th (you can find that one here). I’m sharing it below for all of us in the vague realm of middle age.  

As an adjective, “middling” means average, moderate. As an adverb, it means fairly, moderately. And though I’m not necessarily a fan of average—or adverbs!—I like the idea of navigating this life moderately. Grace to us all as we try.

 

Middling 

 

Ever lover of edges

and brinks,

I don’t know what to do

with middles—

the center 

the belly

of life.

 

The softness scares me—

far from either hard

start and end.

 

One friend just gave birth.

One friend just died.

Give and take.

Maybe life is in 

the “and” of grace. 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Five Wise Things

Beneath Baker Mountain on our recent road trip

I’m writing a book on the first year of marriageit was a wild ride! Besides the “primary research” of experiencing matrimony for the first time, I’ve also researched by reading a lot of books. A lot. And most all of them were filled with gold. In fact, I dog-eared so many pages, I couldn’t even make a stack of the 30+ books—it was too lopsided.  

I’ve since gone back through, freed the folded edges, and typed up some of my favorite quotes. My wonderful problem right now is deciding which of the 20-pages of quotes to include!

 

For now, I’d love to share five wisdom-chunks that will likely make it into the final draft. May they bless you the way they’ve blessed me: 


 

“I believe one of marriage’s purposes is to teach us how to forgive.” 

 

—from Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More than to Make Us Happy?  by Gary Thomas.

 


“I thought of how helpful it would have been to have learned, early on in my marriage, that not every problem can be solved and not every irritant can be negotiated away, that a good marriage is a mixture of delight and disgruntlement, that unhappiness comes from expecting it to be otherwise.” 

 

—from It Takes One to Tango: How I Rescued My Marriage with (Almost) No Help from My Spouse—and How You Can, Too by Winifred M. Reilly.


 

“[T]he best way to work on ‘us’ is to start with ‘me.’” 

 

—from Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler


 

“The trick to achieving the kind of connection you want is to develop the advanced relationship skill of binocular vision, the artful ability to see your partner’s perspective as well as your own.”

 

—from How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love & Steven Stosny

 


“Marriage is the perfect opportunity to improve yourself. No other single setting in life can form more character.”

 

—from Two Become One by Dr. Harold R. Eberle

 

Sweater Weather

I love October!!! All of it. The blue skies, crispy cooler weather, the rainbow of foliage, the start of rain, slow cooking, pumpkin spice lattes and yes, sweater weather. I was so inspired this year, I created an autumnal fancy parlor to escape to with that warm mug of cozy-ness and good book. (It was a loooooooong hot smoky summer. I might have been the first in line at Trader Joe’s the day they put out their pumpkin patch display….)

It’s getting darker earlier and I’m totally ok with that. We all have our season where we do best and this is mine.

Wishing everyone the beginning of a creative cozy hibernation. Be it books to read, art to paint or classes to take, it’s the season of cool walks and the beginning of new projects.

Sweater Weather” 20×24″ on 1.5″ gallery quality canvas, painted edges

(Several new paintings up on the website and Greeting Cards and Postcards are freshly updated!)

Happy October! xo

Roxanne Evans Stout New Stencils + Mixed Media Workshop!

Roxanne Evans Stout - Find the essence of your creativity

Hello you beautiful, artistic souls! I wanted to tell you about the magic brewing here at River Garden Studio. I have some excitement to share!

I love this new stencil creation, and it is ready to share with you at last!
Look at all of these new stencil designs on the sheet called ATC Mix-Up Stout #1!

The time has finally come for me to share my new stencil designs

Just-Released Stencil Designs at StencilGirl Products!

I have two whole sheets available with brand-new stencil creations! Each 9″x12″ sheet has 9 unique images including animals, landscapes, and symbols. Take a look at the options on both sheets, only $14 each! Not only are they fun to use, but they are sturdy and the quality is amazing!

These were made with so much love and inspired by my own work, including my paintings, collages, and pages in my artist books and art journals. You might recognize some of the images and marks that I use so often.

Thank you to StencilGirl Products and MaryBeth Shaw for what you do for artists and art makers around the world.

I have 30 other sheets of stencils available on StencilGirl! They are a variety of sizes and priced $5, $7, and $14. Stencils make a great gift for yourself or a loved one!

I put so much love into each of these new stencil designs! This is from the sheet called ATC Mix-Up Stout #2.
Another precious new design for you from me!

I am so excited to co-teach in our upcoming Zoom workshop

The Illuminated Scroll!

This three-day workshop will happen in real time on Zoom with myself, Seth Apter, and Lisa Agaran. We have a limited number of live spots available and options for those who cannot join us live.

Registration includes all three days of the workshop, daily recordings available for 3 weeks after the workshop has ended (recordings will not be available for downloading), plus our Meet the Instructors Night event the evening before the workshop begins. Get all of the details and register here!

Won’t you make three Illuminated Scrolls with us?!

People have created scrolls to record beauty and magic since ancient times…

In The Illuminated Scroll, you will connect with history and the elements as we make three unique mixed-media scrolls on each of the three days. This is a special opportunity with Lisa Agaran, Seth Apter, and I each teaching for one whole day of the workshop!

I teach the first day and will guide you through your first Illuminated Scroll! Together we will create an enticing piece out of fabric treated with layers of gesso and paint and then embellished with a blend of collaged fabric & papers, stitching, and gatherings from nature. I will also show you how to incorporate an easy weave into your scroll to hold sticks and other found objects.

Here is a sample of my own Illuminated Scroll, which I will teach you to make! It has my new horse stencil on it.

For a special touch, we will also be using my newest stencil designs! I’m so excited for you to use them. All of my stencil designs are available at StencilGirl Products! You will see the newest stencils first!

Your majestic scroll will be a stunning work of art both when rolled up and opened to be hung on the wall, revealing your visual stories.

I am in love with this Illuminated Scroll I made, and I cannot wait to see what you make!

Join the instructors of The Illuminated Scroll… …for a fun and casual Facebook Live Event! Whether or not you are registered for the Illuminated Scroll yet, join us on Lisa’s Facebook page at 4 PST this Saturday, October 16! All three of us instructors will be there, and it will be a great virtual get-together!

Won’t you join us?!

Surprise! Stampington featured my IG account!

…in an article called “Inspired by Instagram: 5 Creative Instagram Accounts We Love!”

Stampington’s charming article for autumn features four other amazing artists whose pages and creations are most interesting. I was delighted to see how the author described my page and the images they chose from it. Here is the article to inspire you as well!

Here are some cute images they used from my IG for the Stampington article!

I hope my stencils inspire you, and I hope you can join us for The Illuminated Scroll!