Wee Cottage Lane Christmas

Wee Cottage Lane  Christmas
by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Thursday, December 12, 2013

sharing "Altared Books" in 2014

It's almost mid-December and I have to admit, I'm getting excited about the new year already! I know I should slow down and enjoy Christmas, but gosh! I'm just so fired up about 2014! I followed my heart artistically and expanded my art to include something I'm calling "Altared Books." I was first inspired by the art of Dia De Los Muertos imagery and wanted to make a tiny world that held an altar tucked within a book. My first few pieces were exclusively "Day of the Dead" related. Then, I created books dedicated to people that I wrote stories about. These darling little worlds can be created to honor anything! Imagination is the only limit. 

It is my intent to offer workshops so that I can share the making of these pieces of assemblage art with others. Each gathering will be very fun! We'll dress up in frilly aprons, don sparkly tiaras, and create completely unique art! Wow, I can't wait! I'll be sharing more information about these plans as I begin to set dates. I've been asked to offer a workshop at "The Old Mortuary Inn" in Dunsmuir, CA.

an "Altared Book" by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa dedicated to Frida Khalo

A view of an "Altared Book" featureing hand-painted & sculpted "sugar skulls," many jewelry and religious artifacts, flowers, birds, ribbon, sand dollar doves and many other little bits. 

The cover of an "Altared Book" by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

Inside cover of an "Altared Book" by Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa

a tiny Christmas scene inside and "Altared Book"

Christmas in an Altared Book

A praying mouse is inside a book dedicated to a fictional cat lover. 

The cover of an Altared Book with a cute locket and secret butterflies inside

The inside of the Altared Book dedicated to fictional "Auntie Bella"

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Waiting for the phone to ring

Today I’m waiting for a phone call. A phone call that could change everything… or not. I’ve done the footwork and the results are out of my control. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this position, of course. Following job interviews, first dates, and other life events, I’ve waited for a phone call. Carrying the phone around, afraid to get in the shower, or worse!

If the answer is “yes,” it could fund a dream that I’ve had for a long time and help me fulfill what I believe to be my life’s mission; founding the healing place. If not, do I abandon the dream as if some unseen force is telling me to let it go? Or, do I double my efforts and come up with another way to make it happen?

Since my attention, and energy, is so fragmented today, I’ll probably limit my creative activities to those that don’t require much focus. Trying to work on an ambitious painting or sculpture will just frustrate me and I don’t need that right now. But, I do feel that staying in positive motion is important.

Being in the “waiting place” is a weird sort of painful. Accepting my powerlessness over an outcome and still doing everything I can to live my best life.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

A healing place...

Pretty dishes for the healing place. 
My dream for LaBelle Mariposa is to share the principles I wrote about in my book, “Walk In Your Own Footsteps;” helping people to discover their own way in this life and encourage them to have the courage to follow their path. The idea started out as pretty abstract, so I’ve been working to solidify it.

To that end, I am working hard to bring into being a healing place where people can come and learn to apply the principles to their lives, spend some time with like-minded people through small retreats, as well as have one-on-one sessions with me. I’ve found a location, now it’s just a matter of everything else falling in to place.

LaBelle Mariposa will help gentle people seeing balance, fulfillment, growth, and transformation. Through writing (books, articles, blogging…), art, classes, retreats, cards, cd’s, one-on-one sessions, creating vision boards, YouTube videos, community projects, and yet to be created gatherings, products, and materials, LaBelle Mariposa will help facilitate personal internal revolutions!

Another function of this place will be to provide comfort and a healing place for those who suffer from all sorts of pain. A place to rest and rejuvenate. In warm surroundings, guests will work through feelings and return to their world better for the experience. I’m gathering beautiful things to furnish our home so that everyone who enters will feel welcome and invited.

This sounds like a big order, doesn’t it? Or, does it sound like a wonderful thing in this crazy world? I hope to hear from friends, and friends of friends who could use such a respite and sanctuary from the world.

Holding the vision!

Laura P.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Creativity, Rituals, and Spirituality

Today I'd like to take a little departure from the usual, here. I've been thinking a lot about how rituals and spirituality play a role in my creative process. I don't know if others feel this way, or not. I would like to share some thoughts on this topic. I hope you get something out of it! 

Part of our nature is to embrace rituals. We look forward to rituals great and small. Holidays, Graduations, and seasonal chores are all externally taught rituals. Other rituals are ones we create for ourselves. They bring us comfort, give us something to look forward to, and help us define our social circles. From decorating the Christmas tree to brewing a cup of tea, rituals are comforting and familiar. I am a big fan of rituals. I embrace them and use them to bring comfort and structure to my life. I bet you do the same. In this post, I am asking you to think about your rituals.

Most of what we think of as rituals are taught to us, handed down from our ancestors. Having had another person created the ritual, then pass it on, gives it value and legitimacy. Consider for a moment the fact of this. Someone developed the sequence of events and passed it on. Some have meaning, some don’t. In many instances, it is more the repeating of a familiar pattern that brings comfort than a firm belief, or commitment to, the act. This doesn’t make the actions good or bad. I’m just saying that we should really think about how we spend our time, what we devote our energies to.

So far, I’ve only talked about the positive rituals that we embrace. Think for a moment about any rituals you have devised, or capitulated to, that are negative and harmful for you. Do you beat yourself up emotionally? Condemn your motivations? Or, maybe you’ve fallen into a pattern like drinking to excess or smoking? Simply using negative language on yourself by way of self-talk can be a very destructive habit. Oddly, these bring comfort similar to positive rituals, but they tear down and destroy.  “Living life on purpose” includes rejecting what doesn’t serve us as well as developing what is uplifting. Beginning to recognize those negative habits, and starting to eliminate them, will help you feel better about yourself in so many ways.

Rituals can help us set our intention for just about any activity we choose to engage in. Getting ready to go on a trip, going to work, headed out to school… each activity has a list of behaviors we engage in before we begin. These help us transition from one activity to another.When I create art, I have a little set of rituals I usually go through. I get a beverage, put on some music, sometimes I light incense… That’s just me. I’m sure you have a ritual of your own. It helps to define the space and time as “creative.” Taking the time to define our intention, through thought and action, helps us to focus our energies on a specific intended purpose.

I don’t believe that we are stuck with just our own taught rituals, or making up our own. I love to learn about other cultural rituals and adopt those that feel right for me. For instance, I have adopted the custom of smudging to bring a positive vibe to my space. What can I say? It makes me feel clean and light filled. It’s a form of prayer to me. Another ritual handed down by my ancestors, and probably yours. J

To wrap this up, I just want to say that I, like most every person, embrace rituals for their ability to bring comfort, celebration, and help me to define my intent. My message here is simple.. Become aware of your rituals, embrace those that empower, let go of any that don’t. Feel free to invent rituals for yourself, too. They can be fun! As long as you’re choosing your behavior for the value that it brings into your life, you’re on the right track.


Laura P.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A few thoughts on Fibromyalgia

Another factor that has shaped 2013 has been that my fibromyalgia symptoms have become more of a challenge. Since the death of my kid's daddy (and my former hubby of 20 years) in December 2011, I've definitely noticed a intensifying of the symptoms overall. What I've worked on in 2013 is using the time and energy I have each day very wisely because it is brief. I need to sleep about 12 hours a night and take about naps every day. Sounds yummy, right? Unfortunately, the price I pay for pushing myself past these limits is body aches, migraine headaches, and ultimately something called a "fibro flair" which feels a lot like having the flu. 

Every person's experience with fibro is different, this is just mine. I have have noticed that the other people I know with this "condition" were kind of driven "type A" folks. This makes the limitations it places on us so hard to handle. Because we are always looking around at all the things we "should" do on the way to take a nap! 

The reason I'm sharing this is because I want to say that, while it is super frustrating, I have learned some lessons from fibro that I don't know I would have learned otherwise. Mostly I've learned about managing my time and energy. I look at it like a budget every day. I can't get overly ambitious because that will push me into a state of complete rest, so I must take my time and evaluate my choices carefully. I must set priorities and stick to them if I'm to get my goals accomplished. :) Sound familiar? 

So, I make lists. Then I prioritize them. My family is always at the top of my list. I try to do some art every day. House work is important to me, too, because if the house looks too crazy, it affects my self-esteem. Exercise makes the list every day, too. Even if I just walk around the block with my puppy dog, doing something every day is important to me. I've had to back completely burner several things I like to do including teaching for now. 

I've applied for disability through social security because I simply cannot work a full day and support my family any more. I cannot commit to anyone that I'll be at any place on a given day or time. I never know when one of my symptoms will make keeping that commitment impossible. It is my sincere hope that, when my financial issue is less acute  my symptoms will be, too.

Until that time comes, I'll just keep making my lists, using my time wisely, and maintaining a minds-set of gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy in this wonderful life. 

Laura P.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

pretty dish collection

This is the beginnings of my pretty plate collection. It is my intention to use mismatched dishes, serving pieces, and silverware in my little house up in Dunsmuir, CA. Since I'm still working on getting the house, it is fun to collect the things I'll use when I do. It's also an excuse to bring home these pretties, clean them up, stack them and take photos. :) Always a fun activity for me!

The Dunsmuir home will house my art collection, studio, magic stuff, and so much more! I just can't wait to be a part of the art community, there. I'm also looking forward to sharing the house, as well as the wonderful community, with my many friends. 

I hope your dreams are coming true, too!

Blessings, Laura P.

2013 - So Far (my cool experience with a vision board)

Well, blogosphere! I guess it's been too long if I had to look up my password for this site! I'm writing now because I want to share the exciting year I've had so far! It all started last December when my boys were happily playing with their Christmas toys and Jim was enjoying a football game. I decided that this was the perfect time to sneak out an create a vision board for 2013. 

I left my happy home and went alone to a diner that I really like called the Diamond Springs Hotel. I took up residence in my favorite booth. (it's supposed to be haunted!) and I took out the supplies I would need to create my vision board including a sketch book, set of colored pencils, and an eraser. I chatted with the owner and let her know that I would be camping for a bit, to make sure that was okay. She was fine with it. :) 

I began making a list of all the activities and goals I wanted for 2013 on a paper napkin. Once I was happy with my list, I began drawing pictures on my vision board to represent all the things I was dreaming of for 2013. I didn't want this to become about making perfect pictures, so I did it quickly and only allowed myself the pencils to finish the project. 

When I got home, I placed my vision board in my art studio area (our family dining room) so that I could see it every day. The result of this project has been such a powerful experience that I'm excited to share it with you. Many, many things have come to pass that I first put down on that vision board. Some, like belly dancing and making more art were within my control and I feel that having a visual reminder of those things helped me bring them into my life. However, other things on my board have come which were entirely out of my control, and long waited for. This isn't a magic project, it's just a tool which helps us keep our priorities in mind. Much like a company has a mission statement and a five year plan, it makes sense for us to put thought into what we WANT in our lives. 

There are still a few things to look forward to and I'm really excited to see how the rest of the year turns out. I bet Jim will be tagging along this year when I make my new board to make sure he gets his priorities on there, too! 

I've helped a couple of other people to do boards of their own, and they've had amazing results as well. I would like to encourage you to give this a try. If you have any questions, please drop me a note, and I'll be happy to help you with yours, too.

Laura P.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cute little table transformation

Thanks to the Eilene and Melanie at Trezhers gift shop in Sacramento California, I had this cute little table to transform. I have had it here at the house for quite a while because I hadn't formed a vision of the project in my head (usually a prerequisite for my creative process.) Well, a few weeks ago, I worked it all out in my mind and started to bring my idea to life. I took photos as I went so you can see the steps I went through to make it whimsically cute. :)
Before picture and all I've done is sanded it. 

You can tell that it was chippy, but not in a good way. :)

Here it is with it's little legs in the air as I started covering it with  Kilz

with another layer of kilz

And another!

I carefully painted a layer of solid color on each part and then went over that with some cool metallic paint. 

All finished

Friday, February 1, 2013

New Installation for Laura and LaBelle Mariposa

Here I am at Studio 41 in Oakhurst California with Joelle Leder setting up an installation for the next two months! I'm so thrilled to be a part of Joelle's vision of a beautiful place full of art and wonderful finds.  I'll be teaching a class there on February 28th. The details are yet to be worked out, but I'll share it here. :)

So, you may be asking... "Now what?" Well, I'll tell you! I'm gonna paint some new beautiful art! LaBelle Mariposa is taking off and I'm having a ball! This is so exciting! To have a mandate to do what you want to do anyway!

Oh, and there's the art car. I think I'm in love again. With a Lincoln town car! Who would've thought that? Well, we'll see. If it's not the one, I'll know. 

Blessings all!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Living a LaBelle Mariposa life

Cypress Sunset painting created for a original art pendant.
I came up with the name of my business, LaBelle Mariposa, because it brings together two languages to say the beautiful butterfly. Butterflies represent transformation, flight, beauty, living for the moment, and so many other things. Monarchs pass their knowledge on to generations who complete a journey that their ancestors have made for countless generations. This communicates tradition. In so many ways, the monarch, and butterflies in general, are a special symbol of rebirth, transformation, and grace. So, living a LaBelle Mariposa life is embracing personal transformation, finding our purpose, and living each day to the fullest. 

Lately, I've been so blessed to have so many of my dreams coming into reality. Today, Jim and I will travel to Monetery to visit Cheryl Watt Pottery & Gallery on Cannery Row so that I can drop off more art. Then, tomorrow, we'll attend an opening at the gallery! Also, today, I will get to spend time working with a dear friend on her own personal journey before I purchase the vehicle that will be my art car to promote LaBelle Mariposa!

So, today, I am feeling very blessed and happy to be living my transformed LaBelle Mariposa life!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wellness Sanctuary and Spa

I'm so excited to be a part of Wellness Sanctuary and Spa in Placerville, CA. Joaquin Fioresi asked me to bring some of my art to his place connected to the Carey House Hotel and my work fits in with the vibe of the place perfectly. I posted an image of the painting I did for Joaquin and Jen already. Here's a pic of Joaquin and I at the spa yesterday. 
Joaquin Fioresi and Laura Pallatin of LaBelle Mariposa.
You can see some of my work behind us. I am offering my work at the spa at a special price so if you're interested in adding one of my paintings to your collection, this is a great time. I promise that I wont be offering my work for sale at this price again.

I will be making signs for the Wellness Center soon, too, and will be posting pictures of the signs in process and finished.