bumbleandflourish » the artful self-care blog

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photo by liv megargle

this beautiful stash is the handi-work of my dear friend liv megargle, who spent her summer days gathering local fresh greens and flowers for these natural fabirics from pickering international: organic linen, hemp/silk crepe, organic cotton trims, hemp/silk sateen, and bamboo viscose.

the first character of the story i’m illustrating, though not the main character, will be clothed in the threads above. i’ve needlefelted her and called her marigold. she is made from a blend of fawn angora rabbit fur, soy silk, and lambs wool died in separate batches of herbal tea, dahlias, and onion skins. she is the sixth rabbit i have made and the first book-worthy one. i have finally got a realistic armature for the skeleton and the facial features just where i want them. i can’t wait to see how marigold likes to dress!


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clarity, clarity

Clarity comes from engagement.” * Who said this? I don’t know. All I know is that Clarity doesn’t come from mental exertion! I’ve thought and thought and spent months thinking about what is next for me.

My last homeschooler chose to go to sixth grade in January. I floundered at first, took on jobs I wasn’t so excited about, wore myself out, recovered over the summer vacation, and then somehow, after all the excitement and disappointment, the sky became clear. The truth is: I had to try some things on for size. I just couldn’t think myself to clarity.

But finally, I began to move (or at least toddle) in the direction of my greatest dreams…and at the same time my brightest prospects dollarwise. I mean really, at some point it has to add up to more (and better) food in the bellies of your loved ones, right?

I’d like to tell you all about it, but the truth is: I’ve got to get busy fleshing it out!

So this is a new kind of blogging for me, kinda casual, just everyday beautiful: Me and Liv advancing boldly in the direction of our dreams. We will be blogging about…well, you’ll see.

*Update: It appears Marie Forleo is the originator of the quote and the quote in full is “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”


dreaming days

some days my dreams grow big – with wings and legs to carry them.

a creative business with leah made from all the things we love; essential oils, botanicals, pottery, beautiful words, freeing ideas, natural materials. an airy white space (in a barn?) where we can make and sell our hand-crafted things and be surrounded by flowers, plants and books, perhaps even teaching classes. providing enough income (at least) to feed our families. one day perhaps, travel with a purpose of partnering with international artisans providing other women enough income (at least) to feed their families by bringing their things to market. even books to write, illustrate and publish. sounds dreamy doesn’t it!

but for today, the things of home and family are beloved enough. i’ve spent weeks with sick children to cuddle, rubbing backs and aching legs with essential oils, treating sore throats with raw honey. there are stacks of paperwork to order, places to be, food to make, and make, and make. some days are for this full life, the one all around me, in me and through me. i remember how family was once my biggest dream, the one i wanted most and before anything else, the one i knew i couldn’t leave undone and feel complete.

on my nightstand there are still books about botanical drawing, hand-carving, natural dyeing, and art. there are online classes half-finished and a schedule in disarray.  but i’ve succumbed to the rhythm weaving back and forth and in-between. some months grow, reach, strive… others retreat, hold, surrender. this is february for me.

if january is about what dreams may come, february is about what is. we love the one’s we’re with. we settle in and rest awhile – it is winter after all.

just around the corner, march will blow in with a beauty and truth all her own. hmm, i wonder what it will be?



For me, New Years is always a bit mournful. After the fireworks, the kiss, and the all night party, I wake every year to find myself right on the eve of the anniversary of a car accident, my fault, and fatal to one of the five students involved.

Though my heart was giddy with anticipation for the coming year, I found myself grieving last years disappointments…beekeeping tragedies, unexpected business dead-ends, and failed relationships. As an eternal optimist, I spend most my days in a delirium of great expectations. Even still, grief is an old friend.  I welcomed her for a day or two before whisking her out of my way, and regaining some of my regular buoyancy…so here I go. On to new and better things!

I’m ready for some new challenges. I’ve stocked (732) 859-9197 with the previous years’ pottery, enrolled in a sculpture class at the Hawaii Potter’s Guild, and set up a new work space for aromatherapy jewelry design. Pottery and aromatherapy go so well together, with the oils soaking well into the clay. How earthy and refreshing will it be to wear them!

Essential oils have been a huge part in my healing, and in my learning to cope with anxiety and feelings of vulnerability. Aromatherapy brings me out of my head and sets me right back into the present.

Bumble & Flourish is about NOT taking ourselves so seriously that we’re afraid to try something new, but also (and mostly) about taking our desires seriously enough to throw yourself into whatever-it-is you live your life loving and longing for.

So this is the year Liv and I are challenging ourselves to “be the artists” we truly are, and develop a product line around these so-very-natural and deliciously helpful essential oils…sharing our adventures and mishaps here with you as we learn to work for (and with) ourselves.

Is there anything new you are letting yourself at this new year? We’d be so encouraged to hear!



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art by paola zakimi

written by olivia megargle

this year has seen the putting to rest of a ten-year-long dream. sad and good all at the same time. i spent much of 2015 feeling stuck in the in-between. there was an end in sight but until the undeniable magic of december, there was no new vision.

just a few short weeks ago, i declared to leah (and the universe) i’m ready to own my identity as an artist. a switch flipped with the spoken vow. it’s not like i announced it in a blog post (as i’m doing now) but i could already feel a spark within, where there wasn’t any before. and things began to happen. a co-worker saw me with a camera and took me seriously as a photographer. on instagram followers started multiplying, an international blogger (atomorfen) requested an interview – what?!

it was exciting and then slightly terrifying! i thought, what if i end up with thousands of followers?  will it be like my wedding day? with over a hundred gathered round to see us in all our splendor, i felt like a spectacle rather than a queen. but then i began to think, what was that quote about keeping ourselves small?

here it is…

“our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, ‘who am i to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of god. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. we are all meant to shine, as children do. we were born to make manifest the glory of god that is within us. it’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”*

did you know? there is magnetism in the declaration of dreams.

is it a little premature to make this statement? no, because it doesn’t really matter if i succeed as an artist – whatever that means. what matters really, is becoming more of who i already am, by dreaming my wildest dreams and fearlessly pursuing them, followers or no.

*quote by  marianne williamson, a return to love: reflections on the principles of “a course in miracles”


katalyze8315765910field judge

thank you! yes, i did the interview and she’ll let me know when she posts it!


Happy for you, and you ARE an artist! Did you do the interview?