Tuesday, June 12, 2012

small packages

I have to remind myself Summer has not officially started ... but I already feel like it is zooming by.  School let out the end of May, and Cowgirl is in her second week of swimming lessons at the neighborhood pool, so Summer feels like it is in full swing here.  Why do I persist in believing summer break will be a time of spaciousness and leisure?  It is anything but!

Such is my delusion that my girl will utilize the stretches of unstructured time to amuse herself but reality is she knows this time is precious and she wants to make the most of it.  Swimming pool, movies, park, zoo, and lunches - my god, the lunches!  I need to remember come Fall when I am wracking my brain for lunch bag ideas to give thanks to the lunchroom ladies who tend to my rather ravenous child on a daily basis.  She doesn't like breakfast ... three bites of cantaloupe and she is full ... so lunch starts early and lingers well into the afternoon.  I think she must have some Italian in her ... all that pasta eating has influenced her genes.  Long lunches, a late afternoon siesta and then she is ready to rock it well into the evening hours.  Legend has it there once was a bedtime routine around here ...

Needless-to-say this loosey-goosey lifestyle is perfect for a 7-year old and shattering to this hormonally-challenged mama-crone.  I've been thinking a lot about the ways I  find or create a sense of inner spaciousness and I am happy to share one of my latest discoveries: the mini-journal.

a little gesso, some acrylic paint, fairy dust and voila! a new cover!

Disclosure: I have a addiction fondness for all-things-journal-ish. I believe I made something of a confession a ways back and self-awareness has not lead to any kind of recovery unless you consider purchasing journals to give to others as one of the 12 steps. I couldn't resist this little journaling kit assembled by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.  


It looked like the perfect thing for summer and vacation use as it is small and lends itself to quick spreads.  Little journal "notes" to borrow a concept from Liz Lamoreux.  

So far I've been able to turn to this journal for quickie art sessions.  I like to think of it as opening the valve on my creative radiator and letting a little steam off.  I am playing with smear-creatures, minimalist collages and your basic doodle art.  


Nothing heavy; light, playful, creative stretches versus a full on aerobics session.  Perfect for my distractible summer mind.

Meanwhile, Cowgirl is working in her journal somewhat regularly.  

so begins the story of Flames, the Dragon ...

Perhaps one day far in the future there will be an exhibit of our works, side-by-side. Perhaps ours will be the only artifacts remaining from this largely digital age?  A solar flare erasing all data stored in the cloud or on hard drives.  Historians pouring over our pages and wondering about this world of penguins, dragons, big headed beings and sharp-toothed creatures.  

Eden may be nothing more than a shifting of perspective, an invitation into a world of imagination and play. Any real paradise must have an element of danger and excitement, mais non?

What summer projects do you have brewing?  How do you integrate summer play with time for creating?  We have aspirations here my friends.  Flames story must be told, creatures waiting to be birthed and a whole slew of journals to be filled.  Pass the iced tea and let's get going!


  1. I love your journal pages - especially the chick!
    Hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable summer with cowgirl!

  2. You're such an enabler buying journal type gifts for your friends :)I can't wait for Cowgirl's Flames to meet Ava's Mr. Bear in "Bear Gets the Honey".

  3. Oooh, I do have a project brewing, but it hasn't percolated enough for talking 'bout. I love your little journals. I'm taking Sarah's online workshop this summer and am very excited.

    Every summer we (the kids and I) make a list of what we hope to do. It's balanced with big things (day trips, some far enough away to include daddy) and little things (make homemade lemonade) and lazy things (lots of beach, beach, beach). I supply a gentle framework to our weeks...but also, having more than one child makes it a bit easier for me to get some time to myself here and there--much easier than when the big kids are in school, actually, and I'm home with the youngest.

    I hope you both enjoy your summer! It's my favorite time of year.

  4. I always have grand plans for savoring summer, and then it passes so quickly and school is starting again. Now it is winter and changes are afoot. I love the smear creatures, perfect for preparing ahead of time and pulling out in the gaps of time that open up.

  5. oooh....i can't even think of the summer stretching ahead...sooooo many possibilities. which is a dangerous thought unto itself because then come Expectations and Too Much Planning. Vaguely...i have notions of continuing to tame the gardens, smatterings of outdoor-ish art, farmer's and flea markets and general loafing about.

    i LOVE your wee journal...i need to do something like that as my creative muscles seem to have seized up and i'm having a hard time getting started again....

    kidlets here don't get out of school until the end of june...so we have a smidge more time before it's offical...but yeah, it really does feel like summer already.


    lovely to be back in this gloriously fabulous space...xoxoxo

  6. Lis, I love that shadow picture of the two of you. So precious. As are the journals you are doing, I love the simplicity of them. I'd love to see them side to side in an exhibit. I recently displayed some of my art journals and collaborative books at a show and they were really well received. People love looking through them.


  7. Oh my goodness, how I LOVE that fox :) The comment about the historians looking at our work reminded me of our recent Skype date, which in turn made me smile lots and lots. And tell Cowgirl that the Flames the Dragon sounds amazing, I can't wait to read more :)