My New Simplified Bullet Journal

Snow storm, cancelled classes, cleaning out and organizing studio spaces. For me it goes along with getting my everyday, calendar journal ready for the year. This simplified bullet journal gives me lots of freedom as I begin to live out my word of the year: FREE as in “be free.” By simplified I mean, not a lot of “to-do” lists or coding, unless I want to, but more of a loose design format to happily contain my thoughts, prayers, dreams, and activities of the year. Journal writing and research make up much of my everyday journal, but I want to jazz it… Read More

FREE – a Hopeful, Surprising Word of the Year

2017 is a year of Freedom! As this year unfolds, I am focusing on being free – making statements like “I am free to ____________________.” “I am free from _____________________.” “Be free to ___________________” etc. I plan to include these “free” pages throughout my everyday calendar journal, exploring ideas and options without pressure. I have a feeling they will bring enjoyment and fun to the concept of a free art-making process. Such as, I am free to play with Washi tape in my journal… Looking up the definition of my word of the year is one of the most helpful… Read More

Transition 2016-2017, Disappointment or Hope?

Happy New Year! I love this time of year of NEW Beginnings! What do you do to celebrate? I treat myself to a new journal to write and doodle freely in each January. It comes fresh and new, with pristine pages full of possibility. It always makes me wonder what will fill them in the coming days. One thing for sure is it will include my word of the year. FREE But what if looking back on this year and looking ahead brings a sense of disappointment? Disappointment has been a key factor in my year of personal progress. On… Read More

SURPRISE! … and everything changes…

SURPRISE! … and everything changes… We’ve had a lot of surprises lately. The most joyous one recently came on October 4th. In the wee hours of the morning, I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. Praying for our youngest daughter, pregnant with her first child, I saw the word SURPRISE and a picture of a jack in the box popping out of the box. Other words came and I wrote them down, getting excited for the new addition expected in December. A shower was planned for October 8th and we were asked to write down words for the baby… Read More

Fresh Perspective from Nature of My Word of the Year

Fresh Perspective from Nature of my Word of the Year It was something to look forward to for more than a month. I was going with three close friends on a retreat for a few days in the high desert of Oregon. Getting there and the arrival was more difficult than expected. After adjusting schedules and expectations, we arrived safely after dark and fell into bed. The next day offered beauty and solace along the beautiful Metolius River. I felt tired and spent after a difficult week. Walking with friends along the path by the river was a joyful relief. The weekend was over, and kids back in school,… Read More

Paradox of Rest

Paradox of Rest During this season, I am asking a question asked in one of my favorite books, Inner Compass. (Scroll down to see link in sidebar) The author Margaret Silf, asks, Am I being drawn or driven? For me, the answer to that question reveals the source and motivation of what I choose to do. Being drawn is responding to God’s invitation with a ‘Yes.’ My word for this year is Flow, and I imagine myself entering into the river of God. Surrendering to the current, being secure in God’s love to the point of relaxing, putting my feet… Read More

Be brave…I am here…Outside your comfort zone

Be brave…I am here…outside your comfort zone “Be brave and don’t be afraid. I am here.” – Jesus   Matthew 14:27 The Passion Translation That is not the typical I AM statement of Jesus I think of. But Jesus said it a number of times to his followers, “I am with you, even to the end of the age, I am here…” Jesus, his Spirit, Holy Spirit, Comforter, with me… always. I am receiving this in a deep way today. Stepping out in faith, working on a new project that looks big, harder than I can attempt on my own,… Read More


Word of the Year Art Journal Reflecting Life

Word of the Year Art Journal Reflecting Life If you’ve been reading my blog recently you may remember my quote of the year: “Plan to be surprised.” from the movie Dan in Real Life. Life hardly ever looks like I think it will. I like plans that follow through, events and deadlines nicely spaced out on my calendar, having something to look forward to, etc. In other words, I like to feel like my life is manageable and I have a reasonable measure of control. Nearly mid-year, I am trying to embrace the uncontrolled nature of my word of the year… Read More

Using Coloring Pages in My Art Journal

In the first Colorful Blessings coloring book, many of the drawings were drawn from my art journals. Now with the second book, Colorful Blessings – Celebrating Everyday Wonders, finished and being published by Taunton Press (released in June), I am beginning to use the coloring pages in my art journals. I thought you might like to see some of my process. I began by choosing images that resonated with the journal I’m working on: My Word of the Year Journal, and my word FLOW. The journal is made out of watercolor paper. Here I chose “Nurture Tranquility” from the first… Read More

My Word and Shape for 2016 flowing out of 2015

Do you have a word or theme that is recurring, it keeps coming up? A word that won’t go away? One that seems highlighted? Sometimes it comes like that, over time… I’ve noticed that my word/theme of the year often starts as a seed in September rather than January, and then begins to take root in November. Maybe it is because the school year starts in September and I taught school for ten years and had children that started their new school year every fall. Whatever the reason, now that it is the beginning of our calendar year, my word… Read More