Category Archives: Friends

Happy Spring!


Where I live in the Rocky Mountains spring does not arrive with an abundance of color. The signs of spring are much more subtle here at 7,000 feet – like the tiny dot of brilliant gold from the one lonely crocus in my front yard.

Although some yards have many colorful crocuses, the real signs of spring are more like

warm big blue days on the slopes where the snow is till abundant (fortunately)…


temperatures warm enough to stop and create ephemeral art while out on a hike…


beautiful ice crystal patterns along Cottonwood…


the sun not dipping behind the 14,000 + ft peaks until nearly 7:30 pm…


And if we’re lucky a spring blizzard that dumps a few more feet of snow in the mountains before the real melting begins…

A strong spring run-off is vitally important to feed the rivers and farmlands and to help to keep the dust at bay (at least for a little while).
And it is then that the leaves will begin to bud and the flowers will begin to unfurl their color, in earnest, in my Rocky Mountain valley.

How does spring unfurl where you live? I’d love to hear about it!

Wishing you the happiest of springs!





P.S. Unfurl is the word that I will be using as I create the color-in play sheet for the April Mermaid Tales ezine. I’d love to have you join me there. Click here to learn more and sign-up.

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Filed under Creativity, Everyday Adventure, Friends, Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature, Playing, Playing at Altitude

adventure and joy in expression


Where to begin…I thought it best to remember my space. Here in the shadow of this stunning desert landscape I painted a landscape, of sorts, of my own.

If you had told me when I arrived to Ghost Ranch for a week of Painting from Your Wild Heart on Thursday afternoon that I would be taking home a 6ft high by 7.5ft wide painting a week later I would have chuckled with amusement and disbelief.

I came to this magical land with an open heart and little expectation. I left with a full and open heart, and another magical landscape of my own. My new landscape is so full of possibility and love and enthusiasm for the creative process – mine and seedlings of more ways to share it with others.

[note – this is a rather long post, and I have written it as much for me as for you]

PaintingBegins My painting began in a predictable way…with curving lines. These lines are always comforting to me, and form a river. The female figure was a bit of a surprise, but it was still a river. And the colors – purples & blues – all me!

Adding the golden leaves also felt predictable and comfortable, especially as it is September and fall in the high country.

The next day I covered the leaves with rocks, and I also played with color and texture in the river. I honestly wanted to be finished then – because I thought this lovely figure/river would look beautiful where I had another tall intuitive artwork piece in my studio.Phase1Complete

But the point wasn’t to create a piece for the wall, it was to go where the juiciness laid.

What scared me Chris would ask?

I was was scared, and also intrigued, to go bigger. This river wanted to be turned on it’s side and have paper added above. And so I listened…

Once I added paper I did not know what wanted to happen next; my first lines were words written with a white oil pastel: Every being and spirit deserves to be, even me. The next lines were not all that unpredictable – the rock cliffs I was looking out upon as I painted.

Angsty feelings arose as I added color to the cliffs with watered down paint – until some magic happened.

PaintingLight-ShadowThe sun hit my painting and the most amazing shadows appeared in the ripples of the paper. I felt like I was looking upon the beautiful canyon walls that surround Ghost Ranch. I could not have not done this if I had tried.

Next I created a night sky.

Then I wanted to add a Coelophysis dinosaur (I had walked along the Coelophysis Quarry on one of my hikes and my fascination had taken me to the Museum of Paleontology on the Ghost Ranch grounds afterwards.) I am not confident in my drawing skills, and I only had a hazy recollection of the skeleton I had seen at the museum.

Phase2-InProgressChris firmly and lovingly told me that I could not look at anything for reference – that this would squash my creativity. But she insisted I could create the dinosaur, and it would be my creature.

Ha I thought…and then…what could I lose by trying. I went for it, and I love him.

PaintingDetailsMy painting began to become a world for every being and spirit (even fairies:) This was not a plan when I wrote the words underneath the surface of the painting.

Can you catch a glimpse of one of the fairies in the image with me painting?

All of this over the days that included an amazing movement practice and aliveness check-in each morning with the beautiful circle of women I was painting with; and walks to and from camp where Gandalf the Grey (our trusty camper van) was home; hikes amongst the landscape; tears and laughter; star gazing and desert sounds.

MeChimneyRockAnd then one evening my painting told me it wanted to get even bigger! What!?

I wanted to add some sort of shelter, but it felt like it would not fit on my current painting.

And so I added another panel using the paper I had smudged with left over paint a little earlier.


And yes – this unfolded, too. It was a crazy, alive, some times scary and frustrating, joy-filled adventure – to just keep painting, adding color and life to this painting on paper using cheap tempera paints.


And then our time Painting from the Wild Heart came to a close. I felt a sadness, and also a satisfaction and a joy. I had shown-up and painted from my wild heart, spent time in circle with beautiful women, wander in the stunning landscape that is Ghost Ranch, and created a joy-filled piece I would never have guessed was inside of me.

I loved being in my body and outside with the painted desert cliffs as I painted, choosing colors and images that called to me. Even if they weren’t realistic, they were filled with life & laughter, joy & adventure. I say yes to this is my life.

This is an experience I will not forget, and I look forward to painting with my whole self again – soon I hope.

The adventure and joy of expression – this is creativity my friends – in whatever colors and forms it takes for you!

Where can you find adventure and joy in expression? There will you will find your creativity, too. I hope you will take a few moments to create from your wild heart.

And I’d love to hear about your adventure!




Filed under Art & Design, Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Friends, Inspiration, Joy, Nature, Playing, Spirituality, Travel

Going with the Flow…


On Friday I woke to two feet (yes you read that right) of new snow — right in town. Although the ski area was no longer open, I could see from their web cam that they had likely received a similar amount.

And although there were other to do’s on my agenda…

I couldn’t pass up this epic powder day (my hubby captured me giggling as I flowed right on down through the powder).


MeTop-ofGunbarrelTaking this unexpected snow day for pure powder bliss (oh yeah there was  some heavy-snow shoveling, too) was a good reminder to go with the flow. There was no way I could have predicted this epic snow was actually going to happen despite the weathermen calling for snow.

And now I am trying to let go of resistance and go with the flow

…as I create my piece Layering to Now (working title) piece for the Arts at the Library Challenge Show.

Layering to Now – work in progress for the Arts at the Library Challenge Show








…as I begin dreamstorming for a visual journaling e-course I want to share with you.

…as, like the spring snow storm, the unexpected happens each day.

When do you need to step back and just go with the flow?





P.S. I have a working title for the e-course I’m dreamstorming – it’s Cultivate & Capture Your Magic Moments. If you want to be the first to hear when it’s ready, I hope you’ll join my mermaid tales community. Just click here to sign-up.

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Filed under Art & Design, Everyday Adventure, Friends, Inspiration, Journaling, Joy, mixed media, Outdoor Adventure, Playing, Playing at Altitude

Long Time Friends Get Together


Karen on the Continental Divide

Karen arrived for her first Colorado visit with me on a warm and somewhat overcast day last week. We have been talking about this visit for a few years, and it finally came together this year.

It had been a long time since we had seen one another — probably 7 or 8 years. And the last time was on her turf, near Philadelphia.

As the time for her visit grew near, it seemed mother nature was not going to cooperate with beautiful Colorado powder I was hoping to share with her on the ski slopes.

Since she had originally wanted to come to Colorado to go skiing I wasn’t sure what she would think if I suggested some other activities. To my delight she not only didn’t mind, she was excited when I suggested we might try snowshoeing and visiting Sand Dunes National Park.

I have to admit I was a little nervous before she arrived – what would she think of my small town mountain lifestyle; would she have fun?

My worries dissolved the minute she gave me a big hug at the airport. Although we live very different lives, Karen is still the same adventurous spirit Karen I met many years ago. And she was excited for the adventures of a new place, with a dear old friend.


Snowshoeing *** Skiing (after hiking to the top of Mirkwood at nearly 12,000 feet) *** Sand Dunes

And what great adventures we had – tromping through the snow on snowshoes, skiing at Monarch and exploring at Sand Dunes National Park; and wandering around my small town, listening to the brass ensemble at Symphonic Salida, tasting local gin at Woods Distillery, and soaking in hot springs.

Just chatting it up about all sorts of things and rekindling our friendship in person after all these years was one of the best parts of her visit.

I will hold dear the relaxing and adventurous time we spent together.

What adventure memories can you create with good friends – new or old?




P.S. I didn’t get to much journaling while Karen was here, but I had such fun creating an “adventures with Karen” page in my Daily Musings Journal after she headed home.


You can learn more about the Daily Musings Journal here 🙂


Filed under Daily Musings Journal, Everyday Adventure, Friends, Journaling, Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature

Backcountry Bliss


While the east coast (of the United States) was getting blizzards and freezing temps in January and February, here in the Colorado Rockies we were experiencing eerily warm weather and little snow in the mountains.

We want the snow — or at least us powder hounds do — and the spring-like trend finally changed towards the end of February.

I know that hiking & skiing is not for everyone, and it is one of my favorite winter pass times.


I love the exertion of the march uphill through the quiet, snowy woods and the exhilaration of making turns in the powder on the way back down.


I love the panorama of the mountains above tree line.


I love spending time with friends on a back country adventure


and the smiles all around from being together outside in nature, and skiing powder.

Thankfully mama nature has been good to us here in the Colorado Rockies lately. This makes me so happy — the strange weather patterns frighten me a bit, and I know that mama nature will do what she needs to.

The forecast indicates we may be in for a sunshine break, but March is one of our snowiest months and  I hope many more snowflakes will fly. I’d love some more backcountry bliss, and the snow is good for the health our economy — ski industry, agriculture, river rafting & other recreation — all need this moisture. We need it for water, too.

I know many of you out there are ready for spring, and in just a few weeks I will be, too, but until then bring on the beautiful white stuff mama nature.

Happy March friends!



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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Friends, Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature