Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Art Journaling Course in Spanish Harlem

     Today I went to the first session of an art journaling course taking place at La Casa Azul Bookstore in Spanish Harlem.  The bookstore recently opened this year and is a very cultural, colorful and friendly space.  They have been hosting many cultural events this summer and one of them is the six week art journaling course given by fellow blogger and artist Diana Gonzalez.  Diana is a very talented mixed media artist who has given many art workshops in the past.  It was a lot of fun to sit and do art with a group of creative souls.  We did up to six journal pages and each of them using different mediums such as stamping, collaging, and water color painting.  Diana shared all of her amazing art tools with us and even gifted us some colorful fabric tape.  I took some photos of her class so she can share them on her blog and here are some more shots I took that day:

 Colorful Mural at the bookstore (not sure who the artist is but I will find out!)

 Beautiful vintage dolls

Paper, Paper, and more paper!

Diana, our art instructor, who guided us every step of the way.

Loved using the stamps!

This was one of the art journal pages I created using stamps, fabric tape and a vintage doll. 

This was the group in action.  

Colorful inkpads! 

This was another one of my journal pages using stamp and water color paints.

     I was really glad I came out to this class and it was great to meet and connect with Diana.  It was also great to meet Aurora Anaya-Cerda, who is the owner of La Casa Azul Bookstore.  Lately I have been connecting with many Latina women artists in the city of New York.  I am grateful to get to know them and their work, they are true inspirations for me and other Latinas who are starting to recognize their own work as an artist and sharing it with the world.  Below are some links to the AMAZING work of some of the Latina artists I have been connecting with that I truly admire.

Hope you support and enjoy their work as much as I do! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness...

   I am in complete awe at the way life rewards us and how interconnected we are.  Yesterday I went to the post office to send out some mail.  There was something powerful and deep about sending off that piece of mail that I felt was going to be helpful to the person who would receive it on the other end.  Little did I know that I had an unexpected piece of mail waiting for me when I got home.  I received a beautiful card about friendship from a special friend.  It was completely random and unexpected and it brought a huge smile to my heart.  I know that the scriptures say "Give and it will be given to you" but I didn't expect it to be so soon! Thank you to my special friend..YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

True Catharsis

     Lately I've been going through a true catharsis in body, mind, soul, and spirit.  For my body I've been eating healthier, playing tennis, and taking long walks.  For my mind I've been doing some meditating in the mornings and some self-reflection in the evenings.  I've been using the book mentioned in this previous post to guide me in my meditation which includes bible scriptures.  For my soul I've been listening to music by artists from the neo-soul movement and those who influenced the movement.  Growing up I was heavily drawn and influenced by this sub-genre of music and it still manages to stir up my soul.  This is one of my faves, makes me get up and dance each time and this one..and this one...

     Spiritually, I have also been praying more and asking for what I need and interesting things happen when one does that.  The other day I was looking at the cork board I have over my desk which has a bunch of creative knick knacks, messages, pictures, etc.  It was a bit cluttered.  I have the words FAITH in the middle of the board which is part of a beautiful collage that someone special gifted to me years ago.  It has been with me through lots of changes.  Its a beautiful collage that I have added to over the years and I realized that it was so full of stuff I could barely see the words FAITH anymore.  So I decided to give it a little makeover.  Its been sitting on top of my desk for days but today I decided to work on it.  I didn't want to stay indoors so I decided to pack my things and go down the block from my house.  This is a block which the city closes up to traffic all summer so the kids in the community can have a place to come together, play and do activities.  The block is right next to a playground and its always full of parents with their kids, teenagers playing basketball, and even older folks doing yoga or jogging.  I decided it was a good place to get creative so I went.  As I sat there painting, two little girls and their moms from the neighborhood came over and kept me company.  I spoke to the moms and gave the girls some paper and paint and they were painting away! They all thought I was an art teacher even though I told them I was not.  They kept saying teacher....lol.  Now I'm in trouble though because they expect me to go back tomorrow! 

     I am blessed.

     Below are the before and after photos of the collage center piece I painted.  I will be using these words as a centerpiece to a bigger collage which I am looking forward to completing this summer. 

This is the way it originally looked for a long time..really beautiful! 
but its time for a little makeover to focus on the word FAITH.

I stripped it of all the images and here is how it looked..Now you can read the words! 

 My next step was to paint the whole thing white and hide the residue of the images.

  and WALLAH!  Now FAITH is clear.  My centerpiece is ready for the next project. 
(to be continued) 

This was one of the images one of the little girls made...She calls it the sea monster..she did a good job!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spiritual Sunday

     I went to mass today and it was very refreshing.  I had not been to church in a while and was craving to be in the Lord's house surrounded by the hyms, scriptures, and traditions.  It's like going back home to listen to old songs, hear all the old sayings, and participate in family traditions.  Going to church makes me feel like I am visiting God in His house.  One of my favorite parts of the mass is when we recite "Lord I am not worthy of you but only say the word and I shall be healed" which in Spanish is "Señor no soy digno de que entres en mi casa pero una palabra tuya bastara para sanarme" Its a little different in Spanish but it basically means the same thing.  That part is very meaningful to me because I feel that I am humbling myself in the presence of the Lord. Today's message included these scriptures: 

"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house"
Mark 6:4

"...my grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me."
2 Corinthians 12

   I also fell upon the quotes below which speak volumes of wisdom.  I will contemplate on both the scriptures above and the quotes that I stumbled upon this spiritual sunday.  

"Hospitality opens the doors of our hearts and minds to the stranger among us, no matter how familiar he or she may seem to be.  Faith enables us to accept the gifts of others, no matter how alarming or strange they may seem to be.  Discernment helps us to discovery the prophets in our midst, no matter how amazing they may seem to be.  Hospitality, faith, and discernment-cultivate these."

"Look to Jesus and realize that regardless of your earthly status, you are called to make a difference by the witness of your life."

Here are also some images of the day:

Read about this in the tablet today, didn't realize this upcoming liturgical year will be the Year of Faith, its so meaningful to me.  

Found this pic online and know I have to totally remind myself of this always especially when I am stressed with schoolwork!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spiritual Sunday

     I had a conversation last night with a spiritual friend of mine.  Our conversations always involve deep spirituality and inspiration.  I was telling her how much I long to see the details of my life in a spiritual way.  It seems that lately I've been feeling so overwhelmed that I am unable to make spiritual connections to certain situations in my life.  I feel like I haven't been tending to my spirit and I don't know where to begin.  When I woke up this morning I realized I had a dream.  In the dream I was in this dark apartment with a group of friends.  All of a sudden one of my little cousins walks in (he is currently going to be 18 but in my dream he was about 7).  Since it was only us grown ups I got up and walked him to a bookshelf and asked him to pick a book so he can go read.  Out of all the books that were on the shelf he chose the missallette which was the only spiritual/religious book on the shelf.  I was intrigued by his choice of book and looked back at my friends and told them that I was going to be with my little cousin.  Him and I sat down and began to read together.  I found myself teaching him about some of the bible scriptures in the book.  That was all I remember about the dream.  I am not sure what the dream meant but I felt it was powerful.  

     I went on to read Today's daily word and it turned out to be about divine order and how we must believe we are at the right place at the right time.  Here is the message of today:

I greet this day with gratitude for my life—now and in the past—and with anticipation of the wonders to come. Every day of my life is part of my spiritual journey, and I am thankful for each new experience.
In silent contemplation, I become aware of the power within that guides me. My heart opens to the wisdom of God and the perfect order unfolding in my life. Each person I meet, each decision I make, each opportunity I encounter is in divine order. I embrace every development as a gift and move forward with confidence.
Right here, right now, is the perfect place for me. I complete what is mine to do and grow into my full potential through the divine order at work in my life.
(C) www.dailyword.com
   As I look back at my day I realize that I truly was at the right place at the right time today.  I received messages of faith and inspiration from many.  From the live music and playing the congas to the revelation from a very humble and wise woman whom I hope to be working with soon, God always has a way of answering our prayers when we least expect it.  The toughest part is to listen to the call and act upon it.   One of the things I have been struggling with the most is just knowing why certain things had to happen the way they did in my life, but those answers will come in God's timing.

Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.—1 Corinthians 13:12