Orly Avineri’s New Book!

There is no better way to start the day than with a cup of coffee, sunshine, and a new journaling book.  I’m so honored to participate in a blog hop announcing Orly Avineri’s just-released journaling book, “One Artist Journal”, based on her online journal/blog.  I just received it and it is beyond gorgeous, with page after page of color photos spilling over the edges, along with her heartfelt words alongside.

I met Orly at Journalfest a few years back and was immediately smitten–she’s like that.  You just sense her gentle, mindful spirit, and you want to get to know her better and hang out with her.  I’ve been fortunate to take workshops from her, as well as having her as an instructor here at An Artful Journey (lucky us, she’s teaching here again in Feb. of next year!)  Whenever I spend time with her, I leave feeling a little more hopeful about the world.  That’s just the kind of energy she puts out there.  Lovely.

This book oozes that kind of soulful energy, and makes you want to crawl right into that space.  I have tons of art books, and have become rather particular about what I spend my time/money on.  This one is at the top of my list, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the art of journaling. 

The very, very, very BEST way to order it is through Orly herself (super easy, fast delivery) at her e-store or in person at one of her workshops in So. Cal.  Of course, it’s also available at Amazon but supporting artists by buying directly is always preferable.  This would also make a great graduation gift for a special person in your life!

You might just win a copy of the book if you head over to Orly’s blog and leave a comment here–she’ll be choosing a winner on May 25.  And you might like to hop on over to visit these folks as well, to see what they have to say about this latest addition to their mixed-media library!

Brian Kasstle:  apaperbear.wordpress.com

Donna Cetorelli: solegarden.com
Erin Faith Allen: callofthewildsoul.com
Gina Rossi Armfield: sweetsistergina.typepad.com
Jane LaFazio: janeville.blogspot.com
Liesel Lund: liesel.typepad.com

Passing it on…

Jumping in here to let you know that the 2013 Artful Journey workshop descriptions are finalized and should be on the website by June 1.  I’ll be sure and do a shout-out when they’re up!  Registration for next February’s retreat opens on July 10 at 10am Pacific time.  Easy to remember, right?  I’m so excited to be able to offer this special retreat again; I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.  More on the exciting lineup and classes in the coming weeks…(I sure as heck wouldn’t want to have to choose between these 6 great instructors though!)

Things are hopping around here in my personal life, but I do take time out for a good read now and again.  One of my favorites is the Canadian magazine, Uppercase.  It’s a bit pricey, but so worth it–great photos and graphics, lots of interesting articles and resources.  Honestly, it’s just full of inspiration.  Go take a look here, but I’m warning you.  You’ll be sucked in and may not come up for air for awhile.

I purchased a few back copies recently—just imagine my surprise when I spotted this little blurb in Issue #12, under ‘A Roundup of Creative Retreats’!

I did one of those cartooney double-takes on that one.  As I started to turn the page, the voices in my head went, “hmm, that event sounds kinda familiar—woah, wait a minute!”  I don’t know how it got there, but I owe a big thank-you to Christina Crook, as she apparently did all the rounding up.  Thanks, Christina! 

Another favorite splurge of mine is Dumbo Feather from Australia.  It comes out quarterly and is a superb collection of five inspirational in-depth interviews, as well as some short feature articles.  They “seek out those who inspire us, those who excite us, and those who thrill us with possibility.”  What more could you ask for?  And to top it off, the photos are awesome, the paper is yummy–it even smells good.  Needless to say, I’m a big fan.  Again, if you want to lose yourself for awhile, just check out their blog right here.  TONS of good stuff!

Check back here on Friday when I’ll be participating in a blog hop featuring one of my favorite artists/instructors, Orly Avineri

Fresh Eyes

My good friend, Robin, gave me this book for my birthday and I’m just now delving into it.  We don’t get to see each other very often but she always comes up with just the right thing at just the right time.  I hope you have friends like that in your life too.  This thoughtful book emphasizes developing the ability to “see”, utilizing eye, mind and heart when taking photos.  It’s the perfect companion for me right now as I venture out, helping me to see things that otherwise might have gone unnoticed. 

These are a couple of shots I took recently when I went into town the other day and wandered around.  The assignment was to shoot ‘flashes of color’–it was mindful and slow and thoughtful.  Perfect. There are tons of exercises and questions to ponder, along with beautiful photographs.  I highly recommend it if this is your kind of thing.

Coming to the surface…

I’ve been absent from here for so long, and it was a bit of a trek to find my way back. But here I am—and it’s SO, SO good to be here!  To all of you who sent me notes of support and encouragement these past few months, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Knowing you were there gave me the strength I needed to move through the challenges and come through the other side.  My heart is full.

I’m grateful for a new year, with all the possibilities that it brings.  Like many of you, I’ve spent some time thinking about my intentions for the year, and will continue to check myself against them as the weeks and months go by.  The focus is to nourish myself, in mind, body, spirit and soul.  That pretty much covers everything!  More than ever, I’ve come to value my time with friends in creative pursuits more than ever before.  The time spent with others seeking a spiritual connection through creative pursuits feeds me in so many ways.  I’m determined that, no matter what gets thrown in my path, I will make these connections a priority.  Because truly, that’s all that really matters when you come down to it. Right?

For these reasons, I’m happy to report that An Artful Journey continues as well!  I’m THRILLED to announce that Jesse Reno, Katie Kendrick, Orly Avineri, Nina Bagley, DJ Pettitt and Albie Smith will be teaching at next year’s retreat here in the Santa Cruz mountains of northern CA. 
Circle the dates!    Feb. 28-Mar. 4, 2013

Details are still being worked out and will be added here and on the website as time goes, but I just couldn’t keep the good news to myself any longer!  I just know that this is going to be a very special event.  Stay tuned…

(Of course, Max is excited too—he’s such a big help!)


Give-Away Winners!

Good morning!  Thank you all for the nice comments left on my blog this past week—I wish I could send a packet to each one of you.  I decided to have two winners though, so here you go:


Congratulations to Karen Dorcas and Colleen Rhoads–please email me your address and I’ll get the packets out this week.  Thanks again to all who commented; I’ll be doing this from time to time (love sharing my finds), so check back!  Have a joyful Sunday!  cindy

Provisions Give-Away!

In honor of registration opening tomorrow for the Artful Journey Retreat next February, I’m doing a give-away!  Just leave a comment and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a Provisions packet—these are packets of goodies that I put together for Artist Sale at the retreat.  They’re usually a mix of fabric and vintage papers and ephemera, but I can customize it and do only fabric, only paper, or a combination of both.  I’ll pull the name next Sunday, July 17, so good luck!
ps–don’t forget to register for the retreat at noon tomorrow!  Whoohoo!

Looking Back…Leaning Forward

I’m seriously delirious looking over some of the photos of past retreats, with the paints, papers and other materials spilling out all over the place.  I’m deep into reminiscing, which is getting me even more excited about next February’s An Artful Journey retreat.

I’m now officially in the ‘creative design’ mode, wondering what little gems will come to me in my dreams or in the shower…or where ever.  (I do my best creative problem-solving in the water or while driving.  When I’m out and about, I use Dragon Dictation to record my thoughts—it then sends me an email, so I don’t lose the random ideas that pop up unexpectedly.  But I’m still working on how to remember those fleeting thoughts when I’m in the shower—hmm, maybe a huge waterproof post-it note on the shower wall.  Wouldn’t that be great?!

For past retreats, I’ve had a blast making journals, bags, nametags, notepads, vintage bags, and other goodies.  This is the time of year I start seeing inspiration everywhere:  at flea markets, looking through photos, starting a creative project, and rummaging through my stash.  I never know where it’s all going to lead, but I know it’s going to be good!  I’m feeling the stirrings…

Right now, I’m inspired by looking through the class offerings here–have I mentioned how grateful I am that I have the most awesome instructors teaching for me??  I’m just thrilled to have all that talent in one place, at one time.  The retreat is the perfect place to gather after the busy holiday season; it’s a gift we should all give ourselves from time to time.  It’s a chance to renew our creative spirits and spend time with others who share the same artistic pursuits; time to take care of our selves after taking care of others around us; time to reawaken our passion.  Registration opens on Tuesday at noon, Pacific time—I hope to see you there!

Checking in

I’ve been out of town taking care of my dad as he recovers from a burst appendix (he’s doing great, for which I’m very thankful).  I had planned on doing a different post while down here but in my haste to leave town, I neglected to put them into dropbox so I’d have access to them!  So this will just have to do for now.

This is a pic of my dad’s dining room table that I’ve taken over.  I’m a bit obsessed right now with another of Mary Ann Moss’s fabulous online classes, “Full Tilt Boogie”.  I have yet to complete a journal, but I’ve amassed about 10 books that are just waiting to be disemboweled and filled…lol!  Some of them are vintage albums that I acquired late at night in a flurry of bidding on Ebay–I’m sure there are those of you who can relate!

On another note, I had so much fun being interviewed by Rice Freeman-Zachary for a podcast last week. She’s so easy to talk to; it was as if we were sitting down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee. We chatted about An Artful Journey and retreats and creativity–all that good stuff! You can listen to it by clicking on the sidebar link.  I’m thrilled that she’ll be attending the retreat and leading a panel discussion on creativity. Can’t wait! Registration for the retreat opens just two weeks from now, so I hope you have it on your calendar. I expect some of the classes to fill pretty quickly!

Hope you have a happy, safe 4th of July weekend!  I’m hoping to be back home by then, so I’ll be in touch soon.


I had the luxury of spending a week by myself at Pine Mountain Lake, just south of Yosemite—just me and my books, journal, pen and paper, and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms.   I had visited there exactly two years ago, and it was a turning point for me, a sacred time of healing; it holds a very special place in my heart.

With all the changes that have taken place in my life since then, it was comforting to be back in a space where time seemed to stand still.  Even if it was only an illusion, it felt solid and grounded and was just what I needed. 

And so the journey begins—and ends—and changes, as it does in every moment.  The possibilities are endless and grander than we can ever imagine.  I’m moving FORWARD and it’s all good.

Looking for order…

as I move through the messiness of daily life.  Not ‘bad messy’ necessarily, just the stuff that life is made of.  I’m thinking about Einstein’s Three Rules of Work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2.  From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Seems pretty simple when you put it like that.  Smart guy, that Einstein.