Art Journaling: Jan/Feb/Mar 2020

Hello and Happy New Year to all!

My 2020 is off to a wonderful start! The teaching-themed altered book I’ve shared here from time to time the last few years on this blog is the subject of an article appearing in the current issue of Art Journaling magazine, which is now available on newsstands or at Stampington & Company.


The book, which is entitled, “Those Who Can,” celebrates the inner lives of members of the teaching profession throughout history.


As someone who’s been a K-12 educator for the last 17 years, I felt uniquely qualified to tackle this topic in an altered book, and it definitely tells the story of the joys and challenges I’ve encountered in my career.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out this marvelous issue!

See you soon!

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Stencil Girl Wish Flag Collaboration

Hi there! A few months ago, I participated in an awesome collaborative art journaling challenge led by Tina Walker, a designer at Stencil Girl Products, and had such a blast that when she suggested another collaboration, I said “YES!” immediately!

For this project, our assignment was to create a series of wish flags using Stencil Girl stencils and any other media or products of our choice.

Well, here are my flags! Since I work as a language & literature teacher at an International Baccalaureate middle school, I thought it’d be cool to create an IB-related piece of art that could be displayed in my classroom this fall. The flags are painted burlap with an underlayer of collage composed of travel-themed tissue papers and Washi tape; each of the 10 IB learner profile traits are featured on a painted wooden tag decorated with ribbon. I used designs from 3 Stencil Girl stencils on my flags, as well as stamped words and phrases.

Petricek IB Flag 1

Flag #1, featuring Gridded & Hexagon Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 2

Flag #2, featuring Hexagon Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 3

Flag #3, featuring 1×4 Rails Set 1

Petricek IB Flag 4

Flag #4, featuring 1×4 Rails Set 1


It was a lot of fun to make these flags, and I can’t wait to see them hanging in Rm. 203 in September!

Please stop by the Stencil Girl Talk blog right away to see a variety of beautiful and meaningful wish flags created by Tina Walker and several other artists!

Have a great day!

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I’m a Cover Girl!

Hello all!! Just wanted to share some happy news!

My “Family Foundations” art journal is featured in the July/Aug/Sept issue of Art Journaling magazine–and one of its pages appears on the cover!


This is the first time I’ve ever been a “cover girl”–and it’s pretty unbelievable and amazing! I have to pinch myself each time I walk by the newsstand and spot it there with all the other magazines!


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Thanks for stopping by–and be sure to check out this fabulous issue! It’s currently available for purchase at Barnes & Noble as well as at Stampington & Company.

Have a great weekend!

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Resketch COLOR Journal Collaboration!

Hi everyone! Today I’m super excited to share with you the results of a truly amazing art journal collaboration in which I’ve been privileged to participate in the last 9 months!

Tina Walker, a fabulous mixed-media artist and designer at StencilGirl Products  (and one of my role models!), invited me and a wonderful group of ladies to be a part of the challenge. Our assignment was to select a blank Resketch sketchbook, pick a color to work with, and create an art journal featuring our choice of stencils from the expansive Stencil Girl product line.

My journal, entitled “New Learning Curves,” is all about how I turned 40 in the last year, and the struggle to love and accept my physical self through the inevitable changes that tend to accompany a woman’s journey into middle age. For me, the transition has been a bit of a rocky one. In addition to the typical weight gain and nagging injuries that most of us deal with as we reach this age, I’ve been learning how to live with chronic illness. In 2018 I was diagnosed with a vestibular disturbance caused by damage to my inner ear, which affects my balance and causes occasional flare-ups of dizziness and vertigo. In January of this year, I also began treatment for IBS, a condition impacting the digestive tract. Sometimes it’s a challenge for me to love my body in what has become my “new normal,” and this journal documents my transition in a way that is affirming and inspiring.


Cover, featuring Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash stencil

As you can see, the color I selected for my journal was orange, and it was a lot of fun working with it along with all of the awesome StencilGirl stencils in my stash! I also used vintage and patterned papers, Washi tape, stamps, ink, stickers, rub-ons, paper flowers, Dresden, a Dymo label maker, altered magazine images, pens, die-cut borders, and my antique typewriter.


“So Now What?” featuring Gridded, Triangles Mini Printmaking Stencil Set 1, and 1 by 4 Rails Set 1


“Embrace Aging,” featuring Assorted Circles Set 1 and Polka Party


“Tell Me No Lies,” featuring Hexagon Set 1 and Polka Party


“Size Doesn’t Matter,” featuring Assorted Circles Set 1, Journal Texture #11, and Rounded Tiles.


“The Power of Exercise,” featuring 1 by 4 Rails Set 1, Rectangle Mini Printmaking Stencil, and Gridded.


“Accept Your Flaws & Limits,” featuring Crazy Quilts Crosses & Rounds, 1 by 4 Rails Set 1, and Hexagon Set 1.


“And I Am Enough,” featuring 1 by 4 Rails Set 1 and Crazy Quilts Crosses & Rounds


Rear Cover, featuring Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash

Those of us in the Resketch Collaboration can’t let you leave without saying THANK YOU for stopping by and sharing in our color journal story. And as a special thank-you, we also have a GIVEAWAY! We are giving away a random selection of Resketch journals AND a $25 StencilGirl gift certificate to ONE LUCKY PERSON! Make sure to comment below to let us know you’ve visited and let us know what color your journal would be. Visit each artist’s blog for more chances to win (comments are due no later than midnight EST on April 28, 2019!) We will pick ONE winner on April 29, so watch this space to see if you are a winner!

Be sure to visit the StencilGirl Talk blog to learn more about our collaboration, and click on the blog links below to see each member’s completed Resketch journal in full and learn about their inspiration!

a dogs life


Cynthia Silveri

I Make Messy Art

Happily We Go


Artful Stories

Stuff By Belle

Thanks again for stopping by, and best of luck!

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Art Journaling: Jul/Aug/Sept. 2018

Hello to all! Hope your summer is off to a great start!

The newest issue of Art Journaling magazine will be available on news stands July 1, and I’m thrilled to be one of the contributing artists! One of the issue’s themes explores the practice of self-care through art journaling, and my article, entitled, ‘My Little Book of Healing,’ describes how the process of creating enabled me to better cope with a series of medical challenges in the last 12 months. Thank you to Managing Editor Kelly Kirchner for putting together another beautiful issue, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it!


Unfortunately, the medical issues I’ve faced since last summer forced me to put this blog on the back-burner for several months, but I’m looking forward to making a comeback!

Have a wonderful day!


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Artists’ Café, Volume 11

Hello to all! I hope your December is off to a festive start! Mine begins with some good news to share! Back in 2010, when I began dabbling in mixed media, I became a huge fan of the Stampington and Company magazines–and instantly fell in love with Artists’ Cafe. This particular magazine is branded as “The Best of Somerset Mixed-Media,” and is a beautifully-curated compilation of the editorial staff’s favorite artwork from past issues of the full line of Stampington magazines. I remember drooling over the gorgeous pieces presented within its pages, dreaming that someday I could make art like that. Earlier this week, I opened my mailbox and my mouth dropped to the floor when I realized that Stampington had sent me a copy of Volume 11 of Artists’ Cafe, and that the article I’d written about my “Wrapped in Blue” art journal from 2015 had been selected to appear in it! For this awestruck artist, it definitely feels like a full-circle moment, and I can’t thank the staff enough for such an unbelievable honor!!



Artists’ Café is available on news stands, and can also be purchased from Stampington and Company.

Looking forward to seeing you soon! Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season!


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“Long Journeys”

Happy Wednesday! This is another page from my “K.I.S.S.” journal, entitled, “Long Journeys.”


The page was inspired by a vintage photograph of a winding road, and features old book pages, a section cut from a map, magazine images, found text, Washi tape, and rub-ons.

As I was creating the page, I thought about some longtime friendships that I’ve been blessed to have since childhood and college, and about how they’ve endured through the years, despite geographical distance and changing life circumstances.  The individuals involved have been true partners on my life’s journey, and in many ways, they serve as guides to me, to keep me grounded and on the right track. Whenever I’ve felt lost or unsure of where I am in my life or where I’m headed, they’ve reminded me of who I am and of what really matters, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Thanks for visiting, and have a great day!

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“Look Around”

Greetings to all.

Like many other Americans, the tragic events that occurred Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia have impacted me deeply. While the violent protest featuring white supremacists, white nationalists, members of the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis was indeed a flashpoint that exposed a dark undercurrent of hatred within American society, I unfortunately cannot say that I found it surprising. For me, the extremely divisive rhetoric coming from the far right and from certain politicians during the 2016 election cycle served as prior warning that America was already turning down a dangerous path.

In the last 18 months, my art journal has often been the place in which I’ve gone to express my feelings of fear, sadness, disappointment, and disillusionment in regards to the current political and social climate in the United States. At this particular point in our nation’s history, it’s hard not to feel as though we’re taking huge steps backward instead of progressing forward, especially when it comes to how we as a nation deal with racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. Back in June I created the following page, and it happens to sum up exactly how I’m feeling this week. I’m truly ashamed of the bigoted beliefs held by some of my fellow citizens, and endless questions keep reverberating through my mind and heart, such as, how in the world is America still in this place–in the year 2017? How did we get to the point where hatred is actually tolerated and excused in some corners of our society? What’s happened to the country that I thought I knew?


This journal page was created with patterned paper, magazine images, a piece cut from a paint sample, found text, text generated on a vintage typewriter, and a white gel pen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. God bless (and help) America.


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“I Miss You”

Hi everyone! Hope your week is going well so far!

This is a page from my “K.I.S.S.” journal, entitled, “I Miss You.” The page was inspired by an image of an empty sofa that I’d clipped from an interior decorating magazine, and addresses the feelings of grief I’ve harbored since losing a beloved pet a few years ago. It is one of several pages on this topic that have appeared in my art journals, and I know they’ve all assisted me in navigating my way through the grieving process.


This page was created with pieces of paper cut/torn from vintage books, scrapbooking papers, a magazine image, a length of ribbon, alphabet stamps, pigment ink, and pens.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!



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“Bring Healing”

Hello to all! Happy belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends, and Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! I’m enjoying the extended holiday weekend, and I hope you are all doing the same!


On this July 4, I will be grateful not only for the opportunities afforded to me as an American citizen, but for a gradual return to good health after an extended period of illness. Since June 10, I’ve been battling severe bronchitis, likely the result of a virus that invaded my system in the waning days of the school year and then evolved into a bacterial infection. For many people, a bout of bronchitis is a temporary inconvenience, but for an asthma sufferer like me, it can be a significant threat to one’s health. My asthma has indeed been exacerbated during the last 3+ weeks, and the constant coughing and wheezing has been uncomfortable and, at times, downright scary! At one point, I was sure that I’d even fractured a rib from coughing–though fortunately, an x-ray showed it was merely bruised. After the first course of antibiotics, I tried returning to my normal activities, but unfortunately the bronchitis wasn’t through with me yet. It took another course of azithromycin (the “z-pack”), two courses of oral prednisone, countless puffs of albuterol, almost a full bottle of honey (nature’s cough syrup), and many more days of rest and recuperation before I started to feel as though I was finally on the mend. The hardest part for me has been having to take a hiatus from my exercise regimen while my lungs recover. I love to jog and lift weights and have been doing this several days a week throughout the last year, but was told by my doctor that exercise could be counterproductive (and even dangerous) right now. I hope to be able to return to these things soon–but I’ve learned my lesson that rushing things is not the answer in this case.

I created “Bring Healing” in my current journal recently as a way of dealing with the slow process of healing, and used magazine images, old book pages, patterned paper, cardstock, ephemera, pens, and my vintage typewriter. I found that making this page and working on other art projects has brought me great comfort as I’ve struggled with the feelings of sadness and frustration that often accompany illness.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Enjoy the fireworks and other festivities!



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