Flashback Friday: Doodle Flowers #art #ink #mixedmedia

So you might have noticed I have been a little obsessed with spring around this time of year. What’s not to love? Warmer winds, greener grasses and all those lovely flowers just starting to bloom! Today’s post shares a little doodle I did a year ago expressing my passion for spring.

Similar to last week’s post, this entry was also inspired by artist Lisa Congdon from her drawing class hosted by CreativebugSketchbook Exploration”. In the last section of her class she explores collage making and adding hand-drawn elements over the top of collage.

My own version incorporates vintage transparent paper which was combined together using acrylic gel matte medium over a light green inked background using Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Once the background was completely dry, I added hand-drawn flowers inspired by Lisa’s book “100 Ways to Draw a Tulip”. For a final touch, I used Derwent Inktense blocks over the top of the pages that exposed all the wonderful texture lying underneath.

It’s nice to break from complicated drawings and let loose by adding simple drawn elements to a page. After all, my journal is for me and is supposed to be fun, not serious artwork intended for museums. I encourage you to check out some of Lisa’s books and classes. It’s always good to find new sources of inspiration. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this entry.

Until next post – Denielle


Forgotten Flashback: Goodby Little Sweetie Bird #art #mixedmedia #losingapet

What a sad day this was indeed. I can never fully express that sadness one feels when losing a pet. For some reason, losing our little canary was one of the hardest losses to bare.

Last winter was already bleak when we discovered that morning our little bird had passed away. For only a short day our little guy had stopped singing suddenly and began to look very sick. That same evening we discussed taking him in to be seen in the morning, but alas that was not meant to be.

In the dark hours of morning our little guy laid his head down with no more songs to sing. We spent most of the day saying good-by to our little Sweetie bird in the only way we knew how – by sharing photos and memories of our beloved pet. Here is my tribute to a pet who brought us so much music and joy:


RIP 01/28/2015


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: Escape from the cold #art #ink #mixedmedia

This little entry depicts a nice little time my husband I shared while escaping from the cold and falling snow last year. Winter can seem very bleak come mid-January and it is a welcome sight to see a smiling face hand you a hot beverage to chase those chilly days away. 

While we certainly could have stayed holed up in our apartment, I find something wonderful can happen if you get out even for a little while. In this circumstance I journaled my time away surrounded by the sounds of fellow customers doing various activities. I was content and happy to be in that moment.

Make sure to take some time this January to get away – even for a moment. You might just walk away with a hot beverage in hand and a smile on your face.

Till next post…

Flashback Tribute: David Bowie #davidbowie #blackstar #art #mixedmedia #dnartcorner

In the world of music, yesterday we lost one of the most iconic musicians that ever lived. For most of my life I was aware of David Bowie. Like many of my generation, my parents would listen to his albums for hours which slowly worked its way into my mind. However, it was more than my mind that was affected, his music wove its way into my life without me ever knowing how much impact it had in my life.

Like many people do, I would turn to music to sooth my woes or take me away to another world – sometimes away from my pain. For me, Bowie’s music often escorted me on a journey across the stars and back down to earth while other times the music told me it was okay to be different; to be “strange”.

Ironically, it wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized how much David Bowie’s music had on my life. On December 27th of last year, I had the honor and privilege to see the David Bowie exhibit in Chicago. What an experience! The exhibit was completely interactive. As we toured through the exhibit, each area would come alive to regale us with personal stories and occurrences throughout David’s life.

It was the most thoughtful and complete collection of music memorabilia dedicated to one musician. Most of the exhibits were given on loan from David Bowie himself. There was everything from original hand-written lyrics, original costumes, music videos, original art, and more. All in honor of one man.

At the time I was so enamored by everything I saw and experienced that day, I went from ‘just a fan’ to ‘super fan’ overnight. It wasn’t like I never heard his music before, on the contrary, the exhibit exposed the fact about how much his music was already in my life.

From that day forward, my husband and I climbed through record shops to find that elusive but fairly priced rare David Bowie vinyl record. Even before his passing, his vinyl records were hot and in demand; it took many months of looking before we finally found one in good condition and at a price that wouldn’t drain our bank account. Even after our vinyl search was done, we went on further by compiling a complete David Bowie digital library and listened to entire albums together in our living room and explored vintage footage of Ziggy Stardust.

I chronicled our David Bowie exhibit experience in my art journal with the intention of unveiling the entry on January 1st of this year, but got sidetracked that day and simply forgot to post my journal entry. I was about to post the entry this week but was completely taken aback yesterday when I heard the news in the wee hours of morning of David’s passing. I cried tears as my husband told me the details of his passing. After 18 months of battling cancer, just shortly after celebrating his birthday, David Bowie has left this world.

However he will never completely leave us. He left us a legacy of music that will continue to span generations. He also left us with one final album; a swan song to a great man that continued to explore new areas in music until his last. I insisted yesterday that we get his final album “Blackstar” and listen to it in the evening. I love his new album for many reasons.

One of the first reasons is that each track he laid down contains a unique collaboration of sounds and soothing vocals with sweet undertone of jazz infusions. Another reason I love it, is that although some of the songs contain explicit language, which normally I don’t care for, it is done in such a way that it quietly shocks you into paying attention to what is being said. It’s classically David Bowie without replicating anything he has ever done before. It is exploration into new sounds and combinations that is stunning to the ear. And for the simplest reasons of all, it made our canary sing.

To explain, our little canary rarely sings. Even after months of trying to train him, our little guy doesn’t sing all that much. Imagine our surprise and delight when quietly out of the corner of our living room a beautiful and sweet sound came out of our canary as the first sounds of his album played. Our canary’s song entwined its way into the melodies of the album. A few tears fell from my eyes as I realized that this was a most fitting tribute to a most wonderful musician from one of earth’s smallest creatures.

I took most of yesterday to say goodbye to the man, but I will never say goodbye to his music. Here is the post that I intended to remember a time when he was alive, but now I post this in tribute to his memory.


Goodbye Ziggy….

Random Flashback: Goodbye 2015 #art #ink #mixedmedia #dnartcorner

I decided to post this one a day early since we are all embarking on a new year together. It felt kinda of funny if I posted this tomorrow. No worries though, I actually have two flashbacks to share this week, so I will post the second one around my usual time tomorrow. So for now it’s time to say goodbye to our dear friend “2015”. Before we say goodbye, here is my journal entry last year that said welcome:


I haven’t always greeted the new year with open arms. In my far distant past, I got down-right depressed around New Years Eve. This was attributed to many things. It’s the deflation you feel after all the holiday celebrations; family, friends – than nothing. It’s the horror you experience after you jump on the scale after all that over-indulging on that merry wonderful food. It’s the feeling of your own mortality as another year get’s ticked off the calendar of your life. Before marriage, it was also the feeling of extreme loneliness. It was all those things and more that was rolled together to make one depressing night.

But have no worries. I no longer feel that way. Soon after meeting my then-boyfriend-now-husband, we decided together to have no more depressing New Year’s Eve nights . We wanted change! We decided on the first year together that we would go dancing. Not just any dancing, but ballroom dancing! We danced the evening away during our first New Year’s Eve together and have never had a depressing New Year’s Eve night since then.

While we don’t go dancing every year, we do make each New Year’s Eve night special. This year, we opted to not to leave the house, but instead celebrate in a unique way. Yesterday I worked on making little origami fortune cookies stuffed with mini-events.

Starting at 6pm tonight, we will open one fortune cookie every half-an-hour. Each cookie contains something fun to do for that half hour. Things like: play a video game, watch something funny, read heart-warming stories to each other, dancing and more.

There are twelve mini-events that all lead up to midnight. We both feel excited to have something special like this to look forward to. During our events, there will be healthy snacks and pizza to munch as we open up all of cookie events leading up to the new year. Here is a photo of what origami cookies look like:

I encourage you to share how you will be celebrating this evening. I would love to hear from you!

In the meantime, my wish to you is to have a wonderful and safe New Years Eve and hearty welcome to 2016!

All my best,



Flashback Friday: Dec 25th 2014 #art #mixedmedia #dnartcorner

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!… Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


Merry Christmas to everyone who has every supported me in my life. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know. May you and yours find something a little bit more this Christmas than just packages and bows. All my best- Denielle

Materials used: Derwent Colorsoft Pencils, Derwent Graphik Line Painter

The process: As I typically do, I start with a very light pencil sketch to layout the design. For this one, I used a photo reference of a real poinsettia. I began filling in the background with a bright but soft yellow. Next I worked on the poinsettia blooms, starting with the lightest red shade and working in layers I applied pressure to create the richer red shaded areas. I used the same technique for the green leaves and the vines. Along the vines I journaled my feelings of the season with a recorded date. As a final touch, I used my red line painter to say “Merry Christmas” which made the wording pop from the page. I don’t often work with colored pencils, but working on this entry made me appreciate this flexible and fun art medium.

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!