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Art Therapy Mindfulness

Mindful Observing in a Busy World

Observe means to look at carefully and attentively.

Mindfulness is the ability to be focused yet relaxed at the same time. The ability to be present comes from attentive focus on your breath. Focusing on your breathing takes your mind off of your mind, and allows your mind to rest as your breathing takes over for a little while.

To mindfully observe means you are in the state of mindfulness while you are looking at something.

Noticing

It is beneficial to “notice” as an activity to develop focus in mindfulness. One activity you can try is noticing the room around you.

Take a moment to center in with a few deep breaths. Set your intention for the activity to notice your environment. Notice the objects in the room, their colors, shapes, textures. Notice the tiniest details that you may have never noticed before. Spend about 5 minutes just noticing. Then come back to center with a few deep breaths.

This activity helps to train your brain to slow down and notice the present moment.

observing

Observing

Another activity you can do to help strengthen your mind is to do mindful observing.

For this activity students were shown a video of multiple bubbles, different colors and sizes. Then students were prompted to only observe certain bubbles, all while all the bubbles were moving around the screen.

Spending time observing while other things are going on is a master skill that will have benefits way into the future. Being able to focus in even when there are distracts around is super important, especially in a world where digital realities consume our time, and attention.

Consider spending at least 5 mins a day doing some type of mindfulness activity, and share this with your children! We all benefit when we are mindful.

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Cryptocurrency Education

WEB3 in Education: What happens when we use DAO’s

What is WEB3

Web 3.0 (also known as web3) is the third iteration or version of the Internet that interconnects data in a decentralized way to deliver a faster and more personalized user experience. It offers a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake in and more control over the web communities they belong to. Web3 promises to transform the experience of being online as dramatically as PCs and smartphones did. 

What’s the difference?

  • Web 1.0 is a read-only web where people can read information written on websites.
  • Web 2.0 is a read-write web where people can read and write content on websites and applications.
  • Web 3.0 is a read-write-interact web (powered by artificial intelligence) where people can read, write and interact with content, including 3D graphics, on websites and apps.
Web3

The key features of Web3 are:

  • Open – It’s ‘open’ in the sense that it’s made with open-source software developed by an open community of developers and in full view of the public.
  • Trustless – The network offers freedom to interact publicly and privately without an intermediary exposing them to risks.
  • Permissionless – Anyone, including users and providers, can engage without the need for permission from a controlling organization.
  • Ubiquitous – Web 3.0 will make the Internet available to all of us, at any time and from any location. At some point, Internet-connected devices will no longer be limited to computers and smartphones, as they are in web 2.0. Because of the IoT (Internet of Things), technology will enable the development of a multitude of new types of connected gadgets.

What is a DAO?

DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, is formed when a group of people decide to abide by certain rules to meet common goals. These rules are written into codes of the organization on the blockchain. This gives the community voting rights for how the DAO is run.

What does this mean for Education?

Education system can use DAO’s in many ways.  They would be able to vote on critical decisions like curriculum, assessments, and allocation of budget. Everyone would need to think equally about the success of the school and the happiness of it’s population in order to continue operating.

ED3 DAO

Ed3 DAO is a global community reimagining education, with web3. The first DAO for educators, by educators.

I am excited to know a few other awesome connected educators, and excited that I will be attending the ED3 DAO UnConference in November!

Web3
The Ed3 Unconference is a virtual, gamified, learning & networking experience focused on web3, & contextualized for education.  

Discussions between innovators in web3 & experts in education about the utility (& risks) of blockchain, metaverse, NFTs, & cryptocurrency in education

Practical sessions on how the web3 ecosystem is impacting the workforce

Ideation & collaboration on the future of education
https://www.ed3dao.com/

There is so much happening in our society, so many changes and this is just the beginning of a transformation in education. I am so excited to be on this journey and learn more!

Categories
Art Art Class Education

TAB Camp Mid-Atlantic 2022

WHAT IS TAB?

TAB stands for Teaching Artistic Behaviors, which is a teaching method for Art Education.

TAB

Choice-Based Art Education is student centered and based around teaching through the use of the Studio Habits of Mind.

The Studio Habits of Mind are ways in which we process our experiences, here is a great project example. They are very similar to the Scientific Method, or the Mathematical Practices.

TAB CAMP

Teachers in the Mid-Atlantic area came together the first weekend in August for a retreat, to reignite the flame before school begins. When Pam Ehrenreich asked if I knew of a place to host a retreat for teachers in our area I was THRILLED to offer my studio space.

TASK Party

When everyone arrived we started the weekend with appetizers and a TASK party! It was a nice way to get into the weekend… start to make art and open ourselves up new ideas.

Silk Screening TAB SHIRTS

Tracy Skeels shared her method of silk screening. We created stencils from paper and worked together to print our designs.

We shared different projects and resources with each other, creating examples for our students. Julie Dimino shared all of her amazing resources with us!

There were presentations on Cold Finishes on Clay, Gelli Printing, Weaving, and Cyanotypes. Each presentation was so insightful and inspiring.

Cold Finishes for Fired Clay

Jen Byrne shared a few awesome tips for cold finishing clay! Mixing metallic acrylic paint with water in buckets for a quick dip in the shimmer bath!

Gelli Printing

Tracy Skeels presented on gelli printing, and we were able to explore and create to our hearts content.

Cyanotype

Kate Heuston presented on cyanotype, and her experimentation with the process as an artist. We tried new techniques like drawing on acetate, and using transparencies to create different layers of prints.

Weaving

April Pink presented weaving, and we learned quick and easy ways for our students to be able to weave on cardboard looms.

We also shared the many resource for how we structure our classrooms. The reflection and discussion time were super valuable.

Aside from all the learning, it was great to meet like minded individuals and also have time to create art of our own.

Painting Flow and Glow Party

On Saturday evening we had an intuitive painting party. Each teacher created their own work of art, and then we discussed how we could use this in our classrooms.

The weekend was so amazing. 10 art educators coming together to share and create!

If you missed out on this years, keep an eye out for next! It will be the first weekend in August 2023.

Categories
Cryptocurrency

NFT 2022

In February I hosted a Crypto Art Series webinar that discussed what NFT’s are. We had a great turn out, and there were still more people who couldn’t make it that wanted to learn more!

Since there is a lot of hype around the NFT scene, and a lot of people are still unsure what it’s all about I am going to share a few slides from our webinar.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token.

Non Fungible

A dollar is FUNGIBLE. A piece of art is NOT.

NFT

They do not have to be solely digital, and can represent ownership of physical property as well, such as real estate.

SMART CONTRACTS

Smart contracts are a way to verify that the transaction has been completed as written.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS

UTILITY

NFT

There are MANY utilities for NFT’s. Collecting artwork is just one of them.

Look out for the next blog that will discuss how NFT’s fit into the art world.

Categories
Cryptocurrency

Crypto Journey

I first heard about crypto with Bitcoin in 2013, when it was $40. It wasn’t until 2017 that I really got into studying it and developing an awareness of the totality of the blockchain technology.

The first step, as is for learning any new thing, was to do research.

Crypto Knowledge

My first crypto blog was written November 30th, 2017.

Since then I have written 14 blogs about the crypto space and blockchain technology. In December 2017 I wrote about how cryptos were being seen by the IRS and reminding everyone to view this new technology at the early stages…

This is important information… this is about being aware of what is going on, and be open to learning the new way now rather than later. Being at the beginning of the bell curve and taking advantage of this opportunity to stand in our own power and be self sovereign.

I began writing blogs about setting up cryptocurrency wallets, backing them up and keeping your information safe. I’ve touched on ICO’s, learning on Coinbase, stablecoins, Blockstack, and NFT’s.

With all of that said, I am definitely in a better place now financially than in 2017. Cryptocurrency has shifted the way I see money, and the way I interact with currency.

There is no doubt the market has grown exponentially, and will continue to grow as we are still in the adoption stage.

Crypto

I did a survey once and asked people 4 questions about cryptocurrency.

One question was, “How important is blockchain education?” 15 out of 16 people who answered the survey questions said it was important!

Another question was “Do you hold cryptocurrency?” 13 out of 16 said no.

So people think it’s important to learn about, and can see it has promise, but they do not understand it enough to invest in it.

That is why doing the research is the first step. Understanding information is always key to doing new things.

Blockchain technology is here to stay, its already implemented in so many ways, and cryptocurrency doesn’t seem to be going any where anytime soon. The market cap went from 900 million in 2013 to its current value at 2.6 trillion. That is a 288,789% increase in 8 years.

Get off Zero

The amount of money I invested in the past 5 years has grown exponentially, (and it was not a massive amount of money). Some of that investment went into fees, creating NFT’s, and business transactions. It has also went into things for my family such as a new puppy, tractor, and home improvements. I can say without a doubt, getting into cryptocurrency has been the best investment I have made.

https://twitter.com/bitcoingraffiti

Even the astrology speaks of how there is a huge financial transformation happening. There are even TikTok users who are using astrology to read whats happening with the crypto market.

Lately there has been so much talk about how our world is adopting cryptocurrency! From other countries using bitcoin, to President Biden writing an executive order for our government to research into creating our own US central bank digital currency!

This is the time to get off zero… if you are interested in taking the first step we would like to talk to you. We want to assist those who are interested in learning and actually investing in their future.

I truly believe that others should get off zero and begin to invest in this new technology and the financial shift that is currently taking place. I would love to use what I have learned and my journey to help others thrive!

Categories
Art Education Indigenous Knowledge

The Creativity Department Podcast

Creativity reminds us we are all connected.

I was recently invited to do a podcast with my wonderful friends Laura and Matt Grundler from The Creativity Department.

Creativity

Art educator and artist Raine Valentine joins the Creativity Department on this episode. Raine talks about her Chippewa heritage and how it inspires her. Hear how indigenous philosophies have informed her creativity as she discusses her belief in the importance of expressing yourself. Self-expression is a powerful tool that will inspire others (students) to feel comfortable to do the same! Listen in to understand how tying this altogether creates connection between us all.

Remember that creativity is spirituality… when we create art and share our stories, we remember we are all connected.

Check it out!!

Categories
Indigenous Knowledge

South Africa – Art for Social Transformation

Johannesburg South Africa is the location of the 5th ARTIZEN Conference presented by the Teaching Artist Institute.

Incase you weren’t aware, I am Raining in the Dawn Woman of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa people. I am a spiritual leader and learner, intuitive, mother, artist, and art educator. I have been honored to share my journey and passion with the people of South Africa, and I could use your support.

This sacred journey of life has led me to learn many things and meet many people. The importance of our sacred journey is shown in the story of Anishinaabe, the original man, and his first responsibility. Great Mystery said to Anishinaabe “go and name all the things on the earth.” To name something is to form relationship with that thing. To acknowledge, observe, and share your journey with them as they have shared theirs with you.  This teaching helps us to recognize the importance of following our own paths and sharing our experiences with each other. When are aligned with our paths, our light shines bright and shines on others paths so that they might see themselves clearly.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I grew up in American, one generation out from being raised in a boarding school. My mother and her brothers and sisters attended boarding school, having their spiritual way of living taken from them. My parents raised three amazing daughters, while dealing with their own trauma, because they always instilled in us the importance of compassion. Love is what moves us, but we first must know and love ourselves.

I believe in the importance of sharing our journeys with one another, as this is how we remember that we are all connected. Now I can see how all that I have experienced and all the experiences of those who have come before me, has led me to connecting with the Great Mystery through art to help heal the trauma that we hold.

The arts enable us to express ourselves authentically with one another, in ways that surpass any language barrier. Art is a powerful tool, not just for gratification of self-expression, but as a vehicle of personal and collective transformation. Art is Prayer, a sacred and vital discovery of one’s own special presence in the world.  Through creation, a person illuminates and illustrates their inner being, while creating something which also stands separate. Through exploration and experimentation each of us can shine light on our inner world, allowing us to utilize expression as a means of awakening our Divine I Am.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I feel blessed to take knowledge from my journey on Turtle Island, to the Mother Land – Africa. To share the teachings of the Anishinaabe people, and shine light for others to know themselves more completely. Turtle Island is the North American continent. The turtle has deep meaning to the indigenous people, as is told in their creation stories.

Sharing the Indigenous teachings of the Anishinaabe with people of South Africa will form connections that remind us in a powerful way how we are all connected. I am certain that the teachings I learn in South Africa will be powerful for the people of Turtle Island to learn and grow on their paths in life.

Join me in supporting real change. Let’s support good in the world and make a difference. Help us create connections and pathways for healing and transformation through Indigenous arts around the world.

Categories
Art Class Most Popular Video

VR Project

VR stands for Virtual Reality. If you follow me, you know that I was awarded Educator of The Year last year and received a $500 donation towards a project for my classroom.

VR in the Art Room

We were able to purchase, and did receive two Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets before the end of last year! The students LOVED using them and we explored many ways to create art! Check out the video on my YouTube channel! Like and subscribe to stay up to date on the coolest things about Art and Life!

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Divine I Am Intuitive Henna

Kids Yoga Love Festival

The first ever Kids Yoga Love Festival was held at Amethyst Retreat Center in July 2021. Chelsea Parcels created a wonderful event for children of all ages!

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artists once they grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Kids Festival

This was more than just a Yoga festival, it was full of experiences that allowed our inner child to play, dance, create, and explore!

The event offered Yoga inspired classes for all ages, Vendors, delicious food, ice cream, hiking, dancing, drumming, community art, beginner friendly. Kirtan, henna, forest meditation, friends, kittens for adoption, magic show, super hero martial arts class, Qigong, nature + SOooo Much More!

The day began with an opening ceremony with Chelsea Parcels & Emily Turin who performed of her very special song, “Send Out A Smile.”

Nicky Yesser lead us all in dance time.

I truly felt my inner child filled with joy as I danced along with the kids! You can feel her heart as she leads the kids to express themselves through dance!

There were many yoga classes held, Jennifer Lynn Teens Yoga Class, Kids Yoga Class with Erika Malorzo, Holly Keich, Kids Yoga with Suzi Zappile, Nat Aiello Yoga for Toddlers, Jennifer Lynn, Erika America Family Yoga Nidra, and Amy Necci Tween & Kids Yoga.

Rickie with Reiki by Rickie lead workshops for kids. It was so wonderful seeing Rickie work with kids and teach them about Reiki! So powerful to see children taking time to slow down and listen and feel the energy around them.

Dani & Shelley Herlihy played Kids Kirtan for us. Their music is beautiful and all the kids enjoyed sharing in song with them!

Julie Niblett read her book “The Talking Stick,” based on a true story of a boy who was bullied, and utilized the native American traditional talking stick to communicate and overcome obstacles.

Participants were able to make their very own talking stick, followed by a traditional circle discussion about effective communication. This was such a powerful experience for kids to have! We need more of this.

There was a Magic Show with River Barry, who has been immersed in the entertainment world for over twenty years. One of the most original and in-demand acts out there, River’s style of entertainment emphasizes moving beyond the present moment to help find an equal balance between self and nature, allowing the individual’s movement to be inspired by the moment. A magician, bubble artist, and rock balancing artist, River is committed to sharing the expression of the four foundational pillars of physical, mental, spiritual and financial.

Emily Turin, read her book “Herbert likes Sherbert.”

About the book: It seems at first to be a story about a child’s reluctance to try new things. As the story progresses, he learns that while cherishing memories is beautiful, sometimes holding onto something for too long can hold us back! Share in Herbert’s discovery as he braves the outcome of making new choices.

William Autore shared, ”Finding Your Future”

About the book: Finding Your Future written by author/artist William Autore, featuring his son on the books’ cover, is a comprehensive guide to self awareness and discovery of one’s purpose. Debuting in 2017, Finding Your Future is currently in talks of becoming a school based curriculum in New Jersey and an independent short film.

Kathy Conners Bucher lead everyone in Super Hero Training where they practiced their special powers and talk about what makes these super humans special. They finish the class learning what special powers they possess and how to bring them forth to help humanity. Experiences like this set the stage for a more self aware child!

Tammy & Jack Bray Yoga “Sacred Silliness” is always a favorite of mine. We did group giggles as we stretched, moved, and got our joy on playing in Laughter Yoga. So amazing… to show kids its ok to be silly and be you!

For the weekend I offered Intuitive Henna, and sold prints of my artwork.

I also hosted a Flower of Life workshop for the kids, allowing them to co-create in completing flower of life murals. This taught them the importance of our choices, and being tolerant of others choices. Also it was a nice lesson in the idea that sometimes things don’t always go the way we expect them to… the universe sometimes throws new things in the mix.