Zendoll says ....

Welcome to Zendoll Workshop where art making and musings will occasionally provide mirth and a message.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Friday

I'm sure whomever was responsible for this impressive sand sculpture on Vanderbilt Beach in Southwest Florida, will be busy today commemorating the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London's Westminster Abbey. The coverage has been plentiful and non-stop all week. My favourite comments so far have some from the so-called commoners who actually received invitations to attend. This list of attendees  has included dressmakers, pub owners and even a few street people. Those who gave interviews after the ceremony have all agreed that the atmosphere was casual and relaxed in the beautifully decorated Abbey. Notwithstanding a plethora of morning suits and fascinators, everyone was mingling comfortably before being seated for the arrival of the Bride.  Wishing them the happiest ever-after ever!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summer linens

When my friend Jane arrived with this wonderful collection of vintage style trims from her favourite store in Mill Valley, California, I temporarily forgot my passion for all things paper and chocolate. I'm still swooning over this fabric collection, some of which has a beachy feel while others suit a country chic sensibility. If you're interested, it looks like the distributor is www.foglinenwork.com, but if you ever go north of San Francisco and exit just after you've crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, you'll never forget your visit to Summerhouse. If not for Jane's fabulous crib in Tiburon, I'd be happy camping out in this dreamland of a store.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hang In!

While mercury is no longer in retrograde - and i have no idea what that means, other than the possible consequence of a string of  abnormally unpleasant experiences befalling the unlucky and unsuspecting innocent.  There is however proof that all around us  there is enormous upheaval. It comes in the form of events like natural disasters that we have no control over. It's the bad news on the news, life's everyday stresses, and our physical or emotional state or that of someone close to us -  all of it creates shifts in our energy field and leaves us feeling unravelled and disempowered from time to time.
We must all hang in!
We are never alone in these experiences!
It passes. With time bad memories fade!
We can nurture ourselves with grounding rituals....
preferably not of the addictive kind - though I see no harm in the daily ritual of wine consumption with the evening meal. In fact, I will drink to all of you tonight!
I will hold in my thoughts and glass, the vision of health, well-being, abundance and love for all of you! Cheers and Namaste.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Your Stars

I haven't read a horoscope in ages, but Easter Monday's advice from Jonathan Cainer's 'Your Stars' in the Toronto Daily Star caught my attention. I'll share some of his guidance in 'out of context' excerpts without making references to any particular sign.

"This week you should begin to feel as if you are waking from a long deep sleep...... Just be glad that now you can see the light." "Anger blocks love. Resentment blocks wisdom. Fear blocks hope. So if we want our lives to be full of love, wisdom and hope we need to take away the blocks.... when people are caught up in a negative response, they lose track of the obvious. All they can see are the reasons their feelings must be justified..... all it takes is a little forgiveness. Reach for love and wisdom now."

As for this old oil painting I found in the lost portfolio, it was inspired by the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. When you live at 8,ooo feet, you have incredible night skies that are absolutely filled with stars. It's entirely possible to walk up the mountain by moonlight.  Check out the stars sometime... it elevates the spirits.   Namaste.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tango in Paris

Thank you Colette for the Mixpod.com suggestion. I've decided to offer the option of pressing 'play' while you visit Zendoll. I love this playlist for it's Parisian/Latino flavour, so go ahead and have a listen while you  blog along. I would love to know what kind of music works for you as an ambient background sound to promote creativity without distraction.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


If I knew how to put a frown on all of these smiley faces, I would. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I voice my disappointment about having the music feature on our blogs dis-enabled. What up with that??
If you were enjoying the playlist feature, I apologize for its absence, and I will search for a replacement.
In the meantime, enjoy the festivities of this Easter holiday weekend, and be kind to one another.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Silence is Golden

tomorrow is 
Good Friday.
And no, I'm not
suggesting a moment of silence
to honour this meaningful and highly
significant and spiritual holiday. Rather, 
a moment of silence at any time and for no reason,
 though grounding your quiet moments in your faith can 
 be especially healing during special celebrations that come around
each year. I honour your choice, whatever that might be. I extend my
warmest wishes for abundance and blessings to you and yours. May the spirit
of your family's gathering last throughout the four seasons, and may winter's
encore depart and rekindle our faith in the promise of spring and all things new and green.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Found Art

I'm used to talking about the found objects used in my collages, but this time it's about the art I found in an old portfolio that was stashed under my daughter's bed. The horses were inspired by one of my favourite pieces at the Little Nell Hotel in Aspen. I quickly grabbed some of those cray-pas pencils that mix with water, and sure enough I got a fairly good showing of colour.
Next we have the Napa Valley done in oil paints, my least favourite medium in which to work. I just never got used to painting with something the consistency of butter, but I tried it again with the pears. This time on mylar which is a very sheer plastic material. The paints are blended with mineral spirits and slide around the surface very quickly leaving all kinds of surprising results. Also compatible with this process are china markers, india inks and chalk. Water colours must be mixed with gum arabic when using mylar as the ground.
I think it's time to get out the acrylic paints. I actually know what to expect when they hit the surface, but my lack of frequency in using them  makes it all seem so experimental each time. Oh ya, that's part of the Zen of painting...... go forth and be creative today.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Saying for Sunday

" If your compassion does not include yourself,
it is incomplete."

These wise words are from Jack Kornfield's collection of Buddhist teachings
called 'Buddha's Little Instruction Book.'

The sayings are all simple and serve to remind us that we too can live in wakefulness and follow the Buddha's
path to happiness through the expression of lovingkindness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Divine Twine

I admit it. I am a sucker for all things in great packaging. I cannot stop myself from stocking up on wrap, tissues, ribbons, paper tape (love love love it!).
I had no idea what I was in for when I ordered this baker's twine on Amazon.com... a flipping lifetime supply - all for $20! Now that's what I call shopping 'schwing'!

Have a sunny weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eye Candy

Feast your eyes and ears on the U-tube video below. Molecular gastronomy is the confluence of science and food, resulting in an explosion of colours, tastes, textures and menu items that will rock your world! It's  exciting to see a new use for the liquid nitrogen used by your dermatologist on your age spots and skin tags. A portobello truffle froth is way more appetizing as well!   Cheers fellow foodies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Molecular Gastronomy

Back to the Drawing Board

 Not only are non-dominant hand contour drawings hilarious, but with very little effort, and no judging, you can create a primitive result  that's going to be a surprise every time.

The coloured still life images come from an old sketch book I decided to stylize with my collection of hand marbled papers, stamps, cray pas and linear borders.

The collage artist in me has forgotten about the basic skill of drawing, while the renegade in me remembers the mind numbing still life classes that made me want to scream.

Today I will seek the middle ground.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tastes of Toronto

Just one week back in the T dot, and already I'm reminded of the plethora of great dining spots - a few of which we have already sampled.

The scallop dish to the right is one of Zee Grill's many tasty features. It's a menu with something for everyone, and the visual appeal of each dish is matched by well balanced flavours and very fresh raw product.

I finally got to the bustling Burger Cellar on Yonge Street north of Lawrence, and what a treat it was! I had to forgo the burger temptation
because of the great selection of salads to which your favourite protein
could be added. Love the buzz and ambient lighting as well as the food.

It's always a good sign when you can't get a reservation until 9:30 pm. Such was the case with Boland's
Open Kitchen, Mogette Bistro and Lai Toh Heen - all of which are within walking distance on Mount
Pleasant south of Eglington.  It looks like the restaurant scene is in full lift-off mode after a long winter.

Cheers et Bon Appetit!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Silent Sunday

Wherever you are at this very moment, sit as tall as you can and let your shoulders drop as if to place your scapula into your back pockets. Now take a deep breath in consciously releasing any tightness  that's in your neck and shoulders as you exhale. Mindfully repeat  a few more times expanding the belly as you breathe in, and letting go of any old holding patterns as you exhale.

Remember that deep breathing triggers the central nervous system to calm down. Try this simple exercise in moments of high stress when your breathing has become shallow and you need a quick recovery.                                                 Namaste.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Sanskrit Translations:
Sunara:   Joyous, glad
Satori:     Awakening
Sattva:    Of strong character, energy, courage, spirit and goodness
Sanatana: Everlasting, eternal, permanent
Muni:      One who is inspired; a sage, seer

As for the photo...... sunset near Naples pier, Florida ...... a distant memory now.      Namaste.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Om is said to be the sacred sound of the universe which when chanted softly creates a profound and positive vibrational effect on the system which promotes healing and inner peace.
I know I have posted this before, but my interest in Sanskrit translations was reignited recently, so for this week , and until I get my art supplies back and unpacked, let's explore a few more commonly used words and practices with roots in ancient Hindu/Buddhist philosophy.
The earliest record of yoga
dates back to an early civilization in Pakistan - 3300-1700 BCE. More detailed descriptions of the practice known as Hatha Yoga came from 15th Century India and were taught by Yogi Swatmarama.  As we know it today, this practice  focussed on the physical purification of body as leading to mind purification. Prana is mentioned as 'vital energy', and breathing practices became a vital part of the many yoga off-shoots that are often referenced today.

Namaste Lovelies
( I salute the divine spirit in you.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Re Entry

Back to my own back yard in sunny Toronto. This is what it will look like in a few months time, but for now, the trees are stark, the colour scheme muted. The promise of spring was delivered however from a serenading cardinal ....  the perfect welcome back.