From old to new…

8 Jan

Definitely a fan of “upcycling” I love turning old things into new art.  And I love starting the year with the Creative JumpStart workshop.  From the first workshop with Nathalie Kalbach, I used an old piece of art to create a stencil (of my houses) and added layers of gesso,  stamping and some markers to the corrugated cardboard substrate (ala an Amazon packing box)  I created a new simpler piece of art that I can easily duplicate and create again.  I encourage you to find an old piece of art, perhaps an old sketchbook or art journal page and use it to create something new.  Thanks, Nathalie and thanks Creative Jumpstart.  #cjs20  #creativejumpstart.


DIY Christmas Cards

5 Jan

I finally got around to making my own Christmas Cards this year, and actually got them out on time, thanks to the inspiration and motivation of John Marron, fearless teacher of Zen Painting & Poetry @Olli-Ru. Thanks all! Now let’s get to work on Valentine’s Day.

Flutter Strips

20 May

flutter strip treeflutter stripTrees as journals…why not?

As a final project in John Moran’s Zen Poetry and Painting Class we created “Flutter Strips” and at our last class gathered together and hung them on a tree. What an interesting way to journal!  What a fun thing to do with family and friends, and especially kids.  We all felt like kids at heart when we placed our flutter strips on the branches of this lovely tree.

Coloring Craze…

4 Nov


No one has been more surprised than me about the latest coloring book craze. Back in the day coloring books were the enemy of creativity and that made sense.  A kid with a crayon and a blank sheet of paper really learned to play with color, with materials with no restrictions about staying in the lines or using the correct colors. We do remember how important it was to STAY IN THE LINES!  (And NOT to color on the walls 🙂  I even remember a book called The Anti-coloring Book. Well, coloring books have taken over the bookstores not by the shelf but by the aisle. They’re in drugstores, specialty stores, stationery stores and who knows where else along with a myriad of colored pencils and markers.   I do believe coloring can be therapeutic, a great way to reduce stress or boredom, (although if you’re an artist or keep an art journal you’re never bored) but here’s a challenge.  Find a good permanent black marker and doodle your own coloring pages.  In this page, I used watercolors instead of colored pencils and I had blast.  I got to play with my watercolors without the pressure of having to create a watercolor masterpiece and as an added bonus I can journal in and around the spaces.  So give it a try and see what fantastic coloring pages you come up with.


Country Garden Crochet Bicycle

21 Sep

In line with the current trend for cycling what better way to celebrate than to our craft than upcycling a bicycle. I had so much fun creating this quintessential english country rose garden wrappe…

Source: Country Garden Crochet Bicycle

Make mine mosaic…

2 Sep

mosaic flower

I took a photo of a flower, cut it into 1″ pieces with the help of a ruled cutting mat (shown beneath the white border of the photo,) and pasted the pieces mosaic-style onto a sheet of paper, leaving some white space in between each piece. It’s an interesting way to present a photograph or your own artwork in an art journal or scrapbook, or to make a card or give as a gift.   You’ll notice I could have been more careful pasting the squares but I was just experimenting and having some fun. I have to remind myself that “Perfection is the enemy of good.” I don’t remember who said that but they are important words for me to remember.

For a more formal way to work with mosaics check out  Mosaic Moments on




It’s a wrap!

21 Aug


strawberries wrapping paper

my original sketchbook in the center on top of  a section of wrapping paper…what fun! 


How to repurpose and re-enjoy your art….

One of the things I’ve been doing with my art recently is re-using it in different ways. I especially liked this small “strawberry” watercolor I did in my sketchbook, and made it into postcards and cards. And one of the most amazing things I learned in my BEGINNING class at the Sketchbook Skool ( was that I could turn my art into fabric or wrapping paper, so… I took a chance and sent my artwork (digitally of course) to and voila! …an amazing roll of wrapping paper came back to me via US mail.  Now to be honest due to the resolution of the file the background of the paper came out brown instead of white, but I learned what I did  wrong and I loved it even in brown. If you want to turn your art into something totally new and interesting check out And if you want to really enjoy drawing and painting again, or for the first time try taking a class at the SketchbookSkool.  They even have some free trial classes.  And please subscribe to my blog. I promise I won’t inundate you with email,  but it will keep me on my toes and remind me to write now and again. I hope to inspire you to give your creativity a boost or a jump start if you need one.