June Art Journaling Page!

Now that June is beyond half over…

Sorry this is late… In early May, my Dad had a serious heart attack, which resulted in a quadruple bypass. And there were complications from the surgery that resulted in the need for long-term rehab and therapy. Add an almost three year-old and an almost six month-old to the mix, as well as a couple family businesses and a whole lot of extra property to care for, and there’s not been much time to do more than the basics. But, the Lord has been good to us through it all, and we’re all starting to feel a bit human again. Most importantly, my Dad is too! I’m thankful every day that we have been able to live right next door to my parents nearly our entire married life. That our children have been able to see their Nana & Pop-Pop almost every day. (And that Grammy & Grampy are pretty close too!) And that family has been a huge priority for us all these years, and everything can be put on hold when needed in order to take care of those closest to us.

So… better late than never?

Click on the image below for a printable PDF!


March Art Journaling Page!

March came in like a lion here in Delaware!

How about where you live?

Today was much nicer, though there was quite a nip in the air. I got to head outside for a few minutes, and found a nice little bunch of daffodils along the ditch bank. So of course they needed to come inside… Daffodils are my absolute favorite “First Sign of Spring.” I’d love to have them blooming everywhere on our little homestead!


One even got its portrait drawn in my art journal…


I got a little vibrant with the color… Let’s call it “artistic license.”
I used watercolor pencils on this page… They are great to work with in art journals, since you can color your drawings “dry,” and add just a dab of water later to make a watercolor wash. You can also touch a wet brush to the pencil tip and use that concentrated paint to add details to your sketches.


Looking for “First Signs of Spring” is one of the journaling ideas for March!

Click on the image below for a printable version
of the March Art Journaling page!


Warm and woolly…

How is your January going?

Ours has been quietly eventful.


We had snow last weekend. A nice quiet snow.


Quite a bit of it, which happens only once in a while around here,
making it somewhat of an event..


And in the midst of the snowstorm, a new little person
arrived in the world, and came to stay with us for a while.
A newborn in the house means lots of quiet naps…
and sometimes not so quiet moments, as Tyler and Nana are experiencing.


We’ve had the snowy sort of quiet,
along with the newborn sort of “quiet.”

All that has kept me quite busy, but has also afforded a few minutes here and
there for journaling. I started working on my title page for January.


Warm and wooly mittens and snowflakes seemed to be a good choice.
And a perfect chance to practice adding a bit of texture to my drawing!


I pulled out a pair of hand knit mittens my daughter Kate made for me so I could have a visual reference. Warm woolly knitted mittens seems to have little “v’s” all lined up in rows.


Tiny knit stitches were started with an icy blue marker.
I tried to follow the contour of the mitten as I dabbed them in.


An ultra-fine black pen, along with a medium point
blue marker helped define the texture a bit.

Adding texture to a drawing takes a LOT of patience.


It’s getting there. It’s not perfect, and I can already see some things I wish I had done differently. But that’s what art journaling is all about… learning and experimenting!

Art Supplies Used:
Copic Sketch marker B00 Frost Blue (Knit stitches)
Prismacolor Premier Marker Cool Grey 30% (Shading)
PaperMate Flair Medium Marker (Dark aqua details)
Pigma Micron 01 & Pima Brush Pen (Outlining)

A year to be glad in…

The New Year

A year to be glad in,
Not to be sad in,
A year to live in,

To gain in and give in;
A year for trying,
And not for sighing,
A year for striving,

And hearty thriving;
A bright New Year,
Oh, hold it dear;
For God Who sendeth,
He only lendeth.

Happy 2017!

I absolutely LOVE a brand new year, don’t you?

I think it’s that “fresh slate” thing.

Nothing like a new planner, a new calendar, or a new sketchbook to get me “up and doing.” And a new old project to bring to completion.

Or maybe “completion” isn’t the best word to use?

Since art journaling is kind of a lifelong project?

It’s basically a “get you started” project that I’m finishing up.

Anyway, the long-awaited, updated and revised, packed neatly into a printable PDF, Art Journaling Through the Seasons book is on its way!

Each month’s page will be posted at the beginning of the month (I’m shooting for the first Monday of the month!), along with some posts that will elaborate on the monthly activities.  The printable PDF will be available by the end of January, along with a Facebook group you can join if you’d like to share what’s happening in your (or your kids’!) art journals.

Speaking of kids… theses pages were originally created for homeschooled children, but kids of all sort have enjoyed them. And many moms are keeping art journals now too! They’re also created to be a springboard for your own journaling adventure… feel free to add your own ideas, search for poems or quotes that touch your heart or stir your senses, and draw whatever catches your eye! Permission granted to hop down any bunny trails that look fun!

And without further ado…

(Click on the image below for a printable page!)


Art Journaling… Making a Start

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing;
Learn to labor and to wait.
~ Longfellow~

Getting started with journaling can be a little intimidating. There you sit, with all those white, blank pages staring at you, and with no ideas whatsoever about what to put on them. So what’s the cure for artist’s block?

Just begin.


I think I said that before about art journaling, but it’s really, truly the place to start! If the first few pages are too scary, then open up to somewhere in the middle, and sketch something, even if it’s just your coffee mug and the lines are wiggly because you’ve not consumed enough caffeine yet. Then, the journal is no longer perfect, and you no longer have that for an excuse!

I just pulled out an empty sketchbook, and thought about what it felt like to start art journaling for the first time. I tried to think of some activities that might help ease the stress. So. here goes…

Create a cover! Some journals, like the Bare Books Plus (Great starter journals for kids!) have blank covers, just waiting for you to add some art. Here are a couple of my old art journal covers…


If don’t have a journal that has a blank cover, make a Title Page! This gives you a chance to tackle one of those white pages with a purpose… be sure to include contact information so your journal makes it back to you if you leave it somewhere!


And if the markers you use bleed through to the
other side of the page, make the best of it!


 As you can see, this is not museum quality artwork. Just a bunch of doodles. I drew a very light oval as a guideline, and then began sketching very simple flowers and leaves. Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite artists, often draws lush borders around her pictures, so I borrowed that idea for the title page.


On this old journal, “Through the Seasons” brought thoughts of different activities and celebrations around the year, so I sort of went with a “Tasha style” monthly theme around the oval. If you enlarge the picture, you’ll see that none of the sketches are anything really grand. The greenery (which sort of looks like rosemary or short pine) is really just a bunch of little lines coming off a main branch all in the same direction. Really not hard at all to draw!


Finish your cover or title page by adding some color it, using markers, colored pencils, or even watercolor pencils and a dab of water!


Art Journaling… Some Resources

Hello everyone!

I’m hoping to really focus on getting the art journaling posts
updated and moved over here during the next few weeks!

I thought I’d list a few really good resources for art journaling!

The books below are on my shelves at home…
They’re great resources, but I’ve discovered a few of them are
out of print as I’ve searched for links so you can purchase them.

You might be able to find a used copy
on Amazon, or find them at the library.
Perusing through them might help you get some ideas
and tips as you begin your art journaling journey.

The book that got me started with art Journaling…
The Student’s Guide to Keeping an Art Journal  by Barry Stebbing

And another favorite… It does have some “spookety”
pictures, like scary fairies and goblins, on a couple of
the pages toward the back, but it’s a great visual resource:
How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal by Claudia Nice

This one has a more loose, sketchy feel to it,
but it is a great resource for page layout ideas:
Create Your Own Artist’s Journal by Erin O’Toole

For those who are into nature journaling,
there are several really great resources:
Keeping a Nature Journal by Claire Leslie & Charles Roth

And a great resource for getting children into discovering nature:
Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe

And for those who wish to journal with a historical bent…
this is one of my favorites, and is quite “dog-eared” I must admit!
And we know a couple of the folks in the sketches, which adds to the thrill!:
Living History: Drawing on the Past by Cathy Johnson

Also, check out her other nature journaling resources on her website!

There are SO MANY resources out there! These are all of the “how to” sort of books, full of methods and ideas for art journaling, what to take with you into the field, how to design a page, etc. You may want to find a good resource for inspiration purposes, but the most important thing to do is…

Just start!

It doesn’t matter if you think you’re good at drawing or not, or if you have the perfect art journaling plan or not, or if you have all the tools you need or not. Grab a pencil and some paper, and try your hand at sketching something! Allot a few minutes each day to drawing, and don’t get mad at yourself if it doesn’t turn out the way your mind’s eye had imagined. Drawing is a learned skill and improves greatly with practice. Yes, there are a few talented folks out there that drawing just comes naturally to, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t learn to draw well if they devote a little time & effort to learning the basics. You can do it!