the book is out!!! and a giveaway!

I am excited to announce that Gwen Diehn's new compilation book is officially out!!!
I feel incredibly honored to have 19 features in the book including an artist highlight. I really love how she complied the information from her previous two books (The Decorated Page, and The Decorated Journal) so seamlessly. You can Find the book here on Amazon.


If you want to try your luck at winning a free copy (and also an original handmade journal made from a butter box by Gwen herself) ----------------------> Go to the Lark Crafts website and leave a comment by May 3rd.

At the very least I recommend you stop by a bookstore and browse the wealth of information in this book and get inspired!



wood-fired cob oven

Ali and her hand-built cob wood-fired oven...
Though it technically wasn't an  Earth Day party, it seemed fitting that we were invited to celebrate our friends' new wood-fired oven this weekend since most of this oven is made from earthy materials: clay, sand, straw, and water. This type of building is named cob, and you can even build houses out of it! Here is wiki's definition of cob:
"Cobcobb or clom (in Wales) is a building material consisting of claysandstraw, water, and earth, similar to adobe. Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity,[2] and inexpensive. It can be used to create artistic, sculptural forms and has been revived in recent years by the natural building and sustainabilitymovements."

It may be inexpensive, but it is labor intensive. A finished cob project (even one of this size) is cause for a celebration... and even more so if it makes pizza! 
All the guests brought toppings to put on the pizza. Among all the wonderful items: fresh spinach, lamb and pepperoni from two friends' farms, tomato sauce and pesto from last years harvest...
Our friends cute home. It has a living roof. 
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 Happy Earth Day! (and thank you to my friends for allowing me to share their beautiful home!)



Life has been full, and I have been wearing my mom hat a lot more the last couple weeks...

Not much time in the studio has = not much art getting done. I did start this sketch of a dogwood blossom, but now the dogwood petals are starting to drop and I am not sure I will finish it while they are still blooming.  So is life. 


something pretty to rest your eyes on.

This is one of my favorite trees in our area. It always makes me smile when I go by it. It looked especially beautiful on this night at sunset.  Can you see the small bit of a rainbow in the right hand corner of this photo? So pretty...


layers :: process

special wonders

barred owl
This month has been a good one for wonderful happenstances.

*found 6 of the elusive morel mushrooms (we ate them sauteed with butter)
*found a vertebrae resting in some moss (maybe from a deer?)
*saw a large barred owl in the daylight. Alex actually felt it's eyes on him and searched the trees to find it.  (Alex and I saw it swoop right over our heads and land in a nearby tree, but Lili saw it swoop down and land on her head and befriend her. So "owl" came home with us on top of her head and has been making invisible friend real appearances in our house ever since.)
*saw two kestrels (colorful birds of prey) being frisky in the middle of road together and as we drove up they disengaged and flew off.
*found half of a quartz arrowhead in our front yard


I don't know about you, but I wish I saw my friends more. We have an amazing neighborhood of kindred spirits, and even though they live a stones throw away, we don't see enough of them. Which is why today was extra lovely. Catching up from the winter hibernation with all of them. Watching the herd of little ones on the trampoline and searching for eggs.
Good food and no to-do list... lovely. 


wool garland

During Seo's nap I set Lil up with a project outside. When I saw the idea for it HERE I knew it would be perfect for stash-busting my tub of felted wool (aka thrifted wool sweaters I shrunk in the dryer for projects).

(wool, scissors, blunt needle, embroidery thread)
1. Cut one inch size squares and triangles out of the wool. 
2. Thread a blunt needle with embroidery thread and tie a knot at the end. 
3. Show your little one how to put the needle through the center of a piece of wool. 

So easy & she had so much fun.


visual journal

visual page from my art journal
I like to demonstrate how being artistic in a personal journal can be about the journey more than creating a perfect artwork. In art there is no right and wrong, and this is even more true for visual journals.
I am a firm believer in the connection of mind and body, and journaling consistently helps me along my path to health and wholeness because it serves as a safe place to figure out how I am feeling deep down.  Often disjointed and rambling, or full of doodles, my journals are messy and vibrant.

And my soapbox--------> Art journaling is for everyone, not just the artists. 


earl scruggs

As many of you might know we lost one of the world's most talented banjo players this past week. Here is a wonderful video I found for you of Earl Scruggs and the festival banjo players at Camp Springs Bluegrass festival in 1971.

I have such a weakness for good banjo pickin'...