It’s crazy this year is almost over… When this post comes out, I’m gonna be teaching my last block printing workshop of the year! Then heading out to Wisconsin in a couple of days to see my in-laws! It’s definitely feeling like the holidays now.
I’m calling it the Mindfulness Art series because I created it to remind myself to have peace and calm in my life.
I started creating this art series after going to my second 10-day silent meditation retreat earlier this year (you can learn more about my experience here.) I came home super chill and centered and wanted to nurture those blissful feelings by creating these artwork.
I hope my art and the messages will help you find a little peace and positivity in your life, too! That’s what it’s all about anyway 🙂
And if you’re a Seattle local, I’m showing them at Tin Umbrella Coffee in south Seattle throughout the month of December, so go check them out 🙂
p.s. These art prints will also be available on my Etsy shop as well, so check back and/or sign up for my newsletter to be notified when they become available 🙂 Bonus if you tell me which ones you’d like to see as a print!
Ok, friend, I hope you have a wonderful day and a peaceful holiday season!
(OK, not really – I’m writing this post before I left for my 10-day meditation retreat…and am just about done and getting ready to come home when this post comes out :))
Anyway, I’ll tell you more about how my meditation retreat went next week. I promise.
For now, you can assume it was ________________ (fill in the blank: life-changing, awesome, terrible, hard, boring, enriching, deeply insightful, painful, healing, waste of time, so worth it, tiring, etc. etc.)
Since I don’t have much to say about my meditation retreat yet, I wanted to share a recipe for Metta Balls today!
What’s a Metta Ball, you ask? Metta is a term used in Buddhist teaching, meaning “loving kindness.” Metta Ball is a no-bake, nutty and sweet treat that is super easy to put together and of course, so very good.
Meal time is definitely a highlight of the meditation retreat when all you do is sit and try to observe your inner chatter all day long.
And every once in a while, they serve you a dessert. Metta Ball is one of their dessert options.
At the time I’m writing this post, I’m really hoping they serve it at the retreat! With my current dietary restrictions, this is pretty much the only dessert I can eat out of all of their options.
I know I’m supposed to let go of my desires and wishes during the meditation… but desire for a good dessert is probably the last thing I’ll let go of 😀
Be warned – it’s addictive.
When I made these a few weeks ago, I kept peeking in the fridge and reaching in the tupperware, like every 20 minutes. This little treat goes perfect with milk. Or rather, you need milk to wash down the peanut butter that sticks all over your teeth 😀 He he.
Since my parents wouldn’t let me have cats for a long time, I fantasized about having one pretty much 24/7.
My husband, Dave, always loved animals and was more of a dog person when we met. He was even allergic to cats growing up. But magically, he grew out of his cat allergy as he got older – it’s like he was destined to meet me, a hopeless cat-lover!
I had my two cats, Lulu and Sheppie, from my previous relationship, when we met.
They were pretty much my babies. It was important to me that whoever I’d bring in to our life would understand how important they were to me and at least tolerate them, if not love them.
To my delight, my kitties won him over pretty quickly with their cuteness, loving personality (in their cat-like ways), and their comical antics.
Dave is so sweet and loving with any and all cats he meets. I sometimes wonder if he’s become a bigger cat person than I am now!
We’ve been through some scary and tough situations with our cats, too – especially, losing Lulu last year was extremely heartbreaking. He’s been my rock through thick and thin, and I’m really grateful to have him in my life.
On Father’s Day, I like to thank him for being an awesome dad to my cats.
I’ve been making a cat Father’s Day card just for him in previous years because let’s face it, my cats are not very crafty 😀
And, I thought there might be other people who want to celebrate their cat dad, too!
So I decided to share this special Father’s Day card with you.
Make your special (cat-obsessed) man smile this Father’s Day 🙂 You can order yours here.
p.s. I’m going to be closing my shop between June 1 – 12, 2016 so please place your order before May 30th in order for your card to be shipped by May 31st!
My new art collection, Eat a Rainbow, will launch exactly two weeks from today on Sunday May 1!
Woo hoo! I’m very excited 🙂
By the way, if you’ve missed the previous behind the scenes sneak previews, you can check them out here and here.
Today, I want to introduce you to my new notecards!
Just like my new art prints, the notecards come in 4 new designs: Eat a Rainbow, Pepper, Tomato, and Summer Berry.
These are going to be available as single card or as a set. I mean how could you choose, right?
I love pretty notecards. Whenever I’m at a craft show or visiting a cute gift shop on vacation, I pick up a few. They’re like a tiny gift of art that is also practical.
But I also admit that I have piles of pretty notecards I have accumulated over the years.
If you’re thinking – what do I do with more notecards? Fear not.
I’ve compiled 6 creative ways you can use these watercolor art notecards this summer!
1. Start a new tradition and send your handwritten season’s greetings to your friends and family during the summer.
Do you send your family and friends greeting cards during the winter holidays? Well, it’s been almost 6 months, isn’t it?
How would they feel if they received an unexpected season’s greetings from you this summer?
I would think happy, delighted, and loved.
In Japan there is a custom to send a letter or a greeting card to friends and family during the summer months to wish them well – or more like “I hope you’re surviving the super hot and humid summer season OK.” If you ever lived or visited there in summer, you know how miserable it gets… 😀
I love traditions like that where it’s not related to any particular holidays. You simply reach out and say “I hope your summer is going well!”
Help them cool down with these refreshing watercolor art notecards!
2. It’s a perfect summer birthday card.
Each of the notecards feature my colorful and refreshing drawings of summer’s bounty and makes a perfect summer birthday card!
These cards are printed on a cotton savoy card stock and feel very soft and luxurious. It can totally be enjoyed as a framed mini-art after they read your thoughtful birthday message 🙂
Bonus if your birthday people are also into gardening, farmers’ markets, cooking, and, of course, eating good food ❤
3. Write a thank you note to your neighbor who brings you her homemade blueberry jam every summer.
Are you one of the lucky people who have that special neighbor who loves to make jam with fresh, seasonal berries AND share them with you?? Homemade blueberry jam is my favorite, by the way!
Write a thank you note in my Summer Berry notecard and tell her how much you appreciate the delicious gift!
(Hint: she’ll probably bring you more goodies if you do :))
4. Your tomatoes are doing a little too well and you don’t know what to do with all of your bounty?? Invite your friends over for a tomato canning party!
I have a friend who plants lots and lots (I mean LOTS) of tomato plants every year, and she turns them into delicious tomato sauce and cans them.
If you’re a canner, you know it is a “process.” You need to clean, peel, chop, measure, season, and cook your veggies or fruits. You prepare your jars and lids and can them in boiling water in a hot kitchen.
I love canning but it can be quite time consuming and labor intensive.
It’d be a lot more fun if you have your friends over and enjoy the process while catching up on your summer happenings.
Make it a special event by sending them my Tomato notecard as a handwritten invitation!
5. Send your family an illustrated report of what’s growing in your garden.
If you live in a similar climate to Seattle and have a vegetable garden, you’re probably growing many things (if not all!) that are illustrated on my Eat a Rainbow notecard.
Perhaps your parents are retired in Hawaii, or your brother lives in New Zealand. These everyday veggies we take for granted may be quite interesting to those who are not familiar.
Show and tell what you’re growing in your garden this summer with your loved ones living far away.
6. Invite your friends to a garden potluck party!
Are you planning an outdoor potluck, wedding, birthday, anniversary, or retirement party this summer? Get your guests excited about the fun you’re about to have by sending an invite with these notecards!
The colorful and fresh vegetables and berries on these notecards scream garden party.
Send your invitations early before everyone’s calendar starts filling up this summer 🙂
Invitations have already gone out? (You, organized you!) You can send your guests these notecards as a thank you card later for making your party special.
However you decide to use these notecards, you’re sure gonna make them (and you!) smile 🙂
I’ve been dealing with a few different digestive issues lately and discovered that eating small meals and munching on snacks between meals help me feel good physically and mentally.
There is a Japanese phrase, “eating until 80% full,” as a good practice for your digestive and overall health. I guess it’s kind of a common sense that overeating is not good for you, but I’ve become more aware of it as it relates to my own health lately.
When I snack (and I LOVE to snack), I try to eat whole foods that are nutritionally rich and filling. I’m a very practical person, and if I can eat only a small portion of food at one sitting, I want more bang for the buck!!
I love avocados. I’m sad that we can’t grow them here (who knows what’ll happen in some years with the climate change and everything…?) but we buy them regularly because they’re SO GOOD.
I love its creamy texture and how versatile it is. It’s packed with beneficial nutrients and vitamins (you can learn more here) and goes with practically everything. And the “good” fat and fiber it contains allow me to feel full even if I eat just a small amount of it.
This Avo Toast has been my go-to snack between breakfast and lunch lately. The buttery, creamy avocado with a hint of refreshing lime juice and a tiny bit of sea salt on a warm, crunchy toast is simply divine.
And it only takes 5 minutes to prepare, if that! I’m always looking for a recipe that takes only a handful of ingredients to make (I often get turned off when I see 7 or more ingredients in a recipe…:D), and this Avo Toast recipe is definitely a keeper!
I hope you got a chance to see the sneak preview of my new summer product line, Eat a Rainbow, that’s going to launch on Sunday May 1 last week. If you missed it, go here to get a sneak preview now!
It’s my first attempt to release a cohesive art product line on a regular basis (my goal is one collection per season). I’m starting small with just a handful of new art prints and notecards.
In this new collection, I’m releasing 4 new designs: Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Tomato, and Summer Berry. All things I love and look forward to in summer!
For the new art prints, I selected the Premium Giclee Paper as recommended by the printshop I work with (I work with FinerWorks, and they’re great by the way!), and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the products! I gasped when I opened up the mail to see these prints for the first time because they’re so beautiful ❤
The texture on the paper adds so much to the luminosity of the watercolor illustration. To be completely honest, it looks even better than my original 😀
Take a closer look and you’ll totally agree.
Just picture these vibrant watercolor drawings of fresh vegetables and berries hanging in your dining room. Imagine how inviting your home will be for your friends and family. You’ll be treating them to a feast not only to fill their bellies but their heart, too ❤
Eat a Rainbow art collection will launch on Sunday May 1 🙂 Stay tuned for more updates next week!