You can visit my store at, featuring handmade items and stash overstock! and The Shop at Planet You for mixed media and art journaling supplies.

I appreciate your support

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The night Before Hallowe'en....

Ah... this is my favorite Holiday of the year... The one night we are encouraged to be someone else, and are rewarded for it.  We are asked to imaghine ourselves as any other somebody or something, and the only limit is what we can imagine ourselves to be.  I loved making my costumes as a kid... i had a store bought costume only once in my childhood--- little miss muffett, and though there were weeks of preparation, I still managed to scare myself in the mirror with that spider on the side of my plastic mask.  I believe in the power of make believe.  I believe in the power of pretending.   There is quote from Joseph Cotton that I often find myself referrencing  "It is good to act as if.  It is better when it is no longer an act."    What we believe, even if only what we are pretending, has a life of it's own.  The act of believing brings the idea into being.  And how amazing is that?   My son is four, and terribly excited to be going trick-or-trating this year dressed as a GhostBuster  (yes, he's a little old for his age).  He is worried that Hallowe'en is meant to be "spooky" but he is fairly certain that Mom can keep him safe, and if i can't, he has a Blaster and a Proton Pack, and that ought to make everything alright.    As everything else in my life begins to move into that too much too soon too fast pace, I love this last moment of time to just believe, for a night that I can be anyone I choose.   
As the Autumn deepens, I remind myself to slow down, to take a cue from nature and allow myself to take the time to recharge, and gather my energy for the coming seasons.  This has been such an exciting year for me, with the creation of Planet You, the return to making art, the return to teaching art... and all the challenges and leaps of faith that these ventures have brought.  I have made many new friends, been inspired and supported by people all across the world, and the little miracles continue to unfold each day.    For the remainder of the year, The Panet You and Burn This Book will run as open enrollment workshops (registration will be available on the fourth).  You may join in at any time and have immediate access to all three weeks of the course material.    I will be releasing the new workshops in the Planet You series shortly after Christmas.  There will be a Planet You II workshop, a body image/self identity class,  a book of letters, and possibly a few others.  To be updated on the new workshops, don't forget to register for the newsletter.  I promise I don't send tons of email and I will never release your email address to anyone else, ever.    I hope that tomorrow, you find some magic, not only nbeing you, but in being whoever you wish to be for the day.  
Make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Planet Kaere to Planet You

right.. so I've been sitting in the studio making backgrounds for some small art pieces that have been in my head for awhile and I just never stopped to sit down and make them... busy listening to a mix cd that I made of the music that makes me want to touch my heart with gentle hands and it occurred to me that to some of you I am a stranger.... so I thought I'd take the time to talk to you... not in the classroom, not as curriculum, but just me, Planet Kaere, to you... the world at large....
I recently was asked "how are you doing, really?" and I answered.... a big answer about being scared, terrified, really, about the place my world is right now... not where I am in it, because I know me pretty well, but my world... and that conversation has also been spinning round my head--- I really am Planet Kaere... and i really do live there. It has taken years to become her, and I love her dearly... on any given day when I'm presented the option to be someone else, I still choose me, but I won't tell you that the choice isn't hard. My bullshit meter is set at negative 2-- I hate being lied to, and being asked to compromise. I dislike learning things the hard way, even though that seems to be my forte. But I know that each day, the choice to not be here is mine... and that is every kind of here there is. I can choose not to go to work, not to get out of bed, not to breathe. The world will continue on just fine without me. It did before me, it will after, and it does on the days when I just plain check out for the day-- sure people get angry, and some get hurt, and sometimes I have some clean up to do afterwards--- but the world itself gets by just fine. My little boy will still get fed. Michaels will still open their doors at nine am. The sun will still rise. The bills will still be due. My place in the world is only as important as I let it be... my absence only as tragic as I let it be. I've lately been struck with dreams of being dead. It means that I'm not in a very good place for me, and that will fix or I will fix it, but it's amazing the sense of relief that accompanies those dreams... the "I don't have to so this today" that leaves me feeling free, not sad... Here on Planet Kaere, that means that I'm not living "right with my self" and that's a wonderful awakening-- a great place to be for as yucky as it feels... it's me giving myself a wake-up call... and it's always good when those come from within rather than with out. So... what I'm thinking is that for those of you who don't know me... (and those that do) Planet Kaere is a very real person-- I don't talk to you about Planet You because I have some degree in life management but because I've been there... and I know that sometimes it is easier to feel lost and alone than it is to choose lost and alone, or another course.... I am not always happy, not always excited, not always looking forward to the next thing... but I am always willing to be surprised, to be wrong and to be amazed... by you, by me, by the world at large. Today I found myself thinking not only about me, but about each of you-- do you know that your strength and courage amaze me?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Have you ever noticed that the more you talk about something...

The more real it becomes?  Yeah... ideas are an amazing thing.  words even more so...  As The Planet You has come into being, the more I talk about the course, and the upcoming courses, the more I know that this is what I'm meant to be doing...  Yes... the feedback from course participants is awesome, and it helps me focus... but the conversatios I have had, one on one about The Planet You material just get me so fired up.  Strangely, thouh all of my participants, thus far,have been women, the people I talk to most in my actual world are men... and what is so awesome about that is that i get feedback from a different perspective-- and from people who are not as  likely to share in this type of experience.  I spent the day at my favorite craft show, St. Patrick's annual Herb and Harvest fest, had a wonderful day, sold some art, some journals, a bunch of summer scarves, and had a blast... but I also got a chance to really talk through what I think will become the next Planet You course, on body image and identity.   It is so soul sucking to face the mirror each day with dread and loathing... and it is so unnecessary... You are beautiful... even if you've got a face like a foot and haven't seen your toes since god was 2.  You are beautiful.   Even if you're all angles and sharp bony features.  Being Beautiful isn't about the flesh bag of bones, it's about what that sack carries.   Believing in your own beauty is about understanding that our soul sack is meant to be useful and cared for...  and understanding how, what and why others respond to us.   So just to let you know... I'm thinking, and writing, and testing the waters... and I think this next class will have book making and collage projects, as well as writing. 

Burn This Book is being well received, and I thank all of you for your feedback and interest. 
The October session of Planet You begins on the 21st, and you can register here.    Here's what one participant said about Planet you:
 I've always wanted to write, and I've always known that I could write. As a linguist I strongly believe in the power that our words hold. Journalling seemed like an obvious and non-threatening way to begin, but when I tried nothing happened. Nothing! I knew I had the words inside me, but I just couldn't find them. I was overwhelmed by the blank page. I was afraid to find those words and my voice, and perhaps even afraid of finding MYSELF in those words. Then Kaere created "The Planet You" and I hoped that her writing talent might rub off on me! The Planet You prompts gently helped me to explore my heart and find what I needed to say. I found that the little steps of the "Planet You" curriculum led me to where I felt safe and free to write. Having the classroom chat was helpful in encouraging me to overcome my fears and share, and just write. Suddenly there were so many things I wanted to express! I had found my voice, and discovered myself on the way. Now I can't stop writing, and it feels GREAT!

I 'm ever so glad you stopped by here and I would love to see you in the classroom

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finding Your Groove

Celebrate Louisiana
Well, I taught art in Baton Rouge this week at the Social Studies educators conferrence in association with the Louisiana Bicentennial committee.  The Bicentennial committee has adopted an art project I desgined this summer for a local church's bible camp as the official art project for grades 1-8 for the Bicentennial Education program.   I was given an awesome space and a great bit of help along the way.  Attendance was open for my presentation, so people wandered in, and made the project at varied times.   Teaching a step based project with everyone working at different steps is quite a juggling act!  Because making art is something that is part of my day, I forget how "unapproachable" it seems to people who don't play with paint and mod podge and paper...  It was great to watch people who do not think of themselves as artists or crafters get in to the project and have some fun.  Towards the end of the day, I realized that in working with adults, I had forgotten one of the things I say when I'm working with children-- I forget to mention to be unafraid--  There's always a "yucky" phase when you don't like the piece in front of you, there's always a spot you want to "fix".   But if you keep working and just trust yourself on the way to the "end" when you get there you'll have a finished piece that you enjoyed making.  Getting caught up in the fear is the hard part for all of us, in everything from facing a hard day at work to relationships to writing, to making art. 
I still have a hard time calling myself an "artist"-- I make art, yes, but the word "artist" just feels a little big to me-- a little kid tromping around in mom's shoes.   So when I teach art and when I talk about making art, I fall back on something that has really been a blessing to me-- I have a four year old who loves to make art with Mom.  I have a child who approaches every blank page and canvas with a sense of wonder and fearlessness that is contagious.  And WE ALL USED TO MAKE ART THAT WAY.   My son picks whatever  colours make him happy on any given day, and glitter and glue and paper to cut and just goes at his project revelling in the process and the way the making of art works...  He paints with a heavy hand simply because he loves the way the paint moves from the brush to the canvas (or paper).  He loves to cut shapes from paper because he is "making something from something else"  and when I try to steer his creativity, "Oh look, this is food pictures-- how about some of those?" he balks, because he has an idea in his head that he is getting on the page--  he is not making the "idea" I have.   He stops when he has had enough.  He likes to make art in stages... fifteen minutes or so, and then go do something else and come back to it later.  He never feels that he has to "finish" in one sitting, or that taking out the art supplies to get busy is too much work.  He enjoys just being and making art.  
As I stood, talking and watching adults take a "designed" project and make it their own, I was reminded that making art, like writing, like loving, is about finding your groove-- listening to that little voice inside you that says "Oh... do that"  and "time to stop."    Your groove is not anyone else's... and you can learn to make art, write, love from a plethora of sources, but the place where the magic happens is where the art, the words, the love, are the representation of that voice in you.  It's not about making the piece you were shown, it's about making the piece your own. 
So... I had a blast and found my groove, and remembered a few things along the way.  (yes, I'm going to bring this back 'round to Planet You)  I was reminded that I love to teach, that I love to watch people learn and that the voice in each of us speaks differently but about many of the same things.  Art, as a tool, is a wonderful way to get quiet with your inner voice and really listen.  Journaling is much the same.  I cannot encourage you enough to be that four year old, pick up a paintbrush, a crayon or a pen, and let your voice talk to the page.  You won't love everything that comes out, but you'll learn a bit (or even a lot) about you and you'll feel lighter and brighter.  When you give yourself permission to just find your groove instead of being perfect, you'll find that the voice in you is much more willing to share what it knows.   I debated teaching art techniques with Planet you, but my little voice said that the words were what mattered most, so Planet You exists as a writing workshop only.  Burn This Book includes a great little book making tutorial that shows how easy making a book can be, and a really intensive journaling course.   Come join me for some fun in either course (though Burn this Book is "hard" work)  and discover the voice in you that does truly have so much to say, to create.   Click here to visit the classroom, watch a preview of The Planet You and register
The Planet You  October session, October 21st
Burn This Book, October 14th

Make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,