Somerset Studio Gallery, Winter 2017

Happy New Year to you all! Hope yours is off to a wonderful start!

After several months of relative inactivity on this blog, one of my New Ýear’s resolutions for 2017 is that I will attempt to post at least 3 times each month. I look forward very much to being a more active participant in the blogosphere again!

The New Year has brought another outstanding issue of one of my favorite publications, Somerset Studio Gallery, and I feel very blessed to be one of its contributing artists! My “Choose Health” journal, which I completed in 2016 and posted about here on the blog throughout its process of creation, is the subject of an article in the Winter 2017 issue. This issue is available for purchase on news stands as well as at


Here are some images of the article:



Have a great weekend! 🙂

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“Blurry Vision”

Hello! Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving, with plenty of time dedicated to family, friends, and hopefully, your artistic pursuits!

I just realized it’s been almost a month since my last post. As you might recall, I had very good intentions of posting more regularly, at least on a weekly basis, but again, I’m finding that when life and work interfere, it’s very hard for me to cobble together enough time. I think that posting 2-3 times per month, at least for the time being, is a more modest, realistic expectation for me at this juncture. Hopefully now that the weather here in Wisconsin is finally getting colder and I’m forced to spend more time indoors, I will be able to carve out more time.

Today I’m sharing the last of my journal pages that appear in my friend Kim Rae Nugent’s recently published book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations, which is now available for purchase on Entitled “Blurry Vision,” this page was created earlier this year and sums up much of the confusion I’ve been feeling the past few years when it comes to my life’s work.

Blurry Vision.jpg

I’ve always had a challenging relationship with my current profession. Like many who spend their daily lives serving others, I’ve struggled with burnout, and as an artist, I’ve often felt the calling to create for a living. Almost four years ago, I enrolled in night school in pursuit of an Associate’s degree in graphic design, and finally received my diploma in August 2015. At the time I was strongly considering leaving my job and making the transition into the field of design, and also wanted to continue my schooling in order to earn a Bachelor’s degree; however, financial limitations and pressures made it impossible for me to make the break, and I ended up staying where I was.

While at the moment I feel more fulfillment and satisfaction in my career than I have in a long time, I still feel confused at times about my vocation, and continue to find myself pondering what it is that I’m truly “meant” to do. Sometimes I feel jealous of individuals who are certain that they’re in the right place, simply because I don’t possess that kind of certainty. I guess all I can do is keep listening to my heart, and praying for guidance. I need to keep my eyes open and look for signs that I’m in the right place and that I should keep following my present path–or signs that it’s time to move on. I guess these signs will appear in their own good time, and I just need to be patient.

In the meantime, I will keep creating–if not for my livelihood, for my peace of mind and my heart.

Thanks for listening–and have a great week!



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“Following My Own Trail”

Hello all! I just visited WordPress today, and couldn’t believe that my last post on this blog was all the way back in August! I returned to the classroom at the end of that month, and needless to say, work has been all-consuming since then. Sadly, there hasn’t been tons of time (or energy) left over for my art–but I’m committed to changing that beginning now. Second quarter commences tomorrow, and I’ve made a resolution that I will be more present in my studio–and here at Starting Over Studio–from this point forward!

This journal page, entitled, “Following My Own Trail,” appears in my friend Kim Rae Nugent’s book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations. This book can be purchased on


This page was created with an underlayer of journaling and collaged vintage papers, and features acrylic paint, gesso, spray inks, pigment ink, stencils, rubber stamps, Washi tape, stickers, rub-ons, a Dymo label, a date stamp, and a photograph from Kim’s book.

I’m looking forward to returning more often to the studio–and to sharing more of my work with you!

Have a great week!

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“Looking For My Quiet Place”

Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone’s having a great week!

Here is another journal page which appears in Kim Rae Nugent’s newest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations, which is now available on It’s called, “Looking for My Quiet Place.”


The inspiration for this page was a photograph of an old wooden bridge crossing over a meandering stream that was featured in Kim’s book. It reminded me instantly of places I liked to go as a child and still enjoy visiting as an adult–calm, quiet settings in nature where one can be alone and get in touch with their thoughts and feelings. Too often in life I feel as though I’m stuck in crowded, chaotic, and cacophonous places where I can’t even hear the self-dialogue in my head, much less respect what it’s trying to tell me–and it’s these kinds of places that give me the space and silence to do that.

My studio is definitely a quiet place where I can slow down and focus solely on me. Art-making provides me with a method of getting in touch with myself again. In the coming weeks ahead, as I return to work after a really restful and relaxing time away, I know that I will need to be intentional about providing myself with a “quiet place” on a regular basis, as it’s all too easy at times to push it off to the wayside when there are so many things on my daily to-do lists.

This page was created with vintage book pages, Washi tape, stencils, spray inks, stamps, pigment inks, a date tab, text typed on a vintage typewriter, and part of a photograph from the book.

Hope you are all able to find–and enjoy–your “quiet place” today! 🙂





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“The End is a Beginning”

Happy Friday to all! We made it to the end of another week!

This week was extremely busy and hectic for me, as I had a four-day inservice workshop to attend, as well as a night class on one of those evenings, so unfortunately it hasn’t been a very productive art week.

Even so, I do want to share another of my pages that appears in my friend Kim Rae Nugent’s recently published book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, and Collaborations, which can be purchased at It’s called, “The End is a Beginning.”


This page was created on a background of collaged vintage book pages, and features gesso, fluid acrylics, rubber stamps, pigment ink, stamped bubble wrap, stenciled mesh, rub-ons, Washi tape, a date stamp, and one of Kim’s photographs from the book.

The flaming fall leaves in the photo definitely served as the catalyst for this page. To me, autumn always carries the significance of being one of nature’s endings. This is a big reason why it’s never been my favorite season; I always feel a bit depressed when I see leaves changing color and falling from the trees, because it always signals that the cold, long, dark winter is about to descend upon us. However, sometimes endings are good things because they close one door and open another–they might take us from something that maybe wasn’t ideal for us, and deliver us to something a lot better. When I made this page, I was feeling a bit fearful of a change that I thought might be imminent, but I told myself that no matter what, I’d be OK–that if a change truly was on the horizon, it was probably for the best, and that I would adapt in the end.

I’m looking ahead to the fast-approaching autumn, and still thinking of it as a kind of letdown, but thankfully there’s still plenty of summer left to enjoy! Let’s all enjoy it this weekend! 🙂




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“Barren Space”

Happy Thursday to all! The weekend is almost here!

This is another journal page which appears in my friend Kim Rae Nugent’s latest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations, which is available for purchase now on


Entitled “Barren Space,” the page is about the way it feels when one has arrived at the conclusion that they are trapped in a hopeless situation in his/her life. I compared this experience to a plant which finds itself existing in the midst of a concrete jungle, hard and cold and inhospitable. This concept leapt into my mind immediately after seeing a picture that appears in Kim’s book, of a vine growing across an old cement wall.

I started this page with a layer of handwritten journaling, and covered it with another layer of vintage book pages and Washi tape. I then added acrylic paint, gesso, stamped pigment ink, pen markings, a few pieces of construction mesh I found in a parking lot, and a date stamp.

This is one of my favorite pages that I contributed to the book. I loved how the vintage book pages I chose serendipitously featured words and phrases relevant to this topic; I rubbed away the paint in these areas with a paper towel and drew attention to them with my India ink pen. I also liked the possibility the vines presented, as a place to house more handwritten journaling.

Hope your upcoming weekend is wonderful! 🙂




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“How to Succeed”

Good morning, everyone!

Today I will be sharing another journal page that is featured in Kim Rae Nugent’s newest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations. It’s called, “How to Succeed,” and is basically a reminder to me of the positive values I must continue to cultivate as I travel along and grow in my journey as an artist. This page is unique, because generally I don’t like to include my own lettering in my journals; instead, I prefer to rely upon stickers, stamps, and stencils. The lettering contained in the flower’s petals is my own, and I think it’s kind of cool, even if it isn’t 100% perfect! 😉


This page was created with collaged vintage book pages, gesso, Washi tape, spray inks, stencils, pigment ink, stamps, rub-ons, pens, a vintage Dymo label maker, and an image of a flower that was trimmed from Kim’s book.

Kim’s book can be purchased now at

Have a wonderful week!

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