taking flight into art, love, and life (the blog)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Food Changes Everything

Welcome to Food Changes Everything. In this series, I've asked my health coach friend, Lacy Young, to share some of her wisdom with you - everything from delicious green smoothie recipes to how to make those hard, but life-affirming small step changes around food. Lacy didn't always take care of herself. And neither have I. Luckily, she changed her food habits which changed her life. And now I am learning, through her, how, in fact, food changes everything.

See all posts in this series here.
You can find out more about Lacy on her website. 

This lifestyle takes work. Eating whole foods isn't always the easy choice. We are surrounded by junk foods, processed foods + fake foods that are dressed up to look, smell and taste pretty delicious. Even an ugly cupcake makes people smile.

Staying mindful and acting in alignment with your desires is a practice. Often that means overriding old ways of being. When stress + anxiety well up inside it can be so easy to self-soothe with food. For me it used to be sugar. Anything cake, cookies and ice cream. Looking back usually only the first bite made it better (if that). After that I was negotiating a killer headache or belly ache with a side of guilt for having done that to myself yet again.

The truth is that there's always an option that will support + nurture you and it usually doesn't have anything to do with food. Inspired by a client going through a tough time I've compiled a list of motivational tips + tools to help.

1. Pause + breathe before you act on the emotion or feeling you're experiencing by eating. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Take three deep breaths. Sometimes it's all you'll need to bring you back into presence to gain some control + perspective.

2. Say to yourself, "I love you. I see you. I feel you." You're feeling rotten and taking a moment to affirm that you're here with yourself, on the same team, being seen can work wonders. Consider a practice of saying it in the mirror daily.

3. Look at what you'd like to do and then decide differently. Ok-- the shit has hit the proverbial fan. You're ready to cart yourself down the street to the local coffee house for a baked good and cup of whipped cream with a little coffee in it. What could you do instead? What could you do that would take you out of the moment you're in, still feel satisfying but NOT filled with sugar + regret? Have a glass of water and write in your journal. If you're in a really tender state consider writing all you're feeling and then burning the pages to help release any trapped energy! (please burn the pages in a safe place like a fireplace)

4. Is this an opportunity to set a healthy boundary? Sometimes the thing that pushed you over the edge was a result of not standing up for yourself in a loving way. Could you say 'NO' sooner next time or change some routine, behavior or practice that would honor your boundaries?

5. Naps are a wonderful reset button. Maybe you need a nap to bring you back. Sleep is basic, necessary and a total life saver. Maybe it's time to look at your sleep schedule and commit to getting into bed earlier each night.

6. Be oh so gentle with yourself + respect your feelings. Chances are something has been building up over time to lead to this moment. Could you practice more kindness with yourself this week? Maybe that means letting go of those old rules about how things need to be done in a certain order before you take care of you. Leave the dishes in the sink + light a candle to soften the mood. It's ok, advisable even to take care of you first.

7. Ask yourself what you're really craving and then create space to invite it in. It could be you're really craving... more peace, physical touch, quality time alone, intimacy, a little hope, some more energy etc...

If you're struggling, you're not alone. We all face challenges in feeding + taking care of ourselves. There is a way to fill the well without overdosing on food + booze. There is a way to move through life without the guilt + shame hangover. I totally understand what it feels like to want to change but not know how. I have been in those moments when I knew it was going to be more painful to stay the same than it would be to do the work to change. I baked a whole sheet of cookies once only to take them out of the oven and put them down the disposal in tears. Been there. Done that.

Love yourself enough to do the work to change. You've totally got this!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Ask Kelly Rae :: How do you keep all your supplies organized?


Ask Kelly Rae is your chance to prompt me with your thoughtful, soulful & beautifully complex questions about just about anything! Art, love, relationships, friendships, business, creativity, home decor, where I got my cowgirl boots — the doors are wiiiide open. 

Click here to submit a question for a future post. And enjoy today’s conversation . . .

Hi Kelly Rae,

I am beginning my journey as an artist and Possibilitarian! My question is what containers or organizing skills do you have for setting up a studio so it functions well. I am a messy artist and I currently have a small space but hoping to expand to a larger space. Having an organized and well thought out space for where to put all the papers, paints, pencils, markers, embellishments scraps and do dads would be very helpful. Shelving or drawers? Open spaces for containers? Should I have a file for all the different types of papers?


Hi Jennifer,

So glad you asked this question and so glad that I'm not alone in making beautiful messes!

I love getting a peek into how others store their supplies and how they set up their creative spaces in general. I've had so many different set up through the years - from a corner in a dimly lit basement to a dining room table to big space outside my home - but the one thing that remains the same no matter where I've created (or how I've organized the space) is the intention to make it as inviting and nurturing as possible. 

"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." - Joseph Campbell

Creating art is a sacred time, a time to unleash your playful spirit, nourish your soul, and fill your well. Just as we would set the scene and/or create a ritual if we’re heading into meditating, or prayer, or into a meaningful conversation, it’s important to do the same with making art.

There are so many ways to organize your space (I'll share my tips below), but the most important thing is to notice what feeds YOUR soul and to create an inviting environment that will support it. So if creating in the middle of the kitchen island with lots of activity swirling around is working for you, then great! If you notice that your soul needs quiet, then perhaps moving your operation to the corner of quiet area in your home would be a good move. I’ve seen some pretty amazing closets that have been converted to creative spaces! The point is is to give yourself permission to claim your art-making time as sacred, important, and to create a nurturing environment for it.

For me, that usually a candle, a cup of tea, perhaps some music, and always always an intention for that day's painting session.....usually on a post it note......

These post-it note intentions are little reminders to stay as carefree as possible during the creative process, little touchstones to return to again and again while making stuff.  Super important. 


Ok, let's get to your original questions about how I organize supplies! 

Here's a quick tour of how I store my art supplies. I’m a big fan of keeping my art supplies out where I can see them. I noticed I wasn't using them unless I could visually SEE them. I’m also a big fan of rolling carts….


photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

I keep all of my paints (and gel mediums)  in an industrial rolling cart – perfect for moving them around. Carts are tricky to find, but I generally find them at IKEA, or some kind of salvage/junk store.


photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

Rolls of wallpaper and wrapping paper hang out in a large vintage basket. 

I keep smaller pieces of paper in a rolling cart of drawers, organized by color. This particular rolling cart came from IKEA and it rolls right under my studio table.

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

I keep more papers and book sources in an old pink trunk. All my papers are out and easily accessible.


photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

I keep my ribbons in my very own tiered tray. This tray sits right on my table. If you’re interested, you can purchase one here.

Inks and such:

I keep my spray inks, ink pads, and alphabet stamps in tiered baskets. And I keep brushes, texture tools, and stencils in one of my rolling carts (from IKEA).

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

I keep more stencils and stamps in another rolling cart (from IKEA). These rolling carts are KEY.

Pens, Pencils, and more

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax
photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

I keep small buckets of pens and pencils and other small stuff in a industrial roundabout that sits on my studio table. Love this thing. I bought it from Create-ologie which no longer exists online (boo), but again I've seen these around at industrial type salvage shops.


I found these vintage jewelry containers and they’re perfect for holding small ephemera, such as buttons, stamps, and more. I usually stack these on top of each other to help save room.

Thanks for the great question! I hope that helps :)

Keep em' coming,
Kelly Rae

Click here to submit a question for a future post.
Click here to see all posts in this ongoing project series.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Nourish Your Soul with Faith Centered Gifts

Each week, I shine a spotlight on a few creations that I'm particularly proud of.  May you be inspired - and perhaps find a little something to nourish your soul.  Click here to see all the posts in this series. 

Products that celebrate all things Faith:

Sometimes we need a reminder to choose hope. It's always, always worth doing. You can get yours here. She also comes in a spiral bound notebook here.

As sweet as they are meaningful. Our cross necklaces are sure to remind you what is close to your heart. Cross necklaces here.

One of my favorite totes. Love the flower detail. Trust the Journey tote is available here.

Adore our chunky crosses for their beautiful construction with super thick sides. Get Grace here. See our entire line of crosses here. Don't miss these! 

Thanks, friends. Our mission is to continue to create products that blend creativity with meaning, beauty with function. I so love what I do.

Kelly Rae

PS: The products featured above (and more) are sold online via Garden Gallery Works (a local shop here in the Portland area), but if you're looking for signed/matted prints and/or originals, you can get these in my online shop International customers, Garden Gallery is HAPPY to ship worldwide. Please email them at gardengalleryorders@gmail.com to get started. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Basement Before and After

I just realized that I never showed the before and after photos of our basement remodel in the old house! It's such a major transformation, that I HAD to share. 


This is what it looked like when we moved in. Pretty dingy. We took our time remodeling it......


Crazy, right?

Here's what we did:

We built new walls, and put in insulation.....

We installed pocket lights in the ceiling....

We repaired the stairs with new risers, and installed (fake) hardwood floors...

We painted the walls, and installed large egress windows where the old tiny windows once were...

And then we decorated.....Ikea couch, shower curtains turned into curtains, shag rug, a Mati Rose birdie painting, and lots pillows...

We even built (ahem, my dad built) a faux mantel. He also built that awesome room divider you see at the other end. On the other other side of the room divider was True's play room (you can see that room's full tour here).

We loved how this basement family room turned out! We recently rented this house to a lovely family and I have a feeling this basement (and the whole house) is gonna continue to get lots of love. Remodeling a house is no small feat. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have created something  these last four years, room by room, that will be a part of our lives forever. And now, as we begin to really settle in our new home, I'm really looking forward to creating more spaces that bring us joy for years and years to come. Hello, my name is Kelly Rae and I love decorating. Hello Soul, Hello Space! 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

On releasing.

New art! Signed, matted print available here.


Allowing more space and room for something else, something more relevant, something that can better serve our highest good. 


A simple blessing to send something on its way. 

A silent prayer of gratitude for whatever it was, whatever it served, whatever good it brought. 

And then a whispering, a gentle sending it off on the wings of grace.

To me, that's what release is. It is a gift of letting something that has served its purpose go. It is a blessing. A moment of gratitude. An awakening.  And an invitation to let something else in - perhaps joy, creativity, breath. 

Yes and yes!