Oh, Goodness! 8 Great Things You Will LOVE

Oh, Goodness! 8 Great Things You Will LOVE

It’s been a crazy-busy month, but I’ve been thinking lots about you and wanting to share a whole bunch of goodness with you – programs and products and people I’m just swooning over. So it’s time for a stream-of-consciousness braindump. If you like this little Oh, Goodness! list, let me know over on FB or share the list below. Maybe I’ll make this a regular thing around here. 🙂

courageous heARTS (they need your vote!)

Linking Angels is collecting votes this month to award $100,000 to an up-and-coming nonprofit. I’m rooting for Courageous HeARTS  – a small organization with a huge heart for helping kids heal through art. Please vote for them here (it’s free & super easy). 

My Favorite New Movie 

I am over-the-moon excited for my soul sister Lori Portka. Today, a beautiful new short film about her was released via Hailey Bartholomew’s 365 Grateful project. Every time I watch it, I cry. Seven minutes of gorgeous gratitude. You have to see it, friends. It will make you want to deeply thank every person you come across today! Watch it, share it, spread the goodwill. Here it is:

 

Little Love Notes

Speaking of Lori, you’ll also LOVE the brand new Crazy Sexy Love Notes – a deck of inspiring cards by Kris Carr that she masterfully illustrated. Pick a beautiful, encouraging card each morning; such an uplifting way to start the day!

Mermaid Pillows

I’ve been a fan of Kelly Barton’s art for years. Right now, I’m totally swooning over her brand new mermaid throw pillows. Seriously. Could these be cuter??

Flying Lessons

I truly believe every creative entrepreneur needs to experience the magic of Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons ecourse. It was a game-changer for me years ago, and today I’m honored to be a contributor to the updated, self-paced version.

The Daily Saint

Do you know about The Daily Saint? It’s kind of like Humans of New York, but every day founder Mikaela features everyday heroes and their random acts of kindness. I find the short stories soooo uplifting and heartwarming; you can follow TDS on Facebook or Instagram so you don’t miss a post.

Empathy For Sale 

In case you haven’t heard, Emily McDowell’s new line of Empathy cards are freaking brilliant. The perfect blend of wit, wisdom and compassion for someone facing a serious illness or life challenge.

How To Inspire

Last but not least, I’m having a blast collaborating with Illuminating Souls’ Laurel Bleadon-Maffei on a brand new program called Inspiring Messengers. It’s a six-week course for those who want to make a living by sharing their light. She is so gifted, so smart. Starting June 3rd, the course includes live mentorship calls, a wide variety of resources and video tutorials – including one about creating inspiring graphics that we’ve made available online for FREE today only. Check it out here. 

Here’s hoping all kinds of goodness greets you on your path today! xoxo

studio tour: step inside my office, friends… (plus how NOT to share instagram pics)

me in my studio

I have a brand new happy place. Okay, it’s not completely new – but it sure feels better than ever. Several years ago, as I began professionally selling my art, I took over our dining room table with paints and papers. Pretty soon, there was crap everywhere – and we realized I was using the room far more for my art than for dinner. So, we renamed it “the dudio” and I had free reign to fill the table with my art supplies. They eventually spread to different corners of the room…and even into the china cabinet. And, upon the advice of Feng Shui goddess Carole Hyder, I started to fill a wall with art from friends. It was great to have space where I could create, but it still felt like a dining room with a giant – albeit cluttered – table in the middle.

In recent months, I’ve toyed with the idea of renting out studio space somewhere or leasing an office a few miles from home – just to have a place that feels like mine, where I can feel equal parts focused and inspired. But my heart kept leading me back home, where I can still be available for the kids after school or refill my coffee cup as often as I want or, heck, work in my pjs. My studio assistant, Claire, lives nearby and is happy to pop in, even on the weekends. So, someday I’ll fly the coop, but it doesn’t feel right right now.

artist studio or "dudio"

So, last month, Brad suggested we just turn the dudio into my full-fledged office; push the table against a wall, move a desk in, move the printer in, rearrange the room, officially make it mine. He helped me do it and has been such a cheerleader through the transformation; I am so grateful. I have spent tons of time over the past few weeks going through papers and piles, re-organizing my work life. It feels so damn good.

And it’s definitely not a dining room anymore! I can make art in there, blog in there, teach ecourses there, imagine in there. It feels magical to me, like a place where possibilities are endless. Wanna see more?

hanging art mobile

I turned the chandelier into an art mobile just by hanging tiny pieces of goodness from artist friends. Sitting beneath it feels amazing, and I love being watched over by this angel made by soul sister Lori Portka. 

little liv

Yep, that’s me – as a little girl, reminding me to play each day. I’ve tucked little treasures in the window panes of the china cabinet, which is full of supplies (dishes and glasses we never used have been relegated to the basement).

art supplies collage

 window seat

card display

I wish this for all of you – a happy place of your own. What part of the place where you dwell can become even more of a retreat for you? How could you turn a room or corner or closet upside down to make it something unexpected and totally divine in your life?

*****

how to use instagram without sharing your pics, via livlane.comBefore I go, I wanted to give you a quick tip about Instagram, which I used to take all the pictures above – but I hardly shared any of them on Instagram. Sometimes, I like to use the app’s filters and frames for family pics or photos for an upcoming blog post – but I don’t necessarily want them to be public yet (or at all). So, what’s the trick?

On your smart phone, go into your settings and turn the “Airplane Mode” ON. Then, go into your Instagram app and take a photo, add a filter (if you want) and click to share it. It will immediately say that uploading the pic “FAILED.” Click on the “x” that appears to delete the pic from Instagram.

Okay, here comes the magic…go into your regular photos on your phone and – voila! – you’ll see the Instagram pic is in there! YES! Your phone saved it, but Instagram couldn’t grab it because it had no wireless connection allowing it to grab it. Go ahead…do a happy dance. And then go back and turn your Airplane Mode off. See you (or not!) on Instagram!

I Have a New Title

It’s hard to believe that five years ago this week, I began packing up my corporate office to set out on the adventure of working for myself. I did lots of prep work to launch my own small business – planning, paperwork, networking. But I forgot to create something important: a title.

Instead, I just called myself a bunch of titles, depending on what I was focusing on at the moment. There’s even a laundry list of roles on my current business card: artist, writer, speaker, mentor, mama.

It seemed easier that way, but it’s a mouthful whenever someone asks me what I do. And I did myself a disservice over the years, I believe, by avoiding the hard work it takes to zero in on what I’m all about.

I began really digging in a few months ago. Brainstorming. Scribbling. Doodling. Scratching out. Starting over. I held a magnifying glass up to how I was spending my time …compared to what I was most passionate about. I got so much closer – even re-branded my blog and web site, but I never did land on a succinct, all-encompassing title. I let myself get away with tucking that task away again.

That is, until my intention circle had a come-to-Jesus session with me, urging me to – once and for all – give myself the gift of definition. They were right {they’re always right!} and I dug back in to find a title that not only helps describe what I do, but offers room for growth. And then, it came to me. And I knew right away I’d landed on the one. Even so, I let it sink in for a while – just to make sure. And now? I’m sure, friends. Super-duper sure. My new title incorporates all that I do and all that I still want to be. So, at long last, I give you my new title…

19 Ways To Spark Your Creativity

I woke up yesterday with this painting pounding on my heart – asking, begging, pleading to be birthed into the world. It was such a relief to tap into my creativity and paint it into existence. I had spent the weekend trying to re-purpose an old painting of the sea, but none of my tweaks worked. I couldn’t quite grasp where I needed to take it, so I kept spinning my wheels. It was like my creative spirit had up and left me with a pile of paper and paints – and no inspiration.

I forgot, in those moments of frustration, that the best way to find creativity is to go do something else – especially something that plays with your subconscious and invites inspiration in. So…

If you’ve misplaced your creative spirit, here are 19 ideas on how and where to find it…

 

1. Go on a scavenger hunt at the mall. Find 20 Easter eggs. Find the word “FLY” 10 times. Find your favorite color in 30 places. You get the idea.

2. Take a shower. Let the water clear your mind, let the ideas flow.

3. Plant something. Take good care of it. Watch it grow.

4. Go to a fabric store and find three prints that blend together beautifully. Feel all those brain neurons gleefully firing as you mix and match!

5. Color your sidewalk or driveway with chalk. Write a favorite quote, make flowers, design an ant farm.

6. Take the path less traveled. Find a new way to get to work. Choose a different running path. Heck, walk backwards!

7. Hang out at the library. Did you know they have books about everything there? For free?

8. Play with cell phone photo apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic. Be inspired by your surroundings. Take pictures.

9. Go outside. Take a walk, dip your toes in a stream, run through the grass. Be inspired by the beauty around you.

10.  Take a soothing bath with sea salt and/or essential oils. Feel your troubles melt away.

11. Keep a pen and pad of paper in your car, by your bed, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in your gym bag and anywhere else a random idea might fall in your lap.

12. When you run into a simple problem, imagine a solution. This morning, I imagined a flexible mechanical arm that could swoop down from the ceiling and open the stubborn vitamin jar. And then my kid opened it.

13. Re-write commercials. Don’t like one you see or hear? Think of how you’d improve it.

14. Do an extreme little home makeover: hang a picture, clean the junk drawer, move some furniture.

15. Get lost. On purpose. Drive and drive till you don’t know where you are. Discover someplace new, then find your way home.

16. Pick people out of a crowd and guess their name, occupation and relationship status. Totally fun to do with a friend!

17. Ask your bookshelf to deliver the wisdom you need right here, right now. Approach the book you feel most called to and open it to a random page. What does its message mean to you?

18. Laugh every day. Watch, listen to or read something funny. Connect with a funny friend. Giggle at your own inside jokes.

19. Jot down on the calendar not just what you have to do tomorrow, but what you loved about this day.

And…bing-bang-bam! Creative juices? Flowing! Inspiration? Knocking! Imagination? Activated! Go set the world on fire, baby!

 

 

Christmas Magic: How To Make a Memory Tree {12.06.11}

Our Christmas tree is up – is yours? We always go get a tree on Thanksgiving weekend so I can spend as much time with it as humanly possible {five weeks minimum!}. There is something so magical to me about having a giant tree loaded with twinkling lights INSIDE our house. 
But it’s more than that. The tree is also so special to me because of the memories it holds. Decorating it is like traveling through time; each ornament is stored in a Ziploc baggie with a Post-It note I’ve written to remind me of the ornament’s significance. Like this horse-themed weather vane given to me as a reminder of my cowgirl-themed birthday party months earlier. Memories came flooding back as I hung the ornament on our tree: the horse-drawn hay ride with all my friends around me, the cowgirl handkerchief around my neck, the lodge where we ate cake and opened presents, the innocence of 10. 
My parents {okay, let’s be honest – my mom!} did this every year for my brother and me; one of our Christmas gifts was always a special ornament. And now I do the same for my kids. There’s a little drummer boy from the year Ryder got his first drum set. There’s one with Captain Hook to remind him of our family trip to Disney World. There’s a sweet lamb from Truman’s first Christmas. 
Someday, when the boys are all grown up, I’ll give them each their box of ornaments, with notes from their mama attached and the hope that they bring back sweet memories of childhood and add magic to their families’ trees. It’s such a sweet and simple way to capture and commemorate those little moments that really do matter. 

Recycled Gift Idea: Think Outside The Box {07.08.11}

A few weeks ago, my friend Bridget gave me a bag full of empty boxes. Jewelry boxes, candy boxes, stationery boxes – all different shapes and sizes. She was going to throw them away, but then decided to give them to me in hopes I could turn her trash into treasure. 
That bag of boxes sat in my dudio for weeks – staring me down, challenging me to make something out of nothing. This week, I finally pulled them out and had so much fun! This box was a dark brown jewelry box. I covered it with scraps of pretty papers, using Mod Podge as my sealant. I tore some scraps of paper for an unfinished look, others I cut using crafting scissors. The corners were the trickiest; I used tissue-thin, handmade paper and used it like wrapping paper, folding the corners in around the box and then carefully coating the paper in Mod Podge {I didn’t want it to rip!}. 
I happen to like things that look a little rough around the edges, so I wasn’t concerned about the way my folded papers laid inside the lid of the box and I didn’t mind smudges from the green paint I applied to the bottom half of the box. I purposefully did just one coat so some of the brown bled through, giving the box an aged and imperfect look. When the paper was dry, I stamped the words so blessed along with some striped circles {which I smeared a bit to add a little more character}. 
I kinda love the way it turned out and it was totally fun to give it to Bridget yesterday! 
p.s. Don’t miss my gift for you, too – I’m giving away four $25 gift certificates to my shop! Woot!

Recycled Gift Idea: Think Outside The Box {07.08.11}

A few weeks ago, my friend Bridget gave me a bag full of empty boxes. Jewelry boxes, candy boxes, stationery boxes – all different shapes and sizes. She was going to throw them away, but then decided to give them to me in hopes I could turn her trash into treasure. 
That bag of boxes sat in my dudio for weeks – staring me down, challenging me to make something out of nothing. This week, I finally pulled them out and had so much fun! This box was a dark brown jewelry box. I covered it with scraps of pretty papers, using Mod Podge as my sealant. I tore some scraps of paper for an unfinished look, others I cut using crafting scissors. The corners were the trickiest; I used tissue-thin, handmade paper and used it like wrapping paper, folding the corners in around the box and then carefully coating the paper in Mod Podge {I didn’t want it to rip!}. 
I happen to like things that look a little rough around the edges, so I wasn’t concerned about the way my folded papers laid inside the lid of the box and I didn’t mind smudges from the green paint I applied to the bottom half of the box. I purposefully did just one coat so some of the brown bled through, giving the box an aged and imperfect look. When the paper was dry, I stamped the words so blessed along with some striped circles {which I smeared a bit to add a little more character}. 
I kinda love the way it turned out and it was totally fun to give it to Bridget yesterday! 
p.s. Don’t miss my gift for you, too – I’m giving away four $25 gift certificates to my shop! Woot!

Squeeeeal! Three Magic Things I’m Thrilled To Share!!! {06.24.11}

I’m stirring up a whole bunch of sparkly, magical goodness to share with you today, dear ones! Three things. Ready? Go!
1) I’m super tardy to the party in sharing this insanely awesome project, but I’m so excited to be part of it! The uber-amazing Amanda Oaks of Kind Over Matter had the coolest idea for an e-book. She asked 30 bloggers and big thinkers to write about one of the funniest moments in their lives and another brief essay about one of the greatest acts of kindness shown to them. The result is a heartfelt collection of 60 short stories that’ll knock your socks off. The e-book is called Re-Giving: The Gifts of Kindness & Laughter and I’ve seriously loved flipping through the stories from folks I adore and others I’m just discovering. Go grab yours for some great weekend reading!
2) I’m over the moon thrilled to have been asked to moderate a panel at The Creative Connection this September in my hometown – beautiful Minneapolis! I got to attend part of the conference last year and was so impressed by the caliber of artists, experts and content. Great creative energy! And so many amazing folks are part of this year’s event, thanks to Jo Packham and her great team. The panel I’m moderating is on Creating Community Through E-Commerce with totally awesome panelists. Thinking of coming? Let me know!! 
3) I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the students taking my e-course, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love. They are digging deep and doing such great things! For me, it’s been an incredible amount of work, but such a total joy to do. On Monday, I’m challenging them to write a post revealing something about themselves that they’ve been less than eager to share – a personality trait, a story from their past, a fear, a regret, a dream. I’m going to be sharing something here that I haven’t before – eeeeek! – and I invite you to join in the soul-searching, self-reflection fun! I’ll be hosting a link-up, so write your post and come back here on Monday morning to add your link so we can all find you and support you. 
So – those are the three big swirly bits of magic making my heart beat extra fast these days! What fun things are happening in your world? Have a spectacular weekend!

Squeeeeal! Three Magic Things I’m Thrilled To Share!!! {06.24.11}

I’m stirring up a whole bunch of sparkly, magical goodness to share with you today, dear ones! Three things. Ready? Go!
1) I’m super tardy to the party in sharing this insanely awesome project, but I’m so excited to be part of it! The uber-amazing Amanda Oaks of Kind Over Matter had the coolest idea for an e-book. She asked 30 bloggers and big thinkers to write about one of the funniest moments in their lives and another brief essay about one of the greatest acts of kindness shown to them. The result is a heartfelt collection of 60 short stories that’ll knock your socks off. The e-book is called Re-Giving: The Gifts of Kindness & Laughter and I’ve seriously loved flipping through the stories from folks I adore and others I’m just discovering. Go grab yours for some great weekend reading!
2) I’m over the moon thrilled to have been asked to moderate a panel at The Creative Connection this September in my hometown – beautiful Minneapolis! I got to attend part of the conference last year and was so impressed by the caliber of artists, experts and content. Great creative energy! And so many amazing folks are part of this year’s event, thanks to Jo Packham and her great team. The panel I’m moderating is on Creating Community Through E-Commerce with totally awesome panelists. Thinking of coming? Let me know!! 
3) I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the students taking my e-course, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love. They are digging deep and doing such great things! For me, it’s been an incredible amount of work, but such a total joy to do. On Monday, I’m challenging them to write a post revealing something about themselves that they’ve been less than eager to share – a personality trait, a story from their past, a fear, a regret, a dream. I’m going to be sharing something here that I haven’t before – eeeeek! – and I invite you to join in the soul-searching, self-reflection fun! I’ll be hosting a link-up, so write your post and come back here on Monday morning to add your link so we can all find you and support you. 
So – those are the three big swirly bits of magic making my heart beat extra fast these days! What fun things are happening in your world? Have a spectacular weekend!

Hello, Dolly! A Post For Daydream Believers {03.10.11}

Darling dollies at i like you in northeast minneapolis
I always feel a little sad for the dolls and kitties and monsters
stuck on a store shelf, 
waiting to be noticed,
longing to be loved.
I want to scoop them all up and take them home.
Maybe have a tea party. 
Maybe dress them up in polka dot doll clothes and silk capes.
Maybe give them names. 
{For instance, I think that big green monster should be called Gladys}
And then, several minutes later, 
I snap out of it…
realize I’m standing in a store…
staring into space…
daydreaming about doll clothes and tea cups and one-eyed monsters.
And I’m so glad for the unplanned trip to fantasy land!
I consider those little romps through my imagination
much-needed mini-vacations for my cluttered mind.
‘Cause I’m pretty sure a little bit of fantasy
does a world of a good for the soul
and delivers a heaping helping of happiness to the heart.
{so, daydream believers: what sights or sounds always capture your imagination? do tell!}