To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist — Wyndesong’s Place

The leaves are falling, pumpkins are showing up at market, and the cozy comforts of home beckon — it must be October. Make the most of this month’s bountiful harvest, get some exercise raking leaves in the brisk air, and button down your house in preparation for winter. 8 more words

To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist — Wyndesong’s Place

Maison & Objet 2021: Trending Colors for the Coming Year — Wyndesong’s Place

Maison & Objet has returned to Paris with the first in-person edition of the decor, design, and lifestyle fair since the start of the pandemic. The eagerly awaited event gave us a chance to discover the products and trends coming out of manufacturers’ new collections. Our editorial team was on-site to bring you the latest…Read…

Maison & Objet 2021: Trending Colors for the Coming Year — Wyndesong’s Place

Qurkies: Sustainable building blocks for kids made from cork — Life & Soul Magazine

Made from cork, which is a natural and sustainable material, Qurkies are soft yet firm building blocks that can also fit on Lego Duplo bricks. The cork bricks can even be wiped clean with a wet cloth. Looking for eco-friendly building blocks for your kids to play with? Qurkies’ building bricks made from cork may […]

Qurkies: Sustainable building blocks for kids made from cork — Life & Soul Magazine

8 Ideas to Give Your Yard a Boost for Fall — Wyndesong’s Place

As we move into fall, our homes and gardens can offer something different than they did in summer. A pot of brightly colored flowers on your porch can help lift your mood and brighten your street. Setting up a badminton net or hanging a swing gives kids a place to burn off some energy after…Read…

8 Ideas to Give Your Yard a Boost for Fall — Wyndesong’s Place

In Japan, Enormous Straw Sculptures Pop Up After Annual Rice Harvest- Nisha Designs

The Wara Art Festival in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture (all images courtesy the Wara Art Festival via Facebook)

In some regions of Japan, this time of year marks the peak of the annual rice harvest season. Traditionally, Japanese farmers have reused leftover rice straw (“wara” in Japanese), a byproduct of the harvest, to feed livestock and better the soil. Artisans have used it for making tatami mats and other household objects. But over time, technology has replaced these traditions with the utilization of industrial materials, leaving farmers with enormous amounts of dry rice straw for which they have no use.

In the coastal region of Niigata Prefecture, a major rice-growing area, the Wara Art Festival brings a creative solution to this problem: enchanting, oversized sculptures of animals and mythical creatures made exclusively of rice straw. The straw sculptures are designed by students from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University and installed in collaboration with local residents in Niigata. After a year of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is now back for its 13th edition, welcoming visitors at the local Uwasekigata Park through October 31.

Founded in 2007, the Wara Art Festival is organized jointly by Niigata City’s local tourism council and the Musashino Art University. It is the brainchild of Shingo Miyajima, a professor at the Department of Science and Design at Musashino, who in 2006 was asked by Niigata’s farming community to think of a solution to the problem of unused rice straw. The professor came up with a creative idea: monumental animal sculptures supported by wooden frames. Since then, the festival has become a major tourist attraction in the region.

Rising from the fields, the mammoth artworks can climb to the height of 30 feet. The exhibition features menacing, sharp-toothed beasts and dragons alongside endearing apes and elephants. This year’s displays also include a representation of an Amabie, a beaked mermaid or merman from Japanese mythology.

Ideal for a family trip, the festival’s Facebook page shows visitors of all ages posing for pictures inside the open jaws of a crocodile or in the lap of a giant gorilla. The festival has only one request from visitors to ensure the safety of the displays: Please don’t fly drones in the park!


Visual artist Hannu Huhtamo creates light painting using the night as his canvas- Life and Soul Magazine

Visual artist Hannu Huhtamo has been creating art with the dark night as his “canvas’ and light as his “brush”.

Using a technique known as light painting, the Finnish artist makes his works with a photographic technique based on long exposure times that vary from a few seconds to hours. While the cameras shutter is open, the artist is able to draw in the air by moving different kinds of light sources in front of the camera.

Light painting typically requires a dark environment and it’s usually made at night. Hannu Huhtamo has created numerous light paintings of symmetrical light flowers, fauna, and luminous sculptures which he draws into various locations along the elements of the current environment and ambient lighting.

The artist’s light paintings have lit up spaces including forests, abandoned places reclaimed by nature in the city outskirts, and even the Namibia Desert.

Hannu Huhtamo says: “The symmetry in nature has always fascinated me more than anything else and I started developing floral shapes in order to create light sculptures that look organic.

“My light flowers and luminous beings represent hope and a bit of order in the middle of the chaos. I tend to be a bit restless soul and rush from things to another quite fast. That way I might seek balanced things, like symmetry, through my art. It’s more than just creating images, it’s a form of meditation.”

The Helsinki based artist has been light painting since 2008 but it was back in the 1990’s when he shot his first light painting image. Whilst at a gig, Hannu Huhtamo wanted to draw out a pentagram with a lighter so he opened the shutter of his camera and created his first light painting image.

Images: Hannu Huhtamo

Hannu Huhtamo

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

4 Elements of a Stunning Fall Garden — Wyndesong’s Place

Late summer is a good time to look beyond trees to create an autumn landscape that draws the eye and stirs the soul Late summer is the perfect time to take stock and watch your landscape, as some plants will already begin turning or thinning out. 11 more words

4 Elements of a Stunning Fall Garden — Wyndesong’s Place

Never forget September 11- Lady Dyanna- Nisha Designs

“With almost no time to decide, they [your loved ones] gave the entire country an incalculable gift. They saved the capitol from attack. They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government. And they did it as citizens. They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all over the world from every religion and race and culture as long as they shared our values, because ­ordinary people given no time at all to decide did the right thing.” ~ William J. Clinton

Amado Maurilio Peña, Jr.- Biography-Peña Gallery- Nisha Designs

Amado Maurilio Peña, Jr.

Amado Maurilio Peña, Jr. was born in Laredo, Texas in 1943.  He studied art and education at Texas A & I (now Texas A & M Kingsville), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.

He was a teacher in his hometown of Laredo as well as in Crystal City and Austin, Texas.  He continues to teach as part of the Studio Art League program at Alexander High School in Laredo and is also an adjunct professor in the College of Education at the University of Texas.  He has been a presenter at many national education conferences. 

Of course, Amado’s first love is art, and he has been a successful professional artist for more than 30 years.

Amado is a Mestizo of Mexican and Yaqui ancestry.  His art celebrates the strength of a people who meet the harsh realities of life in an uncompromising land, and his work is a tribute to the Native Americans who survive by living in harmony with an adversarial, untamed environment.

His artwork is inspired by places such as Canyon de Chelly, Spider Rock, Monument Valley, Enchanted Mesa, Acoma, and Black Mesa.  These sites are part of an enduring landscape that speaks of the ancient heritage of a region that is now known as Arizona and New Mexico. 

Amado’s artwork is defined by its bold color and form and dynamic composition. Through his art, he communicates his vision of a land, its people and their art.

Amado Peña is recognized as an Artisan of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona.  This is a particularly high honor and one that he cherishes.  He is dedicated to furthering
the public’s knowledge and interest in the Tribe, its art, its history, and its culture.  

Please Call with any questions:
Pena gallery 505-820-2286
Emily 512 845-8028
Studio 505-455-3855


Weekly Reflections: July 12 – July 18, 2021- Divination: Geomancy- Claudia Draconis and Laetitia- Nishante Divinelove

“Seek Earth and heaven shall be added unto you”- Francis Bendick The art of geomancy is a recognition of the earth as a living intelligence capable …

Weekly Reflections: July 12 – July 18, 2021- Divination: Geomancy- Claudia Draconis and Laetitia

Ravenhawks Ritual Boxes for Lughnasadh/Lammas- Wheel of the Year- Mother Nature Celebrations

Ravenhawks has begun taking orders for its Lughnasadh Ritual Boxes. We will take orders until July 19th. Looking forward to sharing Lughnasadh magick…

Ravenhawks Ritual Boxes for Lughnasadh/Lammas

Eco & Natural Paint (2021) — living lightly in ireland — Life & Soul Magazine

Most of us don’t really think about what paint is and yet we cover practically every inch of our homes in it. In this article we look at the downside to standard paints and list the eco paint brands available in Ireland and the UK. Some are quite expensive but others compare very favourably with […] […]

Eco & Natural Paint (2021) — living lightly in ireland — Life & Soul Magazine