Monday, September 30, 2013

Muir Woods

I went to my version of Church this morning.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Art is You in Petaluma Fun!

It will be hard to say goodbye at 5 p.m. tonight. I've had a truly fabulous time here. My students have been truly fabulous. Every moment has been wonderful and a ton of fun. Tonight I'm heading to the Redwoods for an early morning trek to Muir Woods and then onto Flax before I head home. Very good times, indeed. Grateful.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Good Times

Sitting in my now empty classroom watching folks walk back and forth. All set up and ready for my Art Is You classes in the morning. Good people. Good times. Hope your weekend is as good.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bringing Home the Goods

Didn't do too much damage on 4th Street in Berkeley yesterday. Loved every minute of it!

Teaching at Art is You today! My first time teaching here. I'm a little nervous but looking forward to my class in a couple of hours.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On the Road Again

Heading up North today to Art is You in Petaluma. Looking forward to meeting new faces as well as seeing some familiar ones.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When is the Best Time to Create?

I read an article yesterday that asked, "When is the best time to create?" The answer was NOW. There is no magic inspiration fairy that waves her wand and taps you on the shoulder. 

Being an artist (or writer, chef, seamstress, etc...) is all about showing up and doing the work. The more work you do, the more proficient you will get. You will learn. You will learn new techniques. You will learn new ways of expressing yourself. You will learn so much more that can't always be put into words. You will make things that you love and things that you don't love all that much. Both are equally important. It's all part of the learning experience and life of an artist (writer, chef, seamstress, etc...)

So, stop making excuses. Find that ten minutes where you can plunk down, crack open your journal and just BE on the pages. If that ten minutes turns into thirty or sixty or more, great. If you can only do ten minutes, that's okay. Ten minutes today. Ten minutes tomorrow. Ten minutes daily adds up.  

Don't wait for inspiration to hit. It's not waiting for you. Do the work. Push yourself. Learn from yourself and from those around you. Keep pushing yourself. Don't judge. Just make. Trust me on this one.

Go read the article first. It'll light a fire under your ass.

Monday, September 23, 2013

24 July 2013 Journal Page

Busy week ahead. I'm almost all prepped and ready for Art Is You in Petaluma. I have to pick up a couple of supplies and I'll be ready to hit the road on Thursday.

Speaking of Northern California classes, if you've been waiting to sign up for my classes at Maria's studio in the Niles section of Fremont, don't wait too much longer as they are starting to fill up. I'm really looking forward to teaching there again. It truly is one of my most favorite places. 

I'm very excited about trekking North this week. I have some fun trips planned. Berkeley (as always) is a high priority on my list. It always feels like home there. Any city that has a plethora of bookstores, a variety of shops to buy art supplies, lots of amazing trees and great weather is a very good place indeed. Can't wait.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Day!

This is one of my favorite pages. The colors, the patterns, the words and the emotions all blended together to perfectly sum up how I was feeling that day. I look at this page and think, "me."

Tristan got the mail and (with my permission) excitedly ripped open the package from Stampington. Inside was my sample copy of Art Journaling magazine. He was very proud to see his Mom's artwork on the cover as well as the eight page article inside. It's a surreal experience having your work published. Not sure if it is one that I will ever get used to. I'm very thankful for it when it happens. Hopefully it will inspire more folks to crack open their journals and dive in.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

18 July 2013 Journal Page

“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.” ― Vincent van Gogh

Friday, September 20, 2013

Shopping in Los Angeles

David and I trekked out the other day. We were up and out the door nice and early to try to get to our friendly neighborhood comic shop, Golden Apple Comics before the doors opened (yes, we've been collecting some of the DC 3-D Villain Variant covers. Wish us luck next week trying to get Joker's Daughter. HA! Sometimes I hate comics.) I'm not a morning person so because of me, we were there a few minutes after ten and the store was already packed. Funny to see men in suits buying stacks of comics before work. At the same time, I wasn't the only one who looked like they rolled out of bed to get there on time.

Next on our list was Skylight Books where I picked up two magazines, Darling #5 and an older issue of Kinfolk. I enjoy reading both of them. I love Skylight. They always have a great selection of new books in a wide variety of subject matter. Their Arts Annex rocks! It's hard to resist all of the temptation in that store (though not too hard when you look at your bank account and cry! HA!) I made a mental note for a few things to add to my perpetually growing wish list. 

David has been looking for The Star Wars Black Series Sandtrooper 6" (he wants to see it in person) so we hit Toys R Us (again) and had no luck (again.) He's been a bit obsessed with this series especially after having missed out on buying Boba Fett at Comic-Con (neither getting in line at 2:30 a.m. nor multiple trips to the booth netted a damn thing. It seems that all of them were sold to scalpers on ebay. Grrrrr. Even though Hasbro supposedly limited the amount you could buy, there are individual scalpers who have  sold more than a handful. Infuriating. Though both Tristan and I think that the whole Lego Minifigure Thing at SDCC was even more infuriating. )

We also visited Alias East, another favorite used bookstore. We walked out empty handed. Some folks seem to think that we buy books at every store we visit (we wish we could!) While we enjoy browsing our favorite local bookstores on a regular basis, like most folks, we can't afford nor do we have space for everything we want. It's sure fun to look though! If you're local to Los Angeles, I have a list of favorite shops here

Last on the list was Baller Art Ware in Silver Lake. I've been on a quest for the extra fine replacement tips for the Molotow markers. I've had an order in for a few weeks at a local art shop but still haven't heard anything from them yet. I stopped into Baller and found the (new to me) Liquitex Professional Paint Markers. I've heard folks talking about them online for awhile now but this is the first time I've seen them at a local shop. Like a kid in a candy shop with only so many pennies to spend, I picked out a few in colors that I didn't have in other paint markers. In all honesty, I haven't really used them that much since I bought them. I don't know if I can say that I love them but I like them so far. A new pen is always fun to play with! I also bought an extra fine empty pen from Montana that I filled with my hot pink refill Molotow ink. I wouldn't recommend doing this again. In this type of a pen, the ink is more like a highlighter than anything else. It doesn't act the same way as it does in the regular Montana pens. I guess I can say that at least I tried! Guinea Pig Kelly!


I'm saving most of my pennies for my trip up North next week (and then again next month when I teach at Maria's in Fremont. Speaking of which, classes in Fremont are starting to fill up so don't wait too long if you are interested!My plan is to hit Berkeley on the way up to Art Is You. I'm still deciding on what I should do after class on Sunday. I haven't booked a hotel yet for Sunday night and am trying to make some plans! I want to drive along the coast as much as possible. I would love to see some Redwoods and all things scenic. I'm not especially interested in shopping or eating (I'm a vegetarian with a sweet tooth) as much as I'm interested in seeing the sights. Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Welcome Addition to the Family

Nana holding Jack who is holding Hannah
Congratulations to my sister, Erin and her husband, Marc on the birth of their second child, Hannah Kelly! She was born yesterday at 4:53 p.m. weighing 7lbs 9oz. Her big brother Jack absolutely adores her. I can't wait to squish them both with lots of hugs and kisses and spoil them rotten. Isn't that what Aunties are for?

I love how both kids are holding their fingers to their faces in this photo. Oh how much I love my little monkeys!


A bit of teaching housekeeping-

If you've been on the fence about my classes this weekend (in Laguna Beach and at the Art Bar in Santa Ana) don't wait much longer to sign up! Registration for the Art Bar classes closes at Noon on Friday. I hope to see you there!  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

13 July 2013 Journal Page

I share my work on my blog to encourage others. I'm not fishing for compliments or sympathy or anything. With my journal pages, I'm stating a fact, my truth. I am not the only one having a hard time finding work (for me that means places to teach.) I am grateful for having an outlet (art journaling) where I can process my feelings and thoughts.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Journey

Thinking. Trying to figure out how to put this into words without sounding snarky or elitist. I've written and rewritten this post several times. 

I have kept a journal in some form since fourth grade. My pages are constantly evolving and changing as I do. My work did not look like this overnight. I've practiced, pushed and experimented on my pages. I have struggled to find my own voice. Pretty, perfect pages are not my priority. They never have been. Pages that reflect my thoughts and experiences are what I'm after. 

I am constantly learning (aren't we all?) I am taken aback by folks who insist that they know everything. How is that possible when we are always growing and changing as we age? We learn by trial and error. We learn by experience and by doing. 

That is one of the many things that is so wonderful about our journal pages. We can document that process and see how we grow, change and unfold upon our pages. We can hold a glimpse of the process in our hands. There's something almost magical about being able to harness a moment in time and hold it in our hands.
We can look back and see how we've changed and how our pages reflect that change. We should be able to look back without judgment. There should be no such thing as a pretty, perfect page. It should be the honesty in our pages that we strive for. Honest, real, messy pages full of life and passion. Pages that reflect us in all of our ups and downs. Pages full of life, your life. Don't let anyone lead you to believe anything different.


Art-is-You in Petaluma registration is open through today! If you've been on the fence, now is the time! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

8 July 2013 Journal Page

Sundays are for a late breakfast, a trip to the farmers market, art, reading, a walk and late night movie watching. I hope that yours is a good one.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Truth and Honesty

I always speak my truth on my pages. My journals aren't to tell lies or tall tales. That doesn't work for me. I want openness and honesty on my pages, just like in real life.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I love the simplicity in speaking my truth on this page. 

I've always encouraged my students to play with their handwriting. You may have already heard my story of eight years of Catholic school and nuns constantly telling me that I had the worst handwriting. I never let that stop me from writing in my journals. I pushed and I played. It's something that I'm still doing today.

There are several different handwriting styles on this page, three of which are mine. I love script and what looks like the touch of a human hand on a page.

When I write my biggest concern is getting whatever it is that I need to out and onto the page. I can always fix or hide things later on if I make a mistake but usually I let it go. It's part of me and I'm far from perfect so why would I want my pages to be perfect? I want them to be an honest expression of me in that moment. I want them to be human and open. I want them to be messy and full of life. I want them to be a reflection of my now so that tomorrow me can look back and remember today.

One of my favorite magazines, Darling, is offering a digital copy of issue #1 for free today only. More info here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making my Way

Looking back at this page two months later, I'm okay with it. I don't love it but I'm okay with it. It says what I needed it to say at that moment in time. Those words still resonate strongly with me now. Isn't that all that should matter?

Yet at the same time we push forward with our pages. We make more. We seek. We yearn. We ponder. We push. We regress. We strive. We fly. 

They're all valuable learning experiences. They're all moments that add up to the overall picture. It's all part of the process as we make our way in life.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


It doesn't take a lot of stuff to make a journal page. Use what you have. Make it work. What's on your mind right now? Use it as a starting point. Can't finish a whole page now but you have time to glue something down? Go for it. Baby steps are better than nothing at all.

Monday, September 09, 2013


If you've taken a workshop from me recently, I would really appreciate it if you could please double check the supplies that you brought home from class. As I always say in class, it is super easy for my 6" transparent Crafters Workshop stencils to hide in folks stash of goodies (it has happened several times over the years and I NEVER mean to cause anyone any embarrassment over it. I wish the stencils were neon pink so we could find them easier!) I'm missing several 6" stencils. If you find them in your stash, I'm not upset. I would just love to get them back. You can email me and trust me, I'm not angry! I know it happens and it's almost always by accident! 

Many folks think that I am given supplies by various companies to use in my classes, I am not given anything by anyone! Every supply that I bring to class, I buy. I buy from stores just like you guys do. I don't get anything from anyone. All of the tape, rubber stamps, stencils, pens, etc... that you use in my classes are things that I LOVE, recommend and buy. It gets to be expensive when things start to go missing. Thanks for understanding!

Speaking of supplies, I've also updated my list of favorite places to shop in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I had to remove four stores (SOB!) from the list as they've closed down. Do you have any favorites (art supplies, paper, books, etc...) that you'd like me to add to the list? Stampin from the Heart is closing on the 29th of this month if you didn't know it already. I also didn't know that Pearl on La Cienega closed last month. 

My last bit of housekeeping is a quick reminder that sign-ups for Art Is You in Petaluma close on the 12th. There is still space for YOU in my workshops there. More information can be found here. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

4 July 2013 Journal Page

“Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads -at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library.” ― Haruki Murakami

Friday, September 06, 2013

Bringing Home the Goods

David and I ventured out into the heat yesterday. First we made a detour to Westwood where we had what I always call cookie ice cream (ice cream sandwiches on cookies) from Diddy Riese. We also stopped at Rocket Fizz for a couple of bottles of my favorite soda, Jones, in strawberry and root beer. We needed some cold stuff in our bellies before we trekked to downtown Los Angeles where it was boiling. 

We scored (for the first time in awhile) an easy parking space at The Last Bookstore. I needed small hardcover books for my Pocket Planner class at Art is You in Petaluma in a few weeks (remember, registration closes in a few days.) I didn't find anything else but what I needed for class.

Next stop was Kinobuyitall, I mean Kinokuniya. I've been meaning to go for a few weeks now. I knew I had to go yesterday when I noticed my yellow Glaze pen was completely empty. I found the replacement colors I needed as well as a couple of other pens in red and pink that I want to try. A feather stamp called to me. An alphabet set did, too, but I resisted that $18 call. On my way to the cash register, I spied the magazine, Palm Maison. I flipped through it a few times before I decided it must be mine (I ripped it up for collage immediately when I got home.) 

One thing that made me sad was that Kinobuyitall seemed to have downsized their washi tape section. I'm hoping that they were just running low but it seemed much smaller than last time. They're the only place in Los Angeles that usually carries a good selection so that was disappointing. I also noticed the price on the Glaze and Souffle pens went up ($2.50 each) where a two pack is usually $4. I'll have to order next time from Jetpens or go to Swain's in Glendale where I think they are slightly cheaper. 

All in all, it was a very good day! The heat must've gotten to our heads because before we went home, we called in for a pick up order of a pizza from Hollywood Pies! Tristan was very happy when we walked in the door with it!

Off to finish prepping for my Banana Rose class tomorrow. Hope your weekend is good!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


When I sit down to create my pages, I'm having a conversation with myself. My pages are created for me. I want to be as honest as possible with myself (as well as others) so I try not to hold anything back. I've had people become enraged at my pages while others have cried, laughed, nod their heads in recognition and some will ask simply, "why?" 

I tend not to explain my pages. I offer them here to encourage others that your journal can be anything that you want and need it to be. It's your place to open up and explore. It's your place to be you. It's your place to simply be.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


"So I beg of have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Rainer Maria Rilke

A quick reminder that I am teaching A Beautiful Necessity this Saturday at Banana Rose in Westlake Village. The sample is in store as well as online. 

I've also been told if you are interested in my Art is You Petaluma classes that sign-ups close September 12th. So, if you've been on the fence don't wait much longer! Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Asking Questions

Sometimes some of the best pages come from asking questions in your journal especially ones that you can't answer. Think about what's on your mind and then start to pick the imagery from whatever is placed in front of you. Make it work.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

What I am Reading Now

I stayed up into the early hours of the morning last night reading Kiki de Montparnasse. I read all four hundred plus pages last night. Anyone who dismisses comics (or graphic novels as they are also called) really needs to give them a second chance or look again at what they consider to be comics. It's not all super heroes and villians. There's so much out there and definitely something for everybody.

I started the Cocteau book the other day (after I finished Bunuel's My Last Sigh.) There are bits and pieces that I'm gleaning that are making it well worth the read. I'm about halfway through it now.

Next on the list is Marjane Satrapi's The Sigh. I may stay up tonight and read it as I've been waiting for it for awhile now. David found a copy for me at The Iliad in North Hollywood and I jumped up and down when I saw it. (The last copy they had was Dogeared and I avoid buying books that aren't in better condition.) I am a big fan of Satrapi's work. If you haven't read anything by her, start with Persepolis and go from there. When you're done with her books, rent Persepolis. Her work is amazing.

David recommended Chaplin's autobiography especially since I liked Bunuel and Kurosawa's books so much. I also want to read Films in My Life by Truffaut (that's on the shelf and not in the picture.) 

Since I seem to be on a surrealist kick, I have been saving Andre Breton's Manifestos of Surrealism but now seems to be the perfect time to crack it open.

What books have you devoured lately?