These are a Few of my Favorite Things

Tidepool Mandala – My Favorite Things ?

Starfish, anemones, barnacles, chitons

Crabs in the tide pools with gunnels and sculpins

Beautiful seaweeds in all shades of greens, these are a few of my favorite things!

This mandala is near and dear to my heart. These are some of my childhood friends from the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound near Seattle, a place where my soul resonates. I grew up spending my weekends there. Low tide was the most magical time for me.

Give me the rocky, gunkholing, low-tide, treasure-laden beaches of the Puget Sound teeming with amazing, wondrous life. Sandy coastal beaches with fantastic waves are beautiful too, but for me they never held a candle to the intertidal beaches of the San Juans. All you have to do is lie on the edge of a dock, look at what clings to the side just below the water’s surface and check out the clumps of seaweed or what might be clinging to or climbing up the pilings. There are all kinds of mysterious, beautiful creatures playing out their life dramas there. What’s in that tidepool? Under the seaweed? Under that huge rock? I know it’s good, whatever it is.

If you ever get a chance to visit the San Juan Islands you should go. Watching nature in real life is some of the best medicine and the San Juans are a veritable theatre of nature. As a child I clung to it, cherished those weekends in the  Islands. If there was a low tide, well, that was what I waited for. Ready with my life jacket on (because my mother told me I had to wear one to be safe and she was right) and bucket in hand sneaking out of the boat while everyone else was still asleep (low tides can be early and I wasn’t about to miss them) and walking down the dock to the gunky, rocky, fantastically seaweed-adorned beach to see what new creatures I might find. 

I think it was an intuitive thing little me did, a form of meditation in nature. This mandala is a love letter to my childhood friends that helped sustain me. I love each and every one of them from my heart. ❤️

click here for a FREE DOWNLOADABLE coloring page of the tide pool mandala. This one is particularly detailed so I also included a FREE 11×17 version.


For the Love of Frogs

Frog Mandala

I have always been a lover of frogs. I used to catch frogs, toads, newts and anything amphibious when I was a kid. I would catch huge tadpoles as big as my thumb, grow them into bullfrogs and then release them back into the local irrigation ditch where I found them. I was obsessed with them. I will still get childishly giddy if I see or hear a frog, toad or tadpole and I have to fight the urge to catch them. I have since learned to observe their beauty while they are in the freedom of their outdoor homes.

Thinking about what I could offer during these anxious and uncertain times, I thought about drawing any type of mandala and how calming that feels. I picked up my Apple Pencil and my iPad and created this frog mandala inspired by a red-eyed treefrog I saw during my travels to Costa Rica. This type of frog is found mostly in the rain forests of Central America. It is absolutely one of my favorites because of it’s beautiful bright colors. I instantly fell in love. Frogs are believed to have healing energy. Read more about frog symbology here. Here is a link for a free downloadable outline version of the frog mandala. I hope you enjoy coloring it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I plan on doing more of these in the near future based on subjects from nature. Nature is my church. It’s where I’ve always gone to feel better so it’s where I will go now. I will share these nature mandalas with you as I conceive them. Take care, stay healthy and create. It’s some of the best medicine.

Warmly, Jennifer

Photos by Chris Comer

To download a printable pdf, click: Frog