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2020…What A Year

The later part of 2020 will go down in the books as the period of time that I have been the least motivated to create art since I started my art journey in 2014. I know a lot of other artists felt that same way. I persevered and continued to participate in The Paris Collage Collective Challenge and took a few classes that helped me move forward. But, I have to say, it was tough. Inspiration did not come easy. Even with the incredible photography provided weekly by The Paris Collage Collective Challenge, I struggled. The real blessings of participating in that challenge was that each week I inspired the work being done by other participating collage artists and that I learned even more about digital collage. I do have to say it stretched me in a direction I didn’t think I would go. But, I’m glad it did.

Another real inspiration came in from Seth Apter’s Facebook Live and the community that was built from those events. He is a generous and extraordinary teacher and was an inspiration every week as were each and everyone of his guests. And, my online art community (Facebook and Instagram), thank you. We encouraged and supported each other through this tough past year and continue to do so as the country and the world move through this most challenging of times. These are the things that kept me going into my studio every day.

That all being said, here are a few of my pieces from the last six months…

I’m Back…


I think I started my last blog post with “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it’s been a year since my last post.” Well, here we are another year gone and I am back. And, what a year it has been. I started a consulting job in marketing communications and it has deprived me of time for both creating art and blogging. Then the pandemic hit and rather than create art, which always makes me feel better, I hit a major wall. I did a little here and there and there was one thing I was totally committed to and that was the Paris Collage Collective Challenge. It is an international collage community and each week they post a high quality image that you can use to create either a digital or an analog collage. You then post to a group page. The art is magnifique! I won’t bore you with all of my posts, but here are a few of my favorite collages. The image on the left is a composite collage of some of my most recent pieces. In the center image, the photo on the left is the original and my collage is on the right. And, the one on the right is a full collage of four individual images of the original digitally enhanced. I am learning a lot about working digitally with images in a number of photo apps. 

Other work includes pieces I’ve created as part of an online class (or two, or three) that I’ve taken during the Pandemic. The “wonky” face is from Deb Weirs‘ Wonky Friends and Critters class at Kara Bullock Art School. The tiny book is from Seth Apter’s online class titled Mini Book Madness. And, the Steampunk Journal is from a class taught by Pamela Vosseller called The League of Extraordinary.  All extraordinary teachers. I highly recommend you take a class from all of them. 

So many of the artists I follow and, most likely those I haven’t discovered yet, have been wonderful during this challenging time by offering free online tutorials, in-person classes modified for online, and Facebook Live sessions so that we can continue to be part of the wonderful community of artists.

Stay safe and well everyone. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes .

MORE IS MORE – Seth Apter


Oh my, oh my……

I simply cannot believe it has been over a year since I posted to my blog. I can make no apologies for my absence except to say that I have been evaluating my life as an artist and what adventures I want that life to take me on. I guess it took longer than even I was aware. That being said, I’m back and committed to sharing with you my mixed up art life and adventures a lot more often. A very reliable source (you know who you are) told me that I don’t have to write a lot, but I should post often.

I am not going to bore your with everything that went on over the last year but will catch you up on the highlights. A fabulous trip to Memphis to celebrate my daughter’s 50th birthday crossing both visiting Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum off our bucket lists. In addition to that trip, there were two wonderful trips to New York to visit a good friend and my granddaughter, a ReMe retreat in North Carolina that was taught by two of my favorite people, Jodi Ohl and Jean Skipper (lots of new art friends as a result of that very fun retreat), a Fall and Winter filled with lots of rain and cold weather which I love and which is very unusual (can I say hardly ever happens) for California, and lots and lots of art which I will post a smattering of below.  While on the East Coast in the Spring, I was lucky enough to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art with my granddaughter and best friend, Suzanne. We also visited the Moravian Tile Works which was amazing, Gettysburg and Cape May where we caught up with one of my FB artist friends, Paige Cunningham. She was gracious enough to show us around Cape May and share her delightful home and studio.

Who would have thought I would have so much fun making paper earrings? You can make one to match every outfit or for every holiday season. You’ll see a selection below. They also make great gifts.

Here is a visual recap of where my mixed up art has taken me this past year. It is just a smattering of the directions my art has taken me. I have to say that I still believe that mixed media and collage are my passion. I also am developing a real passion for assemblage.






That’s it for now. I will leave you with this quote.

“My growth depends on my walls coming down.” Evelyn Underhill

Absolutely Crazy How Time Flies…

I really, really need to schedule one day a month to write in my blog and catch my followers up on what I’ve been up to art wise and otherwise. As you all know, I started the Wanderlust year-long class with Jamie and Kasia Avery.  I have learned so much from them and the artists they have gathered together for 2018. It’s been a blast. Here is a small sampling of the work I have done over the last 5 months. Every month has a theme – Paths & Road, Castles, People, Sunrise, Sea, and, this month is Trees. One of my favorite things about this year-long class is the variety of artists you get to meet and learn more about what inspires them. Cat Kerr, who taught the Joy Seeker Soldered Spool class, gets inspiration from the poet, Mary Oliver, whose poems resonated with me so much that I ordered two of her books before I even finished the project.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge has evolved over the last year with fewer participants. Those that do participate are loyal and true and create the most incredible art journal pages. I continue to participate and have used some of the techniques learned from Wanderlust to further my art journal weekly practice. You may see some likenesses to the pieces above in these art journal entries from the last few months of Colour Me Positive.

I also took a watercolor class online from Laura Horn Art, called The Melting Pot, which I loved. She resides in Australia and is an excellent teacher. I have enjoyed playing around with her techniques over the past month.


Other than art, my life has been busy with granddaughters, friends and taking care of my goldendoodle who had to have ACL and meniscus surgery. She was so pathetic. She couldn’t jump on the couch or chase lizards which are two of her favorite things to do. Eight weeks of limited activity for a very active “doodle” is nearly impossible to achieve so in order to keep her quiet, I had to be quiet. It was the perfect opportunity to spend time in my studio.


A trip to Catalina Island for my youngest granddaughter’s 16th birthday provided me an opportunity to practice my photography skills. This is a part of my art journey that I have basically ignored for the past year and I really want to pursue it again.

My oldest granddaughter is getting ready to graduate from high school and has been accepted to The New School in New York. I am so proud of both of them.

May Gray has taken over here with cloudy, drizzly mornings and cool evenings. I am hoping June Gloom does not follow. But, if it does, I will not be tempted by the outdoors, but will spend more time in my studio CREATING!

I am going to leave you with one of Mary Oliver’s poems…

When I am Among the Trees by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,

especially the willows and the honey locust,

equally beech, the oaks and the pines,

they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.


I am so distant from the hope of myself,

in which I have goodness, and discernment,

and never hurry through the world

but walk slowly, and bow often.


Around me the trees stir in their leaves

and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.


And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,

“and you too have come

into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled

with light, and to shine.”





Where Have Three Months Gone

To say that I had a very busy three months would be an understatement, but it’s still no excuse not to have posted to this blog during that time. I am not sure how I am going to bring all of you up to date on what’s been happening in my life and with my art, but I will endeavor to do just that in the following narrative.

October was a blur. Four weeks of the Colour Me Positive Journal and Halloween pretty much dominated the month. Halloween is one of my very most favorite holidays and I start to decorate the house on October 1 and it takes me two to three days. I have friends come over and every year my  goal is to put things in different places so that they cannot find the few new or handmade 2017 decorations. It’s become a challenge for a few of them, but this year I managed to keep them guessing. After they’ve seen everything, we go to dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Palumbo’s, in Temecula. Whenever I suggest we might try a different place, they all insist that Palumbo’s is our place and we’d hate to break tradition.

It was challenging to keep up with the Colour Me Positive Art Journal pages, but managed to finish them all not necessarily on time. You’ll note that the fourth in the series has four weeks including November journal quotes. Also created a house for the ReMe Retreat I was supposed attend in October, but was unable to due to unforeseen circumstances.

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Other art created in October included a few of my houses and a new mixed media style. I also had fun creating a one-of-a-kind Halloween cake with my oldest granddaughter. We did our first one when she was much younger and I wish I had a picture of that one to compare. She is definitely a skilled cake designer.

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November was very busy and included an incredible trip to Healdsburg for an annual girlfriends trip.  We have been friends since the 80’s and all worked together at the Wallar Group. We have stayed friends and when possible we have an annual Christmas get-together at someone’s house. This year we decided to do a destination get-together in the Wine Country where one of girls lives. Lots of laughter, music, food, wine and, of course, shopping was included. Here are some memories from the trip. We also took a brief trip through the Santa Rosa are so horribly affected by the wildfires. I cannot express the sadness and empathy we felt  and we did all we could to support the businesses in the area that had employees, owners and neighbors that were impacted.



A week after I returned from this trip, a girlfriend arrived from Dallas for the Thanksgiving week. Wine tasting and shopping in Temecula, movies, and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner cooked by my oldest granddaughter (again) – two turkeys, two ,types of dressing, sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes (made by yours truly), two types of cranberry sauce, and four desserts. We ate outside since it was a very hot 93 degrees in Temecula that day.

Very little are was done in November, but I did manage to create a few Christmas pieces and gifts.



Then came December. “How did we get here so quickly,” I asked myself. December was busy with family events, art, decorating, cookie baking, and, of course, a Christmas cake with both of my granddaughters. Here is a glimpse into my December activities.



Other notables over the last few months were a custom order from my Etsy shop. No one was more surprised than me when I got a request to customized one of my houses from a gentleman in New York. How he found me on Etsy I have no idea, but he wanted me to customize a house for a friend in Pittsburgh. I was thrilled to be asked and had a blast creating this one-of-a-kind for him. And, I finally finished my first piece for Jodi Ohl’s online Zen Houses course. Jodi is an incredible teacher. I am now enrolled in two online classes that include her teaching a segment – Creative Jumpstart,  and Wanderlust. Very excited about these two classes. Creative Jumpstart is a month-long course and Wanderlust lasts all year.



Summer Has Come and (almost) Gone

Not here in Temecula where the temperature has averaged over 90 degrees every day since the end of August. I am so looking forward to the Fall when it will be cool and crisp in the mornings and maybe get to the mid 70’s during the day. I may have to wait until November, but that’s OK. I have an art retreat in October in North Carolina. That should give me the Autumn “feel good” I’m looking for.

The heat has not kept me from creating some new pieces since I last posted to my blog. The Colour Me Positive journal group missed a few weeks due to an emergency in the administrator’s family, but we are rapidly catching up. I will be working on Week 31 and 32 this week and will show those in my next post.

Here are Weeks #26 – 31. Week #31 is a quote that I chose since there wasn’t one that week. We have since caught up and I will be creating a new #31 and #32 this week.

Other creative endeavors include starting Halloween houses for my Etsy shop. One piece done and many more to come.


Several houses have also been created and I am working on a few more that will be appearing “you know where” soon.

Most exciting of all, I did my first abstract painting based on the teachings of Judi Ohl in  Abstracts In Arcylic & Ink. And, I just started taking her online class, Zen Houses. I am so excited to learn more from her and will also be attending the ReMe Retreat Sandhills in North Carolina in October where she and Jean Skipper, another very talented artist, will be teaching. I haven’t named this one yet, so if anyone would like to make suggestions, I love to hear them.


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And one more little piece made with miscellaneous ephemera called Missing Time….

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I will leave you will a fun saying that I found on my favorite site for quotes, WordPorn, since some of my best creative ideas come to me at night.




It’s Summertime…and the Living is Easy

Yes, it’s been awhile. I think I need to stop apologizing for not writing more often and just accept that I will get to it when I get to it. It’s not that there has been nothing happening, it just that the days pass with such speed. Holy cow! It’s almost the 4th of July! I won’t even say “time flies when you’re having fun,” because it’s such a cliché. However, I have definitely been having fun. Creating new art, working with new materials, spending time watching my youngest granddaughter play softball, and working in the garden has occupied most of my time over the last month or so.

Speaking of the garden. I am growing the zucchini that ate Manhattan. I look at them one day and they are small and not ready to pick. I go back a day or two later and they have become giants. Here’s a picture of my most recent yield. And, I’m growing cantaloupe and have peaches (not yet ripe) growing for the first time since I moved into my home in Temecula.

As for art, my art journaling continues with the Colour Me Positive group and I am still loving creating little houses of varying styles. Here are my most recent art journal pages.

And, the many houses I have created with a 4th of July theme.

And some not related to any holiday…

One of the things that I love doing is taking pictures of funny or unique things that I see on my travels or just toodling around town. These caught my attention over the last month or so. The dragonfly was in my backyard and I was able to capture it with my new zoom lens for my iPhone 6. The truck was seen on a San Diego street and the close-up of the “Create” art is from an art installation at San Diego International Airport. If you ever fly San Diego International Airport, be sure to take the time to see their incredible art installations.

The most exciting thing to happen to me though is having my houses featured in UPPERCASE’s All About You newsletter. It’s the very first publication of my art and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I submitted the houses and really had no expectations regarding the outcome. All I can say is that it gave me a tremendous boost of “I am an artist,” confidence.


A trip to the Bower’s Museum to see the Frida Kahlo – Her Photos exhibit was incredible. I learned so much about her as both an artist and person from seeing the photographs she collected throughout her life and from which she gained such pleasure. There was also an exhibit of called Spirits and Headhunters – Art of the Pacific Islands that was fascinating. Here are some photos from that exhibit.

Last but not least, a trip to the Blick Art Store in San Diego yeilded some really fun papers and other artsy stuff that I will be playing with over the next few weeks.

All in all, it has been a wonderful month of museums, creating, gardening and enjoying friends and family. I will leave you with this thought from a site I am following on Facebook called WordPorn@thispageisaboutwords.


A Little Art, A Little Travel, and A Little More Art

Today is the last day of April. Spring Break and Easter have passed us by and Summer is right around the corner. In the last month, I have taken a trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter (14 1/2 years old) and continued in my daily practice of doing some type of art, whether it be collage, art journaling or photography.

It’s the 16th week of the Colour Me Positive Art Journal Challenge which means its the 16th week of 2017.  I’m still loving the challenge of creating art based on a quote or thought for the week and filling up one journal after another. It often inspires and informs my other art by prompting me to seek ideas beyond the single quote for that week. I find myself looking online for quotes and inspiration related to the week’s quote which often spurs a new idea for a collage. My favorite online quote source is  These are a few of my most recent art journal pages.

The middle of April brought a Spring Break trip to Seattle with my youngest granddaughter, Holly, to visit friends and see some of the colleges she might want to look at when she’s ready to seriously consider her choices. Her older sister and my daughter were in NYC visiting colleges on her list that same week. She’s much closer to making the college decision as she’s a HS junior. We visited Western Washington University, Seattle University and the University of Washington. We also went to see the daffodils in full bloom (stunning),  the Taylor Shellfish Farms, where she had her first taste of raw oysters (not sure she liked them), and finished up the last day with a trip to the Chihuly Garden & Glass at Seattle Center.  What an inspiration!!! We had a great time and I took more pictures that I have the space to show you. Here are just a few from the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum. The one of the Native American trade blankets is from Chihuly’s vast collection.

And here are a few others from the trip to the Taylor Shellfish Farm, the daffodil fields in La Connor and a funky junk artist’s home in Conway, WA.

I’ve also been working on a couple of new collages.

And, as an experiment, I had an art journal collage page turned into a poster which I call Rock Your Body and another one turned into blank greeting cards. Both have strong messages of empowerment. I am considering doing more and selling them on my Etsy site,  MyMixedUpArt. What do you think?

That’s it for this post. I end with one of my most favorite quotes from WordPorn. I would just add “to create art.”



It’s Almost Spring, Easter’s Late, and When It Rains, It Pours…

It really seems like time is flying by faster and faster. As I readied myself to sit down and write this post, I reviewed my last one and could not believe I had not posted since January 8. I think I’m going to have to set a reoccuring date on my digital calendar that says “sit your bottom down in that chair and write.” It’s not as if I have nothing to say or art to share. I have lots to say (some of it not necessarily appropriate for this post) and lots and lots of art to share.

One of the most wonderful things I did this month is meet up with a dear friend for lunch at the Prado in Balboa Park. It was one of those beautiful days San Diego was known for and, of course, Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places to explore on a sunny, breezy day. A visit after lunch to the San Diego Museum of Art and The Mingei  set my creative soul on fire. The Visible Vaults exhibit at the SDAM  was a recreation of  their most carefully guarded area, a place that is invisible to most visitors—the vaults. You could pull out drawer after drawer of original works of art, some never seen before. The Mingei featured an incredible exhibit of American and European Folk Art dedicated to three centuries of American and European folk art from the Museum’s permanent collection, with many artworks on view for the very first time.

January brought rain and cold temperatures to Temecula which have continued into February, with record rainfall yesterday. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest, I am used to days where it rains for 24 hours or days on end. Not in Temecula. It provided the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. Which is exactly what I did.

I’ve also been busy creating new Easter mixed media pieces for my Etsy shop, Spring is one of my favorite times of year. I am inspired by the green grasses and wild flowers that bloom after the rains. I love to decorate my house from top to bottom with bunnies, chicks, carrots, and, of course, the ever-present jar of seasonally colored Peanut M&Ms.

The Colour Me Positive Art Journal group continues to inspire me each week. I really look forward to the prompt and being challenged to come up with just the right work of art to fully express what the quote means to me. Often, I will replace the quote provided with one that has more meaning to me personally, but still represents the intent of that week’s theme.

In addition to further exploring collage/mixed media, I have returned to my passion for photography. In the past, I had participated in a 365 Photo a Day group, but stopped when I took the Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple Year of the Spark class as I wanted to focus on learning new techniques. It’s so easy these days to whip out your phone and capture a moment in time that takes your breath away, catches your eye or just makes you laugh. So, I’m back at it and share here some of the photos I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.

One of the other things that I have promised I would do this year is share with you the work of other artists that have inspired me in my journey. One of those artists is Cheryl Dossey. Cheryl defines herself as “A late-blooming mixed media artist who enjoys art in any form.” She has been featured in a number of Stampinton & Company’s publications and, most recently, has several pieces in the Spring issue of Somerset Apprentice – Mixed Media for the Beginner. I met Cheryl in the online Year of the Spark class and loved her  assemblage pieces. She is actually the first artist whose work I purchased after starting the class. It was part of her “Mini Homes” collection. Cheryl very happily shared her technique for the homes with me and generously sent me a package of craft house shapes cut from foamcore and a wonderful array of ephemera with which to create my own vision of a “mini home.” She now sells the blank foam house shapes in her Etsy shop and you can find lots of inspiration on her blog. Cheryl’s house is on the left, not to be confused with the “other” Cheryl’s on the right. I love creating these “mini homes” as gifts or to add to my very own collection.

That’s all I have to say and show, so I will leave you with this thought…let’s all remember to be passionate, compassionate, have a sense of humor and, definitely, some style.