Montana Journal


A few years ago, my husband and two of our daughters took a trip to Bozeman, Montana to visit another daughter and her husband.  We made quite a trek of it, visiting many interesting landmarks on the way there and back.  To record our journey, I took along an old ledger book and recorded our trip in a travel journal/scrapbook.  Some of the pages of that journal are being featured in the Autumn 2014 issue of Somerset Memories, available on the newsstands on October 1.  I thought I would begin a series to share ALL of the pages of that journal with you, so here is the first installment!



I started out with a map that I charted as we drove, and a picture of the family members that we were headed to visit.  I also added fun things that I came across as we went, like the “pull tab to open” from a mailing envelope.


Another page that I did before we even left home was this page inspired by a fast food take out bag that had the words “to go” and reminded me of the childhood rhyme, “one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!”  Since there were four of us going on this trip, it seemed very applicable and was pasted into my book.


Early on, I began contents pages at the back of my ledger so that I could remember the places and materials that I used on each of the pages.  I do wish I would have been more diligent in this!


And then we were finally on the road, driving through Kansas, and into Nebraska.  I sat in the front passenger seat, pasting in postcards, taking pictures to add later, drawing, painting, and journaling as we went!



The Artstronauts

Artstronauts copy copy

This page is a tribute to the men and women who have attended my workshops this past year.  I love the bond and friendships that art and the creative drive bring to us.

It was inspired by a photo I cut out of a book of a group of astronauts, reminding me of our workshop groups as well as Teesha Moore’s creative  “Artstronauts Club“.   I pasted them onto an ink sprayed page, and coated them with clear gesso.  I made them collectively holding a giant, dripping paint brush, and replaced the masks with friendly faces.  Of course, where there are astronauts, there should be a moon, so I painted one into the corner.

You are Here for a Reason

Gino Whitley watermark

Wrote this in my art journal as a reminder to myself.  Life isn’t just about me, it is what I can offer to others, small things that will make their life just a little better.

Notice that this page originally had notes and scribbles on it.  Once I am done with those, I paint over them and reuse the page.  I love the layers of my life that build up on pages like this!

Go smile at someone today!

Wonder Watching

be on the lookout watermark

Made myself a reminder in my art journal to “always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder”.  Good words of advice from E. B. White.  It is so easy to miss the wonder around us isn’t it?

Have a WONDER FULL day!

Lettering for the Art Journal

quirky 3

Your signature on a check or contract says that it is indeed YOU who is taking part in this transaction. Handwriting analysis is about what your writing- in your own personal style – says about YOU. There is nothing more appropriate in the ART JOURNAL than YOUR lettering or handwriting. But we still have the desire for it to look good. We have made a beautiful page and we want the words that we put on it to be equally beautiful. So, how can we keep our own distinct style? How can we discover our own “inner font” as Joanne Sharp says in her excellent book “The Art of Whimsical Lettering”?

Here are a few of my favorite hand lettering tricks and techniques: 

THICKEN – simply write out your letters in your own hand, then go back and thicken the letters.  I like to add a little flair at the ends. Scrunching the spacing so the letters and words fit tightly together helps too!

beautiful people 3

DOODLE, OUTLINE, & EMBELLISH – add curls, dots, and other fun stuff!

my hand lettering  Giraffe over moon watermark purpose of life watermark

SHADE – the trick here is to pick a side, and stick with it!



SHAPE – fit into a shape outline, or follow a curved line…or a box, or a circle

Lettering flyer  STOP RUSHING 20 important things watermark make the world beautiful

VARIATION – mix all kinds of styles and sizes together.  Emphasize certain words

Creativity watermark

Brain Power

Roald Dahl watermark

COLLECT EXAMPLES -study and gather fonts and type and words that you can adapt to your own hand.  I have a Pinterest board full….both of quotes I like, as well as their execution!

And here is a coloring page of letters for you, just for fun!  Feel free to print and color!

Isaiah 55






Coral Floral


The big load of canvases that I purchased on sale recently has been sitting piled in a corner for days, tempting me with their promising blank surfaces.  Busy with other projects, I have been doing my best to ignore their call.  But last night it was finally too irresistible and instead of going to bed I headed to the studio.  I pulled out this 10 x 20 inch stretched canvas and started to play. 

First, I gave it a background coat.  I normally don’t use a lot of pink, but pink is what I pulled out for this piece, along with some leftover homemade coral chalk paint from another project. Using a well used stencil, I added modeling paste to the background using an old plastic gift card.


I had previously used some red ink spray with this stencil, and now the leftover spray blended beautifully with the modeling paste…one of those moments of serendipity that so often blesses artwork.  I added more swirls of modeling paste, more paint, and more modeling paste until the piece was richly textured.



I love the deep 1 1/2 inch drop of my new canvases, so I was sure to wrap my artwork onto the sides.

side edge

The time to go out on the sunny porch to photograph, and my piece is done!

easel  detail

This and other new pieces with be available for viewing and purchase at Bluebird Books in Hutchinson, KS for the month of September. 

coral floral watermark

I Must be a Mermaid

It’s been a bit since I have shared one of my art journal pages, so here’s one from the deep to start the work week!


“I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living.”
                                            anais nin




Have a deeply wonderful week!