Category Archives: journaling

art journaling

Artfest Rising 2016

After years of wanting to attend an Artfest event, I finally had the opportunity this past week to go to Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA for Artfest Rising. I spent the time learning, experimenting, and having a great time with amazing teachers, and meeting new friends. The things I’ve learned have inspired me and will be carried into the work I do in the coming year.

I didn’t finish everything that I started here, am definitely looking at these pages as lessons in a workbook – not finished art – but instead something that I’m learning from.

Class with Teesha Moore:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Teesha Moore and classwork

Class with Orly Avineri:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Orly Avineri and classwork

Class with Michael deMeng & Andrea Matus deMeng:

But I didn’t get a photo with them 🙁 Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with art from classes with Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng

Class with Jesse Reno:tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Jesse Reno and classwork

Class with Tracy Moore:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Tracy Moore and classwork


The dining table ladies:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising Dining Room Ladies


With more friends eating out in Port Townsend (sorry about the big head picture, it was the best I could do):

ArtFest Rising lunch excursion to Hanazono Asian Noodle in Port Townsend, WA


New supplies:

  • We all came across supplies that had been previously unfamiliar, or used in a new way – one was using white transfer paper in Orly’s class for mark-making on a black painted surface. That’s something I’d only used before on fabric when sewing. Here’s another link for a transfer paper sampler pack at
  • Another item I’d never thought to use was a smoother/spreader like the one used in Andrea’s class when gluing down collage. It especially helped get large pieces down firmly, push out air bubbles, and squeeze out excess adhesive.


What I Learned (a very short summary):

  • Play. Practice. Take a journal with you and use it.
  • Think, or don’t think. There are no rules, only the ones you make for yourself.
  • Layer. Keep going. Add depth and work till you get what you want.
  • Be engaged with your technique, forget about other decisions like color, paper or brush choice.
  • “Little ideas are bigger than you think.” – Jesse Reno
  • Work & rework. Start – knowing it will need to be fixed – that’s Jesse Reno again.
  • Don’t be so serious.
  • Get some power words to remind you of purpose and focus – from Tracy Moore.
  • You don’t need to create “art”. Just create.


Next blog post I’ll share the trades that I came home with – swapping the wallets I folded with all the creative folks who attended. I have yet to unpack it all, will be doing that soon.

Have you ever attended an art retreat or group art classes?


Recycled Paper Card Wallets DIY

Next week I’m going on a trip, cross-country to Washington state for Artfest Rising. Really excited, and slightly nervous at the same time… (have never done anything like this before) will post pictures online during the event when I can (probably Instagram or Facebook).

Wanted to bring something to swap, so I made these recycled paper card wallets. Since I’m passionate about recycling, I rescued an old atlas of Massachusetts as a craft supply. How-to comes from Monica at I cut my pages 9.5 x 10″ to make sure the finished wallets fit the MOO cards I just got.

recycled paper card wallets diy

These are super easy to turn into mini journals, simply stitching papers into the fold is all it takes. Of course, the covers themselves can also be altered and embellished – I think these will be cute to share and people can have fun with them.

recycled paper card wallet as mini journal DIY

It was nice one day, so I was able to go outside and take pictures:recycled paper card wallets DIY

Recycled Paper Card Wallets DIY

I have many reasons to be happy with these: they were easy to make, will be light to pack in my luggage, I got to creatively reuse materials, and created something that can be useful.

Have you ever been on an art retreat? Brought along swaps or trades?


Creativity and Books

Over the years I’ve blogged about books, but maybe not as much as I should have. I love to read. LOVE. There are shelves of books in my workroom, piles on my nightstand, always an audiobook downloaded onto my phone, and dozens on my Kindle. I work part-time at a library, for goodness sake (3+ years now!) – so it’s probably about time I include more books in my blog. For me, creativity and books go hand-in-hand.

Books have always played an important part in my creative life: I taught myself to knit on 4-needles by studying a library book when I was a teenager (wish I remembered the name of it!); and I learned low-level programming from manuals back when I was in high school, which led to my college major and all future computer-related work. Recently I’ve read a few motivational art/craft books that I wanted to share.

Creativity and Books, 2015:

The Confident Creative: Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind by Cat Bennett. Don’t be put off by the “drawing” in the title – it was motivational, and such an easy read, that I believe anyone can grow by jumping into the exercises she describes. Any type of creative work can benefit by looking at things with a different perspective, and being confident. This book was really clear, to the point, with short, easy-to-digest chapters; it was really encouraging, with practical how-to’s. If you need a push, feel negative, or stuck – this is a good book to take a look at.

Art Saves: Stories, Inspiration and Prompts Sharing the Power of Art by Jenny Doh. When I first glanced at the book, I didn’t find the projects inspiring. But then I started reading…. and changed my mind. I got so much out of what each artist had to say about their journey, what they learned, their advice, and how they found the courage to do what they loved. This book made me think and realize that the only restrictions that I have, are self-imposed ones. This book will reassure you that you’re not alone in your ruts, or doubts, and can help you to focus on your goals.

55 Christmas Balls to Knit: Colorful Festive Ornaments, Tree Decorations, Centerpieces, Wreaths, Window Dressings by Arne Nerjordet. This book was like a cookbook that has more than just recipes – I always like the ones that have stories to go along with each dish – they draw you in and make you feel that it’s much more than just an instruction manual. The descriptions and facts that accompanied the patterns were very interesting. There weren’t just knitting patterns in here – but poems, holiday stories, and traditions. Creativity of all kinds and really charming. And a shout-out to Pam of for introducing me to this.

On my to-read list: Make It Mighty Ugly : exercises & advice for getting creative even when it ain’t pretty by Kim Werker. Her blog is also really great.

create journal page for creativity and books

Journal page from notes & thoughts while reading Art Saves.

“We each have our own art journey and life journey. The important thing is to be ourselves and to be happy to be ourselves” – Cat Bennett.

Books + Creativity: Have any recommendations?