Archive for December, 2008

To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift….
That is the Question!
“Give what you have to somebody, it may be better than you think.” -Henry Wadsworth  


Regifting cartoon

Re-gifting, a phrase coined by the Seinfeld crew in the 90’s, is now a mainstream practice complete with etiquette rules. According to Money Magazine “there are only three reasons you might be reading this:

1. You think regifting is totally tacky, but you secretly hope there might be a polite way to get rid of that hideous scarf your Aunt Edna gave you.
2.You’re a chronic re-gifter and you need some new ideas to get you through the holidays.
3.You’ve never heard of re-gifting. Really. You’re just curious.”


  MSN Money has the 12 rules to follow without the guilt.

Post a comment and let us know what you think!


Read Full Post »

Rebecca Shapiro

Rebecca Shapiro

“I have always embraced a green heart; the eco-movement is a global expression of my personal blueprint. My art stands as an example of what it means to be a sustainable artist seeking kinship between art, nature and the human experience. It offers hope so we may remember the interconnectedness of life.”      

~Rebecca Shapiro


Rebecca was born an artist and at the age of five her first major art installation was a dress designed for Montessori school. Fashioned from a bonafide flour sack, her mother banned the dress from being worn in public.

She learned graphic design and medical illustration at the University of Texas Medical School.  Rebecca went on to study illustration, printmaking and photography, graduating in 1986 Smith College where she worked with such noted artists as Gary Niswonger, Dwight Pogue, Carl Chiarenza and James Rosenquist’s printer. Rebecca has enjoyed over 25 painting exhibitions with works hanging in private and public collections in the United States and New Zealand. Rebecca’s artwork has been greatly influenced by personal studies with Ted Katz. She also works with beads and fibers, has taught painting, drawing, jewelry and knitting classes.

“My artwork has profoundly influenced my connection with people and nature. My art explores those relationships and how their bonds or dissonance form beauty in the world. I look to the human form, shells, plants, flowers, rocks for inspiration.”  Thanks to an informed childhood in the Pacific Northwest, she strives for sustainable practices in her studio and chooses earth friendly materials that express her love of nature.

Rebecca has served as the CEO of a non-profit healthcare organization, Art Director for a national music magazine and worked with museums. She has launched several successful businesses including an online arts and crafts store and an internet consulting firm. Her current endeavors include studies in entrepreneurship, socially and environmentally conscious business, haiku poetry and writing. She is also the Portland leader for Ladies Who Launch, a social network that supports women embracing creativity and entrepreneurship as a lifestyle.

“My son once asked me, ‘Mom, what if there was an antiseptic for the soul?’  It really made me think and I decided that giving back was that balm. Since I paint in encaustic (molten beeswax), I donate to Heifer.org.  Bees from Heifer International help struggling families earn income through the sale of honey, beeswax and pollen. I also believe in giving back in little ways bringing a pot of split pea soup to a neighbor, saying thank you with intention to a grocery store clerk or making sure that I recycle or compost (even when I’m feeling lazy). There are many ways to give back and all are viable…even the little, tiny ones.

Who is your hero?

My mother, Karmen. She was the first woman in her family to go to college and become a doctor. She taught me to look for the wonder and magic in the world. The first time I cued into this was when I was about five. We were at the Oregon Coast and she showed me a gumboot chiton. It was the coolest, most prehistoric creature I had ever seen (I was very into dinosaurs at the time). She never stopped showing me cool stuff from all the bones that grew in my hands to how to make a mean blackberry pie. She will always be my heroine!

What is your favorite quote?
“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” – Vincent Van Gogh

If you were a pair of shoes, what kind would you be and why?
A pair of eco-friendly, chartreuse colored, John Fluevog heels with a mary jane strap. They’re creative, wacky and a little naughty librarian.

What keeps you flourishing?
My wonderful husband, Joe, my two children, Tobiahs and Natania, my friends. community, nature, creativity and art. I’m pretty lucky because all of these touch me at least once a day.

What’s next?  I can’t wait to…
Go to Dubai. I have a dream of attending and showing in the Dubai Art fair. They are spending over $52 billion dollars on an eco-community (not sure how that’s going to work in the middle of the desert but I’m open). I want to start the dialogue about what it means to be a sustainable fine artist and why people should be collecting earth friendly art.

Read Full Post »

Nothing like a couple of Cosmos to get the creative juices flowing! Cindy Aggson, Nancy Thompson and Cindy Milton-White take time to celebrate the season and the amazing first year of Flourish.  Thanks to the two best Cindy’s I know.     Nancy

Read Full Post »


“If you change your thinking, you can change your life”

~Acclaimed author Louise Hay 

vision-board-poster With the holiday season in full swing it’s tempting to start thinking about 2009 and all the possibilities of the New Year.  This year we’ve decided we are going to dream big by kicking off 2009 by creating our own Vision Boards.  We’ve been meaning to do it forever but geesh who has time to flip through photos and daydream about the future, right?   Well we are doing it, it’s decadent for sure, but we deserve it!  

 So, what it a Vision Board?   A Vision Board is a collage of images that represent the goals and dreams you want to attract into your life.  According to experts, Vision Boards are the most effective way to use visualization and “are one of the most powerful ways to work the Law of Attraction.”

 A recent guest on Oprah said her Vision Board keeps her goals constantly in her mind “It’s kind of a visual and verbal articulation of my goals…I can remind myself, you need to take actions if you want these goals to show up. It’s not a magic trick, really. It’s about you being the person who’s motivated to make that stuff show up.”

 How do you create a Vision Board? The traditional way of creating a Vision Board is by taking a big piece of poster board, scissors, glue and tons of magazines. Then the fun part…go through the magazines and search for images of your dreams, or you can even search for the right images on the internet. Cut out the images and glue them on your board.  To help make your Vision Board more effective you can to write in affirming words like “I love feeling like I am in the best shape of my life” or “I enjoy spending lots of quality time with my family.”  (Remember to put all affirmations in present form and use strong words like, “I love…” or “It makes me excited to think about…”)

At our Flourish event on January 11th Deandra Ellerbe, an artist and teacher who has led many collage workshops (always with enthusiasm and wisdom!) will guide us through the process and help us bring out our desires and our visions of the future. 



How to use a Vision Board?   Display your Vision board in a place where you will see it every day, like at your office or near your bathroom mirror. Every time you see your board take a few minutes and really FEEL as if you have already achieved the things on your Vision Board.  Think about how grateful you will feel when you have already manifested these things in your life.  Focusing on the feeling of happiness will help make your visualization more powerful…and empower your subconscious to support your new vision. You will be surprised to see the things on your Vision Board show up in your life –sooner or later- providing you keep putting your intention on them and stay POSITIVE and GRATEFUL.  

How does it work?  Vision Boards leverage the power of visualization–the process of making mental images—which has been used by numerous phenomenally successful people throughout history including Issac Newton, Alexander Graham Bell, Oprah and most Olympic athletes…who have all sworn by its effectiveness. Basically our unconscious (right brain) contains our deep wisdom and it thinks in pictures and symbols. Making a Vision Board allows us to keep our ideal images in front of us to align our desires and manifest our dreams by activating our subconscious mind.

According to experts on Oprah, visualization is “not about sitting on your couch and waiting for stuff to magically manifest in your life…You have to keep your goals clear and keep them in front of you. That’s what this vision board does for me. It makes me believe that it’s all out there waiting for me. It’s a matter of seeing it on the board and then seeing it in my life and making that connection.”

There are three reasons vision boards work “One is something called “selective attention.” “If you repeat the word, ‘blue, blue, blue,’ and you start looking around the room, all the blue things will start popping out,” The second key component is “quantum physics…we know now, scientifically, that consciousness brings matter into being where there was energy. So it’s not even necessarily that it draws it toward you. The conclusion is you’re literally creating some of this stuff.” And lastly “the vision board’s power also comes from the simple fact that it allows people time to focus and do something about their lives.”

Here is a photo above with Jenny McCarthy and part of her vision board that she showed the audience on Oprah recently.20080206_111_284x2181

McCarthy says she is “living proof that the law of attraction works…Jenny says she decided to make a vision board. She put a picture of Oprah on it along with a fake cover of the book she had just started writing called Louder Than Words.  Just one year later, Jenny’s dreams became reality when she made her first visit to The Oprah Show to talk about her son’s struggle with autism. Louder Than Words quickly became a New York Times best-seller.”

Join us as we gather to dream our future into existence!  

 What do you want in 2009?   What do you need?  How will your life look?

Read Full Post »