Monday, January 16, 2017

in honor of martin luther king jr.

A little collaboration today with my husband Andy in honor or Martin Luther King Jr. Our goal- capture his strength of character and the beauty of his message.


in honor of martin luther king jr. from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.




Thursday, January 12, 2017

healthy ramen

I have a love (and a weakness) for Ramen and while I may have lived off Ramen in college, these days I try to make better decisions with the food I eat. One of my favorite things to do is recreate my favorite meals and create a healthier option. 

One of the most important things for my body is try and stay away from gluten and processed foods and while sometimes this feels confining, I've figured out a lot of ways to recreate my favorite yummy recipes!

INGREDIENTS:

Gluten free Rice Noodles- I love the Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice Ramen noodles

Chicken broth

A variety of favorite vegetables

Cooked chicken breast

Homemade ramen seasoning- This is where you can create your own flavors for your broth!
Here is my favorite combo which you can mix up and use to flavor (according to your taste) the broth:
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon of ground cloves 
1 teaspoon ground fennel 
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion and parsley powder
Bring bone broth and seasoning to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.

Add vegetables, chicken breast and noodles and bring to a boil. Then let simmer for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

Transfer the soup into a bowl.

I like to add a big handful of chopped spinach, hot sauce and top with an egg! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

creating with mary- thoughts on being a mama


Before I became a mama, on any given day you could find me in my studio with twinkle lights turned on, music in the background, and coffee close by. I would spend hours upon hours in my little art space. It was such a sacred time - to honor my creative spirit, to fill up both spiritually and emotionally, to gather inspiration, and to pour my heart out on canvas.


I remember sinking into a brand new rhythm and routine in the first few weeks after my son was born. Even though I had my hands full with tending to my sweet babe, healing, and learning to trust my mama wings, I can recall feeling like a small yet vital piece of my soul was being forgotten, and in desperate need of attention.

For quite some time after I became a mama, solitude turned into a thing of the past. Self-care was non-existent. It felt almost an impossible task - weaving together the fundamental pieces of my 'old' life (as an artist) with my 'new' life (as a mama).
I'm here to tell you that it is so worth every obstacle (internal or otherwise) to get to a place of balance and harmony!


Through trial and error to find what works best within each season of life
As my son grows and changes, so does our daily 'schedule' (a term I use very loosely!). It's all about trial and error to find what works best within each season of life. My husband works super long hours, which means getting creative when it comes to carving out blocks of time for my art. For the most part, creating happens while my babe naps, which is usually for an hour during the middle of the day. It truly is amazing how much a person can get done in an hour or less with determination, focus, and set priorities!

Releasing expectations is huge in the success of making art a priority. I've found that being flexible is everything. Some days nap time doesn't happen. Or there's an appointment to get to. Instead of feeling frustrated when our routine is thrown off, I have learned to adjust my sails and realize that my creative outlet for that day is going to look different. Most likely it will include scribbling down ideas in my journal, on the floor, while my son colors next to me (or lets be honest - he's probably coloring ON me, my journal, his hands, and his face;)). Often times I will put him in my pack and paint while he watches! Sometimes I gather a few supplies and work at the kitchen table while he is in the mood to play independently for a few minutes.


Wearing both mama and artist hats for the past 18 months has taught me the truth that we can do anything, but not everything. To make sure art time happens for me, I have to let go....of a LOT. It is a beautiful and incredibly difficult thing to do, but setting priorities makes it possible to free up some time in my day. Learning to say no has been huge. Learning to listen to my heart + intuition has been huge. Learning to ask for what I need has been a game-changer. Being a mama is teaching me this incredible lesson that we don't have to do it all alone. And sometimes we need help. And asking for help is part of having a whole, fulfilling, and beautiful life.


Tips for artist mamas seeking time to create:

Find a baby carrier that you love, and use it! Your babe will likely love spending time watching you in your element!
(My son, Sawyer, comes a l i v e when he gets to spend time in my studio and it has been such a joy to experience art with him).

When your baby gets older, spend time creating together. My son loves coloring with markers now and it frees up my hands to make some art alongside him.

Ask for help. Some days a mama just needs a little creative solitude. Ask a trusted friend or relative to come and watch your child while you create, create, create.

Release expectations, let go, and remain flexible. Remember that you're cultivating a creative life- and that in an of itself is so rewarding! You're doing such important work. You're doing a fabulous job. Keep going!

xoxo

You can check out more guest posts from Mary HERE

Or you can find Mary:

Over on her website HERE 
Her shop HERE
Instagram HERE

Monday, January 09, 2017

a peek inside my floral art journal

Well, I have almost filled up an other art journal with floral pages! I am having so much fun working around a theme (flowers) for my art journal. I work on one or two art journal spreads each day and I limit myself to about 20 minutes to create. It has been a fun way to get creative, practice and explore ways that I can make around around my theme. Today I've got a little peek into this journal as well as a video where I share my process on one of my favorite pages. If you are looking for more videos, head on over to my YouTube channel where I uploads all kinds of videos of my process and have lots of new stuff coming in the months ahead!






Thursday, January 05, 2017

creating with samie: understanding color

Experimenting with color is one of my favorite things about art journaling, if not the favorite.  I come from a more technical and word-y background, and while I often played with watercolors as a kid with my mom, I never considered myself capable of being an artist. When I began art journaling, I really had to learn the basics, and recalled the simple lessons from elementary school art class - the color wheel, warm and cold, all mixed together makes mud. These are great to get you started, but all the books in the world won't compare to what you can discover with the spirit of experimentation. 

I really am a 'what if?' kind of person. What if I combined this with this? What if I used this tool differently? All the techniques you love were once ideas in the heads of artists past, and you have that same power of creation.  

Apply this same idea to color. It isn't a mystical force to be feared, but a friend who brightens your day. But you need to learn your own color language first!  



Why is this important? I'll tell you a story. Ages ago, I saw that I was using a lot of the same colors in my journals, and thought that didn't make me a well-rounded artist. I told myself I had to start using the colors I usually shied away from, and proceeded to use the yellows and greens I didn't like. And surprise! I hated those journal pages. There were great parts, but I just didn't like them. I lost my mojo. I thought I was a bad artist.  

But I wasn't. I knew what I liked and what I didn't like, and if I want to do turquoise on all my pages, then I can do that. Your art journal is for YOU and no one else.  

Here's an exercise for you: start a color journal. 

 

I like to find new color combinations through a simple exercise I inadvertently discovered. 

You'll need 6 colors, plus some good white. You want to pick warm or cool as your primary palette. Here's what you're looking for:


White
Black
Neon shade complementary to primary colors  (warm if cool, and vise versa)
Light shade complementary to primary colors (warm if cool, and vise versa)
Light
Medium
Dark
Remember that mixed warm and cool colors will make icky mud, so try not to layer while too wet. Use the primary three colors first, using the neon and light completary shades to add accents (in the example below, the neon pink and yellow are to be used as accents). 


Switch out primary colors - go more blue, or green! Try reds or pinks! But remember your accents and black and white to add contrast and depth to your spread. 

I've done this through an entire journal, which I now can pull out whenever I'm trying to figure out what a page is missing, or what colors I should choose to compliment a new favorite.

Doing these kinds of exercises helps build up your color library and helps you to create awesome journal pages!


You can check out more of Samie-
blog- http://journalgirl.com/
instagram- https://www.instagram.com/samieharding/


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