Posts Tagged 'books'

You Are Alive : : Video Story Time!

Hello Hello! I have something very exciting and new today for you!
I did a video story time of my book You Are Alive!

I had been wanting to find a way to share the ideas of this book in a way that everyone could experience, and at long last I put the pieces together and realized I could create a video on my own computer using imovie! Don’t know why it took me so long to realize, but I’m glad I did. So in addition to this being new in the sense of being a new way of experiencing my book, it’s also new because it’s my first video ever. If you are interested in seeing pictures of or purchasing a printed copy of You Are Alive, you can find it for sale over in my shop. Enjoy!

(If you can’t get this video to work, here is the link to You Are Alive on YouTube)


You are Alive : : My New Book!

Happy New Year! I had a great holiday visiting with my family and I hope you did too! I took last week to quietly recalibrate, and now I’m back and moving and shaking.

And now: I have BIG NEWS! I’ve had a new book in the works for quite some time—I spent the fall writing and printing and bringing together many ideas I’ve had for a long while to create a little book full of my heart, thoughts and inspiration.
And now . . . drum roll please . . . IT’S FINISHED!

The Book is called You are Alive, and it is a singing little book about the experience of being a human in this world. In this book, I thought and wrote about the wonder of being alive and also the challenges—how it is completely amazing that we are here breathing, but also how often we/I forget this. The words are airy on the page, giving you space to think, and they’re also accompanied by a collection of wild collagraph prints that I made especially for this book. {collagraphs printing is a printmaking process where the artist hand-makes the printing block by collaging materials onto a solid grounding and then prints the collage. I made these collagraphs with card stock on matboard and then printed with black ink on paper}.

I have just listed my book for sale in my shop! Find it here in the book section.

And here’s a little sneak peek:

***CLICK HERE >> Read the beginning of You are Alive

And some snapshots:

I am so excited to share this book! The process of making it is something I will never forget—thinking about the ideas through the concrete process of writing really changed me. I will always remember one particular walk I took in the middle of writing when something so deep shifted in me as I thought about what I wanted to say. It was one of the ost expansive moments of my life so far. So, I say thank you book, thank you art, and thank YOU for looking at this new work of mine!

The Words Rained Down : : a new little book

Hello hello! I just posted a new little book I made over in the book section of my shop, it’s called “The Words Rained Down.” I came up with the idea for this book a little while ago, and it turned out to be just as fun to make as I thought it would. The idea was to create a book where the words themselves acted out the action of the story through their layouts. Here are some pictures so you can get an idea of what I mean {click on pictures to see larger versions}:

Have a wonder-filled day!

Delighting in the Process, and a Love for Little Books

{the words for a new little book waiting to be cut and pasted}

I’m working on another small book this week—I just can’t seem to get enough of them. They feel like an ideal venue for me to convey ideas—the adorable yet unassuming smallness (just 5.5 x 4.25 inches), the tension and surprise of sharing and receiving an idea in small pieces as you turn each page.

I feel the perfect balance of wild possibility and structure inherent in the book form, and the white openness of each little spread invites me to play big time.

It is a delight to bring together so many things I love in one place: books, series, words, visual art, and because of the way I make these books: typography, white space, cutting and pasting, a little bit of sewing, and a flowing messy creative process that includes much silliness and light.

I am so happy to have found this little window of making—it seems so obvious to me now, and yet I never would have found it had I not been walking step by step and looking around always for something new to make. I am thankful to be in this world and able to do that.

What process is delighting you these days?

The Book Brigade and A Special THANK YOU SALE!

This is a picture of my weekend :: otherwise known as the marching of the Blue Bicicletta book brigade. I spent a large part of this weekend making and sewing my little books in preparation for two upcoming holiday craft shows (see my sidebar to the right for info about those if you’re in the Northern California area). I will be unveiling one new little book later this week, so stay tuned. And the little book ideas keep coming, so the book brigade will continue to grow!

Enough about me . . . how are you doing this fine Monday? I hope you are well and doing something creative and expansive sometime today! I wanted to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU. Yes, THANK YOU for being you and for being a part of my art world!

I also wanted to let you know that I’m having a special THANK YOU SALE over in my shop for all of you Blue Bicicletta art fans—you who have been cheering me on over the past 3 years!

All this week, you can get 15% off your blue bicicletta order, when you use the coupon code 15PERCENTSALE at checkout. The sale runs through this Friday, December 10, 2010 {10 pm Pacific Standard Time}. All you need to do is type the coupon code 15PERCENTSALE into the coupon code field at checkout. Head on over to my shop, to start shopping! {let me know if you have any troubles figuring out how the coupon codes work, or you could check out this helpful article on Etsy}

One small note about SHIPPING DEADLINES: If you would like to make absolute sure that you receive your order in time for Christmas, please place orders going outside of the U.S. by December 7. All orders in the U.S. should be placed by December 15.

Best deals: Since I’m giving 15% off everything in my shop—that includes 15% off my already discounted print sets (I offer sets of 3 you choose 8 x 10 prints for $50 and three smaller prints for $40), so you could get quite a nice collection for a steal! Browse my print set sections: 8 x 10 inch prints, smaller prints, and Natural Patterns Alphabet prints see these sets of three. Of course, this sale also applies to my original drawings and framed originals—so it would be a great opportunity to get a nice discount on an original piece of art to call your very own!

Happy Monday to you! Have a wonder-filled, creative, Decembery, beginning to this week!

An Amazing Book and Some Expansive Questions

I have been reading this amazing book called Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield. {You may remember me quoting from it the other day here}.

You know the feeling when you’re reading a book and you feel something shift, and you know that the book will be one of those on your list of books that changed your life? This is one of those books for me. It feels like I found the book {and the book found me} at the exact right moment. Sometimes when I’m reading, everything goes still. It’s like I’m understanding some things on a core level—things I’ve been trying to understand for a long while now. This, combined with other experiences I’ve been having lately, has really made me feel like there is something shifting in me.

For those of you who are curious about the book, here is why I love it: It talks about peace—how to live peacefully in this ever-changing life. The answer is both simple and hard—mainly that peace comes from acceptance and love of all parts of life, and a deep understanding that everything passes away. It requires effort and a continuous process of mindfulness to understand this and live by it. I am really simplifying things here because I am just learning, and every page has some new wisdom in it. One of my most recently discovered favorite wisdoms:

The receptive quality of love allows every experience to enter us, to touch us. It allows us to be touched by the wind and the sun, by other people and by each part of ourselves, by the trees and the birds and all of nature. Dharma practice is the practice of intimacy with all life. From this receptivity can come an outflow of energy that is appropriate and responsive to each experience, rather than reactive (p. 193).

If you are at all interested in these ideas, please don’t be scared off by the word “dharma” or “meditation.” There is so much wisdom in this book, and honesty, and really accessible ideas and exercises. You don’t need to be a scholar of Buddhism to understand it.

One other thing I’d like to share with you from the book is a series of expansive questions. You know I love expansive questions! The following in italics is an exercise quoted from the book:


Take a quiet period of meditation and ask your heart about service. Let yourself sit and be silent for some time. When you are ready, pose the following questions inwardly to yourself. Pause after each one and give your heart time to answer, allowing a response from the deepest levels of your compassion and wisdom.

Imagine yourself five years from now as you would most like to be, having done all the things you want to have done, having contributed all the things you want to contribute in the most heartfelt way.

What is your greatest source of happiness?

What is the thing you’ve done of which you are most proud?

What is the contribution you’ve made to the world that brings your heart the greatest satisfaction?

To make this contribution to the world, what unworthiness would you have to relinquish?

To make this contribution to the world, what strengths and capacities would you have to recognize in yourself and others?

What would you have to do in your life today to begin this service, this contribution?

Why not begin?

(from Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
by Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield, excerpted from page 214)

I love these questions. They really get to the heart of something—beyond goals, and what you think everyone else thinks you should do.

I hope these little wisdoms find you well today. And I wish you wide blue skies of peace and possibility.

My Happy Place: in praise of the public library

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the public library? I think every few months it’s a good practice to discuss the wonder of this public institution. This is especially timely for me because my local public library is going to be closed for the next two months!

Our library has been under renovation for the past year, and during this time has been located in a temporary space. The renovation is nearly finished, and they will be moving the collection back into it’s original {now newly renovated} location very soon. This involves, as you can imagine, the transport of thousands of books and lots of work, so I can understand the two month closure. But I will admit—I was pretty devastated to find out the length of the closure.

You see, I am what you might call a regular at the public library—I usually visit about once a week {sometimes two} in order to research any random topic I can think of, and read my favorite magazines.

The public library is such a place of possibility—so many books, so much knowledge, so many ideas . . . and it’s all free for the taking! When I walk in, I feel instantly calm and swept away by all of the potential. Sometimes, I like to just sit there and breathe in the book-filled air. So, it’s not even just about the actual books—it’s about the space–all of those books collected in a public place, for public use. To take it to an extreme, I would say that the public library is kind of like my church {and I think I have said this before}.

So, when I read in the newspaper that the library would be closed for October and November, my heart withered. No browsing the aisles looking for just the right book, no jetting over there in the evening to research some new interest! What would I do!!??

There is the internet and bookstores of course, and the university library—but they’re just not the same—the internet is too . . . wide and electronic and non-bookish, and bookstores don’t let you take the books home for free on a whim, and the university library is much harder to browse—it’s set up more for academic research, and really, it just doesn’t give me the warm homey feeling that I get from the public library.

The one consolation, one I probably wouldn’t have even thought of, came to me in a short plea at the end of the closure announcement in the newspaper—the county librarian highly suggests that all of us patrons take out as many books as we’d like to help and lighten their load—anything that’s checked out doesn’t have to be transported—and we can keep the books for the entire two months!

Of course, I immediately decided I would take them up on this offer! If I can’t actually go to the public library, why not bring a little piece of it home with me?

So, I have made a plan to check out a whole pile of books between now and the closure start date at the beginning of October. I went to retrieve my first haul today. I had a list of topics and books ranging in subject from Psychology to home food preservation (canning). When I entered the library, I made a quick stop at circulation to find out just how many books I could check out at once. I was expecting somewhere between 10 and 20, but boy was I wrong—you can have 50 books checked out at once! 50 books! 5-0! Wow! I don’t think I will reach that number (or even close), but, the possibilities! I wanted to give the library a big hug at that moment!

Within the first 15 minutes, I had collected a stack of books already too large to carry in my backpack (I was on my bike), so I sat down to weed a few out and ended up spending an hour reading one of them. I settled on 7 books this time around. Added to the 4 I already had checked out, that makes 11, probably not a record for me yet, but I’ve still got a couple weeks and a few more trips to make!

Here are the ones I took home today {in no particular order}, in case one might strike your fancy:

Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World by Sue Shephard

Transpersonal Psychologies: Perspectives on the Mind from Seven Great Spiritual Traditions Edited by Charles T. Tart

The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread by Maria Balinska

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, the Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World by Holley Bishop

Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Frederick S. Perls

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz

Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

Of course, I cannot recommend any of these books for sure because I haven’t read them yet {except for Wild Fermentation—it’s an awesome, easy-to-follow recipe book for anyone with an interest in live-culture foods (like yogurt, hard cider, cheese, etc, etc.). I highly recommend it!}

This list of books reminds me of that question people ask sometimes {what book is on your nightstand?} to find out what you value and who you are. And this list is pretty accurate—I love food, and have a burgeoning interest in psychology. Throw in some poetry, some books about living your best life, and maybe a couple graphic design or artsy books, and then you will have a rounder picture of me. I also, obviously, just love books {and words, and ideas}, and in general want to hoard them. So there’s another piece of who I am. There’s my story in books.

What books are on your nightstand?

{P.S.: if you’re not an avid library patron like me, I highly recommend taking a trip to your local branch soon—you won’t be sorry—breathe in the books and learn something new! Praise this wonderful institution that has made knowledge accessible to all!}

Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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