My New Adventure in Print on Demand Fabric and Clothing

I have been exploring the world of print on demand (POD) and now have an online shop at The Art of Where website. 

This has been so much fun. I will come home from my day job and sit down at the computer while I'm listening to the news. Creating a new design or collection is therapy and offers a deep sense of creative empowerment. I take luminous flower photos that lend themselves to design possibilities. For instance, the fabric design Pear Blossom Baroque 1901 at the top of this blog is based on a photo taken in spring 2016, when a golden setting sun lit up a pear tree in full bloom. Placing the original photo in the magic mirror application for fabric design brought forth a stunning new image that can become fabric to sew into a new dress, a set of placemats, or other fabric delight.


I started my POD journey by creating fabric. As I learned more sophisticated software techniques, I began to build a store with many collections, and they include dresses, kimonos, leggings, tops, tote bags, journals, cards, and so much more. 

I created the Mystery Pink Peony 5298 dress on a Saturday morning, posted it on Facebook, and my gorgeous and talented singer/songwriter friend, Austin Tyler Meade, bought it that afternoon. It took a couple of weeks to get from Montreal (where the Art of Where delights are made) to her. And here is Austin modeling the dress she bought.


I can't tell you how exciting it is to see someone wearing one of my designs. A digital dream becomes physical reality!

Here is the link to my newest collection: Magic Mirror Pear Blossom 7538

Magic Mirror Pear Blossom 7538 Collection.jpeg

And here is one of the peignoir designs in this collection. You can also find leggings, dresses, notebooks, tote bags, and much more. 

One last cool fun thing: when you follow the Art of Where links to the dress or the peignoir, you'll discover a 3D digital version that can be looked at from every angle. I call it digital Barb(ie) dolls. 

I'll be posting more soon. It's nice to be back to blogging after a long hiatus. New things for a new year. 

Creating Abundantly

Sea Roses 

Sea Roses 

Each person is nourished, made more whole, by making something which has life. 
Christopher Alexander

Abundance is an inside job. It begins with love. When you are creating a career, a craft, a partnership, a work of art, a home, choose to put your whole heart into what you do. When you give attention and love to your work and your relationships, they begin to glow with Divine life. The energies of love and a high quality of attention create wholeness in your life and in this world.

If you are feeling fragmented and broken, a simple way to bring the pieces back together is to do one humble task with attention and care. Be fully present in the smallest, most insignificant task and you will tap into the innate wholeness of the entire Universe. A new sense of well-being becomes available to you when you wash dishes mindfully or sweep the floor as if it is the most important work in the world. The same goes for focusing on the person you are with. Your loving attention will create a place for relationship to become a sacred trust. This work, this person, become important in this moment because the here and now is all you really have access to anyway. Make it count.

Create small spaces of beauty and order in your life. Commit fully to what you are doing and who you are with. Be fully present and create beauty that satisfies your soul. If you love it and work with your heart, you will be rewarded. 

Ask yourself these questions: 
• Does this thing I have made or done make me feel more whole and alive?
• Do I feel nourished and happy because of it?
• Does it feel “right” somehow, even if others might not approve or consider it important?
• Do I feel that I did this to the glory of God or for the highest good?
• Am I serving a greater purpose by choosing to do this?

The quality of attention that we give to the arts and sciences we love redeems the time of our earthly existence.
William Anderson

The connection between the life of a made thing and the healing effect it has on the maker is…this: People are deeply nourished by the process of creating wholeness. 
Christopher Alexander

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
G. K. Chesterton

The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it.
Thomas Merton

Love the inward new creation,
Love the glory that it brings;
Love to lay a good foundation
In the line of outward things. 
Shaker song 

(excerpt from Inner Abundance)

Poetic Risks

A poet is someone
Who can pour light into a cup,
Then raise it to nourish
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth.

Sometimes it’s a good thing to take a risk. I am trying something new on my blog, just for today. I’m sharing a couple of poems that I just wrote. It feels a bit daring, because my poetry comes from a quiet, shy place and isn’t used to public viewing. i

These poems grew out of an insight I received during walking meditation last night. We walked outdoors and down the hill, past the garden, through the pasture, and into a grove of pine trees. As we entered the hushed grove, it suddenly hit me. I had been struggling with trying to imagine the perfect job, and I realized that my dream job is to be a writer/teacher/spiritual advisor in residence at a retreat center. 

Thinking about the perfect job description, I realized I could teach journaling, writing, songwriting, creativity, meditation, and spiritual exploration. I could combine my love of dance, drumming, women’s circles, art, Interplay, and songwriting to help others heal and reconnect to the spiritual side of their creativity. I could lead meditation, and I could listen to those who needed someone who can be fully present, holding sacred space with wholehearted attention. And of course, I could continue my writing, growing deeper in that, and encouraging others to grow deeper in their own creativity and spirituality. I found it easy to visualize as I walked beneath the full harvest moon on the night of the autumn equinox. 

Now I don’t know if/how/when/where the full vision can become a reality, but I do know that portions of this exist in my life today. I do encourage others, and listen, and advise them on their writing, and meditate and pray and write. Visualizing the details of that dream life opened my eyes to the possibilities in my current life. It helps to look beyond today’s struggles. Such daydreaming and visioning helps me to see the larger picture. I choose to define my life by possibilities instead of limiting myself with reasons why I can’t have what I most dearly desire (though I admit, on bad days it’s far too easy to imagine dreaded disasters instead of desires fulfilled and dreams come true). 

I have returned to writing poetry again (writing for the love of it, because poetry and songs rarely fit into traditional business plans or typical job descriptions). It feels good to let that shy young playfulness come out after a long time being shunted aside for more practical matters.

I decided that today was the day to take a poetic risk, and so, instead of just squirreling the poems away in a notebook (or hiding them on the Poemflowers page, knowing it’s one of the least visited pages on my website), I’m offering two poems inspired by struggles and dreams. Perhaps you will be able to relate to these ideas and be inspired to write your own poems, to excavate buried dreams and dance once again with your childlike creative heart.

Job Description

I call it being a writer in residence
living in nature’s retreat
sharing poetry, song, dance
with true human beings
who are ready to have their inner treasures revealed. 
The day begins
with a sunrise meditation
and a moonset prayer
then a light poem for breakfast
with a sip of clear awareness
and a dash of tart wisdom
from a fine quote.
Day’s journal is written
in the work of caring for the earth
offering a helping hand
touching hearts
leading each one 
into the depths of its own silence.
Oh, and as afternoon light
slants lower and lower into dusk
the twilight gathering of memory
and the fire warmth of quiet talk
give way to the blessed rest
of a calm soul.
This to me is the perfect job
a career of the Spirit’s making.

This small poem is dedicated to poet Anna Akhmatova, who was persecuted for writing poetry, and for her son, Lev, who spent seventeen months in a Soviet prison for the crime of being the son of two poets. 

There are poets
who have been so brave
that prisoners have 
memorized their words
just to stay alive
as they kept the poems
from being destroyed by prison guards.
So if they can be 
that strong and brave
in a Soviet prison
then I can be brave enough
to add my song to the world
knowing that some prisoner
may taste freedom
in the sweet thoughts 
that liberate my own soul.

Affirmative prayer

I say “yes!” to life.
I am willing to try something different, think a new thought, and open my soul to new ideas and people I have never met before. Today I give myself permission to take a risk. It may be a simple baby step or it may feel like a giant leap. But I will take one step in the direction of my dreams. I stretch, I grow, I evolve. I give myself room to make mistakes. I embrace all that life has to offer. And I open my arms to welcome whatever comes, knowing that grace guides me and love walks with me wherever the adventure may lead.

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I was one of the lucky people who took Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Business Forum in February 2010. It was my first time to be involved in an online forum, and I’m still absorbing and applying the lessons I learned. One of the benefits was meeting others online, and Tyler Tervoornen was one of the forum participants. Here is a portion of a post he wrote on February 4, 2010:

“I got laid off today. This is nothing more than a declaration of freedom. As much as I tend to shy away from words like "fate" and "destiny," this sort of coincidence is too convenient. Just yesterday I was complaining to myself that I was already behind on my homework here [in the $100 Business Forum], constantly busy, and too tired after work to put meaningful thought to my business planning. Well, yesterday that was fine because if I just sat and daydreamed, I'd be okay. If I gave up, I was out $100. I'd just go back to work tomorrow and more than make it up. Now there is no tomorrow. There is only today and today is only as good as I make it. The stakes just got raised and I'm all in.”

Now, six months later, Tyler has launched a successful blog. I’m already taking notes from his articles as I learn to grow my own online business. Chris Guillebeau just featured Tyler in his Emperor Spotlight emails (part of Chris G’s Empire Building Kit Package I recommended a few blogs ago). After only two months, Tyler’s site has over 1,000 subscribers, gets at least 20 comments on every article and even produces a growing stream of affiliate income.

His website, Advanced Riskology, helps you take smarter and more beneficial risks in your life. Tyler says, “Life’s most important lessons are learned from the risks we take, but we only learn when we actually take them. Advanced Riskology is not about finding the safest way to take a chance. This is not risk management. It’s risk appreciation. This site exists to say that there’s no way to know for sure that your crazy idea will work, and that’s exactly what makes it worth doing.”

I’m pleased to introduce you to someone who inspires and delights me. If you are ready to take a chance and try your wings, I recommend Tyler’s website.


  1. September 28, 2010 2:28 AM CDT

    Yes yes yes! Just found your free book on iBooks! Thank you!

    - Anonymous

The Creative Spirit

I am simply conscious of the forces I am using and I am driven on by an idea that I really only grasp as it grows with the picture.
Henri Matisse

I attended a painting demonstration on Sunday, October 11, at the Lieper’s Creek Gallery in Lieper’s Fork, just outside of Nashville. It was a perfect blue sky autumn day. The sun warmed my back, the crisp air kept the temperature refreshing. This gorgeous gallery was filled with people and out in the back the stage in the outdoor theater was set with a giant canvas, a workman’s table, and an artist ready to paint. It was a wonderful opportunity to view master abstractionist Anton Weiss, sharing his expertise as he worked with a large canvas during the afternoon. Until I saw Anton at work and heard him discuss his artistic process and philosophy, I had never really understood the lure of abstract art. By the end of the afternoon I not only had a greater appreciation for abstract expressionism, but I saw how much the man’s art reflects his life. I have talked since with an artist who says that Anton’s paintings never fail to move him. Now I understand why.

Anton’s presentation became a classroom, teaching me about the freedom and bravery of creation—a lesson in the art of living. As he worked with the canvas, following the energies of color and light, Anton would share brief observations: Be fearless. There are no mistakes. Master your canvas. Innovate. Experiment. Allow chaos, knowing that order will eventually emerge. Give depth to a flat canvas with contrasts of cool and warm, dark and light. Trust your instincts. Release criticism and perfectionism. Surrender to the process. Follow the energy and keep adding to the energy of your canvas. 

As a classically trained artist, Anton stated that he felt too limited by expensive brushes and the rules of traditional art. He made magic with pieces of cardboard, layering the paint, scraping the paint, and even attaching pieces of dried paint torn from old palettes. He was unafraid to paint over something or to scratch out what he had just painted to create interesting layers. Every step of the process was perfect in and of itself. 

Now, a month later, I have thought about Anton’s words and how they apply to my own life. I’ve been thinking about his admonition to “master your canvas.” That’s a bold statement. For all the years that I have been writing and for all the “successful” (read: published) projects I have done, something in me has still been afraid of life, afraid of the canvas. I have chosen a smaller, more limited canvas so many times. Writing to please a client, to not offend gatekeepers who say, “You can’t use that word, quote that person, question that belief system. You can’t say that.” But now I use those words, quote those people, and have expanded my boundaries far beyond the limitations of my old belief systems. Yet still, I play small. I struggle with financial debts, but I also wrestle with debts owed to the past, and wonder if I’ll ever be brave enough to own all that I can be, to master a larger canvas. I’m stretching and growing, learning to be less afraid, more courageous. My ventures into art and photography are part of the expanded canvas of my creative expression. I’m creating a richer palette and a larger life using art as well as words to speak the deeper truths from my heart.

I’m learning that mastering the canvas is not about having total control. It’s about being willing to take risks, to embrace life, and follow the energy where it wants to go. It is about being large enough in yourself to meet the challenges and changes that life throws at you. It is about being unafraid to reach for your own inner greatness, brave enough to believe you deserve to have this, do this, be this—whatever it is you really desire to have, do, or be in life, without playing small because of your own fears or the judgments of others. It’s being strong enough to open to the unknown, to ask the questions that you have not been willing to ask before. 

As I watched Anton reach out to the canvas and make his mark on it, I saw that he was allowing the energies of life itself to flow through him without confining definitions or limiting pre-conditions. Big broad strokes are allowed. There is no fiddling little perfectionism. Perfection emerges from the freedom of the ever changing and evolving layers of painting, scraping, adding, subtracting, exploring and feeling the way the painting wants to emerge. Everything adds to the energy and the point is to create something that expresses the essence of life itself. It is larger than the ego that brags and controls, whines and cowers. It is a form of surrender to God, to whatever you define as the Transcendent, as life expresses through you in new ways. It is like watching life itself unfold onto the canvas. By refusing to play small, you give the best of yourself in the moment when paint marries canvas. 

An abstract artist who is sincerely working with his whole heart is on a mission that in its own way mirrors the spiritual work of yogis and saints who have dedicated themselves to spiritual awakening. The artist reaches for ways to amplify and illumine what is beyond, that deep Eternal Wholeness, Harmony, and Sacredness that calls to us from behind the windows and lattices of creation. Something new is being birthed. Something is coming into being through the unique gifts and experience of the artist. His art reflects what we all go through to bring our own unique work to fruition. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin calls it the opus that we are all co-creating—that creative work that demands to be born on the page, canvas, recording, or even simply the homes we are making, the families we are raising, and the community we are contributing to. It doesn’t matter if you give it a religious name or a secular definition, for it is Mystery beyond all forms and names and definitions. It is the aliveness of Life itself expressing in, through, and for us as we labor.

“Be fearless.” I set aside my nagging doubts and condemning inner voices to spread my wings, trying something never before attempted, daring to be more honest in my self-expression. 

“Master your canvas.” A tough one for someone who often feels overwhelmed and oversensitive. Yet I learn to take more responsibility for my own choices. I learn my craft and practice it. I choose to be courageous as I open my heart to life itself. I take responsibility for my own destiny instead of allowing myself to be tossed to and fro by the forces and energies that attempt to master me. I become more myself, tapping into the power to move and make a malleable world; a power that is my birthright as a daughter of the Creator. 

“There are no mistakes.” I no longer need to judge myself, or others. I can trust the process and appreciate the journey. I can take risks that perfectionism would never allow. I follow the energy and surrender to Something larger wanting to express through me. I flow with the fierce urge to create, to make, to work with what is and make it express what could be. 


The painting rises from the brush strokes as the poem rises from the words. The meaning comes later.
Joan Miro

The craftsman does not always build toward a prior vision. Often images come in the process of working. The material, his hands—together they beget.
M.C. Richards

All great art is the work of the whole living creature, body and soul, and chiefly the soul.
John Ruskin

Only as much of life enters into us as we can conceive, and we conceive of life—in the larger sense—only when there is a complete abandonment to it. Let the one who is sad, depressed, or unhappy find some altruistic purpose into which he may pour his whole being and he will find a new inflow of life of which he has never dreamed.
Ernest Holmes

Concentrate on the Eternal life, the source of all lives… Express the glory of that immortality in all interactions with the world.
Parmahansa Yogananda

In all true works of art wilt thou discern eternity looking through time, the god-like rendered visible.

In the creative state, a man is taken out of himself. He lets down as it were a bucket into his subconscious, and draws up something which is normally beyond his reach. He mixes this thing with his normal experience and out of the mixture he makes his work of art.
E.M. Forster

In each soul, God loves and partly saves the whole world which the soul sums up in an incommunicable and particular way… By his fidelity he must build—starting with the most natural territory of his own self—a work, an opus, into which something enters from all the elements of the earth. He makes his own soul throughout his earthly days; and at the same time he collaborates in another work, in another opus, which infinitely transcends, while at the same time it narrowly determines, the perspectives of his individual achievement: the completing of the world.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Art, although produced by man’s hands, is something not created by hands alone, but something which wells up from a deeper source out of our soul. 
Vincent van Gogh

It is only when we can believe that we are creating the soul that life has any meaning, but when we can believe it—and I do and always have—then there is nothing we do that is without meaning and nothing that we suffer that does not hold the seed of creation in it.
May Sarton

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

A pile of rocks ceases to be rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Humans cannot create matter. We can, however, create value. Creating value is, in fact, our very humanity. When we praise people for their strength of character, we are actually acknowledging their ability to create value.
Tsumesaburo Makiguchi

In essence, man is not a slave to himself, nor to the world; he is a lover. His freedom and accomplishments are in love, which is another name for perfect understanding.
Rabindranath Tagore

Divine Spirit is the limitless potential of human life.
Thomas Troward

God does not ask anything else except that you let yourself go and let God be God in you.
Meister Eckhart

Affirmative prayer

We lie open on one side to the deeps of spiritual nature, to the attributes of God. Justice we see and know Love, Freedom, Power.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Within me is the light of life, the image of God. I have unlimited potential, and I commit to express the Perfection, Truth, and Beauty of God’s nature in all I do. As an expression and reflection of the Creator’s creativity, I use my own creative powers. I work without fear and enter into a freedom greater than I have yet known. I set aside all petty and negative thinking, allow a more expansive way of being to flower in, through, and for me. I accomplish my work with ease and effortless grace, knowing that it is not I, but the Greater Wholeness within me that works and wills a more glorious outcome than I can yet imagine. I surrender to this loving Energy and trust the process, knowing it is perfect at each stage of its unfolding. I claim my power to create and enjoy the act of creation in each moment. It is my nature and my calling to create, bringing beauty, order, and harmony out of chaos. All conditions and situations are transformed for the highest good. I am inspired and the fruit of my labors inspires others to embrace their own gifts, talents, and inner calling to create. I am centered in love and I share that love with others through my creations. I serve with joy, knowing that Love enfolds and sustains me, and heals our world. Thank you, God, for the joy of being your creative child. 

If you want to know more about Anton Weiss and his work, here are some links to explore: 

Lieper’s Creek Gallery website

An interview with Anton Weiss in Nashville Arts Magazine

Nov 6 thru 28, 2009 Show featuring Anton Weiss, Lisa Jennings, and Robin Surber Bennett Galleries Knoxville


  1. November 20, 2009 4:37 PM CST

    I really enjoyed reading this blog entry. Great job!

    - Susan Stovall