MyStoryART is a delightful, eclectic blog that passionately shares with readers and listeners, wisdom tales and art adventures in mixed media, digital collage, polymer clay, assemblages, jewelry, tutorials, thrifty art tips and techniques. Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Inukshuks - the Meaningful Messengers Pt. 2 + Inukshuk Tutorial

Hi! Glad you stopped by for a visit today to read the second half of this article. The tutorial for making your own Inukshuk along with some photos of a few of mine follows the article.

What is True About the Inukshuk is True About People

Inukshuks (Inuksuits plural) in themselves are the product of cooperation. The hands and effort of an entire group are required to build these massive stone sculptures. They are the result of a consensus of purpose and focused action by a group united in its goal and labour. The sculpture reminds us that as good as our individual efforts may be, together we can do even greater things.

Each individual stone in an inukshuk supports and is supported by the one above and the one below it. No one piece is any more or any less important than another. Its strength lies in its unity. Its significance comes from its meaning as a whole.

Each individual by themselves is significant. As part of a team, each of us supports and is supported by one another. We are united by a common goal and together we are part of a greater whole.

The stones which make up the Inukshuk are secured through balance. No concrete to glue them together here! The stones are chosen for how well they fit together. Look at the structure below that is on top of Whistler Mountain (the site for the majority of the Olympic skiing events) and see how the removal of even one stone would destroy the integrity of the whole.

Photo courtesy of Bobak Ha'En
So too, with a team. Each individual in a team is necessary for the realization of the team's purpose. The removal of even one person will result in the weakening of the structure. What holds the team together is balance - the complementary nature of individual skills.

Inukshuks are also the symbol of the human spirit. They recognize our ability to succeed with others, where alone we would fail. They remind of of our need to belong to something greater than ourselves. They prompt us to reconnect with our individual responsibility to invest our efforts today so we may all have a better tomorrow. They ask us to heed the knowledge of our inner knowingness, hear the voice of our intuition and move to the harmonious music in our heart and spirit. Inukshuks convey the importance of personal contribution and reinforce our ability to commit to common goals. They implore us to share the fruits of our learning, our wisdom with one another.

The Inukshuk is a reminder for all of us that our efforts towards the common good of our "earth" community are appreciated. It is an enduring symbol that invites us to speak with one another on a higher level, from our hearts and spirit, about what really matters in life.

Make Your Own Inukshuk

My box of rocks... gathered from various beaches all over Vancouver Island

Creating your own Inukshuk is fairly simple. Decide on how big you want your Inukshuk to be. On your next beach or lake stroll, look for rocks that "speak to you". Preferably they should all be about the same size for the body and smaller ones for the legs and arms. The most special rock you find should be designated for the head.

I like to place my little "guys" on a larger rock so that they sit firmly wherever I place them (in bookshelves, on the windowsill, outdoor tables, tree stumps, in the hidden recesses of the rock face in my side garden and of course in the garden itself) I love it when people who visit us in the summer discover them in the oddest of places.


The large Inukshuks in this photo have two arms signifying either a valley ahead or safe passageway. But notice the small Inukshuk in front... it has no arms! This signifies that where this Inukshuk stands there is a cache of food.
Notice the Inukshuk on the left. It has only one arm. This signifies that you should continue your journey in the direction the arm is pointing.

Now, depending on where you live in the country, the trick may be finding stones that are flat enough to sit on top of each other. The arms look best when made out of long, narrow rocks if you can find some. If not, glue some smaller stones together in a row. But how do you balance all of them?

If you have been lucky enough to find rocks that balance easily, you have been fortunate. But don't despair if you haven't! Just pull out your handy dandy hot glue gun to glue your stones together.

Some of the small Inukshuks I have were glued together with the hot glue gun and they have actually held up quite well nestled among the flowers in the garden (I swear they make the flowers bloom brighter and better!). However, they don't like the hot sun beating down on them in the summer. They will fall apart as the sun melts the hot glue if they are left too exposed to the elements.

That's all there is to it when you are using real rocks. Happy gathering!

Oh, Oh, the crowd is clapping and roaring... better go take a look. LOL

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics...

Toodles for now,
Sharon

Inukshuks - The Meaningful Messengers

Is Olympic fever raging in your household? It certainly is in ours! Every night we can hardly wait to watch what is happening. Hubby walks through the door... down the stairs we go... dinner plates in hand. Between bites, we cheer those athletes on. Last night was a particularly good night... Canada struck Gold, Silver and Bronze and we jumped up and down like excited little kids on a sugar high.

When Canada won its first Gold Medal, the idea popped into my head to "plant" a Canadian flag in our front garden for every gold medal Canadians earned. I have a wonderful concrete casting of a "toonie" (Canada's two dollar coin) that nestles amongst the flowers in the front garden in the summer. It has become the centerpiece of my Gold Medal flag garden. The significance? Well, I am betting that "loonies" (our $1 coin) and "toonies" (our $2 coin) are buried all over the Olympic venues for good luck! After all, we are Canadians and it's just SO Canadian to do that! LOL

My neighbours seem to be getting a big kick out of my flag garden... no doubt shaking their heads, wondering what I will think up next! I am as excited as can be when I get to plant a new flag each time one of our athletes strikes gold. Here's an "updated" photo taken this morning...(please ignore the winter weeds LOL)






Now, you might be wondering what the title of this blog post has to do with the Olympics. Well, the inspiration for this week's main blog post came to me when a shot of the 2010 Olympic Logo with the symbol of an Inukshuk flashed across the screen.

Long before they designed this logo for the Olympics, I used the Inukshuk as my coaching practice logo. I love the meaning behind these raw but glorious pieces of Inuit art. The Inukshuk has been a personal talisman in my life for many years now. Little Inukshuks, made from stones that I have gathered from many of the beaches on Vancouver Island, are scattered in my gardens.

Over the next few days... to keep my posts shorter.... I would like to share with you an article I wrote a number of years ago that was published on my websites describing the meaning behind this symbol. Should you discover that you too, would like to have your own talisman after reading the entire blog post, I will share with you a small tutorial for making your own Inukshuk.

Inukshuks - The Meaningful Messenger

Pronounced IN-OOK-SHOOK and meaning "in the image of man", these magnificent lifelike figures of stone were originally erected by the Inuit people and are unique to the Canadian Arctic. Standing along Canada's most northern shores, they endure as eternal symbols of leadership, encouraging the importance of friendship and as a reminder of our dependence upon one another.

In the Baffin region of Canada's Arctic, the traditional meaning of an Inukshuk was to act as a compass or guide for a safe journey. The Inukshuk, like ancient trackers, helped guide people seeking their way through the wilderness. An Inukshuk on land with two arms and legs means there is a valley ahead. At the end of this valley, you will be able to go in two directions and you must chose the path to take. Today, this serves as a reminder that we always have a choice in the direction we choose to take in our lives.

Erected to make the way easier and safer for those who follow, an Inukshuk represents safety and nourishment, trust and reassurance. The Inukshuk guided people across the frozen Arctic tundra and gave them hope in barren places to handle hardships they encountered. These primitive stone images showed the way ahead...pointing you in the direction you wanted to go. Had they been able to speak, I am certain they would have said: "Here is the road. It is safe. You can meet the demands that this path holds. You can reach your goals and attain your vision of where you want to be."

The Next "Installment"

Stop by on Saturday to read the "rest of the story"... "What is True About the Inukshuk is True About People" and the "very easy" tutorial on how to make your own Inukshuk.


Cheers,
Sharon







Valentines Day Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Valentines giveaway! It was heartwarming to hear how you are all taking good care of yourselves... you go ladies... you deserve it every day of the year!

And the winner of the sweet little heart pendant and earrings (drawn by random number generator) is .... drumroll please...

RED of Red's Artist Cottage! Drop by her blog and see some wonderful art. She is a very talented lady.

Please email me Red with your snail mail address so I can get your winnings off to you. Just click on the email image on the right hand side of this page to send me an email.

Have a wonderful week everyone... and thanks again ladies for your enthusiastic participation in the Valentines giveaway...

Cheers,
Sharon

Happy Hearts Day Giveaway!

Happy Hearts Day! Meant to post this yesterday but got all caught up in the Olympics! LOL

Here's a little something I made for Valentines Day as a giveaway to one lucky blog visitor... a heart pendant with a Swarvoski crystal and a set of matching heart earrings! Read on and see how you can enter this giveaway....



I don't know about you but I can tell you I sure dislike all the hype around Valentines day! So I decided a number of years ago to declare Valentines Day as a day for me (and women everywhere) to spoil themselves rotten LOL.

This is the day to treat yourself to a massage or pedicure with your favourite massage therapist or manucurist.

A long, leisurely soak in the tub with a glass of wine and some pretty music playing in the background sounds good to me.

Buy yourself some chocolates and indulge your tastebuds for a day!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment (and how to get in touch with you) telling me how you are going to spoil yourself rotten on Valentines Day! On Tuesday the 16th, I will draw a name and announce the winner on the blog so remember to check back to see if you have won!

If your name is drawn, just send me a quick email with your snail mail address so I can get it in the mail to you "pronto" LOL. If I don't hear from you by Wednesday evening, I will draw another name...


Happy Hearts Day


Sharon

This Month's Audio Story: What a Woman Desires Most

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought and thought about which story I would record for February. Going through my list of stories, not a one seemed to jump out and say pick me, pick me. Nothing seemed to strike a chord or resonate. A saccahrin love story? Na... too mushy! Intrigue and romance? Hmmm, sounds too much like daytime television to me. And then, the story popped right into my mind... Lancelot...King Arthur... Genevieve...of course! I knew in an instant the most perfect story to tell.

This story is an adaptation of a very old story from Chaucer's Cantebury Tales. Yes, it's been around that long.... others may recognize it tucked away in the King Arthur tale - The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Radnell.

It's another one of my all time favourites and I hope you enjoy it! One of those stories that every shining knight in rusty armour should listen to... LOL

Cheers,
Sharon