Creative Jumpstart 2021

Creative Jumpstart 2021
Join me for the 10th Anniversary of CJS2021

Monday, March 26

Just Remember to Breathe

I don't think I'm the only one in the world that does this.
When life get stressful -- the pulls of responsibility -- demands of work, family -- toxic people in our lives -- we forget to do the one thing that can cleanse our soul. Clear our mind and give an influx perspective. A pause. 
It's quite simple. A natural, instinctual function that happens without any thought. It's called breathing. We need it to live. Yet -- we hold our breath or take shallow breaths when things are stressful.
I feel like for the last 9 months I have been holding my breath. Definitely waiting for the next ax to fall. I find myself taking shallow, short breaths -- only filling the first quarter of my lungs. I need to REMEMBER to breathe in fresh, new air and cleanse my insides with oxygen and blow out all the bad air, energy and worry that is stuck inside. 
It will help rid my soul of the toxic thoughts, feelings of inadequacy and insecurity and give me the strength to let go of those friends that drain me. That make me feel not good enough. It's so hard to let those people go because we "like" them. They are our friends. I'm thinking though that we keep them around because they are a part of our habit.

We need to send them to the moon and get them off our planet.
I keep reminding myself, just breathe! 
Breathe in for 6 -- exhale out for 6.
Even though in the deep center of my gut -- my intuition -- has been telling me for the last year that it wasn't a healthy friendship -- I second guessed everything I said or did. Analyzed everything that was said or done, especially everything she said. and I held my breath. I feel like I've turned blue.
This page in my art journal is a reminder that holding my breathe isn't healthy. It helps me hold on to that toxicity and insecurity. When I start breathing again I'll truly have the strength, security and confidence that I forgot I had when I'm around toxic people.

So, why are you holding your breath? 

Thursday, March 22

Guest Blogger on Taylored Concepts

Sometimes being a little bit of a procrastinator is a bad thing -- like when you have a lot of things on your to-do list and a little emergency or thing not on your radar comes up -- then the tight to-do list is a little over-whelming. 
Which basically means I am an entire day behind schedule -- and trying to fit all that work into 3 days instead of 4 has been a bit of a challenge. 
But I'm doing it. 
But that means I haven't had time to make anything fun in my journal this week. But tonight, when I'm finally caught up - I have a date with it --- or my bed. Late nights and early mornings => one tired, but ALMOST caught up artist ;-)  I just want to say, it's really not computer weather here in Maine -- it's more like beach weather -- which is making all this back-up of work even harder to swallow ;-)

I also wanted to point you to my friend Erika Taylor's blog, Taylored Concepts tomorrow morning. She so sweetly asked me to be a guest blogger for her -- I'm really  excited to share some of my thoughts behind making art, art journaling and trying new things. 

I'll catch you soon with some new and exciting pages from my journal! Thank you so much for stopping by -- I appreciate your support. Have a GREAT day, hope you have time to make something artsy fartsy today! 

Tuesday, March 20

Public Service Announcement Number Four

I've got another class starting this week at My Creative  Classroom  called The Ins and Outs of Artist Trading Cards. I have a lot of classes that I have taught there, but this is one of the few that excites me every time. Creating large pieces of art can sometimes  be scary -- but the fear is lost on these sweet little gems because they are only 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" -- working small seems to remove the fear from a lot of artists .

We will start this 4 week, 8 lesson long class with a tutorial on ATC's and a slide show showing some of the creative possibilities you can incorporate into an Artist Trading Card.  

Each weeks will feature 2 lessons per week released on Tuesdays and Fridays with each lesson focusing on a different technique you'll have a completed ATC at the end of each lesson and will learn a new technique to add to your creative arsenal. At the end of the course you'll have quite a few Artist Trading Cards to trade with your friends. I will also organize an ATC Swap -- and will send a hand-made trading card to everyone that plays along in the swap.

A few of the techniques we'll touch on include image transfers, hand and machine sewing, painting on stamped images and more! This is guaranteed to be a fun class -- I hope to see you there.  
I hope you have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by. I'm hoping to be back to regularly scheduled posts tomorrow!  

Monday, March 19

Bloom where you are Planted

I've been out of town playing with some super secret new product that EK Success is developing, wow. It's going to be fun. Unique. Cool -- and so many other things. 
I brought my art journal with me to New Jersey but only managed to finish up the page I started the other day and not much else. Then I had a little technical difficulty and the two pages stuck together. The repairs to the page only made the damage worse, which made me sad.
But it was definitely a lesson regarding the products I used, even though I let them dry COMPLETELY before closing the journal they still stuck together. 
I came home on Saturday night and thought I would have the energy and creativity to journal to create something for today. But I didn't. I was exhausted. My flight was delayed and I spent over 5 hours walking around in the airport - which was not very exciting. I did discover a new Ben & Jerry's flavor that is TO DIE For -- Coconut 7 Layer Bar...oh my heavens it was so good. I could have eaten that all night, ha ha. 

I spent yesterday afternoon in the ER -- because my husband thought I was having a stroke. Turns out I have really low potassium and sinus cavities that are filled with fluid -- but not infected. I guess the combination caused me to have some Visual Disturbances and a weird headache -- bad enough to make me go have my head checked out. Turns out -- THERE IS something in there -- and it's doing just fine. My heart is beating to the beat -- and a very healthy beat at that. The Dr. said I was a very healthy 46 year old, phew. 
But I have to start eating more bananas, raisins and orange juice -- all the carbs I don't eat a lot. Anyway, the flowers you see here are what I was able to create this morning in between catching up with my email, planning my next lesson and taking care of my sick niece. Hopefully I can get a bit more accomplished tonight so I'll have something to share with you tomorrow. 

So, I've got to get back to work. A million and ONE things to do and only 2 hours to do them...hmmmm -- looks like I'm going to have a busy afternoon. 

Thank you for stopping by, hope you have a wonderful afternoon. 

Thursday, March 15

Inspiration Round-Up a Day Early

Another busy week -- so I've got some things to share and some photos from my world -- and things I'm dreaming off this week. 

First up, my friends Julie Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach have started a new challenge for each other, it totally rocks and I'm really excited to give it a go when I have a few extra minutes. Yeah, like that will ever happen -- but you can check out what Julie did here and what Nat did here. Love the idea of taking it to the next level. We get so comfortable in our little zone of doing things that pushing yourself to fail is a GREAT way to try new things and break the barriers that constrain you.
This photo cracks me up, I've been so busy trying to get stuff done that I had to prop a hair dryer to quick dry a project that needed to be sent out!
I'm loving this blog, Discover Paper -- and especially these pretty hand-made flowers. Wow, they look like so much work -- but I especially love the canvas covered with them all in cream. Delicious!
Speaking of delicious, I'm totally counting the days until I can go pick some of these and enjoy their sweet, juiciness! Love the smell of fresh picked strawberries! 
This round card and beautiful floral wreath totally rocks. The topic coloring and layering is just gorgeous! I always love the cards that Julie posts, she's very talented and inspiring!
Love this image from the Boston Museum of Science. Totally inspiring to me! 
I've always dreamed of owning a piece of jewelry from Nina Bagley -- and the ones she's been creating lately are simply divine! The way she mixes yarns, elements from nature and beautiful beads is jaw dropping -- and so unique. I love her jewelry, just can't afford it. She also has beautiful photography and I love her perspective. 
These fun glasses have been deemed the BS glasses and I wear them every time I Skype with my friend Martha. We get a total laugh out of them and it's a good way to lighten up the mood.
I am trying to teach myself Encaustic Art -- and I am always anxious to see what Bridgette Guerzon-Mills has to share on her beautiful blog, Contemplating the Moon. Sometimes I just stare at her pretty wax creations trying to figure out how she did what she did. Usually I can't, but I will one day!  
That's all I've got for you today. Thank you so much for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week -- catch you on the flip side of the weekend! 

Wednesday, March 14

Work in Progress or Listen to your Heart

It's funny how things work out. sometimes. 
I've had this thang on my to-do list since the beginning of the year or so. I've been totally dragging my feet on getting it done. Not sure why -- because it has to do with crafting and teaching -- two things that I really love, but for whatever reason this particular project has really gotten stuck somewhere in my head. 
I need to work on it, plan it, organize it, gather the supplies and tool up so to speak to get it done. But for whatever reason my feet have been dragging. dragging dragging.
And then I came up with a similar project today -- right out of the blue -- a fire started in my head that I couldn't put out until I put the ENTIRE plan down on a piece of paper. Lickety split. I couldn't believe I had planned this WHOLE thing in less than 45 minutes. Supply list, outline, EVERYTHING. And the fire is still BURNING -- scorching. The brain storm is almost visible ;-) really -- that's not a vacant look in my eyes, it's the storm burning. percolating. smokin'. haha.
I think because it feels right at the moment. It feels like the RIGHT thing for me to do. I am passionate about it. I want to share this knowledge that I have, the process that I have developed -- I want to share it with everyone. Stand on top of the Eiffel Tower and belt it out at the top of my lungs. 
It's funny how if I had been focusing on this other thang that I have been dragging my feet on I might not have had the room in my head for that other fire to start. the fire that goes right down to my heart -- that makes me light and happy and excited to make art. Yeah, I've just GOT to make this happen. 

Today think about the things you drag your feet on -- those tasks that you have committed to but you just can't get started. No matter how hard you try, how much you KNOW you need to get started on it and pass it on to the powers that be. I really think there's a reason for that. 

Now think about the fire in your heart -- the passion that is lighting that fire. And get started making it HAPPEN. Today. Make today a NON-Facebook/Twitter/Blog day and make it YOUR day to make your passion a thing of the future! I think I will leave you with that to ponder on today! ;-)

Thank you so much for stopping by  --  I hope you have a wonderful day, I know I will!

Tuesday, March 13

Public Service Announcement Number Three

Don't forget that my Artful Card Class at My Creative Classroom started last week, you still have another week or so to sign up for this fun 5 week long class. And since it's National Craft Month and we are celebrating -- signing up for classes in March qualifies you for FREE classes. YES -- FREE classes. 

The students in this class are already creating and sharing beautiful cards -- they are loving the variety and techniques so far and I'm sure you will too! 

I will be back to regularly scheduled artful posts tomorrow! Have a GREAT day and THANK you so much for stopping and taking a look. 

Monday, March 12

you KNOW what you want!

I think it's fair to say that I have found a new way of creating art that I'm fairly addicted to. What's not to get addicted to anyway -- the color, the relaxation, creating the ART? It's like living in a dream world having a few minutes here and there to work on art like this. 
I'm so pleased with the vibrant and vivid colors in this page today.  

As I was creating the art no transforming the scribbles on this page into colorful art -- I felt at peace. like -- yeah -- you are definitely getting back to your roots with this page.  (I'm a watercolor artist at heart.)
For this page I started out with a wash of watercolor paints (Koi Brand) and added color everywhere. 
Then I went in with my Studio Paints and started mixing the Koi paints with the Studio paints (oh my heck - YES -- why have I never done this before????) and bing -- the color just POPPED. Yes. 
I couldn't help but think to myself - you KNOW what you want -- so go get it. Seize the world by the pants and just GO for it. 
Make your life this beautiful, patterned, colorful world make it WORTH it. Make art. Make delicious food. Make a happy family. Make friends. Share my art with my friends and make friends with strangers. 
This style of art is the ultimate in brave for me. Typically this is something that I would SHY away from -- no wait -- scratch that -- COMPLETELY avoid. Creating this page with pen or pencil on white = no problem. Adding color has typically been the problem. What if I mess it up? Where do I start? What if it doesn't  come out good? what if what if what if. Don't get me wrong, I like color and I'm good with it. But that loosey goosey colorful look that I love has always been a dream. 

I'm trying to change my thinking to: what if it comes out beautiful, colorful and awesome? 

I never thought about it like that. what if I want to design papers and stamps and other vibrant and colorful things to play with? So far it's been a little blip on my radar, I'd like to do that but CAN I do that?  

Yes, I definitely can -- you know why? Because I want to. Because I know it's what I want to do. That's why. Yes, I'm definitely on the brink of something wonderful. (and painting on the couch on a saturday morning is NOT the extent of that wonderfulness ;-)

Do you know what you want to do? What's holding you back? Is it adding color to that otherwise black and white sketch? Making the sketch? Or is it the fear of jumping into the ocean and drowning? Hmm, I think I'll leave you with that today.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend -- I know I did -- minus the business of Springing Forward. I've got another page in the works that I hope to finish by Wednesday to share with you. Have a great day -- and think about what you want -- then make a plan -- or don't make a plan -- but definitely go for it.

PS. sorry if the text is all weird sizes -- having issues with them being either too small or too big and no matter what I do to edit the HTML nothing fixes it. 

Friday, March 9

Inspiration Round-Up

I've had a pretty busy week getting my new class off the ground and making sure I've got things all buttoned up before I go to New Jersey for a few days next week -- so since I haven't finished anything new to share -- I thought I would share a few of my favorite people and what they've been up to this week. 
My Art Journal page from yesterday, a work in progress.

  • The first on my list is Heidi Swapp. I had the opportunity to chat with this amazing woman at CHA in January. (It's only taken me about 5 years to gain the courage to tell her how she inspired me, and then I couldn't say it without crying ha ha!) She starting inspiring me to think outside of the box in her Texture book that she wrote with Autumn Leaves WAY back. When I read her book a fire storm started in my head that hasn't turned off yet. What is even more inspiring to me is she is genuine and really cares that what she does inspires other artists to try new things. I think the reason for her success is that she is so genuine, thoughtful and shares her heart with people. Not only is she beautiful on the outside -- she's beautiful on the inside. Listening to her on the Paper Clipping Round Table was really fun and I love the idea of her new class, The Art of Observation. Thank you Heidi for being so sweet! 
Some Dick Blick love from yesterday!
  • The next person that always is awesome and awe inspiring is my sweetest friend Vicki Chrisman. Vic and I go way back -- when we were both on the ScrapMuse Design Team -- and I went out to Nebraska to visit her a few years back. She is an amazing designer, has a huge heart and I just love her to pieces. When she posted this sweet Tea Cups on her blog my jaw dropped and I was in love.  
  • While I don't know this artist personally, I love her blog and her card projects she shares. She is crazy talented with Copic Markers!  
Some Pioneer Woman Baked French Toast love from Sunday Morning.

  • The next spot on my Inspiration Round-up is Tammy Tutterow. Another AWESOME person, designer and artist. The colors in this tag she shared this week are totally gorgeous -- I love everything about it! She's got lots of beautiful and amazing tutorials on her blog! 
Some Sweet Dog Love in my Studio.
  • Dina Wakley -- is so funny -- and her use of color always amazes me. I saw her last fall in the airport in New York and when I got the courage to go back and say hey Dina -- I read your blog everyday - she was gone. But I did see her and have a little chat at CHA in January -- she is just the cutest -- and said the sweetest things to encourage me. THANKS Dina!   
  • And finally, I found this artist through searching for a print I saw on Pinterest  a while back -- Susan Black. This question really has been sitting heavy in my head this week -- cause I'm not sure what my super-power is at all. She shares beautiful photography, art and has a LOT of thought provoking posts!
Sweetest BOY love! 

Well that's it, I've got a TON of things to do today so gotta run. THANK You so much for stopping by -- have a GREAT weekend. I'll be back on Monday with a new art journal page for you! 

Thursday, March 8


Not much to say, just some pretty art. I'm feeling a little sensitive this week.
But I'm really happy with the Loosy Goosy look to these two pages. Thank you Martha for making me stick with it.
Such a departure from the first page I posted on Tuesday about trying something new.
My breakthrough -- it's all in the supplies you use. The first page was strictly with a sharpie and acrylic paint. This page is watercolor, acrylic paint, india ink, sharpie, watered down paint -- splatters of paint.
The complete journaling says: breakthrough your blocks. change your view. be happy.

What I'm also thinking: stick with it. don't get discouraged -- no matter what anyone says -- or doesn't say about what you do. Be true to your art, yourself -- and forget about the silent ones because you don't need their approval anyway. THEY may talk a good game about art -- but THEY aren't true to the words they speak or write.

Thanks for stopping by -- have a LOVELY day!

Wednesday, March 7

Public Service Announcement Number Two

Sneak Peak from Week 1 of Artful Cards!
Just a quick reminder that Artful Cards, my newest class at My Creative Classroom is starting on Friday -- March 9th. If you like working with art supplies and want to learn some artsy techniques to add to your arsenal of card-making techniques -- you'll love this class. I'll show you how to mix your traditional supplies with your artsy supplies to create some beautiful works of card art! You don't want to miss this class -- click on the image above to go to My Creative Classroom and sign up, down load the supply list and see what other classes I've got starting in the coming months.

I also want to remind you that March is National Craft Month so when you sign up for a class at My Creative Classroom in March you get a free class. Details about national Craft Month here. There are some great classes to choose from for your free classes -- you also have all month to qualify for them -- the more classes you sign up for the more FREE classes you earn! It's a great opportunity to learn some new techniques and get to know the great instructors at My Creative Classroom!

Thanks for stopping by - enjoy what's left of your day!

Tuesday, March 6

Be Brave!

It's hard to try new things. Explore things you've never tried before. To get out of the little (or even big) box that you live in. I need to take my own advice sometimes -- be the butterfly and spread your wings and fly. Hard I tell you. I had a pretty well-known person in the artist community I'm in tell me once that she was surprised that I didn't go out on a limb -- take a chance and try something new. go in a new direction. hmmm, really? Her words have echoed in my brain for over a year now.  What I'm saying, is -- what I said the other day -- it's easy to stick with the status quo. It's easy. Same old, same old. Stay on the shore where it's warm and dry rather than jump in the freezing ocean with the sharks.

It's also easy to admire things that others do and think you can never do them -- or to be afraid to try them because you might fail. I often feel this way! But, I do it anyway -- eventually. Because it percolates so much -- it haunts me so much that I just HAVE to try to find out I CAN do it. ;-) 

So, lately I've been going GAGA over some art that Jenny Doh has been sharing on her Twitter/Instragram account -- like the one on the link. And she's got more. Much more. I look at it -- I go gaga -- and then walk around with my head in the clouds wanting to create art that's loosey goosey and all beautiful like that.  Rich. Carefree. Fun. Invigorating. yes. I dream of making art that makes me feel like that. I dream of making art that's ALL that. You can almost FEEL her joy in that art. Well, maybe I'm weird, ha ha -- but her art moves me.  

Fast forward to the end of the day yesterday -- when I walked the 5 minute walk to my Mother's for dinner -  she had torn the above page out of a Family Circle magazine and put it on the table in the pile of things she had collected for me. love that. (karma or divine intervention??)

I immediately stuck it in my pocket for later, to read in the privacy of my own home later and to THINK about how to do it. hmmmmm, really?? Just think about it? Actually when I got home I found I couldn't stop THINKING about making art that was loose and carefree. How WOULD I do that? Could I do that?

The kid-let went to bed. The husband put on the television, which I didn't see because all I could think about was that dang article and Jenny's art. And I kept going back to look at her art. And kept loving it. And I read that article again. and again. I know now what my problem was. I was afraid to try. Afraid to commit it to my journal -- what if it sucks. I have to blog about it. You'll want to know. 

So, I grabbed a piece of computer paper and a sharpie and started making squiggly lines and connecting them together until the page was full. 

I thought, wow. Geez. i CAN do this. 
It looks kinda cool. I'm just gonna do this in my journal. So while Shameless was on I committed the squiggles and scratches to a brand new WHITE page in my journal. Yeah, the one opposite the butterfly. The one where I mention something about in my own time. Yeah - I decided -- my time has come, ha ha! 

And before it was time to go to bed I had created this sketch, in black and white -- in my journal. I committed. and it.was.awesome. I couldn't sleep because I wanted to add some color. This isn't really a Zen Tangle -- it's MORE AWESOME than that. It follows my rules. my lines. my patterns. my vision. it's all mine. 

and I'm not afraid anymore. 

This morning I couldn't wait to add color. It called to me all night, my art journal. I had a LOT of other things to do today. but they had to wait a little while. 

It's a little messy, I got paint all over my shirt -- my fingers -- my face -- my table. but it felt great. It feels great. I did it! 

and I'm not afraid anymore. oh, wait -- I already said that. 
Yeah, I know. I still have a ways to go to get that loosey goosey. Rich. Carefree. Fun. Invigorating feel going on -- but I made a good start. I took the first step. I leapt into the ocean. And I didn't drown. I didn't even have to come up for air,  it felt great.  I can't wait until tomorrow -- I just might try it again. Thank You Jenny for inspiring me to try something new!

Another well known woman gave me a plaque when I finished writing my first book that said, what would you do if you knew you could not fail. Today my answer is -- make art. (thank you Jo!) So I leave you with that, what would YOU do if you knew you could not fail? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a GREAT TUESDAY. I appreciate your lovely comments!