Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope you had a lovely day! I enjoyed every minute of it. We went for a walk, cooked, listened to music, read books, played art. It was sooooo good.
Hana is in a phase where she analyzes and scrutinizes every single little thing about her appearance. She takes numerous self-portraits and dislikes most of them. On the other hand - I love them all.. This one inspired me to create today's journal page.
I sketched a face and I knew how I wanted to use pieces of wrapping paper, but I couldn't draw the hand at all. I had no idea where or how to put the fingers. Most of the time I have to have a reference to draw... Luckily, the real artist of the family (Hana) doesn't have the same problem. She drew the hand in a minute (and wasn't happy with it, while I stood in awe). I asked her to play a little more with the pencil... she changed the hair style, lips, nose... We both concluded that I should leave it in pencil and play with the background. So there it is - a mother-daughter collaboration in my journal. Something for me to treasure forever. I love moments like that!
I want to share another page with you. Thirteen days ago I grabbed my camera and sketch book and went for a quick walk in the park and on the beach. I returned refreshed and started a journal page with the photos and sketches from the walk. I quickly got frustrated because it looked horrible, so I closed the journal and went to work. Fast forward two weeks... and I love it! What I thought was an unfinished mess looks exactly how I wanted it to look.
Journals are magical.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hello! I miss you!

Hello!!! How are you? I miss you all so much! I don't remember being this busy in years. I was working long hours and weekends and days and nights would pass without me noticing them. I'm sorry to say that I didn't have time to visit blogs, check my email, or even regular mail. I'm not complaining. It feels great to work the old brain and challenge it to learn new things quickly... (and it feels great to be paid for it too). It wasn't all work... there was a doctor visit for a really bad cold (Hana), the boy turned 21, the girl became a teenager...

I have 2 1/2 days off and I plan to use them wisely. The tree needs to be decorated, presents wrapped, cookies baked... I want to visit blogs, see how you're doing, open my mail (thank you for sending the Christmas cards even after I said that I wouldn't be able to reciprocate), answer emails. I also want to take long walks... and maybe even pick up a brush to see if I can still paint (I've been painting in my dreams... isn't that funny? I dreamed that I bought red ink and dripped it on a top of a journal page).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Journal spread

I should be working on Christmas cards... but I can't. Please don't send me any because I'll feel bad for not reciprocating... It seems that my journal is the only place where I can make honest art right now. This is what surfaced today.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.
Walter Anderson.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Wish day

This is the fastest journal spread I ever made. I was in a big hurry to create, dry, scan and post it before I go to work. Why? Because while I was blog-hopping this morning and following links, I read that today is wish day - a perfect day when everything is aligned in the universe for wishes to come true. Doesn't that sound great? I wanted to post it during the day so that if you read it you have time to make a really good, strong, happy wish....
I may add or change things on this page later... Now I have to run. Happy wishing!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A work in progress...

Not only my journal spread, but me.. I am a work in progress. You are so thoughtful and so right, my dear blogging friends. You read the underlying thoughts on my journal pages well. Your comments brought me comfort. As most people, I am not as gentle to myself as I am to others. It must be the change in my routines that makes me overthink everything... I am probably more tired than I'm willing to admit. I thought that learning to juggle work, home, kids and the need (everyday habit) to create will be easier. It probably takes time. I'll try to find my 'growing edges' as Rebecca said and accept them as something positive.
Please don't mind the blue moments... I try to be honest in my life, journal and blog. That will inevitably bring all colors of emotions to play.
Have a happy week!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Comes a time...

I used the wise words that one of my blog friends wrote to another. I wanted to whine and have a pity party, but now that I painted a spread in my journal I don't feel that bad any more. Art really is therapy! I need to force myself to use the time that I have and start painting every day again...

Thursday, November 22, 2007


As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that
the highest appreciation
is not to utter words,
but to live by them.
~J. F. Kennedy

What a wonderful day! This year my birthday joined Thanksgiving in a perfect display of cooking, smiling, hugging, loving... I wouldn't mind spending each day like this.
Some of you may remember that my mom had surgery in September... For my birthday present, she made a couple of painful steps without a cane or walker... And I could see it (thanks to Skype - free video phone).
So, today (and every day) I'm thankful for so many things... high on the long list are my blogging friends, my network of support and inspiration. Hope you had a great day too!
P.S. I REALLY don't like one of the eyes on the above journal page... I noticed that it is wrong only when I scanned it. How could I miss it while I was painting?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Today I watched Suziblu's videos and was inspired to play in my journal:
I baked an apple pie, made sauerkraut, walked on the beach, looked at the sky through the most beautiful leaves, enjoyed my family, listened to this song many times and bought a new shampoo...
How was your day?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My notebook once again

Thank you for all the lovely comments about my notebook... it really feels great to read them! I just finished the back side. It needed a little bird friend to help me when I get confused with all the new information I'm trying to store in my old brain... I think I'm happy with it now.

Monday, November 12, 2007

My notebook

Allow me to introduce my notebook:
Could it be any plainer? I guess it could... the orange makes it "pop". Not enough...
I've been carrying this thing around the whole last week. Taking notes at work, taking notes at home while studying... all the time being bothered by the lack of anything that would interest me on the outside.
I guess I was channeling my inner Norah when I decided to attack my notebook. Sharon is always generous in sharing her techniques, but she overdid herself with the last journal. I felt like I was reading a great "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" tutorial.
I didn't want to imitate her completely (well, I did want to... but it wouldn't feel right), so I found a picture of another scroll on the web and freehanded it. I then realized that I used the wrong scroll, the wrong colors and that my notebook is even uglier than when I started.
There is only one thing to do when things don't look the way you want them - paint some more. I continued, allowed myself to try something that's different than I envisioned and this is what came out:
I think it is more interesting than the craft paper cover I started with... and I think that I'll enjoy writing notes in it more. Having said that - it's time that I jump to lynda.com and learn more about digital prepress secrets. Have a wonderful week!
Thank you Sharon for the inspiration!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A little bit of everything...

Going back to work after seven years means that you (I) need some time to adjust, regroup, refocus... I'm a bit 'rusty' and need to work on my skills, learn a ton of new stuff and make my fingers dance again on the keypad. It takes time... which means that I don't have time to play with paper and color... I know I will (very soon), but right now I can't.

The only thing I 'created' last week is too ridiculus to even show, but I will anyway. I had some spare time in my car (came way too early to work, afraid that the traffic would be horrible, but it wasn't). I pulled out a moleskin that I always carry with me and tried to doodle an abstract shape. Did you see the beautiful drawings that Janet calls doodles?Needless to say, I can't do anything similar... I started with the part above (yuk), accepted that I can't do it and continued to draw a face.Then I saw that Janet drew a face too... So, I guess this post is about me whining how I lost my art time and how Janet creates lovely drawings. :-)
After you checked her blog, visit this blog to read an interview with Sharon.
And visit Rebecca's blog to sign up for a giveaway and to wish her a happy birthday.
It's raining here (after a really long time with no rain). My beach is closed because of a horrible oil spill. It makes me sad. And angry.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't worry...

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy.
Leo Buscaglia

It seems like a dark page, but it's not because I'm in a dark mood. Hana has a love affair with payne's grey. She used it for some paintings, but she left tons of it unused... I told her to paint a background in my journal and that I will work on the page later. This is the background she painted:
Of course I can't paint over that... She calls it 'scribbles' - I see a story. Anyway, there was still more paint so I did the 'worry' page. Long explanation for a simple page...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I made the best green smoothie ever! A couple of months ago my children called any green thing the 'swamp' drink, now they got used to the color and even ask for it. If you haven't tried it, I encourage you to be brave and give it a shot. It is really extra tasty and the fact that it's healthy just adds to it. This particular smoothie is a mixture of frozen banana and mango pieces, chopped fuji apple and huge handful of kale. Blend it with a little water (I add a teaspoon of lecithin) and let me know if you liked it. Close your eyes if you can't stand the color...
You never know when inspiration will hit you.... Yesterday Hana came from school all happy, full of stories and funny tales. While she snacked on something and talked about her day I couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looks... and I had to try and capture it. Because it is my journal I wasn't worried how it will look, I planned to gesso over it in case it turned out horrible. It didn't. It doesn't look like her, but it captured a moment that I will treasure forever.

Friday, November 2, 2007

List Fairy

I never make lists.... but Norah did last week and for some reason I had to do it too... so I did. I must say that it was motivational... I enjoyed crossing things from it and was happy when everything was done. Including a trip to the gym! It was like the list fairy visited me... and that's why I made this silly journal page.
Well, I finished the page yesterday, the list two days ago... Today I have some other news to share but I didn't have time to journal about them yet, so it will have to wait. xo

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A mindless journal entry

Art journals are a great thing! I sat last night with wise words I snatched from Rebecca's blog, paints, paper scraps and just mindlessly painted and played. It started as a yellow background and grew into this chaos of color. I listened and watched a bit of this wonderful DVD and just relaxed without thinking about the final thing. The little creature on the left side is a doodle I did (also mindlessly) while talking to someone... I saw it, thought it was cute and just slapped it on my page. That's why I think art journals are great... you get to play, relax, reflect and not care about the output.
Let me just add that Rebecca has wonderful thoughts daily on her blog... many times it is just what I need to hear.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A beautiful day

Some Sundays are better than others... My darling and I spent the whole day wondering around San Francisco. We started our day with a visit to the De Young Museum.
Relaxed under the warm sun in Golden Gate park.
Had lunch on the waterfront:
Found more art in the city:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Good enough?

Sharon and Judy Wise are carving new stamps and making templates every day. Inspired by them, I made a little stamp and used it as hair. Fun!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sorting through my feelings

Thanks for welcoming me back! As Norah guessed, I am spending days hugging and kissing my family. So happy to be here and still in an emotional overload from my visit. You can see a mosaic of people that came to see me while I was in Belgrade. Most are old friends, but there are some new faces and sadly, empty spots for people that now live only in memories. I am a natural loner, so being in contact with so many friends and being able to connect with them as we never separated was refreshing and wonderful.
I worked a little in my journal. This is a page I created night before returning home.
And this one waiting for a flight from New York to San Francisco. I was scribbling and sketching trying to hide it from other passengers. Although, they didn't seem interested... most were looking at their blackberries or notebooks. I felt pretty weird being all grown up and playing with crayons and pencils like a child....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Going home

This is an unfinished journal page.
I need to add some more hearts that found me.
My parents have a heart shaped welcome mat.
I never noticed that before.
My mom wears a necklace with a heart pendant.
All friends I met after all these years seemed to have visible heart shaped auras.
As much as I am sad to leave, I can't wait to see my family.
It's interesting...
I wrote recently that I'm going home. I am writing the same thing today and it is true. I'm going home tomorrow. Home is where your heart is. That means so many places... I guess I'm rich :-)
The last heart I'm sharing is the little stone that my darling and I found one lovely day. He put it secretly in my luggage... so I couldn't help but smile and feel happy when I found it.