Dia de los Muertos

Close up of Sugar Skull art journal pageI love fall – the colors are my colors, the cooler weather finally comes, my birthday happens and the holidays truly begin with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The time for family and being together and celebrating really starts when the weather breaks. There is one more holiday in the fall that is lesser known in the United States – Dia de los Muertos. Day of the Dead. This holiday gets a bad rep because it sounds morbid and is typically celebrated with dancing skulls dressed like mariachi’s and hat dancing ladies. However, this holiday is really about celebrating and honoring those we love that have passed. It is a day to remember them and tell their stories to our children and friends. It is a day to celebrate the lives of our loved ones.

This fall, along with stitching pumpkin table runners out of luscious hand dyed wool and deciding what creepy or silly costumes we will wear for Trick or Treating, I have made an art journal page. I painted a sugar skull to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Sugar skulls are a favorite candy in Mexico for this holiday. They are everywhere. I thought it would be fun to paint one and spend that time remembering my family members that are gone. As I painted, I thought about their smiling faces, the way they laughed, jokes we shared and all the wonderful times we shared. It was an artful way to honor them and celebrate their lives. It was a great way to take some time to remember how lucky I was to have them in my life.

Dia de los Muertos - Day of the Dead

I was inspired by Effy on Wild Soul Arts. She made a free video showing her technique for making a sugar skull art journal page spread. If you would like to paint or stitch a sugar skull, there is a free template available online at http://silverravenwolf.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/magick-notes-dios-de-los-muertos-sugar-skull-template/

I used neocolors, acrylics, ink, rubber stamps and gesso to create this sweetie. Enjoy the day, honor your people and celebrate life!

Be your wonderful self

Your Wonderful Self Journal PageThere are times in life when we get so overwhelmed that we forget to take care of ourselves and take time to simply be. We can easily get distracted by projects at work or school or even by joyful events like a new baby or a new love. Eventually, our soul reaches a place where it feels off and we need to recenter.

My lovely daughter Amber is off at college. We did not get into the nitty gritty details of what’s going on with her college life but it sort of sounded like she needed to take some time to just be her wonderful self. So, that was all I said that day we texted and spoke. I am learning to be empathetic and listen, not to judge or try to solve her problems. She is grown and I’m still learning how to be the best parent I can be. I still have my son at home and we have several years of practice ahead.

Close up of Wonderful Self BunnyThe next day I checked in with her. I needed to hear her voice and so we talked about the weather finally cooling off and how much we love fall. She felt better that day and had taken some time for herself. I emailed her a copy of my journal page inspired by her. We are both arty and our art is a huge bond between us. She told me on her last visit home that she was so grateful to have been raised in an artistic home. So now, I have my journal to remember the day and she has a copy to remember to take time to be her wonderful self.

Nanojoumo

National Nonstop Journaling MonthDon’t you love this silly name?? It stands for National Nonstop Journaling Month!

Each day during November, Dawn D. Sokol will post a one word journaling prompt to inspire you to do some art journaling. This is just an inspiration project. What you make and how big you make it is up to you.  I understand there will be a general theme posted prior to the beginning. I think it will be fun to have a little nudge for inspiration so I’m signing up to follow along.

Follow my blog if you want to see what I create. I hope you join in the fun too.

To follow Dawn, go to her website at dawndsokol.com and follow her to get the prompts. To check out her full description of Nanojoumo, read her blog post here.