September 29, 2010



I came across Brene’s post at Ordinary Courage about her Perfect Protest.  It’s a quick and insightful read.  She invited people to link back to her site with a Perfect Protest sign of their own.  This looked like fun, so I made up my own sign, set the self-timer on the camera and this is my take.  Play along too, if you’re so inclined.  She’s written a book along the same lines, The Gifts of Imperfection.

I think we waste so much time and energy in striving for PERFECTION!  Really…..who are we trying to impress?  And is it even worth it?   Now striving for mastery (excellence) is different.

Perfectionism is a thief:
  • steals your joy
  • steals your time
  • steals your vision
  • steals your passion
  • steals your ability to be a beginner
  • steals your compassion
  • steals your acceptance
Has Perfectionism stolen anything from you?

September 28, 2010

Facing Forward…..on a bicycle


When Tammy drew that adorable bicycle sketch she inspired me to draw a bicycle myself.  Since she planted the seed, all I had to do was find a decent bicycle picture.   When I spotted this picture on Flickr…..I thought….Hmmmm, maybe I can draw this.  I like the bike, I like the girl and of course….yeah…..I like the beach!  So, off I went to draw this.  I made a total mess out of it!  First, I drew the bike too long, had to shorten it, then I drew the girl too small, had to enlarged her.  Then I decided…’s time to put away the graphite.  I needed a bit of color & doodle relief, because my confidence level was waning. 


Being one to favor the full color spectrum, I thought it would be fun to bring those rainbow colors into the wheel spokes. 


It was really hard NOT TO BRING OUT the stencils for the flowers!  I thought I’d wing the flower shapes, that it may add more interest.


Nothing like a little Zentangle background to make the colors more striking.


 Just a little close-up of the change in the flower design on the person.


Here’s a perfect example of changing your mind after starting a drawing!  It’s either work with what I’m comfortable with or just keep on erasing!  Some days I’m better at pushing past my comfort level.   As you can see, this wasn’t one of them.

September 23, 2010

Chicago in PICTURES


I had what some would call an "Artist's Date" these past few days!!  I was totally and unbelievably spoiled for my birthday by my favorite Aunt.  We spent 2 full days, walking the streets of our countries 3rd largest city.  I hadn’t been downtown Chicago in about 15 yrs.  The last couple times I’ve been there I had to make sure I had enough juice boxes, didn’t forget the stroller, held little hands and watched closely where those little feet ran went.  This was a totally different experience.  It’s nice to be an ADULT and to even have a beer in the middle of the afternoon……Woo- who!!


The Art Institute of Chicago is HUGE, and by the time we got there, we were a bit rushed and exhausted.  It would’ve been best if I had a list of Artists I wanted to see then proceeded to those various wings.  The Contemporary Art section was not very impressive.  I think that some of it I could’ve done, really!! You too!  Please…. a painted picture of a diamond grid on point, with two colors…..who decided to call that art put that in?    I loved that we came upon a group of students drawing some sculptures!  I also spotted a workman painting a mural on a huge wall of one of the wings….he was following some Paint-by-Number map!  Too funny!  We came upon some Trompe l'oeil paintings, which means to “deceive the eye”….This was well worth the time, and we were fooled by each painting.  Some of the paintings looked like objects were hung inside of the frame,  very 3D, not flat.  The shadows and highlighting effects were amazing!  Probably should’ve taken more pictures…..pretty cool that I was even allowed to, as long as I didn’t use my flash.


Just a bunch of different pictures that I found interesting.  The bean, gold people figures and the man’s face (one at night and another with water coming out of the mouth) are from Millennium Park.  The Alpha/numerical structure, Ferris wheel, Statues of kids playing and Anchor are from Navy Pier.  Also pictured are: a few modes of transportation, Buckingham Fountain at night, an American Girl at the Hair Salon and other cool art work around the city.


We took a Architecture Boat Tour on the canal where I was able to get some really good pictures.  We learned a lot about the city and architecture of the buildings.  Apparently lots of the buildings were built in a way to compliment one another.  Oh, and the Sears Tower, has a new’s the Willis Tower now!  Ugh!


We walked around 12-15 miles and I took almost 600 pictures in two days.  Being a Proud American, how could I not take pictures of all the American Flags displayed throughout the city?  Gotta love digital cameras and 2 gigabyte memory cards!


And……then there’s SILLY!!!  All I can say is….I love people shots!!

September 17, 2010

Insert Inspiration Here

Visual Stimuli

Every now and then I need to Organize my Thoughts and my Finds and post what’s inspiring me lately. If I really get my act together I might just do this quarterly!! But that’s IF!!


*image posted with permission

Andrea Joseph- If you haven’t spotted this lady yet, you will be in for a treat when you visit her blog or flickr site. She can do the most amazing drawings, with a pen. Yep, a pen!!! Your standard bic pen! Who’d have thought?

Andrea Joseph's Art Blog

Andrea Joseph Flickr illustrations


*image posted with permission

Leah Giberson- Oh my goodness, I have been totally suckered into thinking her paintings are photographs. She does the most absolutely amazing still life’s. Usually they are of houses, cars, RV’s or even pools. Fascinating!!

Leah Giberson Etsy Shop

Leah Giberson Flickr Photostream


Thaneeya McArdle- She uses every color known to man. She knows what she’s doing and has a wonderful way of making ordinary things look EXTRAordinary.

Thaneeya's Website

Thaneeya Flickr Photostream


I am naturally curious about other people. Especially people that I can learn something from. It’s nice to get a look at the personality behind the art. What and how the artists do their work and their inspirations. Because I think we are all influenced by each other. There is no new thing under the sun (with the exception of technology). I guess it’s just the way we use it or present it.

Stephanie Levy Artist Interviews


Caroline’s picture Indio

Where do I begin with all the zany zentanglers out there??? Oh My!! I think this is such a good way to practice, to steady our hand with our chosen tool (pen/ pencil or brush). It’s unbelievably relaxing and for me it s.l.o.w.s. my mind down! Which can be a very good thing, indeed. Just ask anyone that lives with me.

And for the more COLORFUL zentanglers out there……I bring you Bostinstuff.

Check out their photostreams for more amazing work by both Caroline and Sheila.


For all you ART JOURNALERS out there, who isn’t influenced by dynamic type fonts? I see what these ladies can do and I drool!! Really!!

Martha Lever

Besottment by paper relics

Tammy's Art Journaling post

Dawn Sokol's Art Journal pages

Lori at Elvie Studio

Aimee at Artsyville


1- My Stroke of Insight- This book was recommended to me by a Local Art Instructor. It’s about a 37 yr old Harvard trained Neurosurgeon (brain scientist), who had a stroke in her LEFT HEMISPHERE. She talks about all the beauty and peace she felt during and after her stroke. During her stroke, she had to call 9-1-1 and once she recognized the 9 she punched it…..and kept punching it, because she had no sense of time (left hemisphere) and finally realized she had to cover up the 9 on the sheet of paper to move on. She gradually regained her full use of her left-analytical hemisphere. She now could chose to let go of negative judgments or memories (left hemisphere) that she didn’t want to have a hold on her anymore. Worth every minute to read this book. Especially if you’re curious about how our hemispheres interact. Loved it!!

2- The War of Art- I heard about this book thru Mandy at Messy Canvas. There is so much good stuff in this book and I recommend taking your time to read it. Read a chapter at a time. No need to read it all in one sitting. If you take your time, you can let the ideas simmer for awhile. Very thought provoking.

Quote from this book: I believe in Angels. They work for God- it’s their job to help us. Wake us up. Bump us along. They shout “Evolve! Evolve!”……Angels are like muses. They know stuff we don’t. They want to help us. They’re on the other side of a pane of glass shouting to get our attention. But we can’t hear them. We’re too distracted by our own nonsense. Ahhh, but when we begin. When we make a start…..When we commit & face our fears------ A crack appears in the membrane.”



Raise your hand if you’re inspired by Quotes? Actually, it would probably be easier to count the hands of people who aren’t!

It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not. -James Gordon

Maybe being brave is no more than staring down the “less than” feeling and stepping up to the “I am worthy” feeling. -Terri St. Cloud

Tension is who you think you should be, Relaxation is who you are. -Chinese Proverb

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is seconday. -Steve Job


And last I want to leave you with this youtube video from John Cleese on Creativity. It’s about 10 minutes long, but he talks about some very do-able principles. Lots of insight and funny too!

Thanks for staying with me to the end here. I am a bit humbled to say the least. But at the same time these people excite me. To think that someone can actually draw like that, paint like that, or write like that. Wow! Hope you found something that inspired you as well.

Digital Credits:

  • Picture frame for VISUAL STIMULI courtesy of Scrapgirls Freebie.
  • Label Maker used for names on the above pictures, purchased from Scrapgirls Here.

September 15, 2010

Facing anyway but Forward… a car


My sister gave me the idea to do a car pool birdie-mom months ago. I just now got around to it. I didn’t notice until after I sketched the scene out that I messed up!! Ugh!! I wanted to do this page for my Sketchbook Project. Which means it wasn’t supposed to be drawn in my favorite watercolor moleskine. But drawn on the pre-cut paper that I get to adhere in the sketchbook later. Ah well, at least I got some sketch practice in.


My clueless-ness kicked in again, after I finished outlining this little bird I noticed something odd. Look at the phone….now…..look at the hand….what’s wrong with this picture???? Yep, it’s the fingers….I should’ve just made a thumb on the front side of the phone, not all those fingers. Ahhhh well, livin’ and learnin’….still!


This was the fun part!! Putting these kids in similar polo shirts. My car-pool kids all wore uniforms, which would’ve looked quite b.o.r.i.n.g to have them all in white tops, so I decided I’d dress these birds up a bit.


This guy cracks me up….cuz it’s obvious he doesn’t want to talk to his mom (much less be seen with her), and he’s listening to his ipod AND he’s talking to his friends in the backseat. He’s one of those kids that doesn’t want to miss a thing, that’s for sure!


Sharon-the-Chaperone……No matter what she’s doing, she has to drop everything at 3 o’clock, cuz that’s carpool time. When the kids were younger they’d run up to her and tell her all about their day and show her their art and their “A’s”. Now, that the kids are in Junior High, she has become invisible. Out of the 5 kids in her car pool, only one of them ever says “Thank You”.

Wow, this wasn’t meant to come off as a slam on kids, really! These little guys are changing so fast and learning so much about people and the world, its no wonder they are somewhat tunnel-visioned. And of course….all they really want is to fit in! Now, I’ve always loved my little birdie-kids, but I only like them when they like me. Thank goodness, this stage doesn’t last forever.

I need your help out there!! I want to add more accessories to the picture….you know like rings, and necklaces. But that’s all I can think of that’s an easy draw. Any suggestions? Thanks :)

September 13, 2010

Bench Monday… a drawing

Had to hurry to complete this drawing so that I could post it on Monday, which fits the Bench Monday theme that so many photographers/bloggers participate in. I’ve never done it, but it sure is inspiring to see all the pictures others post on Flickr or different blogs.

There was a lot of shadows on the original picture, so I had to improvise some of the calf and kneecap positions on the drawing. I just tried to make it look real.

Using my Creative License I decided that this girl really needed a skirt. This picture on flickr was the inspiration for the skirt. I either needed to draw in a skirt, or continue drawing more leg since I had a lot more space to fill…..the skirt won, since it would be a make-believe leg above the knee anyway.

See what I mean??

This was a good drawing to use those wonderful Watercolor Pencils. With all the texture in the sand, the waves in the water and the clouds in the sky, I thought this would be a good time to put some watercolor pencil practice in. Didn’t try to duplicate exactly, just made it recognizable. I used my favorite Faber-Castell Pitt XS pen to outline the figure. I thought that may help keep the watercolors in their place. It worked.

This picture is not the best quality, it’s looks a little pixilated at the sketching portion. Ah well.

This was a lot of fun to draw! I love to do a bit of sketching then add another art media (markers or watercolor) to the drawing. Someday, I may do an ENTIRE drawing as graphite sketch…..but….don’t hold your breathe, it may be awhile.

September 9, 2010

Doodle Directory Register


Just wanted to show you the close up of the pebble doodle that I so often use. I filled in too many squares before I remembered to grab the camera….. The row on the far right pretty much sums up the technique. Just do your grid, then come back in and blacken your edges. Simple.


It was getting quite tiresome to try to think of new names for these doodles… I stopped. I didn’t rely on the names anyway.


Lots of wonderful doodlers on flickr who gave me the inspiration for a few of these designs shown.


If your looking for a few good zentangle/doodle books, you’ve got to go check out Gaye’s post at Paris Salon from yesterday. She recommends two new books that I just added to my amazon wish list. Since she has them, I let her do the talking.


If you follow my blog, then you’ve already seen this directory page from my Zentangles with Attitude post.

I have an idea of what I may do with these guys. It’s so nice to see them all together. Being such a visual person, it really helps to quickly glance at patterns to kick my doodling in gear.

I just found out today that Dawn will be doing her NaNoJouMo drawing/doodling prompts again this year. She’ll start them up on November 1, most likely there will be a flickr group to post them to similar to last year. We’ll see…..I’m going over now to tell her I’m In.

September 8, 2010

This bird has Style…

Hazel the Hairstylist……She knows everything about everyone and is willing to share it. Talk about multi-tasking, this gal can carry on a conversation with you (the customer), her co-worker, text her kids, cut, comb and blow dry your hair without missing a beat. She’s amazingly versatile! She unknowingly has given you two gifts as you leave her shoppe. The first is a Great Haircut, and the second less obvious gift is you realize your problems really aren’t all that bad.

I’ve missed my little birds, what can I say? Haven’t done one in almost two months. Now, I must tell you that my Hairstylist is not like this at all, well maybe a little…..just kidding!! But there are times when I get my hair cut and I really don’t want to talk about my life, their lives or anyone elses…..sorry! But their social beings, so they’re always asking questions and have a way of getting us to open up.

The yellow-orange-brown swiggles on the right is supposed to be……the customer’s hair. Don’t know if I pulled it off, but doing it with markers limits the colors of the hair strands. I really hope it doesn’ t look like Medusa. That’s a scary thought!

Had to fight the urge to doodle up Hazel’s jacket and black pants….But I wanted her to have some class so I controlled myself! However, if you guys think I should add more patterns let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with an interesting doodle design for her clothes.

September 5, 2010

A little Shout Out…..


Now, that I have your Attention with this random doodle that has no direction, whatsoever…..!

I just wanted to post some links of…….



Project Participants.

It’ll be a good way to see what other people are up to with their projects. Give you some ideas on how to expand the book you’re working on. Or… you see that this is a fun project and You Can Do It Too!

Here ya go:

1. Rebecca at Daisy Doll Gypsy Caravan……her theme is “Faces in the Crowd”

2. Dawn at Cathartic Creativity…….her theme is “In Flight”

3. Hanna at iHanna's Blog…..her theme is “Grids and Lines”

4. Ingrid at My Peace Tree…..theme ???

5. Liz at On the Surface……her theme is “A Day in the Life”

6. Sketchbook Doodle Head group

7. Alice at Ally Louise…..theme ???

8. Dori at The Dreaming Bear…..theme ???

9. Kathryn at Dyche Designs…. theme ???

10. Donna at The Happy Painter….her theme is “In Flight”

It’s always fun to peek into other peoples heads/ or art worlds, I think. If you are doing this sketchbook please leave a link in the comment section. I’d love to see what your up to as well.

September 4, 2010

6 Degrees of Separation


A little idea-less at the moment, so I thought I’d re-visit the Celtic Knot. I made one of these last year, with the help of this youtube video. You can find that post HERE with the embedded video.


If you can draw a bunch of dots in a row, then you can make a Celtic Knot.

I found a couple definitions on line that I thought were interesting.

The Celtic knot symbol, is also referred to as the mystic knot, or the endless knot. The more esoteric or spiritual meaning of this symbol eludes to beginnings and endings. In viewing these beautiful knots, we cannot see a beginning or and end, and therefore we are reminded of the timeless nature of our spirit. This translation harkens to our most primal selves as we contemplate the infinite cycles of birth and rebirth in both physical and ethereal realms.

A less spiritual representation is also related to the knots endless nature. Due to it's infinite path, the Celtic knot can represent an uninterrupted life cycle. Some may use this symbol as a charm of sorts – warding against sickness or setbacks that might interfere with an otherwise calm and stable life. In this vein, these knots are used as emblems, which can be found in jewelry, clothing, or home d├ęcor. In ancient times, gifts adorned with mystic knots would be given with best wishes of longevity, or luck with new endeavors.


My markers felt the need to embellish these little loops! But it still needs something, all that white space is just too darn…..white!


Doing the only thing I know to do in that white space……it became slow-journaling time.


I think our lives are a lot like a Celtic Knot. Similar to the “6 Degrees of Separation” theory. Where it’s thought that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person thru no more than 5 people. Well, this may be hard when it’s cross-continental but I would buy it for the United States…do you?

Just random thoughts here, so don’t hold me to them….but apparently all the experiments they tried didn’t really work (except the email one….but that’s email). So, who knows…..maybe we are only separated by 6 Degrees or maybe were not….it’s a fun theory either way.

September 3, 2010

I just love Walgreens…..


*stencil used for outline……gotta love those stencils!!

I’m so happy that Walgreens has their little “gift” section on their photo site. I just bought a friend a Christmas present and thought I could use a little notepad as well. I had drawn this Ladybug for my friend who is a total LADYBUG-FANATIC. Once the page was finished I didn’t know what to do with it. It was too small to frame because it was in my 5x8 moleskine. Then I remembered Walgreens gift section…. So, off I went to scan it, and upload the image to Walgreens. Then, I patiently waited for a sale…..they are like KOHLS in that they always have a sale. Plus, I’m finding it fun to never buy anything at Full-price….. if I can help it.


If I wanted to, I could have included (at no extra charge) her name, or “From the Desk of”, or a quote, pretty much anything that I wanted. But I opted for simple.


And this one is mine. My first attempt at drawing from a picture using watercolor pencils. This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my Dad.


I get such a kick out of seeing my work on items…. usable, everyday items! I am such a geek! Walgreens also made these for me a few months ago.

How about you? Do you put your artwork on everyday items? What sites have you found that you can recommend?

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By day...I work in the Healthcare field, where every .. i.. has to be dotted and every ..t.. has to be crossed. This blog is the place where I can let myself go and have some fun. I am on a journey. A journey I started a long time ago, but it has been a bit sidetracked with Navy Wife relocations and raising kids. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have got some time for me. No, I will not be one of those moms walking around the house with Empty Nest Syndrome, I have got way too much to do, to learn, to create. Sure, once the kids are gone I will miss them....but hey, there is always the phone, the email, the texting and the Plane tickets! I love my life and my family and It is fun moving into this new stage. I am into Digital Scrapbooking, photography, journaling, Art Journaling and Drawing. I am a do-it-yourselfer and I am trying to teach myself to draw. I am finding that it takes a lot of patience, lots of practice and a good eraser! And if you're really curious there's a 3 part Interview by Eileen: HERE All the best, Eden