Saturday, December 31, 2011

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Happy New Year! I wish you a New Year full of peace, love, good health, happiness and lots of art and creativity.

To David, my Love, Happy Anniversary. You are my everything. Thank you for the past 16 years. I'm looking forward to many, many more with you. I love you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thanks to the Gang at Ink About It!

Here's a photo of one of the two class tables today. We had tape, paper, ink and more flying! I had a great time teaching the past two days. I really want to thank the gang at Ink About It in Westford, MA for another great time. I'm looking forward to coming back in the summer!!

I missed a few of my students (Raine, Patty, Pat to name a few.) I hope that everyone is well and having a wonderful Holiday season.

We're in New York for the weekend. I drove back to Braintree, MA to pick up David and Tristan. Four hours later we're here in Tivoli, NY with my in-laws. Looking forward to a good New Years Weekend here!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fun Goodies from Paper Source

Having a great time teaching at Ink About It! I always look forward to my classes in Westford. It was nice to see some familiar faces as well as to be introduced to some new ones!

After class I drove to Dedham to meet my family. The eight (is enough) of us ate dinner at The Yard House. It was an insane two hour wait (with an extremely well behaved baby, I might add.) I'm not sure if I would go back. The food was okay but expensive (another Christmas present from my sister.)

David and I walked over to Paper Source. I had a gift certificate from my parents burning a hole in my pocket. You'll see what I bought in the above picture. I bought letterpress bits, ribbon, Martha foil glitter and a great book called, "I am Her" (more info here:

It's about eleven now and I have a long day ahead of me. I'm teaching from 10-5, have to drive to Braintree, unload, pack and pick up the boys to head to Tivoli, New York for a visit with David's Dad, my sister in law and nieces. Looking forward to it. Not looking forward to all of the driving but looking forward to the visit. That said, I'd rather drive than fly any day!

I'm not sure what we're doing on our anniversary (16 years, already??) on New Years Eve. I hope that whatever you do this weekend you wave goodbye to the old year and welcome the New Year with open arms.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Work in Progress Journal Page

Above is a page in progress. I'll show you the finished page soon.

Another fun and busy day!

My sister came over early with Jack (my little nephew). We hung out for awhile while I ran around the house doing various errands.

All of us trekked to the mall. I needed a new pair of sunglasses (my favorite pink pair broke. Sob!) and some new tights. The mall is not one of my favorite places but since visiting New England Comics is a must for me every trip, I needed sunglasses (they have the best sunglasses!) and they moved to the mall, I had no choice but to hit the South Shore Plaza. It's changed so much since I was a kid. I miss the educational store and ohhhh how very much I miss Windsor Button where I would buy stickers!!!

I really enjoy just visiting New England. I am always flooded with so many memories.

We visited my sister-in-law and her family tonight. We hadn't seen them in awhile and the kids were so big. Tristan had a great time playing Lego and videogames with our younger nephew. We got a kick seeing what our older nephew did to his microphone with all of the colored duct tape we got him for Christmas! It was a fun night.

All packed and ready for my classes at Ink About It tomorrow and Friday. I'm looking forward to teaching! I'll be debuting a new class, too. Cool beans!

I hope that your week is going well.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

24 December 2011 Journal Page

A busy day playing choo choo's with my little nephew Jack. I got lots of hugs and "uv you's".

Monday, December 26, 2011

Journal Page in Progress

I was very happy to be able to sleep in as none of us had really had a full night's sleep in a few days. That bed felt good last night after two long (but fun) days!

I've been busy with my family and running around after my little munchkin of a nephew. My sister and I attempted to get to the mall today but after getting stuck in atrocious traffic not once but twice, we turned around. I'll have to swap out that cookie smelling candle I got tomorrow! (I don't like dessert smelling candles at all. My Mom is the same way. We both like candles that smell like the forest. I also like ones that smell like fruit.)

David and I walked to Michaels for some gifties for our nieces and nephews. My 12 year old nephew wants colored duct tape so I am going to fulfill that wish! David keeps asking, "What does he want tape for?" My other niece wants art supplies so I have a whole bag of goodies for her that I've been setting aside for her.

My new online class is in full swing. I am really enjoying seeing what others have been posting. I always enjoy seeing what folks make! It is the best part of teaching.

I'm all prepped and ready for my classes later this week at Ink About It in Westford, MA. I'm really looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting some new ones.

Above is a work in progress page. I finished it on the 23rd. I'll show you the finished page tomorrow. Even though I'm on the road, I still am trying to journal every day even if it means just doing one thing to a page!

I forgot to mention that it snowed yesterday. Nothing stuck and it was over before you blinked but it did add a nice effect to the day! From the looks of the weather forecast we won't be having any snow while we're here. I was hoping for a little of it before we leave...I really miss having real weather in Los Angeles. I saw that it was 75° there yesterday! Crazy!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

I hope that everyone is having a nice holiday. We had a good day here.

We started the day bright and early rushing to get over to my sister's house to see my nephew open his presents as well as seeing my Uncle and Cousin who could only stay so long. Then came the mad rush of opening presents. Trying to take turns opening presents with eight people (including a toddler and a 14 year old) can be interesting. My nephew could've spent all day with his train set (the same goes with Tristan and his new Lego sets) and have been content with that. I remember how it was as a kid wanting to play with toys...

We had places to go and people to see! My Cousin Bev, Aunt Sis and family members were waiting! I was really looking forward to seeing them. Before we trekked over there, I was with David in my Mom's car, I wanted to see my Grandmother's old house so I drove David on a tour of Foxboro reminiscing. Holidays can be hard for everyone when you start thinking of those who aren't with us anymore. I try to think most about the happy times we experienced and the memories made.

We had a great day. Bev went out of her way to make a delicious meal for all of us. As always, everything was excellent and quite yummy. The day was spent talking and visiting with everyone.

Now we're back at my parents' house and everyone is exhausted. I'm off to relax and try to get some sleep. None of us has had a full night's sleep in several days so I'm hoping to catch some serious zzzz's tonight.

Happy Christmas!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We're here...

Waiting for Santa! Seeing my little nephew is the best gift of them all!!

Speaking of gifts, M and the kids were shocked and extremely grateful for everyone's generosity. You really made their Christmas. Thank you again.

Have a Merry Christmas! I'm off to wrap presents!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Presents

David's presents to me, a curated selection of some of his favorite books (except Modern Vintage which has been on my wishlist since I first laid eyes on it. There are pictures of Nathalie Lete's house, people!!) I can't wait to spend a few lazy days reading. Alas, those lazy days will have to wait as Boston and the family awaits!

I wanted to say thank you again to all of you who gifted money, forwarded links or just sent good thoughts to M and the kids. We raised over $600, enough money to pay the heating bill and for essentials like diapers. My sister is meeting up with her tomorrow to give her everything. M has no idea. I wish that I could be there but we want her to have the money before it gets too late in the day. What a Christmas surprise it will be!!! I know that it is a very tough time for a lot of folks right now so when I say *thank YOU*, I really and truly mean that. Thank you.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season. I know that in this time of hustle and bustle we can easily stress out and forget the little things. Try to slow down, smile and laugh more. Hold doors open for people behind you. Say hello to a stranger. In other words, stop and remember the love that this time of year (and all year) should be about.

And don't forget, go make some art.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Packing for the Plane

I've been a busy bee packing all day! Luckily all of my class supplies fit in my big Crop in Style XXL bag. 48 lbs of goodies!

Above is the stuff I'll be lugging (I mean carrying) on the plane as a carry-on. From left to right starting at the top, you'll see:

Stencils (mostly from Craters Workshop)
Eagle Creek Pack it Cube full of pens
Tape, tape and more tape
Staz-on pad in black
New Hero Arts Printers Type set
Dry rag for gluing and wiping off excess glue as I burnish
Coccoina glue stick
Foil (I'm in a sparkly kind of mood but without the vampires 'cause vampires don't sparkle. Ahem.)
An extra small bag that fits a lot of the little things (I don't know why I didn't think of this before)
A catalog for gluing
My double sided Eagle Creek cube that holds all of my collage stuff
My journal

What's missing from this bag are my books. I'm still trying to decide what to bring.

Ever since I was little, I've always brought things to do. This will keep me busy, sane and happy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

19 December 2011 Journal Page

Collage, Gouache, Various pens, rub-ons, stencils, stickers, transparencies, lots of thought, effort, time and love all went into and onto this page.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Revel in the Moment is UP!

A quick note to let you know that Revel in the Moment is UP. The 39 page handout is loaded onto the class website. All of the information for this work at your own pace, take any time you want class is UP and ready for you to download, save and print (OR read on your e-book reader or computer). If you've signed up for the class and haven't received an email from me, please check your spam box and email me if you're missing anything at You can sign up at any time! The class will stay open and accessible to students no matter when they sign up.

Thanks and I hope that you enjoy the class. I can't wait to see how the exercises and ideas translate with others!

Thank You!!!!!!!

I just wanted to give a very big hearted shout out of THANKS to everyone who donated or passed along my post. M and the kids will REALLY appreciate everything. Your generosity has been amazing. Thank you a million times over. It means heat, diapers and food for the family. I know that so many people are also in the same boat right now and struggling. Thank you for your thoughts, well wishes, kind words and help. It means more than I can put into words.

*Thank you*


Above is the finished inside cover of my new journal. I haven't had as much time as I want to to work in it but I really am enjoying the process.

My new online class, Revel in the Moment, should be up and live tomorrow (a day early! Yay!) I won't be closing sign-ups at all so you can sign up and participate at your own leisure.

I'm a busy bee. The next thing on my To Do list is to prep for my Westford, MA classes. I'm really looking forward to teaching at Ink About It. Unfortunately my Whitman, MA classes were canceled. I am very thankful to be teaching at Ink About It.

I'm also working hard at trying to get my Jan-March schedule up and on the blog. I have fingers crossed that I can get it up onto the blog before Friday.

So in between all of these things, I'm also trying to take time to make home cooked meals, relax with my family, watch episodes of Jack Benny (I love Jack Benny), read, journal and reflecting upon 2011 and what a year it's been.

How are you slowing down and reflecting upon the past year? What are you looking forward to doing in the New Year?

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Favor...

Above the inside cover of my new journal. I'll show you the finished part tomorrow.

I've never done anything like this before but the past few months have been extremely difficult for a family friend. She lost her job (as a teacher) in September. Her husband has been very ill and unable to work for a long time. They have two year old triplets. She has been able to scrape together enough money to pay her mortgage but is barely getting by with everything else and the kiddos are still in diapers. She's been trying to get heating assistance and there's an 8 week wait.

We've known M for 19 years. My sister, Erin, met M when she was 15. I want to say that M is a good kid but she's 2 years older than me so it feels weird saying that but she's always been a good friend and the past few months have been really hard. I've always wanted to sponsor a family for Christmas but have never had the money myself so I thought that opening up my blog for a few days before Christmas might be a good way to help out M, her husband and their babies.

I'm going to leave this button up until noon PST, December 23rd. After that, all money collected will be given directly to M and her family. If you're on the South Shore area of Boston, MA and want to give any gifts or food, you can email me at or if you want to send a check to M, I can pass that information along as well.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Update on December 23rd, THANK YOU to everyone who sent money, forwarded this page or sent good thoughts to M and the kids. We collected over $600 which will help with heating and diapers!!!! I am amazed, astounded and extremely grateful. My sister is giving M the gifts tomorrow and I only wish that I was there to see her reaction. Thank you so very, very much.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Journal Cover December 2011

David, Tristan and I ran over to Dark Delicacies in Burbank today to meet director John Landis. He was there to sign his new book, Monsters in the Movies. Landis was really cool and took the time to talk with each fan individually. I have to see if I can sneak a peek at the book as David has probably already wrapped it up in plastic and put it on one of his bursting at the seams bookshelves.
I keep typing 2012 at the same time I'm trying to slow down and enjoy the rest of 2011 while I still can!

Above is my latest journal cover. I showed you a teaser picture yesterday. It is not acrylic paint on the cover that you see. It's a combination of gouache and water soluble crayons. To say I'm having fun with it is an understatement. Wait until you see the pages inside the journal and what they do (I haven't worked on any of them yet but I am excited with the layout and construction of this journal.) I haven't worked in anything like this before (that I can remember) and I've made hundreds of journals!

One quick reminder, I am teaching in Massachusetts the last weekend of December. If you are interested in any of my Whitman, MA workshops, you need to sign up before this Tuesday night at midnight PST (20 December 2011) or else the workshops there will be canceled.

My workshops at Ink About It are a go and I am very much looking forward to teaching there. I adore that store and it's always so good to see familiar faces and to meet new ones as well! More info on the workshops can be found here.

I am hoping to have my Jan-March workshops for 2012 listed before I leave. I'm still waiting for dates from one store so that's why I've been hesitant to post them. I would rather list them in one big swoop. Thanks for being so patient.

Remember with this holiday season to try to slow down and revel in the moment. It gets crazy this time of year and it's always the little things later on that we cherish and remember the most.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Work in Progress: New Journal Cover

I started working on a new journal last night. Above is a quick "before" shot of the new journal cover. Before you ask, I did not use acrylic paint. More on that later. I'll be honest in saying that I don't like the "before" shot but I love what it looks like now and I'm very happy that I kept pushing it. I'll show you tomorrow what it morphed into.


I've been non stop working lately (it's a good thing, not complaining). My weekend is being spent working diligently on my latest online class, Revel in the Moment. I want you to love the class as much as I loved working on my journal for the class. I never sit down thinking, "This will be a class" as I work in my journal. However, I try to approach each page in a different manner. The handout is over 30 pages so far and I'm not even done with it yet. I'm excited.

My goal is to have the class up earlier than the 22nd.
With Christmas next weekend, prepping for my Massachusetts classes and all of the other stuff that I need to get done before we leave, I promise that I'll do my best! I just want to stress one more time that the class is entirely a work at your own pace class with material that you can access at any time.

Revel in the Moment is at a special sale price of $20 until 12:01 a.m. PST on December 22, 2011. After that date, the class price will go up.


Even though this time of year can get crazy, I still am trying to take the time and spend at least 10 to 15 minutes doing something in my journal daily. I don't try to finish pages in one go. I just do what I can. I don't beat myself up over the fact that sometimes it may take a couple of days to get a page done. It's all good.

Some quick film recommendations, David, Tristan and I went to the New Beverly the other night for a double bill of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Ride the High Country (both are two of my favorite films.) I get very tired of hearing people say that they don't like Westerns. If those words have ever come out of your mouth, you're clearly not watching the right westerns. Go watch the two films above and let me know if you've changed your mind.

A wonderful bonus that night was getting to see Peter Bogdanovich again. Bogdanovich is one of my favorite film directors and critics, not to mention a living, breathing film history reference guide. The stories that Bogdanovich can tell! We've seen him in person several times. David and I were very disappointed that we didn't notice him sitting in the front (before Liberty Valance started) as we were hoping to have a chance to meet and talk with him for a few minutes. I'll watch any film he's made or any documentary he's in, and damn, his impressions are spot on.

Check out Bogdanovich's blog here.


We also saw Tintin earlier in the week at a special sneak peek screening. It was fun but all in all, not very good. I spent most of the time watching the visuals, which are stunning. The story line is severely lacking in quite a few places and it's one big chase after another. Tristan loved it, but his favorite film is Tron: Legacy so that doesn't say much. One little side note, we did see it in 3-D and I really don't recommend sitting anywhere near the front for anything in 3-D. I was sick afterward.


Blog Love:
Before I forget, Maira Kalman has two books due out within the next month (here and here.)
Clothespin Wreath (speaking of Hambly, they're having another sale.)
Cathy Cullis Daily Project 2012
New Artisans Book Review
Olive Oil Bread

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Books

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (well, he actually said, "I have turned my entire attention to Greek. The first thing I shall do, as soon as the money arrives, is to buy some Greek authors; after that, I shall buy clothes." but the variant translation works for me, too!)

Paumes' Finland Children's Rooms (Can't read a word of Japanese but I absolutely adore the little Paumes books. I've been collecting them for a few years now.)

My Heart Wanders by Pia Jane Bijkerk (due out May 2011 in the U.S. but available at around $25 on amazon for those of you who are impatient like I am.)

Keepsakes by Frances Hansen
(I didn't buy it for the recipes but for the artwork! Collage!)

New Artisans by Olivier Dupon (I pretty much dropped everything when I saw this book. I saw a teaser post online on someone's blog and wasn't that impressed with it. In person, I wanted to sit on the floor in the bookstore and just devour it.)

Fiction wise I just finished reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, which I absolutely adored. It is a book that I know that I will be returning to. I am now reading The Book of Qualities and really enjoying it. It's short, sweet and poignant.

Have you bought or read any new books lately?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Small Selection of Some of My Favorite Rubber Stamps

Also included in my list of favorite supplies are rubber stamps!

The four cases of stamps are actually Iris photo cases (around $2 or so) that my friend Jeane
figured out to be the perfect size to hold stamps for on the go travel!

Some of my favorite stamp companies are:
Catslife Press
Our Lady of Rubber/Stampa Fe
Stampers Anonymous
a muse
Lost Coast Designs
Acey Deucy (Lynne Perrella's former company)

I'll try to add to this list as much as I can with links.

I tend to buy a lot of background or text stamps that can be used repeatedly. I love stamps that give you more bang for your buck where you can use portions or pieces of them instead of the whole thing. I tend to selectively collect alphabet and number stamps.

I've carved my own stamps as well. I also enjoy buying unusual, unique stamps on etsy.

Previous posts on rubber stamps here, and here.

Who are some of your favorite stamp companies?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sincere Thanks

I know I've been saying it all day but I truly mean it. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to look at or buy my journals. It really means a lot to me. It has also helped my family out tremendously.

*Thank you*.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Journals for Sale

All journals have been sold!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, in advance for your order. I wish you a wonderful Holiday season.



















Henna Hands







SOLD! Thank you!!
















Beautiful Life






Messages of Good Fortune-





Ti Amo












Book of Remembrance



Thank YOU for stopping by!