“Ignite Me Not”


I’m looking forward to sharing some pages here on the blog from my “K.I.S.S.” (“Keep It Simple, Sister!”) journal, which was created during a five-month period between August 2016 and January 2017. Several other pages from this journal appear in the Jul/Aug/Sept issue of Art Journaling magazine, which is available on news stands right now.

The concept of the “K.I.S.S.” journal arose out of a growing frustration that I was feeling during the school year, when my teaching and home responsibilities left me with little time or energy to work in my art journals. In order to get around this, I decided to create a journal using limited supplies and dry media, and found that sticking to this plan not only allowed me the time to start and finish more journal pages during the school year, but expanded my creativity and helped me to further develop my collage skills.

“Ignite Me Not” was the second page in the “K.I.S.S.” journal, and expresses my deep-seated reluctance to return to the classroom after a summer of relaxation. It was created with old book pages, paint samples, a magazine image, text typed on a vintage typewriter, found text, rub-ons, a date stamp, pigment ink, pens, and a colored pencil.

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!



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Art Journaling, Jul/Aug/Sep 2017

Hello, readers! I know it’s been a long time since my last post here on the blog–would you believe, six months? I’ll readily admit that I haven’t done such a great job fulfilling my New Year’s resolution from back in January, which was to post at least three times a month…but the good news is, the summer’s finally arrived and I’m on an extended hiatus from my day job, so perhaps this is my opportunity to make up for lost time! I thank all of you who have followed me this year, and look forward to interacting with you in the future here on WordPress!

There is some wonderful news to report.  I’ve been selected as one of the featured artists in the Jul/Aug/Sep 2017 issue of Art Journaling magazine! My article, “Keepin’ It Simple,” provides practical tips for busy artists who want to work more often in their journals but don’t have a lot of free time, and presents several pages from my “K.I.S.S.” (“Keep it Simple, Sister!”) journal, which I completed throughout the hectic first semester of the school year! Thanks again to Managing Editor Devon Warren and her staff at Stampington & Company for creating such a fabulous issue, and for inviting me to be a part of it! It will be available on news stands July 1!

Here’s a sneak peek of the issue!





Hope your summer is off to a great start! See you soon! 🙂

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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 Stampington.com.


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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com.


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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com.


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 Amazon.com.

Have a wonderful week!

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“Fresh Start”

Hi there! Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful summer weekend!

Today I’m happy to share another of my recent journal pages, which is featured in Kim Rae Nugent’s newest book, Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations.


This page is entitled, “Fresh Start,” and it was created just a few days after the last page I presented here on the blog, in a period of time that was highly challenging for me at my job. There were many days that I woke up at the sound of the alarm clock, remembered the excruciating stress I’d certainly be facing that day, and wished I could press the “reset” button and start over. I think many of us feel this way at some point in our lives, like we desperately need a “do-over.” Our daily struggles become exhausting, and we want to transplant ourselves from where we are to someplace new, different, and better. Thankfully, not long after this page was finished, I made the decision to pursue a change, and have now been placed in a new position in a different setting, far removed from so much of the stress that had been dragging me down for so long.

At the time I created this page, I was feeling a need to do a lot of writing as an emotional outlet, and so the first layer of this page consists of handwritten journaling, which I covered with collaged book pages. In addition, gesso, spray inks, acrylic paint, stencils, pigment ink, stamps, masking tape, Washi tape, rub-ons, a date stamp, India ink, pens, and an image from the Journal Starters book were used.

The image of the eggs in a nest really spoke to me, because it signifies the beginning of the miracle of life, and also calls to mind birds, which to me have always represented the idea of freedom. I mean, who doesn’t feel like they want to fly away from the chaos of their life at some point? I used a lot of bird-themed rub-on images and phrases to embellish certain areas of this page, and found that it all came together well.

Journal Starters: Nature Backgrounds, Textures, & Collaborations can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Have a great week!


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