Playing With Spraypaint!

Years ago, before I moved to Phoenix, I used to have tons of spray paint. Nothing fancy, just whatever I could grab at Wal-Mart or Lowes. It was messy and gave me a headache when I played for too long, but I adored the look and had just started collecting stencils. 

But winter meant I couldn't go outside to use it, and spray inks were just coming out, so I slowly switched and abandoned all my cans when I moved cross-country.

Recently, my love has been re-kindled by the messy graffiti outsider art of MitsiB. I grabbed the one can I had in my apartment and played, then grabbed a fluorescent red/orange from a big box store. I played for 10 minutes and my head hurt. 

So I decided to try the Liquitex spray paint, hoping 'Low Odor' meant we won't give you a bloody headache and burn out your nose

After posting to Instagram and FB, I decided it was a perfect time to test the camera on my new iPhone. C'mon....I'm a video-makin' junkie! How could I NOT test it! This little video was so much fun to put together....I wonder if you'd like more little videos like this? Talking about what I'm working on, using, and creating? I think a mini-tripod is in order (sorry for all the movement!), but I'd love to make more like of the thing I love about videos and blogs is seeing someone else's world. I can share that! 

Let me know YOUR experiences in the comments below. Or suggest my next mini-video topic!

Ready for an Adventure



Drove out to visit Becca in her new house. It’s beautiful and big and her studio makes me think I’m up in the tower of a castle, except this one is sunny and full of messy hands and paint. I taught her how to use a Gelli Arts gel plate & we made fun printed papers, how to type on a typewriter. We shared our journal pages and things we’re trying. 

Came back to town to meet E for dinner. We’ve known each other for so long, we can pick up after months or years apart, our friendship built on shared history and easy comfort. We have a plan & I have a lot of work to do. 


"Ready for an Adventure" 12"x12" mixed-media/collage on wood


My FMS made itself known, screaming and kicking and had me diving for my pain medication. I slept through the afternoon, then grabbed my couch box and settled in with the Avengers. I worked in my journal and pulled out a painting I started last month. Took a little break to have my heart broken

I had fun. A bit of joy through paint and shape and color. I thought back to the sensations of having an adventure, of the excitement that jumps up and down in your stomach, the fluttering of your heart in your chest, the way everything is clearer and brighter and interesting because of where you’re going, what you’re doing. That stepping outside yourself, the daily grind, your definition of normal. 

I applied magic — the way butterflies could be on hats and still flutter their wings. A bird perched atop a woman’s head, her animal guide only she could see. A trip bag full of the type of things Mary Poppins would pull out to heal and amuse. What is in there? Could the contents be clues as to where they’re going? Are they flying across the country or around the world? What will they find once they get there? 

How can we, too, capture the thrill of adventure in our daily lives? 


(This is a question I have been pondering for awhile. A question easily answered: easily. It simply takes a shift in perception. I’ll tell you later. Tomorrow. This week. I can say this: whenever I forget that, I glance over at this painting and remember. Remember you can always have an adventure, even without leaving the house.)

Summer Challenge Series #1: Limited Supplies

The Summer Challenge Series is something I've had in mind for awhile. I find the deepest and most amazing discoveries come from challenging yourself and how you relate to the world around you. I like to consider myself a Mad Art Scientist, and challenging myself is something I do to continue growing. 

But I also know many of you are Mad Art Scientists as well, and Creative Warriors, and yearn to create lovely, meaningful art on a budget, or with little energy, or late at night when your family has gone to sleep. So I thought, why not be challenged together?

This is an informal challenge. There are no deadlines, homework, tasks, or lessons. Rather, if you happen upon this group and find yourself inspired by that week's challenge, try it. If you don't have time, don't. 

I'm working this in the following way: everything will help you discover more about yourself, and operates under that lovely rule -- you will get out of this exactly what you put in it

So, how much are you willing to give if self-discovery and fun is the end result? 


Recently, I’ve been working out of a series of art bins at my desk. I like being able to work next to the window, the sunlight dancing across my journal or canvases, and the air is brighter where dust dances in rays of light. Most of my supplies live in the closet studio, but to be honest, I haven’t felt comfortable working in there since the Concussion of Doom; the sky fell on my head, and I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be some sort of sign. 

I mentioned this to a friend, and she admitted that she uses supplies out of a small scrapbooking tote she picked up at that big craft store we all know (and have a love-hate relationship with!). And Kelly has often posted about how she consciously limits her supplies so she can see things with fresh eyes when she cycles through things every month. 

It got me to thinking: what can one create with a small amount of supplies? 

And then I thought about the women chatting about Thrifty Art Journaling over at The Studio; how they have work-arounds and coupons and not a lot of supplies, and I thought, "You don't need much to create meaningful art." 

So I decided, last night, that I was going to run an experiment as the first week of my informal Summer Challenge Series. I’m going to use ONLY the supplies in the box for one week. Journal pages, paintings, whatever I want to do or work on, I can use what I have in the box, and nothing more

Why? Because it’s fun. Because, as I wrote on Tuesday, working with a limit of some kind can spark the brightest idea and smoothest creative flow. Because I’ll be forced to think different and problem solve. 

And also, because I want to show you that you can create wonderful art with a small amount of supplies

Here’s what I managed to get in the box:

Two things wouldn’t fit in the box: my set of Prismacolor pencils, since they have a mansion of space to keep them nestled, warm, and not breaking every time I sharpen one, and my bottle of GAC 100, which has become an indispensable tool the more I learn about acrylics and the chemistry around them. 

I’ll post art and pages here from this week…I’m kinda nervous, as I have 2 paintings I’m working on, but I’m curious about how they’ll turn out. One thing my friend said about working from a limited amount of supplies is that your work become more cohesive, since the colors and themes are centered around a single box or tote of supplies and colors. 

Why don’t you join me?  I think it'll be interesting to see what we create when we don't use much, and you'll be plesantly surprised by the beauty that comes forth! 

[mini-tutorial] Thin Line Squeeze Bottles

I was wandering through Hobby Lobby, as I do, and found these little bottles with needle tips. Now, I’ve used these little bottles in my artwork before and made quite a mess, and wondered how the experience would be changed if the tips were really, really little.

It is awesome

I mixed some fluid acrylic with water in one, put on the needle tip, and started playing around. You can draw remarkably well with these bottles, and I found myself doodling and then experimenting with writing. 

 However, be careful! Once the acrylic is gone and there’s only muddy water left, you won’t get those precise lines anymore. So play around with your watercolors and acrylics in these bottles to find the right viscosity to make some really cool marks.  

The great thing is, since you’re writing in acrylics, you can work over them or color the shapes in without having to worry if the ink is going to spread. And since you can hold the bottle much more firmly, and have a solid tip, you can write and doodle with it much easier than if you were to attempt the same thing with a brush. 


An Armchair Art Solution


I'm not the only girl with physical problems, and certainly not the only who uses art and art journaling to cope with all that stems from it all. In fact, I created a small group on Facebook of creative women with FMS, as well as arthritis, chronic fatigue, & so on, where we support one-another's creativity (and give hugs on bad days). 

Living with all my various physical malidies means I can't always spend a day in the studio, no matter how much I want to. And yet, I don't let this keep me from journaling, writing, and experimenting. 

For days like today, when I'm so sore, I feel like a 5'7" purple bruise and have taken enough pain medication to, well, let's just say I'm a slightly foggy lump on my couch right now, I have an Art Box that I pull out for easy play in an armchair. It's slightly more involved than my purse/travel kit, but goes along the same lines as -- easy, low-mess, and colorful. 

The contents, of course, shift and change depending on what I'm into at the time, or want to play with. That stamp set has been in the box for awhile because I want to stamp on my pages, but never really get around to it. 


Cavalini & Co Alphabet set, Fabre-Castel Gel Sticks, & Caran d'Arch Neocolor IIs (they're stored in an Art Bin box, a collection I grew one at a time over five years).

My Lamy Safari fountain pen, pencil, eraser, Sharpie water-based poster paint in white, waterbrush, and set of neopastels (again, slowly growing collection one or two at a time).

My purse/travel case. For more on this, watch this video. I've added a bit of sequin waste I bought last week because HEARTS. I now have all sorts of circles, hearts, and stars! (I also have a fun new technique you can use with them that I'll be sharing later this week...)

And washi tape. It's oh-so-fun.

Lately, I've been asking myself why I hit publish on my entries, as I have several planned a week in advance (and photographed with my new camera) so I can keep up this updating-every-day-but-Sunday thing I've got going (and how is that going for YOU, dear readers?). So why this post? Because I discovered a month ago that my purpose is in alignment with my challenges, and in sharing them, and in giving tips and tricks to get around whatever may not be working for you right now. So if you're sick or disabled, or just a TV junkie, here's a system that seems to work for me. 

{journal dreams and beads from a bottle!}


I've been a very busy girl today! After my morning bike ride, where I snapped pictures and got stung by a bee, I came home to write a more in-depth outline of my summer art journal course, then got started on finishing up a journal for Kym. 

I have become a journal-making machine! 

The Journal Dream Shop has been a wild success! I am now running about 4-5 weeks for your journal to be done, though I'm working as fast as I can without sacrificing quality or my health. So I am booked up! 

Because of this, I'm going to be writing less blog posts. But don't worry -- I'll be vlogging once a week and hopefully doing time-lapse journal pages in the meantime. And I'll snap photos like crazy of what I'm working on! 

Kym's Journal

They're really tons of fun to make, and I like to think on the person and what they're dreaming of when I put them together. They really are hand-made -- I do everything from cut down the paper to round the corners to cut slits for elastic. They aren't perfect, so if that's what you're looking for, you might want to try a store. These journals are crafted with love by my hands -- I have glue all over them, and they wear the battle scars from using an x-acto knife to do detail work. I touch every part and hope you feel inspired when you get yours! 

journal construction


As soon as I'm less-booked, I'll be making blanks to put up in my Etsy shop. But since the price isn't all that different, why not order a perfect one for you? I'm up to experimenting with form and binding -- I'll be making a binder journal with fabric edges and canvas pages next week! 

Check out the newsletter if you're not already subscribed!

Because I'll be focusing on crafting journals and writing my next workshop, I'll be sending out a lot of info in my weekly newsletters. You'll get a blog post straight to your inbox (and that means an article written expressly for the newsletter that won't be appearing on the blog itself!), some inspiring words, maybe a prompt, updates, and a coupon each week! 

The form to sign-up is right there on the sidebar, so make sure to enter your address so you don't miss out on anything! My newsletter's going to be a Godsend for me -- an easier way for me to keep you all updated and inspired while I put my nose to the grindstone and get things done! 

Beads in a Bottle are here! 

I needed a little playtime before getting down to business, so I pulled out my brand-new pack of Beads in a Bottle by Tulip and embellished my journal cover (even more, I know!). This is the gemstone set, and I kinda want to go back and get a different one! 

beads in a bottle

At first, I thought it'd be hard, but not at all! They leave a little wisp when you pull up the bottle, but it soon settles to make a bead! I need some more practice, though, and then I'll be embellishing this plain t-shirt I've had for awhile that needs some bling...

beads in a bottle

(above: right after applying)

beads in a bottle

(above: all dry!)

So I'll see ya all later! I'm running off to the pharmacy before it closes and grabbing dinner at the grocery store!