Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Journals

juicy soul retreat july 2013

This is my weekly journal page for the week. I wasn't thinking so much about capturing the events of each day as much as I was focused on my general mood for the week.  

The theme was " happiness". 
  • Baby George was born
  • I watched the movie "Happy" about the scientific
    study of happiness in human beings. (Really interesting)
  • I taught the Juicy Soul Retreat with my good friend Andrea.
    Great fun and lots of happiness!

Something funny I want to share...Dexter got into my washi tape collection and ripped up a roll of tartan tape. Those rough edges on the tartan tape in my journal, are really little Dexter teeth marks. Makes me laugh every time I see this page.

Just to give you a point a reference, this is where I started earlier this week. It took layers and layers to get to my final look.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Juicy Soul Retreat was a complete blast today

Created with flickr slideshow.

Juicy Soul Retreat was a complete blast today. 
Thanks to all the lovely ladies who joined us for 
an amazing day.  

The best part about today's retreat:
  • Meeting everyone :)
  • Playing with all the techniques on big sticker paper... then going to town in our own journals.
  • Exchanging ideas for places to get unusual art supplies (Ie. Hardware stores, Daiso, etc.)
  • Listening to a variety of music while we created (including a few oldies but goodies)
  • Sweet Amy's Anime character and her journal page dedicated to the message "Let go and watch the art flow"...I need a t-shirt with that on it.

 I love seeing people fall in love with art through the creative process.

Thanks for sharing the day and creating art in community.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Getting Ready for the Juicy Soul Retreat

Friday we closed registration for the July 2013 Juicy Soul Retreat.  We turned our attention to preparations for the wonderful group that will gather on Sunday. We spent part of Friday preparing the studio for the group. We reviewed the list of techniques we will be sharing and added a few more that we've never shared before. We cleared tables and collected all the materials we will need for the day.  The most precious moment is establishing the intention for all of those who will gather together to create in community.
  • Grace - May we be graceful with our selves and each other in the creative process
  • Peace - May we experience peace as we take time to do something we love for ourselves.
  • Create - May our unique self-expression come through in our creativity

Our role is to 
  • Be Authentic in the session (ie. show the raw process, happy mistakes and all)
  • Demystify our unique creative process
  • Guide the group process 
  • Give permission.

If you were unable to join us this can follow our journey and see our journal pages on Instagram using #JuicySoulRetreat.  You can also follow me Julie (@reddragonflystudio)  or Andrea (@aworkofheartstudio) on Instagram.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Reminder: Juicy Soul Retreat on Sunday, July 28th

Join Us for our next Juicy Soul Retreat 
Sunday, July 28

My Declaration of Celebration

The Declaration of You Blog Lovin' Tour
I was invited to contribute a blog post 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! 


{ Celebration }
Joy-filled and meaningful moments are a cause for celebration

“Celebrate the Sacred in the ordinary.”
― Sarah Breathnach

I grew up feeling that celebrations where rare events that centered around big accomplishments.  It was reserved for birthdays, anniversaries, job promotions, etc.  It was also my belief that if I celebrated little things or I celebrated too often, I would loose my appreciation for the accomplishment itself and possibly loose my drive to accomplish more. Too much of a good thing was bad and I had bought into the notion hook line and sinker. 

In my 20's I hung out with a group of girls that did NOT have that belief. Thank goodness for those girls crossing my path. They believed that EVERYTHING was an event and cause for celebration. 

Every party was an event, worthy of a new cocktail dress.
Every accomplishment was cause for a champagne toast.
Every milestone was worthy of a special treat.  

We CELEBRATED all the time. I think of that time as one of the happiest times of my life. It created rich joyful moments that I will remember for the rest of my life. It taught me to celebrate regularly and often. It taught me that no matter how often I celebrate, the joy of the celebration doesn't diminish.

{ Celebrate Regularly and Often. }
There are certainly times when I forget how important celebrations are to my life. If I haven't celebrated enough, my life starts to resemble the movie "Groundhog Day". Each day is the same as the next.  There are no intentional celebrations reminding me to slow down and "smell the roses". There is no conscious activity reminding me to experience gratitude for my accomplishments. 

Celebrations allow me to slow down and bring intention to the moment. It provides me with a rich set of experiences that bring gratitude and color to my life. 

{ Make Time to Celebrate }
 Here are some of my favorite things to do to celebrate alone or with a few friends...
  • A beautiful cup of tea and/or dessert at the fanciest restaurant in town.
  • Drive to the ocean to watch the waves
  • Lighting all the candles in my house and turning off all the lights. 
  • Pedicure 
  • Long vacations to tropical islands ( Mexico and Hawaii are my favorites)
  • Mini trips to see local landmarks (being a tourist in my own town)
  • Purchase some new art supplies
  • Girl Friday...A friend and I pick a new restaurant to try almost every Friday.
  • Snuggie Movie Mornings ... I invite my friends to go to the movies in our snuggies or Pajamas. 

{ Your Turn }
Challenge...Celebrate something this week and tweet about it


Now that I've poured my heart out...I'd love to hear from you...
  • What Are Your Favorite Ways to Celebrate?
  • How has your view of celebrations changed over time?
  • Who is your biggest inspiration for celebrating regularly and often? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Love Vintage books for My Journal Art

I love using vintage books in my work.
 I love the smell of the pages and
 I imagine the stories that go with the book. 
It inspires me to create.
I often think of the people who might have owned the book
I Imagine them turning the pages 
Reading the words to themselves or aloud to others
I wonder about their lives and 
what they might be wearing 
or where in their home they might have spent time reading the book.
 It feels like I'm holding a bit of history. 
A bit of someone's story that is now part of my story.

This is a vintage "Salmebog" which is a book of Lutheran Hymns from Norway.
I got it at a flea market in Oakland, CA
It's dated 1895 and has a note inside that reads
"Given to me by my mother and father - 1917"
The original owner was 

This book is so precious I can't bring myself to use the original pages.
I photocopy and scan the pages to use in my work.
I make lots of scans and print lots of pages that I put in a bin
so its ready for me to use when the creative muse strikes!

I'll be using some of the scanned pages in my weekly journal this week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Journal

This weeks journal was a little bland and simple but
the week in life was full of richness and  color .

I scheduled a family photoshoot for us with a great photographer.
I have always wanted to have a professional photoshoot to get 
great photos to put around the house or use in a Christmas letter. 

I even put it on my Vision Board this year.
Some how I crossed paths with a photographer on Facebook
and I loved his work so I made an appointment for a session.

It took a few weeks to coordinate the session, our outfits and a location. 
The day came and we where both scared and excited.
The photographer is a really cool dude and he made us feel at ease,
while corralling our silliness.

The end result is that we had a blast.
We'll get our photos in a few weeks.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weekly Journal Pages

I wasn't going to show this page. 
I was feeling like it was not complete or interesting enough to share. 
As I examined the page and thought about that week,
 it is a miracle that I found time to put down the numbers for the days of the week.

It was one of those weeks when the work day and the after work day merged into one. 
 Last week got away from me and so did this week. 
I made a noble effort to begin. 
I made time to kiss day 12 with my new favorite lipstick 
I made time to leave some scribbles on the page.

 I will always remember this week for 
how everything seemed to happen at once 
and i still made time to do something I loved for me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Art Studio: Organizing My Brushes

I found this amazing container at Target on clearance for $5.
It was in the gardening section but I thought it would be great for my art supplies.

I currently have all my brushed in a variety of cups and containers.
They often tip over from the weight of the brushes. 

I was able to fit all of my brushes into this one handy container.
It's perfect and saves so much space on my work table. 
I can see all my brushes in one place. 
I can tote my brushes to other rooms.
I love it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Art Studio: My studio is filled with things that bring me joy and peace

I love late summer. 
The lighting on my patio is perfect for painting in the early evening.
I've dedicated a portion of my patio to my easile, paints and brushes
My studio is a peaceful
place among the trees.

Everywhere I look I see little reminders of the things that bring me joy and peace...
  • The Buddha I got in Oakland at a Zen garden shop. I remember when I bought him, I wanted to get him home safely so I put a seat belt on him.
  • The tiny metal Buddha my big Buddha is holding. A gift from a good friend I adore.

  •  The lush green succulent jade plants that where once
    2 small pots and now has grown into 6 big beautiful bushes.
  • There are the big beautiful paint brushes I purchased in Amsterdam. They where my first really "good" brushes and I cherish them.

  • There is a funky metalic pink Hoola Hoop I got online at Hoopnotica.  I wanted to be one of those girls that could do hoola hoop tricks. After knocking down several things in my house practicing...the hoola hoop has retired to the patio until I
    get brave enough to practice in public.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Art Studio: Working on my patio.

I'm working on a new painting this week. 
I'm enjoying the process of choosing color, pattern and technique.
I've also learning to let the painting unfold in its own time and
let myself fall in love with the process.

In the past I would do a painting in one sitting. 
It just didn't feel right until it was completely done.  
I'm learning to do as much as I can or feel like, then step back
and let it breathe a bit before making my next move
or determining that its done. 

Now I'm free to just create without all that expectation.
 It's been such a joy to layer color,  text and texture
without concern for the outcome 
and when.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dexter's Welcome Home Day

A year ago today we welcomed our little Baby dog, Dexter,  into our home. We adopted Dexter from the ASPCA in Santa Cruz on July 10, 2012.  He's such a snugly love bug. I was never really a "pet person" before Dexter, but now I am obsessed.  He has 2 beds, a Kennel, a car seat, a toy box filled with pet toys, 12 collars (several holiday collars),and a fully stocked grooming kit (complete with puppy perfume).  Dexter even has his own blog (

He's so easy going and happy... its easy to spoil him.

Having a pet has been an amazing experience:
  • We've met more of our neighbors. 
  • I've learned to trust my intuition.... I have to stay tuned in to Dexter and the people around him to keep everyone happy.
  • We've learned the power of patience and how to communicate ... Dexter doesn't talk so we have to use our energy and our tone to communicate the house rules.
  • We've learned the importance of consistency...Dexter has allergies so we need to be consistent with his care and feeding to keep his allergies at bay and itch free.
  • We've become more active...We have to walk him every day or there will be shoes with teeth marks by morning.

Today we will celebrate by sending a donation of goodies to the ASPCA. We hope more pets will find their forever homes this week and beyond. If you've adopted pets, I'd love to hear from you and your experiences in the comments below.


Returning to mixed media on canvas

I'm returning to a canvas this week. 

I started this 24X24 canvas last year with the big idea to combine my style of art with my favorite quotes. I started this particular canvas with a specific quote in mind. I wanted the images and the letters to be beautiful,  clear and crisp.  I worked for a few days trying to figure out the best technique to present what I saw in my minds eye. I just couldn't get things to "click" so I  shelved the canvas for a year,

This weekend I felt inspired again to try to tell the story again.
This time I had a new quote and I decided to let things evolve in the moment.

I've let go of my "vision" for the painting and just stayed in the moment.

 I feel like I'm back in the groove. I'm not sure where this is going yet but I like it.  I'll keep posting photos of the process as I go along.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Daiso Art Supply Haul: Silicone Coasters

Coasters Make Great Stencils

Daiso is my favorite dollar store for unique art supplies. I found these cute coasters that will make great stencils for my art journaling projects.  It's the perfect size for popping in my art bag for creativity on the go.


Here are the coasters. There were 2 types. Both will give a slightly different impression.

Here is the stencil up close. The silicone will make it easy to wipe off and keep for a while.

 Sprayed a little Dylusions Ink Spray through the stencil/coaster.
I love the effect. Can't wait to try this out in my weekly journal.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Reminder: Juicy Soul Retreat - Sunday July 28, 2013

 Soul Scribble by Soul Pancake

If I could have a bullhorn for the whole world to hear I would stay...

It expands your sense of play, freedom and joy.

Make an appointment to play ...
Join us for the Juicy Soul Retreat - July 28, 2013
where we play and create in community.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly Sketch Book Journal Pages

This week I'm inspired by Jenny Doh's Peace, Love, & Art blog post where I got reconnected to the joy of working on faces. When I started my art business many moons ago, I started with faces of women as goddesses. It is still something I enjoy creating but in the last year I stopped creating faces. I just lost interest in the subject and moved on to other things. This week I am inspired to return to faces in my weekly journal pages. Here is my basic starting point then I add color and texture to move it to the next level.  Let's see what happens!

It's the end of the week and boy did I struggled with these faces. Early in the week, I had a vision of finding delight and inspiration in each image. I looked forward to creating a new expression for each face. I was even going to swing out creatively and try some abstract touches like Jenny Doh's faces. 

The honeymoon was over on July 2 when I worked on July 2 and the frame work for July 5th.  Nothing seemed to work.
I didn't like the paint I was using, 
I didn't have the right brushes for the size of each image. 
I couldn't find a juicy enough pen to write over the acrylic. 
The faces looked warped or mean.

I was cranky and ready to scrap the whole thing. My thoughts went to ... " I could cover the whole thing with gesso and starting over."..but I didn't. 

Then I remembered ... I've been here before.
I forgot how the creative process looks when we try something new. 
I forgot how we  might judge ourselves too harshly when we are trying a new process
I forgot how comparing yourself to others or having specific expectations can block our own creative expression.

I forgot...I remembered and then I let go
It's just paint and ink on paper. 
It's just for me (and you ;))

By week's end, I was getting into the groove and surrendering to my creative style. I even started to like some of the faces. July 4th and 6th are my favorites.

Follow me on Instagram at reddragonflystudio #weeklyartjournal

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Everything In It's Place..Linen Closet Shelf

Earlier this year I created a Vision Board for 2013.  It included lots of images of my ideal living environment. As I studied the images to get to the essence of what I wanted it boiled down to this. 

"Everything in its place and
a place for everything"

I'm always looking for new ways to organize my space and make it a more functional as well as beautiful. I want it to feel like a luxurious Five Star retreat. 

So today I took on my bathroom linen closet. Just the shelf with the towels. I was inspired by Alejandra's Home Organizing Videos on Youtube.  She is so inspiring about organizing I got excited about tackling a few areas of my house.  I started to look for spaces in my home to implement her techniques. 

I was particularly inspired by her "How to fold towels" Video and I wanted to try it right away.  I never really payed attention to how I folded towels before watching the video but the result is really cool. 

So here is my newly folded towel shelf in my linen closet.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July and keep your pets safe.

Happy 4th of July!

Last year we liberated this our sweet little baby dog, Dexter, from the Santa Cruz ASPCA. We learned that a lot of dogs are put to sleep around the July 4th because the fireworks scare many dogs and shelters often get too full to keep them all. 

So this 4th of July,,,

  • Keep your dogs indoors so they won't be scared by the fireworks.
  • Make a donation of money or goods to the ASPCA in your local area.
    (Call them for their wish list items)
  • If you have been contemplating adopting a pet,
    this would be a great time to step up your search.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Julie,  Andy & Dexter

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Daiso Art Supply Haul: Drain Covers

Drain Covers make great Stencils.

I found these drain covers at Daiso. There are 20+ in a pack and they are fabric on one side and plastic on another. The fabric portion is adhesive so I will be able to use the actual stencil in my journal. Just peel and stick!

 Here are the stencils. I got two different patterns.

 Here I've sprayed a bit of Dylusions Ink through the stencil.

Here is the result. I like how some of the dots bleed a bit. That was due to the fact that the stencil was thin, curved and didn't lay flat on the page. Think next time I can  remove the backing and stick the stencil directly to the page to get a cleaner impression.

I might even try cutting the stencil to get different patterns.