Monthly Archives: August 2009

Summer giveaway: A Parking Day t-shirt!

me and matt in the Rebar tees, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Many of you know that my super creative husband Matt (and his group Rebar) are the masterminds behind an international event called Park(ing) Day. Basically, on the same day all over the world, artists, activists and citizens transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing) spaces: temporary public parks. All sorts of wonderful shenanigans crop up in them: lemonade stands, free bicycle repair stations, libraries, etc. It is a really fun day!

The original Park(ing) Day project, SF, 2005, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

The original Park(ing) day in 2005, involved Rebar doing a guerilla art project of feeding a parking meter in downtown San Francisco, laying down a bed of sod, a park bench, and a tree in it. We watched as people interacted with this tiny little park and photographed the heck out of it. Well, as many good things have, this idea went viral and now every year, people all over the world are doing it on the same day.

You can too! or you can visit the parks in your own city on September 18th. Be sure to get your Park(ing) Day t-shirt and celebrate with all of us on the 18th. (This year’s shirt was beautifully designed by Maki Kawaguchi) In the meantime, leave a comment to be in the running for a free t-shirt! I love mine.

Giveaway Guidelines:
– You have until 9PM PST on Wednesday, September 2nd to enter this giveaway.
– Just make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
– This is a random drawing
– One entry per person, please. (Just push “post” ONCE and wait a few seconds. The comment should appear)

if your soul is calling, listen*

Jen Gray, labyrinth, Manzanita, Oregon, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

For those of you who are longing for community and a gathering like we did in Oregon, Kelly Rae and Jen Lemen just posted a great guide on Kelly Rae’s blog. I just read it and it inspired me all over again. For those of you with find a tribe on your Mondo Beyondo list, this might be for you.

And the random winner of Ali Edwards’ class is Linda who said, Thanks for this chance to win. Ali is my hero. She encourages me to tell what is important! Congratulations Linda!

Summer Giveaway: Ali Edwards online workshop*

Ali Edwards’ and little Anna, Manzanita, Oregon, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

If you don’t know Ali Edwards’, she is a brilliant designer, scrapbooking artist, author and speaker. There is so much inspiration to find over at her beautiful site. (She also happens to have the loveliest baby ever named Anna who was with us in Oregon last week. See above photo)

Today one lucky winner will receive a spot in Ali Edwards’ upcoming online workshop Yesterday & Today Thank you for offering this Ali!

Giveaway Guidelines:
– You have until 9PM PST on Wednesday, August 26th to enter this giveaway.
– Just make a comment ON THIS POST to enter.
– This is a random drawing
– One entry per person, please. (Just push “post” ONCE and wait a few seconds. The comment should appear)

written on the body*

Me, photo by Jen Gray, Manzanita, Oregon, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

One of the greatest gifts from my weekend away was being painted by the amazing Katherine Center. In addition to being a writer, she is also a painter, and brought her favorite brush with her for a special project: She would paint our bodies (our arms, our hands, our back, our chests) with whatever words we most needed to hear. The message could be directed at our bodies or simply our spirits. They could be individual words, a line of poetry, whatever was meaningful to us.

What unfolded was a surprisingly deep ritual. When it was my turn, I was surprised by how shy I felt. She asked me what word I wanted and I stuttered and stammered, resisting the word that kept coming to mind: lovable. Really? I thought. Does it have to be lovable? That’s so pathetic and embarrassing…
Then I started to cry, and finally eeked the word out. Okay, lovable.

Katherine Center, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Katherine wrote it over and over across my arm, in big flowy cursive, in smaller printed type. I saw the word creep over my shoulder, and felt the tickle of her brush across my hand. The black paint seeped into my skin, and as those words seeped in, of course the truth of it seeped in too. It felt incredibly vulnerable, which made me want to cry once again.

Here is a collection of images from other Lovebombers that day. If you were to be painted, what words would you choose?

Kelly Rae Roberts and Brene Brown, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Myriam, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Mondo Beyondo important message*

Well, two important messages:
1. You are enough
2. If you are enrolled in the first session of Mondo Beyondo, it starts Monday, August 24th. If you haven’t heard from us and logged in to the private site, we don’t have your correct email address. (Maybe we have your paypal address that you don’t use?)

Please contact us ASAP at [email protected]

Jen and I could not be happier with how everything is coming together! The class is going to be phenomenal, especially with this group of people. See you on Monday!

on finding your sparkle again*

Me and Kelly Rae doing the pony, Manzanita, Oregon, photo by Jen Lee,Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I got my sparkle back in Manzanita, Oregon.

Every year I spend a week on the Oregon coast with some very dear friends in my creative community. We rent a house on the beach, we cook, we dance, we make art. We call it Lovebomb.

It is an extraordinary group of women from all over the country. We are all artists. We are mostly bloggers. We are all different, but share a few important things in common: A commitment to authenticity, growth, and telling our stories. We are all on a journey toward a deep knowing of who we are, of recognizing our gifts, of bringing our own special kind of medicine to the world.

The first year we met was last year and we were a little unsure. Many of us didn’t know each other and we arrived with our worries as well as a lot of hope and faith in our hearts. Throw 13 women in the same room and your 7th grade stuff is bound to come up, right? Are they going to like me? Do I have anything to offer? They’re all so pretty. Do I even belong here?

But there is a culture of kindness, generosity, and support that is paramount in this circle. We really, really adore and respect each other. That said, it was still a vulnerable act for each of us to come. This year was like a big exhale. We didn’t bring lots of gifts, we didn’t talk about work, we didn’t have to prove anything or being anything special. We just brought ourselves and some really good chocolate.

Maybe it was the singing along really loud to Lionel Richie, or the gin and tonics I had on Saturday night. Or maybe it happened while Kelly Rae and I did the pony dance (slapping our own behinds) and the running man in the living room. Maybe it was all the love and friendship in the room. But there were moments when I felt like I was really, truly coming alive, waking up pieces of myself that have been alseep for a very long time.

I laughed a lot. I cracked myself up. I felt like me.

Kelly Rae and me doing the running man, Manzanita, Oregon, photo by Jen Lee, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I called Matt that night and gushed to him into the phone. “Matt, I’m having so much fun, and I’m being so funny.” I could feel his smile on the other end of the line. “You deserve every bit of that fun!” While still in Oregon, I got a call from an old friend and excitedly told her how much fun I was having too. “When was the last time I was lighthearted?” She didn’t skip a beat. “Since right before you went through infertility.”

That was five years ago.

We have probably all heard about Jill Bolte Taylor and her Stroke of Insight, right? I have thought of her work and story a lot and how she says that different thoughts create grooves in our mind. The more we think those same thoughts, the deeper the grooves become. After her stroke, she was able to consciously choose which thoughts she wanted to put back in the mix. If they didn’t make her feel good, they didn’t make the cut. She encourages us to do the same. Certain thoughts and ways of being are habit and we can choose to reinforce them or not.

This weekend awakened visceral memories for me of times when I felt truly happy, truly alive, light and free. It was like I was awakening those synapses again and inviting them to fire away. We want more of you! Welcome to my world! I feel more balanced as a result. My intensity is still there, my uptightness, my attraction to the dark, but I feel as if I widened my range to include more joy and laughter too. It has been profound and healing.

There is more to share and lots more photos, but I will begin here, in case anyone else is in needing of finding a lost sparkle. If I had known I had lost it, I would have prayed for it. If I had known where to find it, I would have hightailed it there fast. Sometimes it sneaks up on you though, in the midst of shaking your booty to a song called Low, in the most raucous kind of fun.

P.S. If you are inspired by this idea and longing for a community for yourself, I encourage you to extend an invitation to some people in your circle. You can start small and see where it goes… All you need are a few like-minded souls who are hungry to connect, support and celebrate with you. It really is magic.

It could be anything from a meetup in your city to a full on travel adventure. Like Kelly Rae said on her blog today, sometimes we need to create the kind of times we’re longing for. For any of you taking the Mondo Beyondo course, this might be a great Mondo Beyondo dream to put on your list!

magic hour*

Beautiful Denise, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I don’t normally get a “vision” for how I’m going to photograph my clients. Mostly, I take it as it comes. The light, the mood, the moment… it gets created very spontaneously and I don’t have much of an agenda.

This session was different. I saw it fully formed in my mind several hours before: A vintage slip, magic hour sunshine, sexy, pretty, the golden light in Denise’s curly hair, a wheaty field…. I was giddy at the thought and texted her from my walk along the Berkeley Marina. 

Do you have a vintage slip? I’m thinking sexy, sexy magic hour sunshine… !

I didn’t hear back from her for hours. Did she not get the text? Did she not like the idea? Was that whole sexy undergarment thing inappropriate? I was immediately embarrassed that I had asked. I called her to check in and heard someone else’s voicemail entirely. I was confused until I realized I had been texting the wrong Denise!


Me and all the Denises had a good laugh about it (out of context it sounded like a racy invitation!) and it turns out Denise brought a sexy little slip dress anyway. My vision was realized!

Denise and JB, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Denise and JB, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Denise and JB, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Denise and JB, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Denise and JB, Tilden park, Berkeley, CA Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Congratulations on your engagement you two! It was such an honor and pleasure to capture your playful connection, romance and true love. Swoon-worthy you guys.

chicken ben

Ben, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

This is Ben doing his chicken dance. It is totally irrestible and I couldn’t even post it with the other dancing photo, because I might have overwhelmed you with too much adorable Ben-ness.

Ben, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

We are having the sweetest time together these days…. No words, just so much gratitude and joy.

Ben and me watching Ben’s first rainbow, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi