Love Serve Meditate Realize

Friday, Nov 16, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 9

Last night we had our mosaic dedication as part of the Shops at West End Chatsworth ‘Tis the Season Holiday Event. Each participant was given a white candle and a long-stemmed rose as we formed a half-circle around Lisbeth and the mosaic. Marydale described how the project came about, relating how she’d been thinking one morning in class that she really needed to do something about the front ledge, when Lisbeth came up to her after class and said, “So, what are we going to do about that front ledge?” From there, the project took shape quickly.

Marydale got permission from the building owner to proceed and Lisbeth began work on the mosaic right away with some items she had on hand. Donations of funds and materials started pouring in from students and friends, and the rest is history. The final touch, completed shortly before the dedication, was to paint the front and sides of the ledge black, as well as the ceiling above it, to dramatically offset the mosaic and absorb any negative energy in and around the studio.

Surrounded by the light of our flickering candles, Marydale honored Lisbeth for her work and thanked the members of our community for their participation in the project. One by one, we expressed our gratitude to Lisbeth in person and gave her our roses until she held a full bouquet. This dedication was the culmination of a group effort to beautify the studio and the West End of Devonshire, and we hope that all of you in the Param Yoga community will take a moment to admire and enjoy it whenever you visit our studio. Namaste.


posted by Kirsten K.

Monday, Oct 29, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 8

After a three-week vacation, I arrived back to the studio today to find that the mosaic project has been completed! I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. The result is beautiful, but I’ve enjoyed seeing the evolution of the design over these past few months. To know that Lisbeth’s work here is done is bittersweet, but I also know that the studio will continue to evolve and grow in ever-new, exciting ways.

When I left, there was still some work to be done around the base of several of the crystals and stones donated by Laurie and Vince. Lisbeth needed to place and grout shards of mirror to complete that part of the design. Afterwards, the only thing left was to join the left and right sides of the ledge, with their sky blue and shiny black tiles, respectively, with the center design of the birdbath in its sea of iridescent white tiles. Lisbeth did this by incorporating the cobalt blue tile pieces she used around the base of the birdbath to fill in the empty spaces on either side of the white tiles. Among these, she interspersed some of the iridescent stones she’d used in other parts of the mosaic, tying the entire design together into one cohesive whole.

Of course, we still need to paint the bricks on the front of the ledge (color to be decided – stay tuned), but that’s not technically part of the mosaic. For all intents and purposes, Lisbeth’s work is complete. Thank you, Lisbeth, for your vision, your creative energy, and all of your hard work on behalf of Param Yoga, our students, and the city of Chatsworth. Thank you, also, to everyone who contributed money, purchased items from our store, and donated stones, crystals, tiles, and plants for this project. We hope and trust that Lisbeth’s work will live on to delight visitors and citizens of Chatsworth for years to come.

Continue to Part 9.


posted by Kirsten K.

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 7

Since yoga is all about life, energy, and movement, Lisbeth and Marydale felt that plants needed to play an important role in the beautification of the studio. Lisbeth had already surprised me when she included an urn and pots as part of her mosaic design. As I said before, I’d thought of a mosaic as a flat picture created with small pieces of tile, but she’d shown me that it could be three-dimensional and full of whimsy. As soon as she finished decorating the urn, she filled it with tall red-and-green grasses that dance and sway in the wind. These were later joined by a pot with red and white flowers, as well as a succulent plant at the other end of the ledge next to the Rock of Gibraltar.

One day, I showed up to work and found Lisbeth cementing a very large urn into place near our front door. She’d found it on one of her many sojourns and knew that it would make the perfect statement at the entrance to the studio. It now holds a beautiful palm that welcomes students as they walk in the door. But this was only the beginning of the expansion of our beautification project beyond the front ledge of the studio. A friend donated a crape myrtle tree and installed it in the little patch of dirt directly opposite the ledge. Marydale had been trying to get the city to donate a tree, but they’d declined. However, as I’ve learned from my years with Marydale, with patience and faith the Universe always provides. The tree is relatively bare, but will be lush and blooming in no time.

Sadly, we had two plant thefts in the weeks after Lisbeth installed them. We can only hope that whoever took the little red and white flowers and the succulent plant had a good reason and will receive needed upliftment from these small bits of greenery. They have already been replaced by a fern and a hardier succulent that will, hopefully, survive both the elements and sticky fingers.

Continue to Part 8.


posted by Kirsten K.

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 6

Two of our yoga students, Vince and Laurie, donated some incredible crystals, rocks, and figurines for our mosaic project. Vince is a geologist and knows his way around all things igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. He picked out several beauties for our front ledge and Marydale placed them using her famous intuition as a guide. There are amethyst and clear quartz crystals, as well as rocks shot through with veins of green. There’s even a small stone turtle peeking out from behind one of the flower pots.

Once the stones were positioned, Lisbeth cemented them into place and considered how best to set them off. Since the afternoon light was already adding new life and dimension to our birdbath by reflecting off the mirrored fragments in the mosaic, she decided to surround the rocks and crystals with shards of mirror in a myriad of shapes and sizes. The results are spectacular. The entire area shimmers like polished silver, reflecting the crystals and casting light in all directions. It still needs to be grouted, but the beauty of Lisbeth’s vision is already evident.

Next up, Mother Nature lends a hand…

Continue to Part 7.


posted by Kirsten K.

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 5

Thanks to generous donations from students and friends of Param Yoga, Lisbeth is able to continue her work on the mosaic project. Thank you!

It’s been so hot recently that work on the project was suspended for a couple of weeks, but Lisbeth got back to work this week and, unbelievably, was able to make the birdbath even more beautiful than it had been. She covered the base with cobalt blue tile pieces in all different shapes and sizes. Most of them look to me like guitar picks. She ringed these with two rows of clear green stones and a single row of clear lavender stones that look almost black against the dark grouting. Then she surrounded the entire thing with iridescent cream-colored tiles that shimmer with hints of green, blue, lavender, and pink. I love the fanciful way that she created jagged edges around the base of the birdbath and filled in any odd spaces with irregular pieces of tile.

Inset amongst this array is a large clear crystal heart flanked by matching faceted stones. This is a special tribute to Marydale and the studio, since “love” is the first part of our mission statement to Love • Serve • Meditate • Realize.

Before the heat wave hit us, Lisbeth was able to do more work on the urn, surrounding it with blue tiles that look like a twilit sky rendered in watercolors. She installed a temporary iron gate to separate our ledge from that of our neighbor and filled the urn with a native grass plant that brings the whole thing to life.

Continue to Part 6.


posted by Kirsten K.

Friday, Aug 03, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 4

When I think of mosaic, I always picture a flat surface covered with broken tiles. As a result, on the first day that Lisbeth began work on the front of our studio, I was surprised to see that she’d brought three large items to cement to the ledge. I hadn’t thought of the project as being so three-dimensional. By far, the largest piece was the terracotta urn, which she installed on the left side of the ledge. She intended to put a plant in it, which I thought was a wonderful idea, but I didn’t know at the time that the urn would also get the mosaic treatment along with everything else.

I love the look of plain terracotta, but Lisbeth changed my mind about the urn when she began to cover the rim with azure blue tiles and the sides with jagged pieces of a marbled black tile. Fun extras include iridescent glass squares and tiny pieces of mirror that cause bright spots of reflected light to dance over the studio shades as the sun moves across the sky during the day. She placed the second glass flower at the base of the urn, creating a symmetry with the flower at the base of the black rock on the right side of the ledge.

Now that the black rock, birdbath, and urn have all been decorated with Lisbeth’s signature touch, people in the neighborhood are beginning to take notice. Businesses along the West End of Devonshire have started talking about ways that they can beautify their own storefronts. We may be at the beginning of an artistic revolution in Chatsworth!

Continue to Part 5.


posted by Kirsten K.

Monday, Jul 30, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 3

Now that I’d witnessed Lisbeth’s creativity in embellishing the area around the base of the black rock, I couldn’t wait to see what she’d do next. One day, she arrived with bags and boxes filled with colorful stones in all shapes and sizes. She sat for a long time on the ledge going through them to select stones that matched her inner vision for the birdbath. I was very busy in the studio that day and wasn’t able to go outside to check on her progress, so I was absolutely astounded when I finally went out at the end of the day to see what she’d done.

The birdbath was straight out of a fairytale. Like the pumpkin that had been turned into a regal carriage, the damaged birdbath had been transformed into something that looked like it belonged in the courtyard of Cinderella’s castle. Encrusted with stones and tiles that shimmer like precious jewels, it is too pretty for words. By the time I got to see it, a passerby has already dropped a coin in the basin, probably thinking that any wish made in such a beautiful vessel was sure to be granted.

Now that the birdbath was completed, it was time to move on to the urn…

Continue to Part 4.


posted by Kirsten K.

Sunday, Jul 22, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 2

I have never seen a mosaic artist at work, so I was eager to watch Lisbeth ply her trade in front of our studio. Once she’d secured the rock, birdbath, and urn to the shelf under our front windows, I thought the area looked much better. It seemed to me an odd assortment of items, but I trusted Lisbeth’s vision. I’d seen the beautiful and witty mosaic work she’d done in front of Los Toros, as well as mosaic crosses she’d made for Marydale and one of our yoga students, and I was curious about how this would all play out. She’d cemented together the broken halves of the birdbath, which now took center stage in the middle of the ledge, but I was still unsure about the “Rock of Gibraltar”. Fortunately, she got to work on that area first.

Lisbeth made a bold and daring choice by surrounding the rock with black tiles that are so shiny you can see your reflection in them. She’d found a pair of iridescent, hand-blown glass flowers when she was out and about and placed one at the base of the rock. Then she added some whimsical touches, such as a bronze gecko peeking out from behind the rock, a couple of golden-bronze cabochons, and a scattering of iridescent stones around the base. Beautiful! Things were starting to come together.

Continue to Part 3.


posted by Kirsten K.

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 Mosaic Project – Part 1

When people walk into our studio, they always comment about how beautiful it is inside and how they had no idea that all of this style and warmth was back here. Other than our iconic lighted arches in the front windows, the façade of our building doesn’t have much to recommend it and gives little clue to the inviting spaces within.

One of our students, Lisbeth Ohmer, is a talented mosaic artist. You may have seen her work across the street at Los Toros. She saw the plain cement shelf beneath our front windows and envisioned it covered with tiles and jewels. Lisbeth works primarily on commission and has no plan in advance. Once she meets the client and sees the space, inspiration begins to flow.

The first day that Lisbeth started work on the studio, she brought a huge black rock that she’d had for a while just waiting for the perfect project. She thought it would be a great way to camouflage the exposed water spigot near our front door. I thought it looked like the Rock of Gibraltar and didn’t really see where she was going with it. Soon, she brought a weathered urn and a broken birdbath to anchor the left and center of the ledge, respectively. I couldn’t see her vision and wasn’t sure where this was headed, but the next time she came to work, the magic began to take shape…

Continue to Part 2.


posted by Kirsten K.