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SMILE! World Cardmaking Day is coming


SMILE! World Cardmaking Day is coming

It’s been a rough time lately, in America and in the world. Disasters abound. Wars wear on year after year. And now, yet one more mass shooting. How on earth do we get through this without just pulling the covers over our heads?

Smile more.

I know, it sounds like such a little thing. But after the Toastmasters Conference this past weekend, where I heard Barbara Khazam speak – I’m determined to intentionally be a ray of sunshine. For now I’ll be that ray as often as I remember. And hopefully after Barbara’s 21 emails, it’ll be a habit! She had us sign up for her email list to get 21 tips – and I think those tips get sent to you if you sign up on her website, but if not, email her and ask for that email list. And let’s see if we can start shining some light in a dark world!

So today – just a short vlog, with a little info about WCMD coming up on Saturday…be sure to pop back in to get the details on the challenges and how to WIN on Saturday, okeydokey? Watch the video below or see it HERE in HD on YouTube.

And….I have a guest post over in Ellen Hutson’s Classroom today – check it out here!

Go smile at someone today – especially someone who doesn’t look like they deserve it. They need it more than most people do!


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A plea…from Jack Sparrow. (Sorta.)


This post has little to do with Jack Sparrow. Sorry for the false advertising but I figured since most folks follow for the art…a painting might draw you in, right? This quick watercolor in my sketchbook was done for Talk Like a Pirate Day last week. But now…bear with me for some serious news. I don’t usually do news posts but….the deeper I dig, the sadder my heart is.

Puerto Rico is in big trouble after Hurricane Maria. They have not received the attention nor assistance needed; the governor said yesterday they have not received the search and rescue and humanitarian aid requested from DC.  And the Guajataca Dam is staring menacingly at those living below it, ready to break. PR is in for a long haul of problems in cleaning up and rebuilding. Power won’t be restored for 4-6 months – not weeks like it’s been for mainland disasters. Think about that. 6 months….waiting until Valentines Day for basic electricity! And these are fellow Americans.

A little data I didn’t know til this week: Puerto Rico has surpassed the need already reported from the Virgin Islands — by leaps and bounds. USVI has been seeing some aid, and clearly they do need it, don’t get me wrong – but by comparison, two quick stats might put things in perspective:

  • Puerto Rico is 7 times the land mass of USVI
  • Puerto Rico’s population is 3.6 million, USVI 106,000
  • More US citizens live in Puerto Rico than live in the Dakotas, Vermont, Wyoming, and Alaska combined

Hopefully some of that will encourage some giving…they are us. It’s not some foreign country. Below are some ideas where you might like to give…..I’ve been researching local organizations, and this post includes ones I chose to give to. But for those who need a big name to feel comfortable…let’s start out with the big names with excellent ratings who look to actually be helping in PR right now:

Big orgs:

Photo Credit: ABCNews

Local(ish) orgs helping Puerto Rico

Organizations Focused on The U.S. Virgin Islands

Organizations Benefitting Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands

  • Islamic Relief USA  Established in 1993, California-based. They were on the ground in Texas and Florida for the hurricanes.
  • Black America Web Relief Fund Created by radio host Tom Joyner after Katrina in 2005 focuses on individuals and families who need assistance as a result of publicly declared disasters. Donations can be made here—and those who are displaced or who are hosting people because of the storm can request financial assistance.
Photo Credit: ABCNews
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Art to heal: natural disasters


Today is the National Day of Encouragement. I don’t know about you….but I’m feeling awfully unencouraged and helpless lately.

There’s so much awfulness out in the world right now…The skies in Washington, Oregon, and California are thick with smoke and ash from fires. Texas and Louisiana are starting to dig out from Harvey, and Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are suffering with the monstrous rage of Irma. Mexico was just hit with a huuuuuge earthquake, just as they were preparing for the onslaught of the other Atlantic hurricanes that have been chasing Irma’s coattails all last week. It’s as if Mother Nature heard doubts about climate change and replied with a big old “Hold my beer.”

And while we’ve only been paying attention to tragedies close to home, South Asia flooding has displaced 40 million people in just a few weeks. Yes, 40 MILLION. In Bangladesh it’s been 8 million – 3 million are kids. In Nepal, 1.7 million people are affected, and at least 1.5 million homes were destroyed along with thousands of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges.  1,300 were killed, and close to 40% were kids. They can’t bury all these people til the land dries out, either….can you imagine?

I am donating a lot more to charities these past few weeks – but it feels like a tiny drop in a giant bucket of need.

Blue footed booby was a reminder to Floridians to go take cover.

I need to displace compassion fatigue. How? With art.

For me, creating is my way to cope. It may not do any good for the victims to post something on instagram, but it keeps me from getting too lost in my feelings of impotence in the face of so much disaster. That just makes me sit helplessly on the sofa and stare at the wall. So I create something inspired by the tragedy, or to draw attention to it. Something to provide a commentary of some kind, to help keep it in the forefront of people’s minds. I invite you to do the same. I try to do it in respectful ways, sometimes humorous when appropriate. But most importantly:

With each piece…I’m going to make a donation.

When you see one of my pieces on Instagram, I challenge you to also go donate. It can be just a few bucks – but it’s our reminder to keep those who need our help in our thoughts and prayers – and actions.

Just last night I made a significant gift to the fund created by all our living former presidents: the One America Appeal – what a beautiful joint effort from these men.

So that’s where my head is at on this day when so many people are under Irma’s thumb and reeling in her wake. Using my art for good, and following it up with doing more than sending warm thoughts. Hope you’ll join me.


PS A public service announcement: Copic class sale at art-classes ends at midnight tonight. That feels pretty yucky for a post like this, but maybe you can take the savings from class and donate it?


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Giveaway, Card Drive, new Copic classes and SALE

H’lo everyone! Just popping in to let you know a few things going on….links below the video:

And THANK YOU for all your support on the Harvey fundraiser and card drive. I decided to give the max that I had planned to give, even without enough comments, because, well ya know. I love to give! Where did I choose? I gave my $1000 to Vets and Vets Hurricane Relief. They’re veterans and veterinarians – and they left yesterday for Houston. They’re pairing up with another group, Rescued Pets Movement, and one of the things they needed desperately is a commercial washer/dryer – just think about all those soggy doggies and kitties! I’m pretty proud that I’m helping them – because, you know, my little guy is a LOVER of baths and water and towels. I’d love it if you can join in with me and give a few bucks – it’s not tax deductible because they’re just people going down to the Gulf to help. But let’s help them be successful!!

My kids helped me write to all the police and firemen…

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Stop belittling your creativity: a tip to change your mindset

My apologies for yesterday’s blank post – it’s something that was supposed to be scheduled as a placeholder for the future and…uh yeah, I goofed. Thanks to the 43 people who let me know 🙂

Today I’ve got a little treat – a vlog! I haven’t created any of these in forever….but I hope to get back to it. I have lots of topics rolling around in my head for them, but if you’ve got quick questions or ideas, let me know in comments. If you like little creative nudges, you can also subscribe to the blog over at Art-Classes, where each Monday I share a little creative kick in the pants for us all! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Next week will be a little different from the usual here on the blog – but I hope you’ll have fun with it!

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MATCHING FUNDS for Breast Cancer!!!

I just heard about some GREAT ways finish strong with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation fundraiser – (the post HERE shows the Courage set, and I sent in $500 from that!) and we are trying to SHOUT it loud to everyone! There are three ways you can help:

  1. Make a donation through THIS page before Mother’s Day and it will be DOUBLED!
  2. Purchase a COURAGE stamp and die set before Friday so that we can make one more big push to get those dollars matched by BCRF Corporate Sponsors!
  3.  Post a picture to Instagram with the #WhyResearch hashtag. $10 is being given to BCRF by the Corporate Sponsors for each story/reason shared on Instagram up to 1000 shares. Currently they only have 114! Read more about the campaign HERE.

There were SO many stories shared in the comments during the bloghop, I’m counting on YOU to go join the #whyresearch hashtag and share a picture of the person you love who is suffering.

Also, please share this blog post with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter…you never know who has $10 they’d like to give!

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Charity Bloghop wrapup


I feel like *I* am the winner here – from all of my amazing friends who participated in the bloghop, to all the folks joining in and leaving everyone so much LOVE! When the idea began I wasn’t sure anyone would jump in…but you all proved that all is not lost! We are a community filled with love and generosity!

The grand total – so far – is $3,765.00!!!! Holy guacamole the generosity is such a beautiful testament to your giving hearts. THANK YOU on behalf of all who will receive the help from your giving! If you missed out and want to register YOUR gift, fill out the little form on THIS post. We’ll do more fundraisers later in the year and see if we can beat last year’s giving total!

Okay okay enough of all that…you came here to see who “really” won, right? Well drumroll please…..randomly selected by are the following:

  • Kirsty Vittetoe – $30 Altenew Gift Certificate
  • Ericka Strange – $50 Lawn Fawn Gift Certificate
  • brookrhinehart – $25 Ellen Hutson Gift Certificate
  • Meghan Peterson – $30 MFT Gift Certificate

I’ve got your email addies – I’ll send you a note to hook you up with your prize! 🙂

PS – I was inspired by the hop over the weekend to create a page in my Bible – to remind myself that when we all are generous, lives can be changed.


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Puppies wrestling in the snow! (and a freebie with a purchase!)


We had a surprise snowstorm Sunday and Monday – and the puppies went wild! I could hardly get them to come back in the house…they just wanted to run and wrestle! I captured a little footage – since I know some of you have been enjoying the peeks at their little paws! Watch below or click HERE to see them play in the snow.

And…I just noticed a freebie over at Ellen Hutson…if you’re in need of a MISTI (or another MISTI)…you get a free stamp set! While supplies last, ends Feb 12th.  Click HERE for MISTIs! They were closed for the storm yesterday (might be again today) but get your order in anyhow – they’ll be doing the stamp giveaways in order of purchases. #yourewelcome


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Superbowl, BHM, and coming up…

An oops – Friday you got TWO posts – both the pencil card with the two little kids, and the rainbow rose. One was supposed to happen Monday, but….yeah. Stuff happens, right? So don’t be disappointed if you have nothing on Monday morning! I had a chat just this past week with my Patrons, and after they heard about my crazy process, I’m pretty sure they understand how the boo boo happened!

Happy Superbowl!

I saw this and thought some of my non-football-watching friends might enjoy. I’ll be watching the game, but just barely. LOL.

Black History Month

This month I’m trying something on Instagram – sharing a coloring of some kind, every day, with people of diversity. Sometimes it’ll be Copic, watercolor, pencil….sometimes a card, a painting, etc. I’m encouraging others to join in too – so if you do, use #dailydiversity all during the month of February, or at least tag me to come see!

Coming soon

For those who like lettering, the 30 Days of Bible Lettering folks are going to host another challenge in March, so stay tuned on Instagram! I’ve got a guest day, so keep your eyes peeled 🙂

A note to Instagrammers

For those who share creations on Instagram – there’s a site that I only just learned of (maybe I’ve been under a rock!) that links more easily to the product used on the card you post. In the past we’ve had to change the link in our profile for a day – big pain. This works great – here’s my page…I just started using it a few days ago.

The way it works: the site pull images from your Instagram account, and if you add a link (on their site) to the stamp or whatever that’s used, that image will show up on your LinkedInProfile page. If you provide no link, it won’t show up. You can use this to link directly to your blog post, or if it’s just a single product or something (I link to the stamp), you can link directly to a shop where folks can buy it. Sure saves a lot of questions or explanations in captions! They do have a free trial period so you can test it out. Click here to see more: LinkInProfile.