Wednesday, April 16, 2014


"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." --Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Custom Baby Journal

Hello Blog :]] I've been missing you a lot lately, but life has been SUCH a whirlwind. We sold our house [in four days!], moved across town three days before Christmas, and had a baby in there somewhere. CRAZY.

But now that we're starting to get settled,  I've been working on tons of new art and journal stuff, and I can't wait to start sharing it with you. Trying to figure out how to squeeze it all in around a newborn's "schedule" [haha, as if. I'm blogging from my phone right now.]

The one thing I HAVE kept up with over the last few months has been Baby's Journal. I knew I didn't want to do a traditional "baby book" to keep up with the first year of her life, so I created a custom journal. I used the cover of an old music book, and bound pages of mixed media paper, scrapbook paper and other bits and pieces. This was my first time binding a whole hard-cover book, too!

It's part baby book [stats on her birth, her birth story, notes from her baby shower] and part journal from me to her [thoughts about being pregnant, how we picked her name, personal mushy stuff about being her mama] Most pages are very personal and I won't share them here, but some are fun, like this calendar that had everyone's guesses about when she would arrive [notice that I had to go back to the page and add an extra WEEK because holy cow, she took her time ...]

I had been holding onto that "Spirit of Adventure" balloon [from the movie Up!] for over a year and a half, waiting for the perfect journal spot for it.

Hospital bracelets, foot prints and birth stats [her birth story is on the following page]. Design-wise, this page is not my favorite, but I feel like it represents the weird fog of those first few baby weeks. I knew I wanted to get it all down before I forgot, and before those snippets got lost in the move, but I put next to NO thought into how to do it beautifully. Getting it down was more important than getting it down perfectly.

I have about a thousand photos to print and add to pages [I left a giant space on this page, which is made from the cute wrapping paper my mom used to wrap Baby's first Christmas ornament]

Some of my favorite pages are behind this divider. You will definitely be seeing more of those pages soon; in fact, once this baby book is full, I'll probably continue a new journal just for those Rules.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How I'm "Uncomplicating" My Journal

I'm making some changes to the way I keep a journal, and it's been really fun. Over the last three years, I've kept sixteen-ish art journals, most of them finished, some not so finished. In the beginning, I was mostly drawing and gluing, staying away from paints. Once I bought my first watercolor journal, though, I was hooked. My love of painted pages grew until my journals were essentially bound books of small paintings. I love looking back at these books, but I also know that those pages were ones created when I had time to sit at my desk and create with full access to all my supplies. Most were created late at night, when a lot of feelings needed to be expressed into paint, but very, very few pages were created on the go.

I've really wanted to move back into keeping all of my life in one big book, rather than carrying an art journal, a notebook and a calendar. Moving towards that goal, though, meant un-complicating the way I was creating pages. You can see the start of that shift in this post on my 2013 Journal Intentions.

In January, I created a small, pieced-together art journal from scraps that I had around my studio. I quickly found, however, that I had created a very inconvenient size, and that the blank pages were a bit too intimidating for me. I moved on [I'll probably come back to that journal later this year] and started a new watercolor notebook, this time taking care to create lots of pages that could be modified on the go; meaning, not adding tons of layers of paint that I can't write over, creating spaces for notes and lists, keeping everything very slim and intentional.

Page One; marker, ink splatter, modeling paste, washi tape & graph paper

 I had a moment with this animal print at the craft store. Plus a whole lined page for lots of note-taking.

A space to write some meaningful words [watercolor background, acrylic and white ink pen for the writing.]

Magazine pages create perfect "hidey-holes" [my new favorite Betsy Garmon technique/verbiage]. Flip the page over to cover the more intimate details of your journal.

Created a painted border, with a giant open space for more note-taking.

And one good ol' painted page, for good measure [though to be technical, this is watercolor and spray-ink, a far cry from the thick pages of gesso and acrylic I'm used to!]

Friday, April 5, 2013

Watercolor Desktop

I'm so happy that Bri at DesignLoveFest featured one of my designs on her blog yesterday. Head over there to download a fresh spring desktop!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blogging Like It's 2008

Well ... it happened. The dreaded, seemingly inevitable hard drive crash. I'm still working on the same computer I've had since 2008, and had to revert back to the same operating system the computer came with. Basically, my phone has more power and options than my computer does at the moment. I can't even get Twitter to work properly, or my email. It's all very exciting, and first-world-problem-y, and I'll hopefully be updated soon.

Until then, look out for smoke signals!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


You've heard by now, I'm sure, but Google Reader is going away this summer. I'm trying not to be too grumpy about having to change, and Bloglovin is making the transition much easier! You can follow my blog there now, too. [Just click the pretty lady's face below!]

  Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, March 1, 2013

Trust Without Borders // Venturing Out Into the Great Unknown

The shift from one season to another is always such an interesting place to find yourself, especially when the seasons are changing from, say, winter into spring. You spend so much time in the winter looking forward to the spring; dreaming of what it will feel like to thaw out a little, to see endless days of sunshine. Then, suddenly, as the spring surprises you with her arrival, you find yourself a little undone; where did you come from? I'm never quite ready for the shift.

{lyrics from a song I wish I had written [link below]}

That's where I [and my little family] find myself right now. I've been begging for spring, and suddenly, it's here, and I'm still trying to shed my winter layers. For months I've been waiting for every single shift that's occurring right now, and yet in the midst of it all I find myself a little undone. The past months have been a time for rest and recovery, and the coming [and current] months are about jumping in; about activating a few dreams that have been sitting dormant the last little while. It's spring [FINALLY holy crap] but I keep finding myself balking a little at the idea of shedding heavy winter coats.

Activating dreams is risky business; part of me much prefers introverted reflection. I'd really rather not take that leap of faith, or jump off the edge. I've been accused in my life of being all "Ready, Aim" and never quite "Fire." I'm having to change all that, though, and really break down the parts of me that keep me constantly stuck at "Aim". I've made tiny revolutions in this arena over the last few years, but it's come time to do the bigger work. Making leaps with haircuts, job changes, paint colors, relationships, moves, have all been the baby steps leading up to the big leap ... moving off of ready, aim and onto fire with my life-dreams.

Lead me where my trust is without borders. My heart is in my throat just typing that because I know what it means I need to do next. And sometimes it's hard to start releasing dreams into the open air when you're used to incubating them.

This song, though ... oh, this song. This song is the newest prayer of my heart as those parts of me get broken down and put aside. Isn't it bizarre to hear or read something that someone else across the globe has written and think, "THOSE are the words I've been looking for!"