On Returning to Home & Chronic Conditions

I recently joined the world of iPad owners (well, I share this with someone, but that still puts me with owners, right?) and have found myself spending time away from my studio and art supplies, so I thought I'd see what this thing can do....and wow! The apps out there are amazing, and react just as materials would if I were using them in the studio - pretty closely, at least! Now I can sketch and journal away from home. While I don't think this will replace my normal materials and methods, I really do love being able to play. I create to relax and get in touch with my Deeper Self. I read this passage in Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, last night that has resonated with me, getting me to think. I love when words worm their way into my mind, taking up root as I mull them over. What do they mean to me? How can I use them to prompt change in a positive direction?
When the culture, the society, or the psyche does not support this cycles to return home, many women learn to leap over the gate or dig under the fence anyway. They become chronically ill and purloin reading time in bed. They smile that fancy smile as if all is well and go on a subtle work slowdown for the duration.
I may shock you with this next statement, but there are times I am thankful for my chronic conditions. They have taught me so much about myself, slowed me down to better enjoy the little things in life, and are always ready to - and quite loudly - remind me to reconnect with myself. This may be through pre-flare-up pain, that tells me I need to rest and take time for myself, or through full flare-up days, when I stay in my pajamas and, as Estes says above, "purloin reading in bed." Or work in a sketchbook. Or enjoy a movie. But if becoming chronically ill is the result of too much time spent up in the outside world, what does that mean to me? My illness started when I was 15, and has, unfortunately, become complicated as the years pass. Does this mean I need to spend more time in my Soul-Home? Nightly visits in Utter Silence? And how is it that so many days have gone by since the last time I truly created...not nights on the couch while watching movies, but alone, in my space, when I seem to live outside time? One thing I can relate to is the last bit, about smiling "that fancy smile as if all is well." I am thankful that I don't seem to need that mask anymore. About a week and a half ago, I had the pleasure of working with a new client, Jen, and was filming her in her studio. She gave consideration and acknowledgement to my FMS, and even had us take a shorter work day for my sake. And yet, I wasn't treated as though I'd break, or any less of a professional. I felt more like a Whole Self in those hours than I have in a long time (remind me to write of returning dreams; it is an amazing experience!). Any thoughts? I know I shall continue to mull this over in my mind, turning up the soil of my fertile soul, preparing to plant new ideas and dreams. I do hope to discuss such things more, with all of you, spreading the words of change and Wild Souls as I continue on my journey. With love, Samie Kira

Creating a Magic Box (new local class, too!)

Starting this month, I’ll be running a monthly mixed-media class. I’ll be teaching projects and techniques at a lovely little studio space near downtown Phoenix, and we’ll have a yummy dinner & dessert to enjoy while we’re creating! 

I am so very excited to show you November’s project — a magic box! 

I wanted us to create things that could be given as gifts or help us record the upcoming holiday season for the next two months, and became enchanted by the magic of nature and wishes and boxes combined! 

The process of creating this box was brilliant! I know we talk about the transformative power of creating art, but it is one thing to read the words and another to experience them

My new awakening has me out in nature, more, reconnecting to my roots. I want to stand in the grass and soak in the energy of the Mother. I want to jump in pile of leaves (in dreams, as there are not enough leaves here to create a pile). I want to pull nature into my daily life and art, and I learned that through creating this piece. 

I also began working with clay. As a child, my mother was an amazing clay artist, using found objects and her own hands to craft faces and shapes and little creatures. Textures for skirts and faerie wings. I’ve missed that, and became inspired to add clay to my box. 

And then there is a bit of collage. Washi tape. Paint. Crayons and marks and scallops. Stamps. 

But my love is the bundle of twigs, held together with wire and findings, old seam binding from my grandmother’s stash. The wire loops down through the lid of the box to create a handle with which to open your box of magic. Of photos. Of books. Of memories. Of wishes for the future, dreams you hope to come true. 

There are so many possibilities. 

I am so excited, I’m going to create more! More and more! 

You can come with and make one, too! 

I’ll be teaching the first class of my new monthly shindig on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 6PM

It will be held at Spread the Weird Studio down near 7th Street & Roosevelt, right along Roosevelt Row and all those galleries and shops! 

Cost is $30. Part of the cost goes towards yummy food. 
Please bring your own cigar box (or you will be able to grab one at class for a small fee).

This class is organized by me and Denise of the Make Stuff Club meetup. You can either pay via PayPal with the link below, or call me to pay over the phone. Please note that space is limited!

I really hope to see you there! I want this monthly meetup to be full of art, fun, and new discoveries. 

Gelli Arts Gel Plate Basics! (video)

Ah, finally! Even if you don't see them, I'm working on videos every single week, and am now working with others to make them awesome & amazing videos for their tutorials, too! So here's the gel plate tutorial I filmed a couple weeks ago! 

I've learned so much and converted more than a handful of people with this fun, easy to use product! I'll be making another with 'advanced' techniques pretty soon, for those of you with your own plates who want to know more! I just....I have so much fun with my gel plates! It's so calming and medatative and full of all sorts of layers and possibilities! 

If you want to see more of what I've created so far, check out my Gel Plate art gallery!

My lovely amazing friend Roben-Marie has ALSO posted her take on gel plates -- we scheduled our posts to go up together to give you all a Weekend of Gelli Arts

Thanks to Gelli Arts for giving us the opertunity to play with this amazing product! 


little grey and white feathers mark the way

It was the third time I’d walked out to find one waiting on my path. 

Curious, I bent down and picked it up, grey and white, freshly shed from the wings or tail of one of the pigeons that come to rest in the courtyards of our apartment complex after digging through the dumpsters of near-by restaurants. 

(I assume this is what they do; I have no knowledge of their movements other than seeing them flapping by, walking around, chased off by dogs on walks…)

I never really paid attention to such things, random feathers or animals crossing my path, until I encountered both while wandering the woods of central Florida with a girl who walks with animals and sparkles like a little pixie faerie. Now, I find myself gathering all sorts of random bits — stones and sand, feathers, twigs, leaves, all placed in my art or on an alter that’s quickly swallowing up the top of an old white dresser. 

But this third time, I knew it was a sign. I called her, asked, “What do pigeons mean?” 

“Finding your way back to the security of home, returning to what you’ve forgotten, the strength of family,” she surmised from that much-loved edition of Animal Speak (I bought her the pocket guide before I left, a perfect-sized little book that fit into her backpack). 

At the time, I thought it meant my physical family, but now…I think the message goes a little deeper than that. 


One of the things I discovered by going outside myself, leaving my day-to-day surroundings, was I’d lost myself somewhere along the way. 

I used to write poetry and prose to connect with my deeper self. I’d swirl in long skirts and sit on the warm grass of parks, nestled under trees, and work on things. On writing and homework and drawing. I’d sit on the beach and write scripts and shove my shoes in my bag so I could wade out into the surf. As a child, I played with spirits and faeries (I met my Grandfather for the second time when I was six or seven, when his spirit tossed me into the air and I shrieked with laughter), created magical kingdoms, and made costumes from whatever I could find around the house. 

And somewhere along the way, I lost all that. 


There are things I don’t talk about much. Large chunks of my life left offline, mentioned with hesitation. What if they don’t believe me? What if they don’t like that sort of thing? What if they think I’m crazy?

Pieces of my Wild Soul hidden in my mind, shared only with close friends. Bits that scream to be let out against the fear that kept me quiet. 

But if I remain silent, scared, and fearful of judgement, then what does that say to the girl just discovering this of herself? What does that say to others who may feel as I do, believe as I do? 

So here’s a piece of my truth:

I hear stories. Lots of stories. Feel emotions and sometimes hear my name breathed into my ear as I fall asleep. Questions asked. Conversations overheard. 

From Spirit (or ghosts, or souls-on-Earth).


It’s been my experience, from an early age, that many people don’t take kindly to the little blond girl with an angel guide as an imaginary friend, who knows things about you you’ve never told anyone else. Who claims to have chatted with relatives long-gone. I’ve been told I’m going to hell by a little boy who attended a religious school, scoffed at by a woman sitting in front of me on the train, laughed at by friends who think tarot cards are to play with, not respect. 

(They asked me why they couldn’t touch them, what the Big Deal was. I could see Spirit and Fae trying to help from the corner, telling me to be strong, to be confident in my own abilities.) 

While my religious and spiritual practices are eclectic at best, with a place for the Virgin Mary, the Buddha, those many-faced Hindu goddesses, it’s been a long time since I identified myself as Christian (but still love church…a loving, soulful celebration of God? Definitely my thing!). 

I don’t mean to talk about religion all the time, now that I’m shifting and changing, sliding back into my own sealskin, long lost and hidden behind the mountains of lessons to be learned, but I know that my artistic practice is unfolding, sprinkling Spirit and inspiration across all I do. 

And it’s time to pull the intuition into all that I do. 


I truly believe that those who listen to Spirit, or God, or the Goddess, who take the time to be still and dive into the depths of their own Wild Souls, practice the core of wabi-sabi — that is, they go with the flow and, while they may find forks in the river or waterfalls to survive, they have grace; their faith and confidence help them tackle bigger challenges. 

It was harder for me to dive that deep when I was still acting as I thought I should (oh, that terrible word that enslaves so many!) instead of remembering that smiling, always-laughing girl of my youth. But now that I’ve reconnected, I am finding things come easily. My life is full of happy accidents, serendipity, and just right moments. In fact, every day this week is busy with projects, adventures, and paint on my fingers. 


Now, every time I walk to my car, or grab the mail, to walk and search for the treasures of nature I find myself drawn to use more and more of in my art, I smile at the feathers I spy in the grass. I’ve started my journey home to my heart, to my True Self, and know I’m on the right path when those little grey and white feathers mark the way. 

"feathers on my path" 12"x12" mixed-media on wood. available.

We Have Winners!

Where has the last week gone? One minute, I was launching my giant new e-book, the next, it's a week later and I'm exhausted!

I have so many new things going on, as well as my own creative ground-surge....it's really true that once you start being creative every day, you're suddenly overwhelmed with ideas! 

Winners! Yes, we must have winners! 

Thank you to everyone who's grabbed a copy or entered the giveaway! If you've emailed me for a coupon...I have them and will be getting back to you tomorrow! 


Congrats, ladies! I'll be contacting you asap so I can send off your goodies! 

It's Finally Here -- My GIANT E-Book, Going Further


I have been secretly (or not so secretly but dropping hints!) working on something for awhile. A BIG something. 

I decided early on that the lessons from Journaling Deep would turn into something. I didn’t know what — or how to package/present them. I just knew deep down in that soul-place, that wild-space we so often neglect in our busy 20th century lives, that I wanted to share everything I could. I wanted to be excited about new discoveries, create a space where I could experiment comfortably, and encourage others to do the same. 

My energy has gone towards creating the best, interesting, easy-to-follow tutorials since Journaling Deep started in November, and in May, I realized I was sitting on a mountain of awesome stuff that so many more could benefit from! I decided to package the videos up as mini-classes, and the PDF lessons as a giant e-book/e-class! 

If I could take a snapshot of my brain and send it to you, Going Further would look pretty damn close! 


What does this big, giant E-Book hold?

  • 140 pages of tutorials. There aren’t many pages in-between, other than chapter intros. So that’s a LOT of tutorials! 
  • Projects ranging from how to make foam stamps to creating your own embellishments to working with fabric to project pages that are intuitive and soul*full. 
  • An entire chapter of conquering the blank page with guided background tutorials. 
  • Printable worksheets to transform your handwriting, get comfortable writing in your journal, and how to obscure it so others can’t read it. Stuff I’ve picked up, transformed, made my own. 
  • Inspiration galore
  • Have a pile of Instagram photos? Check out the uber-long art gallery. Or maybe you want to learn digital art journaling? Yeah, there’s a chapter for that, too! 

Not only that, but each tutorial gets you thinking about why & how you approach journaling and creativity. Read the tutorial and answer questions designed to pull you out of your comfort zone and those tried-and-true methods we all repeat. 

Finish, and reflect back on your experience. Take notes. Learn more about yourself through the process not the product


I call it an e-book/e-class because it is easily the material I could present in 3 e-courses. But instead of splitting it up and creating a class around it and discussion forums and all the like, I put it all together in an easily-downloadable and easy-to-follow format that doesn’t put pressure on your to ‘keep up,’ or show your work each week

Perfect for those who need to inject some more creativity into their life, who don’t have the time or money for e-courses, who just want to have fun on their own terms. 


What are you waiting for? Click here to buy your copy!  


And just because I am so excited to share this, I’ve decided to give everyone 15% off through Monday! 

(This gives you 15% off your whole order, so look around! There’s some awesome stuff in the digital shoppe!)

Just enter the following coupon code: happyebook


NOT ONLY THAT, but I have some awesome stuff to give-away, perfect for those jumping in! 

 I’d really like to get the word out about the e-book, so I’m giving you extra chances to win! 


  • Comment on this blog post about what you’d love to learn next from me, or next in general, and be entered! 
  • Tweet about the e-book (make sure to mention me, @samanthakira), and get another entry! 
  • The same on Facebook (tag Journal Girl so I can see it!)! 
  • PURCHASE the e-book and get 2 extra entries! 
  • Contest ends Monday, October 15, 2012.


What can you win? Well, take a look at the TWO prize-packs below! 













Good luck! And I hope you enjoy all I have put together to share with you!


Low on funds? Need some help? I have a few 50% off coupons left to share. Let me know and I’ll let you know. The community usually takes care of its own. <3

If you enjoy Going Further, I would love to hear about it