Goals 2017

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I love this time of year… reflecting on the blessings and even the failures of the past year, making plans for the new year.  It is a time of hope and promise and is exciting for me.  I always more goals than I can actually accomplish in a years time… but I figure I will still accomplish more by having them!

So today I am working in my 2017 hand made small junk journal which I couldn’t wait to start using.  Here is what my business goals spread looked like before I painted in it. It has a washy watercolor face out of my sketchbook, some painted paper, and some sections out of a Sabrina Ward Harrison book.


As you can see, I painted over everything but the face which I roughly finished out the other half of.  I love all the texture and depth that these under layers give the pages!

Here are a couple of the other pages so far…

From this..


to this…


I will probably go back and add more to this page as the mood strikes me, which makes my journals an ever evolving project.

Here is that other half of the sketchbook face, which I again opted to keep on the final page.


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All three of these spreads are about contemplating the new year and approaching it with courage, renewed determination and organization.  I am reaffirming to myself the importance of practice, experimentation, and reflection in my artwork…. and life in general for that matter!

I look forward to sharing another year with you all!



Once in awhile I get to be part of a fun and sentimental commissioned project.  This one was a hometown piece for a Christmas gift incorporating a church, main street businesses, and the old water tower.  Now I think it would be fun to do a whole hometown series… I don’t do a lot of buildings, but I had fun with this mix of paper and paint, so maybe there will be more on the horizon!

365 Faces Challenge

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If you have followed me in 2016, you know that I made an attempt to do 365 faces throughout the year.  Well, I didn’t quite make it… in part because I made a poor choice of journal in which to do faces.  It was a lovely leather bound book, but the paper was difficult to work on.  So, I counted any face whether in sketchbook or in an actual piece of art, or even on the many Christmas ornaments on made.  That actually brought my total near the mark, though then I ended up losing track of them all.




So, I learned a few things… be more organized in documenting my faces, and pick my surfaces more carefully.  I don’t feel like I failed at all however since I was rather lenient with myself on this project… after all, the goal was simply to practice, practice, practice and hopefully come to some improvement.  My favorite face came in the later part of the year and helped me feel I was getting somewhere!


So, I am going to repeat this personal challenge in 2017.  This time I am giving myself a stack of 4 x 6 cards to have in handy places where I tend to have sketching time.  In my purse, in strategic places through the house where sitting happens, etc.  Quick sketches count, as well as artwork, but I do look forward to having a big stack of faces on my little cards.

What are your artistic goals for 2017? Anyone want to join me in the 365 faces challenge?

Christmas Portrait

Hope all of you had a very merry Christmas!


One of my handmade Christmas presents this year was an attempt at portrait painting.  From a favorite photo of two of my granddaughters when they were quite young, I painted these two as princesses complete with jeweled crowns and gowns.

This was quite a challenge for me… most of my faces are of imaginary people so there is no concern about making them actually resemble the subject!  I have a renewed admiration for those artists who do portraiture!

Crafty Gifts of Christmas Past

Projects have been a flying around here lately, but of course I can’t share them…. yet.  So I thought I would share some favorites from years past.

A few years ago I made art journal style pages for several family favorite recipes and made copies for each of my kids.


They each got a personalized small binder to keep their pages in.


Turns out that a lot of the handmade gifts through the year didn’t ever get photographed… but here is an old one of a handmade owl pillow and a diaper bag… There have also been assorted quilts, aprons, oven mitts ….

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Then of course there was last years dollhouse and lemonade stand made by a talented papa who takes my gift ideas and figures out how to turn them into reality!



What are your best handmade gift memories?

In My Junk Journal


Nothing better on a cold wintery day than snuggling up with my new junk journal for a little journaling.  This is how the page started out:


It is a pieced together and stitched assortment of a watercolor sketch out of a sketchbook and pages from an extra book by Sabrina Ward Harrison (sorry, I don’t remember for sure which one… they are all lovely!)  As you can see, I painted over what wasn’t mine and left the face that was my work.


I used some scraps of her pages on this spread as well as some of my own writing from an old journal.  I added some collage and paint, then wrote about some of my goals for the coming year.


I’m not sure if I am done with this page or not.  One thing I love about an art journal is the fluidity of it.  I go back and tweak the details or even paint over and start again.  I work here and there throughout the journal and don’t really have to have any rhyme or reason.

Do you start with page one and work straight through, or skip here and there?

Mother and Child


This is a repeat, but still one of my favorites. Thought I would share this with you as a reminder to take time to ponder amidst the hustle and bustle of the season.  For me, coloring, or doodling is a great way to direct myself to a time of prayer, meditation, and pondering!

Here is a page for you to download and ponder with!

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