Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art Journaling: Instant Happiness

So how many of you art journal? Do you art journal AND scrapbook -- or do you prefer one over the other? I used to view art journaling as something I just didn't have time for. I would admire the work of others, but felt like it wasn't a necessary thing. (I viewed my scrapbooks as necessary, and frankly didn't have any extra time left for other hobbies.)

Over the last year or two, I have drastically changed my opinion of art journaling. I view it totally as a necessity now! You know why? It's so fun! It's therapeutic, it's quick, and there is an end to each page that I complete. There is absolutely no pressure with art journaling. Each page is a mini-canvas that can be light and whimsical, or really deep and serious -- whatever fits at that moment. It can be messy and liberating (or not) and hey, it's a great place to experiment with new art supplies and techniques. There's no need to have a set color theme, an album topic (think school album, baby album, etc.) No pressure or big commitment. It's a joy to sit down and make art that speaks to you in a nice little compact journal. AND you can carry it anywhere!

I have to thank the talented Donna Downey for introducing me to art journaling a few years back at her legendary art event called Inspired. At the time I took Donna's class on art journaling, I was strictly a scrapbooker (for the most part) and thought her thick, colorful art journal was the most gorgeous, interesting thing that I'd ever seen! Being amazingly artistic, she made it look so easy. The thing I love most about Donna's philosophy with art and art journaling is that she really doesn't have any rules. She just does her thing! I found that very freeing and refreshing as I watched her create. Check out Donna at

The next group of people that I need to thank for getting me more into art journaling is my Art Sisters (you know who you are!) We all met at a workshop at Donna's Studio in North Carolina. We've known each other now for several years and we are the best of friends. They are there for me always, and are constantly inspiring and challenging me creatively. We check in with each other almost nightly, share art we've made, talk about our day, and we're even planning an art retreat at the beach at the end of the Summer! I feel so lucky to have found these amazing group of ladies.

Last year they told me about an art journal project they participated in each year called the DLP. (Documented Life Project.) It is a free class offered by Art To The 5th -- an AMAZING group of artists! My friend Christine, in particular, really shared her enthusiasm about the project and her work that she did in her art journal last year. It's GORGEOUS and it instantly inspired me!(Maybe I should see if Christine would share some of her art journaling here on my blog? Hint, hint, Christine!) I started with the DLP class in January and couldn't be more pleased with the results and the journey. It is such an enjoyable class -- I highly recommend checking it out at

I'd like to share with you some of the art journaling I've done so far in 2015. This is the cover of my DLP journal. We're using a Dylusions art journal and the first assignment was to decorate our cover. (It comes in kraft brown.) This was so fun to do!

Another art journaling class that I'm really enjoying, which is more technique driven, is Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday. Every other Wednesday she posts a video showing a new art journal technique. (You can find out more information on Inspiration Wednesday on her website.) I don't always get around to doing the latest technique right away, since life can get busy, but it's a great treat knowing that it's there for me to do all throughout the year. The thing that is interesting about Inspiration Wednesday is that Donna pushes me outside of my creative box. These pages are a bit more messy that what I usually do -- and I love it! Such a learning experience! (Note: the cloth journals shown at the very top of this blogpost are actual journals that you can order from Donna's website, and just start painting in them when they arrive. They're so stinking cute!)

Regardless of the source of inspiration, one thing is for sure: art journaling is MOST enjoyable! You can spend a few hours in your studio and complete something you just love. Try it! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Does your space INSPIRE you?

When you think of a craft room, do you just think of a space in your home that houses all of your paints, paper, fabrics and stamps? (Or other hobbies - like quilting, crocheting, or beading?) So often we think of storage in a craft room, and creating in that room (in my case, lots of art journaling and scrapbooking!) but do you decorate the room in a way that inspires you? When you look around your space, do you see things that you love? I think surrounding yourself with inspiration really makes you much more creative. Also, it becomes your true happy place. :)

Although I've had four craft rooms in the last five years (yes, we move a lot!) there is one thing that is a constant in my creative space: artwork from friends, family members and great artists that I've met in my creative travels. Daily, these works inspire me! It makes me so happy to walk into my craft room and see this:

Over the years, I've collected all these lovely pieces. Some were from workshops I've attended, some were sent to me by friends, and some were made by my own kiddos. (I especially treasure these meaningful works of art!)

I'm so fortunate to also have fabulous creative friends who have sent me lovely creations, like this one from my incredibly talented friend, artist Kirsten Reed (Kirsten Reed Designs):

Believe it or not, my own art is even up there! (Yes, you can be inspired by your own work!)This girl was definitely inspired by the talented Christy Tomlinson's She Art class:

I've also been really blessed to be able to take classes with some amazing artists over the years. Here are some of the class goodies we were given and that made the class extra special:

This gorgeous flag mixed media piece was made by artist Sue Pelletier, teacher at Art Is You (*look for her new mixed media book coming out in May!)

This fun little note from the amazing artist, Junelle Jacobsen

And this darling name tag handmade by Ellen Legare from Art Is You Retreats.

All these works of art are so special to me, and inspire me each and every day! They make my room a very happy space.

Please check out these amazingly talented artists! Not only are they fabulously creative, but they're also women that truly inspire.

Thank you so much for visiting me here at The Scrappy Girl Next Door!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Home Is {Truly} Where the Heart Is...

So who else is ready for SPRING? Eagerly raising my hand here! After seven days of snow and ice, I've been looking for ways to bring Spring into my home. I keep buying fresh flowers every time I go grocery shopping. When my kids complain about Winter weather, I keep reminding them that it's actually "Early Spring." They just roll their eyes at me!

Well, as I've been sprucing things up in my house, anticipating warmer weather and fun family time, it got me thinking about how one's creativity really carries over to their home. Is there any such thing as a super creative person who has a boring, bland kind of home? I highly doubt it. I think there are so many ways to use your creativity to make your house a real home. A home full of character, and warmth and comfort.

As the only female in our home, I'm pretty much the only one that even thinks about things like this - ha! I joke that if decorating a home were up to my husband, we'd have beds, a super-sized flatscreen, and a couple of Lazy Boy recliners! (Thank heavens that isn't the case.) I love my home and I love making it nice for my family. I love entertaining and really enjoy having friends over. I think it's truly rewarding, and is hopefully making for really happy memories for my kids.

On this snowy and frigid evening in Tennessee, I thought I'd share some of my favorite spaces in my home. (I did have to include a few photos from the Summer, with greenery and sunshine -- it gives me hope!) I hope this blogpost inspires you and reminds you that it's not where you live, but who you share your home with, that truly matters.

Stay warm, my friends, and remember that Spring is only 22 days away!