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…


Flashback Friday: September 13th 2014

Ah…. September 13th. What a lovely day this was last year. The weather was that beautiful kind of warm that you just wanted to bask in. It was also the perfect kind of day to experience a wedding.
This entry pays homage to one of the most sacred events that a man and women can take together. The day they say “I do”. This was the much anticipated wedding day of our cousin Beth and now husband Mark.

The location of their wedding was the secluded beach front area in Zion, Illinois with a glorious view of Lake Michigan. Surrounded by family and friends we watched as they exchanged vows and professed their love to the world.

This was one day that contained very special moments and was filled with heart warming memories. I for one was very glad to be witnessed to the beginning of their journey together. Even now as I write this, our dear cousins are now expecting their first baby boy. I am so happy for them both and wish them the best of luck as the move forward onto the next stage in the path of life…


Flashback Friday Kick-off Week!: July 28-30th

Welcome back to my Flashback Friday Kick-off Week!

Now we are starting to get into the heart of my journal with the very start of my year – my birthday!ArtJournal 3 The first entry highlights in an abstract way the elated feelings I have around my birthday. The drawing technique is a Zentangle inspired pattern “Tumbleweed” brought to you by my favorite artist Helen Williams from ‘a little lime‘ blog site. The drawing was colored using my favorite medium from Derwent – Inktense blocks and pencils!

ArtJournal 4My second journal entry for July 30th is also inspired by Helen’s amazing artwork is my version of her patterned flower found in her ebook “Flips, Folds, Ribbon and String“. Her book is amazing with very clear instructions on how to re-create the drawings within her book which also includes links to step-by-step videos.

While both entries are from inspirations rather than original artwork. They both allowed be to break the “blank page syndrome” that plagues the start of my journals. In general the journal is more about exploration of different techniques and found inspiration then trying to capture something original on my pages. This way I stop procrastinating and just practice having fun creating art. That is what art is all about – having fun!

Thanks for stopping by! Until tomorrow…


Flashback Friday Kick-off Week!

Hello followers and any new readers,

Welcome to ‘Flashback Friday Kickoff Week”! This is the first entry from my year-long art journal I have been working on that chronicles my life over the past year.

I am finally back after a long hiatus from the blogging world. While I have not been blogging, I have been keeping busy with my art journal and continuing my fiber art passion of spinning and knitting yarn. In between, I have also moved from our busy town of Naperville to the quiet countryside town of Sycamore. Unfortunately, between the packing, moving, knitting, spinning and journaling had left me no time for blogging. However, while my blog lay stagnant, I still managed to complete my 2014-2015 journal. Yeah me!

So now I am finally ready to start unveiling all my journal entries. Rather than post everything all at once, I decided I would resume my Flashback Fridays in a ‘big’ way by showcasing my first ten journal entries over the next five days. Thereafter I will resume my weekly postings on Fridays only.

As a little back-story, the idea behind the journal was to chronicle one year of my life starting with my birthday in 2014 and ending just before my birthday at the end of this July. I have approximately 1 – 3 journal entries for every week for a full 52+ week journal!

Without further ado, here is the opening pages of my journal. Every journal needs a beginning – here is mine… Enjoy!

Quick Update and a promise…

Okay readers. Enough is enough. I need to stop knitting and start creating more art!

I know I am tough on myself, and I logically know I have been truly up to my ears in knitting projects since April. I just haven’t made my other passion important enough. If you are curious about what I have been doing since April, feel free to visit  my other blog dnknits.wordpress.com.

A couple of posts ago, I alluded to needing more balance between my two passions so the moment has finally arrived… my vacation starts tomorrow!


This may be a lofty goal during my vacation, but I really want to get back to finishing the last day of my One Zentangle a Day challenge that I keep  putting off, creating more Zentangle tiles…daily, and draw more in my visual journal. Lofty again, I know…

So it is my hope that this vacation brings relaxation and art focus back into my life. It is a great time to re-charge my batteries and reflect what is truly important in life.

So before I go, I wanted to leave you with the one and only journal entry I have made since April…


Until next post…


Flashback Friday: June 2011

In recognition of Valentine’s Day I decided that I would post a journal entry on a subject near and dear to my heart- my husband and my life-partner Chris.
This journal entry is a drawing that I did of my husband after recently moving into our awesome apartment. After many weeks of unpacking boxes we were cashed out in our bedroom just relaxing. In that moment as I gazed upon my husband, I was captivated by his position as he was contemplating what to do for the rest of day. I took a quick photo with my camera phone. My husband looked at me quizzically and asked me what I am doing. I told him I want to draw you and rushed away with artful gleam in my eyes.

With my little camera phone photo as a reference I did a quick sketch and the rest as they say is history. So in honor of Valentine’s Day I leave you with this drawing and poem in dedication to my beloved husband Chris. I love you my life-partner always….


i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 

– e.e. cummings

Flashback Friday: April, 16 2007


I decided today to go way back to April 2007 when I when I frequently watched an anime program called “Eureka 7” that was featured on Cartoon Network at that time. I often find that when an anime program is so beautifully illustrated, I am at times inspired to sketch a character from a series. For the record, I don’t remember what the episode was about nor do I even remember the plot of the entire series. However, I do know that this scene was so alluring that I literally paused my TV to sketch this moment in my sketchbook. The decision to post this sketch today is quite simple. This picture depicts perfectly the mood I am currently in- I am so weary of winter…

Eureka Seven

Flashback Friday: My childhood kitchen table circa 1992


I decide to go into the very distant past and go way, way back to 1992 where I sat as a child and decide to draw what was before me. Sitting at the table ready to draw, from my young perspective was the entire kitchen ready to be lovingly recreated on my little piece of paper .

I remember there wasn’t a particular reason why I decided to draw the entire kitchen that day. I just wanted to draw- period.

Remember when things were that simple? You just did what you wanted (with the approval from a parental unit, of coarse) and there were no getting side-tracked or caught up in worries. You just drew what ever you wanted without stress of adult responsibilities weighing you down.

Looking back at this drawing, I remember taking my time to draw every detail, I wasn’t concerned about get the perspective just right, nor did I care that my lines weren’t all that straight. I recall proudly showing my mother what I drew and her giving me a encouraging smile and hug and telling me how wonderful it was.

That’s really the heart of this memory. Not the drawing, or the time-frame in which it took. It was my mother always being there encouraging me to be what I wanted to be. In my heart of hearts I am an artist and always will be.

Thanks mom.

Day Twenty Eight, Creation Twenty Eight



Sorry for the little gap in time folks. After a wonderful time-off relaxing at home, it was time to get back to work-literally. It’s been super busy these past three days, so I am a little behind in posting this day.

Day Twenty Eight marks the fifteenth day remaining until I complete my One Zentangle a Day Challenge. On a quick side note, I know I haven’t always been consistent in posting these back to back days, but that doesn’t mean I stopped drawing in between days even with my own personal struggles.

If you decide to pick up the book “One Zentangle a Day” the book is full of prompts to not only create a daily tile, but also encourages you to practice in a journal as you learn each new tangle, technique, and or new medium (i.e. colored pencils, watercolor, gouache etc.). Eventually I will get around to posting some of my journal entries, but will probably reserve them for my Flashback Friday posts.

Now that I got thoroughly got side-tracked, let me tell you a little about today’s tile.

This was a fun and quick tile to learn and do. Believe it or not it only incorporates just two newly learned tangles. The tangle called “Sez” is formed by drawing uniform lines around a single dot to create a circular pattern. In shading Sez, I decided to shade one half of the circles to give a much defined look and feeling of depth.

The second tangle used is called “Eke” which loops around across the tile in a non-uniform pattern. Eke is a very versatile tangle where several tangleations can be created from this single pattern. One of the tangleations of Eke I used is the one that appears to be small leaf-like petals that surround the tile. I loved the overall effect of using both Eke and Sez within the same tile and really enjoyed learning these two patterns.

For a quick sneak peek into day twenty nine, this day is asking me to create my very own pattern for the first time- yikes! Well, you’ll have to wait until the next post to see what I come up with.

Until next post…

Flashback Friday: July 15th 2013


Flashback Fridays are making a comeback. Now that I am finally getting back into blogging regularly, I am also resuming posting some of my past visual art journal entries on Fridays.

I decided for this entry to go back into the recent past and post an entry that is very dear to me. As some of you might have read from my early blog posts this year, this past June, I lost someone I loved very much, my stepfather Mark.

This journal page reflects the raw emotion I felt during that time and at the same time offered a way to heal the pain of loss.

It has still been a struggle to reconcile my heart over the loss, so today I dedicate this post to the his memory.