This is Where Wonder Dwells...


I wanted to share her with you. She is the end result of the basic shading/drawing & portraits class I have created, and she is waiting for you to come meet her, draw her, create your own language of shapes and flowers and girls/women. Are you ready to meet her? 

(Sign-ups start next week!)

Wonder*Girl is available as a print in my Etsy shop.

There is a stack of these poems on my desk, next to my typewriter. Should I share more of them? I have 20 days of a poem a day to do, and am loving every moment of it! 

Run Wild & Free - You Are Lovely ~~ New Prints in the Shop!

I'm so happy I can finally share these with you! They were created a few months ago as I experimented with a new style ~~ creating inspiring cards for others to give or hang on their walls! I really, really love these two and decided why not update my Etsy shop with some pretty little prints! 

Click on the piece YOU love above to grab it before they're gone! 

What do you think? *grin* 

For Your Protection, Immediately Forgive Yourself

She is now available as a print in my Etsy shop.

There’s been a book sitting on my bookcase for the better part of the year. It has sat there among others, and I started it, but I never really dove in. I thought I didn’t need it, and thought I’d get back into it when I did. But in the wisdom of as Ze Frank:

When you’re most in need of help you the most vulnerable to bad advice. Probably the best time to read self-help is when you least need it [and can chew on it with a bit of vinegar].

2012 has been a year of changes for me. And while many of these have been amazing, and large, lately, I’ve felt that the greatest barrier to my success has been myself. And as I was flying high on cloud nine, seeing my work pay off after seven years of blogging and making videos and sending in submissions, but I wanted to do more. I knew I needed to change from the inside out. And you might have seen the beginning of this shift when I finally decided to create for the niche that I felt in my heart for so long (and thanks to Alice for letting me know that even if you don’t have a chronic illness, you can still relate to my work and words!).

And so, I pulled down that book; it’d been sent to me by my dear friend Roben-MarieThe Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. As a recovering perfectionist, the easy-to-read yet digging deeper format energized me to begin making much-needed changes in myself. When I finished, I knew I needed to go backwards; I needed to read her first book, I Thought It Was Just Me.


I know I’m not alone; this knowledge is the driving force behind why I share so much; I want to tell people they’re not alone, that they’re not the only one with FMS or an illness, and that beauty and art can be captured no matter what your background or physical/mental state you’re in. That’s not what tore me open. It was this, her definition of Shame:

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. 

As I read the first few chapters, I felt something shift within me, and all of a sudden, I cried. I cried for all the times I might have shame someone else to make myself feel better. For a long time, whenever I was in pain, I felt so ashamed and disconnected, I felt that the only way I could get anyone to help me was to go for the throat. And I’m not proud of this or saying any of this with  pride; but it has to be said. And I’m sorry.

I had already started practicing mindful authenticity and ordinary courage after finishing Brené’s second book, but now I had to re-learn empathy, and how to really connect with others. One helpful thing I’ve been doing is sitting with my emotions instead of simply getting angry or frustrated. I figure out what, exactly, I’m feeling, and why. I now better understand my motivations and am less unsettled about myself, which has me creating more authentic connections and communicating with more empathy. 

I remember one afternoon, as I was eating lunch with Becca, completely breaking down into tears. My heart had broken open, and it seemed I had a lot of sorrow and regret to get out before I could even begin to go forward. I spent the day painting, allowing these previously-hidden emotions to come out through my brush. And it’s taken a long time to finish the painting I began that day because it is, in itself, the process. 

It is the process of opening yourself up to what you may have done in the past, and remembering to forgive yourself. I think that is so important. Before you do anything else, I want you to sit, in this moment, and forgive yourself for anything you have done recently that you may be ashamed about.


Brenè says the guilt is more motivating than shame. Shame makes us feel less than worthy, less than perfect — makes us feel less, period. And that’s the thing — we are all imperfect. It’s our imperfections and this state of authentic being that we should be celebrating!

So stop trying to make your journal pages, your art, your photos, or your blog perfect! Make them more you. That’s what speaks louder than anything else! It is that essence of personality, of a person truly trying to connect with others, that will bring people back for more.

(At least I’m hoping that’s the way it works!)

So this painting was the process of me cracking opening open and sobbing with my friend, sobbing while driving home. I love the message I got from my mother and daughter who said they are looking forward to this painting being available for them to have on those days when the pain is too much and they need something to allow them to be. I had to pause in dictation; I just started to tear up and cry.

I am by no means finished with the book, and my copy looks more like a high schooler’s copy of Catcher in the Rye, full of annotations they’ve been forced to make by English teachers, than that of a twenty-something woman reading to better herself. I’ve been reading with highlighters and pens in bed at night because I see more than just a book for me. I’m reading now more for my tribe, my community of artists and followers. Listen to this quote, and see how someone with a chronic illness may respond to reading this:

We equate more ability with weakness, and, in our culture, there are very few things we abhore more than weakness.

I know a lot of you who read my work have illnesses, and you may be ashamed of yourself, and your weakness. And I want you to look at this painting and take her message to heart: for your protection immediately forgive yourself

And then go create something beautiful, if only for five minutes, today.



Grab her in my Etsy shop, or browse all my other paintings now availiable (a few originals are left; contact me if you're interested!).

Some Photos Around Today....

A doodle in my journal last night where I surprised myself with how much I've learned...

...stamps I carved for fun this morning, before working or doing anything else...

(note: a bunch of the gals on my FB page and Instagram accounts want some for themselves, so I'm carving some more! Let me know if you'd like some, too!)

...cutting down and hand-leafing prints for my Etsy shop...

...and some words to leave you with. 

Easy Dreams (new artwork, Etsy update, poem, & soul-words)

Over the years, I have learned to grab tidbits of time. The tidbits add up. It is an “easy does it” approach to creativity. Small tidbits add up to a larger whole.

Julia Cameron


I’ve been snatching little bits of time this week. 

Stops here and there between reading and movies and connection

Photos taken.

Studio cleaned.

Space cleansed.

I managed to sketch an eye and do a little bit of computer work.

(I am collecting followers’ blogs on my Google Reader.)


I have also shared the first piece of my new work.

I was very scared to do this.

When you go outside your comfort zone and create from the heart, there is much of your soul tied up in each stroke of the brush, each word scrawled in the spaces. 

This new stuff is so much more me.

So much more of my heart.

My true voice.

I can’t explain where it comes from, or how it is made.

It’s still so new, so fresh, so wonderful. 

But I reopened my Etsy shop and put prints up in it.

And before I went to bed, it sold. (But you can buy your copy of this art here)

In 15 minutes (Thanks, Lisa!).

I went to sleep wrapped in comfort. 


I have a couple journal-making kits left over from last weekend. They’re up in my Etsy shop


I’ll be on Google Hangout today at 5pm PST/8pm EST. If you’d like to come by and chat on video or mic, go to this post and let me know. Here's a recording of our chat! We talk about fear of sharing, the elements of joyful creating, and share our pets. ;) I'll be making a group @ The Studio for weekly challenges and chats!



Last, a poem I wrote for this post’s artwork:


*It's only when we go with the flow

and find the river of our life

that our dreams come easy


sleep is restful.*


I’m on the mend. Thank you for all your wonderful messages, emails, and tweets. 

{contemplate, plan, doodle, and dream}

So, uh, hi everyone! I'm still alive. I think this may be one of the longest times I've gone without blogging. It wasn't really for any other reason than feeling I had nothing in my life worth blogging. But as I look back on my week now, I realized two things: 

1. I totally had stuff to blog about.

2. I need to take more pictures, because wordy posts can make your brain hurt. 

Not that I don't love writing. I can write for hours without a break, just letting the words flow. In fact, this morning, my mother was telling me about a book she downloaded to her Kindle. 

"There were all these errors," she said, then explained them. "Kira, you're such a gifted writer. You should be submitting your stories to the Kindle store." 

"Naw," I blushed. (I am one of those people who can't take a compliment; I get really uncomfortable and shy!)

"You could just change the names and publish them!" she smiled. 

And I love that my mother knows the stories I spend my nights writing aren't original pieces of fiction (sidenote: I've been working on the same fan story for about two months, now, and it's at 35,000 words. I'm a wordy girl!). But her comment got me to thinking: Why not try to write something original and submit it? There's something that tells me I'm GOOD at this -- that I can put together words in an eye-pleasing way. That I can pull you into a story. So why haven't I done this, yet? Why haven't I gone ahead and tried? 

Anyway, there's one thought rattling around in my head! 


I also headed over to Glendale with Tina for the area's mixed-media meetup group thingy (collective, right?). We always get there early because it's either get there an hour early and wander around the shop, or get there late because of rush-hour. I'm pretty sure everyone else in the group is from the west valley, but I've never been one to shy away from something fun just because of a little drive. 

As always, it was fun to hang out with all the gals. Tina has some photos on her blog, as do Dina and Julie (who was our special guest!). And remember that starburst stencil I used? I know someone asked me where I got it/who made it. Turns out it is by Crafter's Workshop, who's owner, Jamie, came to our little shindig as well and gave us stencils. YAY! How can you turn down free stencils? She's such a sweetie and her company makes the best stencils ever, so head over there and check them out! 


I've had a few deadlines this week, and a few more things moved around, so I never know if I'm coming or going! I did, however, get things done early (shocker!) and am now reading things over, formatting stuff, and taking many pictures to really get the best one instead of the one I quickly snapped. 

As for my journaling/art/paintings/creations:

I'm going through an awkward growth phase. I'm flipping back and forth to work on several pages at once, and my new explorations have the thick stretched and bulging so much, I can't use the elastic to keep it closed anymore! I'm trying to figure out a way to put all this newness into words I can share with you, but until I can, I shall leave you with some photos of the pages I'm working on/have recently finished. 

Maybe, tonight, I'll sit down with my notebook and try to figure this all out. I know it's something new and exciting and amazing, but haven't been able to do words -- just images and little doodles and things here and there. A painting is taking shape in my mind, an idea, a bit of wonder. I just need to be open to it all. 


Here are two final bits of stuff! (can you tell how cluttered my head has become?)

1. I've put up the button journal I made as the example for my Button Journal Workshop on Etsy. It's such a darling little thing, and when I made it, I was originally going to use it, but then I found some things to make a new journal and am going through this odd patch, so it needs a home!
Sold before I could post this!

2. I've started a side-project called Born Brave. It's a newsletter of sorts -- more letters & essays. A diary of possibility & living with chronic illness. I've gotten tons of emails and comments over the years about how, by sharing my story, I've inspired others to try. And I've written essays on creativity and chronic illness for years, just never knew where to put them. Why is it paid? For two reasons. A. Because I get really personally -- more so than I ever have in public before. A letter system like this keeps the actual content off the internet. B. Chronic illness means no insurance, tons of doctor's appointments, and meds. And I'll be honest, I'm struggling on that point. I'm hoping to get guests to write essays and letters, too, and if this grows large enough, be able to pay them for their help (right now, they will get a month free). 

Have I talked your ear off? Or your eyes, since you're reading? What do I sound like when you read my words in your head? 

Ahem. I'm going off to contemplate, plan, doodle, and dream. I'll catch y'all tomorrow. 

with love, 
Samie Kira 


{a whole bunch of little things...}

Phew! Working on the netbook is the most frustrating thing of my day thus far. It takes FOREVER for things to took 15 minutes to start up properly! But until my tech support arrives, I'm without my lovely, pretty desktop. *pets silent machine* I did take over one of my monitors so I can at least post; the tiny screen may be great for writing and surfing the net on the go, but the entry box for Squarespace on it is MAYBE three lines long...*sigh*

So, some quick updates and eye-candy are in order! 

First! I made a little vid with the netbook. I don't have my editing software on here, but wanted to play with a camera angle you go! 

(I actually posted it on Saturday...after waiting an hour and a half for it to save!)


I've put two original paintings up on Etsy. I've been prompted, seperatly, by two friends to do this, so I'm closing my eyes and putting it out there and am forgetting about it. I'm trying to value myself and my artwork more and this is one way of doing that. 

(roadblocks & strengths on Etsy)

(when our hearts are full on Etsy)

Third! I've been using my Tumblr as a photoblog, since it's super easy to snap and post from my cell phone (whereas Squarespace doesn't have an Android app yet!). I try to post once a day, something I'm working on or the view of my desk...stuff like that! 

Here's the address again: Journal Girl Loves...

I'm kinda taking this time without the constant hum of my desktop running in the background to stay off the internet and really create. I grabbed a good book from the used bookstore, have my sliding door open, and just got a box of goodies -- a nice, big order from the Shoppe at Stampington. So this girl will be off creating and playing and relaxing. I call this Creative Rejuvination and often come back from such breaks with tons of new ideas and stuff to share with you! 

I'll be back tomorrow with snapshots! For today, enjoy some yummy trims. Mmmm! 

PS. If you need something from me, please send an email! I don't have my pretty organized mail program right now, so I will admit I'm behind on things! Don't feel like you're being a pest -- I appreciate the help so I can help you!