How you Bean?

Our son's birthday was at the end of August. When he was growing up - when he was learning to talk - he would point to jelly beans on the counter, and say, "Bean." Joshie Bean became his nickname among the family - really only among his parents.

For his 21st birthday, I used the Lawn Fawn How You Bean? set to create his cards.  I made a series of four cards, and on each one, the jar was more full of jelly beans, until it was overflowing. I mailed a card to him each day, so that they arrived gradually, up to his birthday.

Here are the card fronts:

Weekly Layout

One of the ways I express my creativity is through Bullet Journalling. I've mentioned that before.  

There are so many (so so many) people in the blogging, pinteresting, youtubing world who are "doing" bullet journalling, and sharing their work, that it seems redundant for me to do so here. But... here I go, anyway. Over the next few weeks, among my other posts, I'll share a few of my regular layout styles - what they are, why I use them, etc.

This is a weekly layout. I do one of these pages on Saturday evening, in preparation for the week. On the top half of the page, I list each day of the week with a column for schedule and a column for deadlines. The schedule side are events that I need to remember; the deadline side includes items I need to remember to do by that day.

On the bottom of the page, I list three goals for the week, I track fitness (steps, stairs, a personal rating of my food tracking and weight change for the week), and I list potential meals based on the groceries in the house.

This layout helps me to see the week all on one page. It isn't my To Do list, and it doesn't serve to record what I HAVE done that week - it is only a look at the week before it happens.

This layout developed over time, but at this point, I think it serves me well.

My Hero - May

Some months, I purchase the Hero Arts My Hero kit. A couple of months ago, it had a safari / African animals theme. I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but it was unlike any stamp sets I had, so I went ahead and ordered it.

Sometimes a kit proves to be a "really useful engine," and this one did. From it, I made several Fathers' Day cards and birthday cards.

Art by the Lake

Last week, I spent several days at Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio for a Stewardship Conference. It was a beautiful place (flowers everywhere) with Lake Erie in the background and perfect weather. I was able to find some time to sit in the park near the water and do art.

This image is my practice work using the book Botanical Line Drawing by Peggy Dean. You see my iPad because I'm using a Kindle version of the book. The tablet is a Rhodia dot grid top stapled A5 notebook. The pens are Faber-Castell Pitt Artist pens in S and XS.

The next day I used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers to color two Suzy Plantamura's drawings (sold by Simon Says Stamp). They are taped with blue painters tape down to art boards to keep them from warping.

These were great breaks from the Conference.

Bullet Journal

Late last year, I started investigating the idea of keeping a bullet journal. If that phrase is new to you, check out the website of the person who coined the phrase and initiated the craze. (Ha, a poem).  His name is Ryder Carroll, and the site is

For me, a bullet journal serves three purposes: it helps me to record what has happened in the past, remind myself of what needs to be done today, and plan the future. I don't use it for work (I use a Franklin Planner for work), but I do use it for what I do outside of work.

Last December, I decided to give it a try for a month and see if it was something I wanted to devote time to. I grabbed a blank book off my shelf, and started. This is my first hint for you if you want to try it: grab a book that doesn't matter, any pen you have, and try the method. No pressure, no cost - just try it, and see if you like it.

Obviously, I did like it, so I ordered a Leuchtturm 1917 from Amazon. I ordered a lined, navy blue book. Most bullet journalists seem to be using the dotted version, but I thought I would like lines better. One January 1, I started using the book.

I haven't missed a day since then. Each evening, I spend a little time with the book. I write down what happened that day - quickly  - just a few lines, usually. And I plan the next day - what do I need to get done. I filled up that first book, and ordered a second one that I started using in July. This time I went with the dotted notebook, and I do like it better. There are tables and lines I draw in the book, and the dots are helpful.

I have also found that bullet journalling is a creative outlet for me. Mine is not as fancy as some you see, but each month has theme, and a couple of colors I use for headers. I fill empty spots with stickers and washi tape. For example, for this month (August), the colors are water colors - blue and aqua, and the theme is "things that swim."  I have fun.

Over the next few months, I add some posts about some of the spreads I use, and some of the other ways I use the bullet journal.

Oodles of Doodles - June and July

One of the items I do monthly in my bullet journal is a challenge from the.petit.planner on Instagram. It's a doodle a day, based on a theme she chooses. Each day has a promt - they are listed to the side of the images.

Below are my June and July pages from the Oodles of Doodles Challenge.

June 2017
July 2017

Anniversary Card

July 17 was our 30th Wedding Annivesary. I made three cards for Steve; this is one of them. It's watercolor, hand drawn, no stamps.

Sometimes I am just brave enough to paint. I hope you are, too.