The love of your life.

Why do we tend to stroll through our lives appearing to be half asleep?

We say we want love in our lives, but mostly we shut ourselves off from it.

Walls are formed around our hearts in the hope of keeping out hurt, disappointments and pain, but in the end, we are merely hurting ourselves by not embracing that one elusive thing.., true and passionate love.

I am not talking about ripping your clothes off passion, (although that may come in to it) I am talking about allowing another in to your soul and sharing every aspect of what can be the most exhilarating experience of your life.

The stuff you see in the movies does exist in real life, but first you need to be open to receive. Yes, there is every chance that you may get hurt, but this is also what makes it worth the risk. We have emotions for a reason; to embrace them and experience them, to grow and learn from them. Our negative emotions and fears are just as real as our positive emotions and desires. Hiding from them, blocking or denying them can be unhealthy indeed. The trick is to acknowledge them, accept them and embrace them. Once you do this, you are able to control them.

As children we feel so much, we embrace everything and then we grow up. We become responsible adults and forget about ‘living’. Living is first and foremost, in my mind, about love and not just the surface kind of love. I am talking deep, unbridled passionate love, the kind we all want but are too damn scared to allow in.

When we are children we barrel ahead with a sense of awe in everything around us, we throw everything we have at our chosen subject and if rejected, lost or broken, we throw everything we have at that also. As we grow up, we are told to stop being so emotional; eventually we shut down. We shut down a vital part of ourselves and proceed throughout the rest of our lives cautious and timid and barely existing.

We are not here to be unfeeling sheltered robots; we are here to feel everything, to embrace everything and to soar beyond the depths of our human limitations. We are not simply flesh and blood, we are life, death, soul and essence, we are energy and vivacity and we should be devouring life and those around us. We should be allowing our hearts to fully open and fold around the things and the people we love.

We have the strength to endure anything, yet we may spend our lifetime only giving and receiving what we deem as acceptable love in small portions, possibly missing the point of life completely.., LOVE.

With love always,

Michelle xxx

 

Life and love and all that stuff…

Life is a sequence of choices to make and decisions made.

Life is a very simple lady but we sometimes make her difficult.

Having a crystal ball or a time machine is a wish that has crossed many minds, but the truth of the matter is.., everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes it is your reason, sometimes it is not, but there is always a reason. More than likely, you may never know what that reason is.

Often the heart wants what the heart wants, regardless of whether it is good for us, and regardless of whether it is for a long time or a brief moment.

We must, for our own peace of mind, learn to accept life as it is; appreciate everything for what it is, and savour every moment with an honest and open heart. Remember to love as much as you can, but love yourself first and foremost.

Everything always works out the way it should.

It may not be as you wished for or expected, but it is the way it should be.

With love always,

Michelle xx

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day

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Wow time flies, whether you are busy or not. It seems to me that time is zipping by, one blink and all of a sudden we are approaching Valentine’s Day. And.., February is a short month so let’s make the most of. Let’s laugh and hug a lot, eat the chocolate (not too much) and take time out for ourselves. I know a wonderful Gallery in the Perth Hills where you will find many treasures to spoil yourself or a loved one. Wink, wink!

Do you celebrate Valentines Day? I have to admit, when I was younger I was never one for the mushy stuff. When I was younger going out on a dinner date actually made me cringe or laugh nervously, whichever came first. I have been known to laugh when a guy has whispered those three little words, “I love you”. I know it’s cruel but I did apologise and smooth things over. I never had a problem with expressing myself, I simply felt ‘weird’ when someone chose to profess their love to me. Looking back it really was in my teens and my twenties where I would find the romantic stuff a little too much and run a mile. The first time my partner said I love you, eighteen years ago, I laughed and replied, “I’m what? I’m colourful?” But, to this day, we still hold hands, cuddle and snuggle together, kiss and laugh and always say I love you. I guess it was about meeting ‘the one’. Saying I love you is as easy as breathing now.

Do you give gifts on Valentine’s Day? Are you the romantic type who plans well in advance or do you remember at the last minute and think, ‘Shit, I better grab some flowers or chocolates on the way home’? Valentine’s is a day I have never really embraced, I much prefer to be spontaneous and buy a gift because I feel like it, not because it’s a special day. I have always preferred to be the bearer of gifts rather than the receiver as I do love to spoil people.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s or not, I hope the day is a special one for you in whatever way you choose. If you are married or in a relationship then may you be spoilt and may you enjoy being spoilt. May you spoil yourself if you are single because who else knows you better? May the month of February bring you all the joy you can handle, may it be kind and generous to you and your loved ones and may you be happy!

Be kind to yourself first and foremost because when you are kind to yourself you are naturally kind to others and may they be kind to you!

With love always,

Michelle xx

LOVE!

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We are all complex yet so simple. We have many layers and some wear many masks. Nobody knows why we are the way we are except us ourselves. Don’t judge, don’t assume, don’t ask; if a person wants you to know they will tell you. Look beyond the surface to see the true beauty and the real essence of another. Look beyond stereotypes, look beyond first impressions, look beyond yourself and your perceived ideals; it can be uplifting and very rewarding. Learn to accept others for who they are and allow them to do the same for you. Don’t be afraid to show love and compassion. And be honest! Be honest with yourself and others. It’s not about what you say.., it’s about how you say it. We all try to be so much more but the trick is in knowing that we are enough, right here, right now, always!

Michelle xx

Make time for you!

 

When was the last time you stopped and took five minutes for yourself? When was the last time you spoilt yourself? I hear you say.., ‘I don’t have the time’. You actually do, it’s a matter of reshuffling your day to fit it in. Try getting up half an hour earlier each day, it can be one of the best things you have done in a while. Make your lunch for work the night before and instead of waiting in line to buy lunch use those extra minutes to relax and enjoy the lunch that you took the time to make, savour the taste and appreciate this act of kindness towards yourself. Maybe enjoy a few minutes of fresh air (if possible), take those few extra minutes and clear your mind. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, allow your thoughts to slow down, take one thing from your day so far, something that made you smile, and focus on that.., feeling better already?

In this fast-paced world we now live in, it is so easy to forget to make time for the most important person in your life.., YOU! There are a zillion different techniques that you can use to slow down and relax but the trick is to try lots of different ways until you find the perfect relaxation technique for you. Focusing on our breathing is always the first step and may just be the only thing you need. It helps you find your ‘centre’ and slow down enough for your mind to rest, even if only briefly. Your mind, your body and maybe your family will thank you for it.

Friday’s at Just Add Passion Gallery are super special as we have Carina in-house ready to treat you to some of that well deserved pampering. Yes, that’s right, an Art Gallery where not only the Art makes you feel good. Carina is a gentle and nurturing soul, qualified for reflexology – massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head linked to every part of the body. Also meditation – a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content. Plus the ever popular full body or back massage.

Carina is always delightful to be around and will treat you to something special. And for an extra bonus Carina also does Tarot. She is not here to tell you that you will win the lottery, go on a holiday and meet the love of your life (or maybe she will). Carina uses the Tarot to tell you what’s happening to you now, to help you deal with any issues you may have, to help highlight those aspects of your life you may not be fully aware of at the moment. She can determine what influences are acting on you, what conscious and/or subconscious control you are exerting on your life, and how these various factors may manifest in the future. Carina will put particular emphasis on any blocks you are currently experiencing, help you to act more effectively in your current situation, and find simple solutions for dealing with those parts of your life you are possibly neglecting.

So what will you be doing on Friday’s? Can’t do a Friday?.. make a booking and we will endeavour to work around you.

Smile and always take care of you!

With love,

Michelle xx.

 

Buy the Art!

You have made the decision to purchase art for your home or office. Where do you go from here? Just Add Passion Gallery in Stoneville WA, that’s where!

Buying art is a very personal thing. All factors have to be considered and everything has to feel right.

Do you know exactly what you want and will you search until you find it? Do you have a vague idea but when you start looking you become overwhelmed, you become confused about what it is you really want and what will suit your décor? Are you a beige kind of soul or the brighter the better kind? Are you orderly or a little bit eclectic in your taste? Can you visualise the piece that has caught your eye hanging on your wall at home? Are you a bring your own colour swatches with you person? Do you fall in love with a work of art only to convince yourself that it won’t suit your décor or you simply can’t afford it? Do you then spend as little as possible and buy the mass produced canvas from a chain store? It looks alright; but it has no soul and it certainly won’t be a conversation piece. It may match the colour of your lounge cushions but has it really won your heart? Will you still love it a year from now because let’s face it; you really did buy it on a whim. That’s not to say you can’t buy ‘real’ art on a whim but at least the ‘real’ art won’t be thrown out and taken to the good Samaritans shop. Well, I hope not!

Going in to Art Galleries can be daunting; some Galleries may feel very clinical and stuffy and well dare I say, wankerish. All white walls, minimal spaces and choices. Some are very different indeed, focusing more on the surreal and abstract but maybe not quite suited to the family living room. At Just Add Passion you will be welcomed with open arms, a big smile and a space that feels just like home. We do have an eclectic range that’s for sure; but our displays are second to none, inviting, warm and friendly and are purposely created to help you visualise what may work in your own home.

Being an artist is a job! Just like the council gardener, the rubbish man or your child’s teacher; it is a chosen profession by a creative soul who cannot possibly imagine themselves doing anything else. They can bring a sense of fun to a somewhat harsh world and we should support them, just as you would support your local grocer, chemist or shoe salesman. They are real people who wish to pursue their dreams, as we all should. I personally cannot imagine a world without artists, musicians, actors, performers or creatives of any kind. How sad, dull and boring it would be?!

I ask you to consider the creator when you are next on the hunt for a gift or a new piece of art for your home. Think twice and buy the real art please; because that painting, sculpture or drawing created by the hands of a living, breathing person, who like you and me, has bills to pay and food to buy; is worth its weight in Gold. They may have literally taken years to complete that particular piece or they may have nailed it in a week but I can guarantee you that the artist put their heart, blood, sweat and tears in to it. They may have struggled and felt their weight of insecurity thinking this piece is not good enough. They may be very confident and love each creation just as much as the last. The art work you are about to purchase might very well be the artist’s first sale and this; this will stay with the artist forever! You have just made their day, their week, and their year!

In conclusion, buy the art, the ‘real’ art and support someone’s mother, father, sister, daughter or friend. Don’t buy mass produced. Real art is an investment and one thing is for certain; our Art Gallery is not trying to rip you or the artists off. We are merely a port of call, a support and a haven for our local Western Australian artisans and you. We are here to make you smile and allow you to appreciate art and our artists as much as we do.

Keep smiling and stay creative!

With love,

Michelle xx

Mundaring Hills Open Studios

13001140_988995317851919_5955424643918274503_nWhat will you be doing on the weekend of 29th & 30th October?

How does the opportunity to have a glimpse inside the studios of eleven very talented Hills Artists sound? They are a talented and friendly bunch and for this particular weekend you have the privilege to see them in their ‘natural habitat’. Some may work in chaos, some may appear to be very neat and orderly, some are up for a good laugh, some are simply a joy to be around. Foremost, they are a wonderful eclectic bunch of creative people willing to open their studios to you , the public, and this is a must not miss event!

Our Gallery has a collection of works by these Artists for you to view and/or purchase. We will have some other treats in store for you, so stay tuned either here or on Facebook. Come and say hi to all of these Artists and to us. Try some of our cake/slices, have a cuppa and a chat but most of all.., don’t miss out on having a fabulous weekend!

Download your Google Map and follow the trail to meet some of the Hills finest Artists at… http://www.mundaring-hills-open-studios.org.au 

See you soon!

Keep smiling and stay creative!

Michelle x

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Who am I? What’s it all about?

I am Michelle. I admire, promote and encourage the creativity in those around me. I have a varied background in the arts, healing and hospitality which led me to create a haven for like-minded souls, aptly named Just Add Passion.

The aim of the Gallery is to provide a platform for the up and coming and established Western Australian Artists and Australian Authors to showcase their works in a relaxed and loving environment. Just Add Passion is a place where creative souls are free to express who they are and discover that when someone believes in you, you are able to shine and be the best you that you can be. A place to help others realise their potential, to show that although we may have differing tastes, it is beneficial to all, that we appreciate the talent and time taken to create art in any genre. No one person is better than another, we are all the same. Someone will absolutely love what you do, never give up.

We are, at times, our own worst enemies. We can be so self-critical that we often don’t see what others may see. As a creative person, be it painting, sculpting, drawing or even writing, we tend to think, ‘It’s not good enough, I can do much better’. Whereas an outsider may think our work is brilliant. At Just Add Passion we encourage you let go of the self-doubt; just let go and simply be. Enjoy the journey, the process and allow the experience to help you grow. Have fun with what you are doing and have faith in the fact that someone will love it!

Art for sale, Artist of the Month exhibitions, Author of the Month displays, Art workshops, natural therapies, de-stress workshops and meditation are just a few of the wonderful things we have on offer.

Coming soon.., pamper days, art competitions, open days and a permanent coffee van!

Keep smiling, treasure life’s journey and always be true to yourself.

Michelle x

 

 

Going Crazy!

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I choose to work for myself because I am not your sit down at a computer all day type of person. I enjoy the freedom of creating my own hours, my own rhythm, dancing to my own beat, taking myself outdoors to breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds and watch the traffic go by. I like to choose my own music to put in the CD player, invite people in for a cuppa, chat as long as I feel the need and have a laugh with the customers. Infact, it’s a bit like being at home, except I do refrain from wearing my PJ’s (for now anyway).

My ‘dilemma’ in this tech savvy world is this.., I don’t have the time! I agree that the whole social media can be an absolute asset to any business but seriously who really wants to sit on the computer for hours at a time trying to get your head around some new way of sending out newsletters, mastering the constant changes on Facebook, checking emails, answering emails, returning calls, checking messages on Facebook, replying to comments and all that stuff. Phew!

Ok, so if you don’t take the time for these things and more, then you run the risk of losing the interest of your followers/customers; or do you? I know that if I like a business, shop, restaurant etc then the amount of time they spend on social media means absolutely nothing to me and does not influence my patronage in any way, shape or form.

There are numerous sites on the Internet promising that if you join up, your time will be halved, they say their system is the easiest to follow, they promise that their site is very user friendly, but to whom? Not me. They look easy, they start off easy and then bang.., I am bamboozled and lost! So I am not a tech head, so I like things to be simple, my time is very important to me. The more time I spend on the computer the less time I have to spend elsewhere in my business. Things fall behind, frustration sets in and all I want to do is curl up with a good book and forget about technology! Modern technology is meant to be easy, so ‘they’ say. Well I say, as I am not a whiz on the computer (I am to a certain point) then perhaps I should seriously consider employing (or bribing with cups of tea and nice pieces of cake) someone else to do this techy stuff and leave the fluffing and organising and curating and meeting and greeting to me before I go Crazy!

Until next time, stay happy!

Michelle xx

A little bit for every taste.

When you think of an Art Gallery do you imagine white walls, white floors, minimal works by a few select artists? Do you see large open spaces with quirky bright abstract paintings by artists you have never heard of? Perhaps you envision clutter or old paintings by deceased artists? Do you expect to see local, famous or overseas artists? Do the words expensive and snobby or weird and unfinished come to mind?

Whatever impression you may or may not have of art galleries , be it good, bad or otherwise, you are sure to be wowed and impressed when you walk in the door at Just Add Passion. There is an eclectic blend of wonderful treasures to be found inside each room. With our setting in the beautiful Perth Hills inside an exquisite and very old house, in fact one of the oldest houses in Stoneville, we guarantee that when you leave it will be with a smile on your face!

We believe that Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Art comes in many shapes and forms and takes on many faces. Some may say, as we do, that there is an art to mowing a lawn, cutting hair, selecting an outfit to wear, making a sandwich or cup of tea. And there certainly is an art to decorating a room, especially if that room is part of a Gallery.

Yes, you will find paintings and drawings, prints of paintings plus sculptures and tea, soap, aprons, little girls dresses, pottery and everything in between. We have a little bit for every taste, at very affordable prices, by wonderfully talented Western Australian Artists.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

With love,

Michelle x