Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Sketch Book Journal

 Here is the begining of a new week. I created this back ground with acrylic spray paints. Its hard to see in the photo but the texture is bubbly and has a bit of a shine.

I created the areas for the days of the week with vintage papers I found at a flea market. This was someone's short story. I love giving new life to items that might never be used or tossed out. Everytime I use these pages I think of the original author. There work is still being appreciated, even if is not in the original way they may have intended.

Now I've added some dates and a bit of doodling.
We will see how this progresses this week.

This week I spent more time on my story pages than on my daily pages. I had fun choosing a word to focus on in the day then choosing some supporting words that summed up that day.

This was a quote came across this week that totally resonated with where I am right now.

“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.”

― Barbara Marciniak

 This page came out of me wanting to use this face I cut out from a magazine a while back. It has been on my mood board for a year. This week the image just called to me. I watched Oprah's Super Soul Sunday today and India Arie was being interviewed.  India shared the one bit of advice Dr. Maya Angelou shared with her..."Be Your Truth". Embody your truth. Listen to your inner voice. Center yourself in what you know for sure. Wise words in the face of all that is happening in the world right now.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Declaration of Self-Care

The Declaration of You Blog Lovin' Tour
I was invited to contribute a blog for The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100+ other creative bloggers. The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! 


How I use self-care to prevent and deal with stress

When I was asked to write about Self-Care to support the launch of ‘The Declaration of You’, I wanted to share about spa retreats, manicures, meditation workshops and yoga classes. All of those self-pampering activities that I love so much. But, when I thought about it more I wanted to share about how self-care has been the cornerstone of what keeps me  balanced, mentally and physically. Hopefully you'll take some inspiration from my journey and learn that self-care provides the power to self-sooth, self-honor and reflect.  It stops me from expecting other people to make me happy and puts the power squarely in my hands.  When I practice self-care, on a regular basis, I am naturally creative and open to new possibilities. I'm also able to move on after a stressful encounter.

I hate to admit it, but my biggest teacher for self-care has been navigating through various stressful situations. I've learned what works and doesn't work.  I've been able to implement what works over time. I now have a variety of methods that work for me that I can use at the drop of a hat. As life goes on, issues start to have less of an impact because I get over them faster. Life is more peaceful and joy-filled.

I've learned to use stressful experiences as opportunities to discover new self-care strategies

Recently I was on a leisurely walk with my dog, Dexter,  when I had an encounter with a neighbor.  As I was walking my dog, I could hear this neighbor walking and yelling at her two small dogs. My instinct told me to create distance between us, so I kept walking and maintaining a good distance.

Dexter stopped to do what dogs do and I was waiting for him to finish, when suddenly I heard the woman scream from across the parking lot...."Would you walk your dog faster! You're taking your sweet time. I've been trying to hold my dogs back."   I told her I was picking up after my dog and she could walk in another direction.  Before I knew it, she was racing toward me with her dogs, yelling at them and cursing at me. We exchanged angry words and I walked Dexter away from her dogs to another area to play.

After we played for a while, I started to walk home.  In the distance, I spotted the same woman returning to the area with her dogs.  She crossed the street and disappeared behind some tall hedges.  I continued to walk and to my surprise, she was sitting behind the hedges waiting for me with her dogs.  More angry words where exchanged and she even attempted to follow me home.

When I returned home, I was upset and clearly shaken. The situation was over but I was still feeling the effects. I kept thinking about it. I kept experiencing the emotions as I thought about it. I noticed that I was not sleeping well. This is where knowing how to exercise some Self-care comes in handy..

I know I'm not at peace when I keep thinking about a situation over and over again

I have a regular practice of journaling and part of what journaling provides, is a way for me to slow down my thought processes and get connected with my feelings.  From there, I can access what feelings need to be soothed, nurtured or balanced through self-care. 

In this situation, my journaling time exposed my need to know I was safe and I did not do anything to deserve that, so I went to the safest place I know tribe - Andy (my personal hero), Debra (my neighbor),  Marcia and Jennifer ( my sister friends). After talking to them, I felt better, but I was still feeling a bit restricted. One of my self-care strategies is to spend time in nature. It gives me a sense of peace and freedom so I took Dexter to a few beautiful parks and sat with my bare feet in the grass.  I felt lighter but I was still waking up thinking about the incident, so I implemented another self-care strategy, a workout and swim at my gym. Suddenly I found myself laughing about the situation and that was it, I was free.

Self-care can restore peace mentally and physically

From this place I was clear enough to determine if there are any actions I needed to take to resolve the situation.  In this case, I could see this woman was probably just an angry person and I was just in her cross hairs that day. It was more important for me the let the situation go than to keep it alive by pursuing actions against her. 

{ Self-Care is a practice that is perfected over time }
  • Practicing self-care on a regular basis will give you access to peace, creativity and new possibilities
  • Self-care can give you access to your intuition to help you avoid potentially stressful situations.
  • Recognizing when you are stressed is key to determine when you need to implement some self-care strategies.
  • You may need to implement a few different self-care strategies to restore peace both mentally and physically.
  • Things happen in life and stressers do come up but if you practice self-care you'll know how to self-sooth so you can restore your inner peace and have a clear mind to make decisions.

{ My Favorite Self-Care Strategies }
  • Art Journaling : Allows me to get out of my head and into my heart
  • Talking with Friends : Talking with friends I trust helps me feel safe and supported
  • Walks in Nature: Nature grounds me, leaving me feeling peaceful and free
  • Physical Exercise: Exercise and working up a sweat helps me get out any residual toxic feelings in my body 
  • Music : I am so inspired by music and I keep a number of Pandora stations organized to help me get in to a relaxed or creative mood. 
  • Space Clearing: If I feel overwhelmed I feel better when I clear my environment of clutter and make it special by adding flowers or burning scented candles.
{ Let's Share Self-Care Strategies! }

  • Join us for The Declaration of You’s Facebook party this
    Friday, June 28 at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST.
    We’ll be chatting LIVE about SELF-CARE over at
    Hope to see you there!
  • Talk to me! Comment below and let me know some of you're favorite Self-Care strategies.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Art of the Beautiful "No"

I have seen beautiful art with the word "YES" in big, bold, colorful calligraphy.   It always reminds me to say "Yes" to life, opportunities and abundance.   It's a reminder to invite all that is true, positive and divinely ordained into my life.  But what about "No".  What about what I'm not going to stand for in my life? What about saying "No" to make room for what is really important?  Where is the beautiful "No"?

I've never seen anything like a beautiful "No" so I made one to remind me that a "No"  can be graceful and beautiful.

Here's my list of graceful "No" statements:
  • No
  • No Thank you
  • No, Not this time
  • No, that doesn't work for me
  • No, I have another commitment (commitments to myself count)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Join me on Instagram!

I love instagram and it's a great way for us to stay in touch and inspire each other. 
I'd love to see what you are working on and I'm excited to share my process as I develop my journal pages. You'll also get a chance to inspire each other and meet new artists. 

Visit me on instagram
See you there!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Weekly Journal

We started with a fresh page at the beginning of the week.

It's the end of a new week and I've had a blast in my weekly journal. 

This week I took a few days off from work to just have a bit of "Me" time. I spent those days working out at the gym, swimming and creating in my journal. I feel so free from just a few days of taking it slow and doing things I love.

I even got Andrea Chebeleu to join in the fun. It will be fun to see her pages each week. If any of you are working in a weekly journal...please let me know. Its lots of fun to see what you're working's inspiring.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekly Sketch Book Journal

It's a new week and a new canvas to work on. How will this week unfold?

Things are taking on a whole new look since I started earlier this week.

I even added a new page for additional thoughts. 
Love how the pages are starting to curl from the weight of the paint.

As I create a regular practice of creating in my journal on a regular basis, I'm learning to use all the bits of supplies I have been "saving" for a project. This week as I came across items I used them in my journal right away. I found this image in a calendar and I loved the art so much I knew I wanted to use it in one of my journals.  Its been sitting in a stack of things for 2 years...this week if found a home on my weekly journal page.

Used lots of bits of book pages from my art studio and vintage letters I got from a flea market.  The Hepburn image came from a cell phone cover I got free when I was buying earrings at the mall. This image has been sitting around for years. So glad I found her a home this week. There is still more to do on this page but I like where its going.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Dad 
Donald Valentine.
 He's the one who encouraged my creative side.
My dad is such a great guy.

My first introduction to painting was using his oil paints from his professional painting kit.
I didn't like the smell of the turpentine, so I quickly moved to poster paints.

He created a little art studio for me in his dark room next to our laundry room.
It was a corner of the room with 
an old green drop leaf table, a chair and a light .
He gave me a little radio to play music.
He made sure I had lots a paper, charcoal and brushes.
(My favorite pad of paper was a big pad of newsprint.)
I remember loving that little space.
It was where I could express myself and be alone with my thoughts.

One of the things I loved to do with my dad was ride with him to is
photography studio at the Torpedo Factory in Virginia.
The windows would be down and
Jazz would be playing on the radio. 
and we would sit in silence and ride while listening to
Jazz greats like John Coltrane, Hubert Laws, and Thelonious Monk.

I appreciate my dad for teaching me how to express myself creatively and 
give me room to just be myself with him.
My dad just gets me and that is such a blessing.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Sketch Book

There where lots of things to complete this week. I had a long "to do" list and some how checking off the boxes did not feeling exciting, then I came across a scripture ..
Don’t worry about anything;
 instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, 
and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6

That just brought me such peace reading that. So this week I give all my concerns to the Divine and I turned my attention to all that I am learning on my journey. I started this week thinking about all the wonderful things that are a blessing to me in my life.

I started with simple pages using washi tape and number stickers

Then I added book pages to each day and I was ready
to add whatever inspired me during the week.

Let the week unfold and added bits of memories. Dexter barking to get what he wanted. I did a presentation at work that went pretty well and I'm glad it was completed...then I noticed the line I highlighted in yellow on that day. That book page was put there completely at random.

I got so exited about my scripture that I created a page just for the words. I'm sure I will be referencing this page often. I needed to give it a bigger presence in my journal.

I'm already starting pages for next week.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spending time in the studio

Thanks to my Weekly Sketch Book I have been spending more time in my home studio creating and using my art supplies.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Eliminating Visual Noise

One of the things that allows me to be creative is having a clear space to create. A space that is clear of visual noise or clutter that distracts me. I go through times when the noise is less distracting than others, but I can still create. Other times it is so loud I can't start a single journal project. Having a space that is clear of visual noise is not always about removing things, sometimes its about adding things that are beautiful and have meaning.

One of the best ways for me to spot the visual noise in my house is to take photos of my space. I live, work, sleep and create in the same space and the clutter shows up so gradually its hard to get a clear perspective.  I'm in an organizing and purging mood these days so I wanted to choose some particularly noisy spots to clear and add meaning. So I thought I would expose my process. Which is a bit scary, but It's a good opportunity for me to keep my focus on clearing my space and for me to identify spaces that keep getting cluttered.

Here is my first spot
This one might be deceiving...the visual noise for me is the meaning of those mix matched boxes and the contents of those boxes. I got those boxes for a project, then changed my mind and never used them. So I dropped junk in them and kept moving them round the house trying to find a suitable place for them. They landed here next to my patio door and they are filled with who knows what. Every time I look at them I think ..." I need to clear out those boxes".

I cleared out the boxes and took out things that didn't belong. Now I know there are art supplies and stuff for Dexter and little treasures from our travels.  I also painted the boxes one color. Now its clear but I need that corner to have more meaning. I've decided to create some art for that corner. Maybe something with inspirational words.

 Stay tuned...this one is a work in progress.

Weekly Sketch Book

 It's the start of a new week and new Sketch Book page. So this week its all about stamps and washi tape.

 I'm starting to play with images from the travel brochures from my trip last week. These images got my attention so I added them. Its kind of fun working small and looking for images that can work in a small space.

I added more color and pattern. I also added some lines out of a book I got a a flea market. They just seemed to capture the mood of my week.

I hope you enjoy watching my creative process as much as I do.  I like seeing how the pages form. Its teaching me to be patient and to go with the flow.  A big lesson that I'm practicing in all areas of my life.