Saturday, October 31, 2015

a holiday workshop (sign up)

As the frosty and sparkling snow begins to fall and the tea kettle sings, I am nestled in my warm kitchen.  I am finding the twinkling lights and wet mittens and boots (that line the kitchen wall) and the warm smells of baking are making me smile (big!).   
I love these moments.  Quiet.  Soft.  Present.  Expectant.  Hope-filled.    

It is a special time of year. A time of sparkles, snuggles, and so-much-love,
 and my heart is spilling with all the joyful thoughts...

and I have all kinds of merriment planned, too.  

Yes, yes I do.

After two tries with the lambs, I had to stay far away from the camera -- 
the sheep thought I brought it just for them, a nibbling treat!

This is a lighthearted and lively, festive and full-of-winter-wonderful, 
project and inspiration filled course!  

Your sketchbook will be full of goodies!  

We will paint and giggle our way into the holidays... are certainly welcome to bring all your family & friends along!

Some things really should be shared~

I am always so ready and excited this time of year.  I love the things that not only spark our creativeness -- but also offer a deeper richness of meaning for our seeking hearts.  I think I have a perfect idea of where to start...

All things Bright and Beautiful 
all Creatures Great and Small
(online workshop)

simple and sweet -- and full of Christmas goodies

The entire month of December 
Jump in anytime!!!

(our live class - online - is the first ten days of December)

early price 
($35 December 1)

Open House for this workshop will be the first day of class...December 1.
(only participants in the course will have access to this event)

**if you are already attending my Donna Downey workshop this November, 
you are already signed up!  xo


snow mums & babes
woolie hat collections
handcrafted card collections

sheep & shepherds
a collection of block art (or canvas art):
a sweet nativity or 
christmas markets

sparkling ornament blessings
and the friendly beasts

and so many sketching ideas to get you started...

a bunch of gifting ideas - fresh & beautiful

delicious holiday treats, too!


I so hope you can join us!

Just think, a handcrafted holiday - all ready to decorate and gift,
a delightful group of artist friends,
and a heart (and sketchbook) filled with joyful fun!



Saturday, October 24, 2015

pilgrimage: wild faith & wild art

Open House Week

I am so happy to see you...xo


Pilgrimage: wild faith & wild art

Tell it, girl– that we evolve; 
that life is stunning, 
wild, gorgeous, weird, brutal, hilarious 
and full of grace.  

Anne Lamott 

Our adventurous new fall workshop is almost ready...are you ready, too? 

 It has been pure joy collecting the ideas and imagery for this little journey.  
Soon we will be building your collections, too.  

For me, projects like this always start with a word.
This time, in this moment…it is Pilgrimage.  

I have talked about it so much with family and friends I think they will tell you - it stole my heart and it just won’t let go.  I am a pilgrim on a mission of love.  

The word pilgrimage defines historical places and religious calls, stories of miraculous moments, defining choices/consequences, personal transitions in life. It is also a word that playfully whispers, 
“Let’s go…Let’s go…” 

taking us by the hand into exciting and transformational adventures.

In preparation, I have been called on my own pilgrimages of faith and high adventures.  I am walking the same paths we are taking together...

I know for myself the challenges, fears, joy and growth that accompany the word yes and I hope you will trust your heart to say yes, too.  


Pilgrimage takes many forms~

You may be setting out or just returning from a memorable place. 

Your heart may be ripe for a new challenge.

You may just need a friend to give you a brave kick-in-the-pants to get started.

You may be living a (hard) pilgrimage of faith right now.  
You are not alone.  Let's pray together xo

You might be on a path you have always wanted to take.

You may be on a path you never thought you would have to take. 

Your heart may be calling you to something more.

You are welcome here. You are Loved.  

Welcome to the journey my friend!

Our time together: 

A full two-week workshop that will easily fit into your current creating. 

A beautiful new way to see the world - through the eyes of Pilgrimage. You will love it!

A joyful and encouraging teacher that delights in you and your art (that's me!)

Daily emails (for our live class - November 1-14) :  I will make it sweet and simple for you to catch the daily emails and carry the inspiration with you.  An email, a sketch/project a day, a message of love, and time to chat in our private facebook group.  

Introductions to some of my favorites: places, saints, writers, artists, friends, farmers, and sheep (of course)

A dozen fall projects: sketching, watercolors, acrylics, blocks, stitching, photography, and art journaling.

We will pour creative helps & love on your own personal projects - finding what really makes your heart and spirit sing.  Let's uncover your own creative path and support your journey!  

We will be seeing and finding, collecting and sketching the divine moments that tend our paths and... 

We will create inspiring art -- thick with color, story, blessings, and friendship along the way. 

An open house sketch for you!

Please use what you have and what you love.  If you are not sure, wait and see how they are used in the classroom.  I love using items from my own stash, don't you?

Sketchbook and mechanical pencil - the inexpensive ones are great! 

Watercolor paints of your choice, I use several varieties at a time

Watercolor or Neocolor ll in flesh color 

Mix of watercolor brushes

Black uni-pins - o.2 - o.8 and a black fine-point sharpie pen

White sharpie fine-point poster paint pen and uniball signo white pen

a couple of small canvases or wood blocks (cut 5" or 6" long from 2x4 wood)

Canvas or wood panel at least an 8x10 size

Watercolor paper (hot pressed 140lb).  A larger sheet or block (I use a 12x16), an 8x8 block or loose sheets (watch the in-class project videos to see what size you want to use) 

Small smooth surface (hot pressed) watercolor paper/cards.  I love these for art journaling watercolors.  Link here.  I use the "ecowhite" cards.  They fit so nicely in an art journal, in a card, or in a frame.

Art journal of your choice, I am using an old book.  I will show you when class begins.

Variety of acrylic paints (I love heavy body acrylics)

Paint brushes used for acrylic painting (an inexpensive set is great)

acrylic gesso - I use Daler-Rowney simply acrylic gesso - any type will do. 

decoupage or mod podge (matte finish) and a glue stick

Krylon workable fixatif spray 

a mix of few colorful papers, ribbons, photo corners, and a stapler

These links are just to be helpful, I am not compensated for any links I share.

I am inviting you to step into a brand new adventure with me...

Pilgrimage Online Workshop
wild faith & wild art 

[The first in a series of four workshops
-- a beautiful collection for each season]

November 1-14



The big question is...whether you are going to be able to say 
a hearty yes to your adventure.  

Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

a first look at the journey...come along with me!

Often when starting a new project, workshop, collection, I can outline the same exact routine.  A silly process perhaps, but one that works wonders for me. 
I literally do what most of us only dream of...I drench myself in quiet.  I leave all my social media behind for days and go old-school-notebook and strictly imposed simplicity.  It sounds harsh doesn't it?  It is like a self imposed time-out that isn't punishing.  

Like being told to stay sitting on your mat during yoga, it is so hard to do (for me), but so nurturing. Being quiet. Calm. Focused. 

Daily, after caring for the needs of real life, I take time to walk, sketch, and pray. I find it easier to unwind on my front porch or while walking to the blessed barnyard.  I have all kinds of creatively playful projects to work through and I need to get to a place of "soft groundedness".  

Inspiration grows like wildflowers when I allow this precious space and I welcome every idea with equal excitement, filling sketchbooks and notebook-fulls of ideas.  Some of these sketchy ideas are relevant (which tells you most are sooo not), some are uber silly, and some seem to take shape as complete concepts or collections, which really helps me to stay focused!  Thank heavens!!!

Many times I jump back into life full of clarity about what steps I will take next. 

But, this is actually where the journey just begins... 

Sometimes I get caught up in what I am studying/reading/creating and stay focused for weeks. Perhaps too long? ((grinning)) I really do love my self motivated time-outs.

This...taking the first steps into a new journey is what I am excited to invite you into this fall (and  next year, too).

A pilgrimage of wild faith & wild art

For starters, our adventure into our first Pilgrimage: wild faith & wild art includes: 
A beautiful new way to see the world - through the eyes of Pilgrimage. You will love it!
((I am in sooo in love with the material for this course already!))

I will bring the travel to you (unless you want to join me...then please do!)

A joyful and encouraging teacher that delights in you and your art (that's me!)

Daily emails: open gates, gentle graces, wild adventures, and uncharted blessings

A classroom filled with over a dozen new projects and loads more sketches.

A mix of devotions and creative ideas to inspire your journey.

Introductions to some of my favorites: saints, writers, artists, friends, farmers, and sheep.

Fall projects: sketching, watercolors, acrylics, blocks, stitching, photography, and art journaling... 

I am inviting you to step into a brand new adventure with me - Yes!  It will be me + you, on our first path of pilgrimage... 
We will pour creative helps & love on your own personal projects - finding what really makes your heart and spirit sing.  Let's uncover your own creative path and support your journey!  

We will be seeing and finding, collecting and sketching the divine moments that tend our paths and... 
We will create inspiring art -- thick with color, story, blessings, and friendship along the way. 
We will take artist dates together. What?  Yes...fieldtrips (online, you won't need to travel). 
We will be building space to support each other's creative dreams and nurture hearts - a private facebook group (and I have the best and most loving facebook groups's a fact!) 
We will also be able to collaborate in creative messes -- some fun new ideas!

Pilgrimage Online Workshop
wild faith & wild art 

[The first in a series of four workshops
-- a beautiful collection for each season]

November 1-14

$35 early registration 

Pilgrimage Online Workshop $45 - after October 18

a brand new collection of favorite art, 
and of course...

a whole lot of heart. 

In joining me, you will have first notice of all of my personal art retreats coming up this year -- I haven't opened any of my U.S. traveling pilgrimages yet!


Monday, August 31, 2015

save the dates

My photo shoot this darling neighbors.  We are only missing two cats.  Quite the feat!

What a fun week.  My goodness!  

The little ones (and big ones) are back in school.  The laundry pile is finally reasonable.  I have photo shoots like this one (I seriously have the most fun neighbors -- just look at those cute faces), and I realized that there are loads of workshops/classes/events all coming up so soon.  I better get ready!

What a fun way to welcome of our most favorite seasons, right?
We need to get our sketchbooks out and get our creative season started...

I personally also want to share all that is happening here.  I do hope you can join me.  Grab a pencil, I can hardly wait to show you what I have planned...and to see what art we can come up with together?

Fall 2015

One of my favorite Autumn loving courses will be offered at the Brave Girls University this fall.  The Art of Goodness: a fall and holiday workshop.  It will be available on my site as well. I do love those sweet projects!


I am also excited to celebrate the beauty of home with my friend Jeanne Oliver.

Art of Home

 This delicious offering looks amazing (as usual).  
I have the sign-up for her workshop in the following post if you want 
to jump into that yumminess!  


Downey Studios - North Carolina
November 13-15
There just might be a spot left with your name on it!

In person Workshop Details Here   

* * * * *

My favorite new Fall offering...I am in love with this class...

Pilgrimage Online Workshop
wild faith & wild art 

[The first in a series of four workshops
-- a beautiful collection for each season]

November 1-14

Each workshop is two full weeks, daily emails, a classroom filled with a dozen projects,
a mix of faith & art that will inspire you, introductions to some of my
favorite friends (saints, writers, artists, farmers, sheep?), a brand new collection of favorite art, 
and of course...a whole lot of heart. 

 A full year in the making... 

All the pretty details/sign ups will be available this week!


$35 for early registration for this Online November workshop.  


winter 2015

a special sneak, sneak peek...

All Creatures Great & Small
(all things bright and beautiful, too)

Online Winter and Christmas Workshop: Eight days of
faith-filled art & blessings for your holiday season

December 1-8

Another favorite workshop that has been nudging my heart all year...
A gift of the heart for sure!!!

$22 early registration price - 
sign ups for this workshop start the first week of October.


spring 2016

 Farm to Art 

I will have submissions for farm-to-art learning this spring.
Hard work.  Muddy boots and little lambs.
Delicious farmhouse food.  Beautiful springtime art.
Can it get any sweeter than that?

Get on the newsletter list for all the details coming soon.

March/April 2016


Along with my online *Pilgrimage Workshops* this year, I have some special offerings that 
you are personally invited to attend.  I would love for you to join me...

Pilgrimage 2016
Next September...just enough time to pack and plan.

You are soooo invited to come along with me...
I would love to be with you in Italy!

An unbelievable journey into a fairytale land you will never forget...
All the details are right here:  Art & Faith Creative Retreat

* * * * *

Walk the streets of pilgrims - experience for yourself the wanderlust and holy moments -
let your heart be immersed in love and beauty.  Join me for a week of pilgrimage...
All the details are here: Adventures in Italy


Thursday, August 6, 2015

pretty & practical

I am a collector of loves. 
  are you too?

As a granddaughter of a generation steeped in war and sacrifice, I am humbled by the gifts that my Grandmothers continually share with me. Both have passed and both are so very missed.  Their daily reminders aren't necessarily their journals or photos (though I value what has been shared with me greatly), it is actually through the things they lovingly used in life that keep me closest to them.

It is what they used in their daily lives that has come to live with me:

handpainted benches 
needlepointed pillows 
gorgeous original paintings
tiny stitched purses 
tattered kitchen cloths 
candy dishes
a butter churn (painted hot pink)
cream and sugars
the cutest salt & peppers

and their choice of colors that speak to my artist heart, too.  Yes!

As I look around me, they are everywhere-here with me.  To have them a daily part of my life is a living memory, the story my grandmothers have left behind, "Be careful with the money you have. Save and spend on the best things. Tend and mend the things you love.  Create a space of beauty.  Choose the things that are pretty & practical."  I can't say that these things were ever spoken, but the messages are clear in the sweet treasures I hold.

In the time I knew my grandmothers, I was unknowingly collecting, and now cherish not only the things around me but what they remind me of...
To share and care for what you have.
Have candy or coffee at the ready.
To touch - hold a hand, hug, kiss your grown children.
To listen. They were the best listeners I have ever met.
& To use, repurpose, and love the simple things.
Do you feel the same way?

I am sure this is why Jeanne Oliver's latest offering really spoke to my heart, she is a loving collector of these same beautiful treasures and she is taking the time to really delve into the heart of home.  I think I love that.

With her invitation, I want to share a course I am in love with already.  It is so beautiful!

Look at the intro to this lovely event:

Each week will contain step by step videos with decorating, cooking, gardening, entertaining, housekeeping and much more!

The following will be shared:  The Art of Farm to Table, The Art of Gathering, The Art of Domestic Moxie and The Art of Reclaimed Style.

This four week course is your favorite home and cooking magazines come to life!

Maybe it will even bring back sweet memories and we will all learn from each other.
Come join us...
The early registration price for this four week online course is $42.99.  This course will begin on September 15, 2015 and you will have LIFETIME ACCESS* to the videos. 

Week One
The Art of Farm to Table
This week is all about gardening, cooking and preserving food.

Week Two
The Art of Gathering
This week is all about opening your home and creating a space where people feel loved and special.

Week Three
The Art of Domestic Moxie
This week is all about creative and fun ways to keep your home.

Week Four
The Art of Reclaimed Style
This week is all about using what you have and finding new uses for found objects.

"I grew up with a large garden, morning cereal often had fresh berries from the backyard, clothes hung on the line, the sound of the sewing machine filled our home and my mom’s homemade grape juice is still one of my favorite things on earth.  I have always loved home and home is the place I want others to feel loved too.

Over the years I have also heard other women talk about things their moms or grandmothers did to make their homes special and practical.  Torn knees were patched, everything was made from scratch, fresh produce was preserved for winter and someone was stitching something sweet and lovely.  I think that many of us want to make sure we preserve some of our favorite memories and make them a part of own modern lives.  We want to create an artisan home!

When we can embrace our handmade home and see the beauty in the little things then our homemaking becomes art!   It is not perfect and the beauty is actually in embracing the imperfection.  It is following my Grandma Jeanne’s advice to only surround yourself with things you truly love and use.  It is pulling out your prettiest things and not saving them for company but lavishing your family daily.  It is not apologizing when your home is messy and inviting friends and neighbors in anyways.  It is about allowing your home and gifts to be used to do something sweet in you and those around you!  It is about sitting down with moms and grandmothers and grandfathers and hearing about their stories and finding your story in the midst of it.  It is about passing on the best of it to our children and grandchildren. 
I am so excited to open registration for Art of Home | Modern Simple Living. This course came about while talking and cooking with my mom and sister.  My sister and I both couldn’t stop smiling about the heart of the course which was including the older people in our lives and listening to the ways they were taught how to make art of home!"                                              Jeanne Oliver

I know you are as head-over-heels about the content, too.  I am going to take some time this year for this beautiful course and I wanted to see if you want to join me?  I anticipate we will both encounter delicious and memorable moments of...home. 

My Grandmothers also treasured their travels -- pilgrimages,
and this is something special I will be sharing soon, too.


Friday, July 31, 2015

the next...

It has been a wild summer! 

Our wonderfully successful *Summer Faire* workshop is in full bloom.  We have so many artists creatively engaged in all new projects, painting the most beautiful art and having a great time. too!  

I get so excited about my art when we all paint together -- I love being caught up in all of your creativeness.  It is pure joy.  Painting alongside you, my friend, is my favorite part of living a creative life - it's true!  

My sweet little cottage (our stonehouse) in the mulberry trees sold last week and we only had a week to close.  We frantically worked to get it ready for the new owners while tearfully saying goodbye to a decade of adventures+healing+hopefilled+moments+memories.  

I am still so caught up in that bittersweet place of holding on to it all -- while knowing it is time to move on.  Ouch, right?  

The huge key I am holding (above) fit our old front door.  So precious.

Now the new adventures begin.  

I have a few things coming up soon that I want you to know about.  I will be in Italy in September (next year) and I want to make sure you are invited!  I have two trips will want to look through both.  They are each uniquely created, divinely prepared, and filled with so much love!

If you haven't been to is your turn!

Being invited as a guest artist on these trips is a dream come true, but having you come with me would be *the best ever* collision of heaven & earth I can imagine.  

Beautiful Lake Como
September 10-17, 2016

I took this trip last year.  

It was much more than I ever hoped it would be.  Italy is a gift of heart.  It has a richness and depth of places, times, peoples, and the most beautiful warm light that makes everything look like it is right out of a fairytale!  It settles on your heart and stays with you forever (like spending a moment in heaven - I am serious).  I honestly stood on the shores of Lake Como and joyfully cried, it is that beautiful.  

The landscapes, art, people, and daily interactions -- lavish you with color, depth, and overwhelming gratitude for those that came before us.  What a wild treasure of history to experience.  It is breathtaking. 

For all the details on our Art & Faith Creative Retreat - please visit Laura's site.  She has such a heart for women and she loves to share all she finds.  It is a trip of the heart for sure!  She has every question answered and would love to hear from you, too.

Laura has a wonderful payment plan (that I used last year) and is so helpful with travel tips, too!

I have a very special collection of Wild Faith projects I have saved just for this will love the adventure in Faith & Art that we have planned.  Yes! 

Beautiful Orvieto...
September 18-24, 2016

My other wildly fun week in Italy will be spent in Orvieto with Kristin Steiner.  I fell in love with this place through photography.  I was sold on the beauty...the heart of this amazing place simply shines.  The images that I have encountered and the reviews I have read, told me Kristin and her husband are special people, and that this is a place I need to experience for myself.  It holds my heart.

After speaking with them by phone, I was captivated.  I am on a pilgrimage this year (my upcoming workshops) and this is where I need to be.  Does it speak to your heart as well?  Are you ready for a new pilgrimage in your life?  (We will talk about this in detail this fall) 

I hope your heart will lead you here with me...

We will have a whole week together - me & you.  I have a collection of special projects just for this specific place and time, too, beautiful art to create together!  And with hosts like Kristin, I know we will be lavished in attention and love.  Our week will be full of Italy's best.  We will be staying a delightful old monastery and treated to fresh markets, romantic meals, special moments in 14th century cathedrals, and visual surprises awaiting us every day.  

I am so excited -- I can't wait!   

All the details are here.  She has an easy payment plan and all kinds of helps with travel.

Stepping into a trip like this is very life affirming and faith building, it is so exciting.  I know it can be frightening to try something new, but you are with me, and God's hands are on us -- both!  You won't be disappointed.  

We will embark on this wonderful adventure together...and it will be heavenly!

If you have questions, I am available: |

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