Good, Bad, and Wonderful


This is a Juniper Titmouse – my favorite, favorite, favorite bird – and he (she?) is responsible for saving my sanity and sense of humor this week.

I saw a sign the other day that said this:

“Sometimes, it’s just not worth chewing through the restraints.”

And that felt so right.

And sometimes, you feel like putting those tire spike things on both the entrance and exit ramps to the internet highway – so you can’t get on, and they can’t get off.

I won’t even tell you all of it. Just a sampling will do.

I got a surprise email from Dick Blick – where I recommend ALL the art supplies for my workshops WITH LINKS to the products. They said they were changing their affiliate program to run through a new source, and by the way, none of my links will work any longer. That constitutes a couple of weeks of work for me to fix. It’s not fixed yet. So, if you click a Supply link in any of my workshops or workbooks, it won’t work, I’m sorry.

And, every once in awhile, if you have an internet business, you run into customers who must be very bored because they have LOTS of time to spend complaining about nothing or about their own mistakes, like not reading a product description, or not being able to download a PDF. The solution could be simple, but they don’t hear it, because they are too busy telling you how you could run your business better.

These folks don’t come along very often (thanks be), but this week, there were two.

Here is my advice for anyone who runs a business online . . . never, never, never, engage in conversations with these people. You can tell who they are in their very first email. Their ensuing emails in pursuit of their determination to be right about being wronged will never end. I give them their money back. It is so much easier and cheaper than wasting all that time. Even after the refund, you may get a few more tirades, but at least you don’t have to read them.

And for my iPad Workshop, I offer the first workbook as a test drive. You can see how you like it, and then apply the purchase price to the whole workshop. It’s important that Workbook 1 be perfect.

So, this week, I find out that an app which I talk about for TWENTY pages of that 50 page workbook, has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from the app store. I call the company. Yes, they say, they permanently discontinued it. Oh.

Luckily, I have found a replacement that I like even better, but, of course, there are those TWENTY pages to re-write. I will let you know when that is done.

I wish I could say that was all of it, but it wasn’t. I am, however, going to quit whining and tell you about my favorite bird.


Lots of good things happen, but two of them are that birds start nesting outside my office window, and my Huskies start blowing their coats. Well, maybe that second one isn’t so good, but it is interesting. You could start a pillow and mattress business with just three dogs.

These two things go together because . . . wait for it . . . the fur makes GREAT nests.

I tuck bunches into tree branches, and fill a suet container or two . . .


and instead of going to the landfill, it makes bedding for birds, rabbits, and even mice – whoever is in the nesting mode.

To my great joy, a pair of Titmouses (Titmice?) have decided to make their home right outside my window in this house . . .

birdhouse1 titmouse4

The top picture shows the house blowing in a 34 mph sustained wind, another Spring thing around here. In the second picture, one of the couple is bringing a snack to the other who is working inside. Bad lighting in that one could not be helped.

So, my saving grace this week has been watching these two discovering the Husky fur, and stuffing as much as they can into this house.

They work on it every morning. Pretty soon there won’t be room for them.

So, let’s take another look at the first photo in this post . . .


See the white fluff now? This is a clump of fur that has blown onto the ground (34 mph wind will do that), and been discovered by our friend.

The next step is impossible to photograph well – the light is bad and I am shooting through a window. But the idea is that you shake the dickens out of the fur . . . cleaning it maybe?


And then, when you have it just right, you fly into the tree with it and do your best impression of Yosemite Sam before taking the fur to the house . . . 


Now, who could maintain a sour mood when looking at that!?!

So, I Cheered Up . . .

And started thinking about the Art Journaling Retreat in September.

I went out sketching on location a couple of times just to get a feel for how wonderful I want it to be. I thought and thought about it.

But, one thing kept bothering me – something which bothers me about all the retreats I have hosted or participated in before.

I really enjoy the experience, and then collapse on my face for two weeks.

Does that sound familiar at all?

The problem is that too much gets crammed into too little time.

Instructors sometime over-produce content (would I do that?), and students must hurry to get through it all.

And students get so used to that idea, that some of them hurry along everybody else with an “are we there yet?” pace which results in “learning” a whole bunch of new things, practicing none of them, going home with the resolve to do them all, not doing them all, forgetting how to do them all . . .sigh!

Does that sound familiar at all?

I don’t want to do that.

My friend, Sandy doesn’t want to do that.

Several potential attendees, who emailed me, do not want to do that.

SO . . . being that art journaling is really about recording the *MOMENTS* of our lives, savoring them, and saving them for future fond remembrance, an Art Journaling RETREAT, especially one in “Paradise”, should be relaxed and mindful.

You should have a chance to actually get some of that artwork in your journal, think about it, share it, ENJOY it without feeling hurried.

And that is what we are going to do.

I have finished the page of great detail, and the Retreat is now open for registration here:

Art Journaling in Paradise

We really wish everyone could come, but we must limit enrollment, so we put in a Payment Plan for those who need it. You can save your space with just a deposit.

I have a feeling this will be one of those “imprint” experiences that stand out in any lifetime!

I hope you can join us.

9 thoughts on “Good, Bad, and Wonderful

  1. Christine in Neotsu

    I am so ready for this mindful adventure in a place I’ve never been before.

    Thanks for offering this class.

  2. Sheri

    Not being an “experienced” Art Journaler(?) is not going to keep me away from this workshop. The preview reads “no experience needed” so I’m IN. plus I have until September to learn about it. So glad to have discovered your workshops!

  3. Jeanne

    I love titmice, and I loved your photojournal of their activities! I did not know birds like dog fur for their nesting material, although I have heard of their using clothes dryer lint. A week ago I even saw a squirrel hauling a stuffed animal along the fence. It (not the squirrel) had some stuffing coming out of it, so I assume it was for nesting. Creatures are certainly enterprising in their nest making!

    And, it is with GREAT regret that I tell you I won’t be able to make the art journal retreat….

  4. Cathy in AZ


    I do understand. I prepare income taxes. This year was a nightmare. But, I got through it. Most of my clients are really good and I have done their taxes for years. But I have some that I am going to fire this year. Basically, it is that they don’t understand that some things are quite complicated. They don’t know that this one form with one number on it is complicated. Sometimes I get hounded….when is it done? Phone calls, emails, and texts. Leave me alone!!! They will be fired. I will not invite them back into my life.

    I want you to know that I have enjoyed the Inktense class when I was able to work on it. Now that I am out of the tax season, I will get back to my assignments. I can’t wait to do more.

    I have new camera that my husband bought me for Christmas about a year ago. I need to go back to school and learn to take photographs with it. I have been winging it. I do ok, but I want to do better. I am trying not to resort to my old camera that I know pretty well, but it does do better in some things.

    I will also be redoing my assignments in the IPad class later this year. Since I was using my iphone, I missed out on alot of assignments due to the lack of ipone apps. I plan on purchasing the new ipad when it comes out. Then I will get back to your school again.

    I love the photo of the Titmouse with the fur. We have a hawk family who has nested in a nearby tree. I have been trying to get good photos of them. I have some ‘ok’ photos, not gallery photos. The birds are finally trying to come back after the Fire 2 years ago. Wildlife is still too close to the house (due to the fire). My precious, long haired, blue eyed, Frankie who I have taken several photos of in your classes was subject to a wildlife need a few weeks ago. My heart breaks.

    So, out of tax season and ready to play again. I love taking photographs and I can’t tell you how much you have taught me and encouraged me in photography. I am so grateful.

  5. Cassie

    I love the bearded Titmouse (confirming that the one in the pic is a male…grandpa mouse). It’s awesome that your dogs could be so instrumental in creating homes for other critters. Kinda like “Habitat for Humanity,” only for birds. You must be proud.

  6. Alcina Nolley

    I’m having an experience with birds building nest here too. We have very friendly Antillian Bullfinches that get more familiar with each new generation. This year they are coming into the house to find nesting material and are taking wool from my wall hanging, which was made by a woman who grows her sheep, dyes her wool and weaves wall hangings and other fun textiles. I think, I will reluctantly put a plastic bag over my wall hanging in order to preserve it.

  7. jessica Post author

    Coming in the house!? I love it.

    When it happens here, though, there’s big drama because of the 2 cats who also live here!

    But they do it anyway – come down through the fireplaces. We have to lock up all the animals, open all the doors and wait until they get good and ready to leave.

    One Thrasher actually stopped to pick up lunch (an unlucky spider) on his way out the door.

    Once, when I was on a road trip, DH opened the pantry to get his soup (that which he lives on whilst I am away), and there was another Thrasher sitting there looking at him from the soup shelf. I don’t know who was more startled – lol

  8. Colleen

    I am so glad to hear you say that the retreat will be less intense and more contemplative(?)! I can’t wait!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.