About Paulina Constancia

Hi, my name is Paulina Constancia. I am a painter, writer,teacher,wife and mother. I have created this blog to highlight arts,crafts and all things beautiful whether it's in food, music, architecture, design or people's way of life. There is always joy and satisfaction in seeing, making or reflecting on art; and if experienced everyday in any way - it'll surely keep the doctor away! Join me for a daily dose of art! P.S. Please bear with me as DDoA transfers address, click here to see my older posts http://www.daily-dose-of-art.com

Feed the Right Wolf

As  my personal interpretation of the Cherokee Tale of Two Wolves entitled ” A Heart’s Choice” hangs at the Window Gallery of the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver, I would like to invite us all to reflect on the enlightening words of PEMA CHÖDRÖN.

Feed the Right Wolf
by PEMA CHÖDRÖN

…A Native American grandfather was speaking to his grandson about violence and cruelty in the world and how it comes about. He said it was as if two wolves were fighting in his heart. One wolf was vengeful and angry, and the other wolf was understanding and kind. The young man asked his grandfather which wolf would win the fight in his heart. And the grandfather answered, “The one that wins will be the one I choose to feed.”

So this is our challenge, the challenge for our spiritual practice and the challenge for the world—how can we train right now, not later, in feeding the right wolf? How can we call on our innate intelligence to see what helps and what hurts, what escalates aggression and what uncovers our good-heartedness? With the global economy in chaos and the environment of the planet at risk, with war raging and suffering escalating, it is time for each of us in our own lives to take the leap and do whatever we can to help turn things around. Even the slightest gesture toward feeding the right wolf will help. Now more than ever, we are all in this together.

Taking the leap involves making a commitment to ourselves and to the earth itself-making a commitment to let go of old grudges, to not avoid people and situations and emotions that make us feel uneasy, to not cling to our fears, our closed-mindedness, our hardheartedness, our hesitation. Now is the time to develop trust in our basic goodness and the basic goodness of our sisters and brothers on this earth; a time to develop confidence in our ability to drop our old ways of staying stuck and to choose wisely. We could do that right here and right now.

In our everyday encounters, we can live in a way that will help us learn to do this. When we talk to someone we don’t like and don’t agree with — maybe a family member or a person at work — we tend to spend a great amount of energy sending anger their way. Yet our resentments and self-centeredness, as familiar as they are, are not our basic nature. We all have the natural ability to interrupt old habits. All of us know how healing it is to be kind, how transformative it is to love, what a relief it is to have old grudges drop away. With just a slight shift in perspective, we can realize that people strike out and say mean things for the same reasons we do. With a sense of humor we can see that our sisters and brothers, our partners, our children, our coworkers are driving us crazy the same way we drive other people crazy.

The first step in this learning process is to be honest with ourselves. Most of us have gotten so good at empowering our negativity and insisting on our rightness that the angry wolf gets shinier and shinier, and the other wolf is just there with its pleading eyes. But we’re not stuck with this way of being. When we’re feeling resentment or any strong emotion, we can recognize that we are getting worked up, and realize that right now we can consciously make the choice to be aggressive or to cool off. It comes down to choosing which wolf we want to feed.

Of course, if we intend to test out this approach, we need some pointers. We need ways to train in this path of choosing wisely. This path entails uncovering three qualities of being human, three basic qualities that have always been with us but perhaps have gotten buried and been almost forgotten. These qualities are natural intelligence, natural warmth, and natural openness. When I say that the potential for goodness exists in all beings, that is acknowledging that everyone, everywhere, all over the globe, has these qualities and can call on them to help themselves and others.

Natural intelligence is always accessible to us. When we’re not caught in the trap of hope and fear, we intuitively know what’s the right thing to do. If we’re not obscuring our intelligence with anger, self-pity, or craving, we know what will help and what will make things worse. Our well-perfected emotional reactions cause us to do and say a lot of crazy things. We desire to be happy and at peace, but when our emotions are aroused, somehow the methods we use to achieve this happiness only make us more miserable. Our wishes and our actions are, all too frequently, not in synch. Nevertheless, we all have access to a fundamental intelligence that can help to solve our problems rather than making them worse.

Natural warmth is our shared capacity to love, to have empathy, to have a sense of humor. It is also our capacity to feel gratitude and appreciation and tenderness. It’s the whole gamut of what often are called the heart qualities, qualities that are a natural part of being human. Natural warmth has the power to heal all relationships — -the relationship with ourselves as well as with people, animals, and all that we encounter every day of our lives.

The third quality of basic goodness is natural openness, the spaciousness of our sky-like minds. Fundamentally, our minds are expansive, flexible, and curious; they are pre-prejudice, so to speak. This is the condition of mind before we narrow down into a fear-based view where everyone is either an enemy or a friend, a threat or an ally, someone to like, dislike, or ignore. Fundamentally, this mind that we have, that you and I each have, is open.

We can connect with that openness at any time. For instance, right now, for three seconds, just stop reading and pause.

If you were able to stop briefly like that, perhaps you experienced a thought-free moment.

Another way to appreciate natural openness is to think of a time when you were angry, when someone said or did something that you didn’t like, a time when you wanted to get even or you wanted to vent. Now, what if you had been able to stop, breathe deeply, and slow the process down? Right on the spot you could connect with natural openness. You could stop, give space, and empower the wolf of patience and courage instead of the wolf of aggression and violence. In that moment when we pause, our natural intelligence often comes to our rescue. We have time to reflect: why do we want to make that nasty phone call, say that mean word, or for that matter, drink the drink, or smoke the substance or whatever it might be?

…To honestly face the pain in our lives and the problems in the world, let’s start by looking compassionately and honestly at our own minds. We can become intimate with the mind of hatred, the mind that polarizes, the mind that makes somebody “other” and bad and wrong. We come to know, unflinchingly, and with great kindness, the angry, unforgiving, hostile wolf. Over time, that part of ourselves becomes very familiar, but we no longer feed it. Instead, we can make the choice to nurture openness, intelligence, and warmth. This choice, and the attitudes and actions that follow from it, are like a medicine that has the potential to cure all suffering.

Excerpted  from Taking the Leap by Pema Chödrön © 2009 by Pema Chödrön.  Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. www.shambhala.com

Read the complete  “Feed the Right Wolf” chapter online on lions roar 

Roundhouse-Feed the Right Wolf- Chodron words

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Dino Sock Puppet Workshop

What’s a T-Rex’s favourite number? Eight (ate!) And yes, that’s the same number my son is at. For his 8th birthday he asked for a Dinosaur-themed party.  He decided on a crafts and cupcakes party in his school.  So today I will share with you the Dino sock puppets that he and his friends created during the workshop that I facilitated for his class.

Here are the steps in pictures:

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The socks were pre-sewn and most of the embellishments had sticky backs. Other embellishments had to be adhered (like spikes, pompoms, etc) using a hot glue gun. The kids would come to us and the teacher and I were the only ones allowed to handle the hot glue gun. So we did that part for them while they waited.

Craft Supplies Buffet

Here is the craft supplies buffet table. Each of the kids got a tray and then they picked socks and embellishment for their Dino puppet.

Here are the puppets my son and his classmates handcrafted during his birthday crafting workshop:

Click on image to enlarge.

It was so much fun for all of us… and to add to the birthday fun here are some dinosaur jokes. Here’s to some ROARing laughter for you folks!

Q: Can you name 10 dinosaurs in 10 seconds?
A: Yes, 8 Iguanadons and 2 Stegasaurus.

Q: What do you call a dinosaur that never gives up?
A: Try and try and try and try-ceratops

Q: Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl using the bathroom?
A: Because the ‘p’ is silent

Q: What do you call it when a dinosaur gets in a car accident?
A: Tyrannasaurus wreck!

Q: What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
A: a thesaurus.

DINO JOKES Source: www.jokes4us.com

PRINTS CHARMING 3: The Textured Plate

I bring you the the last of the 3 part printmaking workshop series that I recently conducted at my son’s elementary school – Monoprinting with a Textured *Plate.
(*a surface upon which a printing process is carried out)

Materials needed:
textured materials like silicon trivets, bubble wrap, plastic mats, plastic fruits trays with raised textured patterns
watercolor paper or card stock (plain index card works perfectly fine, too)
watercolor, tempera or acrylic paint
brushes
water dish
heart-shaped plastic

Here are the steps in photos:

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If you figure out a registration system for your printmaking process then it will be much easier for you to do more stuff to your print. Example, after this step, allow paint to dry then go back and print more design over that heart.

2- texture plate

Monoprint using a trivet and watercolor

Here are some of the hearts created by the young printmakers (6 to 7 year olds) at the workshop – absolutely stunning work!

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heart poster

A Parade of Hearts for your folks. Happy Valentine’s…from our hearts to yours!

 

PRINTS CHARMING 2: The Foam Plate

We continue with our  PRINTS CHARMING series.This time we will use a Foam Plate.
Yes, foam, but not just any foam. What I find to be the best one as mono printing *plate is the material used in foam take out containers.  So, please next time you get those foam food boxes or containers… clean it and save it for a day of printing fun. (*Plate- a surface upon which a printing process is carried out)

Materials needed:
Foam
Ballpoint pen for making impression on foam
printing ink
cardstock or watercolor paper
watercolor, tempera or acrylic colors for background color on paper
inking plate (plexiglass)
rubber brayer

Here are some images of the steps:

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Here are some photos of my students foam plates ( impressions on the foam were made using a ballpoint pen)

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So to make the prints more interesting, I got the kids to paint the paper using watercolor. When watercolor dried, we then did the printing with the foam plate and printing ink.
Look at this slideshow of all the works of my young printmakers…

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Paint your paper and then do the actual monoprint with foam plate and black printing ink.

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Notice the letters on the foam plate are on reverse…

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Make a lovely monoprint to frame or some mini monoprints to make bookmarks for your loved ones this Valentine’s.

Try out this simple monoprinting technique…if my 6 and 7 year old students could do it, so can you!!!

PRINTS CHARMING 1: The Foil Plate

I recently conducted a special workshop series at my son’s elementary school on simple ways children could do *monoprinting.
*Monoprinting – is a form of printmaking that has lines or images that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals

I called the series PRINTS CHARMING and here are the techniques that I taught them in 3 different sessions.
Workshop 1-  Making Monoprints using a Foil Plate
Workshop 2- Making Monoprints using  a Foam Plate
Workshop 3- Making Monoprints using a Textured Plate
(*Plate- a surface upon which a printing process is carried out)

Let’s start with the first session PRINTS CHARMING 1: The Foil Plate
Yes, you heard that right…foil, as in aluminum foil. So, please next time you have some used foil, clean it and save it for a day of printing fun.

Materials needed:  aluminum foil mounted on something sturdy like cardboard or plexi-glass, tempera or acrylic paint, brushes, water dish and water color paper or plain index card works too…

Here are some images of the steps:

 

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Check out the photos of my eager young participants at work…

 

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And here are the awesome creations of my little printmakers…

 

Try out this simple monoprinting technique and create lovely one-of-a-kind Valentine’s cards for the dearest people in your life.Cover 1 copy

 

 

 

Christmas Homemade Clay Ornaments 2

We continue with Part 2 of  our Christmas Homemade Clay Ornaments feature here on MoNA. We started with a variety of shapes. Here goes – you can focus on just one ornament shape. You can make all Christmas trees for example.

xmas tree

Make your homemade clay and use Christmas tree cookie cutter…

painting christmas tree ornaments

With just red, white, and green paint the kids were able to create some interesting designs…

trees after painting

Here are the painted trees…

the painted trees

And here they are —ready to hang with beautiful Christmasy baker’s twine…

When I did this Christmas crafting activity in my son’s grade 2 class I brought my ukulele and taught them the song Oh Christmas Tree. Here are the lyrics:

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh  Christmas tree,
You stand in splendid beauty.

Oh Christmas Tree, O  Christmas tree,
You stand in splendid beauty.

Your branches green in summer’s glow
And evergreen in winter’s snow.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh  Christmas tree,
You stand in splendid beauty.

Watch video on youtube

I also found a more meaningful version of the song that would be suitable for older kids or adults.. (try out the chords on your ukulele)

oh xmas tree chords

Lyrics and chords from Tabs by Ultimate Guitar

“O Christmas tree, your beauty green will teach me that hope and love will ever be the way to joy and peace for me…”

Christmas Homemade Clay Ornaments 1

Here is a Christmas project that I did with my son’s class. It all started in our kitchen with homemade clay using a recipe I found on Tips from a Typical Mom.

Homemade Clay recipe

Here are some photos from our kitchen while my 7 year old son and I prepared the homemade clay.

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Allow to cool and let the Christmas painting fun begin!!!

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Here are the ornaments painted by my son and his classmates…

9- classroom tree

They now hang on the cardboard tree I made for their class.

Wanna make this tree? It’s easy.  Just cut cardboard, paint and put a strip of of wood in the back of the tree  for support.  I drilled a hole on top of that wood strip so I could put string through for hanging. To hang the ornaments, use a roundhead paper fastener.

Spread the Christmas spirit — make your personalized clay ornaments in your home, classroom, or workplace… if my little boy and his classmates could do this project so can you.