Monthly Archives: September 2017

3 Free Resources to Empower and Motivate You!

Do you subscribe to any e-newsletters? I bet you do!

I’m on several lists myself – a lot of them for business. Tips on writing, some related to social media, and a bunch of emails from artists I like and admire.

And there are a few I get for motivation and encouragement. I love getting emails from these lovely humans because they help me feel grounded and gives me the courage to live life that I want.

Here are my 3 favorite e-newsletters (They’re all free!):

1. Monday Morning Motivation by Personal Pep Talk

Photo by Andrew Ochoa ©Personal Pep Talk

Stacy and I met in the Master Gardener’s volunteer training several years ago. She’s got such a positive energy, and her smile always puts me in a better mood. Her compassion for  other people and the whole world runs deep, and it shows through everything she does – a true hero in my book!

She’s a teacher by trade  and has started her business, Personal Pep Talk, with her husband Eric this August. I absolutely LOVE their Personal Pepe Talk card decks – I use mine every day to practice gratitude and give myself a little TLC ❤ And her art is so charming and sweet 🙂

In her weekly newsletter, Monday Morning Motivation, Stacy shares tips on how to live mindfully and her intention for the week. What a wonderful way to start your week, right?

You can get a weekly dose of positivity and mindfulness from Stacy here.

2. 100 Uplifting Days by Jessica Swift

© Jessica Swift

I admire Jessica Swift‘s work as a surface designer so much! Her work is so colorful and cheerful, I can’t help but smile when I see her creations 🙂

So when I discovered her email series, 100 Uplifting Days, I wasted no time. I immediately signed up and enjoyed every single email that came for the next 100 days!

Every day, I’d get an email from Jessica with her colorful art and encouraging messages in my inbox (see photos above). Oftentimes, her message was SO spot on for what I was feeling that day, it really lifted up my spirits.

I was sad when the 100 days were over (FYI, you could unsubscribe and re-subscribe to start a cycle  again :D), but Jessica’s been sending out extras occasionally, so I still get her beautiful reminders here and there.

The visual of her email is so yummy. It’s a treat for your eyes and your soul! You can sign up for her email here.

3. Marie Forleo‘s MF Insider E-newsletter

© Marie Forleo

For those of you who don’t know, Marie Forleo is a life coach and entrepreneur, and I’ve been a fan of Marie TV for a couple of years.

Her motivational messages and practical tips for following your passion have been instrumental in my own journey, and I appreciate her sense of humor (and entertaining visuals on the show) when I need a little laugh 🙂

Since I don’t have time or energy to keep track of all the shows and podcasts I love (which there are many!), I signed up for her email so whenever a new content is posted, I’ll be notified.

Even if I don’t have time to watch or read her content right away, I always skim the email to get the gist of it. To me, Marie is a super successful celebrity, but she’s not afraid to share her human side generously with her viewers. When she’s answering questions from her viewers, I often feel like she’s directly talking to me because she makes it so relatable.

If you want practical and entertaining tips for your life and business, you can subscribe to Marie Forleo’s newsletter here.

These women give and share what they know so freely. Their wisdom adds so much to my life, and I hope you’ll find them helpful, too!

(I’ve been inspired to create something similar for my email subscribers, too… Stay tuned for any updates!)

Now, tell me what your favorite e-newsletters are. Please share in the comment and tell me why 🙂


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My Recent Pottery Haul

I’ve been enjoying taking a pottery class this year, and here are some of the pieces that came out of the kiln this summer.

Small & medium bowls made with slip casting technique
Homegrown blueberries & gooseberries!
I LOVE stone fruits ❤
Dahlia dessert plates. I use these pretty often!
My recent favorite – I made this plate to ripen avocados on, but of course it works for other things, too.
I’ve tried wheel throwing – it’s hard… I definitely prefer hand buildling, but I’ll continue to practice next quarter.

Our cupboards are getting pretty crowded with things I’ve brought home from the class 😀 Even though they’re not perfect, it makes me happy when I use my handmade wares.

I’ve also been experimenting with clay pendants – if they turn out OK, I’ll be offering them at holiday fairs!

I can’t wait to share what I make with you this fall!


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My Mini Sabbatical: Yayoi Kusama Exhibit at SAM

I was on my mini sabbatical a few weeks ago. I had just finished my very first trade show that Monday (woo hoo!) so I was READY to relax and unwind big time!

I’d been meaning to see Yayoi Kusama‘s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum for sometime, and I finally did!

It was a VERY popular exhibit, so I had to wait in line for 2.5 hours to get my ticket (all the advance tickets had been sold out), and then come back a few hours later to actually get in to my time slot 😀 It was definitely an all-day affair!

But the exhibit was purely magical, and here are some of the highlights:

When you enter the exhibit, you were greeted by Kusama’s large bright paintings! Such intense colors and shapes – it makes me want to paint big paintings, too.

And her soft sculpture pieces. It reminds me of some kind of viruses under a microscope!


Phalli’s Field

Then you wait in line (again!) to enter each of the infinity rooms. Only a few people are allowed to get in at a time for 20-30 seconds each.

Love Forever

I felt like I snuck in to a world of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie And the Chocolate Factory! So playful and full of wonder.

Entrance to the Dots Obsession – Love Transformed into Dots
Inside of Dots Obsession
Mini dots obsession you peep into.
The Obliteration Room a.k.a. sticker room. Each visitor is given a sheet of stickers to add to the room! So cool.
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. This room is filled with golden flickering lanterns. Truly magical.

I watched a brief video of Kusama’s interview as well. It was inspiring and touching to see her talk about her hopes and intention for her work, which is to create love and peace in the world. (here is a snippet you can watch.) She’s been making art every day for 70 years. Yes, seventy! If that’s not inspiring, I don’ t know what is!

It was an awesome exhibit. Made me realize again how powerful art is. I was transported into another world and experienced pure joy and wonder. So glad I got to do that! 🙂 If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it!

Keep playing, and have a magical day, friend 🙂


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2018 Happy Beautiful Day Calendar Creative Process

I’ve created a new calendar for 2018, and I’m excited to share with you my creative process!

Ta Da! Here is my 2018 Happy Beautiful Day calendar!

Last year, I created a calendar with positive and uplifting messages and it was very popular.

And to understand better what my fans would want, I’d also sent out a survey and asked  what they liked about my work earlier this year. The overwhelming response was that they liked my sense of colors, handwriting, and positive messages.

I had many (many!) directions to take my calendar but eventually decided to go with floral motifs.

A part of me was afraid I would be seen as a one trick pony because I draw and paint flowers all. the. time.

But then realized it’s OK to make something purely because I love it. I don’t need to “one up” myself or push myself to be different all the time. After all, my joy needs to be behind everything I create, and I’m pretty sure other people enjoy pretty flowers as much as I do 🙂

I’d already created several flower paintings in my daily painting practice earlier this year, so I created several more new images to make it 12.

These paintings are done in watercolor and gouache (an opaque watercolor) which are my favorite medium. I tend to work small, and this one is no exception. But since my calendar is pretty small (about 5″x8″) it works out just fine.

Brush lettering with my Pigma brush pen.

For the texts, I first did a couple of rounds of brainstorming and jotted down phrases that made me happy and grounded.

I then picked 12 phrases that fit with each other that were short enough so it wouldn’t take up too much space on the page.

After deciding on which image works best for which month, I designed the calendar pages in Photoshop.

After many tweaks and edits, it went to print and turned out so beautiful ❤


My 2018 Happy Beautiful Day calendar is going to be available to my newsletter subscribers on Thursday, September 7th at a special early bird price.

(If you’re not on the list yet, you can sign up here.)

For everyone else, the calendar will be available at full price in my Etsy shop on Wednesday, September 20th.

Well, friend, I hope you enjoyed the sneak preview!


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