Peek into the Creative Goddess Studio of Caroline Bell & Tracie Hanson

Hola gorgeous Goddesses!

Today’s studio peek is into the creative goddess studio of gorgeous mama-daughter goddess duo Tracie and Caroline. Oh my goshness, SO inspiring!

Tracie Hanson, along with her creative partner and Mom, Caroline Bell are mixed media artists and writers living in Southern California.

Where do you create?

Just three months ago, we fulfilled a long held dream and rented a large warehouse near our homes. We both had small studios in our homes, but were quickly out growing them. After searching for nearby spaces, we found the perfect place to spread out! We call our studio “Creative Jam Sandwich”. (We don’t know why.)

Our space is composed of a large warehouse, which we use as our painting studio and writing area. There are also two front “offices” which we’ve claimed as a entrance/gallery and a break room.

Our front entry leads through this little gallery space.

Here we have a welcoming fountain and an ever growing collection of art books.

Here’s our studio space photographed from the rear looking towards the two front offices.
The “office” on the left is our break room complete with refrigerator, snacks and tea.
We wanted to make sure we didn’t have to leave all day once we were in the door!

This is Tracie’s half of the studio – this work table is outfitted for art journaling – everything from a sewing machine used to stitch pages to a large supply of collage-able items are housed here.

Caroline’s side has two rolling tables filled with paints, brushes and easels.

In the center of our studio, a special guest has come to visit….this is “Amazing Grace”, a life size sculpture.
She oversees our work and changes costume quite often. Unfortunately, she spooks one of our friends and both of our dogs!

We even have room for a lounge area – furniture stored in our garages and attics found a new home!

This is our writing nook. (We have a book that we’re co-authoring that will hit the shelves at year’s end!)

What do you create?

Caroline paints large colorful abstracts on canvas. Often, she incorporates collage and mixed media.
She’s been painting for many years – her works have been sold through Southern California galleries and are collected by many in the U.S.

Tracie loves creating art journals, which grew out of a love of traditional journaling, but influenced by her artistic Mom.

Only a year ago, she began painting on canvas.

When do you create?

To complete our book edit on schedule, together we maintain a schedule of writing Tuesday through Thursday. Painting is left for any available minute Friday through Monday!

Why do you create?

Each of us would definitely answer this question in the same way – for the joy and the love of it!

If you’d like to see a video tour of “Creative Jam Sandwich” or check out more of these two gorgeous goddess’ artsy antics, do check out Tracie’s blog at


Can we peek into your Creative Goddess studio? Head over here to find out more.

love + worth + goodness + possibility + joy,

Tales from Mermaid Land

I keep wanting to write here. Wanting to share. Wanting to tell my stories from this big, steep, irridescent journey of becoming a new mama. But each day slips away ensconsced in holding, feeding, sleeping Little Mermaid, trying to chisel away spare moments to have a shower, brush the rapidly forming dreads in my hair, answer important emails, brush my teeth and hold my crap together.

Confession: I didn’t think about parenting when I was pregnant. I was so focussed on preparing for birth that I didn’t quite get to what happens after baby emerges into the world. And I’m not really sure just how much you can prepare for it, really.

I am typing this to you one handed on my little iTouch. It is five am, I am feeding Ostara, Chris is sleeping beside us. I’ve had about 7.5 hours sleep tonight since we came to bed at 6pm. I guess that means – what? 3.5 hours of feeding? The metrics of feeding and sleeping intrigue me. How on earth do you quantify such huge life change?

We are snuggled up with two heaters on, all three of us with our little mountain of blankets. Ostara sleeps between us, snuggled by my side, nosing at my arm when she wants to feed again. It took a little while to get used to this co-sleeping thing.

In the beginning, I didn’t know how to sleep beside her – what position to use, how to get used to being conscious of another little person. One morning, after a fitful night of sleep worrying about whether I would roll on her, or if I was disturbing her during the night, we bought a bassinette. That night, she lasted only one session of sleep in it. I had the bassinette pulled as close as possible to our bed, my head as close to hers as I could manage, my hand up and through the wooden slats to rest on her belly. She felt so far away, and I couldn’t check her like I wanted to. So back into bed beside me she came. The next morning, my love even said to me: I prefer her beside you. You two look in tune when you sleep together.

So that’s what worked for us. I read The Baby Sleep Book by the Sears, found two positions that I liked to sleep with her in, and that’s how it has been ever since. It feels good and right for right now, and that’s what matters.

It is four hours later now. We’ve fed some more, gotten up. Hottie played Native American flute to Starry, and then played with her in the animal-themed jungle gym we just bought. (We have nicknamed it the Neglector 3000 thanks to Ariel of Offbeat fame). I cooked buckwheat pancakes and put some washing on (a surprisingly therapeutic activity). And here we are again, feeding.

Ostara is going through a “wonder week” – aka a growth spurt or a developmental milestone. Evidenced by her sleep patterns going way out of wack, and wanting to feed a whole lot more. I always feel better knowing it’s a wonder week when our general flowy routinish thing goes bonkersaurus. At least that way I know I haven’t eaten something that has stirred her up.

In other suuuuuper exciting news, it’s nine weeks and five days before we move home!!! After eight years here in this alpine city, it’s time to return to our tropical homelands in North Queensland. 2000 kilometres is too far away now. We came here as a fresh young couple on an adventure. It has been good to us, this city. We had great jobs doing interesting things in the Australian government. I got to work at Parliament House, and be a web editor at I got to study art history and economic policy (surprisingly, I looooved it) at Australian National University.

We bought the house we were renting from The Loveliest Landlords In The World. We got to do Big City Cultural Things: art gallery openings, see Sarah Mclachlan in concert, eat scrummy lunches at the National Library, eat a bazillion breakfasts at Gold Creek Village, and take all our visitors to all the sights: the War Memorial, the snowfields, Parliament Houses, the galleries and Old Bus Depot Markets. I went to my first womens circle here. I ran my first retreat here. I’ve met countless lovely, soulful goddesses here. My big dream beautiful business began here. We fell pregnant here and gave birth here. Yes, Canberra has been very, very good to us.

We said we would come here for five years. We stayed for eight. We always said we would go back. We thought it would be at the end of this year. But when Ostara was born things came into sharp focus. We didn’t want to raise our daughter in a city. Especially one that is really cold (for us) eight months of the year. We didn’t want her to grow up only seeing her grandparents once or twice a year. We didn’t want for Chris to only see his daughter for an hour a day during the week while he commuted to work in the city. And I didn’t want to go back to work and put Starry in childcare because of our mortgage. It’s allllll about lifestyle – and not just as something as shallow-sounding as that. This is about makin’ some big, radical, powerful choices about what is important to our lives, hearts and souls. The Big Stuff.

So when she was three weeks old, we decided to put our house in the market and move back home – home to the little rural town of 4000 people, 3992 of whom I’m related to (except Chris & his family… Yipee! Addition to the gene pool… That’s HOT! Hee!)

It’s a bit crazy to be making such a big change when we JUST HAD OUR LIVES CHANGED, but we figure – if not now, when?

It’s pretty ding dang amazing how things have panned out. Last year, my parents needed to sell my grandmother’s cottage. And as soon as I told Chris, he said: Make them an offer. I want to buy that house.

And I didn’t know how we would afford two houses, and if it was a smart thing to be doing when I was pregnacious, but Chris was sure. And when that man has intuition, I listen to it. Dood is alllways right. So we took a leap of faith and bought the cottage. And now it really is the perfect place for us to move home to!

The new Mermaid Cottage. Well – new to us! It’s over 100 years old, and my grandmama lived in it for twenty+ years.

We are simplifying, and choosing a smaller house with a smaller mortgage (only 1.5 bedrooms instead of 3). We are choosing a small town where there isn’t many employment opportunities. Instead, my business is becoming our main source of income. We will grow vege patches and eat from them. We want to make our life more right and lovely and true. This is for us, and for our daughter. It’s not safer, but it’s right. And holy dinger, it is another huge leap of faith. But you know what? There is a reason we named her Ostara Faith Avalon.

We really do just have to have faith.

Thus endeth the longest blog post known to one fingered typing. It is 2pm the next day and I am nursing Little Mermaid to nap.

Life is good. It’s changing and it’s full and it’s just how it needs to be.

Just like you. Perfect just as you are, right now.

I’m loving you all the way from Mermaid Land…

Bigggg Love,

Switch Off Sunday


Remember when Sunday was a family day? A day for church, prayer or meditation? A day of non-work? A day of replenishment and reconnection for the rest of the week?

It’s time to reclaim that.

What will you do with your tender and precious Sunday?

big love!

{this moment} my mama & my daughter

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Love is big and round and true,

Zen Your Life: Three Things

Hey beautiful hearts!

Each week, we hang out together as a gaggle of goddesses & make our gorgeous lives a little clearer, calmer and more zen. We do one Zen Your Life project together for the day… an easy, possible kind of project… just one small thing to make our lives more zen.

When we make space in our lives, we are making room for even more delight, comfort, magic and love to enter.

Sound like yummy delicious fun? Want some more zen goodness in your life?

Hurrah! Let’s start! We can doooo eeeeeeeet!

Today, your Zen Your Life project is:

Find a box. Put three things in there from your space that you no longer need.

It’s time to find it a new home, dearheart. Either send it on to a friend you know will love it, sell it on ebay, or donate it to charity.

Let your things find their purpose in their world of making someone completely & gorgeously happy… not just stuck with it.

They have a destiny too you know… and it’s not to make you miserable!

Need some accountability?

You can use the above button on your blog, and photograph your progress. You can check-in to the Comments Circle. You can write out your Zen Goddess goal on a scrap of paper beside you.

Whatever you need to do to give yourself the support you need, do it.

Loving you, fellow Zennifying Goddessa!