Author Archives: admin

A Month in the Life…Silver Linings


I think this may be the cutest dog picture I have ever seen! The slightly bloody paw bothers me a bit, but does not seem to be bothering this pup at all. More about dogs in the snow in a moment.

Happy Holidaze . . .

I hope you all shared a lot of love, good food, laughter, and stimulating conversation. Our holiday was all of that and more.

The Silver Lining . . . All is Well

I have been lucky to have been very visible online for a dozen years and to have avoided computer hell as much as I have.

When your first warning emails showed up right after the last post, about Google hanging the dreaded Malware sign on us, I honestly thought it would be a small thing to fix.

You and your computer were never actually in any danger whether you read the post or not. The trouble was that some ding-dang Russians had posted comments on some of the archived blogs that contained links to sites they run where they try to scam people. Somehow, they had gotten through my spam comment filters. You would have had to find that comment, and click on the author’s name to get there before you would have been vulnerable to anything. I know you didn’t do that, so no harm was done.

Once we found those comments, we were able to scour through all the Comments on all the archived Wisdom Woman blogs and get rid of them. Every time we thought we had found them all, we asked Google for a Review (which they will only do every 12 hours or so), and they would still find a culprit in there. It took 4 days, but we finally got the all clear from Google.

My server guys then said I HAD TO upgrade my version of WordPress to increase the security, or they would charge me to help the next time.

Problem was, that pretty theme I was using with the slideshow and all, was not compatible with the upgrade. When I installed the new version of WordPress, to my horror, the whole blog disappeared. And the server guys were off having their holiday. If you tried to go to the blog and got a plain white page, you hit that period of time.

So, the silver lining to this cloud was hard to find. At the point when I yelled F-YOU!!!!!!! at the computer screen, I knew I was over the top and had to take a break.

But, there is a silver lining after all. Out of all the thinking and rethinking about my online “brand” that went on while I was crawling on my belly through the total history of my websites, came a new plan for everything. I have been looking for that new plan for a long time, and there it was under all that cloud.

I’ll be letting you know all about it as I go along, but this plan should bring all the wonderful content that is buried all over the place like dog bones, back to the forefront, create enough growth that I still won’t have to mess up everything with advertising, and be a good thing for all of us.

Now, speaking of dog bones, back to dogs . . .

Dogs in Snow


Photo by Pamela Hubbard

Here is a link to a wonderful photo experience that will make you smile – guaranteed. If it could make me smile during my time in computer hell, it can make anybody cough up a grin or two. . .

Dogs in Snow

And, speaking of snow . . .


Trampled Snow Art by Simon Beck

As I have said so many times before, I am in awe of artists who create like this. The work is so arduous and the lifespan of the art so fleeting, the planning stage so complicated, and in this case, the working environment so challenging (cold), but the results are breathtaking and absolutely unique.

Enjoy these works in snow . . .

Just FYI Stuff . . .

The looks of this blog will be changing over the next week or so, as I search for the theme that best serves us all, AND one that will stay compatible with WordPress updates!

I also want to remind everyone that the new Inktense Soup to Nuts Workshop is discounted by $10 until the end of the year.

Start date will be January 15, 2013. Don’t miss this one no matter what your favored art genre. Inktense does everything!

Inktense – Soup to Nuts

Sunday Morning Coffee #6

No, I did not create this graphic. It is a stock cut, but I think it is really well done. Fonts are so much more than a collection of letters. I love collecting them, and with that in mind, here is another collection of free fonts you might like. The Journal font shows up here again, but the rest are different. I especially like that there are a couple of big black fonts, because those are hard to come by.

See which ones you might be interested in . . .

Thanks to Nancy for this font link, but do not miss the rest of the great stuff on this blog by Jerry Jones. I adore his narrative photography (especially the one with the dog on the railroad tracks!), and he offers all kinds of texture files, photo tint files, and Photoshop brushes for free download. His usage policy is most generous. He has a Donate button and it would be a nice way to says thanks.


In early 1990, I was deeply immersed in the new world of tech. I owned a graphic design and advertising firm, worked closely with many of the new Silicon Valley companies, and was fascinated by all the new magic that seemed to come along every day.

I forked aver about $1200 to attend one of the earliest TED conferences in Monterey, CA that Spring. The bad news – I got the only real FLU I ever had, and spent half the time in bed in the hotel. The good news . . . that conference still shines as one of the highlights of my life. I don’t think I have ever been so creatively and intellectually challenged, and so completely entertained at the same time. Even attending half of the talks was worth twice the price!

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but the scope has broadened over the years to include great ideas from all fields.

And, these wonderful talks are now available online for everybody at this link:

One of my recent favorites is this one called “How I Became 100 Artists”. You won’t believe what Shea Hembrey was able to do to create a biennial show of 100 international artists’ works – and he made them all up and created all the different pieces himself. Talk about multi media! He is also a guy with a great sense of humor and you will so enjoy this video.. Click the button top right on the screen to expand to full screen view.

Those of you with iPads, there is a TED app and you can watch these talks on your iPad!

Let It Snow . . .

Google does cute and creative stuff around holidays and I hope this one is still happening. Type . . .

Let it snow

into the Google search box, and watch what happens as your screen freezes over.


If you haven’t come around since last Sunday, check out my last post for a template to make slipcovers for your Moleskine Sketchbooks.

And the Whenever Workshop 2 for 1 Sale ends at midnight tonight (PST).

I know you are all busy doing holiday stuff, so I am not going to distract you anymore today. What I have provided already can take up a whole afternoon – and then some! Sorry . . . just enjoy yourself. The elves will take care of that to-do list.


ms finiah back

Sheer Heaven Moleskine Art Journal Cover


So far, my continuing quest for the perfect art journal always leads me back to the Moleskine Large Sketchbook. Heaven knows I try to fall in love with another, but something is always missing. Not that the Moleskine is perfect, but it does the best over all.

I keep my journals on a bookshelf, and in this drawer in my garden room.

Obviously, they all look alike, and when I want to find something in a particular volume, I have to go through each one until I come across it. Not so efficient.

I know that many folks paint on their covers, but I don’t  like the look, and there is something I do like a lot about these plain black covers hiding all the brightly colored stories of my life.

So, I came up with a slip cover template, which I am giving all you journalers as a Holiday Gift (See the link below).

I wanted the slipcover to be indestructible because it would be handled so much. Also easy to fold, and illustrate.

The perfect answer was Sheer Heaven, of course, but my template would not fit on a letter size sheet. So, as I mentioned last time, I had some Legal size Sheer Heaven cut.

In all the transfer hoopla, we often forget that Sheer Heaven is an awesome art paper for any and all media, so this cover is a great blank canvas for art and lettering.

Since the template is already a digital file, however, I illustrated my first one right in Photoshop.

The template is outlined in light blue so the fold lines are visible, but not obnoxious in the finished piece.

With the template open in Photoshop, I opened a scan of my favorite page from my first Art Journal in another window, and dragged it into the template window, where I resized it to fit the front cover . . .

Next, I used the Type Tool to add the Volume Number and Date the volume was begun . . .

I created a table of contents, also using the Type tool, for the back cover. This will tell me at a glance which life events are in this volume. . .

Once the table of contents was done, I knew how much room was left on the back cover to add a couple of my other favorite illustrations from this journal. . .

The next step is to print the illustrated template onto the right side of a legal sheet of Sheer Heaven . . . and cut it out, using the light blue lines as a guide. You can cut the lines off the edges, and they are really inconspicuous on the folds.

If you score the fold lines, do so on the back side (you can see the lines through the translucent Sheer Heaven of course).

However, I find it much easier and more accurate to simple fold along the lines using my fingers. Sheer Heaven does not have grain and is really friendly and forgiving to the folding process. I use both hands, but my right hand was taking this picture and couldn’t be in it at the same time. Just work along the folds with both index fingers and thumbs and you will get flawless folds.

Final folded piece . . .

Apply double-stick adhesive to the flap at the bottom of the front panel . . .

And to the flap on the left of the back cover . . .

Attach the side panels first. The one with the tab is inside, obviously. Stick your fingers inside to press the two panels together.

Put the Moleskine into the sleeve and press the bottom panels closed. Stand the book upright in the slipcover and press against the table to stick the panels well.

This gives you an art journal volume you can truly judge by its cover!

So, here is your gift template:

And, here is where you can get the Legal Size Sheer Heaven (until I run out).

Sale Alert-

The 2 for 1 Whenever Workshop Sale lasts only through Sunday!! Buy two and the least expensive one is free! (Discount will be applied before your charge is put through.)

Enjoy this project, and see you for coffee on Sunday!

Sunday Morning Coffee #5

Sheer Heaven is Legal . . . at least for a short time . . .

Many of you may recall that I used to offer Sheer Heaven in larger sheet sizes. One day, I stopped, and never really said why.

When the transfer craze hit, it changed things. Most people buying the product were now doing it to make transfers. But the problem is, the Sheer Heaven transfer won’t work on larger sheets because the alcohol evaporates too quickly, and you can’t keep the entire sheet evenly wet. That means spotty, blotchy transfers. I got tired of arguing with folks about it, and just started having my mill rolls converted 100% to 8.5×11 sized sheets.

Only one problem . . . one of my favorite things to make for my gallery is a small lamp called a “luminaria”. Some may remember that these lamps actually led to the creation of Sheer Heaven.

But, making a Luminaria from a letter size sheet of Sheer Heaven, results in a shade that is too small for my lamp bases. Hmmm . . .

Then one day, I created a template for a slip cover for my art journals, because they are all black Moleskine Sketchbooks and I can’t tell them apart. I have to go through all the volumes whenever I want to find a specific thing. I want the slip covers to be made of Sheer Heaven because I don’t want them tearing. And guess what . . . the template would not quite fit on a letter size sheet.

So, with my last mill roll, I had a small portion cut to 8.5 x 14 Legal size sheets. The Art Journal slip cover fit on there, and the sheet made a perfect sized Luminaria shade. Yippee.

I don’t have too much, but I have enough to share with you – to see if this is a size I should add to the line up in the Spring when my next roll comes up for conversion (they are BIG rolls).

Here is my latest Winter Luminaria design.

Of course, you can print anything on the Sheer Heaven, and the Legal sheets will go through any and all desktop inkjets. But I haven’t done any tutorials in awhile, so I am gifting you with not only this design file, but a PDF Tutorial on making perfect Luminarias from Legal Size sheets of Sheer Heaven.

Here they are for download:

and here is the place to get the Legal Sheer Heaven (while it lasts!)

Yes, it is a bit more expensive ($20/10 Pack), not only because of the extra material (25 square inches extra per sheet), but because the converters have to be reconfigured to cut this size.

These Luminarias stand 8.25″ tall and each side measures 3.25″ across. Plenty of room for a candle in a good sized glass, or my preference is one of these (shown lit above) . . . no cords necesssary . . .

You can find them at Amazon and at all the hardware stores. They run on AAA batteries which can be replaced.

Another cool idea for this time of year is to bunch a small string of those tiny Christmas lights (with a white cord) and put the bunch inside the shade. Cut a small notch at the bottom of the back panel for the cord to go out without tilting the shade.

These make WONDERFUL gifts and are fast as can be!

News About the Art Market . . .

I am not thrilled with the response so far, but I am not giving up. I have made the ads free indefinitely and increased the run time to 14 days until I see what happens given some more time. If you don’t have anything to sell or promote – please show support to those who do. Just click the logo in the sidebar. And a big thank you to those who jumped on the bandwagon. Let them know somebody is looking.

BIG Job Ahead . . .

We are moving the two stores into one today and tomorrow, so I don;t have a lot of blog time today. I will share pics when it looks like something.

Great Gift for Creative Types . . .

This is like a rubber clay that sticks to itself and everything else, and allows you to make little fixes and invent new parts for stuff. It hardens (cures) at room temperature in 24 hours. I love the idea of customizing some of my jewelry tools! And fixing my glasses. It’s some kind of silicone derivative and remains flexible after curing.

I really need to explore this one . . .

Don’t Forget the 2 for 1 Workshop Sale!

Goes through the 18th.

Have a wonderful Sunday . . .

12 Days of Christmas Sale!

Every December, I have a BIG SALE for my blog Subscribers. Usually, that is a 20/20 Sheer Heaven Sale, but alas, I cannot do that this year. For the first time, our conversion mill must do some retooling and shut down for a large part of January. For the first time ever, I face the possibility that I will temporarily run out of Sheer Heaven, so having a big sale on it right now makes no sense at all.

It has been my experience that when folks take one of my workshops, they want another.

It has also been true that when someone enjoys a workshop, they often buy one for a friend.

So, I have decided that having a 2 for 1 Sale on WHENEVER Workshops might be a sale that is earthshaking enough.

Here’s how it works: You buy two workshops and the second one is free.

Two for you – or buy one for you, and the second as a gift for a friend.

The less expensive of the two is the free one. If both are the same price, one of them is free.

The Shopping Cart cannot figure this out, but I can. I will subtract the free workshop BEFORE processing your charge.

I cannot figure out how to make PayPal work for this, however, so you have to use a VISA or Mastercard through the Shopping Cart this time. If you cannot do that, email me and we will figure something out.

If you are giving a Workshop as a Gift, you must tell me the recipient’s Name and Email address in the Comments section of the order, so I can set up their registration and access to the workshop files, and they will then be eligible to send me questions and get answers as well.

You can then go ahead and Download both Workshop Guides and email one to your friend.


Here is the link to the WHENEVER Workshop page (and you can always find it in the sidebar as well.

Sunday Morning Coffee #4 . . .

A Dog With A Bone . . .

You’ve heard this expression, right? Have you ever tried getting a good bone away from a dog? It’s not pretty.

I am like a dog with a bone. When I have what I think is a good or great idea, I can’t let go of it. If it is stalled, or derailed for some reason or another, it stays on my back burner and simmers. Sometimes, it simmers right into a solution.

I have been thinking about an Artist Classifieds site for two years. I actively worked on it for six months. I did a little test with you awhile back and the results did not justify the massive amount of my time it would consume. It went on the back burner, but it did not go away.

Yesterday morning, I discovered something I had never run across before – a way to do this whole concept WITHOUT it taking up all my time. It was possible to create a dedicated classifieds site that could pretty much run itself  - because you just create your own ads whenever you want. This meant that the ads could be cheaper. This meant that we could have FREE ads for stuff that is being given away FREE.

So I set it up – I could not stop myself. My friend, Sue, and I played with it yesterday, and it is EASY and fun.

I decided to let everybody have a go at it for free through December 10, 2011.

After that, the Fee Schedule for Ads and pictures will be amazingly affordable – starting at $3.50 for a week long ad!

Now, I need your Help. This is your big chance to give back to our online art community for all the great gifts you receive.

We need to give this its initial life force.

We need you to go place a free ad. Most everybody has something they can advertise. Go get that beautiful art piece you made for the next craft show. Put it out there for sale. It might make a perfect Christmas gift for someone.

Advertise your website, your blog, your friend’s website or Etsy store. Sell off your art supplies and books that you are no longer using. Or give them away.

The Ads are ALL FREE right now and good for a week. The form you fill out is amazingly easy, and creating an ad takes about 5 minutes or less (I know – I have been practicing.)

AND THEN . . . go forth and blab! Tell every person you know who has interest in things creative. Spread the word in the Groups and communities you belong to. All artists and crafts folks can benefit from this exchange.

Feel free to right-click the Art Market graphic in the sidebar and put it on your site or blog. Blog about advertising in the Art Market so traffic comes back the other way.

Last time we talked about this, some of you worried about showing your ideas to other artists, but you shouldn’t be worried about that. In my experience, it is other artists who appreciate and BUY art more than any other folks. Other artists may just be the best audience for your art. Look at the success of

I am counting on you. Here’s the link (and it will always be in the sidebar):

Can You See Anybody in this Photo?

If you haven’t spotted him yet, look carefully at the front of the front tire.

Is that amazing or what?! Artist, Liu Bolin, works with two assistants to paint himself into a scene and then makes a photograph. I cannot begin to think how you go about planning this. The statement of the art is that man is invisible in the everyday world.

There are 18 samples of Liu’s work here:

Invisible Man

And Speaking of Works of Art . . .

Did you know that the second season of the TV show by that name is well underway on the Bravo channel? I would have told you sooner, but I didn’t know either. Still several episodes to go.

I Like this Sketchy Free Font . . .

The casual look is just right for so many things, and I love the bulkiness of this one:

Sketchy Rockwell Bold

And, Who Says Traditional Crafts and New Technology Don’t Mix?

For Apple fans, they do. How cute is this Finder pillow? And there’s lots more where that came from:

Apple Craft Stuff


Well, that’s it for this Sunday. Have a wonderful day, and go place some Classifieds! Let’s make this idea work!

Please Help with Some Stuff . . .

This is the header for the advertising blog I have been thinking about for over a year now. It is a great idea but lots of details had to be worked out, and I have done a lot of waffling about how, when, why to do it.

The idea is that artists, craftspeople, and purveyors of art supplies, etc. can run an affordable display ad to let people know they exist, or that they have a new product.

Any artist can start a site or an Etsy Shop, or a blog, but unless you have a way to let people know you are there, they won’t come.

If we can start with my online following and get the word out to lots more people, we could create a sort of community resource for the creative community.

The idea is that you can run a display ad with a photo for $15. The ad includes one headline which you supply, one photograph which you supply, 100 words of copy which is about as much as the first three paragraphs of this post, and a link to wherever you want the interested reader to go.

Your display ad is actually a blog post, and stays on the blog until you want it taken off. Ad posts will age like any blog post, but will always be available when someone searches by category (Jewelry, for example). When you ad gets too old, you can afford to place another one.

What to advertise?

Your handmade artworks and craft creations.

Your Workshops or books you have published

Your blog, website, or Etsy shop

Your art supplies if you sell them, or if you just want to move along some of what you are not using.

Anything at all that would be of interest to other creative people.

Tis the Season?

Because the holidays are coming, it seems to me that this Fall might be a good time to Beta test this idea, because people need to find handmade gifts (and make some so they need supplies).

So, I have the blog site ready to go and I need to start it off with some ads. to make sure everything functions correctly.

I was just going to make some up, but I think I have a better idea.

I am giving away the first 8 ads FREE of charge – to the first 8 people who get their information to me.

Here is what I need emailed to me:

Use this email address:

A photo of your work or whatever you want to sell. Or it can be a photo of your site or the top of your blog or whatever you think will appeal to other creative people.

The photo must be 72ppi and no wider than 500 pixels. The photo should be attached to your email.

If you don’t know how to resize your photos, check this Techinical Tizzie post:

A headline for your ad (as long as a typical blog post headline.

100 words or fewer of copy.

Your contact Link

You will be notified by return email if you made the first 8 and win the free ad.

If you do not make the first 8, I will notify you when the Creative Classifieds site is ready, and ask whether you would like to purchase an ad.

This experiment . . .

WIll tell me if there is enthusiastic response to this idea. If there is, I will go ahead with it.

If there is not, I will get the idea out of my head and make room for others.

To PayPal or not to PayPal

I have been a credit card merchant for 18 years. I now accept Mastercard and Visa directly through the Shopping Cart on my website, and process all the charges manually through a real world terminal.

I am sick and tired of being ripped off by the merchant banks.

I have not accepted Paypal in the past because it would mean a separate and second way of bookkeeping, and for a long time, it was more expensive. But that is different now.

I quietly added PayPal as a payment option a week ago. 65% of orders coming through have chosen to pay through PayPal.

Very Important: You DO NOT have to be a PayPal member to pay with your credit card through PayPal.

The benefit to my customers is that they can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, have the security of the PayPal system, and even pay directly through their bank account if they are a PayPal member.

The benefit to me is a savings of both time and money.

I am thinking of PayPal being the only payment option on my site, and I am just wanting to know if that would be a problem for anybody?

Do you know of any reason I should not make this change?

I will so appreciate your feedback on this issue.

Talk to me (and send me those ads!)






New to this world . . .

You just never know what will brighten your day – and use up a big chunk of it too!

I was at the desktop computer, when my cat Angel, who was watching Cat TV right next to me, started chattering.

I looked up in time to see a bird land on my planting table (just outside the window), and tuck himself into a little cave made by my hose nozzle in its holster, and a plant that was awaiting transplant and some TLC.

The bird had a hard time folding its wings in and I thought it might be injured, so I started paying attention. He got settled in there and started chirping. Along came mother Robin with a tasty bug and fed it to him.

“OMG,” I said to Angel, “that’s a baby bird just learning to fly!”

“Yum”, she said.

“Off to the bedroom with you,” I said.

With both cats locked away, I ripped the screen off the window, opened it wide, grabbed the camera, and spent the next hour shooting this little sweetheart.

He could hear the shutter and would give me a look – wondering if I might bring him a bug, because Mom wasn’t bringing any more – regardless of how much chirping went on.

She wanted him to fly some more, so she was keeping herself – and the bugs – at a distance. And he would try – get all determined and ready to go . . .

And then chicken out, and sit there all disappointed with himself. We know that feeling, don’t we?

Or maybe, he was just thinking about bugs.

After more than an hour, and more than 100 photos, it was now or never – and away he went. I missed the shot, of course.

But I did see he and Mom hopping and flying around the garden, and having a great time. I discovered later that there were three little ones to look after, all hopping and flying and banging into things,etc.

Mom had a job! At one point, she showed the stress too. I never saw a bird with such ruffled feathers!

Make No Mistake

My favorite Key Command on my Mac is Command-Z.

I had a t-shirt once with that Key Command on it. The key command is Undo.

Unlike real life, almost anything you do on a computer, you can Undo.




This is the widely accepted icon for Undo (and ReDo). It is starting to show up in most software programs and in every art app on my iPad.

There is a great freedom in knowing that your next move is not permanent.

So, why then, do so many people posit the idea that an artist – particularly one who is somewhat intimidated by the idea of making a mark on a page in the first place, should jump out there with ink and just get over the mistakes they make.

I’m sorry, but that makes no sense to me.

Getting over the great fear that most folks feel about drawing is a question of PERMISSION.

Society does not really give you permission to waste time like that in the first place, and that idea gets implanted early on and puts down very deep roots.

With the fear already in place – of doing something you really should not be doing because there are dirty dishes in the sink , facing the blank page in an expensive sketchbook is truly an intimidating proposition.

What if you ruin it?!? What if you draw something that just isn’t good? How can you keep anybody from seeing that and confirming that you are foolishly wasting time?

With our ubiquitous inner critics in tow, we do not seem to totally get over this lack of permission, even when we have made it quite  a way along the pathways of our own creativity.

But PERMISSION is readily available and costs less than a dollar! It is the real life equivalent of the Undo key – the lowly ERASER.

Erasers are wonderful things and would be the last art supply I would give up. That’s right, I wouldn’t even keep my pencil if  I could not have an eraser.

And I’m not even intimidated about ruining pages anymore. I have ruined lots of them and nothing bad happened to me. And I can fix any mistake because I have my erasers.

Not only do my erasers give me permission to make any mark with my pencil, they allow me to stretch my creative thinking as I sketch. I have always found that my art changes many times in the sketching stage, and the eraser allows me to relax into those changes.

So, I don’t leave home without it!  In fact, I don’t leave home without several of them.

My favorite eraser is the Magic Rub by Sanford. This eraser is soft and flexible and will not harm paper. It also carves easily in case you get the urge to carve a stamp, and it cuts easily with a craft knife so you can make a piece small enough to fit whatever small art kit you are carrying.

Sanford also makes a version in stick form (refillable) but it is a little harder. It is called Tuff Stuff and is great for erasing very small areas.

I like a harder eraser for erasing Panpastel, however, and my favorite for this is the Mars Staedtler (below), which also comes in a refillable stick version (blue above). This is actually a plastic eraser and while it has some flexibility, it holds a point or a corner for erasing lines out of the pastel. I actually draw into the pastel (in white) with this eraser.

Magic Rub, itself, comes in a pencil form (below). You peel off the paper “pencil” to reveal as much eraser as you want exposed. This fits journaling kits every well, but I am a klutz at the peel-off technology, I must admit.

So, I am a big fan of the Faber-Castell version of a pencil eraser, which you sharpen like a pencil – with a pencil sharperner. The actual eraser is not as soft as the Magic Rub, but it holds a great point for when you have to erase a tiny area.

All of these are inexpensive and can be found at art and craft stores. The links I have provided are at Dick Blick. They carry all of them at discounted prices. (All are inexpensive anyway).

I travel with a Magic Rub cut to fit under one of the elastics in my journal kit, a stick eraser, and a Faber Castell Pencil eraser. I don’t usually travel with my Panpastels, so I keep my Mars plastic eraser at home.

Make no mistake about it – erasers are important art tools. Give yourself permission to use them, and they will give you permission to make your marks in the world!