The New Studying Under The Masters Has Started {sneak peek of week one}


Good Morning!

I am thrilled to tell you that week one has just launched of the brand new Studying Under The Masters {portraits and self-portraits}!

This first week is all about Van Gogh and it is so much fun.

I wanted to give you a sneak peek into some of the videos and art that we will be creating as we study under Van Gogh.

If you are not signed up yet you still have time.

This six week online art course features 6 different instructors, 6 different master artists and two whole years to view your videos over and over.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from licensed artists Cori Dantini and Jane Davenport, Teresa McFayden, Gillian Lee Smith and Robin Fingher.

Each week of the course you will have the opportunity to engage in our weekly live “chats” on the site and ask away all of your questions to your favorite artists.

Once the 6 weeks are over the guest teachers will no longer be on the site and available for questions so don’t miss out!

Here is my peek into studying under Vincent Van Gogh…

I hope to see you in class!

This course begins TODAY and the price is $62.

To register please click HERE.

For people that are not already in the site here are directions:

To take a class on Jeanne Oliver’s creative network please follow these instructions:

1. Become a member of (this is free)

2. Once your membership is approved you can watch free art videos, the popular free interview series Creativity Takes Courage and even pay for more in depth courses.

3. Want to take an online course?  We currently offering 30 courses and free videos and you can find them all along the left hand side of the main page under “Courses”.  If you do not see the course you are looking for please click the “View all” at the bottom of the list.

4. Click on the course you are interested in, click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course.

5. If you have ANY questions please email

Soul.Full {pretty little ways to bring more SOUL into the day}


This is turning out to be one of the most creative falls we have ever had on the Jeanne Oliver Creative Network!

I believe we have some of the most unique and beautiful online courses out there and I am so proud to tell you that artist Kelly Barton will be teaching this November.

Here is a peek into Soul.Full {pretty little ways to bring more SOUL into the day}.


( pretty little ways to bring more SOUL into the day.)

little pockets filled with color and flare.

long ago. dancing in this girl’s memory.

simple. lemonade summers. hot chocolate winters.

this girl telling those stories she collected and stuffed deep in her pockets.

Each day we work. we stress and some days we collapse on the couch exhausted. The next day we begin again. In the lands of the middle there is a girl who craves creativity. color and

story. She finds simple ways to express herself and add color to each day. Art soothes her soul, and the layers of color allow her to soak up the world in a way that adds back in the bits with simple lessons.


soul.full. a one-week guided field trip that explores how to bring in creativity everyday and new habits that will give you an artist’s nudge and put a smile on your face.

kelly paints to soothe her soul and tell stories along the way.


Want to hear a little about what we will be creating?

project no1. – chalk

life has become filled with screen time and stale living. it is time to get outside and use the pavement to get creative.

project no2. – soul.intent

creating an organic shape using waterproof pens to outline, watercolors and adding a mantra, quote or intention to the art with pen.

project no3 – soul. notes

snail mail is making a come back! (at last) why not create note cards to send and share with others. it makes the world happy.

project no4. – blossom flags

little blossoms. create cutouts and simple banners to hang. i love how these bring more “sacred” into our life. they are simple touchstones for our day. they remind us to slow down. take a breath. what is important.

project no5. – ornaments

just imagine…a hand painted christmas tree! these cute ornaments can be used on your tree, garlands or year around hanging in your windows.

project no6. – pretty little blossoms

i love creating my blossoms. inspired deeply by the mandalas i love to create, these have more of a flora twist. we will also discuss fun ways to hang these when they are complete.

project no7. – blossom.lands

a creative fairytale so to speak. we will create tall whimsical blooms that create a canopy over a happy little dwelling or animal.’

project no8. fly

like the pretty little blossoms, only this one will focus on a butterfly!

bonus project: paper dwellings.

a simple collaboration with danielle donaldson.

little paper houses to adorn your own abode.

video one. chalked

a field trip using sidewalks, brick alleyways and fencing to create new canvas, everyday

video two. the creative hang

a chat about finding useful household items to frame and hang art/prints. also included natural canvas and frames, ie, wood slices, twigs and left over decking.

video three: prayer banners

simple and quick ideas on how to string, hang and unique ideas

coloring pages. downloads from me that you can color in, cut out and add to your own spaces


This is a one week online art course that will be instantly available on November 17th.

The early registration price is $24 and the videos will be available for one year!

To register:

1) go to and register (this is free)

2) once your account is active you can follow this link to go directly to Soul.Full

3) once you are on the main page of the course please click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course and ready for class on November 17th.

See you class!

24 Hours Sale in The Shop!


Good Morning!

We are having a 24 hours sale in the shop on our in stock bags, necklaces and paint brush holders.

We are almost out so don’t wait if you have had your eye on something.

This is for 24 hours only!

{We are already incredibly busy working on our winter collection and it is gorgeous!}

The Luella Clutch

The Josie Camera Bag

The JO Paint Brush Holder

Vintage Jewelry Pieces


Only FOUR MORE days until the newest Studying Under The Masters {portraits and self-portraits} begins!

6 teachers, 6 master artists and 6 weeks of online creative play!

This course is $62 and will be available for 2 years.

What are you waiting for?

To read more about the course click HERE.

To read more about the teachers click HERE.

To register click HERE or sign up using the Paypal button below.

When Life Wakes You Up {uncovering spontaneity}


Last September while walking around Arlington National Cemetery with my family I received a message from my doctor that some recent tests had shown some abnormal cells and I needed to come in.

I immediately called the nurse back that had left the message and asked, “Are you saying they are cancer cells?”.

She told me she couldn’t tell me any more and would have the doctor call me back the next day.

The next day?

I slowly sat down on a stone wall as I hung up the phone and my family was around me asking what she had said.

I am not even kidding when I tell you the first thoughts that went through my head.

Before I tell you those first thoughts I would like to say that I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

I am married to an amazing man, have the children I always dreamed of, I get to use the gifts and the skills the Lord has given me and I get to use them in ways that knocks my socks off.  I have beautiful friendships that are deep, silly, supportive and loyal.  I am surrounded by a family that sees all of me and loves me just the same.  If you would have shown me my future life at 18 years old I would have known that I would be winning the lottery on creative and blessed lives.

I am hoping that it is because of the above and so much more that I first thought this…

“Crap! I am going to die of cancer and I have never dyed my hair red and gotten that nose ring!”

I am not even kidding.

When we got back to Colorado I went in for a second exam and it can back positive that I had cancer cells and I would need to have surgery to remove them.

Last fall I had the surgery and over the past months I have been checked every two months to make sure everything was looking good.

Last month I was told that everything was clear and that the doctor wouldn’t need to see me for a year.

So here it is fall again and for the past five falls I have wanted to dye my hair red.

I can’t watch a movie with Julianne Moore and not instantly dream of red hair!

My hairdresser had always talked me out of it because of all her practical and wise advice like my hair was so blond that the color wouldn’t hold, I’m not good at hair maintenance and red hair is high maintenance and if I wanted to go back to blonde it could take awhile.  Each year I said, “OK, just do a regular highlight.”

This year I didn’t let her talk me out of it.

You get what you want when you say, “I had cancer cells cut out of my cervix and I want the red hair.”

She shut up, smiled and said she would do the red hair.

As long as I have wanted red hair I have wanted to get a nose ring.

I blame it on my dear friend Amanda Purvis and my new friend Danielle Burkleo.

All of my years of wanting a nose ring was pushed over the edge by their awesome hotness.

( I really wanted the hoop but they said I had to wait 8 weeks to put that in)

One of the main reasons I hadn’t gotten my piercing is because my mom hated the idea and parts of me let that hold me back from doing it.

My mom doesn’t really care but just knowing she didn’t like the idea was enough to talk me out of it.

As I had red dye slathered all over my head I called the local tattoo and piercing shop and scheduled my piercing for the next day.

My heart was pounding and I didn’t feel like I fit into the tattoo scene that day:-) but I stayed, sat down and let Ryan poke a hole in my face.

Sure, Maddy almost threw up but I did it!  Kelly thought I looked super hot right away and Ben kept on playing his video game.

I texted a photo to Jack at high school and he thought it was awesome.

It didn’t hurt. At all!

Maybe it hadn’t been my mom but the pain that had kept me from getting it done.

Maybe it was going into a place where I felt out of my element and like I didn’t belong.

I don’t know but I did it.

I am good and I don’t have cancer.

I have a beautiful life in all of the big ways but I don’t want to stop doing those little, fun, silly, brave, crazy things that make life…life!

I don’t want to NOT do things that I really want to do because someone else talks me out of it or because it may not be practical.

I don’t want to not do things because of the opinion of others and what they think is acceptable or lovely.

My heart is in the right place so obviously the things I would want to do wouldn’t be hurtful to others of myself.

I feel like that call that day in the middle of Arlington National Cemetery woke me up to being more me, more spontaneous and more silly.

What have you been really wanting to do and something is holding you back?

If it won’t hurt you, won’t hurt others and is not against your faith…what is holding you back?

Bigger Than You {we are almost there}


My dear friend Kimberly Taylor has found her passion outside her gorgeous home and family and it is contagious.

I would love for you to hear her heart and consider helping in the final stretch of this amazing opportunity to give.

We are ALMOST there!



My name is Kimberly Taylor and I am the founder of The Grow Hope Foundation.  We are a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people around the world improve their circumstances through education and a helping hand.  I recently returned from Uganda where I visited our pilot project that The Grow Hope Foundation has been working on in partnership with the Sustainable Community Education Program (SCEP) for the past year.  During my two weeks there I was able to witness first hand what the team in Uganda has accomplished in the past year.  The changes are incredible! We spent much of our time in the community, talking with the members of our pilot project and seeing all of the changes that they have made to improve their health through better sanitation and hygiene.  We visited every home that was a part of the 50 home project to witness first hand what impact it had had on their lives.


The community that we work in is rural and most of the residents lack education. However what they lack in knowledge they more than make up for in determination, heart and hard work. Our initial goal was to offer a better future for these families, but what we learned is that the thing they needed most was hope.  Hope had long since disappeared from this rural community, and when they began to realize that they had a reason to hope again, real changes began to happen.  Our community members in the pilot project have been so eager to learn and have attended the classes enthusiastically.  After each workshop they return home to implement the changes they have been taught.  In the last year every single family in our program has built a proper, safe and sanitary latrine as well as a tip-top (an apparatus for washing hands- an integral part of our program).  They have also learned about the importance of keeping their home free from pests and they built sanitation tables to wash and store their dishes, pots and mingling sticks- the tools they use to cook that were often stored on the ground in the dirt.  With these simple measures, illnesses have decreased dramatically over the past year and not one child was lost in our village to the secondary effects of poor sanitation.  While our community is healthier, we still see far too much malnutrition, especially in young children.  And that is where we came up with a plan.  A plan that we are really excited about and truly feel that it will impact this community and other communities around ours. Our hope is to create a sustainable program that offers education to the people around us, so that they in turn can begin to rise from the poverty that they currently exist in and create a life with hopes and dreams and a prosperous future.  We want to build something that will greatly increase their chances in doing that.


Our plan is to build an educational compound- Tusubira Village, which in the local language Lusoga means HOPE.  Tusubira Village would be a place where the surrounding community residents- many of whom weren’t a part of the pilot project but would like to be- are able to come and learn how to improve things such as hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.  We have found that the people in rural areas learn much more when they are able to see what they should do- when someone is available to actually demonstrate how to build a new latrine, or a sanitation table to store cooking utensils, or to plant a proper garden.  Tusubira Village will be just that- a place to come and learn, to practice, to ask questions.  When the people of the community leave the compound, they will leave with knowledge that they can take to their homes and replicate. They can make changes that will improve their lives, one step at a time.  Our hope is that we engage our initial community so completely that they will in turn become experts and be able to share the many things they have learned with others in their area.  Our goal is that with Tusubira Village we can impact not only our members but all of the residents of our area.  One day, maybe we will even help to improve the health and well-being of Ugandans in other rural areas.  We hope that once the seed is planted it will continue to spread and grow on its own.  I have seen how determined these people are, and how hard they are willing to work to make these changes.  With their hope restored, I truly believe that all they need is this helping hand- they will do the rest!


Tusubira Village itself will sit on three acres of land in the middle of the community we currently work with and will serve as not only an educational compound but a community gathering place to the surrounding area.  The land has already been purchased.  Tusubira Village will offer a wide range of benefits to the local community:

~The Well.  This will be the cornerstone of the compound and the reason that the community visits every single day.

30-40 separate gardens- each one planted with  different nutrient-rich crops that we hope the community will grow in their own gardens.  Experienced farmers will be available to teach growing techniques as well as answer any questions people may have after starting their own gardens.  Seedlings from these gardens will be shared with the community to give their gardens a healthy start.  Produce will be harvested from them to both stock the farm stand on the compound for purchase by locals as well as to be donated to local malnutrition facilities in the area, where children are in desperate need of nutrients.  This will be a “hands-on” facility where people will leave feeling confident that they are able to grow their own fruits and vegetables for their families.

~The main building- which will serve as a base for the local team as well as a place to host workshops.  People will come to learn skills that they can use to create work for themselves, thus an income for their family.  We will host artisans who will teach things such as weaving and sewing, which are useful skills in our area.  With an open space we also plan to host classes for adults such as reading, writing, not to mention teaching health and first-aid.  The possibilities are endless.

~The guest house – volunteer accommodations where people who are there to work with our program can stay.  It will have a western bathroom, a simple kitchen and a number of bedrooms.  It will also have a common area where meetings can be held or meals for large groups can be hosted.

~The meeting hut- a thatched roof structure that will host weekly meetings all year long- even in the rainy season.

~The lawn- a place for groups to gather or children to play while their parents learn.

It will also have:

~multiple varieties of fruit trees throughout the compound

~a 2-3 stall latrine for guests to use

~an area to raise chickens for eggs, meat, and to share baby chicks with the community

~an area to raise goats that will be milked and babies will be shared with the community to begin to raise goats of their own

~a caretaker hut


The first step to building Tusubira Village is the installation of a well.  This is THE MOST important part of getting this project going and also the most expensive.  The women and children of our community walk up to 2 miles each way, twice a day to collect water for cooking, washing and drinking.  The path to the water source is through a dense jungle- one that holds many dangers for them- especially the children.  With a well on the compound we can offer people a safe place to collect clean water for their families.  There would be no jungles to travel through, and the water itself would be safe not only for cooking and washing, but for drinking.  Water is a life-changing resource in places such as this.  When you remove the threat of water borne illnesses in combination with improved nutrition, you change the trajectory of the lives of these families.  You change their future.

a latrine before, and after


If we fully fund this campaign the money will go directly to getting the well installed.  If we were to go beyond our goal the next project would be to build one of the buildings so that we could establish a central workspace for the team in the community and classes could begin.  And yes, we would LOVE to go beyond our goal- and we know with your support we can make it happen!

I’ve often thought about the fact that because many of us were born in the countries we were, we will never have to struggle to survive, better yet have a chance to thrive like this community does.  But these women do- the ones who welcomed me into their homes, shared what little food they had with me and freely strapped their children to my back so that I could experience, for half an hour, what they live every day.  But do not be mistaken- they were no different than you or I inside. We are all daughters and mothers, wives and friends. These women are strong, and smart and they are willing to do whatever it takes to improve their lives.  They simply need a bit of help getting started.  They will do the rest- and not only that, but I know that they will take what they have learned and spread that knowledge to the communities surrounding them, so that everyone has an opportunity to thrive.  That is what we want with this project- a long lasting solution that will change the trajectory of their futures, as well as the futures of generations to come.

No donation is too small- as every dollar impacts this project.  And if you can’t donate, simply spreading the word would give this campaign the wings it needs to build this village. Facebook it, Tweet it, blog about it!  The more people that join the team to make Tusubira Village happen, the sooner we can give this community a safer, healthier hopeful future.  All they need is some education and a helping hand.  They will do the rest- I promise you.

To donate in ANY amount (everything helps and blesses) please click HERE.

Thank you for considering!


Life Book 2015 {Teacher line up, blog hop and giveaway}


Good morning!

I have some exciting news this morning and I hope you will be excited too and want to join me.

I am one of 25 teachers that will teaching in Life Book 2015!

This is an online art course that gives you new art technique and inspiration videos each month for a whole year.

So many of the artists teaching are women I know personally or women I admire for their creativity.

It is an honor to be included with so many talented and successful artists.

Registration will open on October 6th but you can check out all of the details and teachers now by going HERE.

I can’t wait to share with you my journal pages celebrating the lights and shadows of who we all are.  I love that I also get to talk with you about how I celebrate the day to day, find my gratitude in the midst of disappointment and my biggest tip that has helped me learn how to celebrate and the gratitude.  I will have print out quotes, prompts and more!

Each month will be full of inspiration to keep your creativity on track throughout the year.  I am just as excited to learn from the other artists as I am sure you are!

Look at all of these artists!

So exciting!

Who would love to win a spot in this one year course?

I get to giveaway ONE SPOT and to enter all you need to do is:

* leave a comment on this post telling me what keeps your creativity on track or what you would like to get out of Life Book 2015

For additional chances:

* Facebook THIS blog post

* Pin THIS post to Pinterest

* Blog about the course and link THIS post

Each time you do one of the above please come pack to THIS post and let me know and you will get additional entries for each time you share about the course linking to this blog post.

Want more chances to win a spot?

Tomorrow go check out the blog of Andrea Gomoll for an additional chance to win!

Here is a complete list of the teachers and all of their links so you can have additional chances to win and to get to know them better.

8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte –
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport –
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe –
11th September 2014 –  Jenny Lee Wentworth –
12th September 2014 –  Violette Clark –
13th September 2014 –  Chris Zydel –
14th September 2014 –  Danielle Donaldson –
15th September 2014 –  Effy Wild –
16th September 2014 –  Flora Bowley –
17th September 2014 –  Alisa Burke –
18th September 2014 –  Rachael Rice –
19th September 2014 –  Jeanne Oliver –
20th September 2014 –  Andrea Gomoll –
21st September 2014 –  Kristin van Valkenburgh –
22nd September 2014 –  Jill K. Berry –
23rd September 2014 –  Alena Hennessy –
24th September 2014 –  Juliette Crane –
25th September 2014 –  Jenny Doh –
26th September 2014 –  Mati Rose McDonough –
27th September 2014 –  Patti Ballard –
28th September 2014 –  Lynzee Lynx –
29th September 2014 –  Roben Marie Smith –
30th September 2014 –  Andrea Schroeder –
1st October 2014 –  Lynn Whipple –
2nd October 2014 –  Donna Downey –

Fall Decorating Ideas {Finding Fall Home Tour}


Do I get to wear boots yet?

That is what fall is all about!

OK, maybe fall is amazing for other things too.

How about I was married in October, two of my babies were born in the fall, the cooler temperatures, bulky sweaters, getting all cozy and reading a book, family and friends gathering together more, crunching of the leaves under your awesome boots that you finally get to wear again…

I’m sorry I didn’t mean to go back to the boots.

Maybe we should get on to the decorating.

I am so honored to be included again in Finding Home’s Finding Fall Home Tour!

Don’t miss out on starting the Finding Fall Home Tour from the very beginning!

This is an amazing group of talented women that I get to be a part of and I never take it for granted.

Better Homes and Gardens is a sponsor again this year and they have come up with 100 Days of Holiday Inspiration.  I love all of the ways BHG inspires when it comes to the home. To sign up click HERE.

Welcome if you are coming from The Graphics Fairy.

I love Karen’s style and I know her site is always a source of so much inspiration.

If you are new to my blog I am so happy you are here and I hope you enjoy looking around!

If you love creating I would love for you to check out my online creative network that includes over 30 online classes!

If you would like to know about upcoming retreats, online classes and my shop please subscribe to my newsletter HERE.

Welcome to our home!

I am so glad you have come by and I hope you enjoy peeking around at the clean parts of our home:-)

One of my favorite parts of our home is our front porch.  There are many mornings that you will find me on the swing with a blanket over my lap, devotions at my side and a hot cup of coffee in hand.

Now don’t judge me too quickly but all summer I dreamed about having cocktails out on the front porch with friends. I don’t know where the summer went but I had to follow through and create a mini bar to use this fall.

I have three of these carts from IKEA that I use in my studio to keep my supplies close by while I paint.  Lately I have seen so many beautiful bars created from random carts and furniture that I thought it was worth cleaning out some art supplies!  It was so easy to quickly set up the cart and this will be my go to set up when we have friends over.  Don’t think I have gone all Don Draper on you all and will be having my first cocktail right after breakfast. I may be clinking glasses with my husband though after the kids go to bed.  I think the main point here is that if you live in my area you might want to join me on the front porch soon!

{I may be getting an email from my mom later}

The first room you see when you come into our home is my art studio.  When it looks a lot worse than this it means I have been busy making stuff that makes me happy.

We recently have been working on our kitchen and we have remodeled and changed the look completely.  We still have the back counter and back splash to install but we are getting there.

If you love before and after photos you may like some of our recent projects.

*Adding Open Shelving

*Ripping out the built in desk

*Living Room Makeover

*Kitchen Remodel {before and after}

*How we built our kitchen island

This is the butler’s pantry off our kitchen that has become the perfect beverage station for tea and coffee. The kids really like this area during the holidays because I keep extra treats for their hot cocoa when their friends come over.

As a family we really spend the majority of our time in the kitchen and living room.  I love things to look pretty but what I really want is for the space to be inviting, warm and useable.

At the top of our stairs we have a window seat with storage and lots of shelves that we fill with family photos.  Today I just let the musician take the spotlight.

It seems a little weird to invite you into my bedroom but here we go…

I don’t constantly buy new things for our home or decorate much for any season except the little that I do for fall and then Christmas.  I like to rearrange what I already have and to use from nature as much as possible.

Before I set this table the kids and I went on a walk in the woods and found everything we needed.  It was free and when we are done with it we can put it right back:-)

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at our home all dressed up for fall.  As soon as I can get my hands on some Cinderella pumpkins and baby white pumpkins they will be making an appearance too.

If you like the photos above of our home I think you would like these posts too…

Fall Home Tour 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013


Our 13 year old son’s bedroom makeover

Our daughter’s bedroom makeover

Going from baby to big boy room makeover

Hallway collage wall

Our home decorated for Christmas

How to add character to a new home

Shop your own home (one room four different ways)

Create your own outdoor movie night

Have fun on the blog tour and I hope to see you again here soon.

The next stop on the tour is Better Homes and Gardens!

You won’t want to miss what they are sharing.