December Journal Update

12 Dec


In this post I shared how I brought our December journal together. Now that we are about half way through the 25 days (how can that be???) I want to share how the pages are coming together and a little more background on how we pull this tradition together every year.

With the base pages completed in November it has been easy to document our daily fun. I decided to print the photos out as 2×3’s and through my photo management software (Aperture) it is as easy as hitting print. To save on photo paper I print two days at a time, 2-2×3 photos printed on 4×6 matte photo paper.


With the photos printed it was time to decide how to add them to the pages. At first I printed them with a white border, but it was too stark when placed on the rustic page so I cut off the white and decided to mount the photos on those leftover craft paper scraps.


After adding the photos I decided to go over them with a bit of the white paint used on the page base to help tie it all together. A simple design, but it will be a book filled with so many fun memories.

I wanted to share a bit about how we pick our 25 activities and incorporate them into our regularly scheduled lives. Over Thanksgiving weekend the three of us sit down (usually over a yummy breakfast) and start throwing out ideas for the list. We each get one veto, a no questions asked chance to say no to an item on the list. While our discussions over what to do and what not to do can get lively we usually make the list fast and without too much pain.

Some activities are the same every year. The 17th is Kelsey (our dog) Day because years ago when our sweet girl was a puppy she ate box #17. We never replaced the box, instead we decided to make that a day to spoil the dog. The 24th is reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas from a beautifully illustrated children’s book that we have had for years. Usually this reading happens with a big group of family down at our neighborhood tree in the city. Occasionally as the kids read, they will get an audience of people walking through the square. The 25th is a time for reflection. Each of us writes a letter to our future selves which we will read the following year on the 25th. These are private letters so I don’t know what the rest of my family writes, but I write to future Jackie about what I hope the year ahead will hold. I really enjoy opening the letter from the year before to see how the hope for the year compares with actual events.

The rest of the boxes are randomly filled with activities from our list except for two or three that I will place specific activities in because they are tied to an actual date such as when we have tickets for a show.

So what happens when life gets in the way of our activity? We move things around or get creative. This is not meant to be stressful tradition and I am all about breaking rules, so we just go with the flow. Already this year we have adjusted due to illness and weather. No biggie, we either amend the activity or swap it with another day. For the most part though, the activities go as planned and just add a little extra fun to our regular day.

I will share one last update on our journal when the book is complete.

Paint Splatter Ornaments

9 Dec


On Playography this season we decided to bring back the 12Plays of Christmas. This time around we decorated ornaments and came up with unique designs for each of them. I wanted to keep my designs simple and fun so the idea of flinging paint sounded perfect. After making the ornament for Playography I loved it so much that I decided to make more for our tree. My daughter joined in and we had a great time flinging paint, we even managed to get some on the ornaments.


The process is very simple. I bought paper mache ornaments and painted them white. Once they were dry we watered down acrylic paint and had a great time throwing it about to splatter each one. We used a dark green, a lime green, and red for our paint colors. Easy, fast and a great way to add pops of color to our tree this season.


Head on over to Playography to watch a video of the first of these artsy ornaments come together.

December Journal

28 Nov

December is almost here and my advent journal is ready to document our 25 days of adventure. This year I videoed the process to share with all of you. Enjoy!

A Year Long Journey

19 Nov

IMG_6535I have been silent here for months as I have been moving through a year long journey. It has been a bit over three years since my memory loss and in that time I have relearned many of my skills, abilities, and relationships. Yet, I have avoided a major area of my new life, the art studio. Sure in the last three years I have dabbled a bit with supplies, but I didn’t go all in. It was the one area of our home that still felt like it belonged to someone else, an area where I was an intruder.


At the end of 2013 I knew that 2014 would be the year to go all in. I decided to take online classes to give the “going all in” plan the best chance of survival. I hoped these online lessons would give a sense of direction to what I was creating and help me focus on learning individual tools and supplies. There are so many classes offered online that it was a bit overwhelming to decide, but in the end I chose three. A six month class taught by many artists, a twelve month class taught by many artists, and a week long class taught by one artist.

These classes opened my eyes to all that was possible in this world of mixed media art. Amazing artists, teachers, and students shared their art journeys and discoveries. I had the opportunity to watch their process and be inspired to take the lessons and make them my own. Countless hours with paint on my hands, in my hair, and quite frequently on my phone as I worked and captured all that was going on in what finally began to feel like my studio. At one point I completely gutted the studio and rearranged the space to make it feel more me.


As this year comes to a close and the last class is about to wrap up I am looking back and feeling so good about going all in. I have relearned and fallen in love with making art. I feel the pull to be in the studio everyday. This rediscovery has changed my life and I have BIG plans for 2015. I will be leaving the classrooms behind and focusing 100% of my time on creating my art. Bodies of work that make me sing with joy as I create. I can’t wait to share!


The images in this post are a few of the pieces I made throughout the year. You can see a more complete collection of my mixed media art by clicking here.

Sweet 6teen

29 May

Today we are celebrating 16 years with our beautiful daughter Rachel. I took a bit of time today to go back through the last 12 years (the first four years were before the digital era and I didn’t want to battle with the scanner). It can be bittersweet for me to look back through the years I don’t remember, but today it was all sweet. We have had some great birthday celebrations over the years and it was so fun to spend today immersed in the world of Rachel!

Here is a quick look back through some of the birthday highlights and a few everyday moments as well…


Happy Birthday Rachel, we love you big bunches!


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