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Welcome to 100 Mandalas

Welcome to the Circle

Welcome to and the home of the 100 Mandalas Challenge & Community hosted by Kathryn Costa. If you are interested in drawing, coloring, or working with mandalas, then you’ve arrived at the right place!

Are you new to the 100 Mandalas Challenge?

You may want to start with these links:

Have fun exploring the many pages on this site. Each week there is something new to inspire your mandala practice. Don’t miss out! Subscribe to the weekly e-mail newsletter.

How to Rock Mandalafest

Mandalafest is coming very soon! This online event that I’m hosting celebrates the joys of creating and coloring mandalas with several contests and lots of prizes. Today’s post will give you lots of ideas for the “Mandala Your World” contest where you are encouraged to draw mandalas on found objects like pebbles and rocks.

There are so many ways to paint a mandala onto rocks…let’s explore some of those options.

[Note: I link to the products that I use in this post to Amazon. I’m an affiliate which means when you click through and purchase anything, I get a small kick back. Know that your purchases help me to buy art supplies which in turn I use to create tutorials and share inspiring blog posts like this one. Know that you don’t pay more for anything that you purchase by clicking on these links. I never link to a product that I haven’t tried myself.]


Paint Pens

I love using Uni-Posca paint pens that come in a variety of vibrant colors. Pictured above shows my steps where I started with drawing the basic shapes in pencil. I then filled in the shapes with color and then outlined in black. The final step is to add lots of little details. You’ll see that I ended up changing the colors of the inside petals and circle.

What I love about the Posca pens is that they are opaque. You can color over any color whether the first coat is dark or light. Here I thought the red looked flat and there wasn’t enough contrast with the orange. I painted over the orange with a light and dark color green and covered the red with purple. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t like the colors. Remember you can always paint over it!

Look more closely at the details of my mandala and you’ll see how I outlined the yellow triangles with orange and finished it with black spirals. The orange dots around the outside were covered over with the light green to connect it with the colors used inside the mandala.

I also love working with these paint pens because they are acrylic and dry fast. Working with a marker is also easier than painting with a paint brush.

The technique, colors, and style of my mandala stones are inspired by F. Sehnaz Bac and her book, “The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity.” Watch her video above to see examples of her colorful rock art. I really love her book and highly recommend it.


Here is another rock painted with the same technique.


Since this stone was darker, I started by painting a white circle using a heavy body acrylic paint. This ensured that the colors painted over it were nice a bright.


This is a mandala stone that I painted a couple of years ago using Posca paint pens. When you flip this rock over you’ll find another design…


…here a rose metallic marker was used along with a black Sharpie and white acrylic paint.


This lotus mandala stone is the perfect place for my Buddha to sit, don’t you think?


Jewel Drop Mandalas

Pictured above are jewel drop mandala stones by Elspeth McLean of Victoria, BC, Canada made by using acrylic paints and a very small paintbrush.

Meet Elspeth and learn about her lovely and thoughtful process for making these gorgeous jewel drop mandalas in the video above. Find Elspeth on her website, on Facebook, and on Etsy.

Here’s a tutorial that illustrates this dot painting technique.


Dip Pens & Ink

MagaMerlina (aka Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango) uses a dip pen and inks to draw her mandala pebbles.

Watch how MagaMerlina grows her mandala design.

Find tutorials and videos on MagaMerlina’s blog. You’ll also find her on Facebook and Etsy.


See also Maria’s book, Meditative Mandala Stones that is part of a kit that comes with 2 river stones, 4 metal calligraphy/drawing nibs with wooden holder.

PRIZE ALERT! I have two of these mandala kits that I’m giving away at Mandalafest! Scroll down to the bottom of the post to learn how you can win one!


Inspired by Maria’s book and kit, I tried using a calligraphy pen and inks to draw a mandala on a rock.

My river rock wasn’t circular so I started by painting a white circle in the center and surrounded it with a metallic bronze paint.

I pulled out a gorgeous ink set that my mother had given me as a gift many years ago and used the bordeaux, turquoise, and verde colored inks. I used Winsor & Newton black calligraphy ink to draw my design first then filled in with the color.

Here is a calligraphy set similar to the one that I have.


I found that I love the fine lines that you can draw with the calligraphy nib. I went back in with a white Posca pen to add some light details in some of the blue petals and I have to say, I definitely prefer the fine nibs that came in the mandala kit.


Acrylic Paint & Brushes

I painted my first mandala rock pictured above about seven years ago using acrylic paints (inexpensive craft paint) and a fine point brush. I started with drawing the spiral in the center and switched between different colors until the design finished as you see it. I added the dots by turning over the paint brush and using the end to dip into paint and tap it onto the rock.

I’ve seen beautiful mandala stones created using Sharpie pens and other ink markers. For more tips check out this post.

100+ Rock Mandalas on Pinterest

You’ll find lots of inspiration in my board here…



Now It’s Your Turn!

I have two copies of Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango’s, “Meditative Mandala Stones” kit to give away. The contest is part of the Mandalafest online event happening from April 22 – April 30, 2017. Enter your mandala pebbles for a chance to win!

Get the details here!

Spring Renewal Mini Retreat

May 13, 2017
11:00 AM4:00 PM
Lunch Included

White Swan Yoga Studio
1889 Elm St, Suite B
Manchester, NH 03104


A Day of Yoga, Art, Color, and Sound

Zen Buddhist Master, Soen Nakagawa said, “All beings are flowers blossoming in a blossoming universe.” With the coming of spring we are reminded of the cycles of nature and that it’s never too late to begin again. We are blessed with an array of color and surrounded by new life and beauty. The cold of winter fades away and the light of the sun grows stronger, giving us hope for the future. Spring is the perfect time to revisit intentions you might have set for yourself at the beginning of the year.

Join us on May 13, for a day of renewal and hope, as we examine the “seeds” of intentions we planted earlier in the year or as we “plant” new ones, exploring ways we, ourselves, can blossom.

Learn from mandala artist, Kathryn Costa how to create a Seed of Life Mandala. Rosie Latona, owner of White Swan Yoga Studio will guide you through a gentle, restorative yoga session followed by a color relaxation exercise. Our time together closes with Sandy Srivastava who will treat us to a sound bath with her beautiful singing bowls.

A colorful and nourishing “Rainbowl” from Milk and Honey Juicery + Cafe will be included (lunch options will be sent out after registration).

Return home with a completed work of art, an uplifting, essential oil blend, and feeling refreshed and renewed.

$80 includes lunch


Color Workshop

Are you like the chipmunk collecting lots of art supplies and saving them for a rainy day?

The rainy day has arrived…

I have a confession. I’ve been guilty of collecting art supplies, lots of them, and not using them. Beautiful tins of colored pencils, collections of watercolor markers, gel pens, Copics, TomBows, Winsor Newton, and Posca paint pens fill my home studio.

Do you have lots of art supplies that are going unused too? It’s time to dust them off and start playing.

Join me for a color workshop that I’m hosting in the Sharing Circle. Get inspired, learn new techniques, try out some different color combinations, and connect with mandala enthusiasts from all over the world.

Let’s play with color this season!

~ Kathryn Costa,
Host of Mandalafest, the 100 Mandalas Challenge, and the Sharing Circle, and author of “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art.”


Are you in a color rut, picking the same colors over and over again?

Do you feel overwhelmed by so many colors and feel stuck?

Would you like to learn new coloring techniques?

Ever wonder why there are so many different grays in many of the marker sets?*

In two weeks you’ll:

  • Boost your color confidence

  • Learn new coloring techniques

  • Energize your mandala practice with great color combinations


Week One: Technique – paper types, alcohol & water-based markers, paint pens, gel pens, and pencils.

Week Two: Creating Harmony – features great color combinations not covered in my book!

Course Starts: Sunday, May 28, 2017 runs until Saturday, June 10, 2017.

The Color Workshop is an online two week course open exclusively to members of the 100 Mandalas Sharing Circle. Enroll in the 2017 Sharing Circle and get the Color Workshop.

Join Now to receive a 20% discount. Offer Expires May 1, 2017


*PS – I’ll also show you why you’ll start collecting gray markers in this color workshop. Sounds crazy, I know!

I make really informative and inspiring videos…

If you liked my video on “How to Use Colored Pencils to Color Mandalas” then you’ll love this Color Workshop.

What are people saying about my art instruction videos?

“Your videos are fantastic! You have a very easy going and inviting way, and you share your knowledge so JOYFULLY. Thanks so much.” ~ Eileen Gavin Larsen

“This video is one of the best I have seen. Thanks so much.” ~ Bill Buffington

“EXCELLENT!! You teach well and I am grateful to have found you and your work. My student hat is now on!” ~ Rochelle Nardelli

“Thank you for your great techniques. They have taken my coloring to the next level in beauty and have added tons more fun!” ~ Jimmy Gallaway


Hi I’m Kathryn Costa. I love color and I think you’d agree it shows in my book, “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art.”

There was a time when I was really timid when it came to using color. In fact, I was down right afraid to use color. Most of my design work was done in black and white with “spot” color.

What changed? Deep inside, I wanted to have fun with color and to play with it. I started noticing color everywhere and I was inspired. With each creative project, I tried using different color combinations. Before I knew it, I was getting compliments again and again thanking me for adding gorgeous color to our world.

I love that adult coloring has grown in popularity. If you are rediscovering the joys of coloring and want some guidance. Check out my video above to preview my teaching style.

I hope you’ll be inspired to join me and my mandala family in the Sharing Circle. Your membership includes a member library filled with several coloring books to download, instruction on how to create your own mandalas, and lots of ideas. The best part is the support that you get from other mandala enthusiasts.


Mandalafest - Mandala Party


Mandalafest is an event to celebrate the joy of creating and coloring mandalas. Participants are encouraged to share their love for mandalas by hosting a mandala party for their friends and families. Gather with mandala enthusiasts from around the world online and enter in one or more of the five contests for a chance to win 20 prizes!

What is a mandala? Mandala is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates as “circle” or “center.” The circular designs often have shapes and colors repeating around the center. While mandalas have been around throughout the ages and in many cultures, they have reached a new popularity in coloring books.


Official Mandalafest Party Planner

Download the Party Planner: The party planner has all of the details that you’ll need for participating in Mandalafest including:

  • Schedule of Events
  • Contest Rules
  • Party Planning Worksheets
  • Coloring Pages

Be sure to download the Party Planner right away so you can get an early start on your contest entries.

Mark Your Calendar: April 22 – 30, 2017

Starting on April 22nd, post your contest entries on Facebook here:


Prizes & Sponsors

Be sure to visit our sponsors. We are so grateful for their support of Mandalafest!


Imagination International Incorporated

Imagination International Incorporated’s goal is to help our customers, as well as our community to thrive and flourish in tangible and meaningful ways! Over the years we have learned that creativity is precious. What makes us happiest is to see others discover the creativity within them.


PRIZES: (4) Zipper Pouches with four pens including Kirarina 2 win, atyou Spica Twinkling like stars!, and two Kirarina Winks. Colors vary in each prize pack.

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner


The Quarto Group

The Quarto Group (LSE: QRT) is the leading global illustrated book publisher and distribution group and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Our mission is to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of our readers, putting books in their hands, wherever, however and whenever they choose. Quarto creates more than 600 adult and children’s books a year. These books are sold into more than 45 countries and in more than 35 languages. Subjects range from Art ‘How-To’, Graphic Design, and Home Improvement, to Cooking, Gardening, Motoring, and Crafts. In fact, we cover any subject that can be better explained with photographs or illustrations. Put another way, we love making great books and we love selling lots of them to readers as passionate about our subjects as we are.


PRIZES: (2) Meditative Mandala Stones Kit by Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner


Robin Mead Designs

Robin is a mixed media, watercolor, acrylic artist and art journaler. Robin uses vibrant and bold colors to capture the joy in life. Her favorite subjects are depictions of nature, preferably the ocean, landscapes, flowers and birds. Robin believes that we all have a colorful source of imagination and joy.  Robin seeks to convey beauty, joy and a zest for life in her art.


PRIZE: (1) 12” x 12” handmade mixed media journal with assorted papers.

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner


Mandala Sparks

Draw unique mandalas with the help of inspiration cards. This deck of 52 cards represents more than a billion possible combinations to guide your mandala creation. Design your own one-of-a-kind mandala; our Sparks, your creations. A fun way to build a mandala and challenge the artist in you. Fun for both beginner and advanced artists. Designed by Tammy Murdock and Deborah Hall.


PRIZE: (1) Mandala Sparks Deck

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner


StencilGirl  Products

StencilGirl Products cuts stencils the old fashion way, one at a time right here in the USA. We are a family-owned business that includes Mary Beth, her husband John, and son-in-law, Frank. Today StencilGirl Products sells more than 900 stencils designed by a team of talented artists. Mary Beth is proud of her artist designers and insists they are paid appropriate and fair royalties every time one of their designs is sold.


PRIZES: (2) Set of four 6” x 6” stencils.

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner

Cassia Cogger

Cassia Cogger—artist, teacher and author of Creating Personal Mandalas—is inspired to create artworks, creative courses and experiences that allow individuals to enter into greater relationships with their surroundings, becoming present to that which is essential. As much as she is excited by color, shape, pattern and beauty, she is more excited by what the creative process reveals. Her work has been featured at the National Academy Museum of Design in NYC, in Watercolor Artist magazine as a rising star as well as in a host of other galleries and private collections. Download a Free Chapter of Cassia’s book at:


PRIZE: (2) “Creating Personal Mandalas” published by NorthLight Books

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner

And a special shout out to…

…two of our generous mandala family members


Gorgeous hand beaded pendant that features a different colored cabochon on each side: green and pink. The Oculus Pendant pattern is by Samantha Westcott and this treasure was beaded and donated by one of our Sharing Circle members, Susan Kolovson.

Get the details on how you can win this prize. Download the Party Planner


Steve Kozak for a mandala coloring book and $25 gift card.

Get the details on how you can win these prizes. Download the Party Planner


Kathryn Costa, host of Mandalafest offers these prizes:

Mandala Workshop at Yoga Balance

Creating Mandalas for Relaxation & Self Expression

Saturday, Apr 8, 2017
at 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Yoga Balance Studio
135 Hooksett Road, Manchester, NH

This workshop will be a fun opportunity to channel your inner artist! The workshop begins with an introduction to mandalas: the origins of the mandala; where mandalas show up in various cultures and in nature; and how mandalas are used as a practice for relaxation and self-expression. After centering with a short Gentle Yoga practice, we will learn how to construct a symmetrical grid as a basis for our designs, which we will then add shapes and patterns to create beautiful individual mandalas. We will finish with a closing ceremony to witness and honor everyone’s work.

No art or yoga experience required.

Beginners are encouraged to attend.

All materials and supplies are provided.

Fee: $45 per person; $40 before April 1.


Your Mandalas Tell a Story…Discover Yours

Did you know that the mandalas that you create have a story to tell?

The lines, shapes, symbols, colors, and arrangements in your mandala art reflects your unconscious at a particular moment in your life.

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words your feelings or what’s troubling you. The expressive arts is a way of creating a visual representation that aids you in unlocking those words. When those stories are unlocked, there’s a feeling of release and relief.

There are 12 psychological stages that we all go through in life.

In fact, we experience these stages over and over again. In this series called, “The Great Round,” we explore these stages by coloring, drawing, painting, collaging, and crafting mandalas. No art experience necessary.

What do those psychological stages look like?

Here are a few that you’ll recognize:

Milestones in Life: birth, adolescence, graduation, leaving home, marriage, parenting, caring for aging parents, retirement, etc.

Creativity Cycles: feeling creatively low versus highly productive and energized; unfocused versus focused periods

Life’s Challenges: Loss, grieving, falling apart, health issues

Embracing Something New: new projects, careers, relationships

You’re invited to take your mandala practice to the next level in 2017.

If you are curious about the meaning in your mandalas, you’ll find the Great Round Series fascinating. Be prepared for many “a-ha” moments as you make connections and glean meaningful insights with each mandala project.

Within the 100 Mandalas Community you have two options for exploring the Great Round Series:

Option 1: Join the Sharing Circle

The Sharing Circle is a private website for mandala enthusiasts. The Great Round Series is explored one stage per month with a summary and overview of the stage and several mandala projects to choose from. Members create and post their mandala art and reflections. Meaningful connections are made among members as they post comments and discuss the stages and mandala projects.

1-year membership is $60 (That’s only $5/month!); billed annually


Option 2: Join the Sharing Circle + VIP Lounge

Have you started exploring the Great Round and find it confusing? Are the stages all running together? Do you need help with understanding the connections between the stages and how they relate to your life?

In this new webinar lecture series, I guide you through each stage individually and how they relate to the other stages. You’ll get the bigger picture and see how it all relates more clearly to your life.

The webinar format is so fun! We meet up live. I’m on video camera, the lecture comes to life in a gorgeous slideshow presentation, and we chat. All sessions are recorded.

My favorite part is the Show & Tell! This is what makes this series different than the other online courses.

Participants get two optional assignments with each lecture. Six to eight examples of participants’ mandala art will kick off the webinar. It’s a great review of the stages and participants get feedback from the facilitator and other members.

This is an interactive and engaging course!

1-year membership for Sharing Circle + VIP Lounge is $120. (That’s only $10/month) billed annually.

Already a Sharing Circle member for 2017? Select the VIP Lounge add-on option. $60


New for 2017! The Goddess Within the Great Round Workshop

For VIP Lounge members only, a new workshop called “The Goddess Within the Great Round” explores the seven Greek Goddess archetypes. We take your study of the Great Round to an advance level in this unique one-of-a-kind online workshop.


In this workshop you’ll:

  • Meet the goddesses, learn their stories, their strengths and their wounds.
  • Recognize these classic archetypes in yourself and the women in your life.
  • Make connections between the Great Round Series and the goddess archetypes. You’ll learn which goddess archetype will best guide you through the different stages.
  • Discover your goddess archetypes and make your own personal goddess mandala shield.

susanjohnsonKathryn masterfully weaves the Greek Myths into your life and pairs it with the Great Round in a way that will give you now self-awareness. I enjoyed her connections between the goddesses and real life, her ability to connect the Greek goddesses and their natural role in the cycle of the Great Round, and her gorgeous mandala depictions of each goddess.

Let Kathryn lead you on a journey with the goddesses through the great round – you will savor the experience! ~Susan Paul Johnson, MBA, PhD Expressive Arts Facilitator,

VIP Lounge Webinar Schedule & Topics:

January – Introduction to the Great Round, Stage 1 and Stage 2
Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., EST (all sessions are recorded)

February – Stage 3 & Stage 4

March – Stage 5 & Stage 6

April – Stage 7 & Stage 8

May – Stage 9 & Stage 10

June – Stage 11 & Stage 12

July – Completing the Circle

August – No webinar

September – Goddess Within the Great Round

October – Mandalafest

November – Goddess Within the Great Round

December – No webinar


Kathryn CostaMeet Your Host

Meeting my “Goddesses Within”

When I first learned about the Greek Goddess archetypes five years ago, it opened up a whole new world to me. I learned a lot about myself, both my strengths and weaknesses. I also have a new perspective on the women in my life. So much so, that I feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation of them. It’s even helped me to navigate the workplace. The biggest takeaway has been the realization of how we can have different values, priorities, and tendencies – none of them better or less than, simply different. The VIP Lounge webinar series leading up to the workshop will give you a good solid foundation of the Great Round concepts before we add the Goddess Within layer. 


I’ve had the pleasure and honor to be mentored by Susanne Fincher, a leading authority in using mandalas for healing, insight, and self expression. She is the author of many books including “The Mandala Guidebook” that we use as a guide for studying the Great Round and “Creating Mandalas” an indispensable resource for understanding the meanings in our mandalas.

I completed Susanne Fincher’s Mandala Certificate Program in June 2016. This program included two weeks of intensive study of the Great Round. I have to tell you it was exciting to listen to Susanne’s lectures, ask her questions, and create mandala projects along side others dedicated to this fascinating study.

I presented “The Goddess Within the Great Round” in June 2016 for the completion of the certificate program. I received invaluable feedback and insights from Susanne Fincher and Marilyn Clarke who are well versed in Greek mythology and these Greek goddess archetypes. At this training, I met three mandala experts from Brazil who studied the Greek goddesses archetypes directly with Roger Woolger author of “The Goddess Within.” It was exciting to make connections and get expert feedback on what I’ve developed for you.

Let’s explore our mandala stories together in 2017

~ Kathryn Costa, Workshop Facilitator
Author of “The Mandala Guidebook” and Host of the 100 Mandalas Challenge


Blessings Jar

I was a single mother for many years. My son and I had a nightly routine that began with four familiar words, “It’s time for bed.” As soon as I would begin to utter this announcement, we’d race headlong to my bed. The first person to get there would exclaim, “Name three things that made you happy today.” We’d take turns recounting good things from our day but the last person to get there had to go first. Here’s what we discovered:

  • We started looking for good things in our day. We knew we were going to report on it later in the day, so we collected good things to bring back home.
  • We noticed patterns in our expressions of gratitude. Often they involved connecting with other people, accomplishing a goal, finishing a project, or learning something new.
  • The blessings were not always big things, but were more often something really small like smiling and being kind to a store clerk and noticing how it would brighten their day or the smell of coffee and the warm feeling of drinking it on a cold morning.

Our nightly routine opened a door for discovering not only the types of things that made us happy, but it was a time to discuss what was happening in our days, how we were feeling, and what was important to us. It became a teachable moment to reflect on these “gratitudes” and make connections with our values, ideals, and faith.

Make Your Own Blessing Jar

Today’s prayerful project is based on the newest gratitude practice in my household. A jar sits on the kitchen table with strips of paper and a pen alongside it. Family members are invited to record unexpected surprises and blessings onto the paper strips and tuck it into the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we empty out the jar, read the messages, and remember the many blessings from the year. It’s a wonderful way to close one year and begin a new one. And, it’s a simple way to remember and celebrate as a family.


Dream Wheel 2016

For over 12 years now, I’ve started my year by creating a “vision board” where I cut up images and words that reflect my hopes, wishes, and dreams for the year. In recent years, my vision boards are 18″ circles cut out of cardboard and I call them “dream wheels.” Pictured above is the dream wheel that I created 2016.


Blessings Wheel 2016

After my husband and I read through our blessing jar slips we were not sure what to do with them. A few days later, a friend on Facebook tagged me on a photo of a mandala that she had created where she wrote her blessings in a spiral. As soon as I saw it I knew, “That’s it!”

Working off this idea, I pulled out my Dream Wheel from the year and turned it over. I started by drawing a heart in the center and spiraling a large path. My husband and I recorded a lot of blessings so I started by writing small and hugging the line. I then made another pass around the spiral only this time writing the letters to fill the space. Amazingly all of the blessings fit in my mandala perfectly!

It was fun to make some connections between the two sides, between what I hoped for and what happened. For example, shortly after my book was published a friend went to Kripalu for a weekend program and took my book with her. She snapped a photo of my book with Kripalu’s main building in the background. She sent it to me with a note that she could see me teaching mandala workshops there. What is amazing is that I had first learned about Kripalu back in the late 80’s and have wanted to go there, but time and money were often barriers until one day I had forgotten this dream. I printed my friend’s photo and added it to my dream wheel.


Six months later, I finally had my first Kripalu experience. I wanted to see for myself if teaching mandalas there would be a good fit for me. Within two days of returning home, I pulled together a program proposal and sent it off. Will my dream of teaching mandala workshops at Kripalu become a reality? I don’t know, but what I do know is that my dream wheel helped me to “see” my dream and remember it. Keeping this goal top of mind led to taking the next step, writing the proposal.

Writing out the blessings also helped me to recognize some patterns of things that are important to me. The two that jump out the most from 2016 are family and community. My husband and I cherish the times we had with our sons and every opportunity to connect with them. Secondly, what I loved this year, even more than publishing my first book, was how close the 100 Mandalas Community has grown since I opened up the new private members website. The learning, sharing, and friendships that happen in our Sharing Circle is priceless.

If the Blessings Jar and Dream Wheel projects interest you, check out my upcoming online Mandala Retreat. The Dream Wheel is one of several projects that we create that help us to remember our dreams and tap into our deepest desires for the year. This course also covers how to create your own nourishing personal retreats. LEARN MORE

Thank you Sandra MacPherson for the idea to record my blessings in a mandala. Brilliant idea!

Thank you Melissa Martin for helping me to remember my Kripalu dream!


Visit to print up a label to color and add to your jar. The download also includes other ideas and projects for your gratitude practice.

The “Blessings Jar” article is from my Prayerful Projects column for Parable Magazine.

Solstice Mandala Calendar

21 artists from around the world submitted mandalas for this Community Mandala project. It is a count down calendar to the Solstice. Each day starting on December 1st and finishing on December 21st a different mandala is featured.


When I was a child I loved my Advent Calendars that counted down to Christmas. Each day I would eagerly await to see what the next picture would be. There were some years when my brother and I would get those cardboard calendars with the little chocolates behind each window. My brother would invariably gobble up all of his chocolates by day three while I was patient and would enjoy the little treat each day. Inspired by this fun memory, I designed a countdown calendar only in this case we are counting down 21 days to the Solstice.

This mandala project is about creating something beautiful as a community that will light up and inspire all who see it. As we create mandalas during this Solstice season, may we recognize the light within ourselves and the light in each other.


As you can see some assembly is required. I’ve designed the numbers and mandala tags for you to print. All you’ll need is some paper, scissors, a glue stick and ribbon. I used three different scrapbook papers for the tags, white paper for the numbers and the title graphic and two pieces of 12×12 scrapbook paper for the background.


Here is a peak at day 8, Patricia Mosca’s mandala. Isn’t it beautiful?


I went with a silver and white theme. You can choose ANY color you like for your calendar. I designed the mandala for the title so you can color it in to match the colors you use in your calendar.

This Solstice Mandala Calendar is a FREE gift from me to you. Feel free to print and make this calendar for your friends and family. Pass the link on to others. Share photos about it and help us to spread the word about the calendar and The Solstice Mandala Calendar is for personal use only. I do ask that you don’t sell this calendar or change the file in any way. Each artist retains the copyright of their mandala art. The Solstice Mandala Calendar is the copyright of Kathryn Costa.

Look at what Sandy Moore did with the Solstice Calendar.



Help us to spread the word about this calendar and

1. Assemble a calendar and post photos to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, your blog or website.

2. E-mail your friends.

3. Share the Facebook posts from

4. Make a calendar for a friend!

5. Do you have a great idea of how we can get this calendar out into the world? Let me know! Send your cool ideas to


It’s Your Turn

A Gratitude Mandala Exercise for Those Challenging Times

It is easy to count our blessings when everything is sunny and cheery, when the kids are behaving, and the bank account is flush. We need our gratitude practice the most during challenging times. In this exercise, think about an area in your life where you are struggling. Maybe you are having a difficult time at work or with a specific person? As you work on this mandala design, think of eight things you are grateful for about this challenging situation or person. When you are done, I guarantee you’ll feel a greater appreciation for the situation, and you’ll have had fun making this mandala.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Step 1: To create this mandala, I drew two circles and divided the outer ring into eight equal segments using a protractor and ruler. (45 degree increments)

Step 2: Fill each segment with doodled patterns using a black fine liner pen. Be sure to leave spaces for writing words and short phrases.

Step 3: Fill the shapes using bright juicy colors. Color has a way of lifting our moods. In the example above I used extra-fine point Sharpies.

Step 4: Think about a challenging situation you are experiencing in your life and record one thing you appreciate or feel gratitude about in each of the eight sections that you just colored. It helps to journal these words after applying the color so the words don’t bleed. In my example, I’m reflecting on what I’m grateful for in my day job. Some days I grow really weary trying to keep up with my creative projects. I’d rather play than work! You’ll see in each segment all of the things I’m grateful for that the day job brings: great people, lots of laughter, my own little office (not a cubicle), a steady income, using my skills, etc.

Step 5: At the center of the mandala fill with color and an inspiring quote. Here I chose the words, “Bloom where you are planted.”

Visual Reminders:

I have this mandala hanging up next to my desk. Any time I’m feeling stressed, overworked or frustrated, I look at the colorful patterns and read the little messages. It really helps me to turn my mood around, and remind me of all the good things surrounding me.

This mandala exercise is one of many projects found in my book, “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint and Color Expressive Mandala Art.”

If you enjoyed this prompt, you’ll love my upcoming online Mandala Retreat in January: The Inspired Year Mandala Retreat

DIY Gifts to Lift the Spirit

This last year I had been contributing mandala art for the Heart to Heart column in Parable Magazine. When the editor of the magazine saw my book, “The Mandala Guidebook” she approached me about contributing a project for a new column.


I came up with the name “Prayerful Projects” for the column to tie in with Mae Edwards’ new focus for her Heart to Heart column about making time for one self in the form of a personal retreat. Pictured above you can see the layout and how our columns face each other.

The first project in this series is a journal project designed for the non-artist who wants to create a special place to record their thoughts, ideas, inspirational quotes, and prayers.

A plain notebook is transformed into a lovely space with the addition of a mandala colored, cut out and glued on the cover.

My mandala practice – creating and coloring mandalas – as well as journal writing offer me a quiet time to relax, reflect, and renew.

In this weary world, we need more places of refuge. May this new series offer you projects to lift your spirit.



Watch me on Facebook in this video where I talk about this project and show you the journals.

When each issue of Parable is published, I’ll jump on Facebook for some Show & Tell. We can chat about these projects and you can ask me questions and share your ideas. Subscribe to my e-mail newsletter to not miss these live videos. You’ll get a mandala coloring book when you subscribe!

Gift Idea!

These journals would make a lovely gift for Christmas, birthdays, get well, or for any friend going through a transition and could use a place to capture their thoughts and feelings. Pair the journal with a book and pen to suit the occasion.

The mandala is a universal symbol that represents wholeness and connection. The mandala decorated journal makes a great gift for anyone of any faith tradition.

Show Notes from the Facebook Video

Read November/December issue of Parable Magazine.

Download the mandala art featured in this project. Visit

Moleskin journals come in a variety of sizes and colors. Order the journals on Amazon.

My favorite daily reader is “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo

I talked about what I’m offering in 2017. Here are some related links:

  • Inspired Year Mandala Retreat – This two week, online experience will start your year off inspired! Creating personal retreats, learning the power of intention and attention, and discerning our deepest wishes for the new year are explored through videos and projects. No art experience required.
  • The Great Round Series – This lecture series will guide you through a fascinating process of discovering your mandala stories.
  • Sharing Circle – Private website for members of the 100 Mandalas Community.