Thursday, April 21, 2011

Find Raphaella Vaisseau's Heartful Art at Five Sisters, A Spiritual Journey - South Dade, Miami, Florida

Elizabeth Zosman first found my Heartful Art in 2007 online at At the time I was still living and creating art in California at my Heartful Art Gallery in Sausalito. I was thrilled to discover her beautiful store was minutes away from where my parents live in Miami, so on my next trip home, my parents and I all packed in the car to go see this magical place for ourselves.

I learned there really are five sisters - they are her five daughters. The recent article (included here) by Bella Kelly of the Miami Herald, shares some of what they're up to. During my visit, I witnessed a buzz of shoppers, milling around with stacks of items in their hands. I had brought more of my Heartful Art to show her, and waited respectfully until there was a pause in the line at the register.

The shopping trend continued over the years where others have failed (fourteen stores on my list of vendors have closed their doors during the past two years), I believe, in part because of Elizabeth's knowledge of spiritual and metaphysical things, and in part simply because of her presence, and the ambiance she and her daughters have created there.

On my last visit before the new year I arrived at an unspecified time on a Sunday afternoon. Elizabeth was not there so I happily browsed and shopped while waiting for her return. After some time, it occurred to me I might ask the sales assistant at what time she expected Elizabeth to return. I never did get the opportunity to ask, however, because the lines at the register were ten deep and continued that way for over an hour.

Having been in retail for many years, having had my own gallery in Sausalito during what we now refer to as the prosperous times before the economic downturn, seeing these long lines at the register in 2010 was a feast for my eyes to say the least. I watched in amazement as I wished to myself that I carried my camera in my purse to document things such as this.

Every time I visit Five Sisters I am touched by Elizabeth's generosity, kindness, and wisdom. When you are nearby the art and warehouse district of South Dade near The Falls in Miami, do yourself a favor and visit Five Sisters. You can find my Heartful Art magnets, posters, matted quotes, and art there along with crystals, jewelry, clothing, books and many other uplifting things. Elizabeth also offers classes and events to support and nourish you on your spiritual journey.

Five Sisters is at 8805 SW 132nd St., Miami, FL 33176. Their hours are 11am - 6pm M-Th, 11am-9pm F-Sat, and noon - 5pm on Sun. The phone is 786.250.4170.
-Raphaella Vaisseau, Heartful Art

Friday, April 15, 2011

Raphaella's 64th Birthday - April 14, 2011

I had a nice birthday celebration all week long, with friends and family sending me cards and gifts and singing birthday songs on the telephone.

I also appreciated the gifts I received from nature, especially the birds (pelicans fishing on the shores of Siesta Key, an osprey in the cypress tree eating a fish high up on a branch, an egret in the lotus pond) as well as gaining new personal insights on living in appreciation.

On my actual birthday, my friend Joanie and I lunched at Sharky's. While snacking on bean and cheese nachos, we shared appreciations with each other and enjoyed a tropical afternoon in Venice. My cat, Diana, especially appreciated the flowers Joanie gave me.

I'm 64 and loving life still as a grand adventure. I look forward to whatever creations life will unfold as I walk through the year ahead.

Here's a creation of my own that I completed this week - a commissioned abstract painting called "Mirror Lake" (a companion piece for "Redwood Forest" which the collectors purchased a few years back). Whereas Redwood Forest, also an abstract, is an up-close look at the trees themselves, Mirror Lake is seeing the forest from a distance through the mist of a morning fog.

Thanks for being a part of my life. I appreciate you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Henry David Thoreau quotation on an inspirational magnet by Raphaella Vaisseau

One of my favorite Thoreau quotes is this: "Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present." When I was ordained as a minister in the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness in 1978, a portion of my ministerial blessing was about "giving in to the moment I'm in,” thus allowing my spiritual gifts to awaken (one of which is creativity). I took the blessing seriously and worked at understanding what it is to live in the present. Meditating helped. Practice is key.

Later, when I became a full-time working artist in 1997, I began to create little reminders on magnets (and posters) of words and quotes that inspire me and others. I decorated the words with my art and still look at them every day as I do my work and live my life. I practice continuously to live in the moment I’m in.

I’ve noticed that even while walking on the beach, I sometimes become aware that my head is down and I’m absentmindedly looking for shells on the sand beneath my feet while I’m walking. Then I remember, and lift my head. I take a deep breath, and take note of where I am. I look up and see the clouds in the sky. I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. I notice the other people around me. I listen to the sound of the waves crashing on shore, and the birds calling out to each other as they glide overhead.

I feel a kinship with Thoreau when I walk. His words remind me to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me and to live in the present, in the here and now. In every moment. Again and again.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools Surprise - a Snake at my Front Door

Diana (my cat) loved it, we were both scared of it, and luckily it slithered out the screen door on its own.