Sunday, September 21, 2014

On the hunt for the perfect opaque white marker....

If you enjoy art journaling as much as I do, I'm sure you have been trying to find the best permanent white marker (that actually works.)  I have tried a bunch, and here is a review of some of them.  The pictures aren't that great, but they will give you the names of the company that makes them.
I will start with the worst ones...

This is Craftsmart by Michael's.  One time I came across one that really worked well, but lately I bought two that are AWFUL.  You push the nib down and expect to get a good flow, but you get a huge blob and no flow.  I'm taking them back.  They were $3.99 or $3.49 (can't recall exactly.)  This pen does not work well on canvas either if you're trying to outline something.

You would think Prismacolor would have a great pen, but this does not work on paper, or any other surface.  Just don't buy it.

Pen-touch by Sakura.  It's goes on in blobs and it's hard to use.  I regret buying that one, and I don't remember the price. 

Gelli Roll pen works ok on paper with a very thin line.  Great for doing fine work and outlining.  Good flow and lots of pigment.  Doesn't work on canvas.

I used to LOVE Elmer's Painter's pens.  I would buy the box of various colors when I had a 50% off coupon.  They lasted for a long time and the paint spread consistently.  The white worked like a dream.  The quality has gone down considerably in the last two years.  I'm so disappointed.  They don't last, and they spread blobs too.  You start a line and it's ok, but fizzles out after a couple of inches.  I have not seen an improvement in the quality, so I'm going to quit buying the brand.  I didn't have a white pen to use in the picture because I threw it out in a fit of

The Faber-Castell pen is good.  The only set backs: the nib is thick and you have to apply the lines a couple of times to get a solid white line.  But it spreads evenly without blobs. 

DecoColor also spreads a good line, but you have to apply a couple of times to get the solid line.  It also smells vile of chemicals...  I aim my fan toward the table when I'm using it.

The winner is:  Uni-ball Signo.  It draws a really good line, but is not permanent.  Unfortunately.  For paper work it's great, but not on canvas if you're going to apply something else on top.  It smears.  I did get a whole box of them for $23.00 at Jetpen's and if you buy, make sure to get the Japanese version.  See the lettering on the box?  Free shipping if you spend $25. I had some of their other colors as well, and they are great for writing, so smooth and easy.

What is your experience with white pens??  I would love to know since I'm still hunting for that perfect PERMANENT marker.  If you want to keep in touch, please sign up for my newsletter at the top right hand side.  :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Art by some of my favorite artists...

Who is your favorite artist, or type of art?

I have a long list of favorite artists, but you would have to spend a week reading this post, so I will keep it short and sweet.  Lately I have been doing a lot of art journaling and mixed media.  Everything seems to go in cycles, so acrylic paintings could be next.  Here are some of my favorite artists:

Iris Fritschi-Cussens lives in London, England.

There is a tutorial on how to make this lovely image on her website.  She also has lots of fabulous how-to videos.  Check out her website HERE.

Another favorite is Christina Colwell in Oregon.  I love her whimsical style and happy colors!  

You can check out her Facebook art page HERE.

Tracy Verdugo is from Australia.  I love it that you can find artists from all over the world via the Internet!  She is teaching a really cool ecourse starting on September 24.

Check out her Facebook art page HERE.

Tamara Laporte has a massive blog hop going.  Check out all the wonderful art.

This picture is by Jane Davenport.  She is part of the blog hop and ecourse:

This looks like a really cool course.  Lots of great teachers involved. 
Check out Tamara's Facebook page HERE.

More about the Life Book course HERE.

Willowing and Friends community page on Facebook, HERE.

Those are just a few of my favorites.  I'm a huge fan of Flora Bowley too. Here's a short 
video of her by Zipporah.  Click HERE.

Who gives you inspiration, or nudges to keep on going with your art?  Please comment 
and share.  :)  Have a great day full of inspiration!  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guest post by LisaDiana Delaney, No More Working 9-5...

There is more to life than working 9-5. I came to this realization when I was very unhappy and terribly exhausted. I had spent many years striving, working, and achieving a lot in my chosen career only to collapse on the couch at the end of the day and sleep all weekend. I was too tired for joy. 

“Find your passion,” everyone said. I had no idea how. I tried everything to remember what made me happy. I came up with nothing. Why? I had lost myself in the daily ins-and-outs of living. I had given to everyone else and lost ME. 

I had no idea how to unblock my memories of what made me happy. And, oh how I despised the people who said, “Live your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.” So, I spent a lot of time and money spinning my wheels trying to make a life that was fulfilling. I couldn't because I was blocked. 

But, my choices were clear: stay miserable or get unstuck/unblocked! So, I read, surfed the Internet, cried, slept and wasted money trying to get unstuck. Since, I’m a problem solver, I kept looking for an answer. I tried: self help books, journaling, yoga, Reiki, EFT, jewelry making, dog grooming, vet tech school, make-up school, another masters degree, one on one counseling, gratitude journaling, spiritual counseling, direct sales, health counseling and career counseling. 

NOTHING made me happy. Finally, it hit. Something inside said, “Search all you want, but if you are blocked from remembering your joyful childhood moments or from experiencing joy in the present you’re going to stay tired, fat and broke.” 

I needed to get away and figure things out. I used my last dollar and took a trip to Puerto Rico. I stood in the warm water, buoyant in the waves and gazed at the majestic horizon. The final fa├žade of inauthenticity fell away and dissolved in the baptizing Caribbean water.“There is so much more!” rang in my head. 

That vacation, I sat on the beach, floated in the water, zip lined, ate on the balcony and sat under a waterfall in the rain forest. “Why can’t life be like this?” I wondered. “Because, this is vacation and not real life!” I told myself. I shook my head and refused to accept that life was only meant to be enjoyed on vacation. We have it wrong! 

We are not  meant to live to work. Our precious time in this realm is finite. Why am I accepting fat, tired and broke? Because I was blocked from remembering what made me happy. 

I came back to NY and work wearing the fedora I had purchased in PR, a reminder to not lose what I had figured out, what had been my epiphany. It was a piece of armor against being sucked back into the inauthenticity of 9-5 or for me, 4-4. 

I surfed the Internet again and found people who use planners to stay organized. Oh, I used to do that! Then, I found others who decorated their planners. What fun! I started to remember. I sat in the backyard and gazed at nature’s colors. Oh! Those bold colors were beautiful! And, slowly, I remembered little by little what I used to enjoy. My grandfather’s very small art studio! I was always inspired by the space and just as dejected when my art never matched what was in my head. 

I looked at school supplies for work and remembered how inspired I was by a blank notebook. And, then how dejected I was when I had no “Othello” to write. Planners, decorating pages, art, bold colors and the blank page. How did any of this fit together? Then I found it---women who took the blank pages of their planners and used bold delicious colors to decorate the pages with art. ART JOURNALING!!! 

What have I learned? So many of us are stuck in the day-to-day details of life, job and family. We have forgotten we are creative beings who need to express ourselves. “There’s no time.” “I can’t even draw a stick figure!” “I have 4 kids.” I know. I worked until I collapsed. 

But, I believe in you. I believe you deserve to be happy and to do that you need to get back to your authentic creative self. Ten minutes a week. That’s all. We will start with that even if it’s in the car waiting for the kids’soccer practice to end. Give me ten minutes and I will help you art journal your way out of being stuck! You deserve to be happy.
Check out my website for more information: 

Thank you Lisa Diana!  I loved the post and resonate with it completely. :)  I LOVE art journaling!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Guest post by fabulous Donna Higton

I like to change it up in here sometimes, so I'm delighted to introduce Donna Higton, an inspirational speaker and life coach.  Here is her post on inspiration:

Follow Your Inspiration

We all have inspired ideas all the time – usually those really random ideas you get at 2am that make perfect sense in the middle of the night, but wither in the cold light of day.  They’re the ones we often talk ourselves out of, with our logical, linear, sensible training.  But if you shrug off that training and start listening to those random thoughts…and then following them, you will enter a new and magical world.

I am not exaggerating.  Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  It’s your soul talking to you.  It’s the Divine Spark.  It’s creative juice.  It’s fun! Everyone I know who follows their inspiration – whether that involves creating or travelling or cooking or arranging events or singing or whatever – enjoys life more than those who don’t.

Not following inspiration makes the inspired voice go really quiet – sometimes so quiet that you can’t hear it anymore.  And that is beyond saddening for me.  Because that inspiration is a spark of joy that can light the fire of loving life!  Your inspired ideas will take you somewhere…you may not know where, but they will take you somewhere…and often places you never thought you would go!

What happens as a result of you following your inspiration is out of your sphere of influence – you can’t make people buy your book or your program or support the business you were inspired to begin.  But following your inspiration may bring unseen and often unsung benefits. Starting my blog was the beginning of a journey that helped me to become the writer I’d always wanted to be – I honed my craft, and in doing so, I’ve created a staggering body of work!

Those articles and blog posts are always there, ready to help whoever they’re for.  (Including me!)  That blog has brought me so much joy, it’s challenged me, it’s helped me to start to get over my fear of being ‘seen’ in the world, it’s helped me to get more comfortable championing my work, it’s helped me meet people I’d never have met, it’s led to some interesting collaborations, it’s helped and inspired thousands of people over the last 8 years.

If I only judged the ‘success’ of that inspired action by how much money the blog brought in, I would have missed the point by a country mile.  And I probably would have stopped long before all the benefits and gifts became obvious. 

Inspired action works that way – you don’t know what amazing gifts it will bring you, but it will bring gifts.  It’s inspired.  It’s given to you by the Divine, whatever your definition of that is (God, inner self, universe, muse).  Do you trust the Divine?  Do you trust that what you’re inspired to create and do is given to you?

And if so, why would you hesitate?  Why would you throw the gift of inspiration back in the face of the Divine?  Speaking for myself, I have hesitated out of fear, out of lack of confidence in me, I’ve thrown the gift back because I didn’t understand inspiration, because I didn’t trust the Divine, I’ve done it because frankly, it seemed too easy! 

Inspired action and creation is easy.  It’s fun.  It’s joyful.  It’s sometimes challenging, and your brain and heart and soul feel like they’ve been wrung out by the effort involved.  But ultimately it feels ‘right’, and you just find yourself doing it (even if your brain is arguing that you don’t want to write this book or take this action, 10 minutes later, you are!)

Inspiration works for you…and if you follow it, your life will become a delicious adventure of inspired action and joyful days. It may not bring the results you think you want, your return may not be what you expect…but it may just be even better.  Trust the gift of the Divine/muse/inner self/universe and follow your inspiration, wherever it may lead.


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Donna, better known as "Donnaonthebeach" helps women who KNOW there is more to life to fall in love with their lives, and make their Dreams a Reality along the way.  If you enjoyed this article, make sure you go to to get a free copy of Donna’s new book “Fall In Love With Life”.

Thank you, Donna.  :)  Those words truly resonated with me.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blog hop August heART and new painting...

You have to mosey on over to Rose's blog, What I Made Today and check out the August heART blog hop! There are a bunch of links to art blogs at the bottom of the post that you can peruse.  Sooo much great art, and if you're an artist with a blog, add your own link!

I finished another painting.  It had been sitting around for a while because I didn't like the sky.  I removed what was in the sky and repainted it.  Then I thought TREES, yes... both new background and foreground. The style took me back to when I used to paint folk art, the real primitive stuff.  This is a step up (I think,) but it's still folk art.  I like the feel of little villages, or small towns.  They make me feel right at home, so I enjoy bringing some of the country into my paintings sometimes.  I don't live in the country now, but I do have a city park right up against my back yard, so I can't complain.  Today I saw a tortoise laboring away to get from my yard into the park. I often see ospreys and hear their plaintive cries.  They don't mind the traffic or the noise.  They nest in tall trees or on platforms set on top of telephone poles and such structures.  To see them dive for fish is mind-boggling.  They make a straight dive into the water from way up high, and they get their fish.  Amazing!  Nature is so incredibly beautiful.

I can never hope to capture the majesty of nature in one of my paintings, but I can sit in my backyard and experience the whole display of glory.  I was searching for the right word, and that's it.  Glory.

Here's my attempt at some colorful glory:

Fall is coming.  I have to enjoy the colors in my memory because where I live we don't fall colors, but we have decent winters!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New painting...

I have been on a roll lately creatively speaking.  I felt I was getting nowhere, so I started making up to-do lists every day, and it has helped immensely.  Not only do I write down the chores, but also the art hours.  That way they won't be frittered away on nonsense.  Life could so easily consist of habits and social media, but I really want to develop myself and my skills.  Now I'm getting a lot more art produced and it feels really good!  So, if you're stuck with whatever fuels your passion, try writing a list, scheduling in the boring but also the fun parts.  It really works!  You have to hold yourself accountable or get an accountability partner if you lack discipline.  Once your discipline muscle has gotten a workout, it gets easier to follow through.  Just be good to yourself!  LOVE everything about you, and stick with your passion in life.

Peace out!

PEACE original acrylic painting 8x8"

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August heART... join in the fun!

I'm taking part of a blog hop with other artists.  Some gorgeous art out there in blog land folks!  Check it out, and if you have an art blog, please link up on Rose's blog
What I Made today. She has some great ART and herbal growing/infusion making/workshops information that is valuable and interesting.