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Blog: Inspiration


How to Plan the Perfect Festival Weekend Getaway

posted July 18, 2024   category » Inspiration
How to Plan the Perfect Festival Weekend Getaway

Are you ready to plan the perfect festival weekend getaway? Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, thoughtful preparation is the key to a fantastic experience. This guide will walk you through choosing the right festival, setting a budget, and packing effectively. You'll learn how to make the most of your festival experience by managing travel accommodations and navigating the event like a pro. Follow these steps to enjoy every moment without stress, creating unforgettable memories along the way.

Tips for Enjoying Summer Festivals Alone in 2024

posted June 10, 2024   category » Inspiration
Tips for Enjoying Summer Festivals Alone in 2024

As summer rolls in, the thrill of festivals—bursting with music, art, and culture—beckons everyone, even those venturing out solo. In 2024, embracing the adventure alone crafts a story of personal freedom and offers an enriching pathway to self-discovery and independence. This blog post will serve as your guide to enjoying summer festivals alone, ensuring you maximize every moment. From selecting the right festival to capturing unforgettable memories, these tips aim to empower and inspire solo attendees to transform any festival experience into a personal celebration of self-expression and joy.

Your Ultimate Guide To Travel Festival Safety

posted February 23, 2024   category » Inspiration
Your Ultimate Guide To Travel Festival Safety

By prioritizing safety on the journey to your next festival, you can prevent potential travel disruptions, minimize the risk of accidents or delays, and navigate unexpected challenges with ease, allowing you to fully embrace the festival experience without any setbacks. So, whether you're driving or flying, prioritizing safety ensures that your journey to the festival is smooth and worry-free, allowing you to focus on the excitement and anticipation of the event rather than worrying about unforeseen obstacles along the way. With safety as your guide, you can embark on your festival adventure with confidence and peace of mind.


Easy Ways to Improve Your Festival Bathroom Experience

posted October 20, 2023   category » Inspiration
Easy Ways to Improve Your Festival Bathroom Experience

"Festivals are happy places, and you don't really want to enjoy them on your own." – Christine and The Queens. Festivals are all about fun, celebration and excitement. For many of us, they represent a chance to get out of our comfort zone, make new memories and feel free from any worries or work pressures, but have you ever found yourself feeling anxious as soon as you spot those festival bathrooms? Festive blogger Sophie shares a few tips on how to make the experience less horrific.


Festivals in the US That Empower Women ♀️

posted May 10, 2023   category » Inspiration
Festivals in the US That Empower Women ♀️

More women are attending festivals as a way to bond with friends and have a great time. According to recent data, 49% of festival attendees are female. Onstage, there's a slight increase in booked female artists as a study reveals that 27% of music festival acts in 2020 and 2021 were female, up from 18% from the previous years. 

Although some of the biggest festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, are popular among young women, this demographic is not reflected when it comes to choosing headliners for these events.

Thankfully, there are some really fun festivals that celebrate female performers, music, art, and festival food businesses that are definitely worth checking out. Here are the best festivals in the US that empower women.

Craft Fairs: A Celebration of Handmade and Unique Artistry

posted February 3, 2023   category » Inspiration
Craft Fairs: A Celebration of Handmade and Unique Artistry

Craft fairs are a celebration of the handmade and unique. They bring together local artisans and makers to showcase their handiwork and creativity. Whether you're looking for unique gifts, baked goods, or home goods, craft fairs offer a marketplace near you filled with one-of-a-kind items.

The Benefits of Shopping at Craft Fairs

Craft fairs offer a unique shopping experience that you won't find at big box stores. By supporting local artisans, you can find truly unique and one-of-a-kind items.

Donations: Give to Receive

posted January 25, 2023   category » Inspiration
Donations: Give to Receive

Many schools, churches, and other civic groups have yearly fund-raisers.  Donating products to raffles, charities, and other local opportunities is not only a good way to attract local attention for your business, but often can lead into interesting new directions. Folks can drum up new business through donations, and by doing this, branch out into markets and even other mediums otherwise unknown!

3 Reasons to Support Local Shops and Vendors in 2023

posted January 12, 2023   category » Inspiration
3 Reasons to Support Local Shops and Vendors in 2023

No matter what you’re looking to achieve in the new year, shopping local has become more popular over the past few years and shows no signs of stopping. While it may seem obvious that this helps local artists and vendors, it’s actually great for the environment and your own health. As you look for festivals or craft fairs to attend, here are a few things to keep in mind while supporting local businesses.

Top 5 Cities for Art Shows

posted December 27, 2022   category » Inspiration
Top 5 Cities for Art Shows

Art fairs are a great way for artists to showcase their work and connect with potential buyers. They also provide an opportunity for art enthusiasts to discover new talent and add to their collections. The United States is home to some of the most renowned art fairs in the world, attracting thousands of visitors and showcasing a wide range of mediums and styles.

Here are the top 5 cities for art fairs in the USA:

Tips for Visiting Festivals on a Budget

posted December 15, 2022   category » Inspiration
Tips for Visiting Festivals on a Budget

Going to festivals feeds your soul and boosts your mood. Festivals offer us joy and that special feeling of belonging to the crowd. However, festivals often turn out to be quite expensive pleasures. Well, at least if you don't have us on your side. Today, we'll share some valuable tips for visiting festivals on a budget to help you enjoy and gather new exciting experiences.

Make a good choice of festival

Don't simply choose the most well-attended events at random. Instead, you should consider which festivals would provide the greatest bang for your buck and plan accordingly. Unless there is a particular headliner, you have your heart set on seeing, the price of the festival should be weighed less heavily than the quality of the music bill and other events. Another consideration is proximity since it will save you money on transportation costs if it is within easy driving distance. 

Avoid spending a lot on clothes

It is not necessary to spend a fortune on festival attire. Every summer, stores like H&M and Forever 21 release festival-specific collections that are easy on the wallet. For an even better deal, check out your neighborhood thrift shop for some vintage treasures. Thrift shops are also great options for winter festivals - you'll avoid sky-rocket holiday prices. It's safe to say that festival attire of the retro kind has never been more at home.

Volunteering at a Big Festival

posted November 1, 2022   category » Inspiration
Volunteering at a Big Festival

Volunteering helps not only those in need of aid, but also those who are paying it forward—as found in a 2015 study in the journal, Motivation and Emotion. When you fundraise or donate your time, it helps you engage more easily with others, lowers your stress, and helps you enjoy the support and intimacy that good friendships can bring. If you are interested in offering your time, which U.S. festivals have the most to offer in terms of the work you can do and the fun you can have when you are on a break or you have a day off?

Creating a Sense of Community during Festival Season

posted June 29, 2022   category » Inspiration
Creating a Sense of Community during Festival Season

The summer of 2022 may be the first in a long time that you and your friends will be embracing festival life to the full once again, following a string of cancellations over the past two years. Just a few of the many exciting upcoming festivals include Summerfest in Milwaukee, Rolling Loud in Miami, and Lollapalooza in Chicago. In many ways, however, there will be a different air to these popular events; one characterized by the zeitgeist of the post-COVID era: togetherness.

🦶 Lowering Your Carbon Footprint When Traveling to Festivals

posted June 21, 2022   category » Inspiration
🦶 Lowering Your Carbon Footprint When Traveling to Festivals

The Spring/Summer 2022 festival lineup is heating up, with so many major music fests, arts and crafts shows, and food festivals taking place across the globe and in the US. In Summer 2022, for instance, you can take your pick from Lollapalooza (taking place in July in Chicago), the Pitchfork Music Festival (in Chicago), and the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City for your next event. Many would say that the only downside to festivals is their carbon footprint.

According to research conducted in 2020, festivals can harm the environment by bringing hundreds of thousands of people to one place at the same time. In the average music festival, 7% of carbon emissions are caused by waste, 13% by energy, and a whopping 80% by attendee travel. This can not be left unchanged. If you are traveling to a festival this Spring/Summer, how can you do your share to support the environment in a more sustainable manner?

The 20 Best Places to Celebrate the Holidays Across the US

posted December 9, 2021   category » Inspiration
The 20 Best Places to Celebrate the Holidays Across the US

As the days shorten and nights become longer, many cities across the US have found ways to lighten and lifts our spirits by embracing the magic of this time of year. Festivals, and events fill the streets and enrich our days and nights all over the country. Snow piled forests and frozen rivers offer a magical ambiance with winter recreational activities providing an added excitement.

While many are familiar with the iconic and beautiful holiday displays put on in New York City, between the traffic and tourists, it certainly wouldn’t be considered a winter wonderland-esk experience. So what are the cities and towns that can truly give you the breath taking and magical winter wonderland experience, combined with the holiday cheer and livelihood of shopping, event and festivals? To find out, Rocket Homes conducted a study to ranks the best places all over the US to experience a winter wonderland that also offer a variety of holiday festivals and events.

The Future of Music Festivals

posted January 12, 2021   category » Inspiration
The Future of Music Festivals

This past year has been tough on everyone, but it brings a unique sense of loss to those of us who love music festivals.

Well-known festivals like Ultra Music Festival, Rolling Loud, Coachella, and Lollapalooza Festival have become part of our culture. And smaller festivals are gathering places on a spiritual level for music fans who share a love of live music.

But ever since all music festivals (even the iconic Coachella!) were canceled due to the pandemic, people have been wondering about the future of music festivals in a post-Covid music world. Here are our predictions based on what we know so far.


Selling Online: Good Photos Are Key

posted October 13, 2020   category » Inspiration
Selling Online: Good Photos Are Key

Upon landing in your online shop, your photos are the first thing that speaks to your customers about your work. If the photos are out of focus, pixelated, confusing, or poorly lit, you've lost a potential customer. If you don't take the time to share excellent photos of your items, don't wonder why you aren't making any sales. It is the most important thing about online selling; good photos of your work pay off.

Fortunately, you don't need to be a professional photographer to take decent photos of your items. 

If you are using your phone to take photos, it is a good idea to research online camera guides or tutorials that match your phone type and camera program. For example, many smart phones offer 'professional' settings to give you some control over lighting settings or white balance... Some do not. A little research can go a long way in presenting your items as they deserve.

Get a tripod.

Whether you are shooting with a camera or smartphone, an inexpensive small table top tripod will ensure a steady shot.

Natural lighting won't let you down...

...but using the flash always will. Flash photography will change the colors of your items, create glare, or otherwise misrepresent your craft, period. Using the flash also creates unwanted darker shadows. So, set up your display near a window, or if you go outside, take your photos in the morning or afternoon when the sun is not directly overhead.

Open your camera's manual and learn about the white balance setting.

It's easier than you think, will only take a second, and you will be glad you did when your pictures are brighter and cleaner. If you use plain white for your background, make sure it is truly WHITE by white balancing your camera. I often see grey-white, underlit backgrounds and it looks terrible. (Another great solution to giving your stuff great lighting: try googling "creating your own at-home lightbox" for photographing small items. It's easy and cheap to make your own mini photography studio!)

Place your items on non-distracting and complimentary backgrounds.

You don't want to use colors or textures too similar to your item that will cause it to blend in. Contrasting elements will make your item stand out, but choose wisely and make sure the placement of your artwork "makes sense". Being consistent with your backgrounds will help brand your shop. Time after time I see people's household items in the background and it looks completely unprofessional and draws the eye away from the item being photographed.

Take photos at various angles.

You will want to include a close up (using your macro setting on your camera will help you achieve clear close ups) when you list an item to sell. Take advantage of uploading as many pictures as allowed per item! Let your buyer see your item completely so they know what they're getting. I see so many people just uploading one photo of their item. Those people shouldn't wonder why they aren't making any sales either.

Bonus Tip For Framed Art Pieces.

You will want to check out this blog post: 5 Online Tips to Show Your Art in a Room

Good photos = more online sales. Bad photos won't get you anywhere.


Pictured Above:  Jewelry by Gerina Shop
I like many of these shop photos, they are clean, sharp, naturally lit, and non distracting. She uses shells and pennies to give the shopper context, a great idea!

Take some time to look around the marketplace to get ideas for your photos! (Or to see what not to do.  😎)

🎨 5 Online Tools to Show Your Art in a Room!

posted August 19, 2020   category » Inspiration

Ready to increase your online art sales? Present your work beautifully by sharing the impact and scale of artwork with potential collectors through the use of in situ images.

Offering room views enhances the shopping experience, and increases customer confidence. Creating these images doesn’t require Photoshop or even a high level of technical ability. Check out the tools below and start showcasing your own art in virtual rooms!


This site offers a paid service that ranges from $11 – $59 per month, and serves a variety of clients, including artists, galleries and art consultants. Place your artwork in an uploaded image of a collector’s wall to give them a preview. Or, design and create an entire exhibition of work on a virtual gallery wall or exhibition booth.


This option is a smartphone app that superimposes your work on a selection of interiors. Room settings are updated frequently, and different colored walls are available. Select frames to suggest hanging options, and easily share your images. ArtRooms has a high customer satisfaction rating. Try it for the first month at $3.99, then pay a monthly fee of $7.99.

Artist Marion Griese shares her art in a room setting using the ArtRooms app

🍋 When Life Gives You Lemons...or, a Pandemic

posted August 6, 2020   category » Inspiration

Make lemonade or…

If you’re long-time member Bill Coleman, turn the World’s Biggest Bubble Toy into a Giant, Fun, Handwashing Station!

For over fifteen years, folks at festivals, fairs and special events from Anchorage to Las Vegas, Aberdeen to Austin have enjoyed the World's Biggest Bubble Toy®. It’s fourteen feet high and solar powered! 

“Really added to the party atmosphere!” --Arc Charities
“Absolutely fabulous!” --Beaux Art Festival
“The bubbles made people laugh 100 yards away!” --Dubuque County Fair

But, then Covid-19 hit. Bill says, “
When the pandemic started, I thought I should point out that the Bubble Tower fights the bug with a special blend of Dawn dish soap, is great fun and can deliver a safe hand washing message as well as give sponsor's an opportunity to ‘be the good guys’ in the fight to weather the pandemic storm.” 

Bill will be setting up four of his Giant, Fun, Handwashing Stations next month at Bennett Days in Colorado!

Keep spreading the smiles, suds and safety, Bill!

🌬️ Five Benefits of Conscious Breath Practice

posted July 29, 2020   category » Inspiration

As you read this next bit take a moment to give your awareness to your breath. Breath has given you the opportunity to be here now. Breath is the gift that is granted us as living spirits. How wonderful is that?

Something so simple as breath is taken for granted until that moment when we experience breath's importance to our life and longevity.

As humans, manifested on earth in the cosmic form of a mammal, our breath connects us to the furthest reaches of the universe and down into the deepest depths of atomic particles.

Being an ever curious and adventurous spirit eager to explore and learn, my body and mind have traveled the path of an athlete, both recreational and competitive, a musician of wind and drum instruments, a facilitator of clients in personal training-massage-meditation-hypnotherapy-sound healing, and journeyed through Western medicine and Eastern esoteric philosophies. What will be brought to you in the words that follow is my small strand of experiences and knowledge gathered from my journeys that threads through the tapestry of this wonderful woven globe that we live in.

Shall we begin the journey together?

“Breath springs from self” – Chandogya Upanishad 7.26.1

Our body is the magical universal instrument and we enjoy that beauty in voice, instrument, and movement. Let us look at five basic benefits of breath.



“When movement of Breath is internal, one will see the world in themself” – unknown Vedic

Each time we inhale with the exchange of exhale, we are rebuilding our nervous system and the entire molecular structure of the body. Your cells are recalibrating as you read this now. So how can you ever be the same person? It is impossible.

The center for breath management expands from the medulla oblongata, a section of the brainstem, and controls the rhythm of our breath. This is done involuntarily. When voluntary rhythmic breath is applied in practice the patterns of the brainstem start to shift and affect the central nervous system, Increasing oxygen and ph in the blood stream.

This exploration of our breath can remove "Dis-Ease" in connective tissues, healing tissue issues in body and brain. (The Mind in a different topic and in not being covered in this article.)

Story time: This young man had traveled to Australia. He was a sickly character, hunched over, pressure in his eyes and incredibly low in vitality. A local of the area introduced this sickly young man to the digeridoo. (Circular Breathing though a termite-carved hollow stick). After a few months of practicing the digeridoo, the young man had changed from a sickly young man to a healthy young man and over the few years he was unrecognizable to his past community. Confidence, health, and clarity now radiated from the young man. The Sick man had transformed into a man of Vitality. - Seattle resident



“Breathe easy; have trust and be free form fear.” – Unknown Vedic Sage

Tension derives from the pressure of thought affecting our nervous system and is created in us when we respond to fear and react with a fight or flight response from our reptilian brain stem.

With redirecting the focus to the breath, one can move from the experience of fear in the body into a place of peace, decreasing pain and suffering and increasing clarity of choice for action or stillness.

Story time:  "I was so afraid to leave my house to even go get the mail. I heard that rebirthing breath work could fix that. After the first session I was able to open the door to my home and not feel fear streaming in my head. After the 10th session I was getting the mail with just a distant whisper of fear in my head. It took a bit of time, yet now I can barely remember what I was even afraid of. Crazy." – Young Woman testimony



“Breathing is an action of self who is seated in midst of the breath… those who observe the breath movements regain awareness of SELF which they had lost… reviving original consciousness” – Vedic Hindu text

With a steady mind and lowered heart rate we can make decisions with unwavering confidence.

We trust those that are calm and have clear speech. We can develop this through the study of breath, focus, and the movement between actions and stillness.

How does your breath and heart rate change with different interactions of the day, week, month, year?

The practice of breath awareness exposes the conscious self-awareness of WHO AM I? That question is answered with the focused awareness of our flow of breath while engaged with life.

Story time: "Cliff jumping into clear blue water from 30 feet sounds exhilarating. For me it was! How many things could go wrong? Yet the freedom of flight and weightlessness had pulled my curiosity to the platform. After seven minutes of trying to NOT jump, I finally jumped, and it was great. What switched was trusting that I could do it. After 30 years of competitive swimming as a platform diver, it was crazy that I had created fear. Simply crazy! I was so glad that I jumped another 5 times." – 52-year-old woman



“…self-discipline is the ability to guide yourself to do what you want to do whether you feel like it or not…” – Ila Barlean

In a culture of should and should not, our breath can become ridiculously small and stifled. Yet with a small shift of mind and will that breath can expand and deepen, allowing our original self to fulfill those dreams and desires we have been holding back from completing. With a little bit of redirecting of our thoughts, our breath will then soon follow.

One can feel a sense of ‘courage’ sweep over the entire body and a flow and ease with the completion of dreams and desires.... be it this article, be it the cake in the oven, be it traveling around the world.

Story Time: "My child was labeled ADD, Learning Disabled and a disruption to the class. I heard that martial arts might be good for him, so I enrolled my son in our local Kung Fu classes. Within a few weeks my child was able to finish a task that he was given. He stood with more confidence. Still full of all that energy, yet clear in his direction." – Mother with frustrated son



As a facilitator I call this exercise “dumping out the trash”. It’s a different feeling from sex or eating something super delicious.

With each breathing practice style there is this build up towards a place like a crossroad in the nervous system. A point where we get to decide

1- Do I continue?

2- Do I stop here?

Either is fine. Yet in the years of working with clients, athletes, myself, family, and friends, it has been discovered that those that choose to “continue" develop all that has been mentioned in this article. Health improves, confidence excels, the ability to relax becomes natural, and discipline is a no brainer.

When we release tension at a tissue level, a set of endorphins are released, and the brain sets off a ton of ATP that has us feeling great.

“The womb breath” – Taoism Chapter

Belly breathing is the simplest and basic way to remember how our breath was when we were in the womb. Scientists have attached ultra-sound to the belly of a pregnant woman and recorded the rhythm of the breath the baby makes in the womb. It turns out to be remarkably similar to the brain wave rhythm and blood flow through the central nervous system.

When this rhythm is remembered – feeling good is your birthright.

In the second part of this article I will share with you my 7 favorite practices of breath.


Article composed by Ila Barlean (B.S.; LMP; Hp) founder of Tao Energy Movement and We Drum Project. She is a student and facilitator of self-care and healing. From a professional athlete to massage, sound healing, hypnotherapy, meditation, and yoga, Ila’s vast knowledge and experiences spends the global family weaving the threads of tribal to science in our fabric of this short time on planet earth.



One Artist's Inspirational Idea: "OnePerson OneTent" Craft Fair

posted May 28, 2020   category » Inspiration

"I love setting up my tent and doing shows, and I am not letting COVID-19 take that from me!"
-  Edie Harlin  -

When we asked our members how they are getting creative right now to keep their spirits and businesses afloat, we were touched by all the responses that flooded in. One artist that turned our heads was Edie Harlin who produced a "OnePerson OneTent" Craft Fair in her front yard last month.

If anyone can innovate and think outside the box, it is the artist. If you have the inventory, the tent, and the will to succeed, it is surely a well-ventured risk to take. Taking advantage of your social media, email list, and foot-traffic could mean earning some cash and the great feeling of accomplishing something new.

"I did as well as I would have done at any 2 day event. It was a lot of fun. I donated a large portion of my earnings to a local food charity," says Harlin.

People that do not live in well-populated neighborhoods can ask a friend or local business about hosting their own personal craft fair in their "front yard".

"We have a lot of people who walk thru our neighborhood, so there was a ton of foot traffic. I was busy all day, both days. And people are asking when I am doing it again," says Harlin.

How did she keep people feeling comfortable to stop by and shop?

"I had hand sanitizer and wipes on hand, customers social distanced and waited their turn, and I took Venmo for payment for those who wanted contactless payment."

We applaud you, Edie Harlin! What have you done to get creative during COVID? Comment below!

For more about Edie Harlin, Please visit her website or Instagram