Wednesday, October 29, 2014

bloom true ~ living a colorful life

I have been admiring the autumn landscape around here as trees deepen their colors and begin to bare their branches. As if this wasn't colorful enough, I have started an online art course that is all about noticing the beauty in your life and expressing it intuitively. I very rarely enter giveaways, but I felt drawn to enter for a free spot in the Bloom True e-course with Flora Bowley. Out of almost a hundred entries, three were chosen based on the written entries. I was one of the lucky ones!!!

This is what I wrote about our unschooling life and why I wanted to participate in the course:

What a generous giveaway. I spend my days home-schooling (unschooling) my three daughters, age 11, 7, and 4. I don't consider myself to be their 'teacher', but I provide them with opportunities and resources and engage with them in our community, to learn by following their curiosity and creativity. One day might find us canning tomatoes together, and the next building an am radio from scratch, or visiting a llama farm with friends. I grow a garden, am working on finishing our home along with my husband (building walls, installing flooring, etc.), take pictures, knit, and blog when I find the time. As my children grow, I would like to make more time for creating expressive art, by and for myself. This motherhood gig can be a bit all-consuming. I think this course could help nudge me out of my comfort zone and into pursuing this sooner rather than later (but it's unfortunately wildly out of my budget). Also, we live way out in the country, so finding an in-person community of supportive artists is out of reach for me right now. Not only do I think this course would be great for me as a person, but I think it would set a fabulous example for my daughters. I live in Wisconsin, U.S.A., surrounded by organic land, solar panels, chickens, ducks, geese, and a dog, along with my supportive husband and our lively kiddos. I am a joy-seeker, peaceful-parenting, respectfully-living this beautiful, messy, thoughtful, challenging life, filled with gratitude. That's my story. Thanks for considering it.

I would like to share some of the exercises and creations that are coming out of the process as this course continues, and how my kids are jumping in with what interests them (because of course they are).
The theme for week one was Inspiration. One of the first optional exercises was an intuitive drawing. While listening to music, I simply drew continuously without lifting my pen, and let the music lead they way. I listened to Risk It.

Soon, we were all doodling and painting in our doodles, and singing and dancing in our seats.
Another optional exercise later in the week was to make affirmation cards. I painted the background and kept it simple with my word intentions.
Did you ever watch Bob Ross paint on PBS back in the 80s? I did. I found a PBS remix of some of his sayings and paintings. 
Camille listened to this several times and used it as inspiration for some of her own elaborately decorated affirmations.
I Believe
  You can do it                    endless possibilities
 Stay calm

We went hiking at Mill Bluff.

While on the trail, I decided to follow one of the Bloom True photo prompts and take a "self-love" self portrait.
I get weirded out by selfies, so Sylvia also took one for me up on the bluff. 

Sylvia also took a pic of Ayla shaking her backside and a view of the pond way below.

more views from the top of the bluff

on the trail

Another of the prompts was to take a photo to share of something that you are grateful for. Here's mine: I am so utterly grateful for my three daughters and their Papa. They are some of my favorite-est people in the world.

I am also grateful for our land, animals, and the beauty surrounding us.

Another optional exercise was to create an intuitive mandala, either by drawing or with objects in our environment. Ayla and I had a lot of fun making October's Garden Mandala.

I also doodled a mandala by starting in the middle and adding lines and shapes outward. 
Camille asked is she could color it in.
Sylvia and I co-created a dino-inspired mandala for fun.

drooping garden sunflowers

We discovered a new hiking trail while Camille was at her saxophone lesson. I love these locust tree seed pods. Sylvia and Ayla thought that they made great maracas.

On the way home, I pulled over to take this pic just down the road from our home. Camille decided she would just jump out and jog the rest of the way.

Ayla waited for her in our driveway and I snapped a pic of our chicken coop against the autumn trees.

Sylvia wanted another mandala for painting with "hearts, flowers, and butterflies".

Camille created her own mandala as well.

The Bloom True course is primarily about painting, but I wasn't set up with my supplies until the second week, so I incorporated what I could while helping the girls learn, explore, and create too.
 I love that the flexibility of our unschooling life allows room for us all to find inspiration, creativity, and beauty in our days.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October (the first half)

Our unschooling life in photos: playing, experimenting, running, painting, sculpting, dancing, celebrating, carving apples, sewing, harvesting, drying popcorn, caring for animals, observing the lunar eclipse, hanging laundry, splashing, hiking, concert-going, hosting family (my ma, pops, li'l brother, and sister-in-law), visiting a pumpkin patch and corn maze, crafting autumn lanterns, untangling, playing cooperative field games, catching bugs, creating glow art, hosting more family (mother- and father-in-law), reading, helping, discussing, navigating challenges, learning, and loving this life. I think that sums it up as well as anything. 

shrunken apple heads



 Medicine for the People