Art Journaling at Daniel Smith

Art Journaling at Daniel Smith

I went to the free art journaling demo at Daniel Smith Art in Seattle on Saturday and it was a total blast. Liesel Lund lead the demo and she showed us how to make our own journal. Then she talked about some of her favorite products and showed us a few techniques for art journaling. She even shared some of her art journals — all of which were amazing. My favorite was an underwater-themed art journal with cut-away pages that reminded me of books I had when I was a kid. The kind with holes in the middle that slowly reveal more of the picture. Very cool.

I’m definitely signing up for the hands-on workshop in August that she’s teaching there – Intro to Art Journaling. It seems right up my alley since I’m pretty new to the format as an actual genre (though I’ve been collaging for a hundred years). Liesel also hosts workshops at her home in Phinney Ridge and several of them looks fabulous. Can’t wait to dig in.

So I was going to take photos of the event to share, but there was a big “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” sign at the front of the room when we arrived. Not sure why, but I didn’t want to get kicked out so I obeyed. (For the most part.) But the set-up reminded me of a cooking class, with Liesel at the front working at a big counter, with an enormous mirror overhead so we could watch her work.
(more…)

The Art of Paying Attention

The Art of Paying Attention

A coworker brought me a Peace Lily this morning. At least, I guessed it was a Peace Lily, based on the two remaining leaves that were curling crisply around a swiftly browning stalk. She was despondent. “I tried everything but it’s dying. I heard you’re the plant lady. Can you save it?” she asked me urgently.

“What did you do, put it in the window?” She nodded slowly, looking guilty without knowing why. I stuck my finger into the soil, which was dense and wet. “These guys don’t like direct light,” I told her. Never mind baking it the oven of a West-facing window. “And you need different soil.”

I took out my first aid kit and we went to work on the plant in ER mode. I knew we’d save the Lily; it just needed a little attention.
(more…)

#7: Are You Asking the Right Question?

#7: Are You Asking the Right Question?

When I’m going through a rough spot, I journal more. My morning writing sessions stretch out and I often add an evening session. This isn’t because I have so many answers to explore.

It’s because I have so many questions.

So many times, I’ve written a weighty, important question in my journal, and followed it with, I don’t have the answer to this. Please show me the way. And in the spirit of What the #$*! Do We Know!?, I ask the Universe to make the answer super obvious because I’m a little dense.

Asking big questions is an act of bravery. It’s one of the hardest things we can do as humans. Humans like the status quo: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But there’s a big difference between “not broken” and “working sublimely.”

The opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy.
(more…)

Your Boring Journal is a Dream Come True

Your Boring Journal is a Dream Come True

A lot of people tell me that they want to journal, but they don’t like what comes out. Their journal writing is boring. It’s trite. It’s repetitive. It’s negative.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. As it should be.

Journaling the unimportant is the most important thing you can do. Journaling regularly like this makes space in your head and your heart for stuff that is truly essential to flow in.

Journaling in Place

So your journaling feels pointless. It’s banal and boring. It’s a load of self-sorry whining. After three pages, there’s a lot of words but none of them will win the Nobel Prize for Literature. You struggled for half an hour and you’ve got zip to show for it. You’ve accomplished nothing.

Imagine judging exercise in the same terms.

I ran three miles on a treadmill today. In place. I mean, I didn’t even go anywhere! What a silly waste of time!

I could have used that half hour for something productive, like cleaning the apartment or returning the overdue library books. Or I could have at least run to someplace useful — like the grocery store. After all, I’ve got dinner to make.

But just like your boring journal entry, the magic of that exercise is invisible.
(more…)

How Simple Pleasures Can Save the World

How Simple Pleasures Can Save the World

When the newspaper headlines are bleak and the economy is going down the toilet, daily life can feel overwhelming at best. Everything is so messed up – where do we even start?!

I have an easy answer for you:

Start with simple pleasures.

6 Ways Simple Pleasures Can Save the World

Here are just a few of the ways that simple pleasures can help your mood, your confidence, and even your health.

1. They’re economical.
Simple pleasures are cheap or free, especially when they involve enjoying stuff you already have. Nature is free and can be an endless source of a million tiny pleasures. (Unless you have allergies. In that case, do your pleasure-seeking indoors. Nudge nudge, wink wink.)

2. They’re accessible to all.
Everyone can enjoy their own simple pleasures, regardless of circumstance. Even if you’re flat broke and totally stuck, you can relish in the scent of fresh cut grass.
(more…)