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Living the Artful Life

My NAEA 2016 Debrief…

My NAEA 2016 Debrief…

By on Mar 26, 2016 | 7 comments

Did you miss attending the NAEA Conference this year? I almost did. Just two weeks before the event, I purchased my ticket after realizing that this might be the only chance to meet with my Art Workshop co-teachers, Cassie and Laura, before the summer. Plus I wanted to meet Christa from Faber-Castell who provides art supplies for my summer workshop and who I have worked with this past year creating lessons. I’m so glad I went. This is what I did…. I going to confess up front that I didn’t attend one single session. Not a single one. Time was short. I arrived late Thursday afternoon, took an Uber to the Hilton and grabbed a coffee before heading to a Faber-Castell focus group for art teachers. As I was heading up the elevator, I ran into Laura, Cassie, Ginger (Paintbrush Rocket) and Jennifer (Nashville). How fun to meet these ladies for the first time. And I really felt like they were old friends. Love the online world. After the Faber-Castell meeting, I went out to dinner at Ralph Lauren with the Faber-Castell crew. We had the BEST  time. It was St. Patrick’s Day and things were rather crazy. Let’s just say we had 250lb men playing the bagpipes as we sipped wine and ate braised short ribs. On Friday, Laura and Cassie and I had our Breakfast Brainstorming sessions, planning the lessons and refining our theme for my Summer Art Workshop. It was amazing to sit back and listen to these ladies come up with ideas. I just had to sit back and listen. Inside I was giddy-happy for everyone who is coming to the event. They have no idea how much they are in for! Meeting my blogging friends at The Art of Ed booth in the convention center was the hi-light. I got to see my friend, Donna, met Amy and Marcia for the first time and had a chance to talk to art teachers about their programs and projects. In fact we talked so much that I missed my chance to attend the last sessions of the day. On Friday morning a group of us headed to breakfast chatted over green eggs and ham & strong coffee and headed...

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

By on Dec 23, 2015 | 2 comments

Neil and I want to wish all of you a very happy holiday and bright and shiny new year. 2015 has been a year of growth, change and new directions. I can’t wait to start my podcast, open registration for my summer conference and offer you more tips and resources for creating art with your students and children. It has been a pleasure creating content for YOU. See you all in the New Year…....

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Books to Understand Your Creative Journey

Books to Understand Your Creative Journey

By on Oct 12, 2015 | 2 comments

A few years ago, a good friend was collecting nuggets of advice for her daughter’s 18th birthday. She created an album and inserted notes from friends, relatives and loved ones.  I happily agreed to share my advice. When in doubt-read a book-Patty My friend was put out over the brevity of my note. After all, I had known this girl since she was a baby. Didn’t I have more to say? But for me, if everyone who ever had doubts or concerns or was curious or intolerant, all they had to do was read a book. The perspective you gain from reading someone else’s words is one of the most enriching activities you can do. I thought the advice was the truest thing I could say. I love both fiction and nonfiction. I’m a crazy reader. I often have 4-5 books on my bedside table, by my bathtub and in my living room–all book-marked at random pages.  I’ll pick up what suits me. Lately, there has been a huge influx of amazing titles by some of my favorite authors who are speaking about creativity. Here are the ones I have loved the most: 1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear   I haven’t finished this book yet and there is a very good reason for it: every sentence needs to sit with you for a while. Elizabeth Gilbert is a wonderful storyteller. She wrote one of my favorite books, The Signature of All Things, and infuses her knowledge of creativity and fear with stories and personal notes. That’s what makes this book so worth reading. She is speaking to all of us. As art teachers or parents or teachers–whatever roles we take on–understanding the stories we tell ourselves really helps bring our own creative voice to our work. And when you are comfortable with your voice, you can help others bring forth theirs. I shared my love of Big Magic with you earlier this week in this post. DSS Newsletter subscribers may remember the video link of Marie Forleo interviewing Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s one of the best conversations I listened to in a long, long while, so grab a cup of tea, find a quiet place and listen to what she has to...

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What I learned in 2014

What I learned in 2014

By on Dec 31, 2014 | 4 comments

Lessons learned. Always good to reflect back and see what resonated with you most in the past year. Here are my biggies: 1. Despite feeling awkward and just plain silly, nothing makes you feel seven again like wearing a tiara. Thanks Jonna for pulling out the tissue-paper, sequin encrusted birthday crown again this year. 2. Loved attending my first 2014 NAEA conference. Meeting Phyll and Cassie and Rina and Donna and Jessica made me realize that people are always better in person, which is amazing because these women rock the online world. 3. Watching Elly go through her JV softball season had its up and downs but having big brother attend her last game and celebrating with a rare hug, made a good moment better. 4. Neil and I went to the Authority Intensive conference in Denver in May. It was swanky, cool, informative and kicked our butts as far as how much work we still need to do on our site. 5. My middle son graduated from high school and is now in college. A bit of a relief. Not because I don’t miss my son, but the college application process was a grind. And he did most of it. Hope the process changes before our family has to do it again. 6. We live in a robust wine-producing county. Maybe it’s my farming roots, but learning the ins and outs of viniculture is absolutely fascinating. And the samples you get at the end of the tour are really good. 7. Taking Neil to Jedlicka’s in Santa Barbara and having some cute gal outfit him in a starter-kit cowboy ensemble was tops on the fun list this year. Engineer to cowboy in about 15 minutes. Not bad. 8. No matter how reluctant you are about milestone birthdays, they still happen. May as well drink champagne. 9. One of my big bucket list things was to do some salmon fishing in Alaska. We hired a charter to take the family on a 3 hour fishing trip and we barely caught anything. Dang, those rods are heavy! Most fun boat ride ever, even in the rain. 10. Sitting beside my nephew Jeff while he dissected a lobster at our family reunion was very interesting. I’ve been eating lobster all my life but...

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Favorite Posts of 2014

Favorite Posts of 2014

By on Dec 27, 2014 | 0 comments

2014 has been a great year. That’s not to say that everything went swimmingly, but I crossed stuff off my bucket list and ended the year happy. This site has been a catalyst for much of my joy. It’s where I get to exercise creativity, push through comfort zones and dream of doing bigger things. The best part, of course, is connecting with you, sharing ideas, and extending a helping hand. When I receive emails from teachers in Pakistan and China, I’m blown away with how small our world has become. But it’s meeting folks in person that is really humbling and quite honestly the most fun of all. So here’s a look back at my 2014 and the posts–and in some cases, newsletters–that were my favorite to write. 1. One of the biggest 2014 hi-light was attending my first National Arts Educators Association (NAEA) Conference in San Diego. I did a write-up for my newsletter subscribers which you can read by clicking the link. I don’t hold back here, so if you are wondering what it’s like to attend this conference, I did my best to share my experiences. PS. I loved it! (If you are not a subscriber of my newsletter, I often write about events and experiences here rather than on my site. You can sign-up for my newsletter HERE.) 2. Speaking at the Ventura County Reading Association Presentation was another HUGE hi-light. I created a powerpoint presentation for a very warm group of educators. I’m not the best live speaker as I tend to get a bit too engaged with what I’m talking about and forget the time, but these women were so generous and fun. After the talk, many introduced themselves and told me which DSS lessons worked for them. I’m not going to lie, to have a person approach me and say that they are familiar with my site is humbling, but when they tell me how much their class enjoyed a lesson, well, that’s just pure heaven. I came away from this meeting convinced that I should host a Deep Space Sparkle workshop/retreat. As I write this, I haven’t set the wheels in motion but still dream of doing so. I love connecting with others, which is why I love teaching. Connecting and teaching kids is pure fun...

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Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

By on Dec 21, 2014 | 1 comment

The most wonderful time of the year…. We can’t wait until the boys come home from college. We plan to do nothing. Not going anywhere. Just cooking (me) eating, drinking wine and waiting to see the The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies and Unbroken, which was one of our favorite reads this year.  Doesn’t get any better than that. My next newsletter will be delivered January 1st.  I will be posting my best organizational and goal-making tips and making some announcements. May your holiday season be filled with family, friends and good cheer (this egg nog recipe will help in that department). Merry Christmas! Patty (and Neil!)...

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