Plans, Changes – and a Discussion with My Inner Gremlin

Yucca - Boyce Thompson State Arboretum

Yucca Tree © 2013 Bo Mackison

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. ~ Lao Tzu

Recently I’ve been working with change.

This season is already a bit too hectic for a hardcore introvert, with the approaching holidays and much anticipated visits from relatives traveling to the Midwest from “sea to shining sea.” After the holidays, there will be whirlwind packing, cross-country travel, and then a transition from snowy Wisconsin to sunny Arizona. (Yes, though I am looking forward to Arizona, it is still change, and even a much wanted change requires time for adaptation.)

And if this wasn’t enough for a busy December, I also chose to take big steps in my business. I launched my new website, one that feels in sync with who I am, and what I want to offer. I announced my intentions for the coming year – Focus Sessions, workshops, and a Desert Wisdom Retreat.

And then I heard my inner gremlin say, “Just what the heck do you think you are doing?”

It was a perfectly understandable question from my gremlin. (Her name is Miss Patsy, by the way, and she is a re-incarnation of my third grade teacher who had very high standards, never to be met in this world or the next.)  Yes, this was a typical response to lots of changes, to stepping up my game, but it caught me off guard and threw me far off-balance. I felt as if I were staggering everywhere I walked.

Eventually I stopped and took a great many deep breaths. Then I invited my inner gremlin to join me at a local coffee shop, pen and paper in hand, and I began to free write, letting Miss Patsy take turns when she had something to say. While Miss Patsy kept flinging words at the paper, like “imposter” and “too big for your britches”, I explored my present, where I have been, and where I want to go. And finally, my inner gremlin quieted. And so did I.

I re-affirmed that I am on the right path. This is indeed my journey. I will journey on my own timetable, but I will journey.

And as I squirmed in my seat and got myself comfortable, I settled into the changes. It felt just right.

I discovered new energy and creative determination, and yes, a lot of excitement and grand anticipation, as I take my next steps, one baby step at a time. Hope you will be joining me!

A Change and A Move

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

Blowing Seeds © 2012 Bo Mackison

“How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” ~ Elizabeth Lesser

I’ve been blogging on Seeded Earth since 2007.

I chose the name quickly one afternoon, as I was setting up my blog for the first time. That autumn most of the photographs I took were of landscapes, gardens, prairies, flowers, all growing things. Since these all had their beginning as seeds in the earth, I determined that Seeded Earth would be an appropriate name for my new blog.

Seeds are, indeed, good beginnings, and Seeded Earth took root and grew.

It began as Seeded Earth Photography, morphed into Seeded Earth Studios when I added new products and services, and eventually became my official, government approved, business name, Seeded Earth Studios LLC.

The name served me well as I embarked on the art fair circuit and traveled in the Midwest and Southwest, showing my macro-photographs of botanicals. It worked less well as I photographed fewer landscapes and more desert-scapes. And when I added stories about the arts and healing, and more personal writing, it lost even more of its cohesiveness.

While I still love the Seeded Earth moniker, it’s time to step up and re-christen my soon to be launched website Bo Mackison.

The seeded wonders and desert wonders will still be featured as I continue to post my photography, but I am expanding. I’ll be offering online photography workshops beginning in early 2014, and adding Desert Wisdom Workshops and Retreats later in the year.

Seeded Earth has grown, flowered, given fruit. Now the fruit’s seeds have burst from their container.

In a few days, my new website will be launching at Please join me soon in welcoming my newest venture (and adventure).

A New Beginning — Working with Cigdem

Purple Conelfower - Intimate Landscape

Purple Coneflower – Intimate Landscape ©2013 Bo Mackison

I love my evolving business. I am passionate about the changes. I am passionate about moving from one who seeks healing to one who offers a healing or self-discovery experience. I wake up every morning, excited by the work that is ahead of me for the day. I also get overwhelmed at the shear volume of what is ahead of me.

But if I’ve learned only one thing in the last 20 years, it’s to put effort into living every day, to not spend a lot of time making excuses that give me permission to quit, get sick, etc. because the never-ending excuse mill is what stops so many great projects. So I keep moving. Forward. Yes, with lots of questions and some fears but I know how to work through fear. You keep moving.   ~ Bo Mackison


Cigdem Kobu is a multi-dimensional business coach and creative woman, Her life’s mission is to work with quiet-loving, purposeful solopreneurs, helping them redesign sustainable, creative businesses so they can savor more joy and success in their lives while still being true to who they are.

When Cigdem asked if I would be interested in working with her on a restructure of my solopreneur business — from a photography-based platform to a business that encompasses my photography, love of nature, book-making, and a deep calling to share my products/services with other women on self discovery or healing journeys — I responded with a whole-hearted “yes”.

Not only is Cigdem offering me an intense program of business coaching and support over the next five months, but she will also be working with Vicky White from The Spacious Life. And for the first time, she will be openly documenting her specialized business coaching process, writing about our progress as we work on our individual businesses in weekly case studies on her blog.

This is truly a dream opportunity for me, an opportunity to work closely with Cigdem as I redesign my website, transition to a new business, develop new products and marketing practices, and make my business sustainably profitable. All this, while I develop a business that allows me the opportunity to be of service to fellow journeyers.

I know there’s a lot of work to be done, but this was not an opportunity to pass. I hope you will join Cigdem, Vicky and I as we work together.  You can follow and learn from every stage — as I learn, too! — beginning with the post that describes this creative business transformation journey.

Please join me on this exciting (and a bit scary) business adventure!


Bo Mackison is artist, photographer, book-maker, collector of stories, naturalist, poet, curator and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is embarking on a grand learning experience, and visualizing what her dream business will look like in six months time!






Library Turns into Garden – at Alicia Ashman Library

Hanging an Art Exhibit - "Garden Party - A Celebration of Botanical Photography" at Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison Public Library

Hanging an Art Exhibit © 2013 Bo Mackison

With a lot of help from family, I hung my art exhibit, Garden Party – A Celebration of Botanical Photography, at the Alicia Ashman Branch of the Madison Public Library today. There were 32 framed photographs and canvases to hang and we had four hours to get the job done.

All of my practice packing for and setting up my photography booth at dozens of different art fairs and festivals came in handy. I chose the 30+ pieces weeks ago, framed a couple of new prints and finished one last canvas, and then packed them in sturdy bins.

Hanging an Art Exhibit - "Garden Party - A Celebration of Botanical Photography" at Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison Public Library

Framed Prints All in a Row © 2013 Bo Mackison

Last week I completed a few smaller projects – creating title cards and revised price lists, and re-writing my artist statement and bio. I decided at the last-minute to include a quote with each photograph, much like I do when I post a photograph on this blog paired with a quotation.

Once I had all the photos in the library, I lined them along an entire wall. The patrons, occupied with their newspapers, magazines, and computers, took a break to admire the bright botanical photos and comment on the hard work of hanging a show. I assured them it was an easier job to hang thirty photographs in a well-lit, air-conditioned building compared to hanging a similar number in a 10′ by 10′ tent at an art festival.

Though admittedly, I spent most of the time figuring out where to hang the art and working out details with the hard-working library staff. My assistants did the hard part!

Hanging an Art Exhibit - "Garden Party - A Celebration of Botanical Photography" at Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison Public Library

Bright Flowers in the Children’s Library © 2013 Bo Mackison

We hung bright, bold flowers in the children’s library. One toddler, a curious two-year old, noticed the bee in the coneflower photo and showed his mother. Several eight year old girls watched me level the purple anemone photograph, Charlotte’s Anemone, and declared that purple was their favorite color. “That would go in my bedroom!” one of them declared.

I love that the children are already looking at and connecting with art on their level. What joy that is, what inspiration for those who create art.

Hanging an Art Exhibit - "Garden Party - A Celebration of Botanical Photography" at Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison Public Library

“Zen Garden” with the Garden Books © 2013 Bo Mackison

Zen Garden, one of my all time favorite photos on canvas, had to go in the gardening section. It seemed only right.

Hanging an Art Exhibit - "Garden Party - A Celebration of Botanical Photography" at Alicia Ashman Branch, Madison Public Library

Almost Ready for the Opening © 2013 Bo Mackison

By the time we had all of the art on the walls, the lights were flashing, signaling the close of the library. There was still a bit of leveling to do, and a few title cards to re-arrange, but the show is hung and ready for the official opening of the exhibit on July 1st.

Photo Exhibit Poster - Alicia Ashman Library

Garden Party Exhibit Information

Here are the details for visitors in the Madison, Wisconsin area: The art exhibit, Garden Party – A Celebration of Botanical Photography runs from July 1 through September 5 at the Alicia Ashman Branch Library Gallery, 733 North High Point Road on the far west side of Madison.

Enjoy the show!


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. Today she also spent several hours converting the local library into a flower garden.


Support Small Business Shopping? Visit Madison’s Holiday Art Fair!

Seeded Earth Studio Booth at Winter Art Festival

This weekend Sherpa and I will spend our weekend exhibiting my photography at the 41st Holiday Art Fair at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Overture Center. The show hours are:

41st Holiday Art Fair, Madison Wisconsin

November 18th – November 20th

Friday 2 pm to 8 pm    Saturday 10 am to 5 pm   Sunday 10 am to 3 pm

We’ll be in the Promenade Hall on the second floor. Booth 714.

This will be my last art show in the Midwest this season. As soon as I pack up the show on Sunday, I will head home and pack my car with the proper necessities for a trip to Arizona. As soon as the house sitter, cat sitter, and mail retrieval person arrives and gets situated, we head to Arizona.

For those of you in the Madison area who visit the art show this weekend, I am offering a 10% discount on any Seeded Earth Studio purchase over $100. Password required. Easy to remember, too.  The password is Arizona!


Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. When the Midwest art show season is over, Bo is heading to Arizona for a few weeks of warm weather photography and deep, philosophical discussions with the desert creatures. But she will not be hugging any saguaro cacti!