Sunday, October 25, 2020


October 15 was an epic day. First we went to vote, where we were lucky enough to walk straight up to our voting booths, with no line at all. Then we went to the post office, where my Mindfully Synchronistic Pandemic Art Journal began its journey to the California headquarters of Art Journaling Magazine, where it could sit for weeks, if not months, before I find out if they are even interested in it.  I'm glad I didn't chicken out, for I was torn between wanting her to have a chance at being published, and wanting to keep her here with me. She has been my primary focus and occupation for so many months now, I wasn't sure I would know what to do with myself!

This agenda page asked, if you could take a year off work, with pay, how would you spend it, and where would you go? My answer...

I guess I needn't have worried, because once I got around to clearing all the Pandemic Journal detritus off my art table, I rediscovered the half-finished Big Bend art journal I started more than a year ago!

It was my first time making a "one-sheet" journal, and there was some frustration involved -- not the least of which is figuring out how to make a cover for it, and what it should look like.

My "Inspiration Board" For Cover Ideas

Who knows? If I ever manage to fill up all the empty spaces in it, and get it covered, I just might get around to starting on that Cuba and Portugal paraphernalia that has been gathering dust for so long. Of course, that would probably mean that we are still in lock-down, for me to have that much time for art, which would be really depressing...or would it? 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


This is the journal that was meant to be...the one that started writing itself. Perhaps, when I explain how that came about, you'll understand why I had to go back to make these additions to its cover.

You see, I've always kept agendas -- to keep track of where I need to be and when -- but my art journals were something else altogether. Last December, when the holidays were coming to an end, I still hadn't purchased my 2020 agenda. So, when I spotted this "Mindfulness Journal" on the magazine rack at Costco I just grabbed it, even though I'm not really into yoga and meditation stuff. I just needed a place to jot down the appointments I'd already made for the coming year.

A few weeks later I was doing my annual purge in the bedroodio, trying to make room on the shelves for the artsy Christmas gifts I'd received and space on the art table to actually do some work, when I came across a book I had been soooo excited to purchase, then somehow forgot all about. It was Gina Rossi Armfield's No Excuses Art Journaling book. It shows you how to use a desk diary or agenda as the basis for an art journal, to capture the moments in your days, and was just what I needed to get me out of my creative rut. How's that for synchronicity?

I started out dutifully following her weekly and monthly instructions, adding her insert pages and envelopes with colorful washi tape, and it actually did manage to get me in the groove. Before long, however, I no longer needed the prompts, and had segued into just doing my own thing, and loving it. Then...along came Covid-19!  

On the inside cover page there was a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke that I didn't give much thought to when I first saw it. It said "And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." How prophetic was that? Later, I made my own addition to the page, asking "You mean things like COVID - 19?" Still later, I started adding words and phrases like Social Distancing, Flatten the Curve, and Self-Quarantine. Before long the "Things That Have Never Been" were coming at us from every direction, from Antifa to Zoom, and the page was almost full!

So THAT, my friends, is how I ended up with a Mindfully Synchronistic Pandemic Art Journal, and the year isn't over yet. Let's hope I don't have to insert a whole 'nother page of "things that have never been"!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Not much has changed since I talked to you last -- part of the reason I go so long between posts. We're still staying hunkered down here at home, other than a couple of doctors appointments and a couple of trips to the garden center by Dear Hubby. He's very good about wearing his mask, however. The only problem now is that it's getting a whole lot harder to stay upbeat about doing all this, and not getting to spend real time with our kiddles, when the rest of the world seems to be running amok! But, all the more reason to do it.

I'm still sending pen pal cards to my little grandson.

And though I don't get many in return, I always get an immediate facetime call, with him jumping around and waving the card in the air, to tell me how excited he was to get it.

We're still doing puzzles too, and getting totally obsessed with them. Hard to believe, since we never did them at all prior to quarantine. This has been our favorite so far, since it brought back so many great memories.

This next one was pretty nostalgic as well, since my sister put herself through college working at Kip's Big Boy in Dallas, and we all spent a good bit of time there.

I'm still getting my monthly art lesson subscription from Lucy Brydon. This month we took all those tips we learned about glazing and layering leaves and put them to use making floral wreaths.

Loved this lesson. I am not good at particular and precise, and with these wreaths, it seems that the looser and messier you got, the better they turned out! Next up? Fun, funky little birdies.

The one thing I never tire of, however, while being stuck here at home, is the view from my windows.

Even when the little rascals sneak into my garden and nibble my plants!

Monday, June 1, 2020


Despite our governor's edicts about opening up businesses and getting back to normal, Hubby and I are still staying home, other than curbside pick-up orders and a couple of doctor's appointments. Considering our age and health issues, and the fact that people just don't like to follow rules about mask wearing and safe distancing, common sense told me to stay in a while longer, to see if the death toll numbers flatten out, or continue to rise. But, believe me, it ain't easy!

Hubby and I seem to take turns having really bad days, where it feels like maybe humanity isn't worth saving, usually as a result of spending too much time on Facebook! But, there are lots of good things to be found there as well, so though I sometimes have to avoid it for a period, I haven't given it up completely. For one thing, that's where author friend Katherine Center, whom I met at Lucky Star Art Camp, started sharing her "Three Good Things" posts. She believes that no matter how bad things get, if you look hard enough you can almost always find at least three good things in your life. And, if you seek out and focus on those things, you will start to feel better. So I started looking, and of course, found a whole lot more than just three!

Yes, I was kind of sad about not being able to go out for a nice Mother's Day brunch, but then this gorgeous, color-mad assortment of Harney & Sons teas, complete with honey straws, showed up on my doorstep, thanks to dear Austin and Areej. Know what else showed up there? Alexis! She didn't come in, but we got to talk through the door. Plus, she left me with some wonderful books...

and a piece of artwork our little Calvin made for me.

And yes, it was pretty sad that Calvin couldn't have a traditional birthday party to celebrate turning four, but he got at least three porch visits from family dropping off gifts, and got to make his very own birthday cake and do lots of other fun stuff his folks had planned for him, and he told them several times that he really liked no-people-birthday-parties! I'm thinking we may have yet another introvert in the family.

We are still sending pen pal letters back and forth, and based on his reactions to the two Transformer cards I sent him...

I decided to let Optimus and Bumblebee go stay at his house until quarantine is over, and he can start visiting Mimi's and Papa's toys again.

As I suspected, he was more excited about this than his actual gifts!

Although we really miss our Friday Date Days, with lunch out and a movie, we have discovered several very bingeable TV series, including one called Bosch that had lots of seasons. Add a little popcorn and Junior Mints, and you've got a pretty darned good Date Day!

Artwise, I had a fun new monthly lesson from Lucy Brydon show up in my mailbox. This one was all about glazing with water colors -- or how to overlap sheer layers of paint so that one shows through the other.

Since not one of the many puzzles Hubby ordered online back in early April had ever shown up, we decided to get back in touch with our new favorite independent bookstore, Patchouli Joe's, up in Leander. Within a few days, this Gustav Klimt puzzle was on our doorstep.

I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Turns out, it was also the most difficult! It had us so obsessed we couldn't do anything else -- until we got to the point where there was nothing but about 500 tiny identical white pieces left.

When we realized we just weren't having fun anymore, we gave ourselves permission to pack it up and move on. So now, we're working on this!

And then there was this sunset, every bit as brilliant as the color-mad puzzle above.

So, yeah. Seek and ye shall find -- possibly a whole lot more than you expected.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


I don't know about you, but my journey through this Covid-19 experience has been full of hills and valleys. You can always tell I'm in a slump, feeling like maybe mankind isn't worth saving, if I haven't posted anything here at Seasonality in a while. Fortunately, I'm optimistic by nature, and always manage to crawl out of that valley before too long. Here are some of the things that helped me this time:

1) Sending And Receiving Snail Mail

This is the last card I sent to my pen pal Calvin. Last time my best buddy Paula was here, she brought a whole sackful of Transformers that had belonged to her grandson. Instead of giving them to him all at once, I decided to do two at a time. He got a firetruck and a police car on his last visit, and that's all he's talked about ever since! I set out Optimus Prime and Bumblebee for the next visit, but then along came Covid-19. Although drawing stuff like this is most certainly NOT my forte, I was told this post card made one little boy extremely happy. Bumblebee is in the works.

2) A Great Jigsaw Puzzle

My Hubby is not really a puzzle, cards or board game person, but when I saw an article on line, suggesting great audio book/jigsaw combinations, and one of the books was a Sci-Fi selection, I had to give it a try. Turns out, neither one of us is good at multitasking, and it was either do the puzzle, or listen to the book, so we opted for the puzzle -- and had a blast! We will save the audio book for our next car trip. The only problem with the puzzle was it completely absorbed us for two days, then left us feeling totally bereft. We already had several others on order, but they are taking way too long to get here. If quarantine is over when they arrive, they might never make it out of their boxes.

3) Starting A New Art Journal

Some of my favorite things I've ever painted were a couple of little girls. Unfortunately, they both ended up in other people's journals, when I participated in a "Circle Journal" project where our journals moved from one person to the next around the country, with each person adding something to them, until they finally maid it back home to us. Luckily, I at least thought to snap a photo of them before I sent them off.

Coming across them when doing a purge on my stash-basket reminded me of how much I enjoyed painting them. I also found magazine pages I had torn out and saved, showing the work of some favorite inner-child-artists.

Next thing I knew, I had a new art journal in the works!

4) The Everchanging Menu Of Wildflowers Popping Up In My Yard

So, what keeps you going these days?