Moleskine Journals Feed

Pattern Play


Julie Fei-Fan Balzer plays with patterns....among so much more! She's one talented lady, and for February, she's created a pattern challenge. You can read about it on her blog.  Julie's creating a pattern for each day of February, and while I know I'm not going to achieve that, she's encouraging everyone to play when they can.

So, yesterday, I grabbed a sheet of painted, stenciled, and splattered text left over from the previous day's explorations to use as my base. No rhyme or reason to it, just using up leftover bits from the day's work.


Using my very expensive...and wouldn't you want to own one as well? tool, I stamped some circles.  This particular tool requires you to let go of perfection and embrace the wabi-sabi look, otherwise known as wonky circles in this case. Now, if I had been smart, I would have stamped, etc. before I glued the text to the page. Ah, well, lesson learned, I hope.


I grabbed some stamps...


...and some colored pencils, and used them both.


Vwah-lah! A pattern is born.

A wonky wonderful pattern that makes me smile.

Go check out Julie's site and check out Instagram as well. It's #28patterns.

Lots of eye candy to be sure!

Cranky Pants in the Snow


Outside my window, huge white snowflakes are drifting toward the grass and sidewalks. It's a beautiful, calming snow, and it's settling me down.

I am thinking that I need to get over my cranky self. As I told my sister, none of what is making me cranky is a huge calamity, not even a small calamity. So, to quote Ms. Taylor Swift, I need to "Shake it off!"

I am thankful for this time to just journal and play with art supplies, to process what I'm feeling, and to not let it get its talons into me. Art play is such good therapy!

From the kitchen, the dishwasher is calling to me, "Come unload me, already!" Then, fill me up and let me do my thing. I wish I could tell you there are delicious smells wafting up to me studio, but, alas, it's peanut butter and jelly time. Although, I think I might brew some tea and add orange infused honey to it.

I am wearing my cleaning clothes - baggy sweat pants and a tshirt. Styling, I'm not.

I am creating tons of journal pages. Getting back into the flow of it has been tricky and has progressed in fits and starts. I'm rusty for sure, but I'm still loving it.

I am going to art classes with Seth Apter this weekend...the first on my birthday. Not a bad present, huh?

I am reading The Magic Art of Tidying Up. The author is fairly preachy, and she's absolutely sure hers is the only way to declutter, a bit off putting. But, I'm plowing through and taking what I can use. The house is slowly getting there, and space is opening up, which I love.

I am hoping to get back into the rhythm of blogging as freshen up the blog and to publish it more often. I've written tons of posts in my mind, but I haven't put the keyboard to work.

I am hearing the clickety clack of the keys as I type and the sounds of muted traffic.

Around the house, things wait to be sorted and put away. The dryer just buzzed, wanting me to go rescue the load of jeans.

One of my favorite things is dark chocolate, and I think I have some stashed away...with sea salt no less!

A few plans for this week - subbing tomorrow and art classes over the weekend.



Why do I journal? For that matter, why does anyone journal?

Reasons vary, and I suspect there exists as many reasons as there are types of journals.

For me? It's to remember moments in time, good or bad. Sometimes, it's to make sense of moments I'd rather forget. Somehow, when I write, I tend to be more honest with myself. The putting it into written form gives weight to the words, and if I get uneasy in my gut I know that I'm trying to rationalize or to delude myself. If it's too private for anyone but me, I can - and do - cover up the words. I still know they're there; I know the essence of what I wrote, if not the exact words.

As I type this, I realize I know far more stories about my dad's growing up and growing up than I do of my mother. And, really, I don't know many about my dad. My parents didn't tend to talk about that sort of thing; I think that maybe they just simply got caught up in the making of a living, the raising of 4 children. The everyday stuff never seemed to be anything worth recording, but that's what I miss knowing. The record exists of the big moments, the weddings, deaths, births, and so on, but not much of the little moments of their lives, of what they were thinking or enjoying.

My dad tells so many stories now, but they are garbled bits and pieces of things, fact mixed in with fiction. His dementia robs him of making much sense. The bits that come through tantilize us, but, most likely, they're lost.

So, part of what I do is to put it all down, to preserve the memories for my kids and grands. Maybe it won't matter much to them in the long run, and maybe it will.

I finished the piece above yesterday; the words at first glance don't speak of anything significant, but then again...well, maybe they do. They record memories which otherwise might be lost forever. I'd like to think that at some point in time, someone will sit down and get lost in my journals. Who knows?

Note: The journal pages above are a mish mash of things, or as the ever present crossword clue would say, an "olio" of things. I enlarged a photo of the pumpkin patch trip, and then went over it with Neocolor II crayons, blending it into the background. And the background is in itself another olio of materials from the studio desk, most of it underpapers, the papers that catch (well, mostly catch!) the spills of paints and inks. Pulling it all together reminds me of doing jigsaw puzzles; you think a piece is going to work, and then it doesn't. So, you try another piece until you get one that works. And, so it goes with all the scraps and pieces littering the table.

We're off tomorrow to Bedlam Farm  in New York, to meet Jon Katz, Maria Wulf, and other online friends; to visit Simon, the donkey, and Red, the dog...among others!

Craving Pink

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EB craved some red.

So did Kim.

I wanted pink! You see, I'd come across the most gorgeous pink jacket I'd seen in awhile. I knew it'd look great with some black pants, or maybe my black skirt. The  budget didn't allow that jacket to come home with me, and that was okay. I didn't "need" that jacket, but I surely did want it! And, that's pretty funny, since I am not a pink person.

My mom, bless her, cured me of ever much wanting pink. As a little girl, she deemed pink to be my color. Denise had blue, and oh boy, did I want that blue.

Nope, nope, and nope. Mom deemed that I should wear pink, and I did until I was hearily sick of it. Even today, you won't find much pink in my wardrobe. So, I'm not sure what made me want that jacket, but I did.

Next best thing? Some pink in my journal. I had to mix it, because the color pink is rarely found in my stash of supplies either. So, I mixed the paint and scrounged up some tape.  I stamped, stenciled, and journaled.

I really did have a blast!

Now, we might be getting some snow tomorrow, maybe even enough for a snow day on Thursday.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll get some more time to play.

I don't think it will be pink, but my muse tends to be a bit fickle, a bit surprising. Who knows?

Ice Day Journal Play

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Yesterday morning, Mother Nature blessed me with time to simply play in my journal. I'd already glued down some random leftover bits a few days earlier. That pink you see behind the house really is a piece of deli scrap that I'd mixed paint on and stamped on for some "trial runs." I love the pop against the blue, and so I added a stencil on the left page.

I owe Jeannine full credit for the house image that you see. She gifted me some of her gocco prints awhile back, and they show up every now and then on one of my pages. I did add the tiny face you see peeking out of the window and the tiny "H" in the doorway. You can find Jeannine guest curating over at Crescendo this week. Be sure to read what she's written...lots of wisdom there.

Back to this really did come together over several hours. I'd add some paint, some paper scraps, step away for a bit and then come back to it. I played with a Tim Holtz mask (the light blue swirls on the left). I made friends with Payne's Gray, a color I've pretty much loathed until recently. Let's just say we're getting to know each other a bit! And, finally, of course, a bit of jounaling. My only plan, really, was to make it feel "cold and wintry." I think I did okay!

Playing with Gray

Diana Trout's Creative Nudge # 16 began with a bit of Hanna's journal play, Hanna's blog always inspires! This woman simply oozes creativity and really enjoys the process.  Neither lady ever fails to inspire.

The idea is to play with gray, which is certainly not one of my favorite colors, but it was a good reentry point after a week of hospital rooms. It was really, really good to get my fingers dirty with paint again.

I've used this angel image many a time. She's one of many from my stash of cemetary photos.

The "lines" on the right are torn up bits of text where I tried out the various grays I are the lines that frame the angel's face.

The bits of purple on the right edge of the left side of the spread?  Dried up bits of an African violet that belonged to my mom! As I was cleaning up the art area a bit, I picked off some dried blooms. One fell on the page, and I rather liked it! I'm not sure what it means when a middle aged woman carefully glues dried up bits of violet to her journal pages!

Sneaking in Some Journal Play

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Do you remember the one passage in Alice in Wonderland where Alice and the Red (I think!) Queen are rushing pell mell around and around a tree...faster and faster...just to keep up? I'm right there with Alice and the queen.

I've spent most of my last few days channeling my inner Martha Stewart, and I'm hoping to post some pics soon of what we accomplished. Our theme for the shower is "fall," and the colors are gorgeous - rich brown tablecloths, white pumpkins with a crown of fall flowers and purple glass swirls along the sides, blue mason jars filled with more flowers and tissue papers in reds, yellows, and oranges. Mmmmmmmmmmmm....just breath taking.

And then there's the daper cake...oh, my, but Martha and I outdid ourselves. If a diaper cake can be truly lovely, this one shines.

And, in between it all, I did just a bit of journaling. That cute little moo card on the right side is from Diana Trout. One of these days, I'm gonna order mine. Really. I am!

I need to go do a bit of this and that, and then I'll watch "Dancing with the Stars," the one and only show I'm faithful to.

Tomorrow is back to the world of baby showers...Martha and I, well, we're getting to be real pals!

Oh, and if I don't have to walk back into Michael's for a long time, I'll be a happy woman.

Detaching Myself From the Outcome

So, this arrived on my doorstep about a week ago, and I've been happily curled up with it ever since, marking up pages, scribbling down my thoughts, etc. I have always loved Patti Digh's writing, and this newest book proves to be a treasure. Patti delves into creativity....what it is, the roadblocks we set up for ourselves, and so much more. Tons of food for thought.

I am blessed to have 2 pieces of artwork in this...and doubly blessed that I got to illustrate Patti's story of our very own rock fairy, "The Queen of Arts!" Now, I've got to admit, I hadn't detached myself from this outcome. I really really wanted that piece of art to make tribute to my friend, Kim. I've sent off several pieces to various publications, some picked, some not. Most, I send off on a wing and a prayer; some get chosen and others not, and overall, I'm okay with whatever happens. Not this one! I wanted to be the one to illustrate this essay...and when the book came, that's the piece I had to find! Here it is...


For whatever reason known to man, I took a huge leap of faith and used my ....insert gasps here....watercolors! So, hats off to you, my friend! As the Bud commercial goes, "This one's for you!' Kim, I did it with much love for the wonderful kind soul you are.

The first night I curled up with this book, the words "Detaching Myself From the Outcome" jumped out at me. They grabbed me, because sometimes, this detaching myself proves so darn hard to do.

Some outcomes I'll never detach myself from, but, oh - there are just so many that I need to let go of, at least as far as the results go. I'll never change some people (and who, am I, to think I should?; some pieces of art get chosen, and others don't. It's when I let go of the outcome and just let myself enjoy the making of art, that I'm happiest.

Some arguments I'll never win, and I need to let go of the energy they consume. If I can do that, I won't be walking around with a pounding headache.


I began this spread with an "idea in mind." You'd think I'd know better by now. I wanted to do one of those wonderful shilouettes using a magazine image...the ones that look oh, so cool! Well, I fussed with it. I layered paint. I made a mess.

And, then I realized that I really liked the way the paint covered image being used as a mask much better than anything I'd done. So, on she went, and there the page sat for a few days, because I really didn't know what to do next.

I saw the words a few nights later, and into the art room I went and stamped away. Perfect!

Know what's funny? As I reread the book, I've yet to find those words again. They appeared when they were needed, and I imagine they'll reappear at some point.

So...detach when you can, when it's simply not worth the energy something consumes. Don't detach when it's important. Only you can decide which is which. I just know that I need to get better at this. I need to stop spinning my wheels. Sometimes, I just need to let go.  

Creativity Nudge Number 1

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Diana Trout...who by the way is one awesome teacher! sending out little creativity nudges. Here's the fiirst one with which I had a great deal of fun. I loved just kicking back, grabbing whatever appealed to me from my scrap stash and just pasting it all down. The lady on the left was acquired at an Art & Soul event and the gal on the right came in a catalog the day I worked on this one. What's funny is that they almost mirror each other, which I didn't notice until about 2 days later. My best art really seems to happen by accident! I need to work on creativity nudge # 2 as well.

And, then there's Hanna! Hop over here for "49 Creative Things You Can Do Today." Hanna has put together the neatest list with each item linked to some wonderful eye candy and ideas for you to explore. I follow Hanna's blog, but I've bookmarked this entry so I can go back to it again and again and again. You're bound to find something that appeals to you, so quick...go, play!

Thank you all for the most wonderful messages about my dad. Each and every word made my smile. Ladies, you really are the best!