Monday, December 26, 2011

Art journal: oceany goodness

It's been unseasonably warm for December - almost 50 today! Plus, I've caught wind of various friends' winter getaways to sunny tropical locales. This all got me in the mood to do an ocean-themed collage page (which isn't hard to do!). The purple-pink hues on sea fans are always inspiring.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Season's Greetings

I'll be taking a vacation from my blog 'til next week. 
I wish you and yours the best this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Art journal: Caged bird

I painted and collaged this page a few days ago, but didn't know what more to do until today, when the Maya Angelou poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" came to mind.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mayan Calendar Dec. 20

The inspiration for today's drawing...

December 20, 2011 starts a new 13-day cycle ("trecena") on the Mayan calendar: Ben. Taken from the Mayan Calendar Portal : Start Ben’s trecena with a small personal ceremony or morning meditation to offer your thanks and gratitude for your home, your family, and especially your children if you’re a parent. Nurture an atmosphere of tranquility, contentment and joy in your home, so that you and your family may have a sacred sanctuary to protect you from the stresses of the external world. 

At the core of your home is your own internal inner peace. Honor that inner home, that part of your soul 
that powers your waking consciousness and all other aspects of your life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The battle continues...this week has been better. It helps me to just journal about it while it's happening. Then it feels less like downtime.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

John Lennon remembered

Driving home the other night, on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, I heard his song "beautiful boy" on the radio. "Life is just what happens to you, while your busy making other plans"....I didn't remember the lyrics exactly :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birds have flown south

This is the back inside cover of my NaNoJouMo journal, which I filled with art and doodle goodness the month of November. Right now I'm happy with the muted quality. However I may gesso some areas, then paint over them to make the colors more vibrant - I think the cardboard has a varnish coating. It took more than a couple days to dry.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dog illustration revisited

The Morran Book Project is done, and Camille has put together a fantastic tribute to her little friend! My contribution (shown below) is on pg 134. I am honored to have been a part of it.
Entire book preview/ordering info

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Airy winter doodle

The fresh snow has influenced my drawings - not as dark or heavy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cathedrals of Desire

Below are two paintings from Michele Muldrow's Cathedrals of Desire Series. 'Twas on my mind as Black Friday came and went. I must say I like these depictions better than what must have been reality this past weekend. I'm shopping downtown small businesses and making gifts this year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November Art Journaling

The last day of NaNoJouMo is Nov. 30. I'm happy to say I've finished 27 of the 30 prompts. Here's a peak at some of my pages.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flora Fantasy - Wool Rug Pattern

I purchased a fair amount of felted wool this past October, wanting to use it to hook some rugs for my home. Most patterns I've seen are too traditional for my taste, so, I plan on designing my own. Some of my sketches and doodles are set aside as possible jumping-off points for ideas, like the one below.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Everything is coming up Christmas, at least around here. There are lots of retail holiday open houses, boutiques & artisan fairs to choose from this week. One of my faves is the Apron Chicks Barn Sale. Opening day was yesterday, with plenty of Christmas cheer in there! The wood-burning stove was stoked and hot cider and cookies were the treats. I especilaly liked the birds screenprinted onto linen (3rd photo, hanging on stair rail).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art Journal pages

As I mentioned in my Nov. 1 post, I'm doing art journaling in November with daily prompts provided by Dawn DeVries Sokol. I was delighted to see three of my pages featured on her blog as part of her "Mosaic Monday" post  on Nov. 14! Check it out HERE.  (They are the 3 on the bottom left, numbers 10, 11 and 12). Thank you, Dawn!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Painted flames

I loved this mixed media painting when I did it a few years ago. Then I forgot about it until I found it in a forgotten watercolor paper pad the other day, so that was a nice surprise!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Creating a new art journal

I'm not a scrapbooker be any means, but, as a graphic designer, I am a BIG paper freak. Incognito, I enter Archiver's and go straight for the Basic Grey products. I've glued one of their papers to my paperboard journal cover, below, then added hand lettering.

Here are 4 examples of pages I've painted, collaged, etc., before tape-binding them into my cover. Ready for more paint, markers, or journaling/lettering with micron pens...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fave local artist

My favorite local artist is Edie Abnet. I love how she stylizes her subject matter. In the painting below, she emphasizes the unique characteristics of both the blue jays (head shape and feather color) and the columbine plant (flower shape) simply and effectively. See more of her beautiful work HERE.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Missing sunshine

Aahhhh, November in Minnesota. I had to make my own sun today. The sun on the left represents me thinking about winter. ;-) The sun on the right represents anticipation for every year's wonderful spring.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thinking spring already?!

I wasn't even really falling into a winter slump yet! I just started drawing mushrooms and ferns, thinking about a shady forest, which got me thinking about all the cool ferns and other native plants that are in my shade garden that bloom in very early spring.  Here's the doodle, then the plants that inspired me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Take Flight journal page

I'm excited to be participating in Dawn DeVries Sokol's newest journal e-class, NaNoJouMo. It's free and runs the entire month of November! Click HERE for a description. The first prompt was "Take Flight", which, because I'm a bird freak, made me think of birds! Ironically, the first page in the journal I compiled for this class is a portion of one of my old watercolors of a tree. I added the names of all the birds that visit our feeders.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Doodle Saturday

I couldn't bring myself to put up the halloween doodle yet, so here's this one! The eyes are kind of creepy :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

November desktop wallpaper

Download a free desktop wallpaper for November, featuring one of my mixed media pieces, here. Available in 3 sizes: one for iphone, and 2 choices for computer monitors. Whoohoo! I'm a couple days early!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


My favorite holiday! Here's a party invite I designed for a friend. The cool vintage owl graphic is from the generous Graphics Fairy. She posts a royalty-free freebie everyday! The spooky display fonts are from House Industries.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunshine, please

This is about the only sun we are going to get in Minnesota today!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dog illustration

Camilla Engman has put out an open call for anyone that wants to submit art of her dog Morran! She's compiling some of the art into a book, with all proceeds going to charity. Below is my entry. I was inspired by a photo of Morran in this very pose.

I'm a fairly new fan of Camilla's, learning about her about the same time I discovered uppercase magazine. She does great illustration work! 

Favorite earrings

I found these in one of my favorite shops, Leap of Faith, in Cedarburg, WI. The company is Beijo Brasil. They also make great belt buckles!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Doodle Calendar 2

Since visiting ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, I’ve been fascinated by the Ancient Mayan culture. Just for fun, I follow a blog called “Jaguar Wisdom”, which offers an introduction to the Mayan calendar. I find it is an interesting source of material for comtemplation. If they strike a chord with me, I will include the Mayan day signs and numbers that match up with the calendar day I'm journaling about. Below are Oct. 11 and 13.

Winner of giveaway Kelliejo! Congrats! It was a good one to enter, as there was a 50/50 chance of winning ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gratitude Art Journal class

Registration is now open and I fixed the paypal problem: it now accepts credit cards! Click on the logo in the right column to go to the class page. There you will find the supply list, class description, and registration/payment info.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Doodle Journal Page - Perfectionism

Some days I need a reminder... I'm striving for progress, not perfection. This is the center spread in one of my handmade string-bound journals. I used micron pens and water-soluble markers.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time for a giveaway!

I've decided to have a contest for this cute embroidered fox wall hanging!

It measures approx. 5" wide by 12.5" long and has two plastic rings sewn on the back for easier hanging.

Enter the contest by posting a comment under this post about your favorite thing on my blog (limit one per person) by 1PM central time Thurs., Oct. 20th. I will use a random number picker to select the winner. Good luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

No color

Feeling a bit black and white, a little under the weather. Less drawing, more rest.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Journal Page - Breathe

Doodling can help keep me occupied, sometimes keeping anxiety at bay, like when I'm waiting for my rescue inhaler to kick in...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun!

I got a lot done on this rainy Wednesday. I can tell by my sore right wrist (my "mouse" hand)! I've been busy drawing, too, but I've mostly been working on some journal page designs in photoshop.

I'm still trying to decide if it is feasible to get these printed, or if I should just do limited runs for on-site classes and then offer digital files for sale to everyone else. Anyone have experience with a good U.S. digital or offset printer that produces archival "scrapbook" paper pages?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

News flash!

Click on the new "Classes" tab above for some exciting news!

Monday, October 10, 2011

When all else fails...

...I use a little trick I learned this summer. I will designate a page or two in one of my tape-bound art journals as a "daily doodling calendar". When it's hard to carve out a good chunk of time to do something creative, I can at least get a 5-10 minute reprieve by recording whatever I want for each day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pins and Needles

I don't know what it is about fall that gets me thinking about needlework. Maybe it's adapting to the fact that much more indoor time is around the corner, and I'm looking for fun tactile projects to keep me occupied in the hours that I had been spending in the garden. I attended a rug-hooking show last weekend, which got that itch going again. When I went hunting for the wool I purchased at that show a year ago, I found a pile of little embroidery projects that I had cranked out in about a 2-week period at this time last year. It was fun to see them again - I think I will keep them out and in view for a while!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Buddha quote

This is a work in progress, both artistically and personally. I'll be revisiting this quote for sure - a new favorite!


I've always loved the texture and graphics of burlap coffee bean bags, and therefore appreciate just about anything that's been made from them. I found this great tote made by "Moonflower Bags".  Had to have the red tiger!    :)   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tag design

Had some fun drawing with water-soluble markers and micron pens on patterned paper.  
I am enjoying using white gel pens on dark backgrounds. I added the ribbon, type, and 
drop shadow in photoshop CS4.

I'm as happy as...

True story.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I recently subscribed to a magazine called "uppercase" (click here for website), after seeing it referenced here and there on other blogs. For print design aficionados like me, it is a well-done publication. For "the creative and curious", its content is fresh and interesting.

The company also publishes books, one of which I am really digging called "A Collection a Day"(click here). Hmmm, perhaps I need some lidded jars to corral some of my "collections"!