ten things


1. Happy to stumble across these words. I stamped them and cut them out long ago. Probably for a project of some sort. I am not sure why I didn't use them or what became of the project, but the words have followed me around the studio for a long time. They are a great reminder of all the good things that can come from believing in art and yourself.


2. Feeling so lucky that I was able to teach such a fun art journaling workshop to so many sweet women this past weekend. Not only did we create awesome art journals together, we had the opportunity to talk and visit all afternoon. It was a pleasure getting some face time with each and every one of these amazing ladies! Thank you all for a wonderful time! 


3. Testing out some new paint brushes. I never buy super expensive ones, at least not for the everyday stuff. I am not very kind to my brushes. I know I shouldn't admit this, but sadly, it is the truth. I walk away and leave them in water for way too long for one thing. Recently I replaced a few of the worst and I am liking them so far!


4. Blessed to sit and listen to her play. Day after day there are new reasons to practice longer, practice harder. There are days she just wants to skip it, I can tell, but she stays motivated and focused and keeps her little self playing. She auditioned for an All County Seat again and happily earned one. Just one of her many accomplishments so far this year.


5. Painting up some dowels so I can hang some new wall art. I love my little  imperfect weavings. My collection is slowly growing and hangs like a colorful garden on my stairwell wall. Seeing all that yummy color and texture makes me happy. I like to tape off sections of the dowel and paint around them. Then I come back and fill in the taped areas with more color. The result is a beautiful striped bar. I love them.  


6. Playing around my some bright colors and that abstract feel. I make no claim to what abstract art should be, but I am enjoying getting messy and making art that is full of basic shapes and bold, wide open spaces of color. It is new to me and that makes it all the more fun. I am learning to think less and just do it. It is just fun to try new things. 


7. Thinking this little peanut enjoyed her first day at the fair! Her little senses were on overload. She was amazed at all the lights once the sun started to go down and those little legs of hers never stopped moving. Everything made her squeal with delight. Something I have seen or done a thousand times is pure and new to her. Her expressions are priceless right now.


8. Enjoying the weather this past week. Warm enough to have the doors and windows open but not that dreadful heat that will be upon us soon. Even the few days that brought rain were sweet in their own way, greening up everything in sight and helping dozens of blooms opens on my azalea bushes. Spring is definitely in the air and I think I am ready for it.


9. Learning that layers make me happy. During the month of February, The Documented Life Project encouraged us to layer layer layer. I couldn't be happier in art journaling than when I am working with lots of layers. You can see a video process for this layout here. Read more about the project here


10. Playing around with hand carved stamps. I made this one while working on Doodle & Carve with my fellow artist Sandi. I love using it for journaling. I like the way the skinny lines of the pen contrast with the thick lines of the stamp. It is a fun way to get some words down on paper! If you haven't tried carving yet, you will be hooked! 

for the love of layers

 I consider any addition to my journal page a "layer." I am not sure how others define it, when it comes to their art, but for me the entire process of adding to a piece is a layering effect. I love to watch the page build upon itself, until finishing with a colorful, texturized art page. This week I am sharing a quick video on my stop and start process. Watch as I build layers on the fly and then give me a high five if you love layering!

Here are some of the layers I used in this week's challenge. I consider them my "go-to" building blocks when I am creating an art journal page. My five favorites and worth repeating. 

February Theme
Layers You Will Love!
February 28
Art Challenge:  Using at Least Five Layers
Journal Prompt:  Give Me a  High Five



Enjoy this week's challenge and I can't wait to see what you create!

You can find us HERE: The Art to the 5th Academy and on Instagram: #documentedlife  

Our Blogs: Lorraine BellRoben-MarieSandi Keene

just a few seats left in juxtaposed journal


I am so excited to be teaching locally this weekend and there are just a few seats left! I am looking forward to the chance to meet some of you and make art together! If you would like to join me in creating a really cool reconstructed journal like this one, then hop over HERE and read all the details on how to sign up! 


15 minutes of mixed media©

What did I tell you? I gave myself permission to create and take photos, but here I am with a video anyway! This week I have been playing around with some really fast, not really thinking about it, abstract stuff. Oh, and practicing a few sketches with my non-dominant  hand. Believe it or not, it is easier for me than trying with my "real" hand. 

I grabbed a very few supplies this week, focusing more on creating chunks of color that I could layer up together. Once I made the decision to let my face float on the page, I was able to get past grounding it and move onto making all those marks that I love so much.


ten things

1.  Making time for art with this little peanut.

She is learning the process and enjoying the responsibility- the process of taking turns with the canvas, the responsibility of using the same tools I use. Her attention span is short and her sharing skills still fragile, but she is learning. We make a few small marks each day, our progress slow, but each one of those marks is worth the time spent. I am grateful for these small moments and our little art sessions.

2. Finding mail that makes me smile.

I have always loved snail mail, pen pals and general letter writing. I have fond memories of getting long letters full of tiny details from a grandmother who loved to write as much as I did. All these years laters, I am still writing letters and enjoying the new twist on sharing thanks to Mail Art. And as much as I love receiving it, I love creating it and sharing it even more. Just knowing someone will open something pretty and smile makes me happy.

3. Smiling at messy art tools. 

Used, messy, working tools. They are the best. Sometimes they are all the inspiration we need to get moving in the studio. Like this brayer. It is laden with layers of paint and ink and I love it so much. On days like this I think I can't use it because it is just too wonderful looking...but then I do...and I am rewarded with an even better version of what I was looking at before. Someday I would love to frame a collection of my favorite used tools. I think I will.

4. Feeling like watercolors aren't so scary when I look at them like this.

Then I pick up the brush and put it to paper and find it is just as scary as the last time. I keep practicing and I am feeling less discouraged than before, but I am a long way from feeling like watercolors and I are best friends. I am learning that practice is the only way to get over the fear of failing at anything, whether that be watercolors or something much bigger. It doesn't hurt that these are so wonderful to look at. 

5. Loving these new lights in the studio.

I am a lighting freak. For real. I can never have enough light. A room can never be bright enough. The whiter the light the better. And these beauties were the perfect addition to the studio They are an amazing life saver at night with their powerful glow, but even better is that they resemble a vintage glass bulb. I love them. Even when they are unlit during the day, I love seeing their caged housings hanging all in a row. It just makes me happy. 

6. Cheating on the photo printing, but getting it done. 

As part of the way I envisioned my photo journal to look for One Little Word this year, I needed 2x2 photos. Because I wanted this project to be doable, I decided to print these myself at home this time. If I waited to print them, the truth is,  I could easily fall behind. So I chose to create them in photoshop and  print them at home, but on card stock instead of photo paper. I love the grainy vintage feel of the photos. 

7. Working a super easy stitching project.

It is a mix of machine and hand stitching. I will be sharing it with you soon on the blog, but couldn't help sharing this photo right now. Something about the mix of linen and all those brightly colored embroidery threads makes me want to stitch the day away. Stitching by hand is a soothing craft too. It settles me, like weaving does. 

Stay tuned for a free tutorial coming soon!

8.  Reminding myself to just pick up the pencil.

Sketching  is another technique that is challenging for me. Because of this I think I subconsciously ignore that pencil that stares at me from the worktable. I finally picked it up the other day and found that if I practice with my non-dominant hand I like the results better. Not because they were masterful looking, but because they weren't. 

9. I asked for new headphones.

I am not sure what possessed him to think I wanted ones that look like a great pair of boxing gloves but I was happy to have them. They make me laugh when I look at them and laugh even harder if I catch a glimpse of myself in them. So does the rest of the family. The bearer of this gift laughs the hardest of all. I am beginning to think it was a plot on his part to keep us all in good spirits. 

10. Remembering when my stamps looked like this. 

It has only been a few months but my set of these stamps hasn't look like this in a long time. I ink them, paint them and stamp the hek out of them and I haven't tired of them yet. I have used them in projects like this and this and will be sharing another easy tutorial next week. Look for it!