The “Ber” Months

I’m going to get this in before my will to Internet slips away. ;)

I. Kimi is coming over for a glass of wine on the lawn, and I spent all day writing to people to ask them if they want to do a thing with me next year AND I painted AND I edited AND I fed myself and the furbabes AND I napped (but it was one of those bad dream naps that I *hate* so now I’m sitting here wishing I hadn’t napped) AND I watched a video on painting watercolour portraits that *didn’t* make me feel deflated.

AND I am exhausted now.

II. But I miss Kimi’s face so we will get caught up and then I will send her home and I will throw myself in a tub of hot scented water to soak away the knots in my shoulders that come from sitting in front of the computer for way to long.

III. Every year I forget what the “ber” months of September, October, November, and December are like when you run year long programs. They are intense. They are hard work. They are a little omgdoom.

But then I get letters from people saying “I was hoping you’d ask!” or “I saved a spot in my calendar for you!” or “I love what you do! Of course, I want to come along!” and that makes the whole damned thing worth it.

IV. I’ve almost got the Journal Jam Retreat formatted as a teacher assisted self-paced thing. LOOK AT THESE CARDS.

And that’s it for me for today.

I’ll see you tomorrow..

Deflated vs. Empowered

I. I had a craving for KD (Gotta Be KD!) for lunch, so I had that and then immediately crawled into the blanket fort for a nap because CARB COMA. Does anyone else experience this? I slept so deeply that I had a wee case of sleep paralysis, which I find uber unsettling, but I shook it off, finally, got up, had a much later than usual for me cup of coffee, and here I am. Carbs *exhaust* me. I wonder what that’s about??

II. I thought it was Friday all morning so I did the usual Friday things (Journal52, a newsletter, etc) before realizing that it was actually Thursday. What the hell?

III. Finished up these two spreads today before the coma took me down:

I am so chuffed with both of them.

IV. I’m having some feelings about some classes I signed up for that claimed “NO DRAWING SKILLS REQUIRED”.

I was really excited about them, but then when I started to watch and the instructor was doing these beautiful initial sketches that *obviously require drawing skills*, I felt really disappointed.

These kinds of classes make me feel deflated AND ALSO they remind me that I want the people who take my classes to feel empowered. I want them to be amazed at what they’re capable of. I want them to feel really good about what they created.

Which was a really good reminder because every year around this time I start to struggle with comparey monsters about what I’m capable of producing vs. what other people are capable of producing and that’s just fucking nonsense.

I can teach a beginner. I can do it without leaving them feeling deflated. When I say “no drawing skills required” I really mean it. When I say “If I can do it, you can do it”, I proceed to prove it.

So, enough of the “not good enough” crap that this time of year tends to stir up in me, thank you very much.

V. The breeze coming in my window is absolutely autumnal and I am here for it.

VI. Headaches over the last few days, though. I think it’s weather related. I’m not here for that.

VII. Only one post behind in the blog-along now. Phew! I am alarmed by how fast this month is going, though. I really gotta get on the whole slaying of the list thing, but these headaches + today’s food coma are putting a dent in my motivation.

VIII. I’ll get all done. I always do.

IX. I got dishes done today and did a general tidy and there’s something about putting my place to rights that is incredibly soothing. I appreciate the self that knows that and drags me kicking and screaming into action. I bought one of those over the sink dish drainers and it has completely changed my life. Before, when I had a countertop drainer, my kitchen always felt cluttered unless I dried and put everything away. Now I can do them and drain them over the sink and the counters are clear. I love it.

I am “I love my dish drainer” years old, apparently. *laughs*

X. This thing is meant to be a makeup palette holder but I have repurposed it into a watercolor palette holder. These are my Prima palettes. I have eight of them, and no, I’m not an affiliate, but maybe I should be. *laughs*

The last palette in the holder is a tiny QoR travel palette. It’s swoon worthy, too.

And that’s today. I hope you’re well, my darling humans. I hope you find spaces that make you feel inspired and empowered.

I’m blogging every day (ish) in September and you’re welcome to join me. 

No Agenda

Just a quick post so I don’t fall too far into the hole during my 30 posts in 30 days challenge. I am nursing a headache, so even the light coming from the screen is bothering me, but I have dimmed the lights in the studio and I’m working on something easy and playful because I did all the “laying down in a dark room” that I’m willing to do for the moment.

Neither of these spreads are finished but they are delighting me all the same.

It’s always good for me to get into the journal with no agenda except to please myself.

See you tomorrow.

How Not To Take A Few Days Off

I. Evening one of my tiny little break from *waves at all of this* began with many hours of feeling totally at loose ends while watching true crime documentaries on YouTube. I made myself stay up late like I might if I was on vacation. Rolled myself into my blankets at around 2 a.m. but still woke up at 8 a.m.


II. Got up with every intention of doing nothing but ended up adding the edited instructional videos to the Journal Jam Weekend Workshop because I couldn’t figure out what else to do with myself.

It’s okay, though. I rather enjoyed it.

III. I just need to take some pictures of the completed new Journal Jam deck and the workshop is ready to be released into the world as as teacher supported self-guided experience. I’m so glad to have proven to myself that these weekend workshops are worth doing, both for my students and for myself.

IV. I had a nap and it was glorious. I even got REM sleep and remember a part of my dream where a friend tucked me in and kissed me on the forehead. Unbearable sweetness. Apparently some part of my subconscious loves me.

V. I’m planning another weekend workshop for the end of September called “Out Of The Shadows”. I want to work with the stuff that’s lurking in our murky bits, and make art as medicine for that stuff using silhouettes as traceables/masks to create rich mixed media art pieces.

Like this:

I’ll be announcing registration soon. If you’re into it, subscribe to my newsletter to get notified. 

VI. This made me laugh out loud:

Image of Baby Yoda that reads: When someone tells me they do their laundry and put it away in the same day. WITCHCRAFT.

VII. I have lost my house elf to full time employment, but I am handling everything okay myself. I am proud of that, but I’m not going to lie. I miss having the help. I may hire a new one as soon as I figure out what we’re doing with GG (a la moving him to London so I don’t have to hop in an Uber in the middle of the night with zero notice when he’s in crisis). He’s down with this plan, by the way, and loves the idea of Sunday dinners with mom resuming once more as well as access to the fur babes, who he thinks of as his pack. Rents for what he needs aren’t that bad here, but it is still something I’m going to have to crack open the bank of mom for, so I’ll hold off on the house elf until all of that is sorted out.

VIII. How in the sweet purple fuck am I almost 53? Where does the time go? What is even happening?

IX. I have wine and appetizers on a patio planned with a new (girl) friend tomorrow and I’m pretty excited about it. Who am I anymore?

X. I am going to try and do nothing for the rest of the day. Wish me luck!

I’m blogging every day (ish) in September and you’re welcome to join me. 


Beautiful Disaster

I. I had a Journal Jam today and it WAS A BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. I had to restart three times and send out links THREE TIMES and omg. But I powered through and we did it and it was WONDERFUL.

In case you missed it, here is the replay. 

The prompts + the steps I took to tend it are listed in the description below the replay.

II. I don’t plan on doing ten things again today, because that would be a lot, but I really love numbering these things. It lets me write about all the things that are top of mind without having to create a post that segues from one subject to the other. The number is the segue. I also love reading lists like this, and Renee is absolutely amazing at it, so go find her.

III. I am still scrambling, and I am still content, but I am aware that I really need to take tomorrow and Wednesday off if my mental health is going to hold, which means some things might be late butandalso my people always get it if that has to happen. I have one thing that has to be done asap so I don’t give a cherished friend an anxiety attack (Life Book taster! Get in there!) and then A Year Of Mary and then a full moon live for Moonshine and then a lesson for Book of Days and then putting together the guest artist lessons for Book Of Days and….

….I just overwhelmed myself.


IV. I fully own that the trauma of the last few years (decades?) has turned me into someone who fills her time with work because work WORKS for me. It feels good. It’s a dopamine hit. It’s connection. It pays my rent. It gives me a sense of purpose. It fulfills me. BUT. The way I fill my time with work means that one wrong move, one emergency, one quick trip to go look after family, one little thing means I’m in dire straits.

So that’s gotta change.

V. I will be celebrating my birthday with people this year. That is guaranteed and I am very excited about it.

And that’s it for today, love. I’m going to collapseyheap now that I’m only one post behind my desired thirty for this month.

P.S. I fucking LOVE Beautiful Disaster, which is why my Journal Jam cards are made on this deck of playing cards. I am not an affiliate. I just love everything they do and I own a bunch of their clothing.

I’m blogging every day (ish) in September and you’re welcome to join me. 

Scrambling A Little

I. Saturday was super fun. I went to a backyard BBQ, hosted by friends, with Kimi in tow, and we had a blast. There was a hot tub. There was a fire. There was music. There was food. Everyone was vaxxed. I came home at pumpkin time happy and a little in awe of how well I socialized despite *waves at all of this* and happily succumbed to the lure of these two sirens who were very excited to have me home in time for bed.

Image of my two dogs curled up with blankets.

Salem and Sookie, ready for bed!

II. This one was just pissed that I’d left her alone with the dogs for six hours, but she forgave me eventually.

My very elegant looking black cat with green eyes sitting perched atop my laptop bag.

Sybil. Totally unimpressed with me.

III. I have amazing news for you! I’m teaching in Life Book 2022, and the Taster Sessions are open for registration! These are always a super fun way to get to know who is teaching, what their style is, and get a good feeling for what Life Book is like! Click here to register for the FREE Taster, which starts on September 27th, 2021! Stay tuned for a giveaway!

And if you’re already convinced and you know you want to join me again for this fabulous yearly e-course, use coupon code ARTJOY30 to preregister and get 30% off!!

IV. Yesterday, I woke up and did a bunch of work before joining some close friends in some parallel play over Zoom. I worked on my Journal Jam cards – getting them sealed and waxed for future use. I love them so much, and I’m looking forward to using them today. SPEAKING OF WHICH!


Join me at 2 p.m. EASTERN for a fun hour or two of flinging paint, pulling prompts, and doing what they say! It’s free, and the replay link will go up in The Wilderhood once the file finishes converting.

VI. I am now two days behind in the Blog Along, which doesn’t bother me one bit. I have done so much work + play since I got home from Kitchener, and that is exactly what has been needful. Yesterday, instead of blogging, I visited Kimi to meet her new puppy and then had Lee over for Battlestar Gallactica and Chinese food. I sent Lee off home at 10 and rolled myself up in my blankets with an audiobook.

VII. I’m feeling refreshed today. A little pressed – there are a lot of deadlines coming up and you would not believe how much a couple of days “off-schedule” do to wreck my flow, but I am getting back into it. I don’t like this scrambling to get everything done feeling but I do like how it feels when I’ve gotten caught up and I can take a nice, long, slow, deep breath.

VIII. I can’t even with the news right now, so I’m just rolling my eyes and trying to live my life in what feels like a ship that’s going down. Anyone else?

IX. That being said, the Rose of Sharon is in full bloom, some of my plants are still thriving (I’ve lost the fern – that heatwave just sucked it dry), there’s a fresh cup of coffee steaming to my right, the cat has already come for some morning head butts and purring, and I like myself. We’ll call that a win.

X. I think I’ll pop in later today with a photo of what got done in Journal Jam to make up for one of the two missing blog posts in my thirty-day challenge, so I’ll see you then!!

I’m blogging every day (ish) in September and you’re welcome to join me.