Coffee & Journaling Go Together

…in more ways than one :)


Believe it or not — the background stencil for the page above was made with coffee!

CoffeeSprayBottleAll you need is a spray bottle, a packet of instant coffee and some water.

And voila…you have beautiful stencil paint. I love the rich brown color it provides, and it’s an easy to travel with this kind of ‘paint’, too.

I learned this trick in a recent workshop I took with Judith Cassel-Mamet, and this little spray bottle has been accompanying me on all of my camping overnights since.


On site (this was on the Solstice in Breckenridge, CO) and still wet


Playing with more nature on this coffee stencil page — I’m not sure it’s done quite yet, but it’s ready to share with you!


A small spot of coffee stencil on my 17th anniversary map

And here’s that other way that coffee and journaling go together for me…


…sitting with my journal and a beautiful, yummy latte!

If you’re not a coffee drinker, that’s OK. What goes best with your journal? Hmmm…it may be time to experiment with some other colorful cuisine :)




Filed under Art & Design, Creativity, Journaling, Lettering, Self Discovery

My idea of relaxin’…at 11,000 ft


…at the base of Mt White (you can’t quite see the summit of Mt. White behind us — it is 13,667 ft and we’re at ~11,000 feet)
…playing with camera effects on my Canon PowerShot (the image above was taken with the toy camera effect :)

BareFeet…airing out my sweaty toes
…eatin’ cherries & roasted pumpkin seeds


…soakin’ in the views (that is Mt Antero in the distance – it is 14,276 feet)


…and this view — back to our valley where we started & finished the day.
…and listening to the quiet (and a few birds and critters, and jets overhead – of course)


…dippin’ my hands in the snowy cold water and rinsing my face (Little Browns Creek)


I swear it was just snow yesterday – this is where it begins…


…and then there was mother nature’s garden on the 4 miles to and fro — beautiful colors, smells & sounds — a feast for all of the senses.

I am always in awe of the surroundings in my backyard! What a great way to spend my Sunday!

Everyone’s idea of relaxation and play are different — what are yours?





P.S. The next edition of mermaid tales will be here soon. This month I’ll be doing a round-up of all the creative color-in play sheets from this year! Subscribe and you’ll receive access to the first seven play sheets, along with the musings play sheet. I hope you’ll join in the adventures with my small band of intrepid mermaids!


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Filed under Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature, Outdoor Adventure, Playing

Santa Fe Impressions


Looking Up – Black Canyon Campground

A few weeks back my hubby and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. Our best kind of celebration, for anything, is to go somewhere and just be together and play.

A favorite spot (which is where we went this anniversary:) is a little campground near Santa Fe called the Black Canyon Campground. It sits in a lovely forest with large ponderosa pines, and it’s close to great trails and downtown Santa Fe, too.

One of my favorite things is relaxing at our camp site and looking up at the sky (photo above).

And I love to capture impressions – here are some I captured as we enjoyed our weekend.


Trails pedaled along


Georgia O’Keefe’s art supplies (at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum)


Gate Shadow


Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi


Mariachi Buenaventura in Santa Fe Plaza


 Evening Light at The Shed in Santa Fe


It’s always good to end a meal with chocolate…The Shed


Aspen Park


Journal Play (more on that in another post:)


Scrub Oak Nature Mandala


Grilling in the hail storm :)


Relaxing in the sun the next day…


Fat & Happy Claret Cup


At Arms Length pic at Dale Ball Trails

We  also made our trip to Trader Joe’s before heading home. No pictures needed…it’s always hectic, but a great place for stocking up on nuts, chocolate, wine and other assorted staples when you live in a small rural town.

Happy Summer – enjoy creating some impressions of your own. And I’d love to see what you’re up to.



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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Joy, Outdoor Adventure, Playing, Self-care

Going with the Flow


It’s summer time in Salida.

The river is flowing and the boaters are here.

It was FIBArk this past weekend which meant lots of live music, boat races of all sorts – including a bit of hooliganism – and the carnival.


So I spent my weekend taking it all in – I even indulged in a sunset ferris wheel ride.

Indulging in PLAY is essential.


And right now all I seem to wanna do is play outside…
so I’m going with that flow.

There are all sorts of things calling me outside to play…like camping overnights, exploring the high country on foot and two wheels, swimming in that flowing river (when it comes down a bit more:), wildflowers and maybe even a few wild animals:)


And there is also the garden which calls me to tend and harvest so I can eat yummy greens – and later tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and more.


And pizza to put on the grill

All of this…at the expense of sharing creAte, PLaY, ThrIvE – which is also a form of play for me, and always in my heartfelt intentions.

I still plan to share this summer, but I’m going with the flow of being more sporadic in my postings.

What play do you plan to indulge in this summer? Go outside and do it! And then…come back and share when you have a spare minute:) I promise I’ll do the same.





P.S. You can also find spontaneous #createplaythrive posts on Instagram where I post at lisa_deyoung. Instagram is so easy & fun – it’s my new create addiction!

P.S.S. My indulgence in play has also caused me to be late with mountain mermaid tales this month. But I promise I will get it out later this week…or perhaps next. It will encourage you to play, so if you’re not signed up I’d love for you to take a minute and join the intrepid mermaids that are.  Click here to learn more and to subscribe.

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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Gardening, My Salida Backyard, Outdoor Adventure, Playing, playing is essential

Life is zooming & Criss-crossing New York


It was my intention to craft this post about my mid-May New York, New York adventures last week – but all of the sudden it was Friday and time for me to get off the computer for the weekend. And then I blinked again and realized it was June.

I’m feeling like so much time has passed since our trip (aka life is zooming) and that summer and the Solstice will be here before I know it, but I’m going to share anyway (I’m sure this never happens to any of you:)…

First – A really huge thank you to my nephew Avi, his wife Agathe (who was actually away while we were there), and their pup Boogaloo for hosting us in their small flat in Brooklyn for our Criss-Crossing New York Adventures.


Avi & Boogaloo

And here it is – a little bit on our adventures:
Arrival: Fly from DIA to LaGuardia and taxi to Gowanus (Brooklyn) in the pouring rain. Fortunately the rain stopped when we reached Gowanus and we were able to stretch our legs with a walk about the neighborhood, and go to dinner.


DAY 1: Long wander around Gowanus and Park Slope > Prospect Park with Avi (Boogaloo, too:) > a great turtle siting!

TLA_ProspectParkCook dinner at Avi’s flat

DAY 2: Du Jour Cafe – waiting for the bike shop to open
Pedaling from 9th Street Cycles in Park Slope to & over the Brooklyn Bridge…


…up the Hudson River pathway, into and around Central Park, back down the Hudson River pathway and around the tip of Manhattan, up to and over the Manhattan Bridge and back to 9th Street Cycles. Estimated 28 city miles!


Dinner at Runner & Stone

DAY 3: Subway to manhattan > Chelsea Market > Highline > Time Square > MoMA > apple Store and back to the subway


Penn Station to Great Neck on the Long Island railroad > visit with generations of cousins – Kimmie, Brian, Rayna, Kendall, Bailey & Bev

Return to Penn Station on Long island railroad, the subway back to Brooklyn

Departure Day: Breakfast at what became our favorite neighborhood restaurant and bakery – Runner & Stone > Subway to Penn Station > Amtrak to Hartford to pick up a rental car for the next leg of our adventures.


The pace and complexity of such a huge city was fascinating to this small mountain town gal, and I’m glad to be back on my bicycle with just a few cars on the road with me and looking out on the mountains.

And since returning home I’ve had so much fun weaving paper to create this journal page (just below) out of the subway maps I insisted my husband hunt down as we waited at Penn Station for our Amtrak train leaving the city.


I’ve since made a thank you card with more of the subway map using this technique. It has arrived at my nephew’s in Brooklyn, along with a fun little candle from Beeyond the Hive in Salida –which I hope they will enjoy this summer.

More criss-crossing paper,  and other adventures, to come this summer.

What summer adventures do you have planned?



P.S. June Mermaid Tales will be sent out in a few weeks. I’d love to have you join in for some June Play! Click here to learn more and subscribe.

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Filed under Art & Design, Creativity, Friends, Journaling, Playing, Travel