New planner, new plan

I see I need to do another ICAD update. Must take pictures! Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’ve started a new project. Naturally. I bought an Erin Condren planner a couple of weeks ago to start memory planning in … then couldn’t wait until July to start so I cobbled together  some planner pages and glued them into my ECLP. Gave me a jump start on working in this kind of format, and I got to document my trip to NY and NJ for a weekend of doing and seeing theater.

I can already tell that I should have gone the Happy Planner route instead of the coil bound EC Life Planner. Far easier to start a new volume when the pages get full. But live and learn. I’ll see how far I can go in the planner I’ve got!

But I’m loving being able to put in pictures I print on my HP Sprocket, and little bits of my day … business cards, fortune cookie fortunes, clothing tags … and use up some of the VAST collection of die cuts and stickers I’m NOT using to scrapbook with since I can’t seem to get motivated to scrapbook.

I’ve been watching a million planner videos, a few of which are done by actual memory keeping planner people, which trying to avoid falling into the MUST BUY ALL THE STICKER KITS frenzy. I have more paper and paper doodads than any three people need. If I can use some of them up, so much the better. I even broke out my sticker Xyron I got for Christmas. About time!

So here’s two spreads in my new life planner/planner of my life… It is, as Miranda Hart is fond of saying SUCH FUN!




ICAD days 1 to 8

And so here’s week 1 of the Index Card a Day Challenge for 2017. Some of them got overworked. It’s hard to edit for a 4×6 inch space! And some of them were rushed, or done in pairs. But the first 8 days were fun, and that’s the important part!!

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Do I have it in my to create 61 days in a row?

ICAD Day 23, 2016

I’m not really sure whether I want to be talked into this or out of this but it’s that time of year again… the ICAD Challenge is going to start June 1st and I have to decide whether to take part.

On the plus side, I enjoyed (mostly) participating last year for the first time. I made some cool cards that I really like. I even made a few process videos as I made my cards, and that was a fun challenge too!

But it’s a two month challenge, and by the end I was so over it. I don’t do well with lengthy challenges. If it was just a 30 day challenge the decision would be so much easier!

The part of me that wants to play with the cool kids really wants to do this… but I know myself  — at least a little bit! — and committing to a card every day for two months seems like a lot right now.

I’m thinking about just collage and no mixed media to make it simpler. Or found poetry maybe, but that’s tough too. At one point I was going to make over a bunch of Project Life cards in my use or discard bin but I’m still pondering the place of mixed media in my scrapbooks. I want to get back to drawing again, so that could be an option… ???

I guess I have a day to decide.


a girl goes to the woods

I got to do one of my favorite things this past weekend. Every year a state park somewhat near to me does a day long “Women in the Wild” program. You get to choose four classes from a large list, and you get lunch and the obligatory free tshirt (I keep pushing people to sub in tote bags for tshirts as the more practical choice, but so far no go!).

I think this was my third year … which featured DIY crafts (sunscreen bars, citronella lamps from mason jars, salve extracted from plantain leaves, etc.), tree ID, a session all about essential oils, and then a kayak class.

Three years ago I got brave, tried the kayak class and fell in love. I’ve been trying to convince myself ever since that I don’t NEED a kayak … but oh how I want one! There’s something about being out on this particular lake, in/on the water that is just wonderful.

I don’t love the getting in and out of the kayak so much. It’s terribly unflattering when you’re as out of shape as I am!! But worth it. So need to do this more often!

And spending the day with women … mostly I hang out with a friend and her co-workers, but there’s always new women to meet and play with in the various sessions.

Also, there’s cake!

This year started out wet, but it stopped raining mid-morning. Then we just had to contend with the chilliness of a damp Spring day in the woods!

Then our little group went to a local bar with good food for an early dinner. Hanging with, and learning with women on Mother’s Day weekend. One of my favorite days of the year!

There’s no cell service out there so I usually have my phone tucked in my pockets, but I always try and get a picture of the lake, and of the cake, and if there’s anything else that pops out at me during the day.

So come and enjoy it with me with a few highlight photos:

There’s a bridge across the end of the lake. This is looking at the fishing/boating section…
Looking the other direction from the bridge, the beach and swimming side…
Selfie. Try and ignore that stray hair across my forehead…
Kayaks, ready for our class. 

anatomy of a scrapbook page

I almost never redo my scrapbook pages. But I found myself this past weekend doing just that.

I started off with this page made from literal scrap – mostly offcuts by the side of my paper trimmer, that I randomly glued and stitched, and then splodged gesso and mist on top of. I’ve been exploring the junction between my art journal and my scrapbook a bit lately, and wanted to see what happened if I combined the two.


When that was dry, I got out a few more scraps and a photo of my cat who has taken over my dining room table recently as his new favorite place to nap! Added the picture to a project life card, stuck on a word sticker for a sort-of-a-title and did a bit of journaling. And voila …


But the next day — which coincidentally happened to be (Inter)National Scrapbook Day! –I couldn’t get the page out of my mind. I kept staring at it and I was unhappy with the way that the picture was getting lost on the busy background. So I took a deep breath, and ripped it apart. I mounted the picture on a simple white card and moved it to a less busy part of the page, and surrounded it with some additional embellishments. And added a little more paint — some blue circles stamped on with a mist cap — to try and direct the eye towards the picture and give the embellishments a bit of a home base. And I ended up so much happier with the page! I still think it’s a bit busy for me, but not so much that it overwhelms the photo (I think. Hopefully.) so I’m good with this third version of the page.

Sometimes a page is a struggle. Especially as I’m learning to work on 6×8 pages instead of 12×12 pages. You’ve got to edit even more ruthlessly on such a small space.

The creative process. Never boring!!

Taking a picture of a brown cat on a brown table is its own kind of fun. The photo’s a little clearer than it appear here.

(Ironically, as I was putting the page in my album, the “admit one” ticket fell off, and I didn’t put it back on. I liked the humor of the wording, but again, felt that without the extra words, the picture was even more the focus. So I guess there is actually a fourth version of this page. Yikes!!)

In the end, I think I preferred the page as an art journal page on its own, but I’m also happy to have this page in my scrapbook and to have enjoyed a bit of creative play. Which is the point of all this gluing and painting and sticking after all!


growing my creativity…

I have this dream life where I wake up every morning refreshed, roll out of bed, make myself a cup of coffee, and then work in my art journal to greet the day.

In the supermax version of this dream life, I’m living on a lake house and there is kayaking that occurs before or after the journaling …


I am NOT a morning person. Ideally I could make the first part of this a reality if I could wake up with the sunrise, and get in some journaling time before work. But in real world land, I can barely get up and get to work on time. (You can put air quotes around “on time.” I just did in my head.)

It’s a problem. An issue. A challenge.

But I do what I can …. so I have a bedtime art journal. I would like to say it’s a daily bedtime art journal PRACTICE, but it’s just not that regular. Some days I just don’t have the mental or physical energy. But I do try and get 20 minutes or so of paint and collage time most days. Then I post them to Instagram and Facebook. It’s my version of daily pages. Just with colors and images instead of words.

The first day I did a page for this project, I drew a mushroom, and found a word sticker that said “chronicles.” Thus was born #dailymushroomchronicles. I liken them to actual mushrooms that are … sprouted? … in waste. I dig through my scrap box, and look at the junk on my desk, and hope for inspiration. Then plop some gesso and/or watercolors on the top and see what comes up. I am constantly inspired by layers of things … most notably walls with crumbling layers of wallpaper and paint.

All of which is helping me change up the way my scrapbook/project life pages look this year. But more on that in a bit.

So here’s the first few pages …

Anyone else have a daily art journal practice? How does it help you creatively? How do you keep from overworking your pages?! (Asking for a friend!)


the journey begins … again

In between storm bursts yesterday, there was an amazing sunset.

I’m great at starting blogs… and then convincing myself I have nothing worth anyone’s time to read. But I’m going to try to take my own words from last August to heart, including that note about sunset pictures:

Note to us all:

 Journal your travels, whether you’re on the trip of a lifetime … or just going to the grocery store!!

 p.s. EVERY trip … yes even that trip to get groceries … is the trip of a lifetime. YOUR lifetime.

 Get out there and document it.

 Was someone especially nice to you on your trip? Write about it.

Was someone a jerk to you? Vent about it.

Did you see an amazing sunset while you were out? Take a photo. Make a drawing. Write about how it made you feel. Stick it all in your travel guide.

Do you hate some particular vegetable? Document it.

How much did you pay for bread? Stick your receipt in your book.

 There is no activity so mundane that you can’t document it in a meaningful way.

 I’m starting this journey to craft enchantment in my life. Isn’t it wise to bring along a guide book?! (Except in this case we’re writing the guide book as we go along.)

 So come and join me. I’ll be over here by the campfire writing about my day.

 “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest