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


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.


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…

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…


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…

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.


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. 

Flashback Friday: Concert with Colin Hay #art #pastel #colinhay


I had so much fun creating this particular entry. Almost as much fun as I had attending the concert this is in tribute to. Colin Hay is a wonderful singer and song writer. If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that my husband and I love to attend concerts together. Colin Hay by far puts out one of the best concerts we attend to date. By this entry, this would be the third time we have see Colin Hay. The event took place at the City Winery in Chicago. The venue featured dine-in style seating pairing you with mystery table guests.

While this could be off-putting for some, my husband and I got along very well with our table mates; enjoying wine, appetizers and lovely conversation. The main event though was our entertainer of the evening, Colin Hay. He delighted us with music, storytelling and even humor. The man is “very” funny and engaging. His new album was the focal point of his set but still incorporated some favorites from his other independent albums and music from his time with “Men at Work”.

This was a wonderful evening that I will never forget and look forward to seeing if he visits Chicago again soon.

Until next post…

Flashback Friday Comeback: Feb 18th #art #mixedmedia #dnartcorner

Long time no see… It’s been awhile since my last post. Alas, I have been plagued with cold-tArtJournal045hen-flu which had me out of the loop for a long while. I am been slowly starting to feel human again. While I have been away the weeks have been zipping on by. Many Fridays have come and gone without a single post. But I am here to say today. No more! I will get back on track and I will resume my Flashback Friday postings.

In this upcoming week I will begin posting all the Flashback Friday posts I have missed. First up I will start this week’s post before I get further behind. Without further ado…

This was a very fun and inspiration entry that came from a webinar workshop I attended from Cloth-Paper-Scissors last year. This particular webinar featured special guest mixed-media artist Dina Wakley best known for her books “Art Journal Courage” series.

I really loved attending this session and gained much inspiration from the included video tutorials. This entry is my version of one of the tutorials that using some of her suggestions and some of my own favorite art tools like Derwent’s Graphik liners and Dylusions ink sprays. I encourage you to check out this article that shows how to re-create your own version of this piece.

Stay tuned as I unveil all of my “Forgotten” Flashbacks over the next week or so. Thanks for sticking with me!

Until next post…



Flashback Friday: Dec 7th 2014 #art #ink #mixed media #dnartcorner

That first brisk chill in the air, to the first puff of frosty breath, to the first flake that hits the ground are all signs that winter is just around the corner. Depending on who you ask, winter has already begun. Meteorological winter starts on December 1st while our traditional almanac states that winter begins during the winter solstice which for this year is December 21st.

No matter what source you follow there is no denying that winter is upon us. It’s not all bad though. There is the upcoming holiday festivities to look forward to and winter fun to be had outdoors. You are never to old to go sledding – what fun!

So here is my journal entry from last year which was my little”hello” to this chilly but fun season.


Materials used: Tombow markers, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Sakura Micron Pen.

The process: This page utilized a very simple design based on the humble name tag style bubble. I started with my usual light pencil sketch to layout the design elements. Next I swirled on the the page light blue distress ink in the background using a makeup sponge applicator. Moving on, I used my dark blue Tombow marker to outline the words and snowflakes. As a final touch I dated this entry with my micron pen. All in all, this was a fun and easy journal entry that was a nice break from my more complicated layouts.

Flashback Friday: August 17, 2014

Greetings readers!

I almost totally forgot to post my journal entries today! Well, the day is not over and we have plenty of sunshine left to the evening. For this post, I have two journal entries to share that happened around this time last year in August. First up is my little drawing of our favorite vacation spot in Michigan.

ArtJournal 12My father-in-law has a lovely cottage nestled in the heart of Bass Lake near Greenville, Michigan that we loving call “The Coasts of Gowen”. I remember that while the day was warm you could sense the oncoming of the fall season. This particular scene was drawn after a late afternoon of relaxing by the beach near the brand new fire pit that my father-in-law just put in. My father-in-law is a DIY whiz in case you were wondering…

I love that I have a nice way to remember our time spent at the cottage in Michigan. Our memories of our vacations here are always wonderful because of the quality time spent with our family. I look forward to going back real soon.

On a completely different note, the next entry shows off the more humorous side of my art. This particular drawing was done to prove to my husband that we watched the movie ‘Twister” on August 17, 2014. You see, my husband didn’t believe me when I said that it has been a while that we watched the film. At the time, I really wanted to watch it again but he was on the fence because we watched it ‘recently’. While I admit that we have watched the movie together several times, it had been a couple of years since we watched it last, but I had no way to prove it. So this time I decided I would record the event for ‘posterity’ a.k.a. prove my husband wrong the next time I want to watch the film.

So here is my little humorous drawing that pays homage to on of my favorite films.

ArtJournal 13

FlashBack Friday Kick-off Week! August 11, 2014

ArtJournal 11So this week comes to a close not with a bang, but on a sad note. During this time last year we were all sadden by the news of the death of Robin Williams. I try not to focus on what brought him to his end, but rather all the wonderful things he left us. For many years while sick at home from school he brought me away from my woes with his hilarious portrayal as Mork from the “Mork and Mindy” show.

While I laughed away my teen and adult years with his films and appearances, it has always been his more poignant roles that struck me the most. I was particularly fond of the film “Dead Poets Society” where he played inspiring English teacher, Mr. John Keating, where he taught us all to “Seize the Day”.

It is this film and his role in it that I choose to pay tribute in my journal to a man that brought us some much laughter and inspiration.

To that I thank you Mr. Williams.

Flashback Friday Kickoff Week!: August 2-3, 2014

Welcome to the third day of my Flashback Friday Kickoff Week!

ArtJournal 5Ahh…this was a wonderful memory! Running for chocolate! My niece and I participated in a 5K Chocolate run that was held in Chicago. I remember the day was warm but had a beautiful cool breeze that swept off the lakefront. The route was nicely laid out with lots of chocolate stops along the way. Yum! This was the first time that both her and I ran together in a 5K. She did a wonderful job keeping up with everyone who ran the course. I was so proud of her and was glad to have made the journey together. It was so much fun!

This time around last year my husband was on aArtJournal 6n activity kick with running, swimming and biking. You name it! A sprint triathlon! While I did not participate in the triathlon myself, I have very fond memories of training with my husband so he can compete in this event which was ironically held the day after my Chocolate 5K in Chicago. The name of his event was “I Tried a Tri” in Oswego, IL. Similar to my event, it was a gorgeous weather day and plenty of cool breezes and sunshine. Even though my husband was not a top finisher, he was a top finisher in my heart! Here was my tribute to my guy and how very proud I was of his accomplishment.

That’s all I have for today. Thanks again for visiting my memories with me today. Until next post…