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The Creation of the Wakulla County Extension Office Courtyard Mural

On August 7th, 2019, at the Wakulla County Extension Office in Wakulla County, Florida, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the unveiling of their courtyard mural. The mural was designed and painted by us here at Sacred Visions Studio, Arianna, Kai, and Avery Nakashima along with additional help from multiple volunteers.

Continue reading “The Creation of the Wakulla County Extension Office Courtyard Mural”

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: JUNE

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Hello to you all, and my apologies for getting to the post a bit late. I know it’s been a rather crazy month with everything that’s going on in the world, and I hope you have been staying healthy, creative and remembering to be kind to others (and yourself!) .

So for this month’s recycled craft project, I decided to divert from the usual projects and show you some ways that we have been re-using and recycling in the garden. Right now I can definitely see people moving in the direction of wanting to grow their own food, and  even just wanting to bring Nature back into the places where it’s been taken away. For sure I feel both of these, and within the last few months I’ve really started spending more time gardening, which can get creative, just like art!

So let me share some ideas with you!

One of the main things I have been doing is starting seeds. I like being able to move them around to make sure they’re getting enough sun and rain, so I prefer starting them up in little cups. We bought plastic drinking cups about 4 years ago (they might be older, I’m not sure) , and we are still using them to this day! Of course we’ve lost some along the way, but they’ve been well used for years now, and they work well for starting seeds. In general, you can re-use the plastic pots your store bought plants come in, or even other kinds of containers. I’ve seen people use juice, milk, vinegar and all kinds of other empty plastic jugs with the top cut off, as planters. Also be sure to pop some holes in the bottom for drainage. Here I have been using some coffee cans for the seedlings.

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Kai makes a lot of cuttings from our plants and trees, and found that small but sturdy plastic bags work well for this. To hold them closed, a little scrap of yarn or other string ties it up. Pretty simple, and we’ve been able to re-use bags multiple times.

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Art canvases we buy at the store often come with little wood pieces that are meant to be used for hanging the canvas frame on the wall, but it’s not something we really use- until now! I found they make good stakes for marking the names of the plants. I just write the name in permanent marker and poke it into the pot. Another thing I do is use colorful fabric scraps (as long as they are in a lengthy strip) and tie it around the tree or plant stem to mark it. This one is helpful for not losing track of where and what it is, or to be sure you don’t accidentally mow it over with the lawn mower!

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In our garden we have several raised beds that were built from old pallet wood. And you could use any other kind of unused wood to make something like this. Look it up on YouTube, you can find all kinds of cool things you can build for your garden there.

Plastic drinking water bottles, or even glass ones if they have plastic caps, can be used to keep your plants watered. I’m still figuring this one out myself. I’ve seen some examples online, and rather than me explaining, it’s probably better you check it out from those sources!

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And of course, composting is the ultimate in recycling back to the Earth. We do this as much as we possibly can, composting our fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. To think all that just ends up in the garbage and not as nutrients and soil for your plants. But do make sure you keep your compost safely closed in a bin, away from critters! Again, there are many resources out there on how to compost, and so look it up if you’re interested.

So I think I covered most of what we have found to be great ways to re-use in the garden. There are countless other creative things you can do, if you just think about it. What is going to be thrown away that might just be a handy treasure for your garden? Hope you enjoyed this post and no doubt I will find more ways to recycle things for the yard and garden to share with you in the future!

Happy gardening!

-Arianna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Just Me: A Poetic Perspective On Humanity

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As said in the introduction, I’ve been an “animal person” most of my life, less interested in people due to the great disconnects often promoted in society throughout time. For many, I  could see how this caused immense harm to them, and I of course, could feel it within myself as well. That is how much of this poetry came to be. While most of it is deep and insightful, I tried to add a touch of cheer to this book by including a couple of my Holiday poems, and a few inspirational pieces.

I intended for this book to be reflective, though my hope is that one day I’ll have a collection of human-themed poetry that will be far more celebratory. “Not Just Me” is dedicated to those ready to wake up, be inspired, understand themselves, learn from the past, and so on. I am ready for change, and I hope you are too.

Read here : Not Just Me

RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT : MAY

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Hello again! I hope every one has had a good May so far, and that you’ve been able to be calm, creative and kind in the wake of all that is going on in the world right now.

As for the recycled craft of May, the star of this month’s project is bamboo!

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I count this as recycling, in the case that we have so much of it popping up around our yard, it gets cut down anyway. And while of course it’s great to let it decompose back into the earth, it is also a very useful and versatile wood.

This started when Kai began attempting to carve bamboo flutes last month, and from there other ideas and inspirations came. Here are a few of the flutes, though only one so far is a working one, but that one is more so a whistle.

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Using some of the pieces Kai had left over, I reused them to make a wind chime. It’s a little lop-sided (it is my first attempt at a wind chime) but it still makes a lovely sound.

I also made a drum stick, which I created by taking a scrap of quilt batting and canvas fabric, and tying it to the end of a bamboo stick with a length of yarn.

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So these were the projects so far, and you can count on there being more in the future. We want to try some other more complex things using the bamboo, and we’ll be sure to show them to you when we’re done! If working with bamboo interests you, you can look it up on YouTube. There are lots of videos on creating all kinds of things out of this fast growing plant.

Or come up with your own ideas. A lot of us have trees and bushes that get pruned every so often, and rather than throwing away the yard debris, why not use the beautiful wood for a craft?

I hope you guys liked this recycled craft post, and maybe got some ideas and inspiration for something you could create.

So until next time, be well and continue to create.

-Arianna

MY FIRST FULL-LENGTH NOVEL: The March of Stan A. Solve

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It is finally finished – my first, full-length novel! I am both excited and humbled that this story is ready to share. The March of Stan A. Solve was roughly written as a young teenager, contemplating the ethics of society. This book is extremely painful for me to put into the world, but as I closed on it nearly ten years later, I realized maybe this was something that the world needed right now.

Other than my poetry books, this will also be the first book I’ve put out for an older audience; particularly teenagers, but I hope there are some adults out there who can relate to Jade’s starvation for a more benevolent world.

This tale touches on issues teens face in everyday life, while interjected with paranormal scenes to entertain a more fantasy-drawn reader. The main character, Jade, navigates his way through high school with a different outlook on life than most of his peers. He questions the way of humanity, how young people are treated, and rebels what he believes is not right, all the while aiding a suicidal friend away from darkness and towards his dream.

I almost couldn’t bring myself to finish this book, but something in me told me somebody needed to hear it. Like Jade, discover the rebel inside, and know that we were meant to follow our curiosities, not the expectations placed upon us. We all want to be the hero in our own lives. I won’t ask anyone to enjoy this story, as I must admit, it is not my favorite either, but rather, the inelegant adventure of an awakening. If anything, I hope you befriend Jade as I have, and cheer him on until the very end.

Read Here!

-Kai

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: APRIL

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Hello, every one! Hope you’re all doing well amidst all the craziness that’s been going on. I also hope you’ve taken some time to take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and stayed creative as well!

This month’s craft project came about while cleaning out our boxes of Christmas decorations. I found a nice ornament box (which was now missing its ornament) and decided to use it as the base for my next craft. This ended up as a piece that could be displayed on a wall perhaps, or if I chose, I could put a backing on it so it could be propped on a shelf.

I began with the box, which had foam padding on the inside. I cut a fabric square from scrap material and made a collage flower from other fabric bits, adding some metallic paint to suggest vines and leaves. A big button was placed in the center, and painted as well.

The piece was then tucked into the box, which was then painted with vines and flowers, also in metallic and a semi gloss paint. Also to note, I glued the collage flower on with an acrylic gloss, which I find to work well, if you don’t mind it darkening the fabric’s color a bit.

How do you think it turned out?

I would have liked the flower vines to have looked a bit neater, but this is how it got painted! I do like how the ornament box made for a nice frame, though. Just think about other old cases, packaging and containers we don’t use anymore! I’m sure there are plenty of similar projects that can be done with all kinds of these things, we just have to think creatively about it.

Hope you enjoyed April’s project, and I will be back next month with something else new!

Love you all and stay safe!

-Arianna

 

 

 

 

Free Digital Children’s Books For the Home school Trend

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Kai: As the home school trend continues, I decided this month to release my new children’s book from my educational series; “Your New Friends”. The new book is about pet fish, though it also contains general fish facts for those who do not have pets, too.

You can read the book here!

 

This book was written by me, while Arianna and I collaborated on the art work. Avery was responsible for the digital design as usual!

Please check out the children’s book page for all of the “Your New Friends” titles, and additional stories, which are free to view and download.

Check out our other children’s books here!

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: MARCH

Hi every one! Sorry this post ended up so late! I finally added the finishing touches on this piece, so here it is.

This is a small decorative tree I put together using things I had laying around, and it also incorporates some bits of nature. The only thing that was not technically recycled was the terracotta plant pot. The skeleton of the tree is a branch from an azalea bush. I would consider it recycled since we were pruning and using it for mulching in our permaculture garden, but I noticed how it looked like a little tree, which is how the idea came to me.

I glued the branch into the pot along with a small handful of pebbles I found outside. Acrylic gloss was used as a glue, but you could use any other glue for this as well. The blue and green leaves were cut from fabric scraps, and the gold wire was something unused I had sitting around. As a finishing touch, I attached some old earrings to the branches. My sister and I had made those many years earlier, but we had never done anything with them, so I’m happy they got re-purposed here.

I still have another branch I saved, so I will probably try this craft again in the future.

Thanks for checking this out, and I hope every one is staying safe and healthy at this moment in time. Keep calm, and keep on creating! Love to all of you!

-Arianna

 

 

Bewilder by Sci-Fi: A collection of Weird and Wicked Poetry!

CovOn behalf of the month of Avery’s birthday, I decided it would be cool to put together my collection of sci-fi poetry to celebrate, as he and I are big fans of sci-fi art. While I wrote all of the prose in this book, and showcased some of my best sci-fi scenes, Avery contributed his awesome digital art and design. The cover was his design and painting, and I think it turned out great!

This creative project is a lot different than the other digital books we have done, and I do warn you – some of it is a little scary! (Hence, a collection of weird and wicked poetry) But my hope is to bring different audiences together, to a place where sci-fi meets poetry! As I say in the introduction of this book, enjoy it – before it becomes a thing of reality!

-Kai

Read Bewilder by Sci-Fi

 

 

ARIANNA’S RECYCLED CRAFT PROJECT: FEBRUARY

Hello again, every one! It’s time for my recycled craft project for February. This month I painted two glass bottles.These were fairly simple, and I’m using them decoratively, as the way they are made is not necessarily suited to functionality!

Both were reused apple cider vinegar bottles (washed and cleaned out very well!) and they were painted on the interior with acrylic paint. I do think they turned out nicely, and I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the future.

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As pretty as they are, I do have to say, if you are painting glass, you really should use a paint that is designated for use on glass. These bottles work with how I did them, but they are strictly decorative, and I cannot let them get wet or put anything inside them, because the acrylic paint is too easily damaged. When I attempt this craft again, I will use a glass paint.

An interesting painting tool I wanted to mention is the cotton swab! It came in handy for filling in the paint on the curved edges close to the bottle’s neck. Just bend the swab and you can easily reach the rounded part of the bottle.

So that’s it for February’s craft project! Next month I will have something more complex I want to show you, and it also makes use of some natural materials from nature. Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best in your artistic projects!

-Arianna

 

 

Happy Valentine’s From SacredVisionsStudio!

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Celebrate Valentine’s day with I and Arianna’s new poetry book! A collection of love poems and beautiful photographs for lovers of all kinds. This book contains both rhymed and free-verse poetry by us, featuring photos I took here in Florida, and of course, the digital work was done by Avery.

We hope you all have a wonderful, meaningful valentine’s day full of love, togetherness, and a little bit of chocolate!

READ HERE!

-Kai