As you may know I joined Jodi Ohl’s Color Lovers Challenge. It runs 30 days so I’m posting several days at a time. If you missed my earlier creations, I’ll have a link at the bottome of this post. These are my latest creations:
I can’t think of anything softer and more cuddly than Winnie the Pooh. I made this little Winnie painting a while ago and had it set aside so I thought this was perfect for the Day 6 prompt, Soft & Cuddly. I added a Winnie the Pooh quote “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”
I love happy colors so my favorite palette is pink, blue and yellow. I painted very loose flowers with leaves and added a quote by Abraham Lincoln “We can complain because roses bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
For warm I came up with a palette of yellow, orange, red, purple and pink. I applied a coat of gesso to the pages and after it dried I painted them with acrylic paints. I added the quote “Love warms the heart.”
I love the colors of Autumn leaves so I did a loose watercolor painting of leaves with lots of glitter. Got a little carried away with the glitter. I added the quote “Autumn paints in colors that Summer has never seen.”
I recently bought a pack of 2, 8.25″ x 8.25″ Arteza Watercolor & Mixed Media Journals online. They’re beautiful journals with a hard cover. Each journal has 68 pages of 110 lb, cold pressed, double sided paper. They also contain a ribbon book mark and an expandable pocket on the inside back cover.
As most of you know, watercolor is my favorite medium and normally I paint on 140 lb cold pressed watercolor paper. I thought it would work well enough since it is marketed as being “Ideal for Watercolor Techniques & Mixed Media.”
I’ve been using this journal for the ColorLoversChallenge and was really bummed when I saw how badly it handled water for my first full watercolor painting. Notice the clear clips on each side in the photo below. The paper was curling so bad that I had to let it sit overnight with heavy books on top to flatten it out and then use clips the next day to hold the pages down for the photo.
The painting below was made by coating the pages with gesso and then painting with acrylic paints. The paper still buckled and curled but no where near as bad as with the watercolor. That’s partly because the gesso and acrylic paints add weight to the paper to keep it flatter and there is less water/moisture involved.
But watercolors are my favorite medium so I had to improvise if I wanted to continue using the journal for the challenge. I came up with the idea to paint on 140lb watercolor paper, cut it to size and then glue it into the journal as in the photo below. The perk with doing this extra step is that if you don’t like your painting, you can toss it and do another one before gluing it in. This way you’re always happy with the end result 😊
Bottom line is these are well made journals with quality paper that has a slight texture to it. However, I would not recommend these for use with wet mediums because they just don’t handle the water and moisture well.
Out of a 5 star rating I give these a 3 ⭐⭐⭐
I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with colors in the challenge and it’s been a bit of a challenge working with this new journal. But I love an adventure!
I hope this review helps you before making a purchase and if you have any other questions about these journals, please let me know.
Last week I entered Jodi Ohl’s Color Lovers Challenge. I posted Day 1 this past Saturday. Since it runs for a full 30 days I thought I would post a few of these together. I’ve been enjoying adding quotes to all of these and I think I’ll continue doing that. Hope they inspire you in some way 💖
I painted the background teal with acrylic paint and made some marks while it was still wet. I painted a piece of watercolor paper bright orange and a page from an old book, green. I cut out all the pieces and glued them in place. I added the quote, “Sometimes you have to make your own Sunshine!”
There’s nothing better than a nice cool night under the stars. I tried something new, it didn’t quite go as planned but I still like it for my first attempt. I added the quote by Vincent Van Gogh “I know nothing with any certainty. But the sight of the Stars makes me dream.”
I painted the background with black acrylic paint and made a few zentangle tiles. I drew in a few doodles and added a quote from Lau-Tzu: “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
This was a tough one for me because I love happy colors. So the only colors that came to mind were all the warm colors like red, yellow and orange. I painted an abstract in my journal and added a quote by Benjamin Franklin “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.”
Laduree is French for bakery and who doesn’t like a sweet treat now then? Anything with chocolate is good with me.
This is a cute painting I made from “The Artful Sketch” by Mary Phan. It’s a beautiful book with detailed step by step instructions and lots of photos. Mary used Copic Alcohol Ink Markers to color her sketches in this book. However, you can easily change it to any medium you like as I did to watercolor paints.
Mary Phan is a very talented artist and if you want to learn more about her, visit her site VeryMaryInspired.com. I highly recommend her book!
This was made in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore watercolor journal. After following the instructions, I felt it needed some Parisian flowers to complete the look. So I filled in the top space a bit with colorful roses.
In case you didn’t read my earlier post, Jodi Ohl, a very talented mixed media artist is hosting a Color Lovers Challenge. It runs for the next 30 days until October 15th. Yesterday was Day 1, Summer Vibes.
When I think of summer, I think of the lounging on sandy beaches and enjoying the ocean with it’s beautiful colors of blue and green. So this was my creation in my Arteza 8.25” x 8.25” Watercolor/Mixed Media Journal. I added a quote by Wyland: “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”
You can still join if you’re interested. The rules are, there basically are none. You can create a piece of art of any kind, big or small, using colors of your choice. All you do is follow the daily prompts. The link to the list of prompts can be found on her Color Lovers Challenge page.
This was a watercolor painting I created as a background for an inspirational quote that I’ll be adding to it. It’s made with bright, fun, happy colors. At least that’s what I intended for the viewer to feel. What does it make you feel?
Color is amazing in the power it has in the mind and it’s affects on how you feel. A painting can be pleasing to look at, or not depending on the colors used. Some colors make you feel happy while others make you sad or depressed. Colors can even impact your shopping and hunger pangs.
Have you noticed how a lot of restaurants and fast food chains use red and yellow in their branding? It’s no mistake, it all comes down to psychology. Red has a tendency to make you feel hungry. While yellow tends to make you feel happy. When you see these colors while driving, you may pull in for a quick bite to eat even though you’re not necessarily hungry. So it’s no wonder that this is a popular color combination for them.
Blue can evoke feelings of serenity and trustworthiness and purple evokes feelings of luxury and romance, while pink is associated with femininity and innocence. I can go into great more detail about color but I think this gives you a pretty good idea of how it affects our minds. So stop and take notice of how you feel when you see certain colors.
Speaking of colors, Jodi Ohl a very talented mixed media artist is hosting a Color Lovers Challenge. It started yesterday and runs until October 15. Every day you have a new prompt to create a piece of art of any kind, no rules using colors of your choice. The link to the list of prompts can be found on her Color Lovers Challenge page. I entered and will be posting my creation for yesterday shortly on this blog, so stay tuned.
Would love to see you join and have some fun!
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“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe
Summer is officially coming to an end on September 22nd as we welcome the Autumn Equinox. Here in South Florida, we don’t really experience a change in scenery. The weather cools a bit but there is no major change in season visually.
This was a photo I had taken while hiking 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia with my husband. The air was cool and crisp on the morning we embarked on our hike and the scent of wet leaves permeated the air. Mother nature had graciously painted a stunning canvas of yellow, red, orange and brown for us to enjoy. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the trail.
It was a magical hike where I found myself again and remembered what I was made of. There were parts of the trail where I had to dig deep to find courage and endurance to push on. One section had a small brook covered with leaves which were very slippery. Even though I was super careful, I ended up taking a fall but luckily it was nothing major and just ended up with a bruised knee.
The most treacherous part of the trail was a section that was covered with large boulders from an avalanche that wobbled and moved as we crossed them. This part slowed us down considerably and the sun was setting soon.
To say the least, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting stuck on the mountain, at night, out in the cold. I much preferred my warm bed that was calling my name back at the lodge. So with all the grit and determination I could muster, I forged on to reach the end of our hike.
As the sun started to set in the horizon, the temperature began to drop pretty fast and darkness was setting in. Just when I thought we wouldn’t make, we came to the end of the trail. I was so happy and soooo relieved. We did it 😅
Looking back on our hike I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was quite the adventure and I loved every minute I spent with my husband. Time on the trail renewed my energy and sense of wonder. It was a great recharge for my mind, body and soul.
We’re going on another hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail this fall but it will be at a different section of the trail and a shorter hike. Really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful colors again!
What do you like most about autumn?
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“Notice how autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~Freidrich Nietzsche
In the late 1800’s, during the industrial revolution, workers were subject to some pretty fierce working conditions. The average adult worked everyday of the week for about 12 hours which gave them just enough for a mediocre life. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old also worked in the mills and factories but for a fraction of what the adults made.
The environment in the workplace was normally not safe nor did workers have sanitary conditions. Labor unions became more popular and more vocal as a result, and they organized workers to carry out strikes and protests. Some of these rallies became violent and sadly even led to death for some.
The first Labor Day parade was held on September 5, 1882. There were approximately 10,000 workers who marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. It caught the attention of industrial centers all over the United States and as a result, many states passed legislation recognizing the first Monday in September as the “Workingmen’s Holiday.” However, Congress did not legalize it as a holiday for another 12 years which was under President Grover Cleveland.
So take this coming Monday off and celebrate. Celebrate for you and for all those in your community who work so hard for the rest of us. Also, remember those who voiced their concerns over years to improve working conditions for everyone.
I hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!
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“Success will always come down to this: Focus and effort, and we control both.” ~ Dwayne Johnson
One of my favorite sandwiches used to be the BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). But now that I’ve gone vegan, those sandwiches are off the menu. Years ago I tried avocados. I wasn’t too crazy about them because they have a bit of a bland flavor but that can be a good thing.
The other day I wanted to make a really good sandwich and thought I’d try an ALT, avocado, lettuce and tomato. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted and satisfied my hunger. It was even easier to make than a BLT because I didn’t have to cook the bacon. Plus I felt great after eating it.
I simply used 2 slices of Ezekiel bread, lightly toasted and spread with vegan mayonnaise. Then I added the avocado slices, lettuce, tomato and a little Himalayan sea salt. Voila! I had a delicious, healthy, satisfying sandwich!
Thanks for stopping by and hope you give this a try!
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“Health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain.” ~Dr. Josh Axe
The other week I posted Page 1 of this journal spread. For my focal point on the second page I used a tag that I made a while ago and stashed away for later use. I love this tag because it was embossed with a stamp that reads “My heart is at home by the Sea” which really resonates with me.
I made the little turtles using the same stamp as in the tag, colored them, cut them out and glued them into the journal. I wanted a little texture for the turtle shells so I used Inkssentials Glossy Accents.
I had a lot of fun creating this journal layout and hope you will too!
9″ x 12″ Journal
Torn pieces of tissue paper or pages from a book
Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium
Acrylic Paint: Aqua and Royal Blue
Assorted ocean themed stamps
Staz On Black Ink
Inkssentials Glossy Accents
Assorted ephemera and embellishments
Ranger Distress Ink – Black Soot
Paint your pages with gesso. Let dry.
Tear small pieces of paper and glue them to the journal pages with Mod Podge or Gel Matte Medium. Let dry.
Paint your background in your favorite acrylic paint. Allow the torn pieces of paper to show through the paint a little. Let dry.
Mix fiber paste with a darker contrasting acrylic paint and apply using a palette knife and wave stencil. Let dry.
Stamp sea life images to the pages with the Staz On Ink and add ephemera you have that will go with the ocean theme. You can also stamp or draw images, color them with paint, cut them out and glue them to the pages like I did with the little turtles. I also added a little Glossy Accents for more texture.
Distress the edges with Ranger Black Soot.
Add your quote.
Add any shading and highlights where needed. Add a little sparkly glitter and that’s it!
As most of your know, I went vegan about 4 years ago. Not because it was the “in thing” to do but because of health issues I was having at the time. I drank lots of milk when I was a kid and I think we’ve all heard the slogan, “Milk, it does the body good.” But does it really?
I grew up thinking that cows were put on this earth to give us milk and that was that. But when you think about it, the only reason a cow produces milk is to feed their calf. So their bodies have to be in a continual pregnant state to produce milk for us.
There’s been a lot of research done showing milk may actually do us more harm than good. For starters, one of my problems with milk was that I was constantly congested. When I’d get a cold, the congestion would get really bad. I thought by drinking only organic milk and eating only organic dairy products, I was being healthy. But my congestion just kept getting worse even though I wasn’t sick. After reading an article in a magazine I decided to give plant based milk a try and found that my congestion completely cleared up in a few weeks.
After experiencing that I started doing research and found that milk contains harmful hormones which are given to the cows to increase their milk production. Even the organic milk still has hormones in it. I also learned that milk causes your body to leach calcium from the bones which in turn can make you more susceptible to osteoporosis. Not to mention, that milk and dairy products can cause cancer. Yikes! And these were just a few of the adverse affects of dairy that I stumbled upon in my research.
There are a lot of documentaries that you can watch like Food Inc., What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Plant Pure Nation to name a few. These films were a real eye opener for me and although I didn’t go vegan initially, the more educated I became, the more I realized I needed to stick with it to stay healthy. Once I did that, I was living proof that what they were expressing in these films had a lot of truth behind it. Granted a vegan diet isn’t for everyone but there’s always room for improvement no matter what diet you consume.
Please don’t take my word for it but do your own research. You may be surprised and shocked at what you find. Your diet is the foundation to your health as well as your happiness. Because the bottom line is, if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. You can’t bring joy to the world if you don’t take care of yourself first. Hope you found this information helpful.
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“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” ~Ayurvedic Proverb
Last week I shared Page 1 of my journal with you. I had a lot of fun making these tiles using coffee as the background. This flower tile is slightly bigger than the other one as it’s a full 3″ square.
I loved creating with Shrinky Dinks when I was a kid. So I found this heart that I had made quite some time ago and thought it went well with the page as I made it part of the quote “True Love Always comes back.”
Watercolor Paper, 140lb, Cold Press
Micron Sakura Pen 003
Assorted Bright Watercolor Pencils
Coordinating Acrylic Paints
1 Cup of Coffee
Ephemera/Embellishments of your choice
Posca Pens: White and Black
Pencil for shading
Make a cup of really strong dark coffee.
Cut your watercolor paper to the desired size.
Using the Coffee, paint your watercolor paper. Let dry.
Paint the pages in your journal with acrylic paints, let dry.
Using your watercolor pencils, draw and color in your design. Activate the colors with a little water but try not to over mix the colors. Let dry.
Using the Sakura Micron 003 Pen outline your design on your tile and glue it to your page.
Add doodles, embellishments and ephemera to pages.
Add shading with a pencil and highlights with the Posca pen.
Sometimes I save pieces of ephemera from things I buy or places I’ve visited. I recently bought a Simply Southern t-shirt which are super comfortable and it had a sticker on it “Save our oceans and turtles.” I kept it not knowing what to do with it but when I was creating another piece of art, I came across yet another piece of ephemera I saved, the canvas seashell tag. So I set the two pieces aside and decided I had to make them work and this is what I came up with.
The average human body is made up of 50-65% water. Considering half of your body weight is water, that’s a lot of water! Dr Masaru Emoto (b.1943 – d.2014) was a world renowned Japanese scientist who for over 20 years studied how the molecular structure in water transforms when exposed to words, thoughts, prayers, music, sounds and intentions. The results were astonishing.
Think about it for a minute. When you’re happy, ecstatic and filled with elation you can feel that positive energy in every cell in your body. You feel energized and great in every way. But when you’re angry, you feel drained, exhausted and even sick.
Dr Emoto’s study literally showed how water molecules responded to positive energy by transforming into beautiful molecular formations. However, water exposed to negative energy transformed into disfigured molecules.
Wouldn’t it stand to reason then, that if we’re made up of 50% water, that the water molecules in our body would react the same way as in Dr Emoto’s study? I mean if you’re exposed to positive energy, you’ll undoubtedly feel healthy and vibrant. But if you’re exposed to a borage of negative energy whether external, like someone else causing you anguish or internal where you tell yourself hurtful things, you’ll eventually become ill.
And lets think about the world we live in today. There is so much negativity at every corner making it harder and harder to stay positive. So why not change your attitude and create more positivity in your life. Get outside and leave your electronic devices at home, connect with nature. Instead of watching TV, turn it off and read a good book. Spend time with friends and family that uplift you and make your feel energized. Replace negative thoughts in your mind with positive ones and stick to this mantra: “If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, then don’t say it to yourself.”
Never underestimate the power of positive energy and see how good you’ll feel!
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“Too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, too determined to be defeated.” ~ William Boyland, Jr.
I have a tendency to make little pieces of art, then put them away until I’m ready to use them. I read an article where they made art using coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I do love the smell of coffee so I decided to give it a whirl.
I used watercolor paper for my 2.75″ x 3.5″ tile so I could be heavy handed with the coffee and get a nice background color. The trick is to make really strong, dark coffee then paint your paper.
Once the coffee is dry, you can create your art. I used watercolor pencils to make my drawing and activated the colors with water. After the paint dried, I went back over my drawing with Sakura Micron Pen 03. As always, I couldn’t resist adding that little bit of sparkly magic with glitter to the tile. (Note: When painting your tile, don’t be afraid to go bold and bright with the watercolor paints because they become muted and toned down when the colors mix with the coffee.)
For this journal page I used my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. I started by putting a good coat of gesso on my page and let it dry. Next, I used assorted acrylic paints that blended with the tile but at the same time made it stand out. After I was happy with the page, I glued my tile in place, added a few doodles and that was it.
I’ll post the second page of this layout next week so stay tuned as the adventure continues!
Ok, I confess I’m a chocoholic. But who doesn’t like chocolate? I mean it’s just awesome! There are so many varieties of chocolate out there like white, milk, dark and all flavors in between.
Besides tasting so delicious, studies have shown that dark chocolate, at least 75% or more has some pretty good health benefits too like reducing stress and food cravings, fighting fatigue, improving blood circulation and so much more. It’s even considered nutritious and contains nearly the full RDA of copper and manganese, plus it contains descent amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber, zinc, selenium and potassium.
The 75% dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar as compared to white or milk chocolate. So it won’t contribute to weight gain as long as you don’t over do it. What I have noticed personally is that the more sugar that’s in the chocolate, the more I’ll want to eat it. I find that with the darker chocolate I only need 1 square to satisfy chocolate craving and I’m good to go.
As most of you know, I’m vegan so I’m always looking for vegan chocolates. They do make more of them now and they’re very tasty but a little more pricey than regular chocolate. With that being said I’m always on the hunt for new ways to satisfy my chocolate cravings.
I found a great smoothie recipe online that I tried. It was good but just wasn’t satisfying that rich chocolatey flavor I was looking for so I made changes and came up with this delicious Vegan Chocolate Smoothie that has a rich chocolate flavor and contains about 16 grams of protein:
1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any unsweet non-dairy milk of your choice)
3 Tbsp Organic Gluten Free Oats
2 Tbsp Organic Cacao Nibs or 1.5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (see note below*)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp No Salt or Sugar Added Almond Butter
2 Tsp Organic Chia Seeds
1 Organic Date (pitt removed)
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Instant Espresso Coffee
1/2 C Water
1 C Ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
(*) Although I love cacao nibs and all the antioxidants they provide, I found that using Cocoa Powder gives the smoothie a richer and creamier flavor.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
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“I’d give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.” ~Unknown
My newest Angel of Tranquility painted on 8″ x 10″ 140lb Watercolor Paper. She’s painted with beautiful hues of blue, pinks and purples. She emits visions of calmness and tranquility and is made with lots of love 💖
Vision boards are a way of putting your goals and dreams into one place so you can focus on them everyday and bring them to fruition. There are no rules for creating vision boards. They can be big or small, neat or messy, on a wall or foam board. You fill them with photos, words or both, it’s entirely up to you. Personally I like to use photos from magazines or the internet. They help me visualize my goals more easily.
Think about what you really desire in life maybe it’s better relationships, a better job, more time with the family, finding love, etc. Then find photos that relate to your desires and put them on the board. For example, if I’ve been dreaming about taking a cruise, I’ll look for an ad with a cruise ship and the destination I want to go to and put that photo on my board. If I want to get healthy and in shape, I’ll find a photo of an athlete and put that on my board.
The vision board will help you to attract the right circumstances in your life to make your desires a reality. It will also help keep you focused and on track. The photos will help you to visualize yourself in the circumstances you desire. But what is even more important is that you feel the positive emotion related to your desires whether it be joy, elation, happiness or any other strong positive emotion. And I don’t mean just think about the feeling, I want you to really feel the emotion in every cell in your body. Imagine yourself attaining your goal and think how good you’ll feel when your desire becomes a reality.
You want to keep the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday so you stay focused and have clarity on your goals and desires. The vision board will help keep your passion and energy fueled so you can attain your goals. Imagine the possibilities. The sky’s the limit so dream BIG!
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“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walter Elias Disney
I gave myself a challenge to create a journal page in 90 minutes or less and this is what I ended up with. I started with a quick pencil sketch in my Strathmore 9″ x 12″ Visual Journal. Next I used watercolor pencils to paint the page and let it dry. I added detailing and shading with colored pencils, Sakura Micron Pen 005 and a white Posca Pen. For a little texture, I filled in the bubbles with Inkssentials Glossy Accents. And of course, lets not forget the bling with Stickles.
Give yourself a challenge and see what you can come up with. You’ll be surprised!
I was listening to Brendon Burchard the other day when he recommended Earl Nightingale. I hadn’t heard of him before so I did a little research.
Earl was at Pearl Harbor on the Arizona during the attack which thankfully he survived. Shortly after the war, Earl was obsessed with learning how the mind works and how one person can create wealth while the next is penniless and stays that way. In 1956, Earl recorded one of the first ever life coaching sessions called “The Strangest Secret” which can be found on YouTube. There’s also a book on Amazon.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Goals. The reason I bring this up again is because Earl makes an excellent reference in his recording about goals. Here’s a snippet of what he says:
“Have you ever noticed that a man who becomes successful tends to continue to become successful? And on the other hand, have you noticed how a man who’s a failure tends to continue to fail?
Well, it’s because of goals. Some of us have them; some don’t. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.
Now think of a ship leaving a harbor and think of it with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where it’s going and how long it will take. It has a definite goal. 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will get to where it started out to get.
Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go.
I think you’ll agree with me that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach, a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance.”
Earl puts it in very simple terms but he’s 100% correct. Goals are the foundation of your life because without them, how do you know where you’re going? It’s so important to set your goals, focus on them and work towards reaching them however big or small they may be. You don’t want to spend 10 years of your life only to find that you’re still at the starting line and have gone nowhere in all that time.
Think about what it is that you really want out of life. What is your passion? What makes you come alive? What gets you excited and eager to start your day? Then set goals and work towards them. (If you need a little more help on goal setting, you can read my post on Goals and hopefully that will steer you in the right direction.)
Live your life with passion while expanding your mind and soul, and have fun in the process!
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“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha
Crystals are beautiful gems treasured by many. Some are worn as jewelry or placed in homes as decoration. They have been used throughout time for their healing properties as well.
I was introduced to crystals by my late sister many years ago. One Christmas she gave a quartz crystal candle holder. It’s a large 3.5″ square block of white quartz with a hole in the center big enough for a tealight candle. It’s a stunning crystal to say the least.
Right after Christmas, I spent the next several nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep. When my sister called I told her how tired I was from lack of sleep and she got pretty quiet and asked, “where did you put the candle holder I gave you?” I replied, on my nightstand. Then she asked “when did your sleepless nights begin?” I said, “basically right after Christmas.” She instructed me to move the crystal into the bathroom, cover it with a towel and close the door at night. I was pretty skeptical at the thought that her candle holder was causing my lack of sleep. So I did as she asked and to my surprise, I had no problem sleeping once I moved it.
I tried putting it back on the nightstand and yep you guessed it, I couldn’t sleep again. This began my journey into exploring different crystals and their properties. I still have the large quartz candle holder but now it sits on my office desk where it charges my energy throughout the day. If you have the chance, stop by a crystal shop and explore these magical gems and see how they make you feel.
Milky Quartz Crystal Properties:
boosts your energy
purifies negative energy
removes energy blockages
enhances properties of other crystals
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“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~Rumi
I participated in a free online class over the weekend in Art is Magic where they offer a year long mixed media course taught by 28 artists. This class was a preview of what is available in the full course.
Jodi Ohl a very talented artist, taught this class. I’ve tried abstract art before, thinking it was easy and it so wasn’t. Not to mention, I never liked what I created and would always just reuse that piece of art in other projects. This is the first abstract I created that I actually like and I’m happy to say it will not be recycled, lol.
Creating this was using new techniques was challenging and quite an adventure. So a BIG thank you to Jodi for making it so much fun!
I want to introduce you to Chanel, my other Sable Cocker Spaniel who is turning 9 years old today! She is a very special little girl who is my daily inspiration.
At 3 years old, Chanel went completely blind. At first she was upset and frustrated but a few days in, she mapped out the house by following the walls with her nose. She went around again mapping out where the furniture was and used her sniffer to determine what room she was in.
Chanel maintained her status as the alpha and learned new commands like follow me, stop, turn and listen to name a few. She had every reason to wake up unhappy with the hand that life dealt her, but she chose happiness. You see, Chanel never got the memo that she was blind and life should be over because of her disability. The only thing she knew was that life was going to be a little different from here on out. She still plays fetch but instead of looking for the ball with her eyes, she uses sound and smell to find it. It’s incredible to watch.
I know that if this would have happened to me I would’ve had a very hard time adjusting. Everyday I watch in awe as she navigates her day with courage and a heart filled with love. Chanel has a super wonderful attitude that gets her through life.
I wish we all had more of Chanel’s positive attitude. Life will always throw you curves balls and even knock you down sometimes. But you always need to find the positive in every situation, especially the challenging ones. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it just means it’s time to adjust to something new and see where that takes you on this incredible journey we call life. Remember, it is your attitude that determines your altitude.
Happy Birthday Chanel!
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“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” ~Joyce Meyer
My latest angel from my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. Her name is Rosie. I tried limiting the colors in this one. I really like the iridescent blue that I used around the stars, in her hair and clothes. It has a beautiful shimmer. But looking at her, she reminds me of an Easter or Spring Angel.
What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback.
Earlier this week I shared my first journal page with my “Dream” zentangle tile. This is the second part of the journal spread with a quote by Karim Seddiki that I thought went well with the Dream zentangle tile: “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Independence Day is this Sunday, July 4th. Many will kick off the day being outside enjoying fresh air, sunshine and having a good old fashioned barbecue with delicious apple pie for dessert. At night, the skies are filled with stunning and spectacular fireworks. But how did all of this get started?
Lets go back in time a bit to July 2, 1776. On this day the Second Continental Congress declared Independence from Britain but no one signed the Declaration of Independence which was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson.
July 3, 1776, John Adams one of the founding fathers and members of Congress wrote a letter to his wife Abigail which in part read:
“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
Congress made a total of 86 changes to the original declaration and the final draft was completed and signed on July 4, 1776. This marked the beginning of the war for freedom and it lasted 7 long years until 1783.
Although we were at war, it was reported by the Pennsylvania Evening Post that July 4, 1777 was celebrated with demonstrations of joy and festivity. Armed ships fired a 13 gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. Festivities included an elegant dinner, military demonstration, band performances and fireworks. These celebrations continued annually thereafter.
Hope you enjoy your holiday and have the opportunity to see a beautiful firework display. Wishing you a Happy and Safe 4th of July!
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“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has places us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.” ~Thomas Jefferson
I made this zentangle tile a while ago and set it aside figuring I’ll find a home for it at some point. The journal page was started and left unfinished because I ran out of time and it too was set aside and forgotten 🙁 Luckily I recently came across the two pieces and just had to make them work. So this is what I ended up with.
This page has everything going on from watercolor to acrylic paints, colored pencils, pens, markers, collage and more. You name it, it’s on here. To say the least it was lots of fun to make!
Stay tuned, because I’ll be posting page 2 shortly.
At the beginning of the year, most of us set goals, our New Year’s Resolutions. Hard to believe that the first half of the year is coming to a close in another week. Where do you stand on your goals? Are you on track, or did you lose sight of where you wanted to be by now?
Life has a tendency to throw you one curve ball after another. But that’s okay as long as you don’t lose sight of your goals. It can get pretty frustrating when you veer off track and if you go off too far, then you may quit. But I’m here to cheer you on! Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s been so much going on in the world so staying on track towards your goals can be rather difficult.
I know for me, I’ve had my fair share of curve balls thrown my way. But I decided to go easy on myself, it is what it is and I am where I am. I can’t change the past, nor does it do me any good to cry over spilled milk as the expression goes. So I’m looking ahead and making a few changes to help get me back on track. Here are a few pointers:
Start by reassessing where you currently are with your goals and where you feel you should be by the end of the year. What do you still need to do?
Next break down your goals into smaller attainable monthly goals. Notice I used the word “attainable.” Be honest with yourself on what you can accomplish in the next 6 months. Don’t set yourself up for failure by piling too much on your plate. For example if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t plan on losing 30 pounds in a month. Realistically, women lose an average of 3 lbs a week (12 lbs p/month) while men lose 5 lbs a week (20 lbs p/month). So be realistic with your goals and set yourself up to win, but at the same time still challenge yourself.
Next, take it another step further and break down your monthly goals into “attainable” weekly goals and schedule those into your week. Try to schedule 1 hour every day, more or less to work on your goals.
Before starting your day, review your schedule and get your mind ready to tackle your goals and cross that finish line victoriously by the end of the day!
At the end of the week, you should have made some progress towards your goals. If you went off course, take a look at the why and take action for the next week so it hopefully won’t happen again.
Your schedule will change because that’s just the way life is. So adjust course and keep going. You’re stronger than you thought and you need to give yourself credit for the wins, however small they may be, they all count!!
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“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in NOT reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” ~ Benjamin Mays
I have two beautiful American Cocker Spaniel girls, Cocoa (14 yrs) & Chanel (9 yrs). They’re both sable in color but Cocoa has a brown nose and Chanel’s is black. Cocoa loved people but other dogs, not so much. She was somewhat freaked out by them. It was comical to watch when we tried socializing her with other dogs at the park. So one day I had the bright idea to get another puppy to help her get over her fear.
Long story short, it didn’t exactly go as planned. It took Cocoa a few years before she finally warmed up to Chanel. Cocoa turned 14 years old in May, but sadly she went to doggie heaven this past Saturday morning. The end came quickly but she waited for all of us that morning so we could say our good byes before crossing over.
We miss her a lot, especially her crazy antics like helping us unwrap presents, singing Happy Birthday or howling when the phone rang. She was always in the middle of family life and was a super smart pooch that was trained with very little effort on my part. I could just talk to her and she understood what I was saying. When anyone got sick or was feeling blue, she was always there to comfort you. Cocoa was my constant companion in the art studio, always at my feet the entire time I was painting.
One thing her passing has made me think about was how important it is to be in the present moment. I truly enjoyed her crazy antics and how she always had her own way of doing things. I’m so grateful that Cocoa came into our lives as she was a very special and unique girl.
Take the time to slow down and really enjoy sharing special moments with loved ones whether a furry friend or the human kind. Life is ever changing and time doesn’t stand still. So don’t miss one minute of the magic that life offers you everyday.
I know the angels have Cocoa now and it’s all good.
💖 Cocoa, you are forever in our hearts 💖
“Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” ~ Roger Caras
This is my newest watercolor painting, Angel of Wisdom and she’s painted on 9″ x 12″ 140lb Watercolor Paper with professional paints. I had a lot of fun creating her with the owl in bright, fun colors and lots of love 💖
Father’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, June 20th. It’s a day to remember and celebrate those great dads who are here with us today and also to honor those who may have passed.
It’s been said being a mother is one of the toughest jobs and it is, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park for Dads either. They work hard to protect their families and pass down to their kids the knowledge and skills they acquired throughout their lives. Dad’s also pass on their life long passions and hope that one day, their little ones will follow in their footsteps. So how will you honor that great man in your life?
If you’re stuck on what to do for dad this Father’s Day, here are a few ideas:
Make a handmade card with a personal photo.
Make a photo collage of memorable moments.
Have an outdoor celebration in the park, beach or your own backyard.
Take dad out on a sporting adventure of his choice.
Go camping for a night.
Cook his favorite dinner.
Build something fun together.
Spend a nice day together talking about fun memories.
“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” ~Uknown
I haven’t posted an angel lately and I really miss my girls. I find such peace within when I paint them. It’s pure contentment and joy when I can get them out of my mind and on paper for everyone to see 😊
This is my latest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal, her name is Liza. I’m playing with different ideas on the wings to see how I like them.
What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback.
Lion Country Safari located in West Palm Beach, Florida was established in 1967 and sits on a whopping 320 acres. I remember my parents taking me when I was about 8 years old. And no, I’m not telling how many years ago that was, lol. But I remember thinking how cool it was that the animals got to roam free while we drove through the park in our car. They could come right up to us, and many did.
In March of this year, we did a family road trip and visited Lion Country Safari. It’s changed quite a bit since I was there last. Now they have an audio that we listened to through my cell phone that gave information about each group of animals we were seeing. The park is home to over 1,000 wild animals including lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, ostriches, and so many more.
The way it’s set up is each group of animals is in a different section, separated by a fence. This way the predators can’t get to their prey and everyone lives happily ever after 😊 Cars slowly drive through on the road and get to enjoy all the animals. As the cars exited the one section, they were all greeted by an ostrich who tapped each car’s windshield as if he were saying good bye. It was pretty funny watching him do this. Apparently, ostriches are attracted to shiny objects and the windshields were reflecting the sun that day.
Once you finish the drive through safari, you can enjoy the walk through section of the park with shops, food and more animals to see. You can even feed the lorikeets which my daughter and I did. They’re so beautiful with their bright colors.
If you have the chance to visit Florida, I highly recommend stopping at Lion Country Safari. It’s a beautiful and unique place to visit!
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“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” ~Charles Darwin
Last week I shared my first journal page using Spirograph. This is my second journal page. I had so much fun creating these two pages. I love how they turned out and hope you do too!
I made this page the same as the last. I created the background with a watercolor wash and while that was drying I made my Spirograph designs on coordinating cardstock, cut them out and glued them into the journal. Next I drew a few doodles and inspiring words. I topped it off with a shading, highlights and stickles for a little bling.
You can have some serious fun with a Spirograph set. Just use your imagination!
Memorial Day is Monday, May 31st. You know the holiday is approaching when stores start heavily marketing their upcoming sales, but it’s so much more than that. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have lost their lives in service of the United States of America.
Memorial Day began shortly after the Civil War which ended in 1865. General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed it in his General Order No 11 on May 5th, 1868.
In General Logan’s order it is said “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”
Since May 30th wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle, General Logan named it Decoration Day. However in 1880, the name was officially changed to Memorial Day.
I’m grateful for those brave souls who served in our military and gave their lives protecting our great nation and our freedom and to those who fight for us today. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You!
I wanted to try something different in my journal so I looked around my studio and found the Spirograph set. I hadn’t used it in years. I bought this for my kids when they were little and luckily it was passed back to me when they grew up.
I started this page with a watercolor wash for the background and set it aside. While that was drying, I searched my paper stash and found coordinating sheets to create a couple of Spirograph designs. I cut them out and glued them onto the page. Next I drew in doodles, wrote a few inspiring words and of course added stickles for a little bling. Last I added a little detailing with shading and highlights and that was it.
You can make some really interesting art and cards using a simple Spirograph set. Just let your imagination run wild and have fun!
Ginger root has been used for centuries as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The first time I tried ginger, I wasn’t too crazy about it. I loved the scent but the flavor, not so much.
Over the years, I’ve grown to really love ginger. I’ll put a few small pieces in my salad or add some to my veggie juices. I even make fresh ginger tea which is very aromatic and quite delicious (recipe below). I’ve learned and personally experienced the healing powers of ginger and I can say in all honesty, it’s truly a Superfood.
Ginger has many benefits and can help the body heal from a number of ailments naturally including:
Aids in Digestion
Regulates Blood Sugar
Lowers Blood Pressure
Helps with Nausea
Reduces Menstrual Pain
Aids in Reducing LDL Cholesterol
Aids Weight Loss
Before making any changes to your healthcare regime, always check with your doctor/health practitioner to make sure it’s right for you.
Ginger Tea Recipe:
4-5 quarter inches pieces of ginger, slightly crushed
2 Cups Water
Sweetener (honey, stevia)
Add ginger and water to a teapot. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain ginger pieces, add a little sweetener and enjoy.
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“Our Food should be our Medicine & our Medicine should be our Food.” ~Hippocrates
I love roses and thought I’d make one in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal. I started with a light pencil sketch, then painted it with watercolors. Once that was dry, I used colored pencils for shading and detailing and topped it off with Stickles for a little bling. Last I added my quote using a Sakura Micron Pen #03.
I’m not sure who said the quote “Live Life in Full Bloom” but I thought it was fitting for this page. It was a good warm up for beginning my day in the studio.
How do you stay on the path of positivity when there is so much negativity around you? How do you find that ray of hope each and every day? It’s hard, no doubt. Not something to be taken lightly either.
I’d like to think everyone starts their day on a positive note but depending on what your day was like the day before, that may be a tough thing to do. You may still be carrying all of that luggage. But I look at each day as a clean slate, a chance for a new beginning and a chance to make a positive change. Leave yesterday’s problem in the past and focus on a better today.
A few years ago I started listening to podcasts and grew to really love them. I go for the ones that grow my mind and spirit and a few business ones. Brendon Burchard is a life coach and is one of my favorite podcasts. He came up with a mantra that he uses first thing in the morning. I slightly changed it to fit my needs but here it is:
“Thank you God for this opportunity to serve today. Grant me the strength to focus. To be mindful and present. To serve with excellence. To be a force of light and love.” ~ Brendon Burchard
These words when spoken from the heart most definitely have a positive affect on your day. They don’t guarantee nothing will go wrong, but if it does, you can get back on track easier.
The podcasts are free and are a great resource for inspiration and spreading the happy! If you don’t have access to the podcasts on your phone, check YouTube.com, you can find a lot there. I highly recommend trying them out if you haven’t done so already. You may be pleasantly surprised!
A few of my favorites:
The Brendon Show
On Purpose with Jay Shetty
The Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose
The Marie Forleo Podcast
The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley
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“Your life is simply a collection of all your thoughts and actions. Which direction to steer it in, is a choice you make every day and every moment. Be positive, live happy.” ~Unknown
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this Sunday, May 9th. So why not give mom a gift that touches the heart. I have many fond memories of Mother’s Day celebrations but when my son baked me a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, all vegan from scratch with a beautiful design in colored sprinkles, that really touched my heart 💖 He put so much love into that cake for me I’ll cherish that memory forever. Not to mention, the cake was so delicious we polished it off in only 2 days!!
Another touching memory was when my daughter spent a very rainy Mother’s Day with me watching our favorite movies with popcorn and candy. We had lunch in between and even played a few board games which is something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid. We had such fun together as we laughed all day. She created a wonderful loving memory that I will hold in my heart till the end of time 💖
So what are you going to do for you mom on Mother’s Day that will touch her heart? Here’s a few ideas to get you inspired:
Cook her favorite meal and serve it on a lavishly decorated table.
Bake her favorite sweet treat and serve it up bistro style.
Take her on a picnic and spend a quiet afternoon talking.
Take an art class with her, whether online or in person and create something together.
Make a scrapbook filled with all of your favorite memories and photos of her.
Make her a handmade card or mini book with special photos or memorabilia.
If you’re computer savvy, create a video slide show of your favorites times spent together.
Make her a spa basket with handmade treatments (plenty of recipes can be found online).
Get creative, put a little extra thought into it and give her a gift from your heart 💖
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“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” ~Mitch Albom
Sometimes when things get a little too chaotic and hectic we need to remember to quiet our minds and simply breathe. This helps to bring you back to your calm center.
My newest angel I created in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal called Breathe. One of the fun things about watercolor paints is that they sometimes have a mind of their own. I love how colors mingled at the top of her wing.
Today would have been my father’s birthday but he passed away a few years ago. He was a talented man who could fix anything under the sun. He had a superb sense of humor and was a great artist and my inspiration for art.
Dad was very practical and logical in his thinking. He drew this pen and ink picture the day before his 21st birthday. I was lucky enough to find it mixed in with a bunch of other papers he kept. I was in awe with how beautiful it was. Funny enough, he never hung this masterpiece in the house so I hung it in mine.
When I was a kid, I couldn’t draw well. So dad took the picture I was trying to draw and drew a numbered grid on it. Then he drew another grid on blank paper and told me to copy each square, one at a time until I was finished. This made complete sense to me at the time and thus my adventure in art began. Eventually, I got better and didn’t need the grid as much. I really love this piece by dad because you can still see the numbered grid on it which reminds me of my first art lesson with him.
Dad was an oil painter but I never liked the turpentine smell, it was always very strong so I gravitated to watercolors. I started painting with my sister’s watercolor set by Mayflower with 24 colors. I was having a blast with that. Then for my birthday, mom and dad got me a big watercolor set made in England by Page of London with a whopping 80 colors!!! For a kid who was fascinated with colors, it was like I won the jackpot!!!!
Dad kept pretty much everything so lo and behold, he still had the original paint sets from when I was a kid. Sadly some of my pan colors in the larger set broke and got lost over the years but the sets are in good condition overall. I’m so glad he kept these because they bring back a lot of nice memories.
Thank you Dad for all your patience, creativity and ingenuity in teaching me art!