Thursday, July 2, 2015

22 days of gratitude and giveaways- day three


So grateful today to be able to move my body
and also to have a man who appreciates and even 
encourages my dorkiness.
"Give me your best Kate Bush Wuthering Heights dance"
He says, 
and so I do....


So where did we leave off yesterday? 
Oh right, I was going to tell you a story......
Off in the distance we could see a ruin
And beyond that, a tall Celtic cross and a lighthouse.....
A stumbled upon scene
We had no idea....


We come to this sign and we learn about Dwynwen, the Welsh patron Saint of lovers who lived here on this land some 1600 years ago as a hermit. 
Reading her story I feel infinitely grateful for the freedom that many more women now have over their own destinies although I know that there is still much room for change......



Dwynwen lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog's 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else.


Dwynwen was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.


She founded a convent on Llanddwyn, off the west coast of Anglesey, where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death in 465AD. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. Remains of Dwynwen's church can still be seen today.
Info source: www.historic-uk.com

We wander amongst the ruins and both of us find a little love heart rock to keep. 
The beaches of Wales has the most of these I've ever seen in our travels.....


We ask a lovely couple if they can take our pic in this place of history, love and pilgrimage and they happily oblige.  

Then we start our long walk back. 
We are following a circular track and it should be as easy as following the yellow walking signs. Somewhere along the way though we take a wrong turn and over the next couple of hours we sample the yellow, red, blue, green and black walking tracks, the red and black horse track, the blue bike track and the little red running man track!!! 
Who knows what that one means but at one point I did imagine it might mean ME running, screaming through the forest, waving my hands and yelling "we're lost, we're lost!!"

Luckily mi amor always keeps a calm head and eventually we emerge at the carpark, tired, thirsty but filled with wonder at the discoveries of our day.

"Where to now?" he says with a smile. 
"To the nearest pub" I reply. Without hesitation.

  Now the moment you've been waiting for....

winner number two in my 22 days of gratitude and giveaways


IS
 
JANET GHIO!!!

Congratulations Janet!
You are now registered for the next session of 
Paint Mojo the ecourse!! 

and for those who didn't win today
please keep checking in daily
until July 22nd

sharing the things you are grateful for 
and each day I will draw another winner!!

until tomorrow keep shining lovely friends!
You all inspire me so much
lots of love

Tracy xoxoxo






Wednesday, July 1, 2015

22 days of gratitude and giveaways- day two!


So grateful today to read all of your posts
each one reminds me of the multitude of blessings we all have
even in the darkest times
we can focus on the small things that 
bring us joy

i'm also grateful for being lost 
and found
one brings us to a place
which can feel scary
but can also offer fresh perspectives
elements of surprise
spiritual epiphanies
the other feels like coming home
safe, nurturing, whole.
but it would be hard to recognise one
 without the other wouldn't it? ❤️


Tomorrow I'll tell you a little story
 about getting lost and found earlier this week
 on the enchanted Isle of Anglesey in Wales. 
It involves a walk through this forest....


And a fifth century Celtic saint who once lived beyond this gate....

Until then I'm super excited to announce the very first winner of my 22 days of gratitude and giveaways!!

The winner for Day one is

CINDY BENKO!!!

Congratulations Cindy!
You are now registered for the next session of 
Paint Mojo the ecourse!! 

and for those who didn't win today
please keep checking in daily
until July 22nd
sharing the things you are grateful for 
and each day I will draw another winner!!

hasta manana beautiful ones!
lots of love

Tracy xoxoxo

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wonderment, wanderlust, GRATITUDE and a GIVEAWAY!!



here I am on the cusp of fifty, grateful for it all
for the hard yards that made me who I am today
for the times I struggled and the times I felt lost
for the love I have received and the love I am privileged to give
for the breath in my lungs, the sparkle in my eye
for the trillions of cells and the divine force that keeps my body healthy
for the gift of trust and faith
and curiosity and wonder
for the splendor of nature and the ability 
to see, feel, hear and touch it
for my students who teach me in every moment 
what it is to be human
and how we are all reflections of each other
for the gift of kindness and compassion
in the recognition of our similarities and our differences. 
for the preciousness of my family who make my heart overflow
with love
and for all of you out there
who have supported and cheered me on
these past five years
as I have worked to build a dream.
so much love to all....❤️

IN 22 DAYS I TURN FIFTY!!
And to CELEBRATE I want to share my gratitude each day with you all in the lead up
With a HUGE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

22 DAYS, 22 FREE SPOTS IN MY NEXT 

 

Each day we will draw a winner from those of you who have left a comment on my blog between June 30th and July 21st! 

All you need to do is leave a comment to be in the draw. Tell me something you are grateful for and make sure to leave your email address so we can let you know if you win. ��

I will try to post each day but if I miss a day or two I will draw those winners in the next post. 

Feel free to leave as many comments as you like over the next 22 days and let me know if you tweet, blog or share on FB, pinterest or other social media sites. Each share gives you an extra chance! 

❤️❤️❤️
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FOR THE NEXT SESSION OF PAINT MOJO THE ECOURSE OPENS ON MY BIRTHDAY JULY 22 BUT I HOPE YOU ARE ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS BEFORE THEN ! ❤️❤️❤️

Good luck to you all
Much love
Tracy xoxoxo






Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wanderlust and wonderment-update four


**Note I'm now calling these travel posts updates as my desire to post daily doesn't seem to match the amount of hours I actually have in the day! Enjoy and big hugs from Dublin!

After a fabulous weekend in Brighton with 24 beautiful creatives, a catch up with my amazing friend Erin Faith Allen who came to paint and film moi for her documentary series on women artists, and a perfect home stay with the amazing Tamara Laporte and family, it was time for mi amor and I to head off to the Welsh countryside for three days of rest and respite before my upcoming five day retreat in West Cork Ireland.

 the lovely Clare Campbell founder of Big Love Sista lost in splendiferous colour!

 the irrepressible Tam and I- so excited to announce that I will be teaching in Life Book again in 2016!

 We arrived at our Airbnb studio in the Welsh countryside and settled in before enjoying this magnificent sunset, looking forward to days ahead of rambling through fields and exploring castles.....

early the next day we set off with vague but friendly directions from our host to look for the walking path signs that would take us across the lush verdant landscape to the historic ruins of Raglan castle, a ruin dating back to the Norman Conquest.........

We begin by roaming through the church graveyard with tombstones dating back to the 1600's, and happen upon another rambler who tells us the footpath begins several houses down....don't be put off by wandering across private farmland he says. Its pretty well marked.

 
across undulating daisy covered meadows we stride, breathing in the fine Welsh air, feeling free and adventurous! 
We enter a field and these gorgeous horses come running over to check us out. They are curious but seem friendly. Still, I'm a little nervous being the uninvited guest on their home turf and not really knowing much about horses.
 We spy some cows and bulls in the distance and laughingly discuss what we would do if a bull came running towards us aggressively. 
 Mi amor tells me we would have to throw ourselves over the 6 foot high, thorn covered, barbed wire bound hedges into the next field to safety. 
 I wonder out loud if I could actually do that and he says he would throw me over himself if I hesitated.

Ah my Prince Charming!
We stroll the castle grounds for a couple of hours, our minds filled with history, take in some lunch at the castle cafe and head back out across the fields confident that we will remember the way back.

Then the real adventure begins.

At some point we realise that perhaps we are in the wrong field. It feels unfamiliar and we look around to see if we can find our bearings. On higher ground about 100metres from us we spy a herd of cows and young bulls.  

They see us too and some of them stand and turn our way. They look at us intently and.... I cant help it, my imagination begins to go a little crazy. I feel uneasy. Their gaze feels more malevolent than benign and I tell mi amor I'm going to skirt the lower hedge looking for a way out rather than cross
the field towards them. 
We edge our way around the bottom of the field, me making nervous jokes about their alert gaze and then, in an instant, they start to charge, en masse, TOWARDS US!!!!!
We bolt!!! Knees lifted high, backpack bouncing..........I am not reassured to see Marco sprinting too.......AHEAD of me!!! 
We run towards a corner of the field straight into a bog of mud and cow manure and one shoe sinks deep into the mud and stays there when I lift my foot.


We hide in the hedge and the cattle lose interest and head in another direction out of sight. 
We both start to laugh, a kind of hysterical laughter on my part as my fleetfooted hero digs my shoe out of the mire with a stick and helps me to clean it on a tree, 
just enough to enable me stick my foot back into it!

Not finding a way out we skirt the hedge again, this time heading in the general right direction and hoping, praying that the beasts have run off to another field. 
A few minutes later, at the top of a rise, Marco looks back at me and mouths the words, "they're just over the rise"
I mouth back a string of colourful language and we decide, on the spot, to scale the hedge........

 THE THORN COVERED, BARBED WIRE COATED HEDGE!

We find a section with a slight clearing and mi amor shows me how its done. With great ease he pushes back a thorny branch, climbs atop a post, skilfully avoiding all things spiky and leaps to the other side. It looks easy enough.....

I follow, doing pretty well with just a couple of small snags and find myself balancing precariously and inelegantly atop the same post looking down at what looks to me, like an ankle snapping jump to the other side. 
I freeze. 
That is to say, most of me freezes. My legs however, turn into wobbly jelly sticks and I cling delicately to a thorny bush, contemplating my options.
"Jump!" says my prince. "I'll catch you!"
"I'll bowl you over!" I say,
"It doesn't matter!" he replies
 and I do it.

I jump and we are free from the ravaging cows....we trudge the next field nonchalantly and actually find them at the top of the field but now they are on the other side of a wooden gate and we are safe. They are frisky and jostling and I am sooooo glad there is a barrier between us. 

 
I pose for a silly pic with my muddy shoe.....I might have even pulled a face or two at them and shouted "hasta la vista baby" as we strode in the opposite direction around another corner
AND straight towards another freakin' herd!!!!

We backtrack quickly knowing that we are going to have to face them and I swear they all have an evil glint in their eye as we head back towards them. They are pushing up against the metal gate which is adjacent to the actual walkers gate that we need to go through. We literally have to find a way to get through the seething mass of cattle to safety.

Marco tells me he is just going to have to divert them and before I know it he leaps over the fence towards them, yelling madly, jumping wildly and waving his arms. This confuses them for a moment and they back off a couple of feet which gives me a chance to climb the fence and straddle the next one before jumping down to safety on the other side. 

We head back to our accommodation, crack open a bottle of vino and count our blessings. Next day I spend the day painting, surprisingly no cows appear;p
 

Since then we've crossed the ferry to Ireland and had lots more adventure...

I even braved the castle tower stairs and kissed the Blarney stone, but that's a story for another day...

Until then

hasta la vista baby!!
yeah I'm tough like that...... ;p

lots of love Tracy xox

Don't forget that earlybird registration opens July 22 for the next session of Paint Mojo the ecourse!
AND
if you don't have a copy yet my book is back in stock after selling out when the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert raved a little about it.
You never know, it might just open up a whole world of possibility for you :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Wanderlust and wonderment-day three


Hola chiquitas!
Trying to remember to check in here with you all and just realised at 11pm that I hadn't! 
Here's just a little glimpse of a day of magic and incredibly beautiful scenery! 


After two days of rain and wind the sun came out and mi amor and I headed South to the mystical ruins of Tintagel in Cornwall, heralded as the birthplace of King Arthur. 


After Tintagel we visited the incredibly beautiful historic fishing village of a Clovelly in Devon. We walked up and down ancient stairways, through narrow cobblestones streets, over beaches strewn with millions of rocks, into the magical Merlins cave.....


A day to remember indeed! 


Missing our sweet girls every day but grateful to be on this journey with my love. 
Wherever we go the kitties find him for a little love. He has a lot to give ❤️

Noches lovely ones. Leaving this beautiful place tomorrow
Brighton bound ��
Lots of love Tracy ��������

Monday, June 1, 2015

Wanderlust and wonderment-day two


It's a wild and blustery day here on the coast of Devon. Actually the first day of Summer but feels like the kind of windy Winters day back home that would see us snuggling in front of the fire. 
Marco braved the elements to head out for a kitesurfing session and was almost blown off to the Caribbean ( I think that's what might be across the other side of this vast ocean!) He managed to navigate safely back to shore and is currently doing his yoga stretches on the floor in front of me before we head across to our "local" for a meal and an ale. 

I stayed inside mostly, working on an upcoming article and tutorial for Cloth Paper Scissors. Trying to capture the essence and impressions of this new and beautiful landscape....mixing more muted colours, open to new discoveries. 

The image above is how the piece actually looks right now and the image below is with a filter overlayed, more like where I should really be pushing it to, if I want to convey what's outside the window right now! 

So hard though! I'm such a colour girl! Longing already for lush Mediterranean scenes in shades of tangerine and turquoise after only a day or two of wet, grey surrounds. 


Yesterday we met again with our lovely friends Noel and Nora and their sweet kidlings Danny and Maya, for a traditional Sunday roast at yet another fabulous historic pub. Apologies to my nanny in Heaven but it was the best chicken roast and trimmings I've ever had with sides of cauliflower cheese, mashed root veggies, succulent snow peas, roast potatoes and swedes and gravy. I ate so much I may not need to eat for another week.... Oh that's right...we're heading out soon for dinner! Well maybe just a small bowl of Broccoli Stilton soup... Can you tell I'm enjoying the food here? 


Speaking of incredible food our first night here we were treated to a gastronomic feast for the senses when Noel and Nora invited us, as their guests to his highly renowned restaurant NC@ex34 in nearby Woolacombe. More on that experience later but here's a little glimpse of the 8 course degustation menu we enjoyed with paired wines, just to get your mouth watering! 



Hasta maƱana lovely friends. Time to grab our rain gear and umbrellas and head down to the old Thatch inn! 
Lots of love Tracy xo❤️❤️❤️



Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wanderlust and wonderment~day one


Hello my little buttercups!!

I know, I know........ its been a while between drinks, um posts! (she says while remembering a long pint of Guinness recently downed in an 800 year old pub)...... and I know this to be true, because as I type, I'm hearing me own voice in me own mind, read out these words with a distinctive, if a little mixed up English accent!!








Yep that's right, we're finally here on UK soil, soaking up the scenery and history after a rigorous and wonderful tour of the U.S which saw me teaching twelve 2-5 day workshops in 12 weeks!!

                              


So I know you will understand when I tell you there wasn't much time for blog posts in the beautiful US of A but I had a fabulous time as always and felt my heart expand time and time again as I shared the Paint Mojo experience with students and friends, new and old!

And so here we be, mi amor and I (this will read better if you play along with the accent thing ;p) in bonnie old England, presently on the wild and beautiful coast of Devon, eyes wide open and taking it all in with wonder and gratitude!

Later in the week we head to Brighton where I will teach Paint Mojo to 20 or so eager creatives before heading to beautiful West Cork in Ireland!

The most exciting thing about this part of the trip for us is that everything is NEW!! It's our first time in the UK, Ireland and Europe  so we get to see everything with the eyes of a child!

SOOOOO freakin' awesome!!

I've also given myself a bit more time out between workshops over the next five months, so am going to attempt to check in every day or two, even if just for a quick hello and a photo or two.
That will make me feel like you are all, in a way, along on the journey with us.

I hope you feel the same...

together we'll visit Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy and Mexico!
There are still just a few spots left in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Italy and The Netherlands so be sure to email me at info@tracyverdugo.com if you'd like to plan a creative adventure! 

If you're not able to travel right now a little birdie just told me that Paint Mojo the ecourse will be released for its third session in September with early bird registration opening July 22nd, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that one.
More than 700 students joined me last year to get their mojo flowing!
More info right here


OR  
YOU COULD JOIN OUR HAPPY "ANIMALITOS" ONLINE CLASS
Yours to download, keep forever and do at your leisure, all for just $59.
More info here

Here's a little peek at some of the beautiful work coming out of the Animalitos Facebook group! 



oh..... 
and please remember even when you don't hear from me for a while



lots of love Tracy xoxo