The End of June


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“What a strange thing it is to wake up to a milk-white overcast June morning!

The sun is hidden by a thick cotton blanket of clouds, and the air is vapor-filled and hazy with a concentration of blooming scent.

The world is somnolent and cool, in a temporary reprieve from the normal heat and radiance.

But the sensation of illusion is strong. Because the sun can break through the clouds at any moment . . .

What a soft thoughtful time.

In this illusory gloom, like a night-blooming flower, let your imagination bloom in a riot of color.”

-Vera Nazarian


Some of the things I did this month, and the things that happened, will be hard to forget. Trying new things, change, failure, and rejection are all sometimes things we try to avoid because they can be uncomfortable. Yet all are necessary and an inevitable part of life. It is during these times we must get creative.

Creativity comes in many forms and often spills over when your cup runneth dry elsewhere. Using it gives us energy and ideas. I learned that working together gives us solutions and a quicker resolve, whether it be in art or life.

My friend asked me what my word was for the year a few months ago and I told her it was GRIT. There was an article I read explaining The 5 Characteristics of Gritty People summed up here:

1. Courage. The supremely gritty are not afraid to tank, but rather embrace it as part of a process.

2. Conscientiousness. In the context of conscientious, grit, and success; it is important to commit to go for the gold rather than just show up for practice.

3. Long-term goals and endurance: Following through. Achievement is the product of talent and effort, the latter a function of the intensity, direction, and duration of one’s exertions towards a long-term goal.

4. Resilience: Optimism, confidence, and creativity. The ability of people, communities, and systems to maintain their core purpose and integrity among unforeseen shocks and surprises.

5. Excellence vs. perfectionism. In general, gritty people don’t seek perfection, but instead strive for excellence, ‘seeking, striving, finding, and never yielding’.

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years and working very hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

-Angela Lee Duckworth

This month I’ve had a lot of energy and have not experienced lupus exhaustion at all. I think this is the first month in nearly two years that I’ve been able to fully function every single day and do everything I needed and wanted to do.

And here I thought June was pretty mean to me before giving it some thought. It was a rough month, but I remembered my word for the year,GRIT. I remembered to be thankful for everything I have including good health, for every chance to make things right, and for every opportunity afforded me.

And finally, I remembered that ‘the sun can break through the clouds at any moment’.

June Rewind

Below are pictures of the artsy things I did in June, in case you missed them.

Roycroft Inn Cocktails and Canvas

City of Night Cellograph Mural

Cellograph mural by Community Canvases/Niagara Falls part done by me for City of Night

Cellograph mural by Community Canvases/Niagara Falls part done by me for City of Night

Left scene by Vinny Alejandro

Left scene by Vinny Alejandro

Middle Silo Chute by Elyssa Harper

Middle Silo Chute by Elyssa Harper

Right side/flowers by Vinny Alejandro/beetle by Elyssa Harper

Right side/flowers by Vinny Alejandro/beetle by Elyssa Harper


“The insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.”

-Andrew Murray, Humility

Stay Low | Mary Claire | Acrylic on canvas | 6 x 6 x 1.5"

Stay Low | Mary Claire | Acrylic on canvas | 6 x 6 x 1.5″ | $55

This painting is now available.

“Great passions may either bring great victories or great sorrows. In both cases, it is always a great privilege to have great passions.”

-Mehmet Murat ildan

Passion painting by Mary Claire

Passion | Mary Claire | Acrylic on canvas | 6 x 6 x 1.5″ | part of a collaborative work



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Warrior Love, A Collaboration


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Cover Art by Laura Probert

Cover Art by Laura Probert

The book is here!

Order now on Amazon => Warrior Love, A Journal to Inspire Your Fiercely Alive Whole Self

About Warrior Love, a journal to inspire
your fiercely alive whole self

I was approached by three wonderfully creative and talented souls to collaborate on a book. Admittedly, I had no idea what the book would be about when I said yes to it, the idea resonated with me. I watched the book evolve as a labor of love; gaining more insight into Laura’s vision, as well as two new friends in the process.

I am very grateful to be included, thrilled to contribute, and appreciate all of the hard work that went into the making of the book.

Book Description

Warrior Love, A Journal to Inspire Your Fiercely Alive Whole Self combines poetry, artwork and blank journal pages. It’s creators collaborated to put together a beautiful and inspiring collection of words and artwork that will help light your own creative fire. This gorgeous book of mindful musings and dazzling pieces of art will make an incredible gift, to yourself, or those you love.

Warrior Love Creators

Warrior Love Creators

Laura Probert

Atoussa Raissyan

Jeanette MacDonald

Facebook Page

Warrior Love

Warrior Love Facebook Page

A big thank you to my amazing artist and friend Atousa, for thinking of me, Laura for your kindness and wisdom and idea for the book itself, and Jeanette for sharing so much of yourself through your art and to all of you for inspiring my fiercely alive whole self.

We hope you will be inspired to create on the blank pages in this book and make it your own!


Warrior Love Press Release

Jeanette MacDonald: Warrior Love – The book!!!!!



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Five Points Intervention


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Five Points

A Tactical Urban Intervention

Neighbors, business owners, artists, urbanists and concerned citizens came together this Saturday to traffic-calm a dangerous and problematic intersection: the convergence of Rhode Island, W. Utica, and Brayton Streets in Buffalo, NY.

Inspired By: My View of the Day


‘Urban Roots’ Chalk Mural created by Mary Claire, Benjamin, and friends who helped, thank you!

Buffalo Rising: Tactical Urbanism Creates Neighborhood Oasis



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