Do you like journaling? I love it! I’ve been keeping a diary of some sort since I was 13, and I’ve been very smitten the last couple of years with ART journaling. Words AND paint! Yes! This is my desk, with my current art journal smack in the middle. I’m using a Hand Book Artist Journal, which has great paper to handle everything I’ve done so far: markers, watercolors, acrylics and collage. The pens don’t bleed through the page, which is nice. It’s a much smaller book than the one I did before, so we’ll see how that goes.


If you like the idea or look of journaling, I can’t recommend it enough! Just start! You don’t have to start on January 1. You could start on your birthday. Or the first day of summer. Or…today.




I like to think of a word for the year, and this year it is “flow”. As in, go with the flow. Get into the flow of thinking/doing/creating. I sort of think of a ribbon in the wind, just moving with it but maintaining its beauty and grace. Yeah, flow. I like it.




You don’t have to be an artist, but I warn you. Once you pick up the Crayola crayon, you ARE one.




I admit I did this drawing in church. I’m glad I did. Every time I see it, I remember our missionary and his message. It’s a good one to remember.




I’ve always wanted to be able to draw and paint birds. Aren’t they the most amazing creatures??? Someday I will be able to name many birds around me, not just robins and jays. Maybe I won’t be able to name them all before I die, but I’ll have all of eternity. Like I said: someday.




Why not draw the condiments while waiting? Do I really have to check my cell phone for texts or Twitter feeds at




A lot of my journal includes things I didn’t draw or paint. This happens especially if I have a rushed week. But I like to glue things in, and it’s a great way to collect inexpensive art.




Home away from home, England is. I had fun using a children’s How to Draw Farm Animals book. I get tons of ideas from the library, from Pinterest, from coloring books. Sometimes it’s easier for me to take a photograph first, and then draw from that. It flattens the image, making it easier. I also like coming up with words of the day.




And sometimes I just want to be messy. Oh, am I loving the acrylics for that!




Sometimes I like weekly/daily entries; sometimes I don’t. The journal is a place to try out things and play.

Let me ask you something: Do you play? I know you’re (fill in the blank) years old, but don’t you…somewhere inside…don’t you still feel, oh I don’t know….TEN?




If you’d like to see my very first art journal, here it is! I took Gina’s class on No More Excuses, and she has since made it into a book. You don’t need that particular book, but it *was* a fun class and got me going. It took a full day just to set up the journal though, so be forewarned :)


Take a look, and see if you can glean some inspiration for your OWN beginner art journal!





Do you like homemade granola? I do, but I can’t seem to find time to make it. The bowls, the pans, the stirring, the oven…blah. Half the time I make a mess in the oven as granola spills when I try to stir it up. So now I make up a batch of quick granola, on the stove top, whenever I want it. It takes about five minutes, and I don’t measure any part of it.


First, I drop into my hot pan a heaping few tablespoons of coconut oil and then a glob of honey. After it’s all melted, I throw in a small bowl of rolled oats and whatever nuts I have on hand. I stir it up here and there, and when it gets as toasty as I want, I take it off the heat and put in whatever dried fruits I have on hand. Done.




The only real mess to clean up is the stove top, after the kids finish serving themselves up a topping for their yogurt.




I started to make some coffee this morning and I had to laugh. No time to make granola (“No time!” she says), but I make my coffee in probably the slowest way possible. Why? Well…I enjoy the process. It makes me putter when the clock is yelling at me to hurry. I tossed my wristwatch about 15 years ago because I wanted to arrange my days–my life–to follow my own tempo the best I could. So…some things I hurry along (like granola) and some things I make more difficult, in order to force me to slow down (like making coffee).


It takes me five minutes to stare out the window and grind the coffee. In the background, you can see my husband’s personal coffee-grinding tempo :)




In the cup goes a pat of unsalted butter and a spoonful of coconut oil. And then I make the coffee. We both love using our Aeropress Coffee maker. It’s inexpensive, really makes the most delicious coffee, and the only power required is your own hands.




While that’s steeping for a minute, I begin heating up some milk. I press my coffee, which melts the butter and oil, and then I whip up my milk. We both like the Aerolatte Milk Frother for that. I gently pour the milk into my coffee and top it all off with a sprinkle of vanilla powder.




I don’t feel like I need to rush the process. It’s about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on how often I need to stop for a child’s needs. But when it’s done, yum.




Any kind of handwork is a slow tempo. I haven’t even used my sewing machine at all for about a year, but I have gotten some embroidery and a quilt binding finished. I’m working to finish this lacey scarf before spring, and I have an apron with yet more embroidery to finish afterwards.




Using a camera is a way I slow down my tempo, to take the time to really look and see, but drawing and art journaling take me even longer. I find the process meditative. Sort of like grinding coffee. They are just little ways to slow my tempo to where I crave it to be.




How is your own life tempo? Are you traveling at a speed comfortable for you?


Past Due Date

November 6, 2014

Well, it’s no surprise to anyone, least of all to me, that I am past my due date to have Baby. When I started blogging in 2006, it was while I was awaiting another baby, past his due date as well. I ended up waiting for him 18 days. I hope not to have a […]

6 comments Read the full article →

Leather Journals, Basketry, Weaving and More Beginner Art Journaling

May 26, 2014

Well, the vast majority of the packing is finished and boxes are piled into the garage. The basement is crazy overflowing with garage sale goods and now I am just waiting on other people: painters, window washers, carpet cleaners… There is nothing for me to do now but to wait during this lull before listing […]

8 comments Read the full article →

First, You Take a Deep Breath…

April 5, 2014

…and that’s what I’m going to do for this week. Take a deep breath. Because before I share with you all the absolute craziness happening around here, I’m going to take a week off the net and hang out with a friend in the city. We plan to take a lot of art classes and […]

6 comments Read the full article →

On Savoring the Things of God

January 29, 2014

Matthew 16:23   But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.   I’ve been parked in the book of Matthew for a bit, mainly because of Bible Study Fellowship. If […]

3 comments Read the full article →

On Goal(s) Setting

January 4, 2014

Isaiah 52:12   For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.  I love the beginning of a new year much as I love Mondays. Fresh starts. New days. Hope. In setting goals for the day or week or month […]

5 comments Read the full article →

I Wrote a Book! And More LOOMing Projects

December 9, 2013

If you’re on my email list (and you are, right?) you already know that I’ve written a book. If you’ve been with me a long while, you also know that A Happy Home was a blog I quit for a short season because I was so completely distracted by the internet and its siren call. […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Christmas Card Art: From Pinterest to Pin-ter-DO

November 20, 2013

I love how you can learn so many things on the internet. I think the trick is to not simply pop everything onto Pinterest for that nebulous “whenever” but to actually try your hand at some of the things that inspired you to pin them in the first place. Many thanks go to Christy Tomlinson […]

3 comments Read the full article →

3 Reasons to Art Journal

October 28, 2013

1.  It’s quiets the mind, especially on an evening in front of a fire (even if it’s just from propane).  Music optional.     2.  It’s a little of everything:  collage, pencils, watercolor, stuff (AKA as ephemera).  Good for the indecisive or bored .     3.  It’s hard to be in two places at […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Fall: Time to Harvest (Fruit), Time to Plant (Ideas)

October 9, 2013

Right on cue, the rains have fallen and the winds have begun to dust the alders and firs outside my home. Autumn is here!  Down the gravel drive, unpicked blackberries lie limp on the vine, their leaves turning reddish and preparing to die down for the season.  I am thankful for it.  I love this […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Trades for the Upcoming Art & Soul Retreat

September 26, 2013

One of the fun things going on at the Art and Soul Retreat is an opportunity to participate in trades.  From what I understand, you bring some artwork or supplies or whatnot that you can *trade* with someone else at the event.  I had no idea what I had to offer, but I thought I could […]

9 comments Read the full article →

Suffering–and What to Do With Old Journals

September 22, 2013

I pondered what to do with all of the old books, those thick notebooks full of prayers, thoughts, dreams and probably far too many complaints.  They all sat on the floor for months, giving me time to flip through, read a little here and there.  Some of it made me laugh.  But lots of it […]

1 comment Read the full article →

More of August

August 12, 2013

More of August Break   SKYLINE HOME SOMETHING OLD SAVOR Blessings,

1 comment Read the full article →

What to Do While Floundering

August 6, 2013

Or not.  This is what *I’ve* been doing.   Ever since we tried to sell our house and then took it off the dumpy market, I’ve been turning it all upside down and redecorating, repainting, replanting, re-re-re-thinking about how to make the house I was (and still am, in a sense) ready to walk away […]

3 comments Read the full article →

How to Artfully Store Art & Craft Supplies

August 5, 2013

Well, I lost my craft room (you can go look….I’ll wait…).   As it turned out, we needed that space to spread out my girls more; Ruby is not exactly the easiest roommate to share a space with.  But as I was removing everything, I was actually a little excited.  One, that room was the first […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Growing is Messy

July 26, 2013

I’ve been going through half a dozen large boxes full of papers and schoolwork (yes, even from kindergarten!).  Mostly I can’t believe I’ve kept all of this stuff, hauling it from here and there, hither and yon.  The weight of it all is heavy (on multiple levels), and I do wonder why I kept certain […]

2 comments Read the full article →

How I Make Time

June 24, 2013

How do I make time to work on those things I want to keep learning? How can you?   Pick at it, here a little, there a little; 15 minutes a day is still almost 2 hours a week Chuck the TV and turn off the internet Read nonfiction in the bathtub or even while […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Moms Need to Keep Learning, Too

June 17, 2013

I know the exasperation of wanting to know how other stay-at-home mothers *do it* while they’re raising their children.  How does she write those books, sell handmade goodies online, sew up cute everythings, and then take all those amazing photos to blog about it all?  Well, more than once I’ve had the poignant aha moment of […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Contemplative Bible Study Through Art

June 15, 2013

Peace seems so hard to come by these days and I’m afraid it is not because we are so often victims of circumstances.  Rather, it is that we are volunteers.  We give up rest when the blank squares on our calendars clamor for events.  We add on activities upon activities, and burdens that are not […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Contemplating the Potting Bench

June 2, 2013

I am really enjoying the art ideas and lessons from Scarlet Lime.  Here is the watercolor potting bench I just finished.  It was pretty relaxing to do             Little projects that only take a few days are very satisfying right now.  Have a blessed week, friends.

1 comment Read the full article →

You Don’t Have to DI(all)Y

May 31, 2013

Acts 9:6  …Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?     It was a little too much for me, this small little post I came across.  It endeavored to teach me how to make *something* in my kitchen from scratch.  Now, I’m not even going to say what *it* was because probably someone in these parts […]

5 comments Read the full article →

Art Journaling: What I Need

May 16, 2013

I’m very much enjoying art journaling, beginner that I am.  It’s a definite stretcher for me to break from using just words to dump my brain and to try to (literally) draw it out.  Although, it’s funny, I still filled up the page with words!  I was thinking about how I needed to guard my […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Mixed Media Bookmarks

May 11, 2013

I enjoyed making bookmarks for our new book club.  I recently figured that I’ve been running book clubs for twelve years now!  It’s always a blessing to get together.  We meet once a month, for one chapter a month.  It sounds like a long time to get through a book, but it works out great […]

0 comments Read the full article →

The Problem of Pinterest

April 17, 2013

Pinterest has been a wonderful tool to organize all of the website pages and ideas I love.  I no longer have to remember sites, clutter up my bookmarks, or lose places when the internet goes down or I mindlessly close up the dozens of tabs waiting for that elusive time I call “later.”  Furthermore, I […]

2 comments Read the full article →

My Craft Room Remodel

March 10, 2013

I know I’ve been quiet here.  I’m finding myself stepping away from a lot of things, activities, and even people, so it makes sense that other areas would get a little choppy too.  It’s like I’ve been throwing everything up into the air and just standing there waiting to see how things would fall into […]

2 comments Read the full article →


August 7, 2012

I’m sitting here with the laptop on my (where else?) lap, and thinking about all I’ve been doing lately.  What I haven’t been doing is documenting everything.  There’s just something freeing about being able to, say,  take a hike with the kids and not take a camera to share it with others.  I’m finding a difference between […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Art Journaling for Beginners

April 21, 2012

  I’ve kept a handwritten journal for many, many years.  In it are thoughts from my days, trials I’ve worked (and am working) through, ideas and lists, Bible studies and prayers, poetry, hopes and plans and just bunches of stuff that I wish I had from a great-grandma or two regarding their lives, good, bad […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Re-Purposing Vintage Suitcases

April 7, 2012

My husband brought these two small personal travel cases into our household twenty years ago, not because of the cases themselves, but because they kept all of the old telephone wire and other odds and ends he might need *someday*.  Suffice it to say, after two decades they were still just hanging out in the […]

0 comments Read the full article →

The Pitfall and Practice of Lent

March 1, 2012

Psalms 116:7-9  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.   For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.   I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I’ve been slowly and quietly working through the book of Galations.  It is here […]

4 comments Read the full article →

A Day in My Life, Part 3

February 7, 2012

If you missed it, you can catch part one here, and part two here. Late Afternoon to Evening I manage to put my feet up and knit two rows for my baby’s blanket, while the children are cleaning up after lunch and finishing their music lessons and artwork.  This is how this blanket is progressing: […]

1 comment Read the full article →

A Day in My Life, Part 2

February 5, 2012

If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here. Midday I join my 5 and 7 year olds to help them with folding the small mountain of kitchen linens threatening to overtake our sofa.  We use mostly cloth napkins and dish towels rather than paper products, in reds, yellows, greens, and oranges.  Bright colors for […]

0 comments Read the full article →

One Thing to Do With Quilt Scraps

January 11, 2012

Over the Christmas break I managed to quickly put together a little quilt for my craft room wall (I’ll share soon!).  As I was about to throw out the little pile of triangles, I thought perhaps I could do something shabby-cute with them.  So I did.  I made a few thank you notes and used […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Crafting Out Time: Every Day Matters

December 15, 2011

Christmas is almost here, and I find myself relaxed these days, enjoying the Advent season.  Are you harried and frenzied?  If so, please check out my friend’s new ebook (it’s free!): Ready in Seven (as in hours!).  You also might want to listen to our podcast (while you’re running around town), on Keeping Peace in […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Ideas for Handmade Gifts

December 7, 2011

When we were children, we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmastime.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?GK Chesterton Tis the season for gift buying and wrapping and sending, which despite the crazy madness of overblown consumerism and materialism,  still has a sweetness to it, […]

2 comments Read the full article →

My Crafting Room

November 26, 2011

Would you like to see the craft room I hung around in today instead of shopping?  One of the reasons it looks so neat is that my sewing area just got finished today (no mess to clean up yet!).  So, come on in! I don’t take lightly the blessing of having my own room to […]

6 comments Read the full article →

Drawing Class Progress

November 8, 2011

I’m really enjoying my drawing class. It’s part of the “what did I like to do when I was a girl” kick that I’ve been on. This first drawing is an artichoke (I hope you can tell!).  It’s just a line drawing.  What I discovered later is that I need smoother paper to draw on! […]

3 comments Read the full article →

Small Things

October 23, 2011

Small crops, small handwork projects, little things I find beautiful… We did not get a lot of squash and pumpkins from the garden this year but what we did get looks beautifully autumnal. In my first drawing class, the instructor said I’d be surprised at how well I’d be drawing in seven weeks.  I wryly […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Bringing the Green Inside

October 19, 2011

I’ve taken advantage of the last few gorgeous sunny days here in the Pacific Northwest to put the garden to bed, pulling out the old and mulching heavily.  Garlic and shallots are planted and that’s about all I’m going to do for overwintering crops this year. I used to have many, many plants inside of […]

3 comments Read the full article →

On Waking

September 21, 2011

I just finished a linen bed cover topped with handstitched woolen flowers and vines.  I love the look of it and the weight of it too.  It’s backed with smooth cotton.  I decided not to quilt it because I liked the motion already there on the piece and didn’t want to detract from it.   […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Room For You

August 1, 2011

Do you have room for YOU in your family? If you are serving and nurturing everybody in your family except yourself, this one's for you.

0 comments Read the full article →

On Remembering, Not Re-Inventing

July 30, 2011

I feel almost sheepish about posting a blog due to the time between visits, but I’ve been trying to focus on some things.  For one, I’ve been writing again in my journal on a daily basis and that has been good for me.  Part of that was in establishing a habit, and like all habits, […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Expressing the Creative Side

July 14, 2011

Rearranging the house, painting furniture, zealous decluttering happening around these parts.  And a massive garage sale coming on Saturday morning.  It is slow, room by room, drawer by drawer, but the house is getting a huge fresh breath of air.  For too long I haven’t wanted to really invest in my home this way because […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Late Spring This-n-That

June 13, 2011

Here is some catch-up on what’s going around my home and farm-ette.  Flowers are coming into bloom, including the unusual pink lilic tree; what an intoxicating introduction to spring.  I love wandering to and fro through the garden and smelling nature’s perfume wafting from the newest blooms.  The apple blossoms are finished, and sweet rocket […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Watching for Prey and Finding Focus

May 21, 2011

We had bald eagles nesting in our neck o’ the woods lately.  These birds are huge; their wing spans are close to six feet!  Can you see them up in the tree? No?  Let us zoom in a bit. Don’t they look like the lovely couple out on a date?  They were eyeing our hens […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Creativity LaLa Land

May 14, 2011

Somehow, on my last blog, I wrote and wrote and got a ridiculous amount of pages written. Like 868 pages to be exact. It all sits on pdf file waiting for me to do something with it all, which is fairly low on the priority or even the second-string wanna-do list. I do love to […]

4 comments Read the full article →

Stained Glass Christmas Cards

December 13, 2010

Spending a lot of time crafting sure does put some things into perspective. Like…why is crafting, handwork, cleaning, baking, fort-making, and just plain running around through mud puddles get the short end of the stick on the list of “what my kids have to accomplish to be ready to compete in the world”? And is […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Candle Play

December 2, 2010

We don’t just cook in our kitchen. We play, homeschool, read, and CRAFT! This is what we did yesterday with our “adopted” grandma who is just so good at coming up with fun things to do. I think every mom needs a woman that she can call and say, “Hey…..can you come do something fun […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Something Pretty for Me

February 2, 2010

Remember the beautiful fabric I had? I finally did a project that I think came out so pretty! I am so going to enjoy pulling this out, unrolling it, creating and coloring and then rolling it back up. The pockets are supposed to fit one pencil a piece, to match the background fabric. But how […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Artists in Training

January 23, 2010

In my mental calendar, January is the month for finishing up inside projects because February will show itself quickly and suddenly I will be in the middle of garden planning and seed starting. I will also have had enough of *staying inside* and will be pruning, raking, cleaning up from wind storms and hunting for […]

0 comments Read the full article →
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...