Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy Weekend!

*The photo above was found on a billboard at USC.

If you've signed up for my latest online class, Journey Within, the class is up and live! All 67 pages, 33 collage templates and 105 tips, tricks and techniques. I can't wait until people start sharing the pages that they've made!

I'm off to relax for the rest of the night. I hope that your weekend is going well.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Save Pickfair Studios!

Most of you who read my blog know that I'm a huge film fan. Earlier this week I was disgusted to find out that there is a plan to tear down more of Hollywood history, Pickfair Studios. Yes, that little studio that was started many years ago by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith when they formed United Artists.

Pickfair Studios sits within the walls of The Lot (on Santa Monica Blvd near La Brea) and it is within West Hollywood city limits. (West Hollywood has been allowing developers to tear down important buildings overnight and without notice lately (including the library designed by architect Edward Fickett) not to mention quite a few rent controlled apartments (which the developers replaced with expensive condos and apartments that are sitting empty at the moment because no one can afford them.) I'm quite tired of it and I'm livid that they want to tear down the Pickfair Studios. Los Angeles doesn't ever seem to respect its history and I'm sick over this.

The company that owns The Lot where Pickfair Studios is on wants to tear the buildings down and put up ugly glass buildings. Save Pickfair has more here.

A short clip from Robin Hood with Douglas Fairbanks filmed at Pickfair Studios (right down the street from me!):

Please take a minute and sign the petition here and help spread the word. ANYONE, ANYWHERE can sign this petition.

Here's a great article about Saving Pickfair!


Speaking of film, The Criterion Collection on Hulu, has a handful of films up for a few days FREE (some are available longer than others.) I would strongly advise checking them out. Criterion always puts out top notch films. The ones that we've watched this week that I would highly recommend are:

Alice in the Cities

(anything by Wim Wenders is a plus in my book. If you haven't seen Wings of Desire yet, run, don't walk! It's one of my top favorites.)

Naked Island

A Man Escaped

Yes, you'll have to put up with commercials, but trust me, go out of your way to see these rare and unusual films.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My New Journal

I started a new journal over the weekend. I gutted a hardcover book, wrapped some heavy handmade paper over the spine (to reinforce it) and sewed new pages in. I love the front cover but I want to add to it. I used the new graffiti tapes (found here and here) on the back cover. Then I went over the graffiti tapes with my transparent O-check typewriter tape. I've done a few pages in it so far which I will share with you very soon!

I'm heading back to work on my latest class, Journey Within. I am VERY excited about it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Favorite Tools, Supplies and More (Lots o' Links)

I'll be adding to this post eventually but for now, here it is and I hope that it helps to answer some of your questions. I'm going to add this as a little button on the right side of my blog in the hopes that it will make it easier for you to find it when you need it!

What you see below is a list of my basic essentials. These are the tools that I use repeatedly in my artwork. If you click on the name you'll find that it links to a post describing my "essential" tool:

Keeping it Local:A list of local, Mom and Pop Art Shops across the U.S. which I will be adding to can be found here.

**Revised and updated 2020:  What's in My Art Toolbox:

Vol 1 (painting tools)

Vol 2 neutral acrylics

Vol 3 acrylics

Paint Brushes

My Favorite Writing, Drawing, Coloring Tools (Pens and Markers)

Setting up my workspace  

Storing Collage Ephemera 

Previous posts:

Acrylic Paint and Mediums Post 

Adhesives-glue sticks, gel medium and more

Another post on tips for painting with acrylics and acrylic mediums

art books-My favorite books for inspiration

bookbinding supplies-awl (I use an inexpensive clay tool for $3 or less), wide eyed tapestry needle (bookbinding needles are too expensive), waxed linen thread (I buy mine from the Caning Shop), scissors, metal ruler, bone folder

Caran d'ache Neo Art Watersoluble Wax Pastels-DISCONTINUED

 every day tools (including where I get my glue sticks) Update: Oct 2018 The vendor that sells my favorite glue sticks, Coccoina, has gone out of business. I've started selling the 40 gram glue sticks. If you are interested, drop me an email at for more information.

Paper for collage: Magazines, Books, etc... -I pretty much pick up what I find wherever I can find it. I have a detailed post here explaining how I find my stuff.

PAPER for collage: updated 2017 here

Being Mindful Curating Your Images

Paper for my pages-I usually use 140 lb wausau exact index (when I'm not using found papers for my pages.) 140 wausau takes a beating and can be used for acrylics, collage and more. It comes in 8 1/2 x 11" and large parent sheet sizes (25.5 x 30" or so.) 
UPDATE: Wausau has closed it's mills and Neenah has picked up the 140 line.
UPDATE: I buy my card stock from Kelly Paper (no affiliation.) They will order the Neenah brand but you have to order a case of it. I don't have room to store a case so for the past couple of years I've been using the 100 lb Accent Opaque Smooth Cover White (available in 8 1/2 x 11, 11 x 17 and larger parent size sheets.) The Accent Opaque website is here.

basic short list of my favorite pens (not to be confused with this extensive list of my favorite pens)

rubber stamps 


basic short list of my favorite tape (not to be confused with where to find decorative tape)

Visual Inspiration: My Favorite Magazines to Read

what's in my journal bag

Where I shop in L.A.

Where I shop in Berkeley/San Francisco, CA

My Life in Film

Anything that you think I'm leaving out?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Kelly's Class Schedule April-June 2012

Here's my list of classes for April-June 2012. I may add to this list. I'm ALWAYS looking for new teaching venues so if you know of any that may be interested, I'd love to hear. You can email me at

If you're not near where I'll be teaching, but you're interested in taking a class, I do offer a variety of online classes (18 different online workshops as of 4/1/2012.) You can find out more info on the right side of my main blog.

Thank YOU for your interest!

Please click here for a more detailed look at April's workshops.


13th Stampin From the Heart L.A. Fundamentals of Texture

14th Zinnia So Pasadena Listen to Your Heart

15th Simi Valley Sanctuary (Please go here to sign up or email me at for more info.)

27th Zinnia So Pasadena Building up the Layers

29th Stampin from the Heart L.A. Wanderlust


4th Stampin from the Heart L.A. Wanderlust

6th Simi Valley Building up the Layers

9th Special L.A. workshop "Expressions" Please click here for more info (Join artists Karleigh and Daniel Heywood and Jeannine Stein for a week's worth of bookbinding workshops.)

11th Zinnia So Pasadena Passionate Declarations

20th Stampin from the Heart L.A. Uncharted Territories

26th Zinnia So Pasadena Journal This!


1-3rd Fremont, CA More TBA

8-11th Monterey, CA More TBA

15th Zinnia So Pasadena Fundamentals of Texture

24th Stampin from the Heart Listen to your Heart

30th Zinnia So Pasadena La Petite Muse

I'll be packing my traveling bags this summer and have scheduled classes at:

Ink About It Westford, MA July 20th and 21st

The Ink Pad New York City, NY July 28th and 29th

Art Unraveled Phoenix, AZ August 1-4th

Scrap2It Fort Collins, CO August 10-12th

(stay tuned, folks, there are more classes to come!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wanderlust Slideshow

The pages in the above journal are all folded. They fold up, out and down. I loved working in this book as it traveled with me across the U.S. to MA, NY and AZ.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

23 February 2012 Journal Page

The last page in my "Wanderlust" journal! I'll have a slideshow up soon. I'm teaching this class locally the last Sunday in April at Stampin from the Heart. I'll have my full class schedule up on Monday for April-June.

Had a great day teaching at Zinnia today. Looking forward to teaching tomorrow at Stampin from the Heart.

I hope that your Saturday is going well!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Weekend, Folks!

A small, altered (on my phone) teaser page for "The Journey Within". I'm teaching locally all weekend! Looking forward to it!

I hope that whatever your plans are that you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Messy Corner of the Living Room

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I live in a one bedroom apartment. My husband and I sleep on the futon in our small dining room area while our son has the bedroom. David's bookcases and his comic book shelving unit take up most of the living room wall space. The photo that you see above is my (very messy at the moment but I'm too hard at work on my latest online class to clean it) corner of the living room.

What you need to understand right off the bat is that if I didn't teach art classes, with the exception of the book shelves, I wouldn't have (or need) most of this stuff. I've shown you my journal bag several times before here in various forms and that, quite honestly, is what I work from (if you could only see the floor below in this picture! Lol! It looks like my journal bag exploded!)

On the walls, are tiny, wooden shelves that contain a small portion of my toys, collectibles, treasures Tristan made when he was younger, etc... I've always had a heart for small, pocket sized toys since I was little. I have toys from my childhood, Dunny figures and much, much more.

The Rubber Stampede shelving unit was given to me (free) years ago. I usually rotate out all of my rubber stamps every now and then for classes. Most of the stamps here though are my personal collection and some of my most favorites. The bottom two shelves have a wire basket filled with my double (or in some cases more) rolls of my washi and deco tape. This is where I keep my most favorite tapes that I tend to load up on and use repeatedly. Next to the wire basket is my (sadly) little used sewing machine and matboard for classes. The bottom two shelves are full of more matboard for classes.

I am honestly thinking of trying to swap out my sewing machine (it's brand new. I've used it maybe three times tops) for an old fashioned typewriter. I have been looking for an old script typewriter so we'll see what happens!

Hanging on a pant hanger rack you'll see four rows of my deco tape. This is all of the deco tape that I have that's mine and not for classes.

The space between the stamp cabinet and the bookshelf is an odd size. I would love to buy or build a shelving unit that would fit there. For now, I have my journal books (not journals but books on journal writing) in ziploc bags there. The messy bag on top is filled with some of my collectible toy boxes.

The bookshelf you've seen before. It has some of my favorite titles on its shelves as well as some more toys and gifties from friends. At the top of the shelf (which you can't see) are tax receipts, magazines and old notebooks.

In front of the bookshelf is my Grandmother's table. Right now it has some books, receipts and other crap that I need to put away piled upon it. Underneath has my XL Crop in Style case that I bought years ago and use for my classes. I also have a few rolls of handmade/decorative paper (for classes) also stashed near there. Usually when I buy handmade paper for *me*, I fold it into quarters and tear off a quarter immediately. I will put 1/4th of the paper in my "now" journal bag and the rest goes into my "for later" stash. I also do this with scrapbooking paper as well as transparencies. I cut them in half and have half for now and half for later.

I also have some pillows on the floor in case I want to get comfy over in the corner with my journal stuff.

A couple of years ago, we went to the Container Store and bought the massive black metal shelving unit. While not pretty, it is functional. I tend to hang artsy stuff on there for inspiration. Most of the stuff stored on it is for classes.

The very top row has various decorated cigar boxes and other goodies that friends have given me over the years.

The next shelf has:
-2 Iris cases of my washi tape
-a clear case of rub-ons (I always try to keep my rub-ons separate from anything heavy and away from heat so they last.)
-a couple of various containers of pens, pencils, markers (I have a complete set of Caran d'ache Neo Art Watersoluble Wax Pastels, a case of their watercolor pencils and a small toiletry bag full of extra pens and markers.)
-Burlap bags with fabric scraps, ribbon and stickers.

The third shelf is a total mess right now but it has:
-some 8 1/2 x 11" cases with scrapbook paper and transparencies in them.
-a small case or two of my unmounted stamps (I prefer wood mounted but if I can only buy them unmounted, I will.)
-my alphabet and number stamp sets
-books I'm reading

The fourth shelf has:
-12 x 12" plastic cases with scrapbooking paper
-small Iris photo cases with photographs, favorite travel rubber stamps and a few odd doo dads in them.
-a wooden box full of collage stuff
-more books I'm reading
-my Paumes books that I collect

The fifth shelf has books, books and more books. Mostly books for collage that I need to go through and tear up.

The sixth shelf has two large containers full of collage ephemera. This is my stash that I rotate out of for me as well as classes. When I get bored, I sort through and swap stuff out. There are also more books for classes. I also have my Fiskars rotary paper cutter stashed there.

On the floor (below) the shelving unit, are magazines in zilpoc plastic bags. When we open the windows, L.A. air can be dirty and grimy so we tend to put our books and magazines in plastic comic book bags to protect them.

Not shown:
-I also have a pink suitcase that's filled with more collage stuff.
-In the kitchen, I have one cabinet devoted exclusively to acrylic paints and mediums. They are sealed tight, kept away from heat and I only ever take out what I need and never put anything back into the containers (to prevent mold growth.)
-I have a very small pantry (small enough for a 4' person to fit in rather uncomfortably) that also holds extra class stuff (rubber stamps, class pens, etc...)
-In the trunk of my car is a large collage bag that I need to desperately downsize!

I learned a long time ago that I don't need everything out there to be creative. I tend to work from my journal bag and rotate stuff out need be when I get bored.

If I have to downsize, I would keep my books, my journals (stashed in Tristan's bedroom on a bookshelf), a bag of my favorite pens, my washi tape, a few rolls of transparent deco tape, a few sets of alphabet and number rubber stamps, a box (or two) of collage ephemera, my coccoina glue sticks, a favorite pair of scisssors, a black staz-on ink pad, a metal ruler and a few favorite rubber stamps.

Once I have some free time and the space is cleaned up, I will show you some more detailed photos.

So, for whomever asked about how I store my stuff on formspring, I hope this helped. I would think hard about whatever supplies you love, need and actually use. Even with little space, there are always nooks and crannies and various possible ways to store your stash!

If anyone has a blog post on what their studio/art area looks like, please link below! I'd love to see!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

7 February 2012 Journal Page

Some folks think that you "know it all" as an artist. No one knows everything. That said, as an instructor, I do my damndest to make sure that I know my materials and information 100% yet at the same time, I am always growing and changing as an artist (and instructor.) I am always trying to explore the endless artistic possibilities that are out there. I know my materials inside out. I have learned how to use them safely and I know what they can and can not do. Yet I do not know everything that I am fully capable of doing with the materials in my own hands. One week, I may have one way of using an art supply and the next, I am taking them in an entirely new direction. That's the beauty of an art journal. You can explore a myriad of ideas and possibilities and see how far you can push yourself!


A quick heads up that I'm teaching not one but TWO classes this weekend at Zinnia in So Pasadena as well as at Stampin from the Heart in L.A. More class info here. As far as I know, both classes are a go so please don't wait to long to sign up if you're interested. I'll have my April-June schedule up sometime this week.


Blog Love:
Mood Boards
Painting and Drawing Inspiration
Dear Musketeer
Ali Mcnabney-Stevens
Abbey McCulloch

Happy First Day of Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is It Wrong...

to be excited about your own online class?


What some folks don't understand is that I love to teach for several reasons. One big reason is seeing how others interpret the ideas and make them their own.

The other big reason is that YOU are the ones who push and encourage me. When folks sign up for my classes (in person and online), they are encouraging and pushing me to come up with new ideas and ways of approaching the page. Constantly. YOU are the ones who nourish my creativity. I am forever grateful for it. You have no idea. Thank you.

I'm a few pages away from finishing the sample journal for the class and there is a serious fire that's been lit. So for those of you who have expressed an interest, again, thank you.

I'm diving back in. Hope your day is going well.

*Above is a small snippet of a portion of one of the pages in the new class, The Journey Within: A Guide to Unlocking Your Creativity. There are 30 pages total within this book. I may have some more teaser photos of portions of pages soon if folks are interested. (I love this page and this small snippet is so different than seeing this page as a whole.)

O Lucky Me

Home from seeing O' Lucky Man with Malcolm McDowell at the Aero in Santa Monica. This is our third time seeing McDowell live and in the flesh. I took a video of him talking before the film and I hope to share it with you soon. It was a very good night, indeed.

I consider myself very lucky to live in Los Angeles and we try to take advantage of it as much as we can. Now if we could only get our son who wants to work in film to also appreciate these things...

If you are in or near Southern California, I would highly recommend you check out the Aero Theatre schedule. They are my favorite theatre to see a film at especially when the guests are right there in front of you. I also really appreciate the fact that they show FILM and not just digital prints.

My favorite theatres in Los Angeles are:

The Academy on Wilshire
New Beverly
and the Nuart (though we haven't been there in ages.)

It's expensive for the three of us to see a film so we usually have to wait for something rare or very special. I love The Academy as the three of us can afford to go as the tickets are $13 (total!!!) Not to mention that they often have special guests as well.

Nothing beats seeing a 35mm film shown on the big screen the way it's supposed to be seen.

*Foot found on a wall in Santa Monica.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Wearin' o' The Green at WonderCon

We're home from WonderCon with some memories to share.

We got up nice and early but not early enough to get a parking space at the Convention Center. The lack of signs especially in the rain was frustrating. We drove around and finally found a spot that was a 15 minute walk from the convention center. As soon as we got out of the car, it began pouring. It wasn't just a regular rain either but a heavy rain and wind that pounded on us as we made our way to the convention center. It turns out that while the front part of the convention center had signs saying "full" that there was a also a rear entrance that was far from full! We were soaking wet by the time we got to the convention center (even with umbrellas.)

While we drying out, we spent some time people watching. Lots of folks were wearing green (including yours truly with a green sweater and green tights. I even asked David before we left if it was too much. His response was, "You're going to a comic book convention. Wear what you want.") I saw various shades of green and TONS of green lantern t-shirts. My favorite was seeing more than one man happily wearing a kilt.

We bypassed the exhibit hall and decided to go up to the ballroom (Anaheim's version of San Diego Comic Con's Hall H a.k.a. "Hell Hall") to see Sir Ridley Scott and "Prometheus". Little did we know we would end up spending all day there. We've never spent more than a couple of hours at a time in San Diego's "Hell Hall" so this was a new experience.

We made our way up to the third floor and got in the end of a line that snaked around going almost the full length of the convention center twice. The line moved pretty quickly. As we walked in we were given lenticular posters for "Prometheus" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" as well as a small, plastic pass card for "Prometheus". The seats down front are always the first to be scooped up but we still managed to get decent seats in the middle section, second row. To leave the ballroom for a bathroom break or food, you had to obtain a timed pink slip that would allow you re-entry, as I quickly found out. We got comfortable and parked ourselves there.

For the first half hour, we were subjected to what's called, "Trailer Park". We saw some ridiculous Disney film whose name both David and I quickly forgot, "Madagascar # I dunno", "Ice Age Whatever", "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World", "Wrath of the Titans", "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", "Resident Evil: Retribution", "ParaNorman", "Spider-man", "Prometheus", and "The Hobbit". (Most of the titles I quickly forgot about and David just had to refresh my memory.) We've never sat through so many trailers in one go so it was interesting to see them one after the other.

The first panel was "The Sound of My Voice". The most interesting thing about this film was finding out bits and pieces of how they were able to make the movie to begin with. Unfortunately, they only touched upon the subject.

I love monster movies but I was rolling my eyes at the next panel for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." They started the panel with a ridiculously unfunny skit of a skeleton that was supposed to be a very sick Tim Burton. Abraham Lincoln as a guy with a serious ax to grind (on vampires.)

We were eager to see Sir Ridley Scott again for "Prometheus". He was joined onstage with Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender. We were lucky to see him live via video from New Zealand at last year's San Diego Comic Con and previously before that live and in the flesh for the "Blade Runner" reunion. As my husband has been working on a script with the main character whose name is also Prometheus (David almost croaked when he found out about the name of Scott's film), we've been following it closely (that and we enjoy Scott's movies.)

"Snow White and the Huntsman" was next on the list. The most interesting thing about the film was the use of tall actors to play the dwarfs. It's also one of two films coming out based on the tale of Snow White. You'll notice a big boom in fairytale based movies because of the recent large success of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland". Hollywood is raiding the public domain stash of ideas.

Tristan was excited to see "Battleship" while I sat and rolled my eyes (ask David as I seemed to do that a lot today.) It seemed like a "smashup" of Top Gun meets Independence Day meets Transformers meets RoboCop meets Terminator except they're all on a battleship.

"Lockout" was next. The first thing that came to mind for both David and I was, Kurt Russell in "Escape from New York". They set it in outer space (instead of New York) and the Kurt Russell character (Guy Pierce) has to save the President's Daughter (instead of the President.) I wonder what John Carpenter has to say about it.

I've never seen "Resident Evil" nor have I played the video games so I was beyond clueless as to what the movie series (excuse me, what everyone kept referring to as a movie franchise) was about. I like Milla Jovovich (loved "Fifth Element") so it was fun to see how excited she was about the film. That said, I have no plans to watch the films or play the games.

Last, but not least, was the reboot of Spider-man, which we're all buzzing about. While I liked Tobey as Spidey, I'm eager to see the new film go back to its roots (with a few changes.) I did have a few moments watching the clips where it looked like both Garfield and Stone look too old to play high school students. I loved seeing Martin Sheen playing "Uncle Ben" as well as Sally Field as "Aunt May". I'll be one of the first in line to see Spider-Man this summer.

All in all, while most folks like seeing the actors in a film, I always enjoy hearing the director and crew (and that includes the actors) talk about how they made the film and their experiences as they worked and developed it. We recently saw director Terence Davies at the Aero theatre in Santa Monica and honestly, his after show discussion was much more interesting and memorable than the six plus hours we sat through today. It was definitely an interesting experience and one I'm glad we tried at least once.

Before we left, we stopped into the exhibit hall to pick up a Transformers (Decepticon) car sticker for Tristan (grumble groan. I wanted Totoro but I'm a good Mom or a fool. I don't know which one.) We also had to pick up a copy of "Beyond Time and Again" by George Metzger (one of the first graphic novels) at Stuart Ng. I was so intent on buying the book that I didn't notice Ralph Bakshi standing next to me with a large stack of hardcover art books until I noticed David staring (sorry, David, but you were.) I wish we could remember what he bought. David has his copy of "Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi" which we coerced Tristan into asking Bakshi to sign as he was leaving the Stuart Ng booth (that's why I'm stuck putting a damn Decepticon sticker on my car. Little did I know David had already done a favor for Tristan getting him an "Avengers" poster.) Seeing Bakshi and his pile of books was definitely a memorable way to end WonderCon, the smaller "sister" con to the massive (and ever growing) San Diego Comic Con (that we've been attending for years now. All I have to say is that I can't wait for July now but I definitely need to get new walking shoes before then, for sure!

6 February 2012 Journal Page and Day 1 of WonderCon in Anaheim

We're home from our first WonderCon. Usually WonderCon is held in the Bay Area but they brought it down to Anaheim this year. It's a much smaller convention than San Diego Comic-Con.

We walked the exhibit hall in a couple of hours (I didn't buy anything except for a My Little Pony shirt for Tristan. My son, the 15 year old Brony.) I kept seeing the same folks over and over. It was rather amusing.

We saw several panels today including Mike Mignola, Marv Wolfman and Scott Dunbier's IDW panel for their Artist's Editions Series (we're excited about Will Eisner's "The Spirit" (17 of them, all postwar including "The Story of Gerhard Shnobble"), Jack Davis' E.C. comics, Aragones' "Groo" and Mazzucchelli's "Daredevil: Born Again" editions that are coming out as well as the portfolios ("Thrill Kill" by Neal Adams and Damnit, I can't remember the title by Bernie Wrightson) that will debut this summer at San Diego Comic Con. We're saving our pennies now! We have all of the editions except Romita's "Amazing Spiderman" and we're hoping to remedy that before it sells out.

For now, I'm off to bed and to rest my tired feet! G'night all!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Shopping" from Home

First off, huge, heartfelt thank yous to everyone who has signed up or expressed an interest in my new online class, The Journey Within. I am hard at work on the new material and I promise that you will not be disappointed.

I spent a short bit of time "shopping" from my art studio today. You see, one of my favorite things to do is to sort through my own stash of collage ephemera every now and then. Whenever I get bored, I rotate my stash. With Spring coming (though it feels like we never really had Winter), I chose more pastels, flowers and imagery that reflect the upcoming Season. I've found that over the years this helps me to use what I've accumulated, saves me money and it also opens my eyes to materials that I may have shunned in the past allowing me to see them in a new light.

So if anyone needs me for the rest of the night, I'll be working in my journal! Hope things are well wherever you are!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Journey Within: A Guide to Unlocking Your Creativity

I am very excited to bring you my latest online class, The Journey Within: A Guide to Unlocking Your Creativity.

A workshop designed to unlock your own creative potential while exploring a myriad of art tips, tricks, techniques and prompts upon the pages of your art journal.

In this e-book* form course, you will learn how to construct a simple, made from scratch art journal that utilizes a very cool and funky bookbinding stitch (easy for beginners and fun for advanced students!)

You will work completely at your own pace utilizing collage templates, mixed media techniques and journal prompts (all new and designed specifically for this class!)

I will share with you a large variety of collage (composition and design) techniques, layering ideas, pen work, cut outs, stencils, doodling, journaling, etc... I won't hold anything back! You will learn how to create your own luscious, layered, unique pages like the ones shown above.

My main goal in this class is not only to teach you what I've mentioned above, but also to teach you how to work through and overcome what's called "Artist's Block." I have been keeping a daily journal for over 15 years now and am never at a lack for new ideas when it comes to self expression and art making. I will share with you how I keep myself from becoming blocked.

Are there photos?

Yes, there are photos of my sample pages. You will also have the opportunity to upload and share (if you wish) your own sample pages.

Is there a discussion group?

Yes! By popular demand, there will be an easy access forum for you to discuss the class with fellow students.

Is there a handout?

YES! I am a firm believer in handouts. You will receive an extremely detailed handout that you can download, save and print out. There are step by step instructions, tons of information, photos and more. There are also (new!) collage templates for you to use! I will teach you how to create your own unique pages like the ones shown above.

Included in the 68 page handout are:

-33 collage templates (one for every day of the month and then some!)

-100 tips, tricks and techniques for hands on ideas on getting over creative block (in other words, what I do to get me inspired to create!)
and more!

What's the supply list?

I really want you to use stuff that you already have on hand. For the pages, you need glue (a glue stick, gel medium, whatever adhesive you usually use for paper). You will need some of your favorite pens (again, use what you have on hand. I did not limit myself with this class but used my favorite supplies (as shown here in this blog post). The pens that I used include a black permanent, waterproof pen (Rapidosketch .35), Sakura Glaze, Souffle pens, a white Uniball signo and Pilot Latte pens (but again, please use what you have on hand and don't feel like you have to buy anything special for this class.) You need a pair of scissors, an old rag or paper towel for burnishing the images, a gluing surface (like an old catalog). You will need a selection of your favorite papers (think along the lines of anything that you would glue down to create a page: handmade papers, scrapbook papers, old magazines, catalogs or books) for the collage part of the class. Other fun items that I used include stickers, transparencies, tissue paper, stencils, washi tape, rub-ons, etc...

Again, I want to stress, do NOT go out and buy anything for this class. Please use what you have on hand.

For Creating the Book: a hardcover book, paper ephemera, tape, PVA or gel medium or even a glue stick, awl, needle, waxed linen thread, cardstock (I use 140 lb wausau exact index cardstock but you can use your favorite paper, scrapbook paper, handmade paper, junk paper, etc...)

I work full time, can I take this class at any time?

Yes! This is a work at your own pace class. You can sign up at any point. You will have full access to the class. I am always available to answer and respond to questions.

When does the class start?

This is a work at your own pace class that you can access at any time!

Within 24 hours of you signing up, you will receive an email from me with information. Please take a minute to read this email (upon receipt) in its entirety. You can access, download and print the handout out at anytime! You do not have to start (or finish) on any specific date. I will be leaving the class material up so that students can access the information AT ANY TIME. I am ALWAYS available if you need me via email! I will also be checking in with the group on a regular basis to see how people are doing. When you sign up for this class, you are in and can access it any time that is most convenient for YOU.

How much does it cost?


Please note there are NO REFUNDS once you receive the course materials.

Please also respect the amount of time, effort and work it took me to create this material. You can download, save and print out (or read it on your ipad, kindle, etc...) for personal use. I'm a one woman (very small) business and I work very hard at what I do. I strive to offer the best material possible. I'm always excited about what I teach and I hope that you get the most out of my classes. This helps to support my work and makes me able to offer more classes and come up new ideas!

If you teach children, feel free to work on the exercises with them! I don't mind people who teach kids using these ideas in classes! Get 'em started and hooked on art young is my motto!

Can I give the class as a gift?

Sure! If you email me or include a note with your payment, I will email the file to whomever you'd like. I've included a special option via the paypal button below just make sure that you include the name and email of the person receiving the class and any additional information you'd like me to include. If you want to give a gift to more than two people, just email me and I'll send you an invoice!

Who is this class geared towards?

Everyone! I strive to make my classes accessible for beginners to advanced students. I have been working in and teaching this medium for over 15 years now and I learn something new with every workshop.

I have a busy Spring of me. Should I take this workshop now?

Sure! The workshop is entirely work at your own pace. You do not need to be at or near a computer at a certain time or date. You can download and access the materials at any time.

I am a BIG fan of working in my journal daily. I don't spend hours working in my journal (unless I can!) Often I only have a short period of time to work on a page. I'm encouraging students in this class to work in small steps (5 to 15 minutes on a page) if large chunks of time are unavailable. This class is designed to teach you not only composition, design and a plethora of other art techniques but also how to keep artist block at bay.

I am often teaching and traveling and I never leave home without my journal bag! I work exclusively from my journal bag (shown in this post) using the limited supplies and the tools I had with me to create the book and to start work on the pages. The size, weight and portability, along with the limited amount of supplies you need make this the perfect journal for life on the go or close to home. I love sticking my collage ephemera, a couple of pens and a glue stick in a baggie with the journal. I'm all about portability and ease!

This class does not close so you can take the workshop ANY time and work at your own pace! Once you've signed up for The Journey Within, you are in the workshop!

How do I sign up?

Click the Paypal button below or email me at more more info!

The Journey Within

*e-book=pdf file that can be read on your laptop, home computer, smart phone, iphone, ipad, etc... You can also download it, save it and print it out and read it the old fashioned way (which is what I do). You don't have to be tech savvy, a pdf file is one of the most basic files on the internet. I have basic trouble shooting guides, information and I'll be around if anyone has a problem or any questions! The class is entirely work at your own pace at ANY TIME.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Odds and Ends

I met up with my friend Vivian this morning at the Farmer's Market and spent several hours talking and working in my art journal. In the photo above you'll see Vivian's set up (magazines and her journal), my big bag o' pens, handy dandy baby wipes (for sticky fingers from both glue sticks and a cinnamon roll), my crappy tea (the donut was better), my favorite glue stick (Coccoina), my journal, a canvas bag filled with stuff I grabbed half assed (more pens I didn't need/use) and my black bag full o' collage ephemera, tape and even more pens. Stay tuned for a big announcement relating to the above journal this week! I'm excited!!!!
So, Toni asked me to show you a more detailed look of the new Classiky graffiti tapes that Washimatta is selling. Here ya go, Toni!

I really can't put them down! The dark colors (blue, red and brown) are opaque while the majority of the other colors are transparent so the layering is AMAZING. You'll be seeing more of them on the blog soon. I layer the washi tapes with other washi tapes, paper, deco (plastic, printed) tape, rubber stamps, transparencies, etc... Let's put it this way, if I can stick it to the page, I'll layer it!


Rachel in CO asked me about gluing napkins. The trick to using napkins is to separate the layers as much as possible. I always peel apart napkins (as well as postcards as it thins it down and makes it easier to glue down!) So the trick to gluing napkins and anything super delicate and sheer is to separate the layers as much as possible. My friend, Jeane, taught me this trick:

1. Place the napkin or tissue onto a CLEAN piece of waxed paper.
(Tip: if the napkin/tissue is printed, place it print side down onto the waxed paper.)

2. Cover the back of the napkin/tissue with glue (I use either a glue stick or gel medium). As you cover, make sure that you get a little glue (it's okay if it's more than a little) past the edges of the napkin/tissue.

3. Pick up the entire piece of waxed paper.

4. Flip the piece of waxed paper and place it down onto your surface that you're gluing things onto (like your journal page!)

5. Gently burnish the napkin/tissue.

6. Gently peel off the waxed paper.

7. If necessary, gently wipe off (I usually use my fingers) any excess glue.

Stare in wonder at your marvelously glued piece!


If you're in So Ca, the "In Wonderland" exhibit is a must (I am hearing.) I am hoping to be able to go before it closes in May. Not that it's all about Frida Kahlo, but there are SEVEN Frida paintings in the exhibit. I want to jump on the opportunity to see her work again up close as well as to see work by other artists both known and unknown to me. There's even a book you can buy here. Here's a link to another blogger's review of the exhibit.

I have two more classes in March. You can find out more here. Both classes are go and space is limited so please sign up while you can!

Did I mention that I will be joining Karleigh and Daniel Heywood along with Jeannine Stein for bookbinding workshops in Downtown Los Angeles May 7-12th? You can find out more information here. I hope to see you there!


Mini Blog Love:

Discover Paper via Saturday Morning Vintage (Both will keep you occupied for hours!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

If anyone needs me...

I'll be in the living room, on the floor playing with new tape and napkins from Washimatta in my journal.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

5 February 2012 Journal Page

Finally diving into my journal after a week of working in my "mini" journal (more on that soon.)

I hope that your weekend is going well!

Friday, March 09, 2012

No One Can Ever Say that I Travel Light to a Class...

It's 5 in the afternoon and after a *full* week, I need a nap.

I dropped my Mom and cousin Andrea off at LAX this morning. It was sad to see them go. I won't see my family now until July. Sob!

From there, I found my way (phew!) to Zinnia in South Pasadena (I swear this is only the second time in 16 years I've been on the 105!) I had a great day teaching (the table sure looks like it!) I hope that my students did as well.

I have a big To Do list but I am definitely going to carve out some journal time as well as some R and R time this weekend.

Happy Weekend Adventures, Folks!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

31 January 2012 Journal Page

Here's one of my favorite pages. I had a lot of fun with the various cut-outs and all of the coloring in. One of my favorite things to do is to also use portions of an image instead of using the whole image, I'll crop it and just use a part of it.


I took my Mom and my cousin around town yesterday. We visited Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills (Jack Benny, Peter Falk, Jimmy Stewart and a slew of other folks lived there.) My cousin also wanted to visit Marilyn Monroe's grave so we hopped on over to Westwood and finally found the nook nestled between the library and several huge, towering buildings. The cemetery is the final resting place for Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dean Martin, John Cassavetes, Bettie Page, Don Knotts, Karl Malden and Peter Falk (to name a few.) I love exploring cemeteries and it doesn't matter to me who is buried there. My Grandpa used to take us across the street to the large cemetery in Weymouth, MA, where we'd ride our bikes and explore the stones.

I also took them for a short ride along PCH. We didn't get very far with the traffic so we decided to drop my cousin off early at her friend's house in Santa Monica. Today is their last full day here so we're hoping to make the most of it!


Happy International Women's Day!

"One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one." Simone de Beauvoir

If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it. Sojourner Truth

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Journaling in My Car

Tristan had an orthodontist appointment yesterday so while he was inside, I was in my car cutting and pasting. I left everything on the dashboard (from left to right):

-Collage bits and pieces inside of a small packing kit (I usually use these.)

-The pink cap is actually the cover to the pink scissors that you see over here. They are new scissors that Jetpens is carrying. For on the go use when they are not used on a regular basis, they are perfect. They are small and compact and easy to use. For on the go, heavy use, I prefer these from Jetpens. They fit really good in your hands and cut perfectly even through heavy items like transparencies! Plus, they are travel approved!

-Coccoina glue stick (40 gram size. I buy mine here.)

-New transparent printed deco tape that I found from

-My small, favorite pens (Lattes!) These pens go everywhere my journal goes. For a small pen, as long as you store them right and keep them capped when not in use, they last a LONG time.

-Scissors I just mentioned are sitting on a case I bought from Jetpens with my other new favorite pens, Zig Kuretake CocoIro pens (I will be doing a whole post on these soon.)

What you can't see:
In my lap:
My small journal.
A small rag (for burnishing and excess gluing.)
I usually carry paper towels or an old magazine/catalog for gluing and then I recycle everything when I'm done.

Zinnia changed their website! You can see how amazing it looks here. You can also sign up for my upcoming classes there (Teaching Beautiful Life on Friday and Sanctuary on the 24th. These are the last time that I will be teaching either class locally for some time.)
I've also fixed the links on my blogs so that they're easier to find.

Also, before I forget, Washimatta who I mentioned yesterday was having trouble with her shipping charges in her cart. She always refunds any overages and is excellent with communication so if you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact her!

I'm off to take my Mom and cousin along the Coast today!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Washimatta has the new Yoko Inoue tapes by Classiky!!

(Above images from Classiky Japan)

Remember those tapes I've been drooling about and saving up for? Well, they're finally HERE!

Washimatta has the new Classiky tapes in stock here and here!!! There are also napkins as well!!

More pictures here. Mine are ordered and I'm SUPER excited!!!!

Karen also has a teaser post up about new 2012 MT tapes she will be adding soon.

I've been ordering from Washimatta for some time now. She is one of my go to stores and I trust her! She has excellent customer service and is extremely reliable. She's not paying me or giving me anything to say this or to shout out her store. NO ONE sponsors my blog or gives me anything that I don't tell YOU guys about. I only recommend companies that I know and trust and order from myself (just like you guys do!) I LOVE ordering from her! I can't wait for these new tapes!!!!

Monday, March 05, 2012

28 January 2012 Journal Page

Above is a two page spread in my Wanderlust Journal. I took the focal image and cut off her head ("Alice style!") as I wanted to use her hands the most. There are lots of layers of paper, tape and journaling here.

My Mom and cousin, Andrea are in town until Friday. I picked them up this afternoon at LAX. After they got settled at the hotel, we drove around West Hollywood, Hollywood and Glendale. I pointed out various sites to them, "We used to see Tim Burton and Lisa Marie shopping at Virgin Records late at night!" "Hollywood and Vine is there!" "Barney's Beanery is over there-say hi to Jim and Janis!", etc... We had fun.

Tomorrow they are going to the Craig Ferguson show and I'm taking Tristan to his ortho appointment. I'm not sure who has the better deal on that one: me trekking to a dentist or them standing in line for several hours on Fairfax.

Quick reminder, I'm teaching my "Beautiful Life" journal *this* Friday at Zinnia in So Pasadena from 11:30-3:30. The sample is in store and online. Catch it now folks while you still can...

Sunday, March 04, 2012

On the Streets of L.A.

This was on the wall in front of Golden Apple Comics on Melrose the other day. I thought you would like it.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Saturday with my Journal...

Spent the day cleaning, cooking (pancakes for breakfast), reading (Women Who Run With Wolves), napping, watching Monkees videos, prepping for my Journal This class tomorrow (in Simi Valley) and working in my journal. Heading to make dinner soon and then out for a walk! Good way to spend the day.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Thursday, March 01, 2012

"Look What You've Done to Me!"

As a kid in the mid 80's, summer meant one thing to me, MONKEES reruns on Channel 56. To say that I was obsessed may have been an understatement. My 7th grade teacher even told my parents that if I applied myself to school as much as I did to the Monkees, I would go very far in life.

I was 12 and had "No Time" for what the other kids were deeming important: Duran Duran, Madonna and the like. My heart belonged to the Monkees and the Beatles. Clearly, I was a child of the 60's trapped in the 80's. I had posters like this one:

plastered all over my wall. I bought reissues of Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazine. Hell, I even published my own Monkees fanzine (with all of the work done by yours truly.) I had a few subscribers (offering it for free and paid for with my newspaper route money) and one customer who insisted on paying for a subscription (Thanks, Uncle Joe!)

In the Summer of 1986, The Monkees (sans Mike) announced a 20 year reunion tour. I begged my parents to buy tickets. They obliged and bought two tickets for my Mom and I to go to the South Shore Music Circus. Then, I got sick. Very sick. I don't remember what was wrong with me but I spent a few weeks in bed and had to take one of the worst pink medicines I've ever had in my life (I still gag when I think of it.) My Mom took a friend to the concert while I stayed home sick in bed and very upset. I had missed my chance. Or so I had thought.
The Monkees toured again in the New England area several times over the next couple of years and I saw them every time they came to town. My entire family went to (then) Foxboro Stadium to see what looked like dots in the middle of the field perform. I screamed my heart out for Micky (my favorite) and silently prayed that Mike Nesmith would be helicoptered in.

My Mom also took my sister and I to an all day concert in Rhode Island where Chuck Berry, not Mike Nesmith, was dropped from the sky via a helicopter. The three of us also braved the winter weather and drove more than four hours to Bangor, Maine to see the Monkees, Herman's Hermits and the Grass Roots. I remember driving along the highway with a Monkees tape (probably Headquarters) blasting from the speakers looking out at the snow along the highway. My Mom was amazing for taking us so far. She was also a huge Monkees fan as a kid.

Some time went by and I was given two chances to meet my idols. The first came with the publication of this book:
My Mom and I along with several thousand women stood in line for HOURS at Fanueil Hall Marketplace in Boston, MA waiting to see Davy Jones. We were one of the last in line at the event. It wasn't until I got inside the building that I decided to check my camera. I had the film, but no batteries. I had spent more than six hours in line (I think it was actually closer to nine) and I waited until the last possible minute to check my camera. Little did I know that what was about to happen didn't need to be captured on film as the memory is still firmly implanted in my brain all these years later.

I made my way to where Davy was standing signing autographs for folks. He graciously signed my book. I don't remember what he said to me or what I said to him other than, "Can I please have a kiss?" (Remember, I was now 13.) Well, something happened and one of us turned the wrong way and instead of a kiss on the cheek, I got one full on the lips! Move over Marcia Brady! Mom said I walked out of there on Cloud 9.

A short time after that, Micky Dolenz, along with the Monkee mobile, showed up at some sort of Car Expo in Boston. Mom took my sister and I to meet him. This time I made sure that my camera had both film AND batteries! We posed for pictures with the Monkee mobile (I have them somewhere and will try to dig them out.) When it came time to meet Micky, he asked my Mother her name. She said, "I'm Kelly and Erin's Mother." He said, "Hi Kelly and Erin's Mother." That's all I remember from that meeting other than he made us laugh a lot.

Flash forward to 2012 where I'm 37 years old and a Mom myself. Davy's book is sitting on the shelf in front of me. It's been a sad 24 hours for Monkees fans everywhere. Sure, I'll have my memories and we all have the music but it feels like a little bit of my childhood died yesterday. Thank you, Davy, for making our lives a little brighter.