Tools & Talismans #92 — Maggie Oman Shannon

Some of my tools and talismans as a congregational minister/author are: Unity's "Daily Word," prayer beads blessed by the Dalai Lama, a Wonder Woman flash drive, a Jesus action figure, a Saraswati figurine, beaded dragonfly, mermaid mints, glitter minister stone (made by Mary Anne Radmacher), "All things are possible" stone, heart collage paperweight that I made.

— Maggie Oman is a minister at Unity Church in San Francisco and a writer and artist.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #91 — Kerstin Martin

As a web designer, blogger and Mac girl I spend a large part of my days with technology. My Apple mouse and iPhone probably see most of the action and even though I am old enough to remember life before the internet I have fallen hard for the way we communicate and connect in the 21st century. I grew up with star trek and little did I know back then that those wireless communicators would become reality in my lifetime! The iPhone is my most treasured tech device and I mainly use it to take photos and feed my social media addiction. I recently got a loopy case for it and I love it, now I can carry it more securely and quite literally be attached to it.

Despite my love for technology I could not be without my journals, I love Leuchtturm and Rhodia, this is where I write my morning pages, to do lists and brainstorm ideas using colorful washi tape and my favorite pen. The latter is a cheap and cheerful marketing pen from my mother’s former employer, a radio station in Cologne, Germany. My mom passed away unexpectedly last November and I wish I had taken more of these pens when we cleared out her apartment, she had a whole drawer full of them but I only took a couple. They write great and I keep one with me in my purse. The chestnut also belonged to my mom, she used to keep them in her coat pockets for good luck and now I do the same. I miss her very much and have kept many of her things, they give me a lot of comfort.

My Nespresso coffee is my morning staple and I also have a thing for coffee mugs, something else I shared with my mom. I got this mug during a road trip with my husband, it is from Crate & Barrel and I love how it sits in my hands and it reminds me of the wonderful day we had in Portland. Last but not least, my Gucci glasses! I am not really a designer kind of girl but I love Gucci frames and this is my favorite of all. My eyesight has gotten very bad over the years and my glasses are probably my most essential tool for everyday life!

Kerstin Martin is a Blogger and Squarespace Web Designer.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #90 — Jonatha Brooke

The guitar, wurlitzer, mandolin, and kalimba are central to my everything. Songs are how I navigate and make sense of the world. And then there's Mom. Central in her own way. At the time I took the picture, I was in the middle of developing my one woman show My Mother Has 4 Noses.

I’ve just finished a new record. Same tools. And although she’s gone, Mom is ever a presence. Light Years is the third song on the new record. The last line of the chorus is: “You give me wings when I have no strength remaining, though you’re light years away.”

The elephant is my reminder of the constancy and love of my tribe. Of Swirly who painted it, and my gaggle of forever friends that hold each other close even from the farthest reaches of the country.

The prayer rug I keep with an ironic attachment. Many of my new songs spitball at "God." And yet, I treasure symbols, I am superstitious, I need worry touchstones, just in case...

Jonatha Brooke is a songer-songwriter,


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #89 — Kelly Angelovic

As soon as I wake up in the morning, I put my headphones in and meditate to help me center in and find gratitude for the day ahead. I light my candle when I want to send thoughts to another, or ask for guidance and support of my own. After I get dressed, I dab on a few drops of my favorite essential oil ('Joy' by Young Living) with the intention of finding said joy no matter what lies ahead.

My small Pantone notebook (I love color!) comes with me just about everywhere and is filled with sketches and ideas. The brightly hued pouch was a gift from a friend travelling abroad and holds various black/gray drawing accoutrements: pencils, erasers, Staedtler and Copic pens, a calligraphy dip pen and some sharpies (I don't usually add color to my illustrations until they've been digitized).

I use my laptop and my phone more than just about anything. Whether I'm illustrating, emailing, perusing social media, or getting a recipe for dinner, technology has become something I have grown dependent on (for better or worse). The crystals are amethyst and citrine and I carry them in my purse. Amethyst promotes balance, peace, and patience. Citrine is helpful with negative energy, clarity and abundance. Very woo woo. The sunglasses go just about everywhere with me as well — I live in Boulder and regardless of the season, the sun is almost always shining.

What's missing in this collection is something that represents my family. Our household includes my husband, my daughter (5), my son (2), and our dog Granite (a 16-year-old lab mix). My determination to do work I am passionate about is largely driven by the desire to teach my kids that it's possible to go after your dreams and succeed.

Kelly Angelovic is an illustrator and graphic designer and she has her own line of stationery.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!

Tools & Talismans #88 — Luisa Fernanda Niño

I consider Oscar Wilde a talisman, he was an elegant rebel. I find inspiration in every word he ever wrote or said. I love to draw him too! I look through that book for quotes and atmosphere and my little tin is to keep my pen nibs.

My lavender bottle is 10 years old. It's super potent. I have trouble sleeping but one squish of this thing and even if I don't sleep, at least it diminishes my anxious thoughts.

For work I can't live without my watercolor set, which is a White Nights set.  I find these artist grade paints very acceptable and my Roubloff brushes both made in Russia. My favorite paper is Fabriano Artistico, especially for my watercolor textures.

My ceramic skull is to remind me about Mexico, my home country and my favorite national holiday, The Day of the Dead. When you want to see an explosion of color this day is when it happens. My little fourr-tout, it works as a make-up bag and I keep it with me for extra pencils and pens. It's made of vinyl also from Mexico. These colorful designs were used as tablecloths in cheap restaurants throughout Mexico, now they make bags and other useful things.

My notebook, rustic and handcrafted. This is for journalling with a dip pen. I slow down my thoughts by holding this notebook open and dipping my pen in ink instead of typing on my keyboard at lightning speed.

Luisa Fernanda Niño, Illustrator


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

Would you like to have your very own Tools & Talismans painting to inspire, support and remind you of all the things that make you “you”, as you go about your days, grow your business and create your life? Get in touch so we can talk, I'd love to hear from you!