Sponsor Spotlight: The Creative Explorer’s Club + Ruby Loves Jewelry

Here are a few delights for your eyes and imagination courtesy of two of our sponsors. If you’d like to become a sponsor, we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Amber at: [email protected] to get all of the details. 


Creative Explorer's Club 

The Creative Explorer’s Club is a playground of creative inspiration!

Take an interactive journey of self-discovery and artful self-expression
where you can explore your creative process through the healing power of art
using symbols, words and images
and learn how to develop a regular and sustainable creative practice
by developing systems and rituals to manage your time and activities.
Oh – and of course you’ll have lots of fun along the way also.

For full details please visit The Creative Explorer’s Club.


Ruby Loves Jewelry

Mother’s Day is coming! Place your order before May 1 to
receive 15% off with coupon code: RUBYLOVESMOMS
Visit Ruby Loves Jewelry at www.rubyloves.etsy.com


Creative joy

Ben in his crazy pants, shot with Canon Xsi

You guys are awesome. Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses to my posts lately. They are nourishing me in the best ways and I am grateful every day to have you here.

Below is a tiny little interview I did to celebrate the Creative Joy retreat ladies.

Q: What is creative joy for you?

Creative joy for me is being in the flow. It is being inside a project, a creative task, even going to the art supply store for the right tools. Creative joy for me is being in the aliveness of the thing, as opposed to standing on the outside looking in.

Often, this simply means beginning. It means, stop thinking about it sister! and get into action. It means, stop trying to make it perfect and just do it. It means, let it be messy, unformed and full of energy.

Q: What did it look like this week?

This week my creative joy looked like getting back in balance. It looked like filling out tax forms, registering my son for kindergarten and de-cluttering my house. It looked like making space for my creativity to show up. It was about creating the best conditions for creativity to naturally come through.

Q: What gets in the way for you?

Wanting to do it perfectly, obsessive email checking.

Q: What feeds it?

Quiet time, long showers, travel to somewhere new, color, moving my body.

Q: What’s your learning edge with creative joy these days?

These days I am learning to turn on the faucet. To just let the words come without so much worry about getting it right.




It’s not too late to join in the fun!

Matt and Nico, the family band is already blooming, shot with iphone 4S

I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking if there is still room in the current session of Superhero Photo! The answer is an emphatic yes! and I would love to have you.

Catchup will be easy peasy. Just register and I will get you all sorted out.

It has been a wonderfully energetic group and I encourage you to dive in if you are feeling curious about taking your photography/creativity new places.

This will probably be the last session of the Basics until Fall. Yes, you!


Wanting to stay connected*

Ben in his new pimped out clubhouse

We decided to cut down on the TV watching in Ben’s life. For the last year or more, I have been letting Ben watch videos around dinnertime. This helps me juggle two boys more efficiently, make dinner, run a tub, tuck the baby into bed, without completely losing my cool at every turn. It was totally my way to cope and Ben was completely on board. Endless episodes of the Backyardigans and Sponge Bob, Scooby Doo and the Wonder Pets are his crack cocaine.

And like any addict, he was devastated when I broke the news. “Hey Ben,” I said a little tentatively, “We’re not going to watch any videos today and we’re going to stop for a while.” He was outraged. He sobbed in the back seat of the car and told me he was going to pack some snacks and leave. He said he was going to move to another house, with another family. He told me that he’s sorry, he knows I’ll be sad, but I can visit him if I want.

I tried not to take this too personally. And considered locking the doors when we got home, just in case.

But the beauty of being 5 is that he forgot by the time we got home and when I suggested a bath with his brother he cheered a joyous, yes! and we all had a sweet time. There were more tears, for several days after school while we were breaking the habit, but it was much easier than I had thought.

My word of the year

I should back up and add one more thing to the background of all this. My word of the year- connected. I chose this word for many reasons, but one of the people I most want to feel connected to is Ben. As often happens when a new baby is born, my cozy relationship with my eldest was disrupted. I noticed it immediately in those first weeks back from the hospital. I literally had a baby in my arms or at my breast all the time and as much as I tried to stay connected with Ben, something shifted. There was literally another human standing between us! We have evolved since then of course, but the fact remains — our relationship is different now. We are navigating our way through the dynamics of a family of four. The shift was natural, but I feel a loss.

I have been wanting to spend more one on one time with Ben, have special dates with him, be sure that our connection stays alive and strong. I’m amazed how one little hot chocolate date at the cafe up the street, or a ride on a bus together to the kite festival can loom so large in his mind. “Remember when we went to the kite festival together mama? Just you and me?” he asked me the other day.

I had an intuition that this TV thing was one of our barriers, so in the spirit of connection, I bit the bullet. Unexpectedly, the first thing I noticed was how tired Ben was at the end of the day. Suddenly, without the option of a video, he started begging me to put him down at 5 or 6pm. His seizure medication has the unfortunate side effect of fatigue and we had to increase his dose recently. The 5pm videos were keeping him stimulated enough to stay up and neither of us actually noticed how tired his little body was. I was so glad to be more connected to how he was actually feeling and to know that he was connecting in to that too.

He still asks and protests this new policy regularly, but it has fostered what I had hoped- a connection that I thought I might have lost when Nico was born. And Ben has been outside more. Building his treehouse empire, practicing his ninja moves and taking more baths at night to chill out.

I would be lying if I said I don’t miss those videos! It was an easy way for me to get some much needed quiet time, get some work done in a pinch or tidy up the house without it being ransacked. ? But I’m clear I have gained something I wanted much more than a clean house or tidy inbox- the chance to connect, play and engage with one of the more adorable five year olds in the world.

I’m curious

What is your policy about TV in your house? or video games and other media? What have you noticed about it? Just for the record, I am not against TV, but very curious about how we use it and what my limits should be around it (both for myself and for my kids)

What have you noticed about your connection to your kids and screen time?


Sponsor Spotlight

Thanks to all of our April sponsors! If you’d like to become a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights), we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Amber at: [email protected] to get all of the details.


Soul*Full Photography Retreat with Catherine Just


Oregon Coast Photography Retreat June 6th-10th, 2012
with award-winning photographer Catherine Just

What happens when you allow yourself the time to dive deep into your creativity?

What if you mix it with:

  • a charming beach house on the Oregon coastline
  • a group of fabulous like-minded women
  • tea and meditation
  • journaling and discussion
  • mindful photography

Grab your camera and let’s find out! All levels of photography are welcome.

You can view a video of past Oregon retreats HERE.

Only 5 spaces left!
Register now!

Click HERE for more information and to sign up.
See you at the beach house!


Chris Guillebeau – Unconventional Guides

Unconventional Guides – Practical Resources for World Domination

Unconventional Guides is a very small business designed to help people achieve their big goals and do more of what they love. The goal is to empower our customers to take control of their careers and passions away from gatekeepers and put it into their own hands.

Whether you want to share your book with the world, break out of the 9-5, build an empire or simply become your own frequent flyer master, the online store is stocked with resources for artists, entrepreneurs, travelers, and aspiring rockstars of all kinds. Everything in the store is backed by a 100%, rock-your-world guarantee for a full year, and more resources are on the way.

Viva la revolution!


Cypress Sun Jewelry

It’s time for the big Spring Sale at Cypress Sun Jewelry!

This once a year sale will run through May 7, and here are the sweet details:

Use code springsun at checkout for 30% off before noon on April 25, 2012. After noon on April 25 through May 7, save 20% with code springsun. (All times are CST.)

It’s a great deal either way, but get your order in early for not only the best deal, but to get your Mother’s Day shopping done – and done well!

Check out the brand new lariat necklaces and earrings, and keep in mind that all lariats can be ordered in just the right size for you or the lucky recipient. They’ll also arrive beautifully wrapped & ready to give. Hurry over to the shop now!


Vivienne McMaster – Re-Writing the Story

Re-Writing the Story is a brand new e-course by photographer Vivienne McMaster. It invites you to explore the way that self-portraits can allow us to see ourselves in a new way, to re-write a new story of how we see ourselves.

This powerful class involves writing exercises, supportive self-portrait activities and an incredibly strong community energy that Vivienne’s classes are known for. There are limited spots in this course and the class is already half full so come join us for a powerful and transformative class!

You can find out more about this class and other e-course offerings at Vivienne’s new site!