Friday, February 13, 2015

paper hearted

From our current Saturday Mornings Class...little heart blocks.

Tenderhearted with my little paper heart.

I think the middle of February has always been this way for me.  The holiday falling between the big deep snowfalls and the wistful way I viewed the ideals of romantic love.  My heart, a mix of every sweet love story you can think of, so caught up in the infatuation of it all.  Honestly, hopeless...I have always been addicted to love.

I am a sappy romantic.
I am a hopeless idealist.
And...I really

My tenderheartedness comes from a deep place.  
A place that knows love and loss.  

Many, many come from this place.  I am not alone.  We hold hands through these times, don't we? 

Too many times spent hoping, wishing, and kneeling - longing for something different - something to change.  And a tired mind, trying to hard to make up for what the heart wished it had.  
I had a heart that was too broken to be mended and had to be made new.  

Have you ever just asked for a brand new heart? 

It may sound sad, but it isn't.  

There is a gift of new life that accompanies those that fall into the arms of God's grace.  When our own ideas, strength, and desires fall apart and we crumble into his hands.   His heart is for us.  He knows every tear, He comforts every sadness,  He makes us smile (and laugh loudly) with things He knows we love.  

For me today, it is the the dancing lambs in the field and the big owl bobbing his head from the big tree.  He knows.

His love is what our heart wants most of all.
Real.  Honest.  Adoring.  Never ending. 

I pray, that if you are in a place of quiet tenderness, wanting and needing to be loved, you will open yourself to what new-heartedness is offered.   Perhaps you will quietly hold out your hands and hold out your heart, and be willing and expectant that God's love will cover, embrace, begin to warm you.  

I can't imagine a better Valentine.  

Grace & Peace, 


And please don't think for a minute that I don't love a sweet box of chocolates, a bunch of fresh flowers or a little heart shaped note...I do!    

{Paper Hearted}

Yes to this sweet book!

A beautiful friend is sharing a new story.   It is a brand new offering from Courtney Walsh, called Paper Hearts.  A darling story that I can't wait to read.  I am still and will always be a hopeless romantic you know.  Hopeless...Lol! 

I think any beautifully told story that bring our  hearts back to a place of love are worth sharing and telling.  I am so grateful for writers that do just that!  Thank you so much Courtney, for bringing a story to life that makes our hearts so happy!  

I also think her book's trailer is a fun watch, you will love it.   She is also welcoming so many artists and friends to take part in her launching of this precious story, you will want to see how all of these lovely ladies take in the message and thought behind Courtney's Paper Hearted theme.  She is doing a giveaway as that! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

open house - saturday mornings 2

Open House Saturday

I am so happy you are here...Welcome! 


*Saturday Mornings 2 : love & whimsy*
a favorite blocks collection

A bit of color play and frivolity to cheer up your winter art -
and bring a big dose of love and laughter to your studio!

I adore you...yes I do...

I am hibernating from the cold, can you tell?  Lounging about in my thick sweater and long wool socks,  I am quite the sight.  I hope you are warm enough?  I have your favorite spot ready by the fire.  The hot tea and treats are almost ready.  Curl up, let's grab a bite of food, and chat about our upcoming class...

Winter is perfectly timed for art moments like this.

Debbie McIntyre's winter - thank you for the beautiful snow photo - Old Saybrook, Connecticut
As I looked over my journal, my current art, and study materials, I realized I needed a break.  I needed a few lighthearted weekends with my most favorite artist friends (that's YOU).  I am selfish that way.  I think the beauty and silliness of life shouldn't be wasted and I couldn't imagine having all the fun by myself.  No, this is a girlfriends endeavor.  And we are just the artists to take advantage of cold days like this...we will stay in and paint!  

simple supplies + beautiful colors + a big dose of wild inspiration

Yep, it is a perfect mix!

What do you think?  Are you ready for some unpredictable, amusing and whimsical shenanigans?



First let's eat~  

I love it when my sister, Rhetta, makes all the food for my Open House weekends. 
It smells and tastes so good around here!  ((We all love your food my dear! xo))

"The kitchen is warming up this morning with the sound of sweet potatoes being grated into a mound of bright orange on our cutting board. We’re making hash browns in the waffle maker today. Savory or sweet for you?    Well, we will have both!

Apples, nutmeg, cloves, a dash of brown sugar, and salt are blended with our potatoes and pressed in our waffle maker. We’re using coconut oil to keep things from sticking…doesn't it smell so good?  Next we’ll crumble some bacon, grate some sweet red peppers, and add a sprinkle of finely diced onion to the blend. A dash of salt and pepper, and tiny sprinkle of chipotle Tabasco then into the waffle maker!

I just saw the greatest way to make poached eggs in a muffin tin…we are pulling the first tray out of the oven now and they will be perfect on top of our hash browns! How easy was that?!

On the sideboard this morning we have adorable cups and mason jars ready for you to layer with juicy chunks of oranges, pears, kiwi, purple grapes, and pomegranate seeds. Creamy yogurt and a bowl of golden lemon curd are ready to be added to the layers then topped with toasted coconut. My favorite combination of tart and sweet, crunchy and chewy!

I hope you can enjoy every flavorful bite. Mother nature's healing abilities through fresh and colorful food are amazing.  If there is one thing I have learned this last year is that we need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the moment… 
                        Now who is ready for seconds?"                


*week one - sneak peeks*

sweater trees  |  studio tease  |  valentines, please?

A few things we will be starting with the first week of class...oh, I am excited...

If you have taken a class with me before, you know the drill.  We talk and sketch and come up with way too many good ideas.  Then I ask questions and you answer back (right?).  We laugh and paint and drink coffee.  Everyone gets caught up in all the fun and we forget to make dinner.  

If you haven't taken a class with me before, warn your might forget dinner.  Sorry!

Open House Video | Sketching Trees
(You may need to turn down the volume)

Grab your sketchbook and you can join right in.  We are just starting a fun project that we will be completing together the first week of class.   All you need is a mechanical pencil to get started.


Our newly updated list of inspirations we are going to be exploring: 

sweater trees (yarn bombing)
and a studio tease 

pocketful-of-sunshine valentines
 little lovebirds 

baking a proper cake - master class
(think "Great Britain bake off")

Italian love letters - lettere d'amore
sparkling layers of winter whites

doorways & romantic stoops
"home blessings"

fresh french bouquets

frolicking sheep & mischievous lambs


A new materials list - keep it simple: 
(You don't have to purchase all the supplies listed, these are simply a guide for what is used in upcoming projects. I like to use what I have on hand and encourage you to do the same. Be creative!) 
Wood blocks  - typically 2x4's cut in various lengths (3, 4, 5, 6 inches), a 2x6 cut into a squared shape, any other wood pieces you come across.  I cut at least a dozen, at random lengths, at a time, you may want to start with less.  Hardware stores will cut them for you, just ask a nice looking person to help you.  If you don't want to use wood blocks you can use canvases in any size, art journal pages, or simply sketch along with us in your sketchbook.  Once you try a wood will be addicted.  Fair warning.

Sandpaper #100
Sketchbook (one you will use) and mechanical pencils
Book paper, torn from an old book
Pieces of colorful paper.  I recommend cardstock weight (heavier, thicker), but any will do.

Acrylic paints - any colors that you love right now.  Include white/cream and black to your mix.
Heavy body acrylic paints - titanium white (golden brand is what i use) and any other colors you love the most.
Acrylic brushes - in assorted sizes.  Purchase a small inexpensive package if you need variety.

White gesso - I love the cheap gesso (Daler Rowney)
Decoupage or Mod podge - matte finish is my favorite
Neocolor ll crayons or a set of simple watercolors - we use brown quite a bit.
A couple sheets of 8x11 hot pressed (smooth) watercolor paper, you don't need an expensive brand.

Black sharpie fine point pen
White sharpie poster paint pen, fine or medium.  I have a hard time finding these outside of
Rub-ons - a scrapbooking supply that adds a secondary dimension to your work.  (I only use a few)
Texture helps - start collecting little pieces of punchinella, sheet rock tape, or bubble wrap if you like the look of texture in your work. (Find things around your creative)
And: Clear glitter, ribbon, new condiment bottle (I will show you), small sharp scissors.

Home blessing sketches - a week 4 project
In all the courses I have taught (many, many), I have learned that the greatest gifts are found in a collective mix of artists coming together with goodness in their hearts, kindness on their lips, and an eagerness to build inspired moments for all.   
I see you, my friend, as one of these blessed souls.

You are the most important part of your art
( and your sketchbook!) 

I believe in you.  I know you have it in you to try.  I will be here to hold your hand.

I am honored you will join me and our group of amazing artists as we embark on a new adventure in lighthearted creative play.  You may just find your new creative muse in the mix!

love & gesso


If you haven't signed up, here is the link for you:

Saturday Mornings:  Love & Whimsy
My Favorite Blocks Collection 2


Online class begins Saturday, 

February 7

Our class will run live for for 4 consecutive weekends. 
Jump in every week for new content and take as long as you need to complete your projects.
You will receive a confirmation email and invitation to the Open House within 24 hours of purchase.  Class login instructions will be emailed the day of class.  


If you would like to try our first Saturday Mornings Class, please do.  It is a crowd favorite, loaded with a dozen more projects to try.  It is available for two (or more) years, no stress.  All of the details and link HERE.

Saturday Mornings Class (the first collection): link HERE.

And, Rhetta's delicious recipe from our open house today...Oh, yum!  

Peeled Sweet Potato Hash Browns
For sweet hash browns:
·         Coconut oil
·         Spice (cinnamon or nutmeg or dash of cloves)
·         Grated Apple

For savory hash browns:
·         use bacon grease instead of the coconut oil
·         grate in a little bit of red or orange pepper or onion
·         add a few bacon crumbles

1.     Heat the waffle iron to its medium setting..
2.     While it’s heating, peel the uncooked sweet potatoes (or yams) and grate them on the large holes of a box grater.
3.     Squeeze the grated potatoes in cloth or paper towels to extract as much moisture as possible.
4.     When the iron is hot (ready light comes on), fill the bottom half with 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil and brush it over the top and bottom irons.
5.     Squeeze the potatoes again to release any excess moisture.
6.     Season the sweet potatoes as desired by mixing spices into the grated potatoes.
7.     Place about 1 cup of potato in the iron, spread it out, and close it. Cook until the hash browns are golden brown and crisp, about eight to ten minutes.
8.     Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Throw an egg on top for a great breakfast, or serve as a side with lunch or dinner.

Monday, January 19, 2015

sparkling new offering

The shimmering light is flooding my old home's south windows.  It is the winter's gift, a spilling of sparkles, bright colorful joy...everywhere.

Joyful shimmers.
Yes it says...God is with us.

His goodness and mercy flood our hearts (when we sit still long enough to see, right?), and
the beauty of today's creations - just as they are - in full sparkle.

Can you see winter gifts too?  

My weeks have been filled with family and art.

I decided at the beginning of the year to do some collections of personal art.  Things that I had been meaning to start and complete.  Resting from classes and commissions, I sketched.  Ideas were taken from photos of last year's trips, pent up muses, and bits of things that had been floating around my studio. I gave into the warmth of the open windows (and at night the warm fire) and painted to my heart's content.

It has been quiet, restful, and good.

It is important to care for your inner artist.
She needs quiet moments to pursue her heart's inspirations. make the art.

*  *  *  *  *  *

As much as I love the restful respite of a warm fire and my own thoughts, I have missed time with you!  It is time to get together and make some beautiful new art~

What do you think?

The best thing I did last year was begin it with a crazy fetish of my favorite block art.  I loved every single project we did together and have displayed and gifted them all year long.

This year I want to jump in again, with both feet, into a wild new mix of color and whimsy. It is surefire way to get creativity flowing and colorful ideas always is!

This class is~

Easy and simple. 

Taking simple supplies (mainly acrylic paints and brushes), blocks of wood or small canvases, and bits of ephemera, we will come up with brilliant little works of art that you will love.  LOVE.  The instructions are easy to follow: videos, descriptions, and easy to follow images that will help you with each step.

Sketch and create in a sitting.

Every project we do is simple enough to complete in a day.  I  will promise to make it simple enough for a novice and easy for seasoned artists to create their own unique pieces.  We will sketch dozens of ideas...dozens.  You will be amazed by what creativity you have in you!

Lovable and inspiring.

You will want to hold and kiss each one...they are that wonderful.

Pretty and practical.  

Beautiful unique art that can also hold favorite verses, recipes, quotes and prayers -- these little pieces are treasures of love and daily use.

Honestly...what can be better than that?

In all of the brilliant new art we came up with in our last class...the sketching ideas just kept growing. I had an sketchbook brimming with new loves.  You too?

 a *brand new collection* of my favorite block art 

You don't have to take the first class to jump into this one (but I know you will want to!).  We will be messy and wild in our explorations of new and playful ideas. Each weekend for four weeks will have a classroom filled with new content.  Can I give you a sample of what I am working on right now?

All new sketches & art include:

baking cakes - a master class
Italian love letters - lettere d'amore
sparkling layers of winter whites

old world doorways & romantic stoops
fresh french bouquets
frolicking sheep & mischievous lambs
home blessings
pocketful-of-sunshine valentines
and little lovebirds 

Block art from past workshops & Stampington's Workshop magazine

Every class I offer is filled with wild new inspirations and sooo many sketches. Every *project day* we spend together will be a treat for us both - creating new winter/spring collections of art, sharing our hearts, and being reminded again and again...
You are a beautifully unique artist and you are so loved!

I will be online each weekend of class and will be in daily support of our online artist community. These are some of the most kind, friendly, helpful, and silly-wonderful friends you could ever meet. We do have the best art-hearted artists around!


These are a few offerings from last year's workshop.  
Sign up: HERE.  


 Join me for a brand new & favorite...
(online) Open House
(on my blog...for all to see!)

The Open House will have fresh new class offerings, a welcome
 message, helpful hints/tips to get started, and of course delicious sweets.  
Oh, yes...sweets.  

Saturday Mornings:  Love & Whimsy
My Favorite Blocks Collection 2


Online class begins Saturday, February 7

Our class will run live for for 4 consecutive weekends. 
Jump in every weekend for new content and take as long as you need to complete your projects.
You will receive a confirmation email and invitation to the Open House within 24 hours of purchase.  Class login instructions will be emailed the day of class.  


If you need help getting wood blocks, it is simple. Take the list of measurements I will give you to your local hardware store and have them cut the blocks for you.  Some stores charge a small fee.  Kind husbands, brothers, neighbors and friends with a saw are also especially helpful - if you don't have a saw yourself.  I pick up blocks at building sites as well - from the pile of scraps!

 You also have the option of using a canvas, art journal, or any other art medium instead.  Every project is able to be made multiple ways.  Simple! 


Thank You

Thank you for being so patient and kindhearted towards me and my family this winter.  It has been a rough and long recovery for my son as he is regaining his strength from spinal surgery and I am so grateful for your prayers and help during this time.  I was completely worn out!  

I am also thankful for the reminders I have had again and again of the power of prayer, 
I don't understand how prayer works but it does.  I am a witness to its miracles.  

I am grateful for God's love & tenderness towards us in our times of greatest need.  He is love.

I am thinking of you my sweet friends and planning wonderful adventures this year...
May you be so very blessed in this sparkling season of newness. 

In grace & peace, 

If you are interested in the first Saturday Mornings Class...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

expectant hope for the new year

I am sure of this.  

There was a pause in the adventure.  I wish it were not so, I wish I were super-human and could keep up with all that happens around me, but the way my tender-heart is created, I had to pause.

Have you had years like this too? 

Are you going through this right now?

My sweet Joseph, 16, has regained his strength and is almost back to himself.  He went through an exhausting surgery/recovery for major spinal problems this fall.  Unable to attend High School for 6 weeks is rough - especially with a non-homeschooling Mum like me.  He is finally going back to school and is smiling.  It is a miracle what the human body (his body) can endure.

*It is the gifting of prayer...hundreds of prayers were sent our way...and we are forever grateful*

My heart is completely covered with new mends, it looks like a tattered and darned sock. Watching and caring for anyone in pain is difficult, having it be my Joseph was undoing.  I think I aged 5 years.
I definitely have a soft spot for anyone dealing with caregiving.  I have learned a great deal about the stresses and the need for support.  It is so important to have a calm and determined mental state and to be able to talk to someone when you need to.  It is hard work, harder than I knew.  If you are a caregiver (in any form) I am praying with you and for you.  Reach out - don't feel alone.

I have to share this sweet face.  

My collection of lambs keeps growing.  I am adding this sweet lamb this week (after I choose a name).  She graced my holidays and was the perfect lamb-gifting for friends and family this year.  If you are ever in need of a tender-sweet moment alone with these babies, come visit me in the mud and straw here: Yes and Amen 

They have the gift of peaceful love, don't they?



I am excited to have more time and energy to spend here (online) and in my sunny studio this year.
Wonderfully wild and heart-felt things are in the mix for this new year.  I even have a couple of new workshops to add to this season of newness~  

My love-filled series on Pilgrimage is in the works (don't miss this one).  I will be posting details as soon as next week.  Rich in art, divine leading, and adventure, it is just right for this year! 
Starting this early spring...    

And then there is this...

Oh, you know me...addicted as ever.  This is a brand new mix of winter, whim, and wild new art to add to our already lovable collection.  Every little project will be a gift to your creative muse...

This 2nd collection class will begin later this month, January, sign ups start this next week.

I am grateful to be back, thick in paint and sketches, with you again!

In prayerfully anticipation of this new year, 
with a heart full of expectant hope...
Let's jump into this new year of adventure together!  

in His grace & peace,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

the Art of Goodness - Online Workshop

This is an "instant access workshop" - all content is ready for you, no waiting.  
*Same content as our online class last fall, just in a new home!*

Everything is beautiful~ 

The season of autumn opens doors for us into an enchanted world, doesn't it?  

Colors change, light moves, the cold breeze plays with our hair.  We move from a time of busy: planting and playing into a time of settling, harvesting, collecting.  We wake up each day to our world being subtly transformed. It is all about change... 

This is also the time of year we start bringing the enchanted world inside.  

With those thoughts in mind...

I am thrilled to announce and share the next workshop in the mix of fun this year -- 

The Art of Goodness Workshop 

Throughout Autumn, I see the honest and real "goodness" that surrounds us.  A world of wild inspiration, every sense heightened for change, and nature's bitter sweet show of color before her long white sleep.  It is the perfect time for us to capture these moments in our words, our photography, and in our art. 

 Like my other adventures in art, this one is packed full of goodies.  With the gorgeous time of year bringing us new palettes of color and light each day, our sketches will be fresh from our own enchanted lives.  I will of course bring you loads of new sketching ideas and techniques to try...but the most wonderful part of these adventures is seeing YOU come alive in your own art.  

You are the heart of your art...the divine and holy are entwined in your creating.


We will be trying our hands at new sketches, finding ways to bring our own lives into our art in meaningful (and very silly) ways.  I will help you start a new art journal and show you ideas for your own art journaling, I will even show you how to add all the finishing flourishes (sweet bitty details). 

Our sketches will also be enchanted in new ways for the holidays.  I will show you how to create with canvases, wool, watercolors, and favorite wood blocks for all kinds of holiday gifting.  You will have simple and meaning-rich projects to gift and share - even my favorite fall recipes.   Yum.

I couldn't be more excited!  
I love this time of year and I love having art time with YOU. 

Your art inspires and brings so much joy.   

Just a sneak peek of some of the fun!

Yes~ I hope you will jump in and join me...we have so much goodness and adventure to explore!

We will have an autumn FULL of my most favorite projects!  

This instant workshop is packed with creative content and ideas for your autumn art and your early holiday inspiration.  Our sketchbooks will fill up with wildly new ideas and you will be able to art-along with friends on our fun fall adventures~ make sure to join our new facebook group page! 

Plus, you have silly me to keep you going and to hold your hands. 

Honestly...loads of amazing projects to keep your fingers and heart full of creative fun~ 

I do so hope you will join me!  

Don't forget, a special Open House is included in the classroom, don't miss it.
I can't wait to see you~

*Same content as our online class last fall, just in a new home!*

The Art of Goodness Workshop
This is an "instant access workshop" - all content is ready for you, no waiting.  

a great price | so many projects!


You will receive an email confirmation and welcome letter within 24 hours.
   ***I need to have your preferred email address***  


 I am honored to have you as a friend and I am hopeful that the time we have together will be a great blessing to us.  I believe in you.  I believe that you are a beautiful artist with something meaningful to share.  I will be thinking of you and praying over our time together (that is what nuns-in disguise do).    

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