Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Moving again...

It took a while - 5 months, to be exact - for me to muster up the strength to do these pages. And they're no work of art. Meager would be a good word to describe them. But I needed to pay tribute to my sweet baby, Samson, whose loss still hurts every single day, and whose absence still makes every room feel empty.  I think that completing these pages and mailing this journal on is exactly what I need in order to really start moving again on this project. I've been blocked in a major way. Here's to moving again.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Holding the brush

I never mind getting messy for the sake of art. Blue fingers, smudged chalk on my nose. It's all good. 

This little baby is going out THIS week. I need to revel in the messiness of some hands on creation time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Feels good

Stoked to get Ali's journal today. It's a cloudy Sunday and I was tired and cranky. Sitting down to work in the journal can be so therapeutic and healing. I love this project so much. Whenever I tell anyone about it, they are so impressed by what a neat idea it is.

Friday, March 15, 2013


I am loving this free time over spring break to play in our journals. I've realized this month, in working on Ali's journal, that I love the messy release of journaling. I love getting physically messy and mentally clear. So good for the soul. Why can't spring break last forever...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

dancing in the rain

I feel so honored to be asked to be a part of this. I am not a crafty person. I can take pictures and make people laugh, but I am not good at artsy stuff. But...I can maybe learn it? I am learning a lot about myself lately. I will not close my eyes to the possibility of anything.

I now have someone else's journal. And I want to make the person who sent it to me proud of my pages. This project is so amazing on so many different levels.

The RAIN to the wind said...

Working on my first two pages of Ali's journal, and I cannot keep her love for Samson and her painful heart out of my pages. I know this month's theme isn't a sad one, and my entry isn't actually sad, I just hope it helps her along on her journey when she holds it in her hands again.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I told Anna all about the project and had a great talk with her about how everyone's interpretation of art and themes is different and that's what makes it so cool. So, I told her about this months theme and I asked her to do my first two pages. I love that she's contributing to this. Another amazing artist has begun.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let it rain.

I guess it's not all that surprising that I'm so creatively inspired by this Monty's "dancing in the rain" theme since I'm the one who selected it. That said, doing my spreads in Maite's journal this month has been incredibly therapeutic for me. This month I have rediscovered why this project is so important to me. I hope that the other girls find similar moments for themselves.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I received Maite's journal at a really good time the other day. Things in my life have been chaotic and upsetting over the past week and a half, following a cancer diagnosis and surgery for my sweet kitty cat, Samson. I've been on an emotional roller coaster, with good days and bad, but both magnified to near manic proportions. Yesterday was really rough, but I was able to deal with it by working on a spread in the journal. This project, as it turns out, is very therapeutic.

Also? Maite's journal may just be the coolest thing I've ever seen. Doing my best to contribute to it accordingly and keep the artistic vibe going.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The next step.

The time has come.

To put my journal in an envelope and mail it to one of the other amazing ladies. I am excited. I was afraid for ages to affix the photo to the cover for fear of ruining it, but I did it today and it looks great. I added some more details inside and off my baby will go.

I am looking forward to receiving one and putting as much love and care into their pages as I did into mine.

The next chapter of this project awaits. Soon, we will come up with a new theme for the next four pages and the wheels will begin to turn again.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Taking a few minutes to do something in the journal is so calming and enjoyable. If feels good. The fact that we will be sharing these adds such a cool dynamic to the process. I want it to be lovely for the others. Initially, I wanted to keep my pages clean and simple because I'm not that much of an artist, but I've found I like going back to add more. And the oil pastels that have transferred to the adjacent page make it cooler.

We will be putting them in the mail soon. Excited to send my sweet book off and get someone else's in return. So happy to be a part of this.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Light on a sick day

My boy. He's 14 and sometimes I forget that 14 is just still so young. He's been sick for a few days so I took the day to get him to the doctor. He'll be fine. Chicken noodle soup has been administered, and the virus he has will run its course. I'm here for snuggling, if he's in need.

I was able to steal a little time for journaling. A little escape in a day of mothering, disinfecting of the house, and sunny snowfall.

Here's to those beginnings that inspire...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finding da "thing"

A few months ago I was invited to speak to a group of women attorneys at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I was nervous. Intimidated. What could I possibly say to these powerhouses?

I spoke of what I know. About creativity, and how making art makes me feel. I spoke about the fact that we all have a right side of the brain. We just need to exercise it. Find that "thing" that makes your heart skip a beat, that "thing" that gives you a flutter in the center of your stomach. We all have it. We are all artistic in some way or another. Do you cook? knit? dance? play music?  Search. It's there.

They walked away with an "a-ha", realizing that they too are creative in their own way.
Now, if someone could help figure out how to wake up the left side of my brain, I'd be set.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Friday night

Working on my journal. Still not sure if I am doing this right, but I need to remember there is really no right or wrong.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

building momentum

Each day, I add a little more. And each day, the journaling experience grows and shifts into something new. Already, I'm wondering how I went this long without having a journal constantly by my side as an outlet.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

dream up a plan?

"A goal without a plan is only a dream."

I read this quote somewhere at the beginning of the year. I realized that I have been mostly... a dreamer. This year, it will be my mantra.

Sure, I've accomplished many things in the past, but why is it that I have had the same New Year Resolution for the past 3 years? I guess it's because  I had no plan in place, just a vague idea. 

This year, I have a plan. I have a plan to develop a plan. That's right, I'm a dreamer with a plan to develop a plan.

You know what is the most interesting thing about this whole must-develop-a-plan-goal? That I stayed up last night until 1:00 am developing my plan. I sat down and grabbed my pen. Then, I saw my new watercolors... 

 Things to do today: 

 • develop a plan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am beyond excited and humbled to be doing this project with 4 amazing, creative, funny, talented sexy women. Yes, sexy is important. Because though sexy is prevalent in this group, I've been told that SEXy makes you read. And I want you to read. I won't repeat what this project is about, especially because Ali explained it best here.

I still haven't written in my journal, but I have thought about it. A lot.

Today, while waiting for the kids to get out of school, I got that feeling...that one that tells you: "do it or you will loose it!" I dug in my purse and found my prescription. Pulled it out as fast as I could. In case you are wondering... it wasn't drugs I needed, nor was I loosing my mind (and if I was, the pills in my purse would not do the trick, lol...that's another post). I didn't want to loose the idea, the itch to put it on paper. I knew that this little bag was the only paper in my purse. I'll never leave the house without my "4corners" again. phew.

This is the beginning, and this is a good start. What comes next? I ask myself the same.

Monday, January 14, 2013

dig deep

This project is making me think. About my beginnings, how I have progressed and where I want to go from here. But, right now, I am really thinking about how, for many years, I felt like I didn't have a creative side. Something I was good at. I wanted that. Longed for it. But I didn't know what it was. I tried things and none of them really stuck for one reason or another. Because they weren't the thing that lit my fire, I guess.

Around the time that my interest in photography began, I was home with Anna for her first two years of life and my sweet man was working everyday. He had bought me a Canon Elph for a birthday or something and it ended up being near me at all times. I took constant photos and videos so he could be a part of the amazing things I was experiencing at home with our new baby.

As things progressed, I got better and Chris continued to buy me better and better equipment. Flickr and my friends here played a huge part in my inspiration and growth. I looked at other people's stuff and over all of these years, developed my own style. It became second nature to be able to capture what I wanted through my lens and share it with the world.

The moral here is this - whether it be a hobby, or a job or whatever...keep looking/going for it. Don't give up. Even if you don't know what it is or don't even know exactly what it is you're looking for - chances are its in you. Keep digging deep.

a new beginning

I am starting a new project with four talented women who I respect and adore. Something to ignite our creative fires and keep us inspired. I am both nervous and excited about it. I feel honored to have been included in this collaboration. Now, if I can just do talent of the others justice and let my own creative juices flow....

We start with our beginnings and what originally inspired us to be doing what we are doing today in terms of our art.

begin anywhere.

Let me kick off my first post here by saying how honored I am to be participating in this creative project with a group of women who I am so thankful to call friends. These are women who I respect so much, both as artists, and as strong, independent women.
The crux of the project is the monthly passing around of four journals, in which we will all be writing, drawing, painting, pasting, and really including anything that is inspiring us at the moment. The whole concept of the project excites me.
For the past couple of weeks, we've been brainstorming about the project, making decisions as to our process, how we will memorialize it all, even the exact journals which we will be using. The anticipation is at a raging high. However, now that we all have our journals in hand, a new problem has presented itself. Everyone seems timid to begin. Afraid that she will somehow make a mistake, mess up her journal, or do the project "wrong." I find it amusing that with such creative powerhouses, all of us can suffer from such trepidation over screwing up an activity that, let's face it, even little girls do effortlessly.
I broke ground on my own journal yesterday. I decided to follow the advice I had passed along to Vanessa, who had texted me to express her anxiety over starting, and I started simply. Knowing that anything I do in this journal will be authentically me. Which is exactly what the project is about. So I thought I would share that simple beginning with the rest of you. To remind you that even the smallest, simplest start is, in the end, still a true beginning of the project.
And I will end with one of my new favorite quotes... "There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark."
Begin anywhere, ladies.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chasing the Muse

I have been intermittently chasing and following my muses all my life.  At times when I am stressed or pulled to tightly one direction or another, the muse evades me.  At others, she hovers nearby and whispers to me of beautiful and magical things. 

To me its just a part of the artists process.  The struggle.  The more I read about creative brains and those who create, the more I find my home.  The more I find the spot I've been looking for my entire life.  But muse or no muse, creating can be a challenge.  There are those in my life who tell me it's effortless.  'But you're so creative, Vanessa!'.  Yeah...and it's rarely EASY to be such. 

Elizabeth Gilbert says it better than I ever could.  I hope you hear some things ring true, like I do.

And so we begin.

4 friends. 4 women. 4 cities. 4 lives. 4 voices. We each hold a blank journal, a creative mind, and the desire to create and share with each other.

What exactly are these pages going to hold? we don't exactly know, and THAT is the most exciting part. Anything goes.

let the ideas unfold. 

I have been staring at this guy for days. Flipping the blank pages. Eager to start, but nervous about making that first mark. eeeps!