The Art of My Gratitude Practice, Step by Step

My Gratitude Practice:

This is my morning gratitude practice.


Tonight I will add some art with a plain black ballpoint pen (the same one I journaled in the morning with). I start by doodling on top of my “free writing”. Then I fill in the blank spaces on my guided journaling.




Now it is time to color. I love my Prisma colored pencils. I have so much to learn but I love the gorgeous color and shading!! I loved how the Winged Heart turned out.



That was fun. And very relaxing.

See you soon!


I Am Back

After my last post, I got sick. REALLY sick. I got the never ending flu. For weeks. I think I am finally getting over it but I am still stuffy. It was the kind of sick where I was completely wiped out. I was out from work and all I did was sleep. I was so exhausted I couldn't read or pretty much anything. The third round of medication finally kicked in late last week. So, no more coughing up a lung and my head is a lot clearer.

What does that mean. It means I finally got back to a regular journaling routine. I am working in one of my older journals now that had remained unfinished. It is a smaller journal but has lots of cool stuff in the portion that is finished. It gives me a bit of incentive to get back to it. Even if just a bit.

One of my new supplies… colored pencils. Actually, I never really liked colored pencils. I didn't like the “white” in between strokes. So for all these years, I have not wanted to use them.

In my “new”, old journal, I wanted to have something simple to color my doodles. Kind of like an Adult coloring book of my own making. Markers don't really give shading… and you have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. Chameleon Markers could solve the shading issue but not the bleeding issues (besides they are expensive). So I searched through YouTube and found some Adult Coloring videos to get some ideas.

I saw some beautiful work with colored pencils… and I decided to give them a try. I had some old Crayola pencils that had mainly remained unused so I tried them out. They were okay but didn't go down smoothly leaving some scratchy strokes. I saw the possibilities that colored pencils could have but wanted to find an option that gave a bit nicer result. So I got a pack of Prisma colored pencils.

This is my first try. My journaling routine is to Write a Gratitude Practice in my journal in the am. It includes answering a few prompts and then a page of free writing. Then tonight I doodled in the empty spaces and on top of my free writing. I got to try my pencils and I have to say they are fantastic!!! I am not so good at shading but they did a wonderful job. The color went on easy and smoothly. I really love the results.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can have more of a step by step.


Happy Tuesday!


Finishing Up

I finished up my art journal page today. Well, at least I think I have. It was all about the elements I want in my life. I chose the images by how they made me feel, design, color. So today I added the words.

If I ever need a reminder of what I want out of life, I can always turn to this page.

Happy Friday!


11-11-15 Art Journaling Practice: More Galato fun – Just Add Water

Today, instead of working on yesterday’s page, I wanted to do another gelato background. Today I am going to use gelatos and water. The water can really dissolve and mix the color making the gelatos look like water colors. I am NOT using paper that is designed for watercolor… or very much water at all. That never stops me (I use what I have)… just know that a paper that is designed for wet media will probably give a much nicer result and be easier to work with.

Happy Wednesday!


11-10-15 Daily Journal Practice: Joy, Gel and Gelatos

Today I am starting a new page. I wanted to put down a fun background… so I grabbed a handful of gelatos. What are gelatos? They are similar to water-soluble pastels… but softer and come in a tube (similar to Chapstick). They also come in lots of yummy colors and you can find kid sets that are pretty inexpensive!


What I love about gelatos is that they go on like a crayon and can be blended.


Today I will demonstrate blending the colors with a liquid gel medium. Why did I choose a liquid gel medium? I am thinking of doodling over the top of this background. Like water-soluble oil pastels, crayons, and any waxy medium it can be difficult… if not impossible to write over the top of them with regular pens (there are very few I have found that will work… and even then sometimes they don’t go down smoothly. So, in order to make penwork easier I like to use gel medium because it sets up a barrier that makes it easier to write on. Also, once the gel has dried, I don’t have to worry about the gelato moving around when I add other “wet” medium to it… maybe brushwork or even penwork from a juicy pen can cause the gelatos to mix and move. The gel isn’t as juicy as water so it doesn’t dissolve and move the color quite so much. (I would also like to try using a wet wipe and see how that moves, dissolves, and mixes color.)

I used a large flat brush and brushed the mixed gel and gelato color into the page.


That’s it for today! Happy Tuesday!


11-9-15 Midori Journal/Planner: Daily Entry and Weekly Commitment Circle

I wanted to share with you my new device to keep track of my commitment to practices. Using a circle with center and 7 rings, I divided the circle up in to several pie pieces. There are as many slices as practices I am working on for many areas of my life. My goal is to work on each one at least a little bit each day. My eight areas for practice: Relationships, Spirituality, Finances, Work, Fun/Creativity, Mental, Health, Home. I know I will be change some of titles but it was the best I could come up with last night.

Relationships: Spend some time working on one of my key relationships: my husband, my family, my friends. I really want to divide this pie piece up in half. One half for my husband and the other half for my family (I don’t have hardly any left) and my friends.

Spirituality: I wanted to actually wanted to add a meditation practice to my day. I think taking time to try let go of my thoughts (those crazy worries, the critic in my head, mental tapes that play over and over…) even for five minutes… can only make my life better. I also want to be able to do some spiritual/uplifting reading.

Finances: I really need to get a handle on my finances. So I will take at least five minutes to review the purchases of the day… how I feel about them… working on my budget… keeping track of my budget plan. In this area, one I am particularly not consistent at, any forward movement is a big plus. At least for right now.

Work: What do I really want to do for work? This includes deciding what I don’t want as much as what I do. Again, this is an area where any little bit of thought I put into it daily will keep this issue on my mind and help me move forward… until I figure out what my next step should be.

Fun/Creativity: This includes any kind of art (that is fun), writing, watching the sunset, hula hooping…

Mental: Anything that improves me… classes, puzzles…

Health: Moving – not exercising. I put it this week because so often “exercise” is something you do to burn off calories. A self-inflicted MUST that is part of the diet mentality. I have given up dieting… which has been a very difficult road but I have realized the “diet/exercise treadmill” isn’t the answer. At least it isn’t my answer. I want to move and eat… naturally. No rules, no guilt, no MUSTs and MUST NOTs. Funny enough, moving can be just the same as exercise… or completely different. Today, I did my Kettlebell swings and rode my bike in between swing sets. But I didn’t do it to burn calories… I did it because I am terribly out of shape. I wanted to feel my heart pump and that is the easiest way I know. I didn’t work out like a mad person, or push myself over the edge to prove I could and to lose fat. I worked fairly hard during my swinging sets and used the bike to gently bring my heart rate down a bit. It is all about feeling. But I could have easily picked a walk on the beach at sunset (unfortunately the sun sets now before I leave work), or took a bike ride, walked around the block, or hula-hooped.

Home: Anything that helps improve my home. Right now my focus is on purging – getting rid of all the collected stuff that no longer serves me.

And each day my goal is to color in the daily ring of each daily practice. It is a way to be able to keep track of how I am doing with my practices. By the time I wrote this blog, this is how much I have gotten done.


This is a compact and super easy way to keep track of my progress in my practices.

I have a couple more things to get done. Have a great Monday!


11-5-15 Daily Art Journal Practice: Pen Work

I wasn’t able to do anything in my work area today, so I grabbed my pen cases and decided to do some pen work. I will work on more of the shading of my main image tomorrow.

I added the Vacation lettering in black and really did not like how it was too bold and dark for the page. So I grabbed my Office Max Metallic pens (Now that Office Depot bought Office Max out I haven’t been able to find them… which is sad because they are my favorite) and went to work on all that bold black lettering. With just the “Vacation” lettering I did not like how the page looked. I felt like I had ruined the page. It wasn’t an artistic page anymore. But I knew I needed to persevere. I had been going for a “Dawn Devries Sokol” kind of page. It is a look I did a lot last year and I had made that style part of my own. When I changed journals, I kind of moved away from a more “doodle” like page and started doing more artistic types of pages. I like doing both but when it comes to documenting day-to-day life, I do prefer a “doodle” type of page. I intended for this page to reflect my week. So I added some doodles with the metallic markers, then added journaling with a small lined black marker.

I still didn’t capture my “old” doodle style to my liking. I guess I am out of practice. I know that the result isn’t the point but right now… the page isn’t bad… but I keep thinking maybe it would have been better if I would have done a more artistic type of page. It is too late now. I just have to move forward with what I have.



I hope to work on making a Midori-style journal in the last few days of my vacation. I found out that Effy Wild has a class called Radiant that has a tutorial on how to make an Effydori. I have signed up and will take a look. I think I would like to fool around with a hard covered journal to start with. I cut out some cardboard from a shoe box. I am worried that because one side is corrugated that the cardboard may not hold up and bend at a corrugation line. I was going to try to find an old book the size I want and use the covers but I was afraid the covers might be too thick. I look over the class and see what I can see about the Effydori and then see what I can come up with.


10/30/15 Art Journal Practice: A New Page

It was a friend at work’s birthday and I rustled up a gift and added some festive tissue paper. It was striped… very cool. I purposely didn’t use it all so I would have some for my journal. I glued down a piece…nice! Yes it is wrinkly in places… don’t care.!


My plan is to add a magazine image… white wash it… and make it look more like a drawing or painting. As I searched through my stash, I found this image and it called to me. I like it… just as it is. I set it down and started looking for another… one that I wouldn’t care if I white washed. Oh, the heck with it. I liked, I wanted the first image… and that is what I will use.


Not sure if I will white wash it. Yes, I may… But then again, maybe not. Today I will just glue it down. Tomorrow will tell me what the next step will be.


Happy Friday everyone!


10/29/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: More Blending

The hair. I wanted to work on the hair. Looking at the page the stark blackness of the hair seemed to jump off the page. So I grabbed a brown water-soluble oil pastel and added it and lightly rubbed it in. The stark black was blended and adding the brown seemed to blend in color wise better on the page.

I still wanted to make the Bathing Beauty element more artfully mine. So I decided to add a bit of color to blend into the skin tones of the magazine image. With my cheap water-soluble oil pastels I have a very limited colors… a general color palette with very limited choices in skin tone. But because Ms. Beauty had a tan, I could grab a tanish color and colored in the darker, shadowed areas.

Then I rubbed and blended everything in. Yes the color is a little less natural but I think it did a nice job of making the image look more artful. I could have added color to the lips… and I still may… but I don’t have a color I think would work so well and my pastels don’t have a very fine tip… maybe not fine enough.

I added yesterday’s journaling.

Feels like today’s additions are done. Happy Thursday!


This page has gotten me thinking of maybe trying another technique to make a magazine image more artful… Maybe for my next page…


10/20/15 Art Journal Practice: Not sure what to do next…

Was wanting to add a bit of acrylic paint… grabbed a stencil and white paint… and it all went terribly wrong. The white started to look yellow… maybe there was some color on the stencil that didn’t get washed off? Whatever happened… as soon as I added the paint… I didn’t like it. I tried using a baby wipe and it didn’t do much. What to do? I added journaling over the biggest bit of it. I left the portion on the left but will probably at least try to do something to either make it white or something, just not sure yet.


Making choices and mistakes is all a part of art journaling. Classes I have taken focus on not getting too attached to what you are doing to be afraid to mess it up. While I understand this idea, it can be a struggle. If I like a page… should I move forward? Good question!

Happy Tuesday!