This Year, This Beauty

Bidding 2011 a satisfied farewell!  Thanks for the love, the health, the family blessings and inspirations…much culminated with beauty and grace.  Amen!

Love by Pilar and Peter

Onto a new year, leave the door wide for inspiration, hope, wonder, and love.  It surrounds us, let it in….

Photo by Rene Carrillo

Then, “pay it back” through your art, your words, your love, your music,  so that others may discover it too!

Watercolor by Nana

Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , | 2 Comments

This Year, This Beauty

This Year, This Beauty.

Posted in Art, Creativity, Enjoyment, Lifestyle, Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Meditation

Monday Meditation.

Posted in Lifestyle | 2 Comments

Umbrellas in May

Umbrellas on cotton

Otherwise known as parasols, one look at these colorful umbrellas on cotton fabric and I was inspired!  Aprons, handbags, rosettes…this imagery made me spin with ideas.  Could it be that the colorful ,visual spirals were a  neurological jump-start, like plugging into a part of the brain that gets fired up and has to run its course?  Where do ideas come from, what triggers creative surges?

Anyway, I’d seen a cool post on “The Spiral” – on – which reminded me how much I love the nautilus shape of the ancient ammonite fossils.  Not long after, I picked up Tracey Chevalier’s book Remarkable Creatures about a young woman in the early 19th Century who hunted fossils for a living and became infamous for her discoveries of ammonites and  Jurassic era fossils.  This at a time when women unchaperoned out of doors was shocking, and most certainly not on long stretches of beach by themselves!

Product Details

Oddly, this spiral shaped nautilus shell resonates for me like the image of a twirling parasol.  So, where does inspiration come from and why?  Can it be compared to garlands of imagery and thoughts linked together in resonance and pattern, waiting to be made manifest by us?

Well, to look takes a moment, but to absorb what we see and translate it into shape or form may take some “slow time” to make it happen.  I prefer to spin around the ideas and images a bit to find their shape.  What strikes your fancy?  Where else can you see links to that idea or image?  Take inventory of similarities and watch the connections take shape.  Make it playful and see what emerges for you.

Anyway, let it rain all it wants, I’m under the spell of my umbrellas!

Posted in Art, Enjoyment, History, Lifestyle | 1 Comment

Umbrellas in May

Umbrellas in May.

Posted in Art, Creativity, History, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Synchronicity and the Creative Process

It keeps happening these days.  I find that the more I lose myself in the process of creating something – a handbag, a watercolor, an apron – life starts to emerge as a series of sweet coincidences.  Perhaps you’ve experienced the strange slow-down of time as you lose yourself in a hands-on project, as you get more specific and detailed and the flow just is happening in the process of the activity itself.  When you emerge it is often a surprise to see how much time has passed.  This occurs more and more lately as I go deeper into the act of making something.    Then, while surfing the ordinary world out here, I notice graceful parallels that seem to carry affirmations regarding life’s underlying harmonies.  Let me describe a few as best I can….

The burial place of Catherine of Siena Photo by R. Nino Carrillo

I fell in love with images of Italy my son photographed on a vacation with his wife last summer.  This was a very special trip as he had safely returned from military service in Afghanistan the month before.  I selected a cityscape with medieval church scene to watercolor as a gift to them as a remembrance of their special time together.  After the painting was complete I found that it was the Church of Siena where Catherine of Siena, the famous 14th Century mystic, was buried.  I was fascinated to hear from my daughter in law that they had actually seen a holy relic of Catherine’s, her finger, which is preserved for all to see!  How this is strangely synchronistic, is that today as I was speaking with my daughter in law, Susie,  she mentioned that during the Royal Wedding of William and Catherine just days ago, the opening reading was a quote from Catherine of Siena….”Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”  Then she mentioned how my granddaughter, 4 year old Avery, while watching the Royal Wedding event on TV thought the couple was my daughter Pilar and her fiancée Peter.  This would seem very normal for a little girl whose Aunt Pilar has long dark hair and whose fiancée is tall and blonde.  But, the very strangest part, is that my daughter and her fiancé, who will be married in September of this year, live in Cambridge, England and that is the very Dukedom of the newly married Royals!  If you have followed the thread of this story you may make up your own mind regarding whether or not this is an example of synchronicity linked to the creative process.  I am just enchanted by it all!

Tiepolo's St. Catherine of Siena circa 1746

In simpler ways, coincidences emerge around me as I keep creating.  Birds fly all around our front porch every morning as my husband feeds and watches them at daybreak.   I’ve created photopaintings with my husband of a bluejay and a chickadee.  Lately I’ve wondered how I can incorporate birds into my sewing.  Then, on a recent trip to the mall in search of fabric ideas I saw nothing but birds on handbags and jewelry and cards.  It is as though my ideas begin to formulate reality around them.  Not always, some of the time, and sweetly, just to remind me to keep imagining and seeing with my heart and mind.

Know that the love you put into what you do will emerge in the world around you.   A coincidence is a gracious and friendly tap from the Divine to you.

Blue Jay in winter Photo by Rene Carrillo

Posted in Art, Creativity, Enjoyment, History, Lifestyle, Love, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Eat Local Think Global

Are you a “locavore?”   This word caught my eye today  and I find it suits my growing anticipation for the opening of our local Farmers Market.   A regional foodie’s magazine used this term which got me thinking.  Great word!  I’m convinced that consuming products, created nearby (both edible and non) is of great value to all of us.  So, if you are a “locavore” this means you make an effort to buy and consume foods that are grown or produced from your region.  This word is not recognized by my computer’s spell check. does include its definition:

“one who eats only locally grown or raised food, by 2001, from local + ending abstracted from carnivore , etc., ult. from L. vorare “to devour”

(see voracious).”

Yes, we all know the benefits of this.   Not only does it support the livelihood of your local farmer and food producer, there is scientific evidence that the health benefits are many.  Locally grown food is fresher than containerized and shipped items, and thus richer in vitamins and minerals.  Additionally, locally grown honey and some plants are known to boost resistance to allergies.  The website relates how eating local honey regularly is an immune system booster and has the effect of those allergy immunological shots that reduce the impact of pollen on us.   Easy homeopathy, I’d say, if you like honey!  Local, small farms tend to use fewer chemicals than bigger factory farms that produce quantity and ship far distances.  This means healthier meals for you! ( Plus, the best part, is that local food products just taste so good!

So, if you follow this thread a little further….the idea of  “locavore,” if embraced around the world would increase local prosperity which would enrich and vitalize communities all over the globe.  Healthier globe, healthier you!  Ripple effect here – increasing regional sustainability equals decreasing dependence on foreign subsidies.   Yes, I know that the western world’s consumerism assists local producers and artisans in 3rd world countries, and that we cannot solely disengage from this connection.  Balance and conscious choices are key.   A commitment to being a “locavore” does not in any way rule out the awareness we should exercise in our consumption practices.  Really, it simply opens the door to healthy body, healthy community, and yummy experiences for anyone.

As well as being an omni and carni, I will embrace becoming more “locavore.”  It can’t hurt and probably helps a lot more than we know.  One more thing:  today on NPR there was a story about Archi’s Acres, an organic farm in Southern California that is training ex-military  for sustainable agriculture/farming careers .   Returning veterans are developing new skills and gaining peace of mind in a career where they can continue to feel of service to their community.  You can be sure they are learning the value of being a locavore, and of establishing small farms that produce fresh, organic foods.

Take a bite out of something ultra fresh grown nearby and you will not only give yourself a delicious nutritional charge, you will be boosting your local economy.  Take care of yourself and your neighbor and the ripple effect will be felt far and wide!

Posted in Enjoyment, farming, Food, Lifestyle, Spring | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments