Wednesday, February 25, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #6: Showing Up

Woo-Hoo!  I'm feeling really good about myself. I have never been a regular blogger. I've never been very good about keeping up. Sometimes months go by without a word.

One of the reasons I made this challenge of sharing an art journal page a week for 52 weeks was to encourage myself to show up. Good or bad {and I'm giving myself permission to do it badly} my goal is to just show up.

There is a sort of schedule to showing up. I'm not particularly fond of schedules. Don't get me wrong, the laundry always gets done on Sunday's and I've rarely ever been late for school or work or any other timed appointment. I just don't like schedules. I don't like feeling as though I have to do something or be somewhere, so I do it as little as possible.

Close up

This week's page was done in my small 5" x 7.5" art journal. It was inspired by the Rae Missigman's February 17th. edition of her video series, 15 Minutes of Mixed Media.  You can find her YouTube Channel here. If you haven't seen them, give them a go!

Inspiration hit a little over halfway through the time lapsed video.  I grabbed a little yellow, pink and light blue acrylic. I use inexpensive craft paints for my art journaling. I tried not to think it and just layed it down on the paper. Black scallops scraped with a credit card before adding a little darker teal and brighter pink with a pallet knife.  A piece of book text, marks all pencil, and handmade rubber stamps became the base for the flower. I love painting with my fingers, so the the majority of the dots were created that way. The white dots cover up some text I'd written that I didn't like after all. Wrap it up with a little scribbling using a white Sharpie paint pen and a Pilot Down Force pen. Calling it done!

The words "becoming functional" jumped out at me. I didn't know what to make of them. Func-tion-al. I don't believe in coincidences, and knew that these words popped up for a reason. I knew there was something meaningful in them even if I had no idea what that meaning was. Ever heard of #secretmessages? Yeah. This was one of those I think.

In a fleeting moment of quiet it occurred to me that I often do not feel functional. Then I wondered if I was equating functional with productive. They are, perhaps, two sides of the same coin but every coin has a head and a tail.

Depression, getting lost in a cloud of "I don't know what to do",  "Where do I begin?" Days of feeling stuck, unmotivated and drowning in a bucket of comparison and not good enough. The clock reads "dinner time" and I haven't accomplished much of anything at all....and nothing is defrosted. 

"There's always tomorrow." Right?

I'm starting to notice, however, with this blog series, purging and reorganizing the art loft, along with a hint of spring fever for lack of rain....I'm feeling functional and productive; ready for the changes that I sense coming in the air I am breathing deeply. Reminding myself that baby steps count, there are no rules and mistaeks are mandatory. It's all about the process. Trust the journey. It's okay to change your mind, change course, move in a different direction.

{flipping coin} Call it! Heads or Tails?  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Look Back at My Creative Planner

Happy Sunday!

Last week I began sharing a little about my creative planning process.  Here's how my pages stacked up for the week of February 9-15th.

I use doodles and other things to cover up stuff and to diminish the visibility of particular moments. There's something about this manner of planning that is magical, forgiving, and freeing. Ten years ago my planner and planning process had to be perfect and orderly. I fretted over my penmanship, nothing could go outside the lines. All the boxes and lines had to be perfectly aligned. Today, after discovering mixed media, I purposely make it messy. I enjoy practicing imperfection, crooked lines, sideways text and layering. It feels more representative of life and its {sometimes} messy, chaotic, up and down adventures.

the highlight of the week was Sunday when The Phoenix Soul: Vision was released.  I had the honor of participating in this magical issue.

This spread includes some doodled girls inspired by FLOW Magazine that I found stashed in my IKEA cart,

a little collage, some Artsyville tape (sadly it is no longer available--but I think I have plenty to last me a while!)

and an IG photo (not shown here) I printed on my portable Instax-Share Printer.  And, yeah, sometimes the food and snacks I eat find their way in too!  I love Heath's. :)

If you'd like to follow along in creative planning, check out the tag #creativeplanner on social media sites for ideas and inspiration, and I've also started to include the tag #mtacreativeplanner on my planner photos.

That's all for now! Have a wonderful day! See you here later in the week for another installment of my #52motleyjournalpages.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Motley Freebie: Doodle Word cards

 Click for PDF
clickity-click for PDF

Last week I reorganized my IKEA Raskog cart that resides next to my seat in the family room. I was sitting idly by watching television when I decided to do a little doodling. It'd been a while and there were a few things I needed to hear. Perhaps you need to hear them too.

Clickity-click above to access a downloadable PDF.  Save. Print. Pass along in mail art, happy mail, or leave in public places.  Know someone you think might enjoy this download?  Please refer them to this blog post. Just copy and paste the text below.

Doodled with Faber-Castell PITT pens. Colored with Copic Ciao markers

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #5: Love

Celebrate the joy and peace you will feel as you infuse your life with love.

I've never been one who enjoyed Valentine's Day.  In the past it was often due to the fact that I did not have a Valentine to celebrate with. 

Today, I just don't like the idea that the calendar dictates when we go all out to express love. I don't like that it makes those who don't have a Valentine feel unlovable. I believe if love isn't expressed with gifts or cards in June, July or August it loses some of its value when the calendar dictates it. At least it does for me. I don't want to accept that expressing love on days dictated by a calendar are enough. 

All that said this month of love has me thinking about it a lot. Self love more than anything else. Love for life. Love for nature. Love for friendship. The romantic love portrayed by Hollywood is nice, I enjoy it, but it's unrealistic and to some degree, damaging. 

As an abused child, I thought Hollywood love was real love. Someone came into your life and fixed you, saved you, swept you off your feet. It's occurred to me that if you can't let real love in, if you can't open yourself up to it and embrace's not going to fix, save or sweep anything. I thought sex was love, the thing that sealed the deal. I was wrong and learned there will be times when what you think is sweeping you off your feet is going to end up kicking you down from that cloud and face plant you into a concrete slab of heartbreak and shame. For that you will blame yourself. Obviously you're not good enough, lovable enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough....

This is something I still struggle with almost daily after 20 years with my husband; almost 17 years of them married. The unspoken rule I learned as a child is that others determine your worth, value and lovability. Feelings of worth, value and love came from outside oneself. I often get caught between silently blaming my husband for not making me feel worthy, for not being willing to do anything for me and the knowing that it must come from within. Intellectually, I know that it is my responsibility to define my own worth, to create my feelings of worthiness and lovableness.  Emotionally, I am that little girl waiting for someone to save her and to love her and make her feel wanted and valued. 

Now as I attempt to write about a subject I feel ill-equipped to write about I sense a small shift happening. The lines are still blurred, but a defining moment is approaching. Questions are being asked even if I don't exactly know what the questions are. They are on the tip of my tongue. I can almost hear them. 

In the mean time, I am thinking about "infusing my life with love." Changing the way I journal and focusing on noting the things that bring me joy, rather than my feelings of lack.  I'm going to note the things that make me feel good, breathing in the blessings and exhaling in gratitude. I'm re-writing the story and putting down on paper my visions for life, the dreams that appear to me in those random moments when I think I have no dreams to dream, the things I see myself doing but never do for fear of doing them...alone.


About this page

This week's Motley Journal Page was inspired by artwork in the guided journal "Love Catcher" by Kathy and Amy Eldon.  I've had it for years and decided to purge it after noticing it is still completely blank. I've been thinking about love and what it means to me and wanted to do a page that expressed that for me. It took me all of about ten minutes. A little gesso. A little sketch with a Stabilo Marks All pencil and acrylic paint. I didn't want to overthink it. I wanted it to be simple. I wanted it to remind me to not make love and marriage so dang complicated. Love is a gift. A gift of oneself.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my little love ramble!  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sharing My Little Piece of "Grit & Grace" in The Phoenix Soul

I'm feeling a little excited at the moment!

The Phoenix Soul: Vision

Today I am happy to share that I am a participant in this month's edition of The Phoenix Soul: Vision. Inside the pages you will find a little piece of me and many other inspiring artists and writers.  It's a huge honor to be among them and I am so very grateful Amanda invited me to join in. Thank you Amanda!!

I hope you will take some time to discover the many gifts Amanda has to share and the incredible team of guests she gathers together! I look forward to cuddling up with the pages every month. They are so warm and filled with love and inspiration and truth tellings.  :)

Here's a little sneaky-peek of the awesome magic you will find.

The Phoenix Soul: Vision

Have a wonderful week! I'll see you here Tuesday with the next Motley Journal Page! And if your visit today came through Amanda and The Phoenix Soul, please take a moment and say "Hello!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Creative Planning and Documenting My Days

I have always loved having a planner. My obsession began long ago with my first Day Runner. I called it my Life. It held my life. I started with a small pocket sized planner and moved on up to book size.  I carried it everywhere. 2008...I got my first iPhone.  I refer to my iPhone as my iLife.  It's great. I love it. But, it's not the same.

I began the hunt again. Never finding what I really wanted. I finally opted for a SMASH Book.  I spent days creating a mostly left-brain planner.  Needless to say, I didn't stick with it.

SMASH Book number two became a whole new ballgame.  By the end of it people were asking me where they could get a planner like that.

Today, I make my own.  I release them to the world in the Fall.  2015 marks my second year of doing so.

This post isn't about selling you my planner though. It's about showing you my process. I keep a creative planner. It could even be called a journal.  I avoid timed commitments as much as possible, so there are few timed appointments to keep track of.  I doodle, I paste, I document.  Yes, I keep a to-do list, but some days it gets tossed out the window so in the end I use it to document what I did do. Sometimes that's nothing.

Here is this weeks planner so far:

I have a few different "templates" for the days of the week.  This happens to be this weeks' layout. Other than the heart sticker, this is where the magic of creative planning begins for me.

My week begins on Monday and the first thing that needs to be done is dating the days of the week.  I make (and sell) planner kits that include round, numbered stickers for dating the weekly pages. 

If I have a timed event, I document it.  This week I noted it on a scrap piece of watercolored paper and attached it to my page with glue.

On the planning page to the left, rather than write down intentions and self care notes, I glued a photo I had printed.  It reads, "treasure every moment....anything goes."  

It's the month of love, so I doodled "explore self love" for Monday's theme.  I sometimes glue in text too...."Acknowledge, Be Grateful and Play." I do most of my coloring with Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers and Letraset AquaMarkers (these are linked to DickBlick, but you can find them elsewhere online). I love using these markers because they are quick, easy and do not bleed through my pages (I use 32# weight paper for my planner).

I scribble doodles around my numbers (sometimes turning them into flowers) and the background often inspires doodling and coloring. I keep the backgrounds quite transparent. Even though I doodled and colored this leaf, it's still light enough that it won't interfere with any writing I might do on Wednesday.

One thing I love about creative planning is gluing stuff in (or taping with Washi Tape) and covering up what does not serve me.  I didn't make the art meet-up, but it's a beautiful day!  The sun is shining and after a few days of rain everything feels fresh and open.  I feel fresh and open.  That's "Good Stuff!"  

Monday I noted a few things at the end of the day:  I played with my junk journal, mailed a package and went to Target.  

Creative planning is about documenting the moments. I throw in some of life's obligations, but mostly, by the end of the week, it will be doodled and collaged with my moments.  I'll return with a new post at week's end so you can view the whole week at a glance.


If creative planning interests you, keep an eye out as I share more about creative planning; mine and those of other's.  In addition to sharing other elements in my planner and how I use them.

Do you keep a planner? Are you a planner addict? Are you more left-brain or right-brain?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #4

Wow!  Number four!  I realize that's not much in the overall scope of things, but I'm feeling pretty darn good having kept with it so far.  Follow-thru is not necessarily my strong suit.  Especially when it comes to blogging.

Last week, while my daughter had dinner with friends, my husband and I did a little browsing in Hobby Lobby.  I sometimes feel intimidated by my larger, hard bound art journal so when I happened upon a smaller Strathmore Visual Journal I decided to start myself a new art journal.  I made it my own that very evening.

Recently I have been repurposing playing cards into art trading cards. It's something I've seen done online and on Instagram. A stack of prepped cards were sitting there on my art desk and the ACE of Spades jumped up and said, "Use me! Use meeee!"  :)

So I did.

I LOVE circles.  Love! Love! Love them! They remind me that we are all connected.

My first page in my small art journal.  It began with torn pieces of old journal pages.  I kept "relieved I can breathe" and scribbled out a little poem I later typed, cut and pasted.  It was a very quick and random page.  Other than the words I chose to note in that moment, the rest was just cut, paste, cover in paint and add a little molding paste with a stencil.

This page is a reminder to keep opening up, to keep letting go, to be in the present and to remember to inhale, deeply, at last.


I'll be back next week with another Motley Journal Page.  Before then, keep an eye out for a post about creative planning.

Have a great week!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

52 Motley Journal Pages #3

I'm a little late getting this up for you this week.  It. was. a. challenge.

This weeks art journaling adventure was riddled with mistaek, after mistaek, after mistaek. I am so grateful for gesso! In the end, it was nothing like I thought it would be when I started and I didn't much care for it at all.  I decided I just needed to let it be though.

I do love all the texture the layers created.  I'm not big on the color red, but tiptoed outside my box and gave it a try.  I completely blew the nose on this girlies face, but I do sort of like the mix of colors around her neck, and a few places around her face (which are a bit more subtle and bluish in real life). She, like myself, was having a bad hair day.  :)

I was trying to let go a little. Ms. F. Quibbler, that nay-sayer in my head, just wouldn't leave me be. And the more I messed with the things I didn't like about this page, the more I didn't like it and the harder it became to let go and allow it to become something other than what it was.  I'm embracing it all as a lesson in acceptance and letting it be what it is even if I'm not thrilled with it.  I played. I practiced. I tried something that didn't go as planned.  That's okay. I can just turn the page and try again.  Start over.      Fresh.      Clean.      Open.

She started to remember what it was like to dream.