Episode? Art journal day? of “lockdown”. In which I walk to the mailbox, and Clara eats a bee.

But it survived. Aaaaaaand…. that is literally my most exciting news.


As I am still healthy (yay!!!) and a serious homebody, I’m not minding “lockdown” at all. But the days DO blur into each other. Clara did eat said bee, but she dropped it when I told her to. So the natural balance is restored. Maybe?


A school with no kids coming back (and it’s not summer break!) is sad. A tiny plastic horse waits for their return in the parking lot.


Life moves on!

Daily Journal Entry 4/7/20 – Nature Stuff. And a mini paint palette. Of course.

“Stuff”… just bits I found on my walk yesterday… Getting out of this house during quarantine is nice… plus, my dr insists. 🙂 30 minutes of cardiac movement every(ish) day. Yesterday I noticed a big feather, the dying daffodils right by my door, and dandelions in different stages. It was nice to just walk, and breathe, and notice.


I used a little paint tin my friend Shelley sent me for Christmas. It is actually decorated like a Ouija board, and held mints, but she sent it with a list of colors recommended by…. someone professional online artist she respects. But I forget who…


Anywho….  the colors work really nicely together. So they were right. It is missing a few of my favorites go-to colors… but I didn’t need them, turns out. I’m listing the colors this other artist (I’m sorry I don’t have your name here) recommended, as well as what replacements I made in my set. I tried to match pigment numbers (which I googled for each brand) and actual colors as closely as possible.


The recommended colors:

WN (Winsor & Newton) Permanent Rose

DS (Daniel Smith) Pyrrol Scarlet

SCH (Schmincke) Transparent Orange

DS New Gamboge

WN Winsor Yellow

WN Quinacridone Magenta

WN Burnt Sienna

WN Paynes Gray

WN Cerulean Blue

DS Phthalo Yellow Green

WN Winsor Violet

WN French Ultramarine

WN Winsor Blue GS (green shade)

DS Ultramarine Turquoise

WN Permanent Sap Green


(I did this on the back of the swatch card, with the colors I ACTUALLY used. They don’t all look the same but are closer than you’d think, just some of my swatches are painted darker. I’m looking at you, Paynes Gray… I know mine is not neat and tidy like hers. She is a super pro at it)

I didn’t actually have exactly the colors and brands selected, but got as close as I could, because she had sent me a swatch card to match. Here’s what I changed out:

I used QoR Quin Magenta instead of WN Magenta

used a mixture of DS Burnt Sienna and Quin Burnt Orange for WN Burnt Sienna

used QoR Paynes Gray for WN Paynes Gray

used DS Cerulean Blue Chromium for WN Cerulean Blue

used a mixture of WN Ultramarine and QoR Quin Magenta for WN Winsor Violet

used DS Phthalo Blue GS instead of Winsor Blue GS

used a mixture of DS Ultramarine and DS Phthalo Green for DS Ultramarine Turquoise (the same way DS makes it)

used DS Sap Green for WN Permanent Sap Green.

(I had WN Permanent Rose, DS Pyrrole Scarlet, SCH Transparent Orange, DS New Gamboge, and WN Winsor Yellow)

I don’t generally use Paynes Gray… I use DS Bloodstone if I want a gray or black color and don’t want to mix one. I like its moodiness and granulation. I also include DS Buff Titanium, and DaVinci Red, and DS Green Apatite Genuine in most of my palettes. I’m going to keep this one the way it is for a while, and see if I miss them… I can always switch them out. Overall a very nice selection of colors, even if I did replace many.




(for the shadows i added a bit of the burnt sienna mix to the paynes gray… I like it)

Soooo…. how are you spending your quarantine?

Thirty More Everyday Sketches (2)

Santa took an adorable selfie with Ellis at the Christmas in July event we hosted last month at the Chick-fil-A Virginia Beach Blvd. There were a ton of great moments I could have chosen to sketch, but this was a highlight for me. 🙂

Thirty More Everyday Sketches! (1)

Obviously I haven’t added color yet, but thought I’d go ahead and post the beginning of my next art journal. I am determined that these layouts will look more “complete” than the last journal. I’m using a Strathmore 400 series journal, in a larger format this time. (found HERE on Amazon)  (not 100% cotton paper, which makes it slightly less fun to paint on. But this is one of the first watercolor journals I tried, and even with all the awesome types I’ve tried, I still love it! At about $15, (currently), it’s more affordable than some, and quite nice to use.)


I’ve only started the title page and one entry so far, but I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying the larger pages!


This page is from Saturday July 27th, our Christmas in July event. That’s Santa, taking a selfie with Ellis! I’m both eager to see this painted and also afraid to do anything else to it:


(It was a GREAT event, by the way)

I’m particularly pleased that Ellis looks so much like Ellis to me here. Also, that’s why I’m afraid to add color. 🙂


I’m not going to do one page each day this time, but hopefully still quite often. I’m wondering, though, if I will keep myself on task effectively without that self-imposed deadline each day.

Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Day THIRTY!!!

Kinda’ going out on a whimper here. But can you believe it’s been 30 days already!? And I DID it.

Shopping for vacation Santa’s photo area at Saturday’s Christmas in July event:


So. I still can’t paint a black dog. In fact, my earlier attempts may have been better. I’m UNlearning. 😦



Not a great layout. Gorgeous weather, though, that’s something! 🙂

(PS Affiliate link included here: Clara’s new doggy pool is awesome!! (linked here on Amazon) It was $65 for the xxl (63″ across) and I hesitated before spending that much, but it has very good reviews and the cutest joyful doggy photos and videos. There are a lot of sizes, the smallest is under $30. The sides are sturdy and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it for both dogs and children. Easy set up, easy storage. Best little storable pool I’ve even purchased like this. I feel like the plastic is strong enough to last a long time, and it accordion folds to store. AND it stays up without water, so even with just an inch or two in there now, it is open fine!)

Back to my art journal experience: I’m glad I challenged myself. I’m going to try to art journal my way through August as well, although I may allow myself to miss some days. Thirty days without a break was a bigger challenge than I expected.

Several advantages, though:

It is GOOD to make myself stick to something thirty days straight even if I don’t feel like it.

I’m more comfortable/familiar with my current paint set now.

I’m more comfortable/familiar with my pens now.

I have this cool diary to refer back to in later years. (I’m not sure art journaling my life every single day is wise… I’ll never look back at all that! )

A lot of practice at general sketching/painting.

Re-developing the habit of everyday art.

Really the only disadvantages:

It was hard to do EVERY day without fail, and took more time than I expected.

Sometimes my day was super boring (online paperwork etc all day) and I didn’t know what to draw. (maybe an advantage, too, sometimes, since I might have to draw something I’m less comfortable with)

Thanks for listening!! I may do a journal overview and supply list later!

Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Day 27: Storytime, and Selphy printers (updated)

Storytime! Today we painted little birdhouses.


I had no idea if we’d have 4 children or 48… we set up the tables, paints, and birdhouses for 22, and had just enough (after adding a few extra for those who wanted to paint elsewhere) It went smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves. Saturday, Santa will be at the restaurant while he is vacationing, and they were excited to hear about that. It was a good morning. I had started it out with a damaged tire, so it was nice that storytime smoothed things out a bit for me.

It was sad dropping my “hmmmbug” off at the tire center, but my new Canon Selphy photo printer (linked on Amazon here) had arrived and oh my goodness this thing rocks!


Ok, I’ve only printed 3 4×6 photos so far, but they look really nice, and I’m looking forward to the card and sticker paper arriving so I can do small prints to add to my journal pages. It also has the ability to print photo booth type prints which I think could be fun if I figure them out. I looked at several mini printers. I liked the idea of a very tiny portable printer, but a couple of them have prints that are not at all archival, and these are supposed to last 100 years, and are even water resistant (or something) so I went with this slightly larger, but still portable, printer.  (it is only 5″x7″.) I never print photos anymore, in this digital age, and really miss having them, and working in my scrapbooks. I originally wanted this so we could print nice quality photos instantly at the restaurant when Santa is there, but the photographer recommended a different printer (which we bought) and I got this one for myself at home. This one only prints up to 4×6, but the one for the restaurant will print larger if we need it. (Although I only got 4×6 paper anyway to use for Santa pictures next weekend)


Edited: There were several things I forgot to mention… a car painted in PIZZA, but that will have to go on another page… I added in the box turtle I stopped to help across the road. I’d never picked up a box turtle, that I can recall, so was stupidly nervous, but I didn’t want him to get squished. He actually may have helped ME as much as I helped him, because then shortly after I got on the interstate my tire had a big problem, and it was JUST at the last exit near the house, so it was easy to get back home safely. Another thirty seconds further up and it would have been a mess!

Then, because of that, in the evening we had to drop her (him??) off at the shop to stay overnight which made me as sad as if I’d had to leave a puppy behind. So I’ve added those two little items. And in fact, even though it isn’t laid out perfectly, it made the page look more finished as well!

Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Day 26

Art supplies! Relaxed today, and organized some of my art supplies! I have this LOVELY new palette that came from a stationery shop in Tokyo, and I can’t find any online. I need several more!


It is plastic, but the paint doesn’t bead up on it. Lightweight but sturdy, plenty of mixing space for what I’m doing. Let me know if you know where to find more!

I also spent some time prepping my travel board (for urban sketching) Just an aluminum clipboard, but I wanted steel areas and also magnets for holding my paints and water.


I think it may JUST BARELY fit into my current bag. We’ll see!


Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Saturday July 20th

The heat index today was 110!! Crazy! I had to take supplies in to work for Monday’s storytime (We will be painting little wooden birdhouses. What was I thinking!???) and then hold orientation with two new team members. I stayed to help out a bit through lunch because an excessive number of people called out (??!!) Then we had dinner with Sean, who was dropping by for a quick moment on his way to Nags Head. I did not, however, sketch Sean, because stupidly I didn’t get a photos! So I sketched Seth from Friday night in quite a sweet pose, holding his girlfriend’s purse and packages while waiting for her. He’s looking down at the bag but I’m afraid maybe I’ve just made his face look squished?




Just six more days till my book is filled and my 30 day challenge is completed! It’s getting tougher than I anticipated! I’m looking forward to comparing THIS journal with the completed journal from my NEXT 30 day journal challenge, whenever that is, and hopefully seeing layouts (and skills) that seem improved!