Thirty Days of Everyday Life… day 31 ;)

With just one page left in my journal… my plan was to create some type of end page, but when the day finally came, I decided to continue art journaling. Looking through the book, I’ve decided to add borders in places next time… I think that’s why my pages feel unfinished to me in this journal.


Tomorrow I plan to post a review of the whole journal. I’m pleased to have finished another full journal.

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, Charlotte’s Cafe… Day 29

Just one more day and this book is full!!!

My mother took my sister and me out to a little cute place in Newport News for lunch, Charlotte’s Cafe. It looks like it might be a nice place to suggest for the Hampton Roads Urban Sketchers group sometime! The walls are filled with the owner’s (?) paintings… very pretty… and lots of interesting quirky things, too.

One of the servers had very fun hair, a lovely color I almost but didn’t quite capture here… and I didn’t get the texture at all. (Looked very silky!) :


I think this vase might be better than one I remember sketching this spring.

Entry hallway with a few seats (and a sister):



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!

Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Friday: watercolor techniques

I watched the next Oto Kano youtube video, 8 Advanced Watercolor Texture Techniques, then tried a few in my journal. The Magic Eraser worked fine. BUT… the bubbles. Oh, the bubbles.


The blue was my first WET attempt. It soaked through to the other side and left NO bubble shapes. The red was my second, too much paint, attempt.

Next I added too much soap… ugh. I even tried a few drops of glycerin. I don’t know enough about glycerin to even know why I thought that might work, but it was sitting on my table from when I’d used it to mix a pant of white gouache. It didn’t help (surprise!)

I thought I’d sail right through “bubbles”!  Anyway, I did end up with something bubbly looking, and if I try a few more times I think I could get it.


But… I’m not that interested right now. It’s fun to know it is an option, though. Oto has suggested several other textures I may try, just didn’t today.

(I have to admit, now that I’m looking at them dry, it’s kind of interesting. The paint turned rather opaque in the process!!)

In other news, we met the family at The Bier Garden. YUM! But I didn’t have room to sketch anything from the evening here after the bubble incident, since I’m trying to stick to one page a day. Or since I’m lazy?? Whichever.

How was your Friday?



Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Thursday, Day 23: Clara gets ponytails!

Thursday Emmett and Clara spent the day at a doggy spa, getting bathed and groomed. They’ve basically been kicked out of the three previous groomers, because they are huge, and maybe… well… less ‘compliant’ than people would hope. Really, they are just big and strong and exhausting. They adore water but despise baths, go figure. This time, there were no tears (human) when I picked them up, thankfully, but we were asked to schedule them separately next time (which I had suggested in the beginning, but no one ever believes me)

It turns out both dogs decided to pee all over themselves just as the ladies were finishing up their three hour routines… which had actually already taken 5 hours. So, we added another hour. In all honesty, I told her do whatever she needed, seriously just towel off their backsides if necessary, but I guess their work ethic prohibited that.

Anyway… we haven’t been banned, so that’s something. However… they really weren’t trimmed the way I was hoping, either. Don’t misunderstand, they look good… but I had specifically asked if they knew how to trim newfies feet and ears. And they did get a LOT of shedding undercoat off, an impressive amount, but they didn’t trim their ears like I’d hoped. (Still, the dogs feel soft and fluffy, smell good, seemed to enjoy themselves, and we aren’t banned, so I’m calling it a $300 win. Yeah, $300… and that’s not even above the average compared to other groomers… think twice before bringing a newfie into your family. Today we got 3 months of heart worm and flea/tick preventative, and an ear check, and spent $700. Seriously… they are worth every penny but DO CONSIDER FINANCES before bringing a newfoundland home. Be sure this is where you want to invest your time, and your retirement fund. )

Back to the grooming… Clara is a BEAUTIFUL girl, and I’m sorry her sketch looks like this. I’m still trying to figure out how to sketch them. But I had to try to capture the pink ponytails they gave her. So adorable! Very Punky Brewster. (Do you know her???) They lasted only an hour or two.


By the way, they were weighed at the vet: Emmett is down to 139 WOO-HOO WAY TO GO EMMETT!! And Clara is up to 125 (no comment there, but you look mahvelous dahling) I’m not 100% sure about the scale, because it has weighed low before, and I believed both of them weighed a bit more. But it’s close enough, I guess, and we were really trying for under 140 for Emmett…

I watched this youtube video by Dr Oto Kano, and tried out these basic texture techniques. I’ve used them before but wanted to really focus on the technique.

Dr Oto Kano is an artist I support on Patreon.

This video describes 8 ways to add texture, for the beginner watercolorist… I played with table salt, plastic wrap, a gift card, and made scratches with a needle, and will watch the more advanced video next.



Thirty Days of Everyday Life, Day 22: Wednesday, The beach!

The kids asked me top go to East Beach in Ocean View with them for a bit.


A killer hot day today with heat indexes in the 100-110 degrees F range, but still really nice out in the shallow water of East Beach.


The floor of the water area is clear and soft, and shallow enough to walk way out, a plus with young kids. And, the waves are really minimal. The lack of waves makes the water particularly clear.

Ellis and I spent our time devising ways to capture small schools of fish which swam all around us, but we were unsuccessful. On the way out, however, MOMMY and Ellis actually caught one!!

Meet Emily, in our little green shell bag with the net bottom:


Emily is back with her family, no worries!

Not our boat:


Day 1 of the 2019 Summer Cheeseburger Challenge:


Ellis hadn’t tried a cheeseburger until July 4th when she tried one Papa grilled, and liked it. So we decided to try every* cheeseburger in Hampton Roads this summer, and began with a classic, McDonalds! (she liked it)

This toad greeted me on the top step at my back door first thing in the morning:


All in all, a very pleasant morning.