Craft for Misfits: An Interview with Michelle Riley

This month's special guest in my Creative Soul Circle is Aussie Artist Michelle Riley of Threefold Designs: 'Craft for Misfits'. Sign up here for the Creative Soul Circle ~ it's free! Michelle Riley: Craft for MisfitsInterview with Michelle Riley

What aspect of creating your art do you find the most enjoyable?

The design and execution of my art is the most enjoyable to me … especially stitching!

What originally got you started?

I went to Art School after high school, but although I knew I wanted to be an artist, I hadn’t found a medium I ‘clicked’ with.  It was only afterwards that I was inspired by the designs of Kaffe Fassett, and realized that needlepoint was the medium that suited me.

Who has inspired you the most creatively, and why?

The aforementioned Kaffe Fassett (www.kaffefassett.com), who is a creative and colour genius!  I am also inspired by hearing stories of other artists who have made a living doing what they love.

How did you decide what medium to work in?

I’m not sure why needlepoint struck a chord with me – I think it’s because wool is so earthy, grounding and textural.  I also like the fact that needlepoint isn’t considered ‘cool’ – it’s a challenge convincing people that it can be ;)

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art?

To be honest, I’ve never really thought about conveying a message at all … I just do what makes me happy, and what is aesthetically pleasing to me.  If others love it, then that’s fantastic!  I do like to encourage people to learn cross stitch though.

If you had to choose a fruit or vegetable to describe yourself, what would you choose and why?

Rambutan – it’s weird looking, some people really love it and some people really hate it!  And yes, I can be a bit spiky at times ;)

Michelle Riley Stitching: Craft for MisfitsIf you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity, what would that be and why?

Woven tapestry!  This is what I am studying at the moment (in my second year of a 6 year diploma), and I hope to create one-of-a-kind pieces that complement my needlepoint kits.

What advice do you have for others who are just starting to develop creatively?

Seriously, just do it!  Don’t sit there thinking ‘oh, I’m not good enough’ – get out there are do what makes you feel happy!  Don’t worry about what other people think – the judgement is only as relevant as the judge ;)

What role does spirituality play in your creative life?

An enormous role!  My designs are ‘given’ to me by particular entities that want to make themselves known to me.  My very first design was Moon Phases, and I did this when I started studying Astrology.  Other designs came about after I was ‘visited’ by entities wanting their portraits done … for example, Hathor wouldn’t leave me alone until her design was done.  One day I set it aside to do something else, and the whole frame came crashing down (I still don’t know how!).  All was well when I started working on it again!

Do you have any business or marketing tips for other artists/crafters?

I’m probably not the best person to ask, since I’m still learning this myself!  If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them ;)

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Life is all about doing what makes you feel good!  If you are thinking to yourself ‘I’d always like to be trying that’, then get out there and do it – you’re never too old, or not good enough to find your passion in life.

Michelle's Links: Threefold Needlepoint Shadowplay (Michelle's goth/dark wave radio show)

Each month in the Creative Soul Circle you'll meet a different guest and have an opportunity to interact with them in person. The Circle also features a Moon Musing Group; a support group for women.

Aries Crone Moon Musing

Aries Crone MoonJune 23, 2011 4:48 am pdt

Today is the beginning of the Waning (Crone) Moon. Every new/full/crone moon I post moon musings here in our Moon Musing Group with guided exercises, meditations, challenges and actions to help guide you on this Divine Feminine Journey into Moon Musing.

At the previous Full Moon many of us connected with your primary archetype. Well, now we're going to release ALL limitations, fears, burdens, etc. so we can move forward at the upcoming New Moon in Cancer on July 1.

Creative Soul Action: Let go of all labels, archetypes etc. so that you are standing on your own. Then pick a Creative Soul Card®. Take a moment to allow yourself to resonate with your card on a deep level. Then when you're ready I want you to embody the card on a deep level knowing that you are letting go of all you do not need or want.

Questions:

  1. Describe how that feels.
  2. How will you nurture this side of yourself?

How does your card tie in to the Crone Moon and also to the intentions you set at the previous New Moon?

To join the conversation in a group of Soul SiStars please join my Creative Soul Circle ~ it's free!

Trusting Your Body's Wisdom - New Moon in Taurus

Emily Trinkaus is currently my special guest speaker in the Creative Soul Circle. She will be participating in our Q & A Group so if you want to talk with her personally please sign up below. General membership to the Circle is free, but access to the private Q&A Group is $19 a month or $144 annually, which includes my Q&A Group, a Moon Musing Group and the Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eClass plus TONS of other goodies! Join the Creative Soul Circle.

*Every month in our Circle I will be featuring a new guest; in June I’ll be featuring Susan Rodio, Mystical Artist. You can view the entire year's line up of special guests here.

Trusting Your Body's Wisdom - New Moon in Taurus by Guest Astrologer, Emily Trinkaus May 2, 2011 11:51 pdt

"Suppose... the body is a God in its own right, a teacher, a mentor, a certified guide? Then what? .... Are we strong enough to refute the party line and listen deep, listen true to the body as a powerful and holy being?" - Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

On April 20th, the Sun moved into earthy Taurus, initiating the season of the Bull -- a time to slow down, appreciate simple pleasures, and nurture your body and the planet. The Taurus Sun energizes sensory awareness, reconnecting you with your body's wisdom and guidance, with the beauty and magic of the natural world, with the miracle of life on Earth in every moment.

Taurus is the sign of stewardship, cultivation and building, and tonight's New Moon (11:51 PDT) asks you to prioritize and get practical. How you can best support the new growth that sprouted during the Aries season? What's worth sustaining, and what's in your way? What really matters?

While Mercury was Retrograde (March 30-April 23), the desires, ideas and intentions that got stirred up at the Spring Equinox weren't quite ready to come into form. This felt like a particularly obvious Retrograde -- not surprising since Mercury was in Aries (a sign not known for its subtlety). The purpose of this Mercury Retro was to realign with your passions, restore your vitality, and re-inspire you to create what you really want.

Now that Mercury is moving forward again and getting back up to speed, and especially after the New Moon, it'll be easier to bring your plans into reality. The Taurus New Moon has a lot of traction, and carries a kind of "be careful what you wish for" energy. While the Sun and Moon unite in Taurus, five planets -- including Venus, Taurus's ruler -- are still in fiery, passionate, risk-taking Aries. As astro-blogger Elsa P writes, "this is just not the kind of fire you want to play with" (New Moon in Taurus).

The line-up of Aries planets inspires honesty and authenticity and can help cut through an over-attachment to security -- Taurus's shadow. Are you going after what you really want, trusting your body's wisdom and guidance, or are you playing it safe and following your fears?

In the context of escalating global crises (see Earth Day), you might as well go for it. And between now and June 4th -- while Jupiter is still in Aries (see Jupiter Enters Aries) -- you have an ideal window for taking the initiative and acting on your passions.

On a practical, astro-technical note, if you want to set New Moon intentions, it's best to wait until after 10:09 am PDT on Wednesday. The Moon will turn "void-of-course" just after the New Moon and all day Tuesday, which, according to Jan Spiller (author of New Moon Astrology) is an inauspicious time to make wishes.

Patience, patience. Taurus is all about slowing down enough to be able to tune into the intelligence of your body and of the Earth. Today and tomorrow are perfect for spending time in nature, cultivating your garden, sending gratitude to the planet, and indulging your need for pleasure, affection and beauty.

emily trinkaus, astrologerMore About Emily Trinkaus

I fell in love with astrology when I was 13 and read Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. Suddenly the world made sense! I’ve been a passionate student of the cosmic science ever since. The more I learn, the more I’m humbled by its elegance, power and profound mystery. I started giving readings professionally in 1999.

I also have a background in creative arts – writing, painting and movement – and founded Portland Women Writers. I love working with other artists and writers to offer support for breaking through blocks and increasing access to the creative flow.

http://virgomagic.com http://virgomagic.wordpress.com/

Balance, Essence and Kinship – Full Moon in Libra

Next month (May, 2011) in the Creative Soul Circle I have Astrologer, Emily Trinkaus as my special guest. She will be participating in our Q & A Group so if you want to talk with her personally please sign up below. Sign up is free for the Circle, but access to the private Q&A Group is $19 a month or $144 annually, which includes my Q&A Group, a Moon Musing Group and the Awaken Your Divine Feminine Soul eClass plus lots of other goodies! Join the Creative Soul Circle.

*Every month in our Circle I will be featuring a new guest; in June I’ll be featuring Susan Rodio, Mystical Artist. You can view the entire year's line up of special guests here. Full Moon in Libra by Emily Trinkaus

Essence is what is left after all defenses are stripped away; it is who we are when we are undefended. This unshakable center of being — a place where we feel loved, loving, whole, connected, and joyful — is the end to all experiences of emotional homelessness. – Jett Psaris & Marlena S. Lyons, Undefended Love

Sunday’s Full Moon (7:44pm PDT) animates the Aries-Libra polarity, highlighting the balance between self and other, independence and connection, assertion and receptivity, passion and objectivity. The Libra Full Moon asks: What is being reflected back to you by the significant others in your life? Where do you need to restore balance? Are you giving more than you’re receiving (or vice versa)? Are you pushing too hard to get what you want, or afraid to take the risk of acting on your desires? How can you cultivate inner peace in a chaotic world?

This lunation offers a great opportunity for working through projections by taking responsibility for what you see “out there.” As the saying goes, If you spot it, you got it. (Byron Katie’s Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet is helpful.) Working through projections breaks down the ego, helping to reconnect with your true, infinite, source self and to see the god/goddess in yourself and everyone around you.

Venus, ruler of Libra, is now in Pisces, flavoring this Full Moon with extra dreaminess, sensitivity, imagination, romance, and the potential for escapism and delusion. Venus in Pisces dissolves boundaries between self and other, merging the separate self into the ocean of consciousness. Venus in Pisces is the Divine Feminine, the Ocean Goddess, the nurturing source reality from which we all emerged and to which we all return. “God dwells within me, as me.”

Alongside the dreaminess, some frustration is possible. Action planet Mars, ruler of Aries — is moving into an opposition with Saturn — restriction and responsibility. Described as “driving with the brakes on,” Mars-Saturn slows down the action, to ensure that passions and urges are aligned with long-term goals.

Your commitment to your desires is being tested. Obstacles signal that you’re either on the wrong track, or need to reconsider your strategy about how to move forward. Patience, persistence and negotiation may be required.

Adding to the slow-down are three planets now traveling Retrograde, all in Cardinal signs — Mercury in Aries, Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn. Commenting on the “Cardinal Retrograde,” Robert Phoenix writes:

“We are asked on a symbolic level to really explore how we’re spending our energies and life force…. Pulling back or even out of certain activities, especially, if they have become routinely habitual is favored now. Unplugging creates space for new and different thoughts.” (… The Cardinal Retrograde)

The days following the Full Moon are typically best for releasing from your life whatever is no longer working for you — in this case, whatever keeps you out of balance, and disconnected from the truth of your divine self.

emily trinkaus, astrologerMore About Emily

http://virgomagic.com http://virgomagic.wordpress.com/

I fell in love with astrology when I was 13 and read Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs. Suddenly the world made sense! I’ve been a passionate student of the cosmic science ever since. The more I learn, the more I’m humbled by its elegance, power and profound mystery. I started giving readings professionally in 1999.

I also have a background in creative arts – writing, painting and movement – and founded Portland Women Writers. I love working with other artists and writers to offer support for breaking through blocks and increasing access to the creative flow.