Category Archives: Books

Artist Journal Chronicles is Here!

ajccovershotblogI wish I were you for a couple hours.

That’s weird, because I have rarely wanted to be in someone else’s shoes. I like my crazy life.

Actually, I don’t even want to be in my “SHOES”, but you know what I mean.

I wish this book had been written by someone else, because then, I could be like you, and have the pleasure of opening and exploring a WONDERFUL adventure in my favorite subject – art journaling.

Since that can’t be true, I do appreciate the joy I had in putting this together for other journal lovers.

Artist Journal Chronicles, Volume One, is a PDF book that you download on checkout. It has 90+ pages about the What, Why, When, and How of visual journal pages. It has story, maps of creative process, tips and art lessons, reviews, tool talk, and page projects for every level of complexity.

In this age of boutique publishing, I don’t know whether to call this a series of books or a magazine. So I decided it is a periodical.

Then I looked up the meaning of “periodical” and was a little worried about the “Regular Interval” part of the definition, because you all know about my unpredictable art life, But I enjoyed this so much that I plan to start the next volume as soon as I see whether you support this project by purchasing this one.

One person should not go purchase this volume because she won the free copy. That’s you, Rhee. I have sent you an email with the download link.

The way I did this was to yell out to Mark to pick a number between 1 and 68. He picked 28. I then went and counted to the 28th comment from the beginning – leaving out myself and one duplicate. Random enough I figure.

Anyway, without further ado (I will be back with more ado later), here is your link to this most amazing publication (in my humble opinion, of course, since I am thus far the only one to have seen it).


Please let me know if you enjoy it. I would say “and if you don’t” but I just don’t think that’s possible (grin).

FALL-ing into a new studio space . . .

leafpageIt’s that time of year when I don’t want to get rid of the Wild Rose bush that I never planted in the first place, and that fights me all Summer – with thorns being the least of her weapons.

But I came from Michigan a LONG time ago, and Fall leaves had lots of reds (Santa Fe leaves do not), so when this Wild Rose produces such amazing color every Fall, she stays on my “keeper” list. Continue reading

Can you have fun Resizing Photos?


As all of you know, I have been teaching computer graphics online for a LONG time. And I am pretty good at explaining stuff that seems complicated.

But there is one thing that remains unteachable for the most part, no matter how hard I try.

That thing is resizing photos. I have taught myself blue in the face and still, most folks just glaze right over when the subject comes up – or God forbid, the need arises.

I was reminded of this again the other day when a nice customer at the gallery offered to send me some pictures of a rusted raven he bought from us – now nicely ensconced in his garden. He said he would just send them all since he hadn’t really edited them yet.

OMG. I got almost a gigabyte worth of email with HUGE photos that took forever to download, and when they did, I had to scroll to see them – on my 24″ display!

Sound familiar?

So the irony is that we now have more photos than at any time in history, and yet we don’t use them or print them much because we can’t figure out resizing.

I also teach art journaling, as you know, and when we had the Santa Fe Retreat last September, I knew that people were going to want to take pictures of Santa Fe – AND they were going to want to put them in their journals. AND they all had iPads.

So I wrote a book about it – and gave it to them – and they loved it – and NOBODY had a problem about their photos being the right size to fit on their journal pages – regardless of what space they had to occupy. And nobody wasted any photo paper because we could print a bunch of photos of varied sizes on one page.

And nobody had to even think about pixels or resolution or anything else like that. They just arranged their photos to fit their pages layouts. And it was fun and intuitive and creative and artistic. All of that – really.

So, I updated the book and added some helpful templates – for cards and things as well as journal pages, and I have published it just in time for the busiest PHOTO season of the year.

And some of you might get iPads for Christmas if you haven’t got one already.

But for sure all of you are going to greatly increase the number of photos you don’t know what to do with during this holiday season, so you NEED this book.

You don’t need any background or to have taken the iPad Studio Workshop. This book stands alone.

If, however, you don’t know squat about photos and images on the iPad – like where they are kept and how to move them around and stuff like that, you might also want my iPad Studio Workbook 1 – which covers all that stuff. Therefore, I am offering a bundle of the two which will save you $5. It’s in the Shopping Cart.

SO, here is the link to this revolutionary Workbook. You will never have to worry about pixels again!

Printing Photos from Your iPad

What else is new . . .

Tis the season to be SO busy. I’ve been making art glass, buying a new car (had to), and planning the big gallery move.

I have things to share but it will have to be next time because the timer just ding-a-linged to tell me my famous baked potatoes are done and there are people around here who cannot wait!

Here’s that recipe in the Wisdom Woman Archives . . .


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A Real Treat of Art and Music . . .


There is much I don’t share with you, but not because I don’t want to.

I just have a hard time being a BRIEF blogger. I always want to wait until I have a big story to tell – or a whole batch of small ones. By that time, many treasures have fallen by the wayside.

I came by this video by a circuitous route and was SO charmed that I have to share it with you – right now before it gets lost in my pile of things to share.

This is a music video by Irish singer, Lisa Hannigan, The song is Lille and it can be found on her album called Sea Sew (find it on iTunes).

As this haunting and beautiful song plays, Lisa turns the pages of an incredible two volume pop-up book which illustrates the story. The book was created by Maeve Clancy, another Irish artist.

You know how I love great music and great illustration. And I really loved the whole personality that came through as Lisa turned the pages.

The work put into this project is mind-blowing to put it mildly.

I was so charmed that I watched it three times!!

And then I went and bought the album.

Here is the video link

And here is Maeve Clancy’s site where you can see more of her creativity.


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Garden Art Journal . . . Birdcages & Blocks of All Kinds


Watercolor & Ink – Stilman & Birns Beta Journal

On Pinterest yesterday, I found a board dedicated to Garden Journals – when someone pinned my birdbath sketch to it, and it occurred to me that, for the most part, Garden Journals are Art Journals because they tell a story about your life, help you remember things that happened, and usually have sketches, photos and other kinds of visual note-taking.

Since that happens to be my definition of “Art Journal”, I decided they belong in the same category.

And it’s a good thing, because so many of my art journal pages are about my garden that I would hate to have to separate the two.

This page is from back in April, but I rediscovered it yesterday.

When I created the page, I had just gotten home from a trip to Lowes, where I bought some stepping stones that I thought were the same as all the ones I put in last year.

They weren’t.

It’s weird how you can look at something everyday and not remember what it looks like.

But, it’s ok because I only bought these for the birdbaths to sit on – not to add to my walkways.

And I was having an uninspired journaling day, so it gave me something to draw – (grin).

Which brings me to a good idea to share with you.

What to Draw?

OK – sometimes that is a problem for everybody. You’ve got the urge – but no subject.

When it happens to me, I turn to some books I keep around for just such an occasion. These are fun, illustrated books of one kind or another, and seeing some simple pictures always gives me ideas of things to draw.

I will share these books with you from time to time. Here is a favorite:

Beautiful Doodles – Nellie Ryan


This is not a tangle type of doodling, but rather, simple sketches and partially drawn scenes for you to fill in. You can even work in the book itself if you want . . .


Either way, there are enough idea starters in here to get you out of any drawing block.

Past Garden Journal Pages . . .

This page brought up memories of other garden journal pages that are now lost in the archives.

Do you remember the Story of the Morning Glories I tried to grow from seed?

That was a five page garden journal story way back in 2011.

You can find the entire story here:

I enjoyed reading that story again – hope you do too.

And, I have the urge to blog more often again – let’s see how that goes?!?

For the Birds . . .


Backstage at the Whatever . . . Whenever Blog

I wrote yesterday’s post while sitting in my favorite place on earth – my garden swing.

No matter what I am doing in the garden, this is always right beside me . . .


And so it was that I could capture this most perfect headshot of Ms. Hummingbird.

And such a strange thing happened right afterward.

But first let me set the scene . . .

This is my all time favorite Hummingbird feeder, and it has its own story


This ceramic apple feeder was marketed by Havahart several years ago and is no longer sold. I loved it so much when I saw it at a local nursery, that I bought two.

I don’t know why I loved it so much – just one of those things. It was red and wonderfully shaped and shiny. May as well have been a heart. I loved it.

And my Hummingbirds loved it too. They know a good thing when they sip at one.

As much as I loved it, however, I gave the second one to my Mom for her garden.

Years passed and my wonderful apple got sun faded, cracked and finally got broken. I tried to find another one, and there were none to be had.

Then I went to Michigan to help my mother move to Santa Fe, and lo and behold, there was her apple feeder still in the box – just like new!

I gushed all over it until she gave it back to me.

And I was really happy with this new red apple. This time, I hung it on a shady branch of a tree so it wouldn’t fade.

But the tree I hung it in was this one – a Chinese Elm I have to keep cutting way back so it won’t become too big for the courtyard.


And one day, I cut the wrong branch and my apple feeder fell and smashed.

Great weeping and gnashing of teeth ensued.

I went back on the web determined to find another one. I called the manufacturer in case there might be one sitting forgotten in a warehouse somewhere. No luck.

But then, my friend, Google, came up with a woman on ebay who was selling some “VIntage Fruit Hummingbird Feeders”. The early 2000′s isn’t quite vintage in my book, but I went to look anyway.

You guessed it . . . there was my apple amongst some very ugly fruit that may as well have been vintage.

And I bought it.

So, that’s the ebay find hanging in the midget Elm as of yesterday (the garden is still very much a work in progress!)

And the tree is about 6 feet from my swing, so when my Hummingbird friend decided to visit the apple, I grabbed that telephoto lens and got right in her face with it.

And now, the strange thing that happened . . . she got right back in my face. She flew right up to the end of my lens – she didn’t hit it but she hovered there – just as close as she had been to the feeder. Obviously, there was no way to focus, so I just sat there until she had enough and flew away.

Maybe she was checking her make-up in the lens reflection?

Mark passed through the garden about then and I told him about it.

“Maybe she thought I was some exotic flower or something,” I said to him.

“Maybe she thought you were a gigantic Hummingbird with a REALLY weird beak,” he said.

It’s for moments like that that I keep him around.

Copyright Notice

You may have seen that I added copyright type to the lead photo in this post. I hate the look of that, but with Pinterest and all that going on, it is something I have to do – at least to the important images. I will try to keep it as unobtrusive as possible.

A Great Read . . .

I am really picky about fiction. It has to be very well written, not stupid or saccharin or hopelessly insipid. I am also sick to death of violence as entertainment. So, it is not very often that I will recommend a work of fiction, but . . .

This book I loved.



This is historical fiction at its best – telling the story of two women born at opposite ends of a century, who you would not think have anything in common – but they do. The narrative switches back and forth between the early 1900′s and 2011. I could not put it down – and smiled at the end.

Doesn’t get any better than that.


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