Friday, February 28, 2014

17 January 2014 Journal Page

"I really do want to be more present. I want to be here even when it hurts."-Something I wrote on the above page. Something I've said often.

Kay asked me if I worked on the table or the floor. I work on the floor because I can spread out more. That said, if I had a table that was larger and that was at standing height, I'd be working there, too. I like to be able to move around a lot as I work and sitting on the floor allows me to move my legs around (as does standing at a table.) Just me and my weirdness. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014


This is where I sit and create. Yes, it needs to be cleaned up. It is quite nice to have everything within reach. It won't look like this for much longer though as my corner of the living room needs a good cleaning. It eventually comes around again though. Always.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where All is Revealed

Earlier this month, I teased about sharing the insides of this journal. Here it is! The pages fold out and can easily be folded in so that they can be worked on in an easy manner. 

Blog Love:
 Comfortable Shoes Studio: Empower vs Permission (A MUST read)
Well-Read Women Interview with Samantha Hahn (LOVE this book!)
Rebecca Blair artwork 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Sometimes it seems like we're always seeking something. My pages often reflect these thoughts and yearnings for balance, peace, more time, calm, etc... Working in my journal often brings me a small moment of what I'm seeking. I need to remember that more and hold onto it.

Just read that starting with the International Edition of Flow #5 (due April 23rd), it will be found at MORE Barnes and Noble stores. A little fyi. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Sitting in the car outside of The Word Is Art (where I'm teaching today) eating my breakfast and listening to Alan Watts recordings on the radio. Looking forward to my day. Hope yours is a good one.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

12 January 2014 Journal Page

I love playing with how text is layered. Text upon text fascinates me. On this page, I used paper with the script text and on top of it did stamping, stenciling, rub-on letters and my own handwriting. It can get messy but like everything, it's all about problem solving and trying to make it work for you. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

9 January 2014 Journal Page

I love collage. Layers of found papers and elements brought together on a page. Little bits and bobs saved for just the right moment. Using paper as a means of self expression to tell your story.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

9 January 2014 Journal Page

I've updated my class list through July. I hope to be adding more classes to it. I'll have a closer look at March within the next few days. More here.

I was listening to "On Being" last night and heard a wonderful interview with Ann Hamilton who calls herself not an artist but a maker. You can find the interview here. 

There's also this gem:


"Practicing mindfulness. Paying attention. Listening generously.

For Renate Hiller, the fiber artist whom you see in the film above, these majestic phrases apply in all their richness. Her German lilt of the tongue reaffirms this exquisite eloquence as she connects the importance of using our hands with the way in which we understand and find value in ourselves and in others. There’s something so honest and pure about her thought — that we gain a deeper, more meaningful relationship with our own humanity and our greater world by using our hands.

Using our hands grounds us — in work and in relationship. As we create something, hopefully beautiful, with our hands, we are transforming our moral and social senses. We evolve; we change. We notice things that we passed over the day before: the curve in a sidewalk to make way for a tree in the boulevard, the purl of a scarf, the transition of a capital that greets the ceiling. We observe the mundane and see it anew. The process of creating through the hands becomes a spiritual practice."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

3 January 2014 Journal Page

Playing with colors, pattern, text and my thoughts. Fitting the puzzle pieces together on the page. Molding them into an expression of me at that moment.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

6 January 2014 Journal Page

Not feeling like I did on January 6th but thankful to have an outlet for when I do!

Monday, February 17, 2014

2 January 2014 Journal Page

I've posted several times about Lynda Barry and how much I love, admire and respect her work. Yesterday on her fabulous tumblr page (Bookmark it! Trust me!) she posted a link to an article about how handwriting boosts the brain

In my class yesterday, I was talking with my students about how many folks find the act of putting pen to paper to be a difficult one. I've heard folks say that they're going to print their words from the computer, etc... The thing that a lot of people don't realize is that the act of putting pen to paper is a VERY different thought process than using a computer. Instead of listening to me ramble about it, check out the link above and try it. See how far you can push yourself by putting pen to paper.

Some more thoughts on the handwritten word in your journal.

Quick bit of housekeeping:

Two NEW classes this weekend at The Making Place in Escondido and Word is Art in Los Angeles. More here. I hope to see you there! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ownership and Giving Credit

Home from a good day of teaching at The Art Bar. A technique was brought up and Student #1 said she had learned it from so and so. Another student piped in that she also had been taught the technique but by another instructor. I jumped in saying that I was also familiar with said technique but that So and So had popularized it but I would be willing to bet that So and So also had learned it elsewhere. All of this led me to think about bringing up this subject on my blog today. 

In the world, we're constantly learning and exploring new ideas. We try new things, if we are passionate about these ideas we take them, push them and make them our own. We make them our own by placing our own unique thumb print on our work. We are not laying claim to the technique but to our own individual sense of style that we have learned and developed through trial, error *and* the support and encouragement of those around us. 

Now you might say, "I've never taken a class from so and so. I've never read any of the popular books or magazines." Yet at the same time, we are all (whether we are aware of it or not) influenced by everyone and everything we see around us. 

You can claim ownership on your artwork and your own signature style but you are not the first person to collage, pull prints, bind a book, etc... Am I saying that you shouldn't give credit where it is due? Of course not. Giving acknowledgment to our teachers and fellow artists should be something we do without hesitation.

Maybe what I'm trying to say is be open to acknowledging art for art's sake. That we learn from, share with and inspire others. Even when we aren't aware of it. Instead of jumping to take the credit, give it. Pass it on and see how we can broaden our community and better ourselves not as artists but also as human beings.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

24 December 2013 Journal Page

"I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic —in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself." -Anais Nin

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Hearts Day

Happy Hearts Day! A day to celebrate love of all kinds (not just the romantic kind.) 

"I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart." -Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Beginnings

Yesterday I showed you the last page of one of my journals from my Composing A Life: A Journal Box series. While the journals are all finished (for now) I plan on still adding to the box occasionally. I will share it with you as I do.

In the meantime, here's my latest journal cover. I started working on this on the 22nd of December. I have about twelve pages to go before I finish. I LOVE this journal (I say that about all of my books.) The pages fold out (I'll show you that soon.)

I started a (rant) discussion on facebook yesterday about how exasperating it is that my art that I love so much (art journaling) isn't taken seriously. It's not a respected art form even though artists have been keeping them for quite some time! The classes aren't taken seriously either. It's considered "craft" (by that I mean, a hobby. Not Craft with a capital C which is something entirely different and is treated with respect.) 

To me, art journaling is right up there with breathing and eating. It's something that I have to do. It's not something that I do to occupy my time or to keep idle hands busy. It's something that I am most passionate about doing and encouraging others to do so as well. Making art in a journal is not something new. However, maybe we can finally elevate it to the level of respect and recognition that it deserves in the coming years.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

31 December 2013 Journal Page

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." -Marcel Proust

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bringing Home the Goods

I found some fun goodies at Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale this past weekend. Here's what I brought home. Yes, I already know that I have an addiction to alphabet stamps. (I have a post on my favorite alphabets here. Yes, I'm still looking for the teeny tiny set that I mention in this post.)

I'm home now and trying to get back into the swing of things after two weekends in a row on the road. I miss my buds in AZ and No CA but it's always nice to sleep in your own bed after several days away! There are still bags that need to be unpacked and laundry to do but that can wait for a day or two.

I have a class coming up this Sunday at the Art Bar in Santa Ana. Catch it while you can! I have two other classes scheduled for February in Southern California (San Diego and L.A.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

20 December 2013 Journal Pages

"When the child was a child, it was the time of these questions. Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there? When did time begin, and where does space end? Isn't life under the sun just a dream? Isn't what I see, hear, and smell just the mirage of a world before the world? Does evil actually exist, and are there people who are really evil? How can it be that I, who am I, wasn't before I was, and that sometime I, the one I am, no longer will be the one I am?" -Wings of Desire (one of those stop everything, seek it out and sit down and allow yourself to be engrossed in it completely type of films)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

20 December 2013 Journal Pages

Last day of Frenzy Stamper classes this time around. Sad to say goodbye but always nice to see my boys who I miss so much. See you again in late July, Arizona, for Art Unraveled!

Thanks Debbie and the gang for a great weekend!!!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

16 December 2013 Journal Pages

Having a great time teaching at Frenzy Stamper. It's always fun here! Trying not to get into too much trouble!!

Friday, February 07, 2014

16 December 2013 Journal Pages

Day one of classes at Frenzy Stamper. Having a wonderful time, as usual. I love teaching here. Happy place!!!!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Kerrie Carbary's husband Scott passed away early this week. If you don't know Kerrie, she is a wonderfully sweet and extremely talented artist (she published one of my all time top favorite magazines, Dogeared, as well owned and operated Turtle Press, home of some of the best alphabet sets on the planet.) I've only met Kerrie in person once when she had her shop in Washington. I remember her being quiet and very kind. I still have all of my Dogeared magazines and several of her alphabet sets. Her work has touched many people and this is a small way to help.

 Someone has started a fundraising campaign to help her at this most difficult time. Please consider donating or at least passing the information along. Thank you. 

 “I don't want to live in the kind of world where we don't look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I can't change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”Charles de Lint

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

10 December 2013 Journal Page

This is the last page in the second journal from my Composing A Life: A Journal Box. I'll share the other journal this week. All packed and prepped for Frenzy Stamper this weekend. The last few weeks have been super busy and now it's going to slow down a little bit after my classes this weekend (I have my local classes listed here.) That doesn't mean it's time for a rest. My head is bubbling with some new ideas that I'm eager to explore. 

I'm also hoping to find at least one or two new places (preferably ones that I can drive to and by driving, I mean anything within a 6-8 hour one way trip) to teach between now and June. Fingers crossed. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Happy 17th Birthday, Tristan!

Happy 17th Birthday to My Favorite Son! Your Father and I love you so much, Tristan. You never stop amazing me with your talent and the things that you come up with. I love watching you grow, learn and become the wonderfully talented and loving young man that you are. I wish you a year full of everything that you love: Lego, DC, comics, cartoons, chia seeds and Oregano's pizza. Happy, happy birthday, Tristan. Love you!

Here's Tristan's latest film that debuted last week. The film has its own original voice cast (he held auditions) and soundtrack. Tristan did everything else.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Books Full of Me: Themes and Me or The Light Bulb Moment

noun \ˈthēm\
: the main subject that is being discussed or described in a piece of writing, a movie, etc.
: a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly
: the particular subject or idea on which the style of something (such as a party or room) is based

For years I've said that I don't work with themes. Themes to me meant stuff like Alice in Wonderland Books, Frida Kahlo, etc... Being stuck with A THEME always made my head hurt. I like the freedom to wander, explore and see where the wind takes me.

In my classes I'm often asked if students should be exploring a theme. My response is often that they should pick what they like and what they are drawn to the most. If that working with a theme helps them in their creative process that they should work within the realms of what makes them comfortable.

It was pointed out in class yesterday (thanks Maria and Meryl) that I AM working in a theme. My buds pointed out that I often use the same kind of imagery repeatedly in my work. I argued that those were the kinds of images that I am drawn to, that I am using those images to represent and speak for me. I countered that what my friends were saying wasn't really a theme but that those images, colors and symbols instead represent my visual vocabulary. 

After class I packed up and headed home. Six hours to process and think (along with several hours of singing along at a very high volume to David Bowie, Talking Heads, Hardline and Dick Powell.
Eclectic is my taste in music.) Then it hit me. 

I DO work in a theme. Repeatedly. ME! I'M my own theme! Self exploration and discovery. Images of women and colors that represent ME, my feelings and my thoughts. Repeated words that are winks at things in my life. Books full of my own thoughts, reflections and pondering. Books full of me.

So, I'll have to change my thoughts on how I talk about themes from now on. Seventeen years of teaching and it's taken me this long to realize it and wrap my head around it. I'll have six hours on the way to Frenzy Stamper in Scottsdale this weekend to process and gather my thoughts some more.

Some other links that may be of interest to you:
Building a Visual Vocabulary
Another Building a Visual Vocabulary Post
Where I Find My Collage Images
Thoughts on Collage Work

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Niles Fun!

Messy table love in the Niles section of Fremont! Will be sad to leave later today.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

9 December 2013 Journal Page

"Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers,ghosts, giants,old men,young men,wives,widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves." -James Joyce