Creative Jumpstart 2021

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

Saturday, August 30

Merrymeeting Art House

I'd like to introduce you to something near and dear to my heart. A little teaching Art Studio in the heart of my town. A place where I can teach classes to my local community and share what I do -- and do well - without traveling.

Don't get me wrong, I love to travel and teach away from home, but it's going to be amazing to have a place at home too! It's located right on the main street of my town -- on the second story of a quaint old Victorian. The building has a Title Lawyer on the first floor and a small mortgage company on the second floor.


And me now.  The space has a great feel to it -- and the lighting during the day is perfect! I just love it there. It's going to be the perfect place to teach local people mixed media art! 

Thanks for dropping by -- enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, August 27


In life it's so dang easy to walk around seeing the ugly in things -- rather than the beauty or the potential for beauty. I do like to think that I see the potential -- or the possibilities that things can be.

Like this foot stool -- being modeled by my dog, Guinness.

I picked it up at Goodwill for $2.99. The moment I saw it I KNEW it would be the perfect companion to the chair that I recovered last week. The chair had belonged to my Grandmother and was taking up space at my Mom's -- I've been gently suggesting that she make a slipcover for it for years.

She didn't.

I had a plan to recover the ugly foot stool with left over fabric - I was going to cut a top out and then cut a strip for around the sides and sew them together. But just in case, I asked my Guru (Mom) what she would do.

She thought that sewing 4 boxed corners would be an easier and better idea. And, boy oh boy was she right. We had this whole thing done in less than an hour. I can't wait to take it to the studio today and try it out.

The moral of the story -- like Kelly Rae Roberts says -- always be a Possibilitian -- and when they say Mother Knows Best -- a lot of the time they are right! Thanks Mom.

Friday, August 22

For you to be Inspired

I've been looking through flower photos I've taken over the years to help inspire me to draw them again. I think sometimes you need to give yourself a break from doing and just look. Soak it in. See - really see what inspires you. At least that's what I'm doing this week.

I also want to send out a -- a HUGE, HUMUNGO, MAMMOTH shout out and big thanks to all of you that purchased my Artful Life Planner.  I'm amazed at the positive response -- thank you. so much. 

For those of you that don't know what my Artful Life Planner is -- you can read more about it here -- and purchase it here.  It's only on sale until the end of the month - so make sure you purchase soon to save $5.00!

Wednesday, August 20


The latest daily practice page -- completed last week sometime. 

I've been feeling stuck or maybe it's artist block -- in the drawing department lately. I think I need to have another journal that I can create messy, painty pages without worrying about messing up my floral illustrations. 

Friday, August 15


Last year I mentioned to my sweet friend Val that I wanted to open a teaching studio so I could teach mixed media art classes near where I live.

And she showed me this space. In her building. It didn't look like this though -- it was crammed full of lots of stuff and junk. After they moved out all the junk I spent one whole day cleaning and it looked like this. 

Since I had a vision in my head -- I looked and looked for the perfect table and other items to furnish it with. A woman gave me a nice table and I even bought one that needed a lot of work. And then this 44" x 9 FOOT long mammoth came along and the price was so right. And I couldn't say no. It was what I had asked for.

Once the table was in there my dream started to take shape.

And then I started making it look pretty with all the great ideas I've seen over on Pinterest. You can tell I've been thinking and dreaming of this for a long time -- I started pinning ideas to that board about a year ago.

Today I found 6 more chairs at goodwill -- and the price was SO WAY right that I took them right away and into the studio. I have a few more things to find (yes, I am learning patience)  I also need to get some supplies purchased and then will start to schedule classes and soon, so very soon -  Merrymeeting Art House will be ready for students.

So if you have a dream.
Even if it feels so big and so unattainable.
Don't give up on it.

I didn't -I thought about it and dreamt about it and planned what I would do and how it would look.

And, look..... it happened!

Thanks for dropping by today -- and a huge thanks to everyone that has helped me make my dream come true!

Tuesday, August 12

Living a Creative Life...

Living a creative life isn't just for artists creating paintings, collages or drawings -- anyone can have creativity in their lives.  Inventing creative ways to grow food, care for your family and live your life are all ways -- truly being creative is so much more than art that hangs on the wall. 

I know lots of people that don't paint or draw but create lots of great recipes from good whole food to provide a healthy life for their family.

The juxtaposition of creativity and life can be infused together in many more ways than just using paint, pencil and paper. I'm also a firm believer that any type of life art can be learned through lots and lots of practice, trial and error and happy accidents.

I always tell students in my classes that everyone can learn how to draw and the more and more they practice the better they get. I don't think anyone should give up on art if it makes them happy.

If they did, then no amount of food would be able to feed their starving soul. Honestly, I think that just when we feel like giving up we need to just plug along and stick with it because a break through is about to happen.

Thanks for dropping by today, make sure to visit Merrymeeting Art House to see the on-line classes I offer if you want me to teach you some things about art and creating mixed media art.

Sunday, August 10

The Paint Bar

I recently went to The Paint Bar in Newton, Massachusetts with a few friends to see how much fun it can be.

It's a great space filled with art and light. I was surprised that they had over 60 people in there the afternoon we signed up. I told myself I would follow directions and make the painting that was being taught.

I also painted with my Right Hand (I'm a leftie) for most of the time.

My vow to follow directions lasted for about 10 minutes, LoL.

Above is my friend Chris, below my friend Mimi -- both intent on getting the details just right.

We had a good time, even if I wasn't feeling that great.

My painting, above. It's still in my car. The demo flowers were pansies and I decided to make irises -- and I added some sgraffito details here and there.

And the three of us with our paintings. We had a great time, and it was fun being a student after a weekend of teaching them! If you haven't taken a Paint Bar, Wine and Paint or that type of instructional quickie class -- I do recommend it. It's a great way to make art and not have to think about the details -- you just do what the gal tells you to.

Thanks for dropping by, have a great day!

Friday, August 8

My Artful Life Planner

I've been working on a special project the last month or so -- in between stamp designs, consulting and teaching. It's kind of like a coloring book but I'm calling it "My Artful Life Planner" -- a 12 or 18 month planner -- depending on when you want to start. It's filled with 21 drawings and the rest are planner pages that take you into -- January 2016 -- it has a total of 102 pages.
After getting some feed back from a few friends, and creating a video to demonstrate how I put mine together I'm happy to say that the planner is ready for you to purchase.

The video is nearly 17 minutes long and covers printing, creating covers, punching, binding and assembly. And also gives some tips on what to do if you don't have a binding machine and how to use the We R Memory Keepers Cinch.

I'd love for you to take a minute to check it out here -- at my classroom website; Merrymeeting Art House. When you purchase you will have immediate access to the video as well have the ability to download the digital file from my Google Drive.

As a thank you to my faithful readers I've put the planner on sale -- you can save $5.00 if you purchase before August 31 -- so don't hesitate!

THANKS for dropping by, have a GREAT day!

Wednesday, August 6

Surrounded by Inspiration

Make sure to come back tomorrow for a $5.00 coupon good for my Artful Life Planner download and class that I'm offering at merrymeeting art house. 

I always have my camera with me -- well -- I should say I always have my phone with me. When I see something that I might be inspired to draw I take a few photos to refer to later.

Like this simple bouquet at Whole Foods.

Sometimes using the Instagram Filters helps crop some of the surrounding things out for a more pleasing photo.

I can't wait to have a moment with this one! Thanks for dropping by today, enjoy your day!

Monday, August 4

Daily Practices

Just a quick post to share some of my daily practice pages. At the beginning of the year I used a cheapo notebook with lined pages. The transition to unlined pages was hard, but I'm super happy that I stuck with it.

I've also been trying to spend more time coloring and being more aware of my color choices.

I take my journal with me everywhere -- because a moment spent working in it is a super happy one. Someone recently told me that watching me create is like watching someone on crack. I've never seen anyone on that stuff, but I certainly am addicted to making art. 

When I close my eyes I see fields of flowers. What do you see?

Thanks for dropping by, have a great day!

Saturday, August 2

Beans Beans Beans

Early in May I went to a lovely Dim Sum restaurant in Portland with my husband and had this yummy dish of string beans. It was so delicious I didn't want to share. I did, though. Really. Letting him have 2 or 3 is still considered sharing, right?

I have been so ANXIOUS for our beans to be ready so I could make this dish at home. 

Finally, a few weeks ago I picked 1 GALLON of beans in a very short few minutes, and ran home and made this for my dinner.

It was so good that I've made it 4 more times since. There's nothing quite as good as fresh vegetables right out of the garden!

Thanks for dropping by, have a great day.