Blog? What Blog?

I am a slacker...

Well not really.

Maybe a little :)

School started and my life on the Internet came to a screeching halt. For that matter, my creative life came to a screeching halt as well.

There has been no time to read about other creative people. No time to be creative. No time to even think "creative".

I am anxiously awaiting Christmas break and some time to just "be". And maybe, when that happens, I will have some time to share some thoughts, findings, ideas, etc. with anyone willing to read them :)

Happy December!!

I Have Been...

It seems that this time of year is always a blur.

Those fun (but not so lazy) days of summer have flown by and now we are thrown back into another school year.

We have been fitting in a little more summer. A quick trip to Yellowstone. Amazing. Too bad it was so fast. I'll try to post a few of my favorite pics in the next few days.

Soccer. For both kids. Keeps us busy 3 nights a week after school and then all morning on Saturdays.

Meetings. Hunting Season. After school activities. The list just keeps growing.

However, I did find a moment of inspiration yesterday. And I scrapbooked it. It is currently for sale on eBay. Just for fun. Something little: The Boys of Fall

Even though it is a very busy time of year, I must say it is one of my favorites. I start looking forward to the colors. The smells of leaves drying and woodsmoke from fire places. Comfort foods like warm stews an
d fresh bread. And most of all...the colors. My all time favorite colors I think.

I was also thinking.

Since it has been awhile and I have neglected my little corner of the internet for a bit now.

I should do another free coloring page give away.

Click on the image. Make it big and then save it to a folder on your computer. It's yours to print as many times as you wish. Color it. Change it. Doodle more on it. Just don't sell it please (and thank you).

Happy Fall to you All :)


Sunday Blog Hop

It's been over two weeks, since I have had a morning to just sip my coffee, read a few blogs, and contemplate what I would like to to do with my morning. WoW!

I plan to take full advantage of this day, I'm just hoping I can fit it all in ;)

My To Do List:
  • Blog Hop (I need to be inspired)
  • Finish cleaning my work area.
  • Create something...What? I'm not sure yet. Scrapbook layout maybe? Work on a painting? Draw?
  • Yoga
  • Some form of cardio. Don't know if it will be a walk or a video, but it's time to move my butt!
  • Lesson plans (I knew that something "school" would pop up in there, but it has to be done.)

So there it is. We will see just how much of that I get done. At least it is written down somewhere. When I start wondering what I want to do, I can look at my list. Or I can blow it off. That's the joy of Sunday. Go where ever the whim (or next click of the mouse) takes you.

Have a great day!!


Tomorrow It Starts...

Tomorrow is the big day.
Another year of school.
I'm almost getting to the point where I forget how many years I have been teaching. And it really hasn't been that long yet. I end up counting the grades I have taught. Now that I will be teaching Art for the second year, I will have to find a new way to keep track of the time :)

And. I promised pictures of my newly painted kitchen. I know it's been forever, but that has just been the way this month is going. I can't believe I am saying this, but a slow winter is looking good...(shhh!! pretend I didn't say that!)

The kitchen before:

And then the kitchen after it was painted, but before the knobs and drawer pulls came in (the lighting was better this day, so it's a good thing I took them when I did).

And then the final product when everything is finally back where it belongs. Knobs and pulls are in place. It's amazing what some paint, a new piece of furniture, and some hardware will do for a small space!!

And a visit from a super hero. He's always fighting crime and looking for another adventure:

Hope you have a wonderful August and beginning of September. I promise to be back soon (we will have Labor Day weekend to still play, after all *wink*).


Last Days

It's official.
We are down to the last few days of summer. Literally. Few. No more, soon to be less!

My last two weeks were jam packed. One week of work (Rewriting Montana State Standards for the Visual Arts). That sounds like loads of fun huh?! Long days. Tons of brain work, but I did start to get a little more excited for the school year.

Then, one week of sister and babies. We played. Swimming. Movies. Baseball game. And then I had to give them back. That was the hard part. It would be so nice to live only an hour apart. Or even better, across the street from each other ;)

Now. Thoughts of my classroom are swirling in my brain. I need to be in my room setting up for the year. Lesson planning. Scheduling. Year plan. All that fun stuff.

On the home front. I'm going to revamp the kitchen cupboards and pantry now that I have redone the appearance. Time to start clean eating. Whole family style. Soon we will all be lean, mean, active machines :)

I know I promised pics of the kitchen. Hubby just finished putting the drawer pulls on for me, so I will get the final pic and post it this evening or tomorrow. Promise.

Time to enjoy those last few days...


Play Time

I've been thinking about this for a few days now.

Then I go off and find something else to do and completely forget about it.

And now, I have remembered what I wanted to do, again. And I am doing it.

A free coloring page. Printable art. Something to use in your art journal. It is limited only by your imagination.

To receive your free coloring/art page, click on the image above. It will open in a new page or tab. Right click and save image (for Mac users hold down the control button and click, then save the image). After you save the image, please leave me a comment below. Tell me what you plan to do with your free art...or just say hi :)

Print and play.
Color in a photo editing program.
Whatever your heart desires.

Happy Playing!


P.S. All I ask is that you do not use my art in anything you plan to sell :)


Today, I am off to the big city to find the perfect side table and trash can.
Never thought that a sentence like that would cross my lips.

I buy things as I stumble on them, I don't usually go looking for things. Unless it's art supplies and books. Those things I search out on a regular basis. In fact, I think a coffee and browse at Barnes and Noble might be in order.
Hubby is going too.
It's a date to shop.
I won't mention that I have to hit Costco as well. I'm trying to pretend it's just a fun trip ;)

I have knobs on order for the cabinets. Draw pulls for the drawers. Chalk board paint. That's going to be SO much fun!

When it is all put back together, I will post a picture. I have a before photo as well. Do you want it now, or together with the after photo?


Flowers and Barbed Wire

I was patient.
I've worked on this for a number of days.
Set it aside.
Worked again.
And now that it is done, I am thinking that my kitchen needs an over haul so that I can hang this on the wall as an accent.

I will post before and after photos. Painting door jams outside in the sun must have damaged my brain. I have never been a "design and decorate the house" kind of gal.
I feel this strange compulsion coming over me.
The paint store and I are about to be great friends!!


Grid Love

This was the challenge that first caught my eye. Not sure how I even came across Michelle Ward's blog and creativity crusades, but this one hooked me!

I thought I had missed the due date and that was that, but I played with the idea anyway. Then Michelle informed me that I could post a link anyway, not to worry about the dates.

Here is my Grid Lock (Love):

It is composed of all the different papers that have caught my eye over the years and that I have used to make a creation. Either for myself, or to be sold, sometimes both.

Each and everyone hold a happy thought and a bit of inspiration.

Each one makes me happy!


Goodies For...

One of you lucky blog readers will be getting a package in the mail by the end of the week.

I love doing giveaways, but I always want everyone to win. If only, huh?

Thanks to the "random number generator" I don't have to choose the winner. I just do what the numbers tell me.

And this is what they told me:

Comment number 2.
Butterfly collection for the play room/craft room

I loved your things. Your etsy site was adorable. I had a hard time choosing which journal I liked the best. I would love a journal with lined paper. I know, not as beautiful, but more practical for me.

Thanks for sharing and showing us your etsy site.

The winner is Liz (fivewinks). I hope you enjoy your butterfly collection, clay trinket (I make them and then stash them *wink*), and embellishments.

Thank you to everyone who viewed my Etsy Shop and was kind enough to leave constructive criticism. If you go look again, you will see that I am already starting to make some of the changes that were suggested.

Now that the fun is done, I am off to take the kids for a picnic and swimming at the lake.

Happy Sunday,


It's Groovy

Groovy Gal Designs Online--Home of the Groovy Finds

I had the most exciting news in my email a few days ago!!

Jo Claire over at Groovy Gal Designs chose one of my journals to as a "Groovy Find". You can see it with all of the other groovy goodies that she has chosen. There are some pretty fun items. All worth browsing and clicking through.

I've already started a wish list :)

There will be more exciting news this afternoon. Somebody will be winning a fun goodie package because they were kind enough to offer some positive critiques on my Etsy shop in the comments section. There is still time to add yours if you haven't yet. Visit the "What Do You See" post for all the details.

Be back soon,


GPP Crusade #42

Two posts in one day. Crazy. But I have been busy having fun! Michelle Ward creates an art journaling challenge every month. I missed last months, couldn't let that happen again.
Welcome to my Strip Ease:

I haven't had a chance to journal on it yet, but I am thinking about taking a white out tape dispenser and making some white vertical lines (to follow the tear lines) and then journal on the white line. We shall see...

I'm off to play!


More Than 30

I have been enjoying reading about other Art Journalers on this site. And then, Connie offered an opportunity for anyone to add their own interview and art images. So, without further ado, here is mine:

* How long have you been Art Journaling?
I started scrapbooking when my daughter was born 10 years ago. It was my artistic outlet, creative moment, and journaling all in one. In November 2009, I found a copy of 1000 Art Journal at the book store. I was hooked. Obsessed. Then, I found an online class for making a journal. I haven't stopped since. Making the journals is fun. Making pages is a little daunting, but I am getting better. I even have pre-prepped pages!

* How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

Art Journaling has made me realize that it is okay to make things for myself. I always felt selfish if I wanted to keep something I made. I should be using the finished product to make money for the household. I spent so many years making scrapbook pages and altered albums to sell, that not having a monetary goal was a little hard to work around. Now, I go to my Art Studio and I create just for me. The other impact of Art Journaling for me is that I actually stop and acknowledge a feeling or thought. I don't just push it away to sit and stew for later. I have epiphanies about myself. It is a lot like doing yoga. It's a time for inner reflection and self preservation. I love that!

* What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?
I am still experimenting to find my favorites. I have played with acrylic, watercolor, pens, sharpies, colored pencils, watercolor crayons and pencils, and charcoal. After taking a journaling class from Julie Prichard, I am really starting to like acrylic backgrounds. However, I really like how fast I can get a background with great texture by using watercolor. I still want to try ink pads for backgrounds. Charcoal pencils for shading and pop are probably my favorite drawing tool, with Sharpie Fine Tip markers being second. Who am I kidding. I love all art supplies and really couldn't give up a single one :)

* Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?
I love so many different images that I have come across. There are a few that I am starting to recognize their style, and it pulls me in everytime. I enjoy Danny Greggory's work. Pam Carriker's shades of grey work. Julie Prichard for her style and teaching ablilities. The pages that are dog eared in my Art Journal Magazine: Debbie Shannon, Kate Crane, Aimee Dolich, and Nancy Lefko. I think this list could keep going, but that's a start.

* What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?
Art Journals are for playing and experimenting. I have had to keep telling myself that each one does not have to be a finished piece of work. Find your own style by doing things that work for you and that make your heart smile. If you have to work at a technique or a style, it probably isn't for you. Do what comes naturally.

* Where can we contact you...give us some link LOVE!!




* Short Bio.
I am a mother of 2, wife, art teacher, and artist. My family and I live in a tiny (less than 800) town. The internet is my connection with other people who have similar interests. I feel me education in Art is limited. I am the type who likes to know as much about something as I possibly can. I have been making or creating something as long as I can remember. It might not have been pretty, or functional, but I had fun doing it. When something catches my interest, I become obsessed. I am a life long learner and am so happy when I have a fresh pile of books and magazines to dig through. Google is my best friend *wink*

Don't Forget

I spent a quiet day without kids and husband. The in-laws took the kids for the day and Chris is off being a handyman.

At first I wasn't sure what to do with my day. Originally, I was supposed to be taking a class at the school. I had no other plans. What to do? What to do?

I worked out.


I visited on the phone with my sis.

I played with paper. The results are here.

There was some fun news in my ETSY email. I'll share that on Sunday :)

Don't forget to comment on my "What Do You See" post and enter to win a goodie giveaway. Last chance will be on Sunday. Hmmm. Sunday will be full of fun things!!

Have a great Friday night.

P.S. Check out the treasury that I created on Etsy. Load of Eye Candy!!

Too Much Coffee

I took some pics of one of my journals this afternoon. You can find the others on my Flickr (see the sidebar).

The plan is to go work in it some more. But, I think I have had too much coffee. I'm jittering out of my seat and not really focusing on any one thing. Love coffee, hate the jitters :)

I have started a new painting as well. Would like to work on that too, but I keep putting it off. I procrastinate and find other things to do when I start self doubting myself. I'm working on that, but it still happens.

If you haven't visited before, or haven't read my blog for awhile, be sure and check out this post. I am doing a giveaway for a "surprise" package of goodies. Be sure and participate!

Okay. I'm off to eat something and drink some water. No more coffee ;)


What Do You See

Morning :)

I spent the day playing in my room. Paper, sewing machine, glue. Yum!

You can see my latest creations in my Etsy shop. I thought it might be fun to do something different. How about some goodies? I think it's time for my first giveaway on this blog. Are you ready?
Go to my shop.
Look around.
Come back here and post a comment with a link to your favorite item. What do you like about that item or the shop. Even better would be a constructive comment on what I could do to make it better.
That's it.
That's all you have to do.
I will number the comments and put them into a random number generator. The winner will get a goodie bag full of fun items. The drawing will end on the 1st of August (Sunday). Tell your friends!

It's a rainy, glorious day here. I think I will work out and then go play some more. Time to start gathering some fun things to be shipped out to some lucky blog reader!



It has been quiet around our house for a few days. Still busy, but a different kind of busy.
Everyone is finding something to do that makes them happy, or that isn't stressful.
Chris and I worked on the shop. Finished the siding as far as we could (waiting on one more box).
Chris built a ledge in my studio.
I did laundry. Finished "The Outlander". Played in my art journal. Worked on a lesson from Chaos and Calm.
Kyla and Hayden had a trip with friends to the water park in Missoula.
Then, Kyla went to a friends for a sleep over.
Hayden played outside chasing grasshoppers and being a boy.

Today. What to do today. I should workout. I should fold all that laundry (no thank you!). I have ideas swirling in my head that I could start in my studio.


Maybe I will finish this cup of coffee and then decide :)


ATV's, Bikes, And Art

We rode the Mommy-ha and 4-wheeler up to Wallace Lake. It was a full day of playing. We packed a lunch and visited with the camp chipmunks. Then, we chased fish in the shallows of the lake.
After lunch, we rode up the ridge road. I took pictures of the valley and all the flowers I could find (except those indian paintbrushes...I was on the bike and having too much fun to stop *wink*)
We were gone until dinner. I found my second happy place. The feel of the warm and cool breezes. The smell of hot pine on a summer afternoon. Wildflowers. I am a forest child :)

Today, I spent the day reading and doodling. I finished two pages in my art journal.


No Work and All Play

We have been playing.
And playing.

We love it!! It doesn't get any sweeter than this.

The drive was 47 miles down the Salmon River. We drove until the road ended at the edge of the wilderness.

At Corn Creek we ate a picnic lunch, played in the water, and built a sand fort.

Then, we drove 7 miles back up the river to a sweet sand beach and set up camp. After a dinner cooked on the fire and more playing in the water we laid on a blanket in the sand. As the sun set we were able to count the stars as they appeared. Bats swirled above us. Soon the starts were to many to count.

While we relaxed and enjoyed Mother Nature on our blanket there was a buzzing sound. I thought it was in my hair. I did a quick flip and sweep, snuggled back up to Chris and heard it again.
It was under the blanket.
We beat on it.
We squished.
We laughed.
Chris pounded his fist on it.
More bat watching and star gazing.
Hysterical laughing.

I found my happy place on a sweat beach down the Salmon River :)



How do you get fridge size cardboard home when you only have a Nissan Altima?

You duct tape it to the roof! When the kids want to make a fort, they want to make a fort. I obliged :)

The really fun part was when the tape snapped as we were starting into the underpass. I had to flip around and Dad jumped out and grabbed the cardboard in between passing cars. Amazingly, it wasn't run over and it landed on the side of the road. I flipped around again into a parking lot and we redid the tape. No problems the rest of the way.

The girls loved it. They played for hours and when little Sophie woke up from her nap, she wanted to "go in her house and draw".

Cardboard is amazing. Something so simple combined with a powerful imagination and you can be or do anything.

Bring on the cardboard!


Welcome to the World

She is here.
Baby Gracelyn arrived around one a.m. on July 14th. She is 8 lbs. 5 oz. and about 19 1/2 inches long. She is so calm and happy. We have spent a few hours each day visiting. It's hard to share her :)

Mommy is doing well. She should be coming home from the hospital today. Besides chasing Sophie around, I am supposed to be scrubbing bathrooms. I suppose I should get on that. Yuck.

In between naps and playing in the pool, I have found a few minutes to paint some journal backgrounds. Then Sophie decided to help. I now have a number of backgrounds painted by her and Kyla. Should be fun working them in.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea. I'm so happy you are finally here!!

Aunt Rhoda

Come On Baby

My sis just called this morning. It looks like there might be some action soon. I'm hoping it isn't false labor. My thoughts keep flipping. Do I drive now? Do I wait? Do I drive now?

I'm thinking. I pack. I drink some coffee. I drive.

Even if it is false labor, it's going to be soon. I might as well be there.

I knew that I if I immersed myself in my projects this would happen. Right as the ideas start flowing, I am called away. Oh well. That's why we have paper right? Make myself a few notes and come back to it after I get some cuddle time with Sophie and the new baby :)

Here is what I created yesterday. More to come in different colors and sizes:

To see more fun details, you can visit my Etsy shop.

I'm off to drive. Might have to stop at the bakery in Salmon. Yummy!!


The Three "R"s

I have a surprise. Something fun being listed on Etsy. I'm just waiting for them to fix a bug so that my price will actually show up.

Today was spent doing some household things. Who says you need groceries? And then I spent the evening creating. Here is to hoping it was a good idea and that everyone else thinks so too.

It is made from scraps of fabric, left over tag board, and papers that just happened to be the right size. Reuse, reduce, recycle. It's the best way to be green.

Tomorrow is the Farmer's Market in town. I'm hoping to enjoy the sights, get some kettle corn, enjoy some morning sun, and feel like I am just starting my summer :)

Happy Friday,


Sweet in the Middle

Good Morning.

Today feels like one of those days. You know the one that you could use to fill out one of those "10 Best Things About Today" lists.

The sun is shining and I went outside and enjoyed watering the plants in the rock garden while I drank my coffee.

I have become a member of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. You can find all they have to offer by searching bookbindingteam on etsy.

After 5 days of working on this inspiring hunk of paper, I have finally finished it and am having a go at selling it:
You can find it in my shop.

It is a little scruffy, inky, shabby, and rough around the edges, but it is oh so sweet in the middle.

The idea merged from two wonderful online classes that I have taken.

The first "Remains of the Day" is offered by Mary Ann Moss. She teaches you how to take all of the little things left over from bigger projects along with memorabilia and other "scraps" that you have piling up and turn them into a piece of art.

So, I took bits of that and mixed it with all of the wonderful techniques and ideas that I have gotten from Julie Prichard and her Super Nova Journaling class.
Next, I will be making my own hybrid version and I am very excited to head back to my play area and start on it :)

Hope you all have a wonderful day, the kind that makes it easy to fill out your "Top 10" list.


Simply Beautiful

While I was cleaning out windowsills yesterday (not my most favorite chore), I caught a whiff of something most delicious.
My rose bush. Right outside the window. It smelled so wonderful that it was distracting!

After cleaning, I went out to fetch some blossoms to cover with vodka. Extract some essence so I can smell them again in the middle of winter.

How simply beautiful is this:I have wanted to do this for a couple of summers now, but always forget. It never fails that I remember when the blossoms are less than fresh and are starting to fall off. But not this year. I have a lovely little jar that will make me smile when it is cold and dreary outside. It's a yummy way to hold on to summer :)

Home Again...

We are home again.
All that running around was fun, but it is nice to be back home in our own space.

Salmon was good. Hospice ice cream. Class reunion. Sidewalk sales. Fireworks. It was all just yummy!

I sat in the shade at my dads with a cup of coffee, a scone, and some art supplies while my kids ran a lemonade stand.
One of their first. I say "one" because they had one the night before at their papa and yaya's. I told them they would have to do a marketing report about each location.
Its summer.
I'll let them skip that part.
I also let them skip out on the bill. I funded the stand. They made the cash :)

Now all the running around and visiting is done (and we did A LOT!!). It's time to get a few things done while I wait for my sister to call and tell me she is in labor. That makes for some long, thoughtful days.

Happy July!!


On The Go Creativity...

It's the best weekend ever in Salmon (my hometown). We always hit the "Hospice Wagon" for fresh homemade waffle cones and ice cream. Parades. Sidewalk sales. Demo Derby. Fireworks.

But, these art projects keep calling my name! I have always taken a book or a small project home. Now I pack a bag with pre-planned goodness so I can play when I have a minute here and there.

Wouldn't 3 or 4 days of alone time with just your art supplies be fun!! No cooking. No laundry. Just stop long enough to make more coffee or tea. Some toast. Maybe a nap :)

Here are some products of my latest creative outburst:

Sea Green:

Tangerine Orange:


They were super fun to make. I took this online class from Julie at Land of Lost Luggage.

You can see more pictures of them in my ETSY shop.

Happy Fourth. Be Safe!


Lazy Summer Days...

But what happened to the lazy part?
I feel like my "to-do" list keeps growing.
My "do for fun" list never gets touched.
Don't get me wrong. The days are good. I'm just not sure that what I am doing each day is EXACTLY what I want to be doing. I keep having an "is that all?" feeling.

We need to do something different. Something fun. Something satisfying. But what is that?
Guess I will keep looking...

Somewhere in my wanderings, I did finish a few paintings. Two of my favorites are listed in my etsy shop.

Take a peek if you get a minute :)

Happy Summer...whatever you may be doing.


Is it Summer Yet?

I am sitting here.
On my butt.
Waiting for this training to be over.

The sun is finally shining. I can't go out and enjoy it.
A book would be nice.
An ice tea and a magazine.
Some yoga in the shade.
But here I sit...

The kids are playing at the park. And eating ice cream. Lucky to have a good kid to watch them and take them out and about.

I'll just sit here...and wait :)

10 Things Tuesday

Ten things on my mind today:

1. I can't believe I am sitting on my butt again today!

2. What am I missing at home, while I sit here on my butt...

3. I should workout when I get home...or maybe a walk...or both.

4. Someday, the sun will shine here in Montana.

5. I would like to start another art project. What can I do that is artsy while I am on the go?

6. Then things is a lot! I'm obviously not thinking about much.

7. What are my sisters doing today? Can I play too?!

8. I need a good book.

9. and some new music. Something that GRABS me.

10. I think I will go blog hopping now :)

The End...or The Beginning

I have officially made it through all of the "Complex Collage" lessons.
I did my version of each one.

Class is over.
Only, I have just begun!
Ideas are swirling faster than I can mix paint. And right as I build momentum...I have to stop.
For 3 days this week I will be sitting at school, learning a new program for grades and attendance. Do you know how hard it is to sit there with all these ideas in my head?

After that, I will be driving to Nampa, Idaho to visit one sister and take another to the airport. She will be leaving for London. And from there, to a cruise ship for 9 months of employment with a prestigious salon. I want to be packed in her bags!