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Monday, August 29, 2011

Flowing Water Meditation

This week I'm trying the "Flowing Water Meditation" from The Meditation Bible by Madonna Gauding. This is a great little book that appeals to both novice, and seasoned meditators. It's broken down into sections depending on what goal you are looking to achieve through your exploration or practice of mediation.

I found this particular meditation in the Calming and Centering section of her book. It can be done on the beach, next to a creek or park fountain, or in your home sitting next to (or in!) the bathtub as it fills with water.

Monday Meditations

Monday- It’s the beginning of the work week for many, a time to really gather yourself and get ready for the week ahead. It can be overwhelming sometimes! So I’m trying something new to help me from distraction, and keep me living in the present moment.

Monday Meditations.
Every Monday (well, I miss one here and there), I’ll be posting a new meditation to try that I will draw from The Meditation Bible by Madonna Gauding and other sources as well. I will also have guests contribute posts about their personal experiences with meditation or some form of well being.
I really like Madonna Gauding's book because the meditations are condensed (which we can all appreciate) and they are broken down into the following categories:

• Calming and Centering
• Living Mindfully
• Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit
• Getting You Moving
• Generating Love and Compassion
• Solving your Problems
• Manifesting your Dreams
• Connecting to the Divine

Meditation is not all about just sitting on a cushion. (In fact, if you are more comfortable laying down instead of sitting, go for it - it is your practice, after all, and you need to do what works for you.) I’ll even be trying some that involve dancing! Although many people attribute meditation as an exotic practice, it’s simply making the choice to focus your mind on something, or to just sit and experience "no thought. It’s a down to earth approach for everyone, of any religion.

Why Meditate?
• To give your mind a break from the relentless stream of thought
• To envision what you want in your life
• To Improve Health
• To Sharpen your Mind
• To be More Aware of Body and Mind
• To Balance your Emotions
• To Experience Gratitude

If you’re new at meditation, you will most likely find these to be non-intimidating and simple; and if you’ve been practicing for a while, these meditations can bring you new inspiration.

I’m starting today with the Flowing Water meditation.

Please feel free to try these with me each week and share your experiences with it. You can email me your reaction to the meditation or just write on my facebook wall or blog post and let me know how it went for you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's a Luv Thing

Tonight I'll be at It's a Luv Thing, a hippie chic little boutique in downtown Encinitas, for their monthly happy hour.

Come by and check out some of my Peace & Love collection and enjoy a cocktail and the comfy styles of this awesome little luv shack!

Happy Hour with Cocoon
It's a Luv Thing
1053 S Coast Highway
Encinitas, CA

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To Market

Farmer's Markets selling farm-fresh, pesticide-free produce and food products have grown in popularity in the United States with the increased focus on healthy eating and preservation of local farmers and natural resources. Throughout the world, however, small weekly markets in rural villages have been the norm for centuries.

Every Wednesday in Montefiorino, the main town in the area we are staying, there is an outdoor market from 8am - 12pm. The market, held in the main piazza of the town - an area of about 100 square feet, is quite

Monday, August 15, 2011

Buon Apetito

[caption id="attachment_3207" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Prosciutto e melone"]


Italy is synonymous with melt-in-your-mouth culinary experiences. I have tasted my fair share of delicious food here and I thought it was only right to give you a few bites! (You can see more in this album.)

The region I am spending most of my time here is in Emilia Romagna, known for parmesan cheese, tortellini, lasagna, gnoccho fritto, tigelle, porcini mushrooms, prosciutto and balsamic vinegar, just to name a few.

Gnoccho Fritto (nyo-ko free-toh) is a typical meal from the area. It translates to "fried dough", which is a pretty good description of it. It's a type of pasta dough that is rolled out thin and cut into diamond shaped pieces about 4 inches long.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Color Me Happy

Can you picture a world without color? Imagine grey sunflowers, a white ocean, or a black strawberry. It takes the appeal, the allure and the taste right out of them. There have been movies made and books written about the concept, such as Pleasantville and The Giver. But these stories end up with color being introduced or remembered eventually, because the idea of letting a story end in shades of grey is just too unbearable.

Artists use color to evoke certain emotions or to reflect their own internal sentiments. Governments use color

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bella Venezia!


Ever since I laid eyes on her, I have been in love with her.

After graduating from college, I backpacked through Europe for several weeks with a friend. We visited dozens of cities from Copenhagen to Rome. But the city that completely stole my heart was Venice. I didn't know then that I would end up studying the beautiful and expressive language of Italian, that I would marry a man who was born in a small Italian village, or that I would become an artist in a medium mastered on an Italian island.

Walking through the narrow Venetian streets and along the canals without a destination in mind is a joy that is hard to describe. I lose myself in this beautiful city the same way I lose myself when I work with glass (vetro) and my thoughts are held hostage by this material that communicates light, color and form.

I am enamored with the sight of the gondolas and the gondoliers as they gracefully navigate impossibly tight turns, low bridges and other water vehicles through the shallow canals. I marvel at the tilt of the settling structures with their incredible architectural detail as they lean in toward each other to whisper the secrets they have witnessed over the centuries. Even the windows are works of art and are often beautified even further with flowers.

I gape at the beautiful designer shops stocking the latest runway fashions on the famous Campo San Moise just off of Piazza San Marcos. Lined all in a row, it is difficult to walk by without wanting to touch the fabrics, try on a few outfits and feel the luxury. I study the store windows filled with the masks that have become synonymous with Venice and I wonder about the promiscuous times during the 12th century when masks were worn to protect the identity of those engaging in decadent activities. I easily imagine myself living in Venice now, walking through the passageways on my way to a trattoria to grab pranzo (lunch) with a friend, or to meet with a shop owner to discuss selling my art in their store.

A Venetian mask
The Grand Canal at Sunset
Designer Shops
I have been to Venice several times since graduating, the last time being 2004, right before I began taking an interest in glass. You can imagine my excitement when our friends invited my husband and I to join them during their stay in Venice, which coincided with our travel plans to Italy this week!

This time, the experience of Venice had an even more profound effect on me. I looked at the glass displayed in the shops with a knowledge of what the process is behind the fabrication of each piece. I recognized the varying levels of quality and steered clear of the stores closest to Piazza San Marco, those beckoning tourists looking for inexpensive gifts and souvenirs. I found treasures to behold and couldn't believe the creativity and skill that today's artisans employ in their works of glass art.

A glass gallery full of unique creations
Tourist trap!
The most rewarding experience during this trip however was my visit to the island of Murano (where the most reputable glass is created). Although the factories close every August so the master glass blowers can take their holiday and so that all of the kilns can be rebuilt, the showrooms are still open. We visited several showrooms, the most impressive being that of Mazzega. I was completely blown away by the artistry, diversity and absolute beauty of the creations I saw there. We met the very warm and charming manager there, Dr. Girogio Padoan and had a wonderful conversation with him about the medium of glass, the art his gallery represents and about my work. I gained new ideas, new contacts and a new friend.

I could go on and on, but it is better that you experience Venice yourself if you haven't already. Besides, I don't think this conversation is over...