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.
I know many people who are entrepreneurs, and small business owners. The world is different from the point of view of owning and operating your own business, whether it’s making art to sell at craft fairs and events, or doing reiki in a room you rent at a wellness center.
As practitioners, makers, and vendors we have in essence two jobs. One is to practice and create the thing we are passionate about. The other is to manage and structure the flow of that passion into a sustainable living.
The REVIVE, REFILL, REFRESH retreat was planned with a vision, hosting a space for people to come and find their center. To come and revive, refill and refresh their soul. What we received was far more powerful then we could’ve ever imagined.
There were 8 participants, and 8 vendors. Each vendor presented a 30-45 min workshop about something they were passionate about.
Auria Faith lead us in an active listening activity where we were partnered up and then given a sheet of questions to ask the other person. The trick was we could only listen to their responses. We were not to talk back or have a conversation about the answers.
She also led us in a guided meditation using essential oils to envision our passions as a seed growing and expanding out into the universe. The choice of oils were Lavender, Wild Orange, and Manuka. Most everyone went for the meditative qualities of Manuka.
Merlin Peters discussed Tensor Rings and how he was lead to being creating them. Marlin discusses how the length of the copper wire is important to how the ring works. Tensor rings transmute negative ions into positive flows. It clears out energy from EMF’s as well.
Joanna Baker lead us in a guided meditation to our shadow selves to see and accept ourselves as we truly are, from all points of view. This was a very peaceful meditation for me, as I felt my shadows were simply there as way showers for the path.
Johanna Geister talked about our energy bodies, discussing the different energy lines and points of our body. She also led us in a grounding visualization where we all went barefoot to the grass to connect with the earth and envision our energy flowing through us as we breathed. It was such a beautiful experience with a little mist coming from the clouds rolling over. She also taught restorative yoga which was a perfect ending to the day.
Jill Reed from Green Healing Room shared her journey to practicing stone readings and was available for readings for everyone. She read EVERYONE at the retreat, each reading was spot on and exactly what each person needed to hear. After her readings she gave each person a stone that was called for them. I received two rough cut jades. These stones have really been powerful for me lately. Holding them while I meditate. Jill has a gift to translating messages she’s open to receiving for each person she reads.
I shared how creativity is spirituality, using the flower of life and sacred geometry to tie everything together. Everyone explored creating the flower of life as we discussed how the meditative process opens up your mind to seeing new perspectives. I also was blessed to share intuitive henna with a few people <3
Each of us has a passion and a desire to share that passion with others. Most of our time is spent working on our goals to keep our fire burning, as well as learning ways to share what we know with others. When we do events and vend at places, a lot of energy goes into preparing our gifts, as well as our hearts and minds for the many people we will interact with throughout the event. We rarely have time for our own sacred retreat.
Rarely do we have time to commune with one another. Let alone share and learn from one another. We each have so many gifts we offer the world, but we are also the people who miss receiving those gifts. We give so much of our time to goals, that we rarely have time to be open to receiving.
This sacred retreat was a time for vendors to come together and share and receive from one another. This retreat showed us how important this was for each of us. We need to remember we too deserve to receive our gifts. It gave us time to listen, and process what we learned. To sit and communicate our own experiences and thoughts. To be there for each other, witnessing each others light and standing in our own.
When we heal ourselves, we help others on their journey by sharing what we’ve learned. Supporting one another by holding space for self expression and authenticity is vital, we are all connected.
I am forever grateful for those who participated in the sacred retreat, Revive, Refill and Refresh in August. Miigwetch to all my relations.
Bringing up the story of the Phoenix. A powerful fire ceremony, balance through the water, and rising above the ashes.
The weekend started off with lots of rain, which canceled the awesome set The Wild Hymns were going to play! Instead they sat with us and Megan played a little guitar while we listened to the pouring rain.
Around 8pm my children came to me to tell me our tent had flooded and everything was soaked! I became so frustrated… and disappointed. It was a tough moment for me. And on top of that, when we went to get into the car… the door was locked with the keys inside! The universe was really testing me. The rain finally stopped around 8:30 pm, everyone tired, wet and ready for bed.
Saturday morning I woke up early to pray and meditate, to help ground and center my energy for the rest of the weekend, and was greeted by the fog, so peaceful and serene. The message was to breathe and let go. Let go of expectations, fears, worry and doubt.
Everyone woke up a little groggy, but ready to get into the heart of the summer solstice energy. Our schedule was adjusted a bit to accommodate time to clean up campsites. Breakfast was delicious and morning yoga was perfectly lead by Brenda. Our day was off to a more balanced start.
Brenda lead a garden tour, and tea making workshop while others spent time on their creative expressions for the altar. The time was so peaceful.
I was able to fix up the altar area and light the Solstice candle just before it started to rain again. Grateful that this time we were all prepared, we danced and made music to celebrate.
Our fire ceremony was to be held out by the pond, however with the rain we improvised and rearranged the tables under the pavillion to have our ceremony there.
It was divine.
After the ceremony the rain departed and the sky opened up to a beautiful night, where we saw shooting stars and celebrated with jumping the fire, a drum circle and fireworks.
Sunday started with Laughter Yoga, lead by Tammy and Jack Bray. The perfect ending to such a divine weekend.
At the end of the event on Sunday I went back to the altar to clean up and to my wonder, the Solstice candle was still lit! Even after all the rain!
I am so blessed to know so many beautiful and magickal people. So many kind souls to travel through this life learning from and growing with.
I am forever grateful for my dear sister, Brenda Solonoski. Without her love, support, and partnership this event would not have happened.
Check out the video of our event and look out for the next retreat …
“How breathtaking it is to start out on a journey into the unknown. To start off in new directions takes courage, and faith. Faith that even when there are no external signs to indicate where or how we should proceed, we are not lost.”
These paintings are dreams and visions from within, brought to life through layers of colors, lines, shapes and energy. Each painting was uncovered through a process of intuitive exploration. Five of these paintings reflect a journey to the Divine I AM inspired by a series of tarot cards. Each painting embodies and is attuned with the frequency of a specific tarot card.
Art is a powerful tool, not just for gratification of self-expression, but as a vehicle of 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.
“The root and full practice of the arts lies in the recognition that art is power, an instrument of communion between the self and all that is important, all that is sacred.”
My art is hanging at Reiki by Rickie‘s in Harrisburg until the end of June and last night was the wine and cheese reception! It was an amazing time sharing and communing with friends. I realized after last night that I really enjoy talking about my art process and about the images and meaning behind my paintings.
Its really fantastic to hear other people talk about my paintings. To see my work through new, different eyes. Its amazing to hear that what they feel from my work is exactly what I was thinking and putting into the painting. I am so grateful for those who showed up and everyone’s positive feedback and support. We are all on this journey together… I know when I am at my best and centered my own energy shines light on each of your beautiful souls and the amazing gifts you have to offer the world… and when you shine your light you help me see myself more clearly.
A lot has happened in the past month, so much I haven’t had time to keep up with writing about it all!
I taught two faculty paint nights as team building workshops! Both went extremely well and everyone left feeling like an artist! First we painted a lighthouse, because Ridgely is a Baltimore County Lighthouse School, we each hung our paintings up in our classrooms. The second party we painted cherry blossom trees, which were more for our houses.
I also taught a dream catcher workshop at my friends yoga studio Life in Balance. There were 12 people in attendance and each created their own unique dream catcher!
There was also a birthday painting party! Lots of middle school girls painting circle designs, or any designs they desired! Each piece turned out awesome, and the girls had a blast!
My 8th grade students enjoyed watching the plays, and hearing from the students afterwards about everything that went into completing their project. The quality of the story line, character profiles and costumes made this an amazing event to attend. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience with Ridgely Middle School.
A few teachers attended the first ever teacher workshop at Hampton National Historic Site. At this workshop, teachers were given a tour of the mansion and grounds, an adaptable lesson plan, as well as a presentation from our first ever artist in residence, Paul Moscatt. After the workshop we decided as an extra bonus, teachers would have two sessions with our artist in residence, to learn some techniques as artists which we can inturn share with our students.
The first painting day with Paul was on January 31st, 2016. Three of the teachers were in attendance, and created three beautiful paintings of a costume model in order to help us with our narrative ideas for our Hampton inspired paintings. These paintings will be submitted into the HHI juried student/teacher art exhibit in April!
When we first arrived at Paul’s studio it was like I was in a movie. The elevator in this older warehouse transformed into an amazing LLC. Cork Building that artists of multiple styles call home.
Paul is gracious host, providing us with coffee and coconut chocolate bars in the morning when we arrived. We talked for a little while about his studio space, and his ambitious and artistic daughter. He even had prosciutto ham bread with olives for lunch!
Painting model Deviana was such a pleasure. The atmosphere of the studio, along with Paul’s ability to teach new techniques in a manner that gets an artist excited about painting. He has a genuine enthusiasm for the act of painting that is contagious.
Thank you, Paul, for a wonderful day of learning and painting! Looking forward to our next paint session on February 28th, 2016.
Recently I was able to attend an amazing full day workshop designed to allow teachers time to play with digital technology! It was a time to “PLAY” with tools and ideas that we’ve learned about but have not had time to explore!
I met other educators who have experience using tools/apps/programs in the classroom and gain knowledge from their experience! I also shared my knowledge about using the Seesaw web based app in my classroom!
Open Educational Resources (OER) are high-quality, openly licensed, online educational materials that offer an extraordinary opportunity for people everywhere to share, use, and reuse knowledge.
It was truly a day of connecting and collaborating! I made a few new friends and networked with like minds. I totally look forward to the next play date!
PLAYDATE stands for People Learning and Asking Y: Digital Age Teacher Exploration. PLAYDATE originated from the idea that after attending conferences and having the good fortune to learn about “a myriad of new tools, websites, tricks and apps,” upon returning to school, educators had no time to experiment with them. Thus the idea of #PLAYDATE was born.
2015 was a year of progress, it felt as though I sprinted to the end! Everything moved forward and fast.
I like to write down all of the amazing things I’ve done in an ending year as a reminder to be grateful for what I have and to be excited for what’s to come in the new year.
As I sit here and make a list in my head, I realize I did a lot in 2015.
Such beautiful art!
I taught amazing adults how to let their creative self out and go with the flow. Meeting so many new people and making some really close friends.
The networking I did at events opened up doors and gave me new inspiration. My creativity really exploded into making new pieces of art and selling a lot of it.
I’ve learned that I really enjoy making grow with me chalkboards, and personalized art. Looking to make more art in 2016 and really market my work as well as my abilities as an artist and an instructor.
I see many opportunities to share what I know with people everywhere and amplify the creative energy in the world! In April I will be teaching a continuing education dreamcatcher class at Catonsville Community College, and have been asked to do a dreamcatcher workshop at a friends yoga studio. In July I will be teaching two classes during summer camp at the community college as well.
Brass Performance Hall
There were a few unexpected professional development travels. In March I went to the National Art Education Association Convention, and learned all about new art supplies and networked with new friends from twitter. The 2016 NAEA convention will be held in Chicago on Saint Patrick’s day weekend…and I will be there! I have already registered for the artisan gallery where art educators set up and sell their personal work! I visited Fort Worth Texas in June for the Balfour Advisor Workshop and Malibu California in July to attend the Balfour Ignite Journalism Workshop. I am also looking to take some students to Malibu this year for the workshop!
This year I had the privilege to become a new board member for Historic Hampton Inc.. So far this experience has been one of the best, working with amazing people to represent art and education at a national historic site! We’ve teamed up with our first artist in residence, wrote an arts integrated lesson plan to use with the site as well as held our first artist educator workshop! There is so much to look forward to in 2016…another artist educator workshop before spring, and a painting day with our artist in residence.
2015 started with a great softball season as my first year coaching my middle school’s girls softball team and in August I began my 7th year teaching at Ridgely Middle School, with a new principal and a whole new way of doing things. Learner centered environments are the way to go, and digital technology really does enhance learning. I am really enjoying the kids having devices available. The Seesaw app is really turning out to be a great way to keep portfolios! I can not wait to do more projects with my students and see how they use the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model to find solutions to the curriculum! Soon I will have completed my department chair training and I will be applying for the pool of candidates. Perhaps there is something new waiting for me at the end of 2016.
I also started blogging more. I made it a point to at least write once a month; I will be making it a goal in 2016 to write once a week. Using instagram to share our students awesomeness, along with what’s happening in the school, was a huge success. I also started tweeting more, and building my #PLN (professional learning network.) #k12artchat has been my favorite thing to do on Thursday nights, and has even inspired me to create a chat of my own (keep an eye out for more details coming.)
I spent a lot of time with my two amazing children this year, watching them grow and learn. They have really been a light and joy. We made a lot of crafts and went on many new adventures. I am so excited to see what we do in 2016!
I feel like I might be leaving things out, but man was that a lot!
A poinsettia is more than just a beautiful red petaled Christmas plant!
Did you know that it is indigenous to Mexico and Central America!
The Aztecs used the petals to produce a red dye and the white sap from the steam is an antipyretic medication… which means its a FEVER reducer! The Aztecs call the plant is called Cuetlaxochitl, meaning “flower that grows in residues.”
Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as Flor de Noche Buena, meaning Christmas Eve Flower. In Spain it is known as Flor de Pascua or Pascua, meaning Easter flower. In Chile and Peru, the plant became known as Crown of the Andes. In Turkey, it is called Atatürk’s flower because Atatürk, the founder of the Republic, liked this flower and made a significant contribution to its cultivation in Turkey.
The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico, where legend tells of a girl, commonly called Pepita or Maria, who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.
I find it so interesting that the plant comes from a specific place in Mexico, and had medicinal purposes, yet when I grew up learning about it I was told that the white sap was toxic and I could get sick from it. Before doing a little exploring and questioning, I did not see it for anymore more than just a decorative plant! Now reflecting on this fact…I know that all plants from this earth have a purpose that benefits the human race in one way or another. This is an important thing to be conscious of when realizing the amazing power we have to be self-sufficient.
All of this research came about because of my learn to paint poinsettia class! It was a nice party, and we created some beautiful paintings! Thank you ladies for coming!!