Monthly Archives: May 2016

~Review: Great Grandma’s Gifts by Marianne Jones and Karen Reinikka~

Great Grandma's Gifts book cover

Arlene is a little girl who loves to make things. She begins by making presents for her doll, Maggie. As she grows up, she moves on to creating gifts for her own children and grandchildren. This is a lovely story that is designed to help children see a different side of the elders in their lives and understand that they were once children, too.

My Rating:  3 Stars!

This was a simple story.  It spoke of the love between children, parents and grandparents.  It also explained to the children reading the story that everyone starts out young and then ages and carries on family traditions.  It was a quietly told story that would be perfect for “wind down” times with small kids.

The illustrations are cute but I wished to see a bit more color and detail.  The story itself could have used a little more action and imagination in my opinion, but still a nice book overall.

Where you can find Great Grandma’s Gifts:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Grandmas-Gifts-Marianne-Jones/dp/1522758704/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462858383&sr=1-1&keywords=great+grandma%27s+gifts

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/great-grandmas-gifts-marianne-jones/1117359437?ean=9781522758709

Where you can find Marianne:

http://mariannejones.net/

~Review: Just: A sign of the times by Katie Lewington~

Just A sign of the times cover

A light hearted collection of poems in lessons of love, depression and relationships while also exploring the stories of strangers in words.

My Rating:  4 Stars!

This was an interesting, heartfelt collection of poems about life, love and depression.  The author has an interesting voice and perspective…that of a life of hardships and difficult relationships.  These poems are written about things that we can all relate to as hardship is no stranger to all of our life circumstances.

I enjoyed the author’s presentation.  It was down to earth and gritty.  It was easy to relate to her work.

If you love poetry, give this book a read.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Where you can find Just:  A sign of the times:

https://www.amazon.com/Just-sign-times-katie-lewington-ebook/dp/B00YJ34LBI?ie=UTF8&keywords=just%20a%20sign%20of%20the%20times&qid=1462607400&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Where you can find Katie:

https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com/

Interview with Katie:

 

Welcome artist Audrey Keenan! Angel creator extraordinaire!

I ran across Audrey on twitter and was intrigued by her art.  I looked through her photographs on her twitter account and instantly wanted to interview her!  Her art is one of a kind as you can see:

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So without further adieu, here is her interview!

1.  Please tell me what led up to you beginning to create your art and why you decided to create it.

I was looking for a purpose after being diagnosed with cfs and fibromyalgia so I began praying. I spend a lot of time bedridden.

Art was something I tried in hopes of finding an interest which would enable me to work at home in my own time.  The feeling of being able to release my emotions onto canvas brought a sense of peace within that I found comforting.  Expressing my love for life and compassion for humanity meant inner freedom although I was physically limited.

2.   Please describe your creative process.

The creative process is taken with a very easy going, intuitive approach.  It’s effortless, free and without much thought…I invite my angels, guides, god’s loving intention and the rest is pure surrender.  I’m simply a channel as I hold the brush and paints.  It’s like I’m in another state of consciousness.

There’s no fear of outcomes.  What I feel can be described as divine love and joy flowing through me as the painting comes to life.

3. What would you like people to know about you as an artist?

I had no previous art experience other than a few lessons.  One day I was in severe pain and read a book entitled God Calling.  I was praying for strength to cope.  Suddenly I felt a strong urge to paint a picture in thanks to God.  Without realizing it, I painted an angel.  I was amazed and delighted.  I proceeded to do more painting on small canvases.  Eventually I looked around and counted 13 angel paintings in a short space of time.

I then heard a soft voice which I believe was God, saying,  “Now do you believe in yourself?” Then a conversation took place.  I fell to my knees overwhelmed with gratitude, love and happiness.  I was also completely drained.  My art was presented to me as a gift in my mind.

4. What do your paintings represent? Is there a universal theme behind them or does each one mean something completely different?

The paintings represent hope.  I feel we as humans want to believe in angels and guidance; comfort that in times of sadness we can sense we’re not alone.  There’s a universal theme that the angels are there for us.  Emotions of love, sorrow, freedom, peace and joy are transferred onto canvas.

How do you feel that situations in your life contributed to your work? Was it a process of everything in your life leading up to your art being created or individual situations causing your art to be creating as an evolutionary process over time?

Situations in my life have allowed me to feel deep empathy.  I’ve overcome much adversity.  The loss of 3 babies in one year at the age of 19;  aged 3 months called Tammy and 2 miscarriages brought inner turmoil and higher insight into my spiritual life.  I meditate and focus on eternal life.  Therefore I have come to realize that angels are dedicated to those who suffer.  Loss and grief is something we all inevitably will have to endure.

On reflection, I believe there were many events that led me to this calling.  Some do appear in the pictures unintentionally.  So it’s therapeutic.  I cry after many of them as a surge of emotions are released.

A combination of life experiences and working in mental health allowed me to understand human suffering.  Healing is something we all need at some  point.  It can be delivered in many ways.  I have dreams where angels appear and guide me;  also messages from spirit as I paint or connect with other energies.

The art is my way of contributing to help lift hearts and to shine light into others’ lives.  People often share stories with me of their own situations which can lead me to subconsciously paint an event that transpired in their past, present and possibly future.  This brings them meaning and gratefulness.

 6.  How has your art affected you?  What do you wish to achieve with your art?

We can have low self esteem for many reasons at different times in our lives.  My esteem has grown as a result of creating my art.

I would love for anyone reading this article to ask yourself to believe that trusting in a higher power can lead to the manifestation of your dreams.  My life has changed as I’m doing what I love and receiving so much support and encouragement.  It gives me the will to continue and develop as an artist.  For this I’m truly grateful.

I’m also paying tribute with my art to my lost angels.  I’m reminding others that some things are unseen and a mystery but can be felt through imagery.  That departed loved ones may be ethereal angel beings living in majestic realms at peace.  Watching over those they hold dear.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to know that my beloved family, friends and art lovers will have something of my soul within these creations.

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Where you can find Audrey:

https://twitter.com/AngelHealingArt

My colored pencil piece entitled Eternity

Here is my newest piece of art. It is made with colored pencils on paper and is entitled Eternity:

Eternity with Diamante written over it

This piece is available on Fine Art America and Red Bubble (minus my name printed on it–that was done only for security reasons).  I wanted to create a piece of art that speaks about all humans as being part of the circle of life.   Nature, humanity and creation are all one big, beautiful piece of art.  One revolving system of love and light.  Here is my description as seen on Red Bubble and Fine Art America:

Eternity is around us and in us. Each of us makes up a piece of eternity and combined we are eternity alive. We are all filled with the same spirit and life essence plus we are gifted our own unique talents and abilities to share to make the world a better place. When we realize this truth, we will be living in heaven on earth.

This piece can be purchased in many different items including stationery, gift items, home decor and more.  I’ve included the links below in case you may find yourself interested in taking a peek!

Red Bubble:  http://www.redbubble.com/people/diamantelavenda/works/21711043-eternity-by-diamante-lavendar?p=greeting-card

Fine Art America:  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/eternity-diamante-lavendar.html

~Review: Yetunde: An Ode To My Mother by Segilola Salami~

Yetunde book cover

Follow Yetunde as she narrates her mother’s ode to her grandmother. It is the Yoruba praise poetry for a mother known as Oriki Iya

This is a short story dedicated to past, present and future mothers.

A perfect mother’s day present

The book is mostly in English and any Yoruba words are translated, so everyone can enjoy the book fully.

My Review:  4 Stars!

This is a delightful tale told by baby Yetunde as her mother speaks to her about her grandmother. It is a tale in Yoruba praise poetry, a unique perspective of an interesting cultural story.  The tale expounds on the strength of a mother’s love for her children, a truth which spans cultures and time.

This is a short book but an interesting read.  If you’d like to give a unique gift for Mother’s Day, this would be an excellent one!

Where you can find Yetunde:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019Y93BL2/ref=nosim?tag=segilsalam-20&linkCode=sb1&camp=212353&creative=380549

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yetunde-segilola-salami/1123187693?ean=2940152794342

Where you can find Segilola:

http://www.segilolasalami.co.uk/