Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Settled In

Some folks settle in after a long drive by heading straight to bed or to the TV. Me? I'm in my happy place. Cut and paste, baby!

All set up at Maria's Studio in Niles and ready to teach. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

February Collage Sheet of the Month Club

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my January Collage Sheet of the Month! I'm very excited to share with you the collage sheet for February.

You can sign up on a month by month basis (I'll announce when the new sheet is ready on the blog.) You'll receive via email a digital, high resolution PDF file of an 8 1/2 x 11" page collage sheet (without a watermark.) You can download your sheet, save it and print it out as much as you'd like. 

Please allow up to 24 hours for me to respond. 

This collage sheet is exclusive to the Collage Sheet of the Month Club and is only available here (it will not be passed out in classes, etc...). 

You can order February's sheet for $4:

Monday, January 27, 2014

30 November 2013 Journal Pages

Sharing more pages from one of the books that is a part of my Composing a Life Box. I really love working in this book box set. With the ideas that I have spinning in my head for the book box set, it's definitely a work in progress.

I'll be leaving Thursday for my classes at Maria's in Fremont. I really love teaching there. I'll be prepping materials for it the next few days. Off to cut paper and board! This is the part that isn't so fun! LOL!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Muji Hollywood

I popped into Muji Hollyweird yesterday with a friend. We were in the store for about 45 minutes. I've been hearing about it for awhile now and the Hollywood one had only recently opened.

The store was mostly storage, clothing, kitchen stuff, furniture, etc... There was a small area (you can see one side of it in the photo) with pens, scissors, one three pack of washi tape, snowflake and paw print rubber stamps for sale and lots of notebooks. It is NOT like Kinokuniya (Kinobuyitall) where you can get into oodles of trouble within a one inch space but it was fun testing pens.
I bought a small 6" metal ruler and a plastic storage container to hold my tape (real washi on the top and paper tapes on the bottom.) I spent about $22. It was a pricey store.

The thing that we loved the most was a table set up where you could take your purchases and use their stamps. We didn't do it but those alphabet, numbers and heart stamps were calling my name.
It was a fun trip but like Ikea, not something I need to do often. 

Thanks, Kara, for being my shopping buddy!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

26 November 2013 Journal Pages

Silently sharing a bit of myself. Letting the pages speak for themselves.

Friday, January 24, 2014

25 November 2013 Journal Page

Still in prep mode for my classes next weekend in Northern California and the following weekend at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale. Last minute sign-ups have been a big time trend lately which makes it hard for me to prep to in advance (especially if a class gets canceled because folks didn't sign up until a day or two before.) I know that it's hard out there (trust me, I know) but I'm just telling it as it is.

Next week I'll have the info on February's Collage Sheet of the Month (January's sheet is still available here.) 

I also have a small handful of copies of my book, Pieces of Me, still available. I'm not sure when (or if) I'll be printing it again so catch it while you can. 

FYI, Taschen (online and in store) is having their BIG sale right now. I picked up a couple of books at their preview sale last night for half price. 

I'll leave you with a quote for you to ponder:

“Life is trying things to see if they work.” – Ray Bradbury

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Love

Books, how very much I love thee.

The family and I were at Vromans in Pasadena (one of my weak spots) and on the way out (with nothing in my hands) I spotted a new Maira Kalman book. SIGNED! Arm twisted. Pages flipped. Heart swells. Maira LOVE! Yes, I did flip through all of the copies to find the book with the nicest drawing and signature. I am that much of a book geek. (FYI, they still have copies and they will mail order!)

A quick search to pop some links in here and I found that Maira has two more books coming out this year! One is called Girls Standing on Lawns and the other is My Favorite Things. These were quickly added to my wish list.

More Maira Love here, here, here, here, and here.

Another book that I just recently discovered was the latest from Patti Digh. It's called, "The Geography of Loss." It sits by my bed. I've flipped through it several times since it arrived yesterday. Still going through my own grieving process (I do not understand how folks talk about closure. Love never ends. You just learn how to carry things with you and some days are a little better than others.) From what I have seen and read so far, I would recommend it. It is next on my list of books to read.

What are you reading or looking forward to reading?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

25 November 2013 Journal Pages and New Rubber Stamps

I tend to go a wee bit overboard with all of the X's and O's this month. I couldn't resist ordering stamps from one of my long time favorite companies, Rubbermoon. Kristen Powers has a fun blog that you can check out here. I'm VERY happy with my new rubber stamps. I already dove in and used some last night on this page.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

18 November 2013 Journal Pages

I know that the video, "Soul's Kitchen: Making Journals with Paulus Berensohn" has been making the rounds in our art community the last few days. It is part of a larger documentary on the life of Paulus called, "To Spring From the Hand" which is due out sometime this year.

I loved and appreciated watching the video of Paulus as he taught by working alongside his students AS he was teaching. The students understand that teaching like this allows them to see the process as it unfolds in person than to just show pages and say, "Try this." It enables all of us to become part of a shared learning experience. 

Some favorite quotes from Paulus Berensohn:

"My feeling about the journal is that sensitive, progressive people are in danger of grief, of being atrophied by grief and fear and anxiety. So that the journal, I mean, I can literally say that I would not have survived the life that I've been given without this faithful companion in which I do rejoice and in which I do suffer, work on myself and sit at the table with the suffering. So the journal has that kind of function. It's sitting at table with the questions we carry."

 "...the journal keeping consciousness is in your life."

 “It’s not a way of making a living, it’s a way of making a life.”

I'm letting his words and actions sink in as I start to prep for my own workshops this weekend at The Art Bar, next weekend in No CA at Maria's Studio in Fremont and the following weekend at Frenzy Stamper in AZ. Yes, I am a busy bee but I am grateful to be  able to do what makes my heart so full. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

Monday, January 20, 2014


One of my favorite things to do is to make copies of images (either before or after I work on a page) and see how I can reuse it in different ways. I didn't plan on using the same image twice this past weekend but when I discovered my happy accident, I thought that I would share the pages here. (Yes, I am working on two journals at once. It's something that I rarely do but am trying to finish two separate projects.)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bringing Home the Goods SO CA Style

Yesterday I taught at a new store called The Making Place in Escondido. It's packed with paper, stamps, paper, ink, paper, stickers, paper, etc... The classroom area is a must see with lots of vintage art items. Fun! I can't wait to teach there again next month.

On the way home, I made a quick detour to Oh Hello Friend in Fullerton. I've been wanting to go to this store for some time now. I love Danni's blog and have bought several rolls of her tape. I found some fun things when I popped in.

It's that time of year when I'm on the prowl for X's and O's, pink and creams and all things Valentine related. Even the alphabet stamps shown above were chosen specifically for their unique X and O fonts. 

Off to The Word is Art to teach. Hope that your Sunday is a good one.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Calm Before the Storm

Having a great time teaching at The Making Place in Escondido!!! Lovely store with lots of eye candy! Big thanks to my wonderful students and to Cheryl and her daughter for a fun day!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Composing A Life: A Journal Box

Yesterday I finished sharing the first journal in this box set here on the blog. I hope that you enjoyed peeking into it. Before I go back to prepping for my classes this weekend (San Diego and L.A.), here's a look back at the small journal that folds up like an envelope:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

7 November 2013 Journal Pages

Sometimes my most favorite pages are the ones that on the outside look very simple but when you peel back the layers, are deeply complex.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

6 November 2013 Journal Pages

I'm excited that I will be teaching at a new venue called The Making Place in Escondido this Saturday. I'm also really looking forward to teaching a brand new class called Cultivating You: A Journal Process this Sunday at Word is Art. Other plans for January include The Art Bar and a trek up North to teach in the Niles section Fremont. Good times! You can find out more about all of my classes here.

I found out on Sunday that one of my longtime stores, Ink About It in Westford, MA is closing this Spring. When I left the store after my class and drove down Route 225, I was thinking about how much I enjoyed teaching there. I was also thinking about my Dad and how he would drive me to class and we always went 225 and how much I loved the scenic road. I'll have to drive down there this summer with my Mom and Tristan. I will definitely miss teaching there.

Some folks will say that what I am about to write is sharing too much, but it's my truth and I always speak my truth.There is an expression that people often like to say, "when one door shuts another opens." In all honesty, I hate that expression. Really and truly. Every time another store closes, I am filled with fear and anxiety. Teaching is how I support myself and my family. It is my passion and what I love so very, very much. Some folks tell me that I should, "just get another job!" In all honesty, I made more money working as a 40 hour a week minimum wage bookseller at Barnes and Noble than I do in my 40+ hours a week of work as an art instructor but teaching fills my heart and my life with so much. I love my students, they are like friends and family to me. I am grateful for all that I am able to do and for those who take my classes and encourage me that I can keep on doing what I feel that I truly do best. For as long as I can, I will keep putting one foot in front of another and do what I love to do best. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Bringing Home the Goods

On my way to Modesto on Friday, I decided to make a (very big) detour and hit my favorite small stores on 4th Street in Berkeley. I found lots of goodies at Scrapbook Territory, Castle in the Air, Nest, and Books Inc.

The only things in the above photo that I can't recommend are the October Afternoon rolling stamps (dates and sayings.) They are the most poorly designed rolling stamps I have ever used. They weren't cheap either. They don't roll well *at all* so just any fyi if you are a sucker for stamps like these (as I usually am.)

After several weeks of go, go, go, I am taking today off to recharge a bit. I am a wee bit behind in emails and I apologize for it. I will be back to work tomorrow morning! Off to play and explore in my journals and books.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Little Gifts

When David and I were helping my Mom move heavy furniture a couple of weeks ago, we discovered several papers that were stuck in a drawer of my maternal Grandmother's hope chest. In a small pile, were photographs we had never seen including two small books in my grandmother's handwriting and a couple of postcards from my Grandma Peg to Grandpa Frank as well as one from my Aunt Alice Riley who we loved to visit in Dorchester and later Rhode Island. Little handwritten gifts that I am holding close.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Home from the Menagerie!

Home from a fabulous day with the Art Menagerie of Modesto. Thank you again, ladies, for a wonderful day! I hope that you had as much fun as I did!

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” ~Vincent van Gogh

Friday, January 10, 2014

Heading North to Modesto

Bags are packed. Tons of tips, tricks, techniques and ideas are up my sleeve. Looking forward to a short but very fun trip! Modesto, here I come!

Thursday, January 09, 2014


31 October 2013 Journal Pages
One of the things that has been running through my head lately is the word, "connections." Journaling (to me) is very much so about making connections with ourselves as well as reaching out to those around us. It's about finding, documenting, exploring, creating and just being.

I am grateful for the journal keepers before me who have taken the time to write down their thoughts and feelings. I am grateful for the folks who took the time to preserve and publish these volumes making them available for folks like you and I to read, ponder and possibly identify with. I am grateful for thoughts like these that make me feel less alone:

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”-Frida Kahlo 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Little Monkeys

Awww, we're going to miss these little monkeys.
Heading home to prep for my Modesto workshop this weekend. I hope to see you there!

Monday, January 06, 2014

New Portable Printer Love

For the past couple of years I have wanted a portable photo printer that I can use with my cellphone (an ancient Droid X.) My sister bought me a Canon Selphy CP900 for Christmas. I can bring it with me and use it on the go. It took a lot of effort to set it up and thanks to the patience of my son and husband, I've already printed out over three dozen photos. It costs about $.27 a print and it's a little slow but it is perfect for what I need. I can't wait to use more of my own photos in my work. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! Thanks again, Erin!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Bringing Home the Goods

Yummy goodness from Ink About It. I can't wait to break them in.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Good Class Day

Even though I am fighting a cold (thanks, monkey nephew Jack!), I had a great time teaching at Ink About It in Westford, MA. I'm like a broken record saying that I have the best students but it's really true. I miss my Boston peeps and the last two weeks have been truly fabulous with my classes. Thanks, ladies!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Quiet Solitude

Lying on my Mother's couch looking at the grey and white landscape of swirling snow outside. Quiet. Alone. I could still be sleeping but here I am enjoying a quiet that I have not heard in a very long time.

"Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Storm Watch New England Style

In the middle of a Nor'easter (which could potentially turn into a blizzard) and hanging at my sister's house with my niece and nephew. All prepped and ready for my classes this Saturday at Ink About It in Westford, MA. Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as meeting a few new ones! In the mean time, I'm hunkering down and filling my day with play time and enjoying the snow, snow and more snow. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.