Tuesday, September 24, 2013

{{BIG GIVEAWAY}} Feather your next + Dream Lab


we have a winner! Congratulations 
Heather Roberts-VanSickle!


Feathering the Nest
Unbelievable! I am so excited to offer today - a giveaway to BOTH upcoming e-courses - Leah Kent and Stephanie Perkinson's Feathering the Nest and Mama Scout's Dream Lab. This is a $89 value! 

I took Feathering the Nest last session and loved it. I was so inspired to straighten, fluff and add sparkle to my space. And what a combination - to be working on your inner and outer space at the same time! Brilliant!

Skip down to the bottom to see how to enter and to find a code for a discount just for Mama Scout readers!

For fun, I asked Leah a few interview questions. I think you will fall in love with her work as much as I have. 



1. Tell me about your creative passion/talents and how you want to impact the world.
I am passionate about the everyday opportunities we all have to be creative and make our mark on the world. That’s why I started Skill It, to share and celebrate the joys and pleasures of living a handmade, homemade life. While growing up I would spend endless hours practicing sewing and embroidery, skills that my mother taught me from an early age. From my dad, I learned all about gardening, woodworking, and how to use lots of different tools.

I think that being able to make things with our hands creates a connection with the world around us that makes us feel grounded, content, and confident. I love being part of this growing community of people who are practicing these talents. My hope is to encourage people to teach these skills to young people. The sooner children are given the opportunity to be contributing and useful members of the family, the happier I think they grow up to be.

2. Can you offer a few tips for cultivating creativity and beauty into daily life?
To me, creativity and beauty are often borne out of simplicity. The more space we gift ourselves with, the more we can relax into the beauty that is already there around us. I like to keep a gratitude journal to help me slow down and notice the little things that happened through the day and made me smile. I have learned that less is truly more when it comes to feeling creative in life. I’ve said “no” a little bit more often so I would have more unstructured time in which I could relax, play, and simply enjoy how my weekend wants to unfold. And when in doubt, turn to nature. I am always inspired when I go to the coast and collect shells and rocks, or when I take long walks and notice the smallest things that pop up along my path.

3. What are you in love with right now?
Embroidery samplers and beading! I love the meditative element of stitching things by hand. I recently rediscovered the symbolism of spirals and I am stitching these onto linen right now. Making each stitch by hand helps me find a sense of peace and calm and really brings me into the present moment, sort of like the yoga of sewing!
As for the beading, I have always enjoyed making jewelry. I’ve had a lot of long-term projects on my plate this year and I was craving something that could be completed quickly. I became fascinated with the wooden mala beads used for meditation so I figured out how to make these myself. So in case it didn’t come through, you can tell from these answers that I am really into deepening my meditation and yoga practices right now, too.

4. What are you looking forward to this season?
Spending time in my kitchen making soup, roasted vegetables, and banana bread. I love that Fall is a time to turn on the oven to warm up the house and make something delicious and nourishing. My big soup pots and baking sheets get quite the workout in the Fall and Winter! My favorite soup right now is Chorizo, white bean and collards. When it comes to roasting vegetables, I am in love with broccoli, Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. And banana bread is something I love experimenting with in the kitchen, always playing around with different add-ins like dates, pumpkin seeds, crystallized ginger, and chocolate chips. You can’t go wrong with chocolate!



Feathering the Nest Images
Feathering the Nest is a beautiful, two week journey created to guide you into making your home a beautiful space that mirrors the love & dreams you hold in your soul. 


Your guides, Leah Kent and Stephanie Perkinson, want to guide you to finding ways for your home to not only reflect the beauty inside of you, but to nurture and give back to you, in a way that transforms how you move through each day. This class is an eclectic journey through your home, a sensual path to self-discovery. We will be creating beautiful things for our homes with our own hands, getting cozy with intuitive writing exercises and cooking up some delicious recipes.


Because the journey is so meaningful when we share it with others, Feathering the Nest includes membership in a sacred online space to share your experience, pictures and inspirations with kindred souls.


Whether you space is large or small, rented or owned, we think you are going to love learning how to infuse each corner with your essence to create a sanctuary for you and all who inhabit it. If you’d like to learn more about the class that starts on September 30th, just click here.



We are delighted to offer the MamaScout community a special price on the course tuition. Please use the code MAMASCOUT at checkout to receive a 15% discount. Click here to learn more and join the gorgeous circle that is forming: http://skillitri.com/feathering-the-nest/.



How to enter:

Leave a comment about why you would like to participate in these classes. 

That is it. 

I will pick a winner this Friday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"I lost my life"


These are the words a woman spoke to me in an art class I recently attended. They are not unusual.

If you listen where women gather, you will hear this song.

I wish I took more time for myself.

I always wanted to do _______. And now it is too late.

I was so busy taking care of others.

I lost myself...


I listen and collect these cautionary tales from both older and younger women. The younger woman are sad and drowning. The older women are angry.

We are so caught up in doing what we think is expected or acceptable, that we often forget what is true to us alone. 

That is what my labs are all about. Helping women remember who they are beyond titles (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend...) and learning to create the space, the vessel, to hold that essential smoldering fire of our souls. To not let it go out.

To not lose it.

When we meet each other in online circles and more importantly when we meet ourselves on the journal page, we are feeding the fire. Keeping it alive and ourselves vibrant, hopeful and alive.

My newest lab, Dream Lab starts October 4. You can read more about it here.

I am sending a little something in the mail ahead of time. Something that will connect this international tribe of women energetically, so if you are interested, now is the time to sign up.

I can not wait to hear your story and celebrate your journey.

xxoo,
Amy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

{life lab} when the storms roll in :: go tiny go vast



How are you?

Really?

Our family has had a year full of wonder and stress. And I do not think it is just us. It seems like many people I know are struggling. With divorce, family strife, losing things that thought they had a tight grip on, and willingly giving up stuff they no longer need. Deaths, moves and crushing disappointments seems to be in no short supply.

So, what do you do when you are sad and depressed? Frayed and bruised?

I was thinking about this recently. What is the difference between the people who can weather the storm those who get pulled under the wave? Is it just personality? Or are their skills and strategies that can help. I would guess it is probably a bit of both (most things are a bit of both, don't you think?)

If your survival is day to day - and you really need to get out of your mind for a while and find some perspective, try this:

Go tiny or vast.

Get out of the middle and drift towards the edges. That is where wild creatures of change reside and they will welcome you in with gifts of full bowls of awareness and clear vision.

Part meditation, part entrainment,  focusing on the minute or the huge - very often jolts or cracks you out of yourself long enough for the fog to lift and variant views to emerge.

go tiny ::

lay on your belly in the grass and watch the ground
look closely at anything, for a long time (shell, seed, feather, your hand, dust motes)
and my very favorite, microscope some pond water
make a window seal altar
investigate the corners of your home
look under the leaves and rocks in your yard
sprout some bean seeds in a moist paper towel in a jar
write a secret under a table or in a door jamb
pray
watch a bug
make a miniature world with your kids using plastic figures and blocks
go to the library's biology section, get a book about microorganisms and draw them
watch Microcosmos, Genesis, or The Fox and the Child
read The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

GO VAST ::

people watch, forget yourself and absorb the energy of a crowd
lay on your back and watch clouds or the stars
sit at any water's edge (lake, river, sea)
climb a tree
visit the planetarium
release a sky lantern (safely)
take a boat ride (canoe, kayak, paddle boat...)
draw on butcher paper
play on Google Earth (look up your childhood homes and foreign cities)
go to a concert, play or sports event feel the energy of the crowd
fly a kite
pray
buy a rocket kit at the hobby store and send it off
watch Carl Sagan, Jaques Cousteau or Stephen Hawking

_______________________________

Please share your ideas for going tiny and going vast. 

What do you do when you just have to grit your teeth and soldier through?





Interested in uncovering and pursuing the creative inklings that wake you up at night? 

Wondering how to launch your own projects in the midst of a swirling, chaotic family life? 

Check out my newest project :: Dream Lab. We are registering now and would love to share and support your ideas - tiny and vast.


Friday, September 13, 2013

{journal notes} i live in an emerald


if there is any color that describes florida, it would have to be green. verdant, pregnant, lush green.

live oaks, festooned with spanish moss hang over my street, holding hands in the middle, so that when you travel down the road it is like you are in a live, green cathedral

in the summer it rains so much, you have to mow your grass twice a week

paths in our woods become overgrown overnight.  you are grabbed by animated vines and palmettos as you wander around 

humid air and cacophonous tree frogs ensure that you breath and hear the green too

all this situates florida perfectly within its historical reputation as a place on the edge of inhabitable nature

if we were not able to artificially pump cool air into our homes/offices/stores/cars, we would not live here. or - better said - the people who might live here would be special, essential, deeply connected to the land

in the humprey bogart film, key largo, a hurricane threatens a motley mix of characters and forces them to hole up in a hotel. the only people who are not afraid of the "big wind" are the natives.

the people before, who can read the sky and sea and know how to survive. 

everyone else is just stumbling around, gulping the aqueous air and self igniting from untempered passions and relentless mosquitoes





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