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The one with the new circle journal

6 Apr

Good morning and happy Sunday!

Wow, everything is blooming here in Nashville and my allergies are going crazy. Not too much going on in the art room this week due to feeling so blah! So today I’m going to be brief and share the new circle journal I am working on with a good friend.

She moved out to Clute, Texas last year to take an appointment at a United Methodist church (she is the senior pastor). I am happy that we have kept in touch since she moved. So when she asked if  I’d like to start a circle journal with her (like the one I have going with my mom) I had to think about it for about a second. It’s such a fun way to connect with someone.

Karney and me (I’m on the left) last year.

J2Here is Karney’s first layout. How lucky am I? Who else gets fun mail with poetry about what they mean to their friend? I’m not much of a poet, so I went with went with a collage…..

J3I used a dress pattern for the background. I added red and white circles using a peanut butter jar lid and a creamer lid. Some black painted boxes, patterned white circles from bubble wrap completed the background. After that, I added the focal elements. The frame around the girl is washi tape. It’s a simple layout, but I like the message.

Till next week,







The one with creative community

23 Feb

Good morning and happy Sunday.

Last night, I went to Jake Wells show opening, Upcycled, at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse. I had the pleasure of meeting Jake a few weeks back at the TGCR and he described his work, but seeing it in person was truly inspirational! His use of acrylic paints and found objects is like nothing I’ve seen before. I didn’t get any pictures from last night, but check out their Facebook page for a few photo albums.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Carrie from Platetone, who kindly showed me around, answered my many questions and even helped me make this print:

photo (1)I have an idea for a project and it looks like I found a place to work on it (once they get that letterpress). I am really enjoying getting to know the artists who work in those two spaces. And the artists who gather there. Everyone is welcoming and interested in hearing about your particular type of art. It’s validating. It’s comfortable and it feels like home.

So, on to what I’ve been up to in my studio. Recently, I finished a layout in the circle journal I share with my mom (you can read more about that here). Here is what I created this time around:


She is my version of SheArt, the brainchild of  the very talented (and one of my faves) Christy Tomlinson.


I used the inside of a security envelope for the circles. I hand wrote (instead of using stamps for once) Believe in Yourself on book pages (gessoed first).


I used scrapbook paper for her dress and (different) book pages for her body.



All in all, I was really pleased with the way she turned out. Mom seems to like her as well (so it’s a win win!).

I’m going run. I have some friends coming over this afternoon to help me practice teaching my art journal workshop. I mentioned a few weeks back that I put in my proposal to teach at the Turnip Green. Well, nothing is official yet, but it looks like we’re moving forward. So, now I have to practice teaching! This week, I’m going to show them how to bind their journal out of recycles paper and then we’re going to decorate the cover.  Wish me luck!

Till next week,

The one with the new circle journal layout

11 Feb

Happy Sunday. Originally, I started this post sitting in the Las Vegas airport after a week long visit with my mom. We had a great time and I was able to deliver our circle journal in person! And then the week after I got home got away from me. And now so has the weekend. It’s so true what they say; you really do need a vacation from your vacation.

Anyhow, today, I’m going to share the layout I did for Mom. But first. I thought I would share the layout she did for me. It was around my birthday when she started working on this one so I think the theme came easy to her!

circle journal 1

circle journal 2

I love the brush strokes!circle journal 3

It makes me so happy that she used the tea tags from one of her favorite teas as the border. She’s starting to look at the everyday items around her house as potential items to use in her art.

journal 1

So here is where I started; a layer of gesso (of course!) some random book pages and scrap book papers and then another layer of gesso. Next I used a great circle stencil I picked up (which I LOVE!).

journal 2

I wasn’t exactly sure where to go from here so I added some color.

journal 4

Which I didn’t care for. It was too bright? Too much? Not sure. It just wasn’t right. But it looked better with a layer of gesso (and it left a great texture). I went looking for some inspiration and remembered a post from Donna Downey sharing some cool trees she was working on (check that out here). So, I was back in business. After testing out my version of these super cool trees, I put paint to paper.

journal 7

Now the addition of color looks right!

journal 8

Here’s a close up of my tree. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out!

journal 6

I thought it would be fun to create a bird to finish off this layout. I sketched him out on cardstock and embossed the swirlydo thingies.

journal 10

Now, I realize the perpective is a bit off. It’s either a giant bird or a tiny tree….maybe both? But I like it and even better, so did my mom!

I know this isn’t a travel blog, but I thought I’d share a pic of my mom and me (since this is our circle journal)…..

Mom & MeTill next week,


The one with Superman

22 Dec

This week, I share my latest circle journal layout! Earlier this month, during a trip to McKay’s, I found inspiration for this layout; a comic book (yes, you read that right).  You see, my mom owned a comic book store for many years and Superman was her favorite so when I found that  book, inspiration hit. I flipped through the comic and my vision started to take shape.

Superman 1

As always, I began with a layer of gesso. Sticking with the main color of the this particular comic, I mixed a slightly metallic blue for the very bottom layer.

Superman 2

In my original vision, I thought it would be fun to use dialog boxes as the background. So, I went through the entire book, looking for complete dialog boxes and then cut a bunch out. After finding the right number, sizes and colors, I laid them out and  used Golden Soft Gel Medium to adhere them to the journal pages.

Superman 3

I covered the dialog boxes with a thin layer of gesso so they looked like part of the page and not like they were sitting on top of it. I also added a thin wash of blue to tone down the white.

Superman 5

The layout needed something so I finished with a dark blue boarder.

Superman 6

A close-up of the man of steel! And those dialog boxes under the paint and gesso.

Mom got this in the mail a few days ago. She called to tell me how much she loves it! I can’t ever go wrong with her using Superman as my subject!

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Till next week,

The one where I share my moms artwork

17 Nov

Happy Saturday! (and yes, that is a salute to Friends)

You may recall a while back when I shared the circle art journal I sent my mom. And you may also recall that I forgot to take a photo of the finished page…..well, I got the journal back from my mom, so we’ll start with a picture of the finished layout:

I didn’t share much about my mom or why in particular I thought she would like this journal. Or why I thought she might actually need this journal. So, I’ll share a bit now. Two years ago, on Halloween, we lost my dad unexpectedly. My parents were happily (I emphasize happily) married for 40 years. My dad passing has left a hole in the hearts of most who knew and loved him and of course, none greater than my mom.

Grief takes its toll on us in many ways. It sucked the creativity out of me for almost a year. I fear it’s been the same for my mom. We’re all artists. She paints. My dad made silver jewelry, was a photographer, painted, and way back in the day, did bronze casting. You may have seen some of his work if you’ve ever been in Central Park (the Hanz Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland sculptures). I wish I had thought of this circle journal when he was still alive. He dabbled in watercolor and I can only imagine how fun it would have been to send one back and forth with him too.

Anyhow, I bought mom some acrylic paints for her birthday last year. For various reasons (a move, new job, terribly sad) she hasn’t gotten them out. So, this journal is my way of helping her find her creative spark again. It’s also a unique way to stay in touch. Something different to talk about. A part of our artistic selves to share with each other (and now you).

I asked her if I could share her pages too and she didn’t hesitate to say yes. She did say it’s not as great as she hoped; artists, we’re our own worst critics.

Mom loves her glitter!

Look at those brush strokes! Love it!

So, what do you think? I think it’s very much my mom. Sparkly, full of life and a bit quirky!

Till next week,