Category Archives for "Giving Props"

Jul 26

Meeting a hero ~ The Amazing Danielle LaPorte


I had such a FABULOUS evening listening to the amazing Danielle LaPorte speak in Hollywood at the beautiful Wanderlust Center! When I heard she would be in town I think I was one of the first to nab a ticket, and I’m so happy I did because the event was sold out.  It was, in true Danielle LaPorte fashion, a beautiful night of kick-ass wisdom, life supporting and soul recharging philosophy, and real deal encouragement and love.  How refreshing it was to see her in person BE exactly who I know her to be in her books and blog.  Her transparency and realness is greatly appreciated, especially in the world we live in today.  

There were so many takeaways from the evening but the best illustrative example I can make is the #Truthbomb that was on my seat when I entered the room (sidenote – I actually lucked out with a seat in the front row!). “Be the exception” was my particular Truthbomb and I have it now hanging on my studio wall.  (Yes – I asked Danielle to sign it as well as my Desire Map book.) Be the Exception is my mantra now – and I encourage everyone to take on that truthbomb for themselves. When we all strive daily to be the exception to the norm, to the rule, to the temporary ideal that is permeating but not necessarily enriching our environments, then I believe we can start being the change we want to see in this world. 


May 17

Sacred Space – Color Palette & so much more


For Mother’s Day I had the most beautiful afternoon in Summerland, CA, highlighted by a visit to the amazing and magical “Sacred Space” shop (really it isn’t just a shop, it’s more of an experience). The owners, Rose and Jack, make this little corner of the world such a beautiful event for every visitor they receive. You feel like you’ve stepped into a portal and transported yourself to another land and space in time. Rose and Jack truly ‘walk the walk’ of what their store represents and feels like and Rose’s graciousness is felt immediately upon entering by her offering of tea in her zen gardens at the center of the property.  Little raised gazebos are hidden amongst dense foliage around a small koi pond and river where you sit on cushioned sofas and enjoy a service of specialty tea. It is breathtaking and so relaxing. Shopping in their store is like a wonderland experience. Their offerings of jewelry, statues, stones, crystals, candles, etc… that they have gathered on their travels are exceptional and also a means to support talented artisans from around the world. If you are in the Santa Barbara area I encourage you to stop by ~ just be sure to allow yourself a few hours.  This is not a place you want to rush through.

One more note:  on my bucket list is their Sacred Space Private Retreat. Oh my gosh! One day I’m going to be there!

Sacred-Space-1 Sacred-Space-2 Sacred-Space-3


Aug 31

Remembering a Great Man – Dr. Wayne Dyer


The world lost an angel this past weekend.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has been an inspiration to me for years through his books and talks.  I am saddened by the news of his passing this past weekend, however I know that his wisdom and legacy will live on. This is just one of the quotes I love of his. He was a blessing to this Earth.


Aug 14

Two Books to transform an Aching Artist’s Body

I know that the summer reads are coming to an end and the kids are getting back to school, however, these two books are good for anyone at anytime of the year and I can’t say enough how much I loved reading both of them these past couple of months. For my Artist friends out there who sit or stand in their studios for long periods of time, these two books will definitely help you find that balance you are needing in your days.

First is: Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run

This book is truly transformative! I’ve been wanting to get in to running for years. My only experience with it was from my high school tennis team and swim team days when I was in training and forced to run ridiculous numbers of laps around a very boring track. Needless to say I hated it, but over the years many runner friends of mine have exclaimed their love of running and their achieved zen-mindset while trekking along the running paths and trails in our area. I’ve been jealous of them, wishing I could love running like they do but my memories of hamster-like track running kept me from diving in. Finally, my uber fitness friend Julia recommended I read Born to Run, and that was it …. I’m now hooked. Of course it took helpful tips from my other runner friends to let me know that: 1) it’s normal to feel like you’re going to throw up and your lungs might burst those first few runs, and that you need to kindly sequence a run/walk/run/walk rhythm until you no longer need to add in the walking times. And 2) go to a running store and buy proper shoes. I had to learn the hard way on that last one when I got a wicked bout of plantar faciitis in my right heel. I also watched a lot of ‘how to run’ videos to learn proper form, particularly the idea of the barefoot/trail running style talked about in the book. I ended up buying some amazing Brooks trail running shoes, good for both street and trail, that have a low padding on the heel and good arch support. It’s made all the difference in the world. I’m working my way to a 5k. I’m taking my time in this journey because I know that this is a life-long practice I want to nurture and I don’t want to burn out or injure myself. My goal is to keep feeling good. If you’re on the fence at all about trying to run, read Born to Run. It’s not a ‘how to run’ book,  but rather a book about the human love of running, the history and origins of running, and the personal journey of growth and enlightenment this activity can lead you on. 

With enlightenment in mind, that brings me to my second book recommendation:  Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom, by Colleen Saidman Yee.

Yoga for lifeI can’t say enough about this book. I am such a fan of Colleen Saidman Yee (my goal is to make it to one of her yoga retreats). Whether you’ve done yoga for years or are wanting to learn now, this book is for you. Colleen sets up wonderful and easy to follow themed sequences mingled alongside chapters of personal memoirs to help you see how yoga can transform your life as it did hers. It is truly my belief that there is no other form of fitness (including my now love of running, or my guilty pleasure of Zumba), that will benefit both your mind and body more than yoga. It has absolutely been my saving grace over the past 18 years of doing it, and even so I still happily view myself as a beginner. I know that I will be doing yoga well into my senior years and 100% of the fun in yoga is the journey of it. Please check this book out and also check out Colleen’s blog if you want daily reads from her #yogaforlife; #mantramondays, and #focusfridays insights. She’s amazing!

Wishing you a fabulously fun and fit week!


Mar 12

Link Love – Need some amazing Fonts or Graphics?

I can’t say enough about my new obsession – Design Cuts, a UK based group of graphics gurus offering up technique tutorials, inspiration, and crazy good deals on designer packages of fonts, patterns, brushes, etc… It’s like Disneyland for artists!  

I have been looking for new fonts lately and came across their current deal 22 Best Selling Gorgeous Fonts (only a few more days left to purchase this bundle). The fonts are amazing and all have a single user license upon purchase to use commercially! Even better is the INSANE price! This bundle alone has a value of $1,651, but you can get it for …..

….. (wait for it) …..


I’m not kidding!  That’s how Design Cuts works!  Check it out for yourself.


Also, I want to give my new friends over at Retro Vectors and Retro Picts some link love! These two websites contain a collection of professionally prepared and organized royalty free graphics and photos that I was introduced to via Design Cuts. If you’re ever needing an image or photo to enhance a project – this is the place to go! It is so fantastic what they offer, and all for free!  Gotta love that!  That being said, because the amazing folks at Retro Vectors/Picts are working artists as well, their time is valuable so don’t forget to donate to their “Tip Jar”.  It’s wonderful what they do!


Wishing you loads of happy creating!



Jul 25

Techie Tip – Getting Rid of Tiling Artifact Lines in ai

This may be Kindergarten level Adobe Illustrator for most of my designer friends, but I wanted to share with you a tip I finally learned about how to fix the problem of annoying tiling artifact lines showing up in my exports from Adobe Illustrator.  I hope this helps at least one other person, because it has been driving me crazy and taking me a really long time to google the right words to search out the fix.  

Here goes …


Tiling Artifacts are the faint little lines that show up in Illustrator files that have been put into pattern. The way you know that the line is not an error in your repeat and just a resolution issue is to zoom in and out and if the line vanishes and reappears you know it’s just a resolution issue and not an alignment problem with your pattern.  If you are printing your pattern layout directly from Illustrator you shouldn’t have a problem with these lines showing up.  However, if you export the image to a TIFF, JPEG, PNG, etc.. these lines will sometimes transfer over to your export.  It’s annoying, but here’s the fix.

Filing-Artifacts-Repair-1 Export  your patterned art board as you normally would:  File > Export (make sure to click “Use Artboards” so you have the export size of your image right).


Here’s the key part:  The default Anti-aliasing option is “Type Optimized (Hinted)”, but you want to click on “Art Optimized (Supersampling)”.  Filing-Artifacts-Repair-3

That’s it!  How easy is that?!  I am so grateful to finally know the answer to this annoying mystery.  Filing-Artifacts-Repair-4



I want to send a big shout out and thank you to Laura Coyle and her awesome tutorials for helping me get to the bottom of this problem! Check out her courses and free tutorials on her “Illustrator-ing” website HERE.  

Mar 27

Inspiration: The art of Mark Wagner


I recently came across the work of Mark Wagner and fell in love with it.  He is a spectacular collage artist using the medium of US currency, and what he is able to create with such a limited palette is spectacular!  He sees big pictures from small parts and it is remarkable the detail he is able to achieve. Go check out Mark Wagner’s work  HERE.  You will see for yourself when you browse his immense portfolio. Also (I thought this was very clever of him to do because I can only imagine his art becomes very costly to create overtime) you can donate a dollar to be used in a Currency Collage to his ‘Crispy Bill Fund’!  How fun is that?!


Mar 06

A Shout Out to the AMAZING Sharon Steuer!

I have a love/hate relationship with vector paths.  I’ve adopted a snobbish view of their ‘vector-y-ness’ that over the years has given me permission to not advance in my skill of working with them.  But NO MORE!  2014 is the year of the path for me and I’ve been diving deep into ways I can create the painterly look I’m striving for in my art, but with all the benefits of easy editability and scale adjustments that working in paths allows.  I have a long journey ahead of me but I’m making great strides already and the person I found to lead me on my quest is Sharon Steuer.  

Her latest book, The Adobe Illustrator WOW, is opening my eyes to all that is possible in working in Adobe Ilustrator. She also has a fantastic way of taking out the fear and insecurity many of us pixel lovers have when it comes to those pesky path behaviors. Her style and approach is unassuming and I can’t say enough about the quality of her instruction and how this book is really teaching me to push through my fear barrier and embrace this technology. In addition, Sharon has some amazing courses on – both for illustrator and photoshop. She is a triple threat because she also is an established traditional artist as well and she approaches her instruction from that perspective.  It’s a win/win all the way around and I wanted to be sure to not only give her a shout out (I want to encourage her to keep writing her fantastic books), but also to encourage those of you who are like me and prefer pencils, brushes, pens, and pixels over paths, to go and seek out Sharon’s book and courses.  


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