Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thanks Kept Creations!

I had a GREAT time teaching at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA. I found quite a few goodies at the store this weekend. Thanks to Kim and the Gang for a really fun weekend. BIG thanks to my wonderful students who came from far (Ontario, Canada) and near to take my classes. You are all very much appreciated and I hope that you have a wonderful time working in your books. Hope to see you again in December!

Several folks have asked about my online classes. A quick reminder that my latest (short but sweet) summer class, This & That: Finding the Poetry in the Everyday is on sale ($5 discount) until next week!Take advantage of the sale now while you can. More info here.

Tristan and I leave in a few days to head back home to David whom we miss very much. It's been a whirlwind trip. Looking forward to seeing family today. I've been super busy with helping to try to get my Mom settled into her new condo and teaching that I haven't had time to see anyone. I'm looking forward to seeing loved ones today.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Having a Great Time at Kept Creations!

Off to class again! Great store! Having a fabulous time! Here's a sample in progress page from last night. Looking forward to today!

Friday, June 28, 2013


On my way out the door to teach at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA. Teaching at a new store always has me feeling both excited and a little nervous at the same time. It's like trekking out on a new adventure and I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I always try to be honest in everything that I do and that includes art journaling. I've never been one of those folks who say that art journaling should only be about the positive. Life isn't always rainbows and gummy bears. It can be pretty damn hard and it's nice to have an outlet and a place to process it.

I'm really looking forward to teaching at a new store (for me!!) tomorrow. I'll be at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA and I'm all packed, prepped and ready to go. Lots of tips and tricks up my sleeve.

I hope that whatever you're doing this coming weekend that you can stop and find a little bit of you time. Even if it's five minutes to glue something down...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ask Yourself What If

People often ask questions about why my pages look like they do. I am a firm believer in trying to approach each page in a different way each time I sit down to create. I like to play with images, color, patterns, shapes and texture.

The most important thing to me in finishing a page is making sure that my voice comes through loud and clear. I want the pages to look like I've made them.

The more you work and push yourself in your journal, the louder your voice gets. You learn what images and colors you gravitate towards. It comes with time and practice. It never comes overnight. You have to do the work.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

This is My Today

I'm back at my sister's place after having a wonderful weekend teaching at The Ink Pad in New York City and then trekking to visit my Father in Law. Good times.

Now I'm prepping for my classes at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA this weekend. I always get excited about teaching at a new store. I have to finish cutting down the pages for two of the classes and I'll be all ready to go. I hope to see you there.

Making plans to go into downtown Boston for some errand running today. I hope to get a few good pictures (I'll post to Instagram if I do) and see some favorite spots. It's been a go, go, go kind of trip since we got here (not that that's anything new.) I have a long list of people I want to see and things that I must get done (helping my Mom in her new condo.) Yet, I try to make time for the things that are important to me and that includes getting something done in my journal every day.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Found Beauty

Inspiration is everywhere.

Keep your eyes open.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New York! New York!

Oh how much I love this town! Having a great time teaching at The Ink Pad and visiting New York. It will be sad to leave.

Lots of thanks to my students and the Gang from The Ink Pad. You guys are all amazing and words can't describe how much I love teaching here.

*Thank you.*

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bringing Home the Goods

Yummy new toys from The Ink Pad and books I can't wait to dive into from The Strand.

Teaching at The Ink Pad today and tomorrow (the classes aren't held at the store but there's still room this weekend for any last minute sign-ups. There's more information on their website.) I hope to see you there!!

Friday, June 21, 2013


We're in New York. I'll be hitting The Ink Pad today and I can't wait!

Someone commented on my new class that I "make it look so easy." I always tell my students that I've been doing this for a long time. It's not only my job but it's also my passion. With all art and self expression, the more you play, practice and experiment, the more you learn and evolve. Your pages will grow and change as you do. You won't love every page and that's okay. It's all a part of the process.

Don't waste time beating yourself up over pages you don't love. Push yourself until you can't go any farther, then turn the page. You have a whole book to fill!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Finding Time

It's always, "Go. Go. Go." while I'm here. I try to make time for everything that I find to be important. Family always takes precedence. They keep me busy (in a good way.) This trip isn't anything different with helping to try to get my Mom settled into her new place. Even with all if this going on, I try to get at least part of a journal page done.

I'm still working on the page of the woman with the alpaca. It'll get done even if it means it takes a couple of days done in bits and pieces.

We're heading to New York City tonight. Looking forward to seeing the gang at The Ink Pad!!!! Classes this weekend there. Can't wait!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Best Friends"

I was woken up early by this little monkey. Now the two monkeys are building Lego while I'm tearing paper for my classes at The Ink Pad this weekend.

Jack always calls us, "his best friends." I'm happy that Tristan and Jack enjoy each others company so much.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tape on the Go

Short on space? Don't want to carry around several rolls of tape in your art bag? If you're using real washi tape, stick some onto waxed paper. Fold it up and stick it in your bag. If you see someone at the airport today peeling pieces of tape off of waxed paper, come on over and say hi! Next stop, Boston!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

mid April 2013 Journal Pages

I always try to be open and honest on my journal pages as well as on my blog. I'll never forget the time that someone left a comment about how "pretty my pages were but the words I wrote on them were so ugly." As if I was writing in my journal for her. I write for me on my pages (as well as on my blog.) I write what I am compelled to write. I often write as I speak with an open heart and palms facing out. It is what it is and all it should be.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I Wonder

What TSA thinks when they open my bags and see all of my art crap.

Packing for Boston and New York City! Looking forward to seeing family and friends! Excited about teaching!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Man of Steel, Tape and Some More Info on Sharpie Water-based Paint Markers

Tristan at the AMC 16 in Burbank
 I'm a wee bit later than I usually like to be with my blog post but I had good reason. Tristan and I were up at the crack of dawn (for me at least) to see Man of Steel. He loved every minute and walked out with a big smile on his face. Now he's counting down to the announcement of The Justice League Movie. If you look closely at this photo, he's wearing a blue cape and Superman socks (I wore blue tights and a blue dress for the occasion.) I love my boy!

Washimatta Tape Goodness

My Washi Tape Sense started tingling the other day and I was right! A quick search of Washimatta's etsy shop led to the discovery of several NEW rolls of washi tape! Yum! You can see the, um, trouble that I got into in the above photo. I ordered Sunday night and the package was on my door step today! Talk about service! I don't "get" anything from posting about Karen's online stores but I really do love how great her service is and she is my favorite online vendor to order from! I just like to support small businesses as much as possible. Her website is here (and yes, those are slight variations of the original washi tape colors. I had to have them.)

Last but not least, my friend Pam alerted me to the fact that water based Sharpie paint pens are marked clearance at Michaels (from $4 to $.50) I'm not sure 100% what this means but it doesn't sound good for the Sharpie paint pens. Remember a few years ago when they were discontinued and then Michaels suddenly had them as an exclusive test run (to see how well they'd sell?) It doesn't look good for them now. One store employee commented that the individual pens sold well but the ones in sets did not. I find it hard to believe that most of their pens sell very well considering that they're in a locked case that most folks don't even notice. I did find out that it seems to be across the country. I would recommend having your store SCAN the pen if it's marked at full price. 

The good news is that if you love the water based paint pens, you can still find them via other brands like Posca Paint Markers and Molotow One4All. That said, I still love the tips (especially the extra fine tips) of the water based Sharpies but I'll take a pen however I can get it!

And that's the news of the day! Hope that your weekend is a good one. I'm heading off to start packing up my supplies for my NY and MA classes! Leaving on Wonder Woman's Invisible Jet very soon (clearly, I've been spending too much time with my superhero of a boy! NOT!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On my Mind

20 April 2013 Inside back cover of Little Love Notes: Triptych Book Revised and Revisited
 This is what the book looks like when it's completely open         

Look how cute she was!
Not the most flattering picture of me but I love how Daddy is hugging Erin

Thinking of my little sister on her birthday! I still love ya even though I pushed you off the couch the first day you came home. You've been paying me back for it ever since.

Tristan and I leave in less than a week for the East Coast. I spent most of yesterday prepping the supplies for classes at The Ink Pad and Kept Creations. Prepping materials is only part of the behind the scenes efforts it takes to get a class ready to be taught. It will all be worth it when I'm at the venue teaching the class and seeing how folks translate the ideas and make them their own. I'm really looking forward to it. 

I also spent some time late last night making a new journal. I filled up the large one that I've been working on (I'll show you that soon.) I wanted something smaller that would travel well (but not something that was too small.) You can see a photo of it here on Instagram. You can also see a shot of the book I'm reading now as well as pictures of my son in his Superman t-shirt, socks and cape in front of Golden Apple Comics yesterday for their Superman Day event. You know where I'll be taking someone tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Random Thoughts on Making Art

"Let me ask you something, what is not art?"  Author Unknown

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.”
Edith Södergran

"For me, painting is a way to forget life.  It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh."  Georges Rouault

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."  Georgia O'Keeffe

"Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money."  Ernst Levy

"I want to reach that condensation of sensations that constitutes a picture."  Henri Matisse

Had an interesting discussion in Niles the other day. We were talking about how artists seem to only be valued if they make money from their artwork. That even teachers aren't valued and appreciated as true artists if they don't sell work. 

I have been making art since I was very young. If you make art, you know the feeling that you get when you sit down to create something. It's a unique feeling that comes from deep within. I have always been a big believer that if you create from the heart, you are an artist and what you make has true value. 

You don't ever need to sell anything or make art for anyone but yourself for it to have value and meaning. 

Anyone who tells you otherwise has their head up their ass. Look at the work of outsider artists. They're not making art to sell. They're making art because they're called to create. Look at the work of children. They put pencil, crayon, paint brush, etc... to paper because they can. They don't care what you call it as long as you allow them the time and materials to create (even with that, they will create something from nothing with the simplest of materials.)

Some may look at this post and call me a hypocrite because I profit from my art making (via teaching and selling occasional journals.) That said, I do not and have not ever made an exorbitant amount of money from my art. Most of the time I am scraping by with what I do. I continue to make art because I am called to. To me, it's as necessary as breathing. I teach classes because I love being in the creative environment and watching my students unfold in the class. It's a truly unique experience and one that I am grateful to be a part of. There may come a day when I am forced to stop teaching and look for other work but I will be making art until the day I die.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

19 April 2013 Journal Pages

more pages from Little Love Notes: Triptych Book Revised and Revisited
Home from teaching in Northern California. I always have a wonderful time and I really love teaching there. Thanks, ladies, for a wonderful weekend. It was just what I needed (lots of art, smiling faces and good memories.) I hope to see you all again Columbus Day weekend when I return (with new classes.)

I just checked in with my East Coast venues and I'm hearing that the classes are starting to fill up. If you've been on the fence about my workshops at the Ink Pad or Kept Creations, don't wait much longer to sign up! I'm spending the week prepping my supplies and packing them up. I'm really looking forward to seeing some old friends as well as meeting some new faces.

Huge thanks to all of you who signed up for my latest summer online class, This & That: Finding Poetry in the Everyday. I hope that you're enjoying it! It's short but sweet! Remember, it's still on sale right now if you're interested!

I'm teaching my Content: An Artist's Life journal this Friday at Stampin from the Heart. It's my last L.A. class for a few weeks so catch it while you can!

I still haven't had the time to sit down and figure out what to do after Google Reader goes away. I have been hoping that they don't but you know how that works! Thinking of using Feedly more so than Bloglovin'. Any others I should know about?

Blog Love:
Catharina's Love

Monday, June 10, 2013

His and Hers

I didn't show you everything that I bought in Berkeley as I wanted to surprise David with a present. The last time I was there I visited Nest on 4th St and fell in love with Nathalie Lete dolls (I adore her work.) When I saw the robot, I couldn't pass it up as David has been working on a script about robots.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind words regarding yesterday's post. They are very much appreciated.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

A Year Later

My Dad always said that time goes by very quickly especially as you get older. I remember as a kid time not going by fast enough. Looking at the clock waiting for him to get home, a time when an hour felt like a year. Now a year feels like an hour. 

People told me that time would heal things and that a year would bring closure. Closure? I don't want closure. This is not something one would ever have closure over.  I want to remember. I want to have my heart swell when I think of him and not hurt so goddamn much.

See my Dad? He's not the kind of guy one would ever forget. He was everyone's best friend or buddy. Everyone Dad introduced us to was either, "My friend or my buddy." The close ones were always "Uncle" (It was always, "Uncle Warren", "Uncle John", "Uncle Tom" with his best buds.) That's just the way he was. A smile on his face. A glimmer in his eye and a song on the radio. He loved everyone and was loved by everyone (if you didn't love him or he didn't love you, you were clearly an asshole. Trust me on this one.)

It was devastating to get that call. I was in shock for quite a few months over it. I couldn't get the image of my Dad sitting alone in a rocking chair out of my head. I hate to say that I am grateful that he was at home when it happened but I am. He would have been pissed if it had happened and he was in the car on the way to work. At home, in his favorite chair with the television full blast (that's always how he had it with either the TV or the radio), yeah, I think that's how he would have wanted it. We all know it was too soon. Who is ever prepared for death or to lose someone? Especially someone you love so much that the thought of him not being on this planet anymore makes you physically ache. 

A year later and my Mom has moved into her new condo (though she's still living with my sister as I write this.) My sister is pregnant with Baby Number Two (a girl.) Tristan is ending his Sophomore year of High School. Jack is now three and more of a munchkin than ever before. We haven't moved on. We're just carrying my Dad with us. I take his CDs with me when I travel to teach. Dean Martin. Johnny Maestro. Otis Redding. Yeah, he taught me to love music in all forms and I'm the weird one who sets her rental car stereo to 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, hair bands and old time radio. It's just how I am because of him. Music was always on the car radio and I'm the same way. 

I still wait for the phone to ring. I think it's going to be him. He called me everyday. Some days I would roll my eyes when he called. I rolled my eyes when he called me a little before 5 p.m. on the night of June 8th. It hurts me to think that I did it but I did. Most of our phone calls were very short. What I would sometimes think of him as checking up on me was more his way of checking in. We went through his phone when he died and found tons of daily calls (all two or three minutes in lenghth) to me, my Mom, sister, Aunt Sis and a small handful of friends and family. It was his way of letting us know that he loved us and was thinking about us. I remember talking to him the Wednesday before he died about seeing "The Avengers" and how he thought it was a cool movie. He sounded upbeat and happy. He wasn't coughing while we talked. It didn't sound like he was going anywhere at the time. 

He even had an appointment at the doctor's on the day that ended up being his wake. He didn't mess around with this health. I'm tired of folks saying that. He was friends with his doctor (he called the doctor at home and on his cellphone!) and he knew that something was wrong because he couldn't stop coughing. He took care of things. He always did. That's the way he was. Yet, it wasn't taken care of fast enough. 

So, a year later and we're learning how to live with a gaping hole in our hearts. We try to patch it up and fill it with something but it can't be mended. We have to learn how to live with our broken hearts. We focus on the times when we were really happy and the people that gave us so much love and joy. Dad knew how to laugh and make others laugh. I have two voice mails on my phone of him singing and laughing. I miss that laugh.

Someone said it would be a hard week. It's a hard year and it will be hard the rest of our lives. Dad wouldn't want us to be sad. He would want us to reach out to our family and friends. He would want us to live and love and remember everything that he did for us and how very, very, very much he loved us. I just hope he knew how much we loved him.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Good Way to Spend the Weekend

Great group. Great weekend. I always love teaching at Maria's studio in Niles. Something I am very thankful for.

Friday, June 07, 2013

How I'm Spending my Saturday Night

Just gotta see what Old Time Radio I can unwind with.... hopefully some Richard Diamond!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Bringing Home the Goods

I'm all set up at Maria's studio in Niles for a weekend of fun!

On my way here, I took a side trip to Berkeley. I didn't do too much damage but I had fun shopping on 4th Street. Here are my goodies mostly from Scrapbook Territory and Dick Blick. It was a beautiful day and the weather was perfect, feeling more like October than June. I loved every minute!!!

Off to play in my journal before bed! Looking forward to what tomorrow's classes will bring.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Announcing my Summer 2013 Online Class: This & That: Finding Poetry in the Everyday

This & That: Finding the Poetry in the Everyday
A class in collage, on-the-go art journaling, creativity and self expression

Get ready to dive in!

Summer seems to be everyone's busy time. It's a time filled with lots of on the go activities, places and people to see, things to do. What happens if we step back a bit and take a few minutes daily to work in our journal? Quality over quantity.

In this online class, I will be offering you a plethora of ideas that springboard off of each other. We're keeping things short but very sweet. I will not be offering collage templates in this class (like I do in some of the other classes.) Instead I am focusing on photos and a smorgasbord of ideas, thoughts, tips, tricks and techniques to get you diving into your journal. I promise you that this class will get you itching to work in your journal.

It's also the perfect class for on the go summer work. I worked in my book while I was traveling for a few days. I managed to get several pages done in a very short time period while limiting my supplies to what I could fit in a very small and manageable bag.

When you sign up for the class, I'll be sending you a direct link to where you can access the handout. It's all ready for you to download and print out (or read on your e-reader.) While there isn't a yahoo group for this class, for those of you who are interested in the community aspect of the class, I have set up a private facebook group that you can join if you'd like to share photos, ask questions and chat with other students as well as myself. I am always here if you have any questions or concerns.

How much does the class cost?


How is the class set up? 

  • Within the first 24 hours of signing up, you will receive an email from me with a link where you can download the handout immediately. 
  • There is an optional private facebook group if you wish to share photos, discussions, etc.
  • You are free to email me at ANY time with questions, etc.
What's the supply list?

I really want you to use stuff that you already have on hand. Please do not go out and buy anything for this class. For the pages, you need:

  • glue (a glue stick, gel medium, whatever adhesive you usually use for paper)
  • favorite markers and pens
  • scissors
  • an old rag or paper towel for burnishing the images
  • a gluing surface (like an old catalog) 
  • collage ephemera: photos, print outs, handmade paper, decorative paper, old magazines, catalogs or books for the collage part of the class (basically you are looking for anything that YOU would use to create a collage.) 
  • You may also want to have decorative and paper tape, rubber stamps, ink pads (I like Staz-On), stickers, etc... but that is completely up to you!

For the bookbinding part of the class (this is optional if you want to work in a ready made journal) you need: 
  • Cardstock
  • Tape 
  • Optional: Scissors, bone folder, metal ruler
When does the class start? 

Immediately. It is a work at your own pace class.
Within 24 hours of your sign-up, you will receive information from me on how to access the class. If you do not receive this information after twenty four hours, please email me at

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.

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 16 years now and I learn something new with every workshop.

When is the best time to take this workshop?

When I came up with the idea for this class, I wanted to make it accessible for folks to work in their journal ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. I worked in this journal as I taught and traveled. 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. It's small enough that you can put it in your purse with a glue stick and a pen. 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!

How do I sign up?

Click the paypal button below 

This & That

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

18 April 2013 Journal Pages

Little Love Notes Pages: Triptych Book Revised and Revisited

I loved using so many different size bits and pieces in this book. I made large images fit the page as well as using little cut out snippets that it seems like I'd been saving for forever. I always said that working small is difficult for me but I really enjoyed working in this book and loved how fast I was able to fill it! (I was shocked to fill so many pages (60!) in such a short period of time (less than a month.)) Everything was just pouring out of me. 

The journal that I'm working in now is quite large and I'll be sharing that with you eventually. You can see in progress pages as I work on them via my instagram feed.

Remember, my motto: if I can make pages, so can you!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

16 April 2013 Journal Pages

More pages in my Triptych book. The pages are smaller than they seem to be here.

I had a great time teaching my new Becoming: The Art of Visual Dialogue class over the past two days at Stampin from the Heart. I'm always a bit anxious with a new class but everyone seemed to have a great time and I really enjoyed seeing how they translated the ideas to their own unique pages. It may be my new favorite class!

Spending today working on a new summer online class, prepping for Northern California this week and getting some things done around the house. I plan on squeezing in some journal time.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

16 April 2013 Journal Page

One quick note that I'd like to add regarding yesterday's post. Folks often complain about the white Sharpie water-based paint pens. Over time the white in the pen will start to separate and act very watery. It's the ONLY one of the Sharpie paint pens that acts repeatedly like that no matter what you do. I have been telling folks for years NOT to stock up on the white pens. You can shake them vigorously and keep them on their side but once in a while, the white pens start to act up no matter what you do. Just a heads up for folks who are thinking of buying multiples of them. The other Sharpie paint markers do not act like that at all.

One last bit of advice, I only use the water-based markers. I do not use oil based anything at all. If you use oil based markers (or crayons) on a surface without gesso or dried acrylic, you run into the risk of the oil in the product eventually eating through your paper. Just an FYI. Not to mention the smell and toxicity get me every time. Yuck! For me, it's always water-based (even when I was using acrylics and various products.)

Off to day two of Becoming! Having a great time!!! Happy weekend, folks!