Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taking a Rest ...

Seeing the simple beauty in things
(Photo taken at the beautiful Sanderling Inn, OBX)

Well it is Wednesday
and that is always my blog post day,
today it feels different.
I have a routine ... while my precious
little Annabelle naps,
I write my blog post,
sipping green tea and just being present,
somehow the words always come.

Yes today it is the same routine,
but I am writing knowing that it is time to
take a break,
a blog break.
My life message lately is to slow myself down,
be quiet, commit less and to get my house in order.

I have just begun a new work schedule,
after 41 years of working in the eye care field,
I am dropping my work days to just three days!
How exciting is that!!!!!

I want to use the time wisely
and the message I keep receiving is to go deep within,
slow myself down, create more just for pleasure,
write more and just be ...
If we don't slow down,
cut the computer and television off,
how do we hear what is deep inside?

I have a second grand baby due in October,
my son Drew and his wife Lauren
are expecting their first child,
a little boy.
I anxiously await his arrival!

One week from today,
I am leaving on a jet plane
Providence, Rhode Island
to attend Squam in the City.
(Keeping my fingers crossed the whole time baby isn't extremely early!)
I am excited to be creative
reconnect with precious friends
and of course make new ones!

Fall is my favorite time of year,
it is a time that I remind myself
that I am truly ready for a change,
a life renewal,
a calming of the heart,
a slowing down process,
a listen to my inner self time,
I am ready for it!

So I will see you when I know it is time to return,
when I feel called to return to this
sacred space of mine!
How I love blogging,
writing and sharing with you.

So in the meantime ...
be well, be happy, take good care of yourself
and listen to your inner nudges,
they won't lead you astray!
You can't hear them guiding you
if you are too busy,
we all need time for a self check!

Beauty is all around us!
(Photo taken on an afternoon stroll with my little Annabelle Lily)

Donna Lee
Living creatively each and everyday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Entering ...

How I love photographing doorways!
I have begun a watercolor journal
of just doorways,
one of my favorite Pinterest Boards
is Doorways and Windows,
check it out here.
There is so much beauty all around in architecture
I found this beautiful door while
walking the streets in a little town
in Washington, North Carolina
on a beautiful Sunday Morning.

The door was locked
so I couldn't enter up the stairs that you see,
so I just enjoyed the beauty
I had found that morning.

It certainly got me to thinking 
about Entering ...

in life we enter so many things,
we come and we go in,
we gain admission to something new,
we create new beginnings, 
we step forward,
we participate in new things,
settings or groups,
we step into new opportunities
that come our way,
when we open ourselves up
to learning something totally new,
we allow new feelings to enter our hearts,
we enter into agreements,
we participate or share in the spirit of an occasion,
we begin to consider something new

Entering the unknown can be scary,
yet it can also be very exciting.
We can learn and grow from new experiences,
if only we will take the time
to recognize how we feel,
Learn what we need to while walking through it
with courage and strength.

I know for myself,
I am Entering a new season in my life,
(yes it is September and a new season!)
I am cutting my hours at work 
to just three days a week,
and I am excited about what will be in store for me.
I have another grand baby due in about six weeks,
My artwork is blooming,
My Zentangle practice and teaching are moving forward,
My Poetry writing is strong,
there is so much for me to practice

I am also Entering the unknown,
retirement is not too far down the road 
for my hubby and I,
that can be scary and exciting,
I can't wait to see where it all leads.
So for now,
I will live each day with anticipation, faith and strength,
not knowing what is in store if I open a new door
and enter in.
I am willing, I am ready, I am present

Donna Lee

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thoughts for entering September

"Reminders for Fall"

Summer flew by way too quickly
here we are into September
and the temperatures are changing,
my mindset is shifting
and I am ready for what Fall has to offer.

My summer was filled with beautiful moments,
a week in the Outer Banks with my family,
lots of Zentangle Classes,
writing classes with Senior Adults,
had a wonderful Artful Spirit experience,
re-connected with my hot yoga practice,
Wednesdays with my little Annabelle,
stolen moments to Sandbridge Beach,
watching my future grandson
grow in his mommy's tummy,
lots of fun moments with friends and family,
it was as it should be.

Now it is time to shift into Fall,
this is my favorite time of year.
I will be attending Squam in Providence in just a few weeks,
and I am excited about re-connecting
with precious friends,
taking lots of pics with my camera
and learning collage from a new teacher!
I have lots of Zentangle classes
on my calendar
and I eagerly await the birth
of my new little grandson
near October 19th!!

It's time to breathe slowly,
feel the gentle breezes flowing through,
open up the windows in my home,
listen to the sounds of nature,
observe nature as it changes,
I look forward to the seasonal time of year.
With fall comes change,
my heart and soul are ready.

I hope you will take the time to slow down,
enjoy your surroundings,
create beautiful things,
appreciate change,
it's all around!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Soul Collage Journey Continues

"She Feels The Pull Of The Ocean"

I have been enjoying the Soul Collage process
since February of this year;
in fact I shared a blog post on it
when I had first begun.
You can re-visit it here

I have been collecting images
and more images
and more images!
I have quite a beautiful collection to pull from now,
it certainly takes time and thought.
I don't just choose any picture,
I carefully choose an image that I think is speaking to me,
that I will be able to use somewhere in one of
my Soul Collage Cards,
it is a soothing and quiet practice.

I have also been keeping a journal at the same time,
whenever I create a card,
I give it a title, I date the card
and do a small writing practice
using the phrase
"I am One Who ..."
which is part of the Soul Collage process.

I must say I love the writing process
and it is so good to return
to the cards over and over again
that I have created.
For each one carries significant meaning to me.
Each representing a certain time in my life.

Months went by and I
hadn't visited my Soul Collage practice.
I had been very busy preparing
for my Mandala workshop for Artful Spirit,
and teaching lots of Zentangle classes.
I noticed with the dates on my cards,
a span of time had passed since I had worked on a card.
I had wondered why I hadn't created
a card in such a long time,
I had missed them . . .
until I was able to share the process
with my sister,
it was her very first time with this magical experience!
We spent a sister morning together and I shared my entire
process of creating a card with her.
She learned so much,
enjoyed collecting images
and creating her very first card,
she is now hooked!
I created the card above with her that morning.

I just finished collaging a wooden box,
where I am going to keep my precious cards
that I have created ...
It's kinda special to me!
Can you see the little girl (Donna Lee)
peeking through the window?
The little caption reads
"Once Upon a Time"
it was just perfect for my box.

Soul Collage speaks to your heart,
it helps you to think intuitively,
sends comforting messages
and helps you to sort out personal feelings.
I am grateful for having discovered
this beautiful art form.
Give it a try, you will absolutely
fall in love with 
the meditative and soul searching
 process of it all.
Images carry many meanings,
no words are ever needed,
it is unlike any other art form 
I have jumped into.

This is my latest card,
I have been having a squirrel keep
coming into my life (and my home)
I figured he has a message for me to learn!
I created this card as a reminder ...

"Lessons Learned From My Squirrel"

Be Well
Be Happy
Think of Others
Live Creatively!
Donna Lee

(disclaimer ... the images I have used are for my personal use only .. not for sale or trade, I am grateful for them)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Last Day of 56!

Just a little art journaling today!

Well this is my last day of being 56 years young!
I decided to create something as a keepsake in my journal.

I kinda love it don't you?????

Art journaling is a wonderful expression of self,
my journal pages are growing,
each and every entry means more to me
than the previous one.
Within the pages I am free to express myself,
try out new ideas,
play with paints and inks and all kinds of art supplies!
How I love returning to my journals
and looking at all I had created over the
past few months,
it gives me such joy!

This past year, my 56th year of life
has been full of wonder and joy!
I am so proud of where I have been
and totally happy with where I am now!

I have lost 40lbs!!!

A goal I set for myself as a birthday gift,
it was hard work, but I made it!!!
I totally love the Isagenix program - it changed my life!
I have enjoyed every minute of being a grand mommy
and eagerly anticipate the birth of my second grandchild in October,
(a baby boy for my other son Drew and his wife.)
I have strengthened my yoga practice,
Taken The Conscious Booksmith e-course
and started my book
"A Journey through Dementia",
I have taught all kinds of Zentangle Classes,
and Artful Spirit Workshops,
participated in many open mic Poetry readings,
continued to teach creative writing to my senior adults,
had an incredible eight days in the Outer Banks
with my precious little family,
celebrated 37 years of marriage with my Jimmy,
knit some wonderful lace pieces,
painted some original paintings,
traveled to New York City all by myself,
and so much more!

So for this girl who is turning 57 tomorrow,
born in the year 1957,
I eagerly await what the next year has in store!
I am sure there will be more art, more creating,
more photography and certainly more writing.
Each year is an opportunity to grow,
to learn, and experience new things.
I am open to a world of new possibilities.

Have a beautiful week
and thanks for visiting my little blog today,
be blessed
be happy
be creative
be in love with your precious life!

Donna lee

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Documented Life

January 1, 2014 I began my journey
A Documented Life Project
as we are approaching mid August
(way past the middle of the year),
I decided to share some more of my journal pages.
My original post was January 8, 2014
when I had first begun this project,
you can find it here!

This has been a wonderful experience 
and I encourage you to hop on over to the
and be totally inspired!!
The creators of this adventure are
some beautifully inspiring women,
and each week they come up with 
more and more ideas to keep our journals 
filled with creativity!
Thank you to each and every one of them
for helping and guiding us along the way.

My journal has become a record of my life,
events, ideas, thoughts, poems, photos, art
and so much more.
It is never a chore to work on it,
only pure creative joy!
It has become my friend and companion!

With each and every passing week,
my journal becomes more a part of me.
I look forward to recording the moments of my life,
remembering and documenting.
The fact that I got to create art along the way,
makes it all the more special!
Sometimes I just sit in my studio,
glancing back at the pages
and see just where this year has taken me.
How soon we forget little moments in our lives!

I decided to share some of my favorite pages with you today!
It feels like I am opening up my soul to you,
journals are so very private.
What fun this project has been,
I know many of you have been participating
right along with me
and each one of our journals will be different,
in their own beautiful way.
I feel that I am connected with so many
others through this project!
We even share our work on a private Facebook page,
keeping us all connected together!

I don't think it's too late to jump in,
or I sure hope they offer this project again in 2015!

My journal is growing with each and every passing day,
it just feels good to hold it in my hands,
this is an amazing effort
and something I will treasure for years to come!

Wishing your Wednesday to be full of
love and creativity
and happiness in all things!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tangled Visions

A mixed media recent work of mine!

I've been teaching a lot of Zentangle lately,
and I am loving every minute of it.

It's hard to believe that I became
a Certified Teacher last fall,
and since returning home so many
teaching opportunities have opened up for me.

With each class I gain confidence, make new friends,
create beautiful works and grow deeper in love with
the creative process.
So many doors have opened up for me
and I love sharing this amazing art form with others!

I have been experimenting with other mediums 
 into my Zentangle work as well.
In the picture above ...
you can see that I used my watercolor in the piece!
(My other favorite art medium)
I blocked out where I wanted to Zentangle,
and painted the rest!
When dry, I was able to add Zentangle designs
into the piece!
I have an original work of art for sale 
here in my Etsy Shop!

I entitled this blog post Tangled Visions,
because I am beginning to see my world even more closely,
observing opportunity and learning new lessons
always open hearted and wide eyed. . .
(in fact I am considering changing the name of my blog!)

What I see ...

Life isn't always as easy as we want it to be
We must listen to our inner voice
We must recognize new opportunities as they come along
At times we have to step away from what is
Everyday is different
Loving others truly matters
You must trust the process ... whatever it is
Slowing ourselves down is crucial
Living simply and without want is true living
The heart always knows the way
Taking care of self is crucial
This life of ours is truly a gift

I hope that your Wednesday is amazing!
Thank you for showing up here

Donna Lee

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teaching the Art of Mandalas

Last Saturday, July 26, 2014
we gathered together for yet another
Artful Spirit Workshop
at the beautiful
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel.
We were smaller in numbers this time,
but it was such a wonderful and intimate group!

(We have been in this room before)

I firmly believe that attendance numbers don't matter,
and those who are meant to be there, will be there,
at the exact moment they should be,
for there are lessons each person needs to experience,
in their own time.

We gathered early morning,
and found our own special table
to begin our days creative journey.

This workshop theme Suzan and I presented
was all about Mandalas.
We are both passionate about this art form,
it's history and the benefits they provide
while creating these gems.

(My dear friend Suzan and Artful Spirit partner in Creativity!)

We started with a small warm up of sorts,
watercolors, circles, designs, 
watercolor crayons, ink
just allowing ourselves the gift of play.
We are all so busy in our lives,
how wonderful it was to allow ourselves the gift
of one day,
to play and be creative with others!
Leaving our lives behind for a short while.

(Watercolor play)

(Concentration happening here!)

We then created a mandala
from our watercolors,
our ink drawings.
We had words, words, words everywhere
and each participant
created an intention, or saying in their mandala.
We were very pleased with the results.

(Gathering our work in the circle)

I can't take credit for this technique,
for I first learned it from the amazing
Louise Gale and her mixed media mandala class,
(being offered again in October 2014)

I learned so much from her
and other courses I have taken.
Studied different techniques
and made them my own.
I was sharing what I learned,
how I made it my own style
and shared with others.
I am sure in return, our students today
will take what they learned from
Suzan and I and make it with their own styles.

We played with watercolor brushes,
different sizes and then painted a second mandala,
adding our ink drawings in the center
and more affirming words.

(More circle time with our finished work)

Each time we created and finished a piece,
we gathered together in the front of the room,
creating a mosaic with our finished pieces,
this is something I always do with my Zentangle Students,
taking the time to admire each others work,
and commenting on the lessons we learned.

I had created a nature mandala 
for all to enjoy,
explaining how fun this is to go out into the world,
create a mandala from nature,
walk away from it
and leave your gift for others to enjoy!

(Just a little nature play)

The amazing Shelly Norris,
then shared how we can create our own mandalas
with beautiful stones,
sharing the benefits of each gemstone
and their meanings,
what fun!
Shelly is doing amazing work with 
her gemstone business
Ms. Shelly's Rocks
and it was so fun to have her with us this Saturday!
It was the perfect addition to our creative day!

(Shelly teaching us about rocks and gemstones)

We then shared a beautiful lunch together in 
the hotel restaurant overlooking
the Chesapeake Bay,
fellowship is important
and I loved all the conversations
happening around the table.
We even created our own
mandala centerpiece for the table,
symmetry, symmetry, symmetry!

(Lunchtime centerpiece)

After returning from lunch,
I peeked in the room 
and noticed one student stayed in the room,
eating her lunch she had brought,
and kept on creating,
she was truly loving every moment.
I had to capture this picture!
It truly warmed my heart.

(How I love this photo!)

We then tried something new,
Mandalas on art boards,
something I have been selling on my own
little Etsy shop for quite some time,

(Happy Lights and examples of my own work)

I was now sharing my techniques with others.
I truly love working on these art boards,
they are so easy to work with
and take a variety of textures and paints.
You can find my original pieces for sale here

(My sis was in deep concentration)

(My demo at the table)

"Leave Your Mark"  a beautiful finished piece

(My happy daughter-n-law Lauren)

We used 8 x 10 art boards,
already spray painted with stencils,
then each attendee picked the one they wanted,
and created fun backgrounds with
all kinds of colors and textures.
After drying, they then drew their own
mandala designs over the painted surface,
each one was beautiful and had their own style!
I was so proud of them!
So much talent and exploration in one room.

(Love the colors and designs happening here!)

(Mother and Daughter creating together ... LOVE!)

Another completed work

Taking a quick pic of her beautiful piece

I have saved the best for last ...
our community mandala.
Each attendee was given
"a slice of the mandala"
to work on throughout the day,
we then brought them together
and Suzan mounted our pieces into a whole,
when we gathered and saw the finished product,
I think it truly took our breath away.

Created by one of my Zentangle students ... can you tell???

Our finished group mandala ... totally took my breath away!

We talked about community and coming together,
living with an artful spirit
and the joy of creating
of course we had to take our signature group picture
with our toes around the mandala
(cause not everyone is comfortable taking a pic)
it's become An Artful Spirit tradition!

We then surprised our attendees with a drawing,
and one lucky girl
Susan Pease
was our winner.
The joy is always in the giving!

It was an amazing day,
a creative boost,
a time of love and fellowship
and as always
I can 't wait for our next one!

We meet quarterly,
Our next gathering of creative spirits
will be Saturday, November 1
and the theme will be
Artful Spirit Collage
(aka Soul Collage Techniques)

See you there!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Thoughts on a Perfect Wednesday

Life is full of yumminess if only you will see

There are poetic moments at every turn

Being a grandparent goes way beyond what I ever had imagined

Writing is a gift I give to myself over and over again

Mandala artwork soothes the soul

Seeking out moments of quiet heals the heart

Life shouldn't carry with it stresses and anxieties all the time

If you are unhappy in a situation, do something drastic to change it

Make your yoga practice a sincere way of life
(if you don't have a practice ... oh please try it)

Dreams really do come true

Sending love and light
peace and joy
happiness and all good things
to you today!
Life is a gift ... don't waste a minute

Donna Lee

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Grace and Gratitude

Is this not the most perfect sign?
I was visiting a garden show recently
and just had to snap this picture!

It got me to thinking . . .
Each and everyday do I try to live my life 
Grace and Gratitude?

In the busyness of our everyday lives,
we are losing touch with simple things,
forgetting what is important,
always looking to what comes next.

I went to Mr. Webster for meanings of these words ...
Grace:  a way of moving that is smooth and elegant
Gratitude:  a state of being or thankfulness

Summertime is such a perfect time of year
to slow down, enjoy life at a more gracious pace,
and live with a more grateful heart.
My senses are hightened around these words,
this way of life, this way of thinking.

I do try to live my life around grace
and I am truly grateful for each moment
in my life, whether good or bad,
for each are teaching moments for me.

Try practicing gratitude today,
see what comes up for you!
List all the things you can think of
in your journal that you are truly grateful for ...
right now in this very moment
I am so grateful for Wednesdays,
time with Annabelle ...
who is sleeping sweetly ... oh so sweetly
in her crib right now.
I always wonder where  do babies go in their sleep?
It must be a very happy place ...
for Annabelle always wakes up full of joy and smiles
ready for her grand mommy to give her some smooches!

Have a beautiful day today,
walk in grace and peace
talk with grace and love
act in grace and patience
I will too!