Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are you a Creative Woman of Wellness?
Creating health is a topic of widespread interest in America, and I am passionate about both of these human endeavors: Creativity and Health. Perhaps you believe that the state of your health and wellness can be attributed to your DNA more so than any personal decisions you made today? If health is something we are born with because of our fantastic genetic gifts, I am probably going to be generally healthy until I reach my mid-sixties: at least that is how it worked out for my relatives. But what if that doesn't sound good enough to me? What if I would truly like to live the life of a vibrant woman well into my 90s? Do you think I can? Here is what I've been up to lately.

I have joined forces with both the Western medical and the Alternative Health Care communities, studying what each field can offer my personal goals in 2015. I have added to that effort another valuable degree to my education, that of Certified Holistic Health Coach and Drugless Practitioner. In the past year I have gone deep within my own personal and professional dreams and now I take 100% responsibility for my health behaviors. By doing all this, I am creating a life that far exceeds my genetic makeup, and I am also creating a community of other enthusiastic women who also want to go above and beyond their DNA. This group is called We Are Women At Wellness!

Vibrant living at every age!
From my artistic life in beautiful Colorado, where playing with fiber art and creating private commission art for others has been my focus for almost a decade, now I am using my creativity in new ways, and I am loving every minute of it! I am passionate about my ability to choose the vibrancy of my daily life. I believe that we all have enormous power to make choices and think thoughts that create for us resilience, healing energies, and nourishing experiences that both keep us young and also improve the lives of those around us!

Now that I am a practicing Holistic Health Coach in Colorado, my fiber art time in the studio is often spent teaching others to use their hands, their eye for color combinations, and their sewing skills to enjoy the crossroads between Creative Play and Stress Relief. Have you learned to use your creative hobbies to feel that bliss that surrounds people as they focus on creating beautiful things?

As this lovely new year continues, I may slowly ease away from this BlogSpot to another that I am putting my attention toward. That decision is still in the works! But I do know that I would love to have you join me in the shift that is happening in my professional offerings. Please check out all the new and valuable resources I have gathered for women who seek wellness. And let me know if there is a topic in this theme that is of particular interest to you! I'd love to hear from you.

Georgianne Holland
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Holland Health Coaching
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
We are Women at Wellness

Monday, July 21, 2014

Step Twins -- Two Mediums/Same Design/One Artist

They look the same to me!
I believe they called it dusting off my brain. I was being encouraged to try something new as a means of self expression, and I was holding back. My familiar fiber art skills are so comfortable to me that I can sometimes, when I am felting late at night, almost feel like I am creating in my sleep. "Dust off my brain!" seems a bit drastic, doesn't it? Perhaps I am relating more to the popular "Step out of your comfort zone". Whatever happens to motivate me, this new series has already been named: Step Twins.

A new inventory of artistic supplies.
When you think about identical twins, of course there is only one mother involved. So in this creativity-expanding exercise, I am playing the role of the Mother/Artist. Pairs of objects will be created in this series of 16 pieces in my studio, and these are what I am referring to as the Twins. So there will be eight sets of Twins when the series is complete. Any guesses as to how long this might take me...assuming I won't get away with working while sleepy?

My brain is feeling fresh as I contemplate that each set of twins will be comprised of works that will, from a distance, look the same. As you approach them, the texture of each piece starts to pop, and then, magically, as you step front and center before them, you realize that one of the works in each pair is a painting and the other is a fiber art piece. Step Twins: the same mother but very different genetics.

I started with a painting and now I am collecting the wool.
In my studio today I have begun playing with Twin Set #1. It might be fun to begin some of these pairs with the painting first (which is what I've done today), and then on other occasions, I will start with the fiber art. This will truly stretch my skills and cause me to wake up my process, don't you think? What kind of challenge are you looking at for the balance of 2014 when it comes to your creativity? May I make a suggestion? Perhaps you should dust off your brain.

Please check back from time to time for an update on this series. I'm excited to share it with you!

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Textile Art vs. Fiber Art -- Which words do you use?

Work by Nancy Crow
I have long defined my work as fiber folk art and it is usually a comfortable way for me to talk about what I do in my studio. Because I communicate with my collectors over the Internet, I have learned that art lovers in different parts of the United States and abroad use other words to describe the kind of objects/art I create. Outside of the conversation about the relative value of art as opposed to craft, which is a subject that often carries a bit of tension, I've been thinking about the choice of calling myself a fiber artist over a similar term, textile artist. Have you ever thought about a geographical or a perceived sophistication difference in the words used?

In common usage today, any type of artwork which uses pliable, organic elements as the major material can be labeled as either fiber art or textile art, and I notice when I do an Internet search that a large variety of examples come up when either term, fiber or textile, is used. However, I am noticing that there seems to be a difference between artworks that are created using traditional needlework techniques like stitching, weaving, spinning, felting, or quilting and those artworks that are made using a more expansive toolkit, like combining fiber with other mixed-media, adhesives, heated tools, or non-organic structural elements. Another clear reference to the word textile can be seen in ancient textiles to those of the 21st century, where a lineage of makers/artists created yardage of fabric, each baring the fingerprint of the artist.

Work by Miriam Schapiro
How does any of this history or word play make a difference in my profession? I believe that the way in which a person thinks about him or herself is a foundational element to whatever it is they do to earn a living. I am a professional artist, meaning my creative process is undertaken in a manner that addresses my economic goals and traditional business practices. When I use certain words to describe my artwork, words that feel apologetic or self-limiting, this has an impact on not only my own self expression but also on the manner in which the public views my work. I do sometimes feel hesitant to tell others I am a fiber artist, as if I am a poor cousin visiting the art world. Does this ever happen to you?

I believe that the art community, and especially the textile art community, has a strong heritage of skills that are passed down through both professional communities as well as domestic circles, and my work as an artist in in keeping with those who came before me. That means I can stand with some of my favorite artists who broke free of traditional and perhaps limiting art world boxes and now represent innovation in the fiber and textile arts--favorite artists like Nancy Crow and Miriam Schapiro come to mind.

Work by Georgianne Holland
When you consider making, buying or talking about fiber art, I hope that you also hold an expansive view about what it can mean within the larger artistic community. Beyond gender, beyond education, beyond cultural boundaries, there is a space for creativity using pliable organic fibers that speaks to humans in a very textural, seductive and accessible way. I have grown to think highly of all of this manner of communicating beauty and ideas, as I'm sure you have as well, and it is my hope that others will also help us sing the praises of creativity, using whichever words and mediums  ring most true.

Thanks for stopping by,

Find my work at

Friday, June 6, 2014

Decoupage Anyone?

My light table decoupaged as a cheerful patchwork!
I love Mod Podge! If you know what I mean, then you are likely ready to tackle another decoupage project. I have used a variety of glues and techniques to decorate the surface of many objects over the years. I've embellished large pieces of furniture all the way down to teeny tiny balsa wood circles. It is a fun way to make my home decor a one-of-a-kind piece.

One thing I have never done is decoupage the backside of clear glass trays, allowing my art of choice be showcased in this DIY upgrade. Have you tried this yet? I found an artist named John Derian who makes glue and botanical images look classy on the wall, and with only a few dollars invested in supplies. This is a great home decor bargain!

STEP ONE Locate a copyright-free image of your choice in the size that will fit on the back of your glass tray. The folks at Behrenberg Glass sell a variety of tray sizes.
Places in the Home Tray
STEP TWO Clean the back of your glass tray with window cleaner, wiping to remove any residue. After it dries completely, sponge brush a think layer of Mod Podge over the entire tray back. Place your image, right side down, on top of the Mod Podge. Quickly flip the tray over to make sure the image is centered as you like it. Smooth the paper against the glass, then place the tray back side up on a clean work surface. With a cylindrical object, like a clean wine cork, roll out any air bubbles until the paper fully molds to the glass. Dry for 30 minutes.
STEP THREE Brush a thin coat of Mod Podge onto the back of the tray, from edge to edge. Place a clean white sheet of paper onto the glue, flush against the back of the image you already glued there. Smooth it with your fingers and roll out any air bubbles, as with the first layer. Dry for 30 minutes.
STEP FOUR Cut away any excess paper around the tray edges with a craft knife. You may want to cut away a thin line all around the edge of the glass. That way, you can in a later step, apply a paint color that from the front of the piece, will look like a colorful edge treatment. After your trimming is complete, seal the back side of this white paper layer with a thin coat of Mod Podge and a sponge brush. Dry for 30 minutes.
YouTube has many decoupage tutorials.
STEP FIVE When you tray is completely dry, paint the tray's back side with an acrylic color of your choice. This is when any cut away edge around the white paper will sport a color that will show through on the front of your piece.

I am having fun going through my own catalog of nature, bird, tree and flower images, looking for a few ideal decoupaged tray choices. I think we all know that there will be birds involved in the end!

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. I would love it if you'd follow my blog and share it with your friends. It is my goal to surround myself with people who love textiles, art, creativity, vibrant living, colorful home decor, healthy food, loving friends and inspiration! Best wishes, Georgianne - See more at:
P.S. I would love it if you'd follow my blog and share it with your friends. It is my goal to surround myself with people who love textiles, art, creativity, vibrant living, colorful home decor, healthy food, loving friends and inspiration! Best wishes, Georgianne - See more at:
P.S. I would love it if you'd follow my blog and share it with your friends. I am inspired by this community of creative, passionate, and friendly women! Best wishes, Georgianne

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Artists' Unhealthiest Habit and How to Stand Up to It

I have some NEAT advice for all my fellow artists, as well as my charming friends who: love to read, love to relax in their porch swing, are computerized office workers, or those who love to take long road trips. This advice is perfect for all of us who lead lives primarily from the seated position. Stand Up for your Health!
Two recent studies show that being sedentary for long stretches might be one of the unhealthiest things we do each day -- even if we regularly exercise. Guilty!

The second we sit down, three important things stop or slow down in our body: the calories we burn, our enzyme activity (digestion), and electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average American spends 9.3 hours each day sitting. As an artist who creates behind a sewing machine and operates an online boutique, I am certain I meet or exceed this statistic.

What is my NEAT advice for everyone who thinks their chair is the best place on earth? 

NEAT is an acronym for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, a term used by James Levine, MD, PhD, for all the incidental movement you do throughout the day that is not considered formal exercise. I believe that my smart phone is my greatest advocate in this goal to increase my movement throughout the day. I set my timer to ring every 60 minutes with the song Happy by Pharrel Williams. Have you ever tried to not move around when this song is playing? It has become the cue in my fiber art studio to stand up, dance around, and shake my backside. This is a healthy and silly prompt to reinvigorate my circulation.

Here are some more NEAT ways to get moving:
Strap on a fitness-tracking device. I use a BodyMedia armband to keep track of how much I move each day. It is incredibly motivating to me!
Watch TV while doing chores. I fold clothes, dust my furniture, and go up and down stairs throughout commercial breaks. I don't feel like I am missing any plot points...heck, does TV even have a plot anymore?
Learn a new hobby. I've gone old-school and am taking up again some of the playground favorites of my youth. I am determined to relearn how to jump rope! Yes, think Mohammad Ali and his quick-step jump rope training. I especially want to master those awesome cross overs and double jumps!
Give up a few conveniences. Operating a fiber art studio is a physical job. There is a lot of moving around, heavy lifting and bending/twisting action. To make sure my body is not sedentary for long stretches of time in the studio, I have learned to be a little less efficient with my seated tasks and instead, add in bouts of action throughout the day. Is it inconvenient to interrupt a lengthy machine-quilting session with cleaning duties? Yes. Does it decrease my risk of future cardiovascular disease? Yes.

Let's all stand up for good health!

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. I would love it if you'd follow my blog and share it with your friends. It is my goal to surround myself with people who love textiles, art, creativity, vibrant living, colorful home decor, healthy food, loving friends and inspiration! Best wishes, Georgianne

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Oh, it was nothing" and other ways to Celebrate your Success

Many of the women I know are quiet about their accomplishments. Ask them how they managed to pull together their company's most profitable project in three years and I am likely to hear that it's all in the teamwork. Do you know women like this who feel more comfortable shining a light on others rather than verbalize their own achievements? In the fiber art community of my profession, female artists often explain their amazing needle art expertise by pointing out that their mother, grandmother and aunts all inspired them with their simple homemaking skills like sewing clothes or embroidering tea towels. I know how this works because I have done it myself. The real hero in our life always seems to be someone else.

American women are often raised to be polite, humble and modest, and this leads women to view accepting praise as a form of bragging. Are we selling ourselves short? In order to deflect a robust statement about the value of our accomplishments, do we have to engage in a version of negative self talk? "Oh, it was nothing" may sound humble, but does it actually undermine our confidence or demotivate our future efforts? I believe that all people, male and female alike, should practice a few techniques to celebrate success so that their full participation in life is acknowledged and their anticipation of future success is enjoyed!

Awesome Efforts deserve Vibrant Recognition
1. Pat someone else on the back. Because I am an artist and so enjoy looking at art, there is not a week that goes by when I cannot find a fellow artist who has made something that inspires me. When I contact them and offer my sincere praise, you might think I am doing this for their benefit. That is only half of the story. Talking about others' accomplishments helps normalize the behavior, making it even more likely that I will mindfully appreciate my own victories.
2. Take a trip down memory lane. At the end of the week, after you have given your daily life your best shot, take a quiet moment to review your actions. Think about three specific ways your accomplishments made a positive difference in this world. Thinking about specific actions like this requires your rational brain to do more of the thinking work than your emotional brain, which means that you can more easily override your early polite-girl training to be humble and quiet about awesome abilities. Luxuriate in your thoughts of contribution.
3. Practice asking for what you want. We've all thought it from time to time. Women who are blunt when asking for stuff get called not-so-nice names. This cultural habit does not serve us well, and even keeps us from verbalizing our needs. If something you want is related to an accomplishment from your past, say stellar performance on the job, how hard is it for you to speak up and ask for an appropriate reward? Have you ever felt passive about life as you wait and hope for the acknowledgement you deserve? I know I have. It almost seems like praise from an authority figure or another person whose opinion I trust (like my husband), is something that should come my way unbeckoned in order for it to be legitimate. Here's the skill I am practicing to boost my confidence in this situation: ask for advice. "I am trying to figure out the best way to be included in the Main Street Art Festival in September. Do you have any advice for me?" This approach allows me to get closer to asking directly for what I want, and every step in that direction increases my chances of getting what I want more often.
4. Ritualized Mini Celebrations. Are you the kind of friend who notices when your girlfriend's child receives an award? Do you call her up and help her feel special about her special little girl? Why is it easier to get pumped up about another person's success than it is to get pumped up about your own? Jessi L. Smith, Ph.D. says it is due to what's called "negativity bias," which causes our brains to look at what goes wrong before it looks at what goes right. This little protective devise helps us survive, I suppose, but I vote that we should thrive more than survive! So the next time you accomplish anything, truly anything, give yourself 20 seconds to mentally Happy-Dance. Who knows, this might even lead to actually moving your body around in a little jig. Now wouldn't that be a fun-loving way to enjoy yourself?

Looking at feminine accomplishment and applauding it is something this old world of ours needs. And sometimes, this is an inside job. When we take the time to notice our efforts and give ourselves the positive credit we deserve, and then that naturally leads to an embodied experience of joy, you can bet that our motivation to succeed in the future will be heightened. All of our awesome efforts do deserve vibrant recognition, because that, my friend, is no small thing.

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. I would love to have you follow my blog! I invite you to do that because the content I offer here is awesome. Getting to know you through comments and such simply fills my heart with joy. Thanks!