It's Finally Here -- My GIANT E-Book, Going Further


I have been secretly (or not so secretly but dropping hints!) working on something for awhile. A BIG something. 

I decided early on that the lessons from Journaling Deep would turn into something. I didn’t know what — or how to package/present them. I just knew deep down in that soul-place, that wild-space we so often neglect in our busy 20th century lives, that I wanted to share everything I could. I wanted to be excited about new discoveries, create a space where I could experiment comfortably, and encourage others to do the same. 

My energy has gone towards creating the best, interesting, easy-to-follow tutorials since Journaling Deep started in November, and in May, I realized I was sitting on a mountain of awesome stuff that so many more could benefit from! I decided to package the videos up as mini-classes, and the PDF lessons as a giant e-book/e-class! 

If I could take a snapshot of my brain and send it to you, Going Further would look pretty damn close! 


What does this big, giant E-Book hold?

  • 140 pages of tutorials. There aren’t many pages in-between, other than chapter intros. So that’s a LOT of tutorials! 
  • Projects ranging from how to make foam stamps to creating your own embellishments to working with fabric to project pages that are intuitive and soul*full. 
  • An entire chapter of conquering the blank page with guided background tutorials. 
  • Printable worksheets to transform your handwriting, get comfortable writing in your journal, and how to obscure it so others can’t read it. Stuff I’ve picked up, transformed, made my own. 
  • Inspiration galore
  • Have a pile of Instagram photos? Check out the uber-long art gallery. Or maybe you want to learn digital art journaling? Yeah, there’s a chapter for that, too! 

Not only that, but each tutorial gets you thinking about why & how you approach journaling and creativity. Read the tutorial and answer questions designed to pull you out of your comfort zone and those tried-and-true methods we all repeat. 

Finish, and reflect back on your experience. Take notes. Learn more about yourself through the process not the product


I call it an e-book/e-class because it is easily the material I could present in 3 e-courses. But instead of splitting it up and creating a class around it and discussion forums and all the like, I put it all together in an easily-downloadable and easy-to-follow format that doesn’t put pressure on your to ‘keep up,’ or show your work each week

Perfect for those who need to inject some more creativity into their life, who don’t have the time or money for e-courses, who just want to have fun on their own terms. 


What are you waiting for? Click here to buy your copy!  


And just because I am so excited to share this, I’ve decided to give everyone 15% off through Monday! 

(This gives you 15% off your whole order, so look around! There’s some awesome stuff in the digital shoppe!)

Just enter the following coupon code: happyebook


NOT ONLY THAT, but I have some awesome stuff to give-away, perfect for those jumping in! 

 I’d really like to get the word out about the e-book, so I’m giving you extra chances to win! 


  • Comment on this blog post about what you’d love to learn next from me, or next in general, and be entered! 
  • Tweet about the e-book (make sure to mention me, @samanthakira), and get another entry! 
  • The same on Facebook (tag Journal Girl so I can see it!)! 
  • PURCHASE the e-book and get 2 extra entries! 
  • Contest ends Monday, October 15, 2012.


What can you win? Well, take a look at the TWO prize-packs below! 













Good luck! And I hope you enjoy all I have put together to share with you!


Low on funds? Need some help? I have a few 50% off coupons left to share. Let me know and I’ll let you know. The community usually takes care of its own. <3

If you enjoy Going Further, I would love to hear about it



{wherever you find love - free digital goodie!}


While playing around with new gifts and products, I made a randomness collage (what I call pages created for the purpose of being cut up) on some Claudine Hellmuth Stick-Back Canvas.

Which rocks, btw. At first, I was skeptical, since it curled pretty fast. But the thing dried and now lies completely flat. I have the white canvas, and didn't gesso it before working, so I got some great watercolor-like effects going with my fluid acrylics.

It is now off to be run through my new Cuttlebug for bits to be added to journal pages, paintings, and even fabric fun!

Download Image [15mb, PNG]

The Fine Print: Please feel free to print out and use this randomness collage on any of your projects. You can even use it in a painting and sell it! Just don't alter the original, including cut it into pieces or change colors, in order to sell it. It is a gift!

{kira's (revised) art journal supply list; free doodle PS brushes!}

clean & organized

When I re-organized my supplies for easier access and posted this picture, I never thought it would get more than maybe a few comments -- and most about the artwork on the table, honestly (the piece of the right is now finished and hanging in my studio!). But then I saw this comment:

And it got me to thinking: the last time I posted a supply list was way back in 2007. Look at my hair! I still have the same glasses, though (and am trying to save up for a new pair, since these are now out of date. won't you help a girl out?). And the same desk. As I watched this younger me talk about her favorite supplies, I thought, "Why not do an updated list?"

I haven't changed too much, at least I don't think so. But there ARE some additions, as well as more information on some of the stuff I've now been using for years.


(BTW, I don't know where that annoying sound in the background came from...maybe I should have used my mic! This was done quick and easy this morning!)

Download the PDF that goes into more detail and includes some basic stuff I didn't have time for!

I've also made a free gift just for YOU. I created a set of brushes to use for Hodgepodge #2's layout, and thought, "Why not share 'em?" I do want to get into making more things like this, so what better way to start than to just make it real!

Yep! For Photoshop! You use these just like stamps, but digitally! When you open your brushes palette, there's a little > at the top right -- click it, and then go to Load Brushes. Select this file and you're all set!

Download the set here on my DeviantArt page!

See you all at 8 est/ 7 cst for tonight's vlog!

{hodgepodge #2 is here!}


Actually, it was here Saturday, but I have been so busy, I haven’t gotten a chance to write anything until now. Well, I could have written something then, but it probably would have consisted of grunts and the occasional headdesk as I waded through 27 pages of a spreadsheet trying to get emails out. Which they’re mostly out, except if your partner forgot to put in their last name, and then you’ll get your email when they email me back and voila! Swap officially out into the hands of the people.

When I sat down to compile the material for Hodgepodge #2, I didn’t have a clear plan other than a collection of journal pages from two journals and a few ideas as to where I could go. But after awhile, a theme and purpose grew between those pages like weeds through cracked concrete — that rigid purpose we seem to give things cracking under the pressure of true creative inspiration.

What came out was an exploration of my adolescent phase, that rough, transitory period between first learning of art and excitedly copying the “masters” and the later phase where your own creative inspiration pours freely onto the page.

From the introduction:

Everyone knows the difficulties we encounter during our teen years, no matter where you’re from or your current age. You’ve gone through life as a child, always depending on your parents for love, protection, and guidance. Think of them as those artists you admired when you started, the ones you copied in order to get your footing, take your first steps. They’re there to teach you the ropes of life, give you advice, teach you how to make a PB&J sandwich and ride a bike and swim at the neighborhood pool.

These pages are raw. Like you’d expect of a teenager’s diary, there’s angst. Happy days. Doodles. To-do lists. Life was mirroring this transitional period in my life. There are essays to help guide you, exercises to boost your creativity, and a hand to hold when you need to laugh or have a good cry.

This isn’t a phase you go through once — you will continuously circle around as you continue to explore, and it is no less painful the second or third or forth time you go through this. It’s a shedding of the old and the birth of the new; a messy, painful, exciting process that plunges you into the dark Unknown of your own soul, and it’s up to YOU to get back out of the labyrinth, emerging as a reborn artist.

Writing for and working on this issue really brought that idea home for me. Lately, I’ve been going through a transitory phase myself and the darkness has really frightened me. Yes, I have faith that I’ll come out the other side (mostly) intact, but the shedding is the hardest, when you circle through again, because I thought I’d found my identity as an artist. Instead of going from replicating the work you admire, this second pass has me shedding my own work I’ve grown to love. I was comfortable and — this is a dangerous place to be in — complacent.

I never really thought of that word much until my brother said, “You can be comfortable with recovery, but when you get complacent, that’s when trouble happens.”

Look at the definition:

complacency - A feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble; An instance of self-satisfaction

Looking at it, you wouldn’t THINK there’s anything wrong with that, but if you give it a minute, you’ll realize that there’s no progress, no discovery, no exploration or play or fun. You’re just going along in the same old way because it’s comfortable.

But I digress. This is material for Hodgepodge #4! But it’s something I’m living right now, and working on this issue has helped clarify and take away a bit of the Unknown I’ve been walking through.

I created the cover for this one by hand, doing the kind of art I’ve been drawn to, a twist on my usual style, new techniques and materials employed in different ways. I love that I’m constantly experimenting, going to myself to play and discover rather than looking up the answers online.

I've experimented and found what colors work in the background and which don’t...

I posted this shot on Facebook over the weekend. I love seeing what materials are around when my favorite artists create, so I thought I’d take a similar shot! There’s, of course, stuff hidden from view, but most of what I was using was captured.

And huzzah! The darning foot for my machine! This has made all the difference when it comes to freehand stitching, and my fingers are now safe from being poked full of holes. ;) This is quickly becoming one of my favorite techniques. 

I sat down with the intention of creating a cover, and ended up making a piece of art. I just want to sit down and make one of these every day; there’s so much coming out when I work like this, and I can’t figure out why it’s easier for me to express myself on canvas “pages” instead of in my journal. But that’s okay — we create where we’re drawn to and let the Divine take care of the rest.

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of Hodgepodge #2, head on over to the Shoppe for an instant download. You can also grab #1 as well as the three-parter of Page by Page.

As for me, I’m off on another adventure out in the cooling end-of-the-summer air and talking trees...

{faith & love & being raw and open....on a blog?!}

How do you like the new navigation bar? I'm hoping to add more features to this blog in the coming weeks.

The above is also October's wallpaper! Head on over to get a copy for yourself!

Faith is a tricky thing. When you face your worst days, you often wonder where the Divine presence went -- weren't you just here with me, chatting about a new painting? About that cute pouch we're going to make together?

Hello? Are you there?

Yesterday was a hard day. A VERY hard day. I had no grace. I sobbed at work. I upset someone. Got bad news about my car and pending disability case. If there were ever a definition of hysterical, yesterday was my day to fill it. Every time someone hugged me or told me it would be okay, I broke down. Those deep, hitching, oh-my-God-I'm-sobbing-at-work tears that waterproof mascara was designed for.

And as I sat there sobbing, I prayed. Dear Divine, what the hell has gone wrong? Weren't we having an awesome time together?

When I got home, I was sent to bed. I felt like the heroine in some 18th century novel. "Oh, she's hysterical. Bed rest." Add in the doctor with his bag and bad beard and someone guarding the door, and BAM, I'm a Jane Austin character.

Which isn't half bad, if only for the wardrobe.

This morning, I woke up and took ten minutes to clear the dried tears from my eyes. Bounced back. Except for the rain, that my knees predicted yesterday, I'm doing well. Feeling much better. Did I just have a breakdown?

Last night, while watching recorded programs to distract myself, I drew. And not the girls I usually do -- those are done quickly, with little shaded detail -- but took the time to draw deep eyes. I swear, the second one took twenty minutes to get just right. And tears took over the page. In fact, I sat down to write this blog update three hours ago....and then was distracted by wanting to color the drawing with paint, and have spent the time shading. I think spending more time on this one has brought me more solace than a good night's sleep.

And I was daring. I drew her without clothes. Just the top! But still, this was hard for me, as nudity is an uncomfortable subject for me, even art-wise. I just felt something guiding my hand, telling me to expand to this uncomfortable and daring territory, to push through it and get it on the page. And I felt better. I'd challenged myself. I may never show it to anyone, because I don't know how it would be received, but I felt empowered as a woman and believer in a feminine Divine.

I don't know why I'm writing this -- I had something else in my head to write -- but know I had to. Lately, my blog has been a place to think on the page; writing for myself is okay, and I do it often in my journal, but longer writing, like this, only seems to flow when I know it may have an audience. Does that make any sense?

Okay, moving on!

The painting above was done on this new gessoed art board by Speedball. I was intrigued, and let me tell you, I DON'T like it. Really. I'm used to canvas and paper and maybe even canvas board. But the texture on this, the way the paint performed, I don't like it at ALL. But I finished anyway, wanting to complete something, and love what came out. I'm looking for deeper symbolism in my work, so it's beginning to come out. Slowly!

But the faith. Yes. I'm trying to work on a book. And I need the faith to take suggestions and improve on things, not be discouraged by them from an editor. That I've even gotten to that point is a good thing! But I find my voice is not "original" enough, that I don't have it down just yet. *sigh* More work, more prayer, more art. Isn't that what life's about?

And now, I'm off to play in my journal a bit more before going out with friends. Isn't that what life's about, too?

{mini-e-zine: learning grace: two weeks - a lifetime}

Instead of writing waxing poetics or appologies here, coupled with images, I decided to let it all loose and publish the last week and a half/two weeks of journal pages in a mini-e-zine FOR FREE here on the blog.

My finger is healing nicely, and I'm writing posts again; I'll be back to my regular schedule later this week, starting with Friday's Things I Have Learned, the Soldering Edition. ;)

If I didn't have this outlet of journaling, I don't know what I would have done. Gone more crazy than I did?

Please leave comments on the 'zine here or use the contact form to email me.

<3 kira

PS. YouTube found my background music in 2 videos -- they are still available for download on the Video Downloads page.

Learning Grace (PDF) - 24MB
(right click, 'save as')

{new goodies! this month's wallpaper & collage sheets return!}

Boy, do I have some goodies for y'all today!

First up, a new wallpaper! I know you've seen the painting before, but now, you can customize your desktop with this wonderful image! Available in three sizes, this girl weathering the storm is cute and fun. She's in the Wallpapers gallery, for July. What will I create for next month? *G*

Secondly, while in the process of cleaning & packing the studio, I happened upon the originals for my collage sheets! Remember these? I printed them on fabric for use in your journal OR fabric projects. Well, as things are transitory right now, they're available as digital downloads. Click, print, and enjoy! They're $2.50 each, which I think is a pretty fair price for some cool collage fodder.

Looking over them, I realized I haven't made any new ones lately! So keep an eye out for a whole slew of new collage sheets created from my journals. I use 'em, too! When I'm looking for a little something to spice up a page, I grab one and glue parts down. It's really fun!

I would have had this all set last night, but I accidentally deleted all my work under the Join In! section when trying to clean up the spam in the forum. So that's relaunched -- I missed some newer posts under Future Video Suggestions, so if you posted there recently, please do so again! Silly spammers! *sigh* Tis all part of having a website, I suppose!

There's also a new contact me form to make it all easier to drop me a line. *hint hint!* I LOVE getting emails! It's just so fun, and the digital age's answer to getting a letter in the mail (which I love even more, btw!).

Sending love and puppies!