Monthly Archives: October 2014



Do you know about Creative Live? It’s an amazing site that offers classes regarding design, marketing, communication, and much more. The classes are free if you watch them while they are being taped, but they are also available for purchase. I should probably add that Creative Live is not paying me to write any of this – although I am totally willing to enter into negotiations should someone contact me. 🙂

Richard Mehl taught a class titled “Color for Designers: Exploration, Theory, and Application” on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and I found it to be inspiring, interesting, and useful. My son participated with me after I picked him up from school, which was very fun and special… and messy.

Here are some cards I designed after watching the class:

Color Theory Cards 002Color Theory Cards 005

Color Theory Cards 006What does the color wheel bring out in you?

The rest of this week involves preparing for an art and craft sale on Sunday. Let me know if you’re in Jefferson City, and I’ll give you the details!

Colorfully Yours,

Free Range Al

See something you like on my blog that is not in my shop? Click “contact the shop owner” and we can easily arrange a custom order.


My Other Project: Tricksters


I’ve mentioned my love of writing before, and writing has been my major focus this week. I’m giving a talk in Illinois this coming Sunday, which is one of my favorite things to do.  My emphasis is the trickster character, a fascinating figure present in many traditions including Native American stories and Greek mythology. Since I share pictures of my physical creations, I thought I’d share a few excerpts of my talk.

First, my introduction:

As we approach holidays that blur divisions and boundaries, such as Halloween and the Day of the Dead, I thought it would be fun to play with an ancient figure known as trickster, a character who does not recognize divisions and is often found with one foot on either side of boundaries. Tricksters are delightful characters because they weave in and out of reality. A trickster is interesting because he exposes rules by defying them and turns what seems to be inevitable and necessary into the ridiculous. Tricksters are useful because they model a playful approach to the world that can enable healthy and positive change.

It’s important to know that trickster is not a good or bad character – think of a trickster as being like a curious and adventurous toddler.

Here’s my favorite part thus far when I explain why it’s important to challenge boundaries and labels:

Motherhood has heightened my sensitivity to the use of titles. The common phrase for what I do is “stay-at-home-mom”, but that does not accurately reflect who I am or what I do at all. Yes, I’m a mother. I’m also a yogi, an artist, a friend, a writer, an aspiring minister, a private English tutor, a reader, a want to be drummer, a wife, and, as many of you witnessed during my last talk, an occasional dancer. Those labels don’t really do me justice either, and I can say this with absolute certainty: you are more than your title. You are more than the title of teacher, doctor, retiree, psychologist, lawyer, artist, librarian… You are a uniquely complex creature with hopes, dreams, experiences, and personality traits that cannot be summarized in a word or two.

Recognizing that we are more than our labels is one thing; the idea that other individuals are just as complex as we are can be difficult to grasp at times – that is when the act of putting in a trickster’s eye becomes useful. It’s not an eye of judgement, it’s a way of looking at people and situations that allows them to be more than they appear to be at first glance.

I’m almost done with it – I’ve enjoyed working on it a great deal, and I’m looking forward to learning what it sparks in others.

Playfully Yours,

Free Range Al


Good Things!

behind the scenes 253

A new card design in progress

So many projects! So many special moments! So little time!

I’m participating in a winter sale on November 2 and am preparing new cards (like the one above) for that event. My other creative outlet is the written word, and I’m giving a talk in Illinois on October 26. Preparing for these two events on top of my normal schedule is keeping me very busy.

Do you remember my glass pendants with original drawings?

behind the scenes 037

I made one that can accompany one of my cards this week as well:

card sets 002

Another priority is fostering the friendships I’m beginning to make. We’ve lived in our “new” city for a little over two years and meeting people has been a bit of a challenge. Some really interesting and caring people are part of my life now, and I’m very grateful for their presence. I could totally spend entire weeks to myself and be content, but I am making sure that I put effort into nurturing my new relationships just as I nurture my other interests.

Do you find that it takes thought and effort to be sure you spend quality time with people in your life and not become caught up in your lists of things to do? What works for you? What doesn’t?

Wishing You Balance and Fulfillment,

Free Range Al

See something you like on my blog that is not in my shop? Click “contact the shop owner” and we can easily arrange a custom order.



etsy rainbow charms snail with card rainbow and card 005Home.

After moving a great deal, and with the knowledge that more moves are possible, I think of family rather than one specific location when I think of home.

What does “home” mean to you?

May you find comfort and love wherever you are…

– Free Range Al

See something you like on my blog that is not in my shop? Click “contact the shop owner” and we can easily arrange a custom order.


Katy Trail Sky photographed by the Free Range Artisan

Katy Trail Sky
photographed by the Free Range Artisan

This marks the season in which I’ll be focusing on developing my craft as a writer and as an artist. The final weekly market was last Saturday, and I have no major events that require preparation except for a talk I’m going to give on October 26 at a very special place in Illinois.

Next week, I’m going to see what classes are being offered by our local gallery, call a nearby college to sign up for drum lessons, post new pieces on my Etsy shop, and begin writing my talk. For now, however, I’m going to let myself breathe – to take my time in organizing my studio while listening to music that lifts my soul and programs that invigorate my mind, to browse through books for inspiration, and to just do things because they serve me, not because I have to… until it’s time to pick my son up from school, of course. 🙂

What about you? How do you make sure you take time to really breathe so that you feel restored and ready for a new season?

Peaceful Thoughts to You,

Free Range Al