Monday, December 30, 2013

2013...A Year In Review

Photography by Orbie Pullen

2013 was a wonderful year...

We are approaching a brand new year and before the clock strikes midnight, I want to take a moment to thank you for connecting with me through this blog, attending our classes, responding and sharing your comments on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. It's been great, getting to know you over the last year.  I enjoyed reading and responding to your blog comments and visiting your blogs to see your creations. Thank you for sharing your creativity and allowing me the space to share what I love most about art and creativity. 

In 2012 I declared that in 2013 I would "Love what I do and do what I love". When I wrote those words, I thought I would teach more classes and create more art work.  When I look back at the events from 2013, I can see that I discovered the essence of what  I love to do... 
inspire and be inspired

I discovered that not only do I love to teach and create art work but I also  I love to create an energy of inspiration and beauty everywhere I go.  Inspiration lights a fire in people that I love to experience over and over again. I love seeing someone see and experience something in a new way. I love when someone sees a possibility, where they may not have seen a possibility before.

Artists I Love...
This year a few artists  lit a fire in my creative spirit and I am ever so grateful for their inspiration  ...

New connections...
I'm a bit of an introvert, so over the years I have consciously practiced doing things that scare me to get me out of my comfort zone.  I stepped out of my comfort zone this year to connect with you on this blog, other artists on their blogs, and with new friends. I ventured into new territory by sharing about my life growing up in Maryland and about my family on this blog. In the process I got to learn more about you, as you responded and shared your stories with me. I feel a lot more connected to my creative community. I am so grateful.

I also connected with other artists, learning more about their creative process.

I love to travel but I don't like to fly.  It's the little seats and the packing that stresses me out, so we traveled local and I had a few trips long distance...and it was wonderful

Boost workshops...
Each year I look at my workshops and think of ways to expand each student's experience of the creative process. I even ran a survey mid year to learn about what students might want to learn about in class. As a result we updated the lesson plan and added ...
  • New tips and tricks for creating great Vision Boards in My Vision Board workshop
  • Creative games in the Juicy Soul Retreat to help students practice new art techniques in a playful way.
  • I created Art Supply Haul blog posts to share my favorite art supplies and encourage students to use everyday items in their creative work. 

Making things work for everyone
(that includes me :) )

It's not easy to manage life and make time for art and creativity but this year I managed to do some pretty creative things just by planning them in advance and marking time off in my calendar. 
  • We did our first Family photoshoot with a wonderful photographer ... Orbie Pullen
  • I worked out consistently with my trainer .. Bethany
  • I finally realized that organization is part of my creative expression. I embraced my inner organizer and made some improvements around the house to keep it cozy and beautiful.
  • I journaled weekly and on vacations using my traveling art studio.

Special Thanks...
to all the wonderful people that are in my tribe who continue to encourage, support and give me a soft space to land. I am ever so grateful for your loving support.
  • My Peeps: Andy and Dexter
  • My Family: Mom, Dad, Damian, Donnie, Ronnie, Jennifer, Helen and Robin
  • My Besties : Christine, Carole, Adi, Marcia, Lupe, Diana, Soizic and Janis
  • My Trainer: Bethany
  • My Creative Soul Sister: Andrea
  • My Culinary Inspiration: "Crawford"

Looking forward to 2014...
My 3 words for 2014...

Peace of Mind 
There is power in an uncluttered mind
Appreciating the blessings I have

 Being curious about others and moving
into a deeper connection with people

I'm feeling really creative these days. I have lots of great ideas for the business and for my family.  

  • I'm really looking forward to more collaborative projects with other artists. 
  • I want to learn more about how to get more of my work out there. 
  • I want to stay true to my intuitive urges to create and create environments for creative expression. 
  • I also want to move in to video production for some of my creative techniques.
  • I want to continue to be inspired and provide inspiration.
  • I just want to have lots of fun and live in beauty.

    Welcome to 2014!!!!
What are your plans for 2014?

Collaborative Canvas

During the holiday break, Andrea and I worked collaboratively on a large piece of  canvas in preparation for the Juicy Soul Retreat. It's a great way for us to connect on a deep level as teachers and prepares us for the next season of creative retreats. This canvas will be used to fashion something special for the retreat.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dexter trip to see Santa


We have an annual tradition of taking Dexter to see Santa at the local Pet Smart. It's alot of fun seeing his reaction and meeting all the other pet families that are there with their animals. Before I became a pet parent I would turn my nose up at people that do this type of thing but once you enter the world of pet ownership all bets are off!  So we are those people who dress our dog up, kiss him on the lips and take him to see Santa. 

This year Dexter was not interested in seeing Santa, he wanted to play with the other dogs waiting in line. So each time we put him on Santa's lap he would punch him in the face, try to rip off his beard and make a run for the door.  (Santa was not hurt in the process)

Santa was a good sport and we all laughed until we cried. So these are some of the better photos of Dexter's trip to see Santa and 
I hope they capture the spirit of our spirited little pup!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Words to Inspire: Celebrate

“Out of the mists of our long oppression,
We bring love for ourselves and each other,
And love for the gifts we bear,
So heavy and so painful the fashioning of them,
So long the road given us to travel them. A separate people,
We bring a gift to celebrate each other,
’Tis a gift to be gay!
Feel the pride of it!”
Harry Hay

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Words to Inspire: Wind

Half Moon Bay, California

“So fine was the morning except for a streak of wind here and there that the sea and sky looked all one fabric, as if sails were stuck high up in the sky, or the clouds had dropped down into the sea.”

Virginia Woolf,
To the Lighthouse

Monday, November 4, 2013

Glamping + Art Journaling = Bliss

We spent a wonderful weekend in the woods of Big Sur Glamping (Glam + Camping).  I'm a city girl but I love nature.  Every 3-6 months I need to take a trip to the mountains or the ocean to recharge my batteries. We usually go deep into the mountains to camp. This time I  wanted to try something new. I wanted to see if we could get the camping feel without all the gear required to go on a full blown camping trip.  

For the first time in my life, we booked a cabin in the woods.  I didn't know what to expect but it was a lot nicer than I thought...maybe a little too nice to feel like camping.  We did cook outside and sit at night around a fire pit.  We probably brought too much gear for the glamping trip but we learned what works and next time we will know how to pack.  Its a great alternative to traditional camping. 

We did have a little run in with the local wild life. On our first night we were warned that they had a skunk problem on the campgrounds. We kept a watchful eye for most of the night. As we sat around the fire, suddenly Dexter started to bark like crazy. Andy flashed his light into the darkness and there it was a Skunk with its rear facing us and its tail in the air. I grabbed Dexter and started running to the cabin. The skunk walked off before I got inside. We where not sprayed but I was shaken. The rest of our stay I was on skunk alert. We never saw another skunk.Thank goodness!

There are some great advantages to glamping, since we spend less time to setting up camp, I had more time to journal in the morning while Andy slept in. We we could have eggs and croissants on the patio while Dexter played off leash in the fenced in patio.  We had hot water for showers and heat at night.

It was a nice trip for all of us and we will surely return again in the fall.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekly Sketch Book Oct 28- Nov 3

Something simple and a little dark from my weekly journal.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Costume Creativity

I love Halloween! 
 I love the dress up and all the creativity that goes with that. 
This year I went over to a friends house for a small gathering of friends to pass out candy to the kids and enjoy a scary movie.
I didn't want to buy a costume, so I looked up costume ideas on Pinterest. I found this amazing makeup artist, Shannon O'Brien that dressed up like a deer and
did a mini tutorial on how to create the look yourself.  

I modified it a bit, added some little fuzzy ears and off I went to the party.
I really liked the look and it was really simple to achieve the look

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sneak Peek into my Process

Swishing paint.
 Listening to the musical rhythms of Utopia by Quiet Village. 
Fluid movement, circles , lines, birds.
Acrylic, gesso, spray ink, stamps.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fonts for Art Journaling

    With the cold weather approaching and more time spent indoors, it is a perfect time to get prepared for some journaling time. Nothing warms my heart more than quiet time curled up in a cozy chair with a cup of tea for some art journaling.  I am really inspired by fonts. It brings my story telling to life.  I collect fonts that inspire me, then type inspiring words that I then print and collage into my journals. Here a a few of my favorite free fonts...

    Please check the licenses before using any of these fonts for commercial purposes!

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Words to Inspire: Trees

    Lake Tahoe, California
    “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” 

    Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    A Peak Into My Process ...

    I've been using watercolor paper as a paint palette during my art journaling process.
    The pages are now becoming art pieces themselves or the starting point for a new page.


    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Reflections: October 2013 Juicy Soul Retreat

    Thanks everyone for coming out to continue in existing art journals or start new journals!

    Generous baskets of inks, paints, brushes, papers, gesso, ets.
    Painty Hands

    The lovely Andrea, co-lead of the Juicy Soul sweet.

    First time ever...Ephemera Bar...Lots of flea market finds to use in our journals.

    4 years ago, Andrea and I dreamed up the Juicy Soul Retreat as a way to demystify the creative process and share techniques we use in our art journaling process with others.  

    It was a personal challenge for me to figure out how to teach something I've done most of my life.  Teaching the class allowed me to slow down and notice the components of my creative process. In the process I learned to appreciate not only my creative process but the creative process we all share.  It's this sacred conversation between the artist and the Divine. Its really precious.

    It's amazing to look back at the early days of the retreat when we followed a very specific agenda and set of techniques.  Now we have simplified our workshop to offer the techniques with the most creative impact. We've also started to share ways of approaching the blank page and included games that bring out creative expression.  The result ... more interaction in the class, more experiencing the creative process and more opportunity to learn from each other.

    As we close on the 4th season of the Juicy Soul Retreat, I grateful for the opportunity to  offer guidance to those on the creative path and I am inspired by the bravery of the students and the unwavering partnership of my co-lead, Andrea. 

    We'll see you with more retreats in 2014...stay tuned!

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Words to Inspire: Sky

    Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

    “There is one spectacle grander than the sea, 
    that is the sky; 
    there is one spectacle grander than the sky, 
    that is the interior of the soul.”

    ― Victor Hugo, Les Mis√©rables

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Juicy Soul Retreat - October 20, 2013

    Juicy Soul Retreat
    Sunday, Oct 20 2013
    11am - 5pm
    Work of Heart, San Jose, California

    We want to encourage you to make a date with yourself to nurture your creative spirit. The Juicy Soul Retreat is an afternoon of pure creative bliss. We will be showing you techniques that will inspire you to create in your journals and express yourself creatively on every glorious page.  You can begin a new journal or you can continue to build in one of your existing journals. The choice is yours. Our intention is that you spend time in your journal, get inspired to create on a regular basis and explore  techniques that will bring out your unique creative expression. 
    This retreat is for beginners and savvy journal artists.


    Retreat Schedule:

    Juicy Journaling Techniques

    Big tables, tons of art supplies...What could be more fun! You will learn some amazing techniques to turn flat blank journals in to juicy journals for your words, poetry, collage, photos, lists, mantras, ideas, songs, prayers, intentions, stories, notes, and dreams.

    Living in Your Journals:
    Spilling open and celebrating your life through journaling

    In this part of the retreat you will discover the wonderful world of fonts, journal page frames, images and story windows. You will be guided through the journaling process to begin to design a focus for your journal. You will explore the variety of tools available to you to support you in journaling your ideas, dreams, victories, stories, experiences when the creative muse appears in your path. We will explore the variety of fonts, letters and methods of capturing words on a page. We will also give you a chance to  journal with the assistance of journaling prompts and ideas for topics to explore in your pages.

    Juicy Journaling Studio
    Self Guided time to experiment and play

    In this part of the retreat you will have all the basic techniques and you will be ready to combine and layer techniques to express yourself creatively. We will act as muses for your creative process by supporting you in your process. You'll spend time in community continuing to turn your flat blank journals in to juicy journals for your words, poetry, collage, photos, lists, mantras, ideas, songs, prayers, intentions, stories, notes, and dreams. This is your time to use all the techniques you've learned to create your journal, experiment with colors and try different supplies.
    What to Bring:
    • Journal  
    • Lunch
    • Favorite Art Supplies and Images (optional)

    See what it's like to attend?:


    More Photos:

    Registration: $95 , After 10/18/2013: $105

    Juicy Soul Retreat Alumni $65 click here

    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    Juicy Soul Retreat : 8 Days and Counting...

    It's the count down to Juicy Soul Retreat at A Work of Heart Studio. I've been thinking about the class this week and starting the process of getting organized. I've made lots of little notes to myself and I've been collecting all kinds of yummy things to put in the goodie bags.

    Each participant in the class gets a little bag of goodies to use in thier journals. Each class has slightly different items in the goodie bags.   I like the goodie bags to have unusual items that the class can use in new ways in their journals. Odds and ends are a pretty big part of my journaling process. A letter, color, texture, material, or shape will often spark my creative process. I want that for everyone in the class. I want everyone to have a chance to look at items in their bag and say "what is this?" or "I've never used this before?" That little bit of discover opens new channels for creativity.  So this session I will be including vintage letters in the bags and other really cool items.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    12 Days of Juicy Soul Retreat

    Just 12 short days until the next Juicy Soul Retreat. 
    We are planning to present lots of techniques and new twists on old techniques. 
    It will be an amazing adventure! 

    Juicy Soul Retreat 
     Sunday, October 20, 2013
    San Jose, California

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Weekly Sketch Book

    This week all I had time to do was add the numbers and Its just fine. Dexter went to the groomers for a visit with his glam squad. We also had an amazing event for my friend Lupe's son Javier. It was a cuban themed party complete with men in panama hats and women with flowers in their hair.  

    I love a theme party, I guess that's why I love Halloween so much. Its an opportunity to transform and get a little more dramatic. That night I got to wear a dress that I originally planned to wear for another event a year ago but changed my outfit choice at the last minute.  So my dress still had the tags on it and it needed to be worn to the perfect event.  I'm so glad that event showed up this week.  We had an amazing time.

    Weekly Skech Book

    I may be a few weeks behind but I'm still journaling!  This is the week I had a great offsite with my team at work.  We had several days to really get to know each other and share some of our ideas and special talents. It was one of the more relaxing offsites I've had since working with this team a few years ago. It was a welcome treat.  

    There were long days at the offsite but I still managed to make time before bed to add a bit of this and that to my journal page. 

    • The background is poster paint and all the stamps are from the $1 bin at Micheal's. (Gotta love a dollar bin!). 
    • The birds are decoupaged from a napkin set I got a Ross a few years back. My numbers this week are from a set a numbers I created for my Juicy Soul Retreat. I had a copy in my scrap bin so I tried to use all the numbers I could find. I ran out on the 21 and the I just painted them in.  
    • I was also trying to see what would happen if I blacked out around images. I usually do this with gesso to make the image pop, this time I wanted to try black and I really like it. I'm sure to use that in the future.
    • I am a big fan of Jo Malone perfume and I want to remember one of their new fragrances for the Holiday...It may be a gift to myself. 
    • The rest are decorative tapes to section off my page and add interest.

    The result is a great week in my journal

    By the way...I finally did my nails with gel and they lasted only a few days before they started to peel off. I am so hard on my hands with my art that I almost never get a manicure and thought Gel could hold up and it was a bust.  So off with the polish and on with the art making. 

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    Art Travel : Puerto Vallarta 2013

    I'm still buzzing from the inspiration on my trip to Puerto Vallarta a few weeks ago. I chose not to take my journal supplies with me on this trip and focus more on photography and connecting with my friends.  

    There is a "zone"  I go into when I'm creating where I get lost in my creative process.  Its a beautiful thing to experience and I love having the time and space to dive deep into my process.  I love the feeling when everything seems to click, time stands still and I feel an amazing sense of joy.  Its funny, when I actually notice I'm in the zone, I'm usually flipped out of the zone and the process starts again as I make my way back in.

    If I'm with other artists they usually understand and honor when I'm in "the Zone" and wait for it to pass before engaging.  This trip was not about me diving deep into my creative process, it was about connection with the group of amazing women on the trip. 

    We've known each other for a long time and we had so much to discuss and chat about. We got dressed for nights out sharing jewelry and beauty products. I felt like I was in the college dorms again. I got to express my creativity with make-up and eye shadows.

    I also expressed my creativity through photography and photographing every beautiful experience.  I got a huge 32 MB memory card so I wouldn't have to limit myself on my trip. It was the best plan ever! I took photos like a wild woman.  I took photos of everything that made my heart sing.  I loved every moment of the experience. 

    I can't wait to go back next year.

    Weekly Art Journal

    August was a week of celebrations. My good friend Christine had a wonderful birthday celebration at a friends house. It was wonderful to spend time playing games and spending time with friends.

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Weekly Journal

    I'm back in my weekly journal. This week I found an image of a woman that really inspired me...I found her in the pages of a Nordstom catalog. I love using images of models from fashion magazines and shopping catalogs  in my work.  I'm always attracted to faces with unusual expressions or really interesting features. There was something deep and thought provoking in her expression that attracted me to use her in my journal this week. 

    Maybe its because I'm still enjoying the buzz of being in paradise for a week
    with friends I have known for most of my life. 

    Maybe because I realized how important vacations are to my heart, mind and spirit. 

     I feel like the vacation changed something deep within me. The humility, the laughter, the dancing, dressing up every night... I feel more like myself than ever before.

    My journal page this week doesn't have words yet. But if I were to add words it would be words of gratitude and a celebration of returning back to myself.