Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Fall Color Tour 2015 #art #ink #fall #calligraphy #robertfrost

Every year we visit Michigan to experience Autumn in all of its glory. Last year was no exception to the abundance of fall colors all around. Similar to years past we took our time driving through the Michigan area stopping frequently to take photos. There is nothing like lovely long drives amidst the beautiful fall color with apple cider donuts, tea, coffee and family for company.artjournal_4_10

I am reminded of a poem by Robert Frost that speaks perfectly of this time of year:

******
October
BY ROBERT FROST
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

******

Let us be still and take this poem in.

Until next post…

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Frightful fun #art #ink #FrightFest #SixFlagsGreatAmerica

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Even though it’s October, it’s never too late to share and reminiscence over good times – right?

This journal entry honors one of the last visits we made to Six Flags Great America Fright Fest last September. I always have a blast visiting the park at Halloween time and this day was no exception. This particular day we enjoyed opening weekend with all the throngs of Halloween enthusiasts that visited that park with us that night.

Despite the crazy amount of people we really enjoyed the summer-like weather for late September and shared some great frights together.

This page was created using Dylusions Inks, Distress Inks and drawn over with my Micron pen. This was a simple and fun journal entry to make. I hope this entry inspires you to get into the fun of the season and embrace any frights that happen to you along the way.

Until next week…

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: A Beautiful Life #art #ink #quote

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For once, my art journal entry says it all for me. Beautiful is Life.

Until next post…

PS. Page was created using Dylusions Ink, Dylusions stencil, Sakura Micron Pens and Derwent Graphik Paint Liner in black.

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Forgotten Flashbacks, Journal

Flashback Friday: Art, Music and fun #art #music# ink #collage #NapervilleIL

September is that wonderful time of year that merges the warmth of summer with the promise of fall. It is the time of year where the last of the warm weather festivals take place. Around this time last year we attended Naperville’s annual art walk. It is one of my favorite festivals to attend. There is so much to se see and do. Live orchestrated music floats through the air as passerby’s comment on their favorite artwork. The weather was beautiful that day similar to to years past. I enjoyed walking the stretches along the Riverwalk seeing all the wonderful art.

To capture this event, I did something a little different for my art journal. Instead of drawing out a scene like I normally do, this time I decided I would take small photocopies of some of the favorite pieces I saw in the art guide and make a collage out of them. For the back ground I used Dylusions ink spray and my micron pen I used for the title.  Overall this was a wonderful way to capture the day and I will forever have fond memories associated with the event.

Till next post…

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Festival of the Vine #art #ink #wine #GenevaIL

artjournal_4_6Nothing could be more beautiful than a sunny day, wine and good company. That’s exactly what happened last year on September 12th. I remember the day had a slight chill to the air with the promise of fall just around the corner. I finally decided I would use my spa gift certificate I received for my birthday. With a new color on my nails and wonderful new haircut I was well on my way to awesome day. This was also the first day I wore my hand-knitted t-shirt sweater I worked on all-summer-long. It was a gorgeous orange cantaloupe color. I even had a matching silk scarf with a hint of teal that I picked up in Galena, IL the previous week. Everything was coming together; it was just one of those perfect days.

With my new look in place, my husband and I made our way to Geneva, IL to experience the “Festival of the Vine” that they hold every year. All the shops in Geneva partake in this event by offering either food or their own wine tastings. We headed to our favorite destination “The Little Traveller” located off of 3rd St in the downtown district. While there were plenty of people, the atmosphere was pleasant since most everyone was relaxed from all the wine tastings.

I remember experiencing many different wines and had most fun picking out the “one” that we would take home to enjoy. Walking hand-in-hand we strolled down the streets and took in all the sights and sounds of the festival. Later, we had a lovely dinner at home that evening which rounded out the perfect day we had together.

To celebrate this event, I wanted to make sure I captured the day in my journal to chronicle our time together. It is amazing what a simple visual journal entry can offer to me over a year later. I simply just look at an entry a recall all the wonderful moments that inspired the creation of the page. I even remember taking the time to pick out certain distress inks that would give the background of the page an aged fresco look that spoke of wine and song. To round out the journal I drew in a wine bottle and grapes that I colored in using Derwent Inktense pencils. I also choose to use my newfound faux calligraphy skills that I was practicing on around that time to place as a focal point on the page.

I can’t think of a better way to memorialize a moment in time that stays as a perfect day in my memory. I hope this post inspires you to start journaling your life and memories too.

Until next post…

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Gelato yum! #art #ink #mixedmedia #GalenaIL #laborday

I took the week off last week but I am back with another Flashback Friday post. ArtJournal_4_5This journal entry brings back some fun memories I had towards the end of last summer. Trying our best to squeeze every last bit of warm weather activities before the cool autumn air sets in. Among one of our favorite activities is tasting all that delicious cold ice cream!

Last year around Labor Day we took a trip to Galena IL which has many quaint shops and food places to explore. It was unexpectedly hot that day and we found ourselves frequently diving into the air condition shops that lined the streets to cool off. One of the stops included a lovely gelato shop “Chocolaterie Stam” right in the heart of downtown Galena. Gelato is surprisingly lower in calories than it’s ice cream cousin but tastes simply sinful. I remember I ordered a small Stracciatella flavored gelato which is a creme vanilla gelato with lovely layers of thin chocolate pieces folded into this dreamy cool treat.

I was so in love with my gelato I decided I would journal about and talk about our day in Galena.

This particular entry uses Ranger’s Mini Distress Inks and Stabilo’s all pencils. Some of the ink from previous entries invaded this page, but I went with the random pattern and loved effect it created on my page.

All in all, this was a wonderful day that made it’s way into my journal plus I had a lot of fun drawing my delicious dessert I thoroughly enjoyed that weekend. So I leave now with parting wishes for you to have a safe and memorable Labor Day weekend.

Til next post…

 

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: A Canary Song brings Joy #art # ink #canary #pets

ArtJournal_4_4It’s the simplest things in life that are worth celebrating the most. This Flashback Friday post is proof that the smallest things can bring us the most joy. It’s hard to believe that our little pet canary, who we lovingly named Kernel Sanders, has been with us for a year. Who knew such a small creature could bring so much joy and life to our home? For the past year we have listened to our little guy fill our home with his cheery little songs, watched his funny antics as he splashed in his bath, and hop around his cage like a mad birdie while music played in the background which I think this is his way of dancing.

Kernel has watched us from his cage during the happiest of times and some of our saddest moments this year. Regardless of the moments we had, he happily chirped away in his cage often bringing comfort and companionship during those heart-wrenching moments.

I am so appreciative of our per canary and the smiles he continues to invoke in us. Sure he can be messy and get water all over the place when he is taking a bath, but these are such minor annoyances compared what he has given us. So I dedicate this entry to our smallest companion best little pal – Kernel Sanders.

A LITTLE ABOUT THIS ART JOURNAL PAGE

This journal page came together very quickly for me. I started out using Dylusions ink sprays for the background and used both white and black Stabilo’s All Pencil to sketch our new addition on the page. I loved the distressed look of the ink and pencil so much, I decided that once I added the wording that I was done. It just felt right.This journal page came together very quickly for me. I started out using Dylusions ink sprays for the background and used both white and black Stabilo’s All Pencil to sketch our new addition on the page. I loved the distressed look of the ink and pencil so much, I decided that once I added the wording that I was done. It just felt right.

So this concludes another FlashBack Friday. Until nex post…

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Day at the beach #art #pastel #beach

ArtJournal_4_3I think I love reminiscing. One of the best things about my weekly journal is the fact that I have a permanent record of the activities and memories I have made throughout my life. I have something tangible that I can hold and look through. Not only am I remember the times that I am depicting, but I am also remembering the time I spent creating each entry – it’s magical.

Today’s entry takes me back to a time in my life that I didn’t have many worries. Around this time last year we decide to take a mini vacation to Zion IL to the lovely beach area that awaited there. Zion’s Illinois Beach Resort sits right along the beach that allows it’s visitor’s glorious views of Lake Michigan.

I remember that we had a wonderful dinner at the lakeside restaurant followed by a night walk along the beach. The following morning we took a long hike through the beach along the boardwalk seeing such sites as old abandoned stone beach houses, birds in flight and a glowing sunrise. On our way back we had a near-scare when we came across a very poisonous looking snake that clearly did not want us around. I practically ran back to the hotel and away from the slithering danger that was hissing at us.

Once we checked out of the hotel we headed over to Great America for another fun-filled day of coasters, food and other delights. By the evening we were exhausted but fully satisfied from our wonderful little getaway. While our trip to Zion was only one small part in our mini vacation it was the one event that stuck out most in my memory.

At home when it was time to journal about our adventures I decided to crack open my rarely used pastel set. The soft hues and colors lent itself well to the beach environment that I wanted to grace the page. Before applying the pastel, I had some Dylusions Ink Spray on the page that was leftover as an accident form my previous entry.  I wasn’t sure of what the pastel would look like over the ink, but I decided to go with it anyway.  More often then not, I am not always happy with the results of the art that I am working on and complete but in this circumstance I loved the resulting effect when I combined the ink spray with pastel.

All in all, this was a fun entry for me and a nice walk down memory lane.

Until next time…

 

Posted in Art Blog, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: New Year, New Day #art #ink #birthday

ArtJournal_4-2Did you ever have that moment of when you finally have to time to sit down and write when this happens…. Nothing.

It can be frustrating to look forward to something all day and not think of a single thing to say when the moment arrives. Obviously even as I am writing this I am certainly saying something but not what I originally intended.

Now where was I? Oh, right- I am supposed to be writing up this blog post 🙂

This is my first Flashback Friday post since April. As I indicated in my previous entry it has been a very rough couple of months. But today I am focusing on the “new”. Just last week I celebrated my birthday and wouldn’t you know it another year has come and gone in a blink of an eye. I traditionally close out the year with finishing the last entry in my art journal before cracking open a new one.  Today I am unveiling the first entry in a year long journey of self art discovery, precious moments, celebrations, losses and even grief. 

For me my year always starts on my birthday. After all, our birthday is just a way to mark the year that has already gone by. Each year I start my journal with optimistic hope for the year ahead not knowing what lays before me. My first entry is just that – a page full of hope for the coming year and the excitement it can bring. The title of this entry still rings true to me today as it did a year ago.. Today indeed is a New Day and New Year. I look forward to showing you my past year on each Friday

Until next post…

Materials used: Dylusions Ink sprays and Derwent Graphik Paint Liners

 

Posted in Journal

Fresh Beginnings #art #pen #ink #loss

ArtJournal_4-1Sorry  I have been away for a while. Regrettably I have been on an emotional roller coaster ride since April. From multiple family deaths, to celebrating birthdays, to celebrating our pregnancy, to mourning the loss of our baby is some of the major reasons I have been away for so long.

But I do not want you to feel sorry for me. This is life. Life can be wonderful and sometimes painful all at the same time. It took me awhile to realize this. To come back from the emotional abyss and to get back what I lost – me. After all, I am still me even with everything I have been through these past couple of months.

As a part of the healing process, I began to run again, taking walks in the gardens where I work, and even more walks in the park near our home. These little journeys have brought me solace that nothing else has. Sure our family has been huge support, my husband hugs me when I need him to, but no one could ease the emotional and physical pain I was in. I needed on my own to come to terms of losing our baby. It has been one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But life has a funny way of moving forward whether you want it to or not. I simply had to make a choice to move with it our get left behind.

In the spirit of moving forward, I decided to resume this blog among other things. This day marks the one week anniversary of celebrating my birthday. Traditionally every year I put a close to one art journal and begin another. To mark this time, I usually unveil the journal I have been working on over the past year each Friday. I thought I would give a sneak peek today at the cover of this past years journal cover before I resume my Flashback Fridays.

So here is to fresh beginnings and the resurrection of my regular Flashback Friday posts.

Until tomorrow…

Posted in Draw, Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Sing Your Song #art #ink #markers

Everyday brings its own set of challenges that defines us. Some of these challenges can make us strong, make us wiser, and teach us to be okay with ourselves. Some days we are awesome at conquering these challenges, while other challenges can tear us down. Yet even though we can be brought down, we can rise again stronger than ever because we have learned that by falling, we can still survive.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am having one of those challenging weeks. Yet I am still here. I am surviving.  I have learned this week that even though someone can pass from your life onto the next, that the loved ones that are left behind can come together to remember them, to share in grief, sorrow and memories. What comes from these times is knowledge that we affect the people in our lives in such a way that we can never truly understand until their gone or about to leave.

This week brought me the news that my great aunt Mae passed away in the night. She was a bright spot in this world and I was so saddened to hear her light is no longer shining in this life. I will miss her dearly and wish I had a chance to tell her so. But this sad news was accompanied by even sadder news that our beloved Grandma Noe’s health is failing and that it may be a matter of days before she leaves us too.

My mind and heart have been slow to come to grips with these heartbreaking events. I wasn’t even sure if I would post this entry today. The cheery little bird I drew last year seemed to be mocking me. Yet here I am writing this post, still breathing, still surviving in the only way I know how – being myself. So today’s life lesson is this: “Be true to yourself, sing your own song and live life to it’s fullest.” If you do, the legacy you leave behind will be the thing that binds your loved ones together in the face of sadness.

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I dedicate this in loving tribute to my great aunt Mae who left a wonderful legacy in this life by the family and friends her life touched. And to grandma Jean Noe, though while her song has yet to end I hope and pray she finds peace in her final hours. 

Posted in Flashback Friday, Journal

Flashback Friday: Simple Flowers #art #ink #spring

Greetings,

It’s late at night and I just remembered I haven’t posted this week’s flashback post yet. Ugh. I’m tired. It’s been one of those weeks…

On the bright side, looking back in my art journal my drawing of simple little flowers brought a smile to my face and brightened my mood. While I remember not spending  a lot of time on this drawing, I recall that it was simple and relaxing to create. It serves as a reminder that not everything I do in life has to be grand or complicated. Take pleasure in the simple things and even simple drawings; I feel better knowing I have done something rather than nothing at all.

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This entry was inspired by an art lesson from one of my favorite pen and ink artists, Helen Williams. She offers a wonderful ebooks that describes her process. These little flowers were a part of the first few lessons in her book “Flips, Folds, Ribbon, and String“. If you find this entry inspiring be sure to check out her blog A Little Lime for more information.

That’s all I have for now. Goodnight readers, goodnight…