Monday, May 21, 2018

a peek inside my art journal: altered magazine pages

One of the best things about creativity is that you can totally turn your brain off during the process! One of my favorite ways to zen out and get creative is altering magazine pages. I hunt for unique portraits and glue them to the pages of my art journal. Then I paint out large areas of the image and use my favorites pens to fill all that space with pattern. The result are super dynamic and wild portraits!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

marbleized light switch cover

We have all kinds of projects and renovations planned for our home but we are also really busy! And while we wait for the right timing on all those projects, I am getting creative with temporary little tweaks and updates to the things that DRIVE ME NUTS around the house! One of the biggest things that makes me crazy is our light switch outlets and covers. They are a not so beautiful shade of 1990's taupe. Eventually they will all be replaced with all white but lets me honest, that's not happening soon. So I have been busy marbleizing all of the light switch covers in our home as a way to disguise all that  taupe!

I started by removing the covers and gave them a good cleaning. 

Next, using Easy Marble, I selected my colors. Since the light switches are also taupe, I wanted a color combo that would disguise them a bit but also select colors that fit with out living room space- white walls with lots of white, gold and neutral furniture and accents.

Easy Marble is a lightfast, quick drying paint that you can use on all kinds of surfaces. I've used a variety supplies to create a marbled effect- spray paint and nail polish and acrylic paint but Easy Marble is the best product I've tried. 

I picked white, gold and black.

I dropped colors into a pan of water and swirled the color around. 

I dipped the switch cover into the color and pulled it out!

I wanted a little more white in the surface so I used a brush and some Golden High Flow Acrylic paint to add white to some of the areas.

The result is super funky, totally unique and a great way to cover up our light switches until we renovate and replace them! I'm slowly making my way room by room marbling the covers in a variety of different colors.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

agate hunting

Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast is amazing for agate and stone hunting. We've had so much fun the last few weeks hunting for all kinds of treasure. Our rocks have been cleaned and prepared and are ready for the tumbler!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

new summer online class: camp wanna-create!

I've been working hard on a new online class and I am super excited to announce my summer offering. I've also got an early bird sale happening for this class until June 4th.

Begins June 18th
$50.00 early bird $35.00

Back in my early twenties, I spent the summer teaching art a  Girl Scout camp way up high in the mountains. I lived in a tent that summer and taught art and craft projects all day to girls. It was one of the most creative and inspired times of my life because it combined two of my passions- the outdoors and art. As I began planning my summer class offering this year, I was inspired my camp experiences so I've put together a really fun class for all ages called "Camp Wanna Create". It is an online class inspired by camp projects but with a totally unique and creative twist. From working on wood slices to photography to outdoor art journals and pinch pots, I've created a class with 10 lessons that will deliver inspiration and creativity all summer long!

more information or register HERE

P.S. We've still got our Mothers Day SALE happening through Monday. All classes are marked down HERE


There are many online workshops out there at different prices with different content. Back in 2009, when I decided to offer an online learning option, I set out to create a structure that is similar to taking a "live" class from me.  My mission is to provide an affordable class with a learning environment where you are watching lots of demos, learning techniques and then creating on your own art.

  • I have three different structures of online classes: 
Large Class: These classes are $50 and typically have 5 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. My large format classes dive deep into a variety of techniques, projects and information. The exception to this class is Camp Wanna-Create which is a $50 class with 10 lessons.
    Mini Class: My mini classes cost $30 and have 3 HUGE lessons that include videos, photos, written information, prompts and more. 
    Micro Class: These classes cost $15 and have 1 HUGE lesson that includes videos, photos, written information, prompts and more.
    • My classes are a combination of video learning (with demos, techniques and me talking) and lots of photo steps outs of inspiration, techniques and process.
    • All classes are all filmed in my studio. Since 2009 I have been tweaking my gear and my process with the hope that video/photo content gets better and better. My #1 goal is to provide inspiring lessons and visuals that are easy to understand.
    • My classes do NOT have a required supply list. Instead I share the supplies that I like to use and then give you a variety of options and inspiration to use supplies that work best for your process and your budget.
    • All of my classes have unlimited access which means that once you register you can create and access at any time and work at your own pace. Whenever I "release" a new class- I release information all at one week at a time. Many people enjoy working along with the release of each lesson but once all information gets posted there is unlimited time to access everything. I have found that some people prefer to work along with the live format when I release a new class, while others will wait months until they have the time, money and the schedule to register for the class. Either way works- just know that once you are in- there is no deadline or pressure to create.

    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    the art of failure

    Failure is one of those things that we often don't want to talk about- it's uncomfortable, discouraging, embarrassing and can have shame attached to it. But in a quest to try and share the good and the bad in this space, I want to tell you that I have failed WAY more times than I have succeeded in my creative/business life.

    A few highlights from my journey- I got a D in color theory class in college. I've applied and been accepted to countless art fairs only to sell nothing. I've had my work hanging in galleries and yep, you guessed it, never sold anything. I've accepted jobs that looked like a dream creative position only to be faced with a terrible boss and an unhappy environment. I've signed book deals and written books that barely sold. I've created classes and products and art that flopped. I've signed licensing contracts with big companies that crashed and burned. I've been rejected, told no, hit dead ends, had my heart broken and my confidence shot more times than I care to count. 

    I've been making art since I was a kid and while I've had so many amazing moments pursuing my love of art and chasing after those dreams- I've learned that for every successful opportunity or moment, there is likely a ton of failures, dead ends and hard lessons learned on the road to that success. But you know what? I wouldn't trade one single failure (well maybe I would change that D in color theory class cause honestly, I was smarter than that!) because all those failures represent WAY more to me than something to be ashamed of. They represent risks, movement, momentum and the courage to keep trying. Failure can absolutely be the best thing to happen in your life- as long as you don’t let it have power over you, it can be turned into fuel to keep trying! And the best part of failure is that success, accomplishing a dream, finding the "right" opportunities and reaching those accomplishments is so much sweeter and profound and special when it comes after the hard stuff. I can honestly say that not one accomplishment in my life goes unappreciated. From the tiny stuff to the big awesome opportunities, I am more grateful BECAUSE of all those failures came before success.

    Struggling with failure? Here are some things that have helped me:
    • Keep in mind thafailure is a part of life. It doesn't mean that you are weak or incapable, it means that you are TOTALLY NORMAL!
    • While it is easy to feel fear, shame and discouragement when you fail, you have to remember that the act of trying (even if you fail) is still creating momentum toward your dreams.
    • When you let failure control you, it will keep you from trying, which means it will stand in the way of your dreams. Instead of letting failure have power over you, use as fuel to keep going.
    • Over time and lots of hindsight, I have come to realize that those moments of failure have been some of the most important learning opportunities. Typically I don't learn much when I succeed and meet goals BUT when things don't work out, I am forced to look at my life and do some soul searching.  

    Wednesday, May 09, 2018

    crispy cabbage and quinoa salad

    Salads are a BIG part of my daily meals and lately I am on a cabbage kick! Did you know that cabbage is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, fiber, potassium and more?!? Since going completely gluten free eight months ago, cabbage has been as a really important part of my meals and I love using it in a variety of salads. 


    Cooked quinoa
    Shredded cabbage
    Shredded carrots
    Shaved red onion

    2 tablespoons avocado oil mayo
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    1/2 lemon- squeezed
    salt and pepper to taste

    Tuesday, May 08, 2018

    rock roundup!

    Summer is right around the corner and if you are anything like me you will be outside hunting and gathering things from nature- my favorite is rocks! And there are so many unique things that you can do with those rocks. Below are some of my favorite projects that I've created over the years.

    Monday, May 07, 2018

    mothers day sale this week!

    Ok friends, it's a tradition around these parts to have a Mother's Day sale! Many of my readers, customers and students are mothers and daughters and one of the best ways I can say thank you is by having a sale. Mothers Day is a week away, so many of you give my classes for gifts so I've got all my online classes marked down for this week for all those Mother's Day shoppers! You can head on over to the shop for my entire list off classes HERE

    I've also got another fresh batch of messy pouches in the shop HERE.  Each pouch is made from my hand painted canvas and one of a kind! They always sell out fast so get em' while you can!

    Wednesday, May 02, 2018

    keeping a nature journal

    There are so many unique ways to seek adventure and experience nature. As much I love hiking, exploring and exercise, I've discovered there is something in me that yearns to be still and present in my surroundings.  As an artist, I know all to well how profound a sketching or journaling process can be when it is incorporated into the outdoors. From taking a walk to looking up at the sky to hiking a trail or going camping, I am constantly reminded of what a beautiful, miraculous and creative world we live in. While I love a good adventure, when I take take time to sit, listen, look around and put pen to paper, something magical happens- I am instantly connected in a deeper way to the world around me. Nature journaling had changed my perspective about color, space, pattern, texture and weather. Taking my creative process outside has inspired me to slow down and open my eyes to things that I would have overlooked.

    Want to start your own nature journaling process?

    Put together a small sketching kit that goes with you on those adventures and outings. A sketchbook, pen and a small set of watercolors is all you need.

    Use outdoor activities for creative opportunities. From landscapes and scenery to leaves, flowers and weather, always be on the look out for things that catch your eye. Take a little break from those activities to to observe and record your surroundings.

    Challenge yourself to go anywhere outside for one hour and sketch in that location. Try completing one or two pages. Have fun finding a new location every couple of weeks.

    Forget about the pressure to create a masterpiece. Instead, record the weather, write down your thoughts and experiences, put colors that you observe onto that page, draw the shapes, pattern or texture that you see. Sometimes it’s  just the process of observation and creativity that inspires that connection to nature

    Tuesday, May 01, 2018

    watercolor floral dress

    I love using mixed media techniques and applying them to clothing and wearables! One of my favorite ways to alter a plain white dress is adding messy and colorful watercolor inspired flowers. It is a fast and easy way to turn your fashion into something totally unique.

    I started with a plain white chiffon dress. This is one that I found at a local boutique but you could use just about any white dress.

    I used my favorite textile paint from Jaquard HERE They are very fluid, they are super versatile and can even watered down to mimic watercolors.

    I started by spraying down the surface of my dress with water. I wanted a really messy and loose effect and wetting down that surface will cause that color to blend and blend.

    I grabbed a variety of brushes and got busy painting!
    I used the same techniques I used when I am paining watercolor flowers on paper and because that surface was damp, that color bleeds and blends looks like watercolors.

    I continued adding flowers in very simple and loose shapes.

    Anywhere I wanted that color to blend and bleed more, I sprayed with a little water.

    I continued to paint those flowers- some simple and then some with more defined and darker brushstrokes.
    I wanted a little bit of a "grungy feel" to my flowers so I splattered and dripped color over the top of those flowers.

    Once everything dried, I heat set the paint according to the directions.

    I kept all that color at the bottom of the dress. The result is a really colorful, messy and totally unique dress!


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