Dec 10, 2011

blog repair

All is fixed and I decided to change the background AGAIN! Winter is officially here as it snowed yesterday. Barely a dusting, yet everyone forgot how to drive! Of course my kids are wanting LOTS of snow. They are ready to go sledding!

Just participated in a holiday shopping event and did really well! I was thrilled by the positive response. Everyone loved my girls and felt my work touched them in some way. Additionally, I am excited because two local shops will be carrying my work. I have to get a move on and make a few more pieces so there is enough of a selection when I bring in the pieces on Wednesday.

I SO want to go away, take a bunch of classes, be around like minded people and get inspired! Now that it is so yucky outside, I will be inside a lot. However, I love learning and exploring new mediums and ideas and am feeling a little isolated not being able to have some fun! I'm still kind of stuck having to take online classes as I don't have anyone to come stay with my kids while I'm gone. My husband works a ton and they aren't old enough to leave alone. One day! I know..... one day. I have found one online drawing class that sounds good. Anyone find anything they definitely will be signing up to take?

Dec 8, 2011

Problem with the blog! Trying to fix it. So complicated!!!

Dec 7, 2011

Black Gesso

Played around with black gesso, Caran d'ache neocolors and Stabilo pencils. I usually don't use black gesso but since it was part of Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's class, I thought I'd give it a whirl. You see, I can't stand the texture! When I rub it, or write on it, it feels like someone dragging their nails down a chalkboard. I do like the overall effect though as the white really is white! I had fun doodling and writing here.

I'm looking for a new fantastic online class. Anyone come across anything???

Nov 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!
We had a feast for sure and enjoyed it all with our amazing friends. So thankful for our fantastic children, health, security, family and wonderful friends. Will smoked the turkey on the grill rotisserie all day and it was deeeeelish! I tell you ..... there is no better way to cook a turkey. I was in the kitchen all day making desserts and everything else. I tried mac and cheese muffins and they were yummy! The kids loved them.
No time for art today, but the kids that were over tonight are ready for me to teach them about art journaling. My test class will run over winter vacation. The time is NOW!

Nov 22, 2011

I am coming to the end of this journal. It spans the last half of the year. In my next journal, I want to try journaling more regularly and making sure I put the date somewhere.

It's interesting that I'm finding it challenging to finish off the last three pages. I can't figure out the issue here. I mean, seriously! I've come all this way and am getting stuck at the end. The pages are prepped and I have some images taped down but I just don't know where to go. Has this happened to you at the end of a journal? How do you push through?

Nov 16, 2011

30 Days in Your Journal

I am having fun with Julie Fei-Fan Belzer's 30 Days in Your Journal. Her videos are great! Quick and good ideas to get you going. Now I just need to find more time. This is definitely a theme of mine. Why is it there never is enough time????

Nov 15, 2011

Art Play

Last Wed. I invited my girlfriends Marissa & Kathy over for a day of art play. We each got into our groove and had a great time creating in our journals. I think we are going to try to make it a regular thing!
Still trying to figure out how to set up the journaling classes I'm hoping to start teaching out of the house. I'm anxious about it. Will it be sustainable? Will people want to learn?

Nov 2, 2011

Now that my son's football season is over, I'm hoping to really have more time to paint and play. I volunteered to be picture mom and capture great shots of the team at every game. As it started to get cold, my husband volunteered to take over being the team photographer! I have spent a ridiculous amount of time putting together a slideshow for each player so they will remember their fantastic season. The team was undefeated 8-0 and the party is this Sunday. I still have to burn the DVDs!!

Last week, school pictures came home and I was SO happy that both of my kids looked great!
Last year, my son's picture was SO HORRIBLE I burst out laughing which made him very upset. I just couldn't help it. The picture was THAT BAD. These pictures are fantastic and both of my kids look fabulous. Their smiles say it all.
The background was inspired by Donna Downey. Love the layers!

Oct 31, 2011


Happy Halloween! Kids and friends are going trick-or-treating after school today. This year ......
Mad Scientist and Pinky - from PacMan!

Hope to find time to finish my journal! I'm at the end and it's time to make a new book.

Happy Halloween everyone! What is your favorite candy? I love it all but am trying to be good this year. We'll will see.

Oct 30, 2011


I created this spread a few weeks ago and I really like the colors and distressed effect I created. I really need to start keeping notes of what I do because I can't remember. Then, someone asks me what I did and I have no clue! Maybe I'll create a journal just for demo-ing different ideas and writing down my steps. How do you keep track of your experiments?
(the face and body are from Teesha Moore and the arms are tape by Cavallini.
"squeeze the day" is from a Boden catalog)

Oct 19, 2011


I've been playing around with my Copic markers and trying to get down the shading. It is trickier than I thought! I think it would help if I had more variation in the same color families. I've been using the Bristol smooth paper which I think is perfect for these markers. They leak through, but I kind of like how it looks on the back! So many yummy colors to choose from. Dick Blick is having a sale this weekend! Guess where I'll be??
Such a great quote from Steve Jobs. What a visionary! He changed the course of this world.

Sep 18, 2011

New Toys

I was at Michael's the other day and came across the Martha Stewart section. She has half of one side dedicated to all of her new paints, brushes, stencils, etc. I fell in love with the paint colors and had to buy a few.
Then I saw these fantastic brushes that create some cool designs. I was going to cut some of my brushes apart before I found these!

I played around when I got home in this journal I recently made in Teresa McFayden's class
Found & Bound. It was lots of fun and gave me some new (needed) inspiration!

Have you recently discovered anything new that has sparked your art?

Sep 7, 2011


So life has returned to a routine, activities have begun as has my life as a driver. Things were clicking along and I was hoping that once I finished what I needed to do, I'd have a chance to really get back into creating.
Life had other plans in store. We just found out last week my mom has lymphoma. I am the only one who lives close. Close is 1-1.5 hr. drive each direction. My brother and sister live out of state and we have been trying to coordinate how to best care for her and manage what is to come. She begins chemo tomorrow. The live-in caregiver we hired will be with her 24hrs. as I just can't drive back and forth on the tollway every day and care for my kids, myself, my husband and have my life.
I have been finding myself in my studio once everyone is asleep, sitting on the floor wanting to do something. Paint. Draw. Cut. Paste. Doodle. Anything. Something. Time just seems to escape and my days are filled with life. Some good. Some bad. I still haven't found the best way to manage it and allow myself to truly fall into the zone I so crave when in my art room. How do you do it? How do you let it all go?

I recently made my girlfriend Marissa her own visual journal. She is an amazing artist who does beautiful things with oil paints. Her work is stunning! We both always talk about how tight we are with our artwork in wanting things to be perfect. Look real. Look a certain way. I have been telling her how much my discovery of visual journaling has helped me loosen up and allow the mistakes, the fluidity and even the mess. I have found that making my own journals has allowed me the room for error. I constantly remind the kids I teach that the beauty of making things by hand is that they are not perfect. If you want perfection, buy something that was made by a machine. I am loving the new stitches I learned from Mary Ann Moss and so want to continue to learn new ways to bind books. For now, I love the guerrilla approach!

Aug 4, 2011


My husband bought me a new camera for my birthday! It is the real deal people. It is a Nikon and I am a little intimidated by all of the buttons. I have been playing around with it a little and just figured out how to get the pictures uploaded into iPhoto. There is much to learn! I'm hoping to find a class once school starts. All of these pics were taken by me using my big girl camera!
Maxim decided to smile for me tonight! Check out his teeth. March will be 4 years ago that we
saved him from life in a puppy mill. Max is the BEST boy!!!!

New journal page using some images from my workshop with Ingrid Dijkers. Even when I try to
do grunge, the bright colors still appear!

I loved this octopus and the pipes from the workshop. A little more grungy here I think.

I love how this page turned out! I did so many layers and got some textured circles with gesso and an empty pill bottle. I really enjoyed collaging the zebra's body with images I found in a magazine. I finger painted cream craft paint over and around the zebra to mute the colors. I haven't yet figured out what else I will do here. Maybe nothing! Maybe some doodling!

Speaking of doodles.......... here is my Oodles of Doodles journal. I am taking an online visual journal workshop with Dawn DeVries Sokol. I'm loving this workshop and feel my doodling mojo coming back. I LOVED making the journal out of a Snackwell's box, various paper and tape. Check out the Hello Kitty duct tape I found at Target!

Here are some of my doodles. I am behind schedule! Life just keeps getting in the way.

Dawn provides great prompts and examples. This class is fun! Can't wait to make more journals. So easy and I love repurposing the boxes. My daughter is dying to make one too!

Back cover. I also want to get some of the new Kraft Brown paper by Stonehenge. I think I like working on that color. Anyone used it yet?

Jul 22, 2011

Long time

It has been ridiculously long since my last post. I have been up north so my kids could go to day camp. They had THE BEST time ever and the temporary relocation was definitely worth it. I got the chance to spend lots of time with my girlfriends I had to leave when we moved out here. It made me miss them terribly! As great as it is to go away, it is always nice to come home. I missed my bed, my house, my new friends and my stuff. I didn't bring anything with me. It was just too difficult. So I haven't gotten a chance to play in forever!

Before I left, I signed up for MaryAnn Moss's Full Tilt Boogie class. She seriously is full of major creativity, inspiration and helps you look at things differently. If you are looking for a fun class that teaches bookmaking and visual journaling, check it out! I definitely recommend it. Here are 2 practice books I stitched together. I love the stitch and the fact the stitches are exposed. My daughter and her girlfriend took them as their new journals. My daughter already decorated her covers!

When we got home last week, I had some time to play and this is what I created. It's ok. I really want to buy a Japanese Screw Punch as I'm not loving how the awl pokes the holes. They just aren't real smooth. I've heard the Screw Punch is a million times better. I'm also not in love with the covers. Just a little boring for me, so I think I will leave it until I figure out what to do with them. Like usual, I love the process of making my own book. More are to come!!

Jun 12, 2011

Summer art wardrobe

My kids finished school last week. I now have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader which I find to be crazy! Last Wed. we were at the pool sweating and having fun in the 100 degree heat. By Thurs. the temperature dropped 50 degrees! Only in the midwest does this happen.
I have been wanting to play in my art room with my new paints and papers, but I haven't had any time or sparks of creativity lately. I feel torn! To try to get inspiration, I have been looking through blogs and every now and then I check out Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team. I love her Crusades and have wanted to participate. I took the challenge as this one, No. 52, spoke to me.
I looked through some of my journals to see if I change my summer art wardrobe. Interesting thought! What is in my head rarely comes out on my pages. You see, I LOVE the dingy and distressed look of old. I love the pale colors that remind me of time gone by. The softness grabs me and I think how soft and how much history must be there! But, then I get going and what shows up?

Almost all of my pages are filled with bright color! I enjoy the combinations I come up with and believe it or not, there are times when something more dark emerges. I usually end up continuing with the layers because in my head, I think it looks like mud. See what I mean here?? It's too dark and dingy for me.
I didn't Gesso over this page. I worked with it, incorporating a dog and some other images from a collage sheet from Teesha Moore. I will admit it. I don't really like the page. I think it all works well together, it just is lacking some ooomph for me!

These are representative what seems to just seep out naturally!

I find it a little more challenging to create in the summer because after so many LOOOOOOOONG months of cold and snow, I feel I need to be outside every chance I get. I don't really enjoy lugging everything I want to use up from the basement and outside. It is crazy windy here in the plains. It's super hot as we don't have any shade in our backyard. Then I have to lug everything back down to my room and put it all away. It's just too much effort when I really want to be outside enjoying the sun, my kids and the pool. On top of it, my daughter insists my markers are better than hers and she just HAS to use mine! I know how to share, but sometimes I just want to be selfish with my stuff and enjoy my hoard! Is that bad?!?!?!?