Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week 4 - Learn to Journal in 4 Weeks

You've done it!  You've arrived at the final week of this 4-week journey.  Congratulations. I'm super proud of you for now developing this awesome new habit, that will hopefully continue to provide you with an avenue of discovery, insight, and overall well-being!  You now have the keys to happiness and well-being for your future.  Only you can unlock the secrets inside.

"Becoming unbridled from an emotionally painful past is key to having a healthy, happy present. When life delivers a less-than-perfect start to our existence, we can become trapped in a mire of self-pity and snagged by negative patterns of thought over things that were largely or entirely out of our control.  But what we do today, and how we proceed tomorrow is entirely in our control."  ~~Sharon Soneff, in "Art Journals Creative Healing, Restoring the Spirit Through Self Expression"

To paraphrase Sharon Soneff, when you journal, this is a method to help you grab hold of the reins of life, a way to find your moral and emotional compass, your path and direction, your spiritual healing.  By self-monitoring through your journal writing, you are making a conscious effort and decision to keep from perpetuating the past or repeating something that you can, at last and finally, put to rest in your heart, mind and soul.  Blazing a trail of self-evolution, from a point that began in a deep, dark valley through your ascension to the mountain top of self-fulfillment is one of the most self-empowering things you will ever do in your life. You are taking control of your life, your emotions, your spiritual well being.  By dedicating the time to writing in your journal and being consistent, you are not going to miss any moments of realization or epiphanies important to moving forward in a positive, healthy way.  Every step you make, every realization you have is an ascension, an accomplishment and success in healing. Each step forward is progress and you become increasingly more enlightened along the way, holding yourself and perhaps others accountable so that you can reach the summit of that emotional mountaintop.

Great freedom emerges when we face our most troubling realities.  Recovery and self-help groups have long espoused the adage that "You're only as sick as your secrets."  Yes, sometimes that trouble represents a very dark part of our past history that needs to come to light.  Your journal is your safe place where you can express the truth of what is going on right now in your life.  A safe harbor. No judgments, no derision, no repercussions.  Just you and your new best friend ... you.  The whole point of writing in this personal way is to let what is churning inside you come out into the light, so you can see it, and deal with it.  It could be that your journaling brings issues to light for which you may truly want and need some professional guidance from a healthcare professional or spiritual advisor.  But for now, the first step toward healing your spirit involves facing your truths and hard realities, no matter how difficult that truth may be.  You are strong or you would not have started this journey. You seek the truth inside you, no matter the outcome.  As has been said many times in the past by many people, the truth shall set you free.  

As you step forward and continue your writing journey, be confident in knowing that you are strong enough to handle it.  You are worthy of the truth. You are empowering your own self-awareness and self-confidence, and leaving the past behind so that you can grow toward the future, toward your dreams, hopes and aspirations.  Every single day is a learning experience. Find something positive about each day and include it in your writing.  Your outlook will change, and negative self-talk will slowly but purposefully take over your conscious being.  You will be enriched and find fulfillment within yourself.  Keep up your commitment to writing every day, and reinforcing all the positives and blessings in your life.

To access this week's final prompts, go HERE 

As you wind up this week's journaling, come visit us at ARTFUL WRITING where we will continue to encourage and support you and provide you with daily writing prompts to spark your creativity and thoughtfulness. Jump in anywhere or on any prompt that intrigues you.  Give us your feedback, chime in to the conversations.  There is no special "place to start" except of course, with the "starting."  Just keep writing.  And thank you for taking this very special journey with us!



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 51 - Oh Christmas Tree (or YOUR symbol for your holiday season)

Hey y'all...Melody here this week to bring you our prompt and the girls' interpretations on it!

We all have a certain something that symbolizes our holidays...Christmas trees, menorahs, stars, whatever...and they all mean something different to all of us.  This week's prompt is about that symbol for YOU.  So let's get started, shall we?

 First up this week we have Lynn's beautiful page!  I absolutely love love love it!  Here's what she said about her page:  Painted the page medium pink with a sponge then went over it with a paper towel. It dries faster when I do that. Cut out a tree from a piece of scrapbook paper I had and added stars and a few stickers to it.
Finally I used a snowflake stencil and used Snow White Apple barrel paint and stenciled them on the tree and the page.
I really enjoyed this prompt. Thanks for checking it out girls. Make sure you see what the others came up with.

Next up is my prompt...I have to tell you, I got this idea from another group somewhere and just fell in love with it, and since I'd never done it like this before decided it would be for me!  I used quite a few different colors of washi, and went to town in my journal, leaving a little space between each of the strips, then came back over the strips with some thinner gold foil washi in different patterns for my "tinsel".  I couldn't get a pic that really showed off the shimmer of the gold foil, but it's there.

Next up is Shana, who stepped away from the Christmas tree to do something a little different....and like I said earlier, it's all about what it means to YOU.  Shana's take just blew me away, and I am sure y'all will like it too!

She said:   "I know this isn't a tree, but to me a symbol of Christmas was watching "Its a wonderful life" growing up we didn't always get a tree but we always watched its a wonderful life as a family, and family is to me what the holidays are all about, cherishing simple traditions and time and cherishing them.
I used Derwent light wash pencil, water color paints, prismacolor pencils, acrylic paint, milotow and sharpie paint pens and liquitex gesso in my dylusions journal"

And there you have it!  Miss Betty couldn't play this week due to prior holiday plans, but she'll be back soon!

Thanks for joining us for this week's prompt, and I hope you have/had a wonderful holiday so far!

Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Friday, December 18, 2015

Week 3 - Learn to Journal in 4 Weeks

Here we are at the start of week #3 of our course, Learn to Journal in 4 Weeks.  You've met and exceeded the halfway point, so pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

"It's important for people to know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for." -- Mary Waldrip

Standing up for what you believe in is an important quality to have in your life. Likewise, standing up for or standing up TO yourself with your innermost thoughts and emotions is a primary key to living an emotionally healthy life and lifestyle.  If you can't be honest with yourself, you're never going to be wholly honest with others or with your life or find your "true north," the compass of your world, your life.  This is one reason why I journal.  We all have secrets, concerns or issues we keep buried deep within ourselves, either to shield us from remembering pain or because we choose not to recall them.  But those issues are there.  Some of those issues comprise who you are today because we become the result of our life experiences.  Do you like who you've become as a result of your life experiences?  Yes? No?  If not, only you can make those changes. Addressing these concerns in your journal is a huge step in making those changes you want to see.

I recently discovered an amazing book by Rebecca Campbell called "Light is the New Black" A Guide Answering Your Soul's Callings and Answering Your Light, published by Hay House, and currently available at most major booksellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and also available for Kindle readers. If you follow the permalink, you can read some excerpts from the book.   In Light is the New Black, Ms. Campbell talks about and helps guide you to that place in your life that is your TRUE NORTH, finding your compass, your true way in life.  If you are all about being a better you, and finding yourself, truly finding yourself, I recommend you get and read this book!   You may  have some serious life changing epiphanies while reading it or after reading it.   So far, as a result of reading this book, I have been journaling like crazy about the topics and revelations I am experiencing as a result of her discourse and musings.  I read the book all the way through the first time quite quickly and was really impacted by it. But now, I am re-reading, absorbing, thinking about and writing about all of it. 

Your journal writing should always reflect the real you. Not the face you put out there for the public to see. Real. Honest. Forthright. Compelling. Interesting.  All the descriptors, good or bad, that comprise the real you.  Always 'keep it real' with yourself. No kidding. No side-stepping, no excuses. This is how you turn just plain "writing" into positive journaling.  Whether you realize it or not, you are taking care of yourself.  You are filling up your vessel -- your soul, your spirit, your mind. You are caring about yourself!

As always, you don't have to respond to all of our prompts, or even take them in order, but we recommend you try and respond to each prompt if you can.  Or write about your day, what you are feeling or dealing with. It's your journal.  We are only providing sparks and ideas to keep you thinking and proactively engaged in your emotional and spiritual growth and development. And if you have a bunch of raw journaling you don't ever want anyone to see but you, remember you can always cover it up afterward with art, collaged images, and words.  But don't forget to leave a little hint or reminder on the page, whether a specific word, a hashtag on the corner of your page, or arted on top of your journaling.  You know it's there, and that's all that is necessary.

This week we are going to revisit your list from Day 11, do a little self-exploration, venture out to enhance your writing experience, and of course, a little creative writing.

To access this week's prompts, go HERE

Have a great week, and happy writing!



Saturday, December 12, 2015

Artful Journeys - Week #50 Art Prompt

Here we are, week #50 of a year-long art challenge.  Can you believe it?  This whole year has just seemed to fly by and now the sudden realization that there are only two, yes TWO very short weeks left of 2016.  I'm not finished with all the things I wanted to accomplish this year, in my art and in my daily life.  Are  you? 

A special request:  While we are all thinking about the impending Christmas holiday, food, shopping lists, gift buying, wrapping, parties and social events, excited children, frustrated shoppers, let's also remember to stop every single day, even if just for a moment to consider and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.  Think of something you can do for someone who might not have enough food to eat, warm clothing to wear, no family to share the holiday with, or anything to give to their children for Christmas. Can you involve your children or grandchildren to help teach them the value of giving and volunteering?  Consider buying a gift for a deserving child on an angel tree, helping a homeless person get a hot meal, volunteering in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, spending some time with someone who has no family, sharing some joy with someone, to help make their day a little brighter.  I have so many blessings and things to be thankful for in my life, and I LOVE paying forward my blessings and helping those in dire situations that need the help...and not just during the holidays... I do it throughout the year, and as a matter of course. Giving is a big part of my life.  Consider sharing your blessings the whole year through. You, and your life will be enriched by the experience. 

This week at Artful Journeys, we're thinking about winter. I particularly am jealous of those of you who live in climates where you see and get snow regularly.  Snow brings out a special kind of happiness for me, and fond, fond memories of my childhood and the rare snow events of my life, all of which I can almost clearly identify they have been so few.  What memories does snow evoke for you?  Do you hate it, love, it, go play in it?  So show us!


My spread this week reflects the fun memories from my childhood regarding snow and snow days. Here's a sneak peek, but to see the whole thing, hop on over to my blog, HERE

MELODY made this very pretty page, in her favorite "signature" color and left plenty of room for journaling about her winter days. I know she is hoping for snow too, but she still wants the schools to remain "open" for a quiet day at home!  One thing about Melody's journals, she likes "writing" on a painted page, and most of her backgrounds for writing are always so smooth and luscious.  I can't wait to see her writing around those snowflakes!

SHANA submits this vision of loveliness for your inspiration this week.  She says, " This was one of my 1st journal entries mixing acrylic paint and my Prismacolor pencils.  I used a stencil for the blue and white background and most of her hair is pattern paper showing through. For the snowflakes I used my white Faber Castel pitt pen on some stamps, along with the Pitt pens for the smudgy shadows."  Shana told me that she actually painted this journal page on her first winter without snow, when she first moved to the desert.  Being a Wisconsin cheese-head, (a title she proudly professes), Shana knows snow.  But alas, living in the low desert, she has to find a mountain or go home now to get any!  LOL 


Be inspired this week by winter.  Let the magic of "snow" get all in your head, and in your heart...even if you are living in a warm climate!  Maybe you can fancy up some palm trees covered in snow?  You'll never know until you try!  And don't forget to share at ARTFUL JOURNEYS!

Have a great week, and as always, keep it artful!
~~Betty, Melody, Shana & Lynn


Friday, December 11, 2015


We've arrived at week #2 of our beginning course on learning to journal in four weeks. How are you doing so far with getting in the habit of writing everyday, about something?  I see in Artful Writing that some of you may have already experienced some emotional turmoil about some of our first seven prompts.

                                              "Live in peace in a time of stress"

Quite frankly, I didn't expect that the first seven prompts would elicit such a response.  When I created them, they seemed benign enough.  I certainly realize that many people, including myself, did not have the happiest of childhoods, and I am not always willing or able to discuss some of these situations with myself on a given day.  Regardless of the specificity of any prompt, if the day's prompt is too painful for you to address this early on in your writing, perhaps let it spark something that isn't.  Look for a positive thought or memory within the prompt. Think about the prompt in a different way, or write about something entirely different on that day.  The prompts are just sparks and ideas intended to get you to think, and to write about your emotions, feelings and experiences.  Being real and honest with yourself, in a way that perhaps you have never done before, truly can be one of the most cathartic and healing experiences of your life. Today might not be that day for you, or even tomorrow.

If a prompt brings up painful or hurtful emotions in you, just write about how you feel at the moment.  You don't have to respond to the prompt directly.  Too often we allow conditioned responses from our past to control our present.  We can't help it.  It is human nature, I think, to want to avoid hurt and pain.  But realistically, without addressing hurt, pain, anger and all the black emotions we hold within us, we can't ever find the light, or the peace that dwells in all of us, or go to the sunny place where we are wholly content with ourselves, our lives and our futures.  At least talking openly and honestly with yourself in your journal, you're coming to grips with this turmoil on an adult level, with adult responses.  Sure, you may cry a river of tears when it all comes pouring out the end of your pen.  I love a good, healing cry myself. It helps me.  But if now is not the time, make a mental note to address how you feel right at that moment on another day.  There have been many nights when I have journaled about an emotional situation in my life, that I cried the entire time I was writing. But afterwards, my heart seemed healed somehow.  Maybe not fully or completely, but at least part of me came to grips with some of it.  And hopefully that day will arrive for you as well.

My best advice to you:  Just keep writing. Keep thinking. Keep exploring the real know, the one you know is inside you that you are secretly hiding and you're not letting her fully out in the open.  How can I improve my life?  How can this cleansing or purging of thoughts and emotions benefit me in the long run?  You will ultimately benefit emotionally and spiritually by addressing these deep and personal issues.  Everyday is not a big emotional day. We want you to just write, the good with the bad, along with lighthearted, creative writing that frees your spirit from the societal constraints that are placed upon us in our daily lives.  Hang in there if you're already having trouble. It gets easier, I promise.  Something just resonated within your soul. You poked a smoldering fire that has been simmering in there, likely for a long time.  It's not going to go away, but you can plan to address it later, when you're more prepared to handle it.  I and we, are always here to provide you with emotional support and encouragement when you need it. Never be afraid to ask for help. So far, the members of Artful Writing are showing their willingness to be supportive and offer encouraging words and some sage advice to those of you who are facing some difficulties.  Lean in. Listen. I believe encouragement and support from others is a viable and important tool in a healing arsenal.

I'm excited to present your prompts for this coming week.  This week, we're going to address how to explore a little more deeply within yourself, how to cut this into manageable chunks of thought process time through the aid of lists and brainstorming, and have a couple of more inane writing prompts, just to get you in the habit of writing.  You don't have to start at the first prompt, or even follow the prompts exactly, or at all. Just write.  But consider really responding to some of these prompts this week. 

As always, if you have some raw journaling from this week you don't ever want anyone to read or see, consider collage options or arting over the words, leaving something to peek out or remind you of the writing.  Keep clipping & putting powerful or emotional images into your "envelope" just for this purpose. Put a hashtag on the lower corner of your journal perhaps with a keyword. Consider magazine images that represent the emotions or feelings you had, or how the writing made you feel.  You could even art over this particular day's writing entirely, and feel safe that your private thoughts are secure.

Find this week's new prompts HERE.  Enjoy the journey.

Happy writing!


Saturday, December 5, 2015


Hi y'all!  Betty here again this week to bring you our prompt!  With the approaching holidays, we know most of you are busy shopping, decorating  your trees, your homes, your yards.  So of course you need a little holiday decoration in your art journals as well!

This week's prompt:  "AND THE STOCKINGS WERE HUNG..."

MELODY made this cute spread in her journal, with plenty of room to write about a favorite Christmas memory and says "This week's spread was pretty basic. It's been a tough week and no art has gotten done. I started in my small Dylusions journal with burnt umber and titanium white creating a wall and mantle to hang the stockings from. My stockings are by Jolee's Boutique and found them when I was hunting up some stickers to use in my journal for Christmas. Hope you like it."

SHANA sends along this sneak peek and a link to her video!  Follow through on the link to see the process and the finished spread HERE

That's it from our end of the world.  Lynn and I were unable to participate this week due to outside commitments.  Let this prompt challenge you to create a special memory, or recreate one.  Maybe add a special Christmas story as a tip in!

As always, keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Friday, December 4, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT! Artful Writing!

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new sister group, ARTFUL WRITING where we will be providing you 365 days of writing prompts and ideas, hints, tips and tricks for successful journaling.

The group is now open for membership, so tell your friends.  The first official prompt will appear on December 31st and will be published daily for your writing inspiration.

For those of you who like to have a week's worth of prompts at one time, you may return here to the blog and locate the 2016 Artful Writing page to get all your weeks' prompts at one time, or visit the group page as part of your daily ritual.  We will also be including bonus prompts and ideas on the group page for writing as we go along.

If you are new to journaling, we are offering a free, 4-week course on beginning journaling that will start tomorrow evening, December 5th.  To get started, first visit and review the Introduction so that you are prepared and ready to begin.  Come back here to the blog, and look for the page tab on the left side of the blog: LEARN TO JOURNAL IN 4 WEEKS. You can start the free course HERE

You never have to follow along with the prompts and are always free to write about whatever your heart desires. Our daily prompts are designed to spark an idea or to make you dig deep and really be honest with yourself so that you can begin to renew your mind, body and spirit in this coming year.  If you can't be honest with and about yourself in your journal, where can you?

We will never ask you to share your personal journaling with us. That's definitely private.  But you are encouraged to ask questions about your journaling, writing in general, offer up your ideas and suggestions; talk about your favorite journals and writing instruments and any subject relating to writing in Artful Writing!  We might ask you to show us a photograph of your writing journal, or create a visual art journal page about your week's journaling that you can share in Artful Writing or in Artful Journeys, or both!  Writing is just another creative outlet, one that can and will be healing, helpful to you and renew your outlook and spirit as you explore your emotions, feelings, relationships, past history and everything in between.

Come join us on this artful, writing adventure. 

~Betty Richardson

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Artful Journeys - POP UP #27

Betty here, bringing you our Pop-Up this week. Guess what day it is?????  Last day of the month (already?) and time for another POP-UP art challenge for your journal. 

Yes, it is time for you to make a gorgeous, beautiful and delightful DECEMBER CALENDAR using holiday colors (if you so choose--or not).  This will be your last calendar, and I promise we won't do them next year.  Seems like I am the only one on the admin team who really likes having them in my journal, but they are a great "marker" to know when you did something if you don't date your journal work like I do.  I will do them next year, as I have done every year since I started journaling, but we won't have them as a prompt!

LYNN made this beauty... Isn't it pretty?  Here's what she had to say: "I got lucky today and got this piece of deli paper that Betty made with the gelli plate and I loved it so much I wanted to use it for the background for the calendar. Just punched out a bunch of circles and added birthdays that I have this month."  

MELODY made this super cute calendar in her usual cheerful style!  "For my calendar I started with tube acrylics in red and white to create the background, then punched circles out of scrapbook papers from my Christmas collection and glued them all down. I added some stickers for the month and a little somethin' extra. Thanks for looking!"

BETTY - My page this month is full of wintry and holiday cheer.  Background was prepared with acrylics in red and white, applied with a brayer, then some circles stamped with leftover paint.  I punched out the date squares out of holiday scrapbooking paper, added the dates and snowflakes with Posca markers, then the embellishments. Sadly, I got the "December" that was stamped with Stampin' Up's Alphabet Attitude stamps a little bit high, but oh well!  

SHANA says: As you know I do not enjoy doing Calender's! there is too much planning do do, spacing for the days of the weeks and making sure you have the right amount of days in the month... so since I was just going with it I decided to use what I had to go with the red and green theme, I had a background that I had just made using red and green with a brayer some time ago and started with that. I had a piece of watercolor paper that got ripped so I trimmed it down and laid down some green gelatos for a border then wet the whole piece down, I then sprayed with Dylusions in red. for the days I had some copy paper that I just did random sprays of the dylusions. I glued them all down and uses my sharpie paint pens to number them and add the month at the top. I actually like how it turned out with the mash of red and greens with no real shape, and I got to get my hands full of color! big hugs!

Did we motivate or inspire you?  Can't wait to see your calendars!  Be sure and share them with us at ARTFUL JOURNEYS!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ARTFUL JOURNEYS - WEEK #48 "Hang a Wreath"

Hi y'all!  Betty here this week with a message of good cheer and glad tidings, and your weekly prompt!

The holiday crush is upon us!  Thanksgiving is behind us, only one more "big cook" left until the new year,  with shopping and decorating in full swing across most of the country.

We want you to also "decorate" your journal this week by "HANGING A WREATH" (by creating one) in your journal. You can draw it, paint it, collage it.  Do you have a holly leaf punch and some green construction paper? There you go! You can festoon it any way you want. Use the gorgeous autumnal colors of fall, or think about cold, wintery cool blues or icy white, or start your holiday decorations with a full-on red and green wreath.  Perhaps you have some awesome greenery in your area and want to construct a "real" wreath using actual greenery  (be sure and preserve with medium or mod podge so it doesn't come apart all over everywhere a month from now!) And of course there are a bazillion options out of silk!  Add a nifty or appropriate quote or some journaling about your  holiday season and make it your own! However flat, bumpy or lumpy you get it done, hang a wreath in that journal for us this week!

Our spreads for this week are as varied as the four of us are, each taking a unique approach to the prompt.

MELODY made this beautiful spread and here's what she had to say: "I started by hunting up this background....I knew I had made it during the retreat and thought it would be perfect for a fall wreath of pretty leaves. The leaves are Recollections from Michaels, and I started by using a large candle to "draw" my circle, then began by laying down the leaves. Once I knew it would work, I pulled them off to glue them all down, then added some smaller leaves over the top, just to give it a little more depth and texture. Thanks for looking!!" 

LYNN put her thinking cap on and crafted up this pretty page ... "The "wreath" that almost wasn't. I spent over a hour trying to paint something pretty and oh boy the more I tried the worst it got so finally trashed it and said oh where is the cutting machine. Cut out leaves until I had enough to make a circle glued them all down and added the Christmas flowers. Punched out a few snowmen and the ribbon is fabric. The Christmas tag I cut and below that is a Christmas sticker.Thanks for looking and make Sure you see what the other girls came up with."

My spread was a lot of fun. My initial idea was a kaleidoscope of color, but it didn't quite turn out that way..... check it out on my blog HERE

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, thought about the many blessings in your life and got to spend some quality time with friends and family!  We are truly blessed to have you all be a part of our lives, and wish each of you a  stress-free upcoming holiday season!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

Are you missing some prompts from earlier in the year?  You can find a permanent link at the top of the blog "2015 Weekly Prompt Archives" or click to go directly to the archives.

Interested in what we are doing?  Join us by clicking for direct access!

ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES (mail art swaps)
ARTFUL JOURNEYS (art journaling group)
ARTFUL EXCESS (buy/sell/trade art supplies & handmade items)

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Five weeks left until the end of the year, Thanksgiving is being celebrated this week.  Where has the time gone?

We are getting our first light freeze Saturday night (tonight) here in north Texas, forecast to be just below freezing,  and it is coming early this year.  I know many of our friends up north are already battling winter head-on with lots of snow and bad weather.  All the more reason to live in the south and southwest!!  You Yanks have 9 months of winter, we have 9 months of summer.  I much prefer short pants and flip flops to heavy jeans, closed toe shoes and sweaters, although I like to laugh and say in the winter you can put on enough clothes to get warm, but you can't take off enough when it is 105 degrees in the shade down here in July.  We usually  have quite mild holiday weather and don't get much of the real wintry stuff until late January and February, when suddenly it will start to act like spring again. 

As we are all starting "the big cook" and preparing all our families' favorite dishes for Thanksgiving, being thankful for all we have, we want you to stop for a few minutes and be creative in your journal, and just have some old time fun!

YOUR PROMPT THIS WEEK - Make a turkey the old fashioned way -- USE YOUR HAND!

Yes, you heard right.  We're drawing on our childhood this week, but we know YOUR turkeys will be far from child-like, and you will put your own imaginative spins on this challenge.  Remember to add some special memories of Thanksgivings past to your journal.  Get some writing on those pages!

Here's what we offer up to you for inspiration!

I had a lot of fun with my spread for this prompt, enjoying the childhood memories of making turkeys this way in school.  I started with a gelli print background that I had previously made, then played with one of my new "mini" gelli plates by adding the additional features.  I traced my hand onto yet 2 other gelli prints and fussy cut them out. One tracing was wider, on purpose, and I cut apart the other and tucked them in behind, adding some colorful feathers for additional effect.  I added the stamped "Gobble Gobble" with Stampin' Up's Tidy Alphabet blocks, added some doodles, outlined the "finger feathers" with NeoColor II in black, drew in the eye, the beard, the google and beak, added smudged NeoColor II around a few of the blocks and called it good.  The whole thing came together quickly, and it was great fun trying to think outside the box but still in keeping with the prompt!   I like the non-traditional color palette as well!  Thanks for looking!

 SHANA made another artful spread in her journal and here's what she had to say about it: 
"For my Thankful Turkey, using a pencil, I 1st traced my hand with my thumb tucked in then moved my hand 2 more times just tracing the finger tips to add more feathers. I the traced around my thumb for the Turkeys head and neck, but I did end up slimming his neck down but it was a good reference nonetheless. I then sprayed my turkey using orange and red dylusions ink. I went in with gesso over the ink to make the turkey the focal point and creating some nice muted color from the ink. I outlined the turkey using my Faber-Castell Pitt pen then added detail using assorted  Acrylic paints. "

LYNN put together this colorful and happy spread, making good use of her Cricut.  Here's what she had to say:  "I totally forgot we were supposed to use our hand so here is my Tom.  On the background I used the Viva paper soft color in Sunny Yellow. I highly recommend this brand of paint by the way. It goes on smooth and dries quickly. Since I forgot this was a turkey using my hand I wondered all day what I was going to use for my turkey and finally found a cartridge that had Mr. Tom that I could cut. The turkey, the gobble, and the eat ham were cut using the machine.Even though I didn't follow the prompt exactly, and I don't suppose it really matters, I hope you enjoy it just the same. Make sure you check out what the other ladies did this week. 

MELODY is traveling with her family out of state and was unable to participate in this week's prompt.  She will be back next week in full form, I'm sure!

I hope you enjoyed looking at our takes on this week's prompt, and perhaps can draw some inspiration for your own.  Don't forget to add some words, writing or memories to your spread!

As always, have an artful week and a very happy Thanksgiving!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

Interested in what we are doing? 
--Join us at ARTFUL JOURNEYS, our art journaling group! 
--How about swapping mail art?  You'll love ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES!
--Need art supplies or have some excess to sell?  Check out ARTFUL EXCESS!

Saturday, November 21, 2015


We have a quick little pop-up for you tonight ... GRUMPY CATS

While I am definitely a "dog" person, I have had several cats as pets in my lifetime.  Cats are so expressive, demanding, grumpy, playful, lazy, self-absorbed and oh, so loveable.  My very first cat was a yellow tabby named Buttercup (I was in pre-school).  And my last cat was a rescue in the late 1970's named "Nubbin".  Nubbin was a huge black and gray tabby, with just a 3" long tail. Someone had chopped off his tail and the name just fit him. He came to me in a time of my life that having a pet that was rather self-sufficient was important, and was perfect for apartment living.  He was a great cat, but knew I was "his person" rather than him being "my cat."

So to honor all the cats we have known and loved, show us a grumpy cat. Draw one, collage one, create a Teesha-style cat.  However you want to express it, we are happy to see it!

My spread was prepared using a Victorian Trading Company catalog cover.  Background was done with craft and artist acrylics in yellow ochre, black, khaki, moss green, and citrus green applied with a brush and with a cosmetic sponge to blend into the collaged image.  I typed up the saying on my manual Royal typewriter.  He looks miserable, doesn't he? 

 MELODY is out of state with her family doing an early Thanksgiving get-together, but left this digital collage for your enjoyment!

Lynn and Shana were unable to participate in this pop-up challenge, but they will return with more of their beautiful art soon!

Have fun with this, and as always, keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Interested in what we are doing? 
--Join us at ARTFUL JOURNEYS, our art journaling group! 
--How about swapping mail art?  You'll love ARTFUL MAIL GROUPIES!
--Need art supplies or have some excess to sell?  Check out ARTFUL EXCESS!

Monday, November 16, 2015


Hi y'all! 

Betty here.  This is definitely late and not on our routine schedule.  The art retreat we had at the end of October had all of us (and me especially) busier than a one legged man in a butt-kickin' contest!  Maybe some of you did yours, and if you did -- good on you!  I just finished mine up, so this was an excellent time to remind those of you who might have forgotten...

Create your November "month at a glance" calendar with a fall or Thanksgiving theme.

My background had a lot of bleed-through Dylusions inks from the previous page, so I gessoed it rather heavily, and used a Calyx tool and made random marks in the gesso while it was wet.  Khaki and Citrus Green craft acrylic was applied with a brayer, then zapped with the heat gun (you know how impatient I can be!).  I then used two different Sugar Loaf stamps on each side of the page, and because of the textural nature of the gesso, they didn't stamp very well, so I had to draw in the details on both stamps. I colored them with Sakura Gelly Pens and Prismacolor pencils.  I sketched out the calendar blocks the exact width of my rule, went over the lines with a black Posca marker and added the dates.  Some random fall leaf stamps added and also colored with Prismacolor pencils and I called it done.

LYNN made this beautifully composed spread in her journal, and the colors just evoke a full-on fall feel, don't they?

Melody and Shana were unable to participate in this challenge.  I know we're behind, so join us in "catching up" before the holidays get us!  Share your calendar with us over at Artful Journeys!  As always, keep your world artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn & Shana

#Pop-Up#25 #November Calender

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Betty here this week bringing you our prompt for this week.  We want to push you a little bit this week, to think outside the box a little bit.  And there's a little play on words in motion here.

OUR PROMPT:  "EMPTY THE PANTRY."  Use a bag, box or label in a creative way in your journal.This week I really tried to push myself outside my own comfort zone and do something outside my "normal."  I think I managed to do that, but I'm still a little stressed over it.  Come see how and why HERE

made this bright and cheerful page, and here's what she had to say about it:

I started by punching out hearts from a Cheerios box and the tag is cut from a apple cider box-- something I have been drinking lately--after coffee, of course. I covered my page with sunshine yellow paper and added black lace washi tape to the sides. Stamped my Tim Holtz bird and fussy  cut him out. Stamped the quote and topped it on the cider tag.Thanks for looking at this week's prompt and make sure you check out what the other  girls came up with. I got a sneak peek at Betty's and it is fabulous!!!"

MELODY created this lovely background  for her journal.  She says: " This week I made a background using an old cereal box and acrylic paints in varying shades of pink with stamps and stencils."  What a transformation!

has been under the weather all week, but will be back with us next week with more of her beautiful artwork.

We hope that we have inspired you in some way or given you some ideas of reusing what might otherwise become trash.  Save the earth -- turn trash to treasure!

Have a fantastic week, and as always, get out there and keep it artful!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Will the New Year Bring?

Oh my goodness, the year has just flown by and we are 7 weeks away from the end of the year. And what a fun ride this has been for all of us!   But it is time to look forward to a new year with fresh, new ideas, new challenges and lots of excitement as we bring 2015 to a close.

The admin team is furiously working on your visual art prompts for the coming year and we want to challenge you to get outside the box this coming year; get out of your rut and try new things, experiment more and learn new techniques.  The art world is always changing, sometimes faster than some of us can keep up with.  Some of us like the comfort that our own personal ruts get us into, but where is the fun in that?  Those ruts can quickly become boring and routine, and unless we push ourselves and you, we cannot grow as people, as artists, or as expressive people. 

We are going to add in a whole new feature at Artful Journeys this coming year -- maybe more than one, but for sure, we are going to be adding in daily journaling prompts!  Our thought process is to give you a week's worth of real, writing / journaling prompts each Sunday for you to think about and write about during the week as an adjunct to your journaling.  Writing is healing for all sorts of things and reasons. Getting your thoughts, desires, wishes, demons, anger, frustrations and every emotion in between out on paper helps release stress, tension, anxiety from within your soul and spirit, freeing up more room for you to actually put your creative juices and positive influences into motion in your lives.  We all have stuff buried way deep inside. We wouldn't be human if we didn't.  We're going to work on some of that, but we are going to start out getting you into the practice of routine journaling, to face that blank page and WHAT to write, how to write and how to move forward.  Maybe just 15 minutes. Maybe you have several pages to get out of you to free up some positive space inside.  Whatever is there, we want you to get it out.  And no sharing is required.

Journaling is intrinsically a very private activity, generally not to be shared with a single soul.  It is a special "just-for-me" activity.  Some of our journaling (writing) prompts are going to be designed just to get you to start writing, to put pen to paper and get you in the habit.  Find a writing journal that you love.  One where you love the feel and weight of the paper. You love the exterior, the weight of it, the lightness of it, the portability of it.  Use a journal that speaks to you, and most especially a pen or pens that you LOVE writing with.  I use a real, old-timey fountain pen and occasionally dip pens in my writing journal, so the paper is especially important to me.  I love the nib on the paper, the flow of the ink, the whole process of actually writing on paper.  I rarely "tart up" my writing journals, (except for the covers--I love tarting them up), but will occasionally add washi tape to the outer edges or some small paper "something" just to break up the pages a little.  But rarely more than that.  It is a space for me to be free and honest with myself.  My journal is a place to really explore the true inner "me", a place to be honest with myself about my personal problems and issues, my anxieties, my frustrations, questions I seek answers to and a place to heal from years and years of nasty 'ole stuff that has been buried wayyyy deep.  And I am healing from many of these things and am proud of myself for actually addressing some of these things and my ability to relive some heartache and pain, but find solutions to them. To find forgiveness. To find that real emotion and honesty that can only bring healing.  A problem unspoken is still a problem, but a problem addressed is the first step to a solution.  Don't we all need solutions rather than problems?  I'm telling ya -- writing is a great step to some profound solutions in your lives.  So we're going there this coming year. Come along. You won't regret it, I promise.

As we progress into the year through our journaling, you may feel the need and desire to then express some of that real emotion onto a visual page, with cues only you know what they mean.  Those pages, we would love for you to share with us at Artful Journeys.  Put those into your creative art journal. Leave the real, hard-core journaling in your writing journal.  But express your day or your week's journaling visually. Share it.  Own it.  Be real with it!  This creative artwork isn't supposed to be a masterpiece.  Use the supplies you have on hand.  Be the master of cut and paste, scissors and glue. Sketch if you can, paint if you are so inclined.  Your journaling will show you the way. This type of art will happen organically, and ultimately will become some of your most loved art ... because it expresses real emotion and the real you.  This whole process is going to be separate and apart from our regular, weekly visual art prompts.  You will want to take the cues from your writing and express it visually because you will be making personal progress, not only through the cathartic writings, but wholly as a person. You will feel freer, more complete, and just more "alive." 

So get out there, find you a new writing journal. Tart up the cover if you want to.  Gather up your favorite writing instruments and get ready for a fresh start, a new year...and a new you!  And stay turned for more details as the new year approaches!

As always, keep it artful!


#2016  #Getting Ready  #NewYou

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 45 - Pick a decade, any decade

You know how sometimes, you have a time period that speaks to you?  Usually it's one that we've grown up in, lived our fomative years in the bulk of.

For me, it was the 80's...sitcoms, MTv, great candies, great music, and so many advances in technology!  For my spread this week, I took a background of pink and black, and began collaging different things from the 80's onto the page...nothing fancy here this week:

Then there's Shana's amazing post which you can read HERE and take a look at her amazing take on this weeks prompt.  And be sure to leave her some love when you go.

Betty and Lynn were unable to play with us this week, but will be back next week for our next prompt.

Thanks for stopping by and having a look!!!!!

Melody, Betty, Lynn and Shana
The Artful Chicks

Monday, October 26, 2015


Howdy y'all...Betty here again to bring you our prompt for the week.  I have been extremely busy preparing for our art retreat, and quite frankly, working on prompts was not on any of the myriad of lists I have going at the moment.  But I managed...barely.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, our prompt this week is "Ghosts, Goblins & Other Spookies"
As most of you know, Halloween is not my favorite holiday, and it is hard to get in the spirit of it, when we never have trick or treaters way out here in the sticks where we live.   Of course, my neighbors are all decked out decorated and told me they were anticipating some children this year.  I told them not to hold their breath since in over 20 years we have lived out here, we had one trick or treater and that "child" is in her 20's will be getting married next weekend!  Now, of course they use that excuse to buy candy and feel good about it "just in case".  But since NO children live down here at the far end of a very dark rural road, the likelihood of seeing little ghosts and goblins is quite marginal for us. When we lived in the suburbs of Dallas, I loved all the little kids and had fun handing out candy to them, taking pictures and trying to get into the spirit of it all.  My fur babies weren't quite as receptive, but at least I did love those cute kids coming up on the porch!

So I had some trouble with this. I have very little ephemera for Halloween, save for some cute things I got in happy mail this past week.  But none of that spoke to me.  So I did manage to draw this first thing, get it colored, and then hated the entire thing.  This was a dismal fail...but I'm going to show it to you anyway.....  it WILL get some gesso all over it very soon, I promise.  I find it to be hideous and like nothing about it whatsoever.  I used Copic and Aqua markers.There was bleeding from the adjacent page and streaks I could not obliterate without dragging out the paint too.

While talking with Melody on the phone, an idea hit me, so I whipped out my trusty pencil and grabbed black, red and white acrylic and managed to complete this new mess for you.  I'm so over Halloween. Thank goodness it will all be over next week. 
The following one says it all...about my mood and inability to deal with Halloween right now.  Sorry folks. Hopefully next week my Muse will be re-enthused after spending four glorious days with the gals making art and having great fellowship with them.

LYNN made this super cute page and says: "I used scrapbook orange paper and the bats and ghosts are glimmer stickers. Washi tape at the bottom of the page. Hope you enjoy and see what the others came up with."

SHANA and her Muse were working overtime this week and came up with this really fabulous spread.  She says:  "Playing in my hot press watercolor handmade journal with aqua markers and watercolor pencils. I knew I wanted to make a goblin but I wanted him/her to be cute, and "pretty much everything is cute in a pink tutu!"  And how right she is.  This is super cute!

MELODY has a double entry for us tonight.  We saw her background earlier in the week and were stoked to see what she did with it.  But she says that her Muse must has flown off into the night with a vampire bat or Count Dracula, because this is how she feels......

And here's her spread.  She thinks that is her own blood on there after her Muse cut her throat. 

I think the general consensus is we're all happy Halloween is about over.  We have no more dark pages in us and the spooky ghosts and goblins have departed from our repertoires.  We are hopeful, though, that some fun and magic remain in YOUR imaginations, so be sure and show us your successes...and your failures.  We did.

Be safe, and have an artful week!


~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Friday, October 23, 2015


Hi everyone!  Betty here to bring you our pop up art challenge this week.  I have been pretty much MIA preparing for our upcoming art retreat next week, and at this point, my lists have lists.  We're excited about the retreat and I'll be happy when it finally gets here and I can slow down and spend some time with some great folks and actually make art!

"WE TOAD-LY GET IT" is the theme of this pop up.  Obviously we are thinking frogs, warty or otherwise, but you can interpret it any way you see fit.   I'm already tired of Halloween (not my favorite holiday anyway), so this is a welcome reprieve for me!

Here's what we came up with --

SHANA made this stunner and shows off her amazing drawing skills for us once again.  She said this about her page:

"Frog Prince Kiss --Prismacolor pencils in a small Strathmore mixed media journal. White highlights done with sharpie paint pen. I originally was going to do a halloween type drawing, I was thinking witches with warty toads and frogs but when I did a search for pictures of frogs I of course came across frog prince pictures and my page completely changed. I actually wish I would have scanned my original pencil drawing so I could have tried to color it with different mediums, I like this little page!"

MELODY did this adorable background page for journaling in her new notebook with acrylic paints, washi and super cute embellishments.  It doesn't have to be fancy to be great, does it?  What fun it will be to journal all over this cute page!

And close up views of the corners and her embellishments --

And finally, my contribution this week.  Yes, I actually drew this frog!  I did the background one night earlier in the week in the wee hours when as usual I wasn't sleeping.  I wanted to do something sort of sarcastic since that's where my mood has been... Sarcasm is my super-power, you know.  Anyway, I did tone it down compared to where my head was, and this was the result.  Background has about 5 different color layers of acrylic paints scraped and brayered on; stenciling and some found letters.  Frog was hand drawn and fussy cut. Colored him in with Spectrum Aqua pens and a Signo Uniball pen.

We hope you like what we created for this prompt and that perhaps we have inspired you in some way.  Whatever you choose to put in your journal, where Halloween oriented or not, we TOAD-LY get it!

Hope you are having an artful week!

~~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana