Monday, November 25, 2013

Art and BRAINS!

Art has been a big part of my life since I was very young. I loved Paul Klee as a child because he drew a big lovely cat with a little tiny bird that I could copy. I loved the Disney cartoons and going to Disney World to see the art being created before my eyes.

Lately I have been practicing my art quite a bit because I will be doing storyboards. This style of drawing is unfamiliar to me. It is like the art in comic books. Much of my art is more freestyle and I have been self-taught for the most part.
From practicing this new style I realized that I am not excellent at perspective, and have been taking classes with Bob Budiansky of Transformer fame, and another comic artist named Daniel Rosa to help me with my weaknesses.

To say the least, these guys are amazing.

Daniel recommended a book to me called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I had my doubts about this book because it seemed like many other art books I had do these lessons and copy this picture and you will get better at drawing. But this one is different. The lessons, at least in the beginning, are focused on helping the artist to wake up and use the right hemisphere of the brain.

The left side of our brain, once considered the dominant and more important side, is the verbal, analytical, logical and linear side...and can get in the way of the intuitive, holistic and nonverbal right side when drawing.

The book tells us there are ways to shift from left brain thinking to right brain. The first way told us to draw a picture upside-down. To be exact, to look at a picture that is upside-down, and to recreate it starting at the top of the page, which would actually be the bottom of the image. Here is the picture from the book; a drawing by Picasso of Igor Stravinsky:

Here is my drawing turned right-side up:

Another method to induce the shift is to draw with your left hand. I am slightly ambidextrous so I had a bit of an advantage with this one:

The final shift-inducer was to draw a picture of your hand without ever looking at the paper. The urge to peek is almost overwhelming at times...your left brain is trying to straighten things out. Here is my hand drawn on a taped down piece of paper...and I did NOT peek.

These lessons are taught to help us improve our art and to draw with more ease and freedom. Then just when you can feel that shift happening on its own when you draw, you need to in corporate that linear left side back in for perspective.

Looks like I need all the help I can get.

If you do any of the lessons please feel free to post them or send them to me, I'd love to see them!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Evil Experiments~Tea Magic

Tea is on of the most popular drinks in the world. Over three billion people drink tea every day. There are flavors to please almost everyone.

Earl Grey, a lovely black tea with bergamot, Chamomile, a delicate, green flavored tea which helps us relax, Cinnamon Sunset, a hot, sweet, and spicy tea tastes a bit like Dentyne gum and needs no sugar because it is made with sweet cloves, and hundreds and thousands of others.

Tea is delightful with breakfast, tea time in the afternoon, or to calm you down before bed. With lemon and honey it makes our sore throats feel better. Choosing the perfect cup is almost as fun as drinking the tea!

Some believe that certain teas can help us see into the future, or help another fall in love.

For instance, if you add lemon balm, mugwort, eyebright and rosehips to black tea, you might get a glimpse of what is behind the veil. If you add damiana, chamomile, mullein, and rose hips to black tea and sip very slowly during a full moon, a vision of your true love might appear in the dark. Please visit this site for even more magical tea spells:
Some use tarot to see into the future, some the Ouija board, and others read tea leaves.

Tea leaf reading, or tasseography, has been practiced since medieval times as a form of divination.

Cups have been designed to make it easier for the reader to decipher the signs left by the leaves.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to reading the leaves; using the traditional symbols passed down from generations, or use intuition. For example, if the reader sees an S shape at the bottom of the cup, this could be read as misfortune if using traditional symbols, but the reader might not feel a negative at all, and interpret the S as something completely different.

Set up a lovely area for yourself, and turn off anything electric, cell phones, TV, etc. Say a prayer of protection of doing a reading for someone else.

Reading the leaves is very simple. First, the tea is brewed, preferably in the traditional method with a pot and loose tea. If only tea in bags is available, the tea can be make by breaking the bag into a cup, or making a regular cup of tea and then breaking the bag and adding a pinch or two to the cup. Use a light colored, sloping cup. Use a tea that has a special meaning to you, or one whose scent has a spiritual meaning.

Before the tea is sipped, there are a few things to look for in the cup according to Serena, who has been reading tea leaves for generations.

  • Bubbles on the surface of your tea means that money is on its way.
  • If any tea leaves are floating on the surface, then visitors are imminent. The number of leaves shows how many days away they are.
  • If two teaspoons are accidentally placed on a saucer, then you can expect news of twins soon.
  • If a teaspoon is placed upside down onto a saucer then you will hear news of the ill-health of a close relative.

  • Then the tea is enjoyed. This is an important part of the ritual because you calm down and your thoughts are not erratic. While sipping, three questions can be thought of if there is no specific purpose for the reading.  Leave a small amount of liquid at the bottom, and swirl the remains three times clockwise. Now pour the liquid into the saucer, and look at the leaves left on the bottom of the cup. Some say if there are only a few leaves that your life is orderly and planned.

    Some say it means you are not living your life to the fullest. If there are many leaves you are busy, hurried, but fulfilled. Some say it could mean you are doing too many things, and should slow down.

    Now turn the handle toward yourself. Here is a list of the "zones" according to Wiki: 

  • Zones from top to bottom may represent either "distance" or "weight" of the omens. Images near the top (rim) are close while images near the bottom are distant. In terms of time, the distance from rim to base represents approximately 6 months. However, "distance" may also refer to relationship to a person or goal. The other way of looking at it is that images at the base of the cup can represent a "heavy" (ill) omen and, as they come nearer the rim, are "light" or joyful omens. The context will determine which is applicable. Context and symbolism are most important. Trust your instincts.
  • The handle of the cup is known as the "domain" and images near the handle are images related to home life and family. The further from the handle an image is the more "outside" the omen. Symbols opposite the handle relate to work or strangers, somewhere in between might relate to non-immediate family or "a friend of a friend." Images to the RIGHT of the handle indicate something coming TO the querent while images to the LEFT of the handle represent things coming FROM the domain.
  • A big clump of tea leaves with no discernible image might augur trouble on its way. If it is opposite to the handle, the trouble will likely be not of your making but if it is under the handle, it is considered to be of your making.
  • If there remains a drop or two of liquid tea that didn't come off with the draining, these are considered to be tears. It might indicate past or future sadness, dependent on the context of the rest of the reading.

  • Now you can begin looking for symbols. Apples, spiders, candles, and more have traditional meanings, but going with your intuition is always a great idea when reading the leaves.

    Look here for a complete list of symbols and their meanings.

    Reading can also be done with coffee grinds or the sediment left over from wine.

    Here is my reading: There were some drops of tea left of the bottom after I drained the cup.
    Great Gramma reading leaves and bones
    These are known as "tears" and mean I will probably experience sorry. Or maybe it means I already did! I also noticed the leaves on the right near the handle looked like a cat, and on the top away from the handle is a little flag. On the bottom there is a dancing person and smiling kid or face. OK let's see...Oooo!! The flag is danger from wounds inflicted by an enemy! Great. And yikes! Since it the left of the handle it is FROM me!! The cat...difficulties caused by treachery!! WTH!! And it is close to the handle so it comes from home. Finally! The smiling face is pleasure and love and the little dancing figure means a pleasant omen of coming pleasure and gratification, good news, happiness in love and friendship; it also means that you will receive an unexpected invitation.

    I hope you will read tea leaves today and tell me what happens, or tell me if you ever had your fortune told.


    **Scroll down for the Candle and Mirror Experiment, Evil Writing, Weakening the Veil, Manifestation and MORE!


    Monday, October 28, 2013


    Welcome to Day 5 of the COFFIN HOP!

    When I was in my late teens I read a book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Being 19, I remember hating the book, but I became interesting in energy and perseverance and manifestation.

    I meditated a little and used certain energy practices to help with my school work and blossoming career.

    I also tried an experiment back then: I thought of something I wanted to manifest. I though of this thing many times a day and consciously focused on this item. It was a blue feather.

    I don't remember why I chose the blue feather or if it held any special meaning back then.

    I just remember the intense focus. I could see the feather as clear as a bell--the details of the soft downy sides and the Tiffany blue color.

    Although I should have focused on something I needed or wanted, the blue feather probably seemed slightly magical and unusual.

    By the end of the day I probably thought of that feather 100 times. I was very disappointed--no signs of a blue feather.

    I went to sleep and woke the next morning to the sound of the paper being delivered on the front porch.  Reaching down to get it I noticed a small blue feather on the concrete next to the welcome mat. I picked up the feather and stared at it for a good long time. I kept it in my jewelry box for years. It unfortunately vanished about the time I moved into my new home.

    Was this a coincidence? Probably. Or maybe not... I can't discount anything anymore. It could be one of those situations where you start thinking of something, for instance a white Acura because you are thinking of buying one, and for the next week the only car you notice is a white Acura.

    I may have seen that blue feather the day before on the porch and made the experiment work in reverse...but there is no way I'll ever know. SO I am going to do it again starting now: I am going to think of something but I want YOU to tell me what to think of. I will choose from your suggestions and think of that thing for 24 hours and then see what happens. I hope you will try the Manifestation Experiment too. Then tell me what happens.

    **Scroll down for Day 1 and the Candle and Mirror Experiment, Day 2 for Evil Writing, and Day 3 for Weakening the Veil.  


    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    Coffin Hop Day 4~~TELEKINESIS

    Welcome to Day 4 of the COFFIN HOP!

    The Stephen King movie Carrie is about a girl who discovers that she had telekinetic powers, but her mother thinks it is the work of the devil. Telekinesis, along with telepathy, psychokinetic abilities, the ability to levitate, and good old-fashioned mind reading are powers we all wish we could acquire.

    Always buzzed about, but never quite legit, we think these abilities would help us, but we can't be sure.

    There have been many studies to try and test mind reading and the other powers, but the results are vague to say the least.

    It seems that some DO have supernatural abilities, but they are not something we can control...or are they?

    Today we will do the Telekinetic Trial, and see if any of us have the ability to use our minds to move light. 

    What you will need today is a candle or a flashlight. Place the candle or flashlight on a table with the beam either shining toward the ceiling or straight across the table.

    Let the candle or flashlight glow for about 30 seconds to make sure there is no breeze to upset the flame, and ensure the battery is not dying in the flashlight.  Now for the next 30 seconds focus all of your thoughts and energy into changing the flame or beam. Make it move or make it brighter or dimmer.

    If you are really feeling powerful, try and make it turn off or blow out. I did this experiment during the day, and even though I was in a dark room the feel was different from doing it at night. I will add the evening results tonight after dark.  Another version of this involves a pendulum, or even a necklace with a heavy medallion. Hold the necklace by the end of the chain, letting the medallion hang motionlessly over a table or flat surface. Ask it a question that you know the answer to, like, "
    Am I a woman?"

    Be patient, because in a few moments the pendulum will begin to swing in a specific direction...east to west, north to south, in a circle, or anywhere in between. If you know the answer to the question you asked is YES, you now know the pendulum will move in the same direction each time the answer to one of your questions is YES. Ask questions for NO, MAYBE, NEVER, or anything else you would like to add.

    For some reason people have more luck with the pendulum than the candle or flashlight, but I would love to know what happens during your experiment.

    **Scroll down for Day 1 and the Candle and Mirror Experiment, Day 2 for Evil Writing, and Day 3 for Weakening the Veil.  


    Saturday, October 26, 2013


    Welcome to Day 3 of the COFFIN HOP!

    The Evil Experiments will continue today with a quest for Weakening the Veil.

    We hear that there is a thin shield that keeps the otherworldly at a slight distance from us. We are told that certain things help us see beyond this film, and even allow us glimpses.

    Alcohol, meditation, séances, tarot cards, or any other form of divination allows what is over there, to come over here.

    Orbs are supposedly an indicator of some type of activity from beyond. They appear in pictures and in videos that we take.

    Some explain them as dust or other physical particulates, but others think they are unexplainable.  I have seen them as almost imperceptible glowing dots, and I have seen them as big as an entire photo.

    Since we are told orbs are indicators of activity from behind the veil, and meditation can weaken the veil, I took photos in a dark room before and after meditation. You can also do this before and after you have a few glasses of wine...or do the Ouija Board but I would not recommend that...

    Again--I don't like what happened. The before pic looks like me in a dark room...

    The after picture looks, ummm, different.


    Do you see anything weird? Different? Spooky? Manifesting?! Although I don't see orbs, I MIGHT see something else. I would love to know...tell me what you think. And do the experiment if you like and tell me what happens.

    Have fun on your journey to the other side!!

    **Scroll down for Day 1 and the Candle and Mirror Experiment, and Day 2 for Evil Writing.


    Friday, October 25, 2013


    Welcome to day two of the Coffin Hop!

    The Candle and Mirror experiment from yesterday seemed a bit too scary for some, but a few braved it.

    Humans wonder what happens after is the one thing we can't study and gather empirical evidence about. Do our spirits continue? Do we HAVE spirits or a soul?

    We also wonder if these spirits ever try to reach us or leave us messages.

    For today's experiment you will need a candle and piece of paper.

    Go into a darkened room and light the candle. Place candle on a flat surface, and run the piece of paper over the top of the flame. Do not stay in one place for too long because the paper may ignite, and you will have to run to the sink and douse it.

    The candle will leave dark lines of soot made from carbon on the underside of the paper. This is a form of divination, or fortune telling. Some say the image left on the paper is a message from someone who passed away, some say it is a warning from beyond. It may look like a picture or it may look like a word or writing.

    Here is mine:

    I am not sure I want to analyze this picture too much. I can't see any words but I'm pretty sure I can make out an image...

    I would love to know what you think of this image, and try to do Evil Experiment #2 at YOUR house.

    Happy Hopping!!

    **Scroll down for Day 1 and the Candle and Mirror Experiment.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Evil Experiments at the COFFIN HOP~!

    Welcome to the third annual Coffin Hop!

    During this dark and lovely time of year we have so many shivery tales to tell...some of the cool and crisp days, and others of the slightly evil feel of the nights.

    We can feel the veil that usually protects us from the influences of the "other side" lift, and we are more easily connected to the spirits and beings that try and reach us.

    I have decided to do an otherworldly experiment for each day of the hop.

    Everyone knows the old trick of putting a candle in front of the mirror in a dark room and watching your reflection for changes. I did it tonight...and I wish I didn't. The room is instantly creepy just because of the flickering of the candle. I did this in my bathroom that is currently in a state of disrepair, with only the pretty white and grey marble on the sink, floor and walls. No matter how still you are, the candle flickers and changes the shadows on your face in the reflection of the mirror. Things were fine for about one minute, then my face looked older, much older, and my eyes appeared black in my peripheral vision. I quickly looked directly at my eyes and they looked normal, but now my cheeks looked sunken my mouth appeared to be wide opened.

    They say what you are seeing is the state of your soul.

    I don't like it.

    If any of you have the nerve to do this I would love to know what happens! There will be several more EVIL EXPERIMENTS during the hop, and if you do them and have a story to tell, the two stories that scare me the most will win the following prizes:

    1st prize: Original painting...glows in the dark.

    Pumpkin Moon  

    Second prize: Copy of the Coffin Hop anthology Death by Drive In

    Now please visit the other authors of the Hop! Click on the Coffin Hop button to the right -------> and read more horribly fun posts from amazing authors.

    My stories on Amazon: 

    100 UNFORTUNATE DAYS~~the diary of a madwoman...or possibly someone just like you or me.

    ABSORBED~~a dark tale of a gorgeous gift and murder.

    My shop on ETSY:

    Original artwork by me. :)

    Happy Hopping!!

    Friday, August 16, 2013


    Yesterday I was thinking about the importance of our surroundings. Not just our furniture and home, but the people we allow into our lives. Family, friends, and spouses become our focus, and we get lost in the daily motion of the everyday.

    We become friends with people for different reasons, and unlike those in our families, it is easier to allow these folks in, or to keep them out. When relationships don't work out we feel bad. If we stay in the relationships it can even be worse for us.

    Many studies have shown that being in bad relationships not only makes us sad, but can make us sick. We think of our emotions as completely separate from our bodies; but we are starting to realize that our thoughts can and do influence how we live our lives. Each of our subtle thoughts send a series of hormones and energetic impulses through us; if they are bad we can become depressed in body and mind. Our systems slow down and we do not work properly. If this happens over and over, a negative event does not  have to happen, we can THINK it will and we will have the same response.

    Some people are said to be sensitive to electrical fields and feel poorly when subjected to them. In one study these sensitive individuals were connected to MRI monitors and given cell phones and asked if they felt anything when they held them to their ears. They reported feeling headaches, sharp pains, dizziness and blurred vision. The pain centers in their brains did indeed light up on the MRI showing they were experiencing pain. Interestingly, these were NOT cell phones, and there was no electrical field. The pain was real, and in the future these people may experience the same types of pain when exposed to cell phones again. (Deepak Chopra)

    A similar thing happens with our emotions. If a relationship is negative, we are already expecting a bad experience and start to respond before a heated situation starts. Inversely, if we are in a happy situation, our bodies and mind are saturated with a different energy, we feel strong, confident, and able. When we are in love it feels as if we can survive on water and air, and sometimes we do.

    If we concentrate on something that truly makes us feel good, our bodies start to produce dopamine which makes us talkative and excited, serotonin to make us happy, and several other "drugs" that alter our sense of well being. Low levels of serotonin are linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  Our nation spends billions of dollars on pharmaceuticals to relieve these symptoms of hopelessness and gloom.

    Many self help books speak of affirmations or smiling even if we are feeling low. This may help certain individuals feel better, but it does not work for all. Negative thoughts can creep in, or our minds repeat our worries to us. Most of us can conjure a thought or image or idea that is heartwarming, peaceful, or brings us joy.

    If we can hold this image long enough, our bodies respond as if we are experiencing the happy moment again. Like the sensitive people in the electricity experiment, we begin to experience changes in our bodies from thinking...but these are positive. We don't have to force a smile because we actually begin to feel better.

    We are used to separating our bodies from our emotions. We go to the doctor to get treated for high blood pressure or headaches, and we expect to leave with a prescriptive quick fix. We are given different medications for our skin rash and our stomach aches, and another for our anxiety or depression. Most likely all of these symptoms are related, the result of a negative situation or circumstance.

    Maybe our bodies are a storehouse for our spirit or soul. If we are feeling poorly, could it be from a disharmony in our lives? If have repetitive thoughts, is it our soul trying to tell us to fix this?

    I realize what I have written is a simplification of a far deeper subject. I have just stumbled upon this idea personally, and for some reason it feels extremely important to me, and I will do my best each day to focus on something that brings me to a really good place mentally. 

    Suddenly I feel we DO have a soul, and we should start paying more attention to it.